Saturday, December 24, 2005

Ultima 5: Lazarus

OK folks, this is huge. In case you weren't old enough to play computer games back in the glory days of monochrome color, Ultima V to me is among the all-time greats in CRPGs. Ben and I used to play this thing for *WEEKS*, ignoring hunger, schoolwork and concerned parents.

So it's with a great sense of excitement to find out that the game has been remade and updated with a fairly recent 3D engine. Best of all it's free.

I give you Ultima 5: Lazarus. Let the rediscovery begin.

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One step closer to Data

Japanese scientists have been able to produce a self-aware robot. The future is now... web statistic

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ziegler-Nichols tuning method

Ever got frustrated by trying to tune your boost control or idle control?

This is a method published by 2 dudes back in the 1940s, producing parameters resulting in quarter wave decay for closed loop control. While it may not be optimal for all instances, it serves as a good basis to start.

Step 1:
Make sure the process is lined out.

Step 2:
Increase the gain in 1/2 steps of the previous gain. After each increase, if there's no oscillation change the setpoint slightly to trigger an oscillation.

Step 3:
Adjust the gain so oscillation is sustained. i.e. same amplitude. If the oscillation is increasing, decrease gain. Conversely, increase gain if the oscillation is decreasing.

Step 4:
Note the gain causing the sustained oscillation, and the period.

Use one of the following tuning equations as appropriate.

Proportional control only: Gain=0.5
PI: Gain=0.45, reset=PU/1.2
PID: Gain=0.6, reset=PU/2, derivative=PU/8
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Launch control with boost enhancement

With just a little tweaking it's possible to get 2 bar of boost on launch. Drivetrain may not like it that much though.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Viewing video podcasts in iTunes


1) Click on the Advanced menu and choose Subscribe to Podcast...
2) Enter the URL of the video podcast you wish to subscribe to
3) Click on "GET" for those videos you wish to download

Here are some subscriptions to get you started. Automotive reviews Pro hoops daily updates General silliness
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Friday, December 09, 2005

Autoblog article on OHV vs OHC

Haven't read such a well-written article in a long time. Eric Bryant does a great job explaining the differences between the two while maintaining a neutral position and taking stabs at long-held misconceptions.web statistic


Datalog from an Evo 8 MR in the early morning of 22 Nov. Note that the intake air temperature (3rd graph) takes a complete nosedive and stays at low levels despite the car going on boost and hitting top of 4th gear (around 180 km/h). Needs 300m on a roll to get from 50 km/h to 150 km/h, with a gearshift in between.web statistic

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

But of course

The sunrise period for the dot-eu top level domain has now officially opened. I think sounds nice, don't eu? ;)
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Day of Infamy

Today is the 7th of December. Suprisingly, not a lot of people know the historical significance of this day. Sixty four years ago, Pearl Harbor was attacked in a "Day of Infamy", leading to American involvement in WWII and the start of a long, bloody engagement that would leave millions dead. Let us not forget the countless sacrifices that unnamed courageous men and women undertook those years ago, so that we may live free from tyranny.

OK, switching gears, Melvyn Tan has decided to cancel his concert in view of the furore caused by his dereliction of national duty. You know what? I'm not surprised. This is the sort of selfish behavior that is expected of a draft dodger. Never mind the fact that his concert tickets were sold out. His own interests come first. I don't even know the guy yet I'm already forming a bad opinion of his character. It's the sort of thing a chao keng private would do to make your NS life that much harder. Good riddance.

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It's during ICT that...

... you meet old friends and make new ones. Someone says I bear a striking resemblance to Takeshi Yasutoko, one of the best professional inline skaters in the world. ;)

... you start to remember weird terms like "Canadian bull" (a kind of target used for zeroing the M16/AR15 rifle), "reveille" (a signal sounded esp. on a bugle or drum to wake personnel in the armed forces, according to the Oxford Dictionary), "armskote" (where weapons are kept) and "disciplinarily dealt with".

... just like NSF days, the platoon commander is blur like sotong and has no bloody clue what is going on.

... every section must inexplicably have a joker/keng king, usually one and the same person.

... there really must be a God, because every time there's some siong activity, He sends clouds to provide some relief from the elements. And when the going gets really tough, Cat 1 weather is just a prayer away. No joke.

... some camps are now so huge, they deserve an internal bus service.web statistic

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Back to wearing green...

Apologies for lack of updates due to a hectic ICT schedule... just a few days more...web statistic

Friday, November 18, 2005


Coming soon to a toy store near you... colored bubbles! Quaint as it may sound, producing colored bubbles is no simple feat, with the inventor having to spend a lot of time and money experimenting with various recipes. The icing on the cake though is that the colored bubbles actually lose their coloration upon contact with skin and clothes, leaving no visible trace of their evanescent existence. This required the effort of a dye chemist in creating a whole new class of dyes.

