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

roytang.net

last update:

I'm Going to HK Again

| Categories: Travels | Tags:

So much for my nefarious plan to take it easy until I can get a Christmas break. I leave on the first available flight Thursday, and they plan to keep me there for around three weeks.

Dark Tower VII

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: Books

What a long, arduous journey it has been for Roland of Gilead, last gunslinger, in his inexorable quest for the Dark Tower. And now that I’ve read the final volume of Stephen King’s magnum opus, I find out that it is an even crueler fate that awaits him at the end of the seven books. I dare not spoil it, though Wikipedia has a nice summary, say thankya. Save to say that Stephen King seems to be correct – the ending of the Dark Tower series does seem to be the “correct” one, despite some disappointments in writing.

Same deck as last week. Round 1: 2-0 vs WUb Sliver-Mill. I asked him afterwards why he didn’t show me any Traumatize, he said it was only in the board. Round 2: 2-0 vs Solar Flare Game one he only gets four lands, he manages to animate a Skeletal Vampire, but Glare taps the blockers and pushes the kill. Game two he gets nothing but ten lands and a Remand.

I predict that eventually, “don’t”, “won’t”, “can’t” and the like will eventually become their own words, dropping that weird apostrophe they have. A few decades after this happens, some people will wonder what “wan’t” used to stand for.

Elephant Tokens

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

elephant_tokens Originally uploaded by zroytang. Check out the awesome Elephant tokens I used in the tourney earlier today. I swear, I won every game where I managed to get one of these out. Two on the right were drawn by me. The one on the left by Dens.

This tournament and three others for each Saturday of November are run-ups to the Time Spiral Gold Rush tournament in December. I’ve been agonizing over the past couple of weeks as to what I can play in the diverse new standard enivornment. In the end, instead of doing my usual thing and building an original decklist, I decided to work from an existing archetype instead. I believe that in order for me to become a better Standard player, I have to get more match experience before designing decks, since my thinking is still on a casual level most of the time.

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!

Dark Tower VI -- Song of Susannah

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: Books

I was holding off on buying the sixth installment of the Dark Tower until I could find a printing which matched the previous five books, but as I was browsing through the new Fully Booked at SM North I felt a compulsive urge to buy *something*, and lo and behold, Stephen King was on the shelf right beside me! As usual, the tale of Roland and his party on their quest for the Dark Tower is quite the page-turner, especially since this particular piece of fiction intersects with the real world in an intruiging way… the author himself, Stephen King, appears in this book as the would-be creator of Roland’s world!

Heroes Again

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: TV Series

This series is simple awesome. The writing is excellent, and the fact they’re using a lot of precognition implies how well the entire series should tie together. Hiro continues to be the shining star here. Future Hiro’s appearance promises us several things, namely: Hiro will eventually stop being so dorky. And he’ll get a sword! Hiro will eventually learn to speak English well Peter will eventually get a scar

19-inches of Widescreen LCD Sweetness

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags: Hardware

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.

Computer Gaming World

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

Awesome thing for old-school gamers – CGW has made available PDFs of their first 100 issues here. It’s fun to read reviews and insights about old games. Ah, and the ads! I like seeing old ads for some strange reason.

PTQ -- Geneva

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Yesterday at NG Galleria. My record for this event was 4-3, running B/G with red splash. I initially thought red was very weak in TS limited, but as I got to the end of the tourney I found myself splashing more and more red cards. Bogardan Rager in particular I underestimated. At least I can somehow feel my skill level improving. There’s this guy who’s beaten me two tourneys in a row now, both with edge-of-the-seat wins decided in a single turn.

The DS Stylus

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

I predicted it as soon as I saw one of those DS thingies: “If I bought one of those, I’d lose the stylus within a month.” I didn’t even get to three whole weeks without losing it. =/ The stylus should have a little rope tying it to the DS.

World of Warcrack

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

Soul Kerfuffle: The View From the Top Funny, just before I read this blog post, I was thinking about how I didn’t really have time for WoW. I’ve never gotten to 60, so I don’t know how addictive the end game is. But is it really all raiding? I don’t think I’d be able to devote 12+ hours on weekends for raids. 3-4 hours maybe, but 12 hours? Well, my brother just hit 60 recently, so I suppose I should ask him after a few weeks what it’s like.

Silly

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

A friend of mine at work once commented to me that I ask the silliest questions. When I’m a bit bored at the office, I will sometimes throw random meaning-of-life questions at them. things like: “If you had a time machine, what would you do with it?” “IF you were president, what would you do about [thing]?” “What’s your most impossible dream?” “If you could vanish right now, where would you go?

Drafting in Time Spiral

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Played four 4-man drafts last night, opening 2 boxes. Some interesting draft archetypes: White Weenie – easy. If you get a Celestial Crusader early this is a good choice. Black Weenine – a bit tougher, you have to get a bad moon early Slivers – W/U combinations focus on board lock down and pinging to win. R/G combinations focus on acceleration and beatdown. Thallids – tedious and slow.

Eudora to Become Open Source

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

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.

Quick Impressions on Some DS Games

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

Mario Kart – it’s Mario Kart! Yay! Although we now have six DS owners at the office, we haven’t yet had time to pull off a six-player race. I’m pretty sure it will be insane though. Brain Age – mildly nerdy, strngely addictive. It’s not so much a game, more of a series of mental training exercises. Too bad the speaking portion doesn’t easily recognize my voice (and/or my accent)

Dual Screen Pirates?

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

One would think the Nintendo DS, with it’s unique dual-screen layout and styles usage would not be that vulnerable to piracy. You’d be wrong though.

Time Spiral Release

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I left work early yesterday with the intent of playing in the Time Spiral release tourney at Galleria. The product arrived late though, and Switch and I had to wander around Galleria for half a day before the tourney was able to begin. As witnessed in the prerelease, Time Spiral seems to be immensely popular, which means high demand and low supply of boosters for the general public. And for good reason: Time Spiral is awesome, and provides an incredibly fun (and sometimes technical) limited environment.

Nintendo DS!

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

My brother’s back from HK tonight, so we got some new stuff. I get a 1gig Toshiba usb flash drive (my previous one was only a 256MB), and a Nintendo DS. First time playing Mario Kart since the frickin’ SNES! Woot!

Heroes

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: TV Series

_Heroes _is a new TV series by NBC, covering the stories of several people who mysteriously gain superhuman powers. I just saw the pilot… it looks promising. There’s this lady who strips online for a living, and apparently she has a murderous reflection. A guy who thinks he can fly. A painter who can create paintings of future events – but only if he’s high. A schoolgirl with an incredible healing factor.

Webcomics I Like, 2006 Edition

| Categories: Links | Tags:

I don’t really read a lot of webcomics. Well, at least not as many as some people. I generally prefer the ones with feeds. Here are the ones I follow that don’t have feeds. That is, I like them well enough to bother hitting their website to check for new comics. Sinfest – awesome. It’s like a mature Calvin and Hobbes. Only with a talking pig instead of a tiger. And ninjas.

Smallville, Season Six

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: TV Series

Yeah, Season Six started last week. The ending of season five was pretty bleak – Zod had taken over Lex Luthor’s body, Clark had been banished to the phantom zone, the whole world’s power grids had been shut down and Martha Kent and Lois Lane are on a plane that’s about to crash. I was expecting some sort of multi-episode saga at the start of season six, maybe detailing more of Kyrpton’s history (throught the phantom zone) and an epic battle of Zod-Lex vs Clark.

How to Order at Jollibee, Part 1

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

Or any other fast food place really. There are a lot of people like me who view having to line up and pay for your food as a rather large inconvenience. If you’re one of us, consider the following guidelines. Know what you’re going to order. Don’t be one of those annoying people who chats with all her friends while they’re waiting in line, then when they get up to the front of the line they spend 15 minutes discussing various options with the guy behind the counter.

I Will Blog Every Day

| Categories: Meta | Tags:

I’m bored, let’s do this. I will blog every day of October. And no posting inane stuff either. Every post will have meaning. Or at least as much meaning as my previous posts have had. Enjoy!

Wanderer's Thoughts

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

Late afternoon on Saturday, I was looking quite a bit more work ahead of me, an amount that would later prove to last into the early morning. For some reason or another, I was a bit out of sorts, not really into what I was doing. Not wanting to waste company time being ridiculously unproductive, I decided to take an early dinner break and wander around Ortigas Centre for a bit.

Emerging From The Darkness

| Categories: Just Another Day Philippines | Tags:

Like a howling banshee, typhoon Milenyo tore through most of Metro Manila last Thursday, leaving chaos and devastation in its’ wake. The Philippine Star’s headline was most apt: ‘Milenyo’ shuts down Metro. Literally. Most places in Luzon lost power before noon of Thursday, owing to ravaged electrical transmission lines and substations. As of last night, at most 60% of areas have had power restored. Luckily it included both my place of work and place of residence, as losing access to electricity makes me feel like a peon in the dark ages.

Yeah! Haven’t won a prerelease shirt since Odyssey, but I successfully won four edge-of-my-pants matches to take home the coveted prerelease-shirt-that’s-always-two-sizes-too-small-for-me-anyways! Man… one would think they would have shirts bigger than XXL. Lots of husky guys play Magic in the Philippines. Anyway, yeah 4-0, running a blue-white aggro-control. I opened awesome cards – Ancestral Vision, Lotus Bloom, Ith, Teferi, Whispers, etc. I was a bit worried that going UW would be a bad idea since I didn’t have access to either R or B for removal, but seems it was the right decision all along.

Guest Chair

| Categories: Links | Tags:

Today’s Dilbert Comic amuses me because I didn’t think the term “guest chair” existed outside of our office.

GPT Syndey -- Coldsnap Sealed

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Wanting to catch the last RGD Sealed tourney of the season, I headed out to NG Galleria today for GPT Sydney. Unfortunately, their shipment of Rav tourney packs failed to arrive, so anyone who wanted to play had to play Coldsnap Sealed. Bah, I got a terrible set, one of my rares was a Jokulmorder. Went RG/w, with the white being two Gelid Shackles that failed to show up whenever I faced down an Adarkar Valkyrie.

Will Lend Money For Food

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

About a month ago, one of the devs at my company approached me with a personal concern: he needed to borrow some cash. Quite a bit, actually, for some expensive medical / family reason. Large amount, six digits (in pesos), roughly two-thirds of my current cash savings (To save you the math… my cash savings were somewhere between 150,000 and 1.5M). Funny thing is, I didn’t hesitate a bit. I knew this guy and he was okay, I didn’t have any reason to doubt he’d pay me back in a month like he promised (it’s due in about a week.

Nintendo DS

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

In the current handheld wars, I’ve sampled both the PSP and the Nintendo DS, and I have to say, I’m much more impressed with the DS. The PSP seems to be a very serious device, as if you tried to cram a PS2 into a handheld and toss in a media player alongside. The DS on the other hand, is _ just plain fun _ . Since we’ve been putting in a lot of long hours at work lately, one of our developers had the bright idea to bring his DS to the office.

Coldsnap Sealed

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I came home at 3am yesterday after a long day at work Saturday. I was a bit sleepy, but because of work I wouldn’t be able to play in the Coldsnap-standard Magic tournament on the 26th, so I decided to blow some cash by playing in a Coldsnap release event on MTGO instead. I managed to win five consecutive rounds of Coldsnap sealed, piloting a mediocre decklist. Mediocre meaning I had neither Adarkar Valkyrie nor Ohran Viper.

Nationals Qualifier, July 30, 2006

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I was busy this weekend with Magic: The Gathering. Four of us from the office played at a Nationals Qualifer today at Galleria. I played a custom-built aggro-control blue-white beauty called Azorius-12. Considering that I threw it together at practically the last minute, I think I did fairly well (but not enough to get the Nationals invite). Large turnout; rumor has it more than a hundred and thirty players participated, and NG quickly ran out of chairs and tables to use.

Potpourri

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

One of the first things I assume when I have headaches is that, “Maybe I’m developing telepathic powers.” At least, I would assume that people developing telepathic powers have some sort of growing pains that could be misconstrued as headaches. Unfortunately, I still don’t seem to have such powers and the head pains and dizziness I’ve been experiencing since Friday were just a sympton of something far more common – seems I got the flu, known in local parlance as trangkaso.

My Job, Such As It Is

| Categories: Software Development | Tags:

Nice post on Salary Averages Comparison over at the Pinoy Tech Blog. It got me thinking about my own job. I work at a foreign-based software development company that caters to clients outside the country. These days, I work mostly on JSP-based web projects. My starting salary, three and a half years ago, was higher than the average presented in this graph. Obviously, I’m earning a lot more than that now.

Del.icio.us bookmarks for 2006-06-24

| Categories: Links | Tags:

Shared bookmarks for del.icio.us user roytang on 2006-06-24 How to Report Bugs Effectively — Tagged as: articles programming Salary Averages Comparison — Pinoy Tech Blog – The Philippines’ Premier Technology Blog — Tagged as: articles industry

Magic -- Regionals 2006

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I played at Robinson’s Galleria last Saturday. So much for my first constructed outing in 10 years… not a very good outcome for me. I played 4-color Firemane Control… no permission, but lots of life gain and 4 Wrath of Gods packed maindeck, a specifically anti-aggro build. I was anticipating lots of Gruul beats and Orzhov aggro decks, and I was ready to beat them to the ground. Unfortunately, I faced not a single one of those decks.

Driving in Taiwan and the Philippines

| Categories: Philippines | Tags:

I read this awesome article on driving in Taiwan , apparently written by an American living in Taiwan. Lots of pictures, and very descriptive. I suppose any foreigners coming to the Philippines would say that the situation in Metro Manila is pretty much the same as the one outlined in the article, but after I read it I can’t help but feel that it’s just a little bit worse over there.

PTQ-Kobe

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

So, I played at PTQ Kobe at Robinson’s Galleria last Saturday. First things first: First thing I do when I get passed a Ravnica Block sealed deck is to check the decklist to see if I got passed a shockland. Incredibly, I was passed not just one, but two! That in itself paid for the registration fee, but I still wanted to get a decent finish in the PTQ. Unfortunately, aside from the Temple Garden and the Blood Crypt, I didn’t get that many “wow” cards.

Suikoden V -- Review

| Categories: Gaming | Tags:

Suikoden V is hands-down the best game in the Suikoden series. In almost all respects, it beats out the previous best game of the series (Suikoden 2): The story manages to follow the old pattern of “oh I need to flee my home and now I’m leading a band of rebels in a civil war!” but infuses with a lot of new elements: usurpers to the throne, historical wars of succession, threats of foreign invasion.

X-Men III: The Last Stand

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: Movies

There’s only one thing I have to say about the third X-men movie: Totally unexpected. Comic book series fans will enjoy it more, as it fundamentally screws with what such a fan would expect from an X-men movie. Good stuff.