May 8, 2006

Full day!

May 8, 2006 - Categories: friends, ruby, social

I woke up early to check if anyone I knew was online, and I had a nice
chat with Marcelle. I fell asleep waiting for Dominique to come back
online, though, and I had such a vivid dream that I didn’t wake up
until an hour or so later – by which time even my mom was starting to
feel like she was talking to cyberspace… =)

Anyway, it was such a nice chat that I didn’t mind being late to the
clothing show held at Exhibition Place. Quinn and I eventually made it
there at around 12, and we browsed for an hour or so. I bought a
bracelet and two necklaces, all made of shell. I thought they might go
nicely with my ethnic stuff. I didn’t really find anything else that
particularly struck my fancy, as tiered skirts are getting a _little_
too popular for my tastes. I might shift back to nicely colored
skirts, and of course I like wearing stuff from home. I wore the red
malong as a skirt today, matching it with a colorful abaniko fan.
(Thanks, Mom!)

That’s why I was late to the Ruby meeting. =) That was cool, too! As
soon as he saw me, Austin said, “You know Steve Perelgut!” (He’s one
of my mentors from IBM, and a totally totally cool person. The fact
that he reads me blog (Hi Stephen!) has nothing to do with the
gushiness of the previous statement. =) ) Austin shared what he’d
learned from the Ruby code jam (lesson 1: be better prepared!),
particularly the effectiveness and _fun_ of pair programming. It
worked out really well because Ruby novices were paired up with Ruby
veterans, but the Ruby novices were also good at other aspects that
the Ruby geeks might not have learned about. In this case, they were
porting an archiving library to Ruby. =) Good stuff.

We also had a fun chat about how people can learn to read and write
code. Apparently, I _am_ really weird in that I rather enjoy reading
code… =)

Jed and Quinn were there too, although they dropped in and out of the
conversation, as I fangirled a bit about Ruby and got some interesting
tips. Should check out the Water framework for testing web
applications, although that might need Windows. Also, Austin suggested
SVG + PDF for my graph outputs. Whee!

Jed mentioned a samba jam at an art gallery on Queen Street West. In
keeping with my plan to get to know a wide variety of people and
experience more than what I’d ordinarily get just hanging out with
computer geeks and talking about computers, I decided to go. It was
tons and tons of fun! I told them I had no sense of rhythm and that
I’d be perfectly happy just listening and taking pictures, but Jed
wouldn’t take no for an answer. Heck, he didn’t even ask if I wanted
to join. Instead, he held up two instruments and asked which one I’d
like to play. <laugh> I opted for a small drum, and I found
myself picking up the rhythm thanks to the coaching of people around
me.

A photographer wandered in, too, so I adopted her. Marie had just
joined a camera club and was thrilled to stumble across such a cool
event. I gave her the tips my dad shared with me about using long
exposures and lower ISO speeds to capture dramatic action, and she had
a lot of fun exploring that, too. =)

I made it back for coffee time at Graduate House. I had so much fun
catching up with Sam. She wants to do really cool things with
accessibility, and she’s in a terrific position to do so! I’m also
really excited about her application to be an RA for the dorm. I think
she’d be a terrific one. I told her about what’s cool in my life: the
Delta Kappa Gamma fellowship, my research up at IBM, the thrill of
introducing people to other people… She nodded and told me how much
she enjoyed that too. When I learned that she hadn’t yet read Tipping
Point, I ran upstairs to grab my copy. I lent it to her, pointing out
the section on Connectors and adding a note about context. I’m also
going to have to get myself a hardcover (if I can find it!) of Love is
the Killer App, which is another thing that she will _so_ be able to
identify with. (Thank you, Maoi, for introducing me to that book!)

Afterwards, I had a wonderfully geeky chat about computer science and
assorted things with Mike and Joe. In particular, Joe’s overlapping
clustering algorithms _might_ be fun to run against tag clouds, social
networks, and other cool things. I need to show Mark a sample and see
how we can ask for suitably anonymized data…

Happy girl. Full day. Great fun. =) Lots of interesting people!

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Random Japanese sentence: ペルシャ猫に関連した古いお話があります。 There is a classic story related about a Persian cat.

Connecting people

May 8, 2006 - Categories: geek, philippines

Revisiting a website comment from Francis, I realized that I should
get him plugged into our cool geek network in the Philippines. So I
e-mailed a couple of friends, and here’s what Francis said:

 *explodes with glee*

Thanks Ate! That just made my day. I can’t wait to get to learn from real
geeks (I’ve been missing out on so much…*sigh*).

(“Ate” = older sister, also used as a term of respect)

He then went on to describe the .NET coding he’s doing as part of his
internship. Winston mentioned the rapid start training program that
his company does so that new grads can be brought up to speed on open
source. =) That sounds like a great way to get into fun and
interesting work! winston.karma++.

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Welcome to the blogosphere, Winston! – OSS entrepreneurship in the Philippines

May 8, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Check out Winston Damarillo‘s blog
and talk about open source entrepreneurship in the Philippines. =)

Random Japanese sentence: 猫は夜のほうがはるかによく見える。 A cat can see much better at night.