Sunday, November 28, 2004

[Toy] 20th Anniversary Edition Optimus Prime

Just something for old people like me who might actually consider spending $75 on a "toy".

Saturday, November 27, 2004

[Moblog] Windy Fort Funston

Windy Fort Funston

You probably can't see it from the picture, but it is very windy here at Fort Funston right now.

Friday, November 26, 2004

[PDA/Cellphone] Both phones unlocked

Yesterday I unlocked my wife's Motorola V600 cellphone using my friend's ATT sim card. I also verified that both the HP 6315 and the V600 worked fine in ATT's network. Now both phone are ready for my trip back to Singapore at the end of this year.

[Automobile] San Francisco Internation Auto Show

Posted by Hello

I went to the San Francisco International Auto Show today. It took us 20 minutes to find parking, and the exhibition halls were packed. The exotic cars were touch of reach, so it was only like going to car showrooms, but without the car salesmen and with far more shoppers. I tried to sit in as many cars as I could and tried out the gears of those with manual transmissions. I verified that the new Civic Si gears felt the same as mine, so I am happy. The Scion tC's gears felt good too, although the interior looked a bit cheap without the custom kits. The 2005 Ford Mustang, with its hard interior plastic, looked dissappointing in real life.

My new slippers

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Funny "File not found!" page

Bored? Try this File not found! webpage.

Monday, November 22, 2004

More Honda recalls

More Honda recalls? Where is Honda going with this?

GM in Texas

Should people welcome additional investments or wait until the original major investor pulls a "Flint Michigan"? It's funny how I encountered this post about GM vs. Toyota in Texas right after I watched Michael Moore's Roger & Me the weekend before.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Successful unlock

I have successfully unlocked my HP iPaq 6315 PocketPC phone. Now I just need a "foreign" SIM card to test it out. A word of advice for others before attempting to unlock T-Mobile's phones: make sure the unlock code is for your phone's EMEI number. You can get the phone's EMEI number by dialing *#06#. My reason for caution? The first set of unlock codes sent by T-Mobile were for the wrong EMEI numbers. It wasn't after two failed attempts on my HP 6315 did I find the problem.

Friday, November 19, 2004

AnandTech Guide to Better Photos

I didn't know AnandTech, normally a technology site, is into something non-tech such as arts? Anyway, the article (part 1 of 3) is a good short read on how to take better photos. Yeah yeah, I used to be really into photography. I still have my old Canon Elan 7e non-digital SLR, which has been on the shelf ever since I got my Canon PowerShot A80 digital, although non-SLR, camera. (Gee, look at me, I am into the equipments again.)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Mouse trap laid

This morning I was late for work because of the appointment with the pest control professional. I must say the mouse pictures I took worked wonders, that and the apartment manager appeared quite eager in resolving the mouse issue. So now I have the gap underneath the front door sealed and a mouse trap strategically placed in the living room. The good thing is that according to the professional, the mouse is probably already gone.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Human Pacman

I remember this place! It's in between some buildings in NUS Science faculty.

Oh sure, I suppose the Human Pacman is pretty fancy too. :P

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Mouse in the house

Posted by Hello

At around 11PM tonight my wife heard some noise in the corridor. She turned around and saw a glimpse of a mouse. We chased the mouse into the living room and managed to take some pictures of it under our TV rack, you know, just to prove it to the apartment manager. After a few of my wife's screams and my futile attempts to drive it out onto the patio with a broomstick, the mouse managed to escape from us. We suspect it went into the kitchen, mainly because Frosty has shown unrivalled attention there.

I am not skilled in dealing with mice anymore. I used to see my parents do it decades ago when I was still in China. But in a "luxury" apartment complex in the high-tech and prosperous Bay Area, US?!

And how come Frosty is willing to chase after squarrels outside and yet sits idle while a mouse runs around?

Pics of T-Mobiles upcoming smart phones

Frankly I can't keep track of all the different names given to the same phones (due to country, carrier, wireless protocol, etc) anymore, so just look at the photos.

Gmail POP3 on PDA

Success! Today I was able to use POP3 on my PDA to retrieve and send Gmail emails.

Icon War

Fun stuff: Icon War

Monday, November 15, 2004

Transformer, Citroen 2004 style

This is a good treat for someone like me who was crazy about Transformers the cartoon. Follow the link to access the actual movie.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Dopod 818 (I-Mate JAM)

Image from Pocket PC Thoughts.

Gee, I just bought the HP iPaq 6315, and the even smaller "Dopod 18" is already coming out?! How do one keep up? I won't have the opportunity to upgrade for at least another year!

Enough of my complaints. Anyway, there is a review of the Dopod 818 (I-Mate JAM) in Chinese. The review itself mainly describes the hardware, so there isn't much new information for me. The pictures however are great for the size perspective.

Saturday, November 13, 2004


Call me bored, but I started "reading" up on Fractal all of a sudden. I had seen these in the After Dark screen saver on my Mac 10+ years ago. I don't understand most of the mathematics stuff in the Wikipedia article. The Fractal Page seems approacheable, even if it barely scratches the surface.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Sorry Everyone (or not)

A few days ago I nonchalantly mentioned about the Sorry Everyone website. Little did I know these websites would generate enough buzz to get onto CNet.

2005 Mustang GT

Doesn't the 2005 Mustang just look leaps and bounds better than its predecessors?

My dad might like this

In 2003 my dad bought a Panasonic D-snap SV-AS10S for himself. It was one of his few gadgets, no doubt with my small influence. :)

With that said, I am sure he would like the Samsung Miniket as well.

Hmm, now that I think about it, how is the Samsung model different from Panasonic's higher end D-snap ones?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Automatic pump

Reebok Pump 2.0 pumps itself after you take a few steps in it. I have never tried the original Reebok Pump and am curious about why it failed to catch on last time. Was it the price, or was it the comfort?

Yet another Pocket PC phone

Samsung's i730 - looks nice and small with some decent specs. Nothing much is known beyond that.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Early morning interview

Tomorrow I have to wake up early to attend a telephone interview. The candidate is in India, thus the inconvenient time. I don't like telephone interviews, there is only so many technical questions you can ask over the long-distance medium.

Update (Nov 11): We couldn't reach the person by either his home phone (not there) or cell phone (out of reach), so I woke up early for nothing.

The real thumbdrive

Funny Remote Watch comments

I don't actually care for the Remote Watch, but the writer's comment is funny:
Sure, we could say we’re going to use this for changing the channels on our TVs and electronics at home, but what we’re really going to do is head down to our local Best Buy and mess around.

Radio code

I called up the car dealer today asking for the radio code for my "new" Civic. Unfortunately they simply don't have it. So the only way for me to get the radio code is to bring my car into a Honda or Acura service center and pay some one to yank out the radio and find the code on its back. I feel incomplete about the car again.

Update: I think I found the code "some where" in the car. It's a number of the same length, but there is no way to know for sure until the car battery dies.

Another person who thinks Palm T5 sucks

Steuart Dewar (CEO of Pimlico Software, Inc., maker of Datebk5) on T5 and Databk5:

It's pretty clear the T5 was never tested much (if at all) with any third party apps.


I guess it's another $400 down the drain for yet another useless (for me) device to try and figure out what new and interesting bugs PalmOne's introduced into this device since their desktop simulator's performance makes it of only academic interest - it's completely useless for debugging (it takes a full 3 1/2 minutes just to boot up the Palm OS and runs about 5-10 times slower than the simulator for other Tungsten devices :(

Luckily I am a PocketPC guy.

Gmail POP support soon?

My biggest gripe with Gmail is that I can't use it on my PocketPC. Gmail simply doesn't support POP and that crummy PocketIE. Well, looks like the salvation is just around the corner:

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Apologies for Bush

Sorry Everybody is a website dedicated to apologies for Bush's re-election.

"Travel Agents can be scumbags"

Despite having received multiple verbal confirmations by THREE different staff over the phone that there were no other “hidden” costs and that ALL taxes and surcharges and GST were already included in the price, when it came to payment, a fuel surcharge of $148 was suddenly thrust upon us, mutating the once attractive offer of $596 to $744.

It's unfortunate that we now encounter such unscrupulous sales tactics in every line. Guess we can't single out used car salesmen anymore.

No more table tennis buddies

I used to play table tennis at work with some colleagues. This happened probably a few times a week, with each session lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to a hour. Sadly I can't do that now because all these guys have either left the company or moved to a different site. Does that mean I have to work in front of my computer throughout the 8-hour day?!

HP's new media center PC (case)

I already "know" my next PC would be a media center 2005 PC. The question has been to build one myself or buy prebuilt. HP's z545 case certainly tilts the balance towards buying prebuilt.

When Subaru meets house

Click here for more glorious pictures of both the Subaru and the house.

Go and download FireFox 1.0

FireFox 1.0 final release has been...err...released! The download link was unresponsive when I tried it, probably due to the heavy load, but I will try for real when I get home tonight.

Thanks to redemption in a blog for the one-piece FireFox image. The one from is actually comprised of two picture files which wouldn't display properly on my blog.

Son sues mom

In China a boy sued his mom for not buying him a computer as previously agreed. And here I was thinking that all frivolous lawsuits took place in US.

ASCII Generator

In 1996 when I first got my NUS school computer account, many of the emails we circulated around were ASCII "art". I just assumed someone had painstakingly typed each character one by one. "Now" I know you can simply generate any text via the ASCII Generator.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Phone Number for $215,000

I am Chinese and I didn't know 3 is a lucky number?

Aftermath of Election 2004

Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 06, 2004

NUS ranked 18th among world's top 200 universities

The National University of Singapore (NUS) has been ranked 18th among the world's top 200 tertiary institutions, in the first such ranking exercise by an British authority on higher education.

The Times Higher World University Rankings place NUS above renowned names such as Columbia (ranked 19th), Cornell (23rd) and Pennsylvania (28th) in the United States; and the University College London (34th) in the United Kingdom.

Friday, November 05, 2004

2005 Acura RSX Type-S review

I am looking forward to AutoBlog's review of 2005 Acura RSX Type-S. I liked their similarly styled review on Scion tC.

Lousy drivers

Why are there so many lousy and impatient drivers on the road?! Just this afternoon I encountered a woman who didn't know how to use brakes but was efficient with the horn. I bet her brand new Toyota Sienna van (still without license plates) will become scrap metal soon.

Qtek S100/HTC Magician preview

A preview of HTC Magician PocketPC phone (the one in the middle of picture) is available here (translation link copied from Anything in this product category looks nice to me, but I especially like the small size.

Some web designer really hates Bush

Found this interesting blog entry: mrbrown: When your web designer hates Bush. The image file name has since been changed to "georgelaura135.jpg".

Thursday, November 04, 2004

T-Mobile incompetence (what else)

Refer to my past blog entry for my gruesome interactions with T-Mobile.

Today I got my second T-Mobile bill. It proves once again that T-Mobile customer support personnel can't/won't follow up on whatever they had promised. I was supposed to get a credit for the HotSpot account which I had to cancel because T-Mobile wouldn't honor my contract. Surprise, surprise, there is no credit on this bill. I called T-Mobile again and was told by David, the customer support person, that he did see the previous notes for the credits. Ok, let me understand this: the note was there but nothing was done anyway. Great demonstration of professionalism, wouldn't you say? Since the system was undergoing maintenance and couldn't be updated (surprised?), David wrote an email to have this done tomorrow. I suppose that I, as a customer, would have to drive this issue all the way to closure.

On a side note, for some reason David questioned the plan "TM Internet & HS" I had prior to canceling the HotSpot. He saw that plan name under my account on his computer. So I told him the entire history of how I was supposed to be charged $20 per month for "TM Internet & HS" but instead was charged $20 for that plus another $20 for HotSpot. I confirmed again with him that the "HS" in "TM Internet & HS" does stand for "HotSpot". (Another proof is that my data plan is now named "TM Internet" after I cancelled the HotSpot.) After hearing my whole story David chickened out and diverted the conversation back to just crediting my account. All this just to prove that you can have all the black and white contract in the world, they wouldn't mean jack to T-Mobile. Their corporate bullshit overrides anything you might have previously agreed and signed mutually. And there is no proper channel to fight this T-Mobile crap other than by legal means, which for me is just not worth the hassle.

I could stand the lousy coverage, but the terrible customer support drove the final nail into their coffin. I will be switching away from T-Mobile the moment my one-year contract is up. Other wireless carriers are starting to offer smartphones and decent data plans, so T-Mobile can kiss themselves where the sun don't shine!

Lowrance iWay 500C GPS

20GB hard disk based GPS and a MP3 player?! Sweeeeeeeet!!


Last night I dreamt that for some reason I got ticked off at work and quit on the spot. I then regretted the decision because:

  1. I would miss the upcoming potential bonus.
  2. I would risk the chance of getting a good mortgage loan.
  3. I hadn't had another job offer lined up yet.
  4. Worst was that the management didn't seem to care much.

Given what my dream was trying to tell me, I guess I shouldn't quit, should I?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

IE5 on Windows 98

This afternoon I got a bug where the HTML web application will crash on IE5 in Windows 98. No errors, just a browser crash. No where to start debugging. And who uses Windows 98 nowadays?!

Update: Looks like the problem is due to some JavaScript code that was put in to work around a XP SP2 IE bug.

Self study in Singapore libraries

I read this excellent blog entry about Singapore public libraries' policies on self studies in their facilities. Being a lazy person, I don't want to offer any constructive comments or opinions. This issue simply struck a chord in me because of the contrasting impressions I had of Singapore libraries as compared to the US counterparts.

While in US as a teenager I used to study in public libraries. In fact, libraries were the obvious place to do such constructive activities (other than at home). When I moved to Singapore I was quite surprised to find that no one studied in the public libraries. This blog entry just confirmed my old suspicion that self study was indeed not welcome at those venues. Oh, and just like one fellow commenter, I remember spending hours in a fast food restaurant like McDonalds studying for my exams in NUS. And of course I had my obligatory soft drink to show that I was a legit customer. =P

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Moving over in Q1

In Q1 of next year I am supposed to transit to work on the next generation product. Looks like there isn't a high chance of that happening. The reason being I have to transfer my knowledge to the new hires before I myself can move off. This pushes the projected date further into Q2. At this rate I would be stuck behind forever. Anyone hiring?

Google cheat sheet

My usage of Google consists of typing "gg searchterm" in Firefox's address bar - "gg" is a shortcut to my Google bookmark. But just because I can't remember all of Google's functionalities to be able to use them, it doesn't mean others won't find all the Google tricks useful. With that said and thanks to Geek Thug's entry, here is a Google cheat sheet.

Gizmodo : Dell Ships (Relatively) Cheap 20" LCD

20 inch LCD for $800? Maybe for my next media center PC?

Belt in style

I already have a $30 seat belt for my dog, but it's nothing compared to BMW's Dog Safety Belt, which costs about US$106! For this price the belt better come with its own airbag.

Treo with Windows Mobile OS

I have mentioned before that I like Treo 650, all except the Palm OS. Looks like this concern could be dismissed in the future if this rumor is true. This information is all over Internet today, including CNet.

Monday, November 01, 2004

"Taking Lives"

We just watched the unrated DVD version of "Taking Lives" with some friends. I liked the suspense and the twisted story. We had fun taking wild guesses on what would happen and who the villain is. About 60% of our guesses turned out correct, but then again, there were only so many plausible suspects. Personally the movie only managed to startle me in a few scenes but failed to freighten me, though the final confrontation was somewhat intense. I find that western thrillers aren't as scary as their asian counter parts, e.g. "The Ring".

Update: I posted this entry via email on Sat night and it appeared on Monday!