PRODIGY, Class of 2009 SBPIJ

PRODIGY | Class of 2009 SBPIJ official website is my third website, developed in December 2008 using Joomla! 1.0 as Content Management System (CMS). It was developed after my old blog and TechnoFlash Official Site, when I and my schoolmates planned to have a community-based website to discuss about our batch related things to education problems.

Early development of this site, I only invited some of my ‘geek’ friends to become a beta tester. Thank God, this site softly launched in the mid of December 2008.

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Culture Shock! Germany

I just finished read about CultureShock! Germany, a survival guide to customs and etiquette. The book which is one of CultureShock! series is a dynamic and indispensable range of guides for those who are looking to truly understand the country, Germany itself. The author, Richard Lord share all the information necessary for anyone to stay or study abroad in Germany more effectively.

Here is the synopsis of the book;

CultureShock! Germany dispels the stereotypes and explores the realities of unified Germany, giving readers an insight into its varied people and customs. Find out how a makler can help you locate the right accommodation, be aware of the importance of health insurance and prepare yourself for the short German work week that comes complete with an annual 30 days of holiday. Understand what it is to be an Auslander and take advantage of the practical information on how to fit in and settle into a country that is still recovering from the scars of World War II and the separation of east and west. Learn to appreciate the various versions of wurst and the different types of beer. CultureShock! Germany is the definitive guide for anyone who wants to settle well into German society.

The book is really worth to read, personally for me. I like to read about other customs and etiquette from different places/countries. *Hurm, maybe because I like to travel too; to different places of course!

By the way, Happy Teacher’s Day to all my teachers.

It’s Adobe Photoshop CS5 Turn

I have posted about this on my Twitter. Yeah, now I’m using Adobe Photoshop CS5 for designing stuff and also for my photo-editing software. Well, it was 4 years ago when I used Photoshop for the first time. I still remember the first time I using it, my brain become ‘blank’. I don’t know how to use the software, even to open the image. Haha, I really noob at that time. Then, I started to learn day by day how to edit photos, graphic design etc through deviantART.

Back to the main point, Adobe Inc. has introduced new features for Photoshop CS5; Content-Aware Fill, Cutout and Refine Edge, HDR PRO (High Dynamic Range), improved Spot Healing and Fill Tool, just to name a few. Nothing much to say, I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of reviews on the net about Photoshop CS5 features. So, just ask Mr. Google and you will find it a lot of reviews elsewhere.

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Ocean Eyes, Owl City

I’m not 100 percent assured of what compelled me to write this. Maybe I spend my time during the journey to IIUM (listening the whole album, haha) , or maybe it was my indescribable desire for positivity in a world of music where it’s definitely lacking as the norm. Either way, here it goes.

Owl City, the musical alias of Adam Young, released his Universal Republic debut Ocean Eyes in 2009. The full-length is jam-packed with layers and layers of synthesizers, MIDI programming, and an innocent vocal flair. What makes this a bit different from most electronica acts is its undeniable driving rhythm, especially in tracks “Cave In” and “Hello, Seattle” along with guest vocals from the very similar sounding Matt Thiessen of Relient K.

Young uses a combination of analog instruments, such as guitars and drums, mixed with artificial drum loops and sweetly composed synths (see the track “Saltwater Room”), for the goal of making a lasting impact amongst the young at heart. The ethereal mix is undeniably catchy, and I just can’t help but see The Postal Service resurrected in Young’s compositions. The only difference between these two acts is that Young tends to get simplistic with his lyrics. Other than this, fans of the Gibbard/Tamborello duo would find Owl City quite refreshing.

Ocean Eyes begins with “Cave In,” which can only be referred to as the perfect lead-off track, personifying all that Ocean Eyes was intended for, i.e. digital symphony. “The Bird and the Worm,” which was written by both Young and Thiessen, starts with an acoustic guitar before mixing the “Mac Attack” programming loops. “Hello, Seattle” is one of the best tracks on the album with the rhythm and hooks clicking on all cylinders. “Umbrella Beach” is a dance-club anthem; all that’s missing is a waving glowstick. The album slows down a bit with “The Saltwater Room,” a beautiful track with guest vocals from Breanne Duren (Swimming With Dolphins).

“Dental Care” is a pretty simple track about a trip to the dentist an ode to good oral hygiene, I suppose. My personal favorite is “Vanilla Twilight,” a beautifully layered track similar to “Hello, Seattle,” but it adds just a bit of electronic charisma and those darn synths. “Fireflies,” the single off of Ocean Eyes, starts off very lullaby-esque before breaking into a powerful chorus, as Young sings I’d like to make myself believe / That Planet Earth turns slowly / It’s hard to say that I’d / Rather stay awake when I’m asleep / ‘Cause everything is never as it seems.

The rest of Ocean Eyes flails a little bit and tends to be more redundant than pleasant. However overall, this is a solid album.