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15th December 2011,

I just bought a new lens and reviewed it.  The lens is the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye USM.  Well, the review is not finished yet, as it is impossible to review a lens in a few days time.  I need to bring the lens in situations. 

I bought the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye USM for IDR 11.515.000,00 or USD 1251, in including the shpping fees.  That price is cheaper than the price in US and many other countries.   

When you need one, feel free to contact me and I will email you the detailed price and shipping information and how you can use paypal to pay me.  I will get one from the store in an unopened box and then ship it to you, of course after I got the payment.  I don't take any commision for lens, as I have more than enough money.

Oh yes, the shipping fees is probably around about USD 100 insured by DHL.  I will need you to provide your postal code so I can check the shipping cost.

PS: please don't forget to sum up your import tax!  I also uncertain weather Canon Indonesia's warranty is honoured in your country, please check it first with your local dealer. 

Well all the best for all of you, as I will venture to a forrest with the lens!  Just wait for my updates.

5th December 2011,

I got a news on Adobe's Flash, it is dead.  Adobe has stopped its support to build flash for mobile device.  This is great, today they stopped flash for mobile device, tomorrow, for all computer.  Who needed flash anyway when HTML 5 is available?  Flash, ate much processor resources, with our without hardware acceleration enabled.  Also it use a damn lot of memory.  They must be downloaded and installed seperately (the download includes browser toolbar too! wasting bandwidth) and they cannot be indexed in search engine.

I believe the reason why flash playing process uses so much power of your processor lies on the very basic algorithm, which is, I don't know, but I suspect inefficient.  Therefore despite the hardware acceleration and advanced processor, playing a flash content still uses a lot of processing power on par with processing power of 3D gaming.  I believe there just a way of playing a flash content with lower processor usage.

The main weakness of flash are: they cannot be indexed by search engine and they slows down user's computer by much.  Clogging processor and memory.  I don't know how to reduce the processor usage and memory used by flash player.  A complete rewrite to the flash player might be a solution, rewriting and optimising all the algorithm.  This sounds lame, but doable.  This article about eight queens problem on Wiki might help you to understand my believe.

Eight queen problem is an computationally expensive problem with 4 billions of possibility and 92 solution reduced to 16 million possibility.   Not bad, altough still much.  Further refinements are possible, just, people need to think and solution somehow did not appears.  It is not my place to talk about Adobe's Flash programming and algorithm, since I've never saw their code and algoritm.

Flash content's poor indexability also bring your website to the very end of search engine's result.  This made more and more web developer switches to a more modern apporach of HTML 5.  HTML 5 is viewable on all platform, down to the very first generation of browser and mobile browser (as long the website administrator did not put HTML 5 exclusive codes).  With older browser the newer functionality of HTML 5 just not work, but the content are all visible making your website looks ugly while still readable in any computer.  Flash in the other hand will leave nothing on the screen when displayed on a computer without flash player. 

Something must be done with the flash to make use better processing algorithm to make it faster.  Plus don't forget to add sophisticated indexing capabilities to a flash content, otherwise no one will use flash in 2015 for web usage.  In short, that was the reason why I don't use flash for my website and my company's website.

PS: what I mean by computer is any device that can compute including mobile phone, PDA, iPad, Android, laptop and desktop computer, mainframes and human!!  FYI, human specialising in computing the trajectory of an artilery weapon was called computer in back at World War I.

Another topic

Few days ago I read an article at mobilku.com and I found a mistake on one of their article about 2012 American Toyota Camry which is used as cab in Indoneia.  I told them that the cab company indeed uses Australian version of Toyota Camry, then they made correction and published it here.

3rd October 2011,

At first I was thinking that lack of audio hardware acceleration is the cause of high CPU utilisation on playing mp3 in Windows 7.  Therefore I decided not to do anything as I rarely play audio in my computer.  However as things reveals clearer and I manages to get the same CPU level for playing audio compared to my 9 years old Pentium 4 system.  I decided to take a look at the Windows Media Player to find out whether changing sample size affects CPU utilisation on the software.

A look on wmplayer.exe

wmplayer.exe is the Windows Media Player, a generic media player built in Windows which are banned by the European. 

Fiddling with the audio sampling setting, I found that the wmplayer.exe behaves strangely too.  It follows the trend of the audiodg. 

I found The wmplayer.exe uses only 1.48-1.54% when the audio setting is set to the native sample resolution of the sound card, which is good, plus the audiodg CPU usage totaling CPU usage to 1.5% when playing MP3.

