Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jurong Bird Park

The Jurong Bird Park is a perfect family getaway for the weekend. I was very impressed after my visit to the park. This worldly acclaimed park is in a class of it's own. You can find almost every bird species there are in every continents of the world. The birds are very lively and well kept in beautiful landscapes that mimic the natural habitats of every bird. The park has the usual bird shows at selected times and the monorail ride around the huge park. If you plan to spend a long weekend, the kids can have a wonderful time at the water theme park while you and your partner spend some romantic time strolling the park.

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Saturday, July 07, 2012

That Perfect Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

3 years ago, I blogged about the emergence of netbooks or mini laptops. Although it did create a buzz and an insight into future computing in terms of size and cost, it did not achieve worldwide success and is slowly fading away. Reason being it is still not free from the keyboards, relatively thick and heavy while missing the touch screen feature. Then came the iPads which took the world by storm. iPads are actually copies of the Tablet first introduced by Microsoft in the early 2000s. However back then, it was very costly and its use limited to high end businessmen and hospitals. When Apple came in with their iPads, the market was ripe for such technology and since then, it has dominated the market until the emergence of Android tablets to take the fight head on.

I had resisted the move to such technology especially when the iPads were introduced 2 years ago. The pads were to my opinion just an oversized iPhone and its use very limited and restricted by the annoying iTunes. There is also no USB port which makes file transfer a hassle, not to mention very limited files supported by the pad. Even to transfer and watch a movie, you have to go through iTunes and convert the file first into whatever crap format it is before it can be read by the pad. Then came the Android tablets which broke the iPad dominance. The early versions of the tablets did have their  fair share of bugs and laggyness. But in terms of feature and file format support, it is already way ahead of the restrictive iPads. Now the second generation Android tabs take the fight to Apple with their much improved responsiveness while adding even more features and hardware upgrades.

I'm a man of sentimental values. So I had been sticking to my mini laptop loyally while many sexy tablets out there failed to tempt me. But my girl is getting old and running crankily so I have been looking for a new replacement. I got my first taste of tablet experience when I bought the Samsung LED TV which throws in a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 tablet. After just one day of usage, I fell in love with the tablet which does everything a computer does, minus the weight and of course gives me mobility. Few days later, I was so happy with the tablet that I traded in for the bigger size tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. There is no regret and I'm happily using it everyday while I spend less time now with my monster gaming desktop.

Having the chance to use both, there are pros and cons between the two sizes. While the 7.0 gives me excellent grip and mobility, it sacrifices the screen size and only comes in WSVGA display. But this small sized tab allows me to lie comfortably on my bed and with one hand gripping both sides of the tab just like a handphone, my other hand is free to manipulate the screen. The 10.1 on the other hand, is almost perfect in everything and with its WXGA display, it renders pictures and movies beautifully in higher resolution. But the sheer size means I have to lie the tab on my palm or table to use it. I can still grab one side with a hand but the thumb will leave dirty fingerprints on the side of the screen or even interfere with the touch screen process. Now talking about file format support, my tab reads almost every mp3 or movie files without having to go through iTunes or conversion. It also streams directly from my desktop computer wirelessly so no storage is needed in my tab. It can also do so many other things that made the iPads like a child toy. And do you believe it, the tab comes equipped with GLONASS which is the Russian equivalent of GPS. With both GPS and GLONASS in your tab, you can be assured almost 100% map and location coverage even if you bring it to the Arctic or deep jungles.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Koh Samui, Thailand

If you have been to Phuket in Thailand, then Koh Samui will look almost the same to you. The only difference is Phuket is located at the west coast of Thailand while the latter is located at the east coast. I spent a week in Koh Samui recently and had a great time chilling on this relaxing island. I arrived into one of the most beautiful private boutique airport and left me in awe. I didn't feel I was in the airport at all because everything looked so resort style. A nice resort buggy came over by the aircraft and took us directly to the immigration counter which looked like a hotel reception. There are so many boutique style hotels and resorts dotting around the island beaches. As a tip for you, try to avoid commercial hotels located in the towns. You should look for boutique resorts which you can easily find online. Trust me, most of these resorts offer the most stunning sea view with very nice villas and private pools, not forgetting private beaches. It is very convenient to get into town because these resorts do provide free transport or if you are feeling adventurous, you can always hop onto "tuk-tuk"s plying on the main roads for just a few dollars. The usual activities that you can do are island hopping via boats to reach secluded islands for snorkeling, trekking and kayaking. On the main island itself, you can join many tours to see elephant safaris, muay thai kickboxing, jungle off-roading, thai massage or just for some good food. Of course, you must spend few days in your own beautiful resort to chill and relax in the beautiful pools and on beaches.

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Rebirth

A while ago, I had been contemplating between making this blog private or close it down altogether. After much procrastination and staying undecided, 3 months flew by just like that. Time really really flies when one does nothing. The writer in me kept my blogging fire lit and had always been there to fight the evil away and urges me to come back to writing and publishing my life's journey. When I logged into my account recently, I read many encouraging messages from people around the world urging me to come back or asking for access in case this blog goes private. I am really touched by all your encouraging messages. I decided to come back to write more. Yeah, so what if I hit a few snags in my life. I pick up the pieces and move on with my life. Those who don't like what I do in life or get jealous can stay aside. There are many things I want to do in life and I can't be bothered to play along with your jealousy or interference. One thing I've learned in life is that when a force is applied against something, the same amount of force will be returned. So instead of inflicting forces on both sides, the best solution is to avoid the force altogether. That's what I'm gonna do from now on until the storm has subsided.

This is the most personal post I've written up to date. I've left out many more details as I felt it is still not the right time to bare all. However, I do have an "interesting" 30 years of stories and counting to tell. Perhaps when the time is right, it will all make it into this blog. I am no Steve Jobs and I won't have the chance to publish hard copy books. However I can say my life is as interesting as his and my autobiography will be published here online for free; for as long as I can still write. So in the meantime, be prepared for more stories of my travels, photos, and occasionally some rantings, crap posts, or even some glimpse into my private life.