ウォーリ ーペパクラ = Wall-e Pepakura

This papercraft model of Wall-e took me three weeks to finish (Started on 29/11) but I left the upload of pics until now (holiday before New Years!!). I obtained the plans from here but it can be purchased pre-printed (albeit illegally since its CC licensed) here. Personally I prefer to print my own so I can get extra copies - which I had to to improve on and to correct mistakes during construction. I have no idea what the printed versions are printed on but I printed my set with a colour laser on 160gsm stock card for a total cost of 55 sen (or US$0.18).

The biggest problem was 160gsm cardstock was too thick for making tubes and rolls required for the arm and head support - so those were replaced with normal drinking straws of the same size since they aren't seen in the finished model. Parts that required additional support were the arm beams, body and eye bridge - without support the original design could not stand the weight of the other parts and would fall/tear apart sooner or later. Support for the model parts came in the form of cheap packing foam (i.e. foam trays) that were cut to size and glued on with PVA glue.

The finished model looks quite similar to the rendered graphic above.
Since there are no clear instructions, I've randomly constructed the model parts based on the time I had and mood. The slideshow below shows the progress over the three weeks.

Doncha love multiparty conferencing?

One Christmas call = four countries (KUL, SYD, JAX/FL and CAN) and people were on different days (some on boxing, others still on Christmas). Too bad one party couldn't get the Skype beta installed due to some conflict.

Mac OSX on Windows 7

BWAHAHAHAH! Mac OSX finally running in VMWare on Windows 7. Weird thing is Mac reports the memory as 0Mhz. Next up is to install as a physical partition and dual boot but been having problems there as the BIOS is so tightly locked that I can't disable/enable some features for the OS to install and boot.

[Yeah, I know my WEI rating sucks but I'm down to using the integrated graphics - nv7100 - on the mobo because my graphic card shorted out and haven't got the time to buy a new one]

Farscape Party Kit

Been marathoning with Farscape since receiving the box set .... and awaiting a replacement set because the first one has manufacturing problems. I really miss this show and haven't been dissapointed so far ... except for the quality of the box set :P

Farscape fans may have once been subscribed to their mailing list and were sent messages about exclusive downloads. Seaching with Google, the mp3 download of Aeryn's Funeral seems to be alive and present at quite a few sites. So instead, here's the download to the 28 page Farscape Party Kit PDF file (send/PM me your email for the password to view link). If you wish to save the file, click on the upper right icon to open in Google Docs and then click on File -> Save original in the interface there.


Its a conspiracy I tell ya ... Amazon UK Black Friday sales are rubbish

Amazon sites are having the annual Black Friday sales now at the US and UK sites (if you do not know what BF Sales are click here). While both sites are supposedly run by the same company, the sales practices are entirely different.

What happens is selected items are put on offer for a limited time and limited quantity only. Its a first come first served scenario ... but at Amazon UK, it seems to be more like a blackhole scenario instead. Items will go on sale and right in front of your eyes, the [Add to cart] button changes to sold out in mere milliseconds!! Many people have complained but to no avail.

The first items on sale were CDs by Take That and Susan Boyle. Amazon UK claims that 1000s of CDs of each were sold. Hmmmm .... taking into account the population of UK/Europe and the number of fans that Boyle or TT has, I don't think the 2000 "reported" stock was sold out in 2 seconds?!?! Come on people, how many actually WANT to buy that Boyle CD? Not that she's a bad singer but it can't be that high demand ... maybe if it was Beyonce, or Shakira .....

Amazon US seems to be handling things more fairly. You see a waiting queue and get to join a waitlist if the item is already sold out. There may be instances where a person cancels their order and then it is passed on the the wait list for the next customer to grab. This is better sales practise and will keep a customer happy because they are treated fairly (or so it seems in comparison to the f*cky UK site)

Anyways, customers have started figuring out they can get better deals for some items without having to do the mouse button mashing when the timer dings. There are several good deals though (the Harry Potter 1-6 6 bluray movie collection at £12.97 was a steal ... that equates to around RM64.20 but unfortunately Region B blurays won't work here ... *sigh*). As I post this, the 37" LCD TV just went on sale like 6 seconds ago ... but then so did the response time of the site 'cos all I'm getting is that blasted spinning loading symbol as Amazon UK slows down to a crawl....

