• Summer Ending

    Remember I mentioned about drawing more? I got back into Warframe and I started drawing less.. Here are some I've done that's not me practising techniques.

    vanessa, untitled

    Also, Google Summer of Code 2018 has ended! It really helped me understand how to contribute to the open source community, and to emphasize on code quality and maintainability, and ultimately making me a better developer.
    Have a read here if you are curious about what I've done for GSOC! https://gist.github.com/causztic/21bbd396251f7c16dec81ef67a153f11

    In other news, I really want to get a vinyl player.

    others
  • Summer Updates

    I will update every month to keep track of my life! Here are some of my (less potato looking) drawings for the month so far:

    From left to right in chronological order: bagel, some random ginger and macoto

    I learnt quite a bit about rendering with "values" in mind - that is, to think about the lights and darks and the middles when painting, and be really bold about it. Also thought of the cheating technique of using Photoshop's ellipsis tool to help me visualize the cranium, which is how I start drawing faces! I have also realized to measure everything when drawing from reference to get it as accurate as possible without tracing. I'd measure the angles, the relative distance, and visualizing the emotions and the direction the people are looking at.
    It's a lot more looking than drawing, to be honest.
    After picking up this hobby I have started to really see things in a different light, quite literally. I'd think about how the shapes that form the object, the shadows, the colors, the tones..

    I'll continue drawing more and hopefully I can develop my own style eventually! There is no stopping this grind!

    others
  • Summer

    About halfway through the summer, so I thought I should do some updates! (finally)

    In addition to working with multiple freelance projects, I've been busy with Google Summer of Code, under Ruby on Rails.. I'll probably write a full blogpost about that after this summer period.

    I have also picked up drawing as a new hobby! I spend a few hours everyday either practicing my perspective drawing or studying references. I really hope to be able to have at least a simple drawing out by the end of summer which I can be proud of showing to everyone. Until then, it's basically practice, practice, practice.. The eyes I draw still look funny, the head proportions sometimes go wacky.. but hey, nothing like a journey fraught with mistakes and lessons to improve our own capabilities right?
    This is also the first time I felt such a fervent drive towards a hobby too. And I bet it will last for a very long time.

    code others
  • 2018

    It has been a roller-coaster ride of a 2017, and with the new year creeping in a few days ago, I thought I should update the website more frequently.. and what better way to start other than a recap?

    JAN - MAR
    Internship interviews and worrying about failing Physics really took up the first few months.I was also working on another start-up project at the same time, which after looking back, I wished I didn't take up. I ended up accepting a position at an big-data analytics start-up, which I have totally no idea about.. which is a good thing! What other way to spend your internship period other than learning new things, and diving into the deep end of the pool without (much) repercussions?

    APR - JULY
    And this is when my cough started getting worse. Stress is bad for health, who would have thought? During these few months I have learnt a lot, from D3.js to angular (and getting to dislike it), to very interesting code interactions, to the nightmares of maintaining code contributed by a larger group of people. I also stopped consumption of coffee halfway through this period as it was making me nauseous.
    Fuck you acid reflux!

    I also gave my SO my first bouquet of flowers. It was definitely worth it - her eyes were gleaming, her infectious smile was on the entire night.. I should find another opportunity to gift another bouquet!

    AUG - SEPT
    Before the new term started I went to Taiwan with a friend for the first time. I loved 花莲 the most. Also got tired of night markets after the 3rd day. My stomach condition didn't help with the trip. I felt sorry for my friend as we weren't able to go to some places to eat as I was practically feeling nauseous half the time. Also discovered I really like taking photos of strangers. Here are some photos!

    OCT, NOV
    Crumbling under the pressure and stupidity of taking multiple freelance jobs with the constant looding-in of school projects, I had to take a few days off just doing nothing to recuperate so I could eat normally again. Haven't had coffee in 5 months. Not dead yet.
    Thanks to the Lyrical Arts module I took this term, I was able to appreciate gardens and lyrical works more now - it put me in another perspective to view art. It could help with my phototaking..

    DEC
    I started taking slow walks back home via the park instead of taking the public transport. Might be nice to take a slower pace, after all.


  • jakarta

    This post was created in 2017 but the date is changed backwards just to organize things a little bit. So anyways, we won second place for Kudolympics and got a trip to Jakarta to visit the company office and to do some sightseeing!

    Kampung vibes Sukan, CTO of Kudo giving a speech

    I didn't take any photos in the office because my phone ran out of battery :\ but it was pretty huge and cool! They actually have two buildings, one for office work and another one as an auditorium specially for presentations. I am really impressed with their business model and the technological hurdles they have to overcome to provide online, trustable shopping to the rural masses, where they have limited internet access and cashless payments, if at all.

    Having lunch at the restaurant graciously sponsored by Kudo

    Other than the company visit, there was another thing that was really notable, and it is the food. My god, so much flavours! There were coconut seafood soup, fried fish with sambal and sotong, all marinated with very special sauces. And all were sooo delicious. There were also iced tea which apparently where their favourite drink to go with the meals. I also tried eating with my hands as like the locals and failed pretty miserably, but I had fun.


