Sabado, Disyembre 27, 2008

Introduction to E-Commerce

I often get asked to talk about e-commerce and show various example of its implementation locally. However, when I'm out of the country, an option I always give is a video talk and this is the latest one I made for Chiang Kai Shek. Unfortunately, something went wrong during the recording and end up being split into two parts.

E-Commerce Talk Part 1

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E-Commerce Talk Part 2

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P.S. My apologies if I have been inactive. So much stuff happening now especially with the Busby SEO Test competition that I just joined. However, I hope posting more videos I've done lately and share with you.

Huwebes, Disyembre 18, 2008

My Internet Story

Janette started this off in her blog Philippine Internet Review where she blogged about how she got herself in this internet thingy. Well I thought it's something I can blog about too here at You Got Tech (which has sadly been quite for over a month now, so sorry).

Anyway, it was my brother who got me hooked in computers. I used to hang-out in his office in Dutch Boy and he'd let me play games using his computer. Eventually I became such a pest in the office he enrolled me in a logo programming summer class in Don Bosco. I was about 9 years old then and eventually he gave me his old XT PC when he got tired of it. 

I was in college when I first got exposed to the internet. This was even before Google was born. In school we were allowed to chat with our schoolmates online (provided you knew their ID number!). I also remember my professors back then talking about downloading files (about three hours at a time for a very small file!). Eventually I had dial-up at home and enjoyed doing online research and studied how to make websites on my own (my first one I think was hosted on Geocities and then Philonline) and did some sort of SEO to promote the sites I made. 

I got in the internet industry because I had interest in helping out exporters to promote their products online. My very first job in the industry was to be a product manager of an online exporters directory, that was 7 years ago and the rest is history.

So, how'd you get hooked to the internet?

Biyernes, Nobyembre 7, 2008

Ep. 20: DevFest Manila

Almost two months ago Google announced DevFest Manila and the day finally came when developers from all over the country (as far as Zamboanga and Davao!) convered at the Bulwagang Tandang Sora, University of the Philippines (Diliman) for some serious dev talk on the following -

Open Socials
Maps API
App Engine
Youtube APIs

It wasn't all nosebleed geek talk though, there were lots of fun stuff and here's a video blog about it -

For more support materials about the event, please go here.

Sabado, Oktubre 25, 2008

Ep. 19: Nokia Ovi by Gary Valenciano

I personally love sharing tons of content online (di naman masyadong obvious diba?). I share my photos, videos and other types of content and all of these are hosted through different Google services. 

One of the things that I've been seeing bloggers talk about lately was Nokia Ovi, but I never really had the time to check it out. I've been using Nokia though for about 8 years now, so I thought it's something I should check out.

Here's a video blog about the Nokia Ovi, demo was done by Mr. Gary Valenciano:

Thanks to fellow YouGotTech bloggers Juned (for the invitation) and Markku (for shooting my intro).

Biyernes, Oktubre 10, 2008

My Camera Evideolution, Part 1 of 2

It's now two years since I've had my first and very own digital camera. Back in October 2006, it was only $99 and it was given to me as an early birthday gift from my Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Phil in Florida. From then on, I've used a total of 5 different cameras in shooting my video blogs. Now let me show you how my videos evolved technically using these different tools - this is CokskiBlue's Camera Evideolution:

Aiptek DV5900 (October 2006 - August 2007) This has got to be the cutest digital camera I've used. The cam has this small LCD display and with it folded in, the DV5900 would look like a little coin purse. Its minimum functions are bearable when you're just the casual I-post-my-pictures-on-Friendster type of guy but the weak flash and poor video quality will make you irk once you see the results. No wonder its present market prize is now down to $39.99.

Despite the limitations, this camera witnessed the birth of CokskiBlue and I've used it for almost a year for many of my favorite episodes including this vlog on my very first bloggers meet-up:

Huwebes, Oktubre 9, 2008

Google Mapmaker

Google launched its mapmaker product for the Philippines. This basically allows users to tag points of interest, landmarks, streets, islands, mountains etc. on the map.

Jason Chuck, Product Marketing Manager for Asia Pacific of Google explains in this video what Google Mapmaker is all about:

It's quite addicting and easy to do, to find out how to do edits on the maps, watch this video:

Here are more stories about Google Mapmaker in the Philippines:

Miyerkules, Oktubre 8, 2008

Google Chrome Comicbook


About a week ago I received a hard copy of the Google Chrome comicbook. Illustrated by veteran web comic artist Scott Mccloud, the book contains the many many cool features of Google's new web browser, Chrome. It was a breezy read thanks to Scott's systematic yet quirky storytelling. Scott says he conducted interviews with 20 Google engineers for this project and quickly added that the food at Mountain View is really as good as they say it is.


If you want to know more about Google Chrome and how it can drastically improve your Internet browsing, check out the online version of Scott's work. I'm keeping my copy in case it might be worth something 10 years from now. ;P

Biyernes, Oktubre 3, 2008

Software Freedom Day

The Philippines celebrated Software Freedom Day in different parts of the country. In Manila there were two locations, one in Makati at the University of Makati and the other in Quezon City at the National Computer Center.

So my dear "open-source mentor" (yeah the one who gave me the 30-day Ubuntu challenge) made me go to NCC (and that's a mean feat considering I live in Paranaque!). I still went though since I was curious as a non-techie on what was going on.

In my own understanding "Software Freedom" means that you don't have to pay to use software, thereby using "open source" products for your computing needs. My 30-day Ubuntu challenge has actually resulted in that. I now use both Open Office and Google Docs for my documents. I've yet to get a hang of using Gimp, but I must say I absolutely love Picasa 3 for my photo editing needs and I'm currently studying how to edit movies using the same.

I get asked a lot of times if one could survive with a Linux OS and I always say yes especially if you don't really need to install other applications that need more resources. One usually just makes documents and store pictures in their PC anyway and do other online chores (blogging, watching videos etc.) through websites that don't require you to install anything on your PC.

