Mobile phones, services and applications. PCs, PDAs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Internet, gadgets, electronics, photography. A technology-life journal ... Relaxed prose, sometimes witty, sometimes funny, reflective and insightful. Short and sweet. Filipino.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Blag i-Spamd!

Natuwa naman ako nung nakita ko sa hotmail ko na ang dami dami dami daming nag-comment sa Technobiography. Nagtaka tuloy ako kung ano ang kababalaghang ginawa ko at nagkaruon bigla ng ganire kadaming comments.

Yun pala na-blog spam ako! Heto ang adbertisment niya:
Anonymous said...
For your info, this is a new service for sellers to find buyers on eBay: Please feel free to delete this comment if you wish. Thanks!
O ha, bait ko, 'no? ini-re-publish ko pa adbertisment niya.

Kapatid, may mas-magandang paraan para i-promote ang website mo.

Nag-buwiset visit nga ako sa website mo (o may bisita kang isa!) para alamin kung sino ang may kagagawan ng himala! Be proud, kapatid, ipa-alam sa buong madlang tao kung sino ka, may serbisyo ka pa naman na ina-alok sa madlang pipol. Siya, paka-bait ka at gudlak sa iyong ser-bisyo. Yung website mo, ha, at hindi ang bisyo mong pag-co-comment ;-()

Pero tutoo lang, medyo natuwa naman ako. Akala mo ba daan-daan ang mga bisita sa blog ko? plattered naman ako ... konti lang.


perspired inspired by batjay


Monday, February 21, 2005

Digital Greetings

I planned to publish this article in time for Valentine's Day. Obviously, it's a bit early for Valentine's 2006. Better early than earlier!

The earliest digital greeting card I could think of were those thick Hallmark (?) cards that had a small speaker sandwiched within the card. When the card was opened, a switch was triggered and an electronic tune began playing.

I remember opening one such valentine card sparingly. I didn't want to drain the battery. I thought I could keep the card and the memories until I was 80 years old.

Since then, I've received a lot of digital greetings as technology progressed.
Here's a list of some favorites (not in any particular order):
  • e-mail via PINE. - this was the primitive e-mail we had at the EE department. The closest thing we had to "animation" was a series screens of text characters which "moved" when you scrolled down.
  • My ex-GF (now my wife) made me a voice tape for my birthday with greetings from friends.
  • Text messages
  • Facsimile card! - When I was in Cuyo Palawan, I would write sweet nothings and doodles for my "wis heart" in Manila. I'd write and draw on coupon bond and send it via fax from the main island. (I think much of what she received was unintelligible. But who needs words when hearts kiss?)
  • Maya also reminded me how we used to use her pager to send messages to each other. She held the pager, I would call the operator and send her a message. Nuon, nakakahiyang maging masyadong sweet. Baka ma-bilaukan o matawa o ma-inis yung operator, eh. I'd end with the letters "TOY". The operator always asked what it meant. Secret! Maya could also leave a message for me at the operator. I'd retrieve the message by giving a password.
  • web e-cards - A month ago, Maya sent web e-cards to our pamangkins in Australia. It was all cute, with animation and a butterfly which painted the scenery each time you clicked it. It was a nice lesson for my mother in-law when we showed it to her. It was mama's first time to use the computer, I think.
  • Personalized home made e-cards - When Maya and I sent out our Christmas cards in 2003, we decided to make an online version of the card too. Take a look: Maya and Edwin's Christmas 2003 ekard
  • Animated MMS cards
  • Slideshow Invite - I was invited to a wedding. The invitation was a Powerpoint presentation sent via e-mail. Nice and quaint with the background music and animations.
  • Senti CD - "Langhiya ka! Pina-iyak mo ako!" These are the words I belched out when I spoke to, Clint, a good friend from high school. He came up with a flash animated photo montage of high school photos, set in sepia and the song "Pana-panahon" by Noel Cabangon (did i get the title right?). Watching that photo show brought tears to my eyes. I felt a deep homesickness for high school, a deep longing to re-live those years. Langyang Clint!

Paano man sabihin, basta't mula sa damdamin.

Advanced Happy Valentine's day!

