From Notes on Japan, I found this last point was quite funny:

visiting Japan feels like visiting the 2000s

  • CD shops everywhere

  • malls are thriving

  • people use fat laptops

You’d have to pry by MacBook from my cold, dead hands, but I dearly miss the greater variety of hardware and form factors that we used to see twenty years ago. Like, I acknowledge that something like the Sony VAIO P (depicted below) probably has ergonomics on par with writing War and Peace via T9 text entry, but I still wish I’d owned one.

Japan seems to be one of the last places left where a market for weird consumer electronics still exists. A few weeks ago I admired a Japanese guy on BART’s incredible e-reader that was fully customized to the use of Japan’s vertical alphabets. Another guy on the 37 Corbett uses what must’ve been the only netbook left in San Francisco.

If you’re at a typical WeWork nowadays, there’s no easy way to tell that you didn’t accidentally walk into an Apple Store instead. The technology is beautiful – perfect geometry, flawless glass, and polished aluminum – but sterile. I’m glad there’s somewhere out there where weird, novel devices are still going strong.