Archive for August 2010

Inside the secret world of Trader Joe's-Full Version by Fortune

Great article on Trader Joe's, written by Beth Kowitt, for Fortune. She includes some interesting findings regarding this privately held company which I love to go to for my everyday grocery shopping.

Here is a short excerpt from the article:
"A closer look at its selection of items underscores the brilliance of Coulombe's limited-selection, high-turnover model. Take peanut butter. Trader Joe's sells 10 varieties. That might sound like a lot, but most supermarkets sell about 40 SKUs. For simplicity's sake, say both a typical supermarket and a Trader Joe's sell 40 jars a week. Trader Joe's would sell an average of four of each type, while the supermarket might sell only one. With the greater turnover on a smaller number of items, Trader Joe's can buy large quantities and secure deep discounts. And it makes the whole business -- from stocking shelves to checking out customers -- much simpler."  You can read the full article here.

Second attempt at JFK on Wacom Tablet

It's almost 1:30 am and I've been on my tablet drawing. Just couldn't sleep until I had to try the tablet again. I am beginning to get a better feel and control of this tablet and the drawing turned out much better this time.

Wire Solution

I have an external hard drive and other portable devices with lengthy USB cords and I usually un-plug them from the device and leave it in the drawer until I decide to use it. I am always bothered by having deal with the long cords. Griffin makes these short USB Mini Cables and they are exactly what I've been looking for.

These three universally useful USB cable adapters are perfect for your computer in one handy kit: USB to mini-USB (used in cameras, MP3 players and many portable USB devices), USB to micro-USB (used in smartphones and compact USB players), and USB to Apple's 30-pin Universal Dock connector (used in iPod, iPhone, and iPad). Compact and pocketable, this kit is great for laptops, mini-notebooks, and more. Tuck handily into your backpack, handbag, or carry-on.

My first attempt at drawing using the Wacom Tablet

These drawings are my first attempt at using the Wacom Tablet.  I am barely getting used to the idea of using this tool and as you can see, the drawings look quite clumsy but I think I am beginning to like it already. I don't have a whole lot of time to use it today but hopefully I can get the hang of this soon.

Wacom Intuos3 4 x 6-Inch Wide Format Pen Tablet

Someone from Craigslist is selling me this Wacom tablet for $85 dollars and I am suppose to pick it up today at 5:30pm. I can't wait to plug this thing and draw something right away. I have been wanting this for a while and for whatever reason, mainly because of the cost, I didn't get it and now I am pretty excited to use it with my mac. In the past, I would have to resort to drawing using pen-tool in Adobe Photoshop or in Illustrator or with mouse or draw on a separate sheet of paper and scanned the image onto the computer. But having this tool and to be able to draw on screen will be pretty cool. I would like to see how this will affect my work flow. I know that this is the older, smaller version and I've been reading different reviews to see if the size or the older model will cause much limitations compare to the new, bigger versions available. But so far, the reviews seem to suggest that for how I am planning on using, I shouldn't have any. Let's just hope that this thing will work!

Great Ikea solution

My son who is now five has out-grown his baby desk and chair and my wife and I have been looking around to upgrade. Last week, we visited Ikea in Palo Alto, CA and found these great items made by MICKE. Both the desk and the drawer unit cost $49 dollars each and it comes in several different color combinations but we decided on the orange accents since it is my son's favorite color.

Clean and Organized Work Space

I have always tried to organize my work space and while scrolling through one of my favorite blogs, Unplggd, I came across this picture of a beautifully organized desk top. Love the desk and the matching file cabinets-I think the desk is by BESTÃ… BURS, available in high-gloss black, red, grey, and white at Ikea.

Batteries for a hungry mouse

I was happy to de-clutter my desktop by having wireless keyboard and the mouse. But the Magic Mouse which came with my imac seems to be eating up my batteries far more than I anticipated. It has been just a little over two months and I am already on my third set of AA batteries for this mouse. I went to the local Apple retail store only to find out that this is pretty typical of all the Magic Mouse. My solution so far is rechargeable batteries. For around $29 dollars, Apple Battery Charger kit comes with a sleek, compact charger and six high-performance AA NiMH batteries that are ready to use right out of the box. These reusable batteries are supposed to last for up to 10 years-we'll see. At least, this is much better and maybe more economical choice in the long run than to keep buying and disposing of those single-use alkaline batteries; certainly more environmentally friendly way to power your wireless devices.

Cool wooden cars from Automoblox

My son just turned five this past weekend and my wife and I found these really cool wooden toy cars made by Automoblox. Not only are they beautifully designed, they are actually made to take it apart and have them rearranged in different combinations. it was a real hit with all the kids that came to the birthday party. They had a whole lot of fun rearranging different parts to create different variations. They cost around $10.00 each and between my mom and my aunt and us we were able to get three of the "mini" ones. You can also register the cars through Automoblox website which entitles you a membership in the Automoblox owners club, with some special privileges. Available here

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