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Month: April 2010

Perk of working

Perk of working

  Many times in the day, we would have felt dejected and unappreciated at work. However, there are occasions when we do feel appreciated and loved at work. Me and my friend were processing applications at an undisclosed institution when we saw this Post-itTM note pasted on the front of the supporting documents that she had to send in:

Photo-0035

 

If there are service indicator components in the application process, she would probably get the highest score for them.

 

P.S. I have stopped working. I do not have inside information at any institutions of any kind.

Army boys are… well, boys…

Army boys are… well, boys…

I thought I had it easy, lucky if others may say, during my two-year stint. Rewinding memories, I had it easy when I got posted as a regimental police. A role with much predictable routine in it. I had it easy when I was a recruit with the CSM not being around due to medical reasons and the commanders being friendly to us.

But no. The newer generation of recruits is having it easier. They are being issued with laptops.

Seriously, why laptops? It will serve as an distraction, not a learning tool, as any other 18-year-old teenager can attest. Do not say that there are rules to prevent the recruits from turning the laptop into portable gaming and entertainment centers. Rules are meant to be broke, and there are always savvy recruits around to innovate and import whatever data they want to import.

In any case, like many others, I do not applaud the move to issue laptops. It will just be a waste of taxpayers’ money.

 

Apr 17, 2010

SAF arms recruits with laptops

By Jermyn Chow

EVERY modern soldier needs one – a notebook computer, that is.

And the modern recruit of the Singapore Armed Forces undergoing basic military training now gets one, along with his green fatigues, helmet and boots.

At the Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC), recruits go online to learn how to assemble and handle their rifle, throw a grenade, carry out first aid and clear battle obstacles before going outfield to get hands-on experience.

The Straits Times understands that about 2,600 enlistees were issued laptop computers in December at the start of their BMT. The recruits returned the devices to the training centres after they graduated last week.

The online tutorials have replaced some lectures in the training shed or classroom, used now instead for discussions of current affairs and national education.

Soldiers learn the how-tos of the practical skills in their bunks through BMTC’s online platform Learnet. Questions can be directed to their commanders through a live messaging system.

A BMTC instructor, who declined to be named, explained: ‘We would be at hand to explain, help to clarify more complex details with the recruits, or even hold online discussions.’

Aside from familiarising themselves with military skills, recruits have to post their thoughts and reflections about their BMT experience at least once a week.

Responding to queries, the defence ministry said yesterday that Learnet lets recruits carry out ‘self-learning’ of lessons such as weapon handling, individual field craft, first aid and training safety.

‘It complements existing training methods like field training and classroom-based lectures conducted by BMTC,’ said Mindef spokesman Darius Lim. ‘The Learnet system provides the recruits easy access to learning resources, and is part of the improvements made to the BMT system to enhance the recruit’s overall training experience.’

Equipping men with laptops is part of the SAF’s modernisation drive to harness technology in the training of today’s cohort. In a December interview, former army chief Neo Kian Hong said the SAF had to engage troops ‘intellectually and emotionally’ as they are now more educated, intelligent and inquisitive.

Major-General Neo, now the Chief of Defence Force, said: ‘This is an important part of the third-generation SAF where we focus on training thinking soldiers.’

Agreeing, one recent BMT graduate, now training to become a specialist, said basic training is no longer stereotyped as a boot camp where clueless recruits are ‘whacked’ into physical and mental shape. The 19-year-old added: ‘Training is still tough but I feel that I’ve learnt more effectively to become a modern and smarter soldier.’

As part of the SAF’s 18-month review, BMT was extended for the obese and unfit. Now, the rite of passage for some 20,000 18-year-olds every year can range from nine to 19 weeks, depending on their fitness levels.

Full-time national servicemen (NSF) told The Straits Times they liked their new gadget. In the initial weeks, some had even figured out a way to get in touch with friends on the mainland through e-mail and social networking sites.

But the social networking sites and e-mail were later blocked, said some NSFs. There were also a few technical glitches like failed log-ins and a slow network.

