Friday, July 28, 2017

The Fiio A1 experience

Couple of weeks back I bought the cheapest Fiio I could find. That's the matchbox sized A1 portable amplifier. 
It costs me about 2000Rs. It's portable. Good a small battery inside. Charges off computers USB port with supplied micro-USB cable. Provided items are two clips, two stereo cables, one micro USB charging cable and a user manual alongside the portable amp unit. 
Let's get right into the experience. The amp is decently loud. The provided three equalizer presets are not much help though. The tiny form factor makes it ultra portable. 
My only gripe is I don't have any heavy headphones/ weak audio sources to use these. 
My Soundmagic ES1 run fine on my years old Nokia C5. Heck even the 32Ohm Sennheiser HD349's run fine on that. 
So there's that!! Maybe I wasted my 2K!!😃

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A new lease of life to Karbonn Titanium S1

If you must remember, then I bought this android phone for my sistsr as her first android. It replaced the aging Nokia C5-00 5MP, her first phone. It was a decent value for money phone back then. It shipped with android 4.1.2 and stayed stuck there forever. Since it was with my sister who stayed with my parents at my hometown I didn't have much chance to do any real hacking/modding of it. So it worked for last two+ years. 
Then after two years it's original battery gave up. So I purchased a replacement online for 200 odd rupees and that gave it a bit of lease of life. Then next year it fell few more times and finally the screen got damaged enough to produce some lines on it. 
Being a loving and caring brother I told sister that I would give a new phone. But I couldn't find a decent phone and so gave her my - then about a year used but still in pristine condition -Nubia Z9 mini and she's enjoying it since. 
So the Titanium S1 stayed with me for last six months, being totally ignored. But yesterday when I found out the GPS in my current phone is kaput, I thought maybe the Titanium S1 is not that damaged yet, the battery is about a year used only and the screen is not totally kaput. Lets see. So yesterday I dug it out. The battery was dead. So I used my powerbank to quickly charge it to full. Then I sat to unravel the pieces. First use it as it is for 15mins and assess the damage. It was unusable, the menu was stuttery, apps were taking shitload of time to load. Yes, it's Android 4.1, but still it should not be this bad. Looks like loads of virus/worms and what not. 
OK. Tried to update everything, but some stupid download kept blocking the update downloads. So I used ShareIt to manually send the important apps from my other android and manually installed them. Then went into Settings and disabled a lot of unwanted things. That done, I went to Play Store again and tried the update, it worked this time. 
After updating all the needed apps, I once again went through the All Apps tab in Apps, and removed suspicious looking apps. Then I installed Avast Antivirus and let it scan the phone. It found 3 malicious apps and removed them. 
By then it was midnight and I had office next day, so to bed. Next day I went through the mobile once more and tuned it with optimum defaults/ settings etc. Checked battery consumption, no surprizes there. Found out Avast does not scan internal memory by default, so had it scan internal memory, and found one more malicious APK and it purged it. By this time the mobile is looking good. It's not fast, nor is it smooth. But it works. And that's what matters!!!

Update: 2017/07/11 I successfully used the Karbonn Titanium S1 with Google Maps for Offline navigation couple of days ago for a 100km long trip. I did not put any SIM card in it. Luckily the sky was not overcast, so it could easily get a GPS lock. And it helped us navigate out of city quickly. The battery lasted for about 5hours which is commendable for a 1600mAh battery.
The screen is shits with the number of white horizontal lines, but I can use it for navigation etc simple tasks.

GPS Not working in my Panasonic T44

So I have never yet tested the GPS thoroughly in Panasonic T44, but somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that this is something that doesn't work on this phone of mine. But I managed to ignore it for all these days. Then this week I really need the GPS because I'm going touring this coming weekend and having the GPS would be blast. 
So I checked the GPS in google maps. Doesn't work, the fix I get is triangulated from cell towers. Next I downloaded a number of GPS Diagnostic apps and checked through them. The best GPS Diagnostic and info app is "GPS Test". It's icon is a radar like circle with green/red dots in it depicting satellites. This showed that the phone is getting the sat list, but is not able to get any signal. Then I put the same app in my Intex Aqua Fish, and it worked fine there. I even got the fix in a few seconds outside on road.
Well, sucks! So there can be multiple reasons for this. Maybe the antenna connection is loose, or there's no antenna, God knows. Or maybe some software problem. Don't know. 
So I hunted for software related solutions on the net, tried half dozon of them, and no improvement. So today I'm going to open the phone, voiding the warrantee. It's a 3k phone plus Panasonic Support stories are not that encouraging to get this fixed by them. So going to take the matters in me strong hands! :J Lets see. 
Meanwhile as a backup, I have upgraded "Here We Go" navigation app in Intex Aqua Fish, and if the Pana doesn't work then I'm going to pop my Airtel SIM in the Aqua Fish and go!