Imaginary Engineer - Yale SOM '08

Industrial Engineer dreaming of an MBA

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Laptops Laptops Laptops

One of the requirements for bschool is buying your own laptop. I don't understand how I "need" a laptop, because I got by perfectly fine with a desktop during my undergrad experience. I prefer desktops because they seem more stable and you can get a big monitor with a normal keyboard and mouse. I find cafe's too distracting to get any real work done, and do most of my work at home. Regardless, since I have to get a laptop, I started doing research. A great online resource for comparing laptops is:

After checking out all the latest specs on the laptops, I found almost any new laptop these days suits my needs. The only things I would use my laptop for are: chatting on aim/email/internet/MS Office. I don't need fancy graphics or the fastest processor. The school offers some discounted deals on Dell's, but after reading online reviews, I definitely would never buy a Dell. After further research, I narrowed down my laptop search to either a Sony Vaio or IBM thinkpad. Both are great brands with good reputations, and would sufficiently meet my needs.

Then I ran across the Sony Vaio S series (older generation to the current SZ models). The Sony Vaio S series used to be the top laptops in Fall 2005, but after the new SZ models came out earlier this year, prices for S series laptops dropped. I think the S and SZ are comparable (SZ has built-in camera/microphone which I don't need), and with current prices, the S series is a tremendous value. What used to cost $2500 last Fall now costs around $1500 online. What really sold me on the S660P/B model, was its sleek design (you have to see how the monitor curves around the hinge), size (around 4 lbs and slim to fit in my backpack), and price ($1399). Even though I really liked some IBM thinkpad laptops, I fell in love with this Sony Vaio S660 because of it's sleek design. Because they were last year's model, they stopped manufacturing this particular laptop. After froogling my way around the internet, I found one website that still has some in its inventory: Most websites and ebay are out of stock, but costcentral still has over 100 in inventory. I would recommend this laptop for anyone interested in a laptop with cool style/size (specs are sufficient too).

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Summer Update 3

Even though I'm a summer bum, it's been quite a busy week. I fully recovered from Lasik surgery and can see 20/20. The only side effect is that I see halos around lights at night time, but this should go away soon. I totally recommend anyone with bad eyes to get a consultation, because it is sooo worth it. I'll post the details of the entire process later when I have nothing to write about.

I also found my amazing dream apartment in New Haven during my east coast trip. It has everything I want: location (4th house on Mansfield, about 170 yards from SOM), garage (covered garage spot), bottom floor (cooler during summers), clean (suprisingly very clean, including bathroom and kitchen), amenities (free washer/dryer downstairs). I looked at apartments in the east rock area as well as downtown, but I realized (after bloody ankles and sore feet) that location is super important. Even though the Yale shuttle goes through all the neighborhoods, I wouldn't want to wait for it during the cold winter months. I'm so excited to move to New Haven, August seems so far away.

Our first homework assignment is to read the following books during the summer: (i) Sam Walton’s autobiography Made in America; (ii) Roger Lowenstein’s biography of Warren Buffett, Buffett; (iii) Gandhi’s autobiography An Autobiography; The Story of My Experiments with Truth. I haven't picked up the books yet, but this assignment is way more interesting than reading Chaucer.

Lastly, I'd like to congratulate Desther for a beautiful wedding and wish you two both a lifetime of good health and happiness.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Summer Update 2

Time is starting to slow down and every day seems to be the same. I've officially joined the World Cup Soccer bandwagon and woke up at 6 AM yesterday (early for a summer bum) to watch Korea win its first match. It's amazing France tied Switzerland, because as of right now, Korea is in sole position of 1st place in that group. As for USA... I'm just disappointed we got blown out by the Czech. A 1-0 loss would be respectable, but losing by 3 points is just embarrassing. I love how "experts" try to analyze every little detail for why we lost, but we just aren't that good. Italy looks like another tough match up on Saturday, and I have a feeling USA will not advance to the next round this year. This Father's Day weekend looks to be a memorable sports weekend as the NBA finals (Miami made it interesting by winning last night), World Cup (Ronaldinho is unbeevable), and US Open (Tiger is back, Phil is going for 3rd major in a row) air on HDTV.

Friday will also be a big day in my life as I am scheduled to get Lasik eye surgery. I'm really not that scared because the guy has done over 30,000 lasik surgeries and hasn't messed up. My eyes are healthy and I can't wait to get rid of my glasses forever. The only drawback is that I can't go swimming/surfing for 2 months (as a precautionary measure to protect my eyes). I guess that means I'll be hitting up more golf courses this summer.

Man life as a summer bum is awesome.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Summer Update 1

So I'm finally back home with my parents in Southern California. It's been nearly a week and I haven't fully unpacked yet (i'm on ueber lazy bum mode). Laundry took 3 days and my room is still a mess. Other than that, it's been an awesome first week. I've missed my mom's cooking and all the comforts of living at home. I also forgot how hot it is down here. It's been a long time since I've spent a summer at home, and I've converted to all shorts/reefs attire. The only time I put on a pair of socks was to go golfing on Saturday.

Rolling over my 401(k) isn't as easy as I thought. Apparently my current plan thinks I'm still employed so I have to wait at least 30 days for them to confirm my termination status to let me rollover my funds. Even though I won't be dipping into my 401(k) funds until next year (lower tax bracket) to help pay off tuition, it sucks that I have to wait for my money.

Health Insurance... I'm still trying to figure out if I get one month extra coverage after termination... Otherwise I'm uninsured until my school health plan starts in August!

My grandparents are also visiting this week to look at retirement homes in the area to settle down. After spending the last couple days driving them around all the "Leisure Worlds" in Laguna Beach and Seal Beach, I realize old people are really funny. They don't give a crap about how they look or what they say. No one dares to correct their "political incorrectness" and its just hilarious to see my grandfather cuss at everything.

Checklist Update
-I wasn't able to finish all the bay area items, but I hope to come back once during the summer
-Flying out to Yale/NY June 20-23 to find my amazing apartment (still hunting)
-I have a lot of items in my So Cal checklist to do, and only ~10 weeks left to do them!!