Aug 19 2014

Nothin’ but Naked News

Adel Gabot

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I came across this 6-episodes-a-week, 20-minute HD web program called Naked News. I don’t know what to say.

Usually, you come across something called Naked News, you’d think it stood for a bare, honest, straightforward “naked” news program, with nothing but the truth. Yes, it is an honest-to-goodness news program, complete with biting headlines, straight reporting and a variety of segments, but the “naked” part is something else.

All the female anchors get completely naked during the broadcast.

Yes, bare-ass naked, with breast a-poppin’ and full vaj shots. For the entire program.

Sure, they start off clothed, but while they give their reports, they slowly disrobe until they’re all in their birthday suits.

If you closed your eyes and just listened, you’d swear it was a simple, straight news program. Which is the odd thing. All the “anchors” do their news reporting parts straight, with no mention at all that they’re all bare-ass naked.

They’re not self-conscious at all, and they all deliver their news gravely and seriously as if they were on a mass-market network news broadcast. But they’re all stark-ravin’… nekkid.

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Feminists will have a field day with this one. And guys too. You could argue that you’ll accept anything that makes testosterone-addled males pay attention to the news, although it would be debatable what they’re really paying attention to.

Ah, God.

Now I’ve seen everything.


Aug 17 2014

The long, sad, sorry saga of my old PS3

Adel Gabot

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I finally sold it. Sheesh. It’s finally gone. The PS3. And all its remaining games.

I didn’t exactly get what I was expecting from their sale, but all things considered, I’m happy with what I got.

Selling it has been a long and exhausting journey.

I didn’t want to sell it at first, when I got my PS4.

In fact, I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to sell it. Over the months, the function had deteriorated as to be unplayable. It stuttered and paused every few seconds, so much so that I actually preferred playing with the Xbox 360 over it. It was either the hard drive, or it needed a restoration, something I was antsy about doing because of the time and games invested in it.

Then I got my PS4, and I forgot about my old PS3. I sold most of the games I had for it, keeping only my favorite ones, that games I couldn’t part with.

Then one day a couple of months ago, I tried taking out of storage and using it again. I saw that it still had the same problems, so I decided to restore it from scratch. And lo and behold, it was ok again—all the old problems vanished, and it was running fine. So I figured, now I can sell it!

I put it on the sites, asking a bit above the going price, I realise now. After a couple of weeks, I lowered it to more sane levels, and put it up again. This time I had a lot of bites. Although I was wondering why they all were, to a man, asking about the model number.

Turns out, all of them were looking to have my PS3 jailbroken, and that depended on the model: some of them could be jailbroken, and some could not. I found out mine was not jailbreakable the hard way.

Three weeks ago, a guy from PhilMUG asked about it, and he also asked me the model. Unsuspectingly, I gave him the model number off the box, thinking that that was the actual box my PS3 originally came in.

The day he bought it, I got a call from him telling me that wasn’t the actual model number, and it couldn’t be jailbroken, so could I please take it back? Dammit. After lugging the thing all the way to Robinson’s Place in Boni/Edsa, I gotta go back and refund the guy his money and take the PS3 back. He also told me that, it being the model that it was, it should be selling much cheaper than what I was asking for it. Dammit dammit dammit.

So I made the trip and took the thing back, and refunded him his money.

Last Saturday, I took newer photos of the system and posted it again, this time for a lower price. I got many calls, most of them asking for the model number (which was stupid because I’d already prominently posted the model number in the ad to avoid my previous mistake), so I knew they only meant to jailbreak the damn thing. I got a couple of bites where they didn’t ask about it, and I focused on those two.

Thing was, they were haggling me really down, so I finally compromised and settled on a price both they and I could live with. I picked the one who had a reasonable attitude towards my meetup requirements, and I met him, or tried to meet him, at the V. Mapa LRT2 station this morning.

He stood me up. Or rather, he texted again to confirm, for the nth time, about the meetup, but this time I couldn’t reply, because I had stupidly left my phone back at the house.

Not getting a reply, he didn’t come at all. I waited for him there for a whole damn hour!

I lugged the big box back home and discovered, after I checked on my phone back at the house, what had happened.

I called him up. He was an earnest fellow, and brushed aside my troubles and asked to meet again that afternoon, this time in Cubao, where it was closer to me. But thinking about lugging that goddamn box out of the house again really stretched it for me. Ok, I said through gritted teeth, and met up with him at Starbucks Gateway at 3PM today.

This time, things went more smoothly, and the transaction was quick.

After I got home, I got a text from him confirming the voltage requirements of the PS3. 110V, like I told him before. Another text. It doesn’t want to turn on!

What? Check your connections again. See if the outlet was ok. Press the power button for longer than 5 seconds. Try anything!

I’ll be damned if I take the thing back again!

But he texted thirty minutes later: everything was ok. It was the power cord; something didn’t gel right, but now it’s ok.

Damn. Thank God!

So now it’s finally gone.

Sad for me to say this, but—good riddance.

 


Aug 16 2014

External Hard Drive Dock

Adel Gabot

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I was rummaging about in one of the old rooms, and I found and old external hard drive dock from CDRKing, complete with a 1TB Seagate internal 3.5″ drive stuck in it. I’d been passing that thing on the floor for forever, but this time I thought I’d check it out.

It’s a small black box with a blue lighted switch on the front, ports in the back (actually, just the USB and power jacks), and a big slot on top for you to insert an internal drive port-side down.

I rummaged some more, and found the power supply and the USB cable, and all I needed was a three-prong power cord and I could test it on my iMac. I found a suitable power cord in a plastic bag on the floor near the TV table, so I was set.

I cleaned the gadget up with a brush and a rag, plugged it in and connected it to my iMac.

It whirred and blinked, but otherwise did nothing. I left it alone for five minutes, and when I looked up at my iMac, there it was: a USB 2.0 drive icon on my desktop.

I quickly checked, and discovered that it was indeed empty, but formatted in Windows FAT mode. I quickly reformatted it to Mac OS Journaled, neatened up the cords and placed and relocated it behind the iMac.

I had a new external 1TB drive! And one that I switch out for a new one whenever the need arose.

I quickly backed up some of my important, but not critical data, to it, and configured to be another Time Machine backup. I didn’t know how long it would last though, but I was willing to find out.

It ran perfectly for a couple of days straight, but when I woke up this morning, I found a message on my iMac that told me to always shut down a drive properly before removing it. Uh oh. I checked, and the drive was gone from the Desktop.

I connected and reconnected it, restarted it, shut it down and started it up again, but no matter what I did, it refused to mount again.

Ah, well. That was that.

With much regret, I returned the hard drive dock back to the old room.

You win some, you lose some.

 

 


Aug 12 2014

Gone at 63

Adel Gabot

Robin Williams is dead.

This morning, suicide by asphyxiation, at 63.

God.

He was only 11 years older than me.

He defined comedy in my life, for my generation.

His wacky, zany, nonstop patter always made me crack up. No fail. His movie roles—man.

He was, as Esquire said, the funniest man of a generation. Or two. Or three.

To think that someone as accomplished as him would let severe depression take his life.

Ye shall be missed, greatly.

Robin Williams, 1951-2014.

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Aug 11 2014

Yosemite Beta Progress Report

Adel Gabot

Been trying out the beta of Mac OS 10.10, or Yosemite, for the past couple of weeks, and I gotta tell you, it’s working out great. If not for a few quirks, I could live happily with this for a while.

Was actually on the more private beta program—I set up a partition on my hard drive and was trying it out while maintaining my fully functioning Mavericks setup at the same time. I was up to Update 4, and things looked really sweet when the time for the more widely released Public Beta came up.

Since I was reasonably satisfied with Yosemite, I took the plunge and installed the Public Beta over my Mavericks configuration, and so far I’ve been pretty happy with it.

So far, only a few hiccups here and there: sometimes the Dock suddenly disappears, but reappears after a minute or two; some of my usual apps have been knocked out of the game; some of the included apps are still incomplete and only partly functional; stuff like that. But yesterday, one of my staples, Memory Clean, finally updated itself to work with Yosemite, so that takes care of one of the biggest problems with this OS.

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On the whole, everything functions really well, and I’m getting pretty used to how everything works. What gets me though is when this finally gets released, I won’t be able to use the new Handoff function, which enables you to switch a work in progress in your Mac straight to your iPhone or iPad and work on it there. This is because the feature depends on Bluetooth LE, and my iMac isn’t compatible—BT LE came out the year after I bought my computer. Actually, my iPhone 5s has it, but I’m not entirely sure that even my iPad supports it.

But on the whole, I’m completely happy with this update.

*

I was surfing on the US Apple Store earlier when I noticed that all of the My Favourite Accessories stuff was decked out in white and gold. What the hell?

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Looks like Apple is really on a gold trip these days. Damn.


Aug 10 2014

Hearing aids

Adel Gabot

My dad, all of 86 years old, is hard of hearing. Near deaf, actually.

He’s still strong as an ox, although his attention span and memory isn’t as good as it used to be. Most of all, it’s his hearing that has suffered the most.

I don’t know how he gets by. He maintains a normal schedule and goes about his everyday business. But with his deafness, it must be a struggle.

We got him hearing aids over the years, including a very expensive, minuscule one that you wouldn’t know he was wearing if you didn’t look closely. But it’s long since given up the ghost, a bit too early I think, and we’re back to square one.

My brother’s been looking for some cheaper alternatives, and last week he found a local selling site that sells them really inexpensively.

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So I ordered a couple of them last Monday. One of them was a big, Walkman-like contraption that takes regular AA batteries, and was the more obvious choice from an economics point of view: getting batteries for them won’t be a problem, and it looked sturdy and robust and could take a lot of punishment. Thing was, it was unwieldy and troublesome to bring around.

