Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Technology: Remote Desktop With Google Chrome Remote Desktop and App!!!


Image from Locky's English Playground
Say for some reasons, you need a higher power computer to do some lengthy and difficult calculations but your PC at home just isn't fast enough, or you need a faster network but your home just doesn't have it, or the most unfortunate of all, you have left some important documents back in your office but you don't want to or can't afford the time to travel to your office on a Saturday or Sunday, here's something you should know.

In the old days, I will use Remote Desktop, or that mstsc.exe that comes with Windows, check your IP address, set up group name, blablabla..... However, the setup was tricky and the response is often very slow. Luckily, the world is different now and we have Google and Chrome, and with that you can gain near real-time control of a remote computer!

You don't need to do tedious installation and setup of software, all you need is to do the following on your computers

  1. Go to your target computer (eg. office / school computer and home PC),
  2. Install Chrome browser from Google, run it and log in with your Gmail account,
  3. Download Chrome Remote Desktop from Chrome web store,
  4. Follow the instructions and install what has been downloaded next,
  5. Create a pin of your choice for login, confirm that pin,
  6. Leave your computer on.
The nice thing about this set up is that you need nothing but internet access, a Gmail account and a pin to control the machine you want.


"Apps" icon on Chrome
Image from Locky's English Playground

To control your office computer remotely now, you just open your Chrome browser, click the "Apps" icon on the top left corner of the bookmark bar. If you don't see it, you can simply type chrome://apps/


Can you find the Chrome Remote Desktop icon here?
Image from Locky's English Playground
and then your browser will show the page as seen above. Simply click onto Chrome Remote Desktop icon to activate connection to your office PC. You can even bookmark it like a normal webpage for faster access next time.

Controlling office computer from home through Chrome browser
Image from Locky's English Playground
Take note of two things:

  1. If you are at your home PC and all you see is a black screen even though it is connected, simply go to the top blue bar in the middle of the browser page, click onto it and "Send keys" then "Send Ctrl-Alt-Del" and the black will disappear and your office computer is yours to control.
  2. The number keypads on your PC keyboard does not work, so use the number keys above the letter keys.
  3. Note that by default, as you happily control your office computer remotely, people in your office can see what you are doing on the screen like a ghost is controlling it. To avoid this, simply download and install the registry file from here onto your office computer then reboot. When it is done, your computer will be on Curtain Mode and no one can see what you are doing on your PC, provided of course, you have a password set up on your office computer in the first place.


Wanna control your office computer and home PC on the go?
Image from Locky's English Playground

How about if I want to control both my office computer and home PC on the go through my smartphone? Well, yes you can! Simply download Chrome Remote Desktop from Google Play onto your Android phone, then log in with your Gmail and PIN, and Wah-La!!! You have all your machines and devices in your hands!

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about my recommendation!

Resources:

Chrome Remote Desktop @Chrome Web Store
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chrome-remote-desktop/gbchcmhmhahfdphkhkmpfmihenigjmpp?hl=en

Chrome Curtain Mode for Windows registry +Google Groups
https://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/group/chrome/attach/4adfbca404287d2c/ChromeCurtainMode.reg?part=0.1&authuser=0


Monday, 17 November 2014

Food & Dining: Rice Paper @ Kowloon Tong Festival Walk


Rice Paper's Lunch Menu
Image from Locky's English Playground
If it wasn't for the iPhone I reserved, I would hardly ever go to Festival Walk, it really takes too long to get there. Getting those phones took even longer. Luckily, there is a nice cosy place for lunch at a very reasonable price.

Just look at the menu, doesn't it look reasonable to you?

View Raw Beef with Rice Noodles (foreground), Seafood Laksa with Rice Noodles (Background), Sampler Plates (Centre)
Image from Locky's English Playground
The food doesn't only look gorgeous, they taste just as excellent. Steaming hot noodles and samplers in bamboo rack, lovely match of colours bringing every bit of pleasure to the eyes,

Sampler plate close up
Image from Locky's English Playground
and definitely mouthwatering good.

