Category Archives: writing

Digital Pinay

Don’t worry, the Philippine Computer Society isn’t trying to sneak a
beauty pageant past us geekettes (at the moment, at least).

“Digital Pinay” will be the title of my monthly column in the
just-launched Computerworld On Campus magazine for prospective and
current IT students. I’ll share tips on making the most of computing
education, tidbits from my research and student life at the University
of Toronto, and advice on productivity and career planning.

Watch for it in the September issue. I’m still checking with them to
see if I can post the columns here as well. That would be fun!

E-Mail from Melba Jean Valdez-Bernad

祖母が生きているうちに、電話もコンピューターも一般的なものとなった。 In my grandmother’s lifetime, both telephones and computers have become commonplace.

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Rediscovering the art of writing

Charo Nuguid totally
rocks. This pen-obsessed girl just gave (gave!) me an extremely pretty
glass pen, the one she’s been raving about for the past few days. Now
pens and I don’t usually get along. I have a callus on the wrong
finger (ring instead of middle) due to incorrect writing habits, and
although I favor signpens and gel pens, I can’t write with a fountain
pen for fear of bending the tip.

But ooh. Glass. With, like, an ink bottle and stuff. A quill, really.
A very fancy quill with grooves near the tip to hold ink. Whoa.

And I have very nice monogrammed cards to use with it, too…

最近パソコンを初めた。 Recently it is beginning the personal computer.

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Five lessons learned from last week

  • Research groups are good. The lively exchange of ideas will inspire
    and support me, and besides, group meetings often have food. It’s
    worth postponing my individual interest in personal information
    management if I can’t find other people who are working on the same
  • I’m good at networking and relating to people quickly. I’m still a
    little shy, but I’m starting to be good at remembering names and
    faces, and people here don’t mind helping someone get settled in.
  • A personal organizer makes me feel more on top of things. If I can
    find a ring-bound paper organizer with the same structure as my
    current planner, I’ll switch to it. I really appreciate having
    weekly and daily goals, and might prepare my own templates if I
    can’t find an organizer that normally does that.
  • I can write 800 words easily once I get going. I prefer writing in
    one go instead of filling out an outline because the former feels
    more like writing e-mail to someone, and I can get pretty
    long-winded in e-mail.
  • My writing style seems to be matter-of-fact and conversational.
    Dominique thinks I’ve found my voice.

近年では、電子コンピュータがますます重要になってきた。 In recent years electronic computers have become increasingly important.

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Bubblegum and string

I finished my first hack for Melody’s indie music review blog. She’s
thrilled by the fact that the sidebars automatically pick up her
reviewed music. We’re moving the blog to a new Linux server next week.
I’ll probably redo the hack so that I can make it more elegant. Right
now it’s just bubblegum and string…

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New purpose for

Douglas Johnston invited me to join him on the D.I.Y. Planner site. He totally, totally rocks. I’ll learn much more and help many more as part of something like that than on my own, and it’s an awesome opportunity to learn from others. =) I’m putting drafts of organizer-related articles up on for now, but I’m working on something else for the site on my computer. Instead of striking it out on my own as a productivity blogger, I’m going to make a fantastic resource for all of you planner-el fans out there… =)

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Way too much exercise

I got out of bed at 8 this morning and walked all the way down to Lake
Ontario. Two hours of leisurely walking punctuated by oranges bought
at a nearby market made an excellent start to my day, and I was
satisfied by the fact that I’d (gasp!) managed to get myself out of
bed on a Saturday morning to exercise.

Of course, I knew that was just another form of procrastination. I do
very odd things in order to procrastinate writing articles. I even
managed to vacuum and mop the kitchen floor while “taking a break from

But I managed to finish the article today! I started out by drafting
it as a letter to a student who had asked me for advice a few months
back, and then I edited it to make the letter more general. I can’t
post the article on my blog yet, but those of you who watch my bookmarks may have an idea
of what October’s column for the On Campus magazine will be like. =)

I decided to reward myself by releasing another version of Planner, the personal inforation manager I maintain.
(Yes, my reward system is all screwed up.) I merged more than 70
changes from the development tree into the stable tree and released a
new version available at and all the usual places. I haven’t put it up on plannerlove yet, but I’ll be working on that next weekend.

Then I decided to walk to Goodwill. I ran into Tarun on the way out, and he decided to come along. We walked all the way to Sherbourne Street (a good 40 minutes’ walk) only to find out that Goodwill closed earlier than I thought. It was fun chatting with him about the MBA program, though, so the extra exercise wasn’t too bad.

All in all, a good day. I feel marginally fitter, but that might just be delusion. ;)

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