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by: Bernard Teo






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Copyright © 2003-2012
Bernard Teo
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Wed 29 Sep 2004

Singapore's National Library

Category : Singapore/NLB.txt

One of the wonders of Singapore, that you're never going to see touted on our tourist guides, is our National Library. We've all grown up with it, and it's a pleasure to see how nicely it's grown.

I was at the new Jurong Library and I was so excited by the space, organisation, colours, carpeting, facilities, and the books, that I wanted to take some pictures to post here - until I was requested not to do so because of a heightened security concern for the safety of public buildings. If that only confirms the common notion that we're living under a repressive regime, then you've really got to come and see for yourself. Whatever people want to say about our government, one thing's for sure - they're not book burners. Quite the opposite.

One of the best ways I've found to spend Sunday mornings is to browse among the bookshelves of Borders and Kinokuniya, the two largest bookshops along Orchard Road, our main shopping drag, and then to go up to the Orchard Library and find much of the same books there. Or more. For some reason, I had the urge to read "The Cluetrain Manifesto", and sure enough, I found it easily at the business section.

I love the library's system. I only had my identity card with me but that was enough for me to loan the books using the self-service stations that were as Mac-like in their ease-of-use as any system could be. And I can drop the books at any of one its twenty-two branches when I'm done.

Forgive me if I sound jingoistic. But this is something that has given me a lot of pleasure and I had wanted to write about it for some time.

Posted at 11:07AM UTC | permalink

Postfix Enabler, IMAP and FetchMail

Category : Technology/IMAPandFetchmail.txt

If want to use Postfix Enabler to set up an IMAP server and then use Fetchmail to pull down mail from a variety of other servers so that you can re-distribute them to all your IMAP clients in a consistent manner, here are some instructions that can send you on your way.

I found that link (TheJouleBlog) while looking thru my server log.

That blog entry doesn't seem to have a permanent link. So if it scrolls away and you can't find the relevant article immediately, look for the date Tuesday 28th September.

Posted at 9:58AM UTC | permalink

My Mac Life

Category : Commentary/MyMacLife.txt

My iBook crashed on Saturday night, right after Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the penalty for Man United against Spurs, at which point nothing could puncture my feeling of elation. It was half-time and I was about to check my mail.

But it didn't take long for me to feel distraught the next day. I've got my whole life on that iBook and I hadn't backed things up for a while.

Let's see - there was Stefan Hartmann's German localisation for Postfix Enabler, a lot of stuff from the hostel project, and the material that I was revamping for our Java and AppleScript Studio courses.

And lots more. I hadn't backed things up since WWDC. There're bits and pieces that I had stashed all over the place that I can reconstruct from, but I would still have lost quite a bit of stuff.

Fortunately, the iBook resurrected itself when I sent it in to AppleCare and I wasted no time in copying everything out to an external hard drive, and from there to my wife's Titanium on which I am writing these thoughts.

So I must never ever forget to back things up again. The problem is, I think, I've stopped thinking of that iBook as a computer system, separate from myself. I bring it wherever I go - I read mail or do some writing wherever I find a McDonald's (where we continue to get free Internet access) or when I'm in a mall that has free wireless access. When I close its lid and put it to sleep beside me on the bed, I'm used to having that throbbing light that serves as night light for our kid who sleeps next door across the open doorway. I've used it in and out, without a break. So I've quite forgotten that it's a computer, and that computers can fail.

So my work life had merged with the rest of my life and there's no real break between them. I can work at home, or at friends' or relatives', so long as there's Internet access. And at work, in our office, I often do other things that wouldn't be considered working, like surfing the web, listening to music, and just seeing what turns up.

I'm reading The Cluetrain Manifesto. It's set me thinking quite a bit. Some of the writing may be said to be smug. But I've enjoyed the sections by Rick Levine ("Talk is Cheap") and by Doc Searls and David Weinberger ("Markets are Conversations").

I think it's true that our notions of life, work, and the market-place are all changing, ever since we had the Internet. I can feel the changes in my own life, but we're all in a flux. The journey that we're on is to work out how we'll fit in, to take advantage of the new realities - to make a living while still leading a life of some quality.

Note : while following the links from The Cluetrain Manifesto, I came across this interesting Salon review of Bill Gates' book, "Business @ the Speed of Thought" - or why Bill Gates still doesn't get the Net. I would like to add that this is also why a lot of IT managers, following in Microsoft's wake, still don't get the Net. Do read it.

Posted at 9:27AM UTC | permalink


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