Monday, November 29, 2004

New Computer

Last Thursday I just bought myself a new computer. It is a PackardBell iMedia which was selling really cheap at fnac. It even included an HP printer/copier/scanner/coffee maker. Finally a real computer, a Pentium 4, 2.9 GHz, 512MB RAM, 160GB HDD, DVD-ROM and DVD DL writer, smart card readers, and a flat screen. Much better than my old Fujitsu, 4 years old, Pentium III 600 MHz, huge ass screen, upgraded don't know how many times.

So yesterday my mate came along and he unpacked and installed the whole thing (he was more excited about the new computer than I am). After much plugging and unplugging (and heavyhartedly checking the manual once), we got it all working. That thing is now much much better than what I use to have. Woohoo!

I got it pre-installed with Windows XP. But besides that it didn't come with much. I'm aiming to use freeware or software I've paid for. For the moment I already have Firefox for my internet browser. iTunes for my music (it came with my iPod) which also gave me Quicktime. OpenOffice for my MS Office documents. MSN messenger and Yahoo messenger for my chat stuff. Picasa as my picture editor. AVG for my anti-virus. And right now I'm playing Football Manager 2005 demo version. I'm still looking for other freeware - that way I won't be guilty of pirating any software. I just need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader and Eudora for my e-mail.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

U2 is back. It's been four years since their last album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, but now they're back with a new album called How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. And they are back with style!

When they released ATYCLB 4 years ago, Bono was quoted that U2 is re=applying for the job as best band in the world. That album was their presentation and they did succeed very well in reclaiming the position of best band in the world. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is the continuation of just that. The best band in the world doing what they do best.

The first single Vertigo is already a killer. It's rockin and will make you jump up and down screamin "Hello Hello, you're in a place called Vertigo". Edge's guitar is loud, but not too loud. Going further in the album, most of the songs have that classic Edge sound - lots of reverb and a bit of delay. Some of these songs won't sound out of place if you cram it in between Where The Streets Have No Name and With Or Without You. U2 just dug back to the days and sound of The Joshua Tree, but this time more uplifting.

Anyway, I noticed that I haven't seen the video clip of Vertigo on MTV. Granted, my TV was out for a week or so, but still I haven't seen it. Which is weird that a band like U2 is not advertising via MTV. They weren't even at the MTV European Music Awards, when in fact it could have been a good advertising spot for Vertigo and the new album as well.

What I do know is that U2 is advertising heavily via iTunes. Vertigo was out a few days earlier on iTunes, U2 have their signature iPods for sale and Vertigo has been used as the advert song for the new iPod. I believe that U2 is embracing the internet as the new advertising medium and is shoving MTV away. Which is good news. You could even listen to HTDAAB a week before its release on NME. Time will tell whether U2's new advertising campaign is successful but I believe that they are pioneering the way to go.

MTV is crap anyways these days.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Fast Food Nation

I finished reading Fast Food Nation the other day. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an anti-McDonald's rant. Of course if you think of fast food, you automatically think of McDonald's but that is not the author's intent. He just wanted to show the readers what is behind the whole fast food industry. After reading this book, I still be eating McDonald's. Actually I'm craving it a bit now. Hmmm, maybe McDonald's for lunch.

Anyway, Eric Schlosser has given a really deep insight on how the fast food industry works. I now know how the fast food industry uses teenagers as their majority workforce because they are cheap and expendable. How there are tons of artifical and natural flavors in the burgers (artifical and natural flavors are both artifial by the way). How the cattle are being raised and slaughtered and how inhumane a slaughterhouse can be.

All that in the name of profit. Bombard the kids with advertisements and they all come running to McDonald's. No wonder people are becoming obese. In a culture where being lazy is rewarded, then obesity is the result.

I still won't say no to McDonald's but I will be more careful of how I eat it. Don't eat it too much, don't give in to the advertisements, and it seems that all my happy meal toys have a value. Only need to find a buyer on e-bay.

Monday, November 15, 2004

What if?

I watched Sliding Doors on DVD yesterday. If you haven't seen it, it's about this girl in London (Gwyneth Paltrow with a shoddy British accent, pre-Chris Martin) who got fired from her job (for 'borrowing' six bottles of Smirnoff I might add!). While returning home, she ran to catch the Tube. Then the story splits in two, one where she catches the Tube and the other one where she missed it.

It's one of those "What if?" movies. In the movie it turns out that she will experience everything, only it is in a different order and involves different emotions. It's one of those movies that makes you think "Have I ever missed the Tube?". And if you did, would your life be different?

I don't think I have ever missed the Tube. But then again I don't live in London and I've only been there twice. However, I might have done something unconsciously that might have change something in my life. Trying to find out, that is the hardest bit. I mean, my life is not a Hollywood movie. Nobody is recording, then rewinding it and editing it. There's not much use for "What if's" in life is there. It's all done and the best thing you could do is just to make sure that next time it doesn't happen.

There's a thousand of What-if's in my life and maybe my life would have been different if for some reason I did the other option.

What if I stayed at my old job and not leave home?
What if I took that Ecstasy pill that I had in my hand in 1995?
What if I went to that Sting concert in 1994?
What if I got accepted at NUS?
What if I had scored the winning goal in the intercompany football match?
What if I did snog that girl in university?
What if I didn't go to Amsterdam?
What if I got caught driving by the cops last Saturday night?
What if the band I was in stayed together?
What if I hadn't have that dream when I was 4 and then went into my uncle's car instead - the one that had an accident?
What if I don't have a blog?

On the other hand, I guess I still end up like what I am today.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

It's so cold outside. It's freezing. It's fuckin cold.

Besides that, nothing else is going on in anakzaman's simple world at the moment. Maybe tonight?

"Hello, Hello. You're in a place called Vertigo."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Manchurian Candidate

Just came out from the Manchurian Candidate. For Manchurian Global read Halliburton? For Mother read Dick Cheney/George H. W. Bush/Barbara Bush? For Raymond Prentiss Shaw, it's obvious...

Anyway, the Americans (and the world) has to stick with 4 more years of this dude

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Enigma of Desire

I was in Barcelona from Friday afternoon until Tuesday for the Porro Open 2004. It was amazing, the weather was beautiful, the tournament was good, nice people, in short: a fuckin fabolous time for me!

As usual, I had my share of adventures and these two particular stories seem to make everyone laugh.

I came to Barcelona on Friday around 5, took a bus and went straight to town. I was looking for Placa Reial because there is where we should all be meeting up later. It took me a while but I finally found it. I looked for the youth hostel so that I have a place to stay for the night. I went into the youth hostel and apparantly it was full, they didn't have any beds. But the guy offered me a matras on the floor - which was fine for me. I took up the offer and he told me that it was 12 Euros but didn't ask for any money yet. I put my bag and said I'll come back later so I dashed off without paying the guy anything.

I had some food then went up to meet people at the bar and came back to the hostel around 2 and a bit drunk. I just took my bag and went straight to the matras and slept. The next day I took my stuff and gave the key to the guy at the counter. I noticed a sign there saying "15 Euros deposit for the key". I was expecting to pay the 12 Euros price per night, but instead the guy gave me 15 Euros back for the deposit that I have never given him and he didn't charge me the 12 Euros. So as any good guy would do, I said "have a nice day!" and ran off with the 15 Euros. Basically I got paid 15 Euros to stay at the youth hostel.

The second story involves alcohol and stupidity. On Sunday night we went to Bar California. Drinks were cheap and the bartenders were very generous in pouring alcohol. So around 3 I was already a bit wasted (a bit means really really fucked). A group of people decided to go to a discoteca so I just followed suit. I went into the club but couldn't figure out what was inside. It was dark and round. I just walked around and saw a podium. Next thing, I was sleeping on it. The bouncer came up to me, woke me up and directed me outside the club. I was kicked out of the club! For sleeping in it!!!

Oh well, I decided to walk back to the hotel. Not far away from the club I saw a churreria where they sell churros. Some greasy food when drunk is always a good idea so I put up five fingers asking for five pieces of churros. The guy said something in Spanish which I didn't understand at all. I just went "Si!". Turns out he was selling the thing by hundred grams so he gave me half a kilo of churros. And when drunk and hungry, you just eat whatever is in front of you. I ate the lot and went to bed. The next day my stomach (and my head) made me realise that eating half a kilos of churros is baaaaad...

"We got the juice, we got the fire"