My Affair with Computers

When I was younger I used to spend a lot of hours playing video games. It was the best thing in the world then. It’s the one thing I look forward to most in the morning, and when I was in school bored listening to my teacher. It could be my addiction that has cost me my examination marks. You see, playing computer games was one thing that I thought I want to spend my whole life doing. The idea of being able to play an entirely different life, a hero, appeals to me so much more than my ordinary life. I even thought I will align my life achievements to creating an immersive and multiplayer educational game. Like “The Elder Scrolls Morrowind” but with real plants, real people speaking English, and morals to teach us about society. Of course that never happened. There was no way I could have built such a sophisticated software. Even by today’s standards with all the highly simplified Integrated Development Environments. “Aren’t computers meant to make our lives easier? Didn’t the guy on the Microsoft TV commercial say that?” I would think and it’s partly true.

Then came my teenage years, and the popularity of the Internet started growing. People started being frequently online. Google started becoming relevant and useful. I started searching the Internet for Range Rovers, Defenders, videos on cars off roading and Music Videos. I’d marvel at the ability of the artists to provide free songs on YouTube. Most didn’t have videos like we do today, it used to show only a picture of the album with the music. I grew up with the Internet, learning the culture of the world through it. (Well, maybe the culture defined by the Internet, like the Nerdfighters, Brotherhood 2.0). I started to realise the power one wields in being the Internet service provider. The Internet was unstoppable and everyone benefits in life and work from it. Those who are afraid of technology, has to live through it. I have an innate feeling that our generation will usher in a new age. Different in comparison to previous generations because we have the aid of the Internet.

Sometime, All It Takes Is A Case | Elago S5 Outfit

I never thought I will buy a case to protect my iPhone from scuffs and scratches. I expected Apple, being Apple, to at least use high grade metal to build the iPhone. I thought Apple claimed, something about coating the glass with some revolutionary chemical that will protect the glass from cracking.

During my outdoor camp I dropped my iPhone on the stone tiles. It wasn’t dropped from waist high height. Rather it was dropped from a height not more than 5 inches away from the ground. I was careless. I left my iPhone clinging precariously for its novelty in my shallow and almost useless pocket. It was the last day of the 3 days camp and I’m almost going to make it out with my phone on its tip top condition as it should be.

How unfortunate. This utterly expensive but incredible phone has finally met its fate that many other iPhones without a case has always been bounded to. The bottom glass at its back has a small crack. The chamfers, both the top left and the bottom right, has scuffs. Its novelty was gone.

Should I be pissed that this phone is feeble, or should I blame myself for not following the ubiquitous trend of matching a case with the iPhone during the purchase? Well. I don’t know. I guess I’ll do what adults do: to circumvent. I decided to buy a phone case, one that can lock this horrifying experience at the back of it and seal it away.

I got myself an Elago S5 Outfit and I have to say, I’m really impressed by the looks of it. I’m also impressed by the inordinate pricing as well. It’s ridiculously expensive, and I don’t know why it has to be. But I just had to get it, I was too enticed.

Elago S5 Outfit Back

Elago S5 Outfit Bottom

Elago S5 Outfit Left

It looks so good. Doesn’t it? SOOO… Good.

Merry Christmas everyone!

The Future is Ours!

It won’t be long before I get to join society as an imperative individual. Contributing my share of hardship, working through long nights and hastily rushing through a presentation to meet its deadline for the next day’s presentation.

Damn! That’d be hell!

Worry not, Myself, because in the future, there’ll be computer screens everywhere, not farther than any individual than 30 meters, which will be as powerful as the high-end consumer desktop computers of today and will have interfaces so interactive that we’ll probably be inputting instructions into it with our minds. Such technology advances could lead to a breakthrough! I mean one that could change the radical ways of our lives, and I don’t normally use the word, breakthrough, so take my words literally, definitely unlike what Apple has redundantly and so often abuse in their advertising videos to capture their prospective customers attention for their latest release: iPhone, iPad mini, iPad 3, iMac. Heck I don’t even think I bother about such new products anymore… Speaking of the future,..

This brings me on to another string of thoughts, The Expansion of Humanity into the Cosmos.

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An astronaut gingerly stepped out of Apollo 11, and slowly places his feet on the moon, before another modern explorer came out. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” proclaimed Armstrong. That’s his most popular words and probably one ever spoken in the modern era. Whatever Steve Job or Bill Gates have said, pales in comparison. Looking up, Armstrong said, “Beautiful, beautiful, magnificent desolation.” Armstrong and his friend were the only two souls on the moon.

*Back to Earth, and a few years later…

Jim Lovell, not untypically, remembered, “Everything that I ever knew—my life, my loved ones, the Navy—everything, the whole world, was behind my thumb.” This sentence hit me hard on the head like a brick. Indeed, we are living in the isolation of this round planet called Earth. We humans are the cause of global warming, and resources is becoming harder and harder to find. Researchers, Scientist or students with sterling results. Screw all that! SO LONG as the world decides Smartphone, to be the best innovation, it will not be long before we start hampering on cynical thoughts of eliminating each other (compare the thoughts of stress-free country men to the busy, fast walking urban dwellers, but at an extreme level.).

What are we waiting for! Worry not, Myself. Because by 2020, in the near future, under our clutching hands, SpaceX the space travel company will be up and fully operational in Singapore. THAT’S JUST WHAT WE NEED. See, this is going to bring on the awareness to the Earthlings that indeed, it would lead to a better tomorrow if we can all come together and contribute in ways like, slowing down our economy proportionally (or whatever), and have our governments place our taxes on planet migration instead. We are looking at Mars, because living on the Moon wouldn’t make that much sense considering it’s much smaller than Earth. Mars is what we need. Mars is where I want to live on.

For further reading on what I’m on about, visit: technologyreview.com

Oh Please…

What if commercial space crafts were to be a reality tomorrow? What if the tickets betide from it drops from millions to just over a thousand? What if air travel becomes so much cheaper and faster, making car travel a dread while technologies become so immensely advanced that trains were tubes of trailers travelling at the speed of light?
Maglev Tube Train, http://www.maglev.net/

Oh, how I wish all of these would be a reality while I’m still able and fit. It would be sheer awesomeness that runs in my veins! My heart would probably be pumping at a never before felt speed at the realisation of it. This will be perfection in epic proportions.

Right now, we are living our days in boring technologies. Engineering and physicians need to step up their game and bring us the technology advancement as fast as the computing technology are bringing to us. We need to integrate different continents and different cultures of people into one, bringing all the professionals together for a cordial convention, surely THAT will spur them to perform better. On an aside, China has to lay down on its jobs so as not to bring hell to its people who labour for money.

I believe I am considered blessed that my ancestors decided to emigrate outta China to Singapore. I’m sure Singapore isn’t that bad of a country compared to the popular European counterparts, I mean we have Facebook’s co-founder living here, probably getting his citizenship at Lavender’s Immigration Checkpoint Authority of Singapore while I’m typing this.

Iron Sky

Iron Sky, http://www.ironsky.net/

When was the last time you watch a humour related to a viral Youtube video getting screened in theatres? Rarely!

Iron Sky came out this year as a cinema film about the surviving Nazis who were habituating the dark side of the moon after the defeat somewhere during the 1950s(or so I thought). In the year of 2018, the Nazis finally decided they have had the resources and men enough to enable them to launch a surprise attack on planet earth, vaporising us by catapulting meteoroids from space, because life on the Moon just isn’t awesome enough. I thought the Nazis people were supposed to be a lot taller than the Earthlings, since Moon gravity is less? Hmmph. Conspiracy theorist conspires that UFOs intending on invading the Planet Earth became true. Attempts to make the invasion a reality brewed against every single one of us, the last instrument they needed and why they sent the protagonists to Earth in the first place was to recover a few more smart phones.

Nazis On The Moon, http://www.ironsky.net/

Sarah Palin, the portrayed election candidate for presidency decided to work with the Nazis for what they were good at, to script influential arguments and public relation skills WHILE those Nazis were scrambling to find more computational devices as powerful as our smart phones to power their ultimate radical UFO that is the size of their living solitude. In the end, they got a single iPad over the many smart phones to power the ship with the help of their wizened Scientist with fine white hair and a wrinkly face. I believe the writer or the conceptual artists had thoughts for the whole Nazi population to board the ship together, but only an army were shown to have boarded. For once, a UFO attack on Earth no longer required fellow Earthlings to fleet at the advanced technological advancement of their alien airships and despair at the obvious disadvantage. That difference was one that made me smile a little more. F-16s from the US took off and blasted as many of the thousand Nazi UFOs that were negotiating the skyscrapers and terrorising the states, blasting laser like blasts on the humans beneath.

During the United Nations meet to discuss the Nazi threat in orbit, the President is thrilled to finally have a war which will likely get her re-elected, and appoints Vivian Wagner as commander of the spacecraft USS George W. Bush, which orbits the Earth carrying nuclear weapons. As it turns out, most other nations have also developed armed spacecraft, all against international agreements, and join in to defeat the invading Nazi armada.

The ending sequence shows some parts of Earth visible from space to be blown simultaneously from state to state, it was confusing and totally unexpected so I wasn’t entirely sure of the ending. This film wasn’t suspenseful nor entirely as comical as Madagascar 3 but if you know the Nazis unlike me, you’ll understand the jokes well enough to thrill you. IMDb film reviewers rated this film as 6.5 out of a 10.

An Unusual Experience

It was a California afternoon, the sun obscured by heavy rain clouds suggesting a downpour soon. There were occasional flashes of lightning followed by deafening claps of thunder from the tropical forest nearby. Road-side stall owners were packing, scurrying to seek nearby shelters.

Gil and I were having our usual Chemistry lesson. Distracted by the latest Sci-fi game, we were increasingly excited and anxious to get home as it was one that we have waited a long time for; the deliver was due today as stated on the receipt.

After gush of wind whirls and whistles, rain started puring like billions of glass marbles. We knew we had better devise a proper plan if getting home quick and dry was our goal. Outside the classroom windows were pedestrians scurrying to their destinations, some clutching on to their hat s and others holding their coat flaps tightly. The wind made holding an umbrella an impossible task and branches were strained to snap any moment.

This was dangerous weather and possibly one Gil and I had never experienced. Phone lines were out but this was a norm during storm. Besides, everyone knew all the dangers that lie in this town. Anything that is natural, that is! Nevertheless, Gil and I persisted on returning home quickly. We discussed our plans ignoring the lesson.

Ringgg!!”, the school bell rang. Doors were harshly kicked open. This was the moment every student of East High have never failed to look forward to. The corridors started to pack like ants colonising a leftover meal. Gil and I were among the first few to reach the main entrance. Glazing outwards, were wary parents of their molly-coddled children.

With out plan already established, we slid our way past the crowd. Off we ran when the green man flashed at the traffic junction. Halfway down the slippery road, I realised an unusual buzzing sound that strained my ear, leaving me agonized slightly. That buzz spurred curiousness to us, as it was exactly like the video game we were dying for. Sci-fi genre was what we both enjoy and have in common. Such a moment was hard to resist… We went to investigate beyond the woods.

A building constructed out of antique wood borders of what seemed to be windows materialised before our eyes. It was a small simple looking house with pyramid-like roof inhabited by moss and panels of decomposing wood. On the one side, there were hammers and handyman tools… “Someone was here”, whispered Gil.

I thought for a while and replied: “I believe someone was trying to abolish this house.”

The buzzing sound was louder but surprisingly much less annoying. Gil found a trap door under clumps of black charcoals. Each swipe revealed the wooden trap door surface sending dust whirling into the air. The vibe to our new video game subsided. We were eager to check out this abandoned half destroyed charred ruin.

Sliding down a tube, we landed face palmed. The sand here cushioned our fall. I went on into the dark first as I was excited to explore. A lighter I smuggled to school provided me the necessary lighting.

Bam!”

Metal wall. Not a very good moment, when you hit one. My mind went blank for a moment but I managed to compose myself. Holding the lighter forward revealed a three handled door. Gil and I turned it. Inside what seemed like a bank vault were loads of electronics that reminded me of the matrix. There were plenty of computer screens and buttons laid out like the mixer of a sound engineer’s recording room.
Frank Lab

A man with fuzzy hair appeared from nowhere. “What’s going on? How did you get here?”

Flabbergasted, I stammered: “Who… who… are you? We found a trap door and stumbled upon this place.”

The man introduced himself, “I’m Dr Douf, I abduct children in this country side and sell their brains as tools to my clients. This is a perfect timing, I need exactly two more.” Smirking and gawking, this maniac was nightmare at its worst. Our problem is, this was no nightmare, we need to get out of here, and fast!

Dr Douf came towards me with outstretched hands. Aghast, Gil backed and tripped onto something. I punched Dr Douf between his eyes, sending him to the ground, stunted and slightly unconscious. “Quick!”, I said, “get to the door, be quick! We need to get out of here before he awakes!” Gil was trembling with fear. How I regretted not listening to my mum about exploring places unknown without their permission. He staggered to the door as quick as his legs allowed while I checked on Dr Douf.

We had better be quick Gil. Oh bother… Darn you, I’m going first.” I went forward seeking an exit leaving Gil to fend for himself.

Without warning, Gil was lifted off the ground, his mouth gagged by a hand, his body paralysed. Upon returning, I shouted a carnivorous warning like a cobra revealing it’s venomous slits to it’s predator.

None… of you are leaving here, no one ever escapes my lair!” Dr Douf exclaimed.

Oh yeah, then let us be the first one. I command you to release the boy! Now! Or what you’ll be getting next is a foot to your nut.”, deep inside me, was distress but my martial arts teacher taught me to stay calm during such situation, it’s the only and best way to making it out alive.

Dr Douf backed off a little, clearly taken aback by my impromptu threat.

No?”, I declared sternly, revealing from the back a steel pole.

Dr Douf then releases Gil and came forward to battle me. I knew how to fight but loosing is what I have always ended up with. It was like a blood bath except it was bruises not cuts. Dr Douf lurched forward a kick, blocks my punch and smoulders a psychotic expression. Then an idea sparked in my mind, most probably due to my survival instinct. I carefully walked sideways, careful not to make any sudden movement then look over at Gil who we’ve forgotten and hinted him.

Gil was still stupefied but he calmed himself by mumbling some comforting words before picking up the steel pole Dr Douf kicked off my hand. With all his might, while I held Dr Douf arms while risking a head butt, Gil finished Dr Douf with a ear splitting clank on his head.

Contented I reposed, and congratulated Gil for his bravery. We then went on to find an exit.

With luck and some skills, we found a way out. Never was the sweet smell of moist air, the familiar sound of cars passing and cows mooing sounded this good. Falling to the ground, from the trauma we had, we counted our blessing and took a deep breath admiring our country side we might have never lived to see again. I belief we both learned a very important lesson…