May 2003

Securing Debian

May 1, 2003 - Categories: linux

“Group Offers Help for Women in the Tech Sector”

May 4, 2003 - Categories: women

The Association for Women in Computing (AWC) is a professional
group created to give women a leg up in the technology sector.
The organization currently consists of 2,000 members and about 20
active chapters throughout 13 U.S. states and the District of …

May 5, 2003 - Categories: geek

Moved in

May 5, 2003 - Categories: life

Moved into the small boarding house on Esteban Abada Street today. I
covered my bed, organized my closet, and sorted out my clothes into
teacher-y and non-teacher-y outfits. I have three outfits that I can
wear to school. I do not think I’ll ever get away with those corduroy
shorts – they’re higher than mid-thigh! Mrrf.

Had dinner at Cafe Maison.

It’s soooo warm. I changed into my nightclothes already. It’s a good
thing I packed a spare, as the ones they had sent were even worse! In
fact, I feel strongly tempted to go to sleep and just wake up early
tomorrow, but it’s 7:00 and that may sort of be pushing it. If I slept
now, I could get up at 4 after nine full hours of sleep!

Just remember, Sacha: you love computer science. That’s why you’re
here, far from an Internet connection, in a sweltering
non-air-conditioned room, away from your family, your Net,
your… your… your cat…


Oy vey.

Other things that happened today:

Played chess with Stanley. I tried the 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 c6 gambit,
and that went pretty okay, but my middle game was rather shaky. End
game saw us with only kings and pawns – Stan had a two-pawn advantage,
including one on a clear file. We raced white f, black h pawn to
queen. I queened first, he queened right after, but I had the
initiative so I kept checking him to force an exchange. I had the
positional advantage – the queen exchange took him away from the
cluster of pawns from a to f – but I blundered (stupid zugzwang!).
Managed to recover and engaged in another exciting race to queen. I
was a move behind him. He queened his last pawn. My pawn moved to a2.
His king was too far away to help his queen checkmate me, and his
queen couldn’t force my king away from the pawn on its own. (I heavily
abused the fact that stalemate would’ve been a draw! =) ) He
offered me a draw, which was the best I could do given the

Chess – what an adrenalin-charged game!

To do:

– Get a stand fan taller than my bed. (Too bad I can’t just ask for the bed to be replaced by a futon…)
– Get a desk lamp.
– Get slippers.
– Get a pillow.
– Get teacher-y clothes.
– Wipe the floors so that it’s not so dusty.

Outline for application essay

May 5, 2003 - Categories: education
  • reasons for pursuing graduate studies at this time
  • reasons for choosing your program of study
  • personal qualities, abilities or special skills which you feel will help you do well in your chosen program of study
  • constraints or difficulties that you anticipate to encounter while taking graduate studies
  • potential contribution of an ateneo graduate education to your profession and larger society.

Pinoy penguins! =)

May 6, 2003 - Categories: linux


From the RedHat 7.2 kernels the contains a few line of
code in the slab.c that does not allows more usage of memory. But Jan
Michael Ibanez has developed a Kludge for the SM56 Modem Driver that is
available with this Tar file.

Hey! I know Jan Michael Ibanez! w00t, karma++.
Visit his blog at .

JM Ibanez’ blog: Soul of a New Machine

May 6, 2003 - Categories: geek

JM Ibanez wrote in his blog:

I’ve just purchased a copy of Soul of A New Machine by Tracy Kidder, from Books For Less. AFAIK, it’s out-of-print, though I may be mistaken. Written circa-1981, it is a must-read for any self-respecting tech geek about the creation of a (good Lord, this is old) new 32-bit minicomputer. Hurray for me. =)

Amen to that! Soul of a New Machine is a terrific book. It’s a
gripping story of how a cool piece of hardware was built, and I loved
its vivid description of the computer industry back then – long hours,
high stress, great wizardry… Must read!


