Why I switched to a CHILI SIM only #Mauritius

I used to have a Dual-SIM phone (Lenovo S60) with the 1st slot holding a CHILI SIM and the secondary one holding a MyT (ex Orange) SIM. You need to know that the 2 SIM card slots are not created equal on dual-sim phones. The first slot usually has higher bandwidth than the secondary one. Most of the time, the secondary SIM is 2G/2.5G only meaning you can only do phone calls and very slow internet.

For Rs 86.24 (Rs 75 + VAT), you get 750MB of mobile data. This is a lot of data for a mobile phone. The only thing which you would not be able to do is stream videos. But come on. You do have the options of making YouTube videos offline. You can thus watch your videos on the move on the YouTube app.

The best part of it is that the data balance get forwarded to the next month if you buy another package within 30 days.

As if the data package wasn’t good enough, CHILI also give huge amount of free SMS and all calls to other operators occur at a fixed rate.

I was still putting money on my MyT (Orange) SIM just to keep the number. But then I got an iPhone which has only 1 SIM card slot. I had to make a choice. Is mobile data more important or having a phone number which has been yours for almost 5 years?

The Future of Telephony

There are multiple ways to contact a person: WhatsApp, Facebook’s messenger, Twitter App, Gmail, LinkedIn and so on.  When you have mobile data, you have all these methods which are not tied to a single operator.

It’s simply not worth paying MyT loyalty fees. I highly recommend anyone to try the CHILI Zeness Pack.

My End of Year 2018 Linux Complaints

Desktop Linux has matured considerably ever since I started using it 8 years ago. But I feel there are things which we take for granted on Windows and even Android phones which are kinda annoying. First world problems you might call it.

1st complaint: Bluetooth headset support

We’re all used to turning on our Bluetooth headsets and our mobile phone or car stereo automatically plays whatever media we have on our phone. On KDE Neon, it’s not that refined.

Connecting a Bluetooth device does not automatically switch to the new device. Sometimes you have to disconnect the headset from the GUI and press reconnect. Then it works.

Sometimes the chrome would continue playing audio on the loudspeaker so I have to manually set it to Bluetooth.

It seems like the issue has been fixed for me somehow.

2nd Complaint: GPU support

OK. Good news is that the open source drivers for AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce works immediately after fresh OS install. I mean no black screen on boot. But when you want to do something more serious such as gaming and Machine Learning on Cuda, you’ll need proprietary drivers from AMD or Nvidia. Problem is that the latter is often less capable than their windows counterparts.

Subcomplaint 1: No GPU usage monitoring

Windows’ Task Manager does this tasks beautifully. You know exactly which process is using which GPU.

Without forgetting the graphs.

On Linux you have to install glances with GPU support. Yet, it will not show the Intel HD graphics usage.

Subcomplaint 2: Cannot switch between Nvidia GeForce GPU and Intel HD GPU without logging off.

This is a big one. On Windows, you just turn on your laptop and you can do any activity you want. e.g. you can choose to game in high performance or you can write some text in power-saving mode. You can manually launch programs using either the Intel HD graphics or Nvidia one.

But on Linux, if you want to save energy, you have to do:

# prime-select intel

# reboot

Afterwards, if you decide to do some Tensorflow or gaming, you’ll have to enable the GPU and reboot.

# prime-select nvidia

# reboot

Windows really shines in this seamless switching.

3rd Complaint: Nvidia Drivers crash on resume

When you have Nvidia Drivers activated and you close your laptop. On resume, you’re greeted with a blank screen. I have to reset me laptop and reboot. Sucks.

4th Complaint: No transparency themes

Linux themes need to have atleast some transparency settings built-in to look a bit modern. I know KDE people have custom themes which needs to be compiled and it looks awesome but come on. No one needs to learn how to compile applications just to have a modern look DE.

5th Complaint: No ambient light sensing

I’m really used to my mobile phone adapting it’s display brightness according to its environment be it indoor, outdoor, day or night. My Asus ZenBook came with an ambient light sensor but on Linux, my display brightness doesn’t adapt to the environment automatically.

Conclusion

Linux is really stable for the end-user now. Most of the *real* complaints are mostly geared towards proprietary drivers for GPU.   What the things which bothers you most about Linux Desktop Environments in 2018?

 

KWrite vs Kate

The default editor in KDE Neon is KWrite. After having used Kate in Kubuntu for more than 5 years, KWrite simply seems primitive. Kwrite uses like 12MB of RAM.

Let’s uninstall it KWrite and install Kate on my KDE Neon

# apt purge kwrite

# apt install kate

Opening the same document in Kate now uses 16.7 MB of RAM. 

Comparing these 2 editors side-by-side, i think KWrite is somewhat cleaner to look at. But I miss the terminal plugin of Kate too much.

 

After loading that plugin, the memory usage of Kate jumped to 80MB. But I don’t think I’m much concerned about RAM on my ASUS ZenBook right now.

I think Kate should be the default text editor for KDE Neon to showcase the power of the KDE Desktop to people who want to try the bleeding edge technologies. On the other hand, Kate’s GUI can be further fine-tuned to be more minimal.

[Review] My New Laptop: ASUS ZenBook UX310UQ

The Looks

It’s a really beautiful laptop; prettier than a MacBook Air and Pro IMO. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

My sister says it has a pinkish tint. I say it’s a purple tint. Unfortunately this tint was not visible in the shop while I was purchasing it. But it’s the inner  beauty that counts the most right?

Image result for faded salmon color

The Inner Beauty

The specs-to-weight ratio of the ZenBook is unbeatable. ASUS managed to include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GEFORCE 940MX graphics card, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD into something slightly heavier than a MacBook Air.

It’s only a dual core CPU though. The laptop has no problem with me working on 2D graphics applications such as GIMP and 3D applications such Blender and Home Sweet3D. The UIs are really fast and responsive. However it would be best to do the final rendering for 3D applications a real 8 core desktop CPU if you have access to one. I think such renderings are done on render farms by professionals.

Windows Bloatware

Unfortunately the laptop wasn’t available without Windows pre-installed. There are not many bloatware on the pre-installed Windows 10 but some more cleaning is required.

I have no idea what this process is doing but it’s using my precious power from my battery.

Linux Support

Dual booting KDE Neon was very straightforward. Got it right the first time. I split the 128GB SSD drive into 2 partitions of 64GB giving Linux and Windows 10 equal space. Both Windows and Linux boot under 10 seconds. I feel that Windows boots significantly faster though like under 6 seconds.

The battery life on windows is quite satisfactory for such a power house; it averaged 5 to 6 hours of normal web browsing. I don’t know whether the LG Gram actually delivers 15 hours of usage. On Linux, the battery life is around 3.5 – 5 hours on average. Yep, Windows is going to be slightly more efficient due to having official NVIDIA and other drivers installed. Linux drivers do not benefit from the same manufacturer tuning. Linux efficiency is improving day by day.

Things I don’t like about the laptop

Call is Rich People Problems (first world problems) but these are some annoying things about it:

  1. Screen opening angle a bit limited. A little inconvenient when using on the bed or on a standing desk
  2. The speakers’ sound is really poor especially as compared to a MacBook Air. I’d be embarrassed to put my brand Harman/Kardon if I were the owner of that brand on this particular laptop. You need external headsets to enjoy your musics.
  3. The fn key cannot be made default. To change the brightness of the keyboard or screen backlight or change the volume, you have to press the fn + F[0-12] buttons. e.g. To change the volume, I have to use both my hands to press fn and f11. Life can be hard.
  4. No Play/Next Music button on the keyboard. Sucks right?
  5. I don’t think it has an Ambient Light Sensor to automatically adjust my display brightness. I miss how my MacBook Air did it perfectly.

Conclusion

Excellent performance. Excellent portability. Ok battery. BFF <3

How to buy a budget mobile phone in 2018

If you’re planning to buy a budget phone in this year, you must make sure your phone phone should be able to accomplish the basic tasks for this era.

The requirements of a phone

  • Make phone calls
  • Make and receive SMS
  • Handle WhatsApp application
  • Have a decent web browser
  • Have a flash or torch light

Facebook app is not a necessity as m.faceboook.com is very useable in the mobile web browser. You’ll have no problem connecting with your a Facebook “friends”.

The technical specifications

RAM: 2GB

RAM is the most important element to consider while buying a new phone. Anything less than 2GB will make the phone unusable: you might not be able to even answer calls. Your phone might freeze and that would be very embarrassing.

Network and LAN: 3.5G and WiFi

3.5G (also known as HSDPA) is what I would recommend as minimum standard. It has ample speed for WhatsApp and Facebook’s messenger. It’s fast enough to browse through Facebook picture posts. Moreover, 4G is not yet available everywhere on the Island so no need to have it now if you’re on a budget.

Internal Storage: 16GB with MicroSD slot or 32GB without MicroSD

Do not go any less than 16GB for internal storage. Android stubbornly installs some apps on the internal memory only despite having an external storage. Insufficient internal storage would mean that some apps might not be able to update after some times and you will not be able to install new apps from Play Store.

Camera: 5MP Rear Camera

5MP I would say is the minimum for acceptable pictures to be posted on Facebook. If you like to take selfies, your front camera will have to be at least 4MP.

CPU: Quad core

If it has a quad core or better processor, It should be fine for daily usage.

https://mu.ibeesmart.com/

Publiée par Nayar Joolfoo sur Samedi 21 juillet 2018

Display: 5 inch 720p

As per experience, a screen smaller than 5 inches might be a bit too squeezy. The screen resolution needs to be atleast 720p for adequate web browsing and for viewing pictures and videos.

GPS

Most modern phone come with GPS inbuilt already but it’s always a good idea to confirm that it has one.

Operating System: Android 6

Do not buy a phone that has an android version that’s too old. For the year 2018, I think Android 6 would be sufficiently supported for the next 2 or 3 years for atleast the basic apps such as GMail and WhatsApp.

If you have any more recommendation, feel free to share in the comment section and share with your friends 🙂