Category: Uncategorized

Shooting film

I’ve shot film for about 5 years now, started from my trip back to northern Vietnam in Dec 2008. Even though I only did digital for about one and a half year, I’m pretty sure I shot way more shots with digital than film (there was a period when I tried out film and also shot digital because I was a student and film processing was really expensive for me). I remember during my first trip to the US for WWDC 2008, I shot about 2,000 photos in a few days. I don’t think I have shot 2,000 photo with films. My longest trip so far was Europe in 28 days, I shot 20-ish rolls, which is about 700-800 photos. Other trips don’t even come close. In a few days I took 3 times the photos I did in 28 days, you do the math.

I didn’t realize at the time I made the switch but now looking back on my film photos on flickr, I do have a more clear memory on how these photos were taken. Just by looking at the photo, I could recall the surrounding scene, the lighting, the sound, my posture, how did I arrive at that spot. Honestly, I could only do that for a few digital photos even though I tried so hard. Maybe it’s because I took way too much time to get a shot with film compare to digital. With digital I could snapped 20 times when I tried to make a shot count in film.

All the technical things aside, now I know I’ll keep doing film as long as they still make them. They do capture more than just the light, they capture the mind.

P/S: Please don’t think I hate digital. I love where digital is going now, low light performance have reached a good enough state that I could bring a digital camera and shoot without flash in almost any lighting (I hate flash). And mirrorless is the way forward guys. As soon as Fuji releases a full frame mirrorless camera and I have enough money to stupidly afford it, I’ll get one. Nikon, we had a good run but I don’t think I would buy another DSLR from you. Maybe a Nikon F6. No, definitely.

Embarrassing things

I met up with my secondary school friends last Friday. I lost contact with most of them after we graduated, so this was the first time I see them in about 10 years. Everyone looks so much more mature, grown-up kind of people. I was kinda reluctant to go at first, I worried I might not enjoy meeting them since we did not meet for the last 10 years. Anyway I had fun with them, we talked about all kind of silly stuff we did in the past. I was a naughty kid back then and I did a lot of embarrassing, I thought I would carry the shame with me for the rest of my life. Turned out I’m not embarrassed by them now, just laugh it off as stupid shit about young days. So maybe it’s not too bad to try embarrassing stuff now, because 10 years from you won’t remember it, and even if you do, it wouldn’t matter as much as you think now.

Introducing ReadLaterKit – simple way to integrate “read later” services into your app

I use Instapaper many times a day, mainly to save URL from my twitter feed. When we build Pica, we figured it would be useful for Pica to support “read later” services. Right now Pica supports Instapaper and Pocket, but not Readability. Since Readability use OAuth/XAuth for authentication, it’s quite tedious to get it working (technically Instapaper also supports XAuth but if you just want to save an article you can do it without XAuth). The next version of Pica will support Readability as well as Instapaper XAuth, and today I release my ReadLaterKit, a simple way to integrate “read later” services into your app.

Head over to github for ReadLaterKit :-).

Apply for EntrePass in Singapore

As a foreigner in Singapore, if you to open your own company and stay in Singapore, you need an EntrePass from MOM. The process is very simple and straightforward, however the waiting time is long (Note: you don’t have to stay in Singapore for the whole time, just for some of the processes).

First, read MOM website and make sure you’re eligible for the pass. You’ll need to write a business plan to describe your business and fill in a long form from MOM: Submit ANY document that you think might help with the application: testimonial, letter of recommendation, etc… If you need to apply pass for your spouse/children, make sure to fill in their details as well. Submit your application at any SingPost office together with your fee.

Now, it could take up to 6 weeks for MOM to get back to you. In may case it was 3 weeks. If they like your business proposal, you will receive a letter from MOM. The letter will state more things you need to do before you can get your pass:

1. Incorporate a company.
2. Open a corporate bank account (with the minimum balance stated in the letter).
3. Fax the business profile, bank account balance and the letter to MOM.

Here’s the tricky part. In order to open a company, you need a SingPass. You can’t have a SingPass if you don’t have a valid pass. You can’t have a pass if you don’t open your company first (according to the letter). These are what they will tell you when you call them on the phone (MOM, SingPass and ACRA). What they don’t tell you is that you can get a SingPass immediately at ACRA office with you letter. Bring your letter and your passport to ACRA office and it should be ready in 15 minutes. Use your SingPass to login and open a company. Note that the ACRA website sucks big time and it could take a while to figure out things, but it can be done ;). Make a payment and you’re done with ACRA (for now). Make sure to request for the business profile after you incoporated, you’ll need it.

Bring your business profile to any bank in Singapore and open a business account, ask them for a statement. Then fax your papers to MOM, and wait. It took me exactly 2 weeks for MOM to finally approved my application.

You’ll need something called banker’s guarantee to finish your application. This can be done at any bank, I picked DBS as they’re my usual bank. It takes up to 7 days for them to issue this, so if you don’t have time, do it as soon as you fax the paper to MOM. You need a format for the bank to issue a banker’s guarantee, you can call MOM to ask them for the format, or you can download it here (MOM sent me this one). Make sure the banker’s guarantee expire date is longer than the valid period of your pass, otherwise it’ll be shorten. Since DBS charge 1% per year or a minimum of 100 SGD, you might as well ask for a 3 years period to maximize your value. Note that the banker’s guarantee can be applied from any branch but only can be collected at DBS Shenton Way.

After everything is ready, make an e-appointment on MOM website. Bring all the documents needed in the IPA letter to your appointment. After 4 working days, go there again to collect the pass. Yay!

If you have any question, ping me @ or on twitter @xuki, I might be able to help with my little experience :-). Good luck.

“And he talked about the importance of having companies to make products, and that there were very few people who drove the world—and he wanted to be one of those people that was driving the world, and not just one of the millions and millions of people who kinda don’t matter.”