Techie Bro

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Enjoying HD movies with Measy's NMT

Movie watching is one of my avocations. It does not only provide me rest and relaxation but also hours of fun and entertainment.

I started a movie collection with my sister a few years ago when CDs and DVDs are still topping the home movie viewing charts. Maybe, it is something we acquired from our father after he brought home with him a box of VHS tapes from abroad. Yeah we even had Betamax tapes back then! Now I can even remember owning a re-winder for those tapes (The good old days!)

And now come the birth of high-definition multimedia where everything promises crystal clear audio and full detailed high quality films. And the only possible way of having them is to own a blu-ray disc player. Darn it! Do I need to buy another one of those?

Now, my unsettled mind invited me to hunt for better tech alternatives. If I would be crashing my funds for another home entertainment equipment, why not figure out better ways of enjoying film watching at home.

I asked a few people around and lurked on some forums online to get some better ideas before putting my foot in the water.

So then, I found out that HD movies (720p and 1080p) are the best of quality and I could own these high quality films through some P2P file sharing networks. That’s not bad! After all, I’ve got a fair Internet speed to start downloading these eye catchers!

But, wait a minute! Where will I watch these films? … Ah! No other way but on my computer. But is there any other way for me to watch it without setting up an HTPC (Home Theater PC)? You know the power costs here in the Philippines is way too much.

Then, came an answer. Why not get hold of one of these Networked Media Tanks (NMT). What are they? These are stand-alone multimedia devices that has the capacity to receive large capacity disks for file storage (Hard disk drives) which you can plug in directly to your TV for instant viewing. Also, it has the capability to serve as an online file server on your home network because it can be connected through a LAN cable or compatible wireless dongles. This means you can also watch a video from your desktop PC through your home network from this device.

There are a large number of brands that you can find in the market today. Each promising unique features like content management and torrent download support yet everyone of them is carrying a bit pricey tag depending on what they offer.

I went over some kind of research so as to find the best brand to start up with that can match my requirements and most importantly, fit my budget.

Measy peasy nice and easy!
My brother bought himself one of these NMTs and though he purchased a not too popular brand in its class, I can say it is a bang for the buck. Why? Because of the following features which NOT ALL similar devices have all of them included:
  • presence of multiple audio and video ports
  • can play a wide range of multimedia formats particularly MKVs (matroska) and MP4s
  • torrent support (Peer-to-peer file sharing)
  • large disk capacity support up to 2 Terrabyte SATA Hard Disk Drive
  • expandable storage options (via its 2 x USB ports)
  • upgradable firmware (important part for us techies)
  • live community support (bulletin board and forums)
  • cool led backlit remote (take control of your viewing even in the dark)
Aside from videos or movies, the Measy E8HD NMT can also play music (mp3's), view photos (just plug-in your photo filled USB disk and watch the auto-slide show) and watch online video streams from selected channels like Youtube.

Here are a few snapshots of the media player.




The quick access Hard drive bay supports 2GB max SATA HDDs
The back panel showing all connector ports: (from left to right)  Power port, Coax, Optical audio, RCA, Component, HDMI, USB 2.0, LAN, USB x 2
My portable 2.5" HDD connected to the NMT
The backlit remote showing the buttons on the top part
Another shot of the backlit remote
Though the E8HD does not have support for meta content (detailed video info) like that of Popcorn hour, Egreat or the HTPC, I will still go for this home theater gadget. Not does only it boasts a low price tag but it also assures hours of fun without worrying so much on your monthly electrical charges. (The E8HD Media player consumes an average of 24 watts compared to an HTPC which ranges from 40-80 watts depending on its build).

Finally, I got myself a Measy media player. Now my kids are enjoying hours of Dora and Barney series from this piece of equipment. I think I may have to buy another one for myself :(

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Changing your DNS server address

Here is a follow up article on my post Addressing the ISP's poor DNS service. I have written here a walk through on how to implement the suggested DNS server addresses I have shared on that previous blog post.

Throughout this tutorial, I will be using Windows 7 as my operating system. And to make things simple, I prefer making the modifications on my desktop PC. (You can also make wide area changes to your home network through your router just so you know) 
  1. In order for us to make use of the lists of recommended DNS addresses, we must first modify our network adapter settings via the control panel. Open your control panel via Windows' start menu. Then make a left mouse click on Network and Sharing Center.

