Roy Tang

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

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Archive for 2008

:: 245 words

gaming

I wanted to make a calendar of game release dates in 2009 (so I won’t forget), but apparently details are sparse. The only games that I’m remotely interested in that already have release dates are: 20 Jan 2009: Mana Khemia: Student Alliance (PSP) Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP) 17 Feb 2009: Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (NDS) Street Fighter IV (PS3) 17 Mar 2009:

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links meta

I came across a website that provided an online Speed Reading Test. Most people I know generally know me to be a fast reader so I decided to take the test. My results: 472 words per minute screen reading, at 82% comprehension, which the website says classifies me as a “good reader”. Apparently the best readers can read at 700wpm at 85% comprehension, sounds tough =/ Try the quiz and post your results here.

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software-development

My current blog app supports syntax highlighting in the blog posts, something I cribbed off Djangosnippet #119 One problem I encountered was that there was no quick visual reference for the styles available with pygments, so I wrote a short demo page here so that I could easily see the appearance of each syntax highlighting class. Of course, I haven’t had a chance to use it in a post yet…

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magic-the-gathering

The last limited tournament of the season, it was last week, December 20 at Robinson’s Galleria. The format was Shards of Alara sealed deck. For once, I opened a pretty good pool. Unfortunately, I failed to make the follow through. Decklist and (short) tournament report follows. Creatures 1 Sigiled Paladin 1 Welkin Guide 1 Viscera Dragger 1 Exuberant Firestoker 1 Predator Dragon 1 Ridge Rannet 1 Rockslide Elemental 1 Cylian Elf 1 Mosstodon 1 Mycoloth 1 Wild Nacatl 1 Bull Cerodon 1 Rip-Clan Crasher 1 Steward of Valeron Spells 2 Oblivion Ring 1 Resounding Silence 1 Dragon Fodder 1 Magma Spray 1 Resounding Thunder 1 Skeletonize 1 Soul's Fire Lands 1 Obelisk of Naya 1 Arcane Sanctum 2 Bant Panorama 3 Plains 6 Mountain 5 Forest Sideboard 2 Angelic Benediction 1 Angelsong 1 Dispeller's Capsule 1 Gustrider Exuberant 1 Sanctum Gargoyle 1 Cloudheath Drake 1 Coma Veil 1 Courier's Capsule 1 Covenant of Minds 1 Dawnray Archer 1 Etherium Sculptor 1 Jhessian Lookout 1 Outrider of Jhess 1 Spell Snip 1 Vectis Silencers 1 Bone Splinters 1 Corpse Connoisseur 1 Dreg Reaver 1 Immortal Coil 1 Infest 2 Shore Snapper 2 Undead Leotau 1 Dragon's Herald 1 Goblin Mountaineer 1 Lightning Talons 1 Viashino Skeleton 1 Ooze Garden 1 Resounding Roar 2 Savage Hunger 1 Soul's Might 1 Carrion Thrash 1 Deft Duelist 1 Fire-Field Ogre 2 Goblin Deathraiders 1 Hindering Light 1 Jhessian Infiltrator 1 Kederekt Creeper 1 Sprouting Thrinax 1 Obelisk of Esper 1 Obelisk of Grixis 1 Esper Panorama (The decklist above only lists 39 cards… not sure what the missing 40th card was )

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royondjango software-development

Frontend: All page templates are valid (X)HTML. However, I choose not to claim valid XHTML (and no doc type declaration) since I can’t guarantee that blog posts I write are compliant! The site uses standard CSS and uses the Blueprint CSS Framework for the grid layout of the page. The site design is entirely original (if not simple and bland – I’m not very good with website design yet!). The site has minor usage of JQuery Javascript library in some parts.

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meta changelog

Previously I hosted two separate WordPress blogs on roytang.net, the old one I’ve had since forever, and a separate one that discussed only magic related articles. It was a bit bothersome to have two WordPress installs though. Now that I’ve migrated to a Django backend, I decided to merge the blogs back into one. The blog now has the following sections/categories: Magic the Gathering – for posts related to MTG Software Development – for posts related to Software Development (hopefully I can write more about this topic) Gaming – originally I didn’t have this category, but looking at previous contents of the blog and my delicious links, this is one of the things I write about the most, so I made it a separate category Weblog – everything else I can think of Each category has a separate RSS feed you can subscribe to – so that if you’re only interested in MTG posts you can subscribe to the MTG category feed, etc.

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meta changelog

Well, it’s a bit early. But if you’re reading this then I’ve successfully migrated the roytang.net website to a new host. See you after the jump! Merry Christmas!

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gaming

I purchased a PS3 last week! As is typically with me making large purchases, a was wishy-washy about it for a whole two weeks (although Alvin had been egging me to buy one for months). To show how indecisive we are, here’s the conversation we had at the store: _ Saleslady: Sir, anong kulay ang gusto nyo? Black, silver or white? Me: Alvin, ano gusto mo? Alvin: Kahit ano, silver na lang siguro.

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magic-the-gathering

I’m on vacation, so it means I actually have time to hit FNM. I sleeved up the Kithkin deck (no more Blightning for me!) and headed over to Robinson’s Galleria (Getting robbed along the way fyi). Nothing surprising, I managed to make 3-1, good enough for fourth place and four packs with crap rares inside. My loss was to the mirror match, most probably due to my lower card quality, as I had only 1 planeswalker in my deck.

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I wish there was more to the story, but the true story is rather short: I had a moment of carelessness as I hurriedly tried to disemabark from the crowded MRT, and by the time I was getting on an FX at Megamall I noticed that the front pocket of my bag was open and my phone was missing. The PSP which was in the same pocket was still there so I guess the thief was in a hurry.

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magic-the-gathering

I actually initially thought that there would be a PTQ this weekend. When I found out there would just be a normal Standard tournament the night before, I assembled a deck quickly. I went with Blightning Beatdown:

Unfortunately, things did not go well for our hero. Tournament report follows.

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links

HOWTO: Be more productive (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought) (tags: lifehacks productivity)

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royondjango software-development

I played around with the built-in comments app today, trying to clean it up. Some findings: Some of the moderation views, such as flagging a post or deleting a post, accept a next parameter that determines where the view will redirect to after the operation. However, the way the url’s are set up, there’s no easy way to pass this parameter normally, even through query strings. THis lovely bug is documented in http://code.

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links

Fictitious Nonsense ¬Ľ Overriding a Widget in the Django Admin Site (tags:¬†programming¬†django¬†widget)
I’ve been busy at work so fell a bit behind with Django. Last night I worked on a WordPress importer, so that I could migrate posts from my current blog(s) into the Django-powered blog that I’m coding. I’m using BeautifulSoup to parse the WordPress export file and insert them as Django objects. Since I was running the script repeatedly, I had to figure out how to easily run it from the command line, without having to run it from inside manage.

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magic-the-gathering

The PTQ was last Sunday, November 17 at Robinson’s Galleria. As per usual, I opened and registered a pretty good pool with 2 [Battlegrace Angel][1] and [Tezzeret the Seeker][2] . The pool I got passed to me and the deck I built below: Lands 1 Grixis Panorama 1 Naya Panorama 1 Plains 3 Swamp 5 Mountain 4 Forest Creatures 1 Skeletal Kathari 1 Viscera Dragger 1 Hell's Thunder 2 Hissing Iguanar 1 Jund Battlemage 1 Algae Gharial 1 Cavern Thoctar 1 Jungle Weaver 1 Manaplasm 1 Rhox Charger 1 Blood Cultist 1 Carrion Thrash 2 Goblin Deathraiders 1 Kresh the Bloodbraided 1 Rip-Clan Crasher Spells 1 Oblivion Ring 1 Resounding Silence 1 Skeletonize 1 Soul's Fire 1 Branching Bolt 1 Jund Charm 1 Obelisk of Grixis 1 Arcane Sanctum Sideboard 1 Angel's Herald 1 Ethersworn Canonist 1 Excommunicate 2 Knight of the Skyward Eye 1 Marble Chalice 1 Soul's Grace 1 Welkin Guide 1 Call to Heel 2 Cancel 1 Cloudheath Drake 2 Coma Veil 1 Jhessian Lookout 1 Outrider of Jhess 1 Resounding Wave 1 Sphinx's Herald 1 Vectis Silencers 1 Banewasp Affliction 2 Deathgreeter 1 Immortal Coil 1 Resounding Scream 1 Scavenger Drake 1 Shadowfeed 1 Shore Snapper 1 Bloodthorn Taunter 1 Exuberant Firestoker 1 Goblin Mountaineer 1 Incurable Ogre 1 Viashino Skeleton 1 Volcanic Submersion 1 Lush Growth 1 Resounding Roar 1 Soul's Might 1 Topan Ascetic 1 Carrion Thrash 1 Fire-Field Ogre 1 Kederekt Creeper 1 Kiss of the Amesha 1 Qasali Ambusher 1 Rakeclaw Gargantuan 1 Sigil Blessing 1 Waveskimmer Aven 1 Obelisk of Bant The pool had decent removal, but no big game-winning bombs.

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magic-the-gathering

Just kidding. I don’t have a draft cap or anything. I went drafting with our would-be GP Taipei contingent last November 12 (Wednesday). I actually almost never play sanctioned matches outside of the weekend tournaments, but I was a bit tired from work and wanted to blow off steam, so I went ahead to Robinson’s Galleria and waited a couple of hours for the 8-man draft to fill up. I opened with Cruel Ultimatum as my first pick, then got a couple of white weenies (Akrasan Squire and Sigiled Paladin) before getting a 4th-pick Agony Warp.

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software-development

21112008130.jpg Originally uploaded by zroytang A while back I got an email telling me that Adobe was sending out free Flex T-Shirts to people who had contributed to Flex 3. I had reported a few bugs on Flex JIRA, apparently that was enough for me to get a free shirt! The picture here shows the back of the shirt, the front just has a small Adobe logo.

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links

Simple Search -- Gatherer -- Magic: The Gathering Beta version of the new Gatherer (tags:¬†magicthegathering) BrowserPlus‚ĄĘ (tags:¬†programming¬†javascript¬†web¬†framework) Snackr: an RSS ticker for Windows/Mac/Linux built using Adobe AIR and Flex. (tags:¬†flash¬†software¬†cool)

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magic-the-gathering

Tournament was last November 2 at Robinson’s Galleria. The format is Shards of Alara sealed. Because the store lacked tourney packs, the tournament was split into two halves; one half would get 1 tourney pack + 2 boosters, the other half would get 5 boosters. I played in the tourney pack half. My pool and decklist to follow. Basically, I played Naya again, splashing blue for (this is ridiculous) 2 Kederekt Leviathans!

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magic-the-gathering

“Clearly Chris Woltereck was one of the best players in the room, and probably could have won the tournament with a ham sandwich.” – Gerry Thompson on Cruel Control winning the 25-Oct SCG 5k Standard Tournament

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royondjango software-development

I wanted to add some basic tagging to my blog app so I tried out django-tagging. Unfortunately, the featured downloads on the Google Code site are quite out-of-date and would not work with Django 1.0, so I did a subversion checkout instead. If you’re getting an error like “ImportError: cannot import name parse_lookup”, then you need to get the source code from SVN. Adding the tagging to the blog was pretty easy:

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magic-the-gathering

2nd Trial for Taipei was last Sunday, October 17 at Robinson’s Galleria. I open to register a very mediocre pool while the rest of the guys at my table open awesome pools with lots of bombs. “Gee, I hope we don’t keep this pool.” The judge comes over, rolls the dice and we keep our pools. Awkward. Lands 2 Crumbling Necropolis 9 Plains 1 Mountain 5 Forest Creatures 2 Akrasan Squire 1 Ranger of Eos 1 Rockcaster Platoon 1 Sighted-Caste Sorcerer 1 Sigiled Paladin 1 Yoked Plowbeast 1 Jund Battlemage 1 Ridge Rannet 1 Vithian Stinger 1 Cavern Thoctar 1 Court Archers 1 Drumhunter 1 Jungle Weaver 1 Wild Nacatl 1 Steward of Valeron 1 Woolly Thoctar Spells 1 Oblivion Ring 1 Magma Spray 1 Resounding Thunder 1 Sigil Blessing 1 Obelisk of Jund 1 Quietus Spike Sideboard 1 Angel's Herald 1 Angelsong 2 Dispeller's Capsule 1 Sunseed Nurturer 1 Call to Heel 2 Cathartic Adept 1 Coma Veil 1 Courier's Capsule 2 Jhessian Lookout 1 Kathari Screecher 1 Mindlock Orb 1 Outrider of Jhess 1 Spell Snip 1 Tortoise Formation 2 Blister Beetle 1 Bone Splinters 1 Dreg Reaver 1 Dregscape Zombie 1 Executioner's Capsule 1 Skeletal Kathari 1 Undead Leotau 1 Goblin Mountaineer 2 Lightning Talons 1 Thorn-Thrash Viashino 1 Thunder-Thrash Elder 1 Volcanic Submersion 2 Behemoth's Herald 1 Godtoucher 1 Sacellum Godspeaker 1 Savage Hunger 1 Soul's Might 1 Agony Warp 1 Blightning 1 Fire-Field Ogre 1 Hindering Light 1 Kederekt Creeper 1 Necrogenesis 1 Punish Ignorance 1 Sprouting Thrinax 1 Tidehollow Strix 1 Obelisk of Esper I guess I pretty much misbuilt the deck.

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royondjango software-development

So I got a basic blog app up and running. Posting, paged archives, etc. Comments implemented using the django.contrib.comments. No problems here, the only caveat being most of the current documentation found by Google searches refer to the pre-1.0 version. Need to peruse the official docs for 1.0 stuff. RSS feeds implemented using django.contrib.syndication, this one seems fine. I tested it and it’s running fine on localhost. I also have a free django hosting account at http://bells-n-whistles.

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software-development

My dad asked me to help book a flight from Manila to Boracay for my uncle who would be a balikbayan this weekend. The rates at PAL were better, so we decided to book using their website. I did the search for the flights, booked the seats, input my uncle’s details, etc. When we got to the screen to input the credit card info, my dad went to call my uncle to confirm and to get his credit card.

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tech-life

My brother pointed me to a new (to me at least) online music service called¬†imeem. The website caught my interest for two reasons. It uses Adobe Flex, a technology which I’ve been using for the past year or so. Any Flex developer knows it’s Flex just by looking at the widgets. (Click to enlarge the screenshot!) The service allowed me to find an mp3 which I’ve never found before and have used as a benchmark for how good an mp3 search service is.

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royondjango software-development

“when redirecting, how can I make the redirect URL decoupled from the urls.py of the parent app?” -> It turns out that HttpResponseRedirect supports relative paths, so this was fine. return HttpResponseRedirect(“../” + str(post.id) + “/”) I got the basic posting structure up. /post/new/ -> To make new posts /post// -> To view a single post /post/all/ -> To view all posts I should probably start thinking of a better url scheme.

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royondjango software-development

The quintessential app to learn from is of course a blog. Started using a simple Post model. Added the new post form and view. Can now successfully insert posts into the DB. Next: – create the detail page that will show the post after saving Figure out: – when redirecting, how can I make the redirect URL decoupled from the urls.py of the parent app? i.e. if the parent app has the following mapping:

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meta

Actually, I’m writing this post to test comments on the blog, which someone has reported to be currently borken. See ya in the comments.

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links

The eyeballing game Flash game to check how good you are eyeballing geometry. I got a score of 6.62. (tags: games flash)

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magic-the-gathering

I haven’t had a top eight result in a while. Thank goodness for limited season! I registered a deck that I would have loved to play, with highlights such as Caldera Hellion, 2 Oblivion Rings and 2 Resounding Thunders, plus a lot of good blue/black stuff. Of course, we pass the card pools and here’s the one I ended up playing: Lands 5 Plains 2 Island 1 Swamp 1 Mountain 5 Forest 1 Bant Panorama 1 Jund Panorama 1 Naya Panorama Creatures 1 Cavern Thoctar 1 Court Archers 1 Druid of the Anima 1 Mosstodon 1 Naya Battlemage 1 Broodmate Dragon 1 Deft Duelist 2 Qasali Ambusher 1 Stoic Angel 1 Waveskimmer Aven 1 Resounding Thunder 1 Guardians of Akrasa 1 Knight of the Skyward Eye 1 Sanctum Gargoyle 1 Sigiled Paladin Spells 1 Obelisk of Esper 1 Obelisk of Grixis 1 Infest 1 Bant Charm 1 Oblivion Ring 1 Resounding Silence 1 Scourglass Sideboard 1 Obelisk of Jund 1 Banewasp Affliction 1 Blister Beetle 1 Dregscape Zombie 1 Glaze Fiend 1 Onyx Goblet 1 Puppet Conjurer 1 Shadowfeed 1 Undead Leotau 1 Cancel 1 Coma Veil 1 Courier's Capsule 2 Fatestitcher 2 Jhessian Lookout 1 Outrider of Jhess 1 Sphinx's Herald 1 Behemoth's Herald 1 Cavern Thoctar 1 Cylian Elf 1 Gift of the Gargantuan 1 Godtoucher 1 Ooze Garden 1 Resounding Roar 1 Blightning 1 Carrion Thrash 1 Goblin Deathraiders 1 Prince of Thralls 1 Sangrite Surge 1 Sigil Blessing 1 Sprouting Thrinax 1 Swerve 1 Bloodpyre Elemental 1 Dragon Fodder 1 Dragon's Herald 1 Goblin Mountaineer 2 Lightning Talons 1 Ridge Rannet 2 Soul's Fire 1 Volcanic Submersion 1 Angelsong 1 Guardians of Akrasa 1 Welkin Guide 1 Yoked Plowbeast The exalted theme is pretty good and I was glad for a chance to try it out.

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links

83 free D&D adventures -- Dungeon Mastering -- Dungeons and Dragons blog -- DM tips, D&D books, RPG fun (tags: games)

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links

NOOP.NL: Managing Software Development: Top 100 Blogs for Development Managers (Q3 2008) (tags: blogs programming)

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tech-life

If you’ve been having trouble with Bayan DSL web connections to some websites (which we have for the past few weeks or so), you may be surprised to know that they have an HTTP proxy server you can use. Strange, considering that when reporting such problems to their trunkline, they never ask whether you’re using that proxy server or not. I don’t recall ever being told about it by the Bayan DSL staff.

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movies review pop-culture

On a whim, my brother and I went to Trinoma to see Eagle Eye, barely catching the last full show (including the trailers of course, we love watching trailers). Our mom had said we’d like the movie and she still owed us one since it was her fault we watched Big Stan. So we’re giving her a chance to redeem herself. The spoilerless review: Since Eagle Eye trailers seem to be everywhere, you probably have some idea of at least the start of the story.

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magic-the-gathering

I hit the first flight at Eastwood City last Saturday, September 27. Here’s my sealed pool: Lands 1 Arcane Sanctum 1 Bant Panorama 1 Crumbling Necropolis 1 Savage Lands 4 Plains 4 Island 5 Forest Spells 1 Obelisk of Esper 1 Courier's Capsule 1 Resounding Wave 1 Branching Bolt 1 Sigil Blessing 1 Magma Spray 1 Oblivion Ring Creatures 1 Cloudheath Drake 2 Kathari Screecher 1 Kederekt Leviathan 2 Druid of the Anima 1 Drumhunter 1 Jungle Weaver 1 Mosstodon 1 Naya Battlemage 1 Mayael the Anima 1 Rafiq of the Many 2 Steward of Valeron 1 Bant Battlemage 1 Yoked Plowbeast Sideboard 1 Relic of Progenitus 1 Bone Splinters 1 Deathgreeter 1 Dregscape Zombie 1 Glaze Fiend 1 Onyx Goblet 1 Puppet Conjurer 1 Skeletal Kathari 1 Undead Leotau 1 Viscera Dragger 1 Call to Heel 1 Cathartic Adept 1 Courier's Capsule 1 Etherium Astrolabe 1 Etherium Sculptor 1 Fatestitcher 1 Outrider of Jhess 1 Spell Snip 1 Tortoise Formation 1 Godtoucher 2 Lush Growth 1 Mighty Emergence 1 Manaplasm 1 Ooze Garden 1 Savage Hunger 3 Soul's Might 1 Topan Ascetic 1 Wild Nacatl 1 Grixis Panorama 1 Blightning 1 Grixis Charm 1 Kederekt Creeper 1 Kiss of the Amesha 1 Necrogenesis 1 Qasali Ambusher 1 Realm Razer 1 Rip-Clan Crasher 2 Tidehollow Strix 1 Bloodpyre Elemental 1 Dragon's Herald 1 Exuberant Firestoker 1 Goblin Mountaineer 1 Lightning Talons 1 Ridge Rannet 2 Thorn-Thrash Viashino 1 Vithian Stinger 1 Volcanic Submersion 1 Akrasan Squire 1 Angelsong 1 Dispeller's Capsule 1 Excommunicate 1 Gustrider Exuberant 1 Marble Chalice 1 Soul's Grace 1 Sunseed Nurturer The pool was pretty good, decent removal and I built the deck around fatties (Naya, obviously).

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meta

After trying out¬†usernamecheck.com, I decided to try claiming my username “roytang” at various websites. Here’s a list of various websites where I have this username. http://friendfeed.com/roytang– This one actually seems useful. http://twitter.com/roytang– Okay, I admit it. I’ve actually had this for a few weeks now. http://pownce.com/roytang/– I’m not yet too clear on what it’s used for. http://roytang.posterous.com/– would be useful if I didn’t already have a blog http://roytang.livejournal.com/– now I can be emo!

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software-development

I was looking to try out some Flex stuff at home, but of course I didn’t have a personal Flex Builder license I could use. (A coworker of mine wisely advised me not to try using my work license at home.) So I looked around to see if there were any free (as in beer and as in speech) alternatives. The one I found was FlashDevelop. Although the IDE looks Eclipse-like, it’s actually built using .

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magic-the-gathering

Catching up on my tournament reports now: Sep 7, Pre-Alara Triple Treat (Prerelease passes at stake) I’m playing the same deck as I did in the GP Manila Day Two PTQs. Round 1 vs 5-color merfolk: 2-0 win. Round 2 vs Kithkin (mirror match) 0-2 loss. I generally don’t know how to play the mirror match. Round 3 vs 5-color control: 1-2 loss. His build was too strong against Kithkin; in addition to Firespouts and Hallowed Burials, he also had Soul Snuffers.

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magic-the-gathering

Grand Prix Manila 08 has come and gone and is in the history books. While the Wizards official coverage gives you the play-by-play and the results, I’ll see if I can’t provide any interesting stories about my first constructed Grand Prix event. For the PTQ on day two, I decided to just use the Kithkin build we made for Paul, except that I put in Stillmoon Cavaliers maindeck, taking out Knight of Meadowgrain.

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meta

I was going through some old files today, I found this screenshot of my desktop from 2004: _ (Click for larger image) _ Actually, I still like that wallpaper. It’s well-drawn. It’s from RPGamer Theme Central. Items I had in the quick-launch toolbar: mIRC (for downloading comics) Thunderbird IE IE again (?!) I believe this is EditPad, a notepad replacement Chami.com HTML-Kit WinAmp Windows Media Player DivX Player No idea Shortcut to some folder Kazaa (pirate!

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movies pop-culture

I caught Groundhog Day for the Nth time today on HBO (N roughly around 50). My father claims it’s his favorite movie of all time; high praise considering he watches every movie that comes out EVER. I’m not actually going to talk about the movie; it’s awesome, if you haven’t seen it, you should. You’re missing half your life. If you had one day of eternity, what would you do?

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Grand Prix Manila 08 has come and gone and is in the history books. While the Wizards official coverage gives you the play-by-play and the results, I‚Äôll see if I can‚Äôt provide any interesting stories about my first constructed Grand Prix event. ** Day One Tournament Report ** As mentioned in the previous post , I’m playing QnT and I hope to fight aggro decks all day long. ** Round 1.

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magic-the-gathering

… starts next week. Taking a break from typing up my Grand Prix Manila blog entries, here’s my prediction for the type of manafixing we’ll see in Alara: Grixis Land Land (Common) T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 2, T: Add RBU to your mana pool. Whenever you would add G or W to your mana pool, add 1 to your mana pool instead.

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magic-the-gathering

Grand Prix Manila 08 has come and gone and is in the history books. While the Wizards official coverage gives you the play-by-play and the results, I’ll see if I can’t provide any interesting stories about my first constructed Grand Prix event. ** Grand Prix Manila, Day Zero ** I met up with Switch and Alex at the venue (Megatrade hall in SM Megamall) early and got in by 10 am.

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magic-the-gathering

Grand Prix Manila 08 has come and gone and is in the history books. While the Wizards official coverage gives you the play-by-play and the results, I’ll see if I can’t provide any interesting stories about my first constructed Grand Prix event. Cast of Characters It was about three weeks before the Grand Prix, and I still had no idea what I was going to play. I didn’t have a regular playtest group, and I needed some people to bounce ideas off.

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links

Daily MTG : Magic: The Gathering I'm bookmarking this because the www.magicthegathering.com redirect doesn't seem to work anymore. (tags: games articles)

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software-development

In my continuing quest to become better than everybody else, I spent some time today learning Django (a Python webapp framework) and the Google App Engine. I tried following the tutorials included in the Django Book for a while, but I’ve never taken too well with just typing up examples from a book, so I decided to write something from scratch. I decided to write a simple message board application.

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magic-the-gathering

2nd PTQ was last Saturday, August 23 at Robinson’s Calleria. I brought a slightly modified version of the greedy deck: Lands 2 Mutavault 4 Reflecting Pool 4 Secluded Glen 3 Sunken Ruins 4 Vivid Creek 2 Vivid Marsh 3 Wanderwine Hub 2 Mystic Gate Creatures 4 Merrow Reejerey 2 Mirror Entity 4 Silvergill Adept 4 Stonybrook Banneret 4 Sower of Temptation Other Spells 4 Bitterblossom 4 Cryptic Command 4 Nameless Inversion 3 Unmake 3 Sage's Dousing Sideboard 2 Shriekmaw 2 Crib Swap 2 Pollen Lullaby 2 Hallowed Burial 4 Wispmare 3 Vendillion Clique The venue is crowded as the PTQ is the same day as WoW TCG Nationals.

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tech-life

I needed to transfer a file to my phone today, but could not find my USB cable. I figured I’d try out the Bluetooth with the laptop. After around 30 minutes of struggling with the unintuitiveness and some helpful googling I finally was able to transfer my file using the ff steps, for future reference: Turn on Bluetooth on the Acer Aspire using the Bluetooth button. Right-click the Bluetooth icon on the systray -> Show Bluetooth Devices -> Options -> tick “Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer”

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software-development

Upon the prodding of Mikong, I attended the recent Barcamp Manila held in Ortigas last Thursday. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as I’ve never attended any such conference before, and I’ve never been particularly involved with the local developer community, but I said I’d go anyway, I figured it’d probably be fun. The event was held at the Orient Square building at the offices of Exist Global and Morph Labs, who sponsored the event.

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software-development

Am I the only one getting these random JavaScript alerts (obviously debugging messages!) on the new Facebook today?

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magic-the-gathering

The tournament was last Saturday, Aug 16 at Robinson’s Galleria. I played the same deck as last week, except I had the following sideboard: 2 Hallowed Burial 2 Shriekmaw 2 Eyeblight's Ending 2 Crib Swap 2 Pollen Lullaby 4 Wispmare 1 Jace Beleren The extra removal was geared towards the kithkin matchup, which was unknown to me at the time.

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magic-the-gathering

The Philippine Open tournaments (one Standard and one Block) are held as side events to the Philippine Nationals. (I was not qualified obviously). I played in the block portion last Saturday, August 9 at Robinson’s Galleria. I played a version of the PWC Special from GP Kobe, the so-called “Greedy Deck” Lands 2 Mutavault 3 Reflecting Pool 3 Secluded Glen 4 Sunken Ruins 4 Vivid Creek 2 Vivid Marsh 3 Wanderwine Hub 2 Mystic Gate 1 Swamp Creatures 4 Merrow Reejerey 3 Mirror Entity 4 Silvergill Adept 4 Sower of Temptation 4 Stonybrook Banneret Other Spells 4 Bitterblossom 4 Cryptic Command 4 Nameless Inversion 2 Peppersmoke 3 Sage's Dousing Sideboard 2 Austere Command 1 Jace Beleren 1 Puppeteer Clique 1 Arbiter of Knollridge 4 Wispmare 2 Pollen Lullaby 2 Eyeblight's Ending 2 Shriekmaw As usual, assembled the day before with zero playtesting.

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software-development

I joined this year’s¬†Google Code Jam. It’s part of my characteristic competitiveness and arrogance that I actually imagined I had a chance at winning the contest. No such luck, see¬†my results. I was eliminated in the second online round. That I managed to get there at all was surprising considering the level of difficulty. I’m not really a com-sci guy, so I’m weak with regards to algorithms, I don’t always know what the best approach for particular classes of problems – I usually just brute force it then try to optimize based on my on-the-spot analysis of each problem.

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magic-the-gathering

A bit late, but for the record I went 1-3 in the Eventide Release Party with my very lame pool. (I swear, I get Dramatic Entrance all the time in sealed!) After the release event, I played in an EVE-EVE-EVE draft, where I went 2-1 and didn’t manage to raredraft anything valuable. Tomorrow: Philippine Open (Block)!

:: 78 words

gaming

I’ve been submerged in work for the past two weeks or so, not having much time to do anything else aside from work and the DS, which lets me sneak in some Professor Layton, FFTA2 or Civilization Revolutions while waiting for bug fixes to be confirmed. So I took a break this weekend and won’t be reporting back to work until Wednesday. No plans really, just some unplanned downtime to unwind a bit…

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:: 39 words

tech-life

I came across the¬†Stylish Firefox Extension, and the¬†GMail Redesigned project, which gives the GMail user interface a sleek facelift. [ ]3 _ (I’m not sure if it was necessary to blot out the names of contacts!) _

:: 767 words

magic-the-gathering

It’s been three whole weeks since I last managed to attend a Magic tournament. Despite the hectic work schedule and the fact that spoilers have failed to impress me, I managed to wrangle a Saturday off to hit Robinson’s Galleria for the Eventide Prerelease. So we show up early and join the first flight. I open and register a Shadowmoor tournament pack with next to nothing in terms of decent cards.

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:: 132 words

wordpress meta changelog

Changed to Thematic  zroytang : yung current na wordpress theme ko parang ang crowded (Anonymous) : baka it's the font... or less ugn spacing zroytang : papagalitan mo ko pag pinalitan ko e zroytang : haha (Anonymous) : haha hindi naman a (Anonymous) : sabihin ko lang na you're fickle like a girl (Anonymous) : haha zroytang : tsk! (Anonymous) : it's nice to be female.

