12:52 AM on a schoolday that starts at 10:30 AM is probably not the
best time to write an S-Files, but what the heck. I haven’t been
writing. Stories have backed up, and the resulting chaos in my mind
appears to have edged out important details like the names of people
I’m supposed to know and the details of where I’m supposed to be.
Time to defrag.
I am all the more unusually loquacious because I have just finished
writing a lab exercise for the introductory computer science course
for which I am a teaching assistant. My pitiful effort at making
“Hello, World!” fun and exciting can be found at
http://courses.ateneo.edu/cs21a/lab1.html , with no guarantee that
it’ll actually even be used in today’s CS session. I’m banking on the
fact that Dr. Sarmenta probably hasn’t prepared materials as detailed
as this, as I haven’t seen anything like it from, well, any of my CS
teachers. I’m _hoping_ that he’ll let me deliver the class, which is
a far-out possibility but still worth considering. I also hope I’ll be
awake enough to do so with wit and style.
I love the project submission system I wrote last semester. After
editing the postgresql start script so that the postmaster would
accept TCP connections, I simply had to set up the database and run
a script that obligingly extracted and included all the students in
the student data files that the department forwarded to me. All 222
students of CS21A in 9 sections have been set up. How nice.
Teaching. Hmm. I had dinner with Mario Carreon (an old friend from
high school competitions) the other night. He teaches at UP and is
considering moving to the industry because of the pay. We talked about
teaching, mainly, and in the course of our conversation I found myself
declaring that yes, this is it – I cannot imagine myself in any other
profession except teaching. Especially college level introductory
computer science. That’s it.
Naturally teaching doesn’t stand on its own – I must be teaching
_something_, and teaching also offers ample time for research. Enter
wearable computing. I’ll be getting my gear on the 23rd, if all goes
well. Expect lots of files going on and on about how cool it all is.
Speaking of cool, I also find myself getting interested by game
development. Eric, Diane and a few of my other friends are getting
together and starting a game company. As the insane computer science
student that I am (and hope never to stop being), I have decided that
the challenge of breaking into a new field (at least one I’d never
been in before) and learning enough to not only understand what Eric
talks about when he enthusiastically describes his latest engine but
also to offer suggestions and whip up a demo on my Linux box is
somewhat comparable to the feat of… well, _something._ I’m crazy
enough to think that it’s possible, and it should give me something
new to learn.
To that end I have been playing around with small OpenGL programs here
on my Linux laptop. Not that my hardware can easily handle the demands
of 3d graphics programming, but I manage to squeak by with Emacs, gcc,
a Makefile and lots of Googling. I have to confess that what excites
me about games is not the funky graphical effects but rather the
gameplay and the character and setting development – witness the
sudden explosion of Inform text adventures in my ~/notebook/games
Nonetheless, I will climb Mount Everest just because it’s
there. <impish grin>
Oh, school’s been fun. My teachers are nice.
I yawn, and I must sleep.
Good karma: Restored WinCE on the iPAQ so that she could use
it. Procedure was pretty uneventful and not as scary as I thought it
Apparently the mini banana plugs for my wearable display battery are
quite rare. CE guys are looking for it.
Slowly finding other wearable enthusiasts and sharing resources. We
may yet see a research group here.
My middle sister Kathy is leaving for Africa Real Soon Now. Nice!
Bad karma: Didn’t do too well on my Theology test because I hadn’t read the assigned readings. How embarrassing.
No classes last Monday and Tuesday because of typhoons. My only class tomorrow is a free cut because the teacher needs to be somewhere else. No classes next Monday and Tuesday because of some elections.
Richi and my mom started bugging me about my journal. Here it is!
The CE guys came through with my battery power supply, so I have been walking around with my M1.
I am Borg. =D
I showed it to some CS teachers waiting outside the department. Everyone was, like, “Oh my God. This is sooo cool.”
People walk up to me and ask me what it is. I show them the display. They think it’s cool.
I like being able to read my mail or check my messages. I like being able to read my history notes or dash off a quick note. I like this.
No accidents yet. Good thing. I don’t read while crossing the street, and I can pay attention to the real world well enoguh.
I’ve also freaked out some of my students. I asked for someone’s ID number, pulled up my records, and started rattling off full name, contact info, project submissions…
Life is good.