- Edwin

(added april 25 2005)
Read: Audio Blog - Greeting from Christmas Past 1980, OT: I Got Gift Rapped!


Friday, February 18, 2005

Shove the Sun = get burned

There's more in the papers today. It's from Sun Cellular.

Some excerpts from the full page ad on Star today:
Don't be fooled by false texts.
Sun Cellular sets things straight.

There are text messages using the Sun Cellular name claiming 24/7 Call & Text Unlimited will end soon. There are also false promotional messages circulating that promise rewards for passing them on. These are untrue.

These unauthorized text messges are instigated by certain parties who put their personal and business interests above the consumer's welfare. these fabricated messages have no use but to confuse our Sun Cellular subscribers, raise false expectations and more importantly congest our network.

My thoughts...

  • How come text-savvy Pinoys haven't figured out how to distinguish legitimate text messages from text scams, unsolicited SMS messages (I call them SPAsMs)? SPAsMs - ah, another blog article altogether...
  • To Sun: I think these text scams are contributory factors to the congestion of your network. They are not the main factor for the congestion of your network. Show us the figures and let's find out if my statement is right.
  • None of the telcos are immune from text scams like this. All three telcos have their share of text scams.
  • But text scams like these (especially the ones that ask people to "pass it on") are hurting Sun more than Globe and Smart. Because Sun bears the "cost" of this added "pass it on" SMS traffic whereas Globe and Smart earn from "pass it on" SMS traffic.
  • Are the two telcos responsible for the text scams circulating in the Sun Network (as insinuated in the print ad)? That's easy to claim but difficult to prove. I've received this kind of text scam waaay back in November 2004 even when the two big telcos were brushing aside Sun's 24/7 service.
Don't get me wrong. I'm rooting for Sun. But they have a lot of homework to do. At least the two big telcos can't push Sun around the way they're trying to. Sun's got too many subscribers benefitting Sun's service (kahit minsan madalas ay mahirap mag-connect sa Sun).

You can't push the Sun around. Copernicus tried that before. And he got burned. Nyarp!

While we're at it, find out what other bloggers have to say about what's happening with the telco wars:
Search Technobiography: Sun Cellular
Read: Block Ko Mukha Mo! - Fight Against Cellphone-Related Crimes

- Edwin


Claiming Alexandria the GSM Awards ...

First thing I did today at the library was to look for the G-Cash Ad on yesterday's papers. Nice. Globe announced the award they got from GSMA. Read Justine's blog and get an insider account of the awards.

- Edwin

Search Technobiography: G-Cash


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Globe bests telcos from around the globe

Fresh news from yesterday's awards! Got the word from Justine via text. Globe bagged an award from the GSM Awards - "the Nobel prize" in the GSM Telcos field.

Clap clap clap!

Globe bagged the prize in the category Best Mobile Messaging Service for their G-Cash service. They bested other nominees from Europe, UK and the US, among others.

Excerpts from the press release:
Cannes, France 16th February 2005: The tenth GSM Association (GSMA) Awards winners were announced last night during a spectacular gala evening at the mobile industry’s leading annual event, the 3GSM World Congress 2005.
Applications, Content & Services

Best Mobile Messaging Service
WINNER – Globe Telecom, Inc (Philippines)
G-Cash M-Commerce Service

Best Enterprise Application
WINNER – Swisscom Mobile Ltd (Switzerland)
Mobile Unlimited 3GSM/GPRS/WLAN data service with 3-in-1 card

HIGHLY COMMENDED – Visto Corporation (USA)
Visto Mobile 5.0 Wireless Email Platform

Best Mobile Entertainment Content or Service
WINNER – Somethin’ Else (UK)
Mobile Radio: hit40uk
Here's the press release.
And here are some articles I've written about G-Cash.

To Globe, Congratulations! There's a whole lot more that G-Cash can attain.

To new heights!



Tuesday, February 15, 2005

3 G's ulit: Globe's G-Cash in GSM Awards Today

Globe's G-Cash nominated for GSM awards

Uy! Ayos, a! If I recall correctly, this is the same award giving body that gave an award to Smart for Smart Money (2001?) and Smart's e-load (2003?).

Goodluck to Globe. The award ceremonies happen today!

Visit GSM Awards, Nominees page and Globe's ... ano ba'ng tawag dun, citation ba 'yun?

Interesting to read the other apps in the international telco world. babalikan ko nalang, may class pa ako ....

Read: GSM Awards Previous Winners...

- Edwin


G-Cash to Load

Saw a poster at Globe Hub Glorietta about using G-Cash to buy cellphone load. Finally! This was a service waiting to happen.

Want to know more about it? Text "INFO LOAD" and send to 2882. Try it! Ahhh, heck, let me spare you the trouble and the 1 peso and tell you what the reply is:
To buy Prepaid load for own mobile number using G0Cash, send LOAD [amount] [MPIN] To 2882. Ex: LOAD 300 4321 send to 2882. To send load to a friend's number charged to ur G-Cash, send LOAD [amount] [MPIN] to 2882+[10 digit mobile # of ur friend]. Ex. LOAD 300 4321 send to 28829271234567. Denominations available are: P150, P300, P500 up to a maximum of P500 daily using your G-Cash. P1.00/msg for Postpaid/Prepaid.
Some thoughts:
  • First, Finally!
  • Why the need to limit to certain denominations? That just introduces another barrier to usage. Besides, 'di ba maiinis yung mga gumagamit if they try "LOAD 155 4321" and receive a message like "Sorry, the amount of load you want to buy is not allowed." 'Ika nga ng kaibigan kong bading na si Edith, "Ano buzzz????!!!!"
  • At least Globe is sticking to the format of "LOAD [amount] [MPIN] to 2882+[10 digit mobile # of ur friend]". This is a similar format to sending G-Cash to a friend. The more they stick to a somewhat standard or uniform format, the more intuitive it will be for users.
  • This service, I think, can open doors to G-Cash services that allow users to "allocate" G-Cash for particular purposes. One example I discussed in the past is allowing OFW parents to pay for tuition fees of their children directly to the school.
Just thinking out loud.

Read: The next killer-app: Load-to-Cash conversion
Search Technobiography: G-Cash

- Edwin


ABA! Asia Blog Awards!

There's this Asia Blog Awards and here are the Best Philippine Blog Results

I attempted but failed to post this comment on that page:
Just found this page today through technorati. I would have nominated the Wilson Ng's Highly practical, very insightful.

Congratulations Sassy for bagging the award! Sassy is a blogging icon in the Philippines. She is also one of the people behind which is fast becoming the Philippine blog portal and the place to be for bloggers.

See other ABA winners ... Asia Blog Awards

Whatya tink?



Saturday, February 12, 2005

Tech Dehado

The jeep I was on got into an accident with a worn down pick-up. Minor scratch gawa ng gitgitan.

Jeepney driver was at the disadvantage (dehado) right from the start. Eh sumisingit si JeepDriver, eh.

What's more, pick-up driver had a Sony Ericsson camera-phone to document the accident, to visually prove that JeepDriver was wrong. Then pick-up driver started making calls - maybe to his friend at LTO or MMDA.

All the JeepneyDriver did, in the meantime was scratch his head. Tsk tsk tsk. [iling]

Dehado. Technologically dehado si jeepney driver. Tsk tsk.

If I were the jeepney driver, this would be my strategy: Stall stall stall.

Sooner or later, pick-up driver will figure that it's just too much of a hassle and a waste of time to argue. Pagawa nalang niya at his own expense.

And it didn't help that the pick-up's rear had bullet holes! Manong Jeepdriver, ingat diyan sa katapat mo...

- Edwin


Tuesday, February 08, 2005


4 ta-2's on the Mirror Project
4 ta-2's

Upon our feet
the sun shines
lizards crawl
Machine Problem? Melting Point? Major Payne? Maya Pinpin?
What else does MP mean?

To my wife and I, "MP" means mirror project (

View more MP's...
Edwin, Maya 1, Maya 2, Maya 345

Read: Ofoto, my Fotos

- Edwin


Monday, February 07, 2005

Sun Cellular loves Cesar and Andrew E!

Believe it or not, Sun Cellular benefitted from TM's (Touch Mobile's) piso calls. Let me tell you why...

