Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Quick Review of the Cintiq Companion

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His & Hers: My Helix Meets the Companion

My husband had been waiting for the Cintiq Companion for quite sometime and today was the day it was delivered. Unfortunately for him, he had a dinner appointment so I got the pleasure of getting it up to date and trying it out for the first time.

The device is pretty solid and well made, even the case for the Wacom Pen felt very premium. I actually have trouble calling it a device because it’s HUGE and HEAVY. But the screen size feels like the perfect size for drawing. Apart from the power adapter, pen and case, it also came with a non-slip stand for the Companion that allows you hold it up at varying angles and keep it from slipping when your drawing on a desk.

One complaint is that the power button is located in the lower right corner of the tablet which is where i normally hold devices when moving about so i kept accidentally putting the pc to sleep.

The tablet comes with Windows 8 out of the box which you’ll need to activate with the product key that is on a sticker on the power adapter (it took a while for me to find where that was). Once it’s activated, you can run all the windows updates first, then you’ll be able to update to Windows 8.1 at the store.

I only had time to try out the new Fresh Paint and One Note before my husband arrived from his dinner and i had to surrender it to him. But both apps performed wonderfully and it was just so nice to write on. I think the matte screen on the tablet really makes a difference, palm rejection is perfect and the dedicated button that allows you to quickly switch touch on and off really helps with not having any extra strokes registered.

Can’t say anything about the battery life but apart from the weight, i think overall it really is a device that’s worth its cost in build quality compared to other feature similar devices in the market.

The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned…

I got this error message as i plugged in my mouse to my Thinkpad Helix on my first day back at work from maternity leave. I’m not a trackpad/trackpoint person so i spent a good part of my day trying to find out what was wrong. I even bought a new mouse thinking my arc touch mouse of 3 years had finally broken down. I borrowed someone’s wired mouse to see if that was the issue, still got the same error. Did several reboots and reinstalls of the Mouse and Keyboard Center, still that didn’t help.

Went on the lenovo support site to see the latest stuff and found the Intel Management Engine Firmware 8.1 for Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit), 7 (32-bit, 64-bit), XP – ThinkPad. That seemed to fix the problem.

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS032435

Now i have two arc touch mice.

Daytrip to Legoland

My brother and his girlfriend are visiting over the weekend and they wanted to go visit Legoland. We previously attempted to go with Erik but it ended up being a really hot day and so we roamed around Puteri, Harbor instead. Erik would have been too you to appreciate it anyway, at least at that time.

They’ve just recently opened the Water Park so knowing how Erik loves the water, we decided to all go (well, except for Celyn, since she still doesn’t have her dependent’s pass)

We weren’t quite sure what to expect about the traffic going in since we’ve had different experiences everytime but surprisingly, there was not much of a queue when we were leaving SG on Monday at around 9:30. Maybe traffic’s already let up or maybe it’s because of the public holiday, not too sure, we haven’t really driven to Malaysia often enough to know whether that would have been considered normal.

Customs was a breeze, we didn’t have to get down from the car. I wasn’t quite sure it would be the same since we had tourists with us, but apparently it was. Going out of SG customs, you pay using your cashcard and on the Malaysia side, you pay with a Touch n’ Go card. If it’s your first time driving in or you don’t have any credit in your existing card, you’ll want to keep to the 2nd leftmost lane to buy a new card or top up. I think you can buy a new card for 15 ringgit and each way is 7. (we have two cards since the second time we went, we couldn’t remember where we put the first one we bought).

Finding the place was pretty easy, as they had signs to Legoland guiding you through out the way. Since there is quite a bit still under construction, it was a bit difficult to figure out where the parking was. There’s three lots and we were able to go in to L1 which I’m guessing was the closest one to the theme park. Parking was 7 Ringgit and you could pay via the Touch n Go card, so it was a good idea that we topped up more than what we usually needed for the toll in and out of Malaysia. Otherwise, there is also a ticketing machine for paying for parking.

We had left home at 9am and arrived there close to 10am, which is when they would open. Already there was quite the line but I guess that is expected of theme parks and it probably wouldn’t hurt if we had arrived even earlier.Toddlers (less than 2 years old) get in the theme park for free but for the waterpark, you’d need to pay 10 ringgit, but they give you 2 free swimming diapers. We ended up buying the annual pass for both cause we were pretty sure we’d be going back again. The annual pass was about twice as much as a day pass would cost.

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We did a quick lap around the theme park but for most of the rides, Erik couldn’t go on yet. We did find a toddler playground with a little train track that he could go on.

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By 11 am, it was getting quite warm so we decided to take a break, beat the rush hour and have lunch. You could pay with credit card so you can survive with minimal cash (although we did see an ATM machine beside the ticket counters). We spent about 40 ringgit on the two adult meals we had.

Since we agreed to leave at 3 to beat the traffic back, we decided to go for the water park after lunch and it was a great way to cool off. They had both big and small lockers you could rent out for the whole day for 40 and 20 ringgit respectively. Phones and wallets obviously went into the locker so I’m glad i brought my waterproof camera. They were out of the big lockers so we stuffed as much as we could in and brought a small bag with water and food for Erik together with the pram. We parked it at a corner close to where one of the life guards were stationed, though there weren’t really any valuables in the stash and went about our business.

They had a toddler pool that went just up to Erik’s waist and the “Lazy River” where they had floaters with lego block connectors for the blocks that were floating around. They also had a wave pool and of course the big water slides for the “big kids”.

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They also had “Cabanas” that you could rent, basically tents that had curtains to give you privacy, a fan, a safe, mini fridge and a couple of regular and reclining chairs and a table. A perfect basecamp for bigger groups. Maybe next time when Yaya and Celyn come along, though there is also a hotel that is opening up in 2014.

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When we were done, we went back to the lockers to get dressed. Key learning was to opt to put in a pin as a backup to unlock your locker as the lockers were using fingerprint scanners that don’t really work well on wrinkly, water-soaked fingers.

Outside the Waterpark, there were a bunch of restaurants and shops we could explore while waiting for the rest of the group.

We ended up going home at around 4, a bit more cars than when we came in but still manageable.

All in all, it was a fun trip, definitely one that we’ll be doing again.