Looking For Web Hosts

I need a web hosting service that fulfills the following:

– Instant access upon purchase (should be true for most services)
– Low web space limit, high monthly bandwidth limit
– One or more e-mail accounts
– PHP support at a minimum, the more DB gadget support the better
– Best if packaged with domain registration service
– Price range from $10 up, if the service is worth it I’m willing to pay more.

If you are using a hosting service that you particularly like, feel free to recommend it; I’ll also be scouring the web for good services. I’ll be developing content for it and I need it up and running by Sunday night.

Where Has the Time Gone… ?!

I’ve really been surprising myself lately. On a weekend where I’m supposed to
work on four to five different school or work related project, I had fallen
short and did absolutely nothing. While I can blame half of it on sickness
and general exhaustion, the fact that I still can’t deal with stress bothers me.

But speaking of work, I’ve finally gotten that work study job I briefly mentioned
some time ago. I’ll be working with professors of the new Cal-IT2 department
and graduate ACE program students to do undergraduate research on
heterogeneous networking, that is, to connect all sorts of different computing
devices onto the same network, which would eventually facilitate things like
playing RO on any conceviable device that can connect to the internet.
It’s a lot of work, and the pay is only mediocre, but it’s a great learning
experience.

Nightmare

I um, just woke up from a pretty scary nightmare a few minutes ago. Since the computer is up downloading animes and all, I’ll record the dream now, while it’s still fresh in my mind. Actually, I think the dream is pretty ingenius, and I think you’ll have the best experience of it if I describe it in second person… if you dare, come along for the ride.


The dream is actually a pretty short one. As far as you remember, you’re on a line to a famous new amusement ride that’s suppose to be quite a thriller. Your friend explains to you the first part of the ride as you’re waiting in line:

“this part of the ride contains six to seven segments. A group of drivers pretending to be your personal medical staff is going to drive you out of the parking lot. You’ll have to transfer from car to car, having each of these drivers take you through a portion of the ride. Try and remember all the things and clues that they give you, because together they’re trying to kill you for some reason and eventually, you’ll need to stop them before they kill you.”

And so at the end of the line, a limo drives by to pick you up. It’s a luxury limo, the type where the windows are all black and you can’t see anything inside. Your friend wishes you good luck on the rides and you go in.

The car takes off, and goes down a spiral parking lot much like the UCI student center parking or the Social Science parking. But anyway, as much as you’d want to believe this guy is trying to kill you, he treated you really nicely and he was very chattery, “You’ll love our medical staff service,” he says, “we’ll be attending to your needs 24-7, whenever you need it. Well, my part of the ride is over. Please go to the car next to me.”

You walk out of the limo and see a convertible. So, you walk in and the next driver starts driving. “Remember this phone number,” he says to you as if he’s a counter-spy working for your side, “It’s 711-6594. You’ll need this number if you want to live. If you catch my drift.” He looks at you and gives you a hinting look. Before you know it his part of the ride is over and you have to switch cars again.

And so, you go through the next driver, who is female, but doesn’t say much. She is blonde with short hair, if that seems to make any difference. Suddenly, an ambulence starts going off behind the car in the background, sirens blaring. Without another word the female driver speeds up and try to evade the ambulance, all the while still trying to spiral down the floors in this parking lot with unlimited amount of floors. All of a sudden she stops. It seems like it’s your cue to get out and go to the next car.

Before you can barely catch your breath, you jump onto a motorcycle in front of the driver, and the helmeted driver starts the motorcycle. He starts driving as the last car tries to block the way of the ambulence; an explosion occurs as the ambulance drives over the convertible and as you look back, you see the two cars flip over and explode to chunks. And at that very moment, the last driver takes off in full speed and slams your head against a pole in the parking lot. You feel your brain getting smashed into thousands of little chunks. Everything fades white.

You wake up in sweat and turn around, looking at the clock – the clock reads 5:05, and since the clock is digital, it freakishly resembles the letter “SOS” – all of them written in blaring red letters.

…………………………..

