The year that was (and the itch to write again)

It’s been more than a year since I had time to write in my blog and that one has a bad tone to it. For the past year, it’s not that I have totally given up on writing, but events led after that offloading scenario with Delta proved to be challenging up to the second quarter of the year that led me to a hiatus.

 

Ideas to write never waned. In fact, most people that I have been with (work, friends, relatives, gym mates, random discussions) would say that I am sort of Mr.-I-have-sort-of-opinion-to-almost-anything-under-the-sun and the train of thoughts never seem to run out. While I kept myself active in different ways (like doing speaking engagements, and all), the randomness of things makes it difficult to write a coherent post for discussion. When things seem to be going back after the turmoil – the biggest event of my life came in when I got word that my petition to work in the US have been granted after so many delays. This further pushed writing to the backlog as I had to go through the things that has to be done as part of the process of moving out.

 

While working in the US isn’t really a new thing for me, I thought planned things would work out and eventually will allow me to go back writing, but  it turned out differently. Trying to go back to writing was overwhelmed with adjustments and things about relocation and starting over again. Random instances when I get to write usually end up with poems, haiku, and “hugot” lines written in pieces of paper, pages in notebooks, and some saved in my phone.  These became my outlet of bursting out unspoken feelings and emotions with the changes that came. For the most part since I have arrived in the US, aside from answering e-mails and calls for projects, my routine involves revisiting the things that I have done before, putting them in a narrative that would frame well my skills and capabilities, highlighting contents of my resume and how these would fit in the requirements of the consultant position companies look for. I would say that this thing is quite easy to tell as I have worked really on these projects plus the fact that I have been doing public speaking before talking about technology and all. (The whole process of being a consultant here in the US warrants a separate post, and would be part of the discussion of the personal project I am working on).

 

 

As things move down slowly towards the end of the year (Thanksgiving and the Christmas season) and me adapting more to my new environment, I had a chance to revisit things that I have been doing before and the joy of writing came up again. Writing at times enable me to speak out my mind when there’s no one else is listening, and allows to have snapshots of the thoughts which can be said as photographs of what’s running in our heads. Likewise, aside from writing, I had a chance to rekindle my passion for photography. The environment I am staying is conducive for me to go places and take photos of their wonder.

 

Moving forward to 2017, it would be a personal goal to reestablish the blog, more of an avenue to express my thoughts, things that I work on and the photos that I love to take. It might take a while to set-up things but taking off (again) from this address would be a start of a new journey for me.  As I close this entry, I wish everyone  a prosperous New Year ahead! Nothing beats the excitement of starting again with the promise of new opportunities and making things better as before!

 

 

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Caramoan Weekend

I had the privilege of visiting some of the Philippines’ not so popular yet so beautiful places to visit last weekend. Together with my friend Jasper, we took the Caramoan trip scheduled for April 4-6 of TravelFactor and off we go. It’s a 3 day beach bumming experience – something that I never had for quite some time. The last beach that I went to was last year with my college blockmates but I wasn’t able to join them this year since I was out of the country then.

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What I liked about this travel is that I don’t have to go that far to go to the meeting place. Our office building is just a few blocks away from the meeting place and coming from work to travel won’t be that of a hassle. We left Manila a bit late Friday evening and the horrendous traffic ruined our supposed Day 1 itinerary. Instead of doing nothing, our Day 2 itinerary was moved to Day 1 and so as not to waste time we toured around Caramoan town proper. We had some sort of photoshoot of the nearby structures and fortunately was able to see a Church. We capped the night with a hearty seafood dinner consisting of squid, fish, and other seafoods mixed with beans.

Continue reading “Caramoan Weekend”

Friendster’s Official Statement on Downtime

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Luckily, a schoolmate of mine (though of a younger batch), who works for Friendster Philippines has posted in our internal Yahoo Groups the official statement of Friendster regarding the “missing” friends issue (and the other issues related with it):

There have been text messages going around in PH, saying that there was a virus that wiped out the accounts in our database, and thus causing people’s friends to be lost.

To help address our users’ concerns, here are some FAQs:

1) What happened to my friends?

  • Currently, the number of friends in the friends list is being displayed incorrectly.

2) Are my friends lost permanently?

  • No. The data for all friend connections is intact and is not lost.

3) When can this be fixed?

  • Friendster is currently working on this problem and we hope to have this fixed within 24 hours.

4) Can I still add friends while the problem has not yet been fixed?

  • Yes, users can still add new friends and use other features of the site.

5) What caused this problem?

  • Friendster’s data center lost power, and as a result, the memory caching of data was affected. Since Friendster has 85M users, the cache is taking a considerable amount of time to build. Once the cache has been completely built, all friends will re-appear.


<Name Withheld>
Performance Engineer
Friendster Inc.

So there it goes. Hope it will get fixed soon. Nope, I haven’t checked my Friendster yet – I’m still working my arse off in the office. 😛 Eventhough, even if my “list” isn’t rebuilt yet, I already know at least 1 contact who was “lost” and unfortunately, she’s not just a contact but my first degree cousin. 😦

Friendster Got Screwed

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Friendster had a suuuppperrrr loooonnggggg “Scheduled Maintenance” which ended last night. Unfortunately, the promise of providing “better” service was more of marketing spiel/euphemism of something that didn’t look good.

Not that I am addicted to social networking sites but I primarily have a Friendster account open only to my contacts – those people that I really know and not just about someone who would like to hook up and pose as “friends”. I used to have 506 friends but I “lost” 22 of them making my current friends counter to 484. I also hear other my other contacts saying that some of their friends’ profiles went private even if the profile should be visible to them.

As a web developer myself and having worked on large traffic site (that is maintaining the Philippine Entertainment Portal), before, having a downtime longer than an hour has a large impact on the audience especially on the visitor’s impression on how the site lives up to their primary function.

Oh well, Friendster do really get screwed big time. I’m irked but is there something that I can do to revert the situation? Nah. Bad, bad, bad Friendster.

On IM Clients

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I have a perplexing question regarding the use of IM clients in the workplace.

Is there a study that correlates that the use of IM clients reduces the productivity of the people using these?

I don’t know but I feel like I am more productive doing my work once in a while getting updates from my friends or colleagues. I would say, it’s the fastest and cheapest way (as compared to SMS) of getting information that I would use for the rest of the day or even in the closest days to come. More often than not, I would receive various messages informing me of changes, updates of the events that I am participating. These messages would either be quick questions/clarifications that is better understood when mentioned personally. While e-mail is another possible alternative, there’s no assurance that the person that you are trying to reach is in front of the computer and maybe with the possible of hoards of e-mail getting into his/her mailbox every minute, chances of getting your message heard/acted upon is very very low. The extra co-curricular events outside the office keeps my sanity stable despite the odd things that happen around.

Researching further, I saw the following line in a study regarding the use of instant messaging:

The same attributes of IM that create new opportunities for workplace interruption can also enable users to manage interruption more effectively, and our empirical analysis suggests that employees are more likely to do this than experience IM as disruptive. From this perspective, IM use reduces interruption by allowing users to create communication practices that minimize some types of interruption and negotiate the timing of others. Employees can engage in briefer, more frequent interactions in order to get quick answers to work-related questions with minimal disruption, to participate in loose, flexible collaboration, and to coordinate more intense interactions to protect time on task for higher-order activities. Personal communication while at work is also more frequent among IM users. (emphasis mine – superpatrick)

Now I wonder what will I do on my idle moments. No, it’s not that I don’t do my work but I finish work in the shortest time possible and I am proud to say that I deliver my job with the less bugs possible ahead of schedule time. Oh well, another classic example of office politics and it sucks bad. If they think IM is really disruptive, I guess they should address well associates who shout at others just to get their attention. THAT IS OBVIOUSLY IS MORE DISRUPTIVE not just professionally but ethically. You don’t address people by shouting and I guess no one deserves to be treated that way.

Edit: This link is related to my post. To wit his line:

Employers seeking to decrease interruptions may want to have their workers use instant messaging software. Research shows that when IMs are used as a substitute for other, more disruptive forms of communication such as phone, email, and face-to-face conversations, they lead to more conversations on the computer, but briefer & more productive ones.

-and-

IM certainly does have a place in business. But there’s more work to be done to define just what that place is.

Interesting. Unfortunately, I am just a lowly associate bound to follow orders.

Life is short, why make it shorter?

That was the line mentioned by Mr. Roberto Caballero in one of the articles featured in Inquirer Lifestyle and that line has struck me hard. Nope, I am not like him (and hopefully not, knock on wood!) that had a heart attack. I don’t know him personally except for the fact that our choir always sing for their Our Lady of Piat Group every July. The article caught me when one of my contacts in multiply linked that article as he can relate closely to the experience of the person.

As for the article, the lessons the author wants to impart is indispensable, nowadays that most of us take our physical health for granted for various things that we do on a daily basis. Nonetheless, the following are good wake-up calls that can be taken one at a time:

Continue reading “Life is short, why make it shorter?”

Name That Code

Because I am bored in the office waiting for work and the $@#%^#^#$^@#!@#%& reply of Cebu Pacific for my concern for more than 2 weeks already, I didn’t hesitate to take a quiz:

Name That Code

Try it for yourselves as well. At any rate, it would help you refresh some technical knowledge.