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BritTim

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About BritTim

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  1. The cinema situation was completely different. As I recall, the cinemas at Washington Square (30 baht) and Panthip still existed. This was mostly irrelevant as the films on offer were truly dire: few Hollywood hits were making their way here yet. Any decent films that did make it were usually massacred by the censors. Dubbing into Thai was even worse than today (yes, I know this is hard to believe). Very few bars had pool tables. While blow jobs in the bars was tolerated, a quiet game of pool was considered too dissipated. One change for the better since: in 1995, there were go-go bars that still had some 14 year old dancers. Especially (but not exclusively) away from farang nightspots, coerced prostitution was still in evidence. Bus fares I believe were 2.50-3.50 baht (non aircon) and 6-16 baht aircon. The Thai nightlife scene (for instance, Dara Cafe) was a lot more fun than today (or maybe I am just too old to enjoy it now!)
  2. That used to be the case. When I used the road in 1996, passengers were expected to help manhandle the bridges, and for long stretches the paddy fields were more easily passable for vehicles than the "road". However, the road has been fine for a few years now.
  3. Thanks to everyone for the ideas. Between you, I think I have enough material for a fun couple of days.
  4. I am planning to be in KL for a couple of nights mid December. It has been a long time since I was there. Can anyone here suggest Reasonably priced hotels (guest friendly a plus, but I probably will not indulge so not critical)? Interesting night life options? Anything else that might be fun? My evenings and part of the day will be free, and I would like to make the most of the visit. Thanks!
  5. I have not been in a long time, so my information may be out of date. The last time I visited, just crossing over the border a short distance to shop required showing your passport or id card, and payment of a few baht, but no visa was needed. A visa was needed to go inland to Pakse and beyond. The visa is available on arrival. The cost varies by nationality, typically US$35-40. Make sure you have dollars, or you will end up with an exchange rate of about 50 to the dollar to pay in baht. As I remember, there are infrequent and slow buses from Ubon bus station to Chong Mek. It is only about 100km, and negotiating a reasonable rate for a taxi should not be too hard. I would not pay more than about 800-1000 baht.
  6. Here is a suggested list for people who want to avoid pirated software, but still avoid spending too much money. For many, a switch to Ubuntu Linux would work at least as well, but I assume those reading this topic are interested in Windows only. All programs are free unless otherwise specified. - 7-Zip to handle compressed files (free and much cleaner and faster program than Winzip, WinRAR etc.) - Irfanview with all plug-ins - CutePDF (free "printer" to create PDF files) - Foxitreader (more efficient alternative to Adobe Reader for PDF files) - ImgBurn (free and much better for basic CD/DVD burning than programs like Nero) - Firefox 2.5 with Adblock Plus extension (subscribe to EasyList and perhaps another region specific list depending on where you surf) - uTorrent if you need support for torrents - Eset Nod32 Antivirus : this you must pay for, but it is worth it. The program is efficient and just does a better job than AVG and Avast! - Spybot and Adaware (still good after many years) - Klite codec pack (full is enough, mega is overkill and may have problems) - Media Player Classic and Real Alternative - OpenOffice 3.1 (big ugly office suite, but free and opens pretty much any office file you are likely to receive; set default for saving to Microsoft Office formats so less enlightened folks can open files you send them) - Picassa 3 (used as an alternative photo editing program to Irfanview; sometimes one works better, sometimes the other) - (for power users only) Total Commander (shareware, and you should pay if you use it regularly; very powerful with the right plug-ins; setup to use it effectively takes time) Most people do not need MS Office, Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Photoshop. Save your money. If anyone wants a list for software development under Windows, let me know.
  7. I use many of the programs mentioned by others. In addition, I recommend (for Windows users) 1. Total Commander: a shareware program, but in practice you can use it indefinitely before paying the (cheap) license fee. It is an awesome Windows Explorer replacement and FTP client (among other things). I often use it as a download manager when I need to get many files from a remote directory. Look at the plugins page and integrate stuff like IrfanView and Linux FileSystem support. 2. For power users, Girder allows you to do things that are otherwise almost impossible. It sometimes is also helpful when debugging Windows programs. 3. Even if you usually use Windows, get Knoppix (a Linux distribution that runs from CD) as a recovery tool. It is often the best recovery tool for Windows. 4. Again mainly for power users, if you download cygwin, it allows you to run many Unix tools for which there is no decent Windows alternative (at least for free). 5. If you use Windows as a client to access a Unix or Linux system, get the PuTTY tools.
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