What To Do When Your PC Conks Out On You

A PC is just like any other machine. Given enough use and time, it will break down. It's not really a question of "if," it's more of "how much can you get out of it before it does?" To most PC owners, this is a tragedy. But if you're like me, and you carefully picked out each component to build your dream machine with the money you saved up for years, then having it go on the fritz on you is more or less equivalent to an aneurysm.

A couple nights ago, my PC (lovingly nicknamed Ultimus Maximus) and I had a little episode.

Because of that, I thought it'd be a good idea to write about what a novice PC owner should do when his rig does decide to just stop working.

Step 1: Keep a calm and analytical mind.

Step 2: Okay, just kidding. You may flip the fuck out for no longer than 25 minutes. Go ahead.

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The King and I

I’m no longer sure of where I bought my first flash drive, but chances are it was most likely at CD-R King. I don’t remember much of the details anymore, save that it was only 512 MB at the price of maybe an 8 or 16 GB today (Moore’s Law1 hadn’t gotten flash drives that far yet) and that I bought it more than five years ago at the old, smaller CD-R King store at the Alabang Town Center.

Fast forward those six or so odd years later, and things both have and have not changed for the homegrown, upstart computer accessories shop. This impressive growth is both amazing as well as irritating, for reasons you’ll find out later. (Though if you’ve already shopped at least once at CD-R King, you may already know why.)

Today, I realized that I’ve been a loyal customer for so long, having been with the franchise almost every step of the way, and I know exactly why I keep coming back. I found that I’m proud of CD-R King like a father who has seen his child grow into an adult, and I believe I’m entitled to the feeling because I’ve always shopped there.

Let’s begin with their biggest, most obvious selling point. Their selection of items is huge, and not to mention, amusingly varied. The franchise has gone from just selling, well, the eponymous blank CDs (the old ATC branch I mentioned earlier wasn’t the mall’s first CD-R King incarnation; it was preceded by a tiny stall stocked with spindles upon spindles of CDs.) to accessories ranging from the really important (CDs, flash drives, memory cards, mice, keyboards, etc) to the ridiculously trivial (various USB trinkets, including a USB tranquillity fountain, USB fan, and a USB mini-fridge for your single special Hershey’s Kiss, I guess), and to the downright… insane.

CD-R King: Aiding and abetting crime since 2011.

I’m desperately trying – and already failing – not to sound like a shill here, but you will find every computer-related thing you need in here, save for the actual computers. (So far. But word on the street is that they’re working on that.) Not only will you also find things that you never thought anybody was selling in the Philippines, but you might also find things that you never thought you needed before.

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Hands On With The Nokia Lumia 710

Yesterday, I got my grubby hands on the Nokia Lumia 710, which is being offered exclusively by Smart. They were kind enough to let me borrow it so I can play around with it, take pictures and make a video of it in action. I'm glad they did. All the hype the Lumia has going for it right now, I can say that it is promising enough to live up to it.

The 710's big brother, the Nokia Lumia 900, won the CES 2012 Best in Show for handsets. This is the same CES where they announced the HTC One X and those new quad core smartphones from different manufacturers; and out of all the stiff competition, this came out on top. That automatically fired up my curiosity. What's so great about it, right?

I am an Android fan, first and foremost. I love how it is as user-friendly as you make it and I love how everyone in the world can develop for it. I'm not sure how Windows will handle their 3rd party developers (because I haven't read up on it) but if they treat it the way they do their PC platform, then Google may have some stiff competition. I heard that at SXSW, the Windows Phone operating system was the talk of the town.

Now, on to the Nokia Lumia 710 itself. For a mid-range smartphone, it's actually priced pretty nicely. You can get it through Smart's Special Edition Data Plan 1000, with a monthly amortization of P450.00. Outside, it should retail at around $200-$250.

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PlayStation Move Set-Up for Small Rooms

Originally posted last September 23, 2010.

Last week, I was able to get my grubby little hands on the last few pieces of the PlayStation Move bundle from Datablitz. At the get-go, I was already worried about the set up because of the small space I had to work with - both the room and the shelf space. Sometimes, I hate being right.

I had trouble figuring out where to put the PS Eye because I had a bunch of figures cluttering up my workstation and because I have a freakishly thin monitor. Good thing I came up with a pretty simple solution that might help anyone else who may think they’ve got too small an area to have motion control games. It’s in the following video, along with the unboxing and initial set-up.

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PS Vita Will Make You Cream Yourself

The PS Vita isn't really new. It was announced last June 16, 2011, at E3. Since then, details have been slowly revealed. Thing is, I've never been a fan of handheld gaming, even when the smartphone explosion happened. I have a couple games on my phone, sure, but they're more of time-killers than anything else. I really hate having to put my fingers on my display; always found that interface retarded beyond belief. However, the PS Vita's sheer awesomeness is making me change my mind about handhelds. Yay commercialism!

Let's talk about its features for a little bit, shall we? Essentially, this tiny thing is your PS3. Yes, all that hardware in what used to look like a fucking George Foreman grill is now in that little package (well almost). That's the heart and soul of it right there. Unless you're packing Alienware, this thing is more powerful than your fucking laptop. Sure, it's got a lot of gimmicky shit like a rear and front camera that'll be used for shitty augmented reality games, and a touchpad at the back, but it all boils down to the fact that this thing is a powerhouse.

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