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Dino Blog!

Hot Tomali, 10 Years Later: Same Old Story
Monday 22:27, Aug 29, 2016

Before going all-in on my current freelancing gig, my last full-time job was at Hot Tomali, a Vancouver-based creative studio. That was 10 long years ago. Recently, I had a job interview, and I ended up mentioning Hot Tomali again while discussing my experience, and guess what, the interviewers (all programming guys) rolled their eyes upon hearing the name and we all had a big laugh. I am not that surprised, given my experience there, but 10 years later and they still maintain that lowly rep within the Vancouver tech circle? Unbelievable.

I said this 10 years ago and I will say it again: they are not a high-tech company.

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Now I Have a Reason to Buy a PS4
Thursday 00:12, Jul 14, 2016

Thanks Bandai Namco, now I have to prepare to spend $400 plus on a PS4. I always like the SD Gundam game series since PS2, played on PSP, even played one on an emulator. With the latest entry, SD Gundam G Generation Genesis, there was hope when it was first announced that it will be available for PS3, but no more... only for PS4 and PS Vita?! I do have PS Vita, but I am not playing it on a small screen when I can just grab it and play on a big screen!! Damn... now I have to tighten my wallet for a while and forget about buying a new laptop in the next year or two...

If I do go ahead and buy the PS4, that means I will have three different Blu-ray player on hand, lovely...

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Microsoft: I am NOT Buying Your Phone Anymore
Thursday 21:56, Mar 17, 2016

So, Microsoft finally rolled out the Windows Phone 10 upgrade to "supported" phones today, and is my old Lumia 820 on that list? NOPE. I can't even think of a reason why it is not on the list. Hardware? Better than some of those allowed on the list. Was it in the "Insider" list of supported phones? You bet!

So Microsoft, you have the remainder of this year to keep me in, or I will be planning to buy a unlocked Android phone from Samsung in 2017, running the ugly Android. I paid 600+ CAD for this phone back in 2013 and now you are going to stop supporting it after 2017?! Plus forcing me to buy your Lumia 950 phone for close to $800 CAD??? NO WAY, NO HOW.

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This is TOO Silly...
Tuesday 05:23, Mar 08, 2016

According to this site (https://shindanmaker.com/605548), Dino is a top-flight GIRL...

Dinoの女子力
家事:89点 (overrated)
エロ:94点 (NO WAY, ecchi for sure)
生活:56点 (ok...)
性格:65点 (maybe)
仕事:95点 (probably overrated)
化粧:73点 (NO WAY)
趣味:59点 (spot on?)
合計:531点
結果:350点以上で合格のため「合格」です。【女子力の塊】

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Edge Browser Blues...
Wednesday 20:52, Nov 18, 2015

Microsoft Edge team, what were you guys doing?? The latest Edge Browser is not good at all...

I want a good browser, not one that is not getting better after an update...

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Custom Bookmark System
Thursday 06:40, Aug 20, 2015

Why the heck do I need a remote bookmark system?

  1. I have too many product links I need to access from time to time
  2. I need to access them from at least two different machines
  3. I don't want any solutions that is browser-specific (I don't want to tie down to one browser)
  4. I need something that I can manage easily
  5. Most importantly, I need one that will let me open those links with just one click (none out there)

The solution: I built myself a web-based bookmark management system, completely from scratch, with codes borrowed from my third-generation custom CMS! Of course, it has the one-click-open-all button!! I set a limit to how many it can open, or your browser will complaint when you try to open 600+ links in one shot... took me a couple of nights and now it is up and running. The real test: this upcoming weekend, when I usually visit these links at least once to check the prices.

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KOTOBUKIYA Shining Resonance Rinna Mayfield 1/8 PVC Figure
Wednesday 05:18, Aug 19, 2015

A nice figure by KOTOBUKIYA, Rinna Mayfield from Shining Resonance. She might look like going commando with that short skirt, but she is not... coming out in January 2016. I will probably pre-order one... now how long will I have to wait for Kiriga??

KOTOBUKIYA Shining Resonance Rinna Mayfield 1/8 PVC Figure

KOTOBUKIYA Shining Resonance Rinna Mayfield 1/8 PVC Figure

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AccessPress Parallax Gripe
Thursday 03:47, Jul 30, 2015

I got a new client for a quick and clean website, and it will go as a 1-page setup with WordPress, so upon learning that AcceesPress team has such free theme available, I wanted to get my hands dirty and try it. After all, the AccessPress lite theme is pretty easy to work with, even in a child theme setup. To my surprise, AccessPress Parallax theme is nothing but that simple.

Most of the time with any WordPress projects I have to work on these days, I always work with a main theme and have all the required customizations done through a child theme setup (that's what recommended, and I will have a easier time when updates for the main theme is available). AccessPress Parallax, hands down, does not work well in a 1-page setup with child theme. It took me close to 2 hours after futile fiddling with the child theme to find out that the custom code used by AccessPress Parallax in its 1-page setup cannot be used by a child theme directly. Instead, I have to clone all the necessary files from AccessPress Parallax and put them into the child theme directory, modified the code for the child theme to access the custom "section" settings, and update all the layout file calls in the main theme from the child theme. It's a lot of mumble jumble, but at least I got it working. Then the child theme cannot even get the responsive CSS file from the main theme to load (lovely!), and I have to hard-code it into the child theme...

To the AccessPress team, good job creating this theme, but please, make it child-theme friendly in your next update.

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Kingston HyperX Savage SSD 240GB
Sunday 04:03, May 10, 2015

I had my Toshiba E305 laptop for a couple of years now, and I quite like it, despite it only has a 2nd generation Intel Core i5, and a chassis that is not designed for easy upgrade. You have to literally tear the whole thing apart if you ever want to add some RAM to it. Oh well, at least it is doable, unlike some of the newer ultrabooks in the market, where it is not going to happen at all...

I always had a bit of issue with the hard drive, ever since I get my primary computer running on SSD. It just cannot compare, even though it is a hybrid hard drive from Seagate, and 500GB is roomy for a secondary computer for on-site work. That changes though a couple of days ago, when a local shop is selling the new Kingston HyperX Savage SSD 240GB model (sans upgrade kit) for only $139, and they normally go for $280+. I just bought one and with the included free access to a cloning software, I cloned the hard drive (took like 30 minutes on my old USB 2.0 dock), pried open my laptop with an unofficial guide I found online (plus a YouTube video by a guy from Philippines, I believe), I managed to get the Seagate hard drive out, plug my shiny HyperX Savage SSD in, slowly putting my laptop back into one-piece, and turned on the power. It did not went smoothly, as the cloning software is not perfect, and I actually need to dig out a Windows 7 disc to help repair the boot sector on the SSD. Once that's done, I get everything running just like before, except now I have a real fast SSD! Now my E305 laptop can last a bit longer, maybe 5 more years??

I don't have plans to upgrade the RAM for it though, since I have to remove the motherboard from the chassis (the slots are on the back facing down), and it will be too much trouble...

I hope all Windows laptop manufacturers will refrain from acting like Apple. Probably too late...

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Be Careful What You Wish For with Your Wireless Bill, Canadians
Saturday 16:57, Apr 11, 2015

Back in 2013, the Canadian government granted the wish of lots of Canadians - getting rid of the 3-year contracts we love to hate from the wireless providers. Great for all Canadian consumers, right? I don't think so.

Back in 2013, I got my current voice-only plan from my provider for only $25 plus tax per month (yes, I am a cheapshot and still refuse to pay for data). What do I get? 150 minutes, free calls in evenings and weekends, Canada-wide calling and more than enough text message allowance. I have been holding out to wait for my provider to offer a better plan down the road, but guess what? With no more 3-year contracts (they can only put you up on a 2-year), and with a tiny populations that will not support enough competitions in the market, the companies decide they don't need to offer you any cheap plans now. I can't even find a $25 voice-only plan from my provider anymore today if I were to change plans. The cheapest? $27 for a tiny 100-minute plan, and you have to "bring your own phone" too. The next decent plan that will give me something better than my current plan will cost me $35. $35!! Why do I have to pay more anyway?!

Thanks, fellow Canadians, for raising the wireless bills for everyone just because you all cannot stand a 3-year contract, but rather happy to get sucked into a 2-year contract. Any big difference? Beats me!

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ALTER Fate/EXTRA Saber Extra Swimsuit Ver. 1/8 PVC Figure
Thursday 04:22, Mar 19, 2015

For the time being, the only figure that I really wanted in 2015. Good pose, sexy, and even bustier than the original Saber (since it is Saber EXTRA)! Now I need to find some space to store her in September...

ALTER Fate/EXTRA Saber Extra Swimsuit Ver. 1/8 PVC Figure

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Playstation Vita
Sunday 05:44, Mar 08, 2015

I have plans to get myself a Playstation Vita down the road (I want to play Kan Colle Kai on it), since it is still a bit pricy ($200 plus tax CAD), and I got my PSP at the bargain price of $145 CAD when it was closed to being phased out (just so I can play Shining Blade).

That changed today when I went to my local Target store, and as you have heard, Target is leaving Canada for good in just 2 years, and in turn they are having a slow fire-sale. At first it was only up to 30% off, but now that the discount has increased to 50%, I decided to take a look today. To my surprise, there is one PS Vita left in the store, at 30% off!! I didn't even need to think twice, and asked a staff for it (locked in a display case). This is the first time I have invested money on a console this early in the iteration (my PS3 is pretty much the final model before PS4 came out).

Now that I got the Vita (and downloaded the free High School DxD game just to try it out), my Vita will have to wait for a bit before I start playing heavily... next on my target: a 64GB memory card! I do have a 8GB (included in package), but that will never be enough if I start getting more free games via downloads...

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Be a Responsible Programmer - KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID!!
Tuesday 07:04, Jan 27, 2015

Today, my client had a problem he could not figure out: one of his former clients is back with him (technically, the guy never left since hosting is still handled by my client, just not for the development part), and my client had no idea how this new site works. My client originally created a MODX website for the guy, and then the guy left for his new girlfriend's kid (a up-and-comer ready to show his chops, apparently), got the new site done, and then broke up with the girlfriend. Now the guy is back with my client for maintenance. Sound's simple, right?

When we looked at the files on the hosting account, the old MODX setup is still there, but the new site is not using it, that we were certain of by just looking at the source code from the browser. When I looked at the index file, the code is using CodeIgnitor!! My Oh My, they did a new site with a PHP framework!! I instantly prepare for the worst, as I hate to help maintain any site done with any PHP framework (you don't need one for a simple website), and the pain to get myself up-to-speed with what this kid had done, since any programming issues for this site will ultimately fall into my laps down the road...

So, I tried to find out if this kid had done anything with the database, or add in anything custom to the framework. To my surprise, all I need to find is one PHP file in CodeIgnitor's application view folder, and there it is, the whole site (essentially one page with anchor links as menus), some extra CSS, JavaScript and image files in a separate "asset" folder that is independent of the framework, and that's it. No database calls using the framework, no special URL routing with the framework... WHAT THE HELL IS THE FRAMEWORK HERE FOR?!

This is a very important lesson for all of you who want to show off how good you are with frameworks: GET LOST!! Take it to your own pet projects, or something that actually will make use of most if not all the wonderful features of the framework you worship. Implement it on a one-page website with all content hard-coded in the file? Even put some contents in JavaScript just to show you know jQuery?? No CMS given every single client WANTS one and will kill you for saying NO??? GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!!

I will make my client charge that guy to remove all those crap and just give him the one-page website he deserves.

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HOBBY JAPAN MOOK Tony's Heroines Works Shining Series
Tuesday 22:29, Dec 16, 2014

This is a must-have for figure collectors who loves everything Tony Taka did for Sega's famous Shining series. Every single figures released so far from different companies are covered, completed with the original illustrations for the figures' poses. Just go and buy it now!

