And now for some tech updates from me and Kierk, my HP notebook.
I’ve finally decided to subscribe to a DSL package. I did a little mental computation: I figured the money I spend for ISP Bonanza dial-up cards, and for coffee during frequent wifi sessions (wifi itself is free, thanks to a friend who’s letting me use his airborne access account) can actually be spent for a basic DSL subsricption. (Note: My favorite wifi-coffee hangout is Gloria Jean’s in Araneta Center, Cubao – more than enough power outlets and not too many people, even during weekends.)
After extensive googling to learn about other people’s experiences with their respective DSL providers, I decided to go with Bayantel. It was a major factor too that I have been a Bayantel landline subscriber for a few years now. No complaints too.
There’s a lot of frustration posted online about DSL subscription here in the Philippines. Most of the complaints have to do with fluctuating speeds and customer service. From surfing blogs, forums (okay, “fora” for the strict grammarian), and message boards, I say Bayantel gets the least blows. It’s a toss-up between PLDT and Smart Bro for the most “battered” provider in terms of negative feedback, not to mention elicited expletives from irate customers. Again, this is a subjective estimation, based on the general sense I got from gathering info before I took the DSL plunge.
So far, I’m happy with Bayantel’s DSL service. I should say though that there were some glitches with the scheduling of the installation. But I attribute that to one irresponsible account executive; his peers, when I called to complain and follow-up, were efficient and helpful.
We’ll see after a few months if my math – that is, coffee + prepaid = dsl subscription – serves me right. I hope I won’t have to skip meals just so I can cope with my new internet expense. On second thought, maybe that’s a way to force me to lose the few stubborn pounds. Hmmm…
One last bit: Bayantel (now rebranded as “Bayan” telecommunications, with new logo to boot) has instated a money-back policy that guarantees rebates for every day of delayed repair service. I think that’s a good move, as it gives customers a sense of security and value. Have you seen their recent TV commercial? I think it’s clever, in a gross kind of way.
Last Saturday, I successfully induced schizophrenia in Kierk; he can now boot either Windows XP or Ubuntu (Linux). My first attempt last year to install Ubuntu alongside XP proved to be a disaster. I recently stumbled upon a blog post about Ubuntu, which encouraged me to try out again the so-called “Linux for humans.” Now I’m having fun learning Ubuntu. It’s free, runs faster, much less prone to malware attacks; but it does require some geekery to tweak and resolve some issues. And that’s where the fun is, actually 😉
Speaking of operating systems, Vista seems to be all the rage (some people rave, while some are just raging disappointed). Haven’t tried Vista yet, but I’ve managed to make my XP look a little like Vista 😉 If you’re bored with the XP look, try a makeover. Download the Vista Inspirat package here. Depending on your system, installing the pack might slow things down a bit for your computer. If this happens, you can uninstall pack but still retain most of its icons and user interface elements; simply do not choose to revert to XP look when prompted during uninstall. As with system-altering installations, proceed with caution.
Now it’s time to attend to my laundry. Hey, even geeks (or geek-wannabes) need clean clothes sometimes.