Saturday, April 30, 2016

10 Things to Do and See in Kota Batam Island

It’s month of April! My friend’s Jonathan and I decided to take a short getaway to the Kota Batam, Indonesia for our holiday. Since young, I have heard of the attractions, cultures and foods in Batam, somehow this was my first time stepping into the Batam Island for 4 days 3 nights. Yup, most of our friends got stunned when they heard that we going for 4 days. Most Singaporean think that, 1 or 2 days is enough but well, here goes our 4 Days 3 Nights Journey in Kota Batam Island.

Novotel Batam Hotel 
Let's Stay! We took a ferry from Harbourfront Centre and arrived at the Batam Centre. It was a cloudy afternoon in Batam; we took a taxi and make our way to our stay at the Novotel Batam Hotel. The reason why we choose Novotel Batam Hotel was because the hotel offers a great service and facilities at affordable price and also it is convenience to visit the attraction places in Kota Batam Island.

Most of us who visited Batam will be familiar with this place called ‘Nagoya Hill’. Yes! It is a mall located in the centric of Batam for the local and tourists to shop eat and play. Our hotel was 10 minutes driving distance away from the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall. This trip has brought us to the first stop at Nagoya Hill.

Outside the street of Nagoya Hill
Let’s See! Walking along the street of outside Nagoya Hill shopping mall may be truly dangerous for the tourists especially when heavy traffic occur during the peak hours. One useful tip here! Always keep your valuable items in front of your pocket and stay a close distance with your friends.

Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall
Let’s Shop! Shopping and Food heaven for the guys and ladies! Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall opens from 10am to 10pm daily; it is a retail business mall with common department store outlets, supermarket, Food Street and cinema for entertainment. Likewise, tourists may enjoy the affordable pricing of items at Nagoya Hill. FYI, The location of Nagoya Food Street is inside Nagoya Hill Mall. Don’t be deceived by the Google map.

Nagoya Hill Address:
Jalan Teuku Umar, Batam, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia

Massage and Reflexology at Rejuv-A
Let’s Relax! Just right opposite Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, you will find this massage place called Rejuv-A. It was the recommended massage outlet with affordable pricing and great massage service. Each massage session is around S$10-$15 for an hour. For more, this massage place provide free WIFI service to their customers.

Tua Pek Kong Temple in Batam
Let’s Pray! Take a tour of the religious site of Tua Pek Kong temple, one of the oldest Chinese temple nestled within the Batam city. The temple is built within the traditional Chinese language model and has many courtyard statues and several wall paintings. Many local and tourist came here to pray for good health and fortune.

Tua Pek Gong Temple Address:
Windsor, Riau Islands Province, Indonesia

Barelang Bridge
Let’s See! let’s travel out of Nagoya Hill and ride on the adventure! We rented a taxi for 3 hours, costing at the price of 300,000rp for our journey to visit the Barelang Bridge. It took us about an hour to reach the Barelang Bridge from Nagoya Hill.

Welcome to the Barelang Bridge!
The Barelang Bridge (Jembatan Barelang) is a chain of 6 bridges that connect the island of Batam, Rempang and Galang. Well, if you are the adventure person, this is a place you must visit! The 6 bridges were surrounded by the little island and nature landscape and also it is a perfect place to chill and admired the beautiful sunset. Definitely one of the best photo opportunity in Batam!

Perfect place to catch the sunset!

Barelang Bridge Address:
Jalan Trans Balerang, Bulang, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia

Fisherman Village
Let’s See! Tired of city tour? Why not trying out the village tour?! Fisherman village is the next attraction place in Batam located at Nongsa Beach. If you are looking for OOTD opportunity with kampong beach style, this is the place you should visit! Once in a lifetime, you will enjoy the both relaxation and adventure journey moment.

Lucy’s Oar House
Let’s Drink! Last night of our Batam trip, we came to visit the street of Nagoya Entertainment District and chance upon this - Lucy’s Oar House, which was also online listed as number one pub and bar in Batam. We chill out for a quick bite and some beers. The pricing is definitely a lot cheaper than Singapore pub & bar. Oh yes, remember to take good care of yourself and your belonging items when you walk along the street of Nagoya Entertainment District.

