Me awaits N20

Its not a Nokia phone this time. Its a new non-netbook ASUS just announced last week. Since the Compaq B1900 (which are not sold anymore), I have not successfully shortlisted another notebook.

Basically I’m dreaming of an Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB(+) RAM, 80GB(+) HDD, 11-12″ display, built-in DVD writer, 2kg(-) weight and WiFi. Somewhat like a compact beast.

I’ve shopped around, and I realize that Compaq usually have problems of a heated wrist rest; Lenovo doesn’t have trackpads (uses trackpoint); and Acer’s designs are often too rounded. Netbooks had too small screens, but they have a pretty good price.

These 2 weeks I was targeting Asus U6 and F9. They’re both 12.1″, Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM (after free upgrade), 250GB HDD, with a built-in DVD writer. The key differences lies in the design: U6 is slimmer, looks cleaner, and has a leather wrist rest (which I don’t need). But I’ll have to fork out $2.8K for a U6, or a mere $1.6K for a F9. (FYI at the same $2.8K there’s also a lower spec-ed Asus U2 with a full leather finishing)

While hesitating on the $2.8K, I found the N20, which seem to fit my specs pretty well. The next questions would be when they would be available here, how much it will cost, and hopefully some good reviews.

Below is the only picture I found of it, which is taken from the ASUS web site.


Edit: Youtube shows the N20 with 6-cell. I managed to observe the inside view, which I have a screenshot below; looks clean and great to me. He mentioned “low-cost”, so hopefully that’s true. With netbooks below $1K, I certainly hope N20 doesn’t run too far off.


Is there randomness?

Computers, for one, is incapable of producing a random number by itself, but produces pseudo-random numbers by using mathematical formulae and e.g. the system clock. Such systems are known to be flawed when it comes to security, as the industry often show exploits due to predictable number generators.

Science often proves by proving or dis-proving the inverse, in this case, the inverse of randomness could be predictability.

A computer system could be used to predict the landing location of a cannon ball fired from a cannon. Given information such as direction, vertical angle, amount of gunpowder used and the laws of gravity, we are able to calculate the location where it should land. Is it always accurate? Why not? Is it randomness? Or is it because we have not included all the information? What if we added more information such as air resistance and wind strength and direction to the prediction? Will it be more accurate? What if we now add all minute (adjective) details such as dust particle movement and magnetic field effects to the predictions? Won’t we get absolute predictability?

If we knew the exact shape and position of a cubic die in your hand, the motion of your hand to throw the die, the surface the die will land on, and all else, won’t we be able to use physics laws to predict how the die will fall and bounce, thus arriving at the ultimate side that will face up when it comes to rest?

And pushing predictability to the extreme: given all past experience of a person, and the current environment of the person, we can create a model of the person’s brain and body, thus determine the response of the person to a question, or evaluate the subsequent action(s) of the person from its current state? Fate – as a science?

Prediction with object physics may just look amazing, but will stretching it to life have unpredictable effects? Maybe we are able to produce such models after all. And in the future these devices could become smaller, self-powered and Apple-packaged, it’ll actually look like a crystal ball.

Edit: A search of what I was thinking yielded the formal term, known as Philosophy of Determinism. The article on Fatalism was also very thought-provoking.

Color Career Test

I took this test recently, which was forwarded from a friend. And I got a combination that I thought fits me. What do you think? Is it another horoscope style result that it probably fits everybody? What’s your result?

I wonder if I negate all the questions, will I get the job I should never be in?


Key Words: Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate

These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.

Suggested careers are Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter.

Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.

Suggested Organizer workplaces are large corporations, business offices, financial lending institutions, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and quality control and inspection departments.


Key Words: Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or whether they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

I’m a witness of a non-fatal car accident

Was walking out of office today, towards the problematic electronic parking gate that they installed recently. One, the gate doesn’t open when its supposed to, and two, only season parking holders can use the sensor to auto-open the gate. The rest of the people had to insert the cash card into the slot. Most visitors don’t know about that although there are signs that say so, likely due to the presence of a transponder at the gate. They often move back and forth hoping to catch the sensor.

Today a heavy truck was stuck at the gate and it wouldn’t open. So it reversed and backed off to the side while a small lorry behind tried. No luck. It reversed, and an SUV from the left tried. It wouldn’t open. The small lorry then inched forward and BAM! It hit the side of a black “Ralli-Art” car which had try to overtake the queue from the left. Quite a bad hit although the lorry was just inching, should be because the car was quite eager to cut in.

The people from the car and lorry got down, and lucky nobody was injured. Seeing nobody was injured, we left.

I just wasted 5 minutes of your life reading this meaningless post. If you haven’t, try this too.

OK. More. Not very meaningful also, but I realize swimming is good for me because I can’t multitask. I was thinking about some work problem while I swam, and I choked in the middle of the pool. Lesson: Concentrate on making my strokes. Good for not thinking about anything else too – which is actually hard for my workaholic brain.

I also learned a trick from my colleague, who learned it from his young son — How to sit onto the floor of the pool without employing your arms or legs. Try it – it can be entertaining to watch others do it, when they float. The answer? A kid might know.

Xen’s Guide to Job Hunting

Work in Progress… How I wish there is some machine that can project all my thoughts directly!!!

I’ve been asked such questions since I started working. I myself have asked these questions before I started working. And I myself may need some reminders when I’m out looking for a new job. So here’s what I think.

Disclaimer: The following information is completely my personal opinion. In no event shall I be liable for any direct, indirect or incidental consequence, including but not limited to, if you successfully secure the job you desire, arising out of, or in connection with heeding any or all of my advice listed below.

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SNES emulator

Sis was craving for Yoshi’s island suddenly. We used to play it on the Super Nintendo system, which dad “lent” it to dunno who and never seen again. So, I found an emulator on the web, and the corresponding ROM. It was exactly the same game, but much harder to play using the keyboard.

Luckily the emulator was able to detect my gamepad (which I originally bought for maple), and it worked perfectly for the game. Now I’m tempted to buy a second gamepad to be able to play 2-player games like Bomberman! I also managed to find Top Gear, which is a racing game which we always played but never noticed the game’s name. Only when I found it I realized it was a very popular game. I thought it was just one of the so many car racing games in the market.

Anyone wants to try Internet play?