  2. control panel

  3. A new window will open and this time select Change adapter settings. Left click on it.

  4. Network and Sharing Center

  5. It will now bring you to a window with a list of your network adapters. Make a right click on the desired network adapter and a context menu will open. Make a left click on Properties. Note: If you have more than one network adapters installed, make sure to select the one that connects you to the internet.

  6. network adapter

  7. It will open a window showing some advance properties of your Network Adapter. Under the "this connection uses the following settings" look for Internet protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Left click on it to highlight it then left click on properties.

  8. Connection settings

  9. It will again open another properties window. This time focus your attention to the input box located below this property window (boxed in red). Make changes on this one. In this example, I made use of Google's Public DNS addresses. Note: Make sure that the "use the following DNS Server addresses" radio button is selected.


  10. Left click on OK to validate the settings. Then left click on close to exit the properties window. 
  11. Browse through the internet using your favorite browser. If you have successfully opened a webpage, then your done. Congratulations!
Advanced configurations (for the more technically inclined)
  1. If you want to input all the DNS server addresses I have provided, you may proceed by left clicking on the ADVANCED button.

  2. advance DNS

  3. Left click on the DNS Tab. You can now enter additional DNS servers on this list by (1) Left click on the ADD button and type in the desired address (2) Use the priority buttons to change the queue of the DNS addresses (3) Left click the OK button to apply the changes.

  4. DNS advance tab
For the list of recommended DNS servers, refer to this post.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Addressing the ISPs’ poor DNS service

Have you encountered a selective browsing problem? Like you can instantly surf to your FB account page but then you are having a hard time going over on some of the other sites in the web? Here is one way to make it out of that puzzling issue. (This can also be a solution to slow internet browsing speed) Normally, we make use of ISPs default DNS server. But then, it can cause us some trouble if they are doing some maintenance works on their system (even if they deny it) which deters our travel through cyberspace. Fortunately, we can resolve this issue. Modifying your default DNS server address is one way to get away with it. Wait a minute! What is DNS?

According to wikipedia.org,

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most importantly, it translates domain names meaningful to humans into the numerical identifiers associated with networking equipment for the purpose of locating and addressing these devices worldwide.
Well, that's a mouthful. Albeit too technical for most of us.

DNS serves as a phone book to the World Wide Web which maps out each connected device to the global network. It manages the name of our websites so we and other people can access them by typing them in our web browsers. That is why we can only have one specific address that we can use in naming our websites. Duplicate domain names are not allowed to avoid problems in accessing our web pages.

Our computers acts as hosts to each incoming connections and also works as clients to other computers in the Internet. Some computers works as DNS servers to provide us with a better network directory and reach our desired destination. That is why replacing your default DNS server address can make a considerable impact on how you browse the Internet.
  • It can increase your Internet speed. (though this will vary on other factors eg. PC specs, subscribed Internet speed) 
  • It can lessen or completely resolve your selective browsing issues 
  • It can give complete control on how you browse the Internet on your network by using filters (like that of OPENDNS) 
Here is a list of the recommended DNS addresses that yields better than the default ones as provided through our Internet service providers.

The desired DNS addresses (my preferred and tested lists):

DNS Server Preferred Alternate
Google's Public DNS 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4
DNSAdvantage 156.154.70.1 156.154.71.1
OpenDNS 208.67.222.222 208.67.220.220
Verizon/GTEi 4.2.2.1 4.2.2.2
4.2.2.3
4.2.2.4
4.2.2.5
4.2.2.6
Destiny Cable Internet 202.8.248.254 202.8.224.1

What's left for us to do now is to make use of these numbers and start punching them in our PCs and see if they do work. I have tested Google's Public DNS and OpenDNS as well.

I prefer Google's DNS addresses since it has never failed me to access most of my frequently visited websites (and it is faster than that of my ISPs). OpenDNS on the other hand served me a different purpose. That is, filtering my Internet Cafe's access to some of the restricted sites in the web :) (You know what I mean!)

How to use them? Here's a separate article for that - Walkthrough on how to change your DNS server address

Friday, 2 December 2011

Thinking Green!


Computer parts, tech devices and high-tech gadgets are among the things that contribute to the growing number of garbage in the world.

Normally, we throw out computer parts and gadgets that are broken and are considered unrepairable. Buying a new one to serve as a replacement is so much better than wasting our time holding on to our current item with the hopes of having it brought back to life and be used again.

