Jerome's incomprehensible but improving...
Monday, April 12, 2004
 
::TAGAYTAY

[BACKLOG 2004/04/08-2004/04/09]

Spent Thursday at Tita's house in Tagaytay.

3 things
- Reading sci-fi
Dom's books -- really good one by Larry Niven
- Billiards
Still couldn't beat Mark, but not a total washout
- Watching movies
We watched "The Passion" and "Duplex"
 
::AM AT WORK! ACK!

[BACKLOG 2004/04/07]

Homing calls me to work to fix an issue.

Got to diagnose it as a Windows authentication problem --> ergo I.T. problem --> ergo waste of trip to office.

Answered email while I was there. Sigh.
 
::DOS EMULATOR CRAZE

[BACKLOG 2004/04/05-2004/04/12]

My bro has rediscovered DOS games (copies of which have always been latent in our HDD's ever since). DOSBox is a good emulator.

http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/

Got to play these games yet again:
- Privateer (well it runs, but not very playable. Too bad)
- Wing Commander (runs really good, just some tweaking with moslo)
- Zeliard (always a classic with me and Mark)
 
::JITSE: PROGRAM TRACING (3 OF 3)

[BACKLOG 2004/04/05]

All right! Last day! Was really really late of course. Got to meet Mr. E on the way to the classroom.

We had good fun with tracing the basic algorithms. I managed to teach my problem domain tips quite well. They seemed to enjoy my quiz too.

Got to share quite a number of things with them after class:
- MOTAS
- Windows Really Good Edition (Win RG)
- Lateral thinking stuff: the Penguin Soup story and the Naked Dead Man w/ Matchstick story. I left them hanging with the Stranger at Funeral story.

I still owed them their slides at this point.
 
::TRIP TO TAIWAN -- FINALLY GOING PLACES! (ER, A PLACE AT LEAST)

I had to rush my TW application within the day. They wanted me to leave ASAP (no, not that kind of leaving!) before the long vacation.

A congrats from Ico ("Hey you're going to Taiwan!"). Not getting to hopeful. Remembering my last 2 trips were cancelled (hence I've never been on a business trip c/o Trend.)

OK Mr Resourceful, let's get going:

- Got my ITR copy in desk drawer, luckily
- Got pics from Kodak store nearby, luckily
- Good thing my sis was still home, was leaving for the office. She dropped of my passport, luckily again

Er, should be Mr Lucky actually.

Holding things up was my pending invitation letter from TW.
Was getting really really late for JITSE training.
Finally just dispatched frantic emails and rushed off in a taxi.
 
::MOTAS AND CRIMSON ROOM

[BACKLOG 2004/04/03]

Ate Tricia and Mark were playing Crimson Room, Mystery of Time and Space (MOTAS) and other adventure games Friday night. I wanted to play them whole day, but good sense crept into me and I left for the fireworks display.

I kept humming the MOTAS jazzy background tunes on the way.
 
::MORE FIREWORKS!

[BACKLOG 2004/04/03]

Got to watch fireworks again at Manila Bay. China and Switzerland. Was a blast. Truly!

Sacha invited me to watch at their place with Ranulf, Eric. But I decided to go with my parents.

Ate asked me to take shots of the Nestle pushcart as the Swiss fireworks lit up the background (Swiss -- how fitting!). For Gerry's Powerpoint slides.

Pics at my website.
 
::JITSE: PROGRAM TRACING (2 OF 3)

[BACKLOG 2004/04/02]

Was very very very late. I had to finish my slides, make my exercises. I also had to make some last-minute revisions to the exercises, etc. I got quite a number of blank stares during that session.

On the plus side, we had more of our talks on the way to Ayala. About OJT work and about taking the exams.

My students:

 
::A CHATTY WEEKLY MEETING

[BACKLOG 2004/04/01]

We met up with Bicol Room for our dev meeting. We had our usual popcorn and some snacks from Julie (nice!) and Maui was with us through the speakerphone.

Can't give too many details here, but it's enough to remember by to say it was a semi-status update, semi-rant, semi-cozy-chat-at-the-pantry kind of affair.
 
::CMMI AND MR. SRINI

[BACKLOG 2004/03/15-2004/03/16]

How can I forget! Mr. Srini (Srinivas)!

The CMMi lecture was all well and good. But some extra quality moments with Srini made it more worthwhile.

- He used to work with McDonalds, and fastfood is his ideal in terms of quality (well he likes the food too a bit it seems! Joke!) Lots of fastfood examples therefore.
- He has a very ("very very") effective way of lecturing. He will pause. Something like: "I pause at the end of every...sentence. So you will remember what I'm...saying."
- He called Lea "Guess Girl."
- Answering Randall: "I deserve that answer."

We would see him a couple of more times during March. I think we'll meet again as we go along. ("Very very good!")
Sunday, April 11, 2004
 
::ANIMAX

[BACKLOG 2004/03/01-2004/03/31]

Yet another obsession for the month of March. Haven't been this much into anime since Ghost Fighter (yes, that way back.)

I watched Get Backers, GTO and some Chobits (couldn't quite catch the timeslot though.)

Amil and Ranulf were quite into Animax too. Amil was into GTO, then Get Backers in particular. My brother was easy to dismiss of the series with the weird name (strange Japanese Engrish!) I contentedly awaited each episode every 12:30 AM (watching GTO before at 12 while I was at it.)

With Get Backers, though, they did the old TV trick of not showing the last episode in a particularly exciting episode series (Makubex and Infinity City). After all those episodes! Ack, what a disappointment. Oh well.

 
::THE TEAM, SO FAR

[BACKLOG 2004/03/01-2004/03/31]

Some thoughts on the campy little group of people which we've come to know as the Intranet team:

- Dev side OK, source code quite manageable
- QA thinks of the most outrageous things to wreck the program (which is good)
- Very orderly source control (a stern lesson from the project that was ODTS)
- We take our SCR's (bug tracker issues) very seriously. Mike and Julie
- Extensive wiki communication in Dev. May need to orient QA more on it, though
- Healthy discussions on tech design between me and Mike
- We're actually on schedule!
- Popcorn snacks! (We know how to take it lightly, once in a while.)

In short, we've got people who are committed, to the project, and to learning, standardizing processes.

Some can-do-better items:

- Better documentation, especially dev side. Some misunderstanding in testing and deployment are rooted in unclear details or instructions in docs
- More use of tools (like .NET versioning, for instance, or stress test).

 
::WE'RE GROWING...

[BACKLOG 2004/03/01-2004/03/31]

It's a shame I've been lax in blogging recently. It's been one of those latent developments anyway, so it's not like I can connect it with a particular day.

We're growing. There's Mike, and Julie. And we have a lot of new faces from Sysgen like Me-ann, Eric, Adel, etc. I remember having a lunch with them at McDo. Apparently they know me from the MSDN forums! They're just silently listening in, similar to my status with respect to the PLUG mailing list. They've also seen JABE who's one of the more avid contributors to the MS forum. They're kind of waiting for the next Dev Days to get to meet more of the Pinoy Microsofties. I think we should have an eyeball sooner. Hmm, I need to commit a date for myself, for others to commit to, or else it might never happen.

Just chugging along...

 
::JITSE: PROGRAM TRACING (1 OF 3)

[BACKLOG 2004/03/31]

Got to the iAcademy building quite early, before 6 PM. I got to read the Arlene Chai novel I bought quite some time back at Powerbooks with Ann Uy while waiting for some students. We started 6:30.

Was quite fun teaching them some of the programming tips I had for the "basic" stuff in my program tracing course. My "Starstruck" graphics problem tracing exercises were well-received, I would say. It got them excited into tracing the shapes in graphing paper.

My impression was the class was quite "kalog" and willing to learn, even though I noticed they still needed much exercise in following program logic. I walked with some of them on the way home, to the Ayala MRT station. Got to share some insights on specializing in computer science, and pursuing what one really likes to do. I also had a few corny jokes for them (wow they haven't heard my jokes before! A fresh audience!)

 
::ON THE ROAD TO THE JITSE TUTORIALS!

[BACKLOG 2004/03/29-2004/03/30]

I frankly had not much progress on the JITSE slides and exercises. Managed to structure the discussion in the slides though, and with the high-level methodology on teaching program tracing done.

Basically program tracing can be broken down into several activities -- tracing variables, operations, loops, arrays, error handling, use of functions and modules, use of data structures and algorithms, and solving the problem domain. I just gave tips for most of these areas, and came up with some Java programs for the tracing exercises, as well as to verify my code (I don't trust even myself!) Was a good review of Eclipse while I was at it.

I slept really late Monday and Tuesday, around 2-3 AM on both days.
 
::FIREWORKS!!!

[BACKLOG 2004/03/28]

The international fireworks competition was in town again (we watched a similar event from the Senate building last year.) My Dad's poker friend actually designed the Philippine entry last time, as well as this year's.

Got to invite Sacha over. She brought Go-nuts Donuts with her (nice!) Her parents were there. I suppose her Dad got excellent pics. We also got to talk about a few things while watching and it was pretty enlightening to here some updates.

Turned out that we actually went to a VIP area -- we were personally invited by my Dad's friend. Presenters for the night were Canada and Mexico. Show was supposed to start 8PM but was delayed. So we only got to stay to watch Canada's show. Was spectacular in its own right, but kept hearing from the punters that Japan's display the day before was better. ("You could see it all the way to Buendia!") Then Tinsel got really cranky and we had to leave early.

 
::LOLO'S BIRTHDAY

[BACKLOG 2004/03/28]

We're not really pretty sure on Lolo's birthday date, since the records were burned down during the war. Could be between March 26 and 28, my parents tell me. We celebrate it on March 28, by custom.

We had a sumptuous meal at Causeway in Libis, ordering my Dad's favorite dimsum. Lolo again praised God for his long life and good health. Showed him the miracle of the digicam. He said he looked old in the picture! But he did not say this in an anxious way; he's the model of contentment, knowing that Jesus loves him and will watch over him as long as he's alive.

I have a queer pic of Mark in a "compromised" pose. Hehe.

 
::IMAGINE CUP MEETS AGAIN!

[BACKLOG 2004/03/27]

Slept at Mark's again. Early morning, got a message from LJ inviting me to join the Imagine Cup meeting. Was conveniently at Mark's so I could ride with him in Erwin's car. Bought KFC takeout for a quick lunch for all of us.

An unbelievable number of traffic blunders happened to us along the way. First, we went above the underpass instead of under in Ayala, then again at Arnaiz. Then we had to swerve to the Baclaran lane at the Magallanes interchange at the last second, and lo! a traffic enforcer swoops down on us. It was a long discussion with the officer, and ends with a calling card being noticed and kind words of appeasement from the MMDA person.

We had quite a long-winded discussion at Carl's Jr. along Taft. Frankly not really much progress, but some work division was framed up, enough for Erwin and Mark and LJ to work on specifics. Some more ideas about the smart question processing were tossed up, and again some clarifications on the whole project concept (we're not listing our software requirements and scope very well, are we).

Of note: drinks at Carl's Jr. are refillable, but only up to 1 hour after the order (receipt is timestamped, must be presented to claim refills.) Smart!

 
::KATIPUNAN FRIDAY NIGHT OUT

[BACKLOG 2004/03/26]

Had a Friday night out with Ranulf, Eric Sacha, and Amil. Eric showed us some new 3D stuff, and a cool CSI-like case involving a U-turn traffic accident on Katipunan, solved with 3D car modeling! With a devious defendant as perfect antagonist. Spiderman on Playstation in the DISCS faculty was pretty neat. Hanged out in Mocha Blends in Katipunan until late in the evening.

Some reflections on the past few months.
 
::ANOTHER BP LUNCH-OUT

[BACKLOG 2004/03/26]

Had a BP lunch out again, this time at Jack's Loft. We had a queer discussion on deviant behavior in anime (the affectionate "Ban-chan!" is supposed to connote something, according to Amil.)
 
::INTRANET PROJECT DINNER

[BACKLOG 2004/03/25]

This was quite fun. Too bad Joey wasn't able to join us. I suggested Omakase near Pizza Hut. Kaufman and Jo-anne joined us.

Kaufman told us about a funny adventure in diving, how he had to swim against a strong current, and how he was swimming alongside similarly struggling fish just barely holding their position against the stream (furiously wriggling motion of stationary hand).

We talked about Taiwan elections, some of the election shenanigans here, about F4 (we know them better than Ho-ming!) Some slight teasing about me and Julie being our OJT Rex's foster guardians. Maybe Rex and Julie didn't quite agree with the medium-rare teppanyaki, but it was a satisfactory meal with lively conversation.

