first foray into film [part 1]

I’ve always thought that all those old analog cameras look really cool. Like:


A month or two ago, I randomly did some research and found out that film photography was actually still alive! So I decided to ask my grandfather about his old cameras and told him I was interested in trying film photography. He dug out a bunch of equipment from his dry box and ended up giving me his no-longer-used Canon A-1 and manual focusing 50mm f1.8 lens! I was amazed that he still had the camera’s battery (which, even more amazingly, still works) and user manual.

(Some background on the A-1: it was a very advanced SLR when it was first produced 40 years ago, eg. it’s the first SLR to have full program mode. And it’s better than the AE-1 pictured above but I guess more people like the AE-1 nowadays cos it looks more vintage.)

I went to Triple D, one of the last few film photography shops in sg, and bought two rolls of 35mm film – since I’m just trying out film photography for a bit and not sure how good my shots will turn out anyway, I chose the cheapest films. The first film that I loaded my dad helped me load into my camera is the $7 Kodak 200 Gold. It’s not expensive, but knowing that each shot costs money made me shoot very conservatively hahaha.

Ok enough backstory, here’s how my first roll of film turned out! (all photos were not edited after scanning)

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I can walk again!

This post is about a week overdue cos I actually started walking without crutches last weekend but yeah, just wanted to record down what happened in the past few weeks.

Basically I injured my left knee from playing for a frisbee comp (likely because I didn’t train enough previously then suddenly went to play & run intensely for a while day), then it was getting better already but on deepavali (~2 weeks after the comp) I was bending down to sit on the floor at benny’s house and my injured knee was suddenly super painful. After that I couldn’t straighten or put weight on it :( I went to see a GP first, who said it looks like a meniscus tear but have to go see an ortho specialist and do MRI to see how bad it is.

My dad booked an appointment at Mt Alvernia cos it was the earliest slot, for public hospitals need to wait like a few weeks x__x so yeah the doctor referred me to go for MRI scan. The scan was v boring, half an hour of lying there doing nothing and consciously trying not to move (which doesn’t really work LOL). Anyway here are some photos of my scans:


The meniscus is the black parts around the middle of each image. Each knee has one lateral (outer) and one medial (inner) meniscus, each one is c-shaped and they’re basically shock absorbers. The left/top one shows my lateral meniscus, which is ok cos the 2 triangle-ish shapes are completely dark. The second one is my medial meniscus, which has faint white lines in both triangles – those are the tears :x

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burden knee is burden

The past week has been very eventful lol. I re-injured my knee from doing nothing T__T Immediately after that I tried to walk a bit but it was superr bad, my vision went white from the pain (at that time I didn’t know it was because of the pain so I was quite freaked out). Thanks benny and the rest of the guys for helping me get back home!! Anyway it’s a meniscus tear and I can’t straighten + put weight on my left leg now so I’ve been moving around with crutches the past few days. Going to see ortho doctor tmr though it’s getting better by itself too!

I just came back from a ideasinc startathon, it’s 2-day hackathon and we stayed there overnight to work on our prototype and pitch. It’s a damn good deal hahaha $10 for tshirt, access to tools and 4 very good meals (there was smoked salmon for dinner!!! but sadly no icecream like last time). Being baika was annoying cos everyone had to keep holding things for me D: but overall it was fun and I’m honestly quite proud of our prototype! Lazy to type out more details here but I think I’ll write a post on my new personal website soon.

Had a bunch of good conversations recently too, from skyping and talking nonsense with sean benny fan stanley benji to some HTHTs :’) Met tiff and dawn for supper at eusoff too! I bought wooden phone covers from taobao and laser engraved them, imo they turned out rly well yay!!


In other news, it’s been a month! Thanks joe for taking care of me esp with my burden injuries heh :))


[mostly written last sun 15 oct but I was lazy to finish up and post]

Wow time flies man it’s going to be recess week soon! This term has been great so far, we finally got to choose our mods and I think I made the right decision to drop networks (how the Internet works, IP addresses TCP UDP blah blah) and take optimization (esd mod, lots of math but with very relevant and interesting applications).

For opti we’ve had guest lectures by redmart reps and also a prof who’s worked with grab and didi (china version of grab) and who does research on optimization in transport problems. It’s really very cool imo to see how the stuff we’re learning is used in businesses, and the complexity of optimization problems in the real world is really mind-blowing. Before this I didn’t know opti is so directly relevant hahaha I mostly wanted to take it cos it involves more math x) but yep data analytics is now something I’m considering going into too!

