Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Help the Philippines: donate money or give water tablets

What's happening

By now, you are probably aware that the most powerful typhoon in world history (Haiyan) that hit land has wiped out certain towns in central Philippines.  Casualties are estimated to be around 2,500.  The worst hit areas have been on the island of Leyte, where storm surges above 13-15 ft surprised typhoon hardened residents.  There's millions left homeless and there's a dire need for food and water throughout central Philippines.

While the national and provincial governments warned all citizens to evacuate from the coastal area, nothing could prepare them for the storm surge that went well into the cities.  A renewed understanding of storm surges and it's potential impact 5-8 miles inland is going to be the biggest lesson that's learned from this tragedy.

How you can help: financial assistance (impact: immediate)

An organization I trust is Adventist Development and Relief Agency.  They've been on the ground in anticipation of the typhoon and have local presence in the Philippines.  In terms of accountability, they are highly ranked 4 out of 4 stars by Charity Navigator.   DONATE HERE

The American Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trucks and teams to disaster areas through the Red Cross of the Philippines.  Also highly ranked 4 out of 4 stars in terms of accountability by Charity Navigator.  DONATE HERE

If you are an American taxpayer, note these are tax deductible donations and can also reduce your taxes.  Work with your tax advisor for more details.

How you can help with water tablets (impact: < 2 weeks)

There are some tangible ways to donate to the Philippines.  Water is a basic need in any disaster but shipping tons of water is heavy, bulky, and impractical.  Dirty water in the Philippines is widely available via local streams, rainwater, aquifers, and can be converted to drinkable water by boiling it and using water purification tablets.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Dell Venue Pro 11 - where are all the options? (Dell confirms next week)

The new Dell Venue Pro 11 order page is now available but it's lacking certain high end configurations!  Shipment date is also pegged to be on December 13th.  Here's what one Dell representative had to say about this...

11/08/2013 04:00:12PM don sausa: "Can you access this link?"
11/08/2013 04:00:12PM don sausa: ""
11/08/2013 04:00:41PM don sausa: "About 3 pages down you will see a chart called "Dell Tablet Family""
11/08/2013 04:00:56PM don sausa: "there are two models listed, Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro"
11/08/2013 04:01:03PM don sausa: "in the venue 11 Pro, it says "Up to 8GB""
11/08/2013 04:01:11PM don sausa: "and it also says "Up to 256GB" in terms of SSD"
11/08/2013 04:01:19PM don sausa: "hard drive"
11/08/2013 04:01:37PM don sausa: "Those two options - the 8GB RAM and the 256GB hard drive -- how come they are not available?"
11/08/2013 04:02:10PM Agent (Aileen A): "I do apologize for the inconvenience Don. But as of now we only have the 4GB Ram configuration"
11/08/2013 04:02:24PM don sausa: "Can you ask your supervisor when the new one would come out?"
11/08/2013 04:04:12PM Agent (Aileen A): "Just checked.../"
11/08/2013 04:04:30PM Agent (Aileen A): "that configuration will be available in a week or so."
11/08/2013 04:04:46PM don sausa: "Okay that's the info I was waiting for. :-)"
11/08/2013 04:04:55PM Agent (Aileen A): "if you want i can email you personally if the configuration you want is already available"
11/08/2013 04:05:01PM don sausa: "Yes please."

Friday, November 01, 2013

SOLUTION: Nvidia Kernel Mode Driver errors

This is one of the most annoying errors I've come up against using NVIDIA graphic cards and judging from others' online posts, many have faced similar problems.  Unfortunately, "Display driver NVIDIA Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version stopped [] responding and has successfully recovered" doesn't exactly communicate what's going on with the video card.

In my own experience, this error kept looping over and over again while I playing video games. 

Problem Identification
  1. You may need to update your video card drivers.
  2. You may have an incompatible program/video game that's causing the issue.
  3. Your card maybe experiencing too much heat.
  4. You may have a bad video card.

The solutions for #1, #2, and #4, are fairly straightforward.  Update your drivers, test other programs.  And if you can exchange for the same model video card to test, go ahead and do it.  But the third issue in particular, overheating, is often overlooked in most online posts.  

You need to monitor your internal PC / GPU temperatures to see if it's simply an overheating problem.  Your overall cooling solution, or lack of, in your personal computer/laptop might be the cause.

Solution for #3: SpeedFan
This free program helps you monitor all of your fans, measure core temperatures, and allows you to set thresholds to improve your system's cooling.  This simple freeware program helped reduce heat problems in my system and the kernel driver errors no longer appeared.

Safe CNET Download Link: Speedfan

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dell Venue 11 Pro release date (Dell rep confirms)

Dell gets it...finally a tablet for the enterprise user

I think the new Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet is a winner.  A company does innovative things when it's losing market share, and Dell has done well by releasing a product that many enterprise users are waiting for.

Enterprise users are done with underpowered iPad toys with quirky little 99 cent apps.  While cool and it gives another time sink for our idle lives, the Venue 11 Pro promises real work in tablet form, much like the Surface Pro.

The main difference between Microsoft's tablet and Dell's?  The Venue 11 Pro has replaceable batteries, giving you more mobility.  You aren't tied to a power outlet.  Secondly, there's 3G/LTE capabilities, meaning unlike the Surface Pro, you can access the Internet natively through a data plan.

Power.  Mobility.  Connectivity.

Goodbye iPad, you're just a stepping stone for something greater.

The tablet release date is tentatively November 12th.

UPDATE #1: Looks like certain configurations are now available. I still don't see the 8GB RAM and 250GB SSD HD spec on there though. Furthermore, the ship date seems to be on December 13th. If you can't wait for this, the best next step is buying the Razer Edge Pro 256GB.

UPDATE #2: Here's more information from a Dell representative on when the high-end configurations would be available.

10/25/2013 11:32:37AMSession Started with Agent (Sohrab K)
10/25/2013 11:32:37AMdon sausa: "."
10/25/2013 11:32:49AMAgent (Sohrab K): "Welcome to Dell US Chat! My name is Sohrab Alam Khan and I will be your Sales Chat Expert.
I can be reached at  xxx. How can I help you today?"
10/25/2013 11:32:53AMdon sausa: "Sohrab when is Dell Venue 11 available?"
10/25/2013 11:33:16AMAgent (Sohrab K): "Glad you chatted in today, I'd be happy to help you"
10/25/2013 11:33:41AMAgent (Sohrab K): "Don Venue 11 will be launched in the 2nd week of November"
10/25/2013 11:33:58AMAgent (Sohrab K): "we do have the Venue 7 , 8 and Venue 8 pro available now"
10/25/2013 11:34:02AMAgent (Sohrab K): "would you like me to recommend a great deal based on your usage"
10/25/2013 11:43:35AMdon sausa: "What date"
10/25/2013 11:43:49AMdon sausa: "How long does it take to ship?"
10/25/2013 11:44:05AMAgent (Sohrab K): "it shows post 12th and delivery we have 5-7 days"
10/25/2013 11:44:13AMAgent (Sohrab K): "launch date is 12th"
10/25/2013 11:44:53AMAgent (Sohrab K): "we also offer next day delivery"
10/25/2013 11:45:00AMAgent (Sohrab K): "there is a charge of $25"

Buy or give this book as a gift:

Friday, October 11, 2013

(FIX) Unable to change priority. The operation could not be completed. Access denied.

Problem: When I try to change the priority of a process in Task Manager, it gives me an error:

"Unable to change priority. The operation could not be completed. Access denied."

Solution:  This issue plagued me for a few minutes and saw quite a few folks have issues about this on the Internet.  The first issue could be that you don't have administrative access (admin) on your PC.  Assuming that's not the case, since you're smarter than that and even searched for an answer on the Internet, the probable issue is that Task Manager needs to be re-run as admin.  Click Show processes from all users or Start -> Run -> taskmgr, right click and run as admin.

Why do I want to change priorities of a process?  You may want to give certain programs higher access/priority vs others.  Let's say you're working on an extremely important Excel workbook or doing video or image editing, you can set other programs at a lower priority and focus on your most important tasks.  This "speeds" up your work, but in reality you're manually adjusting and tweeking what works best for you and not what Windows thinks should be done.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Photogs beware: phishing attempt (AHG or Art Hunters Group)

I'm posting this warning so some of my photog friends who run online galleries don't get trapped by this suspicious attempt to get your personal information.  I LOL'd at this attempt as they tried to phish for my info.  ;-)  

A new domain ( created just a couple days ago is representing itself to be some sort of art consortium.  The email starts out like the one pasted below and the URLs bring  you through somewhere in Poland. The web site is hosted somewhere in Provo, Utah using  


Please let me introduce myself. I am Elizabeth Longdale, Art&Design Blog Research Coordinator at the AHG (Art Hunters Group). We specialize in head-hunting services for businesses from the field of graphics, design and photography.
Currently we are gathering the artists, designers and photographers for one of our clients, a newly launched art startup specializing in releasing handpicked artworks on metal plates.
We believe that your blog  XXXXX has the potential to be published there.

The site is currently closed and "members only". If you are interested please use the following invitation url (usable only once):  XXXXX
Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best Regards
Elizabeth Longdale
Art&Design Blog Research Coordinator @ AHG


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Teleperformance in Davao?

Check out Teleperformance Philippines' Facebook posting today to see the latest buzz.

About Teleperformance

Teleperformance is the largest BPO company in the world, and considered as #1 by several industry analysts, including prestigious research firms like Gartner, who recently ranked all of the BPOs worldwide. Their results consistently has placed Teleperformance as the worldwide leader in contact center services:

Davao City - the place to be

Davao City is now officially on the BPO road map with the largest contact center company now actively recruiting for positions.