Category: Technology

Black Friday 2022 Shopping Haul

I know there’s no Black Friday in the Philippines, but that doesn’t mean we can’t participate in the Black Friday sale, especially when they’re about online services like web hosting and VPS.

So here’s what I checked out during the Black Friday of 2022:

Racknerd cPanel 100GB hosting

Shared – 100 GB – $15.89 per YEAR!
Great for businesses and busier websites.
100 GB SSD Disk Space
5 TB Monthly Transfer (FREE Double the bandwidth, just comment your order#)
Unlimited Databases
Host 5 Domains
Free SSL Certificates
cPanel Control Panel
Softaculous Script Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)
MailChannels Hybrid – Premium Email Delivery
FREE Clientexec License
Available in Multiple Locations (US, EU, Asia)
Only $15.89 per year!

RamNode 2GB OpenVZ VPS

Use code: 2LET22
2GB OpenVZ SVZS – Any region – $18/yr (includes 1 IPv4, /64 IPv6)
2GB RAM
2 vCores (fair usage)
60GB Disk
2TB BW

The problem with the RamNode OpenVZ VPS is I can’t run Docker on it. So I guess it’ll serve as my test box for all bare metal Linux server related apps. Now, I just hope I still have enough money for Cyber Monday.
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The aggressive Linode marketing campaign

While listening to your favorite tech podcasts or watching your favorite tech youtube channels, you’ll most likely not miss that Linode ad or sponsor. Linode has been aggressively doing marketing recently. I wonder if it’s the consequence of the Akamai acquisition? More puzzling is how will they recoup those marketing expenses?

Linode, together with some same-tier Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting providers like Vultr and DigitalOcean, brag about their cheap VPS offerings. But they’re only cheap when compared to the big boys like Google Cloud, Amazon AWS, and Microsoft Azure. When you hang around LowEndTalk like I do, you’ll get a better grasp of the real definition of cheap VPS hosting, especially now that Black Friday deals are just around the corner.

My two favorite VPS hosting providers so far are Racknerd and Greencloud VPS.

How Citibank let down clients with Entrego

A few months ago, my Citibank credit card was up for renewal. Citibank sent off my replacement card without delay via Entrego.

First Replacement Card

On the morning of the supposed delivery day, I got a text message from Entrego that my parcel was on its way. The day came and went, I got another text in the evening saying the messenger failed to deliver and they’ll attempt re-delivery the next day or so. The next day, same thing happened. After three failed delivery attempts, the parcel went back to sender.

I had to contact Citibank, and they blocked that card and dispatched a replacement to my replacement card. Continue reading

When NTC becomes the text spammer

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is an attached agency of the Department of Information and Communications Technology responsible for the supervision, adjudication and control over all telecommunications services and television and radio networks throughout the Philippines.

The NTC is supposed to regulate the telecommunication companies including the use of SMS in the Philippines. Recently it ordered telcos to block clickable links in text messages.

But looking at my Messages app, it appears they are the ones spamming recently instead:

I know, a lot of Filipinos need reminding about these scams repeatedly. But NTC shouldn’t stop at just sending these reminders, and thus spamming us in the process. They need to do their job and stop these spammers from the beginning.

How to do Lookup in Excel and Power Query

Lookup in regular Excel function

The XLOOKUP function has been available to Office 365 and Excel 2021. For compatibility purposes with my workbook’s potential users, I shy away from using this function. Instead, I use the combination of INDEX and MATCH.

Why not VLOOKUP?

I’m not sure if there are any hardware efficiency benefit from using INDEX and MATCH over VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP. But I use INDEX and MATCH primarily for two reasons:

  1. Ability to return the value of the column to the left of your lookup array (left-most column of the table array)
  2. Never worry about adding a column between the returned column and the lookup array. Remember, you indicate the column index number being the returned column from your table array? What if you’ve not touched your file for a long time, return to it and inserting a column in a table, forgetting that you’ve used that table as a table array as a lookup somewhere in your worksheet? You’ll certainly break your VLOOKUP formula.

How to use these formulas

Sorry, but you have to look somewhere else for the usage of these formulas.

Lookup in Power Query

Power Query Lookup Sample File

To better demonstrate the functions, it’s better if we refer to a sample file:
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BDO Online Mobile ‘ADD DEVICE’ Message Sending Failed

Did I already tell you how awful and trash-worthy BDO Online Banking is? Yet, no matter how bad it is, it has been your bank of choice, because you thought they find ways.

Installing the Mobile App

You installed the mobile app, and done with your mobile app only password. When you login, it asks for your OTP. But instead of receiving the OTP directly, you received a message from (02) 25678 that you need to reply with ‘ADD DEVICE’ instead. Only then will they text you your OTP.

But replying with ‘ADD DEVICE’ the message failed sending no matter how many times you tried.

The Solution

Instead of solving the problem directly, BDO Unibank offered a solution in a Facebook comment, which involves:
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SmartSuite came to challenge Airtable

Airtable has been my favorite No Code/Low Code tool for some time now. In a few years I’ve been using it so far, I haven’t really found a good alternative. Even then, Airtable cannot rest on its laurels. Especially now, a new kid in town, SmartSuite, came to challenge its position. Airtable has already been introducing substantial improvements recently, but it needs to up its game even further to hold on to its lead.

One of my favorite Youtuber, Gareth Pronovost, details down the 3 gamechanging features about SmartSuite that Airtable has to catch up on:

How to export your data from the Eufy Smart Scale C1

For some time, exporting your data from your Eufy smart scale has been a pain, with hacks developed for this supposedly simple process like this and this. So I posted a follow up query on Anker forum.

Thankfully, I received a response, and it states that starting with the update in the EufyLife app that was released August 5, 2022, you may now export your data from the app in CSV format, under Settings>>Privacy and Data>>Export All Data.

The option may have been buried deep into the settings, but at the least it’s there for data freaks like us. Just enter your password and your email address to where you want the CSV file will be sent to.

All the other available (so far) smart scale of Eufy use the same app, the EufyLife app, so I guess this is applicable to those as well, like the Eufy Smart Scale P2 and the P2 Pro.

How to upgrade your Globe Fiber speed to the updated plan

Recently, Globe updated its Globe at Home Fiber Plans to support faster speeds.

I was on Plan 1699 that used to have 60Mbps speed only. I opened the Globe at Home app (I know, it’s very buggy app, you need to bring a lot of patience), hit the Upgrade button under my Plan Details, and my speed was upgraded after 3 days:

And the upgrade even came with a free 3-month Amazon Prime Video subscription, which I barely use (I use Plex).