Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chiam See Tong and Lina Chiam leaving SPP rally (Potong Pasir, 30 Apr 2011)

I just feel emotionally compelled to post this.

I was there too and witnessed the crowd following him all the way past the coffee shop to the carpark. We know what he has done for us. First time I've witnessed such outpouring of respect, admiration and support for him. I'm still reeling from a shouting-induced headache, but it is nothing compared to the humiliation the incumbent gave him and all the things he had gone through. Don't mistake this as an anti-incumbent post. It is mentioned only incidentally. This post is all about Mr Chiam.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Comment to "Response to Experts Exchange blog post." disguised as a post

This is supposed to be a comment for this blog post made on the inter-webs:

The low barrier to contribution and asking questions is what makes SO succeed.

It's difficult with fight with free and good. I doubt a paid model for getting information is viable anymore now that the free models such as Wikipedia and Google are pretty much entrenched in the minds of most internet-savvy people. By information, I'm actually referring to summarized (can't think of a better term now) information: information which answers one's question and/or provide links (usually free, unless it's a book or a paper) for deeper understanding. It's also concise, yet precise.

SO also aims for its questions to be as general as possible so as to be relevant to more questions, yet specific enough for the question poser to benefit. I don't know about EE, but the ability to refactor questions and answers in a democratic fashion as opposed to locking/closing threads is the way to go.

Democracy is sometimes the tyranny of the majority. Also, people can be lemmings, influenced by the herd mentality or idol/rock-star worship. However, most of the time it turns out good. The site owners make decisions on their own, albeit after sometimes consulting the users. It's not a pure democracy, and I doubt that one can be possible. I wonder if an anarchist question-and-answer website in the style of 4chan will succeed or not.

Important too is that SO implements and change features relatively quickly so it can stay ahead on the curve.

Notice that I didn't mention EE much above. I'm equally annoyed like many others who have to scroll all the way down to get to the answers, but I understand that they (EE) have the right to do so. It's their website after all and I don't feel the need to contribute more to criticising a site that seems to getting out of the equation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Singapore Census Advertisement FAIL

I saw this advertisement at the bus stop today and spotted a FAIL. Can you spot it too?


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tiger Woods dream

Dreamt of Tiger Woods training for golf by hitting balls into a hole from about 5 metres away many times a day. Was very impressed as the hole is a raised surface with vertical slopes. Or rather, the area around the hole is concave downwards, and there is no sloped path to hit a ball in. In other words, the ball can only enter the hole by chipping (not sure if this term is golf-technically correct or not) it through the air. Imagine the precision needed. It's probably tougher than hitting the white line or edge when playing table tennis. And I actually talked to him, I think (more details get lost the longer I delay penning my dreams down).

Then I woke up and realised that it was just a dream, and that I don't even watch golf in the first place. So it wasn't impressive as it's a dream, and few things are impossible in dreams.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

SoC printing problem

So SoC is currently having this printing problem where if you print wirelessly, the spooling gets incredibly slow (20min for a lecture note).

I'm not the sort of person who waits for "someone else" to do it (todo: sci lib com lock, soc missing mag, laser, recycle), so I decided to do something about it.

I visited the technical helpdesk:

Firstly the person suggest for me to map \\nts27\pc to my netbook as a network drive. It makes no sense to me but well she's the expert and I'm no system admin. It doesn't help.

Next she claims that my file is too big, too many pages etc... I proceed to print a 22kb pdf file with only two pages. It took a long time. So she called the technical guy and they spoke over the phone. The guy says that my file took 36mb on the spool and that he had cleared it. (*) They didn't give any explanation, nor any timeframe for which they'll solve it (not that they owed me one), and only say that this issue has been known for quite sometime and that they recently changed the printing mechanisms.

I'm not satisfied. I mean this is the School of Computing for goodness sake. If there's a problem related to computing, one would think this is the last place in the school where it'll happen. The irony. I'm not angry about this, just amused and inconvenienced.

So I asked, "So what can be done?" She asked, "Do you want to speak to the technician?" and I answered in the affirmative, "Yes I would like to". What happened next made me really angry. She told the other person on the line, "Quek ah, got someone want to speak to you. .... he insisted to speak to you" and mentioned not just once, but at least thrice that "I insisted". What an false allegation! For the record, she suggested and asked if I would like to speak to the technician and all I said was a simple "Yes I would like to". On top of that, she was blatantly lying while I was just in front of her.

I could sense that the technician was kinda unwilling to speak to a "student" and she somehow wanted to absolve herself of any association to me wanting to speak to him, hence this lie. But sorry, this is not a white lie. It is black.

I am not angry that the wireless print spooling takes a crazily long time and that it is not fixed to date (can't blame people for their incompetency). I can always print from the programming labs. But I am infuriated that I get accused by someone of saying something which I didn't say, especially when I'm just in front of accuser. My straight face didn't reveal that I'm angry or anything. There is no emotion, there is peace.

In retrospect, I should have recorded the entire conversation to prove that what I said in this post is true. But hindsight is 20/20, and you have the choice whether or not to believe in me.

(*) I did some experiments later. A regular .txt file spools immediately from wireless, hence .pdf (and the printer driver installed on wireless devices) is most probably the culprit.

Later I printed a .pdf file using the exact same print settings, once wireless from my netbook and another time from a programming lab. As usual, it took a very long time to spool wirelessly, and it was very quick from the programming lab. I suspect that there's a problem with the printer drivers (settings) on wireless devices (I have deleted and reinstalled the printer drivers prior to the test) causing the filesize to be extremely large when spooling. However, as I do not have sufficient privilleges on the school's printers, I'm unable to select "Pause printing" for the printer to check the size of the file in the spool. When I tried printing it at home using the same settings, the filesize is just 181kb in the spool for the 22kb .pdf file. I have a different printer (and hence different printer driver) though, so it doesn't really say much.

I don't think I'm going to experiment further with .ppt and other file formats (to get the classes of documents for which this is an issue. probably happens with postscript printing). It's not my job, it's theirs. It's not worth the effort, and they're not going to be grateful. I have my projects, homework, tutorials to do, and books to read and study. For now, I'll just print from the computer labs.

I was angry then, I'm not angry now that I'm typed this out. Peace out.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Internet Explorer Fail

At Clementi POSB Branch, around 10:15pm

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Caveat Emptor: Miracle Laundry Ball

Saw a "Miracle Laundry Ball" advertisement at Carrefour, Suntec. I found it interesting and took a photo of it, thinking that I may one day get this incredible invention when I have more money so I can save even more money (on detergent). It didn't occur to me to do more research (though I may actually do so if I were intent to get it) on this product when I'm free, as I though mistakenly that this advertisement is endorsed by Carrefour, and that if it's endorsed by such a big company, it must not be making fraudulent claims.

Today I saw this post: Diary of A Singaporean Mind: Great Singapore Sale : Miracle Laundry Ball (thanks for the heads up)

Now I look at the photo I took and noticed that there it is actually an advertisement by the company selling the ball, McCoy, as opposed to a promotional advertisement by Carrefour.

From this, I learnt that we must not trust advertisements even if they're hosted by companies with a reputation to protect.

And I guess I can save $59.90. Yay!