Archive for September 2010

Transport Minister takes public transport

OK, I take back my words. I said that our Transport Minister, Mr Raymond Lim, will never take the public transport unannounced. I was wrong. Mr Lim made an unannounced visit to Bukit Panjang and took the bus with the public. Well done! Keep up the good work.

I hope he is not doing this just because election is coming. But I must say that these are very nicely taken photos.

I also hope that Mr Lim will not be just visiting places where problems has been rectified. It is useless to visit places where there isn’t any problems. He should be visiting places where there are problems every day and make sure these problems get fixed soon.

I look forward to meeting Mr Lim at Jurong East MRT during morning peak hour. It might be a huge culture shock to him. Someone please stand by some medicated oil, just in case.

Dim Sum Dollies – Love Your Ride

The Public Transport Council, in partnership with the Land Transport Authority, SMRT and SBS Transit and the Singapore Kindness Movement, strives to promote gracious behaviour on our buses and trains, in line with our aim to be a more gracious society.

The slogan for this year’s programme is “Love Your Ride” or “有爱心,多开心”. To inject a fun and humourous element to the programme, popular and recognisable local icons, Dim Sum Dollies were roped in as the programme ambassadors.

I prefer this more than the Phua Chu Kang Rap. At least the Dim Sum Dollies ask people to be gracious in a more gracious manner.

This campaign so happen to be around the same period as the Speak Good English Campaign. I must say that the timing cannot be any better. Seriously……. I wonder how many stacks of Post It Notes does the Speak Good English Movement need for this. Haha.

It’s the little things that makes a Laptop a Thinkpad

Those who have been following my blog for a long time will know that I’m a fan of the Lenovo Thinkpad. In fact, I fell in love with Lenovo since 1997 when I was working part time while waiting for my Polytechnic year one to start. Every once in a while, I get people asking me why do I love Thinkpad so much. My simple answer to that question is that it is stable and reliable. But in actual fact, there’s more to it. It’s the little things that makes a Laptop a Thinkpad.

A lot of thoughts have been put into the design of the Thinkpad. If you ever have the chance, try to chat with a Thinkpad designer and he will show you the little things that most people didn’t notice. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to chat with Lenovo Product Expert Matt Kohut last week ago while he was in Singapore.

Do you know that the rubber feet on Thinkpad are shaped like the paw of a cat? The rubber feet are designed this way so that when you put your Thinkpad down, the “paw” will absorb the impact. And yes, one of the designer got the inspiration from his cat.

Have you ever wonder why most Thinkpad don’t come with a backlit keyboard? Well, because the keyboard need to have drainage holes in case you spill water on your Thinkpad. And Thinkpad is well known for their drainage. I’m fine with no backlit keyboard. The light (or they call it Thinklight) works pretty fine.

The newer Thinkpad’s touchpad are designed in such a way that it is flushed. Having no raised border for touchpad means that the Thinkpad can be slightly thinner and also less corners to trap dust.

Anyway, I still prefer the Trackpoint over Touchpad.

There are many other stories behind the design of the Thinkpad. Most of us didn’t notice all these little things that makes the Thinkpad such a wonderful laptop.

Research In Motion buys Data Viz

I have no idea how did I miss this news. Research In Motion buys Data Viz. Data Viz, for the uninitiated, is the company behind the famous mobile office application, Documents To Go.

I always thought that Data Viz belongs to Palm. Don’t ask me why. Maybe because I always see Documents To Go being bundled with Palm Devices. I still remember having Documents To Go on my Palm Tungsten T3. Yeap, Documents To Go is that old. Back in those days, the Documents To Go application can’t open Word, Excel or Powerpoint files natively. You need to convert them to a format which Documents To Go can read. It’s not really that useful back then. I only use it for reading some important files. When I upgraded to Palm TX, it comes with a newer version of Documents To Go. The new version is able to open Word, Excel and Powerpoint natively without any conversion. That opens the whole Document To Go application to a whole new world. Imagine reading any word, excel or powerpoint document on your PDA.

Document To Go is also available on Windows Mobile, Maemo, Blackberry OS, Symbian OS, Android, and iOS. Personally, I love Documents To Go. I didn’t buy the Document To Go for my iPhone because I don’t need to edit documents on the go now. But if I ever need, I’m definitely going to use Documents To Go.

So here is the worrying part. What is going to happen to Documents To Go after RIM bought it? We can be sure that Data Viz team will work closely with BlackBerry to bring better Documents To Go app for BlackBerry OS. But what about the other competing Operating System? Will RIM drop Documents To Go support for the other Operating System? Or slow down the development? We don’t know yet.

Let’s hope RIM don’t change Data Viz after the acquisition. Let Data Viz continue to bring great office applications to all the mobile devices.

National Service Recognition Award

PM Lee announced a ‘National Service Recognition Award’ at the National Day Rally recently. The $9000 award is for NSmen who are citizens and will be evenly distributed over 3 phrase. The money will go into our CPF account.

The 3 phrase (Or milestones) are:
1) Upon completion of full-time NS
2) At midway through Operationally Ready NS (ORNS) training cycle
3) Upon completion of ORNS training cycle

I missed the first 2 milestones. Come to think of it, I could have qualified for the 2nd milestone if my NS unit isn’t that on the ball. My NS unit has been recalling us back for ICT every year since we ORD. Some of my friends who are older than me still qualifies for the 2nd milestone because they don’t get recalled back so frequently. Damn.

Well, at least I still get the 3rd milestone. Feel sorry for those lao peng who missed all the 3 milestones. Their national service are much more xiong than ours yet they didn’t get the reward that they deserves.