Wednesday, March 30, 2005
On another note, Director Mitch was nice enough to assist me with one of my cases that directly relates to his industry. You can find his comments here. He made many of the same points as the professor, and I think it's an interesting read.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Napster, iTunes, Rhapsody, etc. should come up with a Java script that people can insert on their blogs that automatically displays recently downloaded music. That way people can easily and automatically share what they are listening to. At the same time, it would provide free advertising for those services. Ok programmers, make it happen!
By the way, I'll be satisfied with a mere .05% royalty on gross revenues.
Monday, March 28, 2005
This thing has been completely beaten to death, so I'll not go any further, but I thought I would post this for those who are interested.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
9:30 - Get up and go eat breakfast
10:00 - Apply copious amounts on sunscreen and head to a beach
11:00 - Arrive at beach, set up, Mark begins sipping drinks while Jie sunbathes
2:00 - Move to the second beach of the day
4:30 - Head back to the hotel for a dip in the pool and a shower
6:00 - Head out somewhere to watch the sunset over drinks
7:00 - Dinner time
9:00 - Back to the hotel to read before crashing around 10 or so
We spent about half our time sleeping, another quarter on the beach, and another third eating or waiting to eat. In case you were wondering, that is the way to run a relaxing vacation.
I'm hoping to post a full review sometime very soon, but there's no telling when that will be, as I have a pretty full schedule for the next...hmm...month or so. Nothing big, mind you, but a long series of isolated tasks (taxes, finaid, modeling seminar, career teams, etc.).
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Jie and I have been enjoying our vacation thus far, we've run last minute errands for our trip and generally vegged out. We watched Ray on Friday night, which I thought was good but could have used some more aggresive editing. Last night we went to the Symphony, courtesy of some fellow Texans at HBS. It was a fun time, and I'm glad we went, but I once again proved to myself that I really don't care for live music. I love music, and for example am really enjoying Napster to Go, but it's more of a background thing for me and not the main event. Having said that, I had never been to the symphony before, and I'm glad we went.
We also had sushi last night at a place called Ma Soba in Beacon Hill. It was pretty damn good fish, and they had some original rolls as well. I still miss the Oysters on the Halfshell at Miyako in Houston, but Ma Soba is pretty good.
Alright, this is it until this time next Sunday. We're flying out to San Juan in the morning, then taking an hour cab to Fajardo to catch the ferry to Vieques. Hopefully we'll catch the 2pm ferry, but if not we'll have to wait until 4:30. The ferry is around 90 minutes, and then we have to take another cab to our B&B. We'll have a Suzuki Sidekick for the week while we're there, with plenty of beaches to explore. See you Sunday!
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Tonight Jie and I are going to the symphony to celebrate the fact that the summer internship decision is made. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to reach the firm I didn't select, so I don't want to say anything here until I've done that. You never know who's reading.
In an effort to save money Jie and I are taking some liquor with us on our trip to Puerto Rico. I figure drinks on Vieques will be pricey, and so I picked up a bottle of Famous Grouse Gold Reserve today. Famous Grouse is my favorite blended scotch whiskey, and I figured for a special occasion like a trip to PR I might as well spring for the 12 year old Gold Reserve.
We leave for PR on Monday at 7am, and we can't wait. While the weather in Boston was great today (Sunny, low 40's), the weather in PR was better (Sunny, low 80's). I'm well over halfway through The Confusion, and I picked up a copy of The System of the World from the library today, so I'll have plenty of reading to do while laying on the beach sipping Grouse.
I'll probably provide one last update tomorrow, and then it'll be total blackout until next Sunday when we return.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
This is the third time since college that I've been faced with three options in life, and the first two times things worked out pretty well. I had three job offers out of undergrad (two were very difficult to choose between, the third I eliminated reasonably quickly), and three options for b-school (same pattern). Now I have the same issue for summer employment, and I do believe it's going to drive me crazy.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
I'd like to think that my writing has improved, at least marginally, by staying in practice a little bit more. A few family members and friends do indeed use the blog to keep up with us, though many more are bizarrely focused on their own lives and don't spend time reading about mine... ;) I think I've also helped a few people along the way, so all in all I would say mission accomplished.
The point of all this, if there is one, is that I have thought several times about discontinuing the blogging business but haven't. It's always weird to know that strangers and unknown classmates are reading my thoughts, and for this reason it just seems easier and less of a hassle to not share my thoughts with who know's who. In the end, though, I've decided that I really enjoy blogging, and so I just keep doing it.
As a side note, it did occur to me that one benefit of shedding anonymity from the start is that you never can say the things that could really get you in trouble. If you start out as an anonymous blogger and then are outed at some point, you likely wrote things from behind your false veil of secrecy that go on to get you in trouble once your identity is known. With no perceived secrecy there is no inclination to say anything really risque, and thus less chance of a blow-up at some point. Of course, you are also adding less value in the meantime, but by blogging more and longer than those who get exposed and have to quit, perhaps I'll make up the difference in the end.
