Tuesday, August 28, 2012

terrific article from GQ, about clubbing

"So that from our high-priced bottle-service real estate we still had the valuable sensation that we were at a place where the party, like the music (or the Ecstasy), would never, ever end, where more and more girls could be fed in from still more flights out of Kansas City and Sacramento and you could start to think that the you who has a job back in Pittsburgh or Irvine doesn't exist, and also that after this you'd better go find some coke or else deal with the reality that awaits you back in the rollaway suitcase in your hotel room. Or if you're the fourth-generation heir to a toothpaste fortune who doesn't have a job in Pittsburgh (and there are people who come here they can drop $500K in a night and not feel bad about it), that there's a world where no one has those jobs, that this is the one place built for you."

"All around us women were dancing on makeshift stages—tabletops, banquette benches, dancing plinths. There must have been a hundred of them, and all of them, like really all of them, were wearing virtually identical tiny dresses and platform shoes that used to be a kind of sartorial wink that meant: I get paid money to give blow jobs."

"We let Jessica pour rounds and rounds of drinks for these female Asian chem majors from Cal who kept waving and winking to their boyfriends who were railbirding it on the lower level of the dance floor, watching as their dates got their free drinks on."

"Going to a nightclub, like going on vacation, sometimes gives rise to this really stressful internal-feedback loop that initiates when some dark part of your brain transmits a pretty obvious question: "Am I having fun?" Then: "Is this fun? What about that?" Or, "Those people look like they're having fun—are they pretending like I am?" Or, "I should be having fun, but am I really? How about now? Or...now?" And then this other part of your brain says, "Shut up, this is your dedicated night for fun, you paid all this money for it, and if you're not having fun now, maybe you're not capable of fun, so please for the love of God just shut up." "Okay. Okay... But how about now?""

"Another way to deal with that anxiety, the balm Jason and Noah offer, is to make the customers believe they are at the party that other people wish they were at. Marquee must always feel like the place to be tonight. "We always have photographers on hand," Jason told me. "The key is to recap it the next day so we can be like, 'Look what you fucking missed.' "


samsung series 7 14" - 1600x900 discrete graphics

my dad wanted a laptop. luckily, my parents were kind enough to suggest i buy a new laptop, give my mom my current laptop, and have my dad take my mom's laptop that's 6 years old.

so i went on a laptop hunt. it took a while (like 10 hrs) because there were some strict, slightly unreasonable criteria i wanted: 1600x900 HD+ resolution or better, ivy bridge, less than 5 lbs, 14.1" screen size or less, optical CD drive, a thin bezel if possible, and a discrete graphics card would be nice. it turned out that not too many laptops had the above combination.

initially i wanted a convertible tablet too to take notes with. but the combination of the above just doesn't exist in a convertible tablet form. the closest was the t902, but that thing cost $2000, still didn't come with discrete graphics, and was bigger and heavier than most of the regular laptops that had a bigger screen size.

reasons i wanted what i wanted:
i wanted an optical drive because i feel insecure without one. (what if i suddenly wanted to play Battlefield 3 and didn't want to wait 2 hours for it to download but instead decided to run to target, buy the disc, and come back in 30 minutes. well without a cd drive, i'd be screwed) actually, i ended up getting the samsung series 7 14" (aka NP700Z3C, NP700Z3C-S02US for the US version), and that thing only comes with a gefore gt 630m, which is relatively weak, and can't really play BF3 =(

i also wanted something with a small footprint so it can fit on not-so-large coffee tables. so i started taking into account not only the screen size, but the actual width, depth, thickness, as well as weight. and the samsung series 7 blows the competition out of the water. (except for weight, in which case it's beat by the sony viao S series). the series 7 basically is a 14" screen in a 13.3" body. so this is basically a 13.3" laptop with 1600x900 resolution. it's pretty amazing how the footprint is smaller than most of the actual 13.3 inchers (because it has a small bezel!!!)

i wanted to 1600x900 resolution because it's so much 1337er than noob 720p.

and yeah, i got ripped off compared to slickdeals deals, but i didn't feel like waiting around for along time. plus i think it's very rare that there will be any other laptop with a smaller footprint for that screen size and resolution.

also, i looked through most of toshiba, hp, dell, acer, asus, and fujitsu's product lines. most didn't offer 1600x900, and if they did, it was more expensive and still lacked a discrete graphics card or optical cd drive. (for example the hp spectre 14" looks really good has a small footprint, but costs about $400 more and lacks discrete graphics. and of course, the macbook's are amazingly designed (and from looking at the samsung series 7 you can see why apple sued samsung so often), but i can't afford the macbook.

Update - september 14, 2014
After using this laptop for about 2 years, its had enough bugs and disappointments that I'm going to try to never buy a samsung laptop again.

microsoft store student .edu verification site

several laptops from the microsoft store have a promotion that you get a free xbox360 4gb (not the 250gb version) if you buy an expensive enough laptop. all you need to do is verify a .edu email. The trick is getting to the site where you actually input your .edu email address to get verified.

it took me two hours to find this link:

freaking microsoft must've been hiding it.
the directions on this website are worthless and not true: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.LearnMore
there is no verify button on that link.

man, microsoft online store's website sucks