American Censorship Day

Note: If you are reading this on the site, you will see the banner censored.

The US Congress is currently discussing a bill that will give the power of government to shut down websites, prosecute social network users (i.e. you and me) for making minor non-commercial copyright violation (e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook), etc. This is the end of free speech on Internet as we know it, and is an attempt to build national firewall and censorship system much like the one in China.

Please join us for the fight to preserve freedom on Internet. More information can be found at

Looking Backwards, Connecting the Dots

So the day came.

I have not much to say like everyone else on the web and mess media. I don’t want to go on skin-depth things like how he transformed the computer industry and the world – I didn’t even agree most of the tactics he used (like, all closed-source, closed and single distributor model for the iOS platform, etc.).

I want to share something personal with you here, instead.

I did a lot of things that didn’t make sense to my parents, nor to myself at the time. Ever since mid-school, I spent countless hours making websites. I was the computer guru to my high school classmates because the guestbook/chatroom service I built was practically the online social network to them. When I went to college, I chose to take physics as major instead of computer science because I thought there were more wonders in the mechanics of the physical world instead of inside a computer. That turned out to be true, and the wonders unfortunately succumbed me; my grades in physics classes were never higher than the one and only computer science class I took. I didn’t know what to do at the time; I didn’t want to, and couldn’t go for the regular career a physics-major in Taiwan would usually do, that is go to graduate school, and to TSMC/UMC or other semiconductor companies straight from school, the flagship industry of Taiwan – The promise land with dicent salary and social recognition.

Nevertheless, I got my B.Sc. anyway. I stall a bit by deliberately not to meet the graduation requirement (which is, ironically, English requirement) and stayed for a fifth year. I joined MozTW and took care of Firefox localization, started to get to know people in the technology circle, many of whom are big names I admired. I gave lectures at meet-ups and events, wrote web application for Firefox promotion. I co-organized events, designed event websites. I built a paper toss game in the IE9 hackathon event and was awarded an XBox 360 + Kinect. Eventually, I am recognized by people as a qualified front-end developer.

(Full text of Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address)

I don’t actually remember when I see the speech for the first time. At first it didn’t make an impression. It was not until some day, I realized “connecting the dots by looking backwards” is exactly what I did, and do right now: Without these “personal homepage” I wrote before college, I wouldn’t know how server-client architecture works. Without my college projects in the physics department, I wouldn’t have any idea how to organize a full-scale rich-content website, nor the chance to improve my communication skill. Without MozTW I wouldn’t be known by my talented peers. Even physics has a part when I looked backwards – The paper toss game I wrote at the IE9 event is actually based on physics simulation skill I learned in school. I hated that class, but without the knowledge the game wouldn’t have such animation effect.

Indeed, Steve was right all along. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. … This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”, he said. By looking backwards, I found everything I did somehow makes who I am today, and they surely made all the difference.

This is what Mr. Jobs meant to me. Nothing technological nor innovative, purely personal. So long, Steve, you lived a good life. This post is my tribute to you, and you will certainly be missed.

專訪 Mozilla 總部

去年 12 月去了 San Francisco,順道去參觀了 Mountain View 的 Mozilla 總部(感謝 Marketing 的 Mary Colvig 的招待!)。我自己在當天例會給了 5 min 的小 talk 介紹了 MozTW,反過來則邀請了四位 Mozilla 的員工讓我訪問,影片在 YouTube 上

如果有時間的話,請到 Universal Subtitles 幫忙上字幕!感謝!