Wednesday, May 23, 2007

DIP Update III

Boring day.. everyone’s out but me.

Ok, so let’s see.. the project’s gone into a standstill over the past 2 days. Things aren't progressing as fast as the initial 10 days. It’s now the time when more and more pieces come together and that’s where the problems start surfacing. The signals aren’t looking as good, the gain isn’t as high and we’re getting extra harmonics that shouldn’t be there.. maybe there’s a gremlin inside the thing.. hmm..

So anyway, last week, we celebrated Lionel’s and Hong Sheng’s birthday.. quite cool. One on Friday, the other on Monday. Went to celebrate lionel’s at pizza hut on friday.. it’s been quite a while since I last went there, and plus there was some student’s price thing, so it’s quite welcoming.. and on Monday, we celebrated hongsheng’s one at the lab..

RIGHT: That's the whole gang, waiting for lionel.. think army-styled resounding songs as we sung him a birthday song.. heh

LEFT: Birthday Boy Lionel with his cake
RIGHT: Birthday Boy Hong Sheng with his cake

Had some time after fixing and hooking up the circuits, and since our prof (aptly nicknamed 'Handsome' by all of us) didn’t want us to run through the big test without him around, I managed to get some interesting pictures.. =) once again, a big Thank-You to those who chipped in and got me my lovely camera.. I love it!

Thought it was quite an accomplishment getting the screen capture of the scope.. helps with the report too =) oh and the blue thing's our solar panel (+ some photoshop makeup)..

Finally got a chance to take this perspective picture and just when i clicked, kenny strolled in.. haha.. actually, it probably looks better with him inside the picture..

Oh and yes, before I forget.. heh. Ben, I’m still waiting for you to fix my snake.. =P

I'm still waiting.. ...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

DIP Update II

It’s mid-way through the DIP term. Things are sorta falling into place. Did I mention that I was doing the hardware section for the project? So anyway, the pieces are finally coming together and the testings have produced very favourable results. That’s good. Considering it’s such a major scale thing that’s going on involving 20 ppl.. it’s so big with so many parts, that as long as one part gets stuck, the whole project will be jeopardized. So until it’s finished, you’d never know when Murphy will pop by.. Just found out too that my prof will be leaving NTU for Australia right after this proj term. Going to lecture at another university there.. quite sad. But that would probably be a good move for him.. one can probably guess that I’m not too pro-NTU.. heh.

Didn’t get to run much this week, unlike last week, so that meant that I had more time to myself.. lionel told me about this website You’re able to watch A LOT A LOT of movies/dramas/anime from there.. it’s really quite amazing. The only flipside, well. It’s only mandarin. So don’t expect anything like RoboCop or Pirates of the Caribbean.. Instead, you’d find stuff like Curse of the Golden Flower, The Eye and even the newer movies like Protégé (good stuff!). I spent last night watching Stephen Chow’s Fight Back to School.. (逃学威龙) really really funny. Haha.. it’s in Cantonese (with my limited Cantonese vocab, I’m thankful for the subtitles!). Well, the screen’s kinda small but it’s really ok. You can even click the enlarge button to get it bigger, with insignificant loss of quality.. And unlike YouTube, the clips are not limited to 10 minute clips which take FOREVER to stream.. most of the movies on crunchyroll come in only 2 different clips.. good opportunity to get a toilet break too! I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to find mandarin/Korean/Japanese movies or wants to catch up on their dramas/animes.. boo to MOBTV, yay to crunchyroll.

Managed to fix up Eugene’s Fuzz Face pedal too.. it’s like rotting in my cupboard.. with all the tests/exams I hardly had the time to get down to fixing it up. I only managed to complete the tremolo that he passed me.. so today, I’m happy that I managed to get the Fuzz Face working. And thanks to Kenny who graciously lent me his guitar to test it on.. it sounds really good.. the fuzz effect is really strong. It’s probably the germanium transistors.. normal silicon ones don’t sound so good.. more ‘plastic’.. so anyway, if you’re interested to build your own fuzz face, check out this site for the schematic and component list etc etc.. Eugene probably bought the components and printed circuit board from this site, but really.. you don’t need to. The circuit’s really simple, and the components are easily available from Sim Lim. Implementing them on a vero-board (stripboard) will work just as well too.. and it will probably save you quite a few bucks..

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

DIP Update

Ok, so I got more details from my proj. We’ll be doing some Solar Powered stuff.. quite cool. Apparently, well you see, the solar panel doesn’t really generate a very high amount of voltage. What’s cool is that we’ll be using a Z-Source VSI to boost the voltage. Quite cool.. I never knew something like this could be done.. even as an engineering student, I never really comprehended how with just letsay 5V, you can generate anything more than 5V from it.. perhaps that’s why I never really understood how the camera flash works.. a camera probably runs on about 2 AA batteries, that’s no more than 3V, but yet the flash somehow manages to charge up an enormous amount of charge to give that blinding flash.. hmm.. amazing.. so well, even though this project isn’t exactly the most exciting or more interesting, nor will I be doing anything cool.. I guess there’s always something to learn from it. There’s also probably a good reason why I’m in it.. just have to figure that part out..

so anyway.. that’s what I’ll be doing. Some solar panel thing.. I guess I won’t give too much details here.. contact me if you’re interested. It’s only been 2 days, but I’m dead beat. Totally not used to this 8-hour workshift thing.. and I’ve got a month more.. woohoo.