Glossary: CE – Computer Engineering M1 – head-mounted display available from www.tekgear.ca Borg – short for cyborg. Also term made popular by Star Trek, a television series.
Yes, it’s me.
Apparently my laptop got scared and is cooperating again. I’ve backed
up the rest of my data and should manage to survive nuclear fallout
and the like.
Still considering going for a real wearable…
The online submission system I was hacking together works, and I’m now
just fiddling around with ideas for the next one.
Ooh! And I tried walking my mom through the process of getting the Linux box at home on the Net and ssh’able – they turned it off last night and I’d forgotten to tell it to automatically run ssh and ddclient. I love my mom. It takes a really special mom to have to deal with all of those cryptic Linux commands…
I hadn’t quite gotten it to work – guess I forgot something pretty major – but hey, it was really wonderful of her to try.
I can’t wait to actually get it working. =)
I’m actually tempted to set up one of those shared screen things….
So tough luck, guys, I win the coolest mom contest. ;)
Special thanks go to my parents, who have been incredibly supportive not just during this time of crisis but all throughout my life. =)
I had my social immersion this weekend. See, our university requires
that all graduating students spend two and a half days living among
the poor so that we can get an idea of what their life is like. I
actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t too bad. Actually, it was kinda fun
watching my groupmates freak out. Shhh.
We learned how to cook some of the things the vendors sell on the
street. We slept in their shanties, ate their food, and (to the horror
of some of my groupmates) showered in their tiny bathrooms equipped
only with a bucket of water and a small pitcher. I’m sorta used to it
because of camping. =) Not a kind of life I’d want to live
permanently, but I made do.
Most of the time, though, we listened. They have interesting
stories. Apparently most of them are from a few provinces in the
Visayas, and they left because they feared the insurgents in the
area. They’ve been occupying that lot for some 30 – 40 years now, and
a few generations have grown up there.
As part of our social immersion program under Fr. Padua (our theology
teacher), we looked into the issues that united and divided their
community. A major bone of contention for the different groups in
these slums is a small chapel. Hardly a chapel, even – just a clear
space with a roof over its head and a small altar for Mass – but it
has resulted in deep rifts. Fr. Padua and the other people we talked
to seem to think that one of the families there is trying to maintain
control over this chapel for somewhat less than admirable
reasons. It’s apparently quite a lucrative venture – P2,000 for a
wake, when the actual costs are so much lower! Other people complain
about the drinking and gambling going on there – sometimes even inside
the chapel. Accusations of nepotism abound, especially since the
controlling family seems to be exploiting the common space for their
own personal gain.
Of course, I feel vaguely uncomfortable at hearing only one side of
We’ll probably be focusing on that for our report. Anyway, look – I survived
immersion. Cool, yes?
I’m also coming to terms with religion. After much soul-searching (and an unbelievable amount of Googling), I’ve realized quite a few things about myself.
I’m an atheist. There, I’ve said it. Doesn’t mean I’m going straight to hell (not that I believe in hell). Doesn’t mean I’m going to go and be a nasty person. It just means that I have no particular belief in a god.
I guess I should explain that before my parents start wondering where they went wrong. =)
I came from a Catholic grade school run by Benedictine nuns (they’re really nice), and when I was growing up, I think I really believed in it. I attended mass. I took communion. I eagerly devoured stories of saints and miracles, and wondered if I’d ever be one of the beatas or witness a miracle.
Then again, I also believed in all sorts of strange things back then, like spirits and ghosts and cloud castles and stuff like that. Blame it on people trying to use the supernatural to scare little kids. (Note to self: Never ever do that to small kids.) In retrospect, it was sort of embarrassing. |)
I think I was losing bits of it already in the last part of grade school. I was never really one for retreats. Going to a nonsectarian high school forced me to reexamine many of my beliefs as well.
I was never too comfortable with the somewhat fundamentalist stance that many people took when it came to religion – “I am right, you are wrong. I will be saved, you are damned.” You know, that sort of thing. It’s a good thing my parents were pretty moderate and tried as much as possible to explain to a rather confused girl that not everyone thought that way. On the contrary, many people thought that all the different religions were just different ways to reach one God and one truth.
I think it all started with the afterlife. Haven’t we all thought about death and life after death? While thinking about it, I realized that I didn’t really believe in hell – no fire and brimstone, no eternal boredom or loneliness, no eternal punishment. It just didn’t make sense to me, partly because I have a hard time thinking that anyone’s absolutely and irrevocably evil, and partly because I didn’t see how useful Hell would be as a deterrent.
So naturally I turned to thinking about purgatory. I never really did feel comfortable with the thought of indulgences or souls hanging around in limbo waiting for people to pray for them so that they can enter heaven. Didn’t make sense to me.
What did that leave? Heaven. I was still a little okay with the idea of, well, a heaven with everyone in a perfect society. Utopia. That sort of thing, yes? So heaven remained, and for a while I was okay (although a little unorthodox).
Then a friend of ours died, and I found it strangely acceptable that his corpse was, well, rotting away in the ground, and that was it – finis. End of existence. No flying around in heaven. No disembodied spirits hanging around. No consciousness. No resurrection, no second chance, zip. I didn’t need the idea of heaven to reassure me that everything was going to be all right, and besides – on what had I been basing my idea of heaven on? Just what I’d been taught? So that faded away, too.
One life. One chance. After this, that’s it! Tough luck. Bye. =) No hanging around trying to influence others. No praying for intercession. What makes life worth living? Maybe the difference I can make in other people’s lives – the great experiment that has yet to be performed.
Around this time I was also examining my beliefs about good and evil. I used to actually believe in a literal personification of evil, what with all of the stories told us, but I realized how that didn’t really make sense. I’ve had the luck not to run into anyone I could really call evil, and that also means I don’t quite understand it either. That’s one of the TODOs I should probably get around to resolving. =)
So there’s that – the realization that I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in a god, or some higher power that watches us and loves us. Not that I’m saying that God doesn’t exist – people can believe whatever they want. I’m just saying that for me, well, I don’t strongly believe in that. I’ll still go to church because my parents would like me to, and I’m still going to try to be a nice person because I like being a nice person.
Perhaps one day I’ll emerge from the other side. Who knows? But I don’t want to pretend to beliefs that I don’t have. =) Nice to have things out in the open, yes?
Today I had a rather deep discussion with Paolo Venegas about – of all
things – religion, or my lack thereof.
On another note, this person scares me sometimes (but in a good way).
He’s learning LISP and PHP, absorbing so much information at such a
rate. I find this encouraging. He’ll probably catch up in a short
while, but in the meantime I’ll try to do whatever I can to help him
Today, too, I was quite pleasantly surprised. Turned out that I didn’t
actually lose one of my best friends – Eric Vidal. We just had a
Today I learned more about Emacs, too. Emacs is fun. Emacs is good.
Sleep is good, too.
I’ll be more coherent when I wake up.
Woke up. Overslept for my class. Oh well!
I think I’ll go for HTML. If animation is necessary, then I’ll use Flash. I won’t be able to reach the auditory/kinetic people as much, but I’ll be able to provide them with more material.
The module definitely has to be downloadable and ‘runnable’ on any system.
Sleepy. Was rewriting script. I think I’ve got a much better idea now.
I spent the whole day looking for a subnotebook. The
3.5″ IDE connector.
Started setting up a mail server. Cyrus21 is weird. Might be a good
idea to make the IntranetServer next weekend’s project.
My laptop died. Again. It’s really not the hard disk – I think it’s the laptop itself. Must definitely find subnotebook that I can install Linux onto. Must decide between 8.9″ and 10″ display.
Doc Sarmenta story. I arrived at F228 a little too early for my 3:00 CS21A class, and I ran into Dr. Sarmenta packing up. Some students asked him if they could consult with him, but as he’ll be fairly busy due to Faculty Day, I volunteered to meet them instead. Got introduced as Sacha Chua, one of the head TAs around here. I replied, “We have head TAs?” Dr. Sarmenta continued, “She does most of the stuff.” :D
Volunteered to conduct CS21B tutorials at 10:00 AM tomorrow, F230.
Doc V story. Had thorny discrete mathematics problem that I needed help with. Doc V stumped. :) Actually, talked about problem with Eric over dinner, and he had a nifty insight that greatly simplified the problem.
Doc Sarmenta story. Presented thesis proposal. Earned “That’s very exciting” comment. :)
Gino story. Gloated about the fact that my thesis is humanitarian, useful, involves Linux, and doesn’t have a GUI. Wooohooo! :D
Hey, I think this actually works.
(global-set-key (kbd “<f9> R SPC”) ‘planner-remember-region)
w00t. It just works.
Some confusion about when Roosevelt died. See, it would be so nice to
I realize that my system is still mostly unusable. tmm-menu speaks ==>
get a wish list of hardware – charmit
thin client, using the xscale chip automatic media transfer automatic networ configueration bluetooth or wireless or GPRS
problem with gprs connectivity. We can probably use thatnew toshica pda dongle with vvga and usb and bluetooth.
can it do master
team of looking for what’s cool
remind roomel o send me a copy of the proposal
enumerated the derscription. abstract. equipment and timeline
present something grand
mobile multimedia disabled first, lots of funding
two or three projets, possible projects.
send something by tuesy.
intel is keen n doing this
decode-time is a built-in function.
(decode-time &optional SPECIFIED-TIME)
Not fully formed
Existentialism: no “nature” but we have history. The moment we are born, we cannot say that that is us. That we are fixed. We begin creating the history that will become our history.
Maybe I should store the tasks in a MySQL database. MySQL allows us to do a simple relevance query. Hmmm. This may give me an excuse to go Java as well as Emacs.
now we’re talking about relationships
make remember use emacspeak.
learn enough to become a major contributor ito Emacspeak
if i store it in a database, then I can use queries.. I need to also find out how to make bbdb use lots of different source files
If I store all tasks in a database, then I need to be able to quickly refer to it. Actually, i I can cache it, that’d be nice. K
That means I’ll have unique task IDs, which allows me to use pretty good task references.
Most of the time I’ll be dealing with just the day’s tasks
I want something to remind me what I’m currently working on, and the last few things I’ve been working on. For example, in a conversation, I may occasionally refer to the last things people say. This would be a circular list.
Research and Development – CompSAT
We learn so that we may learn more in this committee.
I believe that we should develop a society in ourselves such that stealing should no longer be necessary. We should be a group with everyone equal, with everyone sharing common knowledge. It’s not a competition thing. That’s what I want for this committee. We are going to have activities later based on that. We are all learning here. It is not for any specific… it’s not about being able to separate yourself from the group and being able to say that you’re superior or elite. CompSAT as a helper in this community and that’s what this organization is about.
We need to know the people we work with. Sometimes people are harder to work with than computers. People are different. Let’s introduce ourselves and tell each other something about ourselves.
masayang mag-program. Natutuwa pa rin ako. Adikt sa computer games
Main concentration: web dev.
They want it on the 16th of September. We are under pressure.
Jean Paul Sartre
Fixed planner remember bug – context was getting picked up after the switch of buffer.
Sept 19: 20 pt quiz on article 45, 46, 48 (social analysis folder
Sept 26, oct 1: bonus quiz: Synthesis folder
Oct 3, 6: Immersion Group Reports
Oct 10: Review of Thesis Shet
Ref 3: Immersion due Sept 30
Reflection 2: Due September 26.
So first for september 19
What will I talk about later?
– my wearable computing project
One of these days I really should improve the emacspeak interface to many functions. Perhaps I should consider how to make it in Java…
Problem-solving focus for CS110.
What is traditionally covered? Stacks, queues, trees, O(n), recursion, dynamic programming, searching, sorting.
Web development – cartolina, permanent marker
Objectives: involve them in the design process and show them how the design process works.
Start with the system concept. What kind of system do we need? Who will use it?
Assumptions: Social Analysis in the context of the pastoral cycle
1. Before you can make a meaningful relevant social analysis, there must be that personal connectedness. There must be that link between you and that social reality, between you and the poor. Solidarity. Without the connectedness, what happens? You cannot analyze what you do not know and what you are not familiar with. The call to find God in the ordinary. In all things. To encounter the face of God in the least.
visavis indifference and apathy.
Always keep your users in mind. Always remember why you’re doing a system – to make hard things easy and impossibly things possible.
Designing a Web Application
One of the fundamental differences between web programming and
Yet why do web programming?
Limited input and output
– database developer
– web developer
– web designer
1.3 Goal. Praxis. If we remain on the theological reflection moment, what happens – if there is no action? detachment
In the elections of 1949, Quirino is the candidate of the liberal
party. Laurel nationalista party. Quirino wins with 52% of the vote.
I feel so stressed out. Traffic will do that to a person – traffic and the thought of being late. But it’s no one’s fault but my own – as my mom pointed out, I could just have started commuting at 4:30, and maybe I’d even be there by now. still, there is nothing I can do about that.
maybe I should eat first.
That machine runs on Linux. how do i retrieve
- talk to Selwyn and Mike Mapa
looking around corners
ask selwyn about sci fi story
six tracks – egovernment, wireless
isolated lab problem – teachers not learning about the computers
write selwyn about non-military applications.
heyey web hosting.
(Wed Sep 18:06 2002, *Article*)
Existentialism is a humanism
Today I will finish my CS178 module so that it is out of the way.
I will also reborrow the graded problems book.
I need to meet Hans, don’t forget.
Someone I know referenced me in his blog. Marcelle – remember him?
Right. I never could quite figure out why he was going nuts over the
fact that I’m simply not the kind of person who can arbitrarily become
best friends with people, and certainly our lack of intersect would
make it rather difficult for us to get to know each other. Anyway, he
seems to have dealt with that issue fairly well. His blog is over at
http://www.mistervader.blogspot.com , and is – as he admitted in
e-mail – fairly angsty, although I find it really just more concerned
about things like Otaku Boards (http://www.otakuboards.com), which I’d
visited but haven’t really felt at home in. I am surprisingly less
anime-centric than the stereotypical geek, I suppose.
Must find a way to clean mouse point.
Ah, yes, the wireless card. =) I am a very lucky girl. My parents got
me a wireless card for my Christmas gift (in addition to my beautiful
subnotebook, of course). One of the things I really like about my
parents is that they won’t actually wait until Christmas to give it to
me, since I can very well use it before then. =) I have clueful
Got my wireless card working. There was a bit of confusion about eth0
and eth1 – turned out to be my fault. Once I had gotten my dhclient
all sorted out (I was mistakenly calling it from intuitively, and that
turned out to be a Bad Thing), it Just Worked. For reference, I’ve
got a Linksys WPC-11 Instant Wireless card. It’s supposed to be a
Prism2, so has limited functionality but can act as a wireless access
point with the hostap tools. Coverage in Faura is not bad, but I
haven’t checked other areas for decent signal. Should improve if
Dr. Sarmenta manages to get Microsoft to agree to blanket the campus
with wireless access points.
Speaking of Dr. Sarmenta… He was in a meeting earlier, so we didn’t
have ThesisProject class. I want to change advisors. ;)
Back to Microsoft. I really, really hope they push through with the wireless thing. I don’t understand why Microsoft isn’t very actively courting us. C’mon, if I were an evil empire and I wanted to ensure my hold on the future generations, I’d get them while they were young. I’d give freebies, training, cool gadgets, lots of publicity… Microsoft’s a large company with plenty of budget to spare. We just won an international competition – you think they’d take advantage of that wonderful PR opportunity. I suppose their marketing is losing their edge. ;) Of course this is all just personal opinion, since our school obviously believes in Microsoft enough to go for the Academic Alliance and that .NET stuff, but still…
If you think about it, many of our classes are too vendor-centric. Take Contemporary Databases (translation: Oracle), or Enterprise Java Programming (guess), or even Intro to C++, which was actually pretty okay if not fairly boring, and had a sliver of MFC tacked on at the end but didn’t cover other toolkits). On the plus side, we do actually have Systems Programming, which is Unix-based thanks to the strong push of people like William Yu, Sir Marco and Doc Mana if I’m not mistaken. w00t!
(Update 2003.09.24: Come to think of it, we’re remarkably not vendor-centric – at least the classe I’ve taken.)
Anyway, I really should be going to bed now. My roommate has borrowed my alarm clock again – it’s apparently the loudest in the dorm… =) Hopefully I’ll remember to wake up tomorrow. Good night!
