Posts Tagged ‘4G’

Yatai in Hawaii? Try Yajima-Ya or Blue Truck Teppanyaki!

March 1, 2011

Street eats ain’t nothing new to the Japanese. Better known as yatai (food stalls), Japan is just crawling with them, often serving better tasting food than their indoor counterparts. From the Kita no Yatai district up north in Obihiro Hokkaido, all the way down south to Yatai Douri and the surrounding areas in Fukuoka, my peeps really know how to cook… And more importantly, EAT!

And while not exactly a yatai, food trucks have been picking up steam as of late here in Hawaii, so we’re gonna cover two interesting ones that serve Japanese fair: Yajima-Ya (on Sheridan) and Blue Truck Teppanyaki (on University). That should be “yatai-ish” enough right? *grin*

Yajima-Ya

I first heard about this place through the Social Media grapevine. There was a buzz about this new Japanese-themed lunch truck opening up that had some kind of tie to the Yajima Service Station (Cosmo) nearby.

I asked wifey and some friends who work in the area if they’ve ever heard about it and I got the same response. “No, but let me know where it is so I can check it out. Sounds yummy!”

In front of Yajima-Ya's eating area
In front of Yajima-Ya’s eating area

So when they opened in October of last year, I had to check it out. After several visits, I got to know Manager Tomoki Ito a little as I interacted with him in both Japanese and English (he speaks both very well). One of my first questions to him was the association with the Yajima Service Station and how it all got started.

“I was hired by service station as a manager,” says Ito. “My boss, Mr. Akahane had the idea of making ‘tachigui udon, soba-ya’ which is a small restaurant located at every train station in Japan. They serve noodles very quick and customers eat while standing. Then, we found the truck and looked for good noodles and soup. Actually, I was the only one who had experience with cooking, so I was put in charge of the lunch truck. That’s the very beginning of our lunch truck.”

On a recent trip there, I ordered the Supreme Don (Pork, Beef and Shrimp Tempura over rice)…

Supreme Don - $9
Supreme Don – $9

… while wifey got the soba with sansai (vegetable) topping.

Sansai Soba - $6
Sansai Soba – $6

Our friend Rick Nakama took his own photo of his dish, the Buta Shougayaki Donburi (pork and ginger over rice)

Buta Shougayaki Donburi (pork and ginger over rice) - $6.50
Buta Shougayaki Donburi (pork and ginger over rice) – $6.50 [Photo Credit: Rick Nakama]

According to Ito, one of their best sellers is their $8 Yajima-Ya Bukkake Udon/Soba, which is beef, seaweed, natto and mountain vegetables over cold noodles. Gotta try that next time!

Yajima-Ya Bukkake Udon/Soba (beef, seaweed, natto and mountain vegetables over cold noodles) - $8 [Photo Credit: Tomoki Ito]
Yajima-Ya Bukkake Udon/Soba (beef, seaweed, natto and mountain vegetables over cold noodles) – $8 [Photo Credit: Tomoki Ito]

For those who can’t decide between the udon/soba and donburi choices, you can get a combo of the two (just ask within). You can also try one of their breakfast items (served until 10am), Belgian Waffles, or choose from one of their daily specials, which includes Hayashi Rice on Saturdays!

Daily Specials from Yajima-Ya
Daily Specials from Yajima-Ya

Of course, what’s a visit to a lunch truck without busting out the trusty ol’ Oceanic Mobile Hotspot for some 4G web surfing. Yup, it works here!

Oceanic Mobile works at Yajima-Ya on Sheridan Street
Oceanic Mobile works at Yajima-Ya on Sheridan Street [Photo Credit: AndHere.com]

Parking is a little tight here. There are only two stalls in front and the rest is street parking, which is not that easy in this area during the week. Either way, make your way here, as it’s a winnah.

Yajima-Ya
@yajimayahawaii
Sheridan Street (Behind Hinone Mizunone, between South King & Liona)
Honolulu, HI. 96814 (Street View)
808-497-7991
Mon-Fri: 7:30am-7:30pm
Sat: 7:30am-5pm
Breakfast served until 10am daily.

