Wednesday | April 27.2005

CodeInspector 3.5 released.
WildFire on 06:42 PM CST [ link ]

I've been wanting to blog about this for months already but I kept on pushing it back to my tasks-in-line list. First I thought I would scribble it last November when my earthly age was incremented by one but I decided not to.

Then last December to serve as a 'year ender' but still it didn't push through.

January to spark plug the year... but still, I held back thinking I'll blog it instead in February when the site turns one.

March... and now it's April (mid-April to be precise (and i've even reached the last week of April before I can actually post it online)) and I think it's about time.

This workblogs/site serves a lot of purposes... one of them is as a digital bookmark of the things I have done and achieved. In the future I am hoping I could look back and read some things I have done in the past.

(And honestly, there are posts where I don't really give a modem's arse if someone is reading or not reading.

(This one belongs to the not part... :o)

At first, I planned on posting details of each project I have handled since November of 2002, months after I transferred here to Metro Manila... but then again that would be lengthy so I'll just give a list.

In a nutshell, these are the database projects I have created/handled and have been currently maintaining for the past 29 months:
  • Integrated Guidance Office System - FL001-01, FL001-02
    • Student Cumulative Records
    • Aptitude Test 001
    • Aptitude Test 001 Upgrade
  • HRA (Databank System for a certain congregation) - FL006, FL007, FL008 and FL009)
  • Integrated Media Center System - FL001, FL002, FL003, FL004 and FL005
    • Library System (Books/Cataloguing/Borrow/Returning etc...)
    • Audio Visual Room Systems (Inventory/Cataloguing)
    • SASM (Student books information searching system)
    • Library Attendance Recording System
    • Internet Usage Monitoring System
    • Control Panel
    • Serials Manager
  • HRAEI (201/Human Resource Employee Information) - FL006, FL001, FL010 and RJ001
  • Project Sopheia (Internet Cafe System) - FL011
  • Automated Dormitory Databank System - FL011
  • Kids' Workshop Monitoring System - FL012
  • SJH Databank System (Patients/Medical Databank System) - FL013
  • HRA (Ministries Build) - FL014
  • FDDF Databank System - FL015
  • Enrollment/Registrar Transaction System (RJ001)
  • Miscellaneous Registrar Transactions (RJ001)
  • Cashiering System (RJ001)
  • Financial Records (RJ001)
  • Grading System (RJ001)
  • Project SRL (Student records locator) (RJ001)
  • EIPS/Payroll System (RJ001)
  • PC Inventory System (RJ001)
  • Project Random/AI experiment (Personal Project)

  • Snippets Collector (Personal Project)
  • PC Transaction Logging System (RJ001)
  • Database Utilities (Database development/maintenance tool)
'FL' stands for a freelance project/client and 'RJ' stands for the 'Regular Job'. The ('regular job') company I am connected with does not mind the freelance things I do as long as I complete the tasks I am assigned to deal with.

The personal database projects are things that I do which serve as exercises (usually during morning or when I'm not in the mood) so that I can get into the coding zone.
WildFire on 02:31 PM CST [ link ]

Monday | April 25.2005

Avatar pointed me towards this cool tool... StarDock's MULTIPLICITY. Productivity-wise, this is a good application (based on what I'm reading). I'll post... then try things at home tonight.

Here's a related article: Multiplicity in Action.
WildFire on 04:15 PM CST [ link ]

Tuesday | April 12.2005


Before I'll forget, I did take some time last weekend to update my digital art site, pixelcatalyst.lair.

It will be turning 6 years old this May.

Just a new splash cover for now... but hopefully I could do something GFX/HTML-related before summer ends.

The 1600x1200 wallpaper version of this artwork, which was previously released for Depthcore, can be also be downloaded in that site.

Here's a quick adobe photoshop tip: Take some time tinkering with the Image . Adjustments . Channel Mixer feature. That is how this blue colored splash cover was derived from the brownish wallpaper version.

You'll be satisfied with the results.

You don't need the latest CS version to do some great things in Photoshop, so tone down that insatiable thirst of yours for version upgrades. It doesn't hurt though to anticipate the coming Adobe CS2 release.

Photoshop, is one of those reasons I'm sticking with Windows while pining for a Mac.

Sorry Linux friends... GIMP is just mega light years away from PS. (Desktop-wise of course, server-wise I am aware of those linux-powered machines used in render farms.)
WildFire on 01:24 PM CST [ link ]

I was reading Beakman's blog about, dare I say it in this 'tech' blog... 'love life'.

Ugh. Awrk. Brewk.

Ok... let's just use the term 'life'. Using the word 'love' inside this blog just won't work. Well at least not this time.

But I will connect this post later with Foxpro and software development in general. Trust me.