Of course I had to go back to the office. Release build!

Ho-ming was going back to TW the next day. Some final talk between Kaufman and Ho-ming. Some complements again about me from K. Really, I need a better challenge in that area.

 
::HO-MING ARRIVES

[BACKLOG 2004/03/23-2004/03/24]

He's my current PM for the Intranet project. Finally he gets around to visiting us in PH! He arrived Monday afternoon.

We ate the snacks I brought. Pineapple pie was ok, though kalamay tasted a bit odd.

Tuesday: lunch out at Dencio's. We were discussing about digital cameras with Ico. Ho-ming's got a more high-end model, though it's not as portable. I guess mine is just the right type for my needs -- mid-quality, handy enough for lugging it around the Metro and clicking away on stray animals, MRT security guards and whatnot. Ico still hasn't picked what digicam she's getting at this point. Then of course a recap of the good stuff in Taiwan, such as cheap electronics and stinky tofu.

Wednesday (or Thursday)?: had lunch at Chicken Inasal. Showed him the goodness of buko pandan! We got to talk about some of the fun stuff they have in TW, like air hockey, arcade basketball and tai-chi sessions. Some ideas for Welfare, or whatever form of it we have these days...

I had dinner with Ho-ming, and he got to talk about:
- His early days in the U.S., in Seattle
- How he joined Trend (Jeremy interviewed him, as I remembered)
- He told me about going back to Taiwan because he had the company of friends
- About his group of friends who would meet up with and drive around Taiwan
- About being a family man

So he's not a distant voice on the teleconference number anymore. :-)

Oh yeah, about work...

We got to discuss the current project situation, some IT concerns, a mention of the upcoming TW requirements. Ho-ming also had to work hard and stay up late, for our beta demo to our content providers. He was quite professional with coming up with the supporting slides. I feel though that this task needs to be professionalized more -- PM's need not do documentation work if not necessary.

 
::PREPARE FOR THE COMING

[BACKLOG 2004/03/22]

Had nice Sunday lunch again with family at Katipunan area. Mom helped me shop at Rustan's for native delicacies for a visitor from TW arriving the next day. Picked pineapple pie and ube kalamay.

 
::WEP!

[BACKLOG 2004/03/10-2004/03/24]

How can I forget those Windows Entertainment Pack games? I spent time with Chip's Challenge first. I got around to level 60-something, then I quit. Then I settled with Klotski, got to finish all of the puzzles except the last 1 in a sitting or two. Final puzzle was really hellish. I finished after 4 hours, early Sunday morning. That took 14667 moves.

Klotski, being of Polish (or other Eastern European) origin gives these quirky congratulations messages when you finish a level. Such as "How did you do that, Jerome" and "Do you know the secret, Jerome?" Anyways, I have a pic of completing the last level, for posterity.

Tried some of the other games too like Skifree, Fuji Golf, and Rattler Race. Goofy.

Somehow lost interest in WEP afterwards. Maybe when I get really bored again.

 
::TINSEL'S LUAU

[BACKLOG 2004/03/19]

Couldn't be there (shucks) but Ate and Gerry got wonderful pics from Tinsel's graduation party at Kid's Play Camp. Entire family had fun watching the Hawaiian dances.

 
::PEYUPS SATURDAY

[BACKLOG 2004/03/13]

I slept at Mark's place for the evening, was working really late. I treated him to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, had discussion about his Web site, some notes on DHTML etc. He met project groupmates there too. He then had me out of his pad as soon as they got started on their project since it was quite a crowd already. Of note, Mark already had most of their.NET and MS Access sports tournament scheduling program running. Making good use of my location, off I went to U.P. for a long detour before going home.

Had great fun going around U.P. to get pics. I went into the park area in front of the U.P. Library, hadn't gone there before ever. Some students practicing theater there. Went by Sel's place at Bahay ng Alumni, she wasn't there on weekends apparently (aww.) Also passed by College of Music. And finally got a shot of Oblation! Was really hot by then. Frankly Oblation only looks good from the front (to Peyups pipol: the Blue Eagle isn't really much either -- more of the symbolism, really).

