[Quickie] Motorola Modular Phone

Android Authority News Flash: MotoMods

A video posted by Android Authority (@androidauthority) on

I should really start getting ready to go to work, but I couldn’t stop and stare at this. The new Motorola Z is MODULAR! That means you can add things to it to enhance the functionality of the phone, such as a camera module, battery module, and so much more. From the video by Android Authority above, you can see how it simply snaps on and is held by very strong magnets.

This is exciting! It’s closer to Project Ara than LG G5’s friends was (sorry LG) and for once, I actually approve of a thin-designed phone (I hate them cause usually they’re too thin and weightless for me). The new Moto Zs (video from Bawang’s Twitter feed, who has more photos, go see!) have a very nice back design, so you can go without the mods if you don’t want to (though the question is, why would you?).

This is far better than the design LG proposed, and it seems to be much more well-thought out (yes I know they came from Project Tango/Ara and thus this is not a surprise). I can’t wait to see what else Lenovo has in store, and I’m really hoping for the magnetic modular trend to pick up and set developers on FIRE because Motorola’s magnets looks like something that can be standardised easier than LG’s “plug into phone battery slot” design.

Onwards and upwards to modular design!

PS: Bawang I’m jelly you got to go! :p


Kitty going Don't worry, I'm from Tech Support

Whoops, my apologies! Turns out while I was trying to make this site FB Instant Articles-ready, I managed to break it several times AND repost my older entries. Really sorry about that.

Upgrading from PHP 5.3 to 5.6

Angry hedgehog saying 'RAWR! Something's Missing!'

For WordPress users, if you’re considering a php upgrade from 5.3 to 5.6 (or higher), and if you’re on CPanel and planning to do the “Switch PHP Version” route, take note:

Find the php.ini file in your wp-admin folder. If it exists, then rename the file to something else.

Why? Because you don’t want to be in a situation like me where you get the dreaded:

Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.

If you’re an old Exabytes customer like me, this is due to Exabytes’ hosting configs. Previously everyone ran on the same php version, and so php.ini was used to disable/enable specific functions. However, when we were moved to a multi-php installation, this was redundant. In fact, leaving it in causes issues, as you can tell. As long as your plugins were not broken, it should be fine to simply rename the php.ini file. That should solve your problem!

Also, image was done in Canva. They have a tonne of awesome free templates with which to create blog sites and the like with, so go check them out!

[Review] X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse Poster from Imgur
X-Men Apocalypse Poster from Imgur

TL;DR: 7/10, good summer and popcorn movie, but a little congested and underdeveloped in quite a few parts.

I’m not sure what my expectations were when I saw X-Men, but it was satiated by the time I walked out of the cinema. For one, it lead very nicely into the beginning of the first X-Men movie shot oh so many years ago. For another, it’s a fairly good end to the First Class series, which I’ve liked.

THAT SAID, it also left me hungry for me and slightly disappointed in the way the story was handled. No spoilers, but character development was quite lacking for a few of them, and there’s not enough fear to go around. It feels like it should have been a TV series instead of a movie; too much to do, not enough time to do it.

If you grew up watching the animated TV series, there will be plenty here to make you grin. There’s also a few nods and in-jokes, but overall, it’s not a must-see to me. If it had come out before Civil War, I’d have been wowed, but after CW the bar for ensemble superhero movies is set so high, I wish all the movies coming out later good luck.

Damnit now I’m worried about Doctor Strange!

Softbricking the phone

Image by portal gda on Flickr
Image by portal gda on Flickr

Or how I learnt not to install brand new updates without checking the forums first.

So on Sunday, the bear moved me from Exodus to Resurrection Remix. There were a few reasons for the change; RR has themes, better looking wallpapers and most of all promised to be a bit more stable than Exodus (which serves in its own right but had no themes and had a very weird bug with the headphone jack).

The flashing went relatively well. Logged into most of my apps no problem afterwards, and the camera looked ok too. We actually installed the 2 May build, because a friend warned us that the 9 May build had issues. By evening, the 15 May was out, and both of us had no issues installing that either.

Fast forward to Monday. Received notification that a new update (16 May Build) was ready, downloaded it, and then suddenly my phone could not make any calls. Every time I clicked on the “call” button, and I had a few calls to make, the phone crashed. I kind of panicked at that point (because I was also jumping between meetings on that day) and so I immediately dirty flashed my phone to the older May 9 Build to fix it.

As you can guess, I had forgotten about the May 9 Build’s bug. The bug was a relatively easy one to avoid as long as you were patient. It’s a “do not touch phone immediately after reboot, it will cause phone to reboot and go into a loop.”

Which happened. And I panicked even more, so I quickly googled how to force shutdown the OnePlus 2. Turns out you need to hold it for 8 seconds. Once the phone had shut down, I messaged my mom on my colleague’s phone to tell her my phone was having an issue, and then I breathed.

Here’s where it got fun. I tried to switch the phone on, but no dice. This made me want to scream but I had to control it because at least I still had my computer and all. I had to soft reboot the phone (hold Volume DOWN and Power, most other places will tell you it’s Volume UP) by going into recovery, flashing back to the 2 May Build, then I let the phone run normally. Everything was going fine, EXCEPT the dialler, which still crashed.

Told the bear and some friends about my phone being softbricked and the bear suspected it could have been the Black Octopus theme that did it. I doubted that but made a note to do a clean install when I got home.

As it is in all cases, it turns out the answer was easy. I needed to set the Google Phone Dialler as my default. Once that was done, the bug went away. Cue me going WTF but I’m just glad to have my phone again.

The TL;DR Version is:
1. Always read the forums before updating your phone
2. Do not panic.
3. If you use non-stock, be prepared for these kinds of heart attacks. xD