Sunday, 27 December 2009

Owl City!

Alright, I need your help.

I just entered myself in this Owl City Music Mixing competition. Top prize is a pair of tickets to see Owl City at his/their UK Tour. So, here's what I want you to do.

Go listen to my mix, and then give it a vote by clicking on the "Thumbs Up" icon.

Apparently, I'm at 26th place out of 80, which is very good, considering the mix has only been up for a few hours, and some of the other mixes have been there since November.

So please, help push my mix into the top 10! Just listen to it, and vote for it!

Thanks a lot! This would make a lovely Birthday present!
(No pressure. If I don't win, I'd still buy the tickets out of my own pocket, anyway.)

Saturday, 26 December 2009

New Year's Resolution...

The New Year's coming!

So, here's a look back at my New Year's Resolution for 2009. Usual scoring technique - Green = 1 point for achieving, Orange = 0.5 points for half-achieving (i.e.: arguable), and Red = 0 for complete non-achievement.

  • I will get into Bellerby's College.
  • I will keep my mass under 75kg.
  • I will grow to above 1.80m by the end of '09. [no. I'm still at 1.7m]
  • I will not go into overdraft when I am in the UK.
  • I will keep in contact with my Singapore friends.
  • I will meet Indonesians in the UK.
  • I will cook at least once, be it in Indonesia before I leave, or in UK. [I can make a really nice Japanese-style salad and Marmite on toast, but they don't really count as cooking, do they?]
  • I will post minimum 100 posts in 2009. A low target for a busy year ahead.
  • I will stop buying physical albums [i.e.: Music CDs] by the last quarter of 2009 [Oct-Dec]. I will, instead, buy online.
  • I will grow stronger in the LORD, and while I'm at this,
  • I will find a church in the UK, and go to it regularly.
  • I will get a new MacBook in 2009.
  • I will drive with a license in 2009.
  • I will vote in the 2009 Indonesian Presidential. SBY or Megawati? that's the question at the moment.
  • I will watch a performance of a choir in 2009.
  • I will watch min. 3 movies in the theaters / cinema in 2009.
  • I will still take photos in the UK, but for artsy and casual reasons only.
  • I will sit on the Airbus A380 for the first time in 09.
  • I will not be in Singapore for more than 100 hours in 2009.
  • I will take up music lessons. Specifically, piano. [Guitar, actually.  And actually, I'm self-learning.]
  • I will run a half-marathon in 2009. [i.e.: 21km. Not competitive, though]
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 17/23=73.9%.

    Now that we've seen the past, let's plan into the future!

    Right, here's the New Year's Resolution for 2010! (A bit early, yes, I know. But I'm posting now in case I forget to do it later on. And besides, it's so close to the New Year anyway!)

    Broken down into 7 areas...

    •I will score 3 As for my A Level.
    •I will get to a University. Either Warwick, or Exeter, if not Manchester.

    Athletics & Fitness
    •I will log 250km of runs in 2010 on Nike+.
    •I will run a 10K in under 1 hour.
    •I will try to run a full marathon in 2010.
    •I will keep my weight under 75kg.

    Charity & Church
    •I will help at least 5 homeless people in Brighton directly (i.e.: not through giving money).
    •I will work at the charity shop for 100 hours in 2010.

    •I will pass my practical driving test and get a full license.
    •I will buy my first car.

    •I will attend at least 2 live events/concerts/gigs in 2010.
    •I will join a music team, be it the church music team, or a choir in Uni.

    Tech, Art & Social Networking
    •I will not buy any more Apple products. No iPods, iPhones, Macs, iSlate, etc. Only provision allowed: An Apple Remote, since mine is a bit wonky.
    •I will finish my short film project by the end of 2010. (Oh no. Not another DUE DATE!)
    •I will get a new Time Machine HDD.
    •I will post at least 200 blog posts.
    •I will post my 2,000th tweet in 2010.
    •I will get my 5,000th view on my Flickr Page.
    •I will increase the number of uploads I have on Flickr to 400.

