Friday, December 29, 2006

Leeching for internet access

Sure, my bosses do this all the time…in airports, hotel lobbies, and coffee shops. The mere act of “connecting” to an unsecured wireless network doubles as a necessity and as a leaching of sorts. Gotta love wireless. :)

Leeching for internet access

Sure, my bosses do this all the time…in airports, hotel lobbies, and coffee shops. The mere act of “connecting” to an unsecured wireless network doubles as a necessity and as a leaching of sorts. Gotta love wireless. :)

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

What it means to aggregate thinking

I love thinking. They say thinking burns as many calories as when you're having sex...so you may liken thinking to sex. Sounds good, eh? But be warned. Although you can easily fake either one, you don't lose as many calories as doing it for real!

This isn't a sex column, so it's best I get straight to the point and present my thoughts on what aggregated thinking is (and what constitutes faking it). Wiktionary defines aggregation as an act of bringing together, or collecting into a mass or sum.

We programmers are more familiar with aggregation as a slight modification of composition (yeah, we're no fun). Aggregation differs from ordinary composition in that it does not imply ownership. For example, an older model of a car engine will have a carburetor (yeah, it's spelled that way). Take away the engine and the carburetor will lose its usability. That's composition. Then there's a pond with a duck swimming about. Take away the pond and the duck will still be a waddling duck, and will continue to exist as one. That's aggregation.

When used to modify the verb thinking, aggregation may denote:

  1. thinking as a process of collecting or bringing together facts, ideas, and other thoughts and try to make sense out of their fusion,
  2. thinking in order to benefit not only yourself but everyone who is in your thought stream as well,
  3. thinking in a radical way, such as being "one" with what is generally accepted but in a manner that retains one's identity and ownership over thoughts

Clearly, aggregated thinking is awesome brain calisthenics. So aggregate your thinking when you can. God did not create mindless people to go where  mindful" people go. If you lost your backbone, get one ASAP, and start thinking for real.

To fake all these, you can cheat! You can take public opinion and adopt that as your own. You can also squint your eyes and frown like you're in deep thought, trying to look busy! Whichever way, you don't burn calories, and you don't burn off any brain cells. :)

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Hysteria

Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 broadcast back in April 1988 is being streamed today over XM Radio. Def Leppard’s Hysteria is currently playing. Measures and measures of this classic hit flood my ears and I can’t help but smile. There must have been thousands of Icehouse, Def Leppard, and Nelson (to name a few) playbacks since I got them cassette and 8-track tapes.


I still think that the 1980’s was the best decade to grow in. All those crazy get-ups that now look fugly, the hair, and man, the dance moves! I did all those, and proudly at that. You wouldn’t blame me though, because like anyone who’s an 80’s kid, I’m peculiar. :)

Friday, December 1, 2006

Hysteria

Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 broadcast back in April 1988 is being streamed today over XM Radio. Def Leppard’s Hysteria is currently playing. Measures and measures of this classic hit flood my ears and I can’t help but smile. There must have been thousands of Icehouse, Def Leppard, and Nelson (to name a few) playbacks since I got them cassette and 8-track tapes.


I still think that the 1980’s was the best decade to grow in. All those crazy get-ups that now look fugly, the hair, and man, the dance moves! I did all those, and proudly at that. You wouldn’t blame me though, because like anyone who’s an 80’s kid, I’m peculiar. :)

Are you an 80s kid in the Philippines?

