Selamat tinggal, Pebble Time

Setelah Pebble diakuisisi oleh Fitbit di akhir tahun 2016, saya sempat terpikir bagaimana nasib Pebble Time yang saya miliki, terutama terkait perbaruan perangkat lunak. Pebble Time ini adalah smartwatch satu-satunya yang saya miliki. Saya pilih warna hitam, dan istri saya warna putih.

Akhirnya, nasib Pebble diperjelas melalui rilis dari Fitbit yang mengumumkan penghentian dukungan untuk Pebble pada 30 Juni 2018. Setelah tanggal tersebut, Pebble akan menghentikan layanan Pebble appstore, forum, fitur pengenalan suara (voice recognition), membalas surel dan SMS dengan perangkat iOS, dan beberapa fitur lainnya. Aplikasi untuk Android dan iOS tidak akan mendapatkan perbaruan lagi.

Fitbit akan memberikan diskon US$50 bagi mereka yang sebelumnya telah memiliki perangkat Pebble sebelum 7 Desember 2016 untuk produk Fitbit Ionic. Saya sendiri belum berencana beli jam tangan baru. Yang terpikir saya malah ingin kembali ke analog.

Mi Band 2

From MIUI Official Forum:

Today Xiaomi unveiled Mi Band 2 with OLED display which displays Time, Steps Count and Hear Rate at just RMB 149 (US $23). It will be available for sale from 7th June, 2016 onwards in China.

From Techcrunch

The Mi Band 2 is more expensive than its predecessors, but it’s also a bit fancier. The tiny black-and-white display displays time, your step count, your heart rate, as well as approximative distance and calorie counters. You can also use the device to monitor your sleep. Nothing groundbreaking if you’re familiar with activity trackers.

I think I want one.

Solution: WhatsApp crashes on iOS 8 Beta

WhatsApp Logo
Last week, I finally decided to upgrade my iPhone 5 to iOS 8 Beta 4. When the iOS Beta 1 was available, I took the risk to have it installed. But, it was too disappointing for too many bugs and errors. I’m excited about the upcoming iOS 8 features, and I want to try some of the features. There is a discussion thread at MacRumors Forum which lists the application compatibility on iOS 8. Anyway, I have lots of apps installed right now. If you’re not sure about having the iOS Beta, you can wait for the official release.
I have some applications that are not running well, and one of them was WhatsApp. It keeps crashing. I can accept the fact that some other applications are broken or crashed. But, WhatsApp is an app that I use on daily basis. After searching for solutions, there are two popular ways to fix this issue:

I chose the second option, because it’s pretty straight forward. Big thanks to Ritvij Pathak’s The Tech Portal. So, what was the problem? Quoting from the site:

The main reason for the crashes is typographic ligature. For those of you who didn’t get what it is, don’t fret, we didn’t either. Turns out it has something to do with two letters being read as one syllable. Ex: letter combos like ff, fi, ffi, fii, will make WhatsApp crash.

What I found was that WhatsApp crashed when I typed some words or there are some words that are already in the database file. So, I followed the instructions and had everything solved. I want to reproduce the solution based on my experience.
I need to download two applications: iExplorer and Navicat for SQLite. Both are paid applications but the trial version are available. After I had it installed, these are steps I did. Anyway, WhatsApp iCloud setting should be turned off.
Open iExplorer — your iPhone should be connected, of course — and navigate to Apps > WhatsApp > Documents. Export the ChatStorage.sqlite file by right-clicking on the file and choose the export destination of your choice. You will need this file later. Having the backup for this file is advisable. So, after exporting this file, duplicating this file won’t hurt.
iex-1972401972491724
Open Navicat for SQLite and import the ChatStorage.sqlite from the previous step. Navigate to Query and add a new query. Paste the query below, and Run it.

