Neko

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mixed Fortunes

Yesterday was a day of mixed fortunes for me.

I was working as the official photographer on the Open Day of my college. Then, I was to attend a reunion party with my classmates from my HSC days. Titus hitched a ride with me.

Before I left, I gave the passwords to my laptop to my dad (I'm changing it later btw). He's going to PC Depot to buy some RAM, so he decided to give my laptop a little boost too. Problem is, he heard that branded computers use non-standard sockets so that the generic stuff won't fit. Therefore he wanted to bring my laptop there for on-the-spot testing.

I couldn't decide how much RAM I wanted. The more the merrier, but I didn't want dad to spend a fortune on it. So I asked dad to check the prices and buy whatever that fits the bill. Then, off I went to fetch Titus, and back to college.

We arrived early so we spent about an hour walking aimlessly through the corridors, and eventually went to the hostel to watch TV (Discovery Channel, what else :p ). Went back to college at 9-something.

The Open Day itself went well. I snapped about 90+ pictures (unusually low number due to the absence of camwhores). There were quite a few familiar faces, like my former tuition teacher, Chun Keat the astronomer (why didn't he bring his L lens ...... I could have borrowed it T_T ), and my former teacher's son (where's my teacher?).

As for the lunch... its red...... all read...........

The rice is red...
The vege is red...
The meat is red...
Everything's swimming in red gravy......

Death is near.......

Anticipating a firestorm on my tongue, I ran over to the nearby convienience store and bought 2 cans of my favorite drink: jasmine tea. But in the end, it turned out it wasn't that spicy. Its roughly on par with the beef rendang mom cooks (to be fair, mom's rendang is tailored to suit my spice-intolerant tastes).

When the Open Day is over, I waited for Titus a while (he went off to play DotA with some friends) and later head off to Gurney Hotel. I originally intended to follow someone there, but since everybody is heading home to change first, and we're short on time (its rush hour too), we decided to stumble our way there. Let memory (more like instinct, or perhaps vague images at best) and signboards guide our way...

While driving straight across a T-junction, a car suddenly turned into the main road (in front of me) when he shouldn't. Fortunately, I had good brakes, and stopped just in time. Just barely. Unfortunately, the guy behind me was either following too close, or didn't have the same privilege of good maintenance.

Bang!

I'm just glad to motorcyclist who ran into me was unhurt, but his scooter is history. The plastic parts fell all over the place. The cover of my car's boot compartment is bent, and one of the rear lights were out of place. Bumper is scratched.

I was in a hurry, and he wanted to discuss this with his dad anyway. So we exchanged names, IC, and phone number and left. My misfortunes weren't over. There were road cloasures everywhere. Add that to the massive jam, and my unfamiliarity to the roads in the area, I'm lucky to reach the hotel at all. Hate the drive up to the hotel carpark. Costs RM4 (thanks to Titus for footing the bill) and its one crazy spiral like Prangin Mall and Gurney Plaza.

The alumni gathered outside the ballroom first, trying to wait for everyone to arrive before entering but eventually went in without IICP HSC 05's sweetest couple :p (Hint: Piano and Prom)

We were one rowdy crowd... It was loads of fun. Pity many didn't came.

The guy to ran into my car arrived at the lobby later, and called me. While I was busy driving and chewing on lasagne, he was talking to my parents at home, and my dad agreed to settle the matter for RM200. So I went to the lobby with Titus to collect the money. I also borrowed some stationary from the hotle reception to put it in black and white, that the matter is settled.

At least the guy who ran into me was a reasonable gentleman. If it were some gangster, or even just someone who swears non-stop, I don't think this matter would have settled as quickly, pleasantly and peacefully as it did. Kudos to this certain Mr Leo ;)

As for the party itself, we were one rowdy bunch. I can see the hotel staff putting on a big smile as the show goes on, like when we forced Yi Juin and Mr. Goh onto the stage to sing, and another lecturer to dance.

After the party, we stumbled our way home again. This time, we managed to find our way to the PORR, and went to the bridge from there. I felt tired half way across the bridge, so I let Titus take over the wheel when we reached to Juru rest stop. I fell asleep until we arrive at Kulim.

When I got home, I just brushed my teeth and sleep. Didn't bathe. It was about 12.30am, the end of a tiring day. Did I mention I had several cups of coffee (Nescafe was distributing free coffee at the college) and yet another during the party? Maybe it was decaf... oh well......

Next morning, I woke up at around 9am to find the PC was upgraded to 1GB RAM (from 256MB). My laptop now has 1.25GB RAM (from 512MB). Yahoo~ Long live daddy!!!

Unfortunately, the PC had lots of problems since the RAM was installed. I don't know if the RAM was dad, or something was broked when dad tried to force the RAM into place. In any case, I'll be busy trying to save whatever data I can, and figure out how to fix the problem. It won't stop crashing and restarting.

In the meantime, is there anyone reading this interested in taking my old laptop RAM off my hands? Its a 1 1/2 year old, 256MB (I can sense many people losing interest after reading this...) Samsung 144-pin, 1.8V, SO-DIMM DDR-2 RAM. Mint condition.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friends?

Quite recently, a total stranger sent a friend request to me on Friendster.

Approved.

Her MSN address was there, so I asked her why would she want a total stranger on her friends list

"Juz need to find new friends", She said.

Right...

So from that day onwards, she just sits there on my Friendster friends list, and my MSN contact list. Not a word uttered.

Is her defination of "friend" just a pretty picture and a name (not even a real name in most cases) on Friendster?

That's pathetic! I wonder what on earth led to this.

Oh well, at least I've got real friends (right folks?). In fact, I had a little reunion with a few of my high school friends and my math tuition teacher just 2 days ago. Pity I brought my camera, but left my memory card plugged into my laptop at home.

Saturday will Open Day at my college. I'll be helping out as photographer (yet again). Good, I'll bug the Finance Department for my November pay too while I'm there. Later that night, I'm off to yet another reunion, this time with my HSC05 gang, hehe. Too bad not too many people will be turning up, but oh well... I'll bring along my dSLR, just to snap a few momentos, and since that a friend of mine asked what's the big deal with SLRs. No way I'm going to be the official photographer, even if that means no one is snapping the entire event. I wanna enjoy the buffet, the entertainment, and the company for once! Haven't did that in 2 years! lol.

In the meantime, I'll just rot in front my of laptop. Holidays get boring if you don't find something to keep you on your toes.

*Runs "Medieval 2: Total War" yet again*

Mwahahaahahaha~~, death to all who oppose me!

*Watches entire army get trampled by 2000 Mongol horsemen. Fallen warriors from both sides litter about an entire hill*

What the....... o_0"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

University Application...

My application to study BSc. (Nanotechnology) in University of Queensland has been.........

Rejected

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ARRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grr....PLAN B! Hope this works... Because I don't have a Plan C.

^%^$%^^"::$%:}%@#:';;$#%{}%ARRRGGGHHH!!!#%@%^@%$#@$%@#$%:">{p":%{:%^#$%@#$%#$$@#%%

Monday, December 11, 2006

Battle Scars

Two bruises on my thigh, from the paintball war on the other day. Each about the size of a 10 sen coin, like a pair eyes giving me that frightening hollow stare. This is what happens when a paintball hits you from a marker about 4-5 metres away.

Grr... I want a rematch! (but I'm broke.... T_T )

At least I'm better off than the referee, lol. Someone shot him in the groin during all the confusion, hehe.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Paintball

Who would have thought its such a demanding game?

I went to a paintball game with 13 of my friends (and friend's boyfriend, and his brother, and yet another friend's brother, and the lecturer, and his recently wed bride............)

At first, we opted to buy 100 pellets per person for RM50. Then, we were briefed on the basics and safety, tucked into a vest, put on a face mask, and pushed into the warzone.

First round was more of a camping game. After the first few got picked out, the whole thing disintegrades into a war of attrition, which my team lost... I got shot in the head.

While another team goes in and play (hardcore players... these guys own their own pro gear), we decided that 100 rounds won't be enough fun. Besides, some of us were too eager to dish out some pain, while others like myself are more on the frugal side (or maybe its because we were too busy getting shot).

So, the decision was made, to buy a whole box of ammo. That's right, we took the whole 2000 round box. That makes a total of 3400 pellets (2000 pellets + 1400 pellets in the first round) we are going to pop this glorious morning.

We've made a change in strategy too. No more hiding. The idea is to take as much ground as possible, deny the opposing team of their cover, and hopefully take their base (or just kill the lot of them).

Of course, that's easier said than done. At the beginning of each round, our markers are filled full of pellets. At the end, the unused pellets are poured back into the box and redistributed. Another gang goes in while we catch our breath, and its our turn again once they're done, lock and loaded.

By the time we spent all our pellets, I have taken yet another shot in the head, 1 shot to the left arm, 2 shots to my left thigh, 1 shot at my marker (yes, it counts as a "kill") and one shot to my rear. Last one was an illegal shot btw, I was already out of the game and was leaving the field when someone thought its funny to shoot my rear end. I'd be murdering if I find out who did that. Anyway, all those shots (except the headshots, thanks to the face mask, and the rear end shot, thanks to adipose tissues) left a bruise on my skin.

There was also a smaller bruise mark on my right arm, left my a pellet that hit me, but bounced off without breaking. I'm not sure if I KO'ed anybody in the game. If anyone, it'll be Mr. Loh, hit in the neck, but I coulnd't be sure. His wife was great btw, she sneaked up on Poh Yin and shot her from behind.

My team only won once, credit goes to Benjamin's brother for charging the opposing team's base. It was fun though, I look forward to another game, although I didn't appreciate having my shoes buried in mud (who wants to attend my shoe's funeral?) and my pants almost completely covered in it too.

I'm not sure if the paint would come off the clothes easily though. Will find out tomorrow.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bejeweled

Observation 1: Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
Observation 2: Girls like to camwhore.

Conclusion: Best Christmas gift for a girl is:


DISCLAIMER:
This blog entry is intended as a humourous play of some common female-related stereotypes. It does not imply anything, and should not be treated as such.

The camera is for real though, apparently a modified Powershot SD900 (also known as Ixus 900 Ti in this part of the world). It will be auctioned in conjunction of the 10th aniversary of the Powershot series of cameras, and is valued at USD50,000.

A pity... such a huge price tag, but no image stabilizer :p

Source:
http://tech.msn.com/guides/slideshowht.aspx?cp-documentid=1213465

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Vlad Tepes Hotel

Last night, Velocity Forums got hacked and defaced. Judging from the text and the presence of the red star and cresant emblem, I'm guessing the hackers are Turkish. Some gang called "Wolf Security".

I must say... they should hire a graphics designer. lol.

Anyway, when the site went back online an hour later, the admin started a thread about the hacking, and let everyone rant all they want about it.

I posted something, and thought its funny enough to share here. Of course, that assumes you understand the dark humour behind it, heheheee...

Congratulations on your sucess of hacking VF. You have just won a FREE stay at Vlad Tepes Hotel for life! Located in the lush countrysides of Romania, Vlad Tepes Hotel is a horror themed hotel guaranteed to turn your stomachs.

If horror isn't your cup of tea, our staff are happy to blind your senses with a healthy dose of methanol. Then, we are certain you will find our magnificant hotel the best place to sit back, relax, and let the masseur do wonders do your tired body.

Don't miss this invitation only offer!

PS:Special room service for Turkish prisoners (err.... patrons)

Vlad Tepes Hotel. Where everyday is Halloween!

Go read up some history if you don't understand what I'm talking about :p

Or bug me on MSN la, whatever.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New DVD Writter for Me

Wee~~ Got my laptop a new DVD writer!

No no no... I'm no computer hardware shopaholic, lol. This one is a replacement unit from Dell, have to return the old and defective one.

My old DVD writer (NEC ND-6500) had problems reading DVDs. I had to eject and reinsert it (plus praying hard) repeatedly just to get it to read the disc, when those freshly burnt ones. And mark my words, I've done some research before choosing which DVDs to buy. These are good quality stuff. It has to be good quality. Those photos in it are priceless. In fact, I have two copies of each disc just to be safe.

Anyway, I emailed Dell about the problem 2 days ago, just before the end of office hours, hehe... By next morning, they asked me to perform some tests, and arranged for a replacement to be delivered to me after I sent them the test results. Package arrived this morning while I was reading the papers in my PJs and chewing on cheese cakes.

Apparently, they didn't just replaced my DVD writer, they upgraded it! lol. Now its an NEC ND-6550, Hahaaa. Anyway, problem is fixed. All the DVDs I've tried run fine. I've got lots of stuff to backup now. Thanks to PC Fair, I've got all the discs I need...

I also took the liberty to compare spec sheets of the two DVD writers on the internet. Apparently, the new drive is a little faster when writting rewritable (both CD and DVD) and dual layered DVD discs. Bummer... I don't use either......

Anyway, thank goodness for the 3 year extended warrenty. Worth the money.

UPS

Finally, I've managed to pry my eyes off my laptop and install the UPS (Uninteruptable Power Supply) to my home PC.

The reason for the purchase is:

  1. Voltage regular got fried, after a decade of faithful service.
  2. Need something to protect the phone lines. 2 NICs got fried by Zeus so far. No further damage fortunately. I hear someone else had BBQ routers many times over.

So, dad got a UPS to fill these roles, and with backup batteries to boot!

It was quite a hassle dealing with the tangled mass of copper. Especially when there aren't enough sockets to go round!

There were 5 sockets. 1 is surged protected only, and the other 4 are connected to the batteries. Of these 4, 1 could not be used because it's not meant for the standard 3-pin plug. Its the type you're more frequently find on electric kettles, but reversed, with holes instead of pins. That leave 3 sockets with backup power.

After consulting with dad, I pluged the energy hungry ones directly into the UPS. That would be the CPU and monitor. The 3rd one has a 1-to-6 extension+splitter plugged in. Low powered devices like modem, wireless router, printer, and a 2.1 sound system go here.

Last socket (no backup power) goes to the fan, although my siblings might protest :p

Then I'd just wire up the phone lines, connect the UPS to the PC's serial port for data logging and control, install some software and voila! All done.

As a test, I switched off the power. The fan died, but everything else ran as it should. A timer indicated there is 10 mins of power. That's more than enough for my brother to disengage from any battle, safely log off whatever MMORPG he was playing, and shut down the computer properly.

As for me, brief disconnections by TNB (Total National Blackout) would no longer affect me. It was just yesterday when my chatting session was rudely interupted by not one, but two blackouts which lasted about 30 seconds each. With a 3 hour battery kepping my laptop alive, and a UPS to keep the router and modem running, this should no longer cause any trouble.

Although in an extended blackout, I would still be tempted to pelt rotten eggs at TNB.

There is a another bonus too. Now that there are extra sockets in my sis' room (where the PC is placed), she would no longer have to charge her handphone in my room. The benefits are:

  1. I can use the extractor fan when the room gets stuffy! YAY!!!
  2. I can charge my own phone anytime I like.
  3. My sis uses her phone as an alarm clock. It shall disturb me no more.

I should have install this thing the moment its brought home! Woohoo!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rantbox

Boring...

Sien...

Bosan...

3 words.

Same meaning.

And they all describe my miserable state.

Weekends are ok. 2 weekends ago, I went to a relative's wedding. Last weekend... oi, read the previous blog post la. Coming weekend, I'll (hopefully) drown my classmates in paint, in a friendly paintball game, followed by a visit to Pantai Keracut National Park, one of Penang's less treaded places. Then, the week after that, Alumni Night. Time to meet up with my old friends from IICP HSC 05.

But the weekdays? Sigh...
I can barely tell what day is it without looking at my watch. Everyday is virtually the same routine. At least I'm not homesick. That's much worse, I'd tell ya. After enrolling into college, I actually screamed all the way home. That's one hour's worth of screaming.

Photography? I'm out of ideas what to shoot.

I've been playing this game though, Medieval II Total War.

Pretty neat game, except my empire has gotten too strong. I'm playing as the Spanish, and my domain stretches from the Iberian Peninsula, to Jeddah (that's in the Arabian Peninsula btw. My current enemies are too weak to oppose me. All I need to do is load up the game, and steamroll them. I just hope the Mongolians fight their way to my borders. The welcoming commitee is getting fat and lazy waiting for some serious action.

There is one feature I found somewhat funny though. You see, the game mechanics are such that if my troops chase down a routing enemy, he counts as "captured" rather than "killed". The prisoners can then be ransomed, released, or executed at the end of the battle. My choice.

Now the fun part. Hover the mouse button (don't click!) over any of the 3 buttons, and you'd hear your prisoner's "opinions" about your choice. "Ransom" and "Release" would give you endless "praises" to your "wisdom" and "chivalry". Hover the mouse over "Execute" and they'll beg miserably.

Ransom:
"Yes! You can profit from this!"
"The king will pay for our return!"
"The payment will be made. I swear!"
"France has the florins (money) sire!"

Release:
"Yes! Both noble and wise!"
"A wise choice milord."
"You're making a wise decision!"