You know you’re a kid of the 80’s in the Philippines if:
1.) You have scars on your knees and elbows
2.) You owned a bike
3.) You had a barkada around your neighborhood (all of you had bikes)
4.) You loved climbing on your house’s roof (and your neighbor’s roof as well)
5.) You went inside an abandoned house in your neighborhood just to see what it looks like inside
6.) You ate all the aratilis in your neighborhood
7.) You plucked all the Gumamelas in the area for soap bubbles
8.) Your parents forced you to take afternoon siestas with the threat that you will not be allowed to play outside.
9.) You are never found in your house in the afternoon. You are often found playing in the street with your neighborhood friends.
10.) You loved exploring vacant lots for hidden knick-knacks
11.) You just can’t resist jumping in a sand pile
12.) You know all the street games (Patintero, Agawan-base, Langit-lupa,etc.)
13.) You owned a family computer
14.) Your hand-to-eye coordination is terrific due to family computer
15.) You’d rather go outdoors in the afternoon than play family computer
16.) You gleefully boast that games today are so easy because of the character’s life bar (remember when we used to play Mario? we died the minute a goomba hit us)
17.) You know this code by heart: UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A-B-A-START (select-start for 2 players)
18.) You owned a superhero costume (especially a superman costume)
19.) For the girls: You dressed up like Punky Brewster, Madonna, and Debbie Gibson; For the boys: You dressed up like David Hasselhoff’s Knight Rider, David Bowie, or had Clarke Kent’s little bangs. And now you think that the 80’s had the suckiest dress sense.
20.) You had a denim jacket
21.) You had a sticker book especially that Age of Dinosaurs sticker book.
22.) You were addicted to rainbow brite, care bears, my little pony,thundercats, bioman, voltes v, mazinger z, daimos, etc.
23.) You played pc games like tapper, moonbugs, alley cat, and prince of persia.
24.) Ms Word did not exist in your vocabulary but Wordstar did!
25.) You love 80’s music even if you don’t want to admit it.
26.) You’ve climbed up mango trees to catch salagubang, tie a sting around its neck, and let it fly around in frenzy
27.) You’ve spent hours in the afternoon catching tutubi…yellow-green was the easiest to catch, blue being finicky, & red being a rare breed
28.) You used to take Flintstones vitamins (which you didn’t mind ‘cause it was yummy) and Scott’s liver oil
29.) You know the cartoon show Beverly Hills Teens
30.) You know Kuya Bodgie from Batibot
31.) You watch Uncle Bob’s Lucky Seven Club
32.) You used AQUA NET to fashion ur 4-inch-high bangs.
33.) Your blouses had paddings.
34.) You owned wide-studded colorful belts.
35.) You watched some of your favorite shows on betamax or even UHF 17 (the channel from Clark Air Base - or was it Subic?)
36.) You collected and “swapped” perfumed stationeries with your classmates and friends, but followed the unwritten rule that you never write on them.
37.) The only place you go to for summer vacation is BAGUIO!
38.) On that note, camp john hay served BEST ice cream
39.) Most of us were brought to the EDSA revolution
40.) You remember what Ricky Martin used to look like back then
41.) When you think that Julie Vega is a better actress that Judy Ann
42.) You get confused playing playstation because of all the buttons on the keypad (nintendo only had the direction pad, a & b buttons and the start & select keys )
43.) You know all the Bagets and Ninja Kids
44.) You got to ride the train ride at greenhills shopping center
45.) Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were the players at the time
46.) When you know more 80’s music than the song “Buttercup”
47.) You were allowed to bathe in the rain
48.) You were taught to comb your hair one-sided
49.) You’ve collected matangpusa and mongo beans so you can have ammunition for sumpit
50.) You knew who madam bola and sitsiritsit and alibangbang was.
51.) Every Christmas you anticipate going to BIG Bang sa Alabang - with the giant slide.
52.) You know the Ewoks
53.) You had Mighty Kid shoes and Greg shoes.
54.) You know what Time Space Warp means (and you know who Fuma Lae-Ar is)
55.) You and your barkada had a specific Bioman name.
56.) You sucked all the nectar from the santan plant hence your mother got really pissed at you for destroying the santan plant.
57.) You played with marbles and text (yung cards ha!!!) And you count cards like this: I-SA, DALA-WA, TAT-LO, A-PAT… walo na iyon!
58.) For girls: You wore denim miniskirts with rubber shoes; For guys: You had those bitin na pantalon which you wore with high-top rubber shoes!
59.) You loved cheezels and chicakdees because of the great prizes it had (remember sticky hands, bear popups, and the stick on tattoos which were “banned” due to drugs daw?)
60.) Puffy cone still existed!!!
61.) Sosy ka if you bought a Magnolia drumstick
62.) Twin Popsies were meant to be shared with a friend.
63.) Ice Drop was the cheapest treat.
64.) You have those disney bow biters for your rubber shoes
65.) You know who Alf is.
66.) You’re familiar with the show “Perfect Strangers”.
67.) Idol mo si McGyver.
68.) Thats Entertainment” ang “the bomb” nung mga panahon na yun.
69.) Sikat ka kapag alam mo ang wordstar at lotus 1,2,3
70.) Six digits lang ang telephone number niyo dati.
71.) Tatlong 25 cents lang eh makakatawag ka na sa pay-phone.
72.) Cute pa si Aiza non sa Eat Bulaga.
73.) Si Amado Pineda pa ang nagbabalita ng panahon
74.) You drank Chocolate milk from the Magnolia glass bottle which you kept for holding water in your ref.
75.) Brown Cow tasted better than Hersheys!
76.) Shake Rattle and Roll 1 was the most horrifying movie for you then.
77.) The most comfortable shoes for you is still Sperry Topsiders.
78.) Dress shoes mo eh loafers pa rin.
79.) The best movies of all time are pretty in pink, breakfast club,16 candles. and some kind of wonderful
80.) You show off your pencil case which have hidden compartments that pop out at the press of a button…
81.) You have Bensia pencils which are refillable…
82.) Fiesta carnival was the place to be (kumbaga enchanted kingdom sya ng 90’s)
83.) Takot kang mag-year 2000 ksi baka magunaw ang mundo.
84.) Masarap ang Goya and Serg’s.
85.) Nakakasakay ka pa sa kotseng walang aircon.
86.) You know the lyrics ng “Tinapang Bangus” at “Alagang-alaga namin si Puti” ng Batibot.
87.) You know these commercials:

a. YCBIKINIBRIEF - remember this one? Ycbikinibrief / ycbikinibrief ycbikinibrief for the man who packs a wallop / YC had fashion / YC has
style…
b. RA Homevision - those guys from cash and carry makati couldn’t have done it better. Sports. Adventure. Cartoons. Award Winners and More.
Featuring the voice talent of Frankie Evangelista. I will never forget the creepy hand at the start of the ad. Parang ET na nasa spaceship!
c. Arthur’s Legaspi Towers - nuff said.
d. La Germania Mama Mia commercials - ditto

88.) Bumibili ka ng caramel candy, texas or bazooka bubblegum, tira-tira
at tootsie roll sa tindahan
89.) Naabutan mo pa na korteng flower ang singko
90.) You’re familiar with this song: si nena ay bata pa, kaya ang sabi
niya ay um-ah-um-ah-ah.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Remote posting to Blogger Beta

There's a pretty slick Windows application that will allow you to post directly to your Blogger Beta account. The Firefox extension Deepest Sender, which allows posting to LJ, Blogger, and Wordpress, doesn't work with Blogger Beta yet, so here's a workaround that you can do meantime.

I prefer FOSS applications that run natively on GNU/Linux, but sometimes, you really need to use a platform where you are most productive. Writing stuff from anywhere will mean doing this from my Windows-run notebook. Not so much an issue, I hope.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Not walking on glass

I wrote a memo the other day and could not help but emphasize on the importance of using good ol' wit and common sense, when on the internet. I probably had the gall to write these since I'm recklessly doing stuff on Ubuntu and couldn't care less if an intrusion breaks something. LOL. Windoze is like walking on glass. Some of the guidelines I wrote:
4. Browse and click responsibly. Do not be lured by pop-up ads or
participate in online surveys or contests.

5. Stop forwarding chain mail. Although these mails may start as
harmless simple email messages with valid content, you do not know where
it has been! Think clean, and say to yourself: "This chain mail stops
with me." and promptly delete it.

6. Keep you Windows firewall or any other firewall software up! It is
there to protect you and not deprive you of internet activity.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

I'm back and look what I checked out first!


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This is how the rear of the NetBay rack in my previous company looks like now. I headed back to CDO for Halloween vacation and was able to drop by the office to pick up some of my personal stuff. They've slapped in a Cisco router (where the yellow fibre cable hooks up to) and another L3 switch. The old firewall appliance is still there, reliable as ever. Cabling got more structured as well. Now that's what I'm talking about!

It's crazy, but when you've got a baby that you built for years and had to leave one time or another, you get somewhat near it and it's the first thing you look for!

So I'm proud of starting this and making things happen, and I'm proud of the team that continued to make things happen. Hats off to Ian, Gayang, Sherlabs, and Derf. You're all the best! Make them drool! :)

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Google Maps API Discovery

Okay, it has been around for quite some time, and I remember writing an article about this in my older tech blog. I have a month to finish a pre-proposal on something GIS-related, so I'm seeing how this can be made possible with a renewed fascination with Google Maps.

I'm currently catching up on readings for my thesis pre-proposal. Some projects are quite interesting, notably those that do geographic encoding, location tracing via IP, or widget development, using Google Maps technology.

How would you like Google Maps to work for you? You can identify the need, depending on what industry you're in, and how you envision tracking applications as used in your locality. This guy thought of plotting his GPS-generated hike/bike trails onto Google Maps. He also made mention of parcel tracking (UPS) and driving directions, both utilizing the lat/lon coordinate system of Google Maps.

Another implementation that I've seen in action is plotting website visitors on Google Maps, just like the application by gVisit.com, which I use in this website. It doesn't stop there. The possibilities are mind-boggling; it will seem that the hardest part is getting down to a specific application.

You can get more ideas here and here.

