time for bed

Just ended a interactive debug session with the folks on the other side. Thanks to effective communications and collaboration technology: VPN, remote desktop, web-meetings and VoIP.

Sun Tech Day

By the subject it’s a geek topic, but I don’t think I’ll go too geeky. I’ve just been at the talks and the food the whole day, cos I looked through the labs and they didn’t look interesting. Plus I got feedback from one who went that the lab was sucky.

The topics were fine, but they didn’t really amaze me, maybe because of my own experience. They showed Compiz on Gnome desktop effects to try wow Solaris, but they’re not Solaris effects as other platforms (eg Ubuntu) with Compiz/Gnome have it too. And they showed a Wii-mote screen tracking prototype, which, yeah, I just experienced too. One thing I realize was the VirtualBox that I tried as an alternative to VMWare got acquired by Sun last year.

Tomorrow will be more talks and food, and due to my poor biological facial recognition capability, you might want to come say hi to me if you’re there too.

EDIT: I found some pics of the event today. It reminded me of the giant duke and dolphin there. I knew the duke but I couldn’t understand the dolphin. Until my colleague reminded me that MySQL now belongs to Sun…

I’m a Geek

It’s lengthier to communicate with IM at work with IM-words like ‘afk’ and ‘brb’ not understood.

On the same day I chanced upon this site called the Jargon File. Interesting read, and surprising how many of then I already knew.

That said, I’m still a bit taken aback that I get regular responses like “what’s afk?” and “huh? brb?” when I use them. Maybe generation gap.

Daily Comic Plot

Colleague: To fix this bug I had to go through this big chunk of code that I wrote. All because I didn’t write any inline comments.

Me: So did you write some when you went through it this time?

Colleague: Oh ya! I didn’t!

Back to school

This week is molecular biology week… and i’m in ngee ann poly for lectures and labs. This time i’m learning about DNA and genes and mutation, instead of the usual programming stuff. 1st day was fine, but subsequently it has become damn hard for me to absorb those stuff. I simply cannot remember what makes amino acids and what makes lipids yet. Luckily we had some prep work few months back when we had nothing much to do, otherwise I think i’d be dead the first day. Never having taken bio before certainly adds to the challenge. I’m glad the chemistry portion still helped.

That brings me to the point that I’ve always thought chemistry and biology were two distinct fields of science, with chemistry building blocks as elements, atoms and molecules while biology had cells as basic blocks. Only now then I realize that cells were made up of chemistry elements too! Cells actually have a whole lot of carbon in it besides oxygen and hydrogen too… What a late discovery… so now I can actually appreciate bio-chemistry, bio-technology and integrate my knowledge of chemistry with (molecular) biology!

The more exciting part of the course are actually the labs, where we do not dissect frogs. We actually play with a lot of things we can’t see such as DNA, bacteria and some very smelly stuff. don’t really know what the stuff are, we just follow lab sheets and add this to that, use microfuges to spin the little tubes around, pseudo-massage machines that help to mix the tube contents, heating blocks and many funny devices that i’ve never used before. Since the stuff is so small we’re usually working with micro-litres so we don’t use glass test tubes but plastic mini tubes and micro-pipettes to pick REALLY TINY amounts of stuff up.

From the given lab sheets I think I’ll be picking up stuff from my own body soon to do experiments with, and that could be more exciting or scary, depending on how you see it. It’s always more exciting to know more about your own self, but the lecturer have told us stories about students who did experiments and realize things like he/she wasn’t a product of his/her own parents…

SICK? No it’s SICS…

A*STAR is opening a new institute called Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences (SICS) to turn discoveries into “profitable products”.

The Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences (SICS) will focus on developing basic scientific discoveries into actual medical treatments.

Also known as ‘translational research’, this has been identified as a critical area in the continued development of Singapore’s biomedical science industry.


The government has committed S$1.5 billion for translational research for five years from 2006 to 2010.

I wonder where they will spend this billion… *chuckles*

Paradigm Shift

It has been a week into the job and I have to start catching up on studying bio. I even start talking bio terms in normal speech. It’s hard to control, like trying not to use tech terms in normal speech. I would likely end up posting bio here too… like now.


“Certisource takes samples in legally-managed forests and extracts the wood’s DNA, almost like a fingerprint.

When the log reaches the mill, its DNA samples are taken again and the two records are compared.”

New uses and applications of such technology opens up new customer opportunities for us…