Saturday, December 19, 2009

Globe wimax is actually 8mbps

Wow, so thats why globe wimax is so slow.
in reference to:
"While the fastest option/plan currently available on Globe WiMax is only up to 1Mbps, the network can actually deliver real-world speeds of up to 8Mbps. We did the test yesterday with an uncapped WiMax connection at GreenHills, San Juan."
- Globe WiMax tops at 8Mbps uncapped | YugaTech | Philippines, Technology News & Reviews (view on Google Sidewiki)

kills 99.99% of germs - in lab conditions only


Not all hand sanitizers kill that many germs in real world conditions!


Friday, December 18, 2009

OCZ modxstream-pro 600w

Well in my last post here you saw pics of the inside of my busted Hec PSU. I had to go to PC hub sm pampanga to buy a new PSU. My choices were PChub and PC express. I looked at their price lists online and pchub's selection was better. They dont have a landline but they gave me a cell number. I'll post it later.

Since my old psu was a 550w, i would be getting at least that. They had a hec cougar 550w for ~ 3800. An OCZ 600w for 4200 and a corsair 6xxW for ~ 5k-6k. Ok OCZ it is. Tipidpc discount applies so thats 4090 pesos.

They were kind enough to troubleshoot my PC (tear it apart) and confirm that it was the PSU that was the culprit. And NO EXTRA CHARGE for the troubleshooting and the installation and the cable management. My cpu hsf was a little loose so they fixed it too. Its pretty easy to isolate. The mobo was on a box on the table, connect psu, 1 ram and vid card. The old psu doesnt work and the new psu works. Case closed.

I'm now home using my PC.

Pics here


They dont have a landline so txt louie at 09293560807.


Here's the website of OCZ with the specs

HEC 550 ab power supply - pics

 pictures of the inside of my june 2008 vintage hec 550ab. Bought from PC options.

My pc now turns on and off. I think the psu is busted.

UPDATE. Yah confirmed, its busted. I bought a new PSU. See the next post

For the record, these are the symptoms. When I turn on the PC it turns on then off then on. Cycle ranges from 3 seconds to 2 min. Mostly seconds so it rarely gets into windows. Sometimes the pc just stays on with no beep, naka hang.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Smart bro plug it unlimited capped at 384kbps

"According to Smart Customer Support (*1888), the new Unlimited Plan 999 for Plug-It is limited to speeds of up to 384Kbps. There’s a 24-month lock-in period as well."


Is this true???

Posters in tipidpc still report fast up to 2mbps speeds.  Maybe the cap will be implemented in the future.

in reference to:

- SmartBro drops Unlimited Plug-it to Php999 | YugaTech | Philippines, Technology News & Reviews (view on Google Sidewiki)

LED traffic lights cause accidents

Well, thats bad engineering for you. Facepalm moment.

in reference to:
"A number of cold weather American states are reporting their dismay at finding out that LED traffic lights are so energy efficient that they do not produce enough excess heat to dissipate any snow that covers them. It turns out, perhaps in an homage to bad engineering everywhere, that the inefficiency of incandescent light bulbs was previously relied upon to keep traffic signals unimpeded. The new LEDs do not achieve the same effect, which has resulted in a few accidents and even a death being blamed on obstructed traffic lights. Feel free to apply palm to face now. It's not all gloomy, though, as the majority of people are said to treat a dysfunctional traffic light as a stop sign (how clever of them), and a tech fix is being worked on as we speak."
- LED traffic lights don't melt snow, do cause accidents -- Engadget (view on Google Sidewiki)

Smart money biller codes.

