iPhone5 Cheap and iPhone5 Standard?

Apple released two of the same product today: the iPhone is now available as an iPhone5C or an iPhone5S. Everyone’s chiming in on what do C and S stand for, and we’re all having a riot filling in the meaning. Much like when the iPad came out.

iPhone5C may very well mean ‘color’ but having a plastic body means it’s looking pretty cheap — meant for the consumer market. Meanwhile, the classier/’standard’ iPhone, the iPhone5S gets a new security feature through its new fingerprint scanner integrated into the home button.

So, what’s so wrong about it?

Apple is losing money, I reckon, because of Android and the great number of handset manufacturers adopting it as their operating system. Nokia, of course, still maintains its Symbian units but until the recent acquisition by Microsoft, we think we all know how it’s going to be pretty soon. Perhaps as a last hurrah for the generations of their feature phones, the premium Nokia 515 made its debut a couple of weeks back and it really isn’t a bad move, in my opinion, most specially since we’ve been drowning in everything ‘smart’. It was quite a refreshing idea.

iPhone 5C, image from engadget.com

I don’t know if Apple felt threatened or if it’s running out of ideas. But releasing two models of the same product — a product that has a loyal following — is like being betrayed for your years of loyalty. You stick with them and buy the product because it’s a flagship premium product and then they say, “Oh, we can make more money if we sell the premium product and lower our standards a bit. Yeah. Let’s make it cheaper so we can make more money and get a bulk of consumers on our side! Let’s do that! As for our loyal ones, yeah… we have this new feature for yah. Enjoy!”

If I were a real Apple fan, I would be fuming right now.

Windows Media Player Plug-in Gone After Firefox 21 Update

I hate updates. Specially those that aren’t seamless. And even more when it’s your browser.

I am one of the hard-headed people who still use Firefox as their web browser even if a lot of people have been endorsing the speed and low-memory consumption of Chrome. But I don’t think I’ll be converted anytime soon… even if it has its drawbacks. Case in point: Firefox 21 update and the Windows Media Player plug-in not working after it.

Well, a quick Google of the problem showed me this discussion and the simple man’s solution, I’m reposting it here:

Rather than messing around with the registry, which can be fraught with danger – and will also need to be done every time the plugin version number changes – this is the easiest solution:

1 Open a new tab and type about:config into the address bar.
2 Click on the button that says “I’ll be careful, I promise”.
3 In the search bar at the top, type plugins.load
4 That will show you a line which says plugins.load_appdir_plugins – which will be set to false.
5 Highlight that line by right-clicking on it. Select “Toggle” – that will change the setting to true.
6 Close the tab and restart Firefox. Your missing plugin(s) should now be visible and work as before.

Was that useful to you? Drop me a “Thank You” in the comments section. And hat tip to Vitesse for the step-by-step instructions how to do it.

Building a New Home PC

I’ve been planning to build a new home PC that could handle most of the needs nowadays, i.e. torrents, watching movies, and playing games. I’d like to compartmentalize work into the laptop and nowhere else. The PC that will be staying at home will be for backup of the files on the laptop but will not be used primarily for work. So because of this, I needed the PC to be not so power-hungry but good enough to handle some form of work.

HTPC builders recommend mostly an i5 for those who want an all-around-er for the home but that would seem a bit too much power for my needs. A little more future-proof perhaps but I don’t see myself as a gamer so I thought I’d stick to being practical. So I got the Asus E35M1-M by mistake. I actually asked the purchasing office to get me the Pro but they only had this instead. Goodbye USB3.0. (deep sigh)

Still, it wasn’t really bad. I’ll try to find the other components I need. So far, I have the Asus Fusion board, 8 Gb of RAM and 1 Tb Hard Drive. I’m still contemplating on whether to get an ITX for better stowage in the living room or an mATX for better ventilation as the Asus E35M1-M doesn’t include a fan. They also say that ‘generic’ power supplies will be enough for this kind of setup but I’m not that sure… but I’ll look into it.