Try it! And be free!

Linggo, Setyembre 28, 2008

Philippine Blog Awards

Last week the Philippine blogosphere saw the recognition of noteworthy bloggers during the Philippine Blog Awards. Congratulations are in order for the following You Got Tech contributors:

Best Videocast Blog Award - Cokskiblue

Best Plug-in/Extension - Daily Top Ten by Andrew

Bloggers Choice Award - Winston 

I unfortunately got a sick stomach a few hours before the awarding ceremonies but I watched via the stream and felt so proud of my colleagues here in You Got Tech. 

Congratulations are also in order for Juned, one of the tireless organizers (I award you the "Most Patient" medal lol). On a side note, Janette, Benj and I were also judges for the PBA (not an easy feat I tell you!). Markku too was a last minute volunteer.

P.S. I'm not sure who nominated You Got Tech for the PBA, but THANK YOU anyway, we obviously got disqualified lol.

Sabado, Setyembre 20, 2008

Chikahan on the Wireless Landline

Last week I got the chance to attend Bayan Telecommunication's event where they shared two main things:

1. Research revealed that Bayan wireless landline users saved up to 50% on cost.
2. They want to bring back real conversation.

It was when I was still working for a telco when I first heard about "wireless landlines". It was then an option for users who could not be reached by cabled phones. It was pretty tricky though since engineers had to install antennas on the roof of the house and service was quite flaky, depending on the weather. But one thing crossed my mind back then - can't they just make wireless landlines so we don't have to spend so much on mobile phone bills?

Fast forward. When Bayan launched their wireless landline (was it last year?) I thought, "Oh! This is it!" Originally the available units was this huge telephone (see photo). I've witnessed someone on the MRT using it though and it was placed in a huge sports bag. I wanted to take a photo but got scared that she might get mad. My Mom's amigas would also bring around their units (even during Garden Club meet-ups!). I know that our homeowners also got units for the guards in our village gates and this makes it easy to get in touch with them to call for cabs/tricycles and for help.

Eventually Bayan introduced the cellphone-like units and one of the things I did was to collect flyers to compare prices. It ain't bad and the signal in our place is actually pretty good. I personally use my mobile phones like it's a landline and I prefer voice calls versus SMS-ing and I still burn the phone lines in the evenings to make telebabad.

Methinks that having a wireless landline is good both for the user and the caller. The user's cost for phone bills is lessened and callers save a lot too since they don't have to have to pay for expensive mobile phone bills.

Well maybe I'd eventually get a unit. Would you?

Miyerkules, Setyembre 17, 2008

Google News in the Philippines

If my Dad has his own laptop I'm sure he'll be surfing for news, news and news! And I'm pretty sure he'll become addicted to Google News Philippines as well.

Yes, you heard it right, Google has now localized Google News for the Philippines and local internet users can now get news from over 4,500 English news sources, also from the Philippines! I am happy to share that the Philippines is the first country to have it localized in South East Asia! Hooray!

Well here's what Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Product Manager for Google News, said:

"Google News is great for both users and publishers in the Philippines. Our mission is to help Filipino users find the stories they're looking for as quickly as possible. Google News lets users easily check the most recent headlines from publishers around the world and then read those stories on the publisher's site. By making it easier for users to search news stories we help more people find more of the content created by Filipino publishers. Stories from publishers that readers already know and love, as well as stories from sources they may never have known existed. Readers get more stories -- and publishers get more readers on their site."

What are you waiting for? Check out Google News Philippines.

Huwebes, Setyembre 11, 2008

HTC Touch Pro

The past few weeks have been really busy for all the YouGotTech contributors and I'm glad to share that we've been getting invitations to tech events! We are THE tech blog for non-techies! Woohoo!

One of the things I've been looking into lately are the hi-tech phones. I've been thinking about upgrading my phone with a unit that would make my mobile internet experience enjoyable. I don't bother using my phones to go online now coz the browsing experience is just really useless. 

And if ever I do decide (give it about a year more!) to change or upgrade my phone I'd want it to have the following useful features: (1) great internet browsing experience; (2) can take photos that would be usable for my blogs; (3) also videos; but I guess the most important feature for me would be #1 because without it I think I'd stick to what I have now till it conks out.

I had the chance to see the new HTC Touch Pro during its launch at the Renaissance Hotel and I thought it was an interesting phone coz of its snazzy features and here are just some that I managed to jot down during the event:

  • the keypad is a QWERTY keyboard
  • it's got a 2.8 inch touch screen
  • the touch screen is great for web browsing
  • 3.2 megapixel camera
  • it's got a video out which you can connect to the TV or LCD projector (good for presentations!)
  • internal 512 MB memory and you can put in a micro SD card up to 16GB
Come to think of it it's like a pocket laptop which can also use to do calls and SMS. The HTC Touch Pro will be available in the Philippines by mid-September 2008 and SRP is at PhP50,800 (uhoh!). For more information about the phone please visit HTC.

And you be the judge coz methinks I'll be sticking to my current phones for at least a year more :D

Martes, Agosto 12, 2008

Photos: Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs for 2008

Just like what Aileen told you in our previous post, You Got Tech was recognized as one of the top emerging influential blogs for this year! The photo above shows some of us receiving the award for the rest of the team. As you may know, it is almost impossible to get the complete team for a group portrait considering the geographical barriers to being physically together. But we did our best, as this team photo with six of us present:

Being one of the not-so-rookie blogggers among the crowd, it was nice to see a good mix of both newbies and oldies launching new projects that prove to be relevant and influential for today's blog readers.

With blogs now recognized as a vital tool in cascading information to almost everyone, it is now the time to use our influence to spawn learning and positive growth, like how You Got Tech strives to be the tech resource for the non-techie.

Now you might be wondering what I'm doing writing for this wonderful blog. I'm markku of and you've probably seen me in one of our recent blogger events, or you might have come across my (semi-static) blog in the past. Technically, I've always been a part of the YGT team though this is my first post, and this is not even a tech-related entry for the non-techie. In the coming weeks though, you should be hearing more from me with information just for you! Oh, here's the rest of the photos.

