Saturday, October 30, 2004

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Tamil Language Policy in Singapore:

Tamil Language Policy in Singapore:
offthebeatenpath was asked recently about the Tamil Language in Singapore, and this report pop out after a quick search. Quite enlightening.
It seems to offthebeatenpath that there is so little understanding between the various racial groups.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Third Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index

Reporters sans frontieres - Third Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index
Singapore ranks 147 out of 167 countries in the index released by Reporters Without Borders. The countries close to Singapore in the index are mostly developing or poor, for example, Iraq (148), Bhutan (146), Pakistan (150), & Belarus (144).

Obituary: John Peel

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Obituary: John Peel
offthebeatenpath mourns the passing of a legend in alternative radio broadcasting. A few Singapore bands were privileged enough to be played on his show on BBC World Service.

Microsoft Office Online Home Page

Microsoft Office Online Home Page
The 2nd microsoft-related article in a row, offthebeatenpath must be getting soft. Since microsoft-bashing is quite fashionable nowadays, it seems to fit in with the ethos of offthebeatenpath. Anyway, credit should be given when it is due. And it is very much so here. There are many articles on how to use microsoft office to help you in the office. Most of them are task-based, e.g. how to run a meeting. You will find instructions on how to use the software, be provided templates so that you don't have to start off from scratch, and much more.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Microsoft Office Assistance: Install and train speech recognition

Microsoft Office Assistance: Install and train speech recognition
This is quite a cool and useful tool. offthebeatenpath has tried it, and while the dictation mode needs more training [by the user], activating commands by voice are done properly. View the page for instructions on how to install the software. This entry was done partially using the dictation mode.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

PMR446 walkie-talkies in Singapore

Computer Times - Technology
Finally, a review of the models available in Singapore. offthebeatenpath's own review of the Shiro SA1100 is due soon.

Friday, October 22, 2004

A cheap Linux PC

More details of the cheap Linux PC offthebeatenpath mentioned earlier. The store selling this is Office 1, an offshoot of NTUC.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Low cost Linux PCs

Computer Times - Technology
This is a great idea. S$439 for a PC [no monitor] is really quite a low price. Suited for those that do not need the full Windows experience, plus the brave souls willing to try out Debian. However, one potential problem is getting internet access. There is a linux driver for the Prolink 8000 broadband USB modem that most Singnet users use, its even acknowledged by the manufacturer. But device installation seems not as easy as the usual Windows hardware installation.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

BUDDY B-680: 1 PC, 2 users

short taiwanese review of the buddy b-680
A Singaporean product, similar to the Magic Twin system mentioned here previously. Allows 2 users to use 1 PC concurrently. An additional PCI video card allows an additional monitor to be used.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Google Desktop Search Download

Google Desktop Search Download
A useful tool for finding that file on your PC, plus related stuff on the internet. This software is still in beta [i.e. trial] stage, but it seems stable enough to offthebeatenpath. A slightly similar product is Blinkx, which offthebeatenpath is also currently testing. Both these tools seem to be working well, with advantages evident for both.

BBC - Blast - Blueprint

BBC - Blast - Blueprint
A good set of tools to help implement creative projects, e.g. films, music, writing etc.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Singapore slings a little caution to the wind

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Singapore slings a little caution to the wind
Not exactly very accurate, but an interesting look at how foreigners view Singapore. In this case, seemingly viewed through only the level of freedom in the arts.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Radical SR8

Radical introduces a new model, the SR8, with a V8 engine made by joining 2 Suzuki Hayabusa 1300cc engines together. A sequential gearbox has also been added. More info here. Radical's website is here. offthebeatenpath must highlight that this car is road-legal in the U.K., at least for the predecessor SR3 & SR4 models. The SR8 should be able to pass the SVA test.

Caterham Seven CSR

The latest version of Caterham's Seven, with the added initials, CSR. Main changes include a switch from Rover K-series to Cosworth 2.3L engine, front inboard suspension & independent rear suspension. More details and pics here. This moody pic is from Caterham's website.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The future of independent humanitarian action

The future of independent humanitarian action
Nowadays, many countries in crisis will only allow neutral organisations like the International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC] to enter. This places a huge strain on such organisations, but it is also an opportunity. Often, ICRC personnel are the only "eyes on the ground". offthebeatenpath feels that they can offer some help in monitoring, while still remaining within the boundaries of neutrality, impartiality and independence.

IHT: Desmond Tutu: Peace laureate's detention tests the world

IHT: Desmond Tutu: Peace laureate's detention tests the world
An appeal by Desmond Tutu to all, to push for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's pro-democracy leader, held in house arrest.
UPDATE: EU threatens new Burma sanctions, 10pm, Singapore time

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Maps courtesy of Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens
what a find! While visiting Dr Martens website for the first time, I find a map resource. Click STORES>STORE LOCATOR, which will bring up a pop-up window. Select the country & city, filling in the postal code if known, and you get a map of the location. A zoom function allows you to see the surrounding area. Looks like it's a vector-based map system. EDIT: an easier method is to go to maporama.

Issue1 [Men's fashion edition part 2]


A new issue, but things seem to remain the same.

So appropriately, we continue with more of the same, men's fashion. Part 1 on headwear was for those who would like to experiment, Part 2 here on workwear leather shoes is for the mainstream.

Comments? Sick of my whining? Want to contribute articles? The comments button is where you should click.

One thing that has changed since issue0 is the ability to post pictures on the blog, which was long overdue in my view. Anyway, the feature is well integrated with blogger, you should try it if you have a blogger blog. Note: I won't be using this function in this post though.

Before I start, a preview of issue2, which will be on white interiors, specifically white on white.

Footwear for work

Since one is likely to wear these for long periods of time, comfort should be the first consideration. Style however, shouldn't be ignored.

Various styles of shoes will be discussed, but some points apply to all
  • test your shoes with the pants and socks that you will be wearing them with. This allows you to check how the 3 colours match [different shades of black] plus other areas like how the pants interact with the shoes while standing or sitting [how much sock area is seen, preferably minimal]
  • buy more than 1 pair for work. Leather shoes need to rest too
  • regular polishing is good, if not essential for shoes

Lace up shoes

This is as mainstream as offthebeatenpath is going to get. Key points to note are

  • shoe laces - thin shoelaces look much more elegant
  • toe-cap shape - square shape may be in vogue but do make sure your toes feel comfortable
  • leather surface - gloss, matt, semi-gloss, basically I would recommend matt surface, due to marks being less obvious on matt surfaces, but different finishes suit different looks
  • shoes with flanges that fit closely with shoelaces pulled tight without showing much of the shoe tongue look better

Slip-on shoes

Slightly more casual looking, it's a style that is still acceptable at the workplace unless they are loafers

  • stay easy on the decorative metal plates on the instep of some slip-ons, you don't want your shoes to draw that much attention


One of my favourites, as it offers ankle support, plus it makes a fashion statement.

  • getting a good fit is important, but more so here, as the shoe extends higher up your leg
  • same advice as for lace up shoes, go for thin laces

Cowboy boots

You don't have to know line-dancing to wear these. Not likely to be worn to work unless you work at a flashy place

  • detailing is key here, some cowboy boots are over the top in this area, being discreet would be commended, as the cowboy boot style is radical as it is


Besides the ubiquitous black colour for your leather shoe, actually dark brown shows off a leather shoe very well. Depending on what shirt / pants colour combination, brown accents the overall look. This is so for white or light blue shirt with black pants.