Sunday, 24 November 2013

Working Full-time and Study, Small Tips to Handle an Effective Life

It has been five months since I was back to school. Life has been changing dramatically. It's not easy to handle everything perfectly when you're stuck in the middle of a full-time job, part-time or full-time study and family. Sometimes you're exhausted. Many times you are disappointed. However, never give up! I will give some tips that I've been using to maintain my life balance in this post.

(Image source:
I'm ready for changes, so are you?

Saturday, 7 September 2013

InstallShield: Suppress Restart Messages in the middle of Software Upgrade or Uninstallation

I'm back to Installation development in this post. This time, I'll show some personal tips to get rid of restart recommended messages in the middle of software upgrade or uninstallation. First of all, let me make it clear. This is just a temporary solution under some specific conditions and trade-offs. I won't seek for a perfect solution in this post. Should you do, I don't think this post will be helpful for you. You can save your time by looking for other sources on the Internet instead. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Free app: My favorite PDF Reader ever for both Windows and Android

I've been a user of Foxit Reader for more than 5 years. I feel like I'm responsible for a thank, and Foxit is deserved a post on my blog. Yeah, if you're looking for a free and compact PDF reader, you know its name now: It's very simple and does the great job as a reader. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

My Blog is Two Year Old – Happy Second Birthday!

One more year has passed. Compared with last year, this year, I could make just about 20 posts. That is a modest number, but it is still able to show my effort and determination to maintain my cyber space here. My life has turned to many important pages just in one year. Those changes are the main factors occupying all of my time budget. Therefore, the time left for this space is also cut short. Anyway,  I can keep going on with my stories below. For now, happy second birthday to my dear blog!

(Image source:

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Summer Goodness: Strawberries Picking at Stoneheaven Farms

Compared to winter, summer in Canada is pretty short; therefore, it's very precious. We've been so busy these days, but we were still able to make a short trip to a local farm to firstly enjoy the summer day-out, and secondly do some strawberries picking for fun. We had a very nice trip at Stonehaven Farms. The farm was pretty large, and there were like just fewer than 20 people around. We really love it! No crowd, no mess!


Sunday, 30 June 2013

School time, once again: Online studying and Canadian Bridging Program

My blog is getting a fewer posts in the last couple of months regardless of my great effort to keep it up with at least one or two posts per month. It has been also awhile since my last update on studying journey. Therefore, this post will make a brief summary on what is happening at my side. 

(Image Source:

Saturday, 22 June 2013

InstallShield: Dealing with Major upgrade on a new project?

What is major upgrade? Usually, we require major upgrade if we either add/remove features or we want to force to remove all old files on target system before installing new files. Sometimes, adding components or removing components also require major upgrade. Those are very basic concepts in installation development, especially working with InstallShield (or Windows Installer). You've been doing major upgrade without problems for years on your current projects. Now you need to enforce major upgrade for a new project (previous developed by someone else) and it suddenly doesn't work at all. Checking installation log file, IS_MAJOR_UPGRADE is clearly set to YES. Then why?

(Source: from the Internet)

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Book review: Stay Confident by John Caunt

I have had a great chance to work and know a young and kind Indian friend from my old company. In age, he's much younger than me. However, I've seen in him something I called "struggling"; Struggling of a young person who is trying to escape from his unclear goals and aim to better values in life. Whenever I talked to him, I always put myself in the position that I was talking to a person who may advance very far in the future. He yearned to learn, but he was not able to tell what would be his right destination. I think that's very normal to a young person. Not only him, it's been happening to me all the time as well. So why do I write about him now? Before he left Canada, he offered me a lot of books. Today, I will write a first review on one of his books. Therefore, I write these lines firstly to thank him, and secondly to wish him the best in his future endeavor.

The book today is Stay Confident from John Caunt. The edition in my hand was published way back in the past (2009!). The cover picture is not exactly the same as the one below, but I hope you get the idea. 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

InstallShield: One basic tip for using Install Level and SetupType dialog to control features in Custom Setup

Working with software packaging, just soon or late, you will ask the question how to show/hide or select/deselect a feature during setup. The larger your packaging projects are, the sooner the question comes. Sometimes, it becomes very tricky to control the features during setup and one little bug may cost you a couple of good days to trace to the root. It will be more complicated if you're working on projects created  and designed by many other people before you. This post will show you a small tip to deal with custom setup in two scenarios: fresh installation and major upgrade.  

(Source: here)

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Enhanced Language Training Placement Assessment (ELTPA)

After an entry for CLB last month, today I'm writing a bit about ELTPA test in Canada. This post will be very brief actually. Usually, if you're planning to join a Bridging program from one of Universities/Colleges in Canada, they require CLB score of 7 or 8.  If you have failed to get that CLB score in your first attempt, you won't be able to resit the test within 6 months. Here is the reason for ELTPA taking place. This is the next test candidate for those who pass CLB 6 or higher but still not meet their need. Some Bridging programs or colleges in Canada will consider this ELTPA as an alternative for CLB if ELTPA score is higher than CLB, not all of them. Before attempting ELTPA, you should confirm with your education institute to see if they accept it. If you just want to self experience, go ahead and acquire as much as you can. Since it's hard to find useful info about ELTPA, this post will try to describe what I've known about the test after my own test. The post is not an absolute guide from any officially Canadian Language Assessment office. Please be advised!


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Canadian Language Benchmark Test (CLB)

It has been awhile since my last post. I'm getting longer and longer gap between posts now. It seems to me that my life is just moving forward by exponential of busy level. One year ago, I thought that maybe I could never find any busier moments than that time in my life later on. I was wrong. Now I know how it looks like when I have to tighten every single minute in my days. Anyway, let's drive back to the topic for today. I just took CLB test last week. Since the test is just used in Canada, it was too hard to find some information about test format or framework on the Internet. I think I should share some tips and hope they works out for people who needs the test score for a university/college application. 


Friday, 29 March 2013

InstallShield: Why minor upgrade doesn't overwrite old files?

Today, I will share my experience around the question: Why suddenly minor upgrade doesn't overwrite old files? It always rocks but not this time! I used to struggle for an answer at least twice in just a couple of months. To resolve this question completely, the last time, I determined to find out the root cause (yes, I paid   a good half day on it!). Some of you may wonder, why I had to wait until the last time to solve the issue, but the first time? Actually, it's understandable: TIME issue. Sometimes, we rush for release and we just need to make things move first. With this kind of issue, the most difficult part is tracing out the root cause, fixing it is not really a big deal. Enforcing major upgrade is always a  perfect workaround to overcome this issue. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Book Review: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Are you fast or slow thinker? Wait a second, don't answer it yet. Why? Simply it's not an easy question :-o). To really understand the question and be able to grasp some hint-sights, let me introduce you to the book: Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Pows or Pork Steamed Buns or Banh Bao - Whatever you want to call it!

I've been looking for Banh Bao from every single Vietnamese restaurant I've been to. However, I was not lucky enough to find exactly the one we had back home. All of them were a kind of Chinese dim sums or dumplings. I wanted our Banh Bao so badly. I missed our Banh Bao, and thus I made it. 

(Image Source: from the Internet, found by Google Image Search)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

I'm in love with Ukulele

First of all, HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR to my friends and family. A year past, a year of dragon, a year of pain, yet also a year of joy and success. May the new year, a year of snake, bring you health, happiness and prosperity. 

Secondly, I'll introduce you to my new love, Ukulele. 

(Image source: from the Internet)

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Mass converting InstallShield Binary project files to XML format

It's been so long and so far, it seems like my blog carries just a few IT professional entries (or another way to say, there is only one, LOL). There were many reasons, but the most important one was that I've never thought I'm able to write anything here that you cannot find  an answer somewhere else on the Internet. Google is a magic wand, with just couple of key words, it will lead you as far as you are willing to go. 

However, I'm thinking in a different way now. If my expertise isn't that special, I still should share some simple tips for beginners (like me), who are struggling to reveal an answer from hundreds of Google returns as I was. Also, if I'm lucky enough, I may receive some good feedback to improve my work. Again, Google will introduce my blog to strangers and some of those strangers may turn to be my great supporters. This entry thus will introduce a tiny piece of work on InstallShield project format conversion from binary to XML by commands (of course you can use the same routine to convert back from XML to binary).  

Friday, 25 January 2013

Let the music heal your soul

I've been keen on music heavily recently and therefore I cannot refrain myself from sharing some of melodies here (I swear I tried so much to hold it on but I cannot bear any longer, LOL). Maybe this is also one of good signals for my guitar journey, who knows? Anyways, let me tour you through some of them here. I cannot help myself but keep repeating them again, again and again whenever sitting down with my computer. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 

(Image: from the Internet)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

First Guitar and A Long Journey Kickoff

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! How was your long holiday? My holiday was great for sure. There was time with family, time for relaxing, and time for gifts, LOL. Aside all lovely gifts from my family, I also rewarded myself a new and special 'toy'. I've been wishing for this 'toy' for more than 2 years so far.  Finally I got it! Hopefully this 'toy' will bring me back to the long postponed journey - the dream to be an amateur guitarist.

(Image source: from the Internet)

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