Friday, July 22, 2011

Acer Iconia Tab A500 16GB Wifi

acer iconia tab a500I recently purchased an Acer Iconia Tab from Target since they had an amazing price for it of $399 with a $50 Target gift card. The price was about $50 off the normal price and Target gift cards are always valuable (at least for me). At first, I was thinking I’d sell it since I already had an original iPad which I’d gotten not too long after it came out last year. I soon realized that I don’t use the iPad much and the prospect of being able to use Flash on a tablet makes it a much better product overall due to that alone.
Newer Android tablets are more comparable to the iPad 2 and I’m not about to compare it to the original iPad, which cool as it is just doesn’t stack up due to technological advancements. The only thing I really used on my original iPad was an app called Game Dev Story by Kairosoft, which is surprisingly addictive. My original iPad sold within minutes after listing it on Amazon, though I did include a couple of cases and a screen protector with it.
Apple definitely knows how to sell and market their products, which makes re-selling them extremely easy. This even seems to work with broken items sold for parts, though I have a working iMac G5 (before they added built-in webcams) that seemed to have a faulty motherboard from the start. That’s a story for another day. I had purchased AppleCare for it and had it taken in to be fixed for other issues, but no places ever mentioned that my motherboard was bad. The computer works but is very susceptible to freezing and is too unstable to consider using it for very long. But I digress.
The Acer Iconia Tab has been an amazing improvement, I mostly just use it for email and Game Dev Story (and the new Hot Springs Story). It just got the new 3.1 version of Android, so it will now be running Flash 10.3! I’m more excited about that than anything. I’m not a huge fan of Flash, despite my early attempts at making games with it. I enjoy playing Flash games and I know that Flash is actually a very important part of creating websites, interactive stuff and all that. Steve Jobs is definitely not playing with a full deck if he does think not supporting Flash is a good idea. HTML5 is still a bit far off even if some sites use it. The fact that most YouTube videos are flash based is another reason that Flash is here to stay.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

TwentyWonder: BRMC, LA Derby Dolls, Axis of Awesome, Exzene Cervenka

TwentyWonder Drink Menu
This benefit for Down’s Syndrome was definitely very fun and interesting. I volunteered with some BRMC friends (Jodi, Jen, and Armine) at the Underwater Photography room, which featured 3 different mixed drinks named for nudibranchs: The Blue Dragon (Cosmo), JD’s Horny Honey (Bourbon), and Mucho Mexichromis (Margarita). I didn’t take many photos since Jodi told me they were confiscating cameras and I figured other people would be taking a lot (and there were plenty of pros as well as cell phone pic takers). Most of my pictures are from the underwater bar, and a few of the larger displays, like the Batmobile. Ed Asner was reading Dr. Suess right outside our bar and there was a theremin player who provided some musical entertainment every so often. It was pretty cool.
BRMC did a 4 song set that probably went over 20 minutes and included a cool jam at the start. It was a full electric set despite the short set, but warehouses don’t make for good ventilation or acoustics – so it’s not as fun to attend as an outdoor festival or a even acoustic sets in an air conditioned venue. Basically, I was dying from the heat most of the time while we were near the stage (which was probably about an hour total, since Axis of Awesome and Exzene performed right before BRMC). The other songs in the set were Shadow’s Keeper, White Palms, and Punk Song. Trina did a nice review for The Owl Mag (which also has a lot of great photos on it). There are several other blogs that I saw some good pics on too: Ashley Andrea Beliveau and The Love Stains
interesting display at TwentyWonderAnother good photos set is the from the LA Derby Dolls’s Flickr. I didn’t see much of the roller derby, but I know what it’s about and I’m sure it was pretty cool. The roller rink and warehouse seemed like an appropriate space for the event and it was a lot bigger than I expected. Axis of Awesome were pretty awesome, bringing the funny and warming up the crowd. Exzene sang the national anthem and a few a capella songs before BRMC started. After BRMC played there was some weird stuff going on with some male dancers (I’m only recalling from other people’s reviews). I didn’t see what happened there, but I’m kind of glad we were able to chill outside where it was nice and cool. As far as benefit concerts go, this was one of the cooler ones (though not temperature wise).  There were probably many celebrities there, but the focus was more on entertaining while raising awareness.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Anime Expo 2011: Megatokyo, Danny Choo, new Gundam, and more!

