Friday, November 23, 2012

I lost a great friend...

He is someone whom I met during my polytechnic days in my final year project. A friend who is kind and willing to help others no matter how things are bad or busy. A person who is very determine to do what he wants, his name is Reuben.

I remember when I knew him, he was part of the team in the project. We were working on the title Operation Flashpoint. The goal was to mod the game into the local taste which we named it Operation Flashpoint Singapore. It was a 6 men team, 4 designers and 2 programmers. He was one of the designer working on environment game assets. He contribute a lot of his part in the project, including his face in one of the soldier, voices and his music. Yes, he took care all the music for this project. I told him what kind of music we will be expecting for the missions and he gladly do it in his extra time. He has a website here for all his works.

Sometimes after school I may met him in a gym, it was during that time he just started to buff up his body. He did his workout quite consistently and never fail to rest for a week. He introduce Mugen to me and when the first time I saw it it was fantastic. The street fighters characters all have exaggerated stances and its kinda cool. He told me he was part of the Mugen Community and involved in coming up one of his own character which called dragon claw. He did everything from scratch and I was pretty impress of the work and dedication he is striving for.

There are a few times I approached him to help me on composing music for my final year project, Saiyuki: Return of Wukong. His strong musical inspiration has influenced me on picking up piano playing. I remember there is once I met up with him near his house and had his favorite chicken rice near his place. After that I went to his house and see how he setup and do his stuff with his Yamaha Clavinova. I as an avid gamer and also a person who like to listen video game soundtracks, he will also share with me his new pieces of video game music whenever we met online. He will ask me to rate or discuss with him his pieces to see if there is any improvement and also promise to help me compose more music if I came out new games.

Unfortunately, on 23 November 2007, he met a boating accident in one of the competition in Cambodia at the age of 23 which also claiming 4 of his teammates. The day when I heard from my friend, Nick said his body was missing after the boat capsized, I cannot believe it at first but then it really happened. His body was only found 2 days later on the 25 November. It was a devastating blow for me even though we were not very close. I remember that I cried for him twice. The first time the moment I saw his face in the straits time newspaper, I couldn't control my tears and secondly, at his wake with his friends.

All these years whenever I see Street Fighter, it always reminds me of him. How I wish he was still alive to see the new Ken and Ryu playing Street fighter 4.

Today is his 5th anniversary and I wish he is living great in another world. He has touched many of the people around the world with his music and his legacy will goes on.

Reuben Kee, you will always be remembered!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Can we breathe in space?

Very interesting. Question that you may never thought of finding out more.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Windows 8, my personal review.

Just one more week, Microsoft will release the latest OS to the consumers. There are many who loves it as well as hate it. Windows 8 has already been a long ride since the first announcement many months back. It supposed to be the biggest changed since Windows XP. The OS main objective is to change the entire UI to be optimise for touch screen and improve the battery life and many features. The OS currently only available for the MSDN subscribers and has not officially release to the public.

I always has been curious about new technologies and decided that I should try it also since I am also the subscriber. I have been using it daily since August and I should write down what I think of it.

So far I have done twice installation one to test on Windows-To-Go (Full featured Win8 boot up using thumbdrive or portable HDD) and the other on my desktop.
Installation is pretty niffy and fast. The one we once know of windows installation is totally different now. Every explanation is simple, short and less techie. It was the easiest installation and it took me about 15-20min to complete my clean installation on my SSD and reach the start-up screen. I do not need to install any drivers though it is recommended later for optimal performance and features eg. graphic drivers. My machine is roughly near to 3 years old. The only thing which I feel that is missing here is the tutorial occurred near to the end of the installation. It basically just teach you to move your cursor to the corners to reveal the charm and nothing much informative. (From the latest update, I heard that Microsoft did listen to the people and add more explanation on the tutorial part)

Starting Up and Booting up
Start up for me took less than 10 sec to reach the first UI start up screen. One of the great feature is the picture password for the login screen. You just need to touch or slide using gestures with your finger to complete the password. Try not to make your password too obvious (eg. touching eye,nose..etc)

Start Button and App
Many people has complained about this issue over and over again. I do not see why people just cannot accept some changes. We know we have been using start button since Win XP but come on, a change might be better instead. Initially well for me I was not really used to it but if you can empowered the feature to brings, it actually brings more productivity to your work. Just think of the UI screen is actually the big start menu. Press windows key to go straight to desktop. Type any software name to bring straight up to the closest search. Ctrl-Q to search through the app. Its that simple! More importantly it works. Why do you have to move your mouse all the way to the button and click just to bring up the apps? These are just one step lesser compare to windows 7.

Running a Native App and Windows 8 App
This is the part which split between the 2 OS. Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT. One runs on application compiled in x86 the other in ARM. The main different to me to put it layman term is the speed and battery life and size. Apps compiled and run in x86 are generally faster which the processor is faster (able to do more complex in 3D), use up more battery and feels more warmer. Overall size are also generally bigger than ARM. The only best benefits is that it runs on all your applications which you can previously run on your laptop or desktop. ARM which I do not need to explain as it is completely opposite which I mention earlier.
I believe if you run any native app the whole day compare to Windows 8 App, there will be significant difference in battery saving.

Windows 8 comes with multitask feature where you can run 2 apps side by side. If you have a Windows 8 App and if you try to switch to other apps, the active app will be tomb-stoned. (application comes to a pause and will not be ran on the background) I am not very sure if its able to run on background as I have not read up on developing the app yet.

Shut down
If you have notice that on the screen it does not have a start menu then where is the shutdown button? It took me quite a while to know that it was hidden in the charm settings. Well to be frank initially it makes me a frustrated user but hey come on! By the time if you have read this, the solution is already on the net or maybe in the updated tutorial. Obtaining the copy now means that I am an advance user and Microsoft is kind enough to let us access early to play around with it and gives feedback to them. Anyway it is still unofficial release. Unfortunately for some people who are ranting on it, either somehow they got a bootleg copy or they have no idea what is their role played in this RTM version. Oh ya btw, to shutdown the computer, you simply just press the power button on your machine. That it! That simple! Shutdown took me around 3sec to complete which was vast improvement over windows 7.

So far what other things I have encountered that feels broken? Zune software might not be continue for windows 8 which is a waste as I feel that it is even more configurable than iTune in terms of storage and how you want to organise. I hope the new music organizer will work similar though Microsoft is still keeping mum about it. Valve's Steam browser does not work properly for videos that use flash player. Hopefully Valve can do an update to this by using html5 video instead.

Is Windows 8 really for me? Was it worth the upgrade? Yes for me and if you are a fan of touch screen I suggest you try for it. Its really intuitive even though I am using keyboard and mouse.

Give yourself a month and see for yourself. No one can ride a bicycle if one has never try it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Visio 2010 random crashes

Recently one of my user had some issue with the Office Visio which crashed the machine randomly. Upon checking, every time when the user opens up the program, halfway through it just crash suddenly with a pop up box saying "Visio has stopped working." and the program just hanged.

I did a check on the logs from the even viewer stated that ntdll.dll is causing the crash which didn't help much. The weird thing which I notice is the add-in tools I found out that bluetooth was enabled so I decided to disable it. (you need admin rights to do this)

After I did the disable everything just work perfectly fine and stable. Office Add-in is something you need to look into as part of the troubleshooting process especially as most of it were probably from the third-party tools. This also involved in performance issue which you think the program does not run smoothly as usual.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Demo Windows Phone 7 from anywhere.

WP7 may not be as popular as other competitors such as Android and Apple iPhone in terms of popularity. For apps, they are still far away from it. Because for these reasons, not many people wants to give a try to use and figure out how the functionalities work.

I have some of my friends asking me why I am not using iPhone or Android and some others are asking me for advise. To me in general, windows phone is a social phone, simple really nice to use. That's it.

Here are some of the list of whys in my own opinions. You do not have to agree.

1. In terms of accessories its lesser which save you money.
2. Small and elegant. You do not have to worry about closing your apps. The OS will handle for you.
3. Social phone. Less than 3 steps to read your facebook, linkedin and twitter fast.
4. Look and feel according to what you want to access most. eg. Pin your contacts on live tiles.
5. Many designs from different manufacturer and still able to adapt the phone fast as the look and feel in the software is still the same. This is good as you wont see the same phone with your peers and you have many to choose from.
6. Able to merge all contacts, twitters and facebook into one contact. Able to group how you want to organise also and filter who you want to see.

This phone will best suits you if you use mostly sms, mails, whatsapp, twitter and always like connecting with friends (facebook and twitter)

If you still confused but still curious to find how it feels like. Go to this link using the browser from your phone.