Seafood Laksa with Rice Noodles
Image from Locky's English Playground
The noodles were fine, not particularly outstanding especially because I like my laksa to be more spicy, but overall, it still exceeded my expectation by a tad.

Butter Wings!!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Lastly, because wings are my wife's favourite, I gotta order some, and they did not disappoint us. Crunchy scorchingly hot, rich in garlic and butter. The only concern was really the cholesterol level of them.
My little baby Muse is enjoying herself in the sea of cushions
Image from Locky's English Playground

Overall, it is a splendid lunch set at a great bargain, and because it is quiet, you can stay there to chat with your friends for as long as you want.

Enjoy!


Friday, 14 November 2014

Technology: Galaxy S2 Reborn With IMEI Fixed!!!

Just as I thought it was gonna be it, it came back to me!
Image from Locky's English Playground

Two assignments down, 2 more to go. Realised I have many things to write but too little time, and it is going to be like this till early December, when all assignments deadline have passed.


Anyway, back to today's topic. Sometimes, you just need another phone, and I have never known that an extra Android phone will one day be so needed! Since the last Galaxy S2 Seawater Damage YouTube video in the My First Galaxy S2 Surgery, apart from the Wi-Fi which is working, it could not make call, could not use bluetooth or 3G. The phone was practically a home device with nothing more than a web-surfing browser bigger than an iPhone 4 and 5.

So what was the problem? Well, two possibilities.

  1. the SIM reader is busted due to seawater damage or, 
  2. SIM reader is still fine but only the IMEI is lost.
For my S2, luckily it was case 2. I found this out because the phone actually picked up phone signals for a minute, which had never happened before and surprised me when I tried it again this morning. It was almost like the S2 is calling for me.

And so I did a quick research and found an awesome video which uses a free app HC-kTool to get the job done. The steps are really easy.



  1. Install the app from Google Play,
  2. Click "Backup EFS to /sdcard/efs.img", "Yes", "Run Check" and "Close",
  3. Click "Restore EFS from backup", "Restore IMG" and "Restore TAR"
  4. Click "Reboot" 
WahLah!!!! Your phone is back!!! Put in a SIM card and try it!! Here's what I got!

IMEI back (partially masked)!!
Image from Locky's English Playground

My S2 is completely working now!!!



Resources:
Technology: My First Galaxy S2 Surgery -- Sea Water Damage S2 Fixed!! @ Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2013/02/technology-my-first-galaxy-s2-surgery.html

Galaxy S2 Seawater Damage Fix [First Ever On YouTube] @YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP5YfvnimBc

HC-kTool IMEI Recovery Samsung Galaxy S2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY9cDkj4CCw

HC-kTool +Google Play
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.hellcat.droiddev.ktool&hl=en


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Event & Opinions: 25 Images of Occupy Central


Cameraman capturing the truth
28th Oct 2014 @ Mongkok
Image from Locky's English Playground
Visiting Mongkok and Admiralty a lot fewer these days, still am occupied with doing assignments, but I have not given up any chances of taking more photos every time. It is really encouraging to see creativity (in terms of art and actions) continues to explode. I shall photograph more of such creativity when I can afford more time to explore.

Policemen looking at arguing crowd from afar
28th Oct 2014 @ Mongkok
Image from Locky's English Playground
Police mobiles has no end
28th Oct 2014 @ Mongkok
Image from Locky's English Playground
Crowd having debates
28th Oct 2014 @ Mongkok
Image from Locky's English Playground
President Xi poster
28th Oct 2014 @ Mongkok
Image from Locky's English Playground

President's poster up close, sharing a can of SOL with the man on his right
28th Oct 2014 @ Mongkok
Image from Locky's English Playground
The wall of HSBC has messages to convey
28th Oct 2014 @ Mongkok
Image from Locky's English Playground

barricades strengthed by wooden boards
28th Oct 2014 @ Mongkok
Image from Locky's English Playground


