Keyboard Shortcuts by TC (Version 1.0) for Android is released!

As a proof-of-concept re Knowledge.Organized.by.TC, we have released the first version of Keyboard Shortcuts by TC to the Google Play app store on April 7, 2018 (yesterday):-

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.geekappeal.shortcuts

Here are some screenshots for your reference:-

It’s a free app (also ad-free) so you can download from the app store and give it a try.

It is a simple app which provides a list of keyboard shortcuts for:-

• Microsoft Windows 10
• Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows
• Microsoft Excel 2016 for Windows
• Apple Mac OS X

In addition to keyboard shortcuts, it also provides information on:-

• Common special characters (e.g. © copyright, ™ Trademark etc.)
• ASCII Codes (standard and control characters)
• Instant Messaging/Chat Lingo & Acronyms
• Emoticons
• Function Keys
• Useful Smartphone Codes
• Screen test (for dead pixels)
• Green screen and blue screen for video/photo production (i.e. chroma key) [Note: this is not a video production application.]

This is the initial release (version 1.0) and we hope you find this app handy and useful.

We don’t like ads so there is no ad in this app. However, a paid version (i.e. Shortcuts Pro by TC) with more shortcuts, tips and other information will be released.

More information-based / knowledged-based apps will also be released in the coming months!

Thank you.

-TC
apps@geekappeal.com

Bose QuietComfort 35 (QC35) hardware update/refresh?

bose_qc35upgrade

It seems Bose is going to release an update to its top-of-the-line QC35 noise cancelling headphones. As of this writing, it seems The Verge is the only tech news site reporting this:-

Bose accidentally reveals unreleased headphones in email newsletter
https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/8/5/16101618/bose-headphones-leak-new-qc35

As the article states, there is a new button on the left earcup. It would be interesting to see what it does: “…it might allow users to temporarily disable the noise cancellation or splice in some outside audio when they need a better sense of what’s happening in the world around them. That’s among our favorite features of Sony’s MDR-1000X, one of the QC35’s main competitors.” – I certainly hope so!

Also, in case you don’t know, the new firmware for Bose QC-35 finally provides three Acoustic Noise Cancellation (ANC) modes: High, Low and Off (https://community.bose.com/t5/Wireless-Headphones/QC35-Firmware-Update-V1-3-2-Available-June-22nd/td-p/56833). The level can be selected via the Bose Connect App. Perhaps the new button on the revised hardware will provide a way to select the ANC level without using the accompanying app.

For now, I am sticking with my old Bose QC15 (headphones) and QC20 (earphones/earbuds).

Cheers!

-TC

You can finally add dividers to Andorid RecyclerView without custom codes!

 

I was having coffee with a friend yesterday and he asked me about the missing “divider” support in the Android RecyclerView…Well, I should have posted this long time ago as the latest version of the Support Library is Revision 26.0.0 Beta 2 (June 2017)!

With the release of Android Support Library Revision 25.0.0 (October 2016), Google finally provides built-in divider support for its RecyclerView (I still cannot believe they didn’t provide such fundamental support in its initial release.).

Under the New APIs section of Rev. 25.0.0 (https://developer.android.com/topic/libraries/support-library/revisions.html#rev25-0-0):-

  • android.v7.widget.RecyclerView.DividerItemDecoration class provides a base implementation for vertical or horizontal dividers between items.

For example:

DataItemAdapterRecyclerView adapter = new 
DataItemAdapterRecyclerView(this, dataItemList);

RecyclerView recyclerView = (RecyclerView) findViewById(R.id.rvItems);
        recyclerView.setAdapter(adapter);

DividerItemDecoration mDividerItemDecoration = new DividerItemDecoration(
                recyclerView.getContext(), getResources().getConfiguration().orientation);
        recyclerView.addItemDecoration(mDividerItemDecoration);


For details, please refer to the documentation on DividerItemDecorationhttps://developer.android.com/reference/android/support/v7/widget/DividerItemDecoration.html.

 

Cheers!

