Saturday, May 31, 2008

Do HouseKeeping on Leopard Wireless Connections

Previously, I have written a post here on how to do housekeeping on your Mac's wireless networks in Tiger. For Leopard systems, the settings are slightly different from Tiger.

Just do the following to do some spring cleaning:
  1. Go to System Preferences
  2. Click on Network
  3. Click on the Airport, and click on the padlock at the bottom left hand corner to unlock the system preferences for modification (the padlock icon should be unlocked). You will need your administrator userid and password
  4. Click on the Advanced button at the bottom right hand corner.
  5. Under the Preferred Networks section, you will see the list of wireless networks you have ever logged in.
  6. Re-order the preference in which the airport tries to connect to the wireless network by dragging the network name up or down. Use the +, or - button to add or remove wireless network settings.

That's all to it... After doing this housekeeping exercise, your connection to your wireless network should be faster as the Mac will be able to recognise which are your preferred wireless networks.

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Conductors do make a difference

I've just finished watching Nodame Cantabile this early morning. Watched until 3+ am. :p Aside from the very very nice classical music throughout the whole show, there is another important take-away from the show. Conductors do matter.

Conductors bring life to the music, and this person is responsible for controlling the orchestra, and ensuring that they played together, in a manner that they want.

Coming from playing solo guitar, I enjoy playing in an ensemble because of this very reason. I'm sort of fascinated that you can put a group of guitars together, and you can make music that you can never duplicate on a solo guitar.

Not only do you need to play in time, you will need to know how your part fit in to the overall music. Just by looking at the part notes, it's not really possible that you can figure out how your part fits in to the music. The conductor knows, through the understanding of the composer, the era, and of course the conductor score (Yes, I still know nuts about composers and era. :p).

There was also a section in the show that sort of shows conducting can be done through playing. That means the person conducting is doing it by playing the pulse of the music. Quite interesting... I wonder if this can be applied to the sheep song. Hmm...

Anyway, the conducting looks quite good in the show, especially towards the end. Looking at the conducting, it also brings back memories of a certain performance I've seen in the Esplanade on a certain Sunday. The conductor for that performance was basically, in my opinion, making a fool of himself. I have no idea you can conduct music by acting like a snake, and doing stupid movements, that at times do not even sync with the orchestra.

Many times during the 1 hour performance, I really wanted to laugh out loud. What is most surprising is that some people in the hall are actually giving standing ovation for this kind of conducting.

I guess the maturity of the Singapore audience needs leveling up too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reset resolution of LCD TV Display connected to a Mac

Previously, I have encountered a problem where the resolution was set wrongly on a Mac mini, which resulted in a "Mode not supported" error that appeared on a Samsung LCD TV.

The problem with this error is that the Mac is too smart. It recognises each monitor that you have connected to the Mac. Therefore, if you connect a normal LCD monitor, and a LCD TV, it will save individual display settings for both the devices. Its not a simple case of just plugging in another monitor and resetting the resolution.

First... The steps that do not work:
  1. Resetting PRAM
  2. Safe Boot
  3. Removing

Tried all of it, and none works in resetting the resolution! :(

After some days of tinkering, I've managed to reset the resolution on the LCD TV using the following steps which I've found through trial and error:
  1. Connect an external monitor to the Mac and ensure that System Preferences > Sharing > Remote Management is turned on
  2. Ensure that System Preferences > Security > Firewall is either set to Allow all incoming connections or Set access for specific services and applications. If it is the later, remember to ensure that Remote Management is enabled.
  3. Reconnect the "locked" Mac to the LCD TV
  4. Use another Mac Mini, or MacBook and connect the 2 computers with a ethernet cable.
  5. Look at the Finder of the other Mac. You should see your "locked" Mac. Click on it, and click on Share Screen (Alternatively, use any VNC client)
  6. Click on System Preferences > Displays in the Share Screen/VNC window and reset the resolution.

That is it... Using this method, I've managed to reset the resolution of the Mac so that it works on the LCD TV. I only tried this on Leopard macs, but theoretically speaking, this should work on a Tiger too, with some minor adjustment to the steps.

Remember... Never play with the resolution if you do not know the supported modes. It was quite painful for me to figure out how to reset the resolution.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vista is green?? No way...

Just glanced at some headlines and one stood out to me. Vista is green??? Yeah right... You take the same specs machine, and compare the speed of Vista and XP. You tell me which one is more green. XP definitely can last much longer on a battery charge than Vista.

Better still... You take a MacBook, and compare the battery life of the OSX, and the battery life of Vista. My MacBook lasts 5 hours on a full battery charge, with wireless on. Vista??

Green?? Yeah right... More like Vista is green with envy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nodame Cantabile

Just bought the DVD from TS Video for $19.90. Highly recommended by my girlfriend. She kept asking me if the guitar ensemble will play some pieces from there. Hahahaha...

Anyway, this is suppose to be a light-hearted, slapstick comedy about a conductor wanna-be, and a girl (Nodame), who plays music by ear. Suppose to be quite cute, and "classical". Total of 11 episodes.

Signing off to watch Nodame... :)

A side note... For those who wants to get Neverwinter Nights II expansion pack, Mask of Betrayer, better get it fast. It seems that they are now selling the combined box sets now (together with the main NWN II) and it's hard to find the standalone expansion box set. I quickly got mine even though I'm still playing.

Thunderbird does not integrate to Spotlight

Updated 30 May 2008: Link to previous instructions on how to install the mdimporter

I think I am going to give up integrating Thunderbird into spotlight on Leopard. I have encountered so many problems!

First, the problems that can be found on both Tiger and Leopard:
  • The mail.spotlight.enable option in Thunderbird is not implemented correctly. If your mail folder names have a spacing in-between (e.g. "Good Food"), clicking on the result of the search will not bring you to the email. It will just bring you to a blank screen.

  • Thunderbird implements the spotlight search by creating mozeml files in your mail profile per email. That means if you have 10,000 emails, you're going to get 10,000 mozeml files that contain the exact same information as the main inbox that Thunderbird uses.

    This only proves that Thunderbird v2.0.0.x is not designed to integrate to spotlight, and it uses up harddisk space unnecessarily.

Problems found on Leopard (in addition to the problems above):
  • mail.spotlight.enable option in Thunderbird does not index all your emails. I found that it only indexes a few emails within all my existing mail folders. It seems that it has hit some error, and refuses to index further. I find this weird because I have no such problems in Tiger.

    However, new emails that comes in after the option is enabled, have no such problems.

  • mozeml files from Tiger does not seem to work on Leopard. Clicking on the mozeml files will produce some weird behaviour. You will need to regenerate the mozeml files, and you will face the problem above.

  • Spotlight in Leopard no longer index System Files. The mozeml files generated by Thunderbird are actually system files. They are all tagged as plist (property list) files. Therefore, no matter where you place your emails in Leopard, Spotlight results will not show because it is already tagged as System Files.

    You can force spotlight to index System Files by creating your own search in the Finder, and choosing the Search to search only for System Files. However, you will face the problems above.

    I can make it such that the command mdfind is able to search through the emails, but it is of no use because I cannot open up the email.

I was on it for a month because I thought there should be some way. I'm giving up!

Until Thunderbird comes out with a new version, I think I am going to disable this spotlight integration. I will use the internal search provided in Thunderbird. Just click on the Local Folders, and the Search messages option.

For those who wish to try out integrating Thunderbird into spotlight, refer to my previous post here.


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Price of natural gas is pegged to the price of oil

Previously, I have written a post here asking why Singapore electricity is following the price of oil. I think I know why. I have read some reports somewhere that the price of natural gas is actually pegged to the price of oil! That is why as the oil price rises, electricity bills goes up too, even though we're 80% on natural gas. I've also read that most of the alternate bio-fuel, like palm oil, is also pegged to the oil price.

*shrug*. So much for alternative energy.

Go go solar energy.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

VirtualBox on the Mac

Finally someone has released a free virtual machine (VM) for the Mac! The company is none other than Sun. The software is called VirtualBox, and the current version that I'm using is v1.6. VirtualBox for the Mac works only on an Intel Mac though.

To create a VM for Windows XP Home, just do the following:
  • Create a New Virtual Disk
  • Choose a name, and OS Type (Note that you can install many different flavors of Windows, Linux, etc)
  • Choose a Base Memory size. This will be the "physical memory" your Windows will be allocated, and this amount of memory will be locked from your real physical memory when you're running your VM. I chose 512MB
  • Create a New Boot Harddisk. This would be your virtual harddisk. I recommend using a fixed size image for performance. You will need at the very least 10GB for a fresh installation with SP3 installed (respectable speed).
  • Finish the VM Wizard.
  • Insert your Windows XP CD
  • Start the VM you have just created.
  • Install your Windows XP in the VM
  • Once the installation is complete, go to the Menu Bar on top, and click on Devices > Install Guest Additions. This will install the VM device drivers for your Windows. Note that you should always install this.
  • Patch up to SP3 (Yes, SP3 works in VirtualBox).
  • Install your anti-virus, firewall, etc.

Few tips to note
  • It is recommended to enable ACPI, VT-x/AMD-V and PAE/NX in the VM settings. VT-x/AMD-V is especially important because this will make use of the virtualization power of your Intel chip (faster).
  • At any point of time, you can just "Hibernate" by closing the Window, and saving the Machine state. When you re-launch the VM, it will return back to the state before you closed the Window.
  • To save a copy of your VM before you install any software, you can also go to the menu bar, and go to Machine > Take Snapshot. This is for you to recover your VM in-case the software you've installed crashed your VM. :)
  • To re-size your VM, just drag the window. It will automatically re-adjust the resolution as you drag it. One can also always go to Full-Screen mode. It took me some time to figure this out. Apparently you cannot resize the resolution from the Display settings in Windows. The only way I know is to drag the window.

Below is the screenshot of my VM. :)

VM Screenshot

This is the first release for the Mac, and there are some features that are not yet enabled. However, this is more than enough for any casual user.

That's all to it. Now when I need to use Internet Explorer, I just need to launch VirtualBox to quickly view the application/Internet website. :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Inflation is up 7.5%

These are the Singapore inflation rates for 2008:
January: 6.6%
February: 6.5%
March: 6.7%
April: 7.5%

Inflation is again highest since 1982. April's inflation is lead by food, transport and housing. I've written in the last post that inflation will hit 7%. I did not expect it to hit 7.5% though.

Am I surprised? Actually no. I expect this elevated inflation to last at least until June, with inflation hitting at least 7%.

MTI said that inflation was running ahead of what they expected. I would say that they did not read the world news properly. The signs are everywhere that inflation will hit this high, and I've seen the signs since last year. China, India, Geopolitical problems...

And the world is forgetting one more thing... The hurricane season is coming, and look how abnormal the weather is for this year. Be prepared for an interesting second half of the year.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Safe Mode for a Mac

Recently, I had a very "interesting" time trying to reset a wrongly set resolution on a Samsung LCD TV connected to a Mac Mini. Sad to say that this method does not work in resetting the resolution. I did managed to reset it though, and I will post the method later.

Anyway, this Safe mode for the Mac is still useful if you have programs that caused your Mac unable to startup. To go to Safe mode, just do the following:
  1. Startup your Mac.
  2. Hold down the Shift key immediately. It should be pressed down before you hear the startup tone.
  3. Continue depressing the Shift key until you see the familiar gray loading screen.

That's all to it. When you see the Login Screen, you should see the word Safe Mode in red. Please be reminded that Safe mode is used for troubleshooting. Some Mac features do not work in Safe mode. Usually, this is used to un-install the offending program, or re-configure some system settings.

Note that going into Safe mode might take some time as it also forces a directory check of the startup volume. More information can be found at the Apple site here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Imagination is more important than knowledge

Albert Einstein once said:

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

Imagination however, must work hand-in-hand with realism. We can imagine all the possibilities that could happen, but without taking into account the current state of affairs, it might divert away attention that might be better spent elsewhere.

Using an analogy, it's no use thinking of going for a holiday in some isolated location when you have acrophobia. Time would be better spent looking for a holiday location which you could reach by land or sea for example.

Imagination is important, but should have a touch of realism... Unless of course you have all the money in the world, like Tony Stark. :)

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WorldWide Developers Conference 2008

It has been confirmed. In the first half of June, I will be making a trip down with my 2 bosses to San Francisco for Apple's annual WorldWide Developers Conference (a.k.a WWDC) 2008. Main reason is because after many years of architecting and developing in Java, .Net, Oracle Portal and Sharepoint, I am moving on to the Mac, also known as XCode.

There are 3 tracks in WWDC 2008:
  1. iPhone Development
  2. Mac Development
  3. Usage of Mac's products in the enterprise environment

High possibility that the highly anticipated 3G iPhone will be released during the conference. Apple also has a tendency to surprise people with the unexpected during the conference.

Anyway, will try to snap some photos here and there, and write a bit on the "conference culture" in the US. I've been to conferences in Singapore and China and so far, the only one I liked is the SunTech Days held in Singapore. The one that I did not like was the Oracle OpenWorld in Shanghai.

Temperature seems to range from 10 to 20 degrees celcius in the first half of June. Day time should be around 18 degrees according to the averages. However, it seems that San Francisco is a little warmer than average, according to the past few days temperature readings.

From my past experience in conferences, it's going to be super tiring, and I'm not including the long flight to San Francisco.

Oh well... At the very least it should be an eye opener. However, the weird thing is that I do not seem to be excited for this trip. I'm more worried about the projects I'm leaving behind temporary. Sigh...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2 to 4 months bonus and still complaining??

Just read in the newspapers that union workers from SATs is complaining about "low" bonus of 2+ to 4+ months bonus.

What is the world coming to? With oil reaching USD126 a barrel, SATs demand is vulnerable to lower demand for air travel, and lower margins. Airlines are already going bankrupt. 2 to 4 months bonus is already considered quite good in this kind of climate. Yet, they want more?

Sometimes I wonder if they know that for some people, they have never seen 2 months bonus in their life. Some people really do not know how fortunate they are.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Re-activating Windows Firewall after installing SP3

It has come to my notice that in some computers, the Windows Firewall is unable to startup after Windows XP SP3 is installed. It seems that the Windows Firewall will refuse to start, giving some access denied error. Apparently, this problem will not allow you to share files across the network, even though you could before you've installed SP3.

I did not encounter such a problem with my Dell, or MacBook Bootcamp. However, I have helped fixed such a problem. Just do the following:
  1. Goto Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services
  2. Right-click on Windows Firewall, and click on Properties
  3. Click on the Log On tab
  4. Click on the radio button: This account, and type your Administrator user ID and password (Confirm it).
  5. Click on Apply, and OK
  6. Reboot.

If your Windows Firewall is set to automatically startup, it should now automatically startup. So far, this worked on an Asustek notebook.

Hope this helps...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dominoes for the sub-prime starts to fall

Previously I did remark to some that the sub-prime effects are not yet seen in the economy. Now I can say the evidence has arrived.

The city council of Vallejo, California, the 6th highest foreclosure rate in the U.S., has just voted to have the city file for bankruptcy!

Yes, you have seen correctly. A city filing for bankruptcy. The dominoes are starting to fall. There would be more soon. The national foreclosure rate in the US is 1 out of 519 US households for April!

So what effect does this have to do with the world? Easy... America is the biggest consumer of products and services in the world. If you do not have a roof over your heads, do you think you can consume?

Stay tuned for more dominoes to fall...

Monday, May 12, 2008

C suite of executes should have 2/3 of their pay linked to performance

There was an article today in the newspaper on a well-known headhunter firm with regards to the C suite of executives.


They were remarking that the C suite of executives should rightly have 2/3 of their pay linked to the performance of the company, so as to align themselves with the interest of the companies and all its shareholders.

Heard that Singapore??

Personality Type Test

Chance across a link by BBC that tests your personality type here from Michelle. Yes Michelle, if you're reading this, I read your blog too, when I have the time. Your link is linking to the wrong test too. :) No time to go dinner with you all, but I still like to kaypoh a bit. ;)

This is my result:

Summary of Realists

  • Loyal and steady workers who meet deadlines
  • Believe in established rules and respect facts
  • Think of themselves as mature, stable and conscientious
  • May appear too logical or tough-minded and forget their impact on other people

More about Realists

Realists are loyal to the people around them and work hard to keep their promises. They are honest and straightforward with others and expect the same in return. Realists believe in standard procedures and will only support change when there is a demonstrable benefit.

Realists are the most common personality type in the UK, according to a nationwide survey.

Realists respect factual information, which they store up to use when making decisions. This group likes to have time to think quietly and carefully before taking action.

These extremely productive people like to be occupied in their leisure time with pursuits such as craftwork, hiking or reading.

In situations where they can't use their talents or are unappreciated, Realists may become obsessed with schedules, critical of others or have trouble trusting other people to get the job done properly. Under extreme stress, Realists may complain loudly that events have taken a turn for the worse and predict negative outcomes.

Realists typically only share their opinions or personal experiences with trusted friends.

Realist Careers

Realists are attracted to jobs where decision making based on factual knowledge and experience is required.

It's important to remember that no survey can predict personality type with 100 percent accuracy. Experts say that we should use personality type to better understand ourselves and others, but shouldn't feel restricted by our results.

Am I like that? Hmm... I always thought I like to try new things and think of new ideas. Or maybe its because I'm usually left with no choice in the matter, so I always ended up doing something new, and thinking of something new in order to resolve it.. :D

I guess its mostly true, in a way. :p The only way to improve is to really understand yourself. Looks like I have to work hard in some areas. Am I really too logical? Hmm...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Work to Live

This weekend seems to be a little special, where the conversation revolves around work, and how its taking over our personal time. Thought I would like to pen down some thoughts on this.

I belong to a rare group of people who loves what they are doing. I believe majority of the people, especially in Singapore, do not love their jobs. They are doing it mostly for one reason only... Survival. This dates back to olden days where we have to farm land, grow our own food, do barter trading, etc. Now, its just taking place in another form.

Believe it or not, whether you love your job, or you just work because you have to, there's no difference in managing your time in the office.

Due to the intense competition coming out from developing countries like China and India, workers are tasked with more and more things to do to meet the competition. Either that, or the workers have to start doing things that they have never done before. All these because of differentiation. Differentiating the products and services will ensure survival of the business. In another words, businesses now are trying to innovate new products and services. Some of the work we are currently doing, people can get it done in China or India for less than half the price. To survive, one has to innovate.

This results in people working more intensely, and for longer hours. This, in the long run, is detrimental to one's mental health. I include those who love what they are doing, namely me. Anybody is only productive for a certain number of hours a day. Therefore for our current working generation, one has to split up work and play very strictly.

Outside working hours, once you have knocked off, do not think about work. This disrupts your whole work-life balance, and in the end, it will lead to mental stress. Once you have knocked off, start thinking what to do when you get home, or where you wish to go to relax a bit.

Yes, that's my trick of staying within sanity. Let's say I knock off at 8+pm. The moment I stepped out of office, I will empty my mind on the current problems I have (Naturally, you should note down what you need to do in the office, so you can remember it the next day.). I will start thinking on what I'm going to do when I get home. Be it playing my guitar, or playing my NWN2. Or maybe I will think about what to do for the weekend. I'll try my very best not to think of work. In the weekends, I'll try my best not to touch work at all.

Yes... It's difficult to do at first, but it can be done. Doing this will help you to also remind yourself why you're working. We work to live, not live to work. This is especially important for those who work for survival. We spend more than half of our waking moments in the office. Why do you want to make yourself feel so glum for more than half your waking moments? The fact is that very soon, you'll just feel glum all the way because it will just overcome you. Doing this will result in you going into office fresh, without any burden. After you get into office, then you start thinking about work stuff. So far it works for me. With a clearer mind, the answers will also come easier to you.

Remember the golden rule. Never talk (or talk as little as possible) about work during your personal time. It keeps your sanity... Now, I have a few more hours for my playtime. :)

Gen X, Y, Z??

Recently there was an article in the newspapers on Gen Y and the so-called definition. I think I'm stuck right in the middle of no-man's land, so I call myself Gen XY, the neglected. :D

However, I think this attempt of generalisation is just some marketing gimmick to attract people to certain products and services. I myself will only categorise into 3 broad categories:
  1. Young Generation
  2. Prime Generation
  3. Old Generation

The definition of generation will always evolve because of new technology, innovations, and thinking. Therefore, even if you use all the 26 letters in the alphabet, you will end up re-using the letters again.

The young generation will always be in the forefront of new and uncharted territory. This is the generation I would think that the marketing gimmicks are trying to target. New, exciting, fun, willing to try new things, etc. I would put this generation roughly from 0 - 29 years old.

The prime generation (purely my own naming convention) is the generation where people finally has to work to live, and where the realities of life will hit them. This is also the period where you're in the prime of your life. Family, Career, Traveling, etc. This generation I feel would be more down-to-earth, realistic, and more conscious of their actions. Due to the multiple commitments, their priorities will also differ. I admit though some people belong to the young prime generation, where they try to juggle both. :D But seriously, I would think that sooner or later, they will have to choose one. I would put this generation roughly from 30 - 55 years old.

The old generation... No need to introduce. That's where you'll have to slow down. This is nothing to do with discrimination, but more of a biological reason. Cells have a finite lifespan. :D This generation varies, depending on how much you have saved for your retirement. Some of them could live a comfortable life, doing things that like. Some has to work for a living. Some will combine the previous 2 reasons, but they work for fun instead of working for a living. I hope I will belong to this category. I've always told my other half I will really like to go busking when I retire. :)

Nevertheless, marketing gimmicks always try to create new buzzwords to attract people. To me, its just more of the different stages in life.

I was just remarking to my friends last night that I seriously do not understand why people are crazy over the donuts (there's a donut craze going on here). The moment I see (or pass by) the shop, I seriously feel like vomiting. All the cream on top. Yucks... The only donut I would eat is the chocolate donut. My friends agree with me.

I believe the answer might lie in the so-called "generation gap". :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ironman is cool!!

Way cool movie... CGI and human combined together. You can't even tell which is real and which is not anymore. Awesome...

Stay after the credits. Something interesting at the end, especially if you're a Marvel fan.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Upgrading Windows XP SP3 in Bootcamp

For those who wish to upgrade your Windows XP to SP3, please download Bootcamp v2.1 from the Apple Software Update in your bootcamp partition, or from Apple website here. Bootcamp v2.1 is essential in order to upgrade to Windows XP SP3 in Bootcamp.

Sad to say that I think this is only for Leopard users. I do not think those still using Tiger can upgrade to SP3, if you're using bootcamp. It might be different if you are using VMWare Fusion or Parallels. This you have to check with the respective vendors.

You can refer to this post here on where to download the Windows XP SP3 service pack. The service pack works for both Home and Professional edition. I have installed on both and frankly, there is only a very slight performance increase.

Do take note however that the service pack will auto-enable some services which you might have disabled. I know of only 2. One is the Security Center, and the other is Windows Firewall. Both of which I do not use because I use Zone Alarm. :) There might be more.

So far I've not encountered any adverse effects from installing SP3. Everything is still working... ... so far. ;)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

We are what we repeatedly do

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.
Quote - Aristotle

This quote does remind me of many people I've known before who blames everyone but themselves. We are judged by not what we speak, but what we do. Action always speak louder than words.

Therefore, if you really wish to go beyond average, prove it with your actions. The best is yet to be.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not surprising that Facebook apps are pointless

Just read an article from on the above. Am I surprised by the conclusion? Heck no... I could see it the moment I started playing with it. In fact, you do not even need to commission a study. Just use it and you'll know. Its just so confusing, not to mention that sometimes the apps just do not work for some reason or another.

Like it or not, people like to go to a specific place whenever they need to get something. For e.g, if I want to look for books, I go to Amazon. Or locally, Borders, Kinokuniya, MPH, etc. I will not go into a big shopping mall and start looking at all the bookstores within the mall.

So when you start building apps in a single big website that has no objective, you get alot of confusion. Coupled with the fact that the apps are not QCed and can be done by anyone, everyone will also be a little apprehensive on using it. Who knows what trojan horse is embeded within the Facebook app.

In the end, IM and Skype will still win the day.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Labour Party lost big time in Britain. Familiar??

First it was the BN in Malaysia. Next is the Labour Party in Britain.

What's in common? The ruling party became complacent and started down a path where they benefit themselves more than the common people, and ignoring what the ground people are feeling.

This is a very big wake-up call to all the ruling parties. Yes, the country on the whole might be chugging along, but if you implement policies with no regard to what is happening at the ground level, be warned.

Do not be complacent, and start thinking that you can bulldoze your way across all the policies. This is especially true when you're giving yourselves a million dollar salary. With big pay, comes bigger responsibilities.

Stupid DBS ATM Machine!

Was withdrawing money yesterday from the DBS ATM machine. That stupid machine just refuses to give me my money in $10 notes.

For normal POSB ATM machines, it will say that it does not have any small notes, and ask if you want to withdraw more. Not for DBS ATM machine. At least the one I was using at P.S. It just gives you a quick error message that flashes in and out in less than a sec, and it ejects your card. That's stupid!!

In the end, I finally caught a glimpse of the an error message. Something about transaction error or something. The weird part is that if it is a transaction error, I should not be able to withdraw bigger amounts.

So who are they trying to smoke??

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bad memory. A sign of heightened stress

Just read the Reader's Digest May 2008 edition. The article on retention of memories reminded me about my own state.

Recently my memory has been failing me, where I sometimes forget the simplest of things, like forgetting a person's name right after the person introduced his/herself. That's bad... My favorite excuse. I'm getting old.

I've realised is not that. I played the memory games in the article and I had no problems at all recalling things. I had no problems during meetings too.

The only difference now is that I'm much much more stressed compared to a year ago.

Personally, I think its the result of too many things in my head when talking to other people. The memory is not lost, just buried under the tons of things that I'm suppose to do or manage in those tight deadlines. The stress of handling a variety of tasks is overloading my poor brain.

To "improve" your memory, I feel that we have to go back to the fundamentals. Just follow 1 rule:

In whatever you do, you give that person/task your fullest attention.

I think its as simple as that. If a person wants to talk to you, stop whatever you're doing and give your undivided attention. If you are unable to, excuse yourself and continue the conversation again later. Same as working on tasks. Do it with your fullest attention until you reach a logical breakpoint.

I guess I belong to the new generation where I try to do multiple things at any point of time. However, there's a limit of how many times we can partition our mind. By focusing on the object in hand, memory retention should increase.

It's weird that I can follow these rules with regards to work, but not with regards to social interaction. I think I better buck up before I start to irritate my friends. :p

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Transferring Bootcamp partition from a removable harddisk

Updated 3 May 2008: Bootcamp 2.1 update

I have recently upgraded my Tiger to Leopard by installing a new harddisk. You can refer to my experience in this post. One of the most irritating portion of the transferring of settings is the bootcamp partition.

The Leopard settings transfer is only for the Mac OS, not for the Windows partition. Therefore, if you need to do transfer your bootcamp partition over, its not just a simple case of copying the files over and walla, it'll work.

These are the steps to transfer the Windows Bootcamp partition without re-installing every single application (Assuming your Windows partition is FAT32) :
  1. Activate your Bootcamp software to partition and format your harddisk for the Windows OS.
  2. When prompted to insert the Windows CD, just click on the button that allows you to install later.
  3. Reboot and hold down the option key to activate the boot menu.
  4. Insert your Windows XP SP2 CD and click on it to boot up.
  5. Follow the instructions. Ensure that you reformat the partition you have carved out using bootcamp. A quick format will do.
  6. It should reboot after copying some files. Upon reboot, you should go directly to the Mac OS automatically.
  7. Use finder to view the new partition. You should see a Windows directory and some files inside.
  8. Delete the Windows directory and clear the Mac trash.
  9. Plug in your removable harddisk with your old bootcamp partition and copy everything except the files that already exist within your new bootcamp partition. Do not replace any files, especially those files in the main directory (root directory).

That's all to it, and it took me almost 2 days to figure it out. :( Almost everything worked. The only problem I had was that the ZoneAlarm settings disappeared for me, so I had to reconfigure that.

Note that for Leopard users, reboot to your Windows partition and run the Apple update. There is a Bootcamp v2.1 update.

Beats re-installing every single thing. Hope this is useful...

Karl Jenkin's Palladio

I chanced upon a recording of Britain's Got Talent 2008. There was a group called Scala playing Palladio. It's the work of Karl Jenkin. 2 videos I found in YouTube:

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