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Showing posts from 2017

Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans by Palette Swap Ninja


Microsoft Surface Laptop

Microsoft recently announced their Surface Laptop.

The device looks great on video and specs wise it seems like a capable device for the target market (education / ultra-portable) however I am a bit uneasy about the move to a single USB port and the fabric on the keyboard seems like an impending hygiene issue.

I am not sure how I feel about Windows S as their response to ChromeOS. It remains to be seen if they will make a dent on Chromebooks market share.  Personally, I would opt to upgrade to the Pro version anyway to get the most out of Windows 10.

Let's see what MSFT's partners will cook up now that Microsoft has unveiled their new "hero device".

I really think APPL is missing the mark by refusing to add touch capability to their MacBooks screen, the TouchBar isn't really compelling (yet), and I think the devices on the Windows side should capitalize on this.

In the end, competition is always great for the consumer :-)

Why is Apple killing Enhanced Podcasts?

I've been an off + on podcaster for a few years. You can check out my electronic music appreciation podcast = Thank You For The Music (shameless plug).

From the start, I wanted to do enhanced podcasts just like the wonderful podcast Coverville.

Enhanced podcasts add chapter support with different artwork per track and even URLs to podcasts. A really useful feature IMO.

In recent years it seems both iTunes + Apple's Podcast app support for enhanced podcasts have become worse.

I've been testing the Podcast App and it doesn't even display the chapter artwork properly.

It works well on Downcast App.

In iTunes 12.6 as you can see the controls are hidden, difficult and don't work very well. The chapter artwork also doesn't change except on the mini player view. WEAK!!!

Downcast for macOS has better support Enhanced Podcast support vs iTunes 12.

It seems third party devs may be following Apple's lead, OvercastFM my current audio podcast app of choice see…

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn Enjoying the audio book very much!

Windows 10 Mobile Build 15063.138

enrolled my @Lumia 650 to @windowsinsider#fastring hope to get 15063.138 before Easter hehe. #windowsmobile — Vincent B Castro (@bnycastro) April 12, 2017

Well after only a few hours of my above tweet hoping to get Windows 10 Mobile Build 15063.138 it is now downloading on my device hehe. I did have to install build 15063.2 before 138 appeared under updates.

Will report back on how the update goes...

iOS 10.3 APFS (Apple File System)

Seems I saved 4.7Gb after upgrading to 10.3
-- VBC

Pairing Bluetooth via NFC | BOSE SoundSport Wireless & Microsoft Lumia 650

Pairing Bluetooth via NFC | Plantronics Voyager Edge to Microsoft Lumia 650

Star Wars Rogue One iTunes Extras

The extras are pretty cool! 
-- VBC

Plantronics Voyager Edge gets a firmware update

Wow first firmware update in more than half a year... at least they haven't abandoned the device!

Review|Nillkin Microsoft Lumia 650 Hard Case

I finally got the hard case for my Microsoft Lumia 650.

NFC works through the case and it has a lip so you can place the device face down and the screen won't touch the surface.

All the cut-outs are there and the case is very affordable.

Highly recommended.

Rematch on Rebels

Microsoft Lumia 650 Dual SIM

Ever since my Lumia 535 got stolen, I have been slumming it with the Lumia 532. I had my eye on the Lumia 650 but unfortunately, Microsoft decided to bail on mobiles for now, and as per the Microsoft Store in SM Megamall, the device would not be sold locally. Both the Lumia 950 and 950XL were very tempting but out of my budget range. Bummer.

I still preferred to use Windows 10 Mobile for work and initially I tried to order it via Microsoft's US Store but they don't accept credit cards issued in the Philippines. So I hit eBay and actually got the device including shipping at a lower price, all in I spent less than 9000Php for this device. For the price, the device looks and feels great!

Specs: Microsoft Lumia 650 (MSFT website)

I got it in black and opted for the Dual SIM variant. It takes nano size SIM cards there's no need for adapters on this one. Like my previous Lumias, it has a microSD expansion slot, I have a 16Gb card in at the moment. I also noticed that this devic…

MacBook1,1 on Windows 10

Got some tools from Handy Man. I swapped the 250Gb drive from my MSI Wind U123H with the 60Gb drive of the MacBook.

I borrowed my friend's Apple Dev credentials and downloaded both Leopard and Snow Leopard DMGs as well as the Combo Updates for both from Apple. Thank you, Jayson!

Installed OSX SnowLeopard and Windows 10 Pro 32 bit. The BC2.1 driversare compatible with W10.

If like me you didn't want to bother with burning DVDs install rEFit(MacOS) this nifty program let's you boot from USB on old Macs.

System sluggishness, which is to be expected since the hardware is more than 10 years old. It is a slightly better experience vs my MSI Wind U123H Netbook but not by that much.

Since the battery has bloated I tossed it in the trash. The machine is basically non-portable and bound by the availability of a power outlet.

iTunes 12.5.5 installed but video playback is not supported. Probably due to the very old GPU. I will see how it performs for syncing and backing up my Grandmot…

Let's Be Vigilant: Sample Bad Email

I got this email in my work inbox earlier today. Immediately, I was suspicious. Upon further inspection. We can see this is a bad email.

