Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Around the World in….0.3 Seconds?!

Patients…how much patients do you have? (Not the type of patients in which doctors take care of btw) This was a question that I thought of when I was in my lecture the other day. The lecturer was making the point of how we seem to think that the internet will always work and when it doesn’t, we start to become less tolerant. For example, when a web page loads just that 0.15274634856293760983 seconds slower (or maybe not loading at all) or when the computer freezes, we get a little grumpy.

So I want to tell you a very very very very very very simplified version on how you actually get a web page on your screen and don’t worry, I will try to explain as much as possible afterwards.

So here’s my very very very very very simplified version:
your computer -> n x router hops -> Server -> n x router hops -> your computer
Simple enough?   Yes? You’re a genius =D
                           No? Then unfortunately, no cookie for you =P

For those who don't quite understand, let me break it down for you *starts dancing*

In the picture above, your request for the page, in this case my example is Youtube
1. It starts with my computer (my IP address which I’ve blurred for all the stalkers out there =P)
2. It will hop to my gateway (this basically joins 2 networks together)
3. Then hop to the TPG server in your area (or whatever company you’re with)
4. Then hop to the Melbourne TPG server
5. Then hop to the Sydney TPG server
6. It will hop to router
7. It will hop to router
8. It will hop to router
9. The last hop goes to the server which is located in Sydney and request for the web page Youtube

The 3 columns that you see is the time required to reach the destination (3 columns because by default 3 request will be sent), in this case it took 35 milliseconds to reach the destination and back.

So what is your point you may be asking. Good question! Let me get back to you on that....

I'm kidding!

What I want to say is that a lot of things happen behind the scenes once your press that enter button on your browser. Your request for the web page travels, in this case, Melbourne to Sydney in just 35 milliseconds. I wish I could go from Melbourne to Sydney in less than 1 second so I wouldn’t have to put up with airplane food --“ I also did another test and it took the request a maximum of 1.7 seconds (lowest was 0.328 seconds) to travel to United Kingdom and 0.186 seconds to travel to California!

We just need to be happy that the internet works (well most of the time) and it actually does exists but it’s not perfect. Can you imagine one day if Google didn’t work? Or if you can never watch videos like this again?

On a side note,
To that lady on the train who was shaking her phone every time she wanted Facebook to load a page.

Also for those who want to try, just open your command prompt (you can find it in the folder in
programs --> accessories from the start menu or go to run and type in cmd). Once the command prompt shows, type in tracert *webpage you want to go* or just follow from the example picture above. =)

Until next time,

Pictures and video credit to rightful owners 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Table Manners

Hey yo everybody! I have been quite busy as of late and subsequently have had no time to comment, reply, and write posts.  Thankfully though, the storm is beginning to calm towards the end of the year and my busy schedule in the past couple of months has left me an abundance of opportunities to conduct mental experiments on the smallest parts of our everyday lives.

Table Servicing

Thanks to my extra shifts for work, Pui has had the luxury of playing "let's pretend I'm a rich person" and has begun visiting more fine dining restaurants. Just in case some of you are unfamiliar with the term 'fine dining', I have comprised an inaccurate (but equally relevant...at least for this post) and mostly true definition.

Fine Dining - Pui's Dictionary of me
A process in which an individual (classified mainly by 3 categories*) decides to dress up nicely (with a collared shirt/dress sometimes even with a tie!) and dines (but of course ) at a fancy looking restaurant (complete with dim lighting, candles and maybe even a rose) with waiters and waitresses who actually respond to your needs and requests (who will also assist you in the multiple sets of cutlery whilst playing classical music, or of the likes, so long as it's not your usual radio pop). By the end of the meal, the individual will feel a shitload poorer.

*some of these people will believe they're moving up in the social world, some may think it's just a phase they're going through, while others, yet, believe this is an overcompensation or a desperate cry for help.

Any how, indulging into these modern society food traps, Pui began to notice an absurd pattern emerging. when you're just an average person, sucked into believing you're something a little more than that, you end up being forced to order things that you probably never intended. It's subtle, it's sly, but I've caught on! This is usually what goes down from the moment you step inside the restaurant:

Step 1
You walk into the store, dressed up in all your fancy clothes.

Immediately, the mechanized waiters/waitresses scan you up and down with their well equipped laser vision.

Then, they smile.

They smile because they now know how to squeeze every. last. drop. of penny out of you.

Step 2
You will be lured to your table, and a golden embroidered menu would be placed before you. All the while,  s m i l i n g . Always, always smiling.

Just fucking with you, why would it be gold embroidered? It would be crafted from 24 carot gold.

The prices wouldn't even be written in arabic numbers, not even roman numerals. They'll be in bars of gold, diamonds, jewelery and in some other restaurants, they have a special pricing list demonstrating pictures of body parts and/or organs.

Step 3
Amazed by the luxurious sounding names on the menu, and dumbfounded by perplexing pricing options, you will inevitably end up  ordering a 3-course meal tha tyou havent even heard of.

Then, your waiter/waitress will lean in close, with the eerie inhuman smile, and ask:


Taken by surprise you open the drinks menu up and try to quickily look for the cheapest drink possible, or you might even decline.

Well of course they would know. Just to not appear like an ignorant person, you take what they suggest.

Step 4
After successfully pressuring you into buying coffee/tea more drinks and desserts. The waiter/waitress finally decides to give you the bill.

You pay it...or you labour for the restaurant. But, before that, the waiter/waitress attacks again.

SUDDENLY you remember all the overly attentive table service you received from them.
Like how they lurk nearby until you've taken a few bites of your meal. Then they swarm you.

 What do you mean "How has my meal been?" or "How has everythign been?". Is it even socially acceptable to say no? Perhaps you decide to be challenging that day and look right in their eyes with a defiant "No". It's a trap.

You cower and succumb to it. There is no way you can say no. Quietly and shamefully, you smile and mutter a barely audible 'Yes, everything's been great!"

And so, you end up tipping them more than you normally would've. For those who don't normally tip. That's like infinitely times more.

These days, I constantly fantasize about heroically telling the waiters that everything is NOT OK. Flipping the table and demanding a free meal. Sadly, my fine dining explorations may be perfectly described by this exact line my friend said (as he swirls his overpriced wine in the glass): I don't know what good wine tastes like...but I feel classy doing this!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

너 때문에 미쳐

I’ve been a Kpop fan/follower for a while now so I like to keep up to date with the latest news and the latest bands that make a comeback or debut but recently I’ve noticed that to do so is not easy as it used to be.

So here’s a little number crunch for you:
Overall there have been 280 groups that have debuted (including sub-units) since 1996. Up until 2008, on average, about 10 groups will debut during the year; however in 2009 that number had doubled to 20. As expected, this number kept increasing with 35 in 2010, 61 in 2011 and this year, 2012, 66 groups have or will debut. So on average, about 5-6 groups will debut in a month and if I take an average of 5 members in a group, that’s 25-30 new people every month and 300 every year entering the Kpop industry. 
(Did I get the maths right? I'm actually not that good at it xD)

I’m not sure for you, but that’s a little overwhelming for me. With the vast amount of Kpop groups out there, I’ve gotten to the point where I just don’t know (or maybe I just don’t care) about the new groups anymore. Things have gotten confusing as to who is who and which group they belong to and honestly I don’t think this is doing the Kpop industry any good. I have a few friends that have pretty much given up (or on the verge to) on Kpop and I think that Kpop is now quantity over quality.

Of course I’m not saying that there hasn’t been any good song out there but I have witness some disasters before (don’t think I should name any). If groups don’t make an impact right from the start of their debut then they are just going to be forgotten or be overshadowed by other groups especially if they’re not from well known companies such as the big 3 (YG, SM, and JYP). Maybe they will be remembered as a group that didn’t make a very good debut/comeback and people might be skeptical of listening to their new songs (or maybe that’s just me).   

Companies should spend more time in making sure of a solid comeback by experimenting with songs and concepts that fit the image of the group rather than just putting them out there in “no man’s land”. I know that the trainees do train for a very long time and I'm not doubting their talent at all. However since I’m not part of the Kpop industry at all other than being a follower/fan, I don’t know the exact process of debuting a group or what really happens behind the scenes so what I’m saying could all be nonsense but it’s just my 2 cents =)

Here’s a little quiz for you to see if you know your Kpop idols:

The list of Kpop idol groups:

just to name a few =)

Until next time,

Pictures credit to rightful owners 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Socially Awkward

Humans, by nature, are social animals. Our entire civilization was built upon social interactions. So much so, that we are expected to follow an undocumented set of social rules and guidelines. It is expected of us to know all of them, across the different cultures.

