PDF on Android

So I just bought a Nexus 9. It's 2015 and somehow reading PDF is still a pain. None of the major ebook readers properly support PDF: Google Books and Kindle both import PDFs as images, so I can't highlight text. Converting PDF to ePub messes up the formatting (they are academic papers). The built-in PDF reader can highlight text for copy, but can't save highlights.

Adobe's PDF reader does do the job, except it requires another account to save to the cloud (turns out I already had one but obviously I don't know what the password is). And the UI is... ugh. Why do I have 4 different tabs showing an identical set of files?

I knew it would be a pain and printed out the papers, except printing still doesn't work right in 2015 and I am missing a few pages.

by khc on Thu Nov 12 17:52:22 2015 Permlink
Tags: rant computer


My last night in Seoul I decided that I haven't checked out Gangnam enough and so I should pay another visit. Since I've been here with my friends during their last night I thought I would orient myself base on where we've been together and then go from there. That turned out to be a bad idea, because I couldn't find where we've been (Gangnam station has many exits) and I felt a huge sense of lost.

Here's a piece of advice: if you want to feel sentimental, go visit the exact same place your friends and you had been before they left you. For added pleasure, let that place be Gangnam. Why Gangnam? Well supposedly it represents the new money off Seoul, and as I was walking down the street feeling lost, I suddenly realized that I too, am part of the new money. I don't remember how many times I've told my non software friends how strange it is and how lucky I am to live in a bubble, or even if it's not a bubble, it certainly is an ascend of new money and I just so happen to be in it.

Then a deeper question hit me: if I were part of Gangnam, part of new money, what more could I want? I remember awhile ago me and another friend were discussing what to get for a mutual friend who was getting married. "What do you get a man who has everything?" was the actual question. While I don't actually have everything, I'd like to think that I have most things that I ever wanted.

Of course there are a lot more things that I could have but don't. Growing up I've always thought that I had everything that I wanted. Recently I wondered why that was the case, considering that I grew up in a very modest family. Then I realized: I've never wanted anything that was totally out of reach. Having everything you want is easy when you only ever want things that you can have.

But I digress. I've been telling my friends that I want to be a better person than I am now, which hopefully I will accomplish as part of the trip. Let's ignore for a moment the fact that I did not initially want to travel for a few months because I envisioned I'd come back as a better me. Let's also assume that I will be somewhat better, somehow. It's still a high price to pay. I pretty much gave up (temporarily) my family, friends, a home, a car, and a career, or in other words, most things that defined me. All that for some abstract character building. It's like burning down the forest for a tree (that may or may not be there). While feeling lost on Gangnam-dearo, I kept asking myself, "is this worth it?"

Unfortunately for me, I have not developed some superhuman power where I can just will things into happening. It's like one of the drunken nights in Korea, when I said in front of my fellow alcoholics, "if I want something I need to work on it." (the corollary maybe: if I can't work on it, then I better not want it, or at least not expect it) So if I do want a better me, whatever that means, I need to work on that too.

So be it.

by khc on Mon Oct 21 08:49:49 2013 Permlink
Tags: rant

Available time asymmetry, and other things

One thing that I have a lot more of after quitting my job is time. With the abundance of time comes the question of what to do with it. Like nations with newly discovered natural resources, resource curse is something I need to avoid. Already I am seeing negative effects with my new found time, for example it's amazing how staying in bed for 12+ hours everyday can make you feel dull and tired for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately time is unlike money, and I cannot set aside some of the time in a saving account somewhere and withdraw it later[1]. Another way to avoid the resource curse is by investing the gain into areas with future sustainable growth, which I am sort of doing with my side projects. Another area I wanted to invest in is my relationships, not in terms of dating[2], but more about growing existing relationships, or at least not let them go stale.

Let it be known that I am horribly bad at keeping in touch. I barely keep tap on anyone from high school and college. While newer technologies like Facebook is supposed to keep us "connected", I didn't think so highly of substituting actually "connecting" with "mutual stalking". So for a while, I actively unfriended people on Facebook if I didn't think I will run into them again.

But I digress -- this isn't about Facebook.

While I am happily trading loss income for time, I am well aware that most people are making the logical choice of trading time for income. As such, their available time is more limited. Which means most of the time when I am available to do things, or just chat, other people probably aren't.

I've always had a distaste of annoying people, and last thing I want is becoming one myself. Every time before I contact someone, I consciously think about if the other person is busy[3], when was the last time I messaged them, and more importantly, am I going to be annoying. Or if I suggest meeting up and doing things, are they going to think they've seen me too much.