That changed everything when my wife has called upon my participation in a greening task and somehow help save the environment. Yeah right! The green advocacy. What everybody else is doing right now in the hopes of slowing down the deterioration of our planet.

As a tech person, I never thought I could contribute much to this endeavor. As I was never aware that my junked stuff can can make the world a better place. A challenge as it seems from my wife as she started working on things that she can do on her part.

How can I do my deed with all this junk inside my drawers that I long getting rid off A-S-A-P?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Reaching more people


When I started my blog, I didn't realize that I am reaching more people with the things I share in the web. Where my initial purpose of having this blog is to take into writing all the events that transpired in helping me resolve my own technical problems and to my customer's as well - to serve as a knowledge base to the PC problems I have worked on.

As I went through everyday blogging my way to increase my readership, I tried to ask fellow bloggers for some help by exchanging links with me. But then, you can't just have to put everyone's link on your blog or end up with a crammed up website.

Being busy managing our family business diminishes my chance in connecting with other people on the web. BC Blogger will definitely give newbie bloggers like me to showcase their own and help others who are planning to get involved in the blogosphere.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Getting around a device problem

The other night while I was working on one of my articles, my netbook's touchpad suddenly went nuts. I was not able to make a selection using the usual tapping on the pad and used the buttons instead. I tried tapping on it while browsing through my PC's contents yet I don't get any response from the touch pad.

I can't remember installing a software or an update from Windows that may have caused the problem. So, I decided on restarting the PC that it may help get rid of the problem.

But after a successful reset, the touch pad is still not working and questions started to fill my mind as I slowly cringed on the dilemma I am having. (Even techies like me do panic when our own gadgets fail like this!) Should I bring this immediately to the store where I bought it? ... Do I need to format it again)? ...

Before I jumped to conclusions, I tried to calm myself first so I can think about the next step and try to resolve this by myself. After all I am a techie person.


So here is what I did ...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Migrating to another hard drive

Previously, I don't have any information on how I can transfer big chunks of files from my hard drive to a newer and bigger one other than the usual copy and paste method. It pains to know that it will take sometime for me to have them all transferred. I normally do the procedure late at night hoping it would then be finished when I wake up in the morning.


The migration of files to another drive may be due to an impending device failure or just a need to transfer the contents to a bigger and more ample space (my apps and games are starting to pile up on my one (1) Terra byte Hard Drive). Doing the usual method will somehow entail us towards some issues like:
  • wasted time for transferring large amounts of data. (Workable but will need a lot of patience! )
  • not enough time to get out of impending data loss due to imminent hard drive failure.
  • additional costs to purchase resources for data recovery. (Maybe I can transfer them to some blank DVD disks for cheaper options... may be not!)
The traditional method of copying or moving files is definitely the normal way to do it but there is that big chance to commit errors especially if you have a bunch of folders and a "gazillion" of files to transfer. There is the possibility that you might not be able to save all of them throughout the process.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Make use of private browsing session

Accessing my gmail account, updating my status in Facebook or chatting with my friends on Yahoo messenger using a public terminal is one thing that I've always avoided.

Often are we aware that we are in grave danger when we access our online accounts outside of our homes through another computer. Many of us fall prey to petty cyber criminals when we fail to take precautionary measures when using a different desktop computer other than our own.

A locked out account, plagarized and vandalized by heartless individuals smearing our most valued reputation in the world wide web. Cleaning up the mess is the hardest part.

How we can protect ourselves then?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Terabit file copy and transfer in Windows

Teracopy the best file management tool for Windows
I was so happy to have used  Windows 7 as my operating system. Though I was already satisfied with the XP version, honestly! The Aero interface (transparency and glass effects) of Win 7 is definitely a cool one to have in your PC's desktop screen! Plus! The security features they have included in Windows 7 does minimize possible intrusions of malware.

But just like any other operating system, this version also has some minor glitches. One thing I hate about this OS is its file management tools. It sometimes doesn't work properly especially when I am transferring large bits of data like game ISOs (ripped game data from DVDs) and HD movie files as big as 4 gigabytes and up. Sometimes, the transfer or copying procedure will take about an hour with file size that big. And if you're not lucky because of some unlikely system malfunction, the file copy transferring icon dialog box will keep looping forever (no one knows how long it will take) and the only way to get rid of it is to cancel the process from the task manager or worse! Pressing on the reset switch of your PC just to stop the now frozen program and start all over again.

I found this cool third-party app over the web and it will transform your file management tasks as easy as you want it to be without the fear of a possible lock-up even after accidentally hitting on the cancel button.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

My top-PC Games of all-time

If premium gaming websites (gamespot and IGN) have their own list of the best “PC” games in the planet, I do have a list of my own.

These are some of the games that kept me wide awake till the wee hours in the morning straight from my own collection: (These are in no particular order) 


Saturday, 12 November 2011

The thing about PC-based routers

Courtesy of pfsense.org (web interface)
The reason for this article is that I had for one time the need to build my own router since I don’t really get all what I want with those commercially available plug and play ones.

Routers are basically streamlined computers designed to do a specific job to provide at least a well-managed network and secure data line while we go online in the internet space. (Ward-off potential network intruders. Virus and malwares are out of the router’s scope.)

Building your own router has some advantages:
  • You can customize certain areas of it, or ...
  • Add-on some 3rd party softwares to answer certain specific requirements for your home or business network.
I am not forcing everyone to embark in this project for it will require at least a clear understanding on networks and computers. Techno geeks like me will surely enjoy this endeavour.

Initially all routers have their own operating software for you to interface with it and configure how it will work in your own network. I suggest to get at least the free and open source ones like pfSense which is based on a FreeBSD operating system.

I recommend this one because of their continuous support and live community boards that can help you customize the router to your own liking. Also, it is free and has a lot of packages (additional software) like squid proxy and squid guard (works great for me and my kids).You may need to download a copy of the software and burn to an optical disk or in someway transfer to a USB device for installation.

You need to have some knowledge in configuring routers and installing operating systems before proceeding or else you’ll be clueless throughout the process.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Start from scraps!

I am starting to get back to my obsessive-compulsive behavior after seeing those low-priced LCD TVs being sold at department stores. It does catch my attention every time a pass by those retail outlets. Imagine, a 32” LCD telly priced at P 23,000.00 which is in my own opinion already a good buy based on its specs, features and carrying brand.

How lucky am I not to bring any of my credit cards! Sure, I will go home with my hands full if I had one in my wallet.

I just told myself, maybe I should just set aside some money for the meantime and get hold of alternate solutions just to release this eagerness with my gadget fling.

I just then remembered seeing some items back at my storage. Items that were left after I have closed my I-Café biz a few months ago. Maybe I can find something to work on. (Fingers crossed)

My creative juices started to flow after finding a few items that would fit my project – a 23” LCD Monitor, one old stand-alone TV Box and a 2.1 speaker system. Things that I didn’t realize were all stocked at that dusty room just waiting to be discovered and used again.

So then I started the "Make-shift LCD telly project." (well that’s a mouthful!)

All I need is to plug them all together via various cables although I still have to visit the hardware store to get the cables that I need. I still shelled out P 500.00 to buy those items.

Things to think about before formatting your PC

The first time I learned to format a desktop PC was during my college days (I think). I really cannot say the reason why I love doing this kind of activity but surely, I feel good everytime I tinker on flawed gadgets and end up getting them back to life.

I did felt a hint of fear the first time I planned to do it. I know my folks would get mad at me if they find out I have a huge paperweight standing at my room. I don’t have the means of replacing a dead PC at that time.

My eagerness and excitement actually didn’t put me to sleep. Instead, I went on with high hopes of success.

My formatting experience involved Windows 95 as my initial operating system (OS) that required the aide of a bootable floppy disk. That was way too prehistoric if you may say. Today, there are better options of installing a Windows operating system. DVDs and flash drives are among our best options. And yeah! After discovering how to install one through a removable drive, I had always make use of it.

It took me several times to do the work before I finally get the hang of it and do the same even with my eyes closed.

Many of us has aspired to do the formatting of their desktop PC on their own. Customizing the way we use our computers has always been the strongest factor for doing it. Besides, finding a trustworthy tech person is way too difficult and more or less expensive for some of us.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Optimum Number of Computers for Starting an Internet Cafe

Sa pagbukas ng isang I-café (Internet Café) mahalaga na malaman natin kung ilang computer units and dapat nating ilagay upang maging maayos ang daloy ng benta sa ating itatayong negosyo.

Noong ako ay nagsimulang magbukas ng ganitong negosyo noong 2004, apat (4) na computers ang aking inilagay upang mapag-aralan muna kung ang computer rental ay magiging mabenta sa aking lugar. Ako ay nagsimula sa mababang bilang upang sa kung sakaling hindi ito magiging feasible, may pagkakataon pa akong ma-dispose ang mga nabili kong computers at gayun din naman makapag-isip ako ng ibang negosyong ipapalit sa commercial stall ko.

