A Reboot of Sorts

Another hiatus, another lame entry here. Must be age catching up with me. Or just the need to try how easy (or hard) it is to do this in iPad.

Regardless, it now feels alien to me. Even if I had gone through a post graduate degree writing more formal papers or almost a decade addressing people using formal written communication, doing this after the longest hiatus is just uneasy.

I just might do this more often now. This device affords me the ease of doing so unlike having to set a notebook up and sit for a couple of minutes when I’m already dead tired from a weekday’s work most of the time.

Now if only I knew what would be worthwhile to put here.

So what’s up

I remember how Lei told me to just write up what’s in my mind. If not, the piece would become “stale”.

I guess she’s right there. So in no particular order, here’s an update of me since the previous hiatus in no order of significance:

  1. Another baby girl to keep me awake late at night.
  2. Now working for a mobile software company using Java.
  3. Finished that MIS degree from UPOU.
  4. Contracted chicken pox “finally”
  5. Met dad again in person after 16 years.
  6. Met an accident in C5 which almost smashed my skull. The taxi driver fell asleep as we headed up straight to the rear of a truck. He hit the brakes just in time for the bumper to break into the windshield and stop within about a foot from our faces.

Tying the Knot

Because I would be among the last ones to come to mind when it comes to public speech, pulling off one in front of more than ten qualifies as an “achievement” for me.

Strange as it seems, I find it easier to go more than 48 hours straight pressing my gray matter in analytical work, (read Software Development,) rather than get my act together for at most 5 minutes talking to an audience. For all the Speech Communication’s worth of pointers from High School and College, the thought of doing it still remains my greatest Waterloo.

When the time came to give one for my brother’s wedding last Saturday though, I had to literally “face my fear” and give it my best shot. With a few hours of preparations the early hours of Friday afforded me, the following was what I came up with:

Good evening everyone. Thank you for your presence in this very special day for PJ and Nikki.

While it is customary to enumerate dos and don’ts for wedding speeches, I don’t think I would go there. Mainly because I have miles to go with my own marriage and partly because I honestly think there’s no hard and fast list of specifics that would fit every couple’s story.

Given that, though, there still remains that one thing which holds for all marriages. And that is that God should remain at the center of the relationship.

We have been thoughtfully reminded earlier that no marriage is perfect. Given this, His guidance is definitely important should the times get hard and the trials become even harder.

So in behalf of the family, I would like to wish you—-PJ and Nikki—-the best of luck as you begin a new chapter in your lives. We are happy for the both of you and may the Lord be with you all throughout your marriage. It is my earnest hope that everyone here will get the chance to hear in the future what you will have to say about your wonderful memories together.

To PJ, you’ve grown up to be that ambitious and responsible young man ready for married life—-all the way from that rash and impatient boy I grew up with. I ask the Lord to guide you in all your endeavors as you venture on to become a family man.

To Nikki, welcome to the family and thank you for making my brother the happiest man in the world tonight.

Thank you once again to everyone here and a wonderful evening to all.

Of course it looks more wonderful in print than when I actually delivered it. And it was the delivery which almost doomed me. My wife and relatives told me my nervousness was noticeable, although she also said I was already fine in the end. It felt wonderful that a number there said the message was beautiful though.

So I’m taking that as a good start in the public speech area with the lapses as pointers charged to experience.

Going Google Chrome (1 of 2)

Doing this post reminds me of the time when I had to write about moving from Firefox to Opera. Back then, it was primarily about issues with Firefox 3.0. This time it’s about the “This is embarassing” issue with Firefox 3.5 getting more and more frequent. While the way Firefox handles its mess is commendable and somewhat funny, it becomes more and more irritating as it happens more and more frequently.

Sure it might not be the core developers’ fault there. This time, however, I don’t have any plugins so getting burned browsing isn’t exactly encouraging to me. So instead of sticking it out and maybe trying to find what’s causing some 10 or 20-something tabbed session go caput…

Enter Google Chrome

While it was not exactly the first time I used the browser, the previous weeks found me taking a long and extensive look at what the internet giant has to offer. I have used the browser for testing a proxy project for school recently so it was all a matter of some bits of tweaking before I had things going for me.

An officemate of mine told me that Google Chrome was the fastest around when he did benchmarks of different browsers for school work as well. (It isn’t hard to guess which one came in last.) I wasn’t that much surprised because the guys from Google were just living up to one of their promises in reinventing the browser.

So Far…

…I’m liking the experience. Pretty much to have me set it as my default at least for the time being.

Apart from the often-noted gains on speed, Google Chrome dares to do things differently so I guess one downside to adopting it for one’s internet pleasure would be the need to take time to get used to how it does things. For one so used to seeing the usual window bar then menu then tabs layout when browsing, getting something without the first two parts can slow you down at first.

Google Chrome Layout

Google Chrome Layout

One thing noteworthy here is in how the decision to strike a balance between functionality and simplicity was achieved.

And for Tweaks and Peaks…

…there’s the Developer Tools from Google. I’ve pretty much missed what Google has to offer in this respect when doing my Client-Server term project so finding it out these past few days raised my delights on the browser to say the least.

First there’s the Developer-Elements treat for the web developer wanting to skim across piles of DOM material of the current page.

The Developer-Elements Functionality

The Developer-Elements Functionality

Then there’s the Developer-Javascript tool to those who want to get dirty with Javascript. It is worth noting that the browser chooses to implement Javascript rendition differently from other browsers as anyone who understands their comic would.

Developer-Javascript Console Functionality

Developer-Javascript Console Functionality

And finally, the multi-process nature of sessions in Chrome obviously requires some means of allowing users to manage the processes. This is where the Task Manager familiar to Windows users comes in.

Google Chrome Task Manager

Google Chrome Task Manager

New Tabs

Opening a new tab brings up the most visited pages in thumbnail format by default. The said layout reminds me of Opera’s Speed Dial functionality really:

New Tab - By Thumbnails

New Tab - By Thumbnails

Of course there’s the list-format setting for those who prefer to run down through lists:

New Tab - By List

New Tab - By List

Treat Time

Just another busy day in the largest mall in the country

Just another busy day in the largest mall in the country

Yesterday got me and the family at SM North the whole day. It was when I woke up that my wife told me of the plan to spend the day there. We geared up and after spending nearly 2 hours in the busy traffic along the way, we got there.

And it was really busy there yesterday.

I was supposed to find a mouse to replace the one I’m using for nearly a couple of years now. And maybe a little something for myself as I bid the twenty-something years good riddance.

Instead I didn’t get anything for myself. They did however.

For Her – I

For my wife it was a new Samsung S3500. It was no beast like the U900 it was often compared to (and to which it shared a lot of comparisons) but compared to my recently fixed U600, there are some things review material really.

The Samsung S3500

The Samsung S3500

Here are some impressions so far without turning this into a full blown review.

The S3500 scores against the U600 with long battery life. My phone lasts barely for 2 days when I use its music player on my way to work. All the music tests we did on hers just manage to dent about a third of the phone’s entire battery life.

Camera features favor the U600 mostly with its 3.1MP with flash. The S3500 however has a 2.0MP without the flash to show. To the latter’s credit however, it takes pictures faster with the former having the annoying 5-second wait time before the picture is actually taken.

The S3500 is also more customizable with the presence of more themes and profiles. I would also give it a slight edge on the quality of sound over the U600. However I’d give the U600 an advantage on the fluidity and quality of display. The S3500 doesn’t have the document viewer for pdf, doc and xls files the U600 affords me though.

Both have a lot of similar functions. Both are expandable and have essentially similar phone book, bluetooth, organizer, alarms, calculator, file viewer and other functionalities.

The cost is where the S3500 pleads its case convincingly. Its cost is less than twice the amount of the U600 I got nearly two years ago. This gives an idea of the rate at which rabid competition in mobile technology lowers down technology costs in favor of the consumer.

For Her – II

The Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS

Her long overdue Nintendo DS… something we’ve been longing to give her but somehow didn’t manage to find the time to do so. Not even after her birthday on the 3rd of this month due to a lot of typhoon-related concerns still around then.

It was nice to see her appreciate her new article. She’s been going at it while having dinner last night.

She’s still going as I write this beside her. I guess it’s going to be a while before the next lengthy father-and-daughter conversation takes place.

For Me

Just a splendid time, a much welcome reprieve from what has happened since Typhoon Ondoy struck really.

I got nothing for myself. I guess it’s really part of getting old (and wiser) to appreciate those times becoming rarer and rarer over those stuff you get for your day which often end up room clutter after a while.

Still Going

Just when I thought my Samsung U600 was already a goner, it turned out that the phone still had a few miles to go.

As I’m so accustomed to do, I did a few web searches and found out similar problems encountered by other users. It turned out it was quite frequent after all. Some happened well over a year after the owners acquiring them. This was worse than my experience which was almost 2 years after my purchase.

Turns out that the culprit is the ribbbon flex which frequently gets the hit in terms of wear and tear in the slider phone.

SP_A0037

It's the imp's fault

And since the wear’s not visible there, here’s a clearer shot at the culprit.

The Worn-Down Flex Ribbon

The Worn-Down Flex Ribbon

Good thing the Samsung repair guys had my old pal going. The last thing I want this time of the year is an unplanned cost for a mobile phone when I have one which has pretty much a lot of the things I need in my phone.

With that I’m taking unplanned 1,500 bucks that goes with it.

No Dunking…

So months after MJ was inducted into the hall of fame, here are a couple of videos that might have been drowned out of the best moments avalanche of Jordan staples that time.

The first is this classic McDonald’s advertisement with Larry Bird in the 90’s:

One of those one on ones MJ does for fun this time. Here’s WSJ CEO John Rogers:

Nothing greatest moments material really. Just some of those which characterized the guy as the endorser and personality during his time.

Stemming the Tide

With all the accounts of Phishing horrors and IT security advisories warning against it, FBI’s breakthrough against a US-Egypt Phishing scam is definitely a welcome in the war against identity theft.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said 33 people were arrested across the United States early Wednesday while authorities in Egypt charged 47 more people linked to the scam.

A total of 53 suspects were named in connection with the scam in a federal grand jury indictment, the FBI said.

Authorities said the sophisticated identity theft network had gathered information from thousands of victims which was used to defraud American banks.

While there are a lot that remains to be done, the headway provides at least some sense of justice to those paranoid about their privacy and financial information in a world becoming more and more interconnected everyday.

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