Tuesday, December 28, 2004

song brothers = gay bengs? amongst other things

should I get this colour? can't believe this is the only colour they have stock of. argh i'm so buay song those song brudders. someone should sell 不爽 drinks next to their shop. i think i'll do it myself if i become unemployed.

and i can't believe the email foobar wasn't taken. couldn't even get the userid f00b4r1337 on steam (half-life 2). seems like none of the current singnet subscribers r real nerds. well singnet, i hope u're prepared :)

and speaking of hl2, i want to complain. godawful 5 cds? couldn't they afford to print a dvd? no in fact it would probably have been cheaper to press 1 dvd instead of so many bloody cds. and the compulsory windows xp-style product activation, and OMG more than 1 hour decrypting the files (i have a hyperthreading 2.6 GHz P4) after i thought the installation was complete, and another year updating the files via steam. all these anti-piracy measures don't stop the pirates from doing their thing - bittorrent downloads were available ever since it was released. it just annoys the hell out of legitimate paying customers. was i a fool to have bought the original? ok please don't arrest me 4 thoughtcrime if you ever read this ghim. and the post below too.

anyway, valve, did you forget it was your fans who created the phenomenon that was counterstrike from the original half-life? and day of defeat? natural selection? hello, anybody home? and so far i'm not that impressed. sure the water looks good, but dude i've been stuck with a pistol for a while. even the crowbar took a while to get to. i was reduced to throwing barrels at the guards for the darndest time, and the guards weren't too amused.

oh and did anyone ever have a casually tossed out commment or joke come back 2 bite them in the ass later? couple of nights ago at the end of colleague's wedding dinner i was (jokingly) asking someone living in the east to drop me off at changi prison. today i got a call from someone asking me for tuition for her daughter (thanks for the lobang Mrs. Lim!). while i was taking down the address, she said, "If you're taking cab here, tell the driver it's near changi prison." Ho, ho, ho. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Friday, December 24, 2004


woohoo!! lockpicked my way into my room today!

When i got home dis afternoon after a half-day and it was burning hot so i decided 2 take a cool shower. but alas when i tried to get into mah room 4 some change i was out of luck - room was locked. Dug in the drawers for the keys but could only find keys for the other rooms. I was stuck outside dripping in a towel.

That's when I decided to put my l33t l0ckp1ck sk1lz (more like my vague memory of the MIT guide to lockpicking) 2 some good use.

First i needed 2 get meself some tools - rummaged thru dad's toolbox. Found some screwdrivers, pliers, wire, and a penknife. I'd need something to supply the torque - first i thought of using a pair of thin screwdrivers in a "chopstick" fashion, but I knew someone with psychomotor coordination like me couldn't do it. Something like the "pliers" used to pluck chicken hair would work if the ends were sharp - hey isn't that scissors?!! Found a pair and they were quite suitable. Pliers also worked but needed to be opened wider (as the handles are further apart when it's closed) so more unwieldy.

Next I needed the pick. A small section of wire did the trick. Tried to bend the end into the ideal pick shape but couldn't bend off a small enough bit.

OK charge! After a few attempts I realized the lock had 2 rows of pins - at the top and bottom.. had to scrape both of them. Hmm this isn't really a beginner's lock. Didn't get it for quite a while and got a bit frustrated.

Yappari was it impossible for a unpractical guy like me? Noooo I refuse to give up - I want to show that even armchair theorists can DIY!!!! Last time all those mechanical and competitions I joined like amphibious vehicle and widget sorting all failed.. and parents also laff @ me 4 being a klutz.. i must overcome the stigma of my past!!!! ok i digress.

Went back and examined the other keys more closely. And realized that the pins only had 2 states - up or down. There weren't any graduations in between. A couple of implications - there were fewer possible combinations for the pins. Also I could be rougher with the pick since there was a large distance between an up pin and a down pin. And almost couldn't believe it when the lock turned! I did it!!! Yatta!!!!!! Woohooo!!! Looks like my time spent in DSO using heavy metal tools for real men wasn't wasted. Nothing like this to make one's Christmas eve!!!!

And to share my joy with everyone I just had to blog this. Oh and also to do a theoretical analysis :) Take that you brand-x-made-in-china-pin-tumbler-lock! I 0wn j00!

PS. Lockpicking kept bringing certain analogies to mind. One inserts something long and hard into an orifice and slides it in and out, rubbing it against the grooves. And a climax is reached when the knob turns. Nothing like surrogate sex on christmas eve :D

PPS. Even not getting my ipod mini in time for xmas can't ruin my mood now!

Merry Christmas! Btw title link goes to the toolz i used. How fitting that the pic is now on a MIT spun-off photosharing site. Ho, ho, ho!

Monday, December 13, 2004