Roy Tang

roytang.net

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

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2020 October

  • Weeknotes 2020-10-18

    So my current webhost finally decided to give me a deadline, the long and short of it is that my new server needs to be ready by December the 9th, giving me a bit under a month to get things in order. I'm already in the middle of setting up the new server, so I think I'll be ready by early November anyway. Most of the code to run the new blog is also mostly ready (who knows how many bugs there are though!) I am (re-)learning a lot about server setups though, so hopefully I'll have quite a few

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  • Weeknotes 2020-10-11

    The world continues to be terrible. The PH government wants people to get back to work and everything to spur the economy (with health precautions and everything). A lot of people have no choice, but I'm fortunate enough to not have to go out there yet, and I'm sure people like me will still hold back. This all would have been a lot easier if the government had gotten control of this pandemic early on but it is what it is. Still not writing blog posts apparently. I have a lot of thoughts swirling in my head, I'm sure they'll

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  • Weeknotes 2020-10-04 Switching It Up

    In the news this week: Donald Trump, who for some reason is still the US president, has tested positive for Covid19, adding even more chaos and uncertainty to the US election season. The rest of the world has no choice but to pay attention, given how much US politics affects the rest of us The Philippines is now #20 worldwide in total Covid cases, yay! Yay? Some drama about the PH congress leadership? IDK, whatever man. Annoyingly, I've not been doing any blog posts other than these weeknotes during the past few weeks. It is what it is though. I

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2020 September

  • Weeknotes 2020-09-27

    October is imminent! There are two distractions I'm looking forward to in the coming month. The first one is Inktober, which I've been doing since 2016. Basically it's just to do 30 ink drawings in October, one per day. There are some official prompts, which I'll probably follow. I haven't really done any serious sketching in a while, maybe this will help me get back into the groove. The second one is Hacktoberfest! Basically it's an event where you have to submitted some number of GitHub PRs in October, and there's some swag for people who finished. I last participated

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  • Weeknotes 2020-09-20

    It's hard to imagine this is already the 3rd week of September, it feels like the month is passing by quickly, although I haven't been particularly busy recently. I did do some paid work this past week; not a lot, just filling in to provide some emergency support/consultation. I guess the reason it feels like the week passed by quickly is that I started a new side project (like many programmers, I am afflicted by the curse of wanting to start too many side projects). This one will probably get finished: I'm writing a Django based server for this website.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-09-13

    It has certainly been a week, yes it has. The world continues to turn (and burn even). I've been busy. Not so much with work, though there was a bit of that due to a required emergency software change (aren't they always emergencies?). I wasn't doing the emergency work myself, more like consulting and advising how to approach it, so not much to tell there. I did quite a bit of work on my personal data processes/backups/workflows. It involved streamlining my backups, dedepulication, going through old records and cleaning them up, and so on. Some combination of Python scripts and

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  • Weeknotes 2020-09-06

    It's September! The last six months were a blur. It's considered "Christmas season" over here already I guess. The local memes are that once the clock hits midnight between Aug 31 and Sep 1, your neighbor's Christmas lights are magically up. Also of course the famous Jose Mari Chan gets famous starting September, since malls and stores love to play his Christmas songs during this time. IDK what to expect for Christmas season this year though, since we are still in a pandemic. I keep telling my mom not to get her hopes up that we (i.e. my brothers and

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2020 August

  • Weeknotes 2020-08-30

    This last week was weird. I feel like I didn't really get much done in terms of productivity, yet I don't feel I was unproductive. A very relaxed and chill week. Once again a tiny bit of work done this past week, some fixes, including to side projects. I also spent some time preparing for some events next weekend. Although I wasn't productive this week, I did outline a bit of a roadmap of new features for one of my side projects, hopefully I can get into that in the coming weeks! We are still in a pandemic! But I

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  • Weeknotes 2020-08-23

    The week after I posted about phoning in the weeknotes, here I am with one where there's nothing much to report. Not that surprising, given how busy I was over the previous few weeks, I took the opportunity to take a more relaxing week. There was a bit of work to be done, but very miniscule by comparison. Minor fixes here and there, including to some side projects. I did get to write on the blog more, as expected. Let's hope I can keep it up. These week's quiz nights were terrible for our team, but on the bright side,

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  • These weeknotes are coming in late in the day because of reasons. (The reasons being laziness and procrastination.) Actually, I feel like I've been kind of phoning in the weeknotes over the past few weeks, they've mostly been "hey, I've been busy, so nothing of significance happened, but here are some things I watched/played." Supposedly one of the side effects of writing regular updates is that you tend to look out for more interesting things to do so you have something to write about, even on an unconscious level. In the past few weeks, that has been problematic because (a)

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  • Weeknotes 2020-08-09

    Still kind of busy, although there's a bunch of things I hope I can finally wrap up this week, so I can move on to the long list of other things I want to be doing. The world continues to be bleak, so I'm still hiding from it. My stuff: Forty-two. I thought about just merging these into a single post for the day, but nah, this seems better. Reworking the old charity side project still ongoing. I was hoping to finish all the changes last week and next week would be testing and deployment, but stuff got in the

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  • Weeknotes 2020-08-02

    Kind of a busy week for me again, so the week kind of passed me by quickly. It's August! In one month it will be (PH) Christmas season! It feels like July went by more quickly than other quarantine months. My stuff: A bit of consulting work. Reworking the old charity side project still ongoing. I was hoping to finish all the changes last week and next week would be testing and deployment, but stuff got in the way (and estimates may have been a bit off), but the spillover is small and we should still be fine for finishing

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2020 July

  • Weeknotes 2020-07-26

    The world: hm. I was a bit busy this week, so I wasn't paying too much attention, so I don't have too much to rail against today. Well of course, things are still ongoing. There's still the pandemic, fascist police state philosophy continues to rear it's ugly head in the US, PH gov't continues to be dumb, etc., but this week seemed a bit tame comparably. On July 26, 2020, midnight I wrote: Pandemic thoughts and updates, July 26 edition: Watching mass via Facebook again today. The nearby Church actually holds services, but last I heard it was only 10

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  • Weeknotes 2020-07-19

    My country: There are days when I have to consciously temper my rage at the shenanigans of this government. I can't write about them today. My stuff: This week's pandemic notes. Had a busy work week again; at the same time I also picked up an older charity project where the client asked for UI updates. Had issues with running the old code, and it was small enough, so I decided to rewrite it in a new tech stack. Might write about it at some point. Gaming: I am like 98% through the FF7R hard mode run. I'm totally making

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  • My country: Friday afternoon the House of Representatives voted to deny the franchise application of the nation's biggest broadcaster ABS-CBN. This despite all agencies of the executive testifying that the company had no violations. Justifications cited were mostly personal reasons. The Palace claims they remained neutral on this issue, but no one really believes that. Probably not even then. What now, Philippines? My stuff: This week's pandemic notes. Had a busy week work-wise. Learning a lot about Vue and Laravel though, so that's fun! Gaming: I am like 95% through the FF7R hard mode run. Only a 5% difference from

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  • My country: Friday afternoon the president sighed the controversial "Anti-terror law" that vastly expands police powers, allows people to be arrested without warrants on mere suspicion of terrorism etc. Interesting timing, right after China applies a new anti-terror low to Hong Kong (and rightly gets castigated for it by countries all over the world) and also right after the PNP (who promise not to abuse their newfound powers) are under criticism for killing some soldiers in a misencounter and tampering with the crime scene to cover it up. Many are afraid of the chilling impact on freedom of speech, but

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2020 June

  • My stuff: This week's pandemic notes. Easily the most annoying thing this week: our broadband modem conked out Wednesday night. Customer support isn't super responsive for local telcos: I called their support line the next day (support line is not even available 24/7!), got put on hold for 45 minutes TWICE before they agreed to send a repair crew over the next day (Friday). Friday morning I got a text that the technician visit was actually scheduled for SATURDAY morning. They arrive Saturday AFTERNOON, due to traffic apparently. And unluckily, they are out of spare modems for the replacement. They

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  • My stuff: This week's pandemic notes. Some days still hot, but weather beginning to turn for the better. Sleep kind of better and a bit more regular too. Did my quarterly medical checkup this past week (slightly delayed). No issues, but I need to do an FBS test for next time. Sleep schedule kind of settling back into my usual biphasic sleep. Although the second phase seems to move around a lot... Not much work-wise the past week, and a bit more family-related expenses. Medical and government stuff. Gaming: still playing a lot of Final Fantasy VII Remake. I think

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  • Weeknotes 2020-06-14

    Surprisingly, no new crises have emerged during the past week. I think. More of the same crises, carrying on. Last Friday was the PH independence day holiday. I didn't feel like celebrating. It doesn't feel like we are free. In any case, a protest rally against the yet-to-be-signed terror bill took place at the university that morning, inspite of threats from the authorities that it wasn't allowed. The protestors spaced themselves out and everything. Some friends reported trouble getting into the university though. Apparently a heavy police/military presence was manning many of the entrances for some reason. "Basta". News report.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-06-07: Mad World

    The world isn't letting up. The virus is still around, but both the US and my own country have gotten distracted. The US is in its second week of police brutality/black lives matters protests. Meanwhile, our government took on a sidequest of trying to enact a wide-ranging and easily abusable anti-terror bill, triggering some smaller (by comparison to the US). I haven't written about the terror bill, mainly because I haven't had the opportunity to dig into it too deeply. But my general impression leaves me two points: what is the justification for asking for increased police/anti-terrorism powers? We don't

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2020 May

  • Weeknotes 2020-05-31

    It seems difficult to write about stuff today, when the world seems like it is on fire. For historical context, for the past few days the USA, presumably a first-world nation, has been in the grip of massive protests and riots and police brutality following the murder of a black man by four police officers was captured on video and went viral. Basically, many states are responding to protests against police brutality with... police brutality. Bold move Cotton. I'm not an American, but this resonates with me a lot because to see this kind of thing happening in a country

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  • Weeknotes 2020-05-24

    My stuff: This week's quarantine notes. the weather has been so hot lately, I've taken to shifting my sleep schedule to afternoons so that I can maximize the use of the air-conditioning to when it's most needed. It also helps me be more productive, since I can get more things done if I'm awake during the cooler hours of the day. I think I'm more looking forward to the end of summer than the end of quarantine. a bit of consulting work this week, actually had to code some stuff. Mostly integration work, API calls, that sort of thing. The

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  • Weeknotes 2020-05-17

    My Stuff: This week's quarantine notes. Work: A bit of Laravel work, and a bit of server management and deployment. Nothing too ridiculous. Watching: Haven't watched much this week. There was the really great Justice League Dark: Apokolips War which came out last week. Apparently it's the last one for the DC AMU, or this particular timeline at least. Quiz: We are now up to 3 locally produced online quiz nights per week, which seems like a lot because we only used to attend 2-3 live events per month. I managed to tie for first place in the Geekfight one

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  • Weeknotes 2020-05-10

    My Stuff: Early this morning I took a walk outside for the first time since the lockdown started. Previously I had only gone out for groceries and meds. Only for less than 30 mins, and only in our subdivision, walking up and down the street. It's good to be walking again, although this short and limited route is quite boring and full of neighbor's dogs barking at me, so I'm not too fond of it, but it's better to get the habit started again since I've been feeling the fatness piling on due to the quarantine and the lack of

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  • Weeknotes 2020-05-03

    First week of May. At least two more weeks of quarantine remain. COVID19 Diary still exists, only updated every so often. I stayed in the entire week! The week was slightly more productive than the last one, at least in terms of personal projects. I moved a couple of them forward. And also spent a bunch of time spring cleaning and moving stuff around here on the site. Details to follow. Quizzes: I watched the Geekfight, but I could only personally answer like 4 questions maybe. My teammate who was an official player did much better. We joined the PopQuiz

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2020 April

  • Weeknotes 2020-04-26

    It's the last week of April, but thanks to an extension, we are still in for three more weeks of quarantine. The COVID19 Diary is still being updated sporadically. Only went out once this week, for groceries. We tried to buy a bit more than usual, hoping to reduce the number of times we need to go out. We also celebrated a couple of birthdays in the family, through a zoom call, complete with the grandkids blowing on a candle from across the internet. The week wasn't very productive. Lots of sitting or lying around, scrolling through feeds, instead of

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  • Weeknotes 2020-04-19

    This week went by quickly, for some reason. And despite the fact that it's summer, the rains have started coming in early, although only sporadically. inb4 "the world is healing" The COVID19 Diary is still being updated every few days. Actually went out 3 times this week, once for groceries, and twice for meds for the parental units (one would assume they would coordinate so I can just buy everything in one go, but nooooo.) Maybe that contributed to why the week went by so fast for me. Going out these days saps your energy a lot more than it

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  • I stopped updating the COVID19 Diary for a few days (last update was on Maunday Thursday), and I feel like that was a healthier choice overall. It helped that nothing significantly newsworthy happened over the long weekend. (Well, there's still thousands of deaths worldwide, but somehow our bar for "significant" has shifted quite a bit.) Our lockdown has of course been extended to the end of April. I expect it will go beyond that though, likely the earliest chance for things to start going back to normal might be by June. Got some consulting work done in the first half

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  • Weeknotes 2020-04-05

    My COVID19 Diary is still ongoing, and I have yet to find a solution for the TOC. Today is Palm Sunday. I'm writing this early in the morning, so IDK yet how the church will adapt the usual fanfare to this whole pandemic thing. The summer heat has begun to settle in during the last few weeks of quarantine. I can't sit without a shirt or rest or my arms anywhere without sweat threatening to accumulate on the contact surface. Coincidentally around the first week of the lockdown, our aircon in the only airconditioned room in the house started making

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2020 March

  • Weeknotes 2020-03-29 Time Is Meaningless

    My COVID19 Diary is still ongoing, although that TOC is starting to get unwieldy. Need to think of a better UX solution for that. "Time is meaningless under extreme enhanced community quarantine" (Click to view full-size) "Time is meaningless under extreme enhanced community quarantine" March 25, 2020, 11:15 p.m. View post Close I know it's probably unrealistic, but I'm hoping the lockdown somehow gets lifted sooner rather than later. It's not that I crave social interaction (I don't), but I miss going out for food. I miss pizza. And japanese curry. And fancy sandwiches with sesame seeds and such. The

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  • Weeknotes 2020-03-22 Quarantine Edition

    Past week has been difficult productivity-wise. I mean, the isolation isn't really a problem for me since I'm usually at home anyway. But it's difficult to find the energy to be productive about anything. It's like the whole pandemic situation manifests as a lingering ball of anxiety in the back of my head. My parents are prayerful and hopeful that things get resolved quickly, but I'm not super optimistic - I think it's likely to go long. My COVID19 Diary is still ongoing if you want more day-to-day thoughts. When thinking about how the world is handling this pandemic, the

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  • "It's chaos, be kind" - Michelle McNamara on the world. Current events: This past week has been... challenging to say the least. Especially if you're the sort who experiences anxiety over the smallest uncertainty. I was originally going to write about local COVID19 happenings in this space, but it ended up being way too many words. I spun it off into a separate post, and intend to update it periodically as events unfold. It's hard to remember the events of the week other than the COVID19 stuff, but the first half was still mostly normal. I went out for a

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  • Weeknotes 2020-03-08

    The Week That Was: The COVID19 pandemic is starting to pick up steam, both internationally (including the US) and here in the Philippines. The Trump administration seems to be handling things poorly, which would be typical to expect of an administration not used to transparency or integrity. For all our sakes they need to get their act together. The PH government appears to be doing slightly better (assuming no hidden epidemic), although their messaging still seems to be all over the place. Some local governments have started suspending classes and private business are now requiring self-quarantines, and rumor has it

