Thursday, November 29, 2007

Google's Experimental Searches

Google has some experimental modes for your google search results page. Pretty interesting! Stuff like alternate views, keyword suggestions (Google suggest), keyboard shortcuts, left-hand search navigation and right-hand contextual search navigation.

I quite like the alternate views one, partially because I'm a data visualization junkie, and also I do my searches from my Firefox search box anyway, so I already have suggestions popping out as I type.

What do you think?

Network Aquarium

From xkcd.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sad fact

Living in a place where the only warmth comes from the hot water tap, it is somewhat further saddened when (even) the office administrator starts making efforts to interact with and make breakfast for everyone.

For today it's some variant of Caesar salad and potato soup. Nice.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Race Conditions"

Race conditions are hard to solve. Here's a simplistic example, but most of such cases would fit generally into this mold.

===How it's entered===
Two parties.

One does wrong to the other in some way.

The other is rightfully angry/hurt/unhappy/etc.

===How it continues===
The "victim" party doesn't forgive for various reasons: not wanting to get out of self-pity, not willing to let go of the past, etc. The first party recognises his/her fault at some point of time, and tries to get/be forgiven somehow. It doesn't happen for the reasons above. Victim party makes things like hell for the first party.

First party tries, gets offended along the way from untrue/slanderous/malicious things said/done. Reacts sometimes. Tries to reconcile sometimes, but keeps getting the same response/situation everytime something is attempted. Gives up in some way eventually. Forgets about the probleme especially if contact between parties is not often.

The hurt party dwells in own hurt/ self-pity/ unwillingness to forgive. Suffers over time. Changes as a result. Hurts self and others over time. Cycle continues.

===How it could end===
It takes two hands to clap. Repentance must come together with forgiveness on the other end.

By both parties: realization of ownself's wrong must occur. Wrong in doing wrong (duh). Absurdity in staying unforgiving after having received such forgiveness from God in Christ. (oh yes, both parties are professing Christians)

Third parties can/should help both parties do so, whilst not doing it in a superiority-complex-mode.

===Is it possible?===
No. Humanly, no. Blind to self's wrong. Not willing to see anything outside of own world.

===What can be done???===
We need to go back to the One/ the source whom can cut through flesh and marrow, exposing the heart. We need to go back to the bible, God's words to mankind. And submit to it in its message to us.

The other thing, is to ask Him to do so in the first place also...whether we're one of the parties or not.

I've just about seen a few cases of this: being the one who did wrong initially, being the third party, and now on the way to being the one who gets the rubbish from the hurt party. One of the conclusions that I've arrived at: till repentance and forgiveness (from the human side) occurs, we're pretty much going to be stuck in this pain in the neck/ass/heart/whatever.

I don't know what will the outcome of these cases be, though I will continue to pray about this. But frankly speaking I'm pretty much disheartened by this kind of dysfunctional relationships that are around like this.

(Enough rambling. Time to go home.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

=) =) =)

We finally have gotten a flat! :-) :-) :-)


In the course of my interactions with my friends at work, I've come to be tricked into (a harmless) buying a few cups of drink for them. Which also confirmed my initial thoughts that it was an attempt at a prank.

Though no offense was taken at having to buy stuff like this (I'd have gladly bought for them even under normal circumstances), the way it was carried out did change the trust model somewhat: not broken nor even damaged, but changed somewhat.

I don't know what it has become now, but I'm guessing it might be that I'll be more wary/sceptical in the future.

The wrong stance to take? Or just simply learning/forgiving and moving on?

Saturday, November 17, 2007


In the course of our house hunt, a (really prospective) unit has turned up this time. Within our budgeting constraints, in a pretty good condition, renovated tastefully, of a very very good location, possibility of negotiating the price, owners seem reputable.

Will we be able to get this one? Will we go through another emotional roller coaster ride?

Whatever the outcome, we know that it is God who's taking care of us, whether in ways we can foresee/want or not. Because of our relationship with Him through Christ, we can rest assured (or draw comfort! :-D ) that all is within good plans and control of the one who knows far better than we do.

