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Archive for September, 2012

A view from a shophouse in Boat Quay

30/09/2012 Leave a comment

I took this picture, using my mobile phone, from an old shophouse in Boat Quay, overlooking the Singapore River. On the far right, you can make out the towers of the Marina Bay Sands hotel with its very distinct ship-like look on top. River taxis plow this route, along with Singapore River boat cruises. Interesting view I must say because the water actually looks clean here. Everyday, there are special boats that plow the river looking for flotsam and other foreign matter in the river and clean it up. This picture has a very serene look to Boat Quay, and it was taken in the late evening.

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur

29/09/2012 Leave a comment

 

In about two hours time, Manchester United will be playing against Tottenham Hotpur. It should be interesting to see how Robin Van Persie plays against his old enemy team and it will be a point of consternation for Manchester United because Nemanja Vidic is still out after a meniscus operation to his knee. I will be on duty in the club but I will be watching it on my Android Motorola Defy with bated breath. Tottenham Hotspur are a strong team and it should be an interesting match.

Emergency power generator

29/09/2012 Leave a comment

I have always wanted one of these emergency power generators. It would come in handy if I ever need power in a remote place, like a park to power a speaker system, or even on a picnic to charge my mobile phone. All I know is that some time ago, these things were not cheap. This model pictured above is one of the cheaper ones that can be bought here in Singapore. Tiger brand. Made in China. The Japanese-made ones are pretty expensive but are pretty reliable so you do get what you pay for. The other issue is maintenance. How do you maintain these China-made ones? Do the shops that sell it to you fix it or is it a throwaway deal after it gets spoilt? I have no way of knowing because I have yet to get one. I might get one in the future.

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Marina Bay Sands taxi stand

28/09/2012 Leave a comment

I took this picture while waiting for a taxi at the Marina Bay Sands Singapore taxi stand. Right behind the taxi stand is the highway with the ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) gantry and a small shot of the Singapore Flyer

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Rest in peace Andy Williams

27/09/2012 1 comment

Years ago when I used to stay with my grandparents for the weekend, my aunt would be there and she used to have this small tape recorder and one of her favourite cassette tapes to play, besides Diana Ross, was Andy Williams. Was he a crooner! I still remember listening to his hit Speak Softly Love (the theme from The Godfather) playing on that cassette. To me, Andy Williams was up there with the best. So it came as a bit of a surprise to me when I heard that he passed away after a bout of bladder cancer. He was 84 years old. According to this article here:

“The old cliche says that if you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t there,” the singer once recalled. “Well, I was there all right, but my memory of them is blurred – not by any drugs I took but by the relentless pace of the schedule I set myself.”

Besides his usual classics, and he sang lots of songs from the movies. Besides the afore-mentioned Speak Softly Love, he also sang Moon River, a song also sung my Nancy Wilson. He also sang the theme song from Love Story. But my favourite? This song below. Rest in peace Mr Williams. I grew up with your music and I will miss you.
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Behringer Ultra-G DI box

26/09/2012 3 comments

As a rule of thumb, when you play an electric guitar, you need the guitar hooked up to a guitar amplifier first. From there, you mike-up the guitar amplifier and connect that microphone to the desk. If you hook up an electric guitar directly to a DI box, it is going to sound terrible when it is played over the speakers. The sad part is that a lot of people do not know that and go on blithely hooking up their electric guitars to DI boxes. The only guitars that do not fall into the norm are bass guitars and acoustic guitars. They can be hooked up to DI boxes without any problems, whatsoever.

There are some companies though, who are trying to get around that electric-guitar-into-a-DI-box mentality and Behringer is one of them. This is one of the active DIs that is being sold by them, and according to Behringer, and taken from their product website:

Whether you’re recording or on stage, you need a great DI (direct injection) box to get your guitar sound to the console with full dynamics and power—and free of noise. The ULTRA-G GI100 active DI box gives you all the full-rock glory of a cranked 4×12 cabinet—at a fraction of the weight and floor space. The GI100 works like a standard DI box. You can use it to tap into your amplifier’s speaker outputs, even high-powered rigs with ratings of up to 3,000 Watts. Or, just plug your guitar directly into the GI100, switch on the unbelievably realistic 4×12 cabinet simulation designed by renowned engineer Juergen Rath, and you’ve got rock royalty-sized tone in a package the size of a cheeseburger! You may never mic your speakers again! The DI100 sounds amazing, and it comes equipped to meet the most common needs of gigging and recording, as well as the travel in between. There’s a ground lift switch that eliminates typical ground loop problems, and when phantom power is connected, this DI box automatically shuts off the internal battery. The DI100 is housed in cool-looking red aluminum and features stackable, oversized rubber corners.

So there you go. To be honest, I have yet to try this out to see if it is really as what it is claimed to be by Behringer. Two reasons: One, I do not have a guitar and am not a guitarist. Two, I do not own one. But given the flexibility of this unit, I just might buy one of these. It could save me some issues with my rental business as I do not have a guitar amplifier!

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Starhub and their ridiculous excuses

25/09/2012 Leave a comment

Sometime in May this year, I was getting some issues with my cable modem. I was having so many outages that it was not funny. It was affecting my work and my business. So I call up Starhub and they send a technician to my house. The technician said that my house connection had a pretty high TX and that there was a problem. At first, Starhub found it to be within their “rights” to blame my router for it. But after testing the connection with four different routers, including one mean for enterprise networking, the problem still persisted. So the calls to Starhub began. But after a while, with all of those calls with Starhub it was found out that the problem lay in the riser where all the cables concatenated, as can be seen in the picture above. It took Starhub three weeks to get to the solution, even after sending over a barrage of engineers when I kept saying that there was something wrong at the riser level. In the end? They it was found that the tap (in the picture here, the gray interface where all the cables are screwed to) was faulty so they connected my cable to a tap one level down. That solved the issue and now, I am happy to say, my cable broadband is alright!

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