Hello, my name is Kelvin, not Rachel. I conveniently named my blog "Rachel" because it's a sexy name. Enjoy your stay here!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Scholarship "About Me" - Part 1

I am a computer enthusiast who fell in love with the computer since I first used one at the age of 4. I started out playing games on the PC. When the Internet was made available to my apartment I started playing online ones too. My had my first experience with the technical aspects of the computer when I was 7 when I had to decorate my Neopets shop with HTML coding. The codings intrigued me and I went further to find out what does exactly what. Since then I began experimenting with images found on the net (I was a Pokemon fan) and created multiple offline Pokemon fansites. I was fascinated by the concept of the URI and hyperlinks and how they work to bring pages together. When I found out about Geocities I started bringing everything online. Implementation of navigation at first was a chore, where I had to painfully edit every other page whenever a new page was introduced. Then I learnt of the frame, which helped me sew pages together to appear as one. As Geocities had annoying advertisements, I used carefully crafted hidden frames to hide them. When I got older, I began playing MMORPGs in Primary 3, and from a game called Dark Ages, someone introduced me a tool known as a "speed hack". From the tool I selected a process from a list and I could choose to "speed" it up. From there I was introduced into the world of security where I had special interest in. I started to surf the web to download little tools which does cool things to my computer. Probably the greatest tool I've tried was Cain and Abel (back then just known as Cain, as it didn't have the Abel network component), which allowed me to recover the dial-up passwords my dad used. When I was a little older in Primary 5, I obtained a CD fully infested with viruses, but also came with neat tools. I followed some tutorials and I was able to remotely compromise my sister's Windows 98 system without physically accessing it. I started using the tools provided to create little viruses, trojans and keyloggers to experiment with. From there I learnt how they resided in the system, what kind of things they could do and could not, and how I could remove them manually after turning off the anti-virus. Eventually I decided that my computer needed a reformat. My dad was a computer technician but he not in at that time. Recalling how he did it with a boot diskette, I tried to mimic the commands and after some trial and error I finally reformatted the computer to a clean Windows installation. Things did not work so I learnt to install the drivers with the provided CDs in the computer drawer. I learnt to get the network and Internet working. I eventually started on a little security journey which allowed me to get a feel of the different tools of the trade, but I was nothing more than a script kiddie. In Secondary 3, I was introduced to the MapleGlobal game. As usual, I was fascinated when I saw characters doing things that the original game client would not allow, but this time after fooling around with some game trainers online, I decided that I should try to make some myself. I read a few tutorials and learnt the concept of memory editing, and how things are loaded into the RAM and interpreted as instructions (in ASM language) or data. I used a memory editor known as Cheat Engine to replicate what the trainers did, changing the values of "Gravity" or the "Jumping Power" of a character to bypass "Jump Quests". I followed a tutorial on GamerzPlanet forum to program my first C++ trainer which came in a console window and accepted hotkeys. I did not fully understand the code back then, I was just interested in what it accomplishes in the end, which is to write a value to a memory location. I learnt new tools and added new techniques into my arsenal throughout the years, wrote a few tutorials and subsequently got accepted into GamerzPlanet underground. All the while there were few friends in real-life who actually appreciated the computer and the things you could do with it. Everything changed when I went into Polytechnic. I was in the Computer Engineering course. There were computer enthusiasts everywhere who were interested in the things I say. I took my first real modules in programming, networking, security and computer architecture, and these modules pieced up everything I know into something I could start to comprehend as a whole. I excelled in my field as I had great interest in what I do and subsequently I was selected after a 2-year long trial to compete in the WorldSkills Singapore competition in the IT Administration trade, during which I was the main tutor for my peers in the competition. I brought back a Medallion for Excellence for my school ([link]). Throughout the course of the competition I journalled my progress in a blog (Basic Draft) which was used by the subsequent competition batches as reference. I was also sponsored by the school for the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification. I was extremely active in my course club (CENT Club) and I was made the President in year 2. The committee and I frequently collaborated with other clubs to organize events such as cohesion activities, orientation camps, leadership camps, study groups, peer tutoring lectures and workshops for the Computer Engineering Course and the School of Engineering. My projects (such as the ones done for the Computer Architecture and Operating Systems (CAOS), Network Security (NETSEC), Enterprise Web Applications (EWEBAPP) and Object Oriented programming (OOP)) were used as models for multiple batches ahead. I graduated with a Diploma in Computer Engineering with Merits and was awarded the CAE Singapore (S.E.A.) Prize ([link])

Sunday, April 01, 2012

EX LIGER, again.

It's Sunday, 010312. We're in the last phase of EX LIGER. It's been tough, really tough. I do not really feel the days pass. Rather it feels as though I've been through one heck of a really long day.

Guess what I'm doing now? Yes, another two-hour shift. This is the only time we've got to sleep in the exercise (illegally) but I'm using it to write my journal.

This stand-two, however, is a special one because I'm actually awaiting actual contact. I'm actually guarding a 4COIL which has a vehicle lane open. After contacting the enemy we are supposed to close the vehicle lane and perform immediate retrogression.

Again, I'm going to just relax my mind and talk about my sensory feedback.

I'm seated down facing the extreme left of the last column of the 4COIL pickets. I have my rifle at my right and an orange notebook on my lap (which is what I'm writing on). I hear snoring from behind (probably Nelson). The sound of bird chirping fills the air as birds comb the trees around me. It's 0653 so it is bright enough for me to see the horizon of vegetation fade into the distant mist. The soil is damp from the rain but dry enough to sit on. The 0.6m picket half a meter away from me is hammered dead-center into cow dung (LOL! It was too dark for them to notice?). There is a tapioca plantation across the road. A blue pilot pen lies between the second and third picket in my column (which is, again, on the extreme left).

Teck Seng just came in a rover to pass me a signal set. Hong Wei and some other instructors were also in the rover. The rover made a 3-point turn and drove back to the expected enemy approach. My callsign is 23 Charlie. The signal set has SQUELCH turned to OFF, causing it to emit white noise ("shhh"). However, the FAULT light is also blinking, adding a beeping to the mix. Two civilian trucks just drove past with a bunch of villagers/farmers dressed up like terrorists in movies. They seem really interested in what we're doing. I'm still the only one awake.

I'll end here because they're here. It's ACTION TIME.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Friday, 300312, somewhere in Thailand. The time is 0002. I'm in the midst of EX LIGER and I'm doing my stand-two shift that will end at 0200. I was just digging my shell-scrape but I'm not sure if I'm going to finish it. The ground is as hard as asphalt and my Pickaxe nearly broke.

It's a good time to relax and start describing my immediate sensory experience.

I'm deployed in the middle of the road under a scary thorny tree. I'm proning on the floor facing the main axis. My favorite orange notebook is in front of me (I'm writing on it) and my rifle is to my right. I'm dressed in SBO. A tactical light hangs on the thorny tree above to light up my notebook. The comms line hangs slightly overhead, occasionally casting a shadow on my book as it crosses the torch. To my right is Nelson and to my left through the thorny shrub is Kenneth. Nelson is fast asleep, while Kenneth is currently vomiting from the nausea caused by Doxycycline. Random sounds of ET blade hitting the ground can be heard from every direction.

The ground I'm proning on is actually made up of mostly thorny twigs, dead leaves, rocks and very fine sand. Melvin has fallen asleep so I'll be sent to HQ for stand-two soon if he doesn't wake up. I'm actually starting to fall asleep myself.

The time now is 1206. I just finished digging my shell-scrape. I can't believe it took me nearly 12 hours to complete it. The ground was too hard. I fell asleep in my shell-scrape for barely five minutes and now there's a bee sting on my left hand. Just removed the sting. Maybe I'm too tired because it didn't hurt that much. I'm going back to sleep now.

I woke up for orders and briefing. I had no serious reactions thankfully. It's probably because I've been stung before in the past. I forgot lunch but it's time to break camp.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012



Should I buy ALOT OF BOTTLES on the way back in Duty Free?


Today I saw a prescription of Lexotan (Bromazepam) on the table and I knew something was not right. People do not prescribe anxiolytics for nothing.

The last time I had an anxiolytic, Xanax (Alprazolam), prescribed to me was when I complained about having depressing feelings induced from consumption of Amoxicillin.

The relative dosage of Xanax is to Lexotan is 1:12.

I cannot imagine what kind of anxiety disorder requires such a heavy dosage. My mum just told me that she told the doctor she was stressed out recently. I don't know if I believe that man.

My mum is depressed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How did it happen?

See, my friends just signed extras for some sentry duty problems during the deployment exercise when I was the CPS.

At this point I don't know how to react. I cannot fully rationalize the reasons for their punishment.

Should I start finding reasons to explain how it happened?

If I start trying to explain things, then I'll only end up pushing the blame around and getting more people involved.

Should I go down to the office to try and plead for their innocence and try to "tank" the extras for them?

If I offer to "tank" the extras, what kind of message am I trying to send across? Am I just trying to act like a hero?

The strange thing is that being the CPS, why am I not being punished as well? Is there a message my instructors are trying to send across?

See, people get extras in exercises due to my negligence. In operations, people might just die by my own doings.

This makes me question myself. Am I even ready to lead?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My mother

Recently my mother's been rather gloomy. She missed her period for the third week and she's suspecting herself to be undergoing menopause.

Today, she told me that she's falling into depression. Her life nowadays seem full of negativity.

I thought back and I realised that I haven't really been talking to her for the past month. Every time I booked out, I left immediately upon reaching home. Most of the time she's either already sleeping or out at work by the time I come back.

She's not the kind to worry, but recently I think I've been making her really worried. Even though she hasn't really said anything different from the past nags and advices (don't drink too much ah, come back early ah), her tone of voice last night revealed much worry and concern. It's as though she knew.

The Indians down at the workplace has been giving her much problems and I've not been making things easy for her. I'm about to leave home for more than half a month, and I don't know what I can do for her now.

This is probably the last time I'll go out shopping with her this month. She bought some random clothes (of which all are purple, which is her favorite color). I really look forward to coming back from Crescendo so that I can really be there for her. I just activated my roaming, so at least I can drop some messages on the nights I'm not out in the field to make sure she's fine.