Wednesday, April 26

When I have two things to do

When I have two things to do:

If they are both unimportant, I will not do anything until they become important, or it's too late.

If one is more important thant another one, I will do the less important one first, it can make me feel better before I do the important one. Of course I will be late to do the next one. Doing the less important one will be the first case.

If they are equally important, I will not do any of them, because I am too nervous to decide which to do first. I will go find something less stressful to do when waiting to decide between these two important things.

Hi Ben,
Thanks for your visit. I have write you for you could come back to read later. Have a nice day.

Thursday, April 20

Nazanin is not a murderer

Nazanin is an 18-year-old girl in Iran. In March 2005 she defended herself and her 16-year-old niece from 3 men who attempted to rape them. She stabbed one of the three men, and he died in hospital after that. Now Nazanin is sentenced death as a murderer in Iran law. She was not even an adult when it happened. She was 17 years old at that time.

She will be hung if nothing happen. If you think the sentence is not fair for her, please sign in a petition
to push UN to do something in this case and send this message to your friends.

You can get more information by Googling "Nazanin" in Google News.

Tuesday, April 18

How to purchase a computer

Don't buy the current model. The current model will cost you a lot, and the price will go down really soon. It can be half-priced in 3 months. You don't actually need the best computer, unless, you want to show off.

Most computers perform well. It's not necessary to think it over again and again.

Upgradability? No, don't buy one computer because it is able to upgrade later. When the computer is slow, and you are thinking to upgrade it, it is time to purchase a new one. Actually, maybe by that time, the hardware has changed, the part you planed to upgrade does no longer exist, compare to the time you purchase the computer.

yeah, suggestion is not bad. But, hope can correct some "errors":
does not longer exist? maybe you could understand it in your own way, but...
and, please remember one thing: double check before posting.

yeah, suggestion is not bad. But, hope can correct some "errors":
does not longer exist? maybe you could understand it in your own way, but...
and, please remember one thing: double check before posting.


Password: The first step of security

1, Password is important. First, you don't want to disclose all your information. Second, you want to control your accounts. Last but not the least, it's a shame to be broken in.

2, Never use one password for all the websites. If one website is vulnerable, your information in all the websites, including your contact information, your friend list, your email, will be compromised.

3, Tired of remembering different password? Microsoft has a solution: Microsoft Passport NetworkPassport. (Will upgrade toWindows Live ID Windows Live ID). The idea is: You apply for an account in Microsoft Passport NetworkPassport. Then when you visit some websites which are affiliate with Passport, you will be redirect to Passport's website to input your username and passport. After you are verified by Passport, it will tell the website you want to visit: Yes, this man is one of my users, he is clear. Then you will be authorized to visit the affiliated website. Only the Passport website has your passport, and you need only to remember one passport, and you can visit many websites, such as MSN, HotMail...

4, Do you trust Microsoft? Do you trust it to put your only password in this basket? In Open Source community, there's one alternative: OpenID. It is a distributed system. There're several OpenID servers to choose from (currently), and you can setup your own OpenID server too. In every website which supports OpenID, you can input a link in your OpenID server, then the server will talk to the website following the spec, you will be let in.
There's no central server, so you can claim yourself Bill Gates @ yourserver. Of course people will consider respectable servers first.


Respect the copyright.

I am a programmer. I respect the software copyright, because I want others to pay me for the software I make.

Running Windows on MacBook

Running Windows on MacBook? It's like playing soccer with one pair of expensive leather shoes on.

Friday, April 14

Offline Message of IMs

ICQ has pretty good offline message procedure. I can't understand why MSN and Skype can't send offline message as good as ICQ.

icqYou log in, want to talk to somebody in your friend list, but find temporary she is not online. ICQ allows you to leave an offline message, so that your friend can get the message whenever she log in. It's weird that MSN Messenger, before 8.0 version, doesn't provide this feature. It's more weired that the Skype send the offline message in a freaking stupid way.

MSN MessengerLet's talk about MSN Messenger first. Before 8.0 version, the MSN Messenger provides "Send Email" feature when your friend is not online. We don't like that because email is far too formal than Instant Messenger. Although the email can have the same function as Instant Messenger, why are Instant Messengers so popular?
The MSN Messenger 8.0 is not launched yet, but I've tried the 8.0 Beta version. If your friend is also using 8.0 Beta version, yes, she can get your offline message when she logs in. But unfortunately, if she is using older version, or web version, or some other replacement such as GAIM, then she can't never get the message. It's even worse than having no offline message feature: You think your friend has got the message, but she hasn't! Microsoft should warn the user about this thing.

SkypeNow we're coming to Skype. You can send offline message when your friend is not online. But she will get the message only when you and her are both online! The message is saved in your computer, when the friend is offline. If you log out, and the friend log in, she can no message. Only when you both get online, the message is sent.
We have another scenario: When you are home, you send an offline message to a friend, then you turn off your computer and go to office. At your lunch time, you log in Skype and see your friend is online. You both are online now, do you think she get your offline message yet? No. The offline message is still saved in your home computer.

Gees, you can't understand why they are so stupid!

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
-- Albert Einstein

Is there any reason for you to steal disk space and bandwidth from me?






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Wednesday, April 12

Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese

Traditional Chinese characters have been used for a really long time. From Wikipedia, we can see that Chinese people have been using them from Han Dynasty(206BC-AD220). All the books were written in Traditional Chinese character.

In early 1900s, people realized that the hard written characters are one of the reason why many Chinese people can't read and write. Some simplified characters have been used in calligraphy, so in 1900s people started to make those simplified characters official. Not too much characters, but at least it is a begining.

After the Liberation, Mainland China pushed the action much forward. 1964, in the first official Simplified Chinese Characters List, there are 2236 simplified characters. But at the same time, Taiwan people keep using the traditional characters.

It's hard to say which one is better, Simplifed or Traditional characters.
Simplified characters are easier to write, so it's useful in promoting Chinese Language. But Traditional characters users say that in the Information Age, we don't need to write. We simply type the keyboard. So it doesn't matter if it's hard to write or not :)
To simplify the Traditional Characters, some characters having the same pronounciation are combined into one character. For example, 發 of 發生(happen) and 髪of头髪(hair) are combined as 发. Simplified Characters users think it's very normal because these two meanings of 发 is very different, so no one will get confused. But Traditional Characters users think it's breaking the rule of Chinese Character creation.
Also, Traditional Characters users are saying that Simplified Characters lose the beauty of the characters. It's hard to argue because it's hard to define "beauty".
Traditional Characters users also think it's brutal to simplify characters because no one will be able to read those ancient books any more. It will lead to the death of Chinese culture. But I would say, it's hard to read those ancient books anyway, because the language has changed a lot. People have to get trained to read those books. So it doesn't matter if common people have to read the translated version.

Believe it or not, there're rumous saying that Taiwan KMT government stopped simplifying the characters after 1949, because Mainland China was doing so.

The truth is: The Simplified Characters are popular nowadays. Simplified Chinse Not only the Mainland China but also Singapore and Malysia are using them. February 28, the President of Taiwan Government signed an important official report. Surprisedly he wrote a lot of Simplifed Chinese characters. 9 of the 52 characters are Simplified characters, including one character in his signature. People asked why, and the House of President answered: "What he wrote was Chinese Simplified characters, not the Simplified characters of Mainland". It doesn't make any sense at all. The thing is, people attemp to simplify the writing, because the Traditional characters are unnecessary complicate. Simplified Chinese characters are not invented by Mainland government from in vain. They have been using in calligraphy in the last 1000 years, and they were first officialy announced by KMT government in 1930s. So it's not surprised that Taiwan people keep simplifying the characters.

The first Simplified Chinese Characters List Draft was published in 1956. In the 50th anniversary, Professor Chen Zhangtai, a known researcher and the vice president of National Language Committee, announced that the United Nations will abandon the Traditional Chinese characters by 2008. The T characters users are being upset, and the S characters users are so delighted. But 10 days later people found it was wrong. The truth is: The United Nations has been stopped using Traditional Chinese characters after 1971 when Taiwan was expelled from the UN. I don't know how Prof Chen got the idea about 2008, but surely he hurt so many people's feeling in these days.

