Thursday, 10 November 2011

last blog entry

poster session was fun :) on hindsight, this module doesnt seem as painful as i thought it would be. perhaps its true that one usually looks back on the past in a better light

-- stuff i learnt --

this part is going to be a little incoherent. i picked up random things along the way. from little tidbits to being influenced by my peers. after this module, im convinced that one has to like what you do in order to be happy. im glad that i've cleared almost all my graduating requirements and next semester i'd get to do what i want to do. this module also gave me an opportunity to push myself. and as a result i knew myself a bit better. I think im a bit stronger than i though i was. hmm.

Technical stuff, learnt much. design, practised abit. keeping an open mind was the right decision. other wise i may not have went ahead with programming on ios. while i agree that browser based apps are the future, that makes me a little sad because i enjoy native app development more, because there is just more you can do with a native app. at the moment. then again, who knows. HTML5 is about to get more awesome i hear.

-- Singapore Heritage Mobile --

is not over. we are gonna try and push this through. RAAHH!

-- other stuff --

about how life is going to get tougher with each generation, i'm more inclined to think that it is possible for things to get better for us. no reasons in particular just think that its better to be optimistic about things you have little control over. fate has been kind to me so far anyway. so.

about the doom and gloom of lack of jobs and lack of oil, i think every generation has a huge obstacle of sorts. some faced the great depression and some faced war. I like to think that we are experiencing some kind of a hang over from a century's worth of industrialization and globalization. It'll be over one day. i hope.

good luck for finals everyone. time to re-invent wheels.

Monday, 31 October 2011

coming to an end..

--entrepreneurs talk--

good thing i did not skip this lecture. Its good to listen to people whom have really been there and done that. Since this is my 2nd last semester. what to do after graduation has dominated much of my thoughts. its good to be assured that you dont neccessarily have to start young if you want to go into entreprenuership.

on another note, chin leung reccommended some books for us to read. coincidentally, i have read one of the books. Atlas shrugged by Ayn Rand. It's a really good read(chapter 1 was boring though). Its about individualism. I see alot of people using this as an argument for capitalism but i dont think its the same thing nor is there any correlation between the two. Anyways i like the protaganist very much cause she is incredibly outstanding and has never once grumbled in the face of adversity. She also has never given any justification of any sort for achievement nor preached its virtues. She did just because. thinking about getting fountain head now.. hmm..

--final project--

wrapped up some things before the presentation. We've been working really hard at this and I like the product very much. I hope everyone in class likes it too.

Monday, 17 October 2011

catching up with blogging

--Zit Seng's lecture--

after Zit Seng's lecture i am better able to appreciate how inefficiencies of the code in the app can impact user experience in terms or loading speed. this is very valuable to me as he was speaking from experience and this will impact how i work in future. Also, i discovered my weakness in my complete lack of knowledge in OS. this explains why im bad at server administration too.

--Security and Privacy--

quite interesting to learn about how people hack hehe. i must confess i did not give security much thought at all during the first 2 assignments. It's not a topic that interests me in particular and it not being part of the milestones was the perfect excuse. Also, another one of my weakness -zero knowledge on security. Maybe taking a module on security would solve the problem. But i'd probably be bored to death. perhaps instead of reading up more about security, i will read up more about hacking.

--final project--

prototype done! by some stroke of madness, all 5 of us iOS noobs decided to build an iOS application instead. we faced many difficulties, mostly logistical :/. But within a week or so, we built a pretty good looking app. im looking forward to building in the extra features :)

I was surprised how difficult it was for sharon to get approval for use of content. Reminds me of the painful red tape i encountered during my internship stint at OCBC. I was also surprised to be kicked out of PL1 when i was trying to quietly mind my own business working on one of the 10 or so unused iMacs. How times have changed. Lab TAs used to be cool.

lesson learnt: never expect anyone to be cooperative with you (unless they are your team-mates)

--other stuff--

3 projects and FYP CA2 within the next few weeks. im ready for the mad dash. RAWR.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

taking a break from studying for mid terms

--assignment 2--

This time round, i did not function as a designer. i decided to leave that part of work to zul. i did most of the backend functions and dealt with geolocation and webstorage functions. improved much in javascript. tried to use github but failed. my conclusion, there's much more to learn.


I thank my groupmates for the encouraging comments, as well as the critical ones. strangely i had conflicting comments. some said i was uncompromising and some said i was easy going. i guess everyone has things that they care about more than others. certain things that i think are not important, i will compromise. but if i think they are important then it will be difficult to change my mind. its impossible to please and agree with the whole world so i stand by my views. I never felt that tension or disagreement in a group is necessarily a bad thing. it shows that people care. as long as it doesnt get out of hand of course. what do you think?

but at times, i believe i appear more confrontational than intended. :/

other things, i will pay more attention to coding style. I suppose i neglected this bit in my pursuit to make things work. Leadership, not my cup of tea. My top priority is the team. so i will only step up to be one when the team requires one.

--final project--

decided to work on the singapore heritage trail. i like it because i like history and museums. and i think its important to keep the younger generation engaged. Furthermore, it will be the first time i get to work with external parties like NLB (through sharon). The prospects of augmented reality draws me as well.

On another note, this time round, we will be using github again for version control. and since octocat is cute, i will give it another go.

--other stuff--

read classmates blogs. This is a class full of incredibly motivated people. it seems as though everyone is ready for more. me? looking forward to december. i hope its just a temporary thing that will pass in another day or two.

last week at a presentation for another project, the prof. asked me if i ever attended his classes cause he never saw me before. :/ a very good evidence that i have not been managing my time well. i worry about what i can ever achieve if i cant even handle the workload of this semester (not that its little its actually alot). This also makes me worry about which career path to take, since graduation is coming in another 1 and a half semesters.

ps, im quite dissappointed that the google talk is being cancelled :( but at least now theres more time for my mid terms

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

pitching and VeeSee


i did not have much thoughts about pitching really. and i prefer not to critique another person's idea or presentation. It was interesting though, to read my classmates' blogs about it. one note, it takes charisma for one to convince another of their ideas. I dont think its as easy as selling your idea really well. you have to be likable too. maybe prof should provide a workshop on charisma haha.

I also feel compelled to talk about cliquefund. I think we should re-think ROI. ROI does not necessarily have to come in the form of money. To illustrate this abit better i have to digress abit.

have you felt powerless? like a cog in the system and the grand scheme of things seem to be directed by rich magnates and politicians alone. having no resources, the rest of us get by. certain ideas, will never be endorsed by venture capitalists, simply because they are not profitable enough, even if the idea is of great contribution to society.

Cliquefund returns the community autonomy. and by investing, you get a piece of it. you can help make things happen. you can put resources in the right hands to exact changes as you deem fit. how else can you do this without being rich?

personally, i would back indie films and media productions that give the minority a voice or are just much more intelligent. I feel media today is too driven by profit, sensationalism and political correctness. It acts in the interests of the majority and powerful and reports only viewpoints that are popular. Journalism is a very important job and i think few are worth it. ah. i digressed again.

also, i would think that this model of funding would probably not see the rise of vices such as gambling.


micro learning: really? define micro. and on another note, i think ideas really worth digesting usually take up alot of time.

emails: courtesy via email is important. didnt know about the 24 hour rule though. noted.

breaking patterns: good suggestion. maybe i'll try it out when i actually do remember.

boredom: agreed much. only works for short periods of time though. problem is, its difficult to set time aside to be bored. and when you are stressed, boredom exacerbates this. for me at least.

the love advice: prof. Ben seems to think he's got a good deal. i'd like to hear what his wife has got to say haha.

p.s. i felt very much like reading after the talk. but im the sort who prefers to complete a book in one sitting. so its going to have to wait :( i prefer real books too. they smell good.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Case study 1

when i first saw the screenshot below, i thought it was a tutorial. because the check boxes are customized, it did not occur to me that it was actually a form. it looked nice but it was not conventional. causing the learning curve of the interface to be steeper. In this particular use case, it can be particularly annoying to the first time user once they find out that they had unwittingly allowed the app to post to all their friends if they neglect to uncheck certain check boxes. By the way, having all 3 check boxes checked for who do you want to ask makes no logical sense. Im assuming that they will post to all friends if left as it is. or is this just an image intended to show off the capabilities of the app and not a form u fill while asking for help?! this i will never know until i try clicking on the checkboxes.

on the other hand, they do give a rather wide variety of options. offering to sms even. although in the context of this application, i think a personalized facebook message might be more appropriate.

secondly, the profile tab is 'highlighted'. this must be some mistake because for a page called profile i am expecting information about myself. scrolling through the other screenshots, none of the navigation tabs are highlighted. so what does the highlighted profile tab mean? i have no idea. and theres this overview page. i wonder how we can navigate to it.

thirdly, im guessing the designer is trying to be creative by aligning the navigation tabs diagonally. it makes it hard to read the words on the tabs. this could work if there are no words, utilizing only the symbol. However, i find these sort of tabs unhelpful as well since it makes the learning curve steeper.

about the buttons. i wonder why they used red for all their buttons, bright red even. i would normally associate danger with this color. this is also why many error messages are in red. even the spelling errors i produce as i type this are underlined in red. IMO, the color scheme induces more feelings of anxiety in the users than necessary. if they really liked red, they should have gone for a deeper shade of red. think roses.

I appreciate the sparing use of graphics though, i find them rather engaging. functions wise i think it is smart to allow users to reccommend others. they achieve their goal of helping users reach beyond their own circle of friends for help.

as for elements of gamification(badges), i feel it is rather appropriate in this context. But i think gamification is only powerful when the rewards and benefits are a little more tangible though. perhaps, exclusive functions for users with the most number of badges?

Design issues aside, i think the team probably were a little too short on time. A problem we can all identify with i believe. which accounts for the little bugs in the UI, such as the navigationn tabs being partially blocked and the Overview headers appearing on the statistics page.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Assignment 1

Phew. assignment 1 done. the past week was so painful.. but i had awesome groupmates so thats okay. :)

some learning points:

Designing a UI is so difficult. It much harder than i thought as i got a little too brain-fried to think about details towards the end. good thing ajay helped me out there. and about the bright blue, my group knew about this problem actually. but i couldn't find just-the-right-color as a replacement. I did find a good shade of blue eventually, but it was so much trial and error. -.- (apologies for burning some eyeballs out there) Im also guessing that the bright design will not be very popular. perhaps that is why they are not very common. If i have the chance, i would like to challenge a bright design again.

I was much too naive about jquery plugins. I had problems making afew different plugins work on the same page. My guess is that they made certain common declarations.

I underestimated james and wayne. haha. towards the end i was quite skeptical that we could implement certain functions in time. but they were really good.

social plugins are a pain in the ass to align :(

On another note, i bought some eye serums for my eye bags. @.@ i hope it works. time for assignment 2