The First Video Game

This game was created 50 years ago. No chips or digital components were involved. It was a purely analog
computer and “consisted mostly of resistors, capacitors and relays, but where fast switching was needed – when the ball was in play – transistor switches were used.”

Joke of the day: why is a math book so sad? Because it has so many problems. Continue reading

Olympus C-5050 Zoom

I just found out today that this camera was announced in 2002! Can you believe it? A 5 megapixel camera in 2002? Was retailing for RM5k at that time. This camera belongs to virtual mystic. When I bought my Canon IXUS 55 in January 2006, it came with 5.1 megapixels. But then again, megapixels don’t matter.

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Shot with a slightly modified version of the softbox I used yesterday to shoot my D80. Cropping done in Photoshop.

Click here to read dpreview’s review on it. Continue reading

Nikon D80

Watch this video and tell me the lessons you can learn from it. Song is “Because I’m a Girl” by KISS.

That’s right. Film chemicals are dangerous so avoid shooting film. And film is burning a hole in my pocket also with the expensive processing fee. I needed something that I can use for everyday shooting so I got this:

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Nikon D80. Manually fired SB600 behind DIY softbox diffuser. I need proper studio lighting.

Yes, the 50mm 1.8 now autofocuses! And the SB600 now fires wirelessly! Will take me some time to get familiar with it and see what it can really do. Continue reading

Paintball at MudTrekker

Playing paintball is like fighting in a war. You run through mud filled terrain and dodge behind broken walls to evade enemy fire. All around, bullets fly past and rain down on you. Your enemy is firing at you and his volley of bullets leave you no choice but to take cover behind the wall. You want to take a shot at him but you won’t know if you’ll get shot by his stray bullets. You take a peep from your hideout and half a dozen bullets whiz past your head, missing you by millimeters. He stops firing and you make a mad dash forward to another wall, firing blindly at him as you run. Your shots missed, but you reach your destination unscathed. You’re safe. For now.

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Automatic paint ball gun. When you hear it firing in automatic mode, you’ll want to take cover.

At least that was how it felt like for the first few rounds before you get shot by a paintball. Firing the gun for the first time, I was actually starting to regret signing the indemnity form as I saw and heard the paintball splatter on the tree trunk. And worse of all, they don’t provide any protection except for the very reassuring face mask. The marshal had confirmed 120% that you will be blinded if shot in the eye without the face mask. I was wondering what I had gotten myself into this time.

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You don’t do this when you’re playing. You’ll get shot before you can align your targets. In war, you shoot with your instincts.

We played several types of games: capture-the-flag, fortress, last man standing and a final special shoot-until-your-bullets-finish game. We played with some other players who were there at that time. There were about 16 of us if I’m not mistaken. I enjoyed the last man standing where you just kill everybody who’s not on your side. But the playing field was not very balanced, giving teams on a certain site more advantage than the other team. But since we were switching sites every other game, it wasn’t that much of an issue.

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Practicing a terrorist-hostage situation.

Shooting was very fun. Paintballs don’t fly straight so you really need to shoot with your instincts. You’ll have to roughly judge where you think your paintball will land and keep firing until you hit your target. The difficult part about shooting is that you don’t have much time to aim and fire. You need to expose yourself before you can shoot your enemy and you’ll need to be prepared to get fired at when you step out. At closer range, you’ll need to use all the angles to your advantage and find suitable places to duck.

Getting shot at is not as fun as shooting people. But it’s still great because it keeps the adrenalin pumping. You won’t protect and cover yourself well from enemy fire if you know it won’t hurt if you get shot. So you’re always on your feet and you become very alert when you hear shots getting fired or paintballs bursting around you. And I can assure you, it hurts like hell if you get shot, even from a distance. Try pinching yourself hard. Take that pain and imagine that pain 10 times worse. I’ve gotten a headshot, shots to both arms, several to the torso, one or two to the leg. In a real war I’ll be dead a few times over.

Since paintball is not really war and you don’t really die, you tend to be too kind. There was once when I was within 10 feet of my enemy and I had a clear shot but I couldn’t pull the trigger because I knew it would be incredibly painful at that range. But he was shooting at me repeatedly although I was behind a wall while he was out and exposed. I was contemplating while hiding behind my wall whether to shoot him or not when suddenly the game ended. Thank God, because I probably would have shot him if I wanted to get away without getting shot.

Paintball is really fun. It’s a very close simulation to a real war because sometimes you will be cornered with enemy fire around you and you won’t know what to do. The loud splattering of paintballs on the empty drums where you’re hiding is enough to keep you there. It’s also a great team building game because you need to form strategies to accomplish your missions. You’ll need to cover for your friends, showering the enemy with paintballs while he runs forward. You’ll need to create distractions while your friend gets into position for a better shot at your enemy. Or do a lookout to cover your team’s back (we were once ambushed from behind so yea). It’s really great. And after that you’ll talk about each round, who shot who and how you rolled and flipped and captured the flag without getting shot at. Great experience. Will definitely do it again when the money permits. It was RM93 per person for 3 hours and roughly 500+ bullets each. For more info, contact mudtrekker.com. I’ll put up the GPS coordinates once I get them from Ben.

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Some unspent paintballs from the game. I’m planning to give 5 away so if you want one, leave your address in the comments and I’ll snail mail it to you. I know sending live bullets is illegal, but unused paintballs shouldn’t be a problem.

Oh by the way, I exaggerated on the part about the pain when getting shot.

Update: Map added as well as estimated position on Google Maps.

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Click here for the link to Mudtrekker’s location (estimated) on Google Maps. Continue reading