03 June 2006

Coffee!

I will be in town later. So, if you want to join me for a coffee, do give me a call!

Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

The Strategy & Tactics magazine

I have bought and read Strategy & Tactics on a regular basis for some years. When Borders first brought them in in the mid-nineties, it was a godsend. It became easily available. Previously, only the now defunct Leisurecraft at Orchard Point carried it.

Strategy & Tactics is a magazine dealing in military history and military affairs, often seen from the perspective of conflict modellers, and wargamers. It has its roots in commercial wargaming in the seventies. The magazine existed in two forms. The newsstand edition is the normal edition sold in bookstores while the hobbyist edition includes a wargame or conflict simulation which modelled an aspect of a battle or war featured. The hobbyist edition is three times the price of a newsstand edition.

The magazine brings back a lot of memories.

I recall eyeing them over twenty years ago. At that time, the price of an individual issue (hobbyist edition) was unaffordable for a teenager.

Of late, in my opinion, the writing has been inadequate and there are glaring mistakes. The topics covered have been rather uninteresting in my eyes, for instance, the First World War, American Civil War, American Revolution, the Wild West, etc.

The depth is basically alright for for most laypeople. Somehow, I have been reading far too much. As such, the material in the magazine has become redundant. I think I have bought my last issue. S&T is no longer adequate. The orders of battle is not detailed enough though it is interesting to an extent. The tables of organisation are also not enough.

Over the years, I have dropped 'Military History', 'Military History Quarterly' (MHQ) and 'Command'. I do pick up the occasional issue of World Air Power Journal or Warship.

It's too bad that industry magazines and journals such as Janes Defence Weekly, Aviation Week & Space Technology and the Franco-German Military Techology are not easily available and accessible. Pity.

I do heavily recommend the informative Strategy & Tactics to people with an interest in military affairs and history though I will be ceasing my purchase of them.

02 June 2006


Saint Etienne 'Nice Price'

1. Nothing Can Stop Us (alternative vocal)
2. 7 Ways 2 Love (Sarah vocal, original white label)
3. Who Do You Think You Are (original mix, Debsey vocal)
4. Hobart Paving (alternative single mix)
5. Like A Motorway (demo)
6. Former Lover (single mix)
7. Western Wind (demo)
8. Angel (original mix)
9. Burnt Out Car (original mix)
10. Sylvie (alternative single mix)
11. Madeleine (alternative mix)
12. Lose That Girl (demo)
13. Heart Failed (In The Back Of A Taxi) (demo)
14. How We Used To Live (Berlin rough mix)
15. Milk Bottle Symphony (alternative mix)
16. Goodnight (demo)

Good ol' Colin bought a few copies of this CD and gave me one! Woo! A limited Saint Etienne CD only given to fan club people.

The songs are not new but it's pretty good. I liked it more than the current album.
Apple goofs up yet again! Help! I am stuck in this MacLift!

First the flaming iBook. Now this, the malfunctioning elevator. Colin just sent this a short while ago. Hilarious!

The exerpt:

Not eight days after Apple's new flagship store was unveiled, Stevie J.'s fantastical glass elevator began acting a bit wonky, first opening and shutting its doors, then finally sealing in its passengers on the upper level. Apple store employees worked their hardest to release the bunch, but eventually the NYPD had to be called; the elevator's hydraulic system had to be drained, and the confined group was let out in the store's bowels (i.e. lower level).


Help! Help! The MacLift sucks! Save us! Save us!

Perhaps, if you got into a Linux lift instead! Hahahaha.


Source:
http://www.engadget.com/2006/05/29/jobs-glass-elevator-locks-in-group-customers/

01 June 2006

More images of Upper Thomson Road

Taken with a 640x480 camera on a mobile phone. Not the clearest of images.

iBook going up in flames!

Hilarious! The new reports of an iBook going up in flames! WOO HOO! Hahahahah. Too funny.

From WCCO.Com:

"I mean, it was five minutes and (the computer) was in flames," Cindy Brown said. "The computer burst into flames. It doesn't seem real that you would have a fire in a computer. We all could have died, and the house could have burned down."

Source: http://wcco.com/consumer/local_story_148150249.html

From Daily Tech:

Quality control at Apple continues to go down hill

Reports are surfacing that laptop batteries have become a cause for concern. A report on CBS-affiliate WCCO talks about how a boy's Apple G4 iBook burst into flames. Dave Brown, an 11-year old boy left his iBook in the living room only to find that the carpet beneath the laptop had started to melt when he returned. In fear, his parents took the laptop outside only to find it in flames several minutes later. Other users on Apple's discussion boards have reported that their power adapters have caught on fire and even the FireWire ports on some units.

Source: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2607


And the best bit of all:

Apple has not responded to questions about its batteries or quality control issues. There was also no feedback on whether or not the organized call center flood actually achieved a tangible reaction from Apple.

Source: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2607
Typical hot sunny day in Singapore

Image taken at the Thomson Road area. The sunshine was blinding earlier.
Useful words to know

squeal
v. intr.To give forth a loud shrill cry or sound. Slang. To turn informer; betray an accomplice or secret.

tattle·tale
n. One who tattles on others; an informer or talebearer.
adj. Revealing; telltale.

self-important
adj : having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance out of overbearing pride; "an arrogant official"; "arrogant claims"; "chesty as a peacock"

Source: Dictionary.com

31 May 2006

Mister Paradox's Manifesto

As Mister Paradox proclaimed his Technocratic Manifest, the world trembles for he has arrived. Mister Paradox is a friend on DuneMUD and he is a scribe of impossible visions:

Transmissions received over the conscious lines display the crux of our future. Translucent bits betraying prophetic visions of ominous proverbs yet to come. The once inert empire of mankind brought to its knees by the proliferation of an unstoppable technocratic manifest. The dawn of a new age of religion; the beauty of the baud fueling transformations. The law of man becomes archaic, circumvented by the undeniable truth of the machine.

Fearing reprisal we built the power to deny the gods dominion of our souls. Now morality squandered, Ragnarök labours towards unforgiving, scarcely held back by the monoliths of glass and steel, cable and wire. We find ourselves derelict and naked in the beginnings of the end.

He could easily be writing lyrics for a Front Line Assembly album or other industrial/ebm albums. It's great fun to read his prose.
Sands House

Do you remember the old Sands House at Clemeaneau Avenue? The non-descript concrete block which used to house the headquarters of the boy scouts and girl guides in Singapore? I recall visiting it in the seventies when I was still in primary school. I wonder when the building was torn down. It was probably when I was out of the country in the mid to late eighties.

Things change. The landscape changes with it. The Singapore of the seventies and eighties was a heady place of great changes and great development.

'John The Revelator / Lilian' Depeche Mode

Tracklisting:

1. John the Revelator
2. Lilian

Track listing limited edition:

1. John The Revelator - Dave Is In The Disco Tiefschwarz Remix
2. John The Revelator - Murk Mode Remix
3. John The Revelator - UNKLE Re Construction
4. John The Revelator - Boosta Club Remix
5. John The Revelator - Tiefschwarz Dub

The last double A-side single from 'Playing the Angel' will be released in a week's time. 'John the Revelator' is the weakest track on the CD with its horrid blues-tint. Ack. If only Gore would get over his horrid blues fixation.

Naming this a double A-side is pointless as there are no remixes for 'Lilian'.

And the cover. The cover design is simply atrocious. It's unmemorable. It's not striking. It's gaudy yet dull...

The cover design for the singles and the album of 'Playing the Angel' is up there with the worst of Depeche Mode covers, namely 'Ultra' and the singles.

It's really too bad.

30 May 2006

Run, Run, Run

I went for a run at Toa Payoh Stadium this evening. My pace was brisk and the run was exhilarating. 2.6 km.
No Blogspot for China?

I have three friends attempting to access my blog from China over a period of several months. And they could not. It would appear that Blogger or Blogspot is blocked there.

I wonder why.

German Games for Sale

I have too little time to play some of the games I bought over the years. As such, I will be selling them off. Here are some of the titles. I will be pricing them soon.

Fearsome Floors (Finstere Flure) (German edition)
Carcarssonne: The Castle (German edition)
Too many Cooks
Feuerschlucker
Station Manager
Wings of War
Finke Finger*
Employee of the Month
Intrige
Wyatt Earp (German edition)*

Most of them were played once or twice. Condition? They should be excellent.I have way too many unplayed games and way too many games which I have only touched once.

I will also be selling my set of Dungeon & Dragons Online (DDO) soon.

*Brand new.
Weird Birdy!

Darth Birdy has turned completely weird as evidenced on his blog entry. Heheh.

Here is an exerpt:

"Manipulates another screen showing Wolverine having sex with Jean Grey

* soft moans and groans can be heard in the background *

The Architect muttters to himself, “Now that would be a much satisfying outcome. She would probably not be the vengeful Phoenix had Wolverine given her a good one!”

“Just who the hell are you?!” Frodo finally managed. "



Hahahahaha.
Lost Identity

Muhammed Bilal did his M.A in Diplomacy and Strategic Studies, securing a position in Punjab University Lahore. He offers an interesting anti-Israeli and anti-Indian worldview in his blog. His views of the Arab-Israeli Wars and Indo-Pakistani Wars are expressed in a set of blog (Lost Identity) entries in his blog:

http://mbik14.blogspot.com/

One may not agree with his views but they do make for interesting reading and also understanding the mindset in the Pakistani elite. Possibly even that of the strategic studies group there.

Recommended.

29 May 2006

Prices of Wargames and German games in London

I have done some research. The prices of wargames and German games in London and for that matter, the UK, are impossible.

The prices are already high in Singapore. With the VAT in the UK, the prices would be astronomical.
Lothlorien

Once upon a time, in 1993-1996, we had an online community involving 1200-28800 baud modems. Hayes, US Robotics, etc.

It was a community of door games, forums and more.

The Lothlorien BBS* was one such forum where I made many friends. It arose from the migration of people from another, Sheikinah Rivendell which was governed by a self-righteous Morgan de Tyrant. This new forum, hosted by the odd Mister Marc Tan (aka Celeborn, Elrond, Well-Preserved Elf) who started it for not so obvious reasons, had a theme based on the forest kingdom of the elves in the Lord of the Rings.

Lothlorien soon thrived. Friendships were made. The numbers increased. People came and went and there were some interesting discourses.

Rivalries abound through petty politics After a few years, through the efforts of one silly and petty individual, Lothlorien soon fell in flames. Most of the denizens of the place left and maintained their friendships, meeting in real life, organising many gaming and dinner events. The sad individual who wronged many and instigated this was left to his own devices. He thought he had triumphed but he never did have the whole picture, living in his well and instead losing all his friends. Anyway, no one really cares about him now.

Now, Mister Darth Grievous has kindly restarted Lothlorien. There were several previous sad and lame attempts at revival but they died prematurely. Perhaps, this new start may be different.

Anyway, if you were formerly from Lothlorien BBS, or you were not, but are interested in discourses of a different nature, you are welcomed to join our little forum, our little community.

Do join us.

28 May 2006

Red Orchestra OstFront 41-45

Both Wei Yi and Brian (Grand Admiral) are very well-informed. Wei Yi pointed out Red Orchestra a few weeks back. Brian mentioned it last night.

An extract from the website:

Fight in the theatre of war that changed the world forever. Battle alongside your compatriots on some of the most inhospitable environments of the Eastern Front in Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 RO places you in the most realistic WWII first-person multi-player combat to date on the PC, allowing the player to fight through some of the most intense combat of the war. You can play as infantry, using a wide range of infantry weapons, or crew one of the many armoured combat vehicles available in the game, from half-tracks all the way through to the most famous German and Soviet heavy tanks. You can engage the enemy with everything from your bayonet at close quarters up to the massive 122mm cannon on the Soviet IS-2. And if that isn't enough, find an officer and a radio to call in thunderous artillery strikes to shake the enemy loose.
Key Features


-Fight intense battles on 13 authentic Eastern Front combat environments
-Crew 14 fully realized vehicles with highly detailed exterior and interior models
-Choose from 28 authentic infantry weapons
-Full 32 player online Multiplayer Support
-Unique Setting – the only FPS to focus on the WWII Russian Front
-Engage enemy tanks at 800 metres and more with the Simulation-level armored vehicle combat
-Fight the full range of combined arms infantry and vehicle combat in detailed environments based on real-world data, from city-centre to deeply rural settings
-Realistic bullet and projectile ballistics will make you duck for cover
-Coordinate strategies with your team-mates via Voice Over IP
-Authentic Immersive Sound FX and 3d Positional Sound System
-3d “Iron Sights” and unique 3d scope system
-True weapon deployment system including resting rifles on support
-Historically accurate artillery system
-Distance-based sound system dynamically creates the battle ambiance
-Advanced player movement system featuring diving over obstacles and leaning
-Custom 8 way animation system for highly realistic player animations


They have gotten me interested. They are most evil. I saw the game at Sim Lim Square a week ago. WOW.
A Cruise in the Admiral's Landspeeder 280

After picking up a huge stack of Warhammer novels and short stories, the Renegade Anarchist and I received a communique from Admiral Nippon.

The Renegade Anarchist Wilson and I made first contact with the Admiral at the Starbucks Cantina last evening and were later at Mr Bean's* later. In the pow-wow that followed, Mister Anarchist spoke of his bullpup weapon and his blackpowder guns. Insults were hurled, the Doctor of Liverpool slandered and more.

Following that, we were given a demonstration of the Admiral's prowess later when we were cruising in his Landspeeder 280 later. Thankfully, no jawas, bengs, lians were harmed. Only the dispensing of a huge amount of white smoke or fumes.

We kissed the ground, and observed the sanctity of human life at Wheelock Place later. We were at Borders to pore over ancient secrets while the Admiral made a jump to Geylang Centauri or some other system.

Then, the Anarchist and I had drinks at Blanga King at Liat Towers before calling it a night.

*Good choice of establishment. There were a few cute chicks at neighbouring tables. WOO!
Kitten on the Newspapers

The last image from a month ago. She's still as playful as ever, if not more so.