Roy Tang

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

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All entries tagged weeknotes.

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Jun 2021

  • Weeknotes 2021-06-13

    These weeknotes are being published a day late, for reasons that will be discussed later. A quote “The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.” - Hugh MacLeod The world: Early last week, a slew of big websites went offline due to some problems at a CDN, which is some kind of testament to the problems with centralization, but my favorite part of that story was that tech news site The Verge did their reporting from a Google doc during the outage but they accidentally tweeted the edit link instead so for a short while everyone was reporting for them.

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  • A quote “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway The world: This week was the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, and a recent tweet highlighted how the HK government, which used to freely allow commemorating the event, is now cracking down on the former colony’s freedoms. StackOverflow has been sold to an investment company.

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May 2021

  • Weeknotes 2021-05-30

    June is almost upon us, hopefully bringing some respite from the scorching summer heat. This year feels like it’s passing by very quickly. A quote There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-05-23

    It’s the last week of May (more or less), and I’m mostly looking forward to a new month because I’m tired of ridiculous summer heat and I’m hoping the sun tones it down a bit in June. The one aircon we have in the house has been busted all summer, so we have been suffering through the heat and surviving mostly through stacking multiple fans and also an excessive number of showers.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-05-16

    A quote “Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-05-09

    This post is being published a day late. Things happen okay? Sometimes you get busy and things need to be pushed back. The world: like the thug that he is, our dear president claimed that the arbitral award ruling in the PH’s favor was nothing more than a sheet of paper he could easily discard. He also challenged former justice Antonio Carpio to a debate over the West Philippine Sea issue, a challenge the latter quickly accepted.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-05-02

    It’s already May? April felt like it came and went so quickly. But then again, time has little meaning in this accursed pandemic. The world: The brouhaha over community pantries (as described last week), seems to have calmed down and they are now generally coordinating with LGUs for assistance in maintaining health protocols Meanwhile, the government has embarked on a propaganda campaign to assert that we aren’t the worst in terms of pandemic response in the world Certain congress people continue to promote the usage of the drug Ivermectin, which has no known effect on Covid-19, as a Covid-19 cure or something.

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Apr 2021

  • I’ve been a bit busy this weekend (see below), so this post is running a bit late. The world: An ongoing saga right here in the Philippines: Last weekend, community pantries for the needy started sprouting up in Metro Manila and all over the country, largely inspired by one started in Maginhawa here in Quezon City. The central idea was “give what you can, take what you need.” Stories spread of heartwarming stories like a poor old man donating some food even though he had very little and an ice cream vendor giving away the remnants of his cart for the day to those in the queue.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-04-18

    I’m not sure what to think of this past week, feels like it went by quickly. I may have spent too much of it daydreaming. The world: NCR+ bubble is now one week into modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ - an acronym that makes no sense). Cases still seem to be pretty high on a day-to-day basis, though we’re told the R number is dropping slightly, so that’s good I guess?

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  • Weeknotes 2021-04-11

    The world: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth’s husband, has passed away. So has DMX, American rapper. Big facebook breach reported, etc. Doesn’t seem like news, really. My phone number was among the data leaked. The country is still experiencing a surge in cases, hospitals and ICUs still bursting to capacity. Yet in spite of the crisis, the president has not been around. This has prompted questions of whether he’s still alive.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-04-04

    It’s April! Or as it’s otherwise known, March 2020 month 13. As is usual, we are suffering the sweltering summer heat. Also, it’s Easter Sunday, if that means anything to you. The world: Surprising almost no one, the PH government extended the ECQ lockdown in the NCR+ bubble. Anyone with half a brain could have told you that the one week ECQ was no way going to be enough, given what we know about the virus’ life cycle.

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Mar 2021

  • Weeknotes 2021-03-28

    It’s the last weekend of March. It feels like the month went by quickly. The world: Local covid response: The government introduced the concept of an “NCR Plus” bubble last Monday, restricting travel in and out of the NCR and adjacent provinces, in response to the rising cases. Still, the daily counts kept rising, hitting record highs of almost 10k cases daily. Even before the dust has settled on the bubble response, they decided to announce last night a reversion to the stricter ECQ.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-03-21

    The world: Over the past couple of days, our nationwide daily covid cases broke 7000+, the highest recorded so far. Have to be super careful when going out for errands. Not that I wasn’t being careful even before, mind you. Just now, government has announced we are still under GCQ (see my post about the PH quarantine levels), but with more restrictions, etc. Looks like they are still hesitant to provide a stronger lockdown which would require paying people to stay home so they don’t starve to death.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-03-14

