Saturday, 30 August 2014

My Note 3 Is Draining Battery Very Fast

It's my oncall day and expects to be called anytime. So I need my phone is charged at 100% battery at the start of the day.  During lunch time, the battery just went down to 68%! Although the WiFi and data connections are off! After checking the battery apps, I find it strange that  it is saying that the WiFi is on and the phone has been awake all the time. This is not new to me and I have experienced this kind of problem before with applications downloaded from google play.

Investigating further, the application that is giving the problem is the least app that I thought can bring this problem. It is the Boots app thatis causing it. It is one of the high street retailers that specializes in beauty and pharmaceutical products. Knowing the reputation of the company, it is far that I suspect this to happen. But here is what I found out why it is causing this.

Boots application causing trouble.

This screen shot tells the tale of the application spending at least 22% (1) of the total battery power (settings>general>scroll down to battery). It is more than any other processess including the screen, which is usually the first offender and specially the brigthness setting I usually set.

To check what's going on, tap the battery time usage (2) to bring you to the battery history. This shows the WiFi is active(3), although it was not on all evening(4), and the phone has been awake all the time(3)!

This made me suspicious about the Boots application. It can be a bug or it might have crashed.

 How to solve the problem?

As the problematic application is obvious, the application needs to stop running. You can do this by pressing it (1) from the battery application. Press Force Stop(5) to end the program from running. You will know that it stopped when the force stop button will no longer be clickable and the gray button colour becomes lighter.

Investigating further by tapping the App Info(6), it says that the application does prevent the phone from sleeping(7). This is the reason why the phone is always awake!

As the application is already ended, I am hoping that the battery will last further. I also expect that the phone sleeps and the awake indicator is kept to minimum.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Easy Way to Find Out Your SIM Number

Do you need to know your SIM number? I thought there's no need to know but I was wrong. I realised that it is important to keep a record of it when I contacted my network operator to question a missing balance on my pay as you go mobile phone. Aside from telling them your phone number, they need to know the SIM's serial number, or ICCID number or simply called the SIM number. These three terms are one and the same.

Where it can be found? 

 It is usually at least 19 to 20 digit at the back of a sim card. It can also be  found on the documentation that comes with your SIM card during purchase.

What it is for?

This unique cryptographic signature of every SIM card is necessary for the network operators in order to access the card remotely, change the phone number, settings and to correct mistakes in user's account settings, just like what happened to my account that has a problem with the balance after topping up.

Because I did not know the importance of it, I did not kept a record of it and have thrown away all the documentations that came with it. My SIM card is micro sized and not like the normal SIM that can accommodate the 20 digit serial number, it bears no mark and can not physically contain anything. 

How to look for it when this happens?

If you have an iPhone then this is not a problem. Just go to the settings>general>about then scroll down until the ICCID entry. The set of numbers under ICCID is the number you are looking for.

If you have an Android phone then there is a slight problem. The Android's native system do not show the SIM card number when you check the "about" page. You need to download a program to show this. One brilliant application for this is called "Sim Card" by gsmdev. Just type this on google play and it is free to download. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

My Laptop Can Not Access Internet Using Wi-Fi

My laptop has a problem connecting into the internet via WiFi the other day. It can connect brieftly but after a second or two, the connection drops. Although access via wire is OK.

There are many things that can cause this problem and it  includes the internet connection, the device itself, or a specific software that has something to do with the Wi Fi feature. Here's the list of solutions I did in the past to restore internet connectivity but this time it seems like a new source is causing the problem.

Check internet connection.

If all of the devices that are connected into the internet have a problem in connecting to the internet, then there might be a problem with the router, the telephone line or the internet provider.

  • Router.

Check the pilot lamps if there is a red, yellow or amber colour, see below picture. These warning colours usually tell something is not working. You need to check the internet light if it has these warning colours. Green, or white colour, depending on the brand of your router, usually telling everything is working fine.

  • Telephone Line

If there is a warning light colour, then check if the telephone cable is connected properly. If the problem is just the connection, the internet light should change into green or white, depending on the model of your router.

  • Internet Provider

If it is connected properly and the internet light is still red, then you can call your internet provider and ask them to check your internet connection.

Check the connected devices.

If all of the router's lights are OK, check if you can connect to the internet. This is to determine if a certain device is the problem.

  • Use wired connection.

It is better to check internet access with a wired connection, like a laptop connected to the router with an RJ connector. If you can't connect into the internet using this method, call your internet provider.

Check WiFi connection

If you can connect to the internet using wired connection but can not connect using WiFi even with the correct security keys, try other WiFi devices if any can connect.

  • Check the distance

You need to be at the same spot where you are checking the device that can not gain internet access. If the other devices can connect, try moving closer to the router.

  • Clear cache

If it still can not gain internet access, turn off all WiFi devices except the one you are testing. Clear all the internet cache and try again.

  • Restore registry (skip if you're not using registry cleaner)

If it still can not connect, and you have been using registry cleaner before you noticed the problem, try restoring the registry by double clicking the saved registry entry. Then restart your computer. You can skip this step if you are not using this.

  • Check programs related to Wi-Fi

In my laptop, there is a program named Intel My WiFi Technology that is off on default. I can not remember ever turning it on or off. In fact I have not noticed this since I have my laptop. The network and sharing center and the WiFi button can be opened and working very well even if this is disabled. 

As any of the above solution that has worked in the past seemed not doing anything, I tried to access it by clicking the expand button at the systems tray(1), the status of the program(3) can be seen when the mouse is hovered over it's icon(2). Interesting to see that the WiFi button (4) looks OK and connected. Right click the icon and choose enable(5). I did not need to restart the computer and the internet access has  met it's  cure at last!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Cheap Mobile Internet Whilst Visiting the Philippines

Just back from our holidays in the Philippines and I admit this one is more enjoyable than the previous, specially in terms of food (how I love theVikings from SM north ) trip and other activities (swimming to the max at Ilocos). There was no problem encountered except the usual internet connection whilst on the move specially when the kids want to update their social statuses or get the latest gossip from their friends. This need to be solved to avoid unnecessary mobile data expenditures that always victimizes unsuspecting holiday makers that potentially rake up a bill of hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

How not to overspend on data tariff whilst on vacation?

This is a complex question but with a simple solution! It is complex in the sense that there are many tariffs available and if you are not familiar with MB's and GB's of data, you will not be able to choose the best tariff, specially if you use the internet everytime. If there are 4 parties to use the internet, you do not need to buy 4 SIM cards and 4 tariffs to enjoy unlimited internet. In fact you can internet power at least 4 devices with just 50PHP a day, with unlimited traffic. Here's how.

a. Buy a local sim card

If your smartphone is SIM free you can buy a local SIM card and replace it with your home SIM.

How to know your phone is SIM free? If your phone is with contract and it is not an iPhone, then it is 100% SIM free. iPhone tends to be network locked even if it is with a contract. But you can ask your operator to give you the unlock software over the air (OTA). You can request this at anytime and depending on your network's policy.

A local sim card plus a load of 500PHP under Globe network is available when you get out from the plane. Just ask at any desk and they can point you to a nearest vending machine or sales representative that sell sim from any network. I use globe network because almost all of my contacts in the Philippines are using globe network.

Most of the SIM cards available are with the old form factor (full size). This means it is not compatible with the newest iPhone variants (iPhone 5) and other mobile phones that use nano SIM card. If this is the only phone you have, you might not easily find this kind of SIM inside the airport. And if your phone takes micro SIM card, it is best to buy a SIM card cutter before you travel.

I always bring along my card cutter with me as my Samsung uses micro card. You can buy this from below.

b. Setting up the globe SIM card. 

To reload airtime to the Globe SIM card, follow the following steps

  • Dial 223 and press SEND.
  • Enter the Call & Text Card No. and press #.
  • Enter the Call & Text Card PIN and press #.

A voice prompt will then confirm that the reload attempt is successful.

c. Set up mobile internet.

Once the airtime is available, you can activate internet settings by buying surfing allowance.

  • Do this by dialing *143# then send
  • Choose 3 Surf Promos>send, 6 Supersurf>send, 1 Supersurf 50>send
*Supersurf 50 is an unlimited internet tariff, tethering included, for one day for 50PHP only. If you are tethering for other devices, this is the best tariff for you.

  • Choose 1 subscribe> a confirmation message will be received. The internet settings should be automatically set up at this point.
  • If the internet settings is not automatically set up, dial *143# then choose 3 and send, then choose 8 Get Internet Settings and send. This will show you how to go through the settings.

  • You will know that the internet settings is working if you have this icon at the top.

  • If this it is not active, make sure your phone's mobile data usage is turned on. On android, swipe the top of the phone downwards and check if it is turned on.

d. Share your internet connection

Here's where the savings is. Imagine for 50PHP, roughly 69pence, you can internet enable at least 4 persons in one day without limit. This is usable when the parties using it do not stream videos. To enable this, turn on the phone's tethering service.

  • On an android phone, tap tethering and portable hotspot then turn on portable WIFI hot spot. For easier access with other devices, just adjust the security to open, then save.

e. Use MAC filtering to limit connected devices

Although the connection do not have security, you can control which device to connect by choosing connection type to "only allowed devices". You can then configure which device by entering manually the name of the device and the MAC address to gain access to the portable hotspot. For me, this is easier to manage than setting and giving out passwords. To do this, follow the following.

  • Tap the name of your connection(1) and configure it to allowed devices only(2).
  • Then configure it (3) to open(4). This will be easier for the allowed devices to connect. 
  • Add the devices to connect by tapping Allowed Devices(5), tap the + sign to add a device.
  • Enter the Device Name by finding the name at about device, and the MAC address(7) can be seen by tapping status and scrolling down to the WIFI MAC address.

You can add up to 4 devices or more, depending on the usage of every connected device, you can add more and get unlimited internet for a day for the cheap price of 50PHP.


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