Using Eset NOD32 Antivirus on English OS in Taiwan

One of the problems for users of English version OS in Taiwan is it is often difficult to get English versions of software as most items on the shelf are the Chinese version. A critical requirement on any computer is antivirus software.

I had previously used AVG (Commercial Version) on my main Desktop and Laptop systems, but it has been getting a bit bloaty and intrusive lately. (I still use and recommend the free version on less critical PCs.) Several months back I started looking at other AV solutions and two that came highly recommend were Kaspersky and Eset NOD32.

I had received a 90 day trial of Kaspersky with a hard drive I bought, so I gave that the first chance. Unfortunately while Kaspersky was fairly efficient, it was much more intrusive than AVG. When installing software it would almost always warn of the impending doom that could be caused by SETUP.EXE and verified that I was willing to risk death and destruction by running it.

It also frequently popped up confirmation dialogs when running programs for the first time, and generally was fairly generous about notifying me about all kinds of non-serious things. I don’t want my AV software to do that. I just want it to sit there quietly and quickly checking things and only telling me when it finds a real problem. So, Kaspersky was ruled out.

Then I downloaded a free 30 day trial of Eset NOD32 and for the whole trial period it did exactly what I wanted, quietly sitting in the background and only popping up when a real problem was found. (The first time this happened was late in the trial period when I started backing up my Gmail.) I managed to make it through the trial period without it annoying me with stupid stuff.

So now the problem… Only the Chinese version is sold in Taiwan. I did some searching and it seemed that it would be possible to switch to the English version, but nothing conclusive. Eventually I had to decide, so I rolled the dice and bought a copy. If you need to do the same thing, here is what you need to do:

  1. Buy a copy of the software. I bought it from PC-Home’s 24h Shopping. I bought the 3 Year License Home Version. (Click on NOD32 on the left if you want a different license.)
  2. When you get it, look at the back of the manual to find your license code. You will need to activate on the Eset’s Asia servers, not their US servers. If you can manage basic Chinese then you can register on Eset Taiwan or if you need English, go to Eset Singapore.
  3. After you register, click on the Download link and then select “Download Purchased Software / Home Users” and scroll to the bottom for the English 4.0 version. The “Download” link will download the software and the “Manual” link will download the manual. (That’s for the Singapore site. The Taiwan site is organized a bit different. Click on download then select the English download link.) You will need your username and password to download, which is emailed to you about 15 minutes after registering.
  4. Install the software.

Only one extra caveat. When I used the “Verify License Validity” option just after installing, it didn’t work. However, it was working fine by the next day. I’m not sure if it was something broken yesterday or if there is a delay during registration.

Mantis living on Renai Circle

On Saturday I posted this pic on my twitpics account:

There’s a bit of a story behind this. For those not familiar with Taipei, Renai Circle at Renai Road and Dunhua South Road is one of the largest roundabout intersections in Taipei (if not the biggest). Emily has a weekly class near there where she plays different games intended to develop problem solving skills. A week prior to this picture being taken, while walking to her class we saw a mantis sitting on a window of a building located on the circle. I didn’t think to take a picture of it at that time. The following week as we were walking to her class I jokingly said to Emily we should look for the mantis again. I didn’t actually think we would actually see him though. But sure enough, there he was, sitting on top of a bush and nibbling away at some leaves. He even turned his head to look at us. So, in the middle of a busy city at a busy intersection, there’s a 4 inch long mantis happily living in a bush.

Converting Chinese HTC Touch Pro to English

WARNING: Changing the firmware on your HTC phone could cause it to become inoperable. A phone with changed firmware may not be eligible for warranty service. Any data on your phone will be erased! Make sure you follow directions carefully and never ever interrupt the firmware update until it is finished. I take no responsibility if this doesn’t work out for you.

So let’s say that you live in Taiwan and want to buy a fancy new HTC Touch Pro smartphone. You’ll quickly learn that in Taiwan you can only find the Chinese version of this phone. Importing a European version is expensive, plus you won’t get any contract signup discounts. US phones use provider-customized firmware that may not work correctly or optimally in Taiwan.

Don’t despair. There’s active communities of HTC enthusiasts who have extracted HTC firmware in English and other languages. It’s a fairly simple process to change the firmware on your phone, but the documentation is slim, so it’s difficult to know where to start. Here’s a simple guide on what you need to do. Each page referenced has additional information if you need more detail:

1 ) Download and install on your computer the English version of ActiveSync from Microsoft:

2 ) Turn on your phone and connect the USB cable that came with the phone (aka the charging cable) between your phone and computer and set up the phone to sync. You don’t need to actually sync anything yet, you just need to get ActiveSync on your computer to say it is “Connected”.

3 ) Download to your computer and extract from here: Normally you can only install ROM firmware versions intended for your version of the HTC Touch Pro. HardSPL will change the SPL firmware to allow any HTC Touch Pro ROM firmware to be installed.

4 ) Make sure your phone battery is more than 50% charged or the SPL and ROM firmware will not install.

5 ) Run RaphaelHardSPL-Unsigned_190_1_3.exe on your computer. Follow the prompts in the program to start the SPL upgrade. After the upgrade starts there may be an inquiry on your phone’s display asking permission to switch into the bootloader. Press “是” (yes). Do not do anything on your phone or computer until the installer says the process is completed and your phone has restarted. (Note that it says the firmware upgrade takes up the 10 minutes but the SPL is small so it will be much faster.)

6 ) Download to your computer RUU-Raphael-HTC-WWE-1.90.405.1-Radio-Signed-Raphael-CRC- from At this writing there are newer ROMs there but this one is the stable released version on shipping English phones. (In the future there may be a newer stable release.)

7 ) Run RUU-Raphael-HTC-WWE-1.90.405.1-Radio-Signed-Raphael-CRC- on your computer. The interface is similar to the SPL upgrade, but this upgrades the main ROM firmware. Again, do not do anything on your phone or computer until the installer says the process is completed and your phone has restarted. This firmware is very large so it will take several minutes.

8 ) When your phone restarts it’ll go through the install process just like a brand new phone. (Your dealer may have done this for you when you bought the phone.) It’ll take several minutes to install the OS and additional software, calibrate the display and setup your phone network settings.

9 ) Congratulations, your Chinese phone now speaks English.

YouTube: SUBWAY™天天6吋$69(97年夏天)

SUBWAY™ Taiwan offers the TW$69 Sub of the Day for a limited time at all participating restaurants. This is the new Summer 2008 TV advertisement used for this promotion.

The SUBWAY™ trademarks are owned by Doctor’s Associates Inc. and the independent franchised operator of this restaurant is a licensed user of such trademarks.

What a real public transportation system looks like

This exercise probably won’t be very enlightening to my readers in Taipei who are used to good public transportation, but for those in the US who are saddled with barely functioning public transportation systems, I’d like you to imagine a trip like the following and estimate how long it would take you using solely public transportation of the sort you have in your city.

Let’s pretend that a tomato slicer at your Subway restaurant has a broken blade and the manager needs to replace it but can’t loosen the screws, so you have to go take some tools there to help replace the blade. You leave the house, walk down to the nearest bus stop. You take a bus to the next MRT (read subway/elevated train) station and take it to the station near your restaurant. While there you remove the old blade, thoroughly clean the slicer, put in a new blade, discuss some business with the manager and wait while she puts together some paperwork and bank forms you need to take home. Include that time in your calculation. You then walk to the nearest bus stop and take a bus back home. Each way you need to travel 2.9 kilometers or 1.8 miles for total travel distance of 5.8 km or 3.6 mi.

How long does it take you from the time you walk out your front door until you walk back in the door?

I know from experience that you’d often spend a couple of hours or more making such a trip in the US. I recently read one friend’s blog recounting spending an entire work day traveling to a brief doctor’s appointment by public transportation. So what is the answer in this case? A grand total of forty four minutes total time. That’s what public transportation should look like.

Sub of the Day

SUBWAY™ Taiwan offers the TW$69 Sub of the Day from 4/1/2008 to 5/31/2008 at all participating restaurants. This is the TV advertisement used for this promotion.

The SUBWAY™ trademarks are owned by Doctor’s Associates Inc. and the independent franchised operator of this restaurant is a licensed user of such trademarks.

國語課本2上 第8課

I’m taking free “new immigrant” Chinese classes now at Taipei City Zhongshan District Community College and Taipei City Datong District Community College currently. The Zhongshan homework for this week for me was to type in lesson 8 from our textbook which is an elementary school level textbook.