“A human being who is weaned from all attachment to internally unstable
pursuits such as love, sexual activity, power-seeking, and
money-making is automatically at the same time rid of many of the most
common grounds of value conflict. In part, the superior harmony of the
philosopher’s life results directly from this reduction in the number
of his or her commitments. The pursuit of mathematics and the pursuit
of love will not come into conflict for a mathematician who does not
care about love or a lover who does not care about mathematics. But
the philosopher or mathematician’s particular choice of content
contributes powerfully, too, to his harmonious condition. He chose
these pursuits precisely because they were always available and did
not require any special conditions for their exercise. He can think
about theorems in all kinds of circumstances; they are always
available for his activity, regardless of his political circumstances,
regardless of the activities and attachments of other human beings. So
how often will he be forced to make a painful choice? The
self-sufficiency of individual pursuits leads, then, to a reduction in
Interesting thought, isn’t it?
Heavy traffic on the way home. Much work still to be done, but at least my Linuxchallenge stuff sorta works.
I don’t know about my core subjects this semester. I really have to learn how to write focused papers. I think I will redo my theology papers until I get them right.
One of my friends gave me a particularly neat gift – chocolates for programming, a stuffed toy for company and a ticket to LOTR in order to unwind. Nice, right? (Thanks, Byron!)
Another of my friends is doing me a christmas favor by bringing me a Square1 and cooki[es?]
I’m here in Legaspi, so far from Makati and from everyone else I know. Got dragged off by my parents.
Looks like we’re not very sure about what date we’ll actually make it back.
I have a hard time dealing with that sort of thing. I would really, really, really like to go home today. In fact, I would really have liked to go home yesterday, or even not gone anywhere at all.
It’s just that I have a hard time dealing with unanticipated plans. This whole thing was an unplanned excursion. We were supposed to attend a wedding in Tagaytay – accepted, planned for, and scheduled around. We were supposed to stay there overnight – again, I had fair warning, so I was prepared for that. Then my crazy dad thought it a good idea to go south to Bicol.
I want to go home. I want to go home.
Now they’re talking of staying until Wednesday.
My family is quick to reassure me that we will find an Internet cafe sometime. As if that’s what’s bugging me. What would I do on the Internet? Check Slashdot? Earn good karma on #linuxhelp?
It’s not about that at all.
I am just not an adventure person. My idea of a good social activity is a quiet conversation over good food, and a nice game afterwards perhaps. I do not like substituting activities for conversation. I do not like going on great adventures.
One of the things I do not feel comfortable with on this trip is that I have no choice but to be here. I have no control. Even if I really wanted to go home – which I do! – I can’t do anything about it. In fact, my family seems to have acquired the idea that this adventure is a Good Thing for me.
I hate it.
I want to go home.
My parents think I have some previous appointments that I want to keep.
I’m used to having plans. I’m used to knowing where I’ll be in the next few days. I’m used to knowing what will happen.
And even if something unexpected happens, I’m used to being able to decide what to do about it. I do not like not having control.
And I just get the feeling that they don’t really care, which makes perfect sense of course because they finally have my two sisters together in one place, and that my parents have taken time out from their ultrabusy schedules. I’d rather that we _didn’t_ have these adventures and that we just regularly got together instead. I’d rather we didn’t have to treat it with such fuss. I’d rather that we didn’t have to make it such a big thing.
Yes, I know my sister will be married next year, and will henceforth probably have little time for our family. How is that any different from now? And yes, we so rarely go out as a family, and that I should value the time we all have together. Why have to guilt-trip me?
I want to be home.
What would I do if I were home, anyway? Nothing much, probably. Play Nethack. Talk to friends. Read the assigned work. Continue with life as usual. It’s not much, I know, but I can choose, and so I am fully present. Here… well… My sisters want to be off surfing and kayaking. My dad is going around taking pictures.
I suppose I resent being uprooted and my plans being changed. I do not like this uncertainty at all. I do not like not knowing where I’ll be the next day, or how long it will be until I get back. I do not like having to buy clothes one day at a time. I do not like it at all.
This is one of the things I will have to learn how to deal with eventually. But it will be hard to counter the effects of an upbringing that has always emphasized planning. You know what it’s like to show talent at an early age. People will have great expectations, and all your life is part of a plan. How unfortunate it would be if you were distracted, if you deviated from the course that had been set! True, the plan may change slightly, but in general you are not supposed to do anything that does not directly contribute to your plan.
Do only that which furthers your goal.
This is something I must change.
Okay, I feel better now.