Stephen's Ramblings on Life,Tech, Photography and other things...

New Combined RSS feed !

By Stephen Lee

Well I write my thoughts in a few places, one is here at blogger where i blogged mainly about my life (though i have not updated it in a month, haha abit busy with the baby).

I also write about software/tech stuff at stephen software. I also tweet at twitter.

So how if you want to keep track with me you gotta subscribe to all 3 feeds. Thanks to Yahoo Pipes, I combine all 3 feeds into one so you just need to subscribe to one feed. The url is Just subscribe that in you favorite RSS reader and you will get the latest update from me, be it from twitter or my blogs.

Try it ! and feed back to me.

Some updates

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Whao, its been some time since I updated, guess I have been abit too busy to update much. So just show some pictures first.







12 days - Jaundice and a good doc

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Chloe was discharged on the 12th from KK after photo therapy, when we went to the polyclinic on thusdays, we saw the same doctor that refer us to KK A&E the last time, sure enough after the blood test (the level was 268, previous was 220), she refer her again, this time she say she refer because the level increase and Chloe looks lethargic.

So off we go to KK again, this time at KK we were quite heng to get a good doctor (a Dr Goh Han Meng). Haha why i say good. Because throughout the consultation, we keep seeing other doctors waiting to ask his opinion on something. Anyway he was quite through and keep asking lots of question like pee and poo times, what have we been feeding her, he keep typing lots of stuff into the computer.

When we told him we feed Chloe red date water and water (think its quite common, can see it being mentioned here) , he said don't do that. He said something like the baby's kidneys are still not that good and might not be able to process the stuff, the jaundice can get absorbed back into the body, and too much water can lead to a seizure. He said all the baby need is milk and nothing else.

Dr Goh did some tests and he said he don't find Chloe lethargic and the jaundice level was still manageable. So he recommended that we come back the next day to KK straight not go to the polyclinic for he was sure that the polyclinic will refer us back again. So don't waste time.

He then patiently explained to us that he typed a management plan into the system so that the next doctor will know what to do. And he gave us a letter to pass to the nurse when we come back tomorrow so they will know what to do.

If all doctors like him good liao, think he must be quite lao jiao, so we went to the doctors directory but didn't find his name (They only listed a minimum of associate consultant), so my wife (who knows more about hospital ranks that I do) think that he might be a registrar.

So the second day, we went back to KK haha thought must spend another 80 dollars again (for those we don't know KK A&E per visit is 80). But we were quite lucky for if you are going back for the same thing within 24 hours the consultation is free. So good for us, we don't need to pay. Lucky this time her level dropped to 231, so good no need to admit for photo therapy. So we are going back again to KK next week for a review, hopefully the jaundice would have lower down some more.

First night and First outing

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

After 2 nights at KK finally we were going home. It was going to be our first night at home with the baby.

When we reached home she was feeding quite regularly about every 3 hours, almost on the clock. We gave her the last feed about 1130pm before we go to sleep. Haha but it was not very good sleep. I guess because when she was sleeping Chloe sometimes makes these small noises and we were afraid that she is still hungry and wants to feed. Wasn't easy sleeping the first night.

We did our first bathing of Chole the next morning, haha she was crying the whole time round, guess she doesn't like to be disturbed from her sleep, i guess it didn't help that the bathing was so close to her feeding time, so she was probably feeling hungry at the same time.

Our first outing as a family was to the polyclinic on thursday (8th Oct) to check on her jaundice levels. Unfortunately her level was abit of concern to the doc there and she ask us to admit her to KK.

Our poor little daughter is still at KK now. Although her jaundice levels have dropped but still can't discharge yet. My wife misses her terribly so do i.

Little Chloe

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

My wife's water bag burst when I was at the Botanical Gardens on Monday attending my division's welfare event (basically haha a break from our very boring work of programming). The games were about to start when my mother in law called and said that my wife's water bag burst liao.

My mum in law called me again and asked if should call ambulance anot, my wife (she is a nurse by the way) say no need but my mum in law concern lah, say ambulance faster. So end up with me being the middle man calling 995 for advice. Haha the person at the other end say first one better arrange for one lah, i know my wife will sure give me some thing about why call the ambulance.

My wife arrived at KK about 10 i think, she looked abit annoyed at me, she say "Why call ambulance, So paiseh come in ambulance". I started mumbling not my fault lah, your mother ask one.

