Posts Tagged Lost Girls

Analysis Paralysis

Mr. HalfFull and I have been pondering the packing list for our 30/40 World Tour, and have decided to purchase a netbook.  Our home computer is an iMac, which of course is not portable.  We each have work issued laptops — a MacBook for Mr. HalfFull and a Dell for me.  My Dell is too big and heavy for travel, and Mr. HalfFull is unwilling to risk loss or damage to a laptop he doesn’t own.  So those are out.  Thus, we have settled on a netbook as the ideal travel computer for us.

Our primary uses for a netbook on the road will be blogging, email, photo storage/editing, banking, trip research, and booking accommodations and ground transportation.  Remember that we are each taking only one carry-on bag, so size and weight will heavily influence our decision.  Mr. HalfFull has been researching netbooks with dual core processors and came up with a few contenders.  He pokes fun at me for being thorough, but this pre-quest research seems to have tapped into a dark OCD corner of his brain.  Netbooks are intruding into his daily thoughts, and even affecting his sleep.  Can you please help us?

Netbook Price Weight Depth Size Battery RAM Storage OS Cool?
MacBook Air $1200 2.3 lbs 0.7″ 11.8″ x 7.6″ 5 hours 2 GB 128 GB Mac yes
ASUS Eee PC 1008P-KR $500 2.5 lbs 1.0″ 10.3″ x 7.0″ 5 hours 2 GB 320 GB PC yes
Lenovo IdeaPad S205 $550 3.3 lbs 1.1″ 10.6″ x 6.6″ 5 hours 4 GB 750 GB PC no

You may be looking at this list thinking, only 5 hours of battery life?  Aren’t there netbooks that can last for 10 hours?  This may be part of some sinister half full plot to keep me on vacation, as opposed to ISTJ work mode!  We will not have 24/7 electricity in some of our destinations, so my computer time will be [should be, suggests Mr. HalfFull]  limited by my netbook’s battery life.  In fact, when we listened to the Lost Girls speak back in March, they discussed Amanda’s incessant drive to work online during their trip.  Thankfully, her friend Jen finally persuaded her to live in the moment and experience their trip outside an internet café.

MacBook Air

11-inch MacBook Air

We loved our hands-on experience with the MacBook Air, but it’s over $1000, making it one of the most expensive netbooks (Steve Jobs would not approve).  One of our major concerns with such a costly investment is theft.  We don’t know what kind of physical storage will be available as we travel the world, but it’s unlikely that we will have a safe everywhere we go.  Also, the Mac brand is highly recognized and sought after, increasing the temptation for would-be thieves.  But we do have an iMac at home, so a MacBook Air would ensure complete compatibility for software and files from one to the other.  It is simply a beautiful machine — slim (0.68 inches at the thickest point) and lightweight (2.3 pounds) — despite being the biggest in terms of length and width.  But the Air is scheduled for a speed boost with the new Sandy Bridge processor.  So we would like to wait for that, but it’s not expected to be available until June.  Will it be in the first few days of June before our trip???  If we wait until June and it isn’t released, we will probably have lost our window of opportunity to order one of the other less expensive netbooks online due to shipping time.

Asus Eee 1008P Netbook

ASUS Eee PC 1008P-KR

The ASUS Eee PC 1008P Seashell Karim Rashid Collection Netbook was designed by an artist.  I consider myself to be very rational, but I also have a deep appreciation for aesthetics.  In the past, Mr. HalfFull has accused me of valuing form over function, which I don’t think is completely true.  The entire surface of this netbook is covered in Karim Rashid’s soft-touch “Techno-chic Digi-wave design,” which has the added benefit of not showing fingerprints.  This is form AND function!  The waves in this basket-weave design “adhere perfectly to the golden ratio” with a material similar to the soft matte rubbery coating usually found on mobile phones, which seems like it will be a great protector for travel.  To top it off, it comes in a color near and dear to my heart:  coffee brown!  Do you think Karim Rashid designed it just for me?  That’s genius…sorry, Genius Bar.  Another awesome travel feature of this netbook is that all the ports are covered, which could be handy in sandy locales.

Lenovo IdeaPad S205

Lenovo IdeaPad S205

Finally, the newly released Lenovo S205 includes far more memory and storage than the other models at a similar price to the ASUS.  In comparison to the others, it’s a bulky machine with a shiny cover that will surely show fingerprints, but it’s power lies inside.  This netbook is even capable of HD video editing.  I don’t plan to do a lot of videos, but I may want that capability in the future.  If I were purely tech focused, this would be the obvious pick, but it is a pound heavier than the others, which matters when your whole life is on your back for ten weeks.  But Lenovos are known for their excellent full-size keyboards, whereas the ASUS is only 92% of full-size.  Size may not be a big deal for me [Mr. HalfFull:  That’s what she said!], but a certain sausage-fingered gentleman could find himself constricted.

Mac vs. PC

Another thing that concerns me is cyber security.  Since we will be relying solely on open networks while traveling, will the Windows machines be more prone to viruses and hackers?  I guess there will be an added expense of procuring anti-virus software for the PCs.  The Mac tech geeks I know don’t install anti-virus software or software firewalls.

