# Sunday, 31 December 2006

Well, here we are at the end of the year.

Hmmm.. I'd check back at my new year's resolutions but I think I lost that post during the shift to the new blog this year.

Well.. I do know one thing I managed to achieve this year. I got a child in the oven, and it's ready to pop at any moment!

Hmm.. I wonder what I should set for my new year's resolution this time! ;)

Sunday, 31 December 2006 21:05:10 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Just came back from the gynae, and seems like it's almost go time! The baby is considered term sized, his head is already in position for delivery. Doctor says it could be anywhere from 3rd to 29th of Jan 2007. If nothing happens after 29th of Jan, well.. it's time for induced labour then.

Anyway.. I've already got a plan ready. Once it's time, again I'll change my MSN connection status message and then sign in and out again so that everyone on my friends list will know that it's time to.. poll this website every now and then to check up on progress.

Hopefully nothing will be wrong with Maxis GPRS then.

I wonder if they'll have power plugs for me... I wonder if they have wireless broadband access there?

I want to bring the video camera but my wife says she'd rather force a C-Section on herself than have me tape the process. We'll see about that... ;)

Wednesday, 27 December 2006 22:36:54 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 24 December 2006


Sunday, 24 December 2006 10:56:46 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 

About a week ago I went to look for a wide angle lens for my camera, I found the rack with all the accesories on it, but they didn't mention which camera they were compatible with. So I flagged down a sales girl and asked her which lens was for my camera, she pointed to the rack I came from and said "The lens is over there." Which one? I asked, she said "It's right over there." I told her there's so many over there which one is it then?

Finally she decided to walk over to the rack, she seemed to point at random at one of the lenses and said "This one." I asked to test it. Without skipping a beat she pryed the box containing the lens open, pulled out the lens via a little slit on the box leaving her thumbprint on the lens and then immediately tried to jam it into my camera. Yikes, what a balant disregard for gear! I stopped her before she did any damage to my camera.

After she realised her boo boo, she searched through some brochures to find the proper lens for my camera. Turns out she WAS using the right lens, just that she didn't use the additional adapter rings found in the box which my camera needed. After she raped the box a 2nd time I finally confirmed that the lens worked for my camera. I asked about the price, it was a pretty high RM279 so I decided to think about it.

Fast Forward To Next Saturday

So after using the camera some more I decided Yeah... if I want to take shots of my baby which don't just comprise of his big head I'm gonna need a wide angle lens. So off to the same shop I went, I spied the lens on the rack then I spied the price tag on the rack... RM379!!! I nearly had a heart attack. I flagged down a sales girl and ask her about the price, she quickly realised the mistake. Then I told her I'm looking for a wide angle lens for my DCR-SR60, she helpfully points out that the VCL-HA06 which I was looking at can be used, OR... this other one, VCL-0630X could also be used. The kicker was, this alternative which she showed me, costs RM149. I asked to test the lens, she took the box to a table. Gently open the box, and then lightly gripping the lens by it's side and again gently screwed it into my camera's lens assembly. A stark constrast to what her colleague tried to do a week ago. So here's a sales girl that not only knows the product she's selling but also knows that the customer hates seeing gear being raped, very good!

So after the testing she asked me which one I wanted. Since she was such a nice girl I resisted my urge to say DUH!!

So here's the new lens.

And of course... here's the video shot with the lens.

Sunday, 24 December 2006 10:45:02 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 22 December 2006

The client of the windows application that I've been doing sent me a mail with a few questions. One of which was to ask if we developed everything completely by ourselves if not, are we using anything that has licensing implications. Nothing wrong with asking that, it was just that the reason they asked the question was because they see that there are a few files with .DLL extensions and thus were worried we were using unlicensed components. Presence of DLL files = Possible illegal use of components. I gotta note that down.

The mail also included a clause about the program. The client wanted us to GUARANTEE 100% that they're not violating any copyright/patents by providing the program to the users.

To that I replied in a much more clamer way... "NO FARKING WAY AM I GONNA PROMISE THAT!" While for the most part I can say that we didn't violate any copyrights, but I can't say that I 100% didn't, who knows.. maybe someone copyrighted the term for the application??? :P Then on patents, there's no way in hell I'm gonna promise no one's gonna sue them for patent infrigements. Who knows if someone might just dig out a patent for making applications which automatically update themselves and start suing everyone!

Friday, 22 December 2006 11:36:46 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 20 December 2006

So... I tried to login to the Citibank website again. I keyed in my frigging username and password, which as I mentioned in this previous post that they weren't making my life easy with remembering it.

