Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts

22 February 2016

About the Phoenix Petro-terminal Fire in Calaca; and the Power of Social Media

Image captured from a public video posted by Jonel Alcaraz on Facebook.

Well there you are, thank God! TV Patrol Regional reported earlier today that the monstrous fire that broke out at the Phoenix Petro-terminal in Calaca here in the Province of Batangas has been brought under control.


09 December 2015

Sudden Unintended Acceleration, Computer Bugs and Car Hacking

Image credit:

These past few weeks, the evening news has been bombarding us nightly with incident after incident of Sudden Unintended Acceleration or SUA by the unfortunate Mitsubishi Montero. To neutrals like me, the most annoying aspect of these reports will likely be the doggedness of Mitsubishi spokespersons in insisting that there is nothing wrong with the product even as the sheer number of reported incidents appears to indicate that something is indeed terribly wrong.


16 November 2015

Aside from Like, Now You Can Love, Yay, Haha, Wow, Be Sad and Angry at Facebook Posts

Facebook's new interactions.

Users of the social networking site Facebook can now express more feelings towards posts made by people and pages beyond the by-now tiresome ‘Like’ button.


25 September 2015

Virtual Street View Tour of Lipa City

Morada St. leading to the city proper.

What on earth, you might say, was I thinking doing a virtual tour of Lipa City when I effing live here? Well curiosity, they do say; killed the cat; and it is if nothing else a powerful motivator.


21 September 2015

Street View Technology in the Philippines: How It was Done, Pros and Cons

Screen capture from:

Although Google Street View was first introduced as a feature of Google Maps and Google Earth as far back as 2007, it likely permeated Filipino consciousness only over the last two days ironically with not just a little help from one of Google’s deadliest competitors, the social networking site Facebook.


03 January 2014

Happy New Year on Skype

New Year’s Day.

Ring.. Ring…

Hello!!! I looked at the screen of my Windows 8 Skype app and could see nothing but a generic avatar staring back at me. I could hear the voice at the other end; but there was no video.

The subject was late fifties. I say no more as I promised that, if I wrote about the incident at all, it would be something of a blind item.

“Mabuti pala ako ang tumawag sa iyo!” the voice at the other end said. I had called earlier but could not get the call through.


19 December 2013

5 Household Things That Changed Dramatically in my Lifetime

Over the weekend, a former player came over to my place to pick me up for Sunday football. I had a World War II documentary on at the National Geographic Channel. This former player – in total innocence or just plain lack of tact – asked me if I had personal experiences of the war.

If I was the criminal type, you would have heard of this former player’s wake on Facebook; and that I am now behind bars. Instead, I patiently pointed out that the last Great War ended 14 years BEFORE I was born.

This still means that I have been on this Earth for more than half a century. In my lifetime, I have seen more things than a lot of people. In this article, I describe mundane household things that have changed drastically over the years, some even beyond my wildest imagination.


05 December 2013

Windows 8.1 on my HP Probook

In January of this year, I bought an HP ProBook 4445s notebook laptop. The laptop came pre-loaded with Windows 8. The laptop ran like a dream but for the occasional problems installing new apps or app upgrades via Microsoft’s Windows Store.

A couple of months back, as most owners of computers running on Windows 8 know, Microsoft made available through the Windows Store a free upgrade to Windows 8.1. The free upgrade, documents available over the Internet stated, was for a 24-month period only.

The upgrade promised better features, a better designed Windows Store and the claim that apps would run better in Windows 8.1.


14 May 2013

Elections 2013: Hardware Upgrade Needed!

If you were one of those who woke up this morning – the 14th of May and, therefore, the day after the elections – and anxiously tried to log onto the COMELEC web site to see how your favourite Senatorial, Party List and LGU candidates fared in the national and local elections, chances are that your browser yielded a time out error message.

You probably refreshed your browser, luckily got a page or two; but each time the page either failed to load completely or took an eternity to do so. Or timed out again.

This was morning, mind; and, therefore, that time of the day when Internet traffic wasn’t so congested. The timeout, needless to say, could not have been caused by your own Internet service.


12 March 2013

Be Careful with Your Next ATM Withdrawal!

This is really getting serious! Although most banks’ automatic teller machines will have some warning about covering your fingers when you input your pin number when you are making a withdrawal, who has really taken that warning seriously?

So, alright! Maybe the guy behind you is snooping to see what numbers you will be punching. But what can he really do even if he sees?

And big feller like me, I make sure that I cover the entire machine whenever I make withdrawals. So what can snoopy really do? And especially if I have the ATM safely in my wallet, anyway.


20 February 2013

So I’m on Windows 8, Now What?

And because all of us users of Microsoft products are subliminally programmed to anticipate the next upgrade, naturally I was somewhat expectant when I finally made the decision to become acquainted with Windows 8. And while there are those who make a career of shunning Microsoft products, I’m afraid that I am what one can call a Windows-phile – if there is ever such a word.

I did flirt for a while with Ubuntu – an open source OS – thought it tried to place most things opposite to where Microsoft did, and subsequently decided that to continue using the OS was ultimately counterproductive.

So, but for this brief fling, I have really been with Windows for most of my computing life, having started with Windows version 3.1 on the first personal computer that I bought, a trusty old pre-Pentium x486, what a dinosaur!


18 February 2013

Quick Adventure in 5D

What’s a quick way to part with 105 pesos? Well, there’s this adventure booth at SM Lipa that is called the 5D Simulator which I think is worth at least a one-time try; and if you have a lot of spare change, there’s nothing to stop you from going back for more.

I was at the mall for groceries; but since I had seen the simulator featured yesterday by the regional news, I allowed curiosity to get the better of me. Because I was by myself, it was not unlike making a taxi out of a jeepney.

The lady operator asked me to choose a ride from a catalogue; but since I didn’t have a clue, I asked her to recommend one. She chose the snow track adventure for me.


21 January 2013

From lasalipa to dlsl: A Matter of Domain Names

To the straightforward, the obvious choice of a domain name for De La Salle Lipa always was – as it is these days. Of course, at around the time that the school finally went online with its very first web site as far back as 1997, De La Salle University had been online for a few years already. Its domain name was as it is today –

Few things, however, were ever straightforward with the Brother Lolo – the late and great former President Brother Rafael Donato. It was not so much that he was complicated – although he could be that – it was more that he saw things differently from the likes of you and I.

To say that he was artistic is an understatement. He loved beautiful things and was unimpressed by the prosaic. Even for something as mundane as a domain name for a web site, he wanted oomph.


11 December 2012

The Story of Umpokan, the DLSL Alumni Social Network

A couple of years after Facebook really took off in the Philippines, one web site brashly but erroneously announced itself as the first alumni social networking site in the country. In fact, Umpokan – although modest in terms of features in its earlier incarnation – was way ahead of the game.

The word umpokan is a Tagalog word that is probably more frequently used in the province of Batangas than elsewhere. In its strictest sense, the word refers to a group of people huddled together, usually to gossip. Loosely, though, it can be used to mean a gathering or a group of people.


14 September 2012

How Connected Countries Are Through Facebook Friendships

Facebook has mapped the connectedness of countries around the globe and has made the results available to the public through its Facebook Stories web site. The page is entitled “Mapping the World’s Friendships.” The rankings, according to the page, are based on the amount of connections between countries while also taking into account the total number of connections within each country.

Mia Newman, author of the post, noted that immigration seems to be the most important factor in these inter-country friendships or connections. Also influencing the connections are economic links between countries along with relationships established as far back as the colonial era.


04 June 2012

9 Yearbooks: Paper Dummies to Desktop Publishing

I have always loved published materials. Because most of us in the family grew up voracious readers, there were always books, newspapers and magazines in the house. In the glossy magazines, in particular, I admired the way layout artists combined text and photos to always create something attractive to the eyes.

Naturally, I joined the staffs of both the yearbook and the school paper when I was in high school. In those days, however, the process of laying out particularly for the school paper was a tedious process.


18 April 2012

Lipa City Has a Web Site!

Finally! Lipa City has a government web site! I am so happy to know this. The site has apparently been online for sometime now. The fact that I did not know, and I have been a Netizen for years, is down to the fact that I simply gave up on us ever having one.

I mean, in the past, if I needed information on the city, all I would ever get was this poor excuse of a web site on some freebie server where teenagers posted their cell phone pictures. There was more likelihood of getting updated information elsewhere.


07 April 2012

So Your Cable Channels Got Jumbled…

If you’re from Lipa, then you probably got startled early last week to discover that your favourite cable television channels were not quite where you expected them to be. I don’t know what the local CATV did; but I love the changes!

It’s not so much the jumbling of the channels. More like the improvement of the reception of my favourite stations. It’s – like – I’m starting to rediscover the joy of watching television all over again!


29 March 2012

The Gracious Telephone Operators of Yore

This is just the weirdest thing. I was just watching a documentary on the invention and evolution of the telephone when I suddenly recalled our house’s phone number when we still lived inside Fernando Air Base: 3292. We moved out of the Base late in 1971. As anyone reading this can imagine, I had not thought of that number in decades!

“Hello, Torrecampo’s residence!” Even as small kids, we were taught to answer politely. It was simply part of the protocol expected of military households.


05 November 2011

Troubleshooting When a Computer System Goes Haywire

And you wonder why computer systems break down... Leave them alone and computers won’t even come to life – unless there is a pesky poltergeist in the room. But I am getting ahead of myself again...




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