Thursday, November 24, 2011

29 life lessons learned in travelling the world for 8 straight days

This article is a good read. Found it floating around facebook, i'm gonna keep it and share it here.

Kinda reminds me of a quote from Saiyuki anime, one of my all time favourite:

One of my edits during my bachelor degree's days :p

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

epsxe 1.7.0 setup for PS1 on your PC

Recently just setup the epsxe on my Vista laptop. So i'll just put down some summary for those who are interested.

Here is the link to download page.
BIOS file are the so-called files you get from purchasing actual sony Playstation game.

Tips: Just do a Google and its everywhere in the net. Here is a list of the file name you should have in the "bios" folder:
DTLH3000, DTLH3002, SCPH101, SCPH1001, SCPH5000, SCPH5500, SCPH5502, SCPH7000, SCPH7001, SCPH7003, SCPH7502

Depending on which video plugins you use, you can try Pete's video plugin.
Here is another list of the more popular video plugins:
Lewpy's 3dfx/Glideł GPU 1.40
P.E.Op.S. Soft Driver 1.16
Pete's D3D Driver 1.75
Pete's DX6 D3D Driver 1.75
Pete's OpenGL Driver 1.75
Pete's OpenGL2 Driver 2.6

Just google one of those according to your OS and pop them into your "Plugin" folder.

Here is a look on the Wizard setup. This is a one time setup.

And then of course the setup for video settings. You can experiment which resolutions are to your liking, find out which one works best...and setup your keyboard config of course.

My keyboard config:

Well, if you are that hardcore enough, try to buy a DualShock PS2/3 USB controller. Well, mine works as soon as I plug it into my laptop via auto driver installation. Of course, you need to configure the keys.

Now its time to enjoy your PS times :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A song per day

Just finished watching a Cantonese movie that was i my harddrive for quite some time. The title is "2 become 1", and then this acapella by Justin Lo got stuck in my head.

The guy has good voice and is brilliant. Here is it.

側田 Jusitn Lo - A Song Per Day (Clear Version)

everytime when i'm thinking of you
i just don't know what to do
pinch myself when i'm dreaming of you
making sure that you could love me too
how it slipped away, all my happy days

though i'm acting cool, when i'm feeling blue
just to show you that i'm through with you
while i never wanted to

how can the love so beautiful ever slip away
when i get to the place
i swear i'll write you a song each and everyday
ooh god i'm missing you it's driving me so insane
standing all alone in pouring rain
can't explain can't explain all my pain

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Photoblogging: Around Dallas/Texas

Haven't been active since i've reached Dallas. Just a pictorial summary :p

Where i live.

Where i go to work. No matter when.

In the morning...

or night...

of course daytime

rain or shine

...or even thunderstorm?!

or drive to the end of the horizon for work.
well now you can guess how i spent most of my time.

Sightseeing portion..
Stockyard with its cattle run or watever they call it. It's like a restaurant menu picture and its actual size hehe

Cowboy giftshop haven

City of Dallas

Just kidding,this is the city of Dallas

Galleria's skating ring..where the rich shoppers gather

Can sculpture competition @ Northpark Mall

Grapevine mill

Where farmers gathers

Tutti frutti

Rock melon from Dallas, sweet.

San Marcos Outlet

Ok..back to the manhole cover conquest, cause im feeling lazy now :p


Fortworth, Stockyard.

Gotta get em all!
*start exploring Sherman site for a manhole* xD

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Speeding up XP

XP is probably turning into an old school OS. But hey, if you're on one which unfortunately i'm on, you gotta love this.

Thanks to youtube and wogboy818181 for sharing this :)

Actually i use AML registry cleaner (freeware) for many of these stuff. But it just doesn't work with my company laptop... Bad lappie.

Enjoy the cool classic 'how-to ad' style background music as well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Exercising: to a better health or just don't want to get fat?

It's been almost 3 weeks since i reached Dallas and after settling in, the thought of American sized meals is quite disturbing to me. Everytime I have a meal out, i'm forced to takeaway half of the plate/food. So i guess, it's time to hit the gym naturally to even out the calories intake.

I'm not looking for a hardcore gym session or going into those technology latched sessions. Just simple sessions to keep my weight in check. No strapons to track how much is my heart rate, no funky gadgets.

My simple routine off-gym exercise is as below:
a) 2 sets of 10x push ups daily (really easy, don't want to drain myself up)
b) 2 sets of 30x sit ups daily

Gym routines are also simple:
a) 10 minutes + 5 minutes of treadmill
b) 10 minutes intense, on elliptical trainer or up till 1000 steps whichever finish last.

Performance dashboard

For running, i start off with 30 seconds of slow jog, going to max for first 5 minutes. Slow down for 1-2 minutes and try to push at max speed again till end of 1st 10 minutes. Then speed down for last 5 minutes warm down..after 2nd minute of rest, go all out till 1 minute left and gradual warm down.

Treadmill in Homewood Suites, Wong MT is right..its quite small

On the elliptical trainer its really simple, do 2 minutes of forward stepping as fast as i can and switch to reverse pedal for 2 minutes as fast as i can. My motto is time is money, so no slacking up, just the golden 10 minutes here :p

If you notice, i tend to go all out for most last cycles of my workouts. Kinda picked this up as a habit after getting a pointer from a a weight-lifting maniac friend, Nic who gave a few pointers in this area.

Elliptical trainer

Using music during workout is quite a nice addition. I don't really go into those beats-per-minute stuff but i do go for faster musics especially linkin park and some fast paced remixs that I had on my Nokia Xpressmusic which finally shines here.

In the end of the day, do we exercise just because we want better health? Or is it just because we don't want to get fat? Or are we already overweight?

We do need a balanced combinations and a good health starts from the plate, how we eat and how much extra calories we gobble down without realizing after our major meals of the day.
Easier said than done, I myself am guilty of succumbing to the sin of gluttony from time to time. But well, its good to be aware of it and remind myself from taking in much more than is just right.


Well, sometimes 'just not wanting to get any fatter or to put it in a better way', 'staying in shape' or 'get back in shape' is also a good motivation to hit the gym as long as we remember that we need to work it out to get in shape and maintain to stay there, not continuous cycle of gaining and losing weight. Hope i get out of this crazy cycle soon haha.

This applies to most working class people as what they call as 'growing horizontally' -yea, the body, not the career :p

For me, it's feels great to wrap the day off with a workout and sweat it out. Unfortunately, this will not last long since working KL doesn't give me
a) short commute time from work
b) free gym service (guess this is important factor too :p)
c) good work-life balance - we are asians duh!

Even right now, workload is getting heavier and i'm leaving work later nowadays.
Damn, only Malaysians get dual role. Not fair!

Probably need to figure out something about this, else growing horizontally and working long hours in zombie mode will eventually snuff the life out of me =(

For those sifus out there, that can give pointers, please do shout out, i really welcome any advice on what i'm doing wrong or what i could do better. What to watch for ? Calories? Mets?
Or is what i'm doing even effective?

Sorry folks, no nice photos from Dallas yet as of now :p

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Just another day at work in Dallas

This is probably one of my posts with more photos since i'm quite lazy right now.

A cuppa coffe a day keeps the engineer awake. Well i don't actually have to brew them in my room at all, it's all ready for grab at the lobby. im accumulating these empty cups in my office cube now and i wonder if i can get a mountain of them after a while if nobody gives me warning for violating office 5S haha (will pose the picture eventually, so keep your eyes for it later on).

the ass of my rental car, ford focus. Actually i took this so that i can check again which carplate number my car is since the parkings are usually huge and there are so many whites that lookalike =_=

TI boulevard, i guess it's useless to resist the temptation to take a shot of this, even if i'm in the car waiting on red light

I think this is the main gate, but it still doesn't look like it is one. Oh well, it doesn't matter actually

meet me halfway - on the walkway to South Campus.

the other way which i came from, damn long walkway. everything is huge here. even office cube starts at 100x - 5xxx

yo, drop by my cube here in Dallas at J1-1077. That's all i have today folks. See not too many words compared to my usual post :p

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Long haul flight

Finally after picking up rental car from Avis and going around nearby supermarkets, I'm sitting in my room fighting jetlag after a day long trip from KL-US.

Let me recount back see how long is it. The flight route is from KL-HongKong-SanFrancisco-Dallas.
Hmm....connecting flight list already sound long enough eh?

KL-HK total time: 3 hrs 45min + transit time of 55min
There is too little time for transit between these 2 flights and the plane departed 35 minutes late! I basically ran through HK airport and to the next plane after being gathered by a CathayPacific staff, Miss A.

Here is the thing about race superiority thing here. There is a group of 4 of us, 3 American/European and me whom have to rush to the next flight. With the crazy queue from next incoming flight overlapping our flight, we don't look like we will make it. Miss A, accompanying us asked us to go through the business class lane. Being the last in the group of 4, the ticket checking staff wouldn't allow me to go through, kept asking me to go to back to economy class queue. I was like 'wtf? just because i'm asian so i get a different treatment?? '. Luckily i found the Miss A and finally she needed to escort me through just because i'm asian.....

HK-San Fran total time: 12 hrs 30 min + 3 hours transit time
I noticed that Cathay Pacific from HK-SanFran have a majority of Indian passengers. When i first entered the plane, i thought i was on the wrong plane.

SanFran - Dallas total time: 3hrs 30min + 2 hours of wait time
Finally after 11 hours of sleepless indian babies cry choirs in the plane and an overdose of movies marathon I reached San Francisco. Another crazy queue through immigration and custom of US. When i reached boarding area, i only managed to get online for 15 minutes before the last flight in my list this time.

Huh, why another 2 hours wait after reaching SanFran?
American Airline messed up my luggage from the international to domestic transfer. I've checked them in but it was put on the next flight after mine, which I found out from the baggage office staff after waiting 30 minutes at the baggage claim area. Luckily, my colleague Dalila arrived 1 hour late and we only had to wait another hour. I went back there after 1hr 30min of waiting to get my luggage and guess what, it's been transferred to a different terminal. Great, that's like a 5+ minute drive away. To make it worse, when i got to the other terminal, i found only one of my luggage and the other is still stuck in San Francisco.

Once i got back to hotel, I called the customer line number the fellow at baggage claim of the other terminal gave me. The call lasted at least 25min. The operator at the other end kept telling me 'Hold on, I'm checking........I'm still here, just hold on' for a duration of 20 min. Finally she put me on hold and after 5 mins of instrumental music which starts,stops and starts again, i'm already drifting to lala-land. Kind of lost track of time but finally she confirmed that I'll get my luggage delivered the next day to my hotel.


This is quiet a bad case of mismanagement, they could've send both luggages to my hotel instead of making me run around airport searching, wait 2 hours and keep wondering whether they already lost my luggage. Looks like AA is still not really customer satisfaction oriented yet.

Total time spent on this long haul flight: 4h40m + 15h30m + 5h30m = 25hr

Now i'm sitting at my room after finding every excuse to keep awake. Inclusive of unpacking every item i have into the cupboards, setting the kitchen, washing the coffee maker, calling up American airline to locate my 2nd bag which didn't reach on time and ironing my clothes. At the end of all these, I am still falling victim to the jetlag and now 'fishing' in front of the laptop ...

Sorry for the crappy quality post. I blame it on the jetlag :p

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

World economy crisis (again?)

The video reminds me of the banana currency we had during Japanese occupation times in Malaysia. Anyway, it's a simple way of explaining the speculated and looming debt crisis we see now at Uncle Sam's.

Thanks to Venissa for sharing this video.
The summary is as below.

Inflation happens either when a country prints more currency making the currency value shrink or food/commodity (food, metal, oil est) price goes up versus consumer's income.

Higher cost in Uncle Sam causes manufactuerers to go to other cheaper counties usually in Asia such as Vietnam, Malaysia,Thailand, China and etc. so that they can pay less for the same product to get manufactured.

This contributes to recession where more peoples in UncleSam losses their jobs.In effect, there is less contributions to tax and more people collecting government benefits meaning less money for UncleSam who is already in huge debt.

Here is something new i learn from this :)
Stagflation = Inflation + recession

The last portion of the world economy collapse is interesting.

Here is another clip on debt crisis centered around European countries.

Quite fascinating for the not so economy-savvy me :p

But I digress,how would educating one another help in this? Do we spend less using credit cards or do the opposite? Don't keep savings in banks but go the classic buy-gold way like those in the 70s/80s? Prepare/stock or whatever people do and brace for a possibility of worldwide economy tsunami?

Illustrations from:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Project Management 101

Not too long ago, the boss of department asked my opinion of what's wrong with the projects going on in my team. I shrugged and tell him that there are different managers i work with and they are all not in sync when setting job priorities, which makes things quite chaotic.

To put it simply, there are some basic Project Management fundamentals that they are violating.

After that the question keep bugging me out of the corners of my mind from time to time. It's like staring at a bubble wrap trying to resist the urge and you finally couldn't help but start popping them for no reason at all. So my hands got itchy and i decided to write this piece here to ease this instinctive itch of mine.

Warning: This will be a lengthy one. Be prepared before you go on.

In whatever project management we do, there are always the 3 fundamental elements that we need to look at. Else we are probably managing projects as we go and hope that it works out or trying to manage without really understanding.

These 3 elements are known as the triple constraints plus a hidden q element.
See the illustration of the triangle consisting of schedule, resource & scope, quality being in the middle.

Imagine the triangle to be a flexible shape.
You increase the scope of project, the resources we need goes up - we have to pay for the extra things we wanted to add and usually more manpower is required. Our schedule will be affected since we now need to accommodate for new activities. These 3 elements are always interlinked and affect the quality of our project's outcome or deliverables.

Let's get a little example of McDees kitchen using the triple contraints of schedule, scope and resource.

In this project, the workers produce the deliverables which are McChickies. In laymen term, it's putting all the ingredients together between the buns after frying the chicken. The supervisor is Mary who manages the worker and monitors the output. Let's say we have only one worker, John. John can produce 10 McChickies per hour (i know this sounds quite ridiculous, but it simplifies the equation here).

Consider John's work hour per day as 9 hours. Take away 1.5 hours for break time, cleaning up and rest times in between to give a realistic work effort duration. That leaves 7.5 of work hour expected from John daily. We can estimate John to produce 7.5 hours x 10 = 75 McChickies comfortably.

Now let's make it abit more complicated.

Scope change or scope creep

Mary discovered that there is a new product that will be really hot in the fast food market at this time and would help to increase McDee's market share. It's the BeetMac ,appealing to our community which is becoming more and more health conscious.

John is given new training on how to prepare BeetMac and found that he can only produce 5 BeetMacs per hour. However, Mary is expecting to produce 75 McChickies and 10 BeetMacs from now onwards.

We see that the scope now increases, we call this scope creep. Originally we are suppose to produce 75McChickies to make our customers happy.

Mary have to ask for more budget to buy ingredients for the BeetMac and John will need more time to prepare the new demand from Mary.
75 McChickies requires 7.5 hours and 10 BeetMacs requires 2 hours to make. That sums up to 9.5 hours.

Now John needs to work without break daily and exceed half an hour of his daily work duration.
I wonder how he copes with having no time to answer nature's call or take a bite to stop his stomach from growling. Maybe Mary is willing to spend some budget to pay for John's overtime.

Now this little McDee's kitchen is seeing a major impact on its delivery schedule. Effectively, he will probably be working 2 extra hours per day to meet the new target of 75 McChickies and 10 BeetMacs daily.

We see that the resources here,being manpower is being stretched to meet the new daily demand of McDee's customers now and extra cost for new different ingredients, John's OT pay and his training cost. John's now thinking that his work days are getting busy, but oh well, he did get paid overtime for the extra 2 hours he worked.

Now hang on a while, aren't we missing something?

Yes, things don't stay this way for long. Mary's strategy to introduce the BeetMacs worked and now she estimated customers demand to increase. The new demand is to produce 75 McChickies and
double the amount of original BeetMacs giving a tally of 20 BeetMacs.

Now, John's OT hour has increased from 2 to 4 hours. How much can he do overtime and multitask at this point?

There's a serious problems now with customer A screaming at Mary to deliver McChickies while customer B wanted at least 2 BeetMacs per hour. Trying to meet customers demand since 'customers are always right', Mary ordered John to produce both McChickies and BeetMacs per customer's demand.

In the beginning, John tried to use minimum time to cook the ingredients. On customer's end, the products gets less tasty, but being loyal customers, tolerated this slacking in quality and continued to order more. The order increased again to 30 BeetMacs a day.

This gives John really high pressure to meet Mary and the customer's expectation. One day, John was not feeling well and in the haste, he mixed the wrong ingredient - chickens in BeetMacs and beetroots in McChickies. Uh oh, this is a serious quality issue yeah?

Result is quite predictable. McChickies customer was furious why there is beetroot instead of chicken meat and BeetMacs customers is very upset since they were looking for vegetarian diet but found meat in it. Mary would now have to answer to all the quality issues that McDee is having. So do we get a clear picture of how scope creeps impacts the other 2 elements of the triple constraint and eventually the quality of our product/deliverable.

Now imagine in the real world, to be really competitive in the market, there is also the fish-lovers, which might lead to McFishies product being introduced into the kitchen. Imagine the changes to the triple constraint if Mary kept having only John to work on producing the McDee products with increasing variety and demand volumes.

Let's add in a twist of economy impact to the business. As a result of economy downturn, the company slashes down on budget. With a budget constraint, Mary needs to stop paying overtime to John and give him replacement rest days. For the times John took his days off, she took in a casual worker Jack.

How about the training that Jack needs to undergo in order to be on par with John's productivity? Will Jack be willing to work casual on long term? How much is the cost-benefit of taking casual workers in the long run?
Would Mary finally decide to stop taking in extra customer orders? How much market share is she at risk of losing if she do?

Hope this writing is able give some insights on how the triple constraint impacts one another. The McDee's kitchen scenario above gives some examples of the disadvantages of not understanding how the 3 elements link to one another and lead to quality standard of our deliverables.

Keep in mind that the basics of project management is to understand how the 3 elements and their fundamentals and balance them to keep our deliverable quality up to our expectations while maintaining a sustainable system to deliver the product.

Excuse me for the long post. I will be untethered for at least the few days to come.
Hope you enjoy reading this!