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November 2006 - Posts

Working VISA in Japan...


Just a memo of what actually happened in my case.

Actually recently I was busying trying to change and get a "Microsoft" technology related job in Japan. I did pass the interviews with managers and dept. director and confirmed that I am capable to work for the department. finally the job agent told me that the company is going to start the offer process and HR is starting to check my working VISA status since I am a foreigner and need to fit certain criteria.

The problem occured. Since I was graduated from Information Management dept. of National Taiwan University, this dept. issues BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) degree to students, not BS (Bachelor of Science) degree like most other Computer Science related dept.s, although most of the classes the dept. offerred are IT related stuffs. I do think that Japan Immigration Office only saw my BBA degree and gave me "Specialist in Humanities/International Services" working VISA, rather than an Engineer VISA in my current job. and this caused the problem that the new company's HR and Law dept. felt that it should be diffecult to change the status of my visa and decide to decline my offer.

In Japan, one has to have certain working VISA to be able to work in certain job area. there are several job categories according to immigration law of Japan. the most usual working VISA type is "Specialist in Humanities/International Services" and "Engineer" , "Specialist in Humanities/International Services" visa type is normally given to people who graduated from business / management / culture / language related universities (English techers in this category), while Engineer visa type is mainly given to people who study nature science including IT / Computer fields. others like doctor or lawyer also have their own working visa type, things like that.

recently to encourage IT / Computer related businesses in Japan, actually Japan goverment had loose the definition of Engineer type visa to allow those who passed certain IT certificates to get Engineer visa regardless what university diploma one may have. those IT certificate are mainly held by Japan's institutes and anyone can take the exam without restrictions, including foreigners (exams should be in Japanese, not English). the most fundamental IT/Computer exam is held every year at April and October, only twice in an year. be sure to know the exactly date if one needs those certificates to get a valid Engineer VISA regardless of diplomas one may have.

It should be considering illegal to have actual working content that's different from the working VISA a foreigner get by the proof of company who employ this person. Thus make it important for foreigners to get proper VISA in order to work  in Japan without troubles.

As my graduated dept.did have ambiguity on the judge of an Engineer visa or a Specialist in Humanities/International Services visa, since it's "Information Management" dept. and issuing BBA degree, I do think that other universities in the world do have departments like this and some offer BBA degrees but others offer BS degrees. It should be important for Japan Immigration office to check the detail of academic transcripts and decide what visa type is proper to give out, not just see if one had BBA or BS to decide it, that will cause inconvenience for foreigners that want to live and work here to evolve IT environment in Japan.

I guess the only way I can do is to take the IT certificate exam here in Japan in order to bypass the consideration of my university diploma, although all my records all showed that I've been always doing IT related jobs since I graduated. and I do own some worldwide IT certificates (which is not listed in the immigration law for now)  but I guess it's hard to persuade those law and HR people or even Japan Immigration Officers.

I also wish the interviewer, the director of that dept. of new company which I want to get the job, can see this post and see if he can also persuade HR and Law dept. to reconsider my case. the issue to decline my case is not related to my abilities, but the Japan Immigration problem, and got ways to solve out, It's really disappointed to decline my case in this reason, sort of not acceptable. just like that foreigners are hard to get a Japan credit card just because we are foreigners, without reasons...

anyway, just a reference for those who want to work in Japan to know some immigration issues here, wish this help.


Technorati Tags: work , japanimmigrationdiplomacertificatevisaworking visa


Posted: 2006/11/22 0:08 by rextangtw | with 4 comment(s)
Filed under: ,
AJAX Debugging with Web Development Helper...


[via .NET DevHammer]

Nikhil Kothari just released an update for his WebDevelopmentHelper, which helps debugging ASP.NET AJAX codes, should be a nice tool for .Net web developers.

Also don't forget another good web debugging tool Fiddler...

Technorati Tags: microsoft , asp.netprogrammingtools


Windows PowerShell (Monad) 1.0 released...


[via PowerShell blog]

Microsoft just released PowerShell 1.0 today during the ITForum of TechEd 2006 at Barcelona. final 1.0 release available for Windows XP, 2003, and RC2 available for Vista and Longhorn Server.

download it from PowerShell download page.

Technorati Tags: microsoft , powershelltools


LogMeIn Hamachi, Zero-Config Free VPN Application...


[via Larkware]

just saw this application while browsing my blog lists and found it via Larkware site. LogMeIn Hamachi lets you build secure VPN network via internet to connect you own computers no matter where they are (NAT to NAT traversal is also ok!). provides simple chatting functions and abilities to create own networks as you want. the free version can create private VPN P2P network with up to 16 nodes in the network to let those computers work just like they are in a LAN environment. you can purchase subscription based services to have more functions.

Hamachi will setup a new NIC interface and create connection to its tunnel servers to making the connections to peers in self-created networks. it claims that after making the connections to peers the rest of the traffic will be pure UDP P2P and will be encrypted.

I just had a test of Hamachi via 3 pc configuration, one is my office pc, the other is my home server and home notebook (behind home ADSL router). the connections via Hamachi VPN network to my home notebook (NAT to NAT traversal) had no problems and the speed is quite cool. the status of connection shows that it is now in p2p mode.

one of the other good thing is that once the installed pc is getting a virtual Hamachi IP, the IP seems not changed while login everytime, thus it's good for setting firewall rules to certain Hamachi IPs to let traffics go through.

the most good thing is, just like what it said, really zero-configuration, just install it, and everything is done, you got a VPN over Internet networking environment!

Technorati Tags: networking , vpnp2ptunnel


Software Architecture: Past, Present and Future...


[via DiegumZone]

Emerging Architect Roles

The considerations of economical changes like globalization and technological achievements like the Internet’s impact 0n the digital economy, pressed for formalizing software architecture as a discipline.

Although there is not yet a definite agreement in the distinct roles, we can sketch three major personas:

·         Infrastructure Architect. These define the platform and other environments (hardware, basic software) to provide for business applications’ high availability. They must also work with developers to define mechanisms and standards that allow applications to achieve the security, reliability, manageability, transparency, and policy compliance essential to the modern business. It’s expected that the natural evolution of a senior IT professional is an Infrastructure Architect.

·         Solutions Architect. These are responsible for the design of one or more applications or services within an organization, usually within the scope of a division (and for that reason also known as Application Architect). Examples of such applications are: Internet banking, companywide knowledge sharing portal, and distributed point of sales applications. A senior developer is a good candidate to become Solutions Architect.

·         Enterprise Architect. Their job is to keep the business and its IT systems in alignment. They strive to maximize the return on IT investment by making sure that IT spending is prioritized towards business opportunity, and by optimizing the impact of investments across the organization’s portfolios of services, resources, projects, and processes. They must be a bridge between business leaders, development, and operations to ensure that mutual understanding is achieved, goals are realistic, and expectations are properly managed. Enterprise Architecture is about the big picture — how people and technology work together to produce world-class, long-term results. For that reason, this persona is also referred as Strategic Architect. What is expected is that a Solutions Architect or Infrastructure Architect becomes Enterprise Architect.


Just had a reading of this article which provided an overall view of Software Architecture progress, nice one to have a read also it introduced an architecture site at , full of resources and discussion related to architectures, don't miss the link...

Technorati Tags: software , solutionprogrammingarchitecturepattern


CodeSmith 4.0 released...


[via Rob Howard]

CodeSmith 4.0 is now available for download and purchase. new features includes:

  • CodeSmith Projects (.csp) - This feature makes automating your code generation process really easy and consistent whether you are working from inside of Visual Studio 2005, MSBuild, Windows Explorer, a command line / batch file, or CodeSmith itself.
  • ActiveSnippets - Imagine Visual Studio 2005 snippets, but with the full power of CodeSmith available to execute any logic or access any complex metadata (including database schema and xml data) to control the output of your snippets.
  • CodeSmith Maps (.csmap) - This feature will allow you to create dictionary style maps of things like SQL to C# data type mappings.
  • .netTiers 2.0 - The .netTiers templates have been greatly enhanced and included with CodeSmith 4.0.
  • Extended Property Management - You can now edit and add new schema extended properties inside of CodeSmith Studio.
  • Property Persistence - CodeSmith now remembers the property values from the last time you executed a template.

Technorati Tags: codesmith , tools


Some nice tools...


[via Kurbli]

free, translator from to (and back again)

Lutz Roeder's reflector

[via Sandi Hardmeier]

SysInternals's new tool ProcessMonitor. (TechNet intro).

Process Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity. It combines the features of two legacy Sysinternals utilities, Filemon and Regmon, and adds an extensive list of enhancements including rich and non-destructive filtering, comprehensive event properties such session IDs and user names, reliable process information, full thread stacks with integrated symbol support for each operation, simultaneous logging to a file, and much more. Its uniquely powerful features will make Process Monitor a core utility in your system troubleshooting and malware hunting toolkit.

by the way, just noticed that Microsoft had bought SysInternals at July 2006!!!

Technorati Tags: microsoft , sysinternalstools


Windows Vista Released to Manufacturing



[via Doug Holland]

Windows Vista is finally RTMed and should be available to MSDN subscription download at early next week.

The final RTM build number should be 6.0.6000

Technorati Tags: microsoft , windowsvista


Microsoft Project 2007 Beta2 bugs where running in Vista RC2...


Project 2007 beta 2 bugs running in Vista RC2...

Just ran into problems when trying to open new or edit existing project .mpp file in Project 2007 Beta 2 on Vista RC2. all the dialog boxes' input area will all gray out and not able to input. This will not happen if installed on Windows XP or Windows 2003 Server.

I did install Office 2007 Technical Refresh on my Vista RC2 and still this problem happened. didn't see this listed in the known issues of Office 2007 Beta2 document.

Technorati Tags: microsoft , officeproject


Orcas 2006 Sep CTP, remember to download BASE image...


Seems I am not the only one who missed the information while downloading Orcas 2006 Sep CTP and found that I can not open the virtual machine.

I got the problem while opening the .vmc file of this CTP in Virtual Server 2005 R2, it told me:

The parent virtual hard disk "E:\VPC\TimeBombedBase\Base01.vhd" for the differencing virtual hard disk "D:\Orcas2006SepCTP\VSSep2006CTP.vhd" does not exist. Please reconnect the differencing virtual hard disk to the correct parent virtual hard disk.

After a search from Google, found Greg's post about this, and knew that I also forgot to download the BASE image.

now downloading...

Technorati Tags: microsoft , visualstudioorcas


Posted: 2006/11/2 13:00 by rextangtw | with no comments
Filed under:
New Google Reader Interface...



The new Google Reader interface is really good to use after you really tried to use it. just as Robert Scoble said in his blog:

Now, yeah, NewsGator has a river view too, but I never found it satisfying. I’m not sure why Google’s Reader caught my eye, but now that it has it’s just so much easier to read thousands of posts and sift through them looking for good stuff.

I was always using Newsgator services to manage my blog subscriptions, start from this year changed from Newsgator Outlook Edition to FeedDemon 2. and now just feel that reading thousands of posts in river view via Google Reader is really a nice reading experience.

The new interface of Google Reader is really nice and smooth. I just export my OPML file from FeedDemon and then import it into Google Reader, all my subscriptions are now inside it, with all the folder classifications preserved (but will become Tags). When reading all the new posts in river view, I'll just have to use mouse scroll wheel to "browse" them, when a post is over the browser window, it will auto marked as read (using ajax). this is really a friendly UI design. When a post caught attention, click the title, and it will open a new browser window to load the original post.

And Robert is right, using FireFox with Google Reader is faster than IE7.

About Tagging, it's the same concept as GMail about tagging, just tag it with the key-words you like. Adding Star lets you mark important posts for later review. also there is a Share button that let you mark posts for sharing with others (Google Reader creates a public share page for every Google Reader user that is a list of all the blog posts you marked as "share"), also this shared public page even had a RSS feed to subscribe, nice!

I do like the "Watch" function of FeedDemon to let me define keyword and search all my feeds and then aggregate the result in a folder to read related topic posts. but the river view of Google Reader plus its nice user interface really caught my eyes on the blog reading experience. try it and you'll know what I am talking about.

Technorati Tags: google , blogreaderrss


Posted: 2006/11/1 14:51 by rextangtw | with 1 comment(s)
Filed under: ,
SQL Server Everywhere gets a new name...


[via Steve Lasker]

In the beginning it's SqlCe, then SQL Mobile, and then SQL Server Everywhere, and now again back to SQL Server Compact Edition (SqlCe...).

According to Steve's post , the reason for changing the name is about confusion with some MS Partners' products, and although this product is now in RTM phase, due to the name change it will cost some more time to push this product out.

Technorati Tags: microsoft , sqlservermobile


Installing Team Foundation Server (Single Server Deployment)...


Just had a VM setup for released version of Team Foundation Server (trial version). My last installation experience of TFS was at RC phase, and wasn't a very good one. the installation of dual server deployment required AD domain for user/service account sharing, and while the RC installation there were some errors came out also after the installation, the SQL Server in data-tier machine eats almost 800mb RAM at initial, and over 1gb while doing team project accesses.

The installation of final release TFS is a better experience. Since I was installing TFS for learning new MSF 4 Process, Active Directory is not that necessary for that. Referred to installation guide that now if using Single-Server Deployment, it is supported also on a non-domain environment (i.e. workgroup env.) therefore I decided to use a single VM for the whole TFS box, including SQL Server 2005.

Installation process was smooth. just follow the installation guide and do it step by step. Since it's a single TFS box, I used administrator account to behave as TFSSetup , and created TFSService and TFSReport accounts for the installation service account. Using VMWare Workstation 5 to create the VM, and set snapshots at each installation steps as follows (in case something went wrong):

  1. Create an empty VM and Install Windows 2003 R2 Server
  2. Install IIS6, related Windows Services (SMTP, ASP.NET, etc), as well as .NET framework 2.0
  3. Do a Windows Update to patch the system to up-to-date status. (create a snapshot here)
  4. Install SQL Server 2005 and SP1 (create a snapshot here)
  5. Install Windows SharePoint Service 2.0 (create a snapshot here)
  6. Install TFS Single-Server Deployment (create a snapshot here before start to use TFS)

Before installing TFS image, remember to start Reporting Service, SQL Browser, and Analysis Service system services or else the TFS installation healthy check will fail.

After installing TFS box, remember to install Team Explorer (at the same TFS iso image) at DevVM's VS2005 IDE in order to be able to access TFS inside the IDE.

the overall performance is better than RC stage, init status on the TFS box utilize about 800mb ram and still over 1gb while doing a single team project data access.

The next should be starting to put some projects into TFS to test the project management processes.

Technorati Tags: microsoft , vstudiomsf