Issuu on Google+


“Exclusively Distributed by Fine Upgrades Computer and Gadgets Distribution”


SATA 6 Gb/s: Compatibility you can count on now — and in the future. WD® is leading the industry with multiple SATA 6 Gb/s drives in a variety of capacities, ranging from 250 GB to 2 TB. WD Caviar® Blue™ and WD Caviar Black™ SATA 6 Gb/s hard drives give you lots of flexibility, whether you’re working with new or legacy systems. They’re compatible with emerging SATA 6 Gb/s supporting chip sets and motherboards, current SATA 3 Gb/s and 1.5 Gb/s standards, and standard platforms like Microsoft Windows® and Mac OS® X. And because they’re from WD, you can count on their reliability now — and in the future. Western Digital, WD, the WD logo, WD Caviar, and Put Your Life On It are registered trademarks in the U.S. and other countries; WD Caviar Blue and WD Caviar Black are trademarks of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Other marks may be mentioned herein that belong to other companies. Picture shown may vary from actual product. Product specifications subject to change without notice. © 2010 Western Digital Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. As used for storage capacity, one megabyte (MB) = one million bytes, one gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes, and one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment. As used for buffer or cache, one megabyte (MB) = 1,048,576 bytes. 2078-771100-A00 Nov 2010


magazine EDITORIAL STAFF

Christian Uybengkee

BUSINESS

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ALEX AMADEO

Editor-in-Chief

Abs Abando TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT

Assistant Editor

Rod Bier DIY Section Editor

JESUS DOMINGO RJAY GREGORIO TELLE GREGORIO

LEGAL JayDee / Rjay

JASON MIGRIテ前

Programming / Software Section Editor

ADMINISTRATION ROSEL AMADEO

Jonas Martinez Games Editor

CHRISTIAN MANINGDING

MARKETING

Contributing TPC Writers

HERMANN THOMAS CALERO ZES MARTINEZ

Abs Abando, Christian Uybengkee, Jonas Martinez, Michael Angelo Factor, Omar Mandawe, Rod Bier, Rogel Naval, Ross Flores Del Rosario, Allan Sabado, Willy Palacios, Nonoy Ativo, Ronaldo Bejarin, Ritz Marcelino, Albert Two Ingreso

Layout and Design Christian Uybengkee, Marlon Abril, Franco Sibal, Catherine Villanueva, Rea Diwata Mendoza Patrick Anthoy Abando

Production Officers Jun Cosme, Philip Fetalvero

Research Assistant Allaine Zagala, Tina Soriano

PUBLISHER

TipidPC.com, Inc.. #132 Amorsolo Street, Alexander House Building Room 502, Legaspi Village, Makati City

Tel. # Landline :

(632) 569.41.21 (632) 569.41-22 (632) 489.8115 (632) 847.7819 - Tele/fax

Website: www.tipidpc.com Publisher: alex.amadeo@tipidpc.com Editor-in-chief: christian.uybengkee@tipidpc.com Web Ads:

4

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

adsweb@tipidpc.com

Print Ads:

adsmag@tipidpc.com

Article:

article@tipidpc.com

COPYRIGHT

All rights reserved by TipidPC.com, Inc. TipidPC designs and layouts are Copyright and registered Trademarks of TipidPC.Com, Inc. Articles, opinions and views submitted by the authors and contributors do not reflect those of the editors and publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the Publisher is strictly prohibited. TipidPC Magazine is published quarterly and can also be downloaded at http://www.tipidpc.com


TIPIDPC.COM

5


CONTENTS FEATURE

14 12 20 22

Show Us Your Rig TipidPC Events Building from Scratch Clarkdale Overclocking Guide

PREVIEW

24

Multi-Media Player to the Xtreme!

EXCLUSIVE

30 28 29 32 34 42 46 48

HDSLR : The Future of Cinematography The Ipad Experience Ipad as a Business Tool Do Filipinos Need Facebook on their Mobile Phones? LanShop: Generation í A Member’s Call Center Life Digital DJ’s Dream Dillema Mobile Phone Vs. SmartPhone

SPOTLIGHT

51 52 54

The Man Behind SoftBox Solutions Opening the Doors of Open Pinoy Team Nikon Bullies

TECH GUIDES

56 62 58 64 66

Battery-Saving Tips for DSLR High Dynamic Range Photography Photography and Digicam Photoshop Enhancement Photographic Composition

DO-IT-YOURSELF

71

68 76 78 80 84 88 92

Carbon Fiber Sticker Mod Making an Ipad Concealment Case PSU Acrylic Conversion PSU Wire Sleeving Home-made Projector Mouse IR Led Replacement Making an Aquarium PC The Xtreamer Case Modification

GAME CENTRAL

96

98 100 102

Tron 2011 Medal of Honor 2010 PS3 Game Reviews Mafia II

COMMUNITY GUIDE

6

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

104

Identity Theft

105

Phishing

ON THE COVER

The D.I.Y Gurus headed by Rod Bier a.k.a. Cham_e_ lyon, Rogel Naval a.k.a Hertzblaster and Omar Mandawe a.k.a sledge Digital Artwork by: Patrick Abando a.k.a Fibz


TIPIDPC.COM

7


ALEX AMADEO a.k.a. ReB Managing Director TipidPC.com Inc.


PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Alex Amadeo a.k.a. ReB

MESSAGE FROM THE CORE TEAM

Sweet. Our very own magazine. After several years of yearning and hard work, one of our visions is coming to fruition. I can still remember back in 2003 as we were mapping out TipidPC’s plan for the next five years over a dinner meeting at my house. Ideas were running in different directions at the same time as eight guys were speaking their minds out. It was a bit surreal. In those twentytwo minutes of verbal chaos, goimon suggested that we should also publish our own magazine, to complement the website. At that time, the magazine’s concept was not yet clear, but nonetheless, we had it staked as one of the site’s direction in the future. A couple of years have passed and the idea still remained just a vision. Our first big chance came in 2005 when Ayokis_stuff and I explored on the possibility of doing collaborations for the magazine. Ayokis_ stuff was already publishing his own magazine, Airsoft Extreme, back then.

We approached Ayokis_stuff again and this time around we are adamant that we wanted to come out with our own magazine. We are proud of our members – their expertise, creativity, resourcefulness and their ability to innovate and improvise is second to none, and the magazine was our way of to showcase the community. 2 months later, ‘TipidPC Magazine’ was born. We would like to thank everyone who contributed and helped us in making this issue a reality - you’re now part of TPC history. In succeeding issues we will venture in using Taglish format to preserve the Pinoy flavor and the TipidPC culture, just as we have envisioned for the magazine. I am confident that this magazine will open a treasure chest brimming with talent and unleash the true potential of the TipidPC Community. Enjoy!

First thing that we needed to establish was the magazine’s concept. We wanted a concept that would go hand-in-hand with the site’s vision. We always get praises that our forum is a great source of information, even for things beyond technology. It was evident in the forums that we have a lot of highly skilled, expert, talented and unselfish TipidPC members, willingly sharing their knowledge to fellow members who needed help, without expecting anything in return. We wanted to highlight this in our upcoming project and we decided it was the perfect concept for the magazine. Though even with a clear direction, we still held back. With all the cost involved for the project, doubts started to cloud our thoughts - if we could really sustain the project. We then had a realization, we were not yet ready. Fast forward to 2011, our community will be celebrating it’s 10th year this July and we gave the idea of the magazine a second look. We were moving to our new corporate office in Alexander House along Amorsolo St. in Makati and everything seems to be in place., I thought, at long last the ball was finally rolling. I knew then that it was time. We were ready.

TIPIDPC

COMMUNITY UNLEASHED


CONTRIBUTORS 1. ABS ABANDO a.k.a Sunryzr is a freelance writer and television director for both local and international media with over 20-years experience in both photography and videography. His work includes critically-acclaimed documentaries which aired on the History Channel, a short film which won the Best Picture award in 2009 and several tv shows and indie films. He is currently a segment director for a local television network where he puts all his knowledge and experience to practical use.

1

2

3

2. CHRISTIAN UYBENGKEE a.k.a Ayokis_stuff Has been a member of TPC since 2003. He conducted special events for tpc and now assigned to spearhead TPC magazine and the current Editor-in-Chief. A Publisher of AirsoftXtreme International Magazine and Airsoft Buyers guide magazine which circulates from 9 countries here and abroad. He has been in the I.T. Industry for the past 18 years and has served in various International companies like: International School Colombo, Asian Devevelopment Bank, Cybernet, Sivat Koma Korea etc..

3. JONAS MARTINEZ a.k.a Redwing001 He holds an Associate degree majoring in Cobol Programming from Systems Technology Institute batch 1993, finished an electronic technician vocational course in 1991. First started working as a call center agent way back in 2004 and presently working as a freelance online writer. Hobbies include computer hardware repair and performance optimization, automotive mechanic, electronics design and DIY manufacturing. Became a tipidpc member in 2003. An avid PC gamer and overclocker, electronic circuit designer and DIY (Do-It-Yourself) expert.

4

5

6

7

8

9

4. MICHAEL ANGELO FACTOR a.k.a. Mixmasta is one of the DJs behind Pump Mixers International, an international group of Pinoy DJs that give away mixes like The Weekly Top 7, The 10 Minute Madness and Partee Mixes.Check them out at TipidPC.com under The Remix thread

10

11

12

5. OMAR MANDAWE a.k.a sledge attended BSECE at the Technological University of the Philippines Manila. Presently working as Maintenance Engineer from a company specializing in telecom power generation and maintenance . A hobbyist with interest in electronics related to audio-video, personal computer hardware, peripherals and CCTV imaging and telescope making.Started out as TPC member in 2005. “I spend most of my time designing/ redesigning different things I use every day. I really like customizing my stuff”.

6. ROD BIER a.k.a Cham_e_lyon is a TipidPC member since 2002. Some of his contributions to the community includes the forming of the United Modders Philippines. Together with it’s Core Team, they have helped a lot of TipidPC members troublehoot their motherboard BIOS problems thru the Forum thread titled “Boot Block recovery for free” which he posted.

7. ROGEL NAVAL a.k.a Hertzblaster holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from UST batch 1986. Presently working as Business Unit Manager at an American-based company specializing in process chemicals and equipment in an industrial set-up. A hobbyist with interest in electronics related to audio-video, personal computer hardware, peripherals and also software. Started out as TPC member in 2002 . Became an overclocker fan for some time until 2003 when he became interested with DIY projector.

8. ROSS FLORES DEL ROSARIO a.k.a. extracool holds a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology. He was formerly the ICT Officer of the United Nations World Food Programme. Presently a businessman managing several businesses, including an Internet Cafe. One of his colleagues introduced him to the forums at TPC last 2004, he got the idea of turning the workshop into a LAN or Gaming Shop opened initially to his neighbors during weekends and holidays.

10

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

9. ALLAN D. SABADO a.k.a. Adsventure is an engineering manager in an electronic safety systems company

10. WILLY PALACIOS a.k.a wheelee has been a member of TPC earlier than 2004 & have been tinkering with PC’s since the 386 era and when the Pentiums came out Overclocking has become a hobby ever since. His new found hobby, photography, started in the late 90’s & ever since have been learning the tricks of the trade. Currently using a Pentax system & is fond of those manual lens. Graduated from HAU in Pampanga in ‘86 & now currently working in China as a PCB designer. 11. NONOY ATIVO a.k.a. nonoy_1969 is a social activist who believes that technology rightfully belongs to the masses and they should have every possible opportunity to learn how to use it in their daily lives. He works in a manufacturing company doing events and promotions all over the country. He graduated from U.P. Diliman with a degree in B.S. Geography. He can construct a map of a place just by walking around but this was before GPS became mainstream. A photography enthusiast by day and an avid PC gamer by night he finds it hard to find hours to squeeze in sleep. He loves to read and yearns to have an iPad to view his collection of downloaded PDFs.

12. RONALDO BEJARIN a.k.a. bartman1973 is currently working in one semiconductor company in Gen Trias Cavite as a technical supervisor. A computer enthusiast who loves to push the computer to the limit. Became an overclocker after a few guys in tpc named dm and ral teached him how to overclock his s478 processor. Have represented our country in 3 overclocking competition (Irontech and MOA c/o MSI and GOOC2010 c/o Gigabyte)in Asia and one overclocker’s summit in Taiwan. Been a TPC member since April 01, 2004 .

13. RITZ MARCELINO a.k.a rsa1 is an Electronics and Communication Engineering graduate from Don Bosco Technical College batch 2003. Worked for a consulting company and in one of the world’s leading financial service providers as SAP BW IT consultant for 5 years now. An amateur photographer, musician, sports-minded, online gamer and certified TPC addict. Joined TPC in 2006 and loves hanging in The Lounge.

14. ALBERT TWO INGRESO a.k.a alberttwomi holds a bachelor’s degree in Avionics Technology from AirLink International Aviation College, Batch 2010. Presently attending SIA Engineering Philippines’ Aircraft Maintenance Training Program in Clark, Pampanga. A TPC/TCP member since 2006, with interest in computer hardware and software, as well as games on various platforms. Currently an active member on the MSI Gaming Laptops thread, with contributions such as various D-I-Y projects for effective system cooling.


TIPIDPC.COM

"Exclusively Distributed by Fine Upgrades Computer and Gadgets Distribution"

11


FEATURE

TIPIDPC EVENTS

TIPIDPC COVERED EVENTS, SEMINARS, PRODUCT PROMOTIONS AND LAUNCHING

NVIDIA GAME TOURNAMENT Nvidia sent an exclusive invitation to TipidPC members to participate in a NVDIA LAN Game attended in by 20 hand-picked TipidPC gamers. Gamers, professionals and students converged at the SM Megamall where the event was held. The TipidPC editorial staff was spearheaded by Chris and Rod.

Also present were TipidPC President, Alex Amadeo and Western Digital representatives. From among the 20 participants, only 2 TPC members remained for the elimination round with the winner taking home a US$200 cash prize.

there

SILVERSTONE DINNER MEETING TIPIDPC & TIPIDCP COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING PARTY

TipidPC Editorial Board meet up with SilverStone representatives from Taiwan together with guys from Fine Upgrades Philippines, distributor of Silverstone products.

The most awaited community event of the year is the TipidPC Thanksgiving Party where members of both TipidPC and TipidCP meet face to face. The party was held in Libis last December 2010 and attended by members from TPC veterans, admins, owners, and premium members. The hosts, Taba, Goimon and Ayokis brought the house down with their wit and humor. Members and sponsors provided fantastic prizes. Notebook, airsoft guns and NZXT casing were among the top giveaways of the night. TipidPC is always grateful for the support and attendance of members. Everyone enjoyed-even those who were not lucky enough to bring home prizes! Aside from the food, TipidPC members took home TipidPC umbrella which were made available only for that event. See you on the next TipidPC EVENT.

12

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


THANKSGIVING PARTY 2010 Dec. 11, 2010 AMBERBASE EASTWOOD

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

13


14

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


Show us your rig Computer Specs: Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955BE Motherboard: MSI 890FXA-GD70 Memory: G. Skill Trident 1600MHz (2Gbx2) Videocard: Inno3D GTX 260 Gold Edition 216SP Souncard: Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro HDD: Western Digital 1TB Green Edition ODD: LG DVD-RW w/ Lightscribe PSU: Corsair HX650 Casing: Coolermaster 690 II+ HSF: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B Auxiliary: Coolermaster 120mm 90cfm (6Pcs) Others: Coolermaster 4-in-3 Device Module

CODENAME: AMD ROIDS FAUST

Glenn M. Pantay a.k.a k3itaro_mpg I’m a TPC member since March 19, 2005. I’m a Switching Engineer of a telecom company. I’m fond of building pc because I would like to showcase my crafts and give ideas to those who want to start building an inexpensive but eye-catching pc’s. This is also my way of giving credit to those guys who influenced and taught me the perfect way to build a rig. I am not into much modification right now because I don’t have a place to do it. But if given a chance, I would like to start a career in PC-building here in my province. I just change the fan blade of the auxiliaries to color blue, change red LED to blue and put some sleeve on the wire to compensate the theme of my rig.

Show us your rig

The “Time Wasting Machine” Gilbert N. Arbuis a.k.a. Monyuka I’m a TPC member since December of 2007. I am IT professional. I’m fond of building PC’s because I just like to keep up with the latest hardware. Building custom pc/modding is like a hobby to me. One main reason why I build/mod my pc is to get what I really need at a cheaper price and gain that extra performance and aesthetics.

Computer Specs: proc: Intel I7 920 mobo: Asus P6TD Deluxe ram: 3GB G.Skill Trident vc: Sapphire Raden HD5550 Ultimate case: Thermaltake Level 10 cooling: CoolerMaster V8 monitor: 3x Acer 17” LCD (for Eyefinity setup) Modifications done: extra case fans, wire sleeving, cable management TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

15


Show us your rig

Computer Specs: Intel Q6600 QuadCore 2.4ghz DFI Lanparty P45 t2rs Plus Gskill Trident 4GB Inno3D 9500GT 1TB Western Digital HDD Corsair H50 CPU LCS Corsair TX750watts CoolerMaster Cosmos RC1000k Thermaltake Turbo fan Corsair H50 Fans Modifications done: Car Paint K92 Orange 2k Urethane For TopCoat PowderCoated Inside Acrylic Cuts And Bend For exhaust Fans By: TantricModz CarbonFiber stickers By: Chezzowicked Cable sleeves for great and clean looks of cables Cable Management for better Ventilation

Daniel Anthony Nopueto a.k.a Frontosa06 I am employed at a pharmaceutical company in Quezon City. I am interested in Computer assembly and modifying parts of computer case. I love to change the original paint of computer case to a custom color paint so it will look different from others, Im a Facebook addict. I’m a member of rignoobies, a group of computer enthusiast here in TipidPC.com

Show us your rig

Joseph Malixi a.k.a Jomal Jomal and his “ Black Minimalist Rig” I’m a practicing government physician in our province in Bataan. I started building my own computer 2 years ago, got inspired from rigs posted in TipidPC, then started to upgrade my PC. I started to modify my PC with spray painting. Got addicted to cable sleeving and then everything follows. Then I ventured in selling in TPC. The further upgrades led me to finish building my present gaming/workstation rig. This year I started to realize that I want my current rig to be very simple, clean looking, yet elegant and robust.

16

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

Computer Specs: Intel Core i7 920 2.66ghz stock,3.6ghz at OC Asus Rampage II Extreme Corsair H50 Hybrid Cooler Corsair Dominator 6gb Triple Channel Kit 1600mhz at 1600mhz 2 Palit GTX 480 Stock speed, in SLI Corsair AX 1200W PSU Two Seagate Barracuda 500gb 7200rpm One Seagate Barracuda 1tb 7200rpm Asus 22x Combo Drive Corsair 800D Full Tower Chassis (All Stock Corsair Fans) Acer P241w Monitor Razer Lycosa Mirror Edition Razer Salmosa gaming mouse Razer Kabuto gaming surface Altec Lansing VS3251 APC Smart Ups 1500VA 980Watts Mods Done: Spray painted red motherboard components with flat black Cable sleeved all Chassis and fan cables black Spray painted monitor base flat black Cable management Blue laminating sheet covering on ROG motherboard logo


Show us your rig Mitchelle S. Aquino a.k.a. Vanguardwars I’m a TPC member since April 01, 2009. I’m an ECE graduate from UE-Caloocan. Right now I’m a Senior Mainframe Developer in Makati.

Computer Specs: Processor: AMD Athlon II X2 250 3.0GHz (overclocked to 3.3GHz using OC Genie Lite) Motherboard: MSI 880GMA-E45 RAM: 2 x 2GB Team Elite DDR3 1066MHz (CL9) Video Card: XFX ATi Radeon HD5770 (Model: HD577X-ZNFC) HDD: 1 x 320GB Western Digital Caviar Blue ODD: Lite-On DVD-RW DL Power Supply: CoolerMaster 750W GX Series CPU Cooler: DeepCool IceEdge 400 XT Case Fans: 1 x 120mm Everflow Fan 1 x 92mm Delta Fan 5.25” Drive Bay HDD Cooler Modifications done: Chasis (Exterior as a whole): Painted with Glossy Black, and manually buffed to mirror-finish. Chasis (Interior): Painted with Glossy Black, un-buffed to mirror-finish. Painted the Motherboard tray and the HDD/ODD cage to Glossy Yellow-Orange. Sleeved most of the wires using Flexo PET. Top Panel: Installed 2mm-thick Acrylic window Left Side Panel: N/A Right Side Panel: Installed 2mm-thick Acrylic window Back Panel: Removed the mesh cover for the 80mm fan and installed an Acrylic adapter (with grills) to accommodate an 80mm or 92mm fan. Installed Silverstone Aero Slots. Bottom Panel: Drilled a 120mm blow-hole (from 80mm) Installed Silverstone 120mm Fan Filter Front Panel: Re-designed the aesthetics. Re-arranged the buttons, LEDs, and USB ports. Installed a Front Mesh for Air Intake. Installed a DIY 3-channel Fan Controller (max of 1A per channel) using LM317. Replaced the power and reset buttons with Vandal push buttons (no LEDs). Replaced the Power and HDD LED indicators with BLUE LEDs. Installed a 2mm Acrylic bumpers/guard Modified the 120mm Everflow fan to BLUE fan Modified the 92mm Delta Fan to BLUE fan Modified the 5.25” Drive Bay HDD Cooler

I’m an electronics enthusiast. I always enjoy tinkering electronic stuff. But when I got my first rig last March 2009, that’s when I started thinking on how I could make my rig look nice and efficient at the same time. My case at that time is a MidTower m-ATX Neutron Case. Then I found TPC. To my surprise, modding is like a big thing around TPC, and I started hopping into forums until I stumbled upon the “United Modders Philippine Thread”. That’s when I started my first, and current, project (I coined it as Neutron-Reborn) with the help of the guys in the thread, specially Cham_E_Lyon. The current project took me a year to finish because modding demands a lot of time, and I only had weekends to do it. Up to now it is continuously modded by applying carbon fiber vinyl stickers to some parts. My rig isn’t that perfect or flawless, but for me, it is and I love it. The theme I used in my project is inspired by a rig from a member of TPC. I really liked the yellow stripes and glossy black combination. The one that took most of my time is the painting process because I only have spray paint cans and it took forever to dry. And the gruesome part is the manual wet sanding and buffing. I’m planning to start a new project but I have yet to finalize the concept and design and hopefully it won’t take me a year to finish it.

