Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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:: 696 words

The first thing (out of two): As not many people are aware of, I actually underwent some minor surgery last week. I’ll spare you the boring details, except for the fact that at some point I had to be given spinal anesthesia while I was fully awake. Now, if you’ve never been given spinal anesthesia before, let me give you a rundown: you’ll be asked to lie on your side and curl up into something like a C-shaped fetal position so that the anesthesiologist can inject a tiny needle into a small area between the discs of your spinal column.

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tech-life

So, through a complicated series of circumstances where I initiated the process but actually managed to get myself surprised, I now own an iPad Wifi+3g 64GB (yes, it’s the most expensive model, don’t worry it did not break the piggy bank). It was purchased from Singapore and brought to me by a friend last Friday. I’ve used an iPad before (during the CCS trip Baguio), but this is the first time I’ve had the chance to customize the applications and content, and have it exclusive for my own use.

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I haven’t written a tournament report in a while (maybe because I’ve been playing rather poorly lately? =/), but Prereleases are always fun right? Here’s my Scars of Mirrodin prerelease report! The first hour was spent waiting in an unbearably hot basement area for the 8th player on our table to register his sealed pool. What? yeah, he was late, and the event started early so the airconditioning was not yet on.

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August 23, 2010: A disgruntled and decorated police officer who had been dismissed on charges of extortion took hostage a bus full of tourists from Hong Kong. The hostage drama unfolded in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Manila with the expected media circus, confused cops and SWAT who didn’t know what to do and a tragic ending that involved dead hostages and a bullet to the head.

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birthday

I maybe getting older but as anyone can attest, I’m still a child at heart. As they say: life is a journey, not a destination. I still don’t know what my destination is, but I’ll keep moving forward one step at a time. Looking forward to the next power of two.

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limited m11 sealed magic-the-gathering

Here’s the situation: It’s game 3 of a sealed game. You know your opponent has Mind Control, Aether Adept and Plummet still in his deck, so you should finish it quickly to avoid losing to topdecks. The field is as shown (click for larger view): If you Stampede and swing with everyone, you win! Unless he has Condemn, in which case you will lose. You never saw Condemn in previous games.

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I get asked this a lot since I’m not currently working. I never get to answer clearly, so here’s an attempt. The short answer is: Whatever I want The long answer: Yes, I spend a lot of time goofing around – watching TV series, movies and playing video games. In fact I think for most of the first two months of my hiatus, this was what I did. Now there’s a lot less of that – I’ve caught up with all the series I wanted to catch up with, and I don’t have any significant video games I want to finish.

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software-development

Stack Bragger lets you brag to your Facebook friends whenever you ask new questions or earn new badges at StackOverflow, SuperUser or ServerFault. I was looking for a weekend project and found out that stackoverflow api was released so I thought I’d make a small facebook app. I originally just wanted to post to FB whenever I got a badge, something like how PSN accounts automatically post Trophies to FB. It also posts questions you ask so that any friends you have on facebook not already using stackoverflow might want to help answer 😀

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:: 308 words

Aside from my current hiatus, I’ve taken month-long breaks even when I was still employed. One of the things I most often get asked when I take an extended break from work is “Won’t you get bored with all that free time?” This question strikes me as a strange attitude towards free time, as if it were an annoyance to be avoided instead of a resource to be enjoyed. The people who subscribe to this belief are probably the same people who watch TV all the time when at home, or who can’t imagine life without having a 9 to 5 job eating up most of their day.

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opinions

I’ve been meaning to write about why I quit a perfectly good job I had at Azeus, but it’s been hard to articulate the reasons, in the same way I found it hard to explain to people why I didn’t feel a corporate “9 to 5” was entirely necessary at this point. Then I read a blog post today “Why I Quit A Six Figure Job” which I found to express/coincide with my thoughts pretty well on the upsides and downsides of having a job.

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tech-life

A while back I started reading The Setup, which is basically a collection of interviews with various tech/creative guys about what sort of hardware and software they use. I always enjoy this sort of thing – it feeds my tech envy when they describe cool setups or gadgets I don’t have. (A lot of them have Macs!) I actually purchased a new desktop computer a while back without posting any details, so I thought I’d something similar to The Setup so that I have a record of what I’m using now.

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writing

So the other day I was watching a video of Scott Berkun‘s talk about the future of WordPress: (Go ahead, watch it first if you like, this blog post will still be here when you get back) I loved how he delved into the history of writing itself, not just of WordPress – harking back to the days of the printing press, etc. We live in such a world of privilege where anyone with an internet connection can easily publish his thoughts and words unto a worldwide audience, and yet for many people writing is a lost art that they don’t partake in on a regular basis.

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philippines

Expect long lines, hot and sweaty rooms and maybe disorganized Comelec. Here are some other annoyances I encountered (just a quick brain dump): The Comelec BEI and volunteers may be uncoordinated. I went to a waiting room at the first floor and got a number and was told to wait for my batch of 10 to be sent to the voting room at the second floor. After about an hour, we found out the voting room wasn’t aware numbers were being given out and had let some people start voting already.

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philippines

For President, I’m voting Dick Gordon, because I believe that the Philippines should be a meritocracy where people are chosen as leaders based on the strength of their accomplishments and qualifications. For Vice President, I’m voting for Mar Roxas, as he’s simply the most qualified and with the strongest history of government service. The E-VAT thing is actually a plus for him, as it shows he has the capacity to make difficult decisions if needed.

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limited magic-the-gathering

Just a quick dump of my impressions of RoE limited from the prerelease. I’ll probably post a more detailed analysis later. The RoE limited format is fun and it is slower than Zendikar, but you still need to keep an eye on your curve (even though that curve may now end with 7-8-9-and up instead of 5-6… ). Lots of ground stalls, so guys with evasion are much more valuable.

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limited magic-the-gathering

I played in the Rise of Eldrazi Prerelease Event yesterday at Eton Cyberpod in the Ortigas area. It was a new mall, so I went there a bit before opening time in case I had trouble finding the venue. Turns out that wouldn’t be a problem as there were a bunch of Magic players outside the mall waiting for it to open when I got there. It turns out that the mall had recently changed it’s opening hours from 10 AM to 11 AM though, so we all had to wait outside in the heat for an additional hour before we could start the event.

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magic-the-gathering

I’ve decided to no longer post MTG-related stuff here at roytang.net. Instead, you can read about my MTG-related opinions and misadventures at MTG Storm!

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magic-the-gathering

I chose to start MTG blogging again right in the middle of spoiler season for the upcoming set Rise of the Eldrazi, so let me start out by reviewing some new cards. Let’s take a look at the card previewed in this week’s The Week That Was by Brian David-Marshall, Inquisition of Kozilek: Nobody expected the Kozilek inquisition! BDM of course already pointed out the obvious comparisons to Thoughtseize, which is the premier pinpoint discard spell at this mana point; Thoughtseize has the advantage in versatility (can get any card) versus the slight drawback of giving up 2 points of life.

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magic-the-gathering

I’m a long-time Magic player from the Philippines. I used to blog at my personal website, but I had this domain so I just decided to use it. My magic blogging used to consist mostly of tournament reports (I like to play both limited and constructed). For this blog, I’d like to write more design/card analysis and about events in the Magic community. Most of online Magic community writing is geared towards an American/western audience, so I’d also like to write stuff relevant to the Asian magic scene if I get the chance.

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Roy Tang is a:

roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.