Frankenstein the Wise

My person was hideous and my stature gigantic.
What did this mean?
Who was I? What was I?
Whence did I come? What was my destination?
~Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Immortal words spoken by a man-made being. The struggle against his own imperfection is a mirror reflecting everyone's mind. Sometimes we also loose ourselves and echo the same question but perhaps not so elegantly - "What the hell is going on?"

The order of his words is important. He seek to understand who he was first, before asking where he is going. The logic is obvious, how do you know which direction to go if you don't know where you are?

The simple issue then, is to define oneself. Are we nothing but our name? Is it not the first thing we introduce to people? Curiously there is a common believe that our life is destined. Some say the time of one's birth determines partly one's way of life, such as star signs. Some say one's blood type determines personality. Then there is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, which groups you into 1 of 16 types.

There are a lot of information on each personality type. Read through the description and you might find out more about who you are. They have some something to say regarding "personal growth", "relationships", and "common career types" vs personality.

p.s. If you read chinese here is a good site for information on Star Signs.


P.S. did you know after loading your picture on blogger you can change the size of picture appearing on your blog? It is simple, just use your mouse and drag the box into appropriate size. The little trick is what made this layout.

For more pictures of the birthday party (120), checkout my MSN Space Photo.

Old Games for Old Timers

Do you enjoy obscure games from decades ago? Games that is qurky and with terrible graphics but you get nostalgic none-the-less? Then here is a nice website for you - Home of the Underdogs. They host information or actual copies of discontinued computer games for you to relive the good old days.

I am ashamed to admit I like a really old and crappy pc game called "Magic the Gathering" that used to run on my windows95. Well, the game is no more - mainly due to buggy programming and terrible implimentation. There is no explaining why I like the things I do. But Underdogs took the pain to port the game into Windows XP and modify the game speed to cope with the fast modern processor.

They took the original game "magic the gathering" and bundled it with the sequel "duels of the planeswalker" and add-on "spell of the acient" then included "mana-link". The download is 78mb. There is also an unoffical patch of v1.32. You can find all that here.

Simple instructions for getting it installed and working: Extract that somewhere, run 'setup.bat', wait for it to finish, then move it all to c:\magic\Program, double-click magic.reg to make sure it gets into the registry (setup.bat tries to do it but might not succeed or something), then download the unofficial 1.3.2 manalink patch (from the link on that page), and install that (It expects MTG to be in c:\magic\Program). After that's all done, you can move it where-ever you want, and just run magic.exe to run it."

This worked a treat and even solves the CPU speed issues. This game still rocks!

Important tips are: 1.After doing ALL the above run the game exe's in Windows2000 compatablity mode 2.Use Y/N to buy cards in town 3.If when switching between areas you find yourself with a blank screen simply left click once and the graphics pop right up.

-source from ntcompatible

They even have a link show casing all the great old games hosted, aptly named as "Hall of Belated Fame".

Another game I enjoy from decade past is Marathon, made by Bungie. Now the company is better known as the producer of Halo. But back in the days, they started their career on Macontosh and the Marathon Trilogy is what first put bread and fame on their table.

Bungie is an amazing company. After the trilogy became obsolete due to time, they released the code and executable so fans can tinker with the game. The result is a free trip down the memory lane. The old game has been modified and will run on Windows XP or Mac. The files are hosted by Bungie themselves - Trilogy Release. The trilogy release link covers the second and third game, namely Marathon 2 and Infinity. The first game is so old that it takes slightly more to make it work, but some dedicated fan went through the trouble so you can play this awesome 1994 game. Code name M1A1, this lets you play the original Marathon on Windows. I am not sure where to find the Mac version but there should be a version for Mac somewhere. I don't own Apple computer so I didn't look very hard.

Lately I have been thinking about getting a notebook computer. So far with very little research I am leaning towards Dell Inspiron or Apple Notebook (PowerMac?). I seem to enjoy thinking about buying something and researching on it more than the actual purchase. I will just keep talking about wanting to buy laptop on and off for the next couple months - it gives me something to do.

If you enjoy modern graphic. A project Marathon Ressurection ported the game with Unreal Tournment engine.

If you are interested in the background and story. Here is a comprehesive archive of every terminal shown in the game with text.

There are other ways to play old games - namely by using emulators. There are NES (nintendo) emulator, SNES (super nintendo) emulator, dreamcast, psx (playstation), sega cd, sega genesis, MEME (arcade) and more. Just do some search on the internet. Almost any game produced a decade ago can be found for free. Which is lucky for someone who doesn't care about graphic or 3D environment - like me.

Happy Single's Awareness Day

Random Conversation:
AKS: Pretty~
SC: Are you talking about the roses or me?
AKS: I was talking about you, but the roses are nice too.

Happy Valentine's Day

p.s. I got Valentine's Day chocolatte from a guy today, he passed out chocolatte [Ferrero Rocher] to everyone at the office. I wonder if that is normal for Taiwan.

Sweet Dreams

Dream Catcher

Are you having bad dreams? American Indians believe Dream Catcher will keep away nightmares. I don't know if it works or not, but I think as decoration it looks pretty nice too.

Sweet Dreams.

Dear Cyril Column

Dear Yahoo!:

What is it about the shower that makes people want to sing?


Dear Barney:

Much like "How does Paris Hilton live with herself," this is one mystery that may never be solved. (emphasis mine) Although there's no definitive reason why so many love to sing amid the steam and soap, we can offer up a few theories.

As we learned from the San Francisco Exploratorium, the sound of a person's voice actually improves in the small, confined space of the shower. When you sing in an open area, you "basically only hear your voice as it is produced." However, in the shower, the sound waves reflect off the walls, producing a much richer sound, improved bass, and more volume. Goodbye, William Hung. Hello, Bette Midler.

Some theories are less scientific. The book "Sounding the Silence" believes people are inclined to sing in the shower because they feel safe and relaxed. "The quiet solitude creates a space in which our spirit can freely express itself." Or, to put it another way, a shower's privacy allows people to relax and let loose.

In the end, we suspect it's a combination of the improved vocals and the relaxation that comes with being completely alone. It's a comfort to know that once you pull that mildew-stained curtain shut, not only will you sound better, no one's going to laugh if you don't.

[First seen posted by Cryil repost as is]

A Sea of Cell Phones

This picture was taken on Chinese New Years, just before the count down. Seems like a lot of people in Taiwan has Camera on their cell phones.

Tagged~ 6 month ago...

My sense of timing has never been great. I like to run at night when no one else wants to exercise. I start new books when I am busy and can't put them down. I focus on my inner thoughts when I should notice other people's feeling. However, last night SzuFang logged on 30 second before I was going to log off. So for once, everything went right and we talked for a bit. It made the usual Tuesday seem lighter, like there is a change in the gravity field. Or maybe it is that my occasional jogging is finally making a difference.

Speaking of bad timing. Blue tagged me near 6 months ago. So here is a reply. Even though late, maybe it will brighten Blue's day, I know the whole event has certainly made me smile.

Tagged by Blue...

The Book Club Tag

What's in a book?
Worlds and possibilities. Stories and windows into other people's lives.

Number of books on the shelves:
A couple hundred probably, I sort of collect books. My real library is digital on my computer though - a couple thousands in selection. (no, I haven't read them all >_<) Those that I own or bought: I love used book stores, it is one of the fastest way for me to waste money. I typed out a few that I like on MSN Space and I own those all.

Last few books that I bought:
"The Art of War" Chinese version with interpretation. "Pencil Drawings for Beginners". "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" by Richard Feynaman.

Book that I'm reading now:
Japanese for Beginners. Book 6 of "The Chronicles of Amber" by Roger Zelazny.

Last few books read:
"The Partner" by John Grisham, "The Broker" by John Grisham.

Seven Things That Scare Me
1. Dying alone and have nothing to show for.
2. Disappointing people
3. Losing my mental facility (Alzheimer, stroke, or other disease)
4. George W. Bush as president
5. Mob mentality
6. Giant giant giant cockroach (like one that is big enough to cover a hand)
7. Possessing great power, I am afraid what I might do with it.

Seven Things That I Like the Most
1. Talk to people I love.
2. Read interesting books
3. Sing, just myself along with mp3.
4. Trying out new things once I have been sufficiently rested.
5. Green Tea Ice Cream
6. 牛奶布丁 (Milk Pudding/Flan)
7. Start silly projects. (Programming, writing, drawing, diet projects...etc)

Seven Important Things in My Bedroom
1. Computer~! (Plus the desk to put it on, chair to sit in front, and light to illuminate)
2. My queen size bed =)
3. Pillows
4. TV (plus its stand)
5. Alarm clock
6. My green plant
7. Clothing (plus its closet)

Seven Random Facts About Me
1. Aquarius, born year of the Monkey.
2. O+, INFJ
3. I keep my computer more organized than my room.
4. A blend of technical and sentimentality that changes in proportion like the phase of moon.
5. Both of my pinky bend in a slight angle, it is a family trait from my father's side.
6. I can survive on 5 hours of sleep for a long time, but I usually need 6.
7. Sometimes I like to be by myself.

Seven Things I plan to do before I die
1. Make a positive difference.
2. Learn Judo
3. Learn Japanese
4. Open a bookstore
5. Learn to sing well
6. Buy a house or two.
7. Live forever...

Seven Things I can do
1. With great pain touch the floor with my fingertip, knees not bending.
2. Wiggle my right ear, left ear, or both at the same time. (i know, i am a freak)
3. Build a computer from scratch.
4. I have been told I grill steak well.
5. Get rid of virus from your computer, assuming it is still bootable.
6. Massage
7. Find something good in everyone

Seven Things I Can’t Do
1. Speak and read Japanese (and i so want to...)
2. Match my cloth
3. Remember my dreams
4. Be in a crowd for days on end, I get overloaded
5. Cook complicated food
6. Lie still when I hear the sound of mosquito
7. Sleep without regret when a book is not finished

Seven Things that Attract Me to the Opposite Sex
1. Interesting conversations
2. Nice person
3. Sense of direction
4. Reciprocal in love
5. Honesty
6. A little imperfection (i know, i am strange...)
7. Cute, pretty, good looking...etc

Seven Things You Say the Most
1. Okay
2. Hello, This is Kailay Corporation (when picking up the phone and I say it in chinese)
3. I have a theory...
4. Tag the word "maybe" before making a statement.
5. oh my goodness
6. How are you?
7. ^_^ (just a smile)

Seven Celeb Crushes (whether local or foreign)
Not actually crushes...I just like their attitude/media image
1. An Indian CNN Internaional news achor woman. (she could be malaysians, i don't know, she just looks middle-eastern)
2. The lead actress in Entrapment
3. Clare Dane (the girl in Les Miserable and Romeo and Juliet)
4. Mandy Moore
5. Avril Lavigne
6. the lead actress in The Mummy
7. Helen Hunt

Tagged: anyone who read this webpage ^_^


Red Car, from a Yellow Car

SF Buckaroo's Vehicles in Motion Series. Taken from a passing train like the one you see here, through an open window, with the camera resting on the ledge.

Blog Roll

It is always interesting to see who links to your site and Technorati lets you do just that. Near the bottom of Technorati Search Page checkout "Website URL Search". I found this function a bit too late, appearantly "Views in Greens and Blues" was linking to me 176 days ago - but now no longer linked. Still, I found the site pretty interesting, a lot of feelings. I especially like her randomly generated quotation tied to a database. When there is time I will look at her codes and see how she did it. I now belatedly link it to my site under Pieces of Me.

The problem about majoring in Electrical Engineering is that none of my engineering friend writes. It might be an ego thing - an unspoken current of thought that wispers, writing is for those liberal arts. Which is kind of a shame, because even though we might be boring and nerdy bunch, I bet we have interesting things to say from time to time. Anyhow, the end result is that I have no one to link my blogs. They don't believe in blogs. They just write the programs that people use to blog. Or, they build computers, maintain their cars, play computer games...etc. Bill still has me linked, but with the Purdue University Webpage, which doesn't work anymore. Last time he updates was May of 2005.

My Thoughts and Ideas About the World updates once a week, at least back in September 2005. I will keep my hope and see if he updates sometimes this year.

The View From Taiwan is kept by a professor in Taiwan. He even left me a couple messages. I had him linked for a while now. He writes everyday, usually serveral times a day, and always on topics related to Taiwan. Writing must be a passion for him. On the same note, HotChocolatte also left me a couple messages, I enjoy her writings. Just Let Me Say It also shows up from time to time, suprisingly she can also read chinese - what are the odds?

Written Words is a blog on american style comics. I am more familiar with Japanese Manga yet the recent influx of movie adapted from American Comics have peaked my interest. One of my quotation/thought made it on to her blog. Her world seems unique and interesting. I have her linked and will go over her site later.

My blog hack - Rotating Header Images made it on to Fresh Blog. It is a technical blog, which is nice, however I have enough technical stuff in my life so I will just forego linking it. Another technical blog e-piphany linked to my Google Analytics article. On that note, Google has stopped offering analytics for free sign up due to heavy load, it is now an invitation only service. You can submit your webpage to them and hope you will get an invitation.

There are a few blogs that link to my "Baba Yetu" lyric article. Civilization Fanatics' Center, Wikipedia, Cynical Smirk, Mob Wisdom, John & Stephi.

These are the people I met purely through chance. Websites and stories I would otherwise not have known if I didn't blog. Now let's see what next year will bring~

New Year, New Changes

New layout design. I figure my old site needs a new make-over.

The pretty scrolling bar on top is made by Voluptpat Venenatis. The code source and icons are provided on his website.

The "Stick Clock" to the top left is provided by ClockLink. You can pick from dozens of styles and then modify that to your time zone. They even have a countdown clock and countup clock, if you want to keep track of anniversary or major events. I thought about combining a countdown clock with Death Clock Website. Death Clock Website predicts the day you die based on your body weight, height, MBI, sex, birthday, smoking status, and general outlook on life. According to it, I will die on Sunday, December 12, 2077. The design concept is sound but kind of depressing. I might do it later when I am more morbid.

The "Slider" underneath the clock is provided free by code. You can subscribe to different feed or use your own material. I tied my Slider to current events but you can pick from sports, entertainment, video blogs, and everything under the clear blue sky.

I made some effort and checked the site with IE, Firefox, and Safari. I don't own a mac, so I used a Safari Viewer provided by Snugtech. You enter in a website, it will load that site on their Mac computer (with Safari), take a picture, then load the picture to let you see website.

The profile on top right when viewed with Safari turns out to be white and some texts are masked, I don't know why.

There are still some little issues I am working through, but everything loaded in the right place for all 3 browsers. I have an odd line to the bottom right of my Blog Title Scroller. I don't know where it came from, probably a left over because I failed to close a division class somewhere.

There is also the issue of color. The text of my posts show up as gray in Firefox, but properly as black on IE and Safari. This baffles me. I will try to find the cause when I have time.

A new service offered by FastOnlineUsers shows how many people are currently viewing a particular webpage. Surprisingly simple, only 3 lines of code. Even fewer since I took out the advertising ^^;;;

I also placed a Webband on the top right corner provided by OpenMind. They have a couple different style and wordings. There is also another one offered by MakeProvertyHistory.

The Randomly Generated Photos to the left is provided by Flickr. You can choose to generate from the entire Flickr database or just from your own Flickr picture database. It is a new service called Flickr Badge. This one requires sign up and has 2 Badge styles to choose from. But since Flickr is owned by Yahoo! If you have a Yahoo or AIM ID you can just use that ID to sign in. I highly recommend it. It hosts your picture for free so you can share them over the web, the interface and sorting is also the best I have seen.

The 3 by 4 randomly generated Snap Shots to the right side bar is the 2nd style of Flickr Badge. I like this one very much. I tied this badge to my Flickr picture database. However, I only have 24 pictures linked to the Badge so there are some repeats from time to time, I will upload more pictures when I have time.

I also changed from 2 columns to 3 columns. The blog style was originally Rounder4. I found the following links helpful: Add Side Bars on Both Sides and 3 Column Layout. I don't actually recommend you look at my code to figure out how to do 3 columns. I added so many hacks and I quick patched so many holes the code is pretty ugly. It will probably just confuse you.

The other problem with 3 columns is that I have nothing to put there. So I went into Windows Media Player, looked up my most listened to songs last month and typed it in. I also wanted to put up a wish list just in case someone nice wants to buy me something. But alas, I don't have anything I want at the moment. I thought about putting up books I like to read, but I figure no one would want to know that - if you do you can find the answer on My MSN Space.

I got rid of my old randonly generated header picture. I tried to put it on the bottom but it just looks messy.

I kept my randomly generated quotations and placed them to the top of left sidebar. I want to find some new quotations and replace the old one. It will be done sometimes...

I kept the View Visitor Stats provided by Statcounter. It lets you view as a guest the statistics on my website.

I added a search box to the left side bar since my articles are getting numerous; I kept flipping back and referring to old articles which gets annoying.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Morning Dew

Behind every pretty flower is usually a drop of tear.

Dew will dry, flower will wilt, and color will fade

What makes the delicate strong is its ability to bend

When the world is filled with color we are often attracted by the elegance of black and white.

Does all beauty fade so easily?

And the dew, evaporates with the rising sun, then disappears.

Sometimes love is not round,
for not even earth is a perfect sphere.

And purity doesn't always comes in white.

Often beauty is brazenly revealed,

So we overlook the broken cornor that calls for our attention.

Tears are our way of expressing ourselves,
and even a blade of grass is entitled to its own tears.

Pearl sent this to me, all credit to her.

Beware, High Voltage

Translation: On the outside wall of an establishment a sign says: "This location exists high voltage, for your safety please do not pee at this wall"

Priceless ^_^.

Chinese New Year

January 28th to February 2nd was Chinese New Year. 5 days of national holidy means I temperiorily halted my plan of World Domination and took a well deserved break. I did nothing productive, ate lots of food, and slept 10 hours a day.

January 30th also happen to be my birthday. For some reason I got 3 cakes this year instead of one. One of them was Black Forest, named so because of the amount of dark chocolatte that densely populated the outer layer.

Another one is Japanese Stype Cheese Cake. It "relies upon the emulsification of cornstarch and eggs to make a smooth flan-like texture and almost plasticine appearance".

The last one is Tiramisu Cake. It is "an Italian dessert typically made from Lady Fingers, espresso coffee, mascarpone cheese, eggs, cream, sugar, marsala wine, and cocoa. The name tiramisù means "pick-me-up", referring to the two caffeine-containing ingredients, espresso and cocoa".

I think I have already posted the best pictures here on Blogger, the rest are just people you don't know and places far away. The Cakes~ The Cakes are what's important! But if you want to see some more random pictures, there are 3 more sets on the web space given by MSN Messenger.