ViolinStar.NET

  • Posted On: June 9th 2019 at 10:50 pm | 1 Comment
    Categories: Food, Overseas, Personal life, Pictures, Talks, Technology, Travel, Work

    I’m back from Beijing. Hehe, I went Beijng for a work trip for 9 days. It was kind of rushed, hence didn’t blog about it.

    I went to Defcon Beijing 1.0 (yes, the first Defcon in Beijing after last year’s beta version). It was quite exciting since it was my first time going to Defcon. Well, the main one in Las Vegas is too expensive – flight tickets, hotel and event ticket combined. Hence, I went for the one in Beijing. I paid for my own event ticket while the company paid for my flights and hotel stay. :smile: Then I stayed on to work in Beijing office and was helping my Beijing colleague at work too. :grin:

    Defcon Beijing is mostly bling (lots of loud and nice decorations) and not many people went for it. Well, it’s not cheap – US$170. But the talks and workshops aren’t that technical. Not as technical as the one in Las Vegas, according to my colleague who went with me.

    The location of the event is really old. Like rusty and stuff. Then they hid it by decorating it with lots of photos but they didn’t decorate it every single part… It was also located at a remote location. It was not near train station or bus stop. Not exactly easy to find unless you take DiDi. Oh, DiDi in Beijing is really bad. The air is already so polluted and most DiDi drivers just open the car windows to air the car. Well, I get that they want to save money for aircon but still… sigh.

    It was near an arts district (751 D.Park) so we went to explore after the event. It was pretty rundown and had a rustic feeling to it. I guess that’s part of the distinctive feel of the place.

    I also saw an old Uber stand/booth while on the way to 751 D.Park.

    It was my first time to Beijing so it was an eye opening experience. The air is really polluted. Will I go back there again? Yes. Will I stay for more than a week? For the sake of my health, no. Will I go to Defcon Beijing again? No if it is at the same location.

    There are really a lot of people working in Beijing. The traffic was really bad, but at least the cars are moving very slowly and not stuck and not move at all. We need to queue up to get into the train station during rush hour. We can’t take DiDi during rush hour or we will be stuck in traffic jams. There were bag checks at every entrance of the train platform.

    Ignoring the air pollution and bad traffic conditions, Beijing really have lots of nice bubble tea shops and food. Lots of cheap food around too. I had a great time eating and drinking bubble tea. :oops: Really need to work out more after the trip now… I am also having a phobia of bubble tea after 9 days of bubble tea.

    Oh, we went to Quan Ju De, the famous Peking Duck restaurant but didn’t order any duck meat. Haha, my colleague didn’t want duck meat again since we had it at another restaurant. I had soy sauce chicken instead which turns out to be extremely salty. Will I go there again? Nah. I will go to the peking duck restaurant that my Beijing colleague brought us instead. It’s “Liu Lin Kao Ya Dian” if you are interested to visit.

    I had the best soup dumplings in Beijing – Yi Pin Xiao Bao. I highly recommended there. I had 2 meals there. The one on the left in the following photo is the usual pork soup dumplings while the one on the right is spicy pork dumplings – which was really awesome!

    I also went to Forbidden City, Tiananmen Gate and also Summer Palace (Yi He Yuan). I will blog about them in future when I am free. Hehe.


    Posted On: April 19th 2019 at 4:42 pm | 1 Comment
    Categories: New stuff, Personal life, Shopping, Work

    It’s Good Friday today and that means a public holiday for me. No work on a weekday is good. I finally get to catch up on my sleep which is awesome. The past few weeks have been really busy and I wish I have more time to just stay at home and do some readings.

    I got myself a Kindle Paperwhite 2018 version and have been reading research papers in the cybersecurity space. It can be quite boring sometimes but I bring it everywhere I go so that at least I can get some reading done. :smile: I aim to read 1 paper a week but have not been very successful. Maybe 2 papers in a month? Hmm.. :hmm: Hopefully the reading bug continues as gaining new technical knowledge is essential in staying relevant in the industry.

    I also went to Changi Jewel sneak preview. Many thanks to Jin Quan for helping us to get the tickets at 6am. It is a really huge shopping centre and reminded me of Gardens by the Bay in an ION Orchard setting and a size bigger than Vivocity. You get a fountain, hiking trail (with some aircon) and bouncing mats all in a shopping centre next to the airport. Talk about convenience. You basically can do everything – from exercise to shopping, all in 1 shopping centre. Definitely a good place to hang out in future if I have the time!


    Posted On: January 6th 2019 at 2:10 pm | 5 Comments
    Categories: Insights, Personal life, Rants, Technology, Work

    Happy new year everyone! Sorry that I didn’t post any new year blog entry on New Year’s day. I think I am becoming really lazy in blogging, which is not really a good thing. :sad:

    I started 2018 with an upcoming new job at one company and ended the year working hard at another company because of a merger event. Well, it has been a rollercoaster ride in 2018. What a ride, literally!

    I have achieved quite a bit in 2018 as compared to previous years. Well, 3 main events happened in a span of a year:

    So what’s up for me in 2019? I am still waiting for my Sony A6500 and SEL1670Z to come back from the repairs. Well, another hole in my wallet since it has passed the warranty period.

    I’m also waiting for Watsons to provide what kind of personal data they have collected from me over the years. I sent an email to their DPO twice and they ignored me on both instances. It’s sad but I guess I got no choice but to go through the formal complaint route to Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) just to get information on my personal data in Watsons’ systems.

    What have I learnt from this incident? Don’t fall prey to cheap discounts and stuff. You might be paying for the “discounts” when your data gets leaked in the Deep and Dark Web (DDW) or in the surface web (WWW – basically out in the open for everyone to see). Especially so given the level of security awareness they have in some employees… I feel like facepalming every time I got reminded how they asked me for my password in plaintext on a social media platform. :sigh: Now I can only pray that they didn’t collect as much data as I hoped. Physical shopping and carrying heavy shopping bags for the win. No or minimal online shopping.

    Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to an amazing 2019! I know it’s going to be amazing because I will make it amazing for myself. Hehe. :happy:

    And, no new year resolutions since I know I won’t actually fulfil them.


    Posted On: September 22nd 2018 at 12:01 am | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Music, My violin, Personal life, Rants, Work, Yoga

    Oops I went for a hiatus without informing everyone again. Well, I have been busy with violin, work and dating.

    Things are fine at work and I am learning a lot of new stuff daily. Tons of work to clear but still manageable.

    I probably need to send my violin for servicing/cleaning after my exam. It’s more than a decade and I think it deserves some tender loving care. Not sure how much it will be though. Hopefully not too expensive…

    I realised how fat I have become and now really need to lose weight before I become overweight. So I have been watching my diet closely and reduce in eating on snacks. Went for core yoga class yesterday and power yoga class today. It is my first time going for yoga class 2 days in a row. Definitely one of the rare times when I go for yoga twice a week. I need to go more often to work out more and lose weights. Oh, do you know that an adult is recommended to have 150 mins of physical activity a week? I got to know it from the local news channel when they were interviewing Health Promotion Board in Singapore. So yup, that would be 3 yoga class a week. Hopefully I can keep up to the routine and lose some weight. I realised I lost 1 kg after 2 weeks. I just need to lose 2 kg more and I’m happy. That means 1 more month? Hopefully I can keep up to it.

    Oh, and also regular blogging too! I will reply the comments when I use my laptop…


    Posted On: August 9th 2018 at 11:59 pm | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Food, Pictures, Work

    I was previously based at Marina One office where the headquarters of my company is and they have really good scenery (well, I think Guoco Tower has better scenery though). There’s an Indian restaurant nearby and I ordered chicken biryani for lunch. It’s pretty cool that there is a layer of prata/roti on top of the biryani.

    https://foto-amore.tumblr.com/post/176159435423/first-time-trying-a-briyani-with-a-crust-on-top

    Doesn’t it look cool? It doesn’t taste that nice though but it certainly looks really cool though.