Entries for June, 2003

ok, i hate it when internet nerds try to make stuff sound more complex than it really is for the sole purpose of confusing and sounding cool.

so here is my break-down of internet slang and terminology:

1.) CSS
Lets you define universal website styles throughout a site in one place (fonts, colors, etc.) Does not really separate programming from design in a website. Makes all websites look the same.

2.) XML
The latest buzzword. Definition: HTML that can store data. Will never replace databases. Serves as an intermediate source between systems that do not cooperate.

3.) RSS
I had the hardest time understanding this. Every single website had pages and pages on what this does. Here is is folks ... ::drumroll::

RSS is XML with a specific parser pre-built. The confusing thing is that XML in its very nature is for syndication, which is why I was confused with RSS.

4.) PHP
A templating engine. What I don't understand is why someone would build a templating engine (Smarty) on top of PHP.

Ok, that's it.
Posted by roy on May 31, 2003 at 09:49 PM | 4 Comments
this weekend was devoted to audiomatch development. basically i decided to start the filtering portion of audiomatch (seeing as to how we had 200,000 songs in our database with 12,000 artists ... it would be a good time to start).

but if you want to hear something amusing, i drove a car for the first time today. i got my first "lesson" in driving from my dad. i learned how to park, make a three point turn, and uhh... drive in general, i guess. man, i sound like a 15-year old.

i just have to remember the golden rule to driving: red means go (ask yush what this means).

if you want to read some computer crap about audiomatch, read below. it's pretty technical.
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Posted by roy on June 1, 2003 at 11:05 PM in Web Development | 6 Comments
The Chinese have started to accumulate water for their three gorges project. There's been a lot of talk in the Economist and such about the corruption and the poor engineering quality ... and of course we mustn't forget the previous failures of the Chinese in building dams.

My prediction? Within three years, earthquakes shatter the dam and creates floods worse than what the Yangtse normally provides. What proof do I have of this? None. I'm just talking out of my ass.
Currently listening to: Jason Mraz's The Remedy
Posted by roy on June 2, 2003 at 09:29 AM | 1 Comments
I'm going to start off this entry with a powerful quote:
"Integration worked in the 60’s, it works in calculus, and it will work with tacos-gyros-etc." - Scholar Oliver Sum-Ping

I'm currently overloading myself with three projects, but I'm clearly taking them into three converging directions. Audiomatch, SingItWith.Us, and Tabulas all will combine together in one glorious moment to ... uhh. Wait, I forget.

In any case, I took the first step towards integrating the lyrics site and this site; check out this entry's song. You'll notice a little button that links to the lyrics in SingItWith.Us. Currently, the feature doesn't really work unless you choose that song (it was meant more for a test more than anything), but you can quickly see where I'm taking this whole thing. (Of course, the option for toggling it off will be available to the end-user if you feel uncomfortable plugging my site).

In any case, I'm still having massive difficulties figuring out how to optimize artists ... for both SingItWith.Us, Tabulas, *and* Audiomatch. This is going to kill me. I think I may stay home from school tomorrow and blow off MCATs for one day to do a little more work with the three sites.

I really wish I had something amusing to say ... but I think the images in sech's tabulas is enough for now.
Currently listening to: Jason Mraz's The Remedy
Posted by roy on June 2, 2003 at 11:41 PM | 4 Comments
a man whose life is work has no f'ing life.

i've felt that my life has gotten completely boring. i can't really talk to anyone about anything anymore - nothing exciting ever happens to me; i'm just usually holed up, working on some aspect to one of my websites.

i spent some time writing a search engine for the lyrics website; i really really like the one i built. there's no ranking system yet, but honestly with such a small dataset, it's up to the end user to put in a refined search. Go try it out here ... you'll also notice a listing of the last 20 queries. I'm hoping that if i start logging the search queries and the solutions that people find, I can refine my algorithm or make "suggestions."

I need to finish SingItWith.us by tomorrow. I actually finished up the refining artistnames for Audiomatch today; if I can finish SingItWith.Us by tomorrow... I'll be set to finish up the rest of Audiomatch ... and then ... TABULAS! YES!

I'm running into a slight problem though. the server that these sites are all on ... is starting to exhibit normal load averages of 3.0. This is nothing to jump at, but ideally I'd like to keep the load averages below 4.0 - 5.0 all the time. With more users joining audiomatch every day (15 ACTIVE people per day on audiomatch) ... this is going to cause a lot of problems.

I may try to boost up production of Tabulas at the sake of my health and sleep in order to try to get 1.0 finished and then I can start charging for advanced features or knock out some of the more CPU-intensive aspects of Tabulas (hit logging will def only be a paid solution).

Argh. Decisions decisions. Of course, if I would only start doing some freelance work again, most of my monetary problems would go away. I could just get a separate server for Tabulas/SingItWith.us...
Currently listening to: Backstreet Boys's All I Have to Give
Posted by roy on June 3, 2003 at 09:37 PM | 1 Comments
I remember talking with Yush a little while back about color schemes and how different people have different tastes for color schemes. As a web developer, I've realized that a good color scheme is crucial for a website.

In the back of my mind, I've always wondered if there was a good mathematical method of selecting colors. Yesterday, I was linked to this pretty cool website that generates a 6 color palette based on a color that you like. At first glimpse (this thing is done in JS), the first box is based on your color, while the next two are offsets of the color being selected ... looks like they took a normal 16-range and split it into groups of 5 (i *think*, i have not actually done the math to see) ... while the last two are offsetting tones.

This is quite interesting. I want to generate a PHP version of this which will let you input one hexadecimal color and have the script generate 6 colors. Besides being incredibly cool, this could have great implications for Tabulas and its auto-generation of CSS.

What I'm thinking so far is this:
There is a list of about 10 transition of colors. You select a transition scheme that you like. Then you go to the next page and do so again. And then a third page.

Based on the three selections, the script figures out which transitions you like best (the colormatch site above automatically assumes everyone likes the equal offsets, which may be true) based on your selections. Then you input a hexcode, and have the script generate 6 colors. Even cooler will be if I can figure out how to autoassign these colors to specific classes within the CSS files (this'll be easier once I standardize each page).... imagine taking a short survey, inputting your favorite color, and having the script generate colors for you?

On another note, I've decided I hate low flush toilets with a PASSION. No matter how much these damn things save on a per flush basis, it's offset by the fact that every single person I've heard in the bathroom flushing one of these toilets flush them at least 3 times. That includes me.

It's obnoxious. Goddamn environmentalists making my life difficult ...
Posted by roy on June 4, 2003 at 07:53 AM | 8 Comments
absolutely pointless. hit refresh a few times; they should change.
Posted by roy on June 4, 2003 at 06:42 PM | Add a comment
It starts off as something simple that I think I can manage. Then, I notice that it starts to shave a few minutes off my day. Then it turns into an hour.

Before I know it, I'm knee-deep in a new project which started off as fun but now is utterly confusing. It's not that I don't write clean code; I keep my functions well modulated and pretty well-organized.

But I guess my mind just keeps wandering. I spend a good chunk of time working on audiomatch today, then I started working on SingIt ... and my head hurts a lot from working on both of them.

Soon, SingIt will be done and I can just say NO MORE! The admin panel is taking a while; hopefully by tomorrow I can say that it's done. I found out today that the SingIt search index wasn't catching all new songs so I had to rebuild it. Fun times.

In any case, audiomatch ... I just want to redo the main page for it, then say I'm done.

I think tomorrow I'm going to do some design. My head is killing me from all this scripting. I have some new UI ideas for Tabulas.

Alex said he *might* help me with some cool Java stuff for Tabulas ... keep your fingers crossed ... I am secretly really excited and hoping that what we talked about for Tabulas will come through.

If it does, I guarantee all of you guys will *love* the new feature. It's unannounced because I didn't anticipate it to be built ... but it'll be the ultimate lazy tool for you punks.
Posted by roy on June 4, 2003 at 10:59 PM | 2 Comments
ed: "if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of pianos and an infinite amount of time, they will eventually play beethoven's 9th symphony with 90% accuracy. to be there for that one moment in time to see them perform the 9th symphony perfectly ... that would rule. "

Posted by roy on June 6, 2003 at 08:49 AM | 2 Comments
Cue MC Hammer ...
Posted by roy on June 6, 2003 at 09:51 AM | 5 Comments
Read more below
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Posted by roy on June 6, 2003 at 09:57 AM | 2 Comments
so yesterday my parents decided on our "family trip" for the summer. in case you don't know, i usually detest family trips ... i haven't gone on a "family trip" in years. i guess you could mark last year's trip to korea as a "family trip minus dad," but then again i was pretty much allowed to do whatever i wanted when i was in seoul, so i guess it's not much of a family trip.

it's not that i don't like my family ... but when i'm in a new place, i like to wander around by myself and immerse my self in the city. i don't really like sightseeing ... i like to watch people move around more.

in any case, we're going to europe. we're hitting up brussels, luxembourg, amsterdam, prague, vienna, paris, (some place in) switzerland, etc. typical things.

of course it hit me that i'm entirely too obsessed with tabulas when my first thoughts were "damnit how am i going to work on tabulas." but then i realized that i could take my craptop to europe and work on the trains/planes/hotels. YES! EAT THAT! maybe if i can jack someone's wireless card and find some cafe in paris with free wireless ... i wish i knew c++ or c so i could write a quick program that would detect a wireless connection. well, it's not a big deal in any case. i'll just do all the work in europe and then upload when i get back.

the more i think about it, the more excited i am ... i can finally take out my camera and take some PPEEEEECTTTUUURRREEESSS. it's been a while (man, i think film from korea is still loaded in the camera!), but i'll get my parents to pay for the film. mwahahahaha.

i also got a kickass 256mb usb pen drive yesterday as a gift. it frickin kicks butt and it's something i actually never realized that i needed; i can quickly transfer stuff between my craptop and the desktop here without having to wire the craptop to the internet (we have no router/hub/switch). YES!

2fast2furious was pretty hot. but they really demphasized the cars in this one. i mean, they had so many and they never even talked about the cars; they just wrecked them and then brought on more cars. it was a totally different style of movie than the first; i can't decide which was better. i liked the plotline to the second one better, but the cars seemed nicer in the first one (supra, baby!).
Posted by roy on June 7, 2003 at 08:00 AM | 11 Comments
i split up the previous entry into two entries... i also want to write a little more ... so hit the 'read more' for the entry posted yesterday, continue reading here for new stuff.

i locked myself in my room and spent 6 hours designing new UI systems for tabulas. i worked specifically on the gallery portions because i've always felt they were the weak points in terms of UI for tabulas.

i got out about 3-4 solid designs ... that i'm pretty happy with. i showed them to a few people, and i seemed to get a pretty good response from them. it's going to be a helluva lot of work to break it down to XHTML/CSS ... but once i get it up ... YAY!

oh hell. i'll upload them and show you guys ... three links below

link 1
link 2
link 3
edit: gah, the last two are slightly screwed up. the last one shouldn't have that image aligned towards the top ... the 2nd link displays the wrong box on the right side.

but i am much too tired to fix them up in photoshop. i will actuay take them to HTML tomorrow. wheeee. i'm tired. sleep time.

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Posted by roy on June 7, 2003 at 10:18 PM in Web Development | 9 Comments
sometimes i have to remind myself not to regret anything i've done. regret is a useless emotion that only serves to mire oneself even deeper in a pool of self-pity.
Posted by roy on June 8, 2003 at 11:11 PM | 1 Comments

A few years ago when I first announced my intentions to go to Carolina, a few friends of mine (specifically Oliver) who were getting drunk (or watching unnamed hot soccer girls get drunk) in Germany on a trip decided to buy me a "present" in Germany. They graciously bought me some Pussy Flakes which I accepted wholeheartedly. However, I have been unable to use the full box of Pussy Flakes for my own purposes and I will be offering others the opportunity to have this wonderful box of Pussy Flakes. I could send it to Oliver ... or I could give it to Borst. However, much discussion with Oliver led me to believe that Borst might waste the box of Pussy Flakes by using it all really quickly. This is a legitimate fear ... we could 'ration' the Pussy Flakes to different people, but I think this would ruin the effect of the box. In any case, anyone have any thoughts on who should get this wonderful box of Pussy Flakes next? On my trip to Germany, I may have to get some Pussy bratwursts!!!

Posted by roy on June 9, 2003 at 07:52 PM | 2 Comments
audiomatch broke 1000 regged today. we've had 85 registered alone today. the previous record was yesterday with 49.

sooooooo now i'm getting worried. i've been monitoring the server pretty actively and the load average seems to hover around 2-3 a lot.

with 600+ users actively pounding the server with new data every now and then, you've got to give me props for not killing the server. please.

but i've been curious so i recently put in a "how were you referred," and it seems that a ton of people are coming in from a few forums:
the no-va boards, brinky.org, penny-arcade forums, giveupalready ... if you'll notice, two of the top two sites are pretty much targetted for 14 year old girls, which will do well to offset the primarily 19year old angry boys who are listening to too much depressing music ...

man. interesting stuff.

tabulas 1.0 gallery is coming along well. i decided to rewrite the gallery engine from scratch. it's really nice though. it's compact and well organized :)
Posted by roy on June 10, 2003 at 08:31 AM | 6 Comments
i'm learning quite a bit from audiomatch. it becoming relatively popular, i've had to resort to peddling for donations ... and also taking a hard look at my code to see how to optimize stuff.

i wrote in a bunch of benchmarking in the script that handles the data output to track where all the time goes. it was apalling to me to see that some queries were tkaing up to 30 seconds to add a song.

and now i know why people complain. but in any case, i've taken a short look at the data, and it seems rather sporadic; sometimes the image generation takes a bulk of the time, and other times, it's just database work.

surprisingly mysql handles indexed fields (text fields ... of about 150K entries) pretty darn well.

but in all honesty, i don't see how the script will continue to handles so much data in the upcoming weeks. i'm going to do my best tomorrow to identify the bottlenecks within the script and to relieve congestion. i already located a huge bottleneck ... time to go byebye ;)
Posted by roy on June 11, 2003 at 08:48 PM | 1 Comments
nontechnical post: if you want to laugh at pictures of me photoshopped onto various bodies, go here.

technical post regarding audiomatch and clearing of script bottlenecks:

Man, I need to get more work done on tabulas. I swear I'll be done with Audiomatch soon ... but I swear that I cannot *not* work on audiomatch. the bottlenecks within the script were *killing* the server.

so i spent some time analyzing the script that receives the data and inputs it into mysql. after making a few hypotheses, i input a bunch of benchmarking functions to time the execution time of certain portions.

in any case, i did fix up a _HUGE_ bottleneck and i'm pretty sure how to improve performance even more. i reduced the average runtime of a script 40% (wow!).

i've put up a page that has the data analyses as a side-by-side comparison . go here.

i should note that with this data, it's been 'corrected.' basically when i was running the old script, te bottlenecks would cause the server to slow down significantly, so the data would get slightly skewed.

the percentages you see are 'standardized' to the image runtimes. since the image runtimes haven't really been changed, they should match. everything else is referencing the image runtimes. i have an inkling that the greater data set for the right column as well as the increased stability of the server is contributing to the reduced runtime.

Posted by roy on June 13, 2003 at 08:02 AM in Web Development | 1 Comments
as i told donald yesterday at southpoint mall, i'm more comfortable hanging around gay guys in banana republic than straight girls in victoria's secret.

the power of the panties.
Posted by roy on June 14, 2003 at 05:34 PM | 8 Comments
i had an interesting dream last night. it was a mixture of starship troopers, starcraft, matrix, and halflife.

a group of me and my friends went into this factory in vietnam (?!) and had to kill all the bad guys. there were a lot of cool matrixesque action scenes.

and we had these awesome guns that they had in judge dredd which had multiple ammunition type. like you hit a switch and the gun shot grenades instead of bullets.

i was the ultimate badass in the movie (any surprise?).
Posted by roy on June 15, 2003 at 10:39 AM | 2 Comments
I managed to avoid the whole "American Idol" craze ... but it's just getting to that time when all those darn American Idols are starting to release songs on the radio.

I can avoid TV shows ... but for the life of me, I cannot avoid the radio. When I'm driving (WHOA,WHOA WHOA!!! I CAN DRIVE NOW!) and one of those songs come on, I want to so desperately change the songs, but ... they're so catchy.

Those damn producers have perfect the art of a pop song so well. From the first hook to the chorus ... I can't turn the song off.

So now I'm listening to Clay Aiken's last song. Now, I don't know why I'm listening to it. I don't think he's that great of a singer (as Yush says, he's got a Donny Osmond voice ... but it's not a great voice like Ruben's). Maybe there's some subliminal messages within the song ("If you listen to this song, you become more of a man!") ...

In any case, someone please shoot me. Put me out of my misery ... I've been waiting forever for this ... this is the night. HELP!
Currently listening to: Clay Aiken's This is the Night
Posted by roy on June 15, 2003 at 12:15 PM | 5 Comments
During the past few months, I've learned to not ask people for advice. Maybe it's just me, but most people have nothing insightful to offer. At all. And I've discovered that most people solve their problems on their own pretty damn well.

In any case, this goes doubly so for technological things. Maybe I'm just not asking the right questions, but no one's really been able to answer the questions I've had regarding some general programming concepts. I guess no one knows enough about specific things since it's kinda insignificant, but I'm a neat freak that has to know that everything is optimized.

Whenever I ask a question in a tech forum about a problem I'm having, I never receive a good answer. It's always something generally unrelated or it's something that's covered under the original posting (e.g. I'll say "I don't want to do X" and someone will reply "You should do X").

It's not a bad thing. People want to be helpful, but they usually just can't help, so they feel "hey it's better if i say something." and it's true. at least i get a sense that people are _trying_ to help.

My head hurts. And I'm seriously getting out of shape. I really am. I've joked about it before, but I'm starting to get a belly. I need to start biking again.

If only Tabulas would finish itself ... I think tabulas 1.0 may come out by weeks end. :)
Posted by roy on June 15, 2003 at 09:42 PM | 4 Comments
Alas. The pitfalls of classical piano songs. I used to play piano for a bit, then I quit. But the funny thing is I never learned the names of the songs I played. It would always be, "Yeah, I'm playing Beethoven," or "I'm playing Chopin." People would always ask me, "What's the name of hte song you played?" and I would always stutter.

This is the problem for stars like Beethoven and Mozart and Chopin. They could be HUGE for the teenage market if the classical pianists would simply rename their songs.

"Chopin Nocturne in Eflat major - Opus 9" is not as catchy as "In Da Club." It also makes downloading the music close to impossible. I mean, have you tried to use WinMX and download any Chopin nocturne's? They're always simply labelled as Chopin - nocturne as if Chopin only wrote one f'ing Nocturne in his whole life.

And don't get me started on the pianists. For whatever reasons, I cannot find a recording of Chopin's Eflat major Opus 9 that I like. All the pianists that I have (I think WinMX only has two versions) do some weird syncopated crap or gloss over the details. It's really annoying.

So anyways, I'm going to start labelling my Chopin songs with catchier titles. Maybe then Chopin will start to be incredibly popular.
Posted by roy on June 15, 2003 at 10:31 PM | 2 Comments
I'm very defensive about my computer. Maybe it's the fact that it's running Windows 98 and hasn't been reformatted since ... 1999. In any case, I get especially wary when people with no computer experience (e.g. my mom) start using my computer. Nothing good can come out of a newbie using my computer.

When's the last time you heard, "OH man! Mom, you fixed up that nagging 49.5 days Windows crash bug! Thanks! You rule!" If visiting hotmail.com or some korean news sites made Windows better ... well. No need for Indian offshore development companies, right?

Anyways, I had to recently clean my keyboard. You see, crap gets underneath the keys and it got to a point where I could *feel* stuff being crunched when I hit the keys. So I took off my keys, brought out of vacuum, and vacuumed my keyboard. It was perhaps one of the dirtiest things I had ever seen ... dust and hair and old food ... nasty.

In any case, when I was snapping the keys back on, I had the ultimate idea for a "foolproof" system. I rearranged my keys.

The first time my mom tried to use my "new" keyboard layout, I could see she was slightly confused. She stared at the keys ... and then slowly pecked away one by one. Then she looked up at the screen, only to find gibberish. Frustrated, she turned to me for help.

"Mom, I rearranged the keys."

At first she thought I had rearranged the keys as in "switching away from a Dvorak system." That does make sense.

"No mom, I simply rearranged the keys. It's still the Dvorak layout. The keys just don't represent what you hit anymore."

My mom is not very ... "keyboard friendly." She *needs* to see the keys in order to type them.

