Time for another AVG Free update

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0

Now that AVG is the most popular Anti-Virus, and I assume that you use nothing else, it’s time for another version upgrade. See, AVG is notorious for making it seem that they are discontinuing their free edition anti-virus for users every time they release a new version. Thing is, free-version users need only to wait for the last couple of days prior to expiration before they release the official download links for the free version. AVG Anti-Virus 7.5 is expiring tomorrow – meaning they will stop giving regular virus database updates and software updates for version 7.5 users.

Now they have the links for the free version exposed and obvious in their website. Simple go here, click on Continue to AVG Free download, click again on Continue to AVG Free download, then click on Download AVG Free 8.0. But wait, let me save you some time by saying I encountered some problems downloading the installer from Download.com – I reinstalled using the the downloaded installer from AVG’s server. I have no explanation for this whatsoever except that the file sizes from the two servers are off by a hundred bytes or so. So there you go, just install the new version and it will take care of all the “upgrading.”

Compaq Presario B1256TU

One sleek 12.1″

Is this the hottest, cheapest 12.1″ branded laptop in the market today? I think so. At Php 35,950, it’s closest rival would be Acer’s Aspire 2920Z which costs Php 39,900. It’s already ahead in the price category, so let’s see what else this sleek machine has to offer. And to think I bought a slower Php 39,900 worth 14.1″ Acer exactly a year ago.

The shopping spree

I recently crashed my company-given blue laptop, so while I was out shopping for a new memory module (the culprit), I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful Compaq Presario B1200 – the one I always wanted – in a cheaper, downgraded version. It tickled the impulse buyer in me. Bank was already closed, plus I needed a day’s worth of research, so to quote Douglas McArthur – “I shall return.”

Truth is, there wasn’t really much stuff in the internet about the B1256TU (fairly new), so the next day I shop-hopped Town Center to find out the best deal for the B1256TU. No luck, prices were exactly the same (as expected). All except 1 shop had it in stock. I couldn’t base my shop of choice on anything, so I tried to base it on store aesthetics. I landed on PC Live, the newest, most organized computer store in ATC. I was just about ready to cough up plastic when I heard the salesman say something about a free memory upgrade. Wait a minute, so stores sold it for the same price, but what about freebies?

Halt. I had to check what the other stores offered. PC Live was willing to upgrade my memory to 1GB and give me a 1GB flash drive. I told exactly that to Electroworld but they couldn’t top PC Live’s offer. They were however, willing to give a Php 2,000-worth printer. One last, most cluttered shop left – Silicon Valley. They had the same RAM upgrade, with a 2GB flash drive. They came out on top, but I told them PC Live offered the same thing and asked if they could give me a 4GB flash drive. So 40,050 pesos and 0 centavos later, I went home with a new laptop, a new copy of Windows XP, a 4GB flash drive and was happy. But would I be satisfied?

Specifications and a comparison

In the spirit of competition, I’ll consider both laptops – my Compaq Presario B1256TU and the Acer Aspire 2920Z – in it’s base form. No free upgrades or add-ons. The B1256TU has a Core Duo T2370 1.73 Ghz, 1MB L2 Cache, 533Mhz. FSB processor – same as the Acer 2920Z. They both have 512MB RAM, 1.3 MP webcam, 8X DVD±RW, 80 GB hard drive, Bluetooth, card readers, the works, and all that jazz. So what else is left?

Aside from being cheaper by Php 3,950, the Compaq is a lot more gorgeous. Don’t get me wrong, I love Acer and I love their new Gemstone design as well, I just feel that they didn’t quite get it on the 12.1″ version. In my opinion, it looks a little bulky and feels like a toy. The Compaq is just plain sexy and sleek with it’s black theme and carbon fiber-looking design. By the way, both units don’t come stock with operating systems.

Insignificant rants

You already know how much I adore this laptop so I’ll just do a short summary of what could have been made better – borderline unimportant. For starters, the touchpad feels sticky. It has this certain gloss to it so my finger sticks instead of slides. The whole design is “takaw-gasgas” like a Mac, especially the shiny black plastic surrounding the screen. Being an OC, it bothers me knowing that scratching is inevitable. However, it’s what makes it sleek-looking.

Two USB slots on the left side are too closely situated with the power adapter slot. This makes inserting USB stuff like flash drives difficult. The unit does not come with drivers. Drivers are to be downloaded from HP’s site. It’s slow as hell and it took me 6 hours to download a 6mb file (no exaggeration). The laptop was obviously designed for Windows Vista, so I encountered some problems installing Windows XP, especially with the SATA hard drive.

Final thoughts

What else… It came with a free microfiber-type cloth which won’t scratch the finish. The laptop bag is nice, but is quite big. The sound from the headphone jack is quite ok (important to me), but Acer’s is better. The quick launch buttons are like the ones from an elevator’s – touch sensitive. I’m not seeing any firewire but I don’t really care. So all in all, I’m really, really satisfied and happy with this purchase. After all, in line with Robert Kiyosaki‘s philosophy, I don’t shy away from buying stuff that will help make me money.

I’m quite surprised though how Compaq suddenly offered budget laptops. If at all, we should probably be thanking Acer for starting the budget class slash barebones category of laptops. But Compaq beat Acer in the 12.1 category this time. I wonder if Acer will start slashing prices once again. I also wonder what’s in store for next year’s laptops. At the rate I’m going, I spend the same amount of money (circa 40k) every year, and just see what upgrades I get. To sum up this year from last year, I got an additional core (processor), 512 more RAM, Bluetooth, a smaller screen, a 1.3mp webcam and a dvd writer. All for the same amount. Cool huh?

What’s your Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf story?

Commercial muna

Paging all caffeine addicts. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, that Starbucks-like (har, har) coffee house chain, has a promo for all bloggers and netizens. Submit an essay, a photo or a video that depicts a memorable experience related to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and you just might win a trip with accommodations and pocket money for 4 days, 3 nights to Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA.

I don’t drink coffee, I rarely go to coffee houses and I’m least likely to submit one, but I was finessed by my chubby sister – their marketing guru – to blog about this in exchange for some freebies. My soul is now for sale. So people, what are you waiting for?

What’s your Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf story?

Crash recovery and The Picture Company


As said in my previous post, I crashed my laptop real bad last weekend. Who cares right? I’m just puzzled because I haven’t crashed this bad, ever. I’m a computer dude, plus I studied computer science in college, so I must know a thing or two about computers. I only have two suspects – one, a virus from leaving uTorrent overnight, and two, the latest Firefox update. After that, Firefox and IE started shutting down and all sorts of bad image errors and corrupted file warning popped up. Anyone?

Anyway, what’s with The Picture Company?

So because of my stupid crash, I went to this place called Compuserve in Town Center. I had them back-up my files as I don’t have an extra desktop or hard drive. The Picture Company is right beside Compuserve. Thanks to me spending half a day at Compuserve, I was able to “spot” the hot bebots working over at The Picture Company. Mind you, they were not just chicky-hot, they were artistahin-hot! All of them! Whoa, what’s up with that? I happen to know someone who works there (she is hot) but she was not there at that time; plus, I think the manager is a batchmate of ours in high school. I know they have branches at the Power Plant and MOA, just wondering if the bebots are hot as well. I should do a feature on them.

Catch me on Y Speak tonight

Y Speak, Studio 23, 7:30 p.m.

Or is it 7:00 pm? Anyway, I’ll be on tonight’s episode – an episode about blogs, blogging, censorship, Brian Gorrell, etc. Nope it’s not live, the episode was taped last April 9 over at ABS-CBN, but they’ve been bugging me since the first week of April. In fact, we already did a short interview/feature at my house last April 3 (?), when all of a sudden they decided to ditch that for a studio guesting. I was with two other student bloggers – Janica and Randel – Multiply bloggers.

I have pictures – during taping, with Janica and Randel, me with host Pat Evangelista, etc. but my stupid laptop just crashed. I can’t access my files and my OS won’t boot up. Just had to make this short announcement so here you go. Will clean up this post when I’m back in my laptop.