And the dream is over. I’ll use the first person to represent me again. Obviously, the last paragraph occured when I wake up – swear to God this is what happened. Aaron can back me up on how blaringly huge the red numbers are on his digital clock.

The dream itself is not difficult to interpret: I’ve been subjected to more stress than I want to ask for when this is only the 2nd week of class. All of a sudden I’m juggling between the difficult classes, meetings to sign up for UCI employment and meetings for my work study, a possible meeting to help out a High School senior on his or her senior project, a few new friends, and still trying to make time to rewrite my resume and start sending them off to real game companies.

Worst of all, for the first time in awhile, I’ve failed in something that I do not intend to fail – I failed my grammar diagnostic for the second time, and to stay in my upper division writing class, I’m being recommended to go to LARC workshops and forced to do grammar excercises like I’ve done about ten years ago, back when I was still in Hong Kong learning elementry English It pisses me off to no end that I’m now being reminded of stupid little writing errors that I’ve been trying to avoid for the last ten years. It doesn’t help to make you feel that you’re back to ground zero in terms of writing skills.

So, all in all, I honestly felt that my life was going down a train wreak – even though some part of me do know that it’s not as bad as it appears to be. Hence the ride… and the anonymous death that I recieved at the end of the dream. The interesting thing was, except for the explanation that I got in the very beginning of the dream, the “ride” didn’t seem like a ride at all, and if I died in this “ride” I might have died in the dream, and everything that was said in the beginning would still be true – those drivers were indeed planning to kill me, maybe a lot sooner than I thought. They gave me a false premise and I took the ride looking for all the wrong clues (like trying to remember what they said and how they looked like) instead of thinking about, say, trying to get away from these people altogether and refusing to take the next ride… of course, having the amusement ride theme also meant that I was thinking less and following instructions more. Heck, maybe the guy who stood next to me wasn’t even my friend – he might be one of “them” who were trying to kill me.

allllright, I just spent a good 10 minutes trying to fix all the grammatical errors in the last paragraph. I guess my anal writing professor has a point afterall.

Finally, I present a challenge: if you’re a little smarter than I was in my dream and knew that the drivers would have killed you at the end of the ride, could you find a way to escape alive? I assume that you could jump off from any of the cars at any point, but they would know immediately that you’re onto them and they would run you over immediately. Let’s also assume that you’re not carrying a weapon, you’re not superman, you didn’t have the touch of death, and you didn’t have any other supernatural powers that allows you to take on them and win, even if it’s one on one. Perhaps something could have been said to one of the drivers so that they were either forced to drop you off somewhere, or you might have been able to find a way to take over the car, either by killing the driver or dumping the driver? Now that you have all the time you need to think about it, think about it – and tell me what you think.

Have you seen this quiz before?

It’s a super long post, so I’ll post the first question to see if you’re interested in answering the rest of the quiz, or interested to read my answers.

The following quiz consists of 4 simple questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be a “professional.”

Scroll down for each answer. The questions are NOT difficult

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door.

This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, ” Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator? ” (Wrong Answer)

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.

This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there.

This tests your memory.

OK, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer: You swim across. All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting.

This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong.

But many preschoolers got several correct answers.

Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory most professionals have the brains of a four year old.

My Answers

Hmmph, I’ve always wondered why people are so amused by “logical retardation” like this quiz… there’s always the one that I usually get in real life, where someone throws a punch at me and if I blink or dodge, he’d say that I’m a chicken.

To an unfamiliar face, my usual response is to throw a punch in his face and HIT IT. Isn’t that what you’re suppose to do logically?

Children are naive and do answer these questions correctly because they’re not bound by the experiences and expectations that we as adults learned. Our knowledge bound us to answer things “correctly”, as others expects it, and at this point in life we’re being “graded” because of it, and in the future we’ll be given money because of it.

Here is what I think the correct answers to the quiz should be.

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

A: Given the budget and constraint of a typical family household, you will not be able to afford a refrigerator the size of a giraffe. The first logical answer is “impossible”. Without expanding the question, this is an accepable and correct answer.

