Wearing dice on my head since 2008 Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart. Randomly amazed.

Tech Life

The Miracle PC

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My computer died last night, refusing to boot. Ubuntu would complain of being unable to read the root filesystem. Windows XP would say that there’s a corrupted DLL. I immediately arranged to borrow both an Ubuntu LiveCD and a Windows XP install disk the next day to help check the problem. When I got home today, the computer had been miraculously fixed. My brother said he’d been using it no problem.

NewsHutch -- feed aggregator

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I’m going to try out a new feed aggregator for a while – NewsHutch. Don’t get me wrong, Bloglines is nice and all, but one gets tired of the UI after a while. NewsHutch looks… nice. And don’t get me started on Google Reader… that one is slow as molasses. (I added it to my Google Customized Homepage though, maybe that makes it better)

Personal Productivity

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Since I’m going back to work starting on Saturday, I thought I’d try to look for ways to improve my productivity at work. I’ve downloaded a few utilities that I can try at work to see if it can improve my workflow. The first one is SlickRun. Basically it’s a Start -> Run replacement – press a predefined hotkey and a small command line tool appears where I can type shortcut-like commands.

Adventures in Linux Land, part 4

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I upgraded my Kubuntu Linux installation to Edgy Eft during the Christmas break. Some notes: Why can’t there be a one-click install? You know, some pop-up alert bubble in the corner saying “A new version of Kubuntu is available.” I don’t see why the user needs to edit the sources.list file, do the apt-get stuff, etc., when all of this can basically be automated away. Except for one thing, I can do everything I need to do using Kubuntu instead of using Windows.

new monitor

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags: Hardware

new monitor Originally uploaded by zroytang . As promised, a picture. That desk used to hold an entire monitor! Now it has my wallet, a watch, a couple of flash drives, a landline, a cellphone and a whole bunch of wires!

19-inches of Widescreen LCD Sweetness

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I wish I had a camera right now so I could post a picture of it, but yeah, I now have a brand-new 19-inch widescreen LCD monitor on my desk. Wow, I have so much space! Both physical space and desktop space! I came home at past 12 midnight last night and was so sleepy I would have immediately went into a catatonic sleep had my brother not brought home and installed this new monitor.

Eudora to Become Open Source

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QUALCOMM Press Center – QUALCOMM Launches Project in Collaboration with Mozilla Foundation to Develop Open Source Version of Eudora Email Program –link Wow. Eudora was my email client of choice back in the day, when webapps were still so much crappier. I suppose they realized so many people had switched to using either GMail or Thunderbird, that they had to do something to make their product relevant. My favorite thing about Eudora was that their client would have a stats page; it literally tracks the amount of time you spend reading and writing email, the average amount of mail you get daily, etc.

Yahoo Mail Beta

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I tried the new Yahoo Mail Beta for a while, but I decided to switch back just now. Short review: it’s nice looking, but feels a tad sluggish. Well, sluggish compared to gmail at least. The biggest problem is that scrollbar in the message list. It’s like promising that you can scroll through all your messages, but when you try to scroll to a far away part of the list, you just get a lot of “Loading… ” text.

Recording Industry vs The People

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There are a handful of issues that would influence the general direction of the human race in years to come. Terrorism, oil scarcity, trade imbalances and worldwide poverty come to mind, and these are the ones most commonly discussed in mainstream media. There is however, another important battle being waged that is far removed from the minds of the everyday person. That battle is Recording Industry vs The People. Some of the posts at the above blog are awesome reads and point to an alarming pattern of abuse of the United States’ judicial system by large corporations with armies of lawyers at their disposal waging a war against ordinary American citizens.

Ubuntu Desktop 01-Apr-2006

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Ubuntu Desktop Originally uploaded by zroytang . I’m getting a lot more comfortable with Ubuntu… I spent about half an hour today customizing the environment and setting up some stuff. I can do my downloading in Ubuntu now; I just need to set up some sort of shared FAT32 partition that both WinXP and Ubuntu can access for easy transfer between the two OS. (Currently, Ubuntu only has read-only access to the NTFS file system)

Ballmer, Bemused -- Forbes.com

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Ballmer, Bemused – Forbes.com An interview with Steve Ballmer – a lot of “Microsoft is cool” gibberish, but one nice quote stands out for me: Forbes.com: Right now, I can go out and get a free alternative to just about every product Microsoft sells. Why do people keep paying you for something they could get free? Ballmer: One, people value their time. Our stuff does more, and they like that.

