Friday, December 29, 2006

Gmail vs Yahoo mail

I know which one is better after the earthquake that damaged 6 out of 7 undersea communication cables.

Logging in was no problem on day 1 at Yahoo mail, today logging in is as fast as if there were no damages. Gmail is still slower than connecting via a 56k modem.

This could be an issue with the ISP that I'm connected to at work but generally I think Google isn't as good as Yahoo in this case.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Know your Operating System

Our value system is like the Operating System, OS, of a computer. If human is like a computer I think on delivery we have just the BIOS nothing else. The Operating System was installed at the first 6 years as people said "what you need to know you learn them all in kindergarten...". There are very little tweaks one could do with that OS not because it's difficult but both you (the computer itself) and your parents are not trained before owning you. I haven't heard in any civilizations that one has to be trained and licensed before raising a kid.

I owned an Apple II clone before I knew what a computer can do for me. Does this sound familiar? All kids cry for a computer before they know what it is about using computer and programming and the risks of going online.

The computer, you, then start installing/acquiring software/applications. I acquired knowledge from schools, friends, peers, parents, media and from time to time there are conflicts between what I acquired just like compatibility of different applications/programs in computer. I crashed and I learn more about my OS every time I have to reboot/rebuild myself. If you are lucky like me being fairly close to my parents and have a peaceful childhood then you'll probably have a robust OS which could resist spam, spy wares and viruses that you have inevitable exposed to.

I see waking up in the morning is like recovering from hibernation. Your "Get back to work 5.0" is loaded immediately if you have too much bothering you at work. Lunch time naturally you would be running "Gossip 360" as the media player. You'll be broadcasting what you have seen, heard and fantasized a bit during that hour or so.

After work I'll be loading "family 2.0". I wouldn't say this application is consuming less CPU load than any other applications as that is a multi-tasking application. I have the "wife 2.0" running in the background and "Kid alpha" drawing a lot of heat. To have a balanced life it's recommended that "Get back to work 5.0" is unloaded first or else you'll be risking permanent damage to CPU.

Normally I would try shutting down by around 11:30 at night. Next to my pillow there are a few books on OS maintenance which I would like to browse unless my CPU is overheating.

One thing I noticed is that updating, which is not automatic, and routine inspection and maintenance is required in order to upkeep the 'IBM'. Routine maintenance is really like self-diagnostic programs. This is really important if you are at the same time installing OS for "Offspring 1.0". If you don't know what's wrong with your OS you are likely to pass on the same bugs to the new computer during his/her first 6 years.

'IBM' is not Big Blue that you know. It is Integrity, Body and Mind. Without any of these in perfect condition any computer would crash easily.

Happy computing!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Comments on my sharing

Further to my little talk I received comments from one smart young fellow.

He said a few valid points, without his consent I can't post them here. Generally I agree with him. In return I said below.

  1. Environmental Protection = Education. I agree to his point about political situation here in Hong Kong. Education policy in Hong Kong is appalling.

  2. What happened if don't like what your wife delivered in her whole hearted attempt to learn cooking? I have to say I'm a lucky guy in this respect. It's not just that my wife cooks well what's more important is that what food she likes, I have mentioned how important that fact is here.

    I wish him luck naturally on his wife's attempt to cook. Excuse me for the "theory of the opposite" again, it's not the taste or quality of the cooking that matters in this case. It's the warmth you felt from her attempt. Obviously if she has been dwelling on "theory" (by reading cookery books only instead of practicing) her perception of being a good wife is not about delivering good meals. This is forgivable. I can't say why she has changed that's for him to find out. Whatever the motive was her attempt deserves his appreciation.

  3. As my friend is married so I mentioned something that I forgot to share at the talk. Raising a kid is not like cooking. There are no degree programme or training courses to attend before you are eligible to raise a kid, the best book to read is yourself. Read the dark side of yourself, make suitable adjustment, tune it up, develop your own set of theories (you'll be telling a lot of stories like what I'm now doing to my 5 years old son) before you decide to have your family.

A bit more on the Theory of 'the opposite'. This theory is confusing even to me. This theory doesn't operate alone and one should always see things together with "2 sides of a coin" theory. It's wrong just to read books, study, theorize without practicing. It's also not right just to learn by trial and error if there are ways to avoid repeating mistakes people have made before you.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Clock Tower at Star Ferry

Use 'star ferry' and 'clock tower' in Google search you'll get more than 30,000 results. This is pretty hot these few days.

This article in The Guardian is worth reading. The Queen's Pier will be next and just by its name her destiny has long been determined by the SAR Government.

I'm not that sentimental about this clock tower although I'm nearly as old as it. I would say it was the ferry terminal, which has been poorly maintained all these years , that I have memory of. It was also the chime of the clock and not the image of the clock that I would like to preserve. Hong Kong people is famous of rushing all day I just wonder how many times in my life I have actually sat there and watched the tower.

What is interesting about this crisis (for the Government) or this memorable event (for the demonstrators) is about the drives behind those young demonstrators? What are the drives behind the emotions? I don't think it's the clock tower itself. What have they perceived of the Government's actions or inaction? I think that is a topic worth discussing rather than whether or not we should rebuild the tower physically.

Perhaps it's sad to ask '...what is wrong with the value system of our SAR Government?...'

Not too far away across the diminishing harbour there are 5 masts. I think they are going as well because the bus terminus will also be relocated. Didn't you have your first date there some years ago! Act now before it's too late!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My talk at the Bank

I was asked by a friend to deliver a little talk to her colleagues. The requirements were simple: fun and interactive. I was asked earlier what topics I could talk comfortably, without second thought I said "IT, English and Environmental Protection". In hindsight these topics are extremely boring I should have said "work, sleep and play".

As I said yesterday I did put down some notes for myself. I didn't like what I have done actually because my plan didn't work and my talk was too jumpy.

As promised I publish my own notes here.

Do you know about yourself?
Have you analyzed yourself?
Do you know much about yourself?
Do you know your motives?
Do you know your value system?

If you don’t know about yourself how can you see others…and find your other half? In most cases we make mistakes because we don’t know what we want….chasing something we don’t want.

Be a detective at work, in life, balanced life 1/3 in bed, 1/3 at work, 1/3 (the other leg to support a tripod) to support your work and good sleep. Most people don’t see this, i.e. work happily and to have quality sleep.

Be a detective in life, why? Because we want to trace deep into our own value system.

Use example…to explain complicated issues, you don’t have to be well educated or need a PhD to be a detective in life. There are lots of examples around you….just read newspapers, read a person next to you, read the one you see in the mirror. 'The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind...the answer my friend is blowin' in the wind...".

How to be interactive with yourself…just talking to the mirror?

Best learning is to teach therefore best way to learn about yourself is to teach. E.g if you want to know how much you know about computer, try teaching computer then you’ll know.

