Vele’s Thoughts

Vele discusses investing in Macedonia, technology, digital photography, business and international affairs

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      Vele Samak works as the Minister for Foreign Investments in Macedonia. The views expressed here are his own personal views and not official news or opinions of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

Archive for July, 2005

WindowsVista is here

22nd July 2005

My first post from WindowsVista. Ain’t it cool?

But seriously, the demo at Microsoft’s annual brief in Atlanta (MGB) showed lots of cool features in WindowsVista that will a must have for many consumers. My favorite: instant Peer-2-peer session between two machines that enables seamless sharing of workspace, application documents and information. All you need are two network/wifi cards. Awsome….

The visualizations in the interface are also amazing, hence the name Vista.

In the meantime, signup for the Beta 1 that should be available first week of August.

Stay tuned…

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Seattle it is…

3rd July 2005

After 13 hours of driving, we busted into Seattle at exactly 10pm last night after leaving Redwood City at 9am. That’s precision you can count on, I even beat the clock by the car’s navigation system which projected 10:50pm arrival time.

The results: 86 hours of driving and 18.3 mpg for the entire trip according to the ML’s trip computer. That’s both pretty good and sad. It’s pretty good because we beat the EPA’s highway estimate of 15-17mpg for ML 500. It’s sad because it’s an awful fuel economy especially at $60/barrel gas price.

Interesting info: Northern CA has large olive, orchard and especially rice production. The rice production uses laser-guided, computer assisted irrigation system that floods the fields. The fields are then seeded by airplane. That is incredible productivity and a big news to me. The temperatures — 99F — were easily the highest we have seen anywhere except for the 100F in Vegas. Mount Shasta is Northern CA’s Mount Rainier, similarly striking beauty of a snow-covered mountain top towering high over nearby ranges. Lake Shasta is very captivating with its deep green water and orange-brown beaches creating inviting contrast to partake in the activity of the usually white boats that break its stillness.

The town of Weed, CA remains a popular destination of many half-baked jokes.

Oregon is beautiful. That doesn’t need much explanation, it just is, and the further north we went the scenery around the I-5 reminded me of Macedonia especially in the Prilep - Bitola region — Pelagonija valley — the largest valley in Macedonia surrounded by a few hills and big mountains on all ends.

Today’s plan: brunch at the Hi Spot Cafe in Madrona…yes!

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Fairfield Inn vs. Hampton Inn

1st July 2005

Of these two mid-priced hotel chains targeting families and business travelers, I’m beginning to prefer Hampton Inn. It’s been visibly cleaner and quieter, offers both wired and wireless free Internet, has american breakfast (that’s sausage and eggs for you) from 6am to 10am for the early and late birds, has guest laundry facilities and all rooms have microwave and fridge. They may be a bit more expensive than Fairfield Inn but they are just as common and offer nice large showers and bath tubs.

The worst Fairfield Inn, relatively speaking, for us was in San Diego. It had direct entry rooms — like a lodge, something both of us don’t like — its elevators smelled of bleach, chemicals and body odor for 2 days in a row, and its gym had only 2 machines and no scale. Ok, this last Hampton Inn has a scale but it likes to add a few pounds with each step, on 3 successive tries I moved from 170 to 180lbs — Woa!

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