personal

Beginning a new life

A new job, a new place to live, and, starting Monday, a new life! I am now a proud Software Engineer at TellMe Networks, which works on linking telephones to Internet services so you can access things like stocks, news, and traffic reports using a regular telephone instead of an Internet connection. The unique thing about their products is that they use a voice interface, so you have to speak to navigate around their menus. I have Tingting to thank for helping me introduce me to her friends, too. I can't wait to start work this coming Monday!

I also am almost moved out to Mountain View, which is arguably the heart of Silicon Valley. It's exciting to know that the Mozilla Foundation is down the street from me, TellMe is a short walk away, and that companies like Google and SGI are nearby. The thing is, it's hard to get around without a car since this place was built in a Southern California-like suburban sprawl. I spent a good deal of walking around yesterday trying to find a bookstore, but all the bookstores here are too small, too old, and a 20-minute walk away. The buses pass by every half hour. Here, the car is king. :( read more→

Her life is held together by a tiny little computer

This past weekend, I helped Carolen get her life organized. We spent, oh, six or more hours poring over paper planners and Palm PDA. (Pocket PC's have a user interface from hell and we Berkeley students like to stick it to the man when we can, so we avoided it.) After much debate over the advantages and disadvantages of each, we concluded that although Palms were much more expensive than paper, it was, by far, the most flexible and most portable way to get one's thoughts down. read more→

I've graduated!

I should be happy. I should be ecstatic that I won't have to attend lectures on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday anymore, go through rounds and rounds of examinations, and attend office hours. I should be jumping for joy that I have done my time at Berkeley, that I am now classified as an "alum."

But when children reach the end of their school year, they all joyously proclaim,

no more pencils,
no more books,
no more teachers' dirty looks.

Somehow, "Bachelor Chan" does not quite have the same ring as "Master Chan," or "Doctor Chan." read more→

Organizing life in a pocket notebook

Last month, I tried using a pocket notebook to organize my time and my life, inspired by the productivity blog 43 Folders. They obsessively post about things to help keep life organized, heavily inspired by David Allen's Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity book. Some of them are obsessed with a particular notebook, called the Moleskine notebook (illustrated here), useful for not only keeping track of life, but as a haven for creative ideas, an exercise log, engineering ideas, storyboards for animations or even storyboards for one's personal day in lieu of a more formal task list. I thought I would give this a try too.

I had a beautiful set-up: a black bound notebook with ... read more→

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