Accessing the eLibrary (Singapore)

Overdrive allows you to borrow and download eBooks and audiobooks from public libraries that support this system. I have a Nook Color and while it is quite useful and functional as a Nook Color android tablet, I still read on it pretty often. I used to think that we had to buy the eBooks and transfer it to over to the eReader device. One of the more amazing things that had caught my attention was the idea that I could check out books from the library electronically. The process is slightly complex the first time, having to go through the Overdrive Media Console and creating an Adobe ID and also, it is plagued by the same queuing system as per the physical books whereby you have to wait till the previous person is done before you can borrow it. However, it becomes much simpler to use once the initial setup is established, and is a nice, cheap alternative to refresh your e-library.

Impressively enough, the Singapore National Library Board has a digital catalogue and it can be accessed through http://singapore.lib.overdrive.com/. The collection is slightly small but some of the top fiction books can still be found. So if you have an iPad, Android Tablet, Nook, or Kindle, do check out the local e-library and start borrowing. The eBooks have an electronic signature that automatically disables the file once it passes the loan date, and once you have For parents, there are picture and audio books that you can borrow to keep your young ones entertained. Start reading away!

Why we should trade Forex like a robot

Now, this post is not in the usual vein of gadgets and technology stuff and would more likely belong in an investment blog as it is going to be about Forex trading. So why post it here? I would come to that in a short while. I have traded equities but have always been more of an investor and trader, doing more long term purchases and looking for stable counters. In comparison, forex can be considered the epitome of trading in terms of price volatility with fluctuations in price plus the large amount of leverage makes it not for the faint hearted. I was introduced to Forex about a couple of months ago and the volatility appealed to me in terms of the potential earnings (I was just being greedy). It has been somewhat a rocky start and I have gleamed some lessons from the experience and perhaps it might be beneficial to you as well.

Being a Forex Robot

So, I was telling my friend the other day, that forex traders needs to be emotionless and having balls of steel. That is somewhat akin to being a robot – an emotionless creature that actions based on pre-programmed algorithms and recognition of trends and patterns. And in my humble opinion, that is what it takes to do well in forex trading if you have the discipline to follow the rules. I have a suspicion that quite a number of technologically inclined geeks might also be dabbling in forex and well, let’s hope we can all learn from each other experiences. 

What are the Rules?

  1. Never assume we are smarter than the market, and trade based on the charts and movement signals. Gut feel is never a good thing. Thousands of people are trading at the same time and they are following technical analysis, so why shouldn’t you?
  2. Identify all news releases for the currency pairs and the time of their release.
  3. Sharp market trends are expected around the market opening times and times identified in Rule #2. While opportunities are to be made, the market tends to retrace back to previous position after these times with milder fluctuations. 
  4. ALWAYS have a Stop Loss.
  5. Identify the exit and entry point. Determine if the risk to reward ratio is worth entering the market at the time of entry.
  6. Accept your losses and do not chase the position. Re-look at the charts and determine again, especially Rule #5 in consideration.
  7. Clarity of mind is important. I have not mastered the art of placing orders and leaving it to execute yet successfully. Majority of my losses have occurred when I entered the market with a distracted state of mind.
  8. My personal lesson and hence it has become a rule is to ensure no ALCOHOL and also, to try not to enter positions before my bedtime. It affects my sleep. :)

Trading Style

My personal trading mentality is largely based on short term trading, focusing on 15 min bollinger bands with fibonacci tracement lines to target entry upon reversal at the bands. Opportunities tend to be slower using this strategy. I do also monitor 2 min candlestick movement and primarily the trading strategy is to catch the break outs during the news release timing. I am looking to refine my trading strategies and adopt more longer term positions but currently due to the extensive movement of the currency pairs, it is nerve wrecking once the market swings against your position which will likely happen a few times for a long term strategy. The key would be to maintain a low risk reward ratio while executing a long term strategy but my current analysis and timing of the market is still not there yet.

Samsung Galaxy SII Non Camera – Spotted!

M1 is doing the camera removal service for the Samsung Galaxy SII. This is indeed a smart way to clear whatever stock they are holding for the Galaxy SII now that the Galaxy SIII has launched.

The pricing for the non-camera Samsung Galaxy SII White for M1 is below based on my understanding and you can enquire for the availability of the phone through their corporate sales enquiry.
  • Mass plan $418
  • ValueSurf $268
  • LiteSurf $118
  • ExtremeSurf $18

Currently, the Samsung Galaxy SII is still an M1 exclusive and only for those with contracts to be renewed. It is quite expensive in comparison to the Huawei Honor for albeit slightly better specifications only but the Samsung branding is much stronger than Huawei and in terms of custom ROM support, the Galaxy SII stands out with it being ICS ready and likely to be Jellybean compatible as well.
 

LEGO Hacks: Simplistic yet Functional

DIY lego keyholder

credit: http://www.minieco.co.uk/diy-lego-key-holder/

At GadgetReactor, we are constantly on the lookout for brilliant ideas. This idea is so simple and functional. Concurrently, it brings back good childhood memories. Lego, a simplistic toy, yet the nature of it brings forth so many possible innovative ideas. Just imagine, with spare lego bricks, how about a lego iPhone or Samsung Galaxy SIII dock?

This is so going to my new home.

There’s an entirely new world of possibility that can be DIY-ed with the simple Lego block. If only we still have the imaginative powers of kids.

Or.. how about taking the original key holder mod and combining it with a thumbdrive?

SSD Fever

Solid State Disks or SSD Prices have been on the downtrend with discounted prices reducing from approximately US$1 / GB to the current US$0.75 / GB. Amazon is currently selling the Crucial M4 SSD at less than $200. The Crucial M4 SSDs have been on the market nine months, and have built a good track record around mainstream value and reliability in that time. It has fantastic read speeds and strong write speeds as well. The Marvell controller is one of the better reliable ones and at the 256GB price range, this is currently one of the best deal.
However, prices in Singapore are still significantly marked up compared to US! A check on prices in Sim Lim showed that the same model Crucial 256GB SSD is currently retailing at S$379! That’s a significant $120 or 50% more expensive. Foregoing the warranty does seem like a viable alternative to buy from the US. Furthermore, with shipping concierge companies like VPost and ComGateway, make full use of their services plus the lower prices in the US to get an SSD for yourself. The average shipping price should be around S$15-$20 and for first time subscribers to both services, the initial discount should offset the price by approximately S$10, so do make full use of the first time offer! (DBS offers $10 off and 10% for first time ComGateway user.)

If you are considering a lower price point, another alternative for a great SSD is the Mushkin Chronos 120GB. You can buy it directly through Amazon through our Top Deals page. The Mushkin Chronos 120GB is an excellent performer and is currently one of the lowest priced SSDs around. I am using one myself and I am amazed by the speed boost it offers over a traditional SATA harddisk. After shipping, you would still save approximately 40% off the local retail pricing.

Most people tend to neglect hard disk speeds and focus on the storage capacity. An SSD, compared to a normal HDD, has no moving parts which limits the speed of the normal HDD. Similar to system memory, SSDs are microchips designed to store information. However, these are nonvolatile memory chips that can retain information the way hard drives do. For this reason, a computer that uses an SSD as the main storage device boots and shuts down very fast and can resume from sleep mode instantly. Software applications, including heavy ones like a 3D game or video-editing application, also take significantly less time to start and operate, compared with when the computer uses a hard drive as the main storage. For the amount of time we spend infront of the computer, application loading times, waiting for access to files, they all add up. Adding an SSD would reduce this time significantly and with the lower prices available today, now’s a good time to join the SSD fever and find out what you have been missing. A number of my colleagues have hopped on the bandwagon recently and they are enjoying the new found speeds!

A new SSD would help to speed up your computer in several ways:

  • Boot times will be significantly reduced.
  • Launching applications will occur in a near-instant.
  • Saving and opening documents won’t lag.
  • File copying and duplication speeds will improve.
  • Overall, your system will feel much snappier.

Huawei Honor ICS Update – Malaysian Version

The Huawei Honor is out of stock currently but be a little patient. Rumours are that M1 and Singtel would start offering this phone soon so for those non-Starhub contract people out there, there’s hope! Also, apparently during the first day launch, there were a couple of fortunate souls who bought the phone without contract at $428, it is unlikely that Starhub would continue to sell the phone without contract but perhaps one can try when M1 and Singtel launches. Confusion tends to exist with first day chaos.

Since there are more users out there now, here’s an ICS video showing off the capabilities off the phone with ICS loaded. The Huawei Honor comes with pretty decent specs and why restrict it with Gingerbread? Free your phone :)

The malaysian version of the 4.03 ICS ROM has also been recently launched and you can get it from the Huawei Malaysia website here. Apparently this version is non-beta and comes with more features than the Cambodian one. When would there be a Singapore version? 

Starhub launches the Huawei Honor Non Camera Version

Starhub has annouced that it will be selling the non-camera or camera removed version of the Huawei Honor U8860. This would benefit many Singaporean military personnel and those who work in sensitive locations where camera phones are disallowed. The price is only $48 with a low-end data plan and makes it very attractive to personnel in this industry whose other smartphone non camera choice is the Blackberry (RIM has been going downhill) and small numbers of the camera-removed Apple iPhone 4S which has since been discontinued. I’m quite certain that blackberry adopters would drop significantly with the launch of the Huawei as the Blackberry experience isn’t as good and forces people to sign up for a BIS plan.

Update: The phone has been selling well and has fast emerged as the non-camera phone for the military and other sensitive industry personnel. Gadgetreactor is consolidating a one-time mass buy for the phone at S$398! Details are available here.

 

The Huawei Honor is equipped with high end specs (1.4 GHz Snapdragon CPU with 512mb of RAM) which should be able to cope with many of the applications and demands today. Storage is expandable through a microSD card and it comes with 4.0″ LCD display. GPS, accelerometer and all the standard connectivity options are included. The provided battery at 1950mA is larger than its competitors and should see this phone lasting awhile longer. The OS is dated as it comes default with Gingerbread 2.3 but it is easily upgradable to ICS 4.0, by downloading the upgrade file here. Yes, it is the Cambodia version but it is an English ROM and works well.

After this, create a dload directory on your phone’s SD Card and copy the ZIP package to the directory.

Now, remove the connected USB cable and turn off the phone and then boot the phone into the idle mode.

Next, Click the Menu button to select the “Settings”> Storage> Software Update> SD card upgrade> select “OK” to perform the upgrade operation.

After this, when the screen displays “Upgrade Complete” means that the upgrade phase is completed, the phone will restart. It will likely take another 3 minutes for the boot process before it is completed.