I’m gonna play again this week for the Mother’s Day Weekend! This time for david.. it’s been quite a while since the last time, and also cos I missed the WEW thing cos of the exam. So I’m happy to be able to get back into it.. oh and I think I like Stronger Than by United Live quite abit.. click the link to listen to it..

Oh, and beeps sent me this email about Cookie Monster. I think it’s really interesting.. it makes u think much about what goes on behind the sesame street characters and will probably make u see Cookie Monster in a different light the next time u see him.. =)

Cookie Monster Searches Deep Within Himself and Asks: Is Me Really Monster?

- By Andy F. Bryan.

Me know. Me have problem.

Me love cookies. Me tend to get out of control when me see cookies. Me know it not natural to react so strongly to cookies, but me have weakness. Me know me do wrong. Me know it isn't normal. Me see disapproving looks. Me see stares. Me hurt inside.

When me get back to apartment, after cookie binge, me can't stand looking in mirror—fur
matted with chocolate-chip smears and infested with crumbs. Me try but me never able to wash all of them out. Me don't think me is monster. Me just furry blue person who love cookies too much. Me no ask for it. Me just born that way.

Me was thinking and me just don't get it. Why is me a monster? No one else called monster on Sesame Street. Well, no one who isn't really monster. Two-Headed Monster have two heads, so he real monster. Herry Monster strong and look angry, so he probably real monster, too. But is me really monster? Me thinks me have serious problem. Me thinks me addicted. But since when it acceptable to call addict monster? It affliction. It disease. It burden. But does it make me monster? How can they be so callous? Me know there something wrong with me, but who in Sesame Street doesn't suffer from mental disease or psychological disorder? They don't call the vampire with math fetish monster, and me pretty sure he undead and drinks blood. No one calls Grover monster, despite frequent delusional episodes and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. And the obnoxious red Grover— oh, what his name?—Elmo! Yes, Elmo live all day in imaginary world and no one call him monster. No, they think he cute. And Big Bird! Don't get me started on Big Bird! He unnaturally gigantic talking canary! How is that not monster? Snuffleupagus not supposed to exist—woolly mammoths extinct. His very existence monstrous. Me least like monster. Me maybe have unhealthy obsession, but me no monster.

No. Me wrong. Me too hard on self. Me no have unhealthy obsession. Me love cookies, but it no hurt anyone. Me just enthusiast. Everyone has something they like most, something they get excited about. Why not me? Me perfectly normal. Me like cookies. So what? Cookies delicious. Cookies do not make one monster. Everyone loves cookies. Me no monster. Me OK guy. Me OK guy who eat cookies.

Who me kidding? Me know me never actually eat cookies. Me only crumble cookies in mouth, but me no swallow. Me can't swallow. Me no have no esophagus. Me no have no trachea. Me only have black fabric throat. Me not supposed to be able to even talk.

Me no eat cookies.
Me destroy cookies.
Me crush cookies.
Me mutilate cookies.
Me make it so no one get cookies.
Everyone right. Me really is cookie monster.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Design & Innovation Project

This week will begin a new term after the exams. Well, it’s not exactly a Special Term/Semester.. those are balloted and I didn’t exactly get what I wanted. It’s some compulsory thing they call Design and Innovation Project (DIP). To me, it is in short, nothing more than cheap-labour.

So they throw a bunch of students together, about 20 of us and let us work on some ‘innovative’ project during the semester break.. come up with some brilliant new thing/product/device, which has to be impressive (since I’d pretty much bet that our grades would depend on it).. and out of the so many that gets churned out by the whole co-hord, there’s bound to be some pretty outstanding ones which will prob end up as property of NTU. Hah.. that’s cheap labour for you.. NTU-styled.

So anyway, this will be just a start of a looong 4-week term, let’s hope it starts out well tmr morning..

Oh and it’s May! Happy belated MayDay everyone.. and that also means, a new quote for the month! Hah.

This month quote is on Elitism.. Interestingly, I ran a search and came up with an interesting article regarding the Wee Shu Min case that happened not too long ago.. for the uninformed, she’s the Raffle’s girl who happily left the comment to “get out of my elite uncaring face”.. which obviously led to some major nuclear-styled fallout with the online community and press.. this site has a quick and dirty overview on the whole incident.. do take a look, it’s quite ridiculous actually.

Well, let’s just hope I’m not opening a can of worms here..