Lecture 3: A connected world through technology (HTML5, CSS3, Kinect) by Microsoft

Microsoft was invited to speak @ CS3216 lecture today. Three of them came down, Yizhe (Developer Evangelist), Thye Yeow (Partner Developer Evangelist) and Christ Ismael (Developer Evangelist).

Thye Yeow started off with HTML5.

My take? I just have to say “HTML5 is quite awesome!”

Check out Microsoft’s notes on HTML5 Semantic Notepad.

Personally, the most thing ever happen to HTML5 is the <video> tag. Recently I just chance upon another awesome media framework called Popcorn.js. Can’t wait to try this awesome rich media stuff!!

I still remember the days when Youtube was still fresh. I was contemplating whether we should use Youtube as the main EusoffWorks Video Gallery. Halfway through JieJing came out with the GalleryMage/SPGM solution, followed by CheeEng‘s Drupal/Gallery2 hack. But as it turns out we are slowly moving back to using Youtube since it has the widest audience reach. I still remember the days where people prefer to download videos to watch but people prefer streaming nowadays. The game field has changed so much, and it’s just a 4 years span.

HTML5 <canvas> is quite awesome too! Can’t wait for the day where we don’t have to use FLASH for animation anymore!

CSS Media queries is quite imba! Now we don’t have to create three different website for mobile, tablet and desktop. In essence you can specify a different CSS for different device based on the screen widths.

Example of an imba thing you can do with HTML5 @ Fun With Particles.

W3C Geolocation works on the browser too – I don’t think you even need a GPS device installed (for desktop/laptop).

Take a glimpse at the power of HTML5 Demo @

Prof. Ben mentioned about how IE9 is able to render graphics faster – because Microsoft is able to pipeline the rendering to the graphics card. But I think Chrome & Firefox is catching up, right?

Tentative HTML5 is set to fully launch @ 2015. But Ben said it’s gonna be the future. It’s gonna be messy but browser has been messy since the beginning. But that is the way it happens for future tech. If we are to wait for stability we’ll be lagging behind.

Must check out http://www.modernizr.com/


We also caught a glimpse on the unreleased version of Windows Phone 7 (Mango). Windows 8 will have a similar UI/UX as Mango. Sadly the voice recognition feature failed during demonstration. Murphy’s Law strikes!

Mango is running IE9 (for now)!


Metro UI

There’s an Android app that tries to simulate Windows Phone 7 (Mango) Metro UI http://www.appbrain.com/app/metro-ui-pro/chrisman.android.home.metroui.stable


Check out the #CS3216 twitter hashtag for realtime updates, especially on Mondays!



First post using my Samsung Galaxy S II


Hello World! This is made possible by the WordPress app for android.

Seriously the possibilities are limitless with a smart phone + data plan. Wireless internet access, that’s the key technology that made all these possible.

1 week into using this phone. I’ve already discover a few itches that I wish to scratch. Time to get my hands dirty on making some android apps. Heard app inventor is quite fun.

CS3216 Lecture 2: Principles of Software Engineering

One year down, as I listen to Prof. Ben I found that I understand a little bit more than when I heard it the first time last year. At least now I have a better idea of what MVC is about. Let’s hope that I will be reaching the state by the end of the module where I will know how to use MVC properly.

It’s quite interesting to hear from Jonathan Low. I vaguely remember the sparks in his group, but from the sound of it, it sounded quite serious. Haha, maybe I was too engrossed with my own project, I didn’t knew that it was so serious at all. But they seem alright during Poster Session. So I guess by then they should have already settled all their differences.

I felt a slight prick as the NOC guys are presenting. In hindsight, I should have find out more about NOC back then before discounting the possibility of getting in at all. Haha, it turns out that I have quite a warped idea about NOC, that it is all about business and money. Of course that was before I took CS3216 and I couldn’t even bother to find out more about NOC. Fast forward to the present, I am a co-founder of Big Orange Pixel (haha, isn’t that a business?). Who could have known?

I’m very much caught on the idea of Social Entrepreneurship. It was through CS3216 1.0 that I got introduced to the idea of Social Entrepreneurship, through Muhammad Yunus’ book “Creating a World without Poverty”. The idea is very much an eye-opener for me and I thought that is something that I could work with. Then I found out that ultimately Social Entrepreneurship is still very much a business. And you still have to run the organisation like a business. Cashflow is still a major concern. All the problems that a business face, you still have to face it in a Social Enterprise. In fact, it’s even harder to run a SE than a normal business.

For a business noob like me, I thought the best way to contribute to a great cause is to be the support. Especially technical support. I guess that’s also one of the reason why I’m here taking CS3216 all over again — To upgrade my programming skills. But I guess I really have to work harder since my FB1 team have 3 elite programmers. Now my goal for this assignment is to NOT be a liability to the other programmers. Chiong ahhhhhhh….

Eu’ma’soff Best Float!

Eusoff & Temasek’s float “…was named the best this year”!

Nope, I didn’t say that – Straitstimes did.Well, the article is not exactly a positive review of RAG. But my take on this is unless you can come out with a better idea, it’s just useless rhetoric. A worthy replacement event will have to provide the same awesome bonding experience to students each year AND inspire students to FLAG for a total amount of $480+. Beat that!

Thank you http://www.facebook.com/nusragtoriches peeps for scanning the article!

Of course, how can RAG go without an awesome video from EusoffWorks (HD!)

I can’t make a call using a phone! Samsung Galaxy S2 UX Failed!

Finally I’ve gotten myself a touchscreen phone. If it wasn’t for Jollideal I would still be using my loyal Nokia E71.

2 days into the phone, I still think a hardware QWERTY keyboard beats touchscreen typing hands down. But I am willing to give it a try. 1-2 months and see if I am able to overcome the obvious limitations of virtual keyboard.


But this post is not about typing. It’s about “Making Calls“. At least I thought what I got is a phone. No doubt it’s a “smart“phone, but it’s still a “phone” right? I’m supposed to be able to make calls using a keypad/dialpad right? You know the ones we used to have in phones? This one:

Keypad / Dialpad



Ok I have to admit that it’s not entirely true that calls can’t be made. If you sync all your contacts from your previous phone or from google or from somewhere in the cloud, you should have no problem calling anyone. That is because all the contacts should already be in your “Contacts”.

But what if what you have is just a number, say 91737779? And you urgently want to call the person without adding him into your “Contacts” yet? Or it happen to be an acquaintance’s number that you don’t want to include it in your “Contacts”? Or maybe you saw an accident and you want to call “999“?

Ok, these might be special circumstances but I’m sure there are a lot more use cases for a keypad/dialpad?

But where is the keypad/dialpad in Samsung Galaxy S II?


Yesterday I passed the phone around in a table of 5 people, 3 people looked at it, fiddle with it, try out different combinations. But no, we can’t figure how to activate the keypad/dialpad! Mind you, those 5 people are heavy weight geeks, much heavier than me. But nope, Samsung decides to design their UI such that no geeks will know how to activate the keypad/dialpad. (Please leave a comment if you intuitively found out about how to activate the Keypad)

So I went to sleep yesterday thinking that perhaps Samsung decided to ditch the keypad. Perhaps they have gather enough user data about the keypad being useless. Oh well…..


sienz face

Well, turns out i’m wrong. There is indeed a dialpad/keypad on Samsung Galaxy S II! But it’s UX design completely baffles me! If it’s just me, maybe it’s my problem, but 3 other people tried it and failed. Perhaps Samsung needs to rethink their UX design!

So how did I found out about it? All thanks to the mighty Googlem and surprise surprise Yahoo Answers! It’s also quite comforting to know that I’m not alone.

This is the said articleSamsung galaxy S2-how to make phone calls?

So for the benefit of all Samsung Galaxy S2 users out there, this is how you bring up the keypad.

  1. Select the Green Phone Icon (Contacts) – It should lead you to the screen where you see logs, contacts, favourites, etc.
  2. Place your finger on the “Logs” tab and swipe it towards the right.
  3. Voila! The keypad icon magically appear!!
Ok, here are some screenshots (BTW, thanks to this post, I’ve also learned how to screen capture by doing the Home+Power combo)
SGSII Contacts
Notice the small little glow at the top left corner? That is supposed to signify something is here – swipe me!
SGSII Contacts (with Keypad)
Hooray! The Keypad button is revealed!
SGSII Keypad
Hooray now I can call 999 without saving it as a Contact!

What I hope to learn in CS3216 (again)?

It’s been more than one year since my last stint in CS3216 ended. As I was reading my previous posts about CS3216, especially the “What Have I Learned from CS3216” post. Once again I felt myself asking myself “Why am I taking this all over again?”. To be honest, it’s really hard to pin down exactly why I am doing this all over again. Perhaps it’s the adrenaline rush, the late-nights-chiong-project-with-a-group-of-like-minded-friends, the real world implication for what we do, or just because this is a necessary step to fulfill my dream….
 But as highlighted in the reflection post, there are a few things where I hope I’ll be able to learn at the beginning but I didn’t succeed. Since this is my 2nd attempt and probably the last one, I better buck up and make it happen. After all this module is about realizing our childhood dreams right?

Hello world, look here, “I want to be a competent programmer”!

Continue reading What I hope to learn in CS3216 (again)?