Behind the curtains

Welcome to this modest blog. I share this blog with a close friend of mine. If you have gone over its contents, you will see that he has contributed some articles for it.

I am a tech person, I like gadgets and trying them out. My passion is in gaming and writing. Back in my high school and college days, I used to write many stories, articles, poems, and essays; but I threw them all away. I used to throw stuff when I’m angry.

I like spontaneous people, people who are driven, and who have a passion. I stay away from people who lack a sense of purpose and who can’t seem to make their own decisions.

I like pets. Dogs are my favorite; and only if I own them. I do not like dogs owned by other people, simply because I don’t like the crawling feeling that I might – just might – get bitten. Call me paranoid, haha.

I like having to talk to people. I am a hypothetical person, and would love to discuss my thoughts with others. I want to be with a happy crowd, not too noisy, but a vibrant one.

Food. Well, food. It is my other temptation. I can’t seem to get enough of it. A happy life is not a full one without good food. I like to sit down, eat my favorite meal, while chatting across the table with my friends and family.

I like movies. A dark room, good surround sounds and a fulfilling movie can complete my day. Always, I like it shared with my family and friends.

This is the first time I am trying out a blog, so please be merciful and comment on improvements if you have the time. Enjoy reading!

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How to set up an Internet Cafe part 1

High school – I discovered strategy and role playing games (more commonly RPG’s). College – I got introduced to my true addiction, MMORPG’s.

When ever I recall those days, I can’t keep myself from thinking of the endless hours in front of my computer or in the internet cafe clicking away at my favorite game. As I’ve said in my previous post, I have spent most of my school life, during breaks or whenever possible, on games so much that even my sleep was not spared – yes, I was “driven”. Thus, I was exposed to the world of the computer cafe business
On average, I used to spend around 200-400 pesos daily on computer cafe rentals. This excludes my monthly expenditures on prepaid game cards and cafe food. In total, I spent at least 8,000 pesos a month on gaming – good news for the cafe owner. Supposing there were other people like me in the cafe, the cafe owner would be churning a large sum monthly, just from gamers (excluding printing profit, typing jobs, and the like). Pretty soon, I got lured into putting up an internet cafe of my own.

Now, that I am running one now, I want to share some tips for all you out there who wish to enter this venture.

First things first, Site. Where do you plan to put up for internet cafe? I would suggest an area where people pass by on a regular basis; near a school or a densely populated residential area is ideal. Being a gamer myself, I would like to find my favorite cafe near a school exit so locating it will not be a problem. Planting it near some eateries or “carinderia” is not bad (discard this if you plan to serve “real” food to your customers, see bottom for more info). Most pro gamers want to eat at a place right outside or close to their shop.

Next, how many computers do you plan on installing into your cafe? My take on that would be around 15-20 for starters. You may also want to put in less considering your cafe’s space and starting budget. More PC’s more or less translate to higher income; especially if you plan on starting in a populated area.

Computer Specifications. As a gamer myself, I would like to play without the hassles of lag or slow boot up. Every second counts when you play MMORPG’s, especially during guild sieges or other important regular events. I would suggest on going for the latest specs, to give you an edge on other computer cafes. Good specifications give you some breathing time before you would need the next upgrade. Running a technology sensitive business means that in the next month or so, a new hardware would be released to make yours the not-so-latest in the line. So, investing on those highly functional hardware are really an advantage.

However, if you plan on renting your computers to a market composed of students who only wish to type their projects, research on the internet, and the like, you can opt for basic specifications.

Please keep in mind that the key in this business is good service. You need your customers to keep coming for more. Keep your computers up to date with good computer specs. Today, having a dual core processor is ideal. Along with high RAM (1Gb to 2Gb is ideal), and a good video card of 256Mb-512Mb will make a good computer. You won’t need an optical drive and a floppy disc drives (which already seems to be outdated with the introduction of USB mass storage devices). You can have a CD/DVD writer combo on the server so you can manage what files you copy to your computers. By doing so, you can also add cd/dvd-burning to your list of services.

Next on the list is good cafe softwares. You can opt for free cafe management softwares like HandyCafe. They allow to take control of your cafe through functions only the server can use. You can regulate the rental time for each customer as well as limit the bandwidth whenever downloads affect the whole network. Cafe management softwares usually have billing systems which automatically computes the total amount you should charge your customers. This is a good thing to use especially if you want to run the cafe yourself. Please click here to download HandyCafe.

Food. Most gamers spend less time on food than they usually do whenever they are online. But they are people, and people do eat. Whenever they feel the need to recharge, you can offer them quick to serve food like instant noodles. But, if you want to add more income to your cafe, you can serve “real” food to your customers. This would mean that they won’t have to leave your cafe, thus continue playing their favorite games.

Comfy chairs. I, for one, would like to play long hours in my PC. I don’t like getting uncomfortable in my seat while I play. So, I think it is important that along with good service, customer comfort should also be taken into consideration.

Games and Wordprocessors. When you have all these, you can have your technician, or if you can do it yourself, install all your games and word processing applications on your PC. You can use OpenOffice applications in place of Microsoft Office if you have a tight budget. The license for getting these applications can be very expensive, especially their operating systems.

Well, there you have it. I hope you find my guide useful. If you have any suggestions on improving this guide, please feel free to leave your comments.

Please click here to see my second part on starting an Internet Cafe.

A quick download? Try Limewire.

Let me tell you a story on LimeWire. Around five years ago, I was in this internet cafe just outside our university. I played a lot of online games in my life, and during that time I was immersed into an MMORPG called Flyff. I have spent a lot of my free time on MMORPG’s and that time was no exception. The room was dark with soft lights at the corners; I really liked the setting and the ambiance of the new cafe.e

Type rest of the post here
The music was of my type, slow and of heavy bass. I wondered where they got all their songs. So, unable to help myself, I went to the approachable looking girl at the server and asked her, hoping that they would share their secret. Unexpectedly, she gave me a calm and straightforward answer, they got their songs from Limewire.

Satisfied, I made my way back to my PC and searched on Yahoo for Limewire. It was a P2P file sharing software. P2P, peer to peer, applications allow its users to share files among themselves. The only other similar thing that I knew of like it was BearShare. I liked Limewire’s default color theme, a gentle lime green, and an immaculate user interface. I started using it and found out that it was very basic and – what can I say? – a gold mine. It was a downloader’s paradise. You can have it search for almost every file type there is, video, audio, programs, pictures, almost anything; and what’s so cool about it is that you are able to preview files while you are downloading them. If you want yo transfer your music files or videos to your player, all you had to do is to locate where it stores its downloaded files, send it to your media and there you go – instant satisfaction.

What I liked about Limewire is its easy navigational tools. After downloading a certain file, it automatically appears in your library. You can use the library to queue your favorite music and play them on the application itself. It also has the ever necessary shuffle and repeat play options, good for businesses like internet cafes. Now, I have Limewire in my laptop and PC to provide me with solid performance P2P service whenever I need a quick download.


it here.

Laptop guide


Ever heard of www.getafreelancer.com? Well, a friend of mine introduced me to this outsourcing wonder a year back. I wasn’t into those stuff then, so I shelved it at the back of my head for a few months. Now that almost everyone who needs the extra cash is talking about it, this whole outsourcing thing has resurfaced.

The other day, a close buddy wanted to get a laptop so he can do outsourcing jobs part-time. He wanted to window shop for an affordable yet highly functional laptop. Thus, I found myself giving the ever friendly advice on good products and specs. The thing is, upon overhearing other customers, I realized there are tons of people out there shelling out cash for laptops without really knowing what they buy. So, I decided to offer a piece of my mind on the topic at hand.

What we, electronics consumers, should figure out before putting on our shopping shoes, the reasons behind the purchase. If you want to buy a laptop for quick word processing, surfing or checking the trivial email, you may want to get those modest more practical laptops available at the market. One of those is the ASUS Eee PC. Cheaper laptops usually are the choice for tasks that don’t require so much RAM and less video memory. So, if you are a student on a tight budget or if you simply want to save on expenses, opt for the modest less fancy models on the stands.

However, if you want a laptop with top specs, you can go for the more capable ones. I should tell you though, they often come at pretty high prices.

If price isn’t the issue, you may want to get more in depth and decide on what your needs are then match them up with the right hardware.

1. Processor Speed. Without the Processor (or CPU), there is no computer. It determines the computer’s processing power and is measured in Hertz (most computers today run at the Gigahertz, GHz, range). Simply put, the faster the processor, the faster applications run. The most popular processors in the market are those of Intel and AMD. I, personally, would go for AMD for efficiency.

2. Next to the CPU, RAM is the most important factor in computer performance. RAM, which stands for Random Access Memory, improves access to your Hard Drive. It is the temporary memory your computer used to load your applications and data. If you plan to operate on the Windows XP platform, you might want to get at least 256MB of RAM. However, if you wish to go with Linux, a pinch of 4Mb will do just fine. You may also want to increase your RAM if you plan on using your laptop computer as something like a server (web servers). However, I would always go for 1 to 2 Gb of RAM, since I use heavy applications and play graphics-loaded games.

