Roy Tang

roytang.net

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

Blog Notes Photos Links Archives About

2019 February

  • Push off work

    The popular adage is that on your deathbed, you would not be regretting not having worked more. I think about this often, especially when there are people trying to convince me that I should do this work or that, because they have no one else to turn to or something or the work desperately needs to be done. It seems that there's always work that desperately needs to be done, but if you look at it closely the consequences are rarely that life-altering. More often than not the consequences will at worst amount to lost profits or missed opportunities. The

    read more (247 words)

    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 247 words

  • Watching Lately: February 2019

    Some things I've been watching lately, aside from the usual TV shows I follow: I watched Alita: Battle Angel, with the friend who introduced me to the series in the first place. The movie looked fantastic and the fight scenes were great. Plot was supercondensed, several books' worth of story combined into one. Ended in a weird place, kinda? Easily the best western live action anime adaptation by far. On Feb. 7, 2019, 10:06 p.m. I wrote: Watched Alita: Battle Angel earlier today. Pretty good. Fast pace, excellent visuals and fight scenes. They tried to cram a lot of the

    read more (502 words)

  • Strange beds

    I have my share of sleeping problems, but it gets slightly worse when I'm sleeping on a new, strange, unfamiliar bed. It always takes me some time to adjust to any new trappings, and I almost always expect on my first few nights at a new place that I won't get the correct amount of sleep or be awake at the proper times. I wonder if there is some primordial instinct that causes us to be wary of unfamiliar sleeping arrangements, granting (against our will) heightened awareness in case of predators. Leaves me more time to ponder life's mysteries at

    read more (101 words)

    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 101 words

  • EDSA

    The EDSA revolution was a promise. "Never again." They cried. But the scope was never clear. Never again to a dictator? Okay, but if not that, then what? What of corruption, of patronage, of poverty, of oligarchy, of ignorance? We thought the job finished and patted ourselves on the back and assumed everything would go back to normal, without regard to what "normal" needed to be. The same evils took different guises, and today the forces of darkness and dictatorship are almost close to fulfilling their return. EDSA was a promise, but only half-fulfilled, and the half left unfulfilled came

    read more (176 words)

    Posted by under blog at #current-events #philippines

    Also on: twitter / 176 words

  • It might have been

    “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been." ― John Greenleaf Whittier, Maud Muller - Pamphlet It is human nature perhaps, to think about those alternate realities that might have come from different decisions or different dispositions. If only I was braver. If only I was more decisive. If only I didn't have something holding me back. If only I knew what I knew now. If only I had fought harder for it. If only I could speak to her again one last time. If only I realized what it all meant.

    read more (133 words)

    Posted by under blog at #quotes #regret

    Also on: twitter / 133 words

  • There's no time for anything else

    “None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after-thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else." — Keanu Reeves via swissmiss
    Posted by under blog at #quotes

    Also on: twitter / 58 words

  • Debt

    For my first few years in elementary school, I didn't get any pocket money. Instead I'd have a couple of sandwiches and a thermos of water. So I wasn't used to handling money. One time while waiting for the school bus, I was a bit thirsty but my thermos was already out. For some reason, I decided to borrow five pesos from a classmate to buy a coke from the canteen. This gave me a bit anxiety on the ride home. It meant I had to ask my parents for money so I can pay back the guy! I had

    read more (416 words)

    Posted by under blog at #quotes

    Also on: twitter / 416 words

  • This too shall pass

    It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: And this, too, shall pass away. How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride!how consoling in the depth of affliction! - Abraham Lincoln More quotes! I like ones that have a level of ambiguity, a meaning that changes depending on situation. "This too shall pass" teaches us to hope in times of desperation, and encourages temperance in times of

    read more (179 words)

    Posted by under blog at #quotes

    Also on: twitter / 179 words

  • Reddit PH: Software Dev Q&A

    I had some free time the other day so I randomly decided to post in the PH subreddit's regular afternoon random discussion thread, asking for questions about software development. I ended up typing some longish answers, I thought I'd copy them over to the blog in case anyone was interested. TBH I meant more like StackOverflow type questions with specific technical problems, but I ended up answering mostly career-related questions, which is fine, but disclaimer: I don't claim to be an expert, these are just my opinions on things. capybara_c0de: project/s junior devs should include in his/her portfolio? I've technical

    read more (1124 words)

  • Noisy channels

    There's a significant risk of information overload nowadays. For someone like me who spends a lot of time on the internet, there's a lot of feeds I follow. Not just social media like Facebook and Twitter, I also follow a set of RSS Feeds via Inoreader, I've signed up for a few newsletters, and on weekends I read through several Flipboard categories. Just another symptom of my tendency to want everything I guess. It is arguably all too much. So I thought about Marie Kondo-ing some of that stuff. The main problem right now is my RSS feeds - I

    read more (681 words)

    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 681 words

  • Pinoy Pride

    Posted by under blog at #philippines

    Also on: twitter / 417 words

  • Game Review: Hollow Knight

    Posted by under blog at #gaming

    Also on: twitter / 860 words

  • Speaking truth to power

    According to Wikipedia, Speaking truth to power is a non-violent political tactic, employed by dissidents against the received wisdom or propaganda of governments they regard as oppressive, authoritarian or an ideocracy. I always had the general sense of it before, but not that it was specifically for use against oppressive or authoritarian governments. It is believed the phrase has origins in a Quaker pamphlet published in 1955. I was reminded of this phrase today and looked it up because it seems relevant again recently, at least in the Philippines. Recently Maria Ressa, the head of the online news site Rappler,

    read more (423 words)

    Posted by under blog at #current-events #opinions

    Also on: twitter / 423 words

  • Hacktoberfest

    Last October I participated in #Hacktoberfest, sponsored by DigitalOcean and Github. It's a "celebration" to promote open source activity, and basically you just need to submit 5 pull requests to any github repository, and they give away swag to anyone who completes the activity. Microsoft held a [counterpart celebration] where they only require you to submit 1 pull request to any Microsoft repository. I've always wanted to start participating in Open Source, but it's a bit difficult to find a good place to contribute (other than logging issues of course). So when I heard about this activity, I thought "Why

    read more (371 words)

  • In late 2017, the US moved to ban Kaspersky antivirus from use by federal agencies, because of suspected influence from the Russian government. In late 2018, the US and other countries have either banned or are considering banning the Chinese tech giant Huawei and its telecoms products, for security reasons. Both companies are under scrutiny for their perceived ties to their governments, both of which happen to have authoritarian leanings. From a certain POV, the bannings may be unfair, as they are "preventive" in nature, i.e. punishment is given preemptively before any offence is discovered. It's interesting to me because

    read more (393 words)

    Posted by under blog at #current-events #opinions

    Also on: twitter / 393 words

  • Subtitles

    Interesting article on closed captioning, or as I like to call them, subtitles. My first exposure to subtitles was anime of course, but these days I vastly prefer having subtitles on any show, even if it's dubbed in a language I do understand. From the article: “Why do you have captions on?" I asked. “It helps me with my ADHD: I can focus on the words, I catch things I missed, and I never have to go back," she replied. “And I can text while I watch." I don't think I have ADHD, that's not something diagnosed very often over

    read more (206 words)

    Posted by under blog at #tv #pop-culture

    Also on: twitter / 206 words

  • Insomnia

    I love sleeping. And taking naps. But I'm not very good at doing it at night. Insomnia is a common problem for me. I often find it difficult to go to sleep at night, taking upwards of 1-2 hours in bed before I can manage to fall asleep. Of course all that time lying there feels unproductive, so I'll often be tempted to to grab a nearby screen and read something online or such, which makes it even harder to get to sleep. I don't blame the electronics devices completely, though. I remember even when I was a kid I

    read more (563 words)

    Posted by under blog at #sleep

    Also on: twitter / 563 words

  • Draw Something

    Posted by under blog at #drawing #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 79 words

  • Broken Streak

    I thought I had a post scheduled yesterday, but I didn't. That broke a continuous streak of 124 days of daily blogging. I thought about writing a post and publishing it retroactively, but that seems like the kind of BS Type A behavior I kind of want to avoid these days. At least I did a lot better than the last time I tried daily blogging in October 2006, when I only managed 23 posts for the month. On the bright side, that gave me something easy to write about today. And now that I've broken the streak I thought,

    read more (200 words)

    Posted by under blog at #blogging #tech-life #writing

    Also on: twitter / 200 words