18 November 2006

KV-1


The KV-1 (Klement Voroshilov) first saw action in Finland in 1939-40. In 1941, when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, there were about 600 KV-1 and KV-2 heavy tanks. These almost invulnerable tanks were universally feared by the Germans when a number rampaged through German forces while shrugging off multiple hits from anti-tank weapons.


Armed with a 76.2mm gun and 75mm of armour at the gracis and 90mm of armour at the turret front, individual KV-1 tanks wrecked havoc with the German advance to Leningrad and were instrumental in the defence of that northern city.

Tank Museum, Bovington: July 2006 Posted by Picasa

17 November 2006

Ram Kangaroo Armoured Personnel Carrier


The Kangaroo armoured personnel carrier was converted from a Ram tank and was used by the British in Western Europe in 1944-45.

Tank Museum, Bovington: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
New Box Art for EastFront and WestFront

The second edition sets of EastFront and WestFront from Columbia Games have new box art. They are not particularly inspiring but they are refreshing. The old box art were dull and forgettable. I think Columbia Games can increase sales with better box art and bad box art simply does a game a disfavour.

Meanwhile, I have not checked to see the differences between the first and second edition of EastFront. I have played the first edition several times and thought it was a reasonable strategic approximation of the front and if the opportunity arises, I will play it again. As for the second edition, I don't know.
Alastair Reynolds 'Century Rain'

What's the deal with the loser gumshoe who has to make a difficult decision and takes on a seemingly 'innocuous' case?

How cliched can a novel get? Fedora-wearing, world-weary gumshoe and a pretty damsel in distress? 1950s Paris? All that jazz...

Highly disappointing yarn. UGH.

16 November 2006

Player caught botting on DuneMUD

History for chat channel.
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:35] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:36] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:36] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:36] Mreh : Verdict?
[09:36] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:36] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:36] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:36] Sophischo outputs --[ i dont bot at all ]---
[09:36] Botzy : he doesn't bot..:)
[09:36] Marlboro peers at Sophischo.
[09:36] Slash spanks Sophischo on the butt.
[09:36] Mreh : Seriously. Verdict?
[09:36] Botzy : bann
[09:36] Mreh agrees with Botzy.
[09:36] Mreh : He's had enough chances.
[09:36] Botzy smiles evilly.
[09:37] Marlboro : Previously caught!
[09:37] Slash : let him bot my workroom with a vaccum clener ^^
[09:37] Mreh : Everyone say goodnight to Sophischo.
[09:37] Mreh lafs at Slash.
[09:37] Botzy waves happily at Sophischo.
[09:37] Botzy : sandworm?
[09:37] Slash : n8 sophischo :)
[09:38] Botzy : like old days?
[09:38] Mreh grins evilly at Botzy.
[09:38] Mreh fucking lafs hard.
[09:38] Marlboro : This is a classic. it goes on my blog.
[09:38] Mreh : He's still running his Prisoner script in the desert. S, s, s,
s, s, s, s...
[09:39] Mreh : Ooh, he stopped
[09:39] Mreh waits patiently.

[DUNE BROADCAST MESSAGE FROM Mreh]
Goodbye, Sophischo. Have fun wherever you decide to bot next.
[END BROADCAST MESSAGE AT Thu Nov 16 09:37:59 2006]

[chat] Mreh waves happily at Sophischo.

Your hearer echoes:Sophischo (40) just died to A High-Ranked Harkonnen Officer!!-
Your hearer echoes:Sophischo (39) just died to A High-Ranked Harkonnen Officer!!-
Your hearer echoes:Sophischo (38) just died to A High-Ranked Harkonnen Officer [lightly scratched]!!

[chat] Mreh : Still nothing.
[chat] Mreh sighs.
[chat] Mreh : Good night, Sophischo.

Sophischo who cheated was not a first time offender. He cheated previously and he cheated again tonight. I think Mister Mreh will ban him.

Returning the last 2 punishments for Sophischo:

Moron Logged by Action Reaction Time/DateSophischo Mreh He was found I've banished him, Thu Nov 16 botting. Again. due to multiple 09:37:272006 Salusa Prisoners are repeat offenses. not for botting!Sophischo Mreh Caught botting in Killed twice and Wed Sep 06 Elecran. suspended for two 15:22:022006 weeks.
Night Scene: Specialists' Shopping Centre


An old landmark at Orchard Road, the Specialists' Shopping Centre was probably named due to the number of specialists (doctors) housed on the upper floors. This shopping centre is over thirty years of age.



Across the road, the entrance to Emerald Hill, once a quiet place of dwelling for the Peranankan. Today, part of it is partially a tourist area with numerous pubs and restaurants filled with American tourists.



Another view of the old classic. Posted by Picasa
Growing up


When she was a week or two old...



Two or three months old, and hiding in her basket.



Now, a mean predator, prowling on trees. Growl! Growl! Posted by Picasa
Guy Mark I Armoured Car


101 Guy Mark I armoured cars were built and a number saw action in France in 1940. The Guy Mark I was armed with a 15mm Besa or Vickers 12.7mm or .303 or 7.92 machine gun.

Tank Museum, Bovington: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
The Northern Crusades


I first read of the northern crusades when I read one of those Osborne children's books on the Middle Ages when I was eight or nine and was intrigued. The book described a grim land of lightless, dense forests where pitiless knights of the Teutonic Order fought savage pagans. The raids and skirmishes were relentless and merciless where the captured were burnt alive in their armour.

Since, I live in a now globalised society influenced by ever present Anglo-Saxon universalist values being replaced steadily (maybe insidiously to some) by a fostered and heavily enforced set of manufactured Asian Values, the history taught in the public schools probably have little if no mention of the crusades in the Baltic because the educators here probably deemed the topic as having little or no utility in our utilitarian and technocratic society. I don't know.'The Northern Crusades' by Eric Christiansen is a fascinating account of the rather unknown crusades in the East. I read that a few days back. Over the weekend, I picked up two references by Stephen Turnbull on the castles and fortresses of the Teutonic Order.



One of the key points made was that the economic gains made in the crusade might not necessarily be there as the Baltic region was a land of long winters with little time for growing crops despite the presence of the Hanseatic League. The inherent structure of the Teutonic Order, the Swordbrothers (Livonian Brothers of the Sword or Militia of Christ of Livonia) and the Order of Dobrzyń (The Prussian Cavaliers of Jesus Christ or Brothers of Dobrin) did allow campaigning in this hostile land.

The new religious orders were able to impose their will upon Prussia and Livonia for over two centuries. However, pressure from Muscovy, Poland and Luthuania soon ensured their demise.



These two volumes from Osprey Publishing on the castles and fortresses of the Teutonic Order have splendid photo references and illustrations and was of great assistance in visualising the period.


Strangely, there seems to be two covers for the second book.

15 November 2006

SdKfz 251/1 Hanomag


The SdKfz 251/1 was a medium armoured personnel carrier which played a large role in German armoured formations. Despite images of hordes of blond-haired Teutonic Panzer Grenadiers leaping from numerous Hanomags in popular culture, the reality was rather different, the German military was not as mechanised as the British or US Army. The German military of the Second World War was an organisation that was heavily dependent on horses and many Panzer Grenadiers were transported on lorries.

With the SdKfz 251/1, a combined arms doctrine was evolved. The infantry could finally keep up with the tanks. Thus, the SdKfz 251 soon became the mount of the Panzer Grenadiers.

Throughout the war, many variants of the SdKfz 251 were then built for a variety of requirements including flamethrower, rocket launching, anti-tank variants.

Tank Museum, Bovington: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
Tropical Thunderstorm


A typical thunderstorm. I was in town today for a few meetings. It was pouring, raining cats and dogs. Posted by Picasa
She's on a tree


She's up to mischief, hoping to ensnare a bird or insect.


This time, it is a bee of some sort.


She sits observing. Posted by Picasa
Kuoby is Back!

AK says:
SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Yikes!
AK says:
desperately clearing email

AK says:
too much

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Many curses?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
And messages like Good Riddance?

AK says:
if you say so SC!

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
My friend wants me to illustrate his D&D book.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Heh

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
How do you obtain a degree in photography?

AK says:
you study for it

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
And what then?

AK says:
then you do stuff lah

AK says:
work

AK says:
take assignments

AK says:
you can do different types of photography

AK says:
i specialised in photojournalism

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
You need a degree for that?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Taking kiddie porno pictures?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I have a blog post celebrating your return.

AK says:
my uni was one of the top journalism schools in australia

AK says:
shit my connect is bad

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I thought you bought your degree?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
From the fish and chip shop?

AK says:
listen mate, i'm coming back to singapore to shut yer pie hole

AK says:
mischan

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Whoa!

AK says:
i knew it, Whoa! you're full of horse shit

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Heh.

AK says:
ok mate

AK says:
gonna log off, my internet link is unstable. catch you another time!

He's back. At least on MSN Messenger.

14 November 2006

Run

I went for a short run this evening at the Botanic Gardens. I ran about three and a half kilometres or so.
A11 Infantry Tank Mark I Matilda


The A11 Matilda I Infantry Tank saw section in France 1940 and was almost immune to German anti-tank guns of that period. However, the Matilda I was only armed with a .5 Vickers or .303 Vickers machine gun, limiting its hitting power.

Tank Museum, Bovington: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
Vengeance

I'm not one for vengeance. I find little sense in revenge and I don't understand the yearning for it. I have been wronged by a few people over the years and my friends and enemies have wondered why I haven't bothered with revenge. A few did mistake that for weakness but they don't understand that I don't get pleasure in avenging a past wrong and I see it as a zero-sum game.

Some time this year, I heard of a dastardly act of vengeance. It was a savage deed which had required forethought and almost cost the life of the victim. Fortunately the injuries were most superficial. Then, came the drama. The acting. The pretense. And the unmasking. It was uncovered that the act was planned and staged. Finally, the cover-up. It was just astounding. If the injuries weren't nonexistent, then, there would be consequences and questions asked.

I wonder as to the motivation. Are the feelings so strong? Is the hatred that intense? Oh well, I can't be too specific as both the parties involved are indifferent.

Roman Empires

Suddenly, there are two games focusing on Roman city building, namely, the 'Glory of the Roman Empire' and 'Sid Meier's CivCity: Rome'.

I have not decided if I want to get them.

The reviews on Gamespot, a poor game review site that has declined in quality for a great number of years now, were not good. Not that I was expecting them to be good anyhow, I could almost guess their ratings without playing the games! Heh.

On Gamespot, the problem with their reviews is that anything that does not match their reviewers preconceived ideas of their franchise favourites tend to get shot down. Hence, one finds their large favourite franchises like Warcraft, Civilization and a few others consistently getting the same favourable reviews while other games get reviews like 'same tired gameplay' and so forth. With reviewers coming up with lines like these:

"If you are expecting some kind of Wing Commander: Privateer-style story with plenty of structure, you won't find it here."

These reviewers can't accept differences in execution and ideas.

A hardcore gaming friend has even suspected that these reviews from Gamespot and their irk often pander to the big game companies for a variety of reasons which I think is fairly obvious.

Recently, there was that incident with www.1up.com where they pulled a review. They covered up with a series of unconvincing explanations but it was clear that someone sold out...

13 November 2006

Book List

As mentioned earlier, I keep a book list of books I have read. If it means anything to you, you can view my list here.
Light Tank Mark VIB


The 5.2-ton Light Tank Mark VI appeared in 1936 armed with a single Vickers .303 machine gun. The Mark VIB was intended for a reconnaissance role and became the most widely used of British light tanks in Second World War. The Light Tank series, namely the Mark I to VI and the Carden Loyd carriers, utilised the Horstmann suspension which was later used in the Centurion and Chieftain MBTs.

Tank Museum, Bovington: July 2006 Posted by Picasa

12 November 2006

Cruiser Tank AC I Sentinel


With a threat of a Japanese invasion looming, the Australian Ministry of Munitions considered building tanks. The Australian AC I (Australian Cruiser) was the resultant of this effort. The first AC I Sentinel, armed with a 2-pounder OQF gun was built in January 1942. A total of 66 were built before cancellations came when American tanks became available.

Tank Musuem, Bovington: July 2006 Posted by Picasa