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:: 461 words

I find myself staring at stacks of old CD-Rs in my room that are just there taking up space. As far as I know, they contain copies of old TV series/anime I used to watch and backups of my old hard drives from time long past. (I’m pretty sure I still have backups of my drive contents from the IRC laboratory in UP.) I’m wondering whether I should bother going through them to check which ones are already useless (as some certainlty already are).

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:: 108 words

tech-life

I’m not sure why but I decided to try out the¬†Flock 2¬†web browser beta, the “social web browser” built on top of Firefox. This is a test actually. Flock’s blog post dialog doesn’t seem to provide any category support (it supports tags instead), so I want to see what category this post would go under. (Update: Flock let me choose a category after I try to publish the post.

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:: 350 words

movies pop-culture

This has been a good month for movies. I saw the following in cinemas: Kung Fu Panda – complete AWESOMENESS. I drank the Kool-Aid all the way on this one. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – classic Indy goodness. Incredible Hulk – Edward Norton is cast brilliantly here, a choice on the same level as Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man. And they addressed the issue of Hulk’s stretchy pants!

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:: 327 words

tech-life

The gist of it is: it wasn’t as annoying as I had been led to expect. Frankly, I think it’s better than XP, but I might be blinded by the fact that it’s very pretty. Visually it’s a step up from XP the same way XP was a step up from ‘95. The XP box at work seems so bland to me now. The file manager (Explorer) is very nice, I like the functionality of being able to navigate the address bar by mouse click (though I never used this back in Ubuntu) and the ability to sort files even in thumbnail view.

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:: 367 words

tech-life

Just a bit of an indulgence. There was a warehouse sale at the office building from Tuesday to Friday. Like every single time I would make a big purchase I waffled undecisively between buying and not buying a laptop for the first four days, only to succumb at the very last minute when a model with an insane price became available. On 7:30pm of the last day of the sale, I picked up an Acer Aspire 4920 unit with the following specs:

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:: 226 words

tech-life

Because I’m a sucker for trying out alternative software, I installed and tried out the latest release of the Opera web browser, Opera 9.5, for a bit more than a week. Opera is neat and all, but I don’t see any features that are so awesome that they can’t be done in Firefox (with some extensions maybe). My favorite feature is I guess the Speed Dial page; where opening a new tab displays a customizable table of common websites you visit.

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:: 14 words

links

fairleads: Rails 2.0 and Scaffolding Step by Step (tags:¬†ruby¬†programming¬†howto¬†rubyonrails)  

:: 1328 words

magic-the-gathering

The tournament was Sunday, June 15. The format was of course Block Constructed. I was playing the same Commandments deck as the day before, except I managed to get the second Mind Spring (taking out the Fathom Trawl). During last minute playtesting on Sunday morning I also decided to take out the Plumeveils from the board (they were redundant with Nameless Inversion) and put in Faerie Macabres to help the Elemental matchup.

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:: 690 words

magic-the-gathering

The tournament was last Staurday, 14-June and the format wasLorwyn/Shadowmoor Block Constructed. I had been having a bad constructed record over the past few tournaments, so I thought I’d play in one of the smaller tournaments before heading into another GPT. I didn’t want to play Kithkin (too random) or Faeries (not enough components). I though I would go for control instead and thus assembled the following Commandments decklist: Lands 2 Forest 3 Island 3 Reflecting Pool 1 Primal Beyond 4 Vivid Grove 4 Vivid Creek 2 Vivid Meadow 3 Mystic Gate 2 Sunken Ruins 1 Fire-Lit Thicket 1 Wooded Bastion Creatures 4 Mulldrifter 3 Shriekmaw 3 Cloudthresher 1 Plumeveil 1 Horde of Notions 4 Kitchen Finks 16 creatures Spells 4 Firespout 4 Cryptic Command 3 Broken Ambitions 2 Austere Command 3 Makeshift Mannequin 1 Mind Spring 1 Fathom Trawl 18 spells Sideboard 2 Nameless Inversion 2 Mind Shatter 2 Primal Command 3 Plumeveil 3 Jace Beleren 3 Pollen Lullaby Round 1: Mirror match!

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:: 25 words

links

diesel sweeties: free, creative commons licensed webcomics ebooks The first 2000 strips of Diesel Sweeties have been released as cc-licensed ebooks. (tags:¬†comics¬†web)  

:: 16 words

links

Video -- Earl Nightingale: The Strangest Secret | Creating a Better Life (tags:¬†lifehacksvideo¬†)  

:: 152 words

software-development

Google started a¬†treasure hunt¬†about a month ago, releasing four questions (one per week) that covered a range of computational topics. I actually joined the treasure hunt late, the 2nd question was already released by the time I got wind of it. The site says there are prizes to be won for the people who are able to provide complete answers first; I’m not sure what my odds of winning anything are since (a) I joined late and (b) I can only do the questions during the weekends, typically a few days after they are released.

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:: 20 words

movies pop-culture

Watch it, and be blinded by awesomeness. For added effect, imagine it’s really Jack Black doing everything the Panda does.

:: 405 words

magic-the-gathering

The place was NG Galleria, the format was booster draft, three rounds of Lorwyn-Lorwyn-Morningtide followed by three rounds of Shadowmoor-Shadowmoor-Shadowmoor. I went in a bit confident; I had a drafted a couple of times in the past month with decent results (2-1 and 3-1), so I figured I could probably manage at least a 4-2 here or better. I was quite wrong. For the LLM draft, I went with a Treefolk-based build around Battlewand Oaks.

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:: 470 words

movies review pop-culture

So I saw _Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull _last Friday. Two days later I also watched for the first time _Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

_

Instead of doing a lame movie review, here’s a double header feature!

(Warning: Spoilers for both movies follow)

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:: 30 words

meta tech-life

I added an iGoogle Gadget that allows me to post from iGoogle. Neat huh? But I’m not sure if it’s okay to trust the gadget with my blog account details…

:: 19 words

links

Yahoo UI Library (tags:¬†javascript¬†framework¬†web) YUI: Rich Text Editor for WordPress Plugin (tags:¬†wordpress¬†plugin¬†yui)  

:: 38 words

links

30 Websites to follow if you‚Äôre into Web Development -- Six Revisions (tags:¬†articles¬†webdesign) blueprintcss -- Google Code (tags:¬†css¬†framework) YouTube -- Developing and deploying an application on Google App Engine (tags:¬†framework¬†web¬†cool)  

:: 310 words

magic-the-gathering

There was a recent thread over on the¬†Neutral Grounds forums¬†about how Filipino MTG players often “netdeck” or use decklists off the internet. To anyone who starts playing MTG, the ability to build your own decks has always been one of the primary appeals. For this reason, every MTG player would like to think that they have in themselves some level of deckbuilding “skills” and that using netdecks should be treated as a loss of pride in one’s own work.

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:: 288 words

self-improvement

Above average – a level of competency at a given subject such that: You are good enough that average people look at your work and tell you “You’ve got a lot of talent!” You are good enough that you know there’s a huge gap between you and those who are truly excellent. I was wondering the other day whether being above average was a curse. It’s like being good enough to be in movies, but never good enough to be the star.

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:: 19 words

links

Gamasutra -- An Achievement-Centered Online CCG? Designing Kongai Nice game design article by David Sirlin. (tags:¬†gamedev¬†GameDesign)  

:: 513 words

magic-the-gathering

The GPT was today: Sunday, 25-May-2008 as Robinson’s Galleria. I’m sad that the GPTs are all scheduled on Sundays. The deck I brought: Creatures 3 Elvish Hexhunter 4 Safehold Elite 4 Wren's Run Vanquisher 4 Imperious Perfect 4 Kitchen Finks 4 Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers 3 Jagged-Scar Archers 3 Wilt-Leaf Liege 2 Heartmender 2 Oversoul of Dusk Spells 4 Shield of the Oversoul Lands 23 Forest Sideboard 2 Cloudthresher 2 Chameleon Colossus 4 Mercy Killing 3 Tower Above 2 Primal Command 2 Gleeful Sabotage I felt unsure bringing in this deck (or any other deck actually).

