Good deal: Nook HD+

Been really busy over the weekend! Lots of dance stuff to settle, and there’s this FYP (final year project) that I’ve been scratching my heads on.

Anyway, I didn’t realise till recently, but Barnes & Noble’s Nook HD and HD+ (Android) tablets are currently on sale, and at an extremely cheap price!

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Nook HD+ (16GB) for $149!

Seriously, the Nook HD+ is a steal at $149. It has a full HD (1920×1080) 9″ screen, an acceptable TI OMAP dual-core 1.5GHz processor (slightly outdated, but gets the job done), and for those of you US peeps, a large collection of eBooks available for purchase! If you want a larger space variant, the 32GB version is available at $179.

The 7-inch Nook HD is also available at a low low price of $129 for the 8GB, and $149 for 16GB. Awesome stuff.

I myself have purchased a 16GB Nook HD+ (together with a flip case and screen protectors) and am using HopShopGo to deliver from the US to Singapore. Will be selling off my Xoom after that!

Dubai Adventures: Day 5

So I kind of screwed up my OS X installation and had to reinstall it. Waste time 😦

Anyway! For Day 5, it was quite an empty day as we only had Dubai Ski to visit. We wanted to go to the Ferrari World, but one of my friends was sick! So we decided not to. ><

Continue reading “Dubai Adventures: Day 5”

Haze, Mac OS X Mavericks

And I should have stayed in Dubai for a few more days. (Obviously I can’t unless I’m willing to incur losses from changing my airline ticket) The haze in Singapore is crazy! With the PSI (Pollutant Standard Index) hitting an all-time record high of 371 in Singapore at 1pm, Singapore is currently indeed a very unhealthy place to be living in.

This is how Singapore looks like nowadays. Image credits: channelnewsasia
This is how Singapore looks like these few days. Image credits: channelnewsasia

The air definitely smells very bad, and my eyes are also slightly irritated by the haze. We’re asked to stay indoors, and poor me (with my hall friends) without air-conditioned rooms have to bear with the heat. I can’t even shut off my windows because it’ll be too damn hot!

Hopefully the situation will improve over the next few days. And to the people who’s burning fuels/forests/whatevers in Indonesia and caused this, screw you!

————————————————–

Not gonna update about Dubai today.. yet! Because I’ve been busy trying to get another Hackintosh setup on my desktop.

Running off a PC, not a Mac!
Running off a PC, not a Mac!

During last year’s internship, I had to set up a Hackintosh (a PC running Mac OS) as I didn’t have a Mac, to develop in Xcode an iPhone app for my boss. After numerous attempts, I managed to get Mac OS X Lion running on it. I subsequently installed Mountain Lion when it came out, and while it worked fine for a while, my mistake in partitioning my hard disk incorrectly eventually led to the corruption of the whole disk (and I lost all my data in the process *cries*).

As I’m under contract work again, I learned my lesson and decided to install Mac onto another hard disk instead. And since the Developer Preview of Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9) has just been released, I was thinking, why not?

Turns out it’s so much easier than last time.

My computer specifications:

  • ASUS Rampage II Extreme (Ethernet, Audio)
  • Intel Core i7-920
  • ATI Radeon 4870 512MB (Graphics)
  • 8GB RAM, 1TB + 250GB HDDs (not concerned with these)

Warning: This is not intended as a step-by-step guide, only a reference post to those with the same hardware! Just trying to make life easier for people with the same motherboard. If you want to learn how to perform a Hackintosh installation, there are various guides available on Google.

The folks over at myHack have come up with an automated tool that creates a USB installer from your Mavericks install image (you must have one, of course). Simply download and run it off an existing Mac. Also note that currently MBR drives are not supported on the automated installer for 10.9.

The installer booted up fine on my desktop much to my surprise, without any tinkering. Graphics worked right out of the box, though no multi-monitor support (apparently a known issue for 4870s).

DSDT file and audio kext
Ethernet kext
Install kexts with Kext Helper b7 (or any other kext installer of your choice)
My Chameleon didn’t install properly, so I manually installed r2248. I used Chameleon Helper to generate a smbios.plist.

I took a risk to intall the kexts meant for older versions of Mac, and they somehow worked. I’m not complaining 🙂

Dubai Adventures: Day 4

Aaaand the next few days were not as eventful! We actually cancelled our plans to go to SEGA Republic, a theme park in Dubai Mall, as we thought it was a little small and not as fun when we visited it on our first day. And so.. we ended up nua-ing (slacking) in our cozy little hotel room till late before we went out. We needed the rest from the overnight desert visit anyway!

Our first stop was Naif, a small, less developed area in Dubai.

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Typical small town street feel – that’s Naif for you!

This reminds me a little of the undeveloped streets of Malaysia, with small shops here and there, selling stuff at a cheap price. And here we actually found the cheapest food we’ve eaten the entire trip, at a small shop that sells kebab and other delicacies!

Anas Cafeteria!
Anas Cafeteria!
The exterior of the shop.
The exterior of the shop.

 

FOOD GALORE! Left top: some potato + meat mixed thing. DHS 2 Right top: Beef sandwich. DHS 4 Left bottom: Spicy chicken kebab. DHS 5 Right bottom: wrapped potato, cheese, chicken and random stuff. DHS 1/piece
FOOD GALORE!
Left top: some potato + meat mixed thing. DHS 2
Right top: Beef sandwich. DHS 4
Left bottom: Spicy chicken kebab. DHS 5
Right bottom: wrapped potato, cheese, chicken and random stuff. DHS 1/piece

AREN’T THEY CHEAP? 😀 And the serving’s large enough to be filling!

And we started walking around aimlessly.. (due to the lack of a plan)

We found the gold souk! .. although it wasn't very impressive in my opinion. Just a street full of jewellery.
We found the gold souk! .. although it wasn’t very impressive in my opinion. Just a street full of jewellery.

In fact, we also found the souk of spices, but most of the stores there ended up selling.. toys? I have no idea. I guess a street full of spices would be very competitive and most shops there couldn’t survive the stiff fight.

nuanuanuanua.. and it’s buffet time! We bought a cruise dinner package and the food is yummy!

Our cruise!
Our cruise!
SUPER YUMMY FOOD
SUPER YUMMY FOOD
Look at how much I took. Hehehe
Look at how much I took. Hehehe
Just chillin' with Jason
Just chillin’ with Jason

Pretty relaxed day!

Dubai Adventures: Day 3

Sorry for the lack of updates – I was always too tired to post whenever I got back from sightseeing in Dubai. But now that I’m back in Singapore homeland, I hope to push out the remaining of my trip in this blog!

Anyway, before I start on today’s post, I would just like to mention three major observations I’ve made through this trip so far:

1. 90% of the cars are white here (and 60% of the cars are Toyota)

Photo credits: dubaicity.olx.ae
Typical Dubai car. Photo credits: dubaicity.olx.ae

This shouldn’t come as a surprise – Dubai is way too hot to allow cars of darker colors, and I guess a black car would absorb too much heat to actually function properly! But then again, white cars are difficult to take care, especially since there’s gonna be sandstorms here and white cars will look.. yellow? ><

As for Toyota, I have no idea. Maybe people just like the brand here. 99% of the taxis here are Toyota, I swear.

2. The service sector is awesome.

I really appreciate the friendliness my friends and I have been receiving. The ushers and helpers here will always strike a conversation with you, put on the big big smile, and be willing to assist you in general. Many will even try to say hi to you in the language that they think you would understand! We’ve been receiving a lot of 你好s (hello in Chinese), albeit with varying accents, haha!

One thing though, I thought that they seem to not appreciate the use of cellphones when conversing (or maybe they’re not used to it, unlike Singapore, where everyone’s smartphone zombies as coined by my friend Jason). Many of them will go ‘are you busy?’ when they see my friends using their iPhones.

3. I’m apparently Japanese

A japanese me? LOL Filter credits: The St Andrews Face Transformer
A japanese me? LOL Filter credits: The St Andrews Face Transformer

I guess it’s a combination of the limited exposure to Japanese people that Dubai peeps have, and my hair which is.. brown? Maybe it’s because the color’s different haha. Many people asked whether I was from Japan, and adding on to my second point above, some of them even said konichiwa! to me. LOL.

(I’m Malaysian, by the way.)

Updates after the break!

Continue reading “Dubai Adventures: Day 3”

Dubai Adventures: Day 2

Due to the nature of the attraction, my friends and I were unable to take photos most of the time. I’ve sadly resorted to using others’ photos (with proper credits of course!)

We decided to sleep in for the first day, as most of us were still recovering from jetlag. It was a well-needed sleep, and we had instant noodles and cookies for breakfast!

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Instant noodles here are dirt cheap. 10 packs of Indomie Mee Goreng for AED 10 (≈ S$3.5)!
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Really nice cookies from La Cure Gourmande in Dubai Mall. It’s a little expensive though, AED 15.50/100g (≈ S$6).

Our main destination of the day – Atlantis the Palm! It’s a resort with a water theme park, and it contains Dolphin Bay, a dolphin conservation center where we can interact with Dolphins! And of course we went for it~

Quick trivia: Atlantis The Palm is built on Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island that is built in the shape of a palm tree. Google the island! Photo credits: tripadvisor
Quick trivia: Atlantis The Palm is built on Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island that is built in the shape of a palm tree. Google the island! Photo credits: tripadvisor
Where the Dolphins stay.
Where the Dolphins stay.
Our Dolphin’s name is Ini! She’s really, really cute :D
Our Dolphin’s name is Ini! She’s really, really cute 😀
Erin dancing with her
Erin dancing with her
I just can't resist it you know. LOL
I just can’t resist it you know. LOL

We were informed that the Dolphins were trained under operant conditioning, on a rewards-based system. Psychology much? 😀

Crepe for lunch! Didn’t wanna eat too much to prepare for the water attractions ahead.

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Nutella Crepe with walnut! I was in heaven.

And then it was the main water park itself! The water park is huge – it has seven water slides connected to a Ziggurat tower, including an upstream one (yes, the artificial current is so strong that it pushes you upward), an exciting float slide that lands you in an area surrounded by a shark pool, and my personal favourite – a vertical water slide that is 60 feet tall!

Aptly named Leap of Faith. Credits: travelpod
Aptly named Leap of Faith. Credits: travelpod

The lazy river there is 2.3km long, complete with mini rapids along the course of the river to let you and your friends have some excitement while.. lazing along the attraction. Lol!

Pictures alone cannot justify how awesome the place is. Credits: hotelmanagement-network
Pictures alone cannot justify how awesome the place is. Credits: hotelmanagement-network

We spent a loooooong 5 hours in the park, and it was definitely worth it 🙂

Photo credits: Huang Hua
Photo credits: Huang Hua

We travelled to Dubai Marina at night to find food, and I must say, Dubai Marina is like the Clarke Quay of Dubai – pretty buildings with lots of restaurants, beside a river, occasional boats, and has the certain atmosphere that makes you feel high class just by being there. Lol!

A TWISTED TOWER! (Cayan Tower)
A TWISTED TOWER! (Cayan Tower)

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We settled at Arabiska, a Lebanese restaurant offering lots of authentic food. The mezzas (light food served before main courses) there are nice and affordable!

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A collection of cheese, chicken and other random stuff wrapped within. AED28
Beef balls! Awesome! AED28
Beef balls! Awesome! AED28

After dinner relaxation!

Just had to take another shot of this awesome tower
Just had to take another shot of this awesome tower

The soft drinks are DIRT CHEAP. 2.25 litres for 5 AED (≈ S$1.7). Singapore sells 1.5 litres for about $2.x!

Clockwise from top left: 500ml, 1 litre, 2.25 litres. Singapore only has 500ml and 1.5 litres packaging.
Clockwise from top left: 500ml, 1 litre, 2.25 litres. Singapore only has 500ml and 1.5 litres packaging.
Random building. I love the architectural styles here!
Random building. I love the architectural styles here!

Really really enjoyed myself at Atlantis, and I would recommend anyone who travels to Dubai to have a taste of the awesome water park and the exotic dolphin experience. You won’t regret it!