Archive for March, 2009

I went to an HP Launch @ Supperclub

There are 3 things I want to talk about in this post.

  1. HP Pavilion dv2 Entertainment Notebook PC
  2. Wearing sweaters in Singapore
  3. My continued hatred for Supperclub

Last week I went to the launch of the new “HP Pavilion dv2 Entertainment Notebook” (the name is nowhere near as user-friendly to say or type as the HP Mini 1000) that was being held by Edelman.

HP Pavilion dv2 Entertainment Notebook 3

So this is my personal opinion of the machine, based on a quick 10 minutes of watching a product manager demo it and then sneaking onto it and running the tests to generate the Windows Experience Index score.

One thing I don’t understand… why do these hardware companies (Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc.) all insist on creating software applications to “manage media?”  They pre-install the software, generally the software is crap, and a lot of it is functionality already built into Windows (and yes, I know you smartasses out there are going to say Windows is crap too… but why take up hard drive space with software applications that duplicate functionality?).

This leads to my first point – the machine comes with Windows Vista Home Premium, which means Windows Media Center software is included.  Definitely a positive.  Having Media Center makes the MediaSmart software redundant, but hey, play with it and maybe you’ll find MediaSmart a better fit.  I didn’t.

Ultimately a laptop is a piece of hardware you can put whatever software on, so let me focus on the hardware instead.

These are the main points I think are important:

– Less than 1 inch thin and weighs 1.64 kg
– AMD Athlon Neo processor
– Comes with 2 gb of memory, upgradable to 4 gb
– Supports up to a 500 gb harddrive – that’s huge for a laptop
Built-in webcam and microphone
– 12.1 inch (1280×800) glossy screen
– 802.11n WLAN and Bluetooth support

I ran the Windows Experience Index test and the HP Pavilion dv2 Entertainment Notebook PC scored a 3.1.  Most of the categories were much higher but the WEI pegs it at the lowest category, which was a 3.1 for 3D gaming graphics.

HP Pavilion dv2 Entertainment Notebook 10

The laptop starts at 1,299 SGD.  If you’re in the market for a slick-looking, thin and light laptop that will handle the bulk of tasks well (the exceptions would be heavy video editing and graphically-intensive gaming) then you should take a look at the HP Pavilion dv2 Entertainment Notebook PC.

Hmm. I think I’ll write a separate entry about the other 2 points I was going to talk about.  Joan was also at the launch.  You can see her comments about it as well as a photo of me looking like I desperately needed to use the bathroom.  And wearing the aforementioned sweater.  In that hellhole of a club that is Supperclub (and their air conditioner didn’t seem to be working properly that day).

(Written on the HP Mini 1000 while thinking about how I’m in the market for a new desktop PC and also a server to backup my stuff here at home)

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Hangover Haiku

Woe to my poor head
Drowned, saturated in booze
Help! Bloody Mary.

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Kyoto schoolkids haiku

Hello Kitty kids
School day over, let’s go home
No happier time

(Written on the HP Mini 1000 after waking up early to get on a call with someone who is still on vacation.  Thus leaving me talking to only myself, sadly after having already drunk coffee so no going back to bed for me)

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New music haiku

New music Thursday
Bishop Allen ditty bop
All Righ-igh-igh-ight!

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Playboy Cover-to-Cover

I wonder if this blog entry counts as posting porn in Singapore.  It’s really about showcasing cool technology. Of course there’s the popular notion that pornography is what drives technology adoption (example – streaming video and audio over the internet… do you really think it’s because people wanted to see grandma talking to them online?)

So there are a couple ways in which I could write this entry… talk about the technical merits of Silverlight and DeepZoom (the Microsoft software behind this showcase), or talk about the benefits this technology platform is making available for all of us here in Singapore.

PlayboyCover

I shall talk about the benefits.

NAKED GIRLS IN HIGH-RESOLUTION FOR FREE.

53 issues of Playboy (print magazine unavailable in Singapore) can be viewed online.  From cover-to-cover.  Every photo, interview, and article from these past 53 issues is included.

I don’t know how young males in Singapore grew up without the tradition of sneaking home a Playboy to look at.  I suppose there are more seedy experiences available here (Geylang, KTVs, massage parlors, etc.) than back in the suburban US which may trump the “thrill” of seeing a Playboy for the first time, but finding a friend’s father’s Playboy and rifling through the pages is a rite of passage back home.

You can find the archive of Playboy magazines at:
http://playboy.covertocover.com

And while you’re busy virtually flipping through the issues, think about the technology that make it all possible.  As you zoom in on the photos (and I know you will, boys and girls…) look how clear it becomes.  That’s the DeepZoom technology working.

PlayboyArticle

I’d suggest not only looking at the photos but the monthly Playboy interview has always been interesting and high-calibre.  Their jokes section is a blast too.

This application was featured during the Mix09 keynote.  Here are some other nifty features.

On a sidenote, I was reading this blog today and wondering how many hits he must get daily since there are frequent posts about sex and nudity.  I was thinking of conducting an experiment by tagging an entry with related keywords and then this Playboy thing came along.  What a coincidence.

(Written on the HP Mini 1000, no not with one-hand)

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I don’t want you anymore, Kentucky Fried Chicken

Like most bad relationships, Kentucky Fried Chicken has been jerking me around. KFC leaves me with stomachaches, feeling nauseated, and usually full of regret. But just when I’m ready to say I never want it again, I get a taste of their greasy goodness and all is forgiven.

Well not this time.

Yesterday for lunch, I ordered KFC delivery… the Drumlets Family Feast. 8 pieces of fried chicken, popcorn chicken, 4 drumlets, mashed potatoes and cole slaw. Yes, that is a lot of food for one person. I figured I could eat it over the course of the weekend.

After eating Japanese food for the past week (which I love), I must have had a craving for grease and batter.  I ate a few pieces and thought there was something slightly off about it.

Went about the rest of my day, no problems… even got some exercise in.

Ate 2 more pieces of KFC for dinner.

A couple hours later was laying on the sofa watching TV and started feeling cold. Threw a blanket on but started feeling even colder.

Eventually found myself wearing 3 shirts (long-sleeve), a winter jacket, and 2 pairs of pants… all while hunkered down under 2 blankets on the bed.

At this point I figured something was wrong. My body temperature plummeted and I felt like I was freezing.

I would have gone to the hospital but I literally could not do anything other than shiver uncontrollably.

No exaggeration – I thought I might die. My body felt like it was shutting down on itself and all I could do was shiver and feel weak.

And that pissed me off. Usually I love living alone, but the thought in my head was that I was going to die from Kentucky Fried Chicken and no one would find my body for days.

I then alternated between feeling feverish and feeling cold. It slowly subsided and this morning I am better – still a little chilly.

Thanks for ruining my weekend, KFC.

I always loved you but I don’t want you anymore. You are the worst thing to happen to me.

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The Return Haiku

E-mail piled sky high
My work inbox makes me cringe
Vacation over

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Departure

I attempted to stroll the famed “Philosopher’s Walk” this morning.  I couldn’t find the start of the trail and had to go back to the hotel to get directions.

Thus ends my trip to Kyoto. Shinkansen to Tokyo, Narita Express to the airport, and SQ to return me to Singapore.

Started the day at a Zen temple in Japan and will be finishing the night eating supper at a kopitiam in Singapore.  Rather marvelous how airplanes make this a very small world.

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(Written on the HP Mini 1000 while slowly packing and noting with every shirt put in the suitcase, the end of my vacation gets nearer)

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Executive bonuses after the bailout

More fury regarding bonuses paid to employees of AIG.  These bonuses are being paid after the US Government has already bailed out the company with billions of taxpayer dollars.  It’s like a rich parent giving money to a little bastard of a child simply because without the money, the child acts like a brat and f’s up the parent’s day.

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AIG is paying around USD 165 million to 400 employees in its financial services unit – the same unit that caused AIG to collapse in the first place.  I’m not sure what constitutes a pat on the back and “Congratulations on a job well done!” but I’d assume forcing your company to beg for money should not qualify.  But oh wait in the financial industry, it does.

The justification / reasoning is that the bonuses were in the employee contracts so the company is obligated to pay them.  Fair enough, but it’s time to re-negotiate those contracts.

What’s sad is that employees in morally-sound companies are taking huge blows –layoffs, reduction in salary increases, lower benefits, etc. while some of the chief instigators of this economic crisis are still getting rewarded.

I’d like to see some opinionated owners of large companies take a stand and refuse to do business with certain institutions.  Imagine if AIG could no longer buy software from Microsoft, Google, Sun, Oracle, IBM, etc.  AIG would die. (Yes, yes, I know this doesn’t make sense because then the company would collapse and the American taxpayer money used in the bailout would be lost… but wouldn’t it be exciting to see!)

(Written on the HP Mini 1000)

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Shinkansen – bless you!

Another day, another mode of transportation.  Riding the rails across the Japan… the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto.  I’ve been to Japan many times but never to Kyoto so am excited about seeing Japan’s 2nd most-beautiful city (as voted by Japanese citizens… I don’t know what the #1 beautiful city is).

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The bullet train experience is much nicer than an airplane.  You can get up, wander around, and there is always interesting stuff going on outside the window (see previous post about pet peeves of people in airplanes opening window shades).  One of my favorite things to do while riding the train is to get a bento from the station and some sake.  Good way to kill a couple hours.

For the next few days I’ll be on my own, which is nice.  I have overloaded on people in the past few weeks and I can’t think of a better place to be alone than the gardens of Kyoto.

Let’s see tonight will hold… perhaps a stroll around Gion (Geisha district) and some hot ramen.  Do I know how to live it up or what.

Speaking of living it up, here comes the beverage cart… it’s time for my next sake at 350 miles per hour.

(Written on the HP Mini 1000 next to a Japanese businessman who has just started snoring)

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