From Reviews

Things or places that I may write about, no specifics really.

How to get Artisul D13 calibrating software working in Windows 10 OS

It’s been so long since I’ve posted about my tab. This is for all of you guys who have the same problem as me when it comes to Artisul D13 Tablet and Windows 10 OS.

I’ve been HAPPILY using my Artisul D13 for almost a year now and I’ve been using it with my personal laptop that runs a Windows 7 operating system.

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Forgive the blurry picture and the background. I had to do this wherever I could as I was on the move this day. 

Now, I wanted to use it with this other laptop that has a better video card.

well, better everything…

I’ve installed the driver and the D13 works just fine with the windows 10…almost. I mean the tab was on and was displaying the windows background. The only exception was that I couldn’t CALIBRATE the damned thing to have the pen function on MONITOR 2 (the D13 tablet).

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I would double click the Icon for the calibrator software and windows 10 would confirm if I want to allow the device to function. I would click yes, however a few minutes to forever passed the calibrating software still didn’t show.

I’ve tried so desperately searching the web for a fix but I couldn’t find any. Neither did I find anything close to what I was experiencing in the Artisul website forums. 

BUT!…. By the grace of the gods!

I did find a fix for the “Aritsul D13 tab and windows 10 compatability issue”

…somewhat.   he he he

I decided that one night I’ll try all the drivers that Artisul has released for the D13 tablet. I went from the newest to the oldest.

Thankfully the Driver version 1.3 beta worked.

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Though I noticed the performance changed a little…very little…I think, but since I’ve been using the tablet with my other computer for almost a year now with the most updated driver. I could really tell that there is a slight difference or maybe that’s just me.

BUT HEY! look on the bright side!

We can now use our Artisul tabs with a windows 10 operating software!

Hurrah!!

Still! I highly recommend anyone to post any updated fix to this problem.

Hopefully Artisul will release an updated driver soon in the future.

 

Cheers!

 

 

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Lakawon, Island Ho!

Finally!

I was able to complete the whole vacation routine on the very last day of the month of April by going to the island called

“Lakawon

An island or more like a sand bar located near the island of Negros, Philippines.

Being a homebody, me going out was definitely zero probability. So by some unknown luck it’s a good thing that my friends invited me to come with them on this trip. I’ve heard about this place years ago when it was still undeveloped, but I never really went there and would have never gone if it wasn’t for them. Yey!

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a full port

We were able to leave Bacolod city probably by 7:30Am as we arrived at the port at exactly 9AM. To our surprise the place was fully packed.

We paid for our bangka ride for about 280PHP/6USD and that’s for going there and going back.

50PHP/1USD corkage fee if your going to bring your own food.

all in all we only had to spend about 500PHP/10USD more or less per person that’s without a cottage.

 

 

Due to the large volume of really sweaty, beach excited vacationers of which we were part of, we had to wait for about an hour and a half until we could actually set sail for the island.

TIP: we went there on April 30 and the following day was May 1 which was a holiday, hence why there were a lot of people. If you enjoy being on the beach with less people go there on weekdays or normal weekends.

 

Though after that long wait, it was

Full speed ahead…Literally

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The bangka ride

From the port it was  a ten minute ride on the bangka, before we arrived at the unfinished port on Lakawon island itself (right side of the picture). Seeing as how they decided to build a real port already, business must be  booming.

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From there you’d be walking to the island

 

 

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A picture of the beach front

They have 3 types of cottages/ tents that you and your folks could rent. They have a small one which costs about 600php/12USD, it’s like a hut style that can be good for about five people (Right side). Then you have these big white tents here in the picture for which I believe they cost at about 600-1500php/12-30USD depending on the size of the tents you choose. They also have a family sized cottage and rooms available for overnight stay. As I didn’t really plan for this trip and it was kinda just an improptu thing to record, Here’s the link for their official website for further information: Lakawon Official Website

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us having disappointed faces at the octagon area beside reception desk.
 Tip: if you can reserve a place a couple of days before, do so.  As they don’t really cater to walk-ins

Example A: US

Being locals of Bacolod city, we thought we could get there before everyone does, but to our dismay we were dead wrong. So we ended up planning what to do with our food stuffs, as we brought too many foods with us but no place to store them.

