Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween...

Well, actually, there never was. (How'd I give out candy on a blog?)

Just thought the sign (which was taped to almost 90% of the stores in the mall) was cute :)

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mac OS X Leopard: Launch Sell!

Leopard is here.
Well, yeah, while our friends in Asia has been playing with Leopard for almost a day, it is just available today, 6pm in California. While I don't have the dough to buy a copy (see previous post), I do have the time to join in the excitement. So, here goes...

So here I am, the local Apple store, 5:20 pm (I forgot to set the time on my camera, so the time in the meta data is still Taipei time, though), 40 minutes before the launch.

So, it's just 30 minutes to the launch time, where is the long line of fans? And wait, why is the door locked?

Or is this simply too small a town for a long line of Apple fans? I don't believe it, as Apple won't open a store at a small town without sufficient customers.

Well, here's some...

Since I haven't spotted the "line", might as well look at the stuff in display, here's a huge iPhone on display.

"Leopard World Premier" it says, closed 4~6pm to prepare for the launch. Interesting...
Time now? 5:24 pm, might as well go for a walk and come back at about 5:50.

Hay wait, there's the long line, hidden on the other side of the store.

Now there's your long line! (The Apple store is the green top / red bottom building to the far left)

Here's the end of the line about a block away. My rough estimate: 250~300 people in line.

8:55 pm, here comes the free Leopard T-shirts! They say there's 500 per store. What, aren't there just 300 in line? You bet! I guess I've got a chance to get my hands on those without getting in line!

5 minutes till open, their standing in a row, clapping their hands.

Walker by: "What is this all about?"
Clark: "We are launching a new version of Mac OS"

Another guy asks: "What is this? I don't care about any freekin' operating system, I just came to buy a computer, and I have been waiting for 2 hours!"
Clark: "We're sorry but we have people waiting in line for about a mile long. Maybe you could wait for another hour, or get in line, or you could always order from our website." (to first guy in line)"When did you came?"
First guy in line: "7 in the morning."
The other guy: "Jesus..."

5:59 pm, and they're opening!!

There goes the happy first guy! (the guy with the huge back pack)

And there goes the happy line in to the store.
Actually, they are letting in 10 duds a time, about every 5 minutes or after every 5~10 dudes come out. A nice way to prevent stampedes, but really a long wait for the 200th guy in line. Eventually I got tired of waiting and went home for dinner...

7:30pm, and I'm back... for the T-shirt... err, no, to see what Leopard feels like on actual machines.

But wait, when I got there, the line was long gone, but the T-shirt cart still wasn't empty, so I did get one of the last ones! The clarks looked at me and gave me an estimated size. Neat, I thought they were one size fits all...

And the back...

As for trying out Leopard on the computers in the store, I do like it. Time machine is useful, but you need a 2nd hard drive. Quick look is useful too. And making widgets from any website is really nice. For the 3D and transparent interface, it only matters for the first 10 minutes and that's it. At first I was, wow, cool, I want a copy... But after the first 10 minutes, it doesn't feel that much of a difference from Tiger. It's really is an incremental upgrade, so yeah, until I have money to burn, I'll wait until the next big cat.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tweaking blog looks...again

After weeks of work on SOPs (statement of purpose assays for graduate school), I still have about 3 more to go and am already getting sick and tired of it. Targeting 14 programs at a time really is tiresome although I am processing the applications as a full time job. And worse, getting tired of the assays, the later versions are starting to get lackluster and dull.

Today I can't even get myself to touch anything application related... And all I did was tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak the design of this blog. I am today, playing with pixels, pictures, gradients, transparents, RGB codes, HTML code, and CSS code, mindlessly going on and on and on... Well, you can clearly see the difference.


What the hell am I doing with my life? Fooling around at home? Yet seems like a Bio major can either goto grad school or find a high school graduate level job , nobody cares about your 4 years of bio training. The only jobs that I know I might get are among the lines of car sells, clothes shop clark and car sells; I can't even sell cell phones because I don't understand Spanish.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A new cat from Apple every year?

ImageMac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) is coming soon. Sure, Mac fans are all excited, imagine all the eye candy and new functions...... in 3D! And the price is only $129, all functions fully loaded! Compare that to "the other major new OS" whose Ultimate version os about $250!

OK, yeah , it's cool, feels like the OS of the future. But wait, my version of OS X, 10.4 / Tiger still works well, and I really don't have that much dough to spend. So initially, I am planing to wait for half a year, by then I might have the money, and most of the software will have their kinks cleaned up to work nicely with the new OS. Well, that's my original plan, until I saw Steve Jobs' own words on the New York Times:

“I’m quite pleased with the pace of new operating systems every 12 to 18 months for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We’ve put out major releases on the average of one a year, and it’s given us the ability to polish and polish and improve and improve.”
As Apple Gains PC Market Share, Jobs Talks of a Decade of Upgrades
By John Markoff, Oct 22, 2007, New York Times
Okay, so if I buy Leopard half a year later, then I would be looking at software that would be obsolete within 6 to 12 months, wouldn't that be nice?

Really, if that's the case, then why not skip this release and save up one version's upgrade fee altogether? It's not like Tiger is all outdated and stuff, the most important function of nextgen OSs: system wide search, which just came out on Vista, is already in Tiger.

Releasing new releases too fast is like shooting them selves in the foot. Consumers feel like the manufacturer is mocking them with each new release, feeling buyer's remorse right after they made the purchase. Since I don't have money to burn, I might as well save up and avoid buyer's remorse altogether, and just wait for whatever big cat the next version of Mac OS would be.

Bringing Digicams into personal toy status


Digital cameras have brought photography more and more closer to people's lives. Back in the days of film cameras, people usually only bring out their cameras on trips and events, partly because of the size and partly because of the price of film, thus they only bring them whenever they are sure they would have something to take pictures of. But now with digital cameras, memory is reusable, which makes people feel that taking pictures is free, and people start taking pictures much more freely. Thus people are starting to want to take pictures of whatever they please, and starting to bring their cameras out with them every day.

With the release of the Sony Cybershot T2, I see Sony grasping this chance and designing something that is more designed to be a mainstay gadget in people's bags then a photo capturing device. There is actually no other way to say it, but the design is real CUTE (just look at the apple green one). It is a camera, but the design concept is more of a personal photo album that people use to show their lives to friends. With easy to use touch screen, 4gigs of built in memory, built in photo album management software, and simple photo touch up software to doodle on the photos, it really is more of a "toy" that people would want to bring with them and play with. And the cute design, really makes people want to bring it with them, as if a classy status icon. I could perfectly imagine girls clamoring over this cute gadget and showing them off whenever they can. Count in the smile detector that takes pictures whenever people smiles, the doodling software, and the music slideshow function, and it would be a nice entertainment device at friend gathering.

I even saw a creative way of using the smile detector in a promotion video: you don't need the timer function to take pictures of your self, just let the camera stand, move in front and smile!

Sony really does know how to make attractive products. Never have I saw a camera this focused on the casual fun factor of life. And it really is an amazing package of fun software and beautiful design.
By the way, blogs have became an important part of modern marketing, and the T2 promotion site has really cool stuff that you could put on blogs and help with the marketing (they call them "blog parts"). If you haven't noticed, I just added a nice looking clock here on the bottom of the right panel. Just for fun, here's another one:

*Wow, this is my 666th post on this blog!!! What a number

Tuesday, October 23, 2007








最後發現節目請來了金美齡當來賓(恩,that explains the main view point of the program),不過討論的部份日文都聽不懂了XD

關於ニコニコ動画上的觀眾留言,感覺80%都是台灣鄉民亂入orz 不過這樣在日本最大影片社群宣傳台灣似乎還不錯,登上了熱門影片榜單說。

Thursday, October 18, 2007



Originally uploaded by intellidryad

Originally uploaded by intellidryad

Originally uploaded by intellidryad

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Youtube | ツンデレカフェの女の子を笑わせる


日本お宅文化到底是怎樣阿?店員很正是沒錯,但這樣耍脾氣給我的感覺就是「服務態度極差」...... 有些東西還是留在動畫世界給人笑一笑就好。

KSHV latent episomes bind histone H2A-H2B with latent protein LANA!!

This is the most impressive paper I've seen in months:
The Nucleosomal Surface as a Docking Station for Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpesvirus LANA
Andrew J. Barbera, et al., Science 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 856 - 861
NCBI link | Science website

For those who don't know, this virus, Kaposi’s sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV), has a latent phase where it's genes from a little circle called an episome, that sticks to the host chromosome, replicating when ever the host does, and also hides from the immune system.

So this docking is achieved by using the KSHV Latency Associated Nuclear Antigen (LANA) latent protein which sticks the origin part of KSHV episomes to the host histone H2A and H2B. They even found that the N-terminal of LANA fits H2A-H2B dimers very well, either the shape or electric charges. Cool!

I wonder if the EBV homologue: EBNA-1 does the samething in the same way. Also, if there are similar proteins in the latency of vericella-zoster virus (chicken pox, and shingles), then maybe we can target these proteins and kill off those latency viral genomes. As latency is one of the main reasons we have problems with herpesvirus related diseases (we already have lytic replication inhibitor drugs such as acyclovir), maybe this would be our chance to kick herpesviruses out of our bodies!

(It's so nice to have something scientific to be excited about...)

Monday, October 08, 2007

秒速5センチメートル 詭異觀後感



Tuesday, October 02, 2007




若開慢車的同時還播閃電霹靂車的音樂,認得得路人應該會吐血吧。可惜美國知道閃電霹靂車的人不多 :P

Testing out Vista

A cousin bought a new laptop with Windows Vista preloaded, well nice chance to see how it is to use the "notorious" Vista, and why everyone's asking how to install XP instead.

1. When it first came out of the box, booting up took about a minute and logging in to a user's account took another 2 minutes. We were like, what, that's much slower then XP! Well, guess what, the next day when I prepared a stop watch to measure how slow it was, the whole booting + logging in process was done within 50 seconds. Well, that's about on par with a fresh install of XP and my heavily used Mac. Just don't get it why it's really slow at first and speeds up afterwards.

2. Natually, I am using a restricted account as this is not my computer. When I tried to cleanup my desktop by deleting all the shortcuts of preloaded software, I got a message that this requires the consent of the administrator. OK, so the desktop of different users are still related in some way? But wait, why should I need the consent of the administrator just to watch a flash video on the web full screen? That's retarded! (Alright, maybe it is trying to install a new version of Flash player, but a normal computer user wouldn't know as the popup only says it needs the password, never mentioning Flash...)

3. There is a button in the start menu that looks like a power button. Guess what, it only puts the computer to sleep. Same with the power button. It took me an hour to figure out how to change those stupid presets and make those 2 truly turn off the computer.

4. Over all, it's quite stable, not as bad as people are whining about. Or maybe I didn't use it hard enough, like running photoshop?

5. I am constantly reminded that I am in Windows land. As I tried to work out what I should write in a grad school application, "donk!" here comes a popup saying media center update is trying to connect to the internet. "Donk!" comes another, saying whatever scan services in trying to connect to the internet. "Pop!" comes another, saying that the antivirus software is in a dangerous un-updated state, "PLEASE PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE ANTIVIRUS...". WHAT THE HELL? I am trying to get my work done, why should I pay attention to that freakin' antivirus and all the internet connections? Allow the connections if they are part of the operating system, update the virus definitions on your own, just leave me alone!!! Alright, that's why I removed both firewall and antivirus from my previous XP machine and just be cautious when in the net. Yet just as you escaped firewall/antivirus popup hell, "Pop!" Windows XP is trying to update it self.......

I have gotten accustomed to a smooth work flow on my Mac with much less popup pests. But Apple is also getting annoying with updates. All of the recent updates for my Mac are to solve "compatable issues with new products". Hay I am not buying iPods, nor iPhones, not even the new version of iWork/iLife or Aperature. I see no reasion to update, so stop bothering me!

Microsoft has taken a page from Apple's book on eye candy and stabability. Yet Apple is also taking a page from Microsoft on how to be a pest with update popups. Great. In usability and smoothness, I still prefer Mac OS X, yet the latest version of Windows is catching up and usable. I just hope there won't be a day when both Windows and Macs are equally annoying.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pumping out toothpaste to your brush!


哇哈哈, 為了好玩, 我特地拿了折價卷去買了比較貴一點的 pump toothpaste !!

台灣買不到的, 所以用中文 show 一下 XDD
按上面那顆按鈕, 牙膏就會自動擠出來了^^