Monday, January 27, 2014

Work Life: Upgraded to Confluence 5.1.5

I didn't realize how old the previous version was, even the latest update is not the latest version (5.4). Even with that, I've only skimmed through to make sure all the content was still displaying correctly (which looks better than it did before) and I already like all the new features that I can find without going through the documentation. 

The editing tool is so much better. It is now more like your modern day WYSIWYG web text editor. I saw buttons for tables which is what I missed the most. I'm sure some of my problems have also gone away like pasting links with braces (haven't actually tested this yet). Much better than the editor for Blogger/Blogspot (which is still missing table editing).

Overall, I'm excited to play around with the latest update at work. Perhaps when I get a system up and running, I could install the latest version there. 


Guesstimations: Super Bowl XLVIII - Predictions

Prediction: 37 - 27, Broncos

I watched only 1 game this season, NY Jets vs New Orleans Saints... so no help there. I just glanced at the average points scored and scored against. Here's a prediction from another site, Denver Broncos 1.5 points over Seattle Seahawks.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Life: Cleaning and Gutting a Fish

Today, I accidentally bought a fish that was not scaled nor gutted. I had a general idea on how to do this by watching others (mostly my mother). Take a knife and rub against the direction of the scales. Cut the bottom of the fish, and take out the innards.

What you don't learn from watching is how slippery the fish is, how far the scales will pop if you haven't done it before, and wondering if I'm bruising the fish because I am grabbing it pretty hard. When taking out the innards, I didn't know what from what so I just removed everything that was removable and not familiar from eating whole fish before.

The whole ordeal probably took my about 30-40 minutes including reading an article on how to clean, scale, and gut a fish.

Most places will do this for you. I'm not sure if the place I bought the fish did it because typically they have already been scaled and gutted or they do it before giving it to you or they ask if you want them to do it... hence I didn't give it a second though.


Bronzini fish

Review: Google AdSense (@1000 page views)


I finally reached 1000 page views and see my very first payable earnings, a whole $0.37.

I am still trying to figure what all the metrics mean. It appears that the earning comes from the RPM (revenue per page views / factor) where factor is 1000 at the time of this post. At the time of the 1000 mark, my RPM is at $0.37.

What is confusing is because I actually have CPC with $0.38.
The cost-per-click (CPC) is the amount you earn each time a user clicks on your ad. In your reports, CPC is calculated by dividing the estimated earnings by the number of clicks received.
Somehow the RPM for that day is $16.34. I cannot figure which number is the source value. I thought CPC was the amount that I actually received because someone clicked on an ad. This is clearly not the case because I received less than that amount.

The other odd thing is the summary of the reports. In the total amount for CPC, I have 0.38 while I only have one record of 0.37. I do have 0.01 in the estimated earnings which carries over to the CPC? That does not make a lot of sense to me yet, but that's the only field that has a penny.

Well at the rate that I am going, I will hopefully reach the next thousand in 5-6 weeks to compare more numbers with.


Since I developed a habit of going into the reports, I had trouble finding the page the earnings was on. It is on the home page of AdSense under "View payments".


Please do not click on the ads unless you are intentionally interested in the ad (per Google's terms of use/service). I am not blogging for income. I am just analyzing the service. TIA

Life: Cleaning Around the Washer's Door?

In my attempt to be cleaner, I reached my washer and dryer. There is a lot of dirty stuff between the washer's door and where it connects to the rest of the washer. I am unable to reach in the opening with a paper towel which requires a lot of scrubbing. I've already cleaned most of the front which took quite a lot of force to clean off.

Surprisingly, I couldn't find something helpful on google (not sure if I'm using the right keywords like washer vs washing machine). I'm going to try slowly scrub away at it over time and hope that helps (which seems to help with the stove).

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Life: How long to keep frozen foods

For some reason, my mother likes to keep foods in my freezer and forgets that it is there.

Summary, toss anything more than a year old, toss anything cooked more than 6 months old, toss any cooked vegetables more than 3 months, and toss any processed meats more than 2 months. This is just a guideline for myself on not thinking twice about throwing away food. This does not mean that the food has not already spoiled within that time period.

Shorten the period of time if there is freezer burn. Discoloring is not a good sign. Bad smell is also not a good sign. Seems like some comments state that you could cut these parts off. I am not a food expert so I take the safe side and just toss it (with a lot of mental pains).

Also included a link on defrosting frozen meats.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Life: Grammatical Errors in Posts and Speech

To start, I'd like to apologize in advance for any grammatical errors in this post. They are not intentional.

I have gone back to look at some posts because I am thinking about creating a wiki of things that I have posted. While in that process, I have found that I have several grammatical errors. Particularly, the errors are repeating a word or a broken thought process.

I have been somewhat aware of this in the past, but recently I have been catching a lot more (maybe because I have gotten better at catching them). But what is more interesting is that I have also picked up some of my habits, so some red flags pop up when I correct myself on a regular basis.

I have a tendency to type 'though' when I meant to type 'thought'. This happens often enough that I found that it was not because I do not hit the second 't' hard enough. Even when I put an extra mental thought into it, my fingers just type 'though' from (I'm assuming) due to muscle memory. Why I also think this is because when I want to type 'engine', I type 'engineer' or even 'engineering'. This comes from me having to type engineer a lot due to my profession and my degree.

Another tendency is when I edit my sentences, I sometimes miss the changes to my subject and verbs particularly with words that can be used as nouns or verbs, or words converted from nouns to/from verbs. So, I'll commonly find 'is [noun] is [noun]' where you see that I repeated 'is' twice. For example, "...uneasy feeling there is something is amiss" instead of "...uneasy feeling there is something amiss".

Before I continue, I realize that I put the punctuations after the quotation marks. I did do that intentionally because it has always bugged me that I do not want to include the punctuation in my quote. Of course, I do not do this in professional writing. To me, including the punctuation always irked me because 'though' vs 'thought.' is not the same as 'though' vs 'thought'. Ellipses seem ok because you typically have to include them in both comparisons.

I have found that my speech has also been impacted by the increased use of emails and instant messaging. Both mediums allow me time to reconsider what I am thinking or reword the way I want to present the information.

While speaking, I have found that I have longer pauses between sentence parts. I think part of the reason is because I wanted to retract what I just said. Not because the information was incorrect but because I want to change the structure of my sentence.

Buggish: Gmail down 1/24/2014

I needed to check on an email. To my surprise, I could not access Gmail. At first, I thought I lost internet connection because I lose that connection way more often than Gmail. After further investigation, I was able to access Google search, blogger, and other sites.

Searching to see if there were other posts or news on gmail, I eventually stumbled across Google's Apps Status Dashboard. There it reported that it was down at 2:12, although there were sites that it saw it was down at 2:06 while I found it around 2:10 although I noticed that gchat was down earlier.

Fortunately, I have backup email with Microsoft's hotmail and was able to get the information I needed. This a good reminder to keep multiple accounts with cloud services. I'm not sure how companies would justify having costs for two services though. It is surprising how much companies are not willing to pay extra for disaster recovery, so I find it unlikely companies would be willing to get a second email cloud service. They may consider bringing it back inhouse, but that would probably cost more than two cloud services.

Services are back up for me around 2:20-ish, although I did not check anytime between it was down and checking it again. Appears in the status dashboard has other services interrupted but I do not seem to be impacted by those.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Life: Understanding Nonsense

After some conversations, I wonder why I even speak to certain people. Wasting hours trying to persuade someone of something that is not even important in the world. For some reason, I feel compelled to explain my useless opinion. Continuing our cyclic conversation of "You're not listening to me, what I am saying is..."

Why do I always think that I am right? What could they have said to change my minds? I do have a sense of ego that I am more "right" when I think I am correct. I think this because I have conceded to other views. I have yet to meet someone to concede to my views.

I realize that there is no direct correlation to the last couple comments but how else could I judge that I am more correct on an opinion or fact-like statements? Am I listening when I think you're not understanding what I am trying to explain?

For example, a friend asked about the turing test. This somehow led to if a computer could have feelings. I said that computer could have feelings. He asked how I would implement it. I explained that all I had to do was program a trigger for it to have a feeling. The feeling would be based on certain criteria to determine what its feeling is or simulate what the feeling is.

He argued that programming it to feel is not the same as feeling. I said that is how feelings work. I think the mystery to feelings is understanding all the nuances to the criteria. Even though we may not know how we come up with our feelings, there are mechanisms that determine them. Thus, I think we are "programmed" to feel but not knowing what that program is.

He did not believe this because he just knows when he has a feeling. For example, he is happy because he knows when he is happy. Thus I attempted to argue that even though he does not know (or care) how he became happy, does not mean that my argument is false.

Failing at that argument, I tried a different route by asking if people know when a dog is happy. Here I am trying to see if he has a method to understanding feelings of something that is not human. First, he says that we cannot truly know if the dog is happy. We can only speculate and somehow he changed the animal to a bat. I think he was trying to say it is harder to speculate because we know less about the behaviors of a bat or whether it even has feelings to be happy. Then he argued that this is off-topic because a dog is not a computer nor is a bat a computer.

I attempted to say that I am trying to establish a premise to how he thinks by using something else that is already "programmed" and is not human. Eventually, I try to use myself as an example by using another human. For this, he concedes that he can trust that when I say that I am happy that I am happy and that what makes me happy can be different than what makes him happy.

I used this as to explain that the computer only needs to say that it is happy based on certain criteria just like we do. He still does not believe this because it is programmed that way. To my reasoning, I moved to try to explain that we as humans are also programmed.

At this point, he argues that humans are not computers, computers are not humans, and computers are not dogs. Therefore, he says that I cannot use humans, dogs, or anything but computers. So, I tried to understand what would persuade him that it is feeling.

He says that I do not need to prove it. I just have to explain how I would do it. At this point, we cycle through all the different points again. Each time we end up at this point, he always states that I am not listening to him.

I think we are on completely different pages. While he is trying to understand how I would do it, I am still trying to figure how to persuade him. I could not convince him that persuading him is relevant to the argument. Although he says that it is irrelevant, his statement that my process is not right means (at least to me) that he needs to be persuaded otherwise what is not right?

Where is the logic wrong in his eyes? What am I failing to understand? My only point of entry is to understand what would persuade him that it is feeling, yet he finds that irrelevant. Is there another logic path?


Monday, January 20, 2014

Life: Being an Entrepreneur

I have lost count of how many times I have tried to start something, practically anything at this point. There are many factors to why I never really complete anything. After all the attempts, I have a lot of respect for those people who do eventually get something going whether it succeeds or fails.

For me, I think that I have the knowledge and creativity to work on a bunch of projects. Where I fail the most is having the needed support to stay focused on the project. Not the typical support that you hear about like thumbs up from your parents and friends. That is great for emotional support, but where I struggle is with just regular day-to-day events.

There is just always something going on with my family that I have to support with. Help siblings, parent's car break down, parents fighting, attend family functions, weddings, travels... although small, all these things just add up. Then there's regular personal life with meeting friends, meeting up with people, and eating out (which I already keep at a minimum claiming I'm too poor for that kind of lifestyle). Finally, I am also trying to keep my exercise going.

Although it may seem like I am complaining, but I am just trying to explain my inability to keep a project going. At times, I am complaining when I am just trying to keep things going. But in reality, I really do prioritize the things above so I shrug it off. Some day, things may finally settle down enough for me to keep going.

Another issue that I have is my lack of focus and long term memory. I feel that each time I finally get back to working on the project, I forget where I left off then I just restart the whole thing. I also get easily distracted by other new things. Since I am restarting, I always try to implement the latest stuff. But in reality, I rarely ever get to the second stage.

I still keep at it when I get free time. Lately, I've been working on Linux, Python, and Django. Not much progress again because other things were going on again in life (a visiting friend, another friend wants to take me touring, etc). But slowly, more things are sticking.

If you have an idea, go for it. If you have other priorities, take care of them first and do not regret it. We all wish things would line up, but nothing really lines up even for the successful ones. Just make sure you can afford the sacrifices that would help you to succeed. There are plenty of opportunities. But if you're just wasting your time procrastinating, then you have no excuses.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Life: My Exercising Update

I have started putting more effort into exercising again for the last month and have not lost any weight. I think I look slightly thinner so I am hoping that it is due muscle development. In the past, I have actually gained weight prior to losing weight.

It is a little discouraging not to see any progress especially since I am eating healthier and exercising more. I have put in about an hour worth of exercises a day. There have been a few days that I did not exercise mostly due to the holidays. I did eat more than usual on those days, but also did not gorge myself.

