The curse

My new toy has been giving me quite a bit of sleepless nights


Here are some more photos taken with my new camera outdoors.

Camera: Olympus PEN E-PL 1

Night Landscape Function

The Sky

Pin Hole effect (Longkang)

Pussy Cat

Random flower



Soft Focus (B & J entrance)


Stylo Milo night shot

Sexy Back

Overall I feel that the camera makes for a great daytime shooter. Night shots still leave some room for improvement although the photos do turn out quite well.

The next test would be taking the scenery overseas, hopefully I would be able to capture spectacular images of the architecture found in the places that I’ll be visiting very soon.

My New Toy

Bought this today, an Olympus PEN E-PL1.

S$888 at the IT Fair. Go get yours now!

Pinhole Art Filter

Diorama Art Filter (Pseudo Tilt Shift effect)

Gentle Sepia

So far, I’m pretty satisfied with the results, though I have to admit that I’ve have not gotten used to the relatively slow autofocus. Taking long exposure shots also results in the camera taking excessively long to record onto the SDHC card. Perhaps I should invest in a Ultra High Speed SD card.

Sure, there are pros and some cons, but for producing images from a camera that’s so compact, I think it’s good enough.

We have graduated!

In the auditorium

We spent quite a long time sitting in the auditorium. The wait was worth it though. Once you receive, touch and feel your degree in your hands, you realise the difficulties you faced for the past 4 years was worth it.

Photo-taking session at the quad

Throwing of our mortar boards. Such a standard all graduates carry out, but it feels oh so good and nice to be able to throw it high up into the air.

My Alma Mater

Convocation’s done. Back to work tomorrow.

I boarded bus 154 from my house today to Lakeside station, along the way, a lady boarded and sat down beside me.

Lady: Ni shi xin jia po ren ma? (Are you Singaporean)

Me: Er… Yes?

Lady: Have you upgraded your medishield?

Me: Er.. not really.

Lady: You finish NS? Still studying?

Me: No, i’ve graduated. Working already

Lady: Oh where?

Me: At S**

Lady: Oh as an engineer?

Me: No as a f*ight s*ewa*d

Lady: What is your name? May I have your number?

I gave her my name and number

Lady: Here is my card.

I took one look and just cursed in my heart. Another one of those financial planners again. They seem to try all sorts of means to expand their customer base don’t they. They have begun to solicit business on buses with strangers. I thought only street-walkers solicit strangers in exchange for some ‘business’?

That lady has just succeeded in really turning me off. I will await her call and proceed to waste her time.

PS: In case you are wondering if I gave her my real number, well yes, I did. I don’t normally give my real number out, but as she was sitting beside me, and I wasn’t sure if she was of sound mind. I decided to give her my real number in case she decided there and then to give me a ‘miss call’.

life’s journey

When you were young, you looked and saw your friends getting new shoes, bags, wallets and clothes.

When you get a little older, you see your friends getting pagers, hand-phones and mp3 players.

When you’ve graduated, you see your friends getting motorbikes, cars, investing in stocks or even buying flats.

When you become much much older, you start seeing your friends in the obituaries.

stored-value cards

Stored-value cards (SVCs) amaze me, not because of the convenience they provide to the user or their near-universal application(pay for taxi, printing etc), but because of the benefit it provides to the issuing company.

Take for example SVCs issued by a transportation company or a foodcourt chain. What the public user usually does is to top up the card with a certain amount. For the sake of convenience, let the amount be 10 dollars. The cost of transport or a meal is usually not a nice round number like 2 dollars. Instead, fares can cost some weird absurd number and meals can cost $3.20.

What this means is this, you will never be able to finish completely the stored value in your card. You will always have some residual, and un-usable value in the card. This amount would often be insufficient to pay for the transport fare(coupled with a certain minimum sum) or a meal. You will always need to constantly top up your card. If you top up 10 dollars, you might only be able to use up to 7 dollars or so before the remainder becomes insufficient for the next transaction.

Isn’t this amazing? Since the SVCs becomes such an essential part of our daily lives, people would continue to use it. Think about it. If the residual stored value in a card is $3, and you multiply that with the number of cards issued. The company would have a lot of money to put into investments. And since the users would not suddenly and cooperatively seek a full refund for the full value of their cards, the companies are assured of a certain amount of usable money for their investments.

If anyone wants to start up a small business utilizing stored value cards, or membership cards etc. You should make it easy for people to top up, say using multiples of $10. Your product on the other hand, should be priced such that it is not a round number like $3.50, instead it should be like $0.78/$1.35/$3.99 etc. That way, there will always be a residual value left in the card. And if you have a large enough membership, this would translate to a huge sum of money for you to play with.

Amazing isn’t it. You think it is for your convenience, but it seems to benefit the companies much more.