Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bike Commuting

I'm planning to start a bike commuting movement, how do you think it should be started?

Biking around the Philippines in 56 days


Friday, July 18, 2008

JustRead: Googley advice about hiring and career

Important: Communication skillz, willingness to experiment, and passion!

Here's a related post:

Additional: Discipline

You must have discipline to push forward innovation and creativity.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My not so happy day after Father's Day

My father's day, turned out to be not so happy the following day.

My grandmother died on the early hours of Tuesday, June 17; she will turn 84 this year. From my generation, i'm his favorite 'apo', and she brought me up on my early years. She taught me the moral values i know now, the attitude towards selflessly helping other people and always be a good friend. She's a real great person, a leader, a very positive person, very compassionate -- and someone i will surely, really miss.

I will miss the days when she will call at home, to ask for her medications, small change to buy stuffs, pay for this, pay for that. She's very 'makulit', because she knows i can't turn her down. People find ways to ask favor from me through her, which is very annoying at times! :)

One of the reasons why i haven't left our home town, is because of her. I remember, when i moved out and got married -- she always contest why i should live somewhere else, when we still have one room available (she won't mind fitting me, rose, my 3 kids and lots of other stuffs in there).

She had a really great life, she will be missed terribly, she will be remembered forever, and i will always treasure the times when she makes jokes and laughs when i am with her at home.

I just wished she lived longer to see my kids grow up and teach them the stuffs i learned from her when i was young. But i understand that she has to move on, and live the next phase of her life in paradise.

To my lola, thank you, i love you very much; goodbye for now, soon we will meet again.

Happy Father'

iPod shuffle for sale

Hi guys, i'm selling 3 iPod shuffles, all brand-new (never been opened), bought from the US. I have 1 blue and 2 greens available.

Originally, 4 were shipped. I couldn't resist using one for myself. :) Podcast time!

I'm selling each at Php 2,400. Yes, last price, unless you can persuade me otherwise! :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Canon SD750 @ 12k, Canon SD870IS @ 15k

Hi guys, we're planning to have another shipment this week. We're thinking of doing it Wednesday night. If you we're not aware of my previous post, here it is.

This initiative is actually part of our plan to launch a personal buy-n-sell site, named If you go there now, you'll see a splash page (plain text) -- we're in private beta.:) The plan is to build an online store about geeky stuffs, stuffs that we like and that we think you might like too, as well as a community site about the stuffs that we're selling. It's not going to be a generic classified ads nor just another ebay site (and not an MLM). It's also going to be focused on specific vertical areas -- and not just about everything for sale. More details on this once it's ready.

Yes, later we'll be open to work with people who also want to sell stuffs online -- it's going to be a no-brainer selling and buying online.

What we