Minecraft Report–Skycraper

December 18th, 2010 by tungsai

So the skyscraper isn’t done yet but here’s what I got done last night. (Click to Enlarge)


I’ve decided to use redstone torches on the upper tapering part (I really need to learn more architecture terms)! I’d also like to add:

– floors that people can mod to their heart’s content (Might be a good idea for an even bigger building nearby too!)
– Boativator?
– Nice stairwell
– Waterfall + pretty fish pond in Lobby
– Blinking redstone lights to give it that modern aircraft warning light
– Obsidian somewhere artsy

Last night a creeper appeared in the lobby… imagine my horror! I led him around a lot till he fell down to the old building, then he got stuck in the doorway. I tried to then kill him by hand… Bad Idea. he exploded, taking out a large portion of the historic old building area. I rebuilt it best as I could, to the original setup, but I guess every historic piece of architecture has some tragic period where war or vandals destroyed some part of it, eh?

The map is not updated; it takes fore-EVER to upload the new map files (over 8,800 png files!), so I haven’t done it again yet. I will do it when the skyscraper’s complete.

I need a NAME for this thing!


December 17th, 2010 by tungsai

Where do I start?

At the beginning, I suppose. So, I had heard about this game from a couple of co-workers, one of which has a foot in the gaming industry (Computer games, that is). Also, curiously, from a friend of mine’s thirteen-year old son. Minecraft. Apparently, it was so enthralling that I was recommended to check it out immediately. “Like legos”, I was told. Well, as a kid, I LOVED Legos, and I still have my lego collection, modest as it is… but, upon seeing the game for the first time, I was rather put off. At first glance, it looks cheesy. All of the graphics are intentionally made to resemble old original Nintendo graphics. Still, I was intrigued enough to try it out.

I think it’s safe to refer to my significant other as a “Minecraft Widow” at this point.

I’m not going to waste my breath describing the details of the game to you, but I will say that it’s so ground-breaking, so different from any other game previously, that it has indeed created an new *Genre* of games. “World-building”, perhaps?

Since I’ve heard about it, I’ve purchased it for three people as gifts, and I’d say a good ten people at work actively play it. I know of one other guy who runs a server, and I also run a server. It’s in Alpha production, (Goes Beta on Dec. 20), and already has over 3 million registered users.

Here is the google maps of our world.

Here’s a couple shots of my skyscraper being built:



How to import an Excel Spreadsheet into a Sharepoint 2010 List

September 17th, 2010 by tungsai

Older how-to’s were inadequate. Microsoft made me watch a 25 minute video. I have boiled it down to these basic steps.

  1. First, examine the spreadsheet itself. Ensure the following:
    – The first row consists of headers (labels) for each column.
    -No blank rows or columns exist.
    -Ensure that each column of data is the same format (Number, Date, Text, currency, etc.)
    -Then format the range of cells you want to import as a table.
  2. Ensure that you have privileges to create lists.
  3. Click on Site Actions > More Options. Under “Filter By” on the left menu, click “List”. Scroll down & find “Import Spreadsheet” icon in the big middle menu pane, then click Create.
  4. Type a Name, and Description.
  5. Click “Browse…”, browse to the file, select it, then click “Import”.
  6. Excel opens, you may see it blinking in the task bar. select it, and you see the “Import to Windows SharePoint Services List”.
  7. for “Range Type”, leave as “Table Range”.
  8. In the drop-down for “Select Range”, and you should see the “sheet 1 table 1” that you created before. Click Import.

To see the entire video, http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/sharepoint-lists-iii-create-a-list-based-on-a-spreadsheet-RZ101874356.aspx?section=4


February 19th, 2010 by tungsai

eating my last breakfast for this tip. 3 weeks go by in a flash! didn’t get very good sleep last night as usual before a big flight. packing till 1am, mia waking crying as usual. stressed about not being able to pack everything as usual. but i’ve got my fried instant-heart-attack yummy fried elephant ear/egg type thingy and a cup of coffee so i’m happy for the moment.

hongie’s sister & mom just got here and we’re re-packing some crap in boxes that we forgot to pack before. throwing up random pics.

February 10th, 2010 by tungsai

Mia's New Friend

We went to visit Hongmei’s friend Zheng Qi, and her son Wang Chuan Yi. We had fun playing! For dinner we had Mongolian Lamb Meatballs, so yummy!! Mushrooms, Chinese-style tofu tortilla with pork & eggplant; little stir-fried fish, and corn with sweet syrup.


February 8th, 2010 by tungsai

Videos have been published to an FTP site.

If you are interested, E-mail me.

Day 6

February 8th, 2010 by tungsai

Day 6. It’s been impossible to keep up with the blog. Pretty much the past few days have been jam-packed with activity, and little time to sit down to devote to writing. Right now, though, Mia’s getting ready to take a nap, so there’s nothing to do except hang around the apartment.

Going back and doing a day-by-day “What we did” is too difficult now… it’s all run together already, and we’ve only been here six days. I’m just going to write about things in general so far anyway.

So- Today, we’re at Hongmei’s Sister, Hongyen’s, apartment. She is married with one daughter, Bao Xi, age 9. They live in a small town north of Tianjin. It took about an hour to drive up here from Hongmei’s Aunt’s apartment. It’s a lot more luxurious here! We have an actual sit-down toilet, more rooms for privacy, and a marble-tiled floor.

It’s really interesting to observe how many of the details of things are here. I’m not talking about social stuff; I’m talking about refrigerators, outlets, cooking methods, toys, shopping carts… America prides itself on ingeniuity, but I’ve seen so many things here that are so clever, it makes you want to slap your forehead and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Still, conversely, some things are done in a backwards, inefficient manner as compared to how they’re done in America, that I think to myself, “Why in the heck do they DO it that way?”
For example, it is quite common to see people sweeping the street, or floor, with an old, careworn straw broom, with a short handle that forces the user to bend over. A shop push-broom would probably increase the sweeping efficiency on a scale of 500-1000%, but push brooms are simply not a common item. I saw ONE for sale, the last time I was here 3 or so years ago, but it was a sad, neglected item carelessly placed in a dusty corner of the entrance to the supermarket, for sale.
Electrical outlets are, of course, 220 volts here. However, there are two formats for plugging in: Your basic 2-prong plug-in, identical to ours; but their three-prong plug-in is such that the two positive/negative prongs are at angles from each other. In general, all power strips contain two 2-slot outlets, one 3-prong outlet, and another two-prong outlet on the end face. This is an example of a clever design: Should one only desire to use it as an extension cord to something with two prongs, you can plug it into the end, creating a more streamlined connection, space-wise. To date, I have never observed such a device in America.
Another example of the small engineering differences are the flush toilets. The most common type of flush toilet has two buttons on top of the tank lid. They are designed as two halves of an oval shape; giving a more elegant design to the buttons. One button, usually bigger, is for a full flush; exactly what you’d expect when you flush a toilet. The smaller one simply opens the tank valve as long as you’re pushing it, only flushing for as long as you hold it. This allows you to control the amount of water you’re flushing with.
Cooking is mostly done with older traditional utensils and pots, pans, etc. As I’ve mentioned to lots of other people before, Chinese do not bake anything in their homes. Nobody has an oven. Everything is either fried (stir-fried, or pan fried), boiled, or steamed. Wood and bamboo steamers are used.
Chinese love to drink hot water, and thus her sister’s apartment has a water cooler/heater in the living room; the typical office-type water cooler with the big 5-gallon tank on top of it. The refigerator is also in the living room. This is probably because there is no room in the kitchen; which is actually in a balcony area. The dining area is more like a wide hallway leading to the kitchen, so there’s no room for the fridge there.
Milk is not a commonly purchased item, and it’s actually somewhat of a luxury item. It’s sold mostly in small cartons about the size of a Juicy Juice container, complete with straw, and the straw actually has two tubes so that it’s extendable. It is not necessary to refrigerate it as much as American milk; I’m not sure why; it’s somehow processed to last longer at room temperature. However it will last longer in the fridge so we keep it in the fridge. At the supermarket, I saw all the milk for sale. It was all packaged in very fancy cardboard boxes with glossy print around it, a ribbon stuck to the front, and a plastic window showing the cartons inside, thus further exemplifying it as a luxury item.
Cheese is a rare luxury food item too, being as expensive here as it is in the U.S. I actually saw genuine American “Land O’ Lakes” brand American Cheese and Butter for sale, but they were prohibitively expensive. More expensive than they are in the U.S.! We bought a slightly cheaper brand. I knew it was genuine because the package had no chinese characters on it whatsoever.
Another random example of small engineering differences that seem clever, is the sink stopper in the bathroom sink. Rather than being a long stand with a chrome hubcap on top and a rubber seal, it’s a thick disc fitted in the drainhole and permanently fixed on an axle, so that you can flip it and it comes un-stopped. Hard to explan. I’ll probably make a video of this stuff anyway. This design does force you to stick your hand down into the water to drain the sink, but if you’re that particular about your sink water, then you have problems. Besides, this design is much more maintenance-free, as I can personally vouch for, having replaced some sinks in my past.

Day 1 – The Journey Continues…

February 3rd, 2010 by tungsai

here we are in the something-or-other airport in Korea. Apparently it’s 6:38 PM back home.

Ate at a Bi Bim Bop restaraunt in the airport. They had many interesting ammenities. For instance, to get water with your meal, you retrieved a stainless steel cup from a cabinet that had ultraviolet light to disinfect them, and they were also heated. You had your choice of hot or cold water.

Day 1 – Video 1

February 2nd, 2010 by tungsai

Day 1…

Ready or Not, Here we Go!

January 30th, 2010 by tungsai

Well, not quite yet. Here’s the plan:

In case you didn’t know, we’re going to China for three weeks. This will be my third trip. The first was one week. The second was two weeks, and yes, you guessed it, this trip will be three weeks long. We’re leaving the apartment today, and driving up to my aunt’s in Lisle, where we’ll park the car, have dinner, then call a taxi or limo to take us to the airport. The limos are actually comparable to the taxis, and are far more convenient and luxurious! Our flight leaves at 1am, and we were told by the travel agency to be there THREE HOURS ahead of time… So I guess we’ll take off around 9:30 or so. I think that’s a load of crap, we’re going to end up sitting at the terminal for 2 hours. Oh well… Better safe than sorry, I guess.

Once we get on the plane, the flight is many many hours, to Seoul, Korea. There’s a 3-hour layover there, then we fly to Tianjin. I actually don’t remember what time we’re supposed to touch down, but it’ll take an hour or two to get through customs, get our luggage, all that. From there, we’ll probably be beat and tired and wanna just go to sleep.

I bought this thing, which is supposed to purify water, for $100. Hongie was giving me a hard time about how much money I spent on it, but if you were in my shoes you’d do the same thing, buster. That there Mao Tse Tung’s revenge, or “Travelers diarrhea”, is nothing to take lightly. It’s horrible. Anyway- this thing is basically a wand, with a digital display, and a 3-inch long tube that emits ultraviolet light. supposedly, if you stick it into a cup or bottle of water, and stir it around for 90 seconds or so, it kills 99.99% of the bacteria, viruses, and some other microscopic thing which I forget. critters. I expended some brownie points to get it… I hope the damn thing works.

HA! The auto-correct function wants to turn “Hongie” into “Hoagie”. Awesome! My wife is a sandwich!

I also packed two large bottles of generic Pepto-Bismol, and I have a prescription antibiotic as well, that may help if I do end up getting it anyway.

Another thing I’m bringing are a bunch of recipes I got off the internet, and all my measuring cups and spoons! I hope, that when we get there, I am able to procure an oven, and all the ingredients to bake lots of yummy treats! Cookies, Bread… Yeah, all the things I’m not supposed to eat because I’m “Glucose Intolerant”. Hey, man, I got nothin’ against glucose. But my body does. It’s basically one step away from diabetes, and too much sugar & carb consumption could tip me over the edge when I’m older. But that’s not going to stop me from trying to pump out large quantities of yummy tasty treats if I can! and maybe even cook some good dinners! Apparently, though, it’s pretty tough to locate many ingredients there, and they may end up being really expensive. We’ll see.

So, that’s basically it… the girls are both still sleeping, this is my last time to myself. Naturally I fired up Starcraft and played one last single player game. I’m pretty bored with the standard game, though. I can’t wait for the new version to come out!

In case you didn’t know, China blocks Facebook. I can’t reach people via Facebook there, and Google as you may know is talking about pulling out of China as well; which would mean more limited access to my e-mail. Of course, I won’t have a phone; and if I did, there are only a couple times per day that are convenient to talk to people on the other side of the world: Early in the morning, and late at night!

So I’m going to try and reach this blog; and keep updates through this channel.