April 2005

Went to bars

April 1, 2005 - Categories: party

<gasp> End of the world, that.

Ended up going with my sister, my godfather and his nephew. We went to the Absolut party in Rockwell, where I ran into an old friend from the Calf Upstairs. Then we went to Cafe Havana, and I seriously, seriously missed dancing.

Interesting. It's not as alien as it used to be.

No, I didn't drink anything.

ネコはへいの割れ目を通り抜けた。 The cat went through a gap in the fence.

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Fantastic explanation of cost of software

April 1, 2005 - Categories: opensource

From We Pledge Allegiance to the Penguin:

"Every license for Office plus Windows in Brazil - a country in which 22 million people are starving - means we have to export 60 sacks of soybeans," says Marcelo D'Elia Branco, coordinator of the country's Free Software Project and liaison between the open source community and the national government, now headed by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. "For the right to use one copy of Office plus Windows for one year or a year and a half, until the next upgrade, we have to till the earth, plant, harvest, and export to the international markets that much soy. When I explain this to farmers, they go nuts."

Now _that's_ a fantastic way to make the cost of software really visible to people. Translate it into tangible stuff!

その猫は私のそばで寝るのが好きだ。 The cat likes to sleep beside me.

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Dr. Oposa’s party

April 2, 2005 - Categories: party

Went to Dr. Oposa's 81st birthday party last night. I was surprised to find Jess there. Turns out Dr. Oposa's her grandfather. Small world, isn't it?

Dr. Oposa had some dance instructors over. Had tons of fun ballroom dancing, particularly doing the swing. I love dancing. =)

彼女の猫、また四匹も産んだんだ。 Her cat had another four kittens.

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Major website revamp

April 2, 2005 - Categories: emacs

I changed my website layout and added blurbs about Planner and some of my other pages. =) It's rather cute now. It should read better than the previous design did in non-CSS browsers like w3m, links and lynx.

彼はとても満足そうに見える。 He looks like a cat that ate the canary.

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Today: making the pitch

April 3, 2005 - Categories: business

This morning, I attended a PESO seminar on entrepreneurship. This morning's seminar was about making a good pitch to investors. The speakers were fantastic, and

Maoi Arroyo was initially worried that people would be too afraid of public speaking to volunteer for the pitch contest, but there were plenty of people willing to give it a shot. I won second place with a pitch about "Get Mad", my anger management business idea. A number of people approached me after the seminar to tell me I made a good pitch and the idea's really interesting. =)

Still, that's not the only kind of pitch I need to be able to make. know I can sell _ideas._ I want to learn how to recognize good opportunities and figure out what I need to take advantage of them; that way, I can help other people create and match opportunities.

Joey Gurango had an excellent point. If I'm going to pitch to venture capitalists, I need to be able to think from the investor's point of view. I need to be able to tell people how much I need and why I need it, what kind of profit people can look forward to, what their exit strategy is...

Mmm. More things to learn.

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Afternoon with Engels and Magie

April 3, 2005 - Categories: linux, opensource

I'll be teaching a Linux Express course at http://www.bluepoint.com.ph from April 11 to 22. I had fun chatting with Engels and Magie Antonio. Kim and Mark will also be teaching courses soon; coolness...

うちの猫は大変海苔が好きである。 Our cat is very fond of sea weeds.

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Just got back from a trip to Tagaytay

April 3, 2005 - Categories: Uncategorized

We went to Tagaytay for the afternoon so that the dogs could swim in the lake around Taal Volcano. Kathy pitched Patch straight into the water so that he could learn how to swim. Although the initial shock of cold water drove Patch quickly out, he soon discovered that he couldn't resist his breed's love of water and ran back in. Lucas had a ball, too.

While the two dogs gamboled in the lake with my sister watching over them, my mother read "The Sound Of Paper" and my dad took pictures of the brightly-colored yachts racing. I settled back with a newly-bought sketchpad and a just-sharpened pencil. Following my desire to become a renaissance girl (hah! just because I'm into computers doesn't mean I'm into only computers!), I decided to play around with art today. After a few preliminary sketches of odd things like boats, my toes, and a very wet Patch (not all together, thank goodness!), I rediscovered my sense of shading in a pencil-shaded sketch of Kathy. I smudged it with a paper napkin and it came out nicely, although I couldn't quite get her eyes right. After that, I used crayons to draw a cat eyeing a fishbowl. Maybe there's hope for me yet...

On the way back, we heard a loud crash from the back of the van. The cooler had gotten dislodged, and Lucas poked his still-wet head around our seat. He refused to go back. Kathy got up to move the cooler back and secure it. As soon as her back was turned, though, Lucas clambered into the seat! Spoiled dog! Zigzags are even less fun with a large, _wet_ dog who uses you to brace against the twists and turns. We set up the jumpseat, but despite all my pushing, he refused to move. I ended up transferring there instead. Kathy spent the rest of the return trip in the back seat and I spent it awkwardly sleeping on the jumpseat, while Lucas enjoyed the trip stretched out on the main seats. Really, that dog...

実はわたしの猫ははずかしがりやなのです。 The fact is that my cat is shy.

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About procrastination

April 5, 2005 - Categories: emacs, productivity

From http://www.dictionary.com :

(v. intr.) To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.
(v. tr.) To postpone or delay needlessly.
Procrastination might not be the best word to advertise so prominently on the wikiblog of personal information management software maintainer, what with all its negative connotations. After all, don't we want software to help us be more productive, not less?

So what's with planned procrastination, anyway? I renamed my blog from the informative-but-boring "sacha chua - wiki" to the huh?-and-slightly-less-boring "planned procrastination" on a whim. I wanted to mention some kind of planning, but I didn't want to project myself as some kind of productivity guru. At least, not yet.

Besides, what's wrong with the word "procrastination"? I joke about PlannerMode being the best procrastination tool I've ever used. When I think about it, though, that's why I like it so much. Planner doesn't force a particular way of thinking on me. It doesn't bury me under a list of urgent TODOs that must! be! done! today! Planner simply lets me get things out of my head so that I can rest assured knowing that things I plan to do someday won't slip through the cracks of my memory.

Sure, a lot of self-help books tell you to stop procrastinating and do things now. I might be one of the rare people not bothered by the idea that I procrastinate. I keep ideas simmering on the backburner, ready for lazy afternoons or moments of inspiration in the bath. My procrastination is a gleeful exercise of power over my life, making space for other unplanned things. I don't mind putting things off until tomorrow if there are unexpectedly wonderful things going on today. =)

Note that this doesn't mean I'll put off doing things until the absolute last minute. In fact, I enjoy doing things with time limits as soon as I can, and I often submitted programming assignments soon after they were given. I once majorly freaked out when one of my group projects was delayed not because of my part (which I had finished weeks before) but because the other group members hadn't even started on their documentation until the day before (or something like that)...

For me, procrastination is simply the ability to choose what I'd like to work on today, knowing that I can work on other things tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. It's not perfect, but it does give me a happy feeling about how much I accomplish each day and excitement about what I'm going to do tomorrow.

I'm looking for a stronger title. "productively procrastinating"? "structured procrastination"? Something that doesn't mention procrastinating but still manages to express this idea? =) Any suggestions?

この猫はネズミを追いかけない。 This cat doesn't chase rats.

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Chat with Sean

April 5, 2005 - Categories: barkada, friends

I finally managed to have dinner with Sean earlier. It turns out he wasn't avoiding me (heaven forbid). He had just been just buried under work, having recently had his workday extended by an hour or so. Dinner out was a welcome break for him, and we spent a few hours leisurely chatting over soup and pasta at Almon Marina. I showed him my feeble attempts at sketching and he gave me a few tips on facial expressions. We chatted about movies and retrogaming, too. (No, we didn't mention the weather at all.)

We headed over to Bizu for dessert, where we ran into Aaron—an old college friend I hadn't seen in ages. It was a lot of fun chatting with Aaron, and it looks like business is treating him very well despite the demanding schedule. He juggles and is looking forward to our show. =) As for me—the low-sugar chocolates and the positively decadent chocolate souffle sent me into seventh heaven. I can't recommend that place enough.

The evening was great fun, and I look forward to meeting Sean and our other friends soon. It's funny... I really _do_ think meeting some people would be more interesting than watching TV—or maybe even working with the computer. Oooh, my hidden extrovert is showing... ;)

イヌとは対照的に、ネコはごく最近になって飼い慣らされたものである。 In contrast to the dog, the cat has become domesticated only in recent times.

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Horrible customer service

April 5, 2005 - Categories: business

I took a taxi just to make it to my 4:00 appointment at DermLink, a small dermatology clinic along Arnaiz Ave. near Park Square 1. I made it there by 4:05. The receptionist retrieved my record, which indeed had "Tuesday 4:00" written on it. However, there was no available slot, so they asked me to wait.

After finishing an entire magazine (cover to cover, including articles on swimsuits and makeup and all of these things I'd ordinarily not even glance at) and sketching a stool (complete with shadows from two light sources), I looked up at the clock. Thirty minutes had passed without a word, an apology, or even an estimate of how much longer I would need to wait.

Eventually the middle bay cleared and I was asked to recline on the elevated bed. I had scarcely settled in when the assistant was told to transfer the person in the far bay to the bed I was in the process of occupying, so I put my glasses back on, gathered my things, and moved to the next bay.

As the assistant smeared cream on my face and wiped it off with a sponge, she kept asking me: "Are your meds complete?" It took me a while to realize that she was asking about my medication. I said yes. Not that I would know if it was complete or not, but hey, we sat through the song-and-dance yesterday and my mom bought whatever the dermatologist was pushing. A short while later, she (or another assistant) asked again, "Are your meds complete?" I was starting to get really annoyed about the hard sell, but I decided that it wouldn't be wise to piss off people who are working on your face.

So I patiently waited... and waited... and waited... I even fell asleep at some point. When I woke up, I heard the whir of machinery from the next unit. After a short pause, I heard the dermatologist's voice from the unit near the door, giving another consultation. It was probably the exact pitch she'd used on us last week; no questions, but rather just a high-speed rattling-off of things one needs to buy.

I turned my head and affixed the assistant with an impatient glare. That netted me nothing more than a perfunctory "Please wait a while." I tried to settle back down, but I simply couldn't stand that kind of service. I got up, pulled the towel headband off my hair, and stormed off, telling them I really couldn't wait any longer and that their customer service could _really_ be improved. Then I left. Looking back, I wish I'd said something stronger, but disappointment choked my voice and I still haven't gotten over that innate dislike of making a scene.

I stalked through Glorietta searching for some place that would make me feel like they valued my business. I was annoyed. No, I was more than annoyed—I was aggravated. I felt terrible wasting all that time at DermLink. I thought going to a regular dermatologist would be better than just going to a skin clinic and having a facial, but that place just sucked. This wasn't the first time I'd had to wait without explanation, and I should've clued in that first day and refused to go for any more treatment there. Sheesh.

I ended up going for a really painful facial at Let's Face It, but at least people there smiled, attended to me promptly, and explained what they were doing.

If I'm going to go for this entire dermatology thing, I'd like to have a dermatologist who'll ask me about what I eat and how I live; who'll find a way for me to keep eating chocolate, who'll tell me what to do when I have pimples the day before I expect pictures to be taken... If I can't have that, then I'd rather not have clear skin than put up with customer service as bad as DermLink's.

Moral lesson: Customer service is very important. Keep your customers in the loop. Don't let them feel neglected. Care about them; make them feel special instead of just another source of income for you.


I was thinking of heading back to DermLink and really giving them a piece of my mind, but then I passed by National Bookstore and I got sucked in. Still.

Oh, well. Good lesson in how personally annoying bad service can be.

この写真の猫を見かけたら、お電話ください。 Please call us when you see the cat in this picture.

Warren also grips:

I don't think companies in Manila understand the meaning of "customer service". A very good example is PLDT :). Another one is one of the biggest bank in Manila; METROBANK. They have like 40 clients in queue and they only have 1 teller serving them. My GOD!!! I don't know where the Managers/Supervisors of these organizations obtained their degree.

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PIM love

April 6, 2005 - Categories: productivity

I am completely in love with my latest indispensable personal information management tool:

A 3x5 deck of plain (unruled) index cards.

Seriously. A 3x5 deck of plain index cards and a writing implement like a black gel pen, a black 0.5 Pilot Hi-Techpoint (which just gives me a great feeling) or a Mongol #2 pencil is my geek survival kit.


I can write temporary notes on index cards. It's random-access, so I can flip through things. The plastic neatly holds business cards and folded pieces of paper. If I need to give people information, I can write on new 3x5 cards and give the cards to them—they're tougher than paper, so they won't get lost or crumpled as easily.

I lurv my index cards.

E-Mail to plug's chit-chat list

その猫はもう少しでトラックにひかれそうになった。 The cat came near being run over by a truck.

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Open source licenses

April 6, 2005 - Categories: opensource

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/brian.html has a good explanation of the differences between popular open source licenses.

その少年たちはかわいい猫と一緒に2人きりで暮らしていた。 The two boys lived alone with a lovely cat.

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Title suggestions

April 6, 2005 - Categories: emacs

From Jan Alonzo:

I think the reason why I mentioned "Planning the Unplanned" is because we plan (and prioritize) the stuff we want to do for the day, analyse it, and see how much "procrastination time" we have for that day. By looking at your tasks, you kinda think "Oh I've got a bit of _space_ here, let's read some email. That sort of thing. Well, at least, that's how I think anyway :-).

From Clair:

Hehehe. M-x plan. I like it as a title for your blog. Very appropriate :D

From Gerd Flaig:

How do you like the term 'agile planning'?

From Paul Lussier:

Just read your blog on procrastination. It might amuse you to know that I coined the term (with my best friend Celeste) "Productive Procrastination" over 15 years ago! :)

I'm sure we weren't the first to come up with, what with me being one of the wholly most un-original people on this planet. But Celeste and I would constantly "help" each other "productively procrastinate" on a regular basis. The definition of "Productive Procrastination" is:

The avoidance of doing something mostly uninteresting by doing something else which also legitimately needs to be accomplished, but probably not nearly as urgently as that task which you are attempting to avoid.

Often times this would be in the form of studying for one class in order to avoid studying for another. Or working on a CS project which was due soon, but not nearly as soon as the impending calculus exam :) Just today infact, I avoided building 2 Windows laptops by figuring out how to extend planner! I'm sure you get the point...

I've recently (in the past year or so) come across another term for my "Productive Procrastination":

Shaving the Yak

as defined here:


So, you have my vote in favor of using "Productive Procrastination" as your wiki title :)

Hey, that sounds like structured procrastination, mentioned by an essay I read a year ago or so...

Mmkay, let's try "productively procrastinating". (Title of the day!)

猫は捕らえたネズミを引き裂き始めた。 The cat began to tear at the mouse it caught.

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I’m on Yahoo 360

April 7, 2005 - Categories: social

http://360.yahoo.com is yet another social networking service, this time from Yahoo. I'd rather not spam everyone I know (we're all on far too many social networks as it were), so... anyone who wants to link up can just invite me or e-mail me or use the ever-so-handy comment form below. =)

猫は小鳥に忍び寄った。 The cat crept toward the bird.

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Adphoto notes

April 7, 2005 - Categories: adphoto
  • 1. What must a sales person be, have, know or learn to be effective in sales?
  • 2. Difference between sales and marketing functions; sales vs sales management
  • presentable; pleasing personality; approachable
  • communications: spoken, written English and Tagalog; negotiation; good listener; presentation skills; computer literacy/savvy
  • ethics
  • training: product knowledge: equipment, services, photographers' skills and expertise; sales, presentation skills
  • job description
  • familiarization with company (people, facilities, policies, organization structure, presentation/sales kits (images, spiel/script)
  • clients: know clients and their requirements; who? territorial assignments
  • pricing
  • competitors
  • performance
  • employment contracts

training: when?

  • as soon as hired
  • continuing training
  • periodic

lack of training

  • not productive
  • short of knowledge
  • lack of confidence
  • wrong information
  • not professional
  • train, keep
  • train, lose
  • not train, keep
  • not train, lose XX

Why do clients get Adphoto?

  • quality of work
  • support service
  • good food
  • Lucas
  • fast delivery
  • high tech
  • good reputation
  • facilities
  • we go to them

what do we need to train: (materials)

  • portfolios
  • list of equipment and usage
  • photographers' profiles
  • list of clients
  • pricing guidelines / rate sheets / stock photos / equipment rental / studio rentals
  • company policies
  • sales policies
  • job descriptions
  • reports / forms / analysis: billing (per qtr, per client, per ...), collection, cost estimate, job, sched, delivery receipt. frequency, volume, value.
  • workflow
  • corporate profile
  • services
  • supplies
  • performance evaluation
  • advertising and promo materials
  • employment contracts


  • 1. prepare a training manual
  • 2. prepare a training program
  • 3. update old employees' employment contracts, job description
  • 4. look for someone to handle sales training

「ええ、かわいい、ちいさな、ふわふわしたねこですよ」年をとったおばあさんが言いました。 "Yes, a sweet little fluffy cat" said the very old woman.

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Philippine Open Source Conference 2005: possible talk on “Linux in Your Pocket”?

April 8, 2005 - Categories: opensource

I couldn't help but respond to the Philippine Open Source Conference 2005 thread on PLUG when I saw the posts mentioning embedded Linux. It's... amazing, really, to see how people are interested in it. =) So I went on a trip down memory lane...

I can speak on developing for the iPAQ; my code is still in the bootloader, and I played around with programming small apps for it. (You can get a small CGI-capable web server or Python and have tons of fun hacking in class.) I haven't touched it in three years, though. It's been a while. If someone has made a more recent contribution, I'd gladly step aside. Besides, (cross my fingers!) I may be out of the country by the time of the conference. Still, if I'm in the country and no one else is up for it, then I can talk about having Linux in Your Pocket.

* * * flashback * * *

You know, that was the title of my _very_ first Linux-related talk at Linux10 Philippines in 2001... I presented to just _one_ person, as he was the only one in the room at the time my talk was supposed to start. He was an IT journalist, so it wasn't totally wasted. After the talk, I peeked out and found all these people who apparently had wanted to hear the talk, but were too shy to go in while I was presenting...

Incidentally, Linux on the iPAQ was _the_ thing that got me into development. My first public CVS access, my first instance of getting sent hardware (Jamey Hicks totally rocks)...

I'm going to stop now before I get all misty-eyed.

猫は枝の間に隠れた。 The cat hid among the branches.

