Friday, December 31, 2004

Explorace Ramblings...

I've had a peeve with the first season of Explorace ever since I saw the first episode, it never caught my attention and in my opinion, the whole first season sucked like hell. As an ardent The Amazing Race supporter, I expected for an adrenaline-pumping race (at least) across Malaysia and not some pissy one-on-one challenges.

Okay, I'll be clearer this time. I have watched every episode of the fifth season of the race made by CBS, and later when I saw the reruns of Explorace on 8TV, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so disappointed with the show that I actually muttered out "what the fuck?" at one point while watching it. There were so many things wrong with the show that I seriously doubted the viewership ratings that were as claimed by TV3. Among the horridly screwed up parts were:

1. Wrong host. Daphne, if you're reading this, no offence but you're totally not suited to be the host of a reality game show, you talk too much and you lack the air of a reality show host. Find someone else. Please. Deduct 5 marks for incompatibility.

2. Speeding up the clips. No we don't enjoy seeing people move like lighting in a race. It defeats the purpose of watching a race. If it were in real time, everyone's feet would burn up and the whole damn show would be over in less than 5 minutes. Deduct 10 marks for screwing it up.

3. Voice issues. We don't need narration for every single incident that happened in the race. Just show the race as it is and leave the talking to the team members! No editing or voice-overs please I beg for the mercy of God! Deduct 10 marks for stupidity.

4. All talk and no action. Despite what the show is targeting (or preaching), the first 30 minutes of the show is all talk on how they're gonna kick the other team's arse, the next 30 minutes featured Speedy Gonzales-type videos of the team members in action. For heaven's sakes, just shut up and move your arses! Deduct 15 marks for rubbish and time-wasting.

5. There is no race. You heard me right. The currently format of the race means that there is no real race to begin with. You start of with teams going "head-to-head" with half of the teams eliminated by the end of the first round. And you call this a race? Deduct 15 marks for deceiving people that it's actually a "race".

6. Advertising issues. You can take all of your advertising and product-placement and go shove it where the sun don't shine. Holding team members accounted for damages of cars was a stupid idea in the first place. If you don't want the cars to be damaged, then don't let the team members near it within a 10km radius. Deduct 10 marks for stupidity and ugly advertising.

7. Race tasks are lame and agonising to watch. I mean, if you see the tasks that the producers thought up with, it is totally lame. The tasks are all jumbled up and you need to collect keys (seriously, what the fuck?) to win the race? Deduct 10 marks for mismanagement of race tasks.

8. No excitement. Watching this race is as fun as watching both grass grow and paint dry at the same time. Deduct 10 marks for torturing the viewers.

The Amazing Race = 98%
Explorace = 15%


Some suggestions:

1. Get a better host, preferebly a guy like Phil Keogan.

2. Leave the clips as it is.

3. Leave the audio sections as it as and the host should speak less. The essence of reality lies within the actions and words of the team members themselves.

4. Trash talk - 3 minutes, full adrenaline action - 57 minutes.

5. Take the same 12 teams and make it truely into a race, give us realisation on which team's ahead of the other. Throw in stops in the race and some interesting twists in between.

6. Cut the shit. Enough said.

7. The Amazing Race did a fabulous job on this part, Explorace failed miserably. The Amazing Race managed to incorporate part of the lives of the locals into the tasks and pull them off remarkably.

8. Alongside the "don't touch it" suggestions that I've already mentioned, take the cameraman and walk with the team members if they're on foot, ride with them if they're driving/taking a taxi. The cameraman also represents the 3rd team member and should give the viewers a view on what's like it to participate in the race. Either that or the cameraman should be treating the race the same way as the cameras would while covering a Formula 1 race. Keep track of who's leading and let the suspense build up until the ending.

If you'd compare Malaysia's editions of usual reality shows with Ameriaca's ones, as in Malaysian Idol and American Idol, the Malaysian version is on par with its American counterpart. Explorace was unfortunately a cheap pirated copy of The Amazring Race.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

December 26, 2004

It was Boxing Day, the day after Christmas and it was supposed to be one of the most joyous days in the year. Personally that particular date was etched long ago into my memory because it once marked an important period of my life. But then the killer earthquake and tsunamis came on that very morning, tens of thousands of peoples' lives were extinguished in that very moment, and millions of others' lives were totally wrecked from it.

Calvin first informed me of the incident in the afternoon when I saw him online. From the moment there was a sign that something major had gone wrong, I went to search for some information regarding the event and right after I saw the first death toll, with each passing hour, the casualties continued to rise and rise and rise and rise into unimaginable figures. I was totally numb from the unrealness of the situation until I switched off the computer last night. A copy of The Star was beside me and as I looked into the devastation in the photos, it was only then that the reality started to sink it. And now, I couldn't bring myself to read the updated articles at Wikipedia, BBC and MSNBC, knowing that everytime I read through it I felt number than ever at the situation. I've given up reading it.

It was hard too typing this post out, my mind is in a confused and undescrible state, on accepting the extense of the calamity that had befell on the coastal residents. I felt terribly sad for the victims of the tragedy, lives that once housed emotions, thoughts, hopes, dreams and desire were wiped out in the glimpse of an eye. But the closeness of the disaster wasn't really enough to snap me out of it, I mean, I could not truely comprehend the sadness, agony and hopelessness of the family of the victims. I sort of felt it before, but this was not the same as I've experienced.

The numbers were numbing, but the photos from the disaster site were exactly opposite. The numbing numbers, both in terms of human life, monetary cost and relief aid were now mere statistics but the barrage of photos available everywhere evoked the most emotion and probably response from the people who were looking at it. It's true that there still are things which couldn't be able to be described by people, but sometimes a single image is enough to convey the message to everyone who saw it.

I think I've blabbered enough already. I don't even know what I'm saying now.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

It's 3:43 am...

It's 3:43 am, 5 tabs are still open in Firefox for the past 10 hours, the radio is turned on and the TV's reflection is sorta eerie at the moment... Okay, now how do I tackle the problem with the tabs? Err... maybe I should do this in the morning...

Notes to self:
1. Don't bother thinking about getting a RM300 webcam, stick with a cheap RM100 one and take that pic before that hair of yours gets its death sentence!
2. There's still quite a lot of things that still haven't been blogged yet, get that blogging butt moving soon!
3. What the heck, school starts in 2 weeks time and you're not prepared yet??? Yeah... the textbooks have been bought but that about the rest?

Got 'em!

Mom was definitely complaining when she saw me forking out to pay for 3 DVD disks at Prangin Mall yesterday. To tell you the truth, it's been roughly a year since I had bought any computer games, mostly because the financial situation was qquite bad and that my computer wasn't really able to handle these games anymore. Thank heavens for the lucky break, I appreciate it. =)

She nagged even more when she saw that I was playing a First-Person Shooter game, Call of Duty, saying that she doesn't agree with violent games like that. Actually, I don't think she knows that I disagree with the idea of senseless killing. I subscribe to the idea that I only shoot if there's someone aiming his gun in between my two eyes. And if this game wasn't about World War II, frankly I wouldn't give two hoots about it. But it's still a pretty good game with plenty of excitement and nice gameplay. =)

And she also nagged that I'll eventually fall sick from playing violent games like that. It's not that the game is bad, it seems that I really am not suitable for playing those games in long periods without rest. It happened before with other similar games, felt very awful for the rest of the day... ehehehe... Well I played the game for 3 hours today before feeling the first signs of motion sickness, or rather simulator sickness, as the sickness doesn't really comes from motion.

And the other 2 disks were the Homeworld series and Command & Conquer series. Homeworld 2's graphics was spectacular but man, does C&C: Generals sucks or what? Big thanks again for the news about the announcement of the newest game in the Red Alert universe! =) Searched for Battlefield 1942 but (thankfully?) they're not available. That also reminds me: save up some money and get myself at least an original copy of any game! (Yes I've been brainwashed... xD)

"Sorry... but you asked for it, buddy."

*Aims scoped Springfield/Kar98k/Mosin-Nagant at head*

*Evil grin*

Monday, December 20, 2004

Keo Satellite - Be back in 50,000 years...

What if there was a way to contact with people from the future?

What if there was a way to leave a message for your future descendants?

What if this was actually a reality?

At the end of 2006, the Keo satellite will be launched into Earth's orbit carrying millions of messages from the citizens of Earth to Earthlings 50,000 years in the future. Enclosed in several layers of titanium, thermal and anti-shock layers, the sphere-shaped satellite coupled with shape memory alloys will orbit Earth for the next 50,000 years, raising when it touches the sun's rays and folding when it enters the shadows.

The satellite will be brought into space by the Ariane 5 rocket, which is built and designed by the European Space Agency. The agency, along with UNESCO and various organisations and institutions has given its support for the project and it has received a large amount of coverage in France and India.

Messages to Keo can be sent through the website or by postal mail, which is available on the website. Keo's organisers requests that all groups of the human race be represented in the project, the rich, the poor, the blind and everyone else is welcomed to participate in its project.

The deadline for the messages is December 31, 2004 (2 weeks left as of time of posting). So I'll cut short my post now to concentrate on writing my message. You can check out the satellite's website or the article on Wikipedia for a brief and simple introduction. =)

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I. Am. Officially. Relieved.

*Points to the title*

Methink my flowerhorn fish has been completely recovered from his illness, as he started to eat his pellets today, Before that, he had starved himself for roughly 2 weeks, and his body had shriveled up. I was most worried that he'd die. T_T

When it rains, it pours? A goldfish of mine had come down with ick, a sort of fungus disease. He's also recovering now. =) Be before any kind of treatment was done, I made a short trip to the aquarium shop and on my way back, there was a large and dead goldfish on the road. If it wasn't for the lone fly sitting on the fish, I might've thought it was a toy, seeing it's unnatural look and it wasn't there when I was walking to the shop. One think for sure, I took that as an bad omen and will be preparing myself if it ever comes up true. Hope not. >_< black one if you're wondering. =)

Anyway, got what I wanted (and prayed) for, it's as good as a Christmas present from someone above, life and/or fate. Thank you. =)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Crane accident...

(Click to see the larger pic =))

Photos taken from a thread at and this site, which also explained a bit about the accident. =)

Malaysia in semi-finals!

(Hoping to break the blogger's block by typing about something on my mind... =))

I was keeping an eye on Malaysia's matches in the 2004 Tiger Cup, and they have surprised us all with an unexpected 2 - 1 victory over the defending champion, Thailand!

The tinge of hope left in the team that inspired the article on the back of yesterday's copy of The Star sure had stamped its mark in proving that Thailand is not invincible, and Malaysia is no more the team which used to play badly and lose horribly, and even frequently looked down by some people. Congratulations to the national team for proving the critics wrong and good luck for your upcoming matches!

Btw, I've started and now maintaining the 2004 Tiger Cup article at Wikipedia! =)

Monday, December 06, 2004

Streamyx speed...

Check with this website and found that my average speed is usually over 400Kbps! Hurray! =D

Guessed the folks at Telekom really did upgraded the connection! =)

Sunday, December 05, 2004


I now have a computer to use again! Yay!

The darn thing crashed on the last day of NaNoWriMo but I was lucky to pass the 10K mark before the crash. After it restarted by itself, the hard drive couldn't boot Windows XP and was totally useless. Something about having system files corrupted and needs the original Windows XP Home CD to fix it, but since this is an OEM version (meaning end user isn't supposed to own a copy of the CD), that's where the headache starts.

Brought it to a computer shop on the next day to see what it could be done, it seemed easy enough but it turns out that they don't have a copy of the WinXP Home edition CD, original or not. So, after reformatting, the hard drive seemed to lock out any other operating systems - Win98, Win2000, Longhorn - all useless. =\ The repairman and his two apprentices spent the rest of the day messing with the operating systems. He said that the hard drive from HP may have been secured, and it was almost good as a paperweight.

Components changed: Old Phillips CD writer + old Sony CD-ROM reader (both unusable) -> New TDK CD-RW/DVD combo drive

Day number 3 involved testing using a brand new hard disk. It was ruined after that. The fog dissipated and everything was crystal clear. The fault lies in the darn motherboard! Eh, they tested the old hard disk from another computer and it was working, strange.

Components changed:
1. Old and dusty motherboard with no brand -> New Abit SG-17 motherboard
2. Old original HP pavilion casing -> New iCute casing, it had three fans and the design was pretty nice
3. Old floppy disk drive -> New Sony floppy disk drive
4. Two sticks of 128MB SDRAM, one original HP Infeneon, the other Kingston -> 256MB Kingston DDR RAM (trade in)

Components retained:
1. Pentium 4 1.5Ghz processor
2. 40GB Maxtor hard disk
3. Nvidia Geforce2 graphics card
4. 56Kbps internal modem

All assembled and packed at the end of day three but it was scheduled to be sent at day four.

Received phone call that he's busy at 7pm on day four, postponing it for the next day.

Arrived at 10pm on day five, everything was set up but had a slight problem with Streamyx. Can't connect. *Bangs head* Made a phone call to Telekom but I eventually realised that I typed the username wrong. *Bangs head again*

Good side was that I found my computer was now running Windows XP Professional edition. o_O At least it was a free upgrade. The whole ordeal costed RM615 and the internet cafe there must be rich now...