2011 Sony DSC HX9V

I have been looking for a new camera since my Canon SD880 got busted (the LCD broke when I dropped it) a few months ago.  After some reading online, it came down to Canon SX230HS and Sony DSC-HX9V .  I chose the Sony because of the best-in-class video capabilities.  When I saw a sale at Costco for the HX9V with a case and a 4GB for $260, I decided to get it.

Here are some pictures that I took so far. I also took some 3D pictures, but haven’t uploaded them.

And here’s a video. It’s shot in 1080p @ 60 frames per second. But YouTube only plays back at 30 fps. So it’s not as smooth as the actual clip. 




New Laptop: HP Pavilion dm4t

My current laptop is an aging (but still cool!) Panasonic Toughbook T2 that I bought used back in 2007 for my second trip to Thailand.  I’ve been doing some research for my next laptop.  Some of the criteria are
  • ~ $1,000
  • Light weight (< 5 lbs)
  • Between 13″ and 15″
  • Intel i3 or better (no C2D)
  • Decent battery life (> 4 hours)
  • 4GB RAM
  • Discrete GPU
  • HDMI out
  • Webcam
Here’s the list of the laptops that I looked at
After a bunch of online reading (engadget, PCMag, cnet, LaptopMag) and checking it out in person at BestBuy, I found some coupons and went this HP Pavilion dm4t for roughly $1,050 (customized from HP website):

HP Pavilion dm4t 
• Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
• 6GB DDR3 System Memory
• High Capacity 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (standard)
• 14.0″ (1366 x 768)
• 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive 
• DVD+/-R/RW
• Webcam and Fingerprint Reader
• Wireless-N Card

2009 Pre-Trip – Cruise

My wife and I are taking some time off for the holidays and going on a cruise.  After some searching, we decided on the Norwegian Cruise Line.  I’ll post up pictures and some write ups after the trip.  For now, I’m just going to post up our pre-trip stuff.

We bought an opaque waterproof bag (Kwik Tek Dry Pack) to store our valuables such as wallet and IDs, a clear waterproof pouch (Lewis N. Clark Waterproof Multi Purpose pouch) to keep my camera dry (as a cheap alternative to a waterproof case), and a pair of acupressure wrist bands (Psi Bands) to help with my seasickness. 

We tested the waterproof items in the bathroom sink.  We stuffed the bags with tissues, closed them up according to the instructions, and submerged them one at a time.  The results were good.  The tissues were mostly dry.  The only water that got on them were from the edges of the bags when we took the tissues out.

I will post up more reviews when we get back from the cruise, after the items have been used in real situations.