There are lots of downloadable applications and websites out there which offers free creation of your customized browser toolbar such as Conduit.com (previously called EffectiveBrand.com), BestToolBars.net, InstantBar.com, etc. I’ve tried most of them and but it’s sad to see majority of them have problems like only compatible for Internet Explorer, broken tools, hidden spywares, etc. So far I’ve been using EffectiveBrand Conduit which easily creates my toolbar that is compatible with IE and Firefox from within their website. Continue reading →
I’ve been relying a lot on web feeds recently. That is mainly because it saves lots of time in catching up with your favorite online news sites, friends weblogs, forums, etc. Seriously, your patience will wear thin if take your sweet time to surf around each and every one of your favorite sites and constantly being bombarded by annoying pop-ups/pop-unders/DHTML ads, heavy flash movies or navigation menus, stupid Java applets, slow connections, and all the other distractions that masks the information you are only interested in. Continue reading →
Was messing around in my old school project archives and found my very first multimedia project titled: The Solar System. It’s created using Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, and Macromedia Director (only the planet images & movies are “borrowed” from other resources). Here are some screen captures of it:
I think this is actually my 3rd trip to Langkawi Island. It was a last-minute treat for ourselves after wrapping up on a project sometime on the 10th November 2005. So there was no proper planning of what we’re going to do when we get there. All that we craved for was a peaceful and fun place to relax ourselves. So, we hopped on a midnight bus at Pudu Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur heading to Alor Setar, Kedah. 6 hours later, we arrived at the bus station in Alor Setar, and took a cab ride to the ferry point in Kuala Kedah. It was a sight to remember as the taxi cab drove along the road next to the vast paddy field glimmering to what is left of the moon light at 6am in the morning.
It was a business trip to Matak on the 17th May 2005. In order to get to Matak Island, you will first need approval from Conoco-Phillips Indonesia (COPI) in order to set your foot on the island. They are the biggest oil & gas company in Indonesia with their most promising oil fields just off-shore of Matak and Natuna islands. In case you are wondering where is this place, its those tiny little islands right in between the East & West Malaysia which you normally see when flying across the South China Seas. The company I worked for is a contractor for COPI, and I was sent to Matak for an important tracking mobilization for their supply boats there. On that morning, right about 6am, we were already there at the Halim Airport in Jakarta to board COPI’s chartered flight to Matak for crew change. The flight itself was dead boring, but look at the view outside the plane – it’s breath-taking! And the food served onboard is just superb! My guess is that COPI must have used their own catering services to accommodate the expected quality of services people in this industry in this part of the world are used to. Anyway, as the plane starts descending in to the Matak Airstrip, I was already starting to enjoy myself on the sight of the beautiful islands surrounding the place. Once got out of the plane, I was shaken from the daze because people are starting to rush around to quickly get things done. I know I have a job to do, and this is my once-in-a-lifetime chance of ever possible reaching to these corporate-protected islands. Only managed to take a few pictures as we all (foreigners to this beautiful country) move around to find the first boat to perform installation.
First thing that were told to do was to check-in to our quaters and be on stand-by. The quaters are of good normal standards (e.g. warm shower, air-conditioned) and their camp services (e.g. laundry cleaning, canteen) are great. I was starting to feel a little too pampered by all these good & free services COPI provides to its staffs & contractors.
Anyway, as days progresses, we finally got the job done and were able to take a few more pictures of the peaceful Matak island.
Then on the last day, when the realization of having to leave the island dawned on us, it was very sad to say the least. The place was a peaceful haven (e.g. no cars, forest all around, far from civilization), and will obviously be deprived from all of these once we get back to the real world.
Spent the day playing with the free version of Google Earth (download here) and I find it very intriguing and fun at the same time. For those how have no clue of what I am saying here, Google Earth is a ground-breaking (in my opinion) application in fusing the mapping and web technology. I know there are the old players out there whom already have covered this ground, but not to the extent of getting people with no GIS experience and knowledge to actually love using it. To shed some light on this (until you download and give it a try) it’s actually a 3D mapping program which relies on internet connection to download satellite maps and other information. Other features are like uploading your GPS handheld tracks to see where you have been, or import/export to numerous formats to be used in other GIS applications.
I can see a new group of internet users out there emerging just by the release of this application: the die-hard travellers seeking new adventurous or romantic travel spots around the world. In the old days, travel-seekers would buy lots of paper maps, magazines & books about the place they want to visit. In near future, people will start to rely on Google Earth to aid them in planning their trip. I can see that because people are already surfing the web (using Google to search, nontheless) to get more information about the places of interest. Now you’ll be asking “what is so ground-breaking about this program?”. The answer is simple, Google Earth’s community is growing and more people are contributing to add more information to the database. So if you pickup this program in another year’s time, you’ll be able to pick which longhouse in the Borneo Rain Forest you would like to spend your annual leave for an adventurous vacation! Now this is just part of what the program can do, other trends of applying the technology is also emerging: online war gaming on actual real countries, real-estate assessment, to name a few. Look what they are offering now, the waypoints to where all events of Torrino 2006 will be held. I did check out the location, and it was breathtaking seeing the 3D landscape of mountain terrains which is nicely rendered using either OpenGL or DirectX. Speaking of which, you will need to ensure your PC is powerful enough to handle this program. I remember reading from their requirements about computers older than 4 years old might have problem running smoothly.