iPod non shuffle

Since I got my free iPod shuffle, I have been using it quite alot. Especially when I was doing my shopping or have to wait for something. I found that the lack of screen and the overly simply control is totally unnavigable. Skipping to a song or album I want to listen is next to impossible. The iPod shuffle is only good for listening to your old favourate songs, but not as a daily mp3 players for the latest album. After some thoughts, I found a work around to this problem. I reprogram the shuffle mode into switching between albums/directory. This can been done thanks to the rebuild_db script that allow me get rid of iTune and use the iPod shuffle as a plain USB mp3 player. The trick is setup rule files so that only the first song in each directory is added to the shuffle list. Finally, my iPod shuffle is as user friendly as the CD player in my car. I guess I can pospone buying a real iPod for a while, until I really desperate for a screen to know what song is playing at the moment.

Resume of master research

Today I finally resume my work for my M.Eng project. I have touch it since my vocation to Europe, which is almost 2 months ago. It took me longer than expect to ramp up, I had forgot the code I wrote, and have to read my own poor comments to gain an insight of my mind back then. I setup the matlab script to generate voice traffic, and run the trace file thru a testing ns script. The next step is build shell script to launch simulation automatically, parameterize the testscipt and means to extra delay information of the data packet. After that, I have to run the simulation with voice and data traffic, but got to figure out what data traffic model to use first. With all the infrastucture setup, I can then concentrate on repeat the simulation on video trace and traffic prediction model. The more I tought about it, the more work it seems to be. I really have to focus and work hard or I won’t be able to graduate on time.

Short soccer game

I had only played 15 minutes of soccer tonight. The reason is the court is double booked, and we only found out when we were there. We suppose to start the game at 10p and play until 12a, which is two good hours of excerise. It turn out that the court is booked by another party on 10:30p, so we got kicked out after 30 minutes. The time I spent in driving to Richmond is more than the actual game play. The court told us they had booked us in tomorrow instead. Too bad that I couldn’t make it to tomorrow’s game. Going down to Richmond two nights in a row is too much for me, not to mention the high gas price. Somehow I am surprised by the court low-tech booking mechanism. Everything is done over the phone or in person. Although they have a computer system to keep track of bookings, but that system is not on-line aviable.

This reminds me a recent HK news. The company helped the government to setup online booking system for government sport facilities are charged for making fake bookings. According to the contract, the company will get a hugh bonus if the on-line usage reach the quota ahead of schedule. The company is stupid enough to ask friends, relatives and even hire students to do fake bookings to reach the quota faster. How can it not arose the suspect of the adminstration if an exceptionally large number of users didn’t show up at their booked slot. The moral of this story, if you want to scam off someone, especially the government, please at least spend sometime to play devil’s advocate on the scamming scheme. Instead of hire stupid student, use that money to offer cash-back to real users would probably yield a higher usage naturally and legally.

Toy shelf

I was organizing my toy display tonight and move the empty boxes on the shelf to make more room. I found myself has been following toy news on the internet closely, and participating discussion in the toy collector’s forum. I don’t find many people in real life share this same hobby as I do, maybe with the only exception Kenny. I think collection Japanese toy is more common in HK than here in Canada where there a lot more other things to collection. Unlike other people I met on the net, I didn’t buy random toy that appeals to me. I only buy the toy line I like most and to complete the line. I will sell off the toys from the line I dropped to free up some shelf space. I believe if I wait a bit longer, I could even turn a small profit from selling those toys. From now on, I will focus on just three major toy lines: all new Macross toys, Gundam HCM-Pro and non-MSV Gundam FIX. Occationally I may buy SoC if Bandai remake something I always wanted or owned as a kid.

Photos Mania

I got the DVD with everyone’s WYD photos from Jan last night, it’s over 3.5GB in total. I have been checking out the pictures this afternoon. I tried to delete some blurry and meaningless ones without me in the picture. This process took me almost 2 hours, and I reclaim 500MB disk spaces. It interesting to check out other’s pictures. Although most of them are identical shots from different angle, some of them do capture important moments. I was taking to my colleague the other day on the problem of organizing photos. He is using Adobe albums to tag all this photos for easy searching. I just dump all my pictures in a directory with sub folders sorted chronologically. I have to remember the when about of the event in order to dig out some old pictures. The only logical solution to this problem is desktop facial recognition, cameras with embed GPS and album software able to sync up with the outlook calender. Every information about the picture: time, place, event and people is then fully captured. This will once for all solved the problem of trying to identify that mysterous picture from the past.