    Happy Pi Day! The world: It’s the one year anniversary of the world’s longest lockdown. In some kind of sick anniversary celebration, local covid cases are on the rise. Yesterday, 5000 new cases were reported, the highest daily rate in 6 months or so. And now a Philippine variant has been detected. Now is not the time to be complacent, we all need to be more careful. The government seems unwilling to impose another widespread ECQ and are focusing on targetted, granular lockdowns.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-03-07

    March has begun. Did it ever really end? The world: Vaccination finally starts in the country, with initial donated batches of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccine arriving in the country. Just in time for the one year anniversary of the world’s longest lockdown. SinoVac isn’t the best choice, but many of my doctor friends say they’ll settle for it if that’s what’s available for them. I think QC is planning to use AstraZeneca for their citizens, but worrying is that AZ’s efficacy has been shown to be not so good against certain variants such as the South African one, which has already been detected in the country.

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Feb 2021

  • Weeknotes 2021-02-28

    Today is the last day of February. Tomorrow, we march on. The world: Biden ordered his first military strike last week. America is back, etc. This past week, embrassingly our local police and anti-drug agency got into a shootout against each other near the Ever Gotesco mall in Quezon City. Both sides claim they were doing a buy-bust, which is impossible. As usual, there is little transparency about what actually happened, and many promises of “impartial” probes and investigations.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-02-21

    Last week of February is about to start. Time flies, as they say. The world: Texas (and other parts of the southern US I guess) have been hit by heavy winter storms, with accompanying power grid failures and such. We have some relatives there so it’s a concern. Meanwhile, their governor falsely blames renewables for the power problems and their senator went to Cancun. Facebook cut off Australian news links.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-02-14

    The world: Trump has been acquitted in his second impeachment trial, proving yet again to the world that the US is a flawed democracy dominated by corruption at the highest levels Duterte says he cannot be brave in the mouth against China. Back before the 2016 elections, somebody I used to know claimed that we needed a “rottweiler” like Duterte as president because he would be tough against China. I remember this sometimes and laugh and then am also sad.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-02-07

    It’s February! We are nearing the one year anniversary of being in the longest covid19 lockdown in the world! The world: Myanmar’s military staged a coup, and have apparently cut off the country from the internet, maybe? Last night during an international voice chat, the two of us who were in the Philippines were suddenly dropped/disconnected and one of my first thoughts were “Wait, is there a coup happening in our country RIGHT NOW?

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Jan 2021

  • Weeknotes 2021-01-31 Stonks!

    It’s February tomorrow! Somehow, the world still turns. The world: Somehow the most viral world news this week doesn’t seem to have been about any kind of politics, but rather about capitalism. The Gamestop/stock market brouhaha was a sage of retail investors on reddit going head-to-head with hedge funds over the stock price of a dying gaming company (among others) that dominated most of my feeds for the week. It’s actually a lot more compliced than that.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-01-24

    Wow, January is almost done. Wouldn’t you know it. The world: Biden inaugurated as US president, world celebrates US getting rid of Trump. Biden isn’t exactly unproblematic, but he is at least sane and boring. There will be time enough to criticize him later, for now let them be enjoy victory. My expectations of him are at least moderately higher than the ones I had for Trump the internet gets inundated with an inordinate amount of Bernie Sanders memes locally: the govt continues to bombard us with controversies, this time stirring up a red-tagging hornests nest by abrogating the DND-UP accord, paving the way for militarization of campuses and stifling of free expression Links of interest: Someone made a Mandalorian trailer in the style of old-school spaghetti westerns.

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  • This is 2021 week 3. Or week 2. Two and a half? How do calendars work? The world: relatively calm compared to the chaos of the previous week. However in the US, a storm may be brewing over Biden’s inauguration next week locally: still a lot of confusion/inconsistencies around the vaccination plan. Or at least some senators think so. Meanwhile, we are close to breaching 500k cases. Links of interest: I’ve been reading a lot about personal note taking recently, in a bid to find ways to improve my own systems.

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  • We are barely more than a week into 2021 and it has already been quite a year. The world: the week started off with something as innocuous as a guy going viral for making his daughter work six hours to figure out how to use a can opener and open a can of beans. I can’t explain Bean Dad, but it was so weird and surreal the way it took over the internet for a while.

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  • It’s a brand new year, a brand new week, a brand new day. There’s no real reason to believe 2021 will be a better year, but we can choose to try to be better, and maybe that in itself is better. Last week’s New Year’s Eve transition played out pretty much as expected. We just stayed at home, actually had an early media noche dinner (around 9ish) and observed the fireworks for a little bit.

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Dec 2020

  • I started doing these weeknotes at the top of 2020, so this one signals one complete year of doing my weekly reviews/notes in public. I thought it appropriate for a review! Did it turn out to be a good practice? I think for me yes! Not necessarily for anyone following the blog (all 3 of you), since a lot of the weeknotes stuff might seem boring or irrelevant to you. But for me, forcing me to publicly write some thoughts about the past week has been good for my own self-awareness and keeping me writing regularly.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-12-20

    It’s the penultimate week of the year, and I’m sure I’m not the only who’s had enough of this accursed year and looking forward to moving on to the next one. I know that’s silly since the world won’t magically become better when the calendar flips over to January the first, but I think it helps our mental health to have this sort of “fresh start” mentality, even if it’s on an arbitrarily chosen date.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-12-13

    Time passes yet again. I think I have to get used to not having much personal stuff to report in the weeknotes on certain weeks (aside from the watching/gaming parts), especially given the pandemic where I’m at home 90% of the time. Speaking of the pandemic, the UK started vaccinations last week, and the US FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine as well, so hopefully this is where things start to turn around.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-12-06

    This week felt like another set of those moments-in-between, where not much seemed to happen, but it somehow still went by quickly anyway. I think the household and the family has slowly gotten used to the idea that any big Christmas celebration isn’t happening. My niece’s birthday was last weekend, so we sent her gifts via Grab delivery instead of being able to get together. Most likely something similar’s going to happen for gift exchanges on Christmas.

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Nov 2020

  • Weeknotes 2020-11-29

    December is almost upon us! I had an opportunity last week to take on some additional work, but on further reflection, I thought I’d pass on it. I am in general, averse to working during the Christmas season (that is to say, more so than during the entire year in general). Even back when I was working full-time, I’d prefer taking most of my leaves during December. It’s really a result of the terrible traffic in Metro Manila, which gets significantly worse during Christmas season, a trauma that lingers even when I’m home all the time.

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  • This week felt weird. It kind of went by quickly for me, but it doesn’t feel like anything important really happened. Its kind of like those moments in-between other events, where you’re just coasting along and waiting for the more significant things to happen. My country is still recovering from the storms of the past few weeks, Trump is still flailing around trying to overturn democracy, and our own president is still insecure when someone gets more attention than him.

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  • Weather this past week was very bad for those of us in Metro Manila (and many other places in Luzon). Howling winds and strong rains dominated for 2-3 days of the week due to typhoon Ulysses. This typhoon wasn’t as strong as Rolly a couple of weeks ago, but it seems that it brought a lot more rains, causing flooding and loss of power in a whole lot of places. Metro Manila was hit quite badly, even drawing comparisons to Ondoy back in 2009.

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  • The World: Somehow the week seemed to go by both quickly and agonizingly slowly, mostly because of the US presidential elections held this week. Slowly because after the initial burst of results on Tuesday night (US time), the remaining states’ results trickled in very slowly. Quickly because much time was spent doomscrolling and refreshing election-related updates. I think the world collectively breathed a sigh of relief this weekend as the US networks finally called the race for former VP and now president-elect Joe Biden.

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  • Now: Stormy weekend here in Manila. Supposedly the “strongest storm of 2020” so far, typhoon Rolly made landfall earlier today and is currently battering many of the provinces south of Metro Manila. Storm signals are as high as number 5. As of this writing, weather is currently cold and nippy but not particularly rainy where I am. We expect stronger winds and rain to hit us as evening approaches as well.

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Oct 2020

  • Weeknotes 2020-10-25

    Server migration update: I had encountered some trouble with the Travis-CI -based Hugo build generating this here website last week. Luckily, most of the migration work to the new backend was already done, so I went ahead and switched over the servers. So this site is no longer plain-old deployed HTML, but rather powered by a Django backend. The site should be mostly the same, though I did take the opportunity to move some stuff around.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-10-18

    So my current webhost finally decided to give me a deadline, the long and short of it is that my new server needs to be ready by December the 9th, giving me a bit under a month to get things in order. I’m already in the middle of setting up the new server, so I think I’ll be ready by early November anyway. Most of the code to run the new blog is also mostly ready (who knows how many bugs there are though!

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  • Weeknotes 2020-10-11

    The world continues to be terrible. The PH government wants people to get back to work and everything to spur the economy (with health precautions and everything). A lot of people have no choice, but I’m fortunate enough to not have to go out there yet, and I’m sure people like me will still hold back. This all would have been a lot easier if the government had gotten control of this pandemic early on but it is what it is.

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  • In the news this week: Donald Trump, who for some reason is still the US president, has tested positive for Covid19, adding even more chaos and uncertainty to the US election season. The rest of the world has no choice but to pay attention, given how much US politics affects the rest of us The Philippines is now #20 worldwide in total Covid cases, yay! Yay? Some drama about the PH congress leadership?

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Sep 2020

  • Weeknotes 2020-09-27

    October is imminent! There are two distractions I’m looking forward to in the coming month. The first one is Inktober, which I’ve been doing since 2016. Basically it’s just to do 30 ink drawings in October, one per day. There are some official prompts, which I’ll probably follow. I haven’t really done any serious sketching in a while, maybe this will help me get back into the groove.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-09-20

    It’s hard to imagine this is already the 3rd week of September, it feels like the month is passing by quickly, although I haven’t been particularly busy recently. I did do some paid work this past week; not a lot, just filling in to provide some emergency support/consultation. I guess the reason it feels like the week passed by quickly is that I started a new side project (like many programmers, I am afflicted by the curse of wanting to start too many side projects).

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  • Weeknotes 2020-09-13

    It has certainly been a week, yes it has. The world continues to turn (and burn even). I’ve been busy. Not so much with work, though there was a bit of that due to a required emergency software change (aren’t they always emergencies?). I wasn’t doing the emergency work myself, more like consulting and advising how to approach it, so not much to tell there. I did quite a bit of work on my personal data processes/backups/workflows.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-09-06

    It’s September! The last six months were a blur. It’s considered “Christmas season” over here already I guess. The local memes are that once the clock hits midnight between Aug 31 and Sep 1, your neighbor’s Christmas lights are magically up. Also of course the famous Jose Mari Chan gets famous starting September, since malls and stores love to play his Christmas songs during this time. IDK what to expect for Christmas season this year though, since we are still in a pandemic.

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Aug 2020

  • Weeknotes 2020-08-30

    This last week was weird. I feel like I didn’t really get much done in terms of productivity, yet I don’t feel I was unproductive. A very relaxed and chill week. Once again a tiny bit of work done this past week, some fixes, including to side projects. I also spent some time preparing for some events next weekend. Although I wasn’t productive this week, I did outline a bit of a roadmap of new features for one of my side projects, hopefully I can get into that in the coming weeks!

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  • Weeknotes 2020-08-23

    The week after I posted about phoning in the weeknotes, here I am with one where there’s nothing much to report. Not that surprising, given how busy I was over the previous few weeks, I took the opportunity to take a more relaxing week. There was a bit of work to be done, but very miniscule by comparison. Minor fixes here and there, including to some side projects. I did get to write on the blog more, as expected.

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  • These weeknotes are coming in late in the day because of reasons. (The reasons being laziness and procrastination.) Actually, I feel like I’ve been kind of phoning in the weeknotes over the past few weeks, they’ve mostly been “hey, I’ve been busy, so nothing of significance happened, but here are some things I watched/played.” Supposedly one of the side effects of writing regular updates is that you tend to look out for more interesting things to do so you have something to write about, even on an unconscious level.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-08-09

    Still kind of busy, although there’s a bunch of things I hope I can finally wrap up this week, so I can move on to the long list of other things I want to be doing. The world continues to be bleak, so I’m still hiding from it. My stuff: Forty-two. I thought about just merging these into a single post for the day, but nah, this seems better. Reworking the old charity side project still ongoing.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-08-02

    Kind of a busy week for me again, so the week kind of passed me by quickly. It’s August! In one month it will be (PH) Christmas season! It feels like July went by more quickly than other quarantine months. My stuff: A bit of consulting work. Reworking the old charity side project still ongoing. I was hoping to finish all the changes last week and next week would be testing and deployment, but stuff got in the way (and estimates may have been a bit off), but the spillover is small and we should still be fine for finishing everything next week.

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Jul 2020