Entries for May, 2004

Yesterday I bought:


. . .

Useless things I did today:

- I generated a PHP script which generates a virtual world and tracks it population. It uses mortality and fertility rates (determined by viable age groups and environmental factors) to generate a population ... and it seemed to work alright. I have a basic switch ("developed nation" vs. "developing nation") which really shows how the two populations change.

This is a really rudimentary script; a populations person would cringe at its crudeness. I'll expand on it later, but it serves as a useful placeholder (especially since what it will be used for will only require it as a background and not a critical component) ... I'm going to add in the 'food' limitation later in hopes of seeing if I can indirectly set a population cap on the population.

- I changed the top grey administrator's bar in Tabulas from a table to a div. Not entirely useful, but it's something I've wanted to do for quite some time now.

- I've made a small change to Lightbox7 in displaying the # of images in a given album; before if you had subalbums nested it wouldn't detect the number of images in the subalbums... now it does. Just a small change...
Posted by roy on May 1, 2004 at 03:59 PM in Ramblings, Web Development, Tabulas | 2 Comments
There was a large thunderstorm in this area today. Enough that they interrupted the Lakers/Spurs game for about 20 minutes during the second half to inform people that THERE WAS A THUNDERSTORM OUTSIDE AND WE SHOULD BE CAREFUL.

Anyway, I was driving home to drop off my car. Suddenly, I hear a large BOOM. My initial thought is, "What kind of idiots are setting off fireworks while it's raining?" Then the whole night sky lights up ... almost like it's daytime. Then I notice to the left that the power lines were exploding (I think it was actually the breakers, and not the lines themselves). It was like a free fireworks show.

While dropping off my stuff, I noticed my box of Magic: The Gathering cards. Han and Rob mentioned a few weeks ago (before Easter) that they wanted to play ... so I brought my cards back and me, Han, John, and Rob played. We played 2v2 (me and John, both of us using one of my decks).

We stomped them! Muhahahahahaha.

Man, it was really nice to play Magic again. I realize that admitting this will probably scare off any potential suitorettes, but I DON'T CARE. MAGIC IS COOOOL. In fact, I know of many people who used to play.

Oh yeah, speaking of which ... if you want to know what kind of idiocy I have to deal with from my fobby roommates, please read this post from my roommate Yush. (By the way, he just got his citizenship a few days ago, so congrats him on that).
Posted by roy on May 2, 2004 at 11:16 PM in Ramblings | 7 Comments
I'm not sure if it's a global thing (but it seem like everybody is using eBay now), but I've started just scouring eBay for stuff... just adding a bunch of stuff to my watch list. It's kind of fun ... even if I really have no intention of buying all that stuff.

But yeah, real quick... any of you old magic dorks got cards you want to sell? give me a price ;D

Edit: I'm really impressed with the way eBay is improving its site. I remember their site used to be very clunky to use; I'm using their new 'my eBay' section and it works really nice; the tracklists and the 'favorite' categories are really useful).
Posted by roy on May 6, 2004 at 11:51 PM in Ramblings | 14 Comments
Newsday: "The explosive photos of abuse in an Iraqi prison drive home a defining fact of 21st century life -- that the pervasiveness of digital photography and the speed of the Internet make it easier to see into dark corners previously out of reach for the mass media."

John Perry: "Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it. Why does the procrastinator do these things? Because they are a way of not doing something more important. If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it. However, the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important." To be quite honest, I think Tabulas arose from this concept of "structured procrastination;" I put off studying for classes to build this site.

The OC Drinking Game: Very interesting. I tried to watch the OC, but I just couldn't get into it. I'm not into dramas where they try to pass off middle-aged people as "teenagers." The only reason I would even remotely think about watching the OC is for that cute girl ... blast I've forgotten her name...
Posted by roy on May 7, 2004 at 02:56 PM in Photography, Foolishness | 1 Comments
Conan O' Brien had a skit last night where he finally revealed to the world what kind of car his auto-enthusiast self drove ... a green '92 Ford Taurus. (I drive a green '94 Ford Taurus) The skit was incredibly hilarious ... and it just made me SO proud that I could drive such a great car.

One of the best lines in the skit:
Conan: Do you know what I call this? (points to his engine)
Other guy: No.
Conan: The Ranch. Want to know why I call it The Ranch?
Other guy: Sure.
Conan: Because that's where 220 horses live.

. . .

The other day, a bunch of us were sitting around, brainstorming million-dollar ideas. We're weren't trying to think of anything complex (like cold fusion), but rather a stupid idea that would take off and make us millionares in the process (like the Chia pet!).

