Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Hobbycon 2010 Day 2

OK everyone, here's the batch of photos for the 2nd day of HobbyCon 2010 (12 Dec).



An early Pedobear attack:
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Monday, 13 December 2010

Hobbycon 2010 Day 1

The Season of Hobbycon has come and gone. All of the photos have been posted up in Facebook, but if you are really lazy to click on each and every photo to view them, you can just click on Read More to have all of them load up at once.

These are the photos that were taken on the 11th day of December 2010 (the 1st day).

Anyway, please click on the Read More link to see the rest of the photos. Since it will jam up your Internet connection as soon as you click it, this is your only warning LOL.

This year, the management provided partitions for the booths so there would be a bit more privacy, and also allows the participants to hang up stuff they want to display.


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Here is Hangmen trying to counter-snipe this sniper...
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What's with the toothpick and sign I wonder...
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Saturday, 11 December 2010

Streamyx troubles part dunno what oledi

This is just to remind myself of the condition of my Internet line. Tried to log in at around 7pm or maybe slightly before, but modem cannot connect. Modem log keeps showing the connection attempts but not succeeding - sometimes even showing an authentication failed error. Gave up and had dinner.

After dinner, went to check up on connection status, and it seems to have connected. I'm not sure when, but connection was established during dinnertime. Line was pretty slow up until around 10pm something, my guess is that the congestion started to ease up during that time.

Managed to play some online game without interruptions until the weeeeeeee hours. At least the connection did not drop during the heavy rain and wind we're having right now.

Alright, need to sleep, bcos Hobbycon is in 8 hours time (more or less).

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Streamyx troubles part 2

OK, this is just to increase blog post count, as if it makes any difference, and also to highlight to you what happens when the connection decides to play hide and seek:





This is my modem's log. As you can see, the connection will die plenty of times in a span of a few hours. Tonight was quite bad, but not as bad as before the TM techs did some repairs a few days ago. Before that, the connection will die EVERY FEW MINUTES when it rains! I still don't know why rainy weather should make my connection die. WHY???

Right now, surfing is fine, but good luck if I want to play any online games.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Streamyx troubles

Greetings humans...

Warning: long wall of text ahead.

I haven't been updating here because of Streamyx troubles that has been brewing for the past few months. First signs of trouble was about 3 months ago (around August / September) when the Internet seemed a bit sluggish, but I brushed that off as congestion problem. It seemed to get worse and worse until around the end of October, I couldn't even log in.

Made a call to TM's help line around the 5th or 6th of October, and they tried to sort it out on their end, but problem still persisted. A couple of days later the call centre people called up again to see if the problem was fixed, but alas nothing was done.

A few days after that (or was it the following week) a TM technician finally called up to say there was a fault with my connection and he did some repairs, but unfortunately, the problems still persisted. He also mentioned he's gonna transfer my line to another area to ease the congestion. Another problem he mentioned was that they had a fault in the connection hub or whatchamacallit and that may be resolved by the end of the month. Oh great, almost 1 month of Internet starvation I thought to myself. He added that I could probably get some kind of rebate from TM because of this problem. In the meantime, the call centre people kept checking on me to ask about the connection, but all I can say is that the connection sux (not in those words, mind you).

Sometime last weekend, another technician called up to ask me about my connection again, and I mentioned all that was mentioned before. This time, he said that this problem is not an isolated problem, but quite a number of people around my area also complained of slow internet connection. The technicians were also waiting for some kind of equipment that will only arrive maybe in the 1st week of December (ugh...) and the repairs might only be done mid December. I asked about the rebate in my bill, and he said I'll have to take it up with the TM Point people in Tanjung Aru Plaza (WTF? It's not automatic? They don't communicate with each other?).

As of today, the connection seems to be more stable, meaning it didn't crap out when it rains. I did receive a call from the call centre people today informing me about some repairs that the technicians have made. This time it seems the repairs were a bit more effective. According to my modem log, my modem hasn't disconnected ever since I switched on the modem a few hours ago. Let's hope it gets better soon.

TL;DR:
I have crappy Internet for few months which killed my blogging mood, TM technicians finally did some effective repairs (I think) recently. Hope my connection improves.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Lens stabilisation using another tripod

Greetings and salutations.

Some of you may own cameras or lenses that have stabilisation, but sometimes, that may not be enough when taking certain photos.

My dilemma started when I got myself a macro lens that weighed almost as heavy as the camera itself. When I mount my DSLR camera equipped with this lens on to my flimsy tripod, it is not very stable, since the lens will be pulling the camera forward and downward. This particular lens (Canon EF 100mm macro) has a space to add a tripod collar, which will shift the centre of gravity a bit further forward to better balance the lens, but it costs almost as much as a flashgun *facepalm*.

I'm bringing this up because when I mount it on my rickety tripod and take a snap, the motion of the mirror inside the camera actually makes the whole camera shake. This is sometimes known as "mirror slap". If you happen to be shooting objects using long exposure, you will most likely end up with slightly blur images caused by this "mirror slap".

So, in order to overcome this problem, I had to find a way to prevent the mirror from shaking up my whole camera. Then it hit me: why not use something like a bipod, that's what they use for the M60 machine guns, right? (Photo from www.warboats.org)


Now I experimented with some tripods I had around the house, none were really successful, but the following setup did help me to get some proper photos of the previous post. Here's how it looks like:

Another look:

Yeah, the tip of the lens is resting on another tripod, which is resting on the edge of my bed. The little white thing on top of my Gorillapod is actually an eraser:

I drilled a little hole in the middle to accommodate the tripod's screw. And of course, the white background you saw in the previous post is actually a big piece of cardboard.

With this setup, I can easily set whatever shutter speed I want without worry of mirror slap vibration messing up my shots. Although you do need to be careful when moving around because the whole thing is actually a very delicate balancing act. One wrong move and you might knock your camera to the ground *gulp*.

So cheapskates everywhere, do be careful when balancing this.

Here's another macro shot to end this long winded post:
Yeah, this figurine is about 5.5 cm long - as you can deduce from the cutting mat's lines.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Macro fun - razors

Hi all, and welcome back to another edition of the dusty blog *koff koff*.

As a guy, I've been using razors for quite a number of years, but not all razors are built the same. Some razors can whisk off your facial hair and leave baby smooth skin behind, while others leave much to be desired when it comes to product satisfaction.

Today I'm gonna take a quick peek at two razors that I've used: both are disposable razors, but one is a generic brandless razor, while the other one comes from a popular razor manufacturer.



Now why would I want to compare these two razors? Well, I had the unfortunate "privilege" of using the crummy brandless razor and it made me feel like I was trying to shave using a dull Bowie knife. I thought to myself: what's the difference between the two? They both feel sharp, but why does one perform better than the other? So I decided to photograph them.

Also gives me an excuse to do some macro shooting :D

Here we have the two contenders:
On the left, the brandless razor, and on the right, the branded razor.

They both have twin blades, as well as a lubricated strip on top, but the branded razor has a trick up its sleeve: a pivoting head - so it follows the contour of your face while you shave.

Lets have a closer look:



Nothing unusual about it, but let's take a REALLY closer look:


We can see some imperfections on the plastic on the left razor, and the clean plastic on the right razor.

Here's another shot of the blades:

As I mentioned earlier, using the branded razor is a joy, while using the brandless razor can only be described as an exercise in self-torture. I think it has something to do with the angle of the blades, as well as the distance of the blades from the plastic housing to the skin. The blades on the branded razor feels like they want to come out and cut something, while the brandless razor's blades seem a bit stunted :P

So there you have it folks. If you want to enjoy shaving, avoid getting some cheap brandless razors that will make you cry, no matter how much lube you use.

On another note, I'll show you my kludge on lens stabilisation using two tripods in the next update :D

Sunday, 22 August 2010

La Salle Dinner 2010

I attended the 49th iteration of La Salle's annual dinner this year, along with Edgar. This year, the dinner was held in the new Star City Convention Centre (Star City was known previously as Kompleks Asia City).



The air conditioning there was super cold, most likely because the place was new, and it was a rainy evening.

This year, the guest of honour was Y.B. Tuan Donald Peter Mojuntin.

I wasn't really interested in "covering" this event... I was more interested in the food :P So everything you see was shot from my table. As luck would have it, it was one of the tables next to the stage, which was a curse and a blessing. The good thing was: we had an unobstructed view of the stage. The bad thing: we were seated right in front of the damn loudspeakers!

Here's the menu:


  • Four Hot and Cold Combination (Jellyfish or was it seaweed, and some fish sticks)
  • Shark's fin soup with crab meat (I don't think they use real shark's fins anymore)
  • Roasted chicken (standard fare)
  • Fish with Sliced Mango (Fish fillet with mango, but some of the thicker pieces were not cooked thoroughly)
  • Prawn with Tomato Paste (Normal prawn cooked with tomato sauce, but hard to eat, because we didn't want to use our fingers, as there was no lime bowl to wash our hands with)
  • Fried rice with Chicken Floss
  • Black Mushroom with Broccoli (basically just veggies)
  • Honeydew Sago drink (cold)
  • (and free chinese tea)

OK, never mind all that... here's a shot of everyone singing the school rally:



There were around 70-80 tables, I think for this year's dinner. Some of the La Sallians:


There was beer on sale, and some of the proceeds from the beer sales went to the school Alumni. Corkage per table was RM50.00 (for those who brought their own booze). I didn't drink anything alcoholic, because I had a dull headache the whole day and I didn't want to aggravate it further.

Anyway, if I recall correctly, class of 1975 had the most number of new Lifetime Members registered this year, and class of 1982 walked away with both the largest turnout by number of attendees, as well as largest turnout by percentage. But don't quote me on that, better wait for official sources because my brain was frozen and throbbing the whole night, it might have recorded things differently :P

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Rise, o blog of mine

Hi there, I'll just be brief.

Last week was a hectic week for me, having a D&D session on Friday night, then going to the Japanese Cultural Night in Universiti Malaysia Sabah on Saturday night, followed by some Alien Swarm gaming session on Sunday night.

I'm still processing the photos that I took during the Japanese Cultural Night, so pedobear with me, since I hadn't had enough time to post-process everything.

I'll post up a humongous post when everything is done.

Whenever it gets done :P

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Music Fest 2010 at The Tip of Borneo

Let's see how to begin...

We had a little road trip up to Kudat on the 3rd of July 2010 to catch the music festival which was held at the Tip Of Borneo (actually Simpang Mengayau). The plan was: go to Kudat on Saturday (3rd July), catch the musical performance in the evening, spend the night in Kudat (since I'm not keen to drive down to KK in the dark) then return to Kota Kinabalu the following day.

The day started by me picking up Daniel and Pol to go grab breakfast at McDonald's in town. There we met up with another two people who were going with us: Shariff and DaSaru. There were another 4 people on this trip, but they were having breakfast elsewhere.

Long story short: we made our way to Kudat town in around 3 hours of non-stop driving from KK to Kudat. I didn't stop at Kota Belud nor Kota Marudu since we were fine, but by the time we reached Kudat, my body was starting to get a bit stiff.

Here, we've checked into the hotel (Hotel Grace Garden) in Kudat, and we're waiting for Lt. Danial Maran so we could go grab lunch.


Yes, we had lunch at 3pm.

After lunch, we strolled around the esplanade, snapping photos of the surrounding area:




Err...this was also supposed to be artistic :P


Around 4 something, we decided to make our move to Simpang Mengayau for the music fest. I took the road that was still not completed. It still had a little gravel stretch, but that didn't prove much trouble for the Invader heh heh.

We made it to the place with some time to spare, but the number of cars at the venue told us that finding parking would not be an easy matter. We actually parked somewhere downhill, and used some rocks to wedge the tyres to prevent rolling.

Anyway, here's a view of the audience seating:


Notice the umbrellas and assorted things held up to shield themselves from the sun? Yes, the audience was facing the setting inferno we call the sun.

The music fest had a lot of guests, most notably Datuk Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Sabah. Wait, I think his ministry had a hand in organising this gig...



The MC for the performance ( I forgot his name...)


Then I spotted this little scene while I was trying to look for my friends:

A wedding couple picked this spot to do their photoshoot :D

Anyway, as a warm up performance, Roger Wang, accompanied by a 5 piece band (including himself) started the ball rolling.





This is Roger:






A few more VIPs also came:


And on with the show:

Sunday, 20 June 2010

KK Jazz Festival 2010

Hi Ho, another slowpoke post from me.
I attended the 2010 edition of the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival last Friday, thanks to a complimentary pass (heh heh).
I only attended the 1st day of the fest, with the following acts:
Day 1:

  • Fingerstyle – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • Kidz – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • Sabah RTM Combo – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • Island Jazz Connection – Penang, Malaysia
  • "Surprise" appearance by Atilia, KL
  • Amir Yussof & Roots – Kuala Lumpur / Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Anyway, Friday night was a rainy night. When I reached the venue (covered tennis court, Sutera Harbour) it was raining cats, dogs and elephants. Here are some shots I made of that night. Mind you, I was trying to enjoy the music, and not covering the event, since there were already a few dozen people with cameras clicking away that night (and also because no one asked me to do any covering - LOL).

Enough rambling, on with the pics:



The 2 Emcees:


I think this was Kidz:






Sabah RTM Combo




















Island Jazz Connection:


















Are you not entertained?








Atilia:




Atilia and some people she managed to pull on stage:


Amir Yussof & Roots


Feedback! There's not enough feedback!








His guitar's on fire!










And cooling down after a hot set.