Roy Tang

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

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Archive for August 2019

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tech-life gaming

My current desktop PC has been with me since late 2015, so going on 4 years now. I bought relatively high-end parts for it at the time, hoping to be a bit future-proof so that it would last me longer than previous desktops. So I was a bit worried when I started encountering issues during the recent weeks. Here’s the timeline: May 2019, before my overseas trip. It happened a few times that the computer would completely shut down while I was playing Starcraft 2 coop.

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tech-life blogging

0 A while back, I read this post from 2015: Who is doing this to my internet? lamenting the changing nature of the internet due to commercialization and advertising. 1 It’s a bit funny that the OP was lamenting about the “good old days” of the internet back in 2012, when by then the big social media networks like Facebook and Twitter were already relatively well-entrenched. When I think of the “good old days” of the internet I tend to harken back pre-social media to the heyday of blogging around 2005-2008 maybe?

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devnotes software-development

I recently found myself doing a really small project as sort of a proof of concept/demo for a potential client. It often seems that it might be a waste of time to do something like this since you don’t know if the project will actually push through or maybe the client will want something else. To kind of hedge my bets a bit, I decided to take the opportunity to try out some new technologies so that no matter what I at least learned something from all of this.

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magic-the-gathering modern

Should I still write tournament reports even though I did poorly? Spoilers, but the answer is that has never stopped me before! In today’s installment of “I thought you were quitting paper Magic?”, I attended an MCQ yesterday for MC Richmond. The format was Modern constructed. I initially wasn’t planning to play because (a) the entrance fee was kind of ridiculous; (b) modern is a bit of an unbalanced debacle right now because of Hogaak; and (c ) my one assembled Modern deck (Grixis Death Shadow) hasn’t been used since 2017, and was completely absent in the meta for the recent MC Barcelona.

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tech-life

In perhaps what is a perfect example of how writing bring clarity, I started drafting a post listing out the problems with my current notes/todo workflow and ended up coming to a conclusion as to how to make things better for myself. The main issue is that I have a smattering of todo-lists and notes scattered over several platforms: plain text files (in different places!), evernote, google keep, google docs, standard notes, and recently I also started trying Trello.

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writing

I don’t remember where I read it online, but I have this in my notes: we write to discover truths about ourselves (paraphrased) The basic idea being that the mere act of writing down our thoughts can bring clarity and help us identify some truths about ourselves we never knew existed. I think it works similarly to the programmer practice of rubber ducking, where the mere act of describing something helps you gain a better understanding of it.

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meta changelog

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’m enjoying tinkering with the site layout at the moment. I give up on expecting a “stable version” of the site anytime soon and readers can expect incremental updates unannounced going forward. This site is now perpetually under renovation. Current layout image (this image is recursive): Recent changes: Someone called me out for not using a dark theme, so now here we are with a garish gray and green and orange theme, you’re welcome.

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sleep

“That’s not insomnia”, my friend said, “You have something like a 28-hour sleep cycle.” I laughed and uttered “I’m out of sync with this world!” I was describing why I was almost late meeting the group for lunch, telling him I had trouble going to sleep and slept at 7am, only waking up at 10am. During the past few days my sleep times have steadily been moving later and later until they pushed into the early morning.

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birthday

Such an uninteresting number. And it hasn’t really been an exceptional 365 days around the sun either, but this has become a bit of a yearly tradition now. Things I considered doing today: spend the entire day offline (Hah! As if.) go out for a walk at the old university (unlikely to push through, given the gloomy weather recently) go to the mall and buy a new external hard drive and a new monitor and eat at Yabu (I like Yabu) and maybe watch a movie in the cinema (I don’t really feel like going to the mall on a Friday, and there aren’t any good movies to watch apparently) play through Ducktales Remastered on Steam, which I bought last night because it was about to be removed from the store, and stream it live on Twitch binge one of the shows on my TV backlog read through a book.

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devnotes software-development

I decided to start doing small “devnotes” on developer stuff I’m doing so I can refer to them later (and also because I feel like I could use more technical content on this blog) Today is about PostgreSQL. I haven’t used it much beyond standard ANSI sql stuff. You won’t always have a graphical interface to access your database, sometimes you need to ssh to prod and query the database from the shell.

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gaming

This past weekend was EVO 2019, the world’s biggest celebrations of fighting games. If I had stayed in the US another month maybe I could have gone to Vegas to attend and lose badly. Instead, I thought I’d write about fighting games. I consider fighting games one of my weaknesses, in the sense that (a) I easily succumb to the temptation to spend money on them; and (b) I’m not very good at them.

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meta nostalgia

I thought about making a tag “things that would only interest me” for this one lol. I’ve uploaded some old web archives of the oldest versions of my site - back when I still had free sites hosted on the likes of Geocities, Tripod and the lesser-known TopCities. Click here for the index! I’ve had these archives for a while and only now decided to put them up on the site.

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books

I forget where I got this book recommendation from, but it did go on sale for Kindle a while back so I got a copy. The full title is “Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World”. Summary: I really like this book, though I think it falls short in providing concrete steps for how to get from where we are to the idealized utopia he presents. Still, in this world of ever-increasing bad news and crises, the optimism of this book is a welcome respite.

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