A guy who was born in Canada, grew up in Indonesia, went to high school in Australia, spent half a year in Hawaii, and ended up back in Canada.
This is my story...
DR's Corner
Saturday, February 05, 2005

More Gmail Invites

I guess GMail will soon be rolled out to public, based on what's going on around. It seems like many people have 50 invites to spread out now.

So, feel free to contact me if anyone doesn't have GMail yet and you want it. I just ask you to post a comment, and link to my blog from your site if you have one.


Snow Tubing

Today we went snow tubing at Snow Valley. I've never gone snow tubing before, and it was really fun. You get to ride a big wheel and slide down on slopes at speeds up to 80 km/h. Left home at around 8.45 AM and got there just before 10.

We had until 12 to go on the rides, so I went first while my wife played with my son on the kids area with mini-slides. The lineups were very long, and I could only slide twice, then switched places with my wife. She managed to get on the slopes 3 times.

The kids play area was rather tiring, mainly because my son refused to pull his tube up the mini-hill by himself. He also got bored after awhile and just ran around the snow with some of his friends.

All in all, it was a fun family day, had pizza, fries and some sushi that we brought from home for lunch, and left around 2.30 PM. I was soo sleepy driving home, I almost fell asleep. Thank God we arrived home safely.
Friday, February 04, 2005

Blogging as a job

When I first heard of the word 'blog', it was in 2003, and at the time I had no idea what it was. Somehow in my mind, it registered as 'blob', which of course is short for 'big large object' - a data type for certain databases. It wasn't until I asked someone about this new term that I found out that it was short for web-log. Now my first thought was, "Oh well, this is just like an online diary or a website that you can post your thoughts to", and in a certain way I guess that's what they are.

Well, fast forward to the present, 2005. 'Blog' is the next 'big' thing on the internet, people are jumping in the trend and blogging everywhere. Blogger of course is one of the largest blogging services around. I had to ask myself, "why is this such a big thing?". After all, aren't blogs still used by the majority of people as some sort of online diary?

I've been watching this trend for awhile now, and I've seen people start use blogs in a different way. They're using it as a form of professional communication between people, corporations, places and various entities of society. It's grown to be a totally different beast altogether. It has spawned new technologies such as RSS, Wiki's, various blog monitoring tools etc., and also re-defined the way people communicate online.

A blog can be used by companies to act as a voice to their customers, and vice versa allow them to track what people are saying about certain products, and thus allow speeding up of business reaction time.

This new way of communication has opened up a new field of jobs. There is a huge demand for people who can communicate well with people through what they write / post online. Companies will hire people who can act as their face / voice online, to communicate with other entities that are talking about the company / business.

I was just browsing the web, and found this weblogs inc article about making money by using blogs. It also had some blogging jobs available for people who could write about various topics of interest.

A good example of how blogging has become a source of income is this: I've literally followed what Jeremy Wright has done since he started Ensight. Reason for this? He was my former IT manager, and I just wanted to know what was going on in his life. The easiest way to do this was to follow his blog. I've watched him grow to be a very popular person in the blogsphere, from his Ebay auction of his blogging services which ended up at more than US$3300 to his blog consulting company, InsideBlogging where he acts as a blog consultant for companies, helping them determine whether blogging is for them or not, as well as help them out with anything related to blogging.

So, is blogging a bona fide job in today's world? I do believe so, although it might take some time for people to catch on to this trend. I also believe that it's not going to be as big as traditional jobs in IT or business because blogging is about good communication skills, and not many people have these in abundance. It also requires a lot of creativity in writing and communicating thoughts, again I'm not too sure many people have this. But for the people who are great at doing this, blogging provides a great job; they could work from home, the only requirement being a PC / laptop and a creative mind.









Blogger Templates

I've decided to look around for some templates that look good, and I found one at Blogger Templates. Just wanted to let people know, because the site really has some wonderful looking templates.

Google PageRank

Woohoo !!! I have a Page Rank of 1 :) I wonder how this could happen? Does that actually mean there are people who read my blog and link here?

Hehe, only I could get excited over a PR of 1.
Thursday, February 03, 2005

Free GMail Invites

Hey everyone, I've got 12 GMail invites available. I'll give them to anyone who wants them on a first come first serve basis. I just ask that you link to my blog from your site if you have one. Otherwise, just post a comment here (don't forget to include the email address you want it sent to) and I'll send one to you.

Why am I doing this? Well, I'm trying to increase traffic to this blog (don't know if anybody's reading at all though :) ), and I also have invites that are basically doing nothing in my GMail account.

To think that back then I actually had to buy my GMail account from EBay ... it's so sad now everyone can get them so easily :)

Korean / Taiwanese Drama

*** WARNING ***
Korean / Taiwanese TV drama's are very addictive, don't say I didn't warn you if you watch one and get hooked on them :)
*** /END WARNING ***

I started watching a lot of these during my job searching days last year. My wife's grandmother had some, our friends had some, and we watched and watched. Right now we have a couple more series that we're watching, and I'm just baffled about something.

It seems that in most of these movies, someone (usually one of the main characters) will have a serious disease with little possible hope of suriving. Of course this makes better emotional play for the movie, but after awhile it seems that the producers have copied each other in terms of their plots. It's just funny sometime, when I'm watching one of these, I will guess correctly what would happen next, and my wife and I would just laugh at it, because it has become so predictable.

And you know what's even funnier? We keep on watching these series even though we know the plots are very similar, and even though they are very predictable.

Ouch

Argh... I didn't feel well at all today. Since last night, I've had this headache bugging me. When I woke up in the morning and went to work, it subsided a bit, but when I got to work it came back.
It didn't help much that I spent most of today in the server room, where the cold air was blowing in our faces. I had to wear my jacket and put on the hood in there, must've looked like a fool to everyone :)

My back's also hurting from lifting up a server incorrectly. Everyone knows that you're supposed to lift with your knees, not your back, but can I help it if the server almost fell (2 people job) and I reflexively took the weight on my back? Ouch again....

Oh well, I managed to catch some zzzz's on the train back home, and my headache went away. I just feel so tired, but have to go practice music for this Sunday. Hopefully the practice doesn't take that long.

Another buddy of mine is blogging ...

Well well well, my friends who are blogging just grew by 1. Check out Henry's (Wen2 as we call him) blog at http://hhartono.blogspot.com .

It's kinda cool to be able to influence someone to join a trend, just as I originally tried out blogging after seeing my former manager blog. Hopefully these blogs will grow up to form a community of some sort, and then it's time for us to take over the world... uhh... scratch that... maybe just having a blogging community would be good :)
Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A story ....

In a galaxy far-far away, this incident happened:

A web application was needed and created for a certain department. It was supposed to be up an running within a year. The application still was not running after 2 years..., and a certain developer who shall remain nameless, inherited the application for completion.

The developer was baffled when he looked at the application. He had a couple of problems:
- The application was found all over the place, development server, production server, different locations within the development server, and various different versions. He had no clue which files were the ones to work with.
- The application was started by a student, who had to leave because his/her co-op term finished after a few months, only to be continued by a consultant who also had to leave. End results: a complete mess, partly working application, a jumble of HTML, and scattered pieces of files that our poor developer had to figure out.

Our developer then met with the client, fixed the functional problems, found which files ware actually needed to function and still had a headache trying to figure out the HTML. Of course, he would like nothing better than to start all over with the application, but that would be time consuming. So the developer had to continue working on the messed up HTML, trying to fix it, since a specific designer is not available.

Moral of the story:
- Have complete documentation of applications that you are working on. This helps the next person coming in to know what you've done and what's to be done.
- If you're not very good at design, ask for a good designer to help with the HTML part. Do not allow developers to act as designers because it's generally not their strong suite. What ends up happening is jumbled HTML that nobody can fix that easily. Of course, this works vice versa...
- If you don't have the resources to complete a project, then identify this at the beginning so things like developers acting as designers don't happen.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Coffee is really addicting ... really !

I never really liked coffee before, never believed it when people said coffee would be addicting. So one day, I was strolling thru the mall, and innocently purchased a white mocca at Second Cup. "Hey, this doesn't taste half bad", I thought to myself and then thought nothing more.

Well, a month later, I'm buying white mocca's at Starbucks, Second Cup, and wherever else I can find one. What has gotten into me? Somehow the taste really makes me enjoy it very much, and the cold weather doesn't help either I guess.

Even now, I find myself thinking of coffee after meals. I think I better start restraining myself before this becomes a full blown addiction, because it's kinda expensive :)

People, be careful of coffee, it's addicting (as if anybody doesn't know this already)

Firefox

I downloaded Firefox at work a couple of days ago, and guess what? Good bye IE ! Seriously, it loads pages faster, has lots of cool features like the Live bookmarks for RSS feeds, tabbed browsing (no more clutter on my taskbar from too many open browsers, yay!!!), and lots more extensions. Don't know why it took that long for me to give it a try, but great thing I did.

There's just a couple of sites that won't open because of ActiveX components, and I still have IE installed for those kinds of situations, but other than that surfing with Firefox has truly been fun.

My brother is blogging !!!

Oh wow, nothing like finding out from searching something completely unrelated, that your own brother is blogging :) . He never told me, and I never thought my brother would have a blog.

The funny thing is, I was actually searching something at technorati (I think it was Raptors - Heat or something...) and found his post about the game. To my surprise, there were Indonesian words in there, and to my shock, it was my brother :).

I think I'll leave him a comment to let him know that I've found him. Here's the link if anyone wants to get to know him.

Learning to type using the Dvorak layout

For the last week or so, I've been learning to type with the dvorak layout. Mainly because it's supposed to save your wrists a couple of miles worth of typing every day (http://www.theworldofstuff.com/dvorak/).

"Less Finger Travel: Because of the arrangement of the keys, the Dvorak keyboard requires less finger travel. It has been estimated that a QWERTY typist's fingers travel 16-20 miles a day, while a Dvorak typist's fingers will only travel about 1 mile. This is a major benefit to the health of your fingers."

So, I've followed the training on this page, as well as typed a couple of pages worth every day. I'm glad to say that as of right now, I'm up 30 wpm on the dvorak layout. Of course, this is still a far reach from my normal speed of around 80 - 90 wpm, but hey it's not bad for one week's worth of typing.

I'm planning on getting up to speed within the next 3 or 4 weeks, and hopefully switch to dvorak for most of my typing, because my writsts have been known to hurt once in a while from too much computer work.

Another thing I found by learning dvorak is that it's actually quite fun to be able to switch back and forth between two different layouts without too much trouble. I guess our brain is really wired in an amazing way.

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