It’s really when…

  • You are expected to lower your standard of English to accomodate to someone else’s level, and as a result your language skills deteriorate
  • You are expected to get all required info from a tight-lipped customer and if you didn’t it’s your fault for not doing it properly, and not opening up the customer enough
  • You are expected to work with stupid and irresponsible people and take their shit and still be expected to leave them be if they screw things up
  • You try your best in everything and take your job seriously but still expected to “do better” while those who don’t give a fuck about their jobs are told “keep up the good work”
  • You receive a best staff award but deep down you also know that all the lazy bums will also take turns to receive it too
  • You do more work and spend more energy to get things done and make things work, only to get 0.x% (a couple of bucks) more salary increment than those who do enough just to finish the day, and still have 1.5 times lower salary than them just because their rank is very slightly higher than yours

… that you really start to wonder: why do I need to accommodate to everyone, why do I still want this job, what is my LIFE PURPOSE – is it to accommodate to everything?

It’s really about the people you work with.

I’d rather work at a very basic level job with a bunch of smart, logical, reasonable and emotionally sound human beings

Than to be a boss of a company or department of stupid and irresponsible people.

Everything is my fault.

Everything I didn’t do well enough.

Everything I could do better.

Everyting I should take it easy and be less demanding.

Everything I need to accomodate everyone, no one needs to accomodate to me.

Well, firstly, demand less from me and more from them, why don’t you. The scales are tipped. Your job is to balance things out, not to tip them further.

At this point, I just want to rant. Please let me.

2014 Resolutions

Untitled-1With the start of 2014, Chez Faluine has a new logo! The shop sign logo was entirely designed by me, and I thought it looks pretty realistic coming from a beginner. This takes my Photoshop designing skills to a new level, woohoo!

A new year should come as a fresh beginning, with fresh emotions and new goals. I’m not a very good goal-setter, because I tend to live through each moment as they come, and my mind changes very frequently about stuff, making me soon feel very obliged to fulfil whatever goals I set. And obligations aren’t something positive to me. One needs to be very willing to do something right from the heart. Nevertheless, there are still some important resolutions that I want to make for the new year, and all of them are for self-improvement.

1. Put in more efforts to my two websites. Post at least twice a month (really twice a month, not on average!).
2. Find a niche for Chez Faluine and introduce something new on On Fountain Pens.
3. Be more involved in movies, books, plays, musicals, concerts and art. I need to maintain my artsy nature and not lose it to the scientific stuff that I do from day to day during my full-time job!
4. Visit at least 3 new countries. I already know I’ll probably be going to Taiwan, and Europe. But where in Europe, I’m not sure yet. I hope to visit two new countries in Europe!
5. Learn new skills in marketing. This can benefit my job as well as my websites.
6. Be more known and more knowing. I want to be known as a skilled person, and also to increase my own knowledge about anything. Knowledge is great.
7. Be more calm and tolerant. I think this needs to be be my resolution every year. I just tend to be very intolerant of irresponsible and unreasonable people, and waste my energy being pissed off by the things they do. I really should just conserve my energy and invest it in the above 6 resolutions.

Have you made your own 2014 resolutions? Anyone has the same resolutions as me? Drop me a note so we can work to fulfil them together!


The Adobe 150:30 License Issue – solved!

So I’ve recently bought a new MacBook, as my old one is about 4 years old (running Snow Leopard), and though it is still in great condition, it has dead pixels in a long line down my screen, a failed WiFi card, and a battery in bad condition. So I left it for Mum to use with a LAN cable connection which she is happy with, and transferred all my files to my new MacBook, now running on a large disk space, good RAM, and Mavericks. On a side note: since all the OS X versions have been called cat names (Leopard, Tiger, Lion, etc.), I’ve been wondering why the next and current one wasn’t called Hello Kitty.

Adobe Photoshop is one of my key softwares to use, so if any, it was the very first software I switched over to the new MacBook in its Creative Suite 4 entirety. Cancelled the CS4 licensing on Snow Leopard, deleted all the files, gasped to realise that I forgot to make a copy of the PSD brushes I’ve collected over the years, and then installed CS4 onto my shiny new MacBook. Entered the license code, everything. Fired up Photoshop CS4 and started using it happily for a week.

Except I wasn’t so happy when Error 150:30 knocked on my door.

Very annoyingly, whenever I fired up Photoshop, this window would fly in glaringly and demanded that I shut down Photoshop. The dreadful error message said something like:

Licensing for this product has stopped working
This product has has (sic) encountered a problem which requires that you restart your computer before it can be launched.
If you continue to see this message after restarting your computer, please contact either your IT administrator or Adobe technical support for help, and mention the error code show at the bottom of this screen.


Error: 150:30



I didn’t like this message one bit. It gives me a very bad feeling that I am using pirated software, even though I am definitely not, since I got the software bundled together at school, and I had an LEGITIMATE and AUTHENTIC license code. I restarted my computer many times to no avail, reinstalled Adobe CS4 to no avail, so I had to turn to my best friend, Google.

Besides, what is “has has”… what on earth is “has has”???

A search result led me to Adobe’s help site, where it tries to be helpful with a number of suggested solutions. Some of them include deleting the “FlexNet Publisher” folder ([hard drive]/Library/Preference/FlexNet Publisher/), repairing disk permissions, resetting permissions on a number of folders, removing this and that file, yada-yada. I believe I have exhausted all the possibilities there except for contacting Adobe’s Technical Support, but nothing worked to solve the problem.

Now there is one solution that should work, but didn’t for me initially. It was to run a License Repair Tool which can be downloaded for PC and Mac over here, but when I downloaded it, it was not able to run! Gah! It said something like PowerPC wasn’t working, whatever that was. I’m an extremely lazy sloth, so I didn’t bother finding out. I thought my software was going to be dead…

But today, I gave my best friend Google a shot again, and was led to this website. I swear, this guy was probably going to save my life and my Photoshop. His suggested method to get around the PowerPC problem for Lion seemed to work as well for Mavericks!

So basically it involves tinkering around a bit with Terminal, which you have to be careful with. I don’t know, I am nervous when I need to type stuff into Terminal, thinking always that one wrong character might lead to the perpetual lock-down of my poor companion. Getting on to the solution…

  1. First you’ve got to download the Adobe License Repair tool, then double click on it to open up the disk image. Leave it open on your desktop.
  2. Bring up the Terminal.app and then type cd /Volumes/LicenseRecovery\ 11.6.1/LicenseRecovery/ (note the spaces well). Press enter.
  3. Now type sudo python LicenseRecover.py and press enter again.
  4. Follow the instructions (very simple ones) and at the end of them, wait for it to shut down the process properly. It may take more than a few seconds to do so!

Et voila! This should do the job. Now you can eject the disk image, open up your Adobe software, and use it. I’ve been keeping my Photoshop open for as long as this blog post has been written, so there shouldn’t be any problem. I’ll monitor it for at least a week and check back if there’s gonna be a problem.

Thank you Erik, for saving my beloved Photoshop!

~UPDATE: Dec 16, 2013 – that’s more than a week since I posted this post

I’ve been monitoring the behaviour of the Adobe licensing issue, it recurred a couple of times during the first week or so. It would show the error message, then when I closed it, it would shut down the entire Photoshop application. However when I restart my computer or restart Photoshop itself, the error message doesn’t appear anymore, until the next time I try to use it.

Over the weekend, however, I’ve been using Photoshop quite heavily, turning it on and off many times a day. I have not encountered the licensing issue anymore. I suppose Adobe needs some time to “detect” that I have switched computers, eh?

The Colour Challenge

The Colour Challenge

Wow this test isn’t easy! It requires you to differentiate colour hues and arrange them in order. The result will tell you how well you differentiate colours, and the lowest score possible is 0 (meaning all colours arranged properly). I got a score of 4, which I am pretty pleased with!


Okay, so the iPhone 4S is now out in the markets and contrary to investors’ expectations, it didn’t seem to be less popular than the iPhone 4 had been. I have friends who have an iPhone 4 and they’re waiting to get the 4S already. Needless to say, the main purpose of getting a 4S would be this:

Siri is the new voice-controlled assistant on the iPhone 4S. A tad bit scary, if you ask me. This is a rather funny video, but when Siri starts to answer weird questions in weird ways, it doesn’t seem that funny anymore. Check this out: http://thisismynext.com/2011/10/12/siri-weird-things-iphone-4s/

What do you think? Will voice control rule the world in the upcoming years? Will you get a device to give it verbal commands or chat with it?

While pondering upon your choices, check out also Mr Brown’s parody of Siri below, in the form of SIMI for iPhone 4SG (Singapore version). Have a nice laugh while you’re at it, beware though that it’s totally Singaporean (and its vicinity) humour!


Human imagination flourishes not in literature, but in the development of superstitions. ~ yours truly


1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurence, proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.
~ the definition of “superstition” taken from Dictionary.com

A belief is something created by the human mind, and what can be stronger and indestructible than the human imagination? Imagination brings us anywhere, and beautiful stories have been thought out, written and published to the delight of readers. But the strength of the human mind does not stop at such imagination. Such imagination of literature pales in comparison to imagination leading to beliefs. This is because, once Man believes in something, it’s just as well that it materializes (in fact, sometimes it does).

The imagination of Man has since time existed created convictions, rules, and worse, punishments to be meted out when such “rules” were broken. Many of them were unknown in origin: did such trends really happen, or were they just enforced simply to “scare” people into submission? It appears that a handful were created via simple association, and this is also a powerful feature of the human mind. Here’s an example:

A storm appeared –> Lightning struck a person –> Person happened to be on the run from breaking into a house –> Lightning is created by the gods –> The gods wanted to punish the person for the bad deed –> Lightning punishes people for bad deeds they have done

Voila, a superstition is created. We can safely go on to say that the next time another person is struck by lightning, even if he did not do anything bad that is known, the gods must have done it because he has done something bad secretly, such as not finishing his food each meal. The village then scorns him and his family for being sinful. Blah, blah.

I may or may not exaggerate here but it appears to me that such is the creation of superstition. And what is powerful about it is, almost everyone in this world is superstitious in one way or another. The human mind is mocking itself by doing so. It is not wrong to be superstitious, it’s really one’s own choice. But the most important question is: to what extent do you allow yourself to be manipulated by superstitions?

I had a tuition student who let herself think that every single action she does will bring about some possibly negative consequence. She told me not to wave things in front of her face, otherwise her face would drop and she would be ugly. To tease, I waved my hand vigorously in front of her face, and you should have seen the dismay and horror that manifested. She quickly picked up something invisible from the ground and made a pasting motion with it onto her face. This behaviour is one of countless more including positioning her pillow angled upwards on the right side each night so that her next day will be smooth-sailing, wearing pants without touching the insides with her feet or something bad will happen, reopening the door and closing it again so as to release the poor air particles that are painfully stuck when it slams shut due to strong gusts at home.

I tried to change her and train her. She managed to change a couple of habits after a few weeks but unfortunately (or fortunately, I am not so sure) her parents decided to stop her learning from me. Okay, never mind.

Bottomline is, be open-minded. There are enough rules in society to cope with, don’t let your minds be further encapsulated in superstitions.


One of the things about children that fascinates me is their ability to create new words as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. Not to mention that they are not even afraid of being misunderstood or laughed at by others.

My very cute and seemingly more-sensible-than-us-adults little cousin is like that. After repeatedly using a word at random called “abishum” when he was 1 year old, he has brushed up on his skills and recently created Version 2, called “putepah”. As a typical adult who thinks too much about things, I tried to follow his train of thought (or speech) when he uttered that magical-sounding word and even to analyse the grammatical usage of it in a sentence. Despite my efforts I could not identify if it is an adjective, noun, verb, adverb, idiom or a full sentence.
Here’s a sample conversation between us:

“Ooh I see you’re fixing veggie puzzles! That’s nice!”
“Putepah!” he exclaimed with a wide grin on his face.
“Putepah? What’s that?”
He pointed to each puzzle and chanted his magical word. “This is putepah, this is putepah, this is putepah, this… is putepah, and… this is PUTEPAH!” he concluded truimphantly.
Half-amused, I decided to venture further. “Everything’s called putepah? How about me?”
“Putepah,” he replied matter-of-factly. This was easy, almost fun.
“Okay, so you’re putepah also?”
“No, I’m Travis.”
Right. I hadn’t prepared for the inconsistency at the end. I was left bewildered while he serenely continued to fix his puzzles in silence, with an air of childlike but pure confidence and determination. How does he do that?
That’s why I say, children can be more sophisticated that we think they are.

No more Huddle on Google+

Just found out today that there isn’t anymore “Huddle” on Google+, in fact it’s been renamed as Messenger.

Having been a brief enthusiast on Google+, my excitement went down as I realised that I do not have enough “friends” there to do something spectacular, so I had never really explored Google+ to its depths. So I did not even know that after an update of the application on my Android phone, the Huddle app just disappeared. Today, I wanted to try Hangouts on my Macbook, which hung everytime I wanted to access it (yeah, noticed the pun there), and changed my mind to Huddle instead. Not there. My Google result yielded this:


Ok, they updated the new name on Sept 20. That wasn’t too long ago. I am not THAT outdated. :)

So, the newly-named “Messenger” seems to me a little like Whatsapp, especially since they have just included photo sharing as a function in this app. I wonder why they don’t just name it Google Talk instead…

Oh and another update I found out: Google+ is now open to public sign-ups! Please come and Google+ with me!


Do you 10q?

One year ago, through following Tom Felton on twitter, I have discovered this website that provides you 10 questions to answer about life. A chance to reflect upon things you have done and to create goals for the future. I’ve received my answers from last year today. I didn’t answer all questions last year, so I didn’t feel that much has changed, but the main thing that struck me powerfully was: WHAT, ONE YEAR IS ALREADY OVER?

This realisation was actually more impactful than the questions I answered! In fact, I started thinking about what I had achieved for the past year. Had it been fruitful?

Do you wish to 10q too? Try it. http://www.doyou10q.com/

Google+ only supported in recent browsers


Just trying out on the computer in my workplace led me to discover that Google+ is only supported on more recent versions of browsers. I tried logging in but it failed and led me to a page telling me that only the following browsers are supported:

- Chrome (of course!)
- Firefox 3.6 and more recent
- Internet Explorer 8 and more recent
- Safari 4 and more recent

My workplace computer is using a miserable Internet Explorer 7. No wonder.

So before you start getting hyped up about receiving invites to Google+, first update your browsers!