If you want to know how you should behave try teaching your kid then your kid will tell you straight answers like a mirror “….dad why you don’t do the same…”

Friday, December 15, 2006

Pneumonia again!

My little boy got pneumonia again, second time in 18 months.

I looked around for information last time when he had this and learnt that pneumonia could be caused by naturally occurring viruses. In most cases Doctors won't be able to track down what caused it.

Perhaps my boy needs to be trained for a healthier lung.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Comment on ezLogin

Got silverelf's comment here about if it's possible to display the usual dashboard links such as 'write, manage, profile...etc' on the sidebar after users are logged in.

In fact Semiologic has already written such login, see his page here. His Admin Menu Plugin will display key admin menu links to the top of your blog's screen. I think that's clean and tidy. If those links are located in the sidebar once you click any of those dashboard links your sidebar goes away anyway which doesn't mean a lot to you.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Have not posted here for a while as I was busy working on a DVD video for the graduation ball.

My download counter plugin tells me that my ezLogin is far more popular than my sunset theme used here.

I have to do a DVD final version before I could turn back to working on some plugins.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Top 1%

This time it's not talent it's the World's wealth. According to a recent research in 2000 the richest 1% of adults owned 40% of Global assets. The bottom 50% of the World's population owned only 1% of the World's wealth according to this news article.

If you like to find where you are fetch your calculator now. If you have at least $500,000 by year 2000 then you are one of those 37 million people at that top 1%.

I won't be particularly happy about being in that 1% unless I have done something to help the other 99%.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Office 2007 - Try it now

Microsoft [tag]Office[/tag] 2007 is now available for trying for 60 days, download it here.

PS: Apparently this free 60 days trial is only available to US residents only.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Word of the Year

The New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year is 'Carbon Neutral'. It's about

Being carbon neutral involves calculating your total climate-damaging carbon emissions, reducing them where possible, and then balancing your remaining emissions, often by purchasing a carbon offset: paying to plant new trees or investing in “green” technologies such as solar and wind power.

Is your company 'carbon neutral'?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Top 1% local talent

I can't agree more with David's comment on my last post.

I haven't tried out [tag]EditGrid[/tag] yet therefore it's not really suitable for me to comment on their merits against other similar products.

There is however one thing that came to my mind, is there anything that these local top 1% talent can do for the community here?

I heard recently about how much paper our schools are wasting here. What if someone could build something to help them for free and get sponsorships from local businesses or suppliers doing businesses with these schools? E.g. a portal for online storage, archives and retrievals of digitized documents.

I know hosting and data centers are expansive here but as big enterprises have been saying that they support education and would be socially and environmentally responsible I don't see why project like this isn't a 'good cause'?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Local Talent

I thought I have read enough about IT matters, I am wrong.

Not until recently I didn't know we have locally based IT superstars. Hongkongers are really capable of competing in the global arena on software/IT.

EditGrid is an online spreadsheet which is as good as (or better than?) Google's docs & spreadsheet or [tag]Zoho[/tag]'s Zoho sheet. Proudly say it's purely Hong Kong.

Another hero is Network Box who has good reputation of providing UTM, unified threat management, using 'push' technology giving you around the clock protection.

Finally launched

My main site has finally adopted this [tag]Sunset[/tag] theme. Now also successfully added border to images on the sidebar and a bit of color on the background within the box. I hope this reduces the contrast between the image in the box and the dark background.

I found it difficult to add a border to the [tag]meebo[/tag] box because it uses embed tags which doesn't allow adding of border. May be I should give it a outer box?

New Look

Pretty dark isn't it? No need to turn on lights I hope.

This is a new look called [tag]Sunset[/tag] which is truly mine. I have been WordPressing for more than a year now and this is my first [tag]theme[/tag]/template. The image you see above is also mine.

You don't see theme switcher now on the sidebar. The 4 other themes that I have tweaked using sidebar codes from NewZen is no longer my favorite as codes from dhtmlgoodies is better. E.g. you could click open and close any of the sidebar groups. Which one to slide open on page load is also programmable. It uses just one javascript file and the codes are very clean. The only downside as far as I can see so far is that if your computer is slow then the slide open speed is noticeably slower. Firefox uses upto 40% of CPU's time in my DELL D600 while I click open a group.

PS: download is available at this page.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Clean Air

I was at the Clean Air conference this Monday. It was filled with all major business leaders and without doubt our CE made a very good speech. The controversial part of it of course is about life expectancy of male and female in Hong Kong. I don't believe he should be so defensive, by quoting facts about life expectancy, at such an event where we expect the government to be visionary in a long battle for a better environment for the future generations.

I like David Eldon's speech. He made few points which were, incidentally, similar to my comments made in 9 October! I made specific disclaimer to the Chamber that comments were mine personally therefore I guess I am not risking my job to post them here.

In particular I was glad to hear that

  • It is a long battle as there are some 300,000 companies in Hong Kong and 82,000 companies in pearl river delta which are owned by Hong Kong enterprises....i.e. the long tail.
  • HKEx should consider making mandatory for listed companies to publish EHS (environmental, Health and Safety) report....."goal and measure"
  • A section added in the business guidebook about IAQ affected by printer and copier etc....and not quite promoting [tag]paperless[/tag] office instead mentioned 'think twice before you copy or print'

My original comments were:

My concept of any successful initiatives is "role modeling", i.e. there got to be a role model for the rest to follow. If the initiators don't have faith in what they are promoting that project is doomed to fail.

Some 200 hundred companies have signed the charter. The wording used is "statement of commitment". If they have committed, what have they delivered? It'll be good that in the website one could see what they have delivered. Odd examples from xxx or yyy aren't enough.

The guideline IS INDEED a bit complex. On the contrary to other comments I think ERM has done a great job. The CLEAN AIR Project itself isn't simple and there is no simple solution. The guidebook is a pdf download, I would prefer it to be webpages for environmental reasons. It's normal that one will download it and save it for printing in that format. Hundreds of companies will then print it out which is likely to be a complete paper waste. If it is purely webpages then it's far more convenient for visitors to navigate between pages and jump to external resources (web links) provided to them. If users really want hardcopy you could provide printer friendly version for each page (not the whole document) then users will have to "stop and think" before printing, i.e. add more clicks to discourage printing. You could also allow user to post enquiry via the site requesting hardcopy to be sent (if HKGCC intends to print booklet).

I don't want to sound discouraging but I would not be surprised that a substantial portion of those companies that signed the charter have not made much progress in delivering their "commitments". It is important that these companies are demonstrating to the public and potential "new followers" that they are not doing "lip-service" by signing up, i.e. no costs free rider advertisement. Imagine that HKGCC has a thousand more companies that signed the Charter every year and the sky is still grey most of the time?!!

