August 21, 2006

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Networking for Geeks: Advertise with your laptop!

UPDATE: See http://sachachua.com/advertise-on-my-laptop.html

The geek shall inherit the earth

Want to meet interesting but don’t want to have to make the first
move? Use the back of your laptop to get people to talk to you. ;)
Stickers are a great way to do that. My laptop reads “The geek shall
inherit the earth.” I can’t count the smiles, chuckles, and
conversations I’ve gotten out of it—and all I have to do is open my
laptop! It helps that I have an eyecatching ridiculously small laptop,
of course, but this technique would work even for regular laptops.

LapLooks goes one better. They sell a
frame that attaches to your laptop and allows you to slip in a photo.
I don’t think I’ll ever find something in my size, but maybe I can
cobble something together with duct tape. Actually, you know what this
reminds me of? Those little reusable drawing pads. I could so totally
rig up a better system.

I’m going to have that up and running before BarCampEarthToronto this Saturday, for sure. I have *just* enough space for a 3×5 index card and part of a business card. So: laminate-style cover, or clear plastic and duct tape? ;)

Which reminds me, I need to get business cards printed. Another thing
to take care of tomorrow. =) Good stuff.

I’m so tempted to sell advertising space on my laptop. ;) After all, Stowe Boyd sold his T-shirt rights…

LapLooks link via Solo Business Marketing, via Business Opportunities Weblog.

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See also:

My next blog entry:

Other people’s blog entries:

Darn, can’t find my first-aid kit

I can’t find the first-aid kit that Diane Lazaro assembled for me before I left for Canada. I know I used some
bandages from it before, but I might’ve left it somewhere. Hmm. I’ll
just go and buy surgical tape tomorrow, then.

No, don’t worry, nothing’s wrong. It’s just that I’ve been meaning to
get around to using the scar removal patches that Simon thoughtfully
shared with me. The blisters from horseback riding more than a year
ago haven’t faded from my ankles. I’d like to be able to stop looking
like I have mild stigmata. The scar removal patches from Pfizer are
said to be pretty effective, but because the dark spots are on my
ankles, the patches are really difficult to keep on. Taping them to my
skin might help! <laugh> So, tomorrow, then.

Along those lines: does sebo de macho actually work?

Three questions for success

Via the Business Opportunities Weblog comes this awesome story about Farrah Gray, who made his first million by age 14. Want to be a Millionaire? Ask Yourself Three Questions

“Ask yourself three questions. First, what comes easy to me, but harder to others? The second question is, what would you do for work for years and years and never have to get paid for it? And the third question is, how can you be of service and how can you give back?” Gray advises.

Same questions my parents taught me to always ask myself. =)

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Bought a sari

Toronto has all these wonderful little neighborhoods. I’ve been
meaning to go to Little India to buy a sari for the longest time, so I
finally decided to go and buy one today. It was so hard to choose –
they were all so beautiful! I finally decided on a black sari with
gold thread trim. If I like wearing it, I just might go back and get
more.

Hmm. BarCampEarthToronto is this Saturday, so I’ll probably go in a malong. Tomorrow I’ve got a fair bit of running around to do, and I’ll be up at IBM for the rest of this week… Maybe next week, then! The 28th would be a good time to try it out.

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MBA elective courses

I’ve missed the deadline for the Fall MBA courses, but I might be able
to squeeze my way into 2012HF: Entrepreneurship, 2915HF:
Entrepreneurship with a Social Mission, or 2916HF: Cultivating
Presence. Or I could just sit in, if I can get away with that. 2915HF
looks like a terrific course. =)

I’m definitely planning to go for Spring 2007 MBA electives. There’s:

2003HS Shape It, Don’t Take it
2016HS Strategy and Competition in Creative Industries
2017HS The Strategic Value of Social Capital
2018HS Outsourcing
2914HS Not-For-Profit Consulting

I’m particularly excited about the social capital and outsourcing
courses. =)

The application deadline for the Spring Term is November 15. I can so
make that. I’ll see if I can take Strategic Management this term so
that I can take the 299* level courses next term. I think I’ll spend
Tuesday downtown so that I can sort this out, instead of waiting until
Thursday.

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Research report: Met with Mark

Met with my research supervisor, Mark Chignell. Told him about the cool stuff I’d seen at IBM Cambridge’s InternFest last week, and revised my research plan to include fewer interviews and more numbercrunching. Whee!

I like coding. I might as well play to that strength.

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Come and hang out at BarCampEarth!

Geek? Come to BarCampEarth. Organize one near you if you have to.

In Toronto? Come to BarCampEarthToronto, Aug 26 to 27. Space is limited, so register now!

I’ll be the girl in the… oh, forget it. You’ll find me easily. ;)

BarCampEarthToronto might even worth coming to Toronto for,
depending on the fare. Check out your favorite travel agency for tickets!

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Living with others and living alone

The residence assistant introduced himself to me and explained that my
roommate Kristin would be moving to another room for a day, just to
try it out. I guess this was related to the tense discussion I’d
walked in on last Friday. She and my other roommate, Krystal, were
having a hard time dealing with those little issues that come up when
you share space with near-strangers. It’s Kristin’s first time living
with others, and there are lots of things to which we all need to
adjust.

People find it strange that I don’t mind sharing a *room* with another
person. I have to explain to them that when I lived in residence in
college, I shared a room with three other people (an actual room, mind
you). Even after I graduated from college and stayed at an
apartment-style dorm near school, I shared a room with another person.

I’ve never lived alone. I’ve never chosen furniture, except for two
bean-bag chairs at the apartment-style dorm near school. I’ve never
chosen paint colors or light fixtures (okay, maybe a desk lamp).

I’ve never had my own place. I’m looking forward to one!

I’d like to try living on my own: not just renting a room in a shared
house, but having an apartment all to myself. I’ve thought about
whether that makes sense financially, knowing that I should save
earlier instead of later because of the power of compound interest and
money might be a bit tight if I’m just starting out. Even though it
makes more financial sense for me to find roommates and go for the
cheap rent when I’m starting out, I think I’d like to try living on my
own.

This adventure would also help me figure out what I like and don’t
like about places, which is even more important when it comes to
deciding where and how I’m going to live. =)

So—I won’t move out of Graduate House yet (I like the amenities and
the company!), but I plan to move into a bachelor’s or 1-bedroom
apartment when I start working.

An unfurnished apartment would give me the most flexibility. I can see
how I’d gradually scale up in terms of furniture. Asian style might
help me here: I can sleep on a futon and entertain on cushions spread
around a low mat.

Here’s what I want:

  • Accessible by transit: I’ll probably never live anywhere that requires driving. I enjoy having people over too much to limit myself to people who have a car. 24-hour transit would be even better so that I don’t need to worry about how late my parties run. It needs to be close enough for people to not mind coming over after work.
  • A large kitchen that connects to the living room: I prefer entertaining at home over going out. If the kitchen is far from the living/dining room, then I might not see my guests during parties until halfway through! Not fun. I’d rather have an open layout and a large kitchen so that when guests come over and help me cook, we have enough space to do that. I loved how people helped me out with my birthday party: mixing the brownies, cooking porridge, chopping fruits… Yup, definitely must have a large kitchen and a pleasant living room.
  • Big windows: I love natural light, and would like to have windows with a view of either leafy trees or the cityscape. I would particularly enjoy having a large window in my bedroom facing north or south (or east, if necessary; just not west) so that the morning sun can help me wake up. I’d hate to have to use curtains or shades on this window, though. My Graduate House window opens onto the courtyard, which is why I have to keep the shades closed or people can see straight into my room. Not fun.
  • Warm colors: I love rich, warm colors. Red, orange, brown, things like that.
  • Temperature control: I want to be able to choose a comfortable temperature and maintain that throughout the year.
  • Shower essential, bath not quite necessary: North American baths are nothing compared to a proper Japanese bath, to which I will treat myself someday. I want one of those deep sitting baths – maybe even the one with a wooden barrel? I think the Japanese way of doing baths is The Right Way: take a shower *outside* the bath, soak, and then rinse off outside it. I suppose it only makes sense if one shares the bath with other people afterwards, though, so it’s not a feature I’m looking for now.
  • Double sink, preferably triple sink: I don’t mind washing dishes. In fact, I probably wouldn’t use a dishwasher that often. On the other hand, a double sink is incredibly useful.
  • High-speed Internet: ’nuff said. Wireless, preferably. I can set this up easily.
  • Cellphone signal: ’nuff said.
  • Near laundromat: I handwash most of my clothes, so it might not be worth it for me to keep a washing machine if I’m just going to use it for sheets, towels, and the occasional sturdy item.
  • Near restaurants, preferably open late at night: For those days when I don’t feel like cooking, or for lunch parties that stretch out into dinner.
  • Near public library: Nice to have. I can walk or take transit, though.
  • Garden not necessary: I suck at keeping plants, and I don’t particularly feel the urge to have a yard.
  • Not a basement: I am not a basement person. See need for windows.
  • High-rise, probably, although low-rise also okay: Because a bachelor pad probably won’t be cost-effective otherwise.

