Entries for April 2006

Tour of Microsoft mac lab

Tour of the Microsoft mac business unit development lab. This is somewhat similar to the environment I was in during my internship back at Cisco Systems.


A list of 10 very strange watches powered by the Linux Operating System


I came across this simple personality test while reading Shaun’s web log and decided to try for myself to see how true it is.

My results:

You are the sort of person that needs a peaceful environment. You seek release from stress and freedom from conflicts and disagreements, of which you seem to have had more than your fair share. But you are taking pains to control the situation by proceeding cautiously and you are right in doing so as you are a very sensitive person.

You are looking for excitement and stimulation and you are ready to try anything — but be careful not to take too many risks.

Although you are, deep down, a very caring person, you are very particular in the choice of friends and indeed very demanding at times. You can be most quarrelsome and controversial and it is because of this argumentative trait you can at times explode into open conflict — conflict with even those you may care for and love. It is because of this inherent argumentative streak in you that may have resulted in broken hopes and dreams.

You are an emotional, sincere and impressionable individual experiencing frustration and unnecessary stress. You vehemently resist any form of pressure from outside sources, insisting on your independence as an individual. You want to be a decision maker — to make up your own mind without interference. You wish to be able to draw your own conclusions and arrive at your own decisions. You detest uniformity and mediocrity as you want to be regarded as one who gives authoritative opinions. Your favorite expression could well be that ‘I may not always be right but I am never wrong’. You’re a perfectionist and even though you may feel that the other person’s point of view may be right, you find it extremely difficult to admit that you could be wrong.

You would like to be respected and valued for yourself and this can only be achieved from within a close and harmonious relationship.

Mine is about 90% accurate. What’s yours?


Signs of being impatient

As I was lying on my bed last night, I did some self reflection and realized that certain values I that was once part of me am no longer there. For one, I’m no longer tactful in handling situations and I’m becoming snappy and impatience over small issues and when I see the way things are done, it irritates me easily. So, I thought about it and asked myself what actually constitutes to this behavior and how can I regain the same old self?

The answer: I guess it was after my Pilot training that somewhat changed my character. This is partly due to the nature of my training — to be fast, sharp and decisive as you can’t afford to be slow up in the sky. Pilots are known to be proud and arrogant because of the tough training and how prestigious it is to be one. Thus, this kind of behavior will naturally be part and parcel of your life — even when you are not flying.

I’ve told myself I’ll change people’s perspective of pilots by being different. I don’t see why one must be arrogant and have “airs” over one. As for patience, it’s going to be a little challenging because one is so used to doing things the right manner yet swift and decisive. Maybe, I have to be able to change my perspective on ground and try to lead a normal life.



Things are getting a little messy around here as I’ve been meddling with the contents and doing some housekeeping. Pardon me if you get weird errors or missing pages during this period of transition.



My contacts list on both my cell phone and MSN Messenger is growing rapidly. I’ve been scrolling through each name now and then and have been wondering if I should delete those I seldom contact. I don’t like the idea of deleting numbers from my cell phone unless I’m absolutely sure the number is no longer in use since this will save the trouble of looking for the person’s number someday.

When MSN Messenger first introduced grouping of contacts back in version 6, I thought that was a great idea as I can now group my contacts accordingly. Recently, I realized that many of the contacts within a group are those whom I do not really speak to and those contacts whom I frequently contact are all over the place — in various groups. This can be troublesome as I have 150 over contacts on my list and had I expand every group on my list; it would have defeated the purpose of grouping them in the first place!

Now, I have to resort to using the old method — sorting by online and offline status. Fortunately, there is this great add-on that allows me to rename my contacts. This helps to organize my contact list and saves time as I do not need to search for personal nicknames or email address every time I need to talk to someone. Even then, I find that of these contacts online, there are about 20% of which I do not really talk to. Perhaps, I’ll be less-reluctant to delete contacts if there is a better alternative or when things start to get out of hand.


Passion or money

There are many times when friends and relatives would ask me what is my currently vocation and when I reply that I’m a Pilot Trainee, the most typical reaction would be “Wow, you must be earning a lot of money huh”. Most of the time, I would either smile or give a polite gesture but in fact, I wonder why are human so money orientated? It is known for a fact that money is very important for survival but have it occur to you that it is also something sensitive?

When I decided to sign up as a Pilot Trainee, money was not the first thing that came across my mind. I know many colleague who decided to sign for the money rather than doing something they have passion in. I’m not saying that money is not of importance but I think it is incorrect to do something for the sake of earning big bucks. There’s even some who are here just to ‘give it a shot’ and earn that extra amount though they are not interested in flying at all. This is a very selfish behavior as you are depriving many out there whose passion is into aviation but yet they can’t secure a place due to various reasons.

Instructors have asked why I chose to be a Pilot — is it because of the money? My response was simple: I want to be a pilot because I have the passion for flying since young. For my case, I can prove it because I was once a member with the Singapore Youth Flying Club and this can help to justify my true passion for flying. As for the majority, it would be a tough to answer such a question because to many, money is definitely the main reasons that attracted one to sign as a Pilot.

I would say I’m not money minded but I would save and not spend unnecessarily. Money is not easy to earn but we must always remember that when we do something we enjoy rather than doing it for the sake of money, you’ll find that money will come in faster and not the other way round, which is allowing money to dictate your life.


