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HorseFeathers
November 9th, 2013, 10:52
So I have a few questions regarding electronics for you former JETs on here. These questions are rather premature since obviously I may not even be going to Japan this year but some things have been floating around in my mind- and I thought I'd ask before I forgot them again.

First question, and this will seem a little silly. But did any of you JETs own a Kindle, Nook or other ebook reader? And if so were you able to purchase books when you were overseas? Or did it only carry what ones you already had installed?

Second question, adapters. I have a friend who went overseas to Japan via Interac. He got a fairly state of the art computer that apparently wasn't plugged into the proper adapter and now will occasionally give him the blue screen of death. I think this might have been his own undoing seeing how he wasn't really savvy on how electronics worked on different wattage over there (his computer was made for US usage). Do any of you JETs know of any good adapters that would be a smart buy?

Finally, did you JETs have someone help set up your wireless when you arrived in Japan? Cause I'm not afraid to admit that I would be fairly hopeless at figuring that out. I'd have to assume the added language barrier would only make things more complicated for me.

Gizmotech
November 9th, 2013, 11:26
1a) I own an iPad, it was purchased here in Japan, but it is setup to my Canadian Account
1b) It is also setup to a Canadian Kindle account.

2) LOL. No laptop would ever have a problem in Japan, short of the physical adapter requiring a change. All laptops are compatible with this power grid, meaning his laptop is just a piece of junk.

3) Sadly, I did that myself, but it's not particularly difficult.

coop52
November 9th, 2013, 11:31
I have a US Kindle. It costs money to send books over the Internet, but you can transfer them from your computer for free. You can plug in pretty much anything that has a brick since they accept a range of voltages. I have wireless, but I brought a Linksys router from home.

zombiekelly
November 9th, 2013, 11:55
I have the old free 3G Kindle Keyboard with a US account. I've bought books over the air and it didn't cost anything extra to download. Keep in mind that it's an old model, though, so the new ones are probably different. 3G browsing works, but emailing files to the device costs more.

Your Interac friend is mistaken if he thinks the power screwed up his PC. Laptops are self-regulating and desktops only need the wire swapped out for one without the grounding plug. My guess? He's playing games above his PC's specs.

I use my mac mini when I need wireless, but after a while, I found out I didn't need it. The apartments are pretty small, and for any bedtime browsing I might want to do I use my phone. Flat rate plans FTW.

therealwindycity
November 9th, 2013, 15:19
You'll be fine. Most US electronics work in Japan without any problem. As for the kindle, are you wondering about the 3G? The coverage in Japan is pretty good and as long as you don't close out your US debit/credit card you won't have any problem buying things since it's, you know, over the internet :P

Page
November 9th, 2013, 21:09
Yeah, what everyone else said. You'll have zero problems managing any accounts (iTunes/Kindle/etc.) as long as you have a home address/debit card attached to them. The only problem you'll encounter anything that checks where you are (Netflix/Hulu/etc.) but that can be solved with a good VPN.

If you're worried about working through wireless here some companies will set it up for you if you get a router through them (you have to pay a rental fee, though), you can pay a premium for an Apple router that you can set up in English ($90 I think?), or you can bring one with you/find a US brand on Amazon.jp. TBH I already had the apple router from a leaving ALT so I haven't gone through the process myself.

I haven't had a single electronics related problem in Japan since I've been here, tbh.

jwkelley
November 10th, 2013, 02:12
A VNP can flag your card also. Having your card come through multiple IP addresses or sometimes going through known routers will set off some cards.

tobenaitori
November 10th, 2013, 15:04
This is only marginally related to the question you asked, but I wanted to throw in my two cents-- I wasn't able to install some Japanese apps on my American ipad. That could be my fault though because I'm pretty low tech and not familiar with apple products.

Gizmotech
November 10th, 2013, 15:51
That's usually because your connected account is from the US store rather than the Japanese store. You can't use both at the same time (which does kinda suck a bit).

zombiekelly
November 10th, 2013, 16:19
A good number of apps are geo-restricted. I wasn't able to install the yahoo mail app on my JP android until I went home on vacation, for instance.

therealwindycity
November 10th, 2013, 17:06
itunes and amazon aren't region-limited, you just have to open a Japanese account in order to download Japanese apps/books and log in to the right account when you update. (You technically need a Japanese credit card to open a Japanese itunes account, but you can get around it by buying an itunes gift card from a convenience store in Japan)

HorseFeathers
November 11th, 2013, 06:14
Wow guys! Thanks for all the fantastic answers. I hadn't even thought about Itunes but that probably would have come up at some point. And I have a Nook not a Kindle (but I figured they'd be about the same in terms of access). I just know more people have Kindles than Nooks. I picked the wrong brand that xmas. I was really expecting Nooks to kick off and they didn't. Oh well.

I also have the first generation kindle. But its battery life is so terrible I don't plan to use that in Japan unless I have no access to my Nook.

As for my friend's laptop, he had an alienware computer. He suspected not using an adapter killed it but then again I can't attest to his computer usage habits. And I don't have any intention of buying alienware. But I am planning on purchasing a new laptop before I go (if I go this year) because the computer I am currently using is on its last legs.

zombiekelly
November 11th, 2013, 15:35
he had an alienware computer

There's the problem right there. He had an overpriced Dell.

HorseFeathers
November 12th, 2013, 11:26
There's the problem right there. He had an overpriced Dell.

Haha. Yeah, I was told not to get one for that exact reason.

dialogue
November 12th, 2013, 11:38
I have a Nook and haven't had any problems with it, aside from some books I thought would be good and turned out to be poo.

About settin' up internet, I had a router in my house from the pred and the provider folks said they would set it up for me for fifty bucks or I could do it myself. Tried to do it myself, failed about halfway through. Asked someone at the office for help, she helped me with the rest. No problem.

HorseFeathers
November 13th, 2013, 09:56
I have a Nook and haven't had any problems with it, aside from some books I thought would be good and turned out to be poo.

Man, has that happened to me a lot lately. :D I've been using my local library because I got tired of buying books that I ended up hating. But I won't have that luxury (at least not for English books) in Japan.


About settin' up internet, I had a router in my house from the pred and the provider folks said they would set it up for me for fifty bucks or I could do it myself. Tried to do it myself, failed about halfway through. Asked someone at the office for help, she helped me with the rest. No problem.

Yeah that will probably be me. Failing halfway. But nice to hear that people didn't have too much trouble setting it up.

zombiekelly
November 15th, 2013, 20:57
One heads up that I should mention since e-books are being discussed- kobo refuses to cooperate with you if your computer has an IP from Japan. It's owned by Rakuten, and in pure Japanese fashion can't seem to wrap its head around the idea that someone in Japan might want to use the English page or shop in another currency instead. The kobo phone app and Kobo Desktop stay in English/USD for me, but the main site won't unless I use my VPN.

tl;dr- kobo sucks, pray that your favorite authors don't use it exclusively.

Ini
November 15th, 2013, 22:55
Its Japan, nobody cares about pirating anything in English. Go nuts.

CUPS
November 21st, 2013, 21:12
Its Japan, nobody cares about pirating anything in English. Go nuts.

You think? I reckon a NJ will be first to be targeted, to be made an example of.

johnny
November 24th, 2013, 11:35
One heads up that I should mention since e-books are being discussed- kobo refuses to cooperate with you if your computer has an IP from Japan. It's owned by Rakuten, and in pure Japanese fashion can't seem to wrap its head around the idea that someone in Japan might want to use the English page or shop in another currency instead. The kobo phone app and Kobo Desktop stay in English/USD for me, but the main site won't unless I use my VPN.

tl;dr- kobo sucks, pray that your favorite authors don't use it exclusively.

Yah, it's a huge pain. At least when I log onto the site it switches to English. That's something.

Ini
November 24th, 2013, 11:48
You think? I reckon a NJ will be first to be targeted, to be made an example of.

The piracy laws in Japan were pushed into being by Sony Japan. They couldn't care less about some round eye downloading game of thrones.

johnny
November 24th, 2013, 18:46
I only download legal downloads now. It's a personal choice. That said, given that I can't download Game of Thrones legally, I am sorely tempted to get it off bittorent. Seriously, how can I legally acquire the third season?

I have paid for the most recent season of Justified, Walking Dead and the Newsroom. I am willing to pay for the product, but I am frustrated that I am not given a legal option.

therealwindycity
November 25th, 2013, 08:26
I only download legal downloads now. It's a personal choice. That said, given that I can't download Game of Thrones legally, I am sorely tempted to get it off bittorent. Seriously, how can I legally acquire the third season?

I have paid for the most recent season of Justified, Walking Dead and the Newsroom. I am willing to pay for the product, but I am frustrated that I am not given a legal option.

I tried to watch Game of Thrones and this is what happened - The Oatmeal (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones)

Shincantsen
November 25th, 2013, 23:31
FYI, way back in the olden days I was at a homestay and downloaded a couple American movies, and my homestay family got a cease and desist letter from their ISP. So Japan cares at least a little about foreign downloads.

uthinkimlost?
November 26th, 2013, 08:03
What a terrible houseguest.

Shincantsen
November 26th, 2013, 13:05
What a terrible houseguest.

I honestly was, it's very embarrassing to think of now.

johnny
November 27th, 2013, 07:26
I don't intend to steal really. I'm just frustrated by being unable to see the one stupid show. Japanese television doesn't really do it for me.

octagon
November 28th, 2013, 10:17
I think this might have been his own undoing seeing how he wasn't really savvy on how electronics worked on different wattage over there (his computer was made for US usage).

Look at your laptop power adapter's label, or any consumer appliance for that matter. Somewhere on there it's going to say that it operates within a certain voltage range, probably 100-240V. The US uses 120 volts, Japan uses 110, and Europe uses 220/240. Most consumer electronics offer such a generous range for this very scenario. If he plugged in the adapter that came with his laptop into a Japanese socket, he'd have been fine.

It's likely he got over there, saw his laptop cord had 3 prongs and could not be plugged into the socket, so he borrowed someone else's adapter that had 2 prongs (but operated at a different amperage), and plugged it in.

WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HAIR DRYERS AND CURLING IRONS, all you need to do is pop down to your local hardware store or some shitty hole in the wall electronics shop in Akihabara and get a 3-prong to 2-prong converter. Should run the equivalent of USD $0.99 but some stores in the states will try to sell you unnecessary wall warts that do all sorts of power conversion for $20 or more, but these are to help you reach voltage ranges that your appliance wasn't built to handle. If your appliance can take 110v, you just need the cheap converter.

octagon
November 28th, 2013, 10:23
I only download legal downloads now. It's a personal choice. That said, given that I can't download Game of Thrones legally, I am sorely tempted to get it off bittorent. Seriously, how can I legally acquire the third season?

I have paid for the most recent season of Justified, Walking Dead and the Newsroom. I am willing to pay for the product, but I am frustrated that I am not given a legal option.

Is HBO GO not an option in Japan?

uthinkimlost?
November 28th, 2013, 10:43
Is HBO GO not an option in Japan?

Not without a proxy or the like.

zombiekelly
November 28th, 2013, 17:31
You need a cable subscription for that, anyways.

Antonath
November 29th, 2013, 08:42
I think I should step in at this point and say that ITIL does not condone piracy of films or TV programs, and would suggest you not admit to it openly if you are partaking in such activities.

If you can "legally acquire" (ahem...) content, that's an entirely different matter.

This lesson in ITIL slang brought to you by your admin team, our Google overlords, and the letters N, S, and A.

johnny
November 29th, 2013, 21:20
I'm not really going to steal any content. I am just angry. BTW, iTunes Canada is selling the HD version of the Matrix for $6.99. It's an old movie, but what a steal!

Also, for those of you who like British television, the whole Sharpe series is on for $19.99. Good times.