Archive for 三月, 2008

富士山下

2008/03/13

科技公司的面試都喜歡考IQ題,不是腦筋急轉彎那種,永世唔會估仲答案的,而是可以讓考官觀察面試者應付難題的能力。M$有很出名的題 目:「如果把富士山移走?」於是林夕就反問一句:「誰能憑愛意要富士山私有?」呢啲咪叫高招,成首歌啲歌詞都唔知講乜(我知我知,google一下就有幾 十個解釋,但我覺得好牽強囉),但係又好好聽喎!

女子,火闌gag言冓完。

同學飛到palo alto面試fb,又是考IQ題。其中一題問:

兩個人,每人有個pattern(分別是「公公字」,同埋「公字字」),另有一枚公正的銀(公字機會各半),一路咁擲,直至出現其中一個人既pattern,果個人就贏。

問題係,邊個人贏面大啲?

廣告

警號

2008/03/12

人們常說身體是一套天然的警報系統,頭暈身慶顯示身體正在跟細菌打仗,四肢酸痛代表勞動過度。書上說如果肌肉痛,那代表身體的負苛過大,好應該休息一下,免得捱壞身子。

自一月底起開始寫一套系統,理論上一切都可行,而我要把理論變成現實。

幾乎從零開始,一步一步地緩慢地走。亦因為很多東西還有實驗階段,一切都不太肯定,所以希望每一個unit都可以給容易地移走和釀入,方便evaluate每個部份的效率。老細的PostDoc建議我用python和某個library,因為它Python十分high level容許把已發表的paper做line-by-line translation,那個library很naive之餘亦well-structured,第一版prototype才花我幾天便完成,及後便是unit by unit的evolutionary prototyping。唯一的問題是我不黯python,在馬料水時夾硬用python寫了個oo-interpreter,然後就荒廢了,於是今天又要從頭來過。

足足寫了六個星期,很專心很用功的六個星期。我把自己的生活習慣都改變了,晚上十時許就睡,天還沒亮就起床,趁早上辦公室還沒有人時努力的寫,直至疲累。舉頭縱見燦爛的陽光,也沒有出去走走的心情。期間的壓力頗大。縱然理論上一切都可行,但在現實裏卻沒法滅火跟煙。一直想早點完成,好讓自己有貨交俾老細,不過是每天發現一條又一條可惡的蟲蟲,有排都望不見家鄉。

老細時常說:I love to see progress。我亦很想有progress。不知多少個晚上夢見那二千幾行program,一大堆自家製的lemma和十九萬個bugs,另加幾十頁用狂草寫成的cases analysis。夢醒以後,又急急回到辦公室裏繼續搏殺。

星期一傍晚,終於完成了phase1,終於有些許progress,終於可以鬆一口氣。心想可以睡一覺好,十一時上床,豈料一時許右肩酸痛得很,我嘗試轉過左邊去睡,但無論哪個姿勢,依然痛得不能睡。落床,給自己的肩按摩了幾下,又伸展了幾下,但還是不奏效。不知過幾多少時候方再次睡著。可是四時許,又痛醒了。到浴室洗個澡,不知道誤了幾久,才覺得好了些許,又嘗試回去睡。六時又痛醒,那一刻,真係超想喊。想睡卻睡不了的感覺超難受,無論是扒著睡仰睡還是側著身,兩肩依然隱隱作痛,我又去洗澡,熱水的按摩作用還不錯,好了點,回到房間後,我唯有坐在椅子上睡。結果,昨日,我蹺了老細的課,整天也沒有做過事。

小病是福。一下子放鬆了,肩痛便來襲,這是個好的警兆,好應該休息一下。

我都也是內向的

2008/03/08

看見這位寫完「我是內向的」,然後這位再寫「我也是內向的」,很有共鳴,不得不寫番篇「我都也是內向的」。

我需要很多獨處的時間,自己搭車,上咖啡店,食雲吞面,讀書,行路,看電影,很多時候都會零願自己一個人做,因為可以想點就點。跟其他人一起,總不能讓自己來去無蹤的思想主配著腦袋,是不斷地想跟對方的話題,以免因為dead air而感到尷尬。

最怕等車時踫見半生不熟的,如果太生,點點頭連耳筒都不用除下;如果太熟,可以談天說地之餘亦可以坦白地說「我而家唔想講野」;半生不熟的,禮貌上總得吹上兩咀,心裏一直想究竟巴士幾時黎,在聽對方講話之餘還要想究竟講完這個話題之餘接下來應該是甚麼。

我有幾個西人同學們很喜歡說話,四五小時的派對裏由頭講到尾,但其實大部份(他們也承認)都是trash talk,即是四五個小時說了等於沒有的話。當然如「得閒飲茶」「食飯未呀」等等都是說了等於沒說的,但這些短句子的功用在於消除兩個男子街頭相遇時有眼神接觸十秒鐘的尷尬時刻。不過四五小時的無聊對話卻很不容易呀,或者對於他們這是很容易的事,但於我而言,講說話跟寫program一樣傷腦筋。

我也有喜歡說話的時候,都是我覺得對自己的幫助的場合。一年級做rotaract,對上有班生意人,他們贊助我們,所以間唔中要著老西去做廉價勞工,對著他們,出於禮貌出於崗位需要也出於利益考慮我會盡量變得善談。另一邊廂如果在過程裏學會新野,我也很喜歡這樣的對話,就例如跟吳桐學吹水每次都有新鮮古怪野每次都覺得好好玩(雖然佢可能會覺得悶!)。又或者是我說話時有很多人(最好女多男少)在聽,並覺得我講得好好亦見聞廣博(哪怕都是馬屁),總之自己感覺良好就成。我覺得說話必定要有些目標或有些作用,因為開口講野實在太累。

不過不喜歡說話就好容易讓別人覺得自己超cool超串超高傲,有時為了令別人覺得自己平易近人我會多講兩句,之但係,真係完全諗唔到有乜好講喎。我腦裏不是在反覆背誦陳奕迅歌詞就是想書本裏的事(其實還有很多不便公開講既),咁唔通你叫我通街唱兩名男子街頭相遇咩?