May 6, 2003 - Categories: cat

A pregnant brown and white cat persistently trills at the department
door. I wonder what she thinks; I wish I had food to give her…


May 6, 2003 - Categories: geek

Blurty seems to be another blogging/journalling site.

Application essay draft — education, reflection

May 6, 2003 - Categories: school

I love computer science. I want to help other people learn as much
about computer science as they can so that they can enjoy it as much
as I do. I want them to not only learn the tools and techniques we
teach in class, but also develop the discipline of thinking logically
and the ability to learn on their own.

In order to do that, it is not enough to know the subject well. I also
need to know how to teach effectively – how to engage and excite
students, how to draw out their questions and guide them to answers. I
want to be able to reach each student – not as a faceless, nameless
crowd I teach to, but as individuals from whom I can learn and with
whom I can share what I know.

It will not be easy. Not all my lessons will proceed according to plan.
Not all the examples I use will be clear and understandable. But
armed with a passiono for the field and a desire to help people learn
effectively, I hope to do the best I can.

I believe that formal training in education – from formulating lesson
plans to assessing student accomplishments – will help me become a
more effective teacher. With its emphasis on Ignatian ideals such as
“magis” and “cura personalis”, an Atenean education will help me learn
how to help prepare other people to be men and women for others.


planner-el is now apt-gettable!

May 7, 2003 - Categories: emacs

After I ran

dpkg-scanpackages . /dev/null | gzip -9c > Packages.gz
dpkg-scansources . /dev/null | gzip -9c > Sources.gz

in my ~/notebook/emacs/planner directory and added the following entries to `/etc/apt/sources.list’:

deb ./
deb-src ./

this worked:

apt-get update
apt-get install planner-el

Notebook cooling pads

May 7, 2003 - Categories: geek

The Mathematics of the 3D Rotation Matrix

May 8, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Diana Gruber

The set of special orthogonal matrices is a closed set. What does that mean, and why do we care?

A question like this is usually discussed only in an upper-division set theory class, which is a class for seniors majoring in math on the theoretical side. Not math for engineering or science, but math for its own sake. By the time you get to a set theory class, you have passed all the difficult classes. Geometry, trigonometry, calculus and differential equations are behind you. As Terry Pratchett might say, you have gone through mathematics and come out the other side.

In an upper division set theory class, you will consider a math fact such as “a set contains its elements”. This fact will be given a fancy name, like “The Baire Category Theorem”, and you will be asked to prove it. Since you are in the habit of following along (or you wouldn’t have made it all the way through mathematics and out the other side), you know exactly what to do. You pull out a sharp pencil, and using the precise notation you were given earlier, you work out the proof in 4 or 5 lines. You are filled with a feeling of peace and confidence, as the rightness of the proof is crystal clear. Then you put the pencil away. You have finished your homework before your coffee has grown cold.

Meanwhile, your friends across the hall in the Comp Sci department are receiving their homework assignment: Write an operating system. From scratch. Due Tuesday. And those guys wondered why I majored in math.

Hackers and Painters

May 9, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Anuerin Diaz posted an interesting link to PLUG:

The way to create something beautiful is often to make subtle tweaks to something that already exists, or to combine existing ideas in a slightly new way. This kind of work is hard to convey in a research paper.

Reminds me of open source.

More very interesting stuff in the article.

Incidentally, Paul Graham is a LISP guy. =)

Moved back home

May 9, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Papa picked me up yesterday and brought me home.

Catastrophix now has a nice, soft coat, and her eyes are starting to change color – bluish, I think.

Guess I’ll be moving back home next week. Still have to look for another place to stay; maybe the solo apartments near Miriam?

Good Design Comes From Bad Design

May 9, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

More Debian goodness

May 9, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized


May 10, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Developing apps for the Microsoft smartphone

I wonder if I can use it with Linux… Would the ppp trick described
at work? How would I get
information out of it?

Lextionary looks like a useful program, by the way.

Ephiphany Browser

May 11, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Richi Plana wrote in with this:

I just thought I’d share this with you, as well. I’ve always like Mozilla
and Galeon was even better for being lighter. I recently tried Epiphany
and it was like all my request wishes for Galeon had been granted. It
allows me to edit the toolbar and one can enter search engine queries on
the same textentry widget as the location box. They also have a neater (in
my opinion) bookmarking system (which I intend to use as the backend for
my URL database for my proposed blog system). With the advent of mozilla
1.4a, we now have smooth-scrolling and this allows me to easilly keep
track of my place in a page when I scroll down.

Debian users can apt-get install epiphany-browser.

Incidentally, Mozilla and Galeon let you search from the location box too… =)

Blogging ideas

May 11, 2003 - Categories: emacs

Richi Plana also wrote:

I’m thinking of starting my own blog. I intend to create a system which
will act as my organizer, contacts list, diary/journal/blog and infobase.
I intend to write it from scratch (as opposed to adopting an existing
project). I advocate code re-use just as much as the next guy, but there
are just some things which you want to do yourself (and no, it’s not the
NIH mentality).

The backend will be filesystem-based and I intend to use XML. I’m trying
to decide whether to write things in PHP or Python. I’m leaning more
towards PHP but Python’s cool, too. I’ll probably write it in PHP and I’ve
printed out all the PHP docs for XML handling.

I mentioned to you a long time ago how I wanted to move my web photo album
to a system with free-form output, right? Well, I was able to get one step
closer a few months back when I wrote the function to resize images and I
started that in PHP. May as well build from that.

Hmmmmmmmm. <looks at Emacs>

– Organizer? Check. (planner)
– Contacts? Check. (bbdb)
– Diary/journal/blog? Check. (planner + emacs-wiki)
– Infobase? Check. (planner + remember)
– Filesystem-based? Check. (text files)
– XML? Hmmm, maybe I can write an export function.


Emacs is the Way. ;)

Woke up late today

May 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Woke up past 7 today, am rushing off to school. Should’ve gotten out
of bed when Cat was trying to wake me up – she’s smarter than one
expects. In any case I hope the traffic won’t be bad, as I’ve never
been late. Good thing I prepared my lesson yesterday. We’ll be playing
tic-tac-toe to get ourselves used to multi-dimensional arrays.

Oh, watched Matrix Reloaded last night. That’s why. =)

May 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

debian emacs policy

May 16, 2003 - Categories: emacs

Peter S Galbraith suggests

(if (not (file-exists-p "/usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/emacs-goodies-el"))
     "Package emacs-goodies-el is removed but not purged.  Setup not done.")
    "/usr/share/" (symbol-name flavor) "/site-lisp/emacs-goodies-el"))
  (require 'emacs-goodies-el))

Ernest Baello

May 16, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Thought I’d look up one of my oldest friends today. From

Ernest Baello (Project Manager & Customer Contact)

(oooh, project manager and customer contact!)

Gosh, I miss him so.

Software archaeology

May 17, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Software resembles archaelogoy a little bit more…

From: Richard Stallman 
Subject: Re: Various simple.el patches
To: [email protected] (Kai Großjohann)
Date: Fri May 16 11:51:25 2003 +0800

    What do people think about a kill-whole-line function that does like
    C-a C-k C-k?  I think it might be useful.

I have nothing against adding such a function.  In fact, I think
we once had one somewhere.   There is no room to give it a key binding
by default.

Talked to a random stranger today

May 22, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

On the shuttle home from Libis, I chatted with Robert Rabago, an IBM
communications intern who had recognized me from the Computer Eyes
workshop. He’s from Asia-Pacific College, seems to be an easy-going
sort of person. Interested in conservation, so I should probably Cc

(Why was I in Libis? I’ve been helping out with the Computer Eyes
workshop – IBM’s two-week computer training for blind people. I’m
learning a lot of shortcuts, and it’s just like helping newbies who
still haven’t gotten the hang of Windows – great practice!)

Took some PersonalityQuizzes

May 22, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Hmmm. Picked them up from cyberlizard.

Dumb IT hiring practices

May 22, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Andy Sy posted this to the [email protected] mailing list:

‘Dumb IT hiring practices’

I’ve seen the situation described in this article oh-so-often
in real life.

‘The Reality/Salary Scale’

This situation described is surreal but I believe is what
really happens in the real world. Seems like the tradeoff of
having a high salary is you don’t get to do anything of real

Angrycoder is an MS-technology oriented site (barely any
mention of Open Source stuff) but visitors and writers
do not pull any punches when criticizing the technologies
they use. I knew there had to be people out there who depend
on M$ technologies but who know how to bitch about its
flaws (with velvet gloves off). The cartoons will make you
laugh and cry at the same time. :-D

Information and Communications Technology Certification Course from RAMTEC

May 23, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Here’s one of the flyers they were handing out:

The First On-Line IT Programmers Course
Based on the JITSE Curriculum of Japan
Japan Information Technology Standard Examinations

Information and


Registration going on!

For inquiries, please contact us at:

Direct lines: 717-0423/724-0526 - Telefax: 724-1473
E-mail address: [email protected] - Website:

Ramon L. Atienza Management and
Technology Enhancement Center
Mezzanine Floor, RRI Building, No. 881 S. Laurel Street,
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines

A somewhat longer brochure goes

The First On-Line IT Programmers Course
based on the Japan Information Technology
Standard Examination ( JITSE ) Curriculum

The Information and
Technology Certificate
Objectives of the ICTC Course

General Objective

   To acquire capabilities to utilize a basic knowledge of Information
   Technology based on the JITSE curriculum and to demonstrate
   these through the preparation and writing of creative, solutions-
   oriented programs based on systems specifications.

Specific Objectives

   1. To prepare participants for the JITSE examinations by enabling
      them to acquire and demonstrate the competencies required by
      JITSE standards for programmers.

   2. To assist participants to successfully pass the TESDA trade test
      for Computer Programmers by enabling them to acquire and
      demonstrate part of the minimum competencies required for

   3. To enable participants to acquire and demonstrate the RAMTEC
      standards for creative approaches to problem-solving and
      applications based on industry-validated requirements.

   4. To provide opportunities for participants for career development
      and commensurate employment through the acquisition of
      sectoral, national and global standards-based certification.
Course Management

Course Director: Flordeliz C. Garcie
Academic Consultant: Dr. Carmela S. Perez
On-Line Facility Consultant: Fr. Jose Mari B. Legaspi
Training Quality Supervisor: Rene I. Lamzon

Distinct Features of the Course

- Intensive IT Programmers Course based on the official Japan
  Information Technology Standards Examination ( JITSE ) curriculum

- Excellent preparation for the JITSE Examinations

- Managed by professional learning specialists, mentors and avisers

- Combines weekend face-to-face sessions with on-line sessions

- Utilizes e-learning groups as well as virtual learning networks

- Mentors to guide and monitor participants for all sessions

- Week-end group sessions devoted to tests and exercises

- On-line sessions guided by subject matter specialists and mentors

- Group interventions to develop on-line study habits and discipline

- Affordable registration fees with installment scheme; Also provides
  for discounts and refunds.
Schedule of Sessions

Course A: Intensive Course

An intensive 4-month course covering a total of 240 learning hours which
combines face to face sessions with guided on-line, self-study sessions.
Designed primarily for IT graduates and professionals from Metro Manila
who intend to take the JITSE Examinations on Sept. 2003 and Feb. 2004.

The first session of Course A will start on Friday, 2 May 2003
and end on 30 August. Advanced registration will start by Monday
31 March 2003.

Starting 20 October 2003, registration for Course A will be open
throughout the year with new classes to start every month.

Course content

The main course contents of Course A are structured along
eight ( 8 ) modules namely :

    1. Basic Theory of Computer Science
    2. Basic Computer System
    3. Network Technology
    4. Database Technology
    5. Systems Security
    6. Systems Development and Operations
    7. Operations ResearSch and Business Applications
    8. C - Programming

To register, please fill up Registration Form and fax to RAMTEC
(Fax No. 724-1473). For reservation and advanced payments, call
RAMTEC (Tel Nos. 717-0423 / 724-0626) for instructions.

The registration fee for the Course: P 20,000.00
Fees are inclusive of tuition, one set ( 5 vols) of JITSE review
materials, exercise book, access card and writing materials.

Discounts for Early Registration
Registration will start on Monday, 31 March 2003. Discounts will be
given to the first 30 enrollees who will register anytime from March 31
to 23 April 2003.

Installment Payment Scheme
RAMTEC is offering an Installment Payment Scheme which will be
open to all course participants. For details and procedures, please
contact RAMTEC.

RAMTEC will refund the amount of P4,500.00 for all course
participants who will successfully pass the JITSE Examinations to
be given on September 2003 and February 2004.

A refund of P2,000.00 will also be given to all course participants
who will take and pass the TESDA trade test for IT Programmers.
Contact us at:

Mezzanine Floor, RRI Building
No. 881 S. Laurel Street, Mandaluyong City
Metro Manila, Philippines

717-0423 * 724-0626


[email protected]


A Technology Education Venture by

Ramon L. Atienza Management
and Technology Enhancement Center

They have a scholarship exam tomorrow.


May 23, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

– is a mid-sized open source community focused

on building better tools for collaborative software development.

– You will not find thousands of unrelated projects here: every

project fits into the Tigris vision.

– You will not find dead projects here: every project is welcomed

into the community with a commitment to see it through and active
developers cycle among related projects.

– is hosted by CollabNet, but the Tigris vision is one

for the entire open source movement and one that has attracted
senior open source developers from many organizations.

June 19 – Sir Olpoc’s birthday

May 23, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized


Write Sherry Rodulfo about June 2 for IT week

May 23, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Technology Awareness Week
Internet and Web Technology

Invited Microsoft for ASP.NET, and WSI for graphics, and Macromedia
MX, and e-commerce.

1 and 1/2.

Notes on taking exams

May 23, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

E-mail Flordeliz C. Garcia (RAMTEC) helpful notes on taking exams so that their students won’t freak out when taking the JITSE.

Student congress

May 23, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Alternative user interfaces?

  • Human computer interaction


  • Why do certification?

Making the most of your computer science education

Web-based modules for CS21A

May 23, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

You know what would be nice? A way to see who else is on the same
page. Or a threaded forum on each page. I need a CMS that lets me do

Nearly forgot about !

May 23, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized is a fantastic resource. Try – I ran across it a long time ago, but haven’t been back in a while.

September 5 – 6, student congress, national IT

Core servlets and Java Server Pages

May 26, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Free book download at . Thanks to Dominique Cimafranca for the link.

Friends I need to get back in touch with

May 26, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

– Richi Plana (I know where you are; I just haven’t gotten around to writing. )
– Ernest Baello III (Seems to have vanished off the Net. Anyone have any clues?)
– Kendra Castillo (Just haven’t talked to her in a while)
– Jijo Sevilla (Still owe you!)

and a number of other people whom I am ashamed to admit I have neglected. Pfft.

cl-screamer: Common Lisp package for nondeterministic programming

May 27, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Now there’s a paradigm shift – nondeterministic programming… ;)

Linux Gazette 90: Software development for the Zaurus

May 27, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Doc Mana might be interested in the 90th issue of the Linux Gazette
– there’s an article on software development for the Sharp Zaurus
SL-5500 Linux PDA.

New e-mail addresses

May 27, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

s[email protected] is still my main address, but I am now reachable via [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Blog: Dean Michael Berris –

May 27, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Another blogger identified. =)

May 30, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

“Business Is Toying With a Web Tool”

May 30, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Wiki, Web collaboration software used by informal online groups,
is taking hold in the business realm. More useful for
collaboration than email or face-to-face communication, wiki
pages are also a cheap and easy alternative to full-blown …

I love wikis.

“Wear Down Opposition”

May 30, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Some academics subscribe to the theory that the move toward
wearable technology is part of an evolutionary trend stretching
back more than seven centuries. In the past few months, Motorola
and other companies have unveiled a plethora of wearable …

“From PlayStation to Supercomputer for $50,000”

May 30, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

A supercomputer that may be able to perform a half-trillion
operations per second has been built out of 70 Sony PlayStation 2
consoles for around $50,000 by researchers at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s National Center for Supercomputing …

This is probably why Dr. Rodrigo wants to look into that… =)

‘Dumb IT hiring practices’

May 30, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Light readings on the relational model

May 30, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Using 802.11b to find out where you are

May 30, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Learning Gnus

May 30, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

CS161 William

May 31, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

CS161 CS becomes 162, which is a combination of CS161 and systems
programming. Change of textbook back to Tanenbaum. Lab class.
CS162a&b. We’re going to merge the two classes into a 6-unit lecture
and lab course.

Still going to require the two major projects in OS. The survey will
stay, and the benchmarking will also stay, just to give them an idea
of what the market holds for you guys. The systems programming class
will still cover the same topics, but more emphasis on security and
network programming. The OS installation part has been moved to the
main class. More tools – lex and yacc.

Pen tablet that can run Linux

May 31, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Someone on PLUG said that the Fujitsu Stylistic 1000 is a “dirt-cheap”
pen tablet that can run Linux, and that too many of them are on eBay.

List of UML products

May 31, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Debian-related HOWTOs

May 31, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Need to make a list of things I’d like

May 31, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

– Twiddler
– other keyboards
– head-mounted device

Codestriker debs

May 31, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Codestriker is a web-based collaborative code review tool.

deb sid main
deb-src sid main

Stuff I need to take care of

May 31, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

– Mindstorms? Mostly Stanley
– Alternative user interfaces: order my keyboards and HMDs, and think of good research projects

Oooh! DoubleTalk speech synthesizer!

Writing special

embedded systems courses? operating systems.


May 31, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

– problem-based learning
– case-based learning
– goal-based scenarios
CAI: Output should be a constructivist module

Logging gnus messages

May 31, 2003 - Categories: emacs
(defun message-to-diary ()
  (make-diary-entry (concat
		     (calendar-date-string (calendar-current-date) t)
		     (if (message-fetch-field "newsgroups")
			 (concat " Sent news To: " (message-fetch-field "newsgroups"))
		       (concat " Sent mail To: " (message-fetch-field "to")))
		     " Subject: \"" (message-fetch-field "subject") "\""
		     " Message-ID: " (message-fetch-field "message-id"))))
(add-hook 'message-sent-hook 'message-to-diary)

Message to planner

May 31, 2003 - Categories: emacs
(defun message-to-planner ()
  "Logs this message to the News and Mail section of today's planner file."
    (let ((string (concat
             (format-time-string "%R")
             " | " (if (message-fetch-field "newsgroups")
                       (concat " News " (message-fetch-field "newsgroups"))
                     (concat " Mail " (message-fetch-field "to")))
             " | Subject: \"" (message-fetch-field "subject") "\""
             " | Message-ID: " (message-fetch-field "message-id")
      (planner-seek-to-first "News and Mail")
      (insert string))))

(add-hook 'message-sent-hook 'message-to-planner)

pda dev class

May 31, 2003 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I need to look into dualbooting iPAQs so that Stanley and I can share the iPAQs. We’ll need high-capacity CompactFlash cards.


May 31, 2003 - Categories: emacs

Strange, the hook is locally set to (gnus-agent-possibly-do-gcc t), but message-to-planner gets called.

Xemacs text menus?

May 31, 2003 - Categories: emacs

Does XEmacs even have text menu support? I’m looking for something like tmm.