Blogger Dynamic Views

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Not long before Blogger introduced dynamic view themes, you can access it from Template menu in the left side. This may be a surprise but you can actually access all of the Dynamic Views from any blogger sites just by adding /views at the end of the blogger address. By default it will shows in sidebar view. You have other views to choose like classic, flipcard, magazine, mosaic, snapshot and timeslide. I like magazine view the most.

Singapore Architecture Part I

 Last year I have an opportunity to go to Singapore on a business trip. I had training in Singapore for 10 days in July 2012. It is a great small country, clean, efficient and tourist friendly. But the life here is very hectic, everyday I need to catch up buses and MRT to the training which was held in Suntec City and I travel from Ang Mo Kio. The buses and MRT was fully loaded. There's nothing wrong with it because of the limited land space and for sure opportunities as well they'd become super productive.

Every day after training I go down to few places before went to Ang Mo Kio. I used Nikon D90 with Tamron 17-50 f2.8 VC and also film camera Olympus mju II as a lighter option.

In this post most of the building are from Marina Bay and a small part of Central Business District

This is inside the mall at Suntec City
The four tower slightly on the right of The Esplanade is the Suntec City. This was taken from the bridge next to Esplanade
Opposite of the previous photos is the view of Singapore's Business District. The building in front is The Fullerton Hotel, a five stars luxury hotel. Once known as General Post Office Building
A closer look at The Fullerton Hotel
Aside from modern skyscrapers, there's also old building and architecture such as this bridge, the Anderson Bridge finished in 1910 which also part of Singapore GP track for Formula One race. It is a steel bridge with the arches and ribs between the arches to support it. Four lanes road and two pedestrian lane at each side.
The pedestrian lane of Anderson Bridge
The Fullerton Building from Andreson Bridge
Closer look at the Fullerton Building
The Fullerton Building
In front of The Fullerton Building, the One Fullerton and across the bay is Marina Bay Sands Hotel. All can be seen from The Fullerton Hotel guests
Bank of China building next to Maybank Tower and near to The Fullerton Building
The road to The Fullerton Hotel entrance
Straits Trading Building
Dwarfed by the skyscrapers  
The view of The Fullerton Building by the river from UOB Plaza
UOB Plaza
Cavenagh Bridge, smaller and older than Anderson Bridge. Now only used for pedestrian. Build in 1870

Feedly eight months later

Time flies fast. It has been eight months since I starter using Feedly and four months since Google Reader shut down in July this year.


Now the Today page are called Home. Here it shows History page for Recently Read post. I don't have unread posts so my Today page have nothing.

I'm glad to say that feedly did fill the gap that Google Reader left. The keyboard shortcuts are the same as in Google Reader, J for Next post, K for previous post and Shift + A to mark all as read. That the only shortcuts I ever use in Google Reader and feedly.

Speed is also a major reason why I choose to stay with feedly rather than going to AOL reader or Digg reader. All of them are slower than feedly.

UI have changed a bit compared to when Google Reader still alive. The changes are mostly on the side bar which housed your subscription lists, settings, and all menus. While navigation menus still on the top bar and hover when scrolling down the posts.



They have paid account named feedly pro. $5/month or $45/yearly or $299 for lifetime. They promised 8 features included article search, speed boost and integration option for evernote and pocket, and more being added



First roll of film on EOS 888

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Last weekend I had the chance to test my newly acquired Canon EOS 888. The camera condition was less than average, worn out lens' coating and a lot of focusing problems. Sometimes it become noisy when focusing. There's a range where the focusing was spot on. Outside this range it's impossible to get focused and I need to use manual focusing. Overall when it's all good, nice photos are achievable. However my unit will most probably have few bad photos. It really depends on what you're photographing.

The manual shots. The green dot inside viewfinder will lights up when in focus, blinking when not in focus. This one below is a good sharp photo using manual focusing. While the two photos below it was a bit soft


and here's the best of auto focused photos

of life frustrations

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This few days, I'm getting frustrated over my life. Things are not going the way I want it to be. Progress was slow and so on. Thus I've decided to abandon a few things. This included film photography, Facebook and Instagram. Although it seems that I'm serious about it, I'm slowly getting back to all of those. Anyway all this did remove my early frustrations.

The reason I want to abandon film photography is the work flow is longer than of digital photography. Once done shooting (you need to finish all exposures, 12/24/36 exposures), I need to go to photo lab to develop it and scan it into digital format. Previously this shop open till late 7-8pm on weekdays, but now it closes earlier before 7pm. So I need to re-arrange my time to deliver the film so that it finished early. Current situation needs me to send the film by afternoon Saturday. Other than that time, I'll be getting the film the next day and again the shop only open till 7pm. I came back from office near 7pm and impossible to reach the shop before it close for business on weekdays. I can live with it but I just won't get the scans early. It looks better for me to use digital if I want and instant photos. This is not the only problems, I got few cameras and some of it were broken and needs testing and replacements. Again that needs time, money and efforts looking for it.

Now it looks more like I complaints and rants a lot.

We human can compromise for a certain time and at one time we just can't compromise it anymore. That's why you can see some good businesses closed down etc.

Regarding Facebook and Instagram, it's the negativity that I can feel while I'm looking at the feed updates of both Facebook and Instagram, that make me wants to stay away from it. On Facebook I just can't feed myself with lots of negativity especially related to politics. While on Instagram it's more to the peer pressure felt by the photos uploaded because it show that they have visited some places and I'm still at home, planning to go somewhere but never materialized or photos with their beloved one.

You might wonder why don't I materialized my holiday/travel plan. That's what I'm gonna do afterwards after I tried to abandon Instagram. I'll try to go to places nearer first.

All those complaints and rants are just my slump of motivation, because I am now having a better motivation. Usually I'm quite positively minded.

I will simplify my film photography work flow, stop buying film camera lenses or film cameras and using only what I have, I will start travelling again and I am removing/unsubscribing to a few friends that bring negativity in myself. I might also limits my time with Facebook and Instagram.

Fuhh!!

Team Alstare SBK Concept by Rusak Kreaktive

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It's been a norm to the automotive or bike companies to experiment with designs and technologies in racing. For automotive we have the top racing series like Formula One, World Rally Championship, Dakar Rally and etc. While for motorbikes we have like the famous MotoGP, Superbike World Championship and Dakar Rally.

I'm subscribed to Yanko Design's RSS feed, it's a design blog and most of it caught my attention. But for this concept bike, I'm not agree with the sharp bits especially the front suspension part.

Apart from the fact that I can't rationalize how it works, the sharp edge can also puncture opponent's rear tire. Other than that it's sleek enough.

So, I end up reading about Team Alstare which was sponsored by Suzuki until recently changed to Ducati for 2013 onwards. No wonder the Rusak Kreaktive concept bike was too sharp. Probably the 'sharp' image suit KTM better.

source Rusak Kreaktive Designworks via Yanko Design

Inherited a Canon EOS 888 (EOS 5000)

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Last weekend I got this camera from my uncle. He's been using it since middle of 90s. Canon EOS 888 (EOS 5000) is an entry level camera, this can be seen from the plastic parts including the lens mount thus making it a lot lighter.

plastic lens mount
It was bundled with Canon Zoom EF 38-76mm f/4.5-5.6 which also fully made of plastics including the lens mount. So far I've noticed a crack at the botton part near the lens mount.

kit lens

All Canon EOS film camera can only use EF lens and not compatible with EF-S lens. Most probably I'll be getting another cheap EF lens to experiment with. The cheapest so far is the used Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II lens, which can be bought below RM200.

This is my 1st real experience with a Canon EOS camera. The differences I've found was the different direction to attach/detach the lens and you don't need to push as much as Nikon to attach the lens, making it easier to be done with one hand ie. put the camera on a stable surface and mount the lens using one hand.

I've tried the camera without the film and found that it's quite difficult to focus under low light. One great thing is the operation noise (winding and focus motor) does sound quieter than my Nikon F80 with Nikon 50mm f1.8.