Windmill of Admiralty
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

A group of elderlies surrounded Civic Party Margaret Ng (in centre white trenchcoat) with a hostile attitude
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

Zooming out on Connaught Road Central
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

Study "rooms" made of tents with a library at the entrance
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

Little girl is reading from the library
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

The umbrella of the umbrellas
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

Great art
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

Tents after tents, Occupants devote their time and energy for the future of Hong Kong
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

"Carry On!" in 2 big Chinese characters
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

"wir wollen gehoert werden, wir werden nicht kaempfen" /
"we want to be heard, we will not fight"
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

Organic Farm on unused land
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

Lennon Wall
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

The Umbrella Man
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

The umbrella tent
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

From the footbridge
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground

Panoramic View from the footbridge
6th Nov 2014 @ Admiralty
Image from Locky's English Playground


Resources:

Event & Opinions: Stunning Images and Videos of Occupy Central @ Hong Kong @Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2014/09/event-opinions-stunning-images-and.html

Event & Opinions: Occupy Central Day 2 @ Admiralty @Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2014/10/event-opinions-occupy-central-day-2.html

Event & Opinions: Occupy Central Day 4 @ Causeway Bay @Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2014/10/event-opinions-occupy-central-day-4.html

Occupy Central 2014-10-16 @Mongkok
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtVNYnLgJW0





Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Travelling & Living: $48 Prepaid Local SIM Cards in Hong Kong


3G Travellers SIM and PCCW SIM
Image from Locky's English Playground

I have never really used prepaid SIM cards before, but once I have tried, I realise they are extremely convenient and tourist-friendly. Too bad I knew this too late, otherwise I would have recommended this to my Singapore friends who came to visit me.

For one thing, they are extremely easy to get hold of, walk into any convenient stores such as 7-11 or Circle K and you can find SIM cards offered by at least 5 companies.

So far, I have tried SIMs from 4 telecoms: PCCW, 3, China Mobile and Easycall, all cost HK $48 or lower. 

Among them, I recommend PCCW to be the best of all. It sends fast SMS, connects quickly to 3G, offers day pass at reasonably high data package, and the best of all, free Wi-Fi at every PCCW hotspot, which is literally everywhere, such as Starbucks, phone booths, shopping malls, parks, etc. Plus, you get extra $10 recharge voucher for free.

3 doesn't offer free Wi-Fi, but you do get 3G on a capped $28/day, the fast SMS and the calls you need to make. And if you ever need a top-up, you get up to $100 rebate. The funny thing is, it has many way too many SIMs to offer, sort of catered to different customers' needs, such as HK Local and Special Asia. The cost for SMS, data and calls also differ a little, so I suggest spending a little time to study them carefully before purchasing. But if you need data more than calls, you may want to look into their Travellers SIM or Data SIM instead of Local SIM

3G Local 3 SIM and PCCW SIM
Image from Locky's English Playground

Easycall is actually CSL, which is in turn PCCW after the acquisition, but with a much lower priority when it comes to SMS and calls. So, seriously recommend not getting it.

China Mobile seems like a decent choice if you visit China or maybe even Macau, but in Hong Kong, it is slow in every aspect, especially the 2G data it offers.

There are more expensive SIM from these companies too, you may want to give them a try and then let me know what you think.



