Tuesday, 31 March 2009


"The office staff told me that they will be sending the O level certificates ( a laminated piece of paper ) back to MOE if you do not collect it soon.
I do not have an exact date, but she seems pretty pist
[sic] that we take our own sweet time to go collect it.
Therefore, for your own sake, get it from school quick or else you will have to get it from MOE yourself."

--As written by Melvin Lim on the 4SA class blog.

Erm, can someone hold on to mine first? or Proxy or something? I need my cert for my UK school (they're asking for the cert, even though they have the result slip and they have approved my application into the school and I've gotten the visa and everything)!

P.s.: If you didn't know about the SGC and O Level Certificate already, they're now ready for collection from the school General Office. Just bring along your I/C or EZ-Link. Make sure you get two things - The folder with your SGC, and a laminated piece of paper (your O Level Certificate.). Do so ASAP.

1 April.

It's the first of April, 2009.

Happy April Fool's Day, even though I never planned on any tricks or
pranks (seriously. Why bother?).

Also, happy 33rd Birthday, Apple Inc.!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Earth Hour - What I think about it.

I've been seeing some comments on my Facebook page about the global
event that is occurring later today - Earth Hour.

Firstly, let me clarify myself. When I mentioned "Hippy" in my
Facebook status, I was referring to the kinds of Al Gore -
Environmentalists, not pot-smoking people in rainbow shirts and
holding up peace signs. The modern definition of hippy has changed to
environmentalists, or so I thought. So, my apologies for not
clarifying myself, but that's how I roll.

And can I say, what is up with the people commenting on my status? Are
you guys doing this to get attention, regardless of a person's image?
Sometimes, I feel the comments can get a little carried away. My 2

Back to the Earth Hour topic - Many people say Earth Hour is a huge
publicity stunt - sometimes an oxy-moron in the way the campaign is run.

The campaign aims at one billion people worldwide to turn off their
lights for one hour, starting from 8.30pm in the respective time-
zones. In doing so, the campaign hopes to raise awareness and to push
on the leaders meeting in Copenhagen to pass on a new "protocol" to
succeed Kyoto. Note that I never said Earth Hour aimed at DIRECTLY
cutting greenhouse gas emissions. That's a very short-sighted view of
this campaign. Earth Hour 2009 had always been about the UN Climate
Change Conference to be held this December in Copenhagen, a global
voice of how important the "Copenhagen Protocol" is to the global
population. That's why Earth Hour was also called "Vote Earth" this
year. That's why there's the ambitious target of 1,000,000,000 (read:
1 billion) people.

But where did it go wrong?

Let me tell you just a few I noticed: The biggest gripe I had was the
way this event was "marketed". I saw a billboard next to Plaza
Indonesia that advertised Earth Hour. It was big - around 15m high by
5m in width. This giant billboard had to be illuminated by countless
fluorescent tube lights from behind - What say you now about Earth
Hour?! Was this really necessary? Well, I'm glad that billboard was
turned off during the one hour, but when it came back on as I drove
past it, my brother (a critique of Earth Hour) was laughing his head
off. By the way, that billboard had a Coca Cola Logo on it as well.
So, maybe it's Coca Cola's fault, since they were the sponsor in that
case. Either way, I think Earth Hour's organisers could have warned
the sponsoring companies on the "do"s and "don't"s in marketing the

Another huge gripe I had was the reaction to the event. I must say, I
did turn off my lights before I left my house, so I did "vote Earth".
But I was, admittedly, a little disappointed when I was at Plaza
Senayan, only to find out that all the shops were brightly lit at
8.50pm. Nobody in the shopping mall took part in Earth Hour. It's like
it never happened. And don't blame the workers for not knowing the
time. They have a gigantic clock that plays music every one hour, so
they may be late, but they could still join in. Nobody turned off any
lights (which was what the campaign asked for. Not aircons - just
lights). Very disappointed.

My third one is, perhaps, a little on the opposite end, but it's a
valid point. Vote Earth asked you to off your lights. Fine. But they
never asked the cities to off their street lights, did they? My guess
is no. But that's what happened at Jln Jendral Sudirman, Jakarta's CBD
(and where Plaza Indonesia is located). Some of the street lights
actually went off, and the traffic lights at the round-about facing
Hyatt Hotel (yes, the famous one) were blinking yellow (for what
reason? I do not know, but those lights normally work, and they worked
after Earth Hour. Coincidence? You decide.). What for?!

Well, with all things imperfect, they have a positive outcome. I saw
almost every single floor of all the towers along the entire stretch
of Jln Jend. Sudirman go dark. (For the ones that remain on, I
understand why. This road has things like the Sun Microsystems Tower,
Embassy offices, and residential units - where you need the lights to
remain on.) I was amazed to see one of the hotels, I think it's
Mandarin Hotel, the one next to the Mercedez-Benz building, go dark
completely, even the guest building. That's ballsy on their part.

I must also say that seeing the Sudirman stretch go dark sent shivers
down my spine - I never thought Indonesians cared for the environment,
us being surrounded by an abundance of natural resources and man-made
luxuries. I've seen for too long, the consumerism side of this nation.
But never care for the environment, till yesterday. A whole city
plunged into darkness, not by force, but by choice, is quite
unimaginable. But it happened, because of one united voice of concern
for the state of the environment today and tomorrow.

