Sunny Chan blogs Can you see the Logic in my Madness?


by Sunny Chan

Posted on Friday July 15, 2011 at 10:18pm in Java

This is the abstract for my COSCUP talk on August 18th, 2011:

OpenJDK 7: The universal language runtime

Sunny Chan
Hong Kong Java User Group Leader

OpenJDK 7 is the latest release of the Java Platform. In this release, there are a number of major innovations in the OpenJDK's Java Virtual Machine to enable other scripting languages like Ruby, Python and PHP to run on the platform efficiently.

In this talk, I will give you 5 reasons why you should run your applications written in alternative languages like Ruby on the OpenJDK Runtime. I will also explore some of the common myths about running your application with the Java Runtime.

Three Weeks In

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Tuesday February 16, 2010 at 03:33am in Anything

Here is my status / thought three weeks into Plan A (formerly known as Plan B)

  1. I am still jet lagged. I feel sleepy during the morning but otherwise I am fine

  2. I have been eating out almost 85% of the days I have been in Hong Kong. I have also joined Fitness First and definitely need to make use of it

  3. The amount of alcohol I have consumed in the last three weeks is the sum of all alcohol I have consumed 3 months before I leave UK.

  4. Where the f**k did all the people come from?! The whole town is packed

  5. My mom is better at investigating my life than FBI / MI5 / KGB

  6. I still feel like I am on holiday here in Hong Kong. I think that would change when my boxes arrive.

  7. My box is currently somewhere near the Gulf at the moment. I just hope that the pirates in Somali won't find it

  8. Work is fine, except a lot of midnight calls. 

  9. Lunch is much better around here. Plenty of nice food and company!

  10. My salary is pretty good over here. Why didn't I do it earlier?

  11. I missed MINI. Didn't help when they have big poster showing Mini near Time Square.

I do miss you guys in UK. Honest.

Looking back

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Wednesday December 23, 2009 at 08:10am in Anything

The cat is now out of the bag, and I am slowly shutting down my life over here. I think it's time to do a review and take stock of what I have achieved and looking ahead

Most people have thought that my mom and dad made the decision for me to come over here, on the contrary it is actually me initiated the whole studying in UK. I was not happy at the school I was studying in Hong Kong and I see this as a way out to the terrible time I had in Hong Kong - I considered myself being bullied by my teacher and I thought certainly this "mother" country could not be worse. (The colonial government did a good job of brain-washing me :-).

When I first set foot in this country it feels strange yet farmiliar. The car drive on the correct side of the road, except that everything is in English. I certainly can feel the chill but I do find the people are very welcoming and have a strange sense of humour. But I certainly didn't forsee my experience in Felsted - it changed my life completely.

I definitely remember the first night in Follies. I was sobbing like a little baby in the little desk that we have for the NIPs (stands for Not Important Person). I think most of my housemate is puzzled - I think it is the thought of having to fence for myself from that point onwards. But soon after I get into the strive of studying and living in the boarding school, and I definitely make good use of my time there. Initially I am pretty sceptical of the gwai chais there. My parents have told me a few things about what they are like and I have found out that it is completely different - once we have worked out our cultrual differences I think my friends Felsted are warm and welcoming, and much more down to earth then I first thought. I have certainly made a lot of really good friends and we are still in touch 20 years later.

I am a pretty open minded person and after my "training" in Felsted I can really apperciate the way of life here and the culture. What I really love about this country is that people are humble and they are able to laugh about themselves and being selfless in a lot of ways. They like to engage with people and encouraged to look outwards and dream. I feel free to be myself here - as long as you don't go and kill people, you can do whatever you want. There are certainly a lot more social norm and convention out there in Asia, which would be very interesting to deal with.

I will definitely feel sad to leave behind all my good friends I made over the years, as well as the piece of London that I own (okay, the little piece of London that have been leased to me for another 70 years :-). I would definitely missed the days that I can go to the football games or take a spin in the winding road down in countryside.

However, I feel that it is the right opportunity to make a change in direction for my life. It would be a big culture shock when I am back in Hong Kong but I don't want to regard it not doing this while I still can. Who knows where life would take me but I certainly would be quite happy to come back and call UK home.

Sunny's 5 Year Itch

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Sunday October 04, 2009 at 12:26pm in Anything

According the this website, The phase "The Seven Years Itch" means the inclination to become unfaithful after seven years of marriage. Ladies, don't worry, I am still single and available. However I wonder whether I do have a five years itch.

So far in my life I never really stayed at one location / school /  job for more then 5 years. The worst period is during my Primary School years, where one reason or another I have moved to 3 primary schools - nearly once every 2 years. By the way, I do not recommend anyone to subject their son and daughter to this as for me it was pretty traumatic, and it has turned my life upside down. Without the bad experiences during my late Primary / early Secondary School years, I would probably have not pluck up the courage to take the big step to study in UK. The period I spent in Felsted is the best time in my life, where I made friends and won respect - people still remember me out there after 10 years! If I haven't studied to Felsted, I probably won't get into Imperial, and would probably got the job that I am doing now.

Sometimes I am wondering whether Plan B is my 5 Year Itch, but I don't think it is such a bad thing.

For those who wonder what happen with Plan B I am still waiting for Human Resource in the bank I am working for to sort things out. It may take 2-3 months. I have already started to throw away old books and stop buying items that I cannot take with me. However, until I have the offer no one should assume that Plan B is happening. So please do not discuss this with my parents yet!


Donation sought (at the request of my mom)

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Saturday October 03, 2009 at 09:27pm in Anything

Dear Children,
            Please note :

         相信你們都常常聽我提及有關我參與不同的義工服務。其中一個團體是"無界限 - 精神健康社區融合會" (簡稱無界限 )。


                 很高興在這裏,隆重宣佈: 本會的第一份宣傳小冊子已經出世了 (見附件)。身為司庫的我,親眼見證這群babies(小冊子),在這個貧窮但充滿愛、理想和團結的大家庭裏面,只用了650元便做出了2,000個值得我們自豪的寶貝.......它們身負重任 :


(一) 將 "無界限" 的成立、宗旨、目標、服務對象/內容等等介紹給尚未認識我們的朋友。 希望朋友們知道,在社區上有一群人正在努力默默地為精神病康復者提供服務,幫助他們融入社區和重拾自信。朋友們! 你地能放下對他們的歧視和誤解; 以愛,包容去接納他們,一個共融的社區,對他們重投社會有莫大的幫助。


(二) 朋友們如果你身邊在這方面有需要協助的人,可以聯絡我們,可能我們未必可直接幫到手,但我們可以儘量為你們提供相關的渠道,獲得合適的協助。有問題,不要怕,只要勇敢面對,一定OK。


(三) 歡迎認同我們理念的社會各界人士,加入我們的行列。


(四) 籌募經費 : 希望大家能慷慨解囊,樂善好施。


           Please help to spread the news to your friends, colleagues (in HK for Sunny) so that someone may like to donate money to our community.  I will bring a few handouts to Sharon's home today.


            Forwarded two words files for follow-up action.



Kelvin Ko on Marriage and Opportunity Cost

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Saturday October 03, 2009 at 09:22pm in Anything

The Italian Job - preliminary plan

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Sunday September 13, 2009 at 11:46am in The Italian Job

View The Italian Job in a larger map

I am planning to switch on Google Latitude during the trip so that people can track where I am. More details to follow 

Autofs hints

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Friday August 07, 2009 at 03:11am in Anything

Just to save other people out there who have try to use autofs:

All automount map file must be non executable (eg rw-r-r-)

If not automounter will refuse to load it. I was scratching my head for a whole night trying to figure out my new ubuntu installation refuse to mount my NFS home directory. I am just about to blame ubuntu for this :-)

T-Mobile G1 - The Google Phone

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Friday July 17, 2009 at 03:06am in Anything

Well, as most people who read this knows that I am pretty keen on Palm Pre. However my Nokia N95 is falling apart and I need a phone now to replace my Nokia. So I decided to take a look and I have decided to get a T-Mobile G1 for now, and then when Palm Pre is out here at the end of the year I would go and get

For those who doesn't know, T-Mobile G1 is the first phone that is based upon Google Android, the Linux based mobile OS that uses a subset/special implementation of Java as the main program interface.

I have been using the G1 for about a week now, and so far so good. It's pretty slick and the interface are pretty good compare to the iPhone. All the apps I wanted to use are there, including a fairly decent Live Messenger client. Althought the AppStore is not as good as Apple, it is growing and there are a few useful one up there. Hopefully once the Chinese Manufacturer making cheaper Android phone more developers will move onto the platform. Though it should be fairly easy to move J2ME application onto the Android platform (quite similar but not exactly the same - however a good developer can easily develop Facade to support both).

Anyway, I should download the SDK and have a play around soon.

J P Morgan Challenge 2009

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Wednesday July 15, 2009 at 01:18am in Anything

Here is the result. I came 11164 out of 11725.

It is all about participation! :-)

Sunny Gor Gor

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Saturday July 11, 2009 at 04:48pm in Anything

I have a weird morning today:

Firstly I got up at 8 and I was watching thie Google I/O 2008 talk in bed. It is all about the Dalvok VM and I am curious about why they have their own dex format, etc. Interesting on how they adapted Java to work really well in a small platform:


Then I saw my sister has posted one of those really old Hong Kong advert in the facebook:

I then hop around the youtube site and look at some of those really old Hong Kong TV adverts. My goodness. When I was young I thought it was slick and cool, but now I feel a bit errie about them. Anyway, I finally landed on a couple of links with Sunny Gor Gor songs. For those of you who are old enough in Hong Kong should remember him - he is pretty much the first Hong Kong Children TV presenter. I did a bit of google and manage to find his web site. I was too young at that time (ahem... yes I was) and I only had a faint memory of him on TV.

However, I didn't pick my Sunny as my first name because of him though (nor did my parents). That's a story for another time.

What I have learnt this week.

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Monday June 29, 2009 at 02:36am in Anything

It's been a long week. Here is 10 things I have learnt:

  1. If you have locked your keys in your MINI, don't bother calling the recovery service. Just find a stone/hammer and smash the window.
  2. Autoglass open 24*7. If they have the mirror in stock and a technician is available then you can get it fixed at 2am.
  3. Never chain your house keys with your car keys.
  4. Power Steering is a common fault on the 2001-2006 MINI Coopers. And it is expensive to get it fixed so BMW didn't do a recall.
  5. Taking the train to Brighton can be quicker than driving. Except you should expect noisy babies so iPod is essential
  6. Water in Brighton is pretty decent. Though it is a bit difficult to find a shower facility.
  7. Your ghost in Sim 3 only has a limited amount of time. Once the time is up then that's it, so get him/her revived asap.
  8. It's difficult to find a decent techie jobs in Hong Kong, unless you are actually there.
  9. Enjoy your life. You never know when your doctor will give you an overdose. Especially you are the King of Pop
  10. Java 6 Update 14 with server hotspot compiler is really really fast.

Why can't Orientals guys (US: Asian) get the white girls

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 03:16am in Anything

Eurovision Song Contest 2009

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Sunday May 17, 2009 at 06:37pm in Anything

Eurovision Song Contest has become a little bit of a joke last couple of years, though I still enjoy Terry Wogan's (now Graham Norton) sarcastic comment and also what those crazy Eastern European could come up with. Surprising this year I think it's pretty good (hence I would like to blog about it)

For those come who are reading this and have no idea what Eurovision Song Contest it (e.g. if you live in HK), do a google and find out what you are missing out here!

This year seems like everyone is getting really serious about this competition, for
example, Germany has Dita Von Teese on the set, while UK have Andrew
Lloyd Webber writing songs, etc. They have changed the voting system
this year as well, and it did reduced the political voting effect. (Though
Ukarine still give 12 points for Russia, etc.) and Moscow who hosted this seems to be lavishing a lot of money on the set!

 My favourite song this year is the one from Estonia (not just because she is lang lui haaa):


Another one I quite enjoyed is the Ajiberjan's entry:


I thought this is quite cheeky and the tune is quite catchy too.

I stayed in and I thought I was entartained - so good job Europe looking forward to next year.

VMWare ESXi 3 experience

by Sunny Chan

Posted on Saturday May 02, 2009 at 04:04am in Anything

I recently have upgraded my desktop machine to a Core 2 Quad - that by itself is quite a big change because I have been using AMD CPU for nearly 10 years, but it seems like Intel finally has a better product, so I voted with my Wallet.

Anyway so with a working Dual Core AMD Athlon x2 3800+ CPU as well as 4G DDR RAM, what shall we do with it? Of course try some new stuff. I always fancy the idea of having a hypervisor in the BIOS - althought we are not quite there yet, but the closest product we have right now.

So I downloaded the VMWare ESXi from VMWare website, burn it onto a CD and run installer. ESXi consists of a modified Linux kernel and some VMware modules. It took a minute or so to boot up. When I tried to run the installer, it comes back with an error with unsupported device. I did a quick Google on the topic and found that the installer just doesn't support IDE hard drives (which is the one that I have lying around!). You need to go to the virtual console and start hacking their installation script. That's not very nice.

Anyway, once I have installed it on the hard drive I reboot the machine - however it doesn't seems to be able to format the hard drive. After trying for half a Sunday I figure out that my drive was used to install Windows 7, and instead of standard old school partition table it now has a EFI GUID Partition Table. VMWare doesn't seems to know how to handle them. In the end I cleared the GPT using diskpart off my hard drive and now VMWare can install properly.

The one really annoy thing for me is that VMWare ESXi can only use drives formatted with VMFS - as a result I can't really share my external SATA hard drive with another Linux installation. BAD. Also it seems like you once you have created a VMWare Virtual hard drive on a data store it won't be able to shrink the disk size. Arghhhhhh. Why can't they have a straight pass through SATA? or USB? Searching in Google suggested that the only way you can let your VMWare to use a drive "natively" is to share it from a remote machine using a iSCSI intiaitor. BAD

At the moment when I need to install OS onto the server I either use a CD image or my local CD drive. This is another annoyance as I just cannot convince VMWare to assign the server's DVD ROM drive onto the virtual machine. Make it a bit slower to install the packages..

Another thing that I don't like is that there is no console directly on the server itself-  you will have to use the management client in order to connect to those console. This is okay for a headless server but for developer like me I would still prefer to have full console access to my VM the server itself.

Other than these annoying details it works pretty well with the stuff I throw at it. The CPU I use for this VMWare test machine doesn't support Pacifica technology (AMD's Vritualisation instructions set) but is still achieve a decent performance