Backlog September '07

Posted by Jerry Wed, Sep 19 '07

Long time no blog. :P

Just did my COMS4507 Advanced Security seminar today, titled “OpenID 2.0: A Platform for User-Centric Identity Management”, which can be downloaded here on Google Docs.

It was intended to be a critique of this paper, but in the end I’ve placed more focus on introducing OpenID in general and then shifting into a critical discussion on digital identity management issues on the Web… sometime between 1am and 7am while I was hacking away on the slides trying to get it done last minute. Yes, I know, bad habit. :P All in all, turned out decent. Went overtime by 11 minutes (Marius thought it was still okay), and I think I may have explained too little on the actual authentication process. Still needs work on untangling tongues while talking. Marius thought it was a 80-90% , for sure. Woot. :)

Spending much more time (than I should) on my Nokia N800 tablet, which I decided to finally splunk down the moolah for last month (A$660 exclusive of shipping, over from Hong Kong), and which awesomeness cannot be simply defined by words alone. :) I really should have written a deep down and personal review of the tablet when I first got it, but my lack of blogging habits got to me first. Perhaps sometime, soon, soon. Anyway, the hackability of this slim little device is really promising. Maemo still has its rough edges, and unlike Ubuntu, still has a huge number of usages that are quite literally begging to be implemented… but the project really suffers from a lack of an active developer community like common Linux distributions. A sneak peak into the upcoming Intel Midinux just has me idea factories churnin’... When hasn’t anyone thought of implementing gestures on Maemo yet??!

Meanwhile, still trying to get a bit more of the Telepathy stack onto Maemo, and I’m hoping to perhaps work on a port of Empathy, Tapioca or Colligo. Turns out the Glib library ported fine with minimal changes, but still having problems cross-compiling telepathy-salut / Bonjour on Scratchbox. I should pop on #maemo and ask the experts about it sometime.

The 3 loves of my (current) life – My mom is going to be disappointed that this sample does not yet include a live human of the female gender. :P

Kexin is having his interview on Friday, and it turned out his interviewed would be no one else but Nigel Tao?! What an insanely small (open-source) world we live in! :P After exchanging much exclamation marks, we decided the best plan is just to focus on his enthusiasm on GNOME, and if possible, his very short one-day experience on Deskbar... Possible? The odds are rapidly growing. G’luck, anyway. :)

Tutoring is going well, and I’ve decided that actually being appointed for both courses which I’ve applied in the first place is quite definitely the best accidental choice I’ve made in my university years. Am currently thinking of continuing to tutor for another semester after my graduation, just so I can see the CSSE3005 guys pull through. May I dare wish for another Tutor Award again this time?

Anyway, mid-semester break coming up soon. Will be working on thesis full-time, with Advanced Security project on sidelines ('wireless penetration testing toolkit’ on Maemo). Much work to be done. Sigh, the life of a soon-to-graduate honours student.

# Posted in 13 years ago comments

Craving for japanese food

Posted by Jerry Thu, Jul 05 '07

Ahh… for some reason or other, suddenly having an intense craving for a good 'donburi' while reading Genshiken…


/sudden manga-character-like motion with gleaming star in eyes/ That’s settles it! Pork chop donburi (katsudon) for tomorrow’s dinner! :D

# Posted in 13 years ago comments

Three Things I Learned about Software in University

Posted by Jerry Sat, Jun 30 '07

Spotted this on Reddit (many insightful and funny comments I’d relate to), so I thought I’ll hop in and make up a list. :) Not officially graduated yet, and don’t have enough experience in work or hobby programming to make up a “While not in college” list, so here’s my take on just the three things I learned about software in university:

  • On programming: Code flows out better at the time period between 3am and 7am in the morning. Bugs are solved better at the time period between 8am and 12am in the morning (after a good nap and caffeine beverage).
  • On code quality: Time and effort spent notwithstanding, there is always A Bug in the code. There are no exceptions, period. (Or more commonly put, “Bugs are a fact of life.”)
  • On peers: As a twist on the old joke – there are 10 types of people in the IT faculty. Those who “get it”, and those who don’t. And never will, or simply do not care enough to do so. Way over-quoted, but really very bluntly mirrors the kind of people you meet.
# Posted in 13 years ago comments

Kitchen experiments: burgers and mustard meatballs

Posted by Jerry Tue, Jun 26 '07

Woke up to a rainy Tuesday afternoon (yes, my sleeping cycle has been utterly destroyed by the advent of this month-long holiday) after a long night of gaming (Battle for Wesnoth's Scepter of Fire level). With pangs of hunger and half a pound of unplanned-of ground beef defrosting in the fridge, what’s a guy to do but to make a nice hot thick burger? Randomly conjuring a recipe off the top of my head, I packed tightly a handful of beef, fried in an omelet pan with a little bit of oil, and sandwich between slices of cheap post-microwaved wholemeal bread. Not exactly good ol’ Ramly Burgers, but good nonetheless.

'Crap, now what do I do with the rest of the beef?’ I thought (3/4’s of a box = still a lot left over)... Google-Based for some recipes and decided to pick a random one. Thus:


  • Ground beef 10 full tablespoons (I’m just assuming that one meatball = 1 tablespoon scoop of beef)
  • Full-grain mustard half tablespoon (aka the first seasoning I found sitting in the fridge)
  • Soysauce (Original recipe called for worcester sauce. Didn’t have any, so I just grabbed something salty and black. Approx. 4 tablespoons)
  • Milk
  • Salt and black pepper


  • Add beef, mustard, soysauce and seasoning to large bowl and mix. Pour in a liiitle bit of milk and mix, adding until I got a pasty consistency.
  • Heat up some oil in pan (I just reused the cooking oil and omelet pan from my mini burger adventurette).
  • Using a tablespoon, scoop some beef and shape into round balls (or whatever appropriate shape… no one’s stopping you from making square meatcubes…) with fingers and place in pan. If your pan was too hot, you’ll learn the very important lifelong lesson of how cooking can be very painful to a newbie this very instant.
  • Fry on all sides on medium-ish heat for about 5 minutes. Try splitting one with spatula or eating one to see if cooked.
  • Transfer to large dish layered with paper towelettes. Things are going to get messy with all these juices…
  • Eat contentedly while watching anime.

Notes to self

  • Possibly use less soysauce or none at all for better flavor.
  • Keep juices next time.
  • Herbs, onions, garlic or other veggie bits would be awesome.

Disclaimer: The author is completely untrained in the arts of cooking and food safety. By reading this statement you agree that he will not be held responsible for any ill effects, food poisoning, cooking accidents, mental trauma due to incredibly bad taste, or any related medical problems directly or indirectly caused by following the instructions recorded in this recipe blog-post.

# Posted in 13 years ago comments


Posted by Jerry Sat, May 19 '07
  • Thesis seminar – We had to do a seminar for our thesis topics over the past week. Prepared slide drafts, rehearsed 2 times or so at home (by myself, in an empty living room… which was a bad idea!), went to uni as usual with shiny new NICTA laptop (loaned temporarily), was worried Ubuntu wouldn’t work with overhead projector so betrayed myself and decided to present on Windows using Adobe Acrobat (non-continuous full-screen PDF presentation). Presentation turned out only passable, got good marks (81/100) but pretty unsatisfied with my speech: the opening was a disaster as I pretty much panicked and slurred heavily, settled down on following slides, but turned out I was still speaking too fast (I know I tend to speak fast, so I consciously made sure I pronounced each word loud and clear to sort of slow down my talking… not enough! Reminder to self: practise pausing), and not enough eye contact (relied too much on laptop). Lesson: more rehearsing!
  • Assignments – Load of work due in the following weeks. Thesis research is lagging behind. Possible crisis?
  • Code – Started discovering Python, and liking it! Realized I never grew attached to Ruby because of heavy Perl-isms, Python’s cleanliness is great. Next on learning list: Code exercises, Django and Pylons!
  • Life – Perhaps my reputation as 'the other Web Information Systems tutor’ was better than I thought. Looking forward to passing out TEVALs (tutor evaluation forms) next week. :)
# Posted in 13 years ago comments