# Saturday, 18 April 2009

So, about 11AM this morning I got to the AliCafe near my office.

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It's not a place I normally go to, don't particularly like the food there. But there was something special happening today. Seems like someone famous was going to be here.

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It was Raymond Lam, popular TVB actor. Normally I wouldn't care about this but seeing that his was coming some place convenient for me I decided to tag along with Kevin who told me about the event. To do a trial run of sort to see how to handle the situation if it was someone I actually cared about.

1st thing we were reminded after standing around for 5 mins was that, just because we were carrying SLRs, people automatically thought we were with the press. And one of these days I'm going to be prepared to answer YES so that I'm given a better shooting spot.

Speaking of shooting spots I took note that there wasn't any place to hide a famous actor in the shop, so I asked Kevin to look for a back entrance which is likely where the guy was going to come in from. Once Kevin confirmed that there was indeed a back entrance, I told him to stay put inside the shop while I went to check out the back.

At which point I noticed a parked car with a lot of people hustling around it.

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I confirmed that this was indeed the ops center when a lady approached me and told me to go wait inside the shop to take photos. I acknowledged her but reminded her that this was a public street and she can't just shoo me away, but I told her I wouldn't play paparazzi and start taking shots through the window... besides I didn't have a circular polarizer which meant I couldn't shoot through glass anyway.

It was then I realized that the driver took up position beside me after having a chat with the lady, I put a car between him and myself. I wonder if he realized that I was taking video with my Creative Vado and decided against anything or maybe he just wanted to step into the shade (then again... he was in an air conditioned car)

Then 2 fans who also figured out that Raymond would come from the back door asked me "Where is he?" "Where must he walk from?" I helpfully pointed them to the car.

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As expected they were stopped by the crew but it gave them something else to worry about than me. A few minutes later Raymond rushed the stairs and hurried down the corridor.

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Darn he dipped his head just as I was taking the shot! As the handler behind walked past me and girl in pink's camera she showed her hand trying to block our cameras. As cool as I fell that I was actually shown the hand for taking pictures, I question her logic since she was walking BEHIND the guy she's attempting to shield from the lens so what good is she doing? Other than giving me something to blog about? :D

I stepped back into the shop to see out stretched arms taking shots.

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The lone SLR you see in the shot above is Kevin, who had parked himself close to the tip of the crowd and armed with a tiltable LCD screen of his A300 he could take much better shots of the situation than me at the back. A mirror lining the wall of the shop shows how the crowd looks like with their cameras from one angle.

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Armed with my 18250 and the ability to frame shots via the LCD viewfinder it was much easier for him to take closeups like this.

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And this.

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And this... damn this is turning out to be like some fan blog.

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From my position the best I could do was take pictures of people taking pictures.

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It's interesting to note that the crowd that gathered to get Raymond's autograph

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Took up a whole lot of space in the shop, as well as blocked the main access for food to come out from the kitchen. I wonder if their business actually increased or decreased this morning due to the event?

My main aim of keeping myself at the end of the line was because that's the only exit point to return back to the car, so once Raymond finishes and he rushes off I can just snap pictures when he's heading towards me. At least that was my intention, but then after the autograph session was done he sat down to have some food. At which point we just left since we already got what we came for.

Not to mention learnt a valuable lesson that even now, people still assume that having an SLR means you are with the press.


Saturday, 18 April 2009 18:46:42 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

As I was looking around the Daiso RM5 shop at the curve I noticed a box of screws.

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They may look just like any other screw, washer and nut set to you but.... There seems to be JUST the right parts to declamp an Xbox 360, the screws are just the right length to fit both the GPU and the Processor heat sinks, and not only do they have washers, they have SPRING WASHERS too. And the heads are slimmer than the previous screws I used so maybe.. just maybe I don't have to drill holes into the case after the fix.

I ripped open Yoroi's old RRODed box which died after finishing the fight last year and tried to fit the screws in. That's when I realized... I remembered the width of the screw wrongly!! I bought 4MM wide screws, the box needs 5MM ones!!!! Now I have to go get another box!

Damn it!


Saturday, 18 April 2009 02:00:34 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Friday, 17 April 2009

So, the mirror screen guard I was talking about has arrived.

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As I expected (I finally thought about how it could work AFTER I fired off the purchase) It's essentially a well cut one way mirror tint sheet. So when there's no light from the screen it appears almost as reflective as a mirror, but when the screen is on it'll show through. With a little caveat being that since it does fancy tricks with the light the screen is tinted and thus a whee bit darker than usual. It'd be fine if the screen was set to a higher brightness, but on the Diamond I can set the screen brightness to auto adjust based on ambient light but because the sensor doesn't know about the tinted screen thus I now have a slightly darker screen than I liked. (wonder if there's a way to tweak this sensitivity)

Quality wise, the surface feels nice and smooth both finger and stylus manipulation seem to be ok. Though I think I need a bit more pressure to tap on stuff, maybe I should perform a screen calibration again.

Would I recommend this to other users? No! Now I know why this is cheaper than other screen protectors even though it has a special gimmick. Not everyone is going to be able to live with the fact that the screen will appear slightly tinted unless you're always using your device on MAXIMUM brightness. But if you'd really like your phone's surface to look like a mirror... be my guest!


Friday, 17 April 2009 01:01:18 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 14 April 2009

As most SLR camera owners will tell you that it's probably best for you to keep your camera in a nice dry container. It could be just an airtight storage box with silica gel in it, or it could be an actual electrical climate controlled dry box. I can't bring myself to buying a dry box, so silica gel it is for me then. So previously I stuck either a pouch of silica gel or one of those thirsty hippo things into the box, and it worked out well except I had to change them after a few weeks.

Today I bought this.

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They call it a rechargable dehumidifier. It works just like silica gel, but once it's done it's job instead of throwing it away, you plug it into a wall socket to recharge it and you can use it again. This thing isn't really anything special, it's basically contains silica gel inside, as well as a heating element. Whenever silica gel is full you can in theory just bake it in the sun, microwave it, etc. etc. and it'll be ready to suck moisture again. So with the builtin heating element you can basically do it in an easy manner.

This is NOT the first time I got something like this, a while back I already bought one of these so called rechargable dehumidifiers. It stopped working after 2 months, what's different now? That one looked the part of a chapalang branded product with dubious quality issues. This one looks... errrr... like it'll actually work for a while longer. I highly doubt it'll hit the 5 years it says on the sticker but consider this post a timestamp on how long/well it worked.


Tuesday, 14 April 2009 00:58:09 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, 13 April 2009

I was trying to take a photo of a crystal statue to see what results I'd get. A side flash made the details stand out, and well it looked like a cube of glass.

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Then I positioned my flash so it shot from the top, and the cube started casting some flares.

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Closing the aperture darkened the pic to give it a more errr.. gem like look? And reduced the main glare point. (err... what's the term for it? hotspot? reflection?)

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But then again we can cut glare just by taking the shot from another angle.

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I'm sure the semi pro wants to say something about the flares, I just found it interesting how the light X'out when it hit the top.

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And here's a shot where I try to be make the shot look nicer with some bokeh at the side. And I took it at an angle too!

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Then when viewing the pic on the screen I find out I made the same mistake again whenever I take stuff with my macro lens. I forgot to wipe down the thing to remove all the dust trails from it! :P


Monday, 13 April 2009 01:38:41 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |