Wednesday, August 6, 2014

mackerel and rack's

delatang mackerel na ginisa sa sibuyas, kamatis at itlog
De-latang mackerel na ginisa (two months ago)

dada's fam lunch at rack's festival mall alabang
Lunch at Rack's (last month)

dada's fam lunch at rack's festival mall alabang
Lunch at Rack's (last month at Festival Mall, Alabang)

Monday, July 28, 2014

win7 disable hibernate for more space

I have a partitioned HDD, partitioned while we still used XP. The man allocated 20 GB for the system. Did maintenance work regularly and kept that baby running smoothly. Fast-forward X years, I updated to Win7. Problem is most of the system partition is used even with the bare minimum of programs installed (only what i need, the biggest hog is adobe reader), free space was only 3.+ GB. Boot up was fast enough but still, it may suffer if it gets any lower. So, I still go through regular disk cleanup for a few megabytes of space (and peace of mind).

Then Glenda happened. After the power flickered, it created a system restore point which ate up memory. After a normal start-up and restart, it deleted itself. But memory was down to 2.4 GB -- not OK.

I didn't want to start over (format, etc.) for more space which typically takes a very long time.

After defrag+cleanup it was still a low 2.6 GB. I could try extending the partition but no, too chicken. So, what else could I do for now that's low risk and reversible?

Ding! Ding! Ding! Disable hibernate which basically deletes a system file. I have never used hibernate (or even sleep) so I have no problem disabling it. The great thing is - that system file is recreated if I re-enable hibernate. No risk, actually. Nice.

First things first, I didn't have hibernate on my start menu (only saw sleep). That means, I have hybrid sleep on. So, this fixed that:

control panel -> power options -> change when computer sleeps -> sleep(expand/dropdown) -> allow hybrid sleep(select: OFF) -> apply -> OK

Hello, hibernate.

Now to say bye-for-now through the command prompt (this part deletes the system file I talked about above - which frees up some memory):

start -> cmd (right-click, run as admin) -> type powercfg.exe /hibernate off -> hit enter -> type exit

Done in a moment and 1 GB regained. From 2.6 to 3.7 GB, not the best at 20% (ideal is 25%) but not very bad either.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

#GlendaPH 2014

7/15 Tue
Typhoon Glenda came here early evening. Strong winds followed. Howling winds.

7/16 Wed
2am Power flickered twice. Restarted desktop to properly shut it down, fingers crossed power keeps steady till it finishes.
Gone to bed. Howling wind.
Power went out around 4am.
Weather was OK by mid-morning. No running water.
Power restored 8 pm.

7/17 Thu
Power gone a couple of hours before dawn. Gone again before noon until 4 pm. Still no water. Started raining early afternoon. Little to no water by early evening.

7/18 Fri
No scheduled power outage today - thank goodness (Meralco started rotating power shutdown yesterday due to low generation daw). Trickles to no running water. Globe cell reception still iffy since Glenda hit. Electricity situation desperate in areas where strong winds took down poles and damaged power lines. Overheard: some people out there taking advantage, offering to charge devices for a fee. Sad.

Monday, July 7, 2014

who you dada blog

Search the words - dada blog - on the big G and there I am, on page 1 (with the movement/philosophy, a music band, a dad blogger, doctor...). Then last month, I am still on the prime numero uno page but the bottom half, and sometimes on page 2... kicked off by a nice craft blogger.

Where was she all this time? We started blogging about the same time but I did not notice her till she shot up to number 1 of page 1. I'm glad she caught up, she has a business and a niche -- hers is an income source. Mine is not even close, just a personal journal with one google ad running on a small box in case a visitor decides to click on it which sends a few cents my way.

Why do I want my blog to be on page 1 for anyway? I want to find it quickly, I back-read. Have you heard about bookmarks? Pfft! Seeing myself on top of SERP is awesome! Who the heck searches for "dada blog" anyway? ME!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

finally bought a better desktop monitor

... because I had to.

Someone said our custom-built desktop computer's hardware and parts have a useful life of four to six years, and then, you'll either have to upgrade or replace something. That was six years ago (2008). He was right.

The motherboard died last year. Useful life: five years. We replaced it with Gigabyte A75M-UD2H and upgraded the memory and processor.

Last week, on June 26, the bottom display of the AOC 16" widescreen monitor went bad. The bottom 1/3 of the display was covered with a white, not-totally opaque row where image changes rendered in slow motion.

dada blog - old AOC monitor display problem

Did it look like that at startup? Yes.
Take a screenshot (print screen button) and paste it on Paint, is it still there? No.
Definitive test: We hooked it up to another machine and the white row did not disappear -- the monitor is shot. Useful life: 6 years.

