# Saturday, 30 September 2006

Today I was at APIIT to do a presentation about the XBox 360, so I went through what  I did previously at MIND. Which was after a brief show of gameplay, I'd talk about other features of the 360. Friends list, downloadable content, various features of micro transactions, etc. etc. I noticed that the audience really didn't like it when I was talking about other things, there felt like an audible groan when they heard about stuff that cost money. They realy didn't seem to care much about the mechanics or business of selling micro transactions online.

They did however express a lot of attention and enthusiasm when I was playing trailers, game demos, etc. etc. I reflected on this issue when I got back home and realised... they are mostly full time students still studying and such, of course they wouldn't be that interested in the business side of things since it doesn't affect them yet. So I should have just shown lots and lots of games... and trailers.

Know your audience.. choose the right content!

Saturday, 30 September 2006 22:29:14 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Friday, 29 September 2006

Just discovered something interesting online a few days ago, Windows Vista will NOT support VS2k3 as a developement enviroment. That's just very very sad and bad news for me to hear. Cause developers are usually on the fore front of the technology curve and now there exists a great big STOP sign tellling me NOT to upgrade to Vista on the day of release!

When I read "Will not support VS2k3" I thought ok.. the program would run but there'd be no support if certain issues cropped up. To me this is an acceptable issue even though I know to a lot of people this is not. I know that the newlimited user security accesss would probably fark up a lot of low level programs so if they choose to concentrate to make VS2k5 work on it instead of VS 2k3 then fine, as long as I can still open up my old projects and compile them...

But this doesn't seem to be the case! According to a friend who has a Vista box with the latest build installed, trying to open a project causes an error to occur, rendering 2k3 useless under Vista.

This is unacceptable! Cause I have certain projects which cannot be moved to .Net 2.0 for the close future and if I can't work on them on Vista. Then Vista will have to wait then!

Friday, 29 September 2006 01:10:30 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 25 September 2006

So I got back from work today, and there's this Play Asia box waiting for me at home... aaaa, the thing I ordered a week ago has arrived. So I opened up the box and pull out the little toy waiting inside.

Suddenly my wife who was sitting on the sofa beside me said "The baby's responding to the mushroom." I asked her if she's sure, she told me that everything was nice and calm... until I pulled the mushroom out of the box.

I reseted the mushroom ontop of her stomach and watched as it bounced up and down a little as the fetus kicked inside her.

Aaaaaaa...  Prenatal education...

Monday, 25 September 2006 22:35:30 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [2]  | 

I thought one of the servers died over the weekend, even though you have all manner of backups in place I can't help holding my breath till I confirmed that the server was a ok and just needed a quick restart to get everything up and running again.

God.. I can get a heart attack like this.

Monday, 25 September 2006 11:30:05 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 19 September 2006

My old faithful Toshiba M200 has seen better days, it's battery life is but a distant memory.. at best it manages an hour.. maybe half more, at worse.. it doesn't even want to charge when I plug it in. As it has served me well in the past 2 years I've had it for I decided to reward it by extending it's usefulness and get another battery form Toshiba. I call up the service center and told the nice operator what I wanted. "I'm sorry sir, the part is out of stock" was the reply. Ok.. so how long and how much will it take to order one. I hear some hesitation on the other side of the line.

"12 Weeks, and it costs RM568."

I'm sorry.. did you just say I have to wait 3 months for a battery? "Yes, sir." After the initial shock I gathered myself and ask for a quotation on the only closest replacement model that I could think about.. The Toshiba M400, but after talking to the operator for a while it was evident that.. they didn't stock the version with model with the SXGA screen here, all they had was the crappy XGA screen! Nooooooooooo!!!! Disappointed.. I hung up the phone.

Then a few months ago.. the Sony UX17GP Ultra Portable PC appeared! The system was small... extremely portable,  had a decent display for it's size at 1024x600, Core Solo 1.2Ghz processor, hey.. not too shabby. But there was just one thing missing which stayed my hand from getting it. It only had 512MB of RAM onboard and there's no way to upgrade it. I can handle the smaller screen for portability, I can handle the slight hit in processor speed from my current 1.5Ghz to 1.2Ghz, but I can NOT handle anything less than 1GB of RAM!!

Again.. I was disappointed!

But.... now.. now there are rumours of a new UX unit popping up. And this time with 1GB of RAM!!! Very well then.. I shall wait and see how this one looks..

Tuesday, 19 September 2006 15:07:31 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 17 September 2006

The ingredients for your typical bad english movie either from the US.

  • Lots of explosion
  • Lots of heavy music
  • Lots of pretty ladies to look at
  • So you forget how lousy the story is

The ingredients for your typical bad chinese movie from China / HK

  • Lots of traditional music
  • Filled to the brim with so called artistic flair ala Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
  • The story is so convulted that critics will be arguing about for years.
  • The director will be talking about accepting awards in various art festivals.

The main similarity in both types of crappy movies is that both of them make you wonder Why the bloody hell did I pay money to watch this crap!?!?!?

Sunday, 17 September 2006 23:12:50 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 15 September 2006

The problem with making websites for clients is that sometimes you need to be the one to handle their webhosting for them. A few months ago we deployed a website for a client and everything was running perfectly until one day the client told us that they couldn't upload any new content. I did a quick check and found out that... write permissions to the folders have been turned off!

I call the webhost company and asked them what the heck was going on, and asked them to reset the permissions. Who then mentioned to me that I could also do that on the web control panel. Ok I replied, but who reset the permissions? The support person said it wasn't changed on their side (an expected answer!) and of course I didn't change it. I shruged the incident off and didn't think too much about it.

Until the write permissions got revoked AGAIN after a month, again I called support, again they said they didn't do it, again they couldn't give me an answer and kept INISISTING they didn't do it! Again I reseted the write permissions.

And again it happened about a month later... I'm getting tired of this...

Friday, 15 September 2006 13:53:56 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

Today my colleague showed me an interesting problem. He had a table cell which was supposed to be constrained to a certain width but the content kept running out of bounds and wouldn't wrap.

The table look something like this

monday tuesday wednesday thursday 

The table is supposed to be constrained to 150 pixel, so the correct one should look like this

monday tuesday wednesday thursday

So we were wondering what's wrong and I looked at the source of the page the browser was displaying, take note, this is the source on the CLIENT side, not your server side source. And I saw something interesting, this was what his td tag looked like.


I asked him the obvious question, why are you using &nbsp; as a space? He tells me that the data was entered as a comma and the client wants it to be displayed as a space so he did a simple string.replace on it. At first I didn't think too much about it since.. well it IS a space. That was until I remembered what nbsp stood for, non BREAKING space. Keyword here being non breaking, I guess that would mean that the browser will not word wrap on that space hence the name non breaking. So.. sure enough by replacing the &nbsp; with a simple space everything worked fine.

So.. the question now was why do we use nbsp in the first place? Well, for me it all began when I started learning HTML a long long time ago. I was wondering why I couldn't insert multiple spaces to space out a word like     this. This was of course when I was using Notepad to make my pages and I realised that browser would basically shrink multiple spaces into one. Then I used Dreamweaver and noticed that it could insert multiple spaces between words, so obviously I take a look at what got used to force the space and found my little friend &nbsp; and I've been using him as a forced space ever since.

So.. obviously now that I know that nbsp might not be the best way to force a space with in every situation I start looking for alternatives. I tried the most obvious one &#32; the ascii code for a space.. and it didn't work the browser collapsed repeats of those into a single space as well. I wonder if there really is an alternative to the dear old nbsp, not that it causes much problems lar!

Friday, 15 September 2006 01:15:25 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 14 September 2006

The gates are opened...

The date is set.. November 19th 2006

Oh... how long must we wait?

Thursday, 14 September 2006 23:12:41 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [3]  | 
# Monday, 11 September 2006

So.. now that the gender of the baby has been pretty much determined the next course of action is... the name.

Such an important decision, and one that I am going to lose much sleep over until I actually make a proper decision. Is it because that the wrong name would guide him down the wrong path? That a bad name gives off bad feng sui?

No.. I just don't want to give him a name that can be easily made fun of by his little kiddie friends next time. My wife tells me is impossible, but hey it's worth a try.

Contrary to what some of my friends think, at no point in time did I even think about naming my child any name of a video game characther.. gheeezzz.. see above point again!

Monday, 11 September 2006 23:57:04 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [6]  | 
# Wednesday, 06 September 2006

The doctor says that he's absolutely sure that this is a penis.

And with that, not only did I put a porno picture on my site. I also mentioned penis.. Hey that makes my site not safe for work until I put enough entires to push this off the front page!

[update] Just for you people who don't get it, this is a shot of the babies butt so that's his penis circled... unless it's a she and she's giving me the finger!

Wednesday, 06 September 2006 22:01:00 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [3]  | 
# Monday, 04 September 2006

Recently my neighbourhood has been invaded by a litter of cats and kittens, and they've just been shitting all over the place, climbing on top of cars, knocking over flower pots. The usual stuff, so I'm pretty much in an attack on sight phase with them.

This morning while I was getting ready for work I spotted a kitten rummaging through the trash, I planned to plant a nice boot to the booty on it and I started slowly creeping towards it. The kitten looked at me a few times but did not flee since I didn't do any sudden movements until I almost with in kicking range, at which point it looked at me and fled underneath a car.

Disappointed that my prey got away, I turned around and saw a big orange colored cat standing about a meter away from me.... MOMMY. It sneered at me, I sneered back, it ran away.

Next time I'll just throw my boot at the kitten instead of letting it's mother sneak up on me like that again.

Monday, 04 September 2006 13:32:08 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [7]  | 
# Sunday, 03 September 2006

At least that's how the old cliched term goes, but without a doubt there are people who can be corrupted by power.

Just saw an example recently, someone who I entrusted power to is just on a giant ego trip. Now he's just acting like he's the most important person in the world and totally forgetting what is all about anymore I think.


Sunday, 03 September 2006 20:21:26 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

As I mentioned before, I hate getting haircuts. Luckily instant haircut shacks like this have been sprouting around town

These places are a god send to people like me, they just cut your hair, no extra add on fluff like worrying about shampooing, styling etc. etc.

Problem is they just still keep asking all the questions like, would you like to slope or straight cut, side burns, tail or not?

I just want to say Cut my hair so I don't have to cut it in another few months again!

Sunday, 03 September 2006 00:42:31 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Saturday, 02 September 2006

I used to feel indifferent towards the Oracle database, since the only thing I knew about it was that it costs a whole LOT more than a MS SQL Server box and I figured well there's a lot of people using it it's gotta have some merits somewhere right?

Recently some of my colleagues were dealing with a project which required the use of an Oracle 10g database and the Oracle 10g AS. And I kept hearing horror stories of maintainence headaches, performance issues, and all sorts of crazy problems which I couldn't believe it when I heard it. At first I just thought my colleagues were just inexperienced with Oracle and were running into some teething problems.

Then I bumped into an old friend who was equally experienced in both the MS SQL Server camp and also Oracle databases as well, currently he seems to be working with Oracle servers mainly. So I decided to ask him a few questions about the problems my colleagues were facing and see what was his take on it. My questions are in bold followed by his answers below.

Installing An Oracle DB Requires A Certified Oracle DB Installer to do it, or else Oracle will not provide tech support.

Yup, why else do you think Oracle DB consultants are paid so highly. Oracle likes to make their programs look like technical marvels that require expert caretakers to take care of. (You need to fax in the installer's cert to the Oracle tech support department so they can verify you found the right person to do it. In our case the consultant came to the site, looked at the software & hardware he was to install and said he didn't know how to do it. My uncertified colleague told him to sit down and aid him in installation... brain dumping bastard!)

Changing any system parameter or configuration requires a reinstall of the database.

Not exactly, you CAN just edit the system configuration file. It's just that usually the complexity of the changes involved means you probably should just reinstall the damn system all over again. (For us the problem happened when the customer gave my colleagues the wrong IP address to be assigned to the server, a day was wasted reinstalling Oracle 10g, and AS)

Oracle AS only supports 256 simultaneous connections.

My friend is unfamiliar with AS but he says that in general anything else Oracle makes OTHER than the Database SUCKS! No one wants to use Oracle web server, email server, file server, etc. etc.

So I ask him the final most important question, performance for price which is better Oracle or MS SQL Server?

Oracle he replies, but only IF you buy a very high end specification database server, due to the fact that MS SQL Server performance encounters a performance bottleneck when running on said very high end specification database servers.

That would mean that if you're just running a simple say, one office, or even a medium sized web server. MS SQL gives you better value for money.

After all that I asked him why does he push Oracle in my face so much then if MS SQL seems to be a better buy. Didn't I tell you Oracle consultants make a lot of money? he replies.

Saturday, 02 September 2006 00:26:39 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |