It almost 4am and I am about to roll into bed. It’s a good thing I’m not waking up until noon tomorrow because I am tee-eye-erd. I got home just before 2am after taking a cab on EA’s dime. My cab driver told me he currently has a daughter traveling through in India at the moment. She’s in the city of Mumbai right now. She’s ok but you can chalk this one up to some bad timing.

After I got home, I decided to eat an entire plate of thinly sliced salami. It was damn tasty. I chased it down with a holiday-themed Rice Krispy square. It had red and green kernels in it. So now I will get into my teddy bear jammies and go to sleep.


Today EA issued a press release on when skate 2 will be at stores. For those living in North America, you can buy it on January 21. The rest of the world will have to wait two more days. If I may and I believe I can, since this is my blog, I would like to mention I’d really appreciate it if you could purchase a copy of skate 2 when it comes out. I put a lot of work into it and it has some very cool features that would enhance your life enjoyment. Even if you don’t play video games, consider a purchase. The thickness of the game’s case is perfect for those pesky unbalanced table legs. At the very least, please tell your friends about the game.

In related news, I was told today by my manager not to come into work until 2pm until further notice. As we’re finishing up, we’re trying to get as much coverage during the day and evening as possible. That means we’d like a software engineer in our area to be present for as much of the 24 hours as possible. I’ll start at 2pm and be there until 10pm. I’m quite happy about that since I’m hard-wired night owl. Sure, I don’t have my evenings free but since I’ve worked so much OT now, I’m not sure how many friends I have left anyways. I’m actually quite pleased about being able to sleep in now.

Unfortunately, this won’t last beyond two weeks as I’m sorta penciled in to start my holidays at the beginning of December. Until then, it’s time for some sleep.


In 1999, I spent just over $100 to buy a DVD drive for my computer. It was one of the most exciting pieces of computer equipment that I had ever bought. Before coming home with it, I went to the video store and rented one of them new-fangled “dee-vee-dees”. I chose Pixar’s A Bug’s Life, the first movie to ever have been completely digitally transfered to the home video medium. At the time, my computer monitor was 4:3 CRT measuring just 15″ diagonally. Gosh darn it though, when that Disney logo came up, I thought I had the coolest thing ever. Though it was only a resolution of 720 x 480, I was in awe of those CGI bugs on the screen. The picture seems so sharp and so flawless. It was then I decided I could never go back to VHS.

Fast forward to almost ten years from then, last Friday actually. I brought home a Blu-ray drive for my computer. Also with me was a copy of Pixar’s Wall-E on Blu-ray disc. It took a bit of tweaking but I finally installed the BD drive. This time around my monitor is a widescreen LCD at 24″, with a resolution of 1920 x 1200. When I saw little Wall-E compacting that trash on my monitor, I was again in awe. It takes a ton of processing horsepower but it’s all worth it for that glorious 1080p picture. HD movies are simply stunning. Mind you, the source material for Wall-E is also digital, so the picture is especially conducive to looking pretty. I could see every little scratch and dent on Wall-E and every reflection coming off Eve. Sure there’s a lot of hype around HD but when it works, it’s simply amazing. I’m just watching it on a piddly 24″ monitor, I can just imagine what it looks like on a 42″ LCD TV.

Much like Jerry Seinfeld and first class, I can’t go back to DVD! I won’t!


This weekend, the teenage vampire/romance film Twilight was the number one movie at the box office. The movie is based off the Twilight series of books from author Stephenie Meyer. Up until perhaps a month ago, I didn’t even know these books nor the film existed. Nor did I realize until then how popular the series was with young adults. Anyways, I have since found out the fans of the books are quite enthusiastic about the fiction.

Now stick with me here because this might sound a little bit strange. A few months ago, I wrote one of my much acclaimed “Brush with Greatness” series of posts. This particular post dealt with a young lady I know who auditioned for the CBS reality show Amazing Race and was chosen to be on the show but had to bow out unfortunately. “Gen” is a pretty cool individual, so it wasn’t difficult to see how she was able to impress the folks at CBS.

It turns out “Gen” is also famous for another thing and she’s never really mentioned this to most people in her life. “Gen” used to be an assistant at a literary agency in NYC. She was the one that read Stephenie Meyers’ original submission and deemed it good enough for more consideration. The rest, as they say, is best-selling history. If you go to Ms. Meyers’ web site, she credits “Gen” for her big break into the world of publishing.

Since the movie has come out, “Gen” has been inundated with dozens of friend requests on Facebook from Twilight fans. You can probably find her full name out there and the fans have been trying to somehow get closer to the world of Twilight. I believe she’s politely declined all of the requests but interesting to see how pop culture works like that.

A double dose of greatness from “Gen”!


A video game came out this week entitled Left 4 Dead. The game has a simple premise. The planet has suffered a worldwide apocalypse. Most of the human population has been changed into murderous and ravenous beings that appear to be running dead, they are the “Infected”. Game players are the “Survivors”, people who have somehow avoid being turned into one of the “Infected”. The “Survivors” now must fight for their lives in a world turned upside down. The game is best played cooperatively over the Internet with three other “Survivors”.

If you know me even a little, this sounds right up my alley. Indeed it is, yet, I don’t even own this game yet. I’m so busy with work, trying to get skate 2 out the door, I have very little time to do anything else other than eating and ensuring my genitals clothes are clean. The game will be done soon but even then, I have to do some prep work for L4D. First, I gotta make sure my video drivers are up to date. If we’re gonna barricade ourselves in a warehouse, I need to have silky smooth frame rates. Second, I need to buy a decent headset for my computer. Communication is vital in L4D. If I’m going to screaming “reloading” every five seconds, my buddies near to hear it.

I’m not sure when I’ll be joining the good fight but let’s hope it’s soon.


If you live in Vancouver, you undoubtedly have detected a definite chill in the air as low temperatures have been just one or two degrees above freezing in the evening. Despite this, I’ve been resisting the temptation or the common sense to break out my winter coat. I’m not sure why I’m against bringing it out. Maybe it’s a sign that I acknowledge that the winter is upon us and that cold and dark days are here. It’s interesting to note that I understand despite what I wear, that won’t change the weather. Perhaps I just don’t want to wear a bulky coat so soon. Maybe I’m just bored of my coat and need a new one.

In any case, because I’m still hanging onto my lighter coat, I’ve been forced to dress in extra layers to keep warm. I wonder how long I’ll keep this up.


For all the time I’ve spent using computers, very little of that has been on those of the laptop or notebook variety. When I was in first year undergrad, I actually moved into residence without owning a single computer. That year, I borrowed a laptop for three days to write up a report. It was the firs time I’d spent any real time using one of fancy things.

Ever since, I’ve never had any real requirement for a laptop. I don’t travel for work and I really don’t need to compute while mobile. I also never saw the appeal of sitting at a Starbucks with half-decaf latte and writing the next great novel on superslim notebook. In my over ten years of surfing for pornography buying computers, it’s all been desktops for me.

Last month though, I had the opportunity to take a laptop from work with me to my trip to Ottawa during Thanksgiving. It was a real revelation to me having that piece of equipment along every part of the trip. Even before I left Vancouver, the laptop proved its worth. Sitting in an unused boarding gate, I was able to use the free YVR wireless to read my e-mail and find out one of the wedding guests was going to depart for Ottawa just twenty minutes before my flight. I was able to meet up with her before connecting again on the Ottawa end.

On the plane, I was able to a variety of TV shows and movies that I had chosen before I left my home. Though in-flight entertainment is pretty good these days, it’s always nice to have your own material. While in Ottawa, I was able to check both my personal and work e-mail accounts, use Google maps, and get general touristy type info. It was all very convenient and handy, making my trip that much easier.

Before I even returned to Vancouver, I decided it would be nice to invest in a suitable portable computing device. After a tiny bit of research and some a slightly impulsive reflex, I decided to purchase a Dell Mini 9 netbook. The Mini falls under the relatively new class of netbooks, which are ultra-small and portable, and are supposed to be decently priced. You can get more details of about the Mini here but this is how I decided to spec out my own model. I went for Windows XP Home for my OS. You can get a Linux distribution but I wanted my netbook to complement my desktop which runs XP as well. I decided on the 16 Gb solid-state drive. It’s an extra $40 over the default 8Gb but trust me, it’s worth the money. You currently can’t upgrade the SSD to anything bigger, so you can see it’s value right there. I stupidly paid an extra $30 upgrade the RAM from 512 Mb to 1 Gb. Save yourself the cash and use it to buy a 2 Gb stick after the fact and install it yourself. I did so and it only cost me $20. I did not choose to get an integrated webcam. According to a friend, this was a good choice, as in his words, “a webcam is only useful if you’re a hot chick.” Exterior wise, I was able to pick between the black or white. I chose the glossy piano black finish.

I’ll skip over the rest of the specs, except you should know the Mini 9 has a display resolution of 1024 x 600, small but most importantly (at least to me) that is in a widescreen aspect ration. I’ve had the Mini now for several weeks and I mainly use it while commuting to watch TV shows and movies which I have, ahem, legally acquired over the Internet. In that regard, it’s excellent. In one day of commuting, I can usually get through one episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles or two episodes of The Clone Wars or just before the last musical act of an SNL. The Mini boots up in less than 20 seconds, so I’m ready to go without any appreciable delay. The 8.9″ LCD screen is good enough for what it needs to do though I wish it wasn’t glossy as reflections can be a problem on a bus or when Skytrain is above ground. The 1.6 GHz Atom processor is speedy enough for simple entertainment tasks but don’t expect to play the latest games on the Mini.

I only have a few minor complaints with the Mini. First, I’m still getting used to a touchpad, so I’m not as nimble with it as a mouse. Perhaps, this is inherent to any touchpad but sometimes I touch-click when I don’t mean to. I think it also helps to turn off the touch scroll bars as I always scroll by accident. The keyboard is also compressed to accomodate its small size. I understand the compromise here so maybe I shouldn’t put this down as complaint though it is sometimes awkward to get at the function keys. Lastly, I recommend stripping down the Mini so that it can work as fast as it possibly can. The SSD comes compressed to save space but that really makes it slow. I suggest decompressing the drive so it’s speedier. Also, try to uninstall as much crap as possible that you don’t need. Dell preinstalls a lot of stuff for you that you might not want. I did so to save drive space and to free up more resources.

In summary, I’m quite pleased with my purchase. It makes my commute seem very short and I can forsee it helping when I go travelling as well.


As many of you know, I’m working on a game called skate 2. For the first game, the artists put all the team members’ names in signs in the fictional city of San Vanelona. In my case, I owned a series of lobster restaurants. For skate 2, they’ve again done the same thing but the artwork is much better and some people even have 3D signs rather than just flat billboards.

If you don’t tell the artists what kind of sign you want, they’ll just make something up for you. I found out that Jamie was the artist who had the block of names that I was in. When I came over to talk to him about my sign I discovered he had already mocked up a sign of some sorta vegetable stand I owned. This was probably due to some placeholder text I had inserted in the game early on somewhere. Anyways, I told him I really didn’t want to own a series of vegetable stands in New San Vanelona, so I asked him if he could do something with a fried chicken establishment. Jamie said he’d do his best, so I let him do his work.

Weeks passed by and I got an e-mail from Jamie saying he’d finished the sign and that it had been placed somewhere in the city. It took a while to find but I eventually found my sign somewhere in the Old Town district which is the part of the city which most resembles Barcelona and evokes a bit of an European feel. Not only did I discover “Erwin’s Fried Chicken”, I also found out it’s also a franchise! Look for EFCs all over Old Town with a distinct, large flagship location near City Hall!

I’m so happy that from the ruins of the destroyed San Van, I was able to rebuild and open up a series of seemingly successful fried chicken joints. I’d love to show you my stores but I can’t do that until the game is out, which should be… soon. Stay tuned!


I’ve decided that I need a “About the Author” section for this blog. From the logs, I can see many people looking for the other Erwin Tangs in the world. To be sure, there aren’t that many but I want the people of the Internets they got this ET, not some other ET. Look for this new but small section hopefully soon.


When you spend as much time at work as I do, you probably have plenty of opportunities to conduct “bathroom business”. Luckily, on the floor where I work, there’s a luxurious washroom where one can conduct such business. Deemed the “executive washroom”, it’s a spacious, single occupant palatial retreat. Featuring a large and stylish porcelain sink, wood paneling, and a wealth of reading material, it’s the place to “go”.

When I first started using said palatial retreat, I noticed something very odd. When I sat down, there seemed to be a genuine warmth emanating towards my posterior. I thought it was my imagination but sure enough, I wasn’t imagining things. The water in the toilet bowl was so warm, it got to the point where it was actually conducting heat to my ass. To this day I’m not sure it’s done on purpose as a matter of comfort but I’m not complaining. Also, the water isn’t hot all the time, which is kinda weird. I have to admit, if you’re gonna get splashed on the butt, it’s better to have warm water than cold.

I strongly suggest you try it out at home, just so you can say you’ve experience it. The next time you gotta go, try boiling a sufficient amount of water beforehand. Then carefully and I mean carefully, take the hot water over to the bowl and dump it in there. Make sure it’s enough to be appreciable. Then proceed with your business as usual. I’m not sure if it’ll change your life but it might be a good ice-breaker for the next party you’re at.