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.