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04 November 2012


Two months shy of our first anniversary, I'd say the honeymoon phase is over.
Between an upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion and my propensity to download via torrent, the initial attraction that compelled me to buy my first ever Mac is quickly fading.
Although, I must say, Jonny Ive's unibody aluminum design and that apple logo still arrest me in awe mid-way as I walk into my room every night. It's that industrial design which can only be called gorgeous is the truth that remains.
The keyboard is still hands down, just amazing - I don't think I type better on my company issued 13" HP EliteBook 8460p than on my 11" MacBook Air.
But the dropped Wi-Fi connection issue has been plaguing me ever since I upgraded to Mountain Lion. There's only so much I can take and the recent mania at the office got me succumbing to gadget lust again.
Yes, I bit the bullet and bought me my first Android tablet: enter the dragon, err, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

This post is not about comparing the MacBook Air to an Android tablet - that would be moot as they different niche products.
But in my simple life as a tech inclined average Jane, I find myself reaching for the Note 10.1 more than my MacBook Air since I bought it. 

No, it's not because of the games. I use the Note more for displaying my music sheets when I practice violin.
The S-pen (Samsung's fancy schmancy way of calling a stylus) mainly finds its purpose of being for me to mark bowing directions on my PDF music sheets (I do the marking in Adobe reader).

Strangely, there isn't anything stellar about this tablet; if you're familiar with Samsung, you're well aware of the kind of plastics they use to build their products. This one is no exception and is, unfortunately, susceptible to have enough give on its back covering when you lightly press on it with your fingers.
The resolution would be immediately archaic when compared to the latest iPad or even my iPhone 4's retina display. Even my HP MacBook Mini has 1366 x 768 pixels on it on par with the MacBook Air 11".
Galaxy Note 10.1's 1280 x 800 on a 10.1" touch screen

960×640 on a 3.5" touch screen

The iPhone 4 is becoming a real phone now as it's becoming more dedicated to messaging/phone calls. Or rather a cellphone/mp3 player device - I prefer the speakers on my iPhone 4 over the ones in the Note 10.1 and recording is still way better in  quality on the iPhone (I record my violin practice sessions).

For browsing and watching movies (or Korean dramas and anim├ęs) online or downloaded via torrent (yes, I can torrent in Android), I prefer doing that on my Note 10.1

I still prefer emailing with my MacBook Air because of its good keyboard. FaceTime of course is still via the MacBook Air as holding up the iPhone to face level gets easily tiring on the arms after just a few minutes.

Will the tablet, like touted by them makers, engrave its own niche in this average tech-inclined Jane's life after all?

16 January 2012

Made For Each Other

All in all, that was a total of 10 days from when I placed my order at the Singpapore Apple Store during the "Red Day Sale", 3 successful, 1 missed, calls with 1-800-myapple customer care rep (possibly another 1 tomorrow just to check if I got the package).

I didn't have the opportunity to feel giddy when the notification from our reception (had it send with business hours shipping to make sure someone would always be there for signing) as we were but about 6 heads in production today. It's Martin Luther King's Day in the US of A but we, whose holiday calendar got messed up, still went to work even if technically we follow Singaporean holidays.

My head was simply too full with purchase orders and special discount approvals and there's just not room enough for anything else.

Fast forward to when we got home - I carried the 2.68 Kg (yes, it's indicated on the outer brown carton packaging) from work, in the train, and up to our HDB block - I didn't even open it yet. I had to attend to a need that overrides geek-lust: food. So it was still after we cooked and ate dinner that I finally got to open my box.

I also considered an unboxing video at first, following in the steps of those thousands or millions before me, but nipped the idea in the bud. That was exactly the point; unboxing videos abound and mine won't make any difference.

And so I opened my very first Mac box, right on our dining table. Let the picture spamming begin!

 Housemate suggested we keep it sealed and displayed like a memento on our kitchen shelf.

Thinner than my Seagate Go drive.

MacBook Air, meet MacBook Mini

Apple sticker gets chummy with real Apple logo

Bumper to bumper

I must say it does feel creepy to read this message supposedly from the Apple authorities; as if I've just gotten married to a slab of anodized "alumuni-yum" (per Jon Ive's oh-so-lovely-Brit-accent).

Had my unit BTO, BTW (don't I just love that little play on acronyms!).

S$ 1,308 during the Red Day Sale

  1. bumped to 4GB DDR3 - RAM is soldered onto MacBook Airs' logic boards so it's something you'd have to live with all this MacBook Air's life.
  2. 64 GB SSD - decided to stick with this base storage space and forego the 128 GB SSD after all.
The "Red Day Sale" offered S$ 120 off prices on Macs. Rather than getting the S$ 1,468 retail config of 4GB DDR3 + 128 GB SSD, I thought I'd spend the extra S$ 120 on another portable external hard drive as there are lots of 500 GB choices in the market, instead of just 64 GB additional storage space.

I'm one happy Mac-camper who has written a post for the first time on her very first real Mac.

But I still hope that Apple Customer Care rep still calls tomorrow morning; he did mention something about a gift coupon from Apple to compensate me for the delay in the delivery. I was, after all, supposed to get my MacBook Air last Friday but the package got held up in a heliport somewhere in Hong Kong.

Was that "feef-teeh" S$ 50 or S$ 15? 

01 February 2011

Some Android Lovin'

So, given that my aunt in the US took care of granting my iPod touch 4gen wish, what happened to the budget I was allotting for that gadget?

Nope, to my Mac fund it did not go.

My cousin was fretting because her mom, which is my aunt, bought me the iPod touch for Christmas and when she saw me using it to snap up some (crappy) pics during the holiday family gathering and then uploading them to Facebook before she could come over to where I stood to inspect her mugshot, the wonders of touchscreen finally dawned upon her.

She's very envious about the iPod touch but since it's not a phone, she didn't actually ask her mom to go get her one. (FYI, my cousin's already 33 or something and her definition of high-tech is comprised mainly of the latest Nokia cellphones if not the latest iPhone). She'd rather have an iPhone 4 but since my aunt is not into that kind of thing - and I think she's on Verizon in the US not AT&T (and iPhone on Verizon happened just recently) - no amount of cajoling could get her to bother with the trouble of changing carrier to get Stevie J's phone.

So cutting the long fairytale short, after our New Year's dinner, I dangled my Nokia 5530 in front of my dear cousin's nose while we were picking out songs on the karaoke machine and what d'you know? She said she wanted it. And I got a reason to buy a new cellphone! :D

Fast forward to last Saturday, January 29th, after getting off my M.A. class (this is the local Masters program I'm pursuing from UP Diliman), I dropped by a near mall and after some inquiries about price and color availability, I got me this phone: