Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodbye 2009

It doesn't look like I could run tomorrow so here is 09's results


Nike+ don't consider this a lot so I'm still pretty GREEN in their levels, in fact I only have about 356km recorded in their website.

Screen shot 2010-01-05 at 9.06.06 AM


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lake in Hong Kong

Don't know why I haven't been here all these years. DisneyPark draws water from this man made lake for irrigation and best of all this opens to the public for free. There is a nice round the lake walk of about 2k+, I saw a few running there that day. If your family isn't that heavy you could rent a paddling boat or a 4-wheeler cycle. Parking is very limited, I doubt if public transport is available there.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Tai Tam


A beautiful day yesterday walking along Tai Tam Waterworks heritage trail.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

VMWare update

I have been using Fusion for 2 weeks now the high CPU load is a slight concern. Yesterday I upgraded to 3.0.1 upon restarting this morning my Windows 7 was consuming lots of CPU load, the cause as you can see below is the VMwareuser which should have been fixed in 3.0.1


I had to restart my Windows 7 to bring the CPU load back down to normal, hopefully this won't happen again.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Morning run

My last summary is here. Recent monthly records are

  • September = 28.2

  • October = 55.03

  • November = 54.63

I was hoping to set a new distance record in November too bad that plan was disrupted by my arm/shoulder problem which caused a few sleepless nights.

Further to a 10k trial I did 2 10k runs just prior to my brithday the time was below 1 hour 10 minutes.   During week days now I hope to do upto 4k in the morning.

Friday, November 27, 2009

32 vs 64

In MBP I could boot to use the 64 bit kernel from this I have to check if firmware supports it by entering below in Terminal

ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi

If the return is 'EFI64' then I just need to boot by pressing the '6' and '4' keys together while starting up.

After trying Windows 7 x64 bit with Office 2010 x64 bit public beta I just couldn't see much difference in performance. There is also printer driver support problem if I run Windows 7 x64 in the office. However it looks like that memory utilization is slightly better in OS X running 64 bit.

Now if you want to boot into x64 all the time you could modify this file


to insert this between 'string' tags


Before you do the above first of all you'll need to gain root privilege into your MBP. Haven't done this before here's the way.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Roll back

I have decided on Fusion 3 and purchased a boxset from a retail store. I have been playing around with it for a while now, am still learning. Obviously with VM I could do all sort of silly things such as

  1. Install Ubuntu 9.10 64 bit

  2. Install Vista 32 bit

  3. Install Windows 7 beta 64 bit (not successful)

  4. Install Office 2010 public beta (later removed)

I have also experienced serious problem with the working copy of Windows 7 32 bit which I need during the day due the my dumb idea of storing the pst files of outlook on a desktop folder of OS X which is a bad idea.    That crashed the OS I need for work which I had to reinstall again.

A feature that I overlooked is the AutoProtect which enables me to roll back to a earlier healthy version of the OS, see below



Apparently this doesn't consume too much of disk space. I'm now so efficient in reinstalling OS, connecting to the office network, installing printer drivers, mapping network drives .... etc but I don't really want to do this over and over again.

(Edited: this roll back feature turns out to be a bad idea, it took more than 30 minutes on my MBP and while it's doing that the guest OS is basically not functional and I can't even run a broswer on OS X)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Supraspinatus muscle

I suffered this problem once last time was back in January 2007.   This time it's the same except that it was the left hand side that caused the problem last Sunday night.

Having discussed this with my Doctor I think the cause was probably due to my shoulder pain recently which was caused by the supraspinatus muscle.   I must have rolled to my left and due to the shoulder pain my neck was twisted abnormally which caused the VBI.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Parallels or Fusion continued

I have been switching between Parallels 5 and Fusion 3 over the last few days.    I'm not a geek so this is not a technical review of these products. I may end up deciding on the wrong one.

I need Windows at work so I've been testing these on Windows 7 public beta, an pretty early build 7100.   First of all I did a layman test using Windows Experience Index.

This is Fusion 3


This is Parallels 5


Parallels have a obvious win on graphics, I can feel that even I have not tried games or any fancy 3D business graphics. Having said this I didn't feel any slowness in graphic response when using Fusion.

Next is about memory usage, below is fusion 3


This is Parallels 5


I also looked at the Activity Monitor showing all processes I noticed that VMWare assigned a memory block of 2.35G with 25 threads to the guest OS whereas Parallels uses 217M with 35 threads. Other applications opened in Parallels have their separate processes and 'real memory' consumed. Which way is better I don't know.

Fusion 3 is native 64-bit as advertised while Parallels is sort of hybrid according to some information on the net.

Parallels is feature rich, my view, however for me I just don't need those fancy view features such as below.


I normally use a single window, full screen or 'use all displays in full screen', that's all. Talking about screen the 17 days trial copy I am using has a serious flaw which is that the screen would flicker from time to time and CPU load would spike to maximum for a second or two. That's pretty annoying if it happens in the middle of my typing.

[Edited: Parallels is certainly marginally superior than Fusion on graphics, e.g. it boots faster bringing me to network login screen in about 50 seconds, Fusion takes longer to boot and once I logged in there'll be 10~20 seconds of black screen. Desktop widgets are all placed on the wrong edge of the screen when boot up is done.]

Apart from Windows 7 I also tested them with Ubuntu 9.10, Parallels works well with the enhanced graphic supported, such as below, while Fusion 3 doesn't.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fusion or Parallels

I have tried VMWare Fusion and Parallels back in December 2007 it wasn't quite ready for me.   The Fusion 2 beta that I tried in August 2008 was a lot better.    With my new MBP 13" of course it's time for testing these things again.

I tried Fusion 2.0.5 just prior to recent release of 3.0, finally it's worth buying.

Well, not yet because Parallels 5 is also just released.   So I'll have 17 days to see which one is better.

Comparatively VirtualBox 3.0.8 that I tried is lacking behind in many ways.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Just got below this week.

I said to the teacher that the first few pieces I learnt on guitar were Christmas carol. It's easy for students to feel the joy of playing an instrument if familiar tunes are played. I now enjoy playing in group where someone could do the second voice.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10

It was just more than 2 years ago that I started learning Ubuntu and it was 6.06.

I spent nearly the entire afternoon upgrading to 9.10 via internet


It was done without a glitch.


Glossy LCD screen isn't good for the eyes so I bought below, Moshi iVisor protector

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hello world!

I have just destroyed the database at a WP experimental site and tried again using Chris Meller's script to convert from Habari to Wordpress.

Although the output of the script didn't reach my browser checking out the dashboard of at the WP site afterwards I think the conversion was successful.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

I run therefore I think

Before the end of the first year our Professor asked us what additional subjects or curriculum we think would be helpful. I said Law and Psychology. Very soon they have this double degree programme. These studies are training mentally. If I'm asked again I would propose to add mandatory PE lessons for EMBA students. Am I nuts, these people aren't primary school boys and girls what's the point have Physical Exercise lessons?

I suggest they are all coached for long distance running, at least for 10k or even marathon, during the course of 2 years. Please don't leave this page yet although you must be thinking that I'm total out of my mind.

People enrolling to programmes like this are supposed to be busy executives spending long hours at work, those who can squeeze couple of hours each week attending class are considered lucky. Finding few more time slots each week for training would be a challenge to their time management skill. Not possible you said? Come on, if there is a will there is a way!

Reasons are pretty simple and straight forward if you follow these

  • without sound body, bright minds just won't deliver good work (there are exceptions of course)

  • you have PE lessons in primary, secondary and sports are encouraged in University, for what reasons you can refuse to attend mandatory PE lessons here?

  • alright you said you do lots of other sports, e.g. golf (when was the last time you skipped networking/entertainment/eating/drinking after a game of golf?), but running is different keep reading

  • the philosophy behind running, something can't be taught in class, something must be experienced mentally on the track

I have been running for short distance for couple of times per week, 3 to 5k, recently I managed to do close to 10k. The state of mind to run longer distance is quick different, it isn't just about physical strength, it's a lot more than just controlling your stride and the form of how you run. It's a training of the mind.

