Monday, June 30, 2008

Writing a thank you note

Image taken from art and science blog

So someone just helped you with your assignment? or drove you all the way back home from 50km away because it's late in the night already? or even made a coffee for you to drink when you are sleepy?

When it comes to the time to say thank you, most of the time, I will tend to think that just saying it isn't enough. But giving them something in return doesn't cut it as well, because it will make them think that you are just paying them for their work, which they mostly rendered sincerely to you. hmm... dilemma, just how do i show them that I appreciate their work?

Here is an article that provides simple steps to write a thank you note to the people who had helped you in anyway, i think you guys will find it useful as well ;)


The simple dollar: how to write an effective thank you note for any occasion

*Imitating the masses will take you to their level. So do imitation of the powerful as well...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lights: The Future of Lighting System for Automobiles

Our common automobiles had came a long way since a demonstration of a steam powered mechanical vehicle by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in the year 1770. Cars had improved by a great deal in terms of production, reliability, comfort as well as safety. But as time grows, the demands placed on the manufacturers for safer and more comfortable cars enabled them to push even the latest technologies to the limit.

In this article I will be writing about concepts and developments that will be available in the near future.

Source of Light
Currently most of the cars on the streets are using either the very dimm and yellow halogen lamp or the brighter and bluer xenon lamps.

Most of you guys might have gripes about the so-called blinding xenon lamps in Malaysia. Yes, Xenon lamps can be blinding, but only if they are utilized illegally on cars that are not built for this sort of lighting in the first place. Here in my company they've managed to bring down the lamp's brightness until it's virtually indistinguishable from a normal yellow coloured halogen lamp normally used in a car in Malaysia today.

The real future, however, lies in the advent of super bright Light Emitting Diodes (shortened to LEDs). These tiny devices aren not like those that you are used to seeing in consumer electronics. These tiny beasts, can be so bright that they can blind if you choose to look at it directly without filters. I myself got myself blinded for a few minutes because i activated one that was connected to a circuit that I've built here to test if it's working properly. Short to say, a few of these things will be bright enough to power a automobile's street lighting system.

Adaptive lighting system
Safety is still a prime consideration when designing a roadworthy aotumobile, and lighting system is and will always be a major part in make the passengers as well as the pedestrians safer from accidents.

In the near future, cars with adaptive street lighting will help to reduce costly accidents expecially in dark conditions and at night as well. Here are some of the innovation that you will see in the near future:
1. The front lighting system will turn the lights so that it lights up a curve when you negotiate one.
2. Automatic switching of lighting conditions so that it suits driving along a street in a city(wide lighting to help highlight the pedestrians) as well as highway driving (high beams)
3. Automatic dimming of high beams should incoming traffic is detected.
4. Adjusting of the lighting so that high beams can still be left enabled while not blinding incoming traffic. This can be done by making the use of lenses so that more of it goes to your side of the road instead of the opposing one.
5. Detection and highlighting of potential obstacles using auxiliary lamps that is to be intergrated into the front lights.

All thses can be accomplished using a small camera and a high speed processing systems to deal with the potential speed that the driver is going to drive in.

Everybody likes comfortable rides, as a driver as well as passengers. Here, researches are still being conducted on bringing the lighting systems so that the lights can produce colours that are as close to day light as possible.

Currently the yellowish halogen lamps produces light of temperatures of up to 1-2k Kelvin, and the blueish Xenon lamps upping the scale to 4-5k Kelvin. With more research, we will start seeing lighting sources that can produce lights with colour temperatures of closer to 6600K Kelvin (ideal daylight). With this temperature, your eyes will see things just how it would look like during the day.

These are just a preview of what is in store for us in the future. Start looking around for newer Audi, Cadilac and BMW models shoould you guys want to have a more detailed look as these fantastic technologies ;)


Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

No one can make you serve customers well.

That’s because great service is a choice.

Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey.

He handed my friend a laminated card and said, “I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.”

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said, ”Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment. This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, “Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.”

My friend said jokingly, “No, I’d prefer a soft drink.”

Wally smiled and said, “No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.”

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, “I’ll take a Diet Coke.”

Handing him his drink, Wally said, “If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.”

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card. “These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.”

And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

“Tell me, Wally,” my amazed friend asked the driver, “have you always served customers like this?”

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.

He had just written a book called You’ll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’”

“That hit me right between the eyes,” said Wally. “Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.”

“I take it that has paid off for you,” Harvey said.

“It sure has,” Wally replied. “My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.”

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about us?

copied from redsmoke's post here

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Damn Interesting

Amongst the sites that I frequently visit for reading materials, this site had turned out to be one of my favourite for the last few days to douse the flames of boredom that had engulfed me at work (since there is almost nothing to do other than to wait for my components to finally arrive from the armory).

Introducing Damn Interesting, the site that offers great writeups on lots of interesting stuffs ranging from strange happenings to scientific breakthroughs of all time. The authors usually write their articles in a very suspenceful manner, inducing the readers to continue reading until the very end. To whet your appetite, here is one of my favourite article over there:

The Gimli Glider

So if you guys need something to kill off boredom, do visit and have fun reading the long time killers there, all the while gaining needed general knowledge to show off to your friends :)


Welcome to Europe

After spending a few years toiling in IMU, the time had finally come. Here I wish to bid Jen a warm welcome to Scotland (Europe in general), and to wish her a good time studying while having fun in over here as well.

Now the writer waits anxiously for the time when the couple finally got the chance to travel together around Europe after a long wait *grins*

p/s: 1/3 of the photos taken in Scotland are available to view in my flickr account. Sorry for the delay in processing and upload :P

Farewell friends

Dear friends and kalyana mitras,

This isnt a proper farewell i know, but my wish remains true. I'll be leaving to the scotland tonight at 11.40pm from msia. Im sorry i could not meet up with and everyone of you before i leave but u will always be remembered and missed deeply. :)

Take care guys, we can still meet online virtually, hehe, i have a webcam with me ;)

yen chiew, im sorry i cuden meet up and have a proper farewell with u. I will certainly remember u always. all the best and i shall come back and have a good chat with u a year later ;)

Bye msia! You'll be missed deeply.


Monday, June 02, 2008

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of Oolong tea


A carrot, an egg, and a cup of Oolong tea…You will never look at a cup of Oolong the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed Oolong tea. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the Oolong out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and Oolong tea," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the Oolong. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The Oolong tea was unique, however. After they were in the boiling water , they had changed the water color and taste.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a Oolong tea?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the Oolong tea? The tea actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the tea, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a Oolong tea?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

credits to Kean Aun for forwarding this to me

Public Relations 2.0

Good day to you guys out there.

First, my apologies for not posting anything lately, since I am more involved in my work in my company (Just finished the design phase of the circuit), and I am more involved in the moderation of ReCom.

Nevertheless, I'll blog about my trip to Stockholm in Sweden a few weeks ago when I am done with minor cleaning up of the pictures taken there. The heat is causing major noise issues with the pictures taken, and sometimes i forgot to tune down the ISO when shooting in bright daylight. Ugh, talking about nice ISO spoilt pictures :(

As a filler, I would recommend you guys to have a read at the following article, which I think is useful for those who might want to start a business later on, or just about anyone else who isn't disconnected with the world. Have fun reading them ;)

Techcrunch: PR secrets for startups

Enjoy and till the next post, take care yea you guys ;)