Osram Decostar 51 Energy Saver Halogen Dichroic Reflector Lamps GU5,3

osram_decostar_51_es_35w_50w_halogen_energy_saver_47865The Osram IRC range of lamps were released a few years ago but have been both hard to get in Australia and expensive. I’ve been paying around AUD$13 for each lamp and having to buy online as other than the electrical wholesalers they’re not stocked by retailers who instead tend to stock the no name 20-30% energy saving lamps for around AUD$10-15. At these prices it’s hard to justify replacing them all when you work out potential energy savings.

Recently I found some Osram Energy Savers at Bunnings which look identical to the current ones I’ve been purchasing except the part number is slightly different and they come in retail packaging. Bunnings only stock the one type that I could see which is the 50w equivalent with 35w power usage. The surprise for me was the pricing AUD$5.49!

The details for the one that I’ve been purchasing is

Decostar 51 ES 35W 12V 48865 ES WFL GU5,3 36° (5000 hours life)

The new one in blister pack at Bunnings is

Decostar 51 ES 35W 12V 47865 ES EFL GU5,3 36° (4000 hours life)

Other than the packaging the only omission I can see is there is no mention of IRC technology on the blister pack, but there isn’t as much information on IRC when you look at Osram website so it could be possible they’re removing mention of that to make this more marketable (ie to people who only want to save power and don’t care about IRC technology).

Osram don’t mention the 47865 lamp on their website either. The specs for it should be the same or similar to 48865.

35W, 12V, 36 degrees, 2200 lumens.

Perhaps the 47865 doesn’t use IRC technology and as such has a shorter life span? When I get time I’ll do a test to see if I can see any difference in the output or temperatures. Photos of both packages are listed, note that the blister pack is of the 25w/35w but other than that it’s identical to the 35w/50w.

osram_decostar_51_es_35w_50w_halogen_energy_saver_48865

Setting up Data and MMS on your Android using Crazy Johns Vodafone network

To avoid the problems with Optus and Virgin mobile deliberately blocking access to Google paid apps a move to Vodafone was called for however Vodafone don’t have any cheap plans that include a decent amount of data, the only choice for cheap plans is a 200mb add on pack otherwise you need to start looking at the $69 plan which includes 1GB of data. Crazy John’s which is fully owned by Vodafone and uses the Vodafone network however have a $15 a month 1GB addon and this can be used on all plans (plans start as low as $19).

Vodafone Internet and MMS settings however don’t work, use the follow settings to get started. Remember to press the menu key and save after each APN is completed.

When you’re finished the APN screen should have three enteries.

Crazy NET (button should be selected with a green circle)
purtona.net

Crazy WAP (button should not be selected)
purtona.wap

Crazy MMS (no button)
purtona.wap

Name: Crazy NET
APN: purtona.net
MCC: 505
MNC: 03
APN type: default
Name: Crazy WAP
APN: purtona.wap
Proxy: 010.202.002.020
Port: 8080
MCC: 505
MNC: 03
APN type: (don’t touch this field)
Name: Crazy MMS
APN: purtona.wap
Proxy: 010.202.002.020
Port: 8080
Server: purtona.wap
MMSC: http://purtona.mms.mmssend
MMS proxy: 010.202.002.020
MMS port: 8080
MCC: 505
MNC: 03
APN type: mms

Name: Crazy NET
APN: purtona.net
Proxy:
Port:
Username
Password:
Server:
MMSC:
MMS Proxy:
MMS Port:
MCC: 505
MNC: 03
Authentication Type:
APN type: default, supl

Name: Crazy WAP
APN: purtona.wap
Proxy: 010.202.002.020
Port: 8080
Username:
Password:
Server:
MMSC:
MMS proxy:
MMS port:
MCC: 505
MNC: 03
Authentication Type:
APN type:

Name: Crazy MMS
APN: purtona.wap
Proxy: 010.202.002.020
Port: 8080
Username:
Password:
Server: purtona.wap
MMSC: http://purtona.mms/mmssend
MMS proxy: 010.202.002.020
MMS port: 8080
MCC: 505
MNC: 03
Authentication Type:
APN type: mms

The WODE (Wii Optical Drive Emulator) has arrived!

wode_installed_on_wiiTo get around both the problem posed by the D3-2 drive and to avoid swapping discs I’ve picked up one of the first of the new WODE devices.

