Archive for March, 2006|Monthly archive page

Urban Legend?

In Personal on 23 March, 2006 at 7:02 pm

No this is the truth, at least according to one famous lawyer in Singapore.

One fine young man (incidentally he is a Singaporean) was in Hong Kong one fine day.  He met an old man on the street who asked him whether he can treat an old man to a bowl of hot noodle.  Taking a pity on the old man who seems to be making ends meet by collecting cardboard, cans and such things that are thrown away, this fine young man agreed to treat the old man to a bowl of noodle.

While eating his bowl of noodle, the old man praised the young man for being so kind, then asked him for one last favour.  He asked the young man whether he can help an old man to settle some of his stuff when the time come for the old man to meet his ancestors.  The young man thinking that such a simple old man will not get complicated with his will, agreed to help.  So the delighted old man asked the young man for his full name and passport number.

Several years later the young man got a call from a lawyer from Hong Kong, saying that the old man has passed away and in his will he asked the young man to help settle his properties and wealth.  The young man said that was true and was shock to find out that the old man is a multi-millionaire and under Hong Kong law, he will get a 5% of the total settlement as a comission.  That amount turns out to be a whopping US$5 milliion.

So next time you get to Hong Kong, treat those old folks nicely, you never know…

Windows Vista is delayed till January 2007

In OS on 23 March, 2006 at 6:40 pm

So its official.  It has been delayed.

Do I care?  Yes I think I do.  Its a disappointment.  After waiting for a September 2006 release, it is now a January 2007.  But I would rather get a quality software rather than a half-baked one.  So a delay really is better than Microsoft rushing the product and then users need to wait for a service pack to solve their problems.  So I hope Windows Vista will really be a good one after 2 delay.

But I think that a January 2007 date is all thanks to PC makers since businesses can still get their hands on Windows Vista in November 2006 as long as they purchase volume license.  PC makers can’t really get their act together to release their PC pre-installed with Windows Vista earlier if Microsoft release Windows Vista in November (at least they can’t meet the holiday season).

So those people who DIY their system got to wait 2 more months to a January 2007.

LCD Monitor – Are they the same?

In Electronic on 18 March, 2006 at 6:25 am

They seem the same, so are they the same?

Response time?  Sure some are 4ms, some 8ms and some 12ms.  But in actual fact these figures might not be measuring the same thing.  Response time refers to the speed of pixels, how fast can they change from color to color.  A faster response time will not cause a “ghost” effect to appear in games and movies.  However, nowadays, the panels are fast enough that you will hardly get any that will be that bad.  Furthermore, the response time measured might be from gray to gray or black to white, depending on which is the fastest.  Thus, on average most panels are really responding at the same speed.

Contrast?  Brightness?  For contrast, a 500:1 is normally good enough, which is the standard nowadays anyway.  Brightness is actually quite adequate for any LCD panel, normally it is above 250 cd/m2.

So are there really any difference?  Luckily, there are, if not they won’t be price so differently.  I think the current most important difference is the color depth.

Color depth refers to the number of colors the panel can produce.  Currently there are 6 bit and 8 bit panels.  8 bits panel are the so called true color panel as it can display a total of 16.7 million colors.  This is the best panel if you are interested in watching movies on your monitor, or even for future gaming that is of a high definition.  6 bit panel can only display a total of 0.262 million colors.  This is actually the same color depth as the latest mobile phone display.  However, monitor manufacturer use a technique call dithering to help to increase the color depth in 6 bit panel.  This technique display two close colors very fast so that only one is seen and thus fool the eyes into thinking that it can see more colors.  With dithering the perceive color depth becomes 16.2 million colors.

A panel that can produce a total of 16.7 million colors is still the best for watching movies and graphic designing.

Finally, Microsoft Expression March CTP

In Software on 16 March, 2006 at 6:44 am

After the release of Windows Vista Feb CTP, it seems that there is still something missing to complete the puzzle.  Yes that is Microsoft Expression Suite that work with the WinFX Feb CTP.  Now it is finally here.

Expression Interactive Designer March CTP and Expression Graphic Designer March CTP.  2 great tools that help you to harness the new capabilities of Windows Presentation Foundation.

Preview – Office 2007 UI

In Software on 14 March, 2006 at 6:59 am

It seems like Microsoft is giving user a preview of their upcoming Office 2007 UI.  You can see their new design direction from the screenshots that is up on their site.

Personally, I like the bluish theme, but I have seen people in forum who said that the blue looks ugly.  Well it seems in design, personal taste still rules.