Read about how colored bubbles came to be (Popular Science)
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Amazing liquid

Watch how the liquid behaves towards the end of the clip.
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sony rootkit fallout

Bruce Schneier raises several interesting points about the Sony rootkit fiasco... how is it that the anti-virus companies failed to take notice of this, despite the rootkit being installed for over a year? And what about the poor response after the exposé? Shouldn't class action lawsuits be taken up against these anti-virus companies as well?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

ICT schedule is out

WTF... sibeh siong schedule.... full ops plus IPPT and range... not looking forward to this round of ICT man. :(
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Autocar (ASEAN edition) Nov 05

OK normally I don't bother to "defend" a bad review of an Evo so long as it's justified but this article is so full of egregious reporting that it deserves mention.

In this issue they try to find "Britain's Best Driver's Car" and they start off by categorizing the cars in contention. So the Evo 9 is grouped with a Nissan Nismo-tuned 350Z and a BMW 330i. They drive the cars around the same track, in both dry and wet conditions.

Now get this. They supply a graph showing the average speed of all 3 cars from start to finish. The x-axis shows distance between turns (a total of 6), and the y-axis is normalized to show average speed in kilometers per hour. From the graph, it is painfully obvious that the Evo 9 has a lower overall average speed. Before T1 its average speed is about 90 km/h while the other 2 cars are doing closer to 125 km/h. That's a full 35 km/h difference! The only time the Evo comes out ahead is before T2, where it does 170.4 km/h compared to 155.8 km/h for the 330i, and 162.7 km/h for the 350Z. The rest of the way, the Evo's average speed is much less than the other 2 cars (the Evo's average speed curve is below those of the other 2 cars). Since speed is a function of distance and time, and since distance is fixed, that would mean the Evo has an overall lower average speed compared to the 2 cars. Right?

Well if you turn to page 77, here are the lap times...

Dry times
Evo 9: 82.5 sec
Nismo 350Z: 84.7 sec
BMW 330i: 88.1 sec

Wet times
Evo 9: 98.4 sec
Nismo 350Z: 102.5 sec
BMW 330i: 106.5 sec

Spot the discrepancy? Can someone please explain to me how a car that has a lower average speed over the entire course can turn in a faster lap time? It simply does not compute.

According to the article, they used a special configuration of Rockingham, which is "2.7 km long". If that is correct, and if time-keeping is correct, then the Evo should have an average speed of 32.72 m/s (117.8 km/h) in the dry, the 350Z with an average speed of 31.87 m/s (114.7 km/h), and the 330i at 30.65 m/s (110.34 km/h).

Conclusion? Don't be taken in by fancy graphs.

Edit: I just read some of the other reviews and am astonished at some of the results. How fast do you think the Ferrari F430 is in the wet? 101.5 seconds. That makes it 0.3 seconds slower than a Renault Clio Trophy (180 bhp @ 6500, 200 Nm @ 5250). 333 bhp/ton loses to 167 bhp/ton. Now we know where the riceboys get their "kill" stories from.

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For the Tifosi

Came across a bunch of photos and videos of the Enzo, F430 and F360 Challenge Stradale.


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DVD reviews

OK it's been some time since the last update, so let's get cracking.

Spent the last week watching a couple of DVDs.

First up was Dust to Glory. Recommended by Mr XSVI himself, it's a film about the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. What's that? You've never heard of it? Neither have I! Heh. Apparently it's an off-road, roundtrip race that covers 1000 miles.

The film is not about the race per se, but about the atmosphere and the people behind the race. Although in the strictest sense they're all competitors, you find yourself rooting for no one in particular, and everyone, at the same time.

Oh, you do get to see all sorts of vehicles; from motocross to ATVs to pro trucks to original Beetles. Yep. Anyone who tries to cover 1000 off-road miles, in an original Beetle (the rules stipulate an unmodified engine, no less), automatically garners my respect.

But what's even more incredible is that some nut by the name of Mouse McCoy actually tries to ride all 1000 miles, offroad, solo on a bike. And is trying for the overall win. Think about this. A road trip that long, driving solo, on good roads, is already pretty hazardous. This is just beyond insane. I'm not going to spoil it for you, you just have to watch the DVD to find out if he makes it out alive.

The second DVD is the official review of Le Mans 2005 by Duke Video. This is more of a typical sports-commentary style, and it can get quite mind-numbing after a while if you're not a petrolhead. Nevertheless, it has its share of exciting moments, interspersed with interviews with team owners and drivers. Lots of onboard footage, including some video from the factory-backed Corvette and Sebastian Loeb's Pescarolo.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Lateral Gs

More than 1 lateral G's sustained for about 2.5 seconds...

Max forward Gs: 0.62
Max braking Gs: 1.10
Max left Gs: 1.25
Max right Gs: 1.23

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Corner exit speed onto long straight...

Just did some video analysis between the 29 July trackday and the recent one on 14 October.

You know the old adage about the importance of having a high corner exit speed into a long straight? It's definitely true. The last two turns, T14 and T15, accounted for almost the entire 2 to 3 second discrepancy in lap times.

Video link (22.2 MB)
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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Flickr photo library updated

Updated my Flickr photo library of the BMWSG trackday.

Photo credits: Stephen Yong.
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BMWSG trackday hot lap video of 14 Oct 05

The video footage is finally up. Please take note that the following software is required on your computer to view it.

1. QuickTime 7 or later
2. WinZip or any utility to un-Binhex the file

File size is approximately 22.5 MB.

For techies: the video is compressed using H.264 using multi-pass encoding, with data rate at about 950 Kb/s. Audio codec is MPEG-4, VBR, 44 KHz in stereo. Resolution is 720x576, targeted 25 fps. Running time 3 minutes 17 seconds.

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Two minutes forty seconds

To complete a full lap around Sepang within this timing has been a goal I've set for myself over the past year or so; I've gotten close to it, even matching it consistently, but never breaking it. It has been the equivalent of the psychological 4-minute mile barrier for me.

Certainly, professional drivers have easily gone below this mark in a relatively stock Evo. But I'm no professional driver, and my car is far from what's possible in terms of being "modified". And so the lure of adding more power to overcome my lack of driving ability grows more tempting by the day. Oh, what sweet temptation, to banish this specter of doubt, and to bask in the glory of having gone under 2'40".

So it's with great trepidation on Friday that I would be forced to deal with the possibility of not being able to beat it yet again. And the signs were not good. The early morning sky was dark with rain clouds, and a light drizzle was starting to develop. Sigh...

Oh well. Bearing in mind some things I wanted to try after reviewing videos of my previous failed attempts, I concentrated on making my lines smoother. One, two laps, and I'm done.

I pull over into the pits and go over everything. What's this? The Defi gauge is showing Vmax of 224 km/h? I bring out the laptop and download the datalog, and it corroborates with the gauges, showing a top speed of 225 km/h. Whoa.

Rewind and review the video footage.

Never mind the greasy wet surface, worn tires and traffic.

The barrier, at last, has been broken.web statistic

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What can you do with stacks of cards?

This was formerly the tallest house of playing cards, stands at about 25 feet tall. The current record is about a foot taller. Simply amazing. :) Be sure to check out his galleries as well.

Gallery 1
Gallery 2

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Times Online review of Evo IX

Of course, if you do put the Evo on the track it will astonish you even more than it does on the road. Put simply, it does things that cars are not supposed to be able to do.

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Which Lost character am I?

Via BK.

You scored as Sayid Jarrah. You are Sayid. You have many things in your past that you regret, but that does not mean you should not look forward to your future. You are a born leader, but would rather not have that responsibility. If you care about someone, nothing can get in your way.

Sayid Jarrah


Jin Kwon


The Island


Hugo "Hurley" Reyes


Shannon Rutherford


Charlie Pace


Kate Austen


Jack Sheppard


James "Sawyer" Ford


John Locke


Walt Lloyd


Michael Dawson


Sun Kwon


Claire Littleton


What Lostaway Are You?
created with

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Further analysis on J's car

Continuing from the earlier post.

Mitsubishi claims a stock Evo weighs about 1410 kg.

According to calculations, on his setup, each additional 0.1 bar of boost is worth about 20 bhp. At current boost levels, this translates to about 400 bhp at launch and peak power of 500 bhp.

0 to 100 km/h: 3.3 seconds
0 to 162 km/h: 7.9 seconds
0 to 300m ET: 9.5 seconds
Projected 1/4 mile ET: 11.4 seconds

Let's make some comparisons with cars of similar power levels and weight, from Car and Driver magazine:

Lamborghini Gallardo

4WD 5 liter V10
Power (SAE net): 493 bhp @ 7800
Torque (SAE net): 376 lb-ft @ 4500
Weight: 1430 kg

0 to 60 mph: 4.1 seconds
0 to 100 mph: 9.2 seconds
Standing 1/4-mile 12.4 sec @ 118 mph

Ferrari F430

RWD 4.3 liter V8
Power (SAE net): 483 bhp @ 8500
Torque (SAE net): 343 lb-ft @ 5250
Weight: 1451 kg

0 to 60 mph: 3.5 seconds
0 to 100 mph: 7.9 seconds
Standing 1/4-mile: 11.7 sec @ 123 mph

Chevrolet Corvette Z06

RWD 7 liter V8
Power (SAE net): 505 bhp @ 6300 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 470 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
Weight: 1427 kg

0 to 60 mph: 3.6 seconds
0 to 100 mph: 7.9 seconds
Standing 1/4-mile: 11.7 sec @ 125 mph

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Crazy Arabs!

Left in awe by the amazing skill and courage...web statistic

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Pasir Gudang night sprint

Two nights ago J's car had a stalling problem that didn't seem to have a reasonable solution. So it's with a sense of relief and elation that the car ran last night at Pasir Gudang, not only without stalling, but also turning in some decent results.

More work remains to be done as the MAP sensor shows the car is only boosting at about 1 bar @ 5500 RPM in first and second gears, and about 1.3 bar in 3rd. J would also need to adjust his shifting technique since GCIC was on but years of muscle-memory can be hard to overcome.

Launch control on, antilag off. Logged data shows century sprint in about 3.3s. It reached 20m in about 1.7s, 300m in about 9.5s at 176.9 km/h. According to this little rule of thumb that would mean a 1/4 mile ET of about 11.4s.
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