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

roytang.net

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Advance Wars: Days of Ruin

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

Despite the fact the allure of Final Fantasy Tactics PSP, I was still decided on finishing Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. This was only the second game in the series that I was playing, although I had greatly enjoyed Advance Wars: Dual Strike, so my hopes were high for Days of Ruin. Pros: – Still Advance Wars, battles are fairly good and challenging enough – New units: Bike – infantry on wheels, can capture as well; Flare – helps in Fog of War situations; Carrier – revamped from the AWDS Carrier, this one can now create its’ own Seaplanes; Antitank – a ranged unit that can counterattack, strong against Tanks, surprisingly; Duster – a hybrid air unit that has a weaker ground attack than a Bomber, and weaker air attack than a fighter

I had been planning to do this for a while: it’s my first WordPress Plugin! Over at Roy on Magic, I often have to write out decklists and such, so I wanted to have an autocard feature similar to the one used at MTGSalvation. After a quick five-minute search I couldn’t figure out how they did it, so I just wrote the plugin myself. Actual effort was around 3.5 hours, most of it struggling with PHP and Regular Expressions.

I have a PSP

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

Bought one last week, had not had time to log it until now. It was not so much planned and maybe a bit more of an impulse buy. Something like a cellphone conversation with my brother who’s standing in a store in Singapore pressuring me with “Well? Should I buy one or not?” I don’t like pressure, so obviously I just said, “Ok, whatever!” The inevitable question arises: which one is better, PSP or NDS?

Morningtide Release Event

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Flight B, February 2, 2008, Saturday at Neutral Grounds Galleria. The format is LOR/MOR sealed.

I get my product and check it out. No outright bombs or cash rares, but I immediately spot the Drowner of Secrets + Merrow Commerce + 2 Stonybrook Schoolmasters. I had reasonable fliers and permission, so I built the blue-white deck. My only removal being a Weight of Conscience that I did not actually put in the maindeck.

Trying out KDE4

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

After finding out that KDE4 was already available for Kubuntu 7.10, the nice screenshots of the new Oxygen theme and hints of a revamped panel and widget system appealed to my inner geek envy, so I decided to install and give it a whirl.

KDE4 Screenshot

My quick impression, after 15 minutes of usage:

Job Hunting for Programmers

| Categories: Software Development | Tags:

No, I’m not job hunting. But other people are, apparently. I got a comment on an old post I made about my job hunting days. Not only that, but the guy IM’d me asking to talk (I put my yahoo id on this site somewhere me). It’s a bit strange, but I figured, why not? What I got from listening to him was that he was just extremely frustrated at how difficult it is to find a good job, so he was looking for people who had gone through similar experiences.

The Earth is Flat

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags: Nostalgia

Random memory for the day: I remember watching the Superfriends TV series when I was a little kid, and every time Superman would fly off into space, there’d be a shot of the earth as a globe, with Superman flying out from the northern hemisphere. As a stupid kid, I thought to myself, “I wonder why the earth is shown as an oblate spheroid? When I go out with my parents it was obviously flat.

Legazpi, Albay

| Categories: Travels | Tags:

Traveling by land sucks compared to traveling by plane. So for our weekend trip to Albay to visit our new sister-in-law’s family, I booked 3 two-way Cebu Pacific tickets for my brothers and myself. Our parents would take the bus since it was slightly cheaper and they didn’t mind sleeping on the road. The other reason was that my two brothers had never ridden a plane before – this would be their first time.

links for 2008-01-18

| Categories: Links | Tags:

Project Euler -- Computational Problems I think this can be used as a source for tech interview problems. Haven't gone through many of them though. (tags: puzzles programming)  

links for 2008-01-17

| Categories: Links | Tags:

Flash Preview of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (tags: flash games) Kotaku -- Work and Play: A Peek Inside the Lives of Gaming's Greatest I like looking at shots of people's desktops. It feeds my geek envy. (tags: games industry screenshots)  

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

Despite it’s age, I’ve only recently gotten around to loving Advance Wars: Dual Strike on the DS. It’s just the sort of game I enjoy: challenging enough not to bore me but not so difficult that I give up in frustration and has enough extras to keep me coming back. A bit of a learning curve though, and probably not for casual gamers. I beat the normal campaign last week (just barely – winning on Day 28 of a 28-day target), and I’m hoping I can finish the hard campaign before the release of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin next week.