Musical memories

Have you ever heard a piece of music being played somewhere and somehow, it seems to be associated with your memories? Amazing isn’t it? I realized that there are many songs which I’ve heard over the years and it has become a growing part of my life as I could easily recall a flashback of the memories associated with it.

Here are a few songs which meant something in my life (or at least triggers my memories):

  • Celine Dion – Because you loved me
  • Pet Shop Boys – Go west

I remembered clearly these two were the very first MP3s I have on my computer. Back then, I was still using Windows Media Player and it was being played repeatedly on my computer during the term vacation in June as I was home alone for a week.

This is a very meaningful song! Whenever I hear this song, it makes me feel “proud” to be a Singaporean and want to be home!

  • Splender – I think god can explain

A familiar tune to my ears as it was played every morning when televisions were first introduced at the train stations. Now, the TV sets have long been removed the television sets for unknown reasons.

  • Backstreet Boys – I want it that way

I’ve got no problems singing this song back then! The lyrics were well memorized at the back of my head. It was a very popular pop hits at the late 90s and early 20s and it so happened to be the song my friends performed during one of the NPCC farewell party nights in secondary school.

  • Robbie Williams – Better man

My secondary 5 form teacher favorite song! There was also a live performance by one of my classmate during teacher’s day celebration in 2001.

  • Dido – Thank you
  • Enrique Iglesias – Escape

Songs that caught my ear, in particular Escape. I was working as a part-time lifeguard back then.

  • Creed – One Last Breath
  • Soul Asylum – Runaway train
  • Busta Rhyme feat. Mariah Carey – I know what you want

I was preparing for WorldSkills Singapore 2004 competition at that time and these were songs that were played during our training sessions to keep us relexed?

  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Rob Thomas – Lonely no more
  • Duncan Sheik – Half life
  • Avril Lavigne – Nobody’s home, Keane – Everybody’s Changing, and many others…

Songs that were first heard when I was in United States for my Cisco internship. Great memories indeed!

Wow, what a long list! There are many other songs but it’s impossible to list all! What about yours?


Back in shape

My fitness have more or less gone back to the pre Tamworth trip level after one week of self motivated workout sessions. Just before I left for air grading, I did not managed to clear my IPPT. Hence, I was determined to push myself harder and clear my IPPT because this will indirectly affect my career progress. I’m glad my determination rewarded me duly as I’ve cleared my IPPT today. Though it’s just a “pass”, it’s definitely a big improvement as compared to previously.

Coming next week, I’ll be on one solid week of annual leave and I’ll consider this a reward from clearing IPPT. I’ve got a list of things lined up during one week of break and I hope I’ll have the time to complete and update some of the existing features I’ve long wanted to implement on this site!


Fedora core 5

Having spent the entire night downloading the latest Fedora latest release, I decided to roll up my sleeves and wipe out my broken Fedora Core 4 Linux partition on my hard disk and await to see what the latest has got to offer. Turned out that overall, FC5 has improved quite a bit from its predecessor and I’m glad my efforts (of downloading) haven’t gone down the drain.

Now, If only I have the time to explore its new features and configure this nix’ box to my preference…


Importance of data backup

While reading an article on the importance of data and weblogs backup in today’s Straits Times, I suddenly remembered that it has been a while since I last bothered to perform a full system backup as well as export my weblog settings and entries. You see, during the dial-up era, I have set up an exact configuration of my website on my machine for testing out as well as acting as a backup. Thus, all site entries and development templates would be posted there (this is so as to save on my dialup charges) before duplicating a copy online.

Now that I’m on broadband, it is as simple as logging on to my website and posting directly off here. As such, the offline entries on my computer are outdated and I would’ve been in a loss should the server’s hard disk crash and could not be recovered. I think the issue many computer users face today is the hassle of having to go through tons of unwanted files and purging it and to configure the system for data backup.

Fortunately, I managed to figure out a solution to solve my woes (not exactly but it’s better than nothing) — that is to use the in built Microsoft Backup program (not one of the best backup program) and task scheduler and to configure it such that it’ll automatically perform backup on selected folders and files. I’ve also yet to find a reasonable method to manage my backups, which can significantly amount to a few gigabytes of disk space.


Inconvenience of 2 cell phones

As the military camp does not allow the use of camera phones, I have to resort to switching between my old Nokia 6610 on weekdays and my camera phone on weekends. Not only does this bring great inconvenience everything I make the switch, I have to ensure that my contacts on both phones are synchronized. This can be a hassle as I have to manually take note of which contacts have changed and copy it to my SIM card so that I can recopy it to my camera phone while making the switch.

Thus, can anyone please advice if there are any other easier methods? Note that most new phones store its contact information on the phone instead of the SIM card. Yes, I can still view my contacts from the SIM card but it is more troublesome.


Post Tamworth-trip fitness

My colleagues and I attempted our first 2.4km run at the running track since returning from Australia and we found that it was much more difficult to control our breathing as well as keep up with the stamina as compared to our pre Tamworth trip fitness level.

It has been barely one month since we last ran and this goes to show the importance of exercising. All the free flow of food and ice-creams consumed during the trip has only cause us to gain weight and grow more fats!

Time for a serious body workout and losing weight session.


A kind act

On my way home today, I saw a lady chasing after a public bus which was about to move off from the bus-stop. In my mind, I was wondering if there would be anyone kind enough to step up and signal for the bus driver to wait. To my surprise, a young Indian gentleman actually did it! From this little act of kindness, I see that there is still a minority of folks out there who are willing to go the extra mile for others in need of help.