Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm still here!!

Hi everyone!

I'm still alive! But, just barely!!

I'm happy to report that last Wed, we worked through the night and successfully completed our Motion Control project! Great work team!! And we discovered an interesting fact: did you know that even after the effects of drinking coffee have totally worn out, drinking tea still manages to work on you???

And I had my Advanced Data Communications exam on last Friday!! (Yep, I got the slot for the last day!) We were frantically studying for it the past week!
ADC is actually pretty interesting! And I dutifully read all the readings in the thick textbook! That if you recall, cost me S$150!!

The examination was an oral. There were 18 full topics to prepare for. And after that, it all depended on which topic you chose from among all the 18 folded scraps of paper lying on the table. It felt like the most important piece of paper I'd ever picked out!

But during the oral, the professor was very nice and he kept on saying "Ja" as he acknowleged what I said as I explained everything I knew about my topic. But unfortunately the topic I got was an in-depth question and when I got stuck on some details, he had to help me out. The results are announced immediately and in the end I only got an average grade. I was a little dissappointed considering the effort I'd put in, but anyhow I learnt a lot from ADC!!

So now I'm back to preparing for my next exam - a presentation with oral exam for Motion Control. It'll be held this Tuesday afternoon (23rd) and I hope we all do a good job!

I'm heading back to doing the slides again... See you all after that!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

These are a few of my favourite things

Nope, not exactly what Julie Andrews sings about -

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens


Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Let me show you some of my fav things in these turbulent times. When my brain needs its own kind of food every waking hour of the day. Many nights too. But then again, my days and nights are really messed up nowadays:
My personal collection! Nescafe coffee sachets - Latte and Cuppaccino. Really good stuff. Nice and frothy!
Pickwick Fruit Infusion tea - Forest Fruit, Tropical Fruit, Strawberry and Lemon. Add a generous dose of honey and I'll meet you in 7th heaven!
Nothing like a good cuppa to start you off in the morning! Or in the evening! Or anytime in between!!!
The mokka. Used to make Expresso from coffee gound coffee. Pretty interesting how it works. There're separate compartments at the bottom that contain the ground coffee and water. The water compartment is below the coffee compartment. After boiling, the steam filters through the coffee and condenses on yet another top compartment. This produces nice rich coffee! Really potent stuff!
The French Press. Another device to get black juice from ground coffee. The gound coffee is put below the jug and a sort of filter pump separates it from the top. To extract the coffee, a pumping action is needed to stir it all up. Nice!
The tea thingy. Who knows what it's called? It looks like an ice cream scoop. And is used to contain a portion of tea leaves to be steeped in hot water.
The coffee vending machine at the mechnical engine dept. That's where I'm doing the motion control project. You need a special card to get the coffee. Each cup costs 2 DKK. And I'm running critically low on credits. There are so many choices of whichever type of coffee you want - Kaffe, Cafe creme, Expresso, Kaffespecialteter, Chokolade... so many!! Each with their own variants!
The normal coffee vending machine at most lecture halls. A small cup will cost 5 DKK (S$1.20).

But there's free coffee at the microelectronics dept. Great hang out place. But also great coffee hangover place from too many cups!
Got introduced to Earl Grey Tea by my great pal and project mate Ali Gurcan. Still need to share many cups together before we'll be able to complete our project!!
We were at the labs working on the project last night. Like many other nights. And before you knew, it morning had come. Notice the many coffee cups on the table. There were more!! Much more!!
Somehow, I didn't take any photos of us working. But there was another team working beside us too! Thanks for the company guys!

By the way, we're lucky that the prof agreed to extend the dateline for submission for our project. We're now working towards submission on Thursday morning. We'll do it!! I'll have good news to tell everyone after Thursday!!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The mushy one...

Sorry, I just have to let this out...

Just today, I received an email from my good friend Albert from the NUS Catholic Student's Society (CSS). I was the camera guy for last year's CSS Freshmen Orientation Camp (FOC 05) and he wanted the photos and videos.

During FOC, Paul, my fellow video buddy and I made a finale video for the camp. I found the video and just watched it. The ending part is an extended series of still photos of the good and bad times we had at FOC. All the laughter, sweat and tears!!
It plays to I'll Stand by You by The Pretenders:

Oh, why you look so sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now
Don’t be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
’cause I’ve seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
You don’t know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

So if you’re mad, get mad
Don’t hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now
Hey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well I’m a lot like you
When you’re standing at the crossroads
And don’t know which path to choose
Let me come along
’cause even if you’re wrong

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you

And when...
When the night falls on you, baby
You’re feeling all alone
You won’t be on your own

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you

I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

And it brought back such fond memories!! CSS FOC is all about love, fellowship and friendship. It reminded me of how much I miss you guys!! My dearest family at home! All my dear CSS friends, my engine friends, my CCA friends, my classmates... oh man, so many people!!! And all the good times we've shared! oh man!! Such fond memories!!!

