Sabado, Oktubre 17, 2009

Why Spam was Called Spam

According to Wikipedia the term "spam" was derived from the 1970 Monty Python skit "Spam". Everybody I know is annoyed with spam since it takes time to sift through one's mailbox just to take it out.

Watch the skit and find out how this term evolved -

Miyerkules, Setyembre 9, 2009

Ep. 17: The Canon G11

Finally got to see the much hyped, elusive Canon G11 which I have been scouting around for in the past few weeks. I've been curious about it since I've kinda outgrown my Canon G9. I was so mesmerized, good thing Jay got my camera from me and started filming during the demo by Joseph. Here's the edited video -

So what's up with the Canon G11?
- 10-megapixel high sensitivity CCD
- 5x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
- 28mm Wide-Angle Lens
- 2.8"PureColor II LCD Screen
- RAW Image Recording
- HD Movie Recording (720p) with HDMI Output

Price: PhP33,950

Huwebes, Agosto 27, 2009

Free Wifi at SM Malls

My wish has finally come true! After years of being "offline" whenever I go to my favorite SM mall (SM Bicutan), SM together with Philcom has finallyinstalled wifi at SM Bicutan. The launch was on August 21, 2009. Hooray!!!

I've tried it at the following areas:
Building A 2nd floor - good
Building A Upper Ground - good, you can also surf from McDonald's
Building B 2nd floor - good and you can easily check out stuff while inside Electroworld; gets spotty at the foodcourt
Building B Upper Ground - good, stay near the window if you are dining at Jollibee; none inside SM Hypermarket
Building B Lower Ground - good especially at the middle, you can surf while having your hair done at Going Straight!

SM has free wifi at the following malls: Marikina, Megamall, Mall of Asia, North EDSA, Cebu, Bacolod, Baguio, Pampanga, and Iloilo

Thank you SM for this early birthday gift! I just hope though that next time there won't be a noisy! noisy! band (they were good though) since it gave me a very bad headache.

Martes, Agosto 25, 2009

Hello Kitty Online

So Hello Kitty has began purring online with the launch of the Hello Kitty Online game. It's a multiplayer game where gamers can explore a magical world with favorite Sanrio characters like Hello Kitty, Batdz-Maru, Pochacco, Keroppi, My Melody and many more.

The game looks so cute with areas like the Flower Kingdom, London, Tokyo, Paris, Moscow etc. and since it's integrated with the Sanrio Town web community it gives players a chance to socialize through discussion boards, videos, blogs etc. Gamers can also build their dream home, grow their farm, make craft items and go on expeditions.

Hello Kitty Online is on Founders Beta and you can sign-up for a free account if you want to try it out.

Sabado, Agosto 22, 2009

Teach Lola

Last week Bayan launched their "Teach Lola" advocacy program. It aims to bring closer the digital divide between kids and grandparents.

Here's a short funny video of Lolo and Lola internet addicts -

Well, I'm currently teaching my Mom and this is my plan of action:

1. Show Mom what she can do online: watch videos on Youtube, search favorite things on Google
2. How to turn on and off the PC.
3. How to log-in to her user.
4. How to go online (click on Google Chrome icon)
5. How to chat (using the Gtalk gadget first)
6. How to type a document and print it
7. How to search on Google
8. How to watch videos to Youtube
9. How to send mail
10. How to blog (probably "for Dad") -> methinks this would be the ultimate test

Lola Techie said that the key to teaching Lola is to show her how fun the internet is.

More about the Bayan "Teach Lola" launch at An Apple a Day.

Lunes, Agosto 10, 2009

Review: Philips Go Gear

by Guest blogger: Miguel Apolo

Approximately a month ago, my Mom handed me a Philips GoGear Aria Player to review. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a cool looking gadget that I had mistaken for an oddly designed mp3 player, until I saw the brand on the box. The design is sleek and easy to carry, the buttons are easy to understand once you've figured out what buttons does what. The screen design when you turn it on is simple, but the time it takes for it to turn on is a bit too long. The Aria's features were almost synonymous to most common Player, but what took me in was the fact that it can tune in to radio stations without any kind of antennae.

Continuing with the discussion of Aria's features, the Music folder, and its sub-folders, was neatly organized. A lot of options were available and I tested out the majority of them, althought I haven't tried going to the AudioBooks subfolder, yet. Some of the default songs installed weren't in my scope of interest in music so I have added my own mp3 files from another mp3 player.

The Video feature was something interesting, though I find it hard that I have to convert my videos into .smv. Which led me to scour the Internet for a useful .smv converter. Even with the fact that I can just install the Media Converter available in the CD, I usually use my own PC, which its OS is Ubuntu, making it hard for me to convert any video that I have.

The Images folder was a feature that I did not test that much since I have found out that I can't place images somewhere between 500 to >1000 pixels.

The FM Radio was something that caught my interest for a short while. Aside from the fact that I don't need any antennae to listen to radio stations, I can manually tune the stations, which was a neat feature. I haven't done anything else with this feature, unfortunately, along with the Recording feature that was tied to it.

The Text Reader was something of a plus to me, since my own mp3 player had that feature, but the Aria player's version of it was much more cleaner and easier to use.

The Player's setting were something that I had fun playing around. Unfortunately, it seems I wasn't able to see how long the Player's battery life is, but I can be pretty sure that it's more or less around 7-10 hours. One of the things that somehow ticks me off is that fact that the 'Themes" settings were severely lacking. The Dark theme, which is the default, was pleasing. The Light theme was basically an inverted version of the Dark theme. However, the Red theme was something that I disliked. It looked like the Dark theme with the color red somewhat tinting it, turning it to a dark-light pink color. I hope that more themes will come into play when more versions of this products come out.

All in all, the Philips GoGear Aria is an all-around 'nice' Multimedia Player. I can't wait to jump at a chance to buy it once I've pooled enough money.

Miyerkules, Hulyo 29, 2009

How to Make a PDF File

Oftentimes we need to send out a non-editable document, like a quotation for a supplier, but how does one make a PDF file?

Open Office. One thing I love about using Open Office is the fact that you can easily publish your document or spreadsheet or presentation file to PDF. Just click on "File" and choose "Export as PDF" and your document is ready for sending out!

Microsoft XPS Document Writer. Earlier today I had to scan a ten-page document and since the pages were scanned individually I had no idea how to stitch them together. I poked around the printer settings and wondered what the MS XPS Document Writer was for. So I clicked on all the "pics" and clicked on the print option and tadaaan it stitched together my document. It ate up parts of the document though and I had to find out how to view it. Might get my end-reader confused so I looked for another solution.

Corel Draw 12. One option I use for publishing PDFs is Corel Draw. Good only for one-pagers.

PDF 995. An old friend recommended this solution to me over five years ago and I had it on George and Happy (my old PC and laptop). Just download the installer and after installation it will become a part of your print options. It's ad supported though, but very easy to use. I'm glad it worked on Vista!

Update (thanks for the reminder Yolynne!)

Google Docs. Of course! How could I forget?!?

Lunes, Hulyo 13, 2009

Globe + Google Developer Workshop

Last June 20, 2009, Filipino developers headed to the UP-Ayala Technohub for the Globe+Google Developers Workshop.

Patrick Chanezon, developer advocate for Google Inc., spoke about the following:

HTML 5 with demos on Canvas and Video
HTML 5, Geolocation API
Google Web Elements
Open Socials
Google Friend Connect

Sherwin Sowy, developer advocate for Globe Telecoms, spoke about their SMS, MMS, LBS and Voice APIs.

Here are photos from the workshop -

More about the event:

Lunes, Hulyo 6, 2009

Bad News: No Source File Downloading for Vimeo Free-Users

The other day, I was about to upload a video on Vimeo when I noticed this note from them:

It says:

Please note: We have changed the way our download feature works. From now on, the original uploaded source file will be removed after one week from the upload date. However, the encoded version will always be available for download.

When I clicked on the Learn More link, it brought me to their blog and there, they explained in detail why they are limiting the usage of this feature to Vimeo Plus (paying) users:

Since the very beginning, Vimeo has retained the original video files that you upload, and allowed you to grant people permission to download those files. We always take these original files and convert them so that they will play online and in the Vimeo player. We kept the original files for download because we wanted you to be able to save your video exactly the way it looked when it left your hard drive. This aspect of the service was not a huge burden on us when the site was younger, but we’ve had to take another look at what we are realistically capable of offering for years to come, while making sure the site stays on budget. Original file storage of every file for every user is a massive cost, and we have noticed that only a very small set of users actually ever download their own files. We want to keep original file storage around as a feature for people who use it, but we can’t continue to do it for everybody.

I’m one of those users who finds original source file downloading very useful. As we all know, converted video files are very much different in terms of quality; source file downloading allows me and my readers/viewers to share raw, high-quality videos in a flash. It allows collaboration with other video bloggers much more manageable. And that’s what I liked about Vimeo - it’s video sharing and file storage rolled into one site.

Vimeo’s reasons are pretty understandable. I know it was a hard decision. But something about their new policy bothered me:

This new one-week policy applies to all basic accounts’ videos uploaded from this point onwards. For videos that were uploaded before this blog post, those original files will be available until August 1st, to give you some time to download them if you need to. After August 1st, those files will also be removed.

It’s one thing that they are removing a pretty nifty feature from basic users but doing it retroactively just leaves a very bad taste to most. I suggest they just leave old source files in their system and start the new policy with newly-uploaded videos. At least the free-users’ panic mode will be reduced to a minimum.

Well it’s not the end yet. The converted video file will still be available for download in mp4 format and Vimeo Plus users won’t be affected by the change. Now, I’m thinking - do I upgrade to Plus for $60 a year? Or do I just stick with the converted (less quality) files? I really don’t have patience (and the time) for other file hosting services.

More Posts about Video Blogging on VIDEO CHOPS

Biyernes, Mayo 15, 2009

RIP to my Epson C90

I hereby proclaim my almost 1-year old Epson C90 in a coma.

And I know I gave up using HP a year ago, but I'm back to using HP. I used HP for a whole decade before I switched to Epson and I regret the switch.

My HP printers before never failed me whenever I needed it. My Epson printer would more often than not ask for a change of cartridge even though: (1) I haven't used it that much; or (2) I always use original Epson ink! 

What an awful, awful experience it was and even the tips of online friends did not help. I realized that I should just switch back to HP since my old printers worked fine and the cartridges were always sulit.

Huwebes, Abril 30, 2009

So What is Android?

Android is really not a phone, it's a software that is used for mobile phones and includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. Google has provided the Android SDK so developers can build applications using APIs. The application is supposed to make it easier for us to browse the internet using our mobile phones.

Here's a few photos I took of a phone running on Android. I wonder when it's going to come to our country though.

Linggo, Marso 15, 2009

The Apps I Use

When I brought home Daisy, I knew I had to install a couple of applications so that my computing experience would be seamless between any of the PCs I use.

Here are a couple of must-haves on your PC (and all of them are FREE!):

Avira Anti-Virus - I've been using Avira for a couple of years now and I never had any problems with viruses. And what's great about Avira is it's free and there's an update every few days. 

Open Office - I've been using Open Office for over a year now and there's really not much difference between using it and MS-Office. Most of my documents though are on Google Docs since I oftentimes change the PC I use. And it was a hard lesson learned when George (my old PC) crashed when I was out of town, good thing I always backed up my files.

Google Desktop - I love using Google Desktop because I just need to press Ctrl twice and I can easily search for a file in my desktop. I also use it for some RSS feeds, notes, a Picasa slideshow of my photos and it's where I anchor my Gtalk. 

Picasa - I use Picasa to keep my photos organized. I love the fact that you can have your name/URL stamped automatically on the photo when you upload it to your web album. My other favorite button is the "I'm feeling lucky" button which edits your photo automatically. And I also use the "Blog This" button and I'm currently learning how to edit videos using Picasa too. Plus you can also use Picasa to import photos from your phone!

Gtalk Gadget - I use Gtalk 99% of the time now, so I just use the web version of YM. I like using the gadget because it's easy to send files and chat (by voice) with friends. Gtalk on Gmail is also quite exciting with the video messaging feature. 

iTunes - Can't live without music. `nuff said.

So those are my standard installations whenever I have a new PC/laptop. And it's all FREE!

What about you? What do you install on your PC/laptop?

