My Escalade Experience

Posted by Mark

Escalade Kuwait

After I posted the picture of the new Escalade earlier in the month I got a phone call from Alghanim Automotive marketing people telling me I could take the car out for a ride. So yesterday I took it for a ride and wow what a ride.

The first thing I noticed once I got into the car was how beautiful the interior was. As I mentioned before, unlike the old Escalade who’s interior I found extremely boring and “American”, the new Escalade is much more cleaner and very European. The interior detailing is extraordinary and extremely comforting on the eye. It’s really a huge leap over the old one. The drivers seat was also extremely comfortable and I was quickly able to adjust it and the mirrors before I left the dealership.

I took the car out to the Gulf Road and went cruising. The engine is unbelievable, with over 400HP it just wants to go faster and faster. I had a hard time keeping it at 80KM/h, there is just soo much power in it that a slight tap on the gas and you’re already at the speed limit. Of course speed limits are meant to be broken when no radar cameras are around so as soon as I passed one I slammed on the gas for an earth-shattering kick down. The engine (which comes from the Corvette) just suddenly took on a new life and turned the classy quiet Escalade into a scary loud hotrod.. it was incredible.

After driving for a while I decided to park the car and take some pictures plus explore the various features of the car. The coolest thing I found was the trunk since its fully automated. Basically the old trunk was very heavy to open and close especially for woman so the new trunk is motorized. You press a button on the handle and step back while the door opens up. You press another button and the trunk closes down. I even recorded a video of it, which you can watch [Here]. The car currently doesn’t come with a Navigation system but by the end of the year they will not only be coming with a built in Navigation system but also 3 screens in the back (it currently has 1) and the ability to play a different movie on every screen, plus 3 other people in the car could also listen to 3 different CDs all at the same time using wireless headphones. So in total 6 people could be watching or listening to 6 different things all at the same time.

The exterior of the car has also changed a lot although it still closely resembles the older model. You still have the over sized headlights for example which allows you to spot an Escalade from a mile away. The new Escalades also come with 22inch rims as standard and soon official body kits will be made available by Cadillac so anyone will be able to pimp their ride at the dealer. When driving around on the Gulf Road the car is an eye catcher. It can’t not be since the car is huge and I was driving the Pearl White version so I was sparkling under the sun.

I had a lot of fun driving the car around and when I brought it back to the dealer, the manager gave me a detailed tour of the cars features. If I had the money I would have bought the car right on the spot which brings me to the final point, the price. The new Cadillac Escalade starts from KD20,900 which is cheaper then a Range Rover but more expensive then the Lexus. It’s in a pretty nice position at the moment and I am sure once the car is more widely available the price will come down a bit more. If I had to choose between a Range Rover and the new Escalade it would be a really tough decision, luckily it’s not a decision I am likely to make anytime soon.

Here are some pictures and videos I shot:
Picture of Escalade’s interior
Picture of Escalade’s Exterior
Another picture of the Escalade’s Exterior
Video of trunk opening and closing
Video of a tour around the car


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My MacBook Experience

Posted by Mark

MacBook Kuwait

I have had the MacBook for around a week now and I have decided to write about my experience so far. This isn’t a review because it wouldn’t be fair. I have always had a thing for ibooks and I had already given the MacBook a 5 star even before I got it. So this isn’t a review, its just what I experienced.

When I first got the Mac it had around 30GB of empty space from a total of 60GB. Thats because the MacBook came installed with everything including trial runs of Microsoft Office, Pages, Keynote and a couple of other softwares plus the whole iLife package was installed. I ofcourse didn’t need most of these so first thing I did was format the Mac and reinstall it with the softwares I needed… iMovie, iTunes and iPhoto. This resulted in over 46GB of space being free which is a big difference. The MacBook came with a small remote control and its still in the plastic wrapping in the box. I don’t like FrontRow (XBMC spoiled me) so no need for the remote. Another thing that I will probably never use is the built in iSight. I tried it a bit and I can imagine it being very handy but its not for me.

Anyway, the MacBook is incredible. Its super fast and I just have 512MB of RAM installed. FireFox launches in 1 second, System Preferences in less then a second and iPhoto in 2. The wifi reception is also unbelievable. Suddenly all these wifi hotspots started appearing while sitting on my living room couch, hotspots I hadn’t seen before. Its like where did all these come from??

So far in the week I have been using the Mac it only gotten REALLY hot once when I was busy installing Adobe CS, browsing the web and downloading software updates all at the same time. The MacBook just got really hot, but it didn’t crash or anything. Currently I have been surfing the web for over 3 hours and the MacBook feels warm but not hot at all. The battery life is really good, it easily lasts me 4 hours and even more if I lower the screens brightness. Speaking of the screen, its really really bright, like blinding bright. I have to decrease the brightness most of the time since I would be watching TV and the MacBook’s screen would be brighter which is distracting. Its even brighter then my Lacie CRT at work!

I also installed Windows XP on my MacBook using Apple’s Bootcamp. I don’t have a major need for it but its only occupying 5GB of space and I am going to install Red Alert 95 on it plus the Dos version of DopeWars. Its cool to have since when I play around with the sites template for example I always want to see how it would look like on a PC. Plus it has a “wow effect” when I show my PC friends that my Mac can now run Windows.

Other then that I don’t know what else I can talk about. If anyone has any questions I could answer them in the comments below. I am very pleased with my MacBook and I am very happy I got it over the MacBook Pro. Nat on the other hand doesn’t like the plasticness of the MacBook and so is going to get the Pro version. This I realized might be true for other people also. The plastic feel could put off people who are looking for a serious looking laptop. The MacBook is more funky and trendy then serious. It will grab a lot of attention if you are surrounded by ordinary looking Dell and Toshiba laptops, attention you might not want. But, I still believe this is a better built laptop then the Pro version and I believe this one can take a beating while the Pro version can’t. Everyone to his own though..


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Pictures of the PowerBook for sale

Posted by Mark

I just took some more pictures of Nats PowerBook. They are higher quality so you can see exactly what you would be getting. [Pictures]

If you are interested in it, here is more info. [Link]


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Where have you been

Posted by Mark

Choowy Goowy Cookies

Hmmmm I just got a jar of Choowy Goowy cookies. Its been like forever since I last had some. Yummmyyy…


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Amazons Customer Service

Posted by Mark

So I emailed Amazon today asking them if instead of them mailing me a cheque for my MacBook $100 rebate I could get a gift voucher in that amount. Amazon just replied apologizing telling me that wasn’t possible but gave me a $15 gift voucher for any inconvenience caused by this situation!

They are always super friendly. When I ordered my MacBook they originally told me my package would ship on the 15th of June, they then told me they would ship it earlier on June 9th and as compensation (don’t ask) they upgraded my shipping. They then told me there was a delay and my package would actually ship on the 20th of June and gave me a $30 voucher as compensation. My package finally ended up shipping on the 13th!

They have the best customer service ever.


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Anyone selling a Coolpix 3500?

Posted by Mark

Nikon 3500

This might be like finding a needle in a haystack but does anyone here own a Nikon Coolpix 3500 and want to sell it?


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Everyone, meet Ratchet

Posted by Mark

Ratchet my MacBook

My MacBook is here!! Its soooooooooooooo white (like me!!!). As with all my electronic devices I name them after characters from the Transformers cartoon. My MacBook is going to be called Ratchet who was the white doctor transformer. Everyone say hi…

The Box

update: Here are my first impressions…

– The edge of the MacBook below the trackpad where my wrists rest is sharp and so is causing red horizontal lines to appear
– The screen is fucking bright, brighter then my Lacie CRT which is right next to me
– The battery life is amazing, I got the MacBook at 12:30 and it had a 75% charge. I played with it a bit and then played it with through out most of my lunch (1-2) then came back to work and I have had my MacBook open ever since installing software and stuff and it still tells me I have 1 hour of juice left and its currently 4:06PM.
– It feels a lot bigger then the 12″ PowerBook
– No overheating issue so far and I haven’t even heard the fan come on
– I need more RAM, haven’t had any problems yet but I imagine everything would be moving a lot faster once I install 2GB of RAM
– Wifi reception is amazing, suddenly I see 5 networks where with the PowerBooks in the office I usually only see 1
– They keyboard feels normal, nothing weird at all
– The trackpad button feels a little soft
– I have absolutly no use for iSight
– I hate FrontRow and Dashboard, just disabled both
– I love how the MacBook closes.. no more latch, just like the old clamshell ibooks

And thats all for now…


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Review: American Gun

Posted by Mark

Jack Bauers Dad

When I first found out about the movie the first thing I read was that it was the same style as the movie Crash (not David Cronenbergs CRASH). The movie talks about guns in America and their effects on people and since Crash was a good movie I was looking forward to watching American Gun.

I watched the movie last night and the best thing about the movie is Donald Sutherland. If you use a bit of your imagination and squint your eyes a bit you could pretend Donald Sutherland was Jack Bauer pretending to be an old guy trying to infiltrate a terrorist group. Thats the only thing that kept me going till the end of the movie. It started off slow but I was cool with that, nothing happened in the middle, I was cool with that too, but then the movie finished and nothing had happened. I was expecting for all the different stories in the movie to interweave for a big final but they didn’t. From the couple of stories that were taking place only one of them had something happen. It was extremely disappointing since they build you up for nothing.

I wouldn’t recommend anyone watch this movie, and I am scoring it a 2 out of 5. I would have given it a 1 but because Donald Sutherland had a role in bringing Jack Bauer to life he gets an extra star.


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My Macbook is in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

…but I can’t touch it! Its held in customs and will be cleared only by tomorrow morning. I mentally prepared myself to get it today and now I am left hanging with no MacBook. Urgh I can’t wait till tomorrow!


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International Optics

Posted by Mark

One of the best customer service in Kuwait can be found at International Optics. The employees there are always extremely friendly and professional.

The other day we passed by them because Geo had chewed up Nats glasses after she accidentally left them on the table and they were completely destroyed. The frames plastic was bent, the metal thing on the side was scratched like crazy and he had chewed one of the glasses. She was about to throw them away when I told her they might be saved. So we went to the International Optics branch in Central Plaza and showed it to this one guy. He asked what had happened to it and I told him my dog chewed it. He of course found that funny and shared it with his fellow employees. He told me to come back the next day at the same time and we left.

Next day we went back and I realized I should have taken a before and after shot because what they did was incredible. They actually bent the frame (plastic and all) back to the right shape, they polished the front to remove all the scratches and the side metal was repainted. It was hard to believe this was the same glasses. If they had come and told me we threw your glasses away because they were unfixable I would have said ok but instead they fixed the glasses and they only charged us KD10 to replace the one scratched glass.

This is not the first time they were this helpful, I have had problems with my other shades and they always took care it. Anyway I figured I would talk about a company would good service since I mentioned Showtime’s bad service in the previous post.


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