Sold my Lenovo, Bought Macbook Pro

Apple-MacBook-Pro-2016-top

After using my Lenovo ThinkPad 13 for 7 months, I decided to sell it away. I came back to the Mac. When it was announced at this year’s WWDC that Apple is going to refresh the entire Macbook Pro line with the new Kaby Lake processors, I just could not resist it. I put my Lenovo ThinkPad 13 on Carousell and within minutes I had several offers of wanting to buy my 7-month old laptop. I barely even started to do a factory reset of my laptop including file backup when I started receiving several offers online. I sold the Lenovo within 2 hours, ordered the new 13 inch MacBook Pro (without Touchbar) online and within 2 days, it arrived at my doorstep.

Now, as I type this entry, I am already using my new Macbook Pro. So what were my first impressions?

Right off the bat, you are immediately struck by the beauty of this device. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The level of workmanship and design meticulousness is, to this day, unrivalled.  The Macbook Pro is a work of art, truly. When I opened the laptop and switched it on for the very first time, the next thing you noticed was how gorgeous the screen is. Colour just pops, everything is super sharp and it is really really bright when you max out the brightness setting.

That is the two most prominent feature I noticed the moment I started unboxing the laptop.

I am no stranger to using the Mac. My last laptop was the classic MacBook Air. Back then, it was considered a revolutionary device, known for its ultra portability and thinness that competing brands found it hard to replicate with grace.

But now, the Macbook Air has adopted some of the design principles of what made Macbook Air so great. You now get a far more powerful computer, but none of the added bulk, with a great, sharp, colourful screen to boot.

I got the non-TouchBar version. I figured that it is still largely a gimmicky feature that, while it adds some useful functions depending on the application that you are using, I am still not convinced that it would increase my productivity in incorporating the use of the TouchBar in my daily workflow. Add to the fact that a majority of reviewers on YouTube lamented the fact that they themselves don’t use the TouchBar extensively and you are better off saving a few hundred dollars and get the non-TouchBar version. They assured viewers of those reviews that you are not missing out on anything fundamentally important with regards to how you use the laptop.

I still cannot believe that I have a new laptop in my hands. Apple just announced the new refresh MacBook Pros and here it is right in front of my just days later. There are a few more accessories that I have ordered recently that have yet to arrive. One, is a sleeve by Tomtoc to safely store my laptop away and inside my backpack for use outside. Second, is a Thunderbolt 3 hub that would give me access to USB slots, SD card slots and additional Thunderbolt connections. Right now I cannot connect any peripherals to my laptop because none of them uses either the USB-C or Thunderbolt connections. I will have to wait for the dongle hub to arrive.

Where is my new year resolution?

It’s often a tradition for me to come up with some new year resolutions. Whether it is in a form of bullet points or sweeping goals that I set myself to achieve during the year, at least it serves as a signpost on how I should lead my life in the year ahead. To not be too muddled or distracted in things that do not bring happiness or improve my life. To at least provide some sense of direction in improving oneself, or achieving something in your bucket list.

The truth is, it’s hard for me to come up with one now. My employment prospects are still in limbo. If it falls through, it will be months before I get a job. And that by itself would be depressing, which will lead me to not be able to come up with a firm resolution that would properly serve and guide me throughout the year. So I am holding that for now.

But what I can say is that the resolution to get fitter and eat healthier is definitely in the cards. And I will commit myself to be more discipline when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and get even fitter this year. I started running  since March last year on a regular basis and adding new routines every now and then to strengthen myself and get fit. I have not an ounce of regret. I am going to continue to run and get fit and maintain my fitness, which can be even more difficult that initially starting out getting fit by itself. Let’s just say that I do not want to waste my months of effort to get to where I am right now. Regular exercise by itself has made me a better person as a whole, and I know that getting fitter would bring in more benefits. I don’t like exercising, but seeing its benefits, i think its a good pill to swallow, no matter how bitter it can be.

Apart from my career, (Should I hold a job in the next couple of weeks. Everything hinges on that email that I am waiting from my prospective employer.), I think one major addition to my resolution, is to perhaps find a way to find someone whom I can start sharing my life with. In other words, get into a relationship. I think it’s time. But the problem is I just don’t know where to start. In addition to my new start to my new career in the near future, finding someone and starting a relationship, is perhaps the next sensible step I should take. And it should not be just for 2014 but in the years ahead. The very thought of it is overwhelming, but I am going to take it step by step. I don’t care what people say, but I am going to take the first step even if it’s a slow and cautious one. I think it’s time to not only move on with life, but move forward to become a better man.

So a meaningful relationship is in the cards. I am also going to continue to expand my circle of peers and acquaintances. Travel is in the cards as well. The details of all these have not been worked out yet. Also in the cards are things or habits that I should take up or refine to define who I want to be in 2014. Details are sparse at the moment. I need time to brainstorm quietly and think through my life and what I want to accomplish to be happy.

 

 

Started a new blog

I’m starting a new blog, called awesomesongcovers.wordpress.com. Initially the correct address was awesomecoversongs, but it was taken by somebody else, so I decided to rearrange the words a little. It doesn’t sound quite right now, but since its free, I can’t really complain.

