# Friday, 30 March 2007

There was a big news around the world of Windows Mobile devices today, Microsoft announced DeepFish which is portrayed as a new browser for Windows Mobile devices which allow them to surf the normal desktop web more efficently.


Why can I say that I'm disappointed even though I didn't manage to get into the Beta? Because after going through the descriptions on the site it was obvious to me that DeepFish is just a very advanced PROXY RENDERING service. And that's the nice way of saying it, the not so nice way of saying it is that DeepFish is a extermely advanced PROXY SERVER.

So... how does DeepFish work? First of all, DeepFish is NOT really a browser, when you navigate to a URL what the program does is that it'll connect to the DeepFish server and tell it to retrieve the URL, the server will then generate a pictorial representation of the image as if it was viewed on the desktop and send it back down to the client program on your Windows Mobile device. That's a very simplify way of saying how it works, there are of course hooks to allow for HTML form filling, navigation, etc. etc.

The immediate problem with this is that since the server generates an image and returns it to the client, any form of interactive content, ie. Flash, AJAX, movies, etc. etc. Won't work. But that's not why I'm disappointed with DeepFish.

The reason why I'm disappointed with DeepFish is that like ALL Proxy services, everything you enter onto a form, every page you browse, anything you seen, submitted, etc. etc. will get passed to the service, and that opens up a HUGE can of worms in the aspect of privacy issues.

I'm disappointed because even though this is a cool idea, this will never be able to take off and become a real usable product for the masses! Why? Simple, like I mentioned, DeepFish is a proxy service, EVERY SINGLE REQUEST goes through the proxy service. The sheer bandwidth and computing power required to service users should this become an actual released product would be too immense to be able offer it for free. (Why else do you think the beta is LIMITED? There's probably only half a dozen servers serving requests right now.) And I don't see how willing people would be in paying a subscription fee for this.

What DeepFish *should* be is to bring the web page image composition engine from the server and put it directly onto the device so there's no need for a proxy service. But the problem with that is resources on a typical Windows Mobile device are highly limited so it'd take some pretty funky coding to be able to get such an engine to work on a typical Windows Mobile device and still be able to give the users a satisfying browsing experience. I *hope* that someone in MS is striving to give Windows Mobile devices a REAL actual Web Browser.

Deepfish is a cool tech demo, but if the ultimate destination for the team is to deliver an advanced proxy server instead of an advanced web browser for Windows Mobile... please guys.. just pull up this DeepFish and slaugther it for sushi before it stinks up the place.

Friday, 30 March 2007 01:45:55 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [3]  | 
# Thursday, 29 March 2007

As a software developer where my code is my life, I have to ensure that my code is always properly backed up. In order to make sure that everything important can be backed up easily and properly, the first thing you need to do is to ensure that all your important stuff all fall under ONE folder/drive, this is so when you do your backups all you need to do is to target that ONE location and all your stuff will be backed up properly. A few things to note as a developer is that :-

    • IIS Folder :- By default your IIS Folder is in C:\Inetpub\wwwroot, ensure that your IIS folder is inside your central folder or you might loose all your ASP.Net projects.
    • SQL Server :- Make sure you keep all your databases in one same folder, but then moving them around is a pain in the butt cause SQL Server doesn't like it when the MDF path changes if you move the files around without detaching them first.

After you've sorted out where to keep your files next you'll need to decide on which backup tool to use. You could of course, always just plainly use XCopy... but that's probably gonna kill you once you have a few GiGs worth of files. I've heard of a few free and simple tools that are out there for backup, but I've been using the free Microsoft Sync Toy syncronization tol and it worked pretty well for me.

Just recently I also learned of.. ROBOCOPY.. a included utility in Windows Vista and part of the freely downloadable Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit think of it as an extremely powerful file copying program with enough features to make it quite useful as a backup utility, since it's a command line program it takes a bit of experimentation to find the right switches.

But more recently I've gotten the opportunity of beta testing Windows Home Server and it's looking to become an indispensable device to have at home. Read the article linked at the hyperlink for details, I'll talk more about it in a later post but now I have a laptop to migrate to.

Thursday, 29 March 2007 23:17:20 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Well.. he's not crying anymore... though he did use all every single pillow on the bed. The little spot on his forehead is a little pimple that poped up a day ago, wonder how loudly would he cry when he accidentally pops it.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007 21:44:18 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Will do anything to make sure that a baby rocked to sleep STAYS asleep!

WARNING : Indecent content alert. Oh yeah.. those people can't see this site anymore.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007 22:42:03 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 25 March 2007


I managed to catch this shot of Wen Zhern lifting his head up, actually before I ran to the camera, trip over a chair, cursed, and ran back to the bed he had his head fully up at about 90 degrees. After I took the shot his head plopped down and he  slept, must have used up all his energy just to fight gravity. :P

classic case of how babies try to reattack a fallen pacifier, fail, yet feel content that something is in their mouths. :P

Sunday, 25 March 2007 14:17:22 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 24 March 2007

When your parents are helping you take care of your baby, it's inevitable you'll run into situations where you tell your parents "no no no, you don't do it this way" and your parents then respond to you "I did this when you were a baby, you came out just right didn't you?" And then you really can't do anything but shut up.

So far this is what I've noticed.

  • Don't try to do full breast feeding unless the mother is literally overflowing with milk, else the grand parents will just keep saying their grand child ain't getting fed enough.
  • Nowadays, baby bottle teats are made of silicon as well as the traditional latex. If your baby has any problems sucking from the bottle, the grand parents will comment that the teat is too hard cause silicon feels tougher than the latex teat which they fed you with. Then finally you realize that the actual problem is that your baby needs a teat with more holes in it.
  • Your baby's pacifier keeps dropping, the grand parents take a look at it and says that it's too small/short compared to what you were using last time. You go to the shop and take a good close look at all the pacifiers in the market now. And all of them are small and short, must be because they realized previous pacifiers were too large and choked the baby.

Saturday, 24 March 2007 23:32:25 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

Ok.. so I got weak and bought the Dream Chick cause I was curious at what it can do. And I just got it in the mail today.

I was a bit disappointed to find out that it is only able to chirp randomly, and every now and then it flaps it's tiny little wings a little bit, and that's pretty much what it can do, it's beak doesn't even open. But then, what are you expecting from something powered by 3 button cells?

I guess if you think of it more like a relaxation aid than a tamagotchi it has a better proposation. Normally it's off until you pick it up, then for the next minute and a half it'll randomly chirp, flap wings and try to act like a real chick.

Anyway, aside from the fact that it doesn't do squat, it LOOKs pretty good, like a little stuffed chick. It's also much bigger than I expected, the egg capsule is as tall as a can of Coke.

Damn imitation feathers/fur like to fall off though so won't be showing this to Wen Zhern for a while.

Recommended for people who like stuff animals, not recommended for people who's expecting a Tamagotchi.

Saturday, 24 March 2007 15:40:07 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 23 March 2007

When you give them the bottle while they're sleeping, and yet they can finish the whole bottle, get burped and placed back in the crib without ever waking up?

Another question is why do baby formulae company BURY the measuring spoon inside the formulae, how did they expect you to take out the spoon without contaminating the milk powder?

Friday, 23 March 2007 01:35:10 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 21 March 2007

So... the Windows application which I have been talking about on my blog for the past few months is going to be released very soon.

It's going to be a freaking disaster!!!!

Mass testing didn't happen at all, I advised the client to get as much people as possible to install and test the prerelease version, but their as much people as possible turned out to be less than a dozen.

And thus, little weird problems that occur when software meets weird software installed on OS are only NOW being discovered.

It's gonna be a disaster!

Wednesday, 21 March 2007 16:25:06 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 20 March 2007

And the most dangerous one to sleep in.

Just look at the shape of those lips, I wonder if it's gonna stay that way?

Seriously though, sleeping like this is a risk that the baby might turn face down and sufficate himself, so I have to monitor him constantly while he sleeps like this. But he does sleep much much better this way though.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007 21:31:33 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 19 March 2007

Mommy's going back to work on Monday... time to see how wasted we both get when we have to wakeup in the middle of the night AND go to work in the morning.

Monday, 19 March 2007 00:15:31 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 15 March 2007

And so it begins, the path towards the end. The final migration towards the new Fujitsu 1610, now that I'm pretty satisfied with the stability of my Vista system. I have started the final step towards moving all my data and stuff from the M200 over to the 1610, starting with the most important details first.

My Outlook PSTs

After copying the files over, setting up my email accounts, rules, etc. etc. Synched my phone to the machine and everything seems to be working out just fine.

So... next... will be my projects, just let me clear out my final .Net 1.1 project.

Thursday, 15 March 2007 22:45:34 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

There are some things that just rub your so much wondering what the heck it is. Like this Dream Chick for instance. What is it? Is it a tamagotchi? Is it an animatronic robot? Does it just chirp, does it walk like a real chick? I'm just dying to find out.

Thursday, 15 March 2007 15:26:36 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 14 March 2007

My friend and local Microsoft RD Fun Jin also did a presentation the same day I did my Windows Vista one. His presentation highlighted how dangerous and effective malicious backdoor trojans can be, and how in Windows Vista you are better protected but not invulnerable thanks to the new technologies.

I managed to get a video recording of his session, I didn't have any space to move around hence the fixed camera angle but hopefully you can gather enough from his speech, and here it is.. in 3 parts again. Soapbox team.. we gotta talk. :P

Vista vs XP Hack Attempt
Vista vs XP Hack Attempt Part 1 Of 3

Vista vs XP Hack Attempt
Vista vs XP Hack Attempt Part 2 Of 3

Vista vs XP Hack Attempt
Vista vs XP Hack Attempt Part 3 Of 3

Wednesday, 14 March 2007 22:37:54 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

I did a presentation about Windows Vista during the March 3rd MIND Gathering, I touched about what editions are there in Vista, talked about my problems upgrading to Vista, LUA headaches, and Speech Recognition! Now I've finally managed to upload everything to SoapBox, in 3 pieces though.

Presentation About Vista - Part 1
Presentation About Vista - Part 1

Presentation About Vista - Part 2
Presentation About Vista - Part 2

Presentation About Vista - Part 3
Presentation About Vista - Part 3

I guess if enough people ask for it I *might* put up the 90MB source file to this.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007 14:30:53 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

Somehow I think the Soapbox backend doesn't handle long videos very well even if the source is less than 100MB in size. Cause after breaking up my presentation video into 20 minute chunks finally they're ready for viewing! Links to follow in next post.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007 14:14:37 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Somehow I don't think SoapBox likes videos that are 50 minutes in length, I think I'll try splitting my presentation video into 2 and then see how it goes.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007 21:26:45 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 12 March 2007

Did uploading 2 giant 45 min (~90MB) videos into Soapbox kill my video queue? Cause it's been 12 hours now and my videos are STILL being listed as being processed! :P

Monday, 12 March 2007 22:13:08 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

My 50 minute video has been processing in Soapbox for about 4 hours, did I kill the system or something?

Monday, 12 March 2007 14:47:30 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

Video is all the rage now after being pioneered by YouTube, now more and more players are coming into play. As you would have noticed I'm using a lot of MSN Soapbox, not because it's a Microsoft thing but mainly because it allows me to upload videos longer than 10 mins, compared to Youtube which will only remove the 10 min cap if you have a Director's account... and I'm no Director. :P

The problem with video is, it's so BIIIGGGG.. even though I can upload something longer than 10 mins onto SoapBox, there's a 100MB cap on the filesize. So I need to tweak my video files so that they stay quite viewable and still smaller than 100MB.

For the past weekend I've been trying to upload the Vista presentation I did for MIND, it's a 50 min video, and I managed to get it down to a 90MB. The uploads kept failing and failing and failing, I need to congratulate TMNet for giving me such a hard time cause.. this morning I come into office and do the upload and viola.. it just worked... now I'm waiting for Soapbox to finish processing my video so I can put it up.

Monday, 12 March 2007 11:10:20 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 11 March 2007

AJAX is the current in thing to do with interactive webpages, there's no lack of free frameworks available out there for achieving AJAX functionality in your webpages. Typically an AJAX framework will help you easily map out and call a function on your server side pages so you can do a query to a DB, perform an action, and then return the results to the client browser without incurring a post back.

The problem was.. AFTER you got the results back, how are you going to update the page? In order to present the results you had to be pretty well versed in manipulating the HTML DOM to rebuild say.. a table of query results, and that was the usual stumbling block when someone wanted to implement AJAX functionality on their webpages.

Then Microsoft released the ASP.Net 2.0 AJAX Extensions, which used a very neat *trick* to solve the update problem. With the AJAX Extensions installed, you first code everything JUST AS YOU WOULD NORMALLY and this is important, for the most part you don't need to change a thing on how you code. Then you identify which controls require to be dynamically updated and put them into a container control called the UpdatePanel and like magic, the control now updates without a post back!

And what I find to be the coolest feature of the Extensios toolkit? If for some reason the user disabled Javascript on their browser, or the browser doesn't support the javascript required to dynamically update your page. He can still have access to all the functions of your page because it would just post back normally instead of being dynamically updated so you don't have to worry about compatibility with lesser browsers!

Of course that's a very simple description of the magic that happens, but if you're an ASP.Net 2.0 programmer you owe it to yourself to check out the extensions TODAY! ;)

Sunday, 11 March 2007 00:33:33 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 10 March 2007

One of the most mentioned features which Windows Vista has is the ability to use external flash memory as an additional cahce to speed up your system, aka. ReadyBoost, when I talk about ReadyBoost with people I always tell them that not every thumbdrive or memory out there would work as the link mentions.

So here's a quick low down of what I have used that is ReadyBoost capable. From top to bottom, left to right.

EDIT : One last thing that I need to mention... the media might have worked as a ReadyBoost source on my system.. but it might not work in yours... when in doubt, disconnect, and reconnect the drive a few times and see.

Kingston 4GB Data Traveler II Plus Migo - I had to format the stick to FAT32 and then run the readyboost test a few times, then only it detects as readyboost capable, and sometimes after my machine comes out of hibernation with the stick connected it doesn't detect as readyboost capable anymore. So I guess you'll just have to be a bit wary about using this as a ReadyBoost device. That said... do you know how cheap 4GB thumbdrives are now?? Bloody hell!!!

Kingston 2GB Data Traveler Mini - Haven't tried it with ReadyBoost enough to see how well it works, I can only say it does detect as ReadyBoost capable and that's all I can say about it.

Sony Microvault Tiny 1GB - This is what I put into my wife's old Fujitsu P5010, it's actually quite suitable as a ReadyBoost device, it's small, flat, easy to carry around with your notebook. Just one strange problem though.... every now the entire contents of the drive go missing, but the space is still shown as used.... and I have on idea why that's happening!

TwinMos 1GB Ultra-X SD Card - I use this in my Fujitsu P1610's SD card slot as it's ReadyBoost device, no problems so far, it works..

Kingston 1GB MicroSD Card :- When used in conjunction with either the InnoDisk USB MicroSD Reader or it's own MicroSD to SD Adapter the MicroSD card works well as a ReadyBoost device.

Gear | Vista
Saturday, 10 March 2007 15:38:14 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

I *could* just register a Flickr account, but where's the fun in that?

So... sleeping babies are cute...

Till you realized they've slept on their pacifier and they're gonna get a nice red mark on their cheek in a while! ;)

One thing you'll realize pretty soon after becoming a parent is that babies can simply fall asleep anywhere, anytime, and once they're asleep you can't do much to wake them up.

Even if you're burping them and fold them into weird positions.

Saturday, 10 March 2007 14:24:39 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 08 March 2007

Finally I've got every single one of them.... I really shouldn't do this too often.

Thursday, 08 March 2007 22:16:39 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

All of you developers who are running VS2005 on Vista, the update pack has been RTM'ed. Do pick it up to ensure a smoother experience with VS2k5 on Vista, do remember to set Run As Administrator on your devenv.exe as well of course!

Thursday, 08 March 2007 10:07:46 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
Here it is, the longest entry EVER posted on this blog, a pictorial guide to my new Fujitsu P1610

Gear | UMPC | P1610
Thursday, 08 March 2007 00:34:21 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 07 March 2007

I mentioned previously that a few posts were the cause of my site being banned from being viewed in his company.