I haven’t decided between a bachelor pad or a one-bedroom apartment
yet. I can use a folding screen to hide my bed if I go for a bachelor
pad. I don’t need a really fancy place to sleep.

This probably also means I should consider working for somewhere
downtown, because I like living downtown.

Hmm. =)

Plans, plans… Maybe sometime April, if I get my work thing sorted
out? I can do Massachusetts, I suppose, although Manila would probably
be a better alternative…

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Trying something new

I’ve decided to do something about my media deficit. ;) Yesterday, we
did a trial run of a video party. As usual, we went through several
alternate plans. It was lots of fun, though!

Plan A: Use the common TV room in the basement. Unfortunately, it was closed.

Plan B: Use the second-floor TV area. No DVD player.

Plan C: Use the second-floor TV area and hook up Simon Ditner‘s laptop to it. We had the right cable (you gotta love geeks with cables!), but couldn’t figure out how to select the video input.

Plan D: Use the projector Roger Yang brought and beam the video onto the wall of my living room. THe projector speakers turned out to be fairly good, so we didn’t need external speakers. (Good thing, too, as I didn’t know where I could find speakers.)

Plan D1: Watch Aardvark’d, a video about software development. The DVD that Jedediah Smith burned had problems, though.

Plan D2: Watch the music videos that Quinn Fung brought. Michael Gondry did the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which I enjoyed. The music videos were terrific. =)

Definitely mind-expanding, and not a bad beta party. We’ll do that
again sometime!

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Cellphone

Okay, I have officially settled in now. ;)

I used 437:08 local minutes and sent 579 text messages from July 12 to
August 11. See, that’s why I *had* to find an unlimited incoming and
way-too-many-text-messages plan… 579 text messages! That’s because I
organize get-togethers with broadcast text messages. I find it so much
nicer than push-to-talk, also. I wish text messaging service was more
reliable, though; sometimes messages get delayed for hours or even
days.

It’s all about the mobile swarm.

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Credit card

Finally sorted out a Canada-based credit card. Yay! I no longer have
to course credit card purchases through the Philippines, getting
dinged on the exchange rate. Too bad I didn’t get it in time to pay
for my flight.

The credit card representative handling my activation call was really
hard-selling me on credit balance insurance. I wasn’t too sure I
needed it because I plan to pay the balance off in full each month,
which is the proper way to use credit cards anyway. He was really
pushing me to go for the 30-day review, but I was, like, ehh…
Something about hard sells raises my hackles, and I was rather
suspicious of the fact that I couldn’t go without and just opt in
afterwards.

So I Googled for “do I need balance protection insurance” and found the Government of Canada’s helpful factsheet on credit balance insurance, which led me to the totally awesome list of consumer publications from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Hey, governments can rock after all. =)

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Upcoming BarCamp

Reviewing my months-old inbox, I came across a conversation with Justin Wiley about their BarCamp, the geek un-conference I like so much. He told me of an interesting session at one of their BarCamps. The session was called “Refactoring Your Wetware“, and it was all about productivity. That reminded me that BarCamp sessions aren’t limited to computer topics. I’d love to facilitate a session on personal productivity at one of the Toronto BarCamps. I may even go ahead and steal the title. ;)

Another session I’d love to facilitate would be one on networking for introverts, which Richard Eriksson‘s also interested in. It ties in well with the Conference Commando stuff I want to do.

Looks like I’ll be volunteering one of those (or even both!) for BarCampEarthToronto

  • E-Mail from Justin Wiley

Whoa, maybe I’m onto something here

Lots of people commented on my entry about wanting to get into the clothing business. I’ve updated the entry with their comments. Maybe I’m onto something here. Is it something small that I can build and let loose?

In other news, yet another random stranger walked up to me yesterday
and complimented me on the malong that I wore. And to think that I was
just wearing it as a skirt…

Also, I’m planning to go to Little India and get myself one of their
traditional outfits to see what that feels like.

I’m interested in traditional outfits from all cultures, not just the
Philippines, although I must admit that I take a certain joy in
telling people that my terno’s from home… =)

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