Jul 22 2014

Maintenance mode

Adel Gabot

So. The Destiny beta went on maintenance mode. Since last night. Interrupted a playing session; and there I was, playing my heart out, and about to complete a level. Poof.

It’s coming back tomorrow night at 10. Seems like forever.

What the hell. It’s free. Can’t ask for more.

In the meantime, I got nothing much to do on the PS4. Well, there’s Firmware Update 1.74. And a War Thunder update. But, aside from those, zip.

In my boredom I uploaded a PS4 game session recording of mine onto YouTube. 15 mins long. Took forever to upload, but it’s finally up there.

Shared it on PhilMUG just for the heck of it. Five views from there so far. Good enough for an hour up. I expect more in the morning. But not much.

Here it is, if you want to see:


Jul 20 2014

Timesink

Adel Gabot

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This Destiny beta is really something.

Last night, I started playing after dinner (around 7:30), and got into a Fireteam with dirk33diggler and tehshinster, a couple of guys I met online (although I knew one of them vaguely—dirk33diggler, who was the younger brother of Christine, barkada of Mano), an experience made especially nice because we were all equipped with mics and could communicate directly.

Before I knew it, it was early in the morning already, with my hands and arms aching from holding the controller so tightly, and my head pounding from the BassImpact feature of the Sony Pulse Elite headset.  We had an especially difficult time with one of the missions, which had all of us dying at the same time, requiring us to repeat the level many times over until we finally got it.

This morning, when I got up (after my internet ablutions and breakfast, of course), I was suckered into going online again by a website that had 17 codes you could enter at the Bungie site that allow you bonuses and access to secret areas. I entered the codes into my computer, and checked it out on the PS4 to see what they were like. Before I knew it, I was playing again, what seemed like a brief session turned out to be a couple of hours of gaming—I didn’t even know that much time had passed.

I’m trying to stay away. Otherwise this is going to take over my life (at least for ten days anyway; that’s how long the beta will be live).


Jul 19 2014

Destiny rocks!

Adel Gabot

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Hey, this Destiny beta plays real great!

Been playing it since last night, and I’m astounded by how well it runs, particularly the multiplayer aspect. You could swear it was the actual release already. (Although there is the occasional kick-out from the server for unknown and unfathomable reasons, and sometimes you get respawned in an entirely different place from where you were playing just a minute ago. Well, then again, it’s a beta after all.)

Took me forever to download it though. Had to babysit the download—the server kept getting stuck, or quitting entirely, forcing me to watch it like a hawk and start it whenever necessary. Hey, the things you do for your games, right?

But it finally finished sometime before midnight. Not counting the six-hour brownout yesterday (I started it around 7am, then the power went out at 9 and came back at 3pm, which was the only time I could continue it), the download took me around 11 hours. Not bad, considering it’s almost 11GB big. That’s about a gig an hour.

Been playing incessantly since. For my sanity though, I had to stop and take a break.

Glad that the PS3/PS4 beta release is a week earlier (and longer) than the one for the Xbox 360/Xbox One. Serves them right.  (Although I think I’m just sour-graping that I can’t afford an XOne on top of buying my PS4. Feh.)

It’s gonna be a fun week!


Jul 18 2014

Beta!

Adel Gabot

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Woke up and found my Beta code in a PM in PhilMUG!

Hmm. This will take a long friggin while.

Thanks to wem272 of the MUG, wherever and whoever you are!


Jul 16 2014

Glenda

Adel Gabot

Typhoon Glenda struck Manila this morning, with strong winds and rain, and causing chaos in a city that is already chaotic at the best of times,

Then the power went out at 7.

I dillydallied, reading on my iPhone and iPad what I normally would on my iMac, and spent the morning relaxed (well as much as I could, with the storm), waiting for the power to come back on. I used my iPhone’s Personal Hotspot and surfed on my iPad, and when I got tired of that, I read on my Kindle Paperwhite.

The typhoon had petered out around 11, transforming into just plain bad weather. To pass the time, I swept up the fallen leaves and branches from the yard, and then we partook of canned food and bread in the dark for lunch.

By 1pm it still wasn’t back, and then I started getting worried.

By 3pm,  I was running out of power packs to run my gadgets. By 6pm, I just had enough to top up my iPhone one last time, but my iPad was a goner.