A google search of "Smart money biller codes" "Smart bro biller codes" or turns up nothing concrete so I'm posting the codes from the smart money brochure.

smart gold - 03006
smart bro - 06012
pldt landline and landline plus - 05012
nlex - 99020
sky cable zpdee - 05014
maynilad - 05009

In reference to this older post.

update: smart money website seems to now offer a complete list. LINK

So I'm reposting a more complete list

03006 SMART Gold Monthly Subscription
06012 SMART Bro Monthly (Service Fee)
05012 PLDT Landline and Landline Plus
99021 Easytrip Transponder
99020 MNTC North Luzon Expressway EC-Tag
05014 Sky Cable / ZPdee
05009 Maynilad
05010 Meralco

Or donate to the following charitable institution of your choice
To make a donation to a charitable institution, just type the CODE of your chosen charitable institution  amount and send to 270


the end

How to pay Smart Bro using Smart Money

To pay bills using Smart Money:
  1. Go to Smart Menu, select Smart Money
  2. Select Pay Bills, press OK
  3. Select Others, press OK
  4. Enter Biller Code, press OK
  5. Enter Bill Account Number (please refer to your billing statement), press OK
  6. You will receive a prompt message, press OK
  7. Select source of funds, press OK
  8. Enter amount you would like to pay, press OK
  9. You will receive a prompt message confirming the transaction, press OK
  10. Enter W-PIN, press OK
  11. Subscriber will receive an SMS confirmation of his transaction

However the source's link to the biller codes is now offline.

Here are the biller codes

UPDATE: if you check your smart bro bill here, it takes a few minutes for the payment to be reflected.

Real men dont use browsers to download

Thats a little joke i have. What that means is that I, as an experienced PC user, see noobs use the browser's "save as" feature to download files. I dont do that because it has drawbacks. I use download managers or at least browser add ons.

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way condoning piracy. Use this to download legal files only.

I'll divide this into 2 parts, HTTP downloads and file sharing downloads. Torrent and other P2P stuff isnt included here, its a different subject.


HTTP downloads means the regular download when you go to a website and download something. FTP is similar. It looks like this

I blurred out some options because you wont see them unless you install a download manager. Just concentrate on the "Save File" option.

* no additional software needed
* simple and easy to use

* No acceleration. Its usually faster slower
* No resume. You can pause and resume, even after turning off your PC
* No queing of downloads
* No limiting speed of downloads
* Download list isnt saved. If your PC hangs, you can resume later.

For HTTP and FTP downloads, use a download accelerator or download manager. This will take care of all the cons stated above. There are also other useful features like right clicking on a website and downloading all the files or jpegs linked. I use either Orbit or download them all.

2. File sharing

We all know what this is so I'll get to the point. Some of these are crippleware. I mean that you can use it for free but there are disabled features. Its not really a software but a website so crippleware is not 100% accurate.

For example if you dont buy the premium version, there can be limitations like:

* No download managers allowed. You have to use the "save as" mentioned above. This may be slower than using a download manager.
* No resume.
* No queing
* Only 1 download per IP address at a time, with some other limit like a max number of files per hour or a time delay in between downloads.

Regarding that IP address thing, If your ISP has a dynamic IP, you can do this

clean up IE or netscape cookie( In this case the one that belong to rapidshare website)
On Command prompt
type -----> ipconfig /flushdns <---Enter
type -----> ipconfig /release <---Enter
type -----> ipconfig /renew <---Enter
type -----> exit <--------Enter

Or save these commands in a bat file and run it everytime you need to fool Rapidshare server.Remember to clean up rapidshare cookie in your temp Internet files folder.

Again, this does not work if your ISP has a static IP like PLDT DSL. Its even worse if your ISP has a shared IP like the many smart bros because you may be competing with hundreds of users for that one slot to dowload.

Ok this is what I do

* Do not use file sharing websites with so many restrictions, use the free ones with few restrictions. This may not be practical all of the time.
* Use a file sharing download manager like jdownloader. It doesnt go around the restrictions but at least its automated. Just set it and it will keep trying while you sleep. When you wake up, its already downloaded. But it does not take care of Captchas Sometimes you need human intervention for the captchas but sometimes the program can go around it. This is useful for ISP's with shared IP addresses. The program merely keeps bugging the server every few minutes. If there are a few seconds where by chance no one on your share IP is donwloading, it can grab that chance.
* Go around it. Use services like rapidleech servers like rapid8 or This acts like a seedbox for torrents. They download the file for you with a high speed net connection onto their server and you can use HTTP with a download manager to download the file from them. This might be complicated to use.
update: these are sometimes called premium link generators. The problem with websites like these is that they can sprout and disappear quickly and they have limited bandwidth or they limit you to donwloading only a few files per day.
* Worst case scenario is to use skipscreen. Its semi automated. Set it, do something else and when the timer is up, you get the usual "save file" dialog box. But you gotta be awake to click on the button.
* Dont use file sharing sites, use p2p or torrent

