The Straits Times: old articles (1845-1982) now searchable

Earlier this week, Kenneth Pinto alerted a bunch of us about a Singapore Heritage mailing list post about (“NewspaperSG”) – NLB has scanned its Straits Times microfilms, so the text is now searchable.

In addition he cited the site’s FAQ which points out that recent articles of The Straits Times (i.e. published after 1982) can be accessed by the public via:

  • Factiva (01 July 1989 -; all libraries)
  • Newsbank (01 Jan 2000-; all libraries)
  • Nexis (90 days archive; all libraries and from home)

The announcement on the NLB Corporate site:

Digitised Straits Times from 1845 to 1982 — now available!

National Library Singapore has launched NewspaperSG, an online service for accessing the library’s electronic archives of Singapore and Malaya newspapers.

Through NewspaperSG, library users now have access to over 548,000 pages of searchable text of the Digitised Straits Times (1845-1982) and microfilms of some 200 Singapore and Malaya newspapers that are housed at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.

Users who access the collection through the multimedia stations at our islandwide network of libraries will be able to search, view and print from The Straits Times digitised collection. Offsite users will also be able to access the website and view the articles but limited to the first 50 words of each full-text article.

For more information, please visit the NewspaperSG website at

The Google Forms turtle

Somehow an ad hoc explanation about Google Forms to s department admin officer turned out a turtle, erm, playing handball. She was confused about the URL to forward users (dept teaching staff in this case) and which data they would not be able to view without publication, etc. I had showed her the ropes very briefly the week before in order to setup the field studies module registration for current 3rd year students. That worked out very well and now she’s gotten ambitious and was juggling a 26 field form. She got stumped at a critical step and a quick sketch when I passed by her table helped to fix the immediate problem. Can you figure out what I was telling her? No one dies in this illustration, even if it seems so!

For a proper grasp of the concepts and shortcuts, I had promised her a workshop soon but had been bogged down. Since she deals with data recruitment and sharing on a daily basis, its urgent. She’s a keen student so I’ve identified a slot on Friday and will invite the few others I’ve promised workshop to.

Google Forms has helped me maintain my sanity this past year, so I have to spread the love!

16gb thumbdrive and a head rest

16gb SanDisk Cruzer Micro USB2.0; firewire cable above in midst of a back up.

At my cross faculty animal behaviour lecture last Wednesday, I wandered into the topic of echolocation during a lecture on animal communication by sound. During the break, I wanted to adapt a couple of slides with great mages and a movie clip from my 3rd-year zoology lecture. But it was missing!

Last year, I had cleared away Semester I lecture material into backup sites so that my suffocating hardisk on my Mac Book Pro would have space to keep functioning effectively.

Five 5gb of free space is an absolute minimum – the MacBook Pro is almost three years old so its 80gb hardisk is small. Photos are getting larger and larger, even my handphone photos are 3MB – this is a good thing that has allowed mudskipper identification, for example,from a distance. But an old hardisk eventually chokes.

I know I have to change my MBP Pro e-SATA hardisk soon (e.g. there is a 7,200rpm 320gb Hitachi out there) but I’d prefer to wait when my lectures are over. For now, I bought a 16gb thumb drive and am copying over all my lectures and few of my recent presentations too. How nice!

Mr Bats kept me company while I sorted and copied over the files. Typically, he settles in tightly between the wireless keyboard and my body, resting his head on my left arm as I type, sometimes grasping my arm with his front legs while his rear legs straddle my right arm. I used PhotoBooth to grab this shot; miss his legs but you get the idea 🙂

At this angle, he almost looks like a rabbit!