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World domination

April 8, 2005 - Categories: Uncategorized

Zakame said on PLUG:

Same here. Personally I was amused at the sight of them: actually, I was more interested on the (pleasant sight of the) pretty girls inviting everyone to sign up to MSDN. I did sign up (which shows my soft spot ;p), and I was expecting the reply mail confirming it. It never came. :-/

Hmmm. Maybe I should go in my Japanese schoolgirl outfit (or my kimono, or some other costume ;) ) and convince people to try out Emacs.

World domination one geek at a time! Mwahahahahahaha!

E-Mail to Philippine Linux Users' Group Mailing List

猫が丸くなって寝ていた。 The cat was curled up asleep.

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A fun-filled day: part 1. Lunch with Nishida

April 9, 2005 - Categories: japanese

My day started with lunch with Nishida, a Japanese businessman setting up the Philippine subsidiary of MSI Corporation. MSI was my host company during my internship, and I'm greatly obliged to them for the opportunity to see how the Japanese software industry worked. I was nervously thinking of what they might want assistance with, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this was a social call. We met at the lobby of Shangri-la Makati and walked to Zen for (unsurprisingly) a Japanese lunch.

I had fun chatting with him in Japanese. He said he must've been to all the Japanese restaurants in the area, and he proceeded to list them. They were just imitations, he said, but they were much cheaper than food in Japan so he wasn't unhappy. He had some problems figuring out the bento box system at Zen, so I tried to explain how it worked, and I also asked for the Japanese menu. (Good thing my mom and I peeked at the Japanese menu a week or two ago!)

We then chatted about life in a foreign country. I told him how I'd quickly made friends through free conversations with volunteers, technical conferences, and nomikais (informal get-togethers). He's been in the Philippines for over seven months but has been having problems making Filipino friends. Although he went to a few karaoke bars (you know the Japanese and their karaoke), he didn't really get to know people there. As he said, women there just hit on you because they want to marry a Japanese guy. I laughed and told him I have a wonderful boyfriend; he doesn't need to worry about me. He has a Filipina assistant who sometimes teaches him about Filipino culture (what to do and what not to do), but they can't hang out because they work together. All the other people he knows are Japanese, so they chat in Japanese. As a result, he doesn't really feel comfortable chatting in English.

Of course, I offered to switch to English so that he could practice. He declined, saying he was just so relieved to find a Filipino who can talk to him in Japanese. I told him a lot of people learn Japanese because of anime, and offered to help him look for friendship circles and other things like that.

We also chatted about cultural misadventures. Food was, as always, a source of great humor, from balut (which we both can't stand) to chicharon (which he found absolutely horrific—how can anyone eat that sort of stuff? I just grin). He told me about this morning's phone call. When he called up the house to confirm our lunch, of course he asked for "Chua-san"—I always used my last name in Japan, following convention. My dad answered the phone, and it took some back-and-forth and a bit of panicking on Nishida's end before my dad realized the call was for me. Heh. That's also why I tend to call guys by their first names instead of by their last names, even if that _is_ their nickname...

(You can ask Ernest about the very first time I called him up. See, his nickname was not only "Baello" (his last name), but he also had the same name as his father_, so I couldn't just ask for "Ernest"... To be safe, I specified his _full_ name instead. That made his mom laugh.)

Anyway. We'll take care of introducing Nishida to some other people and taking him out to see some places; it's the least I can do to repay my obligations to the volunteers who helped me so much in Japan. I wish Dominique was there. They'd probably have gotten along very well. My mom might have fun chatting with him, too; she'll know how to make him feel relaxed. Tita Raquel, definitely. I wonder who else among our friends can help the poor guy... =)

「それではおまえにねこを一匹とってきてあげよう」と、おじいさんはいいました。 "I will get you a cat, my dear," said the very old man.

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A fun-filled day: part 2. Pottery lessons

April 9, 2005 - Categories: cat

I went for my first pottery lesson today! I joined my mom for pottery lessons at the Pettyjohn-Mendoza pottery studio in Greenbelt. Wonderful, wonderful people. While I learned how to shape clay, I had a lot of fun chatting with the Pettyjohns.

I made two cats: Scaredy-cat and Catnap. I formed Scaredy-cat by pinching out a shape As for Catnap, well... I just smoothed away stuff that didn't look like a cat. It wasn't perfect, but it looked somewhat recognizable. I like clay more than I like pencil. I have a hard time sketching the shape of a cat in pencil, but I remember what a cat feels like.

I also made a coil pot, a surfer, and a weird eye bowl.

Maybe I'll keep Scaredy-cat and Catnap. We'll check next week when the pieces are a bit drier. I'll bring a camera next time so that you can see them. =)

猫は捕らえたネズミを引き裂き始めた。 The cat began to tear at the mouse it caught.

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A fun-filled day: part 3. At Pipers

April 9, 2005 - Categories: family

My mom and I are out clubbing.


Well, we're at Pipers on C. Palanca St. in Ayala, and we're waiting for the stand-up comedy show to start. If it's nice, I'm probably going to look into attending a comedy workshop. Good for public speaking practice. ;)

猫は椅子の上にいますか、椅子の下にいますか。 Is the cat on the chair or under the chair?

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Lightning completion and highlight completion

April 10, 2005 - Categories: emacs

A stray mention in #emacs led me to http://www.math.washington.edu/~palmieri/Emacs/ , which has Emacs Lisp code for lightning completion and highlight completion. Both are pretty interesting, and I wonder how I can put them to good use. Hmmm...

私はこの猫の世話をしなければならない。 I have to look after this cat.

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Fixed the network connection

April 11, 2005 - Categories: adphoto

Celine was having terrible problems with her network connection. Initially I thought it was because Quickbooks couldn't handle the cascaded switch configuration, but with packet loss of over 50% and only two hosts connected to the switch, it didn't seem to be a resource problem. The high packet loss meant that Quickbooks was practically unusable. When I took my laptop down to the lobby for diagnostics, I couldn't even ping the server. The tester lit up the lines in the right order, although one of the cables didn't have a working pin 1.

After some poking around, I threw my hands up and crimped one of the spare cables according to the standards. (Good thing we had spares!) Lo and behold! It worked! I should leave a wiring diagram in Jun's networking toolbox.

Does anyone have a 110 punch tool for terminating wall mounts? I expected the wall mounts to be self-terminating like the patch panels in the dorm, but that wasn't the case. PC Express carries wall mounts, but not the tool for terminating them—go figure!

おしゃべりの人は、いつもの秘密をばくろしってえは他人の利が愛を冒している。 A talkative person is always letting the cat out of the bag and jeopardizing the interests of others.

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Open source and developers

April 12, 2005 - Categories: opensource

raichu wrote on clair's blog:

and why code based on your imagination when you can rip off someone else's code for free (free as in free beer)?

I code because I want to. Often, there simply isn't anything else out there that does exactly what I want, or it'll be too much trouble sifting through thousands of applications to find that one perfect match. I code for fun, to explore my thoughts and to write them down in a form computers and people can understand.

Instead of locking up the source code beyond customization or forcing me to rewrite everything from scratch, open source gives me a fantastic jumping-off point for my own applications. Open source helps me be more creative by letting me quickly get to the interesting part, playing with concepts without having to write my own framework or scaffolding. At the same time, reading other people's code teaches me so much about how people solve similar problems and use available tools. Their code inspires me to do better.

Open source development is like standing on the shoulders of giants, and that's one of the reasons why I'm so thankful to the open source community for all the help they've given me over the years.

彼らは猫が木に登っているのを見た。 They saw a cat climbing up the tree.

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Chat with Ranulf

April 13, 2005 - Categories: barkada, friends

I had a nice long chat with Ranulf Goss about life, the universe, and everything. I think it's absolutely wonderful that he wants to inspire people to go into independent game development here in the Philippines, and I wish him lots of luck. I'm looking forward to our Subic trip this weekend, too! =)

私たちはその猫をミミとなずけた。 We named the cat Mimi.

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Keeping it Personal

April 13, 2005 - Categories: emacs, organizer, productivity
Update 2013-04-28: Fixed Japanese encoding error by re-copying from examples. http://www.douglasjohnston.net/weblog/archives/2005/04/09/keeping-personal/ is an insightful blog post on personalizing a planner. It inspires me to do something similar with my Planner. =) 彼は猫のように四つんばいにはった. He crept on all fours like a cat. On Technorati: ,

Went to Pisay

April 13, 2005 - Categories: Uncategorized

I went to Philippine Science High School to register for the national alumni association and designate a proxy for the elections on Saturday. I'll be in Subic with Ranulf and a few other friends, so I gave Ma'am Chupungco proxy powers. Although Aris Roberto does not enjoy universal confidence, I'm glad that at least he cares about these issues enough to raise our awareness—and he did manage to get several of us batch 99ers out of the woodwork. There's something to be said about that.

猫がのびをした。 The cat arched its back and stretched.

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April 13, 2005 - Categories: -Uncategorized

flpsed is a WYSIWYG Postscript editor. To edit pdfs, install xpdf, then: ps2pdf, flpsed, pdftops. Interesting...

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On organization

April 14, 2005 - Categories: emacs, organization, planner

joroxx said:

oh man, how do you keep a life so organized? ya know i love emacs and lisp but i'm bogging down on planner. :-(

i guess i like spontainity and surprises! :-)

Some people look at my website and think I'm organized. I have no idea what gives them that impression. Maybe it's the color-coded task list. Yes, yes, that must be it.

Regular readers will notice, however, that I procrastinate as much as anyone else. Just check my website tomorrow and see which tasks still aren't done. ;) In fact, if you look at the linked pages, you'll find lots of tasks I haven't even scheduled.

I guess I procrastinate in an organized manner. ;) Planner lets me do that. It doesn't guilt-trip me into productivity or nag me to do things. Rather, it helps me keep track of the things I'd like to eventually get around to doing, and it occasionally reminds me that I should do some of those things soon.

Planner makes working fun. I love seeing crossed-off tasks on my Planner. When I break things down into tiny little pieces and cross them off my list, it feels good. On the other hand, if I don't manage to cross off anything on my list, that means I had either made progress on at least one task or had fun doing something unexpected. <grin>

I love surprises, too. Today I had lunch with Clair and Madj at Greenbelt. Totally unplanned—actually, I was just planning to sleep in—but totally, totally fun. Then my mom and I went to a wedding in Alabang, and that was surprisingly wonderful and sweet... =)

E-Mail from Richi's server

秘密はもうすっかり知れ渡っているよ。 The cat is well out of the bag.

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Met with Aristotle Isais

April 15, 2005 - Categories: friends

I hate commuting. I spent an hour in a bus that crawled through Makati and eventually broke down before the Makati Stock Exchange. Instead of hiking all the way to the MRT destination or hopping onto another agonizingly slow bus, I decided to take a taxi. Expensive, but more comfortable. I don't really trust taxis, though. Good thing this one was honest.

Because of that transportation mishap (I really thought I could take the bus), I ended up being slightly late. Good thing I called their landline, as Aris left his phone at home.

Might help him. Would rather his company found a way to keep the schedule or work with the constraints, but if push comes to shove, I'll help him out because he's my friend. =)

テーブルの下には黒猫がいた。 Under the table was a black cat.

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Wonderful chat

April 16, 2005 - Categories: barkada, friends

Had a wonderful chat with Ranulf and Marcelle.

フランス語のCHATは英語のCATを意味する。 The French word `chat' means `cat'

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April 19, 2005 - Categories: barkada, friends

We went to Subic last weekend. It was tons of fun. =) I'm really glad I had an opportunity to spend more time with Diane, and I'm also really glad I got to know Jac more. Dominique was absolutely wonderful (and well-behaved). Ranulf and Marcelle were cool, too. <grin>

Yay yay yay yay!

私は、例えば、猫や犬のような動物が好きです。 I like animals, for example, a cat or a dog.

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Graphic Expo 2005 contests

April 19, 2005 - Categories: Uncategorized
  • The 4th Animation Competition
  • The Annual Digital Art Competition
  • The Digital Imaging Contest


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Freenet appreciation day

April 19, 2005 - Categories: Uncategorized

I am ultra-grateful to Jijo Sevilla (jijo AT free.net.ph) for my mail and DNS. He's ubercool. He says:

You can help by referring my managed hosting services to anyone you may come by who may benefit from outsourcing web (Zope/Plone/CoreBlog), email and mailing list hosting services. My pricing is competitive, AFAIK, and should be great for SMEs. I don't do website development, but have a partner (Sparkplug Studios) who does.

