Plaza El Terronal

The new Plaza EL Terronal is really making progress. There were workers working on Sunday in a pretty good rain. Today would have been a great day to take a picture since all the fences were down. Unfortunately I had forgotten to take my camera with me, so you will just have to take my word for it.

The tremendous parking lot looks like it is about done. It looked like there were windows in the entire bottom floor. The real question is how much has been done on the inside. It still looks touch and go to me for it to be ready by December.

I saw a billboard today that said that Furniture Store was going to be in the new plaza. That is a well-known furniture store in Panama City. It sounds like there will be a good place to buy reasonable priced quality furniture in David.

SuSE 10.0 Needs A New Home

SuSE 10.0I have to tell you that after playing with the new SUSE 10.0 Linux system for about 15 days, I am very impressed. The only thing that isn’t impressing me is the performance I am getting running it on my old Dell Dimension XPS D233 PC. While it has provided an environment to evaluate the product, is painfully slow. The good thing about having a slow PC is that it is giving me an excuse to upgrade to a faster box.

Since this is a PC, that I do not consider my primary PC, I do not want to put a lot of money in it. I am limiting myself to $500. Luckily I am going to use the hard drive that I have in the Dell so that cuts out about a $50 expense. My main PC is in a large tower made by Cooler Master and I do not want, nor do I have space for, another large tower. I have been looking at the new SFF (Small Form Factor) PCs, but they want too much money and I am a little concerned with the cooling capability. I think the case I want to go with is built by Aspire and is the X-Qpack model. I haven’t decided on the color so you can help me choose. I am leaning toward the black.

For the motherboard, I think I will go with a new board from Gigabyte. It is built for the new AMD 64 processor and that should provide all the horsepower I want for Linux.

The CPU I will probably go with is the AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 1GHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor. It will make my primary PC look as slow as molasses, but that might be justification to upgrade it also.

I think I will put in 1 gig of memory and DVD writers have gotten so cheap, I will use a DVD writer in place of a regular CD drive.

Since the motherboard provides both audio and video, the system is complete. Current prices, using NEWEGG as a source, brings this upgrade in at $449. I will check with Alex at INFOX, but since I am specifying exact components, it is unlikely that he can get them in Panama. Having to pay duty and shipping from the US will bump the price up a fair amount, maybe as much as 30%. However, if I am right this has the possibility of using this as a media PC in the future, so I will look at it as an investment.

Óptica Lopez

Another post that I lost in the shuffle was related to my eye care provider. When I realized it was time to get new glasses, I went to every optical shop in David. I mean every one. I have worn bifocals for years and have the non-progressive kind. Everyone except one put on a hard push to have me change to progressive bifocals. They were so pushy on the subject that I became convinced that their real motivation was to sell the more expensive frames and lenses to the “gringo” rather than provide the best eye care at a reasonable price.

The only provider that asked what I wanted and solely went into the role of providing information rather than trying to do the hard sell was Óptica López. nullI have sent several people there and everyone has come back to me and thanked me for the recommendation. Doctor Susan and her two assistants (Carla and Yajaira) are really good people. Doctor Susan speaks very good English so those of us that are Spanish challenged need not be afraid. I have enjoyed them so much; I stop in every now and then just to practice my Spanish. So if you need glasses, contacts or a 3-minute class in Spanish give them a try. Carla, Dr. Susan, Yajaira