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The other one was like the minuscule hearing aid we originally got for him a long time ago. Dad preferred that one by far, although getting the coin batteries for it may be a pain, especially since they wouldn’t last that long, judging by how coin batteries fare.

The small one was delivered yesterday. As I suspected, it didn’t look very sturdy, and seemed like a crude facsimile of the fancy old hearing we had. But it had three earplug sizes that went with it, and a couple of batteries. And for the price, I shouldn’t really complain.

The other Walkman hearing aid wasn’t delivered yet; I think Lazada is having trouble sourcing it, so they sent the smaller one ahead.

Dad’s pretty happy with the hearing aid he got; we adjusted the volume levels and earplug sizes (although I think we have to pick a bigger size; he selected the smallest one, and I think it’s a bit too small for him and keeps slipping out). But he can finally hear again.

Ah, well. The problems of getting advanced in years.


Aug 7 2014

Insomniaaaaaaaah

Adel Gabot

WWS-Insomnia

What does it mean when the sun goes down you’re as sleepy as hell and you reluctantly go to bed at 8pm but then you can’t friggin’ sleep and after trying very hard you have to get up anyway and then you discover it’s only 10:49pm and you’re friggin’ wide awake?


Aug 7 2014

Leaves

Adel Gabot

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Now that I have a free morning, I decided to sweep up the drifts of leaves and branches around the house, the wreckage of the typhoon around a week ago.

I swept up a lot of it in the wake immediately after the typhoon, especially around the front of the house, but it was pretty difficult with the leaves being still all wet and heavy. So I just swept up what I could, and left the rest for a drier day.

Dry didn’t come soon. Another typhoon, although not hitting us directly, engaged the monsoon rains and brought them to drench us almost the whole of the following week. Meanwhile, the eyesore that was the yard continued to taunt me.

Last night, the rains finally abated, and the sun shown uninterrupted since dawn. Before it rained again, I went and tried to sweep the mess up.

Most of it was still damp, and a bummer to sweep up. But I kind of managed most of it. The yard’s looking a lot better now. But it’s just a matter of time before the wind and the rain make a mess of it again. I really gotta finish sweeping the remainder of it up, but the wet is making it very hard.

Will wait for drier days.

The cleaning jag got me hopped up, so afterwards I also swept up my room, focusing on the mess under the bed where I keep my shoes. It wasn’t really difficult, but I had to take some care getting into the nooks and crannies and cleaning it out thoroughly.

In other news, I finally found a seller for the Xbox 360 game I’d been wanting to buy—Crysis 3—this morning. DataBlitz sells it for P950 brand new, but this guy was selling it second hand for P1500. In the end, I got him down to P600. I’m meeting him at 5PM at the MRT station in Cubao later.

The guy who bought my PS3 and was returning it because it was a model that could not be jailbroken hadn’t called for a couple of days, and I was hoping he’d finally settle down and keep the thing, but it was for naught—he texted yesterday morning asking to meet. I made some excuse and put it off for Saturday, hoping against hope that he’d keep it eventually, but that’s remote. I’ll have to go over the online selling thing again, and maybe sell it a bit cheaper just to be rid of it. There were a couple of inquiries that tried to bring me down to P7k, so there’s still hope.

Ah, well.


Aug 4 2014

Tip: Watch Guardians of The Galaxy, please

Adel Gabot

 

Stunning GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Poster Art by Paul Shipper

I went to an IMAX screening of Guardians of The Galaxy in SM Megamall yesterday with my brother, and man oh man, was it a doozy of a movie!

Wild, wacky, and up to here with CGI, it was a jam-packed movie of action, hackneyed but still heartwarming cliches, and story story story. There literally wasn’t a dull moment.

Refreshing to find a movie like this, in an age where you get expensive duds like the Transformers movies. Still, you can fault it for tugging at your action-movies genes and heartstrings with its wildly expensive effects, but at least it delivers, unlike some recent turkeys.

Watch it if you can on a big, 3D-enhanced screen like IMAX. You won’t regret it.


Aug 2 2014

Goodbye PS3

Adel Gabot

Sigh.

I sold my PS3, finally.

On a lark, the other day, I set it up again, and started it up, and it got busily occupied updating itself, and downloading whatever games that were in progress downloading when I quit using it.

That was when I realised that there was really no longer any reason to keep it.

So I restored it to factory settings, and posted ads up online this morning.

Within 30 mins, I got a deal going.

That thing has been with me for nearly two years. Through thick and thin, we went together.

But when I got my PS4 for my birthday last February, I set it aside and didn’t look back, until a couple of days ago.

So I shut the door today on all experiences PlayStation 3. And look ahead to PS4 days.

Bye, PS3. It’s been nice.

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UPDATE (8/4): Well, apparently the guy was intending to jailbreak my PS3, and found it he couldn’t do it on this machine, so he’s returning it. Kinda unfair, since he never told me (and I never asked), but he did ask me for the CECH model beforehand, and I gave him the number on the box (which I thought was it, but unfortunately was not). Oh, well. At least there are other buyers.