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Saturday, November 24, 2007

My New Toy

A real man has to have his new toy once in a while. I bought this little baby at Compuway on Friday .

There was no particular reason why I bought this particular model. It was what the Foochow guy at the shop introduced me to. Our conversation went like this:


Me: I want wireless internet router.
Guy: This one.
Me: How much?
Guy: RM240.
Me: Okay.


There wasn't any selling effort on behalf of the guy, and I also didn't know what to ask. It's a bit worrying to think that I might have been their dream customer. In other words, a sucker.



So when I reached the counter, I asked the Foochow lady for a discount. She gave me RM20 off. Knowing that I was surrounded by Foochows in the shop, I knew that was as good as it was ever going to get. So I said okay, and went home with my new toy.


You'd think since I took this picture, I'd be scrutinising thru every tiny detail specs on the box.

In actual fact, I was only looking out for just one thing. Yeah baby! Easy Install Wizard almighty.

This is how the whole setup looks like.

Looks pretty easy. No sweat man.


Phone line, left. Ethernet line to PC, middle. Power, right. Sap sap sooi.


Clever product design. The phallic antenna appeals to the male ego. It is also a reminder & symbolic representation of all things male - remote control hobby, transformers, etc.

Hoolamak! Can bend some more! Extra 20 points! Makes you feel like a man!


Cool! It even came with rubber button legs.


Men will never look at roads maps, even when they're lost.

What makes you think they'll read the guide book?
Especially when they have this:

Yeah baby! Plug & play!
So I quickry soot the CD into the drive.

Woohoo! One button installation for lazy people!



Done.

Done also.


Everything done.

Almost there...

What?!! @#$%^&* router!!! @#$%^&* Compuway!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

TubeSucker!!!

YouTube has got almost anything that you'd want to watch. The only drawback is that you can't save those files which are in FLV format.

I know there are a few softwares on the internet that actually allow you to download those YouTube FLVs onto your desktop. There's even websites that allow you to enter the URL of the YouTube clip & it will download for you.

I've tried quite a few, much to my disappointment & frustration. None of them worked, and if they worked, they were slower than the sloth.

Shit!!! Car coming!!! Must hurry!!! Must survive!!!
I've got two more days to reach the other side.

It took me quite a few late nights to find this particular freeware called TubeSucker & it works baby! And it's fast like F1! It downloads as you watch the clip. Yes, no kidding, it's that fast!

TubeSucker works like a browser. When you enter the url it goes directly to that website & opens up the YouTube video. And as you are watching the video, you can see that it is also downloading at the same rate.

What?! Done already???!! I was just about to get up to go to the toilet.

TubeSucker will save the FLV file into your Video folder in My Documents. The rest is simple, you can watch it again using any FLV Player which can be downloaded for free anywhere.
And if you need to edit the video, you can convert the FLV to AVI, WMV, MPEG1 or MPEG2 using a converter like Freez.


And if you do not have any editing softwares, just use your Windows Movie Maker lah! Enjoy this era of FREE downloads my friends! MUAHAHAHAHA!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sabah to Conquer Australia?

Hi. I assume I got your attention. Actually the title is just an exaggeration.

For those who never read the newspapers, this Saturday will be an important day for all Australians as they head for the polls to determine who will be their next Prime Minister. It will also be an interesting one for all Malaysians, especially Sabahans.

Wong Ying Yen will be kicking John Howard's backside. Well, that's just to wake you up a little. But that could actually happen. The opinion polls in almost all the major Australian papers are certainly indicating that.

This 'smart rising star of Australian politics' was actually born in Sabah, and migrated to Australia when she was eight.

This is going to be really interesting. If she wins, Australia will fall into Sabah's dominion MUAHAHAHAHA! Then all the Filipinos in Sabah will flock into Australia.

But then again, in times like these, Australia needs a hardline conservative leader like John Howard. We're talking about a country with a minority muslim community who can easily veer out of control.

Just last month, we saw how their muslim leader has called women 'uncovered meat' & blamed them for sex attacks, and also labelling them as "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men. (The Australian) I wonder if it includes his mother.

"If you leave a piece of meat uncovered on the table,
and I eat it, of course the problem is with the meat."

I received this report in the email. It's all over the forums on the internet, but somehow I couldn't find the source in any of the official news agency. Just thought that it'd be good to share with you as it raises a very pertinent question about tolerance in Australia - who should be tolerating who?


Prime Minister John Howard - Australia


Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. "If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you", he said on National Television.

"I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia : one the Australian law and another Islamic law that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option", Costello said.

Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should "clear off. Basically people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want, to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off", he said.

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: "IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians."

"However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia ."

"However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand."

"This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle."

"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom"

"We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!"

"Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture."

"We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us." "If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like "A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others."

"This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'."

"If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted."

I have to admit it. Howard's got a whole belly full of guts & you just have to respect them.

The Disney of Japan: Hayao Miyazaki

O Great Master! I am not worthy!
O teach me your secret techniques of animation & I will be your slave.
I will make coffee & wash your toilet.

That's what I would say to Miyazaki if I ever meet him. For those not in the know, Hayao Miyazaki has been heralded as the Disney of Japan. He is like the Godfather of Anime. In the language of the youths of today, he makes kick-ass animation.

I could still remember my first encounter with his animation on RTM 2 a long long time ago in the mid 80s. I turned on the TV during one of those long nothing-to-do-but-wait-for-people-to-come-to-the-house Chinese New Year holidays. And what I saw blew my brains away. It was like getting hit with a large brain tumour, but in a good way.

Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (1984)

You can blow in my valley anytime... whatever that means.

You must know that for a primary school kid who grew up watching Disney, Hanna Barbara & Warner Bros' animal cartoons (ducks, mouse, cats, coyotes, birds, dogs), this was like coming out of the farm. I suddenly grew up right there & then. I realised I had actually been watching cartoons for babies all along.

I knew I had stumbled on something good. Miyazaki was different. He wasn't about pop-anime. He told a fantastic story of a world he created, so complete that you felt like it was real & you were living in it. The characters were complex. They weren't simple good or bad guys. In fact, you couldn't even label them. And his stories carried themes of the environment & peace.

Here's a rundown of Miyazaki's films:

Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

If there's one thing that Mayazaki's most famous for, it must be that fat rodent.

Totoro. The cutest rodent that all girls want to hug. Buy one for your girlfriend and they will do anything for you. But it works only for girlfriends. REMINDER: Wives go for bling blings.



Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)


Porco Rosso (1992)



Princess Mononoke (1997)

Very the terror. This film won the Best Picture at the Japanese Academy Awards & Miyazaki announced his retirement after that. But then he returned again to direct this.


Spirited Away (2001)

For your information, Spirited Away is a non-halal movie. You can watch but please don't eat the poster.

Spirited Away turned out to be power. It kicked Leornado di Caprio & Titanic's asses in Japan. It also won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003. Feeling very terror, Miyazaki attempted at retirement again, but returned again to make his next feature.

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

And again, this was supposed to be his last film for the third time. Mr Miyazaki, I wonder if you've heard of the story of the boy who called wolf, or Pinocchio?

Well, the news is that he'll be directing a new animated feature again for release in 2008. It's called Ponyo on a Cliff. I'm not complaining. That's good news.




There's still so much to write about here, but I think I should stop now. I just hope that the bugger can tahan long enough to make more films. Long Live Miyazaki!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ah Beng Wants To Be Final Fantasy Also

In the world of academia, I am most fortunate to be in touch with young people on a daily basis. They never cease to amaze me with their incredible fashion sense.


The guys have hair that looks like its doing death-defying stunts. If you were a lice, you'd be riding roller coasters in there. I have a feeling that those hairstyles came from Japanese anime. (Yes, anime as in animation - not cartoon ok. Only grandmas use the word cartoons)


Remember Rick Hunter and Roy Fokker?


Well, the one real common thing between the two of them is not that they are both pilots. It's actually the fertility of their hairstyles. Their hair seemed like they have been fed well. They were like meadows awaiting the cows. If you had hair like Rick Hunter, then Minmei would be at your door.

Minmei appears at the door!

Every teen wanted that hairstyle at that time. It was like a currency for girl's atttention. Without those hairstyles, you'd just look like this instead.

Aiya, just kidding. The two dudes are actually voice actors for Roy Fokker (left - Dan Woren) & Rick Hunter (right - Tony Oliver). Judging by their physical appearance, the only similarity between them & the Robotech characters are their same differences in height.


Today, Japanese anime like Final Fantasy VII: Children Advent continues to set the trend.

This one looked like one of my students.

This looked like another one of them who never pays attention in class.


Fortunately not this one. They have not advanced to this stage yet.
This sissy-boy is something like a she-male, a very popular item in Japan.

To be fair to the fairer gender, I also checked out the female characters. However, I couldn't find anything to write about.

The only thing that stuck out right in my face is the superbly proportioned gravity-defying body.

When we were young we used to emulate pop stars. I remember everybody wanted to dance like Michael Jackson. When I was in Primary 6, there was this kid in my class who always wore the bright red Beat It jacket. Up until today, I still wonder where he got it. Up until today, I still think he was damn hao lien.





Then there was also the Madonna lace & fishnet look. I know, those are so over now. But Jacky Studio still uses them for wedding shoots.


In every era, there's a new influence. It seems that in ours, kids want to be computer animated people.

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