Roy Tang

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

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It's Naked CSS day, so this website is super barebones!

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Apr 2020

Naked CSS Day

Weeknotes 2020-04-05

My COVID19 Diary is still ongoing, and I have yet to find a solution for the TOC. Today is Palm Sunday. I’m writing this early in the morning, so IDK yet how the church will adapt the usual fanfare to this whole pandemic thing. The summer heat has begun to settle in during the last few weeks of quarantine. I can’t sit without a shirt or rest or my arms anywhere without sweat threatening to accumulate on the contact surface.

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Mar 2020

My COVID19 Diary is still ongoing, although that TOC is starting to get unwieldy. Need to think of a better UX solution for that. “Time is meaningless under extreme enhanced community quarantine” I know it’s probably unrealistic, but I’m hoping the lockdown somehow gets lifted sooner rather than later. It’s not that I crave social interaction (I don’t), but I miss going out for food. I miss pizza.

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(Too late for the theatrical release, but it’s tradition for comic book movies, so here we are.) Overall: Totally watchable, maybe slightly better than Suicide Squad for me. Somehow still fits into some kind of DCEU continuity (after Suicide Squad) the movie is really centered around Harley, to the detriment of the other characters. I can understand why they titled it the way they did, and I can appreciate the effort to have Harley carry a Birds of Prey introduction to the masses.

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Browsers and HTTP

Drew Devault wrote a great post/rant about the reckless limitless scope of modern web browsers: I conclude that it is impossible to build a new web browser. The complexity of the web is obscene. The creation of a new web browser would be comparable in effort to the Apollo program or the Manhattan project. For the past year or so, I’ve been thinking about contributing to an open source project.

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This is not the time for mediocrity

I originally had this as a tweetstorm/rant, but it ended up quite long, so I’m posting it to the blog too. It is mostly frustration at how poorly the people in charge are handling things. Instead of asking for more budget, the govt should be telling us first how they are planning to spend the money they are already allocated, which they claimed was sufficient. Instead of saying we can’t do mass testing because of limited kits, they should be telling us about their plans for getting more testing kits, ppes, hospital capacity, etc.

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Past week has been difficult productivity-wise. I mean, the isolation isn’t really a problem for me since I’m usually at home anyway. But it’s difficult to find the energy to be productive about anything. It’s like the whole pandemic situation manifests as a lingering ball of anxiety in the back of my head. My parents are prayerful and hopeful that things get resolved quickly, but I’m not super optimistic - I think it’s likely to go long.

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“It’s chaos, be kind” - Michelle McNamara on the world. Current events: This past week has been… challenging to say the least. Especially if you’re the sort who experiences anxiety over the smallest uncertainty. I was originally going to write about local COVID19 happenings in this space, but it ended up being way too many words. I spun it off into a separate post, and intend to update it periodically as events unfold.

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COVID19 Diary

This post will largely be about the effects of the COVID-19 virus on my country, the Philippines, including government and society’s response, largely from a personal POV. It’s actually a bit difficult to write about, but I figure it’s something I would like to be able to look back on in the future, so let’s give it a shot. The reason it’s difficult to write about is that events are unfolding and changing rapidly, and a lot of things are still unclear.

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Upcoming Gaming Things

Some gaming things I’m looking forward to in the coming weeks: 12 Mar: Historic anthology 2 and return of Historic ranked in Magic Arena. Looking forward to new cards being added to the Historic pool! 18 Mar: Release of Federations DLC for Stellaris. I’m not planning to get the DLC, what I’m looking forward to is the accompanying free patch since one of the promises is improved late-game performance, something which made playing this game very annoying during the past year.

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How to Make Voluntary SSS Payments

Since I stopped being a full-time employee at the end of 2015, I’ve missed around four years of monthly SSS payments. This isn’t really that big a deal, since I’ve already paid more than 10 years of premiums, I’m already guaranteed to get a pension from SSS when I reach retirement age. However, this past January I decided to resume making SSS premium payments on a voluntary basis. I had to research a bit and ask some friends about the whole process, so I thought I’d document it here both for my own recollection and in case someone finds it useful.

