Thursday, 18 January 2007

Are you a digital migrant or a native?

I first came across these 2 terms when I attended the Microsoft TechEd 2006 in August last year. Someone has coined these terms and I was eager to figure out what they mean. A quick search in google landed me these definitions:

The term 'digital native' expresses a useful concept in clarifying the aims of learning technology development. It signifies both the technological and cultural challenges that we face. A specification of what it means to be 'digitally native' provides a clear cut measure for us to assess progress, and at the same time helps to explain why being digitally native is a good thing.

Basically a digital native is someone born after 1985, where computers are mainstream. On the other hand, a digital migrant was born earlier than 1985 and has had to ‘migrate’ to the notion of digital in their life. Some have fully integrated whilst others are still going through the migration process.

Definition of Digital Migrant / Immigrant (
Someone who grew up before the Digital age and is fairly new to ICTs (specifically the internet) and communicating with digital media. Basically anyone over the age of 28.

According to all these definitions, a Digital Native is someone who is born after 1985. I was born in the 70s where colour TV only started to become the "norm" in an average home. However, having been introduced to my first Apple 2E computer in my primary school years, I am as "digital native" as most of the born after 1985 kiddies. I chat with my siblings overseas using Instant Messaging (IM), we even use Yahoo! Messenger VoIP Telephony to hold lengthy conversation. I maintain at least 1 pesudo profile online. Joined many online community, keep in touch with the latest gadgets and toys, get feed information online (I don't buy no more newspapers), listen to podcasts, and heck, I even blog (like what I am doing right now).

I believe that being a digital migrant or native is not so much based on your physical age, but more on the fact of how "native" or "natural" you are with the digital world. An older person may well be fully immersed in the digital world whereas a teenager may be totally ignorant to ICT.

You may call me a geek or a nerd, but I know I am a digital Native. What about you? ;)

V for Vendetta and the Number 5

There are numerous references throughout V for Vendetta to the number 5 and letter V, which is itself "5" in Roman numerals:

  1. The character V is seen reading and quoting from Thomas Pynchon's novel, V., and listening to Beethoven's fifth symphony (the first four notes of which can be represented as the letter V in Morse code and were used as a call sign by the BBC during World War II). Beethoven himself also referred to those opening notes as 'Fate knocking on the door'. 'Fate' of course is the name of the supercomputer belonging to the Leader, Adam Susan in the novel.
  2. V introduces himself to Evey with a five-syllable phrase: "You may call me V." A large part of V's speech is in iambic pentameter, which is comprised of five iambs.
  3. The phrase "Remember, remember, the fifth of November" is referenced. This is the first line of a nursery rhyme detailing the exploits of Guy Fawkes.
  4. Evey's name—"Evey" —is actually composed of "E" (the fifth letter of the alphabet), "V" (5 in Roman numerals, and the fifth letter from the end of the alphabet), and "Y" (25th letter of the alphabet, or 5 squared).
  5. V is eventually identified as the prisoner from Room 5 at Larkhill Internment Camp. The five doors are labeled with Roman numerals, so Room 5 is emblazoned with a "V".
  6. In numerous apartment scenes, V is filmed stationary with his arms slightly apart from his body, forming an inverted V
  7. "5" converted to binary numerals is "101", so "Room 5" is "Room 101". This is an allusion to the infamous torture chamber in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  8. V's hideout is accessed from the closed Victoria Park tube station, the damaged sign of which resembles a sideways V when Finch locates it.
  9. V's personal motto consists of the Latin phrase Vi Veri Universum Vivus Vici (By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe), which in turn consists of five words that begin with the letter V ("U" is written as "V" in Latin). In the comic, and consequently in the movie, it was wrongly spelled "Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici"
  10. "V for Vendetta" has 5 syllables.
  11. November is the only month in the Gregorian calendar with the letter V in it.
  12. The woman who dies in the cell next to that of V at Larkhill is named Valerie Page. The word "Valerie" begins with the letter V.
  13. As Evey appears to give her speech to the public after she has assumed the identity of V, the visual angle of the frame causes a V to be formed between the edges of the building she is standing on and the building behind her.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

I've been busy coding

It has been 10 days since I last posted a new blog entry. I've been busy. I was not spending lots of time taking photowalking nor was I spending my time surfing on the internet, checking the latest photos in Flickr or Zooomr. I was spending my after hours doing development work for my Open Source project called Dotnet Commons 2.0.

I started the original Dotnet Commons project back in 2004 after seeing that there wasn't a similar Open Source project like the Jakarta Commons for the .Net framework. I've benefited from the Jakarta Commons projects as they really do help in speeding up software development. There are tons of literatures and articles about Jakarta Commons. A quick google search will land you many and I am not going to tell you how great Jakarta Commons is.

