Strange bug in Visual Studio

OK, It has been a long time I never post about programming here although I am supposed to be software engineer (or probably more IT consultant for last 1 year). I encountered this strange bug which cause cannot be identified.

So, basically my program is supposed to compute certain amount of money to certain group of people. There is a case whereby the computation went wrong and I need to check this particular person by inserting breakpoint to check local variable…

Breakpoint Bug 1

 

I am supposed to insert break point at line 210, so I saved the file, cleaned and rebuild the project, put the break point there and then start debugging my C# console application project.

Then, to my frustration, the break point always shifted to next line upon program execution:

Breakpoint Bug 2

 

I tried to restart the Visual Studio, reclean and rebuild solution, playing around with project Properties page and so on, with no success. I have also tried to tweak the debugging statement:

By adding curly bracket:

Breakpoint Bug 3

By adding another variable:

Breakpoint Bug 4

Still no success….Then after around 1 hour, I found that I need to modify the statement to the following…

Breakpoint Bug 5

It turned out that Microsoft Visual Studio cannot insert break point to the variable assignment to constant value…which is very strange. After around 10 years studying programming, I just knew about such limitation -.-.

 

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2014 life update

As the end of the year is approaching, I find it will be useful for me to recap the significant events of the year happened in my life. When my grandma passed away, we discovered that actually she kept her dairy as long as 20 years, recording all sorts of event during her marriage.

Personally, I do not think this blog will last until 20 years. As I have said before, paper is still arguably better medium for storing information in term of durability compared to computer. However, computer and internet is better than paper in term of speed and mobility.

I wish for my old self to be able to read this post with thanksgiving in my heart. When I know that God has lead me throughout all kind of difficulties and still survive, it will be enough reason to continue life and changing the world is not required to be happy.

1. Feb 2014 – I started to give allowance to my dad 

At around the same time when my grandma passed away, my dad has told me he did not want to work anymore as his photo studio now has already bankrupted. Hence, currently he planned to sell his multi-storey industrial building to move to smaller house which is easier to maintain and just earning his living expense by bank interest.

Until that thing happens, I need to pay him for his monthly allowance and also my step-mom. He confessed to me that his saving is not more than S$3,000 now and it will be difficult for him to survive if he waited until his property sold.

My family admittedly has the dark past. My parents have divorced and then remarried. I am trapped in never-ending family politics from my elementary school. My mom got the child custody right and hence I rarely ever meet my dad. And usually, every time we meet there is always problem to fight about since my family has a lot of financial difficulty and internal problem.

I also initially rejected his plea for thinking in the past he has rejected to fund even my food expense. The given reason is that it is the courts decision that my mom should bear all costs of child custody and then his new wife controlled his financial decision.

However, upon further consideration and after my grandma passed away, I decided to change my mind. As I do not know for how long my dad can live and I think it is more healthy to live with peace with people around you. Furthermore, I tried to distance myself from thought that I reaped no reward for all my hard work in Singapore and my parents, who neglected me during my childhood, enjoyed it instead. For probably it is the fate that my reward is on this world but the next one. I cannot choose to my parents and hence I need to do this despite all their shortcoming.

2. Jun 2014 – I have been officially discharged from tuition grant bond

Having been working here for almost 5 years now, I am supposed to be released from tuition grant bond. For readers’ information, tuition grant is kind of semi-scholarship granted by Singapore government to international students to study in their public university. Singapore paid around 70% of your school fee but as the condition, you need to work here for 3 years.

Hence, I was enrolled into NTU (Nanyang Technological University) and graduated in 2009. So, by right, I am able to go back to Indonesia in 2012. However, after some financial consideration, I decide to stay here for awhile until 2016.

Reflecting upon my academic history, now I am feeling guilty and regreted for excessive ambition I have in the past. Due to competitive environment, I focused too much on my study and not building enough meaningful friendship during my time in university.

For no matter how much smart you are, you will be surrounded by those have the similar capabilities as you so sometimes it required a lot of self-control not to compare yourself against people around you.

Yes, I still lamented that I should be fully concentrated for the selection for IMO (International Mathematical Olympiad) and not be overconfident for good result in previous selection. I also regretted that I am not serious enough in my work after graduation that I cannot maintain stable job in Singhealth.

However, considering my awful family background: my dad did not even finish high school and my mom was disabled when I was 8. Due to family conflict, I need to move from house to house FIVE times for 3 years during my secondary years.  Despite all of that, I can fund almost my entire secondary and high school by scholarship, earned two-times bronze medals in National Science Olympiad and enrolled into and graduated from one of the best university in the world (NTU), I considered it as the grace of God.

3. Jul 2014 – My supervisor resigned from office

So now, after family and study, come real job in corporate world. Admittedly, during my time in university, I never really enjoyed to work in team project and also I never did extra study how to improve my efficiency for working in team. Probably, I am over-reliant on exam result because it constituted majority of our assessment. Implicitly, I assumed that technical knowledge alone will be sufficient to land me a good job.

Actually, it is partially true. Technical knowledge will enable you to ace during job test and secured good job with good salary. However, I soon learned that it is not enough. You can probably score high during interview, but to maintain your job, you need to quickly learn your company’s culture, the personality of individuals you are working with and how to deal with them, following certain methodologies (like proper testing, report and presentation) to be able to do the job properly, knowing how to persuade or argue with people and so on.

I must admit that I am severely lacking in some aspects in interpersonal skills. Before I worked in my current company, I was terminated once, was forced to resign once, and need to tender resignation because of conflict with my supervisor in my previous company.

Hence after frustation of feeling my own past incompetence, I am thinking of changing my career. I explored many possibilities including other engineering branches (especially renewable energies and mechanical engineering). But, due to my parents’ situation, I soon realized that that is not viable option.

And then, I prayed to God to show me the place with good boss. After awhile, I have an interview from Hiend and soon accepted into company. And I admitted that my current boss is extremely lenient (no micromanagement and continuous monitoring) compared to my first job in Singhealth.

This is not to say that my job is easy. My supervisor resigned for further study in Jun 2014 and hence I need to take over all projects he handled (3 in total) plus my own projects from previous resigned employees (5 in total). I think the total increment I got (S$300) is still not proportional to the increase of my workload.

So, I am handling 8 IT projects and on average there will be tasks on 3-4 projects every day. However, having now worked for 1 years and 7 months (my longest record) here, I feel that God has shown me the way for me to survive in my current company. Thanks to that, I do not need to change career and I can still pay allowance of my three parents of S$1000 per month.

4. Sep 2014 – My study in Chinese Medicine started

I always want to have a hobby which I can enjoy to use during non-professional contexts (like family and church). However, due to my previous overemphasize on course study, extra-curricular competition (like IMO and ICPC) and church ministry, I hardly find some time to cultivate hobby. Previously, I have tried many things like playing violin, learning Japanese, dragon dance, aikido, gardening, and so on, but I do not take those things seriously and always stop doing after awhile.

I observed that many of my friends spent their extra money earned from their good job into expensive entertainments like traveling, buying personal transport, newest gadget, game console and so on.

For some reasons, when I graduated, I like to follow news about problems in society (And conspiracy theories). During that time, I am thinking of doing something which can at least alleviate problem to the world.

So, I am thinking instead of using my money into something unproductive and just providing entertainment, convenience or hoarding like rich fool man, I think it will be more useful for me to spend it for self-development. And I started to think about some hobbies to be learned which can be useful.

Earlier, I learned about renewable energy. But due to my financial commitment and the withdrawal of course subsidy, I decided not to continue the course.  Then, I read an article on website Zero Hedge about increasingly unaffordable healthcare cost. Previously, I went to pay for my grandpa’s hospitalization bill and it costs around S$8,000 and witnessing that Western medicine is extremely ineffective in treating my mom’s chronic disease, I am anxious about my family not able to afford it in the future.

Then, considering that I will have many people approaching their 50s and 60s (my dad, mom, step-mom, my aunt, and even my maid) living near me, I decided to take Chinese Medicine course to be at least able to cultivate health for myself and to do simple health check to my own family. Personally, I think it will be more useful hobby instead of traveling to exotic places.

 5. Now – The search for spouse

Now, about this last topic, I need to admit that I am not very good with befriending woman during my time in school and university. Also, after you graduated from university, the chance you meet opposite gender decreased dramatically, especially because I came from engineering field. Usually, even the women who are software engineer have already engaged.

So, the only hope to meet opposite gender is probably the church especially cell group and youth service. However, unfortunately, I have asked for dating two of single women inside my church and they rejected. And adding into that, my cell group is extremely diverse and we have people from different nationalities (Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Singapore).

As mentioned previously, since I planned to go back to Indonesia, I will prefer those from Indonesia or close country and able or willing to learn speak Malay. That criteria alone has already disqualified most girls inside the church.  The nationality consideration is for parents-in-law. It will be extremely unfair if one side of spouse will need to separate almost permanently from their parents and I do not think it is the right thing to do.

So, I tried online dating but failed miserably so far. One of the common stated reason is that they cannot do LDR seriously or that the girls disagreed with my principle of finding spouse (like stating criteria first without need to become friend). As I have stated previously, I found that that principle is more reasonable than the commonly believed myth about ‘befriend’ first and then marriage come last.

Question for girls – if two guys are approaching you:

– One is extremely attractive atheist guy with fanciful movie-like characters you dreamed about (romantic, humorous, creative (can dance, play guitar, compose song, magic, etc), well-build body)

– One is average but devout Christian with clear life principles and beta qualities like excellent education, stable job but a bit of nerdy and serious and cannot make you ‘tingle’

How many of you will choose second one instead of first one?

From what I saw so many people there online say they are ‘serious’ want to marry but say they want to ‘befriend’ first without mentioning any criteria about values (belief) and principles. If ‘befriend’ is the first thing you ask then you should just hang around shopping mall and cafe instead of commercial and need-to-pay online dating website.

I just feel they are not serious enough for not thinking this one through and probably will need to wait for some times.

 

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Adult vs children’s criteria for spouse

Ok, so from previous post I have said that if you want to get married, you should find the person who are suitable to become good spouse instead of good friend. So, I can elaborate further from what I understand, what differentiate children from adult is the mindset.

Adults are expected (or inclined to) to take long-term consequence and responsibility for their action. Hence, they are expected to spare some thoughts for anything they do which involve long-term effects (like marriage, job, and ministry) for themselves and people around them.

Children, in contrast, usually thought only short-term benefits for themselves and lack of critical thinking to plan for the future and consequences of their action. Even if some of them aware what are the most important things, they usually failed to translate it in their action because of lack of self-control. This thing also what distinguishes adult from children.

Here are example of adult’s requirements (sorted on most important to least important) when they are looking for spouse:

For adult men

1) Have similar beliefs and values (in religion, politics and family) or if not, have a tolerance to accept the differences without resulting on debate on every disagreement.

2) Family come from same or similar background (same culture or race) and can accept each others without any existing prejudice for their son or daughter-in-law (their job, education, social status (from wealthy, middle-class, or worker), race, religion, Chinese zodiac and so on).

3) Ability to become good wife (i.e. have already used to daily housekeeping such as budgeting (for shopping), cooking and child care)

4) Have same interests during leisure time (usually like sports and video games), compatible personality (not much nagging), and lifestyle (especially the use of money, time, and friends)

5) All other miscellaneous physical things, like age, beauty, body curve, etc

For adult women

1) Have similar beliefs and values (in religion, politics and family) or if not, have a tolerance to accept the differences without resulting on debate on every disagreement.

2) Family come from same or similar background (same culture or race) and can accept each others without any existing prejudice for their son or daughter-in-law (their job, education, social status (from wealthy, middle-class, or worker), race, religion, Chinese zodiac and so on).

3) Ability to become good husband. Either come from wealthy family, have a good educational background or good career (with salary that able to feed at least 4 people), and have detail plan (about 3-5 years in advance) about future study or work.

4) Have same interests during leisure time (usually like shopping, fashion, and travel), compatible personality (good listener), and lifestyle (especially the use of money, time, and friends)

5) All other miscellaneous physical things, like height and strength (or body posture).

For childish men and women – Reverse from 5) to 1)

So, if you have people who said they want a spouse you should ask what is their first criteria. From there, you can determine how serious they are.

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Good spouse vs good friend

I just have a conversation with church friend. Mostly, it is about the way by which we should find our spouse. My friend, like most people in my generation, think that we should search and befriend some girls as we are looking for our possible spouse among them. That’s why when I told him that I have well-defined criteria for a girl I want to pursue and then I make deliberate effort to approach that girl, he disagree with me and he told me that it would not work.

After some experiences with a lot of church friends and also people from online dating site, I am thinking he is partially right. It is not because he is right and I am wrong. Simply put, it is because I have very different viewpoint from most of my generation (I am talking about Gen-Y) in almost every way possible, including principle of church, society and family. I am finding that I am more critical to the authority and any kind of common practice and beliefs in our society compared to most of my peers.

In this case, I have different principle from what most of my generation believe. However, actually my principle is more consistent with most of human generation with the exception of this modern era. Most of our generation, probably getting it from romance in Hollywood or fairy tales movie, thinking that our spouse can and SHOULD become your best friend and ALSO best spouse.

He should be our good friend in the sense he/she need to share most of my core life principle, lifestyle (including the way to use of time and money), and personality (can hold good conversation). Additionally, our spouse need to have quality of Hollywood-like actors and actresses. For men, they need to be proficient in creative skills like music, joking, dance, magic, and so on. He also need to be able to cope with women’s hobbies like shopping, fashion and cooking and also have good career. For women, they need to be able to understand men’s hobbies like sport and video games and also able to manage her household.

Of course, everybody want to have such fanciful spouse and that’s why those kinds of people mostly only in the television. Often, we are faced with option – people that are your good friends are not necessarily good spouse and vice versa. Since the criteria of best friend are included same interests, values and lifestyles and and women and men have mostly different preferences on those things, your spouse mostly is NOT your best friend. Normally, our best friends are from same gender either our high-school friends or our siblings.

The criteria of best friend and best spouse often not mutually inclusive. Your best friend need to have same values, interests and lifestyles as you. But best spouse is completely different. In marriage, there are roles and responsibilities. Despite all talking about gender equality, I do not think any women will accept if their husband is continously unemployed or working only part-time job. And I think the men also the same as they will expect women to be proficient in domestic skills like budgeting, cooking and cleaning. These criteria are very different and completely unrelated.

Hence, if I have to choose between best spouse or best friend, I will choose good spouse. I do not expect my spouse to be naturally fond of sport or video game. I also will not expect her to share most of my principles related to church doctrines or politics (unless she is pastor, evangelist or politician, which is very unlikely). I also will not expect her to be able to talk fluently about latest computer technologies.

I think this principle is more realistic as most people lived before this generation also thought the same way. Marriage, until very recently, were mostly arranged by parents and bride and groom do not even meet each others before that! I think it is hardly they are best friend! And the marriage in ancient days obviously worked compared to current days when almost 50% of marriage ended in divorce.

So, I do not understand my generation with their method of finding the spouse. I do not want to compromise my principle as I think it is more realistic and reasonable than their fanciful expectation. So, it means I still need some time to find someone which can agree to this principle.

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Some thoughts about career change – Part 2

I am thankful to God for what I have experienced so far in my career. Slowly but sure, my job in current company has been almost 1.5 years now. Even though my family has a lot of financial difficulties, the grace of God enables me to cope with pressure and giving allowance to my three parents up until now.

However, I must admit I began to act like crazy for thinking and writing about this thing over and over again. Previously, I have written a post for my thought about career change. From that time, my subsidy for diploma has been cancelled and hence I cannot continue my study in alternative energy. And then, I was just informed that actually my mom spent around S$300 for medication permonth for her epilepsy. Adding into that, the skyrocketing medical cost made me worrying about her future health.

How does it related with career change? For sure, if you have to give continuous monthly allowance for S$1000 for three parents plus their medical bill, it will be forgettable to change career as it will require a lot of income adjustment. So now, I will probably prepare for possibility that for my whole lifetime I need to become software engineer.

However, I have some more thoughts to add for the common view that every people need to have so-called ‘vocational calling’ or ‘following one’s passion’ in order to be emotionally satisfied.

From my observation to my friends who have changed their career until now, I have noticed several trends. Firstly, most of them changed their job to the occupation which is generally perceived as more prestigious compared to their current job. It means more money, fame, and doing more important things to society. Some examples including priest, teacher, manager, banker, lawyer and so on. In other words, they seems expecting social advancement.

I have noticed this trend under my previous post about competition. Most people expect that there will be continous growth or progress to their life, whether it is captured in religious (vocational calling) or secular language (do whatever you like to do). And most people have roughly the same perception on fulfilling career. Blue-collar job (Farmer, shepherd, carpenter, plumber, bricklayer) is generally perceived as unimportant and replaceable. White-collar jobs (Doctor, teacher, lawyer, artist, architect, engineer) is better and more prestigious but also tedious after awhile. Those jobs who have authority over many people will be ultimate goal (priest, king, judge, ministers and managers).

Like I said previously, that kind of mindset (that there has to be continuous progress in our life) is the source of unhappiness. For each of us was born with limited time, resources, wisdom and abilities and some of us are better than others. And additionally, there could be only one leader at one time in one organization. Our chance of becoming one of them is extremely slow if you belong to the bottom of the pyramid. We continue to put effort but most of the effort was spent in vain.

This mindset will also unconsciously make us show disdain for poors of the society (blue-collar workers) and lead us to sin of pride. There will also time when your resentment continue grow slowly. You have not been promoted for several years onward although you have put your best effort. In the end, you will spent your days on earth in daily misery despite all your wealth and status. All of these happened because you do not have gratitude in your heart for what you have obtained.

Instead of doing so, I think we should spend more time in solemn spiritual activities like prayer and reflection. It will calm our heart instead of continously harboring unending selfish ambition disguised in nice language (higher calling, contributing to large society, following passion, etc).

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