Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lumia 1020 Revisited

Just to revisit the keynote presentation.


This is so cool!

Friday, July 12, 2013


41 Million points. Far away, zoom in close. Manual control. Anti-shake.

Shut up and take my money already will you!

I know how you feel Marc of Pureview Club. Thanks for the excellent preview/review.

Source: MyNokiaBlog

Monday, July 01, 2013

Microsoft Surface Pro

Source: Hardware Zone
I had been eyeing the titular gadget ever since Microsoft Designer Panos Panay click the accompanying keyboard audibly during their keynote presentation and bravely dropped the device deliberately on stage. It was obviously a carpeted floor, but nonetheless we have yet to see witness the same at an Apple keynote.
Microsoft Keynote 2012. Source: The Verge YouTube channel

Ok, the original keynote showed the RT version, but it is not too far off from the Pro version.

Fast forward 8 months to today, I am now posting this on my very own Surface Pro.

The Surface Pro is a strange animal indeed that has everyone confused. Never mind the RT version.

For all intent and purposes, it is basically a Windows Ultrabook without a keyboard. Compared to a lot of ultrabooks out there, the Surface is smaller but blocky. It is thicker than an iPad decked out in a cover but weighs the same. Compared to my 11" MacBook Air, it is noticeably lighter.

This is not a review as it would probably take me a week to write that! So just some quick impressions.

Why did I buy it?
It was purely an impulse purchase, I just had to have it. Thankfully it took a long time to launch in Singapore, so it was impulse shopping in slow motion, plenty of time to save up.

The biggest draw was the Wacom digitizer built in. For this price, there were only a few device with a Pen bundled in. Samsung was disappointing with their sorry excuse of S Pen in the Ativ series. The best was actually Sony with their 11" Vaio Duo, but it turns out the stylus needs a AAA battery at almost twice the cost!

Second reason is I can run EA Games' Command and Conquer Tiberium Wars in Full HD.

How does it handle?
It is a challenge initially as holding it is quite different from the traditional laptop form. You can't really put it on your lap and type, say, a post like this easily. The kickstand doesn't work on your lap unless you fold the optional keyboard back as support. Or lie it flat if you have ample lap like I do. In the end I just used it in full tablet form pecking on the virtual keyboard, which is surprisingly accurate, comfortable and easy to use, even better than the iPad.

The pen is quite similar to that from a Wacom tablet, but the very smooth glossy screen gives no traction to the tip so it does not have a semblance of writing on paper. Note that you must use the updated interim driver from Wacom in order to get the full pressure sensitivity capability. Original Wacom tablet pens DO NOT work on the Surface, but it is compatible with those from Samsung's galaxy of  pen enabled tablets or Wacom's Bamboo Stylus Feel range.

The screen is gorgeous for photos and even HD movies which plays smoothly. But the desktop looks painfully small unless it is scaled to 150%, then some programs looks fuzzy. The Modern interface works well with the screen, but the desktop interface is obviously painful to use on a sub 11' high definition screen

That being said, the Surface is fast being coming a favourite with digital artists, even a few preferring it over a Cintiq!
Source: Mike Krahulik YouTube

As I mentioned before, the Surface can run a full Windows game, although it does make the fans run at full speed, a barely audible whine. Just don't expect to run Crysis.

There are tons of reviews on the machine, here are 2 that I feel are more balanced.
Source: Michael Henkelman YouTube

Mr Henkelman talks about serious programming work and gaming on the Surface.

Next is from Marc Weber Tobias of Forbes. He presents a short clear summary of should you or not own a Surface.

The Achilles Heel for the Surface is the battery life, you cannot be without an adapter or stray too far from a power point. A point of note to Microsoft, the magnetic power connector needs work still, it does not snap easily into place like Apple's Mag Safe connector.

I started this post using the Surface, but completed it on my desktop as it is still far more comfortable using a large screen and keyboard. But it could have been totally written on the Surface with all the cut and paste of videos and images.

Is it for you?

I would say it is a qualified "No". It is a well constructed machine and looks good, but my negative is due to 2 major consideration.

Firstly, you must be able to break away from the traditional concept of a laptop, otherwise the Surface will frustrate you to no end, not to mention the schizophrenic Windows 8.

Secondly the launch of Intel's 4 generation iCore CPUs would like mean a refresh is not too far off. The advantage those battery friendly CPUs could very well mean almost double the battery life. So a definite no unless you are a gadget collector.

In the meantime, I heart my Surface.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Hello Peekers.

It has been a long time since my last post. Nothing like Apple to bring me to the keyboard, in the middle of the night no less.

iOS 7.

I am first to say I like the new OS especially the lack of fake green felt, and for the first time also I might just switch to iPhone, maaaaybe.

But being rather discombobulated by lack of sleep, I have to do a rant.


Innovation my ass. Some of the functions have been on my old N9 phone from 2 years back. Tons done by others for over a year. Jolla being the latest plagiarized victim and they have not even launch commercially yet.

To be fair to Apple, they have refined all the elements and tied them up with a nice neat pretty bow. Still, a copy cat nonetheless.

Short rant over

I do declare however, I really enjoyed the Deforstallization of the Apple interface.

Thank you Sir Ive


Engadget hands on review of the Jolla Sailfish OS demo. The possible draw would be that Android apps runs native on this OS. Looks familiar Apple?

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Disclaimer: This is simply my opinion, emphasis on opinion. So please read and move on.

The hottest water cooler talk in the country centers around 2 digits and a decimal point. It is quite a blow, if you get the pun, to a lot of people but the thought behind it is not quite as mutual.

Speaking of bad puns. Here is a little snippet from our national paper.

Train capacity into the Central Business District during the busiest hour in the morning is expected rise to 70 per cent in five years' time, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew on Tuesday.
And with ridership unlikely to increase by the same magnitude, Mr Lui said it would likely lead to a less crowded ride.

On the surface it seems reassuring, but here is the point related to the post title.

The statement would seem to say, yes capacity will increase, but the load will unlikely rise by the SAME magnitude. Now, it is true that parallel increases would be unlikely, but question is will the change be simply a difference of 5 per cent? The load may also increase to 80 percent and the statement would fundamentally be still correct.

Therefore the conclusion that rides would be less crowded is likely to be as unlikely as the tandem increases in population and capacity.

I just re-read the clip and realized I missed a small detail. Emphasis mine

Train capacity into the Central Business District during the busiest hour in the morning is expected rise to 70 per cent

Firstly I cannot quite understand it after reading a few times. Is there a grammatical error or typo?

Secondly, if read as "expected (to) rise to 70 percent", that would be a horrible projection or reflection of reality. Pity the 30 percent who will never get to board any train during that period.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

San Francisco 2012

One of the many things happening in 2012. I had the fortune to attend a training course in San Francisco, so naturally one would find a little time for a detour.

This next picture might not be interesting in itself, but could it be Marty or Doc attempting a temporal transition?

Napa Valley - Wine country

Fisherman's Wharf

Early morning on the way for training.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Day by the Gardens

So lucky to have a "me-day", spent a couple of hours at the Garden with the trusty 808


Enjoy this. If your machine can handle it, watch it in the original 4K resolution.
Video by Jacob Schwarz
Music by Tony Anderson

Source: The Verge

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hello World

Its been two months since I last posted. So much has gone on in the mean time and the world, despite dire prediction, is still pretty much around but not necessarily in a good state.

So just throwing a few cents worth of thought around.

About the famous 21 December date, didn't it occur to those believers that the Mayan calendar might have ended because after carving a few hundred years worth of calendar, the poor dude might just give up or suffer from a severe case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

World Economy, Fiscal Cliff and Recession. Best explained by Wiley Miller

Climate change still doesn't exist for some people.
The New York Times: Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide

So will it be a Happy 2013? I certainly hope so for everyone.

And welcome back to my little corner.
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