Donald and I brainstormed the "inverse" wing for trucks (I'll write more about this later) ... but the group thought up of a another great idea. I was bemoaning the lack of power in my car, and how whenever I would turn right onto a busy road, regardless of how far the approaching car was when I started the turn, it would ALWAYS be right on my car's butt when I looked back.

We then had a collective stroke of genius. We could sell bumper stickers that would say, "Sorry! I drive a Ford Taurus!" No longer would people have to curse as they would break to prevent from crashing into the rear of my underpowered car ... they would immediatly understand! This was such a genius (and simple concept) ... we couldn't believe no one had thought of it before! WE DESERVED NOBEL PEACE PRIZES! Imagine all the road rage we would prevent!

. . .

Why is it that everybody who finds out I drive a Ford Taurus immediately responds, "You should go on Pimp My Ride." All my friends at Carolina say this ... MY CAR IS NOT IN BAD SHAPE! In fact, I love my car as it IS ... it's spacy, inconspicuous, and works FINE!

What makes this even more odd is the fact that my sister told me this today. WHY DO PEOPLE THINK THIS?! My car is AWESOME. People should be asking Sungjin or Yush to send their CRAPPY Asian cars to Pimp My Ride ... ain't nobody capable of messing with American Muscle.

. . .

While I'm on the topic of cars, I want to throw this question out into the empty cybervoid: Why do some cars have their gas tanks on the left (driver's) side? It makes no sense!

If I need to fill up my gas, and I'm driving into the gas station ... I'm going to naturally want to drive on the "right" side between two pumps, which would mean the gas tank should be on the right side (passenger side). It also creates a lot of confusion at a busy gas station when there are cars parked every which way ... with some cars trying to line their cars up to the left side, while other cars try to line up to the right side ... WHY?!
Posted by roy on May 8, 2004 at 02:57 AM in Ramblings | 3 Comments
Today I have two equally entertaining useless stories ... and to think a few electrons will waste their lives sending you this horribly written entry to your screens... but I digress.

Story one: There were guests coming to our house today. Before they came, I started playing some poker in a single table tourney. In the tourney, you start with 800 chips ... by the third hand I was down to 375 chips, while everyone else was at about 800 chips. Then I decided to leave (I knew I had lost and didn't want to waste itme). I checked the "Fold my hands" option and left. I came back about two hours later ... to find I had won 2nd place in the tournament simply by folding every hand starting from 375 chips! WOW! I was amazed and got a good laugh from it. I profited a net of $20 by doing nothing... which leads me to my NEXT story.

Story two: For those of you eBayers, here is a great TIP for you (although I'm sure you're well aware of it). There was an auction I was watching for a few days now ... I knew that the final price would be in the $10 range, so I had the auction tracked, and I signed online during the final few minutes in order to bid.

Now, a novice would bid $10 and be done with it. But NO! That's wrong! If you bid $10 and the person before you set a max of $10, by default it goes to that person. You need to bid at least $0.01 more ... so a semi-novice would be $10.01. But this is also folly. Some people, in an attempt to outsmart those semi-novices, will bid $10.50 as their max. But people like me (uber-experts!) know to bid $10.51 ... thus eliminating the advantage of the $10.50 bid.

I ended up bidding $10.52 (there are some people who will bid $10.51, and the $10.52 is to outbid them) ... and the final price came out to be $10.50, which means I had the other person read right... Muhahahaha. Or something. Yeah, it doesn't really work that way, but at least I can make it SOUND cool :)
Posted by roy on May 8, 2004 at 08:27 PM in Ramblings | 2 Comments
Posted by roy on May 10, 2004 at 07:11 PM in Ramblings | 5 Comments
I'm not sure how many of you actually read my journal for the "serious" posts... I'm going to take a wild guess that most of you read this journal out of habit ... or something.

Lately I've grown pretty apathetic towards anything that doesn't involve my immediate situation. As much as I've tried to care about the injustices happening in Iraq, the only thing my shallow mind (I am shallow, I admit this time and time again in person) ... is the news that Kate Beckinsale got married. WHY. WHY.

The chaos of thoughts and feelings in my mind ... WHY DID SHE HAVE TO BREAK MY HEART LIKE THIS WHEN WE WERE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER??!?!?! Sigh.

But I take solace in the fact that _all_ Hollywood relationships eventually end. And I will be there, waiting...



:) :)

:) :) :) :) :) :) :)
(these are the children)

But seriously, what is it with me? I think I go thorugh phases where I care deeply about the world and then othertimes can't be brought to even be remotely interested. Maybe I'm just getting tired of arguing about stuff that happens in world... or I'm just growing even more cynical.

Or maybe I'm just too concerned about my immediate future to care about some other event. Maybe this is the problem with America. We're all too concerned with our own lives ... too worried about our next paycheck to be brought to care about events across the world.

Posted by roy on May 12, 2004 at 02:09 AM in Foolishness | 6 Comments
They're Here -- Cicada Cycle Fascinates U.S.: "The first cicada of the season sat on the doorstep like a mutant bumblebee, with red eyes and yellow legs.

But, apparently alarmed by the appearance of a human, it tumbled off the shallow step, landing helplessly on its back. Its yellow legs wiggled frantically to no effect.

How could anything so stupid and clumsy survive, and prosper in such huge numbers? Billions, probably trillions, of cicadas are emerging this month across the eastern United States in a monster swarm known as Brood X or brood 10.

Scientists plan to study the mass coming out of Brood X to find out. Did their bizarre 17-year cycle evolve because they are such easy prey, or did it allow them to evolve into the clumsy, noisy creatures that they are?

"Brood X is likely to be the largest insect emergence on Earth," said Keith Clay, a cicada expert at Indiana University.

Starting this week, across much of the eastern United States, from Georgia north to southern New York and as far west as Illinois, the cicadas will emerge from their 17 years of sucking on tree roots underground to engage in a two-week orgy of calling, mating, laying eggs and then dying.

SCARY! Here is a NatGeo article which is much more scientific ... and did you know that that some people LOVE eating those ugly things?
Posted by roy on May 13, 2004 at 01:29 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments
am i done??????????? i've been busting my arse on a client project for the latter half of this week.. and i can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!!!

time to send in the invoice so i can be friends with benjamin franklin once again ... because dvds that kate beckinsale has been in don't pay for themselves. ;)

expect a lot of tabulas-related entries reallll soon (as soon as this gosh-darned client work is out of the way)
Posted by roy on May 14, 2004 at 04:20 AM in Ramblings | 3 Comments
Evan Coyne Maloney: He says exactly what I want to say regarding this whole Iraq prisoner torture issue in Abu Ghraib...
Posted by roy on May 15, 2004 at 01:17 AM in Ramblings | 1 Comments
I wake up and find this email in my inbox:
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 15:30:05 GMT
Subject: Lightbox7: Suspended Accounts


It's the lovely Lightbox7 bot that lets me know who's been bad!

Then almost immediately I get this email:
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 15:50:37 GMT
Subject: Ticket created by akosiria

akosiria asks:

i did not sign for another account.. how come i cant view my album?

Posted by roy on May 15, 2004 at 12:23 PM in Ramblings | 1 Comments
I got into a car accident yet .. my first "serious" one. Unfortunately I was driving the "good" car in our household, so that really sucks... especially since my parents are driving up to Ohio on Monday.

It was my fault ... and at the time (and the few hours following the accident) I was kicking myself over the general idiocy of the situation. But after a few hours, I decided to quit eating away at myself ... what's happened has happened. I should be grateful that no one was hurt and that I wasn't ticketed or cited... but it still is my fault ... so there go my low insurance premiums :(

A big thanks to Hao for giving me a call to make sure I was ok... although in the back of my mind I think he was trying to get me to play poker so I woud lose money while on tilt...
Posted by roy on May 16, 2004 at 01:18 AM in Ramblings | 8 Comments
Posted by roy on May 16, 2004 at 10:33 PM in Ramblings | 3 Comments
Every once in a while, I feel obligated to write about what I'm doing on Tabulas; what's the point of this journal if I can't reflect about what I did in vivid detail some far-off time in the future? Heck, maybe one day in the future someone will read this and go, "Wow, they actually had to do that?"

(A journey, my friends ... to the wide world of TABULAS!)
Posted by roy on May 18, 2004 at 11:21 PM in Tabulas | 2 Comments
Because we ALL know that MASH is the game that decides YOUR fate...

check out what I got on my first try:

You will live in Mansion.

You will drive a blue ford taurus.
You will marry kate beckinsale and have 5 kids.

You will be a ceo, neopages inc. in nyc.

Sounds like a great life!!!! And I'm telling you, me and Kate are destined to be as ONE!

The only troubling thing in this whole thing is the fact I'm driving a blue Taurus. What happens to my green Taurus? Do I wreck it, and out of guilt buy a blue Taurus when I'm CEO of NeoPages, Inc.? Do I just paint my current one??? And why do I live in a mansion? Does NeoPages, Inc. make a lot of money????


. . .

I got Brokedown Palace on DVD yesterday ... and man is it an awesome movie!! Kate Beckinsale is gorgeous in that movie....
Posted by roy on May 19, 2004 at 01:54 PM in Foolishness | 7 Comments
I know sometimes you guys get scared about my boring drivel regarding technical issues to Tabulas... but I really need your help here. The less tech-savvy you are, the better you can help me out :)

One of the things I'm very interested in is extending the textform that you type your entry in so autoformatting is done; for example, you would type things in a certain way and Tabulas would automatically format things in a certain way.

