Archive for January, 2009

This has to be my best record for most number of books read within a month. I do not read them all concurrently, rather I try to tackle 3 books, reading each book by a chapter or two everyday and completing them before proceeding to next batch. Only at the end of the month, I have realized that I have broken my own record Open-mouthed.  Some books here are simply addictive and hard to put down. Reading them are so engrossing that I find myself glue to the seat for more than 2hrs and still wanting for more. Look like the only things that can make me enthralling and oblivious of the surrounding to the point of skipping lunch and dinner are reading and programming.

So here the interesting books that you might want to read it too.

The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google


Loan from Singapore National Library

image  image Nicholas Carr is certainly no stranger to most people in IT world. His highly-acclaimed book “IT Doesn’t Matter” provides a thought-provoking view on IT in the corporate business world. The Big Switch continues on his valuable insight with this time focus on the history of electricity and how it becomes a crucial catalyst to drive modern computing infrastructures and technologies like utility computing, cloud, data centres,  Internet and how it will continue to impact the web innovation and business model.


The Cult of the Amateur


Loan from Singapore National Library


The early web era focus on disseminating information and only provides one-way communication, that is from information provider to the user. The Web 2.0 era changes everything, and now two-way communication and user-generated content become the essence of future web business model. By leveraging on online social tool and technologies like  social networking system, blogging, wiki, anonymous and known user suddenly become the driving force of marketing, communication and creation for business and the consumer industry. However, such changes can negatively jeopardise the culture and the economy by denigrating the value of expert and professional as the author found out.  In this book, the author examines the extent of Web 2.0 and how this movement can hinder innovation and promote quantity at the expense of quality resources. At the core of this book is the argument that amateurs who generally lack profession training and experience could not possibly give informed comment or create value that compete with expert and professional, and in the course of doing so, jeopardise the latter’s value and job.


Genius Explained


Loan from Ngee Ann Polytechnics


Everyone is intrigued with genius, a mysterious being who is gifted with creative and innate charismatic power that change the world. Most just accept that genius is genius because they are born to be one. However, in this book, the author meticulously research into the study of genius and debunk the prevalent myths of genius, and conclude that genius is nothing more than people with unparallel determination, diligence, obsessive focus and persistence. The so-called genius is a result their environment, temperament  and personality among other critical factors. According to the book, most genius performed poorly or averagely in their early years, and it is only through exposure and learning from salient works, and through consistent undivided dedication, preparation and commitment to their “art” that they manage to create their breakthrough and opportunity. Apparently, reporting generally does not report on those genius’s sacrifice of personal life, uncountable failures and unsuccessful works, which all are important foundations for discovery, invention and works. To validate his theory, the author researches the life of famous genius such as Albert Einstein, Mozart, Charles Darwin, and dedicates each chapter to them. This book is a must-read for those who want to nurture the “genius” out of their children or themselves.


Founders At Work: Stories of Startups’s Early Days


Loan from Ngee Ann Polytechnics

image  imageJessica Livingston interviews many popular startup founders from the Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 era, and consolidate those interviews into a book. Needless to say, this is compulsory read for those in doing a startup because it exposes lesson and experience of those who fail and succeed in the technological startup business. The startup founders recount their history dealing with employee, business, VC, angel investor and the community, and offer their genuine insight and thought.

I have read this book twice and I have to say it is definitely a classic book for the technological startup world.


Business The Sun Way


Loan from Ngee Ann Polytechnics image

This book reveals the business, management and philosophy of Sun Microsystems, a company that well-known for creating Java, Solaris OS, Sparc processor. Though I have to admit it is quite a drudgery to read because it read like a standard business textbook (fortunately the content is more abridged than business textbook). Yawn, but then each business book isn’t Wink? Still, this is one of valuable book to understand the company and its value. Well, for those  getting a job in Sun, what better way than to read this book ?


Castles can fly : making sense, building dreams

Loan from Ngee Ann Polytechnics


Alvin Lee built a profitable international business around Sand Castle Kit. Alvin Lee proves that if one perseveres in adversity and restive to pursue one’s dream, the dream will come into fruition. In this book, Alvin talks about how his creation come into being, and offers some valuable insight into innovation and lesson from his experience.

For those who still building dream castle in the sand will be inspired by Alvin to build their “sand castle”.


RICE & CHIPS: Technopreneurship and Innovation in Asia


Loan from Ngee Ann Polytechnics


How can Asian country replicates the success of Silicon Valley in creating a conducive environment and culture for innovation and collaboration ? The answer can be found in this book where the author research the successful model underpins Silicon Valley, and how it inspires Asian countries to build their own version of SV. The author reiterates that merely replicating SV will not be effective and each country has to retrofit the model to fit its own culture and environment. The author also look into the initiative and strategy of established countries like Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and China and the current state of their “innovation” infrastructures.

Although actual book’s content last only 96pages, and written in more academic style (luckily without those mind-blogging statistics), it is concise and easy-to-read.  The following summarizes the core points (word by word from the book), and details are further elaborated in the book.

  1. There must be a critical mass of brilliant engineers and scientists, venture capital, key suppliers and other players needed in technology venture formation.
  2. There must be a university or research institute that does research and development on par with the rest of the world, and publishes and/or patents its results to gain recognition for its achievements
  3. There must be stories of successful entrepreneurs that are handed down from generation to generation.
  4. Culture is an important key to innovations.
  5. Geographic proximity is very important
  6. Those living abroad and at home must organize themselves  formally to exchange ideas regularly, help mentor startups, and help with policy-making
  7. A good financial and legal framework for startups should be available.
  8. Realize that failure is an important learning opportunity.


Inside the Publishing Revolution: The Adobe Story


From friend


This book chronicles the history of Adobe company from its inception as a two-man startup to a large influential corporation that successful foray into the web era. Found by two founders who were frustrated by lack of commercialisation of their work in Xerox Parc, Adobe was initially created to provide high-quality laser printout through the Postscript language. The company went through major changes and event like collaborating with Apple, and acquisition of its major competitor like Aldus. Eventually, the company ventured into complementary industry like image and graphics editing through PhotoShop and Illustrator, followed by Acrobat and other web tools. What makes this book so enticing to read are the business lesson,  and strategy that the company executed to stay competitive and relevant.


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Fixing FireFox’s recurring crash



Firefox is a outstanding web browser whose functionality can be easily extended by virtually unlimited myriad of innovative and exciting plug-ins and extensions. However, the poor programming of certain “add-ins” or even software conflict among them can affect the stability of Firefox and may cause repeated crash . Although the user can generally fix this issue by disabling the problematic “add-in”, there may be time where the problem continue to persist. In this case, the only way is to reinstall FireFox with the following notable steps.


Problem: Crash still persist after FireFox reinstall

If after uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox, user still find that the crash persists, it means that Firefox is reusing previous configuration setting which may still load the problematic “add-in”. Note that FireFox does not overwrite previous configuration setting but rather reusing the exist configuration.

Solution: Remove Firefox in User’s directories prior to reinstallation

Prior to reinstalling FireFox, make sure its configuration and add-in directories are removed. The configuration and add-in directories do not reside in FireFox’s application directory but in the user’s own directory.

For Windows Vista, delete the following user’s directories which contains the plug-ins extensions and Firefox setting.


After reinstallation, user can then operate over the “clean” state of FireFox.

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Geezer: (NM2) for all music | Wind Of Time | Wind A Time | Love | Lovely Choice | Forbidden Love | Flying

image image

S.E.N.S (“Sound, Earth, Nature, and Spirit”) was formed in 1988 and comprised of very talented Japanese duo, Yukari Katsuki and Akihiko Fukaura. Their composition is generally soothing and relaxing with some of their best-known compositions been melancholic type. They maintain their site http://www.sens-company.com/eg/index.html 


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