Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I Have Moved on to PLDT Fibr but This Tip Still Holds

It's been a while since I posted about my Internet connection.

As it happens, this post about solving my PLDT myDSL problem has the highest views of all my posts.

It basically gives a tip about changing DNS settings, which seems to be the weakest point of the PLDT service.

I have since moved to PLDT's Fibr service. It is definitely faster (I got the unlimited data with 20MBPS plan). It has allowed watching Netflix or YouTube uninterrupted while someone else is streaming Spotify or browsing. I am quite happy with it.

Nevertheless, I found that using the DNS settings in my original post still applies. In short, set it manually, and use opendns ( or or google dns ( or I find my connection more stable this way.

Some things change and some things stay the same.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Shure M97xe and Technics SL1200 Make Beautiful Music Together

Though the Shure cartridge is the cheapest component (except for the cables), it doesn't let the rest of the system down.

The SL1200 also comes into fore as a capable player, worthy of any audiophile.

I wrote my first impressions briefly here, but have since tweaked and optimized it with my system.

Here's the rest of the system and settings.

Shure M97xe cartridge: 1.25 g tracking force brush up, 1.25 g anti-skate, arm level or slightly tail up
SL1200 turntable with 3mm mat underneath original rubber mat
Straightwire Chorus interconnects from built-in phono to line
Dynaudio Contour 1.3 mkII speakers on wooden stands with metal base
Van den Hul CS122 speaker cables

But it's how it's put together, not the individual components, that makes this rig very musical. Hours of set-up, tube rolling, and, yes, cables to get that perfect synergy. One can talk about soundstage, tonal balance, or any other attributes. It has all of that, but what this system excels at is making music come alive.

Now I'm listening to music, not hifi.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Effect of Excise Tax on Car Prices in the Philippines in 2018

The bicameral committee of the Senate and Congress has finally approved a reconciled proposal for the excise tax beginning 2018.

For cars, the committee approved a four-tier scheme as follows
4%   - for cars costing up to PhP 600,000
10% - for cars over PhP 600k up to PhP 1 Million
20% - for cars over PhP 1 Million to PhP 4 Million
50% - for cars over PhP 4 Million

It's a simpler scheme than the current one with fixed and marginal taxes.

The more important question is : how will it impact car prices?

Below is a graphical summary, showing increases (or decreases) based on current retail prices (as of Dec 18, 2017).

If  you're in the market for a car in the PhP 2.5 Million to PhP 7.0 Million range, it might be worth waiting for January. Otherwise, there's a few more days in 2017 if you're eyeing a car outside this range.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Venice, Italy? Macau, Las Vegas?

It's in Taguig City, Philippines.
It's even called Venice Grand Canal Mall. 😀

The iOS 10.3 Made My iPad Air Run Faster

Noticeable difference on an iPad Air (1st version 2013).
Well worth the upgrade. And the upgrade went smoothly too.

I also discovered that the iPhone 5 won't upgrade to 10.3. Oh well...I think that would be asking too much. 😀