Roy Tang

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

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links

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU on Vimeo Wow. The actual animation is a bit creepy, but the delivery medium is awesome. Click and be enriched. (tags:animation video art stopmotion)  

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tech-life

An alpha release was just announced for Open Office 3. Being an Ubuntu user, Open Office is really the only sane choice I have for an office suite. At work I’m using Microsoft Office 2007. Among the office suite applications, I’m most of a power user for the spreadsheet applications. Here’s my side-by-side comparison of Excel and oOo Calc:

Microsoft Excel 2007 on Windows XP:

  • Looks really pretty.
  • Loads up quickly.
  • Proprietary and expensive.
  • Not available for Linux.

OpenOffice Calc 2.4.1 on Ubuntu:

  • Feature-rich – has some features that excel does not.
  • I can have a sandwich in the time it’s loading.
  • Free as in speech, and as in beer too!
  • Usability issues, such as inconveniently prompting a dialog box on every delete. (This is logged in their database as bug # 9392. There’s a workaround, but hopefully it will be fixed by default in Open Office 3)
  • Autofilter feature is immature compared to Excel, not enough options for filtering.
  • It can open a password-protected XLS correctly (prompting me for the password), but it can’t save it back with the password.
  • I was going to complain about the UI, but now that I’ve thought better of it, it’s no worse than other GTK/Linux apps.

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wordpress software-development

Part 1. Part 2. Moonglove Winnower template is currently live on Roy on Magic. I made several color and formatting changes since the last update. Relatively easy due to the stylesheet. I also had to scrap the CSS hack for implementing equal height columns, it was causing problems with anchors in the URL. I went with a 1-pixel high background image instead. Currently most of the PHP logic/heavy lifting is done in sidebar.

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comics pop-culture

I’m not sure how popular or well-known Beerkada is among the non-UP crowd, but right now I consider the slice-of-University-life comic (that has now graduated into slice-of-adult-life stories) probably the second best local comic strip. First place being of course the seminal Pugad Baboy, which has been running what, almost twenty years now? I digress. If you’ve read Beerkada, it’s far from perfect. It’s often corny, and sometimes he has too many of his own in-jokes.

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magic-the-gathering

Due to an increased workload, as of Friday night I was still totally unprepared for Block Constructed. I decided to skip the Shadowmoor Block Inaugural tournament yesterday, but I still showed up in the afternoon at Galleria to look for cards. Luckily, there was a draft signup so I went ahead and gambled some money on my supposed skills in Limited.

After waiting some 3-4 hours for the draft signup to reach 8 people, we got started. I always carry a pair of scissors in my bag now since I’m really bad at opening packs when my hands get sweaty.

Some select picks:

Pack one, pick one:

[Mossbridge Troll][1]

In the removal-light SHM limited format, the Troll is pretty hard to kill for some color combinations. And besides, it’s a rare!

Pack one, pick two:

[Wicker Warcrawler][2]

There’s a group of people I draft with on a semiregular basis; “Be a man, take the artifact!” has been one of our running jokes for years now. The thing abut the warcrawler is that many people don’t realize that it gets the -1/-1 counter at the end of combat, so the first attack or block is a six, and will often net you card advantage in the form of a chump block.

Pack one, pick three:

[Flourishing Defenses][3]

This card turned out to be nuts whenever I cast it. Two 3/3s with wither bump into each other? Okay, six elf tokens. Wicker Warcrawler? An elf token every turn. Morselhoarder? Two free elf tokens!

For the rest of the pack I pick up various scarecrows and red/green men.

Pack two, pick one:

[Reflecting Pool][4]

Wow, cash!

Pack two, pick two:

[Knollspine Invocation][5]

As much a bomb as Stormbind, this led me to red as my secondary color to green, despite the severe lack of removal I was getting.

I managed to get a

[Burn Trail][6]

and a

Scuttlemutt

later in this pack.

Pack three, pick one:

[Swans of Byrn Argoll][8]

Lol, yeah, rare-drafting.

Prior to this pack I’d already gotten a pair of

Morselhoarder

and a

[Mudbrawler Raider][10]

, so when a

[Runes of the Deus][11]

came in, I easily scooped it up. I also got two Pili-palas in the third pack, hoping to score a Power of Fire, but no such luck. The Pili-pala were very good though, enabling a splash of white and for some reason people don’t realize it’s a flier!

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wordpress software-development

Part 1 of this series is

[

here]1

.

Creating a WordPress template is harder than I thought. Luckily I’m modifying the default template instead of starting from scratch. The one I’m creating is rather simple but after spending almost 8 hours on it so far, I’m still far away from completing it. I’m guessing the more complicated layouts take more than two weeks of full-time work.

Here’s my current WIP:

[

]2

Changes since the last part:

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magic-the-gathering

The tournament was yesterday, May 03, Standard at Robinson’s Galleria.

I was planning to play Green-White midrange, as documented on

[

Deckbuilding for an Unknown Metagame]1

. Due to card availability issues, the final list I played is:

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wordpress software-development

  1. Web design has never been one of my strong points, and it’s something I’d like to improve on.

  2. The Roy on Magic blog has been using the default WordPress Template since forever, and I’ve been trying to find a good WP Template that fits the “Magic the Gathering” theme.

Put the above points together, and I have a new personal project. Just for fun, I’ll log my progress here.

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magic-the-gathering

This coming weekend is the release of Shadowmoor. As with any new set coming in, this means a new environment with an unknown metagame, and is especially true for the large set Shadowmoor. It’s an opportunity for those of us who believe we have some modicum of deck-building skills. I plan to be playing Standard on Saturday, one day after set release so I will try to build a deck to take advantage of the wide open field.

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gaming

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates is an action-RPG by Square Enix. The original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles came out on the NGC. Ring of Fates is a different game for the NDS, though I guess it’s sort of a spiritual successor. I finally managed to get some NDS time and finish this game last night.

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magic-the-gathering

In the Philippines, the Sneak Peak serves as our release party, and the format is the same as the prerelease: Four rounds of sealed, each win gets you a Shadowmoor booster pack. 4-0 wins a Shadowmoor deck box.

The sealed pool I opened and registered was a mediocre pile with limited removal and rares like Rage Reflection, Reaper King, Vexing Shusher and Demigod of Revenge. This not being the prerelease, the pools were shuffled around after registration.

This is the pool I got and played:

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For all of my working life I’ve gotten used to sitting at a workstation where I do not have regular internet access. So while I’ve often read a lot of those articles about how to maintain focus, I’ve never actually realized how difficult it was until I brought home a bunch of work-related reading material to catch up on. Yes, I tried to read boring work-related stuff on an internet-enabled machine. Wonder how much progress I managed?

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magic-the-gathering

The prerelease was held last April 19 at Robinson’s Galleria. The last time I went 4-0 and won a shirt was Time Spiral prerelease. I have a good feeling about this one. Then I crack open the following sealed pool:

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philippines

Pasmado is a term generally well-known among Filipinos. It refers to a condition of excessive sweating and/or trembling in the hands and/or feet. The concept is so well-known among Filipinos that it has developed several old wives’ tales of its’ own, such as the ever-popular solution of peeing on your hands first thing in the morning to get rid of the conditions. I am pasmado. Sometimes at least, especially when under stress or it’s really, really humid.

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magic-the-gathering

Tournament was last April 6 2008 at NG Galleria, with 3 formats: Block, Standard and Extended. I was thinking of playing block but shifted to standard at the last minute because I only had one Mutavault.

This was deck I assembled on Saturday:

Of course I went in again with no playtesting. Enjoyment. Tournament report follows.

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magic-the-gathering

The tournament was held last 29-March at Neutral Grounds Galleria. The format was Standard and my deck was Heavyweight Ramp. 256 people, 9 rounds (!)

I debated internally whether to just play ‘Lark (which I had played for the last two tournaments) or play with my last-minute list above that had a better game against Faeries (in theory!). I didn’t want to play a UW control deck for five rounds, so we go Mana Ramp.

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(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

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magic-the-gathering

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:

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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.