Ep. 17: Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008

It is with deep gratitude that we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for all those who included You Got Tech in their Top Ten Emerging Influential Bloggers choices. You Got Tech was recognized as one of the Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008. Woohoo!!!

I would also like to thank all the other contributors of You Got Tech for the time and effort they give to make posts for our non-techie readers. It is with great pleasure that we would continue to share information about techie stuff and hope that we would help educate more people (and make them internet addicts) in our own little way. Woot! Woot!!!

Here's a snippet of the recognition ceremonies of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2008 held at Legend Villas Hotel (ceremonies sponsored by Legend Hotels International, Slycesoft Games Development and

The 2008 Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs
  1. Manila Foodistas
  2. Filipino Voices
  3. Visit Sagada
  4. Missing Carlo
  5. Mar Roxas for President in 2010 blog
  6. You Got Tech
  7. The Not so Talented DJ Montano
  8. Davao Delicious
    Music Picks
  9. Bariles Republic
  10. Bloggers Da Who

Sabado, Agosto 2, 2008

My Ubuntu Diary, the 30-Day Challenge Begins

I've always wanted to learn more about open source. I had my briefing a few months ago from the team that handles "those stuff" from where I work. I was quite ashamed to ask questions since I really have little knowledge about it, much less know anything about the tech-side of it, but ya-know, you'll never learn anything unless you ask.

When George (my trusty ol' desktop PC) died on me a few months ago I had to hunker up and get something working for Miguel so he can go online. I had T-rex (a 9-year old PC) in comatose in his room. The PC was left neglected and unused, but I knew it was working. With some help from JayDJ we got it working and running on Ubuntu (actually he did 99.5% of the job and my 0.5% contribution was getting him water haha).

I'm not shy to ask for help whenever I need it and because of that I had the privilege of meeting some of the Ubuntu legends in our country. Let's not reveal who they are first, lest I fail in this attempt of mine to educate myself on using open source tools. But the rumored Ubuntu godfather in the Philippines was the one who issued me this challenge.

I know I'm behind schedule with this 30-day challenge issued to me. I'm actually 9-days behind schedule and it's a good thing that T-rex' harddisk died on us. I got a little help from JayDJ to replace the HD with his extra 30-GB HD, but now I'm on my own to get the system up and running.

And this is where the 30-day Ubuntu challenge begins.

Day 1: 10:00 p.m.

JayDJ replaced T-rex' HD. Mind you T-Rex is a very old PC (I have to confirm the specs with JayDJ heh) and it's quite slow. The Ubuntu version that I have is Ubuntu 7.10 which we downloaded when it was first installed on T-rex. Burned it on a CD. I heard that this version is much more stable than the new one, plus my PC is OLD that's why I'll be using this still.

Anyway, I successfully managed to start installation, but it kept failing. Apparently we had to fix some stuff in the CMOS because of the HD. I had JayDJ fix it up and proceeded with installation, BUT it kept hanging and it's almost 1 a.m. already, so I think I give myself an F for eFfort for today. I have 2 PCs to work on anyway. Heh.

Will try again tomorrow! Gah!

Miyerkules, Hulyo 30, 2008

Antonio Bucu talks about his latest camera

Graphic designer and music artist Antonio Bucu shows off his newest camera - Canon a590IS. According to Tony, he was able to purchase his camera for only P14,000 to P17,000.

I took the opportunity of taking this shot during the printing production meeting for the book Blogging from Home where Tony took care of the cover design and layout.

Lunes, Hulyo 28, 2008

Ep. 16: Corporate Blogging

Caught up with Regnard Raquedan who organized 2 Corporate Blogging seminars at the Asian Institute of Management. In this video he talks about the relevance of corporate blogging.

Martes, Hulyo 1, 2008

Episode 15: Gilmore

I've heard so much about Gilmore and they say it's the mecca for IT enthusiasts. A number of people have described it to me as THE place to shop for a PC or a laptop. There's always been Greenhills and a couple of malls that have IT rows which I think has been incomparable to Singapore's Funan IT Mall and Suntech (and there's a new place there too, forgot the name).

I got the chance to go to Gilmore last week with JayDJ and I thought of making a video tour of the place, so here it is -

Want an PhP8,000 laptop? Or a used PC for less than PhP1,500 you can slave for your experiments? Ink? Parts to repair or upgrade your PC or laptop? Well, what are you waiting for? Go na!

*Gilmore is just across St. Paul University and you can easily go there by taking LRT 2, get off the Gilmore station.

Biyernes, Hunyo 27, 2008

Geek Jewelry

Sometimes it's really hard to think about what to give to geeky friends. I usually end up in CDR King since they've got loads of stuff that you can give as gifts! I oftentimes browse through gadget magazines to 'window shop', most of the stuff featured though are quite expensive and hard to find.

My friends and I usually talk about interesting USB gadgets that we'd like to own (or own). There's the USB massager, refrigerator and even an aquarium! There was also a time when there was a craze on USB items you can wear - watches, necklaces, bracelets and even rings!

I was quite pleased when I got this cool USB thumb drive.

It's a 1GB USB thumb drive created by Francesco Lops Design from Italy. The storage space might not be big, but methinks it's quite cool to carry around.

I would've probably gone overboard crazy if it was shaped as an apple.

Lunes, Hunyo 23, 2008

A Bluetooth Headset

Here's my interview with the owner of I.T. Talks, Blogie Robillo in about this gadget which he was reviewing courtesy of Wom World, the Nokia BH 624 Bluetooth Headset.

Martes, Hunyo 10, 2008

Having a Bluetooth Mouse

Here's my interview with Andrew with his new gadget, the Logitech Bluetooth mouse. A rather expensive mouse...

But there are similar devices in the market today.. cheaper than this one. I checked CDR king and i saw one for less than P500.00.

