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Archive for January, 2011

Georgia Aquarium – world’s largest aquarium

January 21st, 2011

Do you know what it is like to be in the World’s largest aquarium? AWESOME 🙂

The Georgia Aquarium, located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA at Pemberton Place, is the world’s largest aquarium with more than 8.5 million US gallons (31,000 m³) of marine and fresh water housing more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species. (Source : Wikipedia)

First of all, the photos here do not really do justice to the awesomeness of the world’s largest aquarium.

Secondly, forget about any of the aquariums that you have visited before, because this is the world’s largest! 🙂

Georgia Aquarium are made up of a few galleries:

  • Cold Water Quest
  • Beluga whales and more give you a glimpse of the rich variety of life found in cold ocean waters. Penguins, southern sea otters and touch pools bring this gallery to life. (Presented by GeorgiaPacific)

  • Georgia Explorer
  • Connect with the Georgia Coast in this highly interactive gallery. A loggerhead sea turtle, lionfish and several touchpools provide an up-close encounter with inhabitants of our state. (Presented by SunTrust)

  • Ocean Voyager
  • Home to whale sharks and manta rays, Ocean Voyager is the world’s largest aquarium exhibit with 6.3 million gallons of water. Watch thousands of animals in front of the largest viewing window in North America. (Built by The Home Depot)

  • River Scout
  • Discover a wide diversity of animals found in the rivers of Africa, South America, Asia and even Georgia. Piranha, Asian small-clawed otters and American alligators illustrate what lives in fresh waters. (Presented by Southern Company)

  • Tropical Diver
  • Living corals and thousands of colorful reef fish present a faithful recreation of a tropical Pacific coral reef, while jellies arrange themselves like a gallery of living art. (Presented by airTran)

  • 4D Theater
  • The 4D Theater is one of the most advanced in the world, employing interactive seats and unique special effects that are built into the theater itself. By creating a set of “4D” effects that are synchronized to the film production, the 4D Theater adds another layer of immersive fun for audiences. (Presented by AT&T)

  • Behind the Scenes Tour
  • Explore the secrets of the Georgia Aquarium! Discover some of our most popular exhibits from a view that only a Behind the Scenes tour can give you! Get closer to the stars of the Aquarium (our animals) and learn about what it takes to keep the world’s largest aquarium running.


Click Photo to enlarge: Feel the stingrays by touching them gently at the Georgia Explorer Touch Pool.


Click Photo to enlarge: Corals in ColdWater Quest Gallery.


Click Photo to enlarge: Visitors touching the corals – ColdWater Quest.


Click Photo to enlarge: Beluga whale in Cold Water Quest.


Click Photo to enlarge: Weedy Sea Dragon, beautiful isn’t it?


Click Photo to enlarge: Penguins! There’s a compartment where kids (or adults) can go in to have a closer view.


Click Photo to enlarge: Looks like a senior penguin.


Click Photo to enlarge: Ocean Voyager aquarium gigantic acrylic viewing window.


Click Photo to enlarge: Ocean Voyager – at certain time, a volunteer will tell you what’s in this gigantic aquarium.


Click Photo to enlarge: Ocean Voyager -hammerhead sharks are enormous.


Click Photo to enlarge: Ocean Voyager – Schools of predatory trevally jacks, squadrons of small and large stingrays, enormous goliath grouper and hammerhead sharks all ply the waters of this ocean habitat containing more than six million gallons of saltwater..


Click Photo to enlarge: With fishes big and small, wonder why the predators does not eat smaller ones? Because they fed them well. 🙂


Click Photo to enlarge: Get a chance to go for Behind the Scenes Tour, and go above the Ocean Voyager Gallery.


Click Photo to enlarge: Ladies working behind the scene.


Click Photo to enlarge: Tropical Diver – Curious garden eels popping up out of the sand standing on their tails.


Click Photo to enlarge: Tropical Diver – Jellyfish.


Click Photo to enlarge: Tropical Diver – One of the largest living reef exhibits of any aquarium in the world


Click Photo to enlarge: Tropical Diver – Close-up shot of aquarium.


Click Photo to enlarge: Information about the exhibits are available in all places.


Click Photo to enlarge: Georgia Aquarium, view from Sun Dial Restaurant.


Click Photo to enlarge: View of the entrance from Baker St. NW, Atlanta, GA

If you intend to cover the entire aquarium and all exhibits, take some time to plan your visit by visiting the official website.
Behind The Scene tour and 4D Theater requires ticket, and you need to get them from the ticket counter.
However, if you’re using the CityPASS, the ticket includes Deepo’s 4-D theater, and a Quick Dip 20-minute tour on top of your expedited entrance. 🙂


View Larger Map

Georgia Aquarium is a must-visit attraction in Atlanta, and one thing that I was grateful to have with me then was the Atlanta CityPASS, allowing me to visit six most popular attractions conveniently, and “express entrance” to Georgia Aquarium without the need for a long queue too.

Travel , , , , , , , ,

Windows Phone 7 Plain and Simple

January 4th, 2011

I would have never thought that a smartphone will require a handbook.
Not the iPhone or Android or BlackBerry.
However, there’s this one for Windows Phone 7. Probably there’s a reason to it, because…

The other thing Windows Phone 7 has going for it is
that it’s not just another iPhone clone. (I’m talking to you, Android.)
Microsoft has made a big deal about Windows Phone 7 being “a
different kind of phone.” You can’t always trust marketing hype, of
course, but in this case Microsoft is right: From its modern looks to
its novel approach to organizing and delivering information, there’s
no other phone quite like Windows Phone 7

I really should stop here, because this is a review of the book, and not about the phone. 🙂

Windows® Phone 7 Plain & Simple is an easy, colorful, SEE-HOW guide to Windows Phone 7.

Summary
In summary, this handbook simply guides you how to set up your Windows Phone 7, typing, talking on the phone, managing phone contacts, managing emails, sending messages, and internet browsing.
You should know that the Internet Explorer Mobile does not support Flash or Silverlight and you have been told that you won’t miss them much.
On the entertainment side, it also guides you on playing music and video, taking pictures and videos, using Maps, and getting apps from the Marketplace.
For Windows users, the Office suite would be something integral to the software they always use, so Office Mobile comes with mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and SharePoint Workspace.
If you’re wondering about the background of this author, yes, it was written by someone from the Microsoft team.

My review
The book is written in a plain and simple, fun to read manner.
The content is really simple tutorials, and as simple as learning how to use the phone via a tap, press and hold, flick and swipe, pinch and spread and how not to use a stylus.
The content are colourful too, just like how you can have 10 different accent colours as the phone’s theme. Yes, only 10.
There are some features that you will learn to appreciate though, like recovering your lost Windows Phone 7 from windowsphone.live.com.
You can Find, Lock, or Erase a Lost Phone, which you probably wouldn’t know without doing a search elsewhere or by reading this book.
Every page has at least one picture to show the screen and also steps to accomplish a task with the phone.
In my humble personal opinion, this kind of tutorial book might not be exactly useful for techies or gadget geeks.
It could be more beneficial for people who just transitioned from feature phone to a smartphone, or if you are giving the phone as a gift, this book is worth being a company to it.
If you have bought a smartphone, might as well get a phone case, and a handbook?

My Conclusions
I have been one of those early users of Windows Mobile phone, but never followed through to upgrade once my device broke. It really wasn’t to my liking.
IMHO, just like the PC operating systems, it takes more than a single click/touch/flick to perform any task.
Even stated in this book, to view an up-to-date feed from Facebook and Windows Live— it’s all within three quick flicks of each other.

However, review of the operating system might be on another day, the book is good for the phone, if you’re one of those who reads a gadget’s manual.

By the way, try the iPhone or Android if you haven’t. 🙂

Books, Gadgets, Review ,

Being Geek by Michael Lopp – A must read for software developers

January 3rd, 2011

My Review
This is one of those books that should be read by software developers in particular. Just like the subtitle, this is 100% – The Software Developer’s Career Handbook.
It’s not a programming guide book, but definitely one that is full of valuable advices and facts for your career advancement, if you intend to stay in software development.
I would have appreciated if I got to read this very much earlier, but it’s better late than never.
If you do not have an elder sibling in software development that could give you advice on how to progress in your career or what’s in store in the world of software development, this book is definitely for you.
The author, Michael Lopp, is/was a software developer with many years of experience, in various companies. He started writing about software development and various topics in his popular blog Rands In Repose.
Most of the content in this book is a compilation of the writings from his blog.

Summary
Michael has split the content into a few chapters that you can read individually, and to provide all the experience and facts he had gathered for your own decision-making.

Software Developer Career
How to actively engage and perform better in an interview. Identification of the different types of people who you can have a better interview with certain strategies.
Negotiation of a salary and how it should be calculated.
In the end of the chapter though, the love of what you do is still important as your career is your business and nobody else.

Management
According to Michael Lopp, everyone is a manager. Every manager is different but a manager should have 1:1 or 1 to 1 session with every subordinate.
Find out what type of meetings you should participate and which that you can skip, and would not jeopardize yourself.
Like the chain of command, the chain or flow of information and decisions should be strictly followed in any organization to ensure flawless communication.
Again, the author is able to identify the few types of managerial personalities that you can relate to.
There are also a few personalities when it comes to a knee jerk (change) situation.
Team building, including introducing games and ways to keep the group doing things well.

Understanding Nerds
Only a geek or nerd knows what it really is to be a nerd. Some of the personalities of a nerd include having control issues, building himself in a cave, loves toys and puzzles, has an amazing appetite for information, builds an annoyingly efficient relevancy engine (the part that I liked most), and according to the author, is fucking funny.

Looking for the next Gig
Considering your next career move? Again some valuable tips for the interview and also your performance or yearly review.
And before you do jump into your next gig, some questions to consider before actually making the jump. Are you going to a startup or established company? A branded corporation? Development or Managerial?
The author has valuable insights for such questions leaving the decision making entirely up to you, making them informed decisions.

Conclusion
Yes, this post is summarized because being a geek/nerd will automatically extract relevancy from any given piece of incoming information.
So if you’re a geek, Being Geek is surely for you.

Books, Review, Software , , , ,