She hasn't used my computer since then.
Posted by roy on June 16, 2003 at 07:40 AM | 8 Comments

conversation below. learn from the ultimate player.

thug4life royboy: soob i have great news
hansOOb0410: whut
thug4life royboy: sun, yush, and others spotted incredibly cute korean girls today at CTOPs
thug4life royboy: perfect for you next year!
hansOOb0410: holy crap
hansOOb0410: damn.
hansOOb0410: i be damned
thug4life royboy: what? you're not taken are you?
thug4life royboy: you didn't hook up with one of those rich chicks from work?
hansOOb0410: nah.. but i am definitely hooking up with some youngens at a club we be going
thug4life royboy: WHOA
hansOOb0410: this company we are providing consultation is paying
thug4life royboy: soob be careful
thug4life royboy: some of those girls are dirty
hansOOb0410: damn right they are
hansOOb0410: but they are surely good to look at
thug4life royboy: hahahaha
thug4life royboy: soob!
thug4life royboy: you are such a player
hansOOb0410: shit boss is coming need to go
thug4life royboy: oh ok
thug4life royboy: peece
hansOOb0410 signed off at 12:23:44 AM.
Posted by roy on June 16, 2003 at 09:23 PM | 2 Comments
whee. to say i'm excited about tabulas 1.0 would be a major understatement. this is my foray into the software world; no longer will i simply be a designer, i will also be a scripter (and a programmer, maybe).

I've run into a few ruts (regarding some user interface issues), especially in the gallery. ranking and "see next" are always a pain considering the overhead involved.

but it's coming along pretty well. i've gotten tabulas gallery 1.0 more or less finished (missing two key features). i've been working on tabulas journal 1.0 (the entries portion) today. i got backups completely done, and i worked a little bit on the auto-linking features for every entry. the backups will be in both HTML and XML-RSS format so you can easily port between standards-compliant scripts. The autolinking features are just there to make your life easier ... whee!

i got a lot of stuff done ... things are starting to look good. i think i might be able to wrap up journal 1.0 and move to tabulas style 1.0. that is going to be killer, but i've been busting my chops learning more powerful programming tools, so it should be relatively painless.

the hardest part, believe it or not, is switching the design of the admin panel to the new one. there aren't too many changes that YOU'LL see, but it'll be big for me. i'm a stickler for details, and every little pixel must be perfect or i'm not happy.

borst helped me move the audiomatch db from this server to my other server; this should help (in theory) to reduce some load off of this server. neeraj also contacted me and said that he has been working on a winamp3x plugin for audiomatch. pretty nice!

in any case, i really really cannot wait until tabulas 1.0. hopefully it'll rock your socks ... and then finally i can rest (well, not really ... gotta study for MCATS!)
Posted by roy on June 17, 2003 at 06:56 AM in Web Development | 5 Comments
Anyone will tell you that I am a huge fan of Eastern Lights chinese restaurant. I'm hopefully converting everyone else to there too.

Anyways, a bunch of us went there for lunch today. Because it was a chilly day, it was perfect for jjaampong. I had learned from previous experiences in eating jjampong to wear a 'bib." Much to my own humiliation, I wore it proudly. The other guys made fun of me about it, but I was thinking "HEY I'M NOT GETTING ANYTHING ON MY NICE SHIRT, SO SHUT UP!"

Of course, lunch was almost over, and we were having a blast laughing at each other. I started off a sentence, "I went to a really famous pho place in Vietnam..." and then I drooled on myself.

But even worst, it missed my bib. It landed on my shirt. I don't know why, but everyone started laughing hard. I had to leave the table. I started drooling into my hand. The waitress came over cause she thought something was wrong.

But man, that jjampong sure does hurt when it shoots back up into your nose. Kinda like wasabi!

Note to self: use two napkins as bibs next time.
Posted by roy on June 17, 2003 at 04:09 PM | 13 Comments
1.) I forgot my girlfriend's birthday was 3 days ago.
2.) I meant to buy two MCAT books from Border's yesterday but I bought 2 GRE books instead. What the f'?

Seriously, I'm getting really forgetful. It's like I'm getting wrapped in my own world.

I can't wait for 1.0 to launch so I can get my "other" things in my life in order.

And also to become filthy rich. Hahahahaha.
Posted by roy on June 18, 2003 at 10:24 AM | 6 Comments
Nice to see more and more people I know are signing up. Makes me very happy. But you fools better post some GOOD entries or I'm banning you! hahahahaa. i kid.

do you ever wonder if what you're learning is too rudimentary for what you do? i mean ... all the stuff you learn in school, all the stuff you teach yourself. you feel accomplished, but you're in college. everyone is inexperienced. i'm worried one day i'll go out into the real world and find myself ill-equipped.

i guess it kinda goes back to some things i mock. i always make fun of people who think "mastering" html is some skill. it's not an entirely nice to do or say - it does take some time and some dedication to learn the ins and outs of HTML - but I wonder if the same way I feel complacent about my skillsets is looked down upon others.

It's so hard to judge yourself when you're in a college atmosphere. i guess that's what i miss out about not working in a lab with a known professor; i don't know what level the game is played.
Posted by roy on June 18, 2003 at 08:37 PM | Add a comment
a topic i touch upon pretty often.

what happens when the day comes that all races are truly equal? that there exists a world where the majority of people are accepting? i mean, do all the activists go, "job well done" and go on to living normal lives as corporate drones? i mean, we're quickly getting on track to racial equality in a legal sense; and we're starting to grapple the social issues that face us today as a multicultural nation. i mean, i worry that once we achieve that type of status, the groups will be doing more harm than good (which i actually think is happening now to a certain extent); how would YOU like if your livelihood depended on something, and that thing was solved? i have a feeling some people will create scenarios in order to keep their jobs rather than accept the fact that equality has been reached.

and on another note, i *know* there will be someone who thinks, "racism will never be solved. there will always be a need for activism." spare me that. that's an overtly pessimistic view, and i think that it will be overcome with time.

and what if we're not meant to be a melting pot? it's been obvious that there's a lot of effort to maintain the distinct cultural identities of ourselves; does this obsession with keeping your cultural identites stand in the way of a melting pot? it seems that setting yourself aside as "different" just lends itself to more of a mosaic of different cultures rather than a melting pot.

to me, that term lends itself more to "giving" up a part of your identity and accepting other cultures into your own life; you have to give up a little bit of your identity to join a melting pot. a mosaic allows you to remain as a separate cultural group without leaving the group itself.

racial integration (between races) is still a generation off. as much as people would like to simply force everyone to mix with each other and achieve this melting pot nirvana, i think that the main barriers remain with traditional thought. many people don't consider dating outside their race (or marriage on a more serious level) simply because of their traditions. it's not racism; there's no inherent hatred or misconception about other races, but you just want to hold with tradition.

i know my parents want me to marry korean. they're ok with me dating whomever, but they're only ok with it because there's an unsaid stipulation that eventually I will marry korean. i'm pretty sure that this holds with a lot of other people - more so for guys than girl's (see han's recent entry).

my parents are not racist, but they just want to hold with tradition. i know i won't care who my kids marry as long as it makes them happy. but this is probably an upbringing thing; being exposed to many different cultures makes me more accepting.
Posted by roy on June 18, 2003 at 08:47 PM | 3 Comments
if there's anything that makes my blood boil about the bush administration (well, american politics in general over the past few decades) is the favoritism they play towards US corporations.

the govt' just decided to slap tariffs on Hynix, a South Korean DRAM maker ... a tariff of 44% after Micron (a US company) went whining to the Feds ... i mean, regardless of whether Roh's government is subsiziding those chips, it's only going to hurt the Korean government. i mean, what are we to complain if the korean taxpayers want to help foot the bill for cheaper DRAM? i'm sure not going to complain.

why we slap tariffs on countries ... this type of thing is what pisses off other countries. we demand access to their markets and then restrict acccess to ours whenever a competitor gets too close. we also put a tariff on the vietnamese "dumping catfish."

dont' forget we have those steel tariffs that everyone hates ... and there was something ... oh yeah the softwood wood dispute between the US and Canadia.

arrggghh. free markets, people! we only hurt ourselves when we don't play by the same set of rules. and it's these small things that chip away at our credibility when we want to go do something legitimately important (e.g. iraq).

oh yeah, a quick side note so i don't have to do this in a separate post: i've said this tons of times before, but iran is one of the hopeful places in the middle east. the young are educated and aware of the better lifestyles of the west. they will solve their own problems; the us has to make sure not to get too involved. put pressure on the mullahs, but don't get overtly involved. it will look really bad if we have troops in afghanistan (which borders iran), iraq (which borders iran, _and_ iran itself.
Posted by roy on June 19, 2003 at 06:59 AM | 2 Comments
i've noticed something with MT ... i haven't googled this anywhere, so i really don't have any *valid* claims to back this all up, but MT.cgi seems to be *very* server intensive.

i monitor my servers quite constantly nowadays (i usually leave the TOP command on in putty while I work and toggle). i always notice a few sites on the np.net servers using MT ... and MT.cgi always is on the process list for at least 40 seconds eating at least 50% of memory resources, boosting my load averages up by at least 25%. of course, i'm not sure what the person is doing - perhaps they're rebuilding their whole database or something. i don't know.

then again, perl has never been known to be a non-cpu intensive language - there was a distinct reason everyone moved away from perl-based bulletin boards for PHP/mySQL.

this makes me start to doubt the viability of typepad. of course, they are only going to be paid accounts ... but logically i cannot see more than 50 high-traffic sites per server for typepad (i pulled that number out of my ass) ... i make no valid claims for tabulas; i know this thing is a memory hog as well with shitty SQL queries and such (i will clean those up before 1.0 hopefully).

but i guess what i'm going back to is the fact that LJ focuses more on the memory consumption aspects rather than user interface or user features, which is a damn good thing. of course, i'm focusing more on designs and UI than memory consumption ... and typepad... well i don't know what typepad is focusing on. ok. enough of that ...
Posted by roy on June 19, 2003 at 09:45 AM | 2 Comments
ahh, the joys of tabulas. yesterday, daniel mentioned "china express" as a viable alternative to eastern lights.

when deciding where to eat lunch today, yush and i suggested china express. everyone was willing to try a new restaurant for lunch ... so the 9 of us went.

we had no idea where the place was; we started driving down 54 towards southpoint (cause that's where we figured it was). alas, it was not in the shopping center directly across from southpoint, so i had to turn to one of those phone numbers where you call for directions (i use 1-800-CALL-ALEXBORST) and got the phone number to the restaurant.

we immediately noticed it had striking resemblances to eastern lights ... except the menu was more varied. when we sat down, we got _NEW_ chopsticks (that got the immediate approval of sun and han) ... and the VARIETY of jjambbong (KOREAN OR CHINESE?!) ...

we waiting excitedly, discussing whether it would be morally right to abandon eastern lights for this new (possibly awesome) restaurant!


when we first got our food, we thought there was a _lot_ more. alas, it only turned out the bowls made it seem so. and the soup was WEAK! aggghhh! we ordered "extra spicy," but it was not even remotely spicy! we did get more stuff with our jjambbong than eastern lights, but the soup itself seemed more ramen-ish then jjambbong-ish. but the noodles were better than eastern lights!

overall, we decided to stick with eastern light, _but_ daniel *did* warn us that they were often hit or miss ... so i will give china express the benefit of the doubt - i will return someday to partake in more food!
Posted by roy on June 19, 2003 at 03:24 PM | 1 Comments
anger is the byproduct of insecurity.

"evil is the lack of empathy" - nuremburg
Posted by roy on June 19, 2003 at 04:46 PM | 1 Comments
In a telling anecdote, it is said that Condoleezza Rice, the White House's national security adviser, asked a Korean government official if he knew the names of the two middle school girls killed last year by a U.S. armored vehicle. He answered yes right away. Then she asked if he knew any of the names of the sailors killed in the West Sea battle. The official stuttered, unable to answer the question. This embarrassing incident shows us how ridiculous our country may seem to the world.

- read the short editorial from a korean newspaper
Posted by roy on June 20, 2003 at 09:36 AM | Add a comment
so long astoria
i found a map to buried treasure
and even if we come home empty handed
well still have our stories
of battle scars, pirate ships and wounded hearts,
broken bones, and all the best of friendships

and when this hourglass
has filtered out
its final grain of sand
i raise my glass to the memories we had
this is my wish
im takin back
im takin them all back

- the ataris "so long astoria"
Posted by roy on June 20, 2003 at 11:30 AM | 1 Comments
Posted by roy on June 21, 2003 at 11:31 AM | Add a comment
1.) if i leave my computer on, and go out to bike and eat dinner, tabulas will *not* write itself
2.) writing a semi-CSS parser is a pain in the ass!
3.) i have no conception of optimizing memory performance

that is all

oh yeah

4.) i love fried chicken, dirty rice, seasoned fries, and biscuits from bojangles.
Posted by roy on June 21, 2003 at 03:32 PM | 4 Comments
working on tabulas 1.0 ... i was thinking what drove me to work on this so much? i mean, i wasn't enjoying all the nitty gritty real work involved with some of the more complex parts of tabulas (a semi-CSS parser for one) ... it's not an inherent love to computers that i pursue all this.

i think i've come to realize what the deal is. i think that i've put so much into the internet, that tabulas is my "way out." i want to desperately exit the whole internet thing, but the only way i can do that is by making something that shows the culmination of my experience on the internet - in the way my summer photogallery summed up my life experiences for the summer - tabulas is the summation of everything i've learned thus far on the internet. it's the culmination of my theories and my experiences on the web.

tabulas _must_ be a success. i am putting my heart and soul into the success of tabulas. to show that "hey, i did something useful" with the whole internet thing.

but it's not what i want to do. nor is freelancing. it's too stressful dealing with stupid clients - grovelling over their money. and as much as i'd like to be considered an elite designer, i'm not. i will never pull a high salary as a designer, nor as a PHP scripter, nor a combination of the both.

so what do i want? i guess i've realized that i want to go to med school. or law school. or some sort of graduate school where i can get a better education. dare i say i want to live a normal life? nah, not quite yet.

in a same manner that people departing from a relationship need closure, i need closure from my love affair with the internet and websites. and i guess tabulas is the vehicle for that closure; if i can make a truly successful site, i can say "hey, i made a website that made money and was considered to be damn good. i went out on top."

i think i'm beginning to understand myself more.
Posted by roy on June 21, 2003 at 11:01 PM | 6 Comments
last night i got a pity invite from hao to join a poker game with some old high school buddies (one of them being my good friend potter). anyways, this was my first time playing poker in months ... i had played with some chem buddies during the school year, but never seriously. but boy, did i get up to speed.

the buy-in was $10, which wasn't a big deal, but we had about $70 in the pot ...

i started off weak, keeping relatively quiet the first 5 hands or so, until i blew up. i pushed potter to go almost all-in on a game of blind baseball (where 3 and 9s are wild, and you play flipping over 1 card at a time from 7 cards) ... before the last flip, potter was showing a flush, and i was showing a 3 of a kind. the pot must of been at least $30 ... but i didn't wuss out. i decided to stay in to the last flip of a card.

and whoa. i got a 4 of a kind. nice! after that i had a few more big hands (i lost _huge_ in a two high-low games in a row, knocking me back at least $20)... about 7 hands before the game was over, i had to go all-in on a risky chicago low game. but luckily i was able to pull out a pair (?!) and split a huge pot.

the last hand was stressful. it was just me and hao in a standard texas hold-em game. we both bet big (at least $10 each) ... and it turned out we tied. phew! i got scared cause hao said he had a full house, but it turned out that all he had was a pair. i had the exact same pair so... kind of an anticlimatic ending when our last huge hand was tied.

i ended up exactly $10 up... made me happy.

damn poker is addicting. what have you done, hao?!
Posted by roy on June 22, 2003 at 08:51 PM | 1 Comments
Happy: I cannot stop watching this video

Not so happy: My head hurts a lot.
Posted by roy on June 23, 2003 at 10:37 PM | 2 Comments
i need to scrounge together ~$400 by friday. how shall i do this ..
Posted by roy on June 24, 2003 at 07:46 AM | 7 Comments
Posted by roy on June 25, 2003 at 11:11 AM | 1 Comments
Posted by roy on June 25, 2003 at 08:59 PM | Add a comment
some dumbass yesterday decided "hey, i'll let an ecommerce site join my topsites script that's poorly written!" i had to frickin monitor my server for like 2 hours, trying to coax it back up. it's still pretty weak from the fight ... and the ecommerce site still hasn't removed the image. if they don't remove it by tonight, i'm going to put a "nuke the unborn baby seals" image in the place of the old image. in any case, it's taking all my restraint to not just boot his dude off my server. what an idiot.

anyways, i spent a while trying to fix up my other server; i may move tabulas to the other server for various reasons. but i had trouble getting imagemagick (the library that helps manage the gallery) working .... i think it works now. hopefully i can move tabulas over to the server for 1.0.

i leave for europe in like 2 days. this blows. i'm way behind schedule ... both on MCAT studying and tabulas. audiomatch's server woes are chipping away slowly at my time, and some unfinished webprojects for clients are starting to kill me.

i think i'm no longer going to do webdesign work for people i know. as much as i'd like to help people make websites, i simply cannot afford it anymore. my time is valuable, and i can bill a corporation about $100/hour for work ... and then when i get asked to do a personal favor and make a website, my margins diminish to something less than minimum wage. then of course people expect hosting on top of it ... bahmuffins.

ok. so no more websites. you hear? if you want a website made, don't ask me. i'm more than glad to help you learn, but no more website making! unless you're willing to pay me my market rate and tear me away from tabulas ;)

but this is good. i'm slowly moving away from shitty webdesign jobs. ending my outsourcing relationship with prudens a while ago (which paid about $300/project that would go about 10 hours or so) was the first step. now i'm cutting off personal requests.


ok time to work.
Posted by roy on June 26, 2003 at 07:57 AM | 5 Comments
I'm getting pretty tired. It's about 2am ... gosh what's happening.

Anyways, things are turning out for the better. The server situation has been resolved (and the server is happily humming along). I've been starting to get donations from the NP.net members (thanks guys) ... and I finally got a rather large check that should tide me over for at least the next two months from Assyst-Bullmer for some freelance work.

I finish a website for a friend ... it's temporarily up here. I really like the simplicity of the site. And of course, it has the ever-hard-to-pin-down "roy" style. Speaking of which, I still havent decided whether I like the fact that people can recognize the designs i make ...

Amusingly, I had to shut off Audiomatch registrations because the server was dying. Since then, I've strongly urged people to donate a few dollars ... and amazingly enough, people have donated. We've even received a donation for $20! Most are between $3-$5 ... so I'm kinda amazed by it all. I'm just leaving it all in my Paypal account and once I get back from Europe Neeraj and I will figure out a way to divvy it up to be fair and even =).

Tabulas ... is not going to be very nice. I'm going to be forced to make the switch tomorrow afternoon sometime. There's still a good amount of work left to do, but I gotta get it out before I leave for Europe. Once I get back, I'll migrate Tabulas to my paid server (where it'll be able to hum along since I just found out that thing had only 256megs of RAM; i got 256 more installed for free from my hosting company) ...

So Tabulas 1.0 _will_ launch tomorrow (hopefully). I'll need some people to help me test it before I leave for Europe (which will be a timeframe of about 8-10 hours late Friday night EST to early Saturday morning).

In any case ... I'm going to get some sleep.

P.S. I love "So Long Astoria" by the Ataris. Check out the lyrics here.
Posted by roy on June 26, 2003 at 10:56 PM | 2 Comments
i'm so torn sometimes. you know, i'll think of something witty and/or funny, but i won' t know whether to post it in my journal or not. what if you had a KILLER joke that you you knew would tickle everybody's funny bone? would you dare risk putting it on the internet?

the benefit of putting it on the internet is that more people would read it... but then if you use it in real life, you're less of a loser. i mean, really ... who tells jokes over the internet?

and of course, you can't use the joke both in your journal AND in real life, because you _know_ someone_ will go, "oh yeah i read that in your journal" and that would just ruin the ambience. or even worse, they might steal the joke from you! ahhhh!

in any case, i heard a funny joke on the daily show last night. if you know me in real life, you'll probably tell this joke once too. so bear with me. i'm experimenting by trying to have my cake and eat it too...

"So this mushroom walks into a bar. The bartender says, "We can't serve mushrooms." The mushroom replies, "Why not? I'm a fun guy!"


ok i'm done.
Posted by roy on June 27, 2003 at 09:54 AM | 8 Comments
gone to see europe. be back on the 10th of july.
Posted by roy on June 28, 2003 at 08:12 AM | 2 Comments
first things first: remember my post about switching keys on my keyboard? well these dutch keyboards have a few keys szitched: argh: ok gotta go; more later
Posted by roy on June 30, 2003 at 11:03 AM | 6 Comments
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