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My thoughts on Online Bullying.

I’m sure you have all heard of the recent tragic news story of a 14 year old girl, Hannah Smith, who unfortunately committed suicide due to online bullying, primarily on the question/answer based website ask.fm. It is something that is shocking and an eye opener towards the dangers of the internet.

Whilst I firmly believe that this is a tragic loss in a hopeful young life, I do not fully agree to the claim by her father that ask.fm is solely to blame for the suicide of Hannah Smith. In my honest opinion, I believe that were many several factors that had a play, not just ask.fm.

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Saving Money on Holiday

It’s coming close to the time when you start eyeing holidays that you wouldn’t mind going on during the school holiday, but how do you stay in touch with friends and family back home and how do they stay in touch with you?

Mobile phones wouldn’t be the best of ideas to use abroad, depending on which country you’re going, the cost of calling home from abroad can be dangerously expensive, in some cases, costing £1.25/min* to receive a call and £1.50/min* to make a call. And don’t even get started on Data, unless you get a hideously expensive data bundle, data is charged at £6/MB*. Even with bundles, O2 are looking to charge £40/month for 50MB and £120/month for 200MB. So, I think it’s safe to say, UK networks are not our friends in this dilemma.

Fear not, there may be some options that may part the UK networks from your wallet…

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Dear Blackberry

Dear BlackBerry,

I have a bone to pick with you.

Here I was happily tweeting away to Princess Peach when you decided enough is enough, you were going to disable your radio use because your battery was running a little too low?

Why oh why do you find the need to do that? What use are you to me if I can’t use the feature that I’m paying for and the reason you were invented. You’re like the little child who takes his ball home if he doesn’t get his way.

What’s the point of disabling all radio signals, but yet staying switched on to point that annoying flashing LED and remind me how rubbish your battery life is? Let me decide how to use MY phone, you’re a phone, your opinions mean jack all to me at times. You don’t have the power to send that one extra BBM, but you have the power to run the backlight every few minutes and tell me that the battery is too low.

I mean, what’s the actual point in the “battery roo low for radio use”? Is it to remind us to charge you? I’m sure the majority of BlackBerry will discover that is there phone has switched off, its because there’s no charge left in your battery. Thanks for using battery power that could have been used to send a message to remind me to charge you, otherwise I would have just started crying because you, my phone, wouldn’t turn on when I pressed a button, the thought of charging you would never have entered my mind!

O2 Signal Down?

Is your O2 signal down? Here’s what you can do:
O2 Signal Down? You need to switch to 2G networks to continue to receive your phone and text and possibly data services.

BlackBerry – Options > Networks and Connections > Mobile Network > Network Mode > 2G

iPhone – Settings > General > Network > Disable 3G

Android – Settings > Mobile Network > Network Mode > GSM Only

Latest News:  

  • @13:40 BST: O2 are saying that they have fixed the issue for both 2G and 3G signals. If you have any issues, tweet @o2
  • The latest I have read is that the 2G network is fully operational, with the hopes of the 3G networks being fully operational by the end of the day. 

 

Tech Tip: Wireless Access Points

It’s been a long time since I last posted a post, however, it’s summer, so I’ve got a bit of time on my hands :)

Recently, I’ve received the Virgin Media SuperHub, this combines the modem and router into one unit, like you would get with ADSL routers. Now I’ve got a spare router to play around with.

My first thought is to turn it into a wireless access point, mainly because the WiFi signal in my room is non existent, have no idea why it won’t cover my room, all I know is, that my room is a dead zone for WiFi devices. This was easy for me due to the fact that I already have an Ethernet cable coming into my room into a switch for my desktop PC and NAS, so all I would need to do is hook up an Ethernet cable into the back of the switch and connect it to the router.

Equipment Needed: 

  • Laptop/Netbook (anything portable with WiFi and ethernet)
  • D-Link DI-524 Router (other routers can also act as an access point) – referred to as AP or secondary router
  • Virgin Media SuperHub (or another router) - referred to as Router
  • Ethernet Cables

So, I’ve got these things, what do I do now?

  1. Disable the WiFi on the Laptop and connect an Ethernet cable from the Laptop to the AP. Make sure there are no other cables attached apart from Ethernet to Laptop and the power cable.
  2. Access the config page of the router and log in, this can be done by entering the IP address of the router, this is usually found on the back/bottom of your router, e.g. 192.168.0.1
  3. Depending on the manufacturer and firmware of the secondary router, here’s what you should do:
    • If your AP has it, enable Access Point Mode (or similar) on the router.
    • If your AP does not have this luxury, do not despair. all you need to do is disable the DHCP server and NAT on the AP.
  4. Then connect the AP to the router.  Connect ethernet port to ethernet port.
  5. On the router, find the new IP address of the AP. On the SuperHub, to do this, login to the config page and go into advanced settings and click on “IP Filtering”, there you should see the IP address of the new router.
  6. Make the router have a static IP, this way, it is easier to access the router later on, to do this on the SuperHub, click on “LAN IP” and enter the MAC address of the AP and also the IP of the router, something that was found out in step 5.
  7. The next thing you need to do to avoid interference is to change the channel on both the router and the access point. Change the channel of the router to Channel 6 and change taces access point to channel 11.
  8. Now, you can configure the AP to have the same WiFi settings as the router (SSID and encryption), this way, most devices should be able to switch to the stronger network if you’re moving out of the range of the weaker network.
  9. One to to test and see if devices swap over from a point of weak access from one router to the WiFi signal of the access point. To do this, disable the WiFi of the access point and go towards the AP and see how low the signal gets, then, enable the WiFI of the AP and repeat the test and you should see that the signal strength should increase.

Where is the use of an AP in a home environment?

An example of where having an AP is useful in the home environment is when you have your router at one end of the house, and by the time you get to the garden, you don’t get a WiFi signal.
With this, you could have your router and you could have an ethernet cable running to another room further down the house near the garden, this way, when you go to the garden now, instead of not having an internet connection, you now have an internet connection due to the extra router you have hiding.

I need a canvas…

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

So, Tesco is doing half price canvas’ and I have been looking to get one to go in my room, however, I wanted to be original and wanted to make one myself or make parts of it myself so it would be unique.

Now, I’ve come to a bit of a pickle, I’m not exactly sure which one I should choose to feature on my wall.

Which one do you like? Post your thoughts on the comments below or tweet me @_Junel_

 

Martin Luther King (Click to Enlarge)

Martin Luther King

Lyrical | Jessie J and Tinie Tempah (Click to Enlarge)

 

Thanks! Once again, comments or tweet me!

Virgin Media Issues

This is big news, I don’t know how to break it to everyone, I’m a teenager and I have limited internet access, how am I supposed to live?

Obviously, that’s a joke, I can live, I have mobile internet provided by O2. Well, I think it would be easier what’s going on and why Virgin Media has been making me unhappy.

Suddenly, out of no where, my ability to access the internet using my Virgin Media Cable internet was no more. After doing the same monotonous task of switching it off and on again, I decided it was time for me to ring the call centres of Virgin Media by calling 151 using the landline. After listening to Susan Boyle and another opera song for over 26 minutes, I finally got through to an operator who told me it could be a modem issue, however, to be sure, he would like to put me on hold for another 3 minutes, cue even more face palm promoting music, yaaay! After an excruciating wait which could easily make my ears bleed, I was told it was the problem that I was experiencing was due to the modem which lead to me being internetless.

However, during that phone call, I was told that engineer would have to visit the house in order to fix the problem, however, since it was a problem with my modem, would it not be easier to just send me a new modem through the post or via a courier service and send me a modem, wouldn’t that be cheaper and more convenient to me since the earliest an engineer could visit my house was on Monday between 12 and 4. Oh dear, I wonder if it actually will be between 12 till 4.

After the phone call, I suddenly remember I have another Virgin modem from last time we had Virgin Media broadband and thought whether or not it would work if I replaced the one I had now with the one I had stored “safely” upstairs somewhere. After looking through the jungle erm, I mean store room, I found it, and proceeded to plug it in, hoping to jump back on the internet. After plugging it in, I seen that I was able to connect externally and my Open DNS updater was acknowledging that, however, I would have to reactivate with Virgin Media as it’s a different router, sure, I’ll do it and spend another 25 minutes of “cheerful” music, as long as I can get back onto the internet which seemed possible as the activation website for VM was pulled from an external server, which shown the modem was the problem. However, once calling Virgin Media, waiting through the 25 minutes, I handed my MAC address over for the new router, to be told that the router is no longer on their inventory so they cannot add it into my account.

ARE YOU SERIOUSLY KIDDING ME?!

So close, yet so far away, why, oh why Virgin Media, if you have access to add a MAC address to an account, can you not add one that is no longer on your inventory, and why isn’t it on your inventory? All I want is my internet access back and to get the service that we are paying for, is that too long to ask, I cannot wait till Monday!

But yeah, rant over now.

EDIT: After leaving the modem and router switched off for the whole night and half the day, the problems seems to have remedied itself.

My problems with .htaccess

The idea of setting up this blog came about me being able to do a review on the new iPad, however, for this to be the case, I had the task of resetting up a blog website before I got home from college to open the box. This left me with no choice, in order to set it up, I would have to set the blog up in college.

Since I was setting my blog up in college, due to the locked down policies you’d expect and the locked down firewall ports, there would be no way for me to access the website directory of my website via FTP, therefore, I would have to use the webspace explorer found in the control panel of my website host.

I took the lazy route to installing wordpress, instead of uploading the files and setting up databases by myself, I thought I’d let a cgi script do it for me,  a similar concept to Fantastico for those using cPanel. However, it failed to install onto the main directory and was complaining that it wasn’t empty, which obviously it wasn’t due to the folders of my sub-domains. In a blind panic, it lead to me deleting the previous index.html file and also the .htaccess. Doh!

However, it was not to be my day, the cgi script sill wouldn’t install onto the main directory, so I thought it’s time for plan b. Install inside a directory and then change the settings inside the wordpress settings to change the URL. This lead me to copy a new .htaccess from the wordpress installation into the public_html folder of my domain. Success, the blog would now be displayed at junel.co.uk even though it was installed at a different directory.

However…

Skip a few days forward, I’m working on a website for someone, and I upload the modified version to one of the sub-domains that occupied space in my public_html directory which may have been the reason why the wordpress cgi gave me troubles. However, when I came to view the website on a browser, I would get “error 403″  instead of being greeted by the homepage (index.html), I thought it was just an error with that sub-domain so, I tried a different sub-domain to find the same results uh oh… I’ve messed something up!

I concluded it was down to the .htaccess that I had deleted the day before which has lead to my websites not displaying properly, after a google session, I’ve now made a new .htaccess file and inserted it into the directories of all the sub-domains.

Here is the .htaccess of the one in the public_html folder:

# Switch rewrite engine off in case this was installed under HostPay.
RewriteEngine Off

SetEnv DEFAULT_PHP_VERSION 53

DirectoryIndex index.cgi index.php

# BEGIN WordPress

# END WordPress

And this is the .htaccess that I’ve inserted into all my sub-domains:

DirectoryIndex index.rhtml index.html index.htm index.php

Here’s a question: Is it possible for me to merge them to into one in the public_html folder, or will it cause me problems?

Please, if you have any idea’s, comment below or contact me on twitter.

The new iPad

Unveiled by the new CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, the new iPad was launched on the 7th March 2012, this then lead to the Apple store being down to around 12am on the 8th March 2012.

Released today, 16th March 2012 at 8am, my pre-ordered new iPad arrived at 9:30am , shame I was in college. However, now I’m home and I’ve been asked by many people to do a review, and as said in the about me page, this was one of the main reasons for me to start up this new blog.

The packaging of the new iPad is the same as the previous models of the iPad, with a white box and picture of the iPad on the front, with the usual designed by Apple in California and manufactured in China. It’s funny how they don’t talk about the factory that it was made in *looks at foxconn*.

From first looks, the new iPad for me is pretty epic, but then again, for me it is my first iPad, so it would differ compared to those who has had an iPad before, some of which have said that they have struggled to see much change in the new iPad, even with the screen, it’s hard to notice any difference, however, I’m going to try to compare the iPad 2 to the new iPad when I’m in college and see if I can notice much difference. However, I have to say, the graphics look absolutely amazing, the only thing that I think is a downfall is that there isn’t many sources that are do the insanely high resolution on the “retina” display any justice, so, despite the high screen quality, some videos, especially some of those on youtube.

One thing that really annoyed me in the press is about the mass of the new iPad, honestly, you can’t tell much of a difference, the improved battery to support the A5X processor which has lead to the use time staying at 10 hours. The mass change of the iPad from the second generation is only something small change of something like 51g, so can we all stop please moaning about the weight change.

The new iPad has been married to a new camera with the set up as that available in the iPhone 4s but with a 5mp sensor which for me atleast, is more than plenty, who will seriously go around using their iPad to take pictures? When people say size doesn’t matter, in this case chaps, I’m afraid it does. However, the pictures produced by the back camera are of a really good quality, and you never know, I could be eating  my words with a new craze of iPad snappers. However, as to be expected, there are some problems with the camera. One of these issues being that the digital zoom on the iPad, as with most cameras, leads to what I’d call quality suicide. Another thing, that was to be expected with the camera is that the noise that appears on the camera when you use it with low lighting conditions, it just ruins it. However, providing you’re close to the object and have some good light, the camera should be fine. I’ll try and and get some pictures during a day and post it on here.

I think this is enough to write for a first time review, as I’m not sure what to write and I’m not sure if what I am writing is just waffle, however, if you do have any questions or anything you’d like to know, please post a comment or contact me via twitter.

Testing voice dictation with the new iPad

Hi
Testing new iPod voice dictation system. So far it’s working very well. However only short sentences (here however, the sentence was supposed to say “however I’m using short sentences”).

This is just a test post, I’ll post a full review later.

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