Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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Digital Cameras to be recommended

Dear All

It has come to my attention that my blog happens to be some 4th World attempt in the aspect of pictorial descriptions. I have lots of things to show you but I have been out of touch with photography eversince digital photography became the in-thing.

I was one of the manual focusing and manual exposure film geeks. ūüôā

Anyway, we all have to move forward, i am now in search of a digital camera. Anyone got a good simple to use, moderately high resolution camera to recommend?

Many Thanks.

January 11, 2007 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Questions on Senoko’s Power Failure

Dear All

The timing for this is a bit off. Food poisoning, wisdom tooth extraction, gastric flu, Christmas celebrations, new year celebrations, friend’s birthday celebrations and now we have a not so fresh topic for discussion.However, from my understanding no one seems to have really discussed this (correct me if i am wrong) and since all of us use electricity… so …. The topic remains relevant.

Attached below is my article on the issue. Apologies for only posting now.

Regards

Ti Lik

P.S. As at 11th January 2007 Noontime, letter was sent to the Straits Times Forum Page again ūüôā

Power failure ‚Äď Senoko could face fines – Are fines the end of it all?¬†

Though the recent power outage did not cause a public outrage, the silent resilience of an inconvenienced and choiceless people should not be used to whitewash mistakes made in the administration of public services in a country like Singapore. The less than prompt ability to manage a power failure raises important questions which must be answered.

The known cause of the power failure was the instantaneous disruption of the gas supply. However, this ‚Äúinstantaneous‚ÄĚ disruption had an extremely drastic effect ‚Äď the station‚Äôs generators failed to switch to diesel-fire generation and / or alternative gas supplies and rendered a portion of Senoko‚Äôs modern facility and talented management ineffective for 2 whole hours.

Senoko’s foreign talent CEO cited the unexpected and instantaneous nature of the disruption to excuse the failure of the plant to switch to using alternative sources of fuel. Did he expect warnings about an impending gas supply disruption before Senoko could react?

His expectation however raises the following serious questions / points:-

1.                  If there were backup measures in place as claimed, such measures ought to cover disruptions in supply including those instantaneous in nature would it be not?

2.                  By the way, are not disruptions almost always instantaneous?

3.                  Who built the pipeline? Why were sensors not installed to detect lapses in gas supply?

4.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Even if Singaporeans accept the cause due to ‚Äúthe instantaneous nature of the supply disruption‚ÄĚ, it still does not explain why it took Senoko a 2-hour lapse to restore power.

5.                 When the power was finally restored, was the power restored by a successful switch to alternative sources or was it restored by the resumption of gas supply from Petronas
Malaysia?

6.                  If power was restored by a switch to alternative sources of fuel, why then does a switch to be made take two hours to be done when in normal circumstances, the plant was built for and was supposedly able to switch to alternative fuel supplies? Even if the instantaneous nature of the disruption had caused sent Senoko into shock and paralysis, surely concrete action must be taken after that initial shock.

7.                  If power was restored only because the gas supply was resumed, it only means that despite the supposed dual-fuel abilities of the plant, there was no alternative system of fuel provision that kicked in for 2 whole hours. This can only mean that the incident exposes Senoko power station’s lack of an effective and alternative fuel source?

8.                  Was there even an alternative fuel source for Senoko? Or was there an inability to switch to an alternative fuel source. If there was an inability to switch to an alternative fuel source, why was it so?

9.                 Were not our turbine generators formerly running on petroleum fuel? They were thereafter converted to be gas fired after the agreement to buy gas from Malaysia? When the conversion was done, why was the turbines’ ability to be petroleum-fired not preserved?

10.             What then is the current cost of the recommended switch to diesel fire generation and liquefied natural gas? Will Senoko and other like-minded GLCs choose to pass such cost on to the poor Singaporean consumer again?

11.              As this is a repeated incident, it is obvious that the million dollar fines are inadequate in deterring a GLC (which makes much money in enjoying so little competition in Singapore) from staying on its toes. All the more so when money passes from the left hand to the right.

12.              Essentially, there seems to be little or no effective countermeasures in place until the LNG receiving terminal is completed in 2012.

13.              Why was not an effective back up system designed and built into Singapore’s power grid during the years of utilities privatization and energy source conversion, given the opportunity to do so amidst fanfare raised about buying gas from Malaysia and Indonesia and the amount invested to convert power stations from petroleum-firing to gas-firing with an elaborate project of laying of gas pipelines?

14.              Was it because no one in the entire administration had ever thought about it?

15.              Or was it because there is little incentive to address the possibilities of such fault given the little competition the GLC faces in an essential service industry?

But all this fails to explain the lack of effective countermeasures by the administration despite the spate of blackouts in 2004. The LNG receiving terminal is a project more than 2 General Elections late ‚Äď a dismal performance for an administration which has repeatedly claimed itself to be 1st World.

January 10, 2007 Posted by | Politics | 1 Comment

Jordan Watts

The Swan behemoths were traded away for a small Naim set up.

I the decided to pull out a pair of my mothballed speakers. Mothballed by the recent moves from my parents home in early 2006. The Jordan Watts – Jupiter Modular Speaker System. These babies are easily 30 years old.

Unpacking them was quite a hassle since they were all wrapped up and stacked up. It took considerable mental strength to decide that, its time to bring them into action.

Furthermore, as i have since discovered that none of my brothers were going to indulge my speaker repositioning exercises any further, I realised that an audiophile has to do his own moving once in a while.

Going through spatial manoeuvres on in close quarters with our equipment allows an audiophile to connect with what a piece of equipment needs to overcome before it can take the position of the mantelpiece of the audiophile’s home.

Some waiting time, patience, arduous movement and an opportunity provided by an equipment vacuum in the main system.

And so, after some huffing and puffing, i managed to ease the Jupiters into a corner and set them up with the Copland CTA501 tube integrated. Being a regular at the gym helped!

The system was then wired up with patch cords on the 8 ohm output, the Jupiters could not take any other form of speaker cable anyway.

The source was a Sony CDP-557Esd CD player switched over at times with a Marantz CD-53 and a Musical Fidelity A3-24 dac.  The sound was a little murky. But it cleared up pretty fast. Fast and punchy. Made the Copland sound a wee little bit like my Naim NAC112 and NAP90 combination.

 As before, the sound takes time to get better. Running them hard on loud thumping music helps. The sound is improving and our electrical meter is running. The Watts are adding up pretty fine.

Once again i am back to a vintage speaker set up.

January 4, 2007 Posted by | audiophilia | Leave a comment