Thursday, June 26, 2008

Christian Moeller's "Daisy"

Christian Moeller's "Daisy", originally uploaded by Wahj.

I've been to the new Terminal 3 at the airport quite a few times over the last few weeks, and each time I've looked at this kinetic sculpture I've wanted to photograph it. The tough bit was figuring out how to get a sense of what it is - the kinetic part. It moves, while photos don't. In the end, a sequence of photos was merged together to make this one. I had only my handphone with me at the time, so the quality's not that good, and I didn't have a tripod or a stable support, but thankfully the only bits that had to match were the top of the pillar.

Monday, June 16, 2008

thirty-one pounces?

I've started a tumblog over here ... I'm not sure what to do with it, but for now it's mostly as a scrapbook of things, thoughts, photos and ideas. 

(not sure what to name it either ... thirty-one pounces anyone?)

Friday, June 13, 2008

PC Show 08

The PC fair at Suntec convention centre is one huge mass of geekery swarming over 3 convention hall floors. Here's the loot from braving the crowds yesterday and today:

First off, the largest laptop cooling fan I have ever seen.  Yes, that's one single, huge, fan - and, as a bonus, it's lit with blue LEDs. 

But here's a pet peeve: why do manufacturers believe that a sticker showing a series of meaningless icons will somehow convince consumers that their product has "features"? Take a closer look at the icons on this laptop cooling fan:

Reading from left to right:
"USB 2.0". Utterly irrelevant as the USB port is being used to power the fan, not to transfer data. Connection speeds are meaningless.
"Silent". OK, fair enough.
"Fan Speed". The fan has no switches. Not even an "on/off" switch: you plug it into the USB port to start it, and unplug it to stop it. You can't control the fan speed - which makes this particular icon completely meaningless.
And lastly,
"Cooling fan". Words fail me at this one. Who puts a sticker saying "cooling fan" on a product that is evidently a cooling fan?  Do they imply that the cooling fan itself has a cooling fan ... which would be at least interesting in a bizarrely self-referential way.

Nevertheless, the cooling fan works well, and was a steal at $18.

This next one is a cooling pad that gets put in the fridge, soaks up the cold, and then is placed under your laptop to cool it.  A great idea, and something I've always wanted for my laptop ... except for the strange rant that accompanies the product description, a choice portion of which is reproduced below:

"... recently, there is news on famous newspapers and webs to point out that use of notebook may cause the male to dis-procreate!  Men carry notebook to work everywhere and everytime. However, there is a research showing that heat that the notebook release will cause barren of men.  It is unfair for men who take responsibility of continuing the family line and who take heavy work pressure..."

Words fail me again.  "Dis-procreate" may be the funniest invented word I've seen in a long time.  As for the whole ranting spiel about how unfair it is for men to have to put up with both work, and high laptop/crotch temperatures as well, all I can say is thank goodness we have people creating solutions to that problem. 

But I didn't go to the PC fair just to buy gel pads.  The real loot from this morning's trip was the triumvirate of Razer products for my new gaming computer - a Lycosa keyboard, a Lachesis mouse, and a set of Piranha earphones.  All of which worked more or less satisfactorily today ... except for the keyboard mysteriously refusing to acknowledge the existence of the 'B' key for a short period of time.  A strange problem, which was solved by the software equivalent of giving it a good whack on the side - i.e. I restarted the computer.