Sunday, December 25, 2005

Unfortunately he has a girlfriend

That's the title of the song by Niki Chow which I like very much. I found the MVs for this song on youtube, so I like to promote it a bit.

Here is one of the MVs.

Here is another version with Ekin Cheng.

Live version.

Hope you enjoy like I do.

Update: youtube have remove the video.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Everyday life

Master Yoda, who have left his blog, Made in Jermany, to rot for more than a year is making a come back in a new blog, Everyday life. Welcome back, Master Yoda. I hope this one will last a bit longer than the previous one. His latest entry, "Programmer", is a conversation between the master himself and his former comrade on the sufferings brought on by the great X-men.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Time to switch ....

The time has come to switch from Windows to MacOS X, Solaris, Linux, whatever. Uninstall your Micro$oft Office and use OpenOffice. Why? Because Bill Gates had just made the biggest mistake in his life and Micro$oft will pay for it.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

kokwai's trails: MSDE/MSSQL on Windows 2003

MSDE/MSSQL on Windows 2003. Another fine example of the X-men greatness and prowess.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Crappy Internet Banking with a fancy name?

Just read about an interesting OCBC internet banking incident that a friend had experience. My reaction was: "What else can you expect from a company from down south?". Although its not an IT company, but from experience typically you will find that

  • The site will have fancy design and name which only support IE. I don't know, probably everybody down south only uses and know about IE? Firefox, isn't that the red panda?
  • The application is most probably written by X-men. After all the bullshit that we read from the media, that they have a large pool of technically skill resources to take up any challenge; well, is in fact bullshit anyway. Assuming that 2%(just pluck it out of thin air, most likely too high) of their population are skilled software engineers, how many can each company there hire? So how do you make up for the shortage of skilled manpower? Engage the X-men! No doubt about it. They are the best!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My Top 10 Anime

I was chatting with a friend about which anime that I have seen that I like best. I came out with a top 10 list. So here it is. This list only represent those animes that I have watched. If you think that there is another anime which is even better than those listed below, let me know.

Others not in the list that I have watched
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Initial D stage 4
  • Rurouni Kenshin (random episodes)
  • Star Ocean EX
  • Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Bubblegum Crisis
  • Macross
  • Mospeada
  • etc

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Google Reader

Google just release another Beta application, Google Reader. It is actually a web-based RSS reader, but by far seems to be the slickest, at least for now. So check it out.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Upcoming Yahoo! Mail

A totally revamped Yahoo! Mail is now in Beta. From what I read from some blogs and review here and here, the new Yahoo! Mail is very impressive. Its been redesigned to look and feel more like your desktop mail program than a webmail. From some of the pictures I've seen, it really made GMail looks antique. Ironically, Cedric recently blog about moving from Outlook to GMail. Maybe he should have waited for the new Yahoo! Mail to move out of Beta before moving.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Daily WTF

Just stumble upon this site. Its a site where you can submit shit codes that you encounter for the world to see and comment on in a forum. One particular thread, A False Detector; shows how smart stupid some people can be. There are lots of wacky stuff that people do. A site that must not be miss!

Feeling Lost?

Yesterday a friend IM me and said "have u ever had the feeling that one day u wake up and suddenly u realize u're tired of doing things that u do everyday?".

Actually, I am more than tired, I don't know what I've been doing since end of 2002. Work sucks! What can I do? Joel Spolsky in his Hitting the High Notes article have answered the question.

"Sadly, this doesn't really apply in non-product software development. Internal, in-house software is rarely important enough to justify hiring rock stars. Nobody hires Dolly Parton to sing at weddings. That's why the most satisfying careers, if you're a software developer, are at actual software companies, not doing IT for some bank."

That means I need to look for a company that does product development. Sadly, most of the IT companies here doesn't do product development. The big MNCs are just body shop. Those pathetic MSC status companies are trying to compete with the MNC by becoming even cheaper body shop.

Sigh. I am still lost. The search goes on...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Interview Joke?

After interviewing over 20 candidates during a job fair, an interviewer became exhausted. As there are more people waiting to be interviewed for the J2EE developer position, she didn't bother to look at the candidates' resume anymore. Here is how one went..

Interviewer : Tell me about your skills.
Candidate : I am an expert in Skyway Builder!.
Interviewer : Excuse me? We're looking for a J2EE developer, not a highway builder! Next.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

IntelliJ IDEA 5.0 released!

The latest version of the best Java IDE is out! JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA 5 now support smart web-related code editing, assistance, and formatting features for HTML, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, and XML. Other significant new features include Subversion and J2ME support. If you are currently using JBuilder or Eclipse, the new version will also help you import your project.

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Birth of Google

There is a very interesting article on Wired about the birth of Google. It talks about how Larry and Sergey met and how they started Google.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Projects on Java

Okay, I am trying to drive up traffic here. Seeing what happen to Cedric in one of his previous post that kept receiving dumb comments, this might work.

Anyway, I am not surprise at all on those comments. I would expect nothing less from those X-Men. Some of those comments are really funny, I guess those are not really from the X-men. Here's one model after the famous Nigerian scam that almost everyone have received in some form or another.

Extremely respected Sir,

Good day and compliments for your Java project titles. You work in this area in much appreciated. This letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine the future and continued existence of the entire members of my family.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dr. (Mrs.) Shonkala Blogy, the wife of the late head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria who died on the 8th of June 2004. Unfortunately, the present power is determined to keep for them all the good Java project titles that my late husband created.

My late husband had/has Eighty Million (80,000,000) Java project titles especially preserved and well packed in trunk boxes of which only my husband and I knew about. It is packed in such a way to forestall just anybody having access to it. It is this set of Java project titles that I seek your assistance to get out of Nigeria as soon as possible before the present civilian administration finds out about it and confiscate it just like they have done to all our assets. Once secured, we could start to distribute our Java project titles to young students in need of them around the world (according to the Last UNESCO survey, there are 1,066,567,991 students in this situation, particularly in India where all the Java project titles have been recently stolen by a unknown armed group).

I implore you to please give consideration to my predicament and help a widow in need.

Your faithfully,

Dr (Mrs.) Shonkala Blogy (M.S.B)

USD100 Million for a trip to the moon

According to an article from Guardian Unlimited, if you got a 100 million to spare, you can buy yourself a trip to the moon from the Russians. What does that 100 million dollar trip include? Several months of preparation training and a 7 days stay on the ISS before the actual flight to the moon. It takes about 3 days to reach the moon. Once there, you get a full orbit view of the moon at 100 miles above the moon surface. You even get to eat your food from a tube and all this while living in a 3 metre module. So, do you think this 100 million is worth spending?

JCE 1.2.1 expired on July 27, 2005

This is real bummer! Most of the programs using the JCE suddenly stop working throwing weird exceptions. It seems that the culprit was the digital certificate for JCE 1.2.1 had expired! The solution is either to upgrade to JCE 1.2.2 or JDK 1.4.

Upgrading to JDK 1.4 is not an option for us, that leaves JCE 1.2.2. Guess what? Looking at the JCE 1.2.2 documentation at Sun's website, a glaring pink message informs us that JDK 1.3.1 has entered EOL process and that JCE 1.2.2 as an optional package for JDK 1.3.1 will EOL March 30, 2006!!

What does that mean? Does it mean that the JCE 1.2.2 will also stop working after March 30, 2006? So does it mean that our only option is to upgrade to JDk 1.4!?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Yahoo! bought Konfabulator

Yahoo! has acquired Konfabulator and made it available for free. I first heard of Konfabulator from the controversy that Apple's Dashboard was copied from Konfabulator when Apple announced their MacOs X Tiger. Seeing how cool Apple's Dashboard is, I wanted to see Konfabulator for myself on Windows. No doubt about it, it was just as cool. After a while, when the cool factor wear off, I find that it just an eye candy. Not much of a use and not worth paying for. Now that Yahoo! has acquired Konfabulator and will be making their massive contents available on it, it will become more useful. What's more you can't beat the price.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Just to test out the new image feature. This is a picture of the nohohon.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Google of Malaysia?

Have you ever wonder will there be a local IT company as big or famous as Google in Malaysia? Let's face it, this will never happen! There will never be a Yahoo! or a BEA. Why? Companies like Google and Yahoo! was not started because they can make money. Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn't say "Hey, lets start a search engine company and make tons of money". They were doing research on search engine. The company was a product of their research. Not the other way round.

This is not the case with Malaysian IT companies, in fact all Asian IT companies. The owners are all money driven. Lets do a case study. The company I am working for is a good one. Its actually an MNC originated from a country with the Merlion as a national symbol. It has a framework which the management wants to sell as a product. The problem is this product is a total mess thanks to some Dumbass. The management doesn't want to pour money into fixing the blunders cause by Dumbass but wants to milk the product. In fact, I think the management fails to see a problem with the product.

If little money is spend on R&D to improve the product, how can it be sold? You maybe able to cheat one or two customers but you can't cheat everyone. People will find out that you are selling them rubbish. If this is the kind of attitude exhibit by local IT companies, then how can there be a homegrown Yahoo!

So if you want to create a giant like Google, you must be willing to do the work for free with no expectation of getting any money out of it. You must be not driven by Money. Money is not in the picture!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Never let just anybody be in charge

Never simply let anybody be in charge of your critical projects or products. Its a disaster ready to happen. If the person happens to be an X-Men, be prepared for bankruptcy! A fine example would be a J2EE product that the company I work for is trying sell.

The product started out as individual solutions to specific customers need. The management then realized that these individual solutions can be reused in myriads of projects, and so the product was born. They put this person (let's call him Dumbass) in charge of this new product's direction and implementation. FYI, Dumbass is not an X-Men but is no better. Dumbass has zero hands on experience in J2EE or even Java, just general knowledge. Worst of all Dumbass is a proud close minded stubborn SOB!

Since the product is actually a bundling of the various solutions developed over the years, the technology employed varies from BMP to CMP. The codes are also polluted by the X-Men. Instead of doing various refactoring to the code base to standardize the various techniques used and to better integrate the various solutions, Dumbass chose to concentrate on esoteric stuff.

Dumbass also came out with the idea of simplifying the API, which to be fair is a good idea, but the implementation is a joke. Instead of simplifying the existing API, another layer of remote Session Facade with the new API was bolted on, delegating calls to the existing API. Now, we all know how evil is a remote method call and a chatty application making lots of remote call is a big no no.

Dumbass was in charge of this product for a year and it is fubar. The product is slow, buggy and hard to maintain. Does your company have a Dumbass in charge of its critical products?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

VC Funding?

Once in a while, I have some crazy ideas for the next killer app that could be the next eBay. So today May 4, 2005, I will document down one for all to see. Hopefully, I will be branded as a visionary.

People like Karaoke. There are myriads of reasons why people love it. To some it can fulfill their dreams of becoming a singer, at least in front of their friends, in which reality does not allowed them so because of their fugly look or their chicken voice. To some it can fulfill their desire to perform and impress but are too timid to be a real entertainer.

People usually frequent Karaoke outlets because of one reason. Content. They will have your grandmother's oldies to the latest hit songs. Even if you have the best equipment at home you still lack the vast library of songs.

So with broadband becoming more common it is possible to setup an on demand karaoke service.
You can buy the song ala Apple iTunes or you can pay a small amount to sing the song each time.
What is needed is a box with broadband connection, a built in hard drive and of course Karaoke capable.

Monday, March 07, 2005

shit code

I've been talking a lot about X-Men producing crappy code, so today I like to give an example.
The project that I am involve in uses . In Struts, a request is routed to the execute method of an Action class based on the struts-config mapping. This one particular action class written by an X-Men is horrible. This execute method is 700+ lines long. A lot of codes were duplicated and I suspect that it was copied and pasted which could have been extracted out into functions.

Looking at it will make you feel nausea, and to think that I've got to make some changes to it.
GD it!

Here is another classic.

if (collection == 0) {
for (e : collection ) {

It was not clear to me at first that the FOR loop was use as the ELSE part of the IF statement and got me really confused.

So this is the kind of quality work you get from a "highly skilled" X-Men. If you got one in your office, I say that your boss has been suckered into paying an astronomical amount of money which could've been your year end bonus.

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Exact Software vs DHL?

A friend of mine will be joining Exact Software which reminded me of the annoying SMSes sent by Jobstreet recently about the Exact walk-in interview. I don't know if Jobstreet is just spamming every registered users or Lina really thinks that I am qualify to work for the "other" side.

Anyway, that friend told me that Exact will be adding around 180 more head counts in this round of the recruitment to their current 200. Suddenly, I realized that Exact is big here. It is actually their Asia development center. So that made me think, if Exact can setup a development center here and their local staff are really doing the coding work, why can't DHL?

From what I gathered from the people that I know who work for DHL. Most of the coding work are outsourced either to local vendors or to the X-Men. Most of the DHL local employees are doing so call higher level value added work. Some people look at coding as grunt work, no value. Any Tom, Dick and Harry with basic programming skill can do the work. So the DHL staffs are then only responsible for producing requirement specification, coordinating and liaising with the vendor doing the actual coding work, testing and code review.

Beside producing the specs, I am not sure how higher level or value added the other responsibilities are. But its looks pretty darn boring to me. Testing and code review? X-Men written? You must be kidding me man! I won't even think about it even if DHL pays me 5 figures for allowance on top of the basic salary.

CMM Level 5? Who cares?! Once you are in, you will be there for good! I doubt you can get another job which can pay that kind of money for doing testing and code review. Unless of course you are in the management level, then that's a different story. Nevertheless, some people are quite happy with that kind of work and its good money.

Friday, March 04, 2005


No, I am not talking about the mutant superheros from your Marvel comic books. The X-Men that I am talking about are from country X. On the surface, the impressive skills that they put on their resumes will make almost anyone's jaw drop. Some people know them by another alias, Ah X.

I believe that, anyone who have worked with the X-Men can concur that the truth is far from what it seems. Let me just relate to you my experience working with these X-men. Most that came, have Master degree. Yes a Master degree. But wait.... its not a Master degree in Computer Science. You might say, "That's okay, they have their Computer Science degree to back them up". Opps.. sorry to inform you this.. Most of them also don't have a CS degree too. In fact, its not even any degree remotely related to IT. They either have some sort of engineering degree or a science degree.

So why did so many companies acquire their services then? This is the biggest mystery of the 21st century. The funny thing is a lot of people look highly on the X-Men and most of these people are usually in some high management level position and love to employ these X-Men. Perhaps they think that the X-Men really have mutant skills which the locals don't have.

When you ask those management people why they would go for the X-Men, the usual answers would be there are a ready pool of highly skilled programmers available during the crunch period and they are cost effective. I say these management people don't have a clue on what they are talking about. Ready pool, yes. Highly skill, hmm... Cost effective? These X-Men usually do their costing in USD. How cost effective can they be? To a US company which do their business in USD, X-Men are cost effective but not to a country where the currency exchange is peg 3.8 to the USD.

Let me give an example, a so call "highly skilled" X-Men with an MBA and a degree in Physics who knows shit about Java will probably set you back 5-7K a month. The vast number of jobless IT fresh graduates who are begging for a job will set you back average 2K. By my calculation, I can get 3 IT fresh graduate for the price of 1 "highly skilled" X-Men. I get 3 pairs of hands cracking on the codes. Although these 3 pairs of hands are not as "highly skilled", neither are the X-Men. So would you rather have 3 pairs of hands coding or 1 pair of hands coding?

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Its been a while...

Have not been blogging for quite sometime. I was tied up in a project at work. This project is typical of IT projects where most of the coding work are outsource. The outsourcing model that the company I work for opted is onsite outsourcing whereby the programmers will be onsite at the customers place to do the work. These programmers are from a country(lets call this country X) where most media reports would agree is the next silicon valley. Now these so call programmers from country X is giving me major brain damage. They come, they coded and they left. So after they left, we have to pickup the maintenance work. Boy, once you've seen the code that they produced, most will agree with me that they will never ever want to work with any of them.