Review and partial teardown of Fairphone 3

I was in the market recently for a new phone as I had to give my previous Google Pixel 2 away to a family member in need of one. With the emphasis these days on sustainability and environmentally-conscious purchasing, the Fairphone 3 came up at the very top of my research.

From the marketing words of this social enterprise, “Recycled and fair materials”, “Modular and repairable design”, “A commitment to fairness” and 10/10 score on iFixit’s Repairability Rating, I was sold!

Notice that contents of the box is just the phone, instruction manual and a screwdriver! I’m totally cool with this, don’t ship the cable and charger unless you need it.

I went ahead to purchase and it arrived a few days ago. So after a few days of usage and some itchy hands with the screwdriver, I’ll sum things up with this blog post!

Many reviews have already been posted online so much so that Fairphone has a curated list of reviews. Nevertheless, I shall share my thoughts on those aspects that I felt are important to me.


Trivia Questions asked during GeekcampSG 2019

I was the emcee in GeekcampSG 2019. I asked a total of 66 trivia questions in the effort and excuse to give out leftover plushies from the previous Geekcamp 2018+.

These questions spanned topics from Singapore, Science, Fiction, Computing, Retro-tech and miscellaneous general knowledge. Topics I feel would appeal to a stereotypical geek audience and someone like myself. Try to see how many you can answer.

Trust me, the collating of these questions and researching their answers took over a period of several years to prepare for such a day. It was fun to finally see the fruits of my labour. Coming up with questions that can’t be too easy that everyone knows the answer or too hard that no one knows is difficult. Fortunately for me, at least 3/4 of the questions could be answered correctly by at least one person.

The answers are rendered invisible in white font so you can highlight them to reveal the correct answer.


Considerations on picking a Flight school for PPL – A Singaporean perspective

A private pilot once told me “when you write about your private pilot experience online, be prepared to be deluged by plenty of people asking you about your experience and picking flight schools”. I initially didn’t believe him, but after writing many blog posts on this topic, I’m forced to eat my words after receiving many direct messages.

After interacting with more than a dozen people, I realised most of the questions generally revolve around the following which I shall collate here to avoid repeating myself again and again. There are many much more qualified and more experienced people who can write on these topics but I can’t find such topics discussed in the way that would have suited my needs. Hence this post.

FAQ I get

  1. Should I learn in Singapore, Malaysia, USA, Australia or X?
  2. How much does did it cost for your PPL so I can budget?
  3. Why did you take so many hours to solo and pass your checkride? I thought one usually solos in 10-20 hours and checkride in 35/40 hours? Why should I listen to you? I don’t want to be like you take so long and spend 2.5 months in the US.
  4. So what is a Part 61 or Part 141 school?
  5. Can I do a Part 61 program under a Part 141 school?
  6. Can you recommend me a flight school to go to? What do you think of this X/Y/Z flight school? Do you think I should go there?
  7. This school (in some rural place) quotes a lower price and faster time compared to these other schools. Should I take that option?
  8. Should I follow your Flightschool.SG/SDFTI route?
  9. I’m stuck at this FAA/TSA website. Please help me!
  10. Is the theory difficult?
  11. Is flying really that hard? I’ve been playing Microsoft Flight Simulator all my life. I have flown simulated Cessnas, Boeing 747s and even engaged in dogfights with F-16s.
  12. Can I learn a bit locally say at Seletar Flying Club then go to the US to continue so I don’t have to spend a long time there?
  13. Can I convert an FAA (or any other) PPL to CAAS PPL?


Stock take for my last birthday in my 20s

Today marks the last year of my 20s. My true age has always surprised people whom I just met. Yeah, I’m actually not that young already. So stock take for what was an amazing year for me!


Teardown of NDP2019 LED wristband

3 years ago, I tore down the NDP 2016 LED wristband as I got one during the Singapore National Day Parade (NDP) Preview. 3 years later, I got another one during the NDP preview held on 28 July 2019.

Board internals

Band in original condition

So time for another teardown!

Wristbands in action!

Let’s see how the wristbands perform during the event!

Blue, white, yellow LED

Thousands of bands were synchronised to blink at the same time. Notice that the performers’ drums also blink at the same time.


Flight trip to Malacca and back to Singapore

I told a friend I was heading to Malacca over the weekend. Asked how I was going there. Car? Bus? Train? Don’t tell me boat? How about PLANE!

Seletar Flying Club (SFC) had a navigation trip planned for Malacca and back on 13 July 2019. For this trip, I had a “heavily-subsidised” backseat ride on a modern air-conditioned Diamond DA-40.

I will then fly the return trip on SFC’s Piper Warrior under the guidance of safety pilot Dr Fadzil! I was eager also as I have not flown a cross-country flight since I finished my PPL.

This was an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse.

The Plane!

The pilot SFC president Wei Siang and safety pilot Jason doing the preflight-inspection of the sleek plane while I just observe.


Notes on flying in Seletar Airport and Singapore Training Areas

Having obtained my FAA PPL earlier this year, I decided to join Seletar Flying Club (SFC) to maintain my flying proficiency and to also rent aircraft to bring friends and family up to the skies.

Before I can rent SFC’s planes to fly others, I have to complete a checkout flight with the club’s instructor to familiarise myself with SFC’s planes as well as the Singapore’s airspace and local procedures at Seletar Airport.

From left, SFC’s instructor Eric, myself and my training buddy Davinder when I was in the US.

After all, my knowledge have all been based on the way the Americans (FAA) do things which will likely differ from how Singapore (ICAO) work.

This blog post was originally meant for my personal notes for how does a General Aviation pilot fly within Singapore from Seletar Airport but I thought why not share it as well as such information seems to be quite scarce online. I’ll also try to list out the differences I learned between FAA and ICAO style.


Conference Emcee Experience: GopherconSG 2019

If you asked me 2 months ago whether I would be a conference emcee, the answer would be a clear no. But here 2 months later, I managed to pull off being the conference emcee at GopherconSG 2019.

Making the initial welcome address to the audience before passing over to the Conference Chairperson Sau Sheong.