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Sunday, August 28, 2005

It seems that nowadays, almost everyone owns a digital camera. When I tell people I prefer the good ol’ manual mechanical SLR, the response tends to be "Why don’t you buy a digital SLR?"

What the heck is wrong with using a manual film camera?! Sure, a digital camera has its advantages. You can delete bad pictures, you see what you just shot immediately and the camera is usually small and portable. But it just so happens that these advantages are rather unimportant to me. I don’t need to delete bad pictures since most of my shots are usually fine. I can always take multiple shots if I want to make sure. A good photograph is always worth wasting a few shots for.

So what qualities does my manual SLR possess that I do not find in most digital cameras?

An old fashioned Nikon SLR uses a viewfinder to allow the photographer to frame his shot. Some digital cameras come with a viewfinder but those are usually just a hole in the camera for you to look through, not a true reflection of the image the CCD will capture. SLR viewfinders allow the photographer to see the image through the lens, which is exactly what will be captured on the film. Of course, digital cameras have the LCD screen that shows what the CCD is capturing. However, the LCD is small and it is difficult to see small details and whether the image is sharp. I don’t care how high resolution or how big you say your camera’s LCD screen is, if it’s not a 32-inch TV, then it’s no match for my SLR’s viewfinder. When you look through the viewfinder, the image practically covers more than half your field of vision. There’s no way an LCD screen can match that (unless you put your LCD screen 2 cm from your eye, in which case your eye would not be able to focus on the screen).

Multiple Exposure
Traditional film SLR allows multiple exposures, i.e. exposing the same portion of the film several times. I have never seen anyone who is able to do that on a CCD camera.

Lenses and Filters
Unless your CCD camera is one of those expensive SLRs, you probably cannot change the lens or add filters.

My camera does not require any battery whatsoever to function. If you think modern cameras have long battery life, think again. In sub-zero temperatures like winter in Canada, your battery dies in no time. Ever tried long exposures, for example taking photos of star trails, where you have to keep the shutter open overnight? See if your battery can last that long.

I am 24 years old. The camera I am using now was bought by my father before I was born. Think you will still be using your current CCD camera 24 years from now?

Depreciation and Obsolescence
This should be pretty obvious. A CCD camera, being an item with electronic parts, depreciates quickly and become obsolete just as fast. On the other hand, a quality mechanical SLR maintains its value after many years, some brands become even more valuable.

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Yiheng made
3:27 AM


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Saturday, August 27, 2005
Cyborg Name Generator

Ytterbium Intelligent Humanoid Engineered for Nocturnal Gratification

Type your name and the program turns it into an acronym. I tried "Yiheng" and got "Ytterbium Intelligent Humanoid Engineered for Nocturnal Gratification". I'm no English expert but I think that roughly translates to "smart man made for sex" hahaa.

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Yiheng made
10:10 AM


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'Tis an unusual day

After my PSC interview this afternoon, I saw two guys chasing this other dude in City Hall MRT station. They ran from the level below the control station to the level below that and then back up to the control station level. All this time shouting "Stop him! Stop him!" I guessed the guy in front was probably a thief but no one knew for sure because the guys chasing him only yelled "Stop him! Stop him!". Being able to run through a crowd so quickly without tripping or getting caught (not yet anyway) is actually quite impressive. Too bad he wasn't anywhere near me or else I can try some Army close combat moves I just learnt on him.

But compared to this guy (in photograph), Army close combat training is way uncool. This mysterious master swordsman was practising his swordplay on the carpark roof when my father spotted him. It's a pity the carpark was so far away, otherwise I could secretly learn some of his skills. If you happen to be him and don't like your picture posted here, please don't slice me with your sword because SAF didn't teach me how to tackle an attacker with a sword.

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Yiheng made
9:00 AM


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Thursday, August 25, 2005
How my friends almost got a free meal...

Monday was Combat Shoot. For those who didn't serve real National Service, Combat Shoot is when soldiers use their rifles to shoot 90 targets in the day, 90 targets at night, 6 targets at a time in teams of 6 people. You are considered a marksman if your team got 144 hits out of the 180. That's an average of 24 hits out of 30 per person. And here comes the most important part - you get $200 for being a marksman.

My team consisted of 4 good shooters (those who got marksman last year) and two other guys. One of them is an average shooter, which is fine because you are allowed to shoot his target for him if he misses (although you will run out of bullets for your own targets later on). Night shoot was supposed to be pretty difficult but my parents gave me good eyes and the targets looked almost as clear as they do in the day.

I think I hit about 28 out of 30... definitely above 26. The results were not out yet but I don't think my team got the 6x$200 because one bloody guy missed 90% of his targets and he bloody kept quiet. And when the team was discussing strategies to improve our shooting for the night shoot, that guy was chatting with people somewhere else. Freaking hell! I think we would've gotten marksmen if he gave us all his ammo and we shoot his targets for him. And so the idiot deprived the team of $1200.

Anyway, I would've used the $200 to give my friends a treat but sorry man, looks like ain't nobody's gonna get no free meal.

p.s. on a related note, I noticed some people seems to be able to fire at targets 8 times using a magazine which was supposed to contain only 5 rounds. (Sarcastic tone) Wow! Isn't it amazing how some high ranking people in the SAF have managed to master the art of magically producing bullets out of nowhere?!

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Yiheng made
6:27 PM


Aaawwww... free meal!!! Sigh

By Blogger fEatHeRs, at 4:49 PM  

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

I was playing Jeopardy (the computer game based on the game show in the U.S.) with my friend yesterday. One of the questions that appeared in the Sports category had the answer "Mario Lemieux". I thought really hard and I couldn't remember Mario's last name. That's when it hit me that I haven't been in Canada for a really long time now. Damn! I'm starting to forget small details of Canada bit by bit without even realizing it.

Another thing I really miss back in Toronto is watching Jeopardy with friends. It's a pity Jeopardy isn't shown in Singapore. It's seems Singapore do not enjoy watching game shows that are designed for knowledgeable people. With the exception of a small part of Singapore's Brainiest Kids, the really expensive questions in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Scholar of Scholars (this is difficult partly due to European names translated to Chinese), the rest of the game shows shown in Singapore are so easy they insult my intelligence. Perhaps difficult questions make many viewers feel that they are stupid and people don't like that.

Another plus point Jeopardy has over most game shows is that the pace is very fast -- more than 1 question per minute. That means I don't get bored waiting for the next question. Having many questions that I do not have the answer to also means that I can actually learn something.

Anyway, if you feel offended that I have, in any way, implied that you are stupid, feel free to come to my house and we'll settle the issue over a game of Jeopardy!

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Yiheng made
3:56 PM


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Wednesday, August 10, 2005
The Big Picture

Image hosted by
My sentiments exactly.

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Yiheng made
7:10 AM


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Saturday, August 06, 2005
Random links

1. Granny Smith and her apple
A brief history of the Granny Smith variety of apples.

2. Malleus Maleficarum
The Witch Hammer. Online English version of the historically significant book in the Middle Ages.

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Yiheng made
2:29 AM


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Monday, August 01, 2005
A memorable event from Army Exercise

8th July 2005, 0018h. That was the first time I saw a real live scorpion in my 24 years of existence. It goes to show how urbanized Singapore is that one never really see such stuff around any more. Of course, seeing a real live scorpion is nothing compared to experiencing its sting first hand, which was what I did before I actually saw the scorpion.

I woke up in the middle of the night with this burning sensation in my left forearm. For anyone who has experienced a bee sting, it's quite similar but slightly more painful. There were no sting marks anywhere or any swelling, which was really strange. Considering how badly the venom burns, you would expect at least some visible allergic reaction. Anyway, I deduced that a scorpion must be the culprit so I moved my belongings around to see if I can find it. Ironically, the tiny yellowish scorpion was seeking protection under the very thing that would cause its ultimate demise -- i.e. my army boots. I have to say it was quite a hardy creature. I had to hit it 4 times with my boot before it finally stopped twitching.

So thanks to the army, I have now had a taste of both bee and scorpion venom. My next encounter would have to be a centipede. And if the wuxia novels are correct, I might actually become bai3 du2 bu4 qin1 (immune to all poisons) haha!

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Yiheng made
4:01 AM


haha.. bai du bu qin!? the first sting sensitises you to worse allergic reactions on the next sting. you prob end up with swollen body and breathing problems.. keep some antihistamines on the next training. might just save your life and qin your du!! heh..
By Blogger gooofygal, at 5:55 PM  

shucks! and i thought the human body was so adaptive. oh well, i won't be training in thailand any more. next overseas training should be new zealand and there are NO scorpions there, yay!
By Anonymous Yiheng, at 9:00 PM  

NZ is a great place! i hope you have some free time to go around. Do try bungee jumping, sky diving, white water rafting and even hiking. the forests in NZ are pretty safe from nasty snakes and scorpions! when will that be?
By Blogger gooofygal, at 10:11 PM  

probably early next year. i doubt there'll be so much freedom, it is an army exercise after all haha. but my friends and i will probably rent a car and drive out of town during the rest period if possible.
By Anonymous Yiheng, at 10:20 PM  

ever tot abt snake bites?? get biten too often and you'll turn allergic to anti-venoms.
By Blogger Trinetra, at 7:34 PM  

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