Daily Journal – Aug 4, 2017

This is my 120th journal.

I woke up this morning at around 0730hrs feeling very groggy. Didn’t really want to get up for the day, I went back to sleep. I woke up again at around 0900hrs and I still don’t feel ready to get up, so back to sleep I went.

I finally couldn’t sleep anymore and was wide awake at around 1000hrs. Noticed that my mom wasn’t at home. I went and finished my morning routine. Then I took an omeprazole pill for my erosive gastritis before I ate my breakfast of instant oatmeal and two slices of bread with tuna spread half an hour later. Then I went and lazed on my bed and used my phone for a bit before I went for a quick shower at around 1110hrs.

My mom came back with my brunch at around 1115hrs and asked me if I wanted to eat. I told her that I would bring it to work instead. Got out of the shower and prepared the things I need for work, took my packed brunch, and out of the house I went. I also took 10 ml of magnesium triplicate as I was feeling my gut rumbling, which simply meant that the acid was attacking my stomach wall.

I reached the client’s office at around 1215hrs after getting StarBucks. Yeah, I know coffee is a bad choice of drink for people with gastritis but then I can’t do without black coffee.

I ate my food first and chatted with one of the staff there. Got my MacBook out and started browsing the net, reading news article and checking my twitter. Before I knew it, it was close to 1420hrs and I got started to do some work. Yeah, I wasn’t feeling the mood to do work. The manager came back from her gym session at around 1430hrs and I clarified with her on some stuff. Then I went to do more coding before I surf the net again and chit chat.

Continued to do some more work at around 1600hrs and lasted until 1730hrs before I decided to call it a day. I left the client office at around 1830hrs, used the washroom and off I went.

At 1840hrs, the station at Raffles Place was still surprisingly crowded but when I boarded the west bound train of the east-west line, was genuinely surprised to see a decently empty train.

On the journey back, I played Plague Inc. on my phone. Yes, I actually spent S$4.50 buying the game from the app store. Other than Cities: Skylines, Plague Inc. is one of simulation games that I do enjoy playing. Admittedly, I had a hard time with the bioweapon strain. I couldn’t infect enough people before the cure is completed and deployed. If anyone go any suggestion, let me know down in the comments below.

Upon reaching home, I showered and had home-cooked Lor Mee for dinner. While eating, I watched episode 8 of the Planet of the Apps.

I also tried to do some research as to why my Java application is encountering an issue where getting a SQL connection is so slow. I noticed it was the case ever since I upgraded my Mac OS to Sierra 10.12.6 with VirtualBox 5.1.22 with Windows 10 guest. It was still the same when I upgraded to Virtualbox 5.1.26 with Windows 10 guest patched with the Creators Update. If anyone got any idea why please also let me know down in the comments below. I’m very close to actually spending the money to get a Intel NUC just to host the MS SQL Server 2014.

For the rest of the night, I think I will try to do some more work on my client’s application. If I can, I will also prepare another entry for my blog focusing on technology news.

Now, here is a video about building a super compact gaming PC, which is something that I’m considering of doing to fulfill my desire to do minimalist high-end gaming.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

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Thoughts about Microsoft Build 2017

Well, I’m late to the party. Other news sites, bloggers, and vloggers have all covered it. They have their own thoughts about it. I’m going to do my own take on it, on only features that I’m interested in

For those who don’t already know, Microsoft held an event in Seattle between May 10 to 12, 2017 that introduced to the world a whole bunch of new things for Windows 10 that we all should be excited about — by that I mean techies.

To summarize, during the event, Microsoft pointed out several trends that’s going on that most of us already know: the rise of IOT devices, Artificial Intelligence, Serverless Architecture. They also talked about what they are doing regarding those trends. They are digging in deeper, delivering better solutions or services that customers need.

I’m more interested in their new Fluent Design. User experience and graphics is important to me (though I can’t really draw very well). Microsoft has attempted over the past decade to deliver a nice interface. They introduced Aero with Windows Vista, which was a massive flop. It was slow and sluggish. I’ve personally used it and don’t really like it. Then came Windows 7 and they improved Aero. It was much snappier and still look great.

Then came Windows 8 where they introduced what was known then as Metro design, subsequently known as Modern UI and then Microsoft Design Language. I personally liked it more than the pseudo-3D of Aero in Windows 7 because it is simplistic and minimalistic. It was improved Windows 8.1 and then in Windows 10.

However, the biggest gripe about Microsoft’s Windows was that the user interface isn’t consistent. There are some glaring defects that any good user interface designer should pick up on and fix it. Then, there is the fact that there are thousands if not millions of applications that runs on it. Many of which are legacy application and their user interface hasn’t been updated in ages. On the other hand, the web user interfaces have gotten so much better though every webpage is starting to look like each other due to the extensive use of common frameworks like bootstrap.

With Fluent Design, Microsoft aim to make Windows look great. As a design language, there are five main features:
1. Light
2. Depth
3. Motion
4. Material
5. Scale

You can read more about the Fluent Design System here.

When you combine all five of them properly in your application, the experience the user get will be so much better, richer and immerse them. This design language is in part, I believe due to the increase use and popularity of mixed-reality devices.

As someone who has been using Apple for more than year and already buy into the ecosystem, I’m somewhat excited to see how future applications made for Microsoft Windows will look like and how it will affect the way we as users interact with our devices. My concern was that, there is always the issue where the third-party developers do not ensure their app is consistent with the overall look and feel of the Windows running on the user’s computer.

Right now, the Fluent Design System is implemented in a somewhat beta form with the insiders build of Windows 10. If you are interested, you can download that and try it. Until it is released fully and used by many of the applications in Windows, I will stick with the experience I’m getting from Apple’s ecosystem.