Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Lineated Barbet Up Close

Rictal Bristles On A Lineated Barbet © Chuah TC 2017 - Buy this picture

Finally I have managed to capture a decent picture of a Lineated Barbet. This is something that I have been trying to do for quite a long time now. Even better this time, an up close shot. The picture above is a cropped out from a larger 4608 x 3456 sized image (which is available for sale at Dreamstime). I actually took four shots, handheld, and this picture was the best of the lot. Because of my excitement two pictures came out blurry. The bird flew away almost immediately after the fourth shot was taken when it noticed what I was doing. A distance of 15 feet between us is a bit too close for comfort for this bird I suppose.

I am quite sure I have never seen this bird before while growing up in my neighbourhood. Or perhaps I was just not observant enough while I was younger. Anyhow, as far as I could recall, I only became aware of this bird some 3 or 4 years ago. My first impression then was "what a rather ought looking bird with some rather interesting looking plumage around its head and neck". In fact, at one time I had even assumed that it belonged to the Kingfisher family of birds (which it is not, by the way) because of its rather large beak.

Note the rictal bristles, i.e. the 'whiskers' around the base of its beak. This is the second bird that I know of that have them. Brown Shrike is the other one.



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Pied Triller Settling Down In My Neighbourhood

A Lone Pied Triller (Male)

Pied Triller - I can't recall ever seeing previously. But something changed beginning mid-July 2017. A pair, a female and a male, was first spotted. Later on, the only the female bird was seen. I could easily tell because of the different plumage between the male and the female of this bird species.

Two months later, things have gone the other way round now. The male bird is regularly spotted, and the female hardly.

With such regular sightings, I guess Pied Trillers must have made my neighbourhood their new home.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Black-naped Oriole And Its Mango

Upside-down Black-naped Oriole Feeding On Mango

Yummy! Mango! Mango! It will make one's world go upside-down.

Actually, I have been trying to photograph this rather common bird in my neighbourhood, a Black-nape Oriole, ever since I came to own a digital camera. But it has been elusive. A rather shy bird and it will scoot once it caught sight of me. Or perhaps it's because my looks does not look appealing.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

LightZone

Screen capture of the LightZone editor

I have been busy over the last couple of days getting my hands dirty with this open-source software called LightZone . It looks interesting, a bit unconventional compared with most photo editing software that I am aware of. But processing my 16 Mega-pixel photo on my 1Giga Byte RAM PC can get a bit clunky. If only it was compiled into native computer code and not running under the Java Runtime environment.

Monday, 24 July 2017

A Rather Persistent Pied Triller Sighting Lately

It must be my lucky week I suppose. I first spotted a pair of them initially about a week ago - one male and one female. Quite easy to tell them apart as their plumage is quite distinctive between the sexes. I tried photographing the two of them then. But they flew away once they realised that I was pointing my camera at them. Bah!

Getting Lucky

Female Pied Triller - On A Durian Tree © Chuah TC 2017 - Buy this picture

But as luck would have it, I have had this female Pied Triller come visiting my home almost every other day after that. It is almost impossible to miss it. First that distinctly call, "kraw.... kek-kek-kek". And with minimal effort, usually I should be able spot it, on two occasions photograph it. Lucky me!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

My Contribution To The 2017 MY Garden Birdwatch Survey

Oriental Magpie Robin - Female © Chuah TC 2017 - Buy this picture

I usually conduct two surveys and pick the ideal result for submission that I think would closely reflect the local bird ecosystem in my neighbourhood. Unfortunately, I could only manage one this year as I did not have much free time. The yearly MY Garden Birdwatch Survey was held this year on the 17th and 18th June 2017. I did my counting at my home, as I would normally do, on the 17th June 2017, time 4:10 P.M. You will find my count results below.

A rather wet counting session this year as there was some rain. Not sure if this affected my results but I feel like the outcome is a bit different from previous years. As usual, there are some birds that is common in my neighbourhood but not seen during the survey time duration.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Alipay, Now On Lazada Malaysia

Lazada_AlipayMalaysia.JPG

I just made another purchase at Lazada Malaysia today. Looks like Lazada Malaysia has ditched IPay88 and is now using AliPay instead, as far as payment via online banking is concern.

Just my opinion: The IPay88 system is more responsive. The screen will refresh almost immediately once payment is made - taking me to the order confirmation page. With AliPay, I have to wait quite a while - screen above. Maybe they will improve on this in the future. Well, let's hope.

MBRWizard

I didn't mention it in the update but my restore from Ghost backup actually messed up my PC's Master Boot Record (MBR). I panicked when Windows wouldn't boot - it choked half way after struggling for a minute or two. Luckily though, Ubuntu Linux did boot up. However, I soon noticed that none of my Windows partitions were visible from within Ubuntu. I panicked again.

I started fdisk to see what is in my partition table. What I saw gave me a shock - there were something like 50 partitions, some overlapping, defined in the MBR. Only one thing that I could do - delete those nonsensical partitions.

To cut a long story short, what saved the day in the end was some scribbled down notes that I have from fdisk of the starting and ending cylinders of the partitions that I have on my hard disk. I just used this to bring some sanity back to my hard disk again. It works - Windows rebooted without any problems. All Windows partition recovered. No data was loss. Phew!

Friday, 12 May 2017

PCI TV Tuner Gone Kaput

"What am I going to do with the analog TV Tuner that I have in my computer?"

That was the thought that I had some years ago when the Malaysian government announced that the free-to-air local terrestrial television broadcast will be going digital in the future. And the future is now set at 2018, tentatively.

Well, I do not have to worry about this question anymore. My analog KWorld TV tuner has gone kaput. Yes, I have had hung PCs and a couple of half captured TV programs over the last couple of days. I never thought it was a hardware problem initially. I kept thinking it was memory constraint instead as I had just installed Avast and have been using Gimp quite a lot lately. Guess I assumed wrong.

Blank Screen In Virtualdub Because Of A Faulty TV Tuner

Now what I get when I start my TV recordings or viewing in VirtualDub is just a blank screen. Intermittently though, I do get some video and audio if I am lucky, but it only lasts a few minutes. Likewise when I tune in to my local FM radio stations.

But a bit of an oddity that I just found out a moment ago. Gnome Radio on Ubuntu Linux could still pick up the local FM radio signal (the STEREO/MONO indicator changes when I scan the airwaves) but there is no discernible audio. Maybe there is a bad connection on the TV Tuner's PCB board somewhere. I don't think it is bad contacts between the TV tuner and the PCI slot like I had previously as Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux could still detect the the TV tuner. Watching Youtube videos are working fine by the way, so that rules out any problems with my computer's motherboard.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Lazada Malaysia's Best Sellers

Not sure if this is updated in real-time, but here is Lazada's Malaysia's best selling items, sorted by categories.

See anything that you like? Do click on the advertised product to find out more.




Automotive & Gadgets

Cameras

Clothes, Shoes & Bags

Computer & Laptops

Health & Beauty

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