Reading Beakman's post reminds me of my last day of teaching. That was what, almost three years ago. That was when I decided to give up the full time coding work + part time teaching (aka torturing) comsci students to find a new work area near qsez place.

To be with the family (Powee, our second child was also about to pop out that year) instead of spending a great portion of my salary on roundtrip plane tickets once a month and having to explain to our HR head why I always extend my vacation to twice its allowed time.

Now back to that last day lecture, I do remember getting into a logic-less life-related discussion. I remember giving them advice, only one piece of advise... which I told them they should always remember since during that time I thought they would only hear it from me (believing as I did that no other teacher would dare utter it).

... and that advice was to put 'love life' first before education.

By the time I finished that line... they were laughing. And I was laughing with them while giving them concrete laughable examples of what happened to people who prioritized education over 'love'.

But still, in the end... I told them I was serious. Well, at least I believed I was serious.

I told them to look around them, and in doing so they'll see tons of career/goal driven individuals,with tons of money ready for disposal living an unsatisfying life burdened by broken, dysfunctional human bonds and all.

But the real point is... people who are really happy with their lives are not the ones who have achieved so much, garnered so many awards, and all and whatever thing that can be 3D-ed and 2D-ed and broken down into two-bit CMYK-powered JPEGs.

Humans who are the happiest are those humans who, place at the top of their priorities another human being or any human life related matter aside from everything the world has to offer.

(JC and PJPII and Bono of U2 are good examples.)

It's not the kind of false love which conceals beneath the folds of its masquerade selfishness and insecurity, but rather love for humanity as a whole, whatever that 'love for humanity' means to you.

The main reason why I create database programs for clients is not merely for the money. It is for the human user.

To make easier his/her life, make him/her spend more time preparing for bed with his/her loved one instead of spending the nights working on some transactions which I can short circuit in just one click.

Indirectly, the database work is for the kids, which as qsez mom would call it, 'securing their future'.

Well... of course I'd like to bring home one of those Asus laptops and all... but then again... it's for me (human) and not for the Asus (though that Asus laptop would be really lucky to have me (or at least be beside me.))

Please don't think I'm giving advise in here... it's just 7AM. The shower is still too cold for me and I'm still too sleepy to tinker with Foxpro's command window.

In my case, Mark... Beakman... the best thing I did was to teach qs how to code... and how to code in Visual Foxpro (even if she's now acting weird sometimes, talking to herself once in a while and blurting out normalization-related stuff in the middle of my meditation time).

But still, I think that was one of the best moves i've made since moving here.

In your case, Mark... only you can tell.

Logic, though I profess it passionately and endlessly, online and offline, with the humans I interact with (qs not being an exemption)... is often not enough.

... especially... especially... especially... when you, my friend, are dealing with human beings known as 'women'.

And please, that last line is not a chauvinistic remark. That's just reality.

Deal with it.
WildFire on 12:53 PM CST [ link ]

Monday | April 11.2005

Perpendicular Recording Storage Technology from Hitachi. Very interesting overview/presentation indeed. (via DotNet Fox)
WildFire on 03:56 PM CST [ link ]

Friday | April 08.2005

It has been quite some time since I've blogged something about work in here. In fact it's quite a while since I posted consistently in this site (or any other sites for that matter).

I won't even mention the 'b-sy' word since I think that has been used so so many times already by so so many humans in this world.

Let me just give you a recap of the things that occurred in the past week (which hopefully can be an excuse for not updating (of course you can always opt to a. work b. sleep c. count ants instead of reading blogs)).

April 01 started with that previous blog you've read which was created around 3AM after a 7-hour visit from client-001 the previous day (which is a 2-hour drive from here).

After that blog, the rest of the day was spent tweaking and coding some modules of the database projects for client-002, client-003 and client-004 visits for the next day.

(I will discuss the nature of these database projects in a different blog.)

Code, tweaks and code until 3AM Saturday and in the morning, because of some emergency related matters on the part of the client-002 I wasn't able to meet them but had to proceed to client-003 which was just a block away from client-002. I installed the database/project updates, had a snack and LAN-to-spiritual-stuff discussion with them.

In the afternoon, qs and I proceeded to client-004, installed updates and discussed more features. Along with a couple of creamy chocolates on the table, we delved into the bloody details on how to finalize and tweak the database system that we are doing for them.

(We also meet someone in there who asked us if we were free for a web design-related project.)

After that visit, I purchased an eight port hub, a lan card, a brand new logitech internet keyboard and a mouse (I change keyboards and mouses (mice?) every three months), lan cables and RJ45s.

This was for the network at home which I've been planning to install. (Details on this one will also be posted in a different blog.)

The next day, Sunday... we had to meet a possible new client-A on client-005's place.

Nice meeting someone, who even being the head of a certain school, was still very nice and down to earth. The visit to their place was set on Thursday (which was, if you're reading this on a Friday... yesterday).

