Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Speech

A very inspirational and uplifting speech about three stories of his life. It’s a 15-minute mind blower.

I had planned on going to this commencement this morning. Then I discovered my camcorder’s CCD chip has gone bad and is unable to record (apparently a wide spread problem); I decided it’s not worth my while to go if I can’t record the God of Computer himself (having to deal with traffic, the sun and the crowd). With a bit of luck, I found out that his speech was going to be broadcasted live through Stanford’s very own KZSU 90.1FM. And of course, the station is listed in iTunes under “Radio –> Public”. Bless iTunes.

So I recorded his speech using RadioRecorder.

Download the clip in:
Best sound quality: AAC (launches iTunes)

If you appreciate the effort I took to have recorded the audio, polished it, converted it into AAC and MP3 formats and actually made them available to the public, please consider a donation to help offset the cost of the bandwidth I know the audio downloads will sure exceed. Thanks.

Here’s an article about the commencement itself if you are interested.

To further help spread the clip, I also created a page dedicated to the speech so that visitors don’t have to go through my blog unnecessarily.


UPDATE: It appears that Stanford has released the video version of the speech on its iTunes music store (for free). You can access it through your iTunes application (if you are still not using iTunes, it’s about time to start using it!). Get the speech in video here.

If you don’t see it initially, dig around. It’s there (Stanford -> Heard on Campus -> Visiting Lecturers and Speeches). Al Gore spoke there once. I wonder where THAT speech is… hmm…

The Big Move

Moving sucks. But it has to happen every now and then.

After consulting the Great Chinese Calendar (per my mom’s advise), we decided to schedule today as the “Big Day” for our pending move to the new apartment. Today’s supposedly an acceptable day for not only moving household items, but also bed setting. There’s a school of philosophy that believes in the proper positioning and settling of the bed. And of course, that includes the time and date on which the bed is to be moved.

The scheduled move time was between one and four in the afternoon (looks like our friends from the moving industry picked up on this long time tradition of the phone and cable guys!). But instead they showed up at five (after several phone calls). As I am typing this, they (two medium built foreign-speaking men) already moved all the boxes into the truck.

Argh! I hate moving.

Jai called earlier to see how things were going thinking we’d already moved. He calls from time to time to check on us. Though we haven’t seen him in a few months, it’s still nice to hear a friend’s voice once in a while.

The cats didn’t take the move too well. One of them (Baobao: the fat one) we managed to shovel into the bathroom like we’d ingeniously planned. The other one escaped from the bathroom and hid herself in the closet. Sucks to be cats.

What sucks more are cat owners. Our arms and chests were scratched up like Jackson Pollock‘s “Galaxy”.

After the movers unloaded our stuff at the new apartment, we went back to fetch the cats. It was easy to convince Wawa to load her up in the car. Baobao was a very different story. The first challenge was to hold her (at which she hisses). Another challenge was to be able to hold her AND carry her all the way to the car — impossible. You may be saying “use the pet carrier!”. But noooo. She’s already associated the pet carrier with “going to the doctors and get jabbed with a needle”. Just seeing one makes her nervous, let alone getting her into one.

At the end, we spent 20+ minutes dancing with her and cornered her at her favorite lookout window. It was over when we got her front paws into the carrier. No animals or humans were hurt in this exercise.

Baobao ended up spending the night exploring the new apartment. Wawa took the night off and hid herself under our bed. As for us, we dropped like a couple of dead flies on our bed after shower. Perhaps it was the new place; or perhaps we were too disoriented from the move, neither of us slept well.

I hate moving.

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Thai Police Certificate

It’s finally here!

After weeks of fact-finding and agonizing time spent waiting, my Thai Police Certificate finally arrived as part of documents needed for our application for Canadian PR.

Grace and I had a bet on which country’s police certificate would be completed first. Taiwan won, hands down. It was done within days (having every bit of information online didn’t hurt).

Naturally, the bet came down to between Thailand and Malaysia.

Thailand didn’t provide much online. But at least a form was available with some instructions from a Thai Embassy in Canada. Armed with that information, Grace still had to call a couple of Thai Embassies in the States to really get the nuts and bolts of the process down.

The same couuldn’t be said about Malaysia, however. The only available information I found was from an Australian Embassy where Malaysia has special diplomatic relations with, hence the instructions were useless. And when Grace called the Malaysian Embassy in L.A., they bounced her between different departments before someone was able to give her something informative. And the person even gave her a tip: “It’d take 3-6 months to process”. The person hinted that it’d be safer to bet on the “SIX” month side of the timeline. And that was back in March.

To be fair, Thai Embassy wasn’t much better. Grace had to call three different embassies just to get everything (L.A. branch bounced calls to automated machine; NYC branch simply defers responsibility to other branches; Chicago branch was the only decent one with a very nice staff). And when she finally talked to someone, instead of a lame “three to six months” guarantee that the Malaysian Embassy provided, the Thai Embassy basically said “it’ll be done when it’s done” without any specific timeline. However, the nice lady on the phone did stress that the process would be “a lot” faster if someone in Thailand were to follow-up physically; my mom came to mind immediately. I also had to get finger printed (for the first time in my life), not one sheet, but THREE sheets of original finger prints.

Taiwan has its issues; efficiency certainly is not one of them. The push of its e-government, where almost every bit of information a citizen would need to make his/her life easier is onilne, has been a very successful one. I can’t even attest to that kind of efficiency about government agencies in Silicon Valley, where the dot-com boom was supposed to have revamped how the government operates.

So efficiency test results: Taiwan one — Thailand/Malaysia: zero.