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Showing posts from 2016

Farewell Princess Leia and other icons of the 80s.

By now, the news of her sudden demise would have spread across the world, and we are all recalling all her famous movies, photos and the one that is etched in the minds of those who were in their puberty years when she wore that brass bikini in Star Wars.
But behind this image of her, is another...
A young girl who had an affair with an older and married actor, someone who couldn't cope with the pressure and limelight of Hollywood. Someone who then turned to drugs, drinking and had depression. We like to remember the good parts, and certainly she was the darling of Hollywood when she grabbed a laser gun and shot her way to fame. She then did a lovely comedic turn in Harry Met Sally, along with a good run as a writer too.
Yet, I can't help feel sad, that the life of a Hollywood star is adored, admired and even idolised, and we are quick to emulate their looks, and even adopt their epicurean lifestyles. Likewise, we mourn the loss of George Micheal, but are their lives truly worthy…

Oppo UDP 203 review

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Good news! I have updated the video section with a comparison with the Samsung ☺
In addition I have added a comparison with the older Oppo 83 Nuforce.


Just to set expectations right:
this is a review in progress and will be updated with more content as I tried with with more 4k displays and compare it with other players). Furthermore, as this is a personal review, I will try and compare it with as many players as I can lay my hands on, but I don't intend to make my review an end all review of all the current player.












Oppo has been at the forefront of players which provide exceptional value for money, and in recent times, they have moved from providing merely simple value players to players which even the keenest audiophiles will want for their top tier systems.

With the advent of the Ultra High Definition (UHD), 4k format, we have all been anticipating what Oppo has up their sleeves. Wisely they have not tried to be the first off the mark, and have instead allowed developments in t…

Top seller lists vs SINGAPORE's car of the year list

It's interesting..
Each time I see the cars suggested for the car of the year award, I am amused.
Not often do these lists coincide with the most sold cars.
So what do these lists mean? Best tech, best ride ?
Maybe in a small place with few B roads and mostly start stop traffic, hot yet wet weather, and very expensive COE, we value different other thIngs. Why is it that a Corolla sells well for example?
By modern car buyer desires, it falls behind in the tech and cool count: only two airbags, fewer safety features and a less than desirable shape or interior.
Yet it continues to outsell its rivals handily. If you take away the PI sales it is likely to feature at the top again.
Perhaps it's because fans of the Corolla value reliability above all. The fact that their speaker covers don't fall out, there aren't many transmission issues reported, maintainance is affordable and when the time comes to sell it, finding a buyer is far easier then even selling your HDB flat.…

The Accountant Movie Review

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There have been a spate of movies which feature loners with skills, and this isn't really a recent phenomenon, but the 'man with skills' tag was brought back to prominence by Liam Neeson in his first "Taken" instalment, and I think producers were taken aback by it's popularity, leading to more of such movies, with fine examples that worked like Jack Reacher, Equaliser and more. The distinctive characteristic of the protagonist in these movies is a man who has some serious training in handling himself under extreme circumstances, but who is governed by some inner moral compass, which forces him to take up arms to defend himself and his beliefs, whilst handling anyone or anything that gets in his way, with extreme prejudice.
So that's what the basic premise of this show is about really, but with an extra twist, Ben Affleck plays this skilled loner well since he isn't really known for his dialogue, and add an extra dimension in the form of autism. A spe…

Inferno Movie Review

Book adaptations can be a mixed bag, sometimes it exceeds the excitement of the books, but other times it can be rather disappointing. For example, I read Robert Ludlum's Bourne series first and found the movies to be exciting but somehow the written word carried even more excitement despite the lack of moving pictures and sound.

So I declare that I have never read any of Dan Brown's books, nor am I a fan of his works. But I like a good yarn about adventure, treasure and the thrill of hunting for the lost. Think Indiana Jones with someone that has twice his IQ.

I didn't enjoy the first instalment much, too much controversy, and too much church stuff in it. The second, even with the Vatican City in it was a much more straightforward hunt for clue kind of movie, with intrigue and thrills built in. 

Now Robert Langdon returns once more, with a story about a virus which threatens to decimate the world's population, and the only man to stop this massacre is our Professor once …

Buying Car Accessories: places to get from and tips

Been looking around, and I can report back on where to find accessories:
For a brick and mortar shop options:
Autobacs: - the biggest selection, you can touch, ask questions etc
NTUC: surprisingly good
SGgarage, and a few others. Mod shops that also sell some kit that you can add on. 
For serious electrical mods;
Elebest:
Max does all kinds of stuff: GPS, keyless, etc
ONLINE:
Ah this is where the interesting stuff begins:
Amazon: Amazing place where you can get stuff that suits all kinds of cars. And don't limit yourself to Amazon USA. For the Merc, which is German in origin, try search in Amazon UK and De. They may be cheaper, and offer more options. Things like car mats, wipers, replacement parts, and more.
Ebay: A traditional source, and I might get my window visors from there. Made in USA and sells for the same price as the ones from ebay Malaysia.
Aliexpress: A huge market place, and like Taobao, it offers many items, which are not just made in China. I got a console shelf t…

The Hunt For A New Car

So after nine years and a bit, my Little Red Riding Hood, aka Honda Civic FD, is coming to the end of its life. Well the end of it's COE anyway, which means I can either cough up the money to renew this little piece of paper or explore new cars.

Given that I can get back almost 10k for this baby, it's really been giving me sterling service, and I should try to get another car.

So here comes the hunt:

I have set myself a budget of around 130k but if I can spend less, that will be even better. i.e, with my car thrown in, my outlay should not extend 120k.

First decision was to forgo renewing the COE.
Second one was whether I should go for a 2nd hand one. Given the high prices I see for 2nd hand examples, a first hand car seems to be the way to go.

What are the things I really need, and what are the niceties then?

Needs:
Reliability is paramount. No 'characterful' cars, a euphemism for unreliable. So most likely a Jap car, that is actually made in Japan, maybe a Korean one…

Checklist when buying a car

Pricing COE Top-up COE Rebate Delivered By Trade-in car value Deposit Loan interest Loan Amount Loan Penalty 1st year insurance & fee Engine/chassis ready? Color availability Delivered By Keyless Entry? LED Headlight Leather seats Steering Wheel Control Floor mat Boot cover/mat HU unit (AVH-X2650BT) Reverse Sensors/Camera In-car camera Solar films Warranty (Years/Km) Free Servicing IU, reg plate, 6mths rd tax include? Rims
http://www.sgcarmart.com/news/writeup.php?AID=8&APPS=1

Things to ask for when buying a new Vezel

Vezel : Standard Freebies:- 1) Leather seats 2) Entry level HU unit (eg AVH-X2650BT) 3) 3yrs warranty 100000 or 5yrs 120000 4) basic engine oil change servicing fixed below 150 including gst (cap viscosity at w30) 5) All models steering wheel volume etc button linked to HU. 6) Rebate level max 2k below last closing COE 7) Either no top up or to be fair to dealers, max cap 2k top up above last closing COE 8) reverse camera 2 sensors
Freebies To be firmly requested/demanded/negotiated:- {especially if taking full allowable loan and max allowable tenure} 1) upgrade to high spec HU (eg AVH-X8650BT or Appradio 4) 2) 3-in-1 Anti UV, Anti infrared, Anti shatter solar films 3) wireless mirrorlink function included with HU to link iphone or android 4) 1-2yr 100% free servicing package -manufacture listed viscosity branded engine oil of choice 5) paint protection sealant or paint protection film 6) High spec front & rear recording camera 7) other body kits and accessories 8) reverse n front parking camera an…

How To Refine Your Home Theatre calibration: things to do after the first calibration

So, you have done that Audyssey recalibration, and followed the checklist
(http://peteswrite.blogspot.sg/2016/07/things-to-look-out-for-when-doing-your.html)

It is also important to get the subwoofer position right, even before you run that Audyssey. So do read up on 'crawling for bass', before you even do your calibration.

And make sure your speaker positions follow the recommended guidelines as fas as possible.

This is a nice video to follow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV3oLLMgS-M

Well, the step is refinement. Audyssey is only the first step to getting that mix, where you feel totally immersed in the movie. This means setting the levels right in each channel, so when sound transverses from one channel to the next, you feel that the intensity, and the object is truly moving in space from one place to the next, as the movie maker intended.

The next stage is to measure the frequency response. Now this can seem daunting for the casual computer user, and I admit, that PCs ar…