I just arrived in Singapore from Paris. Excellent flight so far, I'm boarding to Balikpapan in about 30 minutes time. Just taking advantage of the free internet access in Singapore Airport to check emails.
Oh yes, I forgot to say... I'm going diving in Sangalaki (Borneo) and Manado (Sulawesi). I'll be back on October 5.
If you're not a developer don't spend too much time reading this . While in Singapore I have been able to hang around in Computer Books Centre and I was amazed at the number of interesting titles that recently came out. I was also stunned by the number of books about Apache Jakarta products. (Erik and Steve as you might be reading this, yes your book was there of course).
Technical article for now. I have had this question a couple of times so I will try my best to answer questions people may had. Fact is, that is very easy to find internet access anywhere I have been until now even the most remote places you could not think about. Prices are very differents but mostly you will find the most expensive places in industrialized countries which should be around US$2 for the least expensive. For example in Singapore it is S$2.5-3/h, you will get S$6/hour in some places like Orchard Rd, but there is really no point in paying that much.
I went to Qantas to book my ticket. I was not able to find the flight originally as Qantas forked a new company called Australian Airlines last April or around which does only economy seats (some kind of low-cost fares) and basically some domestic and Indonesian flights are now proposed by this one. Anyway, I will be leaving tomorrow and arrive to Denpasar/Bali around 10PM.
I finished everything I had to do in Singapore, and I'd be glad to fly to Indonesia to spend a little bit less money. I will look tomorrow to leave ASAP. Amazingly it looks like there is no flights anymore between Singapore and Bali via OneWorld airlines...strange, were they all canceled ? I will know more by tomorrow hopefully.
I have been reading in the newspaper today that the US will probably delay the visa rules by one year (assuming the countries applies for it). The decision has not be made yet, but it looks like they are thinking about it due to the mess it creates. CNN and BBC both have an article about it. The BBC states the truth in its article about the France situation: Some European countries, such as France and Spain, are reported to be struggling to provide MRPs to their nationals. Even then, only one machine would be available to produce MRPs for all French nationals living abroad[...]. I have had the same information from the French consulate in Singapore, they expect to receive the machine by next year at least...ridiculous.
I went back (again) to the botanical garden to try to make better pictures of the orchids. Unfortunately the weather was not very nice to me as it was very cloudy. I spent countless hours messing around with the settings trying to understand the camera better. I find that it sometimes get confused with the autofocus and that you are better off to switch to manual focus. Also it might be me but it looks like it is often overexposed and that I need to correct it by about 2 EVs.
I took the local metro, the MRT (S$1.60 OW) to go the Jurong Bird Park (S$12) today to try out the new camera. I miserably failed most of the shots with a focus or overexposure problems as I'm still learning the features of it. It is very much different from the C4000Z. Notice, you need at least a 300mm to get there (and of course a tripod).
I spent a couple of hours in the morning at the Singapore Botanic and Orchid Garden. I will have to take the bus next time. This is about the 6th time that I'm doing the walk to this place or around and I'm starting to get tired. I did not take any public transport until now but rather I chose to walk and my personal counter leads me to believe that I'm way over 20km a day (in sandals which does not help )
This is basically the question I'm burning to ask when I have to deal with an insurer that is switched in 'claim' mode. All replies to emails become evasives, do not answer all the questions about the procedure and takes suddenly days. Sun Tzu's tactic at its best.
I'm moving this to a separate article as I put more details into it. This information may help people looking for information as I noticed that I got a good number of hits from Google, MSN and Yahoo search engines. Basically, I have news from DEPP but I'm still working on it. It looks like the job sheets from Olympus do not really satisfy them as there is no amount specified for a possible repair. I can understand that but Olympus does not want to look at it anyway as it is corrosion, so I hardly can see how I can force them to give me a quote for something they don't want to bother repairing as 'it will not be economical'.
I hardly could believe it. I went to the US Embassy this morning and was told that they do not issue tourists visa for people not being resident in Singapore for less than 6 months. Basically I was told to get one somewhere else (Indonesia or Australia) as this is a Singapore specificity. They told me they do this otherwise there would be a queue of 1km outside the embassy.
I don't have any news yet from DEPP despite faxes and emails and basically I'm starting to lose patience a little bit. I'm giving the benefit of the doubt for now as the timing (week-end) and time difference (16 hours) does not play in my favor. However considering the delay for a reply to my claim, I fail to see how the procedure can end in less than 10 days which I would appreciate avoiding, this is always unecessary expenses and delays.
I did not waste much time since I'm here. Basically I dropped the camera and housing yesterday at the Olympus Repair Center and I pressured them for a quick report. I had the conclusion this morning: 'repair will not be economical' and as for the housing they don't have spare parts so it is not repairable. I will fax the conclusion to DEPP (insurance) and hope that it will not take too long if they accept to replace it as I don't want to waste too much time (and money) in Singapore.
I just arrived at Singapore a few hours ago after a quiet train journey. It is really worth it compared to the bus as you can lay down and sleep well at least. I cleared off the immigration quickly and crashed into 7th Storey Hostel where I'm staying into a 4-bed dorm for S$17.