Asus RT-AC88U Unboxing Photos

I’ve been looking for a WiFi router that has support for link-aggregation, dual WAN, dual-band (802.11ac), has good range, built-in network security and traffic analyzer, has USB 2.0 and 3.0 and has eight gigabit ports. Only a few routers are in the market that has all these features so it’s a quick decision to make which I did couple of months ago to replace my aging Linksys DD-WRT 54G. Below are the pictures I took during the unboxing. 🙂

The box of this router is big. And I mean really big! In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting it to be this huge.

You can see in this photo how it sizes up compared to my Thinkpad x260. It’s much bigger and the laptop might even fit inside. 😮

Once you remove the top part of the box, you’ll be greeted with the router in it’s plastic cover.

After removing the router itself, you’ll be greeted with the Asus logo and it’s tag line. You’ll also see three of the four antenna peeking out.

What I loved in this unboxing was the attention to detail made by the manufacturer. They have cutouts and thumb holes that helps in the removal of the packaging without damaging the other parts or ruining the unpacking experience for a peripheral that cost this much.

Once the upper layer that held the router is removed, there is a small compartment underneath the Asus logo that holds two LAN cables, the AC adapter and cord options.

Removing the four antenna reveals another compartment that holds a cord option, CD and user’s manual.

Here are the contents for posterity. Notice the different cord options which is a nice addition since there wouldn’t be a need for a plug adaptor if the available wall socket is not compatible. It has different wall socket options from different regions like US, UK and ASIA.

Here’s a close-up shot of the AC adapter.

Lastly, here’s how it compares to the Thinkpad X260 when all the antennae are attached. Almost but not quite. 🙂

Gut Feeling

It all started when Joey decided that she wants another litter.

She got busy with Benjie on 09/09/2016 despite our efforts to keep them apart. Unlike her first litter where we did not know when she got it on with Benjie, this time around we know the exact date. With that in mind, I went ahead and downloaded an app to determine when she would be whelping her second litter – yes there’s an app for that. The screenshot below is what I got:

screenshot_2016-11-05-19-07-45.jpgBred: 09/09/2016. Whelping: 11/11/2016

We wanted to be prepared when Joey whelps her second litter so we were closely monitoring her health, diet, temperature and temperament. I also committed to myself that I would create a whelping box similar to the first one where her pups would be kept safe for the first couple of months.

20161011_100014.jpgJoey on 10/11/2016. One month to go before the expected due date!

Right after All Soul’s Day (11/01/2016), I already had this nagging feeling that Joey is close to giving birth. I had to keep looking at the app and tell myself that I still have 10 days to go. I started to buy the materials for the whelping box on the morning of 11/05/2016 hoping that I would have enough time to finish. I guess Joey had other plans! She gave birth to her first pup for the second litter right after lunch. Exactly when I was in the middle of constructing her whelping box.

20161105_130451.jpgJoey and her first pup for the second litter!

It was a bit hard constructing her whelping box while also being kind of her nurse. Wifey and I would take turns watching over Joey as she gave birth to each of her nine puppies. We would then move the pups out of the way when she is resting or when she is having spasms when another puppy is about to come out. Although she gave birth to nine puppies, only seven survived. The other two were not breathing when they came out. We declared them unrecoverable only when Joey has already gotten too exhausted trying to revive them and only after we tried to do a CPR on the lung cavity. The final indicator that the pups were dead was when they let out a small amount of pee which signaled a loss of muscle control – much like in humans on their final seconds.

The whelping box I made measures 4ft. long by 3ft. wide which I think is enough for 7 puppies and Joey to fit in. Unlike the first whelping box, I made sure that the whole front is open and can be closed for safety reasons. I used a piano hinge to attach the front ramp to the whole box.

20161105_194513.jpgWhelping box with the ramp down.

20161105_194536.jpgWhelping box with the ramp up. Kinda reminds me of Bravestarr’s Fort Kerium in Fortress Mode 🙂

Although I was able to finish the box within the day, we decided not to move Joey and her litter from where she gave birth and just let her recover from exhaustion. We just prepared her box for their movement the following day. We added towels to keep them try and warm as well as some electric fan to keep them cool during days that are hot and humid.

20161105_194603.jpgAnother look of the whelping box from the different angle. 3/4″ marine board all around!

Here are some pictures of Joey resting after whelping her second litter while a curious pup snuggles with her.



Seagate Backup Plus Unboxing Photos

A few weeks ago, I bought a 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Portable online from one of the local sellers in Manila. This drive will serve as a storage for snapshot backups of my NAS (Network-Attached Storage) at home. Below are the pictures I took during the unboxing. 🙂

The label on the box says 200GB of Cloud Storage for OneDrive is included but must be activated by June 20, 2017.

The top of the box is has a tamper-evident seal that guarantees that the initial contents of the drive came straight form the manufacturer.

The same tamper-evident seal can be found on the bottom of the box. This is how it would look like if the seal has been tampered with.

The contents of the box are the Quick Start Guide and the drive itself inside a protective plastic shell which also contains the USB cable.