For example, I notice that when I want to emphasize words in a certain way, I might do *this*. Wouldn't it be grand if I typed: "Roy *really* has a big crush on Kate Beckinsale" and Tabulas converted it to: "Roy really has a big crush on Kate Beckinsale"?

Maybe to do the emphasis tag in HTML you might do: "Roy _really_ has a big crush on Kate Beckinsale" which would do "Roy really has a big crush on Kate Beckinsale."

Things could get really complex as you could type in lists that would autoformat:

*Movies Kate Beckinsale has been in:*
- _Brokedown Palace_
- _Serendipity_
- _Underworld_
- _etc._

This would look like:
Movies Kate Beckinsale has been in:
  • Brokedown Palace
  • Serendipity
  • Underworld
  • etc.

So my question(s) to you are:
1.) Would you want to see something like this?
2.) If so, what shortcuts would you like to see and how would you like them to be triggered?

The problem here is not creating a replacement to HTML but rather extending the natural way we type to give you more power... kind like how the smileys work... the basic ones are autogenerated off the natural reaction of us to type in :) ...
Posted by roy on May 20, 2004 at 03:30 AM in Web Development | 15 Comments
Nervously he re-read his email. Was the tone right? Did he sound too condescending? His hands jerked as he quickly hit the hotkey to mute his music. No need to leave Tupac on while double checking the document. Distractions should be kept to a minimum.

Satisfied at the lack of typographical errors, he began to wonder if he had written enough. Should it be longer? Was it too short? Was it impressive? Was it stupid? Did he focus on the wrong things? Was he what they were looking for?

Feeling somewhat nauseous, he quickly attached the document and clicked send. Then he closed out of his email program and patiently awaited an answer.
Posted by roy on May 20, 2004 at 11:10 PM in Personal | Add a comment
Mark Cuban, in case you don't know, is the charismatic (young) owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball franchise... he has a blog (that he actually writes in) at blogmaverick.com... but the reason I'm writng this entry is because of a snippet from an ESPN article I read that I found hilariously funny:

Can't you see Mark Cuban walking around the Mavs locker room after a game, asking different guys, "So, where are we going tonight?" and everyone hems and haws, and then Michael Finley finally says, "Um, I don't think we're going out, we're all pretty tired," and then Cuban says, "Well, if you change your mind, will you call me on my cell," and then Antoine Walker nods and says, "Yeah, we'll definitely call you," so Cuban says, "Cool" and leaves ... and then everyone cracks up when he leaves the room? This happens, right? Right?
Posted by roy on May 22, 2004 at 03:19 AM in Sports | Add a comment
A striking example of the difference between men and women when it comes to communicating:

This morning I found myself awake and hungry at 7am (which actually is more often you would think because I'm such a night person...) ... so I decided to go out and get some Mickey D's (I absolutely adore their Sausage Egg McMuffins) ... when I got back, my mom had been semi-worried that I was gone.

While stuffing myself with my breakfast, I told her that she should of used her powers of deduction to figure things out ... especially since my laptop was still here (if i were to leave home, I would probably take the craptop!) ... I told her that she should of asked Dad since he would probably figured out that a.) because it's early and b.) because the Taurus was gone that I had c.) gone to McDonalds.

So after a little while long of this witty banter (well, as witty as banter can be when I hadn't slept all night), my mom admitted that when she told Dad I was missing, he told her that I had probably gone to McDonalds...

Posted by roy on May 24, 2004 at 04:44 AM in Ramblings | 11 Comments
I remember there once was a time whenever someone said STOP, someone would immediately follow with "Colloborate and listen, Ice is back with a brand new invention..." thanks mostly to this fellow...

Most of may not know my agent, Lillia. Being the diligent agent that she is, she found me a job in Korea. So I will be heading over to Korea for the latter half of this summer, teaching little kids how to excel in the SATs of life. But do not fret, the killer part of this whole gig is that it's mostly part-time, so I can still do my web work during the off-hours.

In any case, today is a good day. Found out I got that job, and later today I go and deliver an invoice for the work I did earlier in the summer, which should allow me to either:
1.) fix my bike tire
2.) buy a craptop battery
3.) ipod mini????
4.) canon g5

Things are gooooood.... thanks once again to Lillia for hooking me up!

Oh yeah, to all my neighbors up north, happy belated Victoria's Day...
Posted by roy on May 25, 2004 at 09:15 AM in Ramblings | 16 Comments
Ok so sometime last week I got an e-mail stating that there was about 8 accounts opened on Lightbox7 by the same user, so naturally the things got suspended. Now, most people will stop trying to get around the system after the first try, but this _girl_will_not_stop. Every few days I check and she's registered about 8 new accounts, maxing them all out. And everyday I just simply delete the accounts... it's like a game.

But why does she even try? Seriously? It's so farkin' annoying ... if I knew where she lived, I would seriously go up to her and bitchslap her (sorry for the language, but it's really getting on my nerves).

At first, she used the same password for all the accounts. Then she thought "hey maybe the suspension script checks for that." Right she was. So the next time, she used sequential passwords (like word1, word2, word3) and used different e-mail addresses. Tsk. That doesn't work either, as the system detected it. Then today I check again, and this time she's registered three new accounts ... but she's using random passwords and random e-mail addresses. Fun for me.

In any case, it's getting very annoying, and quite honestly I'm not sure why she does it. It's no matter though, the deletion script I wrote didn't take me too long, and I get mild satisfaction knowing that the 20 minutes she spent uploading her 60 images can be wiped out by 2 seconds of my script.

If any spambots are scanning for e-mail addresses, enjoy this one: ice_queen1616@yahoo.com. I believe this is her 'real' e-mail address; she used this one to register both her initial Tabulas and Lightbox7 accounts. I believe she's from overseas (Singpore or the Phillipines?)
Posted by roy on May 25, 2004 at 09:06 PM in Ramblings | 15 Comments

I saw Shrek 2 yesterday. I'm guessing I don't have to tell you it was awesome.

For some odd reason, I seem to be getting so many comments lately? I sometimes wonder how many random readers I get; how many of you are ghosting this account? SHOW YOURSELF IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! This is your one chance to come from behind the curtain and introduce yourself ... or something. I will release you from the bonds of stalkitude if you use this entry to introduce yourself. OTHERWISE, I WILL CONSIDER YOU A STALKER!!!

Really though, who the heck reads this journal? I know a bunch of my IRL friends read it, but I've never had a good understanding of who else reads it (besides those of you who comment, obviously).
Posted by roy on May 26, 2004 at 02:07 PM in Ramblings | 11 Comments
Another double-whammy post! I'll post in one entry two completely unrelated topics as to garner the maximum number of comment replies (which will probably be zero)...

First off, I think this is the year I've blossomed into a NBA fan. Now, they are showing the playoffs on TNT, and they have a commercial spot where they have the Black-Eyed Peas singing this jingle about 24 seconds (that's the shotclock in the NBA). The first time I saw that commercial, I remember thinking to myself, "Wow that is a really catchy song! I wish it wasn't just a jingle..."

As it turns out, it's a real song they adapted for that commercial! The song is "Let's Get Retarded" and it's off their latest, "Elephunk!" I was so happy to listen to this song...

Now for some technical stuff.

Most of you will notice that Tabulas is spread across multiple sites; we have "xml.tabulets.com", where your XML (FOAF, OPML, and RSS) files are stored, and all of you are on "aces.tabulas.com," which is the personal server that stores media/gallery files.

Now, to get stuff stored on these separate servers, there requires communication between the servers. For example, let's call the primary Tabulas server "A" and aces.tabulas.com (the place where your images are) Tabulas server "B". How exactly does your image, which get uploaded to server A get to server B?

(ARE YOU HOOKED?!?!?!?!?!)

In any case, I started tackling the API between the new Tabulas CP and the XML server (xml.tabulets.com). I'm revamping it because the XML server has a really really crappy API (it's not even really an API per se). I'm building in the nonce authentication (which it is missing right now) and working on making the whole XML server a bit more elegant. The current XML server was hacked together as I added features to Tabulas and the architecture reflects that.

You may of noticed a few days ago (actually I bet no one did) that your XML feeds got a lot "cleaner." I actually went through and reformatted your XML files; if you view the "source" of the XML file, you'll notice clean formatting; each node has its own line and stuff. And I also cleaned up the newline and return carriages that mySQL loves to put in when you run nl2br().
Posted by roy on May 27, 2004 at 12:25 AM in Ramblings | 6 Comments
So a few days ago I announced I was going to Korea. If only things were that easy...

I had sent in my resume 21st (about a week ago), and they e-mailed me back on Monday saying they had accepted me to their program. However, I had received two e-mails from the same company (different branches). I simply assumed it was a miscommunication and continued to respond primarily with the Apgu branch (the one Lillia is in).

Ahh! Then I realized that the other branch (the Mokdong branch) had made me a completely different offer than the Apgu branch... the Mokdong branch had offered me a full-time position (8 hours a day for about 10 weeks) while Apgu had offered me 20 hours a week for about 6 weeks. Now, I have absolutely no preference to which one I go to; Apgu is less work, closer to friends, and a hotspot for fun... but I could make some serious dough-age working at the Mokdong branch (which might not be bad since Tabulas is itching for some hardware upgrades).

So I was supposed to get a call at 3-5PM on Thursday (Korea time) from the Mokdong branch regarding the position ... so I stayed up waiting for their call (I didn't want to be groggy).... I stayed up until about 5am ... then gave up and went to sleep. I tried to call them, but my parents had disconnected our long-distance carrier and I didn't know the PIN for our calling card... oops.

In any case, I got an e-mail today back from the director of the Apgu branch saying that there was a "tug of war" going on over which branch was going to get me... and that a final decision would be reached Monday. So here I wait for my assignment. The more I think about it though, the more I think I would like the Mokdong branch... if I'm assuming correctly, because it's a full-time position, I would also get housing... and to make a few thousand over the summer to start my nest egg when I leave college sounds very very tempting.

So I got the calling card PIN number today and started calling the lady at the Mokdong branch, but I haven't been able to reach her. I left my number, but they haven't called me back. Grar!!!

In any case, I'm pretty excited about this opportunity. It's weird to think that it's been about a week since I even HEARD about this opportunity ... and now I've been accepted (I think)! The joys of the Internet.

But I worry about whether I can get a plane ticket... the program starts on June 14th, so I'm assuming I would need to fly in a few days early to train, but if they get back to me by Monday, it's already going to be June 1st! Am I going to even find a flight over there?

Ahh! I'm totally stressed out.

But what totally sucks is because I had to wait by the phone (for a call that never came!), I missed out on watching "Chingu" with chingus last night... and poker tonight. AHHHH.

Oh well. 'Sall good :).
Posted by roy on May 28, 2004 at 12:07 AM in Personal | Add a comment
Just a random collection of thoughts that I need to get off my chest:

I fly to Korea on the 5th. Wow. So soon.

One way to gauge whether I think a website is "good" is dependent on how often *I* use it. I think that's where I've been stumbling with Tabulas; I've been so concerned about the stability of the site I've sacrificed some much needed features. But I will continue to rebuild Tabulas from the ground-up.

The Lakers are sick. I think I told Nasty Nate that Lakers would win the series 4-1. If they beat Minny at home, I am correct.

I think the Pacers can beat the Pistons, but I think the Pistons match up better against the Lakers.

I watched 2 minutes of "Greatest Celebrity Feuds" on VH1, and #1 was the Van Halen/David Lee Roth feud. Shouldn't the 2pac/Biggie feud be #1? Both guys died.. what else do you want?

Money is becoming a big problem. Damn these server bills...

I have now been poker-free for about a week. I think Korea will provide ample distractions for me to finally break the habit.

Corollary: I *was* addicted to poker. I admit it. I was horribly, horribly addicted. But now I quit. Again. For the 20th time. But this time, I think it's going to stick.

Ever since I found out I'll be flying out to Korea shortly, I've gotten a lot of work done on Tabulas. It's like someone just lit a Bunsen burner under my ass.

In a sense, the Powershot G5 might be the most perfect camera for me right now. Although in an ideal world I would actually have the Canon 10D, right now all I really do is take semi-artistic pictures of landscapes ... and I really don't need a DSLR to do heavy lifting; I would need this when I do travelling. Plus the G5 looks nice. It looks very solid and very unobtrusive. Although if I bought it, I would tape up the front with black tape to cover up the fact it's a digital camera... anyone out there with some money to burn? ;)

I never wrote a congratulations post to the graduating class ... so here it goes:
Hahahahahaha. Suckers! Have fun in the real world! Your best years are now officially behind you... you can now look forward to the 9-5 grind ... and dealing with insurance and work and stupid adult stuff like that. While I have fun in my 9th semester in college, I will remember each and every one of you and DOUBLE the dosage of FUN whenever I'm out having a blast.

I'm such an arsehole.

I decided that an "autobiography" was in order ... originally I wanted to keep it short... I just wanted it to be kind of a "barometer" for new people to get the blog in context (tell you who I am), but the thing ended up being really really long. And really really long autobiographies from underaccomplished 20-year olds sounds really obnoxious. So I just deleted it.

Apparently the full-time position is actually going to pay less than the part-time position, and I'll be working 2x as much? WTF?

Ok, so my sister has a tendency to lose a LOT of things. So when our family lost the Blockbuster card, we all naturally blamed her. My sister called up BB and they told her the last movies rented... which I had rented. So then my mom tells me that I'm responsible for the lost card. I told her, "If I used the card, then it would be sitting in my wallet!" I had looked at least THREE times for the friggin card in my wallet and never found it. But my mom came back about 5 minutes later with the card... she said the card had been in my wallet the whole time.