-TC

 

Xiaomi Electric Scooter Unboxing

(Haven’t blogged for a while…)

I received my Xiaomi Electric Scooter (i.e. an electric kick scooter, also known as Mi Electric Scooter) yesterday (well…technically, it’s my brother’s) and here are the unboxing photos.

Model number: M365, Offical website (in  Simplified Chinese only…sigh: http://www.mi.com/scooter2/).

It is not listed on their international website so I suppose availability is currently limited to a handful of markets. Just FYI and a CYA note (since I commute between Hong Kong and Shenzhen very often): In Hong Kong, motorized/electric bicycles, kick scooters and self-balancing scooters such as Segway etc. are banned…so I will only ride this sort of vehicles in SZ, China.

It is not listed on their international website. They only list the Ninebot mini self-balancing scooter (parent company of Segway) (http://www.mi.com/en/scooter/). In case you are not aware, segway was acquired by Ninebot; in turn, Ninebot was acquired by Xiaomi (http://time.com/3822962/segway-ninebot-china/)…another sigh! Well, on a positive note, at least they are able to bring the prices down.

Mi_Scooter_01
My puppy Tidy can’t wait!

Mi_Scooter_03
Version 1.2…so is it the latest one? I hope so as my cousin ordered for me/my brother from Xiaomi’s Official Chinese Website directly.

Mi_Scooter_04
Nicely packed…except for the white box! I am debating if I should keep the box so that I can easily ship it when I eventually leave HK/SZ. Maybe I will order a new one and ship it when the time comes…Given the relative low prices, I guess I would get one of each: this scooter, a Ninebot mini and their electric bicycles when I leave…haha!

Mi_Scooter_05
Why everyone has to copy the fruity company’s packaging! Dislike! The box includes user’s manual, safety guide, legal disclaimer (of course…) etc. There is a QR code for you to download their apps (Apple and Android…no Windows Phone).

Mi_Scooter_06

Mi_Scooter_07

Mi_Scooter_08

Mi_Scooter_09

Mi_Scooter_10
Simple assembly is required…it comes with a screwdriver and 4 screws for assembling the handle-bar.

Mi_Scooter_11

Mi_Scooter_12

Mi_Scooter_13
Who let the dog in! ;-P

Mi_Scooter_14
Tidy, the scooter-riding puppy! 🙂

Mi_Scooter_15
Power supply for charging and a tube adapter for air pumps. At some point, we will need to inflate the tires.

Mi_Scooter_20
LED power indicators

Mi_Scooter_16
The headlight should be bright enough…will test and report back.

Mi_Scooter_21
Tail light

Mi_Scooter_17
The charging port is covered so there should be sufficient water resistance.

Mi_Scooter_18
It’s obvious that it requires a proprietary charger as USB-charging wouldn’t do it…power output: 250W (power-save mode) up to 18km/h, 500W (normal mode) up to 25km/h. Range: up to 30 km…I will have to test and verify.

Mi_Scooter_19
The scooter was already half charged so I will have to time the actual charging time in due course.

That’s it for now!

– TC

 

Steps to Prevent WhatsApp from Sharing Your Data with Facebook

Here are the steps to prevent WhatsApp from sharing your data with Facebook:-
1. When you are prompted (note: you will eventually be prompted…this option cannot be found in the app), click the ^ (i.e. the up arrow/pointer) beside “Read more about the key updates to our Terms and Privacy Policy.“;
WhatsApp sharing data with FB 1 of 3
2. Uncheck the checkbox beside “Share my WhatsApp account information with Facebook…”; and
WhatsApp sharing data with FB 2 of 3
3. Click “AGREE” (Actually, I don’t quite agree but there is no free lunch!).
WhatsApp sharing data with FB 3 of 3
Here you go!

Lastly, to support this blog, please visit and shop at EveryMobileThing.com for your mobile accessories. Thank you!

– TC

Simple Tip: You should do this before you lose your digital camera and your precious memory!

From time to time, we hear news about someone “reunited” with his or her lost mobile phone, digital camera, GoPro, drone, sd-card etc.; however, those are the rare cases. In reality, most owners would never see their gears (along with their precious photos and videos) ever again! They all gone F-O-R-E-V-E-R!