    On the second day which was our free day, we ventured out to have Nasi Padang at a seemingly famous store, without knowing how to order or say anything in Bahasa. It turns out that it was pay-what-you-eat, and they just came in automatically with plates upon plates of chicken and fish and vegetables! We didn't know about that so we just ate everything, so the price at the end came out to be rather expensive. Or maybe we got scammed, we'll never know.

    Oh and Murtabak Manis is the best thing ever.

    travel
  • Eigen

    Another break in the middle of the term has just ended!

    So it happens I still find Physics scary (and our previous test results definitely proved this point), Maths to be fun, Design to be insightful yet conflicted, and social sciences to be really interesting. The ideas of the great thinkers that aim to discover the causes and effects of society, how economy is tied into culture and religion.. I love discussing these ideas and I hope I could hone the art of delivering my ideas across better.

    So over last few months, I've finally gotten around to writing my resume, done up the first working draft of Eve, visited Microsoft for a tour, designed a poster and made the basic design for our 3007 project web application.
    In terms of GW2, I've crafted my second legendary Sunrise, and am on my way to Astalaria, currently now at the tier 1 collection. Haven't played DOTA2 in ages..am happy to see Team Faceless qualifying for Team Boston though!


    Usu wielding her new Sunrise at Lion's Arch.

    Oh and remember the Australian guy I tutored for his database assignment? He got full marks for his part of the assignment :) But his groupmate was incompetent so he got 75% in the end :(

    This week will be fun! Tomorrow I'll be going to a school to conduct a Sphero workshop, and on Friday I'll be going for Kudolympics! Can't wait for these activities. Dreading getting my Physics paper back though.


  • First Term

    The term break has ended and thankfully I was able to escape unscathed (for the most part). It has been a short three weeks!

    I've replaced gulp to webpack for one of my projects to allow hot reloading on development with webpack-dev-server. It also minified my scripts and compressed my images which you would have to write code for if you were using gulp. It also sped up the loading times of the project website which I'm rather happy with! I've also replaced the node server which also shows considerable loading speed improvements.

    Also in the works is Eve, a smart mirror with STT and NLP with the help of wit.ai and Google Speech. Coded with Electron, which was something I picked up a few weeks before the finals. I'll create a project item and a post on the process and details when it is done!

    And then it's Guild Wars 2 all the way. Gained about 500 AP within 3 weeks and unlocked all the Magumma masteries! The new map was pretty nice, and another Elder Dragon has awakened. I've also cleared my first Chak Garent, and a second one with a 80% burn in the last phase..everyone thought it was a sure-fail. Chak Garent died with 1 second left on the clock!

    Too close for comfort but this will be a story for the ages.

    I've also made a new Australian friend; he asked for SQL help in game and I decided to assist. It has been some time since I've done MS-SQL and I really enjoy teaching him while refreshing my own memory at the same time. (It also reminded me how some modules taught in schools are rather poorly designed.)

     Random insert --- pres are cool. 
    def foobar
      puts "wow even syntax highlighting!"
    end

    Anyway, the second school term is starting tomorrow, and I have GPAs to earn and modules to conquer. Can't wait to try out new things and explore new technologies and concepts!

     Every morning there are mountains to climb! 

  • New Place

    As I went to write the previous post I went to take a look at the domain renewal for wordpress and I'm surprised it wasn't a one time fee!

    So I spent 5 hours to learn how to use jekyll and hosted this on github pages instead. Imagine the savings! US$15 a year..that's almost a chicken bun a month!

    But in all honesty, I quite like this. Onwards!

    code
  • Halfliday

    Studied extra hard for the finals and I'm happy I passed all the subjects! Whee.

    Am doing web development on React/Redux/NodeJS for the holiday while getting back to Guild Wars 2. Also doing the smart mirror with Electron at the same time! This is gonna be a really fun 3 weeks of holiday (even though most of it has already passed as I'm writing this..)

    I really need to finish my own portfolio too though..


  • Just received my Physics and Chemistry papers back and realised I barely scraped passes.
    I... am feeling this distinct sourness on my chest, and I don't know what to do right now. I think my polytechnic days lifted me higher than what I should be, and now I'm crashing down to reality. Maybe I am not a smart person after all, and there was the veil of delusion cast upon me.

    Should I press on? ( Well I guess I have to. )


  • Catalyst

    Recess week just ended a few days ago and I'm feeling numb from all the games I've played. I'd be surprised if I don't contract carpal tunnel syndrome sometime in the future with all these coding "shenanigans" and gaming habits. The moment I realised I could hold down the mouse button to move my character in Torchlight II was a life-saver.

    The onset of a sudden fever didn't really help the cause of wasted time too.

    I was browsing the Internet aimlessly and somehow landed upon a graphic design school's website and various other things that I felt was really interesting thing to learn, but I always tell myself "I don't have the time to do it. I need to do other more important things!"