Met Orland and his girlfriend. Had lunch at Engineering cafeteria, with strange turon w/ cheese item for dessert.

Had some shots of ROTC or whatever they call it nowadays. Mostly women for officers. Strange, but given the same demographic from Pisay COCC, am not surprised. Kept on picturing weird things like the yellow barricades, random shots inside CHE, and finally the skeletons of the waiting sheds under construction.

Had some playtime with Anton and Tinsel for the rest of the day.
 
::SUSHIYA SPECIAL

[BACKLOG 2004/03/05]

We just felt like having a special treat this day. Went with Amil, Maureen and Ico for Sushiya. Discussed about how great the Great Plains office was. I hope to be able to have the same for Trend (hey it's BP's opportunity to make it a great thing here.)

Had the shiitake tempura which I liked, and tuna sashimi. It was a bit strange and conscience-bothering to splurge on a Lent Friday. Highlight was the "Parking Space for Sushiya COSTUMER Only". We also talked about the word "easement" (strange I remember this obscure detail.)

 
::LUNETA PHOTO SPREE!

[BACKLOG 2004/03/25]

Told my sis of my wild idea to go to Luneta to take pics. She agreed it was a great idea. So I just stepped out somewhere along España. Bought some melon candy, and asked the old lady vendor how to get to Luneta.

Turned out to be just one jeep ride. A few minutes later, I was in a jeep's driver's cab, sucking at a melon drop, clicking away at my camera as it sped towards Quiapo Church.

My first stop was Kilometer 0, where all distances from Manila to other parts of the country are measured. Right across was the giant flagpole and our proud flag welcoming all the promdi visitors to Luneta park. Sure enough, after crossing the wide pedestrian lane, I met a couple of ladies posing for pictures. Not far behind was the picture perfect Rizal monument, backed by a cloudless noon sky. Click click click...

Toured the different gardens (nice greenery, though could be maintained better; the occasional garbage strewn by picknickers leads to reflections on how Filipinos really value parks over malls.) Interesting fact: a lot of students seem to use these parks for rehearsals for school presentations.

I also saw a LOT of pigeons. They were being kept in a couple of birdhouses in a small section of the park.

I ate at Jollibee, delightfully cool. Was thinking how people went without Jollibee back then. While doing so, I forgot it was Ash Wednesday and ordered spaghetti. Anyways, continued thinking about how homogenized food and leisure has become. Fastfood and malls. More on this in a separate blog.

Was thinking of going to Intramuros, but my mom rang me and told me how crazy I was walking alone in Luneta in broad daylight (was not yet 2 PM at the time.) Contrite, I took a jeep home, but took my time to get a couple more pictures.
 
::ASH WEDNESDAY RITES

[BACKLOG 2004/03/25]

Sis takes me to Tita Lita's house. Played with Tinsel and her cousins, running around the lounge room. I then went to Ash Wednesday's mass with Tita Lita and Billy and cousin Arlene.

Strange, the priest presided the mass at Sto. Domingo at one of the side altars. Then my cousin told me about the strange suicide the other day inside the church itself. As a result, the church was desecrated and only by a special disposition from the Diocese of Cubao were they allowed to even hold this important mass. Afterwards the church would be closed until reconsecrated through the proper rites.

I went with them to their small hairdressing business in Tondo, where my sis picked me up.
Monday, March 22, 2004
 
::CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL

[BACKLOG 2004/2/24]

Lured by the prospect of good pics, I went with my sis to visit her "ampon" Rachel and her son at Children's Hospital. They asked me to leave my camera at the entrance! But anyway...

Finally! Four years of studying almost next door and never getting to go inside! It was a very nice hospital, and the kids were being well-taken care of. I got to see the boy toddler, and also where they were having therapy. I saw the plaque at the entrance, dedicated by Imelda, offered to "the future of our nation -- our children" (the words, more or less.)

Geek highlight -- my sis showed me this wall which was filled with kids' names. Of course this was from the '70's where you have names like Amador and Diwata. One line straight from the Imeldific era reads: "FERDIEMELDIEBONGAIMEE..."

I heard a short retelling of Rachel's life from my sis. Actually I knew some bits already from before, but it's been a hard life, full of people hardened by money. Let's just say that some stock contravida characters of afternoon soaps have pretty ardent imitators in real life.

