Huawei P Smart – An incredible device for a great price


Huawei P smart

I received this product as part of a review program in return for an unbiased review.

When I first got this phone I was amazed at how good it looked. It’s light and thin and definitely looks like a premium device despite being a fraction of the price of the latest flagships. I used the stock app launcher for a few days but decided that EMUI was not my thing. A quick install of a third-party launcher from the Play Store and I was back to loving the device. The camera is very impressive and takes great photos. The camera app has lots of features including the usual portrait and panorama but also others like Light painting and Time-lapse modes which are good fun to use. There’s even a document scanning mode meaning there’s no need to install a separate app just to get digital copies of documents.

Unfortunately, due to the low price there are some features that aren’t great. It still uses a Micro-USB connection and doesn’t support fast charging. These are things that you can expect on the latest flagship devices but as this costs considerably less there have to be some compromises. I think Huawei have picked the correct areas to focus on and sacrificed the less important aspects meaning the phone is incredible value for money.

All in all the Huawei P Smart is a fantastic phone and one i’m happy to be seen using.  


LG G4 Review


I have been lucky enough to have been given an LG G4 32GB phone to test for the last few weeks. I’ve only really used Nexus devices for the last few years so was interested to see what features LG had added to stock Android. Whilst I’m not using all of the features I have to say that I am very impressed with most of them.

The device has a 5.5 inch 2560×1440 (Quad HD) IPS Quantum display at 538 PPI. The colours really stand out on the screen compared to my Nexus 5 and the large screen really helps when viewing videos/websites/photos.

It also has a 16 Mega-pixel rear camera with laser autofocus, optical image stabilisation and a large image sensor which allows it to capture amazing quality pictures/videos. I’ve attached a couple of my favourites from a recent trip to Blackpool’s Sea Life Centre.

The camera also supports HDR and saving images as RAW which would definitely be useful if you’re big on editing photos. The front camera is a surprisingly good 8 mega-pixels which makes taking selfies worthwhile! You can take really good pictures without worrying that they’ll be low quality.

The phone has 32GB of storage available and can be expanded via microSD card to a staggering 2TB! The 3GB of RAM and the 1.8GHz 64-bit Hexa-core CPU keep the device running really smoothly with no lag at all. It has all of the usual connectivity; Wifi (including a/b/g/n/ac) support, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and GPS. It also supports 4K Slimport.

One of the other features that I absolutely love about this device is the tap-to-wake/sleep support. It’s so natural to just double-tap the screen and see any notifications or wake the device up to use it, and double-tap to turn the screen of is very useful too. This is definitely something I will need in any future phone/tablet I get.

Setting “My Phone Number” (MSISDN) via Android


Recently i realised that my phone number wasn’t showing up in the settings on my HTC Desire. After spending a while searching around i discovered that this was because the MSISDN number wasn’t set on my sim card. This is usually something that is set by your phone network operator but it seems like a lot of the time it doesn’t happen.

So i began hunting for a way to set this via Android. It appeared to be impossible! Everywhere i looked said “use an old phone” or “use an iphone” but i don’t have either. It does seem to be possible using the CyanogenMod rom but i didn’t fancy installing a whole new rom just to set my phone number.
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Fix photos not appearing in HTC Messages app


I recently had an issue on my HTC Desire where it stopped showing photos in the messages application. I initially thought it was due to “Facebook for HTC Sense” that i had recently set up. It turns out however, that this is due an issue with Rom Manager’s “Fix Permissions”.  A post on the AndroidForums site explains what to do to resolve it.

1 – Go to the market and download a terminal emulator (there are several free ones)

2 – Open the terminal emulator and type the following:

chmod 666 /data/data/*



DLink DNS 323


I recently bought a DLink DNS 323 NAS Box as i needed somewhere to store my media files and also make them accessible when my main PC was off. I also bought 2 2TB Samsung Disks to go in it. At the time i didn’t realise that they were AFT drives and the NAS didn’t officially support them. Luckily a few days after it all arrived DLink released a beta version of the firmware and this added support for the drives.

I decided that rather than creating a RAID and mirroring the disks i would set them up as individual disks and create a snapshot of the data each night. This might sound like the same result but much more work but actually this works much better for me than RAID as the main benefit (there are several others) is redundancy against hardware failure. The likelyhood of this happening is very small as disks now last a long time. The copy also helps if i accidentally delete a file (RAID would delete both copies…).

As soon as i had explored the web interface i jumped straight into the ‘hacking’ of the NAS. This is really simple using the ffp fun_plug script. I used the tutorial here which guides you step-by-step through the ‘hack’ and once i’d completed that i used another tutorial on the same site to install a number of additional packages including a web server (apache/php etc) and rsync (used to do the snapshot).

To do the snapshot i followed yet another tutorial which explains how to set it up (it includes a number of scripts you can copy/paste) and this has worked brilliantly for a few weeks now. The first time did take a very long time but now they are down to just a few minutes (depending on how much has changed on the primary drive).

I also set up a bittorent server to allow me to download torrents (there are legal ones you know!) without having tohave a full pc turned on. That tutorial includes a number of additional tweaks which come in handy.

I’ve had the NAS for about a month now and it was a very useful purchase. Well worth the money as it now means i don’t need to turn my desktop pc on as much and can stream music/video to my phone and laptop with ease.

Toggle Printing Remotely using Dropbox


Lifehacker recently posted a way of printing files remotely using Dropbox. The original post can be found here.

I set this up on my machine and then realised that the script had to be running all the time. While it only uses a small amount of memory I decided to script a way to run the script remotely, and also to kill it when I had finished printing.

I have recently discovered Microsoft Powershell so decided to use it to create this script. There are two powershell scripts included in the zip below.


This is the main file. It checks for two files based within your Dropbox. If the ‘launch’ file is found, it launches the printing script. If the ‘kill’ file is found it kills all wscript processes. This could cause problems if you run other wscript processes for other reasons but I do not know if it is possible to identify the process that deals with the printing script.


This file creates a scheduled task that runs every 1/2 hour. It launches the TogglePrinting.ps1 powershell script.

Once you’ve set up the files in the necessary places all you need to do to enable printing is to create Print.LAUNCH or Print.KILL in the PrintQueue\Log folder and wait till your scheduled task runs again (on the hour and 1/2 hour). Once it’s launched you don’t need to re-launch it unless you have killed it (or rebooted your machine)

You can find the files here. Any comments/improvements are welcomed. Please let me know if you use the scripts too 🙂

I take no responsibility for any loss of data etc from using the scripts...
...but there shouldn't be any problems!



DestroyTwitter is a Twitter client built to run on Mac, Windows, and Linux using Adobe AIR. It is completely free (although you can donate to support it) and is by far the best desktop client i have found for Twitter.

It supports theming, and there a large number of themes already available for download.

All the usual features are there, including:

  • Reply to tweets
  • ReTweet tweets
  • See your replies, sent and direct messages
  • Save tweets
  • Search twitter


It is a brilliant twitter client and i definitely recommend it to anyone who is hooked on twitter and needs to get their ‘fix’ all the time! (and anyone else who uses twitter!)



Twibble is a mobile client for Twitter. It works on most (if not all) Java enabled smartphones including Nokia, Blackberry, and Sony Ericsson.

It has all of the standard features from a twitter client including:

  • posting tweets via wifi, gprs, sms
  • auto refresh
  • send photos to twitpic (new beta version uploads to
  • re-tweet (forward) of tweets

You can get the current version here and information on the beta is here here

It is (so far) the best free twitter client for my N95. There are other alternatives that are a bit more polished but they are not free, and twibble still seems to be the best. The beta version adds support for showing avatars and uses less memory (amongst other things).

Go check it out!