Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Archive for 2006

:: 119 words

It’s around 7 PM on the 31st of December. Around this time it starts to become dangerous to walk upon the streets of Metro Manila. In fact, I would never go out on the streets after dark on New Year’s Eve. People are starting to throw their pyrotechnics around, and no matter what community you live in, there’s a chance of some reckless kid carelessly tossing some dangerous firecracker somewhere in your direction.

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:: 264 words

books pop-culture

I was going through the bookstores at yesterday’s sale day at SM North, hoping to find some bargains. I found a copy of¬†The Rock‘s book,¬†_The Rock Says¬†_going for the bargain basement price of 50 pesos (roughly 1 US dollar). What a steal! In case you’ve been living under, well, a rock, you’re probably aware that The Rock was one of the most popular, most electrifying men in professional wrestling, lovingly termed “sports entertainment.

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:: 137 words

magic-the-gathering

One of the nice things about Magic: Online is the concept of “Nix Tix”. Basically, for a few days during holidays, 8-man drafts no longer require the usual 2 tickets to play. You simply need the product used for the draft (3 booster packs) in order to join an 8-man draft. And since the payout is also in booster packs, distributed as 4-3-2-2, you can basically keep playing 8-man drafts for free as long as you get at least two wins per draft.

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:: 47 words

My mother told me it’s so they don’t try to take home anything from their shoes. She said she heard it from someone who works at SM, supposed to be some kind of standard procedure in department stores. So yeah, I have no idea if it’s true.

:: 87 words

gaming

Via insertcredit.com : Apparently, DQ IX coming out on the DS is a big deal over in the land of the rising sun. And the fact that the combat system will be action-style instead of turn-based. Did they really expect the game to keep doing the same thing again and again forever? Anyway, the DS is a better platform for it… Square-Enix already has one flagship RPG series on the consoles (Final Fantasy), and none yet on handhelds, so why not just move their second-oldest title there?

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:: 155 words

gaming

Something I didn’t expect from the Youtube phenomenon: apparently, FAQ writers can now link to instructional videos for difficult to describe game walkthroughs. If you don’t have any idea what I mean, an “FAQ” is a document that helps someone to do a particular thing by providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions. In my case, I most often read FAQs for video games to help through the difficult spots, usually from¬†GameFAQs

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:: 164 words

gaming

Awesome article in The Escapist titled The Rise and Fall of Troika, which gives a good view of the problems facing game development studios with regards to production/publisher issues. I got the link from the blog at rampantgames.com which I’ve been following for a while now. I find the articles about the indie gaming field very enlightening, and I have to say going the route of an indie game developer is much more appealling to me especially after reading about all the issues game dev studios have with big-time publishers.

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:: 370 words

job-hunting

When you’re a kid, the days leading up to Christmas are full of wonder and anticipation, and you eagerly await that time when the gifts under the Christmas tree are finally handed out to the recipients and you tear open those packages with such enthusiasm and disregard for the effort put into wrapping it. As an adult, the days leading up to Christmas are filled up with days of overtime as you struggle to meet year-end targets, constantly having to attend gathering after gathering, and worrying about whether you’ve gotten the right presents for people.

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:: 286 words

Today is the first day of my four-week hiatus from week, after an exhausting three-day overtime streak I basically collapsed into bed last night. Over the past week people have been asking me why I would take a month-long break from work. Am I going somewhere out of town? Sightseeing? By sheer coincidence I was also looking over a copy of¬†The Little Prince, and one of the chapters there echoed perfectly my sentiments about all these questions: why are all you grown-ups so worried about so-called “matters of consequence”?

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:: 369 words

travels

I remember looking for the signs that would tell me where to find the A11 bus that could take me to North Point. My instructions were to find the McDonald’s inside the airport and look for the exit nearby. Sure enough, the signs pointed me to the bus terminal. I bought a ticket, and as I arranged my luggage for easier carrying I didn’t notice that I had dropped the just-purchased ticket to the floor.

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:: 41 words

gaming

… on the PSP. How sad that my all-time favorite console game is getting a bunch of spiffy new features on a handheld I chose not to support. =( At least we are getting a Dragon Quest release for the DS.

:: 464 words

magic-the-gathering

I made it back to the country just two days before the last big Standard event of 2007, and I had no deck ready. On Saturday morning, I quickly cobbled together a RGB off the obvious theme of hating Islands. Minor land destruction theme (4 Cryoclasm, 4 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss), Elephant and Solifuge beats and always going for the Demonfire finish. The black was in the main only for Hit // Run, my answer to Akroma and Bogardan Hellkite.

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:: 203 words

One of the difficult things about my¬†three-week sojourn¬†is that I had almost no internet access; the one internet terminal we could use at the site was unbearably slow, and even when it was free, it was hard to slack off reading Slashdot when there were several other people busily working nearby. Being without internet is like living under a rock apparently; you have no idea what’s going on in the world.

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:: 90 words

travels

Yeah I know, Hong Kong is technically a part of China, but my feet actually did manage to walk some non-Hong Kong Chinese territory. Too many stories accumulated in three weeks to tell in one post though, but to say the least I actually got to experience a bit more of Hong Kong this time, as opposed to the five-day almost-all-work schedule that I had last time. Unfortunately, I did not get to experience any kung-fu in the streets, although I did manage to get a picture with Jacky Chan.

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:: 36 words

travels

So much for my nefarious plan to take it easy until I can get a Christmas break. I leave on the first available flight Thursday, and they plan to keep me there for around three weeks.

:: 178 words

books pop-culture

What a long, arduous journey it has been for Roland of Gilead, last gunslinger, in his inexorable quest for the Dark Tower. And now that I’ve read the final volume of Stephen King’s magnum opus, I find out that it is an even crueler fate that awaits him at the end of the seven books. I dare not spoil it, though¬†Wikipedia¬†has a nice summary, say thankya. Save to say that Stephen King seems to be correct – the ending of the Dark Tower series does seem to be the “correct” one, despite some disappointments in writing.

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:: 10 words

Yeah pretty much. I feel really stupid right now. Gar!!!

:: 489 words

magic-the-gathering

Same deck as last week. Round 1: 2-0 vs WUb Sliver-Mill. I asked him afterwards why he didn’t show me any Traumatize, he said it was only in the board. Round 2: 2-0 vs Solar Flare Game one he only gets four lands, he manages to animate a Skeletal Vampire, but Glare taps the blockers and pushes the kill. Game two he gets nothing but ten lands and a Remand.

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:: 38 words

opinions

I predict that eventually, “don’t”, “won’t”, “can’t” and the like will eventually become their own words, dropping that weird apostrophe they have. A few decades after this happens, some people will wonder what “wan’t” used to stand for.

:: 48 words

magic-the-gathering

elephant_tokens Originally uploaded by zroytang. Check out the awesome Elephant tokens I used in the tourney earlier today. I swear, I won every game where I managed to get one of these out. Two on the right were drawn by me. The one on the left by Dens.

:: 1439 words

magic-the-gathering

This tournament and three others for each Saturday of November are run-ups to the Time Spiral Gold Rush tournament in December. I’ve been agonizing over the past couple of weeks as to what I can play in the diverse new standard enivornment. In the end, instead of doing my usual thing and building an original decklist, I decided to work from an existing archetype instead. I believe that in order for me to become a better Standard player, I have to get more match experience before designing decks, since my thinking is still on a casual level most of the time.

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:: 21 words

meta

As far as I can tell, I only hit 21 posts in October. Well, that’s not too bad. This month: NaNoWriMo!

:: 41 words

hardware tech-life

new monitor Originally uploaded by zroytang . As promised, a picture. That desk used to hold an entire monitor! Now it has my wallet, a watch, a couple of flash drives, a landline, a cellphone and a whole bunch of wires!

:: 153 words

books pop-culture

I was holding off on buying the sixth installment of the Dark Tower until I could find a printing which matched the previous five books, but as I was browsing through the new Fully Booked at SM North I felt a compulsive urge to buy *something*, and lo and behold, Stephen King was on the shelf right beside me! As usual, the tale of Roland and his party on their quest for the Dark Tower is quite the page-turner, especially since this particular piece of fiction intersects with the real world in an intruiging way… the author himself, Stephen King, appears in this book as the would-be creator of Roland’s world!

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:: 120 words

tv-series pop-culture

This series is simple awesome. The writing is excellent, and the fact they’re using a lot of precognition implies how well the entire series should tie together. Hiro continues to be the shining star here. Future Hiro’s appearance promises us several things, namely: Hiro will eventually stop being so dorky. And he’ll get a sword! Hiro will eventually learn to speak English well Peter will eventually get a scar

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:: 106 words

hardware tech-life

I wish I had a camera right now so I could post a picture of it, but yeah, I now have a brand-new 19-inch widescreen LCD monitor on my desk. Wow, I have so much space! Both physical space and desktop space! I came home at past 12 midnight last night and was so sleepy I would have immediately went into a catatonic sleep had my brother not brought home and installed this new monitor.

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:: 40 words

gaming

Awesome thing for old-school gamers – CGW has made available PDFs of their first 100 issues here. It’s fun to read reviews and insights about old games. Ah, and the ads! I like seeing old ads for some strange reason.

:: 196 words

magic-the-gathering

Yesterday at NG Galleria. My record for this event was 4-3, running B/G with red splash. I initially thought red was very weak in TS limited, but as I got to the end of the tourney I found myself splashing more and more red cards. Bogardan Rager in particular I underestimated. At least I can somehow feel my skill level improving. There’s this guy who’s beaten me two tourneys in a row now, both with edge-of-the-seat wins decided in a single turn.

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:: 50 words

gaming

I predicted it as soon as I saw one of those DS thingies: “If I bought one of those, I’d lose the stylus within a month.” I didn’t even get to three whole weeks without losing it. =/ The stylus should have a little rope tying it to the DS.

:: 453 words

gaming

Soul Kerfuffle: The View From the Top Funny, just before I read this blog post, I was thinking about how I didn’t really have time for WoW. I’ve never gotten to 60, so I don’t know how addictive the end game is. But is it really all raiding? I don’t think I’d be able to devote 12+ hours on weekends for raids. 3-4 hours maybe, but 12 hours? Well, my brother just hit 60 recently, so I suppose I should ask him after a few weeks what it’s like.

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:: 140 words

A friend of mine at work once commented to me that I ask the silliest questions. When I’m a bit bored at the office, I will sometimes throw random meaning-of-life questions at them. things like: “If you had a time machine, what would you do with it?” “IF you were president, what would you do about [thing]?” “What’s your most impossible dream?” “If you could vanish right now, where would you go?

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:: 180 words

magic-the-gathering

Played four 4-man drafts last night, opening 2 boxes. Some interesting draft archetypes: White Weenie – easy. If you get a Celestial Crusader early this is a good choice. Black Weenine – a bit tougher, you have to get a bad moon early Slivers – W/U combinations focus on board lock down and pinging to win. R/G combinations focus on acceleration and beatdown. Thallids – tedious and slow.

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:: 127 words

tech-life

QUALCOMM Press Center – QUALCOMM Launches Project in Collaboration with Mozilla Foundation to Develop Open Source Version of Eudora Email Program –link Wow. Eudora was my email client of choice back in the day, when webapps were still so much crappier. I suppose they realized so many people had switched to using either GMail or Thunderbird, that they had to do something to make their product relevant. My favorite thing about Eudora was that their client would have a stats page; it literally tracks the amount of time you spend reading and writing email, the average amount of mail you get daily, etc.

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:: 181 words

gaming

Mario Kart – it’s Mario Kart! Yay! Although we now have six DS owners at the office, we haven’t yet had time to pull off a six-player race. I’m pretty sure it will be insane though. Brain Age – mildly nerdy, strngely addictive. It’s not so much a game, more of a series of mental training exercises. Too bad the speaking portion doesn’t easily recognize my voice (and/or my accent)

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:: 25 words

gaming

One would think the Nintendo DS, with it’s unique dual-screen layout and styles usage would not be that vulnerable to piracy. You’d be wrong though.

:: 378 words

magic-the-gathering

I left work early yesterday with the intent of playing in the Time Spiral release tourney at Galleria. The product arrived late though, and Switch and I had to wander around Galleria for half a day before the tourney was able to begin. As witnessed in the prerelease, Time Spiral seems to be immensely popular, which means high demand and low supply of boosters for the general public. And for good reason: Time Spiral is awesome, and provides an incredibly fun (and sometimes technical) limited environment.

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:: 41 words

gaming

My brother’s back from HK tonight, so we got some new stuff. I get a 1gig Toshiba usb flash drive (my previous one was only a 256MB), and a Nintendo DS. First time playing Mario Kart since the frickin’ SNES! Woot!

:: 141 words

tv-series pop-culture

_Heroes¬†_is a new TV series by NBC, covering the stories of several people who mysteriously gain superhuman powers. I just saw the pilot… it looks promising. There’s this lady who strips online for a living, and apparently she has a murderous reflection. A guy who thinks he can fly. A painter who can create paintings of future events – but only if he’s high. A schoolgirl with an incredible healing factor.

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:: 400 words

links

I don’t really read a lot of webcomics. Well, at least not as many as some people. I generally prefer the ones with feeds. Here are the ones I follow that don’t have feeds. That is, I like them well enough to bother hitting their website to check for new comics. Sinfest – awesome. It’s like a mature Calvin and Hobbes. Only with a talking pig instead of a tiger. And ninjas.

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:: 315 words

tv-series pop-culture

Yeah, Season Six started last week. The ending of season five was pretty bleak – Zod had taken over Lex Luthor’s body, Clark had been banished to the phantom zone, the whole world’s power grids had been shut down and Martha Kent and Lois Lane are on a plane that’s about to crash. I was expecting some sort of multi-episode saga at the start of season six, maybe detailing more of Kyrpton’s history (throught the phantom zone) and an epic battle of Zod-Lex vs Clark.

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:: 300 words

Or any other fast food place really. There are a lot of people like me who view having to line up and pay for your food as a rather large inconvenience. If you’re one of us, consider the following guidelines. Know what you’re going to order. Don’t be one of those annoying people who chats with all her friends while they’re waiting in line, then when they get up to the front of the line they spend 15 minutes discussing various options with the guy behind the counter.

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:: 36 words

meta

I’m bored, let’s do this. I will blog every day of October. And no posting inane stuff either. Every post will have meaning. Or at least as much meaning as my previous posts have had. Enjoy!

:: 935 words

Late afternoon on Saturday, I was looking quite a bit more work ahead of me, an amount that would later prove to last into the early morning. For some reason or another, I was a bit out of sorts, not really into what I was doing. Not wanting to waste company time being ridiculously unproductive, I decided to take an early dinner break and wander around Ortigas Centre for a bit.

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:: 193 words

philippines

Like a howling banshee, typhoon Milenyo tore through most of Metro Manila last Thursday, leaving chaos and devastation in its’ wake. The Philippine Star’s headline was most apt: ‘Milenyo’ shuts down Metro. Literally. Most places in Luzon lost power before noon of Thursday, owing to ravaged electrical transmission lines and substations. As of last night, at most 60% of areas have had power restored. Luckily it included both my place of work and place of residence, as losing access to electricity makes me feel like a peon in the dark ages.

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:: 154 words

magic-the-gathering

Yeah! Haven’t won a prerelease shirt since Odyssey, but I successfully won four edge-of-my-pants matches to take home the coveted prerelease-shirt-that’s-always-two-sizes-too-small-for-me-anyways! Man… one would think they would have shirts bigger than XXL. Lots of husky guys play Magic in the Philippines. Anyway, yeah 4-0, running a blue-white aggro-control. I opened awesome cards – Ancestral Vision, Lotus Bloom, Ith, Teferi, Whispers, etc. I was a bit worried that going UW would be a bad idea since I didn’t have access to either R or B for removal, but seems it was the right decision all along.

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:: 18 words

links

Today’s Dilbert Comic¬†amuses me because I didn’t think the term “guest chair” existed outside of our office.

:: 29 words

links

Google Trends: world domination, world peace People need to take world domination more seriously. I’d guess that at most 10% of the population have even seriously considered world domination!

:: 112 words

magic-the-gathering

Wanting to catch the last RGD Sealed tourney of the season, I headed out to NG Galleria today for GPT Sydney. Unfortunately, their shipment of Rav tourney packs failed to arrive, so anyone who wanted to play had to play Coldsnap Sealed. Bah, I got a terrible set, one of my rares was a Jokulmorder. Went RG/w, with the white being two Gelid Shackles that failed to show up whenever I faced down an Adarkar Valkyrie.

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:: 209 words

About a month ago, one of the devs at my company approached me with a personal concern: he needed to borrow some cash. Quite a bit, actually, for some expensive medical / family reason. Large amount, six digits (in pesos), roughly two-thirds of my current cash savings (To save you the math… my cash savings were somewhere between 150,000 and 1.5M). Funny thing is, I didn’t hesitate a bit. I knew this guy and he was okay, I didn’t have any reason to doubt he’d pay me back in a month like he promised (it’s due in about a week.

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:: 220 words

gaming

In the current handheld wars, I’ve sampled both the PSP and the Nintendo DS, and I have to say, I’m much more impressed with the DS. The PSP seems to be a very serious device, as if you tried to cram a PS2 into a handheld and toss in a media player alongside. The DS on the other hand, is _ just plain fun _ . Since we’ve been putting in a lot of long hours at work lately, one of our developers had the bright idea to bring his DS to the office.

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:: 181 words

magic-the-gathering

I came home at 3am yesterday after a long day at work Saturday. I was a bit sleepy, but because of work I wouldn’t be able to play in the Coldsnap-standard Magic tournament on the 26th, so I decided to blow some cash by playing in a Coldsnap release event on MTGO instead. I managed to win five consecutive rounds of Coldsnap sealed, piloting a mediocre decklist. Mediocre meaning I had neither Adarkar Valkyrie nor Ohran Viper.

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:: 1010 words

magic-the-gathering

I was busy this weekend with Magic: The Gathering. Four of us from the office played at a Nationals Qualifer today at Galleria. I played a custom-built aggro-control blue-white beauty called Azorius-12. Considering that I threw it together at practically the last minute, I think I did fairly well (but not enough to get the Nationals invite). Large turnout; rumor has it more than a hundred and thirty players participated, and NG quickly ran out of chairs and tables to use.

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:: 344 words

One of the first things I assume when I have headaches is that, “Maybe I’m developing telepathic powers.” At least, I would assume that people developing telepathic powers have some sort of growing pains that could be misconstrued as headaches. Unfortunately, I still don’t seem to have such powers and the head pains and dizziness I’ve been experiencing since Friday were just a sympton of something far more common – seems I got the flu, known in local parlance as¬†trangkaso.

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:: 367 words

software-development

Nice post on¬†Salary Averages Comparison over at the Pinoy Tech Blog. It got me thinking about my own job. I work at a foreign-based software development company that caters to clients outside the country. These days, I work mostly on JSP-based web projects. My starting salary, three and a half years ago, was higher than the average presented in this graph. Obviously, I’m earning a lot more than that now.

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:: 36 words

links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-06-24 How to Report Bugs Effectively — Tagged as: articles programming Salary Averages Comparison — Pinoy Tech Blog – The Philippines‚Äô Premier Technology Blog — Tagged as: articles industry

:: 763 words

magic-the-gathering

I played at Robinson’s Galleria last Saturday. So much for my first constructed outing in 10 years… not a very good outcome for me. I played 4-color Firemane Control… no permission, but lots of life gain and 4 Wrath of Gods packed maindeck, a specifically anti-aggro build. I was anticipating lots of Gruul beats and Orzhov aggro decks, and I was ready to beat them to the ground. Unfortunately, I faced not a single one of those decks.

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:: 198 words

philippines

I read this awesome article on¬†driving in Taiwan¬†, apparently written by an American living in Taiwan. Lots of pictures, and very descriptive. I suppose any foreigners coming to the Philippines would say that the situation in Metro Manila is pretty much the same as the one outlined in the article, but after I read it I can’t help but feel that it’s just a little bit worse over there.

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:: 525 words

magic-the-gathering

So, I played at PTQ Kobe at Robinson’s Galleria last Saturday. First things first: First thing I do when I get passed a Ravnica Block sealed deck is to check the decklist to see if I got passed a shockland. Incredibly, I was passed not just one, but two! That in itself paid for the registration fee, but I still wanted to get a decent finish in the PTQ. Unfortunately, aside from the Temple Garden and the Blood Crypt, I didn’t get that many “wow” cards.

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:: 429 words

gaming

Suikoden V is hands-down the best game in the Suikoden series. In almost all respects, it beats out the previous best game of the series (Suikoden 2): The story manages to follow the old pattern of “oh I need to flee my home and now I’m leading a band of rebels in a civil war!” but infuses with a lot of new elements: usurpers to the throne, historical wars of succession, threats of foreign invasion.

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:: 40 words

movies pop-culture

There’s only one thing I have to say about the third X-men movie: Totally unexpected. Comic book series fans will enjoy it more, as it fundamentally screws with what such a fan would expect from an X-men movie. Good stuff.

:: 27 words

links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-05-25 The Programmers’ Booklist — Tagged as: books cool Ultimate Utopia XXIII – Google Video — Tagged as: games videos

:: 317 words

software-development

I always have a hard time assessing fellow developers. For one thing, I’m never sure whether it’s fair to apply to other people the same internal standard I have for myself. Some people might say, “of course it’s fair to expect as much from other people as yourself!”, but the fact is that I’m not even sure if I expect too much from myself. I may like to project and arrogant and prideful exterior, but I’m extremely self-critical.

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:: 182 words

movies pop-culture

I’m not sure what some Church leaders are thinking. Calling for an outright ban on¬†_The DaVinci Code¬†_movie just makes it more popular. At the very least, it’s insulting to the intelligence of their flock – are they saying Catholics don’t have the ability to distinguish fact from fiction by themselves? But then again, this is a nation of Catholics who tend to elect action stars to high office because of all the goody-goody roles they portray in the movies, so maybe the priests have some sort of point.

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:: 46 words

Whenever I’m at other people’s houses, I often think their toilets are better than the ones we have at home. Don’t get me wrong, our toilets are nice enough; good, decent middle class toilets. But some people’s toilets look like they’ve never been used at all.

:: 21 words

links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-05-11 ASCII by Jason Scott: The Best and the Interesting — Tagged as: psychology

:: 15 words

links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-05-07 001-your-first-wp-plugin.mov (video/quicktime Object) — Tagged as: WordPress

:: 111 words

Sometimes it’s frightening to consider the existent of how much popular culture consumes our time. Most weekends I usually manage to reserve some time for some sort of learning, but over the last 48 hours, aside from work, my time has been swallowed by: Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett Episode 21 of Smallville Season 5 Episodes 18 and 19 of Simpsons Season 17 8 hours of Suikoden V gameplay … and probably 2-3 odd hours of watching random cartoons or wrestling on TV Hmm… I forgot to watch a movie though.

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:: 387 words

tv-series pop-culture

A very nice person handed me a CD with four episodes of Takeshi’s Castle on it, and I had to keep myself from watching them while at work, as I was getting my officemates distracted. If you’ve never seen samples of wacky Japanese TV before,¬†Takeshi’s Castle¬†is a good start. This wacky Japanese show throws a bunch of a hundred or so contestants into a series of ridiculous games, each one hoping to make it to the end to defeat Count Takeshi and win one million yen!

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:: 126 words

I feel compelled to post this, in case I ever need to remember. We spent last Sunday and Monday (Labor Day holiday) at a five-star hotel in Manila. My mom works there and she earned a free night’s stay; so we took advantage of her employee discount as well. Not really very exciting for me, as there’s seldom much to do in a hotel except to enjoy the air-conditioned room and watch TV.

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:: 368 words

software-development

So I was at work, and one of the HK guys asks me if we can have a themed button for the file input control in one of our screens. So, I’m all “alpha geek” and stuff, and I go: “No we can’t. We can’t style the ‘Browse’ button directly, and IE will throw an Access Denied error on submit if we invoke the click() method using Javascript.” But HK guy replies: “Gee, I wonder how GMail does it then.

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:: 128 words

tech-life

I tried the new¬†Yahoo Mail Beta¬†for a while, but I decided to switch back just now. Short review: it’s nice looking, but feels a tad sluggish. Well, sluggish compared to gmail at least. The biggest problem is that scrollbar in the message list. It’s like promising that you can scroll through all your messages, but when you try to scroll to a far away part of the list, you just get a lot of “Loading… ” text.

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:: 36 words

links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-04-23 How to destroy the Earth @ Things Of Interest — Tagged as: cool humor diesel sweeties: pixelated robot romance web comic & t-shirt party — Tagged as: webcomics

:: 155 words

Usually, whenever a Catholic priest gives a homily during Mass, he stands behind a pulpit and generally act like they’re making a speech. At the place where I go to Mass, the priests prefer to stand in front of the altar, closer to the audience, holding a microphone in their hands and pacing around a bit during the homily. I remarked to my brother during the Easter Sunday mass: “I bet priests would make great stand-up comics.

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:: 222 words

self-improvement

the four agreements, don miguel ruiz book – a code for life and personal development ** agreement 1 ** Be impeccable with your word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. ** agreement 2 ** Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you.

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:: 44 words

links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-04-19 Floatutorial: Step by step CSS float tutorial — Tagged as: coding css design web Recording Industry vs The People — Tagged as: music politics tech JavaScript RegExp Example: Regular Expression Tester — Tagged as: coding javascript

:: 318 words

tech-life

There are a handful of issues that would influence the general direction of the human race in years to come. Terrorism, oil scarcity, trade imbalances and worldwide poverty come to mind, and these are the ones most commonly discussed in mainstream media. There is however, another important battle being waged that is far removed from the minds of the everyday person. That battle is¬†Recording Industry vs The People. Some of the posts at the above blog are awesome reads and point to an alarming pattern of abuse of the United States’ judicial system by large corporations with armies of lawyers at their disposal waging a war against ordinary American citizens.

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:: 20 words

links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-04-14 YouTube – darth vader police japan — Tagged as: funny starwars videos

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I wonder if the Catholic Church considers piracy as a sin… at least one that I should be confessing to a priest during er… confession. If so, I suppose I have more than ten years’ worth of piracy-related sins to confess. Yeah, I go to confession. Once a year, around the Holy Week period usually. Once a year is the minimum frequency required by the Catholic Church, but I wonder how many observe it?

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gaming

One would think it an unfair comparision, seeing as how BG2 is at least 5 years older that Suiko5. But BG2 holds up pretty well, I end having a mental coin toss as to which game I will play at any one time. They both have their merits. Suiko5 Pros: Awesome story, lots of background and character depth. Cons: Extremely narrow gameplay, heavily scripted. Hero looks girly. Status: 12 hours in.

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I feel like I should be used to it, but summer seems a lot more intense this year.

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-04-10 GameDev.net – How To Build a Game In A Week From Scratch With No Budget — Tagged as: cool gamedev

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gaming

_ (My previous practice was never to post an entry about a game until I’d finished it. This was a good idea during those days that I had a lot of free time and could finish the average RPG in a week. I haven’t been in that state for four years.) _ My brother warned me that according to reviews, the first eight hours or so of Suikoden V were quite draggy.

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-04-06 How I won the Mid-Atlantic regionals with my Song of Blood Deck How I won the Mid-Atlantic regionals with my Song of Blood Deck — Tagged as: magicthegathering

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-04-05 How I Work: Bill Gates – Apr. 4, 2006 — Tagged as: articles lifehacks How to be Lucky: ProBlogger Blog Tips — Tagged as: lifehacks

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-04-02 Why specs matter [dive into mark] — Tagged as: articles development How to Have a 36 Hour Day — Tagged as: lifehacks Qooqle Video — Tagged as: videos Anytime is the Right Time to Start a Company – Blue Flavor — Tagged as: articles entrepreneurship Developer Testing, Discussions about Software Quality — Tagged as: developertesting programming

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tech-life

Ubuntu Desktop¬†Originally uploaded by¬†zroytang . I’m getting a lot more comfortable with Ubuntu… I spent about half an hour today customizing the environment and setting up some stuff. I can do my downloading in Ubuntu now; I just need to set up some sort of shared FAT32 partition that both WinXP and Ubuntu can access for easy transfer between the two OS. (Currently, Ubuntu only has read-only access to the NTFS file system)

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Yesterday, the guard at my office building pissed me off quite a bit. He refused to let me in because I was wearing slippers! Since we dress casually on Saturdays, very so often I like to wear slippers to work, especially when I’m feeling too lazy to put on socks. They never gave me any trouble before, so I argued with the guard for a bit. Stubborn-headed, he still wouldn’t let me in.

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I’ve always been suspicious of radio station top ten lists, assuming they are predetermined marketing scams and not really based on actual listener requests. When I was in high school I wanted to put this theory to the test by having a whole lot of people call one station and request a really old song – my choice at the time was “Hey Jude” by the Beatles. Unfortunately, my plan fell through because I could not gather the critical mass needed to accomplish it.

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-03-26 Main Page – Wikiquote — Tagged as: quotes Zen is Boring! — Tagged as: articles psychology zen FORTUNE: Secrets of greatness: How I work – Mar. 16, 2006 — Tagged as: articles lifehacks Be smarter at work, slack off – Mar. 17, 2006 — Tagged as: articles lifehacks How to make a custom TV-torrent feed ¬∑ TorrentFreak, torrents and more —

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tech-life

Ballmer, Bemused – Forbes.com An interview with Steve Ballmer – a lot of “Microsoft is cool” gibberish, but one nice quote stands out for me: Forbes.com: Right now, I can go out and get a free alternative to just about every product Microsoft sells. Why do people keep paying you for something they could get free? Ballmer: One, people value their time. Our stuff does more, and they like that.

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grand-prix limited magic-the-gathering

Can you find me in the picture? Originally uploaded by zroytang. Maybe it's just me, but Wizard's coverage of Grand Prix Manila last weekend seems just a tad condescending to Filipino Magic players. Not that we mind, after all, local bets actually did kick ass and shrugged off the Japanese invasion. If you are in fact a Filipino Magic player, then I hope you know what I’m talking about – last weekend at the Robinson’s Galleria Trade Hall, almost four hundred local and foreign Magic: The Gathering players gathered for the third-ever Grand Prix event held in Manila.

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-03-12 WordPress – USB — Wordpress on a stickTagged as: usb wordpress

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books pop-culture

Books I’ve finished reading in the past few months: _ Rapid Development _ by Steve McConnell – I was browsing through my company’s small library of development books and found this little gem among the usual language-specific tomes. A bit old, but I know from Code Complete that Steve McConnell really hits in the mark with regard to software best practices. This book is aimed mainly at technical leads — coincidentally, that was my role at the time.

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-03-09 Escapa! — “Click and hold the red square. Now, move it so that you neither touch the walls nor get hit by any of the blue blocks If you make it to 18 seconds, you are doing brilliantly!” Mindless! After a few tries I made it to 21 secs running on evasive instinct Tagged as: cool games javascript

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tech-life

I think I’m starting to get the hang of this :p This whole thing with Kubuntu, where I have to use Adept to install stuff is really weirding out my Windows-geek tendencies. For today, all I wanted was to get some mp3s playing on Kubuntu. Unfortunately, the default included players (Kaffeine and Amarok) were giving me trouble, claiming they could not play mp3s! I asked around for some help, and read some FAQs, but I kept getting errors trying to download and install gstreamer-mad 0.

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-03-08 Tour de Babel — Article from an Amazon employee comparing different programming languagesTagged as: articles programming

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meta

Full description Edit 2018: The old link was broken because the site in question changed their format. Here’s a fixed link.

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-03-04 20 greatest cartoon characters — Tagged as: cartoons Transformers: Evolution — Awesome alternate-universe Transformers series set during the early industrial age. Check out the initial sketches!Tagged as: comics transformers YouTube – Real Life Simpsons Intro — Tagged as: simpsons

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tech-life

[ Previously]1: I installed Kubuntu, but failed to get the internet working. But now, since we got a router to service our home network (whereas previously we were using a cross-cable directly connecting two computers), I decided to give it another shot. Apparently, if I have a router between my PC and the DSL line, I can use something called DHCP to automatically configure my ethernet connection. And I did that!

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:: 128 words

links

Edit: One-time update, because I found the script to get the bookmarks was being run at the wrong time, hence items posted after a certain time of the day would not be included. Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-02-24 How to stay organized at work? | Ask MetaFilter — Tagged as: askmefi lifehacks Maverick — Lightweight open-source java web framework Tagged as: coding framework java opensource web

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Wooo! I’m not sure how to begin; my brothers and I have been wrestling fans for almost twenty years now, and as far as I can remember this was the only time that the WWE ever came to the Philippines. The last time was a long time ago, and although I wanted to see it, there was no way I could convince my parents then that the largish amount of cash needed to go was worth it.

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:: 426 words

philippines

Lest I be accused of avoiding the real world by writing about TV shows while events start to unfold which may or may not plunge our nation into chaos , I suppose I should put my two cents into the matter. For those who read this text in the future at a time when all these links are broken, the current President of the Phillipines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has declared a state of national emergency today, claiming that a broad alliance encompassing traditional oppostion groups and the far left and the far right are trying to bring her down.

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:: 342 words

tv-series pop-culture

I figure there are three reasons why people continue to watch Smallville: We want to see Clark become Superman (and Lex become… Lex) We want to see all the cool comic-book references and cameos We actually like all the drama and though we know otherwise, we harbor some sort of hope that maybe Clark and Lana will still get together anyhow As a comic geek, I guess I’m more inclined toward the first two.

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-02-24 Gamasutra – Soapbox – “World of Warcraft Teaches the Wrong Things” — Tagged as: articles games mmorpgs warcraft Ubersite – The Ultimate MS Paint: It Will Make You Cry — Tagged as: art cool

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gaming

I am a Light Cycle . I drive fast, I turn fast, I do everything fast. I even breakfast. I tend to confuse people with my sudden changes of heart. Sometimes I even confuse myself, which tends to cause problems. What Video Game Character Are You?

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… or so he claimed. The conversation started off easily enough, he said the MMDA over at Megamall were staring him down for daring to wait for me to run up to his cab. For some reason, he soon digressed into how earlier that day he had witnessed a man snatch a cellphone from a young woman inside a jeepney. The young woman was of course dumbstruck as the perp made his escape.

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meta

I am honored, I am now worthy of being comment-spammed. Made me sign up for a WordPress.com account so I could activate Akismet.

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tech-life

Desktop 2006-02-19 Originally uploaded by zroytang . <p> Spent a good amount of time today tidying up the desktop. Check it out! </p> <p> Wallpaper is from <a href="http://everydayicons.jp">Everyday Icons<br /> </a> </p>

:: 19 words

links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-02-19 How to Interview a Programmer — Tagged as: articles interview programming

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opinions

I remembered that I haven’t written an About page yet. This post will go there. The¬†Blogger profile¬†describes me as a “Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.” Let’s break that down, shall we? Programmer : Since January of 2003 I’ve been working as a software developer for the RP office of a Hong Kong-based company. I’m no Computer Science graduate, but I did manage to fake it well enough to pass the¬†JITSE¬†certification exams.

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puzzles tech-life

Some people I know enjoy puzzles. (So do I.) Here’s a neat one: 85 37 655321 64389000 466 64 24601 101 980 95 057 42799 6 The only hint provided is:   It’s not something you’ll figure out by just thinking about it, but with some creative Googling you can get it. _ Via J-Walk (Warning: the link will show you the answer!

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-02-16 Sketch Swap — Awesome (and slightly addictive) flash (I think it’s flash) page that allows you to sketch something and get a sketch in return.Tagged as: cool flash sketching

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philippines

pamie.com: Open Up and Say Yumburger. Awesome, awesome blog post about some “Ugly Americans” and their um… “unique” experience dining at Jollibee. Highlights the world of difference between the American palette and the Filipino one. While they make a good point that Jollibee is the “crappy burger joint food” of the Philippines as compared to McDonald’s which is the “crappy burger joint food” of the US, I don’t think I’ve ever heard any Filipino reference Jollibee food in any such disparaging manner.

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links

Shared bookmarks for¬†del.icio.us¬†user¬†roytang¬†on 2006-02-15 Yahoo! UI Library — Tagged as: coding web Online test based on Jung – Myers-Briggs typology — Tagged as: myers-briggs psychology tools Japanese Wallpaper Site — Tagged as: wallpapers TTCS OSSWIN CD – open source software for Windows — Tagged as: freeware software Video of a Real Transformer — Tagged as: cool tech transformers

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On our way down the mountain from Batangas, we stopped in a small, quaint town filled with old-fashioned simple folk. For some reason, I took the opportunity to vanish into the shadows and watch as the buses left me behind. I roamed around the small town, hoping to find some sort of means with which I could escape my mundane life and start over in a some other paradise. Twice people from the company came back, looking for someone, but apparently not me.

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travels

Looking Out Over Punta Fuego Originally uploaded by zroytang . <p> This is the photo I decided to put on the front page of http://roytang.net while I wasn't sure yet what to put there. </p> <p> We were at Punta Fuego in Batangas last Jan 30-31 for our coincidentally-coinciding-with-the-HK-Chinese-New Year-weekend annual company outing. Those who know me in person might be aware that I'm not really big on out-of-town trips.

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:: 252 words

opinions

The response of the western world to the recent backlash against published cartoon depictions of mohammed could be described as the unavoidable result of two completely distinct cultures clashing against each other. On one hand, Islam dictates that any such depiction of the prophet Mohammed are considered as blasphemy; on the other hand, Western media views it as a free speech issue; since every other religion in the world tolerates media lampooning, why shouldn’t Islam?

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:: 249 words

books review pop-culture

[ This¬†]1was Scott Adams’ first non-Dilbert book. If you’re used to reading Adams go on about Induhviduals and stupid managers, or if you’ve never read Adams trying / pretending to sound philosophical in one of his books, then this isn’t what you’d expect. Adams describes it as a “thought experiment” of sorts, one where he tries to provide some sort of explanation for basically life, the universe and everything. Although it’s a work of fiction, it sounds like Adams is trying to see how people will react to his form of philosophy — it seems to be one of his favorite things to do something just to provoke reactions.

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philippines

In a few months people will forget anyway. Yesterday 74 people died in a tragic stampede. The reason? Crowding to get into the one-year anniversary show of a local noontime variety show. Wowowee. This is ridiculous, an obvious barometer showing how desperate many of our countrymen have become. The show was offering prizes in the form of raffle draws and contests, and many were hoping to win a house and lot or at least some cash to help them get by.

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meta changelog

Yeah, so I was bored and went ahead and got a domain name. ^_^I’m wondering if I’ve wasted money, but webhosting is really cheap nowadays anyway. Thanks to the nice folks at¬†pinoywebhosting.com¬†for their quick service! Anyway, I hope you’ll pardon me if some parts of the site aren’t fully up-and-running (the about page is still the wordpress template for one), I haven’t had much time to play around with wordpress yet.

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software-development

Yeah, I haven’t been posting lately. I still have a lot of thoughts running around my head, and often throughout the day I find myself thinking, “I should post an entry about this.” But at the end of the day, I’m tired and I’m exhausted from thinking about two hundred different issues and juggling twenty different priorities, so I don’t post about it. I note it somewhere and sooner or later it becomes irrelevant and I forget why I wanted to post it in the first place.

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:: 194 words

tech-life

So yeah, out of a strange mix of adventurism, inertia, coincidence and plan old boredom, I decided to install linux on this machine. At first I just wanted to see how easy the install would be, but after I nuked my Windows XP install I sort of had no turning back. (-_-!) Anyway, I went for a dual boot of Windows XP and Kubuntu, supposedly an easy-to-use Linux distro. So yeah, I even watched this video online that showed how to do the installs.

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job-hunting

… but I just want to see what happens now. The transition from the last year felt a bit strange to me. Usually, the new year is a time for letting go of the past, and looking ahead to a whole new future. That so perfectly described the end of the last year, as things changed around me and just naturally fell into positions where I would be able to leave them behind.

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