Lucy’s Oar House Address:
Complex batam plaza blok d no 11-12, Nagoya Batam
Kepulauan riau 29432, Indonesia

Yong Kee Fish Soup in Batam
Let’s Eat! For Seafood and Fish Soup lovers, you should not miss this in Batam, Nagoya! Yong Kee, a very well-known restaurant operated for more than 20 years in Batam, serving the most savory rich fish soup and fresh seafood dishes to their customers. I in love with their refreshingly fish soup taste; thus it is a must eat dishes in Batam!

Yong Kee Seafood Address:
Komp. PT. Hup Seng, Jl. Kompleks Business Ceenter Blok A No 5-8,
Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia

Diana Layer Cakes in Batam
Let’s Buy! Kueh Lapis, Indonesian traditional snack. Last stop of our Batam trip, we took a taxi and arrived at the Diana Layer Cakes to buy some Kueh Lapis back to Singapore. Freshly baked Kueh Lapis taste heavenly and I totally love it! Each box of Kueh Lapis cost at 250,000 to 275,000rp at Diana Layer Cakes. There are total of three choice of flavour to suit your favourite taste. FYI, the word “Lapis” means “layers”!

Diana Layer Cakes Address:
Taman Seruni Indah Blok G No. 10, Batam Centre, 29432 batam

That’s all! For expenses, based from my experience it is recommended to change around $200-$250 SGD to RP. Hopefully our Batam Itinerary guide above will able to give you an adventurous and fruitful trip in Kota Batam Island.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Scrumptious Korean Galbi Jeongol at Yoogane Singapore

Yoogane Singapore introduces their new dishes’s Galbi Jeongol to kick off this coming Labour Day. It is a new Korean stew hotpot dishes pair along with the scrumptious soup base, marinated chicken, mushroom and variety of vegetables. Likewise, you are allowed to add-on their meat combo, seafood combo or vegetable combo with the choices of noodles and rice to fulfill your hungry stomach.

Pairing the cheese with ramen is one of the highly recommended as it giving the ramen a different noodles texture and taste. I like the feel of the cheese melting into my mouth with aftertaste that gives me the best food sensation. Alternative you can pair with either udon or rice too.

My verdict:
Yoogane restaurant is the perfect place to dine with group of friends as well as family. You can enjoy the mouthwatering Galbi Jeongol along with Soju or Yakult Soju whiles waiting for the food to get cooked.

The Yoogane new dishes’s Galbi Jeongol is costing at the starting price of S$59.90++ and will be available from 1 May 2016 at all Yoogane Singapore outlets.

Yoogane Singapore Restaurant Outlets:
200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction #02-47/48,
Singapore 188021

3 Gateway Drive, Westgate #03-08
Singapore 608532

Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm (daily)
Prices stated are subject to 10% Service Charge and 7% GST.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Perfect Personalized Bottle Pack Gift From BRAND’S

BRAND’S® Essence of Chicken is an iconic companion and a symbol of well being for generations over 180 years. Whether it is a boost before an examination or after a tiring day of work, a bottle of BRAND’S® Essence of Chicken nourishes us and carries us through the different stages of our lives.

With the BRAND’S® personalized bottle pack, we can surprise our families, friends and loved ones, anytime and anywhere. A thoughtful gift uplifts the spirit when you least expect it and nothing says it more warmly than a caring gift of health.

BRANDS® personalized bottle pack has been designed to include the opportunity to inject an extra dose of significance by personalizing heartfelt messages on the bottles or simply personalizing the gift with the name of the recipient imprinted on the label, as a keepsake. A set of personalized BRAND’S® bottles makes a thoughtful and meaningful gift. Even better, these personalized bottles are beautifully presented in a specially designed gift box.

The BRAND’S® Personalized Bottle Pack will be available from April 2016 at the e-commerce store, selling in 2 boxes of 3 BRAND’S® Essence of Chicken bottles (68ml), at the cost of $25.80.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

刑警兄弟: Buddy Cops Movie Review

What is going to happen if you found out that your “enemy” is going to be your “brother”? Well, Buddy Cops will show you the best way to change your life with your “Enemy” into “Family”. Directed by Director’s Peter Chik and produced by Eric Tsang (曾志伟), Buddy Cops is one of the most hilarious movies to laugh your days off in this summer.

The Hong Kong crime-comedy action movie featured lead-star like Bosco Wong, Kate Tsui, Jordan Chan, and Charmaine Fong showing the most typical yet entertaining story twist in this film. I personally like the comedy narrative and the climax of the movie. It contains of some sexual references behind a twist of complicated relationship but this is how it spikes the audiences with randomly laugh throughout the movie. I rate the Buddy Cops movie: 3.5/5 star. The Buddy Cops Movie will be releasing in Singapore on 21st April 2016 at the Shaw and Cathay Cinema Theatres.

Buddy Cops《刑警兄弟》Movie Synopsis:
Fei and Johnny are two rookie cops, raised in single-parent families. They are constantly bickering and can’t stand the presence of each other. Not only are they loggerheads at work, their lives further intertwined when each of their parent fell crazily in love and got married! Soon, the “brothers” are assigned to investigate a murder case that leads them to a big conspiracy, where hilarious happenings await.

Pen down your feelings this Mother’s Day with Pilot

The newest edition to the Namiki Chinkin Collection – the Cat and the Royal Rooster – is a beauty to behold but it comes at a price. Applying the highly-meticulous Chinkin technique with a special carving chisel, the pen is only yielded by artisans of extensive experience from start to finish. A pen befitting a spot in a museum, the Namiki Chinkin Cat and Royal Rooster is an art piece worth investing for mummy dearest even though we all know that no amount of investment could ever match to the time, love and care that was invested into your upbringing from a mother’s love.

Namiki Chinkin Cat
Cats hold a special relationship with Japan and its people. According to Japanese folklore, a cat once saved a feudal lord from being struck by lighting when it lured it with its tail – leading to the belief that cats possess protective powers. Regarded as a symbol of wealth and fertility, cats are highly treasured for preventing epidemics, getting rid of rats that transmit disease, and preying on mice that eat cereal crops.

Beautifully and softly depicted using Tenbori technique (Dot carving), the cat is seen sitting demurely with its eyes fixated on the foxtail grasses that is intricately carved out using Senbori technique (Liner carving) – displaying a playful side while exuding a graceful poise and elegant demeanour.

Namiki Chinkin Royal Rooster
Heralding in the dawn with its crowing, roosters are believed to dispel evil spirits as they chase darkness away with the light of day. Dating back to ancient times, cockfighting is said to be the world’s oldest spectator sport that is prevalent in almost every part of the world. In Japan’s ancient times during the Nara and Heian periods, cockfighting is also used for fortune-­‐‑telling –
eventually known as “Tori-­‐‑awase”, an event held at the Imperial court to mark the seasonal festival throughout Japan.

Delicately polished by the use of Senbori (Liner carving), the fighting cock is depicted full of zest and vigor with its assertive gaze, ready to pounce on its opponent.

The Namiki Chinkin Cat and Royal Rooster are available from March 2016, retailing at S$4,500 each (before GST).

Authorised Retailers and Distributors
No. 2 Orchard Turn
#04-14 ION Orchard
Singapore 238801

333A Orchard Road
#03-03 Mandarin Gallery Shopping Centre
Singapore 238867

231 Bain Street
#01-23 Bras Basah Complex
Singapore 180231

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2
Departure/Transit Lounge North (Airside)

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3
Departure/Transit Lounge South
#02-07, Terminal 3

Thursday, April 21, 2016

How did Acronis came up with their New Logo

About a year ago, Acronis carried out a rebranding effort and changed its logo as part of the strategy to create a new brand identity for the company. I directly participated in this exciting project, and would like to recount how it all happened.

