Friday, November 28, 2008

of chillis and onions...

this was rather interesting although rather late. Not sure whether to laugh or sigh.

Reporter: What do you know about the local weather, you must be the specialist here, are you expecting rain?

PM Lee: All our people put up... er... er... chillis and onions to prevent the rain from coming down this evening.

i certainly don't see my mum praying with chillis and onions to prevent Ti Gong from raining. How about our Muslim or Indian counterparts?

neighbour below me - part 2 + sitex

the morning after i posted up my mum's encounter with my kind neighbour, my mum told me that the water was actually from my neighbour(s) above. So i took some pictures.

Time to give my outdoor unit a good scrub

There you go

before this, i typed a long letter to the family below me, signed it and put it below their door at 2am. Because i simply have no chance to be home early. In my letter, i clearly apologized for the problems, and specifically stated i'll engage a contractor to check for leakage at my own cost. The hidden meaning behind this message - i'm spending money on something you claimed, you better be prepared to handle the consequences if it's not true.

New HyperX sticks

6GB total system memory, Vista32 surprisingly recognized it. Of course the 32bit limitation still remains. So i'm going to try Vista64 when i'm back from Taiwan.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

driving - revisions

my blog seems to be a driving blog. So i'll streamline all my revision driving into this post and push it up the entries when i update.

revision - #20 (26 nov)
a quick revision to brush up my fundamentals in circuit. Generally alright except for small faults.

saw a rather serious accident involving a SSDC manual car (#1, SGJ 574 A) and a lorry. I believe #1 was turning right into AMK Ave 9, when the lorry slammed into it at the left passenger side. From my view, #1 spun slightly, because after it was hit, it was facing 90 degrees away from the intended direction, facing vehicles coming from the Lentor Ave towards AMK.

the damage was mainly to the 2 passenger doors, 20% of the ceiling, plus other potential replacements to the chassis components. Basically, imagine it as a medium bite on an apple!

surprisingly, the instructor was ok. The learner was rather shaken and suffered some injuries. I was doing test route 7 at the same junction, and only saw it when i was returning to school. Happened so quickly, and scary. Learning driving is not a joke.

revision - #19 (20 nov)
met another new instructor, Mr Raja Saiful. A nice and cheerful man.

got rather rusty with the wheels after 2 weeks of rest. Had many problems in the circuit, which i think i'll concentrate on from now. Circuit 17 and 17A has been and is my nemesis today, accumulated 8 points and 1 immediate failure by just doing directional change there. Actually, it's my weakest area in the circuit, after number 9/10. Sigh... directional change.

revision - #18 (7 nov)
met a very old bird instructor today, Mr Ng. It's my first revision, and he brought me out immediately. Can sense he knows his place well, because he can drive through the mechanic's service road and through the public carpark and out. Most of my past instructors will use the learning entrance/exit.

oh yes, he has been with SSDC for 22 years!

he identified my problem, which is mounting kerb when doing narrow kerbs in the circuit. Plus reinforced some untold rules in the circuit. Learnt a valuable lesson today. He cycled through all the stations 2 times, with road driving in between.

and yes, i knocked another pole down. 2nd time. During parallel parking. Was preparing to go out when i was greedy and went too near the front pole. It was drizzling, he had to go out and put the pole back for me. Somemore there was a girl in a silver Mitsubishi waiting behind. o.o"

gay buddy must really go into circuit at least 1 time, practice until you sleep and dream with the circuit design. Otherwise go in too little times, sure to have circuit shock. Just few examples i got shocked few lessons ago:

do parallel parking at 15, or vertical parking at 14a/b. After that, turn left into the road (that divides circuit into halves). You thought parking zai liao, happy like ****. Then suddenly, ask you turn right into 28 for vertical parking or 29 for parallel parking. Suddenly mind blur, start to sway. At 28 there's a car doing VP. You try to turn in, tester zham brake. Car crossed centre line. He mark something on the paper. ****.

or another one, after doing parallel at 5, then ask you to cut across 4 lanes to the slope at 26. He says "go" and you go, miss stop line and woohoo. Immediate failure.

