Review LG A190 – Very cheap, yet tough and somewhat convinient

This is probably the cheapest dual sim mobile phone on the market. with one relatively significant drawback.

To give you the lowdown first, this phone has 1 issue concerning how to chose the line before sending or calling, by default you call from line 1, unlike the Dual sim Samsung(s) that i have used, this phone does not provide a simple easy convenient way to switch lines (In some samsung phones there is a dedicated line change button), to switch a to the second line, you must enter the number, then go to options, then hit call via, then chose the line you will use.

The phone does receive to both lines at all times (Dual stand by), so in situations where the second line is only to receive, and very seldom send or call from, this phone will do the trick, considering that this is the cheapest dual sim phone on the market.

The phones hardware seems tough. (and i have been using it heavily for a year and it is very tough)

the phone comes with radio that unlike other brands, has an internal antenna and does not requiere an earpiece to work.

Now that i have given you what i think is most important above, let me get to the other details of this phone.

What is in the box

Phone, Battery, Charger, Users manual, and warranty card (No Earpiece).

Even though the phone charger is a simple Micro-B-USB plug, connecting the phone to a computer will only result in charging the phone from the computer USB power, no data exchange can happen.

The phone comes with only one game called space ball that happens to be very similar to the popular snake game (Like the old one).

The phone can store 500 contacts, and 100 messages, 10 memos and 20 calendar entries

A strange feature in this phone is called fake call or self call, where you set the phone to make a fake call at a certain time, it rings, then you pick p and pretend to talk to someone, in other phones like samsung phones, you can have the phone play a side of a pre recorded phone call, but not this phone, this phone simply rungs, you can chose the name and number of the person ringing you I never really understood the need for this feature, but when they are adding it to the cheapest phones, i should be investigating this fake call feature soon, and what people use it for

Rescueing data of a failed hard drive

I accedientally pulled the power plug of a PC from the socket, and that PC was just starting to boot. The seagate hard drive inside stopped working, and the bad sectors turned out to affect the partition table, in any case, i slaved it on a windows vista PC, then into the Computer management, disk management panel, and what do you know, as if it has no paritions…

The solution to detect the boundaries of the 4 partitions it had is software called XXXX

Ran the software (The analyze option) , and what do you know, my partions exactly, 100MB made by Windows 7, a 479 GB partition for Windows, a 1GB swap partition for linux and an EXT3 partition for Linux…

So happily i asked the software to write the partitioning info to the disk, but the disk won’t hold the data, the bad sectors are where Windows writes the partition information

So, i ran down to the computer shop (In our building), and got the same exact drive (Seagate 500GB Model number xxx)

Mounted both on a Linux machine as slaves, both the damaged and the target.

To find out which one is SDC and which one is SDB, i watched as the linux machine booted, and as it booted, it threw in errors saying SDB all the time, so i know that SDB is the busted drive !

Installed gddrescue (apt-get install gddrescue), and ran it with the following command

ddrescue /dev/sdb /dev/sdc resumelog.log

(The additional log file helps us resume in case of interruption)

Once that is done, i put the new hard drive in a Windows machine, still can not see any partition info

1- Ran xxxx, it can see the 4 partitions, write changes… and what do you know, the partitions stick, we are good to go, i restart, but still, Windows can now see the partitions, but thinks drive G is not formated !

So i opened the command prompt (Elevated), then ran the command

chkdsk g: /f

the /f stands for fix, the thing took some time, but after the restart drive G works fine, all files are in there, and no one wants to kill me no more 🙂

I like my rebranded tp-link router – XTECH Router

NOTE: This post was updated on feb, 1, 2013

Today, i got a new Wireless Lite N router for JD20 (Around $28), and it works like a dream, in reality, the following is a sampleof the routers web GUI response headers

Server: TP-LINK Router
Connection: Keep-Alive
WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="XTECH 150Mbps Wireless Lite-N Router WR771LN"
Content-Length: 26344
Content-Type: image/jpeg

200 OK

Some Hanania Investment Group seems to be responsible for this new XTECH Brand, and for this router, it is well worth the money.

The RJ45 eithernet cable mentioned on the outside as included is not included, but then again, why would i need 1 more eithernet cable.

This model seems to be the same as TP-WR741ND TP-WR840N (since the TP-WR741ND is the same but with a detachable antenna), and if you know what little endian, big endian, and a hex editor are, you may be able to put the “Open Sourced” TP-LINK software back on this hardware.

The reason you can not is that those routers check for file name when you upload, and only 3 people in the world know what the firmware file name requiered by this router to accept new firmware is. I am about to become the fourth to know and hopefully everyone else can come later, (FYI i dont know who the three people are, i just assumed there must be three people)

Anyway, i hope all other XTECH stuff are as good as this one

NOTE: The only reason you may want to have the TP-LINK firmware back on this router is that there is no mentioning of this router on and therefore i can not find a firmware upgrade, TP link will surely have the upgrades as soon as they are out though.

Naming the firmware update file:

Update, although this is a re-branded TP-Link, i switched my TP-Link to dd-wrt, i think i will switch this to open-wrt or dd-wrt and not to the original tp-link firmware, mind you, we still need to know what the existing firmware expects for a firmware name.

In a TP-LINK, the answer is simple, you download the file factory-to-ddwrt.bin from dd-wrt, then you rename the file to be identical to the update file from, namely wr740nv1_en_3_12_4_up(100910).bin , but for xtech (The re-brand), there is no update file, and therefore we don’t know the name of the acceptable update file.

So lets see the similarities, and see what options we have
tp-link TL-WR740N gets wr740nv1_en_3_12_4_up(100910).bin
X-Tech xt-wr771LN should get ?
wr740nv1_en_3_12_4_up(100910).bin (same: NO)
wr771nv1_en_3_12_4_up(100910).bin (NO)
wr771lnv1_en_3_12_4_up(100910).bin (NO)
xtwr740nv1_en_3_12_4_up(100910).bin (NO)
xt_wr740nv1_en_3_12_4_up(100910).bin (NO)
xt-wr740nv1_en_3_12_4_up(100910).bin (NO)
xt740nv1_en_3_12_4_up(100910).bin (NO)

The router is probably an atheros chip router with a

HY5DU561622FTP-D43 RAM

If anyone wants some photos, i can post them here for you no problem

you can find this router almost everywhere, SmartBuy Carefour, and others are stacking piles of it.

Good Luck

S.M.A.R.T (SMART) data of hard drives under linux

The results of the commands on this post are Here

On windows, You can use speedfan, under linux you can read the smart data as follows

Use the smartctl command, but first you must install the package

apt-get install smartmontools

1- Checking for smart support, (All recent hard drives have it but you need to enable it in BIOS)

smartctl -i /dev/sdb

2- Enable reading it

smartctl -s on -d ata /dev/sdb

See it

smartctl -d ata -H /dev/sdb

Read more

smartctl -d ata -a /dev/sdb

Now some manufacturer specific smart atributes exist, you need to google them out, Also smart is not definitive, if S.M.A.R.T data says ok but there is a ticking noise in your hard drive, Don’t trust the hardware data, get backup.

Some hard drives like the Samsung Spinpoint come with extensive diagnostics software, My 3 2.5′ disks pass the test, pass the smart test, and tick when warm, i will let you know if it was the tick of death sometime soon