Tag Archives: Cyber Gypsy Gear

Hong Kong Fuey

The youth hostel at Mount Davis is basic but friendly, but it’s the view that you get which is priceless. I sat until late just enjoying the vista then turned in to crinkly myself to sleep on a thin plastic coated sponge mattress.

In the morning I took a bus to central and joined the throngs breakfasting in McDonalds. Afterwards I took the picture above which is why the sun is so low in the sky.

I then went to visit the place I stayed in upon arrival the first time around. I passed a woman in a lift that spouted ‘you loom, you loom’ at me as if I were deaf and in need of something to do with weaving. I kind of knew she meant room but what association she had with the said looms I couldn’t tell, so she looked dismissive and muttered her way into the lift and was off. That was the owner who speaks little to no English. The hostel itself looked deserted missing even basic furniture. At one time there was a bed near the door where a large black man slept and guarded the door at the same time, no mean feat, but now it seemed full of ghosts.

The travellers hostel was a funny old place where quite a few long termers in Hong Kong stayed as it was one of the few affordable bits of real estate to be found. There were a lot of English teachers and girls working as hostesses that entertained old Chinese men for a fee. I became very close to one of these girls, Jackie, who was the light and soul of the place. We would meet after her shifts and zip around the bars of Hong Kong from one happy hour to the next. One of these bars would pay men to dance on the bar top with no t-shirt on Wednesdays as it was ladies night, we would lean down and take another beer whenever we wished. We had no shame.

A few of the other full time resident of the travellers hostel were elderly Europeans that were not going home for love nor money. One of them, John the book, would rent out books, magazines and clothes, the clothes were for your first interviews that you don’t have anything in your rucksack for.The place was always busy, people gathered in the foyer swapping tips for jobs and the times of the happy hours for the bars around town, it was a lot of fun and felt like home. Now it looked devoid of life and a tad spooky as you can see from the picture below.

And another picture, where is everyone?

I was going to stay in the travellers hostel for old times sake but I decided that it felt a little morbid. I therefore headed over to the YMCA.

Now the Y in Hong Kong seems to be very unchristian. They charge 100 HK$ for Internet access alone so I am making sure I get my moneys worth.  I was also looking forward to a swim but the swimming pool is closed, I guess I’ll have to wait for my swim in Sydney’s harbour side swimming pool that I have been told so much about.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is my favourite place in the world. Nowehere else do you get that blend of the exotic yet with subtle reminders of home, like the fact that the little bins are the same as the litter bins in London, people speak English, the street names are in English and Chinese and have very British names like Nathan Road, The Peak etc. So it feels homey yet it’s as far away from Streatham as you can get.

I arrived in the morning when we were dumped at a bus stop in Shenzen, I thought we were being dropped off at a ferry terminal, but instead we caught a bus to the train station and hopped on a train. What surprised me was the fact that to all intents and purposes Hong Kong is still a separate country. It has it’s ownbcurrency still with many coins having good old Lizzy on the back of them. I thought they would have at least changed to the Chinese Yuan.

So we busied our way through customs and I arrived in Tsim Sha Tsui in good shape, reunited with my lovely Hong Kong.

I had to do that very Hong Kong things as soon as I arrived which is to go into McDonalds, it’s one of the few places to go where it is not a fortune for a meal and all travellers bump into each other in McStodge.

I then caught a star ferry over the harbour, something I could do over and over again like a dog fetching a stick.

Star Ferry
Star Ferry

All of the ferries have lovely names like ‘Solar Star’ ‘Twinkling Star’ etc. There is no ‘Freddy Star’ but that’s probably a good thing now isn’t it.

So I get a number 54 bus from Central and head on up the long walk to the YHA at Mount Davis where the view out of the window is that picture at the beginning of this post. Click on it and you’ll see it close up.

I have planned my time here to make the most use of my few days. I am going to relax today in this mountain idyll, spend tomorrow night in Chung King Mansions on Nathan road where I used to stay over 11 years ago when I first arrived in Hong Kong, then on Tuesday night I will go over to Lantau and visit a few of the places I used to know when I lived there for a year. I might even attempt a swim in the waterfall pools.

I love it here, it’s just everything you could want from a place. It is mostly national parks, it has great footpaths, cycle ways, it is civilised in a very English kind of way and the people are quirky and touchy and the food is to die for. It’s just heaven on earth.

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Hot Gossip

I discovered the Yangshui expat community today which is a hotbed of intrigue and gossip. One feller who is new to the scene is apparently ‘splashing the cash’ around so the lads are keeping an eye on him. One fellow was swaggering around like he owned the place and more alcohol is consumed by this small bunch of English teachers and climbers than is drunk by the whole of the rest of China. I’m not sure if I like this kind of scene or not, it’s a bit like a schoolyard and I never warmed to school very much the first time around.

I managed to find someone that did a traditional kosher massage and nearly missed my bus because of it, but I managed to hop on and find myself a little bunk by the window.

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Lazy Day

It’s lovely here, the Chinese have built a little shangri-la by some of the most eye catching scenery in the world. It’s not perfect and it would be easy to walk around with a critical eye, but it’s a great place to pass the time so today I did my spring cleaning and re-charged my batteries. This consists of cleaning out the rucksack by throwing away the pile of rubbish that accumulates on the road. Everything seems to have a value when you are travelling, even reciepts in languages you cannot fathom, so I have been ruthless and disposed of them all. I then washed my clothes which are drying right now, scrubbed myself, washed my hair, combed out the dreadlocks by dragging my fingers through my barnet and now I feel a good deal lighter.

I bought an expensive local jasmine tea and have been enjoying that all day, for lunch I ventured out to a local chinese eatery and selected from the goodies below…


If you click on the picture you will get a larger image to pop up. This techological  advancement is cone of the many free add ons provided in the wordpress add on library gawd bless em.

I also booked my ticket to Shenzen and hence onwards to Hong Kong. I have planned my time there to take in some of my old haunts from when I lived there over 11 years ago, so that’ll be a trip down memory lane.


Tomorrow I might cycle up country and take a bamboo boat trip up river, my bus isn’t til 8pm and I know the way well enough by now to find the river landings for the bamboo rafts.


So, I’m not going to rabbit on anymore as I am going to get some dins with a German feller called Fred that I met on the way through Guilin. I like yangshuo, but then again I have fallen for quite a few places on this trip on reflection. It’s a wonderful world. (right now a Chinese girl is watching TV in the YHA munching on raw sugar cane, she looks like a panda and reminds me that we are all still animals at heart).

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Yangshuo

I beckoned to the man reversing the bus in the bus station that perhaps he should be so kind as to let me on. He shrugged one of those ‘why should I care’ shrugs and just pulled away – I gave him one of those ‘my finger has just picked your nose through your arse’ middle fingers and turned around. The crowd watching doesn’t understand interactions like this, emotional exchanges are kept to a minimum in South East Asia unless you are drunk and singing Karaoke, so I looked a little sheepish and returned to the throng whence some dude that looked a little too relaxed in sunglasses, smoking a cigarette, leaning,  suggested that it was in fact bay ‘2’ I needed and the bus was still there.

You see this is a problem being in a country where you can read nothing and have a temper that flares at things a great deal more trivial than Spurs losing, it’s easy to feel like you are not quite getting the whole picture.

Here is a case in point. People overcharge you for everything here. It’s a sport, unless you happen to be in a supermarket where items are marked. I was at a juice bar the other day and asked for an orange juice. There was a huddle amongst the staff where I picket out a few words like ‘handsome devil’ and ‘looks like Brad Pitt’, but when the time came to be charged I had to point out that nothing on the sign-board above the counter came to anything near as much, I could get an icecream sundae that looked like a limestone Karst for half the price of my small orange juice. They just giggled and took the money.

You’ll pay a dollar at a street stall while the feller beside you is offering something that looks like one of the old half Pennie pieces, but heck, I am aware that with the new Chinese economic boom every one of them needs a moulinex so let me oblige and help a little.