And again, your laptop or PC should be bluetooth equiped. If not, you can also buy a bluetooth dongle for less than P300.00

Less than P800 bucks worth of gadgets for a wireless, more convenient mouse.

This is Migs for You Got Tech.

Biyernes, Hunyo 6, 2008

Caring for Your PC

I've been a PC user since I was 10 years old thanks to my Kuya, but I never really understood the intricacies of my PC's hardware. I left this task "to the boys". I have to admit I've always been dependent on my guy friends and they always volunteered to do the "dirty stuff" because they felt that I would just end up breaking something.

In the last decade I left the care of my PC to someone I call my "PC doctor". I paid him monthly for the maintenance of my PC, but I was largely dissatisfied in the past year with his services. Stupid me I just blindly left my PCs to his care since I had no idea where else I could have my PC fixed or cleaned.

When George, my desktop PC, went in a coma last January I told my PC doctor that my desktop was dead and that I had no plans on reviving it. That was actually a big fat lie. I just didn't want him anywhere near my PC since I was quite shocked with how he cleaned my video card (he took some packaging tape, slapped on the board and striped it off like he was taking off a tape for pulling out black heads). I was traumatized.

So I learned my lesson when Sweetie graciously diagnosed George. My eyes were as big as saucers when he opened George's CPU. The dust he had accumulated looked like he was never cleaned at all. NEVER. My former PC doctor said that the reason he had to come monthly was because he had to clean George. I was really upset upon seeing how much dirt had accumulated inside George. It was a good thing that he did not overheat since the fans had so much dirt on the blades and the holes were blocked because of the dust.

Lesson learned: Your PC needs cleaning inside and not just outside. Check once in a while if dust is already accumulating inside the CPU.

Hard lesson learned: Do not just entrust the care of your PC to anyone. Back-check if they are indeed doing what you are paying them to do.

Here's some tools Sweetie used to clean-up George:
1. Soft brush
2. Cotton ear buds
3. Soft cloth/tissue

I heard that there's a small vacuum cleaner you could purchase so you could suck out the dirt easier.

Just make sure when cleaning the innards of your PC that: (1) you don't wet any part, make sure all your cleaning tools are dry; (2) be light, do not clean it up like how you scrub your bathroom, think that it's a baby you're cleaning up.

I'm still very much upset with my former PC doctor since I feel he's been duping me for almost a decade. Good thing Sweetie's great with PCs and he's teaching me how to properly care for my PC. George is still in the Sweetie PC Hospital, but we're expecting him to come out of a coma within the week.

What about you? Do you have any "PC doctor" horror stories? How do you clean up your PC?

Lunes, Hunyo 2, 2008

Vlogging with an Indie Film Director

I'm still getting my act together about my vlogs. I was supposed to join some vlogging contests, but I got too busy and then eventually got sick, so my Youtube channel has been a bit quiet for sometime now. I just recently watched two indie films and was curious about how real movie directors think about it.

I asked Rica Arevalo, awarded by Cinemalaya for best director for the film "ICU Bed #7" if she thought that vloggers can be successful in making short films. This is what she has to say,

Yes of couse, anyone who has a camera can do any film. You just have to understand the "film language" very well. Remember these are moving images, it has its own way of communicating. So a vlogger must learn how to use images as their tool for storytelling. If one succeeds in combining good substance (story/content) and technical expertise into a coherent film, then it would benefit everyone.

A filmmaker makes a film for the big screen while you guys have a small screen to show your stuff so composition of shots and shot sizes are crucial to your storytelling.

The Komikero has been dabbling in producing short films and here's "True Love" -

Not ready to make a short film? Here's YGT contributors Ria and Andrew's entry for the McDonald's pa-burger spoof contest.

Huwebes, Mayo 29, 2008

Vlogging with Buddy

The Universal McCann study on "Social Media Usage" noted that in the Philippines almost 100% of active internet users watch videos and a significant number also upload videos online (for more info about this study visit Stitching). In the Philippine blogosphere a number of bloggers are also trying their hand on video blogging including YGT contributors, Coy, Juned, Janette, Ria, and myself. Following our talk on podcasting and vlogging during iBlog4, Coy and I thought of doing a small workshop to understand the platform better... ergo... we want to improve our videos and make it more interesting to watch.

Buddy Gancenia, a renowned and multi-awarded videographer, has been quite active in taking videos for IT events. I met him when I did my very first talk at the Philippine Trade & Training Center almost 2 years ago and have since bumped into him a couple of times in events. He graciously volunteered and spent some time with a small group of video bloggers in a workshop entitled, "Vlogging with Buddy".

During the workshop, Buddy taught us tips and techniques on how we could improve our video blogs. Noteworthy were the following:

1. Prepare the story.
2. Make sure you know what you are going to shoot.
3. Sometimes it's really good to have a lot of footage.
4. Be conscious of continuity.
5. Make sure your audio is crisp and understandable.

Here's the presentation that Buddy used -

He also showed samples of videos that were edited - good and bad editing, and gave a lot of samples that were inspiring (and inspired a number of us to tie the knot hehehe). Check out Buddy's videos at the BuddyRealityTV Youtube channel.

Linggo, Mayo 25, 2008

Nokia Mobile Entrepreneur Awards

Last May 13, 2008, Nokia held an awards night for the Nokia Mobile Entrepreneur Awards at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel. During the event an AVP showcased businesses that made it to the finals, highlighting how these companies used mobile technology as a tool in their operations. Some of the finalists included businesses in the mobile phone distribution sector, fashion (clothes and shoes), food and web development/design.

Grand prize winner was Kuy Designs.

Some of the finalists.

YGT contributors Jay, Aileen and Juned at the event with bloggers, Marcelle and Poyt.

Photo by Carl Valenzona.

Personally, I've been a Nokia user for more than a decade now. My first Nokia phone was the pangkaskas-ng-yelo, the N100. It was my service unit when I was still working for Smart and eventually this was changed to the sexier N909. Those were non-GSM phones (analog!). My first GSM phone wasn't a Nokia phone, but I had difficulty using it because of the keypad and I experienced some usability issues so I've stuck to using Nokia phones after that.

