Friday, February 17, 2017

Unofficial Hearthstone Magazine February 2017 Issue


My 1st attempt at making a Hearthstone magazine cover...

Here's version #2

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Upgrading my MacBook (Aluminum, Late 2008) with a Samsung 850 Evo SSD (250GB)



Back in early 2014, I upgraded my then ancient MacBook (Aluminum, Late 2008) from a measly 2GB to a whopping 8GB of RAM. The speed improvement when booting up and opening apps was glorious indeed. I was planning back then to also replace the stock hard drive (HDD) with a solid state drive (SSD) but I thought the 8GB RAM upgrade would do me just fine. And so I put off the SSD upgrade until the time that I could justify the need for one.

Fast forward to 2017 where my old reliable MacBook is evidently performing not so well anymore. 8 years of  continuous daily use had taken its toll and I'm left with no choice but to finally replace the stock HDD with an SSD in a last ditch attempt to improve its performance.

I thought it would be easy enough to do the SSD installation on my own. Just buy a Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD, clone the contents of the HDD to the SSD, remove the HDD from the MacBook, slap the SSD back in and presto! my MacBook will be running 10x faster in no time.

Easy peasy right? Oh boy was I ever wrong.



First off, I found out  that the SSD is not formatted out of the box so I had to do the formatting myself. To do that, I put the SSD in a USB/SATA drive enclosure and connected the SSD to my MacBook via the USB port. I tried to erase and format the SSD using Mac OSX's Disk Utility but the formatting process failed repeatedly. I Googled this particular issue and found out from the various forum threads that it could be due to a faulty or incompatible cable on my USB/SATA drive enclosure. One workaround suggested straight away replacing the HDD with the SSD and using a bootable El Capitan USB drive to format the SSD with the built-in Disk Utility. So I went that route and ended up with the SSD not being detected by the MacBook upon booting up.

Now what? What else am I left to do?

As a last resort, I removed the SSD from the MacBook and again put it back inside the USB/SATA drive enclosure and see if this time around my MacBook's Disk Utility can successfully format the SSD.

Lo and behold, it worked! I guess the cable inside the SATA drive enclosure was loosely connected or something hence the earlier formatting failure. I'm not entirely sure. Anyways, the SSD was formatted successfully and I was then able to clone the contents of the HDD using the Carbon Copy Cloner app.


Next step was to install the SSD on my MacBook. I used a Phillips #0 screwdriver to remove the single screw holding the HDD caddy bracket in place. After several attempts I ended up ruining the cross head.



Notice how you can barely recognize the cross head of the screw?  Yep, it became a round head screw courtesy of yours truly.

I tried using a rubber band, super glue and other tricks to remove a stripped screw but to no avail. To cut the long story short, I finally gave up trying, and just brought my MacBook to a laptop repair shop just to have that damn screw removed. And then the repair guy (Sir Tony) was able to remove the screw in just a couple of seconds! Trade secret, he replied when I inquired on how he was able to remove it so easily. (I was not around when he removed the screw).

(To be continued...)


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How to prevent iCloud calendar spam


Here’s what you should do to prevent iCloud calendar spam.

Option #1: If you don’t use iCloud for your calendar, open the Settings app on your iPhone and System Preferences on your Mac. Head over to iCloud settings and disable calendars to stop iCloud syncing and event invitations.

Option #2: If you want to quickly get rid of the spam, just decline the calendar invite. The good thing is that the event will just disappear from your calendar. If it’s still there, make sure you disabled “Show Declined Events” in your calendar app settings. The bad thing is that the spammer will receive a notification, proving that you viewed the notification, you use your calendar and your iCloud email address is valid.

Option #3: Create a new iCloud calendar, move your spam events to this new calendar and delete the calendar. Make sure you press “Delete and Don’t Notify” when you get a prompt. This way, the spammer won’t know that you saw the notification and that this iCloud email address is valid.

Option #4
: Go to iCloud.com on your laptop and open the Calendar web app. Click on the gear icon and open Preferences. In the Advanced tab, you can choose to receive calendar invites as emails. The good thing is that your email client could catch the spam before it shows up in your inbox. And emails are less intrusive than calendar alerts anyway. The bad thing is that you won’t receive any push notification for new calendar events, even genuine ones.

{source: techcrunch}

Saturday, July 9, 2016

How To Catch Pikachu As Your Starter In Pokemon GO!

Pickachu, I choose you!