Family

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

I was too tired to post over the weekend – too busy. But seeing as how this is a log, I need to note significant events that happened over the past weekend: a. Saturday (Jan 12) – Younger brother got married. Had to give a best man toast. It went well, but I got hit by birdshit. b. Sunday – early morning road trip to Batangas, for a paternal-side family reunion.

Tournament was at January 5 2008 in Robinson’s Galleria. I only found out the day before, so I brought the only deck I had – Mannequin. Round 1: 0-2 loss vs UG Faeries Round 2: 0-2 loss vs BGW Doran Round 3: 2-0 win vs BW unknown deck Round 4: 0-2 loss vs UG Faeries Round 5: 0-2 loss vs BG Tarmorack Ugh. Terrible way to start the year. My own fault for bringing an outdated version of Mannequin to the tournament without even any testing.

New Year Noise

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

It surprises me sometimes. Living in a country such as this, where many people complain of extreme poverty, harsh economic conditions and the like, one can only wonder how we can celebrate the New Year so extravagantly. These were the thoughts running through my mind as I watched the fireworks display by our neighbors in the subdivision. It’s not like these guys are rich, they’re middle class folk like me who probably balk at the cost of food or furniture or appliances but are now burning away thousands of pesos worth of fireworks, all for a single midnight of revelry.

Today is a good day to nuke your XP install

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

I’m not sure why I keep trying to get the Ubuntu + XP dual boot thing working. I don’t really need it, I can do most of the things I want to do in XP. And I can’t really play games in Ubuntu (I don’t really want to bother with all the crap Wine puts you through). Still, every so often I’m hit with some sort of geek envy where I just want to have an Ubuntu installation handy so I can try out some cool stuff like Compiz or whatnot.

Pack Rat Mentality

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

Every year I do an end-of-year cleanup of my stuff. (I try to at least) Somehow there always seem to be so many CDs/DVDs/books/comics to sort up and shelf or sleeve or whatnot. I’m growing tired of it all. The other day I was planning to backup everything on my computer to DVD when I realized I was just adding more to the pile. I’m not sure if there’s any important reason to backup all the episodes I’ve been watching to DVD when I’ve already watched them all.

Magic Stats! (And Year in Review)

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I believe that this year, I have managed to improve my Magic-playing a bit (despite the abundance of embarassing mistakes).I also believe I’m slightly better at Limited than I am at Constructed. TO back up these beliefs, I could point to my DCI ratings. But as a programmer who loves stats, I compiled additional stats for my own pleasure: My Playing Stats . A bit of background: I’ve been playing Magic on and off since Revised, but only gotten into the tournament scene seriously in 2006.

The Importance of Having a Team

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

A couple of weeks ago, just before the last PTQ of the season, I was thinking of quitting Magic. Not because I’m tired of it or anything, but because I’ve run out of people to play with. Unlike last year where we had enough players in the office to occasionally have an 8-man draft, this year most of the Magic players have either switched to WoW or moved to a different company/country.

