THIS world champion works in a food court during his polytechnic holidays.
|Edward Lay. — ALVIN TOH|
And he has never flown before.
But give him the word-processing program Microsoft Word, and he’ll whip the world.
Mr Edward Lay Yong Shun, 19, beat 40,000 participants from 66 countries to be crowned world champion at using MS Word at an annual competition in Orlando, USA, earlier this month.
His US$4,000 ($6,400) prize package included a Dell laptop computer, an HP iPAQ personal digital assistant, a Samsung portable media centre and a Microsoft Xbox game system.
Microsoft Word is part of the Microsoft Office suite, which includes other software like spreadsheet programs.
The competition involved about 14 participants sitting in front of a computer at one time, like in a virtual exam hall.
Each was given 50 minutes to answer 16 questions posed by Microsoft.
Within each question, participants had to use MS Word to perform specific tasks to show how skilled they are at the program.
The third-year IT diploma student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of InfoComm Technology – who works part-time at the Kopitiam food court in Bukit Panjang Plaza – was selected because he had won Singapore’s national Microsoft Word competition in July.
He walked away with an Xbox 360, a Microsoft Office suite and the $5,000 10-day Orlando trip.
FIRST TIME FLYING
The son of a taxi driver and a post office assistant, Mr Lay said he has never travelled beyond Malaysia before the competition.
The 18-hour flight to the US marked his first time on board an airplane.
But Mr Lay, who has a 22-year-old sister, admitted that he became homesick.
To cheer himself up, he visited the Walt Disney World theme park three times.
He said: ‘I called home after I received my trophy. My parents said the title would be helpful in future.’
Mr Lay’s family lives in a five-room HBD flat in Teck Whye.
Mr Lay’s father, My Lay Chee Choy, 61, said: ‘We are all very happy for him. But he didn’t really explain what the competition was about, and we were not very sure because we are unclear about these computer matters.’
Mr Lay’s mother, Madam Chong Kwai Chun, 55, said proudly : ‘He is a very cool and calm boy.’
The former Teck Whye Secondary School student spent about a month preparing for the Singapore competition.
After he became a local champion in July, he spent another two weeks preparing for the Orlando showdown.
This meant surviving on three to four hours of sleep a day while he juggled his final-year project in school.
He would spend a few hours with his lecturers in between classes. Then at night he would analyse books on MS Word.
He said: ‘I am very thankful to my teachers. They gave me moral support and lots of guidance, and provided books for me to read.’
In the Microsoft Excel section, the title of world champion went to Mr Tristan Horn, a 26-year-old Australian student at Charles Stuart University in New South Wales. Mr Horn is studying to become a high school teacher.
Here in Singapore, though, it’s clearly Mr Lay who’s the toast of the town.
A Ngee Ann Polytechnic spokesman said: ‘Mr Lay had burnt the midnight oil practically every day to hone his skills in Word to prepare for the competition.
‘He also did lots of research.’
Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes.
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KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Malaysia Airlines posted a net loss of 498.2 million ringgit (135 million dollars) in the first half to June, adding to the red ink which has forced it to embark on a major turnaround plan.The result compared to a 166.2 million ringgit loss in the same period a year ago.
Managing Director Idris Jala said however that the national carrier was on track to break back into the black by 2008 which is its goal under a crisis plan unveiled in March.
“Despite the existing challenges in the aviation industry, we are on track towards the success of the business turnaround plan,” he told a press conference.
“Our cost control initiatives are showing positive results and we’re confident that with this continued focus we can achieve the objective to bring back the company to profitability by 2008.”
Looking ahead, Malaysia Airlines said “competition remains intense” and that a slowdown in the US economy caused by higher interest rates and fuel prices could impact global economic growth and air travel.
“With oil prices remaining high due to uncertainties following the Lebanon conflict and tensions in the Middle East, the continued imposition of high fuel surcharges by airlines could dampen… travel demand,” it said.
However, Idris said he was optimistic about the airline’s prospects over the remainder of 2006, saying that the second-quarter results showed a positive trend.
“The second quarter has traditionally been worse off than the first quarter whichever year you look at it,” he said.
“But we’ve bucked the trend simply because of the improvement we’ve put in – fares are beginning to kick in and they will kick in even harder in the third quarter and the fourth quarter.”
Idris said rising fuel prices continued to be the aviation’s industry main concern and that the national airline had adopted a hedging policy.
“Seventy-six percent of jet fuel for 2006 is hedged at 58 US dollars per barrel and for 2007 we have hedged over 40 percent at 63 dollars per barrel,” he said.
Passenger yields grew by 18 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period a year ago, the airline said.
The beleaguered airline chalked up substantial losses of some 1.0 billion ringgit for the whole of the last financial year.
The national carrier is attempting to restructure its operations and under the turnaround plan surrendered all but 19 major domestic routes to budget carrier AirAsia and cut out unprofitable international routes.
It is also spending up to 850 million ringgit to lay off some 3,000 to 5,000 employees in a voluntary separation scheme.
ePrompter will automatically check up to sixteen password protected email accounts for AOL, AltaVista, Earthlink, Email.com, Go.com, Hotmail, Juno, Lycos, Mail.com, Mindspring, MSN, Netscape, OneBox, POP3, Rediffmail, USA, Yahoo and hundreds of other email domains – all at the same time.
ePrompter features a unique rotating tray icon, and a choice of four unique screensavers that let you know at a glance the number of new messages in each account, which you can easily read and/or delete online or offline with the click of an icon. It`s extremely easy to set up and use.
ePrompter`s mini-email lets you forward and reply back through the account that your messages were retrieved from. You can also send original messages through any account that you have working on your ePrompter.
It also features an address book. Please note that ePrompter`s mini-email client is not meant to take the place of a full-featured email client.
GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.
Features and Capabilities
This is only a very quickly thrown together list of GIMP features.
o Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc.
o Sub-pixel sampling for all paint tools for high quality anti-aliasing
o Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool
o Supports custom brushes and patterns
o Tile based memory management so image size is limited only by available disk space
o Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time
* Advanced Manipulation
o Full alpha channel support
o Layers and channels
o Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace)
o Editable text layers
o Transformation tools including rotate, scale, shear and flip
o Selection tools including rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy and intelligent
o Advanced path tool doing bezier and polygonal selections.
o Transformable paths, transformable selections.
o Quickmask to paint a selection.
o A Procedural Database for calling internal GIMP functions from external programs as in Script-fu
o Advanced scripting capabilities (Scheme, Python, Perl)
o Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters
o Over 100 plug-ins already available
o Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format
o MNG support
o Frame Navigator (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
o Onion Skin (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
o Bluebox (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
* File Handling
o File formats supported include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others
o Load, display, convert, save to many file formats
o SVG path import/export
* Much, much more!
You need to install GTK first
Vista Transformation Pack will give to your Windows XP system the new and cool look of Microsoft’s future operating system: Windows Vista. The pack changes most of the system icons, skins and toolbars and also adds new enhancements to your desktop such as a dock bar or a different system tray clock. It is free and does a great job of giving machine a look similar to Vista.
It does have uninstallation options in case you decide you want to get rid of it, so there really isn’t anything to lose. However, when you install the software it has to overwrite some system files (it modifies things like the boot screen) so Windows will prompt you stating that your system files have been changed. It will ask whether you want to change them back or leave them, so just leave them if you want the system to function properly.
From now on you can update Vista Transformation Pack without uninstalling and you can even integrate Vista Transformation Pack into Windows setup files. (Still experimental, though but most of them are fine enough to be implemented) This release has a lot of update covering from build 5472 so you’ll get much more icons update and much better visual styles and WindowBlinds skin, with bugs from earlier release fixed.
Changes in Version 5.0:
· Added function to update existing UI transformation to the machine (Now user doesn’t need to uninstall before applying new ones anymore!)
· Added function to choose whenever user wants to apply UI transformation to the machine and setup files folder or enter Maintenance Center
· Added Q&A from Windows X’s shrine forum
· Added setup destination for applying Vista UI transformation (system transformation or setup integration)
· Added System Files’ resources modifying verification so you can know if this program can modify your system files or not
· Added system files compatibility with Neutral language ID (0)
· Added Vista wide screen boot screen (16:9) option
· Fixed Guest’s user picture lost after uninstall
· Fixed Internet Explorer 7 modifying issues
· Fixed LClock’s install path association bug
· Fixed Rebuilding icons cache problems on some machines (Need to be executed from maintenance center)
· Fixed Shutdown/Logoff button text removing (impure backup file, losing explorer.exe on some machines)
· Fixed some resources modification bug (such batmeter.dll resources on xpsp2res.dll, etc.)
· Fixed Themes service will be always enabled after uninstall (I’ve heard enough complaining about this)
· Fixed Vista logon’s shutdown button disappearance bug on some machines
· Fixed Windows drive icon removing bug
· Moved Vista logon to Windows interface section
· Re-arranged transforming process for easier understanding
· Removed Windows Media Player 11 (Codename Eclipse) skin (Get the real beta ones if you want to use it)
· Removed out-dated Vista wallpapers (Get wallpaper pack from somewhere if you want all of them)
· Seperated Set Windows Vista OS drive icon option from system files icon option
· Seperated system files and Vista UI stuffs for ease of management
· Updated appearance selection on uninstall instead of enable/disable Themes service
· Updated toolbar button
· Updated massive Vista icons from build 5472 (million thanks to Sebas who helped me with the icon resources)
· Updated Vista boot screen with previous ones (since it looks better)
· Updated Vista logo in System Properties from build
· Updated Vista logon background (higher resolution)
· Updated Vista sounds scheme (Startup and Logon from Beta 2 build)
· Updated Vista toolbar flag
· Updated Vista visual styles
· |-Updated Vista Beta 2 horizontal shellstyle (Added Blue folder icon)
· |-Updated Vista Beta 2 TaskBandButton with new fancy light button
· |-Updated Vista Beta 2 themes with ressources from build 5472
· |-Updated Vista Beta 2 visual style and normal WindowBlinds skin with new Standard theme
· |-Updated Vista WindowBlinds glass border (Now it’s as close as the real ones!)
· |-Updated Start globe to be compatible with VistaStart (Test with 1.3)
· Updated Vista wireless tray icon
· Updated new Calculator and TimeDate icon
· Updated Vista Start Menu classic
Size: 12.3 MB
7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio. The program supports 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, LZH, CHM, GZIP, BZIP2, Z, TAR, CPIO, RPM and DEB formats. Compression ratio in the new 7z format is 30-50% better than ratio in ZIP format. It also compresses to ZIP 2-10% better than PKZip and WinZip. It has an additional powerful command line version and FAR Manager support.
This is a full package of MPlayer for Windows (MPUI). This
package contains everything you´ll need in one single download!
Key features are:
Custom build of MPUI v1.2-pre1 (Unicode) with Delphi7 Professional
Latest optimized MPlayer builds by Celtic Druid -2006-08-28
Full binary Codec Package for Windows included
Setup Wizard with CPU type selection (Made with NSIS)
More than 192 Video- und 85 Audiocodecs supported
Supported CPUs: Athlon-TB, Athlon-XP, Athlon-64, Pentium-3,
[2006-08-28] MPlayer/MEncoder updated to 2006-08-23
[2006-08-28] Codecs updated (added On2 VP7 and WMV-VC1 decoders)
all-new translation system that uses external files
translators can now write translation files and test them directly
fixed Unicode display in the stream information window
Download Mirrors [Approx: 16 MB] :