or you did directional change at 10. Ok, very good, never mount kerb. Happy like **** again, drive out and wait at stop line. The car on major road give way, maybe chiobu or instructors are friend-friend. Wah, happy like **** again, happily turn left since someone let you go first. Ooopsie, rear left wheel up the kerb. Immediate failure.

all from my personal experience. hope i can know all these traps before i take the test.

neighbour below me

i have a very nice neighbour.

i don't know who in particular came up to speak to my parents, about someone bathing late in the night, the toilet drain making lots of noises that they can't sleep. They wanted to call mata in. Wow.

plus my aircon leaking water, dripping on their whatever item at the bedroom aircon ledge. So, they couldn't take it.

i appreciate them for coming up my house and telling my mum, but hey, we are not supermen. I cannot move mountains at a snap of a finger, just to enable them a sound sleep at night.

2 days after the feedback, i threw away the drain filter that made the water noise. Not enough, it seemed, because they came knocking on my door complaining again about the aircon, which i turned on 2 days back. It was barely a week since the first feedback.

i'm going to call Gain City, then obtain a service report from them. Then this service report will go down with me to their doorstep, and end their freaking grouses once and for all. Oh yes, they can threaten to call HDB or the police for all they want. Go ahead and be my guest.

but! i'll be a gentleman and ask them for what exactly they told my mum, since there's a language barrier. If i found out they used unpleasant tones on her, i won't bother to be nice to them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

exam period starts

1 paper down. This is the module that causes me much distress over my graduation.

If you studied statistics, the above sign shouldn't be foreign to you

no one can understand this genuine problem unless he/she been through the same situation. It's roughly the same problem in tertiary education - fail something and repeat it. What's the pain? The pain is the agonizing fear of repeating (and staying back at an age of 1st quartile of n=100) and therefore not being able to graduate.

i think what wx said is true. If you cannot get in, you can try other courses or schools. Even if you can get in, don't assume you can get out safely. Some folks can get in, but quit after a while. Sometimes its not that they don't treasure their places, but there are many environmental difficulties - age catching up; not as agile or daring to try anymore, the pressing need to solve family difficulties first, other personal wants-and-needs, personal problems, etc.

that being said, i'd still encourage my poly readers to continue to upgrade themselves. We all see the difference when times are good or bad - when times are good, money comes and goes easily, not many cares a hoot for education because of a dangerous assumption of a strong employment climate. Now when times are bad, people want to earn more, but are restrained because there is an invisible ceiling. Of course, work harder to earn more, but humans have only 24 hours a day. How hard can you work yourself? What will be the expense(s) of this terribly hard work day in and out?

the smarter way is still, arm yourself with qualifications quickly, whether grades suck or not. Or at least, don't procrastinate by comparing costs of studying or not studying. This cost comparison itself does not hold water, i feel. For full timers, concurrently work on personal grooming and development. University undergrads are no longer the stereotyped classic bookworms, and the tide is indeed changing. Form up or drop out... *grin*

what a wall of text.. i'm going back to my notes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

exam week coming, post CS3266 thoughts

finally, it's time for exams.

had mixed feelings after the CS3266 presentation to the lecturer in charge. I feel we have underperformed, but the emphasis was unfortunately rather skewed towards aesthetics. My fear is the concentration on eye candies such as those brought forward to us during the presentation (and we didn't have it) has brought neglect to more gradeworthy technical elements, such as MVC and page security. We heard it's standard, but i'm definitely doubtful as to whether everybody had really done so. Furthermore, these weren't validated during the presentation.

anyone could have done embedding of Google Maps in less than an hour, but things such as security couldn't be done as readily as the former.

i feel our efforts were directed wrongly, and i would accept this (not sure for my partner). We just hope in future, the general direction can be better communicated from the start.

all in all, there was a bittersweet feeling of this experience. Bitter because the evaluator's expectation wasn't in the same direction (read: not a difference in the level of expectation, just that the emphasis was not what we thought of), sweet because my partner and i managed to complete the project without much problems in a short time.

there seemed to be some distrust in the quality of our work. What i can only say - what we said is all in the code. There might be fellow students who throw smoke like nobody's business, but we are certainly not in that group. Believe it or not, we are not interested to lie nor curry favour too.

maybe it's still our fault. So what to do? Work hard for exams lor. Life is always unfair.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

updates, updates...

i don't have time for teevee now. But back in the good old days, i enjoyed those HK-import movies on Ch8 on saturday and sunday nights.

if you did the same as me, you should know him:

龙方 (Lung Fong)

remember him as the baddie in the shows he appeared? He passed away due to cancer.


ok now, my turn to update about myself.

have just finished all the projects. The major project was CS3266, which basically is a project about e-shopping site, ticket booking in particular. To be frank my partner and i started really late, so we had minimal expectations for this module. Our work is not fantastic nor eye-candy, but it works as it should (minus the bugs, hehe). The tough part of this project for me is not the coding, but more on the requirement that it must be hosted on SoC's development environment. So i had to upload the .war plus SQL scripts to the allocated zone and database servers, then make sure it works from there.

the war has not ended yet, because exams are arriving in less than a week. After the last paper, i foresee myself throwing things into my luggage and then fly off. No time to breathe!

i'm still thinking hard on my plans for 2009. Deliberating on major purchase decisions, which i have to give either 1 up. Will i get this sooner than i expect?

it's UNLIKELY to own this baby for now. But i love the rear!

how about City 2009? Actually 2008 edition is fine...except for the rear.

.... or my original choice?

EX 1.5?

besides my purchase decisions, how about my career plan? Take a sabbatical for 6-12 months before stepping out onto the workforce officially? Or take a shorter break? I just need some time to research on my purchases, take my language course.

i realised i'm no longer crazy on computer hardware. If you ask me to build a PC or troubleshoot problems i can do it professionally. But asking me to spend loads of money on things like hard drives, processors, motherboards is crazy, unless my computers break down - highly unlikely, since i have 101 pieces of spare parts enough to build 2-3 more computers.

in fact now, i feel sorry for people who spent $1000 on a piece of motherboard and processor (i was one of them though). There are people screaming at Intel Core i7 even though it costs at least $900 with motherboard, strangely i don't find myself inside that group.

anyway, i'm glad that i'm finally moving on to other things. Maybe this enthusiasm will be back after i'm done with the bigger things i want now.

things are just so uncertain now; the job market, my graduation date. Sigh...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

SSDC online booking screwed for past week

ever since last saturday, i have problems viewing slots for practical lessons.

all started with a database error - user "SSDC" not found in the typical ASP error 500 page.

on sunday, the database was back. But hey, transactions made in the past 3 days were gone. Almost jumped at the screen.

things got slightly better over the next few days, but the website would not respond in a timely manner, or simply locked out due to "maintenance". It now takes around 2-3 mins to retrieve slots for 7 days. At 9am tomorrow, i think the site will go down again.

look at the available slots tomorrow... i have not seen a day full of slots for sometime, unless i clicked on mid December.

Everyone is desperate

the management must be screaming at the IT personnel. Even if the learners have already paid, they wouldn't be happy to be forced to miss their lessons and yet unable to trysell their slots off. It's $72, easily worth someone's daily salary.

saw another idiotic stomper complaining about a SSDC car 111 in his carpark. The problem that this ignorant fellow didn't notice, that car has a P plate, not L plate. Obviously, he has not learnt driving and decided to bark on the wrong wall. Very pathetic. Same goes for some fellow stompers who posted things like "is SSDC carpark so small that such training cannot be done"?

besides ignorance tortoises, we have mountain tortoises in Singapore too. Should get these tortoises to act as poles for refresher learners at the carparks. Paint them like a freaking zebra.

oh man, tolong ah tolong brothers, kiang tio ho, mai geh kiang. You people just made an ass out of yourselves online.

Link: SSDC uses public carpark as training ground

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

i miss hong kong

@gei cheong

can i be a PR there?

visited 3 times in a year, yet i still want to walk HK all over again. Central, Wan Chai, Tung Lo Wan, Mongkok, TST, Yuen Long... everything! Eat! Drink! Shop! Chill!

very sadly, the following has closed down in the territory. No more!!!


KrispyKreme HK has become a victim of the poor economy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Straits Vista @ Marsiling III

read from various forums, that selection phase I have ended. That was why the number of unselected 4 room units remained at 87 and 15 for 3 room units.

apparently, phase I was open for queue holders 1 to 415. Phase II will be open from 416 to the last holder, 1044. Given the moderately healthy take up rate (~73.2% 3 and 4 room units booked as at the end of phase I), it is almost sure that the BTO project will proceed (based on 75% takeup rate).

i never knew the meaning of "rainy day", until the 10%. Suddenly, a $2.50 ban mee will do for dinner, instead of a $5 meal far in town.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

what will be my job in 3 months?

IF nothing goes wrong, i would be finishing my studies in a matter of 4 weeks.

over the past few months, i listened to a number of advice, from those in the infocomm industry (or those who deals with infocomm indirectly, but still rather intensively such those from my current workplace).

i was bathing just now, and i thought i have identified my choices as i was soaping up and down.

first of all, i believe in work life balance. What i personally experienced, seen and heard so far has changed my view of a good job. Now, given this understanding, read on.

while i'm being trained for the technology industry so far, i'm hesitant to accept a full blown career in it, especially software development. Not that i'm not confident in my skillset, but i have other interests that i'm keen to explore.

an interest would be in writing. Writing for the mass, a focus group, giving my audience a piece of my views. So far some well wishers thought of this route as difficult, because i'm not trained in mass communications. I still feel otherwise, because a piece of writeup does not simply depend on how technically well versed the author is. I find myself interested in Asia Pacific politics, social affairs in general, and of course consumer technology. This is a job offer i would not resist in taking up, given favourable conditions.

another interest will be in hospitality, human resource or front line. These areas are rather large to define, but to summarise it - i believe in serving the needs of a related customer well, yet i also believe in having my colleagues working towards that goal too.

the last yet significant interest will be to serve my alma mater. I prefer to use 'serve', because i'm grateful for the conducive and open environment, as a former student and staff. I consider being accepted as a full time staff as an uphill task and something i won't dare to wish for right now, because i look bad in my academic department.

i know a person of my age would be running a small risk in exploration, but i don't mind it. As least, i won't regret in my thirties or forties, that i have only managed to carve a career in a single industry.

after saying so much, if you know of such jobs that seem to be what i'm looking for, and the company will benefit with such a person like me - please drop me a message at:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

driving - #16 and #17 (end of lessons)

subject 29 was the 2nd last subject, which is to focus on weak areas and do comprehensive driving. Mr Yeow took me, as usual. I find he's not very strict in blind spots and safety distance, which i was found myself to be weak. I have a problem with vertical and parallel parking too, due to insufficient practice.

if the parking is good, it's alright. Once the alignment is gone, things get screwed. Hope to get this right over the next few revisions.

the last subject, which is warm up plus pre-test assessment, was taken by a brand new instructor from riding side. He don't look his age, and surprisingly he has been with SSDC for 14-15 years. I won't quote his name because he helped me alot to get through this so i can book for TP today, even i didn't do well. In fact i did badly for the assessment.

he almost exposed all my shortcoming in the 2 hours. Although he added some suggestions, which weren't taught earlier. So, i found it too late to adjust. More on this later.

my shortcomings can be briefly summarised - not stopping at stop line (immediate failure item, i thought i managed to kill this bad habit until today) and distraction causing immediate failure. It was so easy to make mistakes when given unfamiliar instructions in the circuit. His instructions were not the normal ones - so far only i found Fariq, my 1st riding instructor and possibly testers gave similar ones.

the distraction part happens when the circuit is very crowded. Not girls lah, by the way.

he gave many suggestions in the areas of vertical parking (a completely new sighting point), parallel parking and inching out. Inching out after stopping at a minor road is a damn grey area so far, with some instructors saying i could be penalised for not inching out, the rest saying i should inch out. He added some twist to it as well.

at the end, he said things i agreed.

- be confident

- there are some things that are not usually taught. Testers will kill you (me) by using these things.

by the way, all the problems occurred in the circuit.

my TP is on 5 Jan 2009, 9.25am.

I think the #1 failure reason for auto learners - thanks to this sign