Also the opti prof is v amusing, one lesson he was like: “ok now let me tell you about the midterm. there will be 6 questions”
Everyone: *starts to pay attention*
Prof: “The first question will be to convert min |x-y| to standard form. Yall should all know how to do this right, if not please go and revise”
Prof: “Ok then the rest of the questions are easy also except q6. Do you want me to give a hint for q6?”
Everyone: …?!
Prof: “Ok let me give you a hint”

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galaxy macarons

One good thing about my internship is that outside of time in the office, I don’t have to think about or do anything related to my work. So I’ve been having a lot of free time at home to do my own stuff! Which includes running ~twice a week, reading books (finished the selfish gene, norwegian wood and the time traveler’s wife so far, now re-reading TCIOTDITNT), trying to learn a few songs on the piano (which I haven’t touched in years LOL), and of course baking! I’ve wanted to try making macarons for a long time but never got round to it because it seemed hard and time-consuming. But yeah I finally decided to try baking them a few weeks ago. I looked through a whole bunch of recipes/ tutorial videos and decided to follow this recipe, and it’s really legit hehe my macarons rose nicely and had feet like they’re supposed to!!

Ok time for picture spam!

My first batch – was afraid of over-mixing but ended up not mixing enough, so the batter wasn’t runny enough and it didn’t spread out and smoothen nicely. But they rose anyway!!

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I mixed the next batch for a longer time so the consistency was better, and they turned out nicely!! I added a bit too much food colouring for the blue one but the colours fade after baking so it was still okay.

IMG_20170527_162121 edited_500px IMG_20170527_175658 edited_500px

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Recently realized that after all this time, I still haven’t posted anything about my internship! It doesn’t feel like 2.5 months since I stepped into the office on the first day, but strangely it feels like forever since I last went to school (lol doesn’t make sense, I know).

Anyway, I’m interning at a startup called gametize. Every time I tell someone that, the next question is “oh cool, do you make games?” but no! It’s a tech and gamification consulting(?) company which basically has a mobile+web platform for creating and playing games; each game is made of individual tasks which are called ‘challenges’, like mcq quizzes and fixed-answer questions and upload-a-photo tasks. Most games on the ^ website are free but the company earns money through licensing the platform to other companies and customizing stuff for them.

My main internship project (with Vivek) is developing a web app to replace the current website, cos it’s built with Java currently and is very complicated and slower. The new web app is also supposed to be more streamlined with the mobile apps in terms of both UI and how it gets data- through API calls like the mobile apps, instead of accessing the database and processing the data directly (which is why it’s complicated and slow).

We were deciding between react (js library) and angular (js framework) initially, and decided to go with react. Vivek and I used ionic for our sutd app previously, which uses angular, so it was interesting to see the differences between the 2. Angular, being a framework, is much more prescriptive and rigid, but using react means we have to make more decisions on how to do stuff. One article I read summed it up as “angular = putting js into html, while react = putting html into js” which is really apt haha.

When we started on the web app in week 2 we thought we could get it done in like 3 weeks, but we were so wrong LOL. We got most of the main functionality up within the first few weeks but there’s forever still lots of “small stuff” remaining. So we’re still working on it now, and somehow as we code we keep finding even more small stuff so our “to-do” board on trello is never empty D: sigh

Summary of the main things we’ve been doing:

  • (first 2 weeks) familiarize ourselves with the main gametize codebase, research on react, decide on using react
  • decide on file organization and app routing
  • make all the pages
  • styling + making the pages responsive
  • writing tests (mostly done by vivek while I was on holiday heh)
  • implement redux
  • navigation (sidebar + topbar)

We wanted to keep the app components as simple as possible so we wrote our own router instead of using react-router and refused to use bootstrap hahaha. I think it’s good cos we get to learn how things work rather than just plug in unnecessarily big modules!

The best part of internship is that my official working hours is 11am-7pm!! And actually nobody cares so if I wake up late I just go and leave later, or if I’m going out for dinner I start work earlier. This makes a lot of sense cos I don’t think I’ll be productive if I have to start work at like 9am, and the flexibility is v nice! The office is tiny (smaller than my house) and feels kinda cramped sometimes but overall it’s still great cos 1. we take off our shoes outside (also, work attire is tshirt and jeans) 2. there’s a pantry+snacks shelf and we get to go company-sponsored grocery shopping once in a while, and 3. there’s a “play room” with beanbags where we can chill anytime and play mario kart/ limpeh says/ other random games :D

5 more weeks of internship to go!