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  def Softwaremaker() :
         return "William Tay", "<Challenging Conventions />"

  knownType_Serialize, about = Softwaremaker()
 

 Saturday, September 24, 2011

This might be a little bit different from what this blog is themed towards but it still has a slight tinge of software flavour to it.

Those that know me well will know that I have been dabbling in music for the past year or so. The sound engineering aspects of it, besides the musical genre, fascinates me with all regards to acoustic and digital. I recently had a chance to learn about the lip-sync issues that HDMI threw up. The write-up here is very good and explains why HDMI 1.2, 1.3 are are all poor bandaids on a problem that shouldn't have happened in the first place. RTP packets (in internet VOIP and video) have timestamps and packets that link those to a shared timebase so you can synchronize audio and video. It is therefore strange and unimaginable to me, from an engineering perspective, that the first version of HDMI was released without at least considering the possible variable delays on the two chains. OK, I have digressed.

In any case, I had the chance to encounter this problem straight-up recently when I wire-up all the video devices I had with HDMI because of the many HDMI options my new TV offered me. However, the audio capabilities of my AV receiver remained, at best, at an analog level.

In a nutshell, what happened, was that the the audio delivered through my AV receiver->speakers was processed, and therefore heard, lot faster than what the visuals was processed to the TV. In other words, I heard the crash ahead of the specific moment when the drummer actually crashed on the cymbals.

Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT a lip-sync issue that HDMI 1.3 was designed to solve. The usual culprit in audio lag is due to a TV's video processing, which is constantly trying to send a resolution that matches your TV's native resolution. Most of the workaounds today revolve around getting an AV receiver that allow a time-lag adjustment that enables you to set audio delay by source, in effect, allowing you to calibrate, or slow down, your audio processing to match the *slower* video processing. This works, provided you have enough dough to cough out to get a new AV receiver, with matching speakers probably.

I decided to apply some common sense and see if there is a way to *speed-up* my video processing so it can catch up with the audio processing instead. Now, I am aware that this would probably mean that you may not get the best visuals for your TV. However, to be honest, a lot of the infinite details is not visible to the naked eye, not mine anyways, so I am willing to live with that compromise.

If you are still with me at this point, you would understand that most TVs today come with a "Game-mode". It is designed to reduce the amount of processing involved in producing the image on the screen so that high-speed high-intensity graphical images can be served up fast on your TV. By speeding up the served image, it reduces input lag.

I set my TV to "Game-mode" and true enough, the *calibration effect* was applied and now my video processing could now match my audio processing. The graphics are still superb as visible to my naked eye, just less vivid, which is not something you would care about while watching a live concert DVD, etc.

Till I decide to plonk down money to get an AV receiver that allows me to set a time-lag/delay for my audio-processing, this *free* workaround actually works well and will suffice for now.

Saturday, September 24, 2011 3:11:27 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, April 06, 2011

    One of the hidden is what I thought to be the most useful setting in IE9 - and that is to be able to split the STOP and REFRESH icons and move it before the address bar. This effectively reduce the cluster on the right of the address bar. Because all those icons were bunched up together by default, it was hard to see what you want to do and easy to make the wrong clicks.

    Right-Click on the icon cluster on the right of the address bar to make that change.

    IE9 Split Stop Refresh

     

    Tuesday, April 05, 2011 11:44:55 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Pretty darn sneaky GOOG. Do you really have to resort to this to hijack someone to Chrome? Accuracy of GOOG search is definitely questioned here and gives rise to how much truth is actually tweaked.

    SNEAKY GOOG

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:53:58 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, December 03, 2009

    Sigh. I try to avoid commenting or referencing public marketing furor over Microsoft because I am just not a cult-fanatic or hold a religious view on technology (for Goodness sake - Get a life ...) BUT the story that PervX ran that says: "Black Screen woes could affect millions on Windows 7, Vista and XP" is really saying something about the responsibility issues that comes with technology journalism.

    Gosh - really, is there nothing we can do about this ?

    Obviously, PervX was made to eat their own words. They issued a public apology to Microsoft but there is obviously still a sense of denial in between the lines.

    Ed Bott says it best here and how I wished this furor they caused stays with them for a long time until redemption time comes. As what Ed says in his closing para: "As for Prevx, they deserve to be laughed out of the security commmunity for their role in this fiasco."

     

    Thursday, December 03, 2009 7:12:25 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, September 04, 2009

    I read with amazement at how Google is allowed and could be bestowed a patent for their iconic search home page.

    No, dont get me wrong, this is not about Google and I always give credit where it is due BUT gosh - I am very sure that way before Google, there were a few that came up with this UI design. I believe I saw Yahoo! Search page way before Google. While it may not be the same, I am quite sure the design principles are the same.

    In my years of IT project developments and deployments, I am sure I have seen many of my teams' designer engineers come up with the same principles into database full-text search, Index servers, etc

    In any case, this is interesting and this does change the patent strategy for many companies, doesn't it ? I wonder if Bing would do the same for its background images. Furthermore, to enable users to allow that to be turned on or off is itself a "patent-able* design, wouldn' it be ?

    Friday, September 04, 2009 12:40:14 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, May 04, 2009

    Both references are good reads and would propbably be a good debate topic for many but lets not do the religious cult thing:

    Abstraction, Componentization, Reusability, etc. They have all changed the world the developers live and breathe in, havent they ? No, I dont want to sauter transistors on a motherboard anymore. Give me a PC anytime. Give me solutions.

    My personal opinion is that there is no end and you cannot find a answer that fits all. Question one has to ask is:

    • Are you looking for a brick builder/manufacturer
    • ... Or are you just interested in building a wall/house ?

    Make no mistake, I think there is a market for both. However, chances are, no one single good person will fit both bills. 

    Monday, May 04, 2009 3:40:46 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, January 08, 2009

    A short but note(pun-intended)-worthy blog entry. Microsoft releases SongSmith: Karaoke in reverse.

    openquotes.png Microsoft Research on Thursday is releasing software that gives musicians, both casual and professional, a new way to speed up song development. Called SongSmith, the $29.99 application creates musical accompaniment based on whatever is sung into the computer's microphone.

    In order to do this, the software processes the pitch and tone of what's recorded and lets users hear how it might sound if they had a little backup in the form of a virtual piano, drums, and keyboard. Microsoft is expecting them to use the new track either as inspiration for further song development or as a simple way to create karayoke-quality recordings for friends and family members.

    The software lets users change the feel of a song completely using various sliders that adjust mood, volume levels, tempo and what instruments are being used. Users are also able to purchase additional instruments from Garritan for a small fee that can drastically change the way a track sounds. Each purchased instrument comes wrapped in a special installer that automatically adds it to SongSmith. Dan Morris of Microsoft Research tells me there may eventually be a marketplace for other sample providers, although for now the software is using it exclusively because of its the only compatible format.


    SongSmith lets you simply sing into your computer's microphone to hear what it would sound like if you had a back-up band.

    (Credit: CNET Networks)
    SongSmith is starting out as a digital download only, and will be available from Microsoft's recently launched digital downloads store front. Morris says there are no current plans to make the software part of a larger suite of music oriented products from Microsoft. Competitor Apple has offered a slightly similar feature in its Garageband software that gives you virtual band mates that can accompany you as you record music with an in-line microphone, however each of the instruments must be programmed by the user.

    One interesting thing to note is that the technology is fully capable of providing automated accompaniment in near real-time. Morris says the only hurdle there is that the programming does all its magic by seeing where users are going with a melody and compensating accordingly. Morris also says a Web based version of the software could be possible later on down the line, although development in that area has been slowed down due to latency and recording quality bottlenecks.

    Embedded below are before and after clips of what SongSmith is capable of. As mentioned before, to change the sound of this song users simply need to adjust a slider or two.
    closequotes.png

    Thursday, January 08, 2009 3:27:01 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, May 31, 2008

    I was recently pointed to this post that highlights a "successful attempt" by some students in Germany to crack Microsoft Cardspace.After reading through the post several times, I became convinced that it is NOT what it seems it is and that if the "breach" is what it says it is, there must be some pre-conditions that must be satisfied before it can happen and these criteria are not going to be easy...

    Just as I was putting some of my thoughts down that relates to why I think the attempt is somehow "inappropriately glorified":

    1. If an end-user would be stupid enough to put and store his/her passwords, credit card information on his PC
    2. There must be some sort of DNS compromise on the end-user side, which also means successfully hacking into his/her router
    3. There must be some sort of Digital Certificate Store compromise on the end-user side, which also means successfully hacking into his machine with highly-elevated priviledges or saying, the user's machine password has been stolen

    Points [2] and [3] relates to the statements from the attempt and I quote from the above post:

    openquotes.png To reproduce the demonstration, you should change your own DNS settings and install an untrusted certificate closequotes.png

    If I can do both those points sucessfully, to be honest, I already have control over what the user does on his machine, stealing his Infocard is probably of low priority at that point in time.

    Then, the brains behind Cardspace, Kim Cameron, himself, wrote a comprehensive reply, which basically was a detailed answer to my brief thoughts above, to counter the students' attempt and should really put any doubts in anyone's mind to rest.

    [Added 02 June 2008]: In this video on his blog, Kim demonstrates how YOU, the end-user, must FIRST POISON your own machine first before the attack can happen: http://www.identityblog.com/wp-content/images/2008/05/Students/Students.html

    Some comments standout and I quote:

    openquotes.png The demonstrator shows that if you are willing to compromise enough parts of your system using elevated access, you can render your system attackable. This aspect of the students’ attack is not noteworthy.

     closequotes.png

    openquotes.png There is, however, one interesting aspect to their attack.  It doesn’t concern CardSpace, but rather the way intermittent web site behavior can be combined with DNS to confuse the browser.  The student’s paper proposes implementing a stronger “Same Origin Policy” to deal with this (and other) possible attacks.  I wish they had concentrated on this positive contribution rather than making claims that require suspension of disbelief. closequotes.png

    openquotes.png However, the students propose equipping browsers with end user certificates so the browsers would be authenticated, rather than the sites they are visiting.  This represents a significant privacy problem in that a single tracking key would be used at all the sites the user visits.  It also doesn’t solve the problem of knowning whether I am at a “good” site or not.  The problem here is that if duped, I might provide an illegitimate site with information which seriously damages me.

     closequotes.png

    While I know the ignorant media will find some ways to sensationalize this unworthy episode, especially when Microsoft is such a big target, this brings to mind a popular joke which I think can be used as an anology:

    Q: How do you make 1 million dollars ?
    A: Start with 2.

    Saturday, May 31, 2008 8:45:51 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Gosh, I think I am in desparate need for some new empty bookshelves ...

       <-- Click this pic to see a higher resolution for even more details.

    ...and you havent even seen my other bookshelves containing my other interest, which I wont share for now ...

    Tuesday, April 29, 2008 11:08:53 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, April 16, 2008
    Wednesday, April 16, 2008 6:26:49 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, April 08, 2008

    One cannot run away from understanding infrastructure needs when one is pitching or designing software solutions in the enterprise (which I do a lot of) and it is sometimes strange (in a pleasant way) when the conversation goes like this:

    openquotes.png Please make sure you have failover expertise in your next meeting. I recommend getting Steve to proxy in for William, even though I dont think anyone can impersonate him. At least, I have been able to ascertain that Steven can mirror William quite well and will be able to backup William in the event of a failure closequotes.png

    Tuesday, April 08, 2008 7:22:57 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Lumbar Spine Report (13 February 2008):

    • The lumbar spine has a mild lateral curve convex to the right.
    • There is minimal slipping forwards of L5 on S1 which is lumbarised on the left side.
    • Moderate osteoarthritis is seen in the apophyseal joints beween L5 and S1 segments.
    • The bodies of L1, L2 and L4 are slightly wedged anteriorly. These changes may be secondary to the previous trauma.
    • The lumbar discs spaces have average heights.

    Conclusion:

    • Unilateral lumbarisation of S1 segment.
    • Lower lumbar spondylosis.
    • From playing a lot of competitive basketball back in my varsity days in Canada in the late-80s/early-90s as a point-man to getting the above report in my envelope is somewhat depressing, I am getting old ...

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008 8:25:19 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, January 20, 2008

    There are not too many movies that will get me rushing onto the web once I get home to find our more about it and the various viral marketing and spins behind it. Blair Witch project was one. This one, which I just caught, is another. Spoilers here.

    I am not worthy, JJ Abrams

    CloverField Monster 01.jpg

    CloverField Monster 02.jpg

    The movie's creepy monster louse is especially my favourite.

    CloverField Monster Parasite.jpg

    Sunday, January 20, 2008 12:14:53 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, January 10, 2008

    So...Let me start off this New Year 2008 with a rant post.

    I am constantly amazed at the technical knowledge of some of the folks manning the shops selling computer peripherals. I was in the market shopping for an external casing for my SATAII HDD and someone recommended for me to use an USB2.0 external interface because, as he simply puts it confidently and points to the marketing material on the box, "it is faster"

    I have to correct him that the theoretical speed of USB of 480Mb/s is not faster than the theoretical speed of SATAII, which is pegged at 300MB/s. The astute reader will notice the difference in casings.

    A quick glance at this article will show the usual naming and differering configurations and the huge difference between a Byte and a bit.

    To do some simple calculations - The max burst transfer rate of SATAII is 3 billion bits per second, which is equivalent 3 Gb/s, via normal conventions not definitions.  This is equivalent to 300 million Bytes per second, or 300 MB/s. Some sites like this states 300Mb/s, which actually means we are moving backwards in technology. Worst, some people state it as 300 GB/s, which means I can transfer the equivalent data of 31 DVDs in 1 single second and overstating it by about 1000 times faster than it really is.

    The same applies for USB2.0. Many technical sales people I talked to told me its 480MB/s and I have seen the same marketing collateral on the packaged boxes it comes in. In actual fact, it is 60MB/s.

    Now, if you compare apples to apples - it is a no-brainer to compare 300MB/s against 60MB/s, isnt it ? Of course, the arguments will always begin when people start arguing whether is it really a 5 time performance difference, taking into account the costs of USB's overheads and the cache memory that some of the higher-end SATAII HDD offers.

    Well, lets just leave those arguments in those other blogs and forum posts for now.

