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about:sleep (or lack thereof)

about:sleep (or lack thereof) published on No Comments on about:sleep (or lack thereof)
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this but this is the best time I’ve manage to track so far.

One of the most useful things for me with the Xiaomi Mi Band is the sleep tracker. I check my sleep data pretty much every morning and it helps me decide if I’ve had enough sleep the previous night and what to do if when I haven’t.

Something I always knew for a long time is that I’m usually not having enough sleep at night, and I’m not entirely proud of it either. I find it much easier to concentrate at night because it feels much more peaceful and calm. While some of you “early to bed early to rise” types would struggle to understand this, I’m sure the night owls would totally get this.

But whatever your sleep preferences are, there’s one thing that we should all agree on; there are some serious health concerns when you are not having enough sleep. Seriously, Google it right now! You’d find a ton of research that explains how damaging lack of sleep can be… I was actually going to include links to some of the articles I read regarding this in the past, and googling to find those flooded me with a bunch more. I read a couple of those and it was so scary, that instead of finishing this post last night around 12am, I went straight to bed!

Anyway, I’ve been tracking my sleep for a few weeks now and I now know that I need to improve. Don’t get me wrong, I always knew that I’m not having enough sleep, I just didn’t have the numbers… or I was just lazy to actively measure my sleep durations. This is why the Mi Band is so much helpful. It does everything for me and now I know that I usually sleep between 3 to 5 hours at night. Around 3 if I stay up too late… and just over 5 if I come to bed a little “early”.

Now that I have some clear idea about how much sleep I get and what to do to improve it,  I have one less thing to worry about in life. And honestly, if you see my numbers you’d see that I don’t really have too much to do to fix my sleep habits. Since I work from home pretty much all the time, I have the freedom to sleep anytime I want and get up anytime I want to. Some of you who has to get up at a certain time because you have to commute to work would think that It’s harder for you to improve your sleep, trust me, it isn’t! I can argue that it’s actually harder for me because I lack that push to have a fixed sleep schedule. And I tend to stay up too late and for some strange reason, get up earlier than I should.

My point is that whether you have the freedom to choose when you wake up, or you don’t, you’d almost always have some way to allow yourself to have enough time to sleep (If you don’t, You should change whatever you are doing. Because you are probably better off alive) This is something I’ve personally been neglecting for a long time and something that I am planning to change.

So how do we do this? Simple, just have a way to measure your daily sleep habits and act accordingly, that is to get your daily schedules sorted out until you have a minimum of 6 hours (Maybe 7 depending on how you feel about it) for sleep. I highly recommend you getting some sort of a sleep tracker because it has helped me so much. I’ve tried a few android apps sometime back and it wasn’t very helpful for me. Part of it because I don’t feel too comfortable keeping the phone so close to me on the bed, and I’m also not so certain about their accuracy. So get yourself a proper sleep tracker (after all, $20+ for a chance at good health is a killer deal =) )

Once you know how much sleep you get (or how little, in case you are like me) Decide how much more you need to get in order to have a healthy amount of sleep and prepare a schedule.

And most importantly, try to stick to your sleep schedule as if your life depends on it because it most probably does!


Messenger app only working on WiFi?

Messenger app only working on WiFi? published on No Comments on Messenger app only working on WiFi?

I’m a huge fan of the Telegram Messenger. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and it’s nothing short of amazing. I have it installed in almost every device I use. I kept trying to get Randy and Chanux to switch to using it and even managed to finally get Chanux to set it up on his android but I don’t see him using it much. Randy kept disappointing me as he usually does these days and simply refused to try it (he also refused to watch Star Wars, so yes, my dear Internet, I think we can safely give up on the guy now).


Anyways I didn’t really write this blog post only to talk about Randy and his awful tastes. About a week ago I noticed that Telegram stopped working in the background while on mobile data and only started working while I’m connected to WiFi. This was really annoying because more than a couple of times I missed all my messages while on the road only to realize that Telegram was offline during my travels. When I get back on WiFi Telegram would notify me about all the messages that I didn’t receive during the day.

This obviously looked like a problem with my data settings that would restrict Telegram from using any mobile data and to my surprise it was all set to normal. Then I thought it was a restriction from the Power saving mode in android and that was also not the case.

A quick search on google led me to a bunch of forums that showed this is not just a problem with Telegram but also happens to be a problem common to a lot of apps that uses background data. And none of them seem to have solved the issue.

I kept looking through the threads and found one suggestion that finally worked for me. It was to reset all app preferences in android. This looked crazy at first but after trying everything I gave up and just did it, and guess what! Telegram now works well on mobile broadband.

So if your messenger app is not working and nothing else works you can do the following:

Go to Settings -> Applications -> Applications manager

Select Reset app preferences from the “MORE” menu and you’re done.


Be warned though. This would reset the preferences for all the apps in your android phone. So only do this if nothing else works for you.

This trick should also fix apps like Slack, Snapchat, Viber or any other app not working on mobile data.


Make blogging great again!

Make blogging great again! published on No Comments on Make blogging great again!

So yeah, I’m tired of not having a proper place to post my rants. And I certainly don’t believe I’m accomplishing anything by posting stuff on Facebook (twitter, I’m still in love with, but there’s only so much you could do with 140 characters).

So a few months back I decided to blame on Blogger for my laziness and decided to change my blog platform to something better. I went with Pelican because it was written in Python and also it was really good. But after a few weeks, I realized that having all those moving parts (Static site generators, how ironic!) really gets in the way and you end up managing the site rather than posting anything. And I decided that I needed to get back to the one true blog platform!

And today I’m rocking the super cool WordPress installation on my blog. I imported all the content from the old blogger site and fixed the URL structure. I’ll be hunting for a good theme in the next few days and hopefully keep this blog up to date again, just like the old days.


Welcome to User Centric!

Welcome to User Centric! published on No Comments on Welcome to User Centric!

U-S-E-R(This is the post I wrote introducing UserCentric in the official blog at

Hey all! Welcome to the first official post on the User Centric blog! So… what exactly is User Centric??? I truly am glad you asked!

You know all those little complaints/ideas we share on social networks such as twitter, facebook etc. about the products/services we use, and get lost in the sands of time? of course you do! User Centric is the one place that you can share all those micro reviews and unlike normal social media sites, your user experience reviews will be organized nicely based on #Tags.
So what is the difference between traditional product review sites and User Centric? Three words, Ease of use! Most of us don’t have the time to write lengthy reviews on things that we use. But something that we all do is post micro reviews on social networks. We complain about the flaws in products, we post our ideas on features that we wish to see in our favorite products, Why not collect all our micro reviews on a product and organize them in one place so others can benefit from the tips we share? That is exactly why I built User Centric.
What we needed was a system that makes product reviewing fun hassle free! That is why I designed User Centric the way it is now. All you have to do is write your reviews starting with the product name as a #tag.
Review anything you use, one point at a time… Becoming a semi-pro product reviewer has never been so easy! 😀

You can check my reviews page on User Centric at to see how organized UX reviews look like.
We are currently on private beta so if any of you want to grab your preferred username early, you can use the beta code KyXnrTz” at the signup page. Just don’t tell anyone else! 😉

Don’t mess with my Internet!