The world is flat

2008/03/05

After a year long struggle with Apple, finally, I have my macbook battery replaced.
 
Apple claims the battery lasts 5 hours, 5 hours!! yes, by dimming the lcd, no wifi no bluetooth, no dvd no flash, no usb no sound, only using plain text editors like vi or emacs you have a pretty good chance to reach 5 hours. Being a sensible computer geek, I multiply this number by two-third and I got three hours with minimum usage in the first thirty charges.(using lan cable and reading plain text webs… )
 
I was pretty happy since this is the first laptop I have ever owned and I have no expectation of how long does the battery lasts, we all know that the battery manufacturer always lies. (oh yes, they dun lie, but they test under some non-disclosed environment with minimum system loads and minimum whatsoever….)

Time flies and battery dies. The battery life started depreciating 2 months later. I got 2 hours left. I thought that was usual. At the same time my friends jhk and kd bought a macbook and claimed their battery last long, and sometimes later another friend kane (I persuaded him to get a mac despite of the fact that he was going to do intern in MS) complained the battery sucks. 

I browsed the web and some even complained his macbook battery had never recharged since the first day, and some complained it dies within 100 cycles.

And I realized that not all mac are born free and equal. 
 
Apple offered a battery placement program for macbook and macbook pro in spring 2007 (or winter?) due to the huge amount of complaint about the poor performance of the battery.

So, this is the chance for me! I browsed the web again and see if the plan really works. Some said they got the replacement after a 5 minutes call, and Apple shipped the battery in the next day and they got it replaced!, oh ho, that was so call!! I called the apple support line and expected to get a new battery mailed to me in a week. I told the guy that my battery only last for 2 hours. After checking thousands of different information and the guy asked me to bring it to the local Apple support store (luckily I don’t have photos in my laptop), I asked if the battery will be replaced immediately and the guy said that depends. Hey, so why are you asking for thousands of information before?? why don’t you simply ask me to go to the support center directly? to make sure I actually own a macbook but not a fujitsu?

Then I went to the support center. I pulled out my fully-charged macbook and hoped that process could be done as short as possible. The lady, without even opening the computer, told me the process would take at least ten days. TEN DAYS! I could never imagine how my life will go without computer for 2 days, all my notes all my programs all my papers were stored in this machine. I brought it to work, and I brought it to starbucks and I brought it to my bed (yes, a majority of my blog articles were written in my bed). The lady kindly explained that it takes time for the technicians to check and it takes time to ship the battery. Is it reasonable to take 10 days for that? I can show you my battery dried up in two hours, okok, maybe you want to make sure my battery is completely fully charged, 3 days should be more than enough. Shipping time is another thing that never makes sense, I guess any store selling macbook must also offer additional battery, how come it takes a few days to ship the battery from Wanchai to  Casusewaybay. I thought it was nonsense to leave my macbook for 10days, I took it away.

World is flat? Thomas Friedman gave an example of repairing his laptop. His Toshiba laptop was down. He called the Toshiba hotline and scheduled a UPS pick up. UPS took his laptop and shipped it to a whatever UPS hub that was also an authorized Toshiba repair center, he got his laptop back within a very short time. He used this to illustrate the world is flat thanks to the advanced logistic network. I am sorry, in this oriental city, who claims to be the most important logistic hub in Asia, it takes 10 days to ship a battery. The World is Flat? The America is flat.

Months later, I went to California and visit the local Apple store and see if I do the replacement. Oh gosh!! I need to make reservation a day in advance. So I failed.

Months later, I came to Rhode Island. I had more than enough time and I gave a second shot. I make a reservation. I arrived in time. I fully charged my battery. And the system profile showed my laptop could only charge up to 50% of its full capacity. I showed it to the support guy. The guy said that because I had completed 160 charge cycles (Apple guarantees it lasts at least 300 cycles), so that it is reasonable for my battery capacity to drop to 50%. Come on!!!! Let’s play simple math. Does it mean that the battery is expected to die right after 300 complete cycles? The guy refused to replace my battery and my English was so bad to argue with him. I left the apple store sadly and started to tell people about how bad an Apple battery could be.

Until recently, I found that Apple do guarantees to retain up to 80% after 300 complete cycles. Huh!!! This time I tried not to go to the store directly but by calling the Apple hotline. After reading a couple of serial numbers, and the guy agreed to replace my battery! I called on Friday afternoon and the battery arrived on Monday morning. 

Yes. Friedman, finally we share the same experience, I am very happy with my new macbook battery now, but you gonna change the name of your best seller. The world is flat?!?! The America is flat.

 

%d 位部落客按了讚: