Blog Moved!

This is my new blog address (, moved from my old one at I have to move it because I just change my webhosting server.

Actually, my WordPress Blog got hacked around mid of June. I notice it from Google Analytics report that my blog page views dropped to almost zero in just 2 weeks. I was too busy to act quickly and by the time I realized it, my Blog was not accesable at all.

The last time I access my Blog was about 3 weeks ago, was trying to upgrade my WordPress to 3.2 from 3.1.x. However, I couldn’t do it since I was using Yahoo for my webhosting (shame on me for using Yahoo Webhosting ๐Ÿ˜ ). The new WordPress requires mySQL 5 while Yahoo only supports mySQL 4.

I’ve been planning to move my websites from Yahoo since 1-2 years ago so I thought like ‘this is it!’. So yesterday, I just move my Portfolio ( and my Blog from Yahoo.

Almost everything from the old blog are availble on my new domain, There might be themes changing or some broken images. I’m still working on it and sorry for the inconvenience.

Stay tune ๐Ÿ™‚

My Work Permit: This year is much easier

Unlike the last 2 years, my work permit extension for this year is much easier. Even better, my wife and I got 2 years extension ๐Ÿ™‚

Everything was started 3 months before.

Normally, you have to wait for the immigration office (Auslanderbehoerde) to send you an appointment letter via post. Last year, the letter came 10 days before my permit ended. When we met the officer, we found out that we need an approval from the state job agency (Arbeitsamt) which took another 4 weeks. For almost 1 month, I couldn’t work…

So this year, I wrote an e-mail (in German) to them asking for earlier appointment. I’m lucky to have my friend to help me translating the e-mail ๐Ÿ˜‰ It took 2 weeks to get a reply. They send me an appointment letter via post. Strangely, even though I wrote the e-mail 3 months in advance (explaining why and including the last year’s nightmare), they still gave me an appointment in early October, which was 8 days before the expired date of my permit.

So I talked to my HRD, asked her nicely to help me. She contacted the immigration office, wrote them e-mails, fax them some my documents, and make sure that 10 days was actually enough to get my visa extended. After 2 weeks, she get an confirmation e-mail. The e-mail stated that I don’t have to get approval from the Arbeitsamt since I have been working on the same company for the last 2 years.

On the appointment date, 5th of October, we went to immigration office. We went directly to the officer room, gave him our documents, and got a waiting number. One hour later, he gave us our new permits and explained that we got 2 years permit ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

He was nice to us and we left after saying thank you with a big smile ๐Ÿ™‚

Everything went well! On our new permit, we are allowed to work on any company or even do freelancing ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to Doreen, my HRD, for being patient enough dealing with the immigration stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

HP TM2 and Palm Rest while Sketching

When I sketch, I tend to rest my palm on the surface, either it’s paper, sketchbook, or my HP TM2.

I read that it’s a problem on iPad. You can’t rest you palm on the screen since it will detect you palm as input and you’ll get unwanted line or gestures. There are some techniques to deal with this problem such asย putting a thin foam under your palm or wearing a fingerless glove.

Luckily, the good thing about HP TM2 that it has palm detection or rejection. You can rest you palm on the screen while using the pen. TM2 is smart enough to turn off the touch sensor if you use pen.

I really love this device. Combine with Logitech Notebook Riser and …. voila!! Feels like working on Wacom Cintiq ๐Ÿ˜€

HP TM2 sketching

Of course, the pen only supports 256 pressure sensitive, no tilt sensor, and the screen is not that sharp compare to iPad, but hey, it’s affordable and you get a fully-working mobile computer ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you really want to do sketching professionally, maybe it’s better to buy Wacom Cintiq anyway (my dream device… drooling…)

Note: There is a software solution on Ipad (

My New Laptop TM2: Part 2

Some tips or things that I experienced while playing around with my new toy: HP TouchSmart TM2:

  • I give up German windows. Fortunately, you can install English language without having to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate Edition. I used a hack tool Vistalizator and I didn’t get any problem installing English language to my German Windows 7. The UI changes, the folder name, everything without having to re-install! Just be careful and use it at your own risk.
  • The pen has only one button and weight much lighter that any Wacom pen that I ever had (Graphire 2 and Bamboo). and it feels cheap ๐Ÿ™
  • The pressure sensitive is only 256 levels, compare to 512 levels on small Bamboo tablet. If you really paint professionally, this limitation might bother you. For me, this is just fine. I just adjust the pen to lighter pressure.
  • ArtRage 2.5 works pretty well including the pressure sensitive!
  • Sketching on the screen is much better than using the Tablet (well, except the Wacom Intuos ๐Ÿ˜€ )
  • The Corel Paint It! Touch (bundled software) is nice. You can paint using your finger or the pen.
  • The keyboard is really nice. It does not have this cheap-plastic feeling ๐Ÿ˜‰ but it does not have backlight
  • The screen can detect pen or touch mode, but only one can active at a time. So your palm will not be detected even if it touch the screen, as long as you are still using the pen (at least still hovering the pen tip on the screen). This is useful when you use the laptop as a tablet (with folded keyboard and only using the pen)

bonus: here’s my quick megaman sketch using ArtRage2.5

My New Laptop: HP TouchSmart TM2

My old Acer Aspire 2000 laptop is old. It’s almost 6 years old, with 1.6GHz Pentium M and 768MB memory. It has a big crack near the screen lid which causing the delete button stuck sometimes and cannot close the monitor. and I had 5 times harddisk failures. It’s time to get a new computer ๐Ÿ™‚

New HP TM2

meet my new HP TM2

My options were betweenย Sony Vaio VPC-EB1Z1E and HP TouchSmart TM2. Why did I pick TM2?

  • Saw it on Project Runway! I was immediately sold when I saw the designers were sketching using HP TM2. “That’s what I want!”
  • Beautiful laptop. I always complain how uncreative laptop manufacturers with their texture/color. HP TM2 is different although its floral pattern might not suitable for everyone.
  • I love to sketch! Tablet PC or Wacom Cintiq have always been on my dream gadget list. Unfortunately, they are quite expensive. HP TM2 is quite affordable tablet (899 EUR) and its screen supports pressure sensitve pen and multi-touch too!

It wasn’t easy to get this laptop since I want the English version.ย I called HP office Germany. The guy on the phone couldn’t speak English and he said that you can only get German version. I checked the UK website for HP and found out that they cannot send the laptop outside UK.

Generally, it’s quite hard to get English laptop in Germany.ย I went to Sony and other laptop stores and they recommend me to buy from Internet and have it sent from UK.ย German laptop means QWERTZ keyboard and German Windows 7. Unless you pay extra 150 EUR for an upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate, you cannot change the Windows language to English.

After long time browsing around, I gave up and decided just to buy the German laptop.ย From the Internet, I found out that the laptop was available at CyberPort store Berlin. For me, it’s always nice to buy directly from a real shop.

The pen works really fine, it has pressure sensitive although not as good as my Wacom Bamboo.ย The touch screen works really good. The monitor has glare but it’s unnoticeable when I’m too busy reading, writing, coding, or even sketching. I also don’t have any problem with its small screen.ย I’m still having problem understanding the German Windows but it’s really fun to sketch and playing around using the pen.

Stay tuned for more review ๐Ÿ˜‰