Sunday, July 13, 2008

Joys of comparison shopping

I've been drooling for an ultra-portable notebook that I can chuck into my handbag and take around everywhere I go. I started my research a couple of months back when I was in Singapore. The Asus EEC PC was about the only such product available at the time, and HP's mini-note 2133 had just come onto the market.

This trip, I was adamant that I would buy the HP 2133 (the Asus keyboard was practically unusable cos it's just too small). When I went to Best on Friday, the price of the HP2133 was $1199, when I was quite sure it should be retailing at $999. Then yesterday, I went to Harvey Norman, and hey the notebook was going for $999 inclusive of GST! Woohooo...I told the salesman that I was taking it...

...but wait a minute. What was this beauty beside the HP2133?



Omigosh, it was an Acer One, with a keyboard that was slightly smaller than HP's but still usable (unlike Asus'), it runs on Linux which is fine for me, loads faster (HP runs Vista and me no likey Vista), it is only 1kg (270g lighter than the 2133), it comes with a case (HP doesn't), the battery life is about 5 hours (HP only 2-3 hours) and most importantly, it's bloody gorgeous!!!



I got mine in Pearl white; the other choice was Sapphire blue.



Oh yeah, it's a whole $300 cheaper than the 2133, at only $699 inclusive of GST. Fantastic buy. And it's a new arrival, just came into Harvey Norman on the very day I went there. If I had been a day early, I would have been stuck with the HP2133. I've been using this cutie all morning, hence, the er, slew, of blog posts today.

I sure am glad I'm Queen of Comparison Shopping, yeah, you can call me Madame Skint...Happy happpeeeee...I know, I know, I'm also Queen of Internet Surfing...

Those of you in the market for mini-notes, 'note' that Dell is coming up with their own version, dunno how much it'll be though. Seriously, if you only need this for internet surfing, simple blogging and simple wordprocessing, this machine is more than adequate. I'm liking what I see about Linux so far, it's all about KISS, keeping it simple, stupid! :)

Fun at Dempsey



Brian & Sean with the Tan siblings Kyra and Declan, enjoying french fries and chicken wings at the cafe inside the indoor playground at Dempsey Road. Karen came by on Friday after school and the plan was to have the kids play at the indoor playground, then proceed to Jacob Ballas' Children's Garden for a picnic. But with the entrance fee for the indoor playground at $15 a child, for unlimited play, we decided to let them play there for hours while we hung out at the cafe; food's not too bad there and there are tonnes of magazines to read, comfy seating too.

Dempsey has changed so much, well, I haven't been there in years. The last time I went there, it was to look at furniture. Now the place has been transformed with lots of restaurants (including Jumbo Seafood), cafes (I saw Dome), a beer garden and an expat grocer too.

The kids had tonnes of fun at the playground. After dinner, Kyra went back with Karen while Declan stayed with us for a sleepover.

This is not the zoo







My ex-hostel roommate Jen came by after work on Thursday and drove us to IMM in Jurong East. The pictures above were taken in Giant supermarket, not the zoo! The boys had a good time, so suaku, never seen live seafood displayed like that. Brian and Jeryl, Jen's younger boy, ganged up earlier to tease (I call it torture) Sean by asking Why? to everything Sean said. As expected, Sean got upset, but it was fun for the other two boys lah.

I found Ikan Kurau/Threadfin/Ngor hee at a fraction ($18 per kg) of the price I paid at Farrer Market ($40 per kg) and Tekka Market ($30 per kg). So shiok! I bought more than 2 kgs of threadfin, my favourite fish, and something I can't find in Moscow. Giant is great! And I love grocery-shopping in Singapore :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Better than going to the toystore...



...a day at Singapore's Science Centre that is. Took the boys there earlier this week and they could hardly contain their excitement. Sean doesn't get this excited at toystores or candystores or even themeparks. His favourite section was Living with viruses.

I've gotta say though that for me, Science Centre seemed loads more fun when I first visited almost 30 years ago. And the Dinosaurs Alive! show at the Omnitheatre was a bore.

Still, I'll try to take the boys there again, such a long way from where we are though.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

First visit to the dentist



At a ripe old age of almost 6, Sean finally had his first ever dental health check. We all went to see my favourite dentist Dr Chua from Atria-Pan. It's notoriously hard to get an appointment with him, so I made sure to book this slot the last time I was back in Singapore. I've been seeing him, the funniest dentist I know, since 1996.

He's good at putting kids at ease, and a nervous Sean quickly relaxed after he was given a mirror to look at his teeth while the good doctor counted how many teeth he had; 20. Only then did Dr Chua give him a good clean-up and scaling. No cavities so far, thank goodness for that; ditto for Brian.