Archive for the ‘ Maintenance ’ Category

Targus’ Seoul 2017 Collection Backpacks – Built For the Digital Native

Targus, being one of the very first brands known for quality materials and reliability, has come out with a palette of backpacks for the youth of today. The aesthetic is not one you’d think would be sporting a host of electronics within it and that is a very good thing especially since it wards off any interest of the contents inside.

Don’t get me wrong though, as far as backpacks go, this line rakes in plenty of stuff and exudes style while doing so… and they go for a very enticing Php3,990 only!

Full PR after the jump.

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Logitech Z305 Repair – Hardware Level

At the start of the new year, I had wanted to produce loud sounds coming from the PC using a long sound mix from DJ Shapeshifter. And so I plugged in my Logitech Z305 speakers and raised all the levels… big mistake. That ended up ripping the membrane because of the displacement of the cone and the speakers became unusable because of a constant cracking sound at all practical levels when bass frequencies come into play.

Last night, I used it again and got sick of the sound and so I began to search for possible fixes short of throwing it away. Naturally there should be a need to open it up so that everything is visible and, having tinkered with a few mice from the same company, I began with taking all the screws out – 10 of them.

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I also removed the rubber because sometimes they like to hide screws there, no screws, next I attempted to pry it apart from the seam while holding up the clip but it doesnt seem to budge and I figured that the sides miGht be keeping the assembly in place and I finally focused my attention to it.

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Turns out, this was the only thing that I needed to take out and I already have access to the speaker units. Finally I was able to really see the problem which was – the ripped membrane. pushing down the cone revealed the damage extent and I marked that with green ink to denote the beginning and end of the rip. It was almost the entire perimeter, horrific ><

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Research reveals that patching this up is fairly common practice for repair and one of the possible repair materials was – tissue paper! Its basically creating a patch using tissue and glue, like creating a paper mache. I used an old nail polish brush for an even application and good old Elmer’s white glue, undiluted.

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I cut up several strips of tissue (around 3x10mm each) and ran that around in between the cone and the membrane, making sure they cover and overlap with all the areas that had ripped apart. I let it sit overnight so that the glue gets a chance to harden and I tested it this morning. A resounding success, pun intended.

So if you’re up for a bit of tinkering, know that it’s quite easy to do so, granted my solution is less than aesthetic, but this gets covered by the grill anyway. Very happy with my speaker’s revival, and if you’re attempting it, hope the results are as positive as mine went.

On to the next project then ^^

Workstation Feature – Instructor Mode

Student grades have finally been elevated to the CRS (that’s the university’s management system) and whenever there is the need to get a lot of things done, my workstation often transforms into this, with subtle variations each time:

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That’s the Asus Zenbook UX31E, the Logitech Alto, a Logitech M280, and an Acer P166HQL

Why the Asus Zenbook UX31E?

This would’ve been the HP Probook had I not gotten the UX31E (else if something more graphic intensive were being created). But the sheer resolution of the Zenbook (1600x900px) is around the sweet spot for viewing expansive spreadsheets without having to scroll about as much compared to when using conventional commercial resolutions.

Why the Logitech Alto?

Readers will probably find this technology “retro” already, but the Alto is so much more than just an external keyboard.

First off, whenever there is a need for numerical entry, there’s just no beating a numpad – hands down, its the fastest entry method available.

Grading requires plenty of numerical input… a whole lot of it, and while it is possible to just plug an external numpad, the feel of a full keyboard that isn’t influenced by heating, like the laptop keyboard is, and one where you’re absolutely certain where the numpad will be at all times gives you further efficiency. The Alto also has a dedicated calculator key, which you really wont find anywhere else these days… I found that I’ve been hitting it a lot during this activity.

The Alto elevates the main screen to eye level, which relieves strain from the user’s neck as opposed to an unmounted tilted laptop screen that makes one bow down a bit to match its angle – this is always important for posture and wellness when not using a standing desk (even when ^^)

Another benefit of the Alto is it acts as a USB hub providing access to three (unpowered) USB slots from the single one that it connects to… that’s plenty especially for ultrabooks.

Seeing as the Alto is the only mechanical keyboard I have – the tactile response feels great as an indication that work is actually being completed XDD

Why the Logitech M280?

The M280 is a no-nonsense wireless mouse that does what it’s intended to do exceptionally well and uses only one battery at that! It is part of the Logitech Unifying system so it plays well with peripherals of its generation. I do have a few technically superior mice around but for “grunt” work – the M280 is a contender.

Why the Acer P166HQL monitor?

There’s really no reason, any monitor would work with this setup, as long as it fits in the table. The advantage of working with a dual monitor system is in the ability to have a reference up at one screen while working on the other – especially useful when cross examining data and evaluation. Of course a bonus would be if the resolution of both the main screen and the extended screen match up against one another that screen elements wont suddenly become larger when they proceed to the other screen.

That’s the lowdown of the system that I’ve been working with for at least two days, nothing too fancy but purposeful and efficient. Maybe at the end of 2017 if this becomes a requirement again, let’s see what updated hardware we can find ^^

PSA: Do Not Get a Heavily Discounted Samsung Galaxy Note 7 at this time!

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I’m posting this due to the fact that I’ve been seeing/hearing about some parties still interested in the device at present time. Why you might ask? Well it still has great specifications… but it has been riddled with problems with regards to its battery and to prevent more issues for Samsung, they’ve pushed out an update now that limits charging to 30% only! Here’s what it looks like:

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Hence, if you have updated firmware, the phone will only accept 30% of its battery capacity… a realistic usage time of about an hour and a half?! That’s unacceptable in today’s mobile device utility and would require the user to bring two or more power banks just to keep it up.

The power user in me is thinking maybe I can put an alternate firmware that will change this back to original, but I don’t have one to test it with and even then, the risk that approximately 1% of owners have been exposed to might come to pass and that is a very serious matter.

These updates will push thru whether you install it immediately or cancel the notification and I’ve heard that there is an eventual update that will brick the device entirely. This is being done to force users who are still holding on to their Note 7s, to have it replaced with the other members of the S7 family (S7 and S7 Edge).

Asus RT-AC5300 – Boost Your Wireless Game

If, like me, you’re a gamer type, I’m pretty sure you’ve had to contend with drops in latency and the occassional disconnection especially horrific when gaming with a group and competitively when at home (its a different issue if you’ve had these same problems while outside on a shop XD)

Asus Philippines has just announced local availability of their fastest router yet – the AC5300

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Isn’t that just gorgeous? Like a Protoss structure of some sort emanating energies from all sides (literally). Of course, since this looks nothing like any router that came before it, so should you expect its price to be as unique – it is currently positioned at Php 19,780 and should be available at all leading tech distros.

If ever you get one, naturally, the price comes with all the features one should expect for such a premium device – it uses a tri-band design to deliver great speeds over the wireless network and device focusing radar tech for better stability… not enough? The AC5300 is subscribed to a GPN that gives users exclusive lower latencies as compared to conventional routers and this is purported to work on all major competitive multiplayer titles!

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You can head on over past the break for more in-depth information on the AC5300

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LaCie Storage Drives get a boost with the Thunderbolt RAID

Storage technologies are cosntantly evolving, they follow mutiple lines: keeping the data, securing them, as well as transmitting them from one medium to another. All of these advancements had been captured by LaCie in their newest integrated drive now available at select Power Mac Centers (though if you want to be sure, the one at Powerplant in Rockwell should definitely have it!).

LaCie is Seagate’s premium line of products showcasing excellent design going to even an extent of partnering up with Porsche Design for a series of storage solutions that double up as eye candy for both external and portable drives. LaCie, in form and function, is rugged because of the iconic orange shock resistant housing that it comes in. Their lineup covers all types of data transfer tech from USB 3.0, USB Type C, Firewire, and now Thunderbolt.

The Thunderbolt RAID has incredibly fast read and write PLUS an additional layer of security depending on the RAID configuration that the drive is set on. For the uninitiated, the more common configurations are RAID 0 also known as striping, and RAID 1 – mirroring… put simply if the drive is 4GB at RAID 0 configuration you’re going to be able to utilize all of the space with faster read and write while only 2GB can be used in RAID 1 both drives holding the same data, each serving as one another’s backup.

Keeping data just got stronger and more stylish with the two lineups that Seagate, in the form of LaCie, is bringing to the market. Don’t forget to check them out at your nearest Power Mac Center.

Solar Inclined Lifemate Product Line Available Soon at Power Mac Center… oh and Mt. Pinatubo too!

Pinatubo by Mark Obra on 500px.com

With power banks becoming the norm with almost everyone with a semblance of one inside of their everyday carry, it’s only a matter of time until such gets improved on. Lifemate, with its outdoors oriented products, took up the mantle and is imminently coming out with two series offerings totaling to six products whence each variant is accounted for.

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Apollo, is one of those series and it’s only apt seeing as it is also the moniker of the sun god which this set of products tames as well. The Apollo series works in tandem with the Power Eagle, Power Bear, and Power Lion each carrying more charge the fiercer the predator represented is. What better way to demonstrate its viability than going to a remote location where power is scarce and barely existent.

Power Mac Center and Lifemate came together and brought a few people from the media into the infamous Mt. Pinatubo. It was my very first trekking experience and it was quite the “rugged ride” as they put it. Everyone was gathered into a bus early in the morning and we were at the transition point at Tarlac at around 6:45AM. No one is allowed to go up past 7AM due to military exercises in the area.

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We were subdivided into a number of Jeeps, understandably so as the unforgiving terrain is only navigable by these robust machines and their suspension systems.

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Our first stop involved several carved mountains shaped into triangles… suspiciously like Toblerones. It was a photo opportunity that is a part of the ride to the starting area.

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Jeeps travel in tandem and each with a designated guide as well that is why only four get to ride at the back.

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This makes sense because if one jeep were to fail and it were on its lonesome, there wouldn’t be any immediate help anywhere in the vicinity. Our jeep had to pull another one out of de-comission from running into a ditch.

