The Tablet Getaway

*I realize the title of this post looks like a contest, but it’s not. Sorry*

As I sit on my girlfriends couch playing on my neglected Samsung Galaxy Tablet (which I won in a contest) I decided I would write my first blog post on it regarding why its awesome (I am actually writing this very moment in an Android WordPress app)

I feel a distinct gratitude because I am able to be connected too the interwebs and consume my favorite content on a nice big screen, unlike on my phone, where I feel my eyes get stained and I don’t enjoy it as much.

Plus the baggage of turning on, which you get with a laptop (check work email) or with a phone (respond to text messages) doesnt exist. Its a guilt free vacuum experience where you can curate and enjoy the things you are really interested in without distraction.

Plus I am pretty easily able to create content as well with the nifty Swype typing app and some cool video apps.

After being neglectful and skeptical regarding this tablet, I can now say I am an enthusiastic tablet advocate. Go win or buy one for yourself! ;-}

The 2008 Toyota Yaris Hatchback – Great Snow Machine!

This past February I bought a brand new 2008 Toyota Yaris. It was my first new car and I bought it after quite a few months of searching and bellyaching over pricing. But, my Yaris has served me exceedingly well so far. Incredible gas mileage is now matched with great snow handling ability. The Toyota Yaris is basically a snow machine, but a lot more practical and safe than the kind Todd Palin uses.

I am convinced the Yaris, with some tweaking and modification would make an excellent rally styled car. I went barreling around in my house to the super market to pick up a few things and even when forcing the car into a controlled slide in poorly paved roads (empty roads too, I’m not completely stupid!) I was able to correct and power out of the slide quite easily. Plus, with the transmission being a 5-speed manual rather than automatic, I never felt in danger of an un-intended skid because I was able to effectively downshift while coming to a stop.

I’ve driven rally cars before, usually extremely powerful and stiff riding beasts of the automobile type, but my Toyota Yaris would hold it’s own as far as handling goes. Not that I’m in the financial shape to be able to mod a car to the teeth, but if I could, my Yaris would make a great starting point.

Hello Mr. Mac, Let’s Co-Exist

Here’s a little anecdote for those who subscribe to the Mac – PC wars. I was in Starbucks for my break today reading and writing to clear my mind (only for the lack of a better place to chill) and a woman decided she liked my laptop. She may have been slightly handicapped but she was very friendly. She told me it was the smallest computer she’s ever seen and that she liked it very much but that she liked Mac’s better. I conceded that Mac’s are indeed great computers but far too expensive. As I said that the woman looked behind me and there was a man (a clear regular of this particular S’bucks) using his $2,000+ Mac. He started passive aggressively defending his consumer choice to this woman and said “he’s obviously over-exaggerating about the price.” Then he packed his stuff and left.

I was only stating a clear, non-subjective fact that Macs are very expensive. They’re probably worth it, but they’re still expensive! There was no reason for him to take offense. I thought about apologizing, but my sense of manhood and commonsense wouldn’t allow it. Talk about awkward.

To Mrs. T Ronda, I know this will strike a chord with you. To any other Mac users, what do you think about this dude’s reaction? Does he watch too much TV and in turn too many Mac commercials with the skinny emo guy dissing on PC’s?

On top of that, I feel people are gunning for me on the road. Is paranoia settling in? Probably. It’s the holidays. This is when I need my Hemingway style cabin in the woods to stay safe and sane.

Acer Aspire One Shows Ittie Bittie Genius

Friday night I sent my old dog of a laptop out via UPS to Cash for Laptops
and will hopefully be receiving the $350 they quoted me for on my particular model in about a week. I was planning on coughing up another $300 to $500 on a nice, light laptop with accessories that would allow me to be portable when on the go and then dock that baby to a big screen monitor when I get home. That WAS my plan, but then…

 

Strolling around a local shopping center I stopped at Staples, recalling that a few people I know have found dirt cheap deals randomly at Staples when they’re trying to get rid of old stock. I didn’t find anything that was on clearance, but I instead I saw the Acer Aspire One. Originally I saw this computer a while ago on a list of best priced laptops. I sort of wrote it off after thinking about the size of it. Regardless of the price which starts around $350.00, I figured the small screen would prove to be an annoyance in the long run. I came to this conclusion without actually seeing or feeling the laptop in person.

Upon playing around with the machine in the store and talking to a knowledgeable and down to earth sales clerk, I think I’ve become quite close to purchasing the Acer Aspire One. I’m going to shop around a bit this week and read as many reviews and product specs as I can before I make my decision.