Yup I have 2 phones, one I use for work and the other is a personal number. I've stuck to using Nokia phones because:

1. It's easier to navigate. No need to read the manual! It's good for the elderly as well.
2. Transferring files to and from the phone the PC is easy. The application to use it is pretty easy to understand.
3. There are times I don't bring my camera, so I just use my phone to take photos and videos. The audio for the video is quite good.
4. It fits my hand perfectly. I SMS a lot and the phone makes it easy to send loads and loads of messages. My colleagues even took a phone of my old phone since the keypad was so scratched it didn't have anything written on it anymore. My colleagues from other countries thought this was very unusual and funny. Duh, hahaha.
5. I have not experienced any break downs (knock on wood). My old phones are still working and still being used. I have not even changed batteries!

The only setback I've experienced so far are glitches in syncing data from the laptop/PC, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Huwebes, Mayo 22, 2008

Goodbye HP, Hello Epson

The very first printer that was handed down to me by my Kuya was an Epson dot matrix machine. I remember spending endless hours printing my college thesis on it. It was good for Wordstar, but when we shifted the thesis to MS-Word, printing it on a dot matrix printer was just unbearably long and noisy! Eventually, my Kuya handed down his HP inkjet to me.

For more than a decade I stuck it out with HP because: (1) printing quality is very good; (2) the ink is economical albeit a bit expensive; (3) it WAS durable. After the first inkjet we got an HP Deskjet 895 in 1999 and that piece is still alive to this day, though the ink's very expensive and since George is comatose I can't use it on any other PC/laptop (port not available).

Since the ink cartridge of the HP Deskjet is quite expensive I tried using the HP All-in-One series and in 2006 I got my third one because the first 2 conked out and were irreparable (to think I do not use it everyday). The third one conked out again in the past month and I don't want to bother going to the repair center just to be told that it's irreparable.

Goodbye to the PhP8,000+ investment I made 18 months ago.

So I've decided to say goodbye to HP, my long-time printer friend. IMHO, it seems that the printers being produced today are meant to conk out after a year or two. After my third "all-in-one" I have learned to accept the fact that I should NOT buy an "all-in-one" gadget. Tigas talaga ulo ko eh.

I asked countless of friends about what printer to buy and since it's an unexpected expense I did
not want to spend more than PhP2,500 for a new printer, besides I don't need to print that much stuff anyway. I got quite a lot of suggestions - Epson SC90, the Canon Pixma IP1880, and the Brother DCP-150C. Epson and Canon were in the same price range, Brother was quite expensive at PhP3,950. I got a warning too about Epson conking out after a year too, but I think at the price of PhP2,295 I'll take the risk.

I opted to buy an Epson SC90 because:

1. Original ink is available in most computer shops.

2. If I'm broke I can go and buy ink at CDR King.

3. Unlike HP there are 4 ink cartridges, I think it's more economical that way. I realize now that I probably don't use up the whole colored ink caboodle in my old HP printer.

I just printed a couple of documents and - (1) it's noisy and (2) printing speed is not as fast as my old HP printer. Well, good luck to me. I'm sure glad my Dad donated PhP1,000 for the new printer.

Sabado, Mayo 10, 2008

Episode 14: Learning Robotics

My son, Miguel, always wanted to learn how to make robots and it has been very hard to find a workshop for kids (much less adults). It's a very niched interest and I must admit it took me more than a year to finally find them. I was quite lucky to see by chance the poster of the Lego Mindstorm Robotics Center at the SM Science Discovery Center at the Mall of Asia.

Robotics, after all, is something that seems very complicated. Robots are made for very simple acts such as making coffee, repetitive manufacturing processes to intricate medical operations. It is beyond me how it's done (LOL!), but since my kid's very excited about it I'm leaving it to him to learn more about it. I hope he'll complete all the levels in the workshop.

Here's Professor Rox Cosico of the Lego Mindstorm Robotics Center talking a bit about the workshops they give for kids:

Want to enroll?
Lego Mindstorms Robotics Center
SM Discovery Center, Mall of Asia
For inquiries, please call +632-556-0331 or 0661
Workshop fee is only PhP200

Other reads:

Miguel's Journal
An Apple a Day

Lunes, Mayo 5, 2008

Episode 13: Video Blogging on iBlog4

This is the Video Blogging part of Aileen Apolo and Coy Caballes's video presentation at the 4th Philippine Blogging Summit. Watch out for funny scenes and informative tips that will surely convince more bloggers to vlog. :)

Here are the topics in the video:

I. What is Video Blogging?
II. Different Kinds of Vlogs
  1. Skits
  2. Music Videos
  3. Short Films
  4. Video Diaries
  5. Tutorials
  6. Photo Storytelling
III. Advantages of Vlogging
IV. Steps in Making Vlogs
  1. Pre-production
    1. Vlog Outline
    2. Gadgets and Equipments
  2. Filming
  3. Editing the Video
  4. Uploading your Work
  5. Promoting your Vlog
V. Various Vlogging Clips

Huwebes, Mayo 1, 2008

Team YouGotTech at iBlog4

Eugene did a match-the-eye rendition of YouGotTech contributors in his blog, go check it out.

It was a rare occasion indeed for YGT since majority of the contributors were present at the iBlog4. All the contributors from Davao were present - Winston, Andrew, Migs and the newest in the team - Queen Ria.

It was an exciting day for most of us since most of us were speakers for iBlog4. Here's are links to our talks:

Juned on Photo Blogging (coming soon)
Coy & Aileen on Podcasting and Vlogging Prospects in the Philippines
Janette on How Bloggers Can Participate in the 2010 Elections
Ria on Countryside Blogging

Coy will also do the honors on posting the video that we prepared for iBlog4.

Biyernes, Abril 11, 2008

Episode 12: The Dell Inspiron

You Got Tech attends its first tech event and we witnessed Dell uncover the first line of consumer products they are going to offer the market - the Inspiron. Dell country manager, Barry Bunyi, said that they have so far only covered the corporate market for the Philippines and have finally decided to capture that opportunity.

The Inspiron notebook comes in 8 different colors - Ruby Red, Midnight Blue, Spring Green, Flamingo Pink, Jet Black, Alpine White, Expresso Brown, and Sunshine Yellow. I WANT THE RUBY RED!!! I asked Marrku what it's good for, he said that it's best for doing multimedia especially when you have a lot of photos and dabble with videos (is it the Mac for the PC???). If that is so, then it should match my needs, but the notebook comes in 14" and 15.4" screen which is a tad too big for me.

Here are the specs from the press kit:

• Choice of colors including Jet Black matte finish, Alpine White gloss finish, Espresso Brown, Flamingo Pink, Midnight Blue, Ruby Red, Spring Green, Sunshine Yellow with microsatin premium finish.
• High definition display with TrueLife™ technology
• Choice of hard drive sizes up to 250GB
• Integrated 2.0 megapixel webcam with dual digital microphone and noise-cancellation earbuds
• Dell MediaDirect and Instant Office technology for fast, one-button access to videos, music or photos, calendar and contacts
• Standard 802.11a/g
• Standard integrated 8-in-1 media card reader to enable easy transfer of content from digital devices. Other ports include four USB ports, and IEEE 1394
• Choice of Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Basic or Premium
• Starting weights: Inspiron 1420 – 2.45kg; 1520 – 2.9kg

Starting prices: Inspiron 1420 – Php 33,995 (SRP and inclusive of VAT); 1520 – TBD

Here's how the event went -

Too bad I did not win in the raffle. Boohuhu.

Sabado, Abril 5, 2008

My Internet Connectivity Diary

Working remotely requires me to be connected to the internet everyday. Aside from using communication and collaboration tools, I utilize the internet for learning. I spend a lot of time learning new things by reading and checking out new things online. But key to this is being connected.

I mainly use PLDT DSL and Globe Visibility to be connected to the internet. I survived using dial-up until the last month of 2006, but my need increased so I finally got DSL at home. Months after some friends chided me for not having wifi at home, so I got a router and they set it up. I've been enjoying being connected to the internet anywhere at home. I have not had any problems with my PLDT DSL probably because most of my neighbors are out most of the day, but lately I've been experiencing difficulty in connecting to select websites. I've cleared out my cookies, but it's been erratic. I wasn't even able to connect to You Got Tech, Facebook and Friendster for a couple of days and sometimes I'm not able to watch some Youtube videos. But generally, PLDT DSL has given good service to me.

I got a Globe Visibility since I travel a lot. I had to do a lot of ranting though before everything stabilized and I've been using it for almost 9 months now and here's a simplified review of how I've used it in different cities across the country:

Metro Manila
Makati - the only place where you'll get HSDPA (only in the mall area)
Paranaque - normally GPRS, but you'll get a bit of 3G
Ortigas - for some strange reason it's hard to connect in Ortigas
Manila - same as Paranaque
Pasay - same as Paranaque
SLEX - will drop whenever you're in the area of the Merville toll

Baguio - mainly GPRS and a bit hard to keep connected
Pampanga - mainly GPRS
Cabanatuan - had a hard time connecting, good thing there was wifi in the place I went to
NLEX - managed to keep connected the whole stretch
Palawan - signal just for mobile was quite hard, I wasn't able to connect to the internet

Cebu - mainly GPRS, hard to connect except in Ayala
Boracay - you'd get some HSDPA, connection was like Glorietta
Iloilo - GPRS, don't bother with surfing, just do mail and IM
Capiz - like dial-up in early 2000
Kalibo - mainly GPRS

Cagayan de Oro - don't even think about connecting, Globe's Invisible here
Davao - I did not bother using my Globe Visibility here since they have free wifi anywhere
Gensan - mainly GPRS, takes a long time to connect to any site

PLDT DSL definitely gives a stable connection, albeit it's not perfect but I can more or less count on it (except when there's no electricity!). I'll let you surmise whether Globe Visibility is something useful or just a disappointment. I just wish though Manila would be like Davao.

Martes, Abril 1, 2008

Episode 11: Tips on Buying a Gadget

It normally takes me at least a year before I actually purchase a gadget. Buying a gadget is an expensive treat that's why I do a lot of thinking before I buy one. Here are some tips that I've gathered from fellow You Got Tech contributors and friends - Migs, Winston, Andrew, Ria and Blogie - which I think would be useful for non-techies who intend to buy new toys.

I have about half a year before I finally decide whether or not I'm going to get a new camera.

Happy gadget buying!

Huwebes, Marso 27, 2008

You Got Tech Episode 10

Kuya Blogie of bought a new phone sometime in December, on the day we had our first official Davao Food Trip (Zakoya). In this video, he talks about his new Nokia6500 Classic, its features and other advantages he finds about his new gadget.

Please watch the video:

Miyerkules, Marso 26, 2008

You Got Tech Episode 9

Hi guys. I did this interview a long time ago at a new cafe here in Davao City. I was hanging out with fellow bloggers Winston, Jun and Ria. All of us had our laptops with us and I was intent on interviewing my friends about their beloved possessions. It so happened that my videos fell into the lap of Aileen and she decided to take things into her own hands and edit it for me. A word of warning though. Some bashing of a certain brand of computer occurs here. Yeah, I'm a big meanie! But for this episode, it's all in the name of fun. :)

Linggo, Marso 23, 2008

Landline mobile - mobile landline?

Back then, people were asking.. "how can i make my landline phone portable?"

Now, its the other way around... how mobile phones can be used as landline phones... primarily because of the cost.. its cheaper to use a landline to call another landline number right?

As far as i can remember, as early as 2006, some mobile networks here in the Philippines have released their service of making landlines portable. One example is Bayantel. They released Bayan span (I think its now called Bayan Wireless landline). Then there's Globe's Wireless landline. ummm.. ever heard of Digitel's Mango (mobile access network for the Man on the Go)? And now, i'm sure you've been hearing the buzz about PLDT's landline plus.

Aside from being a normal landline phone, it is also bundled with the service of a broadband or DSL connection.

Different networks, different range of services, and some have different units.. which one would you get?

Here are the basic factors in choosing:

  1. The Price
  2. Performance (Speed, clarity, availability)
  3. Coverage/location
  4. Unit
  5. After sales Service


Always look for a cheap yet good service. Is there such a thing? fortunately.. yes! Its just hard to find.. hehehhehe


this refers to the :

  • Speed - speed in connecting or using the service most specially when using it to surf the internet.
  • clarity of the voice during use,
  • availability of the service - can you use it anytime you want, no busy signals, no or less downtimes


Currently, network coverage for wireless landline phones are limited. Like for only key cities or for a specific Barangay, village, or subdivision.

Unit (equipment)

There are different units which you can choose from.. there's one that looks like a regular landline unit, one that looks like a remote control, those that looks like a cellphone, and... yes.. an actual cellphone.

Here are some facts...

Before you can only use CDMA phones as a "landline". Now, you can also use any GSM phone. So what's the difference between CDMA and GSM? And if you already have a CMDA or GSM phone, then do you still need to buy another unit? What phone's are CDMA and GSM?

CMDA and GSM are two of the main competing mobile technologies.

Its a bit complicated, so imagine GSM is like the jeepney and CDMA is like a Cab/taxi. Both helps you get to your destination right? But both have their pros and cons. Like CDMA has a limit to the number of users.. the more the users.. the poor the performance of the network.

And one of the biggest difference between the two is that GSM phones uses SIM cards while CDMA phones do not.

There are phones which are both CMDA and GSM capable. => Where does 3G come in? Well its a long story.. hahahha so lets stick to these two first and I won't go deeper. Its just enough for you to know that they are different.

So, do you own a GSM or CDMA capable mobile phone? What does this mean? This means maybe you don't need to get a NEW unit.

Like in PLDT's offer, you can turn your GSM phone into a landline phone by just getting a sim card. Or if you have an existing Nokia CDMA phone (like nokia 2225, 6265, 2125) then maybe you can just activate the chosen service (as your service provider for this option).

Cut the cost!

After-sales service

This is the least concern of most people which i think should be on the top 2 most important things to consider.

You see, based from my experience and those that i read in the forums, after sales is becoming a nightmare!

Yes, you have those 24/7 call centers that can assist in basic troubleshooting or getting your concerns... but for some, you still have to wait and build up steam and eventually get mad for slow support.

As a final suggestion... before getting a wireless landline service.. make some research.. google around first.. search for "wireless+landline" or you can ask around your neighborhood.. surely there's someone out there who's using or has tried using this.. check what they have to say.

To help you out, here are some sites you can check:

First pic from Art Samaniego


Sabado, Marso 15, 2008

Jayvee's Toy

Here is Jayvee one of the people behind BlogBank demonstrating or trying to convince us to buy a Mac. He is demonstrating one of the more interesting toys for the Mac. Its called ToySight. And the person demonstrating is Mr Jose Vicente C Fernandez. Who lives along...

Ok Jayvee looks soooooooooooooooo silly that it looks like a fun thing to do.

Lunes, Marso 10, 2008

Dress-up your iPod

I was very disappointed with my iPod cover (the rubber one) when it was torn last week. I found out I forgot to separate my iPod from my ofice keys. (careless Kid). Anyway, I asked my colleagues, Andie and Cris,this afternoon to accompany me in looking for a new protective case for my iPod.

The two brought me to DCLA in Uyanguren, the equivalent of Greenhills in Davao (I think). They've been there before and were able to dress up their iPods for cheap prices. After spending a few minutes of hopping from one shop to another, I was able to get the following items for my iPod Video:

iPod Ear Phone Cap

Three sets of these Ear Phone Caps are worth P150 but I was able to get it for P120. Buy these from Power Mac, it'll cost you at least P500.

White Leather Case

This is the best deal I got. The first shop we went in sells this item for P500. The price of this item is P120 but I was able to get it for P100. Neat isn't it?

A tip when dressing up your iPod: you can get much at a lower price when you know the right place to go. Also, brand names don't matter.

Sabado, Marso 1, 2008

Episode 7: Josh Verdes on That's EnTECHtainment

Hi guys, this is Coy of CokskiBlue! I'm very proud and honored to be part of this new video blog on technology for non-techies, You Got Tech! Special thanks to Ms. Google Philippines, Aileen Apolo for this great opportunity.

I will be focusing more on Technology in Entertainment (Music, Films, TV and maybe Gaming). I will be your EnTECHtainment Guide, showcasing vlogs and articles on how technology enhances the Entertainment experience.

So now, for my first contribution, You Got Tech's 7th Episode - a short interview with a YouTube Celebrity and Musician, who's the genius behind the music of the phenomenal videos of HappySlip - Josh Verdes! Enjoy!

Martes, Pebrero 26, 2008

Episode 6: AJ of Talks About his Mobile Phone TV

Have you ever experienced rushing home from work because you need to catch your favorite TV show? When I was a Makati office girl I'd usually get caught in traffic on the way home and miss some shows that I wanted to watch. I couldn't also rely on having someone record the show because I'm the "techiest of all" at home, so I just missed whatever it was I wanted to watch.

Things are so much different today. New gadgets are launched left and right and I personally couldn't keep up with it. I'm sure I would've bought a portable TV if I could afford it, but there's something so much better! A mobile phone that's also a TV!

AJ Matela of graciously agreed to talk about his mobile phone TV. Watch it now!

There are cute outtakes at the end.

Here's AJ's most watched interview with Janette -

Notes: I'm back to using Windows Movie Maker. My PC, George, went into a coma again and the other app I was toying around with works only there.

