Sunny Chan blogs Can you see the Logic in my Madness?

Kelvin Ko on Marriage and Opportunity Cost

by schan

Posted on Saturday Oct 03, 2009 at 03:22PM in Anything

The Italian Job - preliminary plan

by schan

Posted on Sunday Sep 13, 2009 at 05:46AM in The Italian Job

View The Italian Job in a larger map

I am planning to switch on Google Latitude during the trip so that people can track where I am. More details to follow 

Autofs hints

by schan

Posted on Thursday Aug 06, 2009 at 09:11PM in Anything

Just to save other people out there who have try to use autofs:

All automount map file must be non executable (eg rw-r-r-)

If not automounter will refuse to load it. I was scratching my head for a whole night trying to figure out my new ubuntu installation refuse to mount my NFS home directory. I am just about to blame ubuntu for this :-)

T-Mobile G1 - The Google Phone

by schan

Posted on Thursday Jul 16, 2009 at 09:06PM in Anything

Well, as most people who read this knows that I am pretty keen on Palm Pre. However my Nokia N95 is falling apart and I need a phone now to replace my Nokia. So I decided to take a look and I have decided to get a T-Mobile G1 for now, and then when Palm Pre is out here at the end of the year I would go and get

For those who doesn't know, T-Mobile G1 is the first phone that is based upon Google Android, the Linux based mobile OS that uses a subset/special implementation of Java as the main program interface.

I have been using the G1 for about a week now, and so far so good. It's pretty slick and the interface are pretty good compare to the iPhone. All the apps I wanted to use are there, including a fairly decent Live Messenger client. Althought the AppStore is not as good as Apple, it is growing and there are a few useful one up there. Hopefully once the Chinese Manufacturer making cheaper Android phone more developers will move onto the platform. Though it should be fairly easy to move J2ME application onto the Android platform (quite similar but not exactly the same - however a good developer can easily develop Facade to support both).

Anyway, I should download the SDK and have a play around soon.

J P Morgan Challenge 2009

by schan

Posted on Tuesday Jul 14, 2009 at 07:18PM in Anything

Here is the result. I came 11164 out of 11725.

It is all about participation! :-)

Sunny Gor Gor

by schan

Posted on Saturday Jul 11, 2009 at 10:48AM in Anything

I have a weird morning today:

Firstly I got up at 8 and I was watching thie Google I/O 2008 talk in bed. It is all about the Dalvok VM and I am curious about why they have their own dex format, etc. Interesting on how they adapted Java to work really well in a small platform:


Then I saw my sister has posted one of those really old Hong Kong advert in the facebook:

I then hop around the youtube site and look at some of those really old Hong Kong TV adverts. My goodness. When I was young I thought it was slick and cool, but now I feel a bit errie about them. Anyway, I finally landed on a couple of links with Sunny Gor Gor songs. For those of you who are old enough in Hong Kong should remember him - he is pretty much the first Hong Kong Children TV presenter. I did a bit of google and manage to find his web site. I was too young at that time (ahem... yes I was) and I only had a faint memory of him on TV.

However, I didn't pick my Sunny as my first name because of him though (nor did my parents). That's a story for another time.

What I have learnt this week.

by schan

Posted on Sunday Jun 28, 2009 at 08:36PM in Anything

It's been a long week. Here is 10 things I have learnt:

  1. If you have locked your keys in your MINI, don't bother calling the recovery service. Just find a stone/hammer and smash the window.
  2. Autoglass open 24*7. If they have the mirror in stock and a technician is available then you can get it fixed at 2am.
  3. Never chain your house keys with your car keys.
  4. Power Steering is a common fault on the 2001-2006 MINI Coopers. And it is expensive to get it fixed so BMW didn't do a recall.
  5. Taking the train to Brighton can be quicker than driving. Except you should expect noisy babies so iPod is essential
  6. Water in Brighton is pretty decent. Though it is a bit difficult to find a shower facility.
  7. Your ghost in Sim 3 only has a limited amount of time. Once the time is up then that's it, so get him/her revived asap.
  8. It's difficult to find a decent techie jobs in Hong Kong, unless you are actually there.
  9. Enjoy your life. You never know when your doctor will give you an overdose. Especially you are the King of Pop
  10. Java 6 Update 14 with server hotspot compiler is really really fast.

Why can't Orientals guys (US: Asian) get the white girls

by schan

Posted on Tuesday Jun 16, 2009 at 09:16PM in Anything

Eurovision Song Contest 2009

by schan

Posted on Sunday May 17, 2009 at 12:37PM in Anything

Eurovision Song Contest has become a little bit of a joke last couple of years, though I still enjoy Terry Wogan's (now Graham Norton) sarcastic comment and also what those crazy Eastern European could come up with. Surprising this year I think it's pretty good (hence I would like to blog about it)

For those come who are reading this and have no idea what Eurovision Song Contest it (e.g. if you live in HK), do a google and find out what you are missing out here!

This year seems like everyone is getting really serious about this competition, for
example, Germany has Dita Von Teese on the set, while UK have Andrew
Lloyd Webber writing songs, etc. They have changed the voting system
this year as well, and it did reduced the political voting effect. (Though
Ukarine still give 12 points for Russia, etc.) and Moscow who hosted this seems to be lavishing a lot of money on the set!

 My favourite song this year is the one from Estonia (not just because she is lang lui haaa):


Another one I quite enjoyed is the Ajiberjan's entry:


I thought this is quite cheeky and the tune is quite catchy too.

I stayed in and I thought I was entartained - so good job Europe looking forward to next year.

VMWare ESXi 3 experience

by schan

Posted on Friday May 01, 2009 at 10:04PM in Anything

I recently have upgraded my desktop machine to a Core 2 Quad - that by itself is quite a big change because I have been using AMD CPU for nearly 10 years, but it seems like Intel finally has a better product, so I voted with my Wallet.

Anyway so with a working Dual Core AMD Athlon x2 3800+ CPU as well as 4G DDR RAM, what shall we do with it? Of course try some new stuff. I always fancy the idea of having a hypervisor in the BIOS - althought we are not quite there yet, but the closest product we have right now.

So I downloaded the VMWare ESXi from VMWare website, burn it onto a CD and run installer. ESXi consists of a modified Linux kernel and some VMware modules. It took a minute or so to boot up. When I tried to run the installer, it comes back with an error with unsupported device. I did a quick Google on the topic and found that the installer just doesn't support IDE hard drives (which is the one that I have lying around!). You need to go to the virtual console and start hacking their installation script. That's not very nice.

Anyway, once I have installed it on the hard drive I reboot the machine - however it doesn't seems to be able to format the hard drive. After trying for half a Sunday I figure out that my drive was used to install Windows 7, and instead of standard old school partition table it now has a EFI GUID Partition Table. VMWare doesn't seems to know how to handle them. In the end I cleared the GPT using diskpart off my hard drive and now VMWare can install properly.

The one really annoy thing for me is that VMWare ESXi can only use drives formatted with VMFS - as a result I can't really share my external SATA hard drive with another Linux installation. BAD. Also it seems like you once you have created a VMWare Virtual hard drive on a data store it won't be able to shrink the disk size. Arghhhhhh. Why can't they have a straight pass through SATA? or USB? Searching in Google suggested that the only way you can let your VMWare to use a drive "natively" is to share it from a remote machine using a iSCSI intiaitor. BAD

At the moment when I need to install OS onto the server I either use a CD image or my local CD drive. This is another annoyance as I just cannot convince VMWare to assign the server's DVD ROM drive onto the virtual machine. Make it a bit slower to install the packages..

Another thing that I don't like is that there is no console directly on the server itself-  you will have to use the management client in order to connect to those console. This is okay for a headless server but for developer like me I would still prefer to have full console access to my VM the server itself.

Other than these annoying details it works pretty well with the stuff I throw at it. The CPU I use for this VMWare test machine doesn't support Pacifica technology (AMD's Vritualisation instructions set) but is still achieve a decent performance

Old School Computer Music

by schan

Posted on Tuesday Apr 21, 2009 at 07:47PM in Anything

My first PC has two floppy drive and no hard disk (how could one survive that?!), and when the floppy's step motor moving around it makes noise that can be similar to music. I always wonder whether someone will us it as a musical instrument. Someone with lots of time in their hand finally has done this impressive number with old computer bits:



I am well impressed!

The latest HSBC ad

by schan

Posted on Tuesday Apr 14, 2009 at 08:24PM in Anything

This is a classic HSBC ad, blogged here for my mom:


For those who doesn't know Chinese, the English translation they give there isn't as true to the meaning. The chinese words above the "Fear" actually means "Nightmare".



Strange Conversation

by schan

Posted on Thursday Mar 12, 2009 at 09:08PM in Anything

4.45pm. Sunny's mobile rang.

T = T-Mobile sales. S = Sunny

T: Is this Mr. Chan?

S: Yes

T: This is T-mobile. I noticed that your discount period is coming to an end. Would you like to renew your contract or get a new phone?

S: Not at the moment. I am waiting for a phone to come out and it is not on sale yet.

T: May I ask which one?

S: Palm Pre

T: Sorry what's that?

S: Palm Pre!

T: I have never heard of it.

S: Google it!

T: Tell me the name once more?

S: (Annoyed tone) PALM PRE.

T: How do you spell it?

S: (Very Annoyed) P-A-L-M P-R-E

T: What make is it?

S: (Thinking "D**khead" in his head) Palm

T: I am sorry?

S: (Are you wasting my time?) PALM!

T: Oh Palm. I never heard of it before - Okay let me see.

T: (Looking at Google, found the Palm's website) Oh is it US only?

S: Nope they are going to make a GSM version (Note: I mean 3G - I won't buy a phone without 3G HSPDA!)

S: So can I just keep the contract as is.

T: Yes

S: Okay.

T: Thanks for your time.

This guy should be layed off in this kind of economic environment. Palm Pre is like the best phone since iPhone. He is so not going to sell any phone to me


by schan

Posted on Sunday Feb 22, 2009 at 02:14PM in Anything

No, I am not talking about Hard drive backup. Although if you are not you should. RAID will not help you.

Over the years, there has been a number of my female friends who jokingly/seriously say that they would want me to be their backup, and would like a pact with me if they can't find someone by 35 then I should married them. That makes me wonder: what makes me such a good backup? If I am such a good backup, why don't they want to make me the main man? Am I good enough but not good enough?

Answer on a post card please.

I did have agreed to one of these pact long ago, but fortunately (or unfortunately) she has found someone and is now engaged. So I am free to make another pact!

Windows 7 Beta First Impression

by schan

Posted on Sunday Jan 11, 2009 at 05:22PM in Anything

Well, Windows 7 Beta is out and thinking that I have a spare machine I would give it a try - I have downloaded Windows 7 and then install it from DVD. The installation was pretty quick and painless. I decided to wipe the machine clean rather than doing an upgrade, as my out Windows XP setup has too much crap in it.

This machine is an old single core Pentium M 1.7G, with 2G of RAM. Once the installation completes it boots up fairly quickly, and much more reponsive then Vista on the same machine - the hard drive doesn't work as hard as Vista, and it seems that it doesn't work the CPU as hard.

Interface wise it is not that much different from Vista, however, they copied some of the elements from Mac, for example, you can now pinned the Icon onto the task bar, and you can organised a whole bunch of Windows according to app - just like Mac OS X Tiger.

Out of the box it has already contained most of the driver I need for the Thinkpad, and they are available via Windows Update. However to my surprised they dopn't have Intel Pro Wireless drivers isn't available - considering that Intel is a close partner for Microsoft I would have thought that it should work straight out of them box. Luckily, it seems like Vista driver works fine on Windows 7 so I just download the driver from Lenovo and the wireless works fine.

One of the main problem is that I spend most of the Sunday afternoon trying to sort out is trying to connect to Samba shares. It seems like Windows 7 has tightened up much of the security in terms of SMB shares. Most of the instructions on the net says you need to change the security policy manager, Local Policy to allow NTLM authentication. However it didn't work and after switching off most of the encryption and security options for SMB it finally works.

So I will spend a couple of days with Windows 7 and see how it goes - I am impressed so far.