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


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links for 2008-10-12

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The eyeballing game Flash game to check how good you are eyeballing geometry. I got a score of 6.62. (tags: games flash) Comments Comment by noems on 2008-10-17 09:24:41 +0000 you changed your theme … for me?! hahaha for the record, my eyeballing game score was 5.53. (lower is better 😛 ) balik mo na sa dating theme. hehe Comment by KC on 2008-10-18 16:45:02 +0000 neat.

GPT Taipei I *Top8*

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I haven’t had a top eight result in a while. Thank goodness for limited season! I registered a deck that I would have loved to play, with highlights such as Caldera Hellion, 2 Oblivion Rings and 2 Resounding Thunders, plus a lot of good blue/black stuff. Of course, we pass the card pools and here’s the one I ended up playing: Lands 5 Plains 2 Island 1 Swamp 1 Mountain 5 Forest 1 Bant Panorama 1 Jund Panorama 1 Naya Panorama Creatures 1 Cavern Thoctar 1 Court Archers 1 Druid of the Anima 1 Mosstodon 1 Naya Battlemage 1 Broodmate Dragon 1 Deft Duelist 2 Qasali Ambusher 1 Stoic Angel 1 Waveskimmer Aven 1 Resounding Thunder 1 Guardians of Akrasa 1 Knight of the Skyward Eye 1 Sanctum Gargoyle 1 Sigiled Paladin Spells 1 Obelisk of Esper 1 Obelisk of Grixis 1 Infest 1 Bant Charm 1 Oblivion Ring 1 Resounding Silence 1 Scourglass Sideboard 1 Obelisk of Jund 1 Banewasp Affliction 1 Blister Beetle 1 Dregscape Zombie 1 Glaze Fiend 1 Onyx Goblet 1 Puppet Conjurer 1 Shadowfeed 1 Undead Leotau 1 Cancel 1 Coma Veil 1 Courier's Capsule 2 Fatestitcher 2 Jhessian Lookout 1 Outrider of Jhess 1 Sphinx's Herald 1 Behemoth's Herald 1 Cavern Thoctar 1 Cylian Elf 1 Gift of the Gargantuan 1 Godtoucher 1 Ooze Garden 1 Resounding Roar 1 Blightning 1 Carrion Thrash 1 Goblin Deathraiders 1 Prince of Thralls 1 Sangrite Surge 1 Sigil Blessing 1 Sprouting Thrinax 1 Swerve 1 Bloodpyre Elemental 1 Dragon Fodder 1 Dragon's Herald 1 Goblin Mountaineer 2 Lightning Talons 1 Ridge Rannet 2 Soul's Fire 1 Volcanic Submersion 1 Angelsong 1 Guardians of Akrasa 1 Welkin Guide 1 Yoked Plowbeast The exalted theme is pretty good and I was glad for a chance to try it out.

links for 2008-10-11

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83 free D&D adventures -- Dungeon Mastering -- Dungeons and Dragons blog -- DM tips, D&D books, RPG fun (tags: games)

Bayan DSL Proxy

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

If you’ve been having trouble with Bayan DSL web connections to some websites (which we have for the past few weeks or so), you may be surprised to know that they have an HTTP proxy server you can use. Strange, considering that when reporting such problems to their trunkline, they never ask whether you’re using that proxy server or not. I don’t recall ever being told about it by the Bayan DSL staff.

Eagle Eye

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: Movies Review

On a whim, my brother and I went to Trinoma to see Eagle Eye, barely catching the last full show (including the trailers of course, we love watching trailers). Our mom had said we’d like the movie and she still owed us one since it was her fault we watched Big Stan. So we’re giving her a chance to redeem herself. The spoilerless review: Since Eagle Eye trailers seem to be everywhere, you probably have some idea of at least the start of the story.

Shards of Alara Prerelease

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

I hit the first flight at Eastwood City last Saturday, September 27. Here’s my sealed pool: Lands 1 Arcane Sanctum 1 Bant Panorama 1 Crumbling Necropolis 1 Savage Lands 4 Plains 4 Island 5 Forest Spells 1 Obelisk of Esper 1 Courier's Capsule 1 Resounding Wave 1 Branching Bolt 1 Sigil Blessing 1 Magma Spray 1 Oblivion Ring Creatures 1 Cloudheath Drake 2 Kathari Screecher 1 Kederekt Leviathan 2 Druid of the Anima 1 Drumhunter 1 Jungle Weaver 1 Mosstodon 1 Naya Battlemage 1 Mayael the Anima 1 Rafiq of the Many 2 Steward of Valeron 1 Bant Battlemage 1 Yoked Plowbeast Sideboard 1 Relic of Progenitus 1 Bone Splinters 1 Deathgreeter 1 Dregscape Zombie 1 Glaze Fiend 1 Onyx Goblet 1 Puppet Conjurer 1 Skeletal Kathari 1 Undead Leotau 1 Viscera Dragger 1 Call to Heel 1 Cathartic Adept 1 Courier's Capsule 1 Etherium Astrolabe 1 Etherium Sculptor 1 Fatestitcher 1 Outrider of Jhess 1 Spell Snip 1 Tortoise Formation 1 Godtoucher 2 Lush Growth 1 Mighty Emergence 1 Manaplasm 1 Ooze Garden 1 Savage Hunger 3 Soul's Might 1 Topan Ascetic 1 Wild Nacatl 1 Grixis Panorama 1 Blightning 1 Grixis Charm 1 Kederekt Creeper 1 Kiss of the Amesha 1 Necrogenesis 1 Qasali Ambusher 1 Realm Razer 1 Rip-Clan Crasher 2 Tidehollow Strix 1 Bloodpyre Elemental 1 Dragon's Herald 1 Exuberant Firestoker 1 Goblin Mountaineer 1 Lightning Talons 1 Ridge Rannet 2 Thorn-Thrash Viashino 1 Vithian Stinger 1 Volcanic Submersion 1 Akrasan Squire 1 Angelsong 1 Dispeller's Capsule 1 Excommunicate 1 Gustrider Exuberant 1 Marble Chalice 1 Soul's Grace 1 Sunseed Nurturer The pool was pretty good, decent removal and I built the deck around fatties (Naya, obviously).

I Claim My Name

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After trying out usernamecheck.com, I decided to try claiming my username “roytang” at various websites. Here’s a list of various websites where I have this username. http://friendfeed.com/roytang– This one actually seems useful. http://twitter.com/roytang– Okay, I admit it. I’ve actually had this for a few weeks now. http://pownce.com/roytang/– I’m not yet too clear on what it’s used for. http://roytang.posterous.com/– would be useful if I didn’t already have a blog http://roytang.livejournal.com/– now I can be emo!

I was looking to try out some Flex stuff at home, but of course I didn’t have a personal Flex Builder license I could use. (A coworker of mine wisely advised me not to try using my work license at home.) So I looked around to see if there were any free (as in beer and as in speech) alternatives. The one I found was FlashDevelop. Although the IDE looks Eclipse-like, it’s actually built using .

Pre-Alara Triple Treats: Kithkin

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

Catching up on my tournament reports now: Sep 7, Pre-Alara Triple Treat (Prerelease passes at stake) I’m playing the same deck as I did in the GP Manila Day Two PTQs. Round 1 vs 5-color merfolk: 2-0 win. Round 2 vs Kithkin (mirror match) 0-2 loss. I generally don’t know how to play the mirror match. Round 3 vs 5-color control: 1-2 loss. His build was too strong against Kithkin; in addition to Firespouts and Hallowed Burials, he also had Soul Snuffers.

Grand Prix Manila 08 has come and gone and is in the history books. While the Wizards official coverage gives you the play-by-play and the results, I’ll see if I can’t provide any interesting stories about my first constructed Grand Prix event. For the PTQ on day two, I decided to just use the Kithkin build we made for Paul, except that I put in Stillmoon Cavaliers maindeck, taking out Knight of Meadowgrain.

Blast From The Past -- 2004 Desktop

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I was going through some old files today, I found this screenshot of my desktop from 2004: _ (Click for larger image) _ Actually, I still like that wallpaper. It’s well-drawn. It’s from RPGamer Theme Central. Items I had in the quick-launch toolbar: mIRC (for downloading comics) Thunderbird IE IE again (?!) I believe this is EditPad, a notepad replacement Chami.com HTML-Kit WinAmp Windows Media Player DivX Player No idea Shortcut to some folder Kazaa (pirate!

Groundhog Day

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: Movies

I caught Groundhog Day for the Nth time today on HBO (N roughly around 50). My father claims it’s his favorite movie of all time; high praise considering he watches every movie that comes out EVER. I’m not actually going to talk about the movie; it’s awesome, if you haven’t seen it, you should. You’re missing half your life. If you had one day of eternity, what would you do?

Grand Prix Manila 08 has come and gone and is in the history books. While the Wizards official coverage gives you the play-by-play and the results, I’ll see if I can’t provide any interesting stories about my first constructed Grand Prix event. ** Day One Tournament Report ** As mentioned in the previous post , I’m playing QnT and I hope to fight aggro decks all day long. ** Round 1.

Shards of Alara Preview Season

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

… starts next week. Taking a break from typing up my Grand Prix Manila blog entries, here’s my prediction for the type of manafixing we’ll see in Alara: Grixis Land Land (Common) T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 2, T: Add RBU to your mana pool. Whenever you would add G or W to your mana pool, add 1 to your mana pool instead.

Grand Prix Manila 08 has come and gone and is in the history books. While the Wizards official coverage gives you the play-by-play and the results, I’ll see if I can’t provide any interesting stories about my first constructed Grand Prix event. ** Grand Prix Manila, Day Zero ** I met up with Switch and Alex at the venue (Megatrade hall in SM Megamall) early and got in by 10 am.

Grand Prix Manila 08 has come and gone and is in the history books. While the Wizards official coverage gives you the play-by-play and the results, I’ll see if I can’t provide any interesting stories about my first constructed Grand Prix event. Cast of Characters It was about three weeks before the Grand Prix, and I still had no idea what I was going to play. I didn’t have a regular playtest group, and I needed some people to bounce ideas off.

links for 2008-08-31

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Daily MTG : Magic: The Gathering I'm bookmarking this because the www.magicthegathering.com redirect doesn't seem to work anymore. (tags: games articles)

Poorly Implemented Combo Box

| Categories: Software Development | Tags:

I was registering for an account at a local auction site (which shall remain nameless), the zip code combo box threw me off: Comments Comment by Bry on 2008-08-26 00:55:11 +0000 It’s actually displaying the ZIP codes of locations in Quezon City in alphabetical order. I think the dev forgot to put the location name somewhere there e.g. Alicia (1105) Amihan (1102) Apolonio Samson (1106) and so on…

Django and Google App Engine

| Categories: Software Development | Tags:

In my continuing quest to become better than everybody else, I spent some time today learning Django (a Python webapp framework) and the Google App Engine. I tried following the tutorials included in the Django Book for a while, but I’ve never taken too well with just typing up examples from a book, so I decided to write something from scratch. I decided to write a simple message board application.

PTQ Berlin II

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

2nd PTQ was last Saturday, August 23 at Robinson’s Calleria. I brought a slightly modified version of the greedy deck: Lands 2 Mutavault 4 Reflecting Pool 4 Secluded Glen 3 Sunken Ruins 4 Vivid Creek 2 Vivid Marsh 3 Wanderwine Hub 2 Mystic Gate Creatures 4 Merrow Reejerey 2 Mirror Entity 4 Silvergill Adept 4 Stonybrook Banneret 4 Sower of Temptation Other Spells 4 Bitterblossom 4 Cryptic Command 4 Nameless Inversion 3 Unmake 3 Sage's Dousing Sideboard 2 Shriekmaw 2 Crib Swap 2 Pollen Lullaby 2 Hallowed Burial 4 Wispmare 3 Vendillion Clique The venue is crowded as the PTQ is the same day as WoW TCG Nationals.

I needed to transfer a file to my phone today, but could not find my USB cable. I figured I’d try out the Bluetooth with the laptop. After around 30 minutes of struggling with the unintuitiveness and some helpful googling I finally was able to transfer my file using the ff steps, for future reference: Turn on Bluetooth on the Acer Aspire using the Bluetooth button. Right-click the Bluetooth icon on the systray -> Show Bluetooth Devices -> Options -> tick “Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer”

Barcamp Manila

| Categories: Software Development | Tags:

Upon the prodding of Mikong, I attended the recent Barcamp Manila held in Ortigas last Thursday. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as I’ve never attended any such conference before, and I’ve never been particularly involved with the local developer community, but I said I’d go anyway, I figured it’d probably be fun. The event was held at the Orient Square building at the offices of Exist Global and Morph Labs, who sponsored the event.

PTQ Berlin I

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

The tournament was last Saturday, Aug 16 at Robinson’s Galleria. I played the same deck as last week, except I had the following sideboard: 2 Hallowed Burial 2 Shriekmaw 2 Eyeblight's Ending 2 Crib Swap 2 Pollen Lullaby 4 Wispmare 1 Jace Beleren The extra removal was geared towards the kithkin matchup, which was unknown to me at the time.

2008 Philippine Open Block *Top 16*

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

The Philippine Open tournaments (one Standard and one Block) are held as side events to the Philippine Nationals. (I was not qualified obviously). I played in the block portion last Saturday, August 9 at Robinson’s Galleria. I played a version of the PWC Special from GP Kobe, the so-called “Greedy Deck” Lands 2 Mutavault 3 Reflecting Pool 3 Secluded Glen 4 Sunken Ruins 4 Vivid Creek 2 Vivid Marsh 3 Wanderwine Hub 2 Mystic Gate 1 Swamp Creatures 4 Merrow Reejerey 3 Mirror Entity 4 Silvergill Adept 4 Sower of Temptation 4 Stonybrook Banneret Other Spells 4 Bitterblossom 4 Cryptic Command 4 Nameless Inversion 2 Peppersmoke 3 Sage's Dousing Sideboard 2 Austere Command 1 Jace Beleren 1 Puppeteer Clique 1 Arbiter of Knollridge 4 Wispmare 2 Pollen Lullaby 2 Eyeblight's Ending 2 Shriekmaw As usual, assembled the day before with zero playtesting.

Google Code Jam 2008

| Categories: Software Development | Tags:

I joined this year’s Google Code Jam. It’s part of my characteristic competitiveness and arrogance that I actually imagined I had a chance at winning the contest. No such luck, see my results. I was eliminated in the second online round. That I managed to get there at all was surprising considering the level of difficulty. I’m not really a com-sci guy, so I’m weak with regards to algorithms, I don’t always know what the best approach for particular classes of problems – I usually just brute force it then try to optimize based on my on-the-spot analysis of each problem.

Eventide Release Party

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

A bit late, but for the record I went 1-3 in the Eventide Release Party with my very lame pool. (I swear, I get Dramatic Entrance all the time in sealed!) After the release event, I played in an EVE-EVE-EVE draft, where I went 2-1 and didn’t manage to raredraft anything valuable. Tomorrow: Philippine Open (Block)!

Catching Up

| Categories: Gaming Just Another Day | Tags:

I’ve been submerged in work for the past two weeks or so, not having much time to do anything else aside from work and the DS, which lets me sneak in some Professor Layton, FFTA2 or Civilization Revolutions while waiting for bug fixes to be confirmed. So I took a break this weekend and won’t be reporting back to work until Wednesday. No plans really, just some unplanned downtime to unwind a bit…

GMail Redesigned

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

I came across the Stylish Firefox Extension, and the GMail Redesigned project, which gives the GMail user interface a sleek facelift. [ ]3 _ (I’m not sure if it was necessary to blot out the names of contacts!) _

Eventide Prerelease

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

It’s been three whole weeks since I last managed to attend a Magic tournament. Despite the hectic work schedule and the fact that spoilers have failed to impress me, I managed to wrangle a Saturday off to hit Robinson’s Galleria for the Eventide Prerelease. So we show up early and join the first flight. I open and register a Shadowmoor tournament pack with next to nothing in terms of decent cards.

New WordPress Theme -- Thematic

| Categories: Meta | Tags: wordpress

Changed to Thematic  zroytang : yung current na wordpress theme ko parang ang crowded (Anonymous) : baka it's the font... or less ugn spacing zroytang : papagalitan mo ko pag pinalitan ko e zroytang : haha (Anonymous) : haha hindi naman a (Anonymous) : sabihin ko lang na you're fickle like a girl (Anonymous) : haha zroytang : tsk! (Anonymous) : it's nice to be female.