What if they think I'm autistic because I don't say grace?

Of course the normal daily greetings are simple. Just a simple "How do you do?" a "Good morning" or "Afternoon", surely everyone has managed to nail that by now. No. Do not be tricked into a false sense of security, you can never nail this, ever.

No, Just no.

Why? Well, what if the opposition had a bad day? How will that go down?

"How do you do this fine day my friend?"
"Terrible! My cat died, I got mugged, and, my car's on fire."
"Oh dear"

And "Oh dear!" indeed. You had no intention of opening the gates of hell so early in the morning.

But no, the magical unwritten set of social rules state (in Segment 142.7 Section BB-3G to be exact) that you have to stay, listen and act concerned...or does it? As I have hinted at, social interactions are full of evil traps. They're deadly, evil and sometimes render you cold blooded.

For one case, the scenario may go like this:

A: oh dear! How saddening! {I'm not even close to him...}
B: Yes and...
A: I'm sorry good friend but I am in a hurry, here, have a tissue

Or this:

A: {we're not even really friends} My cat died too, and my fish is on fire. And just because everyone is dying from cancer, I also probably have cancer. Don't see me crying about it.

Or even this:
A: Have you met Jesus yet?

The possibilities are endless, and arguably, they all lie in the grey zone of "is this an acceptable response?" I know what you're all thinking. Pui, you clearly only gave examples of unacceptable responses! Perhaps I have, my dear readers, but we have to remember, social interactions are only possible with 2 or more parties. Thus this raises the big question, should Person B have said what he did? Before you all unanimously say yes, think about this. You're on a bus talking to a fellow commuter to kill time. Do you really want them to know about your personal life?

Probably not.

In fact the sole frightening question that we must all ask ourselves at one point in time or another. "Does the other person even give a shit?"

Clearly not giving a fuck

Now, although this is the most difficult question to answer in the entire existence of civilization (because the answer of the universe is 42), I have devised a fail proof method to deal with these socially awkward situations.

I call it the "oh my god, is that a unicorn?" technique.
Rather than trying to explain it, I shall now list a series of scenarios to demonstrate.

Is your friend trying to bore you with their intellect?

Stun them with UNICORNS!

Are you being attacked by your tutor in class?

Use it as a distraction!

Do you have to sit through annoying family gatherings?

Great at creating chaos and confusion!

See how it fits nicely into almost all situations? Well sometimes there are scenarios where it doesn't work.

Violence is the key to everything!

But remember, only use the UNICORN-PUNCH technique in awkward situations where the normal UNICORN tech fails.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Constructing Pieces of Lost Memories

So recently I got myself a new desk in my room and I had to put the pieces together along with my dad…well mainly my dad putting it together and me watching him do all the work.

While my dad was building the desk, it kinda made me think when was the last time we spent time together let alone being in the same room for more than 5 minutes.

If you’re wondering well, he’s my dad and we live in the same house so you’re bound to be in the same room. Actually, my day consist of me hibernating in my room in front of my computer and only coming out to find food in the kitchen (my mum always says that I'm brooding like a chicken --") While my dad’s day is basically watching TV in his room, Facebooking on the iPad or putting together those Gundam model thingys. I guess you can say our paths never really meet unless it’s during dinner time or when going out along with my other family members. 

Brooding like a boss

So while we were hammering our way through this desk (not literally hammering the desk but like working our way through it), it felt like we were putting together pieces of my past memories that I’ve had with my dad. There were times where it fit perfectly and things were just right but there were also times when things weren’t quite right and it needed a bit of effort to fix.

I’m not saying my relationship with my dad is bad or anything but I have to say that my dad has gotten a lot more wrinkles and white hair than I last remember.  I guess I just need to take the time out of my busy *cough* life and spend more time with those around me.

That's not my hand btw xD
Until next time,

Pictures credit to rightful owners