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Weeknotes 2020-03-08

The Week That Was: The COVID19 pandemic is starting to pick up steam, both internationally (including the US) and here in the Philippines. The Trump administration seems to be handling things poorly, which would be typical to expect of an administration not used to transparency or integrity. For all our sakes they need to get their act together. The PH government appears to be doing slightly better (assuming no hidden epidemic), although their messaging still seems to be all over the place.

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Late Game Review: Tales of Berseria

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Pure CSS Spoilers

I previously had some post that had some content hidden via spoiler tags, using a custom Hugo shortcode. Since I’m an old-school developer I was previously doing this using some Javascript run on load: let elements = document.querySelectorAll(".spoiler_header"); Array.prototype.forEach.call(elements, function(el, i) { el.addEventListener( 'click', function( event ) { let nextEl = el.nextElementSibling; let display = getComputedStyle(nextEl)['display']; if (display == 'none') { nextEl.style.display = 'block'; } else { nextEl.style.display = 'none'; } }, false); }); This is the modern age however.

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Date Your Work

Part the first: I recently read/replied to a twitter thread by Patrick McKenzie: Quoted patio11's tweet: A disturbing large percentage of citations of some of my best work say “Written in 2012 but still relevant”, which a) is a direct artifact of the blogging form factor, b) is an unforced error, and c) I should just fix forever when I achieve activation energy. He continues with a short Twitter thread (click through for more), asserting that having the date on the post front-and-center is a problem because even though the article content is almost always relevant, people will tend to judge it based on the fact that it’s more than a decade old.

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Weeknotes 2020-03-01

It’s March! These weeknotes are coming in late in the day, for various reasons. The world news recently has mostly revolved around the COVID19 pandemic. Even the Americans are starting to get worried now. The PH still has surprisingly few cases, and we’ve even been commended by WHO for our containment efforts! Those of us who are used to our government’s usual level of competence are a bit wary - for all we know we might already have a hidden epidemic going undetected.

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Feb 2020

2020 Movies update: 7 movies watched in Feb. Probably the best movie I’ve seen this month was Knives Out. (Jojo Rabbit close second.) The goal of 200 movies for the year is getting farther! As for TV, I think most of my watching time was spent rewatching Rick and Morty for quiz purposes lol. Well, Criminal Minds ended, so there’s that. Arrowverse has been meh, though I did enjoy Supergirl‘s 100th episode.

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Redesign

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I used to host my tumblr blog on a custom domain at tumblr.roytang.net. That was working fine for a while. Then recently I decided to play around with having Cloudflare in front of my site (might be helpful on the off-chance I ever manage to go viral somehow). Not yet sure whether Cloudflare was a good idea, but apparently it doesn’t play well with Tumblr’s custom domains, so the above custom tumblr URL got turned off.

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A Different Kind of Revolution

I watched a little bit of the Senate hearing yesterday on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal issues. One of the senators, a known lackey of the president claimed that while the president was not vindictive, “kung masama ka sa kanya, masama din sya sa yo” (I’m not sure the senator understood what vindictive means). One of the ABS head honchos later made a statement that they were “sorry if they had offended the president” even though they were just following all the relevant laws, or something to that effect.

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Weeknotes 2020-02-23

The week went by quickly for me for some reason. I suppose it was mainly because I actually did some paid work this week (just some planning and technical review for a future project) and that I had multiple events to attend (two quiz nights and there two birthdays in the family). That and maybe doing the Tales of Berseria platinum stuff might be taking up a lot of my time.

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Criminal Minds

In 2010 I took a short work hiatus which meant I was often home for most of the day. Back then Netflix wasn’t really a thing, so I would often have local cable TV playing in the background of whatever I was doing. And it was because of this that I started regularly watching police procedurals. They’re not the cleverest or most highbrow of shows, but they’re more like a guilty pleasure.

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Thoughts on Blogging, 2020 Edition

I found this great article the other week about Why You Should Start A Blog Right Now. The whole thing is absolutely worth a read, but my favorite part is at the start where he enumerates a list of reasons why he wrote particular posts, and it sent me down a rabbit hole again of evaluating why I write on this blog, and whether it was an endeavor worth continuing.