So after that... I was greeted with this little text below.

Oh... my god... You've gotta be kidding me right?!?!?!?! It's not enough that you made me had to write down BOTH my username and password, now this? The problem with this line of questioning is... for some of the questions other people would know the answer, or easily infer it with a little social engineering. IE.. Where your parents were born, your parent's birthday, your first job. Heck.. maybe all this could be easily found out via a search on the various blogs I might have had previously!

There are some question which *might* be harder to find out but I might have a hard time remembering and thus, I'd need to write it down and... well we're back where we started!

Does this REALLY make it more secure? Or just inconvinience the user too much?

Wednesday, 20 December 2006 22:33:34 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 19 December 2006

We discovered a rat problem in the house the other day, so my mother decided to put out a cage, and also dumped some rat poison in a few strategic corners. The cage didn't catch anything but the rat poison disappeared.

2 days ago, a vile stench appeared in the kitchen, we deduced that it should be the rotten decaying corpse of a rat that was making it. But try as we might we just couldn't find it.

Every morning the stench grew stronger and every morning I kept trying to follow it's trail. And today I nailed it, I followed the stench into the washing machine area andit was putrid. I dunked my head into the washing machine, and it was nauseating! I pulled my head out of the machine and I smelt nothing, in... smelt horrible, out... fresh air. Yup... the stench was coming from there alright.

My father decided to check the bottom of the washing machine, and sure enough.. a pile of chewed on rat poison, and a pile of rat shit. As we were cleaning up the mess it dawned on me that rat poison sucks, the rat eats it, runs away puking and shitting all over the place and maybe, just maybe it might die outside your house.

I'm buying some decapitating rat traps.. or glue.. yes... glue...

Tuesday, 19 December 2006 10:07:54 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

One problem about uploading videos to sites like YouTube is that if you don't want people to find your video when people do a search on YouTube is that you have to label the video as private. Problem is, once you marked your video as private the only way people can see the video is if they're a member of YouTube and you added them to your friend's list.

Now with MSN SoapBox, you can finally do that. Once marked as private the video doesn't show up in search results anymore, but... anyone who knows the link to your video is still able to watch it though so you dont have to be embarassed about your baby videos showing up someone's search result. Or... videos of your messy table.

Anyway, after some more use of my video camera I realised that I'm probably going to be taking a lot of closeup shots of my kid. So I think I'm gonna need to get a wide angle lens for the camera, and those things just ain't too cheap. Although I do think it should be worth it since it'll be easier to take the many closeup shots that I will be taking. ;)

Tuesday, 19 December 2006 01:18:52 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, 18 December 2006

Isn't this the cutest pair of angry eyes you've ever seen? Maybe when I have more space for more of these things then only I'll get one.

Monday, 18 December 2006 00:14:50 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 16 December 2006

A few days ago I found myself stuck in a jam approaching the toll on the federal highway leading from Subang into Shah Alam. Stuck waiting at the cash lane I decided I might as well just go through the Touch And Go reload lane and reload my exhausted Touch & Go chip on my MyKad.

So after a short jam I reached the toll booth and passed the attendant my card and 20 bucks, after a while it seemed that the reload process was taking longer than usual... than after a minute later she started counting the money in her cash register, I started wondering what the heck was she doing since there was a LOT of cars waiting behind mine.

Then after a while later before I said "WTF are you doing over there?!?" She asked me if I ever reloaded my card at an RHB or Maybank ATM. I answered affirmatively, then she just said that my card can't be used anymore and I had to get a new one.

Just like that, she said my card was useless. Before I could even ask for more information the cars behind started honking! I knew if my card was blacklisted just because I reloaded at the ATM there was nothing much she could do anyway. So I left the toll feeling very puzzled.

Now the question is who do I call about my problem? I think I'm gonna get a very big run around about this.

Saturday, 16 December 2006 19:59:23 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 13 December 2006

If I can help it, this is the absolute last time that I'll involve myself in a project that creates a Windows application program for end user consumption as an ISV.

Basically I don't want to involve myself in a Windows application project which will be available to the general public via the internet. The scope of such a project is just too great for an ISV to handle, mainly in the areas of support and testing.

A Windows applicaiton requires much broader test enviroments unlike a web browser which typically just requires you surf your site with the different web browsers.

When something goes wrong and the application crashes, there's just so many things that could be the problem, maybe there's insufficient RAM? hard disk space? Antivirus program? Spyware? As an ISV it's really hard to offer support to the client's target users cause an ISV is typically not in the business of supporting large global deployments.

How's this different from making a program for a client's internal use? For one thing said client would already have it's own IT support infrastructure thus you don't have to worry about the things like helping the user run an antivirus scan, or wheter his RAM is faulty or not. It's much easier to get answers about the system configuration compared to having to get it from your typical home end user.

Yup... this is the last time..

Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00:07 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 12 December 2006

That's the equivalent of saying "We'd like it to work and look exactly the same across every single browser out there" for a Windows application.

It's not a problem writing a Windows application for Win98, .Net 2.0 installs and the programs runs just fine on the OS. The problem is what the client wants the program to do.

A Win98 machine typically has minimal memory, and yet the client wants the UI to look as snazzy as your typical skinned Windows application. So.. no problem I can whip up a skinend application engine, problem is.. what if the user doesn't even have enough RAM to hold all the resources needed to skin the interface?

The worse thing about it is when you try to explain this to the client they just never seem to understand the technical difficulties involved and instead just think the vendor is just trying to worm out of putting more effort into developing the program.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006 00:52:16 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 10 December 2006

It's been a week now, I think I 'm ready to talk about it now. It all started with me and my friends heading to PC Fair. They all wanted to buy a printer, me? I just wanted to look around. Then we passed by the Samsung booth and saw them selling quite a few types of laser printers.

Then this stack caught my eye.

It was advertising a laser printer for RM199... which all things considered, for a laser printer is well until that day I didn't see one sellling for RM199. So I asked the sales person how much did an extra toner cartridge cost for the printer, he said about RM250. Oh.. you mean I should just buy a few of these now right? :P

But in the end, it was just too alluring, RM199 for a laser printer which my wife could use for most of her document printing. Saving the liquid gold in the ink jet for photos. And one thing lead to another and well..

While we were walking to the car we all mentioned that this was just a bloody impulse buy.. and why the heck did we do it!?!?!

Sunday, 10 December 2006 21:55:34 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 08 December 2006

Dear Mi Mi,

If you feel like giving out fake numbers to people so that they don't call and annoy you, please give them some other number other than mine. I really don't like the idea of men with deep voices calling me at 1AM at night looking for you.

I don't like the idea of explaining to my wife why people are calling me at 1AM too!

Friday, 08 December 2006 01:16:00 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, 04 December 2006

My Toshiba M200's battery life has dropped drastically, I think it's at the end of it's legs already. With less than an hour's worth of battery life, it just isn't all that useful without a power plug anymore. And since Toshiba wasn't exactly helpful in wanting to provide me with a new one so I had to improvise.

It was PC Fair last weekend and I knew about a stall that sold external battery packs that would always be there and so... behold the glory of my slab of Lithium Ion power!

On the sticker of the slab it says this thing is good for 133WHrs, my notebook's own battery charger has a maximum rating of 60W (15V*4A). If my current draw is at maximum I should get about 2 hours of juice from the slab, but since I'll just throttle the power usage I should be able to get more from it. As an added bonus, it also comes with a USB port which you can plug in your typical USB charge cables for 5V goodness.

One complaint though, the power cable which connects the notebook to the battery is just too damn short. I'm gonna have to hack up a longer one. Also... The damn thing weighs 1.3kgs.

Monday, 04 December 2006 16:07:00 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 03 December 2006

So.. it's time for a new notebook... problem is that I can't get the Toshiba M400 Tablet PC with the 1400x1050 scren which I so DESPERATELY want on that system!

So my next choice was the Sony UX 280 or whatever that was in the small lovely form factor that has 1GB of RAM, cause the current one that we could get here, the Sony UX 17 had only 512MB RAM, and it's not upgradable!

Failing that I turned my sights to the slightly bigger Fujitsu P1610 which is basically a convertable notepad. It has a wider screen resolution than ths Sony UX at 1280x768. And.. the onboard 512MB RAM was UPGRADABLE!! So I could upgrade it to a more usable 1GB... IF I could find the MicroDIMM RAM modules which the thing uses!! This is so embarassing, looks like I read the site wrongly, the P1610 DOES indeed use normal DDR2 533Mhz SODIMs, yum yum!

Between power and portability.. which would it be?

Yet another update... it seems like the thing DOES INDEED use MicroDIMMs... and boy does it cost a LOT for 1GB of it!

Sunday, 03 December 2006 01:41:25 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |