Friday, April 30, 2004

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

from a humour email forward... filed under "great truths about growing old". it's meant to be funny/a joke, but i wonder whether the last few days in my life has seen my age being somewhat lonesome.

- - - - -

i'm quite tired, having slept a combined total of around 15-16 hours in the past 3 nights. i have probably spent about the same number of hours, within that same timespan, talking to and being with one person.

here i must resort to the cliched sounds of "it's (probably) not what you think". and if i were you, i doubt i could guess it in a million years (ooh... hyperbole *and* more cliches! hallmarks of the literary output of the half brain-dead? :p)

oh i'm hesitant to say more, other than that the past few days have been quite out of the ordinary. anyways, to paraphrase the gumpster: nebulous is as nebulous does :p

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

when one door closes another window opens

who would have thought that this saying could be applied in both the figurative and a literal sense to msn messenger IM windows :p

pity there had to be a closed door at all... oh well!

- - - - -

one of the girls in my bible study group is playing in the orchestra for her ex high school's amateur (but apparently semi-professional!) production of west side story. being the cultural ignoramus that i am, i thought it would be nice to go check it out. also thought it would be a smart idea to go with at least one other person, so that if i have to look ignorant i won't be alone in that endeavour :p other option is to go with someone who isn't nearly as ignorant, and feel safe/secure in their company... hehe.

for insurance (and self education), did a bit of reading into west side story... plot synopsis and lyrics. now i feel a little bit less ignorant :)

- - - - -

signed up to test drive google's new gmail service - sounds like an interesting (not to mention useful?) premise! also noted that a fair few of the keyboard shortcuts are strangely familiar (traces of pine and vi navigational similarities in there). wonder whether that was deliberate homage...

Monday, April 26, 2004

kudos to microsoft

giving away free Windows Security Update CDs?? while not a cure/solution, it's at least a better and more useful band-aid...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

so this is what the pros get up to...

insightful article on sports illustrated's digital workflow - a glimpse into the world of pro digital photography and what happens after they take their gigabytes-full of shots!

Monday, April 19, 2004

back in the saddle again

i guess the past week (of work) wasn't too bad - it wasn't overly busy so nothing too stressful, and in the end not as daunting as i thought it might have been. the regular person returned today, so i did a bit of handover this morning and now i'm back in my regular seat.

question is: do i want to be back? hmm...

came across a part time job opportunity on the weekend. threw in my application, and part of the process asked the question "why do you want to work part-time"? maybe it's something i haven't given sufficient thought to, but at the moment it feels like a very ambivalent[1] issue.

[1] for the longest time, i had always thought the word 'ambivalent' meant something similar to neutral, in a nonchalant sort of sense. but it actually means something fairly different.

- - - - -

and now for the silver lining story of the day:

never did locate the CD containing the creative recorder program for my creative soundcard... which put a sizeable dent in my plans to dedicate the spare PC to recording tasks. but, the apparent setback (had already been unsuccessful in an earlier search for an alternative wav recorder that was both decent and free) had a good result, cos it forced me to take another look at audacity, which i recently came across via APCmag. and i'm actually finding it to be a rather useful little program!

still, it's a time consuming process of recording and editing. an uploading recorder ranks fairly high on the wish list :p

- - - - -

realising that the last few times i've gone to KGCC, that i'm usually too braindead to listen effectively, and don't have much energy left to want to socialise afterwards (not that i'm typically inclined this way under "normal" circumstances anyway). i don't think it's something i'm going to end up "buying into"... don't think it ever was. should i continue going anyway?

tried to have an early night after getting home. i thought i'd hit the sack ASAP and have a shower in the morning instead. i thought 10:30pm was a decent effort, but doing the maths for a 7am wake up, i realised that would still only be about 8 hours of sleep in total... which is only going to tease the interest and make zero dent on the capital of my sleep debt... and which probably explains why i'm still yawning my head off!


Thursday, April 15, 2004

japanese truman

found this via urldj - story of one nasubi-san which brings to mind the darker overtones of the truman show, and then some! sad things is... i'd probably watch it...

- - - - -

one more day of filling in at work. running remote desktop over the LAN saves me running back and forth between desks. too cool :)

- - - - -

i have ~10 hours worth of talks and music on MD (from camp) to convert to audio CDs... time to fire up the spare PC and do get some multitasking happening! oh for a few more hours in the day...

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

shed a tear

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

it was here... the last afternoon of CCCB's family camp... we were singing the third verse of "when i survey" on easter sunday afternoon, and i suddenly felt that i should feel *something*... these words which i had sung so many times before - i should not be numb to that which they speak. and then, i cried. ever so briefly. as a tear or two ran down my face, and my voice faltered on the last few lines, i felt grateful, and knew i am loved.

thank you jesus, for the blood that you shed.

- - - - -

so the camp itself was fairly good. from after work on thursday till sunday evening i was busy with camp related stuff for CCCB church camp which was held at the Alexandra Park Conference Centre at alexandra headlands. felt busy and tired (not enough sleep) throughout the camp, which was a slight detraction from the overall experience... nevertheless it was a nice enough time away, with some good laughs, good conversations, and hard work digging into the book of esther.

managed a bit of a sleep-in monday morning, but was busy the rest of the day. upon finishing brunch, i realised i was about to be late for a chauffeuring assignment! got changed and rushed out of home, and off to drive a good friend to her wedding. was also asked to take (digital) photos, and borrowed my brother's unit (a canon G2) for the ceremony cos my camera was never going to have enough battery or memory to make it through the whole day. in the end i was a bit disappointed with some of the shots taken with his camera - i wasn't really familiar enough with its functions and so took everything on auto while trying to minimise the use of flash... oh well, good thing i wasn't the principal photographer :p

after the ceremony came afternoon tea at orleigh park, and more photos and milling around. got home just before 7, and promptly remembered i have a meeting to attend at 7! it was at my place, so i ate while the meeting got underway... ended up having people hanging out in my room afterwards (yes, the room that doesn't have much room!) and so again failed to have an early night...

woke up early this morning to take a shower, and got to work a few minutes earlier than usual. started my four days of standing in for a colleage on holidays... so far no disasters... ! looking forward to going home and resting up - a holiday to recover from one's holiday, so they say.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

new eXPeriences

hooray! i now have winXP pro at work :) the IT infrastructure recently sustained some irreversible changes, meaning all win98 users lost access and thus got/had to migrate to XP. the upshot of the downtime was new(er) machines, and my supervisor scored a nice P4 box. i missed out on it all as i was on win2k, and could access everything i was supposed to.

but... it turns out some of the functionality i require for work is not achievable without XP, as i discovered after a few 'complaints' to the IT folk. so when i was offered an OS upgrade yesterday, i welcomed it. 10 seconds into the negotiations (i was going to do the upgrade myself) i realised i'd be using my existing box - yes, the same one that only came with 64MB of RAM! there aren't any more new machines, i was told... but here's 256MB of RAM to sweeten the deal.

so, a few hours and 4 BSODs later (i think i had a suspect RAM bank), i'm running XP. finished setting up everything this morning, and i'm happily humming along with a nicer operating system and a welcome boost of RAM :)

now can i have a scroll mouse?!

- - - - -

i must be liking my work better and better:

1. woke up monday morning and the first thought that entered my head was "damn, it's monday already/again"...

2. woke up tuesday morning... at 8:25am. yes, technically 5 minutes is around about how much time i need to drive to work on a clear run. let's just skip all the actual getting up / grooming / eating and what have you that usually happens before one gets in the car...

- - - - -

stumbled across and some of its sister sites (alllooksame and pain in the english). looks like a rich source of interesting reading :) case in point: the article on conformity - especially the last paragraph!

Friday, April 02, 2004

moments into the 2nd quarter

gee. it's april already.

spent most of my free time last week restoring a laptop where the existing windows installation dug itself into a hole it didn't seem to know how to get out of. it was a custom vendor install, and in chinese... plus my first real attempt at playing with laptop hardware. i'm sure that nobody really wants to read about the nitty gritty details, but after fending off a few technical challenges and one week after taking delivery, it's good to go! (or so i say...)

a few things learnt/noted:
  • borrowing toys err i mean tools from the IT guys at work is handy, and firewire is nice! i'm glad my mobo came with it, even though it wasn't on my list of "wanted features" when i was shopping for one
  • it's funny how one can be quite apprehensive about doing something they've never attempted, and yet so quickly become blase with even the tiniest smidge of "experience"! not always the best thing i suppose, but yeah... opening up a laptop isn't as scary as i first thought :p
  • firewire is nice :)
  • the backup utility in xp seems to be handy and might be worth checking out a bit more
  • running the express install of the winxp service pack one via windowsupdate doesn't work very well... i've now wasted a few hundred megabytes of download (not to mention the time it took) on at least 4 failed attempts on two different computers
  • downloading files via IE is slooooow... use a download accelerator like DAP (it's free but adware). unless of course you're using dial-up, in which case it probably won't make much difference! :p
  • unicode filenames (eg containing chinese characters) make backing up data on CDs a non-trivial matter...
  • file renaming utilities won't work on unicode filenames either... d'oh!
  • unless you run it from a chinese operating system... ahhhh....
  • having a home LAN comes in veeery handy :)

i do enjoy solving problems :) especially the sense of achievement at the end when the problem is solved/fixed! hehe. still don't know/understand what went wrong in the first place, but that's one for the "too hard" basket :p

- - - - -

have to cover for someone at work again, while they're away on annual leave. this means learning a new job. don't have too much of a choice about it, and it's not something i'm really looking forward to... but at least i'm relieved to find that it's not next week (was going to go into panic mode today!) but the week after. ok so i'll panic slowly over the next week...!

also been involved in helping out with staging (where new equipment for whole registers are checked and set up before shipping to customer sites). still quite basic work - unpack, assemble on bench, record serial numbers... but at least it feels a step closer to IT/technology, and i think that's where i like to be :)

- - - - -

words of wisdom #78
what not to do if you have files on your computer you don't want people to see:
  1. create a folder called "Top secret" or similar
  2. under there, create another folder called "TOP TOP SECRET" or similar
  3. now that you've put neon lights pointing to this location, place your files in the second folder

it's a tactic that's sure to work! kinda like the free netMD sling-type backpack my dad got - it has a hard shelled compartment for your MD player... on the *outside* of the bag, nicely labelled "NetMD" and in a contrasting colour so it stands out.

what about this doesn't scream "steal me!" when you're walking around with the bag on your back...?