Samsonite Black Label Resort



IMG_0098.JPG, originally uploaded by minhi.

So i have a disproportinate number of bags for any single person. Lately my quest has been to buy a real piece of luggage, while i don’t travel a lot–maybe 1-2 times a month, it’s enough that i have a number of bags. A full delsey helium 22 inch rolling bag (hugely over-rated, even at the $45 marshalls price i paid i was not impressed). A half height roll-away (ricardo beverly hills) which is actually a good size but is hard to pack because it only has the one small opening up top, so everything comes out wrinkled.

I also have a number of duffels which are all serviceable but nothing great. I found this samsonite black label bag at tj maxx at a significant discount (like 90% off retail). It’s real leather and looks fantastic, but as a bag it’s a not 100% practical. I think the issue is that it’s a little awkward to carry on the shoulder, and loaded up it’s heavy to carry by the handles. Even empty the bag weighs 6-7 lbs, a lot of that is due to the detachable compartment on the bottom.

I like the bag enough that i plan on keeping it, but i’m not sure how long it will be until i look at another replacement. I think it’s a pretty nice weekend driving bag but for airport travel i might switch back to a roll-away since there is so much walking in that case.

More pictures at ny flickr pool, see the cool lining, http://www.flickr.com/photos/minhi/sets/72157619394882626/

Hackint0sh netbooks

Two opinions about OSX on netbooks, http://www.macsparky.com/2009/04/26/the-netbook-experiment/ and http://www.tuaw.com/2009/04/27/road-tested-why-the-hackb00k-is-a-fail/

I don’t agree with either, netbooks are about compromise and putting OSX on one (which in and itself is a different kind of compromise) will create issues.   You have to decide if you can live with these compromises, in these two cases the answer was no.  But i think the Dell Mini 9 is not the best starting platform, the complaint about small keyboards and limited disk space could be solved by selecting a netbook with a 10-inch screen and one that uses a regular (not solid-state) disk.  

There are also complaints about software updates, and while it is true some netbooks are difficult to update other’s you can simply run software update.   Other troublesome functions like sleep also work.  

I’ll have more on this next week 😉

Maya, Charlottesville VA

maya-receipt.jpg, originally uploaded by minhi.

As usual the drinks were nicely done, the side dishes were solid.  The pork chop was a little dry, cooked medium well but i would’ve preferred medium rare (yes even for pork) and they did not ask me when i ordered how i wanted it cooked.

Having eaten at the local recently i appreciate the upstairs room here, it’s quiet and much more civilized then the local which is really loud.  I guess i’m getting old.

Zinc, Charlottesville VA

zinc-receipt.jpg, originally uploaded by minhi.

It’s taken a few visits but i think i finally get this place.  Good bar, adequate food and most importantly low-key atmosphere.  While the food has nevered blown me away, this visit was just what i wanted, it met my expectactions and i left perfectly satisfied.

I think the hanger steak at ‘the local’ is better, but you can order a half portion here.

Mas, Charlottesville VA

mas-receipt.jpg, originally uploaded by minhi.

This was quite a few months ago so i’ll keep this short.  I like the space but it’s pretty loud.  Service at the bar was adequate but not great.  The food was good and i would return but the menu is filled with a few landmines.  There are great items and some less then great items.   I think the typically long wait will discourage me from returning here.  This is located a block away from ‘the local’ which also has long waits, just fyi if you were planning to have that as a backup (or vice-versa).

Nando’s Peri-Peri (Washington DC)

nandos-receipt.jpg, originally uploaded by minhi.

Take 2.

After my first visit we were a little more savvy on the ordering system and how to approach the menu.  The hot was definately tastier then the mild, but i could still go one stop further and get the extra hot.

Maybe it was the cold of winter but this meal was much more satisfying then the first one.  It still feels expensive for what it is but i’d go back.

iPhone Rehab Project Final Thoughts

IMG_8737

Now that i’ve finished the major parts of my iPhone rehabilitation project here are some of my thoughts on the project. First a brief recap, the phone arrived with a broken screen but working touch-screen. The phone would not hold a signal for wifi or cell and the the back cover was missing from the phone.

After the rehab the phone is now working great, there are still some dead areas on the screen–in particular the lower right corner which obscures the screen, but it’s not too annoying. The casing is still a little beat up and loose fitting but I’m planning on keeping the phone in a case–either the silicone one or the speck for now.

From a phone perspective i have it working on T-Mobile and data usage is working fine. I was concerned about the battery due to the age but it’s not my primary phone so i don’t need extreme battery life.

Here is a breakdown of the costs of essential parts:
$5.95 antenna sticker
$10.31 replacement glass
$5.25 signal antenna cable
$7.49 antenna back cover
= $29 total – $4.21 (microsoft cashback)
= $24.79 grand-total in parts.

I think it would’ve been a little cheaper if i had bought the parts from a hong kong based dealer but i wanted the parts sooner then the 7-14 days transit time when shipped from HK. These parts all shipped from brooklyn based dealers and arrived in 2-3 days. All of the above parts were from ebay, the microsoft cashback is a buyer reward/rebate program where microsoft pays you for using it’s search engine.

Here’s a break-down of the non-essential parts which were nice to have bits.
$3.49 silicone case
$6.99 speck crystal case (marshalls retail)
$1.78 headphone adaptor pigtail (to use regular headphones)
$4.95 headphone + mic (similiar to the OEM apple ones)
= $17.21 – $1.19 (ms cashback)
= $16.02 grand total.

Overall I’m very happy with this project considering the time and costs i’ve put into it. I wish the phone was an 8-gig one instead of a 4-gig but i can live with carrying my iPod for my music and use the iPhone for occasional use as a video player. I’m not including my time in the calculations but it was a useful learning experience so it was not time wasted.

I’m still undecided on how useful this will be as a phone. I don’t always need access to this much data when i’m around town. In those times i just want a phone for emergency situations and in these cases i think the iphone is a little overkill. The main reason is the size, it’s not small enough to fit in my front jeans pocket and i would not put it in my rear jeans pocket (which i do with my motorola z3 all the time). I can carry it on my hip, but i’ve stopped carrying my blackberry that way so i’ don’t know if i want to start carrying the iphone on my hip!

I’m a little curious about the love for this phone, absolutely the iphone is a very attractive device, the access to all those apps that turn it into something else is remarkable. I still don’t understand how people justify the $75 dollar a month plan since the data surcharge is so high. But maybe I’ll change my mind after a few months of use.

iPhone ebay silicone case



IMG_8733, originally uploaded by minhi.

I’m reviewing cases for my new iPhone 2G rehab project, this is a $3.50 silicone case from ebay. I think it’s really meant for a 3G as the fit is loose and not tight to the phone. It’s perfectly fine for casual use and protection but a little sloppy. It was only $3.50 so i’m not too upset about the loose fit.

IMG_8734
The back has a hole for an included belt-clip. However the fit is so loose that i would not trust a belt clip with this case.
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