Here’s the “top” of the protective plastic shell. Notice the six nubs that should somehow absorb and distribute the force should there be any impact from this side during transit. The protective shell is easy to open, much like Amazon’s frustration-free packages.

The drive is wrapped in plastic inside the plastic shell together with the USB cable.

The drive itself comes with a Micro-B SuperSpeed USB receptacle.

The included cable is a Micro-B SuperSpeed on one end and a standard Type-A on the other end.

After plugging it in on my laptop, it was recognized immediately by Windows 10 without the need to install any drivers. The OS reports that the total drive space is 3.63TB and so far, this is more than enough of what I need for my NAS but as the saying goes, “you can never have too much backups.” 🙂

How To: Auto-mount A Network Share On Raspberry Pi On Boot

Find Out What’s Available

The first thing I did was to show all the mount points available on the server where the network share is:

$ showmount -e

The result should be something like this:

Export list for

Create Mount Folder in the Raspberry Pi

Then I created a folder in /mnt so that I can mount the network share on the folder:

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/multimedia_share

OPTIONAL: Mount Manually Before Attempting To Auto-mount

I manually played around with the mounting before actually trying to get it to auto-mount. A fun exercise for n00bs like me.

If the network share allows anonymous access, the following command should “map” the network share to the /mnt/multimedia_share

$ sudo mount -t cifs -o guest // /mnt/multimedia_share

Otherwise, a mount error will be returned:

mount error(13): Permission denied
Refer to the mount.cifs(8) manual page (e.g. man mount.cifs)

If the network share requires credentials for access, the following command should be used:

$ sudo mount -t cifs -o username=user_name,password=plain_text_password // /mnt/multimedia_share

To unmount, use the following command:

$ sudo umount //

Configure Auto-mount on Boot

If we manually mount the network share, we will lose the “mapping” once the Raspberry Pi reboots. To have it mount upon boot, we have to edit the /etc/fstab file:

$ sudo nano /etc/fstab

Add the following line at the end of the file:

// /mnt/multimedia_share cifs username=user_name,password=plain_text_password,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777 0 0

Save the file and run the following to have the network share mounted:

$ sudo mount -a

There wouldn’t be any feedback like a success message if there are no errors. So to see if the mount was successful, run the following:

$ df -h

That command should return something like this:

Filesystem --- Size --- Used --- Avail --- Use% --- Mounted on
/dev/root --- 15G --- 2.9G --- 11G --- 21% --- /
// --- 5.4T --- 3.1T --- 2.4T --- 58% --- /mnt/multimedia_share

Note the last line where the details of the network share is displayed including the total size, used and available space.

To test if the auto-mount configuration worked, reboot the RPi:

$ sudo reboot

After it restarts, connect to the RPi and try to access the contents of the network share by going into:

$ cd /mnt/multimedia_share

7 Lessons I Learned When I Got Married

To my mind, these are the things that I learned after I got married. Well, it doesn’t really mean that everything listed here are new to me, it’s just that some of these got more emphasized in the months that came by after tying the knot.

#1: If The World Ends On 2011, 2012 Or Any Other Year, It Doesn’t Matter

On 2011, doomsayers were predicting that the world would end on May 21. For some reason, nothing happened and it got rescheduled at October 21 of the same year – just a day after my wedding. Despite not knowing what the future holds, my wedding vow went like “… to love you, take care of you and provide for our family… This is my promise, this is my vow and this is what I intend to keep for all the rest of my days in this life and the next…” To some, it might be too ideal and unrealistic but to me, it doesn’t matter what they say. I got married to the woman I love, the one I know I will grow old with, to the one whom I know I would like to be with until the end of time – either the end of my time in this world as an individual or the world’s end at a cosmic scale. Either way, I’m the happiest man dead or alive.

#2: Individual Personalities Will Clash

I grew up with only one big brother; she grew up with two big sisters and one big brother. We are both the youngest in our families (“bunso”) thus, as I am told (and I do not believe in this by the way), we always get our ways. Assuming that the last statement is true, that fact alone merits as a good excuse as to why we will always have our different views on things, different stand and different expectations. Every now and then, we get to a point where stubbornness sets in and we can’t even agree to disagree. It’s like being alone for the longest time then you bump into something in the dark and all of a sudden that something bumps back. But the kicker is that it’s ok. It’s ok to get into fights and make a mess every once in a while just as long as you both clean up the mess and try to find closure.

#3: Money Is Essential But Not The Purpose Of Life

This lesson is best explained by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo when he said that “we should think of revenue like breathing – it’s necessary for life, but it’s not the purpose of life.” Due to the nature of my family’s business, there are times when the grass is green and there are times when the well is dry (at the time of writing this, the well is not only dry, but has already accumulated dust). Maybe it serves as a reminder that the value of money is always more than what you think it is but it doesn’t mean that that is all there is to it. It’s true that money makes almost everything in the world happen. Keyword: almost. For the simple joys in life, no amount of money can ever replace rare instances where you both know that you are truly happy. Like raiding the kitchen at midnight or staying in bed on a lazy rainy Sunday afternoon or singing at the top of your lungs while on a road trip or just sitting in the park watching the leaves fall down as you welcome winter on a foreign land. Money will buy you a lot of things but money and all the things that you bought with it won’t last. Shared happy memories do.

#4: Being Married Doesn’t Mean Giving Up Time For Yourself

Social norm dictates that married couples should always be together, most especially for newlyweds. I don’t know why that is but I believe that it exists for a reason. Is it relevant at this day and age? Maybe or maybe not. But my point is that the demands of society can put most of one’s plan in the backburner. This includes personal goals and targets like a master’s degree or a solitary trip to Europe or a pilot’s license. Most often than not, when faced with a choice between an activity that involves both me and my wife on one hand and an activity that can be done with just myself on the other hand, I end up choosing the one with my wife on it. I’ll admit that during the first stages of my realization, it felt like the dreams I’ve set way back before I got married will never come true. But as they say, never say never right? What I didn’t realize back then was that my dreams are still the same. They’re still dreams, the same ones I had before getting married. They may be a lot harder to achieve now but when I do, success will be so much sweeter and more fulfilling now that I have someone to share it with. If I fail, I know that someone will always believe in me even at times when I don’t.

#5: Be Ready To Add More Rules

As you both discover more about each other in the context of married life, expect to add more rules in your relationship in every waking hour. These rules vary from the mundane to the complex such as shaving your smug face before seeing her mom or when it’s time to become that psychic mind reader once again just to know if she wants flowers, chocolates, coffee, a new bag and shoes or all of the above. [DISCLAIMER: these are out-of-this-world examples only. The names/identities of the person(s) involved are changed for their protection. Yeah, you know who you are.] But despite how crazy these rules are, you know that it goes both ways. Sooner or later you’ll realize that you have the power to do the same. What is important is to know the rules so you’ll know how to bend them and make them work in your favor. Spend an afternoon finding loop holes just for fun and have the courage to break them every now and then for sanity’s sake. The most important thing to determine is to know if the rules are worth breaking. Pfffft! Rules? They’re just guidelines anyway. 🙂

#6: Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Married Couples

The best teacher is experience. So what will you do when you don’t have any experience and you’re not sure what to do next? Ask. Just ask. There’s no definitive manual for living a married life. You play it by ear. So when you ask, listen. For sure, someone has experienced something somewhere sometime that is somewhat similar to your situation. You can learn a lot from their stories and how they handled the situation as well as from their mistakes and how they would have done things differently. Families and friends are more than happy to share a story or two especially if they went through similar situations that you’re in now. What’s good about this is that as you progress in your married life, you’ll realize that you knew that right thing to do in certain situations all along. You just needed to hear the right words to boost your confidence and the affirmation that everything is going to be alright.

#7: Parents Hit The Bull’s Eye When They Said “You’ll understand this better when you get married”

When you’re young, you’re probably curious, eager and stupid. And mostly stupid. You tend to question a lot of things on why they are the way they are. It’s not farfetched that you’ve probably heard this line a couple of times: “You’ll understand this better when you’re married.” Then it’s the end of the conversation. There are simply no words that can describe what married couples have that most single people don’t have. I cannot accurately pin point it if it’s the unspoken connection and understanding, the motivation that drives the couple on certain decisions or the trust on each other that the right thing will and shall be done.

To my Mom and Dad, thank you and I love you both. I think I understand now.

Toilet Competition Below The Fold

In today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, there is a story entitled “US toilets compete for the top seat.” Its about an on-going contest to find America’s Best Restroom.

Home Grown

I viewed the ten finalists at and I must say, some of them really are good. Keyword: SOME. I don’t know why four of those entries are there nor why this story is on the front page nor why I am writing about this.

All I know is that I’ve seen better. Maybe not something that bests all 10 finalists but definitely better.


Sample? Go here: At home

Facebook Mail is here

I got a very nice surprise when I checked my “Messages” on facebook a few minutes ago.

I was prompted to create my facebook mail and was done in about 2-3 steps. This might be old news but as far as I can remember, facebook started gradually rolling this out late last year and maybe it was just really unexpected, I had to blog about it.

Anyway, what happened was there was a pop up message saying that I need to upgrade to the new “Facebook Messages”. I clicked the button and it showed my profile username ( and stated that my facebook email address will be the same as my profile username (e.g. I clicked next and was told that emails/messages from my friends would appear in “Messages” link and emails/messages from non-confrimed friends would appear on the “Other” link. After completing these steps, it displayed the different ways on how I can be contacted/sent messages.

So what changed?

Aside from the changes in the way messages are handled mentioned above, messages coming from emails and chat messages share the same interface. You can reply on either chat box or main Messages window. There is a quick reply mode where if the check box is ticked, all key presses on the enter key sends the message immediately or if unticked, gives a new line instead. You can also attach a file or take a picture or video before sending.

Just for fun, I tried sending myself an email and here’s the header details from GMail: