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Voyage in Vana’diel

The Road to Jeuno

I had all the maps going to Jeuno, even the map of Jeuno but I needed help to make the trek all the way there. We met in Bastok and walked to the edge of the Konschat Highlands and entered the Pashow Marshlands. We stood there for a while, I guess while he checked the area if it was safe to walk with a lvl 20 whm. He changed his mind and we walked to the La Theine Plateau. I told him of a story where an orc chased me all the way through the zone area of Valkurm Dunes. He pointed at an orc and said “It is this one?” and promptly killed him. I replied, “No, it’s that one.” and pointed at another orc which he immediately dispatched as well. Laughing all the way to zone and I picked up my Holla Gate Crystal.

We zoned into Jugner Forest and cautiously walked through the area. I kept getting aggro from the Tigers in the area and he had to keep casting sneak and invisible on me. It was a really long trek. We got through it and once we zoned, we had a chance to listen to the jazzy beat of Battalia Downs. From there we made a mad rush for the gates of Jeuno and there were a horde of people.

Everyone was just there. Selling, yelling, synthing and so on. It truly was the center of Vana’diel. First things first in Jeuno was to get the Chocobo License. That took 6 hours total to finish. From there I was able to get parties for Qufim Island. It took a while for me to get to lvl 25. I kept coming back there with my white and black mage. When I finally got to lvl 25, I immediately used my raise scroll. Now I could raise players who have been knocked out.

The nice Hume Dark Knight who earlier helped me get my sub jobs helped me get my Kazham Pass. Getting the pass was a bit challenging. It took 3 hours real time to get all the keys. Once we got the keys, I got my Kazham Airship pass and rode the airship for the first time.

Voyages in Vana’diel

I got back on Final Fantasy Online again this week. I had already been left behind a bit by my linkshell and now I have to scrounge up some party members to get the Chains of Promathia missions. Maybe I should start from the beginning. I wouldn’t want to share my server details or the players who have helped me over the past two years.

Yes, I have been playing on and off for two years now on Square-Enix’s massively multiplayer online RPG. I got the game when it came out. I purchased the PS2 version since I had no PC to play it on. The PC version was available six months before. I created a female hume white mage from Bastok. There are three countries where they can start their character. I started in the industrial Hume city of Bastok, a barren dry wasteland of a city. I had no idea on what to do. Luckily a male Hume warrior helped get around. I was able to level my chracter and slowly I learned the way of the auction house and the quests and missions. I got bored pretty fast since there was nothing to see in Bastok. It’s just rock and dirt as far as the eye can see. I wanted to see another city.

We went to Windurst. Windy, as it is often called by players is not a short trip for low level characters. We would have to trek northward from Gustaberg, go over the Konschat Highlands and cross the deadly sands of the Valkurm Dunes and take a ferry from Selbina. We would dock in Mhaura, try and cross the Bubumiru Peninsula, climb the Tahrongi Canyon and make our way through the grassy fields of Sarutabaruta to reach Windy. It took us two days to get there. It was quite a trek. I then played intermittently since I had to go to school and stuff.

I came back to the game six months later and all my friends either quit or were high level characters already. The same hume warrior who helped me was now a ninja and helped me get to Selbina. I was able to get parties in Selbina since it I was a white mage, it was relatively easy. I got myself to level 20 pretty quick and a party member helped get my sub-job items. It’s basically the ability to set my sub jobs. His high level character was actually a 65 dark knight which was pretty high enough to get me the stuff I needed. Once I got my sub job, I then leveled my subjob which was a black mage and once I did that, it was time to say goodbye to the dunes and make the long and dangerous trek to the Grand Duchy of Jeuno.



I just came back from a five day working trip to Japan. I haven’t been there since 1983 and I must say this trip was a real eye opener. Instead of doing all the tourist things. I met a lot of people and found out how they live in Japan. Taking the subway and taxis was quite an experience with thr language barrier but somehow I got through all of that. I was able to squeeze what little Japanese I knew into the conversation and somehow it helped.

There were a lot of places we went to that I didn’t go before. The Tsukiji Fish Market is amazing. Tuna can go as high as ¥7000 a kilogram. That’s more than $60.00! I saw live Fugu for the first time. The Philippine Tiger prawns were also being sold there. Every imaginable type of aquatic creature was on sale there. Who cares about salmon, everything here was fresh. The sweetest tuna I’ve ever tasted.

We weren’t able to go up to Mt. Fuji due to the snow. We went around the mountain in Hakone and rode the cable car down to Lake Ashi. It was quite cold. I’ve posted pictures on my iWeb site so drop by there and have a look see. Maybe I should rename this blog entry to “Procrastinating in the Cold”. The entire area is volcanic. The region is filled with numerous hot spring inns and sulphur springs as well. At first I thought there was garbage, then I realized the vast amounts of sulphur gas emissions due to the volcanic nature of the ground we walked on. The winds blew hard as I was almost thrown off the observation deck. We went up to the Buddhist peace shrine and it made me wonder if every temple had to be this high. I carried all my gear to the top of the temple and took pictures of my achievement.

We returned to the city by bus and I got some hot tea from a nearby vending machine by the shinkansen station. We got off Shibuya station where we were picked up by minibus and brought back to the hotel. I had a quick ramen dinner across the hotel where you had to order by vending machine and give the ticket to the server in the restaurant. The ramen wasn’t that great. I’ve had better. We then went to Roponggi Hills and shot some video. We passed by the Hyatt Hotel where the movie “Lost in Translation” was shot though I’m not too sure if the Jazz Bar really exists inside.

We had a guided tour of the Sony Center in Ginza and we saw some of their new consumer products. The staff at Sony were suprised on how much I knew about their products. I joked that they should hire me for their overseas sales. We couldn’t shoot their playstation line but the consumer products were cool enough.

We walked down at Ginza where I was finally able to get to the Apple Store and got myself an iTunes Music Card.

I’ll post more as I get more pictures from the rest of the team.


Macworld has come and gone and I have to make a decision.

Which blog am I going to keep?

With the release of the new iLife 06 suite and the new iWeb software by Apple it makes creating a website for your .mac account a lot easier. iLife 06 seamlessly integrates iPhoto, Garageband and iMovie into creating a website complete with blog, photocast, podcast and vidcast. And now, which one will I keep?

One thing I instantly discovered when I tried out iWeb, it will not clean up the clutter you previously left on your .mac. So all previous sites on your page will remain with all of the links and such. Which means you will have to re-upload all the pictures and movies and such all over again. Boo. I have four different sites now on my .mac which isn’t good. I will have to fix that on the next national holiday to consolidate the whole site and migrate to iWeb.

iWeb changes the URL now of your .mac homapage which was previously to By the way, if you do nor put the iWeb at the URL, you will not be directed to the default welcome page. This is one thing I cannot get over with and gets my thumbs down. The long URLs that you have to type to get to a site that you pay $100 a year to have. At least throw in the URL something like http://.mac would be nice. I’m sure they can do that and it would be much easier to memorize and be more attractive to mac users.

The available templates in iWeb are not bad but very limited in the number of designs available. I think Rapid Weaver has the most number of templates available which also has .mac integration. Macromedia has Contribute 3 which isn’t that bad although it requires a live internet connection to be able to edit your site. When you think of how many people will start using iWeb as a web page maker, you’re going to see a lot of duplicate sites.

iWeb is made only for .mac. You won’t be able to use it for other web providers. So only holders of .mac accounts will be able to use this. Also don’t count on editing you site from another computer since it uses a file located on your hard drive to set the sources for your site.

In the meantime, I’ll try out iWeb a little longer and see how my migration is going take.

Macworld 2006

Just when I was ready to settle down here, this happens.

Last Tuesday, January 10, 2006, Apple Computer announced a slew of new products for the Mac community. Three of which has caught my eye (and my wallet). iWork 06, iLife 06 and the Macbook Pro.

I use iWork for my presentations and iLife for practically everything else. The great part about the new iLife is iWeb which allows me to update my dot mac account and blog, post a “photocast” and record a podcast all on my mac, fully integrated with just a few clicks. But still my main complaint abot the dot mac is the url. I hope they’ll fix this somehow. We’re already paying $100 for this, at least give us the domain name with it.

I must have the new Macbook Pro. Other than the fact that my powerbook warranty will expire sometime in April or March, I have to test this out (for personal reasons). I was hoping that they’d release this along with the rest of their pro apps such as Final Cut Studio at the same time. For those of you who didn’t know, the Macbook is the first portable mac with an Intel processor inside. Apple boasts a 4-5x speed boost from the previous G4 powerbooks. This will really help professionals in video and graphics in terms of performance. But now I have to make certain things work for the future.

More to come…

Mac mini and me

Mac mini and me

Last Monday while coming from a brunch meeting, I passed by a store which had mac minis in stock. I went inside and looked at their prices. Traditionally, prices in the mall tend to be more expensive than that of other retailers. But today was different. It was right there in front of me. A 1.42 Ghz G4 Processor, 80 GB HD, 512 RAM, 32 MB VRAM, Superdrive all for the low sticker price of 40,990 Philippine Pesos. For a mac here, that is cheap. The only thing that stopped me from buying it outright was that Macworld is coming on Monday with the very important Keynot of Steve Jobs.

As I stared at the box, I was running through my mind the pros and cons of getting such a machine. For one, it is significantly faster and has a much larger storage capacity than my current powerbook. But the thing with powerbooks is that once you own one, you never let go. You only get another powerbook. I’ve been trying for quite some time now to procure myself another powerbook but the prices never seen to match with my money in the bank. As the minutes tick by, the mac mini still remained on it’s glass shelf waiting to be adopted by a loving mac user. Or even better, a switcher.

One curious thing about Macworld is that all the new stuff for consumers come out on Macworld. It is expected that new software and hardware will be unveiled at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. One rumor site mentioned a radically different powerbook. A laptop that runs on flash memory. I’m not talking about RAM. I’m talking about hard drive space. But there’s no hard drive. Much like what powers the iPod Nano and the Video iPod. There is no commercially available hard drive as thin as the Video iPod so it’s safe to assume that the Video iPod runs all of it’s 60 GB off a flash drive. That would be very interesting to have a portable without any moving parts apart from the optical drive. I just hope the reliability of data storage is there. The one thing I don’t like about flash drives is that one can just lose all your data in a blink of an eye. We’ll wait a few months before diving into that.

So back to the mac mini. I forgot to say that it had built in wireless capability. Airport Extreme or 802.11g was included as well as Bluetooth 2.0. I mean, what’s not to like. Sadly, it’s the video card. I mean, most games for the mac nowadays run off 64 MB VRAM. Double on what’s currently available on the mac mini.

The iMac G5 on the other hand, for all it’s grace and power is unfortunately unreachable for me as I’m writing this entry. At more than double the price, it does have the power and the features that a power user such as myself would love.

I turn my back at the glass shelf and walk out of the store. Knowing that Macworld less than a week away. I leave with the feeling that something very nice is on it’s way.

I’m going back to the original title of my blog which is what you see here. I’ve been searching around for a mac friendly web host but to no avail. In the meantime this url seems easy enough to have. I’ll maintain my dot mac site and update it whenever I can, but this is going to be my main blog site. Which means I’ll have to update my feedburner. I’ll probably use my dot mac for my future podcasts or something and I haven’t even started on that yet.

This blog, like most other blogs will contain my personal opinions, comments and rants about my interests and so on. Opinions expressed in this site do not reflect of those of my employer or the companies that I am affiliated with.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, this is what we’ll be up to.
I’ll be providing updates on what I’ve been up to in Final Fantasy Online. I’ll be doing some technology opinions on the latest trends. I’ll be ranting on the current ploitical state of the country that I live in from time to time. And some movie and anime reviews if I even get to see any of it. So sit back and I hope you’ll enjoy reading.

How many blogs am I running at this time?

There’s a few on my dot mac since I haven’t had the time to migrate the site.

There’s the Xanga.

And then there’s this.

Which one would generate more traffic?

This has the better layout and url to memorize.

I may switch here.

Or maybe not.

Or I may give it up all together for a podcast.