Archive for November, 2011

Why WP7 Isn’t for the (Greater) Rest of the World

I planned on getting a Windows Phone 7 phone (terrible name, really). I found a great price for the HTC HD7 from a reputable source, and was just waiting for the bonuses to come in to get one. It’s an old model, but I’m fine with that.

After a closer look at the Marketplace, Microsoft’s own version of iTunes, I ‘m taking a step back. No HTC HD7 or any WP7 phone for me.

I’ve read wonderful reviews about the year-old phone OS. More rave reviews came with the Mango update.

But when you can’t buy apps or music (or pretty much anything) from their official web store, it would certainly give you pause.

You see, if you live outside a handful of the countries where the Marketplace is available, well tough luck! You won’t be able to buy anything. And apps and a/v content are supposed to be some of the driving force for getting a smartphone. It’s something Apple does so well, much as I don’t like them.

I just found this out last night.

I have the Zune software installed on my laptop, and last night, as I play Christmas songs from an a capella group, I saw a listing of their old albums. As I prefer physical discs to downloads, I searched (googled and bing’ed) where I might order a copy. No luck. They’re out of circulation, and some don’t even offer them for download.

I figured if I’m gonna buy digital downloads anyway, might as well do it with Zune Marketplace. The album costs 800 MS points, whatever those are. Naturally, I have to buy credits. And I was more than willing to.

But the Marketplace won’t let me. Philippines, I found out, does not belong to the select few countries that are supported; they won’t accept my credit card, which both Paypal and Amazon and other online retail stores are happy to honor! If I bought a WP7 device now and tried to get apps for it, I’d be stuck!

Here’s a hint Microsoft, if you want your product to succeed, stop holding back on the rest of the world!

The Most Expensive Memory Cards This Side of the Gaming World

If recent news is to be believed, and I don’t have any proof to suggest otherwise, Sony’s intended retail price for their soon-to-be-released handheld gaming device are a rip-off. The 4-, 8-, 16- and 32-Gb cards are exorbitantly priced at $29.99, $44.99, $69.99 and the profanity-inducing $119.99 respectively.

And of course, these cards are proprietary. And they’re a necessity if you are to enjoy your PSVita. Some games won’t work without one.

Typical Sony. Never learns.

I should have stayed home instead!

I called MediCard to confirm that I was covered for an out-patient procedure I needed. It’s nothing big, just a minor cauterization. The support rep I talked to on the phone was kind enough, giving me the info I need, and even helping me find a clinic and a doctor. The only thing he messed up was the doc’s schedule. Instead of 11 to 5 like he said, I found out when I got to the clinic (at freakin’ 11:30 am) that it’s actually 2 to 6. Because hey, it’s Friday!

I’m getting ahead of myself. I first had to get a referral form from MediCard at the ground floor. The clinic itself was at the 17th floor. Upon getting to the clinic, I was told the doctor won’t be in ‘til 2. Because it’s a Friday!

Hell should I know?!

So I had to go back down to ground floor to ask the MediCard office if there are other doctors they can refer me to. Turns out they have their own clinic, and what do you know, their specialist should be in by 12. Which is great, considering it’s about 10 minutes before noon right then. I bounded up the MediCard Clinic. My card was taken, and they had me sign their form. After a lot of minutes the attendant told me the doc’s not in yet. So OK, nothing I can do but wait.

While waiting a girl arrived. And then an elderly woman, maybe late 40’s early 50’s.

1230 she arrived – the doctor. She greeted the elderly woman and invited her in her office. They know each other, so I let it slide. Moments passed. A family came in, with their toddler and their Yaya. Great, just what I needed! An annoying little **** that will further drain my patience away.

Almost an hour and still nothing, so I went to the cute girl at the reception and asked if indeed the doctor I was expecting has arrived. She told me yes and that they’re having a procedure in there. So I sat back to brood in my corner chair. When they finally came out, the doctor called the wife from the family that just came in. And here I thought they didn’t have reservations, like what the girl told me when I called earlier.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she called my name. It’s now past 1:30. We talked for maybe a minute, and I told her what I came there for. She asked for my card and told me to wait while they verify if I’m covered. She told me to take a seat outside once more.

She then called the girl who came after me.

Her consultation took 10 minutes, more or less, and 450 pesos. I expected to be called immediately after that. How long does it take to verify HMO coverage, right?

As long as it takes to finish all other patients, as it turns out. While all this is happening, two more patients came in.

After the girl, the doctor called in the first of the late-comers. Her consultation was also about ten minutes, give or take.

Surely by now, they could have verified my coverage. I should be next, right?

I was feeling the pangs of hunger. I haven’t eaten anything except two slices of bread this morning. So I’m getting royally pissed off.

When another patient was called in yet again, I had to curse silently just to take my frustration out.

It’s almost 2 o’clock now. Ridiculous that I got here because I didn’t want to wait for the 17th floor doctor for two hours. only to end up waiting for the ground floor doctor for more than two hours.

At 2:05 I was fed up. I approached the pretty girl again (though there were others there), and asked for my card. I was ready to go. She was hesitant, but obliged. The card was with the doctor. It took a few more minutes before she emerged with my card.

She told me that the doctor told her I was to be next in line, if I can wait. She didn’t say how long though. I didn’t say anything. Just took my card and walked out of there.

To not have wasted my visit, I decided to just go back to the clinic upstairs. I had to process my coverage verification myself, and wait all over again. But at least this time I knew exactly what I was waiting for.

For all this hassle, the procedure I’ve gone through took only about 2 minutes.

The Antique Tech Revisited

Posted: November 19, 2011 in Blurbs

I can’t believe it’s been a while. This blog hasn’t seen an update in a while, save for the occasional tweets.

I’m wondering what it is that kept me from writing down something. Surely, I’ve had a lot of idle time during this period. Surely, there is no lack of subject matter to delve in. There’s tech, local news, international news, movies and what have you.

Whatever it is, I’m gonna have to up the ante, and put in a little more effort into it.

But for now, let’s start with this this helpful chart to help you decide where to post your next status:

Where should you post your status?

Disclaimer: Image not mine.