Adventures in Linux-land, part 3

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I think I’m starting to get the hang of this :p This whole thing with Kubuntu, where I have to use Adept to install stuff is really weirding out my Windows-geek tendencies. For today, all I wanted was to get some mp3s playing on Kubuntu. Unfortunately, the default included players (Kaffeine and Amarok) were giving me trouble, claiming they could not play mp3s! I asked around for some help, and read some FAQs, but I kept getting errors trying to download and install gstreamer-mad 0.

Adventures in Linux-land, part 2

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[ Previously]1: I installed Kubuntu, but failed to get the internet working. But now, since we got a router to service our home network (whereas previously we were using a cross-cable directly connecting two computers), I decided to give it another shot. Apparently, if I have a router between my PC and the DSL line, I can use something called DHCP to automatically configure my ethernet connection. And I did that!

Desktop 2006-02-19

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Desktop 2006-02-19 Originally uploaded by zroytang . <p> Spent a good amount of time today tidying up the desktop. Check it out! </p> <p> Wallpaper is from <a href="http://everydayicons.jp">Everyday Icons<br /> </a> </p>

A Numbers Puzzle

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Some people I know enjoy puzzles. (So do I.) Here’s a neat one: 85 37 655321 64389000 466 64 24601 101 980 95 057 42799 6 The only hint provided is:   It’s not something you’ll figure out by just thinking about it, but with some creative Googling you can get it. _ Via J-Walk (Warning: the link will show you the answer!

Adventures in Linux Land, Part 1

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So yeah, out of a strange mix of adventurism, inertia, coincidence and plan old boredom, I decided to install linux on this machine. At first I just wanted to see how easy the install would be, but after I nuked my Windows XP install I sort of had no turning back. (-_-!) Anyway, I went for a dual boot of Windows XP and Kubuntu, supposedly an easy-to-use Linux distro. So yeah, I even watched this video online that showed how to do the installs.

I Am Selling An Old Monitor

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Here Update: Sold for the low, low price of P1500! Comments Comment by JungleDirector on 2009-01-14 01:55:41 +0000 Subj. Anybody have? I’ts better, if you have XRumer 5.04… Gimme link Thanks.

SessionSaver Firefox Extension and Page State

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A post I made today had a 23-Oct timestamp. After some investigation, I determined it was because I had left the create post screen open in a firefox tab last 23-Oct, then closed my browser. On my next launch of firefox, the SessionSaver extension automatically reloaded my previous session, but the create post screen still had the 23-Oct date. I had to manually change the date. Note to self: Refresh the create post screen always.

I Have A Phone! (Nokia 6020)

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After seemingly being the last man in the Philippines without a cellphone for so long, I broke down and bought one a couple of weeks ago. I’d post a picture, but I can’t find the digicam, and the phone can’t take a picture of itself. The 6020 itself seems pretty okay, although as a phone newbie I really have not much of a basis for comparison. The camera is nifty, but it took me a while to find a data cable for the phone.

Total Hard Drive Space: Tripled!

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Bought a brand-spankin’ new 160GB hard drive yesterday. Seagate Barracuda 7200. Yessir, ups the total hard drive capacity at home to 240 gigs, I hope we don’t fill it up too fast. Moved the 40GB hard drive on the primary computer to the secondary (for a total of 80 on the secondary), and installed the new one on the primary. My brother Alvin was working with me on this, and it took us a better part of three hours to get the connection right (one of the casings wasn’t very agreeable)

Google Talk

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As you may have heard, Google Talk is up. The client looks neat and all, but there’s not much reason for most people to start using it. Sure, the voice chat thing is neat, but I know that Yahoo Messenger supports it, and probably some of the others do? Otherwise, the client seems awfully thin. Simple, like Google, but it needs to be a lot more than that to make a difference.

Linux is shareware?

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Or so the paper says. The Philippine Daily Inquirer had an article today about Oracle targetting local SMEs. Apparently they have an advantage because they use “the Linux shareware.” Too bad I can’t find the article online.

Hipster PDA?

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Should I get a Hipster PDA? I’m thinking about it. Or something similar. Not really for organizing tasks and stuff. Only for jotting down temporary things when away from a computer. So I can remember them later. I often think up incredibly clever world-shaking ideas while commuting, it would be nice to remember all of them. I still largely prefer the advantages of electronic storage: cut/paste functionality, easy to make backups/copies, distribution, easily searchable etc.

Bitty Browser

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Bitty Browser Holy crap, that’s cool. del.icio.us links Open "del.icio.us links" in a new window About Bitty Browser About Turnstyle <p> ... but this one doesn't seem to work on Firefox though, all I get are Google ads? Am I doing something wrong? </p> <p> Let's try the launch link: </p> <p> <a href="http://b1.bitty.com/browser/xmlparser/?mode=delicious_username&feed_url=http%3A%2F%2Fdel%2Eicio%2Eus%2Frss%2Froytang"><br /> <img src="http://b1.bitty.com/tag/?a=08248939B365qy4E8d5LFeNKNfs5yClxDkxfLYj8CE7QmmO0y9nZSJ9QQigEcgoPQRQ1xlcaGnbMiDqiN1jOpsPX0QsrtrJLg6IImGun2vKLIa%2BCBl7d7dRkun8%2FNC4aej%2Fjn1AjJFcdf9L6G7J6EDVCVP7K%2BrFZGqjYQx%2FhNNRk0jTkez0cENhq1cYyivHTvYILSAkERyHGlNqmi%2F3qGYL1PXEnpwPb8aTn6kEDkdt0asaHSANpLGHXcX%2BqV%2F6zp0pc&button=launch" border="0" /><br /> </a> </p> <p> Hey both work now!

[ Pimp My Rig ]1is a hardware review side associated with a friend of mine from high school. Yes, I was asked to help promote it. 😀 I haven’t worried about hardware issues in a while, since I usually ask my kid brother to handle most hardware purchases/setup at home. So, I don’t really know much about the latest and greatest hardware but this site looks helpful enough to be given a try, especially if you’re the sort who enjoys putting together his own PC.

Broadband!

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Ooo… DSL is fast! Now I need something to do with it… Comments Comment by Joyceline on 2005-03-24 12:13:00 +0000 *cough*porn*cough* … lol Comment by Roy on 2005-03-24 16:22:00 +0000 um… no 😀

My First Nigerian Spam

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No seriously, I don’t remember having received any before. Click to view Edit: Okay, it’s the first one that I actually received in my inbox. I don’t actually know if Yahoo or Gmail’s filters killed one before i saw it.

Firefox in 98?

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This internet shop is using Windows 98, apparently. And it looks like Firefox’s icon doesn’t show properly in 98? Oh, and Yahoo has a new front page. Comments Comment by Anonymous on 2004-11-03 11:06:00 +0000 Now that you mention it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the desktop icon for Firefox. Then again, I keep forgetting if I’m installing Firefox, or just watered down Mozilla. And I delete most desktop icons anyway – I already

Firefox 1.0 on November 9

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In case you haven’t heard, Firefox, the little browser that could, is scheduled for the official 1.0 release on Nov. 9. There’s a large promotion campaign going on over at SpreadFirefox.com, including a campaign to gather donations for a large ad of some sort on the New York Times. I’m still using 0.9, despite the availability of 1.0PR, but I’ll surely get the official 1.0 come November 9. 😀 BTW, there are some cool Firefox wallpapers available.

Energy Bliss

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There’s a new, official Windows XP Theme out. Supposedly meant for Tablet PCs, it works for regular desktops too. Cool.

Google Desktop

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People have been raving about Google Desktop lately. I didn’t like it. Aside from the obvious problem with multi-user computers, apparently there are some other issues. I wouldn’t use it for my everyday, personal stuff, but I think it might be okay at work.

New Hardware

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Spent some cash this weekend. First thing was a 256 Mb Kingston flash drive. Nothing too complicated, just something to transfer MP3s to and from work with. =) Next up was a digital camera. A Kodak CX6330 to be exact. We had been planning to buy one for a while. Pics? Not now. Funny story though. There was this promo where we could get a P5000 discount (less than US$100) if we could show a receipt for P200 worth of Pampers (a local brand of baby diapers)… so I had to explain to people why in the world I was carrying around some diapers…

Sweet Sweet Vacation Time

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God, it feels good to be goofing off. After having to spend six days in HK (well, more like five-and-a-half, more on that later) and then proceeding to conduct SQL training sessions for the latest batch of recruits, I was kinda tired and stressed out from work. Good thing I had the common sense to file for two days leave after the elections last Monday; don’t have to come in ‘til tomorrow.

Windows XP: Luna

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Since I got Windows XP a little less than a year ago, I’ve tried looking around for cheap (read: free) ways to customize the interface. I did eventually find some solutions, but after trying a nice chrome theme for a while, I eventually went back to the default XP look. Why? I realize now, I like the Luna interface. It’s neat. It’s one of the best things to come out of Microsoft in eight years.

Yes I do. I bought a new hard drive yesterday, a 40Gb 5400RPM Seagate. It took me a while to get the system up and running again after my plugging it in. First I had to wrestle with my PC’s small case, trying to figure out where to place the thing. Then, given how old my PC is, it predictably failed to detect the whole capacity of the drive, insisting it was only 8 Gb.