GCHANG in the Year 2011

2011/12/31

The year I was jobless for 3 months, and regretted not having jobsearched earlier.

The year I nearly got into IBM, and eventually signed for Accenture.

The year I learned Siebel, and now have to forget about it.

The year I joined Yammer, and supported the use of corporate social media.

The year I got hospitalized, and grateful it wasn’t dengue.

The year I started running, and still yet have to make my first 10K.

The year I drank wheatgrass, and wondering if it’s all snake oil.

The year I built a portfolio of private trackers, and getting high on downloads.

The year I joined online raffles, and winning a good number of them.

The year I fried my laptop motherboard, and glad it was under warranty.

The year I plugged in two 110-volt gadgets into 220-volt mains, and still hating it.

The year I reached an all-time high in eBay, and still keeping the faith in online sellers.

The year I joined Citisec Online, and started investing in Philippine stocks.

The year I acquired a brand new phone, and loving my first Android.

The year I got my hands on Kindle DX, and saving trees one book at a time.

The year I bought from Manning and O’Reilly, and still yet have to try Packt and SitePoint.

The year I started blogging in WordPress, and still thinking about my niche.

The year I saw Transylvania move to private domain, and still wishing for new blood.

The year I attempted to make new friends, and still sucking at it.

The year I planted trees, and still look forward to more environmental activities.

The year I started collecting celebrity autographs again, and supporting local entertainment.

The year I had extreme disgust for the Aquino administration, and will continue to do so.

The year I lived through the deaths of Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, and Kim Jong Il.

The year I lived through the loss of tech wonders Steve Jobs, Dennis Ritchie, and John McCarthy.

The year I lived through countless disasters all throughout the world, including Philippines’ Pedring and Sendong.

And so there goes another boring year in the life of #GCHANG.

Why, hello there, 2012! Happy New Year, folks!

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Of Leon Villoria, The Mayor, and The City

2011/12/29

I’ve offended Mr Leon Villoria from the Mayor Mike Rama Facebook group, offensively suggesting that he needs to simplify the way he uses words, so that more people can understand his point. So here’s my sincere apologies, and my thoughts as well.

I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, Mr Leon Villoria. But if you could just express your thoughts in simpler terms, I think that would be so much better for everybody. See, not everyone is as well versed as you are. So following the principles of KISSKeep It Short and Simple – really helps in reaching out to A LOT MORE people. But if it’s hard keep it short, at least keep it simple. Heck, KISS could just as well stand for KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. But hey, nobody’s calling anybody stupid. NO. Don’t even for one second think that.

Like you, I believe in the Mayor’s brand of leadership. In many ways, the Mayor is MORE capable and better-natured than his predecessor, the bossy guy who STILL can’t keep his hands out of city affairs. Yeah, that same guy who makes enemies out of his vice mayors. And exactly the same guy who will gladly scold other people in public. What a SHAME, really. He doesn’t do the guy in the hundred-peso-bill any justice.

PERHAPS like you I think it’s about time we have a Mayor who will reach to the other areas in the City. I’ll be damned if all I read about in the papers is SRP this, and SRP that. SRP is NOT a City! It’s also about time we SUPPORT the Mayor, and put the City back on the right track. It’s bad enough we have a rubber stamp City Council that acts in the interest of he-who-must-not-be-named. The City Council forgets that the City does not belong to one man. The City belongs to the PEOPLE, the same people that pays their salaries. I repeat, the PEOPLE pay your salaries, dear CITY COUNCILORS. What a SHAME, really. With those taxes I could have spent elsewhere, I expected to see real ACTION from the government, not stupid political DRAMA.

SO then, if we want to reach out to the PEOPLE, and gather support for the MAYOR, we must speak in a way that the PEOPLE understand. So let’s try and keep it simple. Let’s make it easy for everybody to understand what is going on. With that, we can show and see transparency in government.

And oh, by bald, I think you must have been referring to the guy who calls us his BOSS. And by Koumintang, you probably mean his appointee to Beijing. And please, let’s not even talk about China; let the diplomat handle that. But enough about depressing National affairs! Cebu City is one of the top cities in the country! Surely we can put Cebu City – and Cebu – in higher places with the right people in government, even without National government support.

But of course, the PEOPLE play the biggest part in that. If you can’t have a PEOPLE that will respect the Mayor, you can’t have a PEOPLE that will respect the City, much less the Country.


What PDF Files Look Like on Kindle DX

2011/12/18

During Thanksgiving Day – which doesn’t exist in the Philippines, by the way – I managed to snag a Kindle DX with a 120-dollar discount from Amazon. With a deal like that, it’s hard not to click the Check Out button. Sure, the Kindle Fire is all the rave now, but it isn’t e-Ink. And it certainly isn’t big enough for tech ebooks, either – or for PDF files.

Now, I’m not going to go into the details of the Kindle DX. Just go to this Amazon link; it’s pretty much what it says. And, I’m not going to go into unboxing photos either; just head to my FaceBook album. Instead, I’m going to show you what a PDF file looks like on the Kindle DX.

Apart from the notes, and the cropping and resizing of photos, I have not changed the the pictures in any way. They are fresh from the camera. And unless specified, all the photos were taken in vertical Kindle layout.

But before anything else, you should see what a native Kindle book looks like. Below is Final Price (J Gregory Smith), which happens to be a free download right now. If you don’t have a Kindle, but want to check out Kindle books on your PC, dowload the free Kindle for PC software.

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That looks good, right?

Now, let’s take a look at a PDF file which I transferred from my PC into the Kindle. This is a cropped cover of
HTML5 & CSS3 For The Real World (SitePoint):

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But how about the text? Is it good enough? Fortunately, yes.

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And the mix of text and photos? A seamless blend.

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For once, here’s a technology done right, until one of the photos goes rogue. I have no idea what causes this, or how it is any different from the images in the photos above.

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After all that good stuff, you didn’t expect that now, did you? Wait ’til we get to the magazine. For now, here’s some quacking UML from Head First Design Patterns 2e (O’Reilly) for the not-so-1337 dude who hates food bloggers.

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Then, here’s the cover of the RUNNING Times magazine.

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Looking inside, the page doesn’t look so good on vertical layout. I know the small image doesn’t do it justice. But, I’ve got 20/20 vision. So trust me when I say the text is fuzzy. Really fuzzy.

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But if you adjust the Kindle to horizontal layout, it gets better. Definitely readable. Don’t mind the colors for the horizontal and vertical layout photos; it’s just a camera issue.

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So there, folks, is what a PDF would look like on a DX (firmware v2.5).

Overall, this was a worthwhile purchase. Heck, it was a steal! Plus, buying ebooks are cheaper, lighter (to carry), and more tree-friendly. But who’s to know about plastics and electronics? Biggest downside, however, is it’s difficult to flip between different pages, especially if you need to refer to them from time-to-time. DX is a little slow to flip, too.

But again, the Kindle DX is a great gadget for book readers!