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Archive for January, 2009

Oh, mystery is over. Tartrate was ..

Those who have lingered around KGS for some time know about Tartrate, a legendary Go player who won every single game, except only one or two where he lost on time. Tartrate then mysteriously dissapeared, along with any hope of knowing who he really was.

Well today, I was lucky to be on KGS when one of the chatters pointed me to “breakfast” profile, which contained links to revelation of who Tartrate was.

Visit these links:

http://gosensations.com/?id=2&server_id=1&new_id=53
http://gosensations.com/?id=2&server_id=1&new_id=55

Ah well, Tartrate was Myungwan Kim, 6p now 8p. So strong yet chosen to remain anonymous, what a hero. 🙂

This news is about a week or two old. As always, I am late-gossiper.

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Managing Reading List

Imagine if you have a list of everything you have read, with a link for a re-retrieval and a record of your thoughts and summary while reading each of them. Also a list of everything you are planning to read and a quick link to the resource.

“So what?” might be the answer of some and many, but for me, my answer to the self-posed question was “Wohoo, I think I need that”. Especially now more than ever, given that I need to conduct plenty research for my thesis.

Keeping this list in a MS Word is not practical, I might need to do filtering later, such as separating ones I have read from ones I have not. Or differentiating between categories, types or sorting by date of publication etc. The only way is to keep the list in structured form, so that operations can be done on the meta data.

XML seems to be the most appropriate solution. With this, using Notepad, I made the reading list in the following format.

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Data must be inserted between the start and end tags; i.e. <title>Harry Potter</title>

Then using XSL, each field can be picked and styled accordingly. And can be conditionally styled according to the value it has! I chose to have different colours for ones I have read and have not read. And the field URL has to be transformed into a hyperlink, so that I can access the file easily. XML + XSL can transform data into anything, but here I chose the output to be HTML.

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My point is, everything you want to do, do it in XML. Keep the data very structurally, and separated from presentation. 🙂 Have fun with XML and XSL to solve all your problems.

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Oh dear, how am I going to work tomorrow? It’s 1:44 a.m. already and I have been spending the last 5 hours finishing the following PDF presentation “Mendalami Permainan Igo”

Please criticise as necessary. I believe my usage of Malay language was rather funny there. Is territory “jajahan”? Ko threat is “ugutan Ko”? What is keypoint in Malay? What about Bulky-Five and Rabbity-Six?

I’m glad I got it done, although I was hoping I could do better with the layout wherever graphic is included. I tried to use floatflt package, then SCfigure package and finally wrapfig package with LaTeX, but none helped to allow me to wrap text around the figures. In the end, the slides simply had to be ugly 😦 . Even the pictures were in Encapsulated Post Script (EPS) format. Yucks, so ugly.

Hopefully I will be able to find time to improve the layout and quality. Till then, yawnsy…

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Malay Go Blog

Few weeks back, Malaysia Weiqi Association (MWA) held its AGM. I could not attend, but I was made understood that I was elected as Exco member, and tasked with creating teaching materials in Malay.

I was planning to take my time, but then Alex had already begun doing his work as tournament director with Team Study Game, and League tournament. Whereas Hock Doong had already come out with his syllabus. So I thought I should do something too. 🙂

Not having much time for dedicated work, I set up a blog so that I could write little by little until my work is complete.

Please visit Mendalami Permainan Igo

If you notice, I bought an internet domain! It’s not solely for that Malay Go blog, that would be overkill. I just felt like having one. Impulse buying, what else. 🙂 I have several vague ideas of what to do with it, although everything is being discouraged by the fact that I need to do my thesis proposal first. Ultimately I want to be an Internet or technology entrepeneur, so having an internet domain and playing around with it seems like a logical first step.

Anyway, my attempt at downloading ProText using corporate bandwidth had failed. It was a superbig executable with estimated download time reaching 2 hours. Probably it’s against policy, but I need LaTeX. I just learned it has Go package along with Shogi, Chinese Chess, Chess packages to create high-quality diagrams. LaTeX has steep learning curve, but it’s necessary for anyone who aspires to be budget self-publisher.

I seriously need more than 24 hours in a day.

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Happy Chinese New Year

Firstly I would like to wish all my Chinese friends, Happy New Year or Happy ‘Niu’ Year. If I am not mistaken, ‘niu’ means Ox, which is the current year in Chinese calendar.

I had some fun asking around my Chinese friends, What numerical year is it in Chinese calendar?. Most of them did not know, I even received a cute answer of “1430”. Clearly she got confused with Muslim Hijrah calendar. Haha.

Anyway, there’s probably no official numerical year, but according to a friend, Sok Nee, it is now year 4706. I then asked a friend in China, and he said around 4000 something is correct, which is the sum of the reigning years of past Emperors.

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It may seem a little too late to be reading this book, now that all the hypes about Google had cooled down somewhat. But while mainly focusing on Google, this book is about Search. About us, hundreds of millions Internet users entering keywords in our preferred search engines, creating a massive Database of Intentions from which knowledge about human desires, directions and culture can be drawn.

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Among the key (ex-) players in Search industry mentioned in the books are Google, Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, Altavista, AskJeeves, A9 etc. AOL, Ebay and Amazon are also mentioned. Several references are made to Microsoft although they are mainly in the desktop and office industries, whereas IBM makes appearance with the WebFountain project.

The book was cleverly written. I never expected a book on Searching technology could be very interesting. I couldn’t put it down, all the time; during flight, while queueing at the passport control, while waiting for baggage and even while driving back home. It is a story about multi-billion media and IT industry with Google accelerating full speed ahead overtaking many older giant companies.

How Google did it? Superior approach to ranking webpages to give highly relevant results to search queries. The algorithm, PageRank was developed by Larry Page, a Stanford University PhD student with help of Sergey Brin, a brilliant student of mathematics, also from Stanford.

I highly recommend this book. John Battelle, the author also gives a vision of how Search will continue influence our way of doing things. Overall, the book was an entertaining, enlightening and informative read. What more could I ask?

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Pictures of Kota Kinabalu

Perhaps I should develop a skill in photography since my work requires me being at highest altitudes all around Malaysia, recently in Kota Kinabalu of Sabah.

The city is very nice. It has close proximity to the sea, not too busy unlike KL. Food is also cheap, and tasty. The only thing I dislike is the road infrastructure outside the city centre which makes travelling around an unpleasant experience.

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