25 November 2011

A few weeks ago, I received an email invite for this Malam Kecemerlangan (excellence awards night) from the Institute of Education Development (InED), UiTM. It is a night to celebrate long distance students who's got on the dean's list during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th semester which I happen to be. Since it's free and it has been ages since I've been to dinners of any kind, I quickly replied yeah count me in.

So today I had my best shirt and pants on, shoes polished and even my favorite neck tie around my neck for the occasion. Actually I only have one neck tie, that black one that I bought from Tesco last week for 16.90. Thanks to 5 years of boarding school, I still remember how to wear a tie, effortlessly. The event was held at Shah Alam Convention Center we got there as early as 6:30 in the evening. Much to my dismay, most of my guy classmates decided they were too cool for this event and bailed. Well, it's your loss.

The event itself is pretty modest yet glamorous if you see how some of the girls dressed up. The food was so so and the awards-giving ceremony later on didn't feel that special especially when you have 200 other people getting the same accolade as you. Still it feels nice to be recognized by the university after all these while. Although we worked twice as hard and paid twice as much than the full time student, the university had largely ignored us for the past 3 years or so no matter how well we did.

For me, I had a good time. Good food, good company and the chance to dress up once in a while. Check out these photos from the night at my Posterous blog.

24 November 2011

When I celebrated my 30th birthday, I used to work with something that I love. Information Technology. At least that's what I thought. I still love IT though. But circumstances at my old workplace made me left something I love doing the most towards something that I don't really enjoy but I had to do nevertheless. At the end of the day, or end the month, it's the pay check that matters. On time. Mouth to feed and bills to pay, those kind of things.

Just because I didn't like it now, doesn't mean I won't like it forever. People can change. My job scope could change. Things happen. I call this a transition period. Perhaps once it pays good enough I might just close my eyes on the unpleasant things. Perhaps. But for now I'll just take it in my stride. Take each day as it comes. Be grateful for what you have. For others might not be so fortunate.

Big thanks to my wife who bought me this huge chocolate indulgence cake and the card. Also to my friends online and offline for all the wishes. You guys are awesome. Check out this sweet birthday present from @shhaslinda. I always wanted one of these. It's like she could read my mind or something.

23 November 2011

Last week my wife lost her iPhone 3G in a little accident at home. Actually it was more of a tragedy and it involves Mia Ariana and a full bladder. Anyway as any regular iPhone users should know, after using the best damn phone in the world for some time, they would exhibit withdrawal symptoms after losing it. That includes lack of sleep, loss of productivity (Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja) and that empty feeling deep down inside. So my wife rather than suffer through all 5 stages of agony, decided to do the wise thing and bought another iPhone (after much prodding and moral support from her husband).

That brings us to this beautiful new, reconditioned iPhoned 3GS phone you see above. Since iPhone 4 is still too expensive for our budget, we had to settle for the next best thing. In Low Yat Plaza there are two types of iPhone 3GS'. Second hand or a reconditioned (recon) unit. There's no such thing as a new iPhone 3GS in the market right now. If they say it's new, it's probably a recon unit. A recon (new) iPhone 3GS phone at Low Yat is only around 1K while a second hand iPhone 4 is about RM1.6K but they're still hard to come by.

To me, this old and underpowered iPhone 3GS still beats the most of the best or newest Android smartphones out there. Although those droids easily outshine the 3GS in hardware specifications, software-wise they're still light years behind. iOS 5, iTunes integration and hundred of thousands quality apps on and off the App Store. Can Android copy that? I don't think so. During my short-lived experiment with Android, I had a tough time finding any decent app for my phone. And even they come from the same publisher, somehow the Android app will look much uglier than their iOS counterpart. And have you tried to root (jailbreak) an Android? I did. About a dozen times actually but failed every time. I consider myself technologically advanced and yet I couldn't liberate my Android even by following all the instructions online to the letter.

Then there's the case of Android fragmentation. Sure there are literally hundreds of Androids to chose from to suit any budget. However some of the cheaper Android phones are so crappy, you better of buying a generic Nokia dumbphone with Symbian. The screen is to small, virtual keyboard is impossible to press and the onboard RAM is a joke. Plus the OS update takes forever to come. Although Google has released the latest version ages ago, they will mean nothing if your phone's manufacturer keep dragging their feet on releasing their on version. You just can't connect to iTunes and download the latest update every 2 months like the iPhone.

Next is lack of iTunes or a central repository for software and multimedia organisation. Sure you can easily transfer movies and download apps for the Android but once you had to do a complete restore, the result would be messy. Unless you have a 3rd party backup app (like Titanium backup) installed, getting your Android phone back to normal would be a pain in the ass. With the iPhone you just plug and sync everytime. Now you can even do it wirelessly with iOS5. I can go on and on about the advantages of iPhones over Android but the bottomline is, Android sucks. So does Windows Phone and Blackberries. End of story.

So if you're planning to get a smartphone soon, there's only one brand of phone to consider. You know what it is. Yes they're still expensive but it's a long term investment which you won't regret.

21 November 2011

May be the face I can't forget
The trace of pleasure or regret
May be my treasure or the price I have to pay
May be the song that summer sings
May be the chill that autumn brings
May be a hundred different things
Within the measure of a day

May be the beauty or the beast
May be the famine or the feast
May turn each day into a heaven or a hell
She may be the mirror of my dreams
The smile reflected in a stream
She may not be what she may seem
Inside her shell

Who always seems so happy in a crowd
Whose eyes can be so private and so proud
No one's allowed to see them when they cry
May be the love that cannot hope to last
May come to me from shadows of the past
That I'll remember till the day I die

May be the reason I survive
The why and wherefore I'm alive
The one I'll care for through the rough in ready years
I'll take her laughter and her tears
And make them all my souvenirs
For where she goes I've got to be
The meaning of my life is

She, oh she

13 November 2011

As promised, every semester I would display my exam result here. Wait, did I really said that? I don't think so. Only if the results are good may be. But what the heck. I'm gonna put them up here whatever the result was. If it's really bad, let that be a motivation for me to do better.

So here they are. As you can see, I suck very much last semester. 1 A, 2Bs and 1 C. Although I can give you a couple of excuses you know like change of career, family and stuff, in the end the final result would reflect how much effort you put in at the beginning. Obviously I didn't attempt to do my best here. I didn't allocate enough time to study, I skimp on my assignments and I had this feeling that one or two of my lecturers last semester were dead set on giving us low grades

Anyhow, the conclusion is I am ashamed of this result. Having to do better next time would be needless to say. I don't think I deserve to receive that Dean's List award they're giving out next week.

11 November 2011

Today is 11/11/11 which is a big deal to some people but totally means nothing to me. They're just numbers for God's sake! Nothing different from any other day of the year. Today also happens to be my 7 year old's Record Book Day. It's a day where parents of school children come to the school to meet the class teacher and find out how well (or not) their kids have done through the semester. So no more bringing home your record book so your parent can whack you good if you didn't do well. Today you can do that right in front of the class.

Anyhow, before the exam I promised Adam an iPod Touch if he gets 1st in class. It's not like I don't believe in his abilities, it's just that Adam didn't do any much studying before his exam. We had to pronounce all kind of threats before he attempts to do any revision. So I was indeed surprised that he managed to get 3rd in class today. The only subject that kept him off of the top spot was Arts which he got 75%. That is only because he didn't came to class the day before and he didn't know he had to bring his water color and manila card for the exam. Else, who knows he might be top in his class today.

3rd in class is definitely ain't that bad. Of course we would get you something. When I got number 1 in school during standard six, my Mom gave me 20 ringgit. Which I duly waste on a toy truck at Toys R Us. Our Adam is not that type of kid that demands this and that from his parent. Still it would be a befitting if we reward him with something nice. I know of parents who never gives anything to the children even if the consistently score top marks in school. To them, being excellent in school is their born duty and responsibility. Why should they be rewarded for that they say. I say WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? WHAT KIND OF SCREWED LOGIC US THAT? Do you want your kids to grow up bitter and resentful? Every kid deserve some reward sometimes even if they got last place in class. It's common courtesy.