Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Me

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Its a shopping season and you can see discount boards everywhere.
The day after Thanks Giving is known as the black friday. I asked couple of my friends about the logic behind this name but nobody knew about it, all they knew was the address of the electronic shops. On that day shops open in the early morning. Like here in Buffalo, Best Buy opened at 5am, Circuit city at 4am, Prime outlet at 12am.

I decided to give it a try and headed towards Best Buy at around 12.30- 1am. It was a foggy night and we could hardly see anything which is beyond couple of meters. I thought i’ll be among the first when i’ll reach there. But there were around 150 crazy people already standing in a chilly night with their sleeping bags, DVD players, cards and coffees. I was thrilled to see such a huge enthusiasm.

After few hours it became really very hard to stand in such cold. But believe me, it was fun.
Store persons started to distribute coupons at around 4am and i managed to get one for a laptop and one for a handy cam. Doors opened at 5am and everyone rushed in and started to grab whatever they saw. It was crazy.
I got really cool deals. Got a nice handycam for $159 (at over 70% discount), Sony Vaio for $599 (at over 40% discount) and a Nicon digicam for $114. Everything was dirt cheap. I also got a nice deal on 60GB external HD ($49).
All were in store offers. I really enjoyed that sleepless night.

There were online offers on Monday but i didn’t find any of them interesting. I’m planning to buy a high end Digital Camera to satisfy a photographer in me. And Xbox 360 or Wii is also on my shopping list. Period.

It was a long week-end and i had a good time. I’ve been to a small lake here. Weather was good all the four days were sunny. I also watched a movie (déjà vu) in a local multiplex. It was similar to what I have back home in Pune.

Seems I’m settling down a bit here.
Now, I’ve learnt to identify the quarters, pennies and dimes and i give exact amount when i buy Pizza or Subs for my lunch.
And when I go to the gas station, I know that the price written there is dollars per gallon and not dollars per liter.
I’ve learnt to say, "Its 34 Fahrenheit today" and “My office is 8 miles away from my apartment”.

But there are still few things which are left to learn. Like doing without calling loved ones in a whole day, enjoying a movie without close friends, like sleeping late while laughing out nights with room partners, like smoking without a roadside cutting tea..
List is long and I‘ve got five long months to learn these.

Lets see who wins, time or me…  

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I’m a Zune owner !

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Surprise !
I got the Zune delivered today morning.. thats too fast!
Now what i’ve in my hands is a new and much awaited Microsoft’s (iPod killer) Mp3
player.
I’m very happy and very very excited about this gadget.

First impressions:
1) Its little bulky.. little bigger than iPod.
2) User interface is very good and yes, better than iPod.
3) Ability to change wallpaper is very interesting.
4) Watching videos on Zune is fun and better experience than iPod.. thanks
to bigger screen.
5) I’ve just fallen in love with the FM tuner. It shows the song name and
artist info while playing the station.

Now i’m very eager to go try its software once i reach home.
All and all Zune is very good and it rocks !
My collegues also planning to order it and then we’ll have fun sharing
pictures and songs.
Goodbye iPod !

  

Amravati to America

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So finally I’m in the United States of America.
 
It took me couple of days to write this entry because i was in a jet lag and just managed to settle a bit.
The journey to US was not very pleasent as i was not familier with the formalities of Air Travel and stumbled multiple times. I had to take an another connecting flight to Buffalo from New York. But i missed it twice thanks to time taken by custom guys and emigration check.
 
For me coming to US is a completely different experience.
Every small thing in my day has changed. My room is no longer messy and i do not sleep with spiders these days. My road to office does not include crowded SwarGate, but now its full of tall and really huge buildings and over bridges. My food does not include spicy stuff and i have a choice to drink almost 50 types of milk in the morning (2% fat free, total milk, etc).
Every little thing has changed.
 
Buffalo is a nice place and its a well organised city. Weather goes againt it but i’m finding it exciting (Its 2 degree celcius here). Cab drivers here have GPS system in their back mirror and everything here is just a phone call away. I’m finding it difficult to get adjusted with the food but i’ve no option.
My office building is a 36 floors tall and there is small railway track under it!
Enough about America.
 
Though my standard of living has increased 10 fold, i’m terribly missing home. Couldn’t contact loved ones because of Day-Night confusion during first couple of days, so feeling a bit low. Good thing is, i’ve started to realise the value of small things which i had (and we all) ignore very easily. Like food, avalibility of family and friends, people who speak your language, etc.

Anyways, I’ve posted few snaps of my office along with my adventures on Niagra Falls.
I’ve ordered microsoft Zune today and eagerly waiting for it now.

Happy surfing.

 
-Harshal

11 Ways To Sleep Better

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Those who know me, will not be surprised with this post, as i’m notorious for sleeping till late afternoons.
I can get up late, sleep in the noon and then go to bed early in the night too!!
Some people say i’m lucky, but some just kick my butt and go to any length to wake me up.
One of them is my girlfriend, who calls me at any time in the night. Yes, any time. But wise people always swich their cells off while sleeping 🙂Sleeping Better
I came across this site which might help those poor souls who just can’t sleep better.
Check it out..

"Studies show that far too many of us are not sleeping well, and lack of good-quality sleep can lead to more than just feeling tired: everything from traffic accidents and poor work performance to crankiness, illness, and a less-than-attractive appearance can be the result of sleeping poorly.

To look and feel your absolute best, you need to get approximately seven to nine hours of deeply restful, quality sleep each night. Here are eleven simple tips so you can start sleeping like a baby. Find out how to get a great night’s sleep, right here… "

I’m Back

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Finally i’m back from the longest vacation that I ever had in past few years.
It was very relaxing. But I found myself more relaxed when i first logged in to my PC ans started surfing 🙂

There is a lots of difference between the life in Pune and life in Amravati. In pune, you have to run, run and run. No one looks so hurried back home. But the thought of staying away from your PC for 15-17 days is really very scary.

I spent last two days in catching up with the news that happened in past couple of weeks.
Most prominent were, the launch of IE7, Media Player11, FireFox 2.0 and Google acquiring JotSpot.
I’m really impressed with the way online office market heating up.
Earlier I had tested ZohoCreator but found it very slow as compared to JotSpot, ThinkFree and others. Google Docs is my favorite.
Microsoft is also planning to come up with Office Live on 14th November to face the competition.
Watch this space for more reviews.

Between, I came across a very nice and really amazing software, MojoPac yesterday. It allows you to carry your home PC in your USB thumb drive or even in your iPod. It rocks. Check it out.

I’ll be traveling to US in next week. Which gave me an idea to start a new travel blog.
After rejecting lot of names on coffee table, I finalised the name Travelogy.
Check it out here. I’ll try to update it more often.