Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Firefox 2 Out or Internet Explorer 7 Down

The long-waited Firefox version 2.0 is out!
Enhanced or added cool new features include:
  • Improved Tabbed Browsing

  • Spell Checking

  • Integrated Search Suggestions

  • Phishing Protection

And many many more.

So get rid of IE now and get some Firefox people.

Go here for more info

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wings Over Houston 2006 - Airshow

This year wings over Houston airshow features the remarkable highlight of the F-16 Fighting Falcon team the Thunderbirds from USAF. Last year performance was schedule for the Blue Angels (F/A 18 Super Hornet) of the navy but was finally cancelled due to the weather condition.

I think the turn-over rate of this year is also higher than that of the last. Probably because of the weather condition too.

For those who never come to an airshow, here is the routine schedule:

- You arrive at the field around 9 to see stationary aircrafts. Some of them are pretty famous like P-51, B-17 from WW2 or the B-52, F-4 from the Vietnam, Korea war.
- The around 10:30 there is a single flight performance from a modern fighter jet. Today it is the F-16.
- Next comes some super maneuver of acrobatic aircrafts normally sponsored by big company like Oracle for this year.
- Around 1:00 PM there is an amazing reenactment of Pearl harbor with real machine guns and explosive. Those are triggered on the ground, not actually dropped from the aircrafts.
- Wrap up by the super performance of the top team in the nation: Blue Angels, Thunderbirds...

You would want to get up and leave around 4:00 PM since then the traffic is not that *terrible*.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

BMW Bike

Photos taken at Downtown Aquarium in PROS sponsored event. I believe this is the BMW Sport Touring K 1200 GT.

This baby costs around 20,000. I would buy this one if I could afford. Speaknig of riding a motocycle, I encountered several accidents when I was in HS.

The first happended around lunar new year of 96. I was riding a 100 cc Yamaha down-hill. And then I saw this parkping lot on the side-way and I hit the break pretty hard. The bike collapsed and slided tens of yards. I was thrown off the bike of course and also slided along-side with it. Luckily, there was no traffic behind and I just got a few bruises on my elbows and knees. Still handsome!!!

Then in summer 97, I rode a different bike to Ninh Hoa - my birth place, about 50 miles north of my city. I was speeding 45 mph and saw a dog running across the high way. Yeah, animals usually run uncontrollably across the streets and even highways in Vietnam. I slowed down for a bit of course. Then the dog got off the highway and came back to the house. I accelerated to 45 mph again thinking the freaking dog would never go back. But guess what it did and I hit it with full strength. Amazingly the dog was OK!!! And he managed to run back to the house looking at me rolling all over the highway. Very lucky again, there was no traffic coming so I was safe. I got a few bruises again but my bike was damaged pretty bad. I called dad to pick me up afterward.

From that day I have a dog-crossing phobia. Whenever I ride a bike and see a dog by the side of the street, I rather turn off the engine and just walk the bike for a bit...
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Monday, October 09, 2006

Longhorn Kendo Team Taikai 2006

In this year tournament, Houston A team won 3rd place. Houston B team couldn't get thru the first round.
Our first opponent is team New York currently holding the championship from last year. My first opponent is Umemura sensei, 5th dan. Hard to believe but I was pushed around by this little 5'3 woman. She scored one point by splitting my head in half and the other one by letting me went out of bounds twice. My second opponent was a guy from UT team B. I won the match by cutting two kote (wrist cut). I lost the last match to Laredo team and had a mild shoulder dislocation after the match.

Comparing to last year, every team has improved a lot, specially southern California team with all of team members are from Japan. The reason why Japanese's opponents are fearful is because, in my opinion, they've already been practicing Kendo when they were in diapers!

I believe in kendo winning is not important. My sensei always says if you always win, you can't learn. You learn and gain experience when you loose. I emailed Keiko Umemura thanking her for the match and she also advises the same thing:

"I am always thinking that the greatest part of kendo is not winning but meeting people. At this tournament, I met many nice people..."

Don't know why River City team is taking photo with us

I'm preparing the color tag for Roger. He's our team captain. Great job!

Full metal jack[et/ass]!!!

First point

Team photo post-tournament

Mid-Autumn Festival

Eat tons of food, moon cakes, drink great green tea and watch the full moon.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Last Day at Work

Working here at PROS for almost 2 and 1/2 years but I never actually saw the hardware/servers supporting us day to day at work. In my last day, I call up the IT manager Troy McDonald and ask if he could give me a guided-tour through our hardware infrastructure. Even though, remember PROS is an adventure, not a guided tour okay!!!

Troy is a kind man. He not only takes me to see various servers but explains in detail the functionality/role of each of them. My first impression when I see the server room is "shocked-and-awed". I mean this is the first time I see something neat yet so sophisticated in my IT life. I worked for computer science department of UH before. But their server room compare to this is like comparing a Civic with BMW.

Two rows of Dell servers. For cost reason, we are switching to Dell servers which are fraction to the cost of the same server from Sun Microsystems.

This is the Lux-App* array blade servers. You guys gotta get down here to see what/who help you out everyday at work!!!

SunFire server. This baby alone costs around half a million bucks! No wonder we are switching to Dell's which costs 1/4 of a million.

Troy is explaining the role of this humongous UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply). When power outage happens, this thing can supply up to 40 minutes for the whole server room, which give us enough before time the diesel power generator on the 13rd floor kick off.

Last day (not last lunch) at work. The guy in yellow shirt is trying to hypnotize me to stay at PROS using his dark force. The guy in white shirt looks unhappy. But that is how he looks all the time too anyway.