I find the downsizing trend of electronics incredible and I’m not sure where it’s going to stop. There are some damn supercomputer desktop models spec’d to the hilt that you can buy for $800. Now I can buy a computer that weights 8 lbs. less than my old machine and has twice the operating capacity in every aspect.

Technology is scary and groovy.

Curry and Computers

I’ve got plenty on the brain today, but what I find most compelling is the absolutely delicious Potato Curry dish Seth’s housemate Rich made at the Sputnik party and the new MacBook Pro that is being blabbered about today.

I always challenge myself to cook new and exciting things that at one point I felt were out of my grasp. In that respect, I feel like cooking is much like life. You get all the right ingredients together one way or another then you start the alchemy with a little bit of heat and hard work. I’m going to purchase a good ol’ cast iron pot and cook a curry one of these coming weekends. I really hope I can get my family to eat it, but if they don’t I’ll have no trouble working the finished product over in a week. Here are some cool links to curry recipes. Not sure which one I’ll use yet. If you want to come over and eat, feel free! I’ll save some for you 😉

http://www.recipezaar.com/61983
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sri-Lanken-Potato-Curry/Detail.aspx
http://www.graspr.com/videos/Potato-Curry-with-Yougart-Gravy

That reminds me, I want to cook with and for friends more. I feel like if I wind up in my own apartment with my cousin Nick I’ll want to make it as homey as possible. Do any of you have interesting recipes I should try to make? Maybe you can make it first and I’ll sample it. I’m very open minded, so bring on all challengers!

On the technology side, I’ve officially sold my old laptop. The beast will serve an immobile person or someone who wants to play bingo online well, but right now I need something lighter. On this live weblog reviewing the new, amazing and expensive Macbook Pro, there is also a section highlighting the best priced laptops on the market. I’ll probably for one of them seeing as I don’t want to spend too much out of pocket compared to what I got for my elephant laptop.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/152230/new_macbook_announcements_from_apple.html

Are there any hardcore Mac heads reading this? Are there any tangible benefits to owning one? Is it the quality, image, processing power, etc? Or just the coolness of owning high priced machinery? Let me in on your secrets!

On a side note, I have two blips I don’t feel like elaborating on too much.

One: why are non-work meetings and conferences scheduled during work hours during work weeks? For someone who doesn’t have clout to pull flextime at will, I wish there would be more evening events or weekend events for those of use who simply have to be in the office.

Secondly: I don’t think I got the Chicago job. I’ve just got a feeling. I haven’t heard anything and I was supposed to know over a week ago. They’re either really torn or so busy with the person they hired that sending my rejection letter is an afterthought. I know I shouldn’t be negative, but waiting for an answer makes me miserable. Like I’ve said before, no matter what happens I’m going to kick, punch and scream my way forward into a career involving sustainability.

That is all for now. Happy Monday on a Tuesday.

An Internet Addicted Tree Hugger

Time for a new computer? Quite possibly! This guide gave me a few more interesting things to think about before buying.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/11/buygreen-laptop-computers.php#ch04

Having a work laptop computer is a nice perk. I am allowed to work at home a couple times a week if I really want to and I can finish up work that I don’t complete during office hours at home if the pressure is on. I currently use an IBM ThinkPad that is quite a workhorse. I think the actual machine is four years old but it has had memory upgrades to handle the applications and software that I use regularly. Also, it’s really light! I’d be surprised if my work laptop weighed more than 5 pounds.

Then there is the big baby that I use at home. She weighs upwards of 10 lbs. A Hewlett Packard Pavilion, it has served me very well and has never had a hardware problem in the four years I’ve owned it. I originally bought it as a replacement for my laptop that was stolen in Prague. It was big, fast and badass and the best laptop on the market at the time. Now there are laptops at half the weight with double the features for 2/3 of the price! What a world, huh?

Either way, I debated getting a desktop, but I’d like to conserve energy and also stay as mobile as possible. Carrying my current home compy around is terrible. I want something much lighter and not too pricey. I miss being able to carry around my older, yet much lighter laptop to cafes and bookstores and doing geeky things no matter where I was! I’ll also probably get a docking station that will allow me to hook up to a large monitor with extra USB ports and such when I come home and want to login.

Hopefully my purchase as an American consumer goes to a company that actually cares about the environment AND economy!

Please leave a comment if you have any advice on which of the computers in the Green Buying Guide are good or not. I’d appreciate it!