Showing posts from April, 2011

Live Hotmail: Exporting Contacts

Although Hotmail (rebranded to Live Hotmail) is no longer as popular as it once was an e-mail service, it is still one of the more consistent e-mail providers.  For one, it integrates well with Microsoft Live Services, particularly users of Windows Live Mail. 
However, for those who want to clean up their Contacts or eventually migrate them to a service provider like Gmail, Microsoft has made the task extremely simple.  Follow the steps below to export your Hotmail Address Book to a .cvs/Excel file:
Log in to Hotmail by visiting or’s an options button on the upper-right hand corner of the Inbox.  Select options>more options.
3. Under Customizing you contacts>Exporting Contacts. 

4. Fill out the captcha box and Hotmail will create a standard .cvs file that can be opened and saved in Microsoft Excel, openOffice’s Calc, LibreOffice, or any other spreadsheet program.
Note: Alternately, users can click on Contacts on the lower-right hand corner and click…

Clothes make a Man

Lucas eyed my baked potato with peanut butter with interest.   "So, what you are telling me is that you would prefer that he looked at you like he scraped you off his shoes than he ignore you?" Lucas asked.  I nodded.

"And why weren't you wearing a suit like you normally do?" Lucas said.  "Returning to your MacGyver roots, hmmm?"

I responded that it was a long walk to the company I had recently resigned from.  It was warm and I had felt like wearing my sturdy outdoor walking boots, jeans, and shirt.  Of course, it had to happen that I would bump into an old officemate from 10 years ago who was flanked with a 6"2 gentleman wearing a barong tagalog.  My old lady friend had put on some weight but was friendly enough.  She looked all grown up and successful whereas I was sweaty and hungry.

"It was a commercial district after all," Lucas reflected.  "You did tell her you were employed?" 
I nodded.   "But it was a work week, s…

Asia Movie Review: Scandal (1950) by Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa's "Scandal" is not one of his well-known pieces, but is part of the list of movies that include his muse Toshiro Mifune.  The plot is short and sweet.  A scandal erupts when an artist and famous singer are caught together in a mountain resthouse.  The magazine Amour writes a biting piece about their non-existent affair.  Aoye, the motorcycle-riding painter, takes the publisher to court but makes the mistake of hiring a troubled lawyer.  The lawyer, played to type by Takashi Shimura, has an ailing daughter and a gambling problem.  He eventually succumbs to the generous bribes of the defendant for the sake of his dying daughter, Masako.

Kurosawa could have told the tale in shorter time without the extended Christmas and New Year sequences (both of which aren't Japanese holidays anyway).  Unfortunately, the scenes are meant to bring about a "It's a Wonderful Life" type of revelation for the beleaguered lawyer.  Takashi Shimura, a familiar fa…

Microsoft Word 2010 as a Blog Editor

Using Microsoft Word for any type of writing is comforting – it’s been around for forever. With Windows Live Writer downloadable for free, one might question the need for such a powerful application to write a blog. Before giving a quick review of using Microsoft Word 2010 for writing a blog, take note that I’ve been severely impressed with Microsoft Office since the 2007 release. The integration between Excel, OneNote, Windows Live Drive, and Word are excellent. Cross-referencing objects and text between all of them is smooth and intuitive and a great experience for writers and office workers all around. As expected, it’s a pretty straightforward interface with just two functional tabs both of which are almost exactly the same as the two found in Live Writer. Unfortunately, it seems like Word does have its shortcomings as a blog editor.  Take note of the following: 1. Ability to set the post date 2. Doesn’t recognize Blogger as a Picture provider (ie. Users can upload pictures di…

HK's Timeless Jade Market

Hong Kong has always been noisy and crowded.  Just take a look at 5 minutes into the opening sequence of Enter the Dragon (1973).  Today, it is twice or three times as noisy and crowded with city developments reaching the limits of what the land area can handle.  As recent as seven years ago, however, it  was a city that could be explored on foot and via public transportation as easily as Singapore or Macau.

On that fateful day on what was my third trip to Hong Kong many years ago, I woke up with a plan to visit the Jade market on Jade Street.  I had already researched the address beforehand via the Discover Hong Kong web site and pretty much knew all I needed to do was get to Nathan Road and then to Kansu or Canton Road.  I had chosen a hotel without a buffet breakfast for my partner and I so I was somewhat surprised when the hotel receptionist handed out McDonald's breakfast coupons before we left that morning.  Back then, I was not a huge fan of McDonald's (til I found out…

Installing Wireless Drivers for Windows 7 on the Lenovo Ideapad Z360

The Lenovo Ideapad Z360 comes with a non-Intel wireless card.  Doing a fresh installation of Windows 7 can be tricky though since the Lenovo Ideapad Driver CD leaves much to be desired in terms of navigating around and selecting the correct drivers.  Lenovo’s driver CD offers just an HTML page with links to drivers for the chipset, audio, video, touchpad, and even two Windows updates specific to Lenovo systems.The Lenovo Ideapad Z360’s manual doesn’t really specify the WLAN card and the HTML page offers three different drivers and one suspiciously labeled Non-Intel.  A quick look at Device Manager (Win7Orb>devmgmt.msc)shows that the Wireless card the Z360 is actually an Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter.     Note: The above-screenshot is the Device Manager with the drivers installed.  Without the appropriate drivers installed it will just display Unknown device or Unknown adapter.Even then, first time users may be stumped at which driver to choose with Intel being the logical…