There is a movie called "Laurel Canyon" where Kate Beckinsale gets really ... sketchy. She strips down into her bra and panties and makes out with some chick. Now, normally I would want to see such a thing, but I hold Kate in such high regard that I don't want to see it. Does this make sense? I saw it on sale at Blockbuster for their pre-viewed DVD sale, but I decided not to buy it. I refuse to see beautiful Kate get trashy, I guess.

For some reason I'm feeling very complacent lately. Not really stressed out, not really worried, not extremely happy... but feeling very content. Not sure why.
Posted by roy on May 28, 2004 at 08:59 PM in Ramblings | 6 Comments
Jeff Jarvis: "The war in Iraq is not like Vietnam. It is like World War II. It is a war against fascism." Just a reminder of why we did it ...

Nicholas Kristof: "I doff my hat, briefly, to President Bush.

Sudanese peasants will be naming their sons "George Bush" because he scored a humanitarian victory this week that could be a momentous event around the globe — although almost nobody noticed. It was Bush administration diplomacy that led to an accord to end a 20-year civil war between Sudan's north and south after two million deaths.

Businessweek: Talks about wikis and how cool they are. Wikis are basically websites where anybody can make changes to the content ... it's a collaborative effort in maintaining content. It's been incredibly useful for sites like Wikipedia, which is an online encylopedia where the entries are created and maintained by the masses.
Posted by roy on May 29, 2004 at 12:46 PM in Ramblings | 8 Comments
Hmm, I'm pretty annoyed right now, so let me begin some angry rantings. This is basically a culmination of all negative thoughts I've had over the past few weeks ... and here they come:

1.) To the asshole old guy who came in and sat next to me. I should of realized what a mistake it was to tell you the seat next to mine was available... I was just trying to be nice to an elderly man. I had no idea you would COMMENT every F'ING time something happened in the movie. To make things worse, you kept dozing off during random parts, snoring very loudly. Furthermore, apparently you've seen this movie about 10 times because you WOULD FINISH THE LINES OF THE ACTORS. Hey old man, we all know the lines are CHEESY and 80% of us could finish those lines, but we DON'T DO IT OUT LOUD. I seriously was half-contemplating just getting up and moving because he was farkin' annoying.

2.) To all those religious people. I've been on the inside, and I know how evangelizing is very important. But, why do you have to seem to clique-y and elitist when you do it? I actually never understood it back in the day when people would say NCKPC would seem so clique-y, that they always felt "out of the loop" and this drove them off. I'm not going to name any names, but now that I've been on the "outside" I can see exactly what they mean. I feel very isolated and "beneath" certain people when I hang out with them now. It really saps the joy out of hanging out with people... plus you just always feel like you're being judged. Now I can see why so many people make such a big deal about not "hanging" out with Christians so often.

I'm not in any position to tell Christians how to live their lives, but please try to be less clique-y. It's very overwhelming for people to deal with, and when you bring the religion into everyday conversation and life, it turns people away. Religion is best served in small doses, not in every-fucking-day-in-your-face doses.

3.) To my loving mother: I carry a cell phone so that I can call you if there is a problem. Anytime I am out, there are two "states" that I am in: OK and not OK. If I am OK, calling *me* will not accomplish a damn thing except harry me. If I am *not* OK, be sure to note that I will call _you_. If I am incapaciated and cannot CALL you, I'm sure the police will call YOU. Calling ME at the wrong time, for example when I'm on the part of the highway being constructed, so the lanes are narrow and there's a f'ing barricade not more than 1 ft away from my door, and two cars that have boxed me in ... is not a good time to call. In fact, the call could CAUSE harm.

4.) To those of you who KEEP asking WHEN the 2.0 will be done... read the answer to the tens of comments I've already responded to; WHEN IT'S DONE. If I haven't posted anything in the Tabulas journal about it, then I'm not going to tell you in a COMMENT. So please just WAIT AND BE PATIENT. IT WILL BE DONE WHEN IT IS DONE!

Phew, that felt better. I mean no harm to anybody ... I just need to vent a bit once in a while:)
Posted by roy on May 29, 2004 at 09:25 PM in Ramblings | 11 Comments
I had dinner with an older friend yesterday ... and a lot of interesting discussion came up in regards to my future and my "chosen" career path. We talked a bit about Tabulas and its troubles, and my goals for both Tabulas and my other projects.

An interesting point was made: B2C (business-to-consumer) websites rarely survive. Websites that succeed must first acknowledge the B2B (business-to-business) crowd... for websites that generate true business value, only the B2B crowd will take the time to understand that value... the average consumer does not really care about the added value of websites until they try it out.

Edit: This was posted as a response in a comment below and I feel it warrants space in this entry.

Specifically, I'm looking at eBay as a good example of this. eBay is the perfect B2C company; they simply provider the service and have absolutely no physical overhead involved with running a marketplace. The reason adoption at eBay is so high (supposedly they have 3000-4000 new users per day!) is because people see the immediate value to eBay. As a buyer, you can get things cheaper... and for a seller, you can sell your older stuff instead of giving it to Goodwill. Because people see immediately the value of eBay ($$$), they will sign.

The values gained by blogging are not so obvious. In terms of personal gains, you get to meet new people, hear new perspectives, and get valuable feedback and comments. But that is not a benefit that many see... in fact I think the propagation of sites like Xanga and AsianAvenue/Migente/etc. have actually cheaped the real value behind blogs... now the "outsiders" see blogging as a waste of time. This was something I had to convince my friend of last night... he believes that blogging is a waste of time. A lot of people feel the exact same way, and I can't blame them when I see so many "boring" blogs.

What other values are there to blogging? I've noticed that many CMS packages grow as a result of the blogging phenomenom. Software like Tabulas is in essence very specialized CMS (which makes development a lot easier...) ... on a more societal level, blogging led to the creation (or re-creation by some accounts) of RSS. Now we see RSS being used in newspapers and websites all over the web. The very concept of syndication became a huge phenomenom as a result of blogging.

I personally believe personal data management is the next battlefield; in fact, the whole concept behind Longhorn is to make your PC more "yours." Instead of a hodgepodge of files, they're going to make it really easy to access all files relevant to your life. And the start of all this is in getting people comfortable with blogging ... get them comfortable with the basic concepts behind syndication and content management online, and we'll see greater adoption of these techniques in everyday life (perhaps maybe more people will pay me to create their websites and integrate it with Tabulas perhaps?;))

Unless Tabulas (and other providers) can bring an immedate value to blogging to everyday consumers, we are going to be very hardpressed to succeed in the marketplace. Typepad made a great move (they are normally a B2C company, just like Tabulas) when they signed that deal with NTT DoCoMo (ISP in Japan) basically giving all the ISP's customers free Typepad accounts. To continue their success in the B2C field, Typepad made a solid B2B deal. Genious.

Now, this doesn't mean I'll be abandoning B2C websites anytime soon. In the back of my mind, I always knew that B2C websites would not succeed in a glorious way. For me, I just want to write the best product I can write and have people use it. If I can make a small living off of it, so be it ... but if not, I'm not going to be horribly dissappointed.

For me, the point is to get people to blog. I don't really care if they use LJ, Blogger, Typepad, or Tabulas. But I just want people to realize what a great thing this whole revolution is. The ease and the power... the communicating potential of the Internet (besides the inane chatting part) is just being reached.

But this made me realize that my job is not just to provide people with a website with features, it is to educate. There is a very small percentage of the current US population that truly understand and use weblogs... even when they're taking out, the average Joe user that is really necessary for its success (27+ years old, middle class) is still in the dark.

Tabulas must educate. A clean GUI is the first step, but a comprehensive help center and support ticket/forum are the next stages. There must be a strong sense of a community in order to create support networks where people feel comfortable "trying" this out.

This is where people like Joi Ito, Jeff Jarvis, Scoble come in... they are constantly evangelizing the advantages of blogging on the values of blogging to diffeerent groups. I'm still much too young to fully understand the values of blogging. I have the vague notion and I can see how great it is, but I have trouble describing it in a fashion that people understand. So I just continue to work on the product, trying to find the magic bullet that will make people _understand_.

My friend talked about the evolution of business and its move to constantly be more efficient. The Industrial Revolution helped increase worker efficiency, thus planting the seeds of the middle class. But do you think people back then were happy to see machines that would put people out of the business? We've also seen over the past few decades with our clothing industry moving to Mexico and China... and people also heralded the end of the US due to jobs moving away. The auto industry was scared because the Japanese were so much more efficient, but we survived. The point of the story here is that everytime we were worried about jobs moving overseas, we survived and became better off because we were in a position to capitalize in cheaper costs.

My friend worries that with the outsourcing of IT jobs, we're no longer in a position to take advantage of the cheap IT... a huge percentage of the population doesn't care and doesn't know what benefits can be reaped from IT ... and if the Chinese/Indians/Eastern Europeans can educate their people about the benefits of the Internet ... then my friend believes that the power will really shift away.

It's an interesting thought ... and I'm not entirely sure I believe it, but I can't provide any good arguments for or against this train of thought. However, this does remind me of the importance of EDUCATING. The importance of blogging is that it's very easy for someone to set-up and run, which provides a very important stepping stone for the average Joe user who needs to become educated.

If people can understand simple XML technologies like FOAF, OPML, and RSS ... then a huge step has been made. People will understand the concept of the semantic web...
Posted by roy on May 31, 2004 at 02:08 PM in Ramblings | 9 Comments
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