Well worth the wait.

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Iron Man the movie is a great comic book adaptation at least for me and my wife. We just came home after watching it at Rockwell Cinema. The flow of the story was never dragging; never did I feel there was a dull moment even if I have watched each new trailer several times that I know what was going next in a few screens.

The movie was full of effects which is expected because *it is about IRON MAN*. Technology was his ability. Good thing the effects never overwhelmed the story and acting. Robert Downey Jr. was a perfect fit for Tony Stark’s character. He gave a realistic flamboyant performance where needed, and made Stark’s billionaire “i don’t care about you” attitude his own.

Most of Stark’s gadgets are enough to give any geek his technorgasm. Well apart from the Dell computers which is kind of a downer given most of Stark’s equipment was very futuristic. I very much liked the design surface table which does 3D interactive rendering. I wonder if I will live to the time that it will come become feasible for the every day Juan to own one. 🙂

Right now I am considering if I like Iron Man better than Batman Begins. Is it too much to ask for both? 😉

I am watching it again once I get hold of a DVD copy. 🙂


Constant Change


The first thing that comes into my mind when the word “change” is mentioned are the cliches “The only things constant are taxes and change.” Too obvious? Maybe.

Tomorrow I will start something new in work. It will be the first time in more than five years that I will be transferring to a new office (just an office and not company 🙂 ). When I was pirated joined the company I stayed for two weeks in the office near Glorietta but for the rest of my stint I was in the oldest company residence in Ayala Ave. I shifted projects and cubicle areas but they we all located in the 3/F of that building. Since my work affords minimal chances of going onshore, it has also been a private joke that I am being “fermented” in the building. 🙂

Since March of this year I was working on an “ever challenging” project that is not really a part of the “solutions group” that have nurtured me since I joined the company. Eventually I had to move out to the office in Mandaluyong since the resources working on the project is there. I have previously experienced packing my stuff before I go into onshore assignments but last Friday was different since I know I may not come back again on that floor. Much as I may quip at that floor looking like the insides of a barracks or bomb shelter I already have grown accustomed to its confines. I have spent many nights there, sleeping in near impossible locations like aligned movable bins or on top of conference tables much like what I would imagine a corpse would be in an embalmer’s table.

Journeys are always two-sided. I am leaving behind a significant history but I am opening new pages for new experiences. I am going out of my comfort zone to see if I can pit my almost non-existent skills in a new environment. In my old environment I have gotten a reputation and familiarity that I am able to do most of what I want due to tenure in the area wherein only 3 more people beats my longevity with the project group. In my new project I am going to start afresh with a new set of managers, and a new set of people. Thankfully two peers will hopefully join me by the second quarter of this year. By that time they would be a welcome relief since I will definitely lean on their technical skills and moral support that can only achieved when you have gone through “hell” with them.

Right now I have two bags full of stuff that I have brought home and I am not sure how long it would take for me to prepare their new home for them. But I am pretty sure that the time will be sooner that I think. 🙂


Pinoy geek pr0n site

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That for me is the CD-R King website, which provides me with my near daily fix for cheap affordable gadgets. I find it frustrating that every time I buy something overseas (through my unwilling co-employees stationed abroad) CD-R King releases a similar product with half of the price I paid.

The site has a page which explains why their prices are cheap (e.g., direct to the supplier, no credit card processing, no flashy advertisements and marketing,etc.) which makes sense but I still can’t shake the notion that some of the items there are really knock-offs from that big sleeping dragon of a country. Just look at the MP4 player category. But most of the items are of good usable quality and that makes it OK in my book. And it isn’t as if the shop is passing them off as the real thing because it is more probable than not that the products are branded with the CD-R King logo.

My only gripes with them are that

  • buying the stuff in their website is a hit-or-miss thing when you actually go to a brick&mortar shop. I have had experiences of visiting 3 branches to no avail even though their site listed it as on stock.
  • their “online stock inquiry” is a joke. I understand that they are probably undermanned in that area since there are only 2 of them but I would expect to have a response within the day, or at least an email facility for such inquiries.
  • their online tech support is slightly better but leaves too much to be desired. they treat their customers are ignorant users which can be irritating if they are just rehashing what you have already said. as of last count there are four of them that could be online at any given time but don’t expect them to give you a pretty quick response.

Item reviews from their wares are pretty much available but only if you are willing to trawl along several local message groups. I am toying with the idea of posting my own reviews on stuff that I have bought or at least planning to buy in case somebody is also looking at the same thing.



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Metrobank’s eBanking interface rates a notch better in my book since it now supports Firefox, where previously it only supports IE and *gasp* Netscape. The stupid ActiveX control that was previously required (which effectively locks the interface to IE) is also gone. Actually that is the first clue I had since I transferred to another PC at work and was curious why I didn’t get the irritating prompt about the ActiveX installation.

The office network prevents me from uploading the screenshot but you can test it for yourself. I did it with the beta 5 of Firefox 3. 🙂

Kudos Metrobank Online! But I still despise you for that 10-character password requirement. 🙂

[edit] I finally grabbed a screenshot while in Archer (my Arch system). The picture is using “Bon Echo” which is a rebranded Firefox browser. The version is

MetrobankOnline in Linux!


Haiku: New Horizon

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My brain is melting.

Without a clue nor respite.

What torture is this?

