Category: Gadgets Page 1 of 3

Critics and demise of Apple

This is an old post that I somehow didn’t get to finish, originally written partially on 2013/4/5. Text in italics was added today.

Firstly, a bit of background. I did own the original iPhone. This was back in the days when the iPhone (the 2G-only model) was a US exclusive device. I actually ordered two when friends went to the US on a business trip. I think it was around US$6xx per unit or something and I had to go through unlock/jailbreak just to get the phones to work with Singapore SIM cards. My guess is that there were probably no more than 50 such phones in Singapore at the time. Those were the days!

I still miss the simplicity and beautiful design of iPhone – not so much the 3G(s) lines but the post-4G series. Despite improvements in Android, perhaps a change in iOS was sore needed, but the smartphone revolution really began with the iPhone and I have no doubt that iPhone is still the barometer that manufacturers are benchmarking against. Wait till when no one is talking about the iPhone/iPad family, then maybe we can start talking about death knells for Apple. read more

Redmi AC2100 router flashed with third-party firmware

This post details the steps I went through to flash Xiaomi’s Redmi AC2100 router using¬† a third-party firmware. There are already excellent guides out there so I won’t try to reinvent the wheel.¬† Instead I will focus on the differences for my circumstances where necessary. I will also list the resources that I have followed closely at the end of the post.

Although the AC2100 is neither a high end (Xiaomi has been releasing budget-friendly WiFi-6 routers since the end of 2019) nor new product, what got me initially interested in this particular wireless router was the relative ease with which people are able to flash to third-party firmwares. Contrary to some negative online reviews regarding Xiaomi’s wireless routers, I have not had any issues in using Xiaomi’s firmware in the past. My two main reasons for changing the firmware are read more

Quick review of Mi True Wireless Earphones 2

This is not your typical unboxing.

I am sharing my own experience of using the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 (shortened to Mi TWE2 from now on) for a week. I used these earphones during work commute (walk + cycle), in the office (relatively quiet, not shop/factory floor type of noise) and at home (mostly Youtube and music listening in FLAC format). For home use, I am normally a HD650 open-back headphone user, looking for something to use on daily commute and the occasional office calls, so the two qualities I am interested in are: decent sound quality, and good for phone/app calls. I own the Edifier W2000BT but Mi TWE2 is the first pair of true wireless that I have used for more one hour.

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A new lease of life for Mi Pad

Xiaomi’s Mi Pad was launched in 2015 to the global markets with above average specs. Unfortunately being a 4-year-old product means development and support for it was going to end sooner or later. This is simply another consequence of the fast-paced nature of the smartphone-tablet market. The last official build was MIUI 7 based on Android Kitkat (China version was supported up to MIUI 9).

Frankly, although the Mi Pad sported the decent NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, paired with a measly (by today’s standard) 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM (now THIS is terrible…), it does come with a high resolution 1080p IPS screen (326PPI). This makes the tablet a rather good media consumption device.

A few months ago, I decided to dust off a couple of Mi Pads that I had and started to look for third party ROMs that can extend Mi Pad’s usefulness. Below are the steps which I used to flash LineageOS Unofficial 15.1 (Android Oreo), for my own benefit should I need to reflash in the future. It’s a combination of steps I found from multiple sources. For those who may be unfamiliar with this Android Distribution, LineageOS is the successor to the custom ROM CyanogenMod. read more

Avegant virtual retinal display

Wearable “retina” display taking to another level!

I can still remember the first encounter with 3D wearable displays more than 13-14 years ago. The bulkiness together with the low frame rate meant they were not entirely comfortable to use, and the novelty soon wore off because of lack of applications. Now, more than a decade later, there is the Google Glass (introduced last year) which can be made relatively cheaply – for always-connected situations – and perhaps a onslaught of more sophisticated displays for heavy media (as in high-quality cinema) consumption!?

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