Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2017

Add iPhone X "horns" to your Android Smartphone

Add iPhone X "horns" to your Android Smartphone

Available on GitHub

Tips & Tricks / Emergency SOS in iOS11

Coming to iOS11 is a neat feature called Emergency SOS.

It is found in its own sub-menu under Settings.

Basically, this feature lets you quickly call Emergency Services or your Emergency Contacts. You invoke it by pressing the sleep/wake (power button) rapidly 5x.

Don't forget to fill in your Medical ID & Emergency Contact/s (in Health app) so those first responders (police, fire, medics, etc) have some basic information to work with.

As an added bonus, invoking the Emergency SOS screen also disables Touch ID temporarily and the device will remain locked until you input your password. Useful if you are confronted by a bad guy (bad cops?). Make sure you have a strong password (an alphanumeric password is better than a simple 4 digit pin), set your phone to lock immediately, and Erase data after 10 failed password attempts as well.

Hello, Goodbye, Hello Moto...

A few weeks ago I purchased a Moto E4 Plus it was a very affordable and capable device but unfortunately, the South East Asia version lacked NFC.

Since I will be moving to a place where there would be support for Android Pay I figured I should at least get a device with both Fingerprint and NFC capability.

Yesterday I got a Moto Z Play which has NFC. Deleted and packed off the E4 Plus for sale.

I got a lot of freebies, a Moto Mod compatible flip case, and a Moto Mod Incipio battery pack.

All for 19,999 Php -- a very good deal!

The Z Play originally came with Android 6 Marshmallow, but I was able to update it to 7 Nougat and I read that Motorola/Lenovo (oh ya, Lenovo bought Motorola from Google) will be upgrading it to 8 Oreo as well.

Hope that pans out!

Nokia 105 Dual SIM (HMD Global)

Nostalgia aside, I thought the Nokia 3310 (at Php 3,000) is a bit overpriced for what it offers and for a spare phone at that. So, I purchased an even cheaper dumber phone. The Nokia 105 Dual SIM is just Php 850 yes less than Php 1,000.

It's super basic you can't even sync contacts to it or change the date format, but at least now I have a super cheap phone with super long battery life for emergencies. No fear of data charges since it doesn't even have GPRS.

I think this would be a good mobile to deploy to staff/offices that don't need more than basic features. Oh and it has a torch.

Bye Bye Windows Mobile... Again...

Since Microsoft has given up on Windows Mobile, I guess it is time to reset and get rid of my Lumia 650 Dual SIM as well. It was fun while it lasted.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15240.0 for Mobile

Release notes here

Apple is charging more if you get Netflix thru iTunes. BAD APPLE.

I noticed something as I was fixing my mom's Netflix subscription. She had recently done the 1-month free trial using her iPhone. Meaning her subscription would be coursed thru Apple iTunes or AppStore.
Since I already pay for Netflix, I was surprised that the prices were not the same! Apple charges extra on top of Netflix's fees. BAD APPLE.
I canceled her trial subscription using iTunes prior to the end of the trial date and then went to to restart her trial direct with the streaming service.

For most people, it would be more convenient to subscribe via Apple but I don't believe we should pay more if we can get it for less.

Here is Netflix's help page on canceling iTunes billing:
How do I cancel iTunes billing for Netflix? 

CEDAR PEAK by VRDC - Condo Lobby Teaser

Way Out West - Tuesday Maybe

Way Out West - Tuesday Maybe

BDO is now charging a fee for US$ check deposits. Boo!

PSA: Beware of this BPI Phishing Email

I don't have a BPI Express account, so I knew this was a phishing email from the get go.

When we look at it on a desktop browser we see the email address has been masked/tampered with

When we hover (DO NOT CLICK) on the link we can see the URL is suspicious as well.


The scary part is when viewed on mobile (in this case GMail for iOS) it looks ok but it is not, more and more people just do stuff on their mobile and this might fool some.

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 …