Thursday, January 28, 2010


This YouTube clip dates from 2006. Not for the squeamish or prudish.
Apple Cart (Updated)

So it's official. The iPad. (It's not on the Singapore Apple site as yet. What's new?! Second Class Customer)

The device is almost as boring as the name, offering nothing new from the smaller and older iPhone.
Biggest difference is just that - Big. Does wonders for old folks (relatively speaking) like us. (9.7" vs 10" is not a lot, but why not 10" or 10.1"??)

Apple is now using their own chip once again, a 1Ghz A4 chip and probably the same technology that powers the current macbooks. The iPad runs for 10 hours and a standby for 1 month?! Got to see to believe. Good if it doesn't explode, considering how much power it is packing in the half inch slimness. Ok I am being mean with that.  (Apple loves beveling to give an illusion of slimness)

Dislike the thick thick bezel around the screen, makes it larger than necessary. Give me edge to edge screen! No expansion slots, an SD slot would be useful for transferring data, bluetooth is less useful for me. (SD expansion comes optional. Mr Jobs? it should come standard for USD$500!) No options for 3G or more connection? Probably tethering to iphone?  So it has 3G models. (Oh yes unlocked! Oh no micro-sim card! What?! The great Jobs giveth and the great Jobs taketh)

iBook is their new app, with 5 publishers as partners. At least they acknowledge the Kindle as the forerunner device. I bet iBook store will not work in Singapore. We maybe full paying customers for the device but we won't get the service.

With the higher horsepower under the hood, they have ported iWorks over to the pad. That I think is a good move, as it is a well designed software that is actually usable. Definitely a netbook killer. Running iWorks on hackingtosh netbook is still frustrating at best.  Though I don't think it would be easy doing a full document either. Catch? It is US$10 for EACH of the iWork module.

No true multitasking as in running 2 apps simultaneously. Would like to be able to shuffle between apps rather than tap-home button-tap and restarting each time.

Most importantly, it starts at USD$499, just close to SGD$700. Yet to see if it is worth it. The very first successful netbook Asus EeePc cost around the same with less storage, with a web-cam, built in SD reader. Would the iPad have the problem of the flash disk failing from multiple read-write? Of course the current batch of netbooks have far more storage and better video capability and cheaper. Hard to compare speed as they are running a full desktop operating system as opposed to mobile OS.

"Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price"

Magical? Revolutionary? Boring and indulgent, to quote Mr Cowell.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple Cart

We interrupt our irregular broadcast for a special look at the latest crop to land in the Apple cart.

As my tiny group of fellow bloggers know, Mr Jobs will be introducing something new, something shiny and definitely expensive. There has been many rumors for a long time and like a watched pot, it is finally boiling. The latest and most credible to bubble to the surface is IT will be a tablet running iPhone OS, basically an iPhone that won't fit into any pants.

One thing for sure, it will be all operation shock and awe, and all the devotees will be waving their hands and credit cards in anticipation. Mr Jobs knows how to work the crowd and this will all happen in about the time I take to drain my Ipod Touch battery.

Wait wait, I am NOT a Apple Devotee. It is a love-hate relationship between Apple and me, but I am still interested in what is happening.

Skipping over the history with the iPhone (which I refuse to own), let's have a quick thought about the IT thing.

Tablet. I think it is a natural progression from the traditional notebook computer, mobility is all the key. People want untethered power. Netbooks are unwieldy, even Hackingtosh-es, with their boot-up time. Smart-phones gives that instant satisfaction of connecting to the internet but lack the power and screen space.
Hence the IT. Nothing really new actually, so many others have tried and still trying.

Ah! but what will emerge from the Temple of Style? Stay tuned

I am looking forward to having a 10"-11" machine to use. The iPod Touch is just straining on my old eyes for reading and I get instant ADD trying to read e-books. Now mono-purpose e-books would be good, but face it, I web surf 99% of the time, e-book feature would be more a bonus than a primary requirement. Hopefully they would have boosted the brainpower to make a very responsive system even faster. Multitasking beyond music playing in the background I wish.

The other bug-bear with the iPod Touch is online banking. Sure some banks have apps, but the one that has my hard earn money captive does not. Yes, DBS, I am talking about you. Also I cannot view this blog in its entirety, mainly the cool Cool-Iris 3-D wall inserted. So full web compatibility would be my wish.

Battery life should be improved with more real estate, the Touch just lasts 3-4 hours if I play games. Wonder if that would increase the weight. Come to think of it, pretty scary if the instances of exploding iPods should repeat here.

As with all Apple products, I know IT will be bugged by deficiencies after the initial infatuation is over. IT will probably still be tied to iTunes, which I am not fond of. Definitely expensive, worse if it has mobile connection. The iPhone mobile plans turn me off. And, will I need to pay to upgrade the operating system like my Touch? (That is another story for another post).

The famous "myth" of Apple being easy to use is actually a veneer that covers an inflexible system. I agree Apple products are pretty straight forward to use, but explain to me why I cannot switch off the Auto - Login page for WiFi that pops up when connecting the Touch. The Touch sometimes think Wireless@Sg is a totally foreign network when in a different hotspots and safari pops up to the login page. Totally unnecessary when I have a app for login in 2 taps. Close that pop up and the WiFi shuts down, and said app is useless. Dark thoughts cross my mind in situations like that.

Actually this up and down relationship is not a surprise. After all, their logo is a half eaten apple, you just don't get the whole thing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Old Stuff

Old stuff using GX100

I know exactly how Jon feels.
Caged Light

Full Moon

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Death and Light

Words are meaningless. Go here and here

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Light and Life

Singapore Garden Festival 2008

 The Singapore Garden Festival is a biannual event that celebrates the artistry of Mother Nature, choreographed by human hands. It is also a mass dance of shutter bugs, camera up, camera down, flash, flash snap.

The one thing I hate is having to negotiate the contorted bodies obstructing the displays. Seriously, do they think their cutesy poses would make them even remotely as beautiful or interesting as that above. Stay out of the frame please!

Singapore Garden Festival 2010, 15 - 22 July, Suntec City. Please hold the bunny ear fingers and enjoy the natural beauty instead.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Just seen the movie. (Who has time and energy for books?!!) . So how does this chick flick relates to this blog? The film recreates 2 lives and connects them visually in seemingly disparate worlds.
Ok Ok I am definitely no film critic but I can appreciate the different themes.

Who am I?
This question bothered both Js. What are we doing with our lives? Where are we heading?
What am I doing with this blog?

Julia found her place in life and pursued it passionately, tenaciously. The scene where she is intensely slicing onions into a small snowy hill is the cover picture to her life as a chef. Of course it is also a masterclass in comedic acting by Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci. Very subtle, very simple and very funny.

The love of food binds these two women separated by time and distance. Interestingly, there were very few scenes where the food is clearly seen, although they were carefully prepared. The DVD extras (who has time and money for Cinema??!!) had a small section on the food and I think the director Ms Ephron mentioned the limited shots even though she loves "food pornography"

Food pornography is why I am writing this post (see I did learn a little about setting up the scene). Most casual photographers like me will have a collection of food photos. It is a primal connection between the eye and the stomach. Very few can resist. Yet like the movie, food while taking centerstage does not overwhelm everything else. The plate, the table and silverware, all are part of the scene, without which the food falls apart and has no meaning.

The final scene, where Julia and Paul enter their kitchen, settles into their position and culminates with Julia rejoicing is masterful in its simplicity. Each kitchen element naturally in place, a low evening light with long gentle shadows on the floor. On opposite side of the scene, Paul seated looks up at Julia standing with her book in hand. It is a beautiful study of still life.

That would be something I aspire to.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Alive for 365

Noticed some people have started the new year with the aim of taking a photograph every day.

These masters of light are putting up their artwork for a noble cause.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Canon G6 continued.

Still using the G6, which thankfully recovered slightly from age related infirmity. The swivel screen is working a little better now. Sadly the jog dial remains in intensive care.

These were done with bouncing the Sigma ring flash off the walls. I am probably going to burn out the flash if I carry on blasting it at full power.

Does one get arrested for appliance abuse?
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