Wednesday, 26 November 2014

OnePlus One Invite Giveaway

As most of the traffic to my blog is via YouTube I'm guessing you have come across this post from there. 
Needless to say, I am a big fan of the OnePlus One. It originally started life as a spare phone but after extensive use and the fact that £ for £ this is the best value for money mobile phone out there, I have completely fallen in love with it.

Win Win Win!!!

I have 4 invites to give away absolutely free (maybe a couple more). I will open this for the next 4 days and then on the 4th day randomly pick the winners. 

All you have to do is the following 3 easy steps:

  1. Subscribe to my YouTube channel techsavvystuff
  2. Like the video on YouTube and post your name as a comment
  3. Add a comment to this post on my blog with you name


Winners will be announced on the 30th November 2014.

Granted my aim is to get more traffic onto my YouTube channel and blog site. Depending on interest, topics suggestions and subscribers I get I can use it as a push for me to dedicate more time and publish more helpful and useful info for you guys our there.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Activator

Best and easiest activator I have found. 

How to install: 

1. Download and extract the zip file below. 
2. Right-click and run as administrator to launch application (may need to hold shift key) 3. Click on install 
















Download Activator

Monday, 18 August 2014

Finally got my OnePlus One.. Unboxing!

After a much anticipated wait I finally received my invite from OnePlus One.

For those of you that don't know, OnePlus is less than a year old, but it has already slapped a great big wet fish across the faces of major mobile phone manufacturers. Its first phone, the OnePlus One, has many of the same specs as their £500+ phones, but costs just £229.

The One is slightly different, however, as it didn’t go the network route, preferring instead to oversee the entire retail aspect itself – sort of like how Google retails its Nexus devices in Google Play. The phone itself comes unlocked, meaning the consumer is free to shop around for the best tariff in the country. Also, because doing things this way allows OnePlus to keep additional, variable costs (marketing, advertising, distribution) well below those undertaken by Samsung and HTC, it can pass on the savings to the consumer.


Not heard of OnePlus or its One phone? As the nerd phone sensation of the year, it's a sign you may have healthy social skills and a non-dysfunctional relationship with the Internet. Well done you. But I think it's really about time you two got acquainted.

Availability

Every heard of 'rare as hens teeth', well this most defiantly applies here...

This is probably one of the main things that consumers are currently getting annoyed with. As the marketing is done via OnePlus themselves it means you cant just choose to buy one but have to be selected by them via an invite. Only then can you receive the phone. 

If you register on the website you will be made aware of competitions or invite giveaways. This is normally something to like 'smash the past'  where you break your current phone or promote the brand via social media. Register and keep an eye out. 

I received the invite last week and as is to be expected, the invite is only open for 24hrs. As such I didn't waste time and snapped up the offer. I selected the Sandstone 64GB version.

I will be posting the review and specs soon so watch this space.

See below for my unboxing;




Monday, 4 August 2014

What is NVRAM / PRAM and how to reset on Mac Macbook Mavericks

NVRAM and PRAM

Learn about your Mac's PRAM or NVRAM, and when and how you might want to reset it.

Your Mac stores certain settings in a special memory area even if it is turned off.  On Intel-based Macs, this is stored in memory known as NVRAM; on PowerPC-based Macs, this is stored in memory known as PRAM.

Information stored in NVRAM / PRAM includes:


  • Speaker volume
  • Screen resolution
  • Startup disk selection
  • Recent kernel panic information, if any
  • If you experience issues related to these functions, you may need to reset the NVRAM or PRAM. For example, if your Mac starts up from a startup disk other than the one you've specified in Startup Disk preferences, or if a "question mark" icon appears briefly when your Mac starts up, resetting NVRAM / PRAM may help.


Resetting NVRAM / PRAM


  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
  5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  6. Release the keys.
After resetting NVRAM or PRAM, you may need to reconfigure your settings for speaker volume, screen resolution, startup disk selection, and time zone information. If issues persist, your Mac's logic board battery (not a portable Mac's rechargeable battery) may need to be replaced. The logic board battery helps retain NVRAM/PRAM settings when your computer is shut down. You can take your Mac to a Mac Genius or Apple Authorized Service Provider to replace the battery on the logic board.

Resetting NVRAM in Open Firmware

If your computer is Open Firmware-based and you are unable to reset NVRAM as described above, you may alternatively reset the NVRAM and Open Firmware settings using the steps in the Solution section of Message “To continue booting, type 'mac-boot' and press return”.

In some cases, an Open Firmware-based computer may not respond to the keyboard commands noted above, and may not allow starting up into Open Firmware by pressing and holding the Command, Option, O, and F keys during startup.  If you are unable to get to an Open Firmware prompt (and your Mac supports doing so), try holding the power button held down continuously during start up.