Linux is calling again

I’ve always had this affinity for Linux. I just don’t know why. Maybe it’s because of the great ambition — to be able to have the choice of what you want with your PC and not be forced to choose from A or B. And it’s been great! Despite the setback of having big, bulky distributions such as Ubuntu, there are those that keep every good working PC alive today like CrunchBang or DamnSmallLinux or even Puppy Linux! So now, I’m trying to get my feet wet, yet again, by playing around with Linux distributions. Good thing my office machine is on Windows 7 and has a virtual machine installed.

I’ve enjoyed Ubuntu for quite some time and I’m part of the group that enjoys the eyecandy that Unity desktop offers. Yet I’m also pining for the sacrificed performance because of the same. It has definitely become a competitor between Windows and OS X but at the price of being really big and bloated. Still, I find it admirable that It has come so far from its early lean beginnings. And it is really fortunate that we have relatively lightweight versions for it: Xubuntu and Lubuntu. So that’s great news!

I tried to fire up Puppy Linux on my  machine and somehow, it doesn’t have the feel I wasn’t looking for. Simple, yes, but not clean and as refined as I would like it to be. It’s a big splash of colors and confusion in my eyes. I’m sure that’s pretty fix-able with a color scheme but that’s just it — I can’t seem to find where to adjust or change it! Oh well…

 

Right now, I’m downloading JoliCloud OS and Xubuntu to try out. I hope all goes well with these two distributions. I’m actually planning on using one of these for a PC I’ve been dreaming of donating to our parish in my hometown. Hope that happens soon enough. 🙂

Autohotkey is useful. But I wouldn’t describe it as “awesome.”

Being a regular reader of Lifehacker, Autohotkey has been reviewed and featured over and over again in a lot of its articles which gradually created curiosity in me. At first, I was like, “eh, another tool on the PC.” Followed by, “Oh, maybe I could find a use for this.” and then, “I should try this once.”

And try, I did.

Autohotkey is a small scripting tool that creates keyboard shortcuts for different tasks and keystrokes you would normally do. It is made for your convenience such that you would hardly need to reach for that mouse and navigate your entire workspace with your keyboard, specially repetitive tasks that require you to input a lot of keystrokes.

But for the average user, it’s a pretty nice tool that doesn’t take up much system memory and makes working with a keyboard a little more convenient. I really didn’t need more keyboard shortcuts (since I’ve got most of the Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V down pat :P) at work so I actually tried this more for the ‘scripting’ part. And so far, it sits quietly in the background everyday but I don’t put it on my Startup folder.

So, how do I use it? Continue reading

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS log-in problem

I’ve upgraded my office PC to 12.04 LTS yesterday and all was well.

Being one of the more ‘over-eager’ adopters of Ubuntu, I went ahead with a “forced” update to 12.04 LTS (LTS updates usually come in only during the ‘point release’ of a new Ubuntu version) and look what it has gotten me: I can’t log-in! 

The machine boots fine but when it gets to the log-in splash screen, I select the correct user and enter the correct password but only flashes a black screen with something written momentarily and then goes back to the log-in screen. It does that so fast I couldn’t see the error it’s putting out or indicating. Ugh!

So far, it looks like I’m not the only one with the problem. Could you help us, please?

Many thanks,

tpPC

7-zip fix to “Incorrect command line”

Been getting that irritating error (which shouldn’t exist in the first place if you ask me)? Here’s the quick fix:

Right click on the file you want. (No, we’re not going through the old way of 7-zip > Open archive technique.)

Choose ‘Open with…’

Select ‘Choose default program…’

Look for 7-Zip File Manager. If it’s not in the lists of recommended programs, search for it (click ‘Browse…’. Typically it’s under your C:\Program Files\7-Zip folder. Choose the 7zFM.exe program as default program.

Notice that 7-zip GUI is different from 7-zip File Manager. (Aha!)

Click ‘OK’ and try double-clicking your compressed files.

You’re welcome. 🙂