My take on Thai people's Blackberry craze

People here (in the US) uses crackberry just for corporate emails. Probably I miss something but I don't understand the craze of Thai people using it (great celeb marketing case study, probably?) I think iPhone's user interface, variety of applications and web browsing capability is FAR superior to BB's (BB Pearl's browser is even more terrible than Windows Mobile's). It lacks of QWERTY keyboard but well... do people use it that much to chat and send personal emails?

Anyway, I haven't played with any Blackberry since a little bit after Pearl so probably I can't say much. Choose the one you like best. I personally saved myself from two generations of iPhone and bought 3GS on the 2nd day it launched. Now I can't live without it. :)

Update: Web browser on the Curve is much better than the Pearl. But still the screen is still small, needs the ball for navigation. Although it's compatible with Flash, iPhone browser is still much much more usable.


Top 10 Sad Songs

Someone once called me a robot since I never understood how people can cry for sad song or sad movies. But what I experienced some time before made me realize why there are as many (or maybe more) sad songs as other kinds of songs.

I got this idea from High Fidelity, the movie I just watched and really like. Here are my top 10 sad songs of all time...

10. รักที่เพิ่งผ่านพ้นไป - Groove Rider
This song just hit right to the spot. Same place, same atmosphere, same music, same type of drink don't matter... without the same person.

9. โลกที่ไม่มีฉัน - Portrait
Everyone has one's own world. You can share the world with someone else. But when the world is getting spoiled, maybe it's time for the other person will just have to bite bullet and walk away.

8. เปลี่ยนไปทุกอย่าง - Friday
I was embarrassed at a concert by this song once. Having someone can gradually change your life. Losing someone can also be life-changing, but in a quicker and much more painful way.

7. ความเจ็บปวด - Palmy
Someone who's gotta go must go. When there's nothing you can do, it's better to accept the pain and learn to live with the change. Time will heal, you will be stronger and the world will be beautiful... eventually.

6. เจ็บจนวันนี้ - Bodyslam
I heard from somewhere that, to get over someone, it will take half the duration of your relationship. It's not really the case. No one can tell how long the pain is going to last. They key is definitely to let go. The longer you try to hold, the longer it will take and the worse it's going to hurt.

5. ยื้อ - Pause / Flure
It's just the worst position where anyone can be.

4. รักเก่าๆ - Soul after Six
Things are way too complicated especially in the subject of love. Most of the time when you have to make any decision, just follow your heart and leave the other out of your decision. Yes, it's cruel but at least it's better, for both, in the long run.

3. เกี่ยวกับเรา - Fin / Morning Surfer
Relationship is always about two people. If it's not working, it's still about two people even though there's someone else involved. Maybe because it's not the best match. Maybe because it's just bad-timing. Just end it where it started... at least friendship can still remain.

A lot of people asked me why I wasn't angry of what happened. I think if I have to be angry, it would have to be at myself. Maybe I was too careless, maybe I was a jerk, maybe, like Juno said, we just didn't try hard enough.

2. ปิดประตู - Boy Traibumirat (via Friday)
When you hit the bottom in your emotion, it's not at all a bad thing to close the door and just cry your friggin' heart out. You don't need any pretty reason. You can say you're just sad.

Someone needs to keep lyrics sheet and pen away from this guy. His sad songs can definitely kill. It's the second song from Friday that made it to this list. Major portion of the credit should just go to Boy Traibumirat. Other hard-hitting songs are ส่งแค่นี้, and recently-released ผูกพัน (special thanks to someone who tearfully introduced this song to me).

1. ช่วงที่ดีที่สุด - Boyd/Pod
Love is easy during the happy times. But when things get rough, it's hard but memorable at the same time. These difficult times show how much two people love each other. It's just a great feeling when you look back at them to see how you could get through it. After things ended, the past memories can come and haunt you once in a while. Good memories can hurt. Bad memories can hurt even more. But it's definitely worthwhile that, once in your life, you have lived through these "best moments".