It was about 30 minutes of thinking, what to do.

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Restaurant in the middle of the island.
If you decide not to bring anything, no worries, Just eat here.

Lucky, enough the receptionist told us we could eat our food at the restaurant if we order anything and after that we could just leave our remaining food stuff at their office before we head over to Tawhai the floating bar. You’d need to go to the beach front to board the boat that goes to Tawhai

 

 

“Tawhai/Tawhay – peaceful, relaxing, calm in Hiligaynon (also known as Ilonggo) the local language of half of Negros”

Onwards to Tawhai the floating bar! It was about 12:45PM when we left for Tawhai bar

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Approaching Tawhai

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Upper deck

 

You can have a very peaceful sun bathing at the sides of the upper deck, front deck or the sides of the lower deck with nice pop/club music in the background to boot (not really a music person so I don’t know the description, but it was good.), Why not grab a beer while you’re at it?

Tip: make sure to spread a little beer on your skin while sun bathing and roll every 45 minutes so the crispiness of your skin is even……. Just kidding!

One thing I noticed when I was there, it was really tawhai (peaceful and relaxing), I don’t know if any of my companions was monitoring the time but I was. I noticed that timed seemed to be slower while we were onboard.

Which is what I really liked about the whole thing since we had a slight problem at the beginning of the trip.

A few pictures of the deck below

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front lower deck, taken from above
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Lower deck, right side

One thing about Tawhai, it sometimes runs out of supplies, like food for example. in those cases, well you can’t do anything about that since it’s far from the island and they’d need to restock using boats.

The upper deck

You can also swim along the sides of the ship.

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Or if you want, you can also jump from the sides

If you don’t know how to swim, no fret, they have life vests aboard which you can borrow if you want to have a quick dip. You’ll want to have one soon because the heat at the upper deck can get nasty.

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after a while we decided to go back to the island to replenish our hungry tummies and finish the day with a swim on the beach.

 Day end

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The people who, like us, came here only for a day scurry back to the port to catch the boat back to the mainland. Normally the last trip back would only be at 5PM in the afternoon, but since there were droves of people that day, they decided to extend it until 6pm.

In my opinion, it’s still quite lovely this island as it still undeveloped, rather than Boracay which is so crowded already.

In the end, it was a nice refreshing trip for me and companions, I’d love to stay the night but I couldn’t. Maybe next time I might.

How to go there?

Image result for negros island

If you are coming from Bacolod city you need to go up to Cadiz city. It’s about a one hour drive from Bacolod. Once you get there you need to go through two barangays (a small village) the first one would be named Purok Burgos or Brgy. Burgos … if I recall correctly. On hindsight I wish I took some pictures along the way to provide a more accurate guide. I’m sorry for that, but maybe next time.

Anyway, Once you get through those barangays you just need to book a ticktet at the port for the Bangkas (small engine powered boats) and onward you go to paradise.

Though…

You won’t really get lost these days because the locals there are really marketing the beach and they’ve put up a lot of big signs that literally says gate way to Lakawon or Lakawaon this way –>. So to those who are unfamiliar with the place or my lovely foreign people. I wouldn’t fret about it.

And my friend and I found a little poster with an advertisement that flights might soon be coming to Lakawon. here’s a small video link below.

Lakawon Flights xManilaxDumaguetexCebu

Was It worth it? – Ifrogz Plugz Wireless earplugs review

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Ifrogz Plugz wireless, a Bluetooth earplug.

My default Samsung earplugs got broken so the time has come for me to find new earplugs. So this time I wanted Bluetooth earplugs.

I bought this Ifrogz Plugz wireless while I was still back in Abu Dhabi. I was looking for wireless Bluetooth earplugs inside Virgin megastore. This brand, Ifrogz just happened to catch my eyes.

I’m tired of those earplugs with wires because sometimes I would have accidents like the wires getting caught in something resulting in the wires getting damaged.

How much did it cost?

I want to show how much it cost when I bought it, but sadly, I already threw out the receipt, but a rough close estimate would be 130AED – 160AED that would be 35$ to 43$.

What DO I LIKE about it?

Its Bluetooth capability! – that one is already a given, since that was one of my main objectives when I was looking for earplugs.

I also like the that they designed the Ifrogz plugz to have a sleek look. In layman’s terms – “it looks very cool and modern”.

Last but not the least I also like it’s size, it’s small enough that it wouldn’t stand out and attract attention.

Did I like the price?

About the price, it’s not that cheap and not that expensive. Well, considering that I was looking for a Bluetooth capable tech. That kind of price is probably a good and cheap one already.
I’ve seen other Bluetooth capable tech. in the area and I haven’t really seen any that was lower than that price or at least lower than the 130 AED/35$ mark. I don’t know how much it is in other countries though.

What DO I NOT LIKE about it?

Ifrogz

 

The magnetic rubber strap.

I really don’t like the magnetic strap because it is very soft, I feel like someone could just grab on to it and run away and they wouldn’t even have the slightest bit of trouble. – security-wise, a big turn off for me.

 

 

Durability-wise, I am not a big fan of Ifrogz plugz wireless. I’ve only used it for a week or two and the left earplug was already going haywire and as of the moment that I’m writing this the left ear plug is already dead. I have only barely used it and for that to happen is a big No No for me.

Although I can’t place the blame on the product itself, I probably have to take some of the responsibility as I didn’t think when I was using it and took it for granted.

To sum this all up, we have to ask the BIG QUESTION.

WAS IT WORTH IT? BUYING –  Ifrogz Plugz Wireless

NO AND YES – MORE LIKE A… EEEHHHHHH..?

It’s a nice product but I guess it’s not for me. Especially, since I like to lie down in bed and watch movies or series and I would be lying down on my left side and right, vice versa. I guess the pressure it put on the Ifrogz earplug was the reason why the left ear piece isn’t funcitoning anymore.

I strongly recommend that if you do buy this product, handle it with care, “care with extreme prejudice” as you might say. 

 

Suvarnabhumi – 8 Hours? Just stay inside

Have you ever wondered what to do when you have a connecting flight at Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok, Thailand with six hours to spare?

Suvarnabhumi - Copy

Let me share with you my short experience, whatever it’s worth.

I arrived at Suvarnabhumi about 7am in the morning on a week day from Dubai and my connecting flight is at 3pm. So I have about 8 hours of waiting, that includes the 2 hours that you need to be there for international flights.

fortunately for me I have a friend who used to reside in Bangkok so I disturbed her with my queries about what I could do while I was in the country.

IMPORTANT NOTE: –For citizens whose countries are member states of A.S.E.A.N (Association of South East Asian Nations). We can visit each other’s countries without a visa for 30 days. For those who are citizens of non-member countries, worry not, there are still visas on arrival being issued at the airport. —

I told her how much free time I had before my next flight, she decided to advise me against it. for the reason, the hours are too short to enjoy my stay in Bangkok.

  1. I was told that clearing the immigration will take time if there is a lot of people. With the amount of people I saw when I arrived, I’d say 1 hour – 2 hours. Depends where I am standing in queue
  2. 7am on a Tuesday, during this time it’s rush hour (as per my friend). Usually, Bangkok is just 45 minutes away back and forth, from Suvarnabhumi, maybe 55 minutes max. That’s almost 2 hours already, how much more if it’s rush hour?
  3. Since it’s my first time in the country and I don’t know any other places. The first thing on my mind was a mall, anything but the inside of an airport, but because of my schedule, I’d have to wait for the malls to open at 10am.

from clearing the immigration to taxi travel time to my preferred destination that’s about 3 hours already and I’d probably arrive at 10am-ish. That’s going to give me 1 hour to stay in that mall and that 1 hour would be for eating.

It doesn’t seem like I can really enjoy that 1 hour, by 11pm I should be going back to the airport already because the travel time back to the airport is almost an hour by itself. I again would need to go through immigration which would be 1 hour at least or even more. Since it’s an international flight I needed to be there 2 hours at least before my flight.

I believe it was more of a waste going through all this process just to go back in after a while.

So I opted to stay inside the whole 8 hours.

so, what can you do in Suvarnabhumi?

Well, for starters you should go to the TOP MOS LEVEL of Suvarnabhumi. Here you’ll find shops and restaurants.

I know, for people who are in the same situation I was in, this would be the most important question. As I was too tired from my flight to take any pictures of the airport (except the one at the top) this will be a brief section in the blog.

Here is some of the things you can do in Suvarnabhumi.

 

1. SHOP

From Luxury shops which names I cannot remember, to shops like –

  • Giordano
  • Victoria Secret
  • Lacoste

You’ll find electronic shops, shops for perfumes, duty free to shops that sell Thailand specialty snacks and candies. Like this “Birds nest” food that really looks like pieces of a nest, but it costs at about 26k – 30k Thai Bhat (I could be wrong about that prize, but I’m quite sure I saw that much zeroes.

The top most level is like a big shopping mall, though after a while you’ll notice that some shops are just repeating from one end to the other.

I found a neat souvenir shop that have some really good items. I found this very nice tote bag for my mom.

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A few key chains with aweseome designs for my friends

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some shot glasses for an uncle who owns a bar, an elephant shaped scent diffuser (peach, they have melon as well when I was there) and a few shirts

If  you want to get some of these as well, it’s near concourse C (that’s THAI AIRWAYS territory I believe) just across the Duty free shop.

2. GET A MASSAGE

I wanted to get an authenthic Thai massage since I was already in Thailand but unlucky for me I arrived a bit to early and the shop the I found near Concourse F or Concourse G was closed. By the time it was 12am I was to tired from walking around  already.

3. EAT

You can find Starbucks cafe, Mango *something*, Rosatta cafe, burger king and others NEAR CONCOURSE C.

BUT

There are other restaurants if you roam a round a bit. I saw a Japanese restaurant that serves ramen to bars that serve alcohol.

4. GO INSIDE A LOUNGE

You don’t need to be a first class passenger to get inside a lounge. You can pay $30 – $40 USD so you can get in. Then maybe you can enjoy a nice massage inside or a cup of coffee. \

5. NO MONEY? NO WORRY!

If you didn’t bring enough money to eat or shop or even get a massage

OR

maybe you just want to sit and rest a bit. No problem!

Just before you go down to your assigned gates, you’ll see sofas around just before the escalators. Here you can get some shut eye or just sit and relax and browse the internet, like the other people you’ll see. Charging stations for your phone and other equiptment are also nearby these locations.

tha- tha- that’s all folks!

That’s about what I can tell you from my time there. I am quite sorry I couldn’t provide you pictures of inside the airport. Maybe next time, if I ever go back to Thailand for a proper vacation.

 

As of March 30, 2017

WAS IT WORTH IT? – Artisul D13 Drawing Tablet Review

Artisul

(blog was updated just as of April 6  2017, I took some pics under the lamp light)

Ever since I bought My Artisul D13 I have wanted to post a review about. Now that it’s been three months since I bought it and 2016 has died and gone to hell I still wasn’t even able to post it. So I think it’s a great way to start 2017 by doing what I procrastinated on the last year. 

For those of you who don’t know, the D13 is an LCD drawing tablet developed by Artisul, a company that “provides stylus pens and tablets for creative minds” – I quoted their website. 

I know there are tons of reviews about Artisul D13 out there, but I’d like to give you the point of view of someone who spent their savings on it. 

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At the time I was buying  I have never heard of Artisul. I’ve heard of Wacom and its products but Artisul?

First things first, what you guys need to know is that I’m a bit tight when it comes to the wallet. I’m very observant with…THE PRICE

Wacom Cintique was priced at 3600AED /$987 (don’t know if sale price or reduced)

Artisul D13 was only 2800AED/$767

so price really played a big factor for my choice since I was on a tight budget at that time. I knew that Wacom was one of the leading brands when it comes to drawing tablets but the price was too high for me, So I took Artisul instead. I did look through one or two reviews of the D13 though I still wasn’t sure cause it was a new brand for me, but I decided to take it anyway.

So let’s get down to business.

THE PRODUCT

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The tablet has a really slick look to it. It comes with a screen protector already attached. It weighs at about 1.1 kg, making it really portable and not too much of a burden when traveling.

 

usb power

 

 

 

You can power it from Usb 3.0 only

 

 

 

 

external power

or you can opt to power it directly from the socket like so.

as I am using an external port I have to power it through via a socket as the port won’t have enough power and will result in the tab blinking in and out.

 

PEN

pen and case

The pen is ergonomically designed so you feel comfortable handling it with both hands. a bit light compared to the Wacom Intuos pen that I used to handle. It comes with a Pen case where you could store your pen when traveling.

Pen tips

 

It has a lot of extra nibs in the pen case!!!!

The reason I’m excited with those is because of my previous experience with the Wacom Intuos nibs that wear down a bit fast.

 

holder


Pen and holder

Then it has the Pen stand, which I found to be really useful as I have a habit of sometimes just putting the stylus on any flat surface and it would just roll off.

I actually had a problem with the first pen that came with the D13 as it rolled off and hit the floor. Then it got broken. It wasn’t even touching the tablet, more like hovering 2cm above it but it kept registering that it was touching the tablet surface resulting in LINES EVERYWHERE. (I actually found a way to fix that later on, I will probably post it in a separate article (update: check bottom of article))

THE STAND

If you order from their website I believe they ship the stand free or at least included when you buy the D13.

Though I had to buy mine separately for 199 AED/ $55 (Approximately) the day before I wrote this article and I actually needed it as I was tired of piling up books behind the tablet just to get it to rise at a comfortable angle for me.

**sad face emoji, insert it here with your Imagination** (I’m a very stingy guy).

stand

stand down

stand downside

 

 

 

 

 

Artisul calls it the “freestyle stand ” after I got the tablet I understand why.

 

It’s the reason that you could actually rotate the stand 360 degrees. Though I have not found a reason to use that function as I or we would use it at a certain angle only and probably adjust for the rise.

and now for the most IMPORTANT OF ALL.

THE PERFORMANCE

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It has 2048 levels of Pressure Sensitivity.

 

 

 

 

 

Which is nice because it really gives you this nice finish where it gradually fades a line into a point

 

 

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One issue though is that there is this distortion between the actual location of the pen on the screen and the pointer inside but the distortion is so small you’ll get used to it in a couple of days of using.

Sometimes also it depends on the angle.

 

 

 

 

buttonsAt the left-hand side, it has six hot keys where you can assign a function to each one.

A dial in the middle where you can assign five functions for it and to go to the other funcitons you just have to double press the dial.

really useful as I don’t need to reach for the keyboard to change into a different tool every time and it did speed up my creation time.

examples of what I was able to do with the ARTISUL D13 you can find in my “365++ drawing days” – First chapter – 39/365.

ONE MORE THING!

The D13 does not have the touch screen functionality unlike some Wacom products though for me I don’t really mind. since I barely used that functionality with my Wacom Intous.

THE DRIVER

Considering that the product is still a bit new, Artisul is still updating their drivers. Since I bought it after a month or so I found out that Artisul updated again their driver to 3.0 from their previous 2.0 and even now as I am writing this article, I just checked their website they again updated to a 3.1.

To sum this review all up, we have to ask the BIG QUESTION.

WAS IT WORTH IT? BUYING ARTISUL D13.

YES!

“The Artisul D13 is perfect for any artist who is looking for a drawing tablet but has a very strict budget.”

“A good balance between price and quality

I don’t regret the decision to buy it one bit. After three months of using it, I have fallen in love with it.

NOW, whenever I want to buy a drawing tablet Artisul products will be on my mind. Of course alongside Wacom, but considering my very frugal personality I will probably be leaning towards Artisul most of the time.

 

This is D. signing off.