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digi.tech | ディジ・テック

Technological Appearances

While I was looking at netbooks before, someone asked me, “Why do you put so much emphasis on design?”
They were referring specifically to my wanting a pink netbook, but it’s more than just that.
Why can’t I just deal with electronics in terms of what’s inside?
Why does the color, shape, aesthetics matter?
I am immediately inclined to ask all of you who don’t care, why don’t you?
For laptops, especially, I’m going to be using it all the time. I’ll be staring at the keyboard, the trackpad, the screen border, the cover…. how can I not care? Using the same black/grey bleh scheme makes me want to scream! It’s not me, it’s not how I feel, it isn’t my computer if it doesn’t have the look that I like.
Maybe, in the past, when there was less choice it was okay.
But now! When you can get computers in almost every color you could want, why settle?
But manufacturers still don’t understand. They make pretty notebooks with awful specs. Like they design the case and then go “oh but no one will care what we put inside! they aren’t going to actually use it.”
I hate it especially when electronics are targeted at women, with elaborate, often gaudy outsides, and internal components from five years ago! Why can’t there be high-spec’d items with a cute/stylish outside?! Is there really no market for such things? Is it so hard to have colored casings? (Dell, I’m looking at you! You have a dozen outer colors but your insides are all the same! At least make a white version!)
It’s times like this that I ponder trying to start up a company to make cute/stylish electronics with nice insides… ( > >)
For now, I’ll just keep digging through the thousands of products that all look the same to find my perfect digital companions ♥ *pets her pink WD external hdd*

Netbooks, WiFi and Travel

Recently I’ve avoided bringing my laptop with me when I travel. This was originally started because of news about Customs inspections (regarding those only coming back into the United States) confiscating and not returning laptops. { Each of those words has a different link regarding this issue… it was big news last summer. } So I didn’t take my laptop with me on my trip to Japan because I was afraid of losing it on the way home.

I want to make a side note here that I’ve had problems with customs/immigration returning home before, despite holding a valid U.S. Passport and not being a particularly suspicious person. I was questioned extensively upon arriving back in the US after a rather long and exhausting flight (I cannot sleep on planes) and was detained just long enough to miss my connecting flight. This hasn’t kept me from flying overseas again, mind you, but I do know that customs experiences can vary greatly and I value this notebook like my own life. { It’s really quite distressing for me when it stops functioning properly. Despite being able to troubleshoot most problems with calm determination, I break down when it’s my own computer (u_u;) }

Instead of bringing my laptop, I brought just my phone, an AT&T Tilt (a.k.a. HTC TyTN II, HTC Kaiser) which has WiFi capabilities. I thought I would just pick up some WiFi signals somewhere, or use an Ad Hoc connection through a laptop. As of now, I have NEVER been able to get an Ad Hoc connection to communicate internet, anywhere. Not abroad, not at home, not ever. I don’t know why since I’ve looked at numerous solutions and explanations and nothing seems to click. Both laptop to laptop and laptop to phone do not work. I will say that I haven’t be able to fiddle with controls as much as I’d like since in both instances I was relying on someone else’s computer (which they stopped me from doing too much with each time). But I’ll talk more about the potential of Ad Hoc a little later.

To continue with this train of thought, I initially was planning to get a netbook of sorts to bring with me as a minimal tool for checking e-mail, etc, but at the time I’d just purchased my phone a month or two prior at about the same cost as a netbook, so it didn’t seem to make much sense. So I passed on the idea. I brought my laptop with me on the other inside-the-US trips I took, but I wasn’t completely happy with the idea, despite not having to go through customs. This last time I upgraded, I chose a larger laptop that I’d had previously. Sure, it’s only a couple pounds more, but those add up fast. I am not a light traveler, despite my efforts. I am a prepared traveler, which means that I bring everything I think I could possibly need, within a reasonable margin. Not quite a survivalist, but perhaps a tech-oriented survivalist XD So another 6 or 7 pounds is a lot to add on, not to mention the adapter (another pound or two), and maybe a mouse. In addition, I have to adjust how I pack my carry-ons and what I can bring with me. It just feels less and less worth it each time I try.

So this time, I didn’t bring it, and I’m glad I didn’t, for only four days it made absolutely no sense. But it was still frustrating to not have my unlimited data plan (since PR is US-but-not-US for data usage) or a flash-capable machine of my own (Poupée Girl uses flash). The hotel had wireless, but it was only really functional down by the pool. Each room had just one ethernet cable. A possible solution would be, of course, to bring some sort of wifi adapter to broadcast out into the room, but this only solves half of the problem. And so my mind returns to the idea of a netbook.

