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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Interests: Software Engineering (Requirements Specification, Design, Architecture, Human-Centered Soft. Eng., Enterprise Software Application), Environment preservation, tennis, golf, badminton, wallyball French literature, Chinese history, Chivalric fiction novels by Jin Yong (金庸武俠小說), Chinese brush calligraphy, Cooking, Tai-chi.
Expertise: Software Development: RDBMS (SQL, MySQL, Oracle) Rational Rose and Rational Rose Real Time Java and servlet/JSP technology (with Apache Tomcat and Eclipse) Macromedia Dreamweaver 2004 .NET (C#, C++ .NET, VB .NET) C/C++ some BASIC Lotus Notes/Lotus Domino 6 (which I hate) PHP x86 assembly (not useful for me though) MATLAB (and Simulink) Languages: English French Cantonese Mandarin Latin (translation-wise, disused)
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|My new website is ready. Please update your bookmark (if you ever did bookmark this blog) to http://www.kalunite.net/.|
|Yep, this blog is moving. After a little more than 2 years, I realise that a blog is just not enough. Even now, the blog is already pretty cluttered anyway. Plus, Xanga still hasn't given us any RSS or ATOM ability. So I registered my own domain name and got a hosting service today. The blog will be moved to the new site and sit together happily with some other stuff (like maybe a bulletin board, a wiki, and actual pages for my projects, tutorials, and essays). The host shall be ready tomorrow. Stay tuned to see the new URL.|
|The 2006 edition of the Canadian Undergraduate Software Engineering Conference opened on Thursday, January 19th. This is the fifth year the event is happening and the number of attendees is on a record high (over 250 students from all over Canada and some from the US). Every year since 2001, the conference creates a great opportunity for the students and the leading figures in academics and in the industry to have a close encounter.|
Beside the number of attendees, other facts demonstrate that CUSEC has become something "bigger". For instance, this year we have 5 keynote speakers, which is more than the previous editions. The organising committee is also composed of students from 4 universities, as opposed to the 1 or 2 in the past. As a member of the organising committee of the 2004 edition, I can say that I'm really proud of the growth of CUSEC.
Keynote SpeakersDr. Peter Grogono is our very lovable professor at Concordia University. Everybody in computer science and software engineering loves him (even those who have never actually taken one of his classes) because he is like the icon of how real geeks should be: humorous, practical, knowledgeable in the geek issues, smart, and being able to make fun of your own kind. He is a regular at CUSEC and never fails to give an interesting presentation. This year, his speech is titled "Modular Concurrency" and it's always amusing to listen to him joke about the stupidities throughout the history of programming language development, about how people solved the concurrency problem over 40 years ago and then decided to not use the solution after all, until they step on their own feet today and start to take interest in the issue again.
Chad Fowler is the renowned author of "My Job Went to India" and gives a very inspiring speech about how we shall look at our career. He proposes that we look at our career not as engineering or as programming, but rather as business; and that we really should not worry about our jobs going to India because the jobs that can be outsourced are the boring ones anyway. He is like the navigator for anybody who feels lost in his software development career.
Connie Heitmeyer is the Head of the Software Engineering Section of the Naval Research in the US and is an expert in high assurance software development. Her speech is about how formal methods are used in the development of mission critical software. It is more on the academic side but she really knows what she is talking about.
Kathy Sierra was the star this evening. She took us on a roller coaster ride about creating passionate users who will stick to your product. She gets her points across really smoothly because she knows how geeks think and how real product end users think. Her presentation was probably PG-13 (which is why it was so good).
Corporate PresentationsChris Laffra from the Rational Performance Engineering Team is really funny. He had two topics: AJAX and Eclipse Performance. His AJAX presentation was somewhat of a last-minute decision because our own Dr. Ahmed Seffah was sick and could not give a presentation. His tutorial on what to do and what not to do with AJAX is a must for all AJAX beginners. The more interesting part, however, was the Eclipse performance presentation, where he explains to us in humour ways about what is going on in Eclipse and Rational Software Architect development and why Eclipse runs so damn slowly at times, and how he thinks the problem should have been tackled.
These have been the most memorable presentations so far.
And now, some pictures:
The Gameloft booth. They were giving out mobile phone games as prizes for the keynote speech raffles and taking CVs.
The EA (left) and the Microsoft (right) booths. EA gave out several GameCube and XBox 360 games as raffle prizes. Microsoft gave out free copies of OneNote. Both were taking CVs.
The internet cafe supplied by Apple. I want that Cinema Display...
Students chilling on the couches during one of the breaks between presentations. Many students had their laptops with them and they were live blogging about CUSEC. The wireless internet access provided by the Hotel Omni apparently costs the organisation 800 CND per day.
Kathy Sierra concluding her speech with the secret about creating passionate users. Well, not so secret any more.
Some of the students went to dinner with the organisers and the speakers. We got to the restaurant early and waited about 15 to 30 minutes (I lost track). We all had some small talk and it was fun.
I will come back with more update in the afternoon (it's now 1:39 in the morning).
|I finally converted my sister to the dark side: she bought an Apple PowerBook G4. It was a really bad move though. Basically, I fell for the Apple hype and skipped research. I ended up troubleshooting her computer for a few days before it starts working for my sister.|
Here are a few of the annoyances I encountered:
Anyway, think again before you switch from PC to Mac. Mac may be free of the PC annoyances, but it's got annoyances of its own.
- There is no way to change the GUI font sizes unless you download some third-party tools (like TinkerTool), which are, incidentally, rumored to work and not work according various users. Why isn't this functionality built-in? I wish the people who designed the GUI system have kids with pathological myopia, just so they understand that there are users who are as sharp-eyed as bats. My sister had to set the screen resolution to 1024*768 or even 800*600 (wow, such a good way to waste a 1440*960 LCD monitor).
- Why am I forced to have either a private IP address or a public IP address, but not both? The AirPort interface and the PPPoE interface are logically separate, so there is no reason for the AirPort interface to not grab a private address from DHCP even when the computer is connected to the Internet through PPPoE. The network interface management must be designed by some really smart golf clubs (and you know how smart those golf clubs can get). Even Windows does a better job on that. I know this problem can be overcome manually through the use of the ifconfig command, but it's just such a bad idea to assume that your users know Unix.
- Can I have a maximise window button, please? I don't want an autofit button because the result sucks anyway. It's like Fido giving me voice activated customer self-service: give me back the good ol'keypress system, you fucktards; I'm spending 3 times as much time to refill my cell phone with airtime because your stupid Andrea robot can't tell the difference between "voucher" and "credit card". I digress, but whatever...
|I had my last exam of the semester on the 21st (database design and implementation). It was ok. I answered 9 out of 10 problems in 2 hours and then spent a whole hour on a trick problem on RAID-6. Anyway, now that it's over, I'm not even thinking whether I did well or not. I really cannot care less when the teacher outright sucks and more than half the class has no clue what's going on.|
I spent the past 3 days doing just one thing: leveling up my dark elf. Thanks to the Christmas polymorph event, I was able to make about 1% in 20 minutes at level 48. Even though my dark elf died like 6 or 7 times in 3 days - Dark Elder, Ifrit, fight, disconnection... - I was able to make up for it AND bring my dark elf to level 49. I turned down invitations to 2 LAN parties just for this. I upset a bunch of friends by ditching them, and mom was not happy about me sitting in front of the computer for over 10 hours per day either (hey, it's not as though I would not be sitting in front of a computer at the LAN parties either). Sorry Danny and Jawaad. I had to stick to my goal of making level 52. Besides, I don't enjoy LAN parties because I'm really not good sports, if you have not noticed in the 5+ years that you have known me. As for mom, I don't even bother to explain to her what's going on. I find it absolutely fine that she doesn't understand my world; in fact, for privacy reasons, I'd prefer that she does not understand ever.