Friday, 14 November 2014

The Flip Side of uTP

The uTorrent transport protocol (uTP) was designed to make bitTorrent more ISP friendly by controlling the P2P traffic bandwidth. However, it may cause your router/modem to lose internet connectivity for your device, especially earlier models of the router.

I have seen quite a few people complaining about lost of connectivity after bitTorrent starts (especially after upgrading to latest versions of the clients) either immediately or after a while. People have been blaming it on firewalls, anti-virus or even NAT overflow, but to no avail.  The solution may be very simple – just turn off uTP Bandwidth Management in your bitTorrent client. Smile

Sunday, 7 September 2014

In Memory of …

The November 2013 cyclone hit Leyte Philippines with devastating force. Thousands of people perished and even more suffered and are still suffering. Among the dead were my nephews Jomar, Clifford and their mother Maimai. I decided to paint their portraits to remember them by. Here is one of the close up studies in watercolour.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Creating Your Own Sunshine

Yesterday was a cold, wet and rainy day. No where to go, I decided to paint a watercolour picture of the scene of my breakfast from the day before. The picture gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling on such a cold and grey wintery day. I especially like the stark contrast between the light and shadow casted by the morning sun, as well as between the cold metal and the warm, golden muffins. The painting is far from perfect, but that’s not the point…

Sometimes happiness is as simple as creating your own sunshine on a rainy day. Smile

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

R.I.P. Clarity

Clarity OSS has been losing $100,000’s AUD per month for the majority of the last decade. In the last few months, it fired most of its employees in its Australian HQ, including the old-timers who have been the pillar of the product development; lost its COO; sold an arm to a Malaysian group; saw its CEO hospitalised... months of turmoil is now concluding. Now its chairman and financial backer Dr. Campbell has gone sick of pumping money into the bottomless pit and forced the board to sell.  Finally the sinkhole has collapsed, ironically on its 20th anniversary.

I have to admit that I absolutely enjoyed the 2.5 years working for Clarity. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I had ever had for work. At the time, being a small company we had to take on multi-million dollar projects with a handful of people in the project core team. So you can imagine that the roles each team member played had to go well beyond what their job description defined, especially for PM and Solution Architect roles, not to mention burning the mid-night oils. Therefore, every delivery milestone achieved gave me personal satisfaction.

Although it’s a shame, I can’t say that I am surprised to see the outcome of the company today. I quit the company in 2007 because of its C-level bun fights and long term financial viability. Even extremely cash-strapped (or none at all), they still spent 10’s of millions buying a UK company of another line of business on the other side of the globe. Since inception, the only way out for the owners of the company (and many small loss-making companies in the world) was to sell to the highest bidder, hopefully someone big like Oracle, Microsoft or even Huawei. In fact, the only times their book was black was from selling off subsidiaries. It probably has missed the boat several times over the years by putting the price of its crown jewel – Clarity OSS too high. Unfortunately, after the 2008 GFC, the price for telco companies has plummeted even further and all hopes are lost. Fire sale is the only option left for the company to move on.

I hope everyone working at Clarify end up well and even better after this ordeal. R.I.P. Clarity on its platinum anniversary.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Samsung Remote Control Problem

The day before Easter Friday, I was prompted to upgrade my Samsung S3 software and I complied. The download (400MB+) and installation took a while but it eventually completed. Just when I was delighted about some new features introduced by the firmware and software upgrade such as more languages support on Samsung keyboard and Text To Speech, I soon discovered that the upgrade came with a deadly problem: every time I used the phone, I ended up with a frozen device sooner (less than a minute) or later (less than 30 minutes).

At first I thought it was just a glitch and would pass, but I was wrong. The problem persisted for a couple of days to a point that it rendered my phone useless. Out of frustration, I started investigating the problem by elimination – going through all the running processes and try to figure out which could be the culprit. I saw a process called Remote Control that I had never seen before the upgrade. On the Configuration menu, it says that the Remote Control allows the owner of the phone to remotely shutdown the phone if it’s stolen. I swiftly turned it off. Hey presto, problem fixed. And now I make sure I always kill the Remote Control app after any reboot.

Here is a message to Samsung: make sure you test your software thoroughly before releasing them.