Apple iPhone: My 2 Cents

•June 29, 2007 • 3 Comments

The much awaited Apple iPhone came out in the US at 6pm Friday (about an hour and a half ago, NY time, as I type this?).  I’m very interested to find out how the gadget really performs in the hands of everyday users.  I checked out CNET for some user reviews.  There were 9 reviews dated June 29 (a total of 403 since Steve Jobs launched the product).  Average rating from the 9 reviews?  Four point eight.  Out of TEN.  Average user rating since it was launched is 6.3 out of 10.  Disappointing?  Let’s see how things unfold.  I’m interested to find out what my favorite gadget reviewer would say about this.  You can download her podcast on iTunes.


Some Updates

•June 29, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been off the circuit for almost a week, except for the occasional checking of email.  I now stay temporarily at my brother’s apartment near his medical school.  I found out that for some reason, I can study more effectively there.  Maybe it’s because there is no TV or internet access in that place.  I’ve also revised my study schedule.  My main study hours now are from 8 pm to 4 am (that’s right, I’m now really a vampire).  I sleep until about 10:30 am and mostly bum around in the afternoon (holding a book and attempting to read).  It proved me right.  My brain’s really most effective late at night.  I studied similarly when I was in medical school.  (I want to say that I studied the same way in college but I didn’t really study in college so …)  I just couldn’t do it when I lived at home because of so much distraction (my bed’s very attractive especially at night).  

The last 2 entries I posted before this one was sent directly from my phone.  I have a new black Sony Ericsson k800i, which I christened Benjamin.  The coolest feature this phone has is, I think, the 3.2MP digital camera.  The best part about the whole deal though was getting it for FREE from my mobile service (sort of a rewards promo).  So while I’m staying at the apartment during weekdays, I still get to post something here, despite the lack of internet connection.  I also appreciate the fact that Benjamin has almost seamless connectivity with Adam (starting to get lost with the names?  Adam’s my MacBook, Luke’s my iPod).  I just use iSync to bluetooth all my calendar entries and contacts between them.  Also, I get to check my email on Adam by using the GPRS function of the phone.  I knew you could do that but I’d never done it before until the other day.  So I’m never really disconnected as I thought I’d be. So, good times!
I’ve passed my application to take the Physician Licensure Examination in August.  It’s really happening.  I really am taking the exam in August now.  Seems a bit surreal but I really do want to get this over with.  After this exam, I can finally focus on my real goal: doing well on the USMLEs.

Waiter, there’s a bug in my drink.

•June 27, 2007 • 4 Comments

Here’s something interesting I saw on the sink this morning when I woke up. I didn’t know cockroaches swam. Oh yeah, it was dead when I saw it so it apparently drowned itself. Maybe it was two-timed by its girlfriend. This pic here is one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen. And this mobile blog direct from my phone — this is just plain cool.

New study area

•June 26, 2007 • Leave a Comment

This is a test post using Benjamin, my new Sony Ericsson k800i. I hope it works!

Keeping Myself Amused

•June 18, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I was at Starbucks today studying Anatomy for the upcoming board exams in August. It so happened that my favorite corner table was free when I got there a little after lunch today and I’d stayed there for a couple of hours before this story happened. Now the table, as I said, is in a corner and one can get a lot of reading done there because it’s a bit secluded from the rest of the store. The downside of that spot is that it has an airconditioner right above it. The aircon’s the flat type on the ceiling with 4 louvres, one in each direction. So it gets pretty cold in my favorite spot sometimes. Late in the afternoon, a 40-ish lady sat at the table nearest me. She ordered her drink and started working on her computer. I was surprised to find that she had already stayed there a couple of hours (only the students and those who study are usually the ones who stay there that long). Later, though, I noticed that she was fiddling with this newspaper. She kept on spreading it out and laying it on her back. The newspaper would of course fall after a couple of minutes. She would patiently return it to her back. I then realized that she was cold. By this time, I was chuckling to myself. The store was almost empty and there were so many other tables she could have gone to. Maybe she liked the newspaper’s feel against her skin? Hehe. Some surreptitiously taken pics:

The unknown lady and her comfy paper blanket

The empty store

On Luke tonight: Chris Botti’s The Christmas Song. I talked about Chris Botti a bit in this corner before. I love his music. Tonight, as I was reading, this song came on the shuffle playlist. I had a sudden longing for the Christmas season. That would mean I’d be done with the blasted board exams and would probably have already taken USMLE Step 1. That would also mean relatively cool weather. And heck, who doesn’t like Christmas? I wish it was Christmas already.

