Entries for August, 2006

Dan Rydell: Eli's coming.
Casey McCall: Eli?
Dan Rydell: From the Three Dog Night song.
Casey McCall: Yes?
Dan Rydell: Eli is something bad, a darkness.
Casey McCall: "Eli's coming. Hide your heart, girl." Eli is a inveterate womanizer. I think you're getting the song wrong.
Dan Rydell: I know I'm getting the song wrong. But, when I first heard it, that's what I thought it meant. Things stick with you that way.
Currently listening to: Three Dog Night - Eli's Coming
Posted by roy on August 1, 2006 at 06:50 AM in Music | 1 Comments

thought of the day: all this time, it seems that with wysiwyg editors and such, software caters to designers - that is to say that extra effort is bridged to allow designers to create designs for the web.

what if we looked at things the other way - what if efforts were made to let developers design pretty objects (ala mac)? a no-nonsense way of letting developers create pretty, usable sites?

i hate to generalize, but most artist types i meet are arrogant pricks who think that they know better than anybody else. it seems a greater percentage of developers seem interested in usability than designers. in a sense, i guess that's what these frameworks like ruby on rails are good for ...

Posted by roy on August 1, 2006 at 06:28 PM in Web Development | 2 Comments

I have this horrible tendency to develop crushes on girls that are generally unattainable. I don't mean this in the "I'm such a loser, no girl would date me" type of way, but more in the "that relationship would never materialize because of geographical hurdles" type of way. (Of course, pictures like these don't exactly help make me more attractive to the opposite gender:)

lillia, han, and me trying to look as humanely dorky as possible

Case in point: while in Portland, I got to eat at Red Robin (which is pretty much like Chili's except with better burgers). There was this (Chinese?, roughly my age) waitress there named Aggie (what a unique name!) ... and for reasons unknown to me, I developed a pretty big crush on her. What sense does that make?! We talked for a total of about 20 seconds ... how the heck does that develop into a crush?

Basically I feel like I'm still in elementary school or something - I'm pretty sure this isn't normal behavior for a 22-year old... Then again, I do have the maturity of a 12-year old, as evidenced by this picture from OSCON (and actually from Red Robin!):

Currently listening to: The All-American Rejects - Move Along
Posted by roy on August 2, 2006 at 12:08 AM in Ramblings | 18 Comments

You know how sometimes you take a picture, and you think to yourself: "Man this is going to look so badass?"

This myth is usually perpetrated by pictures like this:

Look how awesome Tupac looks! I want a picture like that!

Well, at our "group" photo taken the last night at OSCON (which was taken reallllyyy late at night so I was a bit delirious), I was like "HEY LET'S FLASH OUR MT GANG SIGNS!!!! I'LL DO THE M. SOMEBODY DO THE T!!!!!!!" Luckily Tom obliged (so I didn't look like a complete retard):

Corey, Me, Pete, Steve, Tom, Doug, Urs, Aaron: most of the MT team at OSCON (Mark split earlier)

Not quite what I imagined.

Currently listening to: Drunken Tiger - Is Ask Hizay
Posted by roy on August 3, 2006 at 12:54 PM in MindTouch | 7 Comments

If you're looking to buy a laptop, you cannot go wrong with the $750 sale on the IBM/Lenovo Stinkpad Z60t. A very good price on a very decent laptop from a very reputable company (you can't go wrong buying IBM Thinkpads). It comes with a three year systems part warranty, but I'd recommend buying one of those extended batteries from IBM - this thing will probably only have ~3 hours of battery life (if that).

Currently listening to: Talib Kweli - I Try (featuring Mary J. Blige)
Posted by roy on August 4, 2006 at 12:24 AM in Ramblings | 14 Comments

I played my first game of poker in months tonight. Although rusty (I made many bad plays), it felt good to play cards again. I've said it before, and I'll say it again ... you can tell a LOT about a guy's personality by the way he plays cards.

An amusing hand: I got my money all-in with pocket aces. The guy who called also had pocket aces. I lost.

Posted by roy on August 5, 2006 at 11:59 PM in Poker | 8 Comments

Nothing you do online is anonymous.

AOL recently released data of search queries for anybody to download.

This data contained (1) search queries, (2) pages clicked and (3) a unique ID for each user.

This seems ok at first glance until you realize that the search queries you make are very identifiable. How many of you have searched for yourself online?

There's been a bunch of posts online about the "oddest" finds ...

Please be careful about what you post online. Everything you post is archived (except when your hard drive crashes, isn't that funny?) ... and NOTHING is anonymous.

Just be careful. I have a feeling about 5-10 years down the line, the MySpace/Facebook generation is going to get a nice backlash of embarassment ....

. . .

Completely unrelated ... (Source)

Group apologizes for taking three years worth of Taco Bell sauces

A group of 10 to 15 masked individuals entered Taco Bell, 3244 S. Western Ave., around 10:46 p.m. Tuesday to return a three-year stash of fire sauce packets, police say.

The group returned six 40-gallon trash bags filled with approximately, 25,000 sauce packets to the restaurant.

With the stash was a note stating that they had been accumulating the sauces over three years and kept them stored in the trunk of a vehicle, but felt guilty about keeping them and decided to return them to the restaurant.

Ahahahahahahahaahah. I love to get normal hardshell tacos at Taco Bell and smother the taco with two hot sauces and one fire sauce. In fact. I think I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow...

Currently listening to: Cascada - Everytime We Touch (Radio Mix)
Posted by roy on August 10, 2006 at 01:00 AM in Ramblings | 3 Comments

"Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess." - Oscar Wilde

"The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom...for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough." - William Blake

Lately I've been really feeling these quotes. Still can't quite figure out what I'm doing or where I'm going. All the options available seem to be such ... compromises.

Posted by roy on August 11, 2006 at 12:46 AM in Personal | 2 Comments

does anybody wanna wang chung tonight?

Currently listening to: Stacie Orrico - Dear Friend
Posted by roy on August 11, 2006 at 03:27 PM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

Guys, register for your free wiki at wiki.com. It's a hosted version of our DekiWiki product, and it's completely free.

MindTouch's DekiWiki is powering the site. What you see when you sign up (the wiki itself) is what I've been working on for the past year+.

Let me know how you like it.

I'm wiped right now - our whole company put in a heroic effort in getting the site up ... I'll write a more complete post about this in a bit, but for now... I gotta sleep.


Note: If you try to access your wiki and it keeps showing you the "Start a wiki" page, give it a day to resolve. I'll write about why this was an issue later.

Currently listening to: Destiny's Child - Independent Woman Part I
Posted by roy on August 13, 2006 at 06:20 PM in Web Development | 6 Comments

I finally embrace my geek roots. My IBM Z60t finally came in today, and I plan on installing Ubuntu on it tonight. Then I can use it as a development box for my own little projects!

Sooooo exciting....

Posted by roy on August 15, 2006 at 04:51 PM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

You ever feel like your life is moving at 100 miles per hour but you're not really getting a lot done?

Posted by roy on August 18, 2006 at 01:36 AM in Ramblings | 4 Comments

This morning was a sharp reminder that I've been taking my health for granted for far too long.

So today, I decree that I'm going to take active steps to reclaim a "healthy" lifestyle (which I've actually never had as far as I can remember).

The things I'm doing wrong:

  • Horrible sleeping hours - I need to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. I've done enough self-experimentation on sleep during the past four years (during freshman year of college, I went two weeks sleeping every other night) that I don't need to continue going on 5-6 hours of sleep a night
  • Horrible eating habits - I've actually taken steps towards this goal over the past few months - I've cut out coffee and caffeine (I drink Sprite maybe twice a week) and fast food (Wendy's maybe twice a week). However, I've found that I haven't necessarily replaced the fast food with healthy food - sometimes I just don't eat. I will stop skipping breakfast and will start eating full, healthy meals three times a day
  • Horrible exercising - I made an effort by going biking last week, but besides that, I lead such a sedentary lifestyle. This will probably be the hardest habit to break, so I'll set small goals for myself: I will exercise twice a week to start, one hour a day on the bike. Then I will push to three times a week and hopefully will going four times a week for two hours (that seems pretty healthy).

Ok, so I pretty much hit the trifecta - the only thing that could potentially make things worse is if I was abusing substances.

But this weekend - take it easy and rest. Start to get on a proper sleeping/eating habit, and I'll tackle next week with a fresh mind and body!

Posted by roy on August 18, 2006 at 07:41 AM in Personal | 8 Comments

Oh my gosh! Today was move-in day at Hinton James at Carolina, and I'm soooooooooo excited about the upcoming school year!!! The dorms are really ghetto, but my roommate is sooo cool! I'm totally excited about college life!!!! Everybody is so friendly and they seem so mature! My classes.... waaaiiit a second... I'm not starting college... my sister is :(

Rats. Goodbye, sis. I love ya! You'll be seeing lots of me as I follow you around campus, making sure you stay away from boys (and vice versa). I got your class schedule from mom, and I'm quite familiar with the UNC campus! Now I'm just debating whether I should get a meal plan or if it'll be enough just to sit by the elevators at Lenoir (or Rams Head)...

Speaking of which, if any of you people (and I know there are many of you) who go to UNC see my sister hanging out with boys, PLEASE feel free to take pictures and names and forward me any information! I will gladly pay you! Muhahahahahahahahaha.


This is my sister:

This is me:

The family resemblance is strong, wouldn't you agree?

Posted by roy on August 18, 2006 at 07:45 AM in Foolishness | 14 Comments

Friends, mark your calendars! For this week...



House, MD Season 2

... are being released on DVD! WOOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!

Currently listening to: DJ Shadow Six Days
Posted by roy on August 20, 2006 at 11:00 PM in Ramblings | 4 Comments
Posted by roy on August 21, 2006 at 10:43 AM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

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reggaed radiohead (via joe)

. . .

the amazing nickel pool trick...

Posted by roy on August 23, 2006 at 12:47 AM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

I (as well as thousands of other people, I'm sure) got an email from Amazon inviting me to participate in their beta program for their Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Remember back when I wrote that Amazon's S3 was *the* killer app of 2006? Amazon is extending the shared model concept by allowing you to share computer cycles.

Honestly, I'm not entirely sold on this concept yet. I'm a pretty impatient guy, so unless I can see something within 20-30 minutes that I can wrap my head around, I'll usually give up.

I gave their documentation a read, and I'm not very impressed with this offering. In order for me to create an EC2 instance, I have to create an AMI (Amazon Machine Image). Then I had to use the SOAP API to call it ... but the problem is that for stuff like Tabulas, I would *still* need machines to serve as the front-end, which means the only real benefit (for me) would be if I was running complex algorithms which cost a lot of cycles (which I'm not).

Although EC2 will probably find a use (academia and non-profits who need number crunching perhaps?), it is sort of a yawner... or maybe that's because I'm up at a ridiculously early time (for me) working...

The final verdict: Amazon EC2 is a *yawn* PASS.

Now when will somebody offer the S3 equivalent for mySQL hosting? *That* would be a total killer app - imagine if I never had to worry about backing up mySQL or slaving additional machines or scaling out as usage grew... I could simply drop in my data and have it there. Pay as you go mySQL hosting ... yummy!

Currently listening to: Fallout Boy - Dance, Dance
Posted by roy on August 24, 2006 at 05:39 AM in Web Development | 4 Comments

Things of importance to those of you who are living vicariously through me (which is a bad choice, I'd choose living vicariously through somebody more exciting):

  • I completed Season 2 of Veronica Mars on DVD ... and can I say that I just love Kristin Bell? I am proclaming myself her #1 fan ... and if any of you want to contest me for that, I'm willing to fisticuffs (I realize this is not a verb, but it works well). Bring it on. (I'm talking to YOU, Chris!)

    Kristin Bell, Me, Alona Tal (who is quite a looker herself!), and some guy who has no business shaking my hand
    (This picture is dedicated to PM5K, who loves that picture of me)
  • A quick aside: PM5K asked if I could ever top the hilarity/dorkiness of that original picture... I don't think I could, but if you're looking for strong candidates for "pictures I wish I could forget were ever taken" take a look at tony lee's gallery; tony lee has created his tabulas for the (seemingly) sole purpose of embarassing me. aren't friends GREAT?
  • I have decided my hobby for this month: figuring out how to solve a Rubik's Cube. For too long has the Rubik's Cube mocked me! I shall solve you! After that, I will figure out what makes girls tick. And promptly after that, hell will freeze over. Just a heads-up!
  • While tutoring this morning, House Season 2 came in the mail. I'm about to become absolutely useless .... muhahahahaha
Posted by roy on August 26, 2006 at 09:08 AM in Foolishness | 4 Comments

it's monday!

Posted by roy on August 28, 2006 at 04:47 AM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

Poker-related question of the day. You're in a SNG, and it's the third hand of the game. You're chipped at 1700 (start with 1500) and you wake up to two red kings in mid-late position.

Under the gun raises from 15/30 to 90. The person ahead of you flat-calls (he's a loose player). You re-raise to 200. Small blind then pushes (+1300) his stack. UTG instacalls the all-in, and the person ahead of you calls the all-in.

Question: What do you do?

Currently listening to: Tupac Shakur - Hennessey
Posted by roy on August 28, 2006 at 11:08 PM in Poker | 8 Comments

Here are my thoughts on the poker problem posed yesterday:

The answer here is a fold. Terrence (I actually prodded him to comment on this just so I had somebody who was clearly in my corner):

Fold. Every time. Kings just aren't going to hold up against three other players, and that's assuming they're good right now, which they almost can't be. I know people do stupid things online, and obviously at least two people in this hand exemplify this. But raise, reraise, push push push seems to mean aces exist somewhere. Even the guy in front of you could have them, looking to just call and trap the cutoff. I can't ever see myself calling in this spot.

Kings are a weak hand in this position. Assume for a moment that you discount anybody having aces, and let's break this down mathematically with possible hands:

  • Let's say you're against 3 lower pocket pairs (which would probably be the most ideal realistic situation). The odds of you winning with KK against three lower pockets is 52.6%. Percentage-wise, the previous question could also be phrased: On the third hand of a SNG with relatively deep stacks, you raise with 55 and are faced against a reraise with AK. The person then flips the cards face-up and you have to decide whether to call. Do you do it?. Sure, in this case you have the ability to go up 4x, but elimination is elimination, and a chip lead this early in a tournament blinds so low is not necessarily going to improve your pcts to win the whole tourney.
  • If aces were to be discounted as a possible hand, the most realistic situation (and the one I thought I was in when I played this hand) was to be up against AK suited, a big pocket (QQ or JJ) and a drawing hand (mid-suited connectors). Small blind could easily have pushed with QQ/JJ, while cut-off calls with AK suited (which is an understandable move). Mid-position before me has the pot odds to call with suited connectors (he was a loose type, so I figured he was gambling), and that left me with the best hand pre-flop. However, in a situation with KK vs. AKs vs. QQ vs 76s, the odds of KK winning are only 37%.

Given that I've put in 10% of my stack (200 of 1700), and that blinds are still 15-30, I still have 50xBB, which means I've still got a deep stack to play the sng. If I lost this hand, I would have 200 chips (7xBB) which would put me in a bad position. Bert raises an interesting point: if you're left with 400 chips (a little more than 10xBB) and you KNOW there are no aces out there, it may be worth the gamble... (there's a relevant article about dealing with tournaments with a medium stack here which sorta addresses the reasons why i would fold.)

I ended up folding this hand with KK. I figured that small-blind has a smaller pocket, but I was unsure what the cut-off had. I would have put a coin flip on cut-off having AA (which means my odds to win the pot were ridiculously small.

As it turns out, the hands that played were: QQ (small blind), AhKh, 7d6d. The board ended up being 4c7hJd8h8c.

An even MORE interesting question is: Would you fold aces in the exact same position?

Currently listening to: Radiohead - Paranoid Android
Posted by roy on August 30, 2006 at 02:15 AM in Poker | 12 Comments

Posted by roy on August 30, 2006 at 12:38 PM in Ramblings | 3 Comments
Posted by roy on August 31, 2006 at 11:35 AM in Ramblings | 1 Comments
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