Lunes, Marso 9, 2009

MSI Wind

I've wanted to buy a small notebook since last year since Happy's growing old and heavy. Month after month my mind changed and eventually I limited my choices to: an Acer Aspire, a HP Mini or MSI Wind. My choice for an OS also swung, Linux vs. Microsoft Windows, but that was an easier battle to settle since I realized I had to make sure that if I had to a presentation my laptop should work on any type of LCD projector. 

So, why did I limit my choices to the three? Here's why:

1. Acer Aspire - one of the best brands and during the third quarter last year they came out with their line of smaller notebooks. I also liked the fact that the notebooks are available in red, black and blue. (I liked the red one!).

2. HP Mini - At some point during the decision making process I thought I wanted an HP Mini, because HP's a really good brand too and I remember getting excited back then because HP had one of the bigger harddisk sizes (most of the netbooks had very small HD's).

3. MSI Wind - My tried and tested brand. I love my MSI S262 and I still use it often. In the 20 months that I've had it I never experienced any problems with it (even though I lug it around whenever I travel). So I naturally thought that getting a MSI Wind was a shoo-in.

So come Saturday I thought I'd finally get a new laptop. My requirements were:
(1) should be light
(2) should run on Windows XP
(3) hard disk size should be more than 100GB
(4) memory should be at least 1GB DDR2
(5) should be less than 10" 

I realized that I didn't like how the HP Mini looked like. I don't have any issues with having smaller keys since I have small hands. I chose the MSI Wind because it had 2GB DDR2 memory compared to the Acer laptop.

And meet Daisy, my new laptop -

I got Daisy at The Hub, Parksquare. It's the second time I bought a PC there since they give very good service. I was assisted by Reymond this time around.

Sabado, Pebrero 14, 2009

Introducing Pinoy Tech Podcast

So I found myself joining a podcast over Skype last Friday night. It was fun and refreshing to banter with hardcore developers about a couple of topics. According to Jerome the Pinoy Tech Podcast is meant to be a biweekly discussion about technology in the Philippines. Maybe if I behave I'll get to join them again sometime soon =)

Top: Jon Limjap, Jerome Gotangco, Dean Berris
Bottom: Aileen Apolo, Migs Paraz, Rom Feria

In this episidoe we discussed about:

1. How the podcast came to be (I remember Jerome mentioning it to me a few weeks ago)
2. Plurk and Twitter, Twitter and Plurk
3. The Cyber-Boso Bill
4. Open Source in the Philippines

Listen to it here -

Or download it here. For more new podcasts visit Pinoy Tech Podcast (title's tentative).

Miyerkules, Enero 28, 2009

Video Chatting on Tokbox

I know, I know we haven't actively blogged in the past few weeks. Life happens you know and sometimes you just get busy with other projects and sometimes yourself! Anyway, hopefully in the next few weeks I'd managed to post some of the videos I've taken for YouGotTech, especially the ones I've taken with our very own internet celebs!

Last night my dear friend Yolynne tested with me this new instant messaging service, No, I believe it's not just another IM service since it has these cool features (that actually work well!):

  • call service (voice/video)
  • video messaging
  • conference
And you can actually use it to make video blogs and use it for video chatting in your website/blog! 

Tested the video service with Yolynne (she's in Zamboanga and I'm in Manila) and the video was very clear and wasn't lagging and the audio was quite clear. I haven't seen Yolynne in the flesh for about a year now and I was pretty pleased to see her. Oh and Yolynne mentioned that it works perfectly for Linux machines. And then I tested it with Jay, video (me)/audio (him). He was 25 kilometers away from me and we found the service to be pretty stable. I also tried out the video messaging service which I found to be quite easy to use.

I did experience some difficulty navigating around (but maybe that's just me) and loading takes a bit of time. I had to wait a bit and click several times for the pop-up to finally close so I can answer back via chat with Jay. I'm not sure too if my video streams publicly since a link automatically appeared on my YM when I logged-in. I guess I'll just have to explore it better. But the platform looks promising and quite easy to use. 

You might also want to try out the video chat on Gmail. Tried it out with my friend based in Dubai and we were just simply quite happy to see each other via the net with stable and clear connection.