Looking forward to the next 5 days

6 months ago I booked a flight for a vacation I wasn’t sure I will be taking. I paid P190 for a round trip fare for two.

Now, after all these months of waiting, the time has come and we’ll be going to this beautiful place!

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In search of the perfect underwater camera: Part 1 – Snapsights SS01

I am a water baby. Always have, always will be! My brother Rich used to take my sister and I swimming a LOT, until we were dark little kiddies in bright red and white striped swimsuits.

My Poopsie has also instilled a deep love for photography in me, when we started playing with his 1970s Nikon F2. We went through a lot of film to get things right, especially since the camera had no light meter and we were just using a 50mm lens (NOT a big disadvantage at all).

Shooting the shooter. Played around with Papa's almost antique Nikon F2.

Well it’s no surprise that technology now allows me to combine two of my great loves, water and photography! No longer I have to buy disposable waterproof film cameras from Kodak, now we have cheap digital cameras and underwater casings galooore! I’m just OBSESSED with finding the right camera to fit my needs.

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Reminiscing my Digital Past

It’s now 1AM Saturday morning and yes, *sigh*,  I am at work. I just finished editing narration audio and now have a ton of Captivate editing to do but a girl needs a break right!

So I decided to look for my old photos and I remembered that I left my online footprints waaaayy back in the late 90s and uploaded a lot of photos to some of my old websites, as in circa 1997, Camp Internet days! Hahahaha. So I decided to go to this wonderful site: The Wayback Machine, a site that archives websites since 1995! Awesome…

Well unfortunately, I didn’t get any hits for my iloilo.net or geocities website. But found my old genasingson.com site, all pink and fun:

I can’t believe I actually did the old site with PHP complete with a photo gallery, chatbox, and a mailing form. I have no doubt that I can NOT do that again. Hehehe…

Here are some entries from my Artificial Intelligence blog, stripped of the little debel images and CSS formatting: click. And another set of blog entries.

Ahhhh… those were the days… 🙂

Why the iPod Touch is more than just a Music Player

iPod

My iPod Touch is only a little more than just a month old today but I still keep discovering new things I can do with it. Honestly, I use it to listen to music only a quarter of the time.

There are a gazillion other things you can use it for. Between Bede and I, here’s our most frequently used list:

  1. Watch videos – You can use a tool called HandBrake to convert your videos to make it iPod ready.
  2. Check your email – check your Yahoo! or Gmail email. If you use Exchange Server at work, you can also configure the Touch to grab your work email.
  3. Chat with your peeps on YM – download the YM app from iTunes
  4. Surf the web – my golly! a lot of sites have been “mobile-d”. My faves include m.nzherald.com, facebook, even inquirer.net (but their formatting on the iPod sucks)
  5. Play Games – Bede uses it for Mafia Wars for iPhone (addict!), I like the egg balancing game, they also have Assassin’s Creed!
  6. Read Ebooks – I use Stanza from iTunes, it’s freeee!
  7. Check the weather – weather in multiple locations
  8. Check your stocks – enjoyable only if everything is going up!
  9. Alarm clock
  10. Ohh.. and it can play music (and audio books) too! 🙂
  11. Run with it – my Nike + sensor and pouch will arrive on Monday so I can’t wait to try that. 🙂 The iPod Touch second gen comes pre-built with a “receiver” for the Nike + sensor.

Up until recently, my iTunes account was limited to the Philippines, which unfortunately only features Apps. Kinda frustrating because Filipinos don’t have access to a lot of the good stuff.

Well I finally got in iTunes USA and oh my golly all the good stuff, here’s some of them:

  1. Podcasts – especially the video ones are just great and of course, FREE. Currently subscribed to: NBC Nightly News, HBO’s CTRL, Happy Tree Friends, among others.
  2. Movies – almost all movies come with a price tagg (only about $2.99), but there are some freebies like movie trailers. Downloaded Ponyo and Alice in Wonderland.
  3. I must highlight the last one because it’s just SO amazing, I can’t believe I almost forgot about it.

    iTunes U

  4. iTunes University – courses from MIT, Stanford, The George Lucas Educational Foundation, Edutopia!!!! While I was in ISU, I attended a podcasting seminar conducted by Apple, and even back then it was just so cool! I just downloaded one entire semester Comparative Media Studies from MIT, it’s kinda old school though (literally) because it was from Fall of 2001. Haha. I love eeeet!

Facebook Games and how addicted we all are to them

Isn’t amazing how technology can affect our daily routine, from home to work, even when we’re on vacation we MUST check how our Mafia wars character is doing, or if our Restaurant City waiters and cooks are all laying down on the floor?

