Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Weeknotes 2020-01-19

The big news here in the country over the past week was of course the big Taal Volcano eruption south of Metro Manila. Our house is far north enough of Metro Manila that we didn’t really get any ashfall over here, although when I went out on a walk the day after the big eruption, the air felt thick, like on morning New Year’s Day after all the fireworks. We do have friends and family who are affected and closer to the volcano though, so here’s hoping things get better for them and everyone else, especially those that had to be evacuated. There have been some fantastic photos of the eruption though.

I’ve been wanting to take a walk around the university for a while, I finally got around to it Saturday morning. It’s nice to take a walk somewhere other than my regular routes, and I always enjoy being at UP. It has a certain atmosphere to it, not like a public park or anything, but something… better. Definitely a quality I didn’t appreciate more when I was studying there. I should probably do this more often, although I suspect maybe not too often so that certain atmosphere doesn’t become too familiar.

My brothers and I bought my dad a Fitbit Alta back during the Christmas of 2018. The past few months, the device has been malfunctioning like crazy, battery dying moments after disconnecting from the charger, basically unusable. After trying various remedies recommended on the forums and such, I finally decided to contact support. Long story short, they said they were going to replace the unit, and even upgraded it to a newer model, the Fitbit Inspire. It took a few weeks to get the replacement because for some reason the customer support process had to ship the device, strap and charger in separate packages. But last week, the last package finally arrived and I put it together and gave it to my dad and everything is working fine, so that’s great. Always fun to have a positive experience with customer support!

I’ve had a Twitch account for a while and even did a few test streams last year (nothing significant). But I’m thinking of maybe doing it a bit more often in 2020. So I set up Streamlabs OBS. and tried a few streams last week, doing some Slay the Spire and Magic Arena (playing the new Theros set). Early feedback is I need to talk more on stream, even if there aren’t any viewers, since people might want to watch later. It feels kinda weird and something I’m not supercomfortable with, but I’m sure it’s the sort of thing that gets easier the more I do it. IDK if this is going to be a thing, if I’m going to be self-identifying as a “Twitch streamer” a few months down the line. For now, it’s just something I’m trying out. (And given my lack of discipline and ridiculous number of hobbies, there’s a nontrivial chance it might be something I get tired of sooner rather than later.)

After discussing my top 10s of the 2010s with some friends, I realized there’s a lot of good films I’ve missed out on over the past decade. I decided to watch more movies this year. And new movies, rewatches don’t count. Initially I thought I’d target 366 movies, but in hindsight that might be a bit much. I’m not sure I’ll always have 2-3 hours every day for movies, and I don’t want this to be a source of daily anxiety or anything. So for now I’ll set a target of maybe 200 movies for the year, that’s still a bit ambitious and at the same time not unreasonable. I’ve put up a page to track my movies watched for the year, with mini-reviews too.

Re: MTG, For the longest time, I’d suspected that I had a [second, older DCI number] (/about/stats/mtg/) that I’ve lost track of. I confirmed this after some discussion with a friend, checking that some events he and I both remember attending back in 2001 appear in his DCI history but not in mine. I used the info I got from my friend to email Wizards support and ask them to find that missing DCI number and if possible merge it back with my current one. They identified the older number as 56883435, and checking the Planeswalker Points page, it only [had 3 events on record] (all of which I do recall), so it wasn’t a big deal or anything, but I’m happy to have the chance to unify the two numbers (and maybe get a minor bump in my personal MTG stats!)

I finally got one of my personal projects going again after a long time stalling due to general laziness and such. It’s something I’ve been meaning to get moving for a while, as I want the app mostly for my own use (for now). Still not something I’m in a place to talk about publicly, but it feels good to stop procrastinating on it.

This week’s site updates:

This coming week I’m looking forward to:

  • the trivia team is doing geekfight this Tuesday. This quiz has One Piece, Batman and Magic The Gathering rounds, so I’m hoping to crush it!
  • rumor is there’s going to be a new Steam sale (for the Lunar New Year later this year). I probably shouldn’t want to buy anything, given my backlog, but it’s fun even to just browse lol
  • I believe Star Trek: Picard is coming out this week as well! (One more for the TV backlog!)
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