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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Men Are From Mars & Women Are From Venus Workshop

I attended the Men Are from Mars & Women Are from Venus Workshop yesterday. This workshop was organized by SDU (Social Development Unit). NUS, NTU and SMU also took part in this workshop. The Student Union of the 3 respective universities were tasked to invite undergraduates to register for the workshop. Regine registered on my behalf.

Registration fee for the workshop was $5 which I find really worth the money. I belive this workshop cost more than that without the 2 tea breaks, 1 lunch buffet, and 1 best-seller book from Andy Gray. The workshop was held in the Grassroots' Club near Yio Chu Kang MRT Station from 9am - 6pm.

I was rather shocked to see there weren't as many people as expected. The MPH was only 1/3 filled. Many came as a couple but there were some who came alone - mostly guys. My "entourage" included my elder brother and her girlfriend, Wenjun and Beryl, Regine and myself.

The workshop was full of fun and interaction. Throughout the duration, we listened to the 2 speakers who gave valuable pointers and relevant real-life examples, watched videos, and carried out discussions and completing the workbook. They had made use of visual aids, audio devices and hands-on exercises to impart their knowledge. As to how they did that, I thought it was too difficult for me to write them down here.

I have been to countless seminars, talks and workshops but I have never been to one that is as interactive as this one. I give 10 out of 10 for this workshop.

I Am a Martian

Therefore, I constantly seek ways to acheive something.

Google Launches Page Creator Web Publishing Tool

Thursday, February 23, 2006

'Fare cheats' take more than one seat

BECAUSE public transport operators lose significant revenue to fare cheats, a new law was passed recently to fine or imprison them.

Actually, these cheats are trivial compared to passengers who blatantly occupy an extra seat by putting personal or bought items there. They close their eyes, oblivious to other passengers even when the bus or train is packed.

Not placing the items on the floor deprives other commuters of an available seat. Sometimes, the items may contain wet, dirty or smelly matter like seafood which may soil the seat and make it unusable until it is cleaned.

The worst case is when a bus passenger stretches his legs across to touch the opposite facing seat. These are the 'super' cheats. One passenger can then 'occupy' four seats (with his legs creating a barrier to two other adjacent seats).


Big Mistake

My colleague asked if someone could write a script to do a net send on somebody infinitely just to disturb that person. I said okay and wrote a simple script. It works but I accidentally set it to broadcast to every single one in the domain, including the boss.

I think everyone would need to press more than 100 times to close the net send message. I will never do something so stupid as this again.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Got A New Job

The RCL company finally accepted my pay request and I officially just found a permanent job. So happy.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Font Rendering Technology

Understanding ClearType

NUS Proactive

Proud of you guys for the recent protests on school fees hike.
Anyone knows what is the procedure to send an article to be published on the Forum section of The Straits Times? I want to raise a point to counter Prof Tan from NUS on the reason behind the raise.

SG's Budget 2006

I think I will benefit from the below
  1. Growth Dividend - S$600
  2. NS - S$100 (This year) + S$300 (Many many years later...)
That's all :(

Insurance Recommendations Anyone?

At the moment, I am considering PruLife Limited Pay. But I will need another coverage for hospitalization, etc. Still in search of the best combination.

Made Partial School Fees Payment

Went down to CPF board today to make partial payment for my school fees. I also applied for GIRO to make monthly payment of $500. I should be able to clear my debt in about 1.5 years.

My Johari Window

Friday, February 17, 2006

Stingy RCL

I went for my 2nd job interview at RCL and I believe I have passed all tests. After negotiation, I agreed to give in by lowering my expected salary by $100 to $2400. RCL is offering a permanent position for Analyst Programmer and this fits me since my contract for my current job is going to end soon. All things look good to me till today. The HR people called me today and inform me that they are willing to employ me only if I agreed to accept $2200! This is simply ridiculous! With this salary, I would rather stay at my current job which offers a higher monthly pay. I believe I am worth more than $2200.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Just condemned another site

I do practise strict surfing habits. I lay out a list of several guidelines and if websites do not fulfill any one of them, they will go down to my blacklist.

One of them is
  • Thou shall not visit sites with embedded sound/video files (*.mp3, *.wav, *.mpeg)
I will list them out here one day.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I Owe Lots of Money

Total $9K left for my NUS school fees.
Looks little as compared to many but actually still quite a lot ar..

Finally Got IT!

I finally got the CitiBank credit card :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Total 3 projects on hand at the moment and all concurrently.
  1. People's Association for Grassroots Leaders (Alone)
  2. S-League (Alone)
  3. Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (Partial)

AOL, Yahoo to Charge for Email

I feel this is not a good solution to control spam.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Calling All LCD Users

Attention to all LCD PC users and laptop users, please perform ClearType Tuning. It is good for your eyes.

Investment Summit (Reminder)

Details of the event are as follows:
Venue : SMU School of Accountancy Conference Hall 2
Date : 11th February 2006 (Saturday)
Time : 0930 – 1800
Attire: Smart Casual

Sunday, February 05, 2006

ClearType Text in IE7

Hello there, I’m Peter Gurevich, one of the many program managers on the IE team. My primary feature area focus is on the rendering and display in the browser, including the decoding and display of images and the rendering of Text. I wanted to briefly chat with you all about a change to the way IE7 renders text.

You may have noticed that after installing IE 7, your fonts in IE and Outlook Express look different. That is because IE7 has changed our text rendering to use ClearType. I hope you like the change. If you are not familiar with ClearType, you can find more information on it using the link below, but basically it is another method for rendering Text on LCD Monitors.

Here is an example of the difference you should see.

If you have an LCD monitor, it may not be precisely tuned for Cleartype, so here are some tools that can help you get it set up.

On-line tuner

PowerToy tuner:

We do realize and have received feedback that not everyone is using an LCD and that some people may not like ClearType text rendering. So it is important to us that we provide a way of disabling ClearType. If you do not like ClearType text rendering on your monitor, you just need to use the option in the Internet Control Panel to turn it off. Simply uncheck the box.

Now some of you out there may have a few questions. Ill try to answer what seem to be the most common.

Q1: Why is IE7 making this change?
A1: To improve the readability of text on the internet.

The Advanced Reading and Technologies group at Microsoft has conducted several studies on ClearType on LCD and CRT monitors. These studies show a measurable improvement in reading comprehension and performance as well as an improvement in the perceived user experience (Mostly on LCDs, but even on CRTs) Because of these studies and the prevalence of LCD monitors in the marketplace, IE7 will now render text using compatible width Clear type by default. Compatible width means that, for the most part, the text layout should not change when using ClearType. ClearType rendering will be turned on independent of the system ClearType setting but will be group policy enabled for corporate environments.

Q2: Why don’t we turn on ClearType just for LCD monitors?
A2: There is no reliable programmatic way to detect whether the monitor on a system is an LCD or CRT. When that type of detection technology is in place it is an option that we will consider.

Q3: Why does text in Outlook Express still look blurry even when I turn off ClearType?
A3: This is a bug and it is known issue. We are working closely with the Outlook Express team to resolve this issue.

Thanks for your interest in the IE7 product and please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

- Peter Gurevich, Internet Explorer Program Manager

Food Stalls Increase Price

Okay, it has been confirmed that the food stalls at the coffeeshop near my house has increased their items by 50 cents permanently. I think I will boycott them and buy food from the market in the future. Market food can be cheaper or priced at the same rate but definitely they taste better. 5 minutes of walking distance is worth the effort.

Dissatisfied With IE 7 Beta 2

Some things missing as compared to FF 1.5
  1. Shortcut key to Search box missing.
  2. Achor names pointing poor.
  3. Minor bug on CSS layers.
  4. Offers only MSN as search engine by default - Too little.
  5. Does not support type-as-i-search feature.
However, there's only one thing I like - Their printing feature.

BTW, I have reported the CSS bug to Microsoft.

No mails from NUS

It has been months since I last received an email from NUS on my alumni mail account. Am I removed from their mailing list?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

KamaSutra Worm to Attack Feb 3

The new computer worm, named Kama Sutra, is scheduled to attack infected systems Friday, 3 February. The worm, also known as Blackworm, Nyxem-D and W32.blackmail.e, is aimed at Windows-based computers and spreads by copying itself to shared network locations and mass emailing itself to email addresses on these systems.

Though potentially quite damaging to a system, large scale infection of the worm is not expected and the current over-reaction by many members of the anti-virus community is unwarranted, according to anti-virus company BitDefender.

The Kama Sutra worm is designed to overwrite all .doc, .xls, .mdb, .mde, .ppt, .pps, .zip, .rar, .pdf, .psd, and .dmp files. It has gained the attention of the anti-virus community because of its ability to deceive Windows through phony digital signatures, and seems to have been created for the sole purpose of doing damage and not for commercial gain. It has also gained attention in both the general and technology press due to a unique Website that supposedly shows a running counter of infected computers, as well as its reliance on sexually suggestive emails which spread the virus.

Within the past week, a great deal of media attention has been given to the danger of this worm. While there is a potential of damage if a computer is infected, BitDefender, one of the first companies to offer a free tool for detecting and cleansing the virus from systems, believes that the worm is not as dangerous or widespread as has been reported and can easily be blocked with up-to-date anti-virus software.

Bogdan Dumitru, CTO, BitDefender, said, "Some members of the anti-virus community have initiated a wholesale panic around this threat, and we absolutely feel this is nothing but over-reaction. There is no doubt that this is an interesting virus due to the fact that we do not often see pure destructive viruses developed with no financial gain in mind anymore, and it has an interesting counter that shows how many systems are infected. But there is no reason to trust this site to be truthful. Without a suggestive name and a couple of neat designs, this worm is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill attack that anyone with anti-virus software will stop."

Extracted from []

'Free' is the new 'cheap' for software tools

As long as applications / GUI are not created using Java, then they are considered acceptable to me. Oracle does not fit into the list since it is created using Java. Applications by Java are normally very slow. A very good example is the NetBeans IDE. Simply compare Eclipse with NetBeans, MsSQL with Oracle, etc, the former one in the comparison definitely score better in terms of speed. Of course free is good! PostgreSQL and MySQL are equally powerful as compared to M$SQL.

Holiday Mood Over

All is over. Tomorrow will be back to work again. Moody mood.

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