My Christmas 2015 Wish List


I realize making lists like these is really, truly “wishful” thinking. Nobody would ever actually give me anything on my list, especially because most of the things here are really expensive. I don’t have that many rich friends and relatives.  But hey, it’s my blog and I’ll write whatever I want.

So, to start:



  • 4GB (and up) Thunderbolt external drive

This I really, really want. Even a USB drive would do, actually, if not for the Big Glitch. I recently lost easy use of my external drives because Apple‘s new USB connections under El Capitan really suck. And who wouldn’t want more storage space? I don’t want to have to keep being really picky with what movies I want to save just because I don’t have the space to store them.


  •  128GB MiniSDXC card and Hyperdrive Adapter

To butress my MacBook Pro‘s storage. I only have a 256GB SSD drive in there, and I’d like some more breathing space. And make it as unobtrusive as possible—the Hyperdrive adaptor makes the SDXC card virtually disappear into the MacBook’s side, and that’s really cool.


  • 128GB iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

Who wouldn’t want of these 12.9″ behemoths, huh? But actually, I’m torn between a new iPad mini and its portability. It’s a choice between the Pro’s big size and being able to carry a mini around. If ever I get a Pro, I’ll probably keep using the MacBook bags for it. Ever since I sold my iPad 3 in exchange for a MacBook Pro I’ve been regretting it, and miss it terribly.

The Pencil is there just because.


  • 2TB 2.5″ internal drive

For my PS4. You can never have too much storage space.


  • 128GB iPhone 6s Plus

So I don’t have to wait for my retention plan to be renewed to get one. It would be nice to have a phablet. But seriously, I could settle for a 6s, and just buy an iPad.


  • Xbox One

To see if the grass is greener on the other side. Not really essential, but it would be nice to have. And while you’re at it, you could give me some Xbox One-exclusive games, like Halo, Rise of The Tomb Raider, Gears of War and Forza too. Heh.


  • 60″ flatscreen LED TV (or bigger; any brand)

Hey, who couldn’t use a bigger TV?


  • new Bluetooth in-ear headset

This is probably the most realistic one in this list. Affordable, and easy to get. I already have tons of headsets, some I bought, some from my days as a Technoodling reviewer, but my beloved Bluetooth one gave up the ghost last year, and I miss that a lot.


  • 27″ iMac

My current 27″ iMac is getting long in the tooth. I love it to bits, but really, it’s showing its age. It’s becoming progressively slower with each new upgrade to the Apple OS, and it’s performance isn’t quite up to par. I think the internal speakers are basag now, and the headphone jack is acting up. I can live without the retina thing and thinness of the newer iMacs, but I’m more concerned with the performance.


  • BB-8 Droid by Sphero

Because I’m a kid at heart. A geek kid.

I’ll add to this if I can think of any more.

Posted in Tech, Wala Lang | Leave a comment

SW: Battlefront?



I’ve been hemming and hawing for a week now, agonizing, trying to decide whether or not to buy the new game Star Wars: Battlefront for the PS4.

There was a time when this was a no-brainer, something I would get come hell or high water, but now, after reading the reviews, I’m not all that sold. Sure, big deal—it’s just P2.5k. But with my resources being what they are, I still gotta be careful.

The online reviews are split, actually, between praising the game to high heavens, and just giving it moderately high marks for being a reasonably good Star Wars game. They praise the fidelity and care given the details of the game, and the way it just “puts you squarely inside the movies.”

But all of them have one thing in common: they question the game’s staying power.

Sure, it may enthrall you at first, and make you marvel at the scenery and graphics. But pretty soon, you’d get tired of the gameplay, which is simplistic and repetitive. It’s not quite an RPG, nor is it quite an FPS. Rather, it’s somewhere between the two worlds, and it certainly doesn’t have the best of either. I doubt I’d be happy with it for more than a day.