As the project has set the "goal" there must be "measures". Have HKGCC thought about "measures" on those companies who signed the charter? I would have thought that for large companies a link to their own website showing their progress of implementation is needed. I know large enterprises such as Swire or CLP and the like would publish their EHS or Sustainability report etc for a matter of course. Again they are the role models. Good guys doing good jobs deserve bigger logo and credits at the "Project Clean Air" website.

Going back to the website it is said at the outset "...over the years...API has led to growing public concern, threatening not only health....". I would suggest some visual impacts by graphs (increasing API or number of blue sky days etc) or figures (health cases due to respiratory illness etc) to draw attention.

Again on the website I suggest there are online calculator such that users can do quick calculations on "total costs of ownership" or payback of some typical "investment" for clean air or power conservation. I read an article recently that many estate/mall management companies are constrained by yearly budget. An online calculator like this would make it easy for them to show to their senior management that they could be doing good thing for the community by over spending for one year but gaining on smaller electricity bill over a longer period.

Furthermore the website should provide easy access (such as account and password) for responsible environmental managers of HKGCC members who signed the charter for posting of recent progress/achievements (to be moderated by editorial of HKGCC before publishing of course). This again is a way of maintaining the positive image of these companies and set good examples to new followers. At a later stage HKGCC could also consider building online forum such that "new followers" can interact with environmental managers of large companies who may volunteer their time "coaching".

In particular on page 20 about "upgrading T5 tube with electronic ballast". E.g. a friend of mind (head of facilities management of KMB), told me sometime ago that they have replaced all the fluorescent tubes of their fleet (not sure if it's T5?), this sort of example could be very good for an online calculator showing "new followers" how much energy (hence diesel of the running buses) and pollutant can be saved by investment like that. Companies such as KMB could contribute to the building of this online calculator by showing HKGCC a "real-life example". Imagine that these 200 companies all contributing examples in building the online calculator you'll have few hundred examples!!!

A little bit about IAQ for offices. I'm a great promoter of "use less paper". The government hasn't done anything meaningful about this. There is nothing new required from technology as some may argued about heavy investment on IT. It's the mindset that has to be changed and government/big enterprises should be taking the lead/setting the example. Excess use of paper leads to "solid waste" to landfill. Unnecessary copying leads to health hazard (due to ozone and other chemicals/VOC etc) see this from Labour Department. Pulp and paper industries during production of paper consumes lots of energy and generates difficult to treat solid and liquid wastes. Last but not least we still have to kill trees, which help cleaning contaminated air, to produce paper!! In the business world today in Hong Kong nobody can get away from using a lot of papers because there is no much initiatives by the Government/large enterprises in promoting "paperless trading". May be ERM could think about adding a section just for this.

In my mind, though I don't have scientific proofs, a Project like this fits "the long tail" theory. Most people would tend to believe that "let's get large companies doing the right thing then we'll be OK....". In a way YES because large enterprises can afford the initial investments in doing the right things and they could be very good role models for new followers. However it could be the "long tail" that is really hurting the environment most. It is of course disgraceful if the large enterprises are simply doing "lip-service" and have not really committed to the charter they signed.

If the above is too heavy, you have my standard disclaimer "...the above is my personal opinion and doesn't represent necessarily the opinion of my employer ....etc".

Monday, November 27, 2006

Site Stats

Got a comment here from Colleen about addicted to checking of site stats on my earlier post.

I have stopped using any kind of stat plugin telling me fine details of visitors or what platform they are on. Instead I use another free Google service Google Analytics which I described in my earlier post here. May be this doesn't tell you that much about your visitors but I think the information is good enough for example you can tell visits by source, visit counts, pageviews and a Geo Map overlay etc.

Also you could monitor multiple sites under one single account, what else could you ask for from a free service?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sunset 0.4 for download

This theme is now available for download, it's there at the download page.

I forgot about link/archive page template and various little things at page.php and pages.php (default page and page with comments template) now I have those fixed. This is more or less complete I would say I'll later do a similar one in lighter/brighter color.

links for 2006-11-23

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Show/hide content

I figured that out now.

There are 3 default class selectors namely dhtmlgoodies_question, dhtmlgoodies_answer and dhtmlgoodies_answer_content. In the sidebar.php dhtmlgoodies_answer_content is not required, typically it's like below

// content to be displayed .....

The dhtmlgoodies_answer_content id selector is really for the style referenced by the javascript.

Doctor of Philosophy

This Monday I went for a drink with my 'old' classmates, I go only once in a blue moon.

For some reasons we touched upon religion as Eric said talks and books by celebrities sell because they have Ph.D. and we don't although we don't agree with their 'theories'.

Philosophy is a hard subject to me and I didn't say much on this as I don't think I'm capable. A while ago I get below story over email, disclaimer I have no means whatsoever to prove the truthfulness of below.

An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new students to stand and.....
Prof: So you believe in God?

Student: Absolutely, sir.
Prof: Is God good?

Student: Sure.
Prof: Is God all-powerful?

Student: Yes.
Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hummmm???
(Student is silent.)
Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?

Student: Yes.
Prof : Is Satan good?

Student: No.
Prof: Where does Satan come from?

Student: From...God...
Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student: Yes.
Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?

Student: Yes.
Prof: So who created evil?
(Student does not answer.)
Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness?
All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?

Student: Yes, sir.
Prof: So, who created them?
(Student has no answer.)
Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God?

Student: No, sir.
Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?

Student: No, sir.
Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, and smelled your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?

Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.
Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student: Yes.
Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Prof: Yes. Faith! And that is the problem science has.

Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Prof: Yes.

Student : And is there such a thing as cold?
Prof: Yes.

Student: No sir. There isn't.
(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)

Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)

Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?

Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light.... But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness - darker, wouldn't you???
Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?

Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?

Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)

Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir?
Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

(The class is in uproar.)

Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain?
(The class breaks out into laughter.)

Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelled it? ....No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.

Student: That is it, sir... The link between man & god is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive.
That young man was ALBERT EINSTEIN.......

What do you think Einstein's answer was about life after death?

Sunset version 0.4

This is the latest version 0.4 for Sunset. If you don't see this select "0.4-sunset" under "VERSION ROLLBACK" on the sidebar.

This uses a great piece of javascript code from dhtmlgoodies for show/hide content with sliding effect. This is a lot easier to implement on WordPress themes for sliding effect.

I have learnt elsewhere similar act such as that from the NewZen theme which uses a set of 6 files (prototype.js moo.fx moo.fx.pack prototype.lite etc). dhtmlgoodies's way is much cleaner in the sidebar.php and CSS.

I have yet to try again changing the default div class names to something easier to type and meaningful such that if you download this theme to play with you will feel more comfortable.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

EMBA Conference

The EMBA Conference I went to last Saturday 25th was an exceptionally good one.

The one by Hon Audrey Eu is very good. Her tone English and feeling were so perfect that I thought I was listening to a recording. It was so beautiful that I lost focus and don't remember what she said now.

