Monday, November 5, 2007

iPhone in the Philippines?

Last week, while watching Pinoy Big Brother (I know, but since this is for the Filipino masses blog, I have to watch that show too), I noticed something that made me giggle. To my surprise, Toni's cellphone is none other than the iPhone. Wow, I said to myself, iPhone is now available in the country. But then I remembered, Apple said that iPhone will not be available in Asia until next year, so the question is how did she 'acquired' that phone?

Strolling down the mall, I noticed that some cellphone shops actually sells iPhone. I asked for the price, PHP 29,000 for the 8GB iPhone, hmmm expensive I cringed. I asked if they have those phased out 4GB, unfortunately they don't have those in stocks. Finally I asked them if this was open lined already and they answered me with a big YES. But then I wondered, how the hell did they unlocked it with such a breeze and yet those in the USA or even Europe are having a hard time unlocking those things?

After the initial amazement of iPhone - I asked myself even though they assured me that the warranty is up to a year - how can I be personally assured that this thing will not be bricked if iPhone firmware updates? What if I installed 3rd party apps e.g. jailbraking the iPhone, will I still be covered with their warranty? After that, the realization sets in, it is not worthy right now to buy this gadget at this current state of uncertainty. PHP 29K is no joke and I don't want to brick it nor give them to snatchers. Have to wait for the official release here in the Philippines, who knows it might be open line.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Java ME no more?

There has been reports going on lately that Sun Microsystem will phase out it's touted Java ME (Micro Edition) in favor of a more robust offering in Java SE (Standard Edition). According to James Gosling, often called the father of Java, this is not absolutely true as Java ME is continually evolving. Also he added that as mobile devices are becoming more powerful sooner or later Java ME and Java SE will converge.

What is Java ME and Java SE?

Java ME is a collection of Java APIs for the development of software for small, resource-constrained devices such as cell phones and PDAs. [wikipedia] Java SE on the other hand is the Java platform used to deploy portable applications for general use. [wikipedia]

Brighter Sun

I really those two codebase merge. I haven't done any programming (yet) in Java ME because it is a different beast compared to the standard Java platform. And it will be a welcome addition to code mobile and desktop applications under one set of APIs. Maybe one day we could finally realise the true meaning of 'write once run anywhere' mantra, not just for different systems but for different devices as well. And with the open sourcing of Java, things are going to get bright and exciting for Java developers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ubuntu Linux 7.10 Released

Last October 18, Canonical Ltd. - the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu - just announced that the latest Ubuntu Linux 7.10 codenamed Gutsy Gibbon is already available for free download. According to the press release, "Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Edition adds an enhanced user interface, improved hardware support, multiple monitor support and integrated desktop search" as well as "bringing together the best open source and free software available in a stable, robust environment that 'just works'."

This is a great news to all Linux users out there, just recently Canonical Ltd. released Ubuntu 7.04 codenamed Feisty Fawn, and in keeping true to their bi-annual release you can download the latest version of Ubuntu here. I personally had fun ordering 5 Ubuntu 7.04 cds which I promptly gave to some of my officemates, who like me, have been using Linux for quite sometime.

I highly recommend everyone who are open source enthusiast, Linux users, or just brave souls to give Ubuntu 7.10 a spin and see the benefits - first hand - of using Linux.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Leopard coming this October 26!

It has finally arrive, the most anticipated release of Apple's most visually stunning OS to date, the Mac OS X Leopard. After 2 years since the released of the famed, Mac OS X Tiger, Apple has managed to once again up the ante in the OS Wars. I think this year will be a blowout year for all the OSes. Microsoft just launched early this year their 5 years-in-the-making Windows Vista and as Linux OS such as the high-rise Ubuntu began picking up steam in the alternative OS department, Apple certainly doesn't want to be left behind in this year battle of the OS.

Apple boasts around 300 new exciting features in their upcoming Leopard. Ranging from the most obvious revamp of the desktop, to slick applications such as Time Machine and Spaces, to the completely overhauled Finder, great additions such as Quick Look, and to various development tools this will certainly be an anticipated release for the Apple users worldwide.

To all Apple users and would-be switchers, don't forget to line up on the 26th of October at your favorite Apple store. Well I am still hoping I could buy a new Apple laptop with this OS inside by the end of this year.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Davao City will be a WiFi free zone

Good news fellow Davaoenoes - local businesses in Davao City are mulling a plan to make the city a free wireless internet access zone. You heard it right, Davao City will soon be a premier information and communication center much like Singapore. The said project will be the main agenda on the upcoming 6th Mindanao Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Congress on October 23-24.

When I was in Davao last August, I was amazed to find out that most coffee shops within the metro offered free wifi access. This is a great boon considering that wireless internet access nowadays is rampant and offers added bonus to a local business.

If the project will indeed push through, it will be disruptive that telecommunications company might try hard to put the program in the back-burner, just imagine what will happen if VOIP suddenly becomes available for free and widespread.

And if indeed this will push through, Davao City will once again rise to the top. As of now, Davao City has the most comprehensive traffic management system of any city in the Philippines as well as having our own 911 help line, the first outside US and Canada. And with this project, Davao will be put in the ICT map and lucrative businesses will (hopefully) flow in.

Monday, October 1, 2007

10 Years of Thinking Different

This is the full text of the "Think Different" Apple campaign launched last 1997. The video of which always send shiver down my spine. As a history lover, it is always good to note the big figures being shown in that Apple commercial. Although I don't own a Mac, just an iPod, I wish Apple will once again starts to Think Different and cater back to their customer.

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some see them as the crazy ones,
We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world,
Are the ones who do

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The IT Solution

Old but still a good way to understand IT solution. Click on the picture to have a bigger view of it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Do we need a National Broadband?

I don't have a TV. I admit I am poor. I get all my local news from,, and So recently I have been baffled by this current news in our country that talks about the NBN-ZTE Deal. For the uneducated (like me) NBN stands for National Broadband Network and it is a project by the Philippine government to create a private? network among all its government offices throughout the country (correct me if I'm wrong). And the beneficiary of such deal is ZTE Corporation of China. With a staggering budget of more than $300 million, this is the most talked about issue nowadays in Philippine tv airwaves. It even has its own Senate hearing.

As for me, I don't believe in this whole NBN thing. I prefer the private sector fund this kind of project. They have the money, they already have the expertise, and they can monetize this kind of undertaking. What benefit is it for the Philippine government to undertake this one? Just let us take a look at the US, the ones funding citywide "wification" are the private firms such as Google. And why do we need a private network? Is the internet not enough? If the problem is geophysical can't we ask the local telecommunications firms to serve that area? Or do we still have zero signal areas in our country? Anyway this is an interesting issue that will get interesting in the upcoming days. I will be reading more articles regarding this tv drama and giving some of my unimportant inputs.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Programmer's Day

Technically it was yesterday, 09/13/2007. So anyway Happy Programmer's Day to all coders all over the world!

Programmer's day is celebrated every 256th day of the year. In programmer's lingua franca that's 2 to the 8th power. Why that calculation? I don't know.

So to everyone out there give some love to your favorite computer scientist. And to the computer programmer's out there, celebrate by fixing those damn bugs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Photoshop Online

Today, Adobe just launched their premier photo editor program - Photoshop - into the online arena. According to the article, "Photoshop Express isn't meant to duplicate/replace Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop Elements. Rather, it's a new member of the Photoshop family that's meant to make Adobe imaging technology immediately accessible to large numbers of people."

A screenshot of the program will confuse some Photoshop veterans as the web application doesn't resemble anything like the Photoshop CS3. Rather it looks like Adobe Lightroom. Either way it's a win for consumers as Photoshop will reach to different segments of people at the price of free.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Seven Wonders of the IT World has compiled a rather interesting list of the Seven Wonders of the IT World. Some are very interesting while others are not.

The first one is the computer closest to the North Pole, and that title belongs to Webcam #1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory takes care of this floating eye at the top of the world.

The second one is the computer farthest from Earth, and that title belongs to NASA's voyager satellite. It is three times farther away from Pluto.

The third one is the world's most intriguing data center, and that title belongs to Googles' The Dalles, Oregon data center. It has a hydroelectric dam for power, two four-story cooling towers.

The fourth one is the world's largest scientific grid computing project, and that title goes to the E-sciencE II (EGEE-II) project. It is a large-scale scientific research projects in fields from geology to chemistry.

The fifth one is the world's fastest supercomputer, the IBM BlueGene/L (BGL). It helps researchers answer physics questions about stockpiled nuclear weapons and materials like Plutonium.

The sixth one is the world's smallest PC to run Windows Vista, the QOQ Model 2. Such a small and stylish device that runs the latest OS from Microsoft.

And lastly, the seventh one is the biggest paradigm change in enterprise software, that title belongs to the Linux kernel. One of the biggest name in free and open source software revolution.

Disclaimer: All images from Please click here to view the entire article.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Netscape done.

Digg-killer and rebranded will cease to exists. As an avid Digg-reader, yes I spend like 2-3 hours a day just "digging", I think any technophile should be a digg-reader. With its editor free democratic voting system, Digg has risen from its obscure beginnings and into the spotlight, often to the point of branding voting style websites as Digg-clones or possible Digg-killers. One such website is

I used to browse at the old web portal style of Netscape. But as soon as they turned to another Digg-clone my interests for the site declined. The whole navigation thing was just despicable, I'll be lost trying to work my way through the site. And as the news of its imminent closure looms, that says a lot that it is not just me that hated the new style.

Please bring back the old Netscape site. The one with editorials and cool and original articles.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I want iPod Touch

Wow! Apple just revamped the whole iPod line-up. Their new iPods are the new iPod nano, the new iPod classic, and the very brand new iPod Touch.

The New iPods

The iPod nano brings video (finally!) to the nano family, with capacity still at 4GB and 8GB. The iPod classic boasts of capacity up to 160 GB. The iPod touch on the other hand boasts the same functionality as the original iPhone minus of course the phone functionality. Capacity also is limited to 8GB and 16GB but I'll be damned that is one slick device.

Having owned a 1st Gen iPod Nano device I can say that Apple creates very intuitive product. Next purchase for the holiday season, hmmm, iPod touch!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Foleo has been cancelled!

A look at this article reveals Palm is canceling the Foleo. It has been awhile since I blog about Palm's intention to create a mobile companion device, the Foleo. But it seems Palm succumb to outside pressure about the relevance of their much hyped device. Engadget for their part has filed an appeal to Palm to reconsider axing the said project. Click here to read the very nice article engadget bloggers (don't know they could come up with originals, but it was good) throw at Palm.

With millions and millions of R&D money already spent in conceptualizing Foleo, I don't think Palm will just throw in the towel. I bet they will regroup and essentially (hopefully) create the Foleo as a real contender or if they don't Eee will eat their lunch.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Python 3000 released!

Python 3.0 has just been released! Be wary though, this is just an alpha release, with beta releases next year and hopefully the final version will be delivered by August 2008.

For those who are not familiar with Python, it is a high-level and multi-paradigm programming language (functional, object oriented and imperative) which has a fully dynamic type system and uses automatic memory management; it is thus similar to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, and Tcl. []

Its new version is called Python 300 (a.k.a. "Py3k", and released as Python 3.0) is a new version of the language that is incompatible with the 2.x line of releases. The language is mostly the same, but many details, especially how built-in objects like dictionaries and strings work, have changed considerably, and a lot of deprecated features have finally been removed. []

So if you are ready to learn the wonderful world of python, well I just started myself, click here to download the new alpha version of the language. Be warned though, this is not yet a stable release.

Friday, August 31, 2007

OS Summit Asia 2007

A friend told me about an open source summit to be organized in Hong Kong this November 26-30, 2007. According to their website the summit is about "Combining the talents of the Eclipse Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation to create the first open source community summit in Hong Kong."

If you are an open source enthusiasts or a software developer that utilizes either Eclipse or any tools by Apache and have money, lots of money to spare then don't hesitate to give them a call or an email. Please click here to view their website.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Sun Microsystems Inc. has changed their ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA. According to their CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, "JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that's inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability). And so next week, we're going to embrace that reality by changing our trading symbol, from SUNW to JAVA."

Is it a smart move or a dumb one? But some people over at slashdot wants Microsoft to change their ticker symbol from MSFT to ...


Friday, August 24, 2007

Job Hunting?

Juan was currently not on the look out for another job but fortunately a woman from a local recruitment agency phoned him.

Juan: Hello?
Woman: Hi Juan, are you busy right now?
Juan: Nope not at all.
Woman: Great! I'm going to ask you if you are interested in applying for another company.
Juan: Right now not really. But who knows right? I'm open to all possibilities.
Woman: Nice to hear that. We have a client that wants to hire a .NET programmer and we perused your resume and we think you are the ideal candidate.
Juan: Thanks. Mind if I ask the name of the company.
Woman: Sorry, as of the moment I'm not allowed to disclose it. But anyway if you are free on Sunday afternoon I would like to invite you for an interview.
Juan: (Sunday? But why?) Ok. But may I ask if how much is the expected salary of this position.
Woman: No problem. Well how much are you earning right now?
Juan: Around PHP *0,000.00
Woman: Really? Is that your expected salary or your current?
Juan: Current salary.
Woman: Wait I'm going to talk to my boss. *after a minute or two*
Woman: Juan? Well you can just stay in the company. Don't look for another job.
Juan: (silent laughter)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Software Freedom Day 2007

I got this from the local Linux user group in Davao. To all tech enthusiasts who share a passion with free and open source software, it's this time of the year to congregate.

Please say hello to Software Freedom Day 2007! Share the banner to inform other people.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Picturerror: %Firewall

What's wrong with my Firewall? I don't have an internet connection and this thing suddenly was turned off and presented me with a funny status report.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bill Gates Open Letter to Hobbyists

Even way back then, Bill Gates was a strong believer in software as a business economy.

Read and enjoy.


An Open Letter to Hobbyists

by William Henry Gates III

February 3, 1976

To me, the most critical thing in the hobby market right now is the lack of good software courses, books and software itself. Without good software and an owner who understands programming, a hobby computer is wasted. Will quality software be written for the hobby market?

Almost a year ago, Paul Allen and myself, expecting the hobby market to expand, hired Monte Davidoff and developed Altair BASIC. Though the initial work took only two months, the three of us have spent most of the last year documenting, improving and adding features to BASIC. Now we have 4K, 8K, EXTENDED, ROM and DISK BASIC. The value of the computer time we have used exceeds $40,000.

The feedback we have gotten from the hundreds of people who say they are using BASIC has all been positive. Two surprising things are apparent, however, 1) Most of these "users" never bought BASIC (less than 10% of all Altair owners have bought BASIC), and 2) The amount of royalties we have received from sales to hobbyists makes the time spent on Altair BASIC worth less than $2 an hour.

Why is this? As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?

Is this fair? One thing you don't do by stealing software is get back at MITS for some problem you may have had. MITS doesn't make money selling software. The royalty paid to us, the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even operation. One thing you do do is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software. We have written 6800 BASIC, and are writing 8080 APL and 6800 APL, but there is very little incentive to make this software available to hobbyists. Most directly, the thing you do is theft.

What about the guys who re-sell Altair BASIC, aren't they making money on hobby software? Yes, but those who have been reported to us may lose in the end. They are the ones who give hobbyists a bad name, and should be kicked out of any club meeting they show up at.

I would appreciate letters from any one who wants to pay up, or has a suggestion or comment. Just write to me at 1180 Alvarado SE, #114, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108. Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software.

Bill Gates

General Partner, Micro-Soft

Monday, August 20, 2007

Video of the Week: Unknown Zune Commercial

Nice ending.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Which Transformer are you?


Megatron is the leader of the Decepticons. He will stop at nothing to establish his empire and destroy the Autobots, starting with Optimus Prime.

Like Megatron, you are not compassionate and harbor evil thoughts. You are inspiring, confident, and a natural leader. The Decepticons have chosen well. In addition, you enjoy being one step ahead of your friends as far as trends and technology.

Well, well, well. It seems that I am evil in nature. Next stop create 'sharks with friggin' lasers' and rule this world. Click here to test yourself.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What is FTW?

FTW is an Internet slang that stands for "For The Win".

It is usually added at the end of a message or a post to show enthusiasm on the subject.


Guy1: Have you seen the new iMac?
Guy2: new iMac FTW!

Guy1 asked if anyone has seen the new iMac, Guy2 reaffirmed this. Whether or not the response of Guy2 was genuine or sarcastic depends on how we interpet it.

On the other hand, FTL - which is the exact opposite of FTW - stands for "For the Lose".

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pitfall of having a single point-person

It was this time of week that Z would normally hibernate. But fate would have its reason and he was denied of that precious luxury time.

There has been a major issue regarding the supposedly release of their software. His boss and other teammates have constantly been absent for the past few days. With the deadline looming over, it only means one thing, major overtime for him.

Why would these people be gone in the time like this, he winced. Don't they have any sense of urgency?

And so he spent sleepless nights and weekends trying to finish his module. With his boss nowhere in sight, Z at first seems helpless and then hopelessness sinks in. If we cannot deliver this project on time then that's it.

I don't want to be fired, he said defensively. This is one of those cases where this is out of my hand.

From the very start there was an anomaly regarding job designation in Z's company. One person, one project, one teamlead was the common mantra. Initially, it was a good plan as it would save scarce resources and manpower. But little did they know that this would be its pitfall.

So, if we do the math, it would be that three projects equals to three point persons. These three heads are the only ones who know the intricacies of their respective system. Its in and out. The lifeblood of the company depends on them and no person outside would generally understand the entirety of the project.

After that whole fiasco, the management decided that the best course of action to take was to assign multiple point persons to new projects. In that way, projects will not be stalled if at one point a teamlead will be run over by a bus tomorrow.

As for Z, he still has his job. Good thing for him the management realized its mistakes and did not point the finger at him.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Set Your Documents Free!

Red Hat announces the new ODF artwork for us to share and spread.

What is ODF?

ODF is a file format for electronic office documents, such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations, databases and word processing documents (e.g.: memos, reports, letters). [wikipedia]

It's main competitor is the Microsoft Office formats. The key differentiator here is that ODF is backed by a standards committee called Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).

What's the reason for ODF?

The reason for the existence of ODF is that OASIS believe that file formats should be free and open source, in that way when you open ODF files you don't need the expensive Microsoft Word to create, edit and view document files, rather you can use any document viewer program as well.

Final note from Red Hat

What can you do? Download, print, and hang the poster. Spread the word. And liberate your documents with ODF.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Funny Parody Letter from Bill Gates

I got this one from Slashdot. This is very funny. This is a parody on Linus Torvalds' (creator of Linux OS) famous declaration of the birth of Linux.

From: William Gates [email blocked]
Subject: Costly kernel for IBM PC
Newsgroups: comp.os.cpm
Date: 5 Oct 81 05:41:06 GMT

William Henry Gates III

Do you pine for the nice days of CP/M-1.1, when men were men and wrote
their own device drivers? Do you have too much money in your pocket? Are
you much too free to do what you want with your computer? Are you
finding it frustrating when everything works on CP/M? No more rebooting your
computer every 10 minutes? Then this post might be just
for you

As I mentioned a month(?) ago, I've purchased a version of QDOS for a song
and I'm busy cocking it up and I'm going to sell it to IBM (suckers) for their
new PC. It has finally reached the stage where it's completely unstable and
most of the cooler things in CP/M have been removed.
I am willing to put out the binaries, for a price, for wider distribution. It is
just version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already), but I've successfully
run BASIC/lunar-lander/COMMAND.COM etc under it (oh boy!).

Sources for this pet project of mine are all mine mine mine! Unless you talk
to Tim Paterson from SCP. Full kernel source is most definitely not provided, as
I have swiped a lot of code from CP/M and QDOS, and anywhere else I could find it.
The system is able to compile "as-is" on alternating Tuesdays and when the moon is
full or on a spring tide, and has been known to work. At least once. Heh.
Sources are locked away in my underground lair, I mean a shack I just bought in a
small town in Washington called Redmond.

I can (well, almost) hear you asking yourselves "why?". The Amiga will be
out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows), and I've already got
CP/M and the Apple ][. Well, this is a program for business people by a businessman.
It's been real work and I expect to get paid for it!
Plus hackers and students can't really create anything worthwhile.
I'm going to hire really smart kids who don't know jack about computers
and give them a lot of stock options. It won't matter if they create shit.
We'll market the crap out of this thing! Once I get the hardware vendors to bundle it,
we're golden! It is the beginning of my plan to dominate the world!
Muwhahahaha! If you have any comments, please direct them to the guy
over there holding the chair in a threatening manner.

I'm also interested in hearing from anybody who has written any of the
utilities/library functions for CP/M. I'd like to steal them, I mean embrace/extend/extinguish,
I mean purchase them for a song, so I can add them to the system. If you
send it me, it becomes mine! And I'll patent it! Drop me
a line if you are willing to let me use your code.


PS. to STEVE BALLMER! I'm unable to get through to you, and keep getting
"forward error - hermanmiller unknown domain" or something. I think I've got
a job for you.

PPS. to the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto -- I'm going to bury you guys!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The declarations that started the Linux revolution

A trip back in the memory lane on how Linux started.

First declaration.

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Summary: small poll for my new operating system
Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki

Hello everybody out there using minix - I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready.I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system(due to practical reasonamong other things). I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40),and things seem to work.This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, andI'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them :-)

Linus (

PS. Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs.
It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never
will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's
all I have :-(

Second declaration.

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: Free minix-like kernel sources for 386-AT
Message-ID: <>
Date: 5 Oct 91 05:41:06 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki

Do you pine for the nice days of minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers? Are you without a nice project and just dying to cut your teeth on a OS you can try to modify for your needs? Are you finding it frustrating when everything works on minix? No more all-nighters to get a nifty program working? Then this post might be just for you :-) As I mentioned a month(?)ago, I'm working on a free version of a minix-lookalike for AT-386 computers. It has
finally reached the stage where it's even usable (though may not be depending on
what you want), and I am willing to put out the sources for wider distribution. It is just version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already), but I've successfully run bash/gcc/gnu-make/gnu-sed/compress etc under it. Sources for this pet project of mine can be found at ( in the directory /pub/OS/Linux. The directory also contains some README-file and a couple of binaries to work under linux (bash, update and gcc, what more can you ask for :-). Full kernel source is provided, as no minix code has been used. Library sources are only partially free, so that cannot be distributed currently. The system is able to compile "as-is" and has been known to work. Heh. Sources to the binaries (bash and gcc) can be found at the same place in /pub/gnu.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Picture of the Week: Remember kids, Google is your friend.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Being a thesis-for-hire person

Patrick was out of luck. He badly needed some money for the reason he himself only knew. So there he was, in front of the PC chatting hoping to find some idea online. And then it struck him, why not become a thesis-for-hire person, he was excited about the thought, I will earn extra money at the same time I can gain additional programming experience. Having that idea, he quickly chatted dozens of people around the IRC channels, hoping to sell his "product". And luckily, a girl from one of the new schools in the city inquired about it.

With a potential customer at hand, he quickly bargained about the price. He asked the girl what she wanted for a thesis. The girl said I want an online registration form written in classic ASP. Patrick smiled - I know ASP, this is going to be a walk in park. Patrick asked for PHP 3,000 for the application to be finished in a month. The girl was satisfied, it fitted her meager budget.

A week gone by and still Patrick has not started the thesis project. He didn't predict that this will affect his studies. But he amassed enough will (money plays an important role here) to create the program during weekends. Three weeks have gone and Patrick finally finished it. He presented it to the girl and lectured her about the code and how to defend it. He even gave the ASP book for the girl to read. It was all spoon fed and the girl can graduate easily. Patrick received the money and he was delighted at the same time stressed out. This is the last thesis I will create for someone, the money isn't worth the hassle. But alas, as fate would have it, after a week the girl went back to Patrick's house and asked him one more time to explain the flow of the program. And with a clinched fist, Patrick obliged, I hate this.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Video of the Week: Gates vs Jobs

A very funny video featuring two of the most respected icons in technology. Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Starcraft Jargons

These are Starcraft jargons that originated from (where else) South Korea, also known as Starcraft country. So memorize these jargons just in time for Starcraft II.

kekeke = laugh
babo = stupid

^^ = :)
Gosu = master
Hasu = average

Chobo = noob



*courtesy of Slashdot.

What is IANAL?

You have probably seen this acronym across technology-related websites or blogs, and turned-off by it. Who wouldn't? It denotes a bad meaning. But don't worry, pinoytechie is here to explain the real meaning of IANAL.

IANAL is an acronym which stands for "I Am Not A Lawyer". The use of this abbreviation serves as a warning for the reader not to take the opinion as professional legal advice. [wikipedia] The expression became more and more common on online web forums starting from the year 2000, when debate about file sharing and peer-to-peer applications started to focus on copyright, privacy, and fair use issues. [wikipedia]


An example commentary on peer-to-peer applications.

Reader1: If ever I will upload a file on, will I get sued?
Reader2: IANAL, but if the file is a copyrighted one, I think you will get sued.

Reader1 should not take seriously the words coming from Reader2, because as Reader2 clarified, he is in no position to say legal things rather he is just stating his own personal opinion.

Friday, August 3, 2007


John, just like any other newly grads, wanted to look for a descent job. He trimmed down his choices to two. One would be a call center agent, the other would be a faculty member. He decided to try his luck on teaching, thus he created his first ever resume and applied for the job. The school he was trying to apply at was one of the most recognizable IT schools in the country and being a product of a prestigious school he was confident that he can land the job.

Days gone by and still no call from the school. One afternoon, an HR person called and informed John to prepare for an interview at the same time for the teaching demo. He asked what topic would that be, the other person on the line just said that he can choose any topic he wants as long as he is confident about it. John knew by heart Visual Basic 6, he even knew how to code it with his hands tied-up and blindfolded. And so he prepared his visual aids and practiced for hours his prepared speeches.

The day came for the teaching demo, the attendants were the Dean for the computer science department of that school as well as the top administrator. John finished off his teaching demo with a breeze, no questions whatsoever from the audience. Then the powertripping came. First, the dean told him it says here in your resume that you are good in assembly language. John said, i am knowledgeable in that field sir, so yes i have confidence i know how to write one. The dean asked then to show him a basic assembly program, John obliged but in the middle of it all the dean wasn't so sure of himself if he understands assembly or not. Then again he quickly asked another question, your thesis centered around networking, tell me what is the difference between wan and lan, to which John answered, it differs in their geographical location sir. The dean was infuriated! I studied Cisco he said. That is one of the most idiotic teachings in computer science he added, now standing up. He took the chalk and began writing on the blackboard. LAN is when this ATM machine is not connected to the internet, if it does it is now WAN.

WOW. John said. That was the most superb answer he has ever heard.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Why IT (sometimes) sucks in an IT firm

I had a discussion with a friend - he currently works in a software firm - two nights ago about his current dilemma with their IT team. By the way, let's call my friend "anonymous".

Anonymous: I hate our IT.

Jan2x: Why?

Anonymous: He keeps on blocking every damn website.

Jan2x: Like what?

Anonymous: For example blogspot! My God! I asked him, what's wrong with blogspot? Does it harm our computers? And he just told me that it is management's directive.

Jan2x: Well man, it really sucks to be on a software firm with IT team like that.

Anonymous: That is not only the problem. One time, we had a manager that visited our office and his laptop has yet to be approved before our IT team can give him any access to the internet. All those papers for approval and he needs to check his email NOW.

Jan2x: That is the pitfall, I think, of that idea. Sooner or later you will be behind the technology. For example what if tomorrow Microsoft decides to release a new product for the internet? Then your programmers will greatly suffer cause in the long run they will have no idea of knowing what are these new technologies!


Jan2x: Well it's hard to be treated as government employees. *laughter*

That is one of the reasons IT (sometimes) sucks. It is good to be paranoid and secure but at what price?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Pinoy Job: PERL Software Engineers

REWSS A/S is currently in need of PERL Software Engineers.

REWSS A/S is a Danish company specialized in developing Software Solutions and providing Consulting Services for Telecom companies worldwide. We have an expanding global client base and offices in Denmark, US, Brazil and the Philippines.


  • Develop detailed technical design documents based on high-level designs
  • Participate in and/or facilitate technical design walkthroughs
  • Code and test modules per detailed technical design specifications
  • Prepare unit test and assembly test plans (i.e., test script, test conditions, test data)
  • Perform testing according to test plans
  • Document test results
  • Ensure quality of own deliverables through adherence to project standards (budget, schedule and quality)
  • Adhere to project processes, policies and standards


  • Candidates must have knowledge/skills in any of the following programming language: Perl or JAVA/J2EE, SQL, UNIX scripting, PHP
  • With strong written and oral communication skills
  • Entry Level applicants/Fresh graduates are also encouraged to apply
  • Possesses an open attitude towards learning and adapting to new technologies and methodologies
  • Experience/knowledge in object-oriented design and/or programming is a plus
  • Experience in Linux and development tools such as Dreamweaver, Zend Studio, Eclipse, and CVS is a plus
  • College degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Technology or similar discipline with good academic record is a plus
So if you are a PERL Software Programmer looking for greener pastures please email your resume to

Pinoytechie New Banner

Hey everyone! Up there in this page is my new banner for pinoytechie website. I created this late last night and sorry for the rough banner. It is minimalist in design - which I love - at the same time it is simple and on-the-spot. Is my banner ok? Suggestions are always welcome.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Video of the Week: Good thing I don't know how to Dunk!

Good thing I don't know how to Dunk or else I might lose my head! - Watch more free videos

Saturday, July 28, 2007

What is YAGNI?

This is generally a software engineering term that stands You Ain't Gonna Need It.

Basically in software development a programmer should never create a "generalize" module for the sake of generalization, adding complexity to things that will probable never exist. This usually happens when a programmer over thinks too much about code reuse should be advocated in every modules he will create.

A best advice usually given is keeping all modules in the simplest state as possible. And adding new features as needed so that modules might not lead to code bloat.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Con quits Linux

Con Kolivas, a prominent Linux kernel developer, recently hanged up his glove in Linux development. Why did he left it all behind? If you're interested on Linux programming please take a time to read about the article. It talks about the software and hardware market and its impact on the Linux kernel development. He also gave an insight about the brutal kernel development discussions and how ego tripping runs amok in it.

Con Kolivas was a kernel developer who specializes in process scheduling. If you are a computer science student you will understand what process scheduling is about. If you don't know what it is, please take a look at scheduling computing [wikipedia] to appreciate it more.

As much as I wanted to join in the kernel development, the mailing list just struck fear in me. I know a little about operating systems development back in college days but it seems that I'm just a small fish in a big pond of kernel hackers. Oh well, sad day for Linux development, but all the thanks and luck to Con in his future endeavor.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Picture of the Week: Priceless Facial Expression

Price of the balloon: $1
Price of the red necklace: $1

A very funny facial expression that will be your trademark until you die: Priceless

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Dark Room

Recently, I've been visiting Codesqueeze and stumbled upon an article about how the author writes blogs. He outlined that he uses an editor named Dark Room. Curious, I went to the Dark Room site and quickly downloaded the application. According to the site Dark Room is "a full screen, distraction free, writing environment and unlike standard word processors that focus on features, Dark Room is just about you and your text". Pretty simple explanation but still I gave it a try. The application is small, it contains about 3 files - the DarkRoom.exe file, a configuration file and a bug-list file. No more installation, just a simple executable file. The program automatically launches into fullscreen and looks like a shell application - a bash shell to be exact to *nix users. It is simple, elegant and it really is a distraction-free tool.

Bloggers should take a look at this tool. This will save you countless of blogging hours and helps you focus in writing exactly what's on your mind.

Screenshot of Dark Room in fullscreen.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Video of the Week: Thriller!!!!!

Wtf! Will I be ashamed that the whole inmates in our country's prison are dancing to the tune of Thriller? or will I be proud that we are the best dancers in the world?

I wonder how did the discussion started....

Inmate1: Guys we need to have a dance number....
Inmate2: WTF? at least not "hit me baby one more time"
Inmate1: ok, it would be Thriller, we all love jacko the wacko!

On the sidenote, why not Smooth Criminal?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Simpsonized Yourself!

With Simpson's the Movie just around the corner, Burger King launches a new viral marketing ad that will transform your picture into one of the Simpson's character. Here is my photo before and after being simpsonized.


Jan2x Simpson in the famous Kwik-e-Mart

Please take note of all the instructions in the site. No black and white photography, well I posted my non-edited photo. Click here to be simpsonized!

* updated, sorry the proper link is

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Picture of the Week: Pacific Sunset wallpaper

Sunset over the Pacific. Simply breathtaking. Click the image to view the larger version.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I Want Eee!

