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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

OT: Ka Edong Explained

When people read my nom de plume, many think I’m an NPA. One time, somebody asked me online, “Ka Edong, kumusta si Ka Roger?”. Another time, somebody said: “Kelan ka pa bumaba sa bundok?”

What’s the story behind “Ka Edong”?

It all started in ’93 when I was part of a ten-day immersion program of the UP Student Catholic Action (UPSCA) in Tiaong, Quezon. I lived there with a farmer, Ka Owell and his family.

I wanted to have a Filipino name. A name that fit well with the community. A name that was not western, a name that was less alienating to the community. Imagine, for example, coming in and saying my name was “Sir Edwin of Shire”.

So I chose a Filipinized version of my name. I chose to be called “Edong”.

“Ka” is a way of addressing people, like “Ginoo” or “Binibini” or “Gat” for Gat Andres Bonifacio.

“Ka” is short for “Kasama” or “Kaibigan”.
Thus, I am Ka Edong.
Ako ay inyong Kasamang Edong.
Ako ay inyong Kaibigang Edong.
More on “Ka Edong” and what that name means to me …. Some other time …Senti yun, eh.

Visit: Kubo ni Ka Edong (not updated since last year)
Google Search my tukayos: Ka Edong, Edong

Ka Edong
Each one of us is unique ... just like everybody else!


Monday, June 27, 2005

m-Commerce: Adbertisment Muna

Are you here for Part II of my m-Commerce series?

I hope I don't disappoint you. I will be continuing this series on m-Commerce - "in due time" 'ika nga.

But in the meantime, I'd like to invite you to read two materials:
Thanks to: Erwin Oliva of for the article about my study on m-Commerce for Microfinance

There's more about m-Commerce where that came from. Expect to read a whole lot more about m-Commerce on Technobiography and Mobile Tulay.

Still to write:
  • G-Cash revisited
  • Mano y Mano: Cash vs. Smart Money vs. G-Cash
  • Smart-Cash, G-Money: Is m-Commerce Integration just a dream?
  • m-Commerce for Nation Building
  • and many more...


ka edong
da emkonomist!


Friday, June 24, 2005

m-Commerce: Revisiting Smart Money (Part 1)

Last week, in preparation for a forum where I was presenting, I wanted to update myself with Smart Money. I surfed their website, I Googlized Smart Money. But I didn't find anything new.

I guess my search was a few days advanced. Just four days after, Smart came out with print ads exclaiming
Smart Padala
Ang pang International, ngayon pang Domestic na rin!
Let's butingting this Smart Padala thing.

Here are some Smart Padala / Smart Money info taken from the print ad:
  • There's a sending and encashment fee of as low as 1%
  • Recepient needs to download a Smart Money Number. There are two procedures for downloading. The first procedure is for the Super SIM3 which uses the STK (SIM ToolKit). The second procedure is for Super SIM1 and Super SIM2 which has instructions that use SMS.
    Some of the Smart Padala Centers kung saan puwede magpadala at mag-encash
    • McDonald's
    • SM
    • Tambunting pawnshop
    • 7-11
    • VideoCity
    • SeaOil
    • Smart Wireless Centers
    • 2Go (call and cash will be delivered to you: tel 8987845)

  • Sender of money goes to a Smart Padala Center, gives cash, recepient's Smart Money number, shows a valid ID. (In small letters: "As low as 1% sending fee")
  • Sender should see the confirmation message in the cellphone of the Smart Padala Center (referred to in this article as SPC).
  • Recepient of money will receive an SMS message that "cash" has been sent to his/her cellphone. (The ad reads: "Beneficiary receives cash")
  • Recepient goes to an SPC and encashes the Smart Money. (In small letters: "As low as 1% encashment fee")
My thoughts:

  • It's about time! I've been waiting for Smart to make a move since the onslaught of Globe's G-Cash in October 2004. It's a bit late, but it's not too late. It's still very early in the game. The response of Smart Money is good for m-Commerce development in the Philippines. It forces both Smart and Globe into a game of continuous improvement of m-Commerce services for the Filipinos.
  • Simplicity is the way. As I discussed in a previous article (article title), I explained that Smart Money was too complicated for the common subscriber. So complicated that I referred to all the (old) procedures a barrier to usage. Examining the print Ad, my initial reaction was: "Good, they're making things simpler". But (big BUT), I don't think it is simple enough to be followed by the common subscriber.
    • First question: How will I know if I'm using a SIM1, SIM2 or SIM3?
    • The ad's step 3 for Super SIM1&2 says: "I-activate ito sa inyong SMART celfone. Piliin ang SMART Money sa SMART menu." - Anlabo. Even I, an old Smart Money user, I don't understand and can't imagine what this procedure will be like.
    • I am SURE that this procedure is in-complete. It is not a procedure that an ordinary subscriber will be able to follow easily.
    • Maybe that's the reason there's additional fine print saying: "Para makapag-encash, pumunta sa SMART Wireless Center at magdala ng ID for initial registration."

  • Here's a concrete example of how not foolproof the Smart Money procedures are. I was in a meeting and my colleague tried out the STK procedure for Super SIM3. Two minutes later, he received a reply saying something like: Invalid transaction. Command aborted. (Let me complete the story by saying that my colleague was using a Pocket PC-phone. He was using an STK procedure and it did not work for him).
  • "As low as" 1% sending/encashment fee. I've heard this before. This is the same rate that Globe charges for G-Cash Cash-in and Cash-out. And seeing "As low as", I'd expect some SPC's to charge 2% to 5% or more for some of the Smart Padala transactions.
  • As I've said before, the m-commerce service providers should offer sending/encashment service for FREE! Okay, if that's too difficult, at least waive that sending fee, at least as a promo. The idea is that the m-commerce providers (Smart and Globe) should encourage people to infuse cash into the m-Commerce economy. The more Smart Money "cash" and G-Cash there is going around, the better for m-commerce economy and the better for the m-commerce service providers.
  • Of course offering this for free isn't easy. There are SPC's to pay. That's the challenge, to be able to create a financially viable business model that compensates the SPC's and yet gives incentives to the subscribers to use the m-Commerce services. It isn't easy but there is a way (Read Technobiography on Monday, June 27).
  • "As low as 1%" is too much. If you compare this to Western Union which charges around P50, 1% is too much. Example, if I send P5,000, I get charged P50 for sending (1% sending fee). Then the recepient of my money is charged another P50 (1% encashment fee). Even over the counter deposits in some commercial banks charge just P50-P100 flat rate. Thus, for an amount above P5,000, there are other cheaper options than paying the 1% charge of Smart Money (or G-Cash). Even more expensive when other SPC's charge more than 1%.

  • What's the real deal? I usually find out the real deal by walking up to a partner establishment. I would ask them whether they've had customers transacting Smart Padala, whether they found it easy, how many transactions in a day or week, amounts sent etc. I did this last year at McDonald's Boni-EDSA and the manager was frank enough to tell me that they hadn't transacted even one Smart Padala transaction.
  • I'll give it a few more days and then walk up to a Smart Padala Center to find out how things are going with Smart Padala Domestic. That would be the indicator if what I've been saying above is crap or on the dot.

I'll be writing more about Smart Money, Smart Padala and G-Cash in the coming days. I will share some thoughts on how m-Commerce deployment can be heightened. Many of these thoughts are based on experiences and insights gained through my thesis on m-Commerce for Microfinance.

My thought projects for myself and for my readers:
  • What will it take for m-Commerce to take off?
  • What can m-Commerce do for the Philippines?

Keep your thinking caps on. Do share your thoughts.

See you on Monday for more on m-Commerce in the Philippines!

Search Technobiography:
Smart Padala, Smart Money, G-Cash

(Manong Edong)


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Techie Drayber: MangGyber

May Jeepney driver na blogger! Oh yeah, it's true!

Nag-aabang ako ng jeep sa may Boni. Nang may dumaan na jeep, malakas ang sounds. Nung pumarada siya para magsakay, nakita ko yung splasher sa likod ng jeep. Nakasulat:
Blog ang Mundo!
Heto na Gnebra! ;-p

At may Jeepney driver na MangGyver! Check out mo ng husto ang kanyang soundz systemz:
CD Player sa Jeep ni MangGyber!
CD Player sa Jeep ni MangGyberIngredients: Konting gupit, konting electrical tape, konting masking tape, maraming diskarte

Yup yup yup, that's a CD-ROM drive. Ginagamit niyang CD Player yung ...Asus 50x CD-ROM drive. Ayos ba? Aztig, 'di ba?

Make your own CD player
May naka-plug na earphone jack dun sa audio-out ng CD-ROM drive. Tapos naka-splice yung earphones papunta dun sa "on-board" radio. Tapos kumpleto ang speakers niya, mula woofer hanggang ... ano na nga ba'ng tawag dun sa maliit na speaker na matinis ang boses parang ibon? .... Ayun, tweeter!

Napaka-ganda ng soundz niya mula dun sa CD-ROM drive niya na pati ako ay napapa-kanta na rin sa tugtog niyang (pirated) CD ng Sting.

Aztig, 'di ba? Hyan ang Pinoy, ma-abilidad! Ginagamit ang teknolohiya para pagsilbihan ang mga tunay na mahalagang bagay. Mahalagang bagay tulad ng soundz. Sabi nga nung isang billboard: "No music, No life!"

MangGyber ka, Mamang drayber! Itaas mo!