The one by Dr Wong is quite alarming. A lot of us are actually within that 75% of mentally unhealthy group. How do we know really? Most of us don't understand our own self which is the main issue how do we bring up our next generation? Check out the ICAN website for more details.

Dr William Fung's speech was very entertaining. I like his sense of humor and can't believe that Li & Fung is an accidental empire. It's also hard to believe that such a large family owned business (market cap of US$10billion) practices meritocracy.

The last, certainly not least, was John Wood founder and CEO of ROOM TO READ. I admire him naturally as I simply don't have the guts in my DNA to do brave undertaking like that. May be it's what Dr Wong said, it is value->perception->emotion->behavior. An average Chinese would still like to help the kids and fight literacy but they probably don't have the DNA to quit a nice job at 35 to "Change the World".

I nearly have missed this one as I had to rush off early for Mahler No 3 by the Philharmonic. I did stay until the end and rushed outside for his book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World.

Styling for ezLogin plugin

Got comments from Brandon about using my plugin or really it was a styling issue of ioerror's original login scripts, more about this in this post.

It is the entire purpose of transforming the script into [tag]ezLogin[/tag] plugin. It's so much easier to implement and to do necessary styling. You could do styling using a bit of your html knowledge but that could be tedious. The clean way is to do this. Firstly of all you have to add the call to the plugin like below in your sidebar.php:

Then you need something in the CSS file to format display in your sidebar, e.g. an id selector such as below

#loginout {
#loginout a:link, a:visited {
#loginout a:hover {

Now you can finish this off quite easily in the sidebar.php file

The above example is for the theme currently used by Brandon which is called Azuro 1.0.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

ezLogin plugin

Got a comment from Brandon about login script at sidebar in my earlier post here.

Brandon, I have turned the scripts originally by ioerror into a plugin which makes it a lot easier to implement. Check out details here in this post and the latest version is described here. Download page is here where you could grab the latest version 0.2 of this ezLogin [tag]plugin[/tag].

If you want to format it nicely you could wrap the call to the plugin by a class or id selector in your CSS. You could also adjust the width of the input box to suit the width of your sidebar.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Which is more popular

Just checked my download counter and found that the first version 0.1-bb-left has the most download among other [tag]theme[/tag] template.

Also [tag]ezLogin[/tag] 0.1 [tag]plugin[/tag] has a lot more download than version 0.2 I just don't understand why people prefer older versions?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Quintura search

I love to see new things. If you think Google is already very good you'll be surprised that even better things are coming up.

Quintura is new (a year or so) and you'll be impressed at least by their interface. If you are searching something difficult it surely will save you time navigating through pages of typical Google results. The good thing I like is that you could easily adjust keywords you entered, i.e. changing your mind along the way. If it is a difficult search you are unlikely to have guessed the right keywords. By adding or removing keywords you could very quickly shorten the result page.

If you prefer desktop client they have one here. If you have Google desktop installed Quintura can search through Google's index and give you instant results.

links for 2006-11-15

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Do you want followers or you want to follow $$ ?

TIME named Linus Torvalds in the 60 years of Heroes.

It was truly a movement that has never been undertaken before. I read his book JUST FOR FUN perhaps it's time to dig it out and read it again.

I surely like doing things just for fun if I could afford it. This demonstrates again that if you wanna be happy, famous and successful don't follow $$ because these can't be measured by $$. Do something that will draw followers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Does integrity sell?

I saw it a while ago in newspaper. Jack Walsh in one of his expensive talks to students said 'integrity' is nothing because it's not measurable. Anything that is not measurable is useless...something like that.

This is very debatable. What exactly is integrity, does it sell in your organization? Is your integrity visible or do you want it visible? Does it help if your integrity is visible or could that be harmful?

Depending on the circumstances answers could be very different. So what can you say to the younger generation, your team-mates or your kids?

I like to use cooking/food as analogy because that's what you do everyday. Integrity is like healthy food that upkeep your health. You don't suddenly get better by having a healthy meal with right proportion of vegetables/water/meat for just one day or finish the good soup that you mom asked you to consume. It has to be a consistent act of a good habit. The discouraging part of it is that no experts/doctors can guarantee your longevity even if you do eat healthy food everyday. That’s the question. Does integrity give you strength to climb the ladder?

Lots of people choose to take delicious food for pleasure. Some of them realize they have been hurting themselves before it's too late, some were not that lucky even to know before they were dismissed.

I have my body check recently, first time in my life really for such a thorough check. I was lucky as most measurements are satisfactory. I am thankful to my dear wife at home who likes healthy home made food.

I don’t have an answer about integrity, nobody does I guess as every situation is unique. What I have been doing is be myself. While getting old I come to understand a bit more about my two closest friends they are my body and my soul. I do have a pile of healthy food by my pillow which I consume before going to bed.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Plugin names

I obviously didn't think deep when I name my plugins. I googled ezCount and ezLogin and found there are identical domain names.

I guess I'm lucky because if you use 'ezcount plugin wordpress' then you probably will find this site on the first result page.

Father and Son at the beach


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Simple Recent Comment plugin

I still couldn't figure this out.

I have removed AND comment_type=' ' from the query so everything is displayed. I inserted the filter get_comment_type() there but I'm getting return of 'comment' for all 5 of them. In fact 2 of them are actually pingbacks.

In the ezCount plugin using comment_type='pingback' in the query I can separate these 2 pingbacks, I wondered why?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ajax, Web 2.0, Web 2.1 and Fjax

If you are still wondering what Ajax is (Wiki definition here) you have a lot to catch up. Here comes Fjax. If you are still somewhat between Web 1.0 and 2.0 Fjax is getting into Web 2.1 already.

The demo in their site is quite impressive especially the tooltip example.

I downloaded the SDK to have a look at their examples and to see if it's really simpler even for newbies like me.

For more indepth and technical coverage see this at Ajaxian.

Trackback experiment for ezCount plugin

This is just a test on my ezCount plugin version 0.2 with some slight improvements.

PS: trackback didn't work, now linked to a post there from this post (12 Nov 2006)

ezCount 0.2

Now I have added 2 new arguments for this ezCount plugin. You can see at the sidebar that the count is right, i.e. there are 3 comments and 2 pingbacks instead of just showing a total of 5 comments.

I'll do some trackback experiement before releasing this plugin for download.

I've posted in the forum a question about the simple recent comment plugin, currently it's showing just comments but not any pingbacks or trackbacks.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Theory of 'the opposite'

To solve complicated issues you simply have to resolve it to simple matters. In my life experience I have learnt that people made mistakes because they have "started on the wrong foot" or sometime the wrong direction. This is a simple and naive theory, try this

  • To start learning computer, switching it off first;

  • If you want your kids to listen to you, stop talking (or shouting in most cases) start listening back;

  • To earn respect (inward) firstly you must respect others (outward);

  • To win, learn to be a loser

  • To climb, learn how to fall

  • Best learning is to teach

  • If you want to see, close your eyes use your heart to feel

  • If you want to hear, shut your ears('cos words are cheap) use your eyes to judge (behavior)

  • If you want to lock-in your customers, open it up for them to choose

  • If you wanna be happy, don't get rich

ezCount Plugin improvement

I noticed that there is a mismatch of count from the plugin ezCount. The simple recent comment plugin returns 3 comments as you can see in the sidebar but the ezCount plugin returns 5 Nos of comments. What went wrong is that there are 3 comments and 2 pingbacks from my other site.

Now to correct the error I added below to the ezCount plugin

$s = "SELECT COUNT(*) FROM $wpdb->comments WHERE comment_approved = '1' AND comment_type=''";

The comment_type='pingback' is required if I want to return number of pingback. I'll later on add a new argument 'pingcount' to this plugin to return number of pingbacks.

links for 2006-11-08

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Border for the technorati icon - Sunset Theme

The default technorati icon is on white background so it doesn't look nice on this dark [tag]sunset[/tag] theme. I now added a frame around it with some white background padding. I like this better. It goes like this in the CSS

a img {
border: 2px solid #9F9F9F;
/*border:none; */

PS: The same is done to the 'codebox' class as well.

Sunset Theme now ready!

I have now fixed errors I mentioned in last post. I have 8 errors from validation, 7 from the ezLogin plugin that I did and 1 due to Technorati search.

Now this [tag]Sunset[/tag] theme looks close enough in IE7 and Firefox 2.

Paperless solution demonstration

I went to see a demo recently. I was surprised to have met someone I knew from Asta System. If fact there is a story behind my encounter with that gentlemen. I published an article in ASP101 some years ago about paperless solution. That gentlement read that article and emailed me so I said 'hey we are in the same little city, let's meet'. Then we came out for a chat and his company sells paperless solution.

To be honest the demo I saw the other day isn't too impressive. I just said to myself 'I could write that too, just give me couple of years....'. Of course I couldn't possibly be capable of producing a commercial product like that, still it wasn't that attractive at first glance. I think it's about 3-4 years behind.

There is another firm here in Hong Kong called Axisoft who is providing paperless solution to a few government departments here. I wish I could have a look one day.

Sunset Theme version 0.38

I never like dark theme. I did this one for sake of practicing. I think dark themes are not long lasting and it doesn't look good when you have images or icons which are not made specially for the 'darkness'. E.g. scripts that are provided free from Technorati or Google searchbar may not look good in dark themes, perhaps I'm not skillful enough to tweak these to suit.

The header image is a very nice one I took earlier at the little Disneyland theme park here. I was quite tired when I took that picture but the beautiful colors in the sky attracted me.

Things yet to do for this Sunset theme are:
  1. sidebar indent looks right on Firefox but a bit too much for IE7, must be fixed

  2. 9 errors on validation mostly from the ezLogin plugin

  3. remove a:visited from sidebar links

  4. On IE7 the 'h3' font size looks a lot larger on sidebar

links for 2006-11-07

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Office 2007 to be available 1 December

I last wrote about my experience of the public beta of Office 2007 here.    According to PC World Microsoft Office 2007 will be available to enterprise customers (volume licensing) by 30th November.    Starting from 1 December you could download a 60-day trials.

I may try that again to see if the final version will work with older version of exchange server at work otherwise that'll be no good to me as I have no control as to when our exchange server will be upgraded.

Monday, November 6, 2006

What if Microsoft is turning its body?

I said Microsoft is turning its head here. Today if you type in "Microsoft, Novell, Agreement" in Google you'll get few million results. Perhaps this is the hottest topic in the IT World.

Reaction from the stock market is mixed about Novell's move. Checking out NOVL's market capitaliztion you'll see they are only 2.25b compare to MSFT's 282.43b. If MSFT is so positive about the marriage why don't they simply buy NOVL over? My naive insight is that this is not the right time to buy with NOVL's P/E at 332 times.

I think MSFT is taking a wait and see attitude as the pack is said to be valid until 2012. Intelligence of the crowd will determine MSFT's next move. If it works out and the customers like it and IT community approves it the cash rich MSFT can make this turn permanent easily.

Google's Eric Schmidt comes from Novell I wonder what is in his mind right now?

Saturday, November 4, 2006

testing from flock 0.7.7

This is a test from flock 0.7.7

Friday, November 3, 2006

Powered by WordPress

Powered by WordPress - WordPress Blogs Directory

In order to include this blog into the Powered by WordPress Directory I have to include the above link. The instruction says I have to add it to the template of this blog which I did by putting it in the footer but their automatic detection failed to find the link. By putting the link in this post it worked.

Code Search by Google

You will like this new Google service named code search if you are like me only code once in a while. I think those publishers that do so called "must have shelf" references will be in trouble soon.
code search

Zune is out, the website

Zune is coming out in less than 2 weeks. Their website is here, how do you like their look?

I think data, not cash, is king in 21st century. I have so much songs (10G) in iTune library and my iPod unless there is a simple and quick way of migrating I really don't want the trouble even if I'm given a free Zune.

Hey Bill give me 3 compelling reasons why I should switch!

links for 2006-11-02

Thursday, November 2, 2006

When Microsoft turns its head...

Even for beginners like me, who can only do simple scripts, I won't attempt running PHP on IIS. I know you could setup IIS that comes free with XP to run PHP but the risk is that something weird may happen knowing what Microsoft is like. They just don't like supporting open source platform.

Now MSFT has changed tact, strange isn't it. Microsoft and PHP specialist Zend have worked hand in hand to provide support, using FastCGI, for PHP on IIS platform. See this Yahoo news or the official statement from MSFT/Zend for more details.

It looks like that MSFT sees that more and more competitors are providing free support to PHP, e.g. Google's Zend data client library and IBM, so the community is getting larger and larger that they can't ignore.

This proves again my belief, i.e. there is also cost of ownership for knowledge, if the community is large enough transaction costs of acquiring the knowledge is lower hence making it easier and more attractive for beginners. Although I have little bit of background VBScript and ASP I found it difficult to catch the train. It was a lot easier for me to self-taught PHP if I didn't know something I just "google it...".

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The professional way

See how the professionals do it at CSS Library. They provide you with a set of dynamic drive CSS layouts which are tableless, CSS based templates. Anyone could learn by checking out the CSS and the html structure of the template. Visually you can select how your template will look in full size by clicking the link next to the thumbnail layouts.

Releasing my second one

Again this isn't my own design but I felt the need of putting various small ones together in a single [tag]plugin[/tag] for convenient sake. The 6 original small plugins are the work of Anders holte Nielsen. These plugins do counting for your blog.

