Restarting fresh :) – 2012

Posted On June 25, 2012

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It’s been a while since I posted anything. Many things have changed, and now I’m pretty much stuck at a dead-end job of selling phones. I’d have more free time 🙂 So hopefully this blog will start again and I’d post things that are more interesting. I won’t go into detail on what company I work for, but let’s just say it’s a major telco 😉

Well my new posts will be pretty short. I plan to do some reviews, but with a little twist: I’d review the less popular phones 🙂 and make it more interesting. We’ll see.

Edit: It would still be about anime/tech although I should note that you would see more phones / tablets in terms of tech as that’s part of my job now and I’ve fallen behind in the anime / manga front.

2009 Opens with a Crash

Posted On January 24, 2009

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It looks like everyone in the electronics sector is going nuts. The whole industry is in haywire, and a lot of major companies are facing restructuring. I think it’s worth a metion here of how a lot of people are suffering of uncertainty in their employment.

This recession is felt by a LOT of major / famous electronics company globally. Most of these articles are from ExtremeTech, which took it from Reuters:

  1. Intel Corporation might face its first quarterly loss after more than 2 decades, closes down fabs affecting 6000 jobs. Intel is the global semiconductor sales leader since 1992.
  2. Microsoft profitable, but still cuts 5000 jobs in order to cut costs anyway.
  3. AMD experiences a forth quarter loss that exceeds revenues as 2008 closes. The company has taken major blows in 08 and had decided to outsource its manufacturing business to third parties to cut costs. Earlier the company had planned to slash 1100 jobs and reduce salaries in order to reduce its operating costs.
  4. Sony will post a USD$2.9 billion operating loss as it  keeps losing money from many of its major sectors. This includes its Playstation 3 business, Bravia LCD TVs, and CyberShot digital cameras and slashed 16000 jobs. The company’s PS3 unit is still expected to take a loss from every single PS3 sold, as the console was priced less than its manufacturing cost. In an attempt to mitigate this, Sony has tried to reduce the number of components built into the PS3. Poor sales of the console possibly also contributed to SCE not being able to cover fixed costs related to the PS3. Sony also faced multiple battery recalls by HP, Toshiba, Dell, and Acer due to overheating problems globally from as early as 2005 until 2008.
  5. NVIDIA predicted a 50% reduction in revenue. This loss would most likely be attributed to a waning demand in the technology market. Would you rather spend a few hundred dollars to upgrade your graphics card or save it for the uncertain future?
  6. Qimonda, one of the world’s largest DRAM manufacturer, filed for insolvency. This just means it’s got debts it can’t pay off and it applied for bankruptcy protection. Qimonda, a spinoff from Infineon, was ranked 16 by sales in 2007, just below Micron Technologies.

2009 currently looks bleak, but let’s just hope the situation will change.

2009 Anime Wish List

Posted On January 7, 2009

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It’s 09 and new year means new anime (and of course, a lot of other new things, such as new projects, new problems, new tv’s, new car(s), new laptops all for me (yeah i wish)).  This year should keep me busy for most of the year, with final year projects and all. Wish me luck.

On a lighter note, again a ton of anime is coming for 09, and my list might be conservative. Here’s what really (as in really) expecting for this year:

New Season of Suzumiya Haruhi

I don’t know if this series will air in this year, so this is might be like a wish list, but here’s hoping that it will anyway. I hope that Kyoto Animation will keep up with the quality of their previous series. The first season was really well done in terms of animation quality, and having Hirano Aya singing God Knows was a really really cool super uber addition. I still think God Knows is awesome, and really contributed to the series.

Spice & Wolf II

Yes there’s a second season coming out, and the first season was absolutely awesome. It takes a new different genre, fusing a focus on economics and fantasy. It being a first in this genre makes it hard to compare against others, but character representation was pretty good —  especially Horo (OK I may be a little biased here). And a BIG Horo for you all 😄

Horo will steal all your apples! XD

Horo will steal all your apples! 😄

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni OVA & Live Action II

To be honest, I didn’t watch the first live action movie. But since they’re making the sequel, I assume it reached some point of success, so I’ll try to get both live action movies in one go. I only watched the first season of the anime, was totally freaked out but still watch it for the copious amount of blood anyway.