The Wode replaces the stand on the bottom of the Wii and connects between the DVD drive and the Motherboard allowing a USB hard disk to be attached.

Features include

– Play Wii & GC game ISOs direct from USB Mass Storage devices @8X read speed (HDD and FLASH drive)
– Complete Solder free install solution
– Easy to use GUI – LCD & Joystick – NO homebrew software required (no any update of console SO can block this device)
– Region hack, Update blocker, Autoboot.
– Passthrough with FLAT-MOD mode built-in, play your DVD-R Wii & GC backups and Imports @3X read speed
– Powerful ARM9 MCU
– Totally Flexible Linux Kernel
– USB hub support for multiple USB devices connection
– Great File System support – use existing WBFS formatted media or ‘drag and drop’ ISOs to existing USB devices
* NTFS
* WBFS
* EXT3FS
* HPFS
  • Play Wii & GC game ISOs direct from USB Mass Storage devices @8X read speed (HDD and FLASH drive)
  • Complete Solder free install solution
  • Easy to use GUI – LCD & Joystick – NO homebrew software required (no any update of console SO can block this device)
  • Region hack (except with 4.2 firmware), Update blocker, Autoboot.
  • Passthrough with FLAT-MOD mode built-in, play your DVD-R Wii & GC backups and Imports @3X read speed
  • Powerful ARM9 MCU
  • Totally Flexible Linux Kernel
  • USB hub support for multiple USB devices connection
  • Great File System support – use existing WBFS formatted media or ‘drag and drop’ ISOs to existing USB devices
    • NTFS
    • WBFS
    • EXT3FS
    • HPFS

More info to follow once I install it.

The supplier was OzModChips.

Importing a Google Nexus phone to Australia (and other countries)

google_nexus_oneGoogle released it’s first phone the Nexus One phone on January 5 for sale via it’s webstore however with the restriction that only four countries could purchase it (USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK). Google won’t confirm when Australia will be able to purchase but it’s likely to be later this year and revolves around a deal with Vodafone.

There are a number of ways to purchase the phone if you’re in one of the many countries that are not able to purchase and whilst I will specifically deal with importing this into Australia the same process applies. Of course you can purchase from ebay and other similar places however expect to pay a significant premium over the USD$529 price from Google.

Step 1 – Find a US based proxy so you can place your order, Google restrict ordering via both IP address and delivery address. Free proxies are often used by fraudsters so may see your order cancelled, your Google account suspended and create delays. I used a proxy called xroxy, the premium proxy offers a three day trial and if you cancel in this time you are not charged anything. Total outlay $0.

Step 2 – Find a company that will forward the package to you. I used a company called MyUS based in Florida which meant I had to pay sales tax (see details below) and their reshipping cost was higher than a few other companies but they did come recommended. A few problems arose, one was it took time to authenticate my card so my phone was delayed by a day, customer service was both good and bad in my experience and of course the cost issue. Total cost to sign up is USD$10. Another option (and there are some very satisfied customers now) is ComGateWay who charge no signup fee and their shipping price is a little cheaper plus no sales tax in their state. See my Package Forwarding Companies page for more details.

Step 3 – Using the US based proxy above navigate to the webstore and purchase the phone using the package forwarding companies address and their phone. Two lines of engraving are available for free but this can delay the shipment and affect resale value depending on what you put there. Shipped cost in the USA is USD$529.

Step 4 – Wait for the confirmation from your Package Reshipping company and dispatch the parcel.

Step 5 – Enjoy the phone!

Cost

The total cost of the order came to  USD$642.90 / AUD $692.66 and this comprises.

  • Package Forwarding membership fee USD$10.00
  • Shipping Cost via DHL  USD$69.52
  • Google Nexus One USD$529.00
  • Sales Tax (Florida where the Package Forwarding company is) USD$34.38

Timeline

All times listed expect for those in the shipping tables are Brisbane times.

Wednesday 13/01/2010

  • 21:15 – Nexus One ordered

Shipping from Google to MyUS vis Fedex

Brisbane TimeLocal TimeActivityLocation
Jan 13, 2010 7:47 AMShipment information sent to FedEx
Jan 14, 2010 7:01 AMJan 13, 2010 4:01 PMPicked upINDIANAPOLIS, IN
Jan 13, 2010 8:53 PMLeft FedEx origin facilityINDIANAPOLIS, IN
Jan 13, 2010 10:58 PMDeparted FedEx locationINDIANAPOLIS, IN
Jan 13, 2010 11:02 PMArrived at FedEx locationMEMPHIS, TN
Jan 14, 2010 2:48 AMDeparted FedEx locationMEMPHIS, TN
Jan 14, 2010 5:24 AMAt dest sort facilityTAMPA, FL
Jan 14, 2010 8:16 AMAt local FedEx facilityBRADENTON, FL
Jan 14, 2010 8:22 AMOn FedEx vehicle for deliveryBRADENTON, FL
Jan 15, 2010 12:05 PMJan 14, 2010 9:05 AM
Delivered
BRADENTON, FL

Friday 14/01/2010

00:05 – Nexus One Delivered to MyUS

03:55 – MyUS acknowledge delivery and send confirmation email

Saturday 16/01/2010

08:41 – MyUS sends shipment notifications

11:14 – DHL pickup

Shipping from MyUS via DHL

Brisbane TimeLocal TimeActivityLocation
16/1/2010 11:14 am15/1/2010 6:14 pmShipment picked up Tampa - East, FL
15/1/2010 7:42 pmDeparting origin. Tampa - East, FL
15/1/2010 8:26 pmProcessed at DHL Location. Tampa - East, FL
15/1/2010 8:26 pmDepart Facility Tampa - East, FL
16/1/2010 3:17 amTransit through DHL facility Cincinnati Hub, OH
16/1/2010 4:50 amProcessed at DHL Location. Cincinnati Hub, OH
16/1/2010 6:03 amDepart Facility Cincinnati Hub, OH
16/1/2010 6:45 amTransit through DHL facility Los Angeles Gateway, CA
16/1/2010 1:05 pmProcessed at DHL Location. Los Angeles Gateway, CA
16/1/2010 1:05 pmDepart Facility Los Angeles Gateway, CA
18/1/2010 11:35 am18/1/2010 11:35 amTransit through DHL facility Brisbane, Australia
18/1/2010 11:35 am18/1/2010 11:35 amClearance processing complete Brisbane, Australia
18/1/2010 09:32 am18/1/2010 09:32 amAwaiting collection by recipient as requestedBrisbane, Australia
18/1/2010 11:02 am18/1/2010 11:02 amDelivered - Signed for by : MATTBrisbane - Australia

Monday 18/01/2010

11:35 (GMT +10) – DHL clears customers for delivery Tuesday (pickup not available that afternoon…)

Tuesday 19/01/2010

Damn it, DHL just updated the status to “awaiting customer pickup” despite this never being arranged. Off to the airport for pickup I guess.

11:02 Collection time!

nexus_one_pickup_at_dhl

Next: Unveiling the Google Nexus One

Further information can be found in the Whirlpool “Getting Nexus One (Google Phone) in Aus” thread.

Package Forwarding Companies

Package forwarding services allow you to purchase items from companies/stores that do not ship out of their country. The way they work is simple, you sign up for the service and receive an address to use (see example below), you order the product using this address and the product(S) are sent to this address, the package shipping company notify you that you have a package and supply a quote and before you know it you have a delivery.

Most of them offer personal shopper services where they buy the product for if there are restrictions on the sale of a product for example.

These are a few that I’ve either dealt with or had good feedback on.

MyUS

  • Sales Tax Applicable (~6%) on all delivery shipped there.
  • Customer service is both good and bad.
  • $10 joining fee (minimum)
  • Shipping costs ok on cheapest membership.

Example Address.

John Smith
1903 60th Place E.
Suite M9999
Bradenton, Florida 34203
John Smith
1903 60th Place E.
Suite M9999
Bradenton, Florida 34203

ComGateWay

  • No Sales Tax Applicable
  • Customer service apparantly ok
  • No joining fee
  • Shipping costs good

VMware vSphere ESX Virtual Machine Locked Process Problem

Whilst renaming a server the error message “Another task is already in progress” appeared.

Checking Tasks & Events shows an operation timed out earlier in the morning when creating a snapshot of the server for a backup.

vmware_vsphere_esx_server_another_task_is_already_in_progress_1

Powering off the server was also met with the same error as was the resetting the server. Migration was the only task that could be performed successfully.

vmware_vsphere_esx_server_another_task_is_already_in_progress_2

The problem appears to be around there being insufficient bandwidth/resources to handle the request.

vmware_vsphere_esx_server_another_task_is_already_in_progress_4The solution is to ssh to the physical ESX server that the virtual machine resides on and restart the “mgmt-vmware” service as the user root.

service mgmt-vmware stop
Stopping VMware ESX Management services:
 VMware ESX Host Agent Watchdog[  OK  ]
 VMware ESX Host Agent[  OK  ]

Wait 30 seconds and start the service

service mgmt-vmware start
Starting VMware ESX Management services:
 VMware ESX Host Agent (background)[  OK  ]
 Availability report startup (background)[  OK  ]

The ESX server and any virtual machines hosted on it will disconnect from the Virtual Infrastructure/vSphere Client and can be reconnected by right clicking on the ESX server and choosing “reconnect”.

When it reconnects attempt the tasks that were failing earlier and they should now as intended (I had to power the server on because I had initiated a shutdown earlier via the operating system, the server will stay running without any interruption throughout this process).

vmware_vsphere_esx_server_another_task_is_already_in_progress_3

This problem occurs on the following versions

  • vSphere ESX 4.0
  • EXS 3.5

Hacking the Nintendo Wii with the D3-2 drive

Nintendo have released a new drive in the latest Wii’s that currently cannot be cracked. The options are replace the drive or use an alternative method of loading games such as SD card (offered by the WiiKey Fusion) however this can be expensive considering the cost of SD cards.

EDIT: There is another alternative now which is the WODE (Wii Optical Drive Emulator) which emulates the optical drive and unlike hard or soft mods can never be detected.

There are two suppliers in Australia of the different mod chips modsupplier.com and OzModChips.com

The WiiKey Fusion Wii Mod Chip can be found here

Modsupplier @ AUD$72.50

The DriveKey Wii Mod Chip can be found here along with info on the new dvd drive

Modsupplier @ AUD$59.50

General info on modchips can be found on Wikipedia here – List of Wii drivechips

The Wiikey Manufacturer website has plenty of information – Wiikey

LED emitter light output comparison

Light outputs from various LED emiters

Type

Lumens

Power (ma)

5MM Generic LEDs

0.5 – 5

5MM Nichia LEDs

5 – 10

Generic High Powered LEDs

5 – 70

Luxeon I

40

350

Nichia IO Moon

45

350

Luxeon III

80

1000

Luxeon V

87 – 120

700

CREE P2

67 – 73

350

CREE P3

73 – 80

350

Luxeon Rebel 80

80

350

CREE P4

80 – 87

350

Luxeon K2 PWC4

85 – 250

350-1500

SSC P4 T Bin

70 – 91

350

CREE Q2

87 – 94

350

CREE Q3

94 – 100

350

Luxeon Rebel

100

350

Edison Optics KLC8

100

350

CREE Q4

100 – 107

350

SSC P4 U Bin

91 – 118

350

CREE Q5

107 – 114

350

Osram Golden Dragon Plus Ultra White

120

350

CREE R2

114 – 120

350

CREE MC-E K Bin (set of 4)

370 – 430

350

CREE MC-E M Bin (set of 4)

430 – 490

350

SSC P7 B Bin

570 – 700

2800

SSC P7 C Bin

700 – 800

2800

SSC P7 D Bin

800 – 900

2800