You lifelong film partner
Grooming your phone,
equal to beautify your mood
Help you: "mobile beauty,
feeling beautiful, feel more beautiful"!
I do. I've never had another smart phone I liked half so much. I liked the size and shape, I liked the aesthetics, I freaking loved that qwerty keyboard. I just loved it.
I still have it. I want a newer, smarter version. One with better graphics, better icons--stepped forward to compete with the iphone, androids, etc.
And that version should be the q10. But what just doesn't work for me is the size. That thing's nearly the same size as my old HTC. And that sucker was a brick. The main reason I moved away from the HTC to the phone (4)--was size! But that damn virtual keyboard—and the fat-fingering. The iphone was smaller, easier for me to live with. I'm petite; the larger the phone, the less I'm able to handle it (literally). It's cumbersome and difficult to hold and use one-handed. The HTC didn't fit in my pockets. Women's pants suffer from asinine pockets that are ridiculously and insultingly small and non-functional. That HTC was like jamming an old-school scientific calculator down my pants.
Is that a current smart phone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Or are you growing a small, multi-story housing unit in your pants?
In this light, how will the Q10 be any better? I don't want the sled-sized body that it comes with. Dudes, you got it good. Enjoy your man-sized, useful pockets and your large mitts. I guess I could use my Q10 to enjoy the slopes. Look out below! ROSEBUD!
There's a famous poem by Bashō:
Even in Kyōto—
hearing the cuckoo's cry—
I long for Kyōto
I feel that way about my old 8900.
Even with iPhone—
small beauty, aesthetic ease—
I long for BB
Not quiiite right, but you get the gist.
#1st world pain
"And people, you know, starting freaking out! People fucking getting rashes, splitting bitches with shovels, eating faces all over the place! And so, the logical explanation and conclusion that the human population of the United States of America, of course, comes to, is that we're all turning into fucking zombies. Because our country is retarded."
Love. This. Man.
Also, the name "LaVodka." Priceless. And for this next one, I don't even know...?
The bag has worn well, is solidly constructed and simple to use--one external pocket on the front, & all zippers have smooth-action. The exterior material is quite stain resistant and easy to clean.
On to Cons and Pros:
1. I understand that the carry handle is off-set, to better balance weight when a laptop is inside, and off-setting a handle saves material since only one flap of the sleeve requires a grip. But it always feels awkward. Handles on both sides would help the bag hang straight down and negate the side of leg bump that happens when carrying it. A couple d-rings on either end would enable the attachment of a shoulder strap--and that might be a nice addition--even if no strap were provided. I know this is a sleeve and not a 'bag' per se, but I like options.
2. The small pocket up front will hold a mouse (Microsoft Arc Touch is perfect) and a few other small items. But for travelers on the go--I'd have preferred a slightly larger pocket that would easily contain my battery/charge cord. When I travel now, I can curl up the cord in the pocket and squeeze in a flat-folding mouse, the battery + cord I curl up inside the main compartment with the laptop. It works, but makes the case lumpy, and I worry about pressure points on laptop as I travel. Again, I understand this is a sleeve--but adding 2 extra inches of pocket would have held both cords & battery, without having to have one or the other rubbing against the laptop. I really do believe that clean-lines and pared down, less bulky designs don't have to ditch a few thoughtfully placed storage areas. The fewer bags I have have to tote, the better--and when too slim = extra carry items, I feel there's been a lost opportunity.
3. Limited organization: see above.
1. Both the exterior and interior fabrics seem well-chosen. The external fabric is water-resistant & wears well. Dirt marks have been easy to clean off with a damp cloth. The gray exterior color choice is low-profile. In black/dark interiors such as backpacks/messenger bags--the gray color isn't hard to find, and the slight sheen from the "Golla" logo overprint picks up reflective light subtly.
The soft, orange corduroy interior protects your laptop from scratches and helps cushion the device slightly. Do not expect this cushioning to keep the laptop safe from falls--but for usual transportation it will work fine. The bright orange interior makes it easy to find your laptop--or any small items you may have put in the front pocket. Not that you need this help since the case is so slim-fitting and provides no room for clutter--but it's a nice, visual touch.
2. Aesthetics are pleasing. The simple color combinations aren't too loud or showy--more appropriate for work/business, but still edgy enough to be cool and sleek. It's nice to have options that aren't hot pink, zebra stripe, etc. The case is classy and simple, no superfluous details. The soft interior fabric is pleasant to touch & the bright color pops--it's a fun touch that's practical too: protective and provides high visibility. If lost in the outback, you could turn this case inside out and have a nice flame orange signal device.
3. Slim design keeps it simple. This is not a pack to stuff and overfill: you cannot. While I'd have enjoyed a bit more leeway here, the case is designed to be slim, sleek and simple: it achieves these goals. While providing a bit of padded protection, this case is easy to fit into messenger bags and medium-large sized packs. While slightly thicker than a slipcase, it takes up as little room as possible, a very small footprint.
Overall, I'm happy with the case. The cons haven't outweighed the pros for me--though I do really wish that exterior pocket were deeper for cord carry. If the intended purpose is light day use/travel, charge cords probably aren't necessary & cords would be left at home. But I've never trusted battery-life on anything enough not to travel with charge capability!
I'm not actively looking for a replacement case--this speaks to it's usefulness. However, if Golla made this same style, sleek, simple and not too flashy looking--and added a couple of the storage options I outlined above, I'd swap out in a second. The trick is to keep the case as flat as possible, while adding a tiny bit more practical carry options.
I'd give the case a solid B to B+.
I just want to say that I love my tiny 13" S-series Vaio laptop with backlit keyboard. I love it. I replaced a ginormous 17" Viao with this little version--and I've never missed the larger one.
Disclaimer: Ok. I do miss the power button on the side. It was an amazing, elegant feature that so many Vaio owners love, if you just do a quick search online--so I'm not the only one. Sony, find a way to do this on all your laptops!
The larger Viao was unwieldy, difficult to transport and I had buyer's remorse--even though I did my research at the time. Yes, amazingly powerful--but ultimately it just didn't work with my lifestyle.
This little 13" one is fantastic. Convenient size, easy to transport--it came with free hardware/software extras that lets me push content directly to my TV. Bags are easy to find for it, not too heavy (just under 4 lbs--so not light, but lighter than my cat), i5 core, solid graphics card, Blu-ray ready, 1366 x 768 pixels res--great little package. And I can switch between stamina or speed modes.
I can open the lid with one hand: the base is weighty enought to keep the body firmly seated. Wernderfrull!
I LOVE, LOVE....LOVE !!! the backlit keyboard. I cannot fathom that more laptops don't come standard with this feature. That was a major and definitive selling point for me. There were tons of laptops that I couldn't consider because they had no backlight.
My old, large suped-up Viao left me feeling pretty down on Vaio--especially after the motherboard crapped out after less than a year of very gentle ownership. But this little guy, going on over a year strong now, I just love it. I think I feel as bonded with it as some folk feel about their Roombas. I never want this little guy to crap out. BUT, if it does, I'll be looking at Sony first for a replacement.
I am one happy owner. Just had to say that.
A few things I've noticed about small organizers:
- they're either way too specific or not specific enough
- way over built or too flimsy
- super masculine or overly feminine
I've been looking for a way to hold my travel writing utensils as well as a few small EDC tools--items I don't need often, but want near by. After searching the web for quite some time, I see-sawed between small 'pocket' organizers, compact make-up cases or pencil cases. I've put pocket organizers in quotes, because no girl's pants would ever fit a 'pocket' organizer. These are for men's pockets--pockets that work and are functional as opposed to merely ornamental. Women's trousers are more fitted than mens'. Even cargo pants for women are odd with pockets placed in silly areas--at the knee in some cases--making them cumbersome if not dangerous to move in.
Here's a hilarious picture (for women at any rate) of a 'pocket carry' pouch:
So, for women, that typically puts us in a spot--we have to carry more items off-body. Off-body = purse or backpack (or messenger or attache).
I have two backpacks that I like, but each sits at home. They're heavy to carry and cumbersome at work. We have a small cabinet for employee bags: maxes out at four. So I'm back to using my old college messenger-style bag. Heavy-weight canvas with a couple good-sized external pockets, a few internal pockets and zips. It's a bit big--but more narrow than that backpack, easier to stow behind my work area & it doesn't look sloppy.
A guy I work with has a Maxpedition organizer, either the mini or regular size. Looks like this:
Measures approx 5x7, about 1.5 thick empty. There's a mini version that is 4x6:
Thanks to edcgear.co.uk for the comparison pic: surprising how hard it is to find a good size-comparison image.
Lots of similar pouches:
Triple Aught Design Op1 pouch (TAD gear):
Fantastic organizer, great for backpack, too large for most other 'carry' at 7.25x6.75", pockets, loops, elastic, zips all over this thing. I have one & love it, but not for my EDC.
(BTW, Military Morons is an amazing site with great gear review--really detailed pics of many items that are often better than what you'll find on the manufacturer's sites. I've used them for excellent information about backpacks in particular. They're really good about showing items in context--either on people or loaded. Well worth checking out.)
Spec Ops brand pouches:
More stream-lined than Maxpedition, 7.25x4.25" with fewer loops--which personally I find to be a drawback.
County Comm has their version, the Diplomat Organizer, sliiiightly smaller than Spec Ops:
They all organize gear well, with a price-range for anyone.
