learning a new language

Been spending the work week so far turning myself into a rookie iGeek:

  1. Finding space on my desk to set up my new baby at work – a Hackintosh (Mac OSX on a Dell Mini) dual-screen mode. The 2nd screen is a 19-inch Samsung which is connected to a really shitty power socket – so much as an accidental nudge can kill the power. Talk about preserving the balance of the force.
  2. Linking my current setup (a Fedora 13 desktop) to this new setup (as per no.1) via Synergy.. took me a whole day for this, I stupidly forgot to open the port to allow the app to connect to my Fedora. Well after I finished this, I can now use the same mouse and keyboard on my Fedora to tinker with the Hackintosh, which is the *awesomely cool* XD
  3. Learning up on how to program iPhone/iPad apps.
  • First attempt: tried the Javascript version via Appcelerator Titanium. I have to admit the interface is pretty and all that. But when it comes to the real nitty gritty, this doesn’t agree with my insides cause the API is pretty vague, for one. And for two, looking for tutorials on this thing isn’t easy (well either that or I’ve been really failing spectacularly at using Uncle Google)
  • Second attempt: After unsuccessfully not learning much on the first try, I resorted to an e-book using Objective-C via XCode and Interface Builder and tried coding from there. Ok *now* alot of things made sense. Firstly, on my first try I was trying to do something pretty damn complex (multiview) instead of starting off simple (single view) so I’m not really surprised I failed. Secondly this is *so* much easier to get help on, and the API is better explained. Not that I read through all of it but I feel much more comfortable with it. So I made my test Bananarama app and I’m pretty proud of myself! XD yakjiuyakjiu! Next step is to figure out the JSON/XML bit, and creating multi view apps. Oh yes, and deal with the accelerometer and stuff =3
Loving the steep learning curve (but not my high rate of fails!), but I’m getting places! *moero!*

*beep*

short post here, I’m in the midst of moving my blog to wordpress. It’s almost like going to work after work =P

there’s heaps to tweak =3

phew

Thank goodness it was nothing more than some really bad sprain.. Had to ferry the fatty all over the place just to make triply sure, but it was worth the effort. So careless lah you!

Had to drive around for abit looking for a clinic near home that was open so late at night (at the time it was close to 10PM so go figure! gawsh) Thank goodness we found out there was a clinic not too far away that was 24hours and part of the approved company panel clinics.

All of us were thinking it was something as severe as a fracture, really freaked us out then! Even the doctor at the clinic feared the worst – I suppose that’s what they’re trained to do, to expect the worst? Haha I suppose, we were thinking likewise – having to go to UH and wait for a couple of hours, then take half day emergency leave and have to fetch ti to uni… wah that would be a *very* long night for me. @_@

Just kinda glad he’s the easygoing type not to compound on the situation frantic with needless phobia.. but also not helping if he thinks that others are gonna worry *for* him so he doesn’t need to. It’s all about the balance I guess?

So he’s staying till the weekend, at least during the more crucial part of the recovery we’re around to help him *lah*.

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate – I face my own challenges, some I’ve conquered, some I’ve yet to conquer.

Life is just too short to be miserable, and afraid. If you make the jump, and you need us to catch you, we’ll try our best.
Love yourself. And always know that somewhere out there, someone loves you, even at the moments where you feel you’re not worthy of yourself.
I think we’re constantly caged by some notion, some unmentionable fear that prevents us from reaching out to what we really want, so we make do with what’s in the cage. It keeps us far from happy, but it keeps us feeling safe. And maybe once we get used to it, we form the idea that we can be happy in the cage – even though what we really want is so much more, outside it. We try to bury the desire deep within ourselves, so that we won’t feel miserable. This in turn, causes us misery and we try to bury it with more white lies we tell ourselves. I guess it’s a cascading effect, so much so that we believe our own lies and live with them.
The original desire? Buried deep, deep within and under the stack of lies. The only way we can really dig it up is to sacrifice the safe net that we form around ourselves, and reach for it. And the only time we can do it is while we have the energy and means to do so – when we’re young.
I cannot imagine living a life filled with more regret than it is filled with accomplishment. Kinda depends what we define as accomplishment – it doesn’t have to impact the entire world, just our world. This is what people we care for will remember us by, and will live past our time.
Talk about mid-twenties crisis. We’re at the point where the world is ours for the taking – but what do we take from it? And what do we give in return? But what I give up I must choose with care, for some things I cannot regain.
I’ve also been fortunate in the sense that I have a positive outlook on life, most of the time. Either I’m content with where I’m at, or I aspire to be at a better place. I’ve been encouraged by and have seen people who have done it (or are continuing on a great journey ahead) and I want to be like them. Doing what they want, working with like-minded people, and have a tremendous passion for it – rarely regretting their decisions and are ready to face the consequences, both good and bad. Takes a great deal of strategy and bravery, that.
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Might be a good time to reflect and remind myself of what I want to do.
I know what I aspire to be – a person that delivers an awesome web experience. Ways to process and format bullshit the internet pushes into my hands, and creating art (prettily done, useful and meaningful data) out of it. The ways to do it, the ways to present it, the ways to manipulate it. Creating systems that are easy to use, fun to use even. And definitely will get the job done the way it is intended to be done. Could be a game, could be an app, could be a library of things to organize, it could be anything that requires user interaction in a manner that they will enjoy.
Right now I’m learning more backend technical stuff, but I’m learning nonetheless. Get into people’s minds on how they do it, why they want it that way, and how to make it better (could be how to code it better, or a concept that is better – albeit a different flow, but good things will stick)

what a lazy sunday.

The one thing about budgeting I find is that it makes you so aware of every penny you spend, it starts to feel miserable after abit. Things you wanna do (that requires money), things you wanna have (that requires money) and heck, things you even need (that requires money) you will think thrice before getting it. 何か sad かな。。。

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Sometimes I just feel like getting away from everything. I wanna go to a beach again, I miss the sea! Maybe a road trip is in order? *hinthint aichan & reeis*
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my hands are itching to feel a keyboard, though the sound that the clunking might produce is terrible, out of time and hitting all the wrong notes.

Jaben Malaysia @ SS15

Headed down to Jaben with hou and his girlfriend amcheong.. after he saw my tweet/blogpost on wanting a good pair of headphones (i.e. my Sibelius 2.0), he was trying to poison me to get a pair from this place. I’ve seen the LYN audiophile thread, the Garage Sales thread, and Jaben seems to appear quite often. I’m glad I decided to finally check it out – it was the highlight of my day!

For one thing, amcheong & hou really know their stuff, makes me feel so inferior =P Was a good place to audition the headphones, and I really learnt alot from that one trip. Despite my previous attempts at homework/research on headphone brands, some really unexpected and non-conventional brands came up (this is coming from a non-audiophile). Usually people would spew stuff like Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Bose… here I find that the gold lies in the more classic brands like Crossroads, Grado, beyerdynamics, Westone and Hippo.
Honestly speaking, the place looks simple, but don’t be fooled – it’s almost like a holy grail for audiophiles. Alot of technical terms being thrown around – soundstage, bright, dark, flat, noisy, dirty, warm, aggresive, sound signatures, burn-in… normal verbs with a world of difference in meaning. And the other integral part of an audiophile setup that I got to try there – the amps. Boy do these make a difference, and for each headphone/IEM there will be one amp that works better with it than the rest – chemistry? Seriously awesome stuff.
I remember grinning to myself like crazy while auditioning a couple of these headphones – and leshock! some IEMs really blew me away, and this is something coming from a person who doesn’t normally swing well with IEMs due to the comfort factor – especially hated the stock earbuds that came with my iPod.
Notable IEMs:
Especially loved the Crossroad Woody, listening to classical music gives me the impression that the orchestra is performing right in front of me. I swear, these things are to *die* for! There was also another pair of IEMs that are custom-made (of which I don’t remember the name/brand), that cost around RM4k! omagawd I could almost swear I was seeing my life flashed before my eyes as I listened to the music that came out of them, it was breathtakingly good. Also tried hou’s UM1, he really paid top dollar for a top-notch IEM. The thing that took my breath away about all these IEMs was that apart from the sound, they were surprisingly comfortable, I always had this idea that they were going to be uncomfy after awhile.
Notable intro-level headphones:
Now, I’ve always been a fan of headphones. For one, the vintage look really melts my heart (and kills my wallet, I know). For two, although prolonged periods of headphone love makes my ears hot/sweaty, they’re comfy from the second you put them off to the second you take them off. For three, somehow the sound seems fuller coming from headphones. I tried the ATH ON3 (uncomfy for portables), beyerdynamics DT-231 Pro (lovely, lovely warm sound, and super comfy to boot! Love the pads and the elastic band – I can imagine I will end up sleeping with these around my ears and not know the difference…), Grado SR60 (mmmm yummy yummy bass, and yes the bass hits the sweet spot with me – a classic pair of headphones, these.. although I’m not sure if I want the rest of the world to listen to what I’m listening to)
We easily spent 2.5 – 3 hours at the place just trying out all the headphones, fiddling with the amps, and oh yes chatting with walabies. He’s a reaaaaalllly nice person, and (duh!) knows his stuff, and how to recommend depending on what a person is looking for, type of music… you can really tell he’s passionate about it (apart from seeing the audiophiles that keep going in and out of the place) … I is very very very sorely tempted to go back and grab those headphones.
しっかりしろう! I’ve got to figure out a way to plan my spending to get them.

too long to tweet =3

Was going through my old Sydney photos when I came across this quote:

Mankind was destined to live on the edge of perpetual disaster. We are mankind because we survive. We do it in a half-assed way, but we do it – James A. Michener

It makes me crack up when I read it – mainly due to the bluntness of the statement, but it also gives some food for thought.
And so, I think.

on headphones

I really want a pair.. mainly cause I feel that I have to return my ti’s Sony headphones (although I know he’s currently using another one.. Sennheiser I think, not sure.)

Also, I would like one to call my own since Sibelius 1.0 has been adopted by someone else that hopefully will love it better than I did. Budget range would be still the same, I think I’d go *max* RM250 (or a little more.. I’m not sure if I’m willing to push it to RM300)

Hmm, price aside.. what would I use the cans for? Would probably use them in the office, to cancel out some voices I prefer not to hear simply because. =P And besides I need something to help me forget where I am (not that where I am is a terrible place, but music can transport me into another dimension that allows me to function better, holds true when I’m coding – once I’m in, I’m in for awhile. and loving every second of it! =P) and focus.

What I listen to? Right now I’m into more musicals, but after VGL I’m drifting back into orchestral/classical/game music, maybe the occasional swing, and finally rock first, then pop. So a good range of treble and bass, not that much into bass, I’d rather more trebles – it’s meant to complement, not take over the entire piece. Plus I need clarity on the vocals. So I guess higher end of the frequency band. Will be listening to mostly MP3, otherwise FLAC before I finally get around to converting it to MP3.

Preferences so far (based on my limited time spent on homework and the random web trawling) hmm I would say definitely full headphones, open circumaural otherwise closed would be ok – though it kinda means my ears will get stuffy after awhile.. comfort yes, aesthetics factor yes (preferably in white or some *other* colour apart from black – yea I know, I don’t keep white things white for very long though) and some form of adjustment for my fairly small head (hahaha a little less capacity, a little more stupidity please! XD)

On with the shortlist (I know some will not be within my budget range, and I am shallow – I chose based on looks for now.. specs I’ll have to do my homework and trim accordingly at some other time)

So far, this is what I’ve set my eyes on (just one, of course..)

VGL Kuala Lumpur 2010

It was easily the GREATEST video games concert EVER in Malaysia. Because it’s the first to arrive here, and the performers were top notch.

Place
The plenary hall @ KLCC could house more people, and the rules certainly weren’t as strict as the ones at MPO. However the sound quality could be better, cause you could hear some sounds louder than the rest. For our end (the right end) the choir was abit drowned out by the strings. Apparently in the middle the voices were clearest, but the strings were all over the place. For me, the sound didn’t really penetrate the back parts of the hall so it didn’t come across strong enough. But the sheer pleasure of just listening to music I love, adore, recognize, respect and fangirl over was worth it. It struck plenty of chords with me. That’s what’s most important.

Randoms 1
Met Eu Wye at the front door while Reeis was buying the glowy necklace. XD At this point was thinking the merchandise was a little steep. But seriously considered getting the CD.

A little later, saw ONEE-CHAN and her friends! XD OMG we were going “zomgzomg!” XD she got complimentary tix too, how lucky! XD She probably died and returned to life a couple of times when they were performing One-Winged Angel

During the intermission, I SAW ALEX! hahaha yet another surprise!

We went in just in time to listen to the SNES medley, brought back alot of memories. METROID! AND SPACE INVADERRSSS!! The producer of the show Tommy Tallarico was a very good host. And the conductor Jack Wall did a very good job too. Must also take the opportunity to applaud our choir and ochestra, they did an excellent job! Wouldn’t expect any less, really =)

Music
You have no idea how much all of us screamed, cheered and applauded at the music. In no particular order, but asterisks define the AWESOMEST PIECEST IMO

SNES Medley
This was the first starter piece to get everyone warmed up – haha which also kinda reminded us of how old we really are. Being able to recognize Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat, Metroid~ among other things.

**God of War
I needn’t comment on this, once again a job well done – very good choice here. Very recent, very popular and very good arrangement. The accompanying video montage was good though, from the game yes, but very very fitting.

**Halo
So many fanboys were screaming over this! But I have to admit this mashup’s arrangement was very nicely done.. the blue lights were slightly annoying though. The strings were very emotive, and set the pace for the music very nicely.

**Shadow of Colossus
-Lauria Intravia’s singing voice was absolutely shockingly good. Was blown away by her voice, it gave me the shivers.

**Kingdom Hearts
-plenty of fanboys (well at least the one next to me) was singing Utada’s lyrics to the orchestral version of the song. Thank goodness I was too absorbed by the music to be paying attention, the arrangement was excellent =) Thanking Kaoru Wada for the original piece, but listening to it LIVE is always another matter altogether.

**Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross (encore)
-this one warrants additional comments. Laura Intravia (playing the piccolo, dressed as a pretty cute Link), Hibino Norihiko on the saxophone, Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall on the guitar. AS an encore, I definitely wasn’t expecting this one, and all of us practically screamed in delight when we heard the all-too-familiar tunes being played. Especially Chrono Cross, which holds a special meaning for me – by far, my favourite non-FF RPG by Squaresoft (at the time, not yet known as Square Enix)

**ONE WINGED ANGEL BLACK MAGES STYLE
-when Tommy introduced this song, I’m willing to bet mah soul that the *entire* hall saw Heaven right in front of them. For me, the winning point of this performance was the fact that it wasn’t *just* the regular orchestral arrangement, but the Black Mages arrangement. Rawk on YEAH! The choir was good, “veni veni venias, ne me mori fascias” and the buildup and the atmosphere of the piece was very well done. Praises all round on this one. Absolutely lovely, and I told Reeis that onee-chan must be dying right now from happiness.

Eh wtf la why use cosplay and fanart! Just leave the original VGL logo there and focus on your playing! I didn’t even wanna look up after seeing the 2nd bad cosplay. We were laughing but ignoring it because the music arrangement was that good – no amount of fugly cosplay is gonna distract ME!

Sonic
Plenty of golden rings flying around! XD Memories, and I didn’t know the newer Sonic series were so prettifully done XD

Mario
hahah part of me felt so old looking at all the old Mario games and actually recognizing them! XD We could all probably hum the tune out together in unison XD Mario Kart, Mario Galaxy, Super Mario World, Wario! Stuff like that, omgomgomgomgomg! XD

**Zelda
-First performance with Laura at the piccolo. This was when we realized, she is truly talented. And she makes a very cute Link. (haha, onee-chan was going “I can’t stop staring at her legs!”)

**Castlevania (encore)
This also made me jump for joy, an iconic piece from an iconic game. The guitar work (Tommy is good at this) was also real good XD

Space Invaders
Got this random dude from the stage to play Space Invcaders while they played the accompanying music. So the guy was running around on stage and holding the controller playing Space Invaders.. Funny as!

GUITAR HERO YAWLS
Earlier that day they had a Guitar Hero competition, and the winner was invited on stage to play “Jump!” (haha from GLEEE!) on Expert mode! Oh Vincent, that was so close! 30k points and you woulda pwned AND gotten the gift bag (which he got anyway) but the gift bag contents were awesome!

Megaman
“This came has the most franchises *ever* for a videogame!”
“FINAL FANTASYY!”
“haha, that only had thirteen, this one has way more!”
*laughs all round*
“Ladies and gentlemen, presenting… MEGAMAN!”
*CHEERS ALL ROUND*

**Warcraft
The trailer they used was the initial video used to promote Warcraft methinks. And at the end, a question: “For the Horde? Or For the Alliance?” Trust me if he did go on I expect alot of people would start fighting! =P

Tetris
Whoever was playing this on screen seriously sucked. But the music brought back OH SO MANY MEMORIEEESS!

**Metal Gear Solid
I died when I heard they were performing MGS. Also loved very much the bit when the box was around, and the soldier (complete with the exclamation mark) came on stage acting their bit out. Hilarious, and great great music! Thinking of the box, and it appeared JUST as I was asking for it! XD

**Snake Eater
Another fangirly moment seeing the composer of MGS performing on the sax. Smexiness factor +++++! And besides, with him at the helm there was no way this piece was going to flop. True enough, it delivered!

Autograph Session
A quick signing session, and I just gave a one-liner to thank them for their awesomeness and trying to make sure they put KL on their venue list for VGL 2011! =P
They were selling the hugearse bunting for RM30 though, kinda damn. Already bought the CD so I got them to sign that instead. VGL autographed CD FTW X3X3XDXD

prick up your ears and listen

To the peace on midday Saturday.

That was some terrific sleep =3 Good morning world!
Went out to drinks with reeis yesti, and I must say we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Frank was somewhat surprised to see me I guess, since I only frequent Sid's on Tuesdays, but he seemed happy enough XD Love how he greets everyone with a "Good Morning!" Had a pint and some chicken wings, while really talking about everything to do with work and work ethics, and not losing yourself to your job. Which reminded me of something the Devil once said to me, which goes along the lines of "It's not how you screw up, but how you recover from it. After all, everyone's bound to screw up sometime. " True enough, and yet another gem which I keep in mind and take to heart whenever I can. Makes life less stressful. =P
In the car earlier, reeis was like "Shall we move in together?" which is an appealing offer indeed.. Would like to move out sometime, maybe after I get a car and more money to at least support rent for a couple of months. We've given ourself some time to work on it, maybe the middle of next year? 
After I got back home, decided to listen to some of my freshly-obtained music. First up was the soundtrack to "Funny Girl", mainly featuring Barbra Streisand. She has a great voice, and the score is good! It does sound like something of the 60s, hahah! Could be the recording quality or something but it's not a bad thing – adds to the feel of the music. Actually decided to give it a listen because I was blown away by Glee's version of "Don't Rain On My Parade" and also remembering a performance by not one, but two great acts at No Black Tie! More recently was a rendition by Margie Sergers (she has one awesome voice! and a very important person in the jazz scene in Indon) and also the first time I heard it was at a performance by Llew Marsh & co. @ No Black Tie (which I would dearly love to go to again, I think there's one sometime mid-April) where they performed the song "People", and that struck a chord with me too. "People who need people, are the luckiest people in the world!"