The email sender + contents do not match. The linked file should be PDF but it's a JAR file (Java). The link is also suspicious (see URL). Avoid clicking links from email. 

Windows 7 on MacBook1,1 planning for Windows 10

I was able to locate Boot Camp 2.1 drivers online here
I've installed the linked drivers and so far everything seems to be working. 
Since this machine has a tiny 60Gb HDD, I'm working with a 35Gb Boot Camp partition.
I've successfully installed Service Pack 1. So there's that, I did get this warning prior to updating to SP 1.
So what's next?

Option 1: do an in-place update of Windows 10 to find out if a) the drivers for Windows 7 will work b) if Windows 10 will run smoother on it vs my Wind U123H. If this pans out I might remove the tiny stock 60Gb HDD replace it with my spare 500Gb HDD and do a fresh install of Windows 10.

Option 2: skip the in-place update, go directly to swapping out the drive and do a fresh install of OS X Leopard 10.5.x and do a clean install of Windows 10 and just hope the Windows 7 drivers work.

Option 3: I could stay with Windows 7 SP1 however mainstream support has already ended so I am back with the same issue if I stayed with Leopard. …

MacBook1,1 ~ too old, too old...

This is my mom's old MacBook1,1 it's running OS X 10.5.8 Leopard ~ which is super old and no longer supported.

The battery is bloated and busted

Ynzal isn't accepting it for trade-in anymore, and a new battery is cost prohibitive.

I've installed Windows 7 32-bit but the Leopard discs are gone so I can't get the proper Boot Camp drivers.

it sucks that Apple is not providing the download of Boot Camp drivers for this series of laptops. So the option is to buy a Snow Leopard disk from Apple so it can be updated to another old OS?

Seems like too much cost and trouble for super old hardware.

I am still undecided on what to do with this old clunker.

Not sure how secure it will be as a Server. Linux perhaps?

DongleLife & CableLife

The first hub I purchased a coopidea USB-C to 4 port USB-A hub was interfering with WiFi. I was experiencing dropped wireless in both macOS and Windows 10.

I also experienced the HDD's ejecting unexpectedly.

I hope the Satechi Hubs I ordered are of better quality than the coopidea.

So I went and returned the annoying hub and decided to get an Apple made dongle. They are more expensive by default, also local APRs (Apple Premium Resellers) are not participating with Apple's USB-C Promotion. And it's just one USB-A port. They also don't have the single USB-C to USB-A one. So I had to purchase the more expensive Multi-port AV adapter. I've tested the USB-A, and USB-C pass-thru but have yet to test the HDMI port.

I decided to buy a Belkin USB-C to USB-B micro (the fat version for USB3.0 HDDs) I may get another one of these if they are reliable.

and a USB-C to Lightning cable.

I reckon new cables are better than dongles? I also ordered a USB-C/USB-A memory stick so I can …

Customize 2016 MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Why I got an iPhone 7 Plus instead of a Lumia 950XL

I love Windows Phone. I still have a Treo Pro and an HTC S730 and even my first Compaq iPAQ lying around somewhere at home.

In a previous post I was really tempted to get a Lumia 950XL what stopped me was the crappy service of Microsoft Philippines (or their distributor).

My Lumia 532 has been to the service center twice for LCD issues which are still happening by the way. They refuse to refund me, or give me store credit so I can get another device.

I guess Microsoft or their distributor refuses to standby their product, so why should I?

Also the Lumia 950 XL has been heavily discounted in other territories but not in the Philippines.

So I got an iPhone 7 Plus and am still running the Lumia 532 for work, have to reboot it periodically to get rid of the vertical lines that crop up from time to time.

Thoughts on the Apple Watch

Over the holiday season I received an Apple Watch Series 2, thanks baby!

Prior to receiving this awesome gift I was using a MiBand 2 as my wearable.

The Good:
As with most Apple products the hardware is really good. The UI is simple and intuitive. I like that you can use Siri on the watch as well. I think the device shines as a companion device to your iPhone for notifications and such. I think the fitness features are also inspiring me to be more active. Got to fill all those 3 circles, you know. I also like the variety of watch faces you can use.

Text messages

Phone calls


Controlling what's playing on my iPhone


The Bad:
No sleep tracking. I don't understand why this feature isn't baked in to watchOS given that the Apple Watch has tons of sensors. What gives?

The Ugly:
Battery life. I have to charge almost daily, my brother has advised me to use power reserve mode but then most features are disabled.

Here are the watch faces I am currently using

MacBook Pro Trade-In Update

Yesterday I brought both MacBook Pros to Ynzal and had them appraised.

They will give 18,000.00 for the MD101 and 35,000.00 for the MC975 respectively, that's 53,000.00 off the next laptop I will get from them.

I am kinda dreading the dongle life so much so that I asked if they still had the 2015 MacBook Pro with Discreet Graphics. Alas, no such luck.

As per Ynzal, the distributor is projecting to have the MLH42PP/A in stock by 3rd week of January (estimate only!).

It's the stock config of the 15inch 2016 MacBook Pro w/ TouchBar, as much as I would want to spec out the machine the cost is just too much as it is. So I will go with the stock config, which is a significant upgrade from my circa 2012 MacBook Pro.

I guess the next step would be to reformat the MD101. I'll use this guide