Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Some of the lyrics are kinda meaningful...
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I've been partying since Friday evening, right after work. Office organized a Christmas Party in Yiwu, and all the staffs went. Ironically, it was held in an Arabic restaurant called The 1001 Nights. The LOTUS peeps took up an L shaped corner of the restaurant and we had loads of food to chump down.
It was pretty cool to be having dinner there, as there were belly dancing show off and on every 15 minutes or so. Once the peeps got warmed up, some went up to dance off their big beer bellies as well (together with the pretty belly dancers of course! Haha!)
Right on after dinner was a KTV session, and I stayed on over night in Yiwu together with Tan. Decided that I wouldnt wanna take the 1 hour journey in the middle of the night, and after all I could do some shopping in Yiwu as well the following day. So... ended up buying nothing much more than just 1 BALENO sweater, and thats about it, for when shopping list is concerned. Tand and I had to rush back to Jinhua for a second session of clubbing - and by 9pm or so, we were down at BAIDU Club. Not a very exciting night... but kinda had sh*t loads of beer without knowing or realizing it. Haha. Happy endings after that.
And now, its 4.07pm Saturday... havent makan yet. Woke up a couple of hours ago. Watched 2 movies. And planning to get some food before heading down to another club. :P Bloody hell... I'm partying so hard I think I will soon pass out and forget what the hell is going on with my life. Hahah...
Wait a minute, have the alcohol passed on over yet?
Bah... might as well just catch some sleep now.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
- Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.53GHz, 6MB L2 Cache & 1066MHz FSB
- 4GB DDR3 1066Mhz
- 320GB 5400rpm HDD
- NVidia GForce 9400m GT @ shared VRAM 256MB
- NVidia GForce 9600m GT discreet VRAM 512MB DDR3
- Single Aluminium Unibody
- Full size backlit keyboard & a huge glass trackpad
- Glorious LCD screen with glossy glass layer
- iSight camera
- Bluetooth & 802.11N WiFi
After using the MBP for a week now I can say that its been a pretty breezy experience. Although the initial start up was a bit of a struggle, due to the various differences the OS-X has compared to MS Windows - I somehow manage to balance it all out and get along. Icons are clear, big and beautifully designed. It's kinda pain to have to hunt for torrents or installers to find those 3rd party software for Macs (ie. Photoshop, Office etc). But I soon realized its not really that bad actually since there are many alternatives to certain applications. For an example, I am currently using a FREE Office application called NeoOffice and it works and looks just as much like the Microsoft version!
One thing I love about the OS-X is how easy it is to back up my system. With just an external hard drive plugged in, and a flip of a button it auto backups my system. This is of course thanks to the feature called Time Machine. Love feature I must say :). There are many other nifty features such as this which sure makes life a much easy one, and a definite heart capture for those who just switched to Mac from PC.
I've yet to encounter any pop ups while surfing the web with Safari (MS Internet Explorer equivalent), and this alone I am sure is a value for money attribute. Connecting to my workplace server was a breeze, which I never would have thought how to do so when I was on PC - LOL! Same goes with setting up the email server. And here's the best part... INSTALLING and UNINSTALLING external applications/programs. It appears to me as if there is no such thing as REGISTRY like how MS Windows is being operated with. Thus, Uninstalling applications was just as easy as Installing them. All I gotta do is just drag the darn application and drop it into the Bin. Wahhlaaahh its done! No more "Windows cant remove certain .dll files due to it being shared by other programs" Haha...
Overall, I can say that this has been one of the best buy gadget I've made so far. For those who are looking for a new notebook PC and have a budget of about RM5,000. My advice is go for the 13.3" Macbook which comes with the NVidia GForce9400m GT intergrated graphics card. I personally think this baby should be more than enought to meet daily computing needs. Unless you would want more 3D rendering capabilities, then you ought to go for the MBP.
Overall ratings : 9/10
Minor nicks : I wish there are more USH ports. At least one more on the right side of the unibody. The Kensington lock slot is definitely not being well located. Lock your MBP and you can't use the SuperDrive anymore. Apple should provide some kinda soft cover bag for this baby with the purchase!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
And while I wait, I just can'l help but to browse YouTube for videoclips of "unboxing ceremony" by the many proud owners of the highly acclaimed Mac. To be honest, coming from using a PC for so many years; this sure feels like taking a step off the cliff without knowing what's beneath the abyss.
Consider the video clip I am attaching together with this posting, and I just have to list down the many features which I am definitely impressed with my new purchase.
1. Solid and rigid unibody machined from a single slab of aluminium. I've had enough of filmsy compaq notebooks which warps.