Don’t mess with my Internet! published on No Comments on Don’t mess with my Internet!
The greatest thing about the internet is the fact that it belongs to all of us! No matter who you are, where you are from, We all have the freedom to choose where we’re headed! But now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could seriously damage the fundamental structure of the Internet.
Tech giants like Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit, Google, and many more who actually care to protect the internet are against this. But obviously, there’s a bunch of money hungry politicians who are working towards this legislation in favour of a few organisations who think they’d rather break of the Internet than fixing their business models. This is downright evil! and should be fought against with all our strength!
This is why all of us who care to protect the internet should spread the word around and educate people to fight against the legislation of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) Because if any of these get passed that would mean the end of the Internet as we know it.
Don’t let anyone mess with your Internet! Join the battle against SOPA/PIPA
(Picture courtesy of reddit)

Playing with pligg

Playing with pligg published on 29 Comments on Playing with pligg
So I had this idea for a small (i guess) project which uses a digg like voting system. So I installed the pligg cms and tried playing with it for some time and after two days I decided to go with its well known drupal based competitor drigg. Of course pligg is a good cms and I don’t necessarily mean to suggest that anyone shouldn’t use it. But it was a little too messed up. Atleast for me. 😐

The things I didn’t like in pligg includes the not so clean code, which requres to change dozen places when you need to do something as simple as switching a theme, The not so active development of the cms, unlike drupal which has a very powerful developer base. The not so open karma calculation, which obviously gonna be a PITA later on. And the not so friendly user support which is “known” not to listen to its users 😛 (which I did NOT experience btw)
So I switched to drigg and I’m glad I did 🙂 it’s drupal based and you can feel the cleanliness of the code 🙂 of course if you choose to do the manual installation it takes some time to configure the the modules needed to get drigg up and running, And you’re gonna need to know the basics of drupal, but it’s all fun and I don’t think it would be that hard to learn, even if you are completely new to drupal.

So now I’m tweaking the site and I might write a post on getting drupal+drigg up if I have enough time. And yes! of course I’ll reveal the project i’m working 😛 and if you people have any interest in Free Software you might even like it heehee. but that’s yet to see… 😉

How to Unlock the Huawei E220 HSDPA modem

How to Unlock the Huawei E220 HSDPA modem published on 1 Comment on How to Unlock the Huawei E220 HSDPA modem

Huawei e220 or Vodafone e220 is the HSDPA modem we usually get from Dialog Telecom or Mobitel GSM (probably from Airtel) when we purchase a mobile broadband connection. But usually it’s operator locked, so we can’t switch between networks when the current ISP starts treating us like dust, If you’ve read my previous post you know I have my reasons to unlock the Huawei e220 modem I got from Dialog Telecom. Here I’m gonna explain how I did that and I’ll try to be as simple as I can. But Feel free to ask for help if u need any.


Disclaimer: I’m not responsible, nor will be held liable, for anything you do with the information I provide in this tutorial. Use it at your own risk.

Ok, since we are done with the traditional “Disclaimer” Lets see what you have to do.

First you’ll have to download the following tools.
e220 CardLock UnLocker
e220 Updater version
QC Mobile Analysis Tool
And a Hex editor. But if you do it correctly you can do it with an ordinary text editor too 😉

Or you can download and extract this file. It contains all the tools we need for the job, including a lightweight portable hex editor 🙂

Basically, Unlocking the e220 is simple as running the E220 CardLock Unlock tool and entering the unlock code and pressing the “Ok” button. But that’s when you “know” the unlock code.


So how do we find the unlock code for our modem? that’s where the other tools come in handy.

Plug your modem to the computer and run the E220 Updater. Wait till it detects your modem and then press the “Cancel” button. yes! Cancel it! This is just to make it easier for the “real tool” to identify the modem.

e220UpdateNow open the QC BQS Analyzer and click on Hardware forensics menu, select Use Com/USB Port
QCMob-1Now the “QC Com Diag” window should be open. Most of the time your modem and com port is automatically selected on the Serial Com port drop down list. If not you’ll have to select it manually. And then click on the “Send Cmd” button and wait till the message “Successfully sent command” appears on the bottom right.

Now Select ” Read EFS” from the Diag Functions drop down menu and Click the “Lets go” button. When it asks, enter the file name e220.bin and save it. A message saying “Successfully read EFS” should appear.


Now its time to do some hex reading 🙂 Open the e220.bin file from your Hex Editor. And search for the ASCII string Sd, (including the comma) or Search for the for the Hex string 53 64 2c
After few random characters you’ll see a clean 8 digit code. Believe me, it’s easily recognizable and guess what! thats our Unlock code 😀

HexOnce you’ve found the unlock key all you have to do is enter it on the CardLock Unlock utility and click “OK” And your modem is… Unlocked!!! 😀

Hope this will be helpful. I’d absolutely love to know your views on this. Good luck with unlocking your modems 🙂

Why I unlocked my HSDPA modem (and why you should too)

Why I unlocked my HSDPA modem (and why you should too) published on 1 Comment on Why I unlocked my HSDPA modem (and why you should too)

As usual it’s old news to my twitter followers that I’ve unlocked my Huawei e220 HSDPA modem I bought with the Mobile Broadband connection from Dialog Telecom. It was operator locked and could only be used with Dialog. Well I must say that I loved mobile broadband. I absolutely loved the fact that I had internet access wherever I go. But unfortunately Dialog has been doing everything possible to ruin that amazing experience. When I got this connection they promised 3.6mbps but I’ve never ever experienced anything more than 1mbps with this. And sometimes the DNS servers get messed making the connection totally unusable.

“Well, they’ll improve the quality of the service eventually and we’ll have a good speed one day” that’s what I thought, but boy was I wrong.

Few weeks back I found that Dialog has officially “changed” the speed of the mobile broadband to 1mbps, It was changed on their web site too. But wait! Then what about the connection I purchased? what about the so called “very very fast” (hilarious! I know! but that’s how they advertised it :p) Internet connection which was supposed to be 3.6mbps???
What came to my mind for the first time was “WTF! who do they think we are? how do they expect to get away with this???” well answer is simple. They perfectly knew that there’s no way they can provide 3.6mbps speed but they LIED! why? why not? They are the *all mighty* Dialog Telecom, and we are just helpless customer fuckNuts.

“They’ve paid us already, So why bother, they can’t switch to any other provider since it’s operator locked” that’s probably what the people at dialog must be thinking.
Well Dialog, I’ve got news for you, Anything which can be locked can be unlocked, at least it’s true with the HSDPA modem you sold us 😛 And thats exactly what I did 😛 and now I own a fully functional Huawei e220 HSDPA modem 😀

The Unlock process was pretty easy and, NO I didn’t pay any money to any company to unlock it 😛 I did it my self after a fair bit of Googling (Thanks to opendns we can still brows the web which is almost impossible if you are using Dialog’s crappy DNS servers 😛 if you are still using them you should seriously try you’re gonna luv me for suggesting it :P)

Anyway, the first question I got via twitter was “are you gonna switch to Airtel now?” My answer was “No!”

No, I won’t be switching away from Dialog right now. Why? Simply because I’ve agreed to use this connection for 6 months and I will act according to that. Then why did I unlock this? Simple, After 6 months I’m free to do anything, but they know that I can’t switch to any other network and use this modem so they DON’T CARE. But now, since I can switch between networks and still use the same modem, they know I will! and that’s what keep these money hungry companies like Dialog from screwing the customers. And thats exactly why we all should do it! That will teach them a lesson to treat their customers with some respect.

There are lot of places to find ways to unlock the HSDPA modems. And my next post which I’ll be writing tomorrow morning, will also be a how-to on unlocking Huawei e220 which is the most common HSDPA modem in Sri Lanka. Almost all my friends have this model so there’s a good chance you have the same. Let me know If you have any other model. I’ll always be happy to help.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not paid by Airtel or any other company or individual to take down Dialog telecom(LOL!) And this is not just about Dialog. This is true with Mobitel or even with Airtel. My point is that the customer should always have the freedom to switch to a network which offers good quality service. And If they don’t offer that. We should fight for it! I just took the first step.