The bus journey to Yangshuo was comfy and quick, but what a surprise Yangshuo is. It’s a cross between some swiss ski resort (without any skiing of course) combined with the lake district and a cut down version of the everyday Chinese hassle but with nice coffee shops to escape to. It’s a lovely little place and I shall put my feet up here until I have to leggit to Hong Kong at the weekend.

I hired a bike from my comfy little youth hostel (The Backstreet Hostel) and peddled down to the river for a looksie. I was gently lulled into a sense of well being by a young Chinese girl, Linda,  who quite bizarrely sparked up a conversation in Spanish. Before I knew it I had employed her services as my tour guide for the day and set off on bicycles to check out the scenery around Yangshuo. Linda is her ‘English name’, having a passing similarity to Yin Degiong’, Yin De’ Lin De’ ‘Lin Da’ ‘Linda’, Ok and onwards.

We took a break at lunchtime in a small restaurant by the river that had a whole load of ducks drying outside. We had passed a whole bunch of ducks on the road that I suggested would have been quite tasty, this led me to drool at the gaggle hanging up, my mind greedily pondering crispy Peking duck and lots of it, Peking Duck being the Gina Lollobrigida of the food world it does rather get one going.

When it arrived it was a mess of chopped up bony dried ducky stuff cooked in something that tasted a bit like mobilube. The vegetables that come with it were rather nice though so I did my best while Linda berated me for picking around the duck looking for something that looked a little like, well, Duck.

We peddled on and Linda got a puncture. We deposited her back at the restaurant where some feller fixed the puncture then peddled around the countryside paying huge sums for fresh fruit, for instance when we purchased some from some little old lady that looked as if she was 125. She had a sign that said ‘I’m old and these extortionate fruit prices keep me in Satellite TV and the ability to watch movies with fresh young Hollywood actors in it so it’s either money or a shag’. Well it was something like that.

My high spot was when we stopped at a little little pagoda to buy some Pomelo (a bit like a grapefruit) whereupon the old feller selling them burst into song. I expected this to be a ‘lucre for a song’ pitch but now, Linda joined in and before I knew it we were swopping songs. I came out with Jacques Brel songs and before we knew it we had bonded like a teenage boy/girl band. We parted with a wave and a touch of sadness and continued along our way.

The scenery is amazing here. The reflection of the Limestone Karsts in the water of the rivers flowing through them has to be one of the prettiest nature has to offer anywhere in the world. We peddled and took snaps and headed towards some big arch of stone before the sun went down.

By the time we arrived I was knackered, but I hiked up the 800 steps with my heart pounding like I had done no exercise in the last four weeks and had replaced food with beer. By the time I reached the top I had redressed the balance, my blood was as clean as babies wee and my lungs were working again.

After this all I could do was head back to the YHA, fall into a shower and sleep face down and arse up in a heap in bed, I woke up at 4.30 am in time to catch Spurs/Spartak in the Uefa cup, Isn’t life just a peach sometimes.

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China Express

Tony dropped me off at the station and made sure I was a happy web designer. He is paranoid that I’ll pull the plug on his shiny new website as I haven’t had what could be described as the most hassle free stay at his place, but I’m more pragmatic than that so he’s OK with me, his website will be OK.

The Vietnamese train looked like someone had taken the plans for some posh German hi-speed train and had then had the mutoid waste gang build it for them. It was sleek but patched up and scratched up so I wondered what kind of wars this train had been in. Train wars, trainzilla versus train kong, it’s obvious this train didn’t come out looking too pretty, but that’s the Vietnamese, they might suffer indescribable losses in their scrapes but they win, pretty or not.

So we pootle off to the border where we arrived before midnight. We sat chilly in the cold night air in a cheerless waiting room as we went through customs, some poor women in another glass fronted room peered through a sign that implied she was looking out for people with contagious diseases, she looked like she needed a break.

So after our spartan Vietnamese train we then boarded our Chinese counterpart. A Vietnamese officer checked our passport whilst looking as casual as he could, ciggy hanging from his mouth and his army jacket loose he was trying to be a James Dean to his Chinese counterparts impassive and upright demeanour. They stood close enough at the train door to share a kiss but didn’t swap a word, I guess they are still a little pissed off with each other.

The Chinese carriage was the same design as the Vietnamese one, I guess both made in China, but here the similarity ends. The Chinese train was warm and comfy, carpeted on the floor and with guards that were polite and helpful. I settled into my carriage with three friendly and chatty Vietnamese and after swapping stories, as well as passport necessities with the authorities, slipped into the best nights sleep since I was snuggled up in Streatham.

We stopped in the morning at Nanning where I slipped out of the station and experienced China for the first time (I spent a year in Hong Kong but it was British at the time). I had a plate of Dim Sum and a bowl of noodles that were both delicious, then hurried back to the train where we boarded again. I was woken again at 1.30 as were were soon to pull into Guilin, I arrived refreshed and happy to be in China.

I am now sitting in a youth hostel with a great wifi connection near the river in Guilin. I will head to Yangshuo tomorrow where I will hire a bike and get out into the country side.

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Website Finished

So one thing I have proved is that building a website in the wilds of S.E.Asia is only different from Streatham is that I get someone delivering a never ending supply of beer. Now pinch me now as that seems to be a kind of work nirvana, but that’s me – I am supposing that the average nun wouldn’t hope for the same working conditions when abroad, but you never know.

Tony, the Hotel Gaffer tried to squeeze as much blood out of this stone as possible by getting me to submit his site to all sorts of Hotel search engines, but by early afternoon had had enough. Jackie, Kwah and I all went out to lunch and sat in a little cafe while Kwah laughed and tossed his noodle soup over the balcony at unwitting passers by. He really is a happy kid and is very bright, his disability is purely physical so he should be up to speed soon with the help he’s getting – The Kianh Foundation is the charity if you want to have a ganders.

I said my goodbyes around 4.00 and hopped on a bike with Tony to go to the station – off to China.

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Building Websites

So I start early and spend the day tap tapping away like a web monkey whilst being delivered beer fule by the frantic hotel owner who believes I will not finish his website by the time I leave. Little does he know, I have obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to finishing jobs like this, I get tunnel vision until I have spent myself, frothing and wild eyed.

I was luck enough to meet Jackie and Kwah towards the end of the day and suggested taking them both out for a meal. Jackie is working for a charity that helps out disabled kids in Vietnam, she has taken on Kwah as his family had him tied to a bed for a number of years which wasn’t doing him too much good. Jackie is a scouser with a wicked sense of Humour and Kwah is a Vietnamese kid that laughs all of the time, a perfect team methinks. They took my mind off of the job for a while as we sat at the coffee shop at the end of the lake and ate, quite frankly, crap food (they have great cakes though so my fault). Afterwards I returned to my slavish and wide eyed tapping until I passed out in the early hours, pissed and overworked.

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Phnom Penh

I’m in a bar making the most of the wifi yet again, I am with the Cambodian president of the football federation, and a couple of fellers from Hertfordshire who are making the most of five jars of Sangria. One of them I met on the boat the other day, he’s a breath of fresh air with that foul mouthed British whit that leaves a vew raised eyebrows around the table. I was gently coerced into making a free website for the Cambodian Football Federation, I don’t mind, they don’t have two pennies and apparently even have to pay TV stations around here to broadcast matches so they need a punt, I might as well help spread the word.

Tomorrow I am off to Vietnam, apparently the internet connections are faster and the food is better, but I have enjoyed my stay around here. I’ll come back and have a better look around, but for now I’m motoring.

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How to make money online

First, my fellow gypsies, we have to learn how to get some tools on the fly.

Now I am not going to espouse the theft of software in any way, but each to his own. I tend to think that if you try something out and you like it buy it, so it’s up to you if the trying comes before the buying, or you opt to put your hand in your pocket up front.

A great tool for searching for any kind of resource is called a bit torrent. I won’t go into it here, but let’s say if you get a tool called Azureus, you can open tiny little files that you find by going here www.torrents.to, and then you can download whatever saucy bit of software you care to mention. Just do it, you’ll get the idea.

Be careful what you download, so try a free anti virus like AVG from here and check what you get.

So.

If you want to get a website up these days you will need some hosting to start.