She was pushed to the delivery suite for observation and then confirmed that she was going to give birth soon. Her contractions were coming fast and hard after about lunch time, i mean really hard and fast, she was ok one moment and almost screaming the next. All I can say was Epidural is a gift from heaven for the women in labour, Nitrous Oxide or Laughing gas is better used in cars than on humans, yeap for all those who "ZHNG my car" type of people, it is the same Nitrous Oxide that they use in 2 Fast 2 Furious kind of shows.

For the husbands who are lucky enought to see, the whole process of inserting the Epidural catether, it can be quite nerve wrecking. The bloody needle is so long! and the process looks complicated and you have to keep your wife still for the thing. Although my wife tells me she didn't feel a thing but for me, I was breaking out in cold sweat all the way when the anesthetist was poking needles in and out. Didn't help that I am not too big a fan of needles myself.

After the epidural my wife felt very comfortable, she didn't even feel the contractions. We were happily watching tv, resting and talking. They pause the epidural when my wife was fully dilated so that she can pushed when she felt the contractions.

Little Chloe finally made her appearance at 1736h, weighing 3.17kg, height 51cm.

My first anniversary - Jump start a car

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

It has been one year since I was married liao. So how did my first anniversary start. Well it more or less started with a dead car battery. We were at udder's eating ice cream on late sat night, and parked the car. When we decided to go, the car refused to start when it was just fine a moment ago. And there started the long journey of trying to get the car to start.

My wife called my father in law for help and we tried to jump start the car using jumper cables. It just didn't work, he went and bought a battery and we tried again and it still didn't work and the jumper cables were oozing a thin streak of smoke out like the cables were over heating. I think we more or less decided that the cables were probably no good.

Her father called his friend who happened to be a member of AA, we called their services and the repair van came. The guy brought out some battery with these giant monster cables thing (look at pic below) and jump started the engine easily. We let the engine run, turn it off and then the engine refused to start. So confirm it's a dead battery liao.

So we changed in a battery and we are good to go. It all ended about 2am on my anniversary... what a way to "start" it.

So haha some "learning points"
Jump start cable - Get one, read off some where you need some with thick cables, good insulation and long enough. Learn how to do the thing safely or you might get a shock!
Flash light - Get a bright one.
Towing service - Make sure you have a plan when such things happen, find out some towing service number or join some association like AA where they have 24 hrs service. Don't wait till you car is dead in the middle of no where then try to find.
Tools - Make sure your car tool kit is comprehensive enough for you to change the battery.
Know your battery - Know the size and dimension of your battery so if need be you can go get one and try to jump start from that.

A video on how to jump start a car.
How to jump start a car

Week 35-36

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Well my little one just passed week 35 going to 36, that means from here on, any day that she comes out she should be fine.

On our last visit to the doc, he said something funny.
"You should start going for long walks, it makes the delivery easier, enjoy each others company".

Haha don't know if it's just me or what. Feels like he is saying enjoy each other while you can, haha. Think it is just me lah. I really can't remember if he said "while you can" after the last phrase.

With about a month to go, time to get nervous liao. Wonder when the baby would come? Would it be when I am at work. Then how? I just rush home ? Probably should start packing "THE BAG" liao, wonder if i should pack my SLR? Scared my old SLR can't take good pictures liao, haha need the latest and greatest, (no money for greatest, latest will do) in the bag. Perhaps need sleeping bag? Cause I am going to have a couch for the 2 days that my wife will be staying there and the couch doesn't look too comfy.

For names, we sort of narrow it down liao. Quite a few people all came up to me and suggested a name for my little one. And what is so qiao is they suggested the same name. Quite qiao right, what are the odds? Guess what the name is ? It's HAPPY! Haha yeah add with my surname and what did you get ? HAPPY LEE (Happily for those who still don't get it).

Yes some one likes Korean show (specifically Boys over Flowers the korean version), and its not just my wife.

Apparently the little one when watching the show would move around in my wife’s tummy.

And its not just korean shows, sometimes shows that feature dancing or other energetic  kind of movement she would move also. Like last nite’s Diamond night club on Channel U, there were some acrobatic kind of stuff going on and she keeps moving (hehe i think it helps that most of them feature well built men).

It’s now less then 2 months to the EDD, can’t help but worry how it would be like.

Saw the Victorinox Rescue Tool on Youtube, looks like something that should be put in the car’s glove compartment for emergency. You can cut seat belts with it and break windows. Perhaps even put a mini blanket to cover yourself when you break the window. Heck it even got the Knife of the year 2007 award!.

Quite rare in Singapore but this is how you escape a sinking car.

Eco Font - Save the earth

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

For those who like to print stuff out can consider using the Eco Font. It's a font that has many little small holes in it so it uses less ink on your printer. I thought that it was a pretty neat idea.

Do you want to date my avatar?

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Got this off a new website I found The Next Web. Haven watched the The Guild yet, but from the Wikipedia entry looks interesting.

Except from the website below.

Felicia Day and the rest of cast of The Guild star in epic WoW-inspired music video.
Directed by Jed Whedon, brother of Joss (lead writer of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and others).

Found this link from Mr Brown, 100 Things my kids may never know about.

Things are moving so fast that lots of things are either gone or replaced. These are some of the things that my kid probably would never know about.

  1. A real Kampung with animals.
  2. Standing up in a car as a kid in my fathers car to show the police that there were 4 people during the Area Licensing Scheme days.
  3. Walking up a dimly lit old shop house's stairs.
  4. Wooden chairs in schools
  5. Blackboards in Schools.
  6. Wearing shorts in Upper Secondary. (Correct me if there are still secondary schools in Singapore where the upper sec wears shorts)
  7. No remedial classes until Sec 3 or 4.
  8. Some Remedial classes are actually optional.
  9. Report books where the entries are made in ink not printed.
  10. A&W restaurants in Singapore
  11. Bus conductors (not the kind that check whether you got pay, the kind where they issue u tickets)
  12. Bus tickets that are stamped using a hole puncher
  13. Bus Tickets that comes in lots of colors
  14. Paying for bus tickets and getting change back
  15. What dubbing a cassette tape was all about. (Yeap copying songs used to be a pain in the past).
  16. Computers with 8 megs of Ram was consider “powderful”.

Hmm anymore to add ?

7 months plus

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

My little one passed the 7th month mark last week. My wife says the movements and the kicks are getting harder and she can even feel the baby "somersaulting" quite vigorously sometimes inside her. Even I can feel the baby moving pass my hand and the kicks are really strong now.

Read from somewhere the the baby getting cramp inside, trying to get some more space by kicking and moving around. My wife is also starting to get back aches too. Haha need more massages from me.

Wonder how much my life would change when the little one finally comes? Probably quite life changing, now I would have to look at poo straight in the eye, can't walk away from it anymore.

Whao I jogged 9km today !

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Haha for most people probably that is nothing, for me it's the first time I made this distance this year. Jogged from my house to punggol and back before going to breakfast with my friends.

Took it nice and slow, just felt like a good day for a run. For those that are interested the route i take is below. Can see somewhere near punggol way i back tracked a bit, haha i lost my way and missed the turning so clocking the "extra" 1km, if not what I planned was 8km. Suppose to see punggol mrt then i turn but with all the construction going on my view was block so i did some extra distance.

View Larger Map

As I jogged pass Compass point and into punggol, really big difference every where there was some construction going on, either building something or clearing up land (to build something). Wonder how many more years to go before a simple clear patch of grass and free growing trees would no longer be present in Singapore.

Cadbury "Eyebrows" advert

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

This is the full version of the video, isn;t it amazing, wish I can do that. Wonder where she get the balloon from though.

Do you know what a browser is ?

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

A New Book Stand

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

I have been thinking of getting a book stand for reading books, cause holding the book up quite tiring especially when reading thick and sometimes really boring computer books.

You probably think that in Singapore it would be easy to find such a thing right? Just go to a stationary shop and ask ask can liao, right? Unfortunately not so easy leh, what they have are mostly copy holders, the kind use to clip a piece of paper on the table,computer monitor so that you can read and type at the same time.

Walk around and I saw some kind of portable book stand at Page One Vivo city, cost about 43 dollars, too Ex in my opinion. Saw in Today that Evergeen stationary also sells one but all the Evergreen bookshops are quite out of the way for me. It looks nice, made of wood with little spring clips to keep the pages in place.

I was in Funan a few days ago and i went to the 2nd level book shop to try my luck. Saw the only book stand hanging at the computer accessories section, cost 13.90. Picture from the website is below.

Made by a company called AiData (Linked to the product page). The specs says that it can put a 4cm think book on it, there is a plastic bar behind that you can raise it to support really big books. You can adjust the angle of the stand to what you like. You can see that it can also be used as a 4r photo frame if you so desire, although i think that is one ugly photo frame.

Now i can read comfortably from my desk! It works out so far for me. Try it out if you are looking for a book stand.

4th Antenatal Class

By Stephen Lee

The main reason I signed up for these classes (and I guess many other parents to be also) is because I have no idea how to take care of a baby. I guess most people would have held a baby before, For me in my 30 years, I have never held one.So imagine the horror (ok a mixture of joy and horror) when I was about to become a father. I knew nothing about babies except that they cry (a lot) when they are hungry. I have never seen poo other then my own (and the occasional one in the toilet where the previous idiot didn't flush). And hence the antenatal lessons, to learn how to properly take care of a baby.

We learn how to hold, burp, wash, change diapers and even how to fold nappies.

Some things I learn.
  • Be well prepared, make sure all the things are around.
  • Baby bath solution usually no need for rinse, just clean and dry.
  • When cleaning the head, you don't really need to take out the diapers, cause the baby can do it's business while you are cleaning the head. But how will you know if the baby peed in the bath water?
  • Be careful when you burp the baby on your shoulder, some not so nice things might just run down the back.
  • Burp before and after the feeds.
  • How to change the baby from one hand to another. (Important for mums)
  • Babies cry when they are hungry, wet, uncomfortable or lack of attention.
The only thing we didn't do is how to clean the nappies when they are dirty. That would be an interesting lesson.

I felt the kicks !

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Last night, I finally felt the kicks that my wife was talking about. For the past few months she keep saying that the baby kicked her and then she will place my hands on her tummy to see if I can feel it. But I can't feel anything.

Last night was the magical moment, when we were going to bed, my wife say she can feel the baby moving, so she put my hands on her tummy. Then I felt a thud, I wasn't so sure that I felt something or my mind was playing tricks on me. Then I feel another, then another one, I felt my baby kicking! Hard to describe what I felt but it was magical.

Finally my baby made contact with me!

3rd antenatal class

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Yeah i sort of didn't blog about the second one, but hey the 3rd one is more interesting. This time we learn about the Labour process. We saw videos of how the baby is going to come out, the videos are primarily for the mums benefit cause they can see what's happening but the lucky fathers get to see the whole thing.

It's amazing how labour actually progresses, how the baby rotate to make sure the smallest section of the head comes out, then how the shoulders get out before coming all the way out. Yes the person warn the husbands not to get their hands get caught by the wife while she is in pain, bruises are sure to follow.

Funny in the videos not all the babies cry out loud when they come out, not at all like what they show on the tv.

Well 16 more weeks to go !

Many people panned this movie, most gave it a one star so, Rotten tomatoes gave it a 21%, the local newspapers were somewhat mixed (I guess about 50-50). Most of the complaints were mostly about the camera work, story and overall pace of the movie.

So what about me? First off when I read/watch movie reviews I give it a pinch of salt. Everyone is different, some like to read a lot into the movie, like the movie is some kind of literature text where some can write a whole thesis on the characters and the plot, some like to think about the camera angles, the sets. Most of the movie reviews that I watch, (think channel news asia), are mostly wrong in my opinion. The movies that are given 5 stars are not necessary good (think one of my colleague who went to watch a 5 star movie got sick at the shaky camera work).

So what's my thought on Transformers? The fighting was messy, wish I can see more of the fighting clearly but come to think of it fighting is suppose to be messy, loved the part where Optimus Prime sprout some one liners when he is fighting, like the one where he kill off the Fallen, "I RISE, YOU FALL" (My sms alert sound?).

Lots of mindless action, don't think too much just enjoy the fight. If you want to be intellectually stimulated, nope not the movie for you. Liked the way BumbleBee pull apart Ravage (the dog like deception) and tore the arms off the other one that was in the same fight. You get to see F16s, F18s, Aircraft carriers, tanks, destroyers (an Arleigh Burke class i believe).

Had a nice soundtrack from Linkin Park and Green Day.

We got a look at the Matrix again, last seen in the cartoon version of Transformers the Movie. (Prime died in that one too, the new matrix looked quite similar to the old one).

There were some funny moments, funny is always good.

So for me, I liked the movie, I enjoy watch the Autobots fight the Decepticons (again), it adds abit to the Transformers story and what the pyramids are for (besides storing dead bodies). It showed some "classified" technology,The US Navy (from what i read on the web) is developing the Rail gun that was featured on the destroyer, now we know what its for...

Its for kicking Decepticon ass.

Official Site

The gang.

Attended Remix at Microsoft's Auditorium yesterday. The first thing i liked about their offices was the great view, It overlooked the esplanade and the floating platform. Wonder if the staff go to work on National Day to catch the fireworks.

View from Microsoft's offices.

Micosoft showed a bunch of cool demos showing what Silverlight can do and coupled with Expression Blend you can cut down some time doing the fancy stuff. I like the way Silverlight decouples the presentation (the nice stuff) from the code (the geek part). Hopefully they will post the links to the videos and demos so that I can put them here.

They also talk about Azure or "An Chua" (Hokkien), the MS cloud platform, interesting but no idea what app to use for it.

Important thing, Students go check out Dream Spark for some free software from MS they have a nice bunch of stuff like VS2008 Professional, Windows Server 2008, Expression Studio and so on. For startups who are developing software go checkout Biz Spark.

Went for an one hour hands on lab on Silverlight, it was mostly done using Expression Blend (don't know if it was 2 or 3 beta), it was abit too short, couldn't really do too much. Did some simple linking of pages and animation but that was about it. Originally they planned to have one run about 3 hours long. Guess too many people signed up for it so they shorten it to one hour and run it 3 times. Anyway check out for more tutorials.


Some interesting Sign Boards

Goodies from the event.

Got a bunch of CDs (Visual Studio Express, Expression v1, Windows 7 RC). Got a book during the question and answer part, Introducing Silverlight 2, which will soon be obsolete given that Silverlight 3 is coming soon.

Hougang Walkabout

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Did a walkabout in the morning see that it's quite rare that we get really blue skies in Singapore. Did the below slideshow using pictobrowser.

Link to Flickr Set.

New Olympus EP-1 Camera

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Olympus announced their new camera the new Olympus Pen E-P1, lots of people are talking about it. Olympus does have a reputation for making smaller than normal cameras that are great like their SLRs, Olympus XA and the Olypmpus Pen cameras, For the E-P1, it uses the Micro Four Thirds format, so that means u get a bigger sensor than most point and shoot cameras out there (translate to better quality), it has interchangeable lens, 12 megapixels (more than enough for an A4 print), compact.

First impressions from pictures and blogs. The small size does appeal to many SLR cameras users who just don't want to bring out a big camera for a walkabout or their vacation, I got the Ricoh GX200 precisely for this purpose it's small compact with a good lens, although when the Panasonic LX3 came out i wished I got that instead.

The Micro Four Thirds sensor also means that you get better resultscompared with normal point and shoots with the same megapixel count.

They lens that are stated in the website includes a 17mm F2.8 and a 14-48mm F3.5-5.6, which translate to 35mm terms is 34mm and 28-84mm, suitable to cover most travel or walkabout scenarios (unless you shoot birds).

It's a pity there doesn't seemed to be an Electronic View Finder included like the Ricoh, it would definately improve the stablity of the camera when taking slow shutter speed shots or if they are going to have long lenses.

So What do I like ?

  • Small and Light
  • Interchangable Lens
  • Manual Functions (Aperture,Shutter and Manual)
  • Image stablization (For both camera and movie modes)
  • 17mm lens F2.8
What hope they will have for future models?
  • Electronic View Finder
  • MORE Lenses (Panasonic has 4, Olympus has 2, yes i know you can mount 4/3 lens via an adaptor but that's abit troubelsome)
Well for me the sad thing is that I probably won't be getting any new cameras, got a new baby on the way (Perhaps i can convince my wife that this is for the baby :p ). For those who are going to buy it will go on sale sometime starting in July i think. So if you get one, let me touch it ok?

The Online Photographer
Olympus Official Site

You Matter

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

A interesting post from Seth Godin.

  • When you love the work you do and the people you do it with, you matter.
  • When you are so gracious and generous and aware that you think of other people before yourself, you matter.
  • When you leave the world a better place than you found it, you matter.
  • When you continue to raise the bar on what you do and how you do it, you matter.
  • When you teach and forgive and teach more before you rush to judge and demean, you matter.
  • When you touch the people in your life through your actions (and your words), you matter.
  • When kids grow up wanting to be you, you matter.
  • When you see the world as it is, but insist on making it more like it could be, you matter.
  • When you inspire a Nobel prize winner or a slum dweller, you matter.
  • When the room brightens when you walk in, you matter.
  • And when the legacy you leave behind lasts for hours, days or a lifetime, you matter.

1st antenatal class

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Went for my first Antenatal class conducted by Thomson Medical Centre which was recommended by a good friend of mine. If you look at the website you can't really tell what's the cost and where they conduct the lesson. The cost for those not delivering at Thomson is about 235 and the lessons are conducted at Thomson and Ang Mo Kio Hub. Seems like a waste of doing up a webpage if you need to call to find out when is the next class, cost and location though.

It was lucky they had lessons at AMK Hub, quite near my house and my in-laws house so easy to pop over for lessons.

The lessons are conducted at the Little Skool House, need to take off shoes, take tempreature and disinfect our hands and feet. Feet ? haha how to disinfect feet? They have a mat that supposedly when you walk over it will disinfect your feet. Umm no idea if it works or not.

Did the normal registration stuff and there was this lady from Mamil gold ask us to fill in a card and then give us freebies ! A changing mat and some milk samples.

They class was interesting, we went through some nutrition stuff, watch a video on twins breast feeding, did some exercises, the lady went through how to lie down and get up and lastly did some breathing exercise.

So what's the most interesting thing i learnt? Haha I finally found out what Braxton Hicks are and no point raming your head againest the wall.

Bathtub IV - Nice Video

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

20 week - Half way there !

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Today marks the 20th week liao, half way there! My wife says that she can feel the baby waking up, moving around and kicking her,especially at night when my wife lie down the wrong way. She say the baby kicks her like she is pressing down on him/her.

After dinner my wife told me the baby woke up and is moving around her and just kicked her, she asked me to put my hand my her tummy see if can feel it. Nothing happen, when I went to the kitchen to get a drink my wife said the baby kicked again. No luck for me.

My wife tells me that the baby can hears sounds, so I should probably talk to him (ok I don't know the sex yet but it's abit irritating to type him/her). So my first feel phrases were like "How are you today", "Got slp good anot", "Must be guai ah". Yesterday my wife suggested maybe I shouldn't ask questions cause he couldn't reply but rather talk, things like "I am your daddy", "The world is round" and stuff like that.

But guess what was the first thing that came out my mouth..... i said (some drumroll please) "LISP is the second oldest high level programming language invented". Yeah I have been thinking of playing around with LISP recently so I thought that would be a good fact to tell my kid.

Perhaps must start reading encyclopedia to him so that he can be smart when he comes out haha. Anyway he will probably know more about nursing since my wife is studying for a Nursing degree now, so he is already attending his first lecture and tutorials.

Next week (hopefully) when we visit KK again, the baby is not too shy and we can see whether is a he/she.

Another VF-1J Pic

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee


Another Macross Picture with the VF-1J. Shot this on a different day from my previous one. Trying to play more with shadows this time round.

Gotta luv these Revoltech figures, they are so posable.

Why programmers like photography

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Programmers love Photography here's a few reasons why

1. They are both technical

Programmers have to deal with technical stuff like the differences between functional, OO or even List vs Hashes.

Similar in photography you will probably know things like Aperture, Shutter, Focus, mega pixels, sensor size.

2. Yet there are endless possibilities.
Programming languages are tools much like cameras, they are simple yet the possibilities are endless.

Camera uses just 2 settings aperture and shutter speed to determine exposure, yet all pictures shot with the same settings are not the same.

Programming languages constructs like the if-else, while and for statements are probably in all programming languages but yet not all programs are alike and not all solutions for the same problems are the same.

3. Recognizing greatness
If you see a nice picture, more often than not the next person will say its nice picture too.

Just like programming if you see an elegant solution to a problem or a framework that is well designed or a library that is simple to use, generally others will agree with you.

For all the guys out there, if you are putting your wallets in your butt back pocket when you sit down please don't, there are reports from the NyTimes and BBC that says that they maybe one of the causes of lower back pain.

The condition is known as sciatica, basically it's caused by general compression and/or irritation of one of five nerve roots that give rise to the sciatic nerve, or by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve itself.

So what can you do? First move the wallet to the front pocket, but our wallets are so big that putting them in front results in an unsightly budge. So what to do next. Perhaps a look at one of these skinny/slim wallets might help.

They all roughly promised that they can put about 20 cards and notes and still being thinner than a normal wallet. Most of them dont have coin compartments , they have slots that put multiple cards together instead of the normal one slot one card in normal wallets. With the reduce height, they are suitable for putting in the front pocket.

Here are 2 that I found on the net that seems quite popular among the skinny wallet advocates.

The ALL-ETT Billfold

The Big Skinny

Is your wallet a pain in the back
Like a girdle for you credit cards

Revoltech VF-1J

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee


Playing around with my camera and flash and tried some toy photography. The setup was simple one flash to the side with a kitchen chopper protector thing in front of it that I got from Daiso to diffuse the flash, and a notebook to the right to reflect some light back.

Well it's one week after the census. The number of readers of my blog is 6. Out of the 6.7billion people on this planet. That is in terms of percentages, 0.00000000000089% (Hope I got that right).

A big thank you all, all 6 of you who reads my blog.

I just received an email in my Singnet account, it asks for the usual user name and password details and warns that if you do not reply them they will disable your account. PLEASE do not reply, its a phishing attempt. If you look closely, the reply to address is not a singnet address. And why does Singnet want to disable your account when you have been paying them happily month after month ?

What is quite fustrating for me at Singnet's email scam/phishing site there isn't an email or link to feedback on phishing attempts. A visit to the contact us -> email page. Well it doesn't have an email address to send to, basically they have a form you have to fill up before they email you and guess what, they don't have a place to lodge these attacks on their users. So i just choose something like Internet -> Sales and just send off a comment, i couldn't even paste the whole email in because when I paste it in it exceeded the number of letters that the form can hold.

Below is the email that I got:

DEAR SingNet webmail holders

This is a message from the SingNet WEBMAIL
ACCOUNT Message Center for Communication to all of our
SingNet Webmail owners.

We are currently working on our database e-mail
In users.We are delecting all old unused E-mail
SingNet Webmail Account, for more space
for new users.

To prevent your account not be delected
our database you are advised to confirm your
SingNet webmail account immediately.

Submit your account information below

Website ....................
Username :...........................
Password ............................
Date of Birth: ......................
Country or territory: ...............

Warning! E-mail owners who refuse to submit
E-mail account details, within seven days from
this date of receipt will loses his/her Webmail
account permanetly.

Thank you,

SingNet Webmail Team

Please Submit Your e-mail account information to this
E-mail: (

Confirm your SingNet Webmail account to aviod Closure

Star Trek Movie

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Courtesy of my sis, I managed to catch the premiere of Star Trek in Singapore. The people there are quite paranoid about piracy because it's at least a few days before the official screening, so before the show we gotta surrender all handphones, pda, laptops, cameras etc etc. The show started at about 8:45pm.

I gotta say for those who are not Trekkies or just got a wee bit idea of what Star Trek is about, don't worry the show is just as enjoyable.

If you get confused over whether the space ship you see in the show is a Star Destroyer, I will tell you that is not, the Star Destroyer belongs to Star Wars not Star Trek. The space ship you see is the USS Enterprise which the first space shuttle and the first nuclear aircraft carrier in the world is also named.

Without giving too much away, the story is good, the show action packed and before you know it it will be coming to an end.

star trek

The official site
Trek Yourself
Star Trek Singapore

Look who greeted me this morning

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee


Look who greeted me this morning when I open my eyes!

Hear yee hear yee, the kingdom of Stephen's Ramblings on Life, Tech blah blah blah is conducting a population census. To all who reads this blog, you are require to put some comments on this page, so that the dear King stephen can finally know how many people reads his poor english, his lousy and inconsistent posting on subjects that no one wants to read and his lousy lack of humour in general.

PS: For all my friends and people who reads my poor attempt at writing, just humour me and leave some comments. For those who can understand this picture on the upper left. Yes a new process is spawning, it will be coming in October.

DIY Speedlight Grid

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Over the past few days, I made my self a grid for my camera flash, what does it do ? Basically a grid is a light modifier makes the light go in one direction only, so that you can control exactly where the light goes.

Found a few sites that show how to do it yourself and where you can buy one if you are to lazy to make one. I will list them at the end of the post.

I got all of my stuff from Daiso and Popular here in Singapore.

What you will need.

  1. Coroplast - Corugated plastic sheets, you know the kind that people make signs from, SGD 1.60 for a big sheet from Popular.
  2. Uhu glue
  3. Velcro - Got from DAISO SGD 2 Dollars
  4. Tape - I used black gaffer tape so that it looks more "pro". Anything that is in black is pro :)
  5. Cutting mat
  6. Cutter
  7. Ruler

Snoot 1

Measure the width of your flash and cut the plastic in one inch increments.


Results after cutting the strips.


Align the strips and stick them together using Uhu or any other glue that sticks plastic together really well.


I use gaffer tape to tape all round, then I cut out two strips of velcro and tape them to the grid so i can fasten them to my flash using a speed strap. (Some later post i will talk about how you can make cheap speed straps for about SGD 2 plus each)


Test shot without the grid.


