Snow Leopard is here (Mac OS X 10.6)!

Before Leopard (OS X 10.5), OS X upgrades were famous for making your older machines run more quickly! Jaguar had me with how quickly it opened Classic (OS 9), while Panther and Tiger were purchased breathlessly for the improvements to the operating system they provided that had old machines responding more quickly.

Not so Leopard with its bells and whistles which I rather unfortunately was no longer in a situation that allowed me time to explore.

So I was glad to read that Snow Leopard will improve things under the hood. And at the lowest ever price for an OS upgrade, there was no hesitation on my part when Kevin Lim twittered Snow Leopard’s availability at the US Apple store. I grabbed his URL and changed “us” to “sg” and ordered.

This morning, I received an SMS about delivery which the office reported in by late morning. it was late evening before I could sit down to run the installation. Tomorrow, I will put it through its paces – I have lectures to prepare and practical schedules to write. First, a snooze after an 18-hour day. Then we’ll see if the system is indeed “better. faster, easier… ”

Smooth-coated otters at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve

Resting on the wood chip bed on the recently maintained bund at the freshwater pond at the reserve’s visitor centre. Earlier groups had watched them hunting in the river. They took a mid-day nap at well, mid-day and then sprainted a few metres away on the bund  before ambling back to the river again at about 12.50pm. Lovely end to our field trip.

Posted via email from otterman’s posterous

Glove maintenance

The pre-National Day mangrove cleanup at Lim Chu Kang was back-breaking and the photos will be up later. Thankfully there will be a larger team there in September. as we only made a slight dent today although there was more then 100kg of mainly plastic trash.

A final act after a mangrove cleanup is the cleaning of gloves. These construction gloves can last for years if looked after properly. So although tired and hungry after the morning’s work, Dewi, Dongrong and myself rinse the gloves used that morning by all our participants by stepping on the gloves in the plastic containers at the department’s (NUS Biological Sciences) washing point.

These two ladies joined the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore team when they were undergraduates and like many others in the core team have stayed with the programme. Dewi is the Lim Chu Kang Site Captain and Dongrong is the Education Programme Coordinator. Both have since graduated from NUS Environmental Engineering and are gainfully employed, as engineers working at SMRT and Hyflux respectively.

Later we lay all the gloves out to dry in the sun on the table in front of the Systematics & Ecology Lab. I’ll be back to turn them over. so that they are well toasted! The dry gloves are then packed away into storage until the next cleanup. This maintenance has ensured the gloves last a long time. Some pairs are over a decade old!

When does 1GBps come a knocking?

The Next Generation National Broadband Network promises speeds of 100MBps to 1GBps and the OpenNet consortium has begun installation and management of the fibre-optic grid that will facilitate this.

Sooner or later it’ll come to us all in SIngapore since 60% of homes will be fibred-up by end-2010 and 95% by 2012. I checked my building’s post code and the scheduled installation is in the 40% minority at Jun-Sep 2011 (bleah!).

So when do do the optic fibre cables reach you? Check your neighbourhood for an overview or better still, check your postcode and sign up for an alert at

Sep 2011? Bleah!

Anyway, in the meantime, you can get ready by practising NOT to stare down a cable.

Mon 10 Aug 2009: 9.30pm – Ivan Polunin’s 1950’s & 1960’s images of Singapore on “Lost Images,” Channel Okto

From Okto Nite:”LOST IMAGES

“Like cracking open a time capsule holding memories of a bygone era, LOST IMAGES presents for the time in Singapore, never seen before footage of our culture and wildlife from as far back as the 50s.

Captured exquisitely on 16mm film, this only known colour film of this period in existence is astonishing in colour, clarity and rich in a variety of subjects, and offers a peek into a lost world.

Take a walk down memory lane at one of the many kampong neighbourhoods that used to dot the island and relive the excitement of spectators at the New Year Sea Sports held along Collyer Quay.

Meet the many Singaporeans who lived in those times and places as they take you on a remarkable journey down memory lane, through their unique personal stories, sharing firsthand accounts of what life was like then.

Above all, get up close and personal with the man behind the lens, Dr. Ivan Polunin. Between 1950 and 1973, Dr. Ivan Polunin, a British physician and a part-time documentary cinematographer for the BBC, shot hours of scenes from Singapore’s colourful society and culture and this vast collection is now revealed for the first time in this documentary feature.

The historical value of this unique and rare archive cannot be overestimated. Contrasted with the amazing changes of our country today, this retrospective documentary will no doubt shine a light on Singapore’s rich, visual history.”