Now If you are serious about getting going on the web I’d opt for some serious server space. When you get a little up the ladder you might need to do all sorts of things that require you to have control of the nuts and bolts of your server. It is also good that you you can add domains as and when you please because you will get some whacky ideas. I find that I get more than 10 ideas out there before one of them starts working, and hundreds before I get one that actually pays the bills.

It is too costly to get your own server in the beginning, so try a dedicated virtual server...it is the budget way to get a professional start, and you can trade up when you need to.

When you get your server space you will need to get domain names. I find goddaddy.com cheap but full of bling, freeparking not quite so cheap but feels more professional.

Get yourself your first domain and learn how to point it towards your web space name servers. You only need to change a few bits of info to do this. It’s simple. READ THE MANUAL if you don’t know how.

It is getting too easy to do so many things on the web so that people are expecting it all to just happen, you need to learn how to get info from either the help files or from Google. If you can’t do that then backtrack and get the hang of LEARNING.

You will also have to set up a new space on your server. Again it is a simply a process. On my web space I go first to my account and tell it I want it to add another domain, then I have to go to my actual hosting and set up some space. First time it took me half an hour, now it takes a minute.

So. You have web space and a domain name pointing to it.

What you need now is a website to suit your purposes.

More important than any idea you have is learning how to make sure that your website is above all other websites in Googles search pages for the search terms applicable to you.

A great e book to read about optimising websites so that Google takes notices is by Aaron wall, but you can find out yourselves by hanging out on forums and by asking questions. In this field you will be up against people who have been doing it for a long while, so to get to the top of the search engines you will need to immerse yourselves in the language of the web.

Forums such digitalpoint.com, seochat.com, etc etc. There are many. Search in Google on SEO.

I am experimenting with getting to the top with the search term ‘Ethical SEO‘, so if anyone likes this article and wants show appreciation by linking to me using THAT EXACT PHRASE, I’d be most grateful. And that’s how you do it.

What you will learn is that it is best to have a well built website that has certain parameters fulfilled, some easy (construction) some difficult (getting other people to link to you with relevant anchor text).

Luckily these days you can get great website templates that fulfil the criteria for next to nothing.

Some are less good for SEO but rather pretty like www.easycommercestores.co.uk some are good HTML templates that work rather well for SEO like www.thetemplatestore.com

You will need something like Adobe Dreamweaver to edit these. You will learn the basics of using this program by editing your template. Learn to so this because asking other people for help every time you have a great idea will get to be more of a pain the arse as you get more ideas.

If you need to do anything more complex than simply present information, then you will most probably need something like a Joomla store. They are simple to set up on your hosting, so do not get put off by scary things like creating a database, that’s just a matter of pressing a button.

At this point there are a lot of different solutions around, so take a look. If you pride yourself on your fly nature then get the hang of hpw to use a couple of them, it’ll pay off. A free Joomla CMS can act as anything from a blog to an e-commerce store all for nothing but your time.

If it is a blog you want then WordPress has to be yer man. They are gorgeous bits of kit that can act as websites if you so need. It is best to get the version you host yourself by downloading the software from www.wordpress.org – you can get a hosted version but Google likes it when you make an effort and again, it gives you options.

WordPress has PlugIns that can make page titles Search engine friendly, and last thing I heard there was even an e-commerce plug-in. But I digress..

To monitor your website and how it is doing try the miriad of free SEO tools out there. Digitalpoint.com has a few, and there are some good SEO plugins for firefox. Search for ‘SEO’ when you go to the firefox add ons page.

Now all you need is an idea.

Then figure out what combination of tools best serves your idea.

For most ideas there is nothing better than a well built website using HTML and CSS where every page is optimised (great tool for checking text at www.ranks.nl).

I can almost guarantee you that you will mess up for a while, have your nose stuck to your computer screen waiting for Google to massage your ego and wonder why nobody is taking notice.

Whatever idea you have will be successful in a direct correlation to the effort you put in. Sadly for some this will put them off, the others take stock here and get stronger.

If you plug at it, don’t get disheartened when one idea doesn’t come to fruition and just get another started up, you will succeed, usually in a way that you wouldn’t expect.