Execute:
"*something in French*, spare us...."
"No! Show Allah's mercy!"
"No! You don't have to do this"
"No! Please! Don't abandon your honour!"
"No! This is not how a warrior should die." (since when did he became so warrior-like?)

Guess which one I picked.
If your answer is "Release", that's correct! No prizes though :p

Yeah, its stupid. Hehehe....

Anyway, enough rants. Thanks for reading. So bored.... Hope you enjoyed those quotes, although it'll be more enjoyable in MP3 format.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Weekend at Queensbay and PC Fair

I went to PC Fair yet again, along with a huge shopping list.

Sis wants a spindle of 50 CD-Rs and I want 50 DVD+Rs. Dad wants UPS for each computer in the family (except my laptop), that makes 3.

My brother and my sister weren't coming along. My brother has tuition, and my sis has a lot of stuff to deal with her Chinese Orchestra.

I brought along my camera and my photographer's vest, wouldn't want fungus to grow on those. I was hoping to find cute promoters to shoot, but I didn't find any, muahahaaha... (this last sentence is dedicated to one of this blog's frequent readers :p )

After dropping by college, and settling a few stuff, we went for breakfast, then the fair. We were early apparently, since the doors were still closed. My parents waited, while I went to a paintball playground nearby. Apparently there I was in time to catch a competition!

There wasn't much teamwork on both teams. The moment the referee have the signal, everyone scattered and a fierce "fire" fight ensued. I was surprised at their marksmanship though, almost everyone came out with a splat of paint on the face mask. Yikes! Headshots!

Unfortunately, the action didn't last. The rapid-fire action was soon replaced by camping, sneaking, and taking pot-shots at each other. One girl was even shot from behind, lol.

Ops, time to go, show's starting :p

At the PC Fair, Chin Lin, Yong Ming, Benjamin and the all-annoying Li Lynn were working at promoters. Poor Yong Ming gets to sit in opposite the Nikon booth and drool at his dream camera 3 days straight, haha. Must have been torturing.

I ran also ran into Liang Wei and his brother at the fair, and believe it or not, a DCM forum member who came all the way from KL.

One funny thing that happened during the fair was, no promoter stopped me and try to cram my arms with brochures. The probably think I was a journalist on assignment. The trick lost a little of its charm when I start lugging a huge bag of 100 discs though.

PC Fair freebies (the one where you have to buy RM300 worth of stuff in a single receipt to be eligible) seem to be getting smaller and smaller.

PC Fair 06 I: 10 CD-R
PC Fair 06 II: Coaster
PC Fair 06 III: Ugly handphone bag, and RM5 Nandos Voucher (expires 31 Dec 06)

Heh... knowing the prices Nandos charge, I think that voucher is going to do little more than paying off the taxes and service charge. Handphone bag is ugly enough to make my sis scream.

Rush Hour(s)

When all the shopping was done, we head off to Queensbay Mall, Penang latest and largest mall, just opened the day before. Everyone in the car passed by the place at one time or another on the way to my college and back, so we knew how to find our way. Besides, there are plenty of signboards to follow.

The traffic was slow, but not jammed. There were still lots of parking space, but the indoor ones are filled to the brim. I suspect some buildings will be erected at the current outdoor parking space in the near future, but in the meantime, the place has a very nice waterfront. Not nice enough to warrant a snap though, or maybe its just my creativity is somewhat lacking. :p

Big....

Queensbay!

Unfortunately, the mall itself was filled overcapacity. There are a lot of things to eat, many which I haven't even heard before. But all the restaurants are fully seated! We settled for buying take-away sushi and share a table with a stranger.

The mall the trendy type. Think Gurney Plaza, but much much much much bigger. I walked my legs off. Its hard to find benches to sit on. Suddenly, those massage chair promoters... I feel like listening to them for once. Just... need...... a.... seat................................ lol

I was unwilling to leave my camera in the car, so I actually wore my vest into the mall. Photography is prohibited in all areas except the Centre Atrium, so I kept my camera tucked in my pocket.

And who knows! There happened to be a bridal fashion show at the atrium. Hmm... do I continue following my parents on their shopping spree (by then, we've almost walked the whole building)? Or do I go shooting?

Weeee~~~ My first fashion shoot :p

A Christmas Wedding

After buying takeaway dinner, we went home.
Zzzz................... so tired.

And my legs still feel like its coming off....

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