P.Eng seminer part 2

The seminer today is much worse than yesterday. Yesterday was at least informative, today they only talk about hot air. The theme of today is about engineering ethics. In the morning, some mono-tone engineer talked about discipline regulations and they just read from the slides directly. Outside the conference room, in the hotel pub, they were showing Germany vs Argentina. One by one, people were sneaking off to watch the game. I joined the group and able to watch most of the over time and the shot out. It’s one of the best game played in the series, much more enjoyable than listening to regulations.

In the afternoon, they talked about ethics. It’s nothing compare to the ethics we talked about in philosophy class. The whole thing can be summarized in one sentence: follow the 10 rules, when in double ask for professional advice. Those 10 rules are pretty straight forward, kinda like the rules in scout handbook. No one will attempt to dispute against the rule per se. However that the meaning and the scope of application of the terms used in the rules are subjected to dispute. The presentated followed by a case study. I don’t have much interested in it either. All I care about is how should I write the exam and how to keep myself away from discipline action in the future. In front of moral theory, engineering ethic seems so superficial. It is as vague as the “Don’t do evil” motto of Google.

P.Eng seminer

Today is the first day of the P.Eng seminer. This seminer is really expensive, costed me several hundred dollars. I guess no one will take it if it is not compulsory for the P.Eng exam. At least the seminer is hosted by Hyatt, with pretty good breakfast and lunch. Today’s section talks about laws. First start with intellectual properties, then work safty laws and employment laws. In the afternoon, they talk about contract laws, tort laws and tender laws. I have learnt contract laws and tort laws in university, but tender law is quite new to me. I found the session not as useless as I originally thought. Having the chance to ask weird questions to the lawyer giving presentation helps to clarity some of the ideas. Although this is probably satisfy personaly curosity than prepare for the exam. I met a ex-colleague from PMC in the seminer. He is now a professor at UBC. I wonder why he comes, it turn out that the UBC engineering faculty forces all the professors get the P.Eng title. It is a requirment for the faculty to get accredit by the engineering society.

Swimming

I went to swimming tonight after work. I havn’t done any exercise for almost 3 months, not since the ski season ended. I am not very fit, neither does my swimming pant. I found it a bit tight, probably because my bottom has gained some weight. The swimming pool is very close to where I live, only 5 minutes driving. It is brand new, only opened for a few months. One thing that I found interesting is there is a large universal changing area on top of the usual male and female changing room. I guess that area is designed for families. The universal changing area has lockers in the middle of the room and many stalls with shower facilities on two side. This is really a brillant idea, families with kids don’t care that much about privacy, there is nothing worth to see anyways. Nowadays, the little boys won’t have the trauma of going to swimming with mother and forced to get change in the female changing room. I didn’t swim much today, got tried just after 45 minutes. I need to pratice more often. I plan to swim at least once, prefer twice, a week.

AC

Summer is here, it is over thrity degrees for the past few days. This morning when I came to work, I found the air condition was not working on my side of the building. The temperature went up when the morning sun heated up the the building. My cubicle was so hot that I can’t even concentrate. Everyone in my aisle end up lining up in front of Starbucks for an ice frappuccino. I suspect the break down of AC is a conspiracy of Starbucks, so we have to buy their chilled drinks. The AC is finally repaired after lunch. The heat made me not very productive in the whole morning. Hot summer without AC is just like living in hell. Global warming is getting worse and worse, and summer will only get hotter and hotter. People will have to stay indoor during the day in summer time if this trend continues. We have to prepare for the worst and the governments should spend more in large scale environment control researchs. Methods to change the weather, balance the rain fall, redirect hot or cold wind front is the only solution to our environmental problems.

Muslim chinese resturant

In Vancouver, there is a chinse resturant opened by Muslim. It used to located at Main St. Recently it moved to Victoira St. and 41 Ave and changed its name to Ma’s resturant. The dishes in this resturant is very similiar to normal chinese resturants, except they don’t use pork in the ingredients. There are a few famous dishes Xinjiang style dishes in the menu, such as beef cake and some lamb dishes. The food there is as tasty as before they move. The new location is better decorated, the seats are more comfortable, and even installed a TV. There is no trace of Muslim background in the new resturant other than the sign outside saying it was the Muslim Beef House. In the old place, there was muslim scriptures and photos of Mecca haning on the wall. Not a very pleasant eating experience when the Western society openly dispite average Middle-East Muslim as barbarians. I think the Muslim-background in the old place leads to customer loss after the terrorist attacks, so they have to reopen the resturant in a new place without burdens from the Muslim background. I like eating at the Muslim chinese resturant. Peronally, I don’t mind Chinese Muslim provided that they are first a Chinese then a Muslim. It is terrible that some Muslim fundamentalist think religion should have higher priority over nation. For Chinese Muslims, Chinese culture should form their core value system. Beliving Muslim should be merely a personal perference based on Chinese culture.

Baby Summer

Today me and Pat visited Alison and her new born baby, Summer Elizabeth Uy. I was joking to Jason if the baby is born in Decemeber instead of May, she would be called Winter. Summer is an interesting name, I havn’t seen anyone with name of seasons yet. But according to Jason, there are quite a few Summers. The baby is very cute, the skin feels like Tofu. She is only 5 weeks old. I didn’t hold her, afraid that I will drop her by accident. I didn’t get the chance to hear her cry, the baby is very quiet when I was there. Jason shaved off the hairs of the Baby, to make her grow more hair. I have heard this traditional wisdom many times, I susepct I got shaved when I was a baby. But I wonder where is the scientific proof of this hair growing method. The baby has no hair, so the veins are clearly seen on the skull under the skin. Together with the out of portion big head, she really looks like an alien. Too bad that babies don’t have warrenty, they are deliveried as-is basises. Isn’t it nice if we could refund and exchange for a better looking baby from God?

Fedora Nvidia driver

The Nvidia driver comes with Fedora core 5 doesn’t support widescreen 1680×1050 resolution. Althought the display setup recongize my Dell 20″ wides screen monitor, only 1280×1024 resolution shows up in KDE. I was searching for solution on the web. No answer exactly match my question. Putting all the bit and pieces together, here is the steps I took to fix the resolution.

1. Update the /etc/X11/xorg.conf, add a modeline configuration
2. Upgrade the Linux kernel to latest release
3. Install the official Nvidia driver and follow the HOW-TO in Nvidia’s linux forum
3a. Download the kernel source from yum
3b. Temporary change /etc/inittab to boot without X
3c. Run the installation script, set the SELinux setting for the new compiled Nvidia driver.

Viola! my KDE is finally displaying in full resolution.

I have also installed synergy share the keyboard and mouse between my PC and Linux box. This is probably the most useful utility for multiple computer, multiple monitor setup.

The next task is setup Samba, FTP server, subversion and automated backup from my PC.

New linux server

I just picked up my new linux server today. To be exact, I had only picked up a new computer with no software installed. I still have to install Linux myself. My new server has a AMD64 3500+ CPU, 1GB or RAM, 250GB harddisk and a Nvidia 7300GT graphics card. I had waited for a couple of months for the price of 939 socket system to drop due to the newly released am2 chipset. I don’t need a topnotch machine, a med-range budget system well suits my purpose. I will keep my old server up and running until I finished settng my new server. Here is my to-do list for the new server.

1. Install Fedora Core 5, boot up the machine
2. Setup KDE desktop, synergy server to share mouse/keyboard between PC and Linux
3. Setup Samba for file sharing between PC and Linux
4. Setup Apache, mySQL and PHP
5. Setup FTP server, Web admin interface
6. Port phpbb (forum), coppermine gallery (album), wordpress (blog), mediawiki (wiki) to the new server
7. Install and learn Rudy and Ruby on the Rail
8. Give my website a major face lift!

This will probably keep me busy between work and study for a few months.

England vs Swedan

Today, finally I see the first goal of the Worldcup live. I have been watching the games at work on and off during the lunch hour. Somehow I managed to missed all the goals. I saw two goals in today’s game, first one by England and the second one by Sweden. In my company, many people has ancestors come from England, so there are many England fans. When England score and had a 2:1 lead, the whole cafeteria was full of cheers. There are a few odd people support the Swedish, mainly because they had put a bet on it. The crowd was quiet and full of disappointment when the Swedish catch up at the 90 minutes mark. My only response for both goals is to laugh, since I don’t favour any particular team. I want the Sweden to win for this game though, since it is is no fun supporting the stronger side, especially Sweden are not weak at all in reality. The elimination will start soon. I predict the crowd sitting in front of the TV in lunch hour will only get bigger and bigger. Am I lucky that my job allow us to watch world cup at work?

Which theologian are you?

I found this interesting test on the web. This is my result.

You scored as Friedrich Schleiermacher.

You seek to make inner feeling and awareness of God the centre of your theology, which is the foundation of liberalism. Unfortunately, atheists are quick to accuse you of simply projecting humanity onto ‘God’ and liberalism never really recovers.

Friedrich Schleiermacher 73%
Augustine 67%
Paul Tillich 60%
Charles Finney 60%
John Calvin 53%
J’rgen Moltmann 53%
Anselm 33%
Jonathan Edwards 27%
Karl Barth 27%
Martin Luther 20%

I am not surprise to find my thoughts is very similiar to a liberial theologian. This is what I always proclaim my beliefs afterall. St. Augustine comes into the 2nd place is probably due to my Catholic background. On many trivial issues, that I don’t really care about, my thoughts are largely influenced by the Catholic theology.

Here is the link to the test.