But those posts seem harmless enough to anyone who read it, which of course made me pressure my friend into finding exactly what content was objectionable in those posts.

And he managed to find out.

Seems like some of the young mothers after reading those posts feel that I'm disrespecting my wife and my kid in those posts....

To those women, I can only say... "GET A GRIP!!!" I'm disrespecting my wife in my posts? On what basis did you arrive on such a judgement?

Because I mentioned that when women are about to deliver they feel like shitting? That's what my wife and my mother tell me, so what's wrong with that?

Because like any 1st time father I was wiling to go to any bounds to try and record my child's birth? What's wrong with that?

Because I made her take a breath of NOS? It's NOS, one short breath ain't gonna do anything. Why didn't I just do it to myself? Cause I might not have be able to see what the mechanism was if I used it myself.

But then again, you women will not be able to see all this? Why? Because you got my site banned!

Wednesday, 07 March 2007 00:54:01 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 
# Tuesday, 06 March 2007

I got my hand on a few more of the Super Mario Sound Drops, and one of them have a neat feature.

Tuesday, 06 March 2007 12:51:38 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [3]  | 
# Monday, 05 March 2007

The hardest thing to do when you're a parent is all the conflicting advice you hear from other parents. Take for example the humble pacifier, on one hand people say that it's bad for the baby's teeth, causes air in their stomachs, they get addicted to it, etc. etc.

On the other hand some parents think it's a god send since it acts like a mute button when your baby is bawling for no good reason.

So... what would YOU do, just keep letting the baby cry till he stops, or just stick it to him? :P

Monday, 05 March 2007 12:11:39 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

Ok.. my friend has found out exactly what kind of objectionable content caused my domain to be banned from being viewed in their office.

A sampling of the objectionable posts are...

It's Go Time.. almost
What Happened this morning.
It's A Week Now!

So now, all you curious people know why marauderzstuff.com is banned from some company. I leave it up to you the reader to figure out exactly which of the content is objectionable. ;)

Monday, 05 March 2007 12:01:22 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 04 March 2007

SQL2k5CE was released a while back and only now I'm getting around to talking about it, ah well better late than never.

What is SQL2k5CE? Quite simply, it's a free, stand alone, high performance database which you can use for both your desktop .Net 2.0 applications as well as your .Net Compact Framework 2.0 applications.

It's a stand alone database and thus you don't need to install anything as a service on the destination system, the database component DLLs are deployed along with your program and no seperate installation or setup is needed.

The closest analogy the SQL2k5CE would have to be.. an Access database. Previously if you were writing a simple program that needed a database but you didn't want to invovle the hassle of installing a service like MSDE you'd use a JET database, or what's commonly known as an Access database, or... MDB file.

You should consider switching to SQL2k5CE if you don't have a real reason to stick with an Access database, since it's much more easier to deploy and the coding method is more similar to coding against a real sized SQL Server to allow for easier migration.

Sunday, 04 March 2007 15:08:53 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

So errmm...  my friend checked in with his network department and it seems like people in his company have been filing complaints about my site having objectionable content since December.

This is incredible.. I get like oh.. 15 views from real people a day and STILL my site gets banned for objectionable content..

So does anyone have any idea what sort of objectionable content I put on my site?

Sunday, 04 March 2007 13:30:11 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 03 March 2007

I just gotten news that my domain has been BANNED from being viewed at someone's office. I wonder what manner of atrocious content did I post to provoke such an action?

Saturday, 03 March 2007 18:35:50 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 01 March 2007

I'm gonna be giving a little presentation about Windows Vista in this Saturday's MIND gathering.

I'll touch a bit about the perils of upgrading from an existing system to Windows Vista, then go into talking about the various features of Vista which are a bit less known and talked about, like the touch screen design implementation, and Speech Control!!

If you wanna see the event, do visit the page and send in the registration email (KLCC security is very bitchy about people walking in on weekends)

Note : I'm not saying you can't walk in, just that it might be a bit troublesome, but supposedlly everything should have been worked out with security and you too can come and stand a chance to win an ultimate edition!

Thursday, 01 March 2007 23:08:30 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  |