I Had A Dream....

Google just launched their PayPal equivalent service - Google Checkout.

If you know me, you know I hate buying things online. Similar to a Stone Age man who is afraid of fire, I am a computer age man afraid of online transaction. I would rather walk 10 blocks and go into a store rather then click on that shinning online paying form.

It is perhaps an unjustified fear. Somewhat akin to how people felt about paper money without gold backing at first. Money is all about trust. This form of exchange in goods is like magic. If collectively enough people believe in it, then money holds value. If not enough people believe in it, it is just a piece of paper with numbers on it.

Finally here comes Google, someone I trust to hold my digital account. No longer will I have to walk in the nice outdoors for an hour, enjoying the birds and breeze, just to arrive at the store and buy my CDs and my cold drinks. No longer. Now I just have to sit on my comfee computer chair and move my index finger.

The first thing I should buy online should probably be a treadmill, I foresee a drastic decrease in physical activity. Maybe I should buy an even more comfortable chair too, seeing how I will probably spent more time sitting on it.

I have an odd priority on purchase. Many people would rather spend lots of money and buy a nice car. Not me, a Honda Accord is plenty good. I spent money depending on how much time I spent using the product. Car I use maybe an hour a day, so it simply has to be functional. Chair I sit in 5 hours a day, so I buy the best I can. Bed I slept in 1/3 of my life, so buying the best bed is important. Computer I keep on 24 hours a day, so I build my own to my specification. Strange how most people I know just use any bed and chair but try to buy the shiniest car.

Speaking of computer, there is a rumor Microsoft will shut down windows that doesn't have the latest GWA validation. Strange move, Vista isn't even out yet. I doubt people will go out and buy a new copy of XP at the end of XP's life cycle. Hopefully people will use this chance and upgrade to Mac and OSX. Dare I hope maybe even upgrade to Linux? Give Ubuntu a try people, it is free. Ubuntu is one distribution of Linux; the name is of South African origin and roughly means "Humanity Towards Others". How cool is that? Fits in perfectly with the open source spirit of Linux.

Lately I have been very interested in learning bits and pieces of different languages. Too bad I don't have a gift for them, only interest. There is an insane desire to move to Japan just to immerse myself in their culture and language. I am a pretty lazy person, without the environment at my back and a knife at my throat the chance of me being fluent in Japanese is nil. Sink or Swim. I have always excelled under pressure and necessity. I grow complacent when comfortable. Dropping myself at a strange country will be painful in the short run but productive in the long haul. At least that is how it turns out the last time at another strange country - namely US.

Some languages I am interested and looking into at the moment: Japanese, Spanish (supposedly easy to learn), plus another European Language: possibly German, French, or Russian.

Lastly, there is a faint but hopefully dream at the back of my mind. Barely a whisper. If only Google starts their own credit card! Google seems to have a talent for picking out corruptive service and breeze a breath of fresh air into the service. Does anyone remember email storage being 2MB anymore? That was before Gmail brought the standard up to 2GB. Anyone remember skipping the first page of search result due to useless spam and ads? That was before Google Search. Even the blog you are reading at the moment is from Blogger, a google service. (sigh, I wish Blogger has LiveJournal's tag function, friend listing, and calendar though...). If Google starts their own credit card company, they can start the trend of reasonable interest. No more 18% interest rate if your payment is late by 1 minute. A bank only pays you 2% interest for long term saving. 18% interest rate charged by credit card company is almost criminal. I personally stick with debit card and cash. Now if only Google starts Google Credit~! I would then feel safe knowing that they play fair.

Sigh, someday, I hope.

A World of Pain

I have started excercising regularly again and my body is not used to it yet. I am also a bit concerned that I can no longer reach my toes. My body has convinced itself it is at least 10 years older than 25 - and I can't blame my body.

Having a desk job means sitting mostly for 8~10 hours a day. On-site project inspection means maybe half an hour of walking. Engineering is really mostly about paper work. At least, at my level.

Keeping track of who to order from, what to order, translated the contract, making phone calls. It is not just the fossilization of my body that worries me. I am also concerned about my mind slowing down. After you know what to do a job is mostly routin. It would be ironic to get an education just to become a robot.

There must be some little thinking excerises out there I can do. A co-worker recommend crossing my hands when I type for 10 minutes. "It is like using chop-sticks with your left hand", he says, "It trains you to use different parts of your brain."

So if you see me typing with my hands crossed, please know that I am not crazy. I am merely distinctly unique - and very very bored.

p.s. typing with my hands crossed is a lot harder than i thought.
p.p.s. A friend suggested this to keep my mind sharp. A fun Game.

In Search of the Perfect Penguin

There comes a certain point in a man's life that he must ask the unavoidable question - Which Linux Distro should I install? The time has come for me.

If you know me, you know I oscillate between introvertness and extrovertness. If you don't know me, then you will probably just wonder why I sometimes disappear for months. I can feel one of these quiet self reflecting period coming up. Going outdoor doesn't hold as much appeal at the moment. The thought of meeting new people makes me tired. This is definately the begnning of another solitude period.

It is not to say I simply find a hole and hide underground. Politness dictates that I still must fulfill certain social functions like birthdays and occosional movies. But if someone I just met asks me to go to Japan with her for 5 days I probably would say no this time.

This is a period for reading, thinking, writing, and drinking my hot jasmin tea. Which seems like a perfect time to mess around with Linux. I can even tell people who are worried about me that I am broadening my scope on Computer Operating System. But the truth is, I really do prefer to be by myself during these times. Yet I learned that you can't just out and say things like that to people. They get worried. It would seem unnatural for an outgoing person to suddenly want time by himself. I learn it is best to start a project. People understand hobbies and projects; people don't understand solitude.

Which brings me back to the topic of Linux. Here are some things I am looking into.
Distro: Mandriva or Ubuntu. I am leaning towards Ubuntu
KDE or GNOME: I am Leaning towards KDE

Ubuntu comes with Gnome. A subversion is called Kubuntu that comes with KDE. I will most likely download and burn an install CD from that.

Slowly I am working towards tri-booting Mac, Windows, and Linux. World domination is just one step away...

Or not.


Many things happened since I last wrote in my blog.
  • I went to Japan 5 days and came back.
  • Met a couple interesting new people - Eve, Julia, Emma, Eve, Eric, and Rita.
  • Gained 3kg.
  • Discovered Picassa2 for photo editing.
  • Discovered Google Web Accelator.
  • Saw half of the Broke Back Mountain and half of Syriana.
  • Saw Mission Impossible 3 twice.
  • Saw De Vinci Code.
  • Went rock climbing.
  • Convinced my boss to switch from IE to Firefox.
  • Got a new credit card.
I have visit the local food shop at work so often that the owner knows me by face now. I always order the same thing, they seem amused by that. 10 dim sums please.

Apple has a nice deal that if you buy a Mac computer you get 175 dollar rebate towards any ipod product. I might get that. There is also a friend who works at a global shipping company. She says she can get me a 15% discount. Not sure which way to go yet.

Taipei has been raining for a solid week now.

Nothing really long term on my mind right now. Lunch with friends on sunday. X-men3 movie coming up. KTV on Monday. Computer security training at computer headquarter on Tuesday. I have been feeling very social lately, I wonder how long this will last.

I really need to excerise, sigh, but no motiviation. It also seems a bit odd to run in the rain. Maybe I should just use the indoor bike in the living room.

Picassa is wonderful, I sort thought 500 some pictures in very little time. I usually use ACDSee but that would have taken me at least 2 days. Picassa is not only free but better. The only function I miss from ACDSee is the maintain ratio function in cropping from ACDSee.

I am thinking about going into business for myself. The economic trend in Taiwan favors people who is in the position of hiring other people. Labor cost is low. I need to look into this more.

I am still waiting for the stock market to crash. Then again, I have been waiting for a while now. Not sure what is keeping the US economy going. I am a bit worried about the after shock.

You know who you are, if you read this, I miss you.