Archive for June 2009

Tech Memories: My first encounter with a PC

I was inspired to write this blog entry after listening to Buzz Out Loud Ep 981 where they talk about their Tech Memories.

I still remember very clearly the day when I got my first PC. It was late 1992 during my PSLE period. My eldest sis managed to convince my parents to get us a PC. The specs of the PC is considered quite advanced during that period. Those were the days when computers comes with 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 floppy disk drive. CDROM drive isn’t a standard yet. I can still remember quite clearly. It’s an Intel 486 33MHz. Yes, not even a Pentium yet. And there is a Turbo button on the PC which allows you to choose between 25MHz and 33MHz. Interesting right? The 25MHz is for games and other programs that are built for slower computer. A 14 inch SVGA monitor. (Which I constantly remind myself when I complain that my 20 inch iMac is too small) If I remember correctly, we had 4mb of RAM that time, which we later upgraded to 8mb. And the harddisk is just 120mb. Its a time where the word gigabyte is unheard of.

There is no USB port and sound card. (I remember we bought a creative sound card later and it was super duper hard to install because there isn’t such a thing call plug and play yet) Oh, and it comes with a black and white dot matrix printer. Windows isn’t a popular operating system back then. Most of the computers come MS-DOS. And I have totally no idea how to use command prompt back then because I never had the chance to play with a PC before. Its unlike school nowadays when they teach primary school students how to use computers.

I still remember that day very clearly. I guess most tech lovers would remember their first PC vividly. My sis wasn’t at home when the delivery guy came. So the delivery guy hooked up everything and showed me and my mum that everything is working by running a game call “Double Dragon“. After checking everything is in order, they turn off the PC and left. Since it is my PSLE period, I went back to my books. During my “breaks”, I begged my mum to let me play with the computer for a while. After some begging, she finally agrees and I went to the room and turn on the PC for the first time in my life.

If you had a old PC before, you will surely remember the sound of the RAM check and floppy disk drive when booting up. After booting up, I was presented with a black screen with a “C:\>”. And remember, I don’t know anything about computer back then. So I tried to recall what the delivery guy did to start the game. I remember they type something like “ddragon” or something. So I type in “ddragon” and press enter. The computer replied with a “Bad command and file name” on the screen. I paused for a while, pondered and type “file name”. Wahahahahaha. Yes, I still remember that is exactly what I did back then! I thought the computer is asking me if that was a “bad command” or a “file name”.

And the computer replied “Bad command or file name” again. Knowing that I have given the computer a wrong reply, I type in “bad command” on the second try. Wahahahahaha.

It didn’t work obviously. So I tried other ways to make the computer start the game. I can’t remember exactly what other “command” I tried. But I spend 15 minutes doing try and error but obviously it didn’t work. In the end, my mum came in and chase me back to my revision. And that was my adventurous first encounter with a computer. If only they have Windows back then.

So what was your first encounter with a PC like?

How to piss off a blogger with your event invite?

Warning: Rant ahead.

I’m supposed to attend an event now but I turn it down. I received the event invite last week regarding a blogger event for a company. It is the first time that company engage bloggers. The weird thing is, they aren’t using a PR agency to contact me. I’ve no idea why they are using that company. Their main business isn’t PR.

I’m not going to name both company in my blog entry. If you know the companies that I’m referring to, keep it to yourself. If you don’t know the companies that I’m referring to, its not important anyway. Its the things they do that is more important. So for simplicity sake, I’ll call the company that makes the product as “the company” and the company that engage bloggers and runs the event as “the agency”. Although they are not a PR agency. (Which more or less explains the mess that I’m about to tell you)

The email invite is like most normal invite that I usually get. “You are invite to the launch of blah blah blah at where and time”. Except a note that says “As a token of appreciation, all invited bloggers will be given an AngPao of $50”. (The word “AngPao of $50” is highlighted in another colour)

It’s a bit the weird lah. Where got people give AngPao as a token of appreciation for attending events one? Most people would give some door gift instead. And even so, they do not tell you the door gift in the email invite. And I don’t mind attending an event without door gift. I’m not there for your door gift. (but at least give me your press release, either printed, CD or email). Where got people tell you the door gift on the email invite. UNLESS your product is not interesting and you need some things to attract bloggers to attend. Honestly, that product isn’t that bad. I’ve never seen or touch it before but I’ve seen some not bad reviews about it. Why do they need to use AngPao to attract bloggers to attend?

But since this is the agency’s first time in engaging bloggers, I guess maybe they don’t know how it works. So I forgive them and replied that I’ll be attending since I’m interested in seeing that product for myself. Then come the email reply from the agency that totally pisses me off. They replied with additional info about the event. By saying additional info, I’m not saying additional info about the product. They send me the menu for the launch event. (OK, honestly speaking, the menu sounds good.)

BUT what’s the meaning of this? You think we bloggers are Gian Peng (greedy) type is it? Must put AngPao and food menu to attract them to attend your event. I don’t care about your food menu. Even if you don’t provide food and drinks, I also don’t mind. The focus should be on the product itself. You are launching the product, not food sampling. I want to know more about the product. Or if anyone from the management of the company is attending, let me know so that maybe I can prepare some questions for him. Or if this is the first time you guys are showing the product in Singapore, let me know to get me excited about the event. BUT NO! You tell me the food menu as if I’m there for your AngPao and your food. Its damn insulting and degrading. I’m a blogger, not some Gian Peng Gian Sai freeloader who is going there for your food and AngPao.

And the FINAL FINAL INSULT has to be the additional footnote. “PS: Please note that you will have to write a short write-up on the Launch and as a token of appreciation, an Ang Pao of $50.00 (Cheque) will be sent to you via mail after the Launch.” Oh, so the token of appreciation is not for attending the event but for blogging about the event. Look, in case you don’t know, new media works more or less the same way as traditional media. Bloggers attend the event and they choose to blog or not to blog about it, just like reporters where their editors may choose not to publish the article. You don’t invite me to an event with a pre-requisite that I need to blog about your event. (I usually will blog about the event I attend without the company’s request unless something when horribly wrong) And by the way, what if the attendee wrote a negative review about the product? Will they still be getting the $50 AngPao? Or is your $50 AngPao just for positive reviews?

I’m beginning to wonder if it is because the agency has no confidence in the product. That why they need to use food and AngPao to attract bloggers? Honestly, if bloggers attend your event because of the food and AngPao, then these people are not worth inviting. You should be inviting bloggers who are interested in your product and attend your event because of the product. And the product isn’t that bad. I’m sure there will be a group of bloggers who will attend.

Anyway, I turn down the invite after seeing their reply and wrote a very strong worded email back to the agency. I got quite a few blogger friends who told me they not attending too because of the way the invite is send. Luckily I have no contact with the company else I’ll surely drop them a note. I really wonder if the company knows about this mess their agency has created. Honestly speaking, I think it should be a good product and I really don’t mind reviewing it. But sorry, if that agency is going to engage me, I’m not attending. Its freaking insulting and degrading for a blogger.

For goodness sake, use your PR agency next time. I’m sure most PR agency knows how to engage bloggers the right way. If your PR agency doesn’t know how to engage bloggers, maybe its time you change one.

PS: All comments with the company/agency name will be deleted and all question asking for the name of the company/agency will be ignored.

Upturn the Downturn!!!

Wow, suddenly I feel so motivated after listening to the song. What downturn? Bring them on! We can fight them together. Let’s this song rally us together!
Come! Let’s sing along with our Minister and NTUC top management. Together we can upturn this downturn!

GO NTUC!!!! Labour Minister ROCKS!!!!

Upturn the Downturn

In this downturn, workers may feel sad
When its upturn, we will all be glad
Go for help and e2i
Or call union hotline
Cut costs save jobs good for Singapore
With some help from SPUR and also Jobs Credit
U Care Fund and all our SEs
For U, from U
Let us stand in pride and unity
We are pro-workers oi oi
We are pro-business oi oi
Upturn the downturn.

(Lyrics via mrbrown blog)


Damn, this video is bringing me back the horrible memories of the MDA rap.

What to do at Kuala Lumpur?

I’ll be going to Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur this coming Friday for the Nokia N97 launch event! Woohoo! Thanks to Nokia and Text100 for putting me in a DHL box and courier-ing me over. This is my first time going Kuala Lumpur. A little excited. (Yes yes, I very the lousy, so old already still haven’t visited KL before.)

Now, I have one small little problem. I’ll reach KL at about noon on Friday and the event is in the evening. Which means I have the entire afternoon free and easy at Kuala Lumpur. Anyone got any suggestion of where to go and what to do? Is there any “must visit” places when you are at KL? I’m more of the sit in cafe people watch and surf net or roam around aimlessly type. And my hotel is near the twin towers.

Or anyone living in KL want to meet up?

PS: I’m just kidding about the DHL box. :P

Love letters of great men

Ludwig Van Beethoven to his “Immortal Beloved”

My thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved
I can live only wholly with you or not at all –
Be calm my life, my all. Only by calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together.
Oh continue to love me, never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
Ever thine
Ever mine
Ever ours.