Thursday, August 16

Windows 8 Fast Startup

In Win8 RTM version, this feature is called "Fast Startup"; In the previous versions of Win8, it was called "Hybrid Boot"; In Win7, it was called "Hybrid Sleep".

The idea is to keep your computer sleep when it is not being used. The memory are kept in RAM with small amount of electricity expense. Then it can be waken up quickly, to give user the best experience. When you turn on TV, you don't see a progress bar saying "Starting up...20%...24%...25%..." With this new technology, Microsoft brings up the computer as fast as possible.

This new feature is different from the old "sleep" because it can go into deep sleep, hibernate, when the power is lower than a specific lever. Assume you forgot to connect power cord to the poor laptop during weekend, it can save all data from RAM into harddrive, then turn off itself completely, when it detects danger. That is why it was called "hybrid": It is a combination of sleep and hibernation.

The new thing about this feature is that it fake itself as "power off". When you press power button (the physical power button of your computer), it goes into this hybrid sleep mode immediately. This works well for laptop or netbook or any electronic device, because they have batteries. But for traditional desktop, this is not ideal: The user might think it is powered off, so he unplug the computer to move it to another place. Then the data in RAM is wiped out.

PGP Whole Disk Encryption

PGP Whole Disk Encryption was deployed in company laptop on Monday. I don't like it already.

The biggest change is that when the computer is turned on, it requires password. I don't remember my password, and I rely on the finger print reader to log me in Windows all the time. Now this PGP WDE doesn't support finger print input, so I actually have to type in the password, letter by letter.

The good thing about finger print reader is that you don't have to remember your password, so that you don't mind to select a strong password, and change it regularly according to company policy. I actually use a passwordsafe software to generate password randomly.

Now with the PGP WDE, I will have to reconsider choosing an easy password to remember.

The second thing I don't understand is: Then you power cycle the laptop, it asks for password. But if you close the lid, it goes into sleep; then you open the lid, it wakes up, brings you directly to the Windows login prompt.

I agreed that if the laptop is stolen, or the harddrive is lost, then the inside data is still kept secrete. That is a good thing.

Wednesday, August 15

Chinese first landed in Diaoyu Islands recently


Sunday, August 12

Riding bicycle on the road

When riding bicycle on the road, you have to be bold enough to ride in the center of your lane, so that the vehicle behind you has to make proper lane chance to pass you. A lot of drivers don't know they should share the road with bicycle, so they always want to squeeze into the same lane with you. That is extremely dangeous for both the driver, and you. Especially you, since you are unprotected on bicycle. DMV should declare driver licenses of those drivers void, so that they have this great opportunity to read the Driver's Handbook again. When I say "those drivers", I include both the drivers that actually do so, and the drivers that want to do so.

 In same roads, the right lane is wider, and it is good enough to fit in one vehicle and a bicycle. Like in this satelite image:
According to the scale rule, the left lane (the red line) is 10 feet. That is for a single vehicle. The right lane (the blue line) is 17 feet, so it is ok to ride on the right to share the lane with a vehicle.

But, (yes, there is a "but"), if there is a vehicle parked in front of you in the same lane, like the two white cars in the upper right corner, you should reconsider.
When you approach to the parked vehicle, you have to join the traffic again. A vehicle is usually 5-6 feet wide, and you need to stay away from the door for 3 feet, in case the dump driver open the door without checking for coming bicycle (why on earth would anybody forget to share the road with others?), then the 17 feet lane only has 8-9 feet left, and that is no way to fit for both a running vehicle and your bicycle.

When bicycling, lane changing and rejoining the traffic require high skill and more coordination of your body. When maintaining your bicycle running, you have to look back to the traffic, to see if there is a car comming. When your are commuting, there is always car comming, and they are driving at higher speed than you. It's barely possible to find enough room for you to merge into the lane, so your best bet is that you have half of the room, and the car behind you is nice enough to slow down for you to merge in. So you need to look back to check for enough room, then stick your left hand straight out to signal, while still riding the bike with only your right hand on the bar, and be ware of the parked vehicle in fron of you.

So if you are not sure about rejoining the traffice later, my suggestion is to stay on the center of the lane, to let the drivers figure out how to pass your safely.

The other thing that the drivers don't honor is the bicycle stopping room.