Archive for May, 2009

(untitled)

May 21, 2009

I couldn’t come up with a decent title, so this post is untitled.

Next week is the last week of school, and it is really amazing how fast time passes in this term. In fact, it always surprises me how time flies. I was just thinking about how life would be like another 18 years later and how it would be like to be on my deathbed. As I pondered about these questions (when I am supposed to be doing my tutorials), the uncertainty of my future strikes fear in my heart. 18 years down the road, where would I be? And when I am dying, who would be with me and who would remember me? Indeed, there is nothing to fear in death itself, but the unknown can scare the hell out of you.

On a lighter note, I was quite happy yesterday. I managed to patch up a broken friendship (though I really doubt that our friendship would be as close as before) and I went out with a close friend. I found it interesting to go out with friends and listen to them complain about life and other people. But personally, I don’t like to divulge my own feelings. Not that I am introverted, but I tend to keep my own secrets to myself, even though I might seem outgoing to all my friends. But yeah, I was happy yesterday even though I ended up being extremely tired today.

I have come to the phase of life where I find I never have enough time. For one, I need to manage my studies, which takes up a large part of my time. Then I want to continue my duathlon training, even though I am not racing this year, but I find it hard to stick to my intended 3 trainings per week schedule. Then of course, I want to spend time with my close friends – I believe that this is the period where long-lasting friendships are formed – and of course that takes time (and quite a bit of money). And lastly, I definitely do want to brush up my programming skills and even learn a object-orientated programming language, though I know that would definitely have to wait until my A levels are over.

Not only do I lack time, I also lack money. While I am not completely broke (like some of my friends are), but I do have a relatively long to-buy list, and all of the items are not cheap. Moreover, I probably wouldn’t have time to rake in any extra income from winning competitions or what not. So I really need to watch how I spend my money this year.

The cash relief I was counting on was from my parents, who promised to give me USD$500 for my Silicon Valley trip. However, the trip was suddenly delayed in view of the swine flu pandemic, and it seems that we would only go on the trip in December this year. This unexpected change in plans threw my financial plans completely out of whack. So much for how high expected income is supposed to drive consumption. But on the other hand, it means I have more time to study for my 2nd block tests – but that also means I have got no excuse if I do badly.

On a totally unrelated note, I finally mastered the manual mode of my camera. Time to test my photo taking skills at STJ on Saturday! But for now, it’s time for me to sleep. So,

Till next time,
cheers

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My (temporary) new blog

May 14, 2009

Ok, my server crashed about 2 months back, and right now, while the server is back up, my server admin is trying to find and restore backups of my site. So, this would hopefully be just a temporary place for me to express my thoughts. However, if for some reason, my server admin is unable to restore the backup, then I suppose this blog would be more permanent.

Anyway, it’s hard to squeeze two months worth of personal updates into a single blog post. But it’s worth a try. So let’s begin with the National Infocomm Competition Awards Ceremony. Apparently, my school came out tops in our category, winning 6 slots for a government sponsored trip to Silicon Valley in June, 6 iPod Touches and an assortment of other hardware and software. After 2 rounds of balloting, I managed to score a place for the trip. However, sadly, the swine flu outbreak recently is casting a shadow of doubt as to whether the trip can still take place (though the organizers have given it the green light so far).

Another cool thing I actually did was actually setting up a Mac Mini as a media server in my house. My huge library of music and movies collection was taking up a huge chunk of valuable space on my Macbook Pro, and hence I transferred all the huge movie files over to the Mac Mini, freeing 20GB of space. And by just enabling sharing on the Mac Mini’s iTunes, I am able to stream those movie and watch them as though they were sitting on my hard drive itself. Admittedly, the playback was choppy at first, but soon I figured out the root of the problem – the Mini’s wireless card was bottlenecking the data transmissions – and solved it easily by just plugging in a ethernet wire. That leaves me with my wireless free, so I created a Computer to Computer network and enabled VNC, so now I can control my Mac Mini with my iPhone via VNC even when my home router is switched off. Amazing huh, the power of networking?

Somehow, I have also became quite interested in photography recently. Maybe it was under the influence of my mentor in Shanghai, but I realized photography can be quite fun. I am currently using a consumer SLR (Fujifilm FinePix S9500) given to me by my dad during my birthday when he upgraded to a Sony DSLR. Right now, I am still learning how to make full use of all the settings that were never there on a “point and shoot” consumer camera, but I am pretty much getting the hang of it. However, I do not look forward to the time when I find the camera lacking and desiring to upgrade to a proper DSLR (though I am quite sure that moment will come). I really do think I should cut down on my expensive hobbies.

I was also reorganizing those files left on my hard drive. For one, I managed to geo-tag my entire photo library and fixed many photos that had incorrect time stamps. The relative ease of iPhoto made the job really easy, and it only took me 2 nights to get everything right. This is in preparation for a rapid expansion in my photo library that I foresee, given that I now have a nice camera of my own.

And of course, it was fun going through all the files for events I have participated in over the past 2 years (wow, it’s really hard to believe that my MacBook Pro has been with me for more than 2 years). For example, I managed to dig up the essays that I submitted for the blog4biz competition back in 2007 (and got me my MacBook). I was also admiring my Inspire Run PHP scripts, especially the photo gallery and the registration system, which I thought were simply ingenious (sorry for the apparent lack of modesty).

That’s it for now.

Till next time,
cheers