Monthly Archives: September 2012

Should You Use WhatsApp or Messaging?

WhatsApp Messenger is a very popular messaging app on Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and a few Nokia phones. Nowadays, instead of sending a text to your friend, people turn on their Wi-Fi or 3G Internet to send a WhatsApp message to their friend to notify them of something. It is quick and fast, and instead of waiting for your message to be sent via message, WhatsApp tells you if your message has been sent and if the receiver will be able to read it if he or she switches on their Wi-Fi or 3G Internet.

However, because there are pros and cons to everything, here is a short list of things about WhatsApp Messenger that will allow you to make a decision based on your own preferences and thoughts, as well as to see whatever suits most people best and what most people are using these days.

Take a short walk along a busy pavement and you will find at least nine out of ten people own a smartphone of any sort. Perhaps six out of nine of them are using their phones, and three of the six might be using the WhatsApp Messenger installed on their smartphone. What do these people see in the messaging app? Here goes!

Convenience
It is easy: just click on the app, your friend’s name and you can see whether he or she is on line. Sending a message is easy as pie, and the ticks actually make you feel as though action is being taken instead of your phone lagging like some of the default Messaging apps in some smartphones. It’s awfully easy and simple to use! You are also able to use it when you are outdoors with 3G, so you can even get a card that simply allows you to use the Internet when you are outdoors, put your SIM card (prepaid is completely fine, too!) with the number in an old phone handset and set WhatsApp up on the gadget you are using with the 3G Internet.

Nice user interface
The user interface for all is rather sleek and nice. However, some default Messaging apps in some smartphones are not like that. WhatsApp Messenger is pretty much fully customisable, from the font size to the wallpaper to your own profile picture which makes people feel happy about it. Statuses, too! The default ones in the application is easy to use – just click and ta-da! It tells people about your current status!

On the iPhone, you can also choose whether you would like to enable landscape mode for WhatsApp Messenger. Options like selecting whether you want notifications for regular messages or group messages, which messaging tone you would like and a place for you to check your network status (on the iPhone) or the system status is available as well!

Free
Yup – free! Everyone likes free things, do they not? Instead of spending money on text messages that are short and limited to only a few characters, WhatsApp Messenger allows you to type any amount of characters for free! On the App Store, it only costs a couple of dollars, which is cheap compared to the hundreds of dollars you can run up for your phone bill.

If you have an iPod Touch that is jailbroken, you can also use it to send WhatsApp messages to your friend! I own a third generation iPod Touch which I have jailbroken and with a simple guide, installed WhatsApp. Now, I can WhatsApp once I have Wi-Fi – and when I am outdoors, I switch on the tethering/hotspot on my tablet that has 3G, and I can use my iPod Touch to send WhatsApp messenges to my friend! Here is a short, simple guide if you would like to do so as well:

1. Open up Cydia (application for the jailbroken iDevices)and install WhatsPad. This allows you to install WhatsApp Messenger on your iPod Touch. Ensure you have Big Boss.

2. Go onto Installus and download WhatsApp Messenger. It is not only free, but it actually exists. You cannot download it from the App Store because you will not be able to find it on the iPod Touch.

3. Once it is downloaded, open up WhatsApp Messenger. Get ready your own mobile that has the SIM card in it, then type your number into WhatsApp. Wait for the SMS code to arrive and type in the code on your iPod Touch.

4. Once it is confirmed, you can continue all the other settings (your name, picture, contacts) and start sending WhatsApp messages to your friends that are free and easy! Remember to make sure your contacts have been added to the iPod Touch so you can start on WhatsApp and ditch your old phone!

Conclusion
In my personal opinion, people should use WhatsApp Messenger instead of regular messaging. It’s free, convenient and actually looks nice compared to some messaging apps! However, you might prefer the regular messaging if you do not have 3G Internet, for it can be rather troublesome communicating with your friend when you do not have Wi-Fi.

I hope you enjoy WhatsApp!

Balance Headphone Audio for Your Ears (Windows 7)

My father was a professional musician. Not a rock star, understand, but a live-performance musician. He played clubs, weddings, events, and quite a few bars. This means he was learning all the newest hits the week they came out and had a practice studio set up in our garage. And on nights he wasn’t working, it was not unusual to be called out to the studio, sometimes as late as 3 a.m., and no, he didn’t care if you weren’t quite awake, to listen to this riff. Did you hear that? No? Let me play it again. Now? Hang on, I’ll turn the bass down. Now? Wait, listen, there it is. His large, studio-quality speakers were always, somehow, to my right. Having had this happen multiple times a week since the age of eight, it’s no surprise that I have, therefore, very weak hearing on my right side. Which means that normally balanced headphones give me a whanging headache, because the sound is always louder on the left, no matter what song. And don’t even get me started on classical, where each instrument is set where it would be in the pit. I love Mozart, but I can’t listen to him without a bottle of aspirin at my elbow.

So, here’s how to re-balance your audio in Windows 7.

First, right-click the sound icon in your system tray (I had to turn my tray back on for this). A context menu will pop up, and you want to choose Playback Devices. Make sure you right-clicked, not left-clicked, because if you left-click you’ll just get the standard volume bar for your main dual speakers, and that will not help us today.

Under playback devices, there should be a menu. Most of us have at least two options – I have Speakers, and Realtek Digital Output. If you have surround-sound turned on, or any number of other things, there will be many, many more options there, but we just want to deal with the direct sound coming out of your headphones today. So click once on Speakers to highlight/choose it, and then click the Properties button at the bottom of the window.

Once your Speakers Properties are open, you’ll see a series of tabs at the top – it should read General, Levels, Enhancements, Advanced. For now, you want to choose the Levels tab. Do not choose the Properties button next to your Controller Information. This will take you to the wrong place entirely, and if you have a more expensive sound card than I do, it will also lead to quite a few crazy options.

Now keep in mind we’re adjusting the volume against itself. This works best if you have independent volume on either your headphones or your speakers, whichever you’re using, so you can turn the overall volume up or down independently from the system volume,  because it’s very hard to keep an off-balance stable and accurate to your hearing loss (or gain, I suppose, if you’re just that lucky) if your system volume isn’t turned all the way up (or down, but that won’t really help you much.)

A quick aside: you may notice in the image that my frontmic is turned all the way down. That’s because for the longest time, I got a bit of feedback whenever my headphones were plugged in, and I finally got fed up – sometimes I like to just wear them to muffle the sounds around me, and the buzzing was not conducive to a calming atmosphere. I eventually traced the problem to the input driver, trying to pull when nothing was there. By turning my frontmic all the way down, I was able to get rid of all the buzzing entirely, and it didn’t affect my headset microphone at all.

However, we are going to stick to that very top section there, in my case named “Realtek HD Audio output”. In case you haven’t noticed, I stuck with the onboard sound card. Click the balance button, and now we’re cooking with fire.

Here’s the fun part – everyone’s ears are different. You should know which ear is weaker/stronger. If you don’t, do a few snap tests – snap your fingers twice on your right side, then twice on your left, and see which side is louder. If you can’t snap the same volume with both hands, tap two pens together instead. Just a simple clicking sound. If you have issues hearing the click on either side, that’s your weaker side.

Once you know which side is stronger, turn the level for the weak side all the way up. Then turn the level for the strong side all the way down. 

The best way to balance for your ears is to use audio that’s already technically balanced. The easiest thing to use is white noise, and I find that this video works very well, though it’s a bit short if you’re having severe hearing problems or have a very narrow margin of loss.

Once you’ve hit play, slowly move the slider louder until the sound seems to be coming from in front of (or directly above) you. You may have to play the video a few times if your ear is weaker or not stable, to find the sweet spot for your own ears.

When you’ve found the spot, you’re done! hit “Ok” and you now have headphone sound custom balanced for your hearing.

How to Recover Corrupted Files from Your USB Flash Drive

It’s really frustrating to know that your very-important files in your flash drive get corrupted.  And you don’t know what to do because you’re not really good when it comes to computer and for the reason that you forget to back-up a file for it.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to recover your corrupted files from your flash drive to be accessible again with just thirteen (13) simple steps. You will also be able to find valuable tips and information to avoid data corruption from your flash drive.

But first, we will answer all the questions in your mind right now.

When my files are corrupted, does this mean that my files are gone forever? No, definitely not! But it really depends on what causes the file to be corrupted. If it is caused by a virus, then there’s a great possibility of data loss.

Then, what are the common causes of a corrupted file? One is the interruption of transmission of files. It happens during the copying of files from a computer to your flash drive and then interrupted by the user. Second would be the improper ejecting of your flash drive from the USB port of your computer. And third would be the ejecting of flash drive even if there are still files or program that are open from the said flash drive.

So, let’s begin…

In this tutorial, all you need to have is a computer, your flash drive with the corrupted files, and yourself.

Note:  This tutorial is intended only for those who cannot access or open their files from their flash drive because of file system errors. If you can still see the files but you cannot access it in some ways, then this tutorial is for you. If you sense that the corruption of files are caused by a virus, then this tutorial cannot help you, but of course, you can still try this as your first step of your file recovery.

  1. Turn on your computer and insert your flash drive to one of the USB port of your computer.
  2. Click the Start Menu and find Computer. Click it.
  3. A page should appear and on that page, find the name of your flash drive. In this example, the name is Flash Drive.
  4. Point your mouse to the flash drive and right click. A dropdown box should appear.
  5. On the bottom part of the box, find Properties and then click it.
  6. By clicking Properties, a pop-up box will appear. Find the Tools tab and then click it.
  7. From there, you should find the Error-checking option just like the example image below.
  8. You should click Check now… button and a small box should appear right next to the first one.
  9. From that box, you will then check Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors and click Start.
  10. Wait for the process to finish. It’s basically the process of finding errors from your flash drive. If there are some issues or errors found, then it will automatically fix them for you.
  11. After that process, a box will appear saying that the process of checking the disk for some errors is successful. It is actually a summary report.
  12. You can now close the remaining boxes, and check the content of your flash drive.
  13. Congratulations! You can now access your files if successful.

If the problem still exists, then most probably the corruption of files is caused by a virus. You should scan your flash drive with your preferred anti-virus software. Basically, virus is transmitted to your flash drive if you connect it to a PC that is already infected by a virus. Once your flash drive is infected, it will cause your files to be corrupted or worst data loss. if you will be lucky, some virus will just hide the affected files or folders. All you need to do is to unhide them. Follow the steps below.

  1. Open your flash disk.
  2. Go to organize. You can find it at the upper left corner of the screen. Click it.
  3. A drop-down box will appear, and then select Folder and select options.
  4. After clicking it, a box will appear and then select the View tab.
  5. Select show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  6. Unchecked the following:
  • Hide empty drives in the computer folder
  • Hide extensions for known file types
  • Hide protected operating system files
  1. Click Apply then hit OK.
  2. If there are hidden folders, you can view them already.

Help and Tips:

In order for us to avoid data corruption in our USB flash drive, follow these tips:

  1. While on the process of transmitting or copying files from your computer to your flash drive, do not remove or eject it. Wait for it to finish the transmission.
  2. Eject your flash drive properly by going to the Start Menu, and then click Computer. Find your flash drive and right click. Find Eject and click it.
  3. You can actually remove automatically your flash drive without proper ejecting because they are made that way, but be sure that there are no running or open files from that flash drive.
  4. It is better to eject your flash drive properly for you to know that there are still running or open files or program from your flash drive.
  5. Check your flash drive regularly for system errors by following the steps above.