Next stop, finalizing my pre-prop.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Using Google Talk with Kopete

I absolutely love Gaim, but the message to group feature isn't readily available, even with gaim2-beta3, and this doesn't work for me especially that I sometimes need to broadcast messages to team members over IM. Quick googling led me to Frank Spychalski's very good article, which covers the essentials of configuring Google Talk on Kopete. For Ubuntu users, if you don't have Kopete yet, you will need an internet connection to get the necessary packages.

$ sudo apt-get install -y kopete qca-tls

The qca-tls package will ensure that you'll be able to connect using the default encryption protocol. After these packages install, start Kopete, and create a new Jabber account if you don't have it yet. On the first tab, set up your Jabber ID to use your Gmail address:

Jabber Id: <yourid>@gmail.com

On the "Connection" tab, use talk.google.com as your server and tick all the boxes like so:

[x] Use protocol encryption (SSL)
[x] Allow plain-text password authentication
[x] Override default server information
Server: [talk.google.com] Port: [5223]

Done!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Settling down

Finally had a little time in my hands, ergo some updates. One week down. Queen city of the South. Torrential rains. I couldn't be any more bushed than I currently am right now. Moving residence is definitely top in my list for most strenuous activities one can go through. It's very prolonged; and the chores you thought you'd never do again, like wiring the aircon (Aside: among other things, and did I just forget about the aircon frame that we hacked??), well...you end up doing them anyway. It's by God's grace that I haven't felt the flu creeping in yet. Maybe it'll never get the chance to.

Special thanks go to my in-laws, who went with us and carried some of our hand-carried items, to Papa Jun, who's always ready to pick us up from the port whenever we're in the area, (Aside: guess what, we're settling down here, but I still hope he'd keep doing this until I get a car to do this myself...soon.) and to my parents and brother, who lent us a few (and very important) items to get us by while I pay off the fridge and aircon.

Papa's out of practice. It's funny because it seemed like we changed roles already; him assisting me. I'm thankful he stayed up late just to make sure we finished wiring the darn thing. It was so stiffling hot and we needed some cooling so we'd get to sleep already.

Anyway, I'm up to my neck with work already. It's just one project for now, but I'm still trying to adjust to a predominantly Windoze environment. I got a go-ahead from the boss, so I'm going GNULinux over the weekend. Bliss!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Movin' on

Originally posted in my "other" blog.
By the end of the month, I will be moving to the Queen City of the South, with my family in tow. I’m just glad that those guys at the new company were willing to wait for me. I was sure they understood the situation; I have established base in CDO and am currently employed. I was the one who was getting uprooted, so it was just proper that they agreed to waiting. Yes, I’ve tendered my resignation, and although a couple of times last week when I felt like I kicking myself in the ass, (I was starting to feel like some sort of sacrificial lamb), I remember the reasons _why_ my wife and I decided to take the plunge.

As a direct result of my sudden resignation, manpower and work load concerns that we’ve been raising for years are finally being addressed. I just feel like the fall guy here, because I _know_ that if this pushes through, remuneration for my colleagues is ensured, on the basis of supervisory work load, and I can’t have any of it.

However, I’m happy that all these are happening, for three reasons. First, I will be able to _focus_ on web programming, a passion if I may call it. My wife sees this in me. She knows it’s the one thing that keeps me up till the wee hours of the morning, and I’d still be able to do what needs to get done in the house, or spend time with her and our daughter without spacing out. Second, I wouldn’t want anything less than give my colleagues their happiness. They deserve greater things in life. Incoming!!! Lastly, and most importantly, we get to live on our own; just myself, my wife, and our daughter. To God be the glory!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My Shift to Dapper Beta

Over the Holy Week, two of our home computer's drives crashed, probably due to extensive user download, software installs, and malware. I had to do work on the laptop for a while, and since everyone in the house was itching for Internet access, I brought in a small IDE drive (roughly around 9Gb) that was mounted as slave on my office computer and popped that in the home computer. I had more than enough reasons to put Ubuntu back in there, and nobody would be complaining!

Initially, I did a Breezy install and got all the needed packages up to-date. I wanted more so I changed all "breezy" references to "dapper" in /etc/apt/sources.list, and did sudo apt-get update, and sudo apt-get dist-upgrade. IIRC, a total of 940+ packages had to be updated over an estimated 4 and a half hours. I left the computer running overnight, woke up at around 2 am and finished the installs and configurations.

By morning, my wife, daughter, and sister-in-law, were able to use the computer for Internet surfing. I was able to recover their personal documents and multimedia files in the office; and just last night uploaded their files via an external USB-mounted hard drive that we use for mobile backups at work.

I just love Dapper! The default Human theme's colors and icons just totally rawk, and for a while, I didn't feel the need to install another theme. Well my kid really likes Gartoon, and since her gcompris theme is already in Gartoon, I installed that theme as well.