The important thing is that you keep moving, that you carry on learning.

If you have an idea to get rich quick then try selling your arse. The internet is as competitive as any other field, and requires you full attention to get you above the billion other people who want to make a fast buck.

But when you succeed you can sit wherever you want on this big blue shiny beach ball of a world of ours and make yourselves a living.

Like me.

CG

Data Cards, WiFI and Roaming

In 2004 I set up my first on-line store whilst on the 17th floor of a hotel in Chiang Mai, overlooking the night market, and the hills in the distance where nestles the monastery of Doi Suthep.

My internet connection was made by stripping a dial up connection lead, popping on a connector and plugging into the telephone socket. I then used a local prepaid card that gave me lots of low bandwidth connection time, enough to get my site up on-line.

Since then you can just use a 3G data card which costs 1,767 a month from here, that’s around 27 quid a month..although it seems you have to pay around £230 up front for that.

I was recently researching into European data cards and came upon a Spanish data card that you use through a 3G mobile, then just activate and pop up as you go. It works out to be very cheap in Spain, but as usual the price goes up to 5 Euro a MB outside of Spain.

All I want is a Data card that will allow me to cross borders and still do my work. And I want to pay around £20 to £30 a month for it, that’s not too much to ask is it ;0)

Still Stranded

I can feel the winter rolling on to the London streets because it wakes up something that should be left sleeping. I feel too awake in fact, which doesn’t scare me half so much as it used to.

This is the time of year to be heading south with the beautiful birds, perhaps as a bit of a loping companion to them but all with the same goal in mind.

I however have to stay in London to babysit some important work that will sustain me through winter, so I am hoping to be a fluid gypsy by Christmas, or it’ll be a fluid Christmas for me in the cold clutch of blighty.

The good news is that I am doing ninety nine percent of my work on a laptop meaning that when I do pull in the anchor I will take my ability to pay the ferryman with me. And isn’t that what this is all about my fellow travellers?

On that note I have been looking at SIM cards that will work across Europe.

Apparently the way forward is to use a Spanish SIM card for internet access because it proves to be very cheap in Spain, plus not stupidly expensive like our UK versions whilst in other countries. I’ll tell you where to get hold od these SIMS when I get more information.

Batteries ETC

I have a £50 Battery in my vaio and it is working fine. A SONY original 7200 mah original is £270, so for the change I could go on a week’s holiday to Spain, eat 150 kebabs or afford a few tickets to go see Tottenham Hotspurs play at white hart lane.

Sorted!

I’ll report back if my VAIO fries in hell, which is what SONY would have you believe would happen if you use a non standard battery. I reckon the risk of data loss from not having a working battery as a backup power supply is more worrying.

I have been hearing more and more rumours of WiFi networks in London. The square mile is supposed to be switched on soon, which would expand my office somewhat. Nobody knows who will pay for it, and it does not look as if it will be a free network like in Norwich, but it’s a start.

The question is what we’ll do when we have it. In zoo’s the animals often stay put when the cage doors are open, even alerting the zoo keepers to the fact because they feel insecure, so maybe we will take time to adjust to our new found freedom.

We’ll see.

Sony VAIO

I like my Sony VAIO. It has one of the best screens I have ever seen, and it is quieter than a cat stalking a bug on a rug. However, my battery has gone kaput after only one year and I’m not happy about it.

Not least because if I want to get another, it will cost me £139 for the almost useless standard battery, and £279 for the longer life battery that would count as standard on any other laptop (the screens on these things use so much power they sap the batteries, which is an OK trade for me as I want a good monitor on my laptop).

Originally I thought my laptop, which is a VGN FS215B, had daughter board problem as it didn’t register any battery at all. I posted a note on Sony’s award winning online help, and in a week got a message back saying if, after cleaning the battery terminals it still doesn’t work, I should buy another battery.

It took them a week to chew over THAT.

Great.

I have an old jalopy of a Eurocom that lasted three years without a hiccup before this. It may be true that the screen had the luminance of a muddy pond, and it made more noise than a politician, but it still works and lives to this day as my trusty gypsy back up.

At the first available opportunity I am going to check out Panasonic Toughbook technology. This Cyber Gypsy needs something that I can use in my cluttered old wagon, on the road, in the shower, whilst up mountain peak or in that white water raft.

My Sony is cute, but I think it might be a fireside option.

OK. If I am going to make this a review I had better review the damned thing.

Positives;

Great screen.
Quiet, I used to know my old laptop would not be stolen because I’d hear where it was at 50 miles, not this one.
Quite fast.
Look cute.

Negatives;

Seems like the batteries are useless and SONY are making a mint out of replacing them.
Looks cute, the girlfriend prefers checking her email out on this rather than her DELL.
Doesn’t feel solid, it has that ‘sell them pretty so that when they look worn they’ll come back for another’ quality about it.

If anyone has come looking for a review that includes information on how to overclock the damned thing, remember I’m a Cyber Gypsy, and am more interested in how I can run the thing on solar power.

And i’d like the battery to work.

POSTDATE….

This laptop broke not long after the warrenty date. I have a friend who works at Sony, he has a buddy in the parts department, he said DO NOT BUY SONY VAIO LAPTOPS, now that’s coming from the horses mouth.

What apparently happened to this one is the glue that holds the VGA chip to the mother board came unstuck so the screen stopped working. To buy another motherboard is more than a new laptop – I tried getting a second hand motherboard off of eBay but this didn’t work as there are so many different motherboards for the one model.

So do not buy a Sony Vaio, even at Sony they admit that Sony Vaio Laptops are Shit, they are designed to break shortly after the warrenty runs out – I own a Nissan, they are successful because they are well engineered and they last forever, why Sony has decided to go for the old American model of built in obsolescence I do not know, but as they seem to be making a good load of money they really do not seem to care.

Have I made myself clear, DO NOT BUY A SONY VAIO, of you want a SONY VAIO REVIEW then this is it here, the SONY VAIO REVIEW is that SONY VAIO LAPTOPS are a rip off.

There.

Google’s neighbourhood, one big WiFi network!

Last week Google offered to make it’s entire hometown one big WiFi network

Mountain View, California, will then be the biggest community in the US with free WiFi.

About 72,000 people live in Mountain View, an 11 square mile city 35 miles south of San Francisco.

companies like Google and VeriSign are based in Mountainview, so during the day the population can rise above 100,000

Laptop Travel Tips

Laptop Travel Tips
By Elizabeth Lord

Travel laptops require more consideration on top of the usual factors involved in buying a laptop, such as performance, price and warranty. Getting a system that is light is critical. With widescreen models becoming more popular, whilst great for viewing, it just adds weight to the system. If you are not into watching movies or complex graphics, a smaller screen should be fine.

While the price of laptops compared to desktops has shrunk recently, you will still pay slightly more for a laptop. With laptops reasonably difficult to expand or upgrade, it’s a good idea to add more memory or get a bigger hard drive at the time of purchase. Your system should have at least two USB 2.0 ports, as this will be the main way of connecting to external devices.

If you are a frequent traveler and want to use your laptop while flying, there are some other design issues you might want to consider. Widescreen laptops can be a hassle if you are in the coach section, as there is hardly enough room to open the machine. A system with external controls for volume and Wi-Fi can also be good, to avoid annoying other passengers or interfering with the aircrafts navigational system. For really long flights, a second battery is probably the most cost effective way of keeping your system powered up.

As laptops are more likely to be damaged or stolen while on the road, it is a good idea to have a backup plan. Do a regular backup so if something bad does happen, you don’t lose too much data. The easiest way to do this is to buy a laptop with a built in DVD burner. One DVD disc should be more than enough to store your work data. You could also use a CD burner, but you would probably need to carry multiple discs. If you only have a small amount of files you need to backup, a USB flash drive would also do the job.

Laptops that are on the road regularly are more likely to break down. So invest in a good quality carry case to limit any potential damage in transit, and always keep your backups up to date.

Most warranties these days are only twelve months, so if there is a extended warranty available, it may be worth taking up if you are constantly on the road.

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