However setting when setting the sample size to 16 bit 44.1KHz, the wmplayer.exe only uses 0.18-0.25%, totaling CPU usage 1.55-1.62% when playing MP3.

The wmplayer.exe uses most CPU resources when playing 24bit at 192KHz, which put the total ultilisation around 12-20%.

I believe the reason why at 16 bit and 44.1KHz the wmplayer.exe behaves most efficient is due to the MP3 format which I played is 44.1KHz therefore freeing the media player from resampling its output to match the mixer's sample size.  The reason why it took so much CPU processing power to process 24bit at 192 KHz audio is wmplayer upsamples the format to match the mixer (audiodg) setting and then audiodg downsamples tries to match the soundcard native sample size.  Well that is my believe, which can be wrong, however...  I guess every other application will behave the same way: upsampling or downsampling to match the mixer sample size.

Now it is clear that I should choose the soundcard native setting for listening to audio files.  It is the most lightweight processing.  Even lighter by 0.07% in processing power needs compared to processing power required for CD quality.

Oh yes, audio enhancements does no effect to wmplayer, and minor effect to audiodg.exe, well, final word: feel free to experiment and report any mistake on my experiment in the cbox on the right.

PS: some people, including me when writing this sentence, believes that setting the sample rate at 24bit at 192 KHz produces better audio.  As I experimented, at least on my laptop which did not support that sound resolution, 24 bit at 192 KHz actually reduces the audio quality.  Logically, the source file itself is only 16 bit at 44.1 KHz and and my audio device is 24 bit at 48KHz therefore 24 bit at 192KHz just did not make any sense.  To make matter worse, pops and clicks happens at 24 bit at 192KHz setting, possibly due to conversion or rounding error.  I guess the believe is just placebo effect or psychological.

2nd October 2011,

The problem begins when I started to play MP3 on my computer.  The CPU utilisation is between 12-20% which I feel strange.  Therefore I manages to caught a file called audiodg.exe, Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation which I simply called it the mixer, which was using my CPU resources.

A look on audiodg.exe

I remember the good old days where audio playing is an easy task.  Just install the sound driver, and play the audio.  No jittering, no quality issues, and no CPU hogs, and the music is just playing really well, at least to my ears.
My Computer back in 2002 is Pentium 4 with 512 MB of ram and Sound Blaster Live soundcard running Windows 2000.  I use Creative Media Player or whatever it is I forgot the name.

Those are the days where playing MP3 utilises only 2-3% CPU usage for the whole system, which means CPU usage for player and sound driver is only taxing 2-3% of my processor, very light weight.

Today my computer is a laptop, HP dv2, with 1.6GHz dual core Athlon Neo with an IDT Sound Card running Windows 7 which requires 10-20% CPU usage for playing MP3 only.  This is really strange, taking into account the dual core Athlon Neo is obviously 8 years younger an way more powerful than my Northwood P4.  The only identical variable to this comparison is the MP3 audio file and every other variable is different. 

Threfore I decided to read and learn the processes which was involved with audio playing and I found up that audiodg.exe is taxing my processor up to 8%; and the Windows Media Player uses around 7% of CPU usage, consistent with my earlier findings.

While playing with fiddling with Windows Sound settings I found that audiodg.exe, the Windows Audio Service, is interesting.  The file taxes variably in different sampling rate quality setting. 

These are the CPU usage from different sample rate quality of
16 bit @ 44100Hz or CD Quality the audio dg uses 1.37 and 1.45%
16 bit @ 48000Hz or DVD Quality (Default)  the audio dg uses 0.09-0.14%
24 bit @ 48000Hz or Studio Quality the audio dg uses 0.00 (yes this is correct and no typo: all zero)
24 bit @ 192000Hz or Studio Quality the audio dg uses 8.8-13.92%

Testing methodology : I set my computer at High Performace power setting to force my CPU to run at 100%.  I set the audio setting to CD Quality play the song and record the average CPU usage, then I set my computer to DVD Quality, play the song and record the average, then finally I set the audio quality to maximum setting and record the quality usage too.  The software for recording the average usage is Windows's own Resource Monitor to record the average CPU usage.