Sun's network is definitely congested. The more subscribers they take in, the more unsatisfied customers they'll have (tulad ni estee...).

But they cannot tell prospect subscribers: "Sorry, no more space! You'll have to wait while we improve our capacity to serve additional subscribers."

When full capacity is exceeded, here's a way to cater to your client's needs: get the competition to serve the unserved clients.

It's like a dentist, when he has more patients than he can handle, would refer some patients to the dentist next door.

With the entry of Globe in low-cost calls through TM, Sun & TM are thus increasing the market for low-cost calls AND keeping the market happy; a market Sun alone could not cater to.

What's more, the move of Globe to offer piso calls, piso text -- this just announces to the whole wide world that Sun is taking a bite out of Globe's pie. Ain't that vindication for Sun? Aba, 'di na sila ini-i-small!

There's not much subscriber loyalty in the Philippines. People can SIM swap anytime and get some free load pa.

Thus, while Globe takes care of the low-cost calls market that Sun can no longer handle, Sun will have some breathing space to clean up their act, to increase capacity, to take good care of their current subscribers.

And when the time comes when the Sun network will be comparable to the Touch Mobile network, you can expect the market to choose the telco with cheaper call rates.

Sun pa nga ba sila pupunta?


A third dentist watches - nalilito, nahihilo, nangingilo, nangingilo - as the patients troop to the two affordable dentists. Now he can't sing "babalik ka rin" 'coz the patients, afterall, are enjoying the cheap rates of the two dentists.

The dentists observe each other, the dental drills whirrrr and the patients choose ... deliberately ... patiently ...

Read: TM - Power to the People (Touch Mobile)
Search Technobiography: Sun, TM

- Edwin


I want my sponsored blog

From Migs Paraz's newly lipat-bahay blog:
Geek to Live, Blog Style
Filed under: Business— Migs @ 3:44 am Lifehacker is a blog sponsored by Sony to the tune of $25,000 a month.

The site claims that it will help you “geek to live, instead of living to geek.”

I think that companies could stretch their marketing dollar by outsourcing thes PR blogs to the Philippines - or elsewhere It should make no difference to the reader - who probably gets tech support or is telemarketed to from our country.
My comments (wasn't sure if it reached migs):
hmmm... interesting .... but what company in the philippines would sponsor a third-party blog? (thinking out loud)

migs, what would it take to aggregate pinoy blogs by product or subject? say for example a "nokia" blog where any nokia-related blog gets aggregated. That's something that nokia might be interested in sponsoring ....

of course, a sponsor might ask the aggregator to aggregate only the "positive" blogs ... that spoils the fun of free-speech, anything goes blogging ...

so, what company would be interested? i'm sure there'll be lots of bloggers who're willing to contribute. kulang nalang ay yung aggregator technology ... do we have something like that?

ka edong


Sunday, February 06, 2005


Sounds like our old toaster in Baguio.

I read about it on Jared Odulio's blog. For cellphone load retailers/dealers who have sore thumbs, here's a PC app that will help you with your cellphone load business: Loadmaster

lonely night .... uh, morning ....


Excerpts from the Idiotboard

Excerpts from the Idiot Board by Julsitos: In Want of a Phone
Speaking of MMS phones, I really have to congratulate Globe, Smart and Sun companies for brainwashing the whole population in making them crave for higher-end phones, spawning pickpockets and hold-ups everywhere. Thanks for the colored ads in the Star and Inquirer where you placed celebrities brandishing and enjoying your latest model, hence, making us feel that we have to change phones every year so to keep up with the latest Nokia. Thank you also for making us feel that our phones are never good enough (or never functional enough) where in fact the only use for it is texting and calling up people.
I feel for you, kapatid! Sige! Ilabas mo yan! ;-p

- Edwin


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Blog Why's and Blog OtherWhy's

I don't mobile blog as often as I used to. Mainly for two reasons.

First, my Smartphone, Brosia, has a shortened battery life and mobile blogging shaves away a couple of minutes/hours of power.

Second, Blogger's email-to-blog service is erratic. Sometimes it gets through promptly, sometimes it's delayed for more than a day or two, sometimes the mail bounces. (See Bogged blog bummer).

But now I mobile blog while walking past the dome-shaped Chapel in Greenbelt, Makati as the priest gives his homily.

I just read the cover story of Fortune featuring top ten technologies. And what's at the top of the list? BLOGGING!

The article describes how blogging has become such a powerful and "viral" medium of expression, an opinion democracy. About how a company's product flaw was exposed through one person's blog and forced the company to replace defective products for free.

About how a was percieved by many as "Microsoft listening to customers". Thus, that Microsoft employee's blog (Scobleizer) became a powerful tool for "building relationships" with customers.

It makes me wonder about this blogging hobby I've gotten into. What makes me continue blogging? What keeps me writing?

Let me count the ways.
  1. I enjoy sharing what I learn about technology
  2. It's nice encountering newfound e-friends and getting feedback from them
  3. I like writing my thoughts. It's my journal, my memory bank, my journalistic exercise and sometimes my relaxation
  4. Pressure! HAHA! There! I said it! I sometimes feel pressured when some of my regular visitors come back to technobiography and there's nothing new to read
  5. There is some degree of "influence" I've discovered through blogging. How? That's another story.
I'm thinking about what I wrote back in November when Joey Alarilla of interviewed me about Technobiography. For whom am I blogging?

I started blogging just to blog. But reading about the power of blogging on Fortune (and in other magazines in the past months), I'm starting to think blogging won't be just a hobby for me in the future. I don't know yet what it will be. I'm still feeling my way, writing my way through it... Nangangapa.

So here I am in a jeep in Boni, still thinking. I don't know how I'm going to end this article. How do I end this article?

How about I don't? ...

(To be continued... ? ...)

- Edwin


Thursday, February 03, 2005

All that SIMs, all that Matters

This is a long overdue article. I've been wanting to talk about how to deal with having different cellphone numbers on just one cellphone.

I believe this dilemma escalated for a million more cellphone subscribers when Sun introduced its 24/7 Call and Text Unlimited service. As I discussed in a previous post about Sun, we expected more people to acquire and maintain a second SIM apart from their primary SIM. I sometimes refer to my second SIM (my Sun SIM) as a "part-time" SIM.

Two SIMs, one cellphone ... (as my classmate Kalayar would say)... "What to do??!!"

Well, here are a couple of options: MultiSIM, Dual SIM and Micro Dual SIM. Let me share some stuff I know about these SIM tricks...

One telco calls it Multi-Line SIM, the other calls it Multi-SIM (or something like that). Basically, it's a service the telcos offer to their post-paid subscribers. You can have two cellphone numbers (from the same telco) "joined" into just one SIM. Your second line could be another post-paid SIM or could be a pre-paid SIM.

You'll be able to send and receive SMS messages from both numbers at the same time. You'll also be able to conduct incoming and outgoing calls using either number. You'll just need to switch between line 1 and line 2.

How is this useful? This comes in handy if you want to separate, say for example, your business calls/texts from your personal calls/text. You can use SIM1 for business, and SIM2 for personal calls. Or, if you're the naughty type, use SIM1 for one better half and SIM2 for the other better half. (If they're both better halves, doesn't that make you a mediocre nothingness?).

Now here's the mystery for me (maybe some visitors could clarify this for me). The telcos say they can join up to 5 cellphone numbers into one MultiSIM. Hmmm..... I don't know how that works because I've never seen a "line 3" in any cellphone. My guess is they have an STK (SIM Toolkit) selector menu that shifts the user from one SIM to the other.

Now isn't that a complicated life?

Limitation of the MultiSIM service of the telcos: they'll let you have have MultiSIM for SIMs from the same telco only. Why the heck would they help you use a competitor's SIM, right? But, why the heck would *I* need two SIMs from the same telco in one MultiSIM. I'd find it handy if I can put my Addict Mobile SIM, my Sun SIM and my soon to come TM (Touch Mobile) SIM in one MultiSIM. *That* would be useful.

Multi-SIM ng ma-abilidad

If you're the shady kind of character, you'll be able to find technicians who will ... uh ... "make a way" (gawan ng paraan) to put together SIMs from different telcos into just one SIM. That will require a SIM burner that, I hear, is a very expensive piece of equipment. I hear SIM burning services cost more than P500. This, I'm just recalling from some old discussions over ph-cyberview. Search the list's archive if you wish.

Dual SIM
borrowed without permissionThis is the corny solution to a 2SIM 1Phone dilemma. Basically, there's a gadget that will house 2 SIMs. With a little electronics and acrobatics, the SIMs are "connected" to the phone one at a time. The SIM housing is a little cumbersome and either rests inside the casing between the phone's battery and the back casing. There's a worse version of the Dual SIM where the SIM housing is *outside* the casing. Un-cool.

To switch between the two SIMs, there's a series of keys that need to be pressed, sometimes it requires turning off the phone and then turning it on again.

Dual SIM housings come in different shapes and sizes and fit in to particular cellphone models. I think you can get them for around P150-P400 at greenhills depending on your cellphone model.

Micro-Dual SIM
This is what I found useful for my needs. The Micro-Dual SIM. A picture paints a thousand words. An animated image paints a thousand more pixels. So here are a couple of animate gifs borrowed without permission from, . Visit their site to purchase Micro-Dual SIMs. borrowed without permission from

Sayang, I couldn't find the animated image that shows how the 2 SIMs will fit into the micro-dual SIM. But here's an alternative illustration:

I purchased mine at Greenhills, 2nd flr bridgeway. Try contacting them: 0919-6302000 or 725-0716. Back then (Nov 2004) the retail price was P350-P400. They have a vice-grip that will punch out your SIMs so that it fits snugly inside the Micro-Dual SIM metal housing.

The up-side: no cumbersome SIM housing. The Micro-Dual SIM housing is the same dimension as the ordinary SIM (except it's a fraction of a millimeter thicker). Thus, it fits in almost 95% of cellphones in the market. (For some reason, I hear it doesn't work well with O2XDAs.)

The down-side: It can be erratic, sometimes. Let me share my experience. In my excitement to tell friends about the Micro-Dual SIM, I had the tendency to take out the device and show them the two cut-out SIMs. Then, when I'd put it back, it wouldn't work perfectly in the first try. Thus, the tip I've seen in airfagev forums is: Once it works well on your cellphone, don't take it out anymore.

To switch between two SIMs, I would just put Airplane mode On/Off. This is just like removing the cellphone signal then restoring it.

For some reason, I've had experiences where I thought I was on my Smart SIM, but next time I look, I'm on my Sun SIM. I figured this happens in some instances when the signal is lost because of cellphone signal deadspots.

Another thing I've observed is that the Micro-Dual SIM eats up some of my battery's standby time. This is bad for me considering that my SmartPhone, Brosia, has a limited battery standby time of around 14-18 hours only. Nabawasan pa yan because of the Micro-Dual SIM. Furthermore, I have the impression that the Smart signal requires more battery power to sustain compared to the Sun signal. I say this because when I'm running low on battery, my cellphone turns off once I shift to Smart but still could turn on if I'm on Sun. This, I believe, has something to do with the frequencies that Smart and Sun use -- 1800/800 MHz for Smart and 800MHz for Sun. (Hope I got my figures right).

Edong's Dream SIM:

My wants are simple - I want to have my Addict Mobile SIM and Sun SIM (or later my TM SIM) working all at the same time in just one cellphone allowing me to send/receive text of any SIM anytime. And I'd like to do outgoing/incoming calls through any of SIMs I choose. I'll use the SIM that offers the best rates whether I'm calling, texting or connecting to GPRS.

While I'm at it, I'd also wish to have a SIM that will allow me to make calls from my PLDT landline using my cellphone. Is that too difficult?


In a nutshell:
  • Use a MultiSIM if you want two or more cellphone numbers from the *same* telco in just one SIM
  • Get a MultiSIM burned for you if you have SIMs from different telcos (this service is not common).
  • Use a Micro-Dual SIM if you're willing to cut out your two SIMs and can deal with having just one cellphone number available at a time.
  • Use a cumbersome DualSIM if you're anti-cool and have no other choice.

- Edwin

I'd like to hear your experiences with similar devices. Do share!