Virtual birthdays, real friends

(Backlog: 2006.08.12)

"How many geeks does it take to..." is a standard joke whenever my barkada (close group of friends) in the Philippines gets together. Just like last year, they celebrated my actual birthday with a tele-party. Instead of hanging out at some wireless cafe in Glorietta, they trooped over to my parents' new place, bringing flowers for my mom. (Awwww! After all, she did all the hard work on my zeroth birthday!)

It took me a while to get my side up and running. I hadn't figured out how to set up sound under Ubuntu, so I booted to Microsoft Windows. Troubleshooting a network connection in a Japanese language operating system was Not Fun, though. Through trial and error I figured out that I needed to disable the firewall. Then I realized that the network was blocking my MAC address because it detected a duplicate registration. The network had worked under Linux because I'd cloned the MAC address for my Lifebook onto my Vaio, but I hadn't set it up under Windows. I switched back to copy the MAC address and then figured out how to set the MAC address under Windows (again, still working in Japanese). Skype kept crashing, too, which was decidedly not fun.

So we decided to go with Yahoo Messenger. My friends set up the wireless router and got three laptops on the network. It's a good thing, too, as we needed all three just to keep up with the chatter! We set up the webcams and made funny faces at each other. There was also that interesting bit with the identity musical chairs. Heh.

It was so nice to see and talk to my friends again. I so miss them and my family. Iba talaga ang barkada. I guess Canadians might know what it's like. Still... Maybe it's just the people I know or the culture here, but it still doesn't have quite the same feel as our hell-or-high-water crazy-as-anything barkadas with gimmicks and dramas and in-jokes galore. I miss my friends back home, and I love them them to bits!

Clair and Peppy blogged about the party, too. Check out their stories!

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