Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mid-Autumn Festival

It was Mid-Autumn and the moon was full*.

IMG_8281 (by changyang1230)
So we played lanterns.

A few of us gathered in my house,

IMG_8323 (by changyang1230)
to see me play.

Okay not really.

After lighting up the lanterns and playing with the fire,

we went out for a walk carrying lanterns with a myriad of colours.

As we were chit-chatting and doing our round of parade, some local residents opened their door and peeked at us curiously. Some pedestrians detoured from our path. Judging by the looks we got, I think some of them must have thought we are a bunch of possible arsonists. :P

Along the way we stopped for pictures, including some with flash,

and some without flash.

IMG_8287 (by changyang1230)
Some from a distance,

some from...

eerm, closer.

Lanterns are just a small aspect of what Mid-Autumn Festival is about. Conspicuously missing in this series of picture are boxes of mooncake due to the speed at which they were devoured in my house. Mid-Autumn Festival is the event for the reunion of the family, and for friendship. We had quite a simple event, but it was unique and meaningful as many of us are going to part our ways in the future in a few months time. Until next time...

* It was actually the day before the full moon when we took the pictures.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hari Merdeka 2008

So I went to Fiesta Malaysia, an event in Federation Square, Melbourne held in conjunction with the National Day of Malaysia.

Boon Phiaw brought along a Malaysian flag,

IMG_1849-2 (by changyang1230)
so I took a picture with him and the flag.

IMG_1870 (by changyang1230)
Then, a few of us took a picture with the flag.

Then, MORE people took picture with the flag.

An Angmoh finds it amusing.

There were a few features on Federation Square. Among others is the national costume,

traditional games like apit buluh (literally: clipping bamboo sticks),

folk songs by the local Peranakan society, 

and me dancing.

Okay not really.

Suddenly it rained cats and dogs, but luckily it only lasted for some good ten minutes.

So people continued dancing

and chatting.

On the stage the Sarawakian dance continued.

And then a Chinese singer bagged everyone's attention as she rendered Fish Leong's "Fly Away" and Datuk Siti Nurhaliza's "Cinta Biasa". The square cheered for her rapturously when she finished.

And I went home.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Watch Your Heart

A very intense but educational video. Watch it - this is two minutes that could save your life. Or the life of someone you love.
Last night's curry!


Thursday, September 04, 2008

My Swedish Furniture Name

swedishFurniture (by changyang1230)
Get your own here!

(Sorry for being so nonsensical for the last few days. I am bored)



If you thought Chrome was the coolest thing you have seen in a while, think again. Enter Ubiquity, Firefox's latest experimental feature:

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.
An instantaneous blow-away for me.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Google Chrome - A Review

logo_sm (by changyang1230)After years of hush hush, Google finally released its own Internet browser called Google Chrome! Check out the following links for more information:

If you have some ten minutes to spare, go ahead and try it out now! In fact earlier this morning, I spent ten minutes to download and play with it, and ended up almost missing my bus. :P

And now, time for a quick review after two hours of browsing with Chrome! My apologies in advance for the occasional technical remarks that might be boring to you.


My overall feeling for Chrome is that it's a stripped-down version of Firefox plus the Webkit (Safari) rendering engine plus some Opera designs (the tabs on top, the start page etc). And oh ya, the incognito (private) browsing from IE8.

The design and browsing experience feels so much like Firefox, at times I even forget that I am in a different browser. The only time the difference shows is when the webpage rendering differs from my expectation, e.g. the big "B" in my ReCom signature (it's small in Firefox but big in IE and Safari), or the chatbox in ReCom.

I can't help but to sense the irony in seeing Chrome as a stripped-down version of Firefox: Firefox was the stripped-down version of Mozilla suite when it first began before it gained all its fancy bells and whistles and when the bloat and memory complaints began to pour in. And now with Chrome, I can't help but to ask whether we are going through another cycle of "strip down and bloat over time" process again. In the few hours that Chrome is released, I have already seen discussion threads in various places asking for this and that feature to be added to Chrome. Eerm.

Of course no review of Chrome would be justified without mentioning its multi-threaded processing feature. So far I haven't seen any obvious advantage or problems from this distinct programming approach, and I think it will take time before we could ascertain the difference this will make.

Speed wise, I would say I put the rendering speed on par with Firefox 3.0.1 on my machine. Tab changing is snappy. Digg loading is definitely fast, despite the not-too-good result in the Celtic Kane javascript speed test.

Now for the minuses. The lack of extensibility is first sorely felt with the reappearance of advertisements throughout the Internet. ReCom, Digg, Sinchew and so on. After using adblock in Firefox all the while, I have grown so unfamiliar with what ads look like. Apart from the adblock, there are other features that I would sorely miss including Greasemonkey, Forecastfox, extension, and hey, the very new and cool Ubiquity from Mozilla Lab! Now there are rumours that Chrome may eventually allow extensibility, but to what extent this will affect its speed, stability and the "streamlined-ness" remains a contentious topic.

There are also some problems with scrolling. The lack of smooth scrolling is quite detrimental to the browsing experience - and hey, talk about things we take for granted in Firefox, IE, Opera etc.

Last but definitely not least: what the hell happened to RSS support?

UPDATE: After one hour of usage, Google Chrome crashed for no obvious reason. Unfortunately, it did not live up to its "kill one tab, save the whole browser" claim - the whole browser had to be ended and restarted.

Overall, Google Chrome provided an excellent albeit slightly-limited browsing experience for me, and considering that it's the first public beta version, I would give it a score of 9.5 out of 10. However, for the time being I will still stay with Firefox due to the reasons listed above and my familiarity with this beloved browser. :)