Blue Truck Teppanyaki

I’ve always seen this bright blue truck parked out in front of the Atherton YMCA on University when I drive by, but never bothered to stop for a looksee. It wasn’t until a glowing review or three from the Brother-In-Law that wifey and I decided to check it out one afternoon (they are at this location from 5pm-8pm daily).

Blue Truck Teppanyaki
Blue Truck Teppanyaki

Teppanyaki is basically a style of cooking in Japanese culture that involves using a flat stove top/griddle (teppan). At Blue Truck, you simply choose your type of meat (juicy steak, garlic teri chicken, hamburger steak, or shrimp) and optional side order items (Portobello mushroom, eggplant, egg, etc.) and they do the rest.

Workers preparing our teppanyaki
Workers preparing our teppanyaki

Basically, that involves them pan-frying/grilling your meat over the teppan range (left), adding their special sauce over it, and finally placing it on a bed of rice, corn and sautéed vegetables.

Home-Made Hamburger Steak (Mini) - $5
Home-Made Hamburger Steak (Mini) – $5

Juicy Steak & Garlic Teri Chicken Combo - $8
Juicy Steak & Garlic Teri Chicken Combo – $8

Prices are pretty reasonable here. If you wanted to double the amount of meat in the combo above to make 1 pound, it would only be $11.

Blue Truck Teppanyaki also serves breakfast items and specials like Spicy Tuna ($7), Steak Roll ($8), New York Sirloin Steak ($14), Pork chop ($8), Scallop ($14), Fish ($9) and Vegetable ($8) plates.

If you’re looking for this truck during lunch, they are at various locations throughout the week from 11am-2pm. See sign below.

Blue Truck Teppanyaki locations
Blue Truck Teppanyaki locations

And yes, in case you were wondering, Oceanic Mobile worked at the University Avenue location too! 8)

Oceanic Mobile works at Blue Truck Teppanyaki on University Avenue
Oceanic Mobile works at Blue Truck Teppanyaki on University Avenue [Photo Credit: AndHere.com]

Blue Truck Teppanyaki
University Avenue (in front of Charles H. Atherton House – YMCA)
Honolulu, HI. 96822 (Street View)
808-389-6808
Daily: 5pm-8pm

Yatai? More like Yatta!

Ready, Set IntelliGo! – Sharing Your Road Runner Mobile Connection Just Got Easier!

July 1, 2010

Late last month, Oceanic Time Warner Cable introduced an exciting, new product to add to the Road Runner Mobile lineup. Nicknamed IntelliGo, the Sierra Wireless W801 Personal Mobile Hotspot acts like a portable mini-router and allows you to share your Road Runner Mobile connection – on the go! – with up to 5 friends via standard Wi-Fi connectivity.

The IntelliGo, from Oceanic Time Warner Cable
The IntelliGo, from Oceanic Time Warner Cable

Dimensions and Features

This portable little device (3.15″ x 3.15″ x 0.61″ and 4.6 oz) has a 1.4″ LCD display (displays key messages like your SSID and password, battery level, and amount of connected users), and comes with an 1800mAh battery (est. 6 hours of use) and USB/AC charger. There is also a microSD slot that can hold a card of up to 32GB. See below for a diagram and a hands-on video of the IntelliGo.

Diagram of the new IntelliGo
Diagram of the new IntelliGo


IntelliGo – Sierra Wireless W801 Personal Mobile Hotspot Unboxing

Technical Specs

Technically speaking, the IntelliGo receives in both 4G (WiMax – 2.5GHz) and 3G (CDMA – 800/1900 MHz) frequencies and transmits Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) using the 802.11 b/g standard protocols.

What does this mean exactly? In layman’s terms, this simply means that the IntelliGo will get the greatest coverage (both 4G and 3G) wherever you go, and will share that via a common Wi-Fi signal that many of your devices already speak to.

Several examples of Wi-Fi devices that you might use are:

  • Laptops
  • Netbooks
  • iPads
  • Mobile phones (e.g. iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, Garmin Nuvifone, etc.)
  • iPod Touch
  • Nintendo DS
  • Sony PSP
  • Eye-Fi SD memory cards
  • Microsoft Zune

Easy Set Up

The IntelliGo is really, REALLY easy to set up. Out of the box, all you would have to do is pop in the battery and hold down the power button to turn the puppy on. It will go through its cycle for a few seconds and display your default SSID (network name) and password on the external display (you can edit these in the settings later). Since it’s shooting out standard Wi-Fi, there isn’t any software to install device(s)!

Ed’s Tip: On the initial setup, I would recommend you use a laptop (something with a larger screen), as the setup wizard will guide you through several screens to configure your settings. I used my HTC EVO 4G (mobile phone) initially, and, although I was still able to get it done, it was a little tricky reading text and hitting buttons.

Once the IntelliGo powers up completely and has your default SSID and password displayed, go to your laptop and scan for new wireless networks. Select the IntelliGo’s SSID (named “TWC4GMobile-xxx”) and enter the password provided (a series of 6 random numbers). The LCD screen will then prompt you to open a web page, which will automatically redirect you to the Time Warner Cable’s Terms of Service page, which you must review and accept. This is a one time process.

One time Agreement screen
One time Agreement screen

Once you have accepted the terms of service, you’re “All G”, unless you would like to configure your device further (change the SSID, password, encryption method, etc.).

Ed’s Tips: By default, the device uses WEP encryption. Probably for compatibility reasons (with older devices). I would recommend changing that to WPA or WPA2, as long as your connecting devices are compatible. I would also recommend changing the default SSID and password to something more personal and secure (the default 6 digit password is easy to crack). Lastly, I would recommend changing the default administrative password (“password” is used to access the IntelliGo’s administrative portal).

All of the above can be accessed by going to the administrative portal at http://twc4gmobile (192.168.0.1) while connected to the IntelliGo. This admin backend acts much like the 192.168.1.1 backend on your Linksys wireless router at home.

The IntelliGo's Administrative Portal
The IntelliGo’s Administrative Portal

Via this backend, you can also set up and control two other neat features of the IntelliGo: 1) GPS, and 2) the microSD Card.

You can use the GPS to find local points of interest, like hotels, restaurants, banks and gas stations. You can even pull up local Time Warner Cable offices! Sweet! With the microSD card configured, you can share files, music, pictures and more to your 5 connected devices.

If anything I wrote above went right over your head and confused you even more, here’s a more practical (and visual) look at what the IntelliGo (Sierra Wireless W801) is and how you can use it. It’s Hawaii’s resident tech expert Peter Kay breaking things down in simple, easy-to-understand terms in his video below.


Peter Kay’s Testimonial

Exciting huh? The IntelliGo is a pretty powerful device that I, personally, have been having a lot of fun playing with, and sharing with anyone and everyone who will listen. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me using the form to the right or post a comment below.

If you’d prefer to educate yourself, feel free to check out one of the following, pertinent links:

If you can’t contain your excitement and know this is something you really want… NEED even 😛 , visit the ordering options page where you can order directly online via My Account, complete an inquiry form for a follow up, chat with one of our online reps, or call Oceanic Time Warner Cable direct.

Ready for some 4G/Wi-Fi fun? On your mark… Get Set… IntelliGo Go GO!

Great News!
If you order between now and September 30th, 2010 (with a two year contract), you can have the IntelliGo for just $49 ($50 mail in rebate).

Order Road Runner Mobile Here

What Is Road Runner Mobile and Where Does It Work?

June 1, 2010

Road Runner Mobile first launched in Hawaii earlier this year, and, as with Road Runner High Speed Online residential service (launched back in 1997), there were a lot of early adopters. Like those who were “in the know” about broadband technologies (compared to dial-up) in ’97, those who are aware of 4G technology today have quickly jumped on the Road Runner Mobile bandwagon.

Road Runner Mobile Works Here!
Road Runner Mobile Works Here!

There are some though, who need and want more information. With any new technology, that’s very understandable. This article will attempt to demystify everything Road Runner Mobile for you. I’ll break it down – in layman’s terms – so that it will hopefully give you the right tools to educate yourself as to what Road Runner Mobile is and see if it’s right for you.

What is Road Runner Mobile?

First thing’s first. Let’s watch the commercial to get warmed up…


Road Runner Mobile Commercial

In the opening scene, you’ll notice a female on the beach propping up some sort of device in her laptop. That is what’s known as a mobile device (or wireless card). Simply put, that tiny little device is what connects you to the Internet. It searches the airwaves for the 4G signal (or 3G if 4G is not available) and connects you to it. All you do is plug it in to your standard USB port on your laptop (or mobile device) and you’re good to go.

Currently, Oceanic Time Warner Cable offers the Motorola USBw100 or the Franklin U301 with more products and devices on the way (including hub/router-type devices, allowing you to share your 4G connection via WiFi). For more information on our current products, see below or click here.

For a hands-on look at the newest Franklin U301 device, check out this unboxing video:


Franklin U301 Unboxing

As the video mentioned, Oceanic Time Warner Cable is currently running a promo that actually allows you to get either card for free with your service (with a 2 year contract). If you’re interested in taking advantage of this offer, inquire with them today.

Every install comes with a free copy of the Connection Manager software, which allows you to easily manage all of your wireless Internet connections (4G, 3G, Wi-Fi) with just a few clicks.

Road Runner Mobile Connection Manager Software
Road Runner Mobile Connection Manager Software

You can customize it to do as much or as little as you’d like. For example, you can have it automatically find and connect to:

  • the Road Runner Mobile 4G network
  • a Road Runner Speed Zone (if you’re in a Road Runner Speed Zone hot spot)
  • Wi-Fi networks if it finds it (e.g. when you use your computer at home, at work, or where hotspots like Road Runner Speed Zones are available)

You can even set the sequence of what to search for first, or turn them all off and set it to manual mode if you wish. The options are endless. It just depends on how you will be using it.

(Ed’s notes: Many netbooks and smaller peripherals these days do not have a CD drive, so you may wish to download them beforehand from the web here. This download should be the latest version of the Connection Manger software, but if there are any updates to it, or any other version(s) you load from the CD, etc., it will automatically download and install it for you as soon as you are connected. You may or may not experience a delay during this initial update.)

Where does Road Runner Mobile Work?

4G, which is short for 4th Generation, is a major upgrade from 3G. In fact, it is up to 10 times as fast as 3G*. For a reference, most mobile phones these days run over 3G. When you open up a browser on your phone and go to a web site, that is running over a 3G network. Imagine that same data going up to 10 times as fast. That’s 4G. (For more on 4G, read Kiman Wong’s articles here and here).

4G is the latest in cutting edge technology and we are fortunate enough to have it here in Hawaii so early on… even before the “big” cities like New York and Los Angeles. Currently, most areas on Oahu and the main towns of Maui are covered. Our unofficial 9th island: Las Vegas, Nevada is as well, as are cities in Washington, Oregon, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and more. Over 35 in fact. For a growing list of 4G cities, please click here. To view a coverage map of ALL areas covered by Road Runner Mobile (4G or otherwise), click here.

Melissa Chang shows that Road Runner Mobile works in Hawaii
Melissa Chang shows that Road Runner Mobile works in Hawaii

In Hawaii?

Perhaps you’re more of a visual person and don’t wish to read a boring, text based list of locations? Well, you’re in luck! Oceanic Time Warner Cable has developed a microsite called AndHere.com that illustrates where exactly Road Runner Mobile works around Oahu (and soon to be Maui). Oceanic Time Warner Cable, as well as some of Hawaii’s social media leaders (like Peter Kay, Melissa Chang, and Russ Sumida) take Road Runner Mobile out and about, take photos of where they’re at, run some speed tests, and post it for your viewing pleasure. It’s a pretty neat way to help us better understand what Road Runner is and where and how you can use it in your everyday life.

AndHere.com
AndHere.com

For more on…

* Based on download speed comparison of 3G’s 600 kbps vs. 4G’s 6 Mbps.