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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Sights of Manchester: Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall
Manchester Town Hall

Had the honour of a friend bringing me around Manchester about five months ago. Memories flood back to my little mind just by flipping through the photos, some so badly taken I half wished to delete them.

It was really awesome. The weather was lovely. Manchester was nice (still is, probably) with many attractions saturated in the city centre. It was the FIFA Football season and the England team was playing against US. The bars were crowded, people were friendly, buses were comfortable, and the Asda muffins extremely yummy.

Coming soon... More of Manchester!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Into My Mind's Attic

"Wow. Nice sky. If only I have my camera with me."

I muttered that while going out one day, catching an attractive streak of colours in Semenyih's evening sky.

That statement was not exactly true. Yeah sure, the sky was nice, but I had digital eyes with me all along. I had my cameraphone right there in my pocket. It's imaging capabilities may be rather limited, but it has served me well the few times I put my faith in it.

I even had my Nikon Coolpix 3200 with me, in my backpack. Yeah sure, it's a 3MP, 7-year-old compact camera. It's so old and its specifications so dated that I'm not even sure if anybody wants it for a mere RM50 now. But it has certainly proven itself many, many, many, many, many times, especially over the year when I was in UK.

But no, now when I say "my camera", I probably don't mean the Coolpix. I mean my Nikon D90. I can't say I don't pity the Coolpix. The poor thing has gone from being one of my most loyal companions to being a camera that's not being considered a camera.

I was a little horror-struck when I realised this. Well to be fair, the D90 is lightyears ahead of the Coolpix. But without realising it, my practicality is rearing its head. It's like I'm not thankful for the hundreds of pictures the Coolpix has taken for me over the past two years.

Well if you think feeling guilty for abandoning an old camera is oh-so-geeky, what would stop me from forgetting my friends in university? My lecturers, perhaps? The kind lab technician who helped me with my internship? The nice people I worked with for 3 whole months when I did my industrial training?

I glanced back to my past and I suddenly realised the number of people missing from my mind. I'm starting to have trouble recalling all 40 of my classmates when I was in secondary school. I can't even remember the name of my physics teacher when I was in Form 4, and I kind of liked her too. A lecturer in college treated me to a movie once and I don't even remember if I said thanks.

There was even one time a few years back when I got my dad's birth date wrong.

There's obviously little I can do about my past, short of tracking down all those people and get to know them again. That'd be crazy, sitcom-worthy, even (remember My Name Is Earl?). But I'll try to be more thankful from now onwards. Don't kill me if I fail to recognise you some time in the future, just spill me with humiliation and accept my apology.

As for the Coolpix, well I promise I'll continue to keep it in my backpack. An SLR's not suitable for all occasions, and for that reason, I know I'll be thankful for having that Coolpix again one day.

Nikon Coolpix 3200

Sunday, 21 November 2010


Tried tone-mapping an HDR photo.

Took three photos in quick succession, each 1.7eV apart.

Nottingham Malaysia Campus - exposures
-1.7eV, 0eV and +1.7eV shots.

Fused them together, tried many algorithms. Finally, this.

Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Looks like most of the image is taken from the overexposed shot. At least the name of the school and the needles of the clock were preserved -- that's my main aim.

Not really THAT awesome, but for a first attempt (second, actually) it's not too bad, eh?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta 7 Released

The newest beta of the newest version of Firefox was released just hours ago.

Firefox 4 is the upcoming version of the world's second most widely used browser and features many upgrades over previous versions, including revamped user interface for Windows and Mac users (which we have seen previously), Tab Panorama (previously called Tab Candy), completely new HTML5 parser, hardware acceleration, support for newer HTML/CSS2/CSS3 standards and super speedy JaegerMonkey JavaScript engine compiler, among many others.

Beta 7 is the feature freeze beta -- basically, we don't expect to see many UI changes or new feature introduction after Beta 7, if at all. The upcoming betas (there will at least be a Beta 8) will probably polish the browser from behind-the-scenes, such as performance improvements, security fixes and hardware acceleration for a wider set of computers. For this reason, Beta 7 should give a pretty good idea what to expect when Firefox 4 gets officially released as a stable version.

Sadly, progress strips on the individual tabs have been removed, and I could not find justification for this action at Mozilla blogs or even Bugzilla.

I would recommend Firefox 3.6 users to give it a try, especially when installing Firefox 4 does NOT uninstall Firefox 3.6, and, um, the fact that my blog is specially designed for the upcoming browser (though all features are available at Webkit-based browsers too).

Download the new beta at

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sights of London: Emirates Stadium

There are a few very notable stadia in London. I spent a few hours of a rather sunny Saturday afternoon visiting two of them back in June.

One of them was the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC.


I approached the Stadium from the Holloway Road Tube station, which was a bit of a shame -- I discovered afterwards that the journey between the Stadium and the Arsenal Tube station is more scenic and was almost literally a stone throw's distance away from the former grounds of Arsenal's previous home base, the Arsenal Stadium.

The Silver Shield
Panorama of Emirates Stadium.

Anyway, out of the respectable number of football stadia I visited when I was in UK, the Emirates was probably the newest one, being completed in 2006. In comparison, Chelsea FC, the other of the two London-based football clubs, had nothing to boast about when it comes to shelter for their beloved blue jerseys.

Stairway to... Emirates

You'd be mad if you try to rob the Emirates. Because they're guarded by cannons.

Two Canons
The two cannons guarding the stadium. Notice that the firing point is stuffed with some sort of a cork. Maybe they use them as giant champagne bottles now.

Their gift shop is called The Armoury. Unfortunately the closest thing to firearms they had were stuffed cannons and whatnot.

The Armoury
The Armoury.

I left after snapping some rather mediocre pictures. I still have much to learn about framing.

Emirates Stadium Pano
Another panorama of the Emirates Stadium.

By the way, did you know that you could also refer to a stadium as an arena or a bowl? Yes, a bowl. The Emirates Bowl. Imagine that.

Friday, 5 November 2010

The Future of Owl's Eyes

Owl Order is evolving!


Yes, I've just got new eyes. The best of the eleventh hour just got better.

Monday, 1 November 2010

I Have an Android Device

Yes, you heard right. I have an Android device.

Booting Up
Android's boot up screen!

Without spending a single penny. Literally.

Locked Screen
Android 2.2 Froyo's locked screen.

Did I get lucky? Well, no, not really. It's actually a simulated Android device that runs in my computer, under Ubuntu. And it's actually part of my Final Year Project.

Home Screen
Android 1.6 Donut homescreen.

Cool, eh! Aw come on, a Linux device running in another Linux device, that's cool!

Ah well. I DO have another Android device.

Oh it's real, with hardware and all. Wait and see.