Our CEO, Serguei Beloussov, made a decision to make numerous changes within the company, and that included updating our brand with a new logo. The task that was stated was simple enough:

During the process, two other important requirements came to light:
The logo should be made so that it could be drawn out by hand, and there needed
to be some sort of connection with our ’sister’ company, Parallels. And it would certainly be ideal if the logo stood for backup and data protection.

I was excited to design a new logo for such a successful and global company that had millions of customers in dozens of countries. I wanted to present worthy results. Furthermore, the task to make a new logo was, in fact, given to several designers from the USA, Denmark and Russia – not just me.

My first idea was a simple solution: drop the symbol and only keep the text portion of the logo. The designers from Denmark suggested an evolutionary approach – strip everything superfluous from the old logo – to transition to the new logo over time:

This approach was simple, easy, contemporary. A slight and subtle re-styling that also keeps continuity and consistency. But it wasn't that simple. Serguei didn't like it:

I began to strain my brain, striving to come up with new ideas. I wanted something light and modern, but at the same time not trivial. I tried to combine several attributes:

And an attempt to return to a classic style – with a modern coat-of-arms:

Gradually, something less trivial started taking shape. Here, for example, 
is a stack of clouds that looks like a building (it also looks like a sliced loaf of bread, although that wasn't part of my plans)

Then came some truly avant-garde ideas. For example, the idea to take everyday things and make them extra-reliable:

Beloussov liked the cloud/bread loaf idea, but after a while this response followed:

Frankly, I was relieved. Clouds represented as pictographs don't look very good, 
and don't always elicit the right connotations. Furthermore, millions of similar logos have already been designed this way. You only need to search for "cloud logo" online to see that.

The other designers and I continued working on new ideas and designs for the logo. The number of alternative designs grew, but it didn't bring us closer to a solution. Here are just a few of the logos we proposed:

The deadlines were fast-approaching, but anything truly of worth had yet to be offered. Then one day, thinking about backup, reliability and the letter "A", I had an idea: 
we can reflect the backup idea right inside the letter!

I also thought it would be cool if the emblem was actually a part of the logo. That way, we'd be able to avoid duplication of the first letter, so we wouldn't get "A Acronis".

As support for this idea, we made a poster demonstrating that you can never have too much security:

I liked the emblem myself. Plus, with this emblem we managed to meet almost all requirements that had been required for the new logo. I was holding my breath waiting for our CEO's reaction.

After the idea was approved, we had to choose an appropriate font. We were already pressed for time, so we had to act quickly. We decided to go with the “classics", and chose a slightly modified Helvetica with a playfully truncated "r".

And this was how the logo was revealed to the public. The responses were varied, 
but mostly positive. Large-scale work on introducing the logo began: the guidelines, 
the site, the documentation. 

Having "played around" with the new logo for a while, we realized we weren't completely satisfied with the chosen font. First, we would have liked to make the lines in the "A" have the same width. Plus, Serguei wanted the font to be as geometrically shaped as possible. We decided to slightly alter the font's outline and contacted a company that does lettering. At that point we had some more time, so after numerous iterations we had a result that was to everyone's satisfaction.
To make our colleagues take notice, we hung posters around the office that explained the meaning of the new company logo.

And eventually I saw a tweet from Serguei  saying he'd had the new Acronis sign tattooed on his shoulder. It became clear to me that the new logo is here to stay – for a while at least. First the new logo appeared on the Acronis website. Then it arrived to the company's offices, for example, in Singapore.

The German office sent us a picture of an car with the new Acronis logo

And numerous artifacts began to appear with the new Acronis branding, some of them pretty odd

A font is not something simple. At first I was skeptical about this idea. But then we turned to our font gurus, and they got to work. In the end, we got three magnificent outlines for our own font that go perfectly with the logo.

That's where the story ends - for now. 
But I'm certain there are many more exciting things to come.

Article Contribution: Denis Kortunov, 
Author of Acronis logo 
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