Read: Techie Lola, Techie Grrrrl
Search Technobiography: other Techies (pwera Agbayani)
Abangan: Techie trike
Tomorrow and next monday: Smart Money Revisited



Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mobile Tulay - Bridging the Gap

I'm pleased to introduce my latest blog:
Mobile Tulay - Bridging the Gap at
Mobile n: a hand-held mobile radiotelephone; also Mobile phone or cellphone

Tulay n: Filipino word for "Bridge"; A structure spanning and providing passage over a gap or barrier

Mobile Tulay n: Bridging the Digital Divide through mobile phone applications and services
Mobile Tulay is my research, academic and consultancy blog. I've uploaded my complete thesis, some writings and presentations covering Mobile Commerce for Microfinance.

I've mentioned this study on Technobiography in the past.

Mobile Tulay blog will have a less casual tone of writing compared to Technobiography. My more formal writings will come out in Mobile Tulay.

Mobile Tulay won't be updated as often as Technobiography. My thought projects, casual musings, stories will still stay in Technobiography.

I envision Mobile Tulay as a collaborative blog later on. I may open up Mobile Tulay to fellow-writers/bloggers who share a similar passion for mobile applications that truly serve people's needs.

Take a walk across the Mobile Tulay. Malay mo, you might like it, you might find something useful.

Read: Microfinance reflections




Friday, June 17, 2005

MRT Musings - Scrap metal for sale...

Nung lunes, sabi ko "Cellphone mo, MRT card na!" Hindi pa rin naman nagkakatutoo. Pero malapit na siguro. Paano kaya gagawin? Pero bago iyon, pwede bang mag-labas ng sama ng luob?
Lagi ko siyang nadadaan sa Boni MRT station, ilang daang beses na. Mainit ulo ko diyan, eh! Simula pa nung 2001 andiyan na siya, nagpapa-cute lang, pa-display display lang! Ano akala niya sa sarili niya, pogi? Aba gumagastos pa siya ng kuryente! May guwardiya sibil pa. At sa buong bu-hey ko, 'di ko pa siya nakikitang na-gamit ni kahit sinuman. Eh kung kiluhin ko nalang kaya?...
The most expensive sign board of the MRT! May guwardiya sibil pa!
The most expensive sign board of the MRT! May guwardiya sibil pa!This chunk of metal's purpose in life: to announce that it is 'out of service'

"This is where your taxes go!"

That's what it should read. Our taxes go to a scrap of metal announcing that the damn chunk of metal doesn't work!

In a rolling voice, I say " Heh - loooow! Garci"


Mabuti pa ang counterpart nitong ticket vending machine sa MRT-2 (along aurora boulevard) sa may Cubao Station. At least yun, gumagana at nagagamit. May silbi! 'Di tulad ng iba!

Drop some coins, press the button corresponding to your destination ....
Drop some coins, press the button corresponding to your destination ....And out comes your MRT card, mainit-init pa!

And here goes my fearless forecast of how we can start to use the cellphone to enter the MRT.

Remember this advertisement of Globe many years ago.
Go to a vending machine in SM,
Mag-text ka sa isang number,
sabihin mo kung ano'ng drink ang gusto mo,
tapos the vending machine will dispense the drink for you.
Ang saya di ba? c-lap ... c-la..p..p

Yun nga lang, wala na yung vending machine na iyon. Baka ni-langaw o na meniggococcemia na siya! (ang hirap ispelingin!)

Pero the same technology can be used in the ticket vending machines at the MRT stations.

When you're in front of an MRT ticket vending machine ...
Text (or call?) the vending machine number ...
indicate your destination ...
and out goes your ticket, mainit-init pa!
I-a-awas nalang sa cellphone load (or g-cash or smartmoney) mo ang equivalent value ng ticket mo.
Ano sa tingin niyo? No hi-tech new technologies. Just making use of existing (old) technologies and making them work for us.

Ayaw niyo maniwala? Magbasa ka: Warren Mira's SMS Enabled Vending Machine

Ano sa tingin niyo? Agree? Disagree? Wan-hap? Wan-port?

hindi maka-tingin....
Warning: I can read your mind


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Bat Edong Begins ... Printing

There'a a complete walkway now connecting the EDSA-MRT (MRT-Line3) and the AuroraBlvd-MRT (MRT-Line2). The missing link was a bridgeway from Farmer's connecting to Araneta Coliseum plus the newest mall in town, Gateway! Ganda ng Gateway Mall!

Here's what I wrote about Gateway and my alternative mode of transport when emergencies call...
First time kong maka-punta sa Gateway mall sa Cubao. Ang saya! Ganda! tapos may mini-rain forest kunwari sa gitna nung mall. Feeling ko tuloy nasa gubat ako.

And then I find my Batmobile in display! Shucks, now my disguise is blown!

