Steamy week

valvesale

Other than the title sorta resembling the weather, with it being humid and all. It’s actually about the sales happening on Steam. Steam is a place where you can download PC games that are tied to an account meaning that if you change PCs you can still access your games as long as you have that account. I personally think it’s a great system and that’s why I chose to buy some games to add to my library.

So right now, it’s the Steam Summer Sale, where a bunch of games are discounted but you have to be on the lookout for the best price since the prices fluctuate throughout the week. This sorta reminds me of the days I waited for the Black Friday sales on Amazon.

I’ve gotten quite a few games, but my current setup doesn’t give me the capability to play them. I’m still working on my new rig and it’s been taking time trying to find the best parts. Anyway, once I build it, I’ll be able to enjoy the games I’ve gotten. Looking forward to finally playing BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider.

Apple debates

So lately, all that’s been on my mind is what Mac I should get. I’ve always wanted one and now that I have some money saved up. I can actually get one. Thing is, I can’t choose the right one. But if I were to list the Macs in the order I would buy. It would probably be:

1.) 27-inch iMac

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This would probably suit most of my needs specs-wise. I would really have no problems with lag in doing most tasks and I would definitely have no problems with the games I want to play.

Pros:
Awesome screen
Dedicated video card
All-in one which means less wires
Most powerful from the Macs I’m choosing
32GB max RAM
Fusion drive sounds like an awesome concept
Built-in web cam for Skyping

Cons:
Price – main issue, for the build I want it would cost me 236661 yen
Space, considering I live in a cramped space already, this might not be a good idea
Since it’s all-in-one, if a part breaks having it fixed could be a problem

2.)Mac mini

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I was actually ready to buy this, until the iMac caught my eye again.

Pros:
Price – this is actually the cheapest Mac I can buy
Size – I like this a lot, because it doesn’t take much space
Specs-wise better than a laptop
I already have a mouse and monitor that I can use with it
Fusion drive sounds like an awesome concept
Consumes less power
Portable in the sense I can plug it into any monitor setup and use it, good for when I move.

Cons:
No dedicated video card, so I would have to resort to low to med settings, which kinda doesn’t make this an upgrade
More wires because it needs to be connected to a monitor.
I don’t have a web cam I can use with it
Not really good at showing off as a Mac because it’s small
Portable but not bring with you anywhere portable

3.)13-inch Mac Book Air

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I considered this if I wanted to bring it with me anywhere, but was thinking that my iPad 2 could probably fulfill that role. I also considered using this to drive the monitor I currently have but was worried that it might not be powerful enough.

Pros:
Portable
Light
Can do more tasks in more places

Cons:
Worst specs of the bunch
Can’t upgrade parts
Small, so I probably can’t use this as a main work station because of less screen estate

4.)15-inch Mac Book Pro with Retina Display

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If I had the money, I probably would get this.
Pros:
Great all-around computer
Portable
Dedicated video card
Nice display
Good to show off

Cons:
Price – this is actually the most expensive of the bunch
Overheats – I’ve been watching videos regarding this problem
Weight – Kinda heavy to bring around everywhere
Price…I mentioned this already but yeah, I’m going over 300000 yen for the model I want
Specs-wise, the desktops fare better

So I guess, to be honest it’s a toss-up between the iMac or the Mac Mini. A Mac laptop will probably come after that.

Everything’s so blurry…

I’ve finally decided to get contacts again. I honestly wasn’t looking forward to it but, my eyesight has gotten progressively worse since the past year. I had PRK surgery (kind of like LASIK) in December 2008 but ever since I left America in March 2009, I’ve been noticing my eyesight get blurrier and blurrier. Apparently, this can happen in some cases after surgery and it’s called regression. I’ve been trying to live with it for a while now and its been ok since I don’t drive in Japan but it sucks not being able to read things from afar and sometimes I have a hard time recognizing people’s faces.

For my contact lenses, I decided to get them in Heart-up, which is located at ESCA near Nagoya station. So first, I had to get my eyes checked to find out what grade my eyes are.  I was given -1.25 for my right eye and -1.50 for my left. I kinda figured it would be that range. My first pair of glasses that I got when I was around 10 years old were in the -2.75 range and right before surgery they were around -4.00 so I guess it didn’t regress too far, still notice the difference though.

After finding out my eye grade, I was checked again by an optometrist to see if it was ok for me to be wearing contact lenses again, which she said it was ok. I asked if it would be possible for me to get corrective surgery again and she advised to ask my surgeon which makes sense.

When choosing my contact lenses, I decided to go for the one day ones because I don’t intend on using them everyday and I feel its more sanitary and less of a hassle too, maintenance-wise since all you do is throw them away afterward. As for the brand, I let the optician choose. They recommended these ones, as pictured below.

Two boxes of contacts since I have different grades for my eyes. Also pictured is some liquid that you put on the contacts to help it stick to your eye.

It was funny because I was taught how to use them again, but it didn’t take as long as the first time I tried to wear contacts. So before leaving, she asked me if I had any questions and I asked about eyeglasses and she said I get a discount if I buy them with the contacts, so I did. I chose a frame and will pick it up the following week.

So this was another experience for me to speak Japanese, which was nice since I was able to communicate and understand most of the things the optician said. Of course, there was still stuff I couldn’t understand and times where I didn’t know how to say something but I still feel good I made it through without making myself look too much like an idiot.

As for wearing glasses and contacts again, they’re really just for emergencies or maybe when I travel. I honestly don’t want to depend on them. Well, that’s all for this post.

Last-minute shopping before heading back to PI

My top 3 movies of '09

I haven’t bought blu-rays in a while so I could save money but I decided to buy these movies since these were some of the movies I enjoyed watching in the theatres last year, and because I was able to find them for cheaper than retail prices. So from left to right, its: Inglourious Basterds, Up and Star Trek.

Some other stuff I got

I also got a PlayStation 3 Component AV Cable, since a 3rd Party one I bought 2 years ago broke and my TV in the Philippines only has one HDMI input which I use for my HTiB. I got a 4 GB microSD card for my younger brother, a Patriot Xporter XT Boost 8GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive to replace an old one that doesn’t work anymore. This new one I got is supposedly supposed to have faster write times so that’s pretty cool. That green box is an Xbox 360 Live 12 Month Messenger Gold Pack, I got this since my Xbox live gold subscription expired, it comes with a nifty keyboard that plugs in to the Xbox 360 controller, which I’ll use so I can send messages faster instead of having to use the clunky virtual keyboard. The last thing I got was New Super Mario Bros for Wii. I don’t usually buy games for full retail anymore, I started doing this since the beginning of 2009, again to save money but I really wanted to play this game with my friends and the price hasn’t really gone down at all since its release so I expect it to be like that for a while.

Well I’ll probably be packing most of these things up now…