A Personal Development Environment Fit For An Enterprise


The hardware and software used in the setup.

I’ve started doing development work for about a week now. My focus is in the mobile space. The first thing I wanted to do is to create a solid development process and infrastructure. I wanted a source control system and I wanted an automated build for each application — actually some enterprises don’t use automated build system.

I don’t have a lot of money to splash out on hardware and software so I make do of what I have (Open Source and cheap hardware). For example, I use my old Samsung Galaxy Y as a SMS Gateway server by IceColdApps for free. My Mac Book Pro is my development machine. I use Eclipse as my primary development tool.

The Asus netbook has SVN server and Git Server for source control — right now I’m  experimenting with Git. It also host Hudson automated build server — every time a code is committed into the source control, Hudson pulls down the source, builds the application and it’s ready for deployment. In addition, I can add features like code analysis, test coverage reporting and etc that can give various perspectives on the soundness of each application design. With this, I have a continuous integration process working.

I chose ProstgreSQL database as my database for storing data. It’s easy to use, robust and free. I’ve also installed Openfire (Jabber) XMPP server for instant messaging service. Since the netbook keyboard is really bad to type and the screen is tiny, I installed VNC server on it so that I can remotely control the screen on my Mac Book. Much easier.

Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 11.29.21 AM

Controlling Windows desktop on my Mac Book.

Power flow in Laos is not as smooth as I would like it to be. I use uninterrupted power supply to protect the computers against power surges and dips.

What binds these devices together? A network hub of course. I use my Note 2 as the network hub so that I can send code from the development machine to the source control system on another machine. As well, it’s also allow other devices to access the internet.

At the end of the day, I commit all codes to the source control system then run Time Machine on the development machine (Mac Book). This way, the freshest code is on the Mac Book, on the source control system (Asus Netbook) and on the Time Machine.

There you have it. A personal development environment that can grow and expand to fit an enterprise.

Smoothing out the power flow to the computers.

Smoothing out the power flow to the computers.


Xi’An Food

This is the third and last write up about my trip to Xi’an. My first write up was about our tour of the Muslim neighbourhood and the second write was about seeing Emperor Qin‘s terracotta army. Now it’s time to talk about Xi’an’s food.

Xi’an is at the north west part of China. People there tend to eat more noodles and steam buns (or baked buns)  then rice. As well, they eat more mutton. The latter doesn’t really go well with me because the smell and the taste of mutton is too gamey  for me. Saying that, I did try a mutton soup that’s is popular in the area. The soup has little bits of baked flat bread in the soup. It’s almost like crushing some crackers into a chicken noodle back in Canada. I could only eat a bit of it because the mutton flavour was too strong.

The next day, I had another type of soup. It’s spicy and it also has another spicy that made my mouth fizzes and tingle. The sensation lasted about 10 minutes after eating. I wonder what the spice was?

The other two popular local dishes are baked mian bao stuff with shredded meat. It’s a meat sandwich. I tried one, it’s pretty good. The dish that I like the most is the cold noodle with sesame and peanut sauce.  I like it because the noodles are big and it’s not fried. It’s refreshing. Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of fried food.

Baked flat bread. Popular in northern China.

Fire spewing out from the stove as the noodle maker takes a break to check his phone.

My lunch. Freshly made noodle with sesame and peanut sauce (i added a bit of chili) and 3 baozi.


Pieces of baked bread in my mutton soup.

Having supper after a long 1st day. (L-R: Me, Anne, Lisa and Jon)

Close up of my dinner. Freshly made noodles with veggies and beef. yummmmmmy.

Steaming dessert. This lady has a sister in Winnipeg!

This soup made my mouth fizzes and tingle. Not sure what kind of spice can do this effect.


A Perfect Combo: A Balanced Mind + An Unbalanced Life

I am on a year long leave from work to search for something. I don’t know what I’m looking for but I know I want a life that grows my heart and mind. What I am doing now is not the norm. Am I looking for a balanced life? Is this the answer and is it my purpose to figure a way to get this while I’m on my one-year vacation?

Many times I hear self-help gurus and other people spew the importance of being balanced in our lives. I also spew this line of thought to others and yet, when I come to think of it, I don’t really know the meaning of it. Without this understanding, how can I use this principle effectively? I don’t want to blindly accept this wisdom and apply it in a way that may actually limits me to grow as a person. It’s time to shut my trap and reflect on it a little bit.

There are two levels of balanced that I can think of: Balanced of the mind and balanced of one’s life. Each level takes on a different meaning for me.

Balanced of the Mind

A balanced of the mind is an important quality for person to obtain. It shows the mastery over the mind. The mind becomes the servant and not the master. The mind is like a wild animal. If it’s not trained, it’ll consume the owner and the owner will be powerless. The owner will act out its impulses. If I observe my monkey mind, it’s a scary thought to let it have its ways.

The good news is that the mind can be trained through building up the awareness of it. What is awareness? According to Wikipedidia, “Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns.” When a person shines his awareness on his mind, he trains it and he gains insight into the nature it. The power of the mind can then be focused to do productive work.

Without awareness, a mind runs wild. For example, an opposite of a well-trained mind is a person walking down the street talking incoherently out loud. Blah blah blah. We have witnessed this kind of behaviour before from a person. We then call this person crazy. The awareness of this person has left the building and the person’s mind is now the master. His monkey mind is jumping from one thought to another. Frankly, without my awareness, I will act like that too. Kinda of scary how thin the line is between sane and insanity.

It’s good to have a balanced mind so that I can focus on the kind of experience I want in life.

Balanced of Life

What does this mean? I don’t know. When I reflect on the people I admire, the Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi and etc, they went all out to achieve their innate destinies. Their lives were very unbalanced.  Buddha left everything to obtain enlightenment, Jesus died for the sake of human, Gandhi went on a hunger strike and yet, their minds are so balanced and focused towards their objectives. And look at what they have done for humanity! So, is saying “I want a balanced life” is another way to say “I don’t want to take risk”? Here’s a quote I like to share with you and for you to reflect.

“The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” – Leo F. Buscaglia


I think I want to be balanced in mind and be unbalanced in life so that I can grow my heart and mind. I like this combo. Oh yeah, may I have it super sized?