This mid-week holiday was brought to us by “flyback week”, the week when all the law firms fly the JDs to New York and other major cities for job interviews. There are no classes during this week so us advanced degree students and the 1Ls use the opportunity to take a weeklong holiday (even though it’s actually only the second week of term!). We went to Lake Tahoe, which is beautiful. We hired a boat and took it out to Emerald Bay. Christoph is skippering the boat in the picture.
A late night snack after a night of drinking (of course, that meant
that I was the DD as usual). In-n-out has a “secret menu” so the
double-double burger animal style was the go. However, my attempts to
order an “Arnold Palmer” were met with ridicule. Don’t believe
everything you read on the net.
Having a bit of trouble understanding what’s going on in the game…
I typed this up on the plane but haven’t had a chance to post it until
now. I rocked up to the Apple Store on the Saturday before last, which
was pretty much the only place left in Sydney with 16gb models still
in stock. At 3pm, the line was still out the door and we were advised
to expect a 5 hour wait, and even then there was no guarantee that we
would get one. The main problem was time – it takes at least 10-15
minutes to process the paperwork for one customer and even with what
seemed like ten Optus reps there it was still slow going. (There was
virtually no wait for Vodafone and Telstra.) An Apple employee came
out and told us that although there wasn’t a problem with stock, time
issues meant that they would be cutting off the iPhone queue a good
3-4 hours before the store’s 8.30pm closing time.
When they closed the queue at 5pm, I made it through by only about 4
or so people.
Waiting in the line outside the store, you get subjected to a lot of
commentary from passers-by. It is always the same type of comment,
either, “What are those people queueing for? What’s so good about the
iPhone?” or, “Check out those losers!”
The storefront display consisted of several massive iPhone models, on
which were displayed a video demoing the iPhone. It looped every few
minutes. I was bored so I pulled out my mobile and looked to see how
many Bluetooth devices there were in the vicinity. As expected among a
tech crazy crowd, there was a large number of them, but the one that
caught my eye was called “Apple store display”. I tried to pair my
device with it but of course was unsuccessful (it’s a two party
process). Several minutes later there was some activity behind the
glass and when I turned to see what it was, I realised that my pairing
request had triggered a dialog box on the window display which said
something like, “Pairing request from: Stu’s T610″. I was amused and
was making plans to change my mobile name to “your mum” (I know, how
mature of me). However clearing the dialog box from the display took
much more work than I would have expected. A security guard walked by
and read out my name from the screen. “Stu, eh? Very clever. Now we
just have to find out who Stu is.” I kept very quiet.
A girl arrived with a screwdriver set and discovered she needed an
Allen key to open the housing. Then she lost one of the screws down a
ventilation grate. Eventually she pulled a 17 inch MacBook Pro from
the housing, managed to knock loose the cabling and stuffed up the
video display. Several unfruitful reboots later, a small gathering of
onlookers were inspecting the scene and I was increasingly suffering
in my embarassed silence. It took them about 20 minutes to get the
display working again.
The iPhone as a piece of hardware is work of art. It’s firmware/
software is decent, but still leaves a lot to be desired. Luckily,
software is easier to fix that hardware. There are a ton of UI tweaks
that should be made (highlighting text, cut and paste, safari links to
open in new window, auto-align home screen icons without pushing them
to the top-left of the page). Safari needs Flash support and caching
functionality. It also needs some way to dynamically render HTML pages
so that the width of the pages isn’t fixed at load-time. Bluetooth
functionality needs to be uncrippled (eg, so contacts and files can be
transferred to other Bluetooth devices). The biggest gripe I have is
the lack of a user accessible file system. I’m sure it’s a DRM thing,
but it means you can’t attach files to emails (apart from single
photos), or transfer documents to the phone for offline reading (eg
PDFs) without resorting to poor workarounds. This really cripples the
iPhone. I’m sure some of these things will be addressed in future
firmware updates or applications.
GPS works excellently, now we just have to wait for third parties like
TomTom to provide a realtime driving application which doesn’t need to
go online to load the maps. The best application I’ve found so far is
Shazam. It blew my mind. Basically you hold the phone up to whatever
ambient music is playing, and Shazam will identify the song for you.
The service has been out for mobile phones for some time, but it’s
free for iPhones.
Customary departure post, but this time I don’t need to wait for a
public terminal! This is never going to get old…
And I got patted down for a random explosives check again. This is
going to be my first flight on an A380.
Great weather too!
Five hours in a queue…
Thankfully this is not my Blackberry (it’s only a matter of time though). Currently switching ISPs at home but there’s no churn program for ADSL2+ so my net connection has been down all week. It’s really made me painfully aware how many little things I use the net for at home…
Arrival in Bangkok!
There’s one in every crowd. At the premiere of Star Wars 3.
On the train to Harbin. Will reach there tomorrow 5.00am. -20 degree weather, here I come!
Supposedly Shan and Jess, flying ‘incognito’
Test post only. Blah!!!
Walked out of an interview straight into what I soon realised was the welcome home parade for our remarkable Olympic team. The swim squad naturally received a rousing reception. The volleyball players are frigging giants!
And a few words from ELC (well, I found it amusing):
As i reached Martin Place i noticed Sally Robbins, mentally exhausted from the walk uphill from Circular Quay, collapse in a heap only a few hundred metres from Town Hall. Other than that my day has been fairly uneventful.
I kept looking, but by the time the star had drifted away, there wasn’t anything else that was written that gave clues about what someone was trying to advertise. I assumed it was a Jetstar ad, but maybe they ran out of smoke or something!
Yeah. It’s his 21st.
Today is a leap day. Tomorrow another uni year starts. Bring it. Yes, mobile phone cameras suck:
Nice day for the beach!
Mallaca is a good place for a day trip. More than that and you’ll be bored. Nice nonya food, lots of colonial era history and a huge Tan Kim Hock store.
Welcome to 2004! Happy New Year all!
Merry Christmas! I’m still alive, just been too lazy to post :)
LOTR Return of the King: Mindblowingly awesome. No expletive-enhanced superlatives can describe it. Absolutely a must watch.
I am in Singapore! Have a bus to catch at 8.30 tomorrow morning to KL. That means minimal sleep but who cares? I’m on holidays!
Taking advantage of a momentary lull at work. Over the last week, I’ve come to the scary realisation that we’ve covered somewhere in the region of 2200 pages of reading (that’s a conservative estimate). This a couple thousand pages of text in primarily size 8 or 10pt font. Of course, that is what we’ve been expected to read, the reality is probably less, but not by much. Someone should have warned me about this. I would have been lucky to read that many pages in the entirety of my last degree. Contracts exam next Monday, two take homes due next week, Crim Law the following Wednesday. Stress.
Greetings from the Hong Kong immigration queue! We have 12 days here.
LOTR – The Two Towers: The epic continues and it is awesome. Proper review if I find net access in HK. Make sure you see it in a well equipped cinema!
Touchdown in Thailand. Food. Mmmm.
From the smses Dad is sending me it sounds like France is getting majorly shit on by Denmark. Goodbye France from the world cup.
Star Wars in 30 minutes!
Last day in Bangkok. Summaries:
Yesterday: Pat Phong ping pong, LotR Thai premiere.
Today: Targeted by gems scam.
Now in Pattaya. There are lots of white men here with their Thai rent-a-girlfriends. I don’t like these large group tours for travelling.
Now in Bangkok, staying at the 5-star Pathumwan Princess Hotel. Nice.
Merry Christmas all! I really need to get myself some net access. Looking forward to a good Thai massage at the end of the day.
Greetings from Bangkok! We transit to Chiang Mai in a couple hours, staying 3 days there.
Finally the weekend is here. Today would be virtually the most boring work day this year.
Mobile phone posting… it’s back. Found the time to integrate it into the