I want one but not at the cost of an arm and leg…

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I want a sub-notebook, preferably the up and coming Asus eee 900 so I am keeping my eyes and ears open for how much this baby is going to retail here in the Philippines. I already got approval from my chief auditing officer (aka the Wife) that I can get one for my birthday and the recent cash flow makes the possibility of owning one sooner more of a reality.

The first generation eee PC retailed here in Manila at around the Php20K mark (or roughly US$500) due to importation taxes and such. The local retail price is a jump of 25% of the original and press release value of only US$400, which for the sake of those not tracking sub-notebook discussions is not a reality until just recently. If one is enterprising and patient enough, a similar model can be bought at a lower price but my guess is that you will have to forgo the shop warranties (aka hand-carried through customs). Nevertheless the appeal of the eee PC comes both in its portability and low price, but with some compromises like smaller screens, no bundled optical drives and solid state hard drives (which means you can bang it more without risking the data in the drive, the screen and other parts are another matter). As a local tech journalist puts it, the eee PC is changing the playing field for portable computing.

I have been salivating with getting my hands on a sub-notebook that it has been an addiction to track news about the various developments and players in the sub-notebook race to the bottom. Last Monday night I was looking for a side-by-side spec comparison between the eee 701 and 900 models when this link from a local computer store caught my eye because it was already showing a price tag for the 900 model. I assume that this is a pre-selling quote but the figures gave me quite a start: Php33,800 (~US$805) for the 8GB SSD+2GB RAM model, and Php37,800 (US$900) for the 12GB SSD++2GB RAM configuration. WHAT!

With that kind of money I could already get one of those 14.1″ laptops but I will forgo some of the portability aspect. Or maybe get the 701 model instead but I really want something with a larger screen. I just can’t rationalize spending that much for the eee PC 900 given that the first wave of this model might ship without the new Intel Atom processor just to beat the recently launched HP Mini-Note and the upcoming Acer EEE-killer models. My personal favorite for an alternative sub-notebook unit would still be the MSI Wind PC but with no announced shipping date I am still on the fence on whether I am willing to wait for it if the eee PC 900 is not economically practical for me.


A bird in hand is worth more than flock in the horizon


I love mangling sayings. 😀

Last March 28, I had a very good and very disappointing event. I almost became a millionaire!

My wife and I had this private joke that I will someday hit the jackpot but since I rarely place bets I will just be lucky to pick up a winning ticket in the street. Just imagine a newspaper/tabloid headline stating “One lucky millionaire from a picked-up stray ticket” and then the following day will have a news item about a person who committed suicide for losing a winning lottery ticket. /lol

I keep on saying to my wife that I will place my bets but long queue lines never ceases to turn my interest off. At the sight of a long queue in the Lotto terminals I usually revert to sour graping that I won’t win anyway and I will just place my bets the next time. Nobody can blame me since my luck in chance drawings is almost dismal. One time I attended a dev seminar during a stormy night. Only five attendants were able to come and they raffled 3 books. I was one of the two persons who came away empty-handed. 😀

Before the holy week I was frequently in the northern office that is close to a mall. I was there for meetings and there is a Lotto terminal on my way to MRT. Since the queue was very short and the jackpot price was greater than Php 150 million then I made good with my pledge and place my bets. The first time I painstakingly selected my set of six numbers out of the 49 possibilities. On the day after the draw I checked my tickets and I usually have my smattering of single hits per frame.

On the Tuesday of the holy week I was once in the area so I placed another bet. This time I just opted to go for the lucky pick method wherein the lottery terminal picks the six numbers for me. I am thinking the actual draw is random so why not match it with a random way of selecting numbers? The disadvantage of lucky picks is that the numbers are usually so close to each other but who can say that it won’t be the actual numbers to come out of the draw?

By the time of the draw (March 27, since there were no draw during the Holy Week) the pot had already reached more than Php 200 million. On the morning of the 28th my wife said that the news announced that nobody won the jackpot. I left my ticket in the office so when I arrived I gamely checked how many consecutive numbers I got this time through the results posted in this site. The drawn numbers were pretty close (7-21-24-27-42-43) that my eyes were immediately zoned into the fourth frame since I got the last two numbers. I went back to the site and noted the numbers 24 and 27 which I also had on the fourth frame. Wow, so I won Php500! Then my eyes went to the first number on my ticket and it was a 7! I already have five out of the six numbers and my heart was now racing. And then when I looked at the last number my world slowed to a crawl. After that, the closes way to describe my state of mind was that I was in The Zone. The last number was a 21 and I had a 39!

After a minute my mind went out of The Zone and all hell broke loose. I think it was only natural to feel a bit disappointed since who doesn’t want to get Php200M+? That is a dream come true for anybody. Money can’t buy happiness but having lots of it does help. 🙂 With that money we would be able to start my dream of having my own bee and rock lobster farm. And maybe sleep in a bed of money. 😛

After a few minutes I calmed myself down and tried to analyze the situation (like what I sometimes tend to do). I can be disappointed or I can look at this as the first time I have won anything other than a gift certificate from the company. I prefer to do the latter. At least this way I now have a means of getting that sub-notebook to which I now have become fixated for weeks. And we can now buy that 32″ LCD TV that we were planning to buy with my mid-year bonus. 🙂

Sleeping in a bed of money is still a dream, but at least I got a bit of that dream into a reality. I guess if I change my winnings into five peso bills then I can still make that bed of money come true. But it will still be a small bed. 🙂