Anyway, so after getting the Zen I'm now getting a nifty 80GB hard drive that will work with my wireless router. Down the road, perhaps for my birthday, I want to get one of those Creative, Linksys, or Dlink Wireless Media Routers. The Dlink looks like the most bang for the buck, but apparently it doesn't play nicely with non-Dlink routers. On a more b-school related note, I'm also now thinking of shelling out $200 to participate in a 2-day Training the Street financial modeling seminar. Has anyone been through one of these? Was it worth the money?
Decision time for the job search is almost upon me. I sometimes suffer from a lack of decisiveness, particularly when making a decision will necessitate turning someone down or delivering bad news. Hopefully by tomorrow afternoon all the cards will be on the table and I'll be able to make a decision. I'll try not to spend too much time driving myself and Jie crazy. At least career services was nice enough to give us a helpful presentation in how to say no.
Friday, March 11, 2005
I've decided that Napster-To-Go and the new generation of iPod competitors (including and especially the Zen Micro) probably have a good shot at taking a reasonable amount of market share from iPod and iTunes. The $15 all-you-can-download price is very reasonable, and I love being able to jump from artist to artist and download my favorites. The only downside is the lack of availability for certain music, like Dave Matthews Band to name just one. None of their stuff is available under the $15/mo plan, so you would have to buy it. I know they are trying to get more and more music under the To-Go umbrella, so it will be interesting to see how this develops over time. It will also be interesting to watch how long it takes iTunes to unveil a similar approach.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
My early impressions of the Creative Zen Micro and Napster-to-Go are definitely positive. The sound quality is as good or better than iPod, at least to my ears, and the interface works pretty well. I did have to do a firmware update, which was a slight pain, but not too bad. All in all, I would recommend both.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Today during the BGIE quiz there was a lot of commotion surrounding how long it would take me to finish. I wrapped it up in about 20 minutes, although I'm pretty sure I missed at least one question. Ah well, it's just 10%...
It looks like I will be one of the Career Team Captains for next year. I wrote a lot about Career Teams before, I believe, and I will probably be one of the two students who runs the program for next year's RC class. I'm looking forward to it, as it will give me the chance to spend more time with Tim Butler, our resident career guru and one of the guys behind CareerLeader.
Monday, March 07, 2005
No news yet from my interview on Thursday. I was hoping to hear today, but hopefully I'll get good news tomorrow.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
In any event, I now have my eye on a few toys. The more immediate purchase will likely be an MP3 player, which I think we'll get before our trip to PR. I'm somewhat anti-Apple (I don't like products that are specifically designed not to work with the rest of the world), so I've been looking at the new Creative Zen Micro. The FM radio and recording capabilities are one benefit over the iPod, and I'm also looking at the Napster To Go service since I've never been a real big collector of CD's. I'll gladly pay $15 a month for access to a giant music collection, since I'm too lazy to create my own. Any advice on my planned purchase?
This summer I plan on making the switch to HD. After watching a few NFL and College Football games on HD this year, I've decided I can't go back. In order to get the most bang for my buck, I'm looking at the Samsung DLP TV's. Hopefully the new 46" will come down in price a few hundred bucks in the next six months, but if not maybe we'll get the older 50" model instead.
My take on the situation? I never liked AppyYourself, though I thought it was at least as good as the software at Kellogg and Wharton. I'm still surprised that they could allow such a basic security loophole to exist. If I were admissions I would be very careful about how I document the use of the information, as this could certainly wind up in court.
My theory is that they are still concerned that I don't want to be in Chicago and so have extended offers to people who definitely want to be there, and are leaving me hanging until they hear back from those people. If that's the case, I completely understand, but it would be nice if they would tell me that! It does no one any good to refuse to let me know what's going on.
That leads me to two pet peeves about the recruiting process:
- Thank you notes are overrated. The only time written notes should be used is when you are dealing with HR. They may care about thank you notes, but nobody else does. An e-mail will work just fine 95% of the time. I wish someone had told me this before I dropped $ on nice stationary.
- Companies should do a better job of informing applicants of their status. They obviously invest a lot of time and money flying us around the country and holding dinners and so forth, it would take just a little extra effort to send e-mails telling us what's going on.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Still no word from Chicago. It's really frustrating, because I really liked the firm when I interviewed, but now I'm getting irritated. Hopefully I'll hear something soon.
Tonight has been a relaxed night. After my interview I waited in the Park St. subway stop for 20 minutes for a train and then picked up calzones and beer for dinner. Now I'm packing for the weekend, as I'm leaving straight after class tomorrow for Houston. It's going to be nice to spend a weekend back in Texas, I can't wait. Oh yeah, the best part is that Jie logged in to continental.com and secured me the ultimate seat for the flight tomorrow. There's nothing like being able to completely stretch out to make three hours fly by (pun intended).