Island Cove

Island Cove Resort – Kawit, Cavite, Philippines

First time mo? Oo, eh. Last weekend, it was either this or another one of my family’s regular Subic trips. I’m getting tired of going to places I’ve been a million times to. So I scoured the internet for nearby unvisited gems to replace my already-planned weekend. Alas, Island Cove; it’s near, it’s popular and established, and I don’t know shit about it. I don’t know why, but I really, really enjoy swimming pools with stuff – slides, obstacles, etc. ala Splash Island.

So if this were as “fun” as a quick getaway in Splash Island, I’m happy. Cavite is just behind hometown-Muntinlupa. It took only 17 kilometers from the old Shell station (in front of the new Joilibee) along Alabang-Zapote road. Sunday traffic was a breeze.

I already knew what to expect (because I believe everything I read on the internet, haha), so I was just out to see if the negatives have already been worked out and if the positives were indeed worthy of praise. Recurring negatives were: the staff of Island Cove are not nice/accommodating, and ginto ang mga drinks at pagkain. I also took note of the strict no bringing of food and drinks within the premises rule. From the beginning, I knew that the only positive that mattered to me is if it had the “babalik ako dito” factor.

The staff

I noticed that the majority of the workers are old. It made sense how people ranted about the mataray staff. I could just imagine how long some of the staff have been working in Island Cove. Maybe it’s routine exhaustion or something. But then again when we arrived, heaps of people on excursions followed and in an instant they were under-staffed. They still tended to our needs so I feel there should be no negative generalization here.

Food and drinks

Canned soft drinks cost Php 50. I did not even try to find out how much the food cost. Obviously they’re trying to capitalize on their strict no food and drinks rule after all, business is business. However, I wanted to know (apart from plainly being a cheapskate) how strict they were on baon. I sneaked in a packed lunch at the bottommost of my backpack. “Boss, ano laman ng baunan?” “Sir, kikay kit lang po ng girlfriend ko saka mga valuables na ‘di pwedeng mabasa.” But we still ate our lunch out-of-sight, inside the car.

Thoughts In Binary

Oceania is what they call the swimming pool area. It has 4 sildes, 2 swimming pools that ranges from 4-6 ft. (but not really) in depth, and 2 more kiddie pools. The two pools are arranged in such a way that one pool circles a smaller one. One of the kiddie pools is only about 3 meters across, while the other one is bigger and features kiddie slides and stuff. There are nicer huts which are for rent but there are also free monobloc tables on a first-come, first-served basis. Entrance is Php 200 per head and ours came with a free pass to the zoo.

I could not comment much on the other facilities of Island Cove, although we were able to walk the entire “island” from end to end. It’s huge. The zoo, which they call Wildlife Safari, is just about right. There’s a butterfly farm, a crocodile farm, and the usuals. It’s like a mediocre Zoobic in Subic. I wish I could’ve tried out fishing in their Fishing Village though, and catch a glimpse of the hotel area.

For me the place looks old. Well-maintained sure, but still bears the signs of the times. It looked great in pictures I have to say, even on my shots when I checked it back home, but kind of lacking in person. I feel they have to upgrade some facilities to make it a tad bit more interesting. Babalik ba ako dun? On my own free will, no. I gave Splash Island, Fontana in Clark, and even Monte Vista in Pansol the “babalik ako” factor but not Island Cove. Click on the picture below to view my photo blog on Island Cove.

Playboy Philippines

What a waste

So, Playboy magazine, Philippines edition is officially out. Great right? Not. In Playboy Philippines, there will be no nudity. The magazine was launched last April 2, 2008 at an event in Sofitel. What a shame, what a waste. A “joke,” I say.

It’s a disgrace to the “Hef.” Ok, I’ll stop there, as I might already have established my sentiments clearly. The magazine targets 30 year old and above males. Ah, vis a vis, it is not competing against FHM, Maxim and UNO. Who are they out to get then? Manual? Manifesto? Rogue? May competition ba sa serye na yun?

In their maiden issue, the cover girl is Priscilla Meirelles. Their editor-in-chief is Beting Dolor. They have 5 (or 4?) Palanca awardees as writers – wow! what a selling point! The first issue also has features on “The Pinays of Playboy past,” Chiz Escudero and WWE Diva Maria “in the nude.”

I understand Playboy franchises in other countries are not as racy as the U.S. one. Wastes as well I guess. As I’m writing this, I’ve already read some violent reactions from some “organizations.” Wala na ngang nudity eh, ano pa pinuputok ng budhi nyo? Anyway, all I’m saying is why did they (owners) have to go through all this shit to use Playboy’s name? Although maybe this is good for Philippine porn; as we all know the likes of FHM “slips a little nip” every once in a while. Maybe this is the start of the “movement.” I guess I have to get my hands on an issue first. Although for now, Playboy Philippines = boo!

April 8, 2008; realized something just now. Priscilla Meirelles, a Brazilian national, for the very first issue of Playboy PHILIPPINES. Poor, pinays.

Behold the electric mosquito swatter

I love it, I just love it

Call it what you will – the “death trap,” “the tennis racket,” “the electronic killer,” etc., but for me, this is one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread. I’ve seen it before but I’ve only recently bought one for our house. At Php 95 (you can get it way cheaper), this thing is a steal. Mine uses 2 AA batteries but some models are rechargeable. Must have murdered 50+ mosquitoes the day I brought it home.

Tips? Two best times to use it – one, when it’s about to get dark and two, when the sun’s about to shine. Go outside, make sure you are facing a wall of solid, bright color – that would provide the best backdrop to see those darned insects. As I’ve said, every household should have one of these; together, we’ll extinct-ify the mosquito race. Care to join me?

Happy April Fools’ Day everyone!


Lago de Oro

Wakeboarding, Calatagan, Batangas

Truth be told, I only knew of one such facility here in our country – Camsur. Yes, I’m sure Lago de Oro has been featured on television as well, but I’m guessing Camsur or CWC (Camsur Watersports Complex) is more popular. And, basing from the pictures of Camsur’s facilities in their site, it’s probably nicer as well. But, it’s more than twice as far.

Lago de Oro is only about 3 hours (with traffic) away from Manila. It’s located in Calatagan, Batangas; Balibago, Calatagan to be exact. The place is huge. The wakeboarding area – the “lake?” or “man-made lake?” is overwhelming in size. It also has the usual obstacles and ramps so I’m guessing regular competitions are held there.

To “ski” would cost 440 for 1 hour, 900 for half a day and 1,386 for the whole day. Equipment plus a short crash course is included. Knee boarding or water skiing (1 ski per foot), as they say, is easier for newbies. There is also a pool and a classy-looking restaurant at the back. The beach is accessible, but it’s not nice. There is also a resort right beside Lago de Oro called Villa Aurea. This is where you should stay if you want to save on lodging, which is exactly what we did.


To my fellow pornographers

Ah, under the limelight again – local internet porn. The good senator is on a role. Because I backed out, I shut down the site. We knew nothing back then, and there was no political agenda. No Senate Bill 1375 – the most confused bill of all time. And yes, the trail that led to my name was as easy as figuring out left from right. It was made that way for some reasons, some personal agendas, an experiment if you may.

This time, it’s different. By the way “law makers,” I do not know who operates thepinoytube.com, so leave me alone. And now that the operator’s identity is hidden, I can’t wait to see what kind of “hacking” operation the NBI will undergo. I wish they reach a dead end, I wish the site won’t shutdown, or I wish the owner is operating from another country – that would be a blast.

Pornography. What is pornography? What is pornographic to you may not be pornographic to me. Soon there will be no war against (internet) pornography – like there is no war against prostitution. Prostitution is a fact of life. It’s a delicate issue, it’s frowned upon, yes, but who’s gonna stop it? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

I  do not condone child pornography/prostitution. I do not condone bestiality. I am not a sick man. Technically, I did not break any laws. The move to shutdown the site is a personal choice. Obviously, I have not given up ownership of the domain. That tells something.

To my fellow pornographers 

Enjoy the spikes in traffic your site/s will experience the next couple of days. Monetize. Worst case? Prepare for a raid. Be as mobile as possible, backup files, hide them, destroy the obvious. Always, always change your server’s root password as well as your emails, etc. Remove child pornography, the law is clear on that. Best of luck. Boy B.