    •I will visit 6 UK cities in 2010. Possible cities include: Coventry, Manchester, Exeter, Brighton, London and Portsmouth
    •I will go to at least 4 countries (Indonesia, Singapore and the UK confirmed, obviously. Maybe I should go visit the States or Aussie?)

    That's 21 items on my New Year's Resolution for 2010!

    Well, Hope you had a Merry Christmas. Here's to a Happy New Year, 
    and may the new year 2010 be a fruitful and blessed one!

    And if you are facing major challenges in the new year, be they major exams or whatnots, all the best, and remember that God is with you all the time. 

    Friday, 25 December 2009

    Merry Christmas!

    To all:

    Merry Christmas!

    Ok, this is not going to be as short as that - just 4 words. If I wanted to say only 4 words, I'll use Twitter.

    I'm trying to clear up my HDD, since I just realised that I'm down to my last 14GB or so. Not good.

    So much for my plans to move over to an SSD drive - I think that will have to wait, since I'm barely able to cope with a 256GB drive. I'll probably need to move on to a 0.5-1.0 TB SSD in the not-too-distant future - probably when my MBP reaches 2 years old.

    By the way, just curious - How far back does your digital photo catalogue go back? Also, how many of the shots you keep are 'bad' shots? I ask, because as I've been finding out, sometimes, you need to go through your photos and delete some of them - it might be when you're taking, or later on once transferred to your PC, or like me now - when in desperate need of some spare capacity (no, not the macroeconomic one).

    So here's a tip from me, if you're bored or if you need to take your mind off something - go through your old photos, and start deleting stuff you don't want to keep.

    Once again, 

    Have a blessed Christmas!

    Monday, 21 December 2009

    Music Reviews, and music chart for the moment.

    As promised, here's more reviews of the latest albums/singles/EPs!

    First up, it's my new favourite - OneRepublic, with Waking Up. I'm really hooked on this album. Kinda upset that none of the songs on this album (or the album itself, in fact) is not charting on the UK Top 40 singles / Top 5 albums, even though it's been out for quite some time. But nonetheless, I still think it's got a great setlist. Especially love the first 2 tracks, Made For You and All The Right Moves (note that the first track leads in to the next, so you have to listen to them in the set order to fully appreciate them). OneRepublic is, in a sense, Timbaland if he were 4 people who can play musical instruments, sing, and be melodic. There's lots of gusto, which is probably good for the head-bangers and rock-star wannabes who'll pretend to be drumming while listening to these tunes on the train. You know what? You'll love this album. Go have a listen! Rating: 9/10

    Must download: Made For You, All The Right Moves, Secrets, Good Life, Fear, Marchin' On, Lullaby

    Next up, a closely related friend to One Republic, it's Timbaland, with Shock Value 2. My answer is yes and no. Yes, this is basically Timbaland & friends making music together, and releasing an album with Timbaland as the album artist and main man. Nothing wrong with that. I mean, you hear him a lot more in this album than in SV1, so he deserves some recognition for that. Oh wait, no, who am I kidding? No. I mean, who thought Timbaland and Miley Cyrus would make musical BFFs? No. And there's too much Auto-tune, and it's not Owl City kind of Auto-tune. This album is a Jedward - it's a bit irritating.

    Ok, to be fair, there's some good bits in there, but unless you really like it after listening to the previews, I'd say don't bother getting this compilation. Rating: 5/10

    Must Download: Morning After Dark, If We Ever Meet Again, Undertow, Timothy Where You Been, Marchin On (yes, again)

    Ok, there you go. Music reviews. Now, there's one album that I'm going to do a review on soon, but before I do it, I thought I'd gather your opinions on it. Yes, it's a ronfiles homework! So, I want you to listen to "This Is War" by 30 Seconds to Mars (preview it on iTunes, or if you have their album already, then listen through it), and then tweet or comment under this post or tag on my tagboard, what you think of it, what score you'd rate this album out of 10, and what tracks you like. Doesn't have to be very wordy or long, just be honest about your opinions.

    Ok, now that I've set that aside, here's a music chart for the moment!

    Non-Christmasy Music chart for the Christmas season of 2009!

    1. Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind

    2. OneRepublic - Marchin On

    3. Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé - Telephone

    4. Alicia Keys - Doesn't Mean Anything

    5. David Guetta feat. Estelle - One Love

    6. FrankMusik - Re-Complete Me
    (yes, it's a half-hour remix of his entire album)

    7. James Morrison - Get To You

    8. Miley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A.

    9. Fall Out Boy - Alpha Dog

    10. Cheryl Cole feat. - 3 Words


    I need your help. Especially if you're a techie photobug who knows his gears. Yes, you.

    I have a Manfrotto 190XPROB, and I was thinking of getting a new ballhead that can support something like a 7D with a 16-35 lens (think 1.5kg) and still pan, and preferaby, tilt.

    So, I've looked at Manfrotto's website for the suitable models. Managed to narrow down my options to 3 - The 701HDV, 391RC2 and 128RC.

    Just a couple of problems remain.

    1. Which of the 3 should I get?
    2. Where can I get them?
    3. How much are they going to cost?

    If you can help me answer these questions, that'll be really helpful!

    And by the way, I may or may not be getting a 7D before the New Year. Then again, I think I should wait till after my As before I get a 7D. Let the price drop a little first, perhaps?

    Saturday, 19 December 2009

    Gift ideas!

    It's 5 days to Christmas! Are you still thinking of what to get? Got a budget? Well, I thought I could offer some suggestions for you if you are clueless!

    Let's work our way from the free to the uber expensive!

    •Some old stuff you have. 
    •Or just some TLC - a hug, a kiss, whatever.
    •Or why not share something this Christmas? watch a TV show you recorded? or read some web comics? May I recommend or

    Really cheap (S$2 to S$10-ish): 
    •Erm, a Christmas card, I guess, preferably snail-mailled. I mean, when was the last time you sent something through the post? Been a while, hasn't it? So why not do something this Christmas?
    •Chocolates / confectionary stuff, because it's the festive season.
    •Dental/hygiene products, to remind them to take care of their teeth, especially after eating so much sweet stuff.
    •A Magazine. Yes, there's a price tag on it, but hey, at least you got something they can use.

    Moving up... (S$10 to S$50-ish):
    •Gift Card. From Borders or iTunes. But really? A gift card?
    •A CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray. I recommend Susan Boyle, OneRepublic, Lady Gaga, Muse, 
    •A casing for their iPod/iPhone/whatever. Alternatively,
    •Socks work as good cases for the above-mentioned gadgets, as well as your feet.
    •Clothings/accessories. Get them a tie or hairband, perhaps, if you're on a lower budget.
    •Some puzzle thingy. A Rubik's cube?
    •A book? A recipe book? Or maybe a novel? Or maybe just something interesting? I recommend Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics!
    •Speaking of books, how about a really nice bible? Especially if you know this person's current one is not in good form anymore?
    •For the shutterbug, don't get them a camera, just get them a camera strap. They'll be happy, and they'll always remember you when they carry their camera.
    •For the student/businessperson, a thumbdrive. These things are quite cheap today, and they're as useful as a Swiss Army Knife. Good gift, I'd say. Unless they already have one. In which case, buy a bigger capacity from their existing one.

    Further up... (S$55 to S$200)
    •An iPod shuffle or nano. nuff said.
    •Really nice earphones. Head over to for recos.
    •A really nice watch. Assuming this person likes watches. I don't.
    •A nice dinner out?
    •A game. Might I recommend Gran Turismo or Little Big Planet for the PSP, plus the following multiplatformers: Modern Warfare 2, Need For Speed: Shift, Guitar Hero 5 / Rock Band: The Beatles.

    Moving further up... (S$250 to S$1000)
    •A Point-and-shoot camera. May I recommend the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1?
    •An External HDD. Anything Seagate/WD.
    •A new phone. Blackberry 9700 or 8520 or Storm 2, if you're into the BlackBerry. But otherwise, iPhone 3GS, HTC Hero, Palm PrĂ©, Motorola Droid, they're all interesting.
    •A netbook. Don't ask me what's good. I hate these things, but they're popular, so I included them in this list.
    •A holiday overseas! Just not Bali. Don't go to Bali at this time of the year - it'll be quite crowded. Don't take British Airways either. And avoid London if you are planning on taking public transport or renting a car. Head North for the cold, or South for the warmth.

    You're bleeping rich... (Anything above S$1000)
    •Canon EOS 7D.
    •MacBook Pro. or the new iMac with Core i7 processors. Watch out for cracked screens, though.
    •A Fiat 500 or Honda Jazz.
    •Did I say Canon EOS 7D? No. Get a Hasselblad. You're mad!
    •Heck. A Ferarri F458 Italia. Won't ship in time, but it's the thought that counts, right?
    •A ticket on SpaceShip Two. You know. That Virgin Galactic spacecraft.

    Alright. I don't know what to buy for Christmas, ok? Go think of something yourself!


    Just came back from the cinema. Watched Avatar in 3D - the second movie that I managed to watch in 3D. It's a brilliant work, I must say. Don't want to give spoilers, but the story's brilliant, and it's even better in 3D, with its use of the z-dimension to create visual depth and detail. I highly recommend catching this movie in 3D if you can, even if you've watched a 3D movie before.

    And if you've seen the movie, there's one question that I have to ask about the storyline - one that still baffles me.

    SPOILER ALERT> Highlight over the next few lines to see the text

    We all know that the "Sky People" managed to bring down the treehouse above the ore that they were after. Then, why were they still after the Navi people when they have clear access to the area? Why did they attack the Navi again? I'm a bit lost.


    Once I get an answer to this question, I'll change my rating on the movie. But if I can't, I'm afraid I'll have to call this an attempt at upping the action level, and hence give it a 7/10. Which is already a high score, even with this glaring question mark that remained at the end of the movie.

    And by the way, if you're wondering why I haven't been tweeting or FB-ing, let's just say I'm not buying a SIM card for my iPhone - my main tweeting/FB-ing device. Which means I can only access FB/Twitter when there's WiFi, which is only when I'm home, which is quite rare.

    So please don't tell me I need to tweet more. I'm in Facebook/Twitter rehab, and it's not that bad. Especially since it's Christmas - talk to some real people, alright?

    Have a jolly Christmas, everyone! (in case I don't blog again till after X-mas)

    Friday, 18 December 2009


    I realised that the titles of my blog post are quite meaningless, because I tend to choose a title, and then make a post, forgetting that I had a title at the top of the post. So, there you go. Untitled post. So I'm free to talk about what I want, without thinking of following a thread. (You have been warned.)

    If you're wondering where on earth I am (literally), I'm actually at home in Jakarta. Home sweet home. The unfortunate thing is that I'm still kind of jet-lagged. Sleeping 2-5am, waking up 12noon-ish. It's slowly moving back to a normal 12mn-9am sleep cycle, but till then, I'm staying off caffeine.

    Been trying to study for the AS (plus a few A2) papers in January. I have to confess - I feel that studying in December is like child-labour - it's unethical, because it robs the person of the freedom to enjoy, relax, and celebrate the festive season (and gain weight). But that's my opinion. Must. Study. Psychology. I mean, I'm not too worried about Maths and Econs, and I just need to read up a bit more of the Accounting theory and stuff, but Psychology is a lot harder to study for. Tons of different theories, explanations, approaches, models, treatments, etc. intertwined with hundreds of researchers' names to remember. But since I got myself into this mess (nobody forced me to take Psychology. Just me and my ego.), I have to face the music like a man.

    Oh, I've been thinking of embarking on a multimedia project soon. Much like my 'O' Level Art Coursework - a video, coupled with an original audio track, depicting a certain theme/story. At the moment, I need a theme to work on, so that I know what to work towards. So far, I have 2 on my mind - the urban/city life, or the earphones/speakers/mp3 player. The former, because I just want to try making stock-like video. The latter, because I think many of us listen to music on our commute to school/work, and sometimes, you see people behaving in a way that shows they're rocking to the music, but suppressing it really well. And I thought I can use my video to show an amplification (heh. no pun intended) of this perhaps-innate response to Lady Gaga. Of course, this is a spare-time-only project, because I really shouldn't be doing this when I have exams to prepare for. It's just that I've been having itchy fingers lately, if you know what I mean.

    Gosh, I really want a 7D and a video-friendly ballhead (Reccos, anyone?).

    Anyway, speaking of video, I was watching this HD short-film that I downloaded from the BBC iPlayer some time ago. Hooked my Mac up to my 720p TV, and gosh, did it look good. The story was good, too. Entitled "Pop Art" by Amanda Boyle, it's about this strange friendship between Toby, a kid who's lost him mum and Arthur, a new classmate who's born with a 'genetic disorder that causes him to be born a balloon' (hence the title, I guess). It's an odd story, yes, but I think it's a bit of a reflection of how people sometimes let their negative emotions overcome them. If you're geeky enough to know how to set up a proxy or search on Youtube, do try to watch it. It's a heart-warming clip, IMO.

    But if you have no idea how to set up a proxy (it's alright. me neither.) then you can have this as a consolation prize. If you're a fan of The Bugle - Audio Newspaper for the Visual World podcast, then you should listen to "Andy Zaltsman's History of the Third Millenium", a comedic view of the past decade. It's on the iPlayer, but because it's audio-only (radio broadcast), it's available for streaming worldwide, as with most other BBC Radio programmes. Other programmes I recommend - The Now Show [also available in podcast form worldwide]. But please, don't let these links be your only source of news. You'll sound really weird in conversations about the latest news.

    By the way, for people who often look at my scrobble charts, there's been a slight glitch with the Scrobbler App on my Mac, so I had to uninstall it and use a different scrobbler, which seems to also have its own share of bugs. Seems like upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard, and then from iTunes 8 to 9, added with the zero-response from the coders, might have led to me being unable to submit about half of my scrobbles. So, fingers crossed, let's hope things work with this new 3rd-party scrobbler. If you were reading this paragraph and scratching your head, head over to and use the service.

    Ok, got to sleep now. Post ends here.

    Thursday, 10 December 2009


    I've just finished reading SuperFreakonomics (finally! after 48 days, with constant interruptions!). If you're doing any form of Economics, I suggest you read this book - it'll help with your microeconomics, not because it's a revision guide, but because it makes the subject come alive. Just make sure you read this book with an open mind and from a matured point of view. Because it does talk about prostitution patterns around holiday seasons.

    I've been pondering about one theme that constantly pops up in a subliminal way in the book - Incentives. Economists would like to think we, being rational human beings, react to incentives.

    People choose to Bit Torrent their favourite TV shows rather than buy a DVD because they have the incentive of saving money and travelling/waiting time, while enjoying, maybe, a higher quality version (HD?).

    People have an incentive to take public transport because they won't have to worry about the cost involved in owning a car - taxes, fuel, insurance, etc.

    Secondary school students used to join CCAs because that meant they get more CCA points, which can potentially cut off 2 points from their L1R5, allowing them to gain access into better JCs. But if the CCA Points system was to be stopped in a certain year, will people continue to join CCAs? Or would they prefer something else - maybe LAN gaming? or sleeping at home? or TV?

    Students in my school tend to leave 3 days before the end of the term because they know this is the time when all the students disappear, and the teacher don't do much other than chat with you in an effort to, well, kill time before the period ends. Because they can't carry out their lesson plan, or else 80-90% of the class would be left out. And besides, extending your holiday back home by another 3 days - who wouldn't want that? And furthermore, there's no loss by going back home 3 days earlier, because there's no way to punish, and if the teachers were to alert the parents, erm, the parents kind-of knew the students skipped 3 days of lessons already, actually. So what's the point?

    The above examples are pretty obvious cases of incentives in action.

    But then I've been thinking of some other scenarios where incentives don't seem to fit in to the reason people do certain things.

    1. Twitter. Facebook. Web 2.0 stuff.
    What is the incentive for people to use social networks? If you were a media company, that's obvious - marketing. But if you're John Doe, an ordinary folk who happens to own a computer, why should you spend time on Farmville?

    2. Charity. Altruism. Good deeds.
    What is the incentive for people to do charity work? What makes people volunteer to serve? Why do people lend money to strangers?

    3. Crime.
    What is the incentive for people to commit a crime? I mean, there's a lot of disincentives, but there are people who constantly challenge the law. So there has to be an incentive there, right?

    Well, what do you think? Toss in your theories on the tagboard or in the comments section.

    Before I end off this post, I want to talk more on number 2.

    We all like to think we are nice people. We think we enjoy helping others, and sometimes, we help others, through direct or indirect means, often expecting nothing in return. We call in when there's donation drives on TV (ok, there's some corruption in some organisations, but we'll overlook that in this post). We might even go on visits to institutions and meet people who need help.

    But why is it that in a world where there are people who can afford to own a yacht, there are also people who worry if they can find water or food tomorrow? Why is it that in a city where there's Lamborghinis and Mercedes SLKs parked outside the houses in it, there are also people who sleep on the streets and beg for money? Why is it that in a country where there's people who are well-off, there's also people who are starving?

    I've been involved in the 'Helping People' team in my church, and we've been trying to find ways to reach out to the community and help those in need. It's quite shocking to see the homeless people all around Brighton. And that's not the only problem in this area. Sexual abuse, domestic violence, drug abuse, there's so many areas that need help.

    But then I realised - if God has blessed me with the abundant provisions in the form of physical ways (as well as social ways, in the form of love and care from the people around me), perhaps I should share these with others who lack them.

    I really believe that if you feel that you have been blessed, you should bless others and fill someone's need. It can be academic, it can be social, or maybe someone just needs a little encouragement. If you have the ability to help, then go forth and lend a hand, an ear, or whatever the need is.

    It's Christmas season, a time of giving. Think of doing something nice!

    Thursday, 3 December 2009


    This will be quick.

    For those of you who love to mess around with people's minds (or doing
    KI/Philosophy), here: some video clips on paradoxes

    (P.s.: there's one on the crocodile paradox which requires you to go
    on Youtube and making choices in the clips. Has to be played in HD to

    (P.s.s.: more clips to come this week. It's Rocketboom's Paradox Week,
    so yeah. For those who don't know, Rocketboom is a daily video podcast
    that talks about intelligent stuff - tech news, Internet memes,
    theories, history, news, etc. A bit like my blog, and then some.)

    Sent from my iPhone

    Wednesday, 2 December 2009

    Techie post

    It's been a few moons ago (I mean it this time) since the last time I actually talked tech.

    So, to make up for it, I'm going back to one of the many strands of roots from which this blog stemmed. (Can't say I'm going back to my roots, since this blog isn't really a tech blog, but a tech+music+personal rant blog).

    By the way, it's a long post, so treat it as 3 separate posts, if you prefer. Each part starts with a theme that's in bold.

    Anyway, yesh, where were we?

    Google Wave. I wanted to post a status on Facebook saying "what is the purpose of Google Wave's existance"? Because from what I see, it's just a massive IM + Google Docs thing put into one. Maybe I'm being old-fashioned here, or maybe I've been living the iPhone lifestyle for too long, but really, why do we need Google Wave? I mean, yes, I know, it's good for collaboration, and I'm sure many people would enjoy working with other people using Wave. But for the rest of us - the average human being who has non-techie friends who can't give a shyte about Wave - it's useless. You'd probably be doing whatever it is you are collaborating on much faster if you met up face to face, rather than working in Wave, because half of the time, you'd be explaining to them how things work.

    I mean, did you watch the Google keynote? The Keynote to explain Google Wave took 1 hours 30 minutes+! I mean, that's one product! Apple takes the same amount of time to refresh an iPod line-up! Microsoft takes half an hour to launch Windows Vista! Wave? 90 minutes plus. No average Joe has the attention span of more than an hour to understand what a Google Wave is. I'm sorry, but this Wave thing will not catch on, unless Google can summarise its features in a bullet-point list. Till then, Google Wave sits in the bin of "Things I can use but don't".

    K. Topic numero duo: DJ Hero. This disc-jockey game that costs about £99, the last I checked at the local HMV, seems like it should be a popular title this holiday season. After all, it's like Guitar Hero - a music game that uses some Fisher-Price plastic peripheral to play, so it should catch on like its cousin, right?

    Well, it didn't. I read an Ars.Technica article last month on why this was so. And after pondering on their theories a little bit more, I think they're right. (Sorry, no link. School PC a bit too slow to handle tabs.)

    DJ Hero involves the use of a plastic turntable and a fader on the side. Unless you've been DJ-ing, this is going to be a steep learning curve. To make matters worse, the music you hear have been premixed, so you'll be quite unfamiliar with the music you hear, even though they take parts from familiar tracks like Boom Boom Pow or Hollaback Girls. And to add another layer of "This game is for cool people only", the game is not easy to play perfectly. You have to slide the fader at the right time, and when sliding back to the centre, not slide too much or you'll toss the track to the opposite side. This is done while you basically scratch the disc and mash buttons on it. That's 3 tasks. Plus looking at the screen trying to figure out the controls, you'll be pushing your hand-eye coordination while the turntable itself tries to throw you off, with the 360-spinnable disc and the low-friction fader. All this, while listening to mixes you're unfamiliar with.

    Contrast this to the Guitar Hero experience - Mash buttons with fingers on one hand, "strum" with the other, and time strums with the screen, while listening to "Knights Of Cydonia" by Muse. Very fun, very nice, and you feel cool, especially if you don't cock up.

    On DJ Hero, you'll get your music taken away from you, you'll be confused at the controls, you'll not like the music, and youy're not having any fun at all. Not cool.

    I'm quite sad, actually, that DJ Hero is such a flop. It had the potential to be a new fad, flooding YouTube with gameplay footages of people acing the game. But sadly, it's such a steep learning curve, it's not fun. In the same way I thought MMORPGs are not fun. Because the people who are good at it are socially remote introverts.

    Well, most of them.

    Finally, before I sign off and disappear to class, I want to talk about Borders.

    Borders UK, the bookstore, just went into adminsitration a few days ago, for those outside the UK. It's quite depressing to see such an awesome bookstore suffer so much. If you walk into some of their stores, you'd see the magazine section basically reduced to one shelf of leftover stock, and their books on their display tables like a discount bazaar at a Pasar Malam.

    From what I've gathered, they've had a hard time competing with online bookstores like Amazon, and with the supermarkets such as Tesco now taking a share of the market, Borders has tried massive discounts on their stuff to compete with these other guys. Sadly, the massive discounts came at a cost, and Borders couldn't pay their debts towards some of their suppliers. As a result, some suppliers stopped supplying books, and Borders, desperate but unable to get a buyer, tanked.

    Which brings me to my main point - online stores. I know people like the online experience of buying goods from their PC and getting them delivered to the door, including groceries (Ocado, for example). But I think brick & mortar stores should still exist, even in the advent of the digital age. How else can you talk to real people, or pick the freshest fruits that they have, or flip through a preview of what the book is like, or .... you get the point. There are some things online cannot replace. This, coming from a person who's pro-technology, might be a bit ironic, I understand. But in all seriousness, I really believe there's still a room for the brick and mortar stores, even in the digital age.

    What do you think?

    And by the way, how's Borders in Singapore? Hope it's still a great place to go to (other than to buy music. Their catalogue is always in such a mess, I don't even bother to try searching for music albums there anymore.)