29 March 2005

Dual Booting the IBM ThinkPad R51

I miss Linux, it's just 3 weeks and I am having withdrawal syndromes from not having Linux as my default OS. Plainly, Windows sucks and it's boring. That's why it was named Windows because it has "four-sides" and nothing else. Windows has served it's purpose only as a gaming OS and that's it, nothing more.

So while itching to try out Ubuntu Linux, which is the only distro I have here in Singapore (If I got a time and bandwidth at home, I'll be getting the Slackware 10 with Dropline Gnome). I stumble to this site, so all I need now is a bunch of blank CDs, proper permissions, tons of free time. And my laptop will be having Linux.

28 March 2005

The sun always shine on TV

I feel sorry about some young pinoy bands today. Frankly, they're canned goods. What happened to the Big Round "O"? In other words, the perfect pitch? Do these doesn't know how to tune their rigs before hitting the platform? Or more embarassingly, the sound room? These people are so young they never knew good music :)) This is the high-tech world, if you want to cut it to scene big time then stop singing like Eddie Vedder or James Hetfield or whoever clone they've spawn into. Stop thumping your bass like you only knew notes of metronomic scale. Don't try anything stupid on the guitar if you don't know what you're doing. And to the vocalist, listen to Morten Harkett, Geddy Lee to make you think a thousand times before grabbing that mic. In other words, PRACTICE HARD NOOBS!

Long Weekend

Good Friday is a public holiday in Singapore so it was a long weekend. First, We went to Sim Lim Square and I was able buy an MP3 player and a bluetooth headset. And finally, my old T68i has tasted a pair! I was with Warren when he bought his money-sipping rig :)) nice hardware actually. Saturday, we went swimming and tried Warren's rig with his demo-only games. And went home hitting the sack. Sunday, my itching feet wants to drag me to Funan IT Mall, so I scratched the itch, bought a couple of books. I got a Head First Design Patterns at S$69 which is S$79 at Orchard where Warren got his copy nyehehehe. I also got the O'Reilly JUnit Pocket Guide for S$16. So starting this week I will have new reading assignments. Talking about Sim Lim Square, that place is like Gilmore whereas Funan IT Mall is like The Hub on steroids. At Sim Lim Square, you get a lot of bargains from PC, digicams, XBoxes, PS2s etc. etc. But I think I am going to CarreFour next week to get my daughter a Winnie the Pooh doll.

24 March 2005


Talking about unlimited "free" internet access? Then Singapore is a Pinoy geek's closest tourist destination. I think there is no spot here that doesn't have a WiFi signal. Sit anywhere in the malls, coffee shops, hawkers' stalls, even in your own neighborhood, a big chance your laptop will have an internet connection in a few seconds. But beware, these are open and unsecured connections, so it's not a good idea sending confidential information in whatever form over the air. And besides, freeloading is unethical so I will be installing my own soon. :))

21 March 2005

My First Week at Singapore

Saturday, March 12:

I left Manila with only a luggage, passport and a round trip ticket.

Touched down at Changi Airport aboard Philippine Airlines Flight PR 503. The airport lounge is so big, so I relaxed a bit and filled my white immigration card to be stamped at the Immigration counter. After filling up I went down the escalator and chose the shortest line. An immigration officer waves to me to go the nearest empty counter, I handed over my passport and white card. The immigration officer didn't speak, he just gave a couple of glance at me and then stamped my passport and white card with 30-day Social Pass! This is what good looks is all about :) Grab a taxi at the exit and went straight to Hotel 81 Classic at Joo Chiat. It's my first time in Singapore and I don't know what Joo Chiat is all about. But to some people I realized that this is a "Red District", and I got to find out for myself while walking toward the coastline. It's not so "Red District". So I walked to Tanjong Katong Road near the Lion City Hotel found some food stalls with hawkers of different varieties, Indians, Malaysians, Chinese. My first dinner in Singapore is a Chicken Briyani, it's a really spicy chicken buried in rice and it costs me S$2.50, not bad. I went back at the hotel and my body began to smell like Chicken Briyani, geez!

Sunday, March 13:

Went to Warren's place early morning at River Valley Road. We went to Orchard Road, the Shopping spot for most people and best of all the hang outs of Filipinos of different walks of life in Singapore. The Lucky Plaza is the little Virra Mall. On a Sunday, Lucky Plaza speaks tagalog :) There are cellphone stores, Filipino stores, arcades etc. etc. We purchased my ez-Link card so I can move around better in the coming days. We went to a bookstore called Konkuniya nice bookstore just like PowerBooks in Manila with more lines of Computer/IT related books on the shelf, The music score section is cool too, there are jazz fake books, jazz real books, blues, rock, heavy metal etc. etc. In Singapore, siopao is siew pau and if you've dined in Super Bowl Jupiter in Makati before, hakao is haw kaw which is a prawn dumpling actually.

Monday, March 14:

My first day at work, from the hotel I walked to Paya Lebar MRT station thru Tanjong Katong Road, tapped my ez-Link card to entrance and took a train going to Pasir Ris. I alighted at the Kembangan MRT Station and took a bus going to Technopark at Chai Chee. It was too early(Our office opens at 9am) so I took my breakfast from a hawker nearby, a siew pau and an orange juice. At 9am went to our office and met my boss. Discuss a little about the and the architecture of our products. Then our HR arrived and gave me a copy of the MOM's Letter of Approval of my Employment Pass. To get my employment pass, I needed some things to be accomplished like medical examination. So I went to Raffles Medical at Tampines Junction to have my medical examination, Tampines is neat, I cut thru the Tampines Mall and at the center is a Toy sale and I saw a RoboSapien the size of me. There are stories here I heard that Donita Rose lives at Tampines in one of the HDBs there. At Raffles Medical, I approached the front desk and told a nurse that I came for the EP Medical Exam, she gave a queue number and responded in tagalog telling me to take a seat. The Medical Exam is a breeze, only blood and x-ray was done to me. Unlike in the Philippines, there are the stool and urine test which I think is only required for ailing citizens. So I took a medical and proceed to find a room or flat that I can stay for good in Singapore. Called some few numbers in the ads. Going back to Tampines Mall, I bought a "Synonym-Antonym" flashcards for my daughter at S$6.90. Warren gave me a number that there's an available room at Geylang. After office hours, I left to see the room to see its conditions and its proximity to my office. And I found out it's located centrally to almost anywhere, such as the Suntec City, Funan IT Mall, Changi, Sims Ave. etc. etc. I lost no time in deciding that this is the place. So I took it. That night, I checked out at the hotel and moved in to my new place.

Tuesday, March 15:

My first bus ride. My bus is Bus #7, it's a single ride from Lor 34 Geylang where I live to my office at Chai Chee. Of course, in Singapore, you must board and alight in bus stations, not in traffic lights or in the middle of the road! When boarding a bus station, tap in your ez-link card and do the same when alighting to update your remaining credits. At work, nothing is discussable in a blog, sorry :D. Lunch time, for the first time I was able to go lunch with my officemates, ouroffice is a "multinational" company where staff represents all countries from Southeast Asia. Lunch is awesome, I ordered a Mee Goreng better and cheaper than the "goreng" I tried at GT Tower in Makati. It costs only S$2.00. And the serving is very generous.

Wednesday, March 16:

Bus #7 is my regular bus now when going to work and going home. Had our lunch at the Food court inside the Technopark, I had this saucy 2-kinds-of-mushroom thing and a sweet-and-sour pork topped on rice, it costs S$3.00 but it's ok the servings are always great. Chewing gum ban I think is in a moratorium state, stores are selling orbits, clorets, and even double mint. Heck, I got a bundle of double-mint in hand-carried bag back at the airport and the customs didn't even bother to confiscate it. Come dinner time. I got to try the Yang Chow Fried Rice at a chinese seafood restaurant at the corner of Lor 34 Geylang. It's better than any Yang Chow I tried back in the Philippines that costs me around PHP180.00 to PHP200.00 and here it's only S$3.00 with a very generous serving. This completes my Wednesday.

Thursday, March 16:

I think #7 is a lucky number. This day, I went back to Raffles Medical at Tampines Junction to collect my medical report. As usual they have spotted something at my left lung which hasn't been diagnosed in the Philippines as to what it was. The doctor told me it's a scar tissue that was healed because I had lung infection back in the Philippines and was eventually healed and left an anomalous mark. So nothing to worry about and he passed my Medical Exam. Whew! I thought I am going back to the Philippines! So I proceeded to the Ministry of Manpower(MOM) to get my Employment Pass card. I took an MRT train from Tampines going to Boon Lay. MOM is at HaveLock Rd., going there should be easy by alighting at the Outram Interchange and take a NorthEast line train going to Punggol then alight at the Chinatown Station, then walk through the People's Park and you can see Havelock Road. At the MOM, go to the Q-ticket machine, press the button "U" to get a queue ticket with a number. Letter "U" is for submitting all the required documents. There are seats there for you to wait, once your Q-number appears at the top of the flashboard, go to the corresponding window number, then show your passport and white immigration card, the MOM officer will give you instructions what time to come back to make your payment of S$100.00. Once the time comes, go back to the Q-ticket machine and press "H" to get a q-number ticket but you should keep your "U" ticket with you once you make the payment. After paying, your EP card should be ready and your passport should have a multiple-journey entry visa valid for 2 years. Dinner time again, and it's Yang Chow from Auntie again.

Friday, March 17:

I got a service/interim laptop, an end-of-life Dell Latitude that I salvaged myself from our stocks. We have a lot of EOL notebooks that is refurbishable and can be sold in the Philippines at a around PHP30,000 and up, what a business opportunity. At least I got something to work on while waiting for my real laptop. Installed JDK in it and all necessary stuff to do my work almost anywhere. My lunch is at the food court again, this time it's chicken lemon with the 2-kinds-of-mushroom thing again. Got an early dinner of Yang Chow again and went straight home. At home my roommates invited to go to Suntec City. We took a cab and dang! First time I saw traffic jam in Singapore. It's first time I saw a mall reached its parking capacity. And motorists are really waiting. We went to Marche, a restaurant that resembles Street Life at Glorietta except that there's no band to entertain us in our dinner. Street Life is more high-tech even with the cards system. Since I already ate dinner, I went to the Crepe section to get a Strawberry w/ ice cream crepe, it's almost a heavy meal! After that we went to CarreFour a bargain shopping centre, I was able to buy an office desk with drawer and everything for S$25.00, I saw a lot of interesting cheap things at CarreFour that I might buy in the coming weeks or months for knick knacks.

Saturday March 19:

Woke up at 9:30am took bath. I went to Funan IT mall, I wish we have something like this in the Philippines. Funan is a geek's paradise I tell you. I found a computer bookstore there that has loads of Eclipse/SWT/RCP books of different authors and publishers. I went to a shop called "Add-On" to buy a backpack for my laptop and I never thought you could bargain at the mall! I got a MobileEdge backpack that is worth S$95.00 from a shop called "SitCom" but when I went to "Add-On" it's S$89.90, and I asked the sales guy what's his best price, he told me he could go down to S$80.00, I asked if he could give the backpack to me at S$75.00. He agrees and we made a deal, paid for it and ran off. I think I am going to do my next gadget splurge at Funan.

Peninsula Shopping Centre beside Funan. Its basement is a musician's heaven, I saw a Maestro Classical Guitar worth S$2,999! Beautifully made. Walk further there are electric guitars, bass guitars, amps, drums etc. etc. I am wondering what can I get here a classical and a bass maybe.

10 March 2005

Testing Rich GUI???????

How?????? I know, personality improvement books taught us that there's no such thing as stupid question. But take this. Yes, there are no such as stupid questions, only inquisitive idiots! YOU CAN'T AUTOMATE UI TESTING! UI is a very subjective aspect of any application development. How do you automate UI testing? Let's use a JUnit pattern:

//testing for the status bar located at the bottom of the window

//testing for the button at the upper left corner of the window

Ridiculuos right? Before an automated UI testing becomes successful, first an ad hoc standard should be set within an organization. How the "Look and Feel" will truly looks and feels to the user should be determined beforehand. Then templates should be developed so that "testing" the UI can be eliminated. For instance, there should be templates for "wizards", master/detail views, menu bars, status bars, tree node, table views with a consistent look and feel all throughout the application lifecycle. Di ba?

09 March 2005

Now Closed

It's a very short notice. Recently, I am open. Word has it that my Employment Pass has been approved, so I am flying out sooner. I would like to thank the people who helped made this possible, you know who you are. As they said, another classic case of Brain Drain. But don't worry I'll only be packing some ammo for a "strike back", I'll still be posting in my blogs with neat tips and tricks for everyone to see and read, I will still be contributing to the Open Source community.

I would also like to raise my dirty-finger to those who made our good places to be miserable working environment. I would like to raise my dirty finger to those abusive, manipulative, finger-banging A-holes who are not supposed to be where they are, you know who you are. And when I take off I am going to shoot my dirty finger even higher for you to see(hopefully). And when I come back every enlightened one will rally with me for a sweet victory, this I promise.

Moving forward, I would like to apologize to the people that I can no longer accommodate for their respective development gigs because I got no more time, your offer is now too small to take. The next series of days will be exciting or somewhat equally stressful, it's a new adventure.

02 March 2005

Some good things coming up!

While reading Dondi Mapa's blog on FGD on SMITE Financing. It seems some silent prayers were answered. This is it! This is one of the first steps in creating 1,000,000 IT jobs in the Philippines. Creating the companies that will create the jobs. But this should be a well-oiled machinery, as I read comments from the post, there are those who have tried asking the government's help but were sorely frustrated. That's because the government is only used to lending money to low-tech, low-earning and degrading ventures like taho-making, nata-de-coco production, the development of new breeds of carabaos for a more "effective farming", etc. etc. Our government is not yet familiar with high-tech ventures that's why the FGD on SMITE Financing forum is a much welcome event.

Even if I don't make it to the forums, I hope many will find interest and attend, because this might the "tech gold rush" we're waiting for. And so, we must be ready to catch it when it comes. And the bottomline is, improve our quality of lives without having to step out of our soil.