    Thursday, January 10, 2008 2:13:01 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, October 12, 2007

    I have been a SingTel and SingNet customer for the longest time and do recommend friends and family over sometimes. While I have no complains about the service, I do have questions about some of their front-line staff operations and capabilities.

    Another incident struck today.

    I decided to sign up for the ADSL upgrade package from the current 3500kbps to the ADSL2 6000kbps after my contract is up for renewal. On the day of service activation, things just weren't going well. To cut a long story short, the downtime and service disruption was almost 3/4 of the day (which meant no www and email access == no work gets done) and my router power-supply cable failed today for some reason (due to age, I believe) and luckily, I had an old power-supply cable lying around which was put to good use. When the ADSL2 modem arrived late, I hooked it up, expecting a simple plug-n-play.

    I was wrong.

    The SingNet technical service staff was at a loss to help me. The only thing they could do was tell me that I could hook up my single machine (I have 8 at home) to the modem directly and things work fine. That is not a solution. Solve my problem, SingTel. Dont you know how many people in Singapore uses a Router to share broadband bandwidth amongst the household. If ADSL bandwidth was made for 1 machine and 1 user, we dont need anything more than 256mbps. Their technical staff did 1 step further and said they supported only 2 brands of routers with their modems. Fine - given that there are hundreds of models of routers anyways. I qualify myself as a technical person and asked if I could have the settings  of those "supported" routers so I know how to tweak and configure mine to work with the new modem.

    Me: "Could I have those config settings of those routers so I can see how I can configure mine"
    SingNet: "Err...We support 2 brands X and Y of routers but I am sorry, the settings are NOT in my knowledge base so I cannot help you there..."
    Me: "OK. What else can I do ? If it doesnt work with my router, I cannot surf so tell me what I am paying for again ?"
    SingNet: "I am sorry, Sir but those are the only 2 brands of integrated Router-modem we support"
    Me: "Huh ? Integrated Router-modem ? Are you asking me to throw away my VPN Firewall router so I can use your modem ? Duh !"

    So, we have this pipe of 6mpbs of bandwidth flowing through, we share. It makes sense and is cost-effective. So, while looking at the PO of the delivered modem, I saw the vendor who actually was being subcontracted by SingTel to sell those modems so I decided to give them a call and it was great that their support-line was open till 2100 hours. This would have never happened in the Australia, US or Canada.

    It turns out that SingNet has only subcontracted to bundle their modems with their ADSL service offerings and the modem they are bundling is actually a router-modem !!! which explains why it cannot work with my current router as both services and DHCP will clash. To cut another long story short, I had to do some research, together with this vendor, to see how we can disable the router function and use this modem mainly as a bridge. There is no user iterface. Guess what I have to do ?

    I have to telnet into the device with the proper credentials and command-lined these:

    _{Administrator}=>ppp relay
    {Administrator}[ppp relay]=>flush
    {Administrator}[ppp relay]=>..
    {Administrator}[ppp]=>flush
    {Administrator}[ppp]=>:eth
    {Administrator}[eth]=>flush
    {Administrator}[eth]=>:atm
    {Administrator}[atm]=>flush
    {Administrator}[atm]=>phonebook
    {Administrator}[atm phonebook]=>flush
    {Administrator}[atm phonebook]=>add
    name = pvcInternet
    addr = 0.100
    :atm phonebook add name=pvcInternet addr=0*100
    {Administrator}[atm phonebook]=>..
    {Administrator}[atm]=>ifadd
    intf = atmInternet
    :atm ifadd intf=atmInternet
    {Administrator}[atm]=>ifconfig
    intf = atmInternet
    [dest] = pvcInternet
    [qos] = default
    [encaps] = llc
    [retry] = 10
    [fcs] = disabled
    [ulp] = mac
    :atm ifconfig intf=atmInternet dest=pvcInternet ulp=mac
    {Administrator}[atm]=>ifattach
    intf = atmInternet
    :atm ifattach intf=atmInternet
    {Administrator}[atm]=>..
    {Administrator}=>eth bridge
    {Administrator}[eth bridge]=>ifadd
    intf = snbbridge
    :eth bridge ifadd intf=snbbridge
    {Administrator}[eth bridge]=>ifconfig
    intf = snbbridge
    [dest] = atmInternet
    [portstate] = forwarding
    [retry] = 10
    [vlan] = default
    [prioconfig] = disabled
    [ipprec] = disabled
    [priority] = 0
    [regenprio] = 01234567
    [ingressfiltering] = disabled
    [acceptvlanonly] = disabled
    [mcastfilter] = disabled
    [dynvlan] = disabled
    [igmpsnooping] = enabled
    :eth bridge ifconfig intf=snbbridge dest=atmInternet
    {Administrator}[eth bridge]=>ifattach
    intf = snbbridge
    :eth bridge ifattach intf=snbbridge
    {Administrator}[eth bridge]=>saveall
    {Administrator}[eth bridge]=>:
    {Administrator}=>dhcp server config state=disabled
    {Administrator}=>saveall
    {Administrator}=>exit
     
    After this exit, this particular router-modem functions as a bridge mode and I was able to post this blog.

    WTF ?!?!?!?! Are they expecting home-users and lay-men to be typing these commands into a UNIX firmware ? I consider myself to be fairly technical and yet I barfed at the idea of doing this. Goodbye Civilization, Hello Stone Age ...

    ... which brings me to my main point ...

    I bought into an upgrade path. My old modem was A modem, nothing more, nothing less. I used a router to connect to it. An upgrade path should be seamless. But SingNet decided to have a field day with me ...

    • Their technical service staff have no idea it is a router modem. They kept using the term "Modem" only so I had to run around in circles figuring out why it doesnt work in the first place
    • It gave me a router modem, with no user interface and documentation on how to use it, much less how to enable it to switch to a bridging mode. Obviously, an upgrade path is given to customers who have been on a certain older plan for x amount of time and obviously had their way of doing things. To share a ADSL connection, most people (if not all) use a router. By introducing a router modem into the picture, SingNet is forcing customers to throw their old router away. People like me have VPN rules, Firewall rules, Port Forwarding rules in this router and if it functions as a wireless access point as well, absolutely NO ONE would throw it away.

    That is not a solution. Solve my problem, SingTel. Give customers options, SingNet. Follow the lead of UOB. A customer like me, and I am sure there MUST be hundreds of me in Singapore, at least, who were on the older plan for an x amount of time uses a current router. Then give me a pure modem, please. Give what you gave me today to those people who are looking for a router modem. Have choices. Choices are good. No choices are bad.

    To make things worse, after I got it all set up, I ran multiple FTP test plus the famous SpeedTest and found my speed to be about an average of 2900kpbs. This is only a fraction of my promised 6000kbps and even worse than my older 3500kpbs plan. If this doesnt get fixed in time, I will make sure everyone in Singapore hears about this though formal and informal complaints through chat rooms / forums and the press

    Gosh - when are our service providers ever going to get it right ?

    Thursday, October 11, 2007 4:37:24 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, September 27, 2007

    My friend, Chester, shared this link with me. I am fully aware of Facebook's privacy policies and I think that it leaves much more to be desired. This is precisely the reason why I dont share much in Facebook or dont put up incriminating pictures of myself up there.

    I wonder how many of the millions of people in Facebook knows about this. Come to think of it, who wouldnt do so. I would assume that the Googles, Amazons, LinkedIns would love to have that kind of leverage and power, wouldnt they ?

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 3:00:47 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, September 10, 2007

    If you think this isnt funny enough, wait till you hear this.

    Sunday, September 09, 2007 4:11:21 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, August 20, 2007

    Not usually what I write in this blog but this is soo funny I have to link to it here:

    bushGOTA.jpg

    Source: http://bp2.blogger.com/_BbE4hyafULE/Rpb7SvbYZGI/AAAAAAAAI1k/CaKbyijOKyw/s1600/bush%2BGOTA.jpg

    Sunday, August 19, 2007 10:46:17 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, July 14, 2007

    So, I have 2 bank accounts that I usually do transactions in. One is the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) and the other is United Overseas Bank (UOB). I was on an overseas business trip and then I had to check my account balance with DBS online. Then I realized that I cannot because I did not bring the DBS 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) Physical token, also known as hard-token with me. I ended up not doing what I need to do and had to return home to check my account balance.

    I was initially irked when DBS took matter into their own hands and decided what is good for their customers BUT this incident blew my top. A quick look at their FAQ reveals the below snippets

    dbs2fafaq.JPG

    As you can see from here, "DBS decided to go with ...". I am surprised that for a world-class bank that prides itself on customer-standards, they are taking matters into their own hands and deciding for the customer. Shouldnt the customer be able to decide this for themselves ?

    By the same token (pun intended), let us take a look at UOB's FAQ below:

    uob2fafaq.JPG

    A-HA ! A choice was not made but given. Customers are given the choice to deicde what they want. If they prefer not to carry too many devices with them (God knows how many we have to carry these days - USB Thumb Drives, iPods, mobile phones, keys, etc) and prefer to leverage on what they are already comfortable in carrying, they can choose their mobile phones to receive the One-Time-Passwords (OTP) va a SMS. If they are going to be in a country whereby their auto-roaming GSM doesnt work (such as the different networks in Japan or Korea), they can opt for the hard-token.

    To cut it short - No decision was made for the customer. Instead, a choice was given to the customer. In other words, UOB empowers their customers, unlike DBS, who thinks they are better themselves by making a decision for the customer. Shame on you. In these days of social computing, networking mashups, Web 2.0 communities, etc, user-empowerment is key. It is sad that DBS has not understood this point fully.

    While I have some suspicions that cost (of sending the SMSes) may be a determining factor, I dont see UOB relenting on that point and they dont own a telco either. They have perfected the art of: If you keep your customers first, their money will come in.

    This issue, by no means, has got anything to do with security. Both banks are practicing it - by making sure there is another authentication factor before logging for banking transactions. This is about choice, empowerment and delegation. In short, it is about being customer-focused, in every sense of the word. UOB's FAQ details very well about the operations of both sets of authentication so that the customer can make a right decision for themselves. Bravo ! They know the customers who bank with them can think. Kudos to them !

    UOB went even one step further. If you are left stranded with no means of a second factor of authentication (like I was while overseas), check out what is on their FAQ above and I quote:

    openquotes.png What if I have enabled Two-Factor Authentication but do not have my mobile phone or Token Device with me; and I urgently need to use Personal Internet Banking?


    In this case, you will be able to login to UOB Personal Internet Banking using your Username and Password to perform balance enquiries only. You will not have access to perform transactional activities. closequotes.png

    ... you can still login with very minimalistic rights such as checking on your account balance. You cannot perform any banking transactions neither can you see your bank account number or other sensitive information.

    This is what I mean by being customer-oriented. It is very obvious UOB has put much thoughts into this and must have done their field test first with their customers' subsets. They understand that there may be instances whereby customers may have no means to access any sort of tokens but still would like to login with minimalistic rights to do minimalistic activities. They must also have consulted with their security consultants to make sure all security points are covered to finally propose this capability. Excellent thinking and a definite A+ point in design and usability with a fine engineering compromise that many companies can learn from.

    In the past few months, I have recommended my customers / friends / colleagues who are here doing business to set up their bank accounts with UOB. I have also moved the bulk of my transactional funds to my UOB account so I can better work when I am overseas, with only my mobile-phone.

    Good work, UOB ! DBS and the other local banks have a lot to learn from you, in terms of being customer-oriented and customer-focused.

    Saturday, July 14, 2007 9:55:11 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, May 18, 2007

    I have spent the last couple of months getting up-to-speed on Microsoft Sharepoint Portal Server (MOSS) 2007 and I must say - I AM IMPRESSED.

    A recent article in Wall Street Journal by By ROBERT A. GUTH on the April 24, 2007; Page B1 sums it up really nicely and I quote a couple of sentences from there:


    Microsoft Embeds Sleeper in Business Software (I, personally, think the 'Business Software' bit is a bit of a misnomer)

    openquotes.png SharePoint is now Microsoft's contender in an emerging battle over collaboration software with companies from a cross section of the technology industry ...

    To date, largely unheralded, Microsoft has sold 85 million licenses to the enhanced version of SharePoint across 17,000 companies. No marketing campaigns are in the works closequotes.png

    Read the full article here.

    I say it takes a lot, besides features and functionality, to be able to sell without any marketing blitz. Really, what today comes free (pre-installed) that offers Web 2.0 features and functionality (RSS, Blogs, Wikis, Suverys, Sites, Discussion Forums, Document Library), right-out-of-the-box ?

    And - We are not done. MOSS 2007 SP1 will come with additional features and functionality that will anchor it as probably one of the best-kept secrets and sleeper Microsoft products of all time that will really make it hard for anyone (customers, partners, communities, alike) to ignore.

    Watch out in the blogsphere or here for those announcements.

    Friday, May 18, 2007 12:48:43 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, April 15, 2007

    This one got me laughing in stiches. Not so much about how ridiculous it seems, but with the latest acquisition Google has made, who knows - maybe they will value and acquire MSFT Corp at USD120 billion.

    I would probably put money on them that they would also probably be the first to be able to value the Internet. Well worth a read.

    Sunday, April 15, 2007 1:45:03 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Over the years, I have seen a lot of FUD regarding technologies, targetting at specific vendors and platforms. I used to be a big fan of the MicrosoftWatch site as it really does a good tell-it-as-is from a very neutral and unbiased point of view, especially from Mary Jo Foley. She does good research and frequently engages my friends and peers from all over the industry to hear stories from all sides before putting the rubber to the road. When she left to join ZiffDavis, the industry was left wondering who would be covering for her and will MicrosoftWatch be the same again.

    Yes, granted - I am a long-time Microsoft advocate but it is also well-known among my friends that I will also tell-it-as-is as well which is why I am a big fan of Foley at her new place here. Well, MicrosoftWatch is not the same anymore. Joe Wilcox is not really doing too good a job taking over Foley. Granted, it is all his opinion and we should all respect that BUT I have recently found his recent posts doesnt have too much research done behind it. I mean, this is NOT your own personal blogging site, it is MicrosoftWatch. There must be certain responsibilities that one *should* carry.

