POSTSCRIPT / February 22, 2000 / Tuesday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Will you send your aging mother to Golden Acres?

THIS outsider does not care much what those people living behind the thick walls of Forbes Park do to their mansions as long as they treat the rest of the community, and the environment, properly.

Our only serious objection to the proposed rezoning of Forbes and the consequent widening of McKinley Road cutting through the enclave is the possible uprooting of the five-decade-old acacias lining the 1.6-kilometer road.

Those acacias, already disfigured by merciless Meralco crews, do not belong to Forbes anymore. They belong to all of us.

Cutting the old, helpless trees is worse than sending your aging mother to Golden Acres for, huh, standing in the way of your progress.

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THAT was why we were a bit relieved when media specialist Mike Genovea told us that the proposed widening of McKinley would not require cutting down the acacias. The additional lanes for the widening will be laid out behind the trees, he said.

If all the other environmental concerns are taken care of, in additional to legal requirements (the rezoning ordinance, for instance) and the acquiescence of majority of Forbes residents, what is there left to hold back the widening?

McKinley is a crucial artery through Fort Bonifacio carrying daily traffic between the Makati business-commercial center and the areas to the east served by C-5. Widening it makes sense if the only consideration is easing traffic.

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GIVING the problem a face, Genovea said these Forbes residents favor rezoning and McKinley’s widening: Greggy Araneta, Connie Y. Gonzalez, Gabby Valdes, Eva Hernandes, Luis Coson, Johnny Velasquez, Roman “Jun” Cruz, Erwin Chiongbian Conchitina Ladao, Macario Rufino, Susanne Santos, Nina Ocampo, Jane Banshap, Nick Alcantara, Mike Prieto, George Martires and Rey Ordovesa.

Some of them reportedly own properties affected by the widening of McKinley.

The 50-year deed restrictions on Forbes property imposed by its developer Ayala Land expired on Dec 31, 1998. Rezoning it as commercial is now feasible.

Upgrading the McKinley connection will help boost values in Fort Bonifacio, the sprawling military camp that Ayala Land tried to acquire in a bidding that they lost to a Metro-Pacific-led consortium. Now the Fort is looming as a threat to Ayala’s Makati-based dominance in the area.

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SEVERAL readers responded to our request for information on CDROM, DVD and rewritable CD drives to guide computer users who cannot decide which drive to install on their PCs.

Some users whose CD-ROM drives have conked out asked us if they should replace their CD-ROM’s or spend a little more and invest in a DVD or a rewritable CD drive. Hence our call for expert opinion.

The consensus among readers who responded is that for the ordinary PC user, it is best at the moment for them to stick to a good, fast, branded CD-ROM. They advised ordinary users to wait till the technology of the other drives improves and prices settle down.

Among the other readers whose opinion we want to run later is JP Fenix, one of the more knowledgeable executives of Inquirer who has long left the paper.

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LESLIE Quiwa of UP Diliman, who describes himself as “not a professional computer expert; but simply a college student who loves and is quite well-versed in computers,” summarizes his points thus:

“The vast majority of computer users do not need to look beyond their CD-ROM’s. If you need to backup a lot of valuable data and/or you want to be able to make your own music CD’s, a CD-R/W is for you. However, it will set you back around P8,000 (the cheapest) or as much as P23,000, with the better writers priced at around P14,000. A DVD-ROM, although less expensive than a CD-R/W (from around P 4,000 to P10,000) is not practical for the typical (and often budget-conscious) user, because DVD discs are currently only popular for movies. Note that while pirated VCD’s are easy to come by, as far as I know the same is not true for DVD’s. I think a DVD video disc costs around P1,000.”

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AS intro for new users, Quiwa notes: “CD-writers allow you to burn your own CD’s. They come in two flavors: CD-writers (CD-R drives) and CD-rewriters (CD-RW or CD-R/W drives). The former allows you to create CD’s by writing on a recordable CD (CD-R disc), analogous to writing on a tape. However, writing can be done only once and is thus permanent.

“A CD-R/W drive, on the other hand, allows you to write on both a CD-R and a CD-rewritable (CD-RW). A CD-rewritable is a special type of CD-R that, much like a diskette, allows you to record new data over the old one. Most if not all manufacturers produce only CD-R/W drives because their rewriting ability is extremely useful for making temporary backups.

“While CD-R discs cost from P30 to P100, CD-RW discs cost around P600.

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“DVD-ROM’s can be thought of as ‘upgraded’ CD-ROM’s which can read both the traditional CD-ROM discs as well as DVD-ROM discs. A DVD-ROM disc can store around 2 to 4 gigabytes of data, making the 650 megabytes of a CD-ROM disc pale in comparison.

“Without going into details, DVD’s cram more data on a disc the same size as a CD-ROM. They are thus perfect for storing high-quality movies (currently their most popular application).

“However, the availability of software on DVD’s is at best very poor, even in the US. Dissemination of software on DVD’s has not yet become popular, because DVD drives are expensive. However, DVD-ROM’s are expected to replace CD-ROM’s in the future.

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“CHOOSING what drive to buy is very much dependent on: (1) your budget, and (2) your needs. If you can afford it, it wouldn’t hurt to own both a CD-R/W drive and a DVD-ROM drive. However, not many people are willing to shell out that much money.

“1. CD-ROM — If you’re a typical home or office user who does word processing, Web surfing, email and such routine tasks, a CD-ROM is more than enough. CD-ROM’s are uncomplicated, easy to install, have the minimum of frills, and are the cheapest. Do not buy the cheapest CD-ROM’s, because quality is always sacrificed. My personal recommendation is an ASUS CD-ROM drive.

“Pros and cons: A CD-ROM is cheap and easy to use, but it cannot write CD’s nor read DVD’s.

“2. CD-R/W (if a CD-R is available, always go for a CD-R/W) — CD-R/W’s are a must if you have large amounts of data to backup or if you wish to duplicate or create audio CD’s. With a CD-R/W, you can run a small business of making backups, at around P250 per CD. Not very profitable, but you earn money nonetheless. Making audio CD’s from MP3’s is another very popular application of CD-R/W’s (not illegal, unless you sell them for profit which quite a number do).

“Pros and cons: You can make your own data and music CD’s and may make some money, but they are expensive and practical only for the budget-conscious user who often has to backup data and/or make music CD’s

“3. DVD-ROM’s — Among the three, DVD-ROMs are probably the least economical to own. DVD drives are expensive and unlike CD-R/W’s, you can’t use them to make backups or use for (legal) profit. DVD’s are basically luxury items that are mainly for watching high-quality movies, since software titles are still few.

“If you’re going to buy a DVD-ROM, it is best to have a fast computer, a large monitor (17-inch and above) and a very good sound system (e.g. one with 5 speakers). It is pointless to own a DVD unless your system is capable of utilizing the high-quality video and audio in DVD videos.

“Most people do not need DVD-ROM’s and will not be needing them in the immediate future. Needless to say, watching video CD’s (VCD’s) is still much more economical than watching DVD videos.

“Pros and cons: You can watch DVD videos. DVD discs with software might become popular later. You don’t need a separate CD-ROM drive to read CD-ROM discs. But they are expensive and practical only for people with big budgets. They require a licensed operating system that supports regional codes for copy-protected movies, a fast computer — no less than a Pentium 350 if the DVD-ROM uses software decoding (Pentium 133 if it has a hardware decoder) and a good sound system to appreciate the quality of the video. DVD discs are expensive.

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POSTSCRIPT for UPSCAns and UPSCA alumni: Join the John P. Delaney Memorial Committee of the UP Parish, the Friends of Fr. Delaney and the UP Community at the launching of the two volumes of theCollection of Chapel Chismis by Fr. John P. Delaney, S.J.

That will be on March 4, Saturday, 3 p.m., at the Delaney Hall, UP parish in Diliman. Contact: May Gatchalian, 9319696, 9324148, qcinc@qinet.net; Susan Sulit, 7222147. svsulit@vasia.com; Angge Soriano, 3742170, 8163819, angel@surfshop.net.ph.

For the information of the younger UPSCAns, The Chapel Chismisnewsletter was a supplement to Fr. Delaney’s Sunday sermons. The two-volume publication is a compilation of the 274 extant issues of Chapel Chismis. In these issues we see how Fr. Delaney gets his listeners and readers to understand the Mass, love the Mass, and live the Mass, and how he envisions the Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice and how he nurtures that dream into reality.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of February 22, 2000)

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