update ZWAMESSAGE
set ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'ff', 'f f')
where ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%ff%';
update ZWAMESSAGE
set ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'fi', 'f i')
where ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%fi%';
update ZWAMESSAGE
set ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'fl', 'f l')
where ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%fl%';
CREATE TRIGGER insert_Ff AFTER INSERT ON ZWAMESSAGE
BEGIN
  UPDATE ZWAMESSAGE
  SET ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'ff', 'f f')
  WHERE ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%ff%';
END;
CREATE TRIGGER insert_Fi AFTER INSERT ON ZWAMESSAGE
BEGIN
  UPDATE ZWAMESSAGE
  SET ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'fi', 'f i')
  WHERE ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%fi%';
END;
CREATE TRIGGER insert_Fl AFTER INSERT ON ZWAMESSAGE
BEGIN
  UPDATE ZWAMESSAGE
  SET ZTEXT = replace( ZTEXT, 'fl', 'f l')
  WHERE ZWAMESSAGE.ZTEXT like '%fl%';
END;

Your ChatStorage.sqlite has been updated. The next thing you need to do is bring the file back to the iPhone using iExplorer. Move it to the same place and if you’re asked to replace the file, just replace the file.
My previous errors with WhatsApp was fixed immediately. But, it seems that the errors still occur under different situation. The most common problem is that WhatsApp still keep crashing when I type some words in the window. For now, the temporary solution works, and let’s wait the official update from WhatsApp team. I’m sure they will fix it once iOS 8 is available.

Solved: Nokia N9 can't connect to Twitter

After I had my Nokia N9 early this month, I setup my Twitter account first — after some basic phone settings, of course. Everything worked. The application is probably not the best, but it works.
Is it problem-free app? I thought so, until I got a problem: I can’t connect to Twitter using this app. I was not sure when the problem occurred for the first time. I did played with my phone (installing apps, downloading musics, adjusting settings, and including working from the command line). When an update was available, I also upgraded.
Added later: I was not sure what caused this problem. When I signed-in for the first time, everything worked without any issues. I deleted my Twitter account from the app, and tried to add it again. I forgot when I did this for sure, before or after installing the firmware update. It  was optional, but I decided to upgrade.
2011-11-13 01-49-48At first, I was not sure about the problem. Is it my phone, or the internet connection I was using. I switched to some different connections, but it didn’t solve my problem. When I tapped the “Sign In” button, it said: “Can’t connect to Twitter”.
So, I searched for a solution. And, I got one. It’s probably something too technical, but the instruction is easy to understand. According to the forum thread, here are some steps to fix the problem — I’m using Software Version: PR1.1 (20.2011.40-2_PR_005):

  • Activate “Developer mode” by going to: Settings > Security > Developer mode. It’s OFF by default. Turn it ON.
  • After having it activated, you will find a “Terminal” app button under application menu.
  • Open it and you need to execute these commands (one command per line):
    • gconftool --recursive-unset /system/http_proxy
    • gconftool --recursive-unset /system/proxy
    • gconftool --recursive-unset /system/osso

You may close your Terminal.
Those commands will wipe your active connection settings (bluetooth and internet data). But, it’s not a problem as I can add/manage connection settings easily. Problem fixed. Great.

Solution: OpenX Missing Statistic Reports

Yesterday, I was a little bit panic because I couldn’t found any statistic reports in an OpenX installation. I didn’t use the latest version (2.8.0). So, I did an upgrade to 2.8.5. But still, the statistics didn’t come back.
I finally found a solution at OpenX Community Forums. Here’s the trick:

  • Go to your database management tool. I’m using phpMyAdmin.
  • Run this simple query: update ox_application_variable set value = 1 where name ='admin_account_id';
  • Voila!

When I went back to the statistic page, I had all statistics available. Great.

Beware of those 'get more followers' services!

Recently, I see many updates in my Twitter timeline containing updates about that so called “get more free followers”. The idea is to encourage you to join a service that will boost your number of followers. Sounds familiar? A simple question: what does those number mean (for me)? What do I want to prove by having hundreds or thousand followers? Nothing.
leather and washer key chain
If you try to find service like this, you will find many. They share some common characteristics:

  • Ask you to login to their websites, it means you give your Twitter username and password.
  • Sometime, they ask you to follow more people and give you new followers.
  • And then… the worst part is that they will send updates from your account.

If you’re aware that there’s something wrong with this practice, you can stop doing this. But, if you don’t check Twitter regularly, don’t be surprised if you flood your timeline with those rubbish. Also, you will flood people with useless updates, too. This happens usually because you don’t know when and how those services updates your account. Remember, you gave them permission to access your account when you started using them.
Few weeks ago, I saw one one people I follow used a service like this. His account sent updates few times a day. Not sure about the frequency, but he had more than ten updates promoting the service. And, it seemed that he did not login to his account during that time. What happened next? He got his Twitter account suspended. OK, probably I had a wrong conclusion, but I couldn’t find any other reasons about the suspension.
Personally, I always spend few minutes reading about the service using Twitter login mechanism. I try to get some basic information, e.g:

  • Login method — Twitter already has a standard secure recommendation. Your login information will not be stored to services’ server.
  • Privacy statement — Even they don’t have lengthy paragraph about this, but you should read and understand it.
  • Read more about the service. How the services deal with your login? What will they do with it?
  • Last but not least — well, it’s my personal preference — do you really need the service?

UPDATE (added later):
Here are some websites that you provide what so called “get more followers” AND you’d better be careful!
tweeterfollow.com and tweeteradder.com — Both are using the same rules. They will ask you to follow other users first, and will give you new followers as “reward”. Here’s what a user experienced:

tweeterfollow.com was sending messages from my username, so I closed my account with them and then changed my Twitter password. Now I’m locked out of Twitter…it tells me I am trying to login too many times with the wrong password. I assume this is because tweeterfollow is still trying to tweet on my account?! Ugh!! (story source)

There is another story about tweeteradder.com, and from Twitter’s Get Satisfaction forum.
There are another services here twitter-train.com and twittertrain.info, but their websites are suspended by the hosting provider already.

vBulletin Database Backup

I’m maintaining a pretty big forum. It has a great amount of traffic, AND huge database size. Right now, it has a remote backup server. The optimization is always challenging. Anyway, vBulletin upgrade process was easy. The forum I maintain used vBulletin 3.6.x when it was firstly installed. Right now, it’s using the latest stable release.

The first thing I did before upgrading is to backup its database. Using web-based database management tool like phpMyAdmin is easy. We can export and store it in minutes. BUT, in some cases, it takes more time if we have a large database. So, I use the other method: using the backup script.

When we download vBulletin, there is a backup script included in the distribution. It’s under do_not_upload directory. The file is vb_backup.sh. The first thing we need to do is to edit this script, to locate the configuration file. After that, we only need to execute this command: ./vb_backup.sh backup

It will generate a backup file using this pattern: databasename-dd-mm-yy.sql.gz. Just keep the file into the safe place (outside public directory always recommended), and start upgrading. All done.

Troubleshooting: SoftException in Application.cpp:544

When I had problem with WordPress installation, it was about WordPress Admin Area (Dashboard) Redirect Loop, I got the solution. Today, I experienced different problem. Still related to WordPress.
Okey, I’m not going to tell you that the problem only happens for WordPress. It might happen for other platforms or applications. Read on the details, you’ll know what I mean.
When I enter WordPress dashboard (admin area), I got 404 error page. It seems that the wp-admin folder does not exist. But, it’s there. I told Lala about this, and she reminds me that I’m not the one who got this problem. (see WordPress Support Forum thread for details).
So, I checked the error log. If you’re using cPanel for your hosting account, you should find the error log there. And, I got this:

[Tue Dec 30 09:20:18 2008] [error] [client ip.address.here] SoftException in Application.cpp:544: Directory "/home/username/public_html/somefolder" is writeable by group

Okey, it’s about SoftException in Application.cpp:544. I searched for answer using Google, and I found a useful answer.

As the message says, the specified foldername has been made writable by group.
That suggests that your server’s apache configuration doesn’t allow you to make folders writable by group.
ie: you’ve got the wrong permissions set on one or more folders.
Check with your hosting company to find out what permissions you’re allowed to set.

The answer is not related to WordPress issue, but it’s a solution for the same problem. So, I checked the wp-admin folder permission again. It was 777. Okey, I changed it into 755… and voila! Problem solved.
Okey, everything is working great now. It’s a new lesson for me :)

vBulletin Performance Optimization

I have been dealing with vBulletin for almost a year now. I manage a vBulletin installation for my friend at Fashionese Daily forum. Anyway, Fashionese Daily forum have used other forum/discusion engines like punBB and MyBB. It’s now using vBulletin 3.7.3 Patch Level 1.
It’s a pretty busy-traffic forum anyway. In average, there are 1,000 new posts everyday. According to forum stats, there are 500 – 600 online users during the prime ours (registered and guests). From the very beginning, I try to maintain its performance so that the forum is available.
Based on many articles about vBulletin optimization, here are what I did:

MyBB Goes Open Source

MyBB forum software just published an announcement about its new licensing software. It’s now distributed and licensed under the popular open-source GNU GPL v3. According to the management, this decision was made because they want to open MyBB up to the community and help support the world of free software. Read more details about this new license.
I do not use it right now, but I helped my friend at Fashionese Daily using it few months ago. We switched from punBB to MyBB almost without problems and MyBB helped the community grew (Read the whole story, in Bahasa Indonesia).

24/7 Support from WordPress.com Team

wpcom-team
A good news from WordPress.com team. Now, they offer 24/7 support for WordPress.com.

Not long ago, our team was online 9 a.m to 4 p.m. PDT to answer your questions and keep your blog running smoothly. Soon after, we brought it up to 24-hour support, five days and week, so those across the country and across the globe wouldn’t have to wait for their answers.

Just make sure you contact them using contact form provided. As WordPress.com users, we can also help their support team. Here’s how:

  • Read the FAQ page. This area covers many information you might need/want to know about WordPress.com. If you do not find solutions for your problems or questions, do the next action:
  • Visit WordPress Community Forums. They’re really helpful.
  • You can also join WordPress IRC Channel. It’s #wordpress on Freenode server.
  • If you want to learn more about WordPress, WordPress Codex is also available 24 hours/day.
  • And, if you have some friends using WordPress, you can ask him/her first. It should be easy to find other WordPress users near you. :)

PunBB 1.3 Beta Preview

For all PunBB fans, PunBB 1.3 beta is already available. Few days ago, I download the beta release, did a fresh install, and I believe that the coming 1.3 will be MUCH better. Currently, the latest stable release is PunBB 1.2.17 (released on February 19th, 2008). Here is a screenshot:
punbb 13
So, what’s new? Here are some of them:

Why no emoticons in this site?

I am not a fan of emoticon. But, I am fine if I see smilies used in websites, blogs, or discussion forums. Nowadays, smilies/emoticons are widely used by many web applications, etc; and I have to confest that I do not know each of them, do you?
Okey, what’s emoticon anyway? According to Wikipedia:

an emoticon is a symbol or combination of symbols used to convey emotional content in written or message form.

To be more spesific, current web applications have a built-in emoticon feature. For example, if you’re using WordPress, we can manage how smilies should be presented: only symbols or converted them into graphics/icons. There are some reasons why I do not use emoticons in this site.

  • I do not want to display text, images and any other important message and I presented many icons at the same time.
  • Smiley symbols are enough to represent emotional content.
  • I do not want to give symbols that’s hard to understand. Okey, I think it’s more about me who does not know much about smiley symbols.

This is — of course — more about my personal preferences. I am fine with emoticons at other sites/blogs. But, if there is an option not to use the icons, I will choose not to see that. For example, if we registered at a discussion forum, we can have options on how smiley symbols should be treated.