Choosing a Chromebook

Computer Photio from Unsplash.com

About two or three years ago, I first heard of Google’s Chromebook and its Chrome OS, and it had intrigued me ever since. One of my friends bought the original Samsung Chromebook of her own, and I heard about how it was a great laptop. I’ve been hankering to get a new laptop since my Acer Aspire One netbook is now far too slow and bulky. So while I was thinking about getting a new laptop, I encountered someone selling this used HP Chromebook locally for 150,000 won ($145 USD). I was tempted, very tempted. But in the end, I decided to get something else, something brand new, so I spent the last few days reading up on Chromebooks and consulting a couple of awesome tech guru mates. My research led me to focus on six areas to use as a basis for choosing a Chromebook.

Portability and Battery Life

My main reason for getting a Chromebook was that I wanted a device that was in between my phone and my desktop PC, meaning I wanted something that was easily portable. So the Chromebook’s weight heavily mattered to me. I wanted something light, and that meant finding a Chromebook that was between 2-3 pounds (0.9-1.4 kilograms). I also preferred something with a good battery life. Anything under eight hours wasn’t a choice. Something that was about eight to ten hours would work for me!

Speed and Performance

I read up on a lot of articles and reviews about how 2GB of RAM would be enough for Chrome OS, but that having 4GB of RAM would make things even smoother for a user who likes to have 8+ tabs in action on their browsers. *coughscoughsTara* So I figured 4GB will be plenty for what I wanted to do with my Chromebook, which was to do email, browse the Internet, keep up with Twitter and other social media, listen to music, and blog :D I also considered the processor speed and type. I was told by my tech guru friend that a fast processor would not matter if I didn’t have sufficient amount of RAM, but I didn’t want something too slow, either! In fact, I was recommended to stay away from Intel Celeron, so I did XD;

Brand and Price

Finally, my tech guru friend also said to avoid HP. I was also not fond of Dell. Ergo, I read up on ASUS, Acer, and Samsung Chromebooks. Along with the brand, price was the other factor that affected my decision. I really wanted to spend under $200, but I’d also pondered on getting one up to $300, but definitely nothing over $300 because I couldn’t justify spending that much for a Chromebook!

ASUS C201 Chromebook

My Pick

After looking and considering Samsung Chromebook 2, ASUS C200MA-EDU, and Acer C720 Chromebook, I chose ASUS C201 Chromebook because . . .

  • It weighs 2.2 pounds (0.98 kilograms)
  • Battery life is projected to be about thirteen hours
  • Rockchip processor speed is at 1.8ghz
  • It has 4GB of RAM
  • It’s ASUS
  • And it costs $199

I ended up paying $160.80 for it after applying some of my Amazon reward points, so that discount helped! Unfortunately, Amazon would not ship it directly to me, so I had to do the wonderful thing of shipping it to a friend and having the friend ship it to me. :( That makes for a much longer wait, but it appears that none of the 4GB models I’ve looked at can be shipped to me. Regardless, I am so excited for my Chromebook! After only having a netbook and my phone, I’m ready to have something that I can type with on the go! Keep an eye out for my Chromebook review in the near future!

Nostalgic Notes: Halmeoni

Nostalgic Notes

Like last month, my Nostalgic Notes entry for this month will be dedicated to someone I love and miss dearly. Last month, it was my beloved bunny, Grumpy. This month is my maternal grandmother, my halmeoni, which is Korean for grandmother.

Halmeoni

Yi Hyeon Sook
May 4, 1919 – June 25, 2014

She was my last remaining grandparent, and the one I knew the best. Both of my grandfathers passed away before I was born, and my paternal grandmother is someone I only met twice because she lived in the states, and I lived in Korea. My living in Korea allowed me to see my maternal grandmother often.

Halmeoni Cake

I miss her. I was her favourite grandchild, and to her, I could never do any wrong. I gave her money whenever I could. I baked her sweets and treats (like her birthday cake I baked in 2012 pictured above), and I even tried gluten-free baking when I discovered her gluten intolerance. Basically, because my mum treated her well, I took after my mum and treated Halmeoni well.

I miss her dialect. She lived in the South Jeolla province, and their dialect is awesome. Whenever I visited her or talked to her, I picked up on some of the unusual verb conjugations, like the “땅게” (ddang-gae) one, which is my absolute favourite.

I miss her for her courage and independence. Halmeoni lived through the Japanese occupation and World War II, survived the Korean War, and was widowed in her 60s, where she lived by herself from the early 1980s to her death. She worked on her farm and rice paddies for years until her late 80s.

I miss you, Halmeoni. Thank you for loving me and thank you for everything.

Liebster Award II

Liebster Award

Chynna nominated me for the Liebster Award, which I’d done before in January 2014 :)

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

The way it works is to answer 11 questions from the one who nominated you, and then you nominate few bloggers and give them 11 questions. Chynna’s questions are:

1. What is your song of the week?
“Moonlight Densetsu” from Sailor Moon because I’ve been watching that anime XD

2. If you had buried treasure, where would you hide it?
In the the most unlikeliest place ever . . . like, I dunno, a bathroom?

3. What film could you watch over and over again?
October Sky and The Secret Garden are the two that come into my mind.

4. Do you have any strange habits?
I wear socks to bed, even in the summer. XD

5. Have you ever visited a fortune teller?
No, unless you count me tagging along when my friend visited one! Also, I did have a several people read my palm, and I learned one of my lines were unusual, haha!

6. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?
Nope. Pink is not my favourite colour at all.

7. Do you have any pets?
No, but I do have a cousin that’s a dog :D She’s my aunt and uncle’s new baby! ^^

8. What is your favourite pizza topping? Describe your perfect pizza.
I love olives and mushroom. I’d also like it with spinach and pesto :D I also don’t mind cheese-free pizza since I’m slightly lactose-intolerant.

9. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
Yes, I can. Unfortunately, I cannot put into words how they are different!

10. What is the one thing you will never do again?
I will never steal. I did that as a child in my classroom, and my mum came down on me HARD.

11. What’s your dream vacation?
TOKYO. Seriously, TOKYO. In fact, I could spend weeks in Otome Road alone!

With those answered, I now nominate:

1. Raisa
2. Chantelle
3. Connie
4. Holland

The 11 Questions are:

1. Where is your happy place?
2. If you could be in a fictional setting/world (ie: Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, etcetera) what would it be and why?
3. What is your all-time favourite film?
4. Where on earth is Carmen Sandiego?
5. Do you know Pig Latin?
6. What book(s) did you enjoy as a child?
7. What are your vices?
8. Coffee or tea?
9. Who is your favourite philosopher or inspirational figure and why?
10. If you were given the opportunity to go to another galaxy, would you?
11. What is your favourite classical piece?

TC the Introvert

TC the Introvert

I am an introvert. My first exposure to this term occurred in my senior year of high school when the guidance counsellor came to every senior English classes and gave us a super long MBTI test. My result told me that I was an ISTP. My guidance counsellor said that generally the first letter and the last letter do not change for an individual, but the two middle letters do as we grow and develop. Since 2003, I’ve taken the online version multiple times, and the most recent results are as followed:

December 2013: INTJ (Humanmetrics)
August 2014: ISTJ (Humanmetrics)
April 2015: INTJ (Humanmetrics) & ISTJ (16 Personalities)

Well, one thing for certain — I’m an definitely an “I”, “T”, and “J”. Meanwhile, my second letter fluctuates between an “N” and an “S”. As for the first letter, that “I” is very strong in me, meaning that I’m a huge introvert :D

Crowd from Unsplash.com

Recently, I read this article about Introjis, and it led to me to Introvert, Dear which taught me several new facts that I could relate to as an introverts. One of the facts I learnt is that introverts prefer to communicate with writing and typing over speaking because we tend to pull information from our long-term memory banks. Information also travel a different pathway compared to our extrovert peers. Introverts also become too overstimulated when dopamine takes over our nervous system, unlike extroverts who can handle the stimulation better. These would definitely explain my tendencies to prefer writing over speaking and why I get so uptight and stressed at work from the dopamine overdose. For those not aware, I work with primary school-aged kids so this means . . .

  • I work in a super noisy, stimulating building that has the main area as one open space that’s divided into areas with no walls to cut off the noise.
  • I have to repeatedly talk and make small talks with the kids, parents, and colleagues, which leads me to have communication problems at times because I express myself better through writing than speaking.
  • I am constantly forcing myself to be alert because I need to be fast on my feet with these kids, and that’s not easy for me to do when I do prefer to take my time with decision-making.
  • Literally, I’m in an enclosed playground, so it’s really an overload of stimulation!
Chibi Introvert TC

Thanks to my job, I need a lot of me time. That’s why when I come home from work, I just do my Internet tasks and I crawl into my bed with my Kindle, DS, or Vita. That’s why I always tell my friends I don’t want to hang out on Sundays because I want to have at least one bum day in the week. That’s why I like to walk around and explore Seoul and try out new restaurants and coffee shops on my own. I need to unwind and escape reality, a reality where I have to be more extroverted than I want to, and I do recuperate through my hobbies to find solace. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with my friends, usually one-on-one, but I need to be able to balance my life out, and this is how I do it. I will forever be an introvert.

What is your MBTI? Are you working in an extroverted career field as an introvert? If you’re an introvert, how do you unwind?

Symphonic Selections: Final Fantasy VI ~ Terra’s Theme

Symphonic Selections

To commemorate the fact that Square-Enix is finally serious about remaking Final Fantasy VII, I’ve decided to postpone my original selection for this column and choose a Final Fantasy song I adore. After talking to Raisa and seeing several other friends’ tweets on them wishing for a Final Fantasy VI remake (and also wishing for a Gensou Suikoden remake!), I chose to feature “Terra’s Theme” performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra from the second Distant Worlds album.

I am a firm believer that video game music sounds absolutely amazing when orchestrated right, and this piece is an epitome of that belief. I absolutely love this piece. It sounds melancholic and majestic at the same time, and those horn soli . . . GUH. It really makes me wish I’d chosen something other than that alto sax now . . .

Anyway, I remember first hearing this song in my high school band room, where a bunch of friends were playing Final Fantasy VI on the Super Nintendo, and when they told me that this was “Terra’s Theme”, I did a double-take hearing my name until they told me that it was a different spelling. Different spelling aside, I do feel a kinship to this song because of our same-sounding name (the Japanese version of the game calls her Tina, though!), and I remember watching the sprites on the overworld moving around with this song in the background. In fact, this song also was one of the first ones I figured out how to play on my own on the piano. It’s a super easy rendition, but it’s obvious that I love the song since I’ve taken the time to plink it out on the piano! :D

Anyway, even if you’re not a gamer or not fond of instrumentals, do give this a listen. It’s a beautiful piece, and it’s a fantastic finale piece that many Final Fantasy music concerts use as a closing piece.