I shouldn't have believed Boyd Kosiyapong when he said in the interview that he couldn't write any sad songs since he doesn't want it to make himself sad. I trusted him by playing his new album at the most fragile moment, hoping it's going to cheer me up. The little holding hand, the movie tickets, the messages exchanged across the world, cost-sensitive student trips, crying on the phone... all these flashbacked.

--- Sad songs are not bad if you know how to use it properly. They remind you that you still have heart. They give the meaning to some unknown pain. They can even help you move on during the most difficult time of your life.


Big Loss in Geek World

Today, Arthur C. Clarke, one of the world's most renowned sci-fi novel writers passed away at the age of 90. His imagination actually inspires a lot of great technology invention. For example, people recognized him to be the inventor of satellite.

RIP sir. Hal is crying for you.


Track Changes feature in MS Word is great, but...

You have to be really really careful ;)

Well... I don't think anyone would email a love letter as an attachment. However, this can be a lesson learned for something most critical such as sales pursuit or executive engagement letter. It may be annoying but you can turn on the warning to confirm if your file has comments or tracked changes before saving and emailing it.


สวัสดีปีใหม่ 2551 - Happy New Year 2008!

Our beloved king of Thailand made this new year's card so I would like to share it with all of you. Have a prosperous, joyful and excessively fun new year!


MS Exchange Mail on iPhone - the workaround that works

I heard a lot of raves about how iPhone doesn't support corporate emails running on Microsoft Exchange. The main problems here is that Microsoft doesn't open an API to their ActiveSync and Exchange Server (Why would they? Microsoft Windows Mobile is actually big in the corporate email user market). By default, you have a few options down here.
  • Use iPhone's Exchange mail protocol (however some mentions it works with only some companies)
  • Set the rule to forward or divert mail from Exchange account to other IMAP or POP3 account (A lot of companies, including mine, that are cautious about corporate security and confidentiality disable this rule, even if it's client-based. Also, addresses in To: and Cc: fields may get lost with these rules.)
  • Access the email through OWA, Outlook Web Access (It's difficult enough to use OWA on Internet Explorer of Windows Mobile devices. I can't imaging using it on iPhone's Safari).
Another workaround you may want to try is having an always-on Windows box that locally copies all the incoming mails to another iPhone-compatible mail account. Here are the benefits:
  • The rule is totally client-based and designed for copying mails from one folder to another. Thus, your company is not likely to block it.
  • All the mails will live inside iPhone's proprietary, user-friendly Mail application.
  • All the addresses on To: and Cc: lists are preserved so you can reply to all without re-populating the addresses from phonebook.
Here are what you need:
  • A cheap Windows box that you can always leave it on at home, with Microsoft Office and Outlook installed and set up to your corporate account
  • An alternative email account, preferably IMAP since it gives better integration to iPhone Mail than POP3. Gmail is one of the better options here.
Here are the quick steps that you can fine tune in Outlook rules. Note that I've tried this on Outlook 2003--will give you an update once I've got Office 2007 machine next month.
1. Set up an IMAP account inside Microsoft Outlook client in the same domain as the Exchange corporate account.
2. Add a rule in Outlook client by starting with a blank rule.
3. Set the rule to Check messages when they arrive

4. Filter some emails to be moved as desired (don't tick any box if you want the rule applied to all incoming mesages)

5. Select Move a copy to the specified folder. Then, click the link specified in the text area at the bottom. Choose the folder that belongs to your IMAP account.

6. Set up your iPhone Mail application to retrieve emails from this IMAP account. Use your corporate email address as the From: address on iPhone Mail app.

With this, all incoming emails to your Exchange account will be moved to IMAP account that will appear on the iPhone. You can receive and reply the Exchange emails on iPhone now.

Some caveats of this workaround include the need of leaving the machine on (if your dog hits the power switch when you're not home, your forwarding system is gone) and the Sent items have to be maintained on two accounts (although you may have some creative rule to move the messages on Sent items of IMAP account back to Exchange account).

