Roy Tang

roytang.net

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

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2004 December

  • Christmas of 2004

    I usually prefer my holidays to be times of rest. Times to be free from work and stress, to indulge in things I like to do. I've just realized that Christmas is a rather stressful season. For one thing, there's the multitude of Christmas gatherings one has to attend. With family. With relatives. With friends. With friends of family. With coworkers. With coworkers who are friends. It's not that I don't enjoy myself at these gatherings mind you. In fact, lately I've found myself enjoying the company of other people more. It's just that I'm not yet an entirely social

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  • Excel problem

    The Christmas season has been hellacious. Deadlines to catch up with at the start of the next year meant crunch time for most of the past two weeks. So, for my first blog post on my first rest day in a while, I'll bring home some work. I have a problem with Excel. I'm writing a web app that generates HTML files which are exported to Excel. In most cases, it's easy, I just follow the template generated by using Excel->File->Save As->HTML However, I've encountered a problem. One of my reports needs to show two tables side-by-side in Excel, but

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  • Mighty Forest Ranger Taxi Driver

    Evil illegal loggers have been in the news lately, mainly due to their being blamed as scapegoats for the rash of flooding during the last two typhoons that left hundreds, maybe thousands, dead in their wake and strewing devastation upon this blighted land. I'm not here to talk about whether the loggers are indeed to blame, or how it's silly for the government to try to implement a total log ban when they can't even implement a selective log ban, or how chances are everyone important will forget about this in, say a month tops, while the victims continue their

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  • I Get Bored Easily

    And that explains why this blog's layout has changed again. I would have posted this (and some other stuff) earlier, but I was in AN ETERNITY OF PAIN for the past two and a half hours. I would like to take this time to berate my stupid, stupid impacted molar, and the stupid, stupid painkillers that took over two hours to kick in. Along with my stupid, stupid thyroid gland, which, because of hyperthyroidism, prevents me from having dental surgery on this sucker. I will also thank God profusely for releasing me from this ETERNITY OF PAIN. It's times like

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  • Team Sealed!

    Mike: I thought you were broke? Me: That's just a lie I tell people who ask me for money. I forgot to talk about this. We played Champions of Kamigawa Team Sealed a couple of weekends back. For the uninitiated, ChK is a Magic:the Gathering set, and Team Sealed is our favorite limited format! I think it's mostly because if we lose, I can blame my teammates for screwing up, unlike in regular tournaments where it really is my fault. :p And if we win? Free cards! Of course, we didn't win. I'd like to say it was primarily because

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  • A New Dawn May Rise

    A new hand has been dealt, the game has changed but the stakes remain the same. Fate tempts me with its' winds of change, and what once was thought lost forever may once again be within reach. This time I tread carefully however, as my recklessness may once again be the bane of my quest. Hold my hands close to my chest, bide my time, and see what the fates have in store for our hero...
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  • Requiem

    Sir Alexander Alix, quintessential Pisay trigo and calculus teacher, passed away recently due to cirrhosis of the liver. There's a service for him at Pisay tomorrow, Dec. 3, Friday. Since I doubt I can go, I'll say my piece here. Alix was a helluva guy. Friendly and gets well with the students. And he gave high grades. Seriously. He gave me flat 1.0s (highest possible grade) for all four quarters of fourth year math. Now, not to brag, when I was in high school, math was my thing. Seriously, I could breeze through my high school math classes in my

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2004 November

  • The Waste Lands -- Found

    I went to the dentist yesterday (irrelevant), and at National Bookstore Shangri-la, I found a copy of The Waste Lands, a day after I blogged about looking for it! They also had a copy of the fourth book Wizard and Glass, but I only had enough cash for one. On a website note, if you'll notice, I added entries from my del.icio.us account to the blog. It's done using the excellent Feed2JS tool. It's cool. Check it out.
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  • I Like To Read

    Really. I'll read most anything. Books, comics, magazines, newspapers, leaflets, articles, essays. Well, anything well-written at least. When I first got access to the Internet, I was overjoyed. "Wow! Lots of stuff to read!" And I read a lot online. I started mostly with anime fanfiction, but pretty soon I enjoyed reading discussions on mailing-lists, message boards, news sites, etc. The internet is a treasure trove for one who always strives for information. But I digress, this post is not about the wondrous internet. It's about the fact that I like to read. In particular, I like to read books.

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  • Radiohead, Copyright and Popular Music

    Interesting story about a guy who had to shell out 350 dollars to quote Radiohead lyrics in his book. Even though he was able to quote from many other bands, books, and even a separate Radiohead album for free. Even he had personally met the band before, and had freely let them quote his own works in their concerts. Gives a good idea of how fucked-up the worldwide copyright system is. And reminds me why I prefer to just ignore the whole corporate copyright system. (Never mind that it's quite convenient to do so.) On that note, I wonder if

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  • Web-Based Games

    The evolution of the web as a gaming platform seems to be coming along lately. With games often serving as pioneers into new frontiers, I believe this is merely signifying the trend of software products transforming into services instead of commodities. Anyway, what I mean to say is, I've been spending quite some time with web-based games lately. Mostly it's the fantastic and funny web-based parody RPG Kingdom of Loathing, which I've mentioned before. After a brief respite, I'm getting into this game again, having started dabbling with PvP, playing (or trying to play) the market, and going after the

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  • The Alchemist

    The other day, while waiting to get a blood test at Clinica Manila, Megamall, I managed to finish about 2/3rds of Paolo Coellho's best-seller The Alchemist. I finished the last 1/3rd during a 15-minute bathroom break back home. It was a short book. Lots of people have raved about how good it is. What do I think? It's okay, but nothing overly special. Maybe I didn't get too much of it because it didn't have much new material for me. All of this -- having your own "personal legend"; searching and/or fighting for it instead of deciding to accept and

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  • Who Am I?

    I am a man of many things, of many passions. I work as an engineer, remodelling space shuttles so that they don't crash and burn on reentry. I play the piano, the trombone and the harmonica. I am a columnist for an internationally acclaimed newspaper. I produce and direct award-winning movies. To relax, I write full-length novels, solve transcendental math problems and practice karate, taekwondo and aikido. I save people from drowning, I protect children from danger, I patrol the streets for litterbugs and jaywalkers, I go to government offices and streamline their processes. I hunt down terrorists, I foil

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  • Tonight On The Net 20041112

    Interesting read: There's this spouse of an EA developer who's taking it to EA's supposedly unfair labor practices on livejournal. Cool thing: A chess program that shows you the computer's train of thought! Interesting English Trivia -- yes it's geeky πŸ˜€ Tech news: Winamp is dead, long live Winamp! I actually like Winamp, especially version 5. There are quite a number of things I'd like to change with it, but it's a lot better than WMP. I wonder if there are any other, better (or at least promising) alternatives? People who have too much time on their hands: β€˜King of

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  • I've Been Busy and Wizardry 7

    ... or maybe just distracted. After putting in some fifty hours over a four-day period last weekend, I thought I'd cool off for a few days, doing nothing but what needs to be done, and some surfing and sleep when I get home. But I'm back! And I'm going to get my gaming groove on! I got a new copy of Star Ocean: Til The End of Time, hopefully this one's a good copy, I haven't tested it yet. I'll play it this long weekend (Monday = RP holiday, start of Ramadan); I will finish another PS2 RPG, I swear!

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  • Cryptonomicon

    It's 1:30 in the morning, and I plan on being at work by 8AM, so I'll just throw out a quick book review before I buzz off to meet the sandman. Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon is the only book I managed to finish out of the three I took with me to Bicol. And I actually started reading it about a month and a half earlier. In a word, the book is wordy. Stephenson has a lot to say, and it takes him 1100+ pages to do it, whereas if I were writing this story (or weird amalgamation of stories, such

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  • My Eyeglasses Belong To The Sea

    In a fit of awe-inspiring common sense, I want swimming with my eyeglasses on. And, as expected when one makes such a gargantuan mistake, the Sea was aware of my folly. It sent its minions, one after another, to take my precious away from me. Again and again I bore their onslaught, as wave after wave came after me, yearning to knock me off my feet loosely planted upon the sandy earth some four and a half feet below water level. Finally, weary of the long battle, the Sea summons all its might. I did not see it coming, for

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  • Daet, Camarines Norte

    As I've mentioned before, Daet is a small town. When I was there, I was mentally comparing it to the UP Diliman campus. Main reason being, we had a tendency to walk everywhere we went. Just like in UP, everything was literally within "walking distance" -- the beach, the church, the cemetary, etc. So in my mind, the UP Diliman campus and Daet, Camarines Norte occupy roughly the same area, even though technically, one is a university campus and the other a full-sized town. (On a tangent, the transportation within Daet is strictly limited to tricycles only, which would imply

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2004 October

  • Posting From the Boondocks

    Well, not really, seeing as how there aren't really any mountains anywhere near here. I'm in Daet, Camarines Norte, if that means anything to you. It's great to be back here β€” apparently the last time I was here was in 1996. Some things have changed, but mostly things are still the same. There's some sort of minimall now, and a Shakey's, and a Jollibee. πŸ˜› And there's internet! I'm posting right now from a dingy internet cafe near my grandmother's house. The mouse is horrible, and I had to put up with using IE for a while. I got

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