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Phuket Live Wire: Goodbye to CAT EV-DO; Tips for iPad; PCs4Kids update

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Live Wire: Goodbye to CAT EV-DO; Tips for iPad; PCs4Kids update | The Thaiger

PHUKET:I remember the day well. October 1, 2007. The people at CAT let me take a sneak peek at their new “AirCard” service – the first wireless broadband service in Phuket.

I’m sad to say that, by the end of this year, that service will be officially phased out.

I call the service “EV-DO”, although the technology is actually called “CDMA EV-DO Rev A.”

Most of the people who bought into the service, in the early days, bought a Sierra Wireless AirCard (“AirCard” is a trademark of Sierra Wireless).

The AirCard plugged into a PCMCIA slot on your PC – back then, USB wasn’t common at all, but almost all laptops had wide PCMCIA slots.

An AirCard cost 15,990 baht. Unlimited EV-DO service ran to 1,290 baht per month.

I recall being absolutely delighted at the time that my downloads of Windows beta test versions would only take hours, instead of days. I downloaded Vista Beta 5728 that week on my TOT line and it only took two days. If I’d had the AirCard at hand, it would’ve taken four to six hours.

It’s hard to believe this was just five years ago.

Like the rest of Thailand, CAT has moved on to 3G. More accurately, to HSPA+, which is far faster and more reliable than EV-DO. The old CDMA network is being dismantled, and EV-DO will disappear along with it.

I asked at the CAT office in Central last week what would happen to the people who still have EV-DO AirCards. They didn’t seem to be overly concerned: my guess is that only a handful of people in Phuket who are actually still using EV-DO.

The bad news is that CAT has no plans to offer you a discount on converting to their “My 3G” network – the one based on HSPA+.

The good news is that… well, there really isn’t any good news. EV-DO users are basically up a creek.

As I explained two weeks ago, CAT has the least expensive, and arguably the best, “3G” HSPA+ service in Phuket.

Getting started with My 3G will cost one-tenth of what EV-DO cost back in the day, and the monthly charges run at 800 baht, for high speed downloads up to 4GB per month.

If you blow your monthly data cap, CAT throttles you back to a nominal 384 Kbps. (Don’t whine about the data caps too much, folks – they are now a fact of life everywhere in the world).

Of course, 3G in Thailand is in a state of massive upheaval and uncertainty. Just like it was five years ago, come to think of it.

Right now, as I also mentioned two weeks ago, there are rumors that CAT may shut down its My 3G program – or someone may shut it down for them.

I figure that’s unlikely to happen, simply because so many people depend on 3G. But, well, you never know, eh?

A passel of tips for all you iPad users

Friends of mine wrote in with a bunch of questions about their new iPad. Here’s what they said:

We have finally bought ourselves an iPad (the New…as there were no iPad 2s available).

Being very new to Apple technology we would appreciate your advice and tips on the following:

• Do we need to download any virus software?

• Do you use Safari or an Apple version of Firefox?

• Do you use a Dropbox program or use the iCloud?

• Any tips and recommendations regarding free downloads that are a must – or the ones that are a must to purchase.

• Do we need to register the iPad with Apple for the warranty (the staff in the Apple Store in Central were not very helpful).

We would appreciate any advice/tips etc that you may have, if you have the time.

I’m not an iPad expert, but I’m certainly a fan. Here’s what I wrote back:

There haven’t been any viruses on iPads yet. But you need to keep your ears open, if one should appear.

I use Safari. I don’t like it. I may switch to Chrome or Firefox, but haven’t had the time to give it a run.

I use both iCloud and Dropbox, but for two completely different things. Unless you need to work with your PC-based documents on the iPad, iCloud is probably all you need.

You need to realize that you don’t need to hook your iPad into a PC any more, or download iTunes for your PC. You can connect your iPad directly to iCloud, and get everything from there. In my opinion, that’s a much better alternative (although there are some cases where you might want iTunes).

Many people in Phuket don’t realize it, but you can get a pre-paid SIM card for your 3G iPad. Details and a lengthy discussion at thaivisa.com/forum/topic/552146-ipad-prepaid-3g-card/ .

Yes, you should register your iPad. If the locals won’t do it, keep your receipt. Apple’s good about service.

Here are the sites I recommend for getting started:

W: apple.com/support/ipad/getstarted/.

W: ipadinsight.com/ipad-tips-tricks/ipad-tips-getting-started-with-the-ipad.

There’s also a list of good iPad apps here: W: t3.com/features/best-ipad-apps.

GoogleEarth is amazing, same with Flipboard, both free. But I wouldn’t spend much money until you get a feel for it…. You’re going to find that there’s plenty to do and learn with just a plain iPad.

Update on the PCs4Kids project

Many of you may recall the PCs4Kids project, undertaken by Ross James and aided and abetted by a long list of locals.

The project’s moving forward slowly. Right now Ross has an application in to Microsoft, asking for donated Windows 7 licenses for all of the refurbished computers. He reports that it looks like the licenses will be granted, but it’s taking longer than expected.

A few of the computers have already been distributed to needy and deserving kids in Phuket, although most of them are still waiting for Win7 licenses.

Ross reports that they’re going to expand the program a bit, to encompass local college and technology school students as well as younger kids.

Ross says that they need monitors – any kind of monitors, but especially flat panels.

“I want to push for flat panels, but I don’t want to turn anything down right now. Here is my angle: You are probably reading this on a screen that you will upgrade sooner or later. Why not do it now?

“You will enjoy the hell out of your new 1080p 24-inch (or 32-inch), and someone else will get your old 19″ with some life left in it. So what are you waiting for?”

Donations of used PCs, peripherals, screens, laptops (especially laptop batteries, working or not!), memory chips, working or not – are greatly appreciated.

Bring them by either of the Sandwich Shoppes, or drop me a line.

Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes hold computer sessions under the tutelage of Seth Bareiss every other Wednesday afternoon, from 1 to 3pm. If you have a Windows problem that needs to be solved, drop by one of Seth’s free afternoon sessions. Details in the Phuket Gazette Events Calendar.

Live Wire is Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket.

Follow him on Twitter: @PhuketLiveWire— Woody Leonhard



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Phuket

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest

The Thaiger

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Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Department of National Parks

Officers from of the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area have helped in the release of a slow loris back into the wild yesterday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reports that the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom, yesterday released the slow loris to the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Are in Thalang.

The slow loris was found near a furniture factory in Thalang last week. It was being treated at a pet hospital before being handed over to Khun Pongchart when it was ready to be set free.

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy

The Thaiger

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Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy | The Thaiger

A floating seastead has today been towed by a naval vessel back to the Port of Phuket in Cape Panwa. Meanwhile the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is challenging the owners and builders of the structure to take the Thai Government and Navy to the International Court of Justice.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet ventured out with a group of reporters on Saturday to inspect the floating seastead, the first of about 20 planned Ocean Builders for the open waters about 22km from Phuket’s Koh Racha Yai.

Nothing valuable was found on board the octagon-shaped steel and aluminium structure which was attached to a floating platform.

Two vessels were used in today’s operation. The living quarters were detached and placed on the first vessel and the second towed the floating platform to the shore for safe keeping pending legal action against its owner as well as the builder, Ocean Builders Company.

Dr. Wissanu said yesterday that Thai authorities were authorised to remove or dismantle the floating housing unit with or without the consent of its owner after finding the structure could pose a threat to Thai national security and sovereignty in accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Code.

He said that the structure also posed an obstacle to vessels and was located not far from an oil rig.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Seasteader Chad Andrew Edwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl, are wanted by the Thai police for questioning after Thai immigration revoked the American’s non-immigrant visa and blacklisted him.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung

The Thaiger

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Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phattalung Rescue

Two people have sustained serious injuries after a Phuket taxi slammed into a tree in Phattalung last night.

Phattalung rescue workers were notified of the accident in Mueang Pattalung District at 7.57pm last night (Sunday).

They arrived at the scene to find the Phuket registered taxi resting in front of the big tree on the side of the road near a temple. The front of the vehicle had extensive damage following the collision.

The two people who sustained serious injuries were 58 year old Wanchai Srithong and 64 year old Jamras Srithong. They were both taken to the Phattalung Hospital.

Pattalung City Police are continuing their investigation. There has been no explanation given at this stage as to why a Phuket taxi was in Phattalung.

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger

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