I’m feeling a little jetlagged after the long trip to Korea and Seattle, so here’s a quick and dirty post on some stuff I bought recently for personal use and would like to recommend to like-minded friends. I shall not exceed one average-length paragraph per review! Note: prices vary across a wide range here.
Jazz Stand from RAT Stands
$220 for a music stand? I thought the guy at the music shop was kidding me. I’ve been looking for a decent music stand for years, as the foldable metal ones at home drive me crazy – they either come loose at the screws or wobble with the slightest breath. Well, this funky plastic/metal Jazz Stand has no screws, never wobbles and is built solid as a rock. AND it folds to the size of the backing board itself! My violin actually sounds better now because I’m no longer frustrated with the music stand! Rating: 9/10.
iPod Touch 32GB
Yes I finally bought an iPod Touch. This is my fourth iPod and I’ve been holding out forever because I’ve been waiting for the 64GB version (my song collection is huge). But the price was S$488 in Korea due to the weak won (vs S$649 in Singapore) and I gave up resisting. You iPod users all know what this baby is about, but its greatest unsung feature is the ability to buy stuff from the iTunes Store directly over WiFi. I was stunned at the speed of purchases and how well it integrates advertising and fulfillment all at once. It’s really a cash register in your pocket! Now if only I could switch off the annoying gyroscope and it really ought to come with its own casing. Rating 8/10
The AB Guide To Music Theory
It’s boring to death, but well, essential reading for a music neophyte like me. Rating: 6/10 (largely because it makes me feel like I’m in school again, poring over mouldy textbooks). But yeah, it’s useful lah. Now I can use terms like enharmonic on less cultured people HAHA!
“Your style is so not enharmonic to mine.”
Corolla Altis 2008 model
If you go online and read Singapore car forums, you’ll read alot of people slamming the latest Altis. It’s confounding, because I think it’s a perfectly good car after having driven it for several weeks. Sure, it’s not going to blast off when you floor the accelerator, but that’s because it’s not designed to, you ignorant people. As a family car, it’s stylish enough not to look stuffy, has huge amount of boot and seat space, and the drive is smooth, thanks to good integration between the engine and gear box. This is the third Altis I’m driving this decade, and I can tell you it’s still far better value than most cars out there today. Especially since I got it cheap and brand new at $49k (average pricing now is $54k). The only significant, but still minor downside is that the chassis is not designed to hug to wheels closely, so changing my rims didn’t make it look that much sportier. Rating: 8/10.
Epson V500 Scanner
I never thought I would buy another dedicated flatbed scanner (I’ve owned a Microtek and Epson in the past), but the growing mould on my wedding photo negatives pushed me into this purchase. In short, it scans 35mm and medium format film negatives, as well as slides, in what appears to be nearly the quality of the obsolete film scanners of the past. The scans print out very well on a color inkjet. The professional scanning mode is great for me, and the basic mode is great for the rest of the family. It scans normal documents very quickly, but negatives can take up to ten minutes per frame. Epson has always made some of the best consumer scanners around and the V500 will pay for itself very quickly if you need to digitize alot of negatives. Just wish it could go faster though – took me a month of nightly scanning to clear my wedding pix! Rating: 8/10
Transformers Universe Deluxe Figure – Cyclonus
Amazing as it sounds, I’ve never owned a Transformers toy my entire life. My mum never got me one no matter how crazy I was about the cartoon. Well, lucky Isaac got one for his birthday this year – Cyclonus from the original 1985 movie. It wasn’t in the same shade of purple as the original toy, but I was thoroughly impressed with the level of articulation and how the complicated the transformation was in order to differentiate between fighter craft and robot. Unfortunately, it’s a bit tough for Isaac, so I usually have to help him transform ole Cyclonus. And only about SGD25 if I remember correctly. Rating : 7/10