I know what I want for Christmas! An Eee! According to Asus, Eee stands for "easy to learn, easy to play, easy to work". Just by hearing the name one can recall a similar product the Nintendo Wii. Maybe it was named as such to conjure the novice-friendly approach of Wii into computing.

Just look how small it is.


According to reports the Asus Eee PC 701 specifications are:
  • 7-inch display
  • 802.11b/g WiFi
  • Ethernet
  • modem
  • webcam
  • 900 MHz Intel Dothan Pentium M CPU
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4 or 8 GB flash drive
  • and a Linux OS
This thing runs Linux.

What about the price?

This is the reason why I want this gadget. Price starts at $199 for the 4GB model and $299 for the 8GB model. Imagine that! For less than PHP 10K I can have a spanking brand new, powerful, and very ultraportable laptop-lite.

The Market

Students or someone who just wants a laptop to:
  • browse the web
  • check emails
  • instant messaging
  • video conferencing
  • jot down notes
  • create simple office related tasks
  • upload and download files
This machine is heaven-sent. With Palm Foleo just around the corner, it will be an interesting year for laptop-lites. Hoping to grab one in stores by the year-end. And again hoping that Filipino tech shops won't overprice this thing.

* for a very thorough review of this thing, click here.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Video of the Week: Amazing Painting

This painter is amazing, he is of course Danny Dent (RIP). Try to figure out what he is painting and be amazed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Folding@home client running in my machine.

Do you leave your computer ALWAYS ON all the time? If yes, then please contribute to the Folding@home project. What better way to spend those idle processing hours than helping a scientific community achieve something groundbreaking. Don't worry, Folding@home only takes advantage of unused CPU cycles on a computer system. So when you're doing an all-nighter just downloading stuffs then you can take away the guilt by helping out at a fraction of your electricity consumption.

What is this Folding@home?

According to wikipedia, Folding@home (also known as FAH or F@H) is a distributed computing project designed to perform computationally intensive simulations of protein folding and other molecular dynamics simulations. Folding@home is one of the largest distributed computing projects. The goal of the project is "to understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases."

Great! Can I use my Linux machine?

Hell yeah! Folding@home currently runs in Windows, Linux and Mac machines. And if you have a PlayStation 3, Folding@home just released a client for your big powerful console. To download the Folding@home client in your machine, please click here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Picture of the Week: Billboard Wars

Filipinos are constantly bombarded with non-sense and eye-irritating billboards. But in India there is a Billboard war going on. Here are the 3 airlines competing at the same time lambasting their competitor. The top one was said to be photoshopped, but nevertheless funny as hell. Start from the bottom to the top and click the picture to view it at a larger size.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Who wants Pownce?

Today I received an invite to try out the new Web 2.0 app by Kevin Rose - the guy that founded Digg. The new web app is called Pownce. According to their site "Pownce is a way to send stuff to your friends. What kind of stuff? You can send just about anything: music, photos, messages, links, events, and more". Basically when you think about it, it is just a glorified FTP client with a slick graphical interface. You can use their web-app or download the Pownce desktop software.

How it was created

According to their site, Pownce was created using Django which is Python powered. The database is MySQL running on Linux Debian servers and web servers powered by a combination of Apache and Perlbal. Well, it is good to know that all of these are Open Source software.

The desktop client is written in Flex from Adobe's AIR platform. Which might be a deal breaker for some because as of now it only supports Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X platforms.


I have 4 invites remaining to be given away. So anyone who wants to try it out, just post a shout out. And don't forget to add me up.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Video of the Week: Is Baseball Boring?

Have you seen someone sleeping in a basketball tournament in the Philippines? I for one haven't seen one. But this video, in a baseball game (America's favorite past-time) someone was caught sleeping. And this is the reason why you shouldn't sleep during a sports game.

P.S. Is baseball that boring? Sorry for my ignorance, I haven't seen a baseball game before.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Will you drink the Kool-Aid?

This idiomatic expression has been going around the internets lately. It has been posted on Digg especially with regards to rabid Microsoft, Linux and Apple fanboys. And you may ask, what the hell does 'drinking the Kool-aid' means?


To give you a little background, according to wikipedia during the early 1960s a group of people called Merry Pranksters toured America and held 'Acid Test' events by drinking a LSD-laced Kool-Aid. Those who 'drink the Kool-Aid' upheld and accepted the LSD drug culture during that time.

'Drinking the Kool-Aid' is now closely associated with the cult mass-suicide by the people of Jonestown, Guyana by drinking grape-flavoured Flavor-Aid laced with potassium cyanide. Thus in the process 'Drinking the Kool-Aid' idiom becomes synonymous with unnatural loyalty and devotion.


Let's go back to all rabid fanboys out there. Say for example, when his Steveness at Apple announces a product every Mac fanatic will gladly embrace it and systematically bash other company's product. This is not just confined in Apple's world but also in Microsoft and Linux. This is clearly a manifestation of blindly following someone's philosophy. Clearly when someone does this you will definitely hear the phrase 'someone's been drinking Kool-Aid lately'.

So please use you mind and don't be a lemming. "There's a sucker born every minute" - P.T. Barnum.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Kill yourself. Save the world.

There was an article about a week ago that stated that planet Earth is not big enough for 6,500,000,000 people. The premise of the article was that there are 3 factors that contributes to the state of equilibrium of our planet, and if one of these state is breached then we will face catastrophic consequences. Apparently, it is the devastating human activity that leads to the deterioration of our planet.

What happened?

With the rise of human population during the last century there was also an increase in the exploitation and production of natural resources. In order to supply the world with enough basic needs (water and food) we have to rely on faster transaction of energy powers. Gone are the days that humans use organic resources to fuel the fire, now humans rely on fossil fuels to drive the economy, of which it sits on a limited supply.

