Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: The Sound of Music at Resorts World Manila

The Sound of Music @ Resorts World Manila
Originally uploaded by Don Sausa

The Sound of Music is a 1959 Broadway musical by Richard Rodgers.

Resorts World Manila started production of this musical in October, at their brand new 1,500 seater performing arts theater.

The musical was inspired by the true story of a WWI naval war hero, Georg von Trapp, and his family's journey through the loss of a spouse, a second marriage and a second world war.

The near 3 hour musical focuses on first the developing love story of Georg and Maria, and then highlights the Trapp family's musical act that made them famous around the world. And then finally, their struggle against the Nazis and their escape away from their native home of Austria, which was annexed by the Germans in 1938.

While this didn't take away from the outstanding performance of the cast in portraying this classic, I felt there were too many "attendants" with LED flash lights roaming around the theater. What in the world are they looking for? Folks filming this with their cell phones?

Despite the tiny annoyance of attendants scurrying along the corner of your eye every few minutes, my daughter and son loved seeing the Trapp kids sing and dance around the stage and my wife was genuinely mesmerized with the love story. There's not much that can top a good musical that can entertain the youth and inspire even the more mature audiences. I certainly enjoyed the familiar songs of yesteryear and it took me back to fond memories of my junior and high school years. (Yeah, I was lucky enough to go to schools that encouraged to use all parts of our brains.)

If you are near Metro Manila and want to add some cultural depth to your weekend activities, I'd recommend the Sound of Music.

Flickr enhances privacy, adds geofences

Flickr, the world's premier photo sharing site made a major improvement to its privacy controls these past few weeks.  If you use Flickr and share location information of your photographs, you need to spend a few minutes and read about their new geofences privacy features.

I'm glad that despite having some highly publicized lay offs , they managed to improve the site and integrate geolocation controls.  The new geofences tool gives users the ability to hide location information if it is too close for comfort.  For instance, you may want to remove geolocation information on your home pictures, or make sure that only your contacts or family members can see them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Repairing your personal UPS power supply by replacing the battery

If you have lived in a country that's didn't have a quality power grid, then I'm sure you can relate to this post.  In developing countries, constant fluctuations occur with the power supply and with the voltage.

This spells trouble for many electronic devices.  Without consistent power supply or without stable voltage, your latest gadget could fry within seconds if it is left unprotected.  That's why computer shops and office supply stores near my area sell a lot of surge protectors, voltage regulators, and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units.

My preference will always be UPS+surge protector units like APC's Back-UPS ES 500.  They give me a few crucial minutes to shutdown my computers and other devices properly; hence, reducing the chance of data loss or equipment damage.  But the batteries within these UPS units are typically not heavy duty and do not last long against the constant voltage changes.  So if you find that your UPS unit dies out and it is no longer under warranty, don't think you have to totally replace it.  You may just need to change the battery.  You can still save it by buying a battery replacement.

Steps on how to fix it

  1. Unplug all devices, unplug the UPS unit, and make sure it is fully drained (no battery life, doesn't turn on).
  2. Buy a 12v9Ah/20HR battery from any hardware store (note: your UPS unit maybe different from mine and the battery unit might be different).  In this case, I bought an Akari branded battery.
  3. Get a Philips screwdriver and unscrew the 5 screws from the bottom part of the UPS unit.
  4. Take note and remember the placement of the two power plugs - red and black - that you see on the old battery.
  5. Remove those power plugs and replace the old battery.
  6. Screw it back on and put in the screws back in place (wait 15 minutes before plugging in anything new into the sockets).  
Viola!  Your UPS unit should be fully working like new.  If it still does not function, you either did it wrong or there's other issues with the unit.