Canon compact film cameras bought and sold

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In February 2012, I've bought two used Canon compact film cameras. Namely the Prima Super 28 aka Sure Shot Z70W in America and Prima Zoom 90U aka Sure Shot 90U in America.
As in their name, Prima Super 28 lens starts from 28mm to 70mm. While the Prima Zoom 90U starts from 38mm to 90mm. The Prima Zoom 90U was indeed a modern film compact as compared to Prima Super 28. The 90U does feel closer to Canon digital compact especially with its latest AiAF and excellent flash.
Prima Super 28 was introduced in 1995 while the 90U in 2003. So it's quite a big gap for technology advancements. I'm not going to be technical, from my experience which is only 1 roll of film each on both cameras, I can say that the Prima 28 does have superior optics than Prima Zoom 90U. However 90U can easily be a truly point and shoot camera in any light condition be it outdoor or indoor.

Even though the Prima Super 28 does have superior optics and start at a usable 28mm wide end, my unit have problems with the sliding lens door and zoom rocker. Sometimes it works and sometimes it won't.

As with any camera brands, the cheaper the camera and targeted at mass-consumer, the lower the material quality and also lighter as it used a lot more plastics. If the Prima Super 28 feels solid in my hands, the 90U feels very cheap and light.

I end up selling these two cameras for half the price I paid for it. Each bought for RM60 (around $20)

Nikon D90 rear rubber and IF cover

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It seems that most Nikon SLR or DSLR have their own minor problems. I don't know if their quality really is bad of it's a wear and tear item.

My film Nikon F80 had a broken film door latch. But it's a used item so I'm unable to confirm its age and usage. I only use it for less than 10 times in 2 years time. Another problem when I received it was the sticky rubber parts, I had it cleaned using detergent and some clean towel.

Back to the topic of my Nikon D90, it also have little problems which makes it uneasy to use. First was the out-of-original-shape rear rubber grip. It's the one next to 5-ways selector button. The top portion of the grip has expanded and peeling off. Second problem was the expanded cover over the DC / AV / USB / HDMI ports. Sadly I forgot to take photos of it.



At first I'm thinking of DIY it, using parts bought from ebay. But as I read from flickr groups, the cost to replace it at official Nikon Service Center is affordable, I made up my mind to visit one. In Malaysia, there's only 3 official Nikon Service Center. One in Penang, one in Selangor (PKNS building, Petaling Jaya) and the other one in Kuala Lumpur at Berjaya Times Square. I visited the one in Berjaya Times Square as it's more convenience to me.

Service was good for me, not too bad nor too good. They promise to finish it within 2 hours. But as I sent it on Saturday, they will only able to finish it on Monday. I'm not in hurry and I pick it up on Friday.



Total cost is RM70, RM35 for each item.

replacing Google Reader

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It's been a while since my last update here. My last blog post was on 14th February last year. So it has been around 1 year and a month without updates.

Back to the topic, about Google Reader. I don't know if any of you know about this service, high chance you knew about it if you consume a lot of information from the internet. Since this product is from Google, I'm sure a lot of people heard about it even though they don't use it.

I personally use this service everyday. Accessing it from the Google Reader domain itself and not through other apps. I've traced my starred items and my first starred item was in 2009.

I remembered subscribing to news feed from news website overseas and local, but found that it made me overload with news, and not knowledge. So I've stopped subscribing the news. I did have subscription that I don't want to lose but not that willingly reads everyday, so I put them in folders named 'ignore'.

Today once I opened Google Reader, i show a noticed saying that Google will shut it down by July this year.   So I've searched the net for alternatives and found Feedly. It's quite nice. Clean interface, keyboard shortcuts and they promise to migrate the Google Reader subscription to their own server so my RSS won't be missing as Google shut it down. Before I tried Feedly, I've installed FeedDemon, it's a desktop client and not really like it. Less intuitive and outdated interface.

This is what feedly looks like. You can change the background color and header font and color too


I have few interesting things in my mind to update this blog. From my new film cameras purchased and sold, I been to some new places, it'll interesting. I just need to keep motivated to update this... hopefully.