zz – Others (2008)


I’m not the only Thunderbird community member who gets questions about his / her on-screen nickname (see Standard8), so here is the _real_ origin of my one, "nth10sd".

Depending on where you come from, the phrase "十三點" or "13-Dot" can mean a variety of things, especially in Shanghainese, apparently it’s not a particularly pleasant phrase to use. It can also mean having just thirteen points on your hand on the blackjack table.

"Before In the Mood for Love, there was 13-Dot. Probably the most successful girls’ comic to have ever emerged in Hong Kong, 13-Dot was considered a fashion bible among the younger generation thanks to author Lee Wai-chun’s compulsive interest in changing costumes for her characters whenever they go from one room to the next."

The real origin lies here. As the website from which these quotes come from mentions, 13-Dot is a Hong Kong comic originating in 1966, just a few years after Old Master Q (老夫子) in 1962.

"Projecting a modern image of women amid Hong Kong’s blossoming economy, the comic follows the teenage daughter of Prosperous Town’s richest man, the popular Miss 13-Dot (whose name refers to fun-loving and mischievous girls in Shanghainese), as she goes on a series of fanciful adventures using her family’s fortune."

So the entire phrase in Cantonese is "哪, 睇, 係十三点!", the way to pronounce in English is "naa, tai, hai sup (replaced by number 10) saam deem". It means, "Hey, look, it’s 13-Dot!" And this nickname came about with a real desire to prove my cultural origins, and the fact that the "13-Dot" comic is only mostly known among Hong Kong folks (Cantonese isn’t really welcomed by only-Mandarin-in-the-official-media Singapore, where all Cantonese shows on the local on-air channels are translated to Mandarin with no option to switch. And that’s annoying, especially when their lips don’t match their voices. It’s like listening to someone mouthing English but the language that you hear from the speakers is French). Something at some stage in my life must have made me hear that phrase 5-6 years ago, I cannot really recall, though it simply stuck.

Complicated? Probably. It’s more complex if I explain it in person. "nth11sd", "nth12sd" and so on till "nth19sd" or so are just multiple instances of myself, as my fellow ex-interns Cesar Oliveira and Reed Loden like to point out, "clones". 🙂

And no, I never really read that comic, though I’m a fan of Hong Kong life and their values from the late 60s to the early 90s. So, yes, I am a fan of 許冠杰 (Samuel Hui) and 最佳拍檔 (Aces Go Places), and especially 周星馳 (Stephen Chow).

無厘頭 (mo lei tau), anyone? (We should 坐低飲杯茶,食個包,慢慢倾!)

P.S.: To all Mandarin readers / speakers, I don’t think the combinations of Chinese characters in the phrases above make much sense.

zz - Others (2008)

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Amaya, Mercurial m-c & c-c bundles, and Ubiquity commands

So I decided to try out some new stuff over the weekend:

The first is using Amaya in place of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, sometimes I think Dreamweaver is overkill for what I need and Nvu / KompoZer somehow didn’t cut it anymore. Yes, I kind of prefer WYSIWYG capability, so Amaya seemed to fit the bill, moreover it’s free and open source.

Second, I have lots of bandwidth to spare, and I just encountered the pain of trying to clone mozilla-central from scratch with a flaky and unreliable internet connection. No matter how long you try, it does not seem to finish, so I resorted to Benjamin Smedberg’s bundle file that saved me lots of agony.

Metalink to the mozilla-central bundle: (downloaded >600 times)
changeset 18525, updated as of 20080829-10:05:02 PDT. (74M)
SHA-1: 7d069e0a186c556ef1039ad03d0ebb5edb2b48d4

Metalink to the comm-central bundle: (downloaded >450 times)
changeset 227, updated as of 20080829-16:27:14 PDT. (7.6M)
SHA-1: ade283eca96c354d8b8eac63f2c17258e5bc5c57

Please try out the metalinks (generated here) as they will verify the download automatically with the SHA-1 hashes. The instructions below are adapted from his page.

Unbundle the above repositories using the following steps, substituting mozilla-central and comm-central as necessary:
1 – Create a new repository
$ hg init mozilla-central
2 – Unbundle it.
$ cd mozilla-central
$ hg unbundle /<path>/<to>/mozilla-central.bundle
3 – Tell Mercurial where you normally want to pull from by copying the following content into your mozilla-central/.hg/hgrc file:
default = http://hg.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/
4 – Pull the latest changes and update your local repository.
$ hg pull -u
This way, the repositories should set up much faster if you have a flaky connection; you can always resume and verify your download if you are getting the bundle files.

Finally, I have also joined the current craze of writing Ubiquity commands, and I did up one (adapted from the MDC one by Eric Shepherd) that uses Google Search for NUS’s (my school) webpages, however, no matter how I try, I can’t seem to get it to work successfully. Basically, I set up everything properly, permit the javascript at the red permissions page, but nothing seems to occur after I type in the “nus” keyword.

Any ideas about this?

Edit: Upgrading to Ubiquity 0.1.1 fixed this issue for me. Note that you will have to unsubscribe and re-subscribe to each javascript subscription for it to work properly.

Edit 2: Note that comm-central’s client.py will pull in mozilla-central as well. You can easily use the mozilla-central bundle for this purpose, but you should ensure that your .hg/hgrc file in that repository is also updated.

Edit 3: I should be setting up a dedicated WordPress page for these bundles in the future…

zz - Others (2008)

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Gristmill Concept Video

Following in the footsteps of 3 Mozilla concept videos (Adaptive Path, Wei Zhou, Aza Rashkin) vying for UI attention around the web, someone ought to help out QA. Here is something QA-related that you can install for yourself now. It is called Gristmill. The video describes three ways one can search in Bugzilla, and is produced for educational purposes only. During most of the video, everything is automated, and the only events I did manually were the initial mouse-clicks to load the javascript file.

I am no real UI designer as those awesome folks above are, so the simple video I produced below is nowhere as elaborate as their mockups.

“Gristmill In Action”: (click here or the image to see the full resolution video)

(Either left-click to load the .swf directly, or right-click the image and click “Save Link As” to save the 6.9MB file to your disk)

Bonus? You can now, in the true spirit of QA, "reproduce" my exact video above. Just load this Javascript file into Gristmill as I did in the video, and you will be able to reproduce my steps, on the condition that your internet connection is sufficiently fast as it is real-time.

A sample .xpi, current as of 12 Aug 08, is available, and works for release builds as well. Many thanks ought to go to the folks who have been developing Gristmill, including but not limited to Clint Talbert and Mikael Rogers. It must be noted that Gristmill is still in heavy development though.

Done up using Jing, a free screencast application.

P.S.: Gristmill does not yet work for Thunderbird or Lightning / Sunbird, though it is theoretically possible. It will be awesome if someone can get it to work for those apps.

Edit: Clint just told me that Martin Schroeder has just gotten Gristmill to work on Thunderbird _and_ Sunbird. Way to go, Martin!

zz - Others (2008)

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DreamHost Discount Code – RUMBLINGEDGE

Quite a lot of people use DreamHost nowadays, and I ought to say that I have been pretty satisfied with their service so far in my few weeks of hosting with them. In the spirit of discount codes offered by Jesse and Grey, here’s the promo code for The Rumbling Edge:



  1. Save $32 off any plan, monthly, 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10 years, you decide the duration.
  2. 1 extra FREE lifetime domain registration to any plan – Bonus 1!
  3. 1 extra FREE lifetime unique IP to any plan – Bonus 2!

I don’t want to introduce any sort of competition for these kind of codes / referrals though, Jesse and I both get $20 for each referrals our codes generate, and Grey’s codes are special-offer ones that not all of us possess right now. I couldn’t give a one-off $77 discount as Jesse does, as my system limits to $50, but I have thrown in the other freebies as listed above and you still save $32.