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Weeknotes 2020-02-16

The world’s crises continue to settle in, but at least we have no new entries. The coronavirus continues to spread, will probably be a while before it tapers off. Our dear president, in his finite wisdom, has decided to withdraw from the US-PH visiting forces agreement. I’m sure our Chinese masters approve. The Oscars were held last week. Didn’t watch or anything, but happy for the Parasite win, about time for a foreign language best picture.

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Weeknotes 2020-02-09

I suppose we should be grateful that we didn’t receive any new portents of the apocalypse in the past seven days. Unless you count the US senate refusing to remove Trump from office. And maybe we should. If only the aftershocks of US politics didn’t affect rest of the world so much then we would all just be laughing at them instead. Oh, and the coronavirus is still going strong apparently.

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Tales from the Old Web (Development)

There was this great (and long!) article that came out recently about the history of CSS. It reminded me a lot of the old days when I started out in web development. So join me in a walk down memory lane as I reminisce about the trials and tribulations of early web development. (This one isn’t about CSS as much as that linked article.)

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The big news this week was the passing of basketball legend Kobe Bryant. Not personally big on basketball myself, but I can get why a lot of people sympathized. It was sad, but at least it wasn’t on the scale of another natural disaster or global pandemic. Although the global pandemic did also spread to the Philippines this week… I know it’s only been a month, but I’m digging this weeknotes practice.

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Jan 2020

I wasn’t sure if I should continue this watching-lately series since I already set up a separate page for listing my 2020 movies watched. It might have been more consistent to have a list for the 2020 TV shows also? But then again, TV shows are a much different beast, since each show/season is broken into an episode and sometimes you watch them all in one go or sometimes over the span of a few months.

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Weeknotes 2020-01-26

It feels like every week of 2020 so far has brought some sort of herald of doom. First week was potential War with Iran breaking out. Then there was the Taal Volcano erupting. And this past week we had the Corona virus outbreak originating in China. At least the Volcano eruption doesn’t map directly to a horseman of the apocalypse, so that’s something. What are we in for this week??

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Flask vs Django

Weeknotes 2020-01-19

The big news here in the country over the past week was of course the big Taal Volcano eruption south of Metro Manila. Our house is far north enough of Metro Manila that we didn’t really get any ashfall over here, although when I went out on a walk the day after the big eruption, the air felt thick, like on morning New Year’s Day after all the fireworks. We do have friends and family who are affected and closer to the volcano though, so here’s hoping things get better for them and everyone else, especially those that had to be evacuated.

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Arrowverse: Crisis on Infinite Earths

So the back half of the CW Arrowverse’s epic Crisis on Infinite Earth’s crossover finally aired this week, and I promised more words about the Arrowverse and the crossover last month, so here we are. Spoilers abound! On 15 Jan 2020 at 5:05am I wrote: #CrisisOnInfiniteEarths spoiler free review: low budget, pacing and writing issues, but idc because all the dc comics fan service kept making me smile First the bad: as noted above, writing and pacing and budget issues plague the crossover, but this is typical of the Arrowverse as a whole.

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Weird Blog Spam

I am generally receptive to receiving emails from strangers, so I don’t mind having a contact email publicly accessible on this site. But I don’t know if it’s a consequence of having a reasonably active blog or what, but in the past few years, I’ve sometimes gotten what I like to call “weird blog spam.” Typically it starts out with an introductory email that often includes a compliment about a specific article on your blog, accompanied by an offer to increase your blog’s visibility if you would just link to one of their articles:

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Weeknotes 2020-01-12

I’ve been thinking for a while about doing regular weeknotes. This is a type of post I’ve seen in some blogs where they recap the things that’ve happened to them during the past week. I’ve actually been doing these privately for a while, and now I’m going to try making them public. I think the advantages are obvious in terms of (a) having notes to recall what you were doing over a certain time period; and (b) guaranteeing regular writing output on the blog.

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My Top Tens of the 2010s

Apparently I’m not done looking back at the 2010s yet. I had some “top tens of 2010s” discussions with some friends recently, here are my personal lists, each in no particular order: My Top Ten Movies of the 2010s Avengers Endgame (2019).. I’m keeping only one slot per franchise, so I had to choose an MCU movies for this. Runner-ups for this slot were Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America Winter Soldier, and individually either one of those movies might be around the same or better than Endgame, but Endgame is the culmination of a decade’s worth of movies and gave me the most enjoyment as a comic book fan.