I voted Earth not because I want to join a hype or because I can save
money on electricity bills. No. I'm just concerned about the world I
would be living in decades from today. Would that world be better if
we have a Copenhagen Protocol? Firstly, we won't know till we try, and
secondly, even if it will be, there's nothing I can do to make a
Copenhagen Protocol, except to turn off my light switch with
999,999,999 others in the petition to get such a protocol passed by
the people with the authority to do so. So, why did you vote Earth? Or
why did you not turn off your light switch for that one hour? Tag.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

8 - 11 April 2009.

As many of you know, I'm going to the UK in April. Most of you also
know that I'll be transiting in Singapore. Some even thought they knew
when I'm coming in to Singapore, because I once said I would be in
Singapore from 9 to 11.

Well, there's been some change of plans.

Since I have to collect my SGC and O Level Cert, I can't fly in to
Singapore in the evening of 9 April (the original plan). Why? 10 April
is a public holiday, the general office will not be open. So, I
shifted my departure into Singapore one day earlier.

There in lies the dilemma. I have no agenda for my stay in Singapore.

All I have is this:

8 April:
Come in to Singapore, very late, go to guardian's house, sleep.

9 April:
10AM: Go to POSBank to withdraw all my money from there,
11AM: Put it in my UOB account, turn off 2FA at the ATM machine so my
old phone number will not receive OTP smses anymore. (That's all
online banking speak.)
12:30PM: Go to SingTel to cancel my telephone line (didn't have time
to do this the last time I was here).
1:30PM: Go to SASS, get SGC & O Level cert,
2PM: Hang around with the teachers and maybe the choir if they have
rehearsal, unless someone else has a different plan.

10 April:
10AM: Go around town (wtf? alone? Seriously?),
4PM: Drop stuff at home,
4:30PM: Go to church at Expo. I still remember how to get there, ok?

11 April:
Wake-up: Pack, leave guardian's house,
10:45AM: Latest time to be in Airport.
12:45PM: Fly off to the UK in the afternoon.

So, actually, I've been thinking of this as a plan:

Anybody wants to meet me on 8 April, forget it. I'll be too tired.

Anybody wanting to meet me on 9 April, I'll probably be around
school / Potong Pasir after 1:45pm (SASS NORMAL dismissal time. How
apt, right? Not sure if there's early dismissal for Maundy Thursday.)

On 10 April, I'm thinking of going to City Hall / Plaza Singapura.
Need to buy stuff for UK - Stationary (lost 'em all), clothes (not too
much, since it's almost summer there), toiletries (I like the
Clean&Clear Facial Wash and the Colgate Professional toothpaste that
is sold in Singapore, but not in Jakarta. In fear of not finding them
in the UK, I'm buying them in Singapore), etc. Anyone wanna come along?

On 11 April, I don't mind giving a treat before I fly off, much like
what happened with me and Ernest, Raymond, and Zexun (and almost John.
Sorry you had to leave earlier. Maybe I'll make it up to you this
time?). But it'll probably be in the airport again, because I don't
want to miss my flight.

If there's nothing going on, I'm going to stay at home and do some
downloads/streaming of Heroes Episodes.

Useless synonyms.

What's the difference...
between 'Chipmunk' and 'Squirrel'?
between 'geek', 'dork', and 'nerd'?
between 'muesli bar' and 'granola bar'?

Well, to answer these 3 questions, I searched my Mac's Dictionary app. This was what I concluded:

A) Chipmunk vs Squirrel
Chipmunk = Ground squirrel, 
Squirrel = Tree-dwelling rodent.

So, Chipmunk is a subset of squirrel. All chipmunks are squirrels, but not all squirrels are chipmunks, yet all squirrels (chipmunks included) are rodents.

B) Geek vs Dork vs Nerd
This is complicated, so bear with me...

Geek = unfashionable / socially inept person
Dork = dull, slow-witted / socially inept person
Nerd = foolish / contemptible person who lacks social skills / is boringly studious 
OR an intelligent, single-minded expert in a certain technical discipline / profession.

They're all socially inept.
So, to find out what are you, answer the following, starting from Question 1 and ending at where you see a remark in Caps...

Q1. I am...
anti-social => move on to question 2.
sociable => move to question 5.

Q2. My fashion sense is...
bad => move on to question 3.
good/so-so => move on to question 4.

Q3. My intelligence is...
Average => GEEK
Limited / Below Average => GEEKY DORK

Q4. My intelligence is...
High => NERD
Average => A.S.S. (ANTI-SOCIAL SOUL)
Limited / Below Average => DORK

Q5. My intelligence is...
Medium => NORMAL.

Found out what type of person you are? Good. (p.s.: I made that myself.)

C) Muesli vs Granola
This one's even tougher for me to research on...
Muesli: Mixture of cereals (esp. rolled oats), dried fruit, and nuts. Origin: Swiss German.
Granola: Cereal consisting typically of rolled oats, brown sugar/honey, dried fruits, and nuts.

Not much of a difference, right?
After further research online, I summed up the main difference between these two food types down to this:

If it's sweetened by sugar, it's GRANOLA.
If it's sweetened by honey, it's probably GRANOLA, though it could be MUESLI too.
If it's unsweetened, it's MUESLI.

If it's toasted, it's GRANOLA.
If it's not toasted, it's MUESLI.

If it's invented by the Swiss, it's MUESLI.
If it's invented by the Americans, it's GRANOLA.

And finally, look at the calories. 
Granola > Muesli 
in terms of calories, due to the sugars.

So, if you want something yummy, get a GRANOLA BAR. If you want to cut calories, get a MUESLI BAR.

So there, I hope I have closes the 3 separate cases that were brought up by Jeremy, myself, and Ernest (in order of the appearance of the questions above) with regards to the above-mentioned words that have been oh-so-often misused.

Now use 'em words properly!

See, blogs can be of public service, too!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

internet meme alerts!

2 things I found online which I thought to be deserving of the title "Internet meme".

The first: you know those images that keep appearing on facebook where you have to tag your friends on an image that represents their characteristics best (e.g.: The Mr & Mrs characters, the pokemon characters, etc.)? I found one more on Mr Stanley Ho's Saint3.0 blog. Thinking of doing this one on 4SA 08...

The second: It's for the Daft Punk fans. Credit goes to Diggnation for pointing this to me. Whe you go to this link, you get to choose what layout your keyboard is in, and then you can use your keyboard to become Daft Punk! Don't believe it? just hit it!

So, get your meme on!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

My analysis on all things Apple in 2009.

Every so often, I write a list of predictions on what Apple Inc. will do, based on analyzing their past product releases and currently-circulating rumours.

With so much going on at Apple, I thought I could write what's on my mind about Apple. Let's start with the market that defined Apple even before the iPod did - The Mac.

The Mac
When we talk about the Mac, note that we have to talk about two separate things - Hardware and Software. 

Hardware-wise, we just saw the entire desktop line-up being refreshed recently. So, judging from Intel's chip roadmap, nobody would expect further updates to the desktop hardware line-up. As for the laptops, Intel has Calpella due in late 2009 - the laptop version of the Core-i7. So, post-WWDC, probably September.

Software-wise, it's no secret that Apple is working on an update to Leopard (10.5.7, codenamed Juno) and an upgrade to Leopard (10.6). 10.5.7 should be released whenever it is released (probably next month, April 2009). We don't know if there'll be any more updates to 10.5, but my guess is that there'll be one last one (10.5.8) before 10.6 is released, and another update (10.5.9) after 10.6 has been available for a while to keep things stable. My prediction for Snow Leopard? Its release date should be announced at WWDC2009 in June, and the full release in July, so as to not collide with something else (see below).

The iPod
Nothing exciting going on here, seeing how the only people still buying iPods are those who are getting gifts for someone. Seriously, would you buy an iPod for yourself in the right mind? My guess is no, unless your current one is spoilt, or you never had one before, or if you suddenly started running (erherm). 

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that there'll probably be something iPod-related in September - November, just before the holidays. Although strangely, the iPod shuffle got an update this month out of the blue. Is Apple breaking the trend? My guess is that this Shuffle had some problems during the development, and was hence late to the release as compared to the rest of the family. Either that or the 2nd gen shuffle was holding up in shelves.

The iPhone
Same as the Mac - there's software, and there's hardware. We can safely say Apple will probably give a preview of a new software version every March, release in June, and update hardware by announcing in June, and releasing in July-December in a phase-by-phase rolling release. Since iPhones are sold on contracts tied to a carrier, mostly for 2 years, Apple has to release a new iPhone for those people who have an ending contract and are in the market for a new one. In June 2007, Apple released the first-gen iPhone in the US. This was followed by the UK and certain European countries in the following months. Apple must release something new to lasso these people back to the respective carriers, especially those who didn't upgrade their iPhones to the 3G last year. So, expect new hardware this June-December, depending on where you live.

The Hobbies and newbies?
Apple TV is described as a "hobby" of Apple's. Nothing new in this space, as far as I can see. 

Aside from that, rumours have been flying about a 10" touchscreen device, possibly a tablet-cum-netbook. I don't know how this will be sold, and what it'll be called, but my guess is that it'll be like the Axiotron ModBooks sans the stylus. It'll have a headphone jack, HSDPA + wifi built-in, and a 30-pin dock connector. Sounds like an enlarged iPhone 3G? yep.

Rumours have also pointed out that AT&T are talking about a $99 netbook, but not running Windows. So, it's either Linux, or OS X. I'm guessing OS X. The rumour also states a product release in "Summer", meaning June - August.

So, to round up, here's a projected timeline...

iPhone OS 3 preview announcement done.

iTunes Music goes 100% DRM-free, new pricing tiers.
OS X 10.5.7
New Final Cut Pro around NAB.

Steve Jobs returns from medical leave of absence.
Announcements of iPhone v3 hardware, netbook/tablet, Snow Leopard
Release of iPhone 3.0 software
Release of iPhone 3 hardware (rolling release, starting in US)

Release of Snow Leopard

Release of netbook/tablet. (rolling release, starting in US. Tied to iPhone partner carrier)

New iPod line-up

New Laptops

To those with iTunes accounts...

Just a reminder: In 8 days' time, iTunes is going to switch to become
completely DRM-free on its entire music catalogue. But at the same
time, iTunes will have a new pricing model - US$0.69, US$0.99, and US
$1.29. So, I don't know what this means, but I would buy the latest
releases that are DRM-free now before they increase in prices, but
hold purchases of any older songs I want to buy until the price drops.

1 April 2009 - New pricing model, going completely DRM-free on music.

Finally, all in.

The Lego pieces are coming together.

My visa application just went in with some documents, 3.5x5.5cm
photos, and biometric scans.

Thank God the original acceptance letter came in from the school
before it was too late to apply.

Now, I'll just wait.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Vote Earth - A Reminder

On 28 March 2009, from 8.30pm to 9.30pm in every country worldwide, a global election is happening. A global election between Earth, and Global Warming.

You - whoever you are, whether you are the owner of a shop or a student with a personal room - you are eligible to vote.

Your voting ballot is the light switch.

