Post Sem 1 and the 24″ Question

Exams are over!

Mugging is over!
Mugging is over!

I just finished (4 days ago) my first semester in NUS. It has been 4 months of hard work and ups and downs but mostly things have been great. I have not seen enough of uni to make much comments but there is generally no real difference from ‘A’ level life with the exception of more freedom to make or break your sem. I think what is most important is to take modules that you like and have an interest for. I took 4 of that and enjoyed all of them. The 1 module that I took (for the sake of a sense of completion) without interest in was one that I had to drag myself through the paces in. I’m really looking forward to the next semester where I would be doing level 2000 economics modules tying up with the completion of my faculty, GEM and SS requirements. Much of my second year would then be freed up for me to focus on the deadly important level 3000 modules for economics which I hope to spread between two sems. It has been an interesting semester and I am looking forward for more of that next sem.

Holiday Plans

Design work again for the hols
Design work again for the hols

So I have about exactly a month of holidays to enjoy before the next semester. Due to my aforementioned loss of my laptop, I would be working fulltime for much of December for pocket money amongst other needs. Not much leeway for self Christmas presents which used to be a hallmark of past Christmases. Doesn’t matter much because I’m happily blessed in my current state. Besides working, there would of course be things like going out and hopefully a chalet which is still in the works.

Of course I have begun a short return to the World of Warcraft and am levelling up a new toon on another server. WoW is really ezmode in levelling compared to 3 years ago when I was slogging through with my warrior. I have a druid and paladin now and it has been a breeze so far. Not much hope of me reaching 80 by the end of this month. Depending on how sem 2 goes, I might continue playing casually as I am now doing.

The 24″ Monitor Crave

One day... After I upgrade the GFX
One day... After I upgrade the GFX

I think the largest IT crave that I have had for months is that of a 24 inch LCD screen. My 22 inch is doing great but the extra resolution offered by a 1920×1200 screen would boost productivity and entertainment by a lot. It is hard to look back after being able to put up 2 full sized A4 documents next to each other on a single screen. I don’t understand why people get the 1920×1080 24inch screens handicapping themselves of 120pixels vertically.
I was really tempted to get a 24″ at the end of this year but would put plans on hold due to various reasons most of which is down to my graphics card.
I am running a 8800GT which is 3 years old but still a real gem of a card nevertheless. I am holding out for a DX11 card be it ATI’s 5800 series or nVidia’s yet to be announced GT300 series. Looking for a really good value card like the 8800GT has been. I have not seen any card from the GT200 series that match peformance for value in the way the 8800GT has done. With both companies facing wafer problems and prices being driven up due to the lack of supply and increasing demand, it would be smarter to hold out for a DX11 card next year when hopefully nVidia enters the fray and ATI begins its price drop strategy. Whichever the case, a 24 inch screen has to come after a graphics card upgrade and at current status that has to wait due to industry conditions.

Cloud Services

The cloud is upon us
The cloud is upon us

During the mugging period, I took special interest in cloud services during my times of procrastination. Here are some of the tools I use mainly for two roles – syncing and online backup.

Google Calendar Sync
Extremely useful if you have two or more computers running outlook and you want your calendar in sync. You can also access your calendar online via google if needed. Works extremely efficiently.

Syncing Firefox bookmarks with Internet Explorer is really easy with this. Better still Xmarks stores with encryption your saved passwords in Firefox. Xmarks more or less serves as my Firefox and IE backup in terms of bookmarks and passwords.

A gem of a file syncing program. You get a 2GB account with unlimited bandwidth and a maximum single file size upload of 350MB which is more than enough even for my huge PSD and AI files for my design work. Every computer that you install dropbox on and link to your account has its dropbox contents sync. The best part about this problem is using dropbox in tandem with your friends. Files are quickly shared and anyone who updates the file will cause the updated file to be propagated throughout so everyone has the latest updated version. I use it more for file sharing rather file backup but it has been performing impressively so far. If you wish for more storage to begin your account with, drop me a PM on facebook and I can help you start off with 2.25GB instead of 2.0 =)

That’s all for now and I hope to enjoy my hols and make it productive one.