Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

P2P simulator

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

I will be working to write simple cycle-driven peer-to-peer simulator really soon. My workload is getting really, really heavy, but they are really fun! I have been learning more and more. Hoping to be able to write some stuffs here soon. But don’t count on it.

Happy Valentine’s day btw (this is one of the reasons why I wrote this today).

P.S. Heck, I completely forgot to publish this one.


Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Hello there… I’ve been pretty swamped recently (and hence the lack of postings). I just moved early January, still acclimatizing to the hot and humid climate after the cold pre-winter season. I sweared constantly the first few days after I moved, but I’m getting used to the weather. In fact, I’m starting to think that it’s great. I’ve been sweating often and it’s a good sign for my obese body.

Enough on the rant. I have been working on quite a few interesting things. I’m also taking several advanced courses that should help me with my weak maths; though, on the other hand, I’ve been pummeled by the difficulty as well. I hope I’ll survive.

So expect to hear more from me on things I’m working on now: webapps performance, general performance modeling, static analysis, concurrent programming, and more C++. Hopefully I will have more time soon and I can restart my nascent blogging habit. Wish me luck!

Seinen manga

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Recently, I’ve started to read a manga (Japanese comics) genre called seinen. It is supposed to be a genre for university students and older males in general, as opposed to shounen for younger males, or, well, boys. (If you’re interested, the female equivalent is josei and shoujo respectively.) Seinen manga is suprisingly… interesting. It’s very refreshing and different from the hack and slash shounen and the insanely lovey-dovey shoujo.

Seinen ranges from utterly comedic to deeply psychological. Some of them still scars me to this day when I recalled the story. Indeed, it is not a genre to be taken lightly. So today, instead of discussing the usual programming stuffs, I shall be introducing some of the seinen manga I’ve read recently.

1. The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer (Wakusei no Samidare) by Mizukami Satoshi

This manga shocked me. I was laughing uncontrollably after only the first two pages! It was an awesome introduction (read it here: page 1 and 2). The story revolves around a college student who woke up to find an… err… talking lizard. Hilarious! Oh, not to forget that he later on swore allegiance to a princess who wants to save the earth from being destroyed by a… biscuit hammer. Did I say that the princess does that just so that she could destroy the earth herself? Gosh!

Read it here.

2. Angel Heart by Hojo Tsukasa

The first thing I noticed about this manga is that it has a unique drawing style among manga. It looks more like an older American graphic novels than a Japanese manga. After several chapters, it matters no longer. The story revolves around an assassin who committed suicide only to receive a stolen heart transplant and ending up becoming the “daughter” of the guy who is the fiance of the dead girl from whom the heart was stolen. It’s a heartwarming story of redemption of an ex-assassin doing good deeds as a city hunter.

Read it here.

3. Binbou Shimai Monogatari by Kazuto Izumi

The story revolved around two sisters who are incredibly poor and living alone in a meagre apartment rented from a fierce landlord. They constantly had to skimp on food. It tells the tale of the two sisters coping with their lives with a smile everyday. A truly slice of life story, it amazingly sticks to the premise up to the end. It’s as if you’re looking at two real sisters in real life and not in a manga. There is no happy ending and I didn’t expect it to have one. After all, the two sisters are already happy from the beginning just by having each other’s company.

Read it here.

4. Real by Inoue Takehiko

This is a deeply psychological manga. It provides a looking glass into a world of handicapped basketball through the eye of a school drop-out (who used to be a darn good basketball player), an ex-sprinter who had his leg amputated, and a popular basketball captain who lost all his friends after being involved in an accident and was paralyzed from waist down. It is a perfect twist to other basketball manga like Slam Dunk or Cross Over.

Read it here.

5. Skyhigh by Takahashi Tsutomu

Do you believe in afterlife? This story brings you into the gate of heaven, where a lone girl becomes its guardian, offering each spirit three options: one, to go through the gate and be reborn; two, to stay as wandering spirit on earth; or three, to curse (read: kill) one person on earth and go to hell afterwards. Each chapter portrays the decision each spirit made and the consequences. I was captivated. I read the continuation: Skyhigh Karma, but I still think the original Skyhigh is far more amazing than the second.

Read it here. (Read Skyhigh Karma here.)

There were several other seinen I’ve read recently, notably Hot Milk, Bitter Virgin and Lucu Lucu; but I forced myself to limit the list to five. I was really torn when I was at #4. I decided to put up the two that are most different from the rest. But these three are pretty awesome as well.

Seinen is a refreshing genre because it’s so diverse. There is no common plots among many of the popular seinen manga. I’m glad I read them. Though I think they contribute to my headache. Imagine working 10 hours in front of an LCD screen and reading manga on another LCD screen at home. Surely, there is a limit for my eyes… :(

Child sending naked picture of herself persecuted…

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

… Really now? Seriously?

This has got to be the stupidest news I’ve seen in awhile. Not to mention the stupidest public persecution in quite awhile too.

Oh and it doesn’t stop there…

A prosecutor says Licking County authorities also considering charges for students who received the photos.

Okay… (Probably no wonder that the county and the school has, well, you know, the word licking in it.) I’m still half-hoping that this is an “onion”-news[1].

On unrelated note, Stoyan Stefanov from YUI blog has just posted a pretty neat article on pngcrush (among other things, like jpeg metadata stripper). This should really be made a common practice nowadays. A friend of mine has even written a short script to automate CSS spriting followed by pngcrush recently. He told me it helps reduce the file size of the sprited PNG by twenty something percent. Not to mention a lot less HTTP requests.

GMail Themes (and its launch faux pas)

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Oh my!! Did you see the new GMail themes feature?? It’s freakin’ awesome! No seriously. Within minutes, I’ve found my favorite among those themes: the pebbles theme! The color scheme is absolutely pleasent, complete with transparent bars.

This, together with the label colors lab feature has turned my boring gmail account into a very pleasant color explosion. Soothing and relaxing. :) Try it out if you have an account (or create an account). You know, sometime I think that everyone has a gmail account. When I see an e-mail that is not gmail based, I can’t help feeling delighted (at seeing something not ‘et’ gmail ‘dot’ com).

GMail made a faux pas during the launch of themes. Usually new features will only appears when GMail is refreshed. It seems that this one wasn’t launch that way. The new theme appears halfway on my GMail. It was shocking. I thought something was really wrong with my GMail since the color looks really horrible. Fortunately, the first thing I did was refreshing the page. After refreshing it turns to be quite pleasant (the “default” theme). I thought it might just be my browser. An hour later, a friend was pointing to me that the web snippets (those text at the top of the inbox with text coming from other sites) were virtually unreadable due to the color scheme. My conversation with him was quite funny. We thought that somebody in GMail is so gonna get his arse burned. ;) We were kidding, of course (in case some Googlers read this). I told him to refresh, and he loves it.

(You might also want to try the time-based themes; those are pretty cool as they change with time. I tried the Beach themes, but after awhile, it still doesn’t look as appealing as pebbles.)

emacs 81×70

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Recently, I started to rethink my workflow. I used to work with emacs occupying 80 columns and 2/3 of the screen vertical space, with another 1/3 below it used for a command line terminal to execute builds and tests. After the rethinking, I’ve settled with 81×70 in-terminal emacs (emacs -nw). By 81×70, I mean the dimension setting in my Mac that makes a terminal with tabs stretch all the way from the top of the screen to the bottom (I forgot the exact terminal size in Ubuntu). It’s amazing how much I missed in the past by not extending the emacs terminal as long as it gets. With such a big space, I can visualize code much better (well, it has never been a problem before, but being able to see more code does apparently boost my confidence in my internal brain’s RAM).

Why 81 columns? Because I like to keep my code at 80 columns width. Yes, so why 81? Well, in emacs, if you type exactly 80 characters in an 80 by x terminal, the last character will fall off to the next line as the last column is used for the ‘\’ character indicating the line continuing in the next line. Having 81 by x gives me just enough space to type 80 characters. Any more and I’ll notice it falling off.

This setting works well for me in Ubuntu and Mac. I’ve tweaked my Mac fonts too. I’ve changed the default terminal font with Monaco 12pt., anti-aliased. It’s just wonderful (it’s the same font used in TextMate btw). Here is a sampler (the code in the emacs window is not mine; it’s someone’s extremely messy code I’m in the middle of cleaning up—stylistically—and soon rewrite, hopefully; there is a limit to messy code… Sigh).

emacs in 81x70 terminal window

emacs in 81x70 terminal window

Bonus tip: If you decided to code with good width limit (80 or 100 chars), you can tile several Terminal windows side-by-side. I’ve seen people with 4 terminal windows side by side in their kickass 30″. I have 2 emacs terminal side-by-side and another smaller sized terminal to run miscellaneous shell commands and scripts.