Category Archives: Personal

Black MacBook (Sold)

So this weekend I sold my black MacBook. This was maybe one of the few machines I did not hate by the time I sold it. Surprisingly it also held it’s value. In June it will be 2 years old and it only lost 1/3 of the original total value. For a well-used laptop, this isn’t bad. Continue reading

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Want a little “Liquid Brown”

This past week Steven went to the emergency room twice and a lung specialist once. Unfortunately the two times he went to the emergency room the doctors said “oh you just have a cold” when it turns out that the lung specialist saw pneumonia on the very same lung x-rays. Coincidentally, the very same emergency room staff said I had an enlarged heart when all I had was bronchitis.

When Steven got home and showed me his medicine, I started laughing. I suggested he gets something with codine to help his cough, however they also have cough medicine with opium (the source of codine) in Taiwan. I looked at the brand name of the medicine and get this – it is called “Liquid Brown Mixture (with Opium)”. He asked me why I was laughing, and I said “The name – it is so funny” but he protested because he said it was an accurate name.

You need to remember that this is the same logic that was applied to our pet bunny when he chose the name Brownie – she is brown indeed.

Warming up to the MacBook Air

MacWorld recently released a review for the MacBook Air where they gave the machine a rating 3.5 out of 5.  I am in fact a bit more inclined to purchase one now though, for two reasons.

  1. They tested the 1.6 GHz version, and the 1.8 will be faster
  2. They said:

The MacBook Air came on the heels of using a 2.16GHz MacBook, and I found its speeds in day-to-day use to be perfectly sufficient. … Using Photoshop CS3 to do some minor image tweaking seemed perfectly fine.”

The 2.16 GHz is faster than my laptop, meaning someone using something faster didn’t notice anything. MacWorld then goes on to say:

Then there will be those who … will adopt the MacBook Air as their primary Mac—simply because they’re laptop-only users who want that laptop to be as small as possible.

This is how I feel – I honestly am not so happy with all of the reviews out there who say the machine is “slow” because that is based on an opnion, and as nice as opinions are, they are irrelevant.  If I perceive the machine to be as fast as my current machine, I know I will be happy.

What do I think of the MacBook Air?

MacBook Air The day after the Apple Keynote, everyone in the office asked me “So are you pre-ordering one yet?”  Well I guess the word is out that I am an apple FanBoy, but i need to be honest, I still don’t know how I feel about it.

Don’t get me wrong – it isn’t the price. I’ve shelved over more for my lovely Vaio Z1 of yesteryear.  I even think after the memory upgrades, California tax and all my current MacBook was as expensive.  I even have been saving some money for the past 6 months just for this purpose. So it isn’t price – it is something else though.

At first I thought it was the non-removable battery, but it turns out that it is trivial to replace. Some people complain about the lack of a CD/DVD drive, but honestly my IBM X40 didn’t have one and I never missed it. Some people complain about the lack of ethernet, but I think the USB Ethernet adapter is just fine since I only use a wire in the office and I would probably leave it permanently attached to my ethernet cable on my desk. What about when I travel – well I have an extra AirPort Express that I can throw in the bag.  I am not complaining about the size either, the screen is big enough and who’t want a lighter laptop?

So what is bothering me then? Well, I think it is the speed. I really want it to REPLACE my primary computer, and right now the benchmark tests say it falls far behind my consumer grade laptop. On-board video isn’t the problem, but I really would want it to be my primary machine, and I think the speed would really bother me.  I have a 2.0 Core 2 Duo now, and I at least would want the same in my replacement.  Maybe they bumped the processors up too fast in the entry level laptops because I want speed and the small size and can care less about ethernet and the optical drive.

OK – I will probably end up buying one anyway, so I shouldn’t complain too much – but please, oh please bump up the speed a bit.  Anyone else feel the same?

Get Your Gel On




These gel drinks are sold as healthy and refreshing, but seem like a bag of watered down sandwich jelly to me. These were originally popular in Japan, but they finally made it to 7-11 in Taiwan.

I haven’t tried one here, but I did try one when I was in Tokyo. They taste like room-temperature Jello made with too much water.If you are a vegan, I wouldn’t recommend you drink (or is it eat) these, since they are probably made with animal gelatin.

High voltage sign



This is small sign posted on a chain link fence near in the high speed rail station. Unfortunately they place this above a metal hand-rail next to the curb where you wait for Taxis. Well at least they can claim that they warned you if you electrocute yourself trying to hold on to the hand rail.

Epson C90 Printer Settings for OS X Leopard



About two months ago my apartment experienced water damage due to remodeling going on to the unit above me. Nothing really serious happened, but I did find a constant dripping into my old inkjet printer and about .25 liters in the printer chasis.

The very next day I contacted the remodelers and they apologised. They said we can get a new printer and they would pay for it. I wasnt looking for something expensive, just something that was like my old printer and I found the Epson C90, which even had Mac drivers.

We uppacked the printer, attached it to the Airport router, ran a test print on XP and went to install it on the Macs and low and behold I find out that there is a printing error. I go online and find out a lot of people are having problems with networked ink jet printers and I give up – until I find someone who uses Linux and see how they solved it.

Well many Linux users use CUPS printer drivers, and it just so happens Apple owns CUPS and licenses it to the opensource community. I found the driver in the most recent release of Gutenprint and select the driver, and printing is now A-OK.

I can’t really blame Apple for this problem, but I do blame Epson. You would think a printer company would QA the drivers properly before releasing them.