Lunes, Pebrero 25, 2008

How to Speed Up Your Computer

Is your PC acting a little sluggish lately?

Well, some would think that like humans, computers slow down with age. Hey, it doesn't have to be that way!

The problem actually starts when you begin installing programs on your computer. You'd like to think you're installing only one program at a time, right? Wrong! Many installers put stuff into your computer you're not aware of. Aside from the main program, an installer may insert startup or background processes that usually aren't necessary, plus, some even ask you to install 'promotional' software in between or at the end of an installation. Be wary of:

a. "Run at Startup". Say no or uncheck.
b. Offers to install a toolbar to 'enhance' your browsing experience.
c. Offers to install supplementary software such as video or DVD players, unless you really, really need them.
d. Programs that come from unknown software vendors or sources. Be vigilant. Before you install something, do some research. Be sure that the software is free of viruses and adware.
e. Pirated software. The hackers who crack these programs may install viruses, trojans and adware into them. Not to mention that it's illegal.
f. Expired anti-virus programs. Leaving them expired is like a welcome mat for disaster.
g. Files downloaded off of peer-to-peer networks. Scan these files with your anti-virus before you run/open them.

Here are some tips to make your PC run faster:

Uninstall unused programs. Deleting a program folder DOES NOT uninstall a program. Instead, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs. Look at the list of programs installed. Do you absolutely need all of them? Remove programs that you have not used for more than 6 months. This helps free up disk space and memory usage.

Download a startup management program. Download the free software called Quick Startup (1.35mb). Having too many programs running at the same time can really slow down your PC performance. This nifty tool helps you choose which programs will run when your computer starts.

On the right panel, simply uncheck the programs that you don't need to run at startup. Samples of these are instant messengers (Yahoo! Messenger, Gtalk, MSN Messenger), video programs (Quicktime, Real Player, WinDVD), Office Suites (Microft Office, OpenOffice, Adobe Acrobat), CD burners and photo managers. If you don't know what you're doing, ask a tech-savvy friend to help you out.

Easy on the browser windows. Firefox and Internet Explorer are called tabbed browsers for a reason. Don't open new windows unless extremely necessary. Some users find Firefox as a memory hog, so you may want to look into IE. Opera is also an excellent alternative.

Warning: the following cost money

Stack up on RAM. If you've followed all my advice above and still find your computer to be slow, you may need to purchase additional RAM. If you enjoy surfing the Internet, chatting, playing videos and songs all at the same, you'll need at least 1GB of RAM. Getting a video card helps a lot too. Go to your nearest computer shop and explore your options.

Stack up on disk space. Purchase an external drive where you can store large files. Low disk space can cause your PC speed to dwindle. Seagate's line of external drives are quite good.

That wraps my first real post here on I hope you find it useful! Visit often, there's more coming soon!

Linggo, Pebrero 24, 2008

Laptop/Notebook Cooling Pad

I noticed that my laptop heats up fast after turning it on. I can't put it on my lap without something to protect my thighs from becoming crispy pata. I don't use an aircon in my basement since the temperature's livable (except during summer) and my friends said that I should use an aircon to keep my PCs cool. My Mom's marble table also helps in keeping my laptop's temperature down.

Sweetie said that the best alternative to keeping one's notebook cool is to use a notebook cooler pad. And he lent me the pad he bought at CDR King (for less than PhP500).

I've been using it the past few days and it's kept Happy, happy! I just have to put a book under the cooling pad whenever I use it on my bed since the fans may get caught in the bedding. The blue lights also give the illusion that my laptop's floating.

Cool eh?

Biyernes, Pebrero 15, 2008

Living Without a PC

What would life be without a computer?


That's me flat-lining.

But kidding aside, I cannot imagine living without a PC. I think I would go crazy if I was marooned somewhere without a keyboard to tinker on. I bring Happy wherever I go, but since George has been out of commission I've been shuttling between happy and my work laptop. My files would've been messed up, but I've been relying heavily on Google Docs just so I won't be confused over which file is the latest.

And I was all giggly this morning when I saw the Valentine user interface -

Can't live without the internet either.

Martes, Pebrero 5, 2008

The Mobile Life

I really learned my lesson when George (my PC) crashed while I was out of town. I knew he was on the brink of a heart attack before I left. Unfortunately I failed to do precautionary measures of backing up and changing all access passwords.

And then I got a SMS from Miguel, “George is dead.”

I was almost two hours by plane when I got the message so I couldn’t do anything about it. When I got home Sweetie was kind enough to diagnose the problem an he proclaimed that George’s registry was deleted.

In short, George had amnesia.

It was a painful process of reviving George to life – 5 pages of support instructions from the Microsoft website. George is alive, but still has amnesia. We haven’t had the time to return him to his senses.

Which comes to my topic at point: the mobile life (I just wanted to explain the lack of video posts from me).

I took the plunge out of the corporate life two years ago and I have since been living on several PCs and laptops. Working in very non-traditional conditions, but I would say I’m much, much more productive.

I wake up at around 8 everyday, walk 5 steps to my study room, turn my PC on, beeline to the bathroom while the PC/laptop (whichever I feel like working on) is booting up, then I log-in my mail, go to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, go back to the PC and start working.

I’ve been working with the internet in the background for 7 years now and my brain doesn’t really function anymore when I’m not connected. So whenever I have meetings outside of my base, I bring a laptop and go online by connecting to my Globe Visibility. It’s workable in Metro Manila, but a frustration in some key provinces down South. I wish that all cities (including Metro Manila) would follow Davao’s footsteps in providing free wifi anywhere you go!

So that’s my mobile life, I rather connect to the internet with my laptop than my mobile phone (at this point) or PDA (I have friends who really heavily on their PDA, even for monitoring inventory of their business!).

So, this is my Happy notebook without any power needed…

And my Happy notebook now, well most of the time…

What about you? Would you be productive just wearing jammies?