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No, I’m not screaming.
I mean, Eee.
Just three Es.
Surely you know what that means?


Do you know now?

Ai (甘苺)

New computer! Well, netbook.

She’s an Eee PC 1005ha-v, in pink, naturally.
Right now she’s a replacement for a normal laptop (mine had a major meltdown about two weeks ago now) and is holding up pretty well. Video is the only aspect that really falters – watching 480i on crunchyroll is painful, but standard definition is fine. I do plan on buying a new fullsize laptop (13-15″, haven’t decided what yet) but I’m holding out until at least October when Windows 7 will be released. This also gives a chance for hardware to change up a little more – the way things are now, components aren’t much better than my laptop from two years ago.

Ai (甘苺) & friends

Ai (甘苺) & friends (lid closed)

Here she is with some of her friends, a pink Western Digital external hdd and pink wireless mouse with tiny receiver.

indicator lights

Closeup on the indicator lights: (L-R) power, battery, hdd, wireless, capslock

gradient fade

side view

This small detail is something I love about the design – look closely – the pink gradually turns to white rather than abruptly changing. <3 bumpy touchpad

The touchpad has little bumps all over it, which took a little getting used to.

fake sd card

sd card slot

The SD card slot doesn’t spring-eject, so I’m not a big fan of it edit: it appears it does spring-eject! but at the beginning it certainly didn’t. So I’m not sure what caused it to suddenly start working XD;
It came with this cute little white fake SD card in the slot XD

Being Picky About Technology

I already explained why I won’t buy an iPod Touch until it comes in a 64GB+ flavor, but what about other technology?

The Kindle. Amazon’s attempt to jumpstart the ebook market is pretty neat, I’ll give you that, but there’s one thing I can’t STAND about it.
It’s black and white! No, scratch that. It’s darker grey on light grey. I know monocrome is the only thing e-ink can do right now, but I just can’t let myself take that plunge. I know I’d never use it the way it is now.
My love of physical books not withstanding, the lack of color really turns me off to ebook readers. Sure, a lot of books don’t require color, but some do! I’d love to flip through magazines on something like that, especially with the ability to zoom in… (oh Japanese magazines, I love you, but your print is so small I need a magnifying glass to discern the kanji sometimes). Once I took that step forward into portable electronics with color, I never wanted to go back. The days of monochrome are over!
But technology must advance to the point where price comes down before Amazon will use it.
And on that day, I will seriously consider buying a Kindle. But not until then.

Netbooks. I’ve talked a little about why I’ve thought about buying one, but I still haven’t taken the plunge.
The reason? They’re just not unique enough for me.
I feel like buying one is traveling back in time and picking up the latest model from 2003. Sure, they’re small, and sometimes cute, but what do they really do? Do I really want to spend $400 on a nearly throwaway computer?
Things that would make me swoon and would push me towards buying one:
A swivel touchscreen. This would allow me to use it for fun things like browsing digitized magazines, drawing while bored, or even writing small notes down. Basically, it would be awesome. (This is the main thing that’s keeping me from snapping one up right away! Admittedly I have to do some more in-depth research, but if there was one, I think I would have probably heard about it by now? Vaio P-like proportioned Korea model not included.)
More RAM. On average, netbooks seem to top out at 1GB of RAM (with some only allowing up to 1.5) I can live with the 1.6Ghz processor, but 1GB of RAM seems a little slim for me. 2 would be perfect, though.
Color! I’m so glad that some companies are latching onto the idea that netbooks can really express individuality, but since I’m so picky it’s difficult for me to find ones I really love.
Looooooooong life battery. At least 6 hours, preferably more. My netbook will be my travel companion, and outlets are frequently not found in airports… at least not for travelers. Sure, you say, 6 hours should be plenty for any trip across the US. Oh yeah? Well what if I’m going to Japan? 14 hours of travel and no sleep means 8 hours (at least!) of no netbook use D: Extra batteries are a possibility of course, but it’s yet one more thing to bring around with me.
Screen size. Yes, small is good, but if it’s a tiny computer, you should at least maximize the area where you can see things on the screen! (I’m looking at you, Eee!) This has gotten better with the newer models, but then it just gets weird with the Vaio P. I really hope other manufacturers don’t follow Sony’s example on that one… α~ (ー.ー”)

{ Edit: quick google search showed me the Eee T91 and T101, which I somehow managed to miss in all of the CES coverage?! anyway, will keep an eye out for those babies… (* ・・*) ♪ }

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

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