Along the scenic route I normally run there are lots of elderly people in the morning. Everyone running on that route overtakes me except those with a stick or with maid helping them enjoying the breeze and birds singing. That's quite an impact mentally at first seeing people older, fatter or clumsier running pass me. Now I know people can't be judged by their outlook, what can I do with that?

Nothing, just keep running at my own pace that I could manage.

I then realize, thinking from a positive angle, that people overtaking aren't actually doing the same thing that I was doing. The fat lady may be just doing her first km and that guy older than me could be a marathon veteran or even a professional coach?

Never mind keep running at my own pace! For me I need also to watch my heart rate while controlling the pace.

At work we hate to see our competitors overtaking us but are we all running the same race? I don't think so. In business we have to be careful about our financial strength it's like making sure my heart is doing well and not overstressed. There are no 2 runners in a race with the same physical conditions, why do we compare? Some do good in sprint some enjoy long distance, we are all unique individuals. Some companies have KPI for annual performance some may have visionary targets. I could recognize a few faces that I see once in a while but there are also a few that I come across every time I run. Some enterprises exist for hundred of years some survived only for a few decades. Some run with good form some are obviously beginners who will have to learn with pain like I had before. I can see that injuries setback are inevitable, C'est la vie!


Know your strength keep on running at your own pace!

Monday, October 19, 2009

10k nearly there

I planned life style change just about a year ago. I didn't do any sort of sports on regular basis and jogging/running wasn't something that I have ever done before. Swimming and squash were the games I knew. I started to just walk, then learn to do brisk/power walk with a heart rate monitor.

After gaining a bit of confidence in walking the hilly loop I got a pair of running shoes to learn jogging.

I used Google Doc to record down all my workouts and I named the file 'walk-jog-run' reminding myself that I'm learning this step by step. I read book, chart my progress and find answers to problems in internet.

In March this year I started to use Nike+ and a new pair of shoes to work with it. In April I was really jogging.

I improved along the way, a little at a time, Sunday this week I ran for 8.04k and walked 3.16k after that. So if I were in a 10k race I would have done it in less than 80 minutes, something I had hoped to do a year ago!

Next goal would be really running 10k non-stop then get the record closer to 60 minutes! Joining a race or not isn't important as I'm challenging myself only!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Key signatures 4152637

Yesterday night came the most favorite part of the theory class, it was about key signatures. It was pretty tough to those true beginners. As I said music theory is in fact a language class so the teacher said just memorize it, like grammar, don't ask.

At the end I was asked to share my way of memorizing it. Before I share it here I searched the Internet to see in fact if I was actually taught or it was developed wholly on my own. I declare I couldn't find any music theory books from my childhood every time I moved house, I have only preserved guitar sheetmusic (that I painfully saved money to buy) and even few lines of music that I wrote when it was too boring in school. In secondary school I also can't recall being taught any music theory, what I have learned I really don't know.

From Internet using the keywords "memorize key signautres", there are few ways found. Circle of the Fifths (another one here) is very popular and even a clock is available if you don't trust your brain. In forum threads you'll find many home brewed inventions such as this for FCGDAEB
Fat Chicks Get Drunk At Every Bar


Father Christmas Gave Dad An Electric Blanket
Blanket Exploded And Dad Got Cold Feet

or this one about

Father Charles Goes Down and Ends Battle

There is one I found which is fairly close to my way with a little mathematical favour, still you have to remember BEAD.

I am so dumb I would be bored to death if I had to really fo through all these words to learn this.

Here comes my way, can't wait!

Now remember one string of numbers, not just 7, it's 4152637 and it's not four million one hundred fifty two thousand six hundred and thirty seven. It's a code, like your login password, code to your building entrance, ebanking account password, phone number of your first love or student number given to you 30 years ago ... or whatever. To me this is easier to memorize why Father Charles had a war to fight. [edited: now try typing these digits on a keyboard, not from the number pad you'll know it's not difficult to remember]

What's next? Just remember that sharp is from left to right and flat, of course is from right to left in opposite direction, again you know it, can't be anything else.

