Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ocean city

Getting back to OC was pretty fun as we haven't been here in a year. Definitely, this place puts the umm in the summer!! The private house and pool at Sunset Island, boardwalk buzz and plenty of waves and sun make it synonimus with summertime in many cases.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Day in DC

Yesterday we decided to explore some more of the treasures buried in our host nation's capital. Despite a rough start in dealing with the (extremely) unpleasant people at the DC Metro who don't know how to step up from a monosyllabic conversation (and this is not just based on one experience), the day proved to be quite fulfilling. Very hot though..98 in the air..but who knows how many were there on the ground. A good start with a revisiting of the Natural History Museum where I got the chance to explore some new exhibitions and turn myself digitally into a Homo Sapiens; a nice lunch with a concert at the Old Post Office; then, an aerial view of Washington from the tower above and a visit to the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where millions of dollar bills are printed continuously (see attached new $100 bill) Then, a bit of business, by grabbing the latest issues of some industry journals for my research at the Library of Congress. The evening ended with a concert by a Louisiana Big Band from the US Marine Corp. Excellent music on the steps of the Capitol. The 100 F day went seemingly fast and relatively sweet (except the walking around town parts). till the next time..

Monday, June 21, 2010

Isight problems MacBook

My Isight just turns on at boot and the only way I can turn it off is to restart the computer (and even that doesn't take care of the problem). So far I haven't been able to find much info on this issue except this thread (link; link2) which doesn't prove to be much of a help anyways. Despite the fact that I am not employing the webcam almost at all, would be nice to have a functional one in case I decide to use Skype or something similar. Any suggestions?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Best Ipod Touch / Iphone Applications

I recently got an Ipod touch for my birthday and I started to use it and frantically look for the best available free APPS for it. While there is a lot of info on many websites, still I couldn't come up with a nice and independent review of the best "free" apps for apple devices. Below is a list of my findings in these 2 and a half weeks of my i-experience (not a ranking, but a list, so ignore the numbers):

1. Bump (Social Networking)
2. Speed test (wireless test from CISCO)
3. Dropbox (inter platform sharing)
4. OakTree (same thing)
5. Evernote (note sharing with online resources)
6. Textfree (sms chat style like with your own number)
7. Office plus (read and edit excel, PPT and word files)
8. Stanza (Ebook reader)
9. A note lite (nice interface notes)
10. Skype
11. Facebook
12. Files lite (online share and backup)
13.Y! Mess (comm)
14. Transit Maps (metro, rail and others you can upload)
15. Tetris (revival of my childhood games)
16. Glow snake (idem)
17 Vuvuzela (for the World Cup passionates).

Would be nice to discover some more and interesting apps (free if possible, otherwise still fine if they do a great job).

Cheers, S.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

MacBook facelift

Finally, the usual cracks in the top case of the white MacBook have caught up with me. Despite taking excellent care of my laptop, I guess that the crack-less 1 and a half year was as good as I could have streched it. Moreover, biking all the time with the thing on my back probably did not help either. Oh, well, everything turned out better, and whiter (exchange the keys also) after my visit to the Apple store in Annapolis.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bonsai-esque Sunday at the Arboretum

I wanted to get to the Arboretum in DC for some time now..finally we did it, and it was great.In a hellish heat (so humid also) we still enjoyed some of the dozens of Bonsais on display (three collections: Chinese, American and Japanese) both indoor (with flowers) and outdoor ones. I am really a big fan of Bonsais and seeing work from 1800s really impressed me. The Japanese ones were gracious and symmetric, Chinese strucked me as very different, more visual, with small statues, temples and many rocks/cliffs included in the scenery. Finally, the American collection shows that groups of trees and patches of green can also be replicated at the miniature level of a Bonsai world. Besides the miniature trees in these pavilions there are several whole worlds of trees (from Asian to European and American types of trees) that sprawl across 400 acres of land.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The King is Back - A full month of World Cup

Yes, despite being here in the US and watching the games with a cup of coffee instead of a more natural fitted choice (beer, do-oh!), I am still excited to see the Big Soccer Circus. Naturally, Romania freakked up again and is not in the tournament but this does not prevent me to watch and enjoy. On my way to the Netherlands and also being a big fan of their ever since Van Basten and Gullit were busting Soviet balls on the court, I decided to cheer for them, along with my favorite underdogs (Asian countries like South Korea and Japan). Now...I am just waiting for the good second round matches since all the games in the first were (too) prudent.