    Take this recent post by Joe Wilcox, for exampe. What a whole load of FUD !!! I will just take a comment off from there and post it here:

    openquotes.png Do you actually take the time to research and understand what you write about? It sure doesn't seem that way, especially when you make comments that imply that .NET developers doing web work don't utilize AJAX or JavaScript and that they are the sole purview of the Adobe/MacroMedia/OpenSource world... Meanwhile, you are aware that Windows Vista is not a prerequisite for applications using WPF? You can run it today, on your Windows XP machine, all it takes is the .NET 3.0 Framework runtime.closequotes.png

    My thoughts exactly. I have better things to do than spend my breakfast time reading that *crap*. If I wanted crap, I would have gone to buy tabloids.

    Buck up, Joe and do your homework. It seems that Foley also took all her industry contacts with her to ZDNet as well. If number of comments is anything to go by, MicrosoftWatch is slowly but surely losing its popularity.

    I am deleting the MicrosoftWatch feed off my RSS reader and just sticking with ZDNet.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007 11:41:51 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, February 02, 2007

    Windows Home Server will be one of the better well-kept secret products that will be ultra-cool once its released into the wild. You can go here for a brief animation overview. The official Home Server Team blog can be found here and the forums here.

    Some of the interesting briefs include:

    openquotes.png This is not a product based on the Windows Server 2003 codebase. It's a consumer-oriented product that is quite similar to Media Center Edition, in that it's less of an "edition" of Windows Server than it is a special application (like Media Center) that runs atop a version of Windows.closequotes.png

    There are, of course, many features on this server but what I love best about it is placed on emphasis here:

    • Expandable Drive space - Add as many Hard-Drives in gigs, teras and petas as your hardware allows. (No problem with the hard-disks I have lying around. I could easily squeeze 6 SATA suckers into this once I can find the supporting muthaboard ...)
    • Remote Access - Access your photos, music, videos from any computer with a WWW connection. Even give restricted access to your cronies through your free, customizable Live Web Site.
    • Automatic Backup - It stores only a single copy of every file, remembering which computer had what and saving your drive space - Hard Disk Storage Space Virtualization, anyone ? (this is just music to my ears ...)

    I dont know about you but my living room is ready ...

    Thursday, February 01, 2007 10:36:32 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, January 18, 2007

    With so much advances in game controller technologies, such as the ultra-cool Nintendo Wii , it really is no surprise that the Xbox controller has found its way into a "real" battlefield.

    Kinda gives new meaning to the phrase: "First Person Shooter", doesnt it ?

    Thursday, January 18, 2007 1:13:46 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    Might go down as one of the chapters in the Technology History Books of the future:

    http://www.wired.com/news/wiredmag/1,72497-0.html

    Open Quotes Terry Semel was pissed. The Yahoo CEO had offered to buy Google for roughly $3 billion, but the young Internet search firm wasn't interested. Once upon a time, Google's founders had come to Yahoo for an infusion of cash; now they were turning up their noses at what Semel believed was a perfectly reasonable offer. Worse, Semel's lieutenants were telling him that, in fact, Google was probably worth at least $5 billion.

    This was way back in the summer of 2002, two years before Google went public. An age before Google's stock soared above $500 a share, giving the company a market value of $147 billion -- right behind Chevron and just ahead of Intel.

    As Semel and his top staff sat around the table in a corporate conference room named after a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor (Phish Food), $5 billion sounded unacceptably high ... Close Quotes

    Many people today still looks at the mistakes and what could-have-beens. I am still willing to bet that there are many more correct decisions that went unnoticed. It is just human-nature <consolatory_tone /> to glorify mistakes and forget achievements. Still, with a scale of a potential boo-boo as such, it is really not easy to forget.

    I believe that both are still in the game. There are just too many WHAT-IF statements. Just like most things in today's world - and please pardon my non-deterministic stance and cliche here - There is really never a winner or a loser. It is all relative. It is a matter of leads, trails and of course, catch-ups. It still remains to be seen whether that decision (or non-decision) would come back to haunt them one day. Who knows - It may be the best decision they have made.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007 10:41:33 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, January 11, 2007

    This is obviously the buzz that has occupied most the bits on the wire and water-cooler conversations recently.

    While there have been many opinions about it - for me, it is always functionality over form. The way I dress sums that statement up well.

    The fact (right now) that is doest support 3G is not important to me (yet) BUT the biggest obstacle is that I cannot believe their batter if NOT removable. Every PDA/phone I buy, the first accessories I buy are the extra cells - and I always asked for the higher capacity ones. I do use my PDA well.

    Having ONE cell only, since it is not removable, is a NO-NO for me.

    However, I dont know if all is cast in stone yet. This is the era of Web 2.0 and you, as the Time Magazine Person of the Year 2006, are very powerful in casting your vote in earth-shattering decisions.

    That said, I have always said I take my hats off to the marketing geniuses of the iPods. Now, I am hearing the flight captain over the airwaves: "Please turn off your iPods, mobile phones and personal computers..."

    6 months down the road, what would it be ? "Please turn off your iPod, iPhone, iMac. Period" ? Nuff said.

    Having said that, features and functionality aside, Microsoft seems to be latching on correctly as well. I remember coming across a video interview with Steve Ballmer back when Zune was released.  He mentioned that he would have tried to brand Xbox as the "Windows Game System". Now, let us all heave a sigh of relief it didnt happen and he is CEO and not CMO for a reason.

    Like many big multinationals selling products, it is always been part marketing and another part management making these branding decisions.  Robbie has been instrumental in convincing others within Microsoft to step outside that comfort zone with names like Xbox and Zune.

    According to this story, there is a Zune phone in the works. Now if there is, let us put some creative marketing algorithms around this:

    Zune = Z + Tunes (-T or +Last 3) ? So, would

    Zhone = Z + Phone (-P) OR Zone = Z + Phone (+Last 3)

    Now, who wants to bet if this would happen: "Please turn off your Zune, Zone, Zile. Period" Now, wouldn't that be something ? 

    Thursday, January 11, 2007 5:03:51 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, December 10, 2006

    One of my server's (Vulcan - I named all my machines after Gods) innards. This is used to run my Microsoft Exchange Server as well as other virtual machines.

    See the 2 SATA II HDDs (250GB / 7200RPM / 300MB/s SATA II) ? A third one is on the way as well. More space for more Virtual Machines.

    Close-up on one of the 2 SATA II HDD

    The heart of Vulcan - Intel Dual Core XEON Pro 5140 2.33GHZ 4MB L2 cache 1333MHz FSB - Woodcrest Chip. It is a dual-socket server. I took the other one out temporary for some other purpose. Just for information: As of to-date, none of any offerings of the same class from AMD has anything to match up to the Woodcrest of Intel. In fact, the Woodcrest has whopped Opteron's ass and has taken the Opteron to school in terms of speed and power efficiency. Trust me - this Woodcrest processor IS FAST !

    Can you spot the 667MHZ ECC 2R Fully Buffered DIMM (FBD) Memory ?

    Sunday, December 10, 2006 2:06:57 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    I had just broken my own budget this year already (and therefore I am not getting me or anyone anything this coming Christmas) ... Too bad ...

    After rounds of spec'ing and phone calls with my special DELL contact, I officially accepted the quotations ...

    Like I said here, I am going all out this time around as most of my machines had run its 3+ year course and I am getting it all ready for Vista as well as the upcoming Longhorn, or Windows Server 2008, or whatever PLUS the High-Performance Computing (HPC) of Virtualization Technologies (VT), etc.

    So, what kind of goodies did I end up with for being much poorer (even though I got a great deal on DELL for the pricing) ? Here it is - all X64 bit Chips (Core 2 Duo and a Dual-Processor Dual Core XEON Pro)

    Intel Core 2 Duo Inside

    • DELL LATITUDE D620
      CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7200 2.0 GHZ - Merom Chip
      Integrated 4MB ON-DIE L2 Cache, 667HMZ FSB
      + the works ...

    Intel Dual Core Xeon Pro

    • DELL POWEREDGE SC1430 Server
      CPU: Intel Dual Core XEON Pro 5140 2.33GHZ - Woodcrest Chip X 2 Processors
      4MB L2 cache, 1333MHz FSB
      RAM: 4GB (4 x 1GB) 667MHZ ECC 2R Fully Buffered DIMM (FBD) Memory. Max Support: 16GB FBD
      + the works ...

    OK - Now that I have the metal, now its time to look at some nearby (I dont think I can afford the gas to travel that far ...) banks for a quick heist for the greens.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006 6:15:59 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, October 15, 2006

    Just been given an invitation to test out the new SoapBox (Beta) on MSN. Therefore, I thought I upload one of my favourite commercial clips here. So far, so usable. Fast and smooth as well. Now it becomes a marketing battle to see who gets the better content and more eye-balls. More importantly, its who that can cannabilizes those eyes-balls that wins and laughs to the bank. As usual - The consumer wins. .


    Video: Tall Person

    Sunday, October 15, 2006 9:21:57 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, September 24, 2006

    In reference to my post here, plus my very early post here, I have always try NOT to be drawn in all the hype, fluff and marketing innuendos designed to drive FUD and irrationality.

    I try to focus on what users really want and that really is all that matters.

    Coincidenally, bu showed me this Foxtrot comic strip today and it looks like Bill Amend has also echoed my exact thoughts.

    Foxtrot and Web 2.0

    Sunday, September 24, 2006 12:43:42 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    WTF ? Marketing

    W T F ?

    I spotted this advertisement across many major lamposts outlining the major roads to the WorldBank/IMF Bankers and Governors meeting held in Singapore this month.

    While the entire country prepares itself to welcome about 22,000 delegates with security precautions, road closures, road re-paving and tons of marketing dollars and campaigns to showcase itself to the world such as this, I felt that the poster above is done in an amateurish way.

    One glance at it and I bet my last dollar the instinctive reaction is that Savvy Bankers use Intellectual Property. While I agree with the context and meaning of the message, I would question how its targetted.

    In any case, I, and the rest of the world, would be wrong. A closer look at the icon on the bottom right corner reveals a Cisco, Inc logo:

    which effectively means, Savvy Bankers use Internet Protocol !?!? That would explain why there portray of an image of a person trying to surf (wirelessly). I would suspect that Cisco, itself, is supplying the networking equipment and infrastructure to make sure anyone and everyone can surf wirelessly around the meetings and events.

    That, however, would not explain the obscurity of the advertisment and its message. Gosh, I would think TCP/IP is an obscure abstract now that no one else would need to know of it even though it is the major underlying internet transport protocol.

    In fact, I would argue - the more savvy you are, the less you need to know about about the plumbings. How many people would (want to) know how their household plumbings work and the standards involved other than that they can turn on the tap and do wonderful things with it ?

    In the same context, I am betting that the SOAP protocol would be obscure one day as well and just be known as "Web Services" or whatever flavour rule the day.

    Now, which would be a better advertisment ?

    Great agile applications use SOAP ?

    OR

    Great agile applications use Web Services ?

    I rest my case - the marketing people who came out with the image shown above should be canned. No questions needed.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006 7:14:30 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • OMG - Spare me. You have got to be kidding ... Lets just move on.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006 6:44:52 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    devreach.jpg

    I remember it was very late last year / early this year when I had a conversation with Martin Kulov, who is the Director .NET Development of the National Academy for Software Development in Bulgaria.

    Basically, Martin pinged me and we talked about his idea and dream of bringing a PDC/TechED-style event to the Balkans, where he sees an increasing demand.

    He then proceeded to invite me to present in this conference in Sofia, Bulgaria this year. I cannot tell you how honoured I was to receive this invitation. However, I had to put this on hold due to heavy work and family committments. Lest you dont know, while Sofia is generally only 2 spots below Singapore in the usual Country dropdownbox due to its alphabetical legacies, both countries are very spaced apart geographically. To compound this, airlines dont usually fly direct between these 2 countries and therefore, the end-2-end flight map (that routes you to so many different places) will be a lot more mileage than what it appears on a point-2-point straight line on a map. Ultimately, this trip for me alone will cost the National Academy for Software Development in Bulgaria a lot of money and cost me a lot of time (which still equates to money)

    I am a person trained and educated in Economics and this, obviously, doesnt make much economic sense. It is not like they have that much money in their coffers anyways since there were no sponsors. So I told him that if I could hook him up with other influential speakers nearer his region, it makes much more sense. With great content comes great value for the participants and that ultimately means that it will be a well-attended event. Who knows - someone may come along and drop their golden coin to sponsor it.

    I then proceeded to ping my peer Microsoft Regional Directors / Speakers I know who would be interested in speaking in the Balkans. Of course, there were many. Sofia, is afterall, a beautiful city, so I was told. People like Richard Campbell, Stephen Forte, Ted Neward, Goskin Bakir, etc gave their full support.

    My wonderful friend in New York, Stephen Forte, deserves full mention as an ultimate leader who was passionate enough to make sure this event becomes a success in the Balkans. He tried all ways, including trying to negotiate with the airlines for a cheaper fare in exchange for more travel awareness to the Balkans. In the end, his passion and hard bargaining and negotiation skills shone through and he won over MSFT Corp to be the main sponsor for this event by convincing them that this is THE event for Microsoft in that part of the world and this is THE time.

    With Microsoft declaring themselves to be the main sponsor, other vendors, like Telerik, follow suit as well and voila - We have the birth of DevReach in the Balkans.

    If you are interested, you may want to sign up here. The PR of this event can be found here.

    I believe years later, when I move on to a new career path and DevReach becomes the de-facto PDC/TechED of the Balkans, I will look back at this episode and smile. I had a big hand to play to make this event and dream come for Martin and all the wonderful people of Bulgaria. The bulgarian software industry will grow, develop and mature and keep abreast of time and everyone is better because of it.

    How did this happen: Through 2 friends who have never met (one in Sofia, the other in Singapore), using the power and the reach of the global community at work (and MSN Messenger), through extensive and collaborative networking, this event became a concrete reality.

    Dont underestimate that power of reach and the community - It may make or break you.

    Now, if you ask: "How did you and Martin know of each other again?"

    Easy - through another reach for the community by the community, via my article on MSDN, he posted a comment on this blog (another collaborative community-driven tool) and we hooked up. The rest is history.

    Martin, I am happy for you. You have done a great deal for your community and it is only fair that you see this dream of yours come true.

    Make some time for me, I am sure we will catch up over coffee in beautiful Sofia one day.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006 1:40:52 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    So, after a massive HDD upgrading exercise, it is time to take stock of my own internal machines of notebooks and desktops and see how it fits into the arrival of Vista and Longhorn later.

    Lunch with some folks from Intel and Dell last week in Malaysia revealed some interesting lookouts for me. I am told to wait for the Dell Intel Core 2 Duo machines. This is unlike the Duo Core Intel chips that Dell is selling right now. The Core 2 Duo(s) are a lot better as one of the world's best processors and is a lot more powerful and power-efficient than the Duo Core ones.

    The main difference lies in the chip architecture, obviously. As put in the simplest way: "Duo Core chips are essentially 2 chips put together physically. The penalties (and constraints) lie in the bond that welds them together. Whereas, the Core 2 Duo chips is actually a single physical manifestation that is cut into 2"

    This will explain how much better, faster and efficient the Core 2 Duo chips are going to be.

    However, I was told during lunch that the Core 2 Duo chips are not available the DELL (APAC) online site yet - so I would have to wait.

    SPONSOR.jpg
    Through seo, now many web hosting companies are expanded this one business opportunity beyond the conventional dedicated servers.

    However, I am well-known to be impatient and so decided to try my luck with my own special Dell connections back home in Singapore. As luck would have it, there are specific desktop and notebook models that are already equipped with a Core 2 Duo Intel chip. It is just not available online yet and the only way to get it today is to know someone in HELL (ooppps, I mean DELL) who can get it done for you.

    The specifications given to me looked awesome and the "special" price quoted to me by my own Dell connections take the cake - so it looks like I will be one of the first in my part of the world to own a Dell Latitude D620 / D820 that comes armed with a Core 2 Duo chip and the price I am getting for that is just sooooo GOOD !

    With that in tow, x64 Vista - Here I come, baby !!!

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006 4:08:34 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, September 09, 2006

    One of the topics presented during the Architecture Track in the just-concluded Microsoft TechED South East Asia 2006 was done by IASA.

    It was done via a very interactive session with the floor questioning the panel from the IASA Malaysian chapter about the value of being an architect and topics of the like.

    One of the questions from the floor was: "Do you believe that architects should be writing code ?"

    It seems that 3/4 of the panel members agree. Some even going on bragging that he is still doing it in assembly, C++ language. hmmm ... In the interest of keeping the session on time so that that the attendees can get home on time amidst the KL jams - I kept my mouth shut.

    Let me open them now.

    Architects shouldnt code. Period. My thoughts. Period. To prevent myself from rambling, which is what I always do when I have a strong opinion on something, let me list them in point forms.

    The term "architect" is a very nebulous term. The hype around it with all the wannabees printing it in bold font on their cards out there (I know a couple of them in Singapore who does them with no shame), who have no idea what is the difference between horizontal and vertical scaling, doesnt make it any better. For better or worse, I only believe in one type - and that is the all-emcompassing solution architect.

    Afterall, aint what all customers want is a solution ? Do you think they really care what is underneath the solution more than that this solution works well, is kept within their budget, perform effectively and efficiently within the constraints of their environment ? Therefore, in this context, I will speak in the context of Solution Architects.

     

    • In the past, code influenced architecture. The limitations of written-code in a chosen-platform in a defined-era is the damning evidence of the limitation of the architecture. VB3 anyone ?

     

    • Biasedness based on preference. A solution architect that has a decade long experience in writing code is usually one that doesnt see the other side of the fence, doesnt know that there are better solutions and worst - refuse to want to see it. Most of the people in this category are usually skilled in one platform over the other and it is very hard for people like that to sit down and analyze a problem without a pre-conceived notion in mind in a very neutral manner. Because of this, the likely solution they are going to propose will have the same limitations of the platform they have been so comfortable with. I dont question the depth. Where is the breadth ? These guys should remain what they are good in and be experts in their domains and probably be paid better than a solution architect. For those who argue that they are equally well-versed in both sides of the fence - Good for you. Stay there. It is very likely you are drawing a lot more than an architect. If you are not, you just need to sell yourself better.

     

    • It is all about the business. Solution Architects bridge the gap between (the returns of) the business with the (returns of) technology. So, yes, they should be just as apt with the Finanical Calculator as much as an Integrated Development Environment or a Installation Panel or Console. They understand the entire depreciation cycle of an enterprise solution much better than the differences between a thread and a process. So yes, the higher the level the language they used to code in (I am talking about 4GL), the better. Bragging how much you still do your work today in First or Second Level Programming Lanaguages doesnt do you any good. In fact, it makes you look bad. It shows the lack of touch you have with your business, how it is run, what are the constraints and the entire business and revenue model. Writing performance drivers, assemblers, kernels, runtimes has nothing to do with a company's business model in a world where Moore's Law still rules.

    It is all about the business, still.

     

    Saturday, September 09, 2006 3:18:43 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, September 02, 2006

    Almost 2 years after I upgraded the HDD of all my machines in my own internal network (2 Servers, 3 Desktops, 3 Laptops), I decided to do some HDD shopping and do another upgrade exercise at Sim Lim Square (Singapore) to replenish the dwindling space I have been noticing in my network.

    This time, I came back with:

    • 2 x 500GB/7200 3.5''
    • 1 x 320GB/7200 3.5''
    • 1 x 120GB/5400 2.5''

    I now have almost 3TB !!! of HDD running supporting all my machines - all run within a one-man-operation. Armed with all my data backup and an amazing Acronis TrueImage Enterprise Server software for cloning all my old partitions for restoring to my brand new shiny disks, I should be able to get all the new data transitions and migrations going in no time.

    What does all these HDD space support ? Besides the usual VPCs for my cutting-edge demos, disk-images for clones, I have also tons of pictures, videos and music media for my jukeboxes. If I tell you the other operations my HDD is supporting, then I would have to kill you .

    Here I am, hearing the hum of all the spinning HDD spindle motors at work. Ah - The sound of geek heaven.

    Saturday, September 02, 2006 9:03:00 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Via John Lam from his post and I quote:

    Jaroslaw Rzeszotko wrote a number of ‘great programmers’ to see if they could answer a number of questions about what it takes to become a great programmer. He then blogged the answers.

    Linus, said this in his answer to the question: What do you think will be the next big thing in computer programming? X-oriented programming, y language, quantum computers, what?

    For example, I personally believe that “Visual Basic” did more for programming than “Object-Oriented Languages” did. Yet people laugh at VB and say it’s a bad language, and they’ve been talking about OO languages for decades.

    And no, Visual Basic wasn’t a great language, but I think the easy DB interfaces in VB were fundmantally more important than object orientation is, for example.

    Read the rest of his answer to get the context.

    Perhaps this will give a little more ammunition to the VB team to return VB to its roots :)

    Many people I know pooh-pooh VB and they always do it comparatively...

    • "Oh you know - WTF is a VB.NET Array ?"
    • "It is such a childish language..."
    • ...

    ... right ... as compared to ?

    While I am definitely not the first to heap praise, I wont be so quick to critique it as well. I fully agree with Linus' comments. One must not forget its place in the computing world. It has done lots for computer programming and has gotten it to the mainstream. I use the same analogy for Windows 95/98. Many people pooh-pooh it, always on hindsight. Too many of us forget what it has done for the computer world in the late 90s and early 2000s. I doubt the propagation, adoption and the use of the Personal Computer or the Internet would be the way it is today without those platforms.

    Crappy as it seems with comparison to today's tools and resources, I think the world would not be able to afford to laugh at it if it wasnt there in the first place.

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006 6:14:13 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, June 02, 2006

    So ...

    Mr. Setag goes over to Mr. Nezihc's little cafe-library called "Cafe Eboda" in Tonmeerf and bought a cup of coffee. Mr. Setag then sits down with his coffee and proceeded to pick up some publications to read from the Cafe's Library. He was, however, abruptly stopped by Mr. Nezihc who refused to allow him to read those in-cafe publications unless Mr. Setag pays for it.

    Mr. Setag was taken aback. Arent those magazines free to read. Everyone else here is reading it and I dont see them paying for it. Isnt this an open library ?

    "Well, yes", Mr Nezihc replied. "But because your wallet is bloated, I think it is only right that I charge you if you need to read those publications."

    "That is absurd", Mr Setag retorts. "It is not my fault that my wallet is bloated. In fact, given anyone else, they would love to have my bloated wallet as well, or try their very best to empty it through some legal means. This has nothing to do with the fact that I used to be your boss before, right ?"

    Mr Nezihc: "No, like I said - I am charging you only because your wallet is bloated. The rest of the folks here are not as rich as me, therefore, I dont charge them a single cent ..."

    Mr Setag: "OK. I will just bring in my papers to read then. How about that ?"

    Mr. Nezihc: "Nope. You have to use ours and you have to pay for it ..."

    Ridiculous ? Only happens in undeveloped countries ? You say ?

    Well, if you believe the content here is true, then I dont think this is any different.

    Jonathan Zuck of Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) sums it up real well with the following quote:

    "Adobe seems to be realizing that open standards have costs as well as benefits.  While opening its technology to the world helped Adobe to spread Acrobat far and wide, it also limits its potential business models and incentives to continue innovating.  The problem for Adobe is that they can't put this genie back in the bottle"

    ---

    The Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) is an international education and advocacy group for the technology industry. Focusing on the interests of small and mid-size entrepreneurial technology companies, ACT advocates for a "Healthy Tech Environment" that promotes innovation, competition and investment. ACT has been active on issues such as intellectual property, international trade, e-commerce, privacy, internet policy and antitrust. ACT represents more than 3000 software developers, systems integrators, IT consulting and training firms, and e-businesses from around the world.

    Friday, June 02, 2006 6:05:28 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, May 18, 2006

    I came across this story:

    An 80 year old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45 years old highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window.

    The Father asked his Son, "What is this?"

    The Son replied "It is a crow".

    After a few minutes, the Father asked his Son the 2nd time, "What is this?"

    The Son said "Father, I have just now told you "It's a crow".

    After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time, What is this?"

    At this time some ex-pression of irritation was felt in the Son's tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff. "It's a crow, a crow".

    A little after, the Father again asked his Son t he 4th time, "What is this?"

    This time the Son shouted at his Father, "Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times 'IT IS A CROW'. Are you not able to understand this?"

    A little later the Father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his Son was born. On opening a page, he asked his Son to read that page. When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary :- "Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when a crow was sitting on the window. My Son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly each time h e asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated I rather felt affection for my innocent child".

    While the little child asked him 23 times "What is this", the Father had felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times and when today the Father asked his Son the same question just 4 times, the Son felt irritated and annoyed.

    So..

    If your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as a burden, but speak to them a gracious word, be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them.

    While I could be mean and say that the instances and circumstances are different or the moral of the story is to ask your 3-year old son to shuddup as well - that is not the point. I have got to remember this story.

    Although, I will stop short when my father (or even my son) asked me more than 2 times what are namespaces in XML ...

    Thursday, May 18, 2006 6:00:21 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, May 14, 2006

    I will be one of the first to admit I am a private person. Very few people know me well. And even lesser know that I am so NOT an arachnophobic

    I have loved spiders since I was a young boy in school and has always breed and kept champion Asian Black-n-White fighting spiders (see figure below).

    AsianBWFightingSpider.jpg

    One of the things that Singapore is not so well-known for is its nature (or lack thereof). While I would not argue with that fact, there are a few places in Singapore that still spouts unspoiled nature, if you know where to find it. The problem is that, nature-lovers will not tell you where to find it since they would want to maintain the unspoiled bit of it.

    I have spend almost every weekend for the last few months combing our sunny island-state for nature. While I would say we lose out to our neighbouring country for that, there are still some treasure spots.

    I came across this nice spider that is getting really fat and big off its feeds from its perfect web in a mosquito-infected nature spot which I came across while hunting.

    HiddenSpiderInSingapore.JPG

    I wasnt able to get too up close to this lovely. But I believe it is this beauty:

    Spider01250.jpg

    Ah ... the glorious sight of nature. I really need to get away from the computer a lot more.

    Sunday, May 14, 2006 11:43:33 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, March 25, 2006

    MobilePassportLogInIsEvil.JPG

    Have anyone of you signed in to Mobile Passport on your PPC ? The above screenshot is what I see on mine.

    Some people would argue that so it is to make it easier to get right typing it in multitap the first time or that it is easier to prevent people from prying eyes on a PDA.

    I beg to disagree. Isnt that one of the reasons why there is "Remember Credentials" ? It is like saying - If you cannot type and you have a sucky memory, please dont type. In fact, there is a new option called - "Always ask for my username and password" in the defacto Passport mode for the security conscious :)
     
    I just find it too much of a drastic change to remove all these options (in the mobile mode) and NOT use masked passwords instead. It gives the sense that the teams creating these logins are so disparate and so different in thinking and there is not a single philosophical approach. Arent we talking about People, Technology, Integration and Seamless Experience recently
     
    The worst thing is that - the Masked Passwords (*) are so commonly accepted these days that it is becoming some sort of "self-imposed" standard. Thousands of sites, mobile or not, are using this "standard".
     
    Why is Microsoft one of the first (if not, the first) to change that ? I hardly think making it correct the first time typing is a good enough reason to change that and this cannot be categorized as innovation.

    MSN and Hotmail are all social sites which means that it is catered for people like my parents and grandparents and such and not for the geekiness. The bulk of the people dont really know what the S in HTTPS stands for and dont really care and would never want to care how it works.
     
    To them - The masked passwords is really part of the secure experience although we know that it is more of a placebo more than anything else.
     
    I wonder how will the masses react when they see that their passwords are not masked anymore, even though there is still an S in HTTPS.

    I remember running a test before on a workshop on consistency, standards I conducted a while back. In this test, I reversed the order of the username passwords inputs of the (HTTPS) Login screen to the effect of this:

    Password: ________________
    Username: ________________
    Login Button

    The strange thing about the whole result is that: Most people will stop after entering the first character in the Username field. They will rub their eyes to make sure they are NOT seeing things. Besides the fact that they realized they are prompted for their password FIRST - which is NOT consistent. Most of their responses will be "Why is my password NOT secured ?" Of course, if you are reading this, it is likely that you know that the little stars (*) have nothing to do wih security or encryption. In fact, more often than not, it gives people a False Sense of Security. Many people will still post their passwords, thinking it is secure, when it is masked with little stars (*) and there is NO HTTPS.

    My point is that - whether or not security is involved here - it mars a user's perception and his or her experience.
     
    I just tested it with my wife and she refused to login - thinking it was "one" of the bugs on a Microsoft site. - And Yes - she is the normal one in our marriage :)

    I had a good Aussie friend of mine test this on his accountant wife as well and this was the conversation:

    He: Would you use this screen on your phone?
    She: Why are you asking?
    He: Just curious…Would you use this screen on your phone?
    She: Where are the little stars for the password?
    He: Dunno
    She: No way… something is wrong
    (He did not influence her answer)

    Does this mean that the masses are normal or that I am just a prude ?

    Is this *really* intended behavior ? The least I would do - is to offer this as one of the options as part of personalization.

    Friday, March 24, 2006 11:51:44 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, March 24, 2006

    To add to this, I am recently in the market looking to upgrade my current ADSL package running at 1500kbps and I came across an ad saying this ISP will give a free ADSL2+ Wireless modem if I sign up for a 10mbps package. Sounds good. I proceeded to call.

    Pleasantries exchanged...
    Me: "So, you are giving me a free wireless modem, correct ?"
    She: "Yes"
    Me: "Is it just plain wireless ? I mean is there a wired option ?"
    She: "The 10mbps ADSL Transmission speed will only work with a wireless modem..."
    Me: "huh ?"
    She: "Yes, because the speed is too fast, we can only use this wireless modem."
    Me: "What has the ADSL Upload/Download speed gotta do with how I connect the modem to my router?"
    She: "I am sorry, Sir - you *HAVE* to use the wireless modem ONLY"
    Me: "Wait - I dont think I am getting this. I know I need a ADSL2+ modem for the blazing speed of 10mbps, but if it only comes with a wireless option, how do I connect to an existing network of computers, routers that are NOT wireless-enabled"
    She: "In that case, I recommend you to get a Wi-fi card. These are cards that ... ... ..."
    Me: "Wait, I dont need an education in Wi-fi. I just need to know what do you tell your calling and interested customers who wants this blazing 10mbps speed and accepts they need a new ADSL2+ modem BUT has no Wi-fi network, equipment to play with or tap-on"
    She: "I told them - Sorry Sir/Madam. Our advanced ADSL speed requires a wireless option. If you dont have one, it wont work at all and you have to go for a slower ADSL speed. Sorry."
    ...

    I decided to check the ADSL modem brand that is given to subscribers and went into the manufacturer's site to look at the specs ...

    "...All our ADSL2+ modems comes with a wireless option PLUS 4-Ethernet enabled RJ45 Ports ..."

    Gosh. I wonder how many customers has she turned away with her knowledge that the ADSL Upload/Download speed is directly tied to the mode at which data is being transmitted from the modem to the connecting machines.

    Polite as she can be, I admit, BUT if I have a sales force of people like that, I will NOT be able to make any money at all to pay them.

    <sigh /> End of rant.

    Friday, March 24, 2006 5:22:54 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, March 09, 2006

    I remembered talking to someone on the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF, previously - Indigo) team before and the reason they chose [MesssageEncoding].MTOM instead of MessageTransmissionOptimizationMechanism is so that it could *at least* fit on a slide.

    Well, that someone obviously didnt educate the developer who build the [MessageSecurityVersion]. WSSecurity11WSTrustFebruary2005WSSecureConversationFebruary2005WSSecurityPolicy11BasicSecurityProfile10 property. [Talk about a mouthful]

    Not only is it hard to fit on a slide, it would be hard to mouth those words as well.

    Besides "bug jail", "secure-programming courses",  "geography lessons", I would highly recommend Microsoft engineers and developers go for "Power-Point Presentation Etiquette 101" lessons as well .

    Speaking of which, I just got handled an exception with a message like this:

    The CLR has been unable to transition from COM context 0x1a0d28 to COM context 0x1a0e98 for 60 seconds. The thread that owns the destination context/apartment is most likely either doing a non pumping wait or processing a very long running operation without pumping Windows messages. This situation generally has a negative performance impact and may even lead to the application becoming non responsive or memory usage accumulating continually over time. To avoid this problem, all single threaded apartment (STA) threads should use pumping wait primitives (such as CoWaitForMultipleHandles) and routinely pump messages during long running operations.

    Talk about being explicit. Exceptions should give a friendly message that enables one to have an idea where to start debugging and troubleshooting. The one just made me want to shut my machine down. .

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006 7:42:23 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Singapore has just announced an bold ambitious move to wire up the entire nation with a extremely high speed backbone that would move data in speeds beyond 1Gbps, or 500 times the common access speed of 2Mbps with the use of optical fibres or other technologies. Most of the crowded centres and streets would be "WI-FI"-ed by late this year.

    My dream of having the entire nation being one BIG hotspot would be coming true in probably a couple of years time.

    I have heard that the term "disconnected applications" will be thrown out of the window in Singapore very soon .

    Ah - the wonders of living in a [garden] city-site.

     

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006 4:49:07 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, February 24, 2006

    Microsoft-Google ?

    Cannot help but retrieve the above image from a long forum entry found here. It is either someone over-estimates MSFT Corp or under-estimates Google Inc.

    Friday, February 24, 2006 8:59:45 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    In an article on eweek, John deVadoss, director, architecture strategy at MSFT Corp made the following quotes:

    [QUOTE]


    Moreover, deVadoss said the edge consists of a provider and consumer model—a provider edge and a consumer edge.

    The consumer edge is the peer-to-peer, Web 2.0 world and the enterprise edge is the SOA, ESB (enterprise service bus) model. In addition, the consumer edge is an asynchronous communications model based on the REST (Representational State Transfer) scheme, and the enterprise edge is based on the Simple Object Access Protocol scheme.

     "REST is a dominant model on the consumer side, and SOAP is the model on the enterprise side," deVadoss said


    I know many people would probably shake their heads now as to the confusion that has arose with this quote. Actually, while I couldnt quite fully agree with everything said above - the nugget to dig here is that one resides on the edge of the enterprise (or the high-end processing machines out there) and the other resides at the side of the consumer.

    In reality though, what ultimately serves the consumer are the enterprises, in some way or another. It is the consumer who pays - no ? Therefore it would be safe to assume that there is a mixture of both schemes in any enterprise.

    While SOAP is probably familiar to many, REST shouldnt be a stranger to many more. It is nothing but how the World Wide Web has been working. It just has a new label OR should I say be saying that the label is stickier now ? SOAP and all the XML acronyms has just emphasized it more. While you may not need to know the URIs, URLs and the way resource locators work or how it came about - you may need to know the word POX (Plain Old XML).

    In simplistic terms - POX is just XML that doesnt really have a defined structure. In contextual terms, POX is XML that is not SOAP.

    Makes more sense now ?

     

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006 4:35:44 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    I love the American Press News and Humour. I am here in Washington listening to NBC.com and you would never see "See Dick Shoot" or "American VP blows his friend away" as the news tagline in Singapore.

    It would probably go something like "American Vice-President Richard Cheney shoots his friend accidentally" or something boring to the taste.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:16:24 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, January 29, 2006
    Saturday, January 28, 2006 11:54:04 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, January 27, 2006

    Dont get me wrong. I love my new PocketPC Phone on Windows Mobile 5. Some great reviews can be found here, here, here and here.

    If you read all those reviews, it is with no doubt that everyone has their thumbs-up for this beauty and the common underlying praise is its Performance with a Samsung 400 MHZ Processor, which some suggests runs with the same cyclical power of a Intel 570 MHZ Processor, BUT outperforms even that of the Intel 624 MHZ that the Dell AXIM x50 has.

    This is the only PocketPC Phone that I have test-driven successfully with Skype. And if you know how the architecture of Skype works, if it can run Skype, it can run everything. In fact, I have chatted with many people over Skype using this phone ... No-one knows that I am chatting with them via a PocketPC Phone ... and it really makes me wonder about why would anyone bother with these types ?

    Anyways, while playing around with some of the softwares in there, I noticed a couple of boo-boos like those shown below




    Giggles aside and it is a great conversation starter amongst geeks, I have always preferred functionality over aesthetics - Who really cares how the food and the cook looks when it tastes good (the food, that is ...)

    I also fnid it fsacinatnig that the human brian is so cabaple of knowing and dceiphering the meaning, the intent, the samentics of these words, even though it is spelt wrognly.

    Is this an exercise of the brain or is it just simply to carry on the great legacy of software typos ?

    Thursday, January 26, 2006 9:00:34 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, January 26, 2006

    This is a long but great post (worth the time) comparing the presentation styles of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. I must admit that I had fallen (almost) asleep hearing Bill present the last couple of times last year.

    His presentation was designed such that the focus was on his power-point slides. This is wrong. People are paying money to see and hear Bill speak. Bill has to carry himself ... and just like what that post mentioned > "There was a lot of  images and a lot of text".

    It was way too much.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:18:15 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, January 20, 2006

    I am known to be a hard-driving consumer. Hey, I work hard for my money, they should do the same for mine. It is all fair and good.

    Recently, my phone line was bad (read: Noisy) and that affected my ADSL line as well (read: intermittent Internet Connectivity). When I called the service provider, they told me that the linesman would only come to my place after 3 days and, as usual, said: They will be there between 1300 to 1800 hours

    I was stunned. Where is the basic SLA ? They said that because of the rain these days, the Fault Lines Technicians and Engineers were swarmed and therefore were busy. I told them - to be honest - thats your problem; not mine. I cannot tell my boss or my clients that I can only answer emails or fight fires 3 days later because there was too much rain and a Global Billion-Dollar company like Singtel cannot handle it. They cannot compensate me for a quantifying amount for loss of service for 3 days because there is loss of business activities to me. Try to quantify that !!!

    Hey, SingTel - Learn ! Learn ! Learn ! If there is excessive rain and fault rates (read: Demands) are high. For goodness sake - Increase the size of your field team. Pay them per-incidence. Train more people. You have a basic service level to keep up. I will understand if your Comcenter gets terrorized or hi-jacked but Rain ? C'mon - That is hardly an excuse. As a global company that has revenues in billions - you ought to do better. Shame.

    And whats the deal with between 1300 - 1800 hours. I never did understand that. Why penalize a comsumer who has to take leave (hey, someone has to work hard to pay the service provider, dont they ?) to wait 5 hours for a technician who comes in and solves the problem within 10 minutes.

    I think this is becoming to be a Singaporean culture - started by the Government, of course. I still laugh when I hear our own economist forecasting: "...we expect our GDP to grow to between 1% to 4%".

    Dudes, that is a huge gap just to cover your as*es. If you are wrong, admit you are wrong. Dont give yourself that gap just so you can always be right.

    Try submitting that report to hard drivers in the US or Europe and see them cringed. Giving that GDP gap as actual reported numbers is insane. Dont they know that a 1% gap equates to billions of dollars. It is akin to saying that my company may rake in between 10 dollars and 1,000,000 dollars this year and get some angel investors to sink their see funds in it.

    Angel Investor: "Hey, I think I made a good investment today"
    His Wife: "Oh ? Which lucky company is that ?"
    Angel Investor: "Well, they stand to make 1,000,000 dollars because of their great product and wonderful management"
    His Wife: "Excellent ! Maybe its time to have that 3rd kid we have always wanted"
    Angel Investor: "Well, honey...not so soon ... because they can make just only 10 dollars too..."
    [His Wife puts on her clothes again ...]

    ...Thats why I think the weatherman in Singapore has the easiest job. Our weather is fairly constant all year around and I hope one day we dont hear our weatherperson saying something like: "...expect temperatures to be between 1 and 35 degree Celsius..." Of course, they are always right and never wrong.

    With all the noise I made and a threat to write to the press about it, the linesman came in 2 hours time on the very same day.

    Remind me not to go into any consumer business next time.

    Thursday, January 19, 2006 9:21:52 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, January 19, 2006
    Thursday, January 19, 2006 12:56:22 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    Two of my favourite features out of many in Visual Studio 2005.

    1) Finally - A Correction of what was wrong for some time - There is a Add Service Reference now. This is essentially what svcutil.exe does for you. Awesome. Now we know we are speaking services and messages ... No more calls please.

    2) A simple IDE enhancement but yet one that can generate lots of productivity. VS.NET will launch any project (of a solution) that my cursor is residing on. No more booting up of Class Libraries or Service Components by mistake anymore, (esp. in-front of an audience)

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006 3:08:43 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, January 13, 2006

    If you want some more of this, email me or comment your email here.

    [Update:] Sorry, many people have written in to me and all invites have all been given out.

    Friday, January 13, 2006 4:37:14 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, January 07, 2006

    It seems that Microsoft is copying the Google G-mail thingy with the invitation lists to its beta software.

    I have got a couple of invites to give away for the MSN Messenger (Version 8) or better known as Windows Live Messenger. Drop me an email or leave your email here if you are interested in this beta program.

    [Update:] Sorry, many people have written in to me and all invites have all been given out.

    Saturday, January 07, 2006 12:31:36 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    Many people I know, especially my wife, knows how hard I work to drive myself. A lot of people that I work with know that as well.

    If you want additional proof: I have been issued the standard company higher-END laptop IBM T-40 a couple of years back together with a few of my colleagues. Their screens are working fine. Look at mine now. The screen pixels are burnt out, faster than I am. Yes, I know thats what screen-savers are for - BUT I am never off the screen long enough for it to be activated. That alone will show how much (DEEP) documentation I am reading or (BAD) code I am reviewing.

    I really hope this is a great excuse to justify to the company that I work too damn hard and should be justified to get another new laptop such as this beauty OR a Pay-Raise ...

    Of course, no prizes for guessing I prefer the latter.

    ScreenPixelsBusted.JPG

    ScreenPixelsBusted1.JPG

    ScreenPixelsBusted2.JPG

    ScreenPixelsBusted3.JPG

    ScreenPixelsBusted4.JPG

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005 12:51:24 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, November 18, 2005

    How about that ? Can you imagine - 可 擴 展 標 記 語 言 actually means eXtensible Markup Language ?

    Friday, November 18, 2005 12:42:15 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, November 11, 2005

    What an awesome Translator !!!

    Where was this a year ago when I had to port something from C# to VB.NET ?

    The next enhancement should have something that translates business requirements to code. I would definitely buy that.

    Friday, November 11, 2005 1:32:31 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    As mentioned in an earlier post, the traces of what I did here is starting to show more and more as launch dates near. I had flashed the poster. Now here is the WW-Launch video.

    To see the keynotes by Steve Ballmer at the Worldwide Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, and BizTalk Server 2006 Launch, see here.

    So much for my 0.002 seconds of fame.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005 4:52:19 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, November 04, 2005

    This is a good move. No. Wait, I correct myself. This is a GREAT move.

    Windows Live and MSN is indeed shaping up very nicely ...

    Friday, November 04, 2005 12:00:12 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    William Tay at VS2005, SQL2005, BTS2006 Launch

    One of the posters scheduled for the WorldWide Launch of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk 2006 on Nov 7 2005 at Moscone West Convention Center.

    The traces of what I did here is starting to show more and more as launch dates near.

    [Update]: Now, the VS / SQL 2005 World-Wide Launch video to complement the poster above can be seen and heard here. So much for my 0.002 seconds of fame.

    Now, aint that a cool drummer dude ?

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005 6:59:36 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, October 18, 2005
    Some of my recent project work have been very focused on the Middle-East and therefore, we have to scope out a different set of UIs that deals with Arabic characters which reads from Right-to-Left   Some of my recent project work have been very focused on the Middle-East and therefore, we have to scope out a different set of UIs that deals with Arabic characters which reads from Right-to-Left

    Some of my recent project work have been very focused on the Middle-East and therefore, we have to scope out a different set of UIs that deals with Arabic characters which reads from Right-to-Left   Some of my recent project work have been very focused on the Middle-East and therefore, we have to scope out a different set of UIs that deals with Arabic characters which reads from Right-to-Left

    This is a great resource for authoring Middle-Eastern content:
    http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/handson/dev/Mideast.mspx

    Monday, October 17, 2005 10:03:10 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, October 17, 2005

    I couldnt resist.

    WomenAndProblems.jpg

    Monday, October 17, 2005 7:10:02 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, October 01, 2005

    I am trying to test out Start.com. It is pretty good so far. I like the "Recent Searches" bit on the left-hand menu.

    It is, however, too early to say that it will displace Google.com for my main search page for all my machines at home.

    It does look promising though ...

    Saturday, October 01, 2005 5:48:12 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, September 23, 2005

    The British Computer Society came up with this very interesting piece which I recommend a STRONG read.

    A couple of points which I find very interesting (and many people may not know and how true it is) and I take the liberty to quote from the above-referenced article here:

    "... In most industrialized nations, intellectual property (IP) generated by an employee through the course of his or her employment legally belongs to the employer. In the UK, this is embodied in the Patents Act 1977 and the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988. Of course, if you are employed as a janitor and happen to write software in your spare time, you could argue that the IP that you are generating is entirely unconnected with your normal duties as an employee and therefore belongs to you. However, when it comes to software professionals, there is no such argument. Any software that they write, irrespective of whether it is during or outside normal working hours, legally belongs to their employer. Self-employed and contract software engineers are not usually bound by employer's IP rights but are unlikely to be strongly motivated to write OSS code unless they can earn a living from doing so, and the unpaid volunteer nature of OSS development tends to rule out this possibility ..."

    "... There are uncomfortable similarities between the OSS development process and the situation that arose in the computer games industry in the early 1980s, where legions of 'bedroom programmers' produced video console games of such poor quality that, despite selling in tens of thousands, they nearly destroyed the industry. The games industry learned a valuable lesson from this experience and is now arguably the most highly trained and disciplined software development community in the world. This professionalism in software development is cited as a major contributory factor to the explosive growth that the computer games industry has enjoyed over the last 10 years. The open source movement, with its hacker ethic, doesn't promote professionalism ..."

    I did spend some time pondering over the member's remark:

    "... Without prompt action, my fear is that a further move towards OSS could result in the nightmare scenario of OSS at one extreme and Microsoft at the other with nothing else in between. Where would our freedom of choice be then? ..."

    Friday, September 23, 2005 1:04:37 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    I remember while I was chatting about one of the article I was working on for MSDN with some folks from MSFT Corp during lunch at and I said that most of my code snippets are written in Visual Basic and for once ever, no-one sniggered and laughed. That moment was priceless.

    This was because we just came off a fantastic talk on Visual Basic 9: Future Directions in Language Innovations. In fact, someone echoed how cool Visual Basic 9 IS now. I dont know how long was it when "Cool" and "Visual Basic" got along together until today. WOW ! What can I say ? It is standing proud.

    There is a piece here that gives a brief overview on Visual Basic 9. What do I love most ? Its built-in deep XML Support. I cannot wait. Give it to me now !!!

    It was a great day.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005 6:23:25 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, September 16, 2005

    This is hilarious. The closed captioning on Bill Gates keynotes, which was also broadcast over the internet, had some real funny inconsistencies that can make Jay Leno's Headlines any time. Instead of writing down what I saw, fellow Microsoft Regional Director, Benjamin Mitchell has documented it well here. I took the liberty to quote him on this funny paragraph.

    Funny things that came up on the closed captions on the video screen as Bill spoke:

    'Intel a mir a cash mode' -  'IntelliMirror cache mode'
    'Things like our asses are driving up to do this' (RSS)
    Sin yer jistic (synergistic)
    Overall I was incredible impressed that the subtitles kept pace and did such an accurate job.

     

    Friday, September 16, 2005 3:06:39 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, September 10, 2005

    Taken from the "Lets Go" Guide-Book Series for Los Angeles, California:

    "Downtown, an uneasy truce exists prevails between the bustling financiers and the street population, but visitors should be cautious - the area is especially unsafe after business hours and on weekends."

    "Cheap accommodations in Los Angeles are often unsafe ... Downtown has public transportation connections, but is unsafe after dark. Even those with cars should choose lodgings close to their interests to keep car-bound time to a minimum."

    "Once the sun sets, those on foot, especially outside west LA and off well-lit main drags, should exercise caution, particularly when alone. Plan your pedestrian routes very carefully - it is worth a detour to avoid passing through heavily crime-ridden areas. If you hitchhike, you will probably die. It is exceptionally dangerous, not to mention illegal. Do not even consider it."

    Nuff said.

    Saturday, September 10, 2005 8:01:54 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • Everyone I meet that knows about  is asking me this question ... and I have no idea. This is the first time in a long time I will be attending a major conference as an attendee and I am super-excited about the absence of the pressures of presenting.

    I have no idea what will be announced in PDC although I expect it to rival that was announced in the same event 2 years back. I even thought WinFS was a major announcement that could have made PDC 2005 headlines. Apparently not --- It was released and made public a couple of weeks back so this new IUnknown is even bigger, I guess...

    Robert Scoble (Chief Blog Officer at MSFT Corp) has prepared us to be amazed at what will be unveiled in PDC 2005 next week via the Channel 9 thread. Stay tuned and subscribe to this blog or other PDC-related blogs here.

    On another note: One thing that escaped a lot of people with the recent tussle between the 2 tech giants that I have posted here, is that Christian Lindholm (a key whiz at Nokia) has joined Yahoo!. Via Scoble's blog here, he seems to think that Yahoo! is the dark horse to watch out for in the future of social software engineering, which by the way Google and Microsoft are trying so hard to own or is it control ? a big piece of the pie in recent times.

    The key ? Maps. Nothing but Maps --- which reminds me I have to invest in a nice piece of GPRS hardware / software soon. Hopefully with the mass release of Windows Mobile 5 by the hardware vendors.

    Saturday, September 10, 2005 12:23:07 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, September 09, 2005

    While preparing and packing to travel 14114.658437372207 km / 8770.442141252713 miles to LA, California for PDC 2005, I watched some news on the court fights between MSFT Corp and Google. As I have already pointed out to the personal ill-feelings that seems to have harboured between the 2 technology companies, more seems to have emerged as shown here and here.

    While the world is watching, Google hired an old-timer, Vinton Cerf, who is well known as the pioneer of the internet as well as his work in TCP/IP, as their Chief Internet Evangelist. Looks like they have taken a page off Microsoft's books as well in hiring evangelistic roles in their drives forward or is it the church that eveyone stole from ?

    I dont know what to make out of these news, other than is it rather inconsequential to what I do at work or at home. All I know is that Google better not come up with a new Control Protocol or something which the world doesnt need.

    Talking about inconsequential events, something of 128 bits caught my eye. That is funny.

    Now if only someone can explain to me how come the surface distance measurements from Singapore to LA, California (14114.658437372207 km / 8770.442141252713 miles) is more than Singapore to Seattle, Washington (12972.651413630075 km / 8060.831875366655 miles) when my little book-end globe and my travel air tickets is saying otherwise.

    Friday, September 09, 2005 5:21:17 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, September 04, 2005

    Obviously, to rile Steve Ballmer to say that, he must also have been reading the Sun Tzu's Art of War: Chapter 2 --- Waging War

    ... and I quote ...

    16. Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.

    Sunday, September 04, 2005 5:51:13 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, August 21, 2005

    To-Do List

    ...
    Task 579: Upgrade to dasBlog 1.8.5223
    Task 580: Make more money
    ...

    Features worth the upgrading effort

    • All the security features + Anti-Spam + Syndication features
    • Ability to pre- and post-date entries
    • Permalinks based on Title and Date optional (Just check the urlTitle of any of my blog posts and you will see what I mean)
    • More++ can be found at Mr Scott ComputerZen's site of treasures

    I have also removed all those useless referrals ...

    Sunday, August 21, 2005 11:06:49 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, July 14, 2005

    The perennial question: Love or Hate your Project Managers (PM) ?


    Three men: a project manager, a software engineer, and a hardware engineer are in Ft. Lauderdale for a two-week period helping out on a project.

    About midweek they decide to walk up and down the beach during their lunch hour. Halfway up the beach, they stumbled upon a lamp. As they rub the lamp a genie appears and says "Normally I would grant you 3 wishes, but since there are 3 of you, I will grant you each one wish."

    The hardware engineer went first. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living in a huge house in St. Thomas, with no money worries and surrounded by beautiful women who worship me." The genie granted him his wish and sent him on off to St. Thomas.

    The software engineer went next. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean, with no money worries and surrounded by beautiful women who worship me." The genie granted him his wish and sent him off to the Mediterranean.

    Last, but not least, it was the project manager's turn. "And what would your wish be?" asked the genie.

    "I want them both back after lunch" replied the project manager."


    • If you get in my way, I'll kill you! - ideal project manager
    • If you get in my way, you'll kill me! - somewhat less than ideal project manager
    • If I get in my way, I'll kill you! - somewhat misguided project manager
    • If I get in your way, I'll kill you! - A tough project manager (eats glass, live cats, etc.)
    • If get kill in will way I you. - dyslexic, functionally illiterate project manager
    • I am the way! Kill me if you can! - messianic project manager
    • Get away, I'll kill us all! - suicidal project manager
    • If you kill me, I'll get in your way. - thoughtful but ineffective project manager
    • If I kill you, I'll get in your way. - project manager who has trouble dealing with the obvious
    • If a you getta ina my way, I gonna breaka you arm. - project manager from New York
    • I am quite confident that there is nothing in the way, so no one will get killed. - project manager who is about to get in big trouble
    • If you kill me, so what? If you get in my way, who cares? - weak, uninspired, lackluster project manager
    • If I kill me, you'll get your way. - pragmatic project manager
    • Kill me, it's the only way. - every project manager to date


    Everyone in the project team (PMs, Engineers, Developers, etc) have a key part to play and therefore a right to exist within a project environment...and the key point is that --- Everyone wants to take care of the customer since they are the ones paying but we take care of them in our own (I know its right) ways and sometimes if anyone wants to go home earlier, it is usually at the expense of another.

    There is no exact science to this. It is mainly art. If it was pure science and everything is so researched, proofed and documentated, we would not have this diagram (which has been in existence for years) still making great jokes and headlines today.

    Thursday, July 14, 2005 5:34:10 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, July 07, 2005

    I have been following the exchanges between Savas, Jim Webber, and Michi Henning here and here. There are more links but I will leave it up to the interested reader to use a RESTful approach to refer to those resources from the above 2 links.

    To be honest, this has been piped over the newsgroups, forums, conferences, etc for some time now and it is really nothing interesting to debate about, really.

    All this noise has led to a lot of FUD in the field and I get a constant barrage of questions in any of the technology conferences I speak in or attend. I work in the fields out there and therefore I tend to approach technology unlike that of academics, trainers or vendors. I do what clients want in the most efficient way (read:cost_and_resource-effective) possible. I have met a few people from academics as well as from the product vendors who entered the field thinking that just because they can point out which exact page number explains the ds:SignedInfo in _WS-Security Specs_, they can convince and conquer the field and have every single customer out there upgrade their existing technological infrastructure every 6 years.

    Well, the Mainfraimes, the CICS and the COBOL wonks are still out there. Still making a lot of money for its vendors and service providers. People are still driving Ladas and these legacy will be there for some time, probably a long long time.

    We get a lot of younER developers who are very confused with all barrage of technologies out there and sometimes people on the field (which means customers as well) get the short end of the stick when these developers use the wrong technology in the different parts of the technical solution. So, yes, some of the stuff you read in the Daily WTF is not ficticious.

    Sometimes, when I come across comments like these here from Savas's blog here:

    > Microsoft is betting on SOAP and made it a key part of its distributed computing platform, not DCOM.

    Betting on SOAP? Hmmm... .NET remoting does not use SOAP. It uses a binary protocol for performance reasons. So, I'm not sure that Microsoft are "betting on SOAP". They certainly are not for their .NET remoting protocol. And DCOM failed because it could not be made to scale, due to its misguided garbage collection idea. And because DCOM, amazing as that may sound, was even more complex than CORBA.

    Somehow, I either feel that I still dont get the picture or that irrationality is clouding good judgement (still).

    Of course, .NET Remoting doesnt use SOAP. In fact, it used to and is deprecated for good reasons. It is a distributed object technology which implies implicit method invocation. SOAP is not a distributed object technology. It is all about services, all about standard schemas, being explicit in design and yes, it also means dispatching these XML documents on a "hopeless transport" or the Lada of the network protocol today. You cannot compare them just like you cannot compare the performance of objects and services.

    Is this the best we can do ? Of course NOT. Should we all dump our existing heap of scrap metal in our garage and get the shiniest and fastest aluminium today ? Of course. Are we going to empty our bank account, forfeit and compensate on our current loan arrangments to do it ? NO, NOPE, NADA ... This is a just a fact that we have to deal with.

    Having said that, to me, both sets of distributed technologies will have its place to stay, regardless of what the vendors say to sell more and the trainers sell to teach more. Each have its place and their merits tend to show up best if used and deployed wisely in the different layers, tiers and boundaries of a decent, usable and viable solution. When I say Solution, I mean an entire composition of different new and old systems that services a business program, initiative and ultimately a goal. Isnt that what we are building systems for in the first place or have I totally lost my mind and lost track of who my paymaster is ? Dont get me wrong, progress is not possible without making full proof and implementations of the latest rocket science or theories. But Progress can be measured in many ways. To most people, progress is measured by how they can make legacy or existing technologies and architetures last and endure given the rapidly evolving set of standards, protocols and environments and how fast they can go home and spend time with their families as age increases and TTL declines.

    COM+, DCOM, .NET Remoting is something we use very frequently on the field, and for good reasons too. I am known to be a (W3C) SOAP Wonk BUT I will not give them up easily within the innards of my system and I will use SOAP for the reasons it was designed for. In fact, to me, one of the most important features in SOAP is the @role (@actor) and the @mustUnderstand. Or else, I would just stick with just plain old XML.

    Is Microsoft betting on SOAP ? You bet, and so is the entire industry. It is a well known fact that while it is simplistic in design (in fact, this is one of the wierd specification that becomes simpler as the newer iteration evolve. Let hope it remains this way), getting across-the-board agreement is the costly element. In fact, it took 5 years from the original design meeting and prototype to become an “official” specification and it (SOAP 1.1) is still not an official W3C Submission. The cost to each participating organization easily crosses several million USD. The rough estimates to putting the final WS-* specs to bed (if there is such a thing) would easily be more than 20 million USD.

    Just like life, in the field of software engineering, compromise is something we need to work with. I once had a straight-through exhaust pipe the circumference of a toilet bowl fitted underneath my car as well as a wide-open air filter underneath the car bonnet. After 3 months, I couldnt deal with the generated noise as well as the (less-dense) hot air the air cone was taking in from all angles so I dumped both of them. While it may take me slightly longer (by a few seconds, perhaps) to reach the market to buy groceries, the brat in the younger me learnt to deal with it.

    While, I have my own ideas on the Request/Reply MEP, RPC, Document-Literal Messaging, etc and I like to share my research and thoughts with some of the brightest minds in the industry over a hot cup of Java, it is not something I lose sleep or sweat about. It just serves to keep my sanity in check when I still have to deal with OLE and VB3 issues today and it does make good conversation with some of the most intelligent geeks out there.

    Sometimes, I feel the point of technology is lost when people argue over stuff like that. To these people, I recommend a good classic read: Technopoly: The surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman

    Thursday, July 07, 2005 4:40:24 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, June 30, 2005
    Noted architecture author and guru Roger Sessions of ObjectWatch has this wonderful take-away observation from the recently-concluded Microsoft TechED 2005 in Orlando, Florida.
    Wednesday, June 29, 2005 5:57:24 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, June 26, 2005

    I really wish I was there to hear Steve Jobs deliver this in person.

    In more ways than one, I have always tended (and tried) to live my life and my career path as the way he does. It is a pity there are so many people I know today that have this huge dose of pragmatism built in, whether it is in-bred, cultivated or through an accumulation of bad experiences, that prevents them from achieving the best they can because tangible$ gets in the way.

    ...which explains why there are only a few Steve Jobs-types in this world. It is only when you realize how close to death you are then you find out how to live life.

    The thing that bugs me the most is that those overbearing "guardians" do tend to blanket these theoretical by-the-book advice on the younger ones in the industry who are born so full of curiosity and enthusiasm. By doing so repeatedly, they kill those creative elements in these people.

    Chaos breed creativity.

    People who live life making a few mistakes (which could be the cause of circumstantial instances and therefore through no fault of theirs) tend to keep an orderly, on the right-side of the road perspective of life. While this is not wrong, they should not be telling people on the other side of the road that they are travelling wrong if they cannot even tell where the traffic is coming from a few years down the road.

    A lot of people put a value on the tangible$ to define the end goals in life. What they are essentially doing is putting a buffer on the money coffers to add a false sense of security (or some say, happiness) in life.

    To me, as cliche as it may sound, the journey is the reward and the justification of that is the end goal. While I am the last person to say that tangible$ are the least important thing in life because I sure need it to pay the bills and feed the mouths, I make it a point not to be greedy.

    Like what Jobs had said --- "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." I am making sure my son learns that, in the right way and right context, of course.

    Sunday, June 26, 2005 1:26:03 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, June 23, 2005

    A magazine recently ran a "Dilbert quotes" contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real-life dilbert-type managers.

    Winning quote from Fred Dales, MS Corp Redmond

    "As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks."

    Could this be the reason why Longhorn is delayed. Except that it is in years instead of weeks.

    Thursday, June 23, 2005 2:07:20 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, June 16, 2005

    This is a stress ball I will be giving out during an Indigo training seminar / presentation.

    Indigo Stress Ball

    Sometimes, I wonder the significance of giving out stress balls for training events like these. What are they trying to say? What does it say about the product you are selling? If you use this, you may need this stress ball to squeeze and to whack against the wall instead of pulling your hair out when things dont work as smoothly as they are supposed to? Yes, it will cause you that much stress.

    Why can't they ask me to give out a cold beer or hot coffee or something ? It can convey the message that if you use our product, you can have your cold beer before it gets warm or sip our hot coffee before it turns cold.

    My opinions, strictly.

    Thursday, June 16, 2005 5:00:12 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, April 27, 2005
    Tuesday, April 26, 2005 10:28:06 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, April 17, 2005
    Your Dominant Intelligence is Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
    You are great at finding patterns and relationships between things. Always curious about how things work, you love to set up experiments. You need for the world to make sense - and are good at making sense of it. You have a head for numbers and math ... and you can solve almost any logic puzzle. You would make a great scientist, engineer, computer programmer, researcher, accountant, or mathematician.
     
     
    Pretty accurate. Not Bad, Not Bad...
    Sunday, April 17, 2005 7:22:37 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • I am preparing for a few road trips soon and in that meantime I am also expecting some important business emails to come in. Since I am using a normal 3rd party pop mail server and dont have any fanciful Microsoft Exchange APIs to play with, my best friend here is definitely my Outlook 2003.

    Over the weekend, I created a simple web service which allows the invocations to be able to SMS me on my mobile phone. How this is done will remain a secret for now. So, now I need to hook into Outlook events, specifically the Application_NewMail() event which triggers automatically when a new email is received. The objective is to leave my Outlook 2003 running at home and set a timing process to pull mail from the POP Server periodically. Once a mail is received and I will do some rule-based processing to make sure it is from the important business contacts I am expecting, I will invoke a Web Service from within Outlook itself.

    Sunday, April 17, 2005 2:08:48 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, April 02, 2005

    I dunno --- I think 1 GB is already a lot. Now, we have 2 GB !

    When will the war hit the breaking point ? When it reaches 1 TB ?

    Saturday, April 02, 2005 11:57:01 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    People who know me knows that I generally dislike the the unproductivity of the development of Web Applications. Clients are asking for more and more complex (== intuitive) user interfaces today which is forcing the developers to handle the complexity of the plumbings of the protocols and other legacy (== it works) innards (== javascript) instead of focusing on solving the business problems. ASP.NET goes a long way in simplifying that technology process. However, the baggage of the protocol (synchronous request-response, state, etc) leaves a lot to be desired by the clients (== users) and the developers.

    The developers at Google are using what people are calling 'Ajax.' Jesse James Garrett at Adaptive Path consulting in San Francisco explains it this way via his blog:

    "Google Suggest and Google Maps are two examples of a new approach to web applications that we at Adaptive Path have been calling Ajax. The name is shorthand for Asynchronous JavaScript + XML, and it represents a fundamental shift in what’s possible on the Web."

    Basically Ajax is about using Javascript and the XmlHttpRequest object to do processing on the server after the page loads on the client. You can read about the process in this article.

    The possibilities with this are potentially amazing. "The real challenge here is not figuring out how to make the code work but thinking of interesting ways in which it can be utilized."

    Google Suggest and Google Maps did shake the earth for some people at how Web Applications can be viewed and re-invented using oldER technologies. My fear is that clients will start calling and ask for these interfaces when there are still no clear designing tools around. It seems like, in today's world, everyone is not focusing on staring at angle-brackets, choosing to let the toolkits and toolsets do the walking and talking for them.

    With the above said, now unless Visual Studio comes up with a designer for Web Applications close to that or can Eclipse of the J2EE world step up to the plate to be a tough challenger (and credit must be given to them for achieving tremendous strides over the past few years in catching up with the intuitiveness, productivity and the richness of VS.NET),  it will still remain out of reach to most mainstream commercial developers.

    Now until that happens, and not forgetting Flash gaining huge popularity (Check out this amazing Flash Application that does a one-screen registration with no effects of the http synchronous request-response showing through), does this spell the end of Smart Clients ?

    Only time will tell...

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005 9:32:01 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, March 04, 2005

    Pat Helland, a favourite speaker of mine on Service-Orientation and someone whom many regard as the Architect's Architect is joining Werner Vogels in Amazon.

    Is there a brain drain in MSFT Corp ? OR is it just a process of making way for newer ones ?

    Friday, March 04, 2005 1:31:57 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • Pun intended on the word "Galestorm" in this post title.

    What strikes me most is the fact that if you read between the lines further, you will noticed that Google and Amazon got mentioned in the same breath. Doesnt that sound eerily familiar ?

    Friday, March 04, 2005 2:47:02 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, March 03, 2005

    If you are in Microsoft TechED 2005 in Orlando, Florida from June 5-10 2005, you will see something happening during the keynote speech --- which should make your jaws drop with the upcoming plans for .NET. I cannot say much at this point except to say that ASPSOFT has got some great gimmicks for this.

    If you are fan of .NET Technologies, I bet you will still be amazed at what the aggregation of technologies such as Web Services, Smart Client, GDI+ and ClickOnce deployment can do.

    Be there.

    Thursday, March 03, 2005 1:09:25 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, March 01, 2005
    This couldn't be written any better.
    Tuesday, March 01, 2005 1:13:57 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • I have seen all kinds of referral spam on my blog BUT this ?

    http TripleW Dot iaea Dot org/ (International Atomic Energy Agency)

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005 3:05:26 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, February 26, 2005

    If you built it well and right, you only have to built it once tm

    Saturday, February 26, 2005 1:49:10 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, February 18, 2005
    Friday, February 18, 2005 2:06:32 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, February 11, 2005

    I have been a very interested observer in the recent debate between Tim and Clemens on their definition of the contract in the context of XSD/WSDL/Policy. Aaron has this to share as well which I read with great interest.

    I have done a fair amount of work in preparing to give some prezzos and talks about XSD/WSDL/Policy this year. This is the feedback I had gathered over past few months when developers questioned the reach of interoperability of XML SOAP Services...and most of the time, they have no idea what is going on with the XMLSerializer and the WSDL Generator.

    Although I am on Clemen's side when he states that:

    "Staring at WSDL is about as interesting as looking at the output of “midl /Oicf”."

    I do stand on different ground as him when I believe that developers still need to know what is going on in the deeper plumbings of things. Semantics discovery is still a distance away. While the RAD approach of VS.NET and Indigo is great in churning out developer and business productivity, the real world of the enterprise is rather different. Working in a fairly large SI give me an in-depth look at how disparate systems MUST BE made to integrate and work with each other. Introducing newer, better systems such as Indigo is not even an option at this point in time.

    WSDL-generating tools are still very primtive today. There is no easy way to really extend or version my XML SOAP Services without mucking around with the brackets of WSDL today. If you implement some kind of a proxy-middleware layer approach as a messaging layer (known as the Enterprise Service or Message Bus to some), it is highly likely that it is doing things to your XSD or WSDL to attain its advertised benefits. The point is --- You cannot run away from having to muck around with it and we are not even talking about interoperability yet.

    Clemens, however, did state his point is only valid "if you’ll be sticking to Indigo". Unfortunately, I dont have that luxury to work in an environment with a single homogeneous platform and I really doubt that will change in the real world for many years to come. So besides having to know what the wire-format looks like, it is equally important to agree to that format first and this is where XSD/WSDL/Policy comes in.

    I think Aaron hit the point in his post when he did a comparison of roles between IDL and XSD/WSDL/Policy plays in the definition of a contract. However, I would read WSDL than IDL anytime of the day.

    I believe that the WSDL generated by default (*.asmx?WSDL) from VS.NET is difficult to read and understand before it is not in-line with proper practices. Modularity, Re-usability and Separation of concerns are not being diligently practiced. That is fine, and like what Clemens say, as it is not meant to be read by many humans...but by not treating it as an official contract is totally different thing altogether.

    I think WSDL is the indispensable API and is poised to be the universal contract design view. I am a great fan of the contract-first approach and Thinktecture's WSCF, currently in the 4th rendition, is a huge step in the right direction to realize that design implementation. It does a great job in separating the data types from the message types. I cannot wait for it to go one step further in version 5 where it will generate interfaces to host the service implementation regardless of where the implementation may be, amongst other things. Thanks Christian for listening to my pleas.

    And if you are not debating the fact that WSDL is the contract but it is the readability you are having an issue with, there are a couple of ways to make a WSDL easier to read. If you are having trouble with the brackets, then why not try the {curly} ones instead. I used CapeClear's Simplified WSDL Stylesheet to bend the angles into curls.

    And of course, some people from the other camp do share the same views as well.

    Barring any further whopping from Rich Salz on WSDL 2.0, I think some of the recommendations of WSDL 2.0 does make it slightly flatter and therefore easier on the eyes. Examples include:

    1. Removal of Message Constructs -- It is more or less redundant now with Doc/Literal in wide acceptance now and is rightfully placed in the section.
    2. Renaming of PortTypes to Interfaces and Port to Endpoint can give a Software / XML SOAP Service geek orgasms.
    3. Introducing XML Schema model XSD-type enhancements such as wsdl:import and wsdl:include does bring about certain principles of modularity, re-usability and separation of concerns.
    4. ...

