Full Speed

[ July 21, 2003 ]

Sony’s New Ultralight

Sony’s latest entry in the ultralight subnotebook category is being called a 12” Powerbook Killer.

I’m not a big fan of Sony hardware. I once purchased one of their tiny notebooks rom CompUSA and had to take it back because the touchpad just didn’t work at all. In all, they gave me four different notebooks before I just gave up and decided that I wanted my money back.

Then I bought a Sony CLIE. The NR-70. This was one of their first to include and MP3 player in a clamshell form factor. But the problem: the thing didn’t recognize my memory sticks. I had about 5 different sticks which worked quite well in my Sony camera, voice recorder, and TV. These sticks also worked just fine on my Mac and PCs via USB and PCMCIA adapters. But the CLIE said that the stick was improperly formatted. I even tried formatting the stick on the CLIE, but that didn’t even help. I eventually unloaded the PDA on eBay.

Sony definitely knows how to pack the features into a small device. They know what the market wants. They know how to make it look good. But they just don’t hold up. Whenever I finally get around to buying a tiny notebook for myself, I think I’ll stick to the good old IBM Thinkpad line. I’m using a very heavy Thinkpad right now, and it’s withstood some horrific falls. I don’t think any Sony notebook owner can say the same.

I think I missed out on refinancing my house

OK, so I was thinking about refinancing my house a while back. I bought it in 2001, just before the tech bubble bursted. A couple of months ago, I had my girlfriend (a REALTOR®) contact the president of a mortgage company that she had been working with. This guy promised that he could have our house refinanced within two weeks and that he would call us by the end of the following day. Well, first off, he never called back. We had to call him. And when we did, his responses to our questions were rather curt. He made promise after promise but never came through with anything. And so I didn’t get the great rate cut that I was hoping for.

Now, three months later, MSNBC seems to be saying that I’ve waited too long. The recent media coverage along with my GF’s local market research confirm that the mortgage rates are skyrocketing.

Now I won’t lie: I got a pretty good rate on the loan in 2001. But earlier this year, mortgage rates hit 40-year lows. Let’s just say that I could have easily shaved about two and a half points off of my rate if the re-fi came through.

Nothing has happened since the initial failed attempt at getting my house refinanced. Did I miss out on some huge savings?

© 2014 Scott Johnson (info)
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