My new work setup- thank you apple

So, I've finally got a work layout that fits all the stuff I want open.  In front of me is my macbook air which is a mix of personal and auxiliary work computer.  to the left is my work thinkpad, and to the right is my ipad acting as a second monitor with airdisplay showing my calendar.  and of course for hilarity on the mac is a picture of the exact same setup.

I waited a long time to get a mac because A) work wouldn't pay for one, and B I didn't really think I needed yet another computer ( I've already got an imac, a work laptop, an old personal laptop, a netbook, and an old work laptop floating around).  But I decided it's time to just buy the super cool thin computer I've always wanted.  The set up seems a little ridiculous, but it works and overall takes up less bag space and weight than a 17" high perf HP laptop.  Seriously, all 3 machines, kinda crazy no?  I think I may have to get rid of the work laptop eventually, but for now this is a kickass setup.  When I do kill the work machine I'm actually in pretty good stead using a combination of VPN, davmail, and vmware images to support all of my corporate IT compliance needs


kartOO is dead, and I didn't even notice till today :(

One of the best search ideas I'd seen in a long time was a visual search engine called kartoo.(link goes to wikipedia).  The basic idea was that your search terms were visually linked to  related search terms to help you navigate to the right results based on context.  Kartoo was  a meta search engine, meaning that they didn't have their own indicies, but would leverage other search operator APIs.  I was really happy to see them around because in 2001 when the semantic web was young, kartoo was a view into the future of browsing the web, but alas they seem to have bitten the dust.  The shot above is of their post 2004 interface, but I think I liked their original graph style node and arc interface the best.  Not sure when they died, but RIP kartoo


Holy Crap, Indonesian toddler smokes like a chimney

So in my experience out here in Asia, I've noticed that overall, there's a lot more smoking than everywhere else I've been.  Obviously more than the states, but also a ton more than western Europe, France and Italy included.  Of the Asian groups I've met, the Indonesians definitely take the cake. So over the course of the last couple weeks some of the guys have been working in Jakarta and joking that people start smoking as kids out there.  Sure enough the international news media has found a baby that smokes 2 packs a day (Video on The Age).  Seriously.  Not only does this kid smoke that many cigs, but he's got his own style to it from watching others.  He's chubby and too unfit to play with other kids, but his folks still buy him the cigarettes.  In my opinion another reason why he doesn't play with other kids is he's seen as a bad influence.  After all, would you let your 2 year old play with the fat kid who smokes .


Starting from scratch

So once again gentle reader, I find myself in a new location.  I have moved  to Singapore for a minimum term of 3 years.  And with any great relocation comes the usual process of building a new life.  Like everything else, I do it systematically: 

  • Exploring- I gotta get the lay of the land, and while that usually means walking great distances without a map, here that becomes a little tricky thanks to the sweaty sweaty weather, so I'm going neighborhood by neighborhood.
  • Lodging- finding a place that fits once the relo runs out.  It's gotta be reasonably priced, a short commute to the office, near cool stuff, and have space for an extra bed/futon for guests
  • Networking- meeting and building relationships with my professional contacts.  A lot of my contacts here are from a different generation, so the lunches are a bit more advisory in nature, but this has been really helpful in my job so far.  
  • Makin friends (can't actually be systematic here, but it's important to do if I'm gonna live here for a while)- I had a couple friends out here already, but during those first few weeks you get invited around a lot and you actually have a pretty short period to make friends to get the regular invites and start the transition from the FOAF to acquaintance to friend.  The last step often takes at least a year, but can be accelerated with other expats because they're in the same boat socially.
  • Logistics and routine- So there are the basics of  dry cleaner, grocery store, barber etc., but when you move to a different country your habits have to change too. Okay, in SG there are enough westerners that they don't really have to change, but they should a little if you really want to get the full experience.  Also it'll be a nice change to head back to an urban environment.  I love where I was in LA, but it's nice to be in a higher density place again since I don't have kids.
I'm still in the temp housing with a limited kitchen, so most of the time I feel like I'm on an extended business trip.  Aside from starting to make new friends the rest of the stuff here hasn't really come into full effect.