     

    Friday, February 11, 2005 2:56:39 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, January 31, 2005

    If there is one guy who can do it, it is sure to be Mr Brains-and-Brawns...

    You are a devil, Casey.

    Monday, January 31, 2005 12:42:35 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, January 29, 2005

    Time and time again, I have heard many companies and people talk about how they want to adopt XML Services and (W3C) SOAP so that they can be seen moving with the times embracing Service Orientated Architectures.

    I have always stressed that it is a lot lot more than that. Just because all your applications can emit out SOAP and angle brackets and your consuming applications can "Add Web Reference" doesnt mean your business is in the realms of Service-Orientation.

    This article here puts it very nicely. It is a lot more than what most people think and it takes a longer time to understand and embrace it fully. It is very much in the business processes and very importantly, the understanding of it...and this takes a tremendous mindset change in the business thinking and culture.

    I took the liberty to quote a few snippets out:

    • "Some of the enterprises that are deftly moving toward a service-oriented architecture to exploit the potential of Web services are confronting challenges technology can't always conquer. Users say Web services still suffer from a lack of clear metadata definitions and the need for sometimes significant IT cultural changes. "
       
    • "Trimble learned that even using Web services, it isn't possible for the company to "gracefully and quickly" integrate systems gained in several acquisitions over the past couple of years because of the metadata problems, Denis said. "There's too much fluidity around data objects, [and] we fall back into our own nomenclature and begin to define business objects," he said. "Customer definitions are the most complex challenges for us. We support very different businesses. Our customers are major accounts, channels and end users, so it is difficult to have a one-size-fits-all definition." Until industry standards for metadata management mature, the company must tackle the metadata issues outside the SOA project, he said "
       
    • "But as the project has moved forward, it has been slowed by the lack of standard metadata definitions, which define and describe applications' data, "
       
    • "Learning noted that the migration to Web services required some cultural changes along the way, such as getting customers to change their mind-set about the way they use the system."
       
    • "Denis said that the company must create its own process for managing the disparate ERP systems' metadata because of a lack of tools that can automate the operation. The complex ERP network includes packages from SAP AG, Oracle Corp. and Siebel Systems Inc., some of which were gained via acquisitions."
    Saturday, January 29, 2005 8:52:29 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, January 20, 2005

    If you can see this correctly, then Julie Lerman's BLInk still works with this version of dasBlog 1.7.5016.0

    Posted from BLInk !

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005 10:56:15 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    If you are reading this, I am already successfully migrated to dasBlog 1.7.5016.0. There are so many wonderful enhancements to this version. I especially love the Anti-Spam features of it via the Captcha image Comment Post and the ReferralSpam blacklist.

    Incidentally, I had written up an article on DevX before on "Spoof-Proofing your Logins" here. Do check it out.

    Thanks Mr Computer Zen, Scott Hanselman for the excellent contributions to this project.

    Trust me, I wasted no time in drawing up the referral blacklist. The much-desired feature of allowing the author to draft up a blog post first before publishing it (IsPublic = true) is also here now.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005 1:19:53 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, January 13, 2005

    One of the great minds whose blog I keep track of is Werner Vogels. I have been keeping track of his blog since he was teaching in Cornell and then he moved on to the Director of Research of Amazon and now this, to become the CTO of Amazon !!! Ultra-Cool, Mr Distributed Computing !

    Congratulations, Werner.


    I wonder if this means we could see the scary vision of Googlezon in 2008 ?
    If you dont know what I mean, check this out...

    Thursday, January 13, 2005 10:09:20 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, December 24, 2004

    According to this article, it says that

    • Web services, security and Linux jobs continue to dominate the IT help wanted ads and are projected to remain among the hottest skill and certification areas in 2005, according to research firms that specialize in tracking skills and certifications...
    • ...Networking, messaging and programming language skills also increased in value...
    • A small drop off in offshore outsourcing projects and an increase in competition for IT consulting talent have contributed to a reversal in declining premium pay tied to IT skills

    I guess the bold font equates to good news for me BUT can only be realized if all employers and companies recognize that as well...

    Friday, December 24, 2004 2:58:16 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • This is a Godsend. Will refer to it before installing the Longhorn Client HEC Build 4074 on my VPC to churn out some Indigo stuff.

    Excellent resource !!!

    Friday, December 24, 2004 2:21:39 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • I owned a 2.5 inch 40 GB Harddisk (USB2 interface), then the VPC images started taking its weight in there...

    ...then moved on to buy a 2.5 inch 60 GB Hitachi Travelstar Hard-disk (5400 rpm 8 MB cache) to store all additional files and images...

    ...Last night, just bought a 3.5 inch Maxtor DiamondMax 10 Hard-disk Drive (7200 rpm with 16 MB cache !!! ) with a cool fan-cooled casing to boot...all for SGD340.00 (equiv to USD207++ at today's exchange rate)

    Cool, 16 MB Cache !!! ...what I always wanted. (actually what I wanted is the 256 MB cache, but the technology and price, probably, will be beyond my reach for some time to come...)

    However, mine is the parallel ATA IDE interface which transfers external data at 133MB/sec, teeny-weeny bit slower than the Serial ATA interface which transfers at 150MB/sec.

    Read some of the product specs of the DiamondMax 10 here.

    A piece of advice for those shopping for these items:

    • Do NOT get a 8MB cache for hard-disks drive >= 200 GB. It is safer to get one with 16 MB cache. And the price difference is only a few SGD dollars. Well worth the investment for better reliability.
    • Go for a fan-cooled casing instead of an aluminium casing. Yeah, I know the aluminium casing looks cool, weighs lighter and can dissipate heat...BUT a fan-cooled plastic casing dissipates heat better and it is unlikely you are going to carry your multi-gigabyte hard-disk casing and show it off at your nearest Starbucks.
    Friday, December 24, 2004 12:38:14 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, December 20, 2004

    I constantly ranked Scott McNealy of SUN Microsystems as one of my all-time favourite speakers and I had always try to catch him speak whenever he is here in Singapore.

    His brashness showed again when he criticized a significant detail of how Oracle sells its software based on how many processor core a machine has...and he did it at Oracle's own OpenWorld conference. What a guy...

    IBM, Sun, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and others have begun a move to dual-core chips--designs with two processing engines on the same slice of silicon--and are headed down a path for even more cores. That has triggered a pricing debate for software companies: Should the charge be per chip socket or per processor core?

    It is interesting to note that even when software companies, on the other hand, stand to lose revenue using the per-socket definition, MSFT Corp prefers a per-socket pricing.

    This strategy means it will have a cost advantage over its competitors when dual-core processors emerge that can run Microsoft SQL Server.

    Monday, December 20, 2004 1:01:18 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, December 19, 2004

    Having been developing for a number of years since the late 80s, I have been very used to the programming practice of using hungarian notation. I not only used it in variables, but in the database naming as well. Yes, I used tbl and fld prefixes for my Tablenames and Fieldnames respectively.

    Of course, recent recommendations is to dump hungarian notation in your programming style and opt to use meaningfull, descriptive words instead. I have also been poked fun at for using hungarian notation while doing some testing work for Paladin by its author.

    So there I decided to adopt a new developing and programming lifestyle and was happily humming along when I got hit face-first by a (JET Engine) ADO.NET Exception Syntax error in UPDATE  (0x80040E14). Having been doing the same UPDATE statement style and using the same Data Access Layer blocks for so long, the ego-monster in me looked for a system bug right away. Running this same query within MS Access itself would be fine but if I used JET as the Data Provider, the same exception would occur. Try as I have to google'd it, I cannot seem to find out what was wrong. Most of them poined to the use of JET's keywords such as [PASSWORD] which I have learnt from previous experience to just use PWD. Here is my “post-hungarian notation” UPDATE Statement:

    "UPDATE LibraryItems SET Title = '" & psTitle & _
    "', AuthorArtist = '" & psAuthorArtist & "' , ItemTypeID = " & piItemTypeID & _
    " , GenreID = " & piItemTypeID & " , ContentFormatID = " & piContentFormatID & _
    " , Qty = " & piQty & " , DateBought = #" & pdDateBought & "# , PriceBought = " & _
    pcPriceBought & " , DateSold = #" & pdDateSold & "# , PriceSold = " & _
    pcPriceSold & " , StatusID = " & piStatusID & " , References = '" & psReferences & _
    "' , Remarks = '" & psRemarks & "' WHERE ID = " & CommonUtil.ValidateSQLSafeString(mRecID)

    Can you spot my mistake ? I didnt until I stumbled across this MS Support article about JET's reserved keywords...

    AARRGH !!! So, REFERENCES is a JET's reserved keyword as well. In the past, I would have used fldReferences and therefore would NOT have encountered such an exception.

    The FIX: Wrap Square brackets around the column name [References]. In fact, I recommend to wrap it around all column names, not just suspect ones. OR just use the CommandBuilder QuotePrefix and QuoteSuffix command to bypass the reserved keyword error.

    • CommandBuilder.QuotePrefix = "["
    • CommandBuilder.QuoteSuffix = "]"
    Saturday, December 18, 2004 11:50:06 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    Not to be outdone, Microsoft releases its MSN Desktop Search (beta) today to counter Google's efforts.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2004 12:28:44 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, December 13, 2004

    It is amazing who is getting the definitions of WSDL wrong and how they are getting it wrong...

    Check these screenshots out and see the sites where they are posted at:

    • Website of IBM > Web Services Declaration Language ?!?
    • Website of VSJ UK - Web Services with JAX-RPC > Web Services Discovery Language ?!?
    • Website of W3C > Web Services Definition Language ?!?

    If you think this site looks OK to you...Well, Web Services Description Language is definitely correct ... BUT look again at the title of the page...

    Monday, December 13, 2004 2:05:21 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • I am not kidding. A friend referred me to this site . Try it at your own risk though.

    Monday, December 13, 2004 12:32:39 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    I have heard some presentations from MSFTies and blogs that followed that quotes Lincoln as saying “I didnt have time to write you a short letter so I wrote you this long one instead

    It seems that the people who are re-presenting those topics are using the same quotes again and again.

    Lets get the facts straight: It was Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit who said that and NOT Lincoln.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2004 2:52:08 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, November 29, 2004
    The meaning of Blog
    Monday, November 29, 2004 4:54:20 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, November 22, 2004
    Now...what are the odds of them being in Singapore in November 2004
    Monday, November 22, 2004 6:57:08 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • I sent this puzzle out to a few friends who have always thought they are very smart to see how they measure up. So far, only 2 of 12 have proven that they are not wasting time...
    Monday, November 22, 2004 2:46:27 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, November 21, 2004
    Technopoly : The Surrender of Culture to Technology. Are we losing more than that ?
    Sunday, November 21, 2004 7:11:31 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Tuesday, November 16, 2004
    The only blog that has brought tears to my eyes and a reminder to us all
    Tuesday, November 16, 2004 1:05:05 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, November 15, 2004
    I have been in a Christmasy Holiday mood for the last few weeks and have basically been in a state of lethargy.
    Sunday, November 14, 2004 11:18:07 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, November 12, 2004

    In eBay's continuing effort in support of SOAP, they will be releasing additional SOAP API calls later this month.

    I had a lunch discussion with a friend some time back who argued that eBay is very heavily favoured towards Respresentational State Transfer (REST). hmm...I wonder if he knows about this.

    Friday, November 12, 2004 7:32:58 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Thursday, November 04, 2004

    I could not use the newer features of the FreeTextBox since I upgraded to this dasBlog version 1.6.4121.2.

    Newer features that didnt work (for me) in this FreeTextBox version include those that requires a Web Dialog Popup, namely:

    • Insert VB.NET, C#, J#, T-SQL Code
    • Font-Fore Color
    • Font-Back Color

    ...Until today...

    Thanks to Kenneth Solberg who helped me out. We managed to devise some kind of hack around it. Without knowing the full cause of this bug, I would not call this a solution. It is a hack, at best.

    The hack includes these steps:

    1. Save a copy of the web.config file from the dasBlog root to the ftb directory
    2. Open up that web.config file from the ftb directory
    3. Edit the Authorization Config section to such: <authorization><allow users="*" /></authorization>
    4. Remove the Authentication Elements from the config file
    5. Save that web.config File back to the ftb directory
    6. Save a copy of the SiteConfig Folder and Contents from the dasBlog root to the ftb directory as well
    7. Refresh and Click on the Font-Fore Color, Font-Back Color and Insert Code Buttons of the FreeTextBox and watch the wonderful Web Dialog pop up successfully.

    Since there are many questions around regarding this, I have updated and answered a question with regards to this on the temporary dasBlog Wiki site here.

    Hope that at least helps someone.

    Thursday, November 04, 2004 1:49:56 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Monday, November 01, 2004

    Posted from BLInk !

    Monday, November 01, 2004 12:50:32 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • Or is the Backlash really against Offshoring ?
    Monday, November 01, 2004 2:44:51 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Sunday, October 31, 2004
    Testing a dasBlog post from Julie Lerman's BLInk. This rocks ! Good stuff !
    Sunday, October 31, 2004 12:56:32 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  • Omar Shahine posted this on GDN with regards to dasBlog here.

    I love dasBlog. However, I felt that the adminstrative features of dasBlog is somewhat lacking compared to .TEXT. An example is that IF I could track the activities via the Adminstrative panel via selected dates or some kind of date history. The only option is current day.

    Now, if everything that is said here is true, dasBlog 1.7 is definitely something that I will be waiting for.

    p/s: The wiki for dasBlog is fairly decent as well. Now if there are only more FAQs...

    Sunday, October 31, 2004 3:55:05 AM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Saturday, October 30, 2004

    Finally, I have dumped my old blog site address that is hosted on DotNetJunkies with .TEXT and am now hosting my own blog here using dasBlog. Having advertisements on the blogs of DotNetJunkies was the final straw that broke the camel's back and triggered me to make this move.

    Sorry Doug and Donny. However, thanks so much for providing me with a fantastic blog host for the past year.

    This is my first blog post here with a history record of trails here.

    Friday, October 29, 2004 5:13:53 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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  •  Friday, October 29, 2004
    Friday, October 29, 2004 3:19:03 PM (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Disclaimer 
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