Of course we had to at least consider buying a used netbook on Craigslist.  There are a few MacBook Air machines for sale, but I’m not sure why.  Most of the posters claim that it’s a new machine, which seems suspect.  If I bought an older non-Mac netbook on Craiglist, I would be worried about the battery life, which is critical for travel, not to mention expensive to replace.  But at least in this case I would be paying a lot less upfront, and probably not care as much if it was stolen.

What’s the right answer?  We’ve only got 4 weeks left!

  • Which netbook do you recommend?
  • Is a computer critical travel gear these days?
  • What qualities are most important for a travel computer?
  • Do you consider the 11-inch MacBook Air to be a netbook?
  • Where do you fall on the form over function spectrum?
  • If you own a Mac, what security do you use?
  • Are you a Mac or a PC?

Ms. HalfEmpty is a 30-something introverted realist, perhaps a pessimist. But she’s trying to see the world half full on halfempty4now.com, which she started in February 2011. Her worldview may not be all bad, as it probably helps keep her husband, Mr. HalfFull, grounded and out of trouble!

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Crêpes, Castles, and Creationism?

On Friday night, Mr. HalfFull and I attended Shoot, Busk, and Blog: The Ins and Outs of Writing, Shooting, and Playing on the Road, a free travel event in DC.  [Aside from Mr. HalfFull:  what the heck is busk???  According to dictionary.com:  “to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.”]

Mr. HalfFull scales castle gate @ Medieval Times

Mr. HalfFull scales castle gate @ Medieval Times

Amazingly, the free event had free food and an open bar!  While we were enjoying our hors d’œuvres and drinks and waiting for the presentation to begin, we noticed the flyer rack at the hostel and had to laugh.  It lauded such attractions as Medieval Times, Calvert County, Natural Bridge, and Leesburg Outlets.  Is this the best that Western civilization has to offer?  Are these really the top advertisements for people visiting our nation’s capital???  None of these gems are even in Washington, DC!  In fact, they’re all a 1-4 hour drive outside the city.

Let’s consider the actual attractions.  Medieval Times is a fake castle in a shopping mall in the suburbs of Baltimore for children’s birthday parties and drunk adults eating without utensils.  See, it’s possible to learn historical facts, while being cultured!  Mr. HalfFull may or may not have thoroughly enjoyed this event for his 39th birthday.

Mr. HalfFull with cowboy riding dinosaur @ Natural Bridge Visitor Center

Mr. HalfFull with cowboy riding dinosaur @ Natural Bridge Visitor Center

What about Natural Bridge?  It’s almost 4 hours away in Virginia!  We’ve been there.  Well, not exactly all the way to the bridge.  Upon arriving at the visitor center, you are greeted by a cowboy riding a dinosaur out front.  You think I’m kidding?  See photo at left.  How’s that for historical accuracy?  We have renamed it the “unnatural bridge” based on the statue and were a bit turned off by the visitor center and $20 ride to see the actual bridge.  This was a good reminder for our 30/40 World Tour:  don’t put too much stock in the flyer rack.

It turned out to be a lucky night for me!  I won a super soft American Apparel t-shirt for being one of the first registrants.  Then my raffle ticket was drawn and I picked The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World as my prize.  The three Lost Girls were speakers at the event and graciously signed my book!

When I was talking to Lost Girl Amanda Pressner after the event, she asked about my blog.  I sheepishly told her that it was only a week old, said it’s called Half Empty for Now, and explained that I am Ms. HalfEmpty and my husband is Mr. HalfFull.  She immediately responded, “Oh so you’re trying to see things from his point of view.”  Exactly!  I loved that she got it immediately and it made me feel good about the concept and naming.

The Lost Girls book cover

My impetus for travel is very similar to The Lost Girls.  Perhaps I am a lost girl too.  I’ve only read a tiny part of their book, and already it resonates with me.  The Lost Girls

shared the desire to take a giant step away from our goal-oriented worlds to get a better sense of who we were — and what we really wanted from our lives.  Up until then, we’d successfully hit the milestones that are supposed to give young women a sense of purpose:  Moving away from Mom and Dad.  Graduating from college.  Getting our first jobs.  Falling in love. …we all wondered:  Were the paths that we were heading down the right ones for us — or were we simply staying the course because we thought we should?

After the travel event, Mr. HalfFull and I tried to get a table for dinner at Brasserie Beck, but they were booked.  Disappointedly, we walked toward the Metro and spotted Point Chaud Café and Crêpes.  J’adore crêpes!  We split one savory and one sweet crêpe to top off a wonderfully half full night.  [Mr. HalfFull saw my notes for this post where I had written “crêpes (half full)” and commented that he thought the crêpes were very full and generously stuffed…haha!]

  • Did dinosaurs and cowboys really exist at the same time?
  • What type of flyers would you put in a DC hostel?
  • Do you prefer sweet or savory crêpes?
  • Are you a lost girl/boy?

 

Ms. HalfEmpty is a 30-something introverted realist, perhaps a pessimist. But she’s trying to see the world half full on halfempty4now.com, which she started in February 2011. Her worldview may not be all bad, as it probably helps keep her husband, Mr. HalfFull, grounded and out of trouble!

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