Into the Galaxy

Jerm: I bought the Galaxy Nexus.
Pibs: Oh wow! You went through with it.
Jerm: Yes I did. I love the Super AMOLED screen.
Pibs: Wait, so does this mean you’re selling your old phone?
Jerm: Yes. For 10,000 Yen.
Pibs: I’m buying that phone. Let’s meet-up tommorow after work.

March 5, 2012. Not the exact one we had but the above is a good representation of the conversation my friend and I had last Monday. Coincidentally, I was also in the market for a cheap Android Smartphone. I “have” a Samsung Galaxy Tab(GT), the first iteration, and I do not like how big it is. I am embarassed to use its phone features in public. When I asked my employer for an Android device, I should have been more specific about the form-factor.

Anyway, I tried fiddling with the Galaxy S(S) as soon as I got my stuff on it and I was blown away at how better the performance is on S than on GT. The UI moves with more fluidity and snap. I installed my default home launcher, ADW, and a bunch of other obligatory apps like Evernote, WeatherApp, Hulu, Dolphin Browser, Skype and Trillian, Twitter and of course the Bible app from YouVersion to start me up.

Also, I know for a fact that internet speed on NTT Docomo is way faster than Softbank’s (which is why you have site’s like softbanksucks) so I was excited to finally experience for myself how large the gap is(S on Docomo, iPhone 4S on Softbank). And it was fast. I now look at my iPhone with disgust.

“It’s not your fault. I know that. But… I’ve tasted the forbidden fruit. And it’s deliciously fast.”

So just like that, the iPhone took a back seat, and S is my new daily driver for now. I use it for reading articles on pulse, streaming monster radio RX93.1 via TuneIn Radio and watch 30 Rock on Hulu most of the time. It’s a well built device, and a nice break from the monotony that is the iOS. Now I understand why Sammy was able to sell millions of this device. It, arguably, is the best manifestation of an Android device.

Lastly, I just have to add that I love using Hulu on this device. Even though my device only has 16GB of memory, with Hulu on this device, it doesn’t really matter. Just stream it.

With its relatively fresh new UI combined with the high-speed internet connection, I can see myself using this device as my main one for quite some time. Or until Softbank gets its act together and offers a faster alternative (Probably some time around July).

Mixing Business with a Lot of Pleasure

March 9, 2012. I was having a hard time getting out of bed. Pollen season is in full swing and it’s affecting my capability to breathe. My eyes were all swollen up and itchy, and my ears are starting to get fuzzy as well. I tossed and turned insde my futon. I needed to do 2 things today, first, go to my opthalmologist and get some much needed anti-histamine medication. Second, go to city-hall and register my new address. It was just 7:30 AM. Mustering all the strength I have in me, I got out of bed and headed straight to the living room. I sat on my couch, turned on the TV, and tuned in to MTV. Nothing says “wake-me-up” like music.

Little did I know that it was a double-edged sword. Time had passed by so fast that when I looked at the clock on my iPhone, it was already 9:30 AM. I was supposed to leave the house an hour earlier. Hurriedly I got dressed, brushed my teeth, washed my face, grabbed my keys and ran out the door. It was raining. This complicated things even further. [Click here for details of what occurred next.]

— Time Warp —

I arrived at APA Hotels in Honmachi, Osaka. I felt so relieved when I put down my snowboarding equipment which I had brought with me all the way from Kanto. It’s not that heavy, but the longer it stayed on my back, the more it seemed to me like it was.

Now for the business part of this trip, I attended the quarterly meeting at our Osaka office. It went way better than I thought it would. Usually it’s all boring reports after the admin and recruitment announcements. However, this time, we had an ongoing project, and our group, called 2CooL, met immediately after the announcements. We discussed about developing apps for smartphones. We have not decided yet on what platform to use, but I have a strong feeling we’ll be going the Android route. I plugged in some ideas of mine as well. And as soon as it started, the business part of this trip… was done!

Yay! for pleasure. I went straight back to my hotel, and tried to sleep from 18:00 – 21:30. We were supposed to take the 24:20 bus headed for SkyValley Ski Resorts. I changed into my undergarments to get more comfortable while trying to sleep but mid-way through I got pretty hungry. I called up my friend, who was staying at the room next to mine, and asked if he wanted to grab some dinner at the nearby curry place. Luckily, he was feeling pretty hungry himself so we went. I’ve never eaten at that restaurant before and I can’t even remember its name but the curry was really good! Probably one of the best I have ever had here in Japan. The sauce had just the right amount of flavor and spice. I was pretty satisfied with it.

I went back to the hotel to try and squeeze in some more Zzzs and at 21:30, I got up, and took a bath. I stayed submerged for almost 15 minutes before calling it quits with the tub. I took my time prepping up since it was just 22:00 and the train I intend to catch does not leave until 23:49. After almost two hours I headed towards our meeting place at Shin-Osaka. I went to the central exit and at the bottom of the stairs I saw three of my friends, Pink, Rolex and Ritchie. They were eating some bentos from the nearby convenience store. Lanny, Torrey and Tiffany arrived soon after I did. We boarded the bus at 24:10, waited for the announcements to finish and called it a night. We, all of us, needed to rest in preparation for the following day of fun-filled activities under the sun (or so I thought).