21 Nov 2007 @ 11:21 AM 

To keep up with the tradition of posting during festive holidays (a rule I made up 2 minutes ago), here’s the 2nd part of the trilogy in my quest to show my relationship with video games. (I hope I can stretch it enough to make it in 3 parts.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

The 90′s

The 90′s brought along lots of innovations. Bill Gates became a household name, the Internet is no longer for nerds and gaming too invaded my life like the Germans invaded France and I too gave in like how the French surrendered.

I started off with the Nintendo Entertainment System (or in Malaysia, it’s knock-off Micro Genius). It was bought by my uncle (who is the best Bomberman player I know to date) and the rest is history.

Not merely satisfied with playing on the TV screen, the Game Boy was born. My first game was Tetris and boy did I have mad skillz (at least in my circle of friends before the inevitable coming of YouTube, and boy was I humbled).

The arrival of the 16-bit era is like the arrival of sound in silent movies (it literally is). Now characters actually speak and not spew text out of their mouths like in comics. If I wanna read, I’ll get a book thank you. I got myself a Sega Megadrive system and a memorable mention is the game 幽游白书 (YuYuHakuShou or something like that). It’s one of the lesser known games but boy did we play the heck out of it.

Out of nowhere came the Sony Playstation in 1994 and gamers worldwide burst in a simultaneous nerdgasm (I was not one of them, I swear). Promising 3D graphics unlike what we’ve seen before and “true to life” gaming (term used very loosely), it reinvented the console gaming scene and the silent death of video game arcades worldwide. Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII were my favourites.

Besides consoles, the PC gaming scene was growing (due to cheaper computers). I got my own PC ca. 1998 and boy was it top o’ the line. An Intel 486 133Mhz Processor with 16MB RAM and 850MB HDD burns through the competition and has other PCs for breakfast. Until the next week. My first game on it was Command & Conquer (the godfather of real-time strategy games).

That sort of wraps up the 90′s and in the next installment, I’ll bring on the 00′s, or the period of 2000-present. I will touch on how gaming is slowly being a social past-time and how it’s becoming a rat race of graphics. Or I will not and just start blabbering about my uber L33T skillz in Cooking Mama.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 04 Jan 2009 @ 11:23 AM

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 30 Aug 2007 @ 11:20 AM 

To celebrate the spirit of Merdeka and to stay true to the spirit of this site, I shall write something which has nothing to do at all with Merdeka; me and video games.

The 80′s

I’ve been playing video games since Madonna was a virgin and chicks wearing jeans above their waist was cool. The good ol’ 80s. I still remember the first time I played a video game. It was in Australia circa 1987. The game was none other than the legendary Pong. It was the cool thing in the 80s to have an “arcade in your home on your TV”. The “controllers” were called “paddles” and it’s more of a knob than anything. Think of the gas knob on your kitchen stove. Now imagine twisting that knob for a day. And unlike the consoles of today, these things cost a bunch and more. Imagine paying an equivalent of USD 400 today to hit a bright dot on TV to and fro.

The 80s also saw the rise of arcades to screw schoolkids of their 20 cents. Arcades sprouted in all shopping malls like pimples on a 12 year old. I used to blow a weeks allowance trying to steer a car over a straight road that keeps repeating itself. Somehow I never realised that it was actually the road which was moving underneath the car. I was THAT crazy.

Besides that, the 80s saw the emergence of Game & Watch; a fancy name for a handheld LCD game with a display that tells you the time; hence the name. My first was a Mickey Mouse game collecting eggs with a basket. If an egg falls on the ground, then I lose a life. Funny thing was, the basket never gets filled. Another one of life’s mysteries I guess.

The dawn of the 90s saw the invasion of computers into homes thanks to IBM. They gave it the fancy name of Personal Computers because it should only be personally used by you and not kids because it costs a freaking USD 2000 for a monitor which only shows green dots, 32kb of RAM and a Processor which is slower than your toaster.

More in Part II.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 04 Jan 2009 @ 11:21 AM

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 27 Jun 2007 @ 10:44 AM 

and have a shitload of money…

you could wake up every day to this…

You may start drooling now

You may start drooling now

40″ of pure sexiness, giving geeks all over the world more wood than that time Princess Leia donned the gold bikini. I’ll spare the details but if you wanna know it’s the new Samsung LE-40M86BD. And if you asked me, it’s a bargain!

So if you can’t get in touch with me during the next few days, you know where you can find me. Right beside my IV drip and catheter.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 04 Jan 2009 @ 10:47 AM

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 01 Jun 2007 @ 10:40 AM 

How bad I want one

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 04 Jan 2009 @ 10:43 AM

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 12 Apr 2007 @ 10:31 AM 

Just a short article about my life up until now. Maybe just to serve as a status report to remind me of what I’m going through these few months because I feel I’m at a pretty important stage of my life.

I hope this will help me reflect my feelings, thoughts and aspirations and also help me put things into perspective. Also to put some of my plans in writing, and some crap to help me laugh at myself after I read this crap again in a year’s time.

I’m 24 years of age and almost a third of my sane life has passed. It’s a time where people start to make decisions that will alter their life, pave the road they tread and walk through the doors that are opened for them. It’s the prime age where males and females start to think of making money, reproducing and experiencing life (not necessarily in that order).

So far, I’m in my 4th year of my studies in my 7th semester on my pursuit of graduating with not only some engineering stuff in my head, but a qualification to prove that I actually have said stuff in my head. This semester is however a practical semester where I have to work as cheap labour in some company (Nokia if you don’t already know where I’m working, refer to past entries) in the hope that I gain some experience.

It’s been a pretty eye-opening, jaw-dropping and mind-boggling (and other body part actions) experience. So I’m pretty much stuck at this company for the time being and most likely in the near future. Well, I’m quite sure I’ll be working there part-time after this semester since it pays good money, doing my thesis (Diplomarbeit) there since my manager asked me to stay before I get offers from someplace else. That’ll be until I graduate. Where it goes from there, I’ll decide when the time comes.

I’ve been meeting a few people and experiencing some workplace politics and working life these few weeks as well. I met some managers from a couple of Asian companies and managed to get to know them quite well. It seems Malaysians with European experience are pretty sought after. Sure glad that I didn’t doze off in English class, able to speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Malay, and German. I’m actually giving some thought in working nearer to home in my early career if working in Germany/Europe didn’t work out. However, I don’t see myself working for someone all my life though.

I’m not one to speak much about relationships but it’s been pretty smooth sailing. It’s nice to have a few close friends rather than a lot of acquaintances. I’m not a person who is good in maintaining contacts such as sending messages out of the blue, remembering birthdays and stuff, but when we spend time together, I try to make it count.

On the romantic side of things, I can only say that I wuv my Larling, and I mish her so very much every time we are apart. I’m so grateful that I have someone to share my dreams, hopes and aspirations, someone to lift me up when I’m sad and someone to trust in.

On the spiritual side of things, I’m still a freethinker who thinks that God exists and religion is crap.

On the topic of money, I’m currently financially stable, able to survive comfortably with what I have and afford some luxuries as well. I’ve been tutoring English as well which help pay off some of my life’s little luxuries such as underwear.

And to end this article, I would just like to say that I’m saving up for my Christmas/Birthday Present which is a Playstation 3 and a huge ass HDTV. So, anyone care to contribute to this fund? I shall with a thick face hope that you will visit this site’s sponsors by looking to the left of your screen.

Be safe and don’t eat yellow snow.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 04 Jan 2009 @ 10:32 AM

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 03 Apr 2007 @ 10:29 AM 

I’m going to share a secret of mine, a secret so controversial or unbelievable that some of you might just think I’m a bloody genius or a bloody selfish guy to not share this with you guys earlier.

However, some of you might think of me differently, some might probe me to ask for more info, but most of you sceptics will just ignore me and say this guy’s lying.

Before you beat me into a bloody pulp, read on…

I made this EUR 5000 and counting, through online casinos. (I can see that most of you just rolled your eyes and said ‘Cehhhh’) But hear me out.

I didn’t gamble and strike lucky per se. (There might be a few lucky bets), but what I do is actually mathematically/statistically proven to earn me money. So here’s the skinny on how I did it over the 2 years in as condensed as I think is possible.

Firstly, I would like to welcome you to the amazing, (but mostly scoffed upon and avoided like the plague) world of online casinos. They are just like the ones in Las Vegas and Genting (but without the glitzy show girls and the tables crowded with old amahs) except you gamble in the comfort of your home.

Now how do I actually make money since casinos are there for a business, that is to suck your money and not as a charity? 1 word, “bonuses”. Unlike brick and mortar casinos, online casinos have to attract punters by offering “free money” (note the inverted commas, I’ll tell you why later), like those drug dealers who offer you a free fix only to get you hooked.

These “free money” have strings attached to them of course and I made my 5 grand by utilising my amazing math (NERD!) skills and my superhuman ability to sit on my ass for hours straight.

Here’s how I did it:

I started off in 2005 bored to death and having lots of time on my hands to kill. I then somehow stumbled upon this website (can’t remember how I stumbled, might have stepped on a banana.) called WizardOfOdds. The owner of this website was a mathematician living in Las Vegas and naturally he likes to gamble. He made analysis after analysis of casino games and came out with strategies and mathematical explanations on the games itself. He defined the term “house edge” and showed numbers, percentages and results on how the casino makes money. (Yawn!)

I was always fascinated by the game of Blackjack since I was a little boy (due to my upbringing in a Chinese family and the painful memories of losing my ang pow money ever year). I noticed from his writings that depending on the rules, there is a house edge of 0.2% to 2% on the game of Blackjack on offer. This translates in laymen terms that for every $1 you bet, you expect to lose (statistically speaking) $0.002 to $0.02 to the casino. That’s where the casino have the money to pay the dealers and the beautiful strippers.

I then dug deeper and found out of online casinos giving “free money” to entice gullible punters. I did not give in to these as I read the fine print. To withdraw the “free money”, most casinos require to make a certain amount of bets (termed wagering requirements) while restricting the games you can play etc. I then dug even deeper (luckily it wasn’t my nose) and found Casinomeister, a community headed by an intriguing fella who dogwatches the online casino scene. I found out which casinos are trustworthy and which are rogue. Then I found out more about these “free money” and is it a myth or is it true.

I then narrowed down the casinos according to these criteria:

1. Trustworthiness (meaning if winners win, they pay)
2. “Free money” on offer.
3. Allows the game of Blackjack to withdraw the free money.
4. Low wagering requirements.

Now you may ask, but what does all these mean? Well, let me explain. Once I find a suitable casino, I start to make money. But how you ask, patience my friend.

Most casinos require that you deposit a certain amount say $100 and they match you $100 in bonus money. You now have $200 showing in your balance but you can’t pull out now earning $100 just like that! (The casino owners are not that dumb no matter how hard you wish they are). They require that you wager a certain amount of your bonus (mostly written as a multiply of it say 30X or as an amount $3000) before you can withdraw anything.

Now you might have your jaw on the floor looking at that amount but pick up your jaw and read on. The wagering requirement (WR) means e.g. you wager $10 on Blackjack and lose, your balance now shows $190 and your WR is reduced to $2990. You then wager $10 on the next hand and win. Your balance is now $200 and your WR is now $2980. Understand? For financially inclined people it’s something like turnover and for those who still can’t understand, go read a book or something as it will only get worse later on.

So, how is it statistically possible that I make money? If you didn’t fall asleep during math class, you might already realise that the statistical house edge in Blackjack is 0.2% to 2% right? Meaning with a turnover of $3000, 0.2% is $6 and 2% is $60. Meaning statistically you are expected to lose $6 or $60 leaving you with a nett earning of $94 or $40 every session (the rules used in online casinos usually have a house edge of 0.5%). I rinse, then repeat.

So that’s basically how I made some sweet pocket money while brushing up on my math . A word of warning though, when I started with this adventure, bonuses at casinos were much more generous, rules were more advantageous and opportunities were more abundant. Casinos realised that the market is saturated, people are getting smarter and they have turned to other forms of promotion. I’ve slowed down recently and even considered quitting. There is but only a handful of online casinos worth playing now and if you plan to start now, I doubt that you will match my results in the same amount of time I did.

If by reading this and you think any different of me (because you think I’m gambling), feel free to do so, I don’t give a damn. It’s either you’re jealous or you’re jealous. I’m not doing anything illegal, neither am I playing with money I can’t afford to lose (and I have EUR4500 safely in my bank account already). But if you think that you want to give it a try, I wouldn’t condone it and I do not want to be held responsible for anything that happens (because losses do happen in the short term, it is only in the long term that you can see the results).

If you think you really wanna try, like really really wanna try, contact me or leave a comment, I can show you some casinos which I have had good results to reduce your need for research.

Disclaimer: I have to put this here so that I don’t get my ass flamed or sued. The earnings stated here are from my own experience only. Your earnings might vary. I do not condone gambling if it leads to addiction. If you have a gambling problem, please seek help. Most casinos restrict people staying in certain countries such as Malaysia and China from registering. Please read the terms and conditions to avoid any complications later on.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 04 Jan 2009 @ 10:31 AM

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 30 Mar 2007 @ 10:28 AM 

I’ve been working at Nokia for the past few weeks for my 2nd practical and so far it’s been challenging. And when I use the word challenging, I mean challenging as in how Osama could brainwash guys to fly a plane into 2 buildings to their deaths, made himself the enemy of the world overnight, run and hide, and put the blame on Saddam Hussein. But I think mostly because Bush couldn’t spell Afghanistan.

Anyhoo, more about my challenging job…

This is my typical day.

Alarm rings at 7:55 a.m. Why? I don’t know. It seems like it’s 7 but it’s close to 8. Psychological reason. So I still manage to hit the snooze button a couple of times before dragging my lazy ass out of bed.

After the usual male morning ritual of brushing teeth, shaving (if needed) and putting on anything clean, I head off to my 15 minute walk to the office. My journey would be a nice walk through a field, cross a road and straight on till the Nokia building. It could be a nice stroll in the snow, windy 200 km/h winds or stepping on a fresh pile of dog poo; depending on my luck.

By the time I reach the doors of the building, it should be 9-ish. I can come and go anytime I fancy, as long as I finish up my 8 hours per day or when my job is done. Gotta love those flexi-hours. Then the usual Malaysian habit of clocking in and loitering in the cafeteria kicks in. I should then be at my desk at about 9.30 or 10 depending on the company at the table or the thickness of the coffee.

The good thing about my desk is it’s literally inches away from my manager. So work it is (or acting busy). No wasting precious company time and bandwidth laughing my ass off at Myspace profiles or surfing for porn.

Then comes lunch. The time I look forward most. Usually about 12-ish or when I feel hungry. The food on offer is nothing to shout about but good enough for the price. Great selection though, no complaints there. Then it’s back to work till I feel like stopping or when sleepiness kicks in.

Oh yeah, about my work. Well, I don’t know how much I’m suppose to keep under wraps but I guess my job is insignificant (and so is this website) enough to actually not get my ass sued if I reveal too much here. (Warning: Non-technical persons and females stop reading now!) I work with this Mechanical Simulation Specialist guy (I’ll name him GG for the sake of his privacy and my sake of not having to type his name) and use mainly Finite Element Methods and Analysis to simulate tests on mobile phones which are still under development. He’s a great guy (Woot, GG!) and helped me a great deal. I guess I could call him my mentor. Besides that, simulations on the parts, parts under consideration, supplier parts etc are done as well.

My specific job so far is pre-processing of a whole mobile phone for drop test simulations, pre-processing, solving, error analysis and post processing of phone mechanisms under different loads and some odd jobs like digging my nose. (Well, someone’s gotta do it).

Overall, the work atmosphere is sorta relaxing with a pretty flat hierarchy, no cubicles, open spaces, flexible working hours and ample parking space. But the workload I see being piled on most people here are simply inhumane. It’s true Nokia is connecting people, but I think they are disconnecting families.

I guess no job is perfect. But I wouldn’t say my job sucks per se. I get to experience and learn a lot what I wouldn’t get from just studying. I get paid handsomely, play around with gadgets, free flow of caffeine and a good view from my desk. But most importantly, I get to meet and to know lots of successful people from around the world and widen my network of contacts. What more could I ask for? (besides that LCD TV and Playstation 3 I talked about.)

P.S. If your Nokia phone breaks because it fell on the floor, do not blame me. This is because 1, your phone might have nothing to do with me since I just started there a couple of months ago, 2, it’s bad luck and 3, serves you right. Go get another one so that Nokia has more money to pay me.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 04 Jan 2009 @ 10:29 AM

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 14 Feb 2007 @ 10:15 AM 

Words alone can never express how much you mean to me…

But I’ll go on and try anyway.

My dearest Larling,
You are everything that a guy could ever ask for and more.
You are loving, quirky, talented, beautiful and sexy.
You give me support and push me to do things I’ve never done before.
You brought me into your amazing world of music.
You take care of me and taught me lots of things.
You are smart and have the wonderful ability to make me laugh.
And I love you, just because you are you.

Happy Valentine’s and Happy 4th Anniversary

Together

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 04 Jan 2009 @ 10:18 AM

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 13 Jan 2007 @ 11:25 PM 

The New Year Celebrations have come and gone and most of you have made resolutions and broken them even before your hangover subsided from New Year’s Eve. Well I know mine is broken.

I won’t be listing my resolutions down here like 23% of the blogs out there (and the other 44% which nobody reads, 30% with entries from 2004 and 3% of totally cool blogs which try so hard to not be a blog but end up being a blog anyway, like this one)*

* Statistics from the Institute of Incomplete Research: States that 44% of people are…

I’ll just cut the crap and start writing about what this article is actually about. It’s a list of gadgets or cool stuff which I plan to procure in 2007 legally or otherwise, one way or another, through payment in cash or sexual favours… you get the idea. Without further ado, the candidates (in random order):

Xbox 360 Premium (not the lame ass core version) Price EUR 399

A video game console which makes money by forcing you to buy add ons.

A video game console which makes money by forcing you to buy add ons.

This video game console has been out for over a year by Microsoft and has so far ironed out a few of the hardware issues which plagued it during its launch. It’s matured like a good whiskey, some love it, some hate it (I don’t know how I came out with these nonsense).

There are a few good games out there such as Gears of War, Rainbow Six: Vegas and Barbie Horse Adventures (kidding!) which I would like to have a go. Besides that, the Xbox Live service is popular (unlike the non-existent-ghost-town-like-”Where-the-heck-is everyone”-PS2-online-service). However, I’m not really a fan of multiplayer gaming, been having my ass handed back to me one time to many. (I don’t suck, there are a lot of cheaters). There’s nothing like curling up with your favourite game at home alone on a Saturday afternoon (unless of course if you consider sex, nothing beats sex).

1080p LCD TV Price circa EUR 2000

Sharp or Samsung

Sharp or Samsung

(I used circa, it’s Latin, I’m so cool). To fully utilize the capabilities of a next generation (shouldn’t it be this generation since it’s already out?) console, I need a 1080p Full HD LCD TV. As I plan to game until my eyes bleed, I shall treat my eyes with super sharp visuals before I go blind.

Getting an LCD TV is one thing, but getting one cheap enough with the correct specifications is an art (more like a miracle) all by itself. But being the smart shopper that I am (read: kiamsiap), I’ll be on the lookout for price drops all the time. So far 2 sets fulfill my demands. Sharp LC-37XD1E or a Samsung 40F71B. Jury is still out on each one as both of them have their pros and cons.

Robosapien RS Media Price EUR 450

"All your base are belong to us"

"All your base are belong to us"

To fulfill my lifelong dream of commanding a robot army that will annihilate mankind, I decided that Robosapien RS Media from WowWee should do the trick. Also, since I have the other 2 of its predecessors, it totally makes sense to continue the collection (nobody likes a quitter).

It seems this new and improved RS Media not only does what Robosapien V2 can, it has the ability to play videos, music and photos through its speakers and LCD screen. Besides, I’m a sucker for robots too. Now to find a working flamethrower for my world domination plans.

Nintendo Wii Price EUR 289

Have fun playing with your Wii

Have fun playing with your Wii

Despite having a name which is the butt of numerous jokes (“Wait mum, I’m playing with my Wii.”, “I’m going to have a Wii for Christmas.” etc), this least powerful of the next gen consoles is surprisingly well received and fun to play with (hence the name. It is also not recommended that you play with your Wii in public as people will give you strange looks. The branding guys in Nintendo are geniuses!).

Its innovative WiiMote and Nunchuck accessory (which looks like a pleasure tool for the ladies, hey it even vibrates!), seems to be a hit with kids and adults alike (that sounds wrong). Despite it being the cause of various injuries and damages, I still want one. Maybe now my girlfriend will appreciate the pleasure of gaming.

Sony Playstation 3 Price EUR 599

Some hate it, some love it, but most want it.

Some hate it, some love it, but most want it.

Right out of the box, it plays games, Blu Ray movies, music, videos, photos, goes online, has Wifi capabilities, runs Linux and of course burns a hole in your pocket (still a good deal considering the cheapest Blu Ray players on the market is about $1000). In short, I want one (or two).

Since having a Playstation console since its inception (Playstation, PSOne, Playstation 2 and PS2 Slim), it is only natural that I would want the 3rd one. With games like Metal Gear Solid 4 coming out, how can I say no? I even preordered one last August (a whole 7 months before it’s launched in Europe!) only to give it up as I think I should wait until after I get a new TV first.

P.S. Santa, I’ve been a good boy for 2 weeks now. Score me one, will ya?

Total damage: EUR 3737

Seeing your pathetic faces when I conquer the world: PRICELESS!

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 03 Jan 2009 @ 11:43 PM

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 08 Jan 2007 @ 2:48 PM 

Today I shall start my part time job as an assistant for a product analysis and designer in the Mechanical Team of Nokia Ulm, Germany. (A position I made up, but I think my real position is much fancier).

Bird's eye view of Nokia Ulm at Lise-Meitner Strasse, Ulm

Bird's eye view of Nokia Ulm at Lise-Meitner Strasse, Ulm

Assistant sounds really gay, sorta like his bitch or something. Well, sorry to disappoint you, I’m not, you sadist. Well part of my mission, should I accept it (that’s lame), is to evaluate the design of a part (mostly mechanisms and covers) of mobile phones through the use of CAD (Computer Aided Design, for all you engineering challenged folks out there) tools and software.

This isn’t my first time working there though. I did a 6 months internship there in 2005, but the position wasn’t really demanding. Just had to prepare testing jigs for prototyping and measurements.

So I just sit at my workstation (where work stops, get it, sorta like a bus station where the bus stops… hehe, snort) and act busy. Cool job huh?

However, I’m really grateful to have a position which interests me a great deal. It’s product design and technology and gadgets. Hmm… I wonder how can I incorporate video games in it? Also it’s relevant to my field of study, loafing around drinking coffee engineering.

Plus, I get to have cool phones way before it gets to the market. And the pay helps too. And money is always welcome. Always

So, why the “sort of” in the title? Well, due to the amazing wonders of German efficiency during the Christmas holidays, my account for the workstation is still not processed. Hence the cause and effect phenomenon of no workstation, no work.

Loafing in front of computer

Loafing in front of computer

In conclusion, here I am loafing around and drinking coffee…only at home.

Posted By: Kelvin
Last Edit: 03 Jan 2009 @ 09:00 PM

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