Monday, December 12, 2005

Brother HL-2040 + x64 = Simply Works!

Got this 20ppm baby today. The Brother HL-2040 personal laser printer works flawlessly with Windows XP Professional x64. The 64-bit WHQL certified printer driver is available from Brother's website.

Printing speed is excellent. I did not notice any paper curl as mentioned in some of the reviews at (I'm using 80gsm multi-purpose paper.) Text quality is good.

The bad: The printer is a little on the noisier side while printing. However, on standby, the printer is dead quiet.

All in all, a good buy! (The HL-2040 has been rated "Best Buy" in PC World - Nov 10, 2005)

Christmas in the Mall

Christmas 2005 at Mid Valley Megamall Kuala Lumpur. Simply stunning!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

AJAX mania

With all the hype around AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML), I've put a compilation of how-to articles on implementing this piece of technology using ASP.NET 1.1 in the link below:

HOW TO: Implement Remote Scripting or AJAX using ASP.NET 1.1


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Feeling nostalgic with Google Maps

Notice the L-shaped building? That was the place I stayed for 4 years...about a decade ago. Thanks to Google Maps, I'm feeling nostalgic now. :-)

See the full aerial view here!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Installing Windows XP Professional x64

This is the day I braved myself to install WinXP x64 on my Athlon64 desktop machine. It's a weird situation because there will be a few things I'll have to do without. For instance, I can't attach my existing Acerscan flatbed scanner or even my Creative Webcam Go as there are simply no 64-bit drivers for these devices. Oh well, at least for now, I'll keep these devices tethered to my trusty old Pentium II/W2K machine.

These are the drivers I used to set up WinXP x64 on my AMD64/ABIT KV8-MAX3 machine:
- VIA VT8237 SATA RAID driver
- 3COM 3C940 NIC driver (unofficial)
- Realtek ALC658 sound driver
- AMD64 processor driver
- ATI Radeon 9550 video driver

In slightly less than one hour, I've got the new OS installed. Everything looks and feels the same as before (as compared with XP Pro 32-bit) but wait a minute...there are two versions of IE -- 32-bit and 64-bit! And under Task Manager, 32-bit process names are tagged with "*32". There are now two program files folder i.e. "Program Files (x86)" and "Program Files". I bet there are more differences under the hood but more of that later.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Touchdown Discovery!

Space shuttle Discovery landed successfully at Edwards Air Force Base in California. I was following the mission on NASA TV and saw the landing on CNN. Shuttle Program Manager, Bill Parsons must have been elated. I'm sure the Ole Miss (The University of Mississippi) alumni community must have been proud of the success of the mission. I'm definitely one of them. Congrats Bill!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Got my XP x64

After a month-long wait, I finally received Windows XP Professional x64 Edition at my doorstep. *GRIN*

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Eventful Saturday

What a day! It's PC Fair event again but this time at the spanking new Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. I went there about lunch hour for a "short tour" -- just in time before the monthly MIND meeting at Tower 2. As for the MIND meeting, it was one of the more interesting meetings as both Akila Manian and Justin Lee gave insightful presentations on ASP.NET 2.0.

After a stimulating half day, I couldn't resist taking a night shot (photo) of one of the towers as I was about to head home.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Preparing for 64-bit computing

Yes, I finally took the plunge and ordered Windows XP Professional x64 Edition via Microsoft's Technology Advancement Program. To be eligible for the program, the x64 machine must be purchased or built between March 31, 2003 and June 30, 2005. International shipping charge is US$22.

Friday, July 01, 2005

My first AMD

For the past 7 years or so, I've been chugging along with a Pentium II machine cruising at a "speedy" 266Mhz. Yeah.....right. ;-) Seriously, it's not really that slow. It just proves having a good memory, storage and video subsystem can help boost overall system performance. With 320MB SDRAM on board, a good Leadtek AGP video card, a 7200RPM Seagate drive, it "feels" just as fast as some of the newer generation machines with under-equipped subsystems.

Today, I took delivery of my first AMD desktop machine (after having owned 4 Intel desktops) The one I got is an Athlon 64 3000+. Not really the high-end one, but just enough to get me into 64-bit computing. The motherboard hosts the aging but proven 754-socket and is AGP only i.e. it doesn't come with PCI Express. I'm not a gamer, or rather, I'm just a casual gamer; so, I don't really care much about frame rates. 8X AGP does fine for me.

For the video card, I chose an ATI Radeon 9550-based card -- pretty much an entry-level DirectX9 card with cool multi-monitor support. For the hard drive, I've decided to break away from the tradition of using Seagate drives and move on to something fresh. Guess what? It's a Samsung SATA drive! Err...I gave a blank look at the sales person who recommended me this drive. What? Samsung makes hard drives too? I remember. They have been in this business for quite a while but have kept a low profile. Samsung is not the fastest performing drives but is one of the coolest and quietest around. To be continued...

