Technology

On Workstations

I built my first PC circa 2002, almost 15 years ago. It was an AMD machine with an ASUS motherboard. I remembered it has 256MB of RAM which was a big deal, and a 2GB Maxtor hard drive. I have no idea what happened to that machine, but it really got me through lots of freelance projects and contributed hundreds of hour of rendering time for my award-winning 3D animation. The return on investment for that AMD machine was easily a hundred fold.

In the age of internet shopping convenience, only people with a lot of time on their hands would think about building their own workstation. Anyone who knows how to check out an item online, pay their online orders with their credit card can buy a notebook easily. So easy that most probably don’t even bother to look at the full specs of the machine they are getting. They probably just stopped right at the part where the online brochure says “Made for those who wants to get the job done…”

Well, I am not anyone. I am actually quite fed up with the stock machines offered by manufacturers these days. Too much cosmetics. Too much sugar-coatings. Too much emphasis on outlooks and forms. I am hungry for raw power.

So, today, I have decided build myself a new workstation. It may not be cost effective than those stock machines out there, but at least I get to maxed out on the stuff that really matters to me.

I don’t want to ‘Think Different’. I want to ‘Do Different’.

2017-05-22T03:42:24+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Technology|0 Comments

Attachments

E-mail attachments can sometimes be a very damaging thing- not referring to the virus and scams that you get everyday. It’s the fact that once your attachment is sent out, there’s no way you can ‘undo’ it. You can definitely remember the time when your attachment is sent to the wrong intended recipient… All the embarrassing damage control you mustered up to ensure things doesn’t get any worse. Only it’s already out of your control.

If only there’s an email app that attaches a file by linking it to a specific location on a server, instead of literally attaching it together with the email. This way, the sender can choose to edit or remove the attached file referred to in the e-mail.

That should save everyone a lot of unnecessary awkwardness.

2015-03-20T01:51:15+00:00 November 23rd, 2014|Daily Observations, Productivity, Technology|0 Comments

Growing

At Twelve Volts Technologies, we bootstrapped from Day One. And if you’ve any experience with bootstrapping, you would understand the crazy hours and insane amount of coffee. All efforts were focused on survival.

And then the storms and blizzard began to calm. The burn-out is real. And for a long time, there’s finally some room to breathe. And we felt like we are ready to go on to the next phase- growth.

Every business needs to grow. But growth can be a risky thing at the same time. I have seen first hand how a business ‘grew’ without proper operation plan and a line of mediocre product offerings. When you grow a business that is not ready for ‘prime’ time, you are also multiplying all its weaknesses. Think of it like a tumor. It could be potentially malignant and you could be spending more time doing damage control than actually running the business.

And then, there’s all the glamour and fame of the big boys in the major league of your industry. Their sheer volume and revenue could easily spark hopes and get you excited about the possibility of just having 0.0001% of their market share.

In reality, not all big businesses are good businesses. You should know better. Remember the last time you had to call up your bank. What about your mobile networks, or your internet service providers? I am quite sure they are big in terms of customer base and revenues. But quality of service?

As we head into our fourth year into the e-commerce arena, the decision on which path to take is obvious. To grow bigger or to grow better?

P.S. Growing bigger could be a side-effect of growing better. However, it’s often not true the other way round if there’s no recognition of quality (or as Jason Fried puts it: usefulness) as the fuel for long term growth.

2014-06-30T04:14:59+00:00 May 24th, 2014|Entrepreneurship, Technology|0 Comments

No More Whipping the Llama’s Ass

The first ever MP3 player we had back then. There was really lots of awesome skins and visualizations effects you could play with.

WinAmp No More!

On WinAmp.com’s homepage:

“Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date. See release notes for latest improvements to this last release.
Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years.”

You’ll be remembered, Mr Llama.

2013-11-21T03:47:52+00:00 November 21st, 2013|Daily Observations, Technology|0 Comments

How to Make Your Family Rich

Rice paddy fields at Dawn

“No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich.”

That’s a very interesting quote I keep referring to from Gladwell’s Outliers. It’s a saying originated by Chinese paddy farmers, which literally means, wealth comes to those who works hard with consistency and perseverance. In the book, this is contrasted with the Western culture’s wheat cultivation, where there’s a gap of about a 3-4 months where no significant labor is performed on the field because of the unsuitability of the soil during those period.

Note that, the quote refers to paddy farmers. Hence, their work cycle has to start in the morning, before the sun’s first light.

Today, many of us no longer toil the fields, and we’ve come a long way since the industrial era. Many enterprises I know no longer practice such orthodox way of running their business. Case in point, the very platform I am using to write this short essay is built by Automattic, the company that did away with cubicles and every employee works from home.

Some even say that by not reporting to work by a certain time of a day, one is considered an individual lack of discipline. Of course, if one first agree with the working hours, and has the same idea on productivity and efficiency. If by working from 9 to 5 implies great efficiency, we would have a very effective government service- just look at the hours they put in and the number of people employed by the government. We could easily be the most productive and efficient government on Planet Earth.

What do you say about working hours and it’s effect on productivity and efficiency, especially in the context of a technology-based enterprises (where creativity, innovation, effective problem-solving and decision-making is of utmost importance)?

2013-11-18T04:29:44+00:00 November 18th, 2013|Daily Observations, Entrepreneurship, Productivity, Technology|0 Comments