pending review: Meind DC-AC Power Inverter

i've been pretty busy lately, but now that the long weekend has started, i'm going to put up a review of the Meind DC-AC Power Inverter that I got a little over a week back from DigiKing.

Cd-r King actually has a similar product, but it was so difficult to actually locate a store that had stock on hand, so i decided to skip them. check back soon for the review!


more impressions on bayanWireless Landline

more inputs on the phone and the service:

- the phone is fairly small, almost similar to the more basic Nokia mobile phones.
- there is only one speaker for the phone's sounds. if a call comes in while you're attempting to call, be prepared to go deaf for a few seconds.
- that being said, at the loudest setting, the ringing volume of the phone is about average. but the speaker volume is muffled even in moderately noisy environments.
- microphone seems pretty capable.
- the SMS service is next to useless. i've never been able to send a message ever since i got the unit.
- voice quality to and from landlines is comparable to a call made over mobile phones; a bit fuzzy and can get a bit choppy.
- signal coverage is pretty good outdoors, but is pretty terrible indoors.
- battery life last for about 3-4 days with light use.


initial impressions on bayanWireless Landline

i just got my hand on the next big thing in mobile telephony: a wireless landline.

don't let the name fool you though - this is nothing more than just a phone using CDMA (as opposed to GSM, the standard of choice of the major mobile telcos in the Philippines). in my case, i have a Huawei C228s with me. this is a picture of all the "accessories" that comes out of the box.

i only got this today so i can't provide very detailed insights yet, but i'll write about it some more as i give it more air time, so to speak.

inital impressions about the service seem to be fairly good - for P699 a month you get a local landline number with your subscription (though i understand this doesn't include the cost of the handset yet), which allows you to make and receive unlimited local calls, and send unlimited text messages to anyone within the same network. cheap doesn't even begin to describe the service being offered here.

i haven't been able to get a fairly stable reception though, as it seems that the service is a bit unreliable indoors. i have been unable to send a successful text message to my colleagues on the same network as well. when i made a few calls earlier, the persons on the other side of the call said that my voice sounded choppy, almost like calling via my mobile phone with bad signal.

do check back in a couple of days for a more comprehensive review.


the not-so-free wi-fi offer

for gizmonauts like myself, nothing helps to while away the time any better than the offer of gratis wireless internet access while on the move. unfortunately, it sure is irritating to see places boldly claiming that they have it for free, when they actually mean to say, "free with _______ (insert your condition, usually involving an exchange of cash)!"

while i'm still setting up my gear for the reviews i'll be doing (still setting up a small macro shot studio) and in between posts i'll be talking about some other things i'll encounter over the course of my journey.

so without further ado:

- not-so-free wi-fi hotspot #1 -
Gloria Jean's Coffees store, SM Megamall, 2nd level, Building A

entrance fee: P200 store purchase

i don't have a picture right now, but they have a sign outside that clearly states free wi-fi. i even went up close to check if they have any extra clauses like the one the Ohana Hawaiian BBQ store across the store has. i'll put it up as soon as i can get a good shot of it.
as you can clearly see now after i managed to get a picture, their sign outside states, ABSOLUTELY FREE WIFI.

anyway, having been a tiring day of walking around and waiting, i went in and got a drink, fully intending to take a peek online while i was there. i even asked the young man on the other side of the counter if the signal reaches the seats farthest from the store. after paying, i went to my seat. when the nice lady came by to give me my drink, i wondered how i could connect onto the network. it was only then when i was told that there was a P200 "entrance fee" to connectivity. ouch.

in hindsight, i think they may have stipulated the clause at the very, very bottom of their sign, but that doesn't really chang anything, does it.

lesson learned: don't forget to ask about the things that really matter.


my journey: a prologue

let me tell you about why i decided to embark on this journey in the first place.

it all started when Cd-r King began to flood the market with cheap goods. initially it was just about the quality of their optical media, but we all know that they sell pretty much anything and everything these days, from PSP sleeves to gigabit ethernet routers. and they sell their wares significantly less (~ 30-50%) than what the other stores are dictating. with such huge price differences, it made me think, what the heck are they selling us? are we being sold cheap, substandard knockoffs? or is there truth to their claims of passing on all their savings by cutting on marketing, uniforms, etc. to the consumer?

that made me think: if i had these questions in mind, surely there must be others out there asking these very same questions. thus, it became my goal to create a place where the very same people can check out simple product reviews on how these gizmos perform.

and so i begin my journey...