My sis mentions that she has to pay for some of Rachel's expenses with the child ("sustento"). But she says, "God will provide."

 
::YEAR REVIEW, AN OLDIES NIGHT OUT

[BACKLOG 2004/2/24]

From work I got my PRP this day. No change in "official duties", will work though on getting that by the middle of this year!

Quite funny, with all the construction going on, Ambo and I had to do the review in a stock room. Well no funny rumors up to this day so I guess it was ok. :-)

I guess they thought I did an OK job with ODTS. Honestly, could be better though. Well it's a lesson on how not to do coding, in some respects. Work is good, but better planning, delegation, banging of heads together in a team, are needed, things that we are practicing better on Intranet I think. Also more fun and better food while we're at it. :-)

* * *

I went with Gerry, Ate, Tito Chummy and my parents to Dish, for a night of old songs I've honestly never heard before (even for someone who sits in with my mom and dad listening to their Sunday radio every weekend.) A Beatles song we all haven't heard before, who would have thought! Was cool.
 
::TITA EMA's BIRTHDAY PARTY

[BACKLOG 2004/2/21]

Highlight of the evening was Tita's Arowana escaping the aquarium. Got to chat also with Tita's friends from Slimmer's.

Unexpected techie talk (quite novel for a family gathering). Got to talk with Enan and Georgia about CF vs. SD, digicams vs. Tablet PC's vs. camera phones, and the nasty catch of the region selection on your DVD drive.




 
::JULIE ON INTRANET PROJECT

[BACKLOG 2004/2/16-2004/2/27]

Welcome to the team, Julie!

Julie's now part of our team. I gave her the MSCMS manual, got to teach her IIS, and Maui did the Intranet and QA briefing. We've got a pretty good process worked out.

For her part she's been quite aggressive in giving suggestions. She's been giving good suggestions for improving the documentation, suggestions with the UI, nitpicking behavior, being a par excellence QA. I got some nice ideas from her on organizing our docs, will be working on that once dev work subsides a bit.

Hey not that I'm slacking of on docs, we still have code comments and wiki notes and all that, just haven't updated the baseline docs on DMS.

"Baseline" -- that's a new word, part of the CMMi lingo, but I'm getting ahead of myself with this baclkog. :-)
 
::ROMEL

[BACKLOG 2004/2/16-2004/3/5]

Actually I don't have an exact range of this period. This has to do with the last days of Romel in Trend.

I remember one of the last lunches I've had with him (my camera is so handy here) -- it was at Goodah. I first got wind of the "PIP" word here, in relation to the Siebel project. TThere was really a lot speculation at this time. Eventually we knew where it was going. He wasn't showing up in the office anymore some time after this lunch.

It's unfortunate that with the good service he's done for Trend ever since the office was established here in the Philippines, it's come to an end.

Romel Almarinez, he's a great guy, a very "mature" presence in the group. Quite jaded, rather cynical perhaps, occasional green jokes, has strong sometimes-unpopular convictions (fan of Ping Lacson, apologist for Erap no less -- you gotta have guts for this.) Someone who was intelligent and got things done. Knowing the back story of all of this, the story of BP,

We in BP as a group have to move forward, improve our processes, look at this objectively, improve our projects' success rate. Establishing better processes is the way to be objective in solving problems, making failure less of a personal fault. At the same time there's a human element to this, we must know how to work together constructively.

I don't really know what really happened (it's "complicated") hence am not blogging speculations, but again let's just (1) make things better and have more successes, and (2) in case we don't succeed, let's be reminded that we have to move forward again in a constructive and professional manner.
 
::HERE WE GO -- POST VALENTINE'S SUNDAY

[BACKLOG 2004/2/15]

Still "antok" (sleepy doesn't really cut it) from yesterday. Ate at CPK with family. We had a little misunderstanding with my sis and their family. That's how it is I guess with extended families, schedules, etc. Nothing we couldn't sort out though. We're good. :-)

They met an old friend, and I let them my camera. Got nice pics of Tinsel with pet chickens.
 
::A HUGE BACKBLOG (TO COIN A PHRASE)

That's backlog blogging.

I don't know exactly why, but I got really busy for the past month.

I have to blog again, so I can
1) Sort out the stuff that's been happening for the past few weeks (enough to justify not blogging)
2) Try to find out if I've been to busy (most likely)

It might be a sign I'm trying to do too much.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
 
::ACADEMIC VALENTINE'S

[BACKLOG 2004/2/14]

Met up with LJ, helped her with the computational linguistics stuff for Imagine Cup.
We met up with Erwin and Danny. I had an interesting discussion with Danny on Web services, which he's planning to take up for a thesis.

Then helped LJ look for a video. If only "Sophie's World" was made into a movie...

...

Spent midnight to early morning on my Gabbydictionary migration project. Fun with Java Eclipse and regexps.
 
::JAPANESE WEEK

[BACKLOG 2004/2/9-2004/2/13]

A revival of my 日本語の勉強. Conducted review lessons for Julie. Got to talk with Rael who's pretty proficient with Japanese, she helped me by lending her Nihongo no Kiso book. We had the interview on Friday with Aiko Watanabe.

Also, continuing help for VE-CMS, and bug fixing, and my slides for the .NET presentation at FEU-FERN.

 
::.NET SEMINAR!

[BACKLOG 2004/2/12-2004/2/13]

Finally pushed through! Went with the Academic.NET presentation at FEU-FERN. I had fun with my slides, using my stock pics. Fumbled a bit with the laptop, but was OK. More demos in my next presentation perhaps.

Interesting note: one student asked Mark if he knew Sacha. It's a small world really.

Afterward we had a talk with Vic Vargas who's head of the IT group there.

We had a lot of .NET jokes (yep that's possible) such as Web services in humps, and "Intelliject" technology in Ian's car.

Stan treated us to pizza at Yellow Cab. Some Microsoft insider stuff, and weird facts like Stan's the king of Space Cadet Pinball.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
 
::MORE GEEKING OUT WITH MARK

[BACKLOG 2004/2/8]

Sunday morning: treated him to sumptuous Dunkin Donut breakfast of croissant sandwiches, coffee, and a donut. We talked about Web Services/SOAP, JITSE, dynamic programming and our preferred donut varieties (er, a logical topic choice given the context). We also discussed europe.webmatrixhostng.net and our homepages and how we implemented them. Mark had a problem with his IFRAME implementation, I proposed a solution and we went back to the apartment and tried it out. Worked great!

He also mentioned his "punzki.co.nr" domain, something I might want to look at as well.

Then it was time for mass to Della Strada. Then off to Tita Baby's for the fiesta there.
 
::PANTALAN AND BAYWALK

Briefly: a BP outing that actually pushed through!

Got to meet Gladys. Lots of eating at Blue Bay, then hanging out at Baywalk.

Highlights:
- Lots and lots of pictures! (Maui, me and Gladys all had Ixus II’s).
- Maui freaked out at one of the clowns.
- Those hobos pretending to be statues almost got me.
- Gladys was kind enough to bring me to my house, just like old times.
 
::A "TEAM" WEEK

[BACKLOG 2004/2/2-2004/2/6]

Monday: Started on the VE migration tool (codename Hejira). I wanted a cool name related to migration, Exodus was too "gasgas". So Hejira it is -- a nice Arabic synonym.

Tuesday: Lunch at Pho hoa
We also had our dev meeting where we got to see Shana's excellent CRD and tech docs (made by RyanV)

Wednesday: Finished Dune 2: Machine Crusade. A bit long-winded, but had the proper suspense and plot twists at the right places. You get a feeling though that this is definitely a "middle" book of a trilogy (which it is). Very much like The Two Towers.

We had a sharing of music trivia during lunch at Fazoli's. I recalled this Japanese song that had several versions way back early '90's, even a Filipino rendition.

Thursday: Lunch out with Mau and Mike, treated them to. Got to give a little reflection on teamwork, and told them to make good use of the relatively light load in Intranet project. Get a certification or similar. Then we discussed certifications and our plans.

Friday: An interesting lunch out at Pinoydon, with Romel in fine form with his aggressive bantering. Target was Joyce, who was too shy to say a word! You got to admire Romel though, if he didn't decide on paying we wouldn't have gotten to pay -- so many 500-peso bills, you know how it is with a group bill. :-P

[REFLECTION]

I have more reflections on how to lead.
1) Lead by being quick and firm on decisions, without being rash of course
2) Lead by learning to delegate properly, with clear directions, but not too imposing. Make communication open and there shouldn't be a problem
3) Lead by learning more about your team members, empathize more
 
::MY DEDICATION TO PROGRAMMING...


[BACKLOG 2004/2/6-2004/2/7]

I have been working on the VE-CMS payload info XHTML editor and the required changes to my Hejira migration tool. Was up to it on Friday, and I was quite in the zone. I really wanted to finish it, but the balanced-personality part of me prevailed and I went with the others to our Pantalan gimik. For a while though I couldn't get that out of my mind. It's really like that when.you haven't a program. Not dissimilar to improperly turning off one's computer -- lot's of cache files lying around.

I had a rather serious discussion with Jason on the way to Manila.on the current direction and strategy of BP. Some insights, some learnings, a reality check of sorts. For me, just focus on what I'm doing, hope to make the technical side of things optimal.

I went back Saturday to finish my work. Unfortunately, the export system still had some performance/reliability issues, the payload editor just didn't quite work when hooked up with the CMS API, etc. Stayed until early evening. Then I helped Mylene with her project.which required dynamic population of drop-downs wholly from client-side data. After a couple of thrown-away designs, I came up with some structures based on Javascript arrays. Made it nice with developer comments and special handling of "All" selections to optimally use client data.

By this time it was pretty late, so stayed at Mark's place. He was having this problem with a program which required backdating the system to run properly. So got to teach him WSH and VBS -- hah he's a virus script kiddie now! -- and got the thing to backdate the system, run the program, sleep for a while, then set the date back. Then we geeked out on it, made the script accept arguments, and print out command-prompt usage when no args were supplied. Neat! Turns out there was another program which needed similar treatment, and we got to use our script on that. Then we had a small deliberation on the optimal foolproof backdating and date restoration algorithm. What the heck!

[REFLECTION]
Maybe I'm a bit of a sucker for accepting extra work at the office. But really, I enjoy hacking at a good programming problem and coming up with an elegant solution. I just have to focus on where it can be most beneficial at work or in my free time and volunteer work.
 
::AN ACADEMIC-ORIENTED WEEK

[BACKLOG 2004/1/26-2004/1/30]

Wednesday: I accompanied Sacha to a student's congress held in Marikina. Quite interesting. I got to meet Tessie from DLSU and she's into AI and Semantic Web, stuff I'm also quite interested in. I also have contacts

Had quick lunch of salad from Food for Thought. I met up with Fritz and had seafood rice at S.R. Thai. She told me about ongoing French lessons, might look into that.

I then went to Sel's work place at UP Bahay ng Alumni. Pretty nice, spacious workplace. We had a nice chat over a dessert sampler at Chocolate Kiss.

Met up with Orland and Neil. Neil was checking MP's in Java using Cygwin. Helped him with the JDK version conflict stuff (Swing incompatibility.) Talked with Orland, got an update about his thesis.

Then met up with Dottie, just had a short chat with her. Too bad didn't get to meet her officemates or see her office, but at least I know how to get there.

Friday: met up with Eric and Sacha, at Glorietta. Usual games. :-) Got to try Ice Monster, avocado mix.Yum!

Also this week: Helped Ian with his interview about how Ateneo helped me an alumnus at work, etc. Also talked with him re possible co-presentation on .NET in different schools. Dev team also got to fruitfully deliberate on TSD format. Neat! We hope to follow-through on our notable if modest successes.
Saturday, February 07, 2004
 
[SCRATCH]

[QUOTE]
I offer this argument to those who state "You create your own reality."
I kick them in the shin.
Then say, "Why did you do that?"

[QUOTE]
There are no Famous Hackers" meaning simply, that the famous "super-genuius-crackers" in the news who get caught aren't really all that smart are they

[STUFF]
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/8120801636/qid=1076090387/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-6989770-8910210?v=glance&s=books

Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

http://www.world66.com/myworld66/visitedCountries


"Don't take life to seriously, nobody comes out alive."
Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me, I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=95578&threshold=1&commentsort=0&tid=106&tid=130&tid=185&tid=190&mode=thread&cid=8186949
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
 
[HAIKU]
The gray skies fluoresce
White unearthly clouds awake
A calm sterile light



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