Unexpected: My Wap Site is Listed in Que's Official Internet Yellow Pages 2006 Edition

by Eyre Austero 30. November 2009 09:09

     This is quite unexpected.  After doing a google search of my wap site (Wap Hangout)  which I created way back in college, I was surpised to know that it is listed in Que's Official Internet Yellow Pages 2006 Edition.  It can be found within the Foreword under the Wireless Web Primer section and is described  among others such as Google Wireless and Yahoo! Mobile as "some of the most useful wireless web portals".

     When I created this wap site way back then, what I had in mind is to create a  comprehensive directory of wap sites available at that time.  Convinced that I was successful in doing so and of its potential of being useful to wap surfers, I submitted it to a number of search engines to increase its hit points. Least did I expect  that it will catch the eyes of the author of the mentioned yellow pages book. 

      If there is something that I learned from this, it's that hardwork indeed pays off.  I hope that the same will happen to my future works.

     For a preview of how my wap site looks like when viewed using a mobile phone , please refer to the attached screenshots. Mobile phone emulator used is that of dotMobi's.

Wap Hangout Homepage Wap Hangout Menu1 Wap Hangout Menu2
Wap Hangout Bantay-Bayan Wap Hangout Contact Information

     In case your interested in creating your own wap site, here is how it looks like using Tagtag.com's wap site editor.    

Wap Hangout as viewed using the Tagtag.com Wap Editor

Please click image to view its larger version.


Web Development

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My Unpublished Website (coded using XHTML and CSS)

by Eyre Austero 30. November 2009 05:30

      This is probably what we call serendipity.  Middle of last year, a colleague of mine asked me if I can help improve an application (written using Visual Basic) that is being used by the manufacturing line to gather data for Statistical Process Control. Knowing that those who developed it are not professional programmers (i.e. they just learned how to do it on their own), I became interested; gave a noncommital response; and searched the internet  as to whether the programming concepts in Turbo C, the lone one-semester programming subject that I had way back in college, would apply to Visual Basic. In the process of searching the web, I  stumbled across the MSDN site and instead  ended up liking another thing.  Yes, I was looking for Visual Basic but ended up with Visual Web Developer 2008 Express.  This resulted to a series of chain reactions which eventually led me to build from scratch my very own static website.

My Personal Website

Please click image to view its larger version.

      Having no background in web development, building this site did not come easy.  It required a good deal of dedication  and willingness to learn.  For my case, not only did I complete Tier 1 of MSDN's Beginner Developer's Learning Center Web Development Track  but also did the extra mile of reading entire books on XHTML and CSS.  This website, albeit unpublished, is a self-imposed project meant to gauge how much I understood Tier 1. Now that I've completed it, I guess I now earned the right to claim that I've graduated from Tier 1 and is now ready to move to Tier 2.

     In case you're wondering how this site looks like in VWD 2008 Express, attached below is a screenshot.  Although one can build this site using notepad alone, VWD however offers a lot of tools that can make one's life easier especially in managing CSS.

My personal website when viewed using Visual Web Developer 2008 Express

Please click image to view its larger version.

     For those who are interested in exploring web development using VWD 2008 Express, please visit MSDN's Beginner Developer's Learning Center and share with me your experiences.

     P.S.  This website was completed last year (2008), I didn't however have it published because my goal after all is to create a .aspx website.



Web Development

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Upscaling DVD to Near HD Resolution

by Eyre Austero 27. November 2009 07:17

TotalMedia Theatre 3

      A trip to your nearest appliance shop will say it all. What you'll be seeing are HDTVs on one side; HD ready camcorders on the other; and more HD compliant gadgets scattered all throughout. It can no longer be denied.  Indeed, HD nowadays is the next thing. But reality check would also show you how expensive it is, well as far as average 'Juans' like me are concerned. Even if we work on the assumption that we were lucky to have saved enough to complete the hardware requirements to enjoy Full HD (1080p), we are still faced with the problem of whether we can afford a lifestyle of shelling out at least around Php 1.3k on a regular basis just to be able to  purchase at least one BD title. Luckily however, there is a way to experience HD or near HD resolution using the cheaper DVD format. The technology is called DVD upscaling/upconverting.