I’m not especially proficient in hardware tech specs, but I know what’s okay, what’s good, and what’s better. Obviously a netbook can’t compare in specs to my 15.4″ Sony Vaio, and it shouldn’t. There’s a good chance that it will surpass the specs of my old 14.1″ Sony Vaio, bought in 2004, which is just as it should be. That machine was good when I got it, but sustained a lot of abuse and now would require a new battery to function as a mobile computer, at the very least. There’s a trade-off of size for weight of course, and if I can live with the Tilt’s screen I can probably live with anything in the 1024x### range for a short duration of time. There’s no reason to have a high-powered processor if you run XP, and lower power consumption means longer battery life. RAM can also be skimped on a little, since my old Vaio only has 512MB and it runs pretty decently XD Appearance is probably more important to me than it might be to others, but since it’s a small, halfway-between-cellphone-and-laptop machine, why not make it cute?

And so, we come to my current conclusion of needing the Acer Aspire One, in Pink, of course. It’s cheap, cute, decent quality and will help me have internet access when I travel :D

Vacation over: Welcome to 2009!

Originally, I wanted my New Year’s Resolution for this blog to be one entry, no matter how small, everyday. But my year started off with a vacation, and I tend not to bring my laptop with me on trips anymore { it’s bigger than my last one, and the extra weight + size pushes me over the edge. for a 4 day trip, it was not worth it. } and I can’t really blog to here from my phone so I’m a little late in starting!
{ Maybe I’ll make five extra entries here or there to make up for it… XD }
So today! January 6th. Macworld keynote. The last Macworld ever, I think, since Apple is pulling out. Am I sad? No, not really. It isn’t as though Apple is going under, or disappearing. Just not planning to announce things in such a dramatic fashion anymore, and to be honest, what I’m waiting for will likely not be announced this month anyway. I’m also not an Apple fangirl, just a recent equal opportunist. After working with Macs in a multimedia computer lab setting, I became more comfortable with the interface, something I had previously completely objected to using. But all computers and operating systems have their flaws, not to mention individual applications.
The only Apple products I’ve ever owned have been iPods – the 4th gen photo after it was announced, and the 5th gen video, a year or so later. The reasons I didn’t look into iPods earlier were fairly simple:

– no color screen. I hate monochromatic screens, and this is the big reason I am not jumping on the kindle. I love to read, but I don’t want to be held back by black & white.

– battery issues. For a non-user-replaceable battery, it previously had a pretty bad track record for holding charge and overall play time.

– I was unclear as to how you could sort through thousands of songs on such a small interface, and this was due to my own disinterest to do research XD My first interactions with mp3 players (back in 1996/7 or so) had prepared me for a system that only allowed for less than 10 songs (usually) which meant sorting and organization was unnecessary. Even minidisc players (yes, I had those!) worked under the same principle, although you could easily swap out media for more choices. How could I deal with my entire music collection on one device? And why would I even want that?

Once I had it, I never wanted to go back. Playlists are fairly simple, and I’ve only recently discovered the ease of smart playlists. Genius playlists aren’t that useful for me, since it only really works well for songs that are in some iTunes store (international is okay, but other than that). I have around 45GBs of music currently, and this has kept me from upgrading to an iPod touch, despite the lure of apps. I’m not excited about a touch-only screen, I prefer buttons (reason #1 why I don’t own an iPhone), but in the end, apps win out over moving laterally to the Classic.

So I’m waiting. I have serious doubts that Apple will announce a 64GB iPod touch at this keynote. It wasn’t announced last year, just suddenly appeared for sale at the beginning of February. This is probably because it wasn’t a great technical step forward on Apple’s front – they just found a supplier of properly sized 16GB flash chips (the touch uses two flash slots while the iPhone only uses one, halving its storage capacity). I believe 32GB flash is just around the corner (if they aren’t already here!) so I’m holding off, patiently. I can’t wait until 64GB flash exists, however, so once the 64GB iPod Touch comes out, I’m buying it XD

Decoden { part one of many, I’m sure }

So over the course of several hours last night, I re-deco’d my cell phone, and this was the final result:

{ click on the photo to go to its flickr page for a larger view! }

deco'd phone overview top left corner macro left side middle macro bottom left macro bottom macro above buttons macro right bottom macro right side middle macro right side top macro top macro

Decoden glue, still no perfect solution

So far I’ve used two different glues for decoden attempts, and neither was very good.
The first was a silicon glue from Strapya – it didn’t dry too fast, but it was a little puffy around the gems, and eventually peeled off in chunks, thus requiring my need to try another glue.
The second is E-6000, supposedly a pretty versatile strong glue that smells extremely toxic (and is known in California to cause cancer, yet other states don’t know?… confusing statements…) and dries way too fast, even in small patches and is kind of thick.
I’ve ordered an epoxy glue to try out (since apparently that’s what works best? aside from superglue) but I’m afraid it won’t be slow drying enough. I ordered the 30-minute formula, rather than the 5, but the photos were the same…
If you’re wondering why slow drying glue would be better than fast you probably haven’t tried to glue gems to anything before. Unless you have incredibly steady hands, it’s likely that the gems won’t end up exactly where you want them when you place them onto the glue. This means that if it bonded (or set) instantly, you’d be stuck with some pretty lousy workmanship (T△T) but! if the glue sets slowly, that means you have some time to make sure every tiny piece is exactly where you want it. The silicon glue was pretty good with this, but unfortunately in the end it peeled off… (~Д~;)
Hopefully the epoxy will arrive tomorrow so I’ll have some time to redo my phone before travelling (^ o ~)v
I wanted to deco my new headphones too but I have a different idea for them that I want new parts for so I’m not sure…
Most importantly I need to not be sick for this trip! What’s the point in escaping winter weather if you have a cold?( ̄~ ̄)

