Saturday, June 30, 2007

Unwrapping iPhone


When you have people posting the unwrapping process of your product on Youtube, you know your company is there already. It's there.

Macworld.com has photos of Apple employees giving customers high-five as they enter the shops. On Flickr, there are employees clapping as customers leave. The atmosphere's really good.

Yahoo Unlimited


Yahoo Mail now has unlimited storage, as I have just found out. When's Gmail upping the ante? I'm already using 77% of the current 2.8gb.

Val n Jaws 270905


Now that I look back, perhaps the fin wasn't that necessary.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My iPhone Diary

This is a review by New York Times' technology columnist, David Pogue. It's pretty humourous. Click the play button to find out.

Val n Jaws: The Beginning


This is the very old comic strip that I did in 2005. Going by different names, Boyfriend Girlfriend, Little Miss Aunt Agony and finally Val n Jaws. Mainly deals with the idiosyncrasies of relationships.

Bounce Back To Life

I spent the whole morning perusing through this blog's archives. I could swear that they were not there before!

The blog seems to be based or inspired by true stories in Singapore. Brutally true stories. There are other comic series on the blog which are based on popular movies and scenes. E.g. Like Star Wars characters talking in Singlish.

Enjoy, for I'm sure you will.

A Gem In Stick Figures

This blog emphasizes my believe that story/content is king. The portrayal of life events, though sometimes too real, are subtle but will touch your heart. Drawn by a Singaporean, might I add.

Link: http://stickgal.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Charity Money Is Easy To Scam

That's exactly what I can think of when I read the article. A similar article is written by CNA. If money can be scammed so easily, then why the hell are people even working for a living. It would be interesting to investigate the current loopholes in management governance.

Anti-smoking campaigns don't work

I've never been a believer of anti-smoking campaigns.

Price hikes don't work. Gross pictures on cigarette boxes don't work. People lying around in Orchard road pretending to be cancer stricken patients don't work. Public education don't work.

I wonder what the success rate of Health Promotion Board's latest efforts will be.

It's a tremendous effort to quit smoking. So what's the motivation equal in value to match that? By not smoking and thus can buy more stuff? The knowledge that lung cancer is caused by smoking? I don't think so.

The world works on the fundamental law of exchange. To obtain, something of equal or greater value must be lost.

News link: New anti-smoking campaign targets female smokers

The Bastard Fairies


Nope. Never heard of this singer/band. But they have made album FREE for download on their website. Amazon's reviews are here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Book Review: The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

This is a humongous book. In one photo below, I've put my number-pad-less keyboard for comparison. The hardcover has a leather type treatment and slightly spongy to make it feel like an ancient book. The paper stock is thick and there are several fold out pages.

This book contains concept art for the 3 movies for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.

There are sketches, paintings and some storyboards. The focus of the book is on set and character design. The concept paintings have so much detail that will be lost if not printed on a book this size. To zoom in even closer on the paintings, there's where the fold out pages come into play. The portraits for Captain Barbossa and his decomposed skeletal crew are draw at life size!

There are also numerous paintings for the ships, creatures, harbour and the seas.

Fans of Pirates of the Caribbean should find this book very interesting. Character designers too.

This book was provided for review by friend and colleague Kelvin Chan, aka rocketraygun on deviantart.com.



The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

On Amazon.com, the bargain-price version is sometimes available for this book. That's a US$10 reduction from the original price. In this case, Kelvin has bought the bargain-price version. On the front cover I noted a stroke of black marker ink across. On the back cover was a sticker that says "Amazon.com Bargain Book". There are no defects physically on the book. I personally think it's a great deal despite the small misgivings.

If bargain-price is available, the link should appear at the top, near links to other available sellers on Amazon.com.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.fr | Amazon.de

Check out other books reviewed on this blog, with pictures:
Art book list | Design book list

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 29 NOT

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Apparently, the release date for Ratatouille in Singapore is 30 August. What happened? Anyway, reviews from audience from the sneaks have been amazing. Can't wait to get my hands on the Blu-ray disc when it release, gasp, 4 months later on November.

No doubt that this is going to be the best movie of the year, since Spider-Man 3 failed to top its sequel, and Pan's Labyrinth was actually from 2006.

Look At This Rotten Graphic


I chanced upon two very interesting blogs today. The SND Update Blog and Charles Apple. There are some pretty good interviews to be found on SND Update Blog. The ones from John Grimwade and Nigel Holmes were fantastic.

There's one quote from Nigel Holmes that I found to recreate the Dilbert moment:

You know when you do 6 or 8 graphics a week, some of them are not going to be very good. And those are the ones people would pick up and say,"Look at this rotten graphic!"

NYT Office Space


I love looking at photos of other people's work area. Oh, oh. They use Macs. Seems pretty awesome to be working in New York.

The blog's from Julie Walton Shaver, night graphics manager for The New York Times.

New York Times' old office
New York Times' new office
New York Times' cafeteria

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tip: Switching Between AI documents

Here's a tip for Adobe Illustrator users, only for the Windows version.

When you have multiple documents opened, you can switch between documents by hitting the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+F6.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Meiyang Chang: Chinese or Indian?

Chinese or Indian. It doesn't really matter anymore. Apparently the judges were swept off the ground.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Album Art's Pretty Cool


Finally managed to import all the CDs I've bought over the years, which is not much. I can't even remember some of the tunes for the songs that I used to like.

And browsing album art on iTunes full screen is pretty cool.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's Like Those Fake Speed Cameras


The lift had a sign which says that it's under camera surveillance. Apparently it is fake, just some of the speed cameras. And everyday, someone would spit inside the lift in the exact spot. The fine would have easily covered the cost of the camera.

Phantom player

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Apple's Revamped Website for WWDC 2007

Apple has revamped their website for WWDC 2007.


Now their navigation bar looks like that from Adobe.com.


What impressed me is how Javascript is used in the new website. Years ago, this kind of inteface can only be achieved with Flash.

A Very Big Rainbow




Saw this very big rainbow today in the morning. I didn't notice the second rainbow which was very faint until I looked at it again on the computer. Amazing.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Allison Crowe


Now that pandora.com has shut its door to international listeners, I've switched to last.fm.

Have I mentioned that you can find free and legal music on the site? Yes, free and LEGAL and music used in a same sentence.

If you like the singing style of Sarah McLachlan or Tori Amos, you might want to check out Allison Crowe. She has made all her albums free for download on last.fm. I've since downloaded 3.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Book Review: Art of Ratatouille

The Art of RatatouilleThis is my fifth art book from Pixar.

In typical Pixar art book fashion, the pages are filled with concept drawings, visualizations and the thought process that went behind the production of Ratatouille. Through these pages, you'll come to a realization that their success is no fluke.

The creators travelled to France to research on the restaurants, food and the people. The effort and level of detail they put into the research can be clearly seen from the artwork from the book. The concept art and renders of the food in 3D made me imagine how they will taste if they were actually real.

You'll be able to see a lot of character designs for the humans as well as the rats. Sculpted models are also provided in photos. The storyboards, as you'll see plenty, are followed strictly in the movie. The compositions and lighting are the art form itself.

This book is filled with life and food, just like the movie. It makes for a perfect coffee table book.

Stocks do run out for art books, even from amazon.com. So if you're into buying artbooks, do so fast. You really don't want to miss this, especially if you're a Pixar fan.

The Art of Ratatouille

The Art of Ratatouille

The Art of Ratatouille

The Art of Ratatouille

The Art of Ratatouille

The Art of Ratatouille

The Art of Ratatouille



Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.fr | Amazon.de

Check out other books I've reviewed also, with pictures:
Art book list | Design book list

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Green Man

Blake Babies


Yesterday, I thought the books from Amazon were coming. The CDs came first instead, despite the email saying they were mailed a day after the books.

Here's what I've bought,



So that's 6 CDs costing SGD155 including shipping arriving after 12 days.

Update: The books came in a separate package in the afternoon.


The books I've ordered are, Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right and Art of Ratatouille.

These two cost SGD114. So that's like SGD57 per book inclusive of shipping. I went down to Borders few days ago armed with a 25% discount coupon. After the discount, Art of Ratatouille cost SGD60. The other book is also much cheaper when bought from Amazon.com.

As much as I support the Singapore economy, buying books is, amazingly, cheaper from foreign countries thousands of miles away. It makes you wonder what profit margin local stores are charging during their non promotional days. And mind you, these big bookshops buy stuffs in bulk and have their own distribution channels.

With the GST going up 2% in July, it will no longer make any economic sense to buy books in Singapore. I've a Popular discount card of 10%. Effectively, it will only be 3% in July.

CDs on the other hand are more expensive but the variety on Amazon is unparalleled.

Side notes:
While I'm talking about Amazon, I must say that their stock/share price is rising and will continue to rise in the future. It now stands atUS$72. It was US30++ last year. Despite its high price, it's a strong buy. Why? If you know what Jeff Bezos is doing, you will be rest assured that it will continue to go up and stay up.