Archive for the 'rave' Category

Last Lecture by Professor Randy Pausch

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Very inspiring lecture by CMU Computer Science Professor Randy Pausch, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and may only have a few weeks or months to live.

Here’s the video:

Aside from the “head fakes”, my biggest takeaway from the lecture is screenprinted below:

How to get people to help you

IP Migration

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

Our excellent hosting provider, Simpli.BIZ, has had in the past a few glitches due to the fault of AboveNet, their upstream provider. Yesterday, I finally bit the bullet and migrated all our “hosts”1 to the new IP range owned by Simpli. It wasn’t as smooth a migration as I’d hoped, but the Simpli team was very helpful and attentive. Knowing how much I suck at system administration, Erica had already arranged for KVM attached to my console so even though I managed to lock myself out, I could still do everything through the console.

The old IPs are still available, but I’ve already updated some DNS records to point at the new IPs. The old IPs still work via PF redirection rules.

Simpli must be the most personal commercial hosting provider out there, it’s nice to have your web hosting support person (in this case it happens to always be Erica the founder) to be on IM and maintains a blog. What more can you ask for?

1 I said “hosts” because while I only rented a measly Celeron from them for USD99/month, I have 3 FreeBSD jails running.

OfTheWorld.TV and the Grocery Store Wars

Friday, September 1st, 2006

My broadband has just been upgraded to ADSL2+, and my ISP Internode has just announced unmetered downloads from OfTheWorld.TV (in addition to their other excellent contents like download mirror and relay Internet radio stations.)

OfTheWorldTV is a new type of online television network. Comprising of 7 broadcast channels and 6 on-demand libraries, OfTheWorldTV aims to provide you with the best independent media from around the globe.

The first documentary that I saw was Grocery Store Wars featuring organic vegetables like “Cuke Skywalker” and “Yogha” (tub of yoghurt!) fight back the dark side comprising genetically modified and pesticides-covered foods. A light-hearted way to evangelise an important issue.

Korean BBQ

Friday, May 19th, 2006

Had Korean BBQ with Clare and Hazel at Charcoal Mine Barbeque House — a cosy restaurant in Parramatta. Fresh food, good service and positive vibes: highly recommended. Most notably: their shoyu button mushroom (absolutely umami when barbequed!), squid (I’ve never tasted the natural flavour of squid like this), beef ribs, and the chilli sauce with a free flow of coriander leaves was simply heavenly!

Korean BBQ - Charcoal Mine Barbeque House

Korean BBQ - Charcoal Mine Barbeque House (inside)

After dinner we went back to the Coffee Alchemy roastery, I did not miss the chance to get a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans, which means I can dump the almost-stale batch that I bought before I left for my US trip. If you’re in Australia, you owe it to yourself to try one of her blends, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

The downer of the day had to be getting a parking fine right in front of my place, which used to be a free-parking zone until two days ago when they decided to put the 2P restrictions in place. Thanks a lot, I do not remember being notified of this by post or otherwise. I’ll be sending a letter of appeal tomorrow, they will not get a dime from me.

Google Web Toolkit (AJAX library)

Friday, May 19th, 2006

When I first saw the news about the newly released Google’s Web Toolkit:

Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a Java software development framework that makes writing AJAX applications like Google Maps and Gmail easy for developers who don’t speak browser quirks as a second language. Writing dynamic web applications today is a tedious and error-prone process; you spend 90% of your time working around subtle incompatabilities between web browsers and platforms, and JavaScript’s lack of modularity makes sharing, testing, and reusing AJAX components difficult and fragile.

GWT lets you avoid many of these headaches while offering your users the same dynamic, standards-compliant experience. You write your front end in the Java programming language, and the GWT compiler converts your Java classes to browser-compliant JavaScript and HTML.

I thought to myself, since when is Google so into Java anyway? Friends of mine know that I’ve never been a big fan of Java mainly due to its There’s Only One Way To Do It philosophy that so starkly contrasts the motto of my favourite language – Perl. As much as I try to avoid it, I often find myself needing to use it (with non-trivial involvement) throughout the years (10!) Even in my current job at NeuStar, I would say Java has 80% mindshare in the company. These days, with advanced tools like Eclipse (not to mention age – mine, that is), my view on the language has certainly improved by heaps and bounds.

So, after reading more into the toolkit, I realized that, oh my God, that’s an excellent idea! Not only does it take care of browsers’ idiosyncracies (at least it claims to), it allows you to program Javascript in Java giving you compile-time checking, type-safety and reusable Ajax-aware widgets, debugging support (using your favourite IDE). Let’s face it, Javascript never had the features to support programming robust applications and differing levels of support by different browsers only makes it worse. It even purports that you can avoid the much-dreaded AJAX problem of breaking the browser back button!

Until now, I’ve been wary about going Ajax with anything I program mainly because I have to learn about browser quirks and inject ugly hacks. Moreover, it will invariably reverse the 80-20 rule; unless you are Ajax God, you will spend 80% of your time achieving 20% core functionality.

So, this is very good news and gives me the reason to incorporate some snazzy Ajax in my existing apps wherever it makes sense. Once I get some spare cycles, this will be the first I play with.

Mike and Mal

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Scene from Mike and Mal's remake of 'When Harry Met Sally'

This is really funny… 2 aussie blokes remade scenes from “Blues Brothers” (here) and “When Harry Met Sally” (the fake O scene).
Good thing for them, they’ve got Quickflix (Aussie’s equivalent of Netflix.com) and Intel Viiv to sponsor them.

Unshaven

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Unshaven

Milestone: 10 days

Kingsford Chinese Restaurant

Monday, May 15th, 2006

Kingsford Chinese Restaurant

Had lunch at our fav HK joint