At noong nalaman ko na magiging mabenta ang naiisip kong negosyo, saka ko sinimulan ang pagdagdag ng mga computer units hanggang sa umabot ito ng sampu (10) na ayon sa karamihan ay optimal o sapat para makabenta at mabawi ang ipinuhunan. At makaraan ng isang taon ay nakapaglagay na ako ng labing walo (18) sa aking pwesto.

Sa kasalukuyang panahon, hindi ko na masabi kung ang bilang na ito ay sapat na para ma-cover ang demand sa isang lugar. Madami kasing factors na pwedeng makaka-apekto sa desisyon sa pagbili ng computer units.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Additional services that you may offer in your I-cafe Biz

Bukod sa computer rentals, madami pang serbisyo ang maaari mong i-offer sa iyong I-café business upang makadagdag sa benta nito.

Ang bahay ko ang napili kong paglagyan ng aking itinayong Internet Café business. Dahil sa maliit lamang ang aking puwesto, naging limitado ang expansion ko. Umabot lamang sa labing-walo (18) units ang nailagay ko at wala ng paraan para makapagdagdag pa.

Sa ganoong sitwasyon, naging limitado din ang serbisyo na naibigay ko sa aking mga customers. Kaya nag-isip ako ng paraan upang kumita ng extra kahit papaano.

Napag-isipan ko na din magtayo ng isa pang branch ngunit ang naipon kong pera ay hindi sapat na makapag-simula ng isa pang negosyo. Isa pa, mangangailangan ako ng mga taong pwedeng magbantay at magpatakbo ng itatayo kong branch kung magkakaganon.

Ang comments and suggestion box na inilagay ko sa aking shop ang naging daan upang masolusyunan ko ang problema ko sa karagdagang kita. Ang mga suggestion ng aking customer na magkaroon ng printing service at snack store ang unang naging side-service ng aking I-café.


Friday, 4 November 2011

Opening an Internet Cafe Business, What should I know before starting one?

Ang Internet Café ay isa sa naging sikat na negosyo para sa mga first-time Pinoy entrepreneurs. Marahil dahil ito ay daw ay madaling i-setup at napapanahong negosyo para sa lahat.

Marami na ang nagbukas ng ganitong negosyo sa buong bansa. Ganun din naman marami na din ang nagsara makalipas lamang ang ilang buwan o taon ng operation nito.

Sa totoo lang, ang I-Café business ay hindi madaling negosyo dahil ang perang puhunan dito ay masmalaki pa kaysa sa pag-franchise ng isang food cart business. Isa pa, ang services na offered sa negosyong ito ay hindi kasama sa daily necessities ng mga Pinoy. Karamihan ng services ay pumapasok sa leisure and entertainment aspects kaya hindi mo aasahan ang high-demand nito kumpara sa ibang negosyo.

Ganun pa man, may mga paraan upang maging mabenta ang isang I-Café sa merkado.

Una, proper location. Ang kita ng isang I-café ay pwedeng mag-depende sa lugar kung saan ito itatayo. Kinakailangang ma-tao ang lugar na paglalagyan nito at malapit sa mga utility lines lalo na sa linya ng telepono at kuryente. Ang schools, malls, transport terminals at markets ang karaniwang pinaglalagyan nito. Ngunit paalala sa mga balak magsimula ng ganitong negosyo, mag-inquire sa munisipyo ng lugar na nais mong pagtayuan ng isang I-café upang malaman ang mga existing ordinances at requirements sa pagbukas nito.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Finding solutions to WinXP's boot problem

I just did another PC fix similar to those I’ve worked on before a few months after a long wait to do another daunting task.

Yet another laptop running cahoots which has turned to snail-speed at the Windows boot-up process. It takes about 10 minutes or so to make it past the loading screen watching the loading bar loop a few more times before seeing the log-in screen.

I do have a hunch of mixed up configuration at the start up. Maybe some device has decided to take over and be at the top which is not quite acceptable to the system. It could also be a pesky virus trying to manipulate the whole process.

So what should we do? … Format it?! (Of course not!)

Formatting is not the best solution to this kind of problem. A good tech person can fix a PC without resolving to erasing everything and re-starting the PC back to its origins. It is important to follow the basic practice of observe, analyse, solve and test. Formatting should always be the last on your list. You’ll be causing more inconvenience to the PC owner in that case.


Sunday, 30 October 2011

Minor upgrades that can boost your PC's performance

I wasn't aware that computers can still be tweaked to run in its optimal state when things are somewhat sluggish. I've spent a lot of cash for several PC replacements just to level with the current trends in computer advancements.

Being a PC enthusiast and a hard-core gamer, tweaking and minor upgrades is a heaven sent and a quick boost to avoid further cash outs and save money for better hardware. Moreover, prevent throwing away working computer hardware.

Here are some things I did to keep my PC in par with my current  requirements:

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Computing for your PC's power rating requisites

The power supply unit (PSU) defines how much power can be used to run your desktop PC.

A standard PC doing the basic tasks will not  require a wattage more than 200W (watts) though purchasing a power supply with higher wattage is still recommended to provide some slack for further upgrades in the future.

Typical power ratings are (expressed in watts) 250, 350, 400, 500, 600 and 1,000. Most commercially available PSUs here in the Philippines are rated at 500W more or less. Calculating the overall power requirements of your PC before you purchase one is optional yet highly advised.

Not all sold PSUs in the market carries their true power rating as indicated outside its case. Only a few selected "branded" PSUs boasts true rated power.

There is now an easier way to find out your total power requirement for your PC.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Everything in 3D

Watching a full 3D movie in an IMAX theater has captivated our eyes as this unique display of visual technology made everything more real than natural. Seeing that water flowing that you could almost touch it plus the depth of camera angles that is far different when seen in a regular big screen.

The introduction of 3D cinemas in the Philippines gave way for the Filipinos to enjoy realism at its best. Subsequent films has taken advantage of this technology and likewise deemed to exploit its features in creating a blockbuster film. Even though such movie does not require neither fit to have one. And the tag "in 3D" has been part of the movie feature in the hopes of enticing movie viewers.

The 3D technology that has been a hit on commercial theaters has finally reached the household market as each TV is now capable of displaying such feat. If you try to visit one of these appliance centers you will find a wide range of television sets to choose from. Though most of them will carry an expensive price tag depending on the perks that the product offer.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Keeping ourselves safe while we use our PCs

My uncle lost his house several years ago when a fire broke out at his place in Pag-asa, Quezon City that happened around 2:00 in the afternoon. My uncle and his wife were not around at that time and only my cousins with their nanny were at home. Nothing was saved because the fire spread quickly and only their lives were left to save. At least, they are still alive after that unlikely event.

The investigation of the fire department confirmed that the fire started at their entertainment room as told by one of my cousins who was at that time using their computer before the fire started. The extension cord to where most of their appliances were connected overloaded and the fire instantly grew bigger than they have anticipated. It became more complicated since their house is mostly made out of combustible building materials that the fire became difficult to put out.

This is one thing that most PC owners tend to forget when they start to own a PC for their home. Provisions for ample power ratings for PCs and similar devices should always be considered at the first place.

As always, several fire prevention advocates has reminded us of safeguarding ourselves against fire. Overloading our circuitry is one thing to be avoided. Our computers can be a deadly device if not properly used.

Here are some of the things that I frequently remind my friends and clients about safety when it comes to their home PCs:

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Getting the best mobile device for my requirements

I've been longing to own myself a laptop though I already have a powerful desktop PC.

I have several reasons to support my desire to have another device on my hands.

First of all, it can greatly assist me in my work as a PC technician which I can bring anytime anywhere I want. I will have a lot of privileges when I get to carry a mobile PC whenever I do repair works outside. Just for the formatting tasks, I can use it to do back-ups of my clients' computer data especially when it is totally inaccessible. (A corrupted Operating System can sometimes be a problem when doing data recovery)

Second, since I no longer have a business to fund my tech expenses, laptops and netbooks can help me reduce my electrical costs. I'll no longer have to open my desktop PC for some Internet browsing and blog updates.

But before I was able to buy my own laptop, I had to sell all my computers from my closed Internet Shop. At least I had some cash to burn for this endeavor.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Expanding my wi-fi hotspot at home

I installed a wi-fi router at my house for me to be able to use my DSL Broadband connection using my wireless devices (a laptop and a mobile phone) and to avoid the hassles of running LAN cables around the house.

I have two units of adjacent apartment spaces with two levels each. Using only one wi-fi router won’t be enough to fill at least most of the desired living spaces – our living room, bedrooms, study, and my workshop (where I usually do my repair works).

This kind of problem has once troubled me when a customer had a similar problem regarding the distribution of Internet connection throughout her three-storey house. She has bought a wireless router (which I configured) yet its signal does not even reach her room at the upper floors.

A network professional would have surely know by now the answer to this but of course for tech enthusiasts like me, finding solutions and working on it would be more satisfying.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Deciding to close your business

Giving up is a hard thing to make especially when it involves a 6-year old progressing business.

My internet cafe did well during the course of its operations despite the emergence of a saturated market we had a triumphant run on our one source of income.

Retiring my business made it more difficult when my frequent customers shared their insight on my decision. Yet I have to make firm my actions.

I came up with a list of things that will make my decisions easier before I finally said goodbye to the internet cafe business.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Is it necessary to install AV or security suites in my computer?



There were many people asking me if I have installed any security software or  anti-malware software in my PC in my I-cafe. And as always, I never forget to install one before anything else.

Different types of people visit my Internet cafe and most of them are basic users and does not concern about the security on the computers since they don’t own them. They are only in my shop to avail of my services and the rest is for them to enjoy that paid service.

Monday, 15 August 2011

The future of internet cafe business

A few months ago, I decided to close down my internet cafe due to the fact that I no longer earn enough money to pay for the expenses (just breaking- even as they say) and local government taxes are too steep.

Overtime, computers (parts and accessories) are getting cheaper and internet service providers are doing the same. Every Pinoy household can get hold of their own internet connection evidently an income loss in the I-cafe market.

During the decision-making period of giving up my biz, I pondered on how will the business would eventually fare after a few years when all resources are dispensable to everyone.

The cheaper costs of supplies and the undefined stand of internet cafe businesses makes it a hard place to earn a fair income. Barely a few amount enough to pay for your daily necessities. Not much to save for yourself or even for the sustenance of the business.

People tend to enter the I-cafe market when they see a similar business prosper only finding out that they would only earn less and loose valuable time in the process.

The internet cafe business is now similar to a "sari-sari" store. Never will you not find one in the neighborhood. Sad to say price war has taken its toll. And soon only a few will be left to play the game.

To those who are still in the game, good luck and I wish you prosperity for the years to come?

To people who thinks of opening one, good luck too. Think twice before investing your money in this lucrative business venture.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Preselecting the games you want to install on your I-cafe

A few years back, only Counter Strike has made its name on the gaming scene together with Diablo II's character editing, LAN gaming has been the hype while the internet is slowly entering the online scene.

I opened my internet cafe biz at the height of Level Up Games' Ragnarok Online and Mobius.net's MU Online. The first set of online games was not that hard to market since online gaming was still that time.

My only concern was to watch out for weekly game patches (bug fix or special event modifications) and support for gamers who do not know how to play the game. Obviously, you need to be a gamer yourself per se. At least play the game so you would know the basics.

As the years go by, more and more online games were introduced. The initial introduction of pay to play (you need to buy time to play your game which is separate from rented time at the internet cafe) to the arrival of FREE TO PLAY (no need to buy game time only required if you want to buy special items which is not ordinarily found as loot or prize on the game) has changed how we play our online games.

The truth is Pinoys play more of the free-to-play types since they don't want to spend all their money just for the game time. So I suggest look out for these types.

There are a huge number of online games introduced locally as well as in the international scene making it harder to choose which you would include in your gaming PCs.

Do not attempt to install everything or end up wasting your time and energy patching and updating every single game everyday!

What can you do?

Of course, first is to scout around the area. Visit nearby internet cafe's and check which games possible customers would like to play at your place. With that in mind, check the upcoming games online so you would be able to build the right system to play that game.

It is for you to decide if you will take part in the same gaming market or introduce a new game to avoid competition. Before you install a number of these games better to test the game. If the gamers will dig it then proceed to install to the rest of your stations.

Finding new ways to make money on line


It has been 3 months since I decided to close down my own I-cafe business. The reasons are financial in nature and unfair taxation from our local governement.

My capacity to provide the amount as imposed by the BPLO is no longer achievable. So, I decided to just continue my work as a blogger on my own blog site and to several sites as well.

For several months, I no longer have a stable source of income. But luckily, my father handed over his water refilling business to me and to make things better I found this site where you can earn money while you take active participation on line through discussions and the like.

For your reference, you can check out www.myLot.com