Here’s a quick list of all the games I’m playing right now on FB:

  1. Mafia Wars by Zynga – http://apps.facebook.com/inthemafia/
  2. FBGAMES_MafiaWars

    When Bede told me to accept his invitation and join his Mafia, I was like “Mafia what?”. When I finally accepted his invitation, there was no turning back. This is the first game that really got me hooked on FB games and I though I keep saying to myself I NEED to quit it, I just CAN’T. Mafia Wars is a text-based role playing game where you develop your character’s stats like Health Points (HP), Energy, Defense, Offense, Stamina. You earn money and experience points by completing different jobs like “Order a Hit on a Public Official”, you can also be a hired gun and “kill” other people on hitlists, or in randomly generated lists of your peers. Overall, there’s just SO many facets to the game that it’s impossible to describe it in one go, but I highly suggest you go and check it out to experience it for yourself. 🙂 Repeat after me: Kung pikon ka.. MAS PIKON ako!

  3. Restaurant City by Playfish – http://apps.facebook.com/restaurantcity/
  4. FBGAMES_RestoCity

    So this time it’s Paco who invited me to play this game. Perfect timing after I was attacked by a merciless group in Mafia Wars where they razed my properties because of an idiot girl I put on the hitlist.. Haha. I got so mad but can’t do anything about it and almost wanted to quit Mafia Wars for good. ANYWAY, I digress.

    Restaurant City, unlike Mafia Wars, is an extremely pleasant environment (cue: nerves soothing elevator music) where you get to play Restaurant Owner and you get to: design your restaurant, hire your friends to either cook, wait, or clean for you, and upgrade your menu based on ingredients you own. Get more ingredients by trading with other restaurant owners (basically your Facebook friends who are already playing RC are added to your “street”), buy from food stalls for exorbitant amounts of RC money, OR simply visit your RC friends’ restaurants for the first time. I truly LOVED this game and played it maniacally for about 3 weeks, keeping my computer on for as long as possible, “watering” my peeps every thirty minutes and right before we go out of the house, etc. However, it all came to a screeching halt when I reached level 27, when… there’s nothing more that I can do… no more levelling up. Earn more money to redecorate my restaurant I guess? Anyway, I would still highly recommend this game, it’s a good ride… until you get to level 27. They’re currently doing a lot of upgrades to the game and I think it’s still worth checking out.

  5. Bejeweled Blitz by PopCap Games – http://apps.facebook.com/bejeweledblitz
  6. offline_logo

    I just love the sound effects of this game. Super macho voice: “INCREDIBLE!!!”. You probably played this before in a standalone Flash player or on your PDAs, but Bejeweled has invaded FB! For those who are not familiar with the game, the Bejeweled FB version is a 1 minute game where you need to swap different colored gems to align at least three of the same color. There are different combinations, but typically the faster you complete sets, you get speed bonuses and your score will go much higher. Though it may seem like a solo game, you get to “compete” against your other FB friends, or bring up your team score to … I don’t know what the team score is for, it’s like a raffle or something. 🙂 Anyway, this is a great time-waster, I suggest you go and play the game on full volume.

  7. Texas Hold’Em Poker by Zynga – http://apps.facebook.com/texas_holdem/
  8. FBGAMES_Poker

    I’m not really a Poker player because I don’t really like the concept of gambling, I’d rather keep my hard-earned money close to my chest so as not to needlessly lose any of it. I like Texas Hold’em Poker however, because it gives you a daily supply of poker chips to keep you playing, with bonuses depending on the number of friends you have on the game (incentive to invite more people). There are different “casinos” you can go to, and each casino has a wide range of tables you can play in. Low stakes of only 5/10 poker chips, and you have high stakes tables where bets are minimum 5000? You play against other players, even from other networks like TAGGED, which brings to the game  a kind of social interaction that’s much like the MIRC chatrooms of the past. If you like Poker and meeting new people, this is the perfect game for you.

    I have a gazillion more recommendations for you but these are my top 4. The following are games that I have already played, got bored, or I’m still trying it out:

  9. Real Estate Tycoon
  10. Yoville
  11. FarmTown
  12. Pet Society – kinda scared to try this one, I know a LOT of people are hooked

Facebook just brings a whole new dimension to gaming: Social Interactivity! All of these games would require you to “fight” against other players, or work together as a team. Either way, I think kids and adults today are just so easily hooked. I mean there ARE other Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games or MMORPGs out there, but Facebook just makes it more ACCESSIBLE. With just one click, you and your friends are taken to a totally different world where you can waste time away… and just have fun!