June 22nd, 2007, 4 Comments »
I just read on Facebook (grrr…) about Vancity’s worthy new community program–a community bike share. There’s even a pancake breakfast:
We are launching the Vancity Bike Share experiment at BESTÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation) Pancake Breakfast where Bike Month is wrapped up with free pancakes, fair-trade coffee, juice, and organic oranges for all who commute by biking, walking, carpooling or transit. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also when the winners of the Commuter Challenge will be announced.
Coincidentally, not a month ago I wrote about a similar bank-sponsored program in Austria: “I could see the likes of VanCity or Telus launching a similar program in Vancouver”.
4 Comments »
June 10th, 2007, 1 Comment »
Further to foreign inspiration, I saw a cool bag which could sell well to tourists in any urban market. Maybe they’re already in Canada, but I’ve never seen them.
It’s your basic cheap-and-cheerful, unisex black satchel bag. However, there’s a city map printed on the vinyl flap that covers the opening. There’s no branding, or cheesy writing that says “VIENNA” in Comic Sans. Just a straightforward map of the city centre.
It’s not only a cool aesthetic, but it’s downright practical. You’ve always got a map with you, and it never tears or gets soiled in the rain.
Plus, when you return home, you’ve got a non-tacky, practical souvenir on your shoulder that’s liable to start a few conversations.
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May 29th, 2007, 15 Comments »
Three unrelated facts send us to Budapest and Vienna for a working holiday next week.
- Julie’s Hungarian heritage.
- We’ve always wanted to see Vienna, but have never gotten around to it.
- My PowerBook is dying.
I must confess that I made a miscalculation when abstractly considering travel options from Malta. I figured if we’re close (from a North American perspective) to places like Morocco and Israel, then it must be easy to fly there.
There are direct flights, but inexplicably they fly at the most heinous times of day. For example, we could spend four nights in Morocco, but we’d have to take flights which leave more or less at midnight each way. The same goes for Israel. The alternative is to fly to London, which just seems ludicrous, particularly for a long weekend.
We’ll get to those places sooner or later, but for now we’ve picked Budapest as next week’s destination. Not only is it an engaging cosmopolitan city, but it also has several vendors of Apple MacBooks. I spoke to a couple of them today. Their English was Boratesque, but it was far better than my Hungarian.
My beloved PowerBook is almost exactly four years old, and has been ridden like a Pony Express stallion. I’d hoped it would last until our return to Vancouver, but alas, it’s on its last legs. The hard drive sounds like an angry bee hive, and I’m spending more time staring at the Gay Spinning Pizza of Death than working.
We could get it repaired, but the money is better spent on a new Hungarian MacBook.
So, next week we’ll be working in and wandering around Budpaest from Sunday to Wednesday. Then on to Vienna by train for Thursday and Friday nights, and back to Budapest for the flight out on Sunday.
We’ll read the guide books and surf around online a bit, but I’m always open to top tips from those who have gone before me. Any favourite spots in Vienna or Budapest?
How Screwed Up Will My Keyboard Be?
UPDATE: Derek raises a good point in the comments:
Are you going to end up with a wacky Hungarian keyboard of some sort?
Good question. There’s two levels of ‘wacky’ here–the aesthetic and the functional. I’m a touch-typer, so it doesn’t actually matter to me what’s written on the keys. In fact, I might like the exoticism of having some weird symbols on some keys. Resale value isn’t an isssue, as I tend to use computers until they die or get antiquated. This blog post makes a kind of cryptic reference to this:
Hungarian layout keyboard has too few signs on it.
Presumably there will be minor differences in how some of the secondary keys are mapped. For example, in Ireland, the ‘@’ sign lived somewhere around the question mark.
Assuming that I’ll need to, can I remap a MacBook’s keyboard? It looks like I probably can, thought it’s not immediately apparent how to do so.
Ah, hang on, I found it under System Preferences –> International –> Input Menu. That allows me to choose keyboard layouts for any number of countries, including both USA and Hungary. So presumably I’ll just chose my preferred layout there.
UPDATE #2: If all else fails, The Unofficial Apple Weblog indicates that I can use this keyboard layout editor to make my keyboard play nice.
15 Comments »