Davao Mac User

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Bluetooth yumminess

Jabra’s known for its bluetooth products from headsets for cellular phones to wireless stereo headsets like the BT620.

The BT620 would be a perfect pair with the bluetooth iPod or biPod (that doesn’t sound right). What? Oh, there’s no bluetooth iPod yet? Well, that sucks.

Luckily for those of us yearning to be free from the tangles Jabra has introduced the A125 bluetooth adapter for the iPod and iPod nano. The Jabra A125 is connected to the Dock connector. The adapter has a rechargable battery which can last for 10 hours on continuous listening or 250 hours on standby. It is said to hit the stores on August and will cost $75. The total cost for freedom from wires is $167 (you can get the BT620 for $92 in Amazon).

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My Mac has spyware.

Or so says the PISOlutions technician.

After several days of slow and oftentimes interrupted connections and downloads, I calmed myself down and called tech support. I said our connection comes and goes and he said he’ll look into it. He did some diagnostics and said that our line was getting triple to quadruple ping digits. I asked whether that’s bad. He said yes. What was causing it.

“It’s usually caused by programs like spyware or malware.”

Huh?

“That can’t be since I’m using a Mac.”

“No, no, no. It’s definitely spyware.”

“I’m sorry but there’s no spyware for Macs.”

“There isn’t?”

“Uh, no.”

“Well, I’m sure it’s because of spyware.”

Oookay.

I restarted Safari and opened up Apple’s website. The technician then exclaimed, “There! Return ping just went up three digits again.” I closed Safari and used Camino instead. I then opened GMail. “There it goes again.”

“So you think it’s because of spyware?”

“Yes.”

“So there’s nothing you can do about it?”

“No.”

There you go folks. Macs do have spyware. They’re called Safari and Camino.

Bravo, PISOlutions. Bravo.

By the way, my brother’s Windows PC is also connected in the wireless network. At that time however it wasn’t even turned on. So I guess PISOlutions technicians have found the first spywares for Macs.

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Gasp! Dial-up!

That’s right! After many months of using DSL and Wi-Fi, I’m back to using dial-up, and I owe it all to our very wonderful ISP, PISOlutions. I just found out that dial-up is sometimes as fast, or even faster, than PISOlutions. Feck! I can’t believe I’m using dial-up again.

Feck you, PISOlutions! Why don’t you just quit!

I advise people to steer clear away from PISOlutions. PISOlutions is very unreliable. You will be better off in getting PLDT’s myDSL or the Smart Bro.

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G-Buy. There has got to be a better name

G-Buy is supposed to be the Paypal killer from Google. Unfortunately, the name won’t go down very well with the Chinese especially those who speak Fookien or Hookien.

You see, G-Buy sounds like “cheebye” which means “vagina” in Chinese Fookien.

“I heard you had a hard time selling your items. Next time use G-Buy.”
“You can use G-buy to earn money.”
“Are you interested in G-Buy?”
“Visit and explore my G-Buy. My item’s are real nice.”

I hope they change the name into Google Buy or something. Then again maybe people won’t mind getting things from G-Buy.

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Things I’m expecting from Apple for the next two months.

These are the things that I’ll be waiting for in the next two months:

  • Worldwide Developer’s Conference 2006 in San Francisco, California. To be held on August 7 to 11. I’ll be waiting for Mac OS 10.5 codename Leopard. Perhaps a bit excited to see what the Mac Pro will look like.
  • An upgrade to the iPod nano, perhaps in capacities of 6GB or 8GB. Hopefully, the 2GB and 4GB models will go down in prices. I can then sell my iPod shuffle and perhaps my iPod mini and get a 4GB nano.
  • Dreading the announcement of iMac upgrades. I just bought a Mac for god’s sakes!
  • The real Video iPod? Forget it. I have no interest in it.
  • Ultraportable Mac or UPM. I don’t think so. Maybe end of the year or next year when 32GB flash memory modules will be much cheaper.
  • The iPod phone? Not anytime soon I hope. It’ll keep me from burning another hole in my pocket.
  • That’s about it.

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    PISOlutions sucks more everyday and alternative Wifi cafes

    PISOlutions is unreliable. Their signal drops every 45 to 60 minutes. The loss of signal will last anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. Even during the times that there is a signal, speed is erratic. There is no constant stream of data.

    I am having difficulty downloading podcasts or files that are more than 25MB. It usually will take me two or more tries before I can successfully download the file or podcast.

    I have trying to download Apple’s 915MB update of its Xcode Developer Tools since last week. This will be my tenth attempt.

    PISOlutions is clearly a Davao-based ISP; they’re good in getting your money but is poor when it comes to their services.