If, we’re given the freedom of having unlimited resources, we can logically construct a cooling room (in which it is questionable whether it is a “refrigerator” anymore, but I digress), in which you can put it into the refrigerator as intended, although you might want to question whether such a room would be opened the same way as a normal refrigerator.

You’ll probably need more resources such as a cattle prod, or killing a giraffe and fitting the pieces into the fridge.

The question tests whether I tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way. The answer is no. If you want to put a pound of giraffe meat into the freezer, then I’m doing too much; however, the question implies that you must deal with the entire weight of the giraffe, alive or dead. That is a complicated question, and if you answer it too simply you’re just being naive, or, shall I say bluntly, dumb.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

A: Same answer as 1, although you will need to consider the weight and size of the elephant now.

I did not consider taking out the elephant, not because I did not think through the repercussions of my previous actions, but because the question did not state whether question 1 or 2 are related.

A test assumes that each questions asked in a test are hypothetical situations and such situations are independent of each other. Even if the two questions are related, I can put the giraffe into one fridge and the elephant into another, thus giving a valid counter-example to the proposed answer, invalidating the conclusion that you must think through the repercussions of your previous actions in order to answer the question as they expected it.

I wonder: did the test creator think about the repercussion that comes with mature logical reasoning before writing down his supposedly intelligent answers?

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?

A: The question states that there is an animal that did not attend. The logical statements therefore should be:

for all X in set “animal”, there exist Y such that NOT A(Y), where A(Y) means “Y attends the meeting”. and X not equal to Y implies A(X).

sadly, the problem gives no information on which animal exists in the set in question, nor are we truly given information since we assume problem 1 or 2 are not related to 3.

If problem 1 or 2 applies, I can still freely release either the giraffe or the elephant and change the answer of the problem, or, in the case that I chopped up both of them before putting them into the fridge, we cannot determine the identity of the animal that didn’t attend.

You cannot name ANY animal since no part of the statement proves any animal is NOT attending; interestingly, you cannot prove any specific animal is attending the meeting either, except maybe for the Lion King himself, since he is explicitly stated as the one who calls the meeting and presumably must attend the meeting.

Therefore, the absolute correct answer should be:

“Not enough information to determine which specific animal did not attend. However, it is certain that Lion King is not the correct answer.”

This problem incorrectly questions your memory when the information given in your memory is not sufficient in proving the problem either.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?

A: You can shoot all the crocodiles before swimming across.
You can build a bridge and use it to cross the river.
You can use a boat to cross the river.
You can feed the crocodiles poison/sleeping pills and swim across when they’re not interested in eating you.

Any of the above, or any other answer that logically satisfies the requirement “you must be alive after you cross the river”. Perhaps the author is not asking for that, seeing that it is not explicitly stated and he/she implies otherwise with the given answer.

Like the person who throws me a fake punch, let’s put this guy into a river full of crocodiles and let him swim across, and we’ll see how correct his answer is.

All in the name of science, right? He has a hypothesis – let’s test it out to see if it’s true then. See you on the other side of the river.

Pressure…

Started my classes, cleaned my room, and the pressure is on, not from the classes necessarily but a race to find jobs against other students graduating before the summer. Because of that, I’m getting the same restless symptoms even though it’s perfectly calm waters for all of my classes so far – actually, I take that back, I have to watch out for Math 171B… just when I thought I’m home free to graduate without taking another class using calculus, calculus strikes back and bites me in the ass.

I might also begin a work study project working for the art professor who co-teach my game programming class last quarter. I’ll go into details when I’m officially dipping into UCI’s payroll system.

What is mean and green and lives in a pond…

Grr.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve had some significant work done on our front yard, one of the major components being an outdoor pond with kois in it.

We’re running into constant algae problems… the water turns murky green every two weeks or so. We end up having to constantly quarantine the fishes, replace the water, and then put the fishes back in.

Yesterday, my father pulled this trick one too many times and now all the kois are dead.

Chemical and biological filters seem completely useless; I’ve spend some time looking online and I’m getting answers from changing the PH of the water to using UV sterilizers to planting lilies and underwater plants to putting a roof on top of the pond to throwing snails into the pond…

This is ridiculous. Is it just me, or do you think this is too much trouble to have for keeping a few fishes that you barely notice when you walk in and out of the house everyday?

Livin’ La Vida Loca / SB Get-Together Invitation

Hmm, on second thought, this isn’t about my life getting crazier as much as I’m actually getting the hang of this “deadline induced exponential work acceleration theory” under my belt.


Let me explain this “deadline induced exponential work acceleration theory” a bit. Take the game project, for example… at first, I was putting up an average of 1-2 hours everyday and not much got done in the first two weeks, then the process accelerated and I’m putting up 6 hour of work in the middle of midterm week, then about 12 hour work days for the first 3 days of 10th week and going 24 hours for the last two days.

The same applies to the drawings I’ve been doing for Justin for the last year or so. Out of the time that I actually worked on it, I spent about 3 weeks getting the first drawing done, and came up with 5 drawings working on and off during last summer (that’s 3 months!). But last two weeks, in the middle of all the coughing and sneezing I cranked out more drawings in a single day than I have ever done in my entire life – 6 drawings in a single day, 3 of them reasonably complex that usually warrants about 3 days each normally. Granted that I couldn’t recheck anatomy with pictures and other anatomy books that I have, it came out okay – sort of substandard, but at least not terribly bad.

My crunch time ability seems to be improving. When I was making Ronin, the project before this class project, I can’t pull of any all nighters – or rather, if I work overtime the extra work that I do is usually crap and I’ll have to stop, rest, and go back to fix up all the work done during overtime. But now it seems that I can manage to pull out acceptable code and drawings even in crunch time…

Now that I’m done with school and personal obligations, I think I’m going to start another cell phone game – a pint sized statbuilder/RPG like Ronin, with turn based tactical combat like Fire Emblem, based on a very old webcomic concept I had that never took off – but it’ll be great for a game. And since there’s no… sufficiently unhelpful (this is a public entry *sigh*) teammates this time, and no stupid dogma to follow, I think I can finally do a cell phone game that I’m actually happy with – and I’ll see if I can do a multi-platform version so I can sell it too… looking at games that are being made at the moment, I think I can match – if not beat – the quality of most cell phone games. Getting the game to sell (markieting) is the only problem.

Now that the tech rant is over, I have a few more days left in my “true” spring break. Let’s have a get-together for the heck of it. Anyone interested in eating at a Chinese seafood buffet resturant? It’s named “Great Wall Buffet” and the food there is awsome… our family eat at that place every weekend and we’re never tired of it. Here’s what they serve, including but not limited to:

– 5 ways to serve a shrimp : raw, on a sushi, fried with batter, fried without batter, baked in cream…
– Other seafood include baby lobsters, half-cooked oysters, crap, oriental style steamed fish, salmon with lemon, octopus, squid, scallops… I think that exhausted the list but I can’t remember everything…
– A table full of non-seafood dishes for those *ahem* allergic *ahem* to certain seafoods. I’ve never touched that stuff since I always stuff myself with seafood but I’ve heard that it’s good as well. You’d have the typical brocoli with beef, roasted duck, BBQ pork, asparagus in cheese, orange chicken
– A big slab of roast beef always ready for self serve.
– There is a sushi bar if you haven’t guessed, they serve a few common sushis as well as salmon sashimi, but you know the old saying : there is no such thing as cheap sushis.
– On that topic, they serve miso soup too… you can also try the seafood soup and the *super* hot and sour soup they have (I have to dilute it heavily with seafood soup just to drink that crap).

Let’s aim to go on Friday, in the evening at 7. The resturant is right off the 405 exit at Westminster blvd. It’ll cost $8.50 per person and drinks other than water costs extra. Fortune cookie (TM) included with every meal. Please reply if you’re interested; I’ll try and IM everyone tonight to see who is interested and see if this can take off.