Initially there was some momentum in creating a similar Commons library for the .Net world called the .Net Commons, but the enthusiasm seemed to have died down pretty quick. Unlike Jakarta which has IBM's backing, the lack of a major sponsor seemed to have contributed to the lack of speed and enthusiasm in pushing the .Net Commons project much further than the initial project proposal stage. Perhaps Microsoft's constant push for the adoption of the Enterprise Library has something to do with it as well... Software developers working with the Microsoft products (.Net Framework) simply do not display the same enthusiasm for Open Source unlike the Java development community. The Java guys seem to adopt and even embrace Open Source naturally. As much as I have to admit that I have switch from being a Java developer to now a .Net/C# developer, I just think that the Microsoft development community are filled with mainly code monkeys who simply await Microsoft to tell them how to do things "correctly". Whatever Microsoft says or suggests becomes the "industry best practices". I see this at work place and I see this in newsgroups and forums. Most of the stuff in the Microsoft patterns & practices website are things that the Java community would have done yons ago. Yet, many of the Microsoft developers think that the "goodies" in the website are the best things since sliced bread.

Why am I doing this Open source project then? My motivation stems from 2 aspect. Firstly, I like to think that, no matter how small my contribution to the Open Source community, I would like to do promote the Open Source to the .Net world and to the .Net development community. I have benefitted much from the use of Open Source softwares and I will gladly "payback" by contributing some of my time to Open Source projects. Secondly, the functionalities in the Dotnet Commons project (and sub projects) are useful collection of utilities that most developers will be writing in every systems, applications or projects. Why re-invent the wheel all the time.

"The goal of Dotnet Commons 2.0 project is to become an extension of the .NET Framework 2.0 Base Class Library (BCL) that provides support for the generally useful low-level features that are missing from the BCL."

Well, I believe my time has been well spent. And I hope I will be able to convince more people to take up the challenge to help in Open Source projects. The tasks are not done yet. I will spend more time adding new things into the Dotnet Commons project. In the meantime, stay tune... and I should soon go back to do more photography and hopefully be able to post some more interesting photos.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Taking photos in a cemetery

Some people reckon I'm nuts to accept a friend's suggestion to go to a cemetery to photowalk (walking about and taking photos). Actually, the idea came about when Thomas Hawk recently released a series of photos he took at Mountain View Cemetery. We were inspired by his latest work so we have decided to try this ourselves.

After attempting to ask one or 2 other friends to join, and failing so, I started wonder what was so "scary" or "taboo" about going to a cemetery. I had a chance to have a brief chat with one of the friends we invited to join us. I come to the conclusion that Cemetery represents a reminder about death, about the spiritual realm and to some, it could mean about being afraid to see 'unclean' spirits. I can understand why.

Upon reflecting about all these feelings and thoughts, I am quite amazed that I have no longer fear or phobia of going to a Cemetery (in the daytime), well, I have never thought of going to such places at night anyway and won't want to put myself to such a test. I guess a lot of these fears and phobias came about from watching too many TV shows or from hearsays. However, I also believe that there might be some truth in certain hearsays.

I have been a born again Christian for quite a number of years now, and I truly believe that the Lord and His Holy Spirit will always be with us. I have no fear of the evil spirits as long as I dwell in the Lord's presence. Furthermore, having understood about life through the Bible, I do not hold the view about "lost" human spirits. I believe that to be absence from the body is to be with the Lord for all the believers.

The photowalking session was interesting. We started our session at the Perth War Cemetery which is adjacent to the Garden of Remembrance (for the war dead). Here are some of the photos I took there:

Perth War Cemetery:
Remember the many SacrificesRemember the many Sacrifices Hosted on Zooomr

Garden of Remembrance:
Their Name Liveth For Evermore

Remembering Lt. KeoghRemembering Lt. Keogh Hosted on Zooomr

It was a very sobering and reflecting moment for me. Looking at the inscription on the tombstones and the plaques of the fallen soldiers, it reminded me of the ultimate sacrifices that they have made for the country, for the countrymen and for freedom. Generations of Australian are indebted to their brave deeds.

After spending quite a while there, my friend and I proceeded to the Karrakatta Cemetery, which was adjoining to the War Cemetery. We walked about and took some photos of interesting things we see, from flowers at the tombstones, to statues and carvings.

Here are some of the photos I took there:
Guardian angelGuardian angel Hosted on Zooomr

Lady of Mercy

I would say it was quite an experience to photowalk in a cemetery. My friend and I talked about anything under the sun other than Photography and especially his new Canon 50mm f1.2 macro lens. We talked about life, and about death and even where we think if we wanted to be buried or cremated... funny isn't it.

To end this post, I would like to challenge all the readers. I know where I am going when I die. I am just a traveller on this earth. To be absence from my body is to be with my Lord. Do you know where you will go when you die?

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

What did you do on New Year's Day?

I celebrated the new year's day by spending time with my loved ones. We drove along the Perth coast, and popped by one of Perth's most beautiful beach called Trigg Beach. Here are some photos I took there:

Keep Out - Rocks and Waves are dangerousKeep Out - Rocks and Waves are dangerous Hosted on Zooomr

Incoming waveIncoming wave Hosted on Zooomr