Yea, I am my life’s director.

About time I tried something else and no more pretty females in my blog’s cover image.

Finally it’s Friday again. I feel so relieved. It’s been a tough week because of the hardware problems.

Nothing much to say now, I’ll be off to indulge myself in work to make time fly and then, it will be time to knock off and it’s another Friday evening to enjoy…

12.50pm: Skipping lunch again. The taste of coffee lingering in my mouth keeps my appetite away. I took a screenshot of my FinalFantasy 11 character last night, here’s my Frodo lookalike in an Onoko Yukata. There’s a Summerfest going on for 2 weeks in Vana’diel. From 6pm to 6am in Vana’diel time, Windurst and it’s outskirts have the background music replaced with a traditional Japanese festival music and fireworks can be heard and seen.

There’s also a special quest which requires a partner to participate. Upon completing it successfully, you get the Yukata! So I partnered with a friend and participated. The quests begins by transporting us to a faraway land that has very high level monsters. We were both seperated and have no maps. There, we had our equipment stripped, level reduced to 1, invisibility cast on us. The aim is to search the huge area for a hidden GoalPoint.

We didn’t know how to run this quest for the first time, so I had to logout and check up FF11 forums for more info, and we had a second try at it. Evasama found the GoalPoint in just 5 minutes. He happened to see someone remove the invisibility and teleported back. So I had to locate him, and we both got the quest items. Trade the quest items and give it to the moogle who then rewarded us with a Yukata each.

$_FIR == ‘Fucking Idiotic Retard’;

From shadowandy’s entry, I too get my fair share of FIRs.

The kind I encounter can be easily found in most forums, easily identified by their style of writing. A habit of theirs is not bothering to read other people’s text properly! [>(] And to make things worse, they misinterpret other people’s words. I’m gonna stop talking about this before anger takes over and I whack everyone in sight with this keyboard I’m mashing.

A month or 2 ago, I had dinner with a friend at Yoshinoya at Bugis Junction. They were playing some nice JPop songs at that time. I went to check out the counter and saw a picture of the album that they’re playing. Kokia was the singer.

Recently, one of her albums were available on the net. I downloaded a copy. And listened. It was good. Very good. Like Kotoko’s but with more optimism in most of her songs. As a matter of fact, I found most of Kotoko’s songs sad. But I still like her singing too. Like I said, I’m impressed with singers who write their own lyrics and music, which is what Kokia does. Or at least that’s what I found out on the net. I don’t know the words to describe how good Kokia is, but it’s good enough to make me add her albums into my shopping list. [XD]

Now, who said MP3s were evil? If the singer/band/whatever is really good, I WILL buy their CDs even though it means skipping a week of lunch.

With the launch of vPostJapan, I may consider buying CDs from Japan that can’t be fucking-found in Singapore~~~

Bad Luck

Last Wednesday, the fan in the Power Supply Unit of my webserver stopped spinning, and the PSU started giving off lots of heat. Just to be safe, I had to shut it down.

So when Friday came, I took the time to move the harddisks over and designate my Athlon machine as the new webserver. This time with careful planning, I managed to keep a neat arrangement of the IDE and power cables. Just when I plugged in the power cord, there was a pop sound as loud as casually clapping your hands. I noticed bright light from the back of the tower. I suspect the fuse blew up.

It was a golden what-the-fuck moment as I stared for a while. Tried powering it up again and the whole thing’s dead. My router that shared the same multi-socket power outlet froze, the LEDs that blinked remain lighted up. A funny way of telling me he’s shocked too.

So in a short period of 3 days, 2 PSUs died on me. I was so used to working on 2 computers at once that I find it rather uncomfortable using only 1.

Saturday came, I had agreed to meet up with some anime lovers from HardWareZone’s anime forum. Out of 6, 4, including me, turned up. They were all very nice people and there was never a moment of silence. We chat on hardware, games, anime and career. Walked around SimLimSquare after lunch together, followed by a trip down to Anime House at Sunshine Plaza. I’m glad the place has more new shops that hold a lot more anime stuff.

I bought a Pinky Street: Evangelion designer toy for $35, a Narusegawa Naru figure for $9.50, 3 anime OSTs (Sakura Diaries, Mahou Tsukai Tai, Hoshi no Koe) totalling $62, and to put all these stuff in, a printed paper bag featuring a very beautiful Evangelion art for $4.

Back home, I rearranged the harddisks and cdwriter in my Athlon64 machine. So now, I have the noisy harddisk cooler removed, the harddisk cage in the Tsunami casing full with 5 harddisks, cooled by a 120mm fan. The temperature of a harddisk without cooling was 50-52 degrees celcius, with the harddisk cooler, 43-44 degrees, with just the fan blowing, 40 degrees. The 120mm fan gave more airflow then the 2 40mm fans in the lousy harddisk cooler that also came with a huge heatsink.

Sunday was a day of Final Fantasy 11 all the way to 3am~ I was lucky to join a group of people that played their roles well. A WhiteMage would heal us, DarkKnight deals lots of damage, A Summoner/WhiteMage summoned the cute Carbuncle to fight with us and heals us at important times, a RedMage casting spells that affect the enemy, a warrior dealing damage and tanking occassionally. I was a Monk/Warrior who had to pull monsters and tank.

Monday, managed to stay awake most of the time except 10 minutes of nap in the morning and afternoon. After work, it was straight down to SimLim Square for a new PSU at $29. Then spent the rest of the evening fixing and setting things up all the way to 3am again. [X(]

Narusegawa Naru from Love Hina

Pinky:Cos – Evangelion Series

How Evangelion influenced me to classical music.

I’ve been heavily into classical music again but it probably won’t last long. Currently listening to Johann Pachelbel’s Kanon in D-minor which inspired me to write this entry.

It was about 2 years ago when I borrowed Neon Genesis Evangelion VCDs from a friend and watched 3 episodes everyday. Even skipped lectures once to go home and watch it. It wasn’t totally about the sleek looking mechs or the pretty Ayanami Rei that got me hooked but the character development, and I was most interested in the main protagonist of the show, Ikari Shinji. Young teen bearing earth-saving responsibilities.

*Spoiler Alert*
Towards the end of episode 24, Shinji had to kill someone who he believed, could have been his closest friend, Nagisa Kaoru. Even though they met and known each other for only a short time, it turns out that he was an Angel and thus, needs to be eradicated. In the end, Kaoru allowed himself to be killed by Shinji. He had to be killed so mankind will survive. And he wished for his own death because he believed mankind deserve to live.

It all began with Kaoru taking control of EVA-02, bringing it with him down to Central Dogma and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 playing as the BGM making it more dramatic. Shinji piloted EVA-01 and soon caught up. A fight between the two mechs broke out. After a series of events, there was a one minute frozen scene showing EVA-01 grabbing hold of Kaoru with one hand and in the next scene, a head falls into the sea of LCL below. This one minute scene was exceptionally painful for a lot of Evangelion fans out there and me.

This scene was repeated again in one of the Evangelion moves, I believe it was Death and Rebirth. Will check it once I get home. Instead of the TV ending, this depressing scene ended off with Kanon in D-minor and a beautiful sunset scene with ending credits rolling horizontally slowly. After the show ended, Kanon kept playing on and on in my head.

Each time I listen to this classical piece, I am reminded of the pain Shinji had to go through before he killed Kaoru. Gradually, I started listening to other classical pieces by other great composers and perhaps maybe I learned how to appreciate classical music a little. But depending on my mood, I still listen to other genres so don’t think I listen to classical 24/7/52.

I dedicate this blog entry with respects and admiration to writer and director of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hideaki Anno.

More info of him at IMDB.

I am bandwidth hungry

There is never enough! But then, since I don’t shut off my computers, I have all the time in the world to finish my downloads slowly over a 512kbps ADSL connection. All I ask for is more upload speed so my webserver can serve pages faster and I don’t have to frustrate myself with webhosting providers. I’m currently serving anime files on IRC, capped at 15KB/s, leaving me about 10-15KB/s for gaming and forcing this paragraph down to your internet browser.

If I could save up enough money, I’ll be getting a 80GB harddisk with 8MB cache, and start using my Athlon 1GHz CPU to run this site and some others. Currently, this blog and my ircquotes site is being processed on a Pentium 2 233MHz. The other PC that’s sitting on the left of my main rig in the photos of my room I posted a few entries ago.

Back to the topic, I came across 2 infuriating links regarding SingTel’s use of P-cube to throttle down the downloads of SingNet’s ADSL subscribers and one of them unfortunate ones happens to be me. The Internet Bandwidth forum at HardWareZone’s forums are heating up with a few discussions of SingTel’s use of P-cube.

Here’s the stuff and I’m highlighting the important points to note…

During the last year they have had many subscriber complaints as to unsatisfactory bandwidth and performance, and many customers have churned. They had to add many costly leased lines to their infrastructure, and have seen international transit traffic soar. Through the use of P-Cube’s product they found that 60% of their traffic was P2P. Additionally, they found that only 5% of the users accounted for 70% of the P2P traffic.
I belong to that 5% so satisfy me cos I paid you!

SingTel also implemented new services to help control this problem. They limited P2P traffic from international transit links. By using regional bandwidth links, internal costs were reduced. They allowed for unlimited P2P during off-peak hours, but limited during peak.
And by peak, you mean the only period of time where I am home from work and play FinalFantasy 11 with lag because of limited bandwidth.

We spoke to one satisfied P-Cube customer, Benny Chee, senior network engineer at SingTel, Singapore’s ILEC.
You’re satisfied because you’re probably getting a raise for reducing our bandwidth.

Chee says he only needs to throttle P2P during the peak usage hours. During peak hours, P2P traffic is generally throttled to one-fifth normal speed. “We want to maintain 512 Kbps all the way to the desktop.”
How the heck do you maintain that speed when you are throttling our traffic to one-fifth the normal?

The company might also like to charge more for heavy usage, but it has to maintain its current low price because Starhub offers 1.5 Mbps for about $32 (56 Singapore Dollars).
Bravo Starhub, Bravo!!

My question, how damn hard is it to improve Singapore’s internet bandwidth? I’ve seen advertisements of SingNet’s boasting high speeds at low costs but open your fucking eyes and look at yourself. Limiting our download speeds simply contradicts what you have been promoting since the dawn of ADSL, dedicated bandwidth.