I just put them together into one single plugin so instead of moving/deleting/activating or deactivating 6 times I just need to do it once. Putting them together also allows me to add formating text before and after and returned count as arguments in the plugin. I described it here in this post and download is here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ezCount 0.1 now available

Download for this [tag]plugin[/tag] is available here in this page. See earlier post for description or visit original author's project site here.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

ezLogin version 0.2

This version of the [tag]plugin[/tag] adds a last argument for display of the text you desire when registration to your site is disabled in the admin. E.g. you could say 'no more reg.' or 'registration disabled'...etc.

When users are logged in additional display of when (days ago) they were registered is also added. Head over there for a copy.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

ezCount Plugin

This [tag]plugin[/tag] is an all in one plugin putting together various smaller plugins by Anders Holte Nielsen, his plugin project page is here. Again I have used these for quite a while and found it tedious of copying and pasting 6 plugins from folder to folder and activating them one by one. Now all six (he has total of 7 in fact, I dropped the one for number of characters in posts) smaller plugins become one. I have only one to activate and using it at sidebar or footer is a lot easier.

In the past I have to do this in the sidebar

  • users registered

  • posts here

  • words in all posts

  • categories

  • users have made comments

  • comments so far

With ezCount plugin I can do this for a typical sidebar display
<?php if (function_exists('ezCount')) {
ezCount('','wordcount',' words here');
','usercount',' users registered');
','usercommentcount',' users commented');
','msgcount',' posts');
','commentcount',' comments posted');
','categorycount',' categories'); } ?>

To use it at footer, I can

Just see them at my sidebar and footer as illustration.

I have done a plugin for WordPress

The truth is that I have only packaged someone's codes into a [tag]plugin[/tag] and did only little modification to it.

The original codes are very useful especially you don't want to scare registered users away by taking them away from your site to the default WordPress login screen then to the dashboard. A lot of people will be lost. With Michael Hampton's codes logging in and out is right there on the sidebar.

I have used this at a few sites that I maintain and felt that a plugin would make life a lot easier for me.

There are still a lot for me to learn before I could attempt writing my own plugin. My junior php skill is just enough to package someone's codes into a plugin. As I said here I have only just started learning php. I have not regretted dropping [tag][/tag] because I feel comfortable in WordPress which is built on [tag]php[/tag].

See my post here describing this plugin and download is available here.

links for 2006-10-25

ezLogin first release now available

To download this [tag]plugin[/tag] click here or go to this page.

I have actually got a revised version ready which will be further tested before I upload it here. This plugin is only tested on WP2.0.4 it may not work on older versions.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Performancing Partners beta

This is something new, see their post here. I like to try new things and learn from them. I don't really care about earnings as I could afford costs of hosting and related expenditures on getting online. I also find getting paid could be troublesome as I don't really like paypal.

Techcrunch also featured performancing partners recently here. As what I write about is not popular topics I don't think my place here is that attractive. I can see Google offers me mostly AdSense links about paperless office, who cares about saving trees and use less paper at work?

My posts about management topics are also terribly boring. Also I don't believe anyone will click Amazon to buy a book by Jim Collins after reading about him here.

Firefox 2

[tag]Firefox[/tag] 2 is out. Read the release notes here or go straight to download here. It's a 5.6M download.

links for 2006-10-24

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My first plugin

I didn't write the original script for the function, I put below in the plugin description

Allow you to login/logout without leaving the site original script by Michael Hampton, his sidebar login form hack is here

I just packaged it into a plugin making it easy to use. I did add couple of new things such as:
  1. Link to recover lost password
  2. Show your display name and user level after logged in

To use in your sidebar, do this

Arguments are for:
arg1=input box size
arg2=text on the right of the username input box
arg3=text on the right of the password input box
arg4=text for the login button
arg5=greeting text when logged in
arg6=text for the logout link

Try logging in using 'guest' and pwd='guest'. Download the latest version from here.

Pageflakes 2.0

My last trial on [tag]Pageflakes[/tag] was sometime ago, see my post here. By early October they have launched a new interface, I have to say it looks a lot better and user friendly. It's on par with Netvibes that I prefer.

The feeds import using OPML file was smooth, your feeds will be stored as bookmark such that you could transfer them, one by one, to tabbed pages you create. The OPML file was exported from [tag]Netvibes[/tag] of course. By the way [tag]IE7[/tag], the release version, failed to import that OPML file.

Pageflakes runs OK on firefox as expected but hanged my IE7 a few times. It also suffered resolution issue on fonts after the feed is dragged within a page.

In the master setting of Pageflakes you could choose from open links in 'pageflakes browser', 'new browser window' or 'this browser window'. However for individual feed setting you have another choice of opening link in 'RSS reader' which I guess is the most preferred option. Wondered why I couldn't make one setting for all feeds.

This is now called Wetland

The latest version can not be called 'barebones' anymore 'cos its header has images and a menu so it's far from bare minimum. It's now called [tag]Wetland[/tag] because of the images I used.

Furthermore I have replaced the top border line of the 'postmeta' class by the image which was the 'postbreaker'. I used another image as 'postbreaker' now.

Monday, October 23, 2006

IE7 v FF2

[tag]IE7[/tag] (read their MSDN blog post) is out of beta as at 18 October, tomorrow on 24th [tag]Firefox [/tag] 2 will be released. Read review comparing the 2 in PCWorld.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

links for 2006-10-20


This is the latest version with one more picture I took at the Wetland Park.

The menu is made of pure CSS I learn from CSSPlay. Very easy to incorporate here with only minor changes of height/width/color etc.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bring Theory into Life, Use Life Experience to Enhance your Theory - Part I

There is a Delifrance restaurant near where I work. It was a takeaway/fast food type shop rather than a restaurant until their recent conversion. Now you can seat comfortably, place your order and enjoy a meal without people waiting next to you.

The operation was sort of OK during first week of the new operation now it is almost intolerable. Why we still go there couple of times a week? It is a great opportunity watching their operation, while eating/waiting/chasing, and fantasize away how such an operation can be improved. The Manager there ran around like a rat, orders were wrongly delivered and people complaining checking out took longer than the meal itself.... All in all we can see the morale of the team there is touching the floor.

I feel there isn't much difference in the core of managing a restaurant than any other operation/business. You can feel what are being done wrong looking from the outside. Life experience like this will enhance the theory you have as a tool at work. The trouble is that once you are inside will you act differently and objectively? Who dare to say "...I made a mistake...blame me if you will, let me fix it...."

links for 2006-10-19

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Code-Markup plugin

I think semicolon's Code Markup [tag]plugin[/tag] is better so I have this one put to use now. It allows more freedom for rendering of your
text betwen the tags

Simple Recent Comments Plugin

I modified Raoul's [tag]Simple Recent Comments[/tag] plugin a little as mentioned in this post.

I changed the display further such that number of hours elapsed is displayed instead of minutes. I have also fixed a flaw that negative time was shown. The time of the comment is taken from 'comment_date_gmt' and the value from php's time() is actually the server's time not UTC time. Therefore I have to add the difference between [tag]UTC[/tag]'s time and the local time of where the servers are.

Google Adsense

I seldom log into my Adsense account. It was a kind of thing that is cool, everybody was doing and something that I should learn/know about and experience.

Today I logged in and found I have

  • 13,281 page impressions for [tag]AdSense[/tag] for content

  • earning = $15.85

  • 33 queries for AdSense for search

For record sake I joined them 1 June 2005.

Feedburner feed and Email subscription

Feedburner feed and their email subscription box are added to the sidebar for version 0.35-bb-left-lotus.

However the email subscription box doesn't validate and it's a known issue acknowledged by [tag]Feedburner[/tag].

I have also the Google search bar removed. Got down to 5 errors all of them [tag]feedburner[/tag]'s.

links for 2006-10-18

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Displaying codes in post

I have activated coffee2code's Preserve Code Formatting plugin instead. I have added formatting class selector named 'codebox' of below CSS codes as you can see in this and that post.

.codebox {
border: none;
font: 14px "lucida console";
color: #ffffff;
background: #005700;

Reorganizing my sites

Have not posted here for a few days. I have been busy reorganizing my other sites, now this is what I have done.

  •, my prime account location, you'll be redirected to where I first started blogging since signing up [tag]Site5[/tag].
  • A new WordPress site has been set up for my learning use. Visitors will be directed there if they hit
  • My template building record is here at a new folder. Visitors will be redirected if they clicked the old url.


By the way this latest version is of fixed width specially made for the image above. That is a picture I took a while ago at a Wetland Park.

New things for this version is blockquote which is made possible without use of image

To learn the CSS trick to do blockquote without use of image, go to 24ways HERE

To display code in your post you have to enter html entities (great resources from HTMLhelp). There are plugins available for WordPress such as this one from Priyadi's Place. I have to try this later.

links for 2006-10-17

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

W3C Validation - part 2

I got down to 6 errors, all Google's.

HTML elements 'strike' and 'center' are deprecated. The trouble is that if you want to be strict you have to do more typing, e.g. use

for striked out texts

instead of just clicking just one button in PFF plugin.

Getting rid of the deprecated 'center' used at the footer is easy, just added

#footer {

to the CSS for #footer

W3C validation

I have just done a XHTML validation, got 11 errors. A lot of them turned out to be not my problem as I just copied scripts from Google and Technorati for their search bars.

One of them I still need to correct is the selector for the 'post breaker' it's better to use 'class' than 'id' as I have more than one on each page.

This version 0.35-bb-left-lotus is near usable therefore I should get it validated.

links for 2006-10-16

Monday, October 16, 2006

Content moved to here

I have created a new subdomain to record my learning process. I exported 20 latest posts via RSS feed from and saved them in xml file for importing into this new site.

I was silly enough to have the default first comment by "Mr WordPress" deleted hence the Simple Recent Comments plugin returned an error. I thought it was something to do with the modification I did to this plugin, it turned out wasn't my fault. Note there is still a little flaw as the "??? minutes ago stanley" is negative which is wrong now fixed see this post.

Adsense is also removed from the latest version 0.35-bb-left-lotus.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Latest version 0.35

You'll see the latest version available on the sidebar. It's 0.35 with a bit more color and WP-PostViews‘ and Simple recent comments plugin activated.

In fact there are new images added but don't understand why they don't show. The images which are 'gif' all appear OK when running on localhost?!

PS: image issue now resolved. On Windows file names are not case sensitive but on Apache file extension has to be the same.

links for 2006-10-13

Friday, October 13, 2006

Office 2007 beta 2 Technical Refresh

The beta2TR is completely killed, nothing left.

It's surprising that [tag]Microsoft[/tag] didn't make it compatible with older version of exchange server. I would have thought it's easier for standalone PC/notebook to have [tag]Office 2007[/tag] installed as OEM software when it's launched then for enterprise to upgrade their exchange servers.

Of course I note the warning that beta shouldn't be used on production machines but without having the software used under stress during work hours how would I know if it's any good? How would Microsoft collect user experience if the beta is only used for a few minutes at night after work?

links for 2006-10-12

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's annoying using Office 2007 beta 2

The configuration process is very annoying if you are not using the entire suite of [tag]Office 2007 beta 2[/tag] [tag]Technical Refresh[/tag]. I have to use Outlook 2003 due to compatibility issue with exchange server at work, no choice!

Office 2007 will prompt you with the setup "configuration process" screen, whenever you start something else such as Excel or Word as if it was after a fresh install, and that will take forever. Naturally I searched for an answer and found a post describing similar behaviour.

I now have to use a workaround. Every time I see the big configuration screen I will kill setup.exe in the Task Manager. It won't give up and will start Windows Installer which has a process name of msiexec.exe kill that also. After a few trials I noticed that you may have to kill these two processes a few times.

I'm sure there must be a way to tweak this in the registry.


I’m the one who is flattered by Shelly’s linking to my little attempt to record how I built my very first template in her post here.

To reciprocate I have inserted links on my sidebar now.

Monday, October 9, 2006

My old PC is ready for Vista, almost

Have done the scanning by the [tag]Vista[/tag] upgrade advisor. I got ticks for everything except the warning that

Your current video card will not support the Windows Aero™ user experience. Contact your computer manufacturer to see if an upgrade is available. Click here for a list of video cards that support Windows Aero.

My old PC re-born again

The old PC I mentioned here failed to boot recently. My hardware guy in the office said that could be a power supply or motherboard problem. To avoid curing one illness at a time I decided to have a new case together with a new motherboard and power supply. To my surprise this sort of thing is still available in the market for such an old system.

This is the final shape of my 'old' PC.
  1. Motherboard 2themax with mini case and power supply (US$110)
  2. Seagate 160G HDD (US$60)
  3. PC266 512Mb RAM x 2 pieces by Kingston (US$97)
  4. Lite-On DVD writer (US$50)

One may argue that it would be better off buying a brand new PC for all that money I have spent so far. What's left from my old system are only a 40Gb HDD and the CPU (P4 at 1.6GHz)

PS: it's a routine now I have to repeat below tasks
  1. All necessary windows updates such as SP1 and SP2
  2. Install Office, I'm trying 2007 beta 2
  3. Install IE7 RC1
  4. Install FileZilla, best FTP tool
  5. Install MozBackup such that I could copy setting across from another notebook that I'm using.
  6. Install xampp such that I could continue developing theme and learn php in this PC.
  7. Install iTune

  8. Install PSpad, the best text editor I know

  9. Acrobat Reader latest version

Friday, October 6, 2006

Office 2007 beta 2

Installing the beta is very tiring. If you wanna attempt you got to make sure you have other meaningful things to do while your PC is crunching Microsoft's latest beta.

The download is 440Mb. If you still wanna get the very latest one there is a B2TR version, which stands for [tag]beta[/tag] 2 Technical Refresh, again another 494Mb.

By the way the most important note is that if you are using [tag]Office 2007[/tag] at work and will be getting resources from your exchange server the [tag]Outlook[/tag] may not work at all. I had to go back to Outlook 2003 due to compatibility issues with older version of exchange server.

Version 0.3 for leftbar

This version has new things below:

  • a template file for ‘pages with comment’

  • a template file for ‘links, categories and archives’ (the sidebar can now be shorter if you like) in a 2 columns display

  • a bit more color

  • adsense codes are inserted to ‘postbreaker’ between poss

There is still no image files added just to be light in weight.

links for 2006-10-05

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Vista Upgrade Advisor RC

It's here to download the [tag]Vista[/tag] upgrade advisor, my Toshiba R100 is OK to upgrade but there are too many issues to be dealt with so I won't risk that at the moment.

RSS reader

I see that Netvibes is still the best [tag]RSS reader[/tag]. I have been using it and watching it evolves. I have used others but still find them the best. It triggers a memory leak problem when used in Firefox, not their fault really I think, so I used it in IE.

IE6 and IE7RC1 couldn't display Netvibes correctly if you have too many 'tabs'. Now I see that it does it correctly and tabs are wrapped to a second row.

Google Reader also has a new interface but [tag]Netvibes[/tag] is far ahead in terms of user interface and ease of use. In fact I was checking out Google Reader then realized that I haven't loaded Netvibes for a while and was delighted to see their 'new face'. Netvibes' redesign was also featured in TechCrunch's post here.

links for 2006-10-04

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Fluid design - problem with IE

My 0.2-bb-right is completely [tag]fluid[/tag]. If you sequeeze the width too much while there is an image in your post you’ll get below in IE7RC1. The image will be pushed down to below the right sidebar.


In my 0.2-bb-left design where the sidebar on the left is of fixed width the situation is still the same in IE7, see below.


In Firefox it’s good without me doing anything special. You’ll see from below that the image will take care of itself, i.e. stepping into the right sidebar without disappearing downwards. That tells you that you are sequeezing too much and should stop right there.


If the sidebar is on the left and of fixed width, you’ll see below. The text still wraps and the image cuts off by the edge of the browser.


There must be a way to handle IE7 in this case for a [tag]fluid design[/tag]. I just have to keep looking.

A Right Sidebar version

I have done a right sidebar version now, I called it 0.2-bb-right. It is a version 0.2 as it has 6 files instead of bare minimium 4 files in version 0.1. ‘bb’ stands for ‘’ and ‘right’ is a right sidebar.

This version is completely fluid, i.e. the ‘post’, ‘rightbar’ and even margins on left and right of the ‘container’ is fluid.

The building process is here. I have yet to do a 3 columns template and revisit my first leftbar template.

Version roll back links are available on sidebar such that I could easily go back to see which one looks better.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Interview RTHK

I was honored to be invited by Professor Chan as guest host to [tag]interview[/tag] the General Manager of IBM Hong Kong on air RTHK recently.

To be honest the timing of this RTHK programme isn't good for me as I would normally be running around with my boy during that time on a Sunday. To my surprise a few persons told me that they heard me on the radio, one of them is my Director. I have not intentionally told too many people that I would be on air prior to the interview.

I haven't heard that programme myself. I believe it's available on the internet for previous "New Thinking in Management" (管理新思維) programmes. I know it would be terrible hearing my own voice.

links for 2006-10-02

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I built a theme

This time this is for real. I have built a [tag]theme[/tag] from a blank sheet, i.e. a blank template. The tutorial is here and I'm testing it at this site.

I have followed the footstep of Shelly of aneko Studios who has written a great tutorial on how to build a WordPress theme. She has written in giving me valuable comments as well. I'll be attempting to improve the readability of my [tag]tutorial[/tag].

Friday, September 29, 2006

Barebones version 0.2

This is version 0.2 my theme

  • A bit more color, very light;

  • comments.php added

  • page.php added

With these 2 new files the theme is usable now, i.e. you can view a single post with comments and submit your new comments.

I’m still trying very hard to make it light, e.g. I am not using any unnecessary class selector for styling of fonts etc.

I’m also grateful that Shelly of aneko Studios has written in giving me valuable comments on my step by step tutorial to build a template, the dummies way of course as I’m still learning. I’ll be attempting to improve the readability of my .

This is barebones verions 0.1

This is a bare minimum theme named, for the time being, that I developed.

When you keep changing styling and codes of a theme in use you can’t roll back unless you keep all previous versions of style sheet files and code files. In developing this template I use html to dispaly each step and php for repeating text.

Head over here to step through each step of the building of this bare minmium template.

Of course this is not really usable yet.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

IPO = deforestation

It was on the newspaper few days ago that during the last 6 months there were 15 major IPO in Hong kong. On average each prospectus has 616 pages and weighs 1.36kg and there were total of 660,000 copies printed. Paper consumption was 919 tons which equates to 15,000 trees.

It is easily understood that there are legal concerns behind making these prospectus available to potential subscribers but I see no excuses for these companies doing IPO not to attempt reducing paper use. As usual no organisation assumes responsibility of wasting paper.

If there is a will, there is a way!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Other sites I maintain

I received today an registration to my emba2006 blog from someone I don't know. I have not thought someone would be interested in joining because there is nothing you could see if not logged in except scenery photos, perhaps he/she thought we have a photo site there. I have amened the wp-login.php and wp-register.php files(restored original) and the sidebar.php such that registration is disabled. Wonder why this feature isn't in the admin of WordPress.I was wrong and overlooked that it's in Option>General>uncheck "anyone can register".

The other site I own and maintain for Professor Chan will have a touch up soon. There is a new version released for the theme [tag]LUSH[/tag] I used there. I am watching the comments there in sort of a "wait and see" mode before replacing the theme files.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Theory of Everything

Mankind has been pursuing this for hundred of years. 101 years ago Albert Einstein offered a solution that almost hit our target. That equation or theory is E = mc2.

I am half way in reading iCon Steve Jobs. Steve is named the greatest Evangelist of the high tech world I then come up with my view on the Theory of Everything, the human side of it.

Evangelist (who is full of Energy of course) = Mass x Courage x Committment.

Today whatever you do you are trying to win a "mass" of people. This "mass" could be your customers, followers, people that work with you or your investors. You can't turn vision into reality unless you have courage and committment.

In management basically you are selling/preaching/promoting something, it could be an incentive you offer to motivate, a vision, theory, yourself(charisma). A lot of people don't actually know what they are selling.