As human population rises the birth rate of humans also increases. However the problem is that mortality rate of humans is decreasing. The advancement in medicine and technology have became - for some - a bane to human population control.

"Overpopulation? What's that?"


Is this really the reason why we have so many people in our planet? I always thought and believe - I am not an expert on this topic - that people generally tend to conclude that the population is booming because all the cities in the world are crowded. In my opinion, with respect to the size of the Earth, our population is not abnormal but rather it is just the opposite, however instability will arise when movement of people towards urban areas is not taken care of.

The more people concentrate their lives on urban areas the more susceptible we are in exploiting nature and thus gravitate towards self-destruction. It is not because rural areas tend to have low economy but because governments promote urbanism. If we can stay 50-50, half of the populace will live in rural areas and the remaining in urban areas I think population growth will balance itself.

A little quote on over-population from someone - "please kill yourself to give room for us all".

Monday, July 2, 2007

Picture of the Week: Aurora Borealis

This is the great Aurora Borealis as seen from space. Definitely one of the things I want to watch before I die. Click on the picture to view the larger version.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Video of the Week: Japanese Tetris Game

Japanese people are really funny! As much as we Filipinos try to emulate their reality game shows, they just take it to the next level most Filipinos can't even comprehend. Here is a video of the Human Tetris game show.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Do you want to work at Google?

There was supposedly a leaked internal memo by a Microsoftie that details life at Google. To read about it click here. It generally states the good and the bad side of working in Google and what Microsoft needs to adopt to improve. If you already read the article, it gave you an insight about the workplace demystification at Google. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE, who loves Google's products loves to work there. With the promise of liberal working area, liberal working schedules, be a colleague with some of the brightest mind in technology, and not to mention all the free foods, it will surely get you thinking on submitting a resume there. But alas not all companies are the same.

To Summarize
  1. the author praises Google for the free meals, dental, laundry, gym and free Google T-shirts every week.
  2. the author also took notice about the 80-20 in Google. Basically it means that you are allotted 20% of your time to do whatever you want to do as long as it is approved by your superiors. He said that this system is highly flawed and poorly implemented.
  3. the author pointed out that health care, the salary, the office space and career development path in Google is actually worse than Microsoft's situation.
  4. the author said Google likes to hire newly-grads and offer them cool perks, while if you're a mid-timer it provides job stability at the same time competition with the newly-grads and lastly those that enjoy the most benefits and perks are the old-timers.
  5. and lastly he offered things that Microsoft can adopt from Google and reiterate that Microsoft's condition is better than Google.

One unseen reason why this study was even conducted is that there are many high profile Microsoftie that defected to Google, and maybe Microsoft just wants to know why those people chose the latter. And it is good to hear that the company is actually listening to its employees.

Every company has there issues to deal with and it will be much better if those same company realizes its shortcomings and improve upon them. Always remember that people are the best asset that any company can have, and it is much more harder to recruit new people than to retain old ones.

So, if given a chance, do you want to to work at Google? Microsoft? or stick with your company?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Dunning-Kruger effect

I just came across this word in one of Digg's link. Basically the premise for that article was that digg users are typically a bunch of teenagers that think highly amongst themselves.

What is Dunning-Kruger effect?

From wikipedia, it is the phenomenon whereby people who have little knowledge systematically think that they know more than others who have much more knowledge. Accordingly these are the hypotheses presented by the two fellow who studied the effect,
  1. incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill,
  2. incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others,
  3. incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy,
  4. if they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.
Well these revelations are certainly an eye opener but not really a shocker. All throughout human history there have been people who think highly of themselves. There is a saying in India that states "a half-filled jug creates more noise than a full-filled one". Those who possesses little to no talent are the ones that are noisier compared to those who possesses more. Even the great Albert Einstein can reiterate on this. He was quoted as saying "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."

Dealing with it

It is already a fact of life that these effect has existed, is existing and will continue to exists. Learn to accept this fact and just let those intelligent fools make fool of themselves. There will come a time those people will learn the value of the saying "pretend to be silent and judge as unintelligent than speak up and lose credibility". Just think about this, even a bluff can win a poker but not all the time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Please Support Local Tourism

We all love to travel. Filipinos particularly love to travel. That's why our President wants to boost our local tourism industry by giving us longer vacations through legal-holidays and by initiating the RoRo (roll-on roll-off) for those who want to travel by land and sea. Not only that the airline industry such as Cebu Pacific Air offers peso fare for those who want to get discounted airfares. But the question is, our we supporting our government's initiative for local tourism?

There is a nice web-tool for us to determine how much of a local traveler we are. Please take a look at my local travel sheet and my grade - well I'm just a C class traveler.

My Lakbayan grade is C!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

As you can see, I have covered a lot of places in Mindanao (it's my hometown after-all), some places in Cebu region and a couple in Luzon area. As much as I want to encourage my officemates and some friends here in Manila to come and visit the beautiful Mindanao (shame plug-in) I'm having a hard time every now and then defending it. The misconception about the security in Mindanao is really very hard to quell. Another problem I have encountered is the perception that traveling abroad exceeds by a mile than traveling locally. How come? I won't be a hypocrite it's good to travel abroad (have never done it though) but it is - for me - much more worthy if one can visit and appreciate his own backyard first.

I just remembered a discussion I had with my brother. He bought Davao City shirts and I asked him, "Why did you buy those things? You're from Davao!". And he answered me, "Kayanga, taga-Davao ka nga wala ka namang t-shirt" (Thats the point, your from Davao and you don't even have a t-shirt). Good point.