Resources:
Hong Kong Prepaid SIM Cards @ HKTravelBlog
http://hktravelblog.com/sim-cards/hong-kong-prepaid-sim-cards/

Prepaid data – for visitors to HK (further thoughts) @ Thebrowngeek
https://thebrowngeek.wordpress.com/tag/pccw/

A Test of Hong Kong Telecommunications Network Speed Credit Suisse: SmarTone is the best, China Mobile & CSL Tie @Ming Pao Daily
https://www.smartone.com/about_us/our_company/aboutsmartone/common/Credit_Suisse_SmarTone_Beats_Rivals_Ming_Pao_update_confirmed_e.pdf

Local SIM @ 3HK
http://www.three.com.hk/website/appmanager/three/home?_nfpb=true&pageid=631001&_pageLabel=P200470391219567710594&lang=eng

Travellers SIM @ 3HK
http://www.three.com.hk/website/appmanager/three/home?_nfpb=true&pageid=641001&_pageLabel=P200470391219567710594&lang=eng

Data Package SIM @ 3HK
http://www.three.com.hk/website/appmanager/three/home?_nfpb=true&pageid=652001&_pageLabel=P200470391219567710594&lang=eng

csl
http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/prepaid_sim_card/power_prepaid_sim/card_features/card_features.jsp?language=eng


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Technology: Changing WAN IP The Router Way To Bypass IP Ban



Image from mybloggerlab
Sometimes, for some reason, you visit a website and did something legal but that website still blocked your IP so that you can never visit them again. What can we do?

First, we have to know what IP address we are talking about.

To keep this post overly simple, there are two basic IP addresses: LAN and WAN

LAN stands for Local Area Network while WAN stands for Wide Area Network. Basically, LAN are all the devices connected to your home router and the LAN IP address are the identity numbers for each device, whereas WAN is what your Internet Service Provider (ISP) takes care of, including assigning a WAN IP address to each customer's home, possibly taken up by a router.

Image from montrealpcsupport.com

So in a way, the WAN IP address is like your home address, your mother (or someone) is the router and LAN IP address is like your ID card number. If your friend wants to send you a parcel, it will first go to a post office, and postman will then forward the parcel to your home following your home address (WAN IP), when the parcel arrives at your home, your mother (the router) takes the parcel and the pass it to you (LAN IP). Because your mother knows the parcel has your name on it, so she will not pass it to your siblings wrongly.

Now the above analogy is not exactly the whole picture, but it is enough to solve our problem.

Image from Hong Kong Broadband Network

Usually, websites block the WAN IP address instead of the LAN IP address, there are a number of technical reasons but you run a website and you want to ban someone, don't you think it is much more effective to ban the WAN IP address?

Sometimes, for some ISPs which provide dynamic (WAN) IP addresses, meaning that the ISPs update your WAN IP address regularly, changing the WAN IP address to bypass the website's ban is as simple as rebooting the router. Other ISPs offering static (WAN) IP addresses or changeable but rather persistent WAN IP addresses would mean you will continue to be banned for quite awhile.

Hong Kong Broadband (HKBN), which I have been using for years, belongs to the persistent WAN IP kind. Their WAN IP seldom changes at all despite actually being dynamic.

If you are using HKBN, and if you are using a router at home, here's what you need to do to change the WAN IP address to bypass IP ban from the website.

My router's interface, WAN IP removed for obvious reason
Image from Locky's English Playground

Start a browser, type (in general cases)

192.168.1.1

and log in with your password.

Depending on the type of router you have, the following steps might be different, but basically, you want to change your Router's MAC address to force the ISP to assign a new WAN IP.

Type a new MAC address you like
Image from Locky's English Playground
So under MAC Address, you type in a new 12 digit MAC address for your router (0-9, a-f / A-F), with a colon between every 2 digits, and then save it. When your router reboots, the ISP will assign a new WAN IP address for you, then all you have to do is to visit that website which banned you before and see if they are still banning you now. Chances is, they aren't and they can't.

Hope this can help you!


PS: One assignment down, 3 more to go and the never ending thesis. I think the best I can do is to keep up with short updates like this one. Learning never stops, but writing them takes time. My apologies to you all.



Resources:
How can I change MAC address in router ASUS DSL-N11? - @Super User
http://superuser.com/questions/335168/how-can-i-change-mac-address-in-router-asus-dsl-n11