I will get mine through Hobby Search after X'mas, since there is no way I will have it ship in EMS...

HOBBY JAPAN MOOK Tony's Heroines Works Shining Series

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Sega Shining Resonance PS3 Limited Edition
Tuesday 06:15, Jun 03, 2014

Sega just found a new way to ding my wallet, by bundling a 1/7 PVC Figure from Alphamax!! Kiriga in bikini sure looks good (done by the same sculptor of Shining Ark Sakuya -Mode: Violet- 1/8 PVC Figure), and as I will buy the game anyway, might as well get the figure too...

Sega Shining Resonance PS3 Limited Edition Alphamax Shining Resonance Kiriga Towa Aluma Swimsuit Ver. 1/7 PVC Figure

Sega Shining Resonance PS3 Limited Edition Alphamax Shining Resonance Kiriga Towa Aluma Swimsuit Ver. 1/7 PVC Figure

Sega Shining Resonance PS3 Limited Edition Alphamax Shining Resonance Kiriga Towa Aluma Swimsuit Ver. 1/7 PVC Figure

Sega Shining Resonance PS3 Limited Edition Alphamax Shining Resonance Kiriga Towa Aluma Swimsuit Ver. 1/7 PVC Figure

Sega Shining Resonance PS3 Limited Edition Alphamax Shining Resonance Kiriga Towa Aluma Swimsuit Ver. 1/7 PVC Figure

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Alphamax Shining Ark Sakuya -Mode: Violet- 1/8 PVC Figure
Friday 07:09, Jan 10, 2014

Finally, a "Viola" PVC figure!! Too bad it is not from KOTOBUKIYA but Alphamax. Still, I am drooling all over the floor already... it will arrive in July 2014, and check it out at Otaku HQ.

Alphamax Shining Ark Sakuya -Mode: Violet- 1/8 PVC Figure

Alphamax Shining Ark Sakuya -Mode: Violet- 1/8 PVC Figure

Alphamax Shining Ark Sakuya -Mode: Violet- 1/8 PVC Figure

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GOOD SMILE RACING Racing Miku 2013 Ver. 1/8 PVC Figure
Wednesday 06:26, Dec 11, 2013

GOOD SMILE COMPANY has been releasing a different race queen Miku for each year since 2008, but this one probably look the best! It will be out in June 2014. Get more info at Otaku HQ.

GOOD SMILE RACING Racing Miku 2013 Ver. 1/8 PVC Figure

GOOD SMILE RACING Racing Miku 2013 Ver. 1/8 PVC Figure

GOOD SMILE RACING Racing Miku 2013 Ver. 1/8 PVC Figure

GOOD SMILE RACING Racing Miku 2013 Ver. 1/8 PVC Figure

GOOD SMILE RACING Racing Miku 2013 Ver. 1/8 PVC Figure

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The End of Winamp
Thursday 22:43, Nov 21, 2013

Damn it, now I have to find an alternative player for my PC, unless I want to stick with the final version forever... are there any decent player out there that will do the job?

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Gundam UC T-shirt Signed by Furuya Toru
Thursday 03:14, Aug 29, 2013

As promised, here is the bounty!

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UQ HOLDER!
Thursday 03:08, Aug 29, 2013

The latest series from Akamatsu Ken just started in Japan, with a 82-page chapter 1!! Set in the same Negima! universe at a later time with a new kid (descendent of the Konoe family), along with a mature-looking Eva-chan! When can I get to buy volume 1?? Probably next year...

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Anime Revolution 2013
Sunday 05:10, Aug 18, 2013

Today I went to my first anime convention in Vancouver, and it was a blast! Thanks to the organizers for putting up a great show! I went to two industry panels (FUNimation and Aniplex USA), plus a Q&A session with Furuya Toru, CV of Amuro Ray!!! I also got an autograph from Furuya-san, which I will share later!

Oh yes, Otaku HQ is a sponsor this year. For the first time I am spending money to raise my site's profile in Vancouver.

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