Zocoi Vietnamese /ʒoʊ kɔɪ/: (informal) Let's watch/read together

Found this banh mi-ssion

From MissionMission blog:

The bánh mì-nification of the Mission continues, as this recent upstart at 2788 Mission Street near 24th Street BART pops up seemingly overnight. Formerly known as Mission Sub, this new Quickly USA venture aims to please, with a 3 for $10 deal. However, not everyone thinks this deal is worth going for, considering the newly opened swank Saigon sub setup at Duc Loi six blocks down Mission Street. Who will prevail in the bánh mì battle?

Second month, FYI: for your improvement and other random stuff

Yes, it has been 2 months since I started working and wandering around San Francisco. I feel time passing by pretty fast but that is a good thing, it means I cherish my time being here. My creative juice is still flowing accompanied by the joyful satisfaction of what I have done and seen here.

Here are a few productive tips learned from the office:

- Startups deploy their product/service early and often. Take pride in your code or take it personally when you slow the site down. Test more.

- Paper is cheap, wasting extra time on a feature is not. Do whiteboard planning before writing the first line of code.

- Comment when code doesn't speak for itself. Sometimes being a Rubyist I forgot this.

- Hard work does not pay off, especially for software engineer. Working for long hours doesn't mean contributing more. It is a matter of having a right amount of workload to be productive and get more done.

Besides, I start subscribing to several local blog, just to have a glance of what is going on outside

And to all the geeks out there, here is the bonus:

15 Google Interview Questions That Will Make You Feel Stupid

Month in the city by the bay: learning and enjoying

More than a month ago I took a leap faith in joining Startuplife program organized by AaltoES and I was fortunate to accepted to work as a web developer intern for Ditto. We are the team of 4 rocking on a delightful web app that you will love. I work with Pekka and we share the same office with folks from 2bkco. Pirate-Ninja Mediation Center is the name of the office. How cool is that? By the way, this is a quick post about my experience learning and enjoying life in San Francisco for the last month and why I think what offered from the city will make it a great time.

About the enjoying part, San Francisco has the right combination of everything for me enjoy from day one. It has good food: a truly international city with cuisine varied from Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican to Japanese, Chinese... Food is usually delicious and cheap, not to mention there's a smile most of the time when I stepped into a restaurant. Oh, btw, have you checked The 2011 Big Eat San Francisco? Currently I had a few ticks from that checklist and so far it didn't disappoint me.

Another enjoying thing is that life is much easier and more productive for me to use some of the apps and services available only in US: Mint, Pandora, Amazon, Zipcar... to name a few. And I'm not the only one who is tech savvy, I sometimes see an Ipad with Square device used in a nearby cafe, or someone talking to Siri on a busy street.

Moreover, events on Meetup once staying in SF are more relevant and are more to choose from. What I learned about Meetup here is that good meetup is quickly packed, one better rsvp yes immediately or bids his chance in the waiting list.

Work is fast-paced and has lots of integration. Working for startups is very different from client work, it has lots of integrations, which means quickly coming up with features to try out instead of polishing to be perfect. Guess what we use for backend and for frontend development: of course, Rails and Backbone.js.

I have never used Backbone before, however by the time I got to the documentation and started writing a few lines of code, it made lots of sense. Because more often than not, we find ourself creating frontend heavy, data driven application such as Gmail, Twitter and it makes complex apps much easier. It helps frontend development like Rails does for the backend. What is more fortunate and fascinating to learn is that I work closely with one of Backbone Hackers organizers.

Once again, thanks AaltoES for the chance being here working with amazing and talented people, I'm really looking forward to the time ahead.

First things to be done in US

Disclaimer: At the time writing this post, I m not in the US yet. The post will be updated if there is any tip learned.

First things first, those are essential and initial things to have before doing anything else in the US

  • Get a US phone number
    • Cheap virgin mobile subscription: http://gdgt.com/question/coming-to-us-need-help-with-phone-data-plan-di2/
  • Open a bank account
    • Well Fargo is suggested because it doesnt require SSN to open a checking account
  • Get a travel pass - Clipper card is a reloadable fare payment card
    • BART ~ Metro
    • Muni
    • SamTrans
  • Register in SEVIS (not later than 20 days after DS-2019 start date)
  • Apply for SSN 2 days after registering in SEVIS

To be updated...

Some notes:

Getting from SFO Airport to San Francisco by train

There's a BART station in the International terminal. Just turn right when you get through the customs.

BART to downtown costs approximately $8.50. You should check what's your last stop (probably Powell St, Montgomery St or Embarcadero).

Imagemagick convert pdf to images with high quality

This is called supersampling technique. You set the density, say 4 times larger than nominal (72 dpi), thus -density 288 before reading the pdf. Then after reading it, you resize down by a factor of 4 or 25%
convert -density 288 image.pdf -resize 25% resultimage.png

donxebuyt.com - Lập lộ trình đi xe buýt

donxebuyt.com là một web app giúp bạn tìm lộ trình xe buýt tại thành phố Hồ Chí Minh. Về cơ bản, bạn có thể dùng web app này 1, 2 phút trước khi ra khỏi nhà và đón đúng tuyến bus bạn cần đi qua vài thao tác đơn giản như nhập địa chỉ tại chỗ và địa chỉ cần tới. Ngoài ra sau khi google thêm, tôi tìm thêm một đoạn giới thiệu từ instcode[at]gmail.com nói về vấn đề webapp này giải quyết và mục tiêu lâu dài:

Hiện nay trong VN có khá nhiều trang web cho phép người sử dụng tìm vị trí, đường đi... nhưng tất cả đều đi kèm với một giao diện khá rối rắm mà vẫn chưa hỗ trợ những thông tin cơ bản mà người sử dụng cần. Những trang web này thường chỉ đưa ra một lộ trình chung chung mà không hề quan tâm đến khía cạnh phương tiện nào mà người sử dụng chọn. Một ví dụ khác đó là mặc dù hệ thống xe buýt Việt Nam đã có từ rất lâu, nhưng đến nay, chưa có một trang web nào cho phép tìm kiếm lộ trình các tuyến xe buýt một cách hiệu quả và trực quan...

Tại sao phải phân biệt việc tìm đường cho xe buýt, xe gắn máy, xe ô tô và người đi bộ trong khi thực tế việc tìm đường chỉ liên quan đến những vị trí trên bản đồ? Để trả lời cho câu hỏi này, một anh bạn của tụi mình đã bỏ rất nhiều công sức để xây dựng một trang web bản đồ nhằm cho phép mọi người không những tìm kiếm mọi ngõ ngách trên lãnh thổ Việt Nam, tra cứu thông tin các tuyến xe buýt trong nội thành... mà còn mang lại điểm khác biệt lớn nhất so với những trang khác đó là kết quả tìm kiếm sẽ giúp cho người sử dụng có thể tự quyết định hình thức di chuyển (đi bộ, xe đạp, xe máy, taxi, xe buýt...)!

Đây là một ứng dụng hữu ích trong tương lai khi số lượng xe bus và số lượng người đi bus trong thành phố nhiều hơn. Một điều tôi muốn hỏi admin của trang web là trong tương lai anh ta muốn làm gì với trang web này. Bán cho một cty lớn hơn (google maps)? Tạo mobile app? Open source mã nguồn? Chuyện gì sẽ xảy ra nếu google maps làm giống hệt như thế?

Nói gì đi nữa thì tôi vẫn thấy triển vọng trong trang này và sẽ dùng nó nhiều hơn.

Documents required to open local bank account in US

This post belongs to the series of posts which helps me during my internship in Silicon Valley.

  • Passport, (+ state ID)
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of address, such as your rental lease
  • Letter from Host company verifying your status as an Intern/Trainee

Documents required for J-1 exchange visitor visa interview

This post belongs to the series of posts which helps me preparing my internship in Silicon Valley.

DS-160 form filled online

  • Prepare a photo of yourself to upload to the form

The SEVIS fee receipt ($140)

  • In Vietnam, you pay by cash at one of designated place: Citi Bank, SunWah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue.

Two 5x5cm photos

DS-2019 certificate of eligibility for exchange visitor status

Confirmation of insurance + insurance ID card

Supporting documents

Student apartments in Espoo, plus pros and cons


This is just a reminder for all the places I have been living during my awesome student life in Espoo. Feel free to share your own opinions

Siltakuja 2 

Pros: Convenient place , it is next to almost everything since it is right next to the town center. You would find it very handy to pause your cooking and spend a few minutes buying the missing the ingredients.

Cons: Small room with complicated neighborhood. Not to mention the noisy weekend nights.

Vieraskuja 5

Pro: Good heating. Nice neighborhood. The handyman visits quite often so the whole building is in good condition. One thing which is convenient specifically to me is that it is very close to the swimming pool.

Cons: Not very close to universities such as Metropolia or Aalto

Kilonrinne 10 & Kilonkallio 10

Pros: One of the most affordable, probably the cheapest.

Cons: Pretty cold in the winter, not because of the heating, the building is made of wood and steel.

To be continued...


Stockholm here I come. Meanwhile, no update on zocoi.com

Although I have been in Finland for quite a while, this is my first time visiting Stockholm, Sweden. I hope this gonna be fun.

Will update the trip later.

Meanwhile, no update on zocoi.com, the development will resume on Monday. I also publish a new release with bug fixes on sorting comic categories and pagination. The release was done pretty quickly thanks to git and capistrano. Enjoy the new version. Please give feedback if there is any error and stay tuned.