Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mr Penguin

Ok, it's been a while since I flopped over to Linux, so here's an update of my penguin OS. Scripts.. I've found such joy from scripts.. haha.

First up, after what felt like for-never, I finally got my Java plugin to work on firefox.. so simple solution, yet I went one big round.. so now I-banking's possible and so's all the other Java plugin-related stuff.. Happiness No. 1.

For a while now, I've been trying to get the whole screen saver thing working.. I'm not exactly a screensaver person, I'd prefer to manually control when to turn off the monitor rather (and hey, it saves power and prolongs ur screen's life too).. so it's usually when I'm leaving the computer alone for a while, then I'll hot-key it and it'll turn off the monitor.. this was all possible in Micro$oft's Windows so I was trying to get it here on Linux (damn sure it was possible).. and after a long time trying, I finally managed to get it with the help of some self-written scripts.. Happiness No. 2.

So I thought, why stop there right? Since I'm now able to write my own console scripts, and I can even tie a hot-key to it (ie. Win + F1 = Turn off Monitor), I can now mount and unmount my FAT and NTFS partitions as and when I want by using hot-keys too! Happiness No. 3.

And then why stop there.. there's been an issue with my Power/Shutdown button since I installed Kubuntu.. by merely clicking the ShutDown icon, the computer halts, but just doesn't power down.. which really irritates me. I realised it was something to do with the native scripts inside, which I have no heart/intention to modify.. 'KISS' as they say. So instead of clicking on the Shutdown icon, I've resorted to going to the console and typing “sudo shutdown -P now” just to get it to shutdown.. So I tied another hot-key to the PowerDown script I created and waalaa! No more needing to type a whole string of commands just to get Mr Penguin to power down. Happiness No. 4.

And for some other reason, I've not been able to hibernate properly.. at least, I haven't been trying hard enough to figure out how to with the internship and stuff going on.. For the likes who use a notebook, you'd probably have figured the joys and wonders that the Hibernate function can bring.. totally saving precious time and it doesn't even require power to maintain ur data, unlike the Standby mode, and I for one, am a sucker for Hibernation.. so if you aren't using the Hibernate feature (yes, even on Windows), maybe u should start.. =)

So it was rather saddening when I realised I couldn't get the hibernate to work, which explains why I always needed to do a Shutdown as mentioned above.. well, not until today.. finally, after trying for 2 whole days.. I managed to get the hibernate function to work.. and what would u expect.. =) I wrote another script for it and tied it to yet another hotkey.. =) Happiness No. 5.

all my scripts..

So that pretty much settles almost all the outstanding issues I have with Linux/Kubuntu. Now almost all that I had on windows, I now have on linux.. *smile* and I'm happy to say that I've learnt much from this whole experience.. perhaps something I would never have to encounter/learn should I have stuck to Windows..

Friday, June 20, 2008


First up, let me say that IA has since ended and what better way to end it then to take part in the Saucony 100Plus Passion Run on that very Sunday. After some miscommunication that happened during the registration period, I ended up doing the 10km run rather than the 15km that my other friends had signed up for. Bummer.. So that meant that the run was gonna be lonely.. nevermind that..

So off I went and at the finish line, I saw to my horror that my timing was approx 1 hour.. now I’m not saying that I’m very fit or anything, but based from previous experiences, I ought to be doing better than that.. you see, that very Tuesday, I ran 2 rounds around campus.. that works out to be approx 11.2km? something like that.. so anyways, that took me an hour.. and I was please with the timing.. well, it always could be better.. but I’m out of the green suit so AT LEAST I’m running.. let’s take things one thing at a time I thought. So back to the Passion Run, eventually the results were posted and as you can see..

It says 1 hour and 47 seconds.. sucky I thought. I recall crossing the finishing line feeling rather spent, so when the official results tell me (and based on the chip they tie to your leg, it should be accurate) that my time was such, it got quite disheartening.. I thought if I tried harder and perhaps push to run at the same pace I did on that Tuesday, I might have done better than 100th position.. well, not that I’m really complaining la..

So what’s the point of all these? Those who follow the papers today (and if you don’t, go read this article), would have read that “…During the June 8 Saucony 100PLUS Passion Run, for example, participants who signed up for the 10km race literally went the extra mile. According to competitors' foot pods - devices that calculate distance - they covered 11.5km…” what nonsense right?

To think that they’d actually put in a little effort to get the distance right.. like the article says.. we’re not talking about a few hundreds of metres.. this is 1.5km more! Goodness me.. so I’m a little lost at how to feel. On one hand, I’m glad that I did run further, cos that means that I probably did run at the same speed.. timing’s quite the same.. so that made me feel better about my run.. it is my FIRST running event after all.. but on the other hand.. I can’t help but feel a ‘what-the-heck’ feeling.. how the organizers managed to make such a biggie I’ve got no idea. But yet, they’ve done it.. well done. Oh and yes, I’ve not even mentioned that my Passion Card that I’m supposed to received eons ago from the registration isn’t here yet.. sigh. Somebody really needs a wake up call..

my first running event ‘medal’.. aww..

On another note, for the fellow bus-citizens of our dear island.. you probably know that LTA and SBS-Transit/SMRT have recently put up those Arrival Time indicators at selected bus stops.. apparently they’re supposed to tell you which bus will arrive in how many minute’s time..


Alighted at AMK today after a swim in school and made my way to the bus stop to catch my bus back.. and that’s when I saw that I just missed my bus, the one that’ll take me right outside my place.. nevermind I thought. It was the evening peak period, so I figured I didn’t have to wait that long to catch another bus in.. a quick glance at the Arrival Time Board tells me “10 27”.. fine. It’s a 10 minute wait for the next bus.. I could wait.. I was in no hurry.. plus if I were to try taking other buses and then walk in from the bus stop further outside, it’ll prob be a 10 minutes walk in anyway.. so there wasn’t any harm to wait.. so I thought..

Eventually the board said “Arr 17”. Yay.. it’s about time.. but still no bus. Nevermind.. wait..

“Arr 10”. Ok, now it’s starting to get quite frustrating, cos I just waited 17 minutes for the stupid bus.. and even though it has been saying that it will arrive, it never did.. or maybe it was some stupid phantom bus that SBS-Transit decides use.. still no bus.. nevermind.. wait..

“Arr 3”. Ok, now I’m really getting irritated.. you know.. it’s one of those feelings where you feel that if you could just meet the head/CEO/big boss of SBS-Transit, you’ll give him a good knuckle on the head and ask him to ‘wake up his bloody idea’ kinda feeling.. ya.. I was pretty much there right now.. complete incompetence I thought. Nevermind.. swallow hard, and wait..

So on it went.. until “Arr 37”.. still no bus.. wait..

“Arr 30” still no bus.. at this point in time I completely lost all feelings.. it’s probably a numb, i-wanna-go-home feeling.. lost count of how many minutes I’ve been waiting for.. and then after what felt like perpetuity, the bus finally decides to show up.. ¾ full.. *faint* you must realize that I’m waiting at the very first bus stop from the interchange and this bus is never ½ full when it’s here.. so push turned to shove as I was determined to get on board this bus..

yup.. that’s SBS Transit at it’s very best.. and it’s not the first time this has taken place.. that is exactly what will happen when you allow monopoly to happen in the transport system of the nation. Or rather duopoly in this case. First you tell the citizens that you want to build a new North East Line.. sure, they’re happy. A more extensive transport system means that more places are accessible and that always go well with the general public. Everyone’s happy.

