Things I wanted to talk about but did not have the time to…

It’s been a long time since my last post because I’ve been so busy lately. And bad things happen to make things even harder.

My PC Problems

As usual PC problems never go away. One time my PC kept rebooting and at first I thought it was Windows, but even before it enters Windows, it reboots just a few second after POST. So it can be a hardware problem. I check some CMOS settings and everything looked fine and the weird thing was even within the CMOS settings it was rebooting. And I checked the system health within the CMOS setup and noticed the fast climb of the temperature. Once it reaches 96o centigrade, it reboots. Imagine that, just 4o less than boiling point at STP. The processor fan was still running, but the problem was mainly it was just a bit loose and the heatsink was not sticking well to the processor.

After that was solved… there was a recent lightning storm in San Diego that woke up the whole neighborhood where I lived. There was one big strong one that lit up my room and my lights blinked even if they were off. And my PC was on during the night. What the lightning broke was one phone line splitter, one DSL line filter, one 56k intenal PCI modem and a bunch of bad sectors on my hard disk. The PC was totally unoperable. Although I had a Celeron Windows PC hanging around and a laptop, a lot of needed files were in separate places on my AMD PC that was struck by lightning and the hard disk had bad sectors everywhere.

I can use an external USB/Firewire hard disk casing but my data was in two different hard disk and I have only one external casing. Taking them in and out of the casing was a tedious task to do. Aside from that, two of the partitions on one of the drives were in NTFS and not in FAT32. And the other hard disk was all NTFS. I got a Mac Mini Recently and even if it can read the NTFS drives, it is read only. MacOS can only write to the FAT32 file system. My only hope is to do a Partition Magic, but the drive must have enough space to be able to do the non-destructive partition changes, or else, I need to copy everything to my other drives and reformat the NTFS partitions to FAT32 and put the files back. And I need to do that on my Celeron PC.

Opening and closing the PC, putting on and removing the hard disk, moving files from hard disk to hard disk all consumes time. But if not done right away, more work is going to catch up on me. So far chkdsk was already done on my 120GB hard disk and was able to retrieve most files. I can do partial work but thework files are on the NTFS partitions. My other 80GB hard disk is currently undergoing chkdsk and when that is done I need to copy my billing statements to my clients and other papers like invoices, proposals and contracts. It’s October and I need to send out October billings.

The Mac Mini

I got a Mac Mini. Only 512MB memory since I will upgrade the memory myself to 1GB. Also got a Hyundai 17″ TFT LCD Panel Monitor. Kensington Wireless RF keyboard and mouse. Mac runs fine, pretty fast and everything how a mac should be, so generally it is great. But what do I do not like?

I am a keyboard shortcut person on the Windows PC. I use the keyboard a lot in many ways that many people will use the mouse instead.

I bodies of text in anything, in word processors, spreadsheets, browser text boxes, anything with text, I use these shortcuts very often:


In the Mac, it can also be done. Like instead of Home, you use Alt-Left, and instead of End, you use Alt-Right. No problem, I can train myself with the changes, but the problem is in some applications it does not work. It works on MS Word for Mac, in the text in Adium, it wants the Home and End, and in Dreamweaver code view, it does not work at all. Yes I am trainable to new conventions, but each application in the Mac does not follow the same conventions. And I am forced to use the mouse.

Another thing… In Windows… many applications have keyboard shortcuts, but not everything has a keyboard shortcut. But everything that does not have a keyboard shortcut, I memorize the “Alt” key sequences using the menu bar underlined letters.

Common ones I use often are like

Alt>I>I = Image Size
Alt>I>S = Canvass Size
Alt>I>P = Crop Selection
Alt>I>A>C = Adjust Contrast/Brightness

Alt>O>C>A = Auto-fit column width
Alt>O>R>A = Auto-fit row height
Alt>O>C>H = Hide Column
Alt>O>R>H = Hide Row
Alt>O>C>U = Unhide Column
Alt>O>R>U = Unhide Row

Alt>F>U = Page Setup

These are just a few of them. And on the Mac, the only shortcuts I seem to be able to use are the shortcuts given and cannot activate menu items with the keyboard alone. Unless there is something I really do not know yet and I still need to figure out how to do them on the Mac. So right now, I am forced to use the mouse.

I still picture myself using the Windows PC as my main general all around computer to use. And I will use my Mac Mini for work specific things that is related to graphics, audio or video. For coding I will still use my Windows PC mainly because of the keyboard shortcut convenience and speed and for websites, the Mac will be used for view testing. And of course Linux still powers my server. Stable, economical, perfect for a server, but will not use it for general all around use.