Gamespot's best of 2009

Showing on dec 18 around 10am philippine time on

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

JetBeam C-LE

Their website here looks pretty slick

If you pay attention, the dot CN in the URL means its a chinese website  and yes this is a chinese brand. Probably class A or better.

A quick spec overview:

* Cree XR-E P4
* Aluminum OP reflector
* Harden glass lens
* T6061 Aluminum Alloy, Type III HA
* 1 AA battery (1.0-1.5v)
* Head dia. 19.5mm, tail dia. 17mm, length 85mm
* Weight 32g (bettery not included)
* Twisty type switch
* 10m water-resistance
* Multi-mode output: Med/Low/High/Strobe(10Hz)/SOS
* Output level: about 40/20/80 Lm
* Run time: about 7/30/2 hrs.

$26, free shipping

Acc to the review here

One big turn off is the lack of a spring on the negative end/tail cap. This can damage nimh batteries by crusing the negative terminal.

in reference to: JetBeam C-LE Cree 1xAA Flashlight [E2315] :, Buy DVD, Shop for PC accessories, Discount MP3 Players, Bargain Deal for Surveillance Equipment, Cheap R4 for NDS, X-sim Unlock (view on Google Sidewiki)

TANK007 TK-568 led flashlight

extremely tempting at $14.80 and free shipping

1xAA. Gold plated contacts. Multiple light modes. Clicky.

Problem is, this is one of the class A chinese manufacturers.

in reference to:
"TANK007 TK-568"
- DealExtreme: $14.80 TANK007 TK-568 Cree P4-WC 3-Mode 130-Lumen LED Flashlight (1*AA/1*14500) (view on Google Sidewiki)

tank website

Sanyo Harmolattice nimh batteries

PDF of the full specs can be found here <click me>

In  essence its a cut down eneloop, IMHO. 1000 mah, half the capacity.  Also LSD. IMHO no one will buy it because when I saw in true value and in the battery store in SM City annex, it costs around 450 pesos for 2AA, versus CDRKING's 2xAA eneloops at ~350 pesos. You can sometimes get eneloops costing 600 pesos for 4xAA in other stores.

This is supposed to be cheaper, acc to foreign forums.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

First Commercial LTE Network Goes Live

The first LTE network goes online in sweden and norway. 20 to 80 mbps is their advertised speed. No word on actual speed or prices. The modem is a small usb modem made by samsung. Some websites photoshop a pair of horns on the modem in reference to the vikings.

If you dont know, LTE or 3GPP or long term evolution or 3.9G is a possible successor to 3g and 3.5g. Its called 3.9G because it doesnt fully comply with some standards some comittee made up for 4g. Like most 4g networks, it also has long range. Well who cares as long as its fast and cheap.

This is a competitor to other 4g tech like wimax. Considering that wimax's performance is pretty underwhelming in the philippines for some reason, we have high hopes here.

AFAIK some telcos prefer this over wimax because its more similar to 3g equipment wise which should reduce costs. Maybe it has common equipment so that rollout can be fast??? I dont know.

More competition = lower costs and better services. Cant wait for this to come to the phils. 

in reference to:
"First Commercial LTE Network Goes Live"
- First Commercial LTE Network Goes Live -- LTE Wireless -- InformationWeek (view on Google Sidewiki)


Smart conducts first LTE trial in RP, reinforces broadband leadership

4G ng Smart

Leading wireless services provider Smart Communications marks another industry milestone as its network played host to the first network trial in the Philippines using 4G or Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

click me


actual specs

42.78Mbps DL
5.3Mbps upload
37ms ping

599kr (85$) per month

click me 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Convenient credit cards a bane, boon

I totally agree with this Inquirer column.

To summarize, credit cards can be bad in 2 main ways.

1. they encourage you to spend more and be more impulsive in shopping.
2. after shopping, you eventually can end up paying more than the cash price through
2.a. the interest
2.b. the fees like annual fees, etc

I always swore that I would never get a CC. I almost broke my promise because I needed a CC to buy online with paypal. But if you read my blog (see here), you know that smart money is paypal compatible. Since it is practically the same as a mastercard CC and is compatible with all electronic CC counters, It supplies the same convenience as a CC, but of course its pre paid.

Now with that taken care of, The only reason IMHO to get a CC is if you spend more than the smart money 50k limit or you have no money right now, you need to buy something BUT you will have money next payday.

in reference to:
"Convenient credit cards a bane, boon"
- Business - Convenient credit cards a bane, boon - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Autopager firefox plug in

I'm writing about a firefox plug in that I think is very nice. Its called autopager.

Heres how it works. You come upon a web page that has page 1, page 2, etc etc like say a google search result. Autopager automatically tries to load the next page so as you read the page contents and scroll down you find that viola, the next page is already loaded waiting for your eyeballs. This is so convenient!

Not all web pages are supported. You can use the controls to make a profile of the webpage so that it is supported but it looks complex. I took the lazy way out and just waited for other people so submit the profiles to the autopager database.

make your money work for you

As a follow up on my last blog here, I'm commenting on the phrase "Let your money work for you". This came to mid from the promotional speech the sunlife rep made to a gathering of us doctors in a seminar.

If you have enough money in a bank or in stocks or whatever, you literally can make you money work for you. The concept is simple. You work hard and save up enough money. Place/invest it in the interest earning thingie of your choice then just live off the interest. Thats it. Of course its easier said than done. And you have to factor in inflation and whether or not you can cash out or liquidate your investment readily.

Say you have 1 million pesos and you earn interest (minus inflation) of 1%  a month or 10,000 a month, then if you can make the 10k last one month, you've made it and can retire.

Make your money grow with mutual funds - mutual funds for idiots

Ok I'm still a relative noob with regards to mutual funds. But here's what I have gathered. I use Sunlife mutual funds

If you save money in a savings account or even a time deposit, the interest rate is usually lower than the inflation rate. So if your time deposit makes 5% interest a year, but inflation is 10%, your money lost 5% of its value over the year. You would have been better off buying stuff NOW instead of saving. However mutual funds can have a much higher interest rate.

Mutual funds work like this. Many people invest money then the fund company pools the money until its in the millions of pesos and invests it in the stock market. Not in one stock but several to distribute the risk. If one stock goes bankrupt or suffers a large decline, the others probably wont. So on average, the mix of stocks insulates you from large up or down swings. The mix of stocks used varies with the mutual fund company and the plan you choose. So if the average of all the stocks goes up, you get interest. If the average goes down, then you lose money. The various plans use a different mix of stocks. The more aggressive plans like equity funds buy more volatile stocks, those that can go up or go down a lot.

NAVPS is the term used to refer to the average of all those stocks, this is what you buy. It's equivalent to one "share" in the stock market. The sunlife website updates the NAVPS value daily. If you bought stocks or  NAVPS with a value of say 1 peso each and several years later you sell it when the NAVPS is worth 2 pesos each then you just made 100% interest.

Again, if the stock market goes down the NAVPS value goes down. Thats whats called a paper loss. So what do you do when that happens? If you're a noob you panic and sell, converting the paper loss into a real loss. Real life example based on the past performance of sunlife equity funds. 2007-2008, it went up like 30-40%. 2008-2009, financial crisis, value dropped. So when it dropped, you have a paper loss. If you sold it in mid 2008, your losses would be real. If you were smart you would have held on. By 3rd quarter 2009 more or less, the value of the NAVPS started to recoup all the losses from the crisis so after that, your paper losses start to become paper gains.

So its best to buy when the NAVPS is low, like the crisis last year.

One analogy is that the NAVPS is like buying a mix of say fuel. The diff kinds of gas represent the different stocks. You buy a few hundred liters of fuel. X percent is regular gas, X percent is high octane or premium gas, X percent is biodiesel, etc etc. Although this is an imperfect analogy since the prices of fuel tend to rise and fall together, so lets imagine that all these kinds of gas come from different sources and its possible for the price of one type to go up and the price of one type to go down, i.e. the price change is independent. And lets assume that the fuel does not expire or go stale and there is zero cost to storing the fuel.

In a few years, if the average price of all the liters of fuel increase then you have a paper gain. If the price on average goes down, then you have a paper loss. NOTHING happens as you hold on to the NAVPS. Yo do not earn a yearly interest like a savings account. Your loss or gain only comes when you sell the funds.

With sunlife, the minimum investment is around 5000 pesos. There is a small fee, around 5%. You can pay that up front, its called front end or you can go back end. Back end means you pay the 5% of the initial investment when you cash out. But the back end fees go down  by a few percent every years so by the 6th year its zero.

UPDATE: as you can infer from the 6 year time period, mutual funds are not usually a short term investment. Yes you can sell anytime and you can make money in a short time if you happen to invest right before a large rise in the NAVPS value, however it is usually recommended to hold on to mutual funds for a long time, maybe 5 to 50 years since in the medium and long term, mutual funds consistently earn much more than the inflation rate.

Lets talk about cost averaging.  Most people say its a good idea to do cost averaging. Whats that? It simply means that for example you plan to invest PhP 100,000. Instead of investing it all in one go, you buy php 10,000 worth of funds ten times, say once a month or so. Why is this done? Well this spreads out the risk. If during that 10 months, the increase per month is constant, you would earn more if you invested the 100,000 10 months ago. However if the price of the NAVPS went up and down during that 10 months, your chance of incurring an overall loss is less. Your profit is also less though. Loss of profit is the price you pay to reduce the risk. Plus 100,000 is a large amount, you might not have that much at one time. Every month you just scrimp and save and whatever you save you invest in mutual funds. You do not have to invest the same amount if you do cost averaging. You invest the amount you want, as long as its above the minimum amount accepted by the financial institution.

So you DO NOT have to do cost averaging. You do not have to invest so and so thousands of pesos every month or some other interval. You can invest the 100,000 all in one go if you like and forget all about the funds for the next 10-50 years. Of course the risk is higher.

UPDATE: unlike time deposits and like plain old stocks, you can sell anytime. Of course if you chose the back end option and it is less than 6 years, you pay the corresponding fee.

Its been a little over a month and my navps has gone up from 1.79 to 1.8x. Around 3% a month. Not bad. According the historical records, since jan 2009, the increase was like 40% for my sunlife equity fund. Here's my agent's email.To start investing in mutual funds once you understand all the advantages and disadvantages compared to other types of investment, then contact your nearest mutual funds office or use the email above. AFAIK you HAVE TO get an agent (at least for sun life), you cannot deal directly with the office.

UPDATE: its been 11 months and my sunlife paper profit is around 36%. Not bad. I added the fuel analogy and a discussion on cost averaging.

UPDATE: Payment
When it comes to payment I recommend you pay directly to the office to be 100% sure the money gets there and the agent does not abscond with the money. Its an over the counter transaction.You can pay in cash but that is risky. Sunlife does not accept credit cards or paypal AFAIK. You can pay with a check or manager's check but I just transferred funds from my savings account (BPI) to their savings account. The list of compatible banks plus their account numbers is printed on the back of their forms. That way you are 100% sure that a scammer cannot give you a different account number

UPDATE: Documents needed
1. xerox of valid ID's with picture
2. if you pay via their bank account, you need a xerox copy of the deposit slip from the bank. The original is for the office, the xerox is for you.

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