Essentially, this blog is just a collection of awesome cover songs that i encounter through surfing around in YouTube or through friends’ recommendations from their wall posts about some great cover songs that they liked. I would like to keep tabs on some of them, and perhaps share with the rest of you some of the great cover songs I encountered. Cover songs are great. They bring life to the songs that were sung by the original singers. They transform, in a creative way how the song is sung, and it sometimes give old songs a contemporary feel when it is sung in another way. Songs sung solo, may sound better in a duet, or in a way that totally defies the genre. And these amateurs and sometimes professional singers deserves credit for thinking out of the box and coming up with new ways to make it exciting to listen to those songs again.

If you have recommendations about a cover song that you really like, do feel free to share it with me on the new blog and I will post it up in a new entry. There are so many cover songs out there, sometimes finding a good can be a challenge. The new blog aims to create the idea of sharing the best that there is out there on YouTube.

Utada Hikaru’s latest album: This is the One

Utada’s latest, entirely english album, (her third attempt in breaking into the western market) has finally been released in Japan, and will be released in the US in May. I managed to sample her album before buying it and i must say its a great improvement from her previous all-english album. Its much more mature and more contemporary and it really sets a new milestone in her career that she do have the potential to break new grounds in the western market. The downside for me its the lyrics composition. I dunno but i feel that it can be improved alot more. Though the songs are catchy, but it feel that it doesnt really connect with the listeners, when it comes to how she composes her songs lyrically, especially if she is trying to connect to the english audiences. The album manages to debut at no 3 on the Oricon charts on its first week of release, quite a dissapoint really given the fact this would be her first album (excluding the previous english album release) to NOT top the charts on the week of release. But then again, you can really blame the quality of the tracks, perhaps its more difficult to market an all-english album to the Japanese market.  Perhaps they are waiting to see if it is really good to make their perchase. Also mind you that the charts only track physical album sales and not digital sales like from Itunes, which in the past have dominated the charts from within, from the recent singles that she has released so far.

So will she be able to dominate the airwaves in the States, only time will tell. But i feel that it would be an uphill task. Her biggest assets would be her roots, and maybe, just maybe a fresh face and voice would give her the break she needs. 

 

Her new album features 10 all-new tracks including 2 remixes.

1.“On and On”  

2.“Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – FYI” (Samples Ryuichi Sakamoto song with the same name.)

3.”Apple and Cinnamon”  

4.”Taking My Money Back” 

5.”This One (Crying Like a Child)”  

6.”Automatic Part II”  

7.”Dirty Desire”  

8.”Poppin'”  

9.”Come Back to Me”  

10.”Me Muero”  

Click on the above links to sample the songs.

Come Back to Me, By Utada Hikaru

Okay, let me just scream like a girl for a sec. AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! Its almost here! Utada Hikaru’s latest album, AN ENGLISH ALBUM, due to release in March 2009.

You can listen to the single from the upcoming album entitled “Come Back to Me” by clicking on the picture below!

Super duper big fan of Utada Hikaru! I swear if she comes to singapore for a concert tour, I will definitely go to her concert no matter what the cost!

 

PRESS RELEASE:

UTADA TO UNVEIL NEW SINGLE “COME BACK TO ME”

 

(January 21 -New York, NY) In the small world of pop artists who write their own music enters the big voice of artist/songwriter Utada who is set to reveal her new single “Come Back to Me” this month.  Utada, already one of the world’s biggest recording artists, will release her new album on March 24, 2009 on The Island Def Jam Music Group. 
 
“Come Back to Me”, the soulful yet energetic ballad produced by the hitmaking team Stargate (Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Beyonce), will officially debut on pop radio on February 9th and will be available via iTunes. The sparkling, mid-tempo hit showcases the 26-year-old singer’s powerful husky-sweet vocals and natural effervescence, placing her indisputably into the landscape with major female artists like Madonna, Beyonce, Rihanna and Mariah Carey. 
 
Utada’s forthcoming album is comprised of 10 self-penned songs recorded with top producers Stargate and Tricky (Britney Spears, Madonna, Mariah Carey). Recording took place in New York, Atlanta and Tokyo.
 
On creating the album Utada comments, “I like to make music that’s mutli-layered. You might just want to dance, without really diving into the lyrics. And then if you like words, you might notice the references I make to Captain Picard or Winona Ryder. Both things are equally important to me—to be catchy, so when you hear it on the radio it sticks out, and to have that depth. ”
 
Producer Stargate comments, “Working with Utada was great. She walks in, has confidence about her, integrity, and a voice that you can’t believe. We were really blown away.” 
  
Born and raised in Manhattan and educated at Columbia University, Hikaru Utada had strong ties to Japan as her father, Utada Teruzane, was an accomplished musician and producer and her mother, Keiko Fuji, was a successful Japanese enka (ballad) singer. With such a musically prolific family, Utada would reside between New York City and Tokyo and the recording studio literally became her second home. By age 11, Utada had written and recorded her first song. By the time she graduated from junior high school, the bi-lingual singer had signed onto a major record label EMI and released her first Japanese album.  With a number of album and single releases over the last ten years in Japan, the young star has become one of the most successful and acclaimed pop singers in Japanese music history with record sales of over 52 million.      
 
http://www.utada.com <http://www.utada.com/&gt;