Show us your rig

Computer Specs: Processor - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Motherboard - Emaxx P45 Pro Memory - 2*2gb Team Xtreem Dark CL4 800mhz Video Card - Inno3d GTX 460 768mb OC Edition Hard Disk - Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black Cooler - Corsair H50 Liquid Cooling Power Supply - Cougar CM Power 700w Accessories - Xigmatek fans, Deep Cool Rockman fan controller Case - Modified Exodus Case

Manuel Florenz E. De Guzman a.k.a. Renzdg I’m a TPC member since July 18, 2009. I graduated from University of Santo Tomas in 2009 and started to work as a graphic artist. Art and design is one of my specialty. I decided to apply it to my hobby thats why I got into modifying computer cases . I love playing games and I’m into graphic design. By joining and being friends with UMP made me more motivated, gain new knowledge and learn more skills. Winning the Silverstone “The Rave” Case Modification Contest is one of my greatest achievement in the field of modding with Team Kublai composed of biglou, bluepuz, redburn, zer09, vanguardwars, hanich and specially kharr who lead us to win the contest.

Modifications done: Exterior Powdercoated (White) Customized window design for top and side panel with acrylic Body filled front panel, customized 120mm blowhole, Replaced power and reset button Customized 2x1in. Aluminum Case Foot Deep Cool Rockman fan controller led changed from blue to orange Interior Powdercoated base (white), ODD and FDD bay (flat black) 90mm rear exhaust mount modified to 120mm (for H50) ODD bay mesh cover for cab

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

17


Paolo Getueza a.k.a. Pao88GTSLi

Show us your rig

I’m a TPC member since April 2008. I’m a student at St. Paul University – Quezon City, taking up Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. I’m fond of assembling system units because it feels like assembling real cars when I crank them up. Also, it’s been a decade since I hooked myself to PC building and PC gaming, I learned a lot from online material or through my mistakes such as burning rams and disk (lol). Since I’m not a fan of other things, I spend a lot of time playing and building system units thus making it my primary hobby.

The first modification I’ve done with the Raven was to change its stock bay. I had several revisions. The first was to replicate Mr. Medina’s Raven (of course, with permission) and then I decided to design my own. It came out to be like armor with blade in the final version. The clear acrylic behind the armor-like acrylic is lit up by red L.E.D. to have that luminous effect. It even looked like a zealot in StarCraft 2. Master Cham painted the case with an automobile paint and I decided that the secondary color such as the mesh and PSU guard to be colored as red. I chose black and red color combination since my hardware dominated that color combination, my custom water-cooling kit too. Master Cham also created a custom side panel which I revised. The cables in the interior are sleeved with white and red too. Some lights such as CCFL and KAMA-METER Multifunctional Controller for the Bay. Computer Specs: Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8Ghz – Water-cooled / ASUS Rampage III Formula / Inno3D GTX 580 OCZ Triple Channel Memory Kit PC 12800 @ 1866Mhz Creative X-Fi Elite Pro / 2x 1TB WD Caviar Black SATA3 in RAID0 1X 2TB WD Caviar Green SATA3 Corsair HX620 620W Modified Silverstone RV-02

Show us your rig Computer Specs: Mother Board: MSI X58 Pro-E socket 1366 for i7 Processor: Intel i7 920 @ 2.67 ghz. socket 1366 Memory: Corsair Dominator Triple Channel DDR1600 3*1gb Video Card: Nvidia GTX460 1gb DDR5 Hard Drive: 1x640gb Western Digital Caviar Black and 1x500gb Seagate Barracuda Power Supply: Corsair HX 750watts Modular Cable Power Supply Case: Silverstone RV-01bw Modifications done: * Set-up the 240mm Radiator at the top of the Power Supply to Accomodate my Water Cooling Loop inside the CPU. * I put a Sound Activated Module + 2pcs. Strip Led (color blue) at the Top portion of my Side Panel Window and say (Party Life ^_^) * Cable Management using a p-clip and Akasa Zip Tie * I place Cooler Master Aerogate II and Cooler Master Musketeer Led at the Front Panel Bay to Add Some Flavor on my Raven-01 Simple Panel.

Ricardo Omaña Mangundayao a.k.a LiljHoN_05 I’m a tpc member since May 18, 2009. I’m a 22-year old father of a 1-year old baby girl and I have a small business of trading computer accessories. I really love it and this is for life.

18

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


TIPIDPC.COM

19


FEATURE

BUILDING FROM SCRATCH By: Ariz Cabiaz a.k.a Incubus_boy08

The 4th genaration rig

or high definition graphics and a great gameplay experience, a powerful gaming rig with style is what every gamer needs. Since I am a gamer myself, a number of rigs have already come my way. Let me share my experiences from my first computer all the way to my soon-to-be rig.

F

I got my first so-called “rig” back in 2002. It was Acer Aspire 6000 desktop series which was a gift from my dad when I was in high school. I was surprised since I was not expecting that my dad will buy a computer for us back then. It includes an Acer scanner and an Epson printer. It was one of the first models in the Acer Aspire desktop lineup. The specs of it were, well, I can say in the midrange level of those years. The fastest processor available back then was Intel’s Pentium III clocked at 800 MHz. It’s too bad I don’t have it anymore since it was “scavenged” as was already broken and we don’t know then how to fix it. Worse, it was hard to find a computer technician back then. So, as far as the specs are concerned, I know it’s not capable to play the modern games of today, but hey, it served me well back then. One of the games I used to play with my Aspire computer was Counter-Strike Beta 6.5 up to version 1, the very first FPS shooter that I played and still playing until this day. Of course, Half-Life was also on my list. My first real-time strategy, Command and Conquer: Ti-

20

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

berian Sun and Red Alert 2. I was torn between the Playstation console and the computer. At first I was an avid Playstation guy but when I started enjoying the PC, I spent more time on the PC than on the consoles. The Aspire PC broke after 2-3 years. It was kind of hard for me back then since I have to play outside or else I’ll stick with Playstation once again. Fortunately, we got a budget to build a replacement for the broken Aspire. The build was not hardcore. It was a budget rig. No discrete graphics but it could still play the games that I wanted to play. We just replaced the CPU with a new one since the monitor, speakers and other peripherals were still working. Also it was my first AMD build since AMD is known for their affordable desktop processors. It was a clock speed war back then since AMD first broke the Gigahertz speed barrier which means serious competition with Intel. So that’s the build. As you can see, I just replaced some parts to beef up my aging computer and still used what I can carry-on from the Aspire desktop since I’m on a budget build. Well at least it can still play most of the games that I’ve been playing. Not much to share about this one since I was busy playing with friends on a Local Network setting rather than by myself. There was also a period of time when I was in-

terested in PC racing games. I got hooked up with Need for Speed which was also one of my top games on the PS console. Unfortunately, my computer wasn’t able to handle the graphics demand of that game so I felt the need to upgrade the setup that I had. That time I got a pretty sweet deal from a friend who sold me his LGA 775 Pentium 4 processor together with the board so I decided to start from there. ACER ASPIRE 6000 series desktop

1 ST G

EN

• Processor: Intel Celeron 667 MHz, 128KB L2 cache, 66Mhz FSB, Socket 370 • Motherboard: OEM Board with SIS 620 chipset mATX form factor • Memory: 64 MB PC133 SDRAM • Storage: 10 GB Seagate 5400 RPM Ultra ATA • Graphics: Integrated 2D/ 3D Graphics with 8 MB system memory share • Power Supply: OEM PSU • Casing: Acer Aspire series micro-ATX Casing • Keyboard and mouse: Acer Aspire Mouse and Keyboard w/ Volume control, Web and Sleep buttons • Monitor: 15” Acer Aspire monitor • Speakers: Acer Aspire USB Powered speakers


I used my P4 rig throughout my college days. I played different games and I’m not limited to Counterstrike and Red Alert anymore. It was the dawn of Warcraft mod “DOTA” back then so I gave it a try. I also played some of the games from the Need for Speed and Medal of Honor franchise. After graduating from college, I was very eager to find a job so that I can buy the things that I wanted. One of them is my very own gaming rig. Luckily, I landed a job eventually and started saving money to buy my very first gaming rig. I can say that it’s not easy since I need to consider other personal expenses.

some of you haven’t heard about the company but they produce very great RAMs. They have a lifetime warranty all of their RAMs plus each RAM contains an aluminum heat speaker. Really not bad for its price. Also, I did not forget the power supply, since it was the one that will make all of the hardwares run. I chose the HEC Cougar 700 because HEC are the makers of some OEM PSU on desktops, which I knew were always on 24/7. I later upgraded to an 850w Xigmatek PSU because of my GTX 295. I also used an aftermarket heatsink on the processor, specifically Deep Cool’s Ice Blade Pro. I used two fans to get a push-pull setup so that it can dissipate the heat faster and give me lower temps (provided that I am running an unlocked quad core AMD Phenom 3.8GHz). I was able to play the latest games with it on a 1680x1050 resolution LG 22” LCD. I believed that it can take whatever game I threw at it and still give me a playable frame per second count.

Finally, The time came when I had enough money to buy one. I can’t say that it’s a hardcore gaming rig but rather a casual one since I didn’t have much money to spend on a very pricey computer. Since I was on a budget, my focus was on the graphics card which is the #1 Well there you have it. I know it’s not the best priority when building a gaming rig. I used Nvidgaming rig out ia’s GTX 260 then later “ At first I was an avid Playstation guy but there since I’m upgraded to when I started enjoying the PC, I spent on a tight budget GTX 295. And more time on the PC than on the consoles. ” and this is how far I can go with when thinking my savings. of a bang-forNonetheless, it can still play any game on highthe-buck processor, I looked at AMD’s Phenom est settings possible and can generate playII lineup. I can only afford dual cores that time able FPS count. and when I heard the unlocking capabilities of I’m now planning on my next build. This time I some AMD Phenoms partnered with a good unwant to try multi-monitor gaming, which I know, locking board, I can have a quad core procesneeds more money and processing power. sor on a dual core price. So I gambled. I bought I’m eyeing on AMD’s six core processor toa Gigabyte 770 motherboard. Gigabyte is widegether with either AMD Radeons 6900 series ly known for their high quality boards and they in Crossfire or Nvidia’s GTX 500 series in SLI. never fail to live up to their label. I’ve been usAlso, I’m probably getting a decent full tower ing this motherboard until now given that I have case since the parts that I’ll be getting will gena quad core which was overclocked to 3.8GHz erate a lot of heat and will eat up 600 watts of (default was dual core 3.1 GHz). For the RAMs power at least when in full load. When it comes I chose TEAM’s Elite DDR3 series. Maybe

AMD build (Upgrade from Aspire desktop)

2 ND G

EN

3rd upgrade

3 RD G

EN

to power, I am ready. I already have my Enermax Revolution 1050w for it. I’m just waiting for Nvidia and AMD’s final lineup of graphic cards so that I can decide on which path to choose. If I can complete the build before the next issue, then I will be glad to share it to you guys! See you soon!

The 1st genaration rig

4 TH

Latest Gaming Rig Setup

G

EN

• Processor: AMD Athlon XP 1800+ 1.5 GHz, 256

• Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz, Socket

• Processor: AMD Phenom II x2 550 Black Edi-

KB L2 Cache, 266 MT/s FSB, Socket A (462)

LGA 775

tion 3.1 GHz, Socket AM3 (Unlocked to x4 B50

• Motherboard: ECS L7VMM2 VIA KM266 &

• Motherboard: ECS P4M800PRO-M

3.8 GHz)

VT8235 Chipset

• Memory: 2x512 MB Apacer DDR 400 RAM

• Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P

• Memory: Generic 256 MB RAM

• Storage: Seagate 80GB 7200 RPM Ultra ATA

• Memory: 2GB Team Elite RAM

• Storage: Seagate 40GB 5400 RPM Ultra ATA

• Graphics: 128MB Gigabyte Radeon 9250

• Storage: Seagate 500GB 7200 RPM SATA

• Graphics: Integrated S3 ProSavage8 2D/3D

then upgraded later to 256 MB Inno3D Geforce

• Graphics: Zotac Geforce GTX 295

Graphics

FX5500

• Power Supply: Xigmatek NRP 850W

• Power Supply: Generic 400 watt ATX Power

• Power Supply: Generic 550 watt ATX Power

• Casing: Modded Epraizer Hummer ATX case

Supply

Supply

• Keyboard and mouse: A4Tech x7 G800 and

• Casing: Standard ATX casing with Window

• Casing: Duke ATX Casing

Logitech Wireless mouse

side-panel

• Keyboard and mouse: A4tech KB28G keyboard

• Monitor: LG W2252TQ 22” LCD

• Keyboard and mouse: Acer Aspire Mouse and

and mouse

• Speakers: Devant DV-2000 2.1 Speakers

Keyboard w/ Volume control, Web and Sleep

• Monitor: 17” Samsung monitor

buttons

• Speakers: Eacan 2.1 speakers later upgraded

• Monitor: 15” Acer Aspire monitor • speakers

Speakers: Acer Aspire USB Powered

to Creative SBS 350 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

21


FEATURE

CLARKDALE OVERCLOCKING GUIDE Ronaldo Bejarin a.k.a. By: Bartman1973

T

here are so many users these

This is also a critical one since it supplies the memory controller and PCIe of the system. I have been overclocking for quite sometime and my recommendation is not to go above 1.4V. Adjusting this voltage will have a direct impact on the blck frequency and the QPI link frequency.

days still researching the web on how to speed-up their systems by overclocking. However, most of them don’t know where to start. I am also receiving a lot of private

- DRAM voltage is another key ingredient in overcloking your system. Adding more voltage to the ram will allow you to increase its operating speed as well. Intel published a rule that the stock VTT and DRAM voltage should not differ by 0.5v. Since I recommend 1.4V for the QPI/VTT, that means that you can go up to maybe 1.85V on the Dram voltage which is more than enough for a Clarkdale system.

messages about how they can overclock and stabilize their system. With the launching of Tipid PC magazine, I have decided to make a small contribution by writing a step by step guide on overclocking your Clarkdale processors. What about those DDR3s in the market? Some One critical thing to know before jumping into overclocking is your motherboard’s BIOS. Please do not be afraid to look at what’s inside your BIOS as well as the settings. If you think that you have messed up something, just load the system defaults or sometimes pressing the “Clear CMOS” will do the trick. Most motherboard manufacturers now have a built in “Clear CMOS“ switch or if your motherboard doesn’t have one, just look for the CMOS reset jumper.

The next item we need to understand is the Base Clock or you can always see it in the BIOS as “Bclk “. Base clock and ratios are the two most important things that we need to understand in order for us to determine how fast our system is. The default base clock for all P55/H55/H57 is 133, while the ratio, or better known as the multiplier, varies from one processor to another. CPU frequency is actually the base clock multiplied by the ratio/multiplier. Example : 133 – Base clock default x 21 CPU clock ratio = 2793 CPU Speed

22 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

people get confused between the memory clock speed and the DDR speed. To simplify things, we will use DDR3 1600 as example.

- Most Clarkdale systems come with built in graphics. Most motherboards also have ports ready like VGA, DVI and HDMi if in case you want to utilize the built it graphics. My recommendation for this one is also not to go beyond 1.4v.

DDR3 1600 is actually running at 800Mhz but with the DDR (Dual Data Rate) technology, it is

Now it’s time to get to the real action. I usually

actually allowing the memory to process twice

go to the BIOS first and select load optimized

per clock cycle .

defaults, then the next thing that I usually do is to disable the “unnecessary stuff” or the things

Before going into the actual overclocking steps, lets us first look at some of the important voltages to know when overclocking.

that I really don’t need. Examples are the 1394, COM ports, extra SATA/PATA controller from Jmicron controller. I also disable the

- First and foremost is the CPU core voltage or better known as Vcore. This is directly related to the overclocking that we will be doing. The more frequency we want our processor to run on, the more voltage we need to add. If you ask me what the safe overclocking voltage is, the answer is there is no actual or fixed value. I have read somewhere that the max voltage we can apply to an Intel processor is 1.55v on the Vcore BUT we must always check the temperature of the system when applying any overclocking and voltage change. You can just download a free program in the net called REAL temp or CORE Temp to monitor the temperature of the system while on LOAD. Intel says 100C – 105C is the max operating temperature of the processor. Believe me, your system can reach that temperature if you are stressing the system with IBT (Intel Burn Test) or Wprime with all cores enabled. - The next on my list will be the QPI/VTT voltages.

power saving features like EIST, C1E and the C states. Once done, reboot the system and see if your setup will go to windows.

After that restart, go again to the BIOS setup. In order to achieve high bclock frequency, we need to adjust the QPI/VTT voltage. Setting the multiplier to a lower value is also a key for us to attain high bclck. Correct VTT can give you high bclock which also equates to a good overclocked system. The default voltage of the QPI is 1.15 V.


For testing purposes below will be the initial setup: - Core i3 530 – set the multiplier to 15 instead of the default 22. - Set the QPI / VTT to 1.2 VS the 1.15

setup below: - Core i3 530 – set the multiplier back to 22 - QPI / VTT – Leave your stable QPI voltage ( lets use 1.36V as the example stable vtt ) - Set your bclock to 150 ( Most often on a core i3 530, 150 bclk is a walk in the park )

stock - Bclock set to 150 Mhz VS the stock

to continue to repeat this until you reach your desired overclock state. Memory overclocking is another thing. It can be a bit tricky and I will not be discussing it here. During the testing phase just be sure to adjust your RAM to the correct ratio and to the nearest rated frequency. You can see that in the BIOS setting as well.

133Mhz

The built in graphics controller for Clarkdale processors are overclockable. In most cases they are just good for probably 900Mhz or just a bit more. There is also a separate frequency for this in the BIOS along with voltage adjustments. If you want to overclock this, you can increase 5MHz per step and again 0.025 increase in the GPU voltage also in the BIOS. Instead of running IBT, I usually use futuremark or sometimes 3D Mark vantage and will only click the GPU test. I don’t recommend built in graphics overclocking but i f you want to experiment with your system you can do the procedure above.

That setup above will give us 2250 MHZ VS, the stock 2926 Mhz of the core i3 530. After doing the settings above, reboot the system and let it go to windows and load the free temp monitoring software. Load the stress testing tool like Intel Burn Test. Let it run 5 times to test the stability of your system. If no error is encountered, again go to the BIOS and adjust the bclock by 5 MHZ. Reboot the system and follow the procedure above until you reach your desired bclk. 200 is already a good number for the core i3 530. If the test fails, go to the BIOS again and increase your QPI / VTT. Usually boards set the adjustments to 0.025V (250mv) per step. Repeat again until it passes the stress testing. Take note that the recommended QPI/VTT is 1.4V only.

Now that we have the stable and high bclock, the next thing to do is to find the stable CPU frequency. What we will do is play again with bclock and the core voltage. For us to find a good CPU frequency lets do the

The setup above will give us 3300 Mhz VS the stock 2926 MHZ. We will use the same procedure above wherein we need to load windows, real temp and run stress testing. If the test runs without error, then you can go back to the BIOS and add 5Hmz and run the test again. If the system fails to boot, raise the core voltage by 1 step at a time which is again 0.025V. You need

I usually run IBT for 30 minutes to one hour to check system stability. IBT can really stress your system. I have never seen any other program that generates a lot of heat like IBT. That’s about it for my quick Clarkdale overclocking guide. There are tons of information in the web and there are still so many settings in the bios to play with. I have written this guide for us to help TPC community or probably the soon to be readers of this magazine.

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

23


PREVIEW

MULTI-MEDIA PLAYER TO THE XTREME!

“Introducing the xtreamer pro: Your all in one multi-media player!” INTRODUCTION I’m really fascinated in the different kinds of multi-media players: whatever the make or model as long as it plays my favorite movies and music at the end of a long, tiring day. I always thought all multi-media players were created equal and I didn’t care much. That was until I found the Xtreamer...

XTREAMER UNIT The Xtreamer is encased in hard aluminum and plastic. It’s so light and it doesn’t feel like any media player I’ve seen. It’s quite deceiving. Maybe future versions of the Xtreamer will be more flashy and attractive but what really matters is what’s inside rather than the looks.

I was wondering what the fuss was all about seeing that the Xtreamer caused quite a stir in the forums. The Xtreamer was a hot topic in the TPC forums. It was then that I started to do some research but the experience was not complete until I had the chance to handle the extreamer itself and saw its capabilities.

All the connections and ports are located at the back of the unit: RCA ports, LAN port, USB host, Optical 7.1 port, HDMI port and power port. At the front are the HDMI, USB ports and LED indicators for power, HDDA (hard disk A) and HDDB (hard disk B), NAS mode and network indicator.

INSIDE THE BOX On the box is the “X” for the Xtreamer and the packaging is quite nice. Before opening it, I read through the features and functions indicated at the back; High-resolution multimedia library supporting many formats, HDD to USB file copying, diverse music file supported, digital photo album, NAS (Network Attached Storage) capabilities, supports USB devices, UPNP, HDMI output and 7.1 audio channel output. I was overwhelmed by all these features!

A small exhaust fan cools the unit and there is also a small switch which I thought was for powering on. This was actually a selector for which drive you would want to run whether it be hard drive A or hard drive B. I found this arrangement quite odd. Another significant flaw of the Xtreamer is the lack of external controls making the unit totally reliant on the remote. Without the remote, the unit is entirely useless.

Once I opened its box, I honestly wasn’t so impressed by the physical appearance of the Xtreamer. It simply looked like an AVR colored in black and stamped with the “Xtreamer” logo. There was nothing unusual with the accessories included. Just the usual; USB wireless LAN with dock, HDMI cable, USB slave cable, RCA analog cable and remote control unit. There was no instruction manual though there was a “quick start guide”. I was interested in the technical details but there was no reading material included. I found these quite surprising.

24

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

A CLOSER LOOK Inside the Xtreamer are slots for two (2) hard disks. Each slot contains a maximum capacity of 2TB (terabyte) totalling a whole unit of 4TB. (Hard disk not included when purchasing Xtreamer). The USB slots allow you to use external flash or hard disk. Note: You can only use Sata drives. IDE drives will not work with the Xtreamer. Sata drives slide easily into the slots. The only difficult

“The first time I saw the Xtreamer pro, I found it difficult to believe that this AVR like device will perform as advertised... Until I personally tried it. “

RECOMMENDED EDITORS CHOICE


The Xtreamer is package with its own remote control. Theres no way for you to turn on the xtreamer but thru this Xtreamer remote controller. So, be careful not to lose it.

part was opening the plastic body cover. I was thinking since this was made of plastic, it may be susceptible to breakage although it takes some getting used to.

keypad arrangement is the same as any ordinary remote with the addition of several special keys specifically for the Xtreamer like; Home, add, eject, select, delete, page up, page down, subtitle, audio and “sync subtitle”.

STORAGE We tried out the Xtreamer using a Western Digital Caviar green 1TB sata hard disk with a 64mb cache for fast response. We started out with a 1TB drive just to see how many movie files can actually be stored. A full length movie coming from an orginal Blue-ray then converted, can take up anywhere from 2GB to 16GB per movie. Since the Xtreamer can play video at 1080p, we decided to go full-resolution from 720p to 1080p. We found that we could only pack 140 high-resolution movies into the 1TB drive. That was good enough considering that these movies will all be viewed in full-HD. With a 2TB drive, 280-300 movies can be stored while a 4TB can save up to almost 600. Imagine all those hours of entertainment contained in a tiny box!

The remote also has another function: with the addition of a cellphone and wifi. Like the illustration shows, all you need is a wifi-enabled phone with browser. It will work with the iPhone or any android phone. On your phone; select the browser and type the following: http://192.168.2.102/ rc, the Xtreamer icon will soon appear along with your phone’s browser. Always make sure that the Xtreamer is connected to the wifi or LAN to pair up both devices.

REMOTE CONTROL This is actually the “life” of the Xtreamer. Without it, there’s no way to manually operate the many functions it offers. The remote control is powered by 2-AAA batteries. It is very responsive and is essential in powering the unit. The

One apparent disadvantage is that you cannot use the phone to remotely turn on the Xtreamer. For this, you will need the dedicated remote unit supplied. CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCREEN HDMI: To get the most out of your HD movies, an HDMI screen offers the best possible resolution in full 1080p HD since the Xtreamer is capable of full-HD video output. The rich, crisp and sharp images will only be enjoyed by using an HDMI screen provided that your movie files have been ripped from blue-ray and encoded and transfered in “.mkv” format.

RCA: This is the most basic audio/video output for analog screen. Most ordinary tv sets work on this signal. RCA monitors are not as clear or as welldefined. A few of the RCA monitor’s advantages are it’s lack of fancy cables and attachments, and that it’s low cost. Note: the RCA connection must first be configured when using an RCA monitor for the first time.

USING THE XTREAMER I had difficulty finding the “power-on” button for the Xtreamer. Little did I realize that the unit did not have a power button at all! It was only when I referred the user’s guide that I realized how vital the remote was--only the remote can power up the unit! The screen interface is very straightforward and it’s easy to recall how to navigate using the remote to access your files. I tried viewing “.mkv” 1080p HD movie files ripped from blue ray disks. The video takes up most of the screen of an HDMI monitor. When I used the same movie files on an RCA monitor, the quality is equal to that of an ordinary dvd player.

Xtreamer Provided by: PCTrends

Xtreamer is available @ Softbox Solutions:

(632) 738.29.54 Loc 802 Hard discs ( WD Caviar Green ) Provided by Western Digital TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

25


Next, I tried playing MP4 files. They worked well with acceptable resolution. AVI and MOV files worked equally well. MUSIC GALORE Aside from playing blue ray-ripped movie files and MP4, I also tried playing MP3 music and the sound quality was quite acceptable. One will appreciate sound quality more when the optical 7.1 speaker system is used. Otherwise, 5.1 or 2.1 would be just about right for your listening pleasure.

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY One amazing feature of the Xtreamer is internet connectivity. On the main menu you will find the “Xtreaming” item. You can use UTP or WiFi connection which needs to be hooked up to a router. I first tried internet radio and I was surprised at the variety of radio stations already set as “default” on the Xtreamer. Radio stations around the world as classified according to music genre; 70’s, 80’s, pop, jazz and everything else are just a touch of a button away. I also tried searching for my favorite videos on YouTube but just like a regular computer, you’ll need to wait for the video to load.

26

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

But if you have a fast internet connection, streaming video files is a breeze with the Xtreamer. One powerful feature of the Xtreamer are the default internet channels. One doesn’t need to browse the net just to search for news, upcoming movies, events, etc. The nice thing about the Xtreamer is since there are default channels, you go straight to where you want to; CNN. Fox, Yahoo, Discovery, etc. You can also view online photos via Flickr or upload photos to your favorite social networking sites. SCORE Scoring system: 1 lowest / 10 highest Aesthetics: 7 Internet: 9 Functionality: 7 User friendliness: 7 Ease of use: 8 We would highly recommend the Xtreamer for movie buffs who like to watch in high-def. As a multimedia player, nothing beats the Xtreamer’s 4TB storage capacity which can be further beefed up by its provision for external storage.


TIPIDPC.COM

27


EXCLUSIVE

The IPad Experience By: Christian Uybengkee a.k.a Ayokis_stuff

A

t first, I was skeptical about the new

versions of the iPad.

iPad because I thought it was all

BATTERY

but an oversized iPhone and I saw

I found that the iPad could go 6-8 hours

no practical use for it since I already had a

straight with all the functions but I mostly

laptop. I was wrong!

write and use the internet. Though the manufacturer claims a 10-hour battery life,

So, I did some research on this new gadget

it may not always be possible especially

hoping to find out how this tablet would fit

when using the WiFi function which eats

my personal needs. From all the information

up a lot of power. Realistically speaking,

I gathered, all I found was high-definition

8-hours isn’t so bad considering that an

graphics and games which had no practical

average laptop would run for a maximum of

use but then again, I was wrong the 2nd time

only 2-3 hours and maybe less when using

around.

wireless connection. My only disappointment in this department is charging time

The more I saw the features of the iPad, the

which can take up to 5-hours from1% to

more I wanted to get one! When I finally got

100%. I would like to see Apple make a fast

it, I was so excited about the item inside the

charger for iPads.

box and I couldn’t believe I was getting my hands on something I could only watch on YouTube! Yes, externally it does look like an

PDF magazine, the Early Edition application allows you to update an article in real time

“I like the fact that I don’t waste time booting up”

oversized iPhone but there was more than

according to your time zone. It doesn’t matter where you are as long as you’re connected, the application feeds the info and updates

meets the eye. This tablet was loaded with very useful features!

needs. Instead of the traditional downloadable

APPLICATIONS The iPad comes with built-in applications

SCREEN

that would be just fine if all you’ll do is

The 9.7 screen isn’t that big nor is it too

surf the net and check your email, watch

small. I found these dimensions just right

movies, play games or listen to music.

and it doesn’t cause eye strain. The pop-up

When I installed applications like Face-

keyboard is very responsive and easy to

book for iPad, Office HD(word and excel

use whether in portrait or landscape mode.

files), NIV Bible, wordbook dictionary,

It is arranged in “QWERTY” fashion and

sketchpad, voice recorder, early edition,

special characters are readily available via

Popular Mechanics, retouch for iPad, and

the “SHIFT” key. Setting the brightness mode

FM radio(internet radio for iPad), I saw this

in the middle, I find that I can look at the

tablet in a whole new light! I can edit down-

screen and not feel any discomfort although I

loaded word and excel files and transfer

wish they had incorporated the retina display

them to either MacBook or PC. Of course I

similar to that used on the iPhone. I’m sure

can do that on my iPhone but it’s really just

this will become standard feature on future

too small to type on. But this one fits my

previous news items. It can also play videos, audio and interactive programs. There are tons of applications available online through the Apple store and iTunes store. GAMES I was already impressed with iPhone games and when I thought things couldn’t get any better, I was wrong again for the third time! I had the chance to play with the following iPad HD games. When they said “HD”, they really meant HD!

I tried out Angry Birds and Angry Birds Halloween edition. Just like Plants vs. Zombies, it surely was a cure for boring moments when I just needed to pass the time but I was really blown away with Asphalt 5 and Splinter Cell, Badminton HD and Hockey HD. Clarity of the graphics and responsiveness are amazing! You’re gaming experience will never be the same until you try your hand at any one of these—they are a must!

28

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


WIFI AND INTERNET

CONCLUSION

I take advantage of WiFi wherever and whenever I could to check my

I would highly recommend the iPad to anyone looking for a multi-pur-

emails. Much of my outgoing emails get sent through this iPad more

pose gadget with an exceptionally long battery life, instant connectivity,

than my desktop. I like the fact that I don’t waste time booting up. I no-

recreational value because of the awesome HD games available and

ticed though that you need to refresh the wifi connection often because

productivity for basic office tasks which you can do on the fly. The iPad

there are times when the signal goes flat. I don’t experience this kind

is also a must for professional photographers or enthusiasts. It has a

of trouble when using a notebook but nothing beats an iPad’s speed

camera connection kit which allows instant previews straight from the

since you don’t need to set up anything to get connected to the web.

camera plus the large LCD screen allows one to see which files are good or bad and best of all, the iPad also reads RAW files.

PEFORMANCE I’m really satisfied with the performance of the iPad and it outperforms

I’m definitely happy with the iPad and for a working professional like

a netbook in certain aspects like wifi connectivity and startup time but

myself who’s out on the road a lot, my iPad is like a virtual office I can

an iPad will not be able to render high-quality videos or PDF files for

take with me anywhere and I’m never out of touch. If an improved ver-

publishing. Applications like Retouch serve almost the same purpose

sion is in the works, I’m certainly saving up to get one!

as Photoshop but it does have limitations although it’s much more simplified and easy to use.

EXCLUSIVE

Ipad as a Business tool Allan D. Sabado a.k.a. Adsventure

Working as an engineering manager in an electronic security and

a minute and this could not be done with my laptop coming from an

safety systems company enables me to use technology devices in my

“off” status. Ease of access, battery life that lasts at least 8 hours and

everyday work. One of my functions is to provide technical support

portability of the iPad makes it an indispensable tool in my profession.

to our Sales, Projects and Maintenance Departments; thus, having

With the very simple user interface of the iPad, even my 5-year old

a handy source of technical references is an advantage. This is the

kid, who is still a beginner at reading, learned how to access and

main reason why I invested in a 32GB iPad. Although I use a laptop

use the iPad just by watching his older siblings. My three other kids

computer as a primary computing device, most of the time I use my

enjoy playing iPad games and they usually visit the iTunes Apps

iPad as a tool in providing technical assistance at the project site. With

Store to download free games and entertainment apps. My kids do

the GoodReader application in my iPad, I’m able to take the technical

the customization in my iPad and they take pride in finding apps

library along with me. My iPad contains equipment manuals, datasheets, and other technical documents that I use as reference during system program-

“Although I use a laptop computer as a primary computing device, most of the time I use my iPad as a tool in providing technical assistance at the project site.”

that are shared within the family. The installation of applications is something that differentiates an iPad from a laptop or desktop computer as iPad applications

ming and troubleshooting.

can be disposed of quickly and easily. My wife, who is fond of reading

Being a Professional Electronics Engineer and the Lead Auditor of our

pocketbooks and non-fiction books, enjoys the iBooks application for

company’s ISO 9001:2008 Internal Quality Audit, I have to read techni-

its 600+ e-books content and also for the way the pages are flipped

cal books in order to keep up with technology and enhance my knowl-

like a real book. It has also been our habit to watch high-definition

edge in the industry standards. Having the industry standards in my

movies at home during weekend afternoons as a sort of family-bond-

iPad as a ready reference is a big help in the practice of my profession.

ing and the iPad serves as a useful tool in screening movie contents

Stored in my iPad are the ISO 9001:2008 Philippine National Stand-

through the IMDb apps. Through it, we are able to determine the rat-

ards, NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm Code, RA 6541 National Building

ing of movies and check for scenes that are not suitable for kids.

Code of the Philippines, RA9292 Electronics Engineering Law of the

Apple iPad is expensive, but as my whole family uses this device and

Philippines, and other electronic system design guidelines used as my

each member gets something from it, it provides more bang for the

“standard and codes” reference. Accessing these reference documents

buck.

through iPad is very much faster than accessing them through my laptop computer. Any reference document could be accessed in less than TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

29


EXCLUSIVE

“HDSLR’s and the Future of Cinematography”

T

Abs Abando is a writer/director/photographer with over 20-years experience in both print and video. He is currently involved in a number of documentaries for international release and a weekly television show in a local tv network

By: ABS ABANDO a.k.a Sunryzr

here was a growing debate about incorporating HD video in the latest DSLR’S in the market starting with the Nikon D90. Admittedly, I was among those who hinted out the possible flaws and handling issues that were to be experienced by cinematographers who wanted to transition from the traditional to what seemed, at the time, as a “growing fad”.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Having been in the television production business for almost 2-decades, I’ve seen technology progress from U-matic to Betacam and eventually, digital video—DVC Pro, DV Cam and the like. Camera makers have taken advantage of “miniaturization”, and over the years, the recording medium, i.e. tape has indeed shrunk from the Bible-sized U-matics to the pocket-sized, mini-DV. Film crews now had the option of carrying recording mediums that could capture more footage in lighter packages. The KC-20’s of the U-matic age lasted only up to 20-minutes while the mini-DV’s could give you almost an hour of footage.

“One major advantage of the HDSLR is size, something we filmmakers exploit to the hilt!” 2-years ago, I was part of a team that won the “Best Short Film” award in Thailand. We were one of the first filmmakers who shot entirely on the Canon 5D Mark2. Having been involved in such a production as assistant director and focus puller, I have now become a true believer in the HDSLR! As a professional cinematographer and segment director for television, I have seen the merits of having a compact-sized camera capable of shooting at angles that were thought of as impossible in the not-so-distant past. I���ve personally handled most shoulder-mounted video cameras, and my current issue for tv is the Panasanic HPX500, P2HD.

HANDLING Nikon had the right idea, it seems when it introduced the D90 back in 2008. One of the major drawbacks of the D90 is that it can only shoot at 720 aspect ratio. It overheats and as a result has—at its worst, 30-seconds of roll time, no manual exposure override and no audio input or output jacks! At best, the D90 was a good pointand-shoot video camera with a marginally good image quality. Canon, having been at the forefront of video technology since the days of the XL-1 had simply shrunk the innards and installed them in the 5D Mark2. One of the things we filmmakers love about HDSLR’s is the fact that we virtually use any lens available to normal, photo-only SLR cameras. The ability to throw the background almost totally off-focus, manually zoom and focus are just some of the attributes that make the 5D and others like it the darling of upcoming filmmakers and professionals alike. HDSLR’s have a distinct “look” that

30

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

is difficult to achieve with any other video platform. The only apparent disadvantage of HDSLR’s is ergonomics; SLR’s were meant to be held in the palm of the hand, vertically-oriented specifically for stills. Video and cinema cameras are held with the palm of the hand leveled against the horizon—a design that allows for long roll times and minimal camera shake. Another fault of the HDSLR regardless of brand is the orientation of the “record/roll” button which in some cases is the same activator for the “liveview” feature. Personally, I find this as an oversight for manufacturers and designers since the thumb will definitely tilt the camera as it presses the “roll” button to make the exposure resulting in visible camera shakes as one starts and stops rolling. This may be a minor problem but as a working professional, I find this quite annoying. It is this same feature that also makes hand-held

shooting difficult considering that the cinematographer needs to stretch his arms out to see the LCD monitor which, by the very posture alone, makes the camera very shaky. I find it difficult shooting “freehand” this way and the fixed LCD placement of the HDSLR makes it very difficult to make high or low angle shots without the use of an external monitor.

ALTERNATIVE CAMERA ANGLES One major advantage of the HDSLR is size, something we filmmakers exploit to the hilt! I’ve shot sequences which were impossible to do on a regular HD camera such as a “point-of-view” or POV shot of a shooter engaging targets a la “Counter Strike”. This was done using a Canon 500D with a customized shoulder mount. It has also been easier to shoot at “worm’s eye view” provided an external monitor is used. I was with a German production crew recently and we shot a lot of “guerilla-style” footage; going to places within Metro Manila which required permits


to film sequences. Since we were shooting with an HDSLR, it made the Germans look like tourists enjoying the sights where we would otherwise be accosted by authorities for shooting without a permit. Not only does the HDSLR give you a different camera perspective, it also allows for everything to be shrunk; equipment and costs included! No longer will a full-sized rail or crane system be required. All that is needed these days is a good “slider” and “mini-jib” to get fantastic tracking and crane shots. Aerial footage is also now possible by using specially-modified RC helicopters which

entails a small portion of the cost considering that you don’t need to pay thousands of pesos for fuel, pilot’s fee and cost of insurance.

THE FUTURE

This is not to say that full-sized HD video camera systems have become modern dinosaurs in the film and television industry. The HDSLR has earned its rightful place in a world where size matters and the final image is king!

HDSLR’s have indeed revolutionized the filmmaking and television industry. Most tv series, short films and documentaries are now being shot using this medium. The “look”, the unusual camera angles and movements, low cost implications and other technical advantages are just a few of the reasons that make the director of photography or cameraman and his HDSLR absolutely inseparable! TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

31


EXCLUSIVE

Do Filipinos need Facebook on their mobile phone? By: Abs Abando a.k.a. Sunryzr

P 32

amazing it was to just type a friend’s

one friend for at least a few months

greatest internet phenomenon this last

name and find out who that person is

until my other friends started opening

decade has been the proliferation of

connected to. Personally, I’ve found

their own accounts my personal net-

social networking sites. Never before

long lost friends on my Facebook

work grew and I found myself either

have people all over the globe been

account as well. And in my spare

searching for other acquaintances or

connected on such a personal level.

time, I find myself uploading photos or

updating my personal page. At least

Thanks to “Friendster”, “MySpace” and

writing about the day that was.

now I found a social networking site

“Facebook”.

I signed up for a Facebook account

where I know 98% of those on my

I remember friends telling me how

as far back as late 2007. I had only

friends list. And although I still have

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

erhaps the


Friendster, Multiply and MySpace accounts, I

film and analog technology, I’ve come to appre-

hardly ever login. I guess I never really found

ciate the advantages that the high-megapixel

a need to maintain more than one-social

DSLR and HD-video has to offer. Almost on a

network site.

daily basis, I carry my laptop and a digital voice

This brings to mind why or what was it that

recorder as part of my peripherals. I have a

made Facebook “THE” social networking site

“survival kit” with USB cables, iPod charger,

it is today. Try walking into any internet shop

flash disk, card reader and portable broadband.

at any given time of the day and it will not be

Ironically, I have yet to acquire a 3G or 4G

surprising to find at least half of the custom-

mobile phone.

ers logged in to their “FB” accounts.

This may prompt people to think that I’m stuck

Maybe it’s for the “chat” function, maybe

in the 19th century But in all honesty, it’s all a

it’s tagging photos or playing “Farmville” or

matter of practicality. Since I do have my laptop

“Mafia Wars”. Mind you, these features aren’t exclusive to Facebook but

and broadband—let

“ Try walking into any internet shop at any given time of the day and it will not be surprising to find at least half of the customers logged in to their “FB” accounts “

alone the convenience of a WiFiready coffee shop—I find it superfluous to

this site remains

have another gadget

the most

which functions in

popular choice!

much the same way but is small enough to fit

The Philippines has been online since the

in my pocket. Portability might be a good idea

mid-90’s. That’s a few years earlier than the

if I was just lazing around and taking a break in

proliferation of pre-paid phones and Short

between assignments. Unfortunately, I do keep

Message Sending(SMS) or simply, “texting.”

a full calendar and there are scripts that needs

Even with the availability of portable “net

getting done, and photos and videos for editing

books” and broadband, much of the popula-

or preview. At the end of the day, one simply

tion still relies on mobile phones for commu-

needs to ask himself, “how long do I expect to

nication. This may be the reason behind the

be online?” or “how important is it that I update

popularity of QWERTY-keypad, WiFi-ready

my Facebook page or chat with my friends?”

mobile phones.

Technology is truly a wonderful thing. Each and

But do we really need Facebook on our

every one of us has a wish list of gadgets and

mobile phones? This might be a rhetorical

gizmos we’d like to have and some that will sim-

question but think about this for a moment.

ply make us drool. Maybe the simpler question

As a media professional, since the days of

to ask is; “Can I afford to get the iPhone 4?”

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

33


EXCLUSIVE

LANSHOP: GENERATION í By: Ross Flores Del Rosario a.k.a extracool

“ Kuya, Pa-extend ng 15 minutes !” howls a few of my customers who were nearing the end of a vicious match with a rival clan online. They were playing a popular online game, and their team was ahead by only a few points. There were several spectators in the shop. Some were cheering with enthusiasm and anticipating success. Some were just silently awaiting the outcome... And finally, after a few more minutes, the crowd suddenly goes wild! Sure enough, the group announced their win with fervor... the spectators were patting the players on the back, and everyone on the team were seemingly on cloud nine.

possible by the Internet. The things that one can do in an Internet Cafe are countless.

This is just one of those typical days inside an Internet Cafe. Sometimes it

That is why the things that could happen are countless as well.

would be just people from all walks of life either chatting with their friends or

As proprietors or owners of an Internet Cafe

relatives abroad, updating their social

or LAN Shop, we definitely have plenty of

networking sites status, levelling up their

interesting stories to tell. A lot of things are

online game characters, jobhunting on-

worth mentioning, but let me begin from the

line, researching for a report, watching

grass roots by giving you some insights on

streaming videos, adding an entry in their

how the business usually starts, some of its

blog, and a myriad of other things made

positive and negative aspects , the variety of complementing side-businesses, and how we see the business several years from now.

34 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


“Kuya, pa-rent... open time !” Nowadays, the business has become one of the most popular choices among starting entrepreneurs or businessmen. There is now an Internet Cafe in almost every street, and quite a number of them near schools and commercial areas. There is also a big chance that there is already one in your neighborhood, situated at one portion of the house, usually at the garage or a part of the living room. It’s availability is competing to that of the common “sari-sari” or variety store. The business really seems lucrative enough to people’s perspective, probably because of the crowd that it draws, the choice of reasonably-priced computer hardware available, Internet Service Providers with affordable Internet connection, and easy access to a wide array of programs and utilities.

The market may be better when near the colleges and universities, but expect a greater number of similar businesses existing within said areas. Thus, its our choice whether to compete with many or take a pioneering spirit somewhere not yet saturated.

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

35


“ Kuya, laagggggg!” Choosing the right hardware and software, and the appropriate Internet connection is critical in our operation. If our target market is only the Internet crowd like surfers, chatters, bloggers, etc, then a computer with moderate specifications would be enough, But if our market caters to the hardcore gamers, then it would be a necessity to provide better specifications like dedicated video cards, more memory, and a fast processor, all installed with the popular and new online games, with a few units installed with the latest offline games out in the market like NBA 2k11, Darksiders, or Deadrising 2. Most of us would prefer assembling computer units that would cater to both markets.

beyond our control. There would be downtimes and intermittent connection speeds that

That is why we make sure we provide

would sometimes last for several days, plus

high-end specifications if budget permits,

the added tension caused by the difficulty in

or make upgrades on one or two com-

calling for their technical support to quickly re-

puter at a time. To further compete, es-

solve the problem.

pecially with newly opened shops, some of us would need to constantly upgrade

My customers would be yelling “Kuya, lag!”

our computers to keep up with the system

or “Kuya, walang Internet!”, causing us fur-

requirements of the new games and the

ther headaches and stress. While most of us

multi-tasking demand of the new genera-

are knowledgeable in doing our own trouble-

tion of customers. Both target markets

shooting and repair of hardware and software,

would require the most suitable inter-

a lot of us prefers securing the services of a

net connection based on the number of

technician to setup and maintain our Internet

computer units in our shop. Most of the

Cafe. It usually is more convenient to have

time, the problems encountered are with

an IT background, but with computers becom-

our ISPs because their performance is

ing more and more user-friendly, it only takes very little time until one becomes accustomed to the ins and outs of our computer setup.