All in all, soldiers said they preferred the flexibility of their ‘online tutors’, which gave them more time for hands-on training in the field.

‘Navigating through the slides and videos was a breeze, and we could learn and absorb the more tedious details very quickly,’ said one recruit, who declined to be named.

Another said having a laptop was helpful with revision: ‘This gives us more confidence when we go outfield, especially when we had to throw a live grenade.’

 

Source: ST

Time

Time


A friend at work shared with us an old riddle:


What is something that is too short and yet too long; something that we sometimes need, sometimes don’t?


Time.


Time can be too short when there are many thing to do and is something that we need.

Time can be too long when there is nothing to do, and we don’t need it.


Right now, the description of time that suits me is the first. There are many things that I have yet to do and yet I have not much time before university starts officially. Already, as it is, I have given up on taking driving lessons and curtailing on the places I want to go. Sigh.


先苦后甜吧!

Morning activity

Morning activity

Upon finishing my new routine, morning runs and strengthening exercises, I made a mistake.

I took the lift up back home too soon.

My body is quite sensitive to motion immediately after runs, and the outcome can be me fainting over nothing. To prevent that from happening, I decided to try the concrete flooring on my back:

Click on image to enlarge
Fog of War

Fog of War

The following video shows how fog of war affects a battle, no matter how one sided it is.

Questions to be asked:

  1. How did the guys up in the air mistook cameras for weapon? There is no way in my eyes that the cameras can be RPGs and no metals showing AK-47 bodies.
  2. What are the RoEs in Iraq? In a short overlay of words by a reporter in the video, he mentioned that the American forces has a thing against people gathering.
  3. How did the intelligence officers in the military or even any other agencies, if any, not managed to find the images and kids in the van, and body not being ran over by a tank? And yet ordinary people on the streets managed to spot them out and even magnified the video for all to witness?
  4. The children were injured due to the pilots rash and unprofessional behavior (don’t let me get started on their com chatter) and yet the top brass decided that they are not responsible by sending them away to a local hospital and not a military medical centre? One word: WOW.

This video was just released by wikileaks, a site that specialises in providing damning materials while protecting their sources identity.

DNS and more VPN woes

DNS and more VPN woes

Recently, I have been having trouble with my internet service. Twice a day, I was kept disconnected from the Internet. Each time I checked using Windows Live Messenger’s troubleshooter, it was the DNS (Domain Name System) that caused the trouble. There was nothing much that I could do, except to keep flushing my DNS settings. Which did not do much good anyway.

The workaround?

OpenDNS. Honestly, I never did care much about DNS even though I know how important it is in our daily websurfing. Without DNS, instead of typing google.com or brokenshardz.net, we would have been typing 64.233.181.106 or 203.211.129.221. The former IP address will probably be able to work, since it should be a dedicated IP address. Whereas, this blog’s IP address would have redirected you to another site. This blog uses a shared IP address. Without it, we would have to memorise IPv6 addresses by now, instead of using only IPv4 addresses. Till now, I have yet to use IPv6 on the machines I used.

However since invalid or incorrect DNS has been a bane at home and OpenDNS promises to be a reliable service. Why not? OpenDNS is free for home users and it is easy to set up. There are paid packages too, but I do not see a need to have more than what have being offered in the basic package for home users.

Remembered that I posted on my VPN woes? Well, it is back. Upon further diving into the murky pool of FAQs and support sites, my school’s VPN is simply non-existent on Singtel’s ATM technology. So at the moment, even with the beta software install, I still do not have VPN service at all! Damn. Maybe I should just turn my laptop in and ask the school IT guys to figure it out. Besides, there are some software that I have yet to install due to some errors which I can’t figure out.

BHB moment for Microsoft

BHB moment for Microsoft

Sometimes people can be very buay hiao bai (thick-skinned and full of himself). Organisations do that too at times. But Microsoft takes the tops for this:

Click on image to enlarge

Seriously?

The only reason why I choose to install Microsoft Office 2010 beta is that I need Outlook 2007, and I have yet to get the installation and product key from my school. And since the beta runs till end October this year, why not?