Thank you China and Thank You To My New Found Friends


This is my last blog from China. I want to say thank you to the country and the wonderful people I’ve met. It’s impossible to put China into a category. It’s a world in itself. It’s a country in transition with diverse ideas and dreams. It’s a country with ancient behaviours to modern ones. It’s a country with rude people to extremely warm hearted people. With all the mixes, they have made my experiences that much richer and wanting more.

What I will miss the most is the people that I’ve met in school. All are smart and talented. It’s the spirit of adventure instill in each of them that I admire. Their love for life reminded me of how life is precious. Enjoy the ride. Nothing last forever.

I’m so grateful and very honoured to have met with so many great friends.



A Blog To Tell You That I’m Not Blogging This Week

cropped-header-burton.jpgI can’t write a blog this week because I have final exams next week and I need to study. The program itself is a non-degree so my mark doesn’t mean anything. So what’s up with the studying then?

It’s a habit formed from many years of formal schooling. I can still feel the effect of the thought of writing final exams. A sense of “oh no, I don’t know this stuff..yikes! gotta study.” This drives me into a frenzy of studying.

A challenge for me is to stay focus. Part of my head is now thinking about the stuff I will be doing after study — getting back to the software development space. Now I study and late into the night, I read about software development. Yesterday, I put a stop on software development stuff and just focus on the studying for my exams.

Another thing that I’ve been thinking about is my time here will come to an end. The wonderful people that I am grateful to have met, the relationships that have formed will come to an end in their current form. A sense of sadness is in me. We will no longer seeing each other in classes, no longer going on weekend trips, no longer doing KTV runs, no longer going to different eateries and etc.

The question is what will become after the end of the current form of relating? Will the new form be just as good as current? I don’t know for sure. What I know is that it’s the unknown that gives me the sense of grasping and loss.

I’m an optimist. What lies ahead, I believe, will be richer because of the experience gained and the value I put into the current relationship that I will carry forward. In essence, I believe life’s richness is in how we relate to each other and in how to appreciate its ever changing nature.


Linux: A Surprisingly Popular Operating System

android-linux.pngBack in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I tinkered around with Linux open source operating system (OS) because I wanted an UNIX based system and I had an extra desktop computer. Getting the darn thing to install was a labour of love. There’s always something missing (like a driver for a sound card) to prevent me from making a perfect installation. It definitely requires geek skills and it’s not intuitive to use.


There’s a perception that Linux is not industrial strength when it is compared to the likes of Sun UNIX, IBM UNIX, Windows NT and etc. Few people outside of the Linux community know how good it is until the creation of Apache web server. During the dot-com craze, everyone wanted a website and many web hosting companies turned to Linux and Apache combination because they are free and they can run on a common Intel’s x86 based machine. In addition, Apache web server allows multiple websites to host on a single server. This ability lowers the number of machines a web hosting company has to buy and manage. During this period, it showed that it’s up to the task. Another big vote of confidence for Linux was when major database vendors started porting their enterprise database systems to it.

User Experience

The next break for Linux was when Google decided to build Android OS (the OS was initially developed by Android Inc. that was supported and then bought by Google) on the Linux kernel. Android gave Linux a wonderful user interface. Android OS was released in 2007 and the first computing device HTC Dream smartphone was released in the Fall of 2008. Since then, there are numerous versions of Android OS using various Linux versions. With each new version, the user experience kept on improving.

Where Is Linux Now?

Since 2008, 7 out of 10 largest smartphone makers use Android OS in their mobile computing devices. As of 2012, Q4, 50 million new Android devices are sold per month. It’s projected that Android OS install base will surpass Windows’ 1.25 billion install devices by Q3 of 2013. This is lightning fast given that it took about 30 years of Windows to established their install base. Above source : TomiAhonen Consulting

The desktop market is flat or shrinking because among other reasons, not everyone need all the power and features. It’s unlikely Windows’ install base will grow at the same pace as Android. A personal experience, I got a tablet for my mom instead of a laptop because it’s easier to use, more robust and does what she wanted – do Facebook, take photos and read emails.

Mobile computing continues to growing rapidly in every corner of the world and Linux is playing a big part in it. The introduction of Tizen (another open source OS using Linux) will further strengthen its role in shaping the landscape of computing. There are many other Linux based mobile OSes popping up as well. It’s an exciting time for Linux and open source.

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, who would have thought that Linux would play a big role in our computing lives now (and beyond). Think about it, there will be over a billion Linux base computing devices by the end of 2013. It’s amazing.