(Do the math yourself — $97 referral dollars from DreamHost, minus $32 [savings] and $15 [domain] and $30 [unique IP] equals $20)

Remember, the RUMBLINGEDGE code should be entered into the promotion code entry field when signing up, and DreamHost has a 97-day money-back guarantee in case you decide to change your mind in the future. This code will remain active for as long as DreamHost allows, else I will edit this entry if circumstances do change in the future.

zz - Others (2008)

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Bug Day on Thursday 07 August 2008

The Thunderbird folks are organizing a bug day this Thursday, 07 August 2008. The schedule is located here. Generally, feel free to pop by outside of the sessions as well, some experienced folks should be around to help you.

The focus of this bug day is found here.


Triaging is easy! You don’t have to be able to understand computer languages in order to triage most bugs.

You just have to try and reproduce the bug by following the steps written in the report. Add a comment stating whether the bug still applies in the latest supported version of Thunderbird 2 (, or in the trunk nightlies (3.0b1pre) for the more adventurous.

Thunderbird builds:

Windows builds Official Windows installer

Linux builds Official Linux (i686)

Mac builds Official Mac (Universal binary)

Please drop by #bugday and help us get our bug numbers down; we need your help! First timers and experienced triagers welcome.

We have three official sessions to assist anyone who wants to contribute.

Results of the bug day will be posted to Mozilla Wiki.

zz - Others (2008)

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My 38 hour trip, Whistler to Singapore.

Back to Singapore for studies, after bears, rockslides and power outages. I’m guessing you’ve read enough about these 3 events by now. I’ll spare you that. Thanks especially to dportillo for all that logistics arrangements to get us back home.

T refers to 11.15am PDT, Friday, 1 Aug 08. The time the last bus left Whistler. (Note that all times are approximate.)

T-8.5: Send off 3am PDT bus, then sleep.
T-1: Wake, then pack up to go to the lobby.
T: Bus leaves.
T+2: First pit stop.
T+4: Second pit stop at Boston Bar.
T+7: Reach Sheraton Hotel.
T+8: Reach Mozilla Messaging office at 675, West Hastings St. (personal thanks go out to asuth and dbaron)
T+10: Prepare to head to Vancouver Airport, via 98 B-Line and 424. Approximate route taken is shown.
T+12: Reach Vancouver Airport. (personal thanks go out to aravind)
T+14.5: Flight lifts off after 30+min delay.
T+27.5: Land at Chek Lap Kok Airport, Hong Kong. Transit stop.
T+30.5: Flight lifts off on time.
T+34: Land at Singapore Changi Airport.
T+35: Collect baggage and leave airport by bus to mid-point.
T+36: Reach mid-point. While there, hungry, take the chance to have afternoon tea.
T+37: Finish afternoon tea, then board connecting bus.
T+38: Mission accomplished.

P.S.: It’s now 5pm (T+39) GMT+8 as I write this, but I have no idea what my body clock is, though I did sleep through half the flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong…

P.P.S.: I did enjoy the flight(s) though. Cathay Pacific is my favourite airline, especially since I’m from Hong Kong.

zz - Others (2008)

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Bear with me while you sleep at Whistler…

Just after 5.30am on Tuesday 29 July, outside Westin Resort & Spa while most were sleeping, feeling safe and sound…

“… garbage bear, pretty tame. May break car windows if it’s bad …”

“… runs off at the sound of key jingles or bear bells …”

“… runs off at camera flashes, though some will charge at you …”

“… average of three bears are shot dead every year for entering people’s kitchens …”

“… it alone has enough power to rip off doors …”

Note: All quotes are courtesy of a local I spoke to, after seeing him throw a box to chase the bear away from some beer bottles.

zz - Others (2008)

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Just spotted these…

Source. Additional thanks: T. Cohen (Note: We have no relations with the Summit Lodge whatsoever)

Source. Additional thanks: T. Cohen

zz - Others (2008)

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