May 2009


My previous failed company tried to sell our junk to H-W’s mobile unit. I knew it’s Li Kai-shing’s conglomerate, but nothing more.

This morning I saw the name Whampoa Military Academy in a book and it dawned on me what Whampoa is. What an ignoramus, as I’ve always been.

So I looked up H-W’s history. It’s mainly from 3 companies:

  1. 屈臣氏: 1828廣東藥房. 1841 became香港藥房. 1863屈臣氏. 1963 Hutchison bought it.
  2. 香港黃埔船塢公司: 1863. 1977 Hutchison bought it.
  3. Hutchison: 1877 John Duflon Hutchison changed Robert Walker & Co to Hutchison. 1979李嘉誠bought controlling stake as the first Chinese for a British company. 1983 first mobile service in Hong Kong. 1995 world’s first CDMA service. 1999 tom.com.

A rhetoric question beseeches a rhetoric answer: I don’t know.

RYF’s latest blog links back to an earlier piece, which I don’t remember reading, but it hit me like a marshmallow on my toe nail:

我觉得,人生在世总要做一二件属于你自己的事情,自己发起、自己负责、自己主导、自己完善。就是说,这件事是同你个人紧紧联系在一起的,就像阿三的这个项目。

我想,我们每个人都应该有一二个自己的项目,人们提到你的时候,就会提到你的项目,反过来也一样。

人的一生,说长不长,说短不短,正好够用来做完一二件事,所以不要浪费它。何况也许只有这样,才能充实而愉快地度过有意义的一生。

I’ve been working like crazy for almost half a year. Almost every night, including weekends, I use remote desktop for hours, quite a few times till 1am (last night) and beyond.

I’m not complaining about the work load. I’m complaining about myself getting used to it. I don’t know what to do if I don’t click the Remote Desktop at night. Actually no, I know there are thousands of things to do, but somehow I just don’t want to do them. Clicking Remote Desktop is the easiest thing to do.

I have to admit that I’m quite proud of what I’ve done. It’s the first time I can say that since I started working. This list don’t mean nothing to non programmers:

  • Wrote a converter to convert hundreds of proprietary text files that describes the GUI windows in our system in a very lame way into XML under the new GUI framework that I’ve been working on the last 3 years.
  • Picked a commercial Java GUI library (JIDE truly rocks! It was founded and run by a Chinese guy with a similar background and age as me) to introduce docking into our GUI. It will be the foundation of a complete remake of our arcane and awful GUI.
  • Use the same library to turn any table in our system into a full featured pivot table that’s even better than Excel. No server side change is needed at all.
  • Use UTF8 to enable non ASCII. It would be many many years till we get to full i18n, but I’ve started to spin the wheels out of prehistoric dark age.
  • Use Mercurial to replace TeamWare, which uses–u better believe this–SC freaking CS. I learned python and wrote more than 4k lines of code to create extensions to cater to our rigid development process. I’ve written scores of multi-page emails and hundreds of revisions of wiki documents to explain the new processes and explore the options. If you still use svn, you’re fossil.

The last one probably took the longest time (still not finished) and most work.

But are these my projects? Is this feature, this software, this company, this business, what I want to do for my life?

Hell no.

You can’t always get what you want.

And you can never get what you don’t know what to want.