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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How A Coworker Thinks I Would Blog

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

(02:25:57 PHT) Roy: do you really think I would be emo? :p (02:27:14 PHT) Coworker: ”… i looked at the screen… it did not look back at me… why? why? why must it be this f***** way..” (02:28:08 PHT) Coworker: ”… i pressed ctrl+b… the words did not become bold as i expected… instead, my data was lost when i save done… (sadness, grief… . despair)” (02:28:16 PHT) Roy: hahaha

The tournament was last Saturday, March 15, Standard. Slightly modified list from last week: Land: 6 Islands 5 Plains 4 Adarkar Waster 4 Nimbus Maze 4 Desert Creatures: 4 Mulldrifter 4 Reveillark 3 Mirror Entity 2 Bonded Fetch 3 Body Double 2 Riftwing Cloudskate 2 Venser, Shaper Savant 3 Aven Riftwatcher Other Spells: 3 Prismatic Lens 2 Mind Stone 4 Wrath of God 3 Momentary Blink 2 Condemn Sideboard: 2 Windborn Muse 2 Crovax, Ascendant Hero 2 Condemn 2 Stonecloaker 2 Sower of Temptation 2 Draining Whelk 2 Teferi's Moat 1 Magus of the Moat Just a quick summary this time:

Free Wi-fi @HK International Airport

| Categories: Travels | Tags:

I’m blogging from an airport; I feel like such a seasoned traveler. Actually I’m writing this post just so that I can claim to post on the internet from airports.

I am of course flying back to Manila after a short 3-day visit to Hong Kong. People always ask me where I plan to go while in HK, even though I always come here to work. It’s even worse this time, as I flew in Sunday evening, attending a three-day seminar until Wednesday, working during the evenings then flying back Thursday morning. Not much time to do anything really.

Laptop Keyboards Suck

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

Seriously. Having to hit an extra key just to use “Home” or “End”? For some reason, PrintScreen and CapsLock keys are higher priority than Home and End, meaning you don’t need to use “Fn” to access them. Do people not use Ctrl+Shift+Home and Ctrl+Shift+End all the time? I’m sure a lot of developers do. Whenever I’m on this laptop and need to use Home or End, I mentally pronounce “Fn” as a seven-letter word starting with “F” and ending with “ing”.

The tournament format is Morningtide standard, 09 March at NG Galleria. My decklist, pirated from Benjamin Peebles-Mundy, with slight modifications :

Tournament report follows.

Scrabble

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

On my way home today I passed by Megamall as usual, and there was a Scrabble tournament going on. I stopped for a few minutes and watched. I realize a lot of people would probably find watching Scrabble games boring, seeing only two geeky people spelling out words at random, not even making any sense. But watching the Scrabble games brought me back to a time when I didn’t have the internet to keep me up at nights.

Scrabble is a game close to my heart, me and my brother Kerwin practically grew up with the game.

Trust and Evil Programmers

| Categories: Software Development | Tags:

Never give out any of your confidential usernames and passwords to programs or services that you do not trust completely. This may be a bit obvious to the more tech-savvy, but everybody has to watch out. Luckily, there are even some programmers who are able to catch the work of evil programmers. Coding Horror has this story about an evil programmer who sold a GMail backup solution that steals your username and password.

links for 2008-03-07

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Must Watch: I Am Legend's Original Ending -- This is Amazing « FirstShowing.net (tags: movies )   Comments Comment by noems on 2008-04-04 15:56:27 +0000 because of this link i bought a pirated copy of the movie. was on maternity leave when the movie came out e. i think i liked the ending in the movie better because it seems conflicting to the villain’s character to have compassion.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

Eagerly awaited, the fourth installment of the Ace Attorney series has arrived, with a brand-new leading defense attorney. Of course, not one week after I got my copy, I’m done. It kept me up at nights and made me come in to work late; well worth it.

To those who are not familiar with the Ace Attorney games, it’s hard to explain the appeal of the game; with all the thinking and reading to be done, it’s definitely not exciting to watch. Anyone who’s finished one of them knows what it is though. There’s that feeling you get when you all the testimony and evidence finally come together, and you figure out how it was done but you still have to figure out how to prove it!

Detailed review (and spoilers) follow.

Doodles

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

I usually have a stack of random printouts on my office desk. I also usually take one or two sheets of paper with me for meetings, supposedly to take notes (I never do). What usually happens with these papers is that I end up doodling. It’s not a sign of my not paying attention to stuff mind you. Doodling helps me think, in some way. I took photos of some of my doodles (yeah, no scanner): Roy’s Doodles

Yellow Cory

| Categories: Philippines | Tags:

Random thought while watching the news: If Cory Aquino ever went out in public without wearing bright yellow clothes, would people recognize her? _ “That lady looks a lot like Cory! Except she’s not wearing yellow!” _

My Thoughts On EDSA

| Categories: Philippines | Tags:

Given what today is, I thought it would be a good idea to say a few words on the current brouhaha. Instead of just enjoying the holiday watching DVDs that is.

Just something I posted on a certain mailing list a few days ago:

I find it hard to believe that ousting GMA now would lead to any true change. We’ve seen what the countless political episodes have exposed: corruption at almost every level of government, both the executive and legislative branches beholden to bribery and extortion. The problems in our government are systemic in nature, and it would take more than the ouster of a single person to effect any meaningful change. Even if we were to find someone *with good intentions* to replace the president, he’s still likely to be swallowed up by the system.

I'm Lawful Good

| Categories: Meta | Tags:

  Your Character’s Alignment Based on your answers to the quiz, your character’s most likely alignment is Lawful Good .Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice.

Opening a Morningtide Box

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

A box and five boosters actually. We drafted the packs, but the final distribution of rares we got were: Red 3 Boldwyr Heavyweights 1 Countryside Crusher 1 Shared Animosity 1 Sensation Gorger 1 Titan's Revenge 1 Vengeful Firebrand Green 1 Chameleon Colossus 1 Greatbow Doyen 1 Leaf-crowned Elder 1 Reach of Branches 1 Rhys the Exiled 1 Scapeshift 1 Unstoppable Ash White 1 Battletide Alchemist 1 Feudkiller's Verdict 1 Idyllic Tutor 1 Kinsbaile Borderguard 1 Preeminent captain 1 Reveillark 1 Stonehewer Giant Blue 3 Declaration of Naught 1 Knowledge Exploitation 1 Slithermuse 1 Supreme Exemplar 1 Vendillion Clique Black 3 Bitterblossom 1 Earwig Squad 2 Fendeep Summoner 1 Maralen of the Mornsong 1 Scarblade Elite 1 Stenchskipper Lands 1 Mutavault 2 Rustic Clachan Foils 1 Reveillark Not a bad box.

Killer-killer

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

During a recent out-of-town trip I observed that despite the abundance of digital entertainment available (what with all the NDS and PSP owners bringing the goods, not to mention some people bringing a Wii), some people still got together to play some face-to-face IRL games. I’m talking the types of games that are not easily translatable into digital format and will probably remain so for quite a while. One such game is known locally as “Killer-killer”.

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

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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.