UPDATE: one minute later, all the TVs and toolkits are now sold out. Go figure :P

And once again I've left you alone ....

Been so busy with work (exams, special exams, finale exams and more exams) that I've left this to dwindle again. Add on the fact that I have a class again this semester ... but that's done last week. What's been on my mind? Been thinking about getting a media player for the living room TV but the choices out there are confusing.

An oldie is the WDTV but I've read that its hardware is showing its age and can't keep up with newer file containers and codec requirements. Good points is that it supports many WLAN USB devices out of the box and thus can connect to my existing router.

Another popular one is from A.C.Ryan but they haven't been updating their firmware for a bit (as they transition to SDK4 for the Realtek chip they have inside). Which begs the question with all these standalone media players ... once there is no support, what can you do with the device? Another this is it only supports particular USB devices for WLAN networking (preferably its own) ... why can't they just build it in?

The newbie on the block is from Acer with its Revoview RV100 which is probably the cheapest of the bunch and has the possibility of adding a SATA internal HDD for storage. With the HDD it also turns the device into a USB storage device when plugged directly into a PC/MAC. Plus points (other than being cheap) is that it supports Windows 7 Playto feature - no need to transfer files to the object to play anymore, just go to the supported source PC and send the file through the network for playback. Bad points, the Malaysian/Singapore Acer distributor will NOT sell the USB wireless device. The USB plug is an OEM device from Azurewave model AW-NU120 so maybe there's hope in getting it in stores ... else finding one using the same Realtek RTL8192 802.11N chipset.

I may go the hard way and just build a HTPC from scratch. Current plans are to build it using the ASRock 330HT-BD setup with XBMC as the OS and interface. Good points? Its future proof against all formats as long as there is enough CPU grunt to decode and someone writes plugins for XBMC. It has a blu-ray drive ready so it can playback blu-ray discs with proper software (namely powerdvd). Additionally, it can dual boot into Windows and work as a additional PC in the living room. Bad points - without HDD and memory the PC already is a wallet busting RM1500!!. Or maybe I should go for a SFF PC as the starter ..... stay tuned for future updates (waaay in the future, my bills have been piling up)

Splurge, spend, buy!!

For 4 months (July until Oct) I have been spending on DVD and CDs bought from CDWOW, Yesasia, Amazon and Ebay. Damn these summer sales that are so tempting .... don't even know how much the total is (but I do know it has exceeded the 1k mark)

Wanna see what I got? (shown in order from latest to earliest)

Farscape - The Definitive Collection (R2)
32 DVDs including Peacekeeper Wars (finally can catch up after stopping at season 2) on pre-order. Kinda miss this series ... but shipment only arrives in December. Trailer viewable here at Youtube.

The Princess Bride 2-Disc Special Edition (R2)
Haven't watched this before ... but I had a cash voucher that was expiring so I bought this at £2.

Holes Widescreen Edition (R2)
Always liked this movie which I thought was a perfect adaptation of the book (which I also have ... funny thing is the book costs more than the DVD!)

The Aladdin Trilogy - Triple DVD set (R2)
I'm double dipping here because I already have Aladdin 2-Disc SE DVD .... was planning on getting the second and third movies on separate DVDs but this option was cheaper.

Prison Break Complete Series (R2)
22 DVDs completing all four seasons of Prison Break PLUS the bonus two hour ending DVD in one package (total 23 DVDs). Buying locally would cost RM659.90 ... this version cost me RM350.51

High School Musical OST - 2-disc set (US edition)
Wanted the instrumental CD only but this was just RM1.80 more and since I don't have the soundtrack CD I bought this. Second disc is karaoke CDG only.

Simple Plan - MTV Live at Hard Rock CD+DVD (UK import R2,3,4,5)
Been trying to get this for so long (already had 3 orders on different sites cancelled and refunded because of no stock). Contains both the audio CD and live DVD recording of their concert in HRC. Local versions only have in VCD format and costs RM13 more ... weird??!?

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Complete 15th Anniversary Collection (R2)
40 DVDs for over 80 hours of Friends!! Available locally for RM59.90 per season for a total of RM599.00 (10 seasons mah) ... this purchase only RM196.90 AND it takes less space. Box set also contains full colour 64p booklet with description of each episode, photos and original series pitch.

A Town Called Eureka Season 2 (R2)
3 DVD box set of this quirky series ... got season one at bargain price elsewhere (for RM30 only) and wanted to continue the series.

ハウルの動く城 Howl's Moving Castle Special 2-DVD edition (R2)
Its Ghibli and this is the recommended edition (compared to R2 Japan, R3 Taiwan and R1 US) as reviewed here.

火垂るの墓 Grave of the Fireflies Special 2-DVD edition (R2)
Haven't seen this yet but heard good reviews. This version is the only one that has the original storyboards for the whole movie ... similar to the R2 Spirited Away.

The Music Man 2003 (R1)
Disney's version of Meredith Wilson's The Music Man as potrayed by Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth (Glee's April Rhodes a.k.a. Broadway's first Glinda on Wicked). Love the bonus where she sings Til' There Was You live on stage (which someone uploaded here on Youtube) Sadly though Broderick is waaaay to stiff to play the character of Prof. Hill.

The Producers (R3)
This was on sale and was too tempting to resist (only cost RM11). Once again featuring Matthew Broderick (from The Music Man above), Nathan Lane (Timon in Lion King), Uma Thurman (Kill Bill) and Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights). "Good-dog-me-wenen!"

Phineas and Ferb Sing-a-long CD (European Import)
Hmmm ... dunno why I bought this. Maybe just because of one song Gitchie Gitchie Goo? Anyways, I like collecting karaoke CDs and DVDs like this .... already my 7th in the Disney Karaoke series.

Nancy Drew (R3)
Its Emma Roberts 'nuff said ... and they're filming a sequel now! This was on sale too and cost RM12 I think.

Jungle Book 2 Special Edition (R3)
Already have Jungle Book 2-disc DVD so this completes the set. Anyways this was another on summer sale purchase.

Constantine 2-Disc Deluxe Edition with Book (R1)
Not many like this movie but I do. Acting is so-so but I like the plot a lot. This version comes with a reproduction of Hellblazer book in the set.

The Muppet Show Season 1 (R4)
4-disc DVD set of season one The Muppet Show. This was waaay before I was born but I have watched it before. Bought this during a splash sale at £4.99!! It now has returned to the original price of £25!!!!! At least now I know how the original Mahna Mahna looked like (watch Sandra Bullock's new version on Youtube here)

High School Musical 2 Dance Edition (R3)
Clearance sale purchase at RM18 ... and thats INCLUDING shipping. This is the 2-disc set with the extended version of the movie and bonus disc.

Dinosaur Collector's Edition 2-DVD (R4)
Another gut purchase ... but this one was expensive at RM39 but is still cheaper than the local version! This is a double DVD set with the second DVD of bonus features.

Riddick Chroniken Eines Kriegers - Pitch Black Special Edition (R2)
Bought the German Edition of this disc on sale (again!) 'cos I'm trying to complete the set. Already have the Chronicles of Riddick ... so only left Dark Fury in the trilogy to get.

Die Muppets Weihnachtsgeschichte - Muppet Christmas Carol 50th Anniversary Edition
Have the score, have the soundtrack ... so now I have the DVD. Still want to get the R1 version though 'cos this German version is cut.

Jim Henson's Jack & the Beanstalk - The Real Story (R3)
Liked this movie when it was shown on Hallmark Channel so I bought it since had a cash voucher to claim.

Young Sherlock Holmes (R3)
Same excuse as above ... sad thing is that this DVD and the one above is barebones with no extras. J&TB above is worse because halfway the subtitles are encoded wrongly on the disc.

Charlotte's Web Special Edition DVD
Bought this 'cos I thought the packaging was cute. DVD is sandwiched between a foam cutout and has many additional features. Same DVD here costs twice as much and is in normal DVD case.

As you probably can see, my tastes are really varied and uncertain ... sometimes just weird lah ... what I REAALLLLYYY need now is like a hundred times more storage space!! Note that the list above does not include stuff that I bought locally at the store ... shown are online purchases only :P

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