Test shot using the grid.

self portrait

My ugly self portrait using my homemade Grid, should have worn a nicer top haha.

HonlPhoto grid - If you have money go buy this. has an article on how you can make your own grids. I basically copy it from here. The only difference is that instead of using black foam, i used velcro like the one from HonlPhoto.

Thoughts on Labour day

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

I always have a thought about Labour day, specifically why call it Labour day when you are not suppose to do any "Labour", so is it to celebrate the work instead of the worker? It's "Labour" day at least over 250 days in a year, so almost every day is Labour day to me. I always think that It should be called No Labour day, where we all don't do anyway work. But that is wrong too right ? Cause there are many people who are working like Taxi Drivers, Mac staff, departmental store staff, all who are working on Labour day. So No Labour day is out.

I personally think the best name would be "Labourer's" day, much like Children's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day. To celebrate the workers not the work.

Anyway for me Labour day is Labour day, I was doing work.. house work in the morning, vacuuming and mopping the floor so that I can enjoy my weekend.

So to all those who not Labouring on Labourer's day, enjoy ur day. For those who are working, hope you get a rest soon, remember that the world would probably stop turning without you guys/gals working today !

Found this site with 50 photography tips, go check it out.

50 Incredible Photography Tips

Days with my father - Think Family

Posted In: , . By Stephen Lee

Phillip Toledano documented the last 3 years of his time with his father in this website Days with my Father.

With most of the photos, there are text at the left hand side that talks about his thoughts.

ThinkFamily video -

It a nice and touching story and together with the new advertisement from ThinkFamily, it reminds us that those whom we love or even ourselves will leave this world someday and no one is perfect. Rather its the small things that happened day after day that will probably mean the most to us.

It made me think what kind of image/legacy I want to leave behind for people to remember me by. How would people remember me as ? Something to ponder about.

Group Shot - Zack Arias

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

How do you take a group shot in a auditorium with about 20 people with one speed light?

Zack Arias did it and he did it at this place ..

using one speed light

and 34 layers in photoshop.

GPP Group Shot = Pressure That Can Make Diamonds

Photos from Alishan

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Alishan is a beautiful place, we were quite lucky that the cherry blossoms are blooming and the weather was cool not cold. It was unfortunate that we were in a tour group and cannot stay too long, it would be nice just to walk slowly around the place and take in the sights.

The guide told us, the famous Alishan Railway was actually built during the time when Japan occupied Taiwan for transporting Alishan's cypress trees down, most of the trees that you see now in Alishan are all replanted to replace those that were cut down.


Alishan Railway Tracks, pity that we didn't get to ride it.


At a pond

There are some trees with interesting names like the two sisters, three brothers and some that looked like pigs and hearts.


Pig looking tree


Two trees that intertwined to form a heart


We don't really see tree in these colours in Singapore


Straight up



More nice shots of the trees.


My dear wife and the white sakura flowers.

Earth hour the big picture

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

A gallery from showing cities around the world celebrating earth hour by turning off their lights at 8:30pm local time.

Click on the pictures to see the scene after the light has switched off.

My Taiwan trip on Google Map

Posted In: , . By Stephen Lee

Got this tip from my goog friend bing qiang on how to put Google Map in my blog with my KML file.

Upload your KML file to some webserver, mine is on Google Pages, last i heard they are not taking up new users.

Paste the link into the search box in Google Map.

Click "Search"

Your data should appear in Google Map, next click "link" on the map. Choose the iframe version

Copy the html code and paste into blogger, remember to select the "Edit Html" tab first not the Compose tab.

And the final product ! You can click on the various waypoints and see my comments. Don't forget to click on the view larger map link to see a nice panel on the left with the way points and my oyster farm trail.

View Larger Map

Strobist Lighting 101

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

For those out these who wants to learn how to use their Camera Flashes more.

Toilets in Taiwan

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Some interesting toilet pictures that I took during my recent holiday in Taiwan. A lot of places (offices included) tries to make full use of your toilet time by putting motivational posters or some interesting fact on the toilet walls while you go about doing your business. Some places tries to impress you by the way they design their toilets, instead of some boring white place, they try to jazz it up with some theme or interesting toilet design.

Below are some of the more interesting toilets/signs that I've seen in Taiwan.

Toilet at 50cents Driftwood Restaurant.


Serious Betal nut spitting problem at Lefoo village.

What old pottery becomes at the Snake Kiln.

Basically it says, "Move one step closer, and it will be in the container".

Lean some chinese/english at Salt Mountain.