Sunday, December 30, 2007


New year's on the horizon, and before we embark on the beginning of 2008, I wish to share with you some of my fond memories that I've been through throughout the year of sweet 2007. (Pictures not in chronological order).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Looking Back 2007

Goodbye 2007

What a great progress I have made. The year 2007 was like a big bang, a new beginning and a new prospect for me. And so, for 2008, I’m expecting an even bigger bang, as I’ll be entering my final year in the Business School. This is going to be a more challenging part in my school life, in which I have to work extra hard and stay focused in order to achieve my goals and ambitions. (I’ve said that every year and it never tires me).

Some say 2007 has been a sucky year. Personally, I think the year 2007 isn't really that bad at all. I learned a lot of new things this year; Web 2.0, property investment, live stage experience, career prospects, faith, personal well-being and a few others that have inspired me to set a clearer goal in life.

Funny thing about my health and well-being, I’ve managed to stay in shape in the first half of the year, but gained back prior to Hari Raya Aidilfitri, thanks to all the food. Which reminds me; we’ve got to stop wasting on food, and I mean the excess food in this country. There’s just too many food served in this nation with very low population. Think about the other few countries that are suffering from hunger. I guess they need the excess food more than we do. We’re just getting fatter from eating them, and ironically we die from eating too much anyway.

During the 1st half of the year, I excelled well on my studies and gained excellent results for my 1st year in The Business School. Unfortunately, the tides have turned as I entered the 2nd year. It's gotten tougher, so I struggled with all the pressure handed to me, e.g. tons of assignments, the business project and Statistics.

This was the year with a lot of activities, particularly on the entertainment side. I’ve had great memories with Divine Intervention, since its formation in 2006. We’ve been having shows and entertained many. I’ve learned many things and gained a lot of stage and vocal experience. Sadly, I had made my decision which occurred just recently to depart from the band as one of the vocalists, due to unresolved issues. It was an indistinct move by me, but my journey continues in search for greater expectations.

2007 has been a great year for great movies. To name a few; 300, Spider-man 3, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Jangan Pandang Belakang, Ghost Rider, The Simpsons Movie, Pirates of The Caribbean At World’s End, I am Legend, and of course the mighty Transformers. In fact, this has been the year that I’ve been to the cineplex the most in my life, exceeding the number of DVD’s I bought and watched at home.

So what’s my resolution for next year? Well, just one thing. I just want to keep the faith stronger and be closer to the almighty. It was great and fun in the rockin’ year of 2007. As we embrace the arrival of the great eight, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy new year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pre-New Year Cold

It's close to new year's eve and I already caught myself a cold. *sniff* What an atrocious week. I've got a runny nose and I sneeze a lot. *sniff* Plus I've got assignments yet to be completed before the new semester starts. *sniff* Hopefully I recover fast so I could get back to work on the stuff I need to accomplish before my given deadline. *sniff*

It's really weird that I got this cold rather surprisingly, when in fact I've been hanging out with a few of my friends who each happened to had colds these past couple of months and I was pretty sure I was invulnerable from them for some reason. *sniff* But in the end, I caught one, and at the very end of the year as well. I wonder where I got this virus from? *sniff*


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

SEA Games 99 Memories

Brunei proudly hosted the 20th Sea Games in 1999. Remember Awang Budiman? Remember the SEA Games songs aired on TV and the radio? Remember those slogans like 'Go for Gold!' and 'Ole Ole Brunei'? Remember the grand opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Berakas? If you were part of the celebration almost a decade ago, then you'd definitely recall a few of the moments. We were still in high schools and colleges back then; young, youthful and most probably still single.

The year was 1999. Mobile phones were only carried by adults and rich snobby kids. The internet involved dial-ups and relay chats. Cameras used to be in film. Yayasan was the nation's mall. Jerudong Park was still in its full glory. I was only 16 back then. I was in form 4 (science stream) in Maktab SOAS during that time and coincidently, we were affected by the 20th SEA Games. Many students in the country participated and contributed their energy in different performances for the opening and closing ceremonies. In my batch, we were recruited into the choir group. We were among the lucky ones along with STPRI, Maktab Sains and Maktab Duli to be part in the choir. Why I said lucky? Well, we didn't have to stand under the heat of the sun during rehearsals.

We began practicing in our school and learning the basic technique of singing the bass and tenor notes for several SEA Games songs as well as the National Anthem. This was when I started to have the passion in singing and music. Soon after, we were sent to Maktab Duli by buses every morning to combine with the other schools for practice at the auditorium. We skipped classes for a couple of months.

Rehearsing at Maktab Duli Auditorium

Prior to the actual event, we were sent by buses every afternoon from our drop off point at Bolkiah Kem to the stadium. We had a lot of fond memories at the camp, sitting under our provided tents while waiting for the buses to arrive. We usually hit the stadium at around 6pm. Rehearsals were in the evening and we all had to be at our own waiting area at the tennis court entrance which is just a few metres walk from the main entance of the stadium.

SOAS choir boys (with choir uniforms) at Bolkiah Kem

We were instructed to perform on a huge boat-like stage. We all stood gracefully behind several local artists belting each and every SEA Games songs. Each rehearsal nights, we had to stay up late until 11pm, as the organizers wanted perfection and we had to repeat a lot. It was, of course, tiring. But we had so much fun nevertheless.

I remembered how big and grand it was when I stood there on the stage on the actual opening night. The huge fireworks, the lights, the sounds, the roaring crowd and the great performances on the centre field by other students from different schools and institutions. I also remembered the tense and the thumbing heartbeat when we sang our hearts out during our performances. The songs that we performed were 'Selamat Datang', 'Here We Meet' and 'Mencari Kejayaan'. We wrapped up with 2 closing songs, including the infamous 'Til We Meet Again', a week later. Those were perhaps the moments that I could still recall easily whenever I brought up and shared the Sea Games story with my friends and family.

When it all ended, everything was quiet again as we went back to our ordinary lives in school. It was only at that moment when everything was so loud, and then ended just like that, leaving wonderful memories which will stay in our hearts forever.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007



My laptop isn't going any more faster. I've done so many things to get it up to speed e.g. defragmentation, disk cleanup, registry cleanup, etc, but it's still slow. I guess I've been using a lot of 'heavy' programmes for my work and play, like PhotoShop Cs3, InDesign Cs2, iTunes, Word 07, Excel 07, PowerPoint 07, Publisher 07, Outlook 07 (yes, all Office 07 programmes are freakin heavy!). And my 512mb RAM can't top that.

People kept telling me that getting a new computer is the most affordable way in these situations when your old computer starts to slow down, but I don't really enjoy the hassle of backing up and transfering all my data, reinstalling the essential softwares and selling off my obsolete laptop. All I need now is to upgrade to a higher RAM and reformat my system along the way, but then again I'd still have to do all those chores I've mentioned earlier, so yeah.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Need a bigger hard disk!

Can you believe it? The number of mp3's in my library has finally reached the 4000th mark! It took me 9 freakin years to reach that figure, 9 years of downloading music from the internet and collecting them in my hard disk. Whew, that's like a major milestone for my ever-growing songs collection. This calls for a celebration. I'm ordering pizzas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Bro's Gig: The Comeback

Designed and Distributed by Roccus

Bringing Out The Voice

I was jamming with Odium Treason last night in Bunut. We've been practicing a few songs for tonight's 'The Bro's Gig' at T.T. Blues, organized by Urban Touches, Roccus Clothing and JD And Friends Entertainment. These guys play a lot of hardcore metal and they expect me to perform metal as well. I've been tryin hard to get the industrial scream and growl sound but it's just not my cup of tea, coz I'm more on the alternative and sentimental side. But nevertheless, it's all about having fun.

Anyway, I just wanna introduce the band. Odium Treason consists of 3 prominent members; Kamal (Drums), Jamal (Bass) and Is (Lead). They play hardcore metal among the ranks of the metal heads in the local scene. Their inspiration ranges from Metallica to Trivium. Lot's of bangin, trashin, screamin and growlin.

I've been invited as a guest vocalist for the band to contribute on playing semi-heavy songs. Perhaps I could learn a lot from them on the art of the industrial voice of metal. I mean, it's good to venture into different areas in rock.

We've been practicing for weeks now. In fact, I've been exhausted lately, what with work, fitness and practice. However, the joy is always there when it comes to rockin. So don't miss us performing live at T.T. Blues tonight, with several other well-known bands rockin' Gadong.

But seriously, I'm exhausted...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


And you
Can bring me to my knees
All the times
That I could beg you please
In vain
All the times
That I felt insecure
For you
And I leave
My burdens at the door

But I'm on the outside
And I'm looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
'Cause inside you're ugly
You're ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you

All the times
That I felt like this won't end
It's for you
And I taste
What I could never have
It was from you
All the times
That I've cried
My intentions
Full of pride
But I waste
More time than anyone

But I'm on the outside
And I'm looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
'Cause inside you're ugly
You're ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you

All the times
That I've cried
All this wasted
It's all inside
And I feel
All this pain
Stuffed it down
It's back again
And I lie
Here in bed
All alone
I can't mend
But I feel
Tomorrow will be OK

But I'm on the outside
And I'm looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
'Cause inside you're ugly
You're ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you

Outside by Staind from the album Break The Cycle

Written by Aaron Lewis

Monday, December 10, 2007

Before The Uniform Era

"This ain't school, it's a bloody prison!"

The Business School, formerly The Business & Management Department of Sultan Saiful Rizal Technical College (MTSSR), isn't what it used to be. Back then there weren't many students. Only less then a hundred populated the campus in one of the quietest part of Gadong (although ironically situated just 4 kilometers from The Mall). The students used to have more freedom and more laid back life, but still managed to ace their tests and complete their assignments. Most importantly, they had a lot of fun among themselves and get along with their tutors.

Let us journey back to the days of my good friend, former classmate from our days in the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien College and also my ex-super senior of The Business School, Mr Haji Mohd Helmy bin Haji Yutar. I spent the whole day working out with him at Harun Gym and reminiscent about old times, and he brought up the story of his wonderful times in The Business School. Back then, the students and lecturers get along very very VERY well, and restrictions were taken very lightly as the majority of the students were quite mature enough to take care of themselves. They still got the job done, studied hard, respected their lecturers and attended classes like good students.

The premise used to be the University of Brunei Darussalam before they moved to Tungku. MTSSR could not accommodate the number of students so they sent (or exiled) the Business & Management Department to Gadong. The campus was entirely operated in 'The Green Building' (air-conditioners not included). Despite the small classroom capacity and lack of facilities provided, the students managed to survive throughout the course and they are mostly alive and well now, heading towards a better career with good paychecks. The current premise which I'm situated now used to be off limits as it was in critical state and in need of repairs and renovation. Nevertheless, it was better than being situated away from town. Nothing is more fun than a quick trip to the cineplex after a day in class.

The originally proposed renovation of 'The Green Building' which was scrapped due to the use of the color Brown.

Helmy also recalled the friendliness and coolness of his previous seniors during his study at the Business & Management Department of MTSSR. They had so much fun hanging out before and after school hours, and sooner then he thought, he felt like he was already part of the family. There was no bias in choosing friends. Everyone in the campus was like brothers and sisters, and the tutors were like mothers and fathers to them. No one dictated their ranks as seniors and juniors as everyone treats each other the same way.

The best place to hang out among the seniors and juniors was at the old Student Centre, complete with a television set and a ping-pong table. Everyone could actually use the room to chill out. They could even bring along a PlayStation 2 and go head-to-head with friends on Pro Evolution Soccer and Winning Eleven. Even the school lecturer, Sir Fadzil, didn't miss all the fun and joined his students for a match. That was what it was all about in The Business & Management Department back then, mixing study time and fun time.

In 2005, I enrolled for the Business & Finance course and began my journey in The Business School in Pre-National Diploma. Helmy introduced me to several of his friends who were among the coolest super-seniors I've known. They also shared their experience and gave a lot of advices to me before they left. Back then, Yamin was the School President. We had the most exciting orientation session. The super-seniors did a fantastic job in making the orientation an entertaining and meaningful experience that changed us to become more open and confident. Both Reza and Yamin were my role-model for becoming a dynamic student. We still keep in touch now, along with Helmy, who was well known as the IT guy in campus whose tasks were to set up the projector, laptop and speakers in the lecture theatre when needed (now succeeded by none other than… me, unfortunately).

The Amazing Duo, Reza and Yamin. Helmy was busy setting up the projector when this photo was taken.

By the time I got to the school after the launching of 'The Business School' as an independent technical college (that's right, it's a College for god sakes!) under the Department of Technical Education in 2005, things had started to become different. Yes, the campus has indeed gotten bigger, and the students no longer had to bear the heat in class as air-conditioners were installed. Classes have expanded to accommodate the increasing number of students. Lecturers finally have their own individual rooms. Finally the canteen was provided, which means that the students were no longer required to go out for foraging food during breaks and lunch.

But the family feeling among seniors and juniors started to fade away slowly. What's more, we are instructed to wear uniforms effective last September. It's really… uhh, blue. Honestly, I didn't really feel comfortable wearing the uniform because A) I'm 24 years old, B) they look like SOAS uniforms and C) I've already worn a few pairs of SOAS uniforms and I definitely don't wish to put them on again! I missed the old days when we still got to wear whatever we prefer, and still looked good, sharp and smart wearing them to campus. Unlike uniforms, wearing normal attires used to make me feel more adult wherever I go. Now that I've put on the uniform, I couldn't even visit the arcade for some stress-relief!

~ I'm blue, daba dee daba da, daba dee daba da, yaba daba doo ~

Yes, I should be grateful that we get a more spacious classroom, a wireless connection and sufficient parking space. But nothing could ever beat the sense of belonging in Helmy's experience. And, for crying out loud, I'm an adult, not a teenager anymore. I don't want to wear a freakin school uniform. Sometimes I wish I could be in the same batch with Helmy and share the same joy he had in the early days of The Business School. By now I'd probably be taking my degree or be a progressive rock star. But then again, I've already passed halfway, and I've only got a year to complete my course, so there's no turning back.

The future of The Business School is unpredictable. You can tell by the drastic differences of the way it looks now and before. Let's just hope that by the time I leave the school and graduate, giant robots arrive and threaten the school to go back to its old roots.

"It's called The Business College, you human scum!"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

PC versus Mac; an On-going Debate

I've been a PC user since I was 10. Being a PC user for over a decade, it has been part of my life, from the days of MS-DOS till the Windows XP. Despite the typical problems and troubleshooting PC has to go through over the years, I've still managed to get through, and made good use of my computer as much as I could. But ever since my mind's throbbing with Mac-fever, I couldn't keep my head straight, thinking, "Oh, when will I get one for myself?" or "I just feel like I wanna get rid of this piece of Dell crap and get myself a Mac!" But is it really a wise decision?

It all started when I first installed iTunes for my PC. iTunes is a Media Player that generally plays my mp3 playlists in my computer. I've grown to love managing my playlists on iTunes, but what I really dig most is the Cover-flow. How cool it is to actually have cover artwork for your music, it's really intuitive. I completely stopped playing my music using Winamp as a result. Back then when I started using the software, I only used my Sony Ericsson as my portable mp3 player, and I didn't really need anything else.

Then the software actually introduced me on how cool and exciting it was to sync everything onto an iPod. So, yep, you guessed right, I bought myself an 80 Gigabyte iPod Video (Black) soon after that. And since then, everything was good. I loved my iPod so much, and again I said to myself that I didn't need another portable player. The iPod is just right for me. That's when until I found that iPod works much better when running on a Mac. Okay, I wanted to ignore that, because I find that my iPod works fine on my PC. But it got me all worried somehow.

iPod; the only gadget you'll ever need. Also, get the Nano, the Shuffle, the Touch and the iPhone. Damnit, get 'em all!

After months of research, I've learned a lot of stuff I need to know about Apple and their range of 'innovative' products. Could it be that the holy grail of the PC is the Mac all along? I've been asking around for others' opinions. Some say that the Mac is better than the PC, others still say that it's the other way round. I've watched how the Mac-users impressed me with their Macbooks and iMacs, how cool their videos looked after hours of editing, how fun and useful the widgets are, and how awesome the bundled iLife softwares are. There's also been a claim that the new OS X leopard is ten times more powerful than Vista.

So here I am, typing this blog with my trusty Dell Inspiron 6000, whining about how much I crave a Macbook. I've had this craving since early this year, and it's killin me. Everywhere I go, the ads says it all, "Why you'll love a Mac", "Get a Mac", "Switch to a Mac" etc. Even some my friends who have just switched to the Mac loathe about how good their powerful toys are and how better Mac's are compared to PCs. For one thing, here's what I gotta say. Macs are damn expensive! All the ranges of Mac computers and accessories are way overpriced. How do I expect to get one so easily when the prices don't seem to go down?

Despite the problems and issues faced, I still love my Dell, and I'm thinking of upgrading the RAM so I could perform my work better and more productive. If I get a Mac soon, will I be able to do the same chore I'm used to do on my PC? True, the Mac has all the coolest softwares, and what Apple claimed "only the best softwares you'll ever need!" I use PhotoShop for my image-editing work, and Mac's got the system software that'll run PhotoShop much more smoothly. I use Pinnacle for my video-editing, and Mac's got the easiest, fastest and convenient tools for that as well. I love organizing my stuff on my PC, and Mac's got all those and they're much more fun and easier to use. But it all comes to one thing; doesn't that feel like Apple is keeping its users from using third-party softwares? Where's the freedom in that? I love freedom!

Finally, Macs claim that their hardware is a powerful beast. They've got those Intel Processors and the OS X is one hell of a monster truck. But couldn't I do that with my PC? Upgrade my RAM and get a new Motherboard, or hey, why not just get a new one? Personally, I'm no beginner in computers. I realized that the intuitiveness of Macs is for those who just want to get things done easier and 'funner'. I'm tired of complaining and whining. I guess I'm just gonna save up and upgrade my Dell instead. I can still do what I want things done on my PC. All I really need now is just to speed my laptop up, and that's it.

Less troubleshooting, powerful performance, invulnerable from viruses, highly useful applications and an over-all sleek design is what makes the Mac an oh-so-perfect computer. But I'm sick, and my head aches from all the Mac-craving. Sick! Sick! Sick! I'm sick of being a sucker for all the tech-hype! Sometimes you can't always get what you want. I should be grateful of what I have now. At least I could still breathe and blog.

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