It’s been over a week since AX and fortunately (or not), I have some time off to relax. This year’s convention was a lot better than last year, in large part due to the Convention Center staff being much nicer to attendees and  also it seems that things ran more smoothly in general. We didn’t watch as much anime as last year, but we did see a lot of debuts and panels related to them like High School of the Dead, Gundam 00 Movie, and Gundam Unicorn. Thanks to a nice AX staff guy, we were able to register at closing on Day Zero which allowed us to attend Opening Ceremonies. My boyfriend is a fan of Megatokyo, a web comic by Fred Gallagher, so we attended his panel on the 3rd day and signing on the last day. We even managed to chat with him in the artist alley.
Danny Choo, Mirai cosplayer, and Fakku guyDanny Choo had a lot of events going on, which we also attended though didn’t stay too long at the Fakku meet and greet. We did pick up a few Mirai T-shirts from J-list and the Mirai Figma from Kid Nemo. My boyfriend was very excited about it and was also able to get a Senjyougahara Hitagi Figma from Bakemonogatari (which I just watched most of last night with him). The Exhibition Hall is always the best way to spend your paycheck, and it didn’t disappoint. I got shirts from Bored Inc, Gama-Go, Aqua Red, previous AX (only $5), Angry Little Girls (bags too), MightyFine, and the previously mentioned Mirai shirts from J-List. I picked up a cute pair of earrings from the Artist Alley for only $2 also.
Hatsune Miku Toyota Corolla at AX 2011The AMV (Anime Music Video) contest was pretty popular this year, so we weren’t able to attend any re-screenings or award ceremonies. It was really interesting to see the panels for High School of the Dead and the Gundam Unicorn screenings. The Gundam 00 screening went late, so they moved the panel to another room and we decided to do something else (probably eat). In total, I took a lot of pictures this year and all my photos are up on my AX 2011 Flickr Collection. I don’t take many cosplay photos, but there are plenty of people who do. Cosplayers are everywhere, so even if I wasn’t focusing on them you’ll still see a bunch. The big thing this year was the Hatsune Miku concert (which they brought custom Toyota Corollas out for).
Another new thing was the Food Trucks, which may have been there last year but they had a dedicated area for people to go to. We ended up spending a lot on Indian Food, but it was pretty tasty. The pizza has been the consistently good and reasonably priced item at the LA Convention Center, so we got that a few times over the 4 day event. We were slightly better prepared with cold drinks in the car to get when we didn’t want to spend $3 to $4 on a soda. This was a pretty fun experience and definitely worth attending. I enjoy being able to take in a lot of different panels and screenings, while also finding cool things in the dealer hall. One of the last things we picked up is a DS game by Aksys called Nine Nine Nine, which came with a watch from the game. Andrew already finished it and the watch is pretty cool (even if it’s hard to put on at first).

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Make Music Pasadena 2011

Saint Motel @ Make Music Pasadena
Best Coast @ Make Music Pasadena
Ra Ra Riot @ Make Music Pasadena
Kisses @ Make Music Pasadena
Zola Jesus @ Make Music Pasadena
This is the 3rd year I’ve been to Make Music Pasadena – a free annual music festival in downtown Pasadena. Pretty good line-up too: we started the day with Saint Motel at 2 PM, the Morning Benders at around 3:30 PM (who we didn’t really watch), then walking around for food and bathroom breaks. Best Coast at 5 PM, Ra Ra Riot at around 6:30 PM (the main stage was running late), Kisses on the emerging artist stage at around 8:30 PM and Zola Jesus at around 10 PM.
The weather was nice all day, not extremely hot like the first year I went (it was around 106 degrees). This time around, it was in the high 70′s to mid 80′s and didn’t drop too low at night. Tons of people were already there even at 2 PM, so getting around the main stage area was a little tough.  The side streets weren’t too bad, but parking was a bit tricky. There were more inexpensive parking lots than we thought, but we weren’t sure where they were.
The bands were pretty good, though watching them from really far away is not usually that great.  Free events like this is more about hanging out and enjoying the music rather than really getting into the show. At least, that’s how it is for me.  There were some interesting vendors set up in the street that was blocked off (Colorado and Fair Oaks – I think).  Even though Pasadena isn’t too far from where I live, traffic always makes it seem farther.
There was a Chalk Art Fair happening down the street from Make Music Pasadena, which was also pretty interesting to see. It’s sponsored by JetBlue and there were plenty of talented artists making some very cool chalk art. I didn’t get any pictures, but I’m sure there’s plenty online. It was at the same place last year also, so I guess these two events will always coincide now.