22 November 2006


The $100 gift certificate that I won at the AAARI dinner was really a receipt for store credit. I am used to receiving store credits in the form of a plastic card with bar code and magnetic strip, so it was somewhat strange to have paper "gift certificate". My first guess was that someone in AAARI bought something at the store and had to return it, but couldn't get cash back and instead got store credit. He had no plan of using the credit so he donated to AAARI as a raffle prize. Also, one of the worries the Wife and I had was that the store may not be in business any more if we don't use the g.c. soon. I don't have too much faith in the Asian businessman. One day the store's stuff fly off the shelf and the next it declares bankrupt, really just to cheat the government of some tax dollars. I'm a pessimist, what can I say. Maybe if I'm black, Hispanic, or of some other races and know the race well, I would view upon them, as an insider, the same way.

Fortunately, when I visited the store this past weekend, it was still there. Earlier, I decided to either get a digital camera, with optical zoom of 10x or more, or a portable DVD player. The store's selection of digicam was rather poor, mostly Sony stuff. The choices of DVD players were not that great either. On the one hand, we had an 8" JWin. On the other, there was this Sunia brand, model 900V, with a 9" screen. JWin I have heard about, but Sunia? I am aware that the DVD market has many largely unheard of brands, but Sunia is something I never heard about. What's attractive about the Sunia player was that it could play discs of all regions. Every now and then we would come across DVDs made for other regions and naturally they wouldn't play on our American-made player. What a pain this region thing! Properly just a scheme for the movie studios and manufacturers of DVD players to make more money. Anyway, at $199, I could get the Sunia model for half-price when the g.c. is used. The salesperson even made it $190 so in the end we paid only $90. He also told us to keep the box and receipt as the device could be replaced free of charge within a year.

On the past few road trips I had, I really wished we had a DVD player in the vehicle. I don't like the built-in types, as they are probably magnets for car burglars. I don't care what the statistics indicate, Brooklyn is still an unfriendly place to park the card outside with fancy electronics aboard. My Sunia does come in its own case with straps for attaching to the back of the car seats. Originally, I've wanted a 10" model, but 9" didn't seem to be too bad. The sound is good, not tinny like some other devices I have known. As you crank up the volume, on more inferior devices, you would notice the sound getting worse - but not so with the Sunia 900V. The rechargeable battery pack fits to the bottom of the player to tilt it up allowing some room for movement of hot air. The player can do both NTSC and PAL video signal. It is not a surprise that it has output for watching and hearing of video on an external display and speakers, but with a flip of a switch, you can also use the 900V as a speaker and display. I already used it as speakers for my iPod. I do have the portable JBL On Tour portable speakers, but it runs only either on DC connection or via four AA batteries. Anything that runs on non-rechargeable batteries displease the recycler in me, so the On Tour lose points for the AA batteries, even if its sound is very good. I am tempted to try to connect my Sony Playstation, the original one or PS/1, to the Sunia 900V, although I know very well the connectors don't match. I am pretty sure I can dig up the proper converter cable/plug.

I didn't know that on the box of the Sunia player there was imprinted the words Made in China. Instead, I searched the web and did come across Sunia.com. The web site made no mention of China and even declared that Sunia the company is based in Seattle, Washington. However, I then notice that under Contact Us the email address was not info@sunia.com, but was something else at malata.com. I went to malata.com and sure enough the site was written in Chinese, with pull-down menu to choose other languages. Seeing the Made in China on the box confirmed my suspicion. I must give them credits for having a properly written English user's manual. Lots of time, manual for things made in China are horrible literal translation from Chinese to English, or with grossly misspelled words through the document. Either Sunia hired native English speakers in the U.S. or they have very good writers in China, the Sunia 900V's manual is very understandable and contains no misspell or awful grammar.

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