I hate people using data from untrusted source. April 10, when reporter asked Prof Chen about the false news, he said the source is from 2005 Report of Language's Application and Distribution. "You can still get that report from the Internet", he added proudly. It is not clear who is the author of this report, but Prof Chen should not use this source if the source is not clear.
The old news saying that the UN will abandon Traditional Chinese characters is very popular. You can got a lot of webpages from Google. But the news that Prof Chen admitted his source is not from the UN is only showed in several Taiwan newspaper and some forums. Not even one Simplified Chinese characters website has this news.

That's the war between Simplified Chinese characters and Traditional Chinese characters. Someone says, it's like the war between Apple and Windows, no one will ever win, and no one will be able to convice each other. Looks like the war between man and woman though.

are you practicing your English? It's quite well written but still there is some room for improvement. :-)
I've grown up learnign Traditional Chinese, and I don't have any problem reading them at all. The way I see it, Traditional Chinese is not the reason why people were illiterate. Before KMT moved to Taiwan, the literacy in Taiwan was very low. Most people did not know how to read and write in Chinese, except those who had secretly attended the 私塾 (they were banned but still exist secretly). But when education became one of the obligation of the people, everyone in the younger generation at that time had learned to read and write in Traditional Chinese fluently. So I personally don't think it was the Simplified Chinese that improved the literacy in mainland China. Instead, it was the effort they put into in making people literate.
Anna: I don't judge which one is better. I am giving out the fact. It's good to know your opinion.
Hi Ben,

I am also from Calgary :) I am trying to learn chinese. I prefer simplified because I am influenced by the mainland, but I can tell you as a learner traditional would be much easier and make more sense to learn because traditional characters contain a lot more information about the character through radicals, and other components. Simplified has replaced components of characters by things such as just plain lines. I use to dislike traditional because it was so different and looked really compicated, but as I learn I realize that simplified is actually somewhat flawed because those lines that cut through what use to be meanlingfull parts of the character also cut right through its culture and heritage. The use of ancient characters is the one living testament that all chinese do that makes chinese really chinese. I agree with the previous comment, it may have been helpful when everyone had to write the characters; but now it doesn't really help much, I myself have never written a character on paper, but I can write on my Iphone and on my computer etc.. it is a real shame, it was supposed to be to increase litteracy in china but really China would have benefited much more by addressing the problems with the education system, not dumbing down the language. A possible solution would be for mainland China to allow the use traditional characters in the mainland. I know they are quite picky, for example business's must use simplified chinese for their names etc by law.. If they were to allow traditional they could still use simplified for education but at least permit the use of traditional by those whom like to use it, that way everyone would at least have some exposure to more of your history... At least only some of the characters have been simplified, that at least is comforting.

Ohhh.... if anyone knows of a chinese bookstore in calgary that has simplified please let me know, I cant find anything at all to help me learn simplified in Calgary. If you have any ideas, please let me know peoples, thanks! :0
1978, Taiwan published a "Standard writing sample" which has a lot of simplified Chinese characters:


Thursday, April 6

Apple and Microsoft

Windows on Apple!

Why is it important? Because Apple was not following an open standard. HP can make PC with Microsoft Windows, IBM can make PC with Microsoft Windows, but no one company other than Apple can make Apple computer with Mac OS.
26 years ago, when Bill Gates started to write DOS system, he never think of making PC an arbitrary system. Instead, he (and IBM, Intel) public the standard of interface, so that other companies can make keyboard, hard drive, sound card, video card for this system. With the investment of the whole industry, Windows is so popular now.
Apple has another story. Steven Jobs likes to have everything under control. He wants to make each part of the Apple computer perfect, from mouse to the plastic shell of the monitor. He doesn't like others to fool around his favorite. This is the reason that the Apple computer is famous with the good taste, so not so many people can afford that.

In 1996, Steven Jobs said: "The trouble with Microsoft is they have no taste". He is satisfaied because his computer is appreciated by good-taste people. But Bill Gates' dream is much bigger than that. Bill wants to deliver computer to every desktop (The Road Ahead, 1995).

Apple's share in the market is pretty small now. So this action, letting Windows to run on Apple computer, is pretty important. First, this is a signal that Apple is open. Second, this is a sign that Apple is having innovation. Third, this shows that Apple is going to challenge Microsoft in the market dominated by Microsoft.

Several months ago, Mac OS 10 is ready to run on Intel chip.

Nice job!