E-Mail from Federico Sevilla III

A spot of shut−eye は、また猫のいねむりともいわれている。猫は1度に2〜3分しか寝ない癖があるからだ。 "A spot of shut-eye" is also called a cat nap because a cat is in the habit of sleeping only a few minutes at a time.

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Running Linux on G-mail

April 20, 2005 - Categories: linux

http://www.hackaday.com/entry/1234000990039809/ and http://richard.jones.name/google-hacks/gmail-filesystem/gmail-filesystem.html describe how to mount your Gmail account as a filesystem under Linux. Interesting...

猫はじゅうたんをひっかき始めた。 The cat started scratching to scratch the carpet.

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Sticky notes hack

April 20, 2005 - Categories: productivity

43 folders is collecting neat Post-it hacks. I love using Post-it notes to organize my articles and presentations, writing down keywords on individual notes and rearranging them until they make sense. I like using thin strips for keywords and larger notes for storyboards. I like being able to see everything at a glance and rearrange things without having to navigate using a keyboard or a mouse. Post-it notes are a great way to put together impromptu presentations, too. Just stick them onto the back of a folder and peel them off as you discuss the points; that way, you don't forget to discuss anything. Great stuff! I should add a pack to my Geek Survival Kit (a pack of 3x5 index cards and a black gel pen).

鬼いぬ間の洗濯。 When the cat's away, the mice will play.

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Mensa Qualifying Session

April 20, 2005 - Categories: Uncategorized

From http://aisrael.multiply.com/calendar/item/53 :

Start May 7, '05 9:00a
End May 7, '05 3:00p
Location Private Room, Oakwood Premier

Mensa Philippines is an emerging national Mensa under the auspices of Mensa International Ltd. The society has over 100,000 members in over 80 countries worldwide. R. Buckminster Fuller, actress / archer Geena Davis, comedian John Cleese (Monty Python), Scott Adams (Dilbert), Matt Groening (Simpsons), Jean Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear) and science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov are some of the more prominent Mensa members.

While we don't have tests that you can take at home, there are many practice tests available on the Internet. You will find tests, puzzles and other Mensa resources at:

The sole criterion for membership in Mensa, is to score within the top 2 percent (98th percentile and up) on an accepted and properly supervised qualifying test.

Mensa will be holding just such a qualifying session on SATURDAY, 07 MAY 2005 at the Private Room, OAKWOOD Premier, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati.

The qualifier is a culture-fair test of the type that is often referred to as "abstract reasoning". It does NOT test for math or language skills. While there is no strict time-limit, most people will finish in an hour or two. You may register and START your test anytime between 9:00 A.M. and 3 P.M.

YOU will ONLY need to BRING a valid ID (with photo) and the testing fee of P400 (or the discounted P150 rate for UNDER-GRAD students). We would also appreciate it if you could verify your postal address and zipcode.

Pre-registration requires NO pre-payment. Payments will only be received at the testing venue itself. Providing us with your name and contact info beforehand simply allows us to be better prepared to accommodate you. Pre-registrants may choose their time slot and will have preference over walk-in test-takers.

The identities of the those who take the test as well as any results are strictly confidential. The results will be mailed to you within a month or so. If you don't quite make the cut this time around (we all have off days), you may re-take the qualifying test after 6 months.

Follow this link for more information regarding Mensa's qualifying tests.

For further inquiries

  • Dra. Jesy Gutierrez (QC - Veterans Memorial Hospital) (2) 927-6956 (direct line, office hours)
  • Tet Arcenal (Manila - UP CAS - Manila) (2) 523-93-92 or (2) 521-66-92 (office hours)

E-Mail: testing@mensa.ph (Subject: May 07 Oakwood Test)

To pre-register

E-Mail: testing@mensa.ph (Subject: May 07 Oakwood Test)

Website: http://pilipinas.mensa.org

Pre-registration will close a week before the test. Note that Mensa is manned exclusively by volunteers, so an immediate response may not be possible. We will get back to you as promptly as we can.

猫がソファの上に寝ている。 A cat is lying on the sofa.

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April 20, 2005 - Categories: emacs
(defun sacha/emacs-wiki-markup-string (string)
  "Mark up STRING according to `emacs-wiki-publishing-rules'.
No header or footer is added."
  (let ((emacs-wiki-project emacs-wiki-current-project))
      (insert string)
      (let ((emacs-wiki-publishing-header "")
            (emacs-wiki-publishing-footer ""))


うちの猫は台所にいます。 Our cat is in the kitchen.

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April 20, 2005 - Categories: emacs
(defun sacha/planner-add-recent ()
  "Add the current note to the list of recent entries, trimmed at 10."
  (let* ((info (planner-current-note-info))
         (url (concat
               (emacs-wiki-published-name (planner-note-page info))
               "#" (planner-note-anchor info))))
    (when info
          (find-file-noselect "/home/sacha/notebook/wiki/include/footer.inc.php")
        (goto-char (point-min))
        (when (re-search-forward "--recent--" nil t)
            (narrow-to-region (1+ (line-end-position))
                                (re-search-forward "--end of recent--" nil t)
            (goto-char (point-min))
            (insert ""
                    (planner-note-title info)
\n") (forward-line 10) (delete-region (point) (point-max)) (save-buffer)))))))


そのかわいそうなネコはトラックにひかれた。 The poor cat was run over by a truck.

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Hipster PDA

April 20, 2005 - Categories: organizer

3x5 index cards totally rock.

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あなたは黒い猫が好きですか。 Do you like a black cat?

Google search changes

April 20, 2005 - Categories: filipino

http://www.google.com.ph 's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button has changed from "Maganda ang Kutob Ko" to "Heto na ang pinakahinahanap-hanap ko!".


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April 21, 2005 - Categories: emacs, planner

Announcing planner-el-3.29, available at http://sacha.free.net.ph/notebook/emacs/sacha-stable.tar.gz and deb http://sacha.free.net.ph/notebook/emacs/planner/ . =)

Summary Synchronize with sacha AT free.net.ph—main/planner—dev—1.0—patch-380
Revision planner—stable—1.0—patch-116
  • dev/369: planner-annotation-symbol-string
  • dev/369: planner-create-task-from-note
  • dev/370: planner-timewarp
  • dev/371: planner-annotation-from-dired
  • dev/372: planner-psvn for version control

dryice/33-38, dev/365-379, jeho/50-60, johnsu01/0-3

  • dev/366: planner-multi read-only prompt, sort-task excursions, planner-appt advice
  • dev/367: Always add menu to planner-mode buffers
  • dev/368: planner-multi-read-name bugfix from jeho
  • dev/369: planner-timeclock-summary-proj bugfix
  • dev/370: Group .-? regexp to deal with possible XEmacs bug
  • dev/372: planner-vm-browse-url and message IDs
  • dev/376: planner-id bugfixes with completed/cancelled tasks
  • dev/377: planner-gnus: pick up group name properly
  • dev/380: planner-multi replace mapc with mapcar for emacs20
  • dev/365: Update my sample configuration file
  • dev/374: New URL for remind
  • dev/375: Carrying over unfinished tasks
  • dev/379: Document planner-trunk

E-Mail to emacs-wiki-discuss

猫はネズミを捕まえました。 The cat caught the rats.

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Gamasutra article on game dev in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines

April 21, 2005 - Categories: philippines

A recent Gamasutra article (free registration required) discusses the state of game development in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. It mentions UGotGame and IGDA Manila. =)

猫は枝の間に隠れた。 The cat hid among the branches.

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planner.el goodness

April 21, 2005 - Categories: emacs, goodkarma, planner
<comfrey_> i spent most of this past weekend reading the elisp manual because planner.el is sucking me in

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww... =)

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Movie marathon

April 22, 2005 - Categories: barkada, friends, party

Watched King Arthur, Ring 2 (not worth watching), Ranma, and My Little Bride with Marcelle, Grace, Ranulf, Peppy, and Sean at my house. It was a lot of fun hanging out with them. My Little Bride was so cute!

妻は独眼の猫を見て身震いした。 My wife shuddered at the sight of a one-eyed cat.

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Banaue cultural festival from April 28 to May 1

April 22, 2005 - Categories: philippines

From April 28, 2005 to May 1, 2005, Banaue will hold the 8th Imbayah Cultural Festival: "Breaking the Cultural Barriers: Meeting the Challenges of the Times." "Imbayah" comes from the word "bayah," which means "rice wine." It is Banaue's grandest celebration, marking the elevation of a common family to nobility. In modern times, this community festival showcases the best in Banaue's cultural heritage, drawing tourists from all over the Philippines and around the world to see Ifugao sing, dance, and play traditional games dressed in full native regalia.

The cultural festival is preceded by 9 nights of merry-making, dancing and chanting at the Market Plaza. The Imbayah will be officially kicked off with an opening ritual or "Baki" to be held on April 28 at 1:00 PM in the Market Plaza, followed by a concert at the ICS gym. On April 29, a dancing parade will be held starting at 7:30 on the ICS grounds. An agro-industrial fair will be held at the newly-constructed Municipal Market Building, followed by musical competition, a variety show, and a street party. April 30 opens with a street dancing contest at 7:30 at the LGU Extension Office in Ilogue, ethnic games and craft competitions, and various races to be held at the Market Plaza. At 7:00 on May 1, hiking enthusiasts can tackle the Bannawor trail. This will be followed by more competitions and the closing ceremony.

Visitors are invited to come experience Banaue at its best. For more information, contact Jerry U. Dalipog, municipal mayor of Banaue.

(or get in touch with me or my dad.)

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General instructions for assignments

April 22, 2005 - Categories: -Uncategorized

All pages in an assignment should have your name in the upper left corner and the page number in the upper right corner. I suppose I should draft things in oowriter, but I'll repost it as HTML and text as well.

私たちが休暇をとっている間、近所の人が私たちの猫の世話をしてくれた。 While we were on holiday, a neighbor took care of our cat.

Index cards for today: Boredom prevention device, Contingency plans, Hipster PDA, Taxi

April 24, 2005 - Categories: Uncategorized

IndexCards written today:

Boredom prevention device My boredom prevention device is a pack of index cards. Whenever I find myself with unexpected free time, I scribble down a thought or two. This leaves me with no excuse for not writing. I like it more than a notebook because I can easily rearrange topics. Besides, the size of an index card encourages me to write, while a notebook intimidates me with all that blank space. Small notebooks are hard to write on, but index cards can be separated from the pack for easy scribbling. I like them a lot.
Contingency plans If I don't go to UToronto this year, I can: continue my MA Education in Ateneo, join infoweapons for two years, learn theater and assorted things, and/or explore other scholarships.
Hipster PDA That's a fancy name for what I'm using now. 2" fold-back clips are a bit too big. The handles extend past the card if I anchor it at the bottom, so I anchor it near the right side instead. Still have to find a way to attach a pen to this thing. Found 3"x5" organizer refills, and the month template looks like it will be very handy. The day template could help me with time logging. I've added 20 2"x3" sticky notes to the card before my reflections and a bunch of blank cards to the end, just in case. Brilliant idea: I should add song lyrics to my pad...
Taxi I always feel nervous when taxis take "shortcuts" through unfamiliar streets. Long routes make me wonder how far off we go. Small, crowded streets make me feel especially anxious. I guess it's because I don't trust cab drivers not to try to take advantage of me.

その猫は飛びかかろうとして低く身構えた。 The cat crouched down ready to jump.

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Blogging party

April 25, 2005 - Categories: blogging
The U.P. Law Internet & Society Program will be hosting the first Philippine blogging summit entitled “iBlog” on May 7, 2005 Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm at the UP NISMED, UP Campus. This is a FREE event but registration at the iBlog website (http://www.iblogph.org) is required.

This will be a whole-day conference featuring CICT Commissioner Dondi Mapa, The Sassy Lawyer, Yugatech, Dean Alfar, the PCIJ Bloggers and many more.

See you folks at iBlog!

I guess I'll take the Mensa test in the morning or something like that...

E-Mail from Janette Toral

問題は誰が猫に鈴をつけるかだ。 The question is who will bell the cat.

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Hipster PDA: Month view

April 26, 2005 - Categories: organizer, planning

Being able to quickly see my schedule for two months totally, totally rocks. My iPAQ didn't have the screenspace for something like that, but my 3x5" pack of index cards with some inserts from an organizer. In particular, aforementioned monthly templates make planning get-togethers so much easier. I can print index cards for these too, but then it'd be a hassle to design the template and print it back-to-back. Anyway, this totally rocks.

(I also had another epiphany earlier: we're actually planning gimmicks! We have a social life! We have a barkada! Nifty. Now I just need to make sure I keep in touch with other people I know, too...)

問題はどうして難局に当たるかである。 The question is how we will bell the cat.

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Diarist prompts

April 26, 2005 - Categories: writing

I'm looking for a daily or weekly source of writing prompts. I'd like prompts that tend toward self-discovery rather than fiction, and I'm considering using http://www.diarist.net/spark for everyday or every-other-day reflections.

The "If..." Project: Tough questions each month to make writers reach deep within and really examine our thoughts, our memories, our values, our beliefs.

That sounds really good, but the website isn't functional. I remember seeing the If book before, but I haven't seen it lately and I don't know if Dominique can find a copy. Then again, judging from the Amazon page on If, it looks like it contains a lot of fluffy questions as well. I guess you can't be serious all of the time. =)

その猫は魚を食べようと魚の入った缶をひっくり返した。 The cat upset the can of fish so that she could eat them.

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April 27, 2005 - Categories: Uncategorized
> Congratulations!
> Is there a good time for us to talk?
>> Hi Mark,
>> For your information. We will issue an admission offer to Sandra.
>> Please let us know if she is joining us in May, or in September.
>>> Hi Brenda, This is just to advise you that the A&P Committee has
>>> approved Sandra Chua's admission to the M.A.Sc. program.


E-Mail from Mark Chignell

イヌとは対照的に、ネコはごく最近になって飼いならされたものである。 In contrast to the dog, the cat has become domesticated only in recent times.

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Net install

April 28, 2005 - Categories: linux, opensource

I'm setting up Linux on the Sony Vaio U1 so that I can use it as well as my Lifebook. I've decided to give Fedora Core 3 a try instead of just net-booting and installing Debian like last time. Besides, I couldn't find my handy-dandy one-disk Debian net install image.

Fedora Core's net-install support lags far behind Debian's. I don't know if it's even possible to start the installation process using boot/root floppies, so you really need to either burn a CD or set up pxelinux. Fortunately, I'd set up a DHCP and TFTP server on my Lifebook before, so I knew it could be done.

After some trouble getting the Vaio to acquire the DHCP address and pick up the boot files, I was relieved to see the familiar text dialog-based installation screen. I'm currently waiting for the 71MB stage2.img file to download. There are no progress indicators, and I'm getting rather nervous. I can't seem to drop to a shell to find out how far along the installation is.

I like the Debian net install far more. Plenty of progress indicators keep you in the loop so that you're not worried about interrupted network connections or sudden hangs. Come to think of it, going for Debian instead will make it far easier for me to migrate my configuration.

Bah. So much for Fedora Core. ;)

そのコンピューターは非常に役立つ。 The computer is of great use.

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On computer science education

April 28, 2005 - Categories: education

In response to Neil Santos' rant about computer science education:

What a pity it is that you've never had a good teacher. A good teacher can help you grow immensely. I've had great teachers, and they really changed my life. Let me share with you some things I've learned from them and why I'm crazy about computer science.

When you meet a lot of brilliant people, you'll quickly realize that technical skills do not guarantee people skills and vice versa. One of the best ways to meet brilliant people is through open source. Look at Richard Stallman: undoubtedly a genius, but his personality rubs a lot of people the wrong way. (He's really cool, though.) On the other hand, there are people who combine both technical know-how with passion and great communication skills; these are the teachers who can change your life.

I owe so much to the teachers I've learned from inside and outside the classroom. The best teachers I've had taught me that I'm not limited to the classroom. They helped me gain the confidence to try things on my own. They showed me things I didn't know about and might not have discovered on my own. They questioned my assumptions and challenged me to do better. I remember when I was in first year college and I was slacking off in subjects like English; it was my computer science teacher who told me that I should pay attention to details!

My teachers really helped me deal with my insecurities about our curriculum. I always kept my eye on schools abroad, and because I was already working on open source in college, I could see how people my age were doing really fantastic things like maintaining the Linux kernel or writing their own operating systems. My teachers helped me take advanced classes and get into extracurricular projects and competitions. When I started working on things on my own, they gave me encouragement and great recommendations.

I've heard many, many stories about teachers who aren't as good as the ones I had, though. Most teachers don't seem to care about their students or their subjects. I want to help change that.

Computer science changes every day. The accelerating pace may make you think that it's impossible to keep up. The truth is, as things get faster and faster, a strong foundation becomes more and more important.

That's what I'd like to think I teach. I do not teach how to program in Java or C++ or Perl. I teach people how to _think_, how to break a problem down into solvable parts, how to learn more and more and more. My job is not to pour information into passive students, but rather I am here to show them the basics and then challenge them, make them hungry for more, guide them through questions and hints. I don't know everything, but I love sharing whatever I know, and I love learning new things from students and the world.

I messed up a lot as a beginning teacher, too. There were days when the explanations I prepared the night before didn't work and everyone was just confused. There were days when I'd just get so frustrated with my inability to express something or to convince people that copying isn't going to teach them as much as actually sticking it out and solving the problem. But still, there were days when I'd see students get that Aha! moment, and that made things worthwhile.

I enjoy computer science so much that I cannot think of _not_ teaching it. I want to get other people hooked. I want people to fall in love with learning and problem-solving. I want people to discover that they too are capable of mental wizardry; that they too can make the computer dance to their tune. I want to be a fantastic teacher. In order to do that, I'm working on not only getting the theoretical and practical background to share with my students, but also learning how to teach and teach well.

Let me tell you that computer science education doesn't have to be like what you're suffering. I know it can be good, and I want to make it even better.

What does this mean for you, now, while you're taking up your degree at Adamson University?

Well, if you can't do anything about your teachers right now, you have many ways of coping. Open source gives you an opportunity to test your knowledge and make a difference world-wide. Even as a student, you can work on really cool things! Come hang out with us, too. We can challenge you. We can help you stay enthusiastic and passionate about computers. When are you usually free?

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Off to Banaue.

April 28, 2005 - Categories: travel

Don't panic. =)

コンピューターを使う人は多くの流行語を用いるが、他の人が理解できるかどうかは怪しいものだ。 Computer users have so many buzzword, it's wonder if anyone else can understand them.

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