Friday, September 30, 2005
It was a great experience being an MVP and not to mention all the goodies from the eCompany Store. :p But I guessed it is time to give the opportunity to other contributors, hopefully to another powerpuff.
So, to all my fellow MVPs out there, keep up the great work that you have been doing and bring home some souvenirs for me okay? :p [See what they are doing now.]
Thursday, September 29, 2005
So, given the opportunity, will you consider working (or starting a new life) in another country?
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
But I have to say that this movie is not so bad afterall. It has a nice blend of romance, action, comedy and a lil' tomb-raider-like feelin'. Character introduction was also done properly.
As for the epic scenes, I dare say that the sound effects and costumes are well on par with movies like Troy (Initially, I thought he was a Trojan), Gladiator or maybe even Lord of The Rings but with lesser amount of carefrees. Maybe, he should just digitize more soldiers. *Hehe*
The story switches between the present time and the time of the Qin Dynasty where China is united under Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Jackie Chan plays an archeologist in the present time and a general during the epic times. I like the epic settings better.
Be warned that this movie constantly switches from Cantonese to Mandarin and vice-versa with some Korean, Tamil and English thrown in. So, have your 'language packs' prepared.
You should check-out Jackie's horse - never thought a knight could use his horse in battle that way. Really makes The Riders of Rohan look like a bunch of wimps. Also check-out Letchumi, the elephant. *And No! She is not a Mumakil*
One thing I like about this movie is the magnificient illustration of the Terracotta Warriors in the Emperor's Royal Tomb. Absolutely stunning as it truly illustrates what the Emperor had dreamed off before he died (as mentioned in the history books). I never thought they could interpret it that way.
Anyway, this movie isn't without flaws. Some of the computer generated graphics was visibly amateur and the excuse to go for a scientific expedition was lame. I also dislike Tony Leung's character who is so sissy and always needs Jackie's help to get out of trouble.
Overall, this movie gets 4 stars from me. This is a Jackie Chan movie, expect lots of action and comical fighting scenes (except for the epic scenes) - plus two hot chics this time round.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
To test these bleeding-edge technologies, I had to create two new partitions, since both uses different versions of the .NET 2.0 runtime. VSTS is using the September Release Candidate of Visual Studio Team Suite and WinFX is using Beta 2.
[You must be wondering why I didn't install them on VPC. Well, I rarely fancy virtual machines and usually prefer to try the products on a real environment to experience the performance.]
Looking at Visual Studio, this product has really came a long way. From unifying the development environment for different programming languages into a single IDE on .NET, it has now expanded into the software lifecycle arena. Visual Studio 2005 Team System is an amalgamate of tools and products that together provides a productive suite of integrated software management lifecycle tools to help organizations increase the predictability of their software development process.
The components that make up VSTS are:
Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite
A collection of architect, developer and tester tools integrated into Visual Studio 2005 that each can also be acquired separately in Team Editions:
- Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects - provides tools that are part of the Application and Application Hosting layer of the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) such as Application Designer, Systems Designer, Logical Datacentre Designer and Deployment Designer.
- Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers - provides tools for static code analysis, code profiling, unit testing and code coverage.
- Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers - provides tools for load testing, web testing, manual testing, test case management and also unit testing and code coverage.
Common across all the Team Editions are the Visual Studio Professional Edition that we all know, a new Class Designer and some extras like as Visio for Enterprise Architects (in MSDN Premium subscription)
Central to the Team Editions is Team Foundation Server (TFS), the heart of Visual Studio Team System. It provides a common place for Work Item Tracking, Project Management, Source Control, Build Automation and Reporting.
What's cool about Visual Studio Team System is that it is not only about tools. It also comes integrated with Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) Version 4 to provide process automation and guidance through proven-practices. Out-of-the-box it comes with MSF for Agile Software Development (MSF Agile) and MSF for CMMI Process Improvement (MSF Formal).
When you install the Team Foundation Client, you will be able to connect to Team Foundation Server from within Visual Studio. What's interesting is that it also integrates with Microsoft Project 2003 and Microsoft Excel 2003, allowing Project Managers and Business Analyst who are more familiar with MS Office to participate in the lifecycle.
The ecosystem of Visual Studio has now grown to cover other members of the development team, hence extending the focus from 'developer' to 'development'.
I'm sure Visual Studio Team System will be an exciting offering and hopefully, I can pick it up as one of my specialization.
Alright! I need to go catch a movie now. Will blog more about VSTS and WinFX in the next round.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Woke up this morning and went straight on to MSDN. Going through the list of new stuff and found out that Team Foundation Server Beta 3 is finally released. *Yippee* *I jumped up!* and downloaded it without haste.
I was supposed to go watch Flight Plan today in the afternoon with my friend so I had to really rushed to get TFS installed. After activating the download, I stood up from my chair and I can feel tremendous muscle pains coming from both my thighs. *OuCh* *Tears coming out* It must be that evacuation-drill yesterday - hundred over flights of stairs down KLCC Tower 2. *Errr... so painful.*
Still have to get going as my friend is gonna come pick me up. Quickly get ready and went downstairs to take my breakfast. Oh! No! More stairs! *Errr...* After taking my breakfast, I went back to my room and just in time for the installation file to finish downloading. I have prepared my Windows Server 2003 partition for this day since Thursday *MuaHa-MuaHa*
*Clickity* *Click* *Click* and BaNG! "Setup has detected that Windows Sharepoint Services SP1 is not installed". Ah! Small matter, downloaded it and installed it. Then, I tried again. "The configuration of Windows Sharepoint Services does not meet the requirements of Team Foundation Server". Huh? Read the installation guide and found out that I need to set it up as a Server Farm.
Took a look at the clock, *OmiGosh* it is going to be time for the movie liow. Where's my friend? Called her earlier and she said she will be here. Nevermind, uninstall and reinstall *Quickly* *Quickly* *Quickly*. In my rush, I had unknowingly clicked to uninstall Windows Service Pack 1. Still unaware of it, I proceeded and then *KABABOOM!* All the SQL Server 2005 services failed to load, Visual Studio 2005 got busted, error messages popping everywhere after I rebooted. Then I realized my mistake! *WHOA-HA!* I'm so stupid!
*Grrrr* Switched off my computer and went downstairs to wait for my friend. *My face now black already*. She is still no where insight. Gave her a called and she said, "Er... I think I will be late lah". What?! It is already so near to the start of the movie and we have not collected the tickets yet. Ahhh! I cancelled the plan frustratingly and returned to my installation, thinking "What a bad day?!"
So I went back to my room and rebuild my server from scratch (actually my notebook). Installed Windows Server 2003, Office 2003, Project 2003, patched all of them and then installed SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and Windows Sharepoint Services SP1. *I don't think you need me to tell you. Team Foundation Server is a beast*. And for the grand finale... Team Foundation Server Beta 3 *Click*
Installation was a breeze. Finally, got TFS up and running!!! Here's a screenshot of the integration with Visual Studio 2005.
I'm using a wide-screen notebook so you will have to click on the image to view the full size. Ain't she a beauty? *Wink* *Wink*. I will blog more about it technically in my next post.
Friday, September 23, 2005
By the time I get onto my car and exit from the car-park, the queue has overflowed into five lanes and the cars, busses and taxis are no longer moving. So there I was, caught in the stupid jam in less than 15 minutes. For the next hour, I have only managed to cover a miserable 3.8 KM of my 24.8 KM journey home. *ARGH!* What is @#$%-ing wrong with the roads?!
This morning I had suffered the same traffic woes but what happened today was even more exciting. Already 15 minutes late into the office, I checked-in myself as usual, wishing good-morning to everyone along the way to my cubicle. Powered-on my notebook to check for any Team Foundation Server Beta 3 updates and all a sudden, the siren went off and followed by an announcement...
"Please evacuate both towers IMMEDIATELY!"
What the @#$%?! It was an evacuation drill. I grabbed my handbag and followed my colleagues to the nearest stairwell emergency exit. Holy! We have to take the stairs down from the 30th floor!!! *Can't imagine those on the higher levels* Everyone went down the stairs in an orderly fashion, chatting away and if I'm not mistaken, it took us 30 minutes to reach the basement. *If this is real, we would all be dead.*
When we exited from the basement, there were fire-engines and ambulances everywhere. WoW! I said to myself, "This is so realistic". We head towards the assembly area, around the building's perimeter, with some ladies checking out the latest fashion on display at Isetan and my colleague dropping-off his namecard to his ex-colleague whom we met in the crowd.
At the assembly area, we need to look for our group to report that we have safely 'escaped'. It didn't take long to notice Darien holding the sign and we just group around him. Me and my colleagues were all sweating like mad as we watch more ambulances doing their rounds. They even simulated the situation where some people were fainted or injured. There were paramedics carrying the stretcher and loading the patient into the ambulance.
Not long after that, we noticed that even the cleaners have their union. They all grouped together as well but right after that, they were dispatched to deliver bottled water to us - the role-playing victims. Unfortunately, we can't find the water supply for our company and my impatient colleagues decided to head for Derby Park (Did I spell that correctly?) where there is air-conditioning and a cafe. So we walked there.
After spending nearly an hour there, we took the LRT back to KLCC after confirming that we are allowed to return to our office. What an unproductive and sweaty morning?! But then, this is for our own safety and so, I should not complain so much. Instead, I find the simulation quite impressive since it was rather realistic (to some extend) but I doubt that the ambulance could get to the hospital in such traffic madness in real situations.
Half-a-day gone and darn! Team Foundation Server Beta 3 has not been released to MSDN yet. Right now, both my thighs are aching...
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
"You go take a look at the traffic."
*Wah-Lau-Eh* Five-lane traffic jam in-front of my office leh. *Grrr* Logged-on to MSN to look for my car-pool kaki, thinking of asking her to take dinner together today before heading home.
"She already gone home before 5:00 pm"
*WHaT?!* Why so bad wan? All, my colleagues leaving one-by-one liow. Why they can leave? Cos they take LRT mah, somemore some stay so near. Lemme check the traffic. *WaH-Seh!* Eight-lane traffic jam now! I didn't know we have such a wide road. Should have taken my chances with the five-lane earlier ler.
So, apa boleh buat sekarang (what can I do now)? Makan roti lor. (Eat my sandwich). Typed this entry while waiting for the jam to clear. This is the first time I stayed up so late. A bit scared. *Gulp*
Ok lah, now the jam reduced to three lane already. I will take my chances.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Did you take your lanterns out to the streets? *Hehe* This year, I only tasted less than half a piece of pandan mooncake. *Had to watch my sugar intake*. Have you tasted any weird mooncakes this year? The weirdest mooncake I spotted this year was the Toffee-Banana mooncake. Up to yesterday, there were still alot of them for sale.
I'm not litting any lanterns this year. Spending my time in my room reading about Agile Software Development and Agile Methodologies. *Sob* *Sob*
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite Release Candidate has been released and accomodating it is SQL Server 2005 September CTP. I'm so glad that both products are compatible now and I can install them on a single machine. If you are a MSDN subscriber, go grab them today!
Windows Vista September CTP (Build 5219) is also released to beta testers and PDC 2005 attendees, spotting new UI goodies such as the Sidebar and Gadgets. Unfortunately, I don't have a powerful graphics card to enjoy all the UI effects. *Sob* *Sob* Probably, will install it later. You can view the demo here.
Following Windows Vista is also the announcement of Windows Workflow Foundation, a programming model that allows developers to easily develop and integrate workflow solutions into their applications on a common framework. Like the Windows Presentation Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation, it will be part of the WinFX family and you can try them out with the WinFX SDK September CTP.
Also on development stuff, there is the announcement of Language Integrated Query (LINQ) that allows developers to query relation and XML data directly from C# or VB.NET. Cool huh?! Honestly speaking, I have not look at this yet. Also, brace yourself for C# 3.0! Looks like this language is growing more and more powerful (and complex too!). You can check it out by participating in the C# 3.0 Language Enhancements Live Chat. (If you have not learn your C# 2.0, you better start hor.)
Moving to the end-users department, we have Office 12 that spots a new intuitive UI that focuses more on context-driven rather than command-driven. You can read about it here or better still, see it here. Lastly, entering into the creative market, meet the Expression range of products. You can read all about it here.
Wow! There are so many new releases and it just makes me go crazy. There's also Biztalk Server 2006 and a new Sharepoint Portal Server coming. Looks like there are going to be lots of blockbuster releases in these few years.
Anyway, I can't possibly keep up with all of them so I better stick to the ones that are within my radar. Now... lemme see... when is that Team Foundation Server Beta 3 coming....
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Click here for more details. I'm very excited that they will be talking about Windows Vista, SQL Server 2005 and my new favourite, Visual Studio Team System! The event will be held on 15 September 2005, from 9:00am - 6:00pm at the Sunway Convention Centre, Sunway Pyramid. See you there!
Sunday, September 11, 2005
The first chapter of the book feels like reading a braindump of the author's thoughts that is so dis-organized and dis-oriented. A proper introduction to Network Management was not done properly and he immediately jumped into the technical details of telephony networks! For goodness sake, when explaining technical subjects, be more elaborate and don't just blah blah blah through.
The explanation on the seven OSI layers was so duh. In my previous Network and Distributed Systems unit, the explanation on the OSI layers were so easy to understand but this fella made it so complicated in his book.
The chapter explaining ASN.1 (Abstract Syntax Notation One) sux! Coming from a developer background, I have no problems reading syntax but his explanation on ASN.1 is horrible. It is even tougher than trying to understand MSIL or the C# Language Specifications.
There were so many abbreviations being introduced and all you get is just the expanded meaning with no elaboration. It's like telling a person XML is eXtensible Markup Language and the person should auto-magically know what the heck it is, how to write it and start using XQuery or XPath.
I have read so many technical books and I have not read one that is so poorly written! Up to now, I only know that the whole book is supposed to tell me how wonderful SNMP is but so far, I still don't know what the heck the author is saying. I tried reading the chapters over and over again but I still don't get it.
Boy, will I be in deep *PoOPee* this time.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
In terms of parking, it can be notoriously expensive if you are not familiar with the nooks and crannies in the city. You can easily burn RM 20+ per day on parking if you are not careful and I was lucky enough to be warned of that before I started work. Imagine, RM 20 x 22 days = RM 440. With that money, you can actually pay for the car installment of a Kancil.
There are some cheaper alternatives nearby and depending on the walking-distance to KLCC, you can get as cheap as RM 3 but definitely below RM 10. So depending on your safety concerns (and footwear conditions), you can choose your alternatives wisely. Of course, no matter where you park, you got to beware of your side mirrors!
Another thing to watch-out for is the price and servings of food. You will noticed that the price of food is very expensive and the servings are very-very small - best for children's consumption. On my first day, I had a plain Kuey-Teow soup for RM 5.30 (or was it RM 5.80) and after taking it, I wonder which part of my stomach did it go to. I absolutely felt nothing and I had to eat something during tea time. Of course, there are some servings that are reasonably sized but the taste is uhmm... no comment.
So, there are not much choices left apart from fast-food but we all know how 'healthy' they are if consumed everyday. However, do beware that there are also some fast-food outlets (not the main-stream ones) that could burn a hole in your pocket with baby-servings.
Lucky enough, I was introduced to some economical places to eat by my streetwise colleagues. And oh... I started eating rice again which I had stopped for almost three years. You can get affordable food which taste ok if you really know where to eat and willing to get some sun during lunch-time. *Wink*
So that concludes week one of working in the city and I'm sure there will be more adventures waiting for me...
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tried the KTM/LRT combo and that didn't help either. The KTM Commuter train was rather unreliable and the passengers had to be sardine-packed. Kinda reminds me of those mini-bus or Metro-bus days... "Masuk lagi! Masuk lagi! Belakang ada tempat lagi!" (Get In! Get In! There are more space at the back!) However, the LRT service seemed to be more reliable and the service is more frequent.
Everyday, I had to wake-up early to beat the traffic and fight for parking space. When I reached home, dinner time is over and on somedays, I just crash to bed.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
My mom told me that those noodle and chicken-rice stalls are going to raise their prices too. Hmm... I wonder if they will reduce the price when the price of petrol drops.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
All set for my first day! Thumbs up and all GO!
It was fun meeting all my new colleagues in the airport and what a way to start a new job?! We stayed in the Tanjung Rhu resort which is located north of the island. *Mmmm... Sun, Sea and Sand* I think I got a lil'bit tan now. Over there, I was introduced to almost everyone in my new company and was briefly told about the functions of each divisions in the company.
I must say that my new colleagues are pretty cool (some are pretty wild too). It will take sometime for me to blend in but so far, I have been doing ok for the past three days.
On the second day of the trip, I managed to join a Mangrove Tour. I will highly recommend it if you are visiting Langkawi.
Tanjung Rhu Resort lobby. Viewing from the inside.
Lots of green along the way to the rooms.
The beach is just right in front. Just walk out there and take a breeze by the beach.
One part of the beach-side.
Room - Not bad huh?
Nice flat-screen TV for our viewing pleasure. DVD player is right there underneath and you can rent movies from the library. If you like the movies, you can buy them too!
The Mangrove Tour - Can you see the snake on the Mangrove? Mangrove is a type of Bakau. You know Paya Bakau? It is one of the hardest wood I was told.
Eagles! Magnificient creatures! That's a White-Belly eagle up there. I sure hope I can soar like them in my new job :p
More eagles! Check that one out who is swooping down.
Lime stone formations. You will see lots of these during the journey.
Ah! Code-monkey meets real monkey. This dude is on a family day-out too.
The pathway to the fish farm. Kinda reminds me of Argonath (minus the two statues).
Floating restaurant. Here you can get all sorts of Big-Big fish and seafood. There are giant Garoupas that can feed an entire meal. My colleagues went to feed the Stingrays but I kinda *chickin out*. Lots of fishies in this place including those beautiful Angel Fish.
The pathway out-side the Bat Cave. *Can't take photos inside the cave as it was pitch-black and my phone don't have a flash.* You can take the long path or the short path.
Dinning by the beach is so romantic in the evening.
Anyway, I'm back to civilization now and I sure miss the beach. In case you are wondering, I'm now working for Microsoft as a Consultant in Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS). That will also mean that I will be retiring as an MVP this month.
So there you go guys. *Wink*