Nov 28, 2011

Panasonic Lumix GF3


Yes!!! I've got what I've been aspiring for recently.


It's the last day of Gurney Plaza Camera Fair 2011 and my family visited just to buy Lumix GF3 for me.
Honestly, I felt quite embarrassed seeing my dad insistently bargaining for the package discount and freebies (quite proud of him ironically).


For RM2150, I got:
• The camera with a 14mm pancake lens and 14-42mm zoom lens
• 8GB SD Card
• Camera bag
• Samsonite bag
• Toiletries case
• Lumix Exclusive Cleaning Kit with mini tripod, cloth, card reader, SD card holder, blower etc
• Umbrella

Lumix GF3 is so far the world's smallest and lightest interchangable lens camera. Indeed, when I compared it with Nikon D40 which I'd been using before that, I was quite astonished by the difference in size and weight.
In spite of that, the quality of image and video shouldn't be underestimated.
Touch screen is truely also a wonderful feature that makes photo shooting experience easier and fun.




The 6 color effects in Creative Control mode

Here's a test video I've taken using Creative Control: Retro, edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CS3


I'm not actually writing a review for this camera (by the way, there're so many useful reviews outside that there's no need for me to do one), just to share my happiness and excitement.

Thank you dad, I shall make it my Christmas present in advance :)

Check out the Lumix GF3 at Amazon at a special price of US$379!
You can get the body only at US$229!

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Nov 12, 2011

Dian Xiao Er @ VivoCity


Phew, and finally it's the week marking the end of lectures, tutorials and projects for this semester :), as well as the beginning of those stressful exams ahead of us. :(

Both as celebration and motivation, a few friends from Temasek Hall and I had a relatively luxurious dinner at Dian Xiao Er 店小二, VivoCity.


Seriously, I'd rather be seated inside than outside facing the sea.
Despite the little bit of resemblance of a gazebo, firstly it's so warm outside and secondly, there's no light that favors photo capturing without flash light.

Please bear with the angle and quality as it's snapped with timer.


It's pretty uncommon to see such comprehensive surface-level nutrition facts on a menu.

Apparently I didn't bring a tripod, and the dishes had to be captured using flash light.

鐵板菜香豆腐 Hotplate Beancurd w Minced Meat & Pickled Vegetable ($16.50) ★★★★★


媽蜜雞翅皇 Marmite Superior Chicken Wing ($14.30) ★★★★★



當歸烤鴨 Duck Roasted w Angelica Herb ($23.20) ★★★★☆

My friends kept comparing the dishes with hall's. It's indeed incomparable (just look at the prices) but we should actually be thankful because hall food is considerably nice and in fact, quite delicious sometimes, with fruits and free flow of drinks and soup.

It can be foreseen that the upcoming weeks are going to be the extremely stressful ones, let's chiong instead of holding onto God's leg during the last minutes.

#02-137/8 VivoCity
1 Harbourfront Walk
Singapore 098585

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Nov 4, 2011

Bicycle Playing Cards


Finally!! And finally I've got myself my first (two) decks of Bicycle Playing Cards.



Blue and Red Standard Decks at $4.50 each (U.P. $5 each)

It started when I went to pay the flight ticket fees to Sweden at Chinatown on a Friday since I have no lectures to attend for. Since I was already out, it makes sense that I drop by VivoCity to scout for some useful stuffs besides enquiring about mobile plan renewal and number portability.

I started surfing the net to find that whether there is anywhere that I can buy a Bicycle deck, and Toy Outpost was the only appropriate result. Lucky me, I really found the decks there and they do sell the Standard Decks (cheapest ones).

By the way, I bought Bicycle not for playing but to practice and perform card magic tricks. I probably would use only the lousy decks I have to play card games with friends.

Reasons? Bicycle Playing Cards are the most quality playing cards one can find on the earth's surface.
All famous magicians like Lu Chen, Cyril Takayama and David Blaine use them as well.

The cards are really smooth and this makes it a lot easier to do spreading, fanning, multiple lifting etc, apart from nice touching feel.

Also, I realized that each deck contains a Red/Blue Double Backed Card. This is prepared to perform Color Changing Deck magic.

Check out the Bicycle Rider Back Poker Playing Cards - 2 Decks now at Amazon for ONLY US$2.95!!

Toy Outpost – Vivocity
1 Harbourfront Walk
Vivocity #02-27
Singapore 098585

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Nov 3, 2011

ME3101 Mechanical System Design I


This is the first part of Mechanical Engineering Year 3 Design Module in NUS, which requires paper design of our project.

It's 100% CA and sometimes we questioned the amount of modular credit - "this should be a 6MCs module!!". Thank God, we've gone through this extremely stressful process.


