25 October 2006

It's All Quiet in the Frontline

June 14 was a fateful day, the day I can not easily forget. But I have better things in mind than to dwell with it. Almost a setback but now we're on track and ready to spin. Time for us to peak out. Almost 4 months of blogging hiatus, not because of too much work but the fact that there isn't much to say. Back in the old days when we were still in secondary school(or high school in an American-oriented education system) the unwritten rule for teamwork is if you can't carry out your suggestion then don't speak at all and silence doesn't belong to the doers. And if you're no longer in the circulation, don't butt in.

The politics of project management amazes me at one point, how high is the risk if you're in a high-value project and the one who manages it can't even come to presence when shit comes to shove? How high is the risk if you put on someone to run a project who also works for another company and assumes no accountability for the fate of the whole project? In other words who in his right mind would engage these people to ensure the delivery of the project?

Collecting intelligence...

By year end I intend to replace my old phone, so right now I have started doing my homework, not very extensive one in fact, just a walk in the shop ask few questions and that's it. The best way to make a decision is in the absence of a salesperson, so I grabbed all the brochures that I can put my hands on and bring them home to sort them one by one and read through them. Don't go to the touchscreens it's fun to play but it's a waste of time.

Onwards to mobile messaging...

SMS still rocks, and I'm getting the necessary control that I need to complete this mobile battle in our favor thanks to the Africans. But currently, it seems I am using my valuable resource to wrong beneficiaries(thought so).

08 July 2006

Quick Kill Project Management + GTD ratio

While there is a relative quietness in the Java Community as a whole since the advent of IoC etc. etc. Some new annotation-based web frameworks, new server-side scripting tools ala rails doesn't really draw too much attention. There isn't much breakthrough in Java EE for someone to move into it hastily. Developer's now realize that they always run into particular problems which has become a pattern in every project, a pattern usually starts with setting up the new framework for the development environment, testing it and hoping it works, if didn't then join the framework's forum and shout for help, in the case of commercial or proprietary tools it will take around 2-3 days and coming up with a wrong answer most of the time. This is where helluva sleepless nights starts.

There are plenty of tools and frameworks out there some are helpful and some are not. But nobody really talks about "getting things done" or GTD. I don't agree that this should only fall under the project management's responsibility. When we sometimes play a lead role in development team we focus too much on standardization from code writing to internal processes. But how much of these really helps in bringing up our GTD ratio? What standards should we keep and let go?

And then there's Quick-Kill Project Management a very interesting article from Dr. Dobb's. I think the "Quick-Kill" is just a catch because the way the process goes, except for the code review, is the same as the process we had on how I made my first Vernier Caliper out of our school's machine shop during my Secondary School/High School days. And that's a quick kill. And suddenly this quick-kill culture disappeared during college allegedly replaced by teachings of the "missionaries" from the West. And the word "buzzword" and "hype" started to find their way to our vocabularies. Of course, Quick-Kill is just one thing, yet again there's no mention on how mundane factors affect our GTD ratio. Some questions will help but shouldn't influence any policy-making decision.

1. How many hours a day your team spent answering all the emails? What email should be answered at the start of day and what should be answered at the end? Is it really necessary write email to the guy next to me?

2. How many hours a day your team surfs the Web for unrelated matters? You can't do a precise monitoring but a leader can motivate members to focus on the project.

3. How slow are the machines being used?

4. How the outsourced team are coping up?

How many hours a day should one focus on particular task to get it done? 3 hours? 4 hours? 8 hours? As one developer's experience grows, one core component of the project can be done in 4-6 hours giving a full focus on the assignment. Now if everyone can give full focus on the assignment, there are just too few reasons to stay late at night or work on weekends.

03 July 2006

Fine Tuning the Direction

After all the Java/J2EE talkees from different communities and different cultures and all the dizzying hypes and new web frameworks. I decided to focus on 2 key Java technologies as far product development is concerned.

1. Eclipse RCP/SWT
2. Jini/JavaSpaces

Some other things will become consequential like JDBC, I/O, XML etc. I hope JSR-212 or otherwise known as SAMS should adapt the real protocol-agnostic approach by using JavaSpaces instead of the traditional and vendor-hyped J2EE and should be called SAMS2. And I am keen to divert Patriot to be non-compliant in order to use the more adaptive JavaSpaces and will soon be called The Renegade just to speed things up.

Pitfalls that the uninitiated mind should be aware of will come out in the form of buzzwords such as "SOA", "Professional Services", "Out-of-the-box solutions", "Interoperability", "end-to-end e-business solutions" and other sweet-but-poisonous words that will appear to be simple. It's easier said than done so be really mindful. Unless you're really ready to die for this then ride the buzzword train. But when the World finds out that this is how you survive in a "hidden sector" of the IT ecosystem, you'll be skinned alive or be simply fried.

It's 2006, and it's very high time for Lean Development which really boils down to doing what's really important, documenting only what is required. Gantt charts are for sissies. 80% of my projects was delivered without it and 20% that used it was vaporized into thin air.

15 June 2006

Enabling Mobile Messaging with PeopleSoft(TM) and Patriot

Mobile messaging, these days, obviously, has helped a lot of companies expand their business models as billions of packets cross the ionosphere everyday, mobile messaging has become an important part to drive businesses forward by helping to keep customers loyal and build relationships with new ones. Companies with CRM solutions installed especially by PeopleSoft(TM) can launch customer-relationship programmes like loyalty rewards programme, periodic promotional campaigns, demographic marketing activities and so forth. One of the ways of adding value to these programmes is to enable mobile messaging using the popular mediums such as SMS and MMS. Through mobile messaging, these CRM programmes can have a broader reach from existing customers to untapped markets.

Patriot, a JSR-212 implementation can provide the mobile messaging capabilities for all of these PeopleSoft(TM) CRM programmes. A typical deployment example:

Click to view larger image

This deployment example uses SOAP Web services for Patriot and PeopleSoft(TM) to integrate but other approach is possible as well such as JMS, Jabber and so forth.

10 June 2006

Scheming Scheme

After making some thoughts on what other compelling tools that I need to complement Java as a companion language. Scheme won my heart after making too much thought on other stuff like Ruby. Scheme is a simplified LISP, a 25+ years old programming language and has been used on a lot of smart stuff. Services that requires highly-intelligent systems will benefit from this handy tool.

27 May 2006

Patriot Update

It has been awhile though, this time the SMPP driver will start to see the light of day. Patriot project, as usual, will going to graduate from its baby steps. I think the SMPP driver will be one of the most important inclusion to the codebase, since most of the wireless operators are using it more than Nokia's CIMD2(which will be included soon).

18 May 2006

Crossbones and Skull

It's now the 7th day of my self-exile in Manila doing preliminary preparations for the "long battle" that will be waged ahead, by May 21 I'll be back in my post in a small island called Singapore and will be disguising as a Senior Consultant. After a series of clandestine meetings with some key people, I believe we have the "vehicle" and I'm considering the Jewish community to help us fuel this. It will be our own Open Source "Tet" Offensive. Incidentally, there was Linux and Eclipse Technical Briefing last May 16 that was held at Makati Shangri-la brought to us by IBM, a whole day affair, and a very nice opportunity to do the secret handshake. I showed off a part of the "vehicle" to some group of hackers and then minutes later, Doug Tidwell conjoured it up from his slideshow and it somehow augmented the hackers' conviction that this "vehicle" is going to run big.

Anyway, Doug Tidwell and the gang will be in Singapore on May 23 for the same event. But I have some serious doubts these guys will have the same excitement as what they had in the Philippines.

The Right Stuff

After much praises and hails, of course we need to balance the reality with some serious questions. First I want to quote this statement from one open source entrepreneur's blog: "Software is the most capital efficient business. There is very little requirement for capital expenses and zero for inventory." This is somewhat 20% true and depending on who's on the helm will be 0% true at all. In fact this declaration is so 2001. Because the first serious question is what kind of software is capital efficient? Zero inventory is a myth, a software that is not in a box, is an open source software with very little commercial value and we should not confuse commercial value with usefulness. "Very little" in terms of capital expenses is relative, first top-caliber talents aren't always available for free, and the sure way to attract them is to buy them by any means from signing bonuses, stock options, free iPods and other ridiculous offers.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is not new, it is not going to be the next wave of the software business. No matter how you argue about it, SaaS = ASP. And where is it right now? It's nowhere.

This is not about defeatism especially for the Philippines' software development business conditions. This is realism. We should identify The Right Stuff, the products that we intend to build should solve a globally-recognized problem not just a local one. The VC model for funding software startups is still the most reliable model of fuelling a lot of activities from the product development standpoint. There are just few rules-of-thumb that must be followed. First, the product and/or the business model has to be really compelling, if not, then there's already a major barrier. Second, get a team of ruthless negotiators, every business needs it. It doesn't exempt open source software companies, the difference between luck and survival lies with it. Building great products will not translate to overnight success, great products needs to be understood and these negotiators will help you do just that, especially when raising funds.

Most importantly, a high-tech venture without a Pirate is called Xerox and IBM. I am not referring to plagiarism in any form. It's more about extending innovation, because most of the time, great products are already out there and a Pirate must have the ability to look into the horizon and figure out how to put together these great products to become One Great Product. Jerry Kaplan's experience and The Apple Way still rules today, so do we have The Right Stuff?

08 May 2006

Interesting post from the President of Singapore Microcomputer Society

I think my fearless forecast is becoming close to reality. While I was reading The Straits Times last Saturday I stumble upon one of the readers post on keeping the "First World" status of this island by adapting open source/open standards for the government. Hope you can read on.

30 April 2006

The more I got these good signs, the further I feel away from home

And this one is very interesting.

That is not from Da Vinci Code, this the ISO/IEC 15434 2D Data Matrix barcode. So what's the big deal? Here's one story. I got a package from the Philippines that comes with this kind of a barcode, and this package is not your courier's package(Fedex, DHL or whatever), it's a biscuit package from a taken-for-granted-but-well-known biscuit company in the Philippines, imagine a cheap Philippine biscuit company can easily adapt to that. I am researching about Data matrix for a different purpose. Until I found this box with a Data matrix on it! Wow! Cool! Awesome! Data matrix is more reliable and efficient than barcode and has broader range of applications, take for example snapping a datamatrix in a newspaper that is printed beside a ringtone advertisement with a handphone camera, it will then decode the Data matrix and sends a GPRS or SMS/WAP push to the wireless operator with instructions to download the ringtone and bill the subscriber, since Data matrix can be scanned at 20% contrast ratio it means that it's almost foolproof(like 99%). Unfortunately, some or maybe most systems in Singapore will have a hard time catching up on Data matrix due to the fact that most of the systems are tightly-coupled, codes are copy-and-pasted from one module to another just to make everything work on the first cut without really minding to look far, far ahead in the future. International POS providers and packaging specialists who has ready systems to be deployed will start doing the killing.

I am just spilling some few beans of opportunity. I'll collect my payback and go home soon.

23 April 2006

My fearless forecast: Linux demand in Singapore will grow

I was at Sim Lim Square the other day to bring one of our servers for servicing. This is related to my previous post about the RAID controller. I talked to one of the technical support engineer who was there busy fixing another customer's PC so I went in to their work area and told them about our RAID card issues, but due to time constraints (because it's almost closing time when we get there) I feel that our server will not be fixed in the same day which is not acceptable to us. While waiting at the work area I noticed that the engineer was installing Fedora Core 5 on an Asus blade server, Fedora Core 5 on Asus blade server! For wherever Linux World I came from this may sound preposterous. Fedora Core 5 are regarded as for sixth-graders not blade servers!

It's understandable that this is still Microsoft Country(because MS thinks for them!) but at least there's now a bit of a traction in terms of Linux acceptability. So I asked the engineer on how many Linux installations does he do in a week, he can't give an estimate or maybe he doesn't want to but he hinted that there's a lot and I asked who owns the blade server he's working on, he told me it's from a medium-sized company. In the end, my server wasn't fixed so I decided to replace the RAID controller with a more Linux-friendly one, the 3ware 9550SX(you see, great products really get to plug here). No magic required, it worked.

There's now an opportunity(in fact, many) and my palms are itching. The business of Linux Technical Support will soon be sprawling in this island like a "locksmith service" some of the most daring one's will even post stickers at your door with "LINUX INSTALLATION/SERVICE HP:9XXX-XXXX" alongside those locksmith stickers. Anyway, my number is ...

RAID Controller for CentOS 4.3

I don't have too much exposure on different RAID controllers for Linux. Of course, I am a software developer not a systems administrator or not even a hardware specialist. And I have wasted so many hours trying to make one of our RAID'ed servers to work and only to discover that the card is lousily supported. So here's my recommended hardware:

3ware 9550SX, it's S$700 and it's worth it! I have searched tons of forums trying to get our crappy RAID controller to work but what's echoing in the community is the 3ware 9550SX. See, those wasted hours are meant for development work.

18 April 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen, The IBM Websphere Application Server Community

Though a bit late at this time, it's nice to revisit how this thing has progressed in the past few months. But the days of experimentations are now over, it is now the dawning of the "full-court-press" GTD(Getting Things Done) days. To some it will be a renaissance period, to others it will be the dark days. There are so many exciting things coming out, new frameworks, new ways of doing old crap etc. etc. but the buzzword "Getting Things Done" is the most important part in today's Java-Whatever-Development. "WAS CE" as it is widely known, is still too young to be judged as to whether it will guide you naturally to the GTD path or "Need-to-know-more-and-waste-my-time" path. But I will nominate WAS CE to be the application server with the highest "GTD percentage" in the near future.

12 April 2006

Why RCP?

Eclipse Rich Client Platform has been gaining traction in some sectors of the Java development community. But it's really hard to justify the return of the client/server development nowadays, to convince technical managers who are deeply in to web development to gradually consider moving to rich client platform. Some of the people will always recourse to deployment costs that comes with the rich client as the strongest excuse which in some part a valid argument. If you're one of those "unplugged" within your development team and wants to jump in this rejuvenated platform here are the questions you need to answer:

  • Why do we need to switch?

  • What are the constraints?

  • What are the driving forces for the change?

  • What critical problems will it solve? For good?

  • How will I demonstrate?

Demonstration is always a big turning key in any argument. There's got to be one. This is how you will start your RCP ecosystem. By getting your hands dirty.

05 April 2006


I've been away from watching what's going on with Java Web development these days until I got my eyes on Waffle. Yes, yet another web framework. Ok, no XML tweaking in the name of annotations, feels like Rails, of course, it's Rails-like! But frankly, I am not yet motivated to use or adapt it. To me there's nothing really significant about annotations. If there's any framework that needs no XML tweaking, dang, that's the web.xml of the Java Servlet Framework every so often, it is the heart of every mistake Java web-based developers make. Do we need another web framework? No, I think what we need is for some smart-nuts to overhaul the Servlet specification.

10 March 2006

The Silicon Valley Adventure

I am not sure if I want to link this Amazon item here. Well I decided not to, because there are no legal agreements between me and them to do so and there's no incentive in really doing that on my part. "Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure" by Jerry Kaplan, I've been ignoring this book in the shelves of every bookstore that I have been to, from National Bookstore to Kinokuniya due to its lack of appeal and some of its true-to-life highly insidious characters. Even it was written in 1994 and as we know that there has been a lot of changes in the way the business of technology has been transacted and not to forget the emergence of Open Source and other disruptive ideas that has bejeweled this high-tech industry, the pattern of execution in operating a high-tech startup is still applicable today. From "The Pitch" to the "The Bubble" it's very much the same now. I was just so intrigued enough to pick this book from the topmost shelf of a bookstore and is already collecting the day's dust.

Ok, forgive my 10-years-or-so-after review of this book, it has became my bible for the past couple of weeks. Reading it religiously at the bus going to work(I can't believe I'm still working while reading this book) and before retiring to bed. This book is for dreamers, not simple-minded dreams. The dream to revolutionize, start a wild ride or spinoff one. Attempting to open a high-tech startup requires a heart of steel with a soft core, it's not the same from any other businesses. Unfortunately, I found the book too good to be short. It's not your Entrepreneurship 101 book that tells you how to do things step-by-step rather it was a sniff-by-sniff account of GO Corporation, the maker of Penpoint operating system. Right, before Palm and O2 there was Penpoint.

I admire Jerry's focus, yes FOCUS, his patience and his non-obvious lengthy attention span. This is not a selfish focus on how to rake a million bucks and run away in the name of limited liability. Which I think other people will choose otherwise. Some may ask if Jerry's adventure is doable in Open Source. Why not?

The funny thing about running a startup in the nineties is that there could be more legal documents than source codes in a company. It makes me come to think, was the JVM created base on the weight of its technical merits or a way to legally manuever from the CPU manufacturers' expensive licensing terms? Screw the Oak Legend? Huh, Who Knows.

08 March 2006

A year in Singapore

As a matter of fact it's still six days to go to mark my first year in Singapore. But I can't wait to scratch this itch to write this down now. During that span of time I learned two important things that makes this place conducive for business. First is good(I mean great!) governance, second is currency. The rest just follows, even those with shitty revenue models survive here. I mean try to persuade some companies here to operate in the Philippines for sure the vultures will devour them alive.

For me, this period has been consummated with enormous learning experience that no Filipino IT Professional who has been imprisoned for like 10 years in a CRT-radiated, congested den of a bank that produces most of our credit cards could learn in his/her entire career timeline. This experiences ranges from being arrowed to speak in front of other corporate decision-makers sponsored by the Big Blue about this crap called SOA, passing the Basic Theory, getting the PDL and be able to drive around(guided, of course), witnessed the growth of a high-tech startup at nerve-wracking speed that is unimaginable to a lot of catch-ups and sissies here.

Speaking of catch-ups and sissies there's a lot of that here judging from the look and feel of their corporate websites most of them are so nineties. Looking away from your monitor(Yes, I am talking to you nonchalant Pinoy IT Pro) there's a shitload of opportunities here, In fact you're already sitting, sleeping or walking past at one just ignore your colleagues who seems to follow the "they-don't-get-it" or "I-will-never-going-to-get-it" lifestyle for a few minutes, you'll know what I'm talking about.

The Eclipse RCP guys are right! I've attended a Sun-sponsored conference middle of last year and a guy named Matt asked the crowd who uses Eclipse and who uses Netbeans(No one has to guess who get the most numbers) and promised that by February this year Netbeans will be better and guessed what? It's fucking March! Instead, I am burning my eyebrows on writing RCP Plugins for our Patriot project and soon I will be moving entirely into this platform too and will reshape everything that my hands will get into, from old-school web to RCP. Because Netbeans can't even catchup, they don't get it! It's still Swing!

Moving forward, another year I would guess would be the year of the multimedia, there has has been so much web framework, Yet-another-J2EE-container overload in the community, these things only supports the value of a product, not bring it out. A crappy user interface with a very nice backend is like your former pimply-faced-with-overbite-and-thick-eyeglasses high school girl classmate who's very brilliant in Algebra, what's the point? You can't bring her to the prom right? Everybody remembers a Prom Night but who remembers a graduation speech?

18 February 2006

Marlboro vs. Roll-your-own Tobaccos

Big Release is Dead, Continual Development is King, "Release Early, Release Often" and some other open-source-with-no-economic-value-hubris are nothing but myth and fallacies. I may not be "in the circulation" for quite sometime or I don't want to be anymore. After researching further about "The Man Who Moved 14 Million iPods last 2005" and starts turning things around again. I had come to realized that some guys in the Open Source community who's doing their own style of evangelism practically "don't get it".

How you[The Muggle] would like to buy my software? With a nice looking box and a cool manual that you will only read once and display it in your bookshelf because it really looks damn cool and you want to flaunt your guest that you "have" it? Or simply download it from the Web, pay and get a "Thank you" from an emotionless server?

Would you [The Muggle] use an application that you bought[most of the time for a premium] but can't feel it's your own because it's running from a server somewhere in Cayman Islands and it's just being served up to you through the browser?

Again, how would you[The Muggle] like to buy my software? With a nice looking gadget that runs it? That you can use in your car, at work, at play? Or does it requires Hibernate, Appfuse and all this shit just to make it work? And can't rely on them for the after-download-and-deploy service? Don't get me wrong I know it's open source.

Where's the prestige? Where's the value that it puts in everyones' heads? Get it?

When I buy the latest Porsche, I know my neighbors will going to talk about me, When I buy anything with real value, the value returns to me in many forms. Get it?

15 February 2006

Interview with "Remotante Escudero" aka Moto Coder, Tita Motmot

Some people have been wondering who is this guy and what is he? Does he(she?) exists? I don't know. You find out in this first of our interview series.

Jared: What are you?

Moto Coder: I wear many hats, some brands are even called Durex. Seriously, I am an HTML, CSS Developer/Designer, whatever you may call it. Basta may "L", that's my language.

Jared: Can you tell something about being a Pinoy IT Pro in Singapore?

Moto Coder: Uhm, "Well, kasi ganito yun"...Being an IT Pro here is much more fulfilling than in any place else, the workplace is a bit laid back and deadlines are not that tight unlike in the Philippines. Personally, I am happy here even if my rate is just $2.5K, the point is I can do what I want and can go anywhere I go.

Jared: You've been doing HTML, CSS and other "non-intelligent" stuff (hehehehe) for how long now?

Moto Coder: "Ano ka ba! Ang yabang mo ha!" Uhm, I've been doing this for almost ten years now. DotCom Boom then DotCom Bubble yun pa rin ang ginagawa ko, o diba ang saya, meaning I survived the crash! Kaya mo ba yun?

Jared: Moto Coder is a cool Cybernick, who gave you the nick Tita Motmot?

Moto Coder: Haay naku! isang jologs na taga-pinoyitdotjologs este sg pala, ewan ko ba bakit pa ko nagsignup dun sa mailing list na yun, wala namang kwenta! You know I'd rather stay in other Filipino online community in Singapore at least people on those forums makes more sense kahit hindi IT ang profession nila mas nagiisip sila no!, and besides they are more humble.

Jared: Hahahaha! I understand you, I was kicked out of that list too. But please, do not mention a lot about the list cause my space doesn't deserve it.

Moto Coder: Excuse me, hindi ako na-kick out umalis ako ng kusa. Anyway so much for that, nakaka-irita lang 'no, naturingang mga IT at umaabot pa daw ng $7K ang sweldo eh ang tatanga naman, nakakabobo yata talaga ang malaking sweldo eh.

Jared: Ooops, cool ka lang bro I mean sis pala, so how long do you plan to stay here?

Moto Coder: Sa tingin ko ano...mga 3 years pa I just intend to make Singapore a stepping-stone in the next bigger things that I need to accomplish.

Jared: Such as?

Moto Coder: You know, like migrating to U.S., Canada or Australia. Hindi naman ako kasing galing mo 'no na 30 minutes lang tayong nag-uusap dito off-the-record alam mo na kung ano gusto mo mangyari at paano i-execute yung mga plano mo, hindi ako ganun eh, masyado akong vague, ikaw kasi crusader ka eh

Jared: Thanks, But this interview is not about me haha! Migrating to further, "greener" pasteurs is a common mindset to most of us. Pinaglihi ba tayo sa baka or something?

Moto Coder: Hahahaha, you're so funny ha! gusto ko na namang ibalik yung example sa'yo eh, before this interview, you were talking about your R&D stuff, "The Silicon Valley of the East". Masyado kang visionary, ako shortsighted lang ako, employee mindset, 9-5 smacker, comfortshell person, gusto ko ng mabilis na pera, gusto kong nagpapaalipin. In a way, masasabing mong jologs din ako.

Jared: Hey I'm not a judge. So you mentioned about the "j" word, tell me more about it.

Moto Coder: Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's irritating, sometimes it really pisses almost anyone off. Recently, the "j" word is tragic. You know, the "stampede" thing. Kaya ayan naalala ko na naman yang jologs na mailing list na yan, ang gagaling magreklamo pagdating sa gawa, wala, nangangamote. Nagawa pa ng ibang magpatawa sa tragedy na 'to.

Jared: You know, if you'll complain about the world should be like this or like that, you'll just end up frustrated. Any plans on upgrading your skills?

Moto Coder: I'm a reader of your blog, to be honest. That's why I also felt honored to be in your space. And you gained notoreity in some sectors of the Java Community especially the Filipino Java Users Group. Because of your blogs I am so keen to learn Java not just because of the career opportunities it entails, but the huge potential in terms of product development. Honestly, a lot of people "dont get it".

Jared: Thanks, and thanks for your time as well. I know you'll be away for long soon that's why I chased you up for this interview.

Moto Coder: Yes, I'll be going home for vacation. And might not come back, you know napa-fickle-minded ko eh.

Jared: Haha, whatever makes you happy. Ciao!

04 February 2006

Pinoy IT @ SG: The Interview Series

On my next installment I will be featuring personal interviews with some notable people, Filipino IT Pros working in Singapore. I will be asking some important adult questions, their experiences in working in Singapore, their reactions to the frustrating, sickening and pathetic attitude of their fellow Filipino IT Pros(shameless plug) who happen to be working here as well. Stay tuned.

01 February 2006

My other Wordpress Blog

I know that my topics in this blog are limited to Software Development. So I've created a Wordpress blog for other things that are awfully off-topic in this page. And here's the link.

17 January 2006

Interesting Week

This week and the week before was interesting for some reasons. One is the Apple-Intel fanfare and much of it, my miseducation on AJAX wishing it's also useful on stand-alone static webpages. At least there are some nice so-called AJAX "tools" for this special requirement like Scriptaculous(will link later or just google it) and Behaviour(will also link later).

After my R & R (actually it means Re-arm & Re-supply coz there's no rest) in the Philippines, I realized there's a lot more things to do there than what I have conceived of in being there for almost my entire lifetime. They need the "boom" back there. They need something like the "Silicon Valley Energy", lots of it, that people will say "I will do this, I will fund that, I will start this, I will acquire that" and so forth.

Philippines can also be the breeding ground for RCP-based applications, there's just so much untapped energy from the young talents. But the problem is most of them are stuck in some sorry-ass J2EE, web 2.0, whateverwebshityoumaycallit projects. 2006, is the beginning of the uber-rich content era. With so much power from the hardware, desktops should come alive. Desktop applications today and in the future, from a USER'S standpoint, should be artistically intensive because we, developers, will be surprised how even more sophisticated user's requirements today if we will look "out-of-the-software-engineering-box" just once.

For my early Chinese New Year present, Gong Xi Fa Cai! Sorry, no one uses a "provincial" Fookien here(I think). Here's to the lucky one: I will give a one hour free WiFi Airborne-Access Login that can be used at any Airborne-Access-enabled establishments in the Philippines. Here it is:

Username: 1FF1263161
Password: 7111712131
Serial No: 1F00109552
Expires: April 30, 2006

To the first one who can login, Congratulations!

11 January 2006

New Beginning

I've been doing a lot of redefining these days in sync with the incoming Lunar New Year. First, is the separation of my technical stuff from non-technical ones. This means putting all my junk in to PocketPC and the more important stays in my laptop. This is redefining the use of PDA. Second, focus on esoteric(for now) technologies such as SAMS(Patriot) and RCP. Third, timelines. What's the point of all these without timelines? So timelines has to be redefined. Fourth, I've been hearing a lot about HYIPs and autosurfs, a few dollars won't hurt. Year of the Dog is quite promising.

Anyway, it's really hard to blog with a stylus so I am continuing this with a keyboard. MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo is an ASSKICKER(for Windows). Intel has been finally freed from dull little tasks where it could be doing something more. Things are suddenly happening like magic.

08 January 2006

Belated Happy Holidays

Even my Christmas and New Year break is almost a no break at all. Yes, I am away from work but I am also into other things like visiting relatives, attending parties of sorts etc. etc. So here's what I got.

  • Took off from Changi Airport at December 22, 1:00pm. The weather is shitty, the plane is in the midst of an air pocket for half-hour(I think), it was dark and no cabin crew were visible during that time, so you can imagine.

  • I touched down in Manila at 4:45pm on schedule. Yeah baby, welcome to Third World! There's nothing like the Philippines when it comes to Third-World-ness from the Immigration check-out up to the monstrous traffic jams, my flight from Singapore to Manila is much faster than my way from the airport to home! But the weather is great, cool air, breezy, a bit drier than Singapore, who said it's not humid in Singapore? I can tell because the plane descended smoothly down to the runway. It's a sign of a good weather, what I saw and learned in my meteorology class from our aviation school years ago. But I am not your famous Jordanian Pilot

  • Almost everything is dirt-cheap, a bottle of San Miguel Beer is less than SG$1, I can treat a bunch of jackasses for SG$30 and ask to them beat some street punk to a pulp and they will do it with much gusto and machismo. Full-body massage for 90 minutes from one of the most reputable massage centers is just SG$23, my haircut with shampoo, hot-oil treatment and a minor shoulder and arms massage is just SG$20. And a lot more for too little.

  • Because almost everything is so cheap, this is the best place to do business. Even with some hooligans in the government around, it's still cheap. And everyone will do anything at your bidding. This is just a matter of choice, profit or principle, but let's be honest, we only talk about the latter once the earlier has been achieved, anything before that is bullshit.

  • Open Source is ALIVE in the Philippines! Java is ALIVE in the Philippines! Quality and Product Excellence is the paramount concern rather than just simply making things work especially in the Software Development industry. In Singapore, it's "Create-your-monster-now-and-let-it-kill-you-later" thing, no wonder a lot of talented local IT folks are switching to "easier" jobs such as real-estate brokering, teaching in secondary schools, accepting lower salaries for easier work. Because I realized they've created each of their own "Monsters-that-worked" and eventually did "killed" them along with their careers. But Open Source will never be anyone's silver bullet, that is a dangerous assumption. It's always a balance between a lot of things, a lot of GOOD things.

  • Wi-Fi, The most misunderstood term in the Philippines. Blame it in whole to Smart's Wi-Fi internet. Is it really Wi-Fi? Is it Wi-Fi Certified? My SPECTEC SDIO WLAN 802.11b card for my O2 XdaII mini is Wi-Fi certified but I don't believe "Smart Wi-Fi" is Wi-Fi certified, is it 802.11b/g? It's neither. That is a serious mis-branding of a product that is not what it claims to be. Another Wi-Fi shit, Airborne-Access from PLDT. I was at one of the Seattle's Best Coffee Shop in Alabang bought five $3/hour prepaid WiFi Access cards called Wingspan so I can use my SPECTEC on my O2 and try the "Philippine WiFi" and guess what the coffee shop has no signal. So I called the Airborne-Access support and they said there's really no signal(!) in that coffee shop, OMFG! So all those fucking "conios" showing off their laptops around is just showing off. They barely don't have an idea that they can do real work while really showing off, geez laptop is too big to show off these days. Going back to Airborne-Access, it's really a cheat, if I don't disconnect manually from their site my session will continue until my remaining time credits runs out, so the next time I am back, it's all gone. So once I saved enough money to open a coffee shop(If I will), Airborne-Access is dead. I'll be giving WiFi access for free, something like McDonald's in Singapore.

  • Coffee Shops, Philippines has everything, name it. Starbucks, The Coffee Bean, Seattle's Best etc. etc. maybe a coffee shop that serves Teh Tarik can be quite entertaining there and will definitely complete the list.

  • Synergize, a sales office in Singapore and an R & D in the Philippines. That will be a "killer-combo".

  • Now I am back in Singapore, gloomy weather can trigger homesickness. It's January, one week after New Year's Day and the weather is un-fucking-believable. If I want to go home soon and retire, I have to make 7-14-day business goals to achieve. Otherwise, I'll be stuck here a little longer.