Being jetlagged is kinda fun… it’s as if you’re caught in some transdimensional rift while you recover from your travels. It’s also means the lack of updates, where I could barely make heads or tails running errands one accumulates while being away for so long.
This also means a whole torrent of emotions, caused by a shift from living in dense (Singapore) to dispersed (Buffalo) spaces. I still get amazed by this blogging business, be it that friends and family call in to check on me when I signal a problem. Thank you for being there for me.
Naturally for a techie, one of the first things I did when I landed was to check out the Samsung “UpStage” dual-faced phone (SPH-m620) which Sprint sponsored some of us bloggers. While the phone looks slick, it has a major design issue, that is the controls and display keeps flipping over to the other side, making it irritating to set the phone preferences (e.g. Bluetooth). That aside, I’m more impressed by the phone’s dual batteries (one’s built into the cover) as well as its dual-band EVDO feature, complimented with free and unlimited data service Sprint gave us for 6 months. Not sure how to hook up an EVDO phone to your Mac via Bluetooth? Even Sprint endorsed NoDRM’s blog post showing you exactly how to do it!
Above is a shot of me testing Ustream.tv (see actual video) over mobile broadband and mind you, this thing is so darn fast, I could replace my home cable service for this. For the number crunchers, EVDO Rev A has a theoretical max bandwidth of 3.1 Megabits per second (I clocked about 2.5Mbps down and 700kbps up), and it feels so much faster than a typical Wireless@SG internet connection I get in Singapore. Best part: I can get connected anywhere! My buddy Peter pointed out EVDOinfo.com as a great resource for learning more about EVDO. Hmm, I’m thinking of adding a mobile wireless hotspot to my sousveillance backpack!
Speaking about cell phones, I went to get an iPhone. I’ve been holding out on a decent iPod, with the only one I ever bought being a 1st generation Shuffle. I’ve always liked a video iPod, but felt that the screen was too small. The iPhone’s screen was just perfect, though a bit too sensitive with the on-screen controls. Still, this wondrous device feels like the tricorder of our generation, the stuff of science fiction brought to life. As seen in my iPhone photo set, I’ve personalized mine with a black Incase protective cover, Power Support’s screen film protector, and the tiny Bluespoon AX2 headset. Sadly, it’s Bye Bye T-mobile, Hello AT&T. If you got yourself an iPhone, don’t you think the speaker and ringtones are a little soft? Anyway there are tons of sites out there for iPhone goodies, but one I frequent is the Apple iPhone page from TUAW.
Not far from the Apple Store at the Galleria Mall, I discovered that the Discovery Channel Store was having a closing sale, so I went to take a look. Nothing like male retail therapy, as I soon found myself grabbing these last pieces of the shelves. Everything was 50% off, including the Creative Zen Aurvana earphones (for $49 only) which has specifications quite equivalent to the really pricey Shure E3C. Since Buffalo was prone to power outages, I also got myself the Inova X5 LED flashlight. Finally, caving into my eccentric taste in timepieces, I got myself the “Open Edition” LED Alarm Clock by Jonas Damon at only $39 (original price $150!). Watch my photo set careful as I literally get to play with time.
The first photo I took with the iPhone was a AAA guy replacing the battery on my Dodge Neon ’98. Like pets, old cars need constant upkeeping, and as soon as I got the car moving around, the temperature gauge went wild as the alarms went off. Stopping at a parking lot off the highway, this was what I saw…
Looks like pee, but that’s the radiator leaking buckets of coolant. Repairing that was beyond me, so I’m sent the car to the shop. In the meantime, my buddy Peter fix a major safety problem with the car, saving hundreds of dollars. Loyal readers will remember that before I left for Singapore, someone had courteously busted both tail lights.
We went to the a junk yard and got the tail lights we needed ($45 each vs. $70 brand new), then he helped fixed them onto my Dodge Neon ’98 only to discover some electrical problems with the brake lights. Fortunately, the junk parts came with spare bulbs and cabling, so replacing the old one with the spare ones worked. I just got my radiator and front brakes fixed at the shop today for a whopping US$715. Ouch!
All the money in the world cannot replace friends though, as the Singaporean community loses several more cherished members in Buffalo. MrBig, a long-time buddy of mine, recently moved to South Carolina for a year long internship in the field of psychology, while Kassy and Adrian both graduated and are seeking opportunities elsewhere. The remaining few of us feel much like the cast of LOST, seeking an unholy alliance with an equally uncertain future here. See the “MrBig’s Farewell” photo slideshow here, watch videos of MrBig doing the Stewie (of Family Guy) and finally, bidding us farewell as he starts his moving truck.
BTW: I’ll be posting tidbits I’ve collected from Singapore. Whoever said our tiny country was boring?