I hadn’t really realized how dependent I was on my gadgets, and the net, until I was left without anything to do in the dark. I read my Kindle (the only device with enough juice in it—thank God I topped it up earlier this week) under the covers.

This went on until the lights came back on at 10:30.

You wouldn’t believe how relieved I was. Man.

I’ve spent the past hour and a half catching up on my internet things, and wondered if the lights would go out again.

I gotta wean myself from the Teat, seriously.

 


Jul 15 2014

DVDs!

Adel Gabot

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Was rooting around my old room in the old house this afternoon (almost everyone I had dealings with had gone incommunicado because of the incoming typhoon Glenda, so I really had nothing much to do), when I came across a dark corner of my old shelf, and discovered a forgotten trove of old DVDs!

Well, it wasn’t a real trove—just several boxed sets of a few TV shows and several individual movies, but all the same, it was nice and exciting to find them. I’d actually been looking for my boxed set of Band of Brothers literally for years, and was wondering where it disappeared off to. Well, I finally found it.

Thing was, when I tried playing them on the PS4, they didn’t want to play: they were Region 3 discs, and I had Region 1 machines. I tried it on my Xbox and iMac, same deal.

Actually, I haven’t bothered with DVDs for years, ever since… well, you know. I usually get my movies online now. I’ve actually almost filled a 4TB hard drive with movies and TV shows.

When I used to buy them, I usually bought Region 1 discs, as Region 3 DVDs usually sucked. I had collected a few Region 3s in my time, but the only player that accepted them was my old Titanium Mac, and that’s long gone now.

I still am buying Blu-ray discs, and slowly building up a collection, but it’s crawling, as I found I don’t really want a whole lot of movies in that format. Maybe restored classic movies, if ever.

At least there was a bunch of Region 1s in the pile, several of my old Sean Connery James Bonds, and I could watch those on my players.

Still, they’re nice to have, and I put them on my new bookshelf, even if I couldn’t play most of them.

Gotta get me a cheap Region 3 player. Soon.

 


Jul 14 2014

Damn strap

Adel Gabot

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Damn it. I was at the barber the other day when my Pebble strap finally gave and split right where one of the strap holes was.

I guess after more than a year of constant use it was bound to happen; Pebble wasn’t known to be very durable as far as the straps were concerned. Thing was, I never treated my strap harshly, and always took care to be gentle and caring with it.

Oh, well.

This all meant I got to find a replacement strap right away, and so I did—from a watch store in Farmer’s Cubao, of all places. Cheap too, at a couple of hundred pesos only. None of that expensive stuff for me, no sir.

It’s thick and strong, and pretty durable from what I see. I don’t have to be extra careful with this one, and I can get it replaced anytime. Cool.


Jul 12 2014

Yosemite Sam

Adel Gabot

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I thought of trying out Yosemite, or Mac OS 10.10, Apple‘s upcoming update to the venerable OS X. It comes out this fall, but they, in an uncharacteristic move, opened up the beta to the general public. I was too late to join the million-strong rush (it wasn’t exactly open-open, mind you—they still had limits), but I felt like joining in about a month into the trials.

Careful of not screwing up my current working installation of Mavericks, I partitioned my home drive and got me an extra drive that I couldn’t care less about; I can jettison the whole partition and get back the blank space lickety-split, anytime I wanted. I didn’t care about it; it was just a test thing.

The websites advised me to create a 20GB partition, but I told myself, what the hey; let’s make it 50GB! Damn process took an hour or two, though.

Then I tried to download 10.10, which was a total bust the first few times. I got me several copies of the latest updated versions—but they were only that—updates. It was a whole afternoon and several error-filled tries before I realised I had to get the main OS first, and THEN get the damn updates. (I was wondering why Update 3 was only a gig.) The main Yosemite version was 5GB, and it was evening before I downloaded the thing completely.

I installed it on the partition, and it went smooth as butter. Then I installed the updates so my version would be up-to-date, and then tried it out.

It was fantastic. The new design was spot-on perfect; the system, the icons, the fonts were all arresting (within reason), and I finally saw what everyone was talking about.