36

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


“Kuya, may wall hack kayo?”

and Industry (DTI), then get a Baranggay clearance, and then a Business permit from the Mayor’s office. Registering our business at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) would make our legal obligation complete. Most software require us to pay for a license to legally use their intellectual property. We start by procuring operating systems like Windows XP or Windows 7, Some of us has the option to use open source alternatives like the different flavor of Linux. The Microsoft operating systems is still the most popular since the best games are functional only on Windows. Likewise, Office Automation programs like MS Office, full versions of Anti-Virus programs like Symantec Anti-Virus, PhotoEditing softwares like Adobe Photoshop,

Getting the required permits or licenses is nec-

and even the ever popular network games

essary if we want to go legit, and avoid the has-

like Warcraft 3 (DOTA) or Counterstrike, re-

sle of sudden inspections from the OMB, the

quire us to pay for the license per computer.

Business Licensing Office of our city, or even

However, there are alternative open source

the baranggay. We usually begin by registering

counterparts and Online games available to

a business name at the Department of Trade

us for free.

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

37


“Kuya, pa-print !”

We

offer printing, scanning, and fax

services. Some of us have photocopying, laminating, and binding machines as well. Some also have expanded to printing photos and personalized designs on invitations, flyers, brochures, t-shirts, mugs, pins, keychains, etc. Many of us could easily offer Audio/Video and Music Remix editing services, aside from CD or DVD duplication or burning. The more technically-inclined owners accept PC repair, tutorials, network installation, and even setting up an Internet Cafe for other entrepreneurs interested in running the same business. Some of us even sell snacks and drinks inside the shop or outside in a separate food cart. However, selling food has a lot of issues to consider. It’s going to cause problems with cleanliness, potential dam-

38

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

There are also other services that we offer

age to machines, extra space required

that would complement our computer rental

and even the potential cluttering of your

services.

shop with non-Internet customers.


“Kuya, pa-stop time!�

competitions for our gamer clients to win prizes and recognition as top gamers of the shop. Still some of us would rather improve and expand our services or facilities rather than sacrifice our daily income by lowering our rates. Some customers remain loyal to our shop especially the ones who value the friendship and camaraderie we shared already. Yet some will still go for the lowest rates, or would try out the recently opened shop with the latest computer specifications. We would also take time out to maintain our shops aesthetics and cleanliness. The convenience and looks of our shop also adds as an additional factor to attract customers. We sometimes use posters that Online game providers giveaway for free to brighten up the place. Some of us have uniquely designed computer tables and counters. While some of us make use of dimmed lights to create a warm and cozy

Competition would suddenly come out of no-

ambience. We take an extra effort to make

where and catch us by surprise that some-

our shop stand out from the rest. Some

times we take time off to contemplate and ask

customers do prefer to rent at a clean,

ourselves if its time to raise the white flag. I

well maintained and airconditioned shop.

woke up one day realizing every street corner

Yet, there are quite a number as well

in our neighborhood already has an Internet

who would ignore the lack of comfort and

Cafe.

cleanliness just as long as the rates are low, the computers are tolerable, and the

To retain our customers and to attract new

Internet connection is acceptable. Its actu-

ones, some of us would use pricing as a tool to

ally turning out to be a fight for the best

have an edge over others. We lower our rates

services at the lowest price which some-

believing it would keep our business afloat.

times makes us lose our profit-generating

Some of us would resort to offering promos,

goal. Our overhead costs goes high while

freebies, discounts, giveaways and/or mem-

our sales goes down. The Return of In-

bership perks. Some would offer contests or

vestment (ROI)now usually takes longer as compared to how it was several years ago.

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

39


“Kuya, Game Over na?” Do we see ourselves still running the same business a few years from now? Why not?... The trend reveals the future generation would be more advanced in terms of acceptance and usage of new technology. Almost everyone now needs access to the Internet, in order to make use of the potential of their gadgets. Although many can now afford to have their own Internet subscription at the comforts of their own homes, a lot of people still go to Internet Cafes to directly mingle with friends and have fun playing a competitive network or online

place. Similarly, it is equally rewarding when

game. There is a virtual world out there,

we see our customers having a splendid time

but the personal, in-the-flesh interaction

inside our shop.

with their peers, friends, and colleagues the

On a final note, our business may not be the

cheers, and sometimes taunting of their

best business around. But if it brings us joy

barkadas, add a youthful spirit in them.

and happiness everytime we see a customer

People on the go would also have an

pleased with our services, plus a little bit of

easy and immediate access to the In-

adrenaline rush and excitement when we’re

ternet everywhere. It is always great to

suddenly caught in the middle of fixing a

access our email on our own time and

faulty PC or two during peak hours then we

remains priceless. The laughter,

should definitely keep our shops open.

40 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

41


EXCLUSIVE

A members call center life By: Jonas Martinez a.k.a. redwing000

“I submitted my resume to someone who posted an ads in TipidPC for TSR of a gaming account, I knew the ad generated a lot of responses and if I remember correctly it went to 20 odd pages for people who applied. Only 2 of us were hired.� For most people, the typical call center

give them and yet, for some odd reason

agent is someone you can figure out eas-

they accepted me.

ily. For one thing they work at night, sleep

For a month I was given language and

in the daytime, drink too much and they

corporate training before we were given

just look different from the rest.

account specific training in Market Market. I really could not remember much of what

I should know, I was one of them. I am

was said, because I was either still in

known as redwing0001 in Tipidpc.com.

shock from being hired or culture shocked

I have been a member for the better of

due to the change in environment. You

the past seven years, starting from way

have to remember that prior to December

back in 2003 when I joined a then small

2004, I had not worked a day in my life

community of computer enthusiasts

in a corporate environment, You can just

who just wanted to be a part of a larger

imagine what a change in environment

community. Back then I was unemployed

does to you.

and just wanted to spend time looking for computer parts, or join the forums to see

When I got into EA Games, they were just

what other people have to say.

starting, and I was a member of batch 2. There were 24 of us newbies in the

In 2004 I got my big break as I was

account and there were mainly 2 lines of

employed. It was December and I started

business for EA Games; the phone queue

out as a Technical Support Level 1 agent

and the email support, which was just be-

for Telus, then known as Ambergris solu-

ing started. I was first placed on the phone

tions. The account that I worked for was

queue but since I really had no prior expe-

EA Games. EA as in Electronic Arts. And

rience with handling phone calls, I sort of

yes, I am and will always be a gamer.

froze. I could not remember anything from

I submitted my resume to someone who

our training and I just could not handle it.

posted an ads in Tipidpc for TSR for a

It was then that I was assigned to the

gaming account. I knew the ad generated

email support (thank God) for me to be

a lot of responses, and if I remember cor-

able to train properly. I was even luckier

rectly it went to 20 odd pages for people

to be seated beside a veteran agent from

who applied. Only 2 of us were hired.

batch 1 named Noel (sorry, I forgot his surname). There, I was able to slowly train

I did not know if it was fate or destiny

and get better with handling email support

that got me there. All I know is that I was

queries and if needed (although at the time

given a primary interview, which I passed

we in the email group really did not want

and then a final interview. After that I was

to), handle phone queues if it was queue-

employed and I signed the contract. I did

ing. Being in email support of EA Games is

not even have any formal documents to

probably what made me what I am today. The defining moment in my career was when we in the email support became so

42

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

efficient, we did not (or the clients could


Martinez Name: Jonas dwing0001 Username: Re 2003 e: Member Sinc TPC Groups: hanics TPC Car Mec as a rrently working Redwing is cu gs blo writer, writing home based les. and web artic

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

43


not) add extra agents. The account for EA Games was small by comparison so we tend to be quite close to each other. You have to remember I was just one of the agents who were also gamers, and there were more than 120 of us there. Each month specially if EA would release a new game, we need to play it. This is to be able to know how it runst or discover any bugs that EA is not aware of and be able to answer questions regarding the game. Those are just excuses in order to be able to play a new game. At first, all of us in the account were in night shift But soon after the first year, the clients decided that the email group would be transferred to the day shift. To me, nothing else could even come close. I am in the call center, in the email account, playing games, working in the daytime, inside a Mall.

believe it even up to now. I still feel that the email support contributed so much to the development of the Technical Support of EA Games that when they decided to pack up and move back the US mainland in 2008, they thought there was enough development in the Philippines to be able to train people in the US. After I left EA games in April 2008, I then applied for a Technical Support for Dell and was placed in the XPS support. I also had luck there. At the time when I was hired by Dell, they had a company outing and all new hirees were included.

I resigned from Dell after 5 months, one month shy for me to be regularized. Even if I did not finish my term with Dell, I knew my performance was more than enough for regularization It was painful for me to resign but it was a decision that I had to make. I had family problems back then, that required me to be in the house. Two years passed by before I was able to finally find work again, but this time as an online writer. I did not want to leave the house so I chose a home based job. For those who are new to the call center industry, I just have to say that it is important that you present yourself in a formal manner. Your speaking and listening skills can be improved with training but if you want to make a definitive impact with your interviewer, you have to speak the way an English newscaster would speak.

“ Dressing properly is a dead giveaway to your personality. If you are an emo or a punkista, don’t show it. This is a corporation”

Everything seems perfect. I mean to those who know how a call center agent works, you know that you are controlled by time. We in the email support aren’t. We could eat anytime we wanted to, go to bathroom or smoke breaks, eat and surf the internet while working. To know how the IT department in a call center works, you have to remember that all access to the internet is shut off, depending on the account rules. The clients said that would wreak havoc with their online web application and since we play games as well, we cannot play online, like the Battlefield series, Medal of Honor, Need for Speed, The Sims, etc. But all these game have an online capability and we needed to be able to connect to know how this work, so that we can answer any question the customers may have regarding the online part of the game. I can’t even remember our team even having a team building in a resort somewhere, We just went down to one of the bars in Market Market and had our team building there. It was so surreal to me that I still cannot

44 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

The account was different and for the first time since 2004, I was to accept phone calls. This was the time that I had to accept the change and I was no longer able to work in my own time. This was real, and fortunately I came prepared. I just had to remember how I did email support to work my way through the phone calls. The experience with Dell taught me that you never really change how you work, you just change what you work on. This was the time I had to polish my English speaking and listening skills. Since my email days, my time management was awful. I almost was not able to keep up with the AHT that Dell set for all XPS agents. Still, the experience with Dell taught me that you cannot just work on the same thing for years on end. There has to be an improvement in what you do, and how you do it. I really wanted to do emails all my life but it was hard to find non voice accounts.

Dressing properly is a dead giveaway to your personality. If you are an emo or a punkista, don’t show it. This is a corporation. You are applying in a corporation that is why you need to dress in a business or formal attire when you apply for call center position. No t-shirts with loud messages. No torn jeans or cargo pants. No loafers. Long sleeved polo shirt with matching slacks and leather shoes, a necktie is not necessary but you will look better in the interview with it. Look formal as well by cutting your hair, shaving your beard or moustache (for men) and dressing correctly for women. Sometimes, the most unexpected thing comes your way and you can only decide if you really want it or not. You have to decide right then and there. There is no second chance with that. If you want it, it will come.


Where the Filipino Mobile Phone Enthusiasts Converge TRADING

SWAPPING

FORUM

COMMUNITY

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

45


EXCLUSIVE

DIGITAL DJ’S DREAM DILLEMA

Michael Angelo Factor a.k.a. DJ Mixmasta Mykl or mixmasta of TipidPC.com is one of the DJs behind Pump Mixers International, an international group of Pinoy DJs that give away mixes like The Weekly Top 7, The 10 Minute Madness and Partee Mixes.Check them out at TipidPC.com under The Remix thread

By: Michael Angelo Factor a.k.a Mixmasta

l

cu Her

T

he days when your friendly DJ uses a ton of gadgets and miles of wires are on the endangered list already. Most club DJs nowadays are seen with laptops while hosting parties. You can do the same thing in your own bedroom or backyard. This is where the DJ in all of us is discovered. Now let me show you what the next level of DJ-ing is. You are about to face a world filled with lots of D-Word. 4 D’s to be exact. That is because the age of 4 Deck DJ Controllers are here, and will stay for quite a long while. You may be a Club goer, Bedroom DJ, Semi-Pro, Controllerist, Hobbyist, Mobile DJ, Pro DJ, Amateur DJ or simply wants to start learning on how to be a DJ. You’re in for a treat as this is for the music enthusiasts. Having four decks mean you can play and control 4 different audio or songs all the same time. That’s a huge room to unleash unimaginable possibilities. The two controllers that are being talked about can run with just a laptop and the controller itself plus a USB cable. Of course, a banging speaker set will help and a knowledge on DJ software is an advantage. If you’re the kind of DJ who still has turntables and/or CDs but wants to seriously embrace and experience digital, these beasts are good choices for you because it allows you to plug through your current setup and use one mixer to integrate the lot so you can still cure the itch for scratching. These powerful 4 Deckers are here

X

-M es 4

to take you to new heights but not taking away the old time favorite vinyls. Almost perfection right? So, let’s get it on. These two up and coming DJ controllers are the Hercules 4-MX and the Traktor Kontrol S4. Let’s start with the former and what it brings to the table Key features Type : 4-deck professional digital DJ controller Sound card : built-in sound interface Built : rugged metal Ports : 4 RCA connectors, 4 mono connectors, Input : 1 microphone ¼’’ jack mono input Output : 1 headphones ¼’’ jack stereo output, Jogwheel type : 2 large (12cm) jog wheels with touch detection Total Key Commands : 89 commands on 2 decks and 165 commands on 4 decks Bundled Software : VIRTUAL DJ 7 LE Minimum configuration PC minimum requirements Windows® XP/Vista/7 (32-/64-bit) 1.5GHz CPU or higher 1GB of RAM or more USB port with USB bus power Stereo speakers &/or headphones Mac minimum requirements Mac OS® 10.5/10.6 1.5GHz CPU or higher 1GB RAM or more USB port with USB bus power Stereo speakers &/or headphones

THE OVERALL : This gear is for both amateur and advanced DJ’s as the settings are very flexible to one’s mixing knowledge. Provided of course you know what the PLAY button is for. I even plan to purchase this baby sometime around 2011 as one of my favorite DJs is promoting this, DJ Dow Jones of South Rakkas. Just this baby and a laptop will be enough to bring the party place to its roof when given to a skilled DJ. The size and weight of this gear would be just right for the mobile DJ. So if you have some cash stored under you kitchen sink, you can have this for $449.99 or £399.99. Not so cheap right? But look at what it offers and its possibilities. I can surely see this baby still rocking clubs in 2 to 4 years time. Not a bad investment I should say

46

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


Trak t

or K ontr

ol S

Key features Type : premium-quality 4 channel DJ mixer Sound card : built-in 24 bit/96 kHz soundcard Built : Wood with aluminum casing and inner felt padding Ports : 4 RCA connectors, 4 mono connectors, MIDI passthrough Input : RCA stereo inputs, footswitch jack, two analog input channels (switchable line and phono) Output : TRS and RCA outputs, headphone, microphone Jogwheel type : high-quality electromagnetic jog wheels Total Key Commands : 101 commands on basic mode Bundled Software : TRAKTOR PRO S4 software Minimum configuration PC System Requirements Windows XP (latest Service Pack, 32 Bit), Vista®/Windows 7 (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Pentium/Athlon XP 1.8 GHz OR Core2/AMD Athlon X2, 2 GB RAM USB 2.0 port, DVD drive, 6 GB free disk space for complete installation

4 Mac System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher, Intel Core Duo 1.66 GHz, 2 GB RAM USB 2.0 port, DVD drive, 6 GB free disk space for complete installation

In the package S4 hardware controller with built-in audio interface TRAKTOR PRO S4 software USB cable Power supply Manual Keyboard function mapping *Optional flight case & bag

OVERALL - This one’s a soldier in full battle gear with the latest weaponry that can start a new revolution in the club scene. It boasts of 10 years of workmanship and dedication. I’d say this one’s the Numark’s NS7 killer, if it is not dead yet. Sorry Numark and Serato fans but the NS7 isn’t mobile enough and is not as powerful as this baby. This defines the modern edge of software and hardware harmony. Check the videos and all the presentations by DJ Shiftee and see what this gear is capable of. There is no official release date yet but rumors say this will be out before March of 2011 But you can pre-order it now. That may not be enough time to save up for most of us though as the price of this bully is a hefty $999 or 899 EUR. You can buy a moped bike or an old modeled car with that kind of money. But for a dedicated DJ, that price is all worth it as this gear brings priceless happiness to people attending his or her party. With the Traktor DJ Software offerring chained effects and an additional Loop Rocorder that acts like a 5th Deck which brings this controller would bring a whole new dimension.

THE MIXDOWN. You’ve just met two of the top controllers that will soon takeover the DJ market. So which one would you choose? I’d say, if you have the unmountable passion to be a great DJ and of course the extra moolah stashed somewhere, go for Native Instrument’s Traktor Kontrol S4. But if you have the passion and want to be a mainstay on a club or just a mixing enthusiast with much love for the music and the mixing like me, then go for the Hercules 4-MX. Whichever you choose, you still win as these two are not really that different if given to a skilled DJ.

Remember, music is life. No place or moment is complete without music. These controllers just brings you to a different level that you seldom find even after the sun goes down. Music is still loved even without these controller but without these controllers, modern DJs would be limited. So, let’s enjoy what each brings. Music is life and life is a party! So Pump it UP!

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

47


EXCLUSIVE

MOBILE PHONE VS SMARTPHONE “It may have sounded like science-fiction a few years back but we are now living the life-imitatesart manifestation with the debut of the iPhone and Android. Touch-screen phones and QWERTY phones are now becoming the norm. The future has indeed arrived and we are living it now”

elecommunications technology has come a long way since the days of the “ice scraper” phones. I remember how exorbitant retail prices were for mobile phones in the past. What you got was a dinosaur of a device which was cumbersome and not quite useful given the inherent disadvantages of analog technology.

T

In the last few years, mobile phone features have become more and more sophisticated but the most popular these days is multimedia messaging; using both image and audio to communicate. Hardly any new mobile phone nowadays does not come with—at the very least—a VGA camera. This unique capability has now turned the lowly mobile phone into what is now known as, the “smart phone”.

those who need to de-pressurize in between calls. BEYOND BASIC Fast-forward to today: phone manufacturers and designers have determined that the lowly mobile phone needs to be able to handle more than just basic phone functions. Several years back, “polyphonic” ring tones became the norm and pretty soon, music storage was incorporated into the on-board memory. Shortly after that came digital photography and soon, everyone was a mobile photographer!

“ No longer will you need a full-sized laptop to check your e-mail, all you need is the smartphone you would normally carry in your pocket ”

CONVENTIONAL COMMUNICATION The mobile phone has 2-basic functions: call and short-message sending. For calls, one gets the basic “taking” and “making” the calls, barring, forwarding and most of these features may actually be dictated by the network provider.

But what else can a smartphone do? Smart phones are basically designed to function in much the same way as a laptop. It has its own beefed up memory capacity by way of micro-SD cards. You can also manage files loaded into these memory cards; photos, music and video. Subsequently, the same files can be shared in a number of ways; Bluetooth, USB and MMS just to name a few.

For messaging, the only thing that would distinguish one phone brand from the other will be the display options for the LCD monitor which most of the time, is not capable of handling graphics or photos. The most it will do might be to function as music player for

Some phone models include proprietary applications that allow them to edit photos, music and sometimes even video. You can make your own ringtones or copy music files onto the memory card and use your phone as your

48

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

own personal entertainment system. Wireless application protocol or WAP revolutionized the 3G phones in recent years but with the development of WiFi technology, smart phones have since been built with their own wireless capabilities. No longer will you need a full-sized laptop to check your e-mail, all you need is the smartphone you would normally carry in your pocket.

WiFi and Sci-Fi It may have sounded like science-fiction a few years back but we are now seeing the life-imitates-art manifestation with the debut of the iPhone and Android. Touch-screen phones and QWERTY phones are now becoming the norm. The future has indeed arrived and we are living it now. I can’t help but think how some sci-fi movies overlooked this—that we may actually be communicating with someone who doesn’t need to be tied down to a landline or that a phone may be carried around in one’s pocket or that you actually see who you’re talking to, kind of like the “Beam-me-up-Scottie” reality we’re already living now. More than just a mere multi-media device, the smartphone is a pocket-sized computer you can take with you anywhere and you will never be out of touch!


TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

49


Balualua Name: Rodel not Username: An ox Solutions ftb So : Company e: 2003 Member Sinc : ps ou Gr C TP Airsoft Group Technowarrior Night Boys / TPC Friday

50 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


SPOTLIGHT

FEATURED MEMBER

THE MAN

Annot has been known as one of the pioneers in TPC. We have had several transactions with him and we know for a fact that he gives good deals to his clients.

BEHIND

SOFTBOX SOLUTIONS

The TPC editorial board sought out legitimate premium members for an up-close and personal look. In this maiden issue, we chose the man behind Softbox Solutions. We were interested in learning about the beginnings of Softbox Solutions and where they are now.

“Sometimes there are customers who order in the morning and expect delivery by lunch time.We’ve been known to deliver that fast. People give us feedback that say we’re like a pizza delivery service!” TPC: How long have you been a TPC member? ANNOT: I signed up in 2004 so that’s about 7-years. TPC: In those 7-years, how long have you been selling? ANNOT: I started selling in 2005 with PC parts, USB/ Hard disk enclosures and such… TPC: Did that start your career with Softbox? ANNOT: Not yet, at that time we only catered to corporate clients. I already had a corporate retail business then.We sell consumables and doing IT services. We also had software solutions and a team of programmers.

TPC: What is Softbox Solutions known for? ANNOT: We have a delivery team of motorcycle riders who cover most of the business districts, Makati, Ortigas and The Fort. TPC: How does that work?papano ang proseso nya? ANNOT: We post our items on TPC, customers inquire and when they like an item, they have it delivered. We usually deliver on the same day and if we can’t we try our best to deliver as soon as humanly possible. TPC: So you deliver on time and via motorcycle. Have you ever been swindled by a buyer? ANNOT: Thank God we haven’t had that yet.

a refund. ANNOT: Sometimes there are customers who order in the morning and expect delivery by lunch time. We’ve been known to deliver that fast. People give us feedback that say we’re like a pizza delivery service! TPC: So you want Softbox to be known for fast response delivery? ANNOT: Yes and we target those who don’t want to go out and shop for items. TPC: What’s the most salable item you are selling?

TPC: So how did you end up at TipidPC?

TPC: What’s the warranty period for your items?

ANNOT: External hard disks. It’s been our best selling item since we started out in 2005. We also have media players.

ANNOT: A member named, Caloy told me about TPC. I asked him to sell a computer for me. He posted it on the site then he told me about it. I signed up but I wasn’t so active back then. I was more into the forums and just lurking around

ANNOT: We give a 1-year warranty for hard disks and PC parts. The hard disks come with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty. If for example a hard disk breaks down after 1-year, they can avail of the manufacturer’s warranty through us but at extra cost. The warranty covers just the unit and not the data stored. I want to make that clear because some customers insist that we also replace files lost in the hard disks.

ANNOT: Those in the province and those who are not familiar with us, I can assure you that I will not ruin my reputation for just a small amount of money. I won’t allow it. Also, our hard disks are carefully packed in bubble plastic, shell and box so there is no danger of damage while shipping. So far, none of our provincial customers have returned our products.

TPC: How many days does it take to replace an item?

If you would like to deal with Annot, just look at his items and you will not regret the pleasant experience with him or your purchase!

TPC: Did TPC help you in terms of sales? in what way? ANNOT: Yes, TPC helped my business prosper.I would you say that at least 75% of my business comes from TPC. I used to generate more business in corporate accounts, but now, I do more trading in the website and I get to meet a lot of corportate clients there.

ANNOT: It really depends on the item. For hard disks, depending on availability it takes 2-3 days up to a week. If it takes more than 15-days and we still get no time frame from a distributor, we give the buyer the option of replacing an item of equal value or simply

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

51


SPOTLIGHT

Opening the Doors of Open Pinoy FEATURED PREMIUM STORE

Open pinoy fairly sells cheap computer items at an affordable prices. The prices of their products are well executed and neatly arranged. Buyers can check out open pinoy website @ www.openpinoy.com Open Pinoy opens a wide range of Filipino Affordable PC Products

T

he first time I went to the Open Pinoy branch in Mandaluyong, my first impression on the place was that of a warehouse selling second-hand and scrap computer parts. I actually thought that all Open Pinoy branches were the same until I was able to visit their store in Greenhills seven years after. The Greenhills branch was strategically located between large IT shops- considered as the IT capital of Manila. As we entered, we were greeted by a very accommodating manager. The shop was entertaining a handful of customers considering it was 3pm in the afternoon at that time. But amidst the store’s crowd, the sales staff were very friendly on attending to their needs. The store has a collection of PC parts, surveillance monitors, brand new and refurbished units which appear to be from out of the box. In other words, they got everything electronics. It’s very rare that you would find Open Pinoy staff walk-

52

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

ing around and handing out flyers to rake in customers because they don’t need to force anyone to come over. Since its products and services are needed, customers just keep coming. This shop is perfect for techies. I sat down with Open Pinoy and tried to find out what makes this store tick! TPC: Why the name Open Pinoy? OP: Open Pinoy came to be in the hope of serving Filipinos with high-quality products and devices at affordable prices meaning-it’s OPEN to all Pinoys! TPC: How long has OP been around? OP : We’ve been in the business for 9-years. TPC: Is the Mandaluyong branch the first one? OP : Yes, this is where we started and

opened to the public but we have 2-other branches, one in Greenhills and one in Makati. We still concentrate on trading online. TPC: How does TPC help Open Pinoy? OP : TPC provides an attractive and popular website for IT device users and purchasers. So, while we use the OP banner, we have many visitors who come to our website through TPC. We benefit from the online trading board and we do most negotiations through the TPC website. TPC: How long have you been a supporter of TPC? OP: Why not ask Alex (TPC’s Managing Director)? (laughs) TPC: What are the top selling products here at OP? OP : We are direct importers of laptops and surveillance systems and as such, we offer


them at the lowest prices. TPC: How is the relationship of customers, buyers and sellers with the TPC guys? OP : In our posts, we always explain what the item is all about, why they might need it and comparative specs. Let’s say you have a friend who needs a laptop but isn’t so techie. We talk to them not in technical terms but in a language that they can understand. We post pictures of the items showing the actual physical condition of each product. This is what makes us different from others--that they just show one picture plus the specs and cost. We focus more on the needs of the clients. TPC: How about warranties? OP : For some parts, we offer a 2-year warranty, for brand new units, a 1-year warranty and 3-6 months on used items. TPC: How do you support customers online? OP : If anyone has a problem with their units, regardless if they’re customers or not, they can post their questions and we answer them right away. We also have our care center and call managers to attend to customers’ querries from 10am-7pm, Monday to Saturday. We strive our best to reply ASAP! TPC: What assurance can we get after purchasing from OP? OP : We give the best after-sales service, our website assures all OP clients that they can contact us anytime if they encounter any problems. We also deliver our items on-time through courier services. The OP name is their guarantee! TPC: What does OP offer that others don’t? OP : Frankly speaking, all stores are the same. We have the same items and roughly the same prices. We make good on after-sales ser-

vicing. OP guarantees we know what we’re selling so we know exactly how to serve the client and attend to their needs. That’s one of our strongest points. Since we do business online, there are no limits. A provincial client can shop 24/7 from our website and they can place orders even at midnight. We process their orders the morning after. TPC: How long does it take to place an order after it is placed online? What’s your turnaround time? OP : We deliver within 24-hours but it also depends on the courier service. TPC: What are the future plans of OP? OP: We expect many people to avail of our product because we know we offer high-quality products at reasonable prices. We don’t want our customers to spend on something they can’t use. We also would like our name as a computer brand here in the Philippines and it will be proudly Filipino, the Open Pinoy computer. For those who may be interested with what Open Pinoy offers, you can visit their website www.openpinoy.com for more details.

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

53


DIGITAL ARTWORK & PHOTOGRAPHY

54

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


Original photos taken and submitted by: Team Nikon Bullies

FEATURED TPC SUB-GROUP

Team Nikon Bullies

TNB or Team Nikon Bullies is a group of photography enthusiasts, all owning and utilizing Nikon branded cameras. However, we are not officially affiliated with Nikon. We meet regularly to attend events, photography gatherings, photowalks, or to simply chill out, that includes bullying each other out. LOL. Seriously....

We started in the D40 thread of TipidPC. Regular eyeballers of the said thread soon realized the need for an organization, primarily for event and eyeball (EB) organizing. On March 2009, TNB or Team Nikon Bullies was born. The founding members were Noel Gonong, Jay Guillermo, Julie Buenaobra, Yohan dela Cruz, Dennis Tingle, Blade Orlanes, Sean Ilgauson, and Meann Legarda. To date, we have more than 50 members. We come from different walks of life, but we share the same passion – photography.

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

55


TECH GUIDES

“BATTERY-SAVING TIPS FOR YOUR DSLR” By: Abs Abando a.k.a. Sunryzr

hotography and video technology has

P

Missing a shot is a photographer’s worst

function; just like tip #1, playing back im-

come a long way since I first picked

nightmare. I remember devising a way to re-

ages requires the use of the LCD monitor

up my Dad’s 35mm, all-mechanical,

load film as fast as possible or planning my

which drains the batteries considerably.

single-lens reflex camera. As a novice

shots ahead so I would have the opportunity

One advantage of turning off playback is

photographer, the most I had to worry about

to reload without taking a break from the ac-

that you get to shoot faster sequential shots

was how I was going to take a shot since all

tion. Plus, with today’s high-capacity memory

because the camera isn’t taking the time to

the camera functions at the time didn’t need

cards, there is hardly an excuse for photo-

write the image on the card and presenting it

for any type of power source. Most of the

graphers to reload in the middle of an event.

for playback on the monitor. If you’re shoot-

shots I took required only the existing light

With a good selection of wide-telezooms in

ing on “continuous” drive mode, this is defi-

source so I barely needed flash. At the time, it

the market, a photographer can keep his eye

nitely a plus! Besides, today’s DSLRs are meant to take near-perfect shots so

was the only accessory that need-

unless you’re really hopeless as

ed batteries.

a photographer, you’ll get good exposures 90% of the time.

More than 30-years since then, I now have to constantly check the camera’s LCD monitor which

FOR

showed me readouts for ex-

eras:

Point-and-shoot

cam-

posure, frame count, metering

1. More advanced P&S cameras

mode, AF mode, drive mode and

are equipped with an optical

the all-important, “battery life

viewfinder. Just like the DSLR,

indicator”. For me, that’s a little

use it more often than the “live

too much information to absorb

view” monitor.

in a single glance! Despite the

2. Turn off the “record review”

convenience of automation, the

function.

photographer also has to keep

3. Play back the images only af-

up with how his equipment per-

ter you’ve completed the shoot.

forms; something which was to-

With P&S, these cameras are

tally unheard of in the past. Back

designed to give near-perfect

then, all we needed to do was

shots automatically so there’s

feel and listen to the sound of the

really no need to worry.

shutter clicking.

4. Plan your shots ahead; try to on the viewfinder almost indefinitely.

break the habit of turning the camera on and off periodically. You might think you’re

So, why not just carry spare batteries on a shoot? True, but then again how many of us

FOR DSLRS and Video cameras:

saving battery power but you’re not. The

can afford the high cost of lithium ion batteries

1. Use the viewfinder more often. The LCD

“start-up” process of a digital camera uses

which are standard-issue in today’s cameras?

monitor uses up a lot of power and heats up

up more juice every time it’s turned on.

Ok, carrying spares might just be the solution

the camera. The only exception to this rule

but not all of us are working professionals who

is when taking HD videos with your DSLR.

Technology may seem to do a lot for you but

have the luxury of not only having spare bat-

Another reason why it’s good to use the view-

sometimes, it’s “old school” common sense

teries but also extra camera bodies!

finder is that it allows you to take steadier

that can turn you into a good photographer

shots and you will hardly over or underex-

or videographer. Happy shooting!

Having been a photographer most of my

pose images.

natural life, it’s the decisive moment that truly

2. Turn off the autofocus(AF) function. Unless

mattered. Simply put, what if that shot-of-a-

you’re using high-end and pricey “ultrasonic”

lifetime pops up in front of your lens and the

lenses, autofocus just takes up a lot of the

batteries run flat? There are no albums for

camera’s juice.

missed shots!

3. Turn off the camera’s “Record Review”

56

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


MORE THAN ... > 80,000+ active members > 25 million views per month >

6 million items posted

> 13.8M negotiations made >

2 million topics posted

>

8 million forum posts

need we say more?

For Advertising : adsmag@tipidpc.com


TECH GUIDES

Photography & Digicam By: Willy Palacios a.k.a. wheelee

I

started making photography a hobby back in the 90s with my first digicam, a 1 mega pixel Kodak DCS120. From there, I’ve been trying to learn the tricks of the trade ever since. And

through the course of time I’ve managed to pick up tips and tricks from books, online forums and pro’s out there and it’s time to pay it forward.

There are literally a lot of tricks on what you can do with you camera and your photo but as with most we’ll start with the basics. Know your

A typical Mode Dial

camera and read the manual even in one fast sweep. We don’t want to be sorry when the time arises. New digicams nowadays have more

Program Mode (P)

features than we could ever use. Here are some of the most com-

P mode is similar to Auto mode. The camera will do most of the

monly used ones on either a Point and shoot (P&S) or digital single

setup but it allows the user to manually override some settings like

lens reflex (DSLR) camera.

flash, ISO, white balance, focus or other settings depending on the camera brand being used. Use P mode if you want minimal adjust-

Camera Modes:

ment and the rest is up to the camera.

Until now, you could’ve just been shooting in “Auto” mode. But now you want to up the ante with your photography skills going all the way

Shutter Priority Mode (S or Tv- Time Value)

to full manual mode - Learn the Tools, Hone the Skills. Most cameras

In the S or Tv mode, you set the shutter speed and the camera sets

nowadays have a dial mode switch on either the left or right top side

the aperture. With high shutter speeds, you can freeze fast action

of the body, well unless your camera is an Auto mode only camera.

shots. If slow shutter speed is used, you can blur the motion or have

Labels are P, S, A, M for Programmed, Shutter (sometimes Tv), Ap-

the feeling of movement. Ever wondered how they made that flowing

erture (Av), Manual mode. Also the Full Auto mode and subject mode

water silky smooth? In low light shotsyou might also use a slow shut-

(the ones with different pictures) are on the same dial. although I’m

ter but a tripod might be needed.

guessing no one uses these modes ;)

Some Shooting Tips: 1. When shooting against a very bright back-

3. Always keep filters ready, like Neutral

tery. You won’t regret it. The same goes for

ground or against the sun, use fill-in flash

Density (ND), if you’re going to shoot in

your flash gun.

so that the subject will be exposed properly,

daylight. ND filters help to cut the light

**Be very careful when charging your bat-

unless you’re doing a silhouette shot. Avoid

going in your camera, like when you want

teries and make sure the contacts don’t

taking pictures of people with the sun in their

to shoot flowing water showing motion in

short when placed in bags or pockets**

face since they will tend to squint or have

broad daylight. Also keep UV (ultra violet)

funny facial expression because of the blind-

filters handy. They help protect your lens

5. Memory cards - buy the fastest and big-

ing brightness. Also the picture could be over

specially the front element from scratches.

gest one you can afford especially now that

exposed.

But choose ones that don’t create a lot of

modern digital cameras have the ability to

flare, otherwise you might ruin that priced

record 1080p mode. Slower cards buffering

shot.

can be a problem. Remember to label them

2. If you don’t have time to set the camera,

because the chance of overwriting a card

use P-mode and Auto ISO. The Auto ISO

58

level can be pre-set in the order you desire.

4. Remember to always keep your batter-

full of your just taken baby pictures could

In P mode (programmed) most of the settings

ies charged. I learned that the hard way. I

happen. Buy multiple cards for backup and

are being done by the camera to get a prop-

went out for a photo shoot then just after

future use.

erly exposed shot. Although you could still

a few clicks – kaput! - wasted chance and

change certain settings in the camera, check

time. So, remember to fully charge your

6. Make sure to check the settings of your

your user manual.

batteries and if possible get an extra bat-

camera when shooting in different modes

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


and when changing locations. Case in

9. Invest in a good dry box to keep your

camera.

equipment in. In places where humidity

point, I did a CWB (custom white balance) in one shoot then moved on to a differ-

8. Make your own quickie stabilizer like a

is high, the possibility of mold or fungus

ent place. Pictures came out with a hue

tension string or a bean bag. Fill a small

growth is most likely. So it’s best to keep

of blue :( also forgetting to lower the ISO

cloth pouch with mongo beans or rice to

your valuable lens and bodies in a secure

when shooting outdoors after coming from

about ¾ full and use that to sit your camera

cabinet. There are electronic dry cabinets

an indoor shoot.

when needed. For the tension string, tie a

wherein the RL (relative humidity) can be

knot around a metal screw that fits in the

kept at a certain level to keep those nasty

7. Never ever point you camera directly to

tripod mount of your camera. Cut a good

fungus out. A setting of 45~55% RH is usu-

the sun especially when you are looking

length that you can step on and use the

ally recommended.

through the viewfinder. There have been

tension to stabilize your cam. As they say, a

cases also when some lasers or laser

cheap tripod is better than no tripod at all.

10. Always bring your camera! You’ll never know when that once in a lifetime shot will

lights damaged the CCD/ CMOS of the

come your way.

Aperture Priority Mode (A or Av- Aperture Value)

Rule of Thirds

In the A or Av mode you set the desired aperture or lens opening

I guess this is one of the most used rule that you’ll hear or read about.

and the camera sets the proper shutter speed to expose the scene

If you noticed, some cameras, even P&S, have some sort of a grid on

properly. With a large f-stops (small aperture or lens opening) you

the LCD screen or view finder and most can be turned on or off. If your

will need more light and will have a large depth of field. With a

camera doesn’t have one, imagine your LCD screen or view finder is

small f-stop (large aperture or lens opening) you will need less light

split into nine equal sections with two horizontal and two vertical lines

and will have a small or shallow depth of field.

running across your screen. By placing your main subject near where the lines cross you tend to pull the viewers eye towards that area

Manual Mode (M)

almost instantly. Try doing some experiments wherein the main subject

In M mode you have full control of the camera settings. You set the

is dead center and one that’s placed in any of the thirds and see which

shutter speed, aperture, ISO, WB etc. depending on how you want

is more pleasing to view.

your picture to come out, either under exposed or over exposed. Although cumbersome for others, the need to use M mode might arise like in tricky lighting situations or if you want to be creative in your own way.

Subject Mode This is where you see those pictures drawn on the Mode Dial like a face (portrait), flower (macro), mountain (landscape), running man (sports) and the one that looks like a video camera, obviously for taking videos. Most of these modes are rarely used unless you want to experiment or compare settings. Try them out but don’t be limited by these modes. Try to experiment and make shooting a fun experience.

This

I myself shoot mostly in Aperture (A) mode or in Programmed (P) but switches to Manual (M) mode when certain effects are needed or when doing a setup shot. Once you’ve learned these methods, try to use them and take off from just being a Point and Shoot person.

Composition Rules Well actually, there are no rules in photography as different people will interpret or look at the same picture differently. But here are some general rules that you may follow to make your photo more pleasing to the viewer.

To This TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

59


Motion Give the viewers a sense of movement by using a slow shutter speed to capture flowing water or people’s movement.

photographs taken by willy

60

TIPIDPC.COM


Leading Lines When the viewer sees this kind of photos, his eyes are being drawn to the lines as if he is having his own journey & is being pulled towards a central point.

Symmetry & Pattern Symmetrical balance or sometimes called mirror image, two halves of the picture should look the same.

Perspective Show depth & magnitude

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

61


High Dynamic Range Photography

TECH GUIDES

HDR Photography By: Nonoy Ativo a.k.a. nonoy_1969

I

t’s All about Light!

Photographs and images are all about light, the amount of light and the intensity of the light. With too much or too little light you end up with images that are either too dark and difficult to perceive or too bright and washed out. Light used to produce images is expressed as luminance. It is defined as the state or quality of reflecting light and the intensity of light emitted from a surface per unit area in a given direction. Dynamic ranges, therefore, are the spectrum from dark to light in scenes that you would want to photograph. Dynamic range is the measured ratio between high and low extremes in a set of values. The problem is real world scenes contain light ranges that exceed 50,000:1 dynamic range while media has been limited to recording 300:1 dynamic range. You end up with images like this

How do you now capture a wider dynamic range if your medium cannot record or map the whole range?

Baking the Cake In digital photography, we can create the

The old world solution by painters was to add contrast to their scenes. Contrast, which is used interchangeably with dynamic range, was the application of saturated colors of opposing hues and putting black or white colors at the edge of the objects in the painting. This created sharper and more intense colors in the painting. This high contrast technique created the illusion of brighter and livelier paintings like El Greco’s La Agoria en el Jardin:

same effect using high dynamic range imaging techniques. To begin, you will need the following: 1. A digital camera, preferably a DSLR but a good point and shoot will do the job. But you will need to change the shutter speed to achieve different exposure levels. A P&S with manual setting is preferred 2. A tripod; you need to have a stable camera when taking several exposures of the same scene, you also do not want motion flow 3. An HDR software like Photomatix 4. An image-editing software like Adobe Lightroom

62 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


Here are samples of the same shot with a difference of 2 stops:

This is how the fused images of the 3 images with different exposures look like

1. Choose your scene. For starters, it is best to select landscapes or non-moving objects. 2. Adjust your camera settings and turn on exposure bracketing. Set it to differ by 2 stops. 3. Mount your camera on the tripod and compose the scene. To minimize shakes and blurry images, you may want to turn off your lens’ AF mode.

Here is a comparison of a fused image that was tone-mapped (left) and the same image that had some artistic editing done (right): Good to Know

4. Set it to a timed shutter release or use a remote or cable shutter release. This is especially critical if the scene you are shooting has naturally low light. Shoot around 3-6 images of the scene. 5. After the shoot, download the images to your computer and use the HDR software to merge the images. Most HDR software are easy to use and you can use it intuitively. The software will generate an image that merges all your shots. However, this is an unfinished image. Using your eye, creativity and style, you can further edit the image by adjusting elements. Adobe Lightroom can help you do this easily. Other photographers are able to create HDRlike effects directly from their cameras by simply shooting the scene and without having to edit the images. This is done by using long exposures and aided by filters to manage the entry of light into the camera sensor. Infra-red photography is also another form of HDR photography that uses opposing black and white hues to create an image.

HDR photography is high involvement in the sense that you need to know how to use image-editing software to create an outstanding image. You will need to use the merged luminance in your photo and further enhance it. This means that you need to develop the eye for good (and bad) use of contrast and color. First, most CRT and LCD monitors are essentially low dynamic range. You need to configure your monitor to render your images according to its capability. Calibrate it so that what you see onscreen is also what comes out on print later. Reduce the contrast of the screen and bring it close to zero so that you will see the actual contrast of your images instead of the screen’s rendering. Next, LDR devices, like your monitor, represent HDR images by cropping the dynamic range. The darkest and brightest portions are removed while leaving the middle values untouched. Lastly, learn to do tone mapping. Tone map-

ping is the process of reducing contrast ratios in selected portions of the image. Usually, pixels attached to each other are altered such that they have similar contrast ratios. This will allow you to create different effects with your images. If you want to output an HDR image on paper or on a display, you must somehow convert the wide-intensity range in the image to the lower range supported by the display. One old tone-mapping method is the manual dodgeand-burn technique familiar to photographers – where you manually select different tonal ranges for different regions of the image, using a dodging or a burning tool. HDR software will of course support manual dodge and burn. Another solution is to use an automated tone mapping filter to reduce the dynamic range of an HDR image. Overall, HDR photography can be very exciting because of the prospect of creating a scene that will look very different because of the play of light or the merging of luminance values in the scene. And the best part – even beginners with a P&S can do it effortlessly. The next time you shoot a scene try to get several exposures of the same shot and do your very own HDR impression on the scene. Happy shooting! TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

63


TECH GUIDES

PHOTOSHOP ENHANCEMENT By: Ritzel Marcelino a.k.a. rsa1

Building the Perfect Exposure Some people would call it as butchery on the art of photography while others coin it as the modern day darkroom. This argument I believe is an endless debate between the norms and the diverse. In my opinion, digital photography with no digital editing can be compared to film photography with no darkroom. Just imagine how pictures would look like undeveloped and resting in film cans. Thousands of photoshop techniques can be obtained in the web today. I have reviewed them as well and only a few coincide to what I call as essential and at the same time effortless. In this article, I will be sharing some of my commonly used photoshop enhancement and image manipulation techniques and as a bonus, I will also be sharing low-light HDR technique.

BACKGROUND EXPOSURE 1) Open the picture file that you want to edit in Adobe Camera Raw editor. Check the background light if over or underexposed. There are four settings you can toggle to suit your mood-, Exposure, Recovery, Vibrance and Saturation. Once you’re satisfied with your settings, select Open Image. Save it as bground.psd.

FOREGROUND EXPOSURE 2) Re-open the original picture in Adobe Camera Raw editor but this time change the setting for the Foreground subject. Using this time the Exposure, Contrast and Blacks, change the settings to the desired specification. Save it as fground. psd afterwards.

SPLITTING EXPOSURE 3) Open bground.psd in Adobe Photoshop Elements and select Image > Magic Extractor. Choose Foreground Brush Tool (B) and change Brush Size to your discretion. Doodle on the background. You can remove unwanted images using the Background Brush Tool (P). Select Preview anytime to see your selection. Press OK once completed.

64 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


COMBINING EXPOSURE 4) Choose Select All (Ctrl+A) then Copy (Ctrl+C) then Paste (Ctrl+V) it in the fground.psd. Select Move (V) to align the bground above the fground. Create new layer by selecting Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels to adjust the Shadow and the Highlights.

Comparing End Results This is the first image taken in raw format without any image manipulation

Final Image After the simple image manipulation, the end result is astoundingly rich in color and picture perfect.

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

65


TECH GUIDES

PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION

I

By: Raymund Daquioag a.k.a. aresdi

Good or correct composition is impossible to define precisely. There are no hard-andfast rules to follow that ensure good composition in every photograph. There are only the principles and elements that provide a means of achieving pleasing composition when applied properly. Some of these principles and elements are as follows:

t’s the pleasing arrangement of subject matter elements within the picture area. Creative photography depends foremost on the photographer’s ability to see as the camera sees because a photograph does not reproduce a scene quite the way we see it. The camera sees and records only a small isolated part of the larger scene, reduces it to only two dimensions, frames it, and freezes it. It does not discriminate as we do. When we look at a scene we selectively see only the important elements and more or less ignore the rest. A camera, on the other hand, sees all the details within the field of view. This is the reason some of our pictures are often disappointing. Backgrounds may be cluttered with objects we do not remember, our subjects are smaller in the frame or less striking than we recall, or the entire scene may lack significance and life. Good pictures are seldom created by chance.

To make the most of any subject, you must understand the basic principles of composition. The way you arrange the elements of a scene within a picture, catch the viewer’s attention, please the eye, or make a clear statement are all qualities of good composition. By developing photographic composition skills, you can produce photographs that suggest movement, life, depth, shape, and form, recreating the impact of the original scene. How are photographic composition skills developed? You look, you study, you practice. Every time you take a picture, look all around within the viewfinder. Consider the way each element will be recorded and how it relates to the overall composition. You must become thoroughly familiar with the camera and learn how the operation of each control alters the image. Experiment with the camera and look at the results carefully to see if they meet your expectations.

66 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

With experience and knowledge of your equipment, you begin to “think through your camera” so you are free to concentrate on composition. Devote serious study to the principles of good composition. Study books and magazine articles on composition. You should analyze various media: motion pictures, TV, magazines, books and newspapers, and evaluate what you see. What is good about this picture or that TV image? What is bad about it? What principles of good composition could you apply in a different way to make the picture better.

1. Center of interest 2. Subject placement 3. Simplicity 4. Viewpoint and camera angle 5. Balance 6. Shapes and lines 7. Pattern 8. Volume 9. Lighting 10. Texture 11. Tone 12. Contrast 13. Framing 14. Foreground 15. Background 16. Perspective As you study these principles of composition, you should soon come to a realization that some are very similar and overlap one another a great deal. Because all or most of these principles must be considered and applied each time you take a picture, it may all seem quite confusing at first. With experience you can develop a sense of composition, and your consideration and application of the principles will become almost second nature. This is not to suggest that you can allow yourself to become complacent or careless in the application of the principles of composition. Doing so will be immediately obvious because the results you produce will be snapshots, not professional photographs.

Next Issue: Discussion of the Principles and Elements

PHOTOGRAPHY & MULTIMEDIA in.vision.09@gmail.com +639236660471


11. Vernier Caliper is a precision instrument commonly used for determining the diameter of objects and to measure gaps.

1. Power Drill - is one tool a DIY’er must not live without. It is very useful for boring small holes with drill bit attachments to large holes with the holesaw attachments. There are dedicated types of attachments for each kind of material.

12. Acrylic Cutteronly used for cutting straight through acrylic sheets. 2. Rotary Tool - a versatile tool, it can do almost anything from grinding, routing, sanding and cutting off any material be it wood, plastic or metal.

4

1

5

13.Wire Cutter/ Stripper - it grips and removes the wire insulator to expose the copper wire.

3 6

3. Crimper - is a handy tool for network cabling. It presses the pins of the connector to make full contact with the wires.

7

2

14. Solder Suckerhelps make the job easier by removing excess solder from the circuit.

4. Allen Wrench set - the tool to use to tighten and loosen Allen-type bolts.

15. Soldering Lead -is the main element that bonds two electrical/ electronic contacts.

5. Hammer - for a DIY’er it’s main purpose is for center marking pilot-holes for drilling and making bends or repairing dents on sheet metals.

9

8

10

16. Metric Tape used fo measuring long pieces of material and a very handy tool

6. Philips Screwdriver - as it’s name implies it’s basic function is to drive Philips type screws/bolts.

1 7 . P r e c i s i o n Screwdriver Set basically used to manage small screws/bolts.

7. Flathead Screwdriver mainly used for Flat type bolt or screws. 14 15 13

8. Rotary Tool accessories composed of sanding drums, router bits, grinding/buffing attachments and cutting wheels.

9. Flatnose Pliers - have endless uses for a DIY’er. They grip, bend, turn things and straighten things out.

10. Needlenose Pliers - are most commonly used for bending angles in wire or narrow metal strips. They have a sharp wire cutter near the pivot.

18. Soldering Iron.- it melts the Solder Lead to form a sturdy contact between two points in a circuit.

12

11

19.MultiPurpose Cutter - used for cutting or trimming soft and thin materials like paper, plastic sheets or plywood.

18 17

16

19 20

20. Staright-Edge Ruleis another precision instrument for drawing straight lines.

D.I.Y TOOLS OF TRADE TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

67


DO-IT-YOURSELF

Making an Ipad Concealment Case TPC EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE

Ipad Inside a used Authorware bookcase

T

here are a number of products out there for the iPad but these are mostly to protect the precious unit. But what if you were on the MRT or any public place and you needed to check your mail or get online? This is clearly a security issue and you wouldn’t want anyone to steal your precious iPad. Hold-up and snatching cases are on the rise since the age of the notebook and other portable smart devices. Some of these criminals go as far as hurting their victims. One way to avoid this problem is to find a less conspicuous way of transporting your iPad to avoid the prying eyes of criminal elements.

Master cham_e_lyons personal coffee mug

Here’s one unique way that we would like to share with you. Here’s how…

1

Start by cleaning the edges of the pages of the book you intend to use. A fine-grade sandpaper is best for this. Once the pages are sanded, we can now apply white glue

68 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

2

Apply the white glue evenly on the entire surface of the pages. Let this dry for at least 2-hours. Repeat the process until you get the desired hardness of the pages

3

Trace the iPad on the front page and etch the pages using a cutter


D.I.Y

MAKING AN IPAD CONCEALMENT CASE

4

Measure the depth of the cut out using the iPad as a basis

5

Once the desired depth is achieved, apply white glue to the base of the hole using a brush until the pages harden

6

Measure the hole and the amount of felt paper needed

7

Cut the felt paper according to the measurements. Use a straight edge and cutter to make precise cuts

8

Attach the felt paper on the interior of the hole. Make sure to apply the glue evenly so as not to make lumps on the felt paper

9

Trace out the iPad on the felt paper. Make sure there is no excess felt paper

10

Cut out the iPad pattern on the felt paper. You may use a pair of scissors for this

11

Round off the edges to conform to the iPad

12

Apply white glue evenly to the hole

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

69


D.I.Y

MAKING AN IPAD CONCEALMENT CASE

13

Attach the iPad-cut felt paper

14

Using the paint brush handle, iron out the edges to make sure the glue spreads evenly

15

Measure the page size of the book and cut out the same amount of felt paper

16

Compare the cut out with the actual size of the page. Make sure these are the same

17

Apply enough white glue to the felt paper. Iron out the edges so that it sticks completely

18

Cut out the middle portion of the felt paper and use the “dug out� portion of the book as measurement

19

Cut out a portion of felt paper in the same size of the book cover. Apply white glue to the cover

20

Attach the felt paper with white glue

70

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

21

Attach Velcro pads to the corners. This will serve as the concealment case closure and secure the iPad inside


DO-IT-YOURSELF

SilverStone Case is exclusively provided by: Silverstone Technology Col , LTD thru Fine Upgrades Philippines

Carbon Fiber Sticker Mod

Transforming an Ordinary SilverStone casing to a modded Carbon Fiber Case Carbon Fiber is one of the hottest topics in the TipidPC forums. Silverstone was so gracious to give us an original casing for us to DIY. TipidPC editors were challenged as to how to make the Silverstone better looking than it already was. We planned out a “mod” that would not in any way alter the structure of the Silverstone case, so we thought about “carbon-fiber” adhesive covers. This was a good way to add excitement and color to a casing instead of the usual black or silver trim. Here’s how to properly do it:

The Original SilverStone Casing

1

Take out all the parts that will not be covered; USB/Audio ports, buttons and LED lights

2

This is the front cover of the Silverstone precision PS-05 series. It will be a little difficult to apply the sticker along the edges so we will avoid covering them

3

These are the bay covers for the drives. We will apply carbon fiber adhesive on them to give it that “twotone” look

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

71


D.I.Y

CASE MODDING WITH CARBON FIBER STICKER

4

This is the side panel where the motherboard tray is located. This is a good surface to cover because it is flat

5

The windowed panel is one of the more difficult areas to cover because of the cut middle section and rounded corners

6

The top panel has the most complicated surface area so it is best to avoid covering the contours like the segmented sides

7

Start by measuring the amount of sticker base to be used on each component of the casing. Let’s cover the flat side panel first

8

Leave an allowance of at least Âź-inch on the edges of the sticker base to ensure that all surfaces will be covered

9

Carefully peel off the carbon fiber sticker by using a cutter until the adhesive side is completely separated from the wax backing

10

72

Before applying the sticker, spray the adhesive surface with diluted shampoo. In case you make a mistake in positioning, the slick surface prevents the sticker from completely attaching to the panel and will allow you to make corrections easier

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

11

Start applying the sticker on one edge to make sure it is squared onto the panel

12

Carefully stick on the carbon fiber adhesive using a squeegee or an old credit card to make sure that no shampoo and air is trapped between the sticker and the panel and no bubbles will form on the surface


D.I.Y

CASE MODDING WITH CARBON FIBER STICKER

13

Use the tip of a brush to iron out the edges and conform to the shape of the panel

14

Use your fingers for the shaped edges

15

Use a hair blower to shape the sticker and follow the form of the edges. Be careful to use only medium heat. Do this for all the corners of the panel

16

For the side panel, make sure there is allowance at the edges to completely cover the window cut

17

Cover the front panel completely and cut away excess sticker especially for the ports and bay covers

18

After cutting, press down gently and evenly on the sticker so that it will not come off easily

19

Use a stencil knife to cut out intricately shaped parts of the panel

20

Measure and cut enough sticker material for the bay covers but leave some allowance. This should be the easiest part to apply because it is small and flat

21

Re-attach the bay covers and all the other parts to reassemble the case - Done! Kick-azz Carbon Fiber Case

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

73


74

TIPIDPC.COM


TIPIDPC.COM

75


DO-IT-YOURSELF

SilverStone Power Supply is exclusively provided by: Silverstone Technology Col , LTD thru Fine Upgrades Philippines

PSU Acrylic Conversion

Converting a regular Silverstone PSU to Acrylic PSU

B

y using a Silverstone power supply unit, we transformed an ordinary looking power supply to a more pleasing piece of equipment by encasing it in acrylic. It is important to note, though that doing such a modification may actually void the warranty that comes with the unit if modded within the warranty period so be careful. You should also understand whether this type of modification is for you because once it’s done, the changes are permanent. Silverstone gave TPC special permission for us to be able to tinker around with their PSU for the benefit of our readers’ enjoyment. Here’s how to turn that drab, old PSU into an acrylic Silverstone PSU

1

The power supply fresh from the box.

2

The side with the warranty seal to remind us the warranty will be void as soon as we remove the original cover.

3

The part with the brand label and specifications

4

Comparing the acrylic material to the original metal cover which it will replace.

5

We now loosen the four screws around the edges of the cover

6

We then remove the fan with the grill and transfer it to the acrylic cover.

76 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


D.I.Y

7

PSU ACRYLIC CONVERSION

With the new acrylic cover ready, we compare it to the metal cover.

8

Since the fan location is a little bit offcenter we made sure it is in its proper place. Then we traced the fanhole to the acrylic cover. We then make used of the grill as template using the traced pattern as refference.

10

After cutting the hole, a little filing and sanding would make the edges smooth.Then with the use of the power drill with the 6mm bolt we bore the holes for the fanscrews.And the acrylic cover screws.

11

13

Check the fanscrew area for cracks.

14

Assemble the cover and fan in this sequence: Fangrill acrylic cover then fan. Place the fan screws on each of the fangrills screw holes then tighten.

Then put the cover to its proper orientation.Stick the double adhesive to the metal frame and put the four mounting screws of the acrylic cover.

9

Now its time to cut the hole. We can use either a rotary tool with router attachments or diamond cutting disk or a jigsaw with fine-tooth blade.

12

Secure 2 pieces of narrow -cut strips of double adhesive tape long enough to reach both ends of each sides of the acrylic cover.

The Finish Silverstone PSU ACRYLIC

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

77


DO-IT-YOURSELF

SilverStone Power Supply is exclusively provided by: Silverstone Technology Col , LTD thru Fine Upgrades Philippines

PSU Wire Sleeving

Proper wire sleeving of Silverstone PSU Here we illustrate using a Silverstone brand power supply unit how to properly “sleeve” wires. It’s not enough that you have a fancy looking rig, it also pays to bundle your wires neatly for that extra sleek look! For PCmodders who want to make their wiring look neat when looking into the PC casing, Here’s how it’s done:

Tools we use: 4 Pin Molex Removal Tool. A special improvised tool used mainly for removing pins of both female and male IDE Power connectors

Precision Flat Screw Driver. This is used for removing pins of ATX Connectors

1

The Silverstone 500W without the sleeve and the sleeving kit from Fine Upgrades

2

Upon opening the package, this is how the Silverstone 500W looks like

3

The actual appearance of the Power supply when taken out of the packaging

4

The wires are composed of; 1-24pin ATX, dual 6-pin PCI connectors, 1-8pin EPS 12 connector, 2- triple SATA connector, 2-triple 4-pin IDE connector and single floppy connectors which we will bundle by using sleeves.

5

First, we sleeve the 5-pin SATA cable.

6

Make a sketch of all the connectors and take note of the color of the wiring so as not to get confused when the bundle is assembled and sleeved.

78

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


D.I.Y

7

PSU WIRE SLEEVING

Start removing the cover of the SATA connector and take out the wires one by one.

8

Measure the wires to get the exact size of the sleeve needed.

9

Cut just the right length of sleeve needed for the wires.

10

Expand the sleeves and insert the wires until they reach the other end.

11

13

Insert the sleeve into the shrinkable tube and position it on both ends of the sleeves.

14

Attach the connectors according to the sketch made at the beginning of the process.

15

Make sure that all the connectors are attached properly.

17

Neatly arrange the sleeves and shrinkable tube.

18

Heat the shrinkable tubes using a lighter or blower to secure the sleeves in position.

19

Repeat the process for every piece of wiring of the power supply until all are covered in sleeves.

Prepare the shrink tube to be used to secure the sleeves.

12

Cut just the right length of shrinkable tube for both ends of the sleeve.

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

79


DO-IT-YOURSELF

HOME MADE PROJECTOR By: Rogel Naval a.k.a. Hertzblaster

Holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from UST batch 1986. Presently working as business unit manager at an American based company specializing in process chemicals and equipments in an industrial set-up. A Hobbyist with interest in electronics related to audio-video ,personal computer hardware, peripherals and also software mostly related to audio-video editing. Started out as TPC member on 2002 . Became an overclocker fan for some time until 2003 when I became interested with diy projector.

LCD PROJECTOR FOR HOME VIEWING AND GAMING WITH 100 INCH SCREEN SIZE Led Projector Inside

Complete Led Projector

Led 100w 7 inches LCD

Led 100w 7 inches LCD

How it works?

I

t all started out using a phased out projection panel which originally cost more than 100,000 pesos in the late 90’s. These projectors were mainly used for presentation or non-moving image and usually used by large and rich companies only. It is LCD in an enclosure and put on top of the overhead projector, power it up and you will see a large projected image using pc as the image source. The quality of LCD or projection panel is very poor for movie or moving images . Early 2000 came the proliferation of 15 inch high quality xga lcd which cost around 15t-20t pesos then. It was the golden years for people involved in diy projector globally and all builders are crazily buying new 15 inch lcd like myself to be used as projector using the Overhead projector set-up as the starting point. It was easy. Just strip down the diy compatible LCD monitor and put it on top of the overhead projector and replace the bulb with high wattage metal halide bulb. You will experience a big screen format that you have never experienced before in the comfort of your own home. It didn’t hurt as well that it earned you a lot of “pogi” points from your friends and relatives alike.

Sample of projection panel

80

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

15 inch xga LCD 250w bulb

HD 15.4 inch LCD 250w bulb

15 inch xga LCD 250w bulb

15 inch xga LCD 250w bulb


With the price of commercial projectors going down, the number of DIY builders started moving away slowly from building their own projectors. I also stopped this hobby when last 2007, my 8.4 inch lcd broke. I then bought a used Infocus X1 projector worth 15k php and was contented with it, but not for long. The bulb’s cost and repair scared me. I have to consciously watch the hour usage of the projector every time I use it. I got fed up with this system. I wasn’t comfortable with worrying the number of running hours left for the bulb I sold it for 12k pesos after less than 3 months. Then I started to make serious effort to improve the diy projector. Successfully found a supplier for small bulb arc and lenses in China at a reasonable price.. Then, I finally found a good source of 7 inch widescreen lcds. I completed all the parts sourcing last Oct 2008. Now, the diy projector brightness is comparable to commercial projector brightness. Sounds like an easy task right? Well it isn’t. In fact, I got scammed over so many times it wasn’t funny anymore. However, my determination to learn the trade, and improve my projector still got the best of me. Year 2009, I guess more than 100 people successfully built a diy projector. Here comes the issue of high electricity cost here in the Philippines in the early parts of 2010. DIY projector bulb uses 250w generic HSD bulbs.

I myself started to become aware of the electric ity bills I paid every month. I spend less and less hours watching in my projector. I tried to find a lesser wattage high lumens bulb but to no avail. Some people still continued to visit and post in my thread at tipidpc and they are posting about the advancement in LED technology, specially the pocket size LED projector. I became interested again and search for high lumens LED. I found them in China, one consumes 100watts and emits 7000-10,000 lumens which are mainly used for street lighting in rich countries. My first led projector came about last July 2010 and I am happy Still, as the big LED emitting area is not optimum for DIY projector. I am now doing some research and searching for suppliers for customized LED design including its driver ,. As of now, the LED commercial projector that can project 100 inch image with good brightness can cost more than 100t pesos. Major parts especially the led and lens are not locally available. I found Fresnel lens at Rialto Avenida but at a very stiff price and are intended for overhead projectors only. Condenser lens can be found at Hidalgo Quiapo but then again at a very high price. Old ohp parts can be used for 15 -10 inch lcd but need to replace the light source. Used OHP can be source at different surplus stores like HMR in Mandaluyong.

DIY-ProjectorAdvance Mode Builders enjoyed the benefits of low cost build and cheap bulb while enjoying high definition moving images in large screen. But as builders knowledge in diy projector progress, we became aware of the major limitation of diy projector 1.Brightness is not comparable to commercial projector.Main problem was the big bulb arc that we used compared to commercial projector bulb. Basis of comparison then was the famous Infocus x1 which are both good for movies and presentation and cost $1000 in year 2004 while diy projector budget was $500. 2. Diy projector size becomes annoyingSmall size lcd, at least with svga resolution was hard to come by. 3. Heat and noise is becoming annoying also- We are using 250-400w bulb HQIBulb. A very strong fan is needed to dissipate the heat in the box to protect the lcd thus creating a lot of noise. 4. Very difficult to source correct lens for optimum projector design. Lens are mostly available from used overhead projector.

My first home made projector – Year 2004 using AUO 8.4 inch lcd 800x600

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

81


Improved box design

Sizing it up

As of Oct 2010, WORK IN PROGRESS – LED emitting area redesign with China Supplier. And for those of you who are interested, here is the simple guide and parts needed to successfully build your own projector. Requirements 1. Knowledge in basic /elementary electricity and electronics is important. 2. A good skill in carpentry is very important as well. I guess a high school student can build this project. 3. Correct tools- lessen the time to build 4. Safety awareness – self -explanatory. Avoid shortcuts. 5. Patience- everybody has this but needs to be practiced.

BUILDING YOUR OWN PROJECTOR A. PARTS NEEDED 1. PROJECTION Triplet LENS – Magnify the image from the lcd. 2. Field Fresnel lens- Converge the lighted image from the lcd to the projection lens 3. LCD- recommended size is 4-15 inches. DIy compatible. At least 640x480 resolution. At least with vga input. 4. Collimating Fresnel lens- Collect s the light from the light source and create light rays perpendicular to the lcd. 5.Condenser lens- gathers light from the source and concentrate the light effectively to collimating Fresnel. 6. Bulb/led- light source of very high lumen output, high color temperature 7. Reflector ( for bulb only) - makes useful wasted light from the bulb. 8. Fans- cools down the lcd and the enclosure 9. Ballast, capacitor and ignitor for bulb controls power delivered to the bulb 10. LED driver- Constant current. Controls power delivered to the led 11. 12volts DC power supply for LCD and fan

A. BUILDING GUIDE The idea is to install all parts in an enclosure with correct spacing and alignment ( perfectly straight ,center to center and at right angles .) Your basis for the spacing would be the lens’ focal length. There is no specific formula, so you would need to do with a trial-and-error test to get the optimal spacing. The biggest challenge for the builder is how to mount all the parts together. This where the builders’ common sense, creativity, resourcefulness and patience will be tested. One other important thing you would need to know is how to take care of each parts. These are very fragile and being careful would save you time and money from the damages.

PARTS SPACING 1. Projection Triplet lens has a specified focal length. It focuses on the LCD. If the focal length is 265mm, then the distance between the lcd and projection lens is 265mm. 2. Field Fresnel lens or front Fresnel lens has a specified focal length. This focuses on the projection lens. If the field Fresnel lens has a focal length of 220mm, then the distance between the projection lens and the field Fresnel is also 220mm. 3. LCD to front Fresnel distances should be at least ¼ inch or

82 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


Advantages of LED over bulb 1. Low power cost 2. Less heat .Less fan power, less fan noise and prolongs lcd life. 3. Lightweight. No more heavy ballast 4. Projector size became smaller 5. Better color temperature and improve image contrast and color 6.50,000 hours at least LED life. No more worries on bulb life…………… 7. Safer to build as no worry of bulb exploding.

You can also visit my website and check out the step by step guide. I’m still trying hard to document the step by step build process in a very detailed and well- presented manner for newbies to easily follow. Check out other builder’s work and creativity.

Happy building!

Disadvantages

it is too close, you will see the groove rings of the Fresnel lens in the projected image. Fresnel lens is a thin flat acrylic with concentric grooved rings. 4. LCD to Collimating Fresnel lens distance is 1 inch. Distance is standard just to allow for cooling purposes. 5. Collimating lens to light source distance is dictated by the focal length of collimating lens. If the focal length of collimating lens is 120mm, then the distance between the light source and the collimating lens is 120mm. This is a simple guide. Know the focal length of the lens and you will know the spacing between the parts. Install all the parts in the correct position (straight, at right angles and all parts are aligned from center to center ), power the light source and you will see very good results . Present day comparison between DIY LED projector and commercial projector using bulb (commercial projector using LED as of now is better.beyond the reach of many people) 1. Bulb cost- diy is cheaper for the bulb or LED

1. Bigger arc than HSD bulb and hence image sharpness and brightness is not as good as using HSD bulb 2. Higher initial cost.

2. Bulb life- with the advent of led, led in DIY projec tor has much longer life. 3. Electricty cost- you can use as low as 80w led compared to 150-200w bulb from commercial projector 4. Total cost- diy is cheaper.About 16t for DIY and 23t for commercial branded projector 5. Image quality- debatable. Depends on quality of LCD for diy 6. Brightness- commercial projector is brighter. 7. Repairs and maintenance - 100% in favour DIY 8. Portability- commercial still smaller 9. Noise – favors DIY using led 10. Heat- favors DIY Projector using led 11. Electricity cost- in favour of DIY led projector 12. Zoom lens -100% favors commercial projector. No zoom lens for DIY Projector 13. Evenness of light distribution- commercial Projector is better.

Links and reference www.alinbox.com www.lumenlab.com http://z6.invisionfree.com/diyprojectorphils/index.php?act=idx http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/diyprojectors/ http://diyprojectorkits.com/

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

83


DO-IT-YOURSELF

Mouse IR LED Replacement By: Omar Mandawe a.k.a sledge

A

n optical mouse is one of the most important components of a good gaming rig. Some of us spend lots of

cash trying to get the best one for gaming. An expensive gaming rig is nothing more than a brick without a mouse! It’s simple as that… So here’s the catch!

Scenario number 1. While enjoying your game your mouse suddenly goes crazy! (Cursor is moving like a wild dog, out of control or may not move at all). Most probably there is something wrong with the LED emitter.

1

Step 1: Open up the mouse by removing screws from the bottom and remove the screw holding its circuit board from its casing using the precision screw drivers. Step 3: Get your donor remote control and put some batteries on it. Using the multi-meter tester set to DC mode. Check if the batteries are still working.

Scenario number 2: So you have a mouse

2

Step 2: Look for the LED transmitter on the board. Usually it’s a 3mm clear white transparent LED type. Then, use the soldering iron to remove the LED from its circuit board. Be careful not to damage any other components from the circuit board. Usually they are very small and can be damaged very easily. 3.3

3.1

that is working perfectly but the light coming from the bottom is bothering you, and you want to get rid of the light without throwing away the mouse!

Here’s what you need to fix the problem for both scenarios: 1. The mouse 2. Donor IR remote control unit (damaged/broken remote controls with working LED transmitter from old household appliances). Or, purchase an IR LED emitter from electronics store.

3.2

Now, get your mobile phone and set it to camera mode. Point the emitter side of the remote control towards your mobile phone’s camera while pressing a button from the remote control to confirm if the IR emitter is working. Mobile phones with cameras are good in detecting IR light imitations. If the IR emitter is still working you will observe a blinking light emitted from the transmitter end of the remote control.

3. Soldering iron and soldering led. 4. Precision screw drivers. 5. Mobile white camera! 6. Multi-meter tester (Optional)

84 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

If the donor remote control emitter fails to work, try finding other donor remote controls or purchase an IR LED emitter. Open up the donor remote control and locate the IR LED transmitter. Trust me on this one, it’s probably the only LED component sticking out of the circuit board. Again, using the soldering iron carefully remove the IR transmitter from its circuit board.


4.3

4.1

4.2

Step 4: Get the IR LED and try your best to mimic the orientation of the original LED to have the proper alignment and the proper polarity for the IR LED to work. Now, carefully solder the terminals of the IR LED to the circuit board. Alignment is important because it affects the sensitivity of the sensor. Note: In the event that you don’t observe the IR LED to be working at all using the mobile phone, need not to worry, try removing the IR LED and change its terminal orientation to correct its polarity!

Step 5: The moment of truth! Connect the mouse to the rig. Again, using your mobile phone’s camera confirm if the IR LED is working.

Now, using your mobile phone check again if the IR LED is working! Put the mouse back together again! Check if the cursor is working as intended! If it does, Congratulations! You’ve just pimped your mouse IR system! A myth from gamers say that modding the mouse to IR system gives a feeling of improved sensitivity, reflex and response time for intense gaming experience! My seven-year old son says the modified mouse reacts faster and is more sensitive compared to the standard mouse he is using. He is a first person shooter gamer slash addict. He is currently playing Call of Duty BLACK OPS… Too bad he can’t do a review… Enjoy playing with your newly pimped IR system mouse!

TIPIDPC INVITATION

CONCEPT PC CASE 1. Name and TPC User Name 2. Name of Entry 3. Entry concept rationale 4. Drawing / Sketch / Blue Print

Chosen entries will be published in the succeeding issues of TipidPC magazine

Submit your articles and entries at articles@tipidpc.com TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

85


er Name: Rod Bi am_e_lyon Ch e: m Userna 2theMax Company: Mod 2003 e: Member Sinc use modder of ho ine He was th de” Spin off TV a “Pimp my Ri aired FAB My PC” Show called “ l from ne an ch ble in Hero TV Ca 2007-2008

86

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

87


DO-IT-YOURSELF

Make your own Aquarium PC

E

By: Rod Bier aka Cham_e_lyon

ver since the renovation in our Makati Office started, I can’t seem to figure out what design we would use for the counter at the reception area. Definitely, a simple counter will not cut it. We need something to impress visitors just in case we cannot afford to hire a pretty, intelligent, always smiling lady to staff the front desk. I’m currently in the job site and trying to compose myself - took a deep breath, exhaled and enter plane of clarity... uh-hmmm. Nah, didn’t work. It’s really hard to concentrate and pull out any creative thoughts if you’re in a work place and the only time people would open their mouth is when to ask you have to buy and spend for this and that. Expenses are getting out of hand and if I probably paste all the receipts that has been piling up, I bet it would be enough to cover 2 king size beds. Is our desire for a regal reception counter now dashed by financial constraint? I refuse. Maybe in the process we may have overreached way beyond our limitation. Maybe instead of impressing all we need is just to get visitors or onlookers curious. I think I might just have the answer and crossed my fingers that Master cham_e_lyon (cham) would be up for the task. I asked cham if he can make an Aquarium PC, he said yes without batting an eyelash and like some mad scientist, quickly scribbled a list of things we would need. After an hour he came back and presented the concept aquarium pc. Today, the Aquarium PC isn’t as novel back then. I’ve seen one in the internet back in early 2000’s, but never actually got to see one up close. I guess so too for many of our members. Let the magic hands of master cham show how its done. - ReB

Case Construction The Design Template

Step 1: First we had to determine how big the aquarium should be. All the plans were put on paper until we came up with a final design. Initially we thought about doing it entirely by hand but we decide that would be time consuming and agreed to have the case laser cut. The design was laid out in Corel then emailed to the supplier

Step 4: The front panel was also a tight fit and required some sanding for a better fit

88

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

Step 2: After receiving the laser cut parts, we tested the fit and saw that it needed some sanding because the fit was tight

Step 5: The case is nearly complete…wait, that’s not right? The placement of the PCI plate is all wrong so we had to take it apart and put it back together again!

Step 3: We assembled the rear panel and PCI panels, Then the bottom panel with the motherboard tray attached

Step 6: This is the critical part—making sure that the joints are secure and structurally sound. We had to use MC solution which is strong, and easily bonds, and vaporizes quickly. The next adhesive was Plexi Bond cement for its sealant and viscosity. Lastly, silicone sealant for leak-proofing.


Parts Testing

Step 7: Using the power supply tester, we checked for defects. We needed the power supply to work and to test the conductivity of the oil

Step 8: We checked the conductivity of the oil and the LED indicator did not light up. This was because the oil did not have direct contact with the positive line of the power supply unit

Step 9: Next, we checked for a reaction between the capacitor and plastic connectors, and the oil used. After a week, there was no change

Step 10: The PC parts were attached to the acrylic mother board tray

Step 11: In the middle of the process, we decided to alter the design and agreed to put a motherboard port plate to give the illusion that the motherboard was afloat in the liquid

Step 12: The wires of the power supply unit were encased in black split loom to avoid clutter.

Step 13: A new top panel was also made for the attachment of extension cables. This was also encased in split loom for the USB, power switches at power supply. This allowed for a more convenient way to connect external peripherals. It’s just too bad that VGA male to female extension cables are no longer available in the market

Step 14: We tried to insert the motherboard tray but it did not fit so we had to trim it. After trimming, we had to make sure the edges were sanded clean so as not to contaminate the oil with acrylic dust

Step 15: We tried aligning the motherboard rear plate and the top plate to ensure a proper fit

Step 16: After another attempt at inserting the motherboard tray, we turned on the pc and gradually filled the aquarium with oil

Step 17: We opened the top cover again and neatly arranged the cables to make it more pleasing

Step 18: More oil was added and we replaced ordinary fans with LED fans to make it more attractive

Assembling the Aquarium PC

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

89


502 Alexander House #132 Amorsolo Street Legazpi Village, Makati

Yes, sign me up today! Issue #2 - TipidPC magazine ( May - July 2011 )

*For TipidPC Magazine subscription, please e-mail the following details on subscription@tipidpc.com

TipidPC User Name: ___________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________ City: _________________________ Municipality:____________________________________ Country: ______________________ Zip Code:______________________________________ Email:_______________________________________________________________________

Delivery Options:

Courier service thru Air21 or LBC – 1 to 2 days delivery (Php140)

Regular Mail ( Snail Mail ) – 2 weeks delivery (Php50)

Messengerial service within M.M. only – Express delivery (Php100)

Note: TipidPC Magazine is free, the payment is for the courier and delivery services only

*conditions apply on TipidPC magazine’s PDF version.

90

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

CUT HERE

Name:______________________________________________________________________


TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

91


DO-IT-YOURSELF

Xtreme Modding By: Rod Bier aka Cham_e_lyon

THE XTREAMER CASE MODIFICATION The Xtreamer is one good product with fantastic capabilities but it has one downside--overheating. This became apparent after using the Xtreamer for an hour or longer. You can feel the casing heat up caused by the 2-hard disks inside. In the forum, there are varying opinions on how to cool the Xtreamer. We at the TPC LAB engineered a simple solution and found a way to tackle this problem and here is our version:

A Modded Xtreamer

Fig 1: Regular temp before turning it on Fig 2: Temperature of 2 WD HDD on normal modded after using it for 2hrs. Fig 3: Temperature of 2 WD HDD when we modded the item Figure 1

Xtreamer Construction and Modification

Step 1: MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE JUST TO BE SURE! We planned to make a cut above the logo on one side going towards the other

Step 4: Until the drilled case is finally cut, we can see the railings inside which help ease the insertion of the hard disk which comes in contact with the SATA connectors

92

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

Figure 2

Figure 3

Materials used for modifications: CDR-king 3.5 hard disc drive cooler, wire mesh, strip of wire, bosny flat black spray paint

Step 2: The Xtreamer case is made of thick, 2.5mm aluminum which is why we drilled a series of holes to make cutting easier with a rotary tool

Step 5: We smoothed out the cut edges using a metal file and sand paper

Step 3: We use a rotary tool to complete the cutting of the the aluminum case

Step 6: We found a suitable mesh from a scrap PC to complement the Xtreamer case


Step 7: No special tools were used to bend the scrap mesh into shape. At first it did not fit well so we repeated the process until it was perfect

Step 8: After bending the mesh, we had to find a way to trim off the excess

Step 9: A “tin-snip� was used to cut away both ends of the mesh so as not to cover the Xtreamer logo

Step 10: The mesh was colored with flat black paint. Sand paper and water were used to remove the old paint on the scrap mesh to allow the new paint to evenly coat the surface

Step 11: Using the insulation from an old mouse cable, the edges of the mesh were covered for safety and aesthetics

Step 12: Holes were also drilled at the bottom of the case where there was no conflict with the internal parts

Step 13: Because of the thickness of the aluminum, we had difficulty cutting the middle portion. The edges were then sanded and filed

Step 14: We purchased a hard disk cooler and a laptop cooler

Step 15: The hard disk cooler fan was removed

Step 16: The cooler bracket was also painted in flat black to match the Xtreamer

Step 17: The laptop cooler fan was replaced so that the USB would be the power source and the entire assembly was attached to the bottom of the Xtreamer for effective cooling.

A Finished Modded Xtreamer Product

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

93


94

TIPIDPC.COM


ACTIVE GAME THREADS AT THE FORUM STARCRAFT 2 DEFENCE OF THE ANCIENTS BATTLE FIELD BAD COMPANY ALLIANCE OF VALIANT ARMS LEAGUE OF LEGENDS GRAN TURISMO 5 HEROES OF NEWEARTH GTA IV NBA 2K11 MEDAL OF HONOR 2010 WORLD OF WARCRAFT DEVIL MAY CRY 4 DRAGON AGE UNIVERSE CROSSFIRE CABAL ONLINE COMPANY OF HEROES CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS NEED FOR SPEED SHIFT

TIPIDPC.COM

95


GAME CENTRAL

TRON 2011 By: Jonas Martinez a.k.a redwing000

I

t has been a number of years since TRON

gamepad compatibility list of the game. Most of

had a game built out of the franchise,

us that have experienced TRON previously will

TRON: Evolution was just released and it

not be happy with the current game. It feels like

would seem to be the game that would continue

it was not done properly, although their intentions

that TRON tradition. Unfortunately, the chang-

to use the principles of parkour, capoeira for the

es that were instituted on this game makes it

combat and the TRON 2.0 graphics just does not

a bit too platformy for everyone’s taste. TRON

make up for how the game was done.

2.0 game was built from the monolith engine and was a first person shooter.

Don’t get me wrong, TRON: EVOLUTION are for those who have experience with button mashing

TRON: EVOLUTION is a third person game

and experience in playing Prince of Persia for

similar to Tomb Raider and Prince of Persia,

the consoles, it is that confusing and for those

that combines wall walking (yes, you heard

who were expecting something like the old TRON

me right, wall walking), grappling and a very

game, nada. It is not for you.

confusing camera view when in the fighting

Besides, the entire game itself is pretty linear,

scenes.

At least Tomb Raider and Prince of

with no optional objectives for extra things or side

Persia had a more polished game engine to

adventures for extra experience, just follow the

go with it. TRON: EVOLUTION was designed

arrow to get to the next level and button mash

as a prequel to the movie TRON: LEGACY,

your way there.

and stars mostly the same characters that you

It is that simple. One other thought, though, there

would find in the movie. You play as a face-

are certain ways to do things to replenish your

less program affectionately called ‘Anon’ that

life and replenish your disc powers. You need to

Kevin Flynn, the main character in the game

find how it is done correctly otherwise, you can-

and the movie, sends to investigate a potential

not use your special attack more than four times.

conspiracy in the world of TRON. In retrospect, TRON:EVOLUTION was

a badly

For the console version of the game, you use

created game but the planning was done cor-

the game controller to control your character.

rectly. It felt like this game was not made as a se-

A number of button combinations enable your

quel but a re-introduction to a new TRON game.

character to do special attacks using four types

If you are a hard core TRON fan, you will love this

of identity discs, the

game, if not, you may see this game as a haphaz-

heavy disc, the bomb

disc, the stasis disc and the corruption disc.

ard collection of moves and gameplay that seems to have come from other games.

While it is a good game by itself, the problem

96

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

is that it is not a good TRON game. Even for

It is bad though because the neon coloring of

the PC game, you would need to use a game

this TRON world was like made by someone who

pad just to be able to do certain things to ad-

was color blind, with black and neon colors being

vance to the next objective. Another problem is

used in majority of the scenes.

that most game pads will not work with TRON

The light cycle parts of the game was good, but

and you may still need to do some research on

short and personally, it did not make me smile, I

how to enable game pads that are not on the

still found the TRON 2.0 light cycle parts much


better planned than this. The tank scenes were

your front and you forget that the enemy is to

horrible controller wise. It seems that just want-

your left.

ing to turn left or right on the game pad confuses

There are good things about TRON that merit

the tank when you are shooting.

attention. The sad part is, they are so few that

When controlling Anon, the camera would not fol-

you barely notice them compared to its’ bad

low the character, or at least where the character

points. One of the things I liked about it is that

would face. This would seem like a decision not

it’s the prequel to TRON: Legacy. You get to

done in the best of judgement.

know what happens to Kevin Flynn at the start

This makes for a potentially frustrating gaming

of the film. This makes up for the utterly plain

experience when you have 6 enemies going at

color theme of black with neon (What’s up with

you from all directions and you cannot immedi-

that?)

ately turn to who is shooting at you or see where

I have to admit that I was disappointed big time

Anon is facing, specially in scenes where Anon

with TRON:EVOLUTION. At the start I was ex-

need to solve a problem of going from where he

cited to play a TRON game again until I started

is, to go to another level upwards and the only

playing extensively. After that it became more

thing that is telling you this is an arrow pointing

of a chore playing this game than anything

upwards.

As

soon as you do the move that you believe is correct,

Anon

else.

“ It is bad though because the neon coloring of this TRON world was like made by someone who was color blind, with black and neon colors being used in majority of the scenes.”

is already fly-

In end

the I

give this g a m e

ing through the air, the camera would then im-

a low to fair rating. The gameplay was bad

mediately change views and more often than not,

enough. Throw in the puzzles, the grappling

you miss the landing point and has to start over

and the wall walking, and you get something

the puzzle again.

that was designed for another game, maybe Assasin’s Creed or Prince of Persia,but defi-

Another thing that I am quite annoyed in TRON is

nitely not TRON. The disc battles were good,

that the camera seems to move when he is stand-

however, the camera angles and the way they

ing still. It is like the camera has a mind of its own

used the light cycle in the single player game

and you tend to keep on trying to move it back

really lame. In fact, you can complete the light

to the position where you want it to be specially

cycle scenes half asleep. The tank scenes are

if you need to take a look at where you are sup-

just horrible, and they still haunt me till now

posed to jump so that you are aligned with the

Just imagine shooting down a cargo plane with

landing point.

the tank cannon. How unimaginative. The controls of the tank make me cringe.

When Anon fights the orange colored kernels and the yellow colored infected, you need to manu-

All in all, it was a badly done game. If only it

ally aim to where you want to shoot the disc even

was not a TRON game with multiplayer gaming

when you are facing another way. Although this

capabilities, then I would never buy this. TRON

makes for an entertaining way to do combat, it

2.0 was absolutely better, gameplay wise, than

is hardly entertaining to fire a special attack to

this one

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

97


GAME CENTRAL

MEDAL OF HONOR 2010 By: Ariz Cabiaz a.k.a Incubus_boy08

A

t last, after 3 years of waiting, a reboot of the franchise was released. Let’s see if the new Medal of Honor 2010 is worth the years of waiting

On all of the missions you either have a buddy or a team. You get different assistance from your buddies aside killing Taliban forces. One is the buddy boost in which your teammate helps you to reach a certain area.

INTRODUCTION Gamers who are fans of first person shooter games wouldn’t forget Electronic Arts’ Medal of Honor series. It’s a multi-platform game which originally debuted on the Playstation back in the year 1999. As far as the Medal of Honor franchise is concerned, I have played the Playstation releases (Medal of Honor and Medal of Honor: Underground) and the ones released on PC (Allied Assault, Spearhead, Breakthrough, Pacific Assault and Airborne). All of them took place in the World War II era. I was surprised when Electronic Arts decided to give the franchise a reboot and make it fall on a modern day setting. The game’s developer Danger Close and DICE probably felt the impact made by fellow FPS franchise Call of Duty and decided to call it a modern day FPS competition. The last MOH release was MOH: Airborne back in 2007. I thought EA has left this game in the dark and chose its other game Battlefield: Bad Company 2 as their entry to the modern day FPS battle. But my thoughts were wrong and here is the game, alive and kicking. I felt the excitement to play this game after years of being clueless if this game will be resurrected. Let’s get straight into the game itself. Hua..! Hua..! A little trivia: Did you know that the first Medal of Honor storyline was created by the legend producer/director Steven Spielberg. Also, when Medal of Honor 2010 was released, a book of the same title was released written by famous gulf war survivor turned novelist Chris Ryan. It covers the back story of the game.

THE GAME The game is developed by Danger Close (EA Los Angeles) and DICE (EA Digital Illusions CE) and published by Electronic Arts. Looking at the picture used for the disc cover, this one is not like our ordinary Medal of Honor game. There are two game engines used in the game. The single player campaign used a modified version of Unreal Engine 3 and the multiplayer mode uses the Frostbite game engine. The Frostbite (used also on Battlefield: Bad Company 2) game engine requires more powerful hardware than the Unreal game engine. So if you’re planning to go multiplayer online, you might want to consider first the recommended system requirements in order to play the game at its optimal performance. A system with a dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and at least an Nvidia 9800GT graphics card will give you good frames at 1280x1024 resolutions. The single player campaign gave me the experience of what an elite Tier1 Ops job is. The game focuses on teamwork and team play. For more than half of the campaign, I am switching roles between two ops codenamed “Rabbit” and “Deuce.” For the rest of the game, I’m also switching characters namely Dante Adams, an army Ranger and Apache pilot Capt. Brad Hawkins. Most of the story happens on the Afghan mountains.

98 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

Another one is that you can request ammo from any of your team members as long as the weapon you want to request ammo for is from your team. You can pick-up the rifles of the enemy but you can’t request ammo for it. The realism that you will feel on this game was very good as far as other shooters are concerned. Communication with your team mate is also excellent. I never played a shooter like this before wherein the clues on getting on your next move will always be showed right in your face. I mean, you must use your listening comprehension to follow an order which again adds up to promoting team work and makes you feel that you and your team were on a real military mission. This campaign is not for those who wanted to go always on solo like Rambo would.

I commend EA for creating such an interesting storyline such as they did on Battlefield: Bad Company 2. While playing the game, you will have the feeling that you are playing more of a true to life story rather than fiction based. Well that is because this campaign is based on real-life military Operation Anaconda back in 2002 in Afghanistan. Towards the end of the campaign, you will feel the value of brotherhood that military men always show to each other. The disappointing thing is the campaign is short. You can finish it in about 4-6 hours depending on the difficulty and your experience with shooters. I hope EA made it a little longer. Graphics and effects were also good on this one given that it uses two of the very remarkable game engines. Lighting and textures were also great. Realistic settings makes the character able to shatter glasses, break woods, heck even shoot and destroy walls. Well, not all walls, but at least there are some that you could tear down if you want to. Weapons were nice. There are lots of weapons used depending on the mission. My personal favorite was the Dusty and Deuce’s sniper mission on the mountains. Altough violent, I love how the enemies’ heads pop off when you have a headshot. We also got nightvision goggles for dark areas, optical markers for support strike and many more arsenal of modern weaponry. One thing that bothers me is the pistol ammo. It was infinite! How in the world can you carry infinite ammunition? Cinematics were nothing new but it makes the whole campaign much appealing to the player. When you finish the single player campaign, Tier 1 mode will be unlocked. Well to sum it up, Tier 1 mode is just a replay of the campaign mode with a little twist. It’s much more difficult and there are no checkpoints. When you die, you will start over again on the level that you are in. The goal of the mode is to finish the level as fast as possible

The multiplayer mode is where Medal of Honor shines. It borrows it’s sister game’s Frostbite engine. I wonder why EA did that but whatever the reason of using different game engines on single and multiplayer mode,they still did a good job. At first, multiplayer felt that it was a Call of Duty clone but it wasn’t. There are only 3 classes namely rifleman, special ops and sniper. Each class has it’s own set of weapons. You can choose between two teams, OPFOR and Coalition. OPFOR being the Taliban like team and Coalition for the Tier1 Ops. Currently there are 8 maps and 4 multiplayer modes to choose from. Apart from the great graphics, this time almost all things in the environment are destructible too. The gun and environment sounds were never compromised as they sounded almost real you will feel like that you are in a real warzone. Explosions sound


big. You can also hear other player’s characters speak as they play along. One of the main difference of this game and COD is it’s way of rewarding players on their way up to the rank. As players rank up, they can have more customization on their weapons and skins but no additional rewards that can alter their physical combat aspects such as longer life, more armor, faster running and the like. Personally, I find that way much better since in the end, it will all be pure skills rather than relying on the invincibility of your character. Once again, that adds up to the realism of the game. Thank god they chose not to produce bionic soldiers playing on the game.

game Bad Company 2, I think it’s not a copycat of the game nor Call of Duty Modern Warfare series clone. It has it’s own identity which makes tha game unique compared to other shooters, brotherhood and teamwork that reaches even with strangers. Multiplayer is awesome. Realism is second to none. I just hope that on the next MOH franchise, EA will put more attention to realistic events such as destructible things, finite pistol ammo, etc. I love playing the multiplayer mode since it all boils down to the skills. At first, I had a hard time getting used to the game but after playing several hours, I really enjoyed it. I just hope that EA will pay attention to cheaters and hackers that can spoil the game and also for future expansions and maps. This way, Medal of Honor can continue on to be played worldwide.

CONCLUSION Well I was surprised with this Medal of Honor reboot. It was bundled with a short but very great storyline. Not bad at all. Getting experience from its sister TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

99


PS3 GAME REVIEWS

GOD OF WAR III

R

emember the rusty-but-trusty Blades of Chaos? After the defeat of Ares, it was replaced with a nearly identical pair, the glowing-red-when-fully-upgraded Blades of Athena. Now that he’s on the third and last installment on the PlayStation platform, revenge would not be any sweeter without the newly designed yet still familiar blades, the Blades of Exile. “In the end, there will be only chaos.” - Kratos

DEVELOPER: Santa Monica Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment

GAMEPLAY: [9.5] Ever-challenging gameplay ensures the game is never boring even after 10 tries on a boss fight STORYLINE: [10.0] Greek Mythology applied in GOW is award-winning GRAPHICS: [9.5] Robust yet still elegant SOUND: [9.0] Immersive in almost every part of the game

REVIEWED AND SUBMITTED BY: Albert two Ingreso a.k.a. alberttwomi

Yes. Kratos is back still as the God of War in SCE Santa Monica’s God of War III. This time, he carries with him the rage of revenge. Just like the previous God of War games released for the PlayStation 2, challenging mini games (button-executions) during boss fights are still present, and mind-boggling puzzles and complex contraptions to advance to levels that are brilliantly jawdropping are still a challenge to complete. Throw in goddesses in bikinis if not at all nude and you can break away from all the action-packed chaos. And what made the series a smash hit is its storyline, written almost as exactly as history books state with Kratos as one of the exceptions. A new set of weapons is introduced, though some were retained, like the ones collected from God of War II like the Icarus Wings and Bow of Apollo. New weapons are acquired after finishing off a god, or a demigod in Hercules’ case. Though this time, weapons have their strengths and weaknesses against specific enemies so mastering

each is a must to efficiently defeat them. If you have created a combo for the Blades of Chaos, or even the Blades of Athena early on, you’ll have to recreate them from scratch as God of War III lets Kratos use the Blades of Exile in conjunction with other blade-chain-forearm orientated weapons. to add more fury to what seems to be more than enough blood and gore, thanks to the switchon-demand system. The D-pad contains all four primary slaughter tools ready for disposal on a single press. To add more action, each has its own magic. Overall, the weapon system caters to new levels of the hack-and-slash genre. Need I say more? Throughout the game, Kratos will pass awe-inspiring locations, including the heart of Gaia, the Pit of Tartarus, and the Realm of Hades. In his quest to kill his father, Zeus, he will cross various gods, goddesses, and famous Greek people. Stunning cinematics in between cut scenes will help explain the story behind what drives the Spartan god. Playtime is short, but every minute played is well worth the cost. And besides, once the game is finished, the very hard mode will be available and the Challenge mode will be more than inviting. There, you can test whatever you have mastered and see if you are up to the challenge. If you are seeking for a fast-paced hack-and-slash that packs action and gore, join Kratos as he quenches his thirst for revenge and be blown by the mythology behind the story. God of War III is definitely a must-have for your PlayStation 3.

RED DEAD REDEMPTION O

pen-world games that allow free-roaming on a highly interactive world are always among the best game investments as they equal to hundreds of hours of fun. The genre blurs the completion point as there is enjoyably none, and where missions can be completed a little later if exploring the vast world is your idea to break the boredom brought about by the storyline tasks. Red Dead Redemption from known developer, Rockstar Games, brings the open-world platform to a higher level. From the streets of Grand Theft Auto’s Liberty City, Rockstar takes us to a highlyinteractive western setting where horses are the only known mode of convenient transportation, and where boots and spurs do cowboys justice. Building on the success of what seemed to be a solid sandbox game, Rockstar made Red Dead Redemption a game that keeps on giving. The story of Red Dead Redemption revolves around a deeply flawed protagonist, John Marston. In search for a man, Marston travels to the lawless, savage yet awe-inspiring town of Armadillo. During the train ride, Marston eavesdrops on fellow passengers for a little background of the town, then finally explores Armadillo in the middle of the vast desert right after setting off the train. The western setting of the game offers eye-candy everywhere you pan the camera at - cactus-filled plains, smooth-sweeping sand dunes, and mountain-peaks just a little below a good afternoon sunset. And what awaits you in every area of the vast sandbox is not just the relaxing and somewhat

100 TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

interesting scenery, but random events that make the game feel alive and real, like duels just at sundown, bandits robbing a carriage or terrorizing a townsfolk, or just a wild bear encounter. These activities may help break the boredom from the main storyline missions, which I doubt would occur. Fun mini games are also squeezed in the game aside from Marston’s quest, which include a chance to play poker. In some cases break wild horses and herd stampeding cattle, and tear down wanted posters in town and hunt down outlaws – all of which are only a few things available to keep you busy while horsegalloping around the western wild. Red Dead Redemption, like the previous GTA games, offers fun and entertainment by the bucketload. It is an almost complete game in every sense. Its open world setting will immerse you for hours, plus the attention to detail to every element makes it come to life. Online multiplayer even multiplies the experience by a hundred laughs and smiles. Red Dead Redemption is a must-have PS3 game, be it for the curious kids at home, or for the adventurous elderly.

DEVELOPER: Rockstar San Diego, Rockstar North/ Rockstar Games

GAMEPLAY: [10.0] Excellent in the sense that every element in the game contributes to something that equates to fun STORYLINE: [9.0] There’s not much to the plot, but side missions make it interesting nonetheless GRAPHICS: [9.0] Graphics may not be the best, but the detail in a vast open world setting is enough compensation SOUND: [8.5] Soundtrack is good overall, sound effects are better (like the pianist in the opening of the game) MULTIPLAYER: [10.0] Online play allows a lot to do for players, endless technically


NBA 2K11 Y

ear after improvements make an incredible sports game. Rosters are traded here and there, and some coach switch teams in a year. Annually, roster and team updates are a must. Well, a must maybe some years ago.

DEVELOPER: Visual Concepts/2K Sports

GAMEPLAY: [9.5] With a lot of game modes to choose from, 2K11 is not your average basketball game GRAPHICS: [9.5] Refined compared to last year’s 2K10, with better lighting and contrast SOUND: [9.0] OST is superb, with tracks varying from mellow booze to noisy hip-hop raps MULTIPLAYER: [10.0] Online play lets you challenge NBA fans from around the world with their favorite team

The staggering amount of work put in the NBA 2K series made it the best multi-platform basketball game in the past 3 years. Updates were not limited to only the rosters and teams, but added features make its yearly release quite interesting including graphical tweaks, better player controls, and a whole lot more. And as expected, 2K11 packs new features on its release: The Michael Jordan game mode (as the front cover suggests). Relive the epic rivalry with the Chicago Bulls-led Michael Jordan against the powerhouse LA Lakers, feel The Wade-James-Bosh courtside-like hype, or take command of the veteran-filled Celtics from your PlayStation 3. With stunning graphics, improved physics, and that oh-so-cool depth of field effect make you either an audience along the sideline, or roll the replay and feel like watching a ball game in HD. Strategic Plays, realism-influenced player movements including facial expressions, and total ball control that lets you do all your ball dreams of being an NBA star, be it a one-handed crossover, or a mid-air double-clutch just an inch before your shoes hit the floor, elevate the basketball gaming experience to higher levels of fun. Improvements from 2K10 are seen on various as-

pects of the game: player models receive more contrast, light details, and more fit jerseys (yes, no floating jerseys and black spaces in-between); seamless transition on the dribbling system thanks to the new Iso-Motion Dribbling Control and Dynamic Shot Control for all the shot-types imaginable for the creative shooter. The cover tells us what’s more in store for us in the game The highlight of 2K11 is the added Jordan Challenge - reenacting the legendary MJ winning moves in 10 different scenarios, and the MJ: Creating a Legend mode - crafting Jordan from a newlydrafted rookie to your own version of the icon; and the historic Chicago Bulls at their prime, available to fare out against any NBA team. Still present is The Association mode which takes you inside the league where you have to deal with all the problems as the team GM, and also as the team coach. Online play let’s you challenge other players, and gives you access to download content via 2K Share. 2K11 is a must have for NBA fans. A truly enjoyable basketball experience awaits those who have not tried the NBA 2K series. Jump ball!

TIPIDPC INVITE

ASSEMBLE THE BEST GAMING RIG SETUP This invitation is very simple, all you need to do is to submit us the best assembled gaming rig setup that you have. Assembled gaming rig must be unique and currently being used as your primary gaming rig. We also would like to require for your picture together with your assembled gaming rig.

Submit your entry with the following details: 1. Name of the rig you are submitting 2. Specifications of the rigs and brands 3. FPS and gaming test tool results 4. Hi-quality pictures of your gaming rig 5. List of games that are currently installed in your system 5. TipidPC member name/handle Deadline for submission is March 10, 2011.

Chosen entries will be published in the succeeding issues of TipidPC magazine

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

101


MAFIA II The Story The main character of the game is Vito Scalleta. He was born in Sicily in 1925 to a very poor family. Their family immigrated to America a few years later hoping for a better life. As Vito grew up, he got involved with a criminal named Joe. They became best friends and they robbed shops together. However, Vito got caught in one of their robbery session. He was given a choice - rot in jail or serve the country by enlisting in the army. He ended up in Sicily in World War II. He got injured in the war and was sent home for a leave. Joe welcomed him home and, by the help of Mafia connection, he was discharged from the army. Vito discovers that their family is in a big debt because of his dead father. With no other means, Vito went with Joe for a job. Joe introduced him to Henry Tomasino, a hitman of the Clement Mafia family.

DEVELOPER: 2K Czech

Except for the first chapter, the entire game takes place on a fictional city called Empire Bay. It’s a very large city but don’t be fooled - Mafia II is not an openworld sandbox type of game. It is very linear and not like Grand Theft Auto where you can choose the next mission you will take. After each chapter, you jump right into the next mission or you are required to go to a specific location for the next mission. There are no side missions or mini games. Yes, you can rob banks and steal cars but money is insignificant especially in the latter parts of the game. But in stealing cars, you are now required to pick the locks which make things a bit realistic. Cruising in the city is also realistic - cops will chase you if you go above the speed limit. Your infraction aggravates if you resist arrest or try to run away. Hit-and-run infractions will make the police use lethal force - they will shoot you on sight. The wanted system in this game is improved compared to other games. The plate number of your car is recognized by the police and they recognize your appearance, too. There are two ways to make the wanted status go away. You can change the car or the plate number and change your clothes. The easier way is to find a phone booth, call the police and bribe them if you have enough cash.

Graphics and Visual Effects Mafia II is not really a sequel to the first game but it is somehow related. In the second to the last chapter, it will be revealed who killed Tommy Angelo, the main character of the first game.

The Gameplay

The gunfight, like in most 3rd person shooters, is based on cover-and-shoot gameplay. You won’t last for 10 seconds in a gunfight if you don’t use cover. Almost everything in the game can be used for cover - drums, crates, pile of boxes, cars, walls, and etc. But unlike other 3rd person shooters, you cannot blind fire from a cover. Also, there is no maneuver for switching from cover to another cover. This is a big let down coz games like Army of Two, Uncharted 2, Vanquish, and Gears of War allows you to switch to an adjacent cover. In my opinion, the cover-andshoot gameplay lacks depth. You cannot even blind throw a grenade when in cover. The enemy AI is average but enemies do not flank you even if you stay too long in the same cover. On some parts of the game, you will be forced to fight using melee combat. The melee combat is improved compared to the first game but there are no other melee weapon except for your fists. You have two basic attacks light hit and heavy hit. Combo using the light hit is fast and will leave your opponent staggered for a bit. The heavy hit combo is slower but can knock your enemy to the ground, leaving him open for a finishing attack. The game does not have a health bar. The game gets darker gray as you get shot. Take cover and stop taking damage to replenish your health.

REVIEWED AND SUBMITTED BY: NYLMAR GARCIA a.k.a. nrg500

102

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

Weapons featured in this game are realistic and, of course, from the 1950’s. These include the Magnum, pump-action shotgun, Tommy Gun, .38 revolver, Colt 1911, and many others. For thrown weapons, you only have MkII grenade and molotov cocktail. There are gun shops scattered around the city but I didn’t even buy one weapon. All the weapons I used to finish the game are only pick ups from dead enemies.

2K Czech has done an excellent job in the graphics department of this game. The game is very detailed realistic shadows, mirror reflections, dynamic ligthing, and other eye candy. Shooting glass, wood, and concrete gives realistic debris. In gunfights, you will see debris flying everywhere - chunks and tidbits of concrete fly away when you shoot columns, post, and walls. The game also use PhysX which makes the visual effects look better. But even without PhysX, the game still looks great. The game does not have very high system requirements if PhysX is diabled. I only used a GeForce 9800GT and I can run the game at 1920 x 1080 resoltion with high graphic detail but no Anti-aliasing. Average framerate was 40fps. Enabling PhysX on 1920 x 1080 resolution will at least require a very powerful nVIDIA graphics card like the GeForce GTX 480. But you can use an entry-level nvIDIA graphics like the GTS 250 or GTS 450 as a dedicated card for running PhysX.

Verdict

If you are a big fan of the first game, then you will be pleased with Mafia II. For those who want a sandbox, open world style of game, then you might want to look for another game.

The Good • Excellent graphic detail • Uses PhysX • Features realistic guns from the 1950’s • Gunfights are brutal and satisfying • Melee combat is simple but fun and engaging • Great story narration • Cutscenes makes you feel like watching movies The Bad • Cover-and-shoot gameplay lacks depth • Has little or no replay value • Money is insignificant especially in the latter parts of the game • Very linear


Sit back and We’ll do the rest......

I.T. EVENTS

TRAINING

WORKSHOP

SEMINAR

502 Alexander House Building, 132 Amorsolo St., Legazpi Village, Makati City TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

103


COMMUNITY GUIDE

EXPERTS ADVISE TIPIDPC EDITORIAL BOARD

SECURITY ALERT

IDEN THE TITY FT

“Identity theft” is when someone makes use of your name and other personal information for unauthorized online purchases or to malign another person in an internet forum or other forms of mischief. It is a common problem for anyone who uses the internet.

A

s a member of various forums, I experienced Identity Theft firsthand. I was called by an admin to see about a person who was in jail in Novaliches. Apparently, the police arrested a man who was in possession of multiple SIM cards. According to the investigators, the SIM cards contained text messages sent to this person’s victims. Most of the victims of the malicious text messages turned out to be members of different trading sites locally. One of the victims sought help which then led to the apprehension of the criminal. Identity theft starts when you give out personal information; full name, birthdate, contact information, etc, etc...One way where personal information is extracted is when you submit resume’s online. Identity thieves use this sort of information to open fake bank accounts. After fabricating an identity, they will purchase SIM cards and advertise bogus items on trading sites. They will generate their own positive feedback to fool prospects into some sense of credibility but in reality, the feedback comes from only one or two people who have created multiple accounts. This should serve as a warning to those who submit resume’s online. Beware of “identity thieves”.

Two female members accompanied us to Novaliches to confront the alleged scammer and file the necessary complaints. The perpetrator was caught when he was arrested for molesting a passenger in a jeepney. At the precint, it was discovered that the man has several ID cards which included a Police ID and a whole bunch of SIM cards. When the SIM cards were inserted into a cellphone, it revealed text messages from irate victims. We hope that we have unmasked a possible modus operandi for scammers and this should serve as a warning for those looking for bargains and paying through bank deposit. Another disturbing fact is that some unscrupulous individuals use or name drop reputable or known members. If these scammers get hold of vital information, they can post items and make online transactions. They will claim that they are < @#$@ > and they are having difficulty logging in so the customer should transact business using their bogus account. When we finally saw the suspect detained in Novaliches, he name dropped a legitimate member who’s identity he assumed. It was obvious that the thief used this member’s name to gain credibility. We feel sorry for the victims of this criminal.

Tips to avoid scammers 1. Carefully check a person’s profile 2. If the person is not a legitimate member of any forum trading site, always give in to doubt 3. If an item is “too cheap”, better think twice about it 4. Check the legitimate feedbacks of a seller 5. Avoid sending resumes online and do not give away vital personal information especially to strange companies or users 6. Research on an item before you buy 7. Never make a bank deposit unless you are absolutely sure who owns the account 8. Meet up in a public place, visible to other people 9. Avoid dealing with unknown members 10. Be vigilant

104

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE


Phis

SECURITY ALERT

hing

This is one form of internet fraud wherein unscrupulous individuals extract personal information and use them for illegal transactions.

meet-ups, and you can’t fathom how they could afford such a luxury item.

I

n some selected trading websites, Phishing is commonly done in order to swindle other members of the site. The best example of phishing sites are adult-content websites. These sites are easy to create and they generate lots of internet traffic. This is the perfect place to get information. Former members of our community (who has been banned) commit this type of offense. They are called “carders”, people who use other people’s info for their own benefit. To this day, there are countless number of carders in the world wide web as we know it, and this should serve as a warning to all. Doesn’t it make you wonder that a seller, who apparaently isn’t well-off, can sell items valued at almost P100,000 at half the price? At close scrutiny, you will discover that this person doesn’t have their own car, commutes to do

This is how carders operate and this has a lot to do with phishing. They create fake websites and make it attractive to surfers. Anyone who wants to buy the items displayed there will surely input their credit card details and other personal information which will then b e used to make fake credit cards. These fake cards will then be used to purchase merchandise from legitimate websites like Amazon.com, Newegg, etc. After 2-3 weeks after they’ve received their items, you’ll be surprised that your credit card statement will reflect purchases you did not make! This is a classic “phishing” technique. Another form of information extraction is by establishing a fake company and asking for resumes online. We have received numerous reports of incidents like this so be careful about sharing personal information. Even within the other known website/s, “phishers” are lurking so be very vigilant.

Some tips to avoid Phishing 1. When in doubt, DON’T! 2. Make sure a website is legitimate before giving away credit card details and personal information. 3. Avoid submitting resumes when you doubt the legitimacy of an agency. 4. If someone sends a private message asking for personal information, Do not give it unless you know the person. 5. Be careful when signing in to your email account.

Any personal information they collect will be used to open up fake credit card accounts in which they determine the credit limit. These accounts will be used again to make purchases in your name without your knowledge. Emails are also prone to phishing. Phishers will create a fake Gmail or Yahoo which claims to have lost their database and needs you to re-enter your login and password. Do not fall prey to this sort of charade. The information they gather from you will be used to access your email accounts.

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE

105


Classifieds

call us : (632) 489.8115 or email us at : adsmag@tipidpc.com

RETAILER

Softbox Solutions

TPC Power Sellers will be given a chance to distribute TPC I.T. magazine in their stores

THIS AD SPACE CAN BE YOURS.... ADVERTISE!

Tel: 7382954 loc 802 Telefax: 7382954 Mobile: 0922-8036179 YM: rodbal@yahoo.com Web: www.softboxph.com Email: rodel@softboxph.com

FOR ALL YOUR PC CARBON FIBER NEEDS DAWG audio #1 Atok St corner Banawe QC Cel. #: 09228569420

This Slot Can be Yours..... Advertise! 106

TIPIDPC MAGAZINE



DIY Gurus - Learn from the Experts