Mar 4 2015

My big mouth

Adel Gabot

I attended my weekly Content Meeting at The Social Standard in Makati this afternoon.

We were actually supposed to have a special orientation meet this week, to be held from lunch onwards at a special venue like Rockwell or someplace like that, but apparently it was a no-go, and we just held it at the office, starting a little earlier than usual, with Dante just conducting his short workshop there.

We planned out another two weeks ahead, putting us at mid-April, just past Holy Week, and making our advanced topics precarious and susceptible to being dated by the time. But what the hey, we’re flexible.

We held our usual content meet, and TJ Parpan had a short-longish business side meet at the end. Which almost put me out—I got home past six because my bus ride took much longer, since I got on the start of rush hour. Almost two hours on Edsa! Sheesh!

At the meeting, I made the mistake of mentioning that I had an idea that would be perfect for one of our clients, BDO, for the Deals on Wheels promo, a mall-based auto loan program. I proposed a Cars To Expect in 2015 arena.  To which TJ said, if we’ll do it, it’ll have to go online asap, because the program was starting next week. Ack!

But, committed by then, I went ahead and said, yes, I can do it ASAP. Which was why I spent most of the evening putting the damned arena together, finishing up only now, at 11.

I also had to modify an already-finished CPT, Top Tech Graduation Gifts, since I had included a link there that you could give a car. It would be redundant now, so I had to change giving a car to giving something else (I changed it to laptops).

Me and my big mouth.

Haaay.


Mar 4 2015

March PS+ Freebies

Adel Gabot

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Yahoooo! About time.


Mar 3 2015

Collect and sell

Adel Gabot

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This morning, I made the long and inconvenient trip to Ortigas to collect one of my checks from Uno Magazine for an article I did last year for them.

I say inconvenient because their office is situated in the heart of the Ortigas Center, right beside Tektite Tower. I had to walk from SM Megamall all the way to the Tycoon Center building, to Uno’s office on the 31st floor. (The Argus app on my iPhone must’ve had the time of its life counting my steps.) It took me nearly half an hour to get there walking, and I was glad I set out early, being at Megamall by 10am. I got the check, finally. It wasn’t really a big amount, but every little bit helps.

Then I walked back to BDO in Megamall (another 30 minutes) to deposit the check into my account, and I was back in Cubao by 11:30.

I had time to kill until 2PM, when a buyer was meeting with me at Farmer’s Market to purchase one of my IBM Model M keyboards, so I had a leisurely lunch in Gateway, then I went to the Starbucks there to surf and waste time.

But my buyer got to Cubao at 12:45, really early, and texted to ask if we could meet already. Why the hell not? I said, and hurriedly drank the coffee I was previously nursing to make it last until 2.

So I went and sold my keyboard to a guy who was just in town for the day (he lived in Lucena), then headed home a couple of hours early so I could work on the CPT revisions for The Social Standard.

Just another boring day.


Mar 2 2015

The perils of doing your work early…

Adel Gabot

…are legion.

It seems I got it into my head to fully get rid of my procrastination, and for weeks I’ve been ahead of myself as far as work is concerned, so at the moment I really got nothing much to do and am understandably antsy.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always put off things, and am constantly trying to catch up with myself, to the point of starting, let’s say, an article on the eve of submission. Never mind that I’ve had weeks to do it. I didn’t, and now I’m in trouble.

But this is not to say that I don’t think about it. I do, every day. Like, ok, I’ve got two weeks to do it; I got plenty of time. Then, ok, I’ve got a week to do it; still time. Then, ok, I got two days; lots of time to do it; I’ll work on it tonight. Then, uh oh, I got til tomorrow to turn it in; i really gotta buckle down and do it now!

And I always manage to, every time. But not before I’ve agonized and tortured myself over it, that I’m not worthy to be a writer, I didn’t have what it took, and you think what I’ve written is ok? You think it’ll do? It’ll have to, I got no more choice.

That was before, of course. Nowadays I get to it as soon as I can, even if I have an entire month to do it.