Pros: lots of tabs for gear, slots for mini notepads, clam-shell opening for fast viewing, velcro for moral patches, tactical colors
Cons: overall tacticoolness
Anymore, I feel a little ridiculous when I pull out bags with molle or PALS systems on them. Sure they look awesome and work great! But though I work in an industry where such things are not out of place, for personal use, they feel a little overbuilt. Great for military/rough wear conditions. I feel a little butched-out with it, like I'm trying to be all operator/tacticool, as opposed to actually being able to find a "form follows function" organizer. The usual color suspects: black, OD, Foliage, FDE, various cams, I'm not behind enemy lines, nor am I living off the earth where bright colors may identify me to The Enemy. I want rugged, functional and not intimidating looking to the average civilian either. Since I'm an Urbanite, sometimes military-use items attract curiosity. I'd rather blend in and look like the harmless little girl you think I am...
I did really like this Maxpedition insert--seemed like it had great posibilites, not just as an addition to a bag, but as a slender, stand-alone sleeve for light carry items:
Frankly, this would be ideal for the small carry items I'm trying to organize: little Leatherman Juice, mini-pry-bar, small pocket knife, couple of glow sticks--but it doesn't have enough room for the various pens/pencils I also carry--and I really do want a one-stop-spot for this stuff. But the sleeve really does appeal--so versatile. Also--you have to check out MilSpecMonkey for not only cool gear, but for a good selection of moral patches. I just picked up this one:
Little bit of an in-joke here. Apparently I lack a certain amount of class, according to someone hardly qualified to judge--which of course has turned an off-the-cuff criticism into a longer-lasting funny.
I thought this patch might help me try to remember to 'stay classy'. Apparently I need all the help I can get.
I sure don't care, but it's taken on a life of it's own, so...there it is.
Okay--so there are a lot of great items above, really solid, useful gear--love that in most cases you get a quick overview of all your items at a glance--fast ID is extremely important. Less so for my purposes, but certainly critical when under duress. But, again, I'm not a big tacticool gal, not even really tactical. And the gear above, while really solid, just doesn't fit in, in my circles--and standing out isn't my goal.
I tried a variety of make-up bags, or rolled up shaving kit bags--the idea's similar: lots of storage, minimal space, quick overview of items--easy access. But where the above tactical organizers were perhaps to masculine and warrior for my circumstance, the shaving kits/makeup bags were uniformly too...girly. There are so many colors of pink and violet and things with flowers...these too are oddly out of place on me--and the goal was organization of pens/pencils + light gear/tools--and the fabric of makeup bags just wasn't tough enough for repeated use & carry--nor were the small pockets the right size for writing utensils. I'd hoped that pockets for makeup brushes and applicators would translate to pens, knives, flashlights...just didn't work well.
The shaving kits/roll up kits were less girly/cheesy--but took up a ton of space when unfurled--and again, the spaces therein just didn't work for the odd sized (and odd collection of) items I wanted to carry, compactly and neatly. But A+ for thinking outside the box!
The above are okay: just either too looooong & not enough small spaces--or too clear. And I really don't want someone checking out all my crap. The clear pockets are pretty brittle--you can tell they'll be prone to cracking over time. They're both also pretty big--certainly way larger than a 'pocket' whether that's in your pants or the flap on a messenger bag/rucksack. Just a total wash. There's a lot of animal print out there in the makeup world, BTW. Zebra is especially popular in a variety of colors.
Ugh. Zebra. What is it with animal prints and girls? Is there an equivalent animal print with men? I don't think so--and that's odd, because men traditionally hunt more. OH....wait. I get it.
Be that as it may, I did opt for something more civilian friendly/girly: the pencil case. And here's another interesting finding: US pencil cases suck. They're usually just a large flap of fabric, with no compartmentalization. While this may be okay for elementary school, (frankly, I feel it is not. I remember as a child wishing my pencil case could separate more items better) it's not okay for people who write a lot & use several different tools.
Enter: Japanese pencil cases. Yes, the Children of the Sun have done it again with amazing, well-thought out, intelligent designs. There are so many different styles of pencil cases, it's difficult to narrow down the search: but all were based upon specific writer needs--and designed to solve storage, transportation and usage issues.
Why can't the US do this? Why do we default to a sloppy one-size-fits-all mentality? We're a Super-Nation, theoretically full of unique individuals, and yet we keep cramming ourselves into increasingly smaller and less adaptive solutions.
All the above pics are from insidious pen site: Jetpens Don't go there if you're a pen/writing fiend. You've been warned. My Nomadic pencil case is the light blue version shown above, but these cases come in several different colors--grey, green, pink, orange, etc. I like how high-viz it is: easy to find pens & the case itself. Very happy. I got two versions of Nomadic cases--one for writing utensils and one for a variety of computer cables, flash drives and misc. small tools. Am satisfied with them both for now. We'll see how they fare over time.
So I finally broke down and ordered an iDog. It should be here in a week; I'll update with reactions. The original iDog was produced in white--closely mimicking ipod styling. Ever since Mac produced their new line of computers in hazy candy colors, so many techie gadgets have followed suit. iDog will soon also be available in pink or blue. Accessories are sure to follow. Ultimately, they're music playing gadgets, able to plug in to most music players.
There are two distinctive 'versions' available. The original "iDog" (3 AAA batteries) is produced by Sega Toys out of Japan. A more recent release in the US, the "i-Dog" (2 AA batteries), is being sold via Hasbro.
The iDog (no hyphen) is the more interactive of the two. The US version only has a light sensor, a button on the nose and tail. It 'responds' in three different emotional ways to music being played. The Japanese version has a few more sensors & responds more accurately (emotionally) to various music styles. It has a few interactive musical games, voice recognition and 70 different sounds. The voice recognition seems to indicate iDog can echo back what you've said, but perhaps in its own doggie language. Hard to know until I get it. I also don't know if the 70 sounds contain Japanese words or not. Time will tell. I was reading on another site that the little dog likes being interacted with, that it can be needy: talking to it or petting it can alter its mood. Obviously ignoring it would too. I used to have an old computer pet that would randomly walk across the bottom of my computer, play with string, meow, etc. It was pretty needy too. The iDogs (with or without hyphen) are probably about at this level--restrictively interactive, certainly no Aibo. They're stationary critters with limited capabilities. But it seems like a curious and fun idea.
Though iDog will simply be a cute conversation piece for many people, I am fascinated by the ability to attach personality to inanimate objects: animism. Japan must have the corner on the ability or desire to design specifically for this...need?
Whether it's a digipet for children or a doll for the elderly to help them be less lonely, it's an interesting phenomenon.
I remember reading an article several years ago, when Aibo was first hitting, about dolls or pets being created for a senior market: a thing that required attention and care, could mimic limited sentience or life, but wouldn't die & weren't progressively expensive, i.e., no cost for food, medicine, training, etc. It was found that when caring for these creations, the elderly became less depressed & had a better outlook on life: still isolated, but less lonely. It was bittersweet. There is something terribly poignant about that kind of industrial design: building companions for those who have been abandoned or marginalized.
Certainly, these same stand-ins can be purchased & used by anyone. The Aibos have been extremely popular with engineers for obvious reasons, but are enjoyed by just about anyone who can afford one. Some are used as robots. study tools, but most become virtual pets--with the advantage that they can be shut off and stored when necessary with no ill-effect. Personality can be backed up on computer: if an Aibo is stolen, a new one can be purchased and the old personality immediately downloaded. There are no allergies to worry about, no shedding. Walks aren't necessary, you don't have to clean up doggie poo. You can even join Aibo clubs and meet new friends who share your passion.
It's Roomba that I find most bizarre. Apparently many owners do become attached to their vacuum cleaner, to the point that if one breaks, they insist upon that same model being fixed and returned, rather than getting a new one.
At the iRobot Rooma site, there's a forum for owners to share their ownership experiences. It makes for some fantastic reading. So far, my favorite response has been this one:
I felt bad because I knew there was no way it was ever going to work at my house with 3 dogs and 5 birds, but I took it home and tried it. Holy cow! My carpet has never been so clean. I was amazed and hugely entertained, who knew vacuum watching was a sport? It's now been 5 months and I'm still fascinated by my Roomba. It does such a good job that I want to pat it's 'head' when it's done and give it a hug for being such a good buddy. It's like having another pet. Sometimes my dogs play with it, other times they just lie there and let it bump them.
It's not uncommon to hear people refer to the Roomba as He, She or the Little Guy. Children and adults alike often think of it as a pet. Apparently many owners dub their Roombas "Rosie," I guess after the robot maid from The Jetsons, though gender assignment seems dependent upon the owner, not necessarily the vacuum design. A quick perusal of the Roomba chat site & a few others reveals the following names:
At Electrolux's Trilobite site, the flash intro actually proclaims: "The cleanest pet you'll ever own." Sadly, there's no owner chat site.
Update: iDog arrived. He's cute. His directions are all in Japanese. I can't figure the damn thing out! At this point, it's funnier to watch me try to interact with it. Blackmail material. Keep Aibo and Roomba away from me. I'm a virtual pet whore. Who knew?
The Good: He's cute! He has pretty lights! He's tiny! He may even be fun if you read Japanese and can figure out how to make him work! Did I mention cute, tiny and pretty lights?
The Bad: His directions are all in Japanese! His motor is noisy--the moving head and ears are fun but loud loud. The music sounds a little tinny. Okay, the music sounds like crap. But he's cute and has pretty lights! And...he's...well. Cute. And tiny. With...er...pretty...lights?
I'm a sucker...