Info

a short diary of some part of my life.

I thought I’d share my home network map. I have a lot of devices connected to the network and I figured I needed a top of the line WiFi Router, I came across Netgear Nighthawk X6 R8000.

The router packs a punch. I never had a situation where i had to reset the router in order to get it working again. It works flawlessly since day one. I realized the day I replaced my old Apple AirPort Extreme, the transfer rate between devices were bogged down by the AirPort Extreme. I could have multiple devices streaming at the same time:

  • My Dropcam constantly uploading to Nest servers.
    I’m working on replacing this with Blink cameras, I also do not like having a monitoring device constantly uploading videos to a remote server.
  • I am torrenting 24/7 all year round.
  • The wife is an avid YouTube user.
  • Apple Music is frequently streaming music to Apple TV or AirPort Express as AirPlay devices.
    My wife and I like having music on.
  • I have a Plex server running and when I want to watch a movie or a TV show, I stream it from one of my iOS devices to one of my Apple TVs.
  • A Synology DS415+ (NAS) is running 24/7 as a remote office data backup.
  • Backblaze is running on both Synology DS415+ and my MacBook Pro.
  • There are a couple of smart home devices connected to the WiFi but they can also work offline, without an internet connection.

A superb network setup gives me this freedom to have uninterrupted use of the network and internet. I don’t have to worry about adding more devices or reduced internet speed due to a slow processing speed in the old AirPort Extreme.

The red stripe lines on the picture above represent Cat6 wired connections. I think wiring a house with Cat6 is a no brainer. You should definately do it if you can. Do it once and you’ll get the benefits for years to come.

My audio setup is even more interesting, built on top of this superb network. I’ll share about it later.

Now that reviews of the Watch are out and settled, there seems to be very few people covering how durable an Apple Watch is. Here are my findings:

The Band

Let’s start with the band. Mine is the 42mm stainless steel with black sport band. It is noticeably more supple than other brands rubber bands. It’s super comfy and it does not attract attention. I barely get other people noticing that I’m wearing an Apple Watch.

I got the Apple Watch on launch day so it’s been a few months now. It does not show noticeable wear and tear. Scratches are minimal. The only thing that I notice is when I take off the watch. There are wear marks under the bands and I consider them as normal wear and tear since the bands are pretty much squeezed to make perfect fit on my wrist.

The Case

The stainless steel case takes a lot of beating. It’s a wrist watch and it will take a lot more beating. If you own(ed) a classic iPod with stainless steel case back, you’ll know the case will get scratch easily. This is exactly the case with Apple Watch SS. I don’t worry about it getting minor hairline scratches or swirl marks. I also consider them as normal wear and tear. If I’m bothered with having too many scratches already, I can easily buff them off with Mother’s Metal Polish. This is the product that I also use to buff out scratches on my polished car wheels lips.

The Glass

The glass as expected, is still pristine condition. No scratch or whatsoever. I bumped it to wall, corners and so on. It does take beatings very well. I don’t baby my watches. They go with me whatever I’m doing. And I don’t always work in a clean office environment.

The Crown

It gets sticky when it accumulates enough of my sweat. In this case, follow Apple’s official instructions: Get help with the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch

I always try to clean the crown with the exact same method after taking a swim in the pool or beach. More on this later.

In any case, the crown on my Apple Watch does get sticky from time to time. And after a good rinse, it’s just as good as new.

Taking a bath with the Apple Watch

Some might wonder why I would take my Apple Watch to the shower??

  • I don’t want the hassle of taking it off and putting it back. I might forget putting it back. This has happened multiple times.
  • I like getting important notifications. In my line of work, I need to get information as quickly as possible.
  • My morning chores are quite hectic so one less thing to worry about is crucial. I start wearing my Apple Watch the moment I wake up and I take it off right before I go to sleep.

The Watch seems to have zero issues with tap water. You don’t need to worry about wearing it in the shower.