2. The awesome Mac screen. 15" of pure rich colors which I am sure will please my future clients who are gonna be seeing their photos on this baby.
3. 6MB L2 Cache with 1066MHz FSB, with matching 4GB 1066MHz DDR-III.
4. Dual graphics card which is gonna make life more flexible - I can then choose between power saving mode, or uummmpph mode. ;)
5. Gone will be the days when I have to feel around and stress my eyes to see the keyboard in the dark. Backlit keyboard baby - oh yeah!
I am sure there are many more pros which I will find out once I started using it. I am still kinda skeptical on the switch, and it kinda rekindles the time when I moved from Canon to Nikon. However, I believe this decision should be a right one. Only time will and can tell.
So... 1 more day of waiting...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Anyway, here are some photos which I took (some were shot by colleagues and also Tan TS.) and edited to add some snazzy spazzy element of humor to it. :)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It was a rather foggy and overcast morning, and Hong Yu brought along her daughter (yes, she is married with a daughter!) for the shoot. I guess the little girl did keep Tan busy for a while with her antics and also running up and down. So, while I was snapping away at Hong Yu; Tan was trying to be a nanny! LOL.
The shoot was pretty simple and it took place at this park called : Bing Hong Gong Yuen. I didn't pack heavily and was relying on shady areas for a more contrasty photo between lights and shadows. Also, seeing the overcast and foggy ambience kinda made it senseless to bring along a huge reflector. So, all I packed was my D700 and also 2 lenses - which was the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8, as well as the faithful Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8VR.
Here's the funny part. While waiting for Hong Yu to arrive, I kinda had urgent nature's call. A quick hunt for toilet at the park and a bunch of "emergency" toilet paper from Tan; off I went. I have to say that this has gotta be the worst public toilet I've ever encountered thruout my stay in China. While I've heard of horrific and even worse toilet conditions, never did I thought I would encounter one myself.
Simply put it this way : the loo has got no doors, no lights, no flushing system, no water for cleansing, and definitely no toilet papers/rolls. It is a simple toilet bowl (yeah one gotta squat for the business) with 3 wooden (more like plywood) walls around it, with no doors. To make matters worse, ya gotta actually thread around carefully so that ya wont step on any residue or pee or shit-splat. Sounds eewww right? But when urgent matters calls and when ya gotta do for it - there's just no time for other options.
Now this is what I call - shite.... LOL. A definite "shitty" experience.
Anyway, here's some photos of Hong Yu which I took after relieving myself. Hahah...
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Now that I am in China, and my room is kinda... well... empty, so I decided to get a pair of "stress relieving machine". A couple of stroll down the local IT Mart kinda helped narrowed down the choices which I had. I was looking at Edifier, Altec Lansing, Creative Labs, and also some local Chinese branded speakers. They are relatively cheap since they are all mostly made in China (heck what IS NOT MADE IN CHINA thesedays? LOL).
Anyway after a few rounds and a couple of hours spent on thinking and testing the speakers, I ended up taking home a set of 2.1 speakers. I just decided to jumped on the Edifier S530D which features some massive and whalloping specs. *grin* The S530D is apparently a very much sought after set of multimedia speakers amongst avid gamers and audiophile back in KL (source: Low Yat Forum). Anyway, the Edifier S530D packs the following :
Satellite : RMS 35W x 2
Subwoofer : RMS 70W (THD=10%)
Signal to noise ratio : 85dBA
Input sensitivity : PC: L/R: 600mV +/- 30mV
SW: 200mV +/- 30mV
CD: L/R: 720mV +/- 30mV
SW: 330mV +/- 30mV
Frequency response : L/R: 158Hz ~ 20kHz SW: 20Hz ~ 130Hz
Okay, I know some of these figures doesnt even make any sense to myself. LOL. As far as I am concerned, the wattage of the speakers alone is enough to rock my room back to stoneage. Yeah it is that full filled with uummmpph! Just put it this way, the maximum volume I can crank this baby up is up to 50, and when plugged into my notebook with WAVE and MASTER set to about 50%... all I needed is just turn the volume on the speakers to about 23-24 to have some vibration feel pumped into my bed! The windows and walls start to rattle at around 28. I can imagine how many people and neighbors will hate me for the immense noise when I am pumping Linkin Park out! Haha...
Oh, and the damage done to the pockets - RMB1520. I guess the headache now would be how the heck am I gonna ship this baby back to KL when I am done here! LOL.
Friday, November 21, 2008
1. Post processing photographs
2. Making DVD slideshows for clients during their wedding day
3. Plan to run Windows XP just for the sake of using CATIA V5R17 - so I can use it to do 3D models of engineering parts and systems.