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2019 Year in Review

Well, it has certainly been another revolution around the sun. I added the tag yearnotes for these end-of-year recap and statistic things. 2019 Statistics: Work, Travel, Learning and Self Improvement: Hours worked: 180-200 hours (estimated) - down from 1163 hours last year I’ve been cutting back on my work commitments this year, preferring to spend more time on personal projects. Programming languages/frameworks learned: Only 1 really new thing, that’s the Ionic mobile app framework.

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New Year's Checklist 2020

It’s a new year! I don’t have any clever jokes or deep wisdom or long, introspective essays to share at this time (I have those the rest of the year though!). Instead, here’s a checklist for the new year. In no particular order: Greet your loved ones and friends and anyone else you hold dear. Maybe even those you disagree with Ponder why people give so much significance to the transition between an arbitrarily-chosen pair of 24 hour periods Take stock and reflect on the past year Think about what you’d like to learn this year or how you want to improve Count your blessings for the past year and be grateful Change your passwords Buy a new toothbrush Set a target of how many books you’ll read in 2020 Choose the first book to read Throw away a few things you no longer need Make a list of where you will travel to in 2020 Check out what movies are coming out this year and which ones you want to watch (see below) Audit your financials – where is your money going, how much do you owe, how much are you earning, where should you invest, etc Pick up your keyboard and shake out all the grime that’s gathered there over the past year Make a list of projects you want to do in 2020 Choose something from the past year that you’re going to stop watching or doing Eat your favorite food.

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Dec 2019

Decades

Today is the last day of the 2010s. I was originally planning a short retrospective on the past decade, but that felt a bit unfair to the other decades prior which hadn’t received such reflection, so let’s go through all of the four decades I’ve lived through so far. 80s: Having been born in 78, the 80s were my “growing up” years. I lived through the EDSA revolution, but I don’t remember much of what was actually happening in society during that time.

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Watching Lately: December 2019

Been watching a lot of things this December. I finally got back on The Expanse after finishing S1 more than a year ago. I only finished S2, but it was already a vast improvement over S1. S1 felt like a lot of meandering around until the characters actually ran into the plot. S2 was stronger, faster-paced, and there’s always a lot of things going on in each episode. I really like this series now, looking forward to S3 and S4 when I have the time.

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Review: XCom 2

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What Am I Doing Now

A few days ago, a friend from a company I used to work for said to me something along the lines of “{Company Executive} asked me how you are doing”, and I couldn’t give anything other than a pithy “I’m alive” answer. I find that since I generally live an unconventional life, it’s a pain to describe how I’m doing. It’s not a straightforward “Oh, you know, still working as a freelance developer/consultant/solutions architect” for me, because I don’t really identify that much anymore with what work I’m doing or who I’m employed by.

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Nov 2019

NaBloPoMo Epilogue

So NaBloPoMo complete, no big deal. It wasn’t much of a challenge since blogging every day for a month is something that I’ve done multiple times over the past couple of years. It comes out to around 15,900 words written in November, not counting this post. Definitely not as big a thing as completing nanowrimo for instance. Writing on a regular basis is great, and generally a reasonable use of your time.

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Recent Links for 11/29

I’m trying out this “recent links” series where I highlight some stuff I’ve bookmarked. I used to just share them via Pocket, which get fed into the links list on this blog, but the problem with that approach was that I don’t get to comment on each link about why I shared or bookmarked it. Writing them into a blog post gives me a chance to highlight them too. I’ve seen some other blogs where they have something like a weekly list of recent links, let’s see if that works out for me.

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Criticism

Criticizing the logistics or implementation of an event doesn’t necessarily mean you want it to fail or you want to the organizers to be embarassed. On the contrary, pointing out flaws allows for improvements. Criticizing the organizers of a sporting event doesn’t mean you don’t support the athletes participating in the event. Criticizing your country’s leaders and politicians and government doesn’t mean you are unpatriotic. No given politician is the same as the entire government, much less the country.

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Review: The Outer Worlds

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