# Saturday, 25 April 2009

Every child has the thought running through their heads sometime.

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What is it like outside the gates? I want to touch that tree, I want to walk across the street.

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And then one day they walk up to those that care for them the most.

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I'm sorry but... I must RUN!

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And this is when all that you thought him allows him to make a quick escape as he effortlessly slides open the latch!

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And out he goes, into the great unknown!

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And no matter how much you cry, they still leave.

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They might feel some parting pains but it all fades as the next question comes up in their head.

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So where do I want to go today?


Saturday, 25 April 2009 20:23:14 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Sunday, 19 April 2009

I need to find a new in car holder for my Diamond, cause like I mentioned when I first got my current holder about 2 years ago. The holder only attaches to the case via friction, and thus after countless repetitions of inserting and removing, it can't hold the device properly anymore. So I found this in an Ace Hardware store.

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It's pretty much what you'd call a standard in car holder, spring loaded clamps that hold on to the device by using some sponges, a FIXED arm that looks like a 5, and a suction cup to stick onto your car wind shield. It can do one nifty trick though.

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The holder itself can be rotated at the neck, so if for some reason you wanted to view your device in landscape orientation, you can do so. Also the suction cup on this thing is STRONG, I am not worried that it will fall off my windscreen. But then again I haven't droved under the sun for an extended period with this so we'll see.

What's this thing called?

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It's the Car Universal Holder, CRYSTAL EDITION! You know it's the crystal edition because... see those 3 dots on the clamps? Yup.. .diamonds.. or rather a piece of plastic that was meant to look like a diamond, or maybe they wanted a crystal look instead? The holder can also be attached to an air cond vent holder but that doesn't didn't work out too well for me.

How much for this little thing? RM15.... I still remember how much car holders used to cost when not every phone had build in GPS, almost 10 times this price. How times have changed.

Another interesting thing I found while I was shifting through the errr... flea market section was this.

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It's a one piece USB A to Mini-B connector, I immediately picked up 2 of these from the pile they had for RM3 each. I always wanted to get one of these over at Brando's but I'm glad I found them locally and cheaper too. It is immediately apparent to some people that because the thing is fixed you'd have some funny orientation problems. For example, here's what it looks like when I connect my Touch Diamond using the connector.

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So my wife asked me why the heck did I buy another thing to add to my already fat keychain, when a cable works much better. I threw out the standard, this is a last resort emergency situation gear excuse. It's for those times when you need to plug something into USB and there's nary a cable in sight.

I don't think she bought the excuse.


Sunday, 19 April 2009 16:57:13 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [2]  | 
# 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]  | 
# Saturday, 11 April 2009

I was in the middle of writing a sample page to create a compeling Silverlight install experience (ie. anything better than the plain Install Silverlight Now button that appears in Silverlight Streaming hosted apps) so I can show how well the user can be guided to install Silverlight for a project we're working on.

As I hunkered down and got ready to hit the code, I find a link to... a white paper and sample code on how to make great Silverlight install experiences.

Well.. that sure saved me a lot of trouble! :P


Saturday, 11 April 2009 16:58:32 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 08 April 2009

Well.. here it is after only 4 days, I've got WZ's during the Windows Mobile Experience Roadshow.

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Wednesday, 08 April 2009 21:05:33 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Sunday, 05 April 2009

So... that portable Mega Drive thing that I got the other day and I commented the build quality sucked?

Mommy dropped it on the table a few days back, and the speakers stopped working, and neither did the TV out work.

I took the thing apart but didn't see any problems. Luckily WZ was still attracted to it though he kept wanting the TV Out which I couldn't give him.

Then this morning WZ dropped the thing onto the floor while playing. And the sound came back... I haven't tried the TV Out yet but I think it should work too.

Damn.... this thing sucks doesn't it?


Sunday, 05 April 2009 00:30:00 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 04 April 2009

While all Windows Mobile phones which we got over here in Malaysia has Live Messenger installed, some obtained through... alternative channels might not have it. And it was never available for download from MS due to some issue, but... NOT ANYMORE!

If for some reason your Windows Mobile phone never came with Windows Live Messenger, now you can get that and MORE from http://wl.windowsmobile.com

Do it now if you're a heavy Live Messenger user.


Saturday, 04 April 2009 21:58:21 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

trained

WZ is finally able to say PEE PEE when it's time to piss instead of just letting go when he needs to for the past few days, so I say he should be fine.


Saturday, 04 April 2009 20:30:34 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

There was this Windows Mobile Experience Tour that was happening in Low Yat plaza throughout the weekend so I decided to check it out

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They erected a simple stage in the foyer area. Which also held several booths comprising of the various Windows Mobile device manufacturers. The manufacturers who you expected to be there were all there, HTC, Samsung and Sony. What I wasn't expecting to see was a HP booth.

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I thought they had given up on Windows Mobile powered devices already, but they brought along the iPaq Data Messenger (which has a sliding keyboard and costs LESS than 2000) as well as the iPaq Voice Messenger which is a Windows Mobile Standard phone (non touchscreen).

Another surprise for me was seeing Motorola there pushing the Motorola A3100. Which after seeing the specs it would seem that like Netbooks, Windows Mobile professional devices seem to have established some entry level specifications which are

  • 528Mhz Processor (Most probably a Qualcomm)
  • QVGA Resolution Screen
  • Builtin GPS (From the Qualcomm chip most likely)
  • WiFi + HSDPA support.
  • 128MB of operation memory

Anything lower (ie, without 3G or GPS) would be meant for users who want the capabilities of a Windows Mobile phone but uses it more as a PIM with phone capabilities instead of a smart phone. For those people I would say just get a Windows Mobile Standard device instead of a Professional then.

The main point of interest of the event is of course, the Windows Mobile Roadshow container.

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Inside the container are demo units of the various WM devices so people can have some hands on experience trying out all the devices from the various manufacturers. They also have screens that show off the various capabilities of WM devices which most people forget to mention. For example, we can search through our SMS messages by simply typing our search keyword, no need to initiate a search function or thumb through messages. But I do wonder about one thing though.

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Can't exactly fit a big crowd into the thing, The walkway seems to be about oh... 3 people wide? Other than having devices for you to fondle with in the container, the containers are manned by Windows Mobile enthusiasts who can help answer questions regarding the Windows Mobile devices which you might have. I cornered one and asked him the million dollar question "Why a Windows Mobile device and not an iPhone?" The guy gave a very politically correct answer, talked about the enterprise support on WM devices, communications support, etc. etc. He gave some good responses, but I wonder why no direct hits on the iPhone was performed. Such as you can't use the iPhone as a modem unless the telco allowed it, lower screen resolution compared to the high end WM devices, lower end camera (though I wouldnt call camera on phones a feature), etc. etc.

Then he got it wrong when he mentioned that iPhones are meant for Macs and Windows users can't use it fully for example they can't sync their information to Outlook without a 3rd party program. Hmmmm.... I'm pretty sure Windows iPhone users can at least sync the information to iTunes so you can't say Windows users can't sync information.

When pressed about playing videos on the WM devices the guy gave a politically correct answer again, saying that videos can be played using the onboard Windows Media Player. Only problem is that people who really use WM devices will probably tell you that they NEVER use WMP for watching videos. The typical app which WM users use to watch video is CorePlayer, which is so capable on higher spec'ed WM phones that it can play most videos without having to reencode them. The guy also made a mistake when I asked him how do I get video files onto the device he mentioned that files on the internet were already in Windows Media Format. The correct answer would have been to either use Windows Media Player to sync and transcode the files to the device or another 3rd Party conversion tool.

He did get one thing right though, he mentioned that most users would Jailbreak their iPhones in order to run certain apps which are unsanctioned by Apple App Store guide lines, which effectively terminates your warranty. Whereas there's no such limitation on the Windows Mobile platform (at least not here in Malaysia since we don't have that many Telco sponsored devices)

Outside the container they had some promo info

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So the first 500 people to buy WM phones during the event gets a free key to one of 5 SPB programs, and there's that little closet on the right hand set which people go in and grab discount vouchers I guess.

They were also having a Bubble Breaker Challenge...

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Bubble Breaker? That's like the Minesweeper of Windows Mobile, I wonder why of all things they picked THIS to be the games challenge, I guess they couldn't get the rights to use Guitar Hero 3 Mobile?

Then as I was about to leave since WZ was getting close to his bed time and got ready to throw a tantrum some guests showed up.

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As I was repeating WTF WTF in my head the MC mentions why they are here, the staff will take a picture of you with them using a Windows Mobile phone and then mail the photo to you. While that was an interesting idea, I can't help but wonder how that helps selling Windows Mobile devices on the day itself, since the customer can't get the photo right after it's taken and if he feel's that he likes the performance of the WM device once he gets the photo the event might already be over (it only runs till tomorrow).

Anyway since WZ was enthusiatically screaming Chun Li, Chun Li I took him over to pose for a picture, it was taken with an Omnia and I'm still waiting for the pic to get back to me.

Of course since this is an event there are definetly some special offers, and since I'm too lazy to type out the offer information.

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Remember you can click on it to get a larger more readable version.

They say that Malaysia is the 1st stop on the South East Asia Windows Mobile Experience tour. Wonder where else they might be going off to, and I hope the people will be more well equipped to answer the #1 question. "Why Windows Mobile and not an iPhone?"


Saturday, 04 April 2009 16:19:24 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 03 April 2009

The culprit this time is this Mirror Screen guard for my Diamond, I totally forgot about the consequences before clicking the buy button.

  1. I have no idea wheter it covers just the screen, or the button area. Since for some reason they decided to just use the iPhone shot for all the products
  2. How well would this work under direct sunlight when I'm using the phone as a GPS?

Guess we'll find out when I get the thing in about 2 weeks.


Friday, 03 April 2009 21:42:52 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |