Monthly Archives: August 2005

the future is now

i’d apologise for all the recent geekiness, but then…

my blog, my rules.


anyway this is another geeky post but i think it’s accessible enough by normal people. check this out!

The TactaPad by Tactiva.

be sure to watch the movies linked from that site! they’re pretty cool. kinda reminds me of that scene from minority report, where pre-crime chief john anderton (aka tom cruise) plays with the pre-crime computer interface using his hands.

guys like it for the tech, girls like it for the guy. everybody’s happy.


shopping spoils

so i just went and bought myself a convertible.

a new laptop bag, to be specific. it was on offer at challenger and i quite liked its versatility (being able to transform between a backpack to a messenger bag is a pretty cool feature for me). the colour’s quite sucky but oh well. less likely to attract theft huh?

anyway i later discovered why it’s on offer – it’s from the 2004 catalogue. not that i actually care. the only reason i know this is because i later tried to find the product on their website and apparently only the slovakian site still has it. anyone who understands slovakian (or whatever language they use) is welcome to translate that for me.

also got myself a new mouse. Logitech® Click!™ Optical Mouse! i love logitech. the ergonomics are good. it looks pretty ok too (my version is coloured differently from the website’s, it doesn’t look anywhere so… urgh) and with the extra button, it has practically all the function of my previous mighty mouse! (minus side scrolling)

just that logitech’s mouse doesn’t cramp my wrist up like apple’s does, and you’re able to click more than one button at a time, a function i realised (too late) that i use a lot on the mac.

and if you’re wondering what’d happened to the apple mouse anyway… hmm. well. let’s just say it has been… put to better use.

(sorry! to the one who gave it to me. but look at it this way, it’s almost financed both purchases today. so it’s like you gave me a mouse PLUS a laptop bag. and you’re right, that mouse was indecently expensive =P)

osx on sony vaio! also creative news

when looking for a laptop for uni, sony had been one of my alternative choices (another being asus), but in the end i’d opted for apple.

so with apple changing to intel chips and all that, and osx being hacked to run on x86, i’m pretty irritated (and envious!) to see a dual-booting sony vaio, plus a movie of it in action!

good thing (as far as i know) that version of osx is a trial version and it can’t run all the current mac apps which have been designed for the non-intel powerpc chip. or something like that. i didn’t bother to read in great detail.

in other unrelated news, creative zen neeons shipping with pre-installed viruses really took me by surprise. how’d it happen, for a (relatively) big name company like creative? seems to me it’s really bad publicity at a really bad time. hmm.


my first experience with the pronounceable exclamation mark was sometime in lower sec when we got some geog worksheet mentioning the !kung bushmen. mrs soh informed a disbelieving class that the exclamation mark was actually pronounced as a clicking sound.

fastforward to a few years later when i first come across this russell peters clip and am reunited with the wonderful !. suffice to say that it amused me greatly.

fastforward a couple of weeks and i suddenly notice that valerie, one of the many contacts i never talk to, had a ! in her nick.

so there i was, thinking it was pretty cool. so !ost my nick became.

fastforward a few minutes, and suddenly at least 5 people have a cool ! in their nicks.

fastforward a few hours, and i’m wondering what evil i’ve helped unleash upon the world… haha. join the club, guys!

ns links

and then i decided i should make this post like a tribute to my ns life (FAREWELL FULL TIME NS DIE DIE DIE! byebye. now only left 10 years of reservist to clear. sigh) so i went back did a bit of searching and found some related posts made throughout my ns time. there are others, but these kinda form the basic skeleton of my ns memories, i guess.

5-day PES E induction @ tekong
cmpb posting
early mindef impressions
office (clerk) culture
first (time-based) promotion
bored at work
changing boss
PASOLS @ marina mandarin
kena upgraded
wanna go ocs
the new boss
considering signing on
high-level office politics
leaving mindef

first bmt bookout
ippt pass! disrupt for 2 days
bmt field camp
bmt thoughts
end of bmt

the new posting
sispec starts
specialists’ creed
the lonely island


slack SI life
satisfied with slack SI life
starting the job
kena extra

clear leave loh!
ord loh!

return to mindef

i’ve had a rather unusual ns experience, so recently i thought that i may as well leverage upon it. i figured that a ns testimonial would be pretty useful as a general resume buff, especially for application to a uni in the states for postgrad. generally they seem to somewhat respect the military over there, so hopefully it comes in useful someday.

and of course i had to get this testimonial before i was totally forgotten, so i got in touch with my ex-boss and hesitantly asked if he could do me this favour. surprisingly (because i’d actually only served under him for slightly more than a month), he agreed.

so it was with some trepidation that i made my trip back to mindef today. it’s been five months since my last visit to mindef, and i haven’t really kept in contact with the people back there, so i was expecting like nothing much to say so get the testimonial (which i ended up drafting myself haha) signed and leave.

but i was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a nice experience. i went in and spoke with my old officers. even went to the canteen for tea break with them. my ex-boss apparently remembers my disappointment at not getting ocs from years ago, and actually introduced me to a new officer (some new LTC who’s been posted in while i was gone) as having been of ‘ocs calibre, but with not enough service time to effectively deploy’. so either he’s memorised that line and now thinks it’s true, or… well, it’s true. which is really nice to know.

i spoke to one of my officers for quite some time, finding out along the way more about the NJC IP system which his daughter’s currently in. it’s rather interesting, what they do. might well be even more GEPish than what GEP had. so in a way, i think GEP’s officially dead. kinda. almost. practically. probably gonna be a primary school thing already. raffles still has their gep classes within the IP system though, i wonder what it’s like.

all in all i spent about three hours there, just talking to the people there. gosh. it’s probably the last time i’d be there, though. no real reason to go back, especially with three years of overseas studies coming up soon.

in the end, it’s just another chapter of my life to be filed away, a time when i was treated well by my colleagues and superiors, and i had a great respect for the SAF. my first experience with office life in a place where most of the guys were motivated and relatively high-flying.

on internet friends

hmm today my posts all vaguely involve internet communication. i guess it’s just that too many related ideas popped up along the way lah.

so today while i was breakfasting with some of zhengyi’s friends, they asked how i got to know zhengyi. so that led to how i’d got to know meiling. kinda embarrassed to elaborate fully, i tried to pass it off with a ‘secondary school lah’ response.

“huh so you were in rgs ah?”
(yes i was in rgs for awhile before i realised that i didn’t quite belong for some reason so i transferred to ri. -roll eyes-)

so without much of a choice left, i was forced to reveal the truth – that i’d got to know her via IRC.

yes, IRC. the shame of it all! haha. i was once an IRC kid. gosh. i think i started in sec2 or maybe late sec1. there were the standard channels #ri, #rgs, #raffles (as i recall), but the one i actually frequented was this one called #that’s_life, which kinda became a hangout for a bunch of geppers from my batch.

that was when a new kind of acquaintance entered my life – what i label the ‘internet friend’.

the internet friend is someone with whom you communicate primarily via internet. this doesn’t include someone you used to be close to who’s gone overseas or something like that – no, this is just someone who you got to know somehow and talk to more than 95% of the time via internet. out of choice.

i’ve had a couple of internet friends over the years. some were upgraded into like. friends. some were downgraded into the category. one became a close friend of many years. most remained where they were.

i’m sure there was a point to this post but i think i’ve lost my train of thought. oh well. i just think the status of internet friend is really weird… neither here nor there? like if you’re content to go through your life communicating with someone mainly via the computer. well. don’t you find that weird?

the funny thing is that even today, i’ve still got a few friends like that. i dunno why. i guess i’ve just never really tried to get to know them better, and have got so used to them just being internet friends, it’s kinda stuck.

oh well.

on instant messaging

i have about a hundred contacts on msn now, and i talk to less than 15% of them. this is kinda like my contact list status back when i was on icq, back before the great icq-msn migration. so when i was switching programs, i’d actually tried to ensure i only added contacts i actually talked to.

so for most of jc i was actually on a happy 20+ contacts on msn. i didn’t see people online 24/7, but when i did see someone online it was probably someone i’d actually talk to.

but along the way people kept adding me even if we didn’t really know each other so somehow my antisocial shell was penetrated. so i thought, oh well, i might as well just add lor, and now after meeting quite a few people over the past few months, i’ve got about a hundred contacts.

so am i talking to any of the people i’ve added recently? surprisingly enough (to me), yes. not that many (compared to the number i’ve actually added), but still. yes. and i’ve figured out that there’s actually no real cost involved in having dozens of contacts you don’t talk to (since you can safely ignore their existence for the most part), and they’re actually useful in case you ever do want to talk to them, so yeah.

if an irritatingly large list is the price you pay for new people to converse with, then. well. so be it.

about… some guy

today i went to send zhengyi off. i still dunno why i went – most of the time i’d felt like i was crashing some party, uninvited.

(probably it was because i’d said i was going to, some days back, and today when my alarm rang at 5am and i felt like sleeping summore, i was honour-bound to go)

but seriously, well i’m not the type to go send people i’m not close to off. like when councillors i wasn’t close to were leaving and people wanted to send them off, i’d decline to ‘join in the fun’ because i thought it was rather pointless.

so this guy, who’d added me to msn (or was it icq?) some time back for no better reason than having a common (close) friend. this complete stranger who was browsing my (livejournal?) in a time when i wasn’t comfortable with the idea of people i didn’t know doing so. this loudmouth who irritated anti-social me with his antics.

i sent this guy off. why? i dunno. i guess it’s just… uhh. fate? haha.

over the months he’d evolved from an irritant to just ‘some other guy on my msn’. someone i’d actually willingly talk to every now and then. and then this year our paths crossed again, quite a few times. meiling’s birthday, all the MOE sessions…

i guess i’ve actually grown to like this loudmouth stranger. i’m still not very close to him (and quite probably never will be), but… well.

like that lor.

i’m actually not very good with words, sometimes.

the evil police

was talking to a police friend of mine and. THE HORROR! he privately supports piracy!

i’m suddenly reminded of that idea i’ve always had. that at police HQ or something they have a private cinema where they screen the latest movies confiscated at the causeway.

(hmm i wonder which police friend it could be. maybe that SPFOS son of my ex-boss?)