Board Exam Review Essentials

•June 11, 2007 • 1 Comment

While on a break from studying (I seem to have a lot of them), I took a photo of the absolute essentials for reviewing for the medical boards.

Listed clockwise:

  1. Coffee. I prefer either a Grande Caramel Mocha or a Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato.
  2. Staedtler Hi-Liters. No other color for me but green (for text) and orange (for more important text).
  3. iPod. I usually have it on Shuffle Songs mode. Very useful to keep myself isolated from hearing dumb conversations nearby.
  4. Clutch bag. That or a similar handy device to carry my stuff conveniently when transferring from one Starbucks to another.
  5. Black ballpen. For writing side notes on my books or the occasional random thought that ends up on my journal (like this one).
  6. Faber-Castell 3B pencil. For more notes.
  7. Eraser. Self explanatory.

Hong Kong trip

•May 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment
On Luke: Back at Your Door (from Maroon 5’s latest album)

I got back from Hong Kong yesterday afternoon, napped a little, then returned to the airport to pick up my parents and brother. I got home a few minutes before 1 AM. But that didn’t stop me from starting my exodus from Windows to Mac.

In a surprise move from my dad, he offered me a MacBook in exchange for Charlie, my Dell PC notebook. He wanted to buy my mom a new laptop. I suggested that we buy her a Mac since it was more user friendly. He agreed. However, my mom said she needed a Windows-based laptop because of some software they use at our travel agency. I thought my dad would buy her a Dell (I saw him looking at a brochure). On the afternoon of Saturday, he offered to buy me the MacBook. So that’s the story of how Adam and I became close pals. Adam’s a white 80GB MacBook and one of the prettiest little things I’ve ever seen. He also goes well with Luke, my white iPod. Haha.

Anyway, so that’s what’s happening. I’m currently making the ‘Big Switch.’ I’m done transferring all my documents from Charlie to Adam. I’ve also successfully transferred my iTunes music library to Adam. Now I have to start getting used to the keyboard shortcuts and whatnot. I do miss my OneNote (a note-taking software I use as my e-journal). I haven’t seen an equivalent software for Macs so I’m currently settling for Word for Mac (notebook layout). This is where I’m typing this entry.

I enjoyed my trip to Hong Kong immensely. I got to really know the place because I learned how to use their very efficient MTR system (underground trains). One can be at Hong Kong Disneyland in less than an hour and at a shopping center in Central HK 30 minutes later. I met my buddy from High School, Ann Mafnas. She works as a teacher at an International School there. She pays US$ 2,000 for her apartment downtown (half the monthly salary of a US medical resident!!!).

My one Hong Kong splurge on myself: Encyclopaedia Anatomica. It’s a book that shows an 18th century galler of wax figures. The collection has 26 full length wax models and over 1500 studies of bodies and organs. I wish I could post a sample page here. I bought it for HK$ 271 (roughly US$ 35) at PageOne. I originally wanted this coffee table book that showed very beautiful micrographs of human tissues and cells (I can’t remember the title). It cost HK$ 558. I thought it was too much of a splurge for a bum. I’ll buy the book as soon as I’m earning serious money as a resident. I’ll make it the centerpiece of my future clinic. Hehe. Anyway, I’m back to the daily grind. Now it’s REALLY time to start studying for the Board exams. I can’t wait for it to be all over.

Some pictures from the trip:

At HK Disneyland with Kevin.

Saturday lunch at a swanky Victoria Peak restaurant. Luke at foreground.

My goodies from Hong Kong.