On Thud! and books

Posted by Jerry Sat, Jan 06 '07

I don’t understand why books in Australia are 3 times the price of back in Malaysia. Going Postal was $30-ish AUD the last time I checked at… Borders? at Toowong Plaza, but I bought Thud! (which was a great read. Constantly reflecting off of our world, but not skipping a beat in Pratchett’s trademark humour.) for $34.95 RM here in JB… that’s a 2.7 times difference! Do they print and publish all these books themselves or something? Surely they could have at least imported cheap lumber from SE Asia, I’m sure our economy wouldn’t mind a boost in exports revenue right now, we all know where it’s heading with all those no-talent politicians at the steer…

Saw Day of the Dragon, The Demon Soul, a crappy-publisher-looking Warcraft Archive (all Warcraft canon), Queen of Blades (Starcraft canon?), Nova (Starcraft Ghost) and Cycle of Hatred (World of Warcraft) at MPH. Is tempting… But why on earth don’t they have War of the Ancients book 1? Is no point not starting off the reading with the Kaldorei backstory.

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New year resolutions '07

Posted by Jerry Wed, Jan 03 '07

Yes, yes, you’re supposed to write something like this days ago. I admit, I’m a lazy bastard, okay? (Note to self: correcting laziness is a good idea to start off a new year resolution…)

In no particular order:

  1. Programming – Learn, and quite possibly master 3 programming languages/environments/frameworks, one every semester, from the following list: Ruby (on Rails), Mono (I do know .NET, but that was Windows. Linux libraries CIL bindings should bring lots more possibilities… and relearning C# :D), Boo, Python (or IronPython, maybe with Django), PHP, J2EE properly (with EJB, Hibernate, Spring or Struts), or [insert any random sexy gaining popularity functional language here]. If anything, Brainfuck would be an interesting experience perhaps…
  2. Contributing to OSS – Write something for Ubuntu/Gaim/Gnome/any FOSS project with any of the above 3 languages and get it into Debian. Aim for Google Summer of Code. Apply for next year’s NICTA research scholarship.
  3. Studies – Write a kick-arse thesis, complete honours, graduate (summa) cum laude.
  4. Health – Start going to gym, proper workout, build up arms and torso, gain more weight, look less geeky.
  5. Life – Write more, even if it’s just blog drivel. Take more pictures. Get into a long-term relationship. Meet more friends. Get drunk. Have fun.

I’m pretty worried, to speak the truth. Lilian Too's fengshui book says Wood Rats will be facing hardship this year, although we’ll persevere. I don’t believe in fengshui as much as agnostics believe in a higher being, but it’s… depressing, no? We’ll see what happens in 12 months, and then I can write “2007 in review”. :p

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2006 in review

Posted by Jerry Tue, Jan 02 '07

So, it’s time to stop the curly scrawl of 6’s in dates out of habit and make that a cool jagged 7. Time for a performance review! Okay… not so much performance, per se. Truth to be told, compared to the awesome software engineers that’ve been bringing us the best of Web Two-Point-Oh it’s not much… but hey, a guy can dream and write boastful words once a while 'aight? But I digress.

So. 4 things of 2006!

  1. University – I am now a graduate! University of Queensland, Bachelor of Information Technology, majoring in Computer Systems and Networks and Information Systems. Super-long-title double major, baby! Ok, it’s probably not that awesome, but do give me some credit for my study-plan-planning-fu. And hey, 6.44 CGPA! That’s something. ;)
  2. Final-year project – Our CSSE3004 closing presentation summed it up best: We were awesome. Without Ben, group F wouldn’t have stood for “Eff-in Fantastic”. Jono, your ub3r 1337 alg0rithm5 r0×0rs. Thomo, what could we have done without you our smooth-talkin’ group PR guy. Dave, group F wouldn’t have been the same without your smack talking of course. Davo, Jing, your enthusiasm and dedication to getting things done is what made our project shine. Thank you all. We earned our Project Excellence Award well.
  3. Linux convert – I’ve got a confession to make: I wanted to be a Linux-er for a long time. Kernel architectures in semester 1’s operating system studies was pretty interesting. (Yeah… I might’ve been one of the really rare attendees who found the Minix coding assignments fun… Hopelessly geek, I know. :p) I tried Fedora Core (3?) and Ubuntu Dapper (free CDs, as in beer!), but they didn’t quite seduce me enough into the dark side of FOSS, which was a shame. Later in November, I thought of giving Ubuntu Edgy a whirl and tried dist-upgrading… and the result blew me away! 3 months, loads of tweaking, but still going strong… but that will be another story to tell. ;)
  4. Family visit – My parents came over to Brisbane for Feng’s graduation over winter in July. Stayed with uncle in Sydney. Beautiful sunset. Freakin’ cold night. Girraween, hiking. Oysters at Anna Bay. Sea at Terrigal. Saw dolphins (Or whatever the pair of fins riding waves from a distance is). Dug sand at Gold Coast (Remind self to either sift it or throw it away…). Sushi. Mistook inari for unagi. $10 Hush Puppies.

'Twas a good year. Here’s to hoping a longer, fuller list in 12 months time!

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Internet woes

Posted by Jerry Thu, Dec 28 '06

Yesterday, (well, the day before yesterday night before the day that was yesterday) I’ve finally got to fire up good old Azureus (I’m tempted to add 'fat and gluttonous’, but I don’t want to get impaled with a ten-foot pole by Java enthusiasts… but I digress) after a good one year hiatus, for the new Ghost in the Shell movie, which I’ve wanted to get for quite a long time now. And it was… slow. Average of 10kb/s, constantly dropping off… and then today, nothing. 0 bytes. No peers. Zilch. Nada. Uh, what’s going on?

Lowyat’s news forums had the latest scoop on what went horribly wrong: Yesterday’s quakes in Taiwan damaged 5 undersea cables linking international traffic from SEA to the US. And repairs will take 3 weeks. (Zomg no internet for 3 weeks HYPERVENTILATE!) Ok, calm down. I can live with that. Tough networking veteran with many bag of tricks, I am.

Then, I’ve learned that TMnet was enforcing traffic shaping in my area since mid-2006. Just wonderful. Someone to spy on my packets and tell me I can’t use the Intarweb my way because they can’t be bothered to invest in better transport technologies. Who cares about net neutrality, yar?!

This holiday is going to suck… what on earth am I going to do with 14 GB’s of free space?!

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A Christmas drivel

Posted by Jerry Tue, Dec 26 '06

Ah, sweet sweet broadband. I miss thee too much. (crosses fingers and hopes Ghost in the Shell – Solid State Society will be done by tomorrow morning... Dear BitTorrent Peer, please do give me all thy bandwidth. Love, A Peer.) Quite an uneventful Christmas too, I must add. I did want to write a little bit of something on Ruby, but at the point of writing I believe half of my brain has just turned itself off under effects of jet lag. Thus this blog post which is utterly devoid of point and insight. Ah well, Merry Christmas to anyone who still happens to live on the other side of the globe. I must bid thee good night for now.

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