4 1 5 2 6 3 7

Is it obvious enough that C=1, D=2 ... and so on since you see only figures from 1 to 7, OK you know that, don't ask why!

From the sharp end first # to put on the stave is 4(F) the key signature for that is adding 1 to it, i.e. 5(G), simple right? To get E(3) major you need 3-1=2 so look up 2 on this big number you'll need 4152, i.e. 4 # in the sequence of F(4) C(1) G(5) D(2), got it? If you have 2 sharps, i.e. 4(F) and 1(C) you'll end up in 1+1=2 which is a D major. Now don't forget, as teacher reminded me, when you have many sharps, say 6 of them 415263, you'll get 3 (last digit of this long number) + 1=4(F) which is F# major because the F(4) is a sharp already.

Now working in reverse direction for the flat. The first b on the stave is 7(B), that's the 7 on the right hand end of this string of numbers, if you need 2 flats there will be 7(B) and 3(E) and so on. You know that key signature with one flat is F you deduce that by adding 1 to the number before 7, which is 3 therefore 3+1=4(F). Bingo as simple as that! So when you have 2 flats, 7(B) and 3(E) you'll be having a 6+1=7(B) Bb major with 6 being the digit before 3 in reverse direction.

The teacher said almost half of the questions for Grade 5 exam will be about key signatures so I think I could attend that tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ran faster

As I said here I tried to run faster.

In September I did 28.2k, best pace was 6:45/km. From now on I'll try to run every other day and control the MHR for 3k to below 170. Best pace in October so far was 6:29/km.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It isn't Theory

In strictest term Music Theory isn't theory at all. For someone like me who studied science theory and have wrangled with theorems in schools the term 'Music Theory' is quite scary.

After flipping few pages of below I know I won't be seeing Pythagoras or Plato a lot in my "Music Theory Study". Actually I'm a bit disappointed because mathematics is one of my keen subjects.

This is really a language subject.

With these books it's $367 more to the toll.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Site maintenance

I have been lazy so ever since r3608 I have not svn upped this site because plugins that I need weren't ready and I didn't bother modify plugins myself, so I have been waiting.

Today I have just done it, upping this to r3746 however my theme requires a little adjustment before I could use it so the default K2 theme is now in use until I fix my theme.

I bought my DIY PC home which I have been using in the office, reinstalled everything with only a Windows 7 and ubuntu 9.04 partitions. I'll be using the ubuntu partition as my coding environment. While doing that my howto for LAMP installation has been proved good for 9.04 as well.

@9:25pm now theme fixing has been done and thanks Karen's friend again helping me with the very nice English title font (Chinese font to her credit as well) which is also now incorporated.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Do I know music theory? Answer is I don't know.

In this world there is an examination or certification process for everything you learn so I have to pass an exam just to prove that I do know music theory. That's $2,400 for 16 x 1.5 hours lessons.

Knowing it is one thing but passing an exam and prove that you have acquired the knowledge is another matter.

Never mind I determined to learn seriously this time.

By the way there are more drop offs in my group in the last lesson there were only 2 out of total 7 originally.

Bluetooth mouse

I have never used bluebooth mouse before.

It's particularly good if you feel 2 USB ports aren't enough and you didn't bring a hub with you. Bluetooth requires no dongle and most notebook will support it.

I'm very pleased with the touchpad on my new MBP especially the gestures using multiple fingers. Well once in a while a mouse is better.

Friday, September 18, 2009


My son's cello isn't expensive I bought it through his school for $1,700.

The A string was about to break so I was looking for replacements strings. Checked a few places new strings for 1/4 size aren't easy to find. At last I bought below which is for 1/2 to 3/4 size and surprisingly it's longer than the original strings by only 35mm.


This is sort of like ink cartridge for printer. Costs of a few sets would exceed the cost of the equipment/instrument. With this and a cello stand for $180 will add to my investment on cello.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Macbook Pro and 3hk

The application that came with original dongle didn't work, googled for a solution, downloaded latest driver and followed steps in here.

