Tuesday, May 31, 2011

my new Dell Precision M4600

Today, I after a few weeks of waiting, I finally what I have been waiting for.

My Dell Precision M4600 arrived today. It was launched worldwide for sale on the Dell websites in early May, I ordered mine a few days after it launched.

After a few upgrades, the total price on the website came up to almost RM9000 plus. I called Dell and spoke to the sales person I had been dealing with, Mervin. He was really helpful and he gave me additional discounts and the price in the end was RM8641.

I had upgraded the RAM to two 4GB pieces, total 8GB. I also got their 256GB Solid State Drive. I was wondering what brand it was as the upgrade was only RM700 plus. I was wondering why it was so cheap or did Dell make an error. Only when I got it today could I check its specs.

It's a Samsung 470 series SSD. Tom's Hardware has a review of it here.

I plan to get a Western Digital Black Scorpio 750GB hard disk for the second hard disk bay to store my other data.

I also upgraded the screen to full HD. I figured since I'm going to be editing HD video with it, might as well get full HD. One thing I didn't get was the touch screen upgrade. I figured if I wanted a touch screen, I would get an iPad 2 and just hook it up instead. I don't want finger smudges on my monitor.

The video card was also upgraded to the NVIDIA Quadro 2000M. I think this is an upgrade that's definitely worth it.
I've installed the trial version of Adobe Master Collection 5.5 and AVID Media Composer 5.5.2 on it. Will take it for a spin later and see if its any good. Adobe just included Mercury support for the Quadro 2000 too, not sure if it includes the mobile version.

Anyway, will write more when I have installed the rest of the softwares.

Friday, May 27, 2011

DIY notebook stand

I've always had a pain in my neck from looking down at my notebook at my work desk. Plus, the lighting here is pretty bad, there's always a glare on my notebook screen from the florescent lights. Today, I decided to change all that.

There was this small basket of tapes on my table that has been there for a few years gathering dust. It was made of plastic with a metal X frame. I emptied it and took threw away the plastic container. I took the frame and bended it until it I had the shape I wanted which is more of a upside down Y shape.

Now I have a notebook stand! The heat dispersion for the notebook should be much better as the exhaust is at the back of the notebook. My internal fan for the video card just died a few days ago, so I have to do what ever I can to keep it cool until I get the fan fixed.

As I type this now, I can really feel the difference as my neck doesn't hurt as much anymore and I can type faster on the keyboard too!

 More space for my keyboard and mouse now! Table looks neater.

 It took quite a lot of brute force to bend the two top parts as I think it was stainless steel. I had to use the table as leverage.

The first time I did it, I realized that the notebook was leaning slightly to the right and I had to make a few more adjustments by pressing on the left until I finally had it leveled. The frame itself is an optical illusion, it looks like its leaning to the right but the notebook itself is leveled.

Anyway, I hope this last for awhile. It's pretty flimsy so it can topple over if I'm not careful.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lightning storm in Petaling Jaya

I shot this video a few minutes after a lightning storm began. It was shot from my apartment. The rain came down really hard and the lightning was every few seconds at its peak. By the time I shot this, the worst was over already.

The visibility was really low, only a few meters at its heaviest. At one point, I could see the wind suddenly change direction and the rain started blowing towards my window. Normally, the rain blows from east to west here, so when the rain started blowing from the south to the north it was really weird.

I shot this with my DV camera and it was edited on AVID Media Composer.

Took me awhile to finally figure out how to get the paint effect to work. I noticed the contrast was over blown when I exported this to MOV. I had to reduce the video level for export.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Strange Dreams

Had a dream last night, actually it was two dreams.

The first dream, some large gay dude wanted to have sex with me and I was all wierded out from it. Don't remember much after that. Damn, not sure what brought this up. Could be because I was watching Queen on YouTube. That Freddie Mercury is so gay but charismatic at the same time.

The second dream was much more pleasant. I dreamed I when on a holiday with my wife to the US. For some reason, we detoured and ended up in London. I was walking in a really large museum and it looked really grand. I ran into my parents and my mother in law. We were both surprised to see each other. When I asked what they were doing there, they said they were on holiday too.

Don't remember much after that but I think I know why I had the dream. I was playing Napoleon Total War last night and I was trying to invade London. In my version of history, the French had invaded and taken England and the English had taken Paris.

I always liked visiting London, especially the museums. I love English history, especially during the Victorian era.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

How I remember Zainal Aznam

When I first read the newsflash that Datuk Zainal Azlam had died of a heart attack, I was quite shocked. He was a man who never looked his age and was always fit.

I've known Datuk for almost 10 years. He was a most interesting man with diverse interest. The first time I heard of him was through reading his articles about films in his column in The Edge. Later on when I did meet him, he was very articulate and could always explain complex economic terms in layman terms. We shared the same interest in film and we used to talk about film history when ever I met him. He also told me he had a youtube channel where he made sketches with his family. I think he always had the desire to direct a movie one day.

I was always amazed at how he used to cycle to work at ISIS near the National Monument from his home in TTDI. One day I saw his arm in a sling and I asked him what happened, and he said he fell down while cycling, after that his family forbade him from cycling to work again.

The last time I met him was last year just before he left for London to do research for a few months. It was just a few days before Najib announced the NEP. He was quite unhappy that a lot of his ideas was censored in the final edition. Of all the NEAC members, he was the most vocal. He fought to have his ideas pushed through but the powers to be decided his proposals were too radical.

My only regret is that I did not meet up with him again after that. When ever I'm stuck in traffic in front of the national monument, I always think of him and wished I had the courage to cycle in KL.

Below is his an interview he did last year and that's how I always remember him.