Monday, March 28, 2005

Avalon and Indigo for All!

Taken from Chris Anderson's blog:

"Avalon and Indigo March CTP is now available for anyone to download!
Get it while it's hot!"

Saturday, March 26, 2005

TechEd 2005

Unveiling TechEd 2005! I've listed some of the worldwide date/venue information on

Oh...also check out TechEd Bloggers.

Going in-depth with O/R mapping

I've been following the O/R mapping scene for a while but mainly only as an observer. But for the past few weeks, I've been getting my hands dirty with WilsonORMapper (demo version) and NHibernate. Hands down, WilsonORMapper has a shorter learning curve and I also like the fact that the APIs resemble the APIs in ObjectSpaces plus support for most databases out there. The framework is well documented but it does cost $50 to subscribe to it. NHibernate on the other hand is a heavyweight and the mapping options that are available can be overwhelming.

Nevertheless, I sense there will be a strong following for NHibernate in the months to come due to the Java Hibernate origin. At version 0.7 beta, NHibernate supports many databases but lack a SQL dialect for MS Access. Anyway, I've made it work for simple query scenarios using generic SQL dialect but multiple joins posed problems. MS Access support for me is important since I do have projects running on low-cost shared hosting.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 listed on

After one year in the running, my baby, is now listed in on the front page under Community Sites section. This is so cool! Thanks Microsoft!

For those who have not heard of, here's an extract from the About Us page: is a portal and store designed for the ASP.NET web developer community. In here, you'll learn about ASP.NET web application development through our growing collection of how-tos and tutorials. You'll also be able to monitor ASP.NET headlines around the Internet and shop for ASP.NET-related products. In addition, we also feature an ASP.NET directory where you can find thousands of ASP.NET indexed resources. Our philosophy is to keep our site presentation as lean as possible so that you'll get the most out of your browsing experience.

Read more here...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

New iPod Shuffle

Apple has released iPod Shuffle. It's smaller than a pack of gum and is available in 512MB and 1G. The footnote on Apple's website says:

Do not eat iPod shuffle.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Analyzing IIS logs offline

I'm currently using Webalizer provided by my web hoster to analyze IIS logs of one of my sites but my logs accumulate fast, forcing me to move them from the remote server to my desktop. This means I can't do analysis on a wider time range on the server side. Thus, I need an offline solution, preferably easy to set up and intuitive to use.

Some googling around revealed that there's a nice lightweight Windows-based freeware analyzer, useful for analyzing web logs offline. It's called WebLog Expert Lite (WEL) and it comes with a Windows installer! :-) WEL supports IIS and Apache logs and can read GZ and ZIP compressed log. Multiple analysis profiles can be configured to analyze downloaded logs from different websites. The log reports are in HTML format incorporating nice graphical charts. Because the reports reside locally, paging through the reports is fast!

WilsonORMapper v3.1

Paul Wilson has released version 3.1 of his much evangelized O/R mapper. Read his blog post here.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Bird's eye view of CMMI

It's the monthly MIND gathering again and this time the topic of highlight was CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration). It's time well-spent as the speaker gave a gripping two-hour presentation.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Software development expertise: Demand

I was thinking of a way to gauge the current demand for expertise in various software development skills and what simpler way than to do a keyword search in a leading online job recruitment website in Malaysia using the site's own search engine. Here's what I found:

c - 137 (note however, it covers c, c++ and c# due to search engine limitations)
java -131
oracle - 114
sql server - 81
asp - 76
html - 70
xml - 70
visual basic - 60
.net - 58
j2ee - 54
vb - 54
javascript - 44 - 43
jsp - 40
php - 34
perl - 33
mysql - 32
db2 - 28
crystal reports - 27 - 27
sdlc - 25
uml - 19
web services - 15
struts - 14
ejb - 12
weblogic - 12
com - 11 (covers com+ as well)
delphi - 11
servlet - 10
xsl - 9
xslt - 8
dcom - 7
rpg - 5
soap - 5
python - 4
extreme programming - 3
msmq - 3
rational rose - 3
rup - 3
ado - 2
mts - 2 - 1
corba - 1
msf - 1
soa - 0
windows forms - 0
winforms - 0
c# - (?) can't handle "#" ....duh!
c++ - (?) can't handle "++" either

I must point out that this method of measuring demand are at best crude. For example, the results returned for Oracle and SQL Server cover not only those hiring software development expertise but also DBAs. Moreover, some employers may imply requiring a certain skillset but did not list the skills explicitly in their requirements. So, I leave it to your interpretation!