Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Holidayz

see ya later...
have some stringz to strum...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Exchange gift

Christmas Party 1999:
Minimum of 100 Pesos

X-Mas Party 2007:
Minimum of 100MB ... Maximum of 10GB

Saturday, December 15, 2007

will kill me

This morning, I thought I had already woken up. I see the room around me, my blue blanket, the bed underneath me, the railing at the side, and someone else is pulling my blanket, preventing me from getting up. I felt his hands behind me and wrestled with them, with the little movement that my own hands can do. I couldn't turn my head to look at him. My eyes tried to look towards the railing to get a blurred view of one of his hand. Eventually, I felt blood rush from my spine. Cold blood, somehow. I tried to turn my body so that I would fall down to the floor. But he was holding me down with the blanket, as if it were a net. So what was left to do is to shout, call for attention. I already knew it was not real by that time. I just hope that if I'm shouting in a dream, is that I'm also shouting in the real world. I kept shouting, hardly forming any words, hoping that someone would hear. The door knob of my room started moving. I wonder if they have the keys. It is not very likely. Still shouting... and just snapped out of it.

No one seems to be at the door. With the voice of my shout still fresh in my mind, I tried to recreate it with a real world shout. For comparison. The voice is different. It might had just been all in my mind. No one may actually know that I'm having trouble breathing. That those struggles may be my last.

Someday, if I get old, I may not be strong enough to snap out of it. To escape from the terrors created by my mind.

"Your greatest enemy is yourself."
--Great quoter

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The System

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Golden Compass

Sunday, December 02, 2007

$MART /\/\yTV

For those who can afford.
(Para sa may pambayad/pambili.)

Saturday, December 01, 2007


#include <stdlib.h>

int main(int argc, char **argv){
      return 0;

It was something like this that made my laptop hang. (The additional code were supposed to print something, but curiously didn't work.) I just wanted to see what would happen. The source file was named loop.c, by the way.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The flash drive that survived the washing machine

After several days of wondering where I lost my flash drive, it was finally seen floating in the washing machine. Fortunately my pqi i221 is still working (after being dried of course). The files are still intact. Unlike many flash drives, this one is quite sealed, thus eventually floating... or maybe there was not enough detergent used in the washing machine. I bought mine from cd-r king, by the way (the 1GB model costs 600Php).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Three months of hell

  • Teach

  • Study

  • Research

Choose 2 (at a time)

As far as I am concerned I am not being payed for teaching. Not yet. So, it is but human to choose the other two. Well, it can't be helped. That's how government employment works. You get hungry for the first three months. Reminds me of DOST scholarship. The difference is, I am now teaching. I am not just responsible for my self, but also for my students. I had expected these three months of hell from the start. What I hate about it, are the demons. Well payed colleagues who demand that you work as hard as them. Those who pile more papers to check at your desk as compared to others. Those who give you the teaching materials less than an hour before you deliver them to class. Those who use the computers at the faculty room for research purposes. Those who indifferently use your office materials, pretending it's free. Those who assume you have the book that contains the non intuitive numbers they refer to. Those who assume you could spend as much as they do. Those who hag the faculty room computer like no one else will use it. Those who expect to be treated when you get your first salary as if you were treated by them when it was their time.

I shall remember your indifferent deeds. I will not do them to the next generation.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yet another stupid move

Under Republic Act 9492, most holidays would be moved to Monday. Of course the rationale, as usual, is to prolong weekends in favor of non productivity. Aside from deemphasizing the spirit of some holidays, this act also shows the Philippine government's lack of priority to the educational sector. In the University of the Philippines, and many other universities as well, for example, some classes are scheduled on Mondays. Some Monday classes are even scheduled once a week. What this act means is that Monday classes will definitely lag behind by an amount roughly equivalent to the number of declared non-working holidays. This is far more worse than the fairly distributed suspension of classes into different days of the week. At least with the past scheme, different classes will be delayed by a more or less equal amount. As if delays are not bad enough already.

Further reading...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I was finally annoyed enough to figure out which file was causing that annoying sound on errors on KDE. On Mandriva 2007, the file is located on:


I renamed it.

I really did not like that noise. Especially when I am wearing a head set, the broken glass effect is just too sudden (very high rate of change derivative). It sorts of hurts my ears.
To add to that, customizing sound schemes does not look simple (if not possible). So I was forced to rename the file to hide it from the system.

Monday, June 11, 2007

On extended weekends

I remember a strip in MAD comics saying that Japanese students are ahead of American students because they don't have to spend extra time for praying in class. (btw, I think routine prayers are hypocrisy, and are nothing more than memory exercises). The bottom line is, time spent on study or work contributes to progress. And here I am, in a country whose government extends weekends when there (is a) are holiday(s) for the week. As if the 2 day weekend had not been enough rest and boredom. So you'll have to wait till Tuesday to continue a project or till Monday to continue Thursday's unfinished tasks. Moving holidays also imply that the exact day of the event is no longer important, making them easier to forget. Sometimes, even not so popular annual events are suddenly promoted to non working holidays, making you wonder why the library is suddenly closed.

American students may be loosing minutes. Filipinos waste days.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Can't believe it

It's either I'm lying to the quiz, or I guess good on multiple choice, or I rank as high ianalis.

I am nerdier than 98% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

New Energy on Research and Development --MFudolig

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Figure 1. FDTD data plotted with Gnuplot

I realized how nice my data can look with Gnuplot (even when it's wrong). For instructions on how to visualize programming data using gnuplot, this article might be of help.

Pathetic recreations
After trying out all the keyboard letters (lower case only), I eventually verified (on my Linux "work" station) that the letter q has the least number of linux recognized commands that start with (loose sentence structure). I scanned a QWERTY keyboard, pressing "Tab" after each letter, and looked at the suggested commands starting with that letter.

[pathetic_user@work_station]$ q
qb-help qm2ts qrttoppm qtcups
qiv qmake qtconfig quanta
[pathetic_user@work_station]$ q

As it can be seen, there are only 8 commands starting with q. Some of them (if not all), like quanta, the html editor, are not even basic commands. Some of them are commands I never knew exist. There might be more if I used the root account.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

3 years of digital graphics (at least)

This is the comic strip I created around 3 years ago (2004) when I was still the graphics editor of Scientia. Back then I was just experimenting with Photoshop (although I was ahead enough to volunteer for graphics editor). I started with version 6. I still remember when I was frustrated with layers. I eventually appreciated layers when I enjoyed altering photographs, putting people in places, faces in clouds, creating ghosts etc... And then came GIMP. It lacks some features of photoshop such as layer blending options, but it had filters that allowed me to do more things. For a time I tried 3d graphics with POVRay, but I immediately lost interest. And now, the latest addition to my list is vector graphics. I started out with Corel Draw (version 9), when Sr VRD had a copy of it installed on my work station to assist on making my SPP 2006 papers and posters. What I like about vector graphics, is the option to save images with embedded text (such as wmf format). This makes the text 'readable' (in a software sense) when the images are inserted to documents which eventually are converted to pdf format. It is also much easier to use when the images are not photo-realistic in nature; examples include: diagrams, experimental setups, flow charts ... figures that usually appear in geek texts.


Ok. Enough mental wandering.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Adios, soltero en ciencia

Five long BS* years
95 thesis pages
1,351,965 bytes of source code
60++ GB of data
32 computing nodes
16 former computing nodes
633 nanometers of wavelength
3 years in the lab
3 SPP publications
3 mugs at the kitchen
3 class card markings
3 tubes of Alaxan gel to replace dozens of missed breakfasts
Countless sachets of instant coffee
Countless overnights
Countless sleepless overnights
Liters of sweat and blood
Several dozens of black shirts
Thousands of friends
Millions of enemies
One glorified Sunday

*The acronym BS may stand for other more appropriate words I'd rather not spell out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thoughts in djvu format

As a reader of djvu ebooks, I got curious how I could make my own djvu documents. Making pdfs is quite trivial nowadays with many free pdf printers (PDFCreator, PrimoPDF, CutePDF). Using a printable document (created with Open Office or M$ Office), here's how I converted my .odt's to .djvu's with readable/searchable text (text not treated as graphics).

Materials & Equipment

  1. djvudigital that comes with the djvulibre package. It converts pdf/ps to djvu.

  2. Ghostscipt (Usually comes with Linux)

  3. Linux: it is easier to compile/install djvulibre in here, Cygwin might also work (A real Linux is usually better)

  4. If printing in Windows,
  5. A pdf printer that uses GNU Ghostscript such as CutePDF

  1. Convert the document to PDF. Unfortunately direct pdf export from Open Office may not work optimally, because it encodes PDF's differently. This may result in text being treated as graphics in the resulting djvu. Since djvudigital uses Ghostscript, it is better to "print to pdf" using the system's printer devices.. When exporting from OpenOffice, check the "Tagged PDF" option that would be seen by clicking the "Export..." button. This option makes the PDF file more readable to djvudigital. In Windows, I also use CutePDF since it uses GNU Ghostscript converter.

  2. In the bash prompt type:

    djvudigital --exact-color --words --lines -v input.pdf output.djvu

    Here it is assumed that input.pdf will be converted to output.djvu. The option --words ensures the text in the pdf remains text in the djvu. The explanation of the other options can be displayed by typing:

    djvudigital --help

I already had a djvu version of my undergraduate thesis (which is not supposed to be online yet). Here is my Lumban embroidery paper in djvu format.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Drive Rescue to the rescue

Just when I thought my crammed fine arts paper is almost done, I suddenly realized that the SD Card's folder containing the photos (/DCIM/100CAMEA) is inaccesible to Windows and unseen to Linux. However, the photos are still browable through the camera's display. I tried both plugging the camera's interface cable and a third party card reader (by CD-R King) only to get the same ubfavorable results. I suspect this was due to recent proliferation of viruses targetting removable media (those that exploit autorun.inf) (I should had been more selfish!).

After failing to read the JPEG files from my SD card, I eventually remembered the night when Vera asked me for help on her unreadable USB flash drive. I used Drive Rescue to recover her files (downloadable here).

Figure 1. Jpg image files inaccessible to Window$ explorer but seen by Drive Rescue

I first encountered Drive Rescue at the free to use workstations at CSRC wayback 1st year college (VRD was not yet its coordinator). At that time (2002-03), floppies were still widely used and USB media doen't seem to exist yet. I saw it while browsing at the software on the start menu and copied it, thinking it would be useful at home where we had old hard drives (Seagate 120mb types (ST3144)) and lots of floppies (e.g., 22 floppy Win95, etc...). Despite being relatively old (2002), it works good for newer gadgets such as USB drives and SD cards.

Friday, March 30, 2007

ExplorerXP: Tabbed file browsing

There must be a Windows counterpart for Konqueror. In addition to its web browser, what I like about Konqueror is its tabbed file browser. Unlike with Window$ explorer where you have to open many explorer windows when working with different directories. It's a mess.

ExplorerXP is a nice Windowze software that can do that. (Just leave the tabbed web browsing to Firefox)

Figure 1. Unfinished thesis manuscript files in different directories accessible via tabbed browsing

...Back to thesis writing...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

bad idea

A new pronunciation for Voltes V.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Staring at the screen again

Waiting for the right words to come out
But not out of my mouth
Not from my pen either
Or this glorified typewriter
But out of nothing
Just wasting my time writing
Typing typing typing...
Ideas extracted out of emptyness
Ususually end up as a mess
Hanging exhausted before the next line
Juggling thoughts to make it rhyme
Maybe not this time
The opportunity is not mine
Hanging hanging hanging
Waiting waiting waiting
The world just keeps revolving
As my timid blood keeps flowing
Preventing me from dying
As if I am living
Figuratively said
I'm dead

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

adiós teléfono

My alarm clock/phone is gone. I don't use its phone part anyway.

back to thesis work...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cool link free books

free science

...back to thesis work...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bound to fail

Tomorrow supposedly will be my examination day in Music Literature. Part of that exam would be a name that tune type. In addition to their non intuitive foreign titles, I could not distinguish some tracks from the others. Not now, I need more time to familiarize with the music.


Back to thesis work...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

x11 problem

My Linux box didn't start in gui mode:
When I run startx from the console, I see this part of the message:

(EE) Failed to load module "bitmap" (module does not exist, 0)

Luckily I remember installing an updated (apparently buggy) version of x11-server-common. That was the last stupid thing I did with my box while attempting to install vncserver so that I can work else where in the lab.

I reverted back to the older version using x11-server-common-1.1.1-11.2mdv2007.0.i586.rpm with --nodeps and --force options in addition to the usual -Uvih option of rpm.

Back to thesis work...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Public servant

Cluster Report for Sat, 3 Feb 2007 10:31:59 +0800

CPUs Total:19
Hosts up:18
Hosts down:0

Avg Load (15, 5, 1m):
362%, 362%, 363%
2007-02-03 11:02

(This is not the flag of Japan.)

Here is a preview of CSRC's ganglia cluster load monitor
The problem with public servers... Anyone just gets to do anything no matter how reckless their programming habits are. With 512MB of memory and 10GB of swap, on each node just imagine how much greedy a program/(group of programs) could get to use more than 300% of these resources.

If someone else (aside from myself) will complain that he/she cannot run his/her program, then I will have to kill...

It's ironic that some people are on a high with their problem solving skills but could not interpret their solutions into feasible/efficient programs/code.

Scientific computing environments such as Matlab, Scilab, Mathematica, Maple etc... are good since they shorten the transition from solution to code to results visualization (especially the lazy man's symbolic Mathematica that does most of the thinking for you). However, their ease does not promote efficient programming. I even know someone who worries about his/her very long complicated equation. As if he/she has to evaluate it's value in a single blow. Most formulas involving two or more terms can be broken down into parts.

I guess some will never learn.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A series of improbable events

1) Getting an interview from Toshiba despite the fact that my DOST debts will prevent me from going outside the Philippines.
2) Seeing Glenn of theory lab in MRT on his way home from Ayala (around 3pm).
3) Seeing my brother also on the same train cab for a Magallanes-Cubao trip with pet stuff from Cartimar Pasay, just in the side opposite Glenn's.
4) Wearing a lite colored formal attire.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What is your wavelength?

"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
--Neil Armstrong

"One small bug for programmer, one giant error for results."

After getting unexpected results from my c/c++ pseudo-generalized implementation of Richard's and Wolf's vector diffraction integral (Electromagnetic diffraction in optical systems II), I finally found out what causes the problem (although I still don't know exactly why).
With my work with a spatial light modulator (SLM), I consider that each square SLM pixel has a side of 2mm/768. Then I scale the wavelength to pixel units, so 1 wavelength = 0.02433846153846153846 pixels.

I tried it for different numerical apertures and topological charges. The numerical aperture had to be too small (.0001) before getting expected far field results. Usual values (0.1 order of magnitude) result in what looks like symmetric noisy data. But the results resemble that of Richards and Wolf's when I blow up the image to sub pixel dimensions, thus I thought it was just brought about by simplifications (neglecting the lens's phase contribution, putting the object field at the lens,etc...).

As it turns out, the wavelength assumed seems to be small with respect to the pixels. I learned from FDTD simulations that the discretization of space voxels should be at most 1/10 of the wavelength (1/20 recommended). This avoids the error caused by truncating higher order terms when numerically differentiating with Maxwell's equations. I didn't expect that to be the case for diffraction integrals too. Thus I set 1 wavelength = 20 pixels.

So far it works.

(a) (b)
(c) (d)

Figure 1. Calculated electric fields for an aperture radius of 32 in the center of a 128x128 computational array. Shown are the resulting image field intensities for different topological charges of the object field (1 for a and c, 0 for b and d) and numerical apertures of the lens (0.1 for a and b, 0.999 for c and d).
The modulus of the Ex Ey and Ez components are encoded to the Red Green and Blue channels respectively. It can be seen that the fields are predominantly linearly polarized along the x-axis for low NA values.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Those missing days

The familiar high pitched tune as a 56kbps modem dials a predefined set of numbers during the first few minutes of the day invokes a nostalgic feeling in me. Stranded in my residential habitat with nothing left from SPP and without the semester's stipends yet makes you realize how long 24 hours could be (psychological time dilation). With nothing to do but eat, sleep, and those mechanical, redundant house hold chores, Christmas vacation felt just like another alibi for not staying home.

A card stacking pattern made popular by Hunter X Hunter's Hisoka (SONY optical USB mouse in the background)

I realized that it was more difficult to make a "Hisoka card stack" with smaller cards (approx 2 x 3 cm2). I used to easily reach 3 to 5 stories with standard cards. With these miniature ones,I already gave up at 2. Inertia came into my mind, the smaller cards having less mass are less likely to stay in their position. Then came friction; with less surface to rub against the base, the cards would slide easier. Finally came the thought that if DOST was faithful in providing their scholar's stipends on time, I would have had a standard sized deck.

P is for Paper. A Guy Fawkes mask based on the rendition of David Lloyd

I thought that I would be adding some drawings to my collection during the break, but I decided to go 3d instead. Just expressing my artistic/autistic mind. It looked good with my naturally long hair back then.

I eventually realized how generic our book collection is, when I could not find any advanced geek physics or programming stuff to ponder with at home. Without a decent compiler I was forced to experiment with browser interpreted Javascript. I also had to endure the slow (about 3kbps) download speeds for Javascript and DOM e-books (with such a slow connection, I decided to disable loading images in firefox). I should have burned some e-books from the lab.

Oscillating some strings while RJ's broken guitar gently weeps.

But everything was not that bad after all. On December 22, I went to RJ's house before my last year's stay at the lab which lasted until December 23. Nothing had changed much after half a decade, he still is that friendly funny practical person I knew back in high school. He thought me how to solve a Rubik's cube with pictures (how to deal with the center pieces' orientations). He was also the one who thought me how to solve the cube with only a plain color on each face. Shamefully, all I can give for Christmas's sake was the vodka awarded to me for being the most intimidating IPL member application examiner (which I rarely thought of utilizing).

Clouds and sky over San Mateo. Looks so good, you'd think it's a wall paper.

Also, the December 30 San Mateo reunion with relatives on my mother's side was worth while since I rarely have a chance to swim. That is where I thankfully received some cash from the least expected uncle. Sometimes (in a year), it feels good to be with people who have similar genes as yours.

For those of you wondering if I had been dead during my absence else where (equivalently my presence else where else (compliment of impenetrability, "No thing could be at two places at the same time" "(cf No two things could occupy the same space at the same time)")) these are among the stuff that I had been doing. And I had my phone off most of the time (especially on peak seasons) to avoid those holiday spams (peace of mind).