I am at least 50 pounds over normal weight, so I was hoping to see a little more progress on the scale by this point. Besides my actual weight, I am feeling better fit in the gym. I can lift more weight than when I started and can jog 6 mph for 10 minutes even on bad days on the treadmill.

I plan to cap my weights and start to do more reps instead. I have started increasing my speed slightly where I can run 7 mph for at least 5 minutes after some jogging. I hoping hoping to return back to running 5k around 30 minutes.

I did slightly jar my knee from sitting awkwardly for a period of time. I could feel the slight stress on the knee while working out which I would not force myself to keep running or lower body workouts. I would change it to a slower pace or just focus on upper body exercises or sometimes biking or the elliptical.

I am trying to find different exercises to work on my abs. So far I have only found that doing crunches on the floor is not effective.

How to Overcome Any Excuse Not to Exercise

Update - 1/25/2014 added reference 1

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Buggish: Blogger Compose Style removes Script Tags

I was posting a few links to Pinterest which uses a script to modify the link tags to display the images. To do this, I inserted the script into the HTML portion of Blogger.

Although Pinterest says to add this to the end, that only ensures that there are no other scripts that will interfere with Pinterest. The easiest way to check is just to try and see if it breaks. Very rarely do multiple scripts clash, but it can happen. I didn't want the script to be executed on all blog posts (why give them tracking data when I do not have to). So, short story is that I had no problems with this.

At the end, I wanted to add the reference. To do that, I went back to Compose mode and added the link to the site that I pulled some of the info from. When I updated, I noticed that the images were missing. Returning back to blogger, I noticed that the script disappeared which was easily remedied by re-adding the script.


Life: Wall Bookcase Ideas

Some ideas for the home:

I like this one.

Neat, but I think rather use that space as a different kind of storage... but then I won't have that style of staircase.

This one would be interesting to do too.


Work Life: Interviews, 2 Week Notice, pay rate, double standards

For me whenever I get a call from a headhunter, there are always a couple questions that always bother me. First is what is my rate and second is when I am available.

Sure I have a good idea approximately what my rate is. I've tried both delaying and providing exact rates. I do not get any follow-ups if a rate is not provided. This year, most have also given me the client's rate when I provided mine. Interestingly, they always provided me a number $5 / hour more than whatever number I choose. So this is kind of suspicious to me.

The main reason I do not want to give me rate is because I put a lot of weight on the interest of the work. If the industry is interesting, the project is interesting, and work environment is promising, I may want to provide a lower rate. I feel that part of the rate being higher is because I end up doing certain work that I do not enjoy doing (which I found that few other people would like to do).

But I think the sad reality is that employers no longer think that way about hiring. They say they want to be like a family, but they really just see a family of cogs and widgets. We're all replaceable and might as well just pay a higher rate because most employers think we enjoy job hopping.

Because they think we enjoy job hopping, they all think we can all just leave with a two week notice. I have definitely noticed that headhunters interest drops when they ask when I will be available. Providing any amount of time greater than a month, and I never hear from them again. Not one has ever returned a call (yet another headhunter from the same firm will still contact me).

I just do not understand why they always aim for 2 weeks (and some are obviously in need of immediate starts). Yes, there are some companies that need to hire quickly. But I really blame their poor management for being in that position. These are also the types of companies I want to avoid.

I have found the groups that I worked with that requires immediate hires to be poorly managed. The manager has trouble delegating work. The group has way more work and never have enough time to work on projects. This does not even address time for process improvement. They just keep doing the same thing until the entire department is revamped which typically means large layoff.

It may not be the direct manager's fault. They could be strapped by budget or upper management does not agree that they need a larger head count. Either way, there is something wrong somewhere in the management level.

Even then, they complain about the poor quality hires (which I also agree most of the time). But how is that unexpected? You give one phone interview and one in-person interview. The person is provided no time to consider if this is a good fit for them either.

Not only that, you provide a scenario that is primarily fits people who are out of work. Most of those people are not top of the crop which is why they are out of work. I know there are some due to mass layoffs, but the top (by definition) is not a lot. So the very nature of the interview process is nearly impossible for people who value a good fit who are currently employed.

I think headhunters (at least the cold-calling ones since I am rarely proactive searching for work) do a terrible job in selling this to their clients. They just target filling the position with the shortest amount of time. I hope that corporate recruiters work much differently.

Maybe I am wrong and I do not see the "whole" picture, but even just reading comments from recruiters or HR employees on sites like LinkedIn on interviewing or hiring articles give me even less hope. They primarily argue that there is another scenario which rarely is a win for either the client or recruit. They just see the opening as something to be filled... ASAP. They just do not see that the problem is that they need to fill the spot ASAP.

"It simply isn't feasible to allow the job to sit there waiting for a month, especially when there are 4 or 5 people that could fill it tomorrow. It would be lovely to get told by a client I have 6 months to find the right person to fill a job, but that simply isn't feasible, and frequently completely illogical."

One month is just not feasible? Most companies cannot even tell they need to fire someone after 3 months (typical probation period of time). That is with them in almost constant access and view of the employee.

At the same time, they are worried giving too much time allows candidates to hoard open positions? This is not a problem for the company, this is a problem for recruiters. Why do they want to rush the candidate? If he finds a better fit, why do want to keep them? To rush a hire, I believe recruiters, company, or hiring manager, are inexperienced and not worth the effort by people who have already been burned by this very process.

This is why getting jobs through people you know is still so successful. I think the problem with the recruiting industry is that they are trying to keep a self-sustaining industry by encouraging high turn-over rates. What is the incentives for them to find the perfect fit for their clients? They mask it with what seems like complex problems and social complexities.

Even with all this, recruiters/headhunters/hiring managers all stack the deck against the candidates. Why should they get more than 2 weeks? Tell us your rates. Give us more information. While they sit in a situation where they can shop multiple candidates. They know all the variables, yet deny candidates their due diligence to know what other companies can also offer.

Candidates only look for work about once a year at most on average. I think the average today is around 2-3 years. Yet, headhunters work with candidates every single day. Where is the fairness in that?

To the future me looking for new work... stand-up for your own values. Do not let headhunters threaten you. You should have the time to consider all variables. If they say the offer is only available for less than what you are comfortable with, then do not consider the offer. If this threat is caused by a sudden need, then their is something wrong with management. If not a sudden need, then they are trying to get you as cheep as possible before another company is willing to pay more.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Work Life: Sharing PST Files

The corporation only provides 50MB of email space. I reach this quote with only one month's worth of emails. To lighten this load, I had suggested a group mailbox so that we can reduce the amount of emails needed in our personal mailbox. The group mailbox has a slightly higher quote but unfortunately also contains more important emails for audit.

Network Share

I tried to search for solutions to store the emails at some location on the network. But, it appears that any sharing over the network is discouraged. I tried testing this anyways and appears that the file gets locked once someone accesses the PST file.

Unlocking File

I could not find a way to unlock the file. I tried to close the mailbox and then tried to close/reopen Outlook. I keep getting the following error:

"The file [[filename]].pst cannot be opened."
I even tried after the user had logged off. After a period of time, I was able to successfully able to access the file. Most likely there is a timer that unlocks the file if somehow the lock is not released properly (whatever that process is if there is one). So this makes this not appealing as a solution to the group.

My Workaround

Because we are just using this so we can keep records of old trails to certain processes, I decided for the short-term to create a local PST and store all the old emails there. Once completed, copy the PST file to the shared folder. Whoever on the team that needs the archived emails can then copy the PST to their local system and attach it to their Outlook.

The user may choose to keep a permanent local mailbox. The user will still follow the steps to "download" the PST from the network folder then simply copies all the emails to the permanent mailbox. Drop and delete the downloaded PST file.

To update the archive file, download the latest copy then copy all old emails to the archive mailbox, drop the mailbox, and copy mailbox to the network folder.

There are some risks that the PST file may get corrupted. Keep a backup file may be useful.



shared mailbox - some sites use this term in place of group mailbox

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Interview: Lost Opportunity becauase Out of Town

I do not know if there is a way to actually remove your resume from the market when you are not proactively searching. But on rare occasions, I do get an opportunity that is of interest. The latest one was basically for the same job but higher salary, so I went along with it.

I had a phone interview and thought I did decently well. I was a little concerned because we did not get very technical. Since a headhunter had found this position, I had to wait for the interviewer to speak with the headhunter. I guess technically he would be consulting agency looking to hire me for their client... but they are still basically headhunters providing a service layer for the client.

I heard back in two weeks from the headhunter that his client wanted to bring me in for an on-site interview. Unfortunately, I am out of town for a while working on a project for another few weeks. I had explained this situation to him and the client during the phone interview. One of the questions I had asked the interviewer was how quickly they plan to fill the position. His reply was that they would like to fill it quickly but will take their time to make sure they have the right person.

As an alternate solution, I offered a video conference but the headhunter rejected that idea. So, I guess I am just out-of-luck on that opportunity. It actually did sound interesting and I had intent to consider their offer.

Another practice that I do not fully understand is expectations to have an on-site interview the next day. I am not sure how they expecting those working to be able to do that. I would think that you want to find the best candidates, but it seems that is not the case.

Even if I was in town, I would not have scheduled time off. I may request for time off possibly the following week if my work was light and not critical. I believe that I should at least give 2 weeks of notice. Also, anything less than a week gives me the impression that they are in a rush to just fill a position. Then, it is not one that I want to leave my current employment for. From my experience, these types of hires rarely consider your future within the company. If the interviewer had answered that they planned to fill the position in two weeks, I would have politely declined earlier and saved us both time.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Project: My First Attempt in Doing Anything in Linux

I thought that I was quite flexible in understanding how to run computers. I have quite some experience supporting Windows systems for personal and business use (albeit enterprise level). Yet, I cannot naturally navigate and figure things out on Linux. I would imagine switching from Linux to Windows is much simpler than Windows to Linux.

From installing applications, installing drivers, finding upgrades, to just basic command prompt uses, I have struggled with them all. By struggle, I mean that I had to either web search or read a book. Nothing seemed intuitive to me... or perhaps this is a sign of my age. Even following instructions was not always so simple. There was always something different, especially in the GUI. Command prompt was more similar between versions and distributions, but it does not always play very nicely with other components that were installed through the GUI.

In my opinion, the GUI should be simple to use but I have actually found that the command prompt has comparable perks (or rather fewer 'issues'). There are also some nuisances in the GUI that does not quite allow you to just use the keyboard without having to switch to the mouse.

After this experience, I can see clearer on how Windows can still be quite powerful yet having always many IT professionals complaining about them. Windows requires much less knowledge about the system to get a development environment running or even just simple infrastructure use. I can simply install Windows, Visual Studio, and MS SQL Server and have a development environment basically ready for me to develop. A little bit of knowledge on public IP address and you can publish a simple web application within a day or two.

I have already spent over a week just trying to get Linux running with Python, Eclipse, and Django. Along with the installation, I have also learned a lot of other functions to running and maintaining Linux that I would not care much for as a developer. So although Linux may be more enterprise friendly, it is not so friendly on the individual level. I would think just to get a company started with Linux technology, you'll need at least 2-3 people at the minimum for average entrepreneurs: someone that understands how to maintain Linux, a developer, and sales. While for Windows, you really only need one person because a sales person could throw together a web application... maybe two where the developer also maintains the server. Sure you could find a Linux person who can do all three, but from my experience, they are far from being sales people even if they have superior products while sales people could sell Microsoft inferior products.

I've heard some friends say that Linux is still dominant in enterprise level but I see more and more conversions to .NET solutions on enterprise websites. This may not be an indication that they Microsoft-centric for their infrastructure, but by their hype I would imagine that the technology should be changing in the direction of Linux as companies grow to enterprise level. They also say it is free, but Microsoft's solution is basically free too (only because everyone practically already has it). You can find companies with only Microsoft products, but you will be hard-pressed to find companies with absolutely zero Microsoft systems.

Although this is mostly my rant on the learning curve to Linux, I am not bashing on its power and effectiveness technologically. I just think if the community did a better job on making it more newbie-friendly, they may find that they would have a greater impact... but then with some Linux folks, they almost seem like they design Linux just to prevent technology illiterates from converting.


Life: Touring CU Berkeley

I finally got around to visiting Berkeley. I've been wanting to visit for a while and even considered applying for graduate school but deemed it too far at the time. There EECS was always comparable to our ECE program back in my undergraduate years, so I've always been curious what there labs were like. Unfortunately, winter break is still in progress so I was not able to go into any of the buildings.

Touring from the outside, the campus was actually a lot smaller than I imagined it to be.  I think I spent at most two hours to walk around the entire campus. I was walking rather slowly too. I went up the clock tower, visited the engineering building and the computer science building, then the new life science building. I even got to stand in front of the recent Randy Schekman's office. Randy is a recent Nobel prize winner.

Project: Sometimes Things Just Break

Sometimes the world throws you lemons, you try to make lemonade, but you find they already rotted.

My friend had an extra system but missing hard drive. Later he found an extra hard drive. I tried to install Windows which was going fine until there was some corruption in the MBR thus making it inoperable. I tried to play around with this to find a way around it but to no avail.

Then we tried another hard drive. I was able to install Windows XP and a few other apps. Then this morning it fails to even power up. I think the power supply broke down.

Although not major losses, I cannot help but feel that there is something in the world that just likes to clump misfortune into a short period of time. But I am still ok and still moving forward with my Ubuntu project. I will start tagging the posts as 'project' instead of 'Ubuntu' because the things I am starting to work on are not really related to Ubuntu but still want to reference them all together.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Work Life: Engineering as an Art (EaaA) - Maintaining a Portfolio

As a developer and software architect, I became aware how less of a science and more of an art software development or any type of engineering. Although not as direct as other art forms that play directly to our senses, there is more of an abstract sense when putting all the different components together whether the components are code, building materials, atoms, or circuit parts.

With the growth in technologies in social media and on the internet, I have also realized that keeping a portfolio of software projects is possible. So like an artist, I think software developers should now consider keeping track of their own software portfolio. Although not all codes can be kept due to proprietary rights to the company, there were still a lot of smaller projects that can be used.

I regret that I have not kept my projects from my past. Because I have not been programming as a primary role for a while, time has made it more difficult for me to go back to a development role without moving backwards with my career. I believe having a portfolio could have helped in this matter. But letting the past be the past, I plan to keep the projects that are am currently or planning to work on.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Life: Blogger 2013

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Work Life: Time Zone Differential - Working vs Actual

Working from 6-3pm is great in that when I finish work there is still daylight. Not only that, businesses are still open like dentists, doctors, certain bank services, etc.

The tricky part has been that I actually work in a different time zone than my actual time zone. So technically, I work 9-6pm if I was in the same time zone as my work. Thus normal lunch will be 9am, but I still eat dinner at 6pm.

This is easy to overcome when I am by myself because I would just eat dinner earlier and sleep earlier. The difficult part is when I schedule plans with others in the area who have regular work hours. Typically, I would just eat at noon which would be 3pm for work. Rarely a problem since I am not on any hard schedule unless I have a meeting scheduled during that time.

Besides scheduling, I am a bit more paranoid about the time differences. Do I add 3 hours or subtract 3 hours? Subtract if I need to convert work to actual, add if I am looking for equivalent time period, etc. I feel that I build up more self-doubt. Did I add that correctly? Or perhaps my premise is incorrect?

So I find myself more often rethinking an answer especially when someone asks if I am sure even to generic questions. Because of this, I think my image has become slightly less confident.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Cioppino's (Fisherman's Wharf)

  • Cioppino
  • Clam Chowder
  • Fisherman's Platter
The cioppino was really good. I enjoyed this one better than the one at Scoma's but not as big. Regular size was enough to share among 6 people (including 4 other dishes).

Clam chowder and bread bowl was good too. I am not too familiar with bread bowls but seemed like there was quite a bit more bread than soup. Fortunately, this worked out with cleaning up the sauces from the other pasta dishes.

Fisherman's platter was ok. Nothing particularly special except fresh calamari. 

We also had two other pasta dishes but I do not recall what they were as I didn't order. Both were decent. One was with a red sauce and mussels. The other was with a green sauce with seafood. I would prefer the cioppino and clam chowder over the pasta dishes we ordered.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Review: Kunjip (Santa Clara)

  • Gori Gomtang - Oxtail soup
  • Side dishes - Kimchee (nappa, daikon, cucumber)
Both were great. The oxtail soup may be slightly bland to some people but that is the way I like my food. The oxtail was tender and not too difficult to eat. I do not think I understand how to eat the meat with the sauce they provide. I didn't find it making the meat any tastier. I did like the slight spicy flavor from the jalapeno which I just ended up eating the jalapeno with the rice. This place has one of my favorite nappa and daikon kimchee. It was very crispy and tasty.

The place is a little pricey but I would return again on a limited basis.