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:: 253 words

magic-the-gathering

I couldn’t leave work early again last May 24, so I settled for signing up to a booster draft. Unfortunately, the draft itself didn’t go well. I tried going with either red/green or red/black first, but wasn’t getting enough good cards. I eventually settled on picking up the many blue fliers that were passing by and eventually ended up in Uw. I was still undecided and still picked from red/black occasionally in pack two until the third pack where I cracked Thistledown Liege.

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:: 235 words

gaming

I was neglecting the NDS a bit, so I decided to look for some fun homebrew stuff to do with it. Here are some I tried (You’ll need some sort of flashcart to use these. Mine is an R4.): Pocket Physics – a neat little toy app that allows you to draw diagrams on the touch screen that would then become affected by physics. It’s a bit like a free-form The Incredible Machine that’s portable.

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:: 22 words

meta changelog

Someday I will find a WordPress theme that I could bear with for more than 2-4 weeks. Or I will make one.

:: 62 words

magic-the-gathering

Chapin makes it to top 8 with an innovative new combo deck that absolutely eats up faeries, but loses in the finals to some Japanese guy with 2/2 dorks out of the board. Edit (May 24 9AM): After six rounds, Chapin is at 3 points (one and five). My new bet is Wafo-Tapa. I hear he’s piloting some sort of five-color control.

:: 36 words

meta

In an attempt to reduce comment spam, I’ve renamed the comments submission page. This post is to test with comments. [Edit 21-May 10PM] That didn’t work at all! Need to look for a good anti-spam plugin.

:: 889 words

magic-the-gathering

Regionals was today, 18-May. The format was standard and I went to play at Galleria.

I have a mixed track record for regionals. During Regionals 2006, I went 1-4-drop with a rogue deck of my own design. During Regionals 2007 I played Korlash/Mishra built by Flores, going 5-and-3.

I was debating whether I would even go to play in the tournament, as I was totally unprepared and was quite tired. I figured a straight aggro deck would be fine, as I didn’t want to play Reveillark again for the expected nine rounds. I lent out the merfolk deck, so I cobbled together a build of Elves the night before instead:

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:: 31 words

links

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU on Vimeo Wow. The actual animation is a bit creepy, but the delivery medium is awesome. Click and be enriched. (tags:animation¬†video¬†art¬†stopmotion)  

:: 380 words

tech-life

An alpha release was just announced for Open Office 3. Being an Ubuntu user, Open Office is really the only sane choice I have for an office suite. At work I’m using Microsoft Office 2007. Among the office suite applications, I’m most of a power user for the spreadsheet applications. Here’s my side-by-side comparison of Excel and oOo Calc:

Microsoft Excel 2007 on Windows XP:

  • Looks really pretty.
  • Loads up quickly.
  • Proprietary and expensive.
  • Not available for Linux.

OpenOffice Calc 2.4.1 on Ubuntu:

  • Feature-rich – has some features that excel does not.
  • I can have a sandwich in the time it’s loading.
  • Free as in speech, and as in beer too!
  • Usability issues, such as inconveniently prompting a dialog box on every delete. (This is logged in their database as¬†bug # 9392. There’s a workaround, but hopefully it will be fixed by default in Open Office 3)
  • Autofilter feature is immature compared to Excel, not enough options for filtering.
  • It can open a password-protected XLS correctly (prompting me for the password), but it can’t save it back with the password.
  • I was going to complain about the UI, but now that I’ve thought better of it, it’s no worse than other GTK/Linux apps.

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:: 253 words

wordpress software-development

Part 1. Part 2. Moonglove Winnower template is currently live on Roy on Magic. I made several color and formatting changes since the last update. Relatively easy due to the stylesheet. I also had to scrap the CSS hack for implementing equal height columns, it was causing problems with anchors in the URL. I went with a 1-pixel high background image instead. Currently most of the PHP logic/heavy lifting is done in sidebar.

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:: 328 words

comics pop-culture

I’m not sure how popular or well-known Beerkada is among the non-UP crowd, but right now I consider the slice-of-University-life comic (that has now graduated into slice-of-adult-life stories) probably the second best local comic strip. First place being of course the seminal Pugad Baboy, which has been running what, almost twenty years now? I digress. If you’ve read Beerkada, it’s far from perfect. It’s often corny, and sometimes he has too many of his own in-jokes.

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:: 954 words

magic-the-gathering

Due to an increased workload, as of Friday night I was still totally unprepared for Block Constructed. I decided to skip the Shadowmoor Block Inaugural tournament yesterday, but I still showed up in the afternoon at Galleria to look for cards. Luckily, there was a draft signup so I went ahead and gambled some money on my supposed skills in Limited.

After waiting some 3-4 hours for the draft signup to reach 8 people, we got started. I always carry a pair of scissors in my bag now since I’m really bad at opening packs when my hands get sweaty.

Some select picks:

Pack one, pick one:

[Mossbridge Troll][1]

In the removal-light SHM limited format, the Troll is pretty hard to kill for some color combinations. And besides, it’s a rare!

Pack one, pick two:

[Wicker Warcrawler][2]

There’s a group of people I draft with on a semiregular basis; “Be a man, take the artifact!” has been one of our running jokes for years now. The thing abut the warcrawler is that many people don’t realize that it gets the -1/-1 counter at the end of combat, so the first attack or block is a six, and will often net you card advantage in the form of a chump block.

Pack one, pick three:

[Flourishing Defenses][3]

This card turned out to be nuts whenever I cast it. Two 3/3s with wither bump into each other? Okay, six elf tokens. Wicker Warcrawler? An elf token every turn. Morselhoarder? Two free elf tokens!

For the rest of the pack I pick up various scarecrows and red/green men.

Pack two, pick one:

[Reflecting Pool][4]

Wow, cash!

Pack two, pick two:

[Knollspine Invocation][5]

As much a bomb as Stormbind, this led me to red as my secondary color to green, despite the severe lack of removal I was getting.

I managed to get a

[Burn Trail][6]

and a

Scuttlemutt

later in this pack.

Pack three, pick one:

[Swans of Byrn Argoll][8]

Lol, yeah, rare-drafting.

Prior to this pack I’d already gotten a pair of

Morselhoarder

and a

[Mudbrawler Raider][10]

, so when a

[Runes of the Deus][11]

came in, I easily scooped it up. I also got two Pili-palas in the third pack, hoping to score a Power of Fire, but no such luck. The Pili-pala were very good though, enabling a splash of white and for some reason people don’t realize it’s a flier!

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:: 645 words

wordpress software-development

Part 1 of this series is

[

here]1

.

Creating a WordPress template is harder than I thought. Luckily I’m modifying the default template instead of starting from scratch. The one I’m creating is rather simple but after spending almost 8 hours on it so far, I’m still far away from completing it. I’m guessing the more complicated layouts take more than two weeks of full-time work.

Here’s my current WIP:

[

]2

Changes since the last part:

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:: 1427 words

magic-the-gathering

The tournament was yesterday, May 03, Standard at Robinson’s Galleria.

I was planning to play Green-White midrange, as documented on

[

Deckbuilding for an Unknown Metagame]1

. Due to card availability issues, the final list I played is:

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:: 920 words

wordpress software-development

  1. Web design has never been one of my strong points, and it’s something I’d like to improve on.

  2. The Roy on Magic blog has been using the default WordPress Template since forever, and I’ve been trying to find a good WP Template that fits the “Magic the Gathering” theme.

Put the above points together, and I have a new personal project. Just for fun, I’ll log my progress here.

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:: 1358 words

magic-the-gathering

This coming weekend is the release of Shadowmoor. As with any new set coming in, this means a new environment with an unknown metagame, and is especially true for the large set Shadowmoor. It’s an opportunity for those of us who believe we have some modicum of deck-building skills. I plan to be playing Standard on Saturday, one day after set release so I will try to build a deck to take advantage of the wide open field.

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:: 650 words

gaming

**

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates

**

is an action-RPG by Square Enix. The original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles came out on the NGC.

**

Ring of Fates

**

is a different game for the NDS, though I guess it’s sort of a spiritual successor. I finally managed to get some NDS time and finish this game last night.

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:: 1465 words

magic-the-gathering

In the Philippines, the Sneak Peak serves as our release party, and the format is the same as the prerelease: Four rounds of sealed, each win gets you a Shadowmoor booster pack. 4-0 wins a Shadowmoor deck box.

The sealed pool I opened and registered was a mediocre pile with limited removal and rares like Rage Reflection, Reaper King, Vexing Shusher and Demigod of Revenge. This not being the prerelease, the pools were shuffled around after registration.

This is the pool I got and played:

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:: 287 words

For all of my working life I’ve gotten used to sitting at a workstation where I do not have regular internet access. So while I’ve often read a lot of those articles about how to maintain focus, I’ve never actually realized how difficult it was until I brought home a bunch of work-related reading material to catch up on. Yes, I tried to read boring work-related stuff on an internet-enabled machine. Wonder how much progress I managed?

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:: 787 words

magic-the-gathering

The prerelease was held last April 19 at Robinson’s Galleria. The last time I went 4-0 and won a shirt was Time Spiral prerelease. I have a good feeling about this one. Then I crack open the following sealed pool:

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:: 357 words

philippines

_ Pasmado¬†_is a term generally well-known among Filipinos. It refers to a condition of excessive sweating and/or trembling in the hands and/or feet. The concept is so well-known among Filipinos that it has developed several old wives’ tales of its’ own, such as the ever-popular solution of peeing on your hands first thing in the morning to get rid of the conditions. I am¬†pasmado. Sometimes at least, especially when under stress or it’s really, really humid.

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:: 1155 words

magic-the-gathering

Tournament was last April 6 2008 at NG Galleria, with 3 formats: Block, Standard and Extended. I was thinking of playing block but shifted to standard at the last minute because I only had one Mutavault.

This was deck I assembled on Saturday:

Of course I went in again with no playtesting. Enjoyment. Tournament report follows.

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:: 1377 words

magic-the-gathering

The tournament was held last 29-March at Neutral Grounds Galleria. The format was Standard and my deck was Heavyweight Ramp. 256 people, 9 rounds (!)

I debated internally whether to just play ‘Lark (which I had played for the last two tournaments) or play with my last-minute list above that had a better game against Faeries (in theory!). I didn’t want to play a UW control deck for five rounds, so we go Mana Ramp.

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:: 149 words

(02:25:57 PHT)¬†Roy:¬†do you really think I would be emo? :p (02:27:14 PHT)¬†Coworker:¬†”… i looked at the screen… it did not look back at me… why? why? why must it be this f***** way..” (02:28:08 PHT)¬†Coworker:¬†”… i pressed ctrl+b… the words did not become bold as i expected… instead, my data was lost when i save done… (sadness, grief… . despair)” (02:28:16 PHT)¬†Roy:¬†hahaha

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:: 297 words

magic-the-gathering

The tournament was last Saturday, March 15, Standard. Slightly modified list from last week: Land: 6 Islands 5 Plains 4 Adarkar Waster 4 Nimbus Maze 4 Desert Creatures: 4 Mulldrifter 4 Reveillark 3 Mirror Entity 2 Bonded Fetch 3 Body Double 2 Riftwing Cloudskate 2 Venser, Shaper Savant 3 Aven Riftwatcher Other Spells: 3 Prismatic Lens 2 Mind Stone 4 Wrath of God 3 Momentary Blink 2 Condemn Sideboard: 2 Windborn Muse 2 Crovax, Ascendant Hero 2 Condemn 2 Stonecloaker 2 Sower of Temptation 2 Draining Whelk 2 Teferi's Moat 1 Magus of the Moat Just a quick summary this time:

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:: 359 words

travels

I’m blogging from an airport; I feel like such a seasoned traveler. Actually I’m writing this post just so that I can claim to post on the internet from airports.

I am of course flying back to Manila after a short 3-day visit to Hong Kong. People always ask me where I plan to go while in HK, even though I always come here to work. It’s even worse this time, as I flew in Sunday evening, attending a three-day seminar until Wednesday, working during the evenings then flying back Thursday morning. Not much time to do anything really.

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:: 151 words

tech-life

Seriously. Having to hit an extra key just to use “Home” or “End”? For some reason, PrintScreen and CapsLock keys are higher priority than Home and End, meaning you don’t need to use “Fn” to access them. Do people not use Ctrl+Shift+Home and Ctrl+Shift+End all the time? I’m sure a lot of developers do. Whenever I’m on this laptop and need to use Home or End, I mentally pronounce “Fn” as a seven-letter word starting with “F” and ending with “ing”.

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:: 1151 words

magic-the-gathering

The tournament format is Morningtide standard, 09 March at NG Galleria. My decklist, pirated from Benjamin Peebles-Mundy, with slight modifications :

Tournament report follows.

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:: 618 words

gaming

On my way home today I passed by Megamall as usual, and there was a Scrabble tournament going on. I stopped for a few minutes and watched. I realize a lot of people would probably find watching Scrabble games boring, seeing only two geeky people spelling out words at random, not even making any sense. But watching the Scrabble games brought me back to a time when I didn’t have the internet to keep me up at nights.

Scrabble is a game close to my heart, me and my brother Kerwin practically grew up with the game.

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:: 97 words

software-development

Never give out any of your confidential usernames and passwords to programs or services that you do not trust completely. This may be a bit obvious to the more tech-savvy, but everybody has to watch out. Luckily, there are even some programmers who are able to catch the work of evil programmers. Coding Horror has this story about an evil programmer who sold a GMail backup solution that steals your username and password.

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:: 17 words

links

Must Watch: I Am Legend's Original Ending -- This is Amazing ¬ę FirstShowing.net (tags:¬†movies¬†)  

:: 15 words

links

Not Always Right | Funny & Stupid Customer Quotes (tags:¬†funny¬†blogs¬†quotes¬†)  

:: 437 words

gaming

Eagerly awaited, the fourth installment of the Ace Attorney series has arrived, with a brand-new leading defense attorney. Of course, not one week after I got my copy, I’m done. It kept me up at nights and made me come in to work late; well worth it.

To those who are not familiar with the Ace Attorney games, it’s hard to explain the appeal of the game; with all the thinking and reading to be done, it’s definitely not exciting to watch. Anyone who’s finished one of them knows what it is though. There’s that feeling you get when you all the testimony and evidence finally come together, and you figure out how it was done but you still have to figure out how to prove it!

Detailed review (and spoilers) follow.

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:: 78 words

I usually have a stack of random printouts on my office desk. I also usually take one or two sheets of paper with me for meetings, supposedly to take notes (I never do). What usually happens with these papers is that I end up doodling. It’s not a sign of my not paying attention to stuff mind you. Doodling helps me think, in some way. I took photos of some of my doodles (yeah, no scanner):¬†Roy’s Doodles

:: 37 words

philippines

Random thought while watching the news: If Cory Aquino ever went out in public without wearing bright yellow clothes, would people recognize her? _ “That lady looks a lot like Cory! Except she’s not wearing yellow!” _

:: 916 words

philippines

Given what today is, I thought it would be a good idea to say a few words on the current brouhaha. Instead of just enjoying the holiday watching DVDs that is.

Just something I posted on a certain mailing list a few days ago:

I find it hard to believe that ousting GMA now would lead to any true change. We’ve seen what the countless political episodes have exposed: corruption at almost every level of government, both the executive and legislative branches beholden to bribery and extortion. The problems in our government are systemic in nature, and it would take more than the ouster of a single person to effect any meaningful change. Even if we were to find someone *with good intentions* to replace the president, he’s still likely to be swallowed up by the system.

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:: 131 words

meta

  Your Character‚Äôs Alignment Based on your answers to the quiz, your character‚Äôs most likely alignment is¬†Lawful Good .Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice.

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:: 245 words

magic-the-gathering

A box and five boosters actually. We drafted the packs, but the final distribution of rares we got were: Red 3 Boldwyr Heavyweights 1 Countryside Crusher 1 Shared Animosity 1 Sensation Gorger 1 Titan's Revenge 1 Vengeful Firebrand Green 1 Chameleon Colossus 1 Greatbow Doyen 1 Leaf-crowned Elder 1 Reach of Branches 1 Rhys the Exiled 1 Scapeshift 1 Unstoppable Ash White 1 Battletide Alchemist 1 Feudkiller's Verdict 1 Idyllic Tutor 1 Kinsbaile Borderguard 1 Preeminent captain 1 Reveillark 1 Stonehewer Giant Blue 3 Declaration of Naught 1 Knowledge Exploitation 1 Slithermuse 1 Supreme Exemplar 1 Vendillion Clique Black 3 Bitterblossom 1 Earwig Squad 2 Fendeep Summoner 1 Maralen of the Mornsong 1 Scarblade Elite 1 Stenchskipper Lands 1 Mutavault 2 Rustic Clachan Foils 1 Reveillark Not a bad box.

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:: 511 words

gaming

During a recent out-of-town trip I observed that despite the abundance of digital entertainment available (what with all the NDS and PSP owners bringing the goods, not to mention some people bringing a Wii), some people still got together to play some face-to-face IRL games. I’m talking the types of games that are not easily translatable into digital format and will probably remain so for quite a while. One such game is known locally as “Killer-killer”.

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:: 34 words

tech-life

I wanted to test out multiply’s uploader, so¬†here you go Edit 9 years later: Sadly, Multiply is no longer up. Also, weird how back then Facebook wasn’t popular yet for photo sharing. .

:: 258 words

gaming

Despite the fact the allure of Final Fantasy Tactics PSP, I was still decided on finishing Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. This was only the second game in the series that I was playing, although I had greatly enjoyed Advance Wars: Dual Strike, so my hopes were high for Days of Ruin. Pros: – Still Advance Wars, battles are fairly good and challenging enough – New units: Bike – infantry on wheels, can capture as well; Flare – helps in Fog of War situations; Carrier – revamped from the AWDS Carrier, this one can now create its’ own Seaplanes; Antitank – a ranged unit that can counterattack, strong against Tanks, surprisingly; Duster – a hybrid air unit that has a weaker ground attack than a Bomber, and weaker air attack than a fighter

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wordpress software-development

I had been planning to do this for a while: it’s my first WordPress Plugin! Over at Roy on Magic, I often have to write out decklists and such, so I wanted to have an autocard feature similar to the one used at MTGSalvation. After a quick five-minute search I couldn’t figure out how they did it, so I just wrote the plugin myself. Actual effort was around 3.5 hours, most of it struggling with PHP and Regular Expressions.

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gaming

Bought one last week, had not had time to log it until now. It was not so much planned and maybe a bit more of an impulse buy. Something like a cellphone conversation with my brother who’s standing in a store in Singapore pressuring me with “Well? Should I buy one or not?” I don’t like pressure, so obviously I just said, “Ok, whatever!” The inevitable question arises: which one is better, PSP or NDS?

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magic-the-gathering

Flight B, February 2, 2008, Saturday at Neutral Grounds Galleria. The format is LOR/MOR sealed.

I get my product and check it out. No outright bombs or cash rares, but I immediately spot the Drowner of Secrets + Merrow Commerce + 2 Stonybrook Schoolmasters. I had reasonable fliers and permission, so I built the blue-white deck. My only removal being a Weight of Conscience that I did not actually put in the maindeck.

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tech-life

After finding out that KDE4 was already available for Kubuntu 7.10, the nice screenshots of the new Oxygen theme and hints of a revamped panel and widget system appealed to my inner geek envy, so I decided to install and give it a whirl.

KDE4 Screenshot

My quick impression, after 15 minutes of usage:

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software-development

No, I’m not job hunting. But other people are, apparently. I got a comment on an old post I made about my job hunting days. Not only that, but the guy IM’d me asking to talk (I put my yahoo id on this site somewhere me). It’s a bit strange, but I figured, why not? What I got from listening to him was that he was just extremely frustrated at how difficult it is to find a good job, so he was looking for people who had gone through similar experiences.

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nostalgia

Random memory for the day: I remember watching the Superfriends TV series when I was a little kid, and every time Superman would fly off into space, there’d be a shot of the earth as a globe, with Superman flying out from the northern hemisphere. As a stupid kid, I thought to myself, “I wonder why the earth is shown as an oblate spheroid? When I go out with my parents it was obviously flat.

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travels

Traveling by land sucks compared to traveling by plane. So for our weekend trip to Albay to visit our new sister-in-law’s family, I booked 3 two-way Cebu Pacific tickets for my brothers and myself. Our parents would take the bus since it was slightly cheaper and they didn’t mind sleeping on the road. The other reason was that my two brothers had never ridden a plane before – this would be their first time.

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links

Project Euler -- Computational Problems I think this can be used as a source for tech interview problems. Haven't gone through many of them though. (tags:¬†puzzles¬†programming)  

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links

Flash Preview of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (tags:¬†flash¬†games) Kotaku -- Work and Play: A Peek Inside the Lives of Gaming's Greatest I like looking at shots of people's desktops. It feeds my geek envy. (tags:¬†games¬†industry¬†screenshots)  

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gaming

Despite it’s age, I’ve only recently gotten around to loving Advance Wars: Dual Strike on the DS. It’s just the sort of game I enjoy: challenging enough not to bore me but not so difficult that I give up in frustration and has enough extras to keep me coming back. A bit of a learning curve though, and probably not for casual gamers. I beat the normal campaign last week (just barely – winning on Day 28 of a 28-day target), and I’m hoping I can finish the hard campaign before the release of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin next week.

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I was too tired to post over the weekend – too busy. But seeing as how this is a log, I need to note significant events that happened over the past weekend: a. Saturday (Jan 12) – Younger brother got married. Had to give a best man toast. It went well, but I got hit by birdshit. b. Sunday – early morning road trip to Batangas, for a paternal-side family reunion.

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magic-the-gathering

Tournament was at January 5 2008 in Robinson’s Galleria. I only found out the day before, so I brought the only deck I had – Mannequin. Round 1: 0-2 loss vs UG Faeries Round 2: 0-2 loss vs BGW Doran Round 3: 2-0 win vs BW unknown deck Round 4: 0-2 loss vs UG Faeries Round 5: 0-2 loss vs BG Tarmorack Ugh. Terrible way to start the year. My own fault for bringing an outdated version of Mannequin to the tournament without even any testing.

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It surprises me sometimes. Living in a country such as this, where many people complain of extreme poverty, harsh economic conditions and the like, one can only wonder how we can celebrate the New Year so extravagantly. These were the thoughts running through my mind as I watched the fireworks display by our neighbors in the subdivision. It’s not like these guys are rich, they’re middle class folk like me who probably balk at the cost of food or furniture or appliances but are now burning away thousands of pesos worth of fireworks, all for a single midnight of revelry.

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