In fact, I played the open beta version of the game a few weeks ago, and I remember quickly tiring of the game. I put it down to it being a trial/test/beta version, and that the bigger, complete game would certainly be much better. But deep down, I had a sneaking suspicion that this was all the game really had to offer. And I think I was right.

Star Wars: Battlefront was made for Star Wars fans, of which there are legion, and it wasn’t really intended for RPG or FPS enthusiasts, of which there are… considerably less. Which is the problem. I’m a Star Wars fan myself, but I’m also an avid RPG/FPS player. While I’d kill to watch the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, I don’t think I’d be happy as a video gamer to live inside a tepid Star Wars-themed game.

So I decided against buying it. I went to online reviews to make sure, and watched long vidcaps of the game to decide. I even went to the store this morning to actually see the game and make a definitive decision against getting a copy or not. I chose, however painfully, not to get it. Maybe months from now, cheaply from a player who’s tired of it. I predict there will be a glut of used Battlefront games in the near future. Maybe then. But not now.

So so long, Star Wars: Battlefront. It would have been nice.


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Postscipt on El Capitan


I know I said I wasn’t going to write about El Capitan anymore. But I just can’t help it. One last one. Really.

I got really really fed up ejecting and remounting my USB drives today, after they got on an every-ten-minutes routine while I was trying to binge-watch Marvel’s Jessica Jones. (Remember, I use Plex to stream the videos from my iMac to my PS4 to watch on my flatscreen, and they stopped playing every ten minutes or so, when the drives borked.) I figured, Christ, I can’t live with this.

So I took a big step—I quit using them.

Well, not quite: I just mount them when I need to save files, and I plan to do that every weekend. My two drives are basically archives for my data and my media files: software, TV shows, movies, PDFs, assorted video, photos, music, torrents, documents and all that. I like to have access to them at all times, but truth be told, I don’t really need to all that much.

So I figured, I’d just create folders on my main drive to house the new files I create or download all throughout the week, and then connect the two drives on Saturday or Sunday and save the files I want to keep, then disconnect them again until the next weekend. Now, only my Time Machine drive is the only USB external drive permanently connected to my system (that’s the one drive that hasn’t given me any trouble at all).

I made two new folders on my desktop, one called Saveables and another called Watchables, then created subfolders within them pertaining to the kind of files they’d contain. There they’d keep until the weekend when I archive. Then I copied files I’m currently using or watching (like Jessica Jones) to them so I can access them during the week. I guess I’ll have to live with this until the problem gets fixed.

Damn you, Apple, that I have to resort to this half-assed system. If only you’d fix that USB thing already!

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A quick review of Adele’s 25



Other than the fact that just an e separates our first names, there’s nothing really that singer Adele Adkins and I have in common. Wait, no. There’s also the fact that I enjoy her music as much as she does singing it.

Adele’s 27 now, but she names her album 25 (after her first two—19 and 21), because I guess that’s the mental age where she was at when she made it (she’s got co-writing credits on every track). She took a long hiatus from her career, got married and had a child, and she’s matured a lot. But largely, Adele’s still the same—the strong, booming voice that perfectly suits the angst of her general persona.

I’ve been listening to 25, her third album, since it was released last Friday (along with the whole world, I guess) and I’d like to put my two cents into the mix.

25 is classic Adele. Still the same old girl singing about heartbreak and whatnot.

Some of her songs have a little more upbeat quality to them (in a manner of speaking), but haven’t entirely lost that morose, sad touch to most of the tracks. That much is kinda new. Her debut single, Hello, which was a massive hit from the first day it was released as a preview track from the album, is one such song.

But the more “happy” tracks are few and far between though: Send My Love, Water Under The Bridge and Sweetest Devotion are just a hair more uptempo than a classic Adele song, but still they sing of heartbreak and sadness. One of the other tracks, River Lea, posits that it was something in the water that caused the trouble, which is a playful notion, considering.

25 is composed of 11 tracks, and all of them are pure Adele, which is to say, really beyond fault. They are all good, although with repeated playing they sometimes create a generally dreary and introspective atmosphere. Which is still an Adele trademark, to be sure.

Right now, she’s currently on a whirlwind promotion jag, creating an Adele at The BBC special, appearing on American talk and variety shows and a guesting on Saturday Night Live this past weekend (somehow her isolated vocal track on Hello leaked on the internet, and it just showcases her pure vocal prowess, more than anything).

If you care for good music at all, Adele’s 25 is one of this year’s must-have albums.

Posted in Music, Reviews | Leave a comment

My last post about El Capitan, promise


I almost gave up on El Cap.

Actually, I did, yesterday afternoon, and I would’ve rolled back to Yosemite had it allowed me to. But apparently, El Capitan doesn’t let me do that, if I’d been running it for a couple of days and let Time Machine do its thing while in the new OS.

When I reinstalled the older OS yesterday and went to Time Machine to restore a pre-update system, it told me I couldn’t anymore, because Time Machine was on a newer system and I couldn’t access the backups from the older OS. Well, fiddle-dee-dee.

You see, I was fed up with Force Ejecting my two WD external USB drives and remounting them just to get them to work. I was doing this sometimes every 30 minutes. Yesterday I did it for a total of 11 frigging times.  I’ll be damned if I was going to make it a habit. So I decided to roll my system back to a more sane OS that didn’t require me to do that.

And then I ran into that convenient little glitch. If Apple didn’t have a plan to force users into El Capitan, this would have been a good one.

Sheesh. No choice then. I had to make El Cap work, come hell or high water. So I reluctantly restored El Capitan and set about bringing back my old setup and hoped for the best.

That entire process was going to take the whole night. So I started it after dinner and while Time Machine was restoring my setup, which was the longer process, I went to sleep early, around 8. I woke up at midnight and checked, and it said it was going to take an hout more. I went back to sleep and woke up again at 1:30, and it was through and waiting for me to use it.

After I got through the updating and patching and cleaning up, it was 3 in the morning. But strangely enough, the USB drives hadn’t acted up. They were working fine. It was still this way when I left the house at 9:30. Eight whole hours without the glitch. Man. I ran the drives through the wringer time and again, and still no glitch.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll stay this way for the duration. Dare I hope my reinstall fixed it? I really really hope so. Then again, it’s like I had a choice. I hope it’s still fine when I get home in a bit.

And, yes, this is the last time I post about El Cap.


On another note, I’m typing this post on the new WordPress stand-alone Mac app. WordPress just released this Mac/iOS app this morning, and I installed it right away on my Macs and iOS devices. It’s the first time WP has come out with a standalone application, and so far it’s working fine.

I had a bit of confusion installing it at first, and I hadn’t realized I had to install the JetPack plugin on my self-hosted blog first. But after that, it seems like its smooth sailing. It has all the functions of the web-based page, up to and including attaching JPEGS to my posts.

At last, a WP stand-alone blogging app. I’ve been looking for a good one, and have tried a few third-party blogging apps like Blogsy and MarsEdit, but I haven’t really found one that I liked. That web interface is nice, but it has its drawbacks. Like, when the internet connection flakes while you’re writing a post; you could lose a few paragraphs that way. Or entire drafts.

The app doesn’t show my graphics inline on it though, and shows just a placeholder. I don’t know if it’s really like that, or I just haven’t figured out how to properly use it. Don’t worry, I’ll get used to it.

Ok, now to publish this post. I hope it turns out ok. If so, I’ll be in posting heaven.

EDIT: (11:00AM) Ok, it works! The JPEG showed up too, although it apparently really doesn’t show it inline; then again, it’s not like it has a Preview function. And the app handles edits as well. Like this one. Cool!

EDIT 2: (2:35PM) No dice. Five minutes ago, the two WD externals quit again. Just like before. At least it went 13 hours this time before bonking. I just hope it takes them another half day before they do it again.

Posted in Apples, Software | Leave a comment