Friday, September 24, 2004

Jetway Magic Twin SFF PC/Motherboard

This idea is cool, 1 computer, 2 users. You only need 1 software, plus u can share the internet connection w/o a need for a network. Now all i need to do is to find it in SG. [JUNE 18 2004]
UPDATE: many new reviews of this product
review [1]
review [2]
review [3]
review [4]
review [5]
review [6]

UN man backs Darfur autonomy

BBC NEWS Africa UN man backs Darfur autonomy
Finally, something new, at least to offthebeatenpath. This may well be the root of the problem, but that doesn't mean the humanitarian issue can be side-tracked. In fact, that issue remains the critical one to resolve. Meanwhile, more people will die.

Panasonic PV-GS400 Camcorder Review

Panasonic PV-GS400
Recommended as a video camera for any budding enthusiast just starting out, i.e. the cheapest video camera that they should consider.


  • top loading tape mechanism [no need to remove camera from tripod to change tape]
  • manual multi function ring, used for focus, zoom, aperture, shutter speed [no need to use on-screen menus]
  • record buttons on alternative locations [for getting different views through different holding positions]
  • 3CCD [good colour]

CONS [features missing are not found on cameras below its price]

  • no separate zoom & focus ring
  • low light video quality
  • dual function ports [can't use at the same time]

another review here

next step up would be

If we go beyond that it would be almost broadcast video quality; let's not go there, yet. One thing to note, the Japanese manufacturers seem to make products that stagger each other, i.e. no 2 cameras compete 100% directly.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Shuttle SN95G5
Small form factor [SFF] PCs have finally come full circle, with this model supporting AMD's fastest CPU to date, the Athlon 64 socket 939 FX-53. Previously, SFF PCs were compromised due to older [& slower] technology. Now your state of the art PC need not come in a full tower, or with an Intel chip. [1st Sep 2004]
UPDATE: Finally, a review in english.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Kata torso bag for cameras

A good method of carrying a SLR camera in front, with this torso bag.
  1. take photos quickly [especially street shooting], with the camera in a "ready" position
  2. increase camera's security, as it's front position ensures easy monitoring
  3. prevent swaying of bag while moving, as compared to a normal slingbag


  1. storage is limited compared to slingbag or backpack
  2. fashion-wise, it needs getting used to

Kata T-212

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Transparent interiors

Transparent : contemporary interior design elements
While researching for books on white interiors [an upcoming article], I stumbled upon this book about interior design using transparent materials. Available at a library near you.
The New York Times > Washington > Documents Suggest Special Treatment for Bush in Guard
Finally, we can teach the US one of our phrases, looks like Bush Jr was a "white horse" during his service in the armed forces. Sounds similar to "white house" huh? The news first broke thru 60 minutes.
UPDATE: CBS admits errors over Bush memos. Oops, thought that 60mins was quite a credible establishment, this is going to hurt them.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

SPH, MediaCorp Swap Signals End To Competition

UPDATE: SPH, MediaCorp Swap Signals End To Competition
As usual, a neutral source reveals much more information than reports from the 2 media companies.
United Nations Millennium Development Goals
good & important goals set by the UN, hope we can achieve it. quite good in the sense that there are physical targets to aim for & monitor, not like big airy-fairy company goals.
UPDATE: a BBC website on the MDGs

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Accident, suicide, or copycat

Falling onto MRT tracks
studs for the blind
reason for suicide?
why cause trouble for others?
railings or doors are not the complete solution

Friday, September 17, 2004

'Water factory' aims to filter tensions

BBC NEWS | Middle East | 'Water factory' aims to filter tensions
"...$0.52 a cubic metre."
Is that cheap compared to Singapore's proposed price?
Assuming the price in the report is in US Dollars, that means the cost is S$0.88 per cubic after currency conversion.
According to PUB, the price for Singapore will start from S$0.78 per cubic metre, sounds close enough. Incidentally, the desalination project is under SingSpring, a subsidiary of Hyflux.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Rob Galbraith DPI: Nikon unveils 12.21MP D2X digital SLR

Rob Galbraith DPI: Nikon unveils 12.21MP D2X digital SLR
With 1.5x crop, 12MP, 5fps, the new D2X seems to be stuck between Canon's 1Ds [full frame, 11MP, 3fps] & 1DMkII GPS [1.3x crop, 8MP, 8.5fps]. It does come with wireless transfer & GPS support though, which is useful for some scenarios. It's more of the same, as wireless & GPS are not new, being present in the D2H & D1X respectively.


The 2nd solid state MPEG2 digital video camera after Panasonic's SV-AV100, JVC's Everio features a CF2 & a SD slot. offthebeatenpath still awaits a proper digital video camera using a 1.8" or 2.5" laptop hard disk, which are available at up to 20GB and 100GB respectively. 3CCD would be nice too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Konica Minolta Dynax 7D formally announced

Several new DSLRs were announced recently, e.g. Canon 20D, Pentax *ist DS, but offthebeatenpath feels the DSLR that could set the standard is the KM D7D. With

  1. lots of knobs and buttons for main functions, instead of being hidden in on-screen menus,
  2. the Anti-Shake CCD [any lens mounted will be image-stabilised],
  3. and that big 2.5" LCD screen,

this is going to be a camera for the enthusiast [as long as they don't have a whole collection of Canon, Nikon, or Pentax lens]. Now we await the most important test, picture quality.

Pentax *ist DS Hands-On Preview: Digital Photography Review
A cheaper version of Pentax's 1st DSLR, the *ist d, the *ist DS offers a lower price [near canon 300D levels] but with less functions compared to its big brother. SD memory [instead of the established CF in the DSLR class] may harm its sales. While it's wonderful that Pentax is shrinking the size of the DSLR, offthebeatenpath thinks it is limiting for Pentax to use a SD slot to appeal to compact digital camera upgraders. Existing SD card users migrating from compact digital cameras can just buy a SD-to-CF adaptor to fit a CF slot. CF is superior to SD in cost and capacity.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

newsradio 93.8fm now plays trip-hop in between its news programmes. that's great, since trip hop doesn't get aired on radio stations that often. just heard teardrops by massive attack, brings back lots of fond memories, quite sure i first heard these songs on the radio, it's sad that alternative music is now sidelined, at least here in sg. that's why i admire so much the nice music programmes that are still hanging around.

  • weekdays 8-10pm 92.8fm *wicked
  • thu 8-10pm 91.3fm *urban lounge, 10pm-12mn sun [repeat]
  • thu 12mn-3am 92.8fm *red rottw show
  • fri 10:30-11am 88.9fm *john peel, 3:30-4pm [repeat]
  • fri 9-11pm 91.3fm *ministry of sound
  • sat 8-10pm 92.8fm *red alert
  • sat 10pm-12mn 92.8fm *massive
  • sat 11pm-1am 91.3fm *pete tong's essential mix
  • sun 1-5am 91.3fm *liberation
  • sun 5-7pm 98fm *rock revolution
  • sun 8-10pm 91.3fm *giles petersen's worldwide
  • sun 9pm-10pm 89.7fm *rock ria rock
  • sun 10pm-12mn 92.8fm *massive
  • sun 10pm-12mn 100.3fm *Sunday 11 我要听音乐
Strunk, William, Jr. 1918. The Elements of Style
In the midst of reading this, or more exactly, the modified version, with additions by E.B. White. A good read, and not at all boring, considering that it is essentially a rule book. I like its philosophy of simplicity. But it does have a misleading title, because it's a book on how to write well, not a book on fashion or style.

Friday, September 10, 2004

BBC NEWS Technology Nokia unveils mid-air messaging
this looks like a wicked idea, an add-on handphone shell with LED lights to show text in the air as u wave the phone. - UK: Darfur 'may well' be genocide - Sep 10, 2004
after so much anticipation whether colin powell will call what is happening in sudan for what it is, a genocide, it was sort of underwhelming to hear on bbc world service that saying the "g-word" has no legal basis. it seems to be the case, as another 30 days will have to pass before something as "minor" as sanctions will happen. seems like everything now is related to terrorism, oops i mean international terrorism. the leeway that sudan seems to be enjoying may be due to its cooperation with anti-terrorism efforts. meanwhile, the uk has echoed what the us has said, as above. looks like all the major world issues [e.g. north korea] have to be put on hold until the november us presidential elections pass. which is such a pity.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Sudan: Intimidation and denial: Attacks on freedom of expression in Darfur - Amnesty International
still reading this report, methinks lack of information is one of the problems of Sudan, without adequate info to present to the world leaders showing the suffering of the Sudanese people, nothing will be done to help them. it is already too late, by the estimates of most aid agencies & other human rights organisations.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

BBC NEWS | Africa | US plans new resolution on Darfur
more feet dragging by the UN, the school siege at beslan may be more dramatic, but the tragedy of genocide in sudan is the issue that needs immediate attention.
  1. flying planes into a skyscraper
  2. bombing a train station
  3. bombing a nightspot
  4. hostage taking in a school

ever since 9/11, we have seen terrorist attacks that are getting more unconventional. terrorists are no longer limiting attacks on obvious targets like military installations, instead they are attacking places where people congregate. it will be impossible to guard every place where people congregate.

Thursday, September 02, 2004 - Malaysian court frees ex-PM - Sep 1, 2004
after almost everyone has forgotten him, anwar ibrahim has been set free. wonder what he will do now, in terms of politics?