Coping with no net

I’m at the Compass Internet Cafe at Galleria. The difference between this and Netopia is that this place allows you to use Firefox, although the default is this annoying ‘Avant Browser’ which looks like some sort of IE add-on and, as is usual for such things, thoroughly annoying therefore.

At any rate, this is Day 6 of no internet at home, and my resulting efforts to cope have been interesting. First off, by an amazing stroke of luck I managed to score two excellent books. First, there’s “China Hands”, by James Lilley where he recounts his experiences growing up in China and eventually serving in operations of the CIA, and eventually ending up as U.S. ambassador in 1973. His is an absolutely absorbing tale of history and true drama.

The other is “Where The Game Matters Most“, about the 1996-97 high school basketball season in Indiana, the last year when the old rules of equal competition still applied before the new divisional system segregating schools by size came into place. The old rules allowed for such miracle stories as the ‘Hoosiers’, but more importantly discusses the small towns and small town details that make Indiana the mystical mecca of basketball (as opposed to New York, which is the mecca of the NBA), that it is.

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Two Article Reposts and my fave PDI writers Part 1

So anyway, here are two of my articles that came out recently. One for PDI entitled “Two Stories of Technology Achievement Charity and Fulfillment“, and the cover story for this month’s issue for Speed Mag titled “A first view of Microsoft Vista

Ok I know the PDI one was renamed to some incomprehensible title, with absolutely no relation to the subject story whatsoever, but what can I do? That’s what they wanna name it, fine. I can only close my eyes and re-read my orig version to enjoy it.

Incidentally, that was the ‘important’ article I was talking about last week. Important in the sense that it involved tech touching people’s lives and improving their appreciation of themselves, which, I suspect to everyone’s surprise, is what tech is supposed to do. A far cry from what they have become, flashy accoutrements to one’s life, to be used like jewelry to impress people, attain faux social status and burden one’s monthly income.

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3 Reasons Why I’d be Stupid if I returned Microsoft’s free Laptop

A thought occured to me as I was waiting for the Ortiz – Liddel fight. I hope I can type this out quickly enough before the fight starts.

Let me tell you something. If Mae Rivera, PR head of Microsoft Philippines gives me a free laptop to review Windows Vista with, then I would do the following in this order: 1. thank my lucky stars, 2. thank her, 3. thank Microsoft, 4. tell the world about it via my blog, and 5. go and review Vista with it.

Doing so, I think I would be doing the right thing which are (again in numeric order. Sorry, I like trying to organize my thoughts): 1. Thank all those responsible for giving me a gift. 2. Tell everyone about it, just because it’s an interesting thing to share, and 3. Review Vista with it, and share it with as many people as possible (regardless of your opinion being positive or not) which is the least you could do.

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On ReviewMe and Being a Reviewer

A lot of people ask me if I’ve ever written a bad review, or rather, wrote a review about a gadget in a deprecating manner. I’ve always said that while I’ve encountered many products that I felt were lemons (and not just as a matter of taste. They actually were really badly designed.), there are many ways to go around having to do so.

First of all, let me explain why a ‘bad review’ doesn’t make sense, nor does anyone any good. Editors and publishers alike will agree, there are so many products out there that deserve a good article written about them. In the tech world itself, there are literally hundreds of products worth looking at. Assuming a tech writer would want to stick to your area of preference, such as, say, digital cameras, you’d still have enough material to keep you busy for months on end. Why then, would you concentrate on writing a whole article to give a particular product a bad rep?

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And now the fun begins

Just around an hour ago, the whole of Philippine Tech Press-dom has been lit up with news of Microsoft’s Press Launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007, which is finally launching next year.

I got my invite and the requisite assignment to cover it, and – well – I’m excited.

You’ve just gotta hand it to MS Philippines and their PR for knowing how to drum up excitement with their events. This isn’t some ho-hum fancy dress lunch in a posh hotel. This is an overnight gig, out of town.

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PR5 means I should update this more often

For some odd reason I cannot completely comprehend (nor accept), this blog has gained a Pagerank 5 (PR5) rating from Google, inspite of the fact that I had not written on it in weeks.

What’s more, the more famous by intention Basketball Exchange, which had also retained a PR5 rating for several months previous, and receives daily hits of almost 1000 pageviews especially during the recent UAAP, was downgraded to a PR4.

Such factors leading me to decide a.) I know nothing about how google rates websites, and b.) I should update this blog more often.

Given the fact I have little to do with A, I’ve decided to work instead on B, being the more immediately addressable issue of the two. Hence:

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Bulletpoints du Jour

  • I’ve got two appointments today, a presscon in the afternoon, a meeting before that, the press launch of a new Nokia phone in the evening, two articles to write start and one to re-edit (yes ‘re-edit’ since i’ve already edited it and now i’ve to do it again). Yet here I am blogging away using time I could use for better purposes. Haay.
  • I’ve a new blogging project I’m seriously giving thought, and I’ve no doubt it’d be interesting, but unfortunately I’m spreading myself too thin. Movie Exchange isn’t moving (hadn’t had time to watch) and I’m starting to concentrate on Ballex, given the UAAP and the Fiba World Championships are coming round.

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Of DSL, PLDT bills, A Job, Overwhelmed with Writing Assignments & 2 Other Random Thoughts

  1. Today our phone bill exploded in my face and the phone got cut (but not DSL. Hooray for PLDT’s internal communications!). Apparently, the bill was a whopping 12k+ since last our last recorded payment April 4, a fact my sister wants to dispute since she pays the bill herself while I fork over my agreed monthly share of 2.5k a month.

    I was woozy from having to shell out such a large amount off of my wallet which believe me, is a deeply dramatic moment. Things may look normal to the casual observer, but to me everything was going in slow motion while the background music in Apocalypse Now blares loudly in my head, at the part where helicopters napalm a village as a shirtless Robert Duvall says how he loves the smell in the morning.

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