I didn’t get a chance to watch the second season since my quota always ran out when I remembered to download it, and I’ll always download something random when my quota resets. I’ll get Kai somehow, even though some of my friends said it’s not as bloody as the first one.

Eden of the East

I saw this in Wikipedia’s 2009 anime list and read the summary, it looks like it’s worth watching. It will be produced by Production I.G, whose works include Ghost in the Shell OVAs and Evangelion movies (except 1.0 – You are (Not) Alone). It looks like a worthwhile watch.

Book of the Dead (2005)

Okay, it’s not released in 2009, but it looks like I missed out on this one of a kind movie. According to Wikipedia, this is a freeze frame animation of a story about a princess with powers. I won’t summarize the story coz wikipedia has done it. It looks unique, and it did receive an Excellence Prize for animation at the 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival.

I’m sure more things will come up during the year, so I’ll start with this much for now.

Hell bored at home and looking for anime. Again

Posted On December 30, 2008

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First, let me wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! I hope everyone has a great time (unlike me), and those unlucky enough to not have a good xmas… don’t despair. Anyways, I wish you all a wonderful 2009!

Okay, i’m back in Indonesia now and things aren’t looking rosy. When other international students in Adelaide go back to wherever they come from during the summer holidays, they’ll go crazy and want to go home the very next day.

For me, 3 months in this godforsaken place means a time of.. silent recollections. A chance to sit back… and relax… I prefer to call it rotting at home being HELL BORED. To make it worse, there’s NO INTERNET at home in my parent’s place, and I DIDN’T BRING MY LAPTOP HOME.

So I’m stuck here, with my uncle’s laptop that HAS A Mobility X300, 15 MINS OF BATTERY LIFE. That’s all cool, since I can still watch anime. Although anything with h.264 and 1280×720 and above will take the poor Pentium M up to 100%.

That’s if I’ve got anime to watch.

Foolishly enough, I didn’t take my digital store with me home. So it’s sitting there collecting dust in Adelaide. I brought my 120GB portable home, but for some reason I didn’t load it to its full capacity. Talk about wasting potentials.. So no games (it’s an X300, nuff said – and I’m missing my Assasin’s Creed as well). There’s only 1 korean drama, a set of photos, and 3-4 movies in my portable. So that leaves….

My N95.

What’s inside? Another set of photos, Hidamari Sketch (1st season, x365 was in MKV and I can’t convert it coz VirtualDubMod kept crashing on me), Lucky Star (which I think I’ve memorized nearly all the lines and hence can watch it without the subtitles), and Mimi wo Sumaseba. And a few games, including Rainbow Island (yeah the one that was like Puzzle Bubble or Bubble Bobble or whatever it is). I brought my TV-out cable with me, but subtitles for HS proved unreadable.

A sliver of hope came up when I thought I managed to convince my dad to set up wireless internet at home. Its not broadband, but it’ll do. He agreed to set it up coz my uncle has a 3G wireless modem lying around and lent it to us. So we went up to the shop, and… the modem didn’t work. So, still no internet.

OK fine, some people will say that I’m lucky enough to have a computer at home, or to even have a home. But if you can read this, you obviously have access to a computer.

Sooo….

That leaves analogue entertainment. If any of my friends out there read this, please call me and lets just talk about random crap.

Or I’ll get the bike fixed and just took off on my own to find random dvd’s or mangas to rent. Mangas may be out of the question since they’re really expensive now and I’d rather download them.

Mind and Machine

Posted On December 12, 2008

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Via PinkTentacle.com.

Scientists in Japan had successfully used an functional MRI technology to read people’s mind. The article stated that the subject was shown 400 random images at random at 12 seconds per image while a computer monitors the subject’s brain activity. It seemed that this step was used to calibrate the computer readings and from the results of these tests the computer was able to recognize simple patterns in the brain relating to what the subject is thinking.

In short, the machine was able to read people’s minds.

This… promotes whole new possibilities and there also an ethical problem where.. machines can be used to read peoples minds. The limitless implication this technology could bring is twofold. One is that people can express what they want directly into machines, but this also meant that the last and ultimate barrier to people’s soul and privacy has been broken. When sufficiently researched and refined, this technology could bring Orwell’s 1984 from mere science fiction to a possible reality.

I personally think, there should be a limit to where technology could be developed, and those limits should not be trespassed. When it comes to “annihilating” or “digitizing” the “human” inside humans… It’s just not right. There are things where people should just do it the old fashioned way, with hands. Other’s minds should never be delved into, or dived into using machines. This just breaks the last barrier of privacy in us.

Let’s just hope there will still be freedom, and a future we can hope for. I personally think a Utopia would have lost human touch already.

When Computers Rule the Mind

When Computers Rule the Mind

One More Time, One More Chance

Posted On December 5, 2008

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This is an insert song at the end of 5 Centimeters Per Second (秒速5センチメートル, Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru), which pretty much summarized the whole story of the movie. I find it really touching, and it has a nostalgic feeling to it somehow.. It’s a really wonderful song! Makoto Shinkai has taken a conventional story and lifted it to extraordinary heights, and he made a really good point about it. I’m a fan of his works, including Hoshi no Koe (Voices of a Distant Star) and The Place Promised in Our Early Days. I’ll post youtube videos of the insert songs of his other works later. But this definitely comes first, especially if you can put it into context of the anime.

Lyrics (from AnimeLyrics.com):

One More Time, One More Chance

kore ijyou nani wo ushinaeba kokoro wa yurusareru no
dore hodo no itaminaraba mou ichido kimi ni aeru
One more time kisetsuyo utsurowanaide
One more time fuzakeatta jikan yo

kuichigau toki wa itsumo boku ga saki ni oretane
wagamama na seikaku ga naosara itoshikusaseta
One more chance kioku ni ashi wo torarete
One more chance tsugi no basho wo erabenai

itsudemo sagashiteiruyo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
mukai no HOOMU rojiura no mado
konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai noni
negai wa moshimo kanau nara imasugu kimi no moto e
dekinai koto wa mou nani mo nai
subete kakete dakishimete miseru yo

sabishisa magirasu dake nara dare demo ii hazu na noni
hoshi ga ochisouna yoru dakara jibun wo itsuwarenai
One more time kisetsu yo utsurowanaide
One more time fuzakeatta jikan yo

itsudemo sagashiteiruyo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
kousaten demo yume no naka demo
konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai noni
kiseki ga moshimo okoru nara ima sugu kimi ni misetai
atarashii asa kore kara no boku
ienakatta “suki” to iu kotoba mo

natsu no omoide ga mawaru
fui ni kieta kodou

itsudemo sagashiteiruyo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
akegata no machi sakuragi chou de
konna toko ni kuru hazu mo nai noni
negai ga moshimo kanau nara imasugu kimi no moto e
dekinai koto wa mou nani mo nai
subete kakete dakishimete miseru yo

itsudemo sagashiteiruyo dokka ni kimi no kakera wo
tabisaki no mise shinbun no sumi
konna toko ni aru hazu mo nai noni
kiseki ga moshimo okoru nara ima sugu kimi ni misetai
atarashii asa kore kara no boku
ienakatta “suki” to iu kotoba mo

itsudemo sagashiteshimau dokka ni kimi no egao wo
kyuukou machi no fumikiri atari
konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai noni
inochi ga kurikaesu naraba nandomo kimi no moto e
hoshii mono nado mou nani mo nai
kimi no hoka ni taisetsu na mono nado

English translation:

If I lose any more than this, will my heart be forgiven
How much pain before I can see you again
One more time, please don’t change the season
One more time to the time when we fool around

When our path cross each other, I am always the first to turn
Making me indulge more in my selfish way
One more chance tripped by memories
One more chance we cannot choose our next place

I am always searching somewhere for you
Opposite of the house, the other side of the alley’s window
Even though I know you won’t be here
If my wish is to be granted, please bring me to you right now
Betting and embracing everything
To show you there’s nothing else I can do

Anybody should be fine if it was just to ease loneliness
Because the stars in the night sky seems like falling, I cant lie to myself
One more time, please dont’ change the season
One more time to the time when we fool around

I am always searching somewhere for you
Even at the intersection and dream
Even though I know you won’t be here
If miracle was to happen, I want to show it to you right now
A new morning, myself
and the “I love you” which I couldn’t say

Summer’s memory is revolving
The sudden disappearance of heart beat

I am always searching somewhere for you
At dawn’s town, At Sakuragi street
Even though I know you won’t come here
If my wish is to be granted, please bring me to you right now
Betting and embracing everything
To show you there’s nothing else I can do

I am always searching somewhere for your fragment
At the destination’s shop, At the corner of the newspaper
Even though I know you won’t be there
If miracle was to happen, I want to show it to you right now
A new morning, myself
And the “I love you” which I couldn’t say

I always end up looking somewhere for your smile
At the railway crossing of the fast pace town
Even though I know you won’t be here
If life can be repeated, I’ll go to you many times over
There’s nothing else that I want
Nothing else is more important than you

Credits to AnimeLyrics.com.

Message to All Apple Fanboys

Posted On December 5, 2008

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As you might think, I’m not exactly a fan of Apple. I’m not saying they’re bad, I’m saying they’re not better than any other computers out there (okay, except for some really crappy brands). Here’s some facts to you Apple fanboys (and yes I use a PC at home and used an iMac at uni for my computer science subjects). You can look up the facts on the net if you don’t trust me. I decided to write something like this just because I was bored, and the culminating idiocy a lot of fanboys show. Write a comment, and by all means flame me.

1. Mac OS X IS inherently stable.

Mac OS X has an underlying UNIX base, which has been developed through many decades. UNIX is a lot older than the DOS/Windows family and is more mature, although as a desktop OS, the Windows NT family caught up somehow.

Unix has a long history as a basis for mainframe and server operating system. Originally developed by AT&T at Bell Labs back in 1969, it has since been used by many big names in the computing industry. This includes HP (with their HP-UX), IBM (with the AIX).

As such, UNIX needs to be inherently stable considering its purpose. Crashes in these systems may mean incurring a relatively huge loss, be it in time wasted or resources spent. In this sense, OS X, based on a UNIX (Darwin) core, is very stable.

The Windows NT family on the other hand, did not have such an elegant history. It started as a joint project by Microsoft and IBM back in 1989, originally to be called OS/2 3.0. Due to a disagreement between Microsoft and IBM, they seperated ways in the project. IBM took on the OS/2 development, while Microsoft took on the newly formed Windows NT.

The OS then evolved, from its humble beginnings as Windows NT 3.1, to the Windows 2000 family (which was regardes as rock stable), Windows XP and Server 2003, and finally to the current Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. In my personal experience, XP was relatively unstable prior to SP2. SP2 changed all that, and SP3 made it a very stable desktop OS, unlike its DOS-based Windows 9x family (and including Windows Me).

2. Face it – a lot more programs runs on the Windows family

Can we just get over this fact? Sure many of you may think “I’ve got all I need, so who cares?”. So much for a comforting  statement. Adobe has a suite for OS X, and so does Microsoft Office. WoW runs on OS X, and a there’s a version of Live Messenger available for OS X as well. BUT, there are times when you can’t deny the fact that you’ll need to turn to the PC. A lot of this depends on your occupation and interests. Some people (a lot actually) needs to run things that will not run on OS X. This includes AutoCAD, SolidEdge, Altium Designer, and 3ds Max amongst others. Sure there are alternatives, but a lot of these are industry standard (sorry, these are all engineering related software)

Another set of applications that are more common to most people  are games. Face it, Mac OS X just doesn’t have access to a lot of Windows games. Sure you can access some of them through Wine or other similar software that emulates the DirectX API, but these just don’t work perfectly, and doesn’t work with a lot of games anyway.

“That’s why we have BootCamp and Parallels Desktop!” you say. So what? You’re still running Windows. And a Mac running Windows is not different to any other PCs isn’t it?

3. Carbon Fiber > Brushed Aluminum

This is just one of my personal favourites when it comes to telling how stupid Apple fanboys can be. I can’t exactly find the original post, but this is from quite while ago. Read the comments some people write here.

Laptops are split into many different classes, with each class aimed at different people with different needs. When the MacBook Air just came out, it shook the world with its incredibly thin profile. A lot of people said (including me) “Wow! This is so cool!” when it first came out. A lot of them also didn’t realize, there were a few laptops approaching the size of the MBA a few years before the MBA. Google for the VAIO X505, Sharp Actius MM20, and Toshiba Protege R100. These were laptops launched back in 2004, when Intel had just released their first generation (based on the 855PM/GM/GME chipset and the Pentium M) Centrino specification. The MBA was launched in early 08, using custom chips from Intel. So, don’t think the MBA was such a feat. And don’t think that the Lenovo X300 and other ultrathins are copying the MBA. The concept was there all along. Apple just entered the market.

Oh, and the X505 has a replaceable battery that you can pop off without a screwdriver. I think most laptops have.

OK back on topic, a lot of the posts that buzzed the article above, a lot of people are not doing apples to apples comparison. Some people say they like the MBA with an all-aluminium casing better. This is perfectly fine, as it shows personal preference. However, some people say that carbon fiber is like plastic and doesn’t fare as well as aluminium. This is false. Carbon fiber is the same stuff used in a lot of high performance cars and aircraft due to its durability and strength-to-weight ratio. Unfortunately, it also costs a lot more than aluminium.

A lot of people were also talking about how underpowered the laptop is in terms of performance, and this really ticks me off. What’s the point of fitting an 8600GS on a 13.3″ laptop? It’s just not the right market. True, Voodoo is synonymous with gaming systems, but there isn’t a law that forbids them to go into the ultraportable market. Get on with life.

Another thing is, a lot of people are complaining of how the CTRL key is mislabeled as  CRTL. Big deal, it’s not like the MacMook is any better.

4. On the Digital Wilderness

“I’ve got virtually no viruses!”. You know why? If you write a virus, you’d want it to be successful and want to see it thrive right? How can a virus thrive when only a handful of people use OS X? In summary: there’s no point for writing viruses that run amok only on what, 9% of the market? Anyways, basic safe computing habits is pretty much the best way to thwart a virus from going into your system, regardless of the OS.

It’s not the OS, it’s the way you use it.

5. Apple DOES NOT have a manufacturing facility

This is what many people don’t realize. That’s why iPods are labeled “Designed by Apple in California”. Go grab an English dictionary, do some research, and verify that “Designed by” is not the same as “Made in”. iPods and iPhones are made in China, and I think they’re made in the Foxconn factory. Which also makes a whole lot of other stuff, including HPs, Dells, even the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

That’s it for now. Flame away, I’d be more than happy to respond or if you can prove me wrong.

Random Photos Around Adelaide

Posted On December 3, 2008

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Here’s some random shots I took with my N95-2, mostly around where I live and around the University of Adelaide. These are mostly pictures I took while waiting for something, be it crossing the road or waiting for the bus or whatever you can think of. Including lectures (even though I sleep through the most of them anyway).

Gah I’m writing this without my mouse (out of battery and I currently charging), so I have to reach on top to use the laptop’s touchpad. Those who knows how my room is arranged like will know what I mean straight away.

At the David Jones crossing, after lunchtime

Some tree within the Uni grounds. Think it’s just next to Napier.

Stairs at Morialta Conservation Park, 2nd falls path.Stairs at the Morialta Conservation Park, 2nd Falls Path

Sunny sky at 6.47PM. Daylight savings time pushes sunset all the way until around 8.00PM.Sunny sky at 6.47PM. Daylight savings time pushes sunset all the way until around 8.00PM.

Lonely stobie pole just outside. A lot of high voltage lines cross the Adelaide Hills. This is NOT one of them.

Victoria Square on a Sunday. The peace is just bliss.Victoria Square on a Sunday. The peace is just bliss.

Somewhere in the Rundle St Precinct, centre of Adelaides high class nightlife.Somewhere in the Rundle St Precinct, centre of Adelaide’s high class nightlife.

Clovers on the side of the road. These tiny leaves thrive in bunches along the wet season.Clovers on the side of the road. These tiny leaves thrive in bunches along the wet season.

I’ll save the rest for later. My right hand is getting tired from reaching up.

Money crisis T__T + new keyboard

Posted On December 2, 2008

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November and December had been a total mixup. November was riddled with exams and final reports to write, and at the end of the month, a couple of birthdays and a few farewell parties. On top of that I needed to get a new keyboard.

I’ve just got a new keyboard, decided on the Logitech Illuminated. It’s pretty good, albeit a bit expensive. Luckily I’ve still got a gift card MJ & the others gave me for my birthday. So all in all that brings the keyboard down to $63, from $98. Without the gift card, it would’ve been expensive.

But I’m not regretting it, the keys are just like what I really wanted it to be, and keypresses are just right. It feels like a ThinkPad keyboard with extra stiffness. Somewhere in between those old IBM keyboard feel and a ThinkPad board. It doesn’t feel like a laptop keyboard at all. Oh, and it has backlit keys (that’s why it’s called the Illuminated keyboard LOL).

If there’s anything I’ve got to complain: it doesn’t have any USB ports. Logitech should be able to cram at least 1 port in this keyboard, considering it draws only 300mA of current from the USB port (out of the 500 mA available). This means it should be able to accomodate at least one more low power device (mouse receivers anyone?) that consumes 100mA (low power USB spec). 300mA was a rated figure, found on the back of the keyboard itself.

I’ll post pictures of it later on, but it looks pretty cool. I haven’t tried it for gaming, and gaming isn’t what this keyboard is intended for, but I’ll try it out anyway. For typing, it’s really solid.

Edit: Here’s the pic 😄

You cant really see since my desk is also dark colored, and the keyboard is black, but you can see the glowing white keys somehow.

You can’t really see since my desk is also dark colored, and the keyboard is black, but you can see the glowing white keys somehow.

Now I’ve got to save cash, at least $600. And woolies paid me $100 less last week. I’ll need my stupid bank statement to prove it to them. Luckily I check my payslips.

No new anime currently, still watching Toradora! (which is getting very interesting, like very interesting), and finishing up Hidamari Sketch x365. I’m far behind in Clannad ~After Story~ since I’m waiting for the HD releases over from SS-Eclipse. Even though I’m only in ep3, it’s showing the quality of the series already. It has a really touching storyline so far.

Done!

Posted On November 24, 2008

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And with that..  exams are over!! I’m now free, until my results come out at least. If I get between 40% – 50%, I’ll have to sit for a supp exam.. So yeah. I’ll enjoy my life till supps come.

As with Red Alert 3, played till the last Soviet mission, and currently I don’t have any intention of playing it. Screw it for now.

Keyboard Dilemma

Worse still, I spilled tea over my keyboard, and several buttons don’t work. So I’m typing this with my laptop keyboard (luckily I didn’t spill it on my laptop). I wouldn’t really complain if it’s just some random buttons not working. All the letters are working, together with ctrl, shift, alt, etc… Everything’s fine except:

the frieking spacebar…

and the “-” key, and 1,2,3 on the numpad (the rest works).

Pulled it apart, and can’t determine cause of failure. Screw this. If I’m really bored, I’ll salvage parts of my older keyboard, and if not, i’ll just  get a new one. If anyone’s actually reading this, any suggestion for a keyboard? My budget’s ~AUD$50

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