Saturday, October 06, 2012

Free HBO Channels

Earlier this morning, I received a call from StarHub customer service. He told be that he can reduce my StarHub monthly bill by $12 for the next one year, and at the same time, he will be giving me 12 months free HBO-pak channels such as HBO itself, HBO Signature, HBO Family, etc. The only catch is that I would need to recontract my StarHub subscription for one year.

I remember that I haven't recontracted my StarHub subscription for years. Since I only subscribe to StarHub only for their cable TV services -- I don't subscribe to their broadband or mobile services --, I don't think it's necessary for me to commit myself into any contract. But since their customer service took the initiative to call me to offer such discount and free perks which comes with the recontract option, then I think, why not? :)

The customer service said that my HBO channels will be activated within 5 working days, while the contract will start on the next billing cycle. Can't wait. :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Can’t Get WordPress for Android to Work on My Self-Hosted WordPress Blog

I installed WordPress for Android on my Samsung Galaxy S III phone, however I am not able to get the application to work with my self-hosted WordPress blog, Minda Indra. I got this error message when I put as the Blog URL:

Sorry, no WordPress site was found at the URL provided.

And this is the error message when I put as the Blog URL:

XMLRPC Fault: server error. requested method wp.getUsersBlogs does not exist. [code –32601]

I have tried to search the Internet for more information, without any luck. Anyone knows what could be the problem?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Getting A New Phone For Free

As I have mentioned on my tweet earlier, I have got myself a new phone. And you know what, I got my phone upgraded for free. Really. :)

Since I’m a SingTel’s mio Home user, I am eligible for re-contract every one year. And this month is exactly one year since I re-contracted my line for me to get my Samsung Galaxy S II phone last year. I checked SingTelShop’s website and with my current 3G Flexi Value plan, I can get the new Samsung Galaxy S III phone for $348. Furthermore, with SingTel UOB credit card promotion, I can get $50 off the handset price, so the price of the phone reduces to just $298, or approximately 2.2 million rupiah.

Lastly, I traded-in my old Samsung Galaxy S II phone and fortunately, SingTel’s trade-in value for my old phone is quite high, $300. Therefore, I don’t need to pay a single cent for this upgrade. :)

There are two colours available for Samsung Galaxy S III, and I chose the pebble blue. I’ve checked some stores which sell the phone without contract, and for some reason, the blue Galaxy S III is more expensive than the white one. Not too sure why. I suspect that many people prefers the blue one rather than the white one, causing the demand for the blue one is higher, thus pushing the price slightly higher.

Apologise for the low quality of the picture above, I took it using my Blackberry Bold 9900 phone, which you might have known, its camera is not really that good. Of course, I cannot take a picture of the phone using the phone itself, can I? :)

My verdict after using this new phone for a couple of days: I feel that its CPU processes faster than my older Galaxy S II. Applications such as Seesmic, Facebook and Instagram runs faster on the phone, thanks to its quad-core 1.4 GHz CPU, which is much better than S II’s dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU. I also appreciate its bigger display, it’s a 4.8-inch display compared to S II’s 4.3-inch. Furthermore, the resolution is much better, 720 x 1280 pixels compared to S II’s 480 x 800 pixels.

Compared to my older S II, I think that the S III has a slightly longer battery life. But it could also be because it’s new, so I cannot compare apple-to-apple with my 1-year old S II. Some people have pointed out that the S III might have a software bug draining its battery, but so far I don’t see it happening on my phone.

I also love the bahasa Indonesia dictionary. I can type faster using its swype function with ease in Indonesian. Its notification functions are also much better. And having this new phone allows me to have 50 GB of space in my Dropbox account. There are also many new features which I didn’t have it on the earlier Samsung Galaxy S II.

Basically, upgrading my phone from my older S II to the new S III is a good choice. Especially since I can have it for free. :)

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Koprol Team Disbanded By Yahoo!, Will Koprol Follow Kronologger’s Fate?

Just after I read Aulia Masna’s article on Daily Social about the plan to relaunch Yahoo! Koprol in May, I was surprised to see Satya Witoelar’s tweet stating that he would post the CVs of “talented experienced ex-Yahoo_ID/Koprol ‘s developers” soon. The list was eventually posted on Satya’s blog, confirming that the whole Koprol’s developers team has been disbanded by Yahoo.

From what I understand, Yahoo! is a sinking ship, and as part of the new CEO Scott Thompson’s strategy to keep the ship afloat, Yahoo! is axing about 2,000 of its staff globally. Yahoo! Indonesia is no exception, and unfortunately Koprol’s development team has been included on the list. It beats me though, on why the whole team had to be disbanded ahead of its planned launch of the supposedly new Koprol 2.0 engine in May.

The big question now is what will be Koprol’s fate. Will the social media platform be closed? As Aulia of Daily Social has pointed out, Koprol has a strong users base in Indonesia, and when the news of possible imminent shutdown has spread out, many of its users voiced out (with special hashtag: #saveKoprol) that the platform should not be closed.

I have to admit that I have not been using Koprol for quite some time. As a location-based social media platform, it is losing out to Foursquare especially for my case here in Singapore. However, Koprol is purely made in Indonesia and by Indonesians, therefore as fellow Indonesians, we should be proud of Koprol.

I met some friends, such as Ryan, Nunil and Ari, through Koprol. I met Leo and Smitty, in person, through a Koprol gathering here in Singapore. KCR, Koprol’s community radio, inspired me to setup Radio Komunitas Twitter Indonesia (RKTI). Therefore, like it or not, I have some fond memories in Koprol.

Let’s ask Yahoo! not to close down Koprol. If Yahoo! doesn’t want to run Koprol anymore, then may be Koprol founders can request to take over back Koprol and keep on running the social media platform outside Yahoo? I’m not too sure on whether it’s possible, since I understand that Yahoo! has spent quite a lot of money to acquire Koprol way back in May 2010.

Please, do not let Koprol follow the fate of Kronologger, another Indonesian-made microblogging platform in the past, which was closed down after being acquired by now-defunct Asia Blogging Network. 

PS. Images courtesy of @candoddi and @chocoz

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

I spent the New Year’s eve in Bintan, Nirwana Garden Resorts in Bintan Resorts, Lagoi, to be exact, and spending the last day of 2011 shuttling (islands hopping, to be exact) between Bintan and Batam. Going through the change of year with mixed feelings, here’s the story.

Towards the end of 2011, I was informed that my brother’s family would be spending New Year’s eve in Bintan Resorts, and that my parents are going with them. And my mother specifically requested me to join them to celebrate the new year there. I then decided to go with my son Irza, while my wife and my daughter Inka are staying in Singapore.

My brother and his family and my parents arrived in Bintan on Friday (30/12). They took a flight from Jakarta to Batam, and then caught the speedboat from Telaga Punggur in Batam to Tanjung Uban in Bintan. There used to be a direct ferry from Telaga Punggur to Bandar Bentan Telani (BBT) ferry terminal in Bintan Resorts, but for some reason, the ferry service was not operational.

I and Irza left Singapore for Bintan on Saturday morning (31/12). We took the 9am ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT) in Singapore, and arrived in Bandar Bentan Telani ferry terminal at 9am Bintan (WIB) time. This was when the bad news came in.

When we boarded the shuttle bus which would bring us from the ferry terminal to the resort, my brother called. He said that my mother fell off the electric bicycle she was riding, and she fractured her arm. When I and Irza arrived in the Nirwana Resort Hotel where we are staying, we immediately went to the hotel’s clinic to check my mother’s condition.

Going back to the hotel’s clinic reminded me of another unpleasant experience I had couple of years back there. When I was swimming on the sea with the kids, my foot was bitten by some kind of a poisonous fish, and I needed to spend couple of hours in the clinic to get the venom taken off my foot.

While the hotel doctor has tried her best to put a bandage for my mother’s arm, it’s not sufficient. The hotel clinic doesn’t have X-ray equipment, so my mother needs to go to the nearest hospital which has the equipment, as well as the specialized doctor who can further check her condition. Luckily, she has a friend in Batam who can arrange for an orthopaedic doctor to check my mother’s condition in Awal Bros hospital in Batam.

I then accompanied my mother and my father to go to Batam, after leaving Irza in Bintan under my brother’s care. We took a pre-arranged taxi to Tanjung Uban, from where we took a chartered speedboat to Telaga Punggur in Batam. From Telaga Punggur, we took another pre-arranged taxi to go directly to Awal Bros hospital’s emergency department.

rontgenMy mother had her arm being X-rayed and the result was not good. She had three bones fractured on her left arm, and most probably would need to undergo operation. I was prepared to spend the new year in Batam when my father decided that he is bringing my mother back to Jakarta so that she can have better treatment (including operation, if necessary) there.

My parents’ Lion Air tickets to Jakarta was for the next day (1/1)’s flight, and I tried calling Lion Air hotline in Batam in a hope to change the tickets to the current day (31/12), but there was nobody picking up the phone. So we decided to go to Garuda Indonesia office located in i Hotel Batam, located near Nagoya Hill, to purchase new airline tickets to Jakarta so that my parents can fly to Jakarta on the same day.

boats-telaga-punggurSince my parents decide to go back to Jakarta on that day, I then had to go back to Bintan, and I needed to go back fast since the speedboats from Telaga Punggur to Tanjung Uban only operate during daylight. After sending off my parents at Hang Nadim airport in Batam and had a quick (very late) lunch at Singgalang Jaya padang restaurant there, I took a taxi to Telaga Punggur (Rp 65k). Finally I managed to secure a seat on a 4:30pm speedboat to Tanjung Uban (Rp 30k + Rp 7k tax). It was a bumpy ride to Tanjung Uban with choppy waters and a full-house boat with standing passengers.

My brother had arranged for a taxi to pick me up at Tanjung Uban jetty back to Nirwana Gardens, although I needed to wait for around 30 minutes until the taxi arrived. We had a brief stop in a sate Madura stall in front of the At-Taqwa grand mosque in Tanjung Uban, before arriving in Nirwana Resort Hotel, in time for the gala dinner and the new year’s countdown party.

It was one of the great countdown parties ever. Great gala dinner, and we also won one of the lucky prizes. Awesome live band, and great fireworks over the sea off Bintan during the countdown. But still, we celebrated the new year with mixed feelings, since at the same time, my mother arrived in Jakarta and directly checked-in to Fatmawati hospital.

The next day (1/1), I and Irza took the 2:35pm ferry back to Singapore, while uncle Arief , auntie Via, Alif and Kayla went back to Jakarta via Batam using the same route: taxi to Tanjung Uban, speedboat to Telaga Punggur, taxi to Hang Nadim airport and then the Lion Air plane back to Jakarta.

At the moment, my mother is still warded in Fatmawati hospital, and currently is undergoing pre-op examination. She might be undergoing operation on her left arm in 3-4 days.

Mohon doa dari rekan-rekan sekalian untuk kesembuhan beliau.

Happy New Year to everyone!