Shopping Diary #10: Apple Crazy

It’s been over a year since I’ve posted a shopping diary. Still, I’ve bought many different things throughout 2013, both for myself and for others. I just decided not to share all of them here. For the last quarter of the year, however, I rewarded myself with some truly wonderful items… all a product of hard work and year-long savings.

Anyway, I went a little Mac crazy and purchased the latest in Apple gadgets and accessories. Take note, though, that I didn’t buy all these in one day; and I didn’t dump all my savings into these “gifts.” These were budgeted and planned according to what I could afford (which is what everyone should do).

GLOBE
iPhone 5S Space Grey

My Best Ever Super Plan plus Cash Out (24-month lock-in)

It’s been 2 years since I got my iPhone 4S; and it hasn’t been working as great as it used to. After all, it fell into the water over a year ago and certain functions (such as the camera and the silent mode) aren’t at their optimal performance. I decided early on to recontract once my plan expires. Enter iPhone 5S.

Despite its confusing and more complicated billing plan, I stuck with Globe for convenience. With a little cash out and an upgraded plan, I now have the latest Apple smart phone that has so far delivered in terms of performance (great speed and screen quality) and features (amazing camera with slow motion, touch ID, etc.).

KIMSTORE
iPad Air White/Silver

I’ve been eyeing the iPad Mini since March; and I promised myself that I will buy the latest model once it comes out this year. However, my plan suddenly changed when I held an iPad Air in my hand for the first time (courtesy of a director who bought one for himself). I was convinced. With a bigger screen size and its much lighter weight (compared to older iPads), I just had to go for the Air. Its screen size is perfect for reading my magazines (Zinio, Newsstand), editing my documents (Evernote, DocsToGo) and playing games (Sims Freeplay, Bejeweled, Scrabble, Secret Passages). I would have been constrained by the iPad Mini when it comes to these apps.

The iPad Air has become a fitting alternative to lugging my laptop to work everyday. I just love it so much… by far my favorite gadget now.

POWER MAC CENTER
Lab.C USB Case for iPhone 5/5S

Php1,690

I just love multifunctional accessories; and the Lab.C iPhone 5/5S case is exactly that with its innovative design. Aside from protecting my iPhone, it also has an 8gb USB built into the case. This way, I can bring my important files with me anywhere; and since the USB is virtually part of my phone, I’m always reminded if someone has borrowed or is using it… No more leaving my USB anywhere.

DIGITAL WALKER
Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone Lens

Php3,250

I love taking photos with my phone; and the Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone Lens elevates the quality of my shots with minimal effort. Despite its simple design, I get four different lenses in one device: fisheye, wide, 10x macro and 15x macro. It’s so much fun experimenting with the lenses and the effects they create. Definitely a must for any iphoneography enthusiast.

With technology like what we have right now, there’s no doubt in my mind that this isn’t the last time I’ll go gadget crazy. The important thing is that they were well thought out purchases, all of which I have no regrets spending on. I’m absolutely happy to have them… Merry Christmas to me!

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Life Tips

You gotta love the Internet.

Think of almost anything you can imagine; and you’ll probably find it there. Recently for me, two valuable tips I’ve found on the world wide web have helped me a lot. These are simple, everyday solutions to problems and emergencies that just might save you money and a whole lot of stress. I really want to share my experiences here; because I hope to teach you some stuff in the way these other sites aided me in certain situations.

CRISIS # 1: Tight Flats

Three months ago, I bought a pair of flats that fit fine when I tried them on in the store. However, after walking in them for less than an hour, the shoes hurt and bruised my ankles. It’s too tight for everyday use! They were then hidden away in the back of my shoe closet.

Thanks to Pinterest, which led me to Coffee Light & Sweet, I found my solution three weeks ago; and I’ve been sharing this tip with my friends ever since.

What you need: thick socks (or a number of pairs of socks) and blow dryer
What to do:
– Put on the thick socks (or at least two layers of socks) and wear your flats.
– Aim the blow dryer in the tight spots, wiggling your feet as you heat the shoes so that it loosens up. Do this for a couple of minutes.
– Keep the shoes on as it cools down.
– Once cooled down, remove your socks and try the shoes on. Repeat process until shoes are comfortable for you.
Other applications: This is a great technique to break in your shoes. You may also try it with your leather shoes and heels. I’m currently trying this technique out with a pair of rain boots I bought from the US, which is tight around the calves. (It has loosened up a bit; and I’ll try doing the technique again for the next few days.)

