Monday, January 30, 2012

Umbrellas Anyone?

Aside from liquids, the airport authority (MIAA) at NAIA3 also does not allow umbrellas in hand carry luggages.  I took this shot of a "trash bin" after the x-ray machine where people have to leave their foldable umbrellas behind.  That's a lot of umbrellas.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

At NAIA Terminal 3 Again

I'm at Cafe France again eating while waiting for my CEB flight to Gen San.  Getting connected to Globe's free WiFi service was a lot more complicated this time.  Took several attempts of disconnect/reconnect before I got through.  When I last used it, it was a really simple process of just connecting to the access point.  Now, they added a redirect to MIAA's web page first.

I noticed that the escalators from the Level 3 departure area to the Level 4 shops/restaurants area are all still "under repair".  They were like that when I was here last month!  I guess if people are desperate enough to want to go up, then they will look for the elevator at the back hall.  But casual passengers would just skip the stores altogether and head straight in to the pre-departure area.  I pity the concessionaires/tenants at Level 4.  There must be almost no business.

In  one of the elevators being repaired (yes, there are actually maintenance men fixing it), there was my pet peeve repair "on-going" sign.   Sigh.... this is actually the second time I've seen the "on-going" sign in the past 2 days.  Yesterday, it was along Libis where road repairs were also "on-going".

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Running Skype on our TV

We had a video-conference with Cols at Gen San using the Samsung Smart TV on our end (and its free webcam), and the Samsung Galaxy Tab on Cols' end.  It was pretty interesting to do a Skype session just using the TV and the home Wifi system.  Navigation is pretty simple once the account is setup.

I taught Caitlin how to do it so that she can initiate a Video Call when I go to Gen San also tomorrow.  She can probably figure out how to do it on the computer, but this one is simpler.  She just uses the TV remote to initiate a call.

Google Chrome Printing Problem

I don't know if it is just me, but I really hate the printer manager built into the Chrome browser.  I don't know why Google bothered to make one instead of just relying on the operating system's printer dialog.  The built-in print manager keeps hanging -- maybe 1 out of every 5 tries or so.  And when it crashes, it takes the whole browser with it.  Closing and restarting the browser doesn't seem to do much good either.  A full restart of the PC seems to be the only way to correct it.

So whenever I need to print my forms from BIR's eFPS system, I have to switch to Internet Explorer just so I can print properly.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Moving Virtual Machines

I moved several of my small virtual machines (VM's) from my old server to the new HP server.  The process was pretty smooth.  Just copy the entire VM folder (which was about 4GB) to the new machine; load it to VMWare Server's inventory list; start it, and voila!  The only thing that took long was the physical moving of the VM folder.

I can imagine putting all VM's in a shared storage device, or SAN, can make the whole process so much simpler.  If you have several servers running VMWare, you can just un-register it from one server, and register it to another, to "move" it easily across your server farm.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finished my 3rd audio book

I'm starting to become an audiobook junkie!  I just finished my 3rd one.  Having started with Steve Jobs' biography, I went next with Stephen King's Cell.  Now, I just finished Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars.

I actually haven't read Stephen King's novels for a very long time.  I think the last one I read was back in 1994 or 1995. My favorite authors in more recent years are/were Michael Crichton (he's dead now), Dan Brown and James Rollins.  Unlike these guys, Stephen King does not really go out of way to explain WHY certain things are such in his stories.  You just have to take it as is.

Cell started out as a techno-thriller where the entire population turned into zombies simply because of a "pulse" that were sent to the mobile phones.  Now if it were Crichton or Rollins, they would at least try to find a reasonable explanation as to how that can theoretically be possible.  But with King, it just have to enjoy the bloodbath and gore that ensues.  No explanations necessary.

Full Dark, No Stars is an anthology of 4 short stories.  It took me about 2 weeks to finish it since I just get to listen to it on my way to work, and then on the drive back home.  I really liked this one.  In particular, Big Driver and A Good Marriage were pretty good even though their story line were kind of similar.  The protagonist was a woman who was a victim of a serial killer.  She takes the law into her own hands at the end, and somehow gets absolution from the other characters for "doing the right thing".

The epilogue was interesting.  I'm not sure if it was actually Stephen King's voice or the reader/narrator.  But it basically explained the story behind the story -- ie. where he got the inspiration for Big Driver or the real story that served as the basis for A Good Marriage.  Especially for the latter, its interesting to know that it was actually based on a real story.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Old School Computers

Ethan approached me today and asked if I have every seen those "old computers" which do not come with a mouse, and displays its output onto paper.  He was asking what it was called again because he forgot.  My initial thoughts were he must have seen images of the old IBM punch-card based computers like the ENIAC.  And then it hit me!  "Do you mean a typewriter?", I asked.  "Yes! a typewriter!", he exclaimed.  Old school computers indeed.