Hotel Hopping in Ho Chi Minh

Smug backpackers often talk about their expertise in searching for the perfect room to stay in at the cheapest price and fewest cockroaches.  The truth is no one needs to be a rugged adventurer to search for the best accommodations suited to one's comfort and price.  Moreover, no one needs to settle and forsake comfort just for the bragging rights and empty boast of "roughing it."

Take Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City for instance.  Its got well-known hotels all over and boutique hotels that you can reserve online.  There are parts of HCM, however, where travelers can shop around for cheap accommodations that aren't that far from the well-known Ben Thanh Market.  These hotels won't be found online.  The airport taxis/tourist centers won't know about them either.  These hotels aren't found in dangerous spots but are right out in the open - they just aren't advertised all that much.  There's plenty of vacancy and I'll be the first one to say the s…

Lenovo’s OneKey Recovery System

Lenovo is generous in terms of including lots of printed out media with their laptops.  There’s a Setup Poster and fairly comprehensive User Guide.  The newer laptops are also loaded with less crapware than previous releases (and significantly less than other manufacturers).  Unfortunately, Lenovo also includes some fairly obscure applications.  Some are fairly useful and are designed to work with physical features integrated with the ldeapad or Thinkpad (like the touch-sensitive navbar).  EasyCamera, Lenovo Bluetooth, MuteSync, and Lenovo’s own Energy Management software are self-explanatory despite the lack of references and Help Files.  Users can forego these apps but may lose the advantage these provide.  Thankfully, none of them consume much system resources (at least not for a standard Core i3 4GB laptop).  Lenovo’s OneKey was patterned from the ThinkPad recovery system.  It’s a simple image creator to backup the system to a file, several CDs, or to an external drive.  It’s not …

Nuptials in Asia

There was a very interesting article in a few months ago about several dozen couples getting married on the same day.  The photos showed happy gentlemen and women hand-in-hand all lined up to get hitched.

Considering the number of Chinese who have left their homeland to build a better world, I wonder how many Chinese head home in order to get married.  The Chinese value family above many things and consider it as one of the most important pillars of the community.  However, the Chinese have the ability to build a home elsewhere and consider it their "home" too.  Chinatowns all over the world in major cities  are small Chinese countries on their own.

Attending a wedding in huge and diverse China is an extremely rewarding experience.  Movies and TV shows from the West depict a typical Chinese wedding with the expected red colors and fireworks.  It is important to note however that there are so many cultures in China that there are many ways to celebrate the s…

The Liar on Women

(unpublished excerpt by Basil Bartolome)

Women were designed to be unconscious deceivers. They are the perfect deception of innocence because of the years of conditioned response to their delicacy and beauty. Even the
ugliest or the most man-hating female has powers that prevent a man from striking her. This does not apply of course to those who are violent.

Women are truly fickle. Men are called close-minded and single-minded because they either hate you or like you. This makes them hypocritical and discriminative. Women, however, will
treat you with their innate subtle skill. They can be kind, warm, patient, promising and amiable one moment, cold, harsh, painful and manipulative the next. They always want many things
from you while men often want one or two. Surely, these sweeping generalizations like many ideas must be taken with a grain of salt. Women are not wrong. I am just saying their
ability to deceive and to lead one is more natural to them than with men.

Adding New Users in Mandriva 2010.x

Adding new users in Mandriva 2010.x is a simple affair.  Click on the link below to watch a video tutorial in Flash.

Weddings Elsewhere: The World is Enough

Weddings are an adventure in themselves.  In fact, any bachelor knows that it's the ultimate adventure filled with danger,  villains and talkative sidekicks with advice to spare (ie. the Best Man).  However, if the stress of taking a vow (and spending for it) isn't enough to stroke the need for excitement and adventure then there's an easy way to increase the magic and enchantment of a wedding: have it somewhere else around the world.    Sure, every one knows an ideal honeymoon would be somewhere away from it all -- someplace where the limo from the church can't possibly take you.  The word honeymoon conjures images of moonlit nights at the beach and expensive hotels with buffets.  But if a couple can have their honeymoon in an exotic locale, why can't the wedding be held there, too?  Ok.  So it's not for every one because Filipinos love it when the whole family (including the uncle of the best friend of your college classmate) attends the event.  But if the gr…

Internet Explorer 9 Issue Resolved

The last time I attempted to install IE 9.0 it failed to display any web pages. I assumed it was a Flash or plugin issue (or a broken Windows 7). I did a fresh install on my Lenovo Z360 today and encountered the same issue. As it turned out, IE 9.0 failed to display any web pages because by default it made use of GPU rendering. The Z360 runs on Optimus with an Nvidia 310M card. Optimus switches back and forth between Nvidia's dedicated memory and Intel's integrated video card.

To get IE9.0 to render web pages like normal just go to the gear icon on the right-hand side of IE9.0's address bar>Internet Options>Advanced. At the top of the settings window is Accelerated Graphics>Use Software Rendering instead of GPU rendering. Place a checkmark on the box; click Apply, Ok, and the close out IE9.0. When you restart IE9.0, IE9.0 will work its magic!

A review is needed for such an underrated but fantastic Microsoft success. All I can say at this point however …

openSUSE 11.4 in Passing

openSUSE 11.4 is a visual feast with a re-energized KDE interface and various improvements that prove openSUSE deserves a higher place in the list of great Linux distributions.

No, it's not a perfect release as evidenced by the previous post regarding the WLAN card.  After working on the distro for the last 8 hours, however, the following are obvious enhancements to the previous openSUSE 11.3 release:

The visual interface enhancements can be found in all corners even on less well-known apps such as ksnapshot.  The included icon theme set, splash page, and desktop are welcome changes from a KDE interface that has not changed much since the 10.0 release.Mozilla Firefox 3.0 is not as sexy-looking here as compared to its Mac/Windows version, but it is no less functional.The System Settings/Configure Settings area gets a few additions . . . particularly Yast, which can now be run directly from the System Administration area along with Software Management. An old complaint from previous …

openSUSE 11.4 Wireless LAN issues

Upon searching for reviews on openSUSE 11.4, I came across more than 5 negative reviews and maybe 2 semi-positive reviews.  Most of the users complained about WLAN and a generally buggy experience unlike previous write-ups regarding 11.3.  Now, unlike Ubuntu, I'm generally excited about any new openSUSE releases but was severely disappointed by the comments online and almost decided not to try openSUSE 11.4

Thankfully, I was in the process of reinstalling my 7/Ubuntu system and decided to give it a shot.  I'm glad I did.  Like other reviewers, I was dismayed and not a little annoyed that the Wireless card of my Lenovo Z360 (running an Atheros chipset) did not work.  The brand-new spanking Knetwork Manager displayed unavailable and I couldn't put a check on the enable wireless box.

Thanks to the wonderful people at the openSUSE community forums, however, the issue came to light - it was the common issue regarding a "softblock."  The software for the WLAN card was…

New Languages of the World

There is a brilliant scene in a 90s TV show between a young American and a British lady where they exchanged words in no less than 7 different languages.  The show was set in 1915, and the American was a soon-to-be World War I Belgian corporal named Indiana Jones.

It is strange that although George Lucas' character Indiana Jones is an icon in cinema, few are aware that the well-travelled archaeologist was a polyglot capable of speaking German, French, Italian, Mandarin, Arabic, Dutch, Portuguese and more (and knew sign language, too).  In the "Young Indiana Jones" TV series, it was revealed that when he was 10 years old, fictional Henry Jones Jr. (Indy) had been advised by the historical figure Lawrence of Arabia that the greatest lesson one can learn from a country is their language.

Today, graduates come out of universities with basic skills involving programming.  They don't all have a strong grasp of these computer languages.  Some eventually take up additional …

Mandriva 2010.2

Besides and, one of the sites I frequently visit for news about Linux is  Although I no longer use Mandriva as an operating system in any of my laptops (if you don't count Mandriva within Virtualbox on Windows 7), I have fond memories of the admittedly slow but dependable system.  In fact, if the repository issue had never come up, I'd still be running Mandriva and not Linux Mint (as detailed in a few entries I made). 

The web site now runs a new banner advertising the Mandriva 2010.2 release.  Although descriptions about the Mandriva One product remain the same, it was still nice to know the venerable distribution (released in 1998) is still up and running despite the presence of the Mandriva-fork Mageia and the dominance of Ubuntu and Mint.  As much as I'm fond of Mandriva though, I sort of wish it joined the alliance of Linux distribution developers working on Canterbury. 

If Mandriva 2010.2 gets good reviews (an…

Using Knetwork Manager to Connect to Wireless Networks

Using KDE'sKnetwork Manager for the first time may be a bit awkward for users accustomed to Windows or even Gnome Linux users.  For Windows, all users need to do is click on the ubiquitous monitor/network icon on the system tray to display the list of network names/SSIDs detected by the wireless card.  The same is applicable to Gnome users, who access their wireless client via a "wave" or "fan" icon found on the default top Panel

The Knetwork Manager is the default network client in openSUSE KDE.  This tutorial will focus on openSUSE KDE 11.3.  For those devoutly follow KDE version/release numbers, this release runs on KDE 4.4.4 Release 3

For this demonstration, an Asus EEEPC 1000H is used with the wireless card switched on via the FN-F2 key (the combination of keys to turn on the wireless card varies according to the model and brand of the laptop or desktop).

To connect to a network, follow the steps below:

1. Click on the Network icon.  The icon is found …