Like with the freelance articles I do for some of my magazines, and the arenas for The Social Standard, and most other things in my life.

Like my stuff for Explore magazine for example. France, the editor, writes to me and tells me the assignment, and she says I have about a week before I needed to turn it in. Ok, I say, a week. But I submit later that same evening. Stuff like that.

This morning, for instance, I woke up early (as I am wont to do these days; I also turn in early, which probably accounts for it), and quickly running out of things on the net to look at (it being a Monday), I decided to work on one of the advanced arenas for The Social Standard—I was through with it before freaking breakfast. That arena was one of those assigned way in advance, and I didn’t really have to work on it for a whole month. But damn, I did it anyway.

I also get pretty anxious if I got stuff I have to do later in the week, and I want to do it now now NOW! Like meeting up with the buyer of my Model M keyboard. I’m supposed to meet him tomorrow afternoon, but I’ve been wanting to get it over with since last week.

I’m turning into a time-based obsessive, exactly like the ones I used to hate. Goddamn.


Mar 1 2015

Racking (and wrecking) them up

Adel Gabot

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I just realized how many damned external drives I’ve gone through in my life.

Just in the past year, eight terabytes worth:

  • there was the 2TB GoFlex Desk with that expensive Thunderbolt adapter that costs twice more than the drive itself and its equally expensive Apple-made Thunderbolt cable that all of a sudden refused to work;
  • then there was the 2TB Buffalo Cloudstation, an entry-level NAS drive that slowly got wrapped up in its own processes that it slowed to a crawl before eventually just running at a snail’s pace, if that snail was horribly disabled and just crawling along at an inch a day;
  • and finally, the 4TB Seagate Central NAS drive, which just dropped from my desktop and didn’t surface at all, no matter what I did (I think it’s a power issue, although I have no way to tell; the damn thing just won’t power on).

That last one, the Seagate, was the most painful to lose, as it had become nearly full of my downloaded movie and TV files and constituted nearly my entire media library (without a backup—but hey, how the hell do you backup 4TBs?).

Working tirelessly though are two other drives, my ancient 750MB USB 2.0 MyBook, which I use as a Time Machine backup for my almost 500 GB system (on my 1TB drive-equipped iMac), and my 1TB Firewire 800 My Book Studio data backup drive.

Add to that my new, newly-won-in-a-raffle 1TB My Passport Anniversary Edition portable drive, the drive which now houses my painstakingly recovered most-favorite-only media files (which is now 80% full), and you have the entirety of the storage of my current Mac setup.

Just as well. I’ve run out of ports to connect new ones anyway. (Well, I’ve still got a couple of Thunderbolt ports, but face it, getting new Thunderbolt drives are remote as hell.)

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I remember other drives from the past, those gigantic pluggable 500GB behemoths, and many smaller ones from my past life. I don’t know where they are now, and it’s just as well; their storage capacities are probably puny as hell.

I got several in the cabinet now: a couple of portable 500GBs outfitted with cheap CDR King cases, that nice 500gb GoFlex Satellite that has built-in wifi (and is meant for my iPad and iPhone, ostensibly), and a couple of those old ones with tiny storage that I managed to bring along.

Wala lang. Just taking stock of my stock.

 

 


Mar 1 2015

It’s March?

Adel Gabot

Christ.

It’s March already.

And here I was just getting adjusted to the fact that it was February. (Actually, I never get adjusted to the fact that it’s February, ever. It’s just freaking too short. The fact that it’s my birthday month doesn’t really help.)

What was that saying about time flies?

I’m not having much fun, but it still does.


Feb 28 2015

EJ

Adel Gabot

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Last night, while commiserating with a couple of beers, on a lark I went and checked on my old blog, The Electric Journal of Adel Gabot, and quickly became lost in the memories and past experiences.

The Electric Journal is my old LiveJournal blog from the mid-2000s, before I made my own domain and set this (new) blog up. It was fairly popular back then to have a LiveJournal account, and for several years I blogged there with gusto, entertaining a few readers but mostly myself. I posted on all sorts of things that happened in my life up to that point, like the Gabot Reunion in Dagupan, my radio days, musings on Macs, my marriage to Mano, our dogs—all sorts of stuff.

But I transferred to this blog just before my stroke, in an effort to be independent from a publicly available site, and left the LiveJournal one to lie fallow. (And, incidentally, lose my dozens of followers in the process.)

Last night I checked it out again (and reestablished control again by resetting my password, which I’d forgotten long ago), largely on a whim, and was surprised and hugely entertained by my… life.

I was a cut-up back then, or at least I thought so by the way I wrote. Sparky, full of vim and vigor, suffused with life. Oh, I was so full of it back then.

And my experiences! So many, and so varied!

I spent half the night looking over my site again, and remembered most of the things there through the days, weeks, months and years, both the good and the bad.

I had an interesting life.

Nowadays, I’m more sedate and introspective, and largely keep to myself.

Except when I blog here, and relate my current life experiences, however briefly and succinctly.

Oh, to go back to my previous life!

Sigh.


Feb 27 2015

Beamer machine

Adel Gabot

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It’s really funny how my Apple TV has degenerated into just a device to play my videos on my flatscreen TV.

Ever since I got the Beamer app, I just use it as a way to stream my video files onto my TV. I have tons of them, and I just watch and watch and watch, day in and day out. It’s a convenient bastard.

It just dawned on my that I’ve been doing exclusively that for months, and not using the Apple TV for its intended purpose.

I’m not watching movies or TV shows bought or rented from iTunes, watched any video podcasts, listened to music or internet radio, looked at my iPhoto shots, or watched YouTube or any of the dozens of streamed channels on it.

I just watch my downloaded media, and that’s it.

Here’s how it works: there’s a permanently-open Beamer window on my iMac, and I just drag whatever video file, in whatever format it’s in, that I want to watch into that window, and it streams magically via Airplay to my TV, in high-resolution and full home-theater audio mode (that’s why I always download movie and TV files at the highest quality I can affford).

If I don’t happen to like the file I’m watching, I just drag another file into the window, and it replaces whatever was there. Convenient, isn’t it?

Which brings me to Beamer.

Beamer was created by former Apple engineers and programmers who wanted to get over the limitations Apple imposed on the Apple TV of playing only prescribed file formats, and also wanted to make it a simple drag-n-drop proposition using Airplay. God bless them.

Ever since I bought it I’ve used it extensively every single day, to the apparent exclusion of everything else. I’d unintentionally neglected all the other functions of the Apple TV, and just used it to Airplay my video files.

I just realized this today, while my Apple TV was patiently showing its menu of different channels and source icons for me to ignore as I decided on which video file to play next.

I used to watch a lot of stuff on my Apple TV: the many TWiT TV podcasts, CNet, CNN, BBC, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX news channels, the YouTube,  Vimeo and Vevo channels and all manner of different and varied material available.

Now they’ve all fallen by the wayside, replaced by Beamer stuff.

Well, from now on I resolve to watch more of the real Apple TV content again, and not waste one of the greatest video inventions ever.


Feb 26 2015

Zombies et al

Adel Gabot

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Gosh darn.

I went ahead and bought a copy of Dying Light for the PS4. When will it end?

Granted, I had the spare cash lying around and burning a hole in my pocket. I had just sold off two of my fairly new games, Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Order: 1886, leaving me with just Destiny and Driveclub, and I was thinking what to get next.

In the near future, nothing really. Not if you don’t count Bloodborne and Battlefield Hardline in March, Mortal Kombat X in mid-April, The Witcher 3 in May and Batman: Arkham Knight in June (games I’m not really too keen on buying). The only must-buy coming up is Uncharted 4 at the latter part of the year.

Dying Light was the only recent release that remotely held some interest for me, although the thought of playing another zombie-fest FPS is actually a little bit threadbare.

I held off buying it because it only came in a US version, which the stores got because of the heightened demand (they and their customers couldn’t wait for an Asian version), and it was very expensive at P2600. But I checked on a couple of stores this morning and they were again out-of-stock; it seems it’s been selling like hotcakes, even if it was expensive.

I got mine a lot cheaper. I’d been trolling the online sites for second-hand copies since Dying Light was released, and there were practically none. A month in, the owners were holding onto their copies for dear life, while there were dozens of The Order for sale already floating around less than a week after its recent official release.

As is my habit, I was looking around the sites this morning and came across one for sale with unredeemed codes, but with no given cellphone to bargain on. So I wrote on the page I’d buy it if he’d let it go for 25% less than the original cost, and he texted me (while I was in Starbucks Ali Mall already, surfing) that sure, and he’d meet up with me around lunch in Podium in Ortigas. So I changed my plans and met up with him.

So now I got a copy of the game.

Playing with it initially, I was pleased with the snappy controls, though I wasn’t too happy with the parkour stuff, which I had to learn. But it’s shaping up to be a good game, and I have high hopes for Dying Light.

In other news, I got a buyer for the other IBM Model M keyboard that I got, and I’m meeting with him next Tuesday. A guy named Edwin from Lucena. Nice chap, and a fan of mine from my Little David days, I found out last night.

Yesterday I wrote another tech piece for France Pinzon and Explore Magazine, and submitted it last night. God, she must think I’m not doing anything else, because she assigned it to me just yesterday afternoon, and I submit the same night. Happened the last time she asked me to write for them also.

This afternoon, while waiting for Dying Light to download its Day One update, I wrote a rushed Arena for The Social Standard, a piece on Power Women in Philippine Business in time for Women’s Day 2015, which happens on March 8, I believe. Serves me right for having advanced Arenas for my Stadium—give Lara the right to ask me to do extra stuff, since I was advanced with my work. Sigh. I submitted it already, which frees me for the rest of the week and I can just concentrate on playing my new game.


Feb 24 2015

Oscar Day

Adel Gabot

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Yesterday morning I watched The Oscars live (Sunday night in the US).

I had nothing to do yesterday morning, so I thought I’d watch, it was easily available this year anyway thanks to HBO. I hadn’t watched the previous years, opting instead to just update myself on the net as to who won. I didn’t really care that much as to who did, anyway; it’s just a mutual admiration fan club as far as I’m concerned.

But this year I thought I’d watch. Just for the hell of it.

Damn. It took almost four hours to unwind, about as much as did the SNL 40th Anniversary show last week. I got so damned bored I puttered around on my computer the whole time, just stopping to see who won what, and muting the TV when the acceptance speeches came on (and effectively missing a few excellent ones, judging by the Twitterverse). The TV just droned on while I surfed.

Granted, Neil Patrick Harris did a fine job of hosting, and took away a lot of the Squirm Quotient I used to generate with previous hosts. He opened the show competently, did justice to his jokes (mostly), and carried the thing pretty well along. His Price Waterhouse forecasting running gag fell flat though, as did his Birdman tighty-whitey schtick, but as a host I’d give him a score of 8 out of 10.

One of the showstopper numbers for me was Lady Gaga‘s tribute to The Sound of Music. If you took away all the grandstanding, meat costumes and outrageous numbers, and just left her pure singing voice alone and in the spotlight, Lady Gaga was a revelation. She sang the medley of songs eloquently and beautifully, and showed everyone her real, pure singing talent. Man. I’m now a fan.

Birdman took the best awards, and Eddie Redmayne was a surprise win for best actor. J.K. Simmons also won for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Whiplash, which the only film I was vaguely interested in.

Of course, none of the films I really enjoyed this year really were recognized, like Predestination (save for a few token categories in which some of them were nominated). I think the Oscar Awards are beginning to show the widening gap between the Academy and the moviegoing public.

The thing ended at 1:15pm, having begun promptly at 9:30 that morning.

That’s nearly four hours of my life I won’t get back.