October 2008 Archives

Lehman brothers joke

October 30, 2008 11:42 PM | Comments (9)

As I haven’t had time to blog much lately, I shall leave you with a joke reflecting the unstable times we’re in now.

Auditor’s one line report on Lehman Brothers Balance sheet:

‘There are two sides to a Balance Sheet - Left & the Right (Liabilities and Assets respectively). On the left side there is nothing right, and on the right side there is nothing left.’

Music studio fixes

October 25, 2008 5:07 PM

I intended to spend my 4-day break fixing my home music studio, which has been experiencing various malfunctions. In August, my faithful G5 PowerMac suddenly couldn’t start up. I tried everything suggested in the help forums (Apple and unofficial) and mailing lists, to no avail.

Pulling out the power plug and leaving it for days and trying to start it again, didn’t work. Opening up the casing and removing the RAM and putting them back in, also didn’t work. I was going to send it to an Apple service centre during this break. My PowerMac was lying dejectedly in my music studio for several weeks.

I decided to give it one more try before I lugged it down the stairs. I plugged in the power and suddenly, there was a familiar startup whirr! I hurriedly re-connected the monitor and the screen eventually lit up with the Apple login! I was so happy!

After I reset the time and reconnected various cables, I realised however that my 2nd audio card (doubling up as a MIDI card) was no longer detected. And the Airport still wasn’t working as of last year when I upgraded to Leopard (separate issue). After reboots the audio card was detected and audio output worked fine. Techtool Deluxe detected an error in my file structure that couldn’t be fixed, possibly as my original hard drive is nearly full. I installed a second internal hard drive a few months ago to handle the extra data load. Plus, I ran Time Machine.

Lastly, I rebooted in Safe mode which is supposed to fix that darned Airport problem after upgrading to Leopard, but it didn’t work. All it did was make my fans churn so violently that I thought my PowerMac would explode.

Anyway … the important features were working. It was time to make music again! I switched on my KORG Trition Extreme which was just serviced several weeks ago…

And the darned keyboard wouldn’t turn on. I switched power cables and the other keyboard still worked, but the Triton wouldn’t start. I heard a spzzzt! sound everytime I tried to turn it on. Sounded like the internal power unit died as well. So I sent it to City Music yesterday for repairs, reminding them that I had recently sent it to them for servicing. The two salesmen on duty commented that the Triton rarely has problems as it’s quite sturdy.

So is there a bug travelling around my music studio, or what? I’ve had both PowerMac and Triton for over 4 years, and never before have they failed to turn on, until this year. Both times it happened after I hadn’t touched the equipment for a while. Maybe they’re feeling neglected. Or feeling old and obsolete.

So basically I haven’t totally achieved my objective of making music during this break, although the trusty old piano is still around so I’ve been revising my jazz pieces instead. Now that’s the type of music equipment that won’t have startup problems.

Exam fever

October 18, 2008 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

Yesterday I woke up with chills. I thought it was just the air-conditioning, but the chills remained for a while, even after a hot shower.

During microecons class, my section learnt that we came in first, beating other sections from Wharton and Fontainebleau. Within my section, my group came in third! The top three groups received chilled champagne from our professor and we drank it on the spot. Then we gave him a huge sending-off and drank a lot of Tiger beer.

Thus by the evening I thought my queasy stomach was due to the alcohol consumed earlier in the day. I went home for dinner then went back to school to study. I was even queasier and felt like puking as I drove home.

When I came back I learnt that other family members had it too - and even worse than me. I tried hard not to purge myself, took antibiotics and went to sleep. In the middle of the night I woke up and finally puked out my entire dinner. Then I had surge after surge of diarrhoea. Altogether this kept me up till 4+am.

By the time I fell asleep, my alarm rang. I decided to skip the 8.30am microecons tutorial and the 10.30am stats tutorial because I was still not feeling good. However I absolutely cannot miss the 1.30pm finance class because this is the only chance we have to learn how to answer a past year paper. I will probably try to sit away from the others so they don’t catch my bug.

But what a terrible time to fall ill!!! My exams start on Monday and it’s not like I’m a quantitative genius who already knows how to answer every question - I’m still trying to understand things, especially topics that we only just learnt the last week or two!

I think I need to bomb the loo one more time… Altogether, it is really a terrible feeling.

More action is happening on my INSEAD blog, and even more action is happening in the library (boo!) but I thought I should pen down some quick thoughts about current situations:

On the current economic crisis

Tempting as it is to watch with an odd combination of amusement and dismay as our stock prices fall lower and lower, there is really no point in checking them every minute. Being MBA students there is a very strong temptation to sit in front of the Bloomberg terminal watching stock prices from your country of origin trickle further down every few seconds. I have been using my Bloomberg iPhone app more often than usual, taking a masochistic delight in seeing prices fall and telling myself I was smart to sell a lot of my shares before the real shit hit the fan.

But, as with really bad diarrhoea, you never know when it ends. If you live only for money, then you may feel your life is coming to an end. If your foundation is in deeper, more meaningful things, then you will not be as badly shaken. However, it is tragic while lots of people in America have lost their homes and an old lady has even shot herself after defaulting on mortgage payments.

On the US elections

I am getting all excited again for Obama as he’s become more specific with issues, and sounds more decisive. The second debate helped him stand out. All these years I was actually fine with McCain and thought he’d have made a better president than Bush, but the GOP had other ideas, and now it may be difficult for the Republicans on all fronts.

A couple days ago, our Organisational Behaviour professor let us watch Martin Luther King’s speech, I Have A Dream. I’ve read excerpts, but watching the original video really moved me. If Obama gets elected, King’s speech will have extra significance - even though Obama isn’t the son of slaves.

Embedded for your viewing pleasure:

I’m adding my INSEAD blog on my sidebar so it won’t be so quiet over here… take care, dear readers, and have a great weekend while I slog away!

All hands on deck!

October 5, 2008 5:26 PM | Comments (0)

I am postponing all social engagements until after my exams*. I won’t be responding to emails, comments, showing up at dinners or anything that will take up too much time. Likewise I won’t be giving my input on links you want me to check out, or long articles to read. The only other things I’m doing now is bible study (finally resumed it after being spiritually empty for the last 1-2 years) and French class as I need to pass it to graduate with my MBA. My major club involvement at INSEAD will be the High-Tech club and our Second Life conferences, but again I hope to be more involved after the exams.

Math and finance whizzes may find this period a breeze, but I and some others are taking this quite seriously. I know things will get better next period onwards, but for now I’m trying to keep my chin up so that my nose can stick to the grindstone.

  • Declaration: Just in case you see me in town on Monday and think I’m being naughty - I’m popping by after school to see some overseas friends for dinner then going straight home to work. Assignnment deadline is the morning after!!