Mark Shuttleworth posted an announcement last night on planning Dapper+1. He divulged that the codename for the next release would be the "Edgy Eft", saying that:



Edgy is all about cutting edge, perhaps bleeding edge,
brand new code and infrastructure. It will be the right time to bring in
some seriously interesting but definitely edgy new technologies which
lay the groundwork for the next wave of Ubuntu development.

The "bleeding edge" phrase is so Fedora Core, but IMO, Ubuntu won't be like that in any way. Mark did say they were going to explore slightly unfamiliar territory that is out of the mainstream. This controlled exploration of technology will definitely bring Ubuntu as a GNU/Linux distribution to very, very high levels. The good stuff is just around the corner: Xen for virtualization (awesome GPLed technology that rimuhosting.com has been using for years!), multi-architecture support, and the XGL that blows away just about everyone.

To infinity, and beyond!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Uhmm..back to work

I had the opportunity to spend a few days vacationing in Manila. My mom-in-law was attending a national conference for pediatricians, and was given travel sponsorships for the entire family. I jumped at the chance to visit my aging Lola because she had not seen her great granddaughter, as the case was with all of my QC-based relatives. Our itinerary was real tight, but I was happy anyway since we went through so many unexpected, yet pleasant surprises en route to Manila until we got back here.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Best Viewed in Firefox

It's so dissapointing to see CSS that you really like "unrenderable" in IE. All I can say is get Firefox now!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Promoting GNU/Linux through Competition

Met up with hardwyrd last night for preliminary competition planning. Also present were some of the pillars of GNU/Linux and FOSS in Northern Mindanao: Mr. Rem Taga of MPSC, Mr. Botp Peña of DMPC, and Mr. Vidor Balbon of Philcom. I hope to keep up with these guys considering that my GNU/Linux experience is so diversified and I'd have to polish skills on specific services, some of which I've not even bothered tinkering with. Can you say Dovecot or Cyrus?

Monday, March 20, 2006

"Making my way downtown..."

I heard Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” about three times the entire day, and can’t help but snort and stifle a laughing bout each time. Who doesn’t associate that song with Latrell Spencer (Terry Crews) in the movie White Chicks? LOL!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Disabling ntpupdate

This has been quite overdue, as I have been wanting to disable ntpupdate since the Hoary release. What is ntpupdate anyway? It's the program that synchronizes your system time to an ntp server. NTP is a protocol for synchronising the clocks of computer systems over packet-switched, variable-latency data networks. Since Ubuntu defaults to an ntp server somewhere in the www, and that it will attempt to sync on boot, it causes your machine to go through a much much longer startup process if an internet connection is not available at boot time.

As I am lugging my lappy around a lot and I have not much of a need for the program, I knew I had to take it out and save me minutes of boot time. Ealden taught me how to remove ntpupdate, and I suppose we can change the arguments to remove other programs as well.

$ sudo update-rc.d -f ntpdate remove

update-rc.d will remove any system startup links for /etc/init.d/ntpdate, or any instances of such in the different run levels. Usage is as follows:

usage: update-rc.d [-n] [-f] <basename> remove
update-rc.d [-n] <basename> defaults [NN | sNN kNN]
update-rc.d [-n] <basename> start|stop NN runlvl [runlvl] [...] .
-n: not really
-f: force

Sunday, March 12, 2006

got Friendster?

My wife just got her account and she found it awesome; as she was able to catch up on old friends. A highschool buddy paid us a visit today and she too told me to get a Friendster account and you know, start catching up as well (she'd rather that I find out about my batch's whereabouts by myself than get bugged by me). So if you're a buddy of mine, add me to your 300+ node network of friends, jon dot doblados at gmail dot com.

Monday, February 27, 2006

e-commerce Theory and Practice

The coming finals in my e-commerce class got me browsing through piles of readings and notes and I realized that I have not fully appreciated e-commerce as I should have. A techie will know what digital signatures, catalogs, EDI's, EFT's, shopping carts, or SSL are, as applied to buying and selling online; but graduate school won't even let you wallow in those. Instead, one gets tasked to relate e-commerce with business processes, and usually, look for solutions to support business processes that e-commerce systems can't support.

TODO: a) Finish schematic diagram of a typical e-commerce (server/merchant client/customer setup), b) complete customizations on osCommerce, c) harden authentication module, d) re-read security framework paper

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Performance Extension for Firefox

Thanks to Miko for the heads up. Check out this quite nice extension to Firefox, which will allow you to do updates without having to log in to your _numerous_ blogs.