75 Gallon Grassland

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an Aquariums post (almost a year and a half), but I chanced upon this video the other day and thought it’d be worthwhile to post, so here it is. This is from the beginnings of the 75-gallon planted tank at work; originally, the tank was meant for an Oscar, but I wasn’t able to keep it alive so I opted to consolidate and put all my other fish and plants into it instead. As you can see, the tape-grass (Vallisneria spiralis) is sparse at this point, but later on it filled in the tank pretty well.

Video was taken over six years ago, on April 16, 2010.


Wing Wah Phở Gà - December 22, 2016

Lots of delicious chicken this time

I have been trying to go to Wing Wah Phở Gà for quite some time now, because for one reason or another (vacation, health inspection, ???) it always happens to be closed when I try to go. Last week, I finally caught it on a day that it was open. It was late in the afternoon, and I was the only one there. Is that why there was noticeably more chicken than last time? I don’t know, but it was a really hearty meal, and even better when paired with an iced coffee. The minced ginger-scallion dip that went with the chicken was marvelous as well. A great meal to remember. Enjoy!

MTR 1987 Community Chest Ticket

Continuing from the previous post, tonight we have a commemorative MTR ticket from 1987, most likely issued as part of a charity event for the Community Chest. Although I was in Hong Kong at that time, I don’t really have any recollection of this ticket. Googling around, I found this really cool website with lots of MTR history and info. Hope you enjoy this museum post!

MTR 1987 Community Chest Ticket - Sleeve MTR 1987 Community Chest Ticket - Sleeve

MTR 1987 Community Chest Ticket MTR 1987 Community Chest Ticket

KCR 1995 Merry Christmas Ticket

For this Merry Christmas edition of the Museum, we have a Kowloon-Canton Railway special Christmas ticket, circa 1995. It was part of my late aunt’s collection of KCR/MTR tickets, and I finally took the time to scan them on this Christmas Eve. I’ll be posting the rest of them in the coming days. For now, allow me to extend to you a 2016 Merry Christmas. Happy holidays!

KCR Christmas Ticket 1995

KCR Christmas Ticket 1995

Mei Mei Jewellery Company

Here’s an item from 1980s Hong Kong: a shopping bag from a jewelry shop called Mei Mei. In the 1980s, a family friend owned a shoe store at Cityplaza, and we would often visit to get shoes and hang out. We must have acquired this bag during one of those visits.

Many years later, our last night in Hong Kong was also spent at Cityplaza.

Something interesting to note is that the phone numbers listed on this bag are 7 digits, with the first digit preceding a dash and suggesting an area code of some sort. If I recall correctly, back in the 80s 5 indicated a Hong Kong Island number, 3 a Kowloon number, and 6 a Sha Tin (and possibly the entire New Territories) number. Nowadays of course, phone numbers are 8 digits, and you can still see some of the old numbers with their 5s, 3s , and 6s following the leading 2. More information on old-school HK numbers can be found here and here (looks like I may have been wrong about the 6s).

As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Mei Mei Jewellery Co

Belonging Gifts

Tonight we have a first for the museum, an item from JC’s collection: a pocket calendar from Belonging Gifts, circa 1998. Increasingly, we are finding items of ours from ten, fifteen, and now eighteen years ago. In terms of human lifespans, these numbers are not trivial, yet to us they seem like yesterday. I suppose this is what happens when you get older and accumulate more years: relative to the total number of years under your belt, a couple of decades seems like nothing. It is proof that everything is a matter of perspective.

Belonging Gifts - San Francisco

Belonging Gifts - Oakland

Keeping S/PDIF Alive

My first laptop was an Intel Pentium III 850 MHz VAIO R505 bought in 2003. If you’ll recall, VAIOs were notoriously expensive back then, and somehow I was able to find one on sale for under a thousand dollars. Due to its limited storage, I used it as a secondary machine, transferring files to it from my desktop. I don’t remember whether my desktop at the time was an AMD Athlon 1.4GHz (Thunderbird core) or one of the later Athlon XPs.

Since that time, my laptops have always been secondary machines. The VAIO was in service from 2003 to 2007. From 2007 to 2011 I had a Toshiba U205 (Core 2 Duo Merom), and from 2011 to the present I’ve had an Acer Aspire (Core i5 Sandy Bridge) that has held up amazingly well. You may have seen it in several photos scattered around this website.

In the recent past I finally transitioned to the Acer as my primary machine. Our current lifestyle involves moving back and forth between my parent’s and the in-laws’ places, and it became a chore having to sync up my laptop all the time. It’s much easier having one primary machine to worry about, and backing it up to the appropriate places. Previously, it would be syncing files from the desktop to the laptop and then syncing them back to the desktop once I returned. What a pain!

With the Acer as my new primary machine, I set up a docking station where the desktop was previously. The desktop was using S/PDIF for sound, and luckily the Acer has a 3.5mm S/PDIF jack, so I was able to use a spare adapter from an old sound card to connect the laptop to my receiver. Oddly, once I had it going, music would play but not regular Windows sounds. I started googling around for answers.

It turns out that my Sony receiver will only play sound when it receives a sustained digital signal. Windows beeps and Outlook-new-mail sounds are too short. What to do? Send a continuous silent signal via software. From browsing this forum (I guess Tom’s Hardware Guide is now just Tom’s Guide? Been out of the game for too long), I learned of a piece of software called SPDIF KeepAlive by Rhys Goodwin, who has kindly offered his software for free via his blog. The software works great and has solved this problem perfectly. Thanks Rhys!

With this post, I mainly wanted to give credit where credit was due with the forum thread and Mr. Goodwin’s SPDIF KeepAlive, but once I started it became yet another trip down memory lane. As always, hope you’ve enjoyed it!