quaint little rutted bucket

Thursday, July 29, 2004

* silly Firefox mem leak; forced me to repost this entire entry after it had crashed. Sigh. Work-in-progress. :)

Flowers, anyone?

Here's a lovely pair of flower photos for you. While it may seem somewhat gay, any budding photographer would certainly agree that flowers are pretty (pun intended) interesting subjects. ^_^

Image 01
Image 02

Weirded out

Firefox crashing, NETANAL almost failing... sigh.

The Day's Realization (Or rather, common sense made known): I shouldn't have taken comsci majors. :D

Anyway, I'm getting scared about NETANAL. This subject, for all the interesting stuff and the instructor it has, has the real potential to be a killer. Seventy percent passing mark, 1/3 passing trend in the quizzes... if it weren't for Sir Jess' admirable efforts to make it easy for us, NETANAL would surely be a disaster, much like that CS/CT course that covers ASM. [cough]*compasm*[cough]

Underloaded na nga ako, mukhang babagsak pa! Argh. *Give* *me* *a* *break*.

If only I actually had the patience back in high school to pore over and study math, this netanal thingy would be pretty much a walk-in-the-park. But I did not. Sob. :(

Windoze got fux0red on me yesterday, leaving me with a nasty and real annoying 'Delayed Write Failed' error whenever I did a read or a write operation with my hard disk. Frustrated, but undeterred, I searched high and low on Google and Teoma for the solution. The [somewhat] workaround I found? Just set My Computer's Advanced Properties' Performance Settings' Advanced tab's Memory Usage to 'Programs'. Hahah. Confusing. Here's the neato version: Right-click on 'My Computer', select the 'Advanced' tab, click on 'Settings' under 'Performance',
select the 'Advanced' tab, and select the 'Programs' radio button under 'Memory usage'.

Windows XP: beats even GNU/Linux on the complexity and strange-behavior department.

The LRT also got fux0red earlier today, after the train I was on suddenly stopped while it was leaving Gil Puyat and underway. Talk about bad luck. :)) I was then forced to take a jeepney and shell out PhP 5.50 for a ride that is hardly a kilometer away, as waiting for that thing to get fixed is an exercise in wasting time. Interesting observation: Time does equal money in this case.

And oh, I'm pretty excited over my 'adopted' block next term. Most of the education classes I plan to take is with this CoED frosh block, L81. I can only wonder how those guys will turn out.

I'll be pretty much on my own next term, except perhaps for a course or two. I really should've taken RELSTWO this term. Sigh.

Current status: love... less. Teka. Hindi pala. I am loved by God! Ahahaha.
Syet. Baliw na ata ako.
Stuck and playing on WA5: Lee Ritenour - "Can't Let Go"

Monday, July 26, 2004

Link of the Day


This second part of an ArsTechnica article discusses the merits and the pitfalls of the present generation of modern desktop Pentium microprocessors available on the market. It also touches on why the P4 sucks on traditional stack-based floating point (x87 instructions) and needs SSE-optimized code in order to run well; on how the Pentium-M came into being and its future, and what improvements the 90nm Prescott core brings to the Pentium 4.

An interesting read, especially this second part's introduction, where Jon Stockes mentions why the P4 is ultimately, a processor built to sell--and not really to provide exponential performance increases.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

After almost a week of no updates...

COEd, here I come!

I'm now officially under the BSE-ENG (Bachelor of Secondary Education - Major in English) program of DLSU's College of Education. And there's no turning back. :)

This decision was mine, all mine. :) It's not something my friends or even my parents made for me, I made it all by myself not overnight, nor even for a month; it was a decision that took almost half a year to make. Making it was hardly easy, as one has to put into mind that its one that will have a profound impact on how I'll later turn out to be as an individual in the future, let alone what I'll be doing for a living. I am responsible for this, and given the way things are today, I feel that I'll do pretty good in that program, instead of the one I'm in right now. I just don't think I have what it takes to complete ComSci, in addition to the fact that I just don't see myself in an office, working 8 hours a day with computers and information systems. I wanted to do something more than that, and I feel that a career in education strikes an almost perfect balance between making a living, reaching out to other people and being of service, not only to young minds, but also to the noble process of nation building. That I feel is, the most important part of it all.

Seriously though, and putting the fancy wording and fluff aside, I honestly am feeling anxious over this entire thing. I dunno. Maybe it has something to do with the relative newness of this to me, or perhaps the uncertainty. I dunno, really. Sigh. Why does life have to be this difficult? :-S

Don't get me wrong, I'd still love to become an educator, and I'm going to be an excellent one at that. I am, for the record, still looking forward to *that* day. :))

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Geekish Rambling: Notice anything different here? ;)


Yep. That's right. My rig has jumped over to the red side. And it feels weird.

