星期四, 6月 30, 2005

Diarrhea... again...

Yeah great. On the first hour of the last day of the first half of the year 2005, I got diarrhea. I guess it has nothing to do with what I've taken for lunch or dinner yesterday, well not directly at least. See, I got the flu on the weekend and my body immune system is recovering itself yet slowly. Then I couldn't resist the good taste of kueteow-mee laksa and had it for lunch yesterday with colleagues in Dengkil. Now the consequence is that my stomach rebels and refuses to let the alienated substances to stay too long in me and starts evacuating them in fluid form.

How many times do I still need to go visit the toilet bowl at this odd early morning hour? Last weekend during my flu I had record of 5 times in one single hour. That's just... exhausting! I think I was almost dehydrated til I felt weak and looked pale.

Fine! I wanted to stay awake tonight anyway. The FA Confederation Cup final will start in 30 minutes. It's the battle between two great teams, Brazil and Argentina. Argentina beat Brazil 3-2 (or 3-1?) in qualifying round. Let's see if 2002 WC Champion could play like a champion and kick Argen's ass this morning.


星期二, 6月 28, 2005

Saga 92

Everyone says buying second-hand (used) car is not good lar, is not worth it lar, will give more problem than new car lar, and etc etc. I wonder based on what these people having this thought. Probably these people just happen to overhear other more wu-lui (means got money, rich or full-of-cash in Hokkien) one saying, and just being single-cell-brain washed without even thinking about their own situation, financially.

Hey, come on. Those rich one can say that because:
  1. s/he earn his/her living by having his/her own business, hence most probably the new vehicle they buying is considered one of his/her expenses item in the tax form.
  2. the time s/he spends sending the second-hand vehicle to mechanic is comparable not worth the amount of money s/he gonna earn with same time interval spent.
  3. new car, especially luxury one, representing s/he social position despite his/her uncle or ah so (auntie) appearance
  4. s/he is probably old, ugly and greedy and with no pleasant personality to attract young chick/lad, hence s/he needs something else to do the trick
  5. s/he is MLM blue diamond agent and definitely need new/luxury car to show to his/her downline how successful s/he is and that's why they should follow him/her and do more sales to make him/her richer
  6. s/he must drive new/luxury car to his/her million-dollar-membership golf club
  7. s/he involves in automobile industry, hence fucking hopes that everyone would buy a new vehicle every fucking year
In Malaysia, it ain't easy to buy a new car. The cheapest car here is like 40k RM? And it is national car? For example, the new Savvy from Proton, is like 44k RM and with NO AIRBAG??!! Airbag is supposed to be the standard accessories in current century but Proton still having the mind set of 18th century which probably go like "no need airbag as long as you are not driving fast lar". Yeah right! And, without question, national car comes without ABS. Then you wonder why Malaysia road accident casualty rate is rising sky-high every year.

Ok, the point is, 40k RM for a not-worth-it new national car in Malaysia is actually considered damn expensive. Let's have some mathematic lesson here:
Say, average Malaysian earning per month = RM 2k
Down payment = RM 5k ( not everyone can give so much of down payment, considering even those fresh grad )
With 9-year car loan at 3% from financial institution, hence get the instalment of,
( 35k * 3% * 9 + 35k ) / ( 9 * 12 ) = RM 411.57 /mth
Can you believe that? Average Malaysian have to allocate 25% of their income every fucking month for feeding banker. Fucking 25%!!! And they need to do that for 9 years !!
By the time you finish off the loan term, I wonder how much the vehicle is still going to worth.Of cause you could shorten the loan duration by paying more each month but some how people need to take into consideration of things like cash for emergency, rental, food, transport, insurance and some other expenses as well.

Malaysian have already kind of been used to the fact, I think. However, they should realise that they could actually put their money in BETTER use instead. This is called financial planning. The principle of financial planning is to make your money work for you rather than you work for them. How? Buying used car is one.

There are just so much of advantages of buying a used car, like:
  1. Used car is cheaper than new car
  2. As we know, there's a drop of about 10% in value the time you pay the money for a new car, while there is no such drop in value for used car
  3. You can actually own a car without letting any single cent of your money being earned by blood-sucking banker
  4. Used car is suitable for those car-modify-maniac in which all they want is just a car skeleton
  5. Used car is perfect for new driver, especially your wife, daughter, mother, grandma, etc who just got their license
So, there are SO MANY good reasons in buying a used car. Now tell me, what do you mean my 1992 Proton Saga is not worth 17k? What do you mean by no value and people prefer buying new car? Huh !!??

星期五, 6月 24, 2005

Pistons failed to defend the Champion

Game 7 score: Detroit Pistons 74 - San Antonio Spurs 81
MVP: Tim Duncan


Pistons have done a great job. I was sad and almost gave up when they lost the first 2 games at SA. Yet Pistons the new Bad Boys made a dramatic come back in game 3 and 4 at Detroit. They played so much as a defending champion. Game 6 is another great game for Pistons as well. They have vroomed over their opponent in all 4 quarters even though they lost the unlucky 5th game in Detroit. Spurs made no response in the game 6, totally, and Pistons made the final tied at 3 apiece. At the time, I was thinking, "Pistons surely will win the Champion now, they are so strong!" They have proved to SA that they can win in their home court. Unfortunately, the opponent came back much stronger in game 7.

2005 NBA final is the most entertaining final since Chicago Bulls won their 6th ring year 1998. Both teams are labelled the one of the best defence team in NBA this year. And from the score of 7 games just show their capability in suppress opponent's score to below 90 most of the time:

Game 1: SAS 84, DET 69
Game 2: SAS 97, DET 76
Game 3: DET 96, SAS 79
Game 4: DET 102, SAS 71
Game 5: DET 95, SAS 96
Game 6: SAS 86, DET 95
Game 7: SAS 81, DET 74

In the final I've seen much good defence during the game. Scoring is not easy with both of these teams. Simply fascinating.

Although they lose, they left SA proudly as they fought back hard. Today, not one but two legends are born.
Pistons, I am proud of you.

星期四, 6月 23, 2005

Stay hungry, stay foolish

It's been consecutive 2 weeks (10 days) that I felt so bored sitting in front of the monitor and doing nothing besides IM and blog reading. This is so freaking sien. But what to do, I still got 5 days of my contract before it ends. 5 days is such a long period of time. The daily routine recently was, arrive office at 9a.m. - wait for lunch time - wait for 5.30p.m. (of cource I do go to toilet for pee and pangsai and go pantry for some coffee in between 9 to 5.30)

I am not sure if there's anyone is actually looking forward to such routined yet unproductive working lifestyle. Like my friend told me "... I have no ohm in the job...". Yeah that's right, ohm or energetic mind is what I lack of in this job. It was totally wrong to take up this job, damn!

I've read some quote which goes something like this:
When you feel going uphill in your job, you are learning. When you feel going downhill, you are not.
This is really true, and since then become my measurement in the job. Whenever I feel like I was just sitting there and doing nothing, which is like walking downhill without much effort, I know I am wasting my time and I will never gain anything from the job.

Later today I got an email, which is the speech given by Steve Jobs in Stanford Uni.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me – I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

-originally from here

So much said are true.