Resetting PMU on PowerBook or iBook computers

In some troubleshooting situations, if resetting PRAM does not resolve an issue, resetting the PMU may be the next appropriate step. For information on when this is appropriate and for instructions on how to reset the PMU in your PowerBook computer, see Resetting PowerBook and iBook Power Management Unit (PMU).

Third-party displays

If you have screen resolution issues with a third-party display (monitor), and resetting the NVRAM/PRAM does not help, try using the display's built-in menu system if it has one. For details, see the manual that came with your monitor.  There may be buttons on the front of the display to configure the internal settings and screen geometry. The display may include an "automatic" adjustment mode too.

Contents of PRAM on earlier Macs

Some earlier Macs store these settings in PRAM:

Status of AppleTalk
Serial Port Configuration and Port definition
Alarm clock setting
Application font
Serial printer location
Autokey rate
Autokey delay
Speaker volume
Attention (beep) sound
Double-click time
Caret blink time (insertion point rate)
Mouse scaling (mouse speed)
Startup disk
Menu blink count
Monitor depth
32-bit addressing
Virtual memory
RAM disk
Disk cache

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Amazon Fire... What?? Another smartphone to add to the confusion

You probably may not know this but I'm quite a big fan of tech. :) 

Even though I have an iPhone 5s I keep an eye out on new relatively reasonably priced android phones as a backup or new toy to experiment with.


Oppo 7
OnePlus One


Originally I was after the Oppo Find 7, the decision was done and done but a spanner in the works when Cynogen teamed up with Oppo to create the OnePlus One. This again had amazing specifications but the excitement has slightly dwindled. This is due to only being able to purchase one via an invite. For the invite you have to smash your old phone, or rave about it the OnePlus One publicly to stand a chance of being one of the lucky few that get selected. 


That episode aside, I now find out that Amazon have released a smartphone called the Amazon Fire which has a pretty sweet spec sheet. Ok, I know its not a true android as you will get amazon custom firmware but it will be based on android. Only thing is that its currently not available in the UK. 
Some will say get a Nexus 5 but compared to these it looks dull and dated. As much as I love the HTC One or Samsung S5 its not what I am after. As my everyday device I will stick with my iPhone.

All of these devices have premium aesthetics and specifications without the premium price tag, which is exactly what I am after.

Watch this space to see what I eventually decide to buy...

Specification

Find 7






















OnePlus One















Amazon Fire



IOS 7 Lightning charger cable woes - How to use third-party cables and buying cheaper alternatives

With the introduction of IOS 7 it has come to light that Apple have found a new way to annoy their loyal fan base by dictating what cable you can and can't use for you devices. I do understand the argument that its a premium product and you shouldn't use cheap copies that could potentially damage the device but that alone is not a great enough argument for Apple to warrant harsh rules. 
I worked for an Apple approved repair centre and can honestly say that incidents related to to power cables was less that 1% where water damage and smashed screens being the most common.




Original or approved cables apparently have a chip which allows them to authenticate and not get the error above. If you are purchasing a third-party cables ensure they are MFI certified. These will work without any errors. 

The good news is that some third-party cables do still work. I purchased a cheapy one from Amazon which gives the error message but still charges the phone. I also have a Belkin car charger (wanted one with higher amperage for the car) which still works perfectly fine without the errors.

As I'm a sucker for a bargain, while at Poundland, I saw some lightening cables and thought heck, why not get one for every room (as you do). These no longer work with IOS7. There is not much you can do with these cables but I will highlight a workaround to at least make them more useful than a shoe lace.

Resolution

Non-Jailbroken device

Ok, as you are still reading I'm guessing you are unfortunate enough to have a cable that no longer works. Some earlier iterations of IOS 7 did allow "plug -> unlock -> unplug -> plug" method to get them to work, which you may have already read or tried. This will no longer work. 

The only way I have been able to get my poundland cable to charge was to connect the cable and shutdown the device. Once shutdown it will not display a charging sign but will definitely charge the device. The software is not powered on to authenticate the cable. 
Even though this may sound like useless advice for some, trust me when I say it is most valuable information in an emergency. Traveling in a car and you get lost with 1% battery... need I say more.

Jailbroken device

By adding the repo http://parrotgeek.net/repo and downloading Unauthorized Lightning Cable Enabler you could have used the cable. I say could because the repo no longer contains this package. For some reason this has been removed. Once installed the cable still displayed the error above but did charge the device. I am hoping this is due to a new revision so watch this space.
This package is available via xSellize repo but please do not download from there. It is more trouble than its worth.

Cheaper alternatives

The one that worked for me while still giving the error message;

Or if you'd rather have a guarantee that it works without paying Apple prices;