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Tuesday, 28 June 2011


I've been free for four whole weeks now. However, I haven't blogged as much as I did some time ago. Sorry about that.

Actually that statement wasn't exactly true. I have been blogging, just not this blog.

Yes! I have been working on my new blog. It's not exactly functional yet, but here's some sneak preview.

The new blog header.

I've spent days redesigning it. It required the use of several markup and programming languages.

How tweets show up in the new blog. This is not finalised (as is much of the rest of the website) and will probably change in the coming weeks.

I've also tested it on multiple browsers, namely Firefox 5, Google Chrome, Safari 5, Opera 11.50, Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9. And I can guarantee compatibility across all of them, with only minor features missing from the Microsoft browsers.

How Flickr photos show up in the new blog.

I didn't realise how draining all this work is until one day, when I shifted my laptop and out fell strands of my precious hair.

So stay tuned, because with any luck, you're in for a treat in a few weeks' time.

PS. These screenshots are taken off live webpages. In other words, parts of the blog are already accessible via the web. Link is provided er, somewhere in this blog. Happy digging.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Updating used to be fun

Just a few years ago, any internet user who cared about stability and performance of their rig would be excited by the release of browser updates.

Updates to your favourite browser was a huge thing. Backend changes aside (huh? JavaScript? Canvas?), various revamps were prominently visible to users the first time they see their new, updated browsers. Remember the joy of seeing tabs when you first went from IE6 to IE7? Or found out how awesome the AwesomeBar of Firefox 3 was?

The Updating-Hype back then was phenomenal. Firefox 3 garnered over 8 millions downloads the day it was released, even setting a Guinness World Record for most downloads in a single day. Requests were so frequent that at one point, Mozilla servers were unable to service all of them and were taken down temporarily.

Updating was just plain fun. The downloading, the installing, the exploring and the benchmarking. It's like a parent seeing a kid growing up.

All these changed in 2008 when a new browser was born.

Google Chrome led the way to many browser innovations, the same way Apple iPhone introduced the world to an intuitive touchscreen interface. Minimalistic user interface, lightning fast JavaScript performance and optimisation for multi-core machines are just three of the lot. These innovations then slowly found their way to other browsers, widening their reach, Chrome or not.

Chrome had a new update and version numbering system too. New "major" updates are released every two months or so, with the version number incremented. The rationale behind this is to push new features to end users quicker than usual. Updating is fully automatic -- the browser downloads and installs a new version behind the scene whenever it is available.

The cool automatic-update feature makes sure that every Chrome user uses the latest (and greatest, as Mozilla put it) version. However, with releases so frequent, each "major" release isn't so major anymore. Relatively few people can name 10 improvements Chrome 12 (the current stable release) has over Chrome 1. Heck, most people don't even know which version they're using.

Worst of all, they took the fun out of updating. Users don't update anymore -- the browser does. Updates present too few changes and come too frequent to garner press attention.

And guess what, Mozilla and Microsoft are adopting this update approach on their Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers respectively. In short, it will be soon before long when people start saying "Update? What update?" like a clueless llama.

Now, Mozilla Firefox 5 is getting released next week, on the 21st of June. But who cares?

Thank you, Google Chrome.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Thank You for the Years

Five years of tertiery education. 12 semesters. More assignments, courseworks, presentations and exams than I want to remember.

Farewell 1

All we've been through, we've been through together.

The ridiculous, no-you-can't-get-more-than-70% modules.

The karaoke sessions and the after exam parties.

Q and A sessions with insatiable lecturers.

The group study sessions which helped prepared us so much for the exams.

Farewell 3

It's been a good few years. I sincerely thank everyone from the University, including my friends and lecturers, many of which I do not have photos of, for making these years unforgettable.

Thank you, Sir!
My FYP supervisor and a few of his FYP students.

June has been my favourite month of the year since a few years ago. It marks the end of the tedious exam weeks and the long academic years as well as the beginning of the awesome three-month summer break. There's also the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, usually at the end of May or beginning of June, when I get to eat Chinese dumplings. The very second day of the month also happens to be my birthday.

But nothing beats June 2011. All the best to your future.

Farewell 2

Monday, 6 June 2011

Summer Project

I officially started on one of my two summer projects last Friday. I had those projects planned for months and was looking forward to the start of my summer break to get cracking.

Four days later, the project finally left its first trace of laymen-comprehensible interface at There's nothing much to see yet, but if you head over for just a second, you'll find an interface very similar to this very blog. That's because that website is intended as a complete rewrite of my blog.

So with a bit of luck, I'll get a new, feature-rich, next-gen blog to share with my pathetically few readers.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

OK. My birthday's coming in... 4 hours' time. Time to get the facts right.

In four hours, I get full rights as a Malaysian adult. I get to enter casinos. I can be declared bankrupt. I get to vote for the stupidest councilman ever and no one can say no about that. I can easily walk into a strip club worldwide, pay for a hooker in the dark streets of New York or even get myself starred in an adult film, and no one person on Earth has the legal rights to stop me.

The feeling of having raw power in your hands is awesome. Trust me.

I had wild dreams about this day. I'd rent a small, cosy apartment, hook it up with the best internet connection, procure a 42" LED television set in front of a smooth, glossy coffee table surrounded by couches with leather cushions. Hanging unobtrusively from the living room walls were surround speakers. Instead of connecting them to a DVD-player, I'd get them linked to a Blu-Ray- and internet-enabled computer for the best entertainment system ever. I could easily decorate the place with my best Chinese Calligraphy work, a couple in the living and another one in the bedroom.

Then I'd stare at my beautiful house for 200 minutes daily. My cool gadgets get their chance to collect dust for the rest of the day while I sleep, go for work or engage in (real-life) social activities.

But then again...

Finishing my studies also implies joblessness. Right now I'm still surviving on my parents' hard-earned cents and the amount I get could hardly pay for the electric bills, much less monthly rental and the cool gadgets I had in my mind.

As of right now I'm still sharing a house with my parents. Worse still, my bed is barely 3 metres away from theirs. That's kinda embarrassing for a 21-year-old man. I could hear the annoying guy from my class saying "Ha! You still sleep with your mama!"

Oh wait, I'm turning 22 tomorrow, not 21.