There've been rumors going around that you'll be able to catch Pikachu as one of your starting Pokemons in Pokemon GO! Just like Ash Ketchum, you too can start with a Pikachu of your own and the video below will show you how:


Instead of tapping one of the original Pokemon starters, we need to walk away from them and make them respond 4 to 5 times. Pikachu will then appear along with the 3 original starters and you will then be able to catch him with your Pokeball.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Top 3 Books For Learning iOS Development

http://amzn.to/1Zi1Eu7 
  iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide leads you through the essential concepts, tools, and techniques for developing iOS applications. After completing this book, you will have the know-how and the confidence you need to tackle iOS projects of your own. Based on Big Nerd Ranch's popular iOS Bootcamp course and its well-tested materials and methodology, this bestselling guide teaches iOS concepts and coding in tandem. The result is instruction that is relevant and useful. 


http://amzn.to/1RaXrFI 
 Move into iOS development by getting a firm grasp of its fundamentals, including the Xcode IDE, the Cocoa Touch framework, and Swift 2.0—the latest version of Apple's acclaimed programming language. With this thoroughly updated guide, you'll learn Swift’s object-oriented concepts, understand how to use Apple's development tools, and discover how Cocoa provides the underlying functionality iOS apps need to have.


http://amzn.to/1RaXDEX
If you’re grounded in the basics of Swift, Xcode, and the Cocoa framework, this book provides a structured explanation of all essential real-world iOS app components. Through deep exploration and copious code examples, you’ll learn how to create views, manipulate view controllers, and add features from iOS frameworks.

Friday, March 4, 2016

How To Play Clash Royale on Your Mac Using Genymotion



After being soft launched a couple of months ago, Supercell's MOBA + CCG hybrid mobile multiplayer game Clash Royale has been finally released worldwide this week on both iOS [AppStore] and Android [Google Play]. But if you don't own any mobile device, you can still play Clash Royale on your Mac using the android emulator Genymotion. To help you accomplish this, you can follow the steps described below:

1.  Download Genymotion here.
 
2. Download VirtualBox for Mac here.

3.  Download Genymotion ARM Translation zip file here.

4. Download Google Play for Android 4.3 zip file here.

5. Install Genymotion and VirtualBox. Open Genymotion, click Add and choose Samsung Galaxy S4 4.3


6. Click Run to start device emulator. Login using GoogleID account when prompted.

7. Drag and drop the Genymotion ARM Translation zip file onto the device. Click Ok when prompted to flash the device. After the operation is finished, restart the device (close and then open it).

8. Drag and drop the Google Play for Android 4.3 zip file onto the device. Click Ok when prompted to flash the device. After the operation is finished, restart the device (close and then open it).

9. Open Google Play and search for Clash Royale to install the game. (If you encounter a "Device not compatible" error message, click on the device Settings -> Apps -> Google Play Store -> Clear Data. Then go back again to Google Play and you will find that Clash Royale can now be installed on your device.)



10. After successfully installing Clash Royale on your device, you will then be prompted to install Google Play Games. Click INSTALL to proceed, and then you'll be able to play Clash Royale on your device.


11. You can now sit back, relax and play Clash Royale on your Mac!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Popular Life Hacks in the Philippines


  • You can always ask for a free newspaper in the morning from McDo or Jollibee even if your bill is below the required minimum amount for a free one. They don't usually care. 
  • Mercury Drug sells bottled drinks and other packed foods that are a lot cheaper compared to 7-11 and Mini Stop.
  • Tired of queueing up at BPI? Take advantage of their express assist online service by scheduling withdrawal and deposit transactions.  
  • Food hacks - if you are working in Makati go buy your food in Jollijeep much cheaper - Hakwer 101, bang for the buck - Cheap massage? Go Nuat Thai for only 250 pesos. - Going to Enchanted Kingdom? There's a shuttle back and forth in Makati/Ayala MRT - Quick merienda? - Get a Turon in SM malls in Makati for 12 pesos only. - Grab Taxi or Uber - you need this to survive the Hell of Manila - Always look out for Grab Taxi coupon codes - Cheap Karaoke in Timezone - Easy tickets in Timezone just play "Big Drop". I managed to get like 5000 of tickets.
  • If you arrive at NAIA and the queue at the taxi rank is full, catch the free bus to Resorts World on the bottom level (you have to pretend you're going to check in) and then once you get to one of the resorts world hotels, ask the doorman at the hotel to flag you a taxi.
  • The BPI iOS/Android app has a "Transfer to Anyone" service that does not need for the transferee's account info to be enrolled. Just use wisely.
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