KNCC – Star Wars: Episode III

Post by Mark

Nibaq told me he was going to watch Star Wars III at the movies on Tuesday, so I decided to check out the KNCC website for showtimes. Turns out there is a showing on Tuesday at 12:00AM at Marina Mall so I just bought 2 tickets and reserved our seats online. It was the first time I tried using their website and it was also the first time I bought tickets online. Its a very easy feature to use and I am surprised we have this technology in Kuwait.

1) First you need to sign up on their website, a very easy and quick process.
2) Then you look for the movie you want to watch.
3) Once you find a movie you want you then have to find a showtime that would suit you.
4) The next step is to reserve your seats. This is the best option, they show you a map of the theater and then you can choose where you want to sit. Very cool.
5) You pay for your ticket online using Knet, Credit Card, M-Net or a Smart Card.
6) You receive an email and SMS message confirming your order.

Very easy and very simple. I now might watch more movies because of this.


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Post Processing

Post by Mark

I take a few shots during the day and at night I post them on Miskan.com. What you don’t see though is how the pictures looked before right out of the camera. I shoot everything in RAW format which basically means the pictures are stored on my memory card unaltered. The pictures aren’t compressed in any way, no white balance is applied, no sharpening, no nothing. Its pure. When I open up the pictures in Photoshop, I have to set up the Raw options before the picture opens up. Its basically a window where I can control various aspects of the picture from brightness and contrast, to exposure and the white balance. It time consuming since I have to open each image and post process it till it looks good. Each one of my raw files are also over 5MB (on older cameras they are twice the size). The advantage is I get to control the settings, not the camera. Most of my pictures are usually shot under exposed because you can always brighten a picture but you can’t darken an over exposed shot. Shooting in RAW also means I am now more picky with my shots, I don’t want to get home and have 50 pictures I need to open and adjust one by one. I just don’t have the time for it nor the computer processing speed to do it quickly. Below is a shot I just took now in the office to give you an example of the importance of post processing.

before

In this first picture you can clearly see the white’s are grayish, the floor is dull and the whole picture lacks decent contrast.

before
This picture is the first one but it’s been post processed. I increased the brightness, contrast, a bit of saturation, set the white balance to neon and then proceeded to manually set the white balance till it contained a decent amount of magenta.

So in conclusion, don’t expect to get good pictures if you don’t post process. Remember when in university you took photography? Remember how in the dark you spent time experimenting trying to get the right contrast and shadows etc.. this is the same thing. If you don’t do it right don’t expect excellent results.

update: I think from now on whenever there is a cool shot I upload onto Miskan.com I will post the original unprocessed one here just to show the importance of post processing.


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World’s Best Airports

Post by Mark

Best Airports
1- Hong Kong International Hong Kong, China
2- Singapore Changi Singapore
3- Incheon International Seoul, South Korea
4- Munich Munich, Germany
5- Kansai Osaka, Japan
6- Dubai Dubai, UAE
7- Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
8- Schipol Amsterdam, Netherlands
9- Copenhagen Airport Copenhagen, Denmark
10- Sydney Sydney, Australia

Best Business Class Lounges
1- Cathay Pacific Hong Kong, China
2- Virgin Atlantic London Heathrow
3- Gulf Air Bahrain
4- Asiana Airlines Incheon Seoul, South Korea
5- Swiss Air Zurich, Switzerland
6- Singapore Airlines Singapore
7- SAS Scandinavian Copenhagen, Denmark
8- Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
9- China Airlines Taipei, Taiwan
10- Qantas Airways Sydney, Australia

Best First Class Lounges
1- Cathay Pacific Hong Kong, China
2- Thai Airways Bangkok, Thailand
3- South African Airways Johannesburg, South Africa
4- Asiana Airlines Inchon, South Korea
5- Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
6- Lufthansa Frankfurt, Germany
7- Singapore Airlines Singapore
8- Qatar Airways Doha, Qatar
9- Gulf Air Bahrain
10- Swiss Air Zurich, Switzerland

[via]


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No More Flash!!!

Post by Mark

Finally, no more flash in flickr. The reason it took me so long to get with flickr was because I hate flash. And now, flickr has stopped using, thank god, feels good and fast now. Adding pictures to groups is so much more practical and easier now.


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Marina Hotel Membership Prices

Post by Mark

Marina Hotel Pool

Couple (Husband and Wife)
Annual: KD990
6 Months: KD590

Single Female
Annual: KD650
6 Months: KD390

Single Male
Annual: KD790
6 Months: KD550

Children (2-11 years old)
Annual: KD150
6 Months: KD100

Children (12-17 years old)
Annual: KD350
6 Months: KD225

The membership includes the following benefits and facilities:
– Outside lap swimming pool
– Outside kids and family pool
– Marina’s exclusive beach area
– Beach volleyball court
– Fully equipped gym with the latest equipment
– 1 squash court
– Steam bath, sauna and jacuzzi
– Female and male massage available (extra charge)
– Fitness instructor available for personal training (extra charge)

Massage Treatments

Facial Therapy
A deep cleansing, moisturizing skin care treatment with a facial pressure point massage.
45 minutes KD25

Swedish Therapy
A gentle massage encompassing the entire body using a variety of techniques specifically designed o relax muscles.
45 minutes for women KD20
60 minutes for men KD25

Sports Therapy
A classic massage focusing on every muscle group.
45 minutes for women KD20
60 minutes for men KD25

Relaxation Treatment
A gentle massage from head to toe that melts away tension.
45 minutes KD22

Aromatherapy Massage
A full body massage using exotic essential oils to improve circulation and relieve tired muscles.
60 minutes KD25

Relaxing Head Massage
This massage helps relieve headache and stress, stimulates healing and is done without using oil.
20 minutes KD15

Triple Treatment
The head, neck and shoulder massage is a decadent treatment that promotes the relief of day to day stress.
45 minutes KD25

Head and Foot Reflexology
A traditional massage using the reflexology technique focusing on pressure points that exist in the hands and the feet.
45 minutes KD 22

For more information call 2244970 ext 8510 or 8515


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A9 Instant Reward

Post by Mark

Recently I started using A9 for my web searches because Tivo-Guy mentioned if I did I would get a discount on Amazon.com. Well after using it for a couple of days I now have the A9 Instant Reward!

So I did a quick search to try and find more details about the Instant Reward and this is what I found.

You can save an additional 1.57% (π/2%) on virtually all your purchases at Amazon.com by simply becoming a regular user of our new search engine at A9.com. Once you use A9.com for a few days you will automatically be eligible for the A9 Instant Reward.

All you need to do is use A9 for your searches and you automatically get your products cheaper on Amazon. How easy is that? You can find out more info by clicking this link.


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How to Install Tiger without a DVD Reader

Post by Mark

Yesterday I installed Tiger on my PowerMac G4. It wasn’t very easy. The problem I have is that my PowerMac can’t read DVD’s and Tiger came on a DVD. To solve the problem I figure I could put the DVD in Nat’s PowerBook, then connect her mac to mine by booting hers up in target disk mode. When I did that though I only was able to see her hard drive and not her DVD drive. Then I decided to try something else. I opened up Disk Utility on Nats PowerBook and in the options chose to create an image of the DVD and saved it on her Hard Drive. A few minutes later I had a 2.3GB image file of the DVD. I then connected a mini ipod to the powerbook, and in disk utilities chose to format the ipod. I then told it to restore an image onto the ipod and chose the Tiger image which I had just made a few minutes earlier. This move basically turned the ipod into a Tiger boot disk. I then plugged the ipod into my Powermac and a finder window opened with the Tiger setup file. I double clicked on it and it told me I needed to reboot my mac. Once it restarted it loaded up the Tiger installation and i proceeded to install tiger on my mac.

The Problem
After finishing installing Tiger I booted up and everything was working fine. When I tried to connect to the internet though it gave me a modem error, something about it not being turned on. I look at the modem and it was blinking red instead of the usual green. Turns out the DSL modem drivers are not compatible with Tiger. To solve this issue I went to Hawalli and purchased a DSL Modem with a built in wireless router for KD30. I then came home and set it up to connect to the internet and share it across the network. It worked. Now since the new DSL modem does not require a computer to be connected to the internet, I can now reboot my mac and shut it down whenever I want without it effecting anyone on my network. Previously I had my powermac connect to the internet and share the connection over the network. That wasn’t practical because if I rebooted or shutdown my mac for some reason, the internet would disconnect.

dashboard widget

Tiger Experience
I have been using it for a short while now and things seem a tiny bit faster. When I first booted up Tiger it was a bit slow doing stuff because Spotlight was trying to index my whole drive. Once it was done indexing things came back to normal. The new mail program looks a lot more cleaner and cooler. Dashboard is interesting, my favorite widget is the flight tracker. It actually shows me the departure and arrival time of any flight plus where the plane currently is on the map. I might post a more fuller review later on but so far I like Tiger.

My Mac Specs
Graphite PowerMac G4 733MHz
1MB L3 Cache
896 MB SDRAM

Update: someone made it aware to me that I could have booted the powerbook using the Tiger CD and put my powermac in Target Disk mode. Then on the powerbook when it asked me where I wanted to install it I could have chosen the drive from my mac. Might have worked and been quicker.


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A9 Search

Post by Mark

I tried using A9 ages ago but I never got into it. Today Tivo Guy tells me that if you are an A9 regular user you can get a π/2 (thats pi over 2) amount of discount on Amazon. Thats around 1 point something percent off by just using A9. Not a bad idea, so I decided to check out A9 and I was incredibly surprised at how much it has improved since the last time I used it. Its fast, very customizable, it remembers your previous searches and my favorite part.. you can search for websites AND images AND wiki all at the same time! Really cool check it out www.a9.com


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50 Random Observations on “Tiger”

Post by Mark

Warning: For mac geeks only. A guy who got Tiger has posted 50 observations about whats new. Tivo-Guy got and installed Tiger yesterday and hopefully I will get it off him today. Can’t wait. [Link]


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Crackdown Advocate

Post by Mark

In reply to the previous post titled “Crackdown in Wonderland“, a regular reader Fadibou commented saying the following:

Hi Mark and all of you. I work in a software company here in Kuwait and its frustrating to see people supporting Piracy. Piracy is a nice word for stealing. Copying software and selling it without permission and without giving money back to its creator is pure theft. As for the crack down, it will increase and hopefully soon there will be no place to buy pirated(stolen) games and software. As for your remarks that a lot of games are not worth buying, well try getting evaluation copies or demos. They should cover your investment before you buy. As for Rihab, Can you please tell me which shop did help you get Doom 3?

Doom 3? I don’t know what you are talking about.. (starts whistling casually)..


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