Thursday, August 30, 2007

Birthday Splash!

Hot damn.

I spent a hundred in two days.

This is terrible. Or maybe it's not, considering that I blew 70+ bucks just going to town.

The thing is this, I could well afford such spending. My buffer cash could spring me 3 storeys high.

Until this.

Creative Zen
Looks like we've got a history lesson to take.

So we were told sometime back by GT CEO Chris that Creative, the Creative, would be holding a product launch right at Geek Terminal! The guys went all chirpy about it and swore that we couldn't miss this event. How much more I, the diehard Creative devotee?

And there we were today at GT. I was there at 7:30AM. Danny must have felt pity for my stoned face because he made me a cuppa. So schweet of him. And of course I found out that well, it says 8-12pm on the calendar, but that's just the booking time, including setup and packup. The actual event commenced at 10 (and was over before 11). So as Dan sat there browsing his tablet and Kai Yi read his book, I very smartly decided earlier not to bring any materials. Basically I stoned there for... oh I dunno, 3 hours?

Well let's skip this middle part. You can find out what happened from Tech65 - the live post, and the Channel65 episode.

Here's what happened. While we were fretting about how to 1) get our hands on the demo, and 2) gain the webbie some exposure, I'd planned long ago on getting a press kit after the event was over (at least, the main segment). Apparently, I do look older than I am, because when I asked for the press kit, the lady, who turned out to be a Corporate Comm manager (!), asked me which press I'm from.

I fumbled abit at first, but then things went smoother after I managed to establish the base of who we were and why we were there.

And then she said, bless her, 'We then we consider you press! So here's our special press offer.'

O mio Dio, the prices were jaw-dropping.

The Creative Zen is currently selling at S$249 for the 4GB model, S$349 for the 8GB model, and S$449 for the 16GB model due for later release. For the press offer, they offered either the 4GB or 8GB model, with like three types of accessories, for S$149 and S$199 respectively. Considering the thrown in accessories which don't really sell cheap, that's a more-than-50% slash.

I was like, WHY THE FUCK NOT? Got money what! Buy la!

Now let me be clear that despite the phrasing of my thought processes, this was NOT an impulse buy. Firstly, since I got to touch and play with the Zen, I think I can justifiably say that I was rationally impressed by its features. Second, I've been looking round for a good AV player for some time now. I was seriously considering getting the new PSP 1.1 due for release anytime now, because the screen is one of the largest for media players out there. Except maybe the Zen Visions, but that would be more of a comparison between a 4:3 screen and a widescreen. Now the Zen's screen isn't exactly humungous. At 2.5" I wait with bated breath to see whether I can make subtitles out or not. But as far as I could see through the demos, details were presented with utmost clarity, not to mention the breathtaking color vibrance (check out the shot of the butterfly photograph in the Ch65 video, you'll see what I mean. Even in the video you could see the strong colors, imagine the real thing). I won't say that any one particular feature hooked me, but I think the one that sealed the deal, rather, was the audio. Being all too familiar with the aural nuances of my Zen Micro, I was surprised to find myself sealed into my own island by the audio quality of the Zen. So clear was the output, I told Daniel and Kaiyi, that I could hear in excruciating detail the dismal production quality of Westlife's take on Uptown Girl (remember, bashing the band is another story here. I'm blaming the audio engineer). I do hope I don't have to re-encode my entire library for that. That would actually be impossible, not even a chore.

And here's where it all loops back again. Half my money's already spent on the Zen. I spent a hundred in two days. I owe my aunt 50 for my parents' presents, and I'm going to tithe 40.

Which leaves me with $2.

Ahhhh bummer. Fuuuckin' bummer...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

All de slackerz of d world unite!

Too lazy too type properly.

Nawww of course not.

But I tell you what I was too lazy to do. I was too lazy to sit up and listen, this second half of the semester, Summer(II).

After my glorious victory in The Battle of Summer(I), I somehow switched off in Summer(II). I attribute it to my lecturers. Excuses? Maybe... But lemme be clear. Attribute does not equate blame. I don't blame them. In fact if anyone I blame myself.

Let's start with Hong Junhao, lecturer for Mass Communication Theory. I suspect that he's a fantastic academic. But his teaching is omgwtf-deplorable. 20 years in the US, Head of Buffalo's Communication Department, and (I've said this to everyone who asked, I know) speaks like he's been in US less than a year. Copies points word for word from the textbook, and can still make grammatical and typo mistakes. I think it was Pam who said, the most interesting part of the lessons were racing to see who could pick out the passages (yeah. Passages) from where he lifted first.

And then there's Dr Chen Ni. First, the textbook is a waste of money and time. It looks more like a book to promote the goodness of PR than to teach about it. And Dr Chen herself gives off an air of plastic-ness and superficiality. Now I'm really sorry to say that, because in most other aspects she's a really nice lady, but well, that's the impression I got from here, as far as lectures and PR as an academic subject was concerned.

At the risk of sounding like a bored know-it-all genius, the only thing that really entertained me was the PR project. Once again I got to wield my arbitrary Premiere skills, and turned the cogs of my mind with some baffling (and blasted) decoding and encoding issues. Man, video is one of the few areas where I still trust analog more than digital. It gets really hard to praise Sony for its otherwise technologically outstanding devices when all that proprietary shit falls in. Movie suite my ass.

And so I only left my engine running to work on the PR case. After the Summer(I) fiasco(es), the last thing that I wanted on my mind was the knowledge that I was bogging my group down with my laziness.

I was so phased out of this semester that I very nearly studied for the wrong paper, until Daphne made me realize it. But then like I told her and everyone, since I started studying about half an hour earlier, I didn't really lose out, and it made little difference for me to switch then. But remember kids, do not try this at home.

Not without adult supervision. ;)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Shameless Piggy-backers

I don't usually agree with Xiaxue, especially after the whole '7 most disgusting bloggers' affair. But I was brought to this post of hers by Pingster pubed (public education you dirty bastard).

It never occured to me that it may well be another publicity stunt by her until I read comments from the other Pingsters on pubed's post. Well if it is, I'm ashamed of myself for falling for it. But if it isn't, then I wholeheartedly agree with her. You keep bugging a famous/notorious blogger to publicize an incident of your own interest, and when she doesn't you verbally whack her? Wtf kind of arse are you? Ride on others' waves, and when you fall off the wave be a super sourgrape and curse and swear at her.

And you wonder why people say they're tired of this world and commit suicide. There's your answer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 Video Ad

You've seen the print ads, now behold! A video commerciallll!!!

I took quite a few liberties from the original specifications, cos it's a different medium after all.

Now, how many follow-ups will this one generate...? :)

Oh by the way, there's no need to turn the volume up. It does get loud later. If you have (good) a subwoofer, crank it up a notch or two. :D

Online Videos by

For video geeks, I filmed all of this using my Nokia 6280 video recording function (which explains the horrible sound in the opening portion), and exported this from Adobe Premiere Pro to WMV format, and I can never fail to be impressed with the amount of quality and clarity maintained even with some hardcore compression there. I always forget this fact when I roll my eyes at crappily encoded videos in WMV.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Two Stories about my Aunt

These both happened yesterday.

After hearing about one of my coursemates doing the Umbrella dance, I went to check out the wacky footage myself. And subsequently I found the accursed "ella...ella" part playing on constant loop in my poor head. Lock a prisoner-of-war in a room and play this on 5.1 speakers. 5 hours later he'll probably submit a typed report of all the top classified activities of his country.

So ANYWAY, because of the school's wonderfully flawless wireless connection, I couldn't see the official MV in school, and searched for it the first thing when I came back. My aunt walked in and looked at the screen, and said, 'Oh. Is that the new song? The uh... the um-um bre-bre la-la one?'

My brother and I nearly fell off our chairs.

Later as my aunt was on the phone with her close friend, a cat mysteriously appeared outside our door and attempted to come in (I live on the 14th). My mom quickly closed the door, but the gate was open and the key was hanging on the lock still. After much persuasion and explanation I said I'd catch the cat and bring it down and she could lock the door in peace (she apparently thought I'd catch the cat by taupok-ing it and bearhugging it all the way downstairs. -__-") For someone who lived on the ground floor in Tanjong Rhu last time, she seriously knows nuts about the magic hold on a cat's neck skin.

With all the commotion my aunt, still on the phone, came outside. I cracked the door open to see whether the cat was tired of the game or still as responsive, and as rapt as ever it got up after I made a 10cm wide opening in the door. My aunt, watching from the side, was still talking to her friend, and she went 'Because these kind of things you cannot tell one mah, if it comes it WAHHHHHH~!'

I promptly slammed the door shut in alarm and we laughed until I had to sit down. Funny sia my aunt.