Well, here we are again, with the last post being well over a year ago and the last re-design over 2 years ago. There’s been some serious neglect as a result of social networking crowding from Facebook and now Google+.

At first, I was thinking to just scrap the ol’ blog, but then I figured that I might give it one last try. But instead of duplicating what’s already happening on the social networking sites, I am simplifying philomyth.us back down to the basics of blogging. I still haven’t decided what I’ll be posting, but I am leaning towards more long-form open-to-the-public articles that need a home.

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The past few years, I have been using a combination of flickr (photo hosting), vimeo (video hosting) and WordPress (self-hosted blog) to share our family’s pictures and videos. I had a pretty good workflow going for a time there. But after waiting forever for flickr to allow more customization, I decided to consolidate everything to SmugMug. You can see the work in progress here at er-fans.smugmug.com.

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Nowadays, I do most if not all of my reading electronically or online. And sometimes this makes it difficult when I want to go back and reference something I have read previously, whether it is an article, website or book.

The simple method of using a browsers built-in bookmarking doesn’t provide enough context and accessibility. And so I’ve been using web-based bookmarking resources for a couple of years now. But I have run into some limitations that has caused me to update the tools I use and how I use them.

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I can’t remember how long I’ve been using a Windows Mobile device as my daily communicator. It was even before I made the switch to GSM. And before that, I was using Pocket PC as my pre-phone PDA. Well, the wait for Android is over and the time has come to embrace my Google overlords (J/K).

For all the time that I was with Microsoft’s mobile platform, although it was not really an open platform, a fringe developer community (centered around xda-developers) filled the gap to make modifications and “improve” the user experience. However, as Google has pushed Android to be a viable mobile operating system and a more open development platform, it was time to make the jump.

In a nod to HTC smartphone success, I was originally trying to maintain my loyalty, but they were taking too long to come out with a high-end Android device on ATT. So after seeing the Samsung Captivate in action, and hearing Samsung’s announcement that they would be limiting their Super AMOLED screen to their own devices (i.e. no AMOLED for HTC), I made my choice.

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I have been reading books in digital form for some time now. It started with using my PDA to access my Bible using Laridian’s PocketBible. Once I got used to the convenience of reading on a handheld, it was a natural jump to ebooks.

I started out reading on my Windows Mobile device and continue to do so because the one thing I have with me all the time is my phone. The e-reader software that I used back then was Peanut Press, which was later bought buy Palm, and then bought again by Barnes & Noble.

Lately, I have been testing a free program called Freda, which uses the increasingly more common and popular ePUB format [wikipedia]. With all the e-reader and tablet talk these days, there are a lot more options for accessing ebooks and ebook libraries as well as new hardware form factors.

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Lately, the INOi MH720 that we use in our living room to watch movies has been showing its age, having trouble with new audio/video codecs and subtitle formats. I had been considering getting a new media player, but after looking into, figured it might be a better deal to get a nettop to use as a media center and as an additional family computer.

I finally settled on the AspireRevo 3610 and got lucky picking up the last one from our local Fry’s. It came equipped with 2GB RAM (enough for basic needs), 160GB hard drive (no big deal since using externals for storage) and an NVIDIA ION chip for graphics (hardware acceleration for HD video), along with an HDMI port out for both audio and video (easy HD connectivity to home theater).

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In the earlier part of December, I went on another business trip to Asia. This time together with my dad. It was a meeting-packed couple of weeks, with a few Christmas parties, and even one wedding banquet. Suffice it to say, there was plenty of eating going around. As usual, most of the pictures that I grabbed with my phone were of tasty food items.

Keeping with my latest travel posts, here are some things I learned this time around:

  • If your suite doesn’t have a wall/door partition, it doesn’t really make a difference (knew this already, just a reality reminder).
  • Extra large binder clips work great to close curtains tight to avoid annoying light distractions (particularly when overcoming jetlag).
  • Charismatic Methodist churches do exist, and yes, they do speak in tongues.
  • When a morning meeting is scheduled, confirm if food is involved, otherwise, you WILL end up being a hobbit and eating two breakfasts.
  • When shopping for clothes in Asia, try EVERYTHING on. You may be of Asian descent, but it doesn’t mean anything will fit like it is supposed to.
  • Earthquakes in Taiwan are common. What’s annoying is when they disrupt the HSR schedule and you are stuck in another city away from your hotel room and luggage.
  • I involuntarily (see previous point) confirmed that I still get violently dizzy when riding on Taiwan’s bus commuters. Next time, can we just get a room for the night.
  • I may be wimpy, but Yong Kang’s beef noodles are too greasy and spicy for my taste.

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