Gadget Finder

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kuala Lumpur PC Fair, April 2009

This article is a lil bit late coz I've been really sick with flu. The weather's been terrible of late. 36C temps in the day and then heavy monsoon rains in the afternoons and evenings. I'm finally feeling good enough to write again. Hehe.

Anyway, this PC Fair was held on 10-12th of April. I've been bugging Silverstone to get a nice booth all these years. I hated how badly the KL PC Fair has degenerated over the years. I so wanted to help them put on a good show for the masses but they never got down to getting the booth. My Project King Kong rig has been waiting to attend the PC Fair for 2+ years. King Kong was feeling pretty desperate already as he had almost given up hope of gracing the PC Fair with his attendance. Hehehe.

From out of the blue, my sponsor calls me up in early April to tell me they finally got a booth at the PC Fair. I was elated. Happy beyond words. I've wanted to do this with Silverstone for sooooooooooo long that I'd actually given up hope. In fact, I stopped going to the PC Fair for the past 2 years as it's sooooo boring with nothing to get excited about. It's always the usual car boot sales atmosphere where the booths are just trying to make as much money as they can during the 3 day PC Fair.

So, I got down to doing some final prep and touch up works to the rig as I've been using it for 2+ years and it was not in pristine condition. I managed to get everything done very late on Thursday night. I was all ready to send King Kong over to the PC Fair when I received the sad news about my godfather passing away on that Friday. So I called my sponsor to cancel the plans for Friday and that I will be there on Saturday and Sunday. Those of you who went to the PC Fair on Friday, looking for King Kong, my sincere apologies.

Anyway, Marcus the handsome dude from Inter-Asia(the sole distributor for Silverstone in Malaysia) came over to my house early on Saturday morning to pick up the case so that everything could be set up nicely before the PC Fair starts at 11am. I arrived at the booth at about 3pm and was pleasantly surprised to see the best looking booth I've ever seen at any PC Fair all these years. I'm really happy that Inter-Asia went all out to put on a good show.

Here's some pictures of the booth when I got there at 3pm. It was packed with a gazillion people, like sardines in a can! Thank heavens I got this all access pass from Marcus. This pass was heaven sent. Without it, it would have taken me 10 hours to navigate through the human traffic jam. LOL.

Inter-Asia is also the Sole Distributor for Edifier and Steelseries.

First thing I did was to go over and thank Marcus for bringing King Kong over. But he was camera shy and didn't wanna appear in my blog so he went into hiding. LOL. Marcus, if you're reading this, big thanks to you ya. I really appreciated your effort. It allowed me to catch up on some much needed sleep on Saturday morning. Here's Marcus the handsome dude. Hehehe

I then proceeded to go find "DA MAN", the superstar. He's the one responsible for making this event happen. My first question to him was "Sooooooo, how's the public's response to your superb booth?". You know what his response was? There was no need for words, all I got was this big huge grin.

Let's get on to my contribution at the booth. This is called Project King Kong. It's a rig I built using the Silverstone TJ07 case. It was built for a LAN party organised by Silverstone and Inter-Asia 2 years back. I've since made some adjustments and mods to it. Here it is in it's final shape. I will post the worklog of the whole build process involved in making King Kong in the next article.

Here's a whole row of beauties from Silverstone.

The latest beauty to come out of the Silverstone factory. The Raven RV01.

Here's one I really liked. The new Sugo 05. A puny lil thing that fits in the palm of your hand.

This concludes my report of the KL PC Fair. Here's looking forward to bigger and better shows from Silverstone and Inter-Asia. Bravo guys, you have brought back some excitement to the PC Fair at last.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

F1 Shanghai, China

Such a booooooooooooooooring race. 10 laps behind safety car is absolute bollocks. They should do it like in the old days where they delay the start. Anyway, I'm happy Sebastien Vettel won coz he's 1 of my fav drivers. Great that Red Bull has proven that all that bull(pun intended) about illegal diffusers is a moot point. Red Bull doesn't run those double/triple decker diffusers yet they're winning.

Oh and you guys watching the live telecast in Malaysia, do you guys prefer watching it on ESPN Starsports or NTV7? I prefer NTV7 coz I like the proper and intelligent commentary from Martin Brundle. Those commentators over at ESPN are just useless. Only problem with NTV7 is that Daphne Iking girl who appears before and after the race. She's really ANNOYING! Hardly knows what she's rambling about and doesn't even dress nicely. Can't believe she wore a rotten baby polo T with exposed belly. How's that even allowed by our Nazi TV censorship board??????

Anyway, here's hoping for a totally dry and exciting next race. God forbid a once in 20 years rain storm hits the desert during F1 weekend. LOL. That'll be a total bummer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bittersweet weekend

Boy oh boy was it a sucky weekend I had last week. It has to be the one of the most sucky weekends I've had yet it ended on a bittersweet note. I was busy all of last week preparing my PC called King Kong for the Kuala Lumpur PC Fair at the KLCC on 10-12th April. Everything was complete and I was all ready to send the PC over to the PC Fair on Friday.I even had King Kong packed in the box and loaded into the boot of my MPV. Then a phone call came in with very sad news. My godfather who has been battling cancer for the past 6 months passed away. I immediately called my sponsor(Silverstone, Inter-Asia Tech) to cancel the delivery of King Kong on Friday.

I then rushed back to my hometown to see if I could help out in anyway for the funeral preparations. My hometown is about 1.5 hours drive away so I was preparing for a looooooooooooooooooooooooong weekend spent on the road. Anyway, got home at 1am that night and collapsed on my bed. Woke up very early on Saturday morning as my sponsor was very understanding and helpful. They decided to send someone over to my house at 9am to pick up King Kong so I wouldn't have to run around like a mad person. As it is, I was already very tired from all that running around and also sad with all those emotions running havoc. I'd just lost my father and now, just a few months later, my dear godfather too.

I went to the PC Fair on Saturday afternoon anyway coz I suddenly realised that King Kong was incomplete. I rushed over to the PC Fair after lunch and got there at about 3pm. I immediately got down to putting the finishing touch on King Kong at the Silverstone booth. A few people managed to catch me there while I was sorting out King Kong. I spent about 10 minutes there answering questions about how I built King Kong. To all my fans, I'm so sorry I couldn't spend more time there so the Silverstone fans can have a question and answer session with me. I was in a big hurry to finish up and then drive back to my hometown again. Got home at 1am that night and collapsed from exhaustion again.

Woke up early on Sunday morning so I could attend the PC Fair from 11am to 2pm. I got there at 10.40am and got stuck in the massive human traffic jam at the entrances. Lucky for me, my sponsor arranged for an Exhibitors pass which grants access to all areas and all entry and exit doors. So I proceeded to enter through a back door. Pheeeeeew, thank god I didn't have to go through that human traffic jam.I spent the next 4 hours chilling at the Silverstone booth. I have to say it was the most relaxing time I had that weekend. I really needed a rest from all that running around and those 4 hours was heaven sent. I can't think of a better way for a gadget freak like me to have a break than be surrounded by all those tech toys and PCs. I had to leave at 3pm though. Needed to go pick up my wife and kids and go back to my hometown again. That was the end of my time at the Kuala Lumpur PC Fair as it ends on Sunday night. This was the bittersweet moment. I was sad and exhausted, but I was happy to have helped Inter-Asia at the PC Fair.

I had wanted to help a Malaysian company make a big bang at the PC Fair for many years. I was getting so fed up of the KL PC Fair turning into sorta like a car boot sales kinda thing. It had degraded to such a level that there was nothing much to see or do there. The exhibitors only had 1 thing in mind and that was to sell as much hardware as possible during the PC Fair. I had stopped going to the PC Fair for the past 2 years in fact. I'd given up hope that there would be a company willing to put up a booth of international trade show standards. I have finally achieved that dream this year though. Inter-Asia Technology Sdn Bhd, managed to get a booth at last and it was gonna be something special. And it was really special. The booth they built was superb, best booth at any of the PC Fairs I've attended in many years. I am most honored to have been involved with Inter-Asia Tech at the PC Fair. I hope that King Kong and Silverstone have opened the Malaysian public's eyes. I hope they will now demand to see cutting edge technology presented at booths built to international standards instead of just going there to buy cheap stuff.

Anyway, back to the sucky weekend story. I left the PC Fair and got back to my hometown at about 6pm, Sunday. Spent an hour helping out and then left for home at 7pm as I had a dinner appointment at 8pm. Talk about hectic eh? Got home from dinner at about 1am and collapsed in bed again. Woke up early on Monday morning and drove down to my hometown to attend funeral mass at 10am. After everything was done, I got home at about 6pm, Monday. Fell asleep immediately without even taking a shower. I only woke up at 6am on Tuesday morning! Longest I've ever slept I think. That has got to be the most chaotic weekend I've experienced in my life! Total mileage covered during the weekend was about 1000km or 600 miles. And to cap off that crazy weekend, I caught a really bad flu. It's knocked me out so badly I'm only starting to have some energy to type on my PC now. Anyway, I'm still pretty tired from all that running around plus the massive flu I have now so I'll sort out the pics of the PC Fair later and post that up soon. Right now.......... I need more sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Off I go to bed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Leica D-Lux4 firmware update V1.20

The new firmware update is out and I haven't updated mine yet. Been too busy of late and just realised the firmware is available now and I guess quite a few people may be in the same boat as me and haven't realised it yet. It's supposed to improve the Auto White Balance and Auto Focus. Those of you who need the firmware and instructions, get them here-

If you liked this article or found it helpful, please check out the advertisements ya? Your support is much appreciated. :) :) :)

Leica CF22 flash

Oh wow! The CF22 flash is now available. It can be used with the Leica D-Lux 4, V-Lux 1 and Digilux 3. I've been pretty busy of late with no time to mess about with my cameras. I've been waiting impatiently for this flash to be available since I heard about it's development last year. I'll be dropping by the local shop to check it out soon.

Here's how it looks like on the camera. Nice eh??

It's now available for sale at Amazon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sepang F1, Malaysia

Phewwwwwwwww what a weekend it has been. I left my house 2 hours before the race which was scheduled to start at 5pm, Sunday. I've been doing this for a few years now and 2 hours was always more than enough to get there in time for some shopping before the race starts.

This time it was total chaos. I reached the main road outside the Sepang track at 4.15pm. Well ahead of schedule but then disaster struck. The whole area was jammed up and nobody was moving. I only found out why when I finally got into the actual parking area called PA2 which cost me rm50. The whole place had turned into a mud field. The parking area used to be an oil palm estate and the whole ground was totally waterlogged. Cars were stuck in the mud everywhere hence the massive traffic jam. People just couldn't get into the parking lots. The Sepang F1 management really should have laid down a gravel surface many years ago. They have not done this even after 11 years of hosting F1!!!!

People were getting stuck in the mud due mostly to stupid driving really. They were using hi revs and spinning the tires intead of taking it easy. I have to admit it was pretty difficult to drive on the mud though. I selected 2nd gear manually and had the aid of traction control, yet I almost got stuck at a particularly steep part of the slope. My big fat 255/35/18 rear tires didn't make life any easier. Muddy terrain needs skinny tires to cut through the mud and dig into the harder stuff beneath for traction. My big fat tires were practically floating on the surface of the mud. It was the same as driving on ice and snow actually. I got into trouble when I had to stop completely on a particularly muddy patch that was sloping steeply to the left. When it was time to move, I moved off slowly so I wouldn't spin the tires and dig into the mud but there was simply no traction at all. Intead of going up the hill, I was sliding down sideways towards the left and there was a row of cars there. My car slid to within 2 feet of the car on the left when I decided to stop or else I was gonna hit that car. I asked the 2 guys behind me to help give me a push just to get some forward motion going so I can climb up that slope without sliding sideways again. Thank god they were sensible enough to help out or all of us would have been stuck there. I didn't get their names as everyone was getting impatient to move on. Anyway, just in case you're reading this, I just wanna say thanks to the guy in the Toyota Harrier and Toyota Celica.

Anyway, after what seemed like an eternity, my wife and I finally got to sit down at the hillstand at about 5.45pm. We saw the cars go round for about 5 minutes and the heavens opened up. It was almost as if a dam had broken right above our heads. There was lightning everywhere too. Absolutely terrifying if you ask me. I got up and positioned ourselves lower down the hillstand and away from the light and radio poles, trees and all tall structures as I was worried the lightning would fry us. LOL. After that it was just a loooooooooooooooooooong wait for the restart.

We sat there in the heavy rain with nothing to do. Then the crowd erupted in cheers and laughter. There was a naked Finnish guy running around with the flag of Finland on the hillstand! He fell and slid down the wet slippery slope a few times too. I'm quite surprised that the live telecast crew missed out on this. It was a most welcome relieve from all that boredom. LOL. After that funny episode with the naked man, some european girls decided to organise a Mexican Wave and the whole C2 Hillstand turned into a giant wave. Seeing all the activity over at C2, the people on my side of the slope called C1 decided to have some activities of our own. A few european guys started wrapping themselves up in plastic sheets and started sliding down the slope. A few other people joined in and we all had a good laugh. All the fun and games lasted about 1 hour before we heard the dreaded news that the race will not be restarted. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn, we were all so dissapointed. Lucky for us, there was so much fun and laughter on our part of the hillstands. LOL.

After spending all that time and money, we only got to watch 5 minutes of F1! :( BUT............ not to worry, there was the concert by none other than Jamiroquai. We proceeded on the long walk(about 20 minutes) back to the main gates of Sepang and was told that the concert would be held outdoors at the top of a hill overlooking the main gates. We figured it would take us about 10 minutes. How wrong! It was as if we were trekking through a Vietnamese rice field bombarded by B52 bombers. My wife and I looked like rice farmers covered in mud by the time we got up the hill. LOL. It was an absolute nightmare! It took us an hour to get to the gate where the concert was being held. Another nightmare started there, they had a small little puny gate to check on F1 ticket holders as they didnt want outsiders getting a free concert. It was hell with about 20-30,000 people squeezing through that lil gate. If you were to ask me what Hell is now, I wouldn't describe it as a fiery place in the belly of middle earth. I'd just say Hell is where Sepang F1 is. LOL. Come on Sepang F1, you really need to buck up, you guys really should be a lot better at managing 100,000+ people after 11 years of F1.

Okayyyyyyy..............after all that trek through hell, it was time to have some fun. Luckily for us it was a fantastic concert. I'd estimate about 30,000 people there at least. We were all standing out in the rain waiting impatiently for Jay to appear. The concert started with some local acts. Then a foreign group called Naturally 7 came out and they were awesome. Naturally 7 doesn't use any instruments at all, just their mouths. Each of them had a specialty like bass, guitar and so on. You guys really should check them out if you've never heard of them.

Here's Naturally 7. Sorry for the poor pics, I knew the weather was gonna be horrible and decided not to bring out my nice cameras. All pics were taken with my iPhone.

Finally, Jay appeared behind the stage and started on his warm up routine. Here he is doing some warm up stretches.

Jay singing and dancing, showing off his trademark high energy dance moves. This old man can dance I tell you. He absolutely rocks. Fortunately for him it was a cold, windy, rainy night. He was telling us how hot and dehydrated he was between the songs. If it had been a typical hot, humid night, he might have passed out. LOL.

All in, I'd say it was a most entertaining day out for my wife and I. Even with all the aggro of being late for the race, the mud fields, the rain and electrical storm, the near stampede conditions, I reckon it was all worth it thanks to the Jamiroquai concert. Jay really saved the day for us.

We left the concert at about 11pm as we could feel Jay was already tiring and was about to wind down the concert. We wanted to leave a lil earlier to avoid the stampeding crowds through the mud fields again. Took about 30 minutes to walk to the car. PA2 parking area is just next to the concert area and it should have taken no more than 5 minutes in the dry. BUT.............that crazy mud field is just absolutely ridiculous to walk on. Luckily I had a few bottles of water in the car for washing up or else the interior of my car would have turned into a clay interior. All that nice supple grey leather would have turned into a brown color clay. LOL. Anyway, after getting into the car it was just a 45 minute drive home on the highway. Home sweet home.......................... NOT!

Why NOT? Coz, this is the sight that greeted me this morning. My looooooooovely car looked as if it had gone through the Paris Dakar Rally. :( Just look at the carnage. Thick, caked on mud everywhere. It not only looked like shit, it literally smelled like shit too. Boy oh boy was I gonna have fun detailing it back to it's shining glory.

Look at my poor darling.............................. :(

Luckily I have this in the garage. :)

10 minutes later all the mud was off and the car was free of Sepang's shitty mud. LOL. I still have to give it a proper shampoo wash and polish tomorrow though. All I did was spray off the mud today. Will need to wash the interior too. Lotsa mud inside even after trying wash off as much mud as we could with the 2 bottles of water we had, before getting into the car.

What an adventure it was. As usual, after all that we had gone through, my wife proclaimed "I AM NOT GOING TO SEPANG F1 WITH YOU EVER AGAIN!!!!". She says this every year. Not to worry...................... I'll charm her into going back to "Hell" with me again next year. LOL. See you again next year Sepang F1.