Decoden fukubukuro report!

So as you may or may not have known, Strapya had decoden specific fukubukuros this year. And, being the huge sucker that I am for fukubukuros, I bought four.

You read that right.

I couldn’t resist! ~$10/ea for supposedly $60 worth of stuff? Yes please! And it turned out to all be completely cute stuff, too! Everything from pink rhinestones in four different shades and a huge range of sizes to plasticky 3D roses and cloth ribbons. There were even some star-shaped rhinestones (★) and heart-shaped ones (♥)!

I tried to take some photos of my haul before I ripped open the packaging to sort them into my cylindrical bead containers but they aren’t the best quality because I was impatient and all the packaging was shiny and sparkly… haha! XD

デコデン福袋内容01 デコデン福袋内容02 デコデン福袋内容03 デコデン福袋内容04 デコデン福袋内容05

I spent a good couple hours arranging all of that out of packaging into neat little containers (which I will take pictures of tomorrow… I should really get to bed once I’m done writing, it’s become 3am while I wasn’t looking..). Why bother doing that? Well, for one because I love to have things organized (although you wouldn’t know that by looking at my room right now, it’s crazy messy atm) but also when I plan on decorating my stuff, I want to be able to KNOW what I have and HOW much of each thing and easily configure a lovely design :D In order to fit all of these new sparklies, I bought some new containers from JoAnn’s – they have this cylinder screw-top container set that comes in a nice case with pink clasps. It’s very round and cute and easy to see everything quickly.

Also, seems almost identical to the one this decoden artist had on Tokyo Kawaii TV….

Speaking of, I’m so sad my old source on Veoh stopped uploading this show! Well, rather than that, their account was suspended?! NHK, if you don’t want people uploading your stuff on Veoh without your consent, just upload it yourself! Even add commercials, I don’t care, I want to watch! I am finding episodes here and there but it’s not reliable ( > >) Before, I wanted to go back to Japan for the phones. Now I want the TV shows?! { But not really, because if I was there I probably wouldn’t watch so much since I’d be living the trends instead of gazing longingly from afar~~ }

On a related note, in the past I’d been offered to try to live in Singapore (so would be close to Japan) but I said it was not good enough and I’m glad I did! So many stories about icky lizards and bugs… I guess if you live somewhere warm it’s inevitable. Living here, where it gets deadly cold, not so much survives year round, especially bugs. >D But still, I hate the cold. { Although I just made myself a choc chip milkshake… and am now shivering, seriously. But I love milkyshakes ♥ } Sure, we have mice, but we also have kitties who help me catch the mices >D

So now I will plan out everything I want to cover in gems and get back to you once I’ve decorated something :D

ipod, iphone, iwant…

Okay so I got a new cell phone, the Sony Ericsson w580i, which is pink, and cute, and works great. This post is not about getting a new phone, not really.
My 5th gen iPod Video (60GB) will be two years old this summer, and while it still functions, I’m enticed by this whole flash memory thing and occasionally take a look at the iPod touch. I’m keeping track of the memory upgrades, although 32 isn’t quite enough for to flip over yet, upon further inspection, even 64 wouldn’t be enough – there are some major things missing as Apple decided that it wanted to make the touch just a partially disabled iPhone. The one thing that really gets me is the inability to edit calendar events on the device. This completely ruins it as a pda for me – the whole point of having a calendar is the ability to edit it on the fly! So I turn to the device Apple really wants to push – the iPhone. If I got one, it would be more an iPod replacement than a phone replacement. I need the app capabilities, and I need the storage for music. Wifi, 3G? it’s all just extras. I doubt the iPhone’s going to suddenly jump to 64GBs of space this summer (when supposedly the 3G version will be announced) but if it steps its game up to 32 I’m going to be sorely tempted. But the 64GB would be a done deal, no questions asked. Well, at that point anyway, I assume. I’m doing extensive research on the device right now so my questions should be little to none XD The only way I’d change my position is if Apple changes its position on allowing the iPod touch to be the digi.tech it has the potential to be.
But the 64 jump won’t come until at least Christmas, if not much later in 2009, I would think. Unless flash memory develops and drops price much faster than everyone is anticipating, anyway…

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