Archive for the 'news' Category

Official Start at NeuStar

Monday, October 17th, 2005

I have been working with NeuStar on a couple of contracts previuosly but today I’m officially joining the software engineering team as a full-time employee. I’ll still be working remotely from Sydney while preparing to move over to the headquarters in Sterling, VA.

There are lots of interesting projects at NeuStar (already I’m working on one). This is a great opportunity and I’m seriously excited about it!

Whirlpool, aaNet, Exetel, and XXX

Sunday, August 7th, 2005

Here’s a piece of interesting news from Whirlpool — Australia’s most popular community driven broadband news site. Quoting a forum user’s remark, “Whirlpool just grew teeth.” And so should they, good on them!

I shall explain why this post has three other names besides Whirlpool…

The WP story got me curious as to who the ISP in question is. After swimming around some forum posts, I found this ZDNet Australia article – which explained that aaNet Communications is getting sued by Exetel for severing 4000 ADSL connections without notice.

SUB PLOT: On the fateful morning of 14th April 2005, I woke to up find that my ADSL connection was down. At first I thought it was my crappy Netcomm NB1300+4 (there! Another company involved in the saga) modem acting up again but after several reboots without results I knew something was wrong. So I tried ringing up Exetel (my ISP) several times but the line was constantly busy. Only on the second day did I manage to get through to Exetel and was advised that I was one of those unlucky 4000 customers whose connections came from aaNet – then their wholesale ADSL provider. Thank God I was reconnected relatively promptly (after 2 days or something) and the Exetel personnel was very polite and apologetic, though I do not remember being compensated for it.

This still does not explain what was so objectionable about the forum post on Whirlpool that triggered aaNet’s reaction. The clue was in Whirlpool’s article that started my entire “investigation” – ASIC record. So I zoomed to the ASIC search page and found this record, with my attention drawn to a document entitled “Notification of Application to Wind Up Company Under S.459p, 462 or 464” dated 1st August 2005. I don’t know what this means, but it doesn’t sound good and it is no wonder that this could undermine the confidence of aaNet’s customers.

And the last piece of the puzzle? Sorry, I’m not telling because it connects me, albeit very remotely, to one of the ISPs in question.

I got my first donation!

Sunday, July 18th, 2004

A BIG THANK YOU to Michael Mills for his generosity! Actually, this entry is way overdue, I received it on the 8th July but have been too lazy to blog it (yes, we can definitely see a trend here.)

Some time ago, I started to use the PayPal’s “Make a donation” feature to accept donations for some of my projects. I did it partly to see if an open source software developer could actually get enough to buy some coffee and pizzas from donations. Well, looks like the answer is a Yes! (US$25 = plenty of 3-in-1 coffee and Domino’s pizzas)

I Love Hacking

Friday, June 18th, 2004

I can spend hours, even days or months if the project is interesting enough, the more challenging the better.

Created this section to file hacks of my own, as well as interesting ones that I discover elsewhere. I would also post up any ideas of interesting hacks, so people can comment on or pick up and develop further. This sort of thing would probably be better off in a Wiki, but I don’t have time to install one yet (actually, two weeks ago I found one that belongs to a old abandoned project in my cgi-basement.)

Of course, viWord and IDN-OSS gets a mention here since they are technically hacks. (They each have their own section under the Projects hierarchy.)

Blog is being upgraded.

Monday, June 7th, 2004

Just upgraded bBlog to version 0.7.3. Lots of new features. Loving it…

Since the template format is not quite compatible with the old version (0.6), I’m forced to use the default template for now.. which is much better than the old version’s default, so I’m happy to live with it for a while until my new templates are baked.

Oh, and I just installed Zeitgeist too =)

viWord 0.4 Released

Thursday, May 20th, 2004

Thanks to everyone who have shown support and interests in this little hack of mine. I’ve been using it for quite some time now. Despite some minor bugs still lurking around, I really love it myself. This is one of my few creations that I can actually bear to use :)

Grab it here: viWord.zip

Update: To make Word use its normal keystrokes (e.g. when you need to let someone else use your computer): Go to Tools -> Customize, click on the "Keyboard..." button, then click on "Reset All...". To get rid of it completely, do the above and remove the viWord.dot file.

The ChangeLog:

  • e command.
  • c modifier (only cw and cb works for now)
  • Changed the behavior of Shift-A to move to the end of paragraph (equiv. to the end of a long unbroken line in vi) instead of just the end of the screen line.
  • Fixed (hopefully) the error 5346 that was caused by viWord trying to bind to an existing combo (Ctrl-R) used for “align paragraph to right indent” (who the hell uses that anyway?) viWord first removes that binding and then binds Ctrl-R to the Redo operation (just as VIM does).
  • x now copies the character(s) onto the clipboard so you could use xp to swap characters.
  • viWord enters normal mode without you having to hit the emulate button or the ESC key when you first start Word.

I’m back!

Tuesday, April 27th, 2004

.. after a long period of silence. During this time, Bubble has flown back to Singapore, and we have settled into our new rented apartment in Guildford. Today, the technician finally came to install our phone line and we can get on the Internet via 56k modem! Being offline for 2 weeks is utterly painful, but at the same time kind of therapeutic. I almost failed the online course for not participating for too long.

We snapped some photos of the new place, will post them up once they are developed. Getting used to Guildford and the surrounding areas. We are quite far from the Sydney city centre by the standards of most international students, but we have Parramatta, which is only two stations away.

Finalised

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

OK, done. I’ve got it all sorted out. The official list:

* Advanced Functional Programming
* Software Implementation
* Computer Networks and Applications
* Graphics and Contemporary Society (GenEd, web-based course)
* Cyberspace Law (GenEd)

I got lucky yesterday and got into the Graphics course (it was previously shown in the system as “closed”). Cyberspace Law… hey, Why Not!?

New Session – Last Session

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

This will be the last semester of my BSc in Computer Science. I’m still deciding what modules to enroll myself in. The current list is:

* Advanced Functional Programming
* Software Implementation (nothing to learn here, but that’s the point!)
* Computer Networks and Applications (ditto)

I’ve still got to do some General Education courses but my favourites (Studies in the Camera and Graphics and Contemporary Soc) are gone by now..

Car Woes

Tuesday, February 17th, 2004

Finally, got the car battery changed. Feels wierd driving the old lady again after abandoning it for a month or so when Raymond lent us his car. It’s about time for a trip to the mechanic but am so afraid of the bill. Last April when it was time for renewal, the mechanic told me to just register it for a quarter and see what happened, stressed time and again that I should not spend any more money on it. I renewed it for a full year anyway and it did pretty well, though not without problems…

Just looking forward to the day that we can afford a proper Japanese car that consumes less fuel, less squeaky and has an air-conditioning system.