    Shouldn’t consumers get what they paid for? It’s unfortunate that companies here in Davao take advantage of consumers who remain wonderfully ignorant of their rights. Then again, if you try to exert your rights here in Davao, you’ll be labeled as a troublemaker.

    Wish I can go back to PLDT but they are frightfully so expensive. They do experience some downtimes but not as worse as PISOlutions. Fig to PISOlutions and to the limited choices we have here. Fig to the fact that we don’t have a broadband or DSL provider that is consumer oriented.

    By the way, I heard that PISOlutions is the DSL provider of Basti’s Brew. It probably is true since when you try to use the wi-fi in Basti’s Brew Victoria Plaza. it’s like experiencing a blast from the past. Can you imagine using wifi that’s running on dial-up? People looking for wireless internet are better off going to Blugre, K1 KTV, or Formula Pete’s. Though I must warn, Blugre Landco is charging for parking fees now. Formula Pete’s have raised their prices and their coffee leaves a lot to be desired. K1 KTV is a tad bit expensive but I hear their wifi is wonderfully fast. I’ll try K1 as soon as I buy a new power adapter for my Powerbook, which won’t be anytime soon since I’m short on cash. I have to wait for next payday.

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    Managing iTunes

    Playlist has articles on how to back up and manage your iTunes library.

    I wish I read these articles before transferring my iTunes library from my Powerbook to my iMac. I lost all the ratings and playcounts.

    The articles are a must read.

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    Intel iMac: one week’s worth of impressions

    It has been more than a week since I got myself a brand new 17″ iMac Core Duo. I could’ve posted my first impressions sooner but I was knocked out by a bout of viral infection. I’m still recuperating but I am well enough to post my thoughts.

    Hardware

    The iMac really looks sleek and sexy. I’ve seen a lot of photos on the net of the iMac but nothing beats the real thing. I’ve lusted for this ever since I got my hands on a 20″ iMac G5 last February, I think. Granted the 20″ is much more impressive with the screen real estate and sheer size but the 17″ iMac still got a wow from my sister-in-law.

    Coming from a 12″ Powerbook G4, the 17″ wide screen display gave me a big whoop in screen real estate. No more cramped desktop. Bye bye to frequent applications and windows switching. I found out that I much more comfortable with the brightness setting at the lowest level. Anything above that is too bright for me. Though there are times that I wish there was a more convenient way of adjusting screen brightness other than having to go to the System Preferences.

    Speakers are loud and clear, however, I am no audiophile. Anything that has good bass and as long as I can understand what a podcaster is saying is good enough for me.

    I haven’t tried the built-in iSight yet. I am not really much of somebody who likes to take photographs of himself. It was fun playing with Photobooth… for about 2 minutes. After that I got bored with it.

    Haven’t tried the mic out yet though if I used this for podcasting it might just pick up all the ambient noise inside and outside my room.

    Why are there two Firewire ports and just three USB 2.0 ports? I don’t have any other Firewire devices except for my external hard drive. What I need is more USB 2.0 ports. One port’s being used by the keyboard, the other is for the iPod, and the third is being shared by the printer, the digital camera, and the PDA. Are there USB 2.0 hubs being sold here in Davao? There are two USB 1.1 ports at the back of the keyboard. I’ve plugged my mouse into one of them.

    Along with the Firewire and USB 2.0 ports, there’s the Gigabit, mini-DVI output, audio line input, and headphone/optical digital audio output ports.

    Wifi and bluetooth works out of the box, as always.

    Peripherals

    Keyboard is simple and clean. Haven’t done extensive typing on it but I feel it might get a bit uncomfortable in the long run. The only problem I have is the tab key is hard to press and might have the tendency to get itself stuck. I’m hoping that it might loosen up after another week’s use. If not, I might have to take it back. Too bad the ports are USB 1.1 only. Who still uses USB 1.1 anyway?

    The Mighty mouse looks nice… nice like a bar of soap. I don’t have big hands but I had a hard time getting a good grip on the mouse. It’s not ergonomically shaped and I can’t understand why Apple sacrificed ergonomics on this one. The pea wheel worked nicely but it’s the lack of tactile feedback that annoyed me. I don’t know if I managed to press the button or not, or which button was it that I pressed. The squeeze buttons on both sides were not for me. I couldn’t get them to work all the time. After marvelling at the beautiful aesthetics and wonderful design of the Mighty Mouse, it went back into the box and out came the five-hundred pesos A4 Tech mouse. This time, mouse buttons 4 and 5 work.

    Apple remote looks very much like the iPod shuffle except for the menu button beneath the click wheel. I wonder how are you supposed to change the battery on this thing or is it being recharged through magnetic induction when it’s stuck on the side of the iMac? Yeah, right.

    Software

    Since this is a new machine, almost all things seems fast. Mail or Safari opens just after half a bounce on the dock. There are times though that it would take two to three bounces before the application opens. PowerPC applications under Rosetta isn’t any slower than my Powerbook considering they are running under emulation.

    512MB is definitely not enough. I only have Blogger and Apple.com tabbed in one window in Safari and memory usage is already at 342MB. Going to save up for a 2GB upgrade from OWC.

    Haven’t tried any games on this nor have I seriously considered running Bootcamp. I’m just mildly curious but there’s no pressing need for me to install Windows.

    Been using iMovie HD to make a movie out of the photos of a weeding that I took. As expected, things are better and faster than on my old machine. There are still some lags though. Definitely needing a memory upgrade.

    Been ripping DVDs for testing and a 40-minute show needs about 40 minutes to be ripped as a H.264 movie. Good enough. Been using Handbrake for the job and it eats up a lot of resources. Can’t run Handbrake and iMovie HD at the same time.

    I’ve used iTunes and iPhoto. No complaints. The problem lies in downloading podcast of which I blame it on our new DSL provider.

    Haven’t tried Garageband, iWeb, Pages and Keynote yet. Promised to do a podcast as soon as I have Garageband. Time to get off my butt.

    The iMac did hang once. It was when I was watching a movie on VLC and I had other things running in the background. When I switched to full screen mode, things just froze. I had to unplug the iMac then.

    That’s about it.

    Conclusion
    The iMac is a very nice machine. It also burned a very nice hole in my pocket. I don’t have much regret. Just guilt. I’d be upset though if on August, Apple will give the iMacs a speed upgrade. This is possible since Intel announced they will lower their prices to as low as 60%. I’d be doubly upset is Steve Jobs will announce the release of Leopard on January 2007 consider I was really hoping I could wait till next year to get a new Mac. Oh well… These things happen especially with Apple.

    But wouldn’t a 2.0 GHz 17″ iMac rock?

    More updates soon.

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    PISOlutions sucks

    Our first broadband service was MyDSL’s Plan 1995 which we paid two-thousand plus pesos every month. The initial few months of service was bad and I gave them hell because of that. Eventually, the service improved and things went well albeit some intermittent hiccups.

    After more than a year of subscription however, my brother decided that the fee was becoming too burdensome. We decided to downgrade to Plan 995 but there was a problem. PLDT was asking us to pay five-thousand pesos as a downgrade fee. WTF?!? That’s simply idiotic. What a rip-off!

    So instead of paying five-thousand pesos we opted to have the DSL subscription canceled and looked for another broadband service.

    To make things clear broadband in Davao is not what other countries might think of as broadband. As fas as I know, the fastest residential plan anybody can get here in Davao is a download speed of 1Mbps. One Mbps is of course not the actual speed. Our previous plan with PLDT was supposed to be 512kbps but on average I can only get 250kbps.

    The most affordable broadband service being offered here are those plans that cost between 799 to 995 pesos but that’s without VAT. The speed offered on these plans are usually at 384kbps. Among the available services we took PISOlutions Plan 995 simply because my brother knows the owner of the company. The advertised speed is 384kbps but we all know that just a pile of bovine manure.

    I asked the guy installing the modem how long was their longest downtime. He said that the longest downtime they had was 24 hours. Oookay. I followed that up with how often will I expect these downtimes occur.

    ‘Well, on average we have 30 per month.’

    U-huh. That bodes well. He quickly backtracked realizing what he had just said.

    ‘That’s just on average. We don’t get downtimes that last 24 hours all the time. Sometimes we get 6-8 hours downtime only.’

    I see. That makes me feel so much better. I wanted to give them the benefit of a doubt. I really did. But knowing that this is a Filipino company ran by someone from Davao, I simply did not want to keep my hopes up.

    I was right.

    It’s been almost a month now and this broadband service is terrible.

    Signal comes and goes. Downloading is a very big pain in the ass. I can’t even expect to download podcasts in one try anymore. Pair that with iTunes’s inability to resume downloads. I’m even reluctant to post my blogs since the service is so testy. Using Globequest’s bandwidth meter I get results that flactuates between 31 to 221 kbps in a two-minute testing period. This goes to show the unreliability of this service.

    So if anybody is thinking of subscribing to PISOlutions, be prepared to be disappointed. I wish there was a better alternative but I doubt it. PLDT, Globe and other providers have consumers by their throats because they know consumers’ rights are not important here.

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    360-degree panoramic view of the Fifth Avenue Apple Store opening

    Very cool QTVR panorama of the opening of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York.

    Link to Panoramas.dk.

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    PLEASE READ

    On July 21, I moved my blog to its own server.

    So www.davaomacuser.com no longer points to davaomacuser.wordpress.com.

    I've already got a few new posts over there so please join me at www.davaomacuser.com.

    See you there. Thanks!

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