The Folly of Optical Media

| Categories: Just Another Day | Tags:

I find myself staring at stacks of old CD-Rs in my room that are just there taking up space. As far as I know, they contain copies of old TV series/anime I used to watch and backups of my old hard drives from time long past. (I’m pretty sure I still have backups of my drive contents from the IRC laboratory in UP.) I’m wondering whether I should bother going through them to check which ones are already useless (as some certainlty already are).


| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

I’m not sure why but I decided to try out the Flock 2 web browser beta, the “social web browser” built on top of Firefox. This is a test actually. Flock’s blog post dialog doesn’t seem to provide any category support (it supports tags instead), so I want to see what category this post would go under. (Update: Flock let me choose a category after I try to publish the post.

Movies -- June 2008

| Categories: Pop Culture | Tags: Movies

This has been a good month for movies. I saw the following in cinemas: Kung Fu Panda – complete AWESOMENESS. I drank the Kool-Aid all the way on this one. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – classic Indy goodness. Incredible Hulk – Edward Norton is cast brilliantly here, a choice on the same level as Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man. And they addressed the issue of Hulk’s stretchy pants!

A Week So Far With Vista

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

The gist of it is: it wasn’t as annoying as I had been led to expect. Frankly, I think it’s better than XP, but I might be blinded by the fact that it’s very pretty. Visually it’s a step up from XP the same way XP was a step up from ‘95. The XP box at work seems so bland to me now. The file manager (Explorer) is very nice, I like the functionality of being able to navigate the address bar by mouse click (though I never used this back in Ubuntu) and the ability to sort files even in thumbnail view.

New Laptop!

| Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

Just a bit of an indulgence. There was a warehouse sale at the office building from Tuesday to Friday. Like every single time I would make a big purchase I waffled undecisively between buying and not buying a laptop for the first four days, only to succumb at the very last minute when a model with an insane price became available. On 7:30pm of the last day of the sale, I picked up an Acer Aspire 4920 unit with the following specs:

Opera 9.5

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Because I’m a sucker for trying out alternative software, I installed and tried out the latest release of the Opera web browser, Opera 9.5, for a bit more than a week. Opera is neat and all, but I don’t see any features that are so awesome that they can’t be done in Firefox (with some extensions maybe). My favorite feature is I guess the Speed Dial page; where opening a new tab displays a customizable table of common websites you visit.

Grand Prix Trial Manila IV

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

The tournament was Sunday, June 15. The format was of course Block Constructed. I was playing the same Commandments deck as the day before, except I managed to get the second Mind Spring (taking out the Fathom Trawl). During last minute playtesting on Sunday morning I also decided to take out the Plumeveils from the board (they were redundant with Nameless Inversion) and put in Faerie Macabres to help the Elemental matchup.

Block 14-June-2008

| Categories: Magic the Gathering | Tags:

The tournament was last Staurday, 14-June and the format wasLorwyn/Shadowmoor Block Constructed. I had been having a bad constructed record over the past few tournaments, so I thought I’d play in one of the smaller tournaments before heading into another GPT. I didn’t want to play Kithkin (too random) or Faeries (not enough components). I though I would go for control instead and thus assembled the following Commandments decklist: Lands 2 Forest 3 Island 3 Reflecting Pool 1 Primal Beyond 4 Vivid Grove 4 Vivid Creek 2 Vivid Meadow 3 Mystic Gate 2 Sunken Ruins 1 Fire-Lit Thicket 1 Wooded Bastion Creatures 4 Mulldrifter 3 Shriekmaw 3 Cloudthresher 1 Plumeveil 1 Horde of Notions 4 Kitchen Finks 16 creatures Spells 4 Firespout 4 Cryptic Command 3 Broken Ambitions 2 Austere Command 3 Makeshift Mannequin 1 Mind Spring 1 Fathom Trawl 18 spells Sideboard 2 Nameless Inversion 2 Mind Shatter 2 Primal Command 3 Plumeveil 3 Jace Beleren 3 Pollen Lullaby Round 1: Mirror match!

links for 2008-06-16

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diesel sweeties: free, creative commons licensed webcomics ebooks The first 2000 strips of Diesel Sweeties have been released as cc-licensed ebooks. (tags: comics web)  

Google Treasure Hunt

| Categories: Software Development | Tags:

Google started a treasure hunt about a month ago, releasing four questions (one per week) that covered a range of computational topics. I actually joined the treasure hunt late, the 2nd question was already released by the time I got wind of it. The site says there are prizes to be won for the people who are able to provide complete answers first; I’m not sure what my odds of winning anything are since (a) I joined late and (b) I can only do the questions during the weekends, typically a few days after they are released.