Apr 21 2014

Ahh, I gave up…

Adel Gabot

So I did.

I stopped TechTool Pro 7 from volume-optimizing my home drive.

To tell you the truth, it was taking too damn long.

Approaching the evening of the second day, it was still barely a tenth through, and at that rate I’d have to wait an entire week for it to finish. I’d already wasted the entire Easter weekend.

So I hitched up my pants and cut the thing dead.

My system’s none the worse for wear, apparently.

Still the same slight delay when clicking on things in the Finder. Still the same response time when clicking on programs. There was a slight hitch when I first restarted it—the three finger sweep to shift from desktop to desktop didn’t work the first bootup, so I had to start it again from scratch, and that finally solved the problem.

Someday I will finish the VO, but not yet. Not now. Maybe when I go out for a trip or something and have to leave the iMac alone for a few days. (As if that’ll happen anytime soon.)

Ah, the travails of having nothing to do.


Apr 20 2014

TechTool Pro 7

Adel Gabot

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 9.59.52 AM

I’m currently Volume-Optimizing my home drive, and it’s taking much longer than I expected.

I haven’t been on my “computer” since yesterday, and it looks like another day off it. I can’t stand it, but I also can’t give it up. Just have to grin and bear down.

It started yesterday at around 9 in the morning, and by the evening, it wasn’t even half through. It was simultaneously defragging and volume-optimizing, which I thought was making it last longer. Since I just defragged my drive the day before, I thought last night that if I just re-defragged it and then volume-optimize it, it might make it run faster, but it didn’t help. I was just set back an hour or two, and then it just continued on its slow, ponderous way, shuffling and reshuffling the files and reorganizing the drive again.

Dammit.

I got TechTool Pro 7 last Friday in an attempt to revive my 2GB Thunderbolt drive, but it was for naught, since the drive didn’t even want to boot up in the first place.

So I just used it to defrag and VO my 1TB archive drive, and it went well and reasonably fast, but when I tried to VO my home drive after defragging it, it told me I had to make an eDrive and boot my machine off that, before I could VO the thing. So I made an eDrive yesterday morning (it took 12GB off my free space) and started the optimization.

It essentially creates another boot drive and makes the main home drive just another secondary one that I can defrag, VO or repair as much as I want. Thing was, it operated on a shoestring setup, enabling only the most essential parts of the OS, mostly what it needs to operate. Now, it can VO my home drive, but I hadn’t realize how long it would take. All this for something whose innate value was doubtful in the first place—Macs didn’t really need defragging and optimizing, as far as I know. But every little bit helps.

It’s still there, chugging away. More than halfway through now (after last night’s abortive but ultimately useless attempt at making it run faster), but that’s after 24 hours of working steadily.

And here I am, twiddling my thumbs.

Hey man, I got websites to track, and torrents to download!

Well, at least it enabled Safari, and I’m at least able to surf (and write blog posts) while waiting. But you know what I mean. Not having full control of your system is maddening, and now it’s going on its second full day.

What the hell is it doing that’s taking so goddamn long?

Goddamn it!


Apr 15 2014

PS Camera for sale, cheap.

Adel Gabot

You remember I sold my PS Camera a couple of weeks ago or so?

pscamera

Well, the buyer is reselling the thing on TipidPC.

Probably didn’t want to sell it on PhilMUG because he’s a bit embarrassed to be seen selling the thing when I sold it there too, and I got a sale real quick. From him.

Actually, he was selling it only six days after he bought it from me. (I know, because I monitor these things.) The fact that he has still hasn’t, weeks later, probably makes him feel bad. He was actually hoping to make a profit, selling it a bit higher than what he got it from me for. But he’s since lowered the price to my original one. But still no takers.

I guess he saw too that it was really a useless little thing, and that he was better off without it.

Ah, those are the breaks.


Apr 13 2014

Titanfall for the Xbox 360

Adel Gabot

Been playing endlessly with my new PlayStation 4 in the six or seven weeks that I’ve owned it, and I put aside my (wonky) PS3 in storage, and the Xbox 360 in virtual hibernation (though ready to go anytime I feel like it).

I only have five games for the PS4, but I sold one already because I didn’t like it. I play the hell out of a couple of them, though.

Seriously, there haven’t been any new games for the 360 for a while (not counting COD Ghosts and Battlefield 4), and there hasn’t been any impetus for me to use it. Once a week I fire the 360 up for a few minutes to check for updates, and that’s about it.

Until early this week, anyway, and now it’s the PS4 that’s being neglected.

I’m talking about Titanfall, which Microsoft/Respawn finally released for the 360, a month after they released it for the Xbox One. It was supposed to be released two weeks earlier, but it was pushed back to a full month (ostensibly to give the Xbox One version time to take hold and beef up the Xbone’s flagging sales).

I went to my usual DataBlitz branch on the date of release, but strangely they didn’t have it yet, and they couldn’t say when they will sell it. This, coming from a store that had the PS4′s inFamous: Second Son on pre-order months before its release.

So, I went to SM North Edsa the next day to see if the other games stores already had it. (There were two of those in the SM Annex, and it was the closest ones.) One of them didn’t have it either, but the other already did, and they got it the day before!

2D Boxshot Wizard v1.1

So I bought it and hurried home, and I’ve been playing it since. I finished the two single-player “campaigns” in a couple of days, and I’ve been playing Classic multiplayer ever since. Strangely enough, my character has only gone up to Level 24, while there are several 30-level or 40-level other players already. Hmm.

That’s what’s been occupying my days lately, since both Technoodling and Manifesto are both in hiatus. The game, and my near-daily half-day visits to cafes to catch up on my internet stuff.

Ah, well.


Mar 28 2014

A week with the PS Camera—and no more

Adel Gabot

Last Saturday, I bought a second-hand PlayStation Camera for the PS4.

We were supposed to meet at 3 in the afternoon at the Cubao MRT station, but the guy was a full hour late. At least he came.

Not that that is important. Thing was, I was really avoiding buying one. For over a month, I hemmed and hawed. I knew intellectually that it was sort of a useless accessory, but somehow it always came back to haunt my dreams.

When I saw one on TipidPC, I made a half-hearted offer of a little less than the published price, and I was shocked that the guy agreed! Yikes. So, forced to good, I went and bought it.

After a week, I realized my instincts were right on the money. It was nearly useless.

There were several simple games on the PS4 that were designed for the Camera, but after an hour with them, I was all camera’d out. And Just Dance 2014 wasn’t really my cup of tea. Trying to convince myself it was still a good buy, I tried playing the games over the week, but really, I was just fooling myself.

So, this morning, one week after getting it, I decided to sell it. I posted it on the usual sites, posting it at the original price the former owner had initially posted it for, and by lunchtime, I had a deal going. What a relief!

So that’s it for the PlayStation Camera. Back to just playing my usual games—this week, inFamous: Second Son is taking up all of my time. But no more camera for this gamer.

Serves me right.

 


Mar 25 2014

Amazing. I sold a couple of long-posted things yesterday.

Adel Gabot

I have regrets that I don’t use my ZTE MiFi anymore. Ever since I got the iPhone 5 and 5s, I’ve been using the Personal Hotspot feature of its new always-connected internet, and now I have no use for the wonderful device.

I’d posted my ZTE on TipidPC and the other sites a long time ago, and while there have been a few nibbles, it went largely unnoticed by the buying public. I had almost resigned myself to the fact that it will stay in my (largish) cache of unused gadgets.

Then all of a sudden, Burt my brother calls up and asks me if I’d sold it, and if not he’d buy it from me. Sure, I said, it’s just here, lying around. He’d always ask questions like these and then forget about them, so I didn’t take it seriously.

Then, on the very same day, I got two serious inquires about the ZTE! Hmm. I told them I sorta had it reserved for someone, and if he didn’t push through with it, I’d get back to them.

So this weekend I called Burt up and asked him if he was really going to buy it, and he said yes, he’s sure to get it, he’s just waiting for some money to come in so he could pay me. Hey, great.

On another topic, I had also posted one of my new PS4 games, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, on the site. I had just acknowledged that pirate games aren’t really in my preferred-game genes, no matter how much I tried to enjoy it. So I had resigned myself to losing a fourth of its value and was selling it on the same sites as well.

Yesterday, someone texted me at 6 in the morning inquiring when I could meet up to sell the game. No haggling, no nonsense, he just wanted to buy it at the posted price. I said I could meet him that morning.

So, to make a long story short, I did, and sold it to him.

Incidentally, my brother came over yesterday afternoon to take care of some stuff, and also went and bought the MiFi device from me, paying me immediately.

Two sales in one day, after weeks of nothing. Would you look at that?

Sometimes you can really be lucky.


Mar 15 2014

Bloggo blogging

Adel Gabot

I’ve been playing around with alternate blogs this past week.

It all started when I got an email from Tumblr congratulating me for seven whole years of blogging. What?

It turns out I started a blog called Expletives Deleted on Tumblr seven years ago, and forgot about it.

Let me amend that.

I didn’t actually start the blog, as there were no blogs posts on there. I just laid the groundwork, and completely forgot about it. I have 11 followers though, despite my forgetfulness. Mostly friends who probably looked for me on Tumblr, found a blog, and signed up. For a whole lot of nothing. Still.

I had also forgotten the password to the Tumblr account, so I had to reset it before I could access the blog.

Hey, why the hell not, I told myself. So I threw in some short posts, and think I’ll keep it up.

Curious, I checked another blogging site, Blogger, to see if I started one there too.

Amazingly, there was an account for me, although there wasn’t a blog yet.

So I set one up, called it Whispered Nothings. Hey, why not?

Then I posted something on it, and voila, another blog.

I put the accounts on Blogsy on my iPad, which, amazingly, supported both platforms.

Now I’m scared to look at other blogging sites, because I might have something on them too. With this one, The Electric Journal on LiveJournal, the various MacADoodles, and a couple of others, I’m full up. Not to mention Technoodling and Manifesto, both pseudo-blogs (both currently on a break, incidentally).

I’ll try to decide whether or not to keep them. In the meantime I’ll play around with them some more.


Mar 6 2014

Rest in peace, UPS

Adel Gabot

My UPS died the other day.

My Uninterruptible Power Supply. It was a relatively inexpensive CDR King unit, kinda heavy, but compact enough. It served me well for a couple of years, but it finally tanked the other day. It blinked off and started emitting a brrr-brrr sound, and I couldn’t get it to start up again.

About half a year ago, it had intermittently been turning off for no reason, and after several ignominious restarts, I took it apart, thinking it was the battery. I was fully intending to replace the battery, but the thing was heavy, and I had no car at the moment. The thought of lugging it to the street to a jeepney or a cab seemed intimidating, so I let it slip by, using instead the plain old wall socket to power my computer stuff in the meantime.

A month ago I considered buying an old-fashioned servo-controlled power supply, but thought I’d give the old UPS one more try.

Two weeks ago, I put it together again, and started using it. It ran for a couple of days without incident, but then it started the on-off thing again, and it did that twice in the two weeks I used it, once while I was asleep, and the other time I was fully awake and working on the computer in the afternoon.

It had cost me a couple of grand. It was a nice 1000VA unit, with a 15 minute backup. And it was a surge suppressor and AVR as well. I was covered.

It had a bank of three power-safe sockets on the side, and three ordinary, unprotected ones. It worked fine for almost a couple of years before it started turning itself off mysteriously, and my troubles with it began.

And now it’s completely dead. I’m back to the old wall socket. Time to think about getting that old-fashioned power supply thing again.

Shucks.


Mar 1 2014

Analog grips

Adel Gabot

P1020066

I went and looked for these analog grips all over town, hoping to find them cheaper than I saw them online.

These DS4 grips were being sold by an enterprising guy who apparently ordered a whole bunch of them and now was plying them online for P250 for two pairs.

Pretty expensive, considering I found a whole silicone controller’s worth for P90 at DataBlitz. These were itty-bitty little silicone caps for the analog sticks. I initially had no intention of buying them, until I saw a YouTube video of a guy who had his analog sticks crumbling off after a couple of weeks of use. Couldn’t have that now, could we?

Trouble was, this seller lived in the south, somewhere in the bowels of Paranaque. To get the grips, I had to have them shipped to me in QC through JRS for an additional P90. That would being the total cost to P340. A bit expensive.

I spent a few days combing the malls around the city to find them, but couldn’t, and I had to give in. I texted him and we got the deal going, Had to make a deposit in BPI under his name, and I did that yesterday, and now the grips arrived just before lunch.

P1020068

Despite my initial misgivings, the grips were nice. They were a little stiffer than I initially envisioned, but they went over the grips firmly, and they had tiny raised protrusions on the top that made using them a pleasure.

P1020069

Even better, they also fit my Xbox 360 controller’s analog sticks as well, so there was no overage. Two pairs were just right.

Great. Now if only inFamous: Second Son was released soon, I’d really be a happy camper.


Feb 25 2014

Throwaway gadget accessory: The DualShock 4 Silicone Sleeve for the PS4*

Adel Gabot

Just wanted to share a throwaway accessory I found at one of the stores. (I realize Technoodling is on hiatus, but I gotta quickly share this one, it’s so neat!)

It’s nothing important, actually, but I find it quite useful. And quite a bit of an accessory for the slightly paranoid among us, too.

It’s a third-party silicone sleeve for the DualShock 4—the new controller of the PlayStation 4.

The DualShock 4 Silicone Sleeve for the PS4 comes in a simple plastic bag, no label, no box. God knows who made it and where it comes from, but suffice it to say it’s pretty useful. I really like it.

I also realize I’m the guy who frowns on using cases and sleeves for his gadgets, but with the beating I give my controller in my gaming sessions, something like this is kinda required. So I made an exception in this case, and slipped that sucker on.

It’s made of a thin, white silicone material. It’s a tight fit, actually, and you have to make an effort to get the thing on, but once it’s there, you never have to take it off. You can go back to beating on your controller with abandon, secure in the knowledge that you can’t really damage it much (well, within reason).

It allows for unimpeded access to the controls; the cutouts for all the buttons and switches are precisely placed. My big worry was the cutout for the touchpad in the middle of the controller, but they (whoever they are) did that part nicely, having a humongous cutout that reaches out to even the front of the controller, leaving the light bar and the microUSB port exposed nicely. The edges of the cutout lie neatly and snugly along the lines of the DS4.

The best part about it is that it’s really cheap.

Data Blitz sells it for only P95, so it’s sort of a no-brainer purchase. Some enterprising PS4 users even sell it for P450 for a pair online, which is a bit overpriced. (There are even round disc-like silicone covers for the analog sticks called Precision Grips going online for P250 for two pairs, but I draw the line at them; there’s a point where simple protection becomes outright paranoia.)

The DualShock 4 Silicone Sleeve is a great investment for protecting your gaming gear, and if you ever get tired of it, you can just take it off and put it away, no regrets. I think this thing is going on my controller for the duration.

*Reprinted from Technoodling