First 2010 Post… In March

Busy busy year. Had no time to update and frankly been squeezed out in every way possible way. It has been an extremely quick moving year and I’ll attempt to round up every less sensitive information around me, right here.

Studies – Semester 2’s Summary

Back to school and 4 economics modules
Back to school and 4 economics modules

I’m taking 5 modules as usual, 4 economic centric modules (3 core + 1 elective) and 1 elective module to cover my final faculty exposure requirement. Basically, the modules I’m taking are:

  • EC2101 – Microeconomics 1 [1 Bid Point: Preallocated]
  • EC2102 – Macroeconomics 2 [1 Bid Point: Preallocated]
  • EC2303 – Foundations for Econometrics [1 Bid Point]
  • GEK1018 – Economic Issues in the Developing World [300+ Bid Points]
  • EL1101E – The Nature of Language [1 Bid Point]

It’s hard to compare the workload of this sem to the last. Last sem I was highly preoccupied with covering content for GE1101E and SN1101E which yielded very positive results for me. This sem, none of my modules are content heavy but rather concept and practice heavy. If no one has told any ‘A’ level / poly kid who want to be an economics major – Economics in NUS is a whole bunch of Mathematics. I have never manipulated more formulas and graphs as I have done right now. It’s frankly not that hard, comes across as a little shocking in the first few weeks but it gets much better in the end. EC2101 is really basic, EC2102 is made to sound ‘cheem’ but its doable, EC2303 is ‘A’ Level stats which I did not do in my ‘A’ Levels but that’s where I’m catching up now. GEK1018 is a god sent module if you are updated on current economic issues and have studied a particular region in the world marked as developing. That’s where I have reaped the benefits of SN1101E. Very good complimentary module. EL1101E has nothing to do with English but linguistics on its own. It studies the structure both in letter and voice of any language, pretty interesting but can be technical at times.

So here I am facing my mid term exams and I will be doing 3 of them (EC2101, EC2102, EL1101E) in these 2 weeks. Hopefully I can do well in all of them. I’ve cleared some projects, etc so I’m looking to clear this to get some breathing space.

My modules are basically afternoon modules so I have avoided the 8am fiasco of last sem’s mathematics slots. I still do have an 8am slot but the rest of the days allow me to have some late mornings. Sleep. Damn bloody deprived.

IT – Screens and More Screens + Thoughts on Fermi

Add the Samsung T260HD...
Add the Samsung T260HD to Dell's Ultrasharp 19" and a future Fermi card...

Have a pretty much dived into the display area early this year and trust me it is the greatest factor in increasing productivity when using the comp.

First up, I got a Samsung T260HD for a really low price which offered a 1920 x 1200 resolution, a big upgrade over my Samsung 2232GW (1680 x 1050). 2 documents side by side is great. I don’t game much and frankly although people swear they have a greater gaming experience with a bigger screen, I don’t feel much of a change but yet again I have no time to fully immerse myself in it. Productivity and work wise. Awesome.

Second, I took my 6 year old Dell UltraSharp 19″ monitor and rotated it to portrait orientation (1024 x 1280). Put it to the left of my T260HD and voila, even better productivity. I’m getting news feeds, updates, social networking on that screen together with running Outlook there while doing my main work on the T260HD. Again no gaming gains because I’m not running a dual screen gaming setup, but productivity wise… awesome. (And free!)

Fermi is finally going to be released in end March 2010. About time too. It has been an insane wait for nVidia’s challenge to ATI’s 5xxx series. My graphics card is a good ol’ 8800GT (3-4 years old now) which holds up really well even now running 2 monitors. The G92 infrastructure is nothing short of impressive but nVidia’s GT200 series have not been able to better innovate on it. You get increased clocks, more cuda cores, better memory (and more) but not a quantum leap. I’m hoping Fermi does different. I skipped the entire GT200 lineup due to that. Save up the cash for a better product. ATI’s 5870 is tempting but I’m waiting on Fermi to deliver a good challenge to ATI and I’m looking to see how their product performs with the premise of better drivers, PhyX and Cuda support. Hope my 8800GT hangs on for a wee bit more. Most of my tech friends have warned me that 8800GTs are dying at the moment as it has been around for a bit too long in a tech cycle.

Football – Trauma and Topsy Turvy-ness

Get Well Soon Ramsey
Get Well Soon Ramsey

This season must be the most exciting season for neutrals. There is no runaway leader at this point. Arsenal as much as they have been patchy this season – can still challenge for the title at this stage because Chelsea and Man Utd have not been consistent on their end. More upsets, more underdog wins mean only 3 points separate the top 3. The race for 4th place is also interesting with Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham close in that department. Interesting topsy turvy season. Anything can happen.

On a sadder note, Aaron Ramsey suffered what is the worst injury of the EPL this season so far with a broken leg. It looks like a clean break of 2 bones at the calf area and many football fans feel for him. He’s only 19 and its hard to say what the long term effects are. Arsenal fans took to him because of his talent and more importantly his feverish work ethic and how he was perfectly balanced in both offense and defense. The good thing is he seems to be keeping well and the support of both the team and the fans have encouraged him to quickly recover and be back on the pitch. You can follow him on Twitter – @aaronramsey1. I’ve verified with trusted UK sources and yes, that is his account for sure. I won’t label Shawcross as a villain but come on, don’t go down 2 footed with a high sliding tackle and say – ‘I never meant that’. Learn to control your legs a bit maybe? Recklessness. Gah.

CNY – Taking too much time

Tiger Year - Where has the time gone?
Tiger Year - Where has the time gone?

This year marks the longest preparation and celebration of Chinese New Year for my family. The spring cleaning of the entire house took nearly a month. We cleaned out like nuts and scrubbed nearly every surface available. Then came the celebrations, we had like extra visits to our place and that means (pre cleaning, preparation, hosting, post cleaning). Trust me its tiring as hell and although it is great to meet relatives and old friends, it was draining on my end and it affected my time for other priorities a lot.

NUS’s pretty deviously placed the term break on the CNY holiday week. Really a lot of time lost which again explains why the early 2 months of this year have come and gone so quickly.


Some site building..
Some site building..

I will be updating more frequently but before I go, here’s a shout out to 2 small sites I’ve done for corporate customers. Have a look and send me some feedback. Frances Beauty Clinic & Will Events.

Till then, take care.