We were already heading home when client-005 sms-ed that she's also talking to a possible new client-B who's also interested in a database-related project we are creating.

So Monday started with qs and I preparing papers, proposals, program tweaks, installers and all for this weekday series of client visits (client-006, new client-A, client-004 and client-007 (who was our first client since we started 'free lancing' here in Manila)).

By mid-day I have to re-arrange the schedule since client-005 called and requested a meeting with the possible new-client-B the next day. I had to move the meeting client-006 from Tuesday to Wednesday.

I spent the last few hours before midnight printing stuff, coding in between, reviewing program flows and installing the home network.

Tuesday, we had to fetch client-005 who was so kind enough to assist us with possible new client-B. An hour later we met with possible new client-B but I won't delve into the details on this part for now... : ]

Went home around 5PM to tweak the network installation and prepare another batch of proposals, sample prints and program tweaks for the next day visit with client-006.

A two hour bus ride, lunch, a four hour installation/discussion with client-006 and a two hour bus ride home marked Wednesday.

I had prepared most stuff for possible new client-A visit the next day, so I slept early...

... but had a to wake up around 3AM since Thursday's visit to possible new client-A is a three hour drive which could easily become a five hour or more one if we'll be caught in the traffic or worse, if we get lost.

It was quite a long ride (and it was also our first visit so the anticipation factor (think of donkey's 'Are we there yet?' lines), played its part. We even have to stop a couple of times to ask for directions.

It was quite funny that when we were talking with possible new client-A when we were already there, she asked us what road we took, and we described the long route we had, and she was like... 'Oh you took the short cut!'

We arrived at possible new client-A around 10AM... qs handled the installation and the program demonstration, we had lunch... a very nice lunch with the two heads of the school (one of them we had met last Sunday) and around 1:30AM started our drive home.

'Possible new client-A' becomes 'client-A' before the end of the day.

Now it is evening already and after a couple of hours catching up on sleep and applying tweaks to that Integrated Media Center System (Library System, AVR-related database system, LARS and SASM etc.), it is already 11PM as I'm blogging this (though it will be posted tomorrow I guess (since I no longer have an internet connection at home)) and I don't think I can visit client-001 tomorrow though I have yet to finalize the meeting for this week.

But I still have to prepare for a visit with client-004, client-008 and client-002 this Saturday if time and neurons permit.

WildFire on 02:41 PM CST [ link ]

Friday | April 01.2005

I was thinking of posting something today that I have been wanting to blog about for months already, but since today is the first day of April... I don't want it to be taken as a joke.

Besides, the 'net seems to have pushed this April 1 stuff to another level for the past few years. Too far sometimes, so much so that I have seen so many April Fool's Day 1 jokes even if it's not April 1 1.

Name it and the web has it, even the bidding for used silicon implants on eBay.

One of the April Fool's-01-joke-even-if-it's-not-April-01 joke that I have been reading so much as of late are those claims on security.

Don't get me wrong. Security has never been a joke.

It's the endless claim of having an operating system/browser/whatever that is secure that I find amusing.

I still have to see an operating system that would recreate an important file if I decide to randomly delete a couple of its 'core files'. I have tested that since... well, since 'software security' keeps popping out in most text-infested sites I've seen for the past few years.

Even the deletion of a single text formatted .ini file sometimes crashes the operating system.

I would delete files on a test PC every now and then and see how the operating system reacts to it. So far, the best I have seen is a message showing that a corruption occured, OS needs to be reinstalled along with a logo on it.


Sometimes it just reboots endlessly without even telling you what the problem is. Well, unless you call displaying that message and rebooting endlessly a main part of the so-called security feature...

In fact, if you unplug the computer, decide to put that poor thing in the middle of the road and ram even the oldest/crankiest vehicle against it, I don't think your hard disk (and data for that matter) would be secured.

The time you unplug it, most operating system would thumb suck and take refuge in their polka dot protected boxes.

If qsez dad decides to take those CPUs to the rooftop and use it for his daily practice shooting, I don't think any amount of this so-called 'more secured' OS can handle it.

In fact, sans the electrons and protons, an operating system can't even function.

A secure operating system, would be able to do more than what it claims to do, protect you from past and present threats, anticipate future ones, protect your file and your soul, makes your life easier, increases your libido, and transforms into a fully armored incorruptible seven headed, fierce looking, fire breathing medieval knight that protects your damsel-in-distress data when it is unplugged.

(And without thinking about fame, financial profits, and world domination while it's at it.)

Until, someone can invent (and selfishly patent) that medieval knight, you can only dream on about your claims on security.

But, humans and developers should not stop pursuing for it.

And irresponsible marketers/zealots/managementscan always continue claiming that their product is 'more secure'. Besides, it makes good April Fool's 1 jokes.
WildFire on 03:26 PM CST [ link ]

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