Investor Workshop

One of my favorite books on my shelf is RIch Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Although this is not a book only for business people, most business people like it. The book mainly talks about Robert Kiyosaki’s two dads. One rich, one poor, and how he learned from both, but followed the advice of his rich dad when it came to the topics about money.

Robert Kiyosaki recently had an Investor Workshop at the LA Convention Center last October 1. Being on his mailing list, I received an email about the event. It cost $150, in Philippine Pesos that is more than P8,000, but it was really worth it. It looked like there were 2,000 people there and he was really great. His knowledge shared will really charge a lot in the way you think. He also tells you about the common pitfalls people do why they never really succeed. He talked about taxes and other problems with the government laws that you have to watch out for. Knowing the rules to take advantage of the rules and not fall into the wrong paths. He talked about 3 top investments and he had excellent speakers on every type of investment. He talked about inflation and currency and investing off-shore. And although he talks all about money and how to gain more money and get rich, methods he used himself by using real estate, gold, silver and gas. He did not promote nor was trying to sell any real estate, gold, silver or gas shares. He was just sharing his knowledge. And it is very nice to know that he also has a foundation that is helping out schools integrate into some lessons as early as grade school just to get students better equiped with financial knowledge. It is his social responsibility to help lessen poverty. Since he does believe that war, divorce, illegal aliens, and other problems are really money problems. So his foundation is to help educate the people learn more about financial knowledge to make a change in the world.

And the things I learned and changed some of my thinking was… I like gas, I am not going for a sole proprietorship and will register a corporation, I am not getting my 401k or IRA. But I still need to save up and earn more so I can invest more and make money move and work for me so I do not work for money.

Working Convenience

While working at home… I have two desktops and one laptop. All emails and PDA synchronization runs on the laptop. That way if I need to be on the go, all planning and client correspondence comes with me.

One PC is mainly for work, and the other PC runs all sorts of stuff like TV, radio, CDs, music, and other entertainment while I work.

But with the tables I got, and how they are arranges, sometimes even just opening the other PC makes me lazy since I have work to do on the work PC. So the PC that serves as my TV is just there doing nothing. My laptop… all my emails are there… I sometimes find it inconvenient twisting my body all the time since the laptop is on my left. And with my table… my legs go all the way in and my legs cannot move freely to turn to the left.

All these extra efforts I believe affects my productivity and health as well putting my body in various contortions just to reach stuff.

Now I have seen all these nice corner desk at various office furniture websites. But all of them will still require me to spend some money. So I decided why not still give it a try with whatever I have and try to make it work. So I started rearranging things and the two most time consuming parts in doing this is the bunch of wires which I often call spagetti.

I still don’t find it convenient facing my laptop at where it currently is. I rather slip out of the table to free my legs and face the left completely. But then I will need a new table. So I still spent some money… I bought a Tabletote. The Tabletote is a product of Instand, manufacturer or portable laptop tables.

This product could be taken apart and easily fit a good laptop bag. So aside from having a new table, if ever I will be on the go with my laptop, I will bring the table along as well.

Although my Tabletote has not arrived yet, and I chose the longest shipping period since that is the cheapest shipping rate, this is the result of my current setup.

Past few weeks have been very busy weeks

No postings, too busy.

Start of the month again, new billings to send… And my billing data is saved in an external drive using a 120GB hard disk in a External USB Casing. Then last night, my whole invoice folder dissapeared. Actually it was still there but totally unreadable. It had client invoices going back to August 2003.

I am not running any automated system yet and all invoices are in Word Documents that are manually edited and saved, emailed, faxed and snail mailed to my clients in the Philippines that pay via bank deposits rather than online payments.

The whole invoice folder was totally corrupted and unreadable, even after doing chkdsk twice.

If you are a client of mine, nothing to worry about, I have backup files all the way from the beginning up to January 16, 2005. Then the rest of the months are in the sent items of my email software. I just dfelt bad about the trouble of going through my email, sorting and putting things together. Another time consuming thing. I guess if updates were done more often, it would be better.

I just decided to sleep last night and when I woke up today, ate lunch, I decided to go to the gym and just burn out my negative energies.

When I got home, I decided to do one more final chkdsk. And restarted, and like magic, all the files were there!

So I took out a blank DVD right away and burned about 3.5GBs of backed up data, documents, contracts, invoices, proposals and websites.

Yahoo Doing a Google

Yahoo was a search engine leader for a long time… then Google comes out and just changes how a lot of things are done.

Google changed how search engines should work
Google’s GMail changed how Yahoo and MSN hotmail works.
Google’s Blooger was one of the first bloggers and everyone followed. Maximizing CSS usage.
Google Maps has done something Yahoo and Mapquest have never done. Maximizing AJAX usage.
Google Earth shows a 3D landscape with 3D buildings for Google Earth Plus.
Google has XML search Engine Submissions
Get paid with Google’s AdSense
Google has a lot more to offer with their Picasa.
Google has their API code downloadable.
Google has a fast Desktop search that can even search within your email softwares.

They got a lot more going on in Google Labs.

I do not work at Google and does not get anything in endorsing Google.

And here comes Yahoo and MSN try to match Google.

They first increased their Email boxes to 200MB (GMail is still 2GB). Yahoo has a better Video search. MSN says their bot re-indexes websites every 2 days. And check Yahoo’s clean search interface:

Competition is tough, and it is just pushing technology, innovation and business ideals to be more creative in a short span of time.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Yes, when your busy, you can’t blog that much. Even if I thought of something nice to say in my blog, I just can’t blog right away since I’d be finishing something. And after sometime, you forget about what you wanted to write about.

Right now, I needed to run my other computer that I haven’t been using for sometime. And since it has been a long time since I used it, I needed to update everything. All my AVG, Lavasoft Ad-Aware, JavaCoolSoftware Spyware Blaster, Search and Destroy Spybot, Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta, Firefox, Windows, etc.

And I was also managing my hard drives better placing the right files in the right places for better information management. I was copying and moving files from one PC to another on the network. It was slowing everything down and I did not have much to do and I needed to wait until all the copying, installing, scanning is all done.

So here I am blogging away again while all of these processes run.

Ever since school started in the Philippines after summer vacation, I haven’t seen any blog updates too from Ate Dawn, Marcia and Jamie.

I have been learning and sharing on Kangkong.ORG. If you want to talks about anything on Web Design, Web Development and other computer stuff, Kangkong.ORG is a nice place to go.

I may be earning more than I used to in the Philippines, but that is not enough. Too much expenses. But a large bulk of it has been going to pension plans, trust fund, educational plans, insurance and credit card bills. I guess without credit cards, it would be a bit harder to use money when you need it and you do not have any at the moment, but should be used with precautions. Since a lot of money has been going to bills, and a lot of them are plans and credit cards, I guess it is fine than not have any pension plans and educational plans since this may make life harder now but easier later on. I guess that is still better than having life easy now and harder later on.

With all of the work I have with Einstein Industries, once I get home, I still got more work to do. Clients keep on increasing and even if it is manageable right now, I am already thinking about information management, security measures, server backups, customer support since there will come a time all of these will be hard to do is I do not do proper action while problems related to these start to develop.

I am no business management major, but how I run my business is still basically based on my experience being a businessman since 1997. Where the first few years were all mistakes and even up to now, you still experience mistakes, but are minimized since more mistakes you have already learned to avoid them.

Sales is increasing and I can make it increase a lot more, but I am not prepared for that. I am still laying out the process, streamlining all business processes from sales to production to delivery to collection. And when all is prepared, that is when I will go all out on sales. Right now I am building my own information management system that will be used by the company.

Leisure, Recreation
Hmmm… things I like to do aside from work… traveling is not my thing. Going to the mall, watching a movie, seeing places, nope. Unless I am with my family that would be great. But me all alone, I’d rather bike (BMX or MTB), train (Taekwondo, other martial arts), workout at the gym, play the piano or guitar. But I have no piano, no guitar right now. I have no money to train in martial arts. I have no sleep even to train or workout. I even have no air pump for the tires of my BMX, although I know there are cheap air pumps out there, my money is really all used up and every penny counts.

Treo Import Unsuccessful

-Back up of Zire 72 data Successful.

-Installation of Treo Software Successful.

-Import of data to Treo, has errors.
Compatible Applications Transfered. But Calendar, Memo Pad and Contacts not transferred.

It says some data failed to transfer to SD Card.

My guess is…

On my Zire, I have a 64MB SD Card with some data on it. Maybe also the data is trying ot be copied onto the SD of the Treo and the Treo has no SD right now.

Will first try to move applications from SD card to Zire Memory, and leave data files in the SD Card. Do a back, install Treo Software, and import to Treo. If that does not work… I might but a new SD card. If that does not work either, the applications are not important. The calendar, memo and contacts are. I’ll install MS Outlook, synchronize Zire to that, then uninstall Palm Desktop for Zire. Install Palm Desktop for Treo and synchronize with MS Outlook. If successful, uninstall Outlook after that. A long process, but if it is the only way to save all the information, I have to face it then.

Palm Treo 600 Switch

Yeah just received mine a few days ago. My first experience with Palm was with a Palm m100, then Palm IIIxe, then Palm Zire 72, and now a Palm Treo 600.

I jusr like the PalmOS compared to Windows CE on PocketPCs and SmartPhones. A lot just fits so much in PalmOS that sometimes will not fit even a simple Microsoft Word Document. Being a fan of the PalmOS, if ever I wanted a SmartPhone, it would be PalmOS powered and not Windows CE.

My I had before the Treo was a Nokia 6600 as my phone and Palm Zire 72 as my PDA which is fine. But they are two things and at least I can have them combined now in the Treo 600.

Problem now is the switching from my Palm Zire 72 to Palm Treo 600. My first attempt did not go on well.

After synchronizing my Zire 72 with my laptop, then installing the Treo Updates on my laptop, then synchronizing it again with my Treo, instead of transfering everything to the Treo, the Treo transferred things to the laptop too, so the calendar was deleted as well as the contacts and everything. Good thing all data was still in my Zire 72.

I uninstalled everything and is currently trying to do it again. I will Install Zire’s Palm Desktop, synchorize and back up. Update to Treo’s Palm Desktop, and check if data was imported. Then Synchronize again to Treo.

Hope everything works. 🙂

Reason to build my Pentium PC that is in pieces.

I’m currently running an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ at home my Pentium 4 1.6GHz is out of commission right now. All into separate parts, but I think there is a good reason to put them all together again. I’ve been hearing about this so often, but I guess the video did the trick in making me decide to go for it. lolz.

Video of Mac OS X running on an Intel Machine
Original location of this video file is here:

Problems with AMD Athlon 64, Abit NF8-V Motherboard and Windows XP SP2

The two previous postings I had on my blog were about the problem with this setup:

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3000+
Motherboard: Abit NF8-V
OS: Microsoft Windows XP SP2

I no longer have the problems, but I will just post this here for people searching for solutions on how to get their setups working. I know there are a lot of them having problems, since when I had the problem, I searched online and found tons of forums with people having the same problem.

The problem mainly is: Computer could not enter Windows and reboots all the time. And it starts to happen right after you upgrade to SP2 on your Microsoft Windows XP running a AMD Athlon 64 processor and Abit Motherboard.

Every problem seems to be kind of unique depending on the brand and model of your motherboard, so I will not give any fixed solution for everyone. I will just tell you what I did to make it work, and what I did that made it not work. It was all about the order of installation.

Follow this order in installing your software:

-BIOS update
I initially did not do this at all, since by experience in the past, I never needed an update since everything works fine without an update. And if you do BIOS update errors, it can mess the whole motherboard up and make it totally non-functional.

Until this setup, my USB ports were not working and after all the research I did online, they all point to updating my BIOS. Since this is a delicate process I read everything very well before proceeding. I downloaded the latest BIOS from Abit’s website, read the procedures well and did the update. After doing that, the computer still works, but Windows won’t work anymore. Even if I removed a bunch of startup items and drivers in safe mode. So I needed to installed Windows all over again.

So do this first. But make no mistakes here. It is not my fault if ever you get your motherboards busted. Read the procedures well by the manufacturer before proceeding.

-Windows XP
If you have problems with your CD Drive not being bootable, Microsoft has boot diskettes on their website. Download the file and it will create 6 diskettes that you initially use to boot and install Windows XP from the CD.

-Install the only drivers you need to get online. (Modem or Ethernet or USB)
My mistake, I installed nearly every driver I could install, and after doing that, updated Windows to SP2, and it never booted into Windows again. Read on about the next procedures.

-Windows Update, all critical, SP1 and SP2
Do this first instead of installing the rest of your motherboard drivers. Since most of the drivers need SP1 and SP2.

I also had problems installing SP1 and SP2 right away. What worked with my computer was install all critical updates, restart, then critical updates again, and restart, and doing it over and over until you use them all up, then SP2 is last.

-Windows Update, DirectX9.0c
The drivers, during installation was looking for the latest DirectX. So before installing, install DirectX first. DirectX is also on Windows update under the optional updates.

-Motherboard Drivers
Instead of using the CD my motherboard came with, I decided to download the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website. After doing that, my computer was running flawlessly. Remember to install AMD Athlon 64 drivers on the motherboard.

-Video Card Driver
Another mistake I did, I installed the driver of my video card right away before everything else and it never installed successfully since the video controller port was not working well anyway since I needed to install the motherboard drivers first. And the motherboard drivers will not work without SP2, that needed SP1 first. And SP1 needed the driver of your modem. But this will all be useless if you do not do the BIOS update first.

-Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware Softwares
To stop the annoying SP2 from reminding you that you have no Anti-Virus software installed yet, install them now.

-Install the rest of the software you need

No more problems. All fixed and you may now start working. It was all with the order of installation. Other people with the same setup, try doing these steps and it might help you too.

Disclaimer: I am no lawyer who knows how to make disclaimers, but all I want to say is my procedure does not guarantee your computer will work in perfect condition, the problem of your setup may be different from mine. Don’t sue me if you get your systems messed up.