Wearing it to the beach

The only two things that I worry about are salt water deposit and sand stuck in the digital crown. Unless I play with the sand, I don’t take it off. The moment I take a bath after spending some time on the beach, I rinse my watch and leave it under fresh water to avoid having salt water deposit.

On a recent to the beach, I spent basically everyday playing and swimming on the beach. My hotel room was also in front of the beach. So the Watch is exposed to the beach 24/7 for a few days. The Watch is fine. I’m sitting in front of my MacBook two weeks after the beach vacation, the Watch looks like new.

Drowned on the beach

  • The thing screams quality.
  • The sport band wobbles just a little… But super comfy.
  • The digital crown is a clever idea. It really does help going thru the watchOS.
  • The force touch and taptic engine now feel like a must for future Apple products.
  • IMO, the screen sucks. The black levels are great but the white levels seem washed out. OLED is now better than LCD. Just look at Samsung S6 Edge.
  • The pixel density is not high enough. I can clearly see it’s not sharp enough.
  • The screen is barely readable under bright sunlight. iPhone 6 is better under bright lights.
  • If I disregard the white levels and the pixel density, I do think OLED is what Apple should after for the next iPhones. It’s laminated to the sapphire glass. By just looking at it, even under the sun and off, it’s beautiful.
  • I really feel that this is the next-gen watch. I don’t see this replacing my mechanical watch but I don’t think I will wear my mechanical watch as often as I used to be. Mostly because I want to complete those activity circles. If I don’t wear the Apple Watch everyday, I feel like I’m missing the rhythm of watching my activity progress.
  • After a week of heavy usage, I can probably use it for two straight days without charging. I’m now using it just like it is supposed to be used. Glancing when only needed, light app usage, and a bit of fitness tracking. I wake up at 5 AM and I go to sleep at 9 PM. The battery is usually at 45% on the first night.
  • I don’t think charging it every night is a hassle. It’s like putting your watch off for the night.
  • I don’t think I will be buying the second version. I don’t think the tech is here yet, not anytime soon.
  • The longevity of the battery is the real problem. This is a disposable iPhone accessory. A very expensive one.
  • You would have to use this to understand how it will fit your life.

I like how Apple design the innards to be virtually shock-proof. The S1 is encased securely. Unlike fitbit where the battery and some other parts not protected at all from vibration. There are cases where fitbit constantly and periodically fails. This could be the reason.

Fitbit Pulse

If anyone can make a battery swap as elegant and simple as possible, it’s Apple. Remember how they designed the hell out for the first unibody 13 inch MacBook battery latch. The latch and each supporting parts are very sturdy and beautiful. I would even keep the machine for its engineering beauty.

There are two things that would tempt me to get the next version(s):

  • The battery needs to be swappable, easily.
  • Faster processor.
  • The watch face needs to have solar charging, just like Casio G-Shock.

~~~~~~~~

I don’t mean to bash Android Wear but by looking at these two videos, you can get an idea how lost Apple Watch competitors are. I think Apple has once again showed how this should be done. It’s not about being the first but the first that does it right. We consumers are not guinea-pigs.

The park:

  • It is what Jurassic Park was supposed to be.
  • I will pay whatever the dollar amount for a weekend visit.
  • Everything seems perfect, the rides, the zoo for kids, the stores, the visitor center, the control center, the ACU (Asset Containment Unit) standing by for park security + a security protocol of the use of live ammo.

The humans:

  • Owen seems like a genuine veteran at the park. Simon Masrani trusts him so much that he asks Claire to ask for Owen’s opinion of the Indominus Rex’s cage security.
  • There is always a bad guy. Hoskins wants to use the dinos for military purposes.
  • Simon Masrani is a nice guy. All he wants is to continue what John Hammond envisioned of a dino park.
  • John Hammond entrusted Simon Masrani to build the dream he failed to realise.
  • Simon Masrani is willing to spare any amount of money to build the park.
  • Henry Wu is now looking like a bad guy. I could probably be wrong but he has a deal with Hoskins that has something to do with the dino embrios? Maybe we’ll see Henry one more time in the sequel.
  • The kids are, well, kids, they went off-course when they were supposed to go back to visitor center.
  • Claire runs the park.

The dinosaurs:

  • Raptors are nursed by Owen Grady since they were born. The alpha is Owen.
  • Indominus Rex is a mix of T-Rex, Velociraptor, cuttlefish, frog, snake, iguana?, and a few other modern animals that I cannot identify.
  • Indominus Rex is clever, stealthy, and…
  • Indominus Rex can communicate with Velociraptors and becomes their Alpha after a quick chat with them.
  • Henry Wu admitted that the dinosaurs would be much different if they didn’t mix the DNA with other animals (to complete the DNA).
  • Mosasaur is really big and awesome.
  • Baby dinosaurs are cute and cuddly. They can be pet by children at a petting zoo.
  • There are lots of Pteranodon in the Aviary.
  • In the climax, the original T-Rex along with Owen’s Raptors fought off Indominus Rex until it were dragged to the water and presumably killed by Mosasaur.

Overall, I think the film pays a huge respect to the original. This is a worthy sequel.

I just finished watching the Avengers: Age of Ultron. I’m very impressed of the director’s ability to mesh all those characters into one movie.

Here are my thoughts:

  • The action sequences are top-notch.
  • The pace of the movie is difficult to digest. The different paces do not do any favor. Sometimes, it’s too slow. And sometimes, it’s too fast.
  • I really like how they scoured the planet to shoot the movie.
  • Ultron is not as memorable as I thought it would be or be as bad as some of the finest bad guys in movies. It’s just a sick AI.
  • The Maximoff twins are real bad-ass. No wonder Ultron needs them.
  • This movie will lead to Thor: Ragnarok and hopefully a solo Hulk movie.
  • I wish the movie would last for 3 hours. That would solve many issues of the movie.
  • Joss Whedon should direct at least one solo Marvel movie. The movie shows that he is a real comic book fans.

(& spoilers)

  • Peitro’s death feels necessary. One good hero died on each Avengers movie. (Agent Coulson being the first.)
  • Other reviewers point out that this movie (Stark and Rogers fighting over what’s right) will lead to Captain America: Civil War. Stark and Rogers have been at odds since the first Avengers. Their exchanges are actually softer in the Avengers 2.
  • I found Banner and Romanoff romance on screen is quite weird.
  • Iron Man alone can defeat Ultron. I was hoping for a near undefeatable Ultron. I bet Aldrich Killian’s superhuman armies can defeat Ultron’s armies easily.
  • I don’t know if Ultron covers all his exoskeleton with Vibranium. If it did, Vibranium can be melted with a combination of the Vision’s stone beam, Iron Man’s hand repulsor shots, and Thor’s thunderous strikes.
  • I’m happy to see J.A.R.V.I.S becomes the Vision. He’s far more witty than Ultron’s single minded plan.
  • J.A.R.V.I.S’s replacement: Friday??? Has all the knowledge of the guy she replaced.
  • J.A.R.V.I.S is one friendly AI and Ultron is simply the opposite. Perhaps Hydra was trying to make a bad J.A.R.V.I.S.
  • No more Hydra after Avengers 2, I hope.
  • Helicarrier makes a comeback as a rescue unit. That’s what the helicarrier should be used.
  • Andy Serkis’s character will surface somewhere in future Marvel movies.
  • The vision Tony experienced from Scarlet Witch is what fueled him to build Ultron and what Infinity Wars will look like. All heroes defeated; the Capt’s shield cracked.
  • If Nick Fury thinks why the world needs the Avengers is to fight the battle normal people cannot win, Ultron is made to protect the Earth from incoming Alien attacks that the Avengers won’t be able to withstand the next time around.
  • Be prepared for the Avengers: Infinity Wars! Thanos is getting ready.