Thursday 28 July 2016

Jason Wong

A short story before I talk about Jason Wong...

Earlier this week, the PlayStation Network blocked my credit card and, at the time of writing, is still performing background checks/clearances to determine whether I am using my credit card legitimately. I find this strange because this is the same credit card which I have continued to use throughout this week and the week before to purchase other items. In fact, prior to this PSN incident, I've never had any issues with online credit card purchases. I won't go into the full story because it was quite a frustrating ordeal. I'm over it now though.**

So, on Monday 25 July 2016, I told a person by the name of Jason Wong about my problem and asked him if he happened to have a solution to it.

Well of course he did. Jason immediately recommended that I go into JB-Hi Fi or Coles to buy a PSN Wallet top-up card so that I could skirt the issue of the credit card blockage.

That same day I duly obliged and went to JB-Hi Fi during my lunch break.

I came home that day and purchased the items I wanted on the PSN. It worked like a charm!

As I was browsing the PSN store, it occurred to me that this situation had a familiar feel to it. What was it? There was this nagging sense of déjà vu. And then this thought suddenly popped into my head:
This ISN'T the first time that Jason Wong has rescued you from a dilemma 
Yes, this was a minor problem here but he's helped you with bigger things in the past before - or have you forgotten?! 
So I had a massive guilt-trip and thought I should do a write-up for him sometime this week in appreciation of his friendship to me over the years.

Tribute to Jason Wong

During my university days, there were only two people I consistently consulted whenever I ran into brick walls.

These brick walls usually came in the form of struggling through assignments, exams and the daily chore of academic life.

One was a Kevin Ngo, whose write-up is sure to come soon.

The other was Wai Yin Jason Wong.

Now, this is not to say that everyone else was less worthy than these two. But they were people who confided in me and I confided in them.

Given their legendary status in terms of intelligence and university marks (both being honours students), I do not know why Kevin and Jason decided to help a mere mortal like me when I could offer very little, or indeed, anything in return. I obviously still tried my best, but in my view, there is no way that my contribution matched theirs.

Nonetheless I am grateful for their unwaivering help over the years. I can say with absolute conviction (and I'll look anyone in the eye) when I say that I would not have survived university without their help.


Jason Wong is a master of analysis. I'm not joking. And I know sometimes I tend to exaggerate, but this time I'm not exaggerating.

Jason will thoroughly break down every argument, every fact and detail. It was almost a pleasure to talk to him about studying for exams, practice exam questions and assignments as he would always be open to what I had to say; yet, obviously, his analysis always seemed to me to be more convincing than anything I could ever offer.

Jason's attention to detail and facts is prevalent in real life too.

Early on in our friendship, I remember back when I had Facebook I posted a picture of the interior of our family car at a petrol station, with seemingly very little information or detail to go off. I still do not know how he did this but Jason Wong commented words to the following effect:
"Andre, were you in the Blue Mountains when you took this photo? And is that a Holden Commodore?"
Sherlock Holmes had spoken. I must have replied something like:
Jason went on to explain how he had compared the design of the seat patterns with Google Images and how he had spotted a small street sign in the background of my photo.

I was pretty much stunned. This was only a sign of things to come...

Worthy mention: Benjamin Lay

During our uni days, Jason was generous and provided me with typed lecture notes to most of the classes we shared. On many an occasion, I had to skip half or all of the class to attend part-time work.

It is at this point that another name must be mentioned here.

Jason's partner-in-crime was Ben Lay, who possessed an incredible typing rate and memory.

I recall sitting in class next to Ben and observing how he typed his notes.

Ben was typing/summarising what the lecturer said one to two lines ago WHILST listening to what the lecturer was currently saying. It was amazing. It was like he was recording the lecture in his head and displaying it on his laptop screen with a 5-10 second time delay. Ben was consistently doing this with little sign of forgetting or stopping mid-way.

Ben and Jason always helped each other out. I respected and admired that. This was clearly a bond that had been built over many years.

Talk about "Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are." (Not applicable to me)


Jason is an interesting character with a different outlook of life.

In terms of video games, we usually can only agree to disagree on what are good games. I like Advance Wars 2, he doesn't. He likes Need For Speed, I don't.

However we do have a few things we can agree on: our love of Final FantasyUncharted and The Last Of Us. Although I am not as big a fan of  Final Fantasy as I used to be, we can both certainly vouch for the series' music and general appeal to its fans.

Overall Jason has high standards for almost everything and is pretty hard to please because he brings his analytical skills to the table wherever he goes, so he ends up dissecting topics like he would an assignment.

For example, I know that, apart from F1, tennis is one of the few sports he thoroughly enjoys because of its 'sensible and logical structure' - both sides get a chance to serve; both sides get a chance to break serve. Fair is fair. I had never looked at sport that way before. I just say whether I like it or not.

Thank you

Jason I'd like to thank you for helping me out over these years and for our varied and amusing conversations. May it live long and prosper.

I wish you all the best for everything, and I know you will do well in your chosen calling in life.


Andre Lim

** On one view, given the 2011 hacking incident, I can understand why the PSN has gone berserk with policing security. On the other hand, judging from a quick internet search of the same problem, you can see that a lot of users have been affected by this problem (where accounts were blocked from paying for items for a good 24-48 hours) and people were obviously not happy. I think it has tipped too far down the negative end. If they wanted to check my credit card they should 1) have reasonable grounds for checking it and 2) given me notice that they would be checking my card. Instead, I had to contact them about it and it took them a fair while to get to the core issue.

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