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We got to the drop off point at around 8:52AM. Everyone went down the jeeps and prepped their gear and went off to face the mountain.

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It’s practically mostly rocks and a number of streams with a few green patches here and there.

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Respite comes in the form of a hut, or two, along the path to the summit.

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Here we are waiting for at least some of the people to catch up and when that happened we continued on along even more rocks…

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The second resting area marks entry into Botolan, Zambales, its still a bit far from the top but we were assured to be getting there… it was around 9:41AM at this time and we’ve been walking under the sun for approximately 50 minutes already.

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The final marker came next in the form of three medium sized huts which coincidentally was the original trek start point for when the roads were clearer for the 4x4s to traverse better. From here its supposed to be only another 20 minutes to the summit.

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This final hike stretch gets more vertical with some of the areas lined with more rocks to facilitate ease of climb.

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You’d know you’re close when the path becomes more like stairs and that is when you get to the sign that signals the end of your journey.

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That’s the crater right there ^^ The yield of an hour and forty-six minutes of trekking.

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Thankful to these pair of shoes for getting me here as well… Top advice would be to use a fully closed pair when hiking as there’s the occasional trip up or the side of the shoe gets scraped as it hits a rock unintentionally.

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Past lunch and a few minutes of rest, Yohan and crew finally let us in on the upcoming offerings to be distributed in Power Mac Centers around the country. Displayed here is the Power Lion and the Apollo 2 which has 4 panels capable of powering up even tablets with 2Amps of output.

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The trek back was much shorter, both because we were descending, but more because I personally didnt want to be out in the sun too long XD. I even encountered some military planes going down, it would seem that the military exercises had started.

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I saw the jeeps at around 2:14PM (started going down round 1:07 as per EXIF time).

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Just over an hour returning, not bad all things considered. It truly was an amazing experience and one made even more so by the people we shared it with and the support of the portable solar technology from Lifemate.

A special shoutout to Think Big Events and the Power Mac Center team for making all the logistics and coordination possible. Watch out for the products in stores soon, especially if you find yourself outside more often than not ^^

WD New Heights Await with their Purpose Campaign

At the Kashmir Function Room at Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas last Mar. 21, participants were met with a number of drives encased in glass, all with different colors – blue, black, red, purple and yellow.

From as little as 4GB to an unprecedented 8GB, a variety of utilization were presented with each of the colored drives hitting a specific target. “Find your drive. Find your purpose.” is the tagline WD is going with and it is quite fitting.

Mr. Albert Cheng talks about the perpetual requirement that is storage. More and more will always be needed. Each household at the moment approximately has 3.3TB of storage requirement on the average. There’s some insight as to how traffic is being analyzed as well. Global data growth as of 2010 1.23ZB has been accumulated (1ZB = 1B TB) and then by 2020 the projection is 40ZB will be accumulated – around 5TB of data being carried around by each individual. WD has dropped the older color campaign in favor of this new “purpose” campaign for better clarity.

The progression is by means of “uptime” at first glance, but its more on the manner of utilization as well:

Blue [General] is the code for general purpose usage, a computer which does not require response beyond that of desktop pubishing and multimedia.

Black [Creativity] drives are targeted towards power users or workstation class builds where response and speed are very important factors. Performance and capacity is key. It is warmer in operation, runs with some noise, and costs a bit more than Blue at price per Gigabyte.

Red drives [NAS] are fine for network drives with near constant uptimes, only down for maintenance, and occassional access from many users. Red drives are very silent and are compatible with all NAS systems. Intial investment is higher than normal drives because users will generally purchase multiple units for their NAS systems. Performance focus is on reading data.

Purple drives [Surveillance] are for recording utility, these drives will have all of their space utilized with constant writes and rewrites over a number of years. Performance focus is on data writing.

Re drives [Datacenter] in what appears to be yellow/gold color are for datacenters and servers, these are the types of utility where failure is not an option. Secondary to RAID systems, the HelioSeal Tehnology that has been implemented by WD would allow for these drives to run with platters very close to each other allowing for more storage to fit in the chassis.

WD emphasizes that while you can actually use all of them as regular drives on your desktop, using a purpose oriented color coded drive will not give a user all the advantages of the technologies that have been integrated into such.

AMD Wraith Cooler : Ghostly Silent Cooling for Desktops

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AMD, innovators of the APU now bring to the table a set of support products that will make the desktop much more silent by a longshot – think a tenth of the sound that it produces right now!

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Aptly named “Wraith” or ghost-like, this new cooler from AMD generates only about a tenth of the sound of previous models and that is nothing to scoff at! If you’re like me and have experienced working with towers for the longest time, you can really hear the sound coming out of these things… and thats only for one, imagine it in a farm environment then you’d need sound management altogether – not any more with this innovation ^^

They also developed the same technology for their other systems for an all encompassing solution.

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Full PR with pricing after the break.

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WD My Cloud Mirror

As far as network storage goes, I’ve had my fair share of devices, and I can say that amongst all of those, working with the My Cloud Mirror is an exciting, new, and refreshing experience. This new year, it can be one of those things to add to your personal workflow, read on to find out more about this amazing product that WD offers.

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