Archive for April, 2013

Travel and Lodging

May brings a lot of traveling.  Planned so far are New York City, San Diego, and London.  There’s a week in-between San Diego and London that I need to fill… whether it’s a road trip up Highway 101 or a short exploration of Chile, who knows.  Likely the former with the cost and time constraints.

I used airbnb.com for the first time to book places to stay.  I’ve been skeptical about it but find myself now fascinated.  The site encourages you to have a lot of communication with the “host” and the social aspect is interesting.  Hopefully the rooms I’ve booked live up to their photographs and reviews!

Since I can’t sleep tonight I’m going to go search for airbnb horror stories just to freak myself out.

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Microsoft Surface Pro and our small world

I needed to get a new laptop and had had grown curious about the Surface Pro.  Most reviews I read were positive about the device (not so much about the Surface RT), and it felt like a great combination of tablet + laptop.

Unfortunately only the Surface RT has been released in Singapore, so there was no estimated date for the Surface Pro.  Just a couple days ago they announced it would be coming around the end of June.

Two weeks ago I was in Taiwan and reading more about the laptop and looked at availability on Amazon.  Via one of their affiliates I could get a Surface Pro shipped to Singapore.   I resisted at first, but then broke down while I was in a long queue at Taipei airport.

Amazing if you think about it… I pulled out my phone, launched the Amazon app, and it had the Surface Pro and type keyboard still saved in the shopping cart.  I clicked the purchase button and since it had my credit card information already, zip… the order went through.  This was Friday afternoon at 1 PM in Taiwan.

By 10 AM Monday morning the Surface Pro had made it from America to my home in Singapore.  I was blown away by the speed of delivery.  I think it’s going to take me longer as a passenger to get from Singapore to New York on my trip next month!

Anyway, after a week of using the Surface Pro and Windows 8 on it, I love it.  Windows 8 with a touchscreen is an awesome experience.  If you’ve been using Windows 8 (as I have) with just a mouse and keyboard, well, you basically haven’t been using Windows 8.  I’m motivated now to buy a touchscreen monitor for my desktop at home.

The gestures did take a little getting used to, especially when coming from an iPad, but after 15 minutes I was flipping through Windows and docking them with ease.

The type cover has also exceeded my expectations.  I think there’s minimal slowdown; I’m typing at essentially the same speed as on a regular keyboard.

The only drawback I’ve found is that it weighs more than expected.  Nothing too crazy but if you’re lying face-up in bed and holding it over you, you won’t want it crashing down on your face.

I’m looking forward to my first trip with it next month.  That will be the true test!

Moving house

Last month my wife and I moved from the apartment I’ve been living in since moving to Singapore and into an HDB flat just a couple blocks away.

After 10 years of living in a place, lots of memories are embedded within the walls and furniture.

We were moving to a smaller place, and I wanted to be ruthless when it came to throwing out old things. I had read one of those “life hacks” that suggested to take pictures of mementos and discard the actual object.

It was a long process. Finding letters, pictures, and trinkets that reminded me of different times and places. “Click” went my camera as it digitized memories and sent them to my computer.

It was nice to have these old feelings come out for a while.