Happy holidays, my name is Range and I'm currently a contributor for Unplggd. I also write for Apartment Therapy's Re-Nest and a few other online publications. I started out as a computer programmer and mathematician. Then, I moved onto working in finance. Finally, I moved to Asia to teach English with my wife in 2006. I'm currently a graduate student in Mathematics, a Kindergarten and elementary school teacher, and a freelancer. Writing for Unplggd has always been something that I enjoy doing, since it focuses on design and technology that's featured in our homes.
Since an early age, I've always gravitated towards computers and gadgets. I was a computer programmer before, so I had an affinity for all sorts of machines. I currently live in Taipei, Taiwan, I naturally focus on mobile tech, especially stuff that I can take with me when I leave to go back home. I haven't owned a TV since 2006, however I do own an Xbox 360 that's plugged into a 22-inch Viewsonic monitor.
• Macbook Pro: I recently replaced my aging desktop PC with a MacBook Pro 17, the second MacBook Pro in our household. Since I need to be mobile and I need a lot of processing power, I opted for the most powerful MacBook Pro. It will insulate me against the new MacBook Pros that are coming out early next year. I'm pleasantly surprised by this machine. It works well and I'm learning how to use OS X. There are some frustrating things, but my background in computers allows me to quickly analyze any problem and find a solution.
• Nikon D200: I've had this camera since 2006 and it's getting ready to be replaced with the successor of the D700, but I never leave the house without it in my backpack. In 2008, I decide to carry it everywhere as part of a photo a day for a year project. Since then, I barely notice the weight anymore. My go to lens is Nikkor's 18-200mm VR. Having played with my wife's D700 she bought earlier this year, I can say that the D700 is a definite step up from the D200. Ultimately, if I can get a good deal on the D700, I might just get it.
• '08 iPod Classic 160GB: My initial reason for choosing the iPod Classic was it was the only player that could hold almost all of my music collection. I use it almost daily and it's never broken down. When Apple offers a larger storage iPod, then I'll upgrade. It's strong enough to be used when I go running or bike riding.
• Shure SE110: While the SE110 have been replaced by the newer SE115, I'm more than satisfied with these. They are light, don't pop out of my ears, and come with a bunch of adjustable buds to fit all ear sizes. The sound is surprisingly good for earphones that aren't powered.
• Transcend USB Flash Drive: I bought this USB flash drive a few years ago and it's served me well. I opted for 16GB and it's held up nicely. I use it to dump files, media, and access them from other computers, though I'm always wary of what kind of viruses I'll be exposing it to.
• SonyEricsson K810i: I'm actually about to upgrade to an iPhone 4, but this cell phone has served me well for the last three years. I bought it back in '07 and since I don't use cell phones much, it's fine. The main reason why I'll get an iPhone is the free apps. Some of them are really good.
• Garmin Edge 500 GPS: I like taking this GPS around with me wherever I go. It allows me to track runs and bike rides easily enough. It's easy to use and very small, so that you barely notice it in a pocket.
• Xbox 360: This is a first generation Xbox 360 and even though I've played it quite a bit, it's never had any problems. I haven't seen a red ring of death. For now, it's plugged into a 22" Viewsonic LCD screen.
• Sandisk Imagemate 12-in-1 Reader: I've been using this card reader for about two years and I've never regretted the purchase. It's quite fast and reads a number of cards. I initially had to get it because my laptop didn't have an integrated card reader.
• Philips PLEU CFL Table Lamp: When I first bought this lamp, I was doubtful about CFLs, but once I got used to the glow, it's become a fixture in my home office. It's extremely bright thanks to the Philips CLF bulbs. This lamp is Asia only, but you can find similar Philips lamps in the US.
Technology/device I'm most looking forward to in 2011:. The upcoming Nikon D800, successor to the full frame Nikon D700. My wife has got the Nikon D700 and it's an impressive camera, but Nikon will update it soon enough and that's the one that I'll get. I'm also looking forward to the new iPad to see how Apple will improve that technology. The same goes for the iPhone 5. It will also be nice to see what Apple will do with the new MacBook Pros. There will probably be a model with Flash-based storage, which will be really fast if this is coupled with the new Intel Sandy Bridge quad-core processors.
Tech or tech organizational tip: Clean sweeping every few months to ensure that your workstation and home are livable. A good cleaning will allow you to throw out a lot of stuff that just accumulates dust. It's just a matter of opening up a trash bag and getting to it. Although I usually need help in this matter, my wife is happy to help me out. We all have our own strengths and faults.
I never leave home without: My Nikon D200 and my go to lens, the Nikkor 18-200mm VR. It's a good combo and after a few weeks, you barely notice the weight if you are carrying a backpack. Sure, once you remove it, it's obvious, but once you start taking pictures with a DSLR, it's hard to go back to a point and shoot camera.