PTQ Kuala Lumpur #4

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

The last qualifier in the Philippines, held last December 16. I wasn’t able to attend the Gold Rush the day before due to prior commitments, so this was my last tournament for the year. I opened a pool with a lot of removal: 1 Herbal Poultice 1 Briarhorn 1 Moonglove Extract 1 Fertile Ground 1 Bog Hoodlums 1 Immaculate Magistrate 1 Boggart Loggers 1 Kithkin Daggerdare 1 Colfenor's Plans 2 Lace with Moonglove 1 Dread 2 Lignify 1 Exiled Boggart 2 Sylvan Echoes 1 Fodder Launch 1 Timber Protector 2 Footbottom Feast 1 Warren-Scourge Elf 1 Hornet Harasser 1 Woodland Changeling 1 Hunter of Eyeblights 1 Island 1 Marsh Flitter 1 Shelldock Isle 1 Prowess of the Fair 1 Vivid Marsh 1 Scarred Vinebreeder 1 Adder-Staff Boggart 1 Skeletal Changeling 2 Axegrinder Giant 1 Spiderwig Boggart 1 Blind-Spot Giant 1 Thieving Sprite 1 Faultgrinder 2 Weed Strangle 1 Fire-Belly Changeling 1 Amoeboid Changeling 2 Lash Out 1 Aquitect's Will 1 Lowland Oaf 2 Deeptread Merrow 1 Rebellion of the Flamekin 1 Drowner of Secrets 2 Tar Pitcher 1 Faerie Trickery 1 Hillcomber Giant 1 Familiar's Ruse 1 Judge of Currents 1 Merrow Reejerey 1 Kinsbaile Balloonist 1 Mulldrifter 1 Kinsbaile Skirmisher 2 Ponder 1 Kithkin Greatheart 1 Protective Bubble 1 Kithkin Harbinger 1 Ringskipper 2 Kithkin Healer 1 Whirlpool Whelm 1 Lairwatch Giant 1 Sentry Oak 2 Springjack Knight I built some deck with Goblins and Giants:

PTQ Kuala Lumpur #3

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Dec-2, Sunday. Lorwyn Sealed. The usual location of course, NG Galleria. _ I find your lack of socks… disturbing _ I played a couple MTGO drafts the day before but did not do very well, I hoped my luck would be better this time. But my day did not start very well as I found that I had forgotten to bring sleeves to the event. I had to buy some rough-backed Ultra Pros.

Standard @ NG Galleria 24-Nov-2007

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Yeah, I post these late, I’m a busy man. But I want to have a record so here we go. Same deck as [ the last time]1 , except I removed the 2 grim harvests from the board and put in +2 sudden death (to improve the pickles matchup) Round 1: My opponent had a BUw Mannequin deck, splashing for O-Ring and Blink. He obviously put the deck together at the last minute though.

I Play Too Quickly

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

The first step is admitting you have a problem. I’ve thrown away games because I played spells without thinking and attacked without thinking. I go on autopilot far too often. It has got to stop. What’s the preventive measure? I’ll count to 3 before making every decision.

Social Networking

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

_ “Robert suggested we create Facebook accounts, I think in an effort to establish that we were “down” with whatever “new jives” the kids were flexing on the mean streets. I refused. Gabriel buckled, and the bullshit that ensued verified my initial assessment: that maintaining Facebook would quickly constitute another job. Of which I already have several.”_ — Tycho, Penny-Arcade I never really bought into social networking (because I am of course antisocial) But lo and behold!

Drama at the Manila Pen

| Categories: Philippines | Tags:

I don’t particularly care one way or another whether Gloria falls out of power or not. I suspect a lot of people don’t. And a lot of people probably don’t give a hoot about Trillianes either. I am however of the opinion that he is an idiot. What exactly did he hope to accomplish yesterday anyway? The only difference between now and Oakwood a few years ago is that since then he’s gotten the pity vote to actually be able to call himself a senator.

My single greatest problem with Magic Online is the fact that it’s on a computer. Which means that unlike a real draft where I can focus 100% on the draft, in Magic Online I could possibly be doing several other things such as coding, blogging, random surfing, IM, etc. that may cause terrible misclicks such as a first-pick Faultgrinder (true story) I should stop writing this post now and maybe try to salvage the draft.

PTQ Kuala Lumpur #2

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Tournament was last Sunday, November 18. Format was Lorwyn Sealed. I open a pretty good sealed pool this time. Notable cards include Mistbind Clique, Profane Command, Mulldrifter, Cloudgoat Ranger, Oblivion Ring, Shriekmaw and Silvergill Douser. Haven’t written up the sealed pool yet, will probably do so later. I play major blue, minor black and white. Round 1: 2-0 win vs BG Goblin/Elf Round 2: 2-0 win vs UB Faeries Round 3 vs merfolk, things start getting interesting.

Lorwyn Inaugurals

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Tournament was on Saturday, November 10. Format was Standard. I didn’t have any good deck ideas this time around (some would argue I never do!), so I played a netdeck. I played the Mannequin deck that originally appeared in US States, as reported by BDM here. I had to change the board around a bit, I went with: 4 Nameless Inversion (to help kill black/artifact critters) 3 Vesuvan Shapeshifter (get random tricks off pickles, and kill legends)

WoW, Hacked!

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

2 days ago: My brother Alvin and Brian report suspicious activities on the computer in their room. Random Chinese popups appearing, mysterious processes in the taskbar. As needed, virus scans and adware scans are done. Trojans are identified and quarantined, but keep reappearing. Brian plays WoW on the machine despite the issues. Yesterday: Alvin decides to reformat the machine and begins backing up. Brian plays WoW on the machine in my room instead.

PTQ Kuala Lumpur #1

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

The format is Lorwyn Sealed. Note here that I they had a shortage of boosters and had to split tournament packs into 3 boosters to be able to accomodate all the players. Decklist/Card pool later, I’m too lazy to type it up. Unfortunately, I failed to learn from the previous mistakes as I got blinded by the shiny again, thinking I could actually cast Horde of Notions, so I went with an almost-five color build, major red-blue-and-green.

The Mysterious Fertile Ground

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

(7:51:16 PM) Roy: I dug into the invasion box to look for fertile grounds (invasion common, reprinted in lorwyn) guess how many I found? (7:51:26 PM) switch: 1? (7:51:31 PM) switch: 0? (7:51:34 PM) Roy: zero (7:51:46 PM) switch: hmmm. that’s oddish (7:51:59 PM) switch: then again, it’s common in lor (7:52:10 PM) Roy: yes, but I wanted to play with Invasion ones! (7:52:33 PM) switch: oh well (7:52:34 PM) Roy: it may just be that we really didn’t have any at all – I didn’t even realize it was in invasion until I say it in gatherer

States / Champs 2007 Data

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I still have no idea what to play for Lorwyn Standard, so I was eagerly awaiting this year’s States/Champs results. There are already partial results up at MTG.com, and I had some time so I did some of my programming hocus-pocus and extracted some fun data. States / Champs 2007 Card Counts The data is of course extracted from top eight decklists, so what we have here are literally the best decks this past weekend.

How to Solve Technical Problems

| Categories: Software Development | Tags:

One of the qualities that I think make a really good software developer is the ability to solve difficult technical problems. Unless you’re the sort of software developer who just sells the same piece of software over and over again, at some point in time you’ll to need to find out how to implement some feature you’ve never tried before. Or you’ll hit a problem that’s not documented in any official docs and you need that critical functionality.

links for 2007-10-29

| Categories: Links | Tags:

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test | PerthNow This is awesome. It's not a trick, and if you concentrate enough you can make the test go either way. (tags: cool psychology)  

Fear

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

I was in Galleria earlier today and suddenly the power went out for a few seconds. It came back up almost immediately, but of course everyone was a bit spooked given the recent bombings at Glorietta 2. Even I felt a bit shaken up I might add, even considering cutting short the tournament (I wasn’t doing well) I hate that. Being overcome by fear, even for a very short instant.

GPT Bangkok 4

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Ugh, I feel like an idiot. Lowryn Sealed card pool: 1 Runed Stalactite 1 Wanderer’s Twig 2 Bog Hoodlums 1 Boggart Loggers 1 Faerie Tauntings 1 Footbottom Feast 1 Hornet Harasser 1 Makeshift Mannequin 1 Marsh Flitter 1 Nightshade Stinger 1 Peppersmoke 1 Prowess of the Fair 1 Quill-Slinger Boggart 3 Scarred Vinebreeder 1 Warren Pilferers 1 Æthersnipe 1 Amoeboid Changeling 1 Drowner of Secrets 1 Ego Erasure 1 Faerie Harbinger

links for 2007-10-15

| Categories: Links | Tags:

FMAHQ.com Full Metal Alchemist scans (tags: manga) Null -- This website doesn't exist! One Piece scans (tags: manga) Step By Step: Share a Printer on Your Home Network -- Lifehacker (tags: howto)  

Legend of Zelda -- Phantom Hourglass

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

The game was not as long as I had hoped, although I finished without completing stuff. (Only had 11 hearts when facing the final boss). I told a friend that the current Zeldas are too easy compared to the Zeldas of old . There are a lot more hints this time around on how to get past stuff, etc. He told me that the 3d Zeldas are even easier. One of the sacrifices they had to make to become popular I suppose.

Ravnica's Last Hurrah

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I wasn’t too keen on playing, but that Dark Confidant kept whispering at me to give him one more chance. Rakdos again, except I removed Martyr of Ashes from the board and put in Avalanche Riders to help the terrible Angelfire matchup. Round 1: 2-1 win vs BWR Slivers I kept Hit/Run in the main because I thought he had Solifuges, he did not. Round 2: 2-1 win vs White Weenie

Memories of Zelda

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

Can holding a stylus cause carpal tunnel syndrome? Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for a few days now; the controls are purely-stylus driven so my wrist aches a bit after a few hours of play. Of course the game has been consuming a good number of my waking hours (I didn’t even play any Magic this weekend), but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the original Legend of Zelda.

Lorwyn -- Prerelease

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the AM flights yesterdat, so I hung around Galleria for a few hours watching people play. A lot of people seemed to be playing blue or green stuff. There are people saying Needle Drop is good, what? Just because it cantrips? My flight manages to start around 4 PM, and I open the sealed pool I’m registering. The first two rares I see are Jace Beleren and Chandra Nalar!

Lorwyn -- Some Other Cards of Note

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Lorwyn prerelease in two days, and of course MTG Salvation is spoiler-complete. Some thoughts on cards: ** Thoughtseize ** – B Sorcery (Rare) Target player reveals his or her hand. Choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life. ** My take: ** Undercosted cards that demand a 2 life payment are usually pretty good. (See: Shocklands, Char, Psionic Blast, Vampiric Tutor). Thoughtseize is widely anticipated to be the chase rare of the set, with starcitygames.

Lorwyn -- Planeswalkers

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

The full spoiler is of course now available at MtgSalvation; I’ll talk about planeswalkers first. Each planeswalker is rare and has 3 abilities: a normal attack, a special move, and a finishing move. ** Ajani Goldmane ** 2ww Planeswalker – Ajani +1: You gain 2 life -1: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Those creatures gain vigilance until end of turn. -6: Put a white Avatar creature token into play with “This creature’s power and toughness are each equal to your life total.

Ender's Game Series

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: Books

My reading lately has comprised of Orson Scott Card’s excellent Ender’s Game series. I got a copy of six of the books from an officemate a couple of months back, and I’ve just finished the seventh book today. I don’t usually go through books that quickly, so it’s a sign that I’ve really enjoyed this series. (If I don’t enjoy a series, I typically lose interest before even finishing the book – I have a copy of Sword of Shannara around here to prove that.

Friday Night Magic

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I played at an FNM for the first time last Friday, in a cramped room at the back of the Neutral Grounds in Galleria. It was definitely… different than the usual weekend tournaments. I mean people playing Rhox different. Asking whether equip costs needed to be paid every turn different. Not that I’m picking on noobs or anything; it was all fun and refreshing. Everything was a lot more casual than the highly competitive PTQs or GPTs.

roytang on magic

| Categories: Meta | Tags:

I’m planning to write more about Magic, so I created a separate space for that. All MtG-related posts are moved there.

Roy on Magic

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Obviously, I’ve started playing a lot of Magic since last year. I’ve been a long-time player, having started around the time of Revised more than twelve years ago, but I’ve never seriously started playing in tournaments in such until I had a job, which meant more money to spend on Magic (also meant less free time though =/) As anyone who has immersed himself in this game knows, Magic is an addictive experience.

GPT Bangkok 3

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

It’s my first time playing at BCI Greenhills. During deck registration, I open a Damnation and a Graven Cairns. If I got up then, I’d have gotten my money’s worth. But I didn’t come here to buy a Damnation, I came here to play. My sealed deck: Gemhide Sliver Thornweald Archer Thallid Germinator Citanul Woodreaders Giant Dustwasp Durkwood Baloth Tromp the Domains Dead/Gone Rift Bolt Orcish Cannonade Basalt Gargoyle Coal Stoker