My sound card defaults at 24 bit and 48 KHz and that explains why audiodg uses 0.00 at that quality setting because there is simply no resampling involved.  At CD quality the CPU will upsample the rate from 16 bit 44.1 KHz to 24 48 KHz to feed the soundcard, and at DVD Quality, my CPU will resample the rate from 16 bit 48 KHz to 24 bit 48 KHz, which explains why a little CPU resources were used for the bit conversion, and it appears bit conversion is way lighter for CPU to process; However downsampling from 24 bit 192 KHz to 24 bit 48 KHz is a real task which hogs the CPU.

Almost every other website recommends to disable all audio effects, however from that simple test which I conduct, I also recommend to reduce the sample rate quality matching to the sample rate native to your sound card.  Which means no resampling and frees up the CPU from unnecessary tasks.

Reducing sample rate quality is perfectly fine, as long as you did not do studio works.  For casual listener, DVD quality or CD quality is all that you will ever need, as most customer grade speakers is not designed to receive input at that level of quality.  Moreover most CD are mastered at 16 bit and 44100Hz while DVDs are mastered at 16 bit 48000Hz. 

Therefore, higher sample rate will not benefit you and only tax your processor.  Selecting wrong sample size, you will waste your processor by 13% which is a lot and means more power saved and faster way of doing task by 13%.

Now I got that 24bit at 48000Hz is the best quailty I can get without taxing my processor.  Your sound card is different, so please choose wisely according to your sound card documentation.

Moreover when I tried to enable the enhancements (just by unchecking Disable All Enhancements) and all I got is 5% CPU usage by audiodg when starting playing the music and that drops to 0.05% on average.  Enabling loudness and equalizer increases to 0.18% in CPU usage.  Not a real CPU hog, therefore I guess that should be no problem when enabled.  However the number of threads produced by audiodg increases from 7 without any enhancements to 11 with enhancements.

For an additional information: I tried to mute mic with mic enhancement disabled when doing 24 bit at 192 KHz, and the CPU usage magically reduced down to 5.90% from 13.8%.  However with enhancement enabled the CPU usage stays at 13.+ %.  I guess the mic enhancement stays active regardless the mute status. 

22nd September 2011,

Hand a look at picture of future 2012 Toyota Camry, I find that this car is very un Camry.  It does not look big, and using headlight which looks really similar to Honda CIvic, while the tail light does look very similar to of those of Honda Accord.  Take a look at the headlight on the Camry (top), and note the close resemblance the Honda Civic haedlight at the bottom.

2012 Camry Front 2010 Civic

Now take a look at the tail light.  They are almost similar!  I don't know why are Toyota doing this.  Is it possible that Honda designer has found a way to Toyota or whatever it is.  I'm a Camry fans, however I would not get this Camry.

2012 Camry Taillight

Accord Taillight

The 2012 Camry engine also appears outdated.  2.5L 2AR-FE is newer and more powerful by 9 horsepower than the 10 years old 2.4L 2AZ-FE totalling 178 hp and 233 Nm torque.  Looks great, however please compare them with the engine from Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata.  Accord produces 180 horse powers with 218 Nm of torque from 2.4L engine and Sonata produces 197 with 250 Nm of torque with 2.4L engine or Nissan Teana with 2.5 V6 engine that produces 183 hp and 232 Nm of torque.

Toyota should put stratified fuel injection, and dual VVTi on that Camry, is should easily produces 200 HP, possibly to keep up with the competition, otherwise the Camry will share the same fate with those competitor from GM and Ford: poor sales, fuel wasting and boring.

The good news is: I have not tried the real thing here, that just my first impression from brochure and I will update my impresson when I got the real thing at hand.  That time I will compare the Camry to the Teana and Accord.

1st May 2011,

Mayday or Labour day.  Labour strike is everywhre in Indoneisa, which I believe is inefficient towards productivity. 

For those of you AMD ATI Radeon laptop user who find that your WEI (Windows Experience Index) score went down after updating to the latest AMD Catalyst for mobility, there is no problem with Windows or your hardware.  It is driver's fault.  Just turn off the ATI power play and your score will be restored.  Please take a look on my computer's Powerplay on and Powerplay off.  Sorry XPS format, only Windows Vista and Windows 7 can open this, as this is applicable to Windows Vista and Windows 7 or better.  If you are on Windows XP you can open Microsoft website to download the XPS viewer by downloading Net Framework 3.0.  So sorry Apple and Linux user!

Oh yes, forgot to mention with Catalyst 11.4, the latest release, your socre will drop even further from 3.5 with Catalyst 11.2 to 2.6!  Which I hope good, as it could means more power saving.  So don't freak out, turn the Powerplay off (yes completely off for Catalyst prior to 11.2 or set to maximise performance for Catalyst 11.4) and your performance score will restored!

13th March 2011,

I was too busy these times, and don't have time even to updating my website.

HP Pavilion dv2 - 1123ax users, if you use a bios prior to F.28 and need an update, here I gave you a copy of my F.28 bios which is not available on HP website.  This bios version 7/01/2010 and is newer than the F.27A bios on the HP website, more the F.28 bios I got from my computer which was returned to HP for a fix and returned with F.28 bios.  Then I download? the bios from my computer to rom file, tried to reflash my computer with F.27A and return it to F.28 and it worked perfectly.  Which means this bios is real and safe. 

Upgrading the bios is easy, first you will need to download the F.27A installer from the HP website here.  The applicable operating system is Windows 7.  You will need to choose the OS to suit your need.

The F.27A bios installer is called sp45822.exe.  After the download finishes, just run the file to extract the compressed file from Softpaq and do not update your bios.  Just left the installation open.  Usually the file will be extracted to C:\SwSetup\Sp45822.  You will find 2 sub directories on that directory, called Winphlash64 and Winphlash.  If your operating system is 64 bit please work in Winphlash64, and if your operating system is 32 bit, please work in Winphlash sub directory.  Remove the original bios.rom in that directory.

Now download this file which contains the F.28 bios.  This bios is intended only to use in HP Pavilion dv2-1123ax.  I will assume no responsibility for any problem caused by the bios update process.  Copy the bios28.rom to the Winphlash or Winphlash64 directory and rename the file to 'bios.rom' without quotes.  Now you can run the Winphlash or Winphlash64 executeable inside your working directory.  It should flash your bios and change your bios to F.28 with ease.  No need to worry here as the procedure is generally safe.  You can follow my bios updating tips here if you need more information.

24th October 2010,

I'm alive and kickin!  I've uploaded a way to fix Windows 7 can't resume from standing by or hibernating.

8th August 2010,

I've come into an conclusion, well albeit premature, about fuel.  There is a fact that I found while testing the fuels.  The fuel which I've bought from certain petrol station is always more economical than the same type of fuel bought in other petrol station.  The reason reason behind and analysis is described here on the comparison between RON 92 fuel in Indonesia.

17th July 2010,

I've added a new section in Photographing Dance Performance.   Also some new dancer picture, well, it is now the picture of a Bali Dance, taken in Bali pavilion in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.

23rd June 2010,

The BIG GUYS are here.  Pictures form Spider Gym body building and body contest :D Enjoy!  Videos are coming soon!

12th June 2010,

Windows Live Photo Gallery now became my main tool for managing the images I've taken.  The Photo Gallery comes free with Windows Live suite, and I almost dumped Corel Photopaint unless I needed heavy editing.

The only weakness of WLPG is its speed: slow!  The JPEG rendering engine is not quite as fast as other paid software like ACDSee or others.  However, despite the weakness, the WLPG manages to improve my workflow speed by almost 50%.  And the best part, it is free!

These are my comparison of my new workflow versus my old work flow

StepNew WorkflowOld Workflow
1Plug the camera and choose import the image to WLPG, automatically sorted by datePlug the camera, create a folder and import the file
2Zoom the thumbnails and fly through the image, only stop when an interesting image is seenOpen image one by one open the interesting image
3Open the image in WLPG and crop, tweak the colour, sharpness and everything if the image is properly made (the image is automatically backed-up)Rotate the image to correct orientation if needed, then re-examine
4(optional) If the image is not properly captured, then open Corel Photopaint for editing, but rarely.Make a backup of the image.
5Repeat process 2-3 until all the desired image has been done processed, then batch process it to the desired resolution for uploading to my Gallery or Facebook, as I desire.Open the image in Corel Photopaint for editing.
6UploadingOpen browser, and navigate to the website
7playing the Facebook to see the commentsUploading

As you can see, the WLPG saves me 2 steps from the 7 steps workflow, also the process of doing step 1, 2, 3 is faster too.  Therefore I can save as much as 50% of my time sorting and editing my images. 

Oh no-no, this site is not sponsored by Microsoft, and I solely write my own experience with the product.  What I wrote above is just an example of how the WLPG works.  The WLPG still have a lot of functionality which is really fun and I have not tried yet.

Sad news, my EF-S 18-55 mm is dying.  I've bought it back to Canon, and they said the optical body is damaged and should be replaced.  It costs around Rp 800.000,00 (USD 88) to fix the lens (the lens itself is worth around Rp 1.500.000,00 (USD 160)).  If I trade the old lens with newer EF-S 18-55 IS, I need to top around Rp 1.200.000,00 (USD 130).  This is a tough decision for me, to fix, trade in or leave it die.  As I don't really use the 18-55, so I don't want to waste money.  However I wanted to cover every millimetre from 10mm-250mm, which is unnecessary.  As one wide and one telephoto lens is enough for me.

In addition I've also tried the new Canon EOS 550D, and I wanted to sell my EOS 400D in an instant after I tried the 550D.  The only reason is the autofocus of 550D is much superior compared to the AF in 400D.  Why?  Simple, it tracks much more quickly and accurately.  And that's the only reason I wanted to get the EOS 550D.  But definitely not today!

27th May 2010

Do we really need High Definition Audio? 

Nope!  I actually never intended to compare those cards.  I just tried to setup a computerised home karaoke system and I decided to save, therefore I decided not to buy soundcard.  This sounds ridiculous - I know - considering the karaoke system I'm about to connect.  Connected to the karaoke system (an analog system), I've come to a conclusion that those HD sound cards as IDT HD Sound on my laptop, Realtek HD Audio versus could not deliver the intended result.  Well, then out of the sudden I remembered my 7 years old Sound Blaster Live 5.1 DE sound card which sit unused in my office computer. 

I was pessimistic that the SB Live could deliver better result, as the SB Live is only has 16 bit - 48KHz sampling rates versus the 24 bit 192 KHz sampling rates on those HD soundcards.  However to my, and your surprise the SB Live sounds much better compared to both of the so proclaimed HD sound card.  So what's the matter with the sampling rates?  This shows that the sampling rates has nothing or little to do with audio quality, just as resolution of a photograph did nothing to the quality of a picture.  Unless the sample rate is so low to affect listening experience, your experience will mostly the same.

The music crispness, response to frequency low and details are the one which delivers better listening experience.  Not the sample rate!  SB Live have them all, while those on board HD soundcards did not.

The sound cards was hooked up and tested on a USD 5000 analog home audio system.  The audio system is good enough to show (sound?) so that it is obvious that the sound quality bottle neck is of course on the inferior sound card.

How about testing on a digital audio system?  On digital system all the decoding of the digital signal to analog (speaker) is done by the decoder, therefore soundcard have nothing to do with the quality of the sound.  If you wanted to use digital audio system, you can use it with any HD sound card and buy the best decoder instead.

My conclusion is if you are interested in improving the audio quality of your computer, go buy a real sound card.  An onboard sound card might have impressive specification, however they just...  Urm, you name it!

Out of topic, how to eliminate a bad body odour!

18th April 2010

Old news some more Eurotrip pictures, as there are hundreds of them and I only have so little time, I only can upload few at a time.  So sorry!  Thre are few more pictures coming.  In the mean time, enjoy!

Pisa Cathedral
Pisa Cathedral Interior

San Marco
San Marco
(Saint Mark's Basilica)

16th April 2010

It appears that I owe you many things which is unfinished.  Well, I will finish or update them soon, among them are

  1. Fuel comparison: I've decided to do long term testing (at least 5000 km per fuel) to compare the economic of each fuel on the market and the effect on engine cleanliness.  By conducting long term testing, as I've tested on Pertamina's Pertamax and Pertamina's Pertamax Plus, I came to an conclusion that long term testing delivers a much more consistent result, versus erratic result on single testing.

  2. Eurotrip pictures will be uploaded as soon as possible.  It was delayed for too long!

  3. Body contest and body building picture were not finished too.

  4. I have an article on how to be an online expert (the most satire thing I've ever written).  Finished writing the main idea, and will touched to be uploaded soon!

  5. Picture in my business trip to Manado.  Manado is one of the most beautiful city in Indonesia, or perhaps the world.  Unlike Bali's beaches, Manado's beaches are rocky, however Manado's beach water is crystal clear and contains the world's best diving spot!

  6. How to photograph a beautiful lady!  So sorry that I've decided no more booth babes and dancers as I've found myself a very beautiful girlfriend.  However I won't share her picture here, as she is too beautiful to be shared here on this website (this might change is she requested so).

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