Friday, November 12, 2004

Rotel RA-02 and CD-02

For audiophiles in the know.. you will always have a period of time where you have 2 sets of equipment.

For me, the Rotel RA-02 and CD-02 were my stopgap amp and cd player of choice pre-Naim. For the price, they are rock solid and are more suited for pop, and rock music.

I paired them with my Bose Acoustimass 5 for a while, Bose CMI.. seriously. When I got my B&W 600 series (very briefly), I swapped in a Naim 5 and the Rotel quickly got sold off...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Budget Hifi choices

Wanna get a new hifi, i kinda like nad for a long time so decided to use nad parts

Thinking of the following -

cdplayer - nad 542 or 521bee or 513
amp - nad c350 or c320bee
speakers - b&w 602 or kef q1 or monitor audio b2
cables - qed
interconnects - qed or van der hull or kimber

Nikon lens choices

Some of my thoughts on Nikon lens choices for a ....

Film based SLR

street photography - 50D f1.8, 85D f1.8
general - 28-105D, 24-85G
primes - 24, 50, 105

recommended set - 24-85 f3.5-4.5G, 80-200 f2.8D, 50mm f1.8D, kenko teleplus pro 2x, close-up filter set.

Digital SLR

recommended set - 18-70 f3.5-4.5G, 80-200 f2.8D, 50mm f1.8D, kenko teleplus pro 2x, close-up filter set.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Trip to the Singapore Zoo

It was hot! a bit of breeze made it slightly bearable. what wasnt so bearable were the tons of screaming kids everywhere. the animals were tolerating the heat ok.. however, i was more than slightly disappointed in the zoo which had not changed much for the better over the last few years since i visited.

It seems that the administration are pretty much content on what they have so far. Another negative point was that a lot of the animals have been "transferred" to the more lucrative part of the zoo - the so called night safari. lastly, i still question why animals who clearly dont belong in the tropic heat are kept here e.g. the polar bear and the penguins. All in all, i dont think i will be visiting any time soon.

Tried out my new old 70-210mm.. CMI unless you are on a tripod or monopod.. lens blur.

UPDATE in 2006 Oct - we joined Friends of the Zoo bcos of Harry... looks like more zoo going this year!

Monday, June 14, 2004

Favorite places to eat in Singapore

We eat out quite a lot (lecheh to cook for 2 pp lah!) so here's a small listing of some nice hawker food i have tried and like in singapore

noodles/bee hoon

prawn noodles at adam rd
hokkien mee at newton circus or smu
fried kuay teow at west coast rd/zion rd/bukit merah
porridge at zion rd
bar chor mee at bedok north
lor mee at upper circular road
wan tan mee at novena food court
soya sauce chicken at ghim moh
satay bee hoon at chomp chomp/east coast center
vegetarian bee hoon at thomson/maxwell
fried fish noodle soup at bukit merah
dry chili mee pok at tiong bahru
beef hor fun at balestier coffee shop/geylang (opposite 24h you tiao)
kl style black hokkien mee at west coast rd coffee shop
slice white fish hor fun at killeney coffee shop/west coast rd opp ginza
ban mee at toa payoh coffee shop
mee rebus at revenue house/adam rd
laksa at katong


fish porridge at newton circus
nasi lemak at adam road/changi village hawker/jackies bowl east coast
chicken rice at boon tong kee
claypot chicken at clementi
bat kut teh at balestier
curry rice at tiong bahru
congee at zion rd hawker
duck rice at yu kee franchise
nasi padang at katong coffee shop


chicken chop/cutlet at west coast hawker center
toasted bread with kaya at novena food court
chinese rojak at toa payoh blk 177
yam cake at chinatown hawker center
roti prata at thomson rd
pot stickers at people's park
bbq chicken wings at bedok north
"normal" yong tau foo at revenue house
fried/ampang yong tau foo at meridien/siglap/ghim moh
chui kuey at tiong bahru/bedok central
popiah at lavendar food square
curry fish head at muthus at racecourse or at jackies bowl east coast
fried carrot cake at bedok central hawker


glutinous rice balls in peanut soup at ghim moh/bukit merah
yu tiao, shao ping, bean curd at geylang 24hr place
goreng pisang at toa payoh coffee shop
ham chim peng at margaret drive/ghim moh
bean curd at rochor beancurd


teh alia at taj mahal at adam rd

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Crumpler Budgie Smuggler mini review

Just got back from my short trip to bali, great trip stayed in the bali hilton and travelled to ubud, the mountain areas. decided to post a short review of the crumpler budgie smuggler for a Nikon D70 user..

- the main compartment has just enough space for a D70 (or a similar sized non-pro SLR w/o vert grip) with kit lens plus one compact lens
- slightly longer than kit lens OR a flash. in my case, i divided the bag into 2 carrying a D70 (sideways with the grip facing up) plus an olympus mju film p&s with a beanbag on top
- the compartments are very accessible as compared to a backpack model. i found it easy to pull the cam out of the bag while moving..
- the front compartment can store about 5-6 rolls of film, or a PDA + filters..
- other compartment is under the front flap and can be used to hold your memory cards and such but is too thin to hold anything else! - crumpler provided 2 reasonably thick internal dividers (with velcro) but i only used one

Handling and cosmetics
- the bag is made of a tough nylon material and feels rather boxy when carrying it with heavy padding. the specs say its waterproof but thankfully i did not have to verify this!! however, it might not be as weather-proof as the lowepro series with its AW slip on nylon cover...
- the shoulder strap is wide and has comfortable shoulder padding
- there are two straps (hooks?) on either side of the bag presumably to hook other pouches
- i think the bag looks great compared to other makes!!

Other remarks
- the budgie smuggler is ideal if you want to travel light. however if you normally carry more than 2 lenses with a flash or binocs or tripod. you might want to go with larger "messenger-style" models e.g. crumpler 15 love or lowepro specialist aw 100/200
- if you carry more than that it might be advisable to carry a backpack style model e.g. crumpler formal lounge, shrinkle, farmers double etc or lowepro mini-trekker range, unless you have a iron-clad shoulder!

hope you guys like this mini review!

update from 2007- i have sold my budgie smuggler and replaced it with a lowepro sr 200aw. it was a great bag, and i loved the looks, but i just couldnt stand the sound of velcro ripping everytime i had to get the camera out and i was always worried about it in the rain. crumplers are getting too popular with the wrong type of people also... :)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Nikon D70 DSLR

After so long.. and disposing of my c5060, I got a new d70 today. super excited... from what it looks the cam is a blast. Excellent battery life with over 500 shots per charge, and fast shooting makes a large difference from my previous cams.

It comes with a 18-70mm lens.. with the d70's 1.5x multiplier it will be 28-105.. same as my old c5060.. which i sometimes miss bcos of its handiness. It just felt good in the hand. my plan next is to get a longer tele zoom..

UPDATE on 13 may-> i got a 70-210 lens to go with the d70. also a ir remote and some cleaning equipment

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Olympus c5060wz

I loved this camera. The feel (solidly built magnesium allow shell), swivel LCD, the size, flash hot shoe, great battery life (BLM-1) and the 28mm wide angle capability made it a unique product that hasnt been matched.

Unfortunately, it had some shortcomings - namely, the slow AF, not so great noise handling and the really weird UI.

For a great review on the c5060 and its predessor the c5050, check out Andrzej Wrotniak's great site at

My first post

Feeling real bored today so here goes... my first blog!