The Kokuyo Tidbit (pronounced chibbito or “little bit” in Japanese) is a brilliantly designed memo pad. I picked up a pair (grid cut and horizontal cut) this afternoon at Tokyu Hands. Tidbit is a great solution for memo writing: it can take the shape of your thoughts, no matter how short or jumbled. Also, I like how the instructions are right on the cover.

I am amazed at the size of this screen. Take a look at the iMac website and compare the above full-screen window with your own to get a sense of the real estate. Look at the breadth of the width and height of the window. 1920 by 1200 pixels. I can’t wait to watch an HD movie.

What’s the big deal you ask? Forgiving your pun, this is a “big” deal for someone who has been using a 13” MacBook for the past 2½ years (not to mention a 12” PowerBook before that!).

HAL-9005, the newest member of my Mac family: 24” monitor with 4GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD. I didn’t go for the new mini keyboard but stuck with a traditional numberpad. Since I am getting interested in video, the videocard was particularly attractive to me.

This is my first desktop since 2003, when I got my first Mac ever (also an iMac). I still have my first generation MacBook for mobility, and a first generation 12” PowerBook that sits unused on the shelf. You’ll note my iPhone 3G in the photo.

Don’t think I can compete with Danny’s Mac Life, but I think I’m a mint in the Most Dijon Mustard Coloured Curtains category.

PS. The the desktop wallpaper I am using is called simply The Earth

On discouraging our future daughter’s fashion trends

Wife: What if she is into boy bands?
Me: I will practice b-boy dancing in the living room with my balding head and a T-Shirt that says “Johnny’s” on it. I will also fawn over her idol trading cards that she bought in Harajuku.
Wife: What if she is goth?
Me: Then I will greet her in the morning at the kitchen table with my newspaper wearing a spiked dog collar.
Wife: What is she is a gyaru?
Me: I will have to get a MASSIVE fluffy keitai strap, put some bronzing on my skin and dye one strip of my hair platinum blonde. I may hang some beads from that strip of hair.

Why?

My life is ruled by four themes: 1) international politics, 2) Japan, 3) technology and 4) design. My need for expression of the first theme (and the second in some instances) is met by other forae. For the past few months I have been using Twitter as a forum for the other themes. It has been an enjoyable experience so far. In my busy life 140 characters is the perfect limit for my daily thoughts on life in Japan, technology and design.

However, periodically one has more to say. Using a tweet series is cumbersome and abusive of the Twitter paradigm. I needed somewhere else to post lengthier thoughts and ideas. Yet I didn’t want a full-fledged blog and the posting responsibilities that go with it. Thus, this tumblr is born out of — and completely dependent upon — my Twitter presence.

My expectations for this Tumblr are for it to be erratically updated with an eclectic collection of posts that are sometimes challenging yet always stimulating. People who know me personally and respect my opinion on things tech and design, or enjoy my slanted take on life in Japan, are the most probable potential followers. Yet I hope those that I converse daily with on “teh Twitter” will also stop by, and enjoy sandbaggerone on a lever deeper than a 140 characters.

“iPhone failure invented in the media”

Nobi Hayashi, the main source of Brian X Chen’s disappointing article about Japanese hatred for the iPhone, has come forward in a lengthy denial where he claims his comments were taken out of context. The article provides an interesting look into the mobile culture of Japan. Hayashi makes a great point about the iPhone’s performance here:

… the total unit shipment of all operators combined went down for 18.7% … to 42 million units which makes iPhone almost has the 1% share; In January 2007, Steve Jobs said he will have 1% share of the worldwide market. Well, in Japan, too. They got that number of share in this very competitive market.

The article continues with other examples of media mistreatment of the iPhone and is worth the read. Japanese “hate” for iPhone all a big mistake

h/t to @ourmanintokyo

Why the Japanese hate the iPhone

From Wired: Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone

This article assumes that SoftBank’s iPhone For Everybody indicates that the Japanese hate the iPhone. Disappointingly, there isn’t a scrap of market data in the entire article. Considering how many iPhones one sees in the subway, I doubt there to be a universal hatred for the iPhone in the Japanese street. Surely there could be another reason for the promotion that a writer could speculate about (eg. a new model to be released?) rather than propagating a cultural stereotype.

Furthermore, Chen asks if Apple will say sayonara to the Japanese market. Apple still sells the tv here, if that’s any indication.