May 312011

God was it a mistake to try Windows XP 64 bit.

Now that I have a laptop with 4 gigs of RAM, it felt dumb to be running a 32bit OS (which can’t even address all that memory). But after struggling for half a day in Krabi, until 4am last night, *plus* a few hours this morning, I have just one thing to say:

Stay away at all cost! That crap OS isn’t supported by anything. 😳

My first day in Malaysia was clear and sunny, but I spent the majority of it on unfun chores – looking for a better place to stay, getting a new Malaysian SIM card, and reconfiguring Windows.

Given the ample supply of near-perfect lodging in Thailand I was shocked just how difficult it was to find an appropriate room; virtually nowhere seemed to satisfy my short list of “private, has windows, WiFi, A/C, and reasonably clean bathrooms.”

It seemed like almost NOWHERE had windows, making them dark and depressing – and I have to say that as a whole, the staff often felt pretty unfriendly. The flirty young receptionists of Thailand had all been replaced by toothless, scowling, grumpy old men in skullcaps. It was a pretty stark difference.

Eventually I settled on Love Lane Inn (mainly because the room had a window) before taking a short stroll across Chinatown to Komtar. Komtar is Georgetown’s biggest shopping complex, and the nearest spot to pickup a new local SIM. Even for the few hours I’d been in the country, not having a data plan has felt crippling (now that I’d grown accustomed to the convenience of GMaps). Looking for guesthouses easily took twice as long without one 😛

Tip for other nerd-travelers in Malaysia: if you want prepaid data for your iPhone, go with Digi, not Maxis. For 15 ringgit a week (under $5USD) you can get unlimited 3G – versus Maxis charging 20 for just 1.5 gigs. I started with Maxis, discovering Digi a week or so later.

In all honesty, that’s about all I did on my first day in Penang. Pretty boring, right? It took until dinnertime to finish up the reformat and by then there was little else to do but have a quick street-stall dinner.

Ah well, at least now I can put that annoying task behind me. Tourism starts tomorrow!

Note: These posts are behind realtime; the above narrative took place on Saturday, January 15th.

  12 Responses to “Setting Up in Georgetown”

  1. What OS are you using then? Win 7? The 64bit version is working pretty well for me.

    What map program do you use on your iPhone?

    That sucks about lodging…..not having a place that meets those basic requirements can be VERY frustrating.

  2. XP, of course 😛

    I just use Google Maps.

  3. I second the unsupportedness of 64 bits. You should try 64 bit Vista that my uncle and aunt got (strictly against my advice). If there’s a level below “nothing is supported”, Vista has i 😛

  4. You couldn’t pay me to use 32-bit Vista. Vista 64 would probably take a gun to my head 😛

  5. @teksi..sounds like hungarian

  6. …And every other language! 😉

  7. how was the prosperity burger?

  8. Horrible, haha 😛

  9. 🙂
    PS- if you are wondering why I am suddenly reading all these blogs finally— I finally got my email to update my rss feed!!! hurray

  10. Lol yeah, I thought you’d lost interest in my ramblings ages ago…nice to see you back around! 🙂

  11. I hope you’re on Windows 7 now. Everyone technical says it’s XP can and should be replaced now. 🙂

  12. I’m not. I’m so deeply rooted in XP and short on time that I really can’t fathom delving into a whole new OS at the moment – though I’m sure that when my next system upgrade comes, I’ll do so then. Like…next time I’m back home in a phase of updating hardware/software and crossing items off my ToDo list 🙂

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