4. Play some simple games such as DOTA.
The new 15" all aluminium Macbook Pro will cost about RM9,000/= and it sure is a bang. I already have a PC which runs on an Intel Quadcore but mobility is something I require thesedays especially when I am on the move so much.
So, what do ya'll think?
I've posted a simple poll on the sidebar for this purpose - help me decide.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I've met people of various age groups who actively practice the art of tai-chi, and they do so either in a group or on solo basis. The best part is, most of them normally go on their tai-chi routine in full costumes which made them even more like a kung-fu master. How cool is that?!
Last weekend when I was out shooting random people and also various street themed shoots, I came across this slightly aged man who was gracefully tai-chi-ing his way around. The whole setup was just made for photography, so I cant help it but to snap away. Here's what and how the whole scene was :
1. Sun was down casting on a very nice angle due to the fall season. Warm and shades from nearby trees adds drama to the whole background scene.
2. Tai chi man didnt mind his photos taken even I was just about 10 meters away from him.
3. He's aged. He wore the costume. And he gracefully moved.
To be very honest, I am amazed at how this man could move himself with the slow-mo movements. Its graceful, and at times ends a certain punch or spear hand jab with such inner strength which made his whole body jutters. I can certainly hear that breath of "hmmphh!" whenever the swift and slow punch ends with a suddent force. If the punch is really filled with inner strength forces... I dare not think what it could potentially do to a human body.
Either way, it was certainly interesting, and here are his photos which I am sharing with ya'll.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Anyway, I was strolling around with Tan TS and we decided to hunt for a trishaw peddler to shoot. It is rather uncommon for local Chinese men to sport moustache and also beard. I dont know why this is so, but lets just say that I was looking for a male trishaw peddler with a character - and this must come with some form of facial hair!
So there we were, 2 funky dudes with DSLRs walking from streets to streets, and eyeing on trishaw peddlers. Finally we came across one, and decided to ask him to fetch us to a nearby park. The journey took about 10 minutes, with some sloped roads which sure made him peddled even harder. And mind you, for such a journey, all he was asking for was just RMB5 (for comparison sake, a can of coke cost RMB3).
While taking the ride, we asked the man for a 10 minute photoshoot, and he declined. Understanding that time means money, and more so for this trishaw peddler I decided to offer him some monetary compensation for his time. He obliged at RMB20. When we reached the park, Tan paid him RMB30 instead and he was very very happy. And nothing beats a happy man from posing for our cameras! :)
So here they are some of the photos of this great man, who works hard everyday... regardless of rain or shine, hot or cold, winter or summer. He's out there ferrying people from places to places.
ps. I saw him the next morning while I was walking to a taxi stand. He recognized me and waved at me and gave me a friendly smile. It made my day knowing that I once made him a happy man. :)
Saturday, November 8, 2008
A fellow buddy of mine here in China just decided to quit smoking. It happened kinda out of a sudden, and he just did it. Its been almost 2 weeks now since he touched his last stick, and a lot of us friends are giving him plenty of encouragements. Apart from that, he has been hitting the gym and also pumping a lot of iron. He said that while it definitely improved him awareness instead of always feeling lethargic, most importantly he also feels very healthy now. I somehow do noticed that he's kinda energetic these days and decided to give him a little encouragement too. Here's how I did it.
I gave him a photoshoot. :)
I hope that these shots will remind him of how he would look better without having to smoke his lungs out. :)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Anyway, I was testing out the high ISO noise level of the D700, and I am pleased to announce that boy it was great! Simply put it this way, if my acceptance level in terms of noisy images from the previous D300 could be up to that of ISO1600... this baby can make me wet even at ISO6400! Yerp! I can accept the noise level from D700 which is shot at ISO6400. Which means, shooting at ISO1600 is no longer a threat to me now. This is simply superb.
I took the DSLR down for dinner a couple of days ago, and subsequently went to a snooker center to play a game of pool with a friend. The ambience was rather dark and these nasty fluorescent lights which is made to illuminate the pool table doesnt help much either. I cranked up the ISO to 1600 and shoot with the 24-70mm f2.8 attached. So, here are some photos which was obtained and post produced with Photoshop CS2.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I've been meddling around with Nikon DX format DSLR for quite some time now. The very first Nikon which made it possible for me to switch sides from Canon's EOS series is the Nikon D300. It has been my workhorse for wedding photoshoots all these while and I must say that the migration from Canon EOS was a choice which I have yet to regret. The D3, which is Nikon's flagship pro series DSLR was introduced as Nikon's FX format system. It was introduced together with the D300 and both took the photography world by storm, by being able to produce significantly low noise at high ISO. This was made possible probably by the usage of new CMOS sensors plus some other funky tech stuff Nikon threw into them.
