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I Call Myself ZOMBiE CYGIG
"Educated" At Maha Bodhi School, Victoria School, Anderson JC, LASALLE College of the Arts
What I Do Lazing, Hobby Crafting, DIY, Graphic Design, Computer Stuff that you don't get it
What I Avoid Hipsters, Soccer, Apple Brand, Outings
How Am I Like Logical, Practical, Off-Beat, Anti-Social, Sarcastic
After so long not soldering, I decided to warm up a bit using WK's cable.
Its a 3.5mm to RCA. Sounds simple? The cable used is Beldeom 89207, fuck thick, two of it cannot fit into the opening of Canare F12.
Basically, I would need to strip off the jacket and the copper braid PLUS enlarge the opening of F12 to fit two cables in. Further more, I would need to strip around 3 times the length of the casing of F12 so that it can rest behind while i work on the front poles. It cannot be fitted in from the other end, as I just said the two cables are too thick.
Without the copper braid, we are left with the Aluminium foil, which could be used as a shield too. But after stripping the braid, the foil looks too delicate to be used as a reliable agent to drain noises. Out of materials and ideas, I took a wire-wrapping wire and soldered it to the copper braid at the end of the bared portion and the other end to the source's ground. The follow diagram shows what I meant:
Hihi, I should apologised for my MIA for the pass month. Apparently, I SHOULD BE preparing my portfolio for La Selle entry. But this month of April is nothing but slack and slack. Imagine this:
1.00 PM: I woke up, "OMG ITS 1PM!" 1.15 PM: Managed to make myself sit on my chair and check mail, news and forum 1.30 PM: Do my 5BX, Pee Shit BrushTeeth Bath Shave 2.00 PM: Everything Ready, go for lunch @ Ubi Center 3.00 PM: Lunch finish, reached home 3.10 PM: "Hmm.. should start on my portfolio? Nvm UT3 first." 4.30 PM: "Portfolio? Later on, maybe I should go out for some snacks" 4.45 PM: Leaves home for snacks downstairs. 5.30 PM: Reach home. Bath. 6.00 PM: Portfolio? Nah, I should check forum! 6.30 PM: WK back home, play DOTA with him. 8.00 PM: Finsihed 2 rounds of DOTA, Dinner! 9.00 PM: Dinner finished, on air con and wait for room to cool. Meanwhile watch TV. 9.30 PM: Play L4D with WK! 10.30PM: Play UT3!! 11.30PM: Liero Extreme? 12.00PM: Game finish, start to visit ppl's blog and gossip 12.30PM: Portfolio? Wait lah! Read forum and email and check out news feed 1.30 AM: Probably time to do port folio. Start doing reluctantly... 3.00 AM: Ok. Enough is Enough, im sick of this shit. Going to eat supper. 3.30 AM: Supper finish! Time to hit the bed!
This was what happen to me daily in the month of April. And I was rushing the portfolio like hell during the last few days of April as I was supposed to apply for the course by the last day of April. It turned out that the interview was scheduled not on the day of registeration, but rather on May 08, one week after April ends.
I went into total slack mode till May 05, where I chiong and chiong till afternoon of May 07. Then i went to SunShine plaza to have my stuff printed.
The Print Shop
I chose the emptiest printing shop out of many in SunShine Plaza and was later on fed up to find out that the uncle was handling a massive project of printing a large number of restaurant menus. He tried to copy my files into his system and was greeted by numerous error message stating there was not enough memory and disk space for the task to be completed. There he was grumbling why dint I merge all my layers in my file. The reason for me not to do so is to retain the ability to edit the artwork if I find any mistake in it during printing. But looking at the rush and errors encountered, I doubt there would be any time for me to edit my artwork on the spot even if a mistake was found. I would think that he need a much dedicated PC rig for him to handle such tedious print works.
On the bright side, the quality of the printouts are excellent. Unlike my past experience, the colour of my art work on monitor matches that of the printed hard copy. The only complain that I have is that the printout seemed to have some noises and at very close distance observation, the images are actually a bit blurry. He claimed to have them printed at 300DPI though. The noises may be caused by the texture of the paper. The one I chose seemed to have a certain texture but smooth surface that would cause many tiny shimmering of light to reflect off at different angles. Im also surprised he was using laser printer, Im no printing pro but I always tot bubble jet produced a better result in most cases. Otherwise it would be thermal or sublime printing.
He told me to come back by 7.30pm. And I went off to do some shopping at SLS. At around 6pm, he called me and told me that the printings cannot be done by that day. I was like WTF? MY INTERVIEW IS TML LEH! He told me to come back tml morning to grab it. I dun seem to have any other choices and thus chose to trust him, since the interview is in the afternoon.
The next day, I went back early in the morning to grab my printings. I had my clear folder ready and simply sliding the printouts in would complete the portfolio. I received my printouts uncut in A3 Oversized paper, which i couldnt fit into the A3 folder obviously. The uncle was frustrated but he trim the paper for me under my pressure. Also, one of the scanned pages had an awful line in the center, but I heck care since time was running short. He printed the pages on wrong orientation as well, making some of the flip over page upside down.
I cant do much but to thank him and walk off, and went home for a short rest before the interview starts. FIY, I found my thumb drive to be virus ridden later on. Probably that is the reason why the rest of the print shop uses a Mac?
By the time I start to leave home for my interview, it was already quite late. I was panicking when I sat on the bus and FUCK THE BUS SERVICE. No wonder ppl say in SG, Public transport is far from private transport. I felt like calling the ppl over there to inform them that im late but decided not to as I think they will wait for late comers.
When the bus reached, I practically RAN for the building. Upon entering, my eyes was quick enough to spot the minute block labellings on the wall. After coming out from the lift, two ladies attempted to help me to find my interview room but failed. A third malay lady came out and asked me in. She was kind of rude when she talked to me, and i later on learnt that she would be my future teacher.
She issued me a paper with my name on it and slapped them onto my portfolio. It was already 3pm then. Then interview was supposed to start at 2.30pm. I was the only one, and the other two came in only at 3.15pm. The forth interviewee came in at 3.30pm.
There was a guy from secondary school, he looked kind of...like a typical secondary school boy. The other was a girl from china, she could barely speak English. The third was a retainee, she had her red hair shaved on one side and she flipped all her hair on the other side onto the shaved side. She had numerous piercing on her face. She was from ACS.
The guy and china girl wore just tee and shorts. The retainee wore a tee and combats plus jacket. I am the only jackass that wore long sleeve shirt and jeans. Comparatively, I look much more formal. Thankfully i dint wear dress pants, blazer and tie, else i would be out of shape. I learnt that Long Sleeve Shirt + Jeans is a good combo for those semi formal functions. Who was tt fuck who insisted that I wear long sleeve and dress pants for interview and say that I sure fail if I dun?
The teacher keep emphasising that there are three parts to this interview. Part One is portfolio, Part Two is a 2min talk on your favourite artwork. The last part is group discussion on "Creativity". Throughout the interview, it seems only me talking. The rest shied away from discussion.
I was a bit angry by the fact that our portfolios were merely glanced through, they dint even ask me a single questions and all the teachers took were like 5 min to flip through mine. I do get to score more later on during discussion as the rest aint talking much, especially for the China girl, she needs to be prompted and had her questions rephrased several times before the teachers sort of gave up.
I am way overaged as the rest were only not more than 17yo. Im fucking 21. Though I though I would had advantage in: - Been through NS before, I would have some valuable life skills that they dun - Been through AJC before, 2 years of pure stress and depression that NS cant even beat, I would be able to handle if La Selle life is just even a bit more relaxed than AJC life - Experienced commercial designing before, no school work comes as close as doing the real thing for a real life paying client - Being 21, Im not sure if this is an advantage or not, but ppl go crazy over 21st birthday, being 21 must mean something
Though my years of gaming, I find that multiplayer games are best played with people that you know.
1. Playing with many players online that you dun know 2. Playing with only one player online that you know, the rest may be bots.
In the above two situations. I find myself enjoying 2 much more than 1. Of course, the best situation is where you get a group of friends you know and start a LAN party. But how often do you get a chance to organise one?
LAN Shop sounds like a good idea, but more than often I find their PC,IO devices, range of games, environment and cost not up to standard to deliver a smooth and shiok game play. I used to play at LAN shop in Bedok, all their P3 can handle is CD 1.6 and WC3. The cost is only 90c per hour, so I dun have much to complain. For a few more dollars, you get better specs in other shop. Despite that, many of them still faces problems like faulty speakers/headset, spoilt mouse missing keys, buggy installation and management of games and OS, high price etc. Most of them dun offer good mouse and keyboard too. Occasionally, gangs of ah beng will come in and disturb people.
So I fall back to hosting games at home, and get my friends to connect to me either thru a VPN or a password protected MMO server. And one of the most important thing, as we aint next to each other, is communication. I think i enojoy scolding and cursing my friend during the game more than anything else, maybe second to chitchatting during low key times in game.
Exploring VoIP Equipment
I tested out several VoIP equipment configuration.
I do not like to use my speakers for my friend's voice during VoIP and gaming because most of the time their voice will be drowned or mixed up with the game's sound.
I do not like to use headphones for game sound as I find it fatiguing and hot after several hours of gaming, also it becomes a troublesome when it comes to switching sources and storage. I tested on ESW9, RX700, KSC75, PX100 as well as iem TripleFi and PL30.
Brief: Configure a set of VoIP equipment that would allow smooth communication during gaming.
Specification: - Able to filter out most of sound coming from my speakers - Able to hear my friend well even when my game sound is loud - Overall voice quality must be acceptable, audiophile quality is not required though - Easy to manage, maintain and store - Able to stop public broadcasting just in case your mom steps into your room and your friend is cursing - Cost around $50 or less
Config 1: Cheapo headset
An old headset i bought from SLS for $2-$4. It has a straight forward usage, I hook the green plug to my front audio out (independent from the back panel audio out for my speakers) and the red to my mic in. Its not very comfortable so i added a foamie to the earphone, which drastically improve comfort. It hooks well onto my ear. The wires gets tangled to my chair's armrest most of the time.
Config 2: Bluetooth headset
A bluetooth dongle for PC and a Nokia bluetooth headset. My dongle came without any drivers. And getting one for PC is quite a pain. I tried Toshiba's bluetooth stack and when i use Skype, the audio became only noise and static. I have to get BlueSoleil software for the audio to get working, which added quite some features that I dun use, as well as an additional application to load during startup. And it turn out that the sound quality was still pretty bad, audible with lots of drop outs and noises. Im surprised as I used the same headset for my Nokia phone and the sound quality was much better. Probably changing a dongle would help. The dongle cost me around $10 from Challenger and the headset ~$40.
Config 3: Stand Mic + Mini Speakers headset
The first pic shows a $15 mic i ordered from dealextreme. It has some raving reviews saying its records voice much better than other VoIP headset, thus i decided to give it a try.
The second pic shows a pair of Phillips SPA3250. Its a portable speaker system. The speakers can run passively, or, u can make use of the amplifier (bottom pic) given to drive it. The amplifier takes either 4xAAA batteries or USB power.
They cost as much as it looks. The speakers costed me $39 and mic $15, making it a whopping $54. That dun include the $2.60 mic foam.
The microphone is indeed sensitive. With "Microphone Boost" enabled, it can capture all nuances of sound from my room. Sounds good? NO!!! It means it will also capture the noise from my personal fan and PC fan, as well as the sound from my speaker. All these are to be avoided during a VoIP session. The foam dun help much. The mic is much better without boost, but then I would need to be shouting for the other party to hear me clearly as this mic would be placed far away (as compared to the headset) from me.
Note that this set of speakers is connected to my independent front audio out, meaning to say its produce only sound of my friend's voice, while my main speakers produce the game sound. The speakers works, but setting it up is another trouble altogether. My desk is miserably cluttered, and my USB ports are mostly used up. I could buy a USB wall adapter but its going to be another $15 for a good one. Soon, I realised that the other part's voice is still not quite loud enough. And more importantly, it got mixed up together with the game's sound.
Conclusion Believe it or not, end of the day, I kept all my equipment and chose the cheapo headset.
The bluetooth headset's audio quality is simply no good. Not to mention u got to send it for frequent charge and re-charge. Probably a headset and dongle that supports Bluetooth Advanced Audio would improve the SQ, but I doubt it will be cheap.
The Mic+Speaker combo proves to have much more cons than pros. The mic seems to be omni directional and its sensitivity captured all the undesired ambient sound. The speakers, even at its loudest volume, dun seem to be loud enough to maintain audibility under complex game music. The noises/mic-ed in game sound from the my friend's mic mixed up with my game's sound and become a form of distraction. Not to mention its pretty expensive and add in a few more connection point to my cluttered system. The good part is it makes a good VoIP system when u aint gaming. U can be lying on your bed or somewhere else in your room while talking to your friend, as the mic will pick your voice up form every corner of the room and with no other sound source, the speakers will provide adequate volume.
And our winner, the cheapo headset, seems to tackle the cons of the other two config. First of all, it has a unsensitive mic, meaning it will not pick up much ambient sound. Being unidirectional, and placed just next to your mouth, it will record your voice with no problem. It dun have awesome recording quality, but not far from stand mic (it actually isnt as good as it was reviewed) for voice, and its way better than the bluetooth headset. And having the earphone right next to your eardrums means you will be able to hear your friend loud and clear. Since it dun have a good seal and the earphone is mono sided, game sound from my speakers can still reach me. I can differentiate sound from my game and noise/voice from my friend very well becos the speakers would have a much wider sound stage than the earphone. Its like listening to bookshelves speakers VS listening to IEM, even if they are on par in SQ, u can tell which is which right away due to the difference in distance and area the sound drivers are placed.