3. When you have all those lined up, you would need to store all your valuable applications and data. Let’s now look at the Hard Drive. The Hard Drive works as a data bank where all information is kept. If you are into heavy word and graphics processing or if your applications eat up a lot of space, you would need a bigger storage capacity for your Hard Drive. Typical Hard Drives come at 80Gb these days.

4. Miscellaneous. Other hardware might come as secondary to those previously mentioned. But you might also want to put them into consideration, as they too can be important, especially media devices. A touch screen makes you work seamlessly simply by touching your monitor screen. Some tablet input features allow you to use a light pen to put down notes, highlight items or create designs. This is an option that has its sweet tooth among artists and designers because it allows them to directly express their creativity in a digital format. A swivel screen, extended-life batteries, Bluetooth, and built-in web cameras are other choices you may consider.

So, the next time you step into an electronics store to choose your laptop, keep these things in mind. You can save a lot of time and money and work more efficiently.

(Above image from http://flickr.com/photos/meestajack/508862122/)

PDF Converter – doPDF 6.0


Softland‘s doPDF 6.0 is a PDF converter that can create sercheable PDF files by selecting only the Prind command from almost any application. This version adds a new languages tab and bug fixes. It can be used both for personal and commercial use. Converting Microsoft Excel, Word or Powerpoint documens or your emails, for that matter, are just a few clicks away. doPDF acts as a virtual printer driver that appears after successful installation and will appear in your Printers and Faxes list.
To create files in PDF format, you will have to print your documents using the doPDF converter. You need to open your document that you want to convert with any word processing software like Microsoft word or Notepad, select print and then doPDF. You will be prompted in to choosing where to save the PDF file, and when you’re done, the PDF file will be be upened using your default PDF viewer.
What’s great about this software is it’s for free. Try it, click here.

Slow boot time? Try QuickStartup


QuickStartup. Having clogged startups? Doesn’t a slow startup annoy you when you need to meet someone online? Any tech junky would use the MSConfig utility. But if MSConfig means nothing to you, you might want to try this simple and straightforward freeware that allows the average user to tweak startup. QuickStartup configures startup by displaying every program that runs every time you boot up your computer. Disabling them during boot up is just a click away; only make sure that the applications you remove are the ones you know you dont want. Try QuickStartup, just click here. It’s absolutely free!

Budget Laptop on-the-go: ASUS Eee PC 4G


For me, this tiny, featherweight gadget remains the apple of, what I think are, the eyes of all those people who are constantly on the go. However, this ultra-cool and ultra-small piece of heaven comes at a premium $399. It goes to show, we still need to pick our wallets for miniaturization.
Still, this slim gadget comes at a fraction of other similar competing mobile devices in the market today; this holds true because of the ASUS Eee PC 4G‘s modest but practical specs.
This mobile device isn’t made for everyone. Having modest components, it has its use among all those people who are on the move. Those who need things done – fast. The unit is equipped with a 7-inch, low resolution display, an almost insignificant built-in storage of just 4Gb (of which 2.4Gb is dedicated to system memory, leaving only 1.6Gb), low RAM (when most notebooks nowadays come at 1Gb), and an Intel Processor that doesn’t offer any more that what is specified in the system information screen. Opening even built-in programs takes time.

In conclusion, I could say that the Eee PC can not only be appealing but practical and highly functional. It is especially handy to people on the road and students or to anyone who wants a cool looking computer that is able to do simple tasks such as word processing and surfing.

Hip Fashion Accessories – N82


Nokia‘s latest released N-series phone, N82, is one of the hottest must-have mobile phones around. Like its predecessors, it is armed with one of the highest resolution cameras equipped onto a mobile phone in its generation. Sporting a 5-Mega pixel camera, built-in Xenon Flash Photography, and an up to 100Mb dynamic memory, it is the perfect gadget for gatherings with important friends and family.

Sleek and sexy, it is Wi-fi and Bluetooth 2.0 ready, photos taken can easily be edited on the device itself. It is a smart phone that can display your life photos with its extensive media gallery. When you need the extra bling in a party with close friends or during a birthday, this is the perfect fashion accesory for you. It comes as cool silver. You can play your favorite hits while on the go. Storage capacity can be improved through hot swappable microSD cards. Click here for complete technical details.