I spent the rest of the evening getting my setup working the way I was accustomed to, and loaded it up with the barest minimum apps that I could live with—and still had 35GBs of free space to spare: I got Pages on there, Twitter, Beamer, VLC, Vuze, Ples Media Server, AppCleaner, and a whole bunch that would get me by in a pinch.

This version of Safari would take some getting used to, but on the whole everything was basically the same, only prettier. I set up several spaces to fit the apps, and rearranged and slimmed the system down from the default configuration.

It still being a beta, there were a lot of quirks I had to deal with, like my mail accounts refusing to register, and the occasional lockups and hangs, but I think I got it licked now. I booted up into Mavericks this morning so I could do my daily routines, but I’ve since booted up into Yosemite and I think I can stay for a few days or so; I got most of it running fine, if just barely.

Did I say I didn’t care about this partition? Heck, I’m starting to. I got it running so that if I were stranded without my Mavericks config I could survive on Yosemite.

I’m actually writing this entry on it now, and I feel like I have a whole new computer!

I can’t wait for the release!

 


Jul 9 2014

Big new box

Adel Gabot

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The other day, I got it into my head that I had a veritable mess of stuff lying around in bags and little boxes scattered all over the place, and wondered what I could do to remedy the situation.

I remember my brother was looking for a big plastic storage box to keep his stuff in, and I thought, why not do the same?

So yesterday I set out to find my storage box.

It didn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. In fact, the cheaper the better, and I went to some hardware stores.

Most of the available boxes were pretty fancy—and big. I wanted something reasonably sized that could fit everything I had scattered around in one box, and fit them comfortably under my computer table.

There were several that could do in a pinch, but they were kinda pricey for what they were, and I was looking for a good deal. The cheapest one I saw so far cost P295.

I finally found it in Ace Hardware in SM Cubao. A 20-liter capacity plastic box that was on sale for P150.

It wasn’t transparent, as I was originally looking for, it was an opaque beige-gray color. It had a nice fitting snap-on lid that would seal it against the elements. It was just slightly smaller than planned, but it would fit under the table. The nice thing was, it had plastic handles on top; the other more expensive ones didn’t have that.

It was also the last unit available.

I acted coy and pretended I was mildly interested, but I was more or less sold on it. I went on to other shops but in the end gravitated back to Ace to buy it.

Everything fit in it, with room to spare. I reorganized my junk a bit, but I found out I didn’t really have that much to change around; I didn’t have to remove the stuff from most of the bags and boxes they were in, I just dumped them in. I liberated my big Honda belt bag, the one I got from my Tokyo trip, and repurposed it to fit all my extra iPhone cases and put it in the bookcase.

Wow. Now all my junk is organized. If I knew it was that easy I would’ve done it a long time ago.

Am thinking of getting a couple more of the boxes (if I can find any more) for my other stuff.. Hmm.


Jul 2 2014

Dog-slow drive

Adel Gabot

Why does the Seagate Central take forever to move data?

Is it because its a NAS drive and operates exclusively via the LAN port? I don’t really think so. My LAN is gigabit level and reasonably fast. (I should try using my alternate modem/router, maybe that’ll fix the problem. Hmm.)

I’m currently shuffling data on my drives in an effort to have a more efficient and streamlined system, and moving the TV media data on the SC to another extra, faster drive. But it’s taking damned forever.

Believe or not, I’m fast running out of space on that 4TB drive, and I’m splitting out the TV media to another drive and just keeping the movies on the SC.

But I get errors transferring the damn folders every time, and I’m reducing to copying the data individually by batches. And when you do that. you come across irritating quirks on the SC.

Aside from taking forever (about two or three minutes per GB—as opposed to mere seconds on other drives), just getting to read the damned directories is agonizingly s-l-o-w. Just opening a folder to see the contents takes a long time—it sometimes takes whole minutes instead of just a second with regular drives.

And moving the files is a pain: you drag the contents from the SC and then have to wait while it gets its act together and hold on the trackpad until it does. So it’s taken me a couple of days to transfer the danged files, amounting to just about a terabyte.

On top of it all, the damned internet connection is acting up again. Yesterday afternoon it started winking in and out and kicking out the SC from my system in the process, effectively interrupting the file transfers and requiring me to restart the modem and go through the whole process—over and over.

I’m almost through now though. Just a couple more massive folders to move, and I’m done.

But damn.