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Monday, June 29, 2009
DIY USB Standard A Male to Micro B Male
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 12:16 PM --- Post#2828571810407413050

Yucks yucks yucks. I hate having tons of cable, esp all the various USB types. I purchased short USB Standard A Male to Mini B Male from dealextreme, so that I can turn a normal USB A Female extension into a Mini Usb cable when needed. Since from experience, I seldom use more than one USB mass storage devices at the same time, its not practical and messy to have one cable for each kind of USB.

Sure, I can purchase those all in one kits, that SLS and Dealextreme sell, but till now, most of them lack the new micro USB connectors that I need for my Nokia.

From the previous post, I had gotten my hand on a micro USB short adaptor. But sadly, the other end is a USB Standard A Female. Which is why I need to buy another male to male to mate them to my extension. Sucks la..very untidy leh. So use lots of tools and tore them apart and soldered my own short adaptor. Also went SLT to buy some connector spares in case I cock up.

The front after soldering the wires. I had a tough time figuring out which connector is to which pin, by matching the wires on the broken off wires on the micro connector to the torn apart female connector.

This is how the back side looks like.

Weeee...finished liao. Tested. Functional.

Connected to my USB extension.

Using on my Nokia

Left: This Diy short Micro USB.
Right: Short mini USB from Deal Extreme.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009
My Lunch
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 1:28 AM --- Post#8233502652839962033

USB Adaptors

This is a USB Standard A Female to USB Micro B Male adaptor. Originally wanted a USB Standard A to USB Micro B but not available. So I need the help of another double USB Standard A Male (Pic Below). Looks really untidy and cheap inside.

Double USB Standard A Male taken apart.

My Lunch

My humble slimming down lunch today.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
What can a $40 Digital Camera Gives You?
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 11:00 PM --- Post#5540107537805913469

I own a Nikon D80, it takes wonderful images, lots of features, interchangeable lens...the list goes on and on. But it has one very major disadvantage - BULKY!

Alot of our life's random shots are among one of the most interesting images around, which serves as a very good blogging material - to inform others of what you observed, and keep it as an archive of your life. Other than that, good random shots gives me opportunity to practise the usage of Photoshop and its relevant skills.

Whenever I see something interesting, I would use my handphone to capture the scene without hesitation, but my Nokia 5320's photo are beyond hope. My BlissView T8 takes acceptable video, but when it comes to photo, it seems only to be a little better than my Nokia. And most of the time, I would be taking photo instead of video.

Thus I decided to head down to VR-Zone's Market Place and hoot a second hand digital camera. Though I put "$100" as the price of the digicam in the thread, I was actually targeting at "50". I was offered:
- Sanyo Xacti VPC S6----$50
- Canon Ixus II---------$80
- Minolta Dimage E223---$20

As sample pics aint available, I can only choose via specs. And S6 wins in this case. I decided to push the price down to $40 and carry on with the deal.

The above shows the EXACT S6 I got. Note the bursted LCD sides. I was shocked to see the damaged LCD when I received the unit as it was not mentioned before to me. Further more, the sample pics he showed me was really chui and he told me he had problems with the cam, namely
- Shutter speed too slow, need to always use Sports Mode
- Rechargeable Battery dun work well
- Unable to delete images off the SD card.

The lens are pretty scratchy+dusty.

Still, I was confident that I would be able to solve all these problems and still bought it for $40 in the end. Im will not post the spec of S6 as it looks like a joke when compared to DSLR, you can Google it easily if you want to. Mainly, it has a 3Mp sensor, about 2.4" LCD, powered by 02xAA batteries and uses SD non-HC cards as storage. It has a "Touch Sensor", which will auto focus the camera once your finger touches the shutter button, and all you need is to press all the way down. Conventional camera normally need a half press to auto focus, and then a full press to activate the shutter. I find this "Touch Sensor" feature useless as Im not used to it.

Anyway, later on I found out that there aint any problems with the shutter speed, you just got to know where your lights are and how to hold the camera still. I got a mini tripod and its very helpful if a long exposure is needed. Tweaking the ISO and EV settings helps too. I used Konnoc 2000mAh NiMH low self discharge batteries and they are working perfectly fine, I had taken near 100 shots since and yet to change batteries. The SD card was partially corrupted and full formatting it helped, I had got the same memory card problems for my old Olympus cam too.

Talk less, here are the sample pics (They are NOT additionally enhanced aka Photoshopped other than cropping and resampling):

The Neighbourhood Cats

The tail lights of a car.

A stone tablet near my house.

Closed up shots of toys.