CRISIS # 2: Wet iPhone

This is probably the most common emergency that may happen to anyone with a mobile phone. I am one of the recent victims. Let me share my story first. The other day (on my birthday nonetheless), I had an accident and my precious iPhone got soaked. It was in the water for about 2-3 seconds before I fished it out. Common sense told me to turn it off at once, which I did. I then immediately shook the phone for excess water and used paper towels to dry it off outside. In the back of my head, I know I read something about using uncooked rice or silica. I ran to my computer to search for a solution and got my confirmation.

These sites popped up in my quick search: CNET and Appstorm. They also suggested the uncooked rice trick; so I rushed to get some and immediately put my phone in it. A few minutes later, I also found a paper clip, removed my SIM card, then put the phone back in the rice. All of these were accomplished in less than 20 minutes.

When I got home, I found the packs of silica I saved up and added them in the container where my phone was drying out. I also briefly blow dried the phone (in cool setting) before putting it back in the container.

Next thing I did was wait overnight. (It was one of the longest nights of my life!) By the time morning came, my phone has been in the uncooked rice and silica for approximately 15 hours. I plugged in the phone while praying for a miracle to happen. About 8 minutes passed before I finally heard the sweet sound of the iPhone booting up with the Apple logo appearing. At this time, angels were singing in my head.

Next step was to try out the functions. Thankfully, I found no glitches! I only saw some fogging in the lamp and the front-facing camera. To be safe, I put silica packs in my iPhone case for the rest of the day. I also put my phone in uncooked rice again overnight. In the morning, the fogging was gone and the phone still works! Hallelujah!

image from http://www.gadgetreview.com

What you need: paper towels, uncooked rice (or silica packs), lots of patience!
What to do:
– Turn off your phone immediately. Shake it out to remove excess water, then dry with cloth or paper towels. Don’t forget to remove the SIM.
– Put your phone in uncooked rice and leave it there for at least 12 hours. Depending on how soaked your phone gets, others suggest leaving it there for 24 hours to 3 days.
– After waiting, remove any uncooked rice that got into the nooks and crannies of the phone. Use a pin or brush to get them out.
– Plug the phone in and wait.
– If it turns on, test the functions of your phone immediately: battery, screen, touch screen function, home button, sending and receiving calls, texting, speakers, earphone jack, Wi-fi, 3G, camera, games & apps. This will help you determine the extent of damage to your phone. Since getting wet will void your warranty, you might as well get your phone repaired if any problem pops up.
– If it doesn’t turn on, try to put it back in the rice for a longer time, maybe weeks, before trying it again.
*Side note: This technique doesn’t guarantee that your iPhone will spring back to life. This is just one of the most effective ways to dry out and possibly salvage your water-damaged phone. It really depends on the extent of damage or the length of time that the device has been in the water.
Other applications: This can be applied to most electronic devices. If you can remove the battery, be sure to do so and dry it out before putting all parts in uncooked rice.

It’s only been a day or two since the accident; and I have yet to see any problems with my iPhone. I’m really thankful. It was just a matter of acting fast and finding a solution as soon as possible… thanks to the Internet.

the IT list #3: Wish List Edition

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #3
WISH LIST EDITION
Christmas is just around the corner; and I couldn’t help but dream about (maybe even drool over) what to buy myself this coming holidays. I may or may not get hold of these items by the end of the year; but there’s a strong possibility I’ll own them eventually.

#ONE
Pentax Q (Pentax Imaging). This is the smallest camera with interchangeable lens. Plus, it has that vintage look, which I like. I’m not really into Digital SLRs. I prefer specialty cameras that not everyone has. I already have my super zoom camera (Canon SX-1 IS). I also have my trusty waterproof camera (Pentax Optio W90). Now, I’m looking for a compact ultra-wide camera. This is the closest to an SLR that I could imagine without the bulky size. However, it retails at a whopping Php39,990 from Camera Haus and Php34,000 from DBGadgets; so obviously I’d have to wait some more before purchasing this. It’s just way too expensive at the moment.


#TWO
Harry Potter 8-Film Collection. Ever since the first movie came out, I stopped myself from buying the special releases of the Harry Potter films. It was pretty evident that once the series is finished, a boxed set containing the complete collection of films would be released. I’m just waiting for the perfect boxed set at the perfect time. I’m looking for something packed with bonus features, extended scenes and bonus items remembering the movies. The one on Amazon.co.uk (pictured above) is pretty close to perfect. Only time will tell when that ultimate boxed set will be released.

#THREE
Swatch Touch (Swatch). People may be split on the design; but I like it. As the name implies, this watch features a touchscreen LCD that you just need to swipe and tap in order to access its many features including alarm and timer. Plus, it could keep track of up to two timezones. I read that this one retails for Php6,000++ Hmmm…


#FOUR
Harry Potter: Page to Screen (Fully Booked). Yes, this is another thing Harry Potter-related. Please cut me some slack. The film series just ended this year. Anyway, I like coffee table books; but I only buy the ones covering subjects I’m interested in… such as Friends or the milk mustache campaign. For me, this is the ultimate keepsake that covers the art and filmmaking behind the wonderful Harry Potter film franchise. At over 500 pages, I will no doubt get a lot of insight regarding the books and the movies. I need to get my hands on this.


#FIVE
a good pocket wi-fi. I’ve been wanting to buy one ever since Smart Bro made it available. Last I heard, it retails for Php5,000 for the prepaid version. I’m not sure if it’s worth it. I hope by next year, I could stumble upon the perfect pocket wi-fi brand with good service at a good price.

Lose One, Buy One

You might as well call me “The Girl Who Loses Things”

I can’t count how many times something valuable was stolen, snatched or lost from under my nose. It seems like it’s just part of my nature to lose stuff. I’ve somehow come to accept that it’s just this way (which is sad and unhealthy, I know). I’m simply thankful none of these incidents led to a life-or-death situation. That could have led to so much worse than lost personal property.

In one of my recent shoots, my laptop was stolen. My Compaq 12″ laptop, which had all my pictures and important files, was snatched from the dressing room of our talents. All it took was a small window of opportunity where no one was in the room; and a huge scene featuring all talents on the set, for my precious laptop to get swiped. Despite efforts to try and trace who took it, there were just too many people and too little time to narrow down suspects. It’s just one of the risks involved in big shoots, tons of talents and very little security. Too bad I was the victim… 😦


my old laptop: Compaq CQ20-326TU

I was devastated. I had accumulated quite a number of important files in that computer, including photos from a shoot in El Nido, Palawan. They were now gone. (*wah*) The laptop has been with me for over two and a half years without much problem, so it was a durable piece of equipment. It had a couple of years of life left, if only it wasn’t stolen. I just hope karma gets the thief… and SOON. Such is life, though, and I resolved not to buy a replacement until I’m ready. I settled for my mother’s Toshiba netbook in the meantime; because it’s an essential thing to have for my work.

After a few weeks had passed, I’ve decided to buy a new laptop. The netbook was slowing down; and I didn’t want to hog it for longer than I have. I only had two conditions, that my new investment should (1) be light and (2) have an optical drive. All stars aligned when I found out about Toshiba Portege.

It is a beautiful piece of gadget. It has the new generation Core i5 processor, 640gb hard disk drive, and optical drive at a whopping 3.2 pounds! My search for the most affordable option was short. I found a good deal with an online seller, HotPHDeals. After less than two weeks, I got my brand new Portege.


my new laptop: Toshiba Portege R835-P56X

I’ve been using it for over a week; and I must say… I love it! It’s slim and lightweight without sacrificing size, power, design and functionality. I couldn’t believe how light it is compared to most laptops. The boot up and shut down speeds are great; and the battery life lasts a whole day (between 6-8 hours).

I’m now trying my best to forget what I lost with my Compaq… and focusing all my energies on my new Portege. I can’t say I’ve completely moved on; but I’m happy with my new purchase. Hopefully, this will be with me for much longer. Bad luck and bad vibes, begone!