Categories
Tech

New gadget update (Nov 2014, before I leave)

Ok, so now that I’m going to Korea, and also learned not to be as materialistic, I’m getting rid of alot of my crap. So here’s the stuff that I’m keeping and bringing to Korea.

Here’s my tech gadgets as of present (Jul 2014):

Computers
Lenovo Thinkpad X240

Lenovo Thinkpad X240
Lenovo Thinkpad X240

What can I say? I used to think Thinkpads were very boring looking, but now I realized how useful they are. This has become my main laptop for doing anything, work or study. At 12″ and 3.4lbs, very portable, with the latest Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, fingerprint reader, smartcard reader, amazing keyboard, LTE capabilities and TWO batteries that last for 14+ hours, this is an amazingly well constructed and reliable laptop. I will probably be using it for years to come, or at least as long as my Dell Latitude (6 years so far).

Tablets/Phones/etc
iPad Air

iPad Air
2013 iPad Air

For a long time I didn’t want an iPad as I thought it was just an oversized iPhone. But now I realized after using it more, that it fits a different need. Large games, ebook reader, a portable music recording station, a video editor, and guitar amplifier are some of the things I use it for. I used it so much that I actually sold my Macbook Retina in favor of the iPad. With a bluetooth keyboard, it becomes almost a laptop replacement. And with LTE, much more useful.

iPhone 5S

iPhone5S Gold
2013 iPhone5S Gold

Call me an Apple fanboy, but I don’t like big screens. Screens that are too big are easier to scratch, and suck more battery. The iPhone’s 4″ screen is great. Plus the camera is still the best on any smartphone. I keep this phone now mainly for taking pics and video, as its still the best for those things.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Sony Xperia Z3C
Sony Xperia Z3C

As mentioned before: 1) its got the same footprint as my iPhone5S, 2) 20.7MP camera, 3) waterproof and dustproof, 4) HD audio decoding, 5) microSD slot, 6) 2 day battery life, 7) PS4 remote play
I mean need I say more? This is hands down the best compact Android phone out there right now, better than the Galaxy, LG, HTC One, Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo, ZTE, Archos, what have you.
Sony needs to advertise this more. 2+ days of battery life!

Meta M1

Meta M1
Meta M1

After looking at the Moto 360 and Apple Watch and Pebble watch for a while, I decided to get the Meta M1. Why?
1) It’s very stylish, 2) I like gold and blue (no other smart watch offers this combination), 3) long battery life, 5-7 days, 4) decent water resistance (not as much as Pebble but good enough and 5) it doesn’t distract me from talking to my friends. I agree with this watch’s philosophy that notifications are just for glancing at, and I noticed that my usage behavior changed when I am wearing it. Now, I just glance at my watch and keep talking to my friends instead of pulling my phone out and typing back a message. This is a good change to me. I just wished it supported Asian characters.

Music
Sennheiser Momentum

Sennheiser Momentum
Sennheiser Momentum

The best headphones I’ve ever listened to. Wow. Better than the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros and the Audio Technica A900s, even without a headphone amp! It gets pretty loud by itself, and is very comfortable to wear as well, on par with the Beyerdynamics in my opinion. But wow, I’ll probably just carry this one instead of the BD and ATs as this one is closed back and has decent passive noise cancellation, as well as being more portable than the BDs. Yet it sounds much better despite being smaller. Sennheiser, you have a winner here.

Bose Soundlink Mini

Bose SoundLink Mini
Bose SoundLink Mini

Bose really surprised me with these speakers. Great full range sound, great bass, a lot of volume from such a small speaker. Anyways these are my portable speakers, for use with parties and BBQs and the like.

Cameras
Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D5100

My DSLR camera. Works great with many lenses.

Sony Music Video Recorder

Sony music video recorder
Sony music video recorder

My replacement for my Canon HFM400. It’s basically a more compact, portable, wide angle version of the Canon with better sound. A worthy upgrade for traveling.

…And thats it! That’s a noticeable reduction from the 18 gadgets in my previous gadget posting. I’ve literally reduced the number of gadgets I carry by half. All my laptops, tablets, phones, cameras, headphones, etc only comprise 9 devices now.

Categories
General Music School/Work

Toronto trip, new job, new videos

Haven’t updated in a month, so here it is. I traveled back to Toronto and Orillia (my hometown) for the first time since Dec 2011. I finally got to visit my friends and family again, which was really nice as I haven’t met my friends especially for a long time. Here are some pictures, including some of the childhood pictures that I drew back then. I’m shocked at how much time I had back then. I’ll never forget my roots, that I came from a poor family in a small rural town in Canada.

My elementary school, Couchiching Heights, Orillia
My elementary school, Couchiching Heights, Orillia
My high school, ODCVI, Orilia
My high school, ODCVI, Orilia
At my alma mater, the University of Toronto
At my alma mater, the University of Toronto
My adorable cat, who is 10 years old now...
My adorable cat, who is 10 years old now…
I drew all the Gundam mobile suits...
I drew all the Gundam mobile suits…
As well as all the DBZ characters...
As well as all the DBZ characters…
As well as all the weapons from every DOS game...
As well as all the weapons from every DOS game…
As well as all the Gundam Wing pilots...
As well as all the Gundam Wing pilots…
As well as all the D&D Dark Sun monsters...
As well as all the D&D Dark Sun monsters…
As well as various superheroes..
As well as various superheroes..
As well as 10 versions of Mew...
As well as 10 versions of Mew…
As well as all the characters from Metal Warriors and One Must Fall 2097
As well as all the characters from Metal Warriors and One Must Fall 2097
As well as all the Digimon..
As well as all the Digimon..
As well as various other monsters..
As well as various other monsters..
As well as all 150 Pokemon...
As well as all 150 Pokemon…
As well as all the DBZ characters AND their transformations
As well as all the DBZ characters AND their transformations

…Yeah I had a lot of time back then as a child. I even created games back then based on this obscure DOS game called Sir Bombalot but basically I would create “pieces” for the game that had different abilities like mimic moves, freeze other pieces, mind control other pieces, move in different patterns, magnetize pieces, explode, etc. It was cool, unfortunately I couldn’t find those pieces that I made as a kid, but I remember doing that.

Future plans

“Only after we lose everything are we free to do anything” – Fight Club

Going to Korea really opened my eyes and changed my life. So much so that I realized that the so called “American Dream” is built all on a life of consumerism. Having a big house, a fancy car, the best gadgets and making a lot of money, that is what is advertised to people. I realized that this is all nonsense. Life is all about experiences, not about making money and consuming. To that end, I’ve been trying hard not to spend any more money on what is not necessary, be a true conservative and rein in my spending. Get rid of all the things that I don’t need. Stay tuned… but my future plans involve renting out my place and moving somewhere else to start over. I need to get away from here. It’s ironic saying this as my dream for many years was to come to California, but now my life has turned a different direction. The next step in my life. It’s better I realize this sooner rather than later.

In other news…
I got a job at Walmart. Yes, the Walmart e-commerce division which manages the website. Having this job means I can finally say that I’ve worked at every level of industry (as my former PEY director once said): Government, Startup, Small company, and Corporation. Getting into a big corporation finally is ironic because I’ve been wanting to find success at this level since my PEY days when my friends all got into IBM and I got rejected. Take that! 5 years later and I’m finally there working for the Fortune #1 company. Can’t get bigger than that. Plus, I get to work remotely, which is awesome for my future plans [hint, hint].

I’ve also got a Korean tutor now. That’s not to say going to Sejong Institute was a bad thing, it is a good place for Korean beginners, but I’m at the point where I really need to work on my conversation skills, listening and speaking, and a personal tutor is the best for that. I feel like it really makes a difference as now I can understand what words Koreans are speaking at a fast pace now, just need to work on the vocabulary part so I can translate it in my head.

I’ve been playing some pretty good Japanese fighting games recently. No not Dead or Alive or Tekken, but ones that focus more on story than fighting. Both BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma and Persona 4 Ultimax are pretty amazing games, both capable fighters but with pretty good stories underneath. They are 2 of the few games that I actually beat. They might be my favorite storyline games since Yakuza 4‘s amazingly twisted storyline and Catherine‘s morally twisted storyline.
I also played Xblaze Code Embryo, my first graphic novel, and it was pretty fun but frustrating when you don’t know why you got a bad ending.

Xblaze Code Embryo, A visual novel
Xblaze Code Embryo, A visual novel

…and I’ve finally switched to Android!! I’ve only used Apple iPhones for 2 reasons: 1) because they are small and compact and 2) because it has a good camera, and now that Apple has switched to larger phones just like Android devices and the cameras for Android devices have gotten better, I’ve finally made the switch.

Sony Xperia Z3C
Sony Xperia Z3C

Yup, I’ve decided NOT to support my beloved Korean companies Samsung and LG this time in favor of the Sony Xperia Z3C because: 1) its got the same footprint as my iPhone5S, 2) 20.7MP camera, 3) waterproof and dustproof, 4) HD audio decoding, 5) microSD slot, 6) 2 day battery life, 7) PS4 remote play
I mean need I say more? This is hands down the best compact Android phone out there right now, better than the Galaxy, LG, HTC One, Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo, ZTE, Archos, what have you.
Sony needs to advertise this more. 2+ days of battery life!

Videos
As always, I try to be productive all the time to record videos, and I’ve retired my faithful Canon HFM40 that I’ve been using for over 3 years for outdoor recording and music video recording in favor of my iPhone 5S for outdoor recording and the Sony Music Video Recorder for music video recording. Here’s some gadget reviews and music videos I’ve recorded.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7PP1N6h_18

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_0SxpwM8CI

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zMpwZZkeqc

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02mMQCLVbgA