Small object photography under studio lighting.

RC car chassis.

EDIT: Indoor shots at Plaza Singapura.
*Thanks sihui for reminder. Its PS not Vivo.

Food Photography: LAKSA!

Cropped macro shot of an opamp.

So do you think its worth $40? I think quite worth it leh, and also skills (photography+photoshop) can sometimes greatly overcome low end hardware...

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Saturday, June 20, 2009
Tioman Trip
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 2:32 AM --- Post#9179272732609065469

Went to tioman from the 15 to 17 June 09. It was initially quite a bad idea due to the "trauma" from the last bintan trip, and no matter how, I fail to see how will Tioman be more fun than the uber boring Bintan trip. But it turned out to be much much better than expected.

As Tioman is more of a "seeing" than "telling" place, I decided to give a short text on the tour schedule, follow by all the pictures.

Day 1 (15 Jun 09)
Woke up just after two hours of sleep and proceeded to Golden Mile. I just realised that the tour company we booked the package from subcontracted the whole trip to another bigger tour company: Konsotium Express. How does the tour coy we booked from earn then? Unless Konsotium actually offered the same thing but much cheaper?

The coach arrived at 6am and I was quite shocked there were less than 10 ppl on board the, I think, 24 seaters. Went to second link into Msia, and my sis so damn shua ku, never used the biometric automated gantry before. There was NO ONE on the Msia custom, which was quite a shock to me as it would normally be filled with ppl, thats prolly cos we were too early.

The trip to the pier was three hours, and we waited a freaking one hour for the ferry cos it was damn late. There was this stall with this aunty telling everyone to buy souvenirs from her cos she claimed that over at Tioman island, everything will be damn exp, which was later found to be very untrue.

Not surprised, alot of the souvenirs were "Made In China", but well, I still bought some, though I was rather disappointed to know the fact that the stuff were mass-manufactured cheapskates from china to fool tourists. I heard that the pewter merlion ornaments sold in Changi airport were made in Philippines.

The ferry ride was rather peaceful..well...cos I was sleeping most of the time. It took another two freaking hours to reach the island. The ferry worked in a manner like our buses, it had several stops along the coast of the island so that ppl going to diff parts of the island would be able to walk less.

We alighted on the third stop, and I was super relieved to know that there was a shuttle bus to fetch us to the resort, "Berjaya Tioman Beach, Golf & Spa". Up the bus and to the resort. The rooms were ok lah, air con was cold enough and the facilities works. It was fairly clean too. A major complain is that the WC took a loooooong time to fill itself with water before you could flush the toilet bowl.

Following that, we went out for a walk. Most of the attractions were flora and fauna, there were barely any interesting stalls to visit, most of them sold boring sea shells and provision goods. There were lots of stray cats, as many as there are on my void deck. Mangos were dropping from the trees almost every time and everywhere, and it made sense that the shops aint selling much fruits as they could be picked up by the roadside.

We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant, which was a looooong way downhill (and uphill while returning ON FOOT). Food was so so only, and uber exp, as I was expecting a 40% decrease in price as compared to SG as Tioman is an island and food in MY is cheap. Ended up the food was as expensive as SG, esp the crab. One of my hypothesis is that the sea around Tioman is protected, and thus the seafood comes from mainland MY, which explained the increment of price of seafood despite being near a sea side.

At night, I camped at the lobby to use their free wifi. N770 can retire liao..I need a better MID.

Day 2 (16 Jun 09)
In the morning, we had breakfast at the Resort's dining area. After that went to book for sea activities. It cost RM550 for the family to go on a snorkelling trip with a delicated boat and boat operator.

No photos were taken during snorkelling as I did not have any water resistant camera. Words in this entry would also be barely enough to describe the whole experience, so I guess you would need to have snorkel before to understand it.

The first place was a shallow beach where the water level is so low that you can stand on the sea bed. Despite the low water level, there were lots and tons of sea creatures in it. Among the waters were fishes that I failed to identify, sea cucumbers, corals, anemone, live rocks, shell creatures etc. There was not a single piece of rubbish or oil cogs, the water is so clear that you can see the seabed from the boat.

I found my life jacket a hindrance and took it off, i tied one of the loose straps to my watch and clicked on the fasteners to make a floating platform out of it. I could then dive into the sea and collect sea cucumbers!

Sea cucumbers were really interesting creatures, I had one in my marine tank which shrinks as time pass, prolly due to malnutritient? It is hard like coral when you first pull it out from the sea bed. Its little suckers will cling on to rocks and various debris found on the sea bed. Then when you surface it, it will 'pee' from its ass and become soft. Ten minutes in the sun will make it skinny and shabby. I collected around 10-20 on my 'floating platform'...Put one on my dad's head while he was snorkelling and poured one extra long one onto my sis. Kinda fun with them around :)

The second place was much deeper. You can see huge specimens of coral reefs that you saw at aquariums. They took various different forms and colours and the largest one I had seen can span more than 10m in diameter. I kept my live jacket on for safety reason as the water was deep (>5m), and I keep fearing that some unknown creature would appear out of nowhere as depicted in games and movies. I had a slight photo with those giant coral reefs too, due to my lack of knowledge on them, I would never know if one may just close its flaps around and swallow me.

Then we went for lunch at another small island. There were practically nothing much to eat but burgers and nasi lemak. It was surprisingly NOT cold when I ate with all my clothes wet, as I dint bother to change and wash up, unlike what I used to experienced in SG swimming pool.

Then after we went to the 3rd, and 4th place and 5th place, which is much like the 2nd spot just that 3rd has lots of small fishes for you to feed (w bread), 4th has big fishes (not that big actually..15 to 20cm fish) and 5th is near an offshore island not bigger than half two swimming pool. Its about a kilometre away from tioman island.

On the 5th snorkelling spot, the water was rather cold, and the corals were larger there too. Clusters of sea urchins lied on the sea bed, as if waiting for me to sink so they can poke their spikes into my ass. This tiny offshore island is made of large boulders, white top and grey bottom. The 'white' on top was SEA GULL SHIT. There were lots of sea gulls and they nested on the trees and boulders of this tiny island. Nothing special other than that. I was looking into the sea bed and noticed that the boat was further away from me, I dint really cared, but soon, my dad informed me that the water current was strong. By then I was FAR AWAY from the boat liao. I tried to swim back but the current is simply too strong, my dad came to my rescue but as the current grew stronger, we got further from the boat and cant proceed anymore. The boat operator was alert enough to drive up to us to provide aid. After being rescued, we saw many other groups of snorkellers being swept away by the water current from far.

Actually, if you still have no idea how snorkelling is like, its just swimming. By right you are to wear this mask with a pipe so you can breath while swimming and looking into the sea bed. But the masks we got was so lousy that I decided to abandon it and use my own swimming googles, hold my breath and dive down to see the corals. You may be asking, "huh liddat then every few minutes you got to surface, see what?" Actually, most of the stuff down there were repeatative. You see the same kind of giant coral reef everywhere, same fishes everwhere, same large anemone everywhere, same clusters of urchins everywhere. Not much of a variety, despite them being beautiful to see and being everything BIG. Thus, all you need is that few minutes of view underwater and you would had seen most of the stuff.

Other than that, what I saw was almost like what you guys saw on documentary. I bet you had seen documentary of coral reefs or underwater expenditure before, the real thing looked just like what you see on video, just that the water depth and creatures differ from place to place.

After the tiring and burning snorkel, me and dad went for jacuzzi at the Resort's swimming pool. Quite lousy for a five-star resort leh, inside all filled with sand, and I cant make the water pressure reach my upper back without going into funny postures. The cables to the waterpump sprang out from the ground and dipped into the pool in an obscene manner, there were no effort seen to even conceal it, which kinda scared me, would 240VAC leak into the pool kill everyone?

Just as I was in my deep fantasy and weird imaginations, I heard the ground shook and saw two ang moh ladies walking along the pavement. Mind you, they aint "normal" ang moh ladies, but looked like as if they had been eating Carl's Junior Upsize for breakfast, McDonal upsize for lunch, 5kg Beef Steak for dinner and three packets of nong shim for supper. They are, indeed, UPSIZED ladies! I bet each of them weight more than 150kg. And just as I though, the started heading for the Jacuzzi pool than Im in and everyone in the pool stared at them like a frozen frame of a dramatic movie.


In they went as I made my way away for them. I almost though they displaced all the water sia!

Dinner was another Chinese Restaurant, which... somehow had the same menu as the one we had on the first day. The dishes were the same..the pricing were the same...Even the attitude of the waiter seemed to be the same. Lol, a branch of the one downhill?

We saw Edmund Chen, Xiang Yun and their children sitting beside us. I think I saw that they ordered quite alot of stuff, including a red wine, but only cost RM110. Celebrities get special offer? Anyway, ppl were coming and asking for photos and the boss gave them extra nice treatment. He wanted to take a family photo, he gestured my dad to go over to help him, and when he went over, the boss rudely took the camera away from him and gave him the what-makes-you-think-you-can-take-photo-for-them look. Edmund Chen frantically said thank you to my dad. My mom was busy gossiping away about them, which irritated me a lot as we cant order our food with her keep talking non-stop. I dint even really go and look at them or ask for photos or autograph, cos I can imagine if im them, I would be so damn stressful to keep my reputation, greet my fans, sign their books and take photo with them, I think letting them have the time to themselves is the best way to respect them then.

Day 3 (17 Jun 09)
The check out time is 9.30am according to our ferry timing, which is supposed to be about 10am. So we had to wake up early to pack our stuff and leave for breakfast.

While I was taking my orange juice, I saw a big puff of smoke looming towards me, I siam and went over to see what happened. OMGWTFBBQ, from what I heard, some idiot go and up the temperature of the bread toaster despite the clear label saying "Do Not Adjust Temperature". It was an old fashion bread toaster, there there is a short conveyor belt that will drive your bread close to the heater, and at the end of the belt, it will drop to signify that the bread is ready. That idiot was probably frustrated or smthing, prolly max up the temp and somehow her bread got stuck there, wun drop down. I think she walked off or smthing after a failed attempt to get her toast. And then after a few minutes, it caught fire and POOF! Smoke came out and when I peeked into the toaster, I could see the bread happily enjoy being on fire. A kitchen assistant came over and extinguished the burning bread, then it was just a piece of charred black mass. The day before, someone actually apply peanut butter onto the bread BEFORE sending it into the toaster. He came frantically asking my dad for help, but they cant do anything but to stare at the bread being stuck to the wall of the toaster. Guess what, these were all Singaporeans.

The ferry was late, again, and came only at around 11am instead of 10. Despite having a custom and some random bag checking, the railing of the waiting zone is so low that I could climb over it with ease and "escape" to the outside for a much cooler and fresher air, as compared to the hot and stuffy waiting area.

Ferry came and we were brought back to the ferry station, where a mini van came and fetch us. We requested for lunch and the in-charge said we could only have 20mins as they still have got other passengers. I rushed my food and the fact is, I CANNOT EAT FAST. Its not that Im unable to speed up my act of devouring food, but that eating fast will cause "gas" in my gastric. The results were evident in the later part of the van ride, my tummy was filled with gas, and as I was trying to burp, I puked. Luckily I had a large mouth and was able to hold my puke in my mouth until I found a plastic bag.

The rest of the journey back home was pleasant. And when we reach home, we had a little surprise - the pest terminators just finished fuming the place with insecticide, my kitchen floor, where the rubbish chute is, was filled with half dead roaches. GG.


Lots of pics, takes a while to load. Click on the pic to get a larger view!
Using Nikon D80 with Tamrom A16.

Chicken and duck by the roadside.

Tasty yet stale catfish. Lunch at a stall beside ferry station when gg to tioman island.

Those kettles were meant to be used for washing hands. Same stall as catfish.

Cat. Very skinny.

Sis playing DS while waiting for ferry.

Ferry Station.

Souvenir stall at ferry station. All MIC goods.

Resort room, Taken from the door.

Hotel room from another angle.

Bed view.

Some tea therapy shit.

An urn, I suspect inside put dead ppl's ash one.

Attap Chee plant. U always get attap chee in Iced Jelly.

Resort's souvenir shop. Cute glass ornaments. MIC also?

Wearing this hat makes you and official Tiomanian.

Thats you.

Half dead dunno what flower.

One of my favourite photo from this trip. The silhouette of a dead tree. You can hardly find one in SG.

Jetty of Tioman Island.

The fruits of cashew nuts. I believe the outer part will drop off leaving the nut there. Imagine how many they need to pick while you song song eat one whole packet?

Flowers of cashew nuts.


An alley of Tioman.

Ultra big slippers.


Black Kitty.

Ling Zhi?

Some flower.

Another of my favourite photo in the trip. Sunset!

The chinese restaurant we ate at on the first day.

Our resort chalet from outside.

Fun pool for kids.

Jacuzzi where the two "extraordinary" ang moh jumped into.

Adult Pool.

Thats the tiny offshore island that is made up of boulders and had lots of sea gull shit on top.

Dining area for breakfast.

Ayura Spa Services.

Some sort of jelly fish or tube worms?

These are the deluxe resort chalets.

That's you again.

Shabby resort entrance.

Preggy komodo? Looks too small to be a komodo leh...

Lots of bats hanging on the trees. Almost every tree has a family of bats on them in Tioman.

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