I've got some photos in my laptop and here are some of you I could find. Sorry if I couldn't find and put all of you here!
My dearest family!!!

CSS friends celebrating my Bday!!

With CPE friends after our last paper many sems back!

The Engine guys at a post presentation celebration!!

And all the things I truly truly miss!!! Weekends at home with mum, dad and bro. Sunday pig-out brunch with bro. Friday mass with my CSS friends. Supper at Holland V with Abengs (Engine CSS) after FCG (Faculty Cell Group). Lunch breaks in school with engine friends. Sunday mass at my church, St Iggy's... man......

But the worse thing is I won't be able to see some of you as much as I used to even when I'm back home. Some of you are graduating, some going for SEP... Hope we can still stay as close as we were!!!

To everyone at home: You're dearly dearly missed!!! I wish I could be right there with all of you now!!!

This clip plays the entire song. Though the video is not exactly what I mean...

Music Video Codes by

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Heat is ON!!

Ok, so now, it's my turn...

I'm sorry, no updates on my touring for now. Since coming back from Dublin, things have been pretty rough. Here's a rough idea of what I've been busy with and will be tied up with soon.

These are the things I've had to complete since coming back:
1) Intro to Artificial Intelligence Project 2 - City Map Navigator. Remember I've finally completed my version for the Copenhagen central district. Given a start point and destination, my program will tell you the route to take. It was fun to make! But really, Danish roads have way too long spellings!!!
This is a map of the Copenhagen Central District!

2) Design of Digital Systems Final Project. This we had to rush to finish. We all neglected it before we left for Dublin. In the end, we didn't complete the whole thing, but somehow the lecturer was still pretty happy with us!! He's Spanish but teaching this module in Danish (so we've special permission not to attend his lectures!) Anyway, we were so delighted that we started
singing "Amigos Para Siempre means you'll always be my friend! Friends for ever not a summer or a spring!!" Yep, it's now spring in Denmark!
Here I am with my teammates from Design of Digital Systems: Me, Siong Yang, Jesper and Hassan. Was great knowing you guys!!

3) Presentation of Design of Digital Systems Projects. After completion of the final project, we had to present the end result to our lecturer. We were expecting to be grilled with complicated questions. But it turned out to be a breeze! This module has no official written exams! So this is it! One module down!! woohoo!
And through that door was where I had my Eksamien presentation for Design of Digitial Systems - my very first exam in DTU!

And here are the things I have to complete in the short term:
1) Motion Control Project. To model the control of a laser engraver in MATLAB. This is one big project that is due very soon - this coming Tuesday!! And we're only half way through! But no worries. Cos among the 3 of us, we have enough coffee to put the Brazillian coffee industry out of business!

2) Embedded Systems Project. This will be even bigger. But luckily it's due at the start of June. Need to program a complicated routing protocol. And to learn a whole new programming language for it! But I'm sure I'll gain much from it!

And of course, these are my exams:
1) Advanced Data Communications - (19th May - Hopefully!!)
We were allowed to rank our preferred exam date. And not surprisingly, all of us Singporeans chose the latest date! Hope we all get it! This will be an oral examination to 2 examiners. This is the most demanding of my modules as it is very technical and content-based. But we've got it planned, cos in the event of an emergency, we'll fake a strong Chinese accent, pretend not to understand the question and just regurgitate a chunk of irrelevant stuff! ha!

Motion Control - (22nd May)
There will be no official exam and we will need to present our major project to external examiners. If all goes well for the project report due this Tuesday, the presentation later on should not be too difficult to handle. We'll see...

Intro to Artificial Intelligence - (29th May)
This will be done by an oral exam. Will need to explain and defend the methods I used in my 2 projects - Tic Tac Toe and Street Navigator. Also will be tested on topics in the reading list. For now, there seems to be adequate time to prepare for this. So this can afford to wait for now.

4) Embedded Systems - (late May)
No official exam also. But we will need to complete our project, write a technical paper on it and finally present it to the professor. But this module is very high-level and we will need to devote lots of time to research on the routing protocols and on the programming language (NS2). This module is risky as there is a possiblity we may get stuck.

Ok, time to get back to work. But don't worry, I'll still try to post whenever I can!!

And NUS friends, enjoy your well-deserved hols!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Back from Dublin!

Hi everyone!

Just to let everyone know I'm safely back home in DTU!

Dublin was pretty rushed. But still it was fantastic! The close-knit and energetic Irish culture, the traditional Irish bars, the colourful flower gardens, the ancient churches. And I've lots of great photos to show you! They're by far the most colourful and scenic!!

However, there's a bunch of urgent assignments to be completed, so those will come first...

But don't worry, I'll continue with London and do Dublin pretty soon! Check back in a while!!