It worked like a chime. However making a connection could be difficult at times.

Macbook Pro 13


The MBP 13" unibody arrived on 7th September. First thing I did was restoring my iTunes library and uploaded my runs to Nike+ which are both very important to me. I also transferred my iPhone app purchases from iPhone to my iTunes library as a safety measure.


Next important thing is to install Windows 7 RC using Boot Camp such that my MBP can be used in my office environment. This is probably the most popular howto for installation of Windows 7 using Boot Camp on Mac OS. However things might have changed and software got updated along the way since I'm having OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard pre-installed on my MBP and various versions of Windows 7 and updates and have evolved. To my surprise everything worked a lot smoother than I have ever expected.

There are couple of things worth mentioning here if readers are like me having the latest hardware/software.

Referring to this Simple Help
  • Step 11: once you clicked the 'reformat' it didn't start automatically I had to click 'next'

  • There were 2 reboots and it was OK to have the installation DVD stayed in the drive after the 2nd reboot setting up of Windows and desktop then began

  • Removal of the installation DVD can be done at the very end

  • After updating the Windows 7 installation I ran setup from the OS X installation disk

  • Then I got sound and video card working

Thursday, September 3, 2009

bcc myself

For many years we like forwarding incoming emails to a webmail provider such as gmail (because it's nearly bottomless but not quite) so that we can still read emails when we are away from office. OWA, Outlook Web Access, of our exchange servers isn't available in our company.

Forwarding incoming email by a rule isn't too difficult this can be done in Tools>Rules and Alerts in outlook. However there isn't a simple way to get a copy of all my outgoing email to my webmail account.

The solution is VBA, something that I haven't touched for many years, coding in Outlook.

Fire up your VBA IDE in outlook by Alt-F11, paste the code from here, don't forget something basics of VBA in here about security settings then it's easily done.

Now I'm not forwarding my office emails to gmail instead I'm trying out hotmail to see if it's as good as gmail.

Monday, August 31, 2009


My last report is here. In the last 3 months I have done
  • June = 33.92k
  • July = 20.93k
  • August = 34.14k
I have great improvement on my ability to run longer best record so far is 45 minutes with one stop for water. My only concern now is that what MHR is good for me. I'm not sure if I'm considered well enough for a higher MHR in the range of 160-170 or should I be keeping it at a lower range of 150-160.

I'll surely attempt to run faster when the weather is cooler.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I was actually searching by 'cello chat' the other day in youtube. All by chance I found this video of Bohemian Rhapsody in classical guitar.

This is unbelievable as I like Queen very much and never thought such rock classic can be played in classical guitar style. Image how difficult it was to teach yourself to play an instrument with very little money to buy books, sheet music or to hire a good teacher when I was young. Now you could get everything you want easily from internet.

I also dug below out. The year was 1980 at $49. It was a lot of money at that time.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Learn Chinese

I mean learn again!

This has been around for more than 20 years but it caught my eyes only recently.


Saturday, August 22, 2009


I miss sailing, am too old for that now perhaps.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I don't read Chinese books. It must be something from childhood and I can't explain why. I read mostly books on astrology and geometry in school library, I didn't like going to public library at all after school.

I studied Chinese and History, which were made extremely boring by teachers, in school to get a pass. I find reading anything Chinese longer than a page difficult. This one changed me, it makes history reading interesting and there are a lot more than history in this series.

Weather was really bad

It isn't effect of time on obsolete photo printing technology, weather was really bad.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Call forwarding

iPhone doesn't come with very basic phone feature such as conditional forwarding, e.g. when you are busy/unreachable/not answered etc. These features may be considered by Apple as too basic and your carrier should tell you how to do it by keying in codes at the dial pad.

Found this very good reference. I have just tested this OK with my carrier and I just use the dumb way of simultaneously perform ALL conditional forwards such that when my phone rings I can decide to take it or forward it.

I think someone should design an app to do this smartly.

Reading this

The boat wasn't moving at all


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Those were the days!

One of them was me up there!


I was also one of those who ....


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Seriously this time

This is the first time that I'm paying serious money to learn to play an instrument.    Classical guitar, a bit of folk guitar and piano I have all self-taught.

Cello is different now I know after completing 8 lessons of Promotional Course.  It's almost impossible that anyone could seriously learn it by listening to or watching someone play.

For the money I'm paying I'll have to practice hard.    The teacher has been rushing along, perhaps pretty keen to make sure students are engaged and start feeling the joy of playing by the end of the first 8 lessons.    The side effect of course is that for those who can't catch up with progress they'll drop out after 8 lessons.    The drop out rate is 3 out of 8 in my group.

The investment is not small comparing to other instrument study, so far I have spent

  • Promotional course $960
  • Home rental of cello $1,600 (June till December)
  • Books $223
  • Stopper $98
  • Resin $50
  • Tuner $260
  • Autumn lessons $3,060
I doubt how big a market out there for adults who can afford both the time and money.    The time cost is the key not the money I think.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Apps Review

I'm new to this so I googled to find where to find goodies.   Found these

Apple iPhone School

I found the above from Read Write Web first

Monday, July 20, 2009

iPhone 3GS

I said I don't need a little computer like iPhone.

I got the latest 3GS now. I went back to my bills and found out that during last 12 months on average I used 213 minutes per month on mobile. The minimum was 5 minutes of air time per day, I really don't talk a lot on mobile phone.


I picked a plan with only 200M of data as I don't think I'll be surfing the net with it. However I quite like the interface of text messaging so I'll be using that a lot.

I have used Nokia's 5800 XpressMusic and also E71 temporarily before I got my 3GS. These are hot smartphones in the market but I can't see why Nokia couldn't improve their user interface to catch up with iPhone. Isn't it just a matter of bench marking the number of clicks/taps that one has to do for frequently used features? Also for Apple's product you really don't need reading operating manual everything you need to do is so intuitive while for Nokia's smartphones you'll need flipping that manual.

For non-smartphones Nokia's UI is best.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Let's run

In April and May I haven't done a lot, in June I have done 33.92 km. I hope to do a bit more in July. In end of June I have done 9.67 km within 7 days so I think it's possible that I do 10 km per week if weather is nice.

My endurance is improving as well as I could do a continuous run of 33 minutes. Sister Karen I'm ready for the challenge when you are back.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Intelligence is an illness

What am I talking about? You either don't understand or disagree, you are normal I'm probably not.

Doctors say that minor illness from time to time is good to your health; we do lots of things during the day trying to stay alive or doing things that are good for health. Stop and think about this, you'll know in fact this isn't completely true.

Some intelligent people, I mean those really intelligent people, they may think that they are ahead of everyone else around them most of the time. At least some of the smart people I know are thinking like that. There are of course smart intelligent people out there that are also very wise, they are mostly doing something good for the human kind or making a dent in the Universe.

To some of them intelligence, either acquired or gifted, is illness without symptoms in my opinion. Until the symptoms surfaced they wouldn't know they have been carrying that illness all along. Because they don’t see symptoms (funny enough we dumb people see these symptoms clearly), and are not suffering from anything, they will not look for a cure. In some cases there are lots of so called friends, colleagues (those that pretend to be intelligent too) around these intelligent people dosing additional poisonous praises.

It’s a great pity for them, especially those intelligent and lucky ones, that words like defeat failure setback aren’t vocabulary in their dictionary.

I was talking to a young fellow recently who is working for a very intelligent boss (his word, not mine). I gave him a puzzle to solve, i.e. a magician gives him only one chance to open either one of 2 boxes, one containing his strengths another his weaknesses, which one he’ll pick to open and see inside?

I prefer to be dumb (healthy and wise) most of the time and get smart (illness) only once in a while.

I don't mind to be unfortunate as well, misfortune is blessing in disguise anyway!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


All because of him


I did my first lesson yesterday here.