Post by Mark
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..
Post by Mark
Have you guys tried mPay? It only works with MTC but its really a time saver. Nat has a prepaid eeZee line and I used to recharge it for her using the MTC website which although easier then passing by the bakala and getting a refill card, it was still not easy enough for my lazy ass. mPay on the other hand makes life really easy. You sign up with them for free and you then get a menu on your phone allowing you refill other peoples phones (or yours) with just a few clicks on the phone. The amount then gets deducted from your bank account.
So for example I just went into my mPay menu on the phone, and then clicked on reload and then clicked on KD5 and then chose Nat and I then clicked on confirm. Right away I got an SMS telling me that I had transferred money onto Nats prepaid card and she also instantly got her phone recharged. Its that easy.
You can check out their website by going to mpay.com.kw but to sign up just pass by any Fono branch (like the one at Marina Mall) and they would set it up for you right away. I like stuff that makes me lazier.
Post by Mark
Just had my second video call ever and it was with K.thekuwaiti again. I have to say its really weird video calling but I think I could get used to it. I watched him give me a tour of his office and he watched me eat my icecream. Everyone in my department wants to video call now and luckily I found another guy with a 3G phone and an MTC phoneline so we set up video calling on his phone and gave everyone a demonstration on how it works. People were expecting the video to be all choppy and slow so they were surprised when they saw how fluid and clear the picture was. The coolest thing is all these video calls are for free at the moment..
Post by Mark
Just a quick update, yesterday when Nat came back I played with her phone which is a K750i and I realized that the V3x interface is a lot faster. Going into the main menu and leaving it plus flipping through the options is a lot more responsive on the Motorola V3x.
Post by Mark
A while back K.thekuwaiti posted about how to get video calling on MTC to work. Basically they are on trial period now and you can video call for free, the only problem is trying to find someone to video call.
If you have a 3G phone with video calling capabilities then all you need to do is send an SMS to the number 99999 with the word vc in the message and you should get a reply back telling you that video calling has been activated. If you get a message back and video calling is still not working, then turn off your phone, take out the battery and simcard and then put them back together. I had to do this to get 3G working on my phone and now I have a little 3G icon on my phone.
I tried video calling yesterday with K.thekuwaiti since he is the only person I know of that has video calling and it felt like video chatting using MSN. I don’t think I would use video calling to chat with a friend but I think I would use it to call a friend up and show him something. Like I could be at a party and I could call a friend up and show him with video what was going on at the party, that sort of thing.
Maybe once more people I know get 3G phones video calling could turn into a norm…
Post by Mark
Ok since I had a lot of free time yesterday I was able to discover the Motorola V3x inside out. I had a lot of time to play with it, customize it, change it etc.. and I am happy that I got it just still stunned by the operating system. The V3x operating system is weird, sometimes I feel that it is too basic while other times I marvel at its customizability. There are some things I don’t understand why Motorola didn’t simplify or make easier to use, its just weird but over all it reminds me more of the Sony Ericsson OS more then the Nokia which is a good thing for me.
A really cool feature in the phone which helped make my move over smooth is the fact that you can reorder the menu system. Since I am used to my Sony Ericsson K700 I was able to reorder my Motorola menu to match my K700. Meaning on my K700 when you first came into the menu the Messages option was in position number 5 which is the second row middle icon. On the Motorola it was by default in position number 7 which is third row left side. Using the Main Menu personalizing option under settings I was able to place the Messages icon in position number 5, Settings in position 12, Internet in position 2 etc.. This made my move to the V3x much smoother, I felt right at home quickly. Even under the Messages menu I was able to move the SMS Inbox up to position number 2 and move my Voicemail inbox down to position 3. I really love this feature.
The worst feature in the operating system has to be when changing the ringer volume. Even if my phone is on silent, even if the keypad sound is turned off, no matter what I do, everytime you try to increase or decrease the ringer volume from the system menu you get loud ear piercing beeps which in a quiet office (or even a loud one) is very fucking annoying. Its very embarrassing and rude.
So far everything seems cool. The operating system is way faster then my K700 (aren’t all) and its probably the same speed as the K750 or a tiny bit faster which is really good. It doesn’t have any major features, the camera is 2MP which is the norm and it has 3G and video conferencing which i doubt I will ever use. But, I think thats what I like about the phone… that its a phone. All I really need to do with a phone is make and receive phone calls, send and receive SMS, synchronize my numbers with iSync (you need this plugin) and take pictures whenever I need to (usually of product model numbers in stores or price tags). This phone allows me to do all that with great ease and speed. The fact that I can charge my phone using any standard USB cable and the fact that I can mount the phone on my computer like an external hard drive are extra bonuses.
This phone is just a phone and so far it seems like it does everything right. Will use it for a week or two before writing a review on it.
Post by Mark
Today morning I checked the comments on my post from yesterday called The V3x and I read a comment by Omar who said I could find the V3x for KD120 which is basically the same price as the phone on Amazon. So I called Fono up and asked them if they had a version with only an English keypad and they said yes, so awhile ago I went and picked up my phone from Fono. First impressions.. well I realized how ugly and out dated my Sony Ericsson K700 is. The phones OS does seem confusing but I am guessing its because I have been using Ericsson for most of my life. The coolest feature on the phone is the fact that I can charge it using my Nikon’s USB cable. The data/charging port on the V3x is your standard USB input found on most USB devices like external harddrives and digital cameras. Very practical. The screen inside is gorgeous, very sharp and huge! Gonna finish up some urgent work and then fiddle with my phone a bit. I hate new phones since I am always worried about scratching them..
update: just tried video calling with K.thekuwaiti, I feel so futuristic now
update 2: to get it working with isync you need to install a plugin which you can find [here]
Post by Mark
Thanks to everyone who replied to my “I need a new phone” post. I decided to go for the Motorola V3x.
Yesterday while I was at the airport with Nat I saw a dark blue Motorolla Razr. I didn’t know what it was, it looked a bit thicker then the regular Motorola’s but it looked way cooler and it cost KD145. I didn’t think of it much until today while I was researching the V3i on Amazon and I found the V3x and recognized it as the phone I saw yesterday.
The V3x is a cool looking phone and I am getting the dark blue version since blue is my favorite color. It has a 2MP camera on the outside and a second camera on the inside for video calling since the phone also supports 3G. The resolution of the internal screen is 320 x 240 which is also pretty nice. I have only had one flip phone before in my life so it should be a nice change to own one now.
I just ordered the phone from Amazon since its around KD30 cheaper and it doesn’t come with the arabic keypad which I think makes the phone look ugly. Once I get it I will post a proper review of it.
Post by Mark
I am currently using a Sony Ericsson K700i. To summarize my experience.. it sucks. The phone is buggy, sluggish and ugly. Recently its also been acting very strange like for example the down button would stop working or my call list would show that I called people whom I never did. Not only that but sometimes when my friends call it won’t show me their names just their numbers.. even though their names are on my phone. Its really starting to piss me off and so I need a new phone. My problem is I don’t like paying too much for a phone, you can call me cheap but I personally just don’t see myself paying a lot for phones. I still remember when the Sony Ericsson T610 got released and I forked out KD220 for it back then but those days are gone. Now my budget is KD100 or less.
What I need is the following:
– Good looks
– extremely responsive system
– No Nokia
Yesterday I saw the Samsung SGH-E530 (pictured above) and it looked pretty cool. Although I dislike Samsung the phone looked really slick, it had bluetooth, a beautiful colored screen on the inside and a gorgeous OLED screen on the outside. The price at the dealer was KD95 so I should be able to find it even cheaper outside. The problem is the phone is targetted towards woman which would make me very girlie. Another option I was considering was the Motorolla Razr, I haven’t done any research on it yet nor do I know how much it cosst but I will check on that later tonight. Can anyone recommend me a phone?
update: seems like the Treo 700P is launching this month, I am going to wait for it and check it out before I take my decision. [Link]
Post by Mark
The other day I posted about bluetooth advertising and how if you are shopping in Sultan Center you can now receive ads on your phone. I like many of you had some concerns regarding this service and how easily it can turn into spam. Well someone from the company responsible for this bluetooth advertising commented the following:
Hi, I’ve been following your conversations regarding bluetooth. My company is actually implementing these bluetooth services in Kuwait and I’m always interested to hear what people have to say about it. I agree with everyone that spam is a major problem which is why when we put our network together we were sure to set non-spam parameters. If you reject the message once, you shouldn’t receive another request for at least a week. Also, no matter which location you go into, you shouldn’t receive more than 3 messages in a week. If this is not the case in any particular location it’s probably because we are doing testing and optimization. Within the next few months we hope to bring a number of services that you would actually find useful, so bear with us. I think you’ll be impressed.
I think the fact that its limited to 3 messages a week per person is a good thing. But the big problem is that I don’t think its possible for us to opt out of this service. This means anyone with a bluetooth phone is forced to receive 3 adverts a week. Sucks.
Update: Nibaq pointed out something very important regarding this bluetooth service. Read below:
Very interesting. So it registers your MAC address of your phone. Even though you aren’t accepting messages when the machine does a search it will regonize your phone and store it.
Spread these machines around town not sending anything but just registering phones and what do you have? A wonder tracking device.
Sultan can see how many times you visit the store in a month, and which stores. You can even track how long a customer is at the store.
Just another reason to have my bluetooh on Non Discoverable mode or simply off.