I've been using Nvidia since 2000, when I first got my real 3D card, a GeForce 2 GTS. At that time, it was simply one of the fastest, and nothing came close to Nvidia's dominant performance and quality when it comes to graphics. This, of course, made me a fan of Nvidia up until recently, when I had the [unlucky] opportunity to use a GeForce FX 5600, after more than a year on a GeForce 4 Ti card (The Ti card suffered from "hot flashes", and Axis Global, Inno3D's local distie, didn't stock up on the card I had, thus they offered me to "upgrade" it to a FX 5600 card.) The 5600 was like flying economy after flying business for quite some time. Until today. :)

I was actually contemplating on whether to get a 5900XT or a Radeon 9800 Pro. All things considered, I decided to get the 9800 Pro, simply because it offered more bang for the buck while virtually costing the same.

The first thing I missed after installing Omega's modded Catalyst drivers was the familiar Nvidia ForceWare menus and dialogs. ATI's Catalyst isn't by no means a slouch (it in fact offers almost the same or even more changeable options compared to NV's ForceWare drivers) but I felt like somebody on a foreign land. While the added tweakability over Nvidia's is well-appreciated, I am still learning how this entire thing works. :)

3D quality is in fact a bit better than Nvidia's, although not by much. (I've been using Omega's modded ForceWare's so that was my point of comparison.) but what I cannot understand is, what's with all the hype over ATI's 2D quality being better over Nvidia's? Ack. I couldn't notice a darn single thing, even with my spectacles on. Maybe just some fanboy s***.

I'm actually scared about the 9800 Pro card in my PC. For one thing, ATI's R3xx based parts have been known to run pretty hot, and my case doesn't really have that good of an airflow. Nevertheless, its still a work in progress, and I'll be checking the temps every now and then to make sure it stays well within acceptable operating parameters.

I haven't ran a benchmark on this yet, focusing instead on performance in games. I've reinstalled NFSU just to run a few rounds on this thing. Maybe I'll be posting some benchies tomorrow or over the weekend.

I'm planning to add some ramsinks and maybe save up for a good after-market GPU cooler and OC the card a bit just for kicks. You'll never know, maybe this baby can be a 9800XT soon. :)

Album Reviewerage: Steve Tyrell's "This Guy's in Love"

I first heard of Steve Tyrell in *that* movie, Something's Gotta Give, a few months back. His crooning was so lovable that, I did go out and picked up the soundtrack for that movie. While his song was admittedly, only a cover of Frank Sinatra's "I've Got a Crush on You", its own unique flair, combined with the exquisite big-jazz-band accompaniment and excellent arrangement, made for definite stand-out against the countless covers coming from different artists today.

Today, we take a look at the real deal: Steve Tyrell's second album, carrying the name "This Guy's in Love". Be forwarned: While a good number of the songs included in this album are definitely covers from the present and the no-so-present (in fact, the carrier single is a Burt Bacharach original.), Steve Tyrell's unique rendition and that signature big-jazz-band sound gives added breadth and flavor to ths songs included in the album.

The album starts off with "Isn't It Romantic?", an upbeat jazz track that makes for excellent, ugh, ballroom music. (Not that there's anything bad with it; in fact, I could just see myself slow dancing to his music every now and then. :) The tempo continues on to "Just In Time" and "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" before slowing down on the album's carrier, "This Guy's In Love." While his version is arranged differently from Bacharach's original, it is in fact, co-arranged by the man himself. That alone speaks volumes on the kind of work Steve Tyrell has on this album.

"The Nearness of You", a song originally performed by Norah Jones on her debut album, also makes itself heard on this album. While "The Nearness of You" may fit Norah Jones better, again, this track undergoes the same treatment that the rest underwent--making for another enchanting listen.

The warmth and attention to detail that is omnipresent throughout the album is simply astounding. This perhaps may be because of this, a story on how Steve Tyrell and her wife, Stephanie, shared a genuine passion for life and love with each other for more than a quarter of a century.

The warmth, detail, excellent arrangement, exquisite big-jazz-band music, and of course, Steve Tyrell's one-of-a-kind loving crooning all conspire to make listening to this album a magical experience. A perfect pick for mood and or romantic music, or something to that effect. Take it from me, this one's a keeper. :)

Score: 9.5/10 (I still have qualms over the price, but then, PhP 450 is still cheaper than what folks overseas get this for. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

A commentary: And the whole lot falls apart


I just don't think that pulling out our 'troops' from Iraq is a good idea. I personally think that Khaled ibn al-Walid, the militant group holding Angelo dela Cruz, is just taking advantage of the Philippines' "weakest link" status (meaning we've got only a miniscule 'force' on the ground there) among the coalition members to forward its own interests. It is perhaps possible then that this kidnapping will occur more often to the countries who have smaller troop deployments in Iraq in order to degrade their morale quickly and force their respective governments to pull-out from the coalition, leaving the US largely alone in this largesse.

The thing is, terrorism was designed to work this way: to instill fear and hesitation in the hearts and minds of the people they target. If we let this marginalized group have its way, we are only letting them grow bolder and let terror sow its effects on Filipinos here and abroad. Subjecting to their demands is not in the best interests of our desire to help the Iraqis, let alone of our own country's.

And for crying out loud: Our 'troops' in Iraq can hardly be considered a real troop deployment! Most of them are civilian engineers, doctors, social workers and policemen. Only a small segment of the 93 people or so we have there are real soldiers from the armed forces. And this group is demanding that we pull out our troops? If I were Prez, i'd give them the finger and just tell 'em to f*** o**.

Whatever happened to GMA's stodgy disposition towards terrorists? From my point of view, Khaled ibn al-Walid fits the exact representation of what a terrorist group is: They kill, they kidnap people, they do bombings and more importantly, they do this to the very people who work and put their lives on the line to help a nation that is thousands of miles away from our little corner here in Asia. While I don't like buying the Americans' line of benevolence, I'd have to make an exception in this case, as this group is not even representative of real Iraqi sentiment towards countries providing assistance.

Leaving would simply do no good both to our country and to the Iraqis we've worked so hard to help.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Link of the Day


Another Disclaimer: This does not, in any way, represent the stance of any of the companies mentioned herein. Nor will I be held liable for any possible injury caused by laughter. Watch at your own risk. :)

Prescott Survival Kit, anyone?

It has been known for quite some time that despite AMD's strong showing in terms of hardware engineering and technology, product marketing isn't exactly one of their strongest suits. This might just change that.

Talk about marketing teetering on product-assasination-through-FUD. Oh, wait. That's not exactly a new thing in this industry. :)

New Mozilla.org Releases!

After some issues with the "shell:" protocol being left open as default on Mozilla's main software lines, here comes a series of releases that address just that. (Although note that technically, Firefox 0.9.2 and others are just a 'reissue' of the last public releases that includes the shell: exploit fix.

For those who wouldn't want to download, a patch is also available.

More information here.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Link of the Day

Disclaimer: This is a spoof ad. You've been warned. :)

I hurt. Badly.

My thighs hurt, my arms hurt, my head's spinning like there's no tomorrow... all these, as a result of yesterday's RCG Hell day.

Hell Day is the final day of tests and activities before our RCG batch is formally recognized as an NROTC SSU (Special Supprt Unit). It includes a pretty rigorous physical and a series teambuilding activities. Honestly, I was expecting it to be pretty easy. I was proven wrong, to some degree.

The day started early, with two and a half hours devoted to the PT exercises. I was tired like a sore thumb sticking out of nowhere. My throat was dry, and there were indications that I'll be throwing up anytime during the duration of the PT. It was pretty grueling, but I did make it, somehow.

The next series of activities occured in the field. This is where things got interesting. We were first instructed to cross the football field in a braced circle, where each one holds each other by his/her arms, crossing the field together without breaking the link or the circle. That was pretty easy, as we just got a cadence to follow, and everything went pretty smoothly. The next activity was what really peeved me. :) We were told to lie down beside each other on the field and everyone was supposed to literally roll over the entire RCG. Being the batch rep, I was first. Ack. And I was holding a guidon. I'm not that all lanky, so I knew I pretty hefty, and now you guys are asking me to roll over my fellow batchmates, girls included? Baaad. But anyway, for the record, I did it. Yep, I did. After essentially shouting and ranting just how sorry I am and that I was only doing my job. Pretty lame if you ask me, but hell, what could I have possibly done, other than that? :)

Anyway, after that, things were easier, perhaps with the exception of that nasty PA system. I went home tired, but at least feeling accomplished, as I did went through hell day without any hitches at all.

Now all I'll have to do is study. Argh. No rest for the weary. :)

Maria Sharapova wins All England Club at Wimbledon!

I wasn't able to watch her game due to rotc yesterday, but from the news network clips I saw, she's one helluva tennis player for her age. Pretty too.


A few images from the match:
- Sharapova on winning the tilt
- Sharapova with Williams on the podium