I got a laptop today that is smaller than anything available 5 years ago, with a mobile internet subscription that provides me with internet faster than what we had in the Netherlands 5 years ago. Admittedly, I lived in a countryside area, but still. And who would've thought that a notebook battery could last for over 8 hours? I'm impressed.
What I'm not impressed about is the speed. It would seem that even playing a video from my camera or a clip on youtube is impossible. I knew already that the Atom series are not exactly the fastest CPUs, but now I've seen it firsthand. Oh well. I wasn't expecting to play movies on it anyway.
In the end I went all the way to Akihabara (1.5 hours train ride from Atsugi) to get a netbook. The options nearby were just sucky, and I was hoping to score an Asus Eee 1005 from the Yodobashi in Akihabara, which I figured was the one store that should have everything imaginable. It turns out that they didn't have the 1005, but they have the 1101, which has a 1 inch larger screen (diameter), and an battery life of 10.5 hours, according to Asus. I'll certainly be testing that in the near future.
Signing the contract for internet was fun. They've managed to streamline the process a lot since I first came to Japan four years ago. All they need now is your bank card and your alien card (the card every foreigner living in Japan needs to have), and that's it. Sign, wait, leave. Very nice. Interestingly the salesman told me that it was impossible to use Skype on the wireless internet, and that a Japanese OS was required. First thing I did when I got home was try the software on an English version of XP, and it works fine. I didn't try Skype, but VOIPBuster works fine, although the sound quality is notably worse and hitchy when compared to my usual connection. Oh well, much, much better than nothing. Long gone are the days of adventure where you find yourself in the middle of nowhere without any way to contact anyone. Nowadays I could call my parents from hell if I wanted to.
I found this weird tool-like thingie in the box of the internet dongle. I theorize that this is a screen cleaner, and I'm about 3% sure of that. When you push inwards the top white thingie the bottom thingie that looks like a gray tongue comes out. Pushing the silver button retracts the tongue back into the mouth. Fascinating.
Well, that's all for now. I'll probably try to install an English version of XP soon, and the memory could use an upgrade too. Ta ta!