BatEdong Begins ... Printing
BatEdong Begins Printing
On an Epson Stylus PhotoR310
BatEdong strikes a pose for the fans ...
not as hunky as when he's on screen fighting thugs

The batmobile was there as a promotion of Epson. They allowed people to take digital photos with the batmobile tapos i-pi-print yung photo using the Epson Stylus Photo R310 printer.

The Epson lady said it takes around 2 minutes to print the picture. It has six ink cartridges and each costs around P500. Expensive, isn't it? And the picture quality isn't so good. Hindi niya napantayan ang kodak photo quality. Mabuti pa yung Cannon Picture bridge tsaka yung Kodak Yellow Monster

Read: Ofoto, My Fotos

BatEdong (no relation to batjay)


Monday, June 13, 2005

Wiretapped, Webtrapped

How can I not blog about this?

I saw the headlines on last saturday. There was a photo UP Students in front of their computers using their headphones. The caption said something like "UP Students spreading the wiretapped tapes through the Internet".

I can't help but observe how technology is once again playing a role in Philippine politics the fate of our contry. We all know how text messaging contributed to the fall of Erap.

Now we have wiretapped phone audio files flying around. Not to mention that e-mail sent by a Military man calling for changes within his organization. Whew! What are we in for, another circus?

Chin Wong says "why read the transcripts when you can listen to it." Well I tried it out. I downloaded an mp3 segment of the wiretapped recordings from PCIJ.

I used earphones to listen to it. It's dizzying! It sounds like the voices are walking around me, around my head! (Or is my schizophrenic self just manifesting itself? We don't think so.) And I don't have the patience to figure out what they're saying with their thick accents and all the noise.

So, if I were you, have a taste-test of those audio recordings but if you're really interested in finding the juicy stuff, just go to the text transcripts. It will save you time and your sanity.


I read briefly an analyst's article saying People Power IV is unlikely to happen because of "People Power fatigue". I tend to agree. I'm tired of all this kalokohan in government. But I don't want to involve myself in it. I'm not ready to go to the streets.

I just want to do my thing, make an impact in this small world I revolve in where I have at least some control and some influence.

You're in my Technobiography world, by the way. Welcome!

Klawn Edong
in Edong's Circus

Captain's Log - Online friend's blog where he shares the wiretapped audio recordings. Doing his own heroic acts to save the world ;-)
Manuel L. Quezon III's blow-by-blow account of what's happening to our country.
Anatomy of eavesdropping on mobile phone calls (
NTC warns TV, radio vs airing alleged wiretapped talks


MRT Musings - “Cellphone mo, MRT card na!”

I've been using the MRT since it opened in '99. Linalangaw pa siya nun dahil mahal pa ang bayad at di pa nadidiskobre ng karamihan ang kagandahan ng pag-sakay ng MRT.

This week, I share a few stories about the MRT. On Wed, June 15, You'll read about my alternative mode of transport when emergencies call. On Friday, June 17, I'll give you another Edong's Dream, a sequel to my first Edong's Dream written back in September 2004.

Well well well, what do we have here?

I noticed these silver devices attached to the MRT gates a few weeks ago.
To get into the MRT paid area, you will need to go through two obstacles.

First, you’ll need to play “Patintero” and “Sawsaw suka” and “Frisk me kunwari” with the security guards.

Second you need to get through the metal gates using a plastic magnetic card – the MRT card – that is inserted in the gate’s card slot.

But what if you don’t need that magnetic card?
What if your cellphone will be your ticket to go through the MRT gate?

This seems to be the idea behind the silver device attached to the MRT gates. The device has a data belt connecting it to the inside of the gate.
Prototype silver device connected to the MRT gate
Prototype silver device
connected to the MRT gate
It has a cellphone icon on it

The device has two pilot lamps, one red one green. It also has what appears to be a speaker – probably for a beeping sound. Or maybe a recorded message saying something like
“Guard! Hwag niyong papasukin ito! Snatcher ito ng cellphone!
What’s interesting is the icon – a diagram of a hand holding a cellphone. This is the only clue that this device is meant for using the cellphone to get inside the MRT paid area.

So, what is it? How will it work? It couldn’t be like the “octopus” passes in HK where the ticket value is deducted magnetically without any contact.

Is it SMS-enabled? Is it bluetooth? Is it pasaload triggered? Will it work? I wonder …

I had a few ideas written a couple of months ago about using cellphones for entering the MRT (That article is the first of my Edong's Dreams). How similar or different will the actual MRT device be from the ideas I wrote in the past?

From the appearance of the device, it looks like a prototype. When will they use it for real? Will it work well? I wonder …

Ka Edong

Read: Edong's Dreams


Friday, June 10, 2005

Hotspot Hunting - Episode I (Baguio)

Hotspot Hunting by Ka EdongEpisode I (Baguio) is the last of a three part series on my WiFi Hotspot Hunting experiences. My series ends where I began hotspot hunting: In Baguio, my hometown. So, where to or where not to hunt for WiFi in Baguio? Read on...

There will be more hunting stories in the future. Thanks to those who followed this series. Next week's series: MRT Musings

Here I was taking Kurdapia to Baguio for the first time. I just purchased my MSI WiFi card just before going up to Baguio. I sooo excited to catch a WiFi hotspot in the cool afternoon mist of Baguio.

I did some Googling before starting my hunt. I gathered from some forum discussions that there were hotspots at ...SM Baguio, at PILTEL building along session road, at the Filling Station at John Hay. So, I went off to do some hotspot hunting.

My first try was SM Baguio. Got HUB – an internet shop – was said to have a free-access hotspot. But Kurdapia couldn’t find any hotspot there. I moved on to Figaro. I wasn’t in the mood for coffee so I just sat along the corridor overlooking Baguio’s downtown city proper. I did get a WiFi signal. I had a weak signal from where I was. My computer said that I was connected to the Hotspot. But I couldn't load any webpages. I had other things to do (errands – inutusan akong bumili ng bagoong) so I packed up and moved on.

In the evening, I asked my brother to join me in my hunting. He drove for me while I kept an eye at kurdapia’s WiFi signal indicator. We drove to John Hay and parked right in front of the Filling Station – a fastfood/café of sorts. I did get an internet connection there.

That was my first time. My first time to connect to a webpage via WiFi through Kurdapia. Yes, I was no longer a WiFi virgin. But the only webpage I could load was the Airborne Access log-in page. Herks. I didn't have any Airborne Access log-in, nor did I know where to get one. Besides, I wasn't willing to pay for WiFi access when I knew I could get access for free at school.

(Later in my lifetime, I gave in and tried out a paid airborne access card. Read about it in Episode II – Manila Malls).

Next, we went to PILTEL building near the top of Session road. I was guessing the hotspot was emanating from the Netopia internet shop in the same building. But, from the car parked along the street right in front of PILTEL: NADA – no WiFi hotspot from where I was. Binali-baliktad ko na ang laptop ang pag-park ng kotse, pati na rin ang pag-tingin ko sa laptop ko. But the fabled WiFi signal at the Piltel building was not to be found.

So, where did I get my Internet connection for that night? At home! Via dial-up! Shucks, so much for my first Hotspot Hunting escapade in Baguio!

Let’s try again in a few months, baka may bago sa Baguio.

Know of other WiFi hotspots in the Baguio? Share naman, tell us about them. Tapos subukan ko sa sunod na pag-punta ko sa Baguio.

Know of any hotspots in tourist destinations outside Manila? Share naman! Para hindi ma-disappoint ang kaibigan kong si Nocs pag nabasa niya itong article ko! ;-)

Ka edong the haunter

Read: Hotspot Hunting - Episode II (Manila Malls), Episode III (UP Diliman)

Next week's series: MRT Musings - Cellphones to get on the train? Pwede kaya? Paano kaya?


Thursday, June 09, 2005

I played Gunbound in '93!

Gunbound is this network game that the teens have been playing at the Internet shops. I have never played Gunbound since it came out last year. But I played it when I was in college back in '93!

When I observed Gunbound being played at a few Internet shops I've been to lately, I realized that Gunbound is a remake of a DOS game named Scorch! (thanks to bespren jor for helping me recall the name of the game).

Scorch was a DOS program (an exe file!) that we used to run using Windows 3.1. Scorch had tanks symbolized by a horizontal line and a diagonal line like
/_ or _\
Then players would have to gun down each other's tank. We had a variety of weapons to choose from, each with its unique explosive powers.

Players would take turns on the keyboard keying in selected weapon and the trajectory of the weapon.

What was fun was that the tanks would kantiyaw one another on screen with words like "Walang hiya ka!" or "You missed!" or "Patay kang bata ka!"

Naisip ko tuloy, "pinoy ba ang gumawa ng Scorch?" But bespren jorey told me last night that there was a text file which can be edited to change the words of kantiyaw.

Boy, we sure had afternoons of sheeeeeer fun playing Scorch.

Cheers to my Scorch-mates Karl, Jorey and ... ano na pangalan ng room mate niyo sa Molave ... yung taga-davao na may-ari ng computer na ginagamit natin nun na nasira na ang monitor at keyboard at di na niya magawa ang mga papers niya ng dahil sa Scorch?

Tommorow: Hotspot Hunting Episode I (Baguio)

ka edong


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hotspot Hunting Episode II (Manila Malls)

Hotspot Hunting by Ka EdongEpisode II (Manila Malls) is the second of a three part series on my WiFi Hotspot Hunting experiences. Episode III set in UP Diliman. The third will come out on June 10 about hunting in Baguio.
It hadn’t been easy finding a good WiFi Hotspot considering my needs requirements: it had to be free. Free - because that’s the kind of WiFi Hotspot I access in school at AIM.

About a month after buying a WiFi LAN card for Kurdapia, my laptop, it still kept me wondering whether I’d be able to sniff out a couple of hotspots around the malls in Metro Manila.

I tried WiFi access on Kurdapia at Robinson’s Galleria while dining with my wife at Thai Kitchen. Kurdapia was able to find an Airborne Access hotspot. But I needed a username and password. I didn’t have any.

In the Zone in Cyberzone

Another time, I was at Megamall at the Cyberzone. I was waiting for my wife at one of the cafés in the zone when I noticed the lady on the next table. She had her wireless internet connection up and was surfing the net! I asked the waitress what I needed to connect to the hotspot. She said “Sir wala naman ata. Basta nalang silang nag-bubukas ng computer at nag-su-surf.”

So I booted-up Kurdapia. I was soooo excited to access the internet from a café. But the bad news was – Kurdapia didn’t have enough power in her battery. Shucks. I ended up doing a shutdown, shut-up and settle for reading the magazines. Sayang. I haven’t gotten back to trying that hotspot in Cyberzone.

There was this huge billboard at Shangri-La Edsa mall that announced that the entire mall was a hotspot. I always imagined myself going to Shang from home and accessing their WiFi internet connection for free. That hasn’t happened and I think it will never happen. Unless airborne access gives me some free access.

Some WiFi links

I finally used a paid WiFi hotspot at Power Plant mall last April. My classmates and I went rock-climbing there. After climbing two walls, I had to take a recess from the walls for a Skype appointment I had with my sister in Australia. I purchased a drink at Seattle’s best, a P100 airborne access pre-paid card which gave me 1 hour of internet access and then I cozied up in soft sofa. We had a perfect voice call going with my sister using Skype and the Airborne Access WiFi wireless Internet connection.

Considering that my sister and I got to talk for almost an hour, sulit naman yung P100 na binayad ko. Of all my calls through skype, that call I made via Airborne Access from Seattle’s best in Power Plant was so far the clearest.

But then there was this hotspot hunting trip I did with my brother in Baguio. Do you know where to find WiFi hotspots in Baguio or where to not? Watch out for Hotspot Hunting Episode I (Baguio).

Know of other WiFi hotspots in the metro? Share naman, tell us about them. Especially if they’re free! Mwahahaha!

Read: Hotspot Hunting - Episode III (UP Diliman), Episode I (Baguio)

Ka edong the haunter
Guess where Maya and I are now! At cyberzone with Fiona and Kurdapia, surfing! One happy family, hahaha! ;-) Ma-upload na nga itong story na ito ... 7 Jun 2005


Puzzle: Sharing files online

Hello readers, may I invite you to help me out with two file sharing puzzles:
First is sharing humongous files;
Second is tracking downloads

First: Share 10Mb, 20Mb video files

I have two video files from our AIM class and I need to share them to our classmates who are now back in their home countries around Asia. The files are large (10 Mb and 20Mb each) and couldn't be sent to most regular e-mail addresses.

I got a few tips from visitors to my article on Audio Blogs. I've tried but there's a limit to file size. I've tried too, but it has it's file size limits too but my file couldn't get through. (The theoretical maximum size we could send via is 1Gb.) I tried my old trick of "uploading" the files on a Gmail account. Hirap. It didn't get through.

Can you recommend an online service that can accommodate my big needs?

Second: Share files, track downloads

Here's another thing I want to do (different from the previous puzzle). This time around, the files I want to share are small enough, around 600Kb. But what I want is to be able to track download information.

In other words, I want to know who are downloading the files. I'd like to have a way for people to (optionally) register their contact info before downloading the files.

Because registration is optional, at the very least I want to know how many times each file is downloaded. A bonus would be the geographic location or IP address of the persons downloading the file.

Is there an online service that can do this for me? One that is hassle-free. Any suggestions?

Read: Audio Blogs

TIA = Thanks in advance, not "Tita"


Txt Luvin U

And then there's this true story about my friend who got dumped by his girlfriend because of texting ... well, partly because of texting. The other part was because he was an a**hole (his word, not mine).

This is a true story. The identities of the characters have been hidden to protect them from further embarassment.

Itago nalang natin siya sa pangalang Malutong. Malutong is a good old friend from high school. Malutong told me this story over a couple of brown bottles when we were both heart-broken a few years back.

Malutong had a girlfriend from college. Let's call her ... "Girlfriend" (creative, huh?). Malutong ang Girlfriend were college sweethearts. Theirs was a perfectly imperfect love bred under the acacia trees and cold halls of the campus corridors.

After college, Girlfriend went to the US for work. Malutong and Girlfriend continued to communicate through e-mail, Yahoo chat, chikka and (when their budgets allowed) SMS or overseas phone calls.

They had survived for a few months this way - a long-distance relationship. Of course they didn't get the kilig moments of physically being together.

That's where Malutong's textmate came in. Let's call her ... "Textmate" (I love it when I oooooze with creative juices!).

Malutong and Textmate started exchanging SMS messages. Soon thereafter, (I don't know how long) they started getting txt-intimate, sending sweet nothings and romantic messages -- the type with text "graphics". Yes, this was the era when a text teddy bear was still cute. The Text-relationship ensued.

Malutong knew that this text relationship with Textmate wasn't going to be anything like his real relationship with Girlfriend. But hey ... he got away with cheating in high school, lalo pa ngayon when the cat is away!

EB = Eat Bulaga

Then, one day Malutong and Textmate agreed to finally meet. An EyeBall (EB) to connect the face with the crummy messages.

Malutong was waiting at a restaurant - their rendezvous point. His palms were sweaty with anticipation. His heart was beating fast. Questions run through his mind ...
What does she look like?
Does she look like a text-teddy bear?
Will she like me?
Does my barong tagalog look bagay with my mojo sandals?
Will Girlfriend (who's in the US sweating it out to earn a living) ever find out?
What if Girlfriend calls while I'm in the middle of a kiss with Textmate?
And many other simalar life-changing questions relevant to the global economy.

And then Textmate came ...
And Malutong was awestruck!
Malutong couldn't believe his eyes!
Textmate took a seat across Malutong.
Malutong was speechless.
Then everything came crumbling down when Malutong realized:

He's been caught in a Text Entrapment!

Girlfriend was in the Philippines for a few weeks now.
And she has been texting Malutong in the guise of Textmate.

Yari ka, Malutong ka!


They had dinner, alright. It was civil. No jagged knives thrown, no plates broken, just hearts swollen and hearts broken.

Malutong had no excuse. He was wrong.

That was their first and last EB.

Was Girlfriend right? Was she wrong? Does it matter?

Edong Steele

Read: Gulan-TXT, Tech gets in the way


Monday, June 06, 2005

Hotspot Hunting - Episode III (UP Diliman)

Hotspot Hunting by Ka EdongThis is the first of a three part series on my WiFi Hotspot Hunting experiences. The second and third parts will come out on June 8 and 10.
After Hunting in Baguio for the first time (Episode I) and settling for a cozy hotspot in a metro manila mall (Episode II), here’s how my hotspot hunting in UP Diliman went one drizzly day ….

Discovering the bounty

Last month, I was at my brother’s apartment in Quezon City. I was about to line the wooden floor with some pages of a 10 month old m|ph magazine before stretching out a kutson. But, just when I was about to rip out some pages, an article jumped out at me. It was about wireless campuses. (The pages of m|ph were spared for that night. Apologies to Jim and the editors of m|ph ... but it's always good to reuse and recycle... ;-) )

Other WiFi-ed Campuses
Main reference: m|ph June 2004
  • Ateneo de Manila University
  • De La Salle University - Manila
  • Mapua Institute of Technology
  • The University of Asia and the Pacific
  • University of the Philippines - Diliman
  • Asian Institute of Management (added by Ka Edong; see story)

Ah! Perfect for my (then) new WiFi card on my laptop, Kurdapia! I was going to UP the very next day to do some wall climbing with my AIM classmates. But, that late April gimmick day wasn’t right for hotspot hunting.

Rain or Shine Hunting

It was only until yesterday that I was able to do some hotspot hunting in UP. I brought Kurdapia to UP Engineering building. Enrollment day pala. There were tables at the Eng’g lobby right in front of the library. I got a weak WiFi signal, it was labeled “DILNET”. I was connected but couldn’t load any webpages.

I tried to find a better signal by transferring to the Beta Epsilon tambayan just a few strides away. Negative – zero signal.

I’ll take my e-mailing somewhere else.

As I recall the article, it said that UP Diliman had free and open WiFi access in some key buildings within the campus. The article was written circa June 2004. I recall reading that there were WiFi hotspots in the Quezon Hall, in the Eng’g library and at the computer center.

So I tried my luck at Quezon Hall. It was a drizzly afternoon yesterday so I stayed in the car and drove by Quezon Hall behind the oblation. No signal.

My hotspot hunting came out with nothing. Ah … the joys of hotspot hunting, the thrill of almost getting your target but it gets away.

Mabuti pa yung second hotspot hunting escapade ko sa isang mall sa makati ….

… To be continued … Hotspot Hunting Episode II ….

Check back on Wednesday, June 8 for more hotspot hunting stories and maybe some tips for WiFi beginners.

Ka edong the haunter

p.s. Any UP Diliman WiFi users out there? Any tips on catching the WiFi signal in UP Diliman? Paging Clair Ching…


Saturday, June 04, 2005

Where's m|ph tv?

Uhmmmm.... where's m|ph tv?

I've been on ABC5 for the past hour (1pm-2pm). I've seen african love birds, kois, skin ointments and their countless testimonials, BoracayFunship advertisements, Lee and his wife talk about their wedding and their volkswagen...

But where are Adel and Jayvee? Where is m|ph tv?

Sabado ba ngayon? ... Sabado naman ...
Sayang, ngayon pa naman sana ang first time kong mapapanuod ang m|ph tv ....

ka edong


Friday, June 03, 2005

Meet Kurdapia, My Lap-pi top-p

Kurdapia and friend Brosia lounging around in our home.Let me introduce you to Kurdapia. Kurdapia (nickname “Kurdy”) is the not so new addition to my stable of gadgets. Not so new because I got her back in January 2005. Not so new because she’s been adopted second hand from a used-computer orphanage.

I got Kurdapia through a grant from the MNSoriano foundation. I used Kurdy extensively when I was doing my thesis at AIM. We didn’t have enough funds for a brand new laptop, so I got Kurdapia from a dealer of second hand computers – Tony Unarce at Main Ave., Cubao (tel. 4388622).
Kurdapia’s vital statistics and other features (as of 3 June 2005)
  • Toshiba Satellite
  • Intel Celeron
  • 696 MHz
  • 128Mb RAM
  • 10Gb Hard Disk
  • CD-ROM
  • MSI Wireless LAN card
  • Running Windows XP
  • Office 2003
  • Internet Explorer and Firefox ver1.0.4
  • Windows Media Player ver 10
  • My current desktop image: St. John's Chapel, Melaka Malaysia
  • ActiveSync (for Kurdy to communicate with Brosia my SmartPhone)
  • Skype (for Edong to communicate with Cali, my pamangkin in Sydney)
  • Used in tandem with a 128Mb Astone flashdisk

I brought Kurdapia to Tony last week to have her repaired. Her casing developed a crack because of a faulty hinge. The hinge had been creeeeeaaaaaking painfully eversince I got Kurdapia. But I didn’t think it would result to the casing getting cracked.

Tony told me “lulutuin ‘yan”. And surprise surprise! Tony got the casing back together again.

Kurdapia has been my partner during my thesis. We spent many long nights at the library as I wracked my brains off solving my thesis puzzle. Kurdapia is a late-comer. At AIM, a laptop is considered a very important productivity tool. Personally, it allowed me more flexibility in working where I wanted to and when I wanted to. It allowed me to capture my thoughts in words before it evaporated into my sleep.

Sulit na sulit ang laptop when you’re in AIM. Especially if you have WiFi. I got my WiFi LAN card (huli nanaman) in March. Spiffy! Sarap mag-surf ng net, mag-download, mag-skype all around the place. But … that’s another story.

Kurdapia and another friend Fiona (behind, peeping).That’s my brief introduction of Kurdapia. You’ll hear more about Kurdapia in the future.

By the way, Kurdapia has a new sister (or is it a brother or a boyfriend?). Maya, the president of the MNSoriano Foundation, recently brought home a brand-new all-white Toshiba (see that little white kid peeping in the background in Kurdapia’s picture).

Edwin to Kurdapia, tapping her tired worn-out shoulders:
Tahan na, Kurdapia …. Whitey Fiona is not here to replace you… Friend, ‘yan. Friend …

Papa edong

Read: Brosia AlMighty
Search Technobiography: Kurdapia / Kurdy


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Addict Mobile Mail

Out of town? No Internet Cafe in sight? Don't fret! Activate your Mobile E-mail account in 1 easy step. Get your e-mail messages (even those with image attachments) on your mobile as text or MMS. Stay connected wherever u r (except for Mars). Text AM to 382.
Aba! Posting via MMS to blogger works! ...

I just took a chance and forwarded Check mail while at the beach? check out the babe nalang .... the above MMS message to my mobile blogging e-mail address. I wasn't expecting it to get through because it didn't work when I tried it three weeks ago.

This time the message got posted. But the attached MMS image was not included in the mobile post. I'm adding it manually now .... -->

Two things I learned from this experiment:
1.) MMS to mobile blogging on blogger works (for text only)
2.) My request to Smart to stop all broadcasts did not work
Will I use Addict Mobile Mail? Unlikely. I've got Brosia and Gmail on my phone.

Added June 6
Nyahahhaa! I ate my words! I just got an SMS. It turns out I DID use some sort of SMS-to-e-mail service of Smart. The message said:
From: 200
Due to inactivity for 28 days, your TextMail acct ******** can no longer rcv email. You may set-up a new TextMail acct any time.
Right. But again, unlikely.

astronaut edong aldrin
Looking for me? Check out NASA ... nasa dorm lobby lang ako