Now the famed performance of the D3's FX image was also packaged into a smaller form factor - Nikon D700. It houses the same CMOS sensor as the D3 and is powered by Nikon's EXSPEED processor, which gives it the power to perform supremely very well under low light condition. I've seen images from D700 which was shot at ISO6400, and I must say that the cleanliness of the noise generated simply just wowed me.
Given this choice (or more like given me no choice) to upgrade, the D700 comes at a pricetag of RM8,500. Best thing is, the whole DX range of lens which I already have must also be changed in order to fit the FX format of the D700. Basically, I have only 2 DX format lenses; one is the Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 and the other is the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. This upgrade comes at a time where I feel the requirement for low noise, high ISO images are something which I really crave for.
23rd Oct 2008 - KC kept on SMS me asking me the same question over and over again : "Jay, ON or not? D700 and also 24-70mm f2.8N?". Else it would be, "Only JOne has stock of the lens."
I took the big leap. Sold off my Nikon D300, Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8DX, TOKINA 11-16mm f2.8, and also a SB600 to fund for this FX leap of faith. Total cash gained from this was RM10,500. Not bad considering I made a loss from depreciation of approximately RM2,000. This amount was long recovered from ROI. How much did I need to cash out for the FX jump? Well, the D700 body costed me RM8,500 and the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8N came at a price tag of RM5,200. I am surprised on how Malaysia could be pricing this lens at such lower price. Scouted on China and HK units and they all came around RM6.5k easily.
So after a quick chat with KC over the phone, and a SMS of "ok KC. ON. Buy it"... it was finally done. Total was RM13,700; and I decided to buy another SB800. All in all, the whole package was RM14,800. Total damage done to myself : RM4,300. Not bad considering a FX body now. :)
I will post up some first hand reviews later.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Tan and I manage to get together and organized a photoshoot a week or two ago. It was rather pretty much a last minute thing. We got hold of a local friend who wanted to have her own photos taken in a unique way. So, I had a quick solo brainstorm and came up with the location of a cafe setting as background.
Longbridge Cafe is a restaurant located just beneath my apartment. Its got these small VIP rooms which can be booked based on minimum spending. It costed us RMB800 for the largest room, and we can use it for the whole day (since we are kinda close with LB's boss, Tony due to our constant presence eating in there). So, its kinda like a pre-paid credit of RMB800 worth of food. Yeah, thats a lot of FOOD.
So after tucking into a couple sticks of BBQ lamb meat, some ice cream and so on so forth, I quickly setup the flashguns and also reflectors. The lights in the VIP room was dead yellow/orange due to the tungsten bulbs coming out from the chandaliers. So I had to gel my flashes. Anyway, here are some photos of Li Yu after a whole day of shooting :)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Many has been asking me questions regarding my personal life. Things like hows those "Little Dragon Girls", living an expat life here in China etc etc. Well, what I can say is, while it is definitely a good life which I am living in right now, I did forsake and gave up some other forms of qualities. Simply put it this way, here is to "what is my current state?":
1. Life is good when I have 20,000 Yuan to spend monthly, compared to a local engineer who is being paid a monthly wage of 1,400 Yuan - and, needed to work for 6 days a week.
2. I stay in a condo which cost 40,000 Yuan/year (thats about 3300 Yuan/month) when locals stay in an average studio units which cost 250 Yuan/month. And, I've got a cleaner who comes to clean up the place on weekly basis.
3. I eat in restaurants and cafes which cost an average of 60 Yuan/meal. Most of the local yuppies hang out here with their Maseratis, BMWs and Mercs parked aside.
4. Girls do come to you naturally when you are an expat. You would be like a walking magnet who goes thru a field of metallic coins. Its a no brainer.
5. Nope, I am not hooked up with any local girls here... neither serious, nor for fun. I am single and very much self made unavailable.
6. KTV and beer has become normalcy now. Arrangement for entertainment for clients, bosses and fellow colleagues who cant speak mandarin is like a part time job.
7. I do enjoy travelling alone, to Shanghai, Yiwu and also exploring other new places now. Taking time to shoot photos of people, scenes and all that. Its pretty cool and amazing.
There are more if I were to go on stating what's been going thru my life now at this point of time. Life is good financially speaking, but it sure does feel empty at times. I guess one just cant have the best of both worlds - at least not for now. Many friends asked me if I am gonna get a Chinese wife here and my answer for them now is : "come here and see for yourself" :P LOL. For me, its kinda simple... I'm just not ready for marriage and all that family thing.
So, mom... dont expect any grandchildren from me anytime soon. Hahahaha!!
-- up next in the coming posting : Localization Programme : Settling In With A Chinese Girl --
Monday, September 22, 2008
Anyway, the Shanghai trip over the weekend was kinda splendid. I did some shopping and lavishly bought some neat stuff for myself. Got a brand new Timberland shoe which costed me 1,400Yuan when I know for very certain that the same shoe is being sold for US$100 only. However, after taking shipping cost into consideration - it would have ended up pretty much the same. So, what the heck. Then some shopping at Shanghai Science & Technology Museum Arcade (this place is a fad for counterfeit goods ;P) and bought more stuffs here which I dont wanna go into details haha...
Then that's it. Took a MAGLEV bullet train back to Jinhua and there goes the weekend. :)
Monday, September 8, 2008
Anyway, the very first step the doctor did was actually stick some pins up my but... I mean wrist. Yes, wrist! I mean... come on man... it's my left ankle which hurts like hell... not my wrist! Somehow, the pins or needles if I may call them probably initiated some blood flow down in my ankle and it feels a little relieved.
Next step. Electro massage. This dude (another therapist) applied some kinda plate on my lower tummy and started massaging my ankle. And that thing keep on electrocuting me with what I percieve as low voltage and low amp current. It sure did pull some veins back into the right places. Altho the process was excruciating painful when he pressed deep into the veins. When it was all over after what seemed to be a very long 20 minutes, I was asked to limp to another bed for more electrocuting!
This last stage involved more pins and needles stucked into my ankle area. Then some circuitry was connected to the acupuncture needles and a very very mild and low current was passed thru them. It made my toes twitched, contracted and relaxed. I laid there with loads of other patients next to me; some of them has got a whole back full of needles! :P
After about another 20 minutes or so, it was all over. Limped to the counter and paid RMB35 (RM17) and was asked to return there daily for a week. I was skeptical at first and wondered WTF have I done to my leg since I cant feel a damn thing down there. I mean down on my left leg ok! :P
But now, after about an hour rest in a coffee shop... I am proud and happy to report that I hardly feel the pain and in fact the veins and all are very very relaxed. I could even walk up the stairs without the need to have the support of the handrail! So... GHETTO CLINIC... here I come tomorrow!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Thus, I'd need to move to EP (Electric Powered) cars now. There are various models which I am looking at... And I am particularly very much diggin' the TAMIYA ARTA Garaiya GT300. However, the following cars are also very cun... so much so they make me think over and over again to choose. Heheh... Will have to think very deep over this.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Anyway, plenty of things happened over the span of time since I keyed in my last blog entry. Just to name a few :
1. I got promoted. :) More money = more job responsibility. But hey I ain't complaining.
2. I went to Shanghai for a weekend visit. Did some crazy shopping and burned a few grands in a day. So-so dinner at The Hooters. Sobered night at a German Pub along the Shanghai Bund. Followed by missing the train back the following day. Sure certainly felt good too.
3. Found a new hobby in racing radio controlled-nitro powered buggy; of which I crashed it during the first day I play with it :P
4. Started playing paintball and got my arms all in blue black spots.
So yeah... plenty much has gone thru the last few weeks... even went thru a phase where certain occurance are so much so affecting my life's course. I'm pretty much looking forward to every single day of the future rather than looking back. So its cool.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Anyway the perimeter wall surrounding the ancient city was long gone now. What is left is a structure which was once the main entrance to the city, and also a guard tower which has been turned into some kinda city owned museum. It cost 10Yuan to enter this small museum. There are some really old relics in there, but all descriptive notes and writings are all in Chinese, so its kinda like groping in the dark to know what's what. However, I must admit that the feeling of standing on a 1600 year old stone building is really something. You just have to stand in there and think of the amount of history the place has gone thru.
Apparently from the latest maps, a few blocks of newer shops (new in China means 50-100 years old) is now surrounding standing in place of what was once the perimeter walls. Some local traders swarm this place and turn it into some kinda flea market. However, most of the stuff they sell dont really attract me. Antiques, stones, paintings... that kinda stuff. It is worthy to note that one has to be careful with such items, as there are many many counterfeits floating around.
Street photography is something of real abundance here. The place is old. Its eccentric. And its got a character of its own. I'm looking forward to try to have a full day's outing around this local vicinity again soon. For today, I shall lay my camera to rest since its a hot and sunny day - and I do mean it!