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  • Weeknotes 2020-03-01

    It's March! These weeknotes are coming in late in the day, for various reasons. The world news recently has mostly revolved around the COVID19 pandemic. Even the Americans are starting to get worried now. The PH still has surprisingly few cases, and we've even been commended by WHO for our containment efforts! Those of us who are used to our government's usual level of competence are a bit wary - for all we know we might already have a hidden epidemic going undetected. Or maybe we managed to get lucky this time? Let's hope this pandemic dies down soon. Gaming:

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2020 February

  • Weeknotes 2020-02-23

    The week went by quickly for me for some reason. I suppose it was mainly because I actually did some paid work this week (just some planning and technical review for a future project) and that I had multiple events to attend (two quiz nights and there two birthdays in the family). That and maybe doing the Tales of Berseria platinum stuff might be taking up a lot of my time. One would think the plat grinding would be tedious, but I kinda enjoy ToB's battle system, so it's not so bad. I was even inspired to check out my

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  • Weeknotes 2020-02-16

    The world's crises continue to settle in, but at least we have no new entries. The coronavirus continues to spread, will probably be a while before it tapers off. Our dear president, in his finite wisdom, has decided to withdraw from the US-PH visiting forces agreement. I'm sure our Chinese masters approve. The Oscars were held last week. Didn't watch or anything, but happy for the Parasite win, about time for a foreign language best picture. The world needs us to be better. We went to a QC quiz night last Wednesday. To get to the venue, I found myself

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  • Weeknotes 2020-02-09

    I suppose we should be grateful that we didn't receive any new portents of the apocalypse in the past seven days. Unless you count the US senate refusing to remove Trump from office. And maybe we should. If only the aftershocks of US politics didn't affect rest of the world so much then we would all just be laughing at them instead. Oh, and the coronavirus is still going strong apparently. There was this recent article I read about how China's authoritarian government prioritizes it's own self-image, over the safety of its citizens. They've even been censoring news about the

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  • The big news this week was the passing of basketball legend Kobe Bryant. Not personally big on basketball myself, but I can get why a lot of people sympathized. It was sad, but at least it wasn't on the scale of another natural disaster or global pandemic. Although the global pandemic did also spread to the Philippines this week... I know it's only been a month, but I'm digging this weeknotes practice. It establishes a regular cadence for the blog and at the same time provides a general bucket where I can place any spare thoughts that don't make it

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2020 January

  • Weeknotes 2020-01-26

    It feels like every week of 2020 so far has brought some sort of herald of doom. First week was potential War with Iran breaking out. Then there was the Taal Volcano erupting. And this past week we had the Corona virus outbreak originating in China. At least the Volcano eruption doesn't map directly to a horseman of the apocalypse, so that's something. What are we in for this week?? This past week has been quite productive with my personal projects. I managed to get a very very minimal version of one of my self-data tracking projects online (to replace

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  • Weeknotes 2020-01-19

    The big news here in the country over the past week was of course the big Taal Volcano eruption south of Metro Manila. Our house is far north enough of Metro Manila that we didn't really get any ashfall over here, although when I went out on a walk the day after the big eruption, the air felt thick, like on morning New Year's Day after all the fireworks. We do have friends and family who are affected and closer to the volcano though, so here's hoping things get better for them and everyone else, especially those that had to

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  • Weeknotes 2020-01-12

    I've been thinking for a while about doing regular weeknotes. This is a type of post I've seen in some blogs where they recap the things that've happened to them during the past week. I've actually been doing these privately for a while, and now I'm going to try making them public. I think the advantages are obvious in terms of (a) having notes to recall what you were doing over a certain time period; and (b) guaranteeing regular writing output on the blog. One disadvantage over the private weeknotes is that in private I can usually include some more

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