I don't use iPhone myself but have tried the moving to my Gmail account; it works beautifully. Just give it a try and let me know :)

Key to the Next-Gen Kindle

I wrote a while ago about Amazon Kindle and its technology. Although the current e-ink technology is very energy-efficient, visible in bright sunlight, and sufficient for black & white materials, it still lacks the huge ability to display colors. I found this potential next step that can fulfill the need through MIT Technology Review magazine.

E Ink--the company that invented the current e-ink technology used in Amazon's Kindle and Sony Reader--is working on the next generation of e-paper. The firm claims that it can now "add red, green, and blue filters to the capsules, producing a prototype color display". It also claims that the prototype screen can refresh at the rate of 30 frames per second.

Amazon.com is one of my favorite companies. I can't wait to own a gadget that is big enough to read on (not readable on cellphone) and is small and fast enough to take out to read at breakfast or an airport gate (not laptop, of course). With monthly and paid contents from Amazon (hope the pricing model will change by then), it's excited to think that I can read Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, MIT Tech Review, blogs, and books on the device, in colors.

... And I'm not even talking about Harry Potter-like moving images, and possibly video, that it can show. Imagine how cool that's going to be?


This Summer's Going to be ... Dark

The Dark Knight, second part of the 'new era' of Batman will be out summer 2008. Same crew mostly: Christian Bale as Batman, Gary Oldman as the cop, Michael Caine as Alfred. The director is Christopher Nolan of Batman Begins, The Prestige and Memento (woohoo!).

You can watch the 2-minute trailer and download HD clip here.


Dude... Where is my country?

After over four years of highly corrupted government which still shows damage to the economy and one coup that dilute the value of our democracy, now he's back.


It's extremely sad to see the wasted two-year attempt of trying to improve political situation in Thailand. I still think that having a business Prime Ministers is good for the country since they can get things done faster and more effectively. However, ethic, honesty and love to the country are still the top qualities that any politicians must have.

The biggest problem in Thai political system is that there are several parties that try to just maximize their own benefits...

Q: Why do Thai politicians cross the road?
A: Because the other side gives them better position to be in the government and better chance for spots in a minister

One of few things that the ousted PM Thaksin said and I agree is:

There is no true friend or permanent enemy in Thai politics.

Only god knows what's going to happen next. I don't think there's anything we can do except to hope that the system is going to sort itself out. Another coup would do more damage than help to the country.

Give us back our country. There has to be the point that enough is enough.


Most Lovable Song on 107.7 The End Now

Great guitar, nice lyrics, cool vocal. The screaming part is breathtaking and not overdone.


Dilbert's Ashok died!

Dang.... this can't be real. I really like the his personality. Hope he's going to be cloned back in the next few days.

Dang you the PHB!


Kindle - Good Idea, Bad Implementation

Amazon just introduced a device that lets you read electronic books, blogs, magazines, and newspaper in paper-like manner. Although it's a visionary idea, people says it's doomed to fail because:
1) The device is expensive. $400, without touchscreen, or backlight.
2) The users will have to pay for blog access. The books, newspapers, and blogs can be downloaded over-the-air via cellphone network without any monthly charge. However, only a limited number of blogs is available and the monthly fee to access blog, though minimal, is not zero.
3) Funky Keyboard and colorless screen. Imaging reading Stephen Colbert's I'm America without color. Also, the keyboard makes the screen unnecessarily smaller and ugly.

Here's how I think it should work:
1) The device should be much much cheaper, say $100 to create externalities. Amazon is going to harness the profits from the magazine/newspaper subscription and high-margin electronic books anyway (currently charged at reasonable $10).
2) It should come with color touchscreen and without a keyboard.
3) Flat-fee monthly subscription can be charged minimally to cover cell network costs incurring to Amazon. With this, it should allow free access to any blog.

This is going to be like other e-book readers that came out and flopped. They can come up with future slicker device but that's not going to take off until they're reducing the price and willing to take some loss on device cost. $10 is the price point that people are happy to pay.

Don't be afraid of pirated ebook distributed on BitTorrent or something. Think about how Apple is making tons of money out of their DRM iTunes songs...


They Kill Again...

The Killers's new album, Sawdust, is finally released. I'm trying the new Amazon mp3 service that lets you legally download non-DRM mp3 songs and listen them on all your computers and devices regardless of their platform and number of times. The price of whole album is considerably cheaper (~20%) than on iTunes.

Click picture below to go straight to amazon mp3 page...


Best of Both Worlds - My Mac Experience

From my step-by-step Twitter update, you guys must already know that I just got an entry-level macbook yesterday. Here's my experience after roughly 24 hours of having it.

  • Speed and user experience are unbelievable - It takes about a minute to boot up from total shut down, hard drive is almost silent, and it never requires the Ctrl-Alt-Del to kill the applications that hog CPU/RAM usage.
  • Out-of-the-box applications are amazing - Apple Mail is even superior to Thunderbird. iTunes works flawlessly and real fast compared to the Windows version. Firefox (well... not really out-of-the-box but I think it deserves to be listed) has almost identical UI and shortcuts as the Windows version, but renders the page much prettier (esp. images) and faster. Spotlight is just blasting fast!
  • Windows is fully supported - Parallels Desktop makes it happen that they deserve every single award they received. My company's Outlook runs beautifully on the virtual machine, and speed is incredible. With Office and Trillian installed, I can now do most of my work at home on this Mac.

The only little things are the screen, which is a little too small to do some document work, and Firefox, which seems to act a little slow when Parallels is on. Hmm... I guess it's already time to go Pro.


Red Sauce Pasta is Totally Obsolete

I tried a couple of light tomato pasta and really liked it. Then, I realized it's incredibly easy to make, esp. considering removing the need for horrible canned tomato sauce and making everything from fresh materials. Found the recipe here.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 cup red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in large skillet coated with non-stick vegaetable spray. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer 15-20 minutes. Serve over hot pasta.
Dressing has 2.2 g fat per serving.
I did everything pretty much the same except I used olive oil, didn't have cooking wine, didn't add sugar, added two shrimps in there (which are amazing), used dry chopped basil instead of fresh, and didn't freshly grind pepper in there (my pepper grinder was left at friend's place during the crazy drinking night -- now I'm crippled!).

Overall meal quality- fantastic. So glad it turned out so well so we don't have rely on canned red sauce anymore. The linguine was at its perfect al dante (add bunch of salt, wait till water boils before throwing the pasta in, keep the water boiling for exact nine minutes). Too bad I don't have any freshly ground pepper and fresh basil leaves. Also, we didn't have any chilled Italian Peroni beer so I had to go with Stella (Belgian) which is equally good but hey.. it makes it not fully italian. Garlic bread is not homemade (the secret is ครก) but it's not a biggie.

P.S. Biggest improvement of Windows Mobile 6 is the ability to upload the photos right into Windows Live Spaces. I had to beam one picture at a time with WM5 which was unbelievably tedious!

Greatest Hacker of All Time (also iPod Invention) Revealed

xkcd rocks again! Never knew the writer is big fan of Chinese fighting saga...

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

See the third part for the inspiration to Steve Jobs that really created iPod. I'm sure even the Fake Steve Jobs doesn't even know about this. (BTW, I just got his book yesterday. It IS high-larious)


Performance Review

As my mid-year review is approaching, I just found this blog post of my friend. She's working for the geeks' most sought-after company with the name started with G.

I'm very happy with it. It proves that non-sense girl can be successful at work. It proves that you don't have to bullshit to be successful. It also proves that stealing bottle water from microkitchen everynight doesn't effect my performance.

I'm fairly happy with my career right now. But I can't say that I'm not jealous with her feeling above.


It's on Its Way...

Life's too short to be frustrated by something you work, play, and live on... everyday.

Ordered it through MacMall.com. Will update with the overall shopping experience from this machine :) To make sure that those of you who'd like to buy it on Amazon don't pick the older releases, I've linked the latest update of the 2.0GHz model ($1,099) to the image above.

Other models are: 2.2G White ($1,299) | 2.2G Black ($1,499)


Tech Icons You May Be Looking for...

There's a guy who's kind enough to create these fabulous icons and publish them without copyright... Visit UserInterfaceIcons.com

Found it via Twitter of Dave Winer.