    My command of the Japanese language is a patchwork of translated lyrics and basic sentences with limited grammar knowledge, I have a book for learning Hangul gathering dust on my shelf, I have a special YUI guitar pick from one of her albums, I have leftover cooking ingredients left at home, I have several brushes and pencils and dried up paints..

    The medium and the tools are still there..


  • Some thoughts

    I wanted to take a "break" from my preparation for tomorrow's Maths exam so I thought I should write another blog post!

    It has been three months since I wrote, mostly because I lost my travel notes for the Osaka trip, which had the little things that excited me and I kinda forgot some of the details.
    I'm sad.

    Anyway! School has started and I feel like I've hit a certain threshold for human interaction; I would rather go back to my bunk and watch some videos or play some Hearthstone or attempt next week's homework. Don't really like hovering around after class and chit-chat nor not doing anything after finishing my meal with the group.

    On another topic - Recently, the news have reported that the Government will block Internet access for the computers of the public servants at their workspaces. Without doubt, the typical netizen jumped on the bashing bandwagon and made sensationalist articles and uninformed comments on how inane and backwards the action seemed to be.

    Well I guess this is the nature of the Internet, or even human nature; there will be misinformation, there will be doubts, and there will be cynics.

    As long the device is connected to the Intranet, it won't have any Internet access. Mind, they are only talking about the sectors that require the highest amount of data security. Other government bodies that handle less-sensitive data like schools have another separate system and will still have internet access!

    http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/cutting-internet-access-necessary-to-keep-govt-data-secure-pm-lee

    I think it's a win-win situation! Lesser spending on sophisticated security systems (which might be compromised in the future anyway) and more spending on other stuff.

    Welp, time to get back to proving delta-epsilon for limits..


  • Day 0: Kansai Airport

    It's been about a week since we came back from Osaka so I thought I'd write something about my trip!

    10431931_584172705068042_1678899775_n Brought mini-Naoto along.
    • Day 1
      • Sanjo
      • Uji
      • Inari
      • Gion-Shijo
    • Day 2
      • Nara
    • Day 3
      • Arashiyama
    • Day 4 & 5
      • Kinosaki-Onsen
    • Day 6
      • Himeji
    • Day 7
      • Kobe
      • Sannomiya
    • Day 8
      • Koyasan
    • Day 9
      • Kansai

    Okay! So on the day of arrival we didn't do much. The queue at the immigration checkpoint was really long and we spent at least an hour and a half waiting for clearance. By the time we did, most places have already closed so we just got sandwiches at the convenience store for our dinner.

    The Suica cards we got on our previous trip to Tokyo proved to be useful as we didn't need to purchase multiple tickets and what not. The people at the airport were also kind enough to assist us in obtaining our free WiFi for use around Japan, which we didn't get last time! Would be really helpful and I'm glad that we didn't get the WiFi dongle at Changi Airport, which would set us back about a hundred dollars.

    Hooray for technologically advanced countries \0/

    We finally got to our first AirBnb stay at Sanjo after 15 minutes of orienting ourselves and getting used to the freezing weather. Time to plan for Day 1! Actually I didn't write much except to "explore nearby attractions".. This shows how prepared we were for the trip :P

    Off to an backpacking adventure!

    travel
  • OSAKA

    I received an email last Friday about a limited time only special offer for plane tickets to various places, and saw that the Business Class flight to Osaka was only $250. $250! So my friend and I immediately bought the tickets at night, with only 2 remaining seats.

    Phew!

    This time around, the trip is a totally different ball game; we are travelling for a longer period of time over a larger scale and staying at multiple places!

    Now I need to book the places to sleep, trawl through the different possible train routes to find the best line-of-fit and get. winter. gear. The last time I went to South Korea I used my Dad's leather gloves and his balaclava(!) in replacement of mittens and beanie..

    I feel like I should get decent gear this time around! And I can't wait.

    21 days to go!

    travel
  • 3DC

    Just came back home from a meeting with the first club I've joined in SUTD (even though I am officially not a student yet :p)

    Really excited to teach the stuff I know to people who are genuinely interested, and to tackle and learn new technologies with like-minded folk! Can't wait to get started.

    We are starting to teach everyone in the club how to use Git next Thursday, and we'll move on from there. Building a brand new website for the team too! Woo I'm pumped.


  • Apprehension

    Just visited the doctor and have to wait for the results next week. I appreciate the people who are there for me, especially bearbear :)

    Regardless of negativity or positivity, the day still goes on, so why not go through every day with positivity!

    Andddd I'm hungry again.


  • Uhh moved again!

    I moved from Heroku to Openshift because Heroku was killing the free tier (and I was just practicing my Ruby On Rails).

    Then I moved to DigitalOcean from Openshift because Openshift kept complaining I was running out of memory and the server crashes quite often..(perhaps of logrotation?)

    And now I'm at Wordpress from DigitalOcean because $5 a month seems overkill for a blog and an experimental website..I'll move grafiore.ninja off to my Pi when I have the time and run it when it is turned on I guess!

    It's all about dat money savings!