Geek Time: GTX 970

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Took advantage of the eBay 20% off tech stuff promo (selected retailers only) earlier and grabbed a new graphics card from the Kogan store. I ordered at a time when the Qantas Points Online Mall was running their double points promotion as well. *explodes from bargain*

Gigabyte GTX 970: Box

My new Gigabyte GTX 970 in the box!

It’s here! It’s here it’s here it’s here it’s here!

Gigabyte GTX 970: In the Case

Cable management? What’s that?

A long overdue upgrade! And cable management be damned! (Deja vu?)

Gigabyte GTX 970 vs EVGA GTX 470 Size

The new Gigabyte GTX 970 (top) is a few cm bigger than my old EVGA GTX 470 (bottom)

The new card is so quiet. Running the same two monitors, the 970 temperature under load is lower than my old 470 with fans spinning at a higher speed at idle. Seriously.

Time to geek! Things to stop caring about: friends, boyfriend, sleep, food, personal hygiene, work.

Meetup with Zomato Sydney Community Managers

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Urbanspoon, the restaurant review site I actively participate in, has the the best external blog post integration system not found elsewhere. It has also been acquired by Zomato recently. I gradually noticed changes on the Urbanspoon site, and had mostly been in denial about the acquisition as I didn’t want to imagine what would happen to my favourite blog feature after what I perceived to be the eventual demise of the site.

So it must be understandable that when I received the email from Nick the Zomato Sydney Community Manager about a meetup, my emotions went from “Ding! Food blogger status level up!” to “THIS IS THE END OF URBANSPOON!” within half a second.

Henley's Wholefoods Alexandria Today is the day of the meetup with Nick and Richa the Community Managers, at the cafe of my choice. After the introductions, food ordering and my trying to hide my THIS-IS-THE-END-OF-URBANSPOON! fears, they proceeded to explain to me the Urbanspoon-Zomato transition process. They demonstrated the Zomato phone app, yet to be populated with Australian restaurant reviews. But more importantly, they assured me that food bloggers will not lose their beloved blog entry integration function, Spoonback! Hurray!

For once, I also didn’t have to explain or apologise for taking pictures of food! smile

This is what I understood about the transition process from our meeting:

  • Urbanspoon’s Spoonback feature will be integrated into Zomato.
  • All existing Urbanspoon reviews and content will be imported into Zomato.
  • Restaurants will be added by Zomato staff, including restaurant menu uploads and photos supplied by the restaurants themselves.
  • Restaurant details and menu will be updated every few months, also by Zomato staff.
  • Restaurant photos will be sorted by official uploads first, followed by user-submitted.
  • The full transition is expected to complete within this year.
  • Zomato Australia intends to run local community events, such as sushi-making classes! (I think I’ll be invited to some of those!)

Main differences between Urbanspoon and Zomato that I picked up:

  • Zomato operates globally across 20 countries and has local offices in each city here in Australia. Urbanspoon is a Seattle-based company of 40 staff.
  • Zomato has compulsory ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 stars in half-star increments. Urbanspoon has optional like (“I like it”) or dislike (“I don’t”) buttons and an overall percentage of how many people liked it.
  • Zomato has a weighted system where reviews of more trusted users will become the top reviews. Urbanspoon reviews are mostly listed in reverse chronological order.
  • Zomato restaurants can only be added by Zomato staff. Urbanspoon restaurants can be added by other users.

Questions I wish I’d asked:

  • Zomato has compulsory ratings. How would current reviews on Urbanspoon — favourites, likes, dislikes, neutral (no like or dislike), wishlist — be transferred over?
  • What happens with current Urbanspoon users who have earned the “Prime” status (most active users, of which I’m one)?

I guess I’ll have to find out on my own later.

Thank you for your time, Nick and Richa! It was wonderful of Zomato (Australia) to organise this and I do feel a lot more reassured after the meeting. I look forward to participating in the Zomato community once THIS IS THE END OF URBANSPOON! it launches for Australia with all the amazing features of Urbanspoon integrated later in the year! The next time we meet up, maybe I’ll remember to take a picture with you two as well!

Certified!

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The ISTQB Foundation Level exam was one of the tougher exams I’ve sat yet. The pass grade is 65% (at least 26 correct answers out of the 40 questions) and, at the time of writing, the global pass rate is just under 75% (1 in 4 fails). I spent three exhausting days at a professional training course for this plus an entire weekend studying and stressing out. It’s been a while since I’d done any exam and this is one of the few where I’ve walked in thinking there’s a possibility that I might fail.

The actual exam was even more difficult than I anticipated. I walked out wondering if I’d passed…

ISTQB Certificate

ISTQB Certificate

And I did — with an 80%! How tricky it was made it all the more satisfying. Brag-worthy, methinks! smile

His Name is Richard

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A conversation that happened when I asked how much the different sushi we grabbed tonight cost, and he had no clue.

Me: It’s nice to be rich and not care about a 10-cent difference.
Him: This is the first time anyone has called me rich.
Me: …
Him: …
Him: That would be a lie.

Title.

Year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat 2015

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The mum sent me this photo!

Chinese New Year 2015: Hong Kong Family Home Decor

Family home decor back in Hong Kong for this Chinese New Year: Red gladiolus, candy box, and red pockets (mine for collection)

Red pockets awaiting collection upon my return visit to Hong Kong. Best thing about being overseas in this family: All the red pockets, none of the social obligations! Muhahaha.

Yep. I’ve been told that family portrait on the wall looks like the kind that has a safe hidden behind. There’s no safe behind it. No touch. No.

Schumann 1 & 2 at the Sydney Opera House

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Valentine’s Day! Sydney Symphony Orchestra! Sydney Opera House! Schumann! Mendelssohn! Dumplings! Or more coherently, Valentine’s Day Sydney Symphony Orchestra Opera House Schumann Mendelssohn dumplings! Oops.

It’s a slightly rainy day that didn’t start out very smoothly, with one of my contact lenses deciding to rip and us having to make an extra trip back to pick up my spare lenses and all. Thankfully, everything was perfectly timed after and we could still grab a quick bite a tower of dumplings for dinner as planned.

I’m not normally one to celebrate commercial holidays, but they do make for a good excuse to do something special. Tonight, it was the SSO, conducted by David Robertson, performing Schumann’s first and second symphonies, and German violinist Christian Tetzlaff as the soloist for Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. I used Richard’s birthday gift certificate to me (on top of the buffet dinner), so I was able to get us premium seats in one of the Circle Boxes. Spoilt? Me?

SSO at the Opera House: Schumann 1 & 2

SSO event at the Sydney Opera House: Schumann 1 & 2

Being a classical music nerd, I was already familiar with all three compositions, but picked up a lot of notes (especially from the second violins and violas) from the live orchestra that I missed from just listening to recordings. I was also more used to a faster third and fourth movement for Symphony No. 1. I suspect more people would prefer the violin concerto, but I loved all three.

I really can’t comment on the quality of the music otherwise being such an amateur violinist myself, but really did absolutely, massively enjoy the event and was still buzzing from the performance a while after. One thing, though, from Vickie the snob: People, you don’t clap between movements! cool

Selfie Inside Sydney Opera House Concert Hall

Happy Valentine’s Day! Just one selfie inside the Concert Hall! (Just one uploaded, that is. tongue )

The brother asked when I’d be the one on stage. Well, realistically never, but here’s hoping the experience wasn’t too dull for Richard for this to be our last time attending a classical music concert together. smile

Australia Day 2015

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In true Aussie spirit on this rainy Australia Day, I woke up super fatigued but still crawled out of the bed and eventually the house, and ended up partially helping a lady who spoke no English other than the words “Rockdale”, “Arncliffe” and “thank you” to get to her desired destination, Arncliffe, and later, rewarded myself with lots of protein, fat and sodium, mostly fat and sodium, at Richard’s friend’s barbecue.

Oh shit. What if I completely misunderstood Arncliffe lady and she didn’t actually want to go to Arncliffe?

Oh shit. I’m not even an Aussie. mindblown-alt