Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Drive, drive, drive, drive with me...

Yesterday night was rather a frightening experience. On an intersection, I signaled going to the right, an I thought the car behind was smart enough to see that as well. But no! the asshole rather decided to also make a right turn in the same two way lane together with me. Worse, he was the one so frackin' irritated and even tried to drive so close to my car while blasting his horns as if it wasn't his fault. Good thing I was able to brake in time. Oh well, assholes will be assholes not matter which place on earth you are in. You really need some patience when you are on the street.

Aside from that, am getting the hang of it. Getting out of the parking lot is the most challenging part of all time. My sense of size needs some practice.

Discovered that I have to get home by 10pm, otherwise I have to go all around the condo to the other gate since the side gates are closed at that time.

As for the GPS, don't have much use for it for daily office travel but it seems decent enough to re-calculate the routing if I go to alternate routes after the software update.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just look to left and just look to right...

31 years of walking thru the earth and enduring public transport, for the first time ever, I can now go to places on my own set of wheels. Driving really is both terrifying and an exhilarating experience! Just a while ago in the parking lot I forgot to look to the right and thankfully the car on the right was able to break in time. My brain is still uselessly wired with left hand driven instincts. The notion of right hand driven streets is still rather hard to get used to. Driving around KL is really nice, as most of the streets here are wide and well maintained.

For the price of the car, one could get a nice consumer Honda or Toyota back there in the Philippines. Albeit, for a newbie car owner like me the Proton Persona SE is more than enough to satisfy my driving needs. The leather interior is really comfy, and as far as my limited experience can tell, the handling is really top notch. After all, after a hard day at work, a man deserves a nice ride home. :)

As an added bonus, the petrol price in KL is really affordable compared to what we have back home (4-5x less expensive), rumors from my local colleagues that there will be another price rollback coming up. That would be awesome news for every car owner in this region.

Speaking of which, I was able to play around with iTunes latest feature, the Genius playlist. In an attempt to create a morning drive CD, I started with my favorite Eraserhead songs "Ha ha ha" and let Genius figure out what songs in my collection would go well with it. The results are not too shabby at all:

Name / Artist

Ha ha ha / Eraserheads
Shirley / Eraserheads
Yakap sa Dilim / Orange and Lemons
Back to You / John Mayer
Under the Bridge / RHCP
Sexyback / Justin Timberlake
Anything for You / Nina
The Winner Takes it All /ABBA
Mahirap Magmahal ng Syota ng Iba / Hilera
Minsan / Eraserheads
Creep / Radiohead
Cocaine / Eric Clapton
Come as You Are / Nirvana
True Colors / MYMP
Ewan / Imago
Vertigo / U2
Like a Rolling Stone / Bob Dylan
Love Song for No One / John Mayer
Big Girls Don't Cry / Fergie
Basket Case / Greenday

Only Apple can actively innovate on this things. This small small features capture those things makes your digital life a little bit easier.

On another note, I miss my lovey and my kids who are currently enjoying a vacation back in the Philippines. Can't wait to drive them around our new family car.

Monday, October 20, 2008

OS X Running on Lenovo Netbook | Gadget Lab from Wired.com

This thing is really shiny! Saw one for sale in the Cineleisure at 1.6k MYR (around $460).

It looks just as good in person, the availability of a longer lasting battery will make this bugger the king of the netbooks. It can run OS X it seems, and runs open source operating systems like *BSD and Linux a breeze.

Wonder how decent Java runs on this machines. It would make a really nice portable coding machine. No info on the lazy web for the meantime tho.

Rock on IdeaPad S10!

To the fine folks of Lenovo, I wouldn't mind if you send me one of these for review and for keeps. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

IntelliJ IDEA 7.0 Milestone 2 :: New Features

Just gave Intellij IDEA a spin, the last time I tried was around 5 years back I think, it was really slow back then.

Past forward, I was blown away! I can say this is the Apple Mac equivalent of IDE's out there. The handling is just right, you feel this is an IDE made by real developers for real developers. Its really, really nice. Spring junkies will definitely love the tight integration with the framework. And one more thing, the vi plugin comes for free!!!

The downside tho is I can't afford the price, and I'm just using it for my happy coding sessions, a.k.a. personal use. :-(, but I think I won't mind reinstalling every time the trial period expires. Its that good.

We all live in a real world.

In the real world, architecture and software design always looses against business drivers and deadlines.

But there is no harm in trying, with laptops in our hands and design patterns in our hearts.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

UsingMac - Leopard - Story of Icons

While looking for some free Pages templates I stumbled upon this site. I particularly liked the TextEdit Icon. It rocks and exactly the same sentiments I feel at the moment.

