Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Teknion Savera Synchro-Tilt

Today, my office finally decided to replace all the aging chairs with new ones from Teknion. The model is Savera Synchro-Tilt and is black in color. It is fully adjustable and I think it should be really comfortable for long hours. Maybe my boss is trying to tempt us to sit longer in the office? ;;)
Here is a description of the chair, quoted from Teknion's website.
Savera is a fully featured, price-competitive task chair offering basic and enhanced ergonomic features across numerous applications, from task-intensive to meeting rooms.

Two Mechanism Options

· Swivel-tilt model:

- Meets ergonomic needs for general use seating

· Synchro-tilt model:

- For every three degrees the back tilts, the seat reclines one degree, with a total back tilt of 24.5"

- Meets ergonomic needs for multi-task and general use functions

Lumbar Height

· Adjusts 2.75" on both swivel-tilt and synchro-tilt model

· Provides maximum personalized support

Seat Height

· Seat adjusts up and down 4.37"

· Adjusts to the leg length of the user for proper posture and circulation

Arm Height

· Armrests adjust up and down 4"

· Provides optimal user comfort

Arm Width

· Overall arm width adjustment of 2.36"

· Adjusts the arm position to the user and task

Tilt Tension

· Swivel-tilt model locks in upright position; synchro-tilt model locks in four positions

· Tilt tension adjustment offers user control of back free-flow resistance

Chair Sizes

· Available in mid-back and high-back sizes

Upholstery

· Partial or dual upholstery options available

Monday, May 29, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

IBM Java Cryptography Extension (JCE) Expires on 18 May 2006

The IBM® JCE certificate will expire on May 18, 2006 at 21:59:19 GMT. After that date, users will see errors when invoking methods in IBM's JSSE or JCE. PROBLEM DESCRIPTION: The IBM JCE certificate will expire on May 18, 2006 at 21:59:19 GMT. After that date, users will see errors when invoking methods in IBM's JSSE or JCE. fd4e164 WSSecurityCom E WSEC0019E: Failed to load KeyLocator SampleSenderEncryptionKeyLocator. The exception is java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError: java.lang.SecurityException: Cannot set up certs for trusted CAs at javax.crypto.f.(Unknown Source) at javax.crypto.m.(Unknown Source) at javax.crypto.b.run(Unknown Source) at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method) at javax.crypto.Cipher.init(Unknown Source) at com.ibm.crypto.provider.x.a(Unknown Source) at com.ibm.crypto.provider.JceKeyStore.engineGetKey(Unknown Source) at java.security.KeyStore.getKey(KeyStore.java:278) at com.ibm.wsspi.wssecurity.config.KeyStoreKeyLocator.init(KeyStoreKeyLocator.java:222

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Had I stalled progress on web development?

I had alway been involved in projects that requires the solution to run on a browser, mostly IE. Thus, most of my experiences and skillset and concentrated on making things work on a browser. From HTML to JavaScript to ASP to DLLs to JSP to Servlets to Struts, I had always performed my own research and development to ensure I would be skilled enough to make the most efficient use of the technologies employed. As far as I can remember, until last year, I had been racing with the evolution of web applications and would always adhere to the latest best practices. The final few things I remembered I was trying to adopt was tableless layout with CSS and AJAX. Few days ago, I was having dinner with a friend and we were dicussing about the current AJAX framework. I realised I no longer knew what's really happening the the AJAX world. I even joked with him that I am one of the AJAX pioneer as I implemented it in one of my previous projects about 1.5 years ago. It was just a plain XMLRequest call to refresh fields in a form without actually performing a form submit but it is still AJAX! Now, I can totally feel that I am no longer able to keep up with the latest in web development standards as I was not really involved in spear heading much development activities in the previous years. Hopefully, I had gained skillsets in other areas.

Life is too short for doing anything meaningless

After reading a friend's article, I begin to reflect more on how I had been doing in the past 1 year. I had been mostly involved in support activities on an application hosted on outdated hardware and software. The application was also badly designed and I know that the users of the application was not really happy with the application and will by all means, not use it. Seeing the problem when I was initially assigned to this project, I suggested to redesign/redevelop the system on to a newer and more stable platform where application management and configuration would be much easier. However, my request was turned down as it would incur a lot of cost. My rationale was that on the old platform, to develop/fix one module would take about 5 times the effort compared to a more recent platform as the former is unstable and resource hungry. If we spend some effort to redesign the system, it would save us a lot when maintaining the system plus furthermore, users would also be much more happy to use the system if we could provide faster turn around time to fixes and enhancements. Come to think of it now, what I had done in the past 1 year for this project is quite meaningless as we never actually attacked the root of the problems and I think we failed to provide the best value and work in the most efficient manner. In my future undertakings, I would like to see that what we actually develop would be a SOLUTION that is able to provide VALUE to users and allow them to work more EFFICIENTLY. Efficiency and value are what really drives businesses.

Local startups

Ever since I graduated, I had worked at quite a number of IT companies, most of them are local startups of less than 2 years. Working in this type of environment, it is indeed very challenging as the company is just starting to grow its business and I would be given opportunities to spear head a lot of things. I am really exposed to a lot of different scenarios and project experiences as startups will usually experiment with a lot of different projects and technology and hope that one of the projects will hit it big. Unfortunately, most of the companies I worked at never really succeeded in growing. Instead they shrunk as the growth is not planned properly and furthermore, the foundation was never laid strong enough. At times like this, salaries will be late, increments will be postponed, promised bonuses will never arrive thus lowering the employees morale. You will soon see the collegues around you getting less and less as they would look for other better opportunities. As the startups will know the fact that they did not plan properly, at this time, they will review the operational cost and decide not to hire anymore even though staffs had left. In this type of scenarios, I will feel job insecurity and locate better opportunities that will grant me job security without me worrying when will my next salary be banked in. Thus this is the main reason I would hope not to step foot into a local startup again unless I am really confident with the company's objective and business viability.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Adopting JSF?

Today, I was asked to join in a discussion to determine whether it is viable to adopt JSF as one of my new colleagues seemed to had used it before in one of his previous projects. So, the discussion goes something like this... Team Lead: So, you had used JSF before, how do you think of it? A: Erm,..it is similar to taglib, I think if you use taglib, you can use JSF. B(Who seem to use JSF before): Well, it has a lot of features, such as pagination, combo boxes, etc...but the interface is very basic, not nice... A: Well, if it can do pagination, it will be very useful. Pagination is very difficult to do. It is extremely difficult to design a framework to page records efficiently. As an example my ex project.....(and on he goes about the way his previous project does paging..wasted quite a lot of my time). Anyway, if JSF can do pagination, we should adopt it. B: I still think the interface is not nice. I kept my mouth shut the entire discussion, since my knowledge of JSF is very limited. What would your comments be in this situation?