To vote Earth, just turn off the lights in your home, your workplace, your whatnots.

But I say don't just stop there. Turn off other things, too! Your air-conditioner, your PC, your TV, your PS3 or XBox 360, just turn them off for one hour.

What else can you do? Log on to VoteEarth2009.org to find out more. Spread the word about Vote Earth. It's not just for the Earth, it's for a sustainable environment, for the survival of endangered creatures, for future generations, and for a chance to stop global warming.

The TV ad for Earth Hour 2009.

The Introductory Video on how Earth Hour began in 2007.

UPDATE: Like the "Lights-out" look? Blog skin updated!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

of slumdog and flights.

Just watched Slumdog Millionaire. Highly recommend it. Not going to spoil anything about it, except that it involves the Indian "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" TV show, and that the movie is in English, and it's a movie deserving of the Academy Award it has gotten.

Aside from that, there's been a change in plan for my flights. I'll be flying to Singapore on 8 April 2009, rather than 9 April 2009. Why? I need to return to St. Andrew's Secondary to collect my SGC and O Level Certificate. If I were to return on 9 April, I was afraid the office will be closed due to a half day with Maundy Thursday, and I would not be able to reach school in time. So, I decided to land in Singapore the day before, giving me time to rest.

One more thing: I'm putting the "renovations" to my blog on hold first, because I cannot change the Archives section to match the Blogger Templates with the branching. So, for now, I'm stopping that. Meanwhile, I'm open to feedback from YOU, the reader / viewer of my blog. Do tag on my tagboard with suggestions on what I can do to improve my blog layout, or to alert me of any quirks / incompatibilities on other browsers than Safari 4 beta (I live in a very closed world, you see). If you think the blog looks ugly, that's a problem, and you must tag on my tagboard with the name of the browser which you are using.

One last thing: How should I reply to tags? Should I reply on the respective blogs? on FB? at the end of a blog post, like Ernest Quek does on his blog? or on my own tagboard, like I've been doing? I'm thinking of trying Ernest's method, because it seems to work for him. What do you think? Tag!

So, that's all that I wanted to say in this blog post.

tag reply...
>Magdelyn: Yo! Long time no chat! Life's good over here in Indonesia. How 'bout yourself?
>Jiayan: I've been great. You take care, too!
>Glenn: Ah yes, Combined Humans. Still remember how bitter I was everytime I get my SS/Hist results. EVERY TIME. Well, do what you must, as the teachers do what they must, i guess. All the best!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

change to the blog skin

If you're reading this on Facebook, go to my blog:

If you're on my blog, I believe you would have realised the minor
touches I made to the blog template.

Just to give a low-down on what has changed:

1. Nav Bar: I moved it to the right, and I made the nav options grey
and underlined to bring them out (so people know you're supposed to
interact with that thing), but still keeping it subtle.

2. If you look at the HTML code (don't), I added a black divider under
all the "H1" fonts for aesthetic purpose. So, this will affect the
headers on my frontpage and individual sections, including the dates
of my blog posts.

3. Neatened up the Front page by adjusting the padding between each
section. See how the Backtrack and Music are now level? They should
be, since they're of the same font and size. They weren't before due
to uneven padding.

4. Font size of the H1 fonts (the headers) are shrunk to make it look
more proportional to its importance in relation to the other parts of
the page.

5. Widened the content columns. I recommend a screen width of minimum

6. Removed the grayscale background for a white one. The previous
background was "taken" from another blog skin, hosted online. So, I
decided to get rid of it to keep my blog skin "personal".

I have not finished the renovations yet. I want to...
•redo the font type and size configuration blog-wide. Hopefully my
posts won't all be 8-point text, but instead, be more flexible.
•redo the Profile. It's a mess.
•neaten the bucket list. It's ugly.
•redo the Archive/Backtrack section. I want something that looks like
the Blogger Templates, where you get the expanding list.

I'll see how much of the items in the list I can achieve, so that's
why I'm taking a little longer with the renovations of this blog. It's
on-going. We'll see how things go.

09 NYR review 1

It's past the middle of March, so I thought I should check out how I'm doing with this year's New Year's Resolution so far...

  • I will get into Bellerby's College [UK] (in)
  • I will keep my mass under 75kg. (still under)
  • I will grow to above 1.80m by the end of '09. (not yet. Probably CMI.)
  • I will not go into overdraft when I am in the UK. (not in the UK yet)
  • I will keep in contact with my Singapore friends. (still am)
  • I will meet Indonesians in the UK. (not even in the UK yet)
  • I will cook at least once, be it in Indonesia before I leave, or in UK. (Well, I did help my mum make Japanese salad and popcorn, even though it requires little to no cooking skill. Whatever. They count, in my book)
  • I will post minimum 100 posts in 2009. A low target for a busy year ahead. (29 in January, 27 in February, 16 in March = 72. Very close.)
  • I will stop buying physical albums [i.e.: Music CDs] by the last quarter of 2009 [Oct-Dec]. I will, instead, buy online. (not yet...)
  • I will grow stronger in the LORD, and while I'm at this, (this is long-term)
  • I will find a church in the UK, and go to it regularly. (not in the UK yet)
  • I will get a new MacBook in 2009. (not yet)
  • I will drive with a license in 2009. (licensed, and driven)
  • I will vote in the 2009 Indonesian Presidential. SBY or Megawati? that's the question at the moment. (pending)
  • I will watch a performance of a choir in 2009. (not yet)
  • I will watch min. 3 movies in the theaters / cinema in 2009. (Push, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Valkyrie. Done!)
  • I will still take photos in the UK, but for artsy and casual reasons only. (Probably yes)
  • I will sit on the Airbus A380 for the first time in 09. (projected to be possible)
  • I will not be in Singapore for more than 100 hours in 2009. (around 48 h. Probably not gonna make it for this one. Exceeding 100h, with the Founder's Day - Teachers' Day weekend)
  • I will take up music lessons. Specifically, piano. (probably no)
  • I will run a half-marathon in 2009. [i.e.: 21km. Not competitive, though] (done!)
  • I will run in a running event in 2009, even if it's the London Marathon or Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon. Hey, if people from Africa fly all the way to run in Singapore, why not me? Hopefully, I'll be having my holidays by then. (No idea if this will happen. My guess is no.)
  • I will grow more muscles in my arms and the six-pack region. a four-pack would be nice, over the one bulge I have now.

  • So, the score so far: 7done+3projected/23. Just need to convert the 3 projected to 3 confirmed, and add 2 more, and I can say I "passed" my New Year's Resolution.

    Wait, is that how one determines a great year?

    Under renovation!

    I'm modifying the blog template.

    Please do not be alarmed if things look horribly wrong. Just be patient.

    This may be on-going till next week. You have been warned...

    Sunday, 15 March 2009


    My MacBook Pro has just celebrated its 1001st (or 1001th, whichever you believe is the correct one.) day since it was taken out of its retail box for a customer - me.

    Happy 1001th day since purchase, my scratched, outdated, missing-screws, RAM- & HDD-upgraded, and hence, still screaming fast
    (especially when compared to the latest, but still, crappy Windows laptops out there)
    MacBook Pro!

    Updated Specs:
    2.16GHz Intel Core Duo T2600
    2GB DDR2 667MHz SDRAM
    500GB SATA 2.5" HDD
    Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11 a/b/g
    4x Single-layer DVD burner Superdrive
    ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 256MB
    Backlit Keyboard and 2-finger-maximum multi-touch trackpad
    iSight Camera, Apple Remote, and MagSafe Connector
    Battery Life: 1h 30min on web browsing.

    Rating: 3.8/5

    Saturday, 14 March 2009


    first thing I wanted to mention before I start my post:

    For those of you in Singapore, the South Zone Centre of Excellence - Design, in collaboration with the Nat Geo Store in Singapore, has organised a Photography Competition entitled "Reflection". It's open to all Primary, Secondary, JC, IP, and MI schools/institutions in Singapore. Deadline is 4pm on 24 April 2009. Prizes include Panasonic Cameras, Cathay Photo Vouchers, and Nat Geo Store Vouchers. Do check it out if you are eligible and interested in Photography.

    Now that I've set that aside, it's time for my agenda for the year!

    I've been looking at my school term, vacations, and when I can be in Singapore/Indonesia.

    So far, this is what I'm planning to do for the rest of the year*.

    I'll be flying from Jakarta to Singapore on Thursday, 9 April 2009.
    On 11 April 2009, I'm going off from Singapore to London - Heathrow.
    School's Summer Term 1 starts 13 April 2009, ends 12 June 2009. School Summer Term 2 resumes 15 June 2009, ends 14 August 2009.
    I'll probably be flying from the UK tod Indonesia via Singapore between Friday, 14 August and Sunday, 16 August 2009.
    On Friday, 28 August 2009, I'll probably fly to Singapore, because there's Founder's Day on Saturday, 29 August 2009ª.
    I'll stay in Singapore till 1 September 2009, or, if flight tickets are too expensive and the economy is in the crapper, till 7 September 2009 because the Autumn term begins on 9 September 2009.
    Autumn Term ends 11 December 2009. I'm flying to Indonesia via Singapore again. In Indonesia till 9 January 2010.

    So, to summarize, in case you don't want too many words...
    (Warning, Airport code will be used in the following summary, where Jakarta = CGK, Singapore = SIN, and the UK via London Heathrow = LHR.)
    (p.s.: I broke the following agenda up into cycles of CGK>SIN>LHR>SIN>CGK)

    9 April - CGK > SIN
    11 April - SIN > LHR
    13 April to 14 August - 2 Summer terms of school
    15 August - LHR > SIN > CGK

    28 August - CGK > SIN
    29 August - Founder's Day
    31 August - Teacher's Day Celebration
    1 September - SIN > CGK, then 7 September CGK>SIN>LHR? OR
    7 September - SIN > LHR?
    9 September to 11 December - 1 Autumn term of school
    12 December - LHR > SIN > CGK

    13 December to 31 December - in Jakarta OR on family vacation

    9 January - CGK > SIN > LHR
    11 January to 26 March - 1 Spring term of school
    option to return to CGK?

    12 April to 18 June - last Summer term of school before the A Levels

    ª - tentative.
    * - subject to changes.

    iPhone 3.0 software?

    There's been news that the iPhone 3.0 software is being previewed on
    March 17th.

    So, knowing that, I have come up with a list of features I WISH to be
    included in the software...

    1. Tethering - Which allows you to use the 3G connection on your
    iPhone to browse the web from your PC/Mac. Basically, your iPhone
    becomes a modem for your computer. I'm doing this with a Samsung
    Windows Mobile phone.

    2. Three words: COPY AND PASTE - enuff said.

    3. Video camera - The iPhone has a camera and mic. It has a decent
    memory space. Why not allow VGA-quality video capture?

    4. Support for the new Apple headphones with the volume button -
    What's so difficult? The phone already supports headphones with the
    single button, why not the one with volume buttons?

    5. Voice recording - the new iPods (sans the shuffle) can record, why
    not the iPhone?

    6. Upload to Flickr & Facebook - iPhoto has this, why not the iPhone?

    7. Background Application services - Allow you to let an app continue
    running while the phone is asleep or the app is not open.

    8. Multi-tasking - Allow you to run multiple apps at once?

    9. GPRS shut-off - To disconnect the iPhone from the mobile data
    network, so that people who are on time-based internet plans or people
    with very limited internet cap can ensure nothing get through to the
    telco - other than phone calls, sms and data via WiFi.

    10. More uses for Bluetooth - E.g.: for the Remote or Keynote Remote
    App, maybe open up the Bluetooth API for developers to allow iPhone
    owners to use the bluetooth feature for more things other than for
    headphones. Maybe transfer Notes, Multiplayer games, etc. Probably not
    for sharing music/video files, though.

    I really hope No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 come true. At the same time, I
    hope there'll be an iPhone 3G with Video Call, or a Video call kit for
    the current iPhone 3Gs.

    Friday, 13 March 2009

    GH3 on Medium? Yes we can.

    Mark this day.

    On Friday, the 13th of March 2009, at the time of 11:25PM GMT+0700 (that's 14th March 12:25AM in Singapore Time),

    I have beaten Guitar Hero III on Medium.

    So, there. Let's put it to rest - I CAN play Guitar Hero 3 on Medium. As long as I put my mind to it!

    *Does a little victory dance to the song "Through the Fire and Flames" by Dragon Force - with my fingers*

    *not even 2 minutes into the song later thinks in his mind,"Ouch. Cramp. Carpal tunnel. sudo get me Medic...*. Sigh...

    (P.s.: Why the name of the band is R? I wanted it to be RL, since my 2nd bro and I have the same initial and I was playing on the now-"family"-iMac rather than "my Dad's iMac" or "my iMac", but when I was keying in the band name RL, the L, somehow, didn't get saved, leaving us with the R. Yeah. lame excuse.)

    32 songs in 8 minutes

    Take 32 songs (including some of your own compositions and some internet memes).

    Blender them, and pour out 8 minutes of a medley onto Youtube.

    This is what you get:


    Thursday, 12 March 2009

    maybe i'm slow...

    But did you see the new iPod Shuffle? The 3rd Gen was just released
    (and out of the blue, I might add).

    It's 4GB, comes in only black & white, S$129, and really, really,
    really tiny.

    And it comes with headphones and remote. Because that's the only way
    you can control your iPod shuffle - with the remote on the headphone

    But, still, really really really tiny. You can't beat that size.

    and VoiceOver. That's a neat feature to have on a Shuffle. It reads to
    you the title of the song / playlists. Supports 14 languages -
    including Chinese and Japanese. Now, how come the Macs and PCs still
    can't read Chinese without additional software, but an iPod Shuffle can?

    Tuesday, 10 March 2009


    Courtesy of Google Analytics.

    Since I started planting some code on this blog on 7 March 2009 for
    Google Analytics, I've been learning some very interesting things.

    These numbers look small, but that's only because the Analytics has
    gathered 36 hours of data, so just take it as it is.

    1. Amongst the people who read my blog, most use either Safari (32) or
    Firefox (26). Few use Google Chrome (5) or IE (10). (number of users
    in bracket)

    2. Top country by number of visits: Singapore, with 31 visits at 11s
    average time spent on the blog. But top country by total duration of
    time spent on site? USA, with only 17 visits, but 56 seconds average.

    3. The total number of Windows visitors to my blog (i.e. Users of
    Firefox, Chrome, and IE on Windows combined) is equal to the number of
    visitors on Safari for Macintosh.

    4. People who visit my blog use either Flash 6, 9, 10, or none. Funny
    thing? 35 ppl use Flash 9 - more than Flash 10 users (33).

    5. 41 people visited my blog once in the last 3 days. 6 visited twice.
    3 visited thrice. Most alarming? 9 people visited the site more than 8
    times. Or so Google Analytics said. Even I found this a little

    Maybe Google Analytics is a little hard to understand in some parts
    (at the moment, that is). But I must say, for a "stat counter", Google
    Analytics certainly provides some neat features in a very clean UI.

    More awesome comic links

    Ok, Before I post the links, I'll just explain why I don't just post the .png or .jpg files on my blog.

    The site requests that viewers do NOT post embed the comic images on other sites.

    As a person with respect for other people's works, especially this one which I enjoy and connect with, I am willing to give in to their request. So, knowing that, you should know how much I love the xkcd comics.

    Anyway, thought I should share a few more links.

    Network - For the people with several Windows PCs and NEVER PATCH THEM - let this be a suggestion to you on what to do if you get bored.

    Cautionary - For people who are curious about Linux. (Hint: Raymond)

    Blogofractal - For the people who have a blog, and regularly post things that get echoed along the echo chamber of the blogosphere. The content of this link should seem awfully (and creepily) familiar.

    My favourite comics. Officially.

    I normally don't read comics.

    Yeah, there's the occasional serving of Calvin & Hobbes, and The Sunday Times, but that's about it.

    Till today. After searching for the "sudo make me a sandwich" meme, I found the creator of the "sudo make me a sandwich" comic. And after looking at the other works, I love the XKCD comics.

    I'll post a link to some of my favourites.

    Induced Current for the Mythbuster fans

    Theft of a Magi, for people who shop and sell things online

    Terminology, for the people who know their Geography, and watch the news, and keep hearing how Europe is called the West, while Asia, the East

    Faust 2.0, for people who never bother to read EULAs.

    There's more, but these are just some that I managed to load on my web browser, on my weak internet connection.

    Monday, 9 March 2009

    favourite food list.

    I have never done this before. So I shall do my first ever list of
    food that I like.

    In my opinion, everyone will have several "most favourite food"s
    rather than 1.

    So, today, I shall list down the types of food that I'll miss from the
    two countries where I spent my childhood - Indonesia and Singapore!

    In no particular order...
    From Singapore...
    Bak Chor Mee from the noodle stall that used to be at the food court
    opposite the temple opposite SASS, and the one at MacPherson.
    Changi Village Nasi Lemak
    D24 Durian around Geylang (seasonal)
    Sushi Tei
    J.Co Donuts
    Din Tai Fung
    Hokkien Mee from Food Republic at Wisma Atrium
    咸鱼炒饭 from the Chicken rice stall opposite Potong Pasir CC.
    Bubble Tea circa 2001
    The vegetarian food stall at the Kallang Bahru Hawker Centre
    Bah Kut Teh from Zion Road
    Whampoa Rojak
    Beef Noodles from MacPherson Road (AKa the Saints Choir secret
    hideout, thanks to Miss Gan for introducing the place!)
    Ngo Hiong from MacPherson
    Porridge from MacPherson
    Ampang Yong Tou Foo from Sembawang
    Sik Wai Sin Eatery at Geylang Lorong 15

    From Indonesia...
    Laksa (Medan / Assam style) from Pluit Karang
    Nasi Timbel from Cikampek/Puncak/Bogor
    Mangga Harumanis (Mango) (seasonal)
    Sour Sally Fro-yo Yogurt
    Sushi Tei
    J.Co Donuts
    Tape (pronounced ta(as in the chinese word for 'big')-pay). It's
    fermented tapioca. And I love it.
    Tahu Tek-Tek from Surabaya (Tofu omelette with peanut sauce)
    Garuda Padang Food (also have a branch at VivoCity in Singapore, if I
    recall correctly, but with a more hygienic way of serving food)
    Pioh (Turtle soup) from Glodok, if I recall correctly.
    Yam bread from Eaton.
    Y&Y / Y Grill
    Lap Choi and Popiah/Lumpia from Pluit
    Ah Yat Restaurant, formerly at Dusit Mangga Dua.
    Pizza Marzano
    Seafood from Jelambar, Bali

    iPhone irony

    Question: Who can have iPhones?
    Answer: people who can afford them, including Talibans.

    Question: Who cannot have iPhones?
    Answer: people who cannot afford them, and people who are too rich, like the Bill & Melinda Gates household.

    these are just the things you learn from NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" news quiz.

    Sunday, 8 March 2009

    Vote Earth!

    March 28

    8.30pm to 9.30pm in your time zone.

    Switch off your lights. Switch off your aircon. Switch off your computers.

    Let's do this for the Earth.

    Saturday, 7 March 2009

    Music chart and Google Analytic

    Ok, call this an invasion of your privacy, but it's just a little experiment I'm running.

    I want to see how Google Analytic works, and how accurate it is in measuring viewership to a blog like mine. I do not plan to get any marketing initiative going on my blog anytime soon. Maybe further down the road - I'm still open to ideas.

    Anyway, now that I've set that aside, it's time for a music chart! Been a while, so I thought I should do a list right here, right now.

    Music chart for the moment...

    1, The Lightning Strike by Snow Patrol
    2. Syndicate by The Fray
    3. (Coffee's For Closers) by Fall Out Boy
    4. If I Were A Boy by Beyonce
    5. Spell by Marie Digby
    6. Perfect Symmetry by Keane
    7. Welcome to Heartbreak by Kanye West
    8. Crush by David Archuleta
    9. Lost+ by Coldplay feat. Jay-Z
    10. Love for a Child by Jason Mraz

    Speaking of Mraz, I really feel like he's one of those musicians that I have to see performing live. He was at Java Jazz, a Jazz music festival here in Jakarta. Yeah. a Jazz festival. And he's the biggest thing they had there. I didn't go coz the tix are quite expensive, and there was nobody to accompany me there. Plus, the festival tickets were sold out. I went past the Jakarta Convention Centre this evening, where the festival was held, and there was a long jam of cars trying to get into the JCC complex. Maybe I should have gone... *sighs while listening to Mraz songs*

    oh, if you're wondering why there's no ` above the e in Marie and Beyonce, I'm on Vista, and I don't know how to add the ` using the keyboard alone, unlike on a Mac where you can hold down alt-e. Oh well...

    Friday, 6 March 2009

    So bad...

    Haven't blogged in days...

    Been doing quite a lot these few days.

    3 March:
    I went to Bhinneka @ Mangga Dua to buy my hard drive. (Mangga Dua is like Jakarta's Sim Lim Square.)

    Initially, I wanted a 320GB 2.5" SATA Seagate HDD. But, when I asked them if they had a 500GB internal drive, they said they had a Hitachi drive. So, I asked them to show it to me. I didn't bring my Mac along. They took it out of the anti-electrostatic bag, and I held it, and I realised that it's very close to the thickness of my Mac's chassis. So, they told me that I could come back the next day and try to install it at the shop.

    4 March:
    The "next day" came. 

    I had to go to the hospital for a medical check-up for my UK studies. Had a blood and urine test. I must say, it's a bit tingly to have a needle pricked in your right arm, and have reddish-black liquid flowing out of a needle and into a bottle. Eww. And if you're asking why reddish-black, I have a very high haemoglobin and RBC count. in the normal range, but towards the higher end of "normal". So, I'm "acclimatized". To what? I don't know.

    Anyway, back to the HDD thing. I tried unscrewing my Mac apart [my 2nd bro has a torx T6 screwdriver (which I couldn't find in Singapore), but not a Size 0 Philip-head. So, you can imagine me being very happy when unscrewing the Torx, but not the many Philip screws.], and swapped the 160GB for the 500GB. Verdict: it's thicker. So thick, I cannot close the chassis back because the Bluetooth antenna was bulging above the HDD, and if I press too hard, it will compress the HDD and damage it. Not good. Solution? simple. I moved the antenna to the side of the HDD where there's a slit, rather than above the HDD in the default arrangement. Closed the case, screwed everything back. Other than a minor gap in the front, My Mac is fine.

    Oh, can I rant about the MBP pre-Unibody? I hate the fact that MacBook Pros have so many screws on them. To make things worse, they're microscopic. I had a frustrating time getting the screws in place. So glad the Unibody doesn't have the same problem.

    Also, I booked my ticket for my flight to the UK. On 9 April, evening, I'll be flying from Jakarta to Singapore. Probably staying in my guardian's house. Then, 11 April afternoon, I'm flying off to London-Heathrow. This is tentative and subject to changes, since the ticket hasn't been paid for. 

    Ok, carrying on... 

    5 March:
    I went to get the lab results from my check-up on 4 March. I also went to the dermatologist for my alopecia problem. The hair has grown, but because it'll take 6 months to grow, the doctor prescribed my medicine for the next few months. You won't believe what he prescribed. 2 bottles of some topical spray for the bald patch (I barely used a quarter of the one he prescribed to me in January), and get this: 128 tablets of Isprinol - 8 tablets a week. My eyes were so wide when I heard at the pharmacy in the hospital - "Sorry, we don't have 128, we only have 71. Is that ok with you?" Well, duh! You think I'll eat 128 tablets in such a short period of time? I'm getting worried that this tablet could be carcinogenic at such high dosages... 

    Oh, one more thing. My dad got an iMac from his friend. He gave it to me, but I'll probably leave it in Indonesia and let my Dad have it when he wants to start using a computer. (He hinted to me over dinner that he may need to use a computer soon for his work. Getting busy at the factory.). 

    It's the same iMac config as the one that was in Ms Chua's art room. ATi Radeon X2400 HD, 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB Ram, 250GB HDD (Only half of my laptop's HDD space, I might point out.). Pretty decent system.
    ---end of recorded journal---

    So, since I got the new HDD and iMac, I've been busy installing and updating lots of things.
    -Installed OS X onto the blank 500GB HDD.
    -Recovered my MacBook Pro using the Time Machine Backup and the OS X install CD.
    -Installed iLife '09 and Adobe CS4 onto my MacBook Pro.
    -Removed CS3 from the Mac
    -Set up the iMac
    -Install Adobe CS4, Aperture 2, Guitar Hero 3 onto the iMac
    -Install Vista on my MacBook Pro
    -Install drivers on my MacBook Pro
    -Transferred my iTunes Library to the iMac
    -Backed Up MacBook Pro with Time Machine.

    Left to do:
    -Download OS X 10.5.6 for the iMac
    -Install iLife '09 and Safari 4 beta on iMac.
    -Install updates to CS4, iLife, and the system on both iMac and MacBook Pro.
    -Install Office '07 on MacBook Pro Vista
    -Buy and install 2x2GB DDR2 RAM for iMac upgrade.
    -Recover podcasts from my old 160GB laptop drive. I didn't back up my podcasts in Time Machine, so when I recovered my MacBook Pro, my podcasts were gone.
    -Download Basic Guitar lessons for Garageband '09
    -Get a guitar. for real.
    -Finish Guitar Hero 3 on Medium. Can't believe how hard my favourite GH3 song (Knights of Cydonia by Muse) is on Medium.
    -Pack for my flight to UK
    -Finish reading Raymond's POA notes. Have to return them soon...

    By the way, if anyone comes to Jakarta, I highly recommend you try the Frozen Yogurt at Sour Sally. Available at most major malls in central Jakarta.

    Wow, this post sure is long...

    If Aperture is to be believed...

    I went to find out just how many shots my 30D has fired ever since it
    was manufactured.

    The shutter in DSLRs have a certain lifespan. The 30D is advertised to
    have a 100,000 shutter cycle life. So, worried about the possibility
    of my camera failing soon, I went to investigate how many shots I have

    Based on the file numbers, This was what I gathered from my Aperture

    Bought: June 2007, unknown number of shots.
    Shot number 9999 = 9 Aug 2007, NDP
    Shot number 14092 = 22 Dec 07, choir concert
    14093 to 18209 missing. confirmed - did not lend camera to anyone. so,
    take away 4118 shots from the subtotal.
    19999 = CCA Display 08
    29999 = Oct 08. Gone missing. lent?
    31122 = Last photo from Choir trip 2008.
    31878 = last shot in the Aperture library.

    Thus, Total = 31878 - 4118 = 27,760 shots

    I could have left out some shots from my calculations, or added too
    much from anyone who changed my camera filename sequence. But this is
    the best guesstimate I can give.

    So, assuming an average rate of 1,321 shots a month,
    my camera can last 75+ months,
    or 6+ years,
    or until September-October 2013!