It reads:

Dear Kate,

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 praise them, disagree with them,
quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because the change things.

Take Care,
John Appleseed

Think Different! Apple Rocks!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

hudson: an extensible continuous integration engine

This is thing is awesome! Such a welcome relief for us long time cruisecontrol users. It was relatively easy to setup, after the initial gotcha's for the SVN and findbugs settings, everything was smoothly running, like butter over hot pandesal.

Hooray! For high quality open source products like these.

Hudson... we don't have a problem..

Neil’s point-free blog � Blog Archive � What is OSGi for??

By far the best explanation on the lazy web of what OSGi is. :)

On my end am becoming increasingly curious about OSGi. Wonder how long till I succumb and scratch that itch and plunk down and do some happy code.

There are a variety of usage scenarios I can think right out of the bat. Wether its a fat client or a beer-belly server, who would not love upgrading your JAR dependent lifestyle with SOA concept based OSGi goodness?


Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Its lightweight and good enough for most cases. The only drawback is on OS X the JDK 1.6 seems to have a bug so profiling is not enabled. Bummer!

Lobotomo Software: MoofMenu

Leaving the settings at 40 / 70 makes the aluminum dramatically become more sperm friendly. Lets you sleep better if you are worried that heat might shorten the lifespan of you beloved mac hardware. And its freeeee!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Maven - Introduction to the Standard Directory Layout

Am really beginning to like Maven over good ole' Ant. Dependency management is just one configuration away. Shiny!

Other than that, switched all my hobby/happy code to SVN.


Yesterday, after Tenby, kids in tow we went to our favorite hangout place "The Curve" in Kota Damansara. One of the reasons why we like this place is because of Borders bookstore which aside from offering a huge selection of books (and accepts book orders if its not in stock!), allows you to open any book you like and provides cushy reading corners without somebody giving you the I-think-you-are-not-frackin-buying look. MPH bookstore also has the same store policy by the way, although a bit smaller compared to Borders.

Anyway I asked around if there's a copy of Domain-Driven Design by Eric Evans but unfortunately there is no copy left, the only option is to order which would take around 4 weeks. I saw on the counter a revised edition of Friedman's "The World is Flat" and noticed it is now update and has two additional chapters to boot. I grabbed a copy since the I liked the first edition (which I read in digital form) and it would be nice to add to my growing book collection. Was pleasantly surprised when my lovey pointed me to this set in the counter:

Yep. Thats correct. Threebies! Simply cannot resist as both "Freakonomics" and "Blink" are both good reads. Not really bad for MYR 83.00. Buying them individually would set you back around MYR 120.00, I suppose.

My lovey also wants to read the "Harry Potter" series, so we wandered around the bookstore looking for boxed sets. To our dismay, the prices for the boxed sets ranged from MYR 550.00 to MYR 800.00, (softbound, hardbound). A bit expensive for our budget. So we started looking at individual book prices and discovered it would only set us back MYR 240.00 for the same collection! There was one minor problem, "The Goblet of Fire" was not available in Borders so the gentlemen at the counter suggested we look at the nearby MPH bookstore and see if we could find one. So off we went to check, and luckily one more copy is there so we are all glad we could go home with a complete collection:

One more thing, we were also able to use four discount vouchers (MYR 10.00) each from the last time we bought some books here, so we were able to get an MYR 40.00 discount. It pays to keep those paper things they put into your basket. :)

The kids also got a Spongebob activity book, complete with brush and water based paint. Here is the end result of the first rock.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

School bukol...

A while ago we visited Tenby International School, it seems to be a nice learning environment. About 20 minutes away via the NKVE from our condo which probably means less traffic, but at the price of RM 1.40 toll fee. Hope we get a car before school starts in January.

The fees are almost the same as MAZ International School, but this one really has nice facilities in comparison and as a result has a more campus feel into it. It was actually recommended to us by another international school (ELC). Looking forward to getting all the finance requirements settled as soon as possible.

All in all it looks promising, after spending the past few months looking for options, hopefully this is the one. Otherwise, there is no other option but send them to school in the Philippines. Sigh, the thought alone makes me sad already. Nothing beats staying together in a foreign country even if that means a huge sacrifice in terms of savings. But life is short and money can't buy you the happiness of seeing and being with your kids everyday.

More on this as we go along. I think its time to post some tidbits on OFW life in Malaysia for the benefit of those thinking of working here. Its actually a nice country to live in with a comparatively lower cost of living than its neighbor Singapore.

daddy nox
- blue jeans, blue jeans, blue jeans...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

31 and counting...

Life as we know it, quickly goes by...

Fortunately, am lucky to have two adorable kids and a loving wife (Oh, and a really stubborn pekingese dog). As life is short and it doesn't make sense to go on its journey alone. Birthdays for me means taking stock of all the good things you have so far and be really thankful to the Lord for all the blessings.

Yeah, life ,with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, its still a beautiful world (Ehrmmmm!). Now time to eat some pancit and drink some red wine.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Of frameworks and fanworks

Oh yes, reality is these two words gets mixed up and has the tendency to end into the latter. People become avid fans of what-somewhat-works-already-in-production-thou-shall-not-touch syndrome.

Been really grappling for the past 1 year how to convince people the values of unit testing and loosely coupled frameworks. How do you convince dinosaurs without hurting their feelings? How do you invite change from a software development perspective? I need to learn more about how to evangelize. How does one become good at that anyway? Really curious. How do you do that without spending 100% of your time doing the proof of concept yourself? How do you get support? Will training your team help?

And yes, EJB's are for sissies and this is my 1000th blogger post! Hooray!

Life Updates

Obviously not updating the blog on a regular basis, life goes on on the other side of cyberspace.

Currently hooked on reading again! Now halfway thru "The Anatomy of Peace", I loved the first book, and this one really drives the point home.

On the other side, my daughter is still not in school, which is getting me worried shince she is turning seven next month, hope everything goes smoothly so she can start by January. Otherwise, my family has to go back, just to ensure they don't miss the school year. :(

We are also trying to get a car, since we plan to stay here for at least a few years. Already got my driving license so hopefully car arrives next month also.

Work, hmmmmnnn, is still work, hopefully this week a new set of geeks from the Philippines we recruited could strengthen our team, its always nice to hire people who are smarter than yourself, so that I can have more time for other things.



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lucky to be A Programmer

Not sure how true this still is back home. I feel extremely happy to be there back in the day when programming was in its early stages in the Philippines. When Linux was still diskette based affair, and FreeBSD was still in is 2.x version. Dual 64kb lines was enough inspiration to burn the midnight oil. C/C++ was there to expose us to the funky world of OOP.

Nowadays, we eat Swing memory leaks for breakfast and try to make hibernate decently behave in the afternoon. I have to admit this doesn't even come close to 10% of the fun of making quick pointer drills in manually driven C/C++ applications. We do get a few exciting moments thinking about cloud computing but typical corporate projects are not likely to embrace that in the near future.

That said, this is the 998th post. Hehehehe.

- send in the clouds.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

997th and counting...

3 more posts and i'll hit the 1000th post landmark.

Rice here has also increased in price. Dramatic increase, am hoping it doesn't trigger a price increase of other common commodities.

We found a school for my eldest. Here is to hoping we get more than we paid for. Us parents would simply do everything and never skimp on a child's education.

daddy nox
- hope, faith, in the land of milk and curry...

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Addition to the family!

Originally uploaded by nocs
On mother's day, I gave the lab op may layf a puppy!

Cuddly and cute! 7 weeks old Pekingnese? The vet adviced at least 5 days rest and to be familiar with the surroundings. After that we can let it loose around the house. Only after a month we are supposed to take out and start its poo training.

I've had a dog till I was college, I can still remember the names: Judge, Smart, Brookeshields, and Leila. I actually like the "Askal" breed, low maintanance type, but here we don't have the luxury of having a normal sized dog, so we have to settle for small cuddly ones.

After much deliberation, we four finally agreed on a name. I wanted "Atom" or "Dracula", my daugther wanted "Maxie", my wife wanted "Alvin" and my little boy wanted "Ben". In the end we settled for "Scope".

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Post 995

995th post. Thats all...

All I can say is it pays to share. Everybody starts with somewhere. Been organizing technical sessions for the team. For the time being nothing more than introductions, just to get into the groove of things. Baby steps, but steps nevertheless. Looking forward to technical sessions with more depth. Lets see where this goes.

Aside from that started strumming the guitar again. But I think the cable wasn't shielded enough, distracting buzz during clean leads. Need tons of practice to get my fingers back into shape. Its been ages since my fingers danced on the fret board. The picking and the fret movements is shameless out of sync. I sincerely hope the neighbor can bear the notes even my ear can't sustain. :)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Round me up Scottie...

Stumbled upon ugly code...

Financial application using double everywhere and using DecimalFormat for rounding. It boggles the wet corners of the mind.

Java DecimalFormat uses ROUND_HALF_EVEN and financial applications more often than not requires ROUND_HALF_UP or the way we are tought in grade school.

The coming week is gonna be a long week if we are to clean it up. And I had already communicated to use BigDecimal for amount since day 1, but nobody is listening. Not so shiny...

Am technically a code janitor nowadays.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The fool on the hill.

April 1, fools day.

Its also marks my first year here in the land of chicken and curry.

I decided to stick around, lets see, life is a journey anyway...

On to the next April fools day...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

How To Work Better

Fresh from the RSS feed. From a spray painting in Tate Modern London.

How To Work Better

1. Do one thing at a time
2. Know the problem
3. Learn to listen
4. Learn to ask questions
5. Distinguish sense from nonsense
6. Accept change as inevitable
7. Admit mistakes
8. Say it simple
9. Be calm
10. Smile

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back to Work

Been nursing a badly sprained right ankle for the past three days. X-ray results fortunately show no fracture or mis-alignment. Could walk decently now, just need to keep the ankle guard on for a few more days.

At least the downtime provided space for reading. Currently re-visiting Doug's articles and find out more about fork-join. Been there in my read-list for some time now. Got reminded when I read migs post on the matter.

Fork-Join should be interesting to try out with the batch process we had. Since most the tasks can be split and re-joined for results.

Back to the sprained ankle, the lesson is helping your daughter with Ballet lessons while your son is scattering his toys on the floor is not a very good idea. Otherwise, you need to be in decent weight to minimize the impact.

Oh well...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pondering the future of the cube!

Originally uploaded by nocs
Busy as a bumble bee! On the road to becoming an auto-bot!

Google Apps

Managed to pull some time to move edit my DNS entries and point everything to the free Google Apps. Am using Dynadot as the registrar, and the trick is to point everything to ghs.google.com. It will take around 2-3 days for the propagation, and viola! everything now hosted under Google Apps.

Google Docs is really slick, will test it under the bundled S60 Browser and see if it works nicely. Btw, noticed the default search page for my device changed from the standard WAP friendly one, to a bigger-better-fit version. Google you really rock!

First time also I have seen the Google Gear store. The 3/4 baseball shirt looks really swanky (if anybody cares to send me one, am medium size by the way.). The black and white shirt is really rockin' also. This sweater below screams shiny!

On the Flickr front, noticed my posts now defaults as draft, dear lazy web is there a way to make this auto?

The Changing Face of Software Development

I still remember my college thesis, a library for rapid application development in full VGA graphics mode modeled after Turbo Vision which back then runs in text mode. Back then I already thought someday, we will just draw user interfaces and the real value would be in domain specific knowledge.

A few days ago, I chanced upon an interesting application which allows to visually create applications from scratch at 60 beats per minute :). Unfortunately the application is crashing so we were asked to diagnose the cause. The local websphere master was quick to point out some configuration settings as well as presented analysis on the GC dumps. On my part, I quickly set up remote profiling (Jprofiler) so we could investigate the details further.

The interesting part is the application model, everything is rule-based. I was of course intrigued how it was able to achieve such a high level of abstraction, that for relatively small applications, very little coding is required!

The technique is templating! It creates a Java object based on a template (extended from base rule objects) code, compiles this code, serializes it and stores it in database BLOB columns. During runtime these objects are deserialized into objects again with plain vanilla class-loaders. This enables ui (forms etc), workflow, business logic to be created without requiring much Java skills. In fact it allows project team to concentrate more on capturing the business logic and flow together with business analysts (who by the way can also directly participate into the system).

So where does this leads us? This will even change the way we think outsourcing! Why outsource when much of the grunt work of creating user interfaces, workflow, business logic, interfaces with external systems etc, can already be handled by such systems? Is this software development 2.0? In the book "The World is Flat", it emphasizes that grunt work will more and more move towards outsourcing. Frack! in this case its moving towards outsourcing to frameworks/systems that can be bought off-the-shelf and might possibly allow your im-gonna-knock-on-your-door-ring-on-your-bell salesman to analyze his own software needs and create his own system without/very-little programming knowledge.

Peeking further into the future, imagine "cloud computing" with this kind of services? With such systems becoming widespread in usage, the battle will be for "business logic developers"?

So my advice to developers, don't stop on being technically capable, understand the business, or better yet build your own business.

-procastinating the inevitable future

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lifeblog post

Lifeblog post
Originally uploaded by nocs
Fri 07/03/2008 09:26 07032008163

The World Is Flat!

Tinapa at kamatis
Di ko matitiis
Malayo man sa bayan
Langit pag natikman

-puwetik nox

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Been blogging for a few years, and till now haven't reached the 1000th post. Whew!

Currently at the crossroads, some major personal decisions to think about. Life is indeed full of options. Its just a matter of not begging for more.

God is good. Even if most of the time we fail to acknowledge he is there. He loves us without fail. Lord, I love you.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Nat Geo Video Clips

Bummer! Nat Geo Video clips doesn't play on my mobile. Extension is .mp4, but wondering what the encoding is. Unlike Diggnation, which is not supported by Video Center, at least I can download via the podcast app and use file manager to view the video. On the bright side, at least audio is playing.

Wonder if there are updates for the bundled Real Player. Otherwise enjoying Reuters Video clips during the morning bathroom rituals. Nothing beats watching news while simultaneusly dumping waste, talk about multi-tasking in age of mobility.

mobile nox
--trapped in the age of mobility

The Year of the Rat

Not much buzz here in the land of soya bean and curry. A few fireworks outside our bedroom window and thats it for Chinese New Year. Ditto for the January 1 which we spent with a large crowd of strangers in front of the twin towers.

Aside from that life goes on. Going with the tide. For some reason am sick and tired of reminding people what should be done. I had mild success of bringing ORM, IOC, TTD into the current project. People just won't listen.

On the other hand, am rather focusing on trying out new concepts on personal projects. Little bits and pieces here and there. Just to avoid being stagnant in a field where the landscape changes by the second.

-- does anyone care if nobody cares?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lifeblog post

Lifeblog post
Originally uploaded by nocs
Sun 27/01/2008 12:56 27012008052 Janro seems to be interested with dinosaurs nowadays. On a recent trip to Borders he picked Little Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs while Rojan choosed Art Attack Activity Book. Both on sale, got to love that book store.This paper dinosaur was painted by Janro just a while ago. I think it will be our table center piece for a while. Hehehe.Rojan on the other hand recently went up to a level 3 swimmer. She can now float on her back from one end of the pool to another. Her water confidence changed drastically compared to a few months back. That makes me really happy. Nothing beats a sunday morn, having breakfast by the pool and cheering for your kid :)Daddy Nox-life bloggin on a lazy sunday afternoon...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lifeblog post

Lifeblog post
Originally uploaded by nocs
Sat 19/01/2008 13:14 19012008004 Mic test 1, 2, tres... Testing lifeblog app.,

Sunday, January 06, 2008

FreeBSD still rocks my world!

Over the weekend I tried to do some upgrades. Since I had been stuck for Windows (too bloated for package management) and Linux (RPM hell) land in the past few months, I had forgotten how mighty the simplicity "The Ports" package management in FreeBSD was. Back in the day, server farms were updated this way on a shared NFS drive, with each machine helping out via distcc.

Enough nostalgia, here is the rockin part on installing diablo-jdk-1.5 on a freshly installed FreeBSD machine.

> pkg_add -r w3m ; rehash
> w3m http://www.FreeBSDFoundation.org/downloads/java.shtml // (download diablo-jdk-1.5 binary)
> pkg_add -r xorg-libraries
> pkg_add -r javavmwrapper
> pkg_add diablo-jdk-freebsd6.i386. ; rehash
> java -version
java version "1.5.0"
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build diablo-1.5.0-b01)
Java HotSpot(TM) Server VM (build diablo-1.5.0_07-b01, mixed mode)

FreeBSD you rock!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy 2008!

Happy 2008 everyone!

Posting on the 5th day of 2008? Better late than never.

Hope and prosperity to all.

Some reflections:

- As you grow older, the more you realize that life goes on very fast, slowing down to appreciate an afternoon chat with your wife, chasing your kids in the playground or reading them a story is more important than anything else. That real joy can be found in the things you already have.

- Nowadays I think more of having a business. Being a consultant for more than half a decade, you realize if something happens to you, your savings will quickly dry up. Being an entrepreneur is the way to go. Its hard but definitely possible. Am getting curious of how stocks work, time to really save and experiment while there is still a buffer for failure. A small farm to begin with, or small real property investments could be a start. The goal now is to save as much as we can to take the initial baby steps to becoming an entrepreneur.

- Real friends are really rare to find. Frack, people are so strange, everybody is deranged.

- Living in a foreign land as opposed to being a tourist really immerses you in ways that is hard to describe. Suddenly you realize we are all not so different and yet there are character snippets here and there that distinguish each and everyone belonging to different culture or races.

- There are always a ton of things we should thank our God above for all the blessings we have. Life is not a wheel that has its ups and downs, but rather a paralllel universe of good and bad. Its just a matter of not begging for more.

Again, happy 2008! May all our dreams come true.