Hacking Bangkok Blog

Tech and Living in Thailand's City of Angels

The Hacking Bangkok blog covers I.T. and technology in general, and my experiences working and living in the Kingdom of Thailand. Bangkok has a very long Thai name, which starts with Krung thep - City of Angels.
Bangkok sunset from my bedroom balcony

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ComWorld 2008 Bangkok

This week I went to the ComWorld 2008 Computer and Electronics Expo, which was up in the convention hall at Siam Paragon. All of the usual suspects – Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, HP, Acer, etc., were there, plus some great surprises like HTC, who had a sizeable booth/giant-box-thing set up (see the snap above).

One thing I love about Asia is that at most shows that appeal mainly to men (the Bangkok and Tokyo motor shows, and these geek-fantasy computer and gadget shows) the companies hire incredibly cute girls to man the booths (or is that, “woman the booths”?) Anyway – I snapped a few pics at various company’s areas, and…. Let’s just say I’m sold on Olympus for my next… wait, what do they make again? The guy checking out that Hubble-telescope-like zoom-lens seems to agree with me!

Since I have an HTC Touch Diamond, and noticed while in Korea that running it on a 3G network while using GPS sucked the battery dry in about 9 hours, I picked up the HTC extended battery (with new cover included, as it’s slightly fatter). The new cover has (as reported elsewhere) a matte-black finish, which I actually prefer to the glossy, easy to drop and smudge-magnet finish of the original battery cover. The new battery is rated at 1340 mAh, vs. 900 mAh for the battery that came with the phone. That’s almost a 50% bump in battery-life, which I’m guessing translates into 13+ hours of the type of heavy usage I had in Korea. Good ‘nuff! In other news, HTC had the HTC Touch Pro out, which I managed to get my grubby fingers on for a minute. The keyboard is small, but definitely usable. It’s a bit fat, but not much worse than my Diamond with the extended battery. I didn’t see the Touch HD, but with a hundred men crowding around to see the model/spokes-girl demo the phones, it was hard to get close!

For anyone who hasn’t been following my twitter (that list of things off to the right!), I started taking the “Intensive Thai Language” course at Chulalongkorn University the week before last. It’s definitely intensive – 4 hours per day – but I can already notice a difference in how much I can understand when Thais are talking to me. For anybody interested, the have 9 levels (I’m in level 1… doh!) which run five weeks long, four hours per day, and cost THB 25,000 per level (about $700 at today’s rates). It’s expensive compared to a lot of other little schools, but Chula has a first-rate rep, and is a real university, with real teachers.

If you’re an I.T. pro considering moving here – don’t worry much about not speaking the language at first. I’ve been here almost five years, and I’m just now finally taking this course. If you want to prep some before visiting anyway, I’d recommend the “Teach Yourself Thai” book, by David Smyth.


Nguyen Truong Tung (Tom) said...

Hehe cool man... I only care about the first photo in this article. You should also change the favicon of your page, get an icon like a "K" or smth. Cheers.