A Quick Update

What it looks like when I write.

Chrome & Chromium: What it looks like when I write.

The past few weeks have been busy yet rather exciting weeks for me. Here is a quick update. This year the site has moved from a ‘once every two days’ schedule to a daily update. There is always so much to write and share and I hope the posts have been interesting and enjoyable. My priority for this site has always been to write as in depth as possible of topics and issues that I have been thinking about. As such, each editorial styled post you see is often the result of 30-45 minutes of writing after a few days of thinking the topic through. I have taken two short breaks in the past 3 weeks because of a very busy schedule.

 

Studies

I have finally cleared the last busy periods of my final semester in NUS. The fourth year has been a mixture of deepening my knowledge and tackling difficult modules. Mid terms are over and so are most of the projects, assignments and presentations.

A big highlight for me this semester is a paper I am writing with the help of Prof Shin Jang Sup. He has been a great guide in tuning my research focus. This paper is a labor of love for a topic that is of personal interest. It is about the dynamics of leadership in the computing industry. I should be able to share more about it once the formalities of submission is done. I have never enjoyed an assignment to this degree and spending time rigorously going through 60+ years of computing history was a blast. It just feels right that this is my final academic paper.

 

Work

Besides that, there are two major non academic projects that have been going on as well. The first has undergone a soft launch. EventsCentral is a Singapore’s first portal focusing purely on the events industry. The idea is to allow event organizers to find everything they need all at one place. Over forty companies have come on board and it has been an interesting  journey so far. You may wish to check it out if you need professional help that fit your event needs perfectly.

The second project is still under wraps and hopefully it can be pushed out by end April. I will share more about it when the time is right.

Just like I did for my 2011 internship at MTI, I have returned to SingHealth twice to assist my colleagues in completing projects. I had a wonderful time at SingHealth in my 2012 internship and it is always great to return and work with them. All projects have been completed and so this leaves me with a little more time for myself.

Moving forward, I am planning how I can execute an aforementioned platform that tracks journalists so that users can personally evaluate the quality of news sources. I hope to be able to find a more effective method to collate data daily. It is the extraction part that I have not figured how that can be done. I think this project will be a useful tool for research and analysis of current affairs based projects. It will be a free and open service. As such, I hope to find a very efficient manner of executing it.

 

Tech

I have been itching to change my smartphone basically because my One X’s battery life has gone from awesome to just as bad as my former iPhone 4. That is a very significant drop. My One X was able to easily do 1.5 to 2 days worth of battery life. It’s now somewhat closer to 12-14 hours. It is at this point that I wish HTC would make a phone with a removable battery. I don’t think I will spring for the Galaxy S4. Maybe the Note 3 or a new Nexus would make a good fit. I do want to try out Windows Phone but the options at hand now are just not good enough.

Tablet wise, I am waiting for Google IO to see what Android has to offer. Else, I will be waiting for the new iPad Mini so that I can get the old one at a lower price. A super hi res display is over rated. Trust me, my eyesight is shockingly still 6/6. Every mobile phone at home is Android based and it will be good to have a mix of Windows, Android and iOS devices. As I wrote last year, I think the iPad Mini is the best iOS device. An iPad Mini and a Windows 8 convertible is on the wish list. None of which seems to be good buys now.

On the desktop front, Haswell still feels so far away and frankly my four year old i7 920 is still kicking along really well. I have no reason to upgrade it besides the fact that it is a literally hot chip. I am running out of space on my 256GB Crucial C300 SSD though, hopefully a good value 512GB option will be available soon. Besides that, I have nearly nothing to upgrade to in this area. Bumping up my RAM from 6GB to 12GB was quite a good move. Also, I am still enjoying great upload speeds on fiber internet since end 2012.

 

Gaming

Unlike the first 2.5 months of this year, I finally have some time to play some games. No, I have not returned to WoW and I don’t foresee that coming in the future either. WoW is just such a time sink that requires daily commitment. I predominantly play SimCity, FIFA 13 and Team Fortress 2.

SimCity is a great game. I know it has receive a lot of criticism of its online DRM and its wonky servers but the game has been such a good simulation that the economist and planner in me is completely hooked. The cities I built are actually good representations of my personal style. Nothing exciting, a stable economy and a good stream of funds. I’ve hopped around and seen my friends built really crazy cities. Maybe I’ll try that when I’m more familiar with the game.

Thanks to SimCity’s launch issues, EA offered a free game and I picked BF3 basically because one of my closer nephews is a huge fan of it. I just finished the single player campaign (I know BF3’s SP is rubbish but I needed to orientate myself) and hope to jump into some co-op or multi player when time permits.

FIFA 13 and Team Fortress 2 are great evergreen games when you need a short break. 10 minutes? 20 minutes? No problem. Great stress relievers that allow you to snap back to work when the break period is done.

You can add me on Origin (davejunia) or Steam (Vontella).

 

Arsenal

I watch every league game the Gunners play. It has been a season of ups and downs. I think we have a good squad and there is a good balance in the team. The problem this time really seems to be Wenger. He needs to change his idea of a fluid attacking and often suicidal team.

This team is balanced and has complementing strengths and weaknesses. If he gets his tactics right, we should see a more solid run of results. Nothing flashy, just consistent and efficient. Hopefully the old dog will learn some new tricks.

The games I have enjoyed this season are those against Liverpool (A), West Ham (A & H), Tottenham (H), Newcastle (H), Sunderland (A) and Swansea (A). These games are those where we played a solid brand of football. Not all of them are high scoring matches. In fact, I find big scorelines to be deceptive. The game is over when the gap goes beyond a 3 goal margin anyways. Most of the midweek cup games are at like 3:45 am Singapore time and I do have early lessons on Thursdays which make catching these almost impossible.

There is always a benefit when you watch Arsenal. You never really know what they are going to produce. Shocking today, awesome tomorrow. What a roller coaster.

 

A ‘Short’ Update

Well, this turned out to be way longer than I liked it to be. Another sub 1.3-1.5k post again. I really love writing and I hope you enjoy reading these thoughts as well.

Till tomorrow’s post!



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