I suggest putting/saving a simple ascii text file (e.g. _If_found.txt, _Lost_n_Found.txt, _Please_Read_If_Found etc. – remember to put an underscore as the first character of the filename) on both the internal memory (if any) and all of your memory card (e.g. sd-card, micro-sd etc.) so that whoever found it or stole it from you can at the very least return the memory card to you…Yes, I may be naive that a theft would return something to you…well, some thefts do have code…maybe…just maybe.

In the text file, you may set out your name, address, email, phone number etc. along with a message. To increase your odd, you may:

  • suggest the finder to keep the gear/hardware BUT do return the memory (or save all the files from the internal/main memory to a memory card for); and/or
  • offer a reward, etc.

Well, you got the idea and good luck!

 

Lastly, to support this blog, please visit and shop at EveryMobileThing.com for your mobile accessories. Thank you!

– TC

My first thoughts on the New Bose QC35 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

[Updated on 21 June 2016 - Please see my comment re "controllable noise cancellation" at the bottom of this post.]

My prayers have finally been answered (see my previous post): Bose has finally released its first set of wireless noise cancelling headphones, the Bose QuietComfort 35 / QC35, on June 5, 2016 (along with few other wireless products such as QuietControl 30 / QC30 earbuds)!

From the press photos, the QC35 looks handsomely stylish and very similar to other Bose around-ear headphones such as QC25 and Soundlink Wireless Headphones.

Bose QuietComfort 35 / QC35:
QuietComfort_35_wireless_headphones_-_BlackQuietComfort_35_wireless_headphones_-_Silver

You can read their full press release (dated June 6, 2016) hereBOSE INTRODUCES WIRELESS QC NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES AND WIRELESS SPORT HEADPHONES

Despite the excitement, I think Bose should have integrated their new “controllable noise cancellation” technology (found on the soon-to-be-released QC30 earbuds) into the QC35 headphones. According to its press release:-

For wherever you are or whatever you’re doing, a new Bose breakthrough — controllable noise cancellation — puts you in charge of how much of the world you shut out. From needing awareness on a busy sidewalk, to complete isolation for work, to taking a call from home in a crowded cafe — the QC30 lets owners choose what they hear. Turn its noise cancellation up or down, not on or off, and it adapts to the level you set without changing your music volume.

 

Bose QuietControl 30 / QC30:
QuietControl_30_wireless_headphones

 

In my opinion, that’s a missed opportunity! Such controllable noise cancellation is nothing new (maybe only new to Bose products). Some companies such as Sennheiser already have similar technologies on their products for years. Perhaps it’s a matter of design decision that the Bose engineers do not think controllable noise cancellation is needed on around-ear headphones.

Updated: According to a Wired UK article (click to see the full article), here is the reason “Controllable Noise Cancellation” is not available on the QC35s: “Bose revealed this innovative feature could not be added to the QC35s as their development started earlier than the 30s. The designers could not make the function work properly with the new system, and therefore performance would have been compromised”. Given that, I may just wait for the next refresh.

 

The bottom line: I have to start saving money for my fifth set of Bose… 🙁

 

Lastly, to support this blog, please visit and shop at EveryMobileThing.com for your mobile accessories. Thank you!

– TC

Old-school Internet: Text-based Emoticons

Background

In 2003, I produced a series of coffee mugs for sale on the Internet. There were about five or six different designs and each one featured various Internet or IT-related information such as TCP/IP network stacks, snippets of “Hello World!” source codes in different programming languages, Emoticons, Internet Lingo etc. I called them the “InfoCups” and a bunch of them were sold via “infocups.com” (I  no longer own this domain) and “geekappeal.com” (the very first version…this blog site is its latest reincarnation). I was based in Toronto at the material time but I had to relocate to Hong Kong in a rush in Jan 2006…Everything was put on hold until now!

When I visited Toronto in 2015, I found some remaining InfoCups in my buddy’s basement. Basically, “my former life” (i.e. my belongings) has been stored in his basement since 2006 (Yes, I owe him a big big big favor!). I returned to HK with few of these mugs (see picture below):-

  1. Express Yourself with Emoticons!

Note: A table of all emoticons are list at the bottom of this post. Just scroll down!

InfoCups_Emoticons_cropped

2. /* Hello World! */

InfoCups_HelloWorld_cropped

3. OSI Reference & TCP/IP Models (black)

InfoCups_TCPIP_cropped

4. OSI Reference & TCP/IP Models (white)

InfoCups_TCPIP_White_cropped

Text-based Emoticons / Emojis 🙂

Emoticons (or emojis) have been around since the beginning of the Internet but it might still be new to many users back in late 1990s/early 2000s. Nowadays, such text-based old-school emoticons may have been replaced by icon/picture-based emojis and it’s no surprise that many people still don’t get the meanings of some less popular old-school ones so I thought would share them with you. Here are all the emoticons featured on one of those InfoCups (2003), titled “Express Yourself with Emoticons!“:-

No. Emoticon Meaning

1

🙂 or 🙂 simle/happy

2

😀 open-mouthed/big grin

3

:-O or 😮 surprised/shocked

4

😛 tongue sticking out

5

😉 winking

6

🙁 sad/frowning

7

:-< very sad

8

😐 disappointed/straight face

9

:'-( or :,-( crying

10

:'-) crying with joy

11

:-$ embarrassed/shhh…

12

:-@ or >:-( angry/screaming/what?

13

X-( angry

14

>:-> or >:) devilish

15

^o) or :-> sarcastic/smug

16

:-S or :-/ confused/worried

17

B-) cool

18

:-* or :-{} kiss

19

(-: left-handed

20

(:-| tired

21

😕 or *-) thinking…

22

/:-) or `:-) raised eyebrow

23

I-) or |-) asleep (Zzz…)

24

\-0 or |-o bored/yawning

25

|^o snoring

26

:-& tongue-tied

27

:-6 exhausted

28

:-9 delicious

29

:~/ mixed up

30

0:-) angel

31

:*> blushing

32

8-} silly

33

:)) laughing

34

:-V shouting

35

[[name]] hugging <someone>

36

:^o liar liar

37

:-# or 😡 lips are sealed

38

:-* secret telling

39

:^) i don't know

40

:-() can't stop talking

41

[-( not talking (not in the mood)

42

8-| eye-rolling

43

:-B nerd/buck-toothed

44

*-:) idea

45

:-~) has a cold (running nose)

46

+o( sick

47

@};- rose

48

@–>–>- long-stem rose

49

<3 heart

50

^5 high five

51

*<:-) Santa Claus hat

52

<:o) party hat

53

*:o) or :o) clown

54

😕 smoker

55

3:-o cow

56

:@) pig

57

O-> male

58

O+ female

59

…—… sos

Hope you like this post! 😉

Lastly, to support this blog, please visit and shop at EveryMobileThing.com for your mobile accessories. Thank you!

– Terence Cheong

Android Phones: Hardware HOME button & Capacitive BACK and RECENT buttons are essential!

Over the last couple of years, with the exception of Samsung’s, most Android smartphones released by major manufacturers were without the hardware BACK and RECENT buttons. Instead, users get those ugly soft buttons which, when pop-up, occupy precious screen real estate. They are such an eye sores!

Thankfully, HTC has finally realized the mistake and made the right choice by restoring the capacitive BACK and RECENT buttons on its new HTC 10 flagship phone (2016).

Example: Samsung Galaxy S7 (capactive and hardware buttons circled):

Samsung_Galaxy_S7_2016_capcitive_buttons_marked_up

Hopefully, other manufacturers like Sony, LG will follow suit. After all, they made a mistake by following Apple in removing such essential and functional designs from their Android phones (“renovating by removing great features“…LOL). In my opinion, function-over-form is crucial for non-Apple users (I know I know…I am just some random blogger on the Internet…so no one cares).

Next…removable battery PLEASE!

Lastly, to support this blog, please visit and shop at EveryMobileThing.com for your mobile accessories. Thank you!

– Terence Cheong