And so after gathering this census that everybody’s happy, u go ahead and build yourself a NEL. And then you start removing the different bus services and start altering half of the bus services to send people to these train stations instead.. to FORCE people to these train stations rather.. oh and add to that the fact that you refuse to open some stations even though construction is completed.. and when people made noise, you tell them that that was what they agreed to initially.. bullshit. And then you start having all these transport fare hikes and people generally don’t get to do anything about it.. I mean, you run the transport system.. it’s either pay the new fee or buy a car/take a cab/walk.. obviously they have to give in..

All these were similar to the mobile phone situation waaaay back before M1 and StarHub broke into the scene.. Singtel or Singapore Telecoms as it was known back then, ran the entire show and they could charge you preposterously high prices and yet you’ll still have to oblige. Either that or bring a phonecard.. and now that the monopoly of Singtel is finally broken, look at how much the people are benefiting from it.. perhaps it’s about time to start considering applying the same thing to the transport system.. countries elsewhere have done it.. and they’re citizens are benefiting.. what about us and our ‘World Class Transport System’?

.. wait.. I meant to say our ‘World Class Transport System.. rounded-off to the nearest Fat Hope’.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Top: Before
Bottom: After 2.5 hours..

Heh.. Happy Father’s Day.. hope you enjoyed the dinner.. glad it turned out well. =)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

IA Withdrawal Symptoms

Yep, that's my poster. Out in Cinemas now.. =P Didn't win anything, but I'm quite impressed by what I managed to pull out after 10 hours of work. First time I created anything like this, but I'm really happy with the results even if it didn't win anything.

IA's ended.. starting to feel the withdrawal symptoms already. Latest Earwax: Tristan Prettyman.. thanks kaiqi for the recommendation! Totally enjoy the genre.. goes with the sit-relax-and-chill mood.. very nice. =) and hey! she plays a Taylor.. heh.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Quiet Time

I think many people often have a misconception of how and what a quiet time is supposed to be. Without a doubt, I am one such person.

I used to think that Quiet Time means to sit down and pour through the bible.. passages after passages or just to get over the ‘Passage for the Day’. So it used to be that I would just do it just to get it over with.. more often than not, I find myself wondering what I’m really doing it for. It started to become meaningless.. I merely wanted to ‘finish the bible in a year’.

And then the revelation came to me that a quiet time is really meant to be A Quiet Time. A time where you quieten yourself down and allow God to speak to you.. where you spend quality time with yourself, and pull yourself away from all the distractions that would otherwise be drawing your mind to it..

To me, the best moments come from the alone time I get when I’m in the woods. The time spent with myself. Just me, myself, and Him. Where I would be constantly reminded of all the goodness that has been showered upon me, and ultimately, leave feeling refreshed.

I’ve never really talked much about it but one of the most awesome and powerful encounters I had was not in an Extended Praise Service; singing praises for hours, neither was it at some church camp/retreat where we’d spend all day and night attending services and workshops at some resort/hotel away from Singapore. Instead, it was found in the humbleness and quietness, in the serenity and solitude that I experienced in Brunei. The 5 days that I spent alone in the woods, with no one else beside me but Him, brought me closer to Him and let me experience His presence in a way that no other retreats/camps/services allowed me to do so. It was truly a Quiet Time.

I took a run around campus last night and again, it was one such experience.. in the quietness of the night, with only my footsteps thumping in the background, I was remembered of the countless times that He has never failed me.. “For every door I close, I’ll open a window. If I actually showed you a door and then closed it, you can be sure that it’s not something that I’d want you to go through. I have every good intention for you after all you know.. persevere, hang in there and just do your best” that was my takeaway from my run last night.. my Quiet Time as it were.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should chuck your bible aside.. I’m just saying that so many times, we get distracted by these ‘rules and methods’ that were set out really as mere guidelines for us to get started.. we get so distracted that we often overlook the main point of a quiet time. At least I did.

This post is probably one of the more personal posts that I’ve made so far.. significantly different from the usual wacky stuff.. but I just felt like it’s something I should mention about..

So what is your personal Quiet Time like?