Saturday, July 25, 2009

Standard breaks easily

Let me tell you why.

Have some discussion with open source friends on why people don't use openoffice (compatibility issues with Microsoft Office), lead to document standard. Standard is always there, but we just don't follow strictly. I am not familiar with the open document standards, but from the html standard, we learn something.

If you are a web application developer, you know the standard, and you follow the standard strictly. A problem was discovered, your boss ask you to solve it by today, and you do not have the solution yet, do you still care about the standard? No, what you urgently need is the solution, not the standard.

What you do is, you search the internet, and take the easiest solution which works for you, even it only works on Internet Explorer and not other browser, you will take it. Standard solution comes later and standard breaks since this day.

Your immediate boss, who knows about standard as you do, doesn't care your solution only works on Internet Explorer. He will accept your solution, because he need to answer to the big boss who knows nothing about standard but money.

Why don't you fix the standard issue later? Because you always have problems with higher priority to be solved. This is how you work as a software developer till the last day you work at your company.

I like standard, I hope everyone follow the standard, but standard breaks easily. If you are a software developer, you will agree with me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What do you expect from Chrome OS?

What is a Chrome OS? It is a minimalist OS base on linux, target to run on netbook. Target to be ready on 2010 quater 2.

I don't expect much from Chrome OS. For me, Chrome OS is just an extension of Chrome browser, to make it runs faster. V8 engine (to improve the javascript) is one way, Chrome OS will be another way to make Chrome browser faster. Google focus is still on the browser itself and not the operating system. (refer Google build 3D hardware boost into Chrome)

By starting the Chrome OS project, Google not just in control to improve the performance of Chrome browser, but avoid Microsoft making tricks hidden inside the OS. Build on Linux, Google already save years of development, and effort of thousands of developers around the world.

Steven Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer
Windows 7, Steven Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer at MGX.
Originally uploaded by brandonleblanc

By announcing the Windows 7 is ready, Microsoft declare Vista fail. There is a three years period (start counting from Vista launched in end of year 2006) given to other operating system a chance to show off and grab some market shares. The available and popularity of netbook, provide a better chances for the operating system vendors, especially the linux providers.

Chrome OS is a good strategy, at the right timing, even though I think that it was late. Many OS vendors miss the opportunity, like Xandros Linux, which runs on the first version of Asus netboook EeePC 701. Google is different from the other Linux vendors by creating Chrome OS project, Google is targetting on the browser and web application, not the OS itself.

By the way, this is just all my prediction.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From Thonet to Firefox

Today I start with a chair design, name Thonet no 14.

Thonet chair is a bendwood chair designed by Michael Thonet (1796-1871), who is a German-Austrian. Thonet chair has a very simple design, is cheap (because it can be mass produce), and you can comfortably sit on it.

chair no. 14
Chair no. 14.
Originally uploaded by

The Thonet No. 14 chair is the most famous and popular model among all the Thonet chair model. It was designed in 1860 (some says 1859) and I heard it is still in production. A design 150 years ago and still available now, it is a classic.

The Thonet chair also known as the coffee shop chair. Its simple design lead to its affordable (cheap) price. Not sure it looks familiar for you, but I saw this similar design very often in many of the coffee shops, during my childhood time.

Some people like complicated things, some people like simplicity, it is just a preference. A very important point, a simple but practical design lead to affordable price. That's is the philosophy and vision of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the Apple II computer.

A netbook might not as powerful as your desktop or the high end notebook, but as long as it fulfill your needs, and you can comfortably bring it around, it is useful. Most important thing is affordable price.

You think this does not apply to software because software can be reproduced very easily? So you can put it more codes? So it doesn't matter it is a bloated software or not? What do you think that Firefox browser get its popularity which it was just a strip down from Mozilla/Netscape browser?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Palm Pre block by iTunes

Apple just upgrade iTunes to version 8.2.1, so third party product including Palm Pre will not be able to sync with iTunes software. Palm Pre users may be disappointed.

iTunes software
iTunes, its showtime.
Originally uploaded by snowman

We all know that Apple system is a very close up system, but we also know that iTunes is a good software and important platform, it runs on Mac as well as Windows (but not Linux). Apple not just using iTunes as a mp3 management software to sync mp3 to iPod, but use it as a platform to sell mp3, video, movies and iPhone application. Finally Nokia has learn from Apple App store (iTunes), and start up its ovi.

I am not surprise Nokia can start up the ovi service, because Nokia have acquired the necessary technology like starfish software, intellisync. I don't understand why Palm is going backward, they already have a long running synchronization software, Palm Desktop. Palm should keep improving and extend the software, rather than just depending on their competitor (Apple).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not an Apple fan boy

I promise Mun, I am going to write this post. I have a big laugh inside my heart when I set the title.

I know Mun from the MyOSS monthly meetup, MyOSS meetup is the gathering for those who are interested in open source. Mun told me he has something interesting to show me, other than open source software, he is going to show me open source hardware.

Few days ago, I meet Mun. Mun keep his promise and show me the open hardware platfrom the he was hacking for some time. Mun explains to me in details on the hardware and how it works.

The hardware is call arduino, it is a general platform with a microprocessor, limited memory. It is a simple, extensible, low cost and affordable hardware. There are many hardware modules available, which add on to the arduino platform, extend the functionality, eg. the audio module. In simple word for computer tech geeks, the arduino platform is like the computer mother board, the audio module is like sound card or video card.

Why spend money on such a limited platform? This is something a software people like us will never understand. Mun is a hardware guy, he knows how to modified the circuit board on the arduino platform. Arduino is like a compiler and a programming language for Mun. Other than the hardware platform, need some software programming to power up the hardware, that Mun going to show me next time.

I never meet any hardware guy in open source meetup, Mun is the first one. It reminds me Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder who design the Apple II computer), too bad he is not in Silicon Valley. See you again Mun.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Malaysia Jewellery Fair 2009

Malaysia International Jewellery Fair is coming again, started from 9 July to 12 July, four days at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

Opening ceremony of Jewellery Fair 2009
Open ceremony by Tuanku Tenku Fauziah

The fair organized by Elite. Elite stated that this is the largest jewellery event in Malaysia. The open ceremony on 9 July morning by The Raja Perempuan of Perlis, Tuanku Tengku Fauziah.

Malaysia International Jewellery Fair (MIJF) 2009
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
Date: 9-12 July (Thursday - Sunday)
Time: 11am to 7pm
Organizer: Elite
Tel: (603) 90588772

No un-authorised photo-taking.
Children under age of 12 and visitor with slippers, shorts or singlet will not be granted admission to the fair.
Open to public and trader by invitation or registration only.

Photos on open ceremony event.

Tenku Fauziah
Arrival of Tuanku Tenku Fauziah
The Raja Perempuan of Perlis
Emily Poon
Emily Poon
DJ KK and Gan Mei-Yan
DJ KK and Gan Mei-Yan

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Red Hat seminar at Shangri-Li Hotel, KL 2009

Red Hat open for business seminar at Shangri-La Hotel, KL 2009

Event organize by ECS and Red Hat
Training-Choice is here as well

Yeak forward me an email from ECS. ECS stated in the email that Red Hat CEO will speak in this event, in this morning at Shangri-La Hotel, so I attended. Seems like like ECS has made some mistake or they do not communicate well with Red Hat, Daniel Ng, Director of Marketing Red Hat Asia Pacific is giving the presentation, not the Red Hat CEO.

Daniel Ng
Daniel Ng, Marketing Director of Red Hat

Daniel announced Red Hat will have an office to support Red Hat software in Malaysia. Daniel complaints a little bit about users in Asia just downloaded the open source software, but didn't contributed back to the open source community. I think Daniel has misunderstand a bit.

1. There is not much software developers here, majority of the open source supporters are just user and not programmer, so they do not contribute coding and patches.
2. By downloading and using open source software, is one way of supporting the open source.
3. Actually there are people here who contribute to the open source community. The meetup that I attended last week, Izhar Firdaus (aka kagesenshi) is showing us how to package and contribute back to fedora.

I think Red Hat has lost their communication with the local open source interest group. May be the open source market here are just too small to be ignored. I notice that most open source companies including Red Hat are just interested to talk to institution like government sector, and not supporting the smaller community but actually closer to the open source.

So Mr. Jim Whitehurst (or James Whitehurst?), if you are interested to come to Malaysia here to give a talk to the public, we are always here to listen.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Twitter is not a social networking website

I just read a forwarded article from Singapore newspaper The Straits Times, this unknown writer name twitter a social networking website.

Twitter is not a social networking website, at lease for me.

I met many people who just thought that community website is just social networking website, but community website is not just social networking website.

Facebook is a very popular social networking website, and facebook is also a community website. Even facebook and twitter are looks more and more similar now, they are different, you should know they are different not just by their name.

There are many types of community website, like photo sharing, blog, online bookmark, wiki. Social networking is just one of those. Social networking (like facebook and friendster) is a website for users to connect to their friends virtually through Internet, extend their networking through the website.

Other community website serve different purposes, for example twitter. Twitter is for you to share your thoughts (or status) with the others, that's the most common things that people do over there. You might be reading you friend's status or someone who is unknown to you on twitter.

Don't tell me you are a friend of Barack Obama because you know him on twitter. Please don't get it wrong, even is very confusing, twitter is not a social networking website.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Meetup July 2009

All my monthly meetup were set on first week of the month, the MyOSS meetup is one of those.

Is not easy to organize and host a monthly meetup or a gathering. You need to arrange time, venue and most importantly the objective. Everyone is so busy these days, no one is going to spend their precious time with you for nothing.

For a small meetup group, you can start in a coffee shop or cafe like Starbucks, Coffee Bean. If you looking for something cheaper try Oldtown cafe, or PappaRich cafe. McDonald and KFC is not a bad choice as well. Open air mamak stall is Malaysian's favorite.

For a frequent meetup like monthly meetup, try not to have it on weekend, most people is not going to make it. Time and venue is easy to solve, start a meetup with an objective for most people interest is even harder.

I salute to those people who is still attending the MyOSS meetup. Congratulation to MyOSS meetup has pass the four years mark.