Pat’s birthday

Today is Pat’s birthday. We had started with having dim sum at Crystal Mall Top Gun. Although I had heard bad reputation from my friends, I found that place is quite decent. The food is pretty good and not as expensive as I thought. The best part is each of us get a tea set to make our own favour of tea. I walked Charlie in the afternoon while Pat was organizing her WYD photos. Tonight we went to the Oktoberfest at St. Paul with Tammy. Tammy is born on the same year same day as Pat. Before we had down to Richmond, we droped off the birthday present for Brenda, and I took a picture of three birthday girls. I wonder what is the chance of knowing three people have the same birthday.

The Oktoberfest tonight is so-so, can’t compare to the real Bravian food we had in Germany. However it is always good to get together with the WYD team. The most disappointed thing of tonight is how can an Oktoberfest without German beer? We stayed until 11:00p.m., had some folk dance with the church old folks, and I got pushed out to particple in a stupid dancing competition in traditional german way. Then we headed to the Also Louge in No. 3 road to have a drink and cut the cake. That place is quite nice, we had ordered some cocktail and appetizers, both taste pretty good. The waitess suggested flaming lamborghini for Pat and Tammy, said it is the birthday drink. It a pretty smart way pursading us to spend more money, cost that drink is usually the most expensive cocktail on the menu. Tammy is pretty drunk after taking the flaming lamborghini, which is equivalent to 4 shooters. Somehow Pat is still quite awake, probably she has a higher body mass ratio. The girls talk a lot of things which I pay no attention to. I was concentrated in watching an old Charlie Chaplin movie showing on the big screen. I think it is the first Chaplin film I had ever watched, and I think it is very funny. Those old Chaplin really suits the atomsphere, it’s black and white and soundless. What a brillant form of entertainment without bothering the guests. We stayed there until almost the closing time.

Count the rythm

Tonight, I went to Grand Ball Room for their friday night dancing party with Pat for the first time. We tried to pick up our dancing skills, but unfortunately I had forgot all the moves I had learnt before my vacation. Moreover I have trouble counting the beats of the songs. No only I can’t count how many beats in a bar, I can’t even tell the genre of the song. The only exception is cha-cha and tango which have easy to recongize features. Thus Pat gave me a special training on counting the rythm. We sat there for about an hour and I had counted the beats of more than ten songs. I found the songs with heavy and simple drums is much easier to follow. At the end, both me and Pat have headache from the beats, so we decided to go home early. On our way back home, I felt there was a hammer keep pounding my brain in a rythm while I was driving. I guess I will see the rythm and beats in my dream tonight.

Dim Sum

I went to have dim sum during lunch today at Carefree close to work. We used to go to that place for lunch, but it had changed from a HK style cafe to dim sum resturant while I was in vacation. Before the change, it only serve set lunch in the afternoon, and doesn’t attract too many customers. I found that the place is quite crowded today, I heard that we have to wait in line on a Friday. The dim sum served there is not bad, the taste is good, price is cheap, although the dishes are not as fancy as Kirin in Coquitlam. Since it is the only dim sum resturant in the area, it has a natural monoploy in the market. This is another successful story of surviving in the business world. Poor will lead to changes, changes will lead to prosperity. I wonder when will PMC learn this lesson and make up the mind to brand out into a new sector where there is less competitors?

PSP

Two of my colleagues just bought the PSP, the machine had arrived this week and they brough it in to show us. Their version is slightly different than the one my other colleague got on the first day. This version is hacked and can play downloaded from the memory stick. With unlimit supply of games for free, I guess the handheld game machine is a bargain. I heard that the latest version of PSP had fixed the firmware so the hack is no longer valid. I am quite impressed by the graphics, it is comparable to an average PS2 game. The machine itself is a bit too bad, can’t easily fit inside a pocket. Although the PSP is really nice, I don’t feel the urge to get one. I just can’t find any reason to play games on the go, since I can’t think of when can I play it. I rarely take public transportation. I don’t wait in the line often, if I have to, I will probably forgot to bring the PSP. When I’m on travel, I rather read a book so I don’t have to worry about recharging the battery. Most important, most of the games aviable to PSP are just clones of PS2 games. Until I see a truely ground-breaking game with totally new game play, there is no point to playing similiar games of the same genre on a smaller screen.

Default resturant closed

Today when we went to lunch at Mui Garden, to our surprise it is closed. There is a notice on the door saying it is under renovation for a few days due to small fire in the kirchen. We lost our number one default place to have lunch. That will cause us some headache in deciding where to go this week. So we went to Tofu shop across the road, where we havn’t been for quite a while. While we were eating, we were speculating the real result of Mui Garden is closed. It would be surprise if it is the city order it to close due to hygiene problem. No resturant owner with right mind will post that reason out on its door, that will scare the customers away. I tried to search the website of the Burnaby health deparment, but I could find a list of resturant it had warned. I think the government should let this information easily accessible to the public to give us better protection.