Week 1

We formed a group of six, and all of us are going for SEP. Most of us are getting the second part of this module (ME3102) mapped overseas.

Because of that, we're doing an In-house Design instead of Industrial one.


First sketch
We picked the topic "Gerontechnology" from the available In-house Design options and submitted a proposal of "All Terrain Wheelchair" to Dr Ma Sha.

We previously brainstormed and came out with the idea of a fall detection system, however, more electrical than mechanical components were expected to be used. Hence, we went for All Terrain Wheelchair.

The wheelchair has a pair of tracks on top of the pair of normal wheels. Tracks are used when the wheelchair is in "stair climbing mode", where friction helps it to climb.

Our source of inspiration:


Week 2

We waited for reply from Prof Fuh regarding supervision.

Week 3

We had our first meeting with our supervisor, Prof. Ong Chong Jin at E1-06-02 on 22 Aug (Mon). Calvin and Jared were absent. Wei Zheng presented our project's proposal to Prof Ong and we later discussed and confirmed our availability of future supervision timing and venue (EA-04-06 Control and Mechatronic Lab 1).

Prof Ong requested us to touch on the targeted group of consumers that will use our designed product and expected us to present him a more detailed aspect of our design.

Week 4

We had a regular group meeting at Temasek Hall Block E Lounge on 29 Aug (Mon) and decided the restriction of the weight of the person to be a maximum of 130 kg.

We went more into the elevation of wheels and tracks' mechanism, by driving of two gears. Three wheels are embedded in each tracks to allow some degrees of freedom when it comes to stair climbing.

We met Prof Ong at EA-04-06 on 01 Sep (Thu) and presented to him our design and videos of some similar existing products. We're told that out design might not be realistic and feasible at this level because it requires more than 5 years of development. Besides static analysis, dynamic analysis is important in the aspect of designing.

We ourselves thought that too many mechanisms were involved, so we planned to lower down our expectation and come out with something that is simpler yet realistic.

Week 5

In this regular meeting at Temasek Hall Block E Lounge on 05 Sep (Mon), we decided to use only tracks in our design and limit the ratio and height for the steps of staircase that is climbable by the wheelchair.

Tracks are non-elastic but not 100% tight, to give freedom of sagging and group on corners of the steps.
Stairs are with a ratio of Width:Height ≈ 1.8:1

We met Prof Ong at EA-04-06 on 08 Sep (Thu) and presented to him our more detailed design and static analysis of the wheelchair and consulted the dynamic analysis. We discussed about the capability of our wheelchair to be marketable, and the feasibility.

A few important mindsets addressed by Prof Ong were:
  • Strike for realistic model instead of advanced one
  • Visualize a real-life model instead of a prototype
Considering the matter of safety which elderly are concerning about, we'll need to lower down our expectation again for the utility of the wheelchair. We discussed again and set the goal of the wheelchair to be able to elevate at a one-step kerb/pavement and climbing up slopes without sliding or rolling backwards. This at least gives independence for the elderly to a certain extent.

Week 6

It's another regular group meeting at Temasek Hall Block E Lounge on 12 Sep (Mon) and we went more into comprehensive features of the wheelchair.

We did dynamic analysis of the wheelchair going up a slope and identified the needs of elderly (to improve elderly's quality of life and independence).

We redefined our problem statements:
  • Striking balance for value in relation to cost catered
  • Incorporating safety
  • Technical specifications (comply to LTA regulations)
  • Storage, ergonomics, terrain overcoming ability
We believed that our product will work because we learnt from other countries, cater specially for the elderly, ensure safety. Besides, there is increasing aging population in Singapore.

On 15 Sep (Thu) we met up and practiced presenting the PowerPoint slides we've prepared in E4-04-05.
On 16 Sep (Fri) we presented to Prof Ong our PowerPoint slides at EA-03-06.

Prof Ong mentioned that we might want to consider more other factors that will influence the dynamic analysis, although in our case, area of the track is not governing whether the wheelchair will slide and topple.

Sized-up model, combination of components are things that we as well need to consider.

Before going back for recess week, we had breakfast and group meeting on 17 Sep (Sat) at Temasek Hall Communal Hall and planned the job distribution for current stage's research:
  • Hu Guang: Source for motor and find out price and ask friend about the frame
  • Kai Sheng & Wei Zheng: Proceed with analysis and calculation for slopes, typical pavements, kerbs and plan a rough dimension for the wheelchair
  • Wil Sen: Determine possible materials and course for gears, tracks and gear ratio
  • Jared & Calvin: Determine kinds of ball bearings, dimensions of shafts, frame, gear and detailed suggestion on how the system works

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist