Musings from Malaysia

We’re now in Langkawi, having spent a week on Penang.

In Penang we stayed in Georgetown for a few days at the Hotel Malaysia, which was okay, the air-con was on full blast all the time and the hotel seemed to have a mosquito problem, but it was well positioned for the town. Did a bit of software and DVD shopping in the Prangin Mall by the Komtar tower (the 4th floor can provide most recent films on DVD for RM8, just over a quid).

We also visited Fort Cornwallis and a few other local sights as well as enjoying some local food in the many restaurants nearthe hotel.

We spent a few days at Ali’s Guesthouse on Batu Ferringhi. Not very impressed with Batu F., full of high-rise hotels, thin strip of beach, poor shopping etc. Stayed at the Hotel Continental (next door to the Malaysia) on the way back to Georgetown before heading for Langkawi.

We came to Langkawi by ferry (2.5 hours, RM40 each) last Thursday and we’re staying at Melati Tenjung, in a simple hut with air-con (RM75/night).

We’ve been up to Kuah, the main town on the island, and yesterday visited the cable car (RM15 each) and Underwater World (RM38 each) (pictures to follow).

I’ve been trying to keep up with things in the tech world. Apple have announced they’re switching to Intel CPUs over the next two years. A bit annoying given that I just bought a new Powerbook, but I suspect they’ll be supporting the old CPUs for a while yet. What did surprise me a little was how ready they are for the switch, having already released developer tools which produce dual binaries, PowerPC-emulation software for Intel, and OS X 10.4.1 and iApps ready to run.

Some people probably hoped they’d be able to run OS X on their own PC hardware but Apple seem to think that won’t be happening:-

‘However, [Apple Senior Vice President Phil] Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers’ hardware. “We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac.” ‘

I’d guess that means that the new Intel-based Macs will be OpenBoot firmware rather than PC BIOS. Maybe Microsoft will develope Windows for Intel Mac? Not likely though… they didn’t sustain Windows for non-Intel architecture CPUs for very long.

New Xcode to download to develop software for the Mac… 760MB. In an internet cafe… oh joy!

Tomorrow we’re getting a ferry and bus (and another ferry) and going back to Samui where we’re thinking of holing up for a month. Tickets already booked for flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching in Sarawak (Borneo), and KL to Bali.

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