Go and buy a new one. The recommendation? HDMI for higher resolution (min. 1080p) AND buy an HDMI cable too because it doesn't usually come with the monitor. NOTED. I added these:
  • LED (low power consumption)
  • 21.5" (anything wider will not fit in the old, framed computer table)

Went to Festival Mall in Alabang yesterday for new monitor-shopping. The good computer shops are on the 3rd level at the end of one wing, close to the elevator on that end. It's the wing on your right if you're coming in from entrances behind the mall. Don't make any turns to where the smaller shops are. From the elevator, the way curves a little to the right and there they are - PC Express and PCWorx!

PCExpress was a bust. The smallest monitor in stock with HDMI was a Samsung 24". No, thanks.

The bigger PCWorx was next door. There it was, displayed at the entrance, my second choice Samsung S22D390H 21.5" with everything on the list + tilt feature. SOLD (cost me 7,590 pesos). Does it come with an HDMI cable? No. Do you sell one? Yes. SOLD (1.8 meters and cost me 350 pesos). My first choice was the previous version daw so this is better!

samsung S22D390H 21.5 inches led, hdmi, tilt
Samsung S22D390H (stock photo)

Bought a WiFi all-in-one printer (with fax, copier, scanner, mobile printing) for the house too. An HP 4645e series B4L10B. They already installed the ink cartridges (black and tri-color) and tested it at the store. I set it up at home. Entered correct settings and turned it off-on so it will save it OK. Printing over WiFi worked flawlessly. We are good.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vintage Ray-Ban

vintage ray-ban aviator 1970s

Score! Vintage Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses from the 70s. Hand-me-down from the old man.

One nose pad has broken off and it is really too wide for my face (bumblebee-zilla). But I don't care. I will get the nose pads replaced and wear... err... put them in my bag as backup if my current sunglasses break.

Monday, June 9, 2014

pldt modem dsl light

6/4/14 WED
*Morning - Lost Internet connection, again!!! Power-cycled. DSL light on modem did not turn on.
*Noon - Power-cycled. Same result. Called PLDT 172. Told Customer Rep what I wrote above. He tested their server. Can I hold? Sure. Dumdeedum... Yup, the server is not communicating with our modem daw. He wrote a job order (asked me to write down the ref number). He said someone will come down to check the service cabinet. I was told to keep the modem on so they can continue remote testing.
*10 p.m. - Power-cycled. DSL light is now blinking. It should be steady so, no joy.

6/5/14 THU
*11a.m. - Mister PLDT service man called. Same person as last time, from his voice.

Mister Pldt: Let's replace the modem. Did they tell you it will be P1,200?
Me: Um, we have an extra modem from when we changed subscriptions.
Mister Pldt: Oh, OK. Can you attach that now? Can you do it yourself?
Me: Oo naman.
He said he will give me time to do that and he will call right back.

I took them (modem and power plug) out of the box. This modem is like the old one, except it's red-orange. Plugged it in, turned it on... all modem lights are good. We are back. (I should be happy and excited but no...)

*Fifteen minutes later - He called back, said the old modem is broken. He said if I turn the new one over, there is a password...

Me: Weh, what?
Mister Pldt: Ay, what modem is that?
Me: It's like the old one, the black box. This one is in a different color. We use a separate router...
Mister Pldt: OK, never mind. You're good for now.
Me: Did you see any problem in that cabinet?
Mister Pldt: If that modem did not work, that's when I'll look at the cabinet.
(Sa loob-loob ko, ngek, sana tiningnan nyo na din.)

Me: So, I'll throw the old modem out...
Mister Pldt: You can or you can keep it... as a souvenir.
(Yup, same mister.)

This is the third time within 30 days that we lost our Internet connection (see the previous two times). Not good!

Monday, May 26, 2014

pldt blinking dsl light

Twice, it happened this month, more than 48 hours each time: May 12 (early a.m.) - May 14 (afternoon), and May 24 (early evening) - May 26 (mid-morning).

We called pldt 172. I have three reference numbers on file. We could not connect. Power cycled now and again within those periods of "limited or no connectivity." We couldn't get it back. The DSL light on the modem just kept blinking.

During May 12-14, I was told a few different things after calling 172. First, there was no reported issue in my area and of course, they would file a report - I noted down my first reference number. Next, there was ongoing maintenance for accounts under our subscription plan, was told to keep the modem on for remote testing, and was given a new reference number. Next, they were going to assign a technician to come. The tech would call before coming. A technician neither called nor visited. I was told our connection was restored the afternoon of the 14th when I was out of town.

May 24-26, we experienced "limited or no connectivity" so we power-cycled. Again, the DSL light on the modem just kept blinking. Again, called 172, another report reference number down on paper. Power cycled -- nada. Followed up on the 25th, was told a tech would be assigned to come and fix it. Power cycled -- again, hello, blinking DSL light. Today, May 26, 9 a.m., the tech called, he's coming over. 10 a.m., power-cycled -- "aaaahhhh" -- after initializing, all lights are good, DSL light is steady. Turned computer on, we are online.

Mister pldt tech arrived at 2 p.m. I said I power-cycled while I was waiting for him and it connected, it's working na. Awkward moment - I'm already here, I should do something - I nearly suggested he check the wires outside but he said he can replace the old dsl/phone splitter. I asked what it meant when the dsl light flashes and doesn't steady itself like normal, what would cause that. He said it could be the splitter, the line... He did not elaborate. I asked if there were many reports of the same problem lately. He said yes, he had many connections to repair today. Five minutes, tops. Bye, mister, thanks for the new dsl/phone splitter.

pldt replaced our dsl-phone splitter

He left the old one. It was yellow with age and the plug to the wall jack was slimy. Gross.

Will pldt adjust our bill to reflect the 5 days (more or less) that we lost our dsl connection this month (the month is not over yet)? I don't know. Maybe not.

Updated 05/26/14 11 p.m.

Friday, May 23, 2014

To Iloilo and Back

breakfast at highway 21 iloilo
My breakfast at Highway 21 Hotel. Room service was quick but food slightly cold. The staff were so nice. Asked for a rectangular tray so I can eat in bed and got it.

Went to Iloilo last week. Stayed two nights at Highway 21 Hotel (in building/wing with elevator) on Gen. Luna St. beside Sarabia Manor. Highway 21's airport pick-up and drop-off were efficient. We paid P700 each way.

The vacation was short but sweet. We met relatives, shopped and ate. We slept at Highway 21 and had dinners next door at Sarabia's restaurants. Aldente's was delicious but the Margherita pizzas they served us had green tomato slices. At Suehiro's, the server insisted on the buffet, ala carte would take too long daw because they were covering too many in-house orders.

Sarap ng aircon.

Had rain on our first night, earthquake on our second night, and rain, thunder, lightning and power outages at Iloilo airport on our last day. But our PAL flight was on time and we landed safely in Manila.

Wheelchairs at NAIA Terminal 2 (Centennial) and Iloilo International Airport need to be replaced ASAP. They are old, parts are missing and brakes do not work.

When we arrived at Iloilo airport, they accidentally dropped my wheelchair from the baggage cart. The foot rests/legs fell off but we put them back at the hotel easily, they were detachable anyway. Was worried they were scratched or cracked from the impact but they weren't so it's ok.

During check-in (departure from Iloilo airport), I lifted the foot rests/legs off and packed them in my suitcase. We folded my wheelchair and tied the chair's arms together to secure it for check in. I can't be too careful when I travel with my wheelchair now. I still attach an old sheet of paper with my contact info and handling instructions on it, hoping handlers don't ignore it.

Wheelchairs are free to check in with PAL and Delta, and I assume with other airlines as well. When I get a power wheelchair, I'll make sure it's OK for travel too.

The family/disabled-friendly restroom at NAIA 2 departure area was large and clean with a pull-down changing table. The problem was the door. A staff had to pull it wide open so we could roll the wheelchair through the narrow way outside and then sharply turn left to get in. Maybe they were still renovating, it was closed in with wooden walls.

The family/disabled-friendly restroom at Iloilo International Airport is large, clean and has a changing table too.

There were Globe prepaid card vending machines at NAIA 2. There were Smart prepaid card vending machines at Iloilo International Airport (ILO).

I needed a Globe card at ILO. We had to leave the departure area to buy one at Wewin's (still inside the airport).

We arrived at ILO maybe 6 hours before our flight. We ate a lot while we waited to board.

batchoy at wewin's iloilo international airport
My batchoy at Wewin's inside ILO airport (outside departure area). Inside the departure area, we had the obligatory cappuccino at Coffee Break and spaghetti at JD.
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