Fortunately there's a small group of friends who are usually up to do things, and I find myself seeing them a lot more often than I did. Outside of that group though, I definitely find myself connecting to other people less and less, which seems contrary to what should have happened as my free time increased.

[1]: Well, in a sense I could, by getting a job now and taking a break later, but that defeats the purpose of having a break now.

[2]: In "Predictably Irrational", Dan Ariely wrote, "for many people the workplace is not just a source of money but also a source of motivation and self-definition... And employees who take pride in their work feel a sense of happiness and purpose." Regardless of what other people may think, not having a job certainly cuts into my self-esteem and my self reflected desirability.

[3]: Which is one of the reasons why I hate the new Android Hangout app.

by khc on Wed Jul 31 16:53:27 2013 Permlink
Tags: rant

Weakest Link

No, not that Weakest Link, but this link.

So I finally signed up for LinkedIn after resisting it for the longest time, mostly because I wasn't looking for a job (I am still not looking for a job). Recently though I keep hearing about it so I decided to sign up just to see what it is about. I didn't have very high expectation because I've seen other people's LinkedIn profile and it looked like just a résumé page, but I was still surprised by how many bumps I hit within the first 30 minutes.

First of all, signing up. On most websites usually you see a login page first, with a link to a sign up page. LinkedIn is the other way around. When you go to its home page, it asks you to sign up, with a link to log in. A little strange, but okay, not a big deal, since signing up is what I want to do anyway. The signup box looks like this:

linkedin signup box

Odd, it doesn't include a password confirm box for signing up. It's okay, I will just be careful. Okay signed up. I have to log in again right away? No problem, I saved my password somewhere and I can just paste it in. Wait what? Password mismatch? Okay let me try again, maybe a copy & paste error. Nope. Will okay I will follow the password reset link, maybe I typed my password wrong when I signed up since it doesn't have a confirm password field. Reset my password to the same one, and it automatically logged in me. So far so good.

Oh it says my email address is unconfirmed, no problem, I will just click the link to send out a confirmation email. Clicking the link in the confirmation email asks me to log in again. Oh extra security is never bad, right? Okay, sign in. Wait, password mismatch???

Reset my password again. Confirm my email address. Sign in. Password mismatch. Reset my password. Confirm my email address. Sign in. Password mismatch. Reset my password. Confirm my email address. Sign in. Password mismatch...

You get the idea.

Somehow I got the idea that maybe my 16 characters password is too long for LinkedIn's little mind. Nevermind that it happily accepted it when I signed up. And indeed, using a shorter password bypassed this problem. A website that doesn't handle password correctly does not give me much confidence at all.

LinkedIn is useless without having the résumé there. Since their résumé import tool says it can import HTML, I decided to just import my resume. Of course, it cannot directly import from a URL, which is probably the only interesting use case for importing HTML. Imported from a local file instead, error. Tried again, error. "Try importing PDF or DOC instead", it said. Okay... printed to PDF file and tried again. Success! It took the file!

Except what it imported was a mess. It created positions out of nowhere, moved everything around. I ended up just re-creating the résumé manually. From what I was told other people experienced this too.

The whole website seems to be pretty unprofessionally done. Modifying things usually send you back to the menu page 90s style. This is kind of ironic because a friend described it to me as the professional version of Facebook. In reality though it looks like a project done by monkeys going through a checklist.

by khc on Fri Aug 20 22:56:59 2010 Permlink
Tags: rant


在校方的嘗試下,海爾頓的移民生考試成績並不比本土生差。有支持現行政策的老師 說,移民生如要日後在社會上成功,能依靠的只有學歷。但副校長威勒則不無遺憾地 說,此舉等於剝奪了移民生融入主流社會的機會,如果10年後看看這些學生從事甚 麼行業的話,答案恐怕會令老師失望。

師生之間也擔心,校方這種新式「隔離」政策,既無助消除社會上以及校內對非法移 民的抗拒心理,同時也令不少憧憬美國式生活的移民生沮喪。來自危地馬拉的19歲 女生雷蒙多說,雖然自己努力下每科成績都拿到A,但根本談不上融入主流社會,如 果到頭來仍是靠替人打掃房屋維生的話,讀書還有甚麼用?





by khc on Mon Mar 23 01:13:04 2009 Permlink
Tags: chinese rant
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