Friday, November 16, 2007

HOWTO: Use VMware Player with a Live CD

Over the past few months, I've learnt far aplenty from various people's HOWTOs and papers, from the very simple to the stuff that I still don't really understand up till now. So just to exercise some writing muscle (if there's any left) and to contribute back to the community at large, here's a simple HOWTO ;)


VMware Player allows for running of virtual machines or preconfigured VMware Appliances from a single OS, meaning that we don't have to go through a costly repartition-format-install whenever we want to try out or run a different OS.

Many Linux distributions come packaged as a Live CD to help reduce the costs of trying out the OS, but a reboot with a CD-ROM drive and a CD burnt from the ISO file is needed. For people like me who have ultraportable laptops (no attached CD-ROM drive), don't want to have too many CDs lying around and don't want to go through the trouble of rebooting my M$ Windoze OS all the time, the VMware Player-Live CD combination would be the best in this case.

There are various restictions/limitations (not mentioned here) when using VMware Player with Live CDs depending on your needs, but for learning and trying out purposes these don't pose any problems.

===Instructions for use===
1. Download and install the free VMware Player.

2. Download the Live CD ISO which you wish to try out (e.g. Ubuntu, DSL, etc.)

3. Go to to create the VMware Player config file needed to run the virtual machine. The Super Simple Edition would suffice for our uses here.

4. Configure the page as follows:

Virtual Machine Name: Any name you want

Virtual Machine Operating System: Usually Generic Linux 2.6.x for more recent Linux versions

Virtual Machine Memory Size: Stick to the default (safe) option (320MB)

Virtual Machine Disk Size: No Disk (live CDs don't need hard drive space to function, only memory)

LiveCD (ISO): Here's the important part. Check the Enabled box and fill in the full filename of the Live CD ISO that you downloaded in step 2, including the ".iso" extension.
5. Click on "Create Virtual Machine"

6. Click on the link to download and open the ZIP file.

7. Navigate to the deepest folder, there you'll see a .VMX file named by your virtual machine name. Extract this to the same folder where you kept your Live CD ISO file.

8. You need to do some editing here. Fire up WordPad, and get it to open the VMX file you just unzipped. (You'll need to get it to show all filetypes)

9. Scroll down to the portion which says this:
# Settings for physical CDROM drive
ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"
ide1:0.startConnected = "TRUE"
ide1:0.fileName = "auto detect"
ide1:0.autodetect = "TRUE"

# LiveCD
ide1:1.present = "TRUE"
ide1:1.fileName = "mylivecd.iso"
ide1:1.deviceType = "cdrom-image"
ide1:1.startConnected = "TRUE"
ide1:1.mode = "persistent"
And swap the "ide1:0"s for "ide1:1"s. If you don't do this step VMware Player will not be able to find the ISO file when booting up, and you won't be able to use the Live CD ;)

The results of that section should look like this:
# Settings for physical CDROM drive
ide1:1.present = "TRUE"
ide1:1.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"
ide1:1.startConnected = "TRUE"
ide1:1.fileName = "auto detect"
ide1:1.autodetect = "TRUE"

# LiveCD
ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.fileName = "mylivecd.iso"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-image"
ide1:0.startConnected = "TRUE"
ide1:0.mode = "persistent"
10. Save the file.

11. Double click on the .VMX file, and you're on your way to using the Live CD! Enjoy ;)

PS: Do drop me a comment if you found this useful, or if you have any comments/suggestions to leave behind!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Opera Mini 4

Just tried out the new Opera Mini 4 on my phone. Really really nice eh ;)

Lots of new features, but one worries me somewhat for now. This statement at first glance would get privacy advocates up in arms possibly. Maybe there's other policies in place to prevent intrusion of privacy, etc...?

Mini technology

Opera's mobile software uses a remote server to pre-process Web pages before sending them to your phone. Web content is compressed to reduce the size of data transfers, enabling fast browsing experience at low costs even on simpler phones.

Mini technology

Then again, it's not as if I'm going to use it to surf a lot.

There's also a simulator available for those who'd want to check it out on a browser.