The one thing that i missed dearly when i updated my iPhone 3GS from iOS 4.0.1 to 4.0.2 was the loss of the ability to do native internet tethering. When AT&T finally decided to allow tethering for iPhone users, it came with some caveats. In order to tether, you not only have to sign up with one of the new limited data plans, you also have to pay an extra $20 a month to enable tethering. Naturally, i refused to cough up more dough for the shitty reception that i have been getting so i went the “rogue” route to enable tethering on my iPhone.
Prior to updating the firmware to iOS 4.0.2, i was able to set up tethering by installing a debian package that modified CommCenter – allowing iOS to accept an unsigned profile – and then installed a customized profile. This method worked fine until i upgraded my iPhone to iOS 4.0.2.
TetherMe package in Cydia
I have read about a paid Cydia package called TetherMe which allows native tethering on iOS 4.0.1 devices. Because there was no indication that this $1.99 app would work on iOS 4.1, i held off on installing it until i chanced upon this website while i was searching for a way to enable native tethering in iOS 4.1. As i did not want to pay for something that would not work, i decided to give this hacked package a try. After installing the hacked TetherMe, i was able to get native tethering working! Immediately after testing it, i uninstalled the hacked version of TetherMe and purchased the legitimate copy of TetherMe from the Cydia store. I am happy to say that the newer version of TetherMe (version 1.3-16) works perfectly!
iPhone About screen showing iOS 4.1
iPhone About screen showing Modem Firmware (baseband)
Internet Tethering menu enabled
Enabling Internet Tethering
Internet Tethering enabled
TetherMe works on limera1n-jailbroken iPhone 4.
TetherMe working fine in iPhone 4
Latest TetherMe 1.3-17 works on Limera1n-jailbroken iPhone 4 as well.
When i bought my 1.6 GHz MacBook Air (late 2008 model, aka Rev B), i knew the limitations: No memory upgrade, only one USB port and relatively slow processor. In spite of the limitations, i like its 3-pound weight and therefore its portability. This is a perfect machine for checking my email, surfing the web and light photo/video editing. For heavy-duty tasks, i still have my dual quad-core Mac Pro.
The 1.8″ 120GB 4200-RPM SATA hard disk drive that came with my MBA was never designed for performance. It was meant to be small – this is the same type of storage for hard-drive-based iPod classic – and not power hungry. Upgrading the same hard disk drive with something faster is also the only thing that i can do to improve the performance of my MBA. I have been doing quite a bit of reading on Solid-state drives (SSDs) and when i purchased my MBA back in the middle of 2009, prior to the release of the latest (Rev C) MBA, only the 1.86 GHz model, at a $700 premium, included SSD. To purchase the same Samsung 128-GB SSD for use in my MBA would be prohibitively expensive (the cheapest price i found on Google is $682).
After visiting several forums, i managed to find a somewhat unknown firm – at least to me – based in China called RunCore that makes SSDs specifically for MacBook Airs. It is possible to get other 1.8″ SSDs that are not designed for MacBook Airs but because the LIF (Low Insertion Force) connector – found in the second/third generation of MBAs – has special wiring scheme, using other SSDs will most likely require you to do some serious micro-soldering. The 128-GB RunCore Pro IV 1.8″ SATA II LIF SSD Solid State Drive for Macbook Air Rev. B&C is not inexpensive but i read some good reviews about it.
RunCore SSD info in System Profiler
Over the weekend, i replaced the original 120-GB Samsung hard-disk drive with the 128-GB RunCore SSD. After some SNAFUs, due mainly to the unclear installation documentation that came with the SSD, i finally managed to get it installed and working. The improvement is astounding. It used to take me about 25 seconds to open a spreadsheet using Excel for Mac 2008. Now with the SSD, it takes 6 seconds! It is significantly faster, on the order of several magnitudes, to open any application. Most apps are launched with one or two bounces in the Dock. The difference between the HDD and the SSD is like night and day. The X-bench results before and after the upgrade clearly demonstrated the improvements.
X-bench result for 120-GB Samsung HDD
X-bench result for 128-GB RunCore SSD
The table below uses the X-bench results and shows the performance improvements:
HDD vs SSD
October 11th, 2010 in
| tags: macbook air
Whenever someone mentions Obama, or when i see one of the many Obama bumper stickers in Seattle, these are what i immediately think of:
September 27th, 2010 in
| tags: barack obama
There is a rising tide of Islamophobia sweeping through the country, deliberately flooded by anti-Muslim bigots. Initially, opponents of a proposed Muslim community center – incorrectly but intentionally labeled as the Ground Zero mosque – were centered on respecting the feelings of families of 9/11 victims. The Muslim community center – not exactly at Ground Zero but more than two blocks away – not only complies with all applicable zoning regulations, it also received green light from the city Landmarks and Preservation Commission. Opponents of the project wanted the community center moved farther away from Ground Zero so as to not offend the families of 9/11 victims. But how far is far enough? Is Staten Island far enough? How about Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Wisconsin or even California?
Throughout the country, fellow Muslim Americans are running into tremendous oppositions in finding new places where they can pray. For some, even California is not far away enough from Ground Zero for the Muslim community center. If Muslim Americans are not allowed to build the community center due to its proximity to Ground Zero, shouldn’t we also ban Catholics from building churches in any neighborhood where teenage boys were abused? How about prohibiting Baptists from constructing any churches because a few extremists bombed abortion clinics and murdered doctors? Israel brutally attacked USS Liberty resulting in the death of 34 American sailors with 170 seriously injured, so does it mean we should not allow Jewish Americans to build any synagogues in areas where survivors of this attack still live? Worse, in parts of the country, Muslim Americans are even harassed when they try to practice their faith.
When some vile opponents of the community center realized their argument that the community being too close to Ground Zero was weak and unconvincing, they switched track and started accusing the community center planners of having completely unproven ties to terrorist organizations. The vicious mud-slinging strategy of maligning Muslim Americans, making them the new boogeyman is all too clear to me: By throwing mud all over, they know at least some will stick. Some, like former Congressman Newt Gingrich, even made the preposterous argument that no “Ground Zero mosque” should be allowed until churches or synagogues are permitted in all of Saudi Arabia. The last i heard, the United States of America is not a theocracy, so does Gingrich want to replace our core values with Saudi Arabia’s? Women are not permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia and using Gingrich’s flawed logic, women should not be allowed to drive here either.
I understand some of the fear of Islam are genuine but if your daily sources of news about Islam and Muslims are “Fox News” and Jihad Watch, which selectively quotes passages from the Koran to prove that Islam is a violent religion hell-bent on world domination and killing infidels, how can you see the fact that majority of Muslims, especially Muslim Americans, have nothing to do with the so-called Jihadists? If i want, i can certainly pick out passages from the Holy Bible and the Talmud/Torah to demonstrate how violent Christians are and how vicious Jews are with regard to gentiles.
It pains me to see most Americans collectively blaming our fellow Muslim Americans for the crimes of a few. Many appear not to have learned the lesson of the brutal internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. It angers me to hear politicians inflaming – i liken it to shouting fire in a packed movie theater – the bigotry against Muslim Americans in order to score some cheap immediate political points.
Warren Buffett’s classic quote “it’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked” is equally applicable here. Now that the tide is out, bigots like Newt Gingrich and Glenn Beck are caught crapping and pissing in the water while many “yes Muslims have rights to build there but…” politicians – cowards from both political parties – are exposed not wearing any pants. Saying Muslims have a right to build a community center two blocks from Ground Zero but they should not because a lot of people have “strong emotional resistance” is like telling African Americans they had the right to sit anywhere on the bus but they should only sit at the back because a lot of Whites would be offended if they sit at the front. You simply cannot defend the indefensible.
A recent poll by Pew Research Center shows that almost one in five Americans think President Obama is a Muslim. Instead of responding to the anti-Muslim smear by proclaiming the President’s personal religious belief is his own business and why it would not have mattered if he was a Muslim, Obama caved and the White House spokesman found the need to clarify that Obama “is obviously a Christian” and “he prays everyday.” Obama answering anti-Muslim slurs with “but I’m Christian” is like answering racism by saying, “but my mom was white.”
It would have been politically expedient to join the yes-but crowd. It also would have been politically safe to avoid discussing this at all cost. But it takes a significant amount of courage to speak up for and to defend the Constitutional right of the few, especially when going against the opinion of majority. One of the courageous few is Jake Towne, who is running as an independent Congressional candidate for the 15th district of Pennsylvania. Jake could have taken the easy way out by banding with the yes-but crowd or keeping quiet about this growing anti-Muslim hysteria. But no, Jake released a very courageous statement defending the rights of Muslim Americans to build the community center. At the moment when politicians are either fanning the anti-Muslim flames or cowering like cowards, Jake’s stance on protecting the First Amendment rights of Muslim Americans, knowing that it is likely a politically-suicidal move that may cost him some votes in the upcoming election, is extremely encouraging and is to be applauded. Courage is doing the right thing in the face of immense opposition by the majority. Jake Towne, i am proud to say, has it.
When i became a naturalized citizen of this great country, i swore to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I am an atheist and i do not particularly like any religion. But i cannot sit down and keep my mouth shut while one particular group of Americans are having the freedom to practice their religion denied. I have been speaking out against this attempt to deny the Constitutional rights of Muslim Americans but i realized another way to honor my oath is to financially support Jake Towne’s campaign since i, not being from the same Congressional district, cannot vote for him. For Americans who strongly believe no one group of Americans can be denied of its rights, please support Jake Towne’s campaign.