     Just what is this upscaling thing all about?  Simply put, DVD upscaling is a complex process of  upconverting the standard DVD resolution of 480i/p to at least 720p or to a higher one that one's display can support (such as 1080p) . Unlike a mere resizing of image from a lower to a higher resolution, upscaling involves the creation of interpolated data so as to make the resulting image appear to have a notably higher quality.

     If you're like me who is using a PC for movie viewing, a promising solution caught my eyes after spending a bit of my time googling. I'm now going to show  my experience with the trial version of Arcsoft's TotalMedia Theatre 3 with SimHD plugin. SimHD is Arcsoft's upscaling technology that promises to bring standard definition multimedia files or DVDs to high definition ones in real time using its advanced post processing technology. Efficient balance between GPU and CPU usage is achieved through utilizing the NVIDIA CUDA and ATI Stream computing technologies " to solve complex calculations in a fraction of the time required on a CPU".

     There are two options to choose from in using SimHD in TotalMedia Theatre 3: CPU-processing or GPU-processing.  For my purposes, I used the latter option.  After all, this is what my newly purchased Radeon HD4770 is for.

SimHD Options GPU-processing SimHD Options CPU-processing

     Using the splitting video mode wherein the screen is split into two with the left side rendered with SimHD off and the right with SimHD on, the images below will speak for themselves. Clearly, the images on the right screen appear to be shaper and to have more details compared with those on the left.

TotalMedia Theatre 3 Split Mode

TotalMedia Theatre 3 Split Mode

     Although I'm not yet availing this technology for now, it's re-assuring to know that that technology is there and that it keeps on evolving for the better.  

     PS: The video  'captures' presented in this article were taken from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.      

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Computer Software

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Preparing my PC for Casual Gaming and Smooth BD Playback

by Eyre Austero 25. November 2009 08:13

     I just got for myself the Sapphire Radeon HD4770. This is to replace my onboard Intel GMA X3000 video adapter which I have been using for more than two years.  In fairness to the X3000, it served me well throughout those years. It's just that, it can no longer keep up with my current needs hence the necessity of letting it go.

     For my case, there are mainly two things that I wish my PC to be which it currently is not: one is readiness for casual gaming and the other is readiness for BD (blu-ray disk) playback. Now, I'm going to share with you the things that I learned about the HD4770 from my online research and how it convinced me that it is indeed the right card for my current needs.

Sapphire HD4770 Front Cover
Sapphire HD4770 Back Cover

     For my casual gaming needs, assessing the HD4770 was an easy one since a number of tech-related review sites gave it the thumbs up sign.  Here's what at least two of them has to say regarding this card. Ian Barling of Guru3d.com found the HD4770 to perform pretty much the same as the HD4850. He in fact also found it to be able to compete with the GeForce GTS 250 in various scenarios. Steven Walton of Techspot.com on the other hand found it to offer 10% more performance than its direct competitor, the 9800GT. With these, I can't help but feel certain that I can't go wrong with this card as far as PC gaming is concerned.

      With regards to its potential of making my PC ready for BD playback, this card features a set of video and display technology called the ATI Avivo HD. A subset of this is the Universal Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2) which, as I understand it, is the technology needed for hardware acceleration using ATI cards. With hardware accleration, decoding of the H.264 ,VC-1 and MPEG2 codecs is offloaded from the CPU leading to lower CPU utilization.  Assuming that I understand the whole concept right, this to me means the ability to use my current  1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor for smooth BD playback without the need to upgrade to a more powerful processor.

    I am pleased with the initial results of my exploration with this card. On the aspect of gaming, the previous games that run slow are now decently playable. I cannot however test its BD playback performance since I do not yet have the required hardware such as an internal BD drive. For the meantime, I'll give DVD upscaling a try  using a trial version of the TotalMedia Theatre 3 with SimHD. The SimHD plugin utilizes the ATI stream technology to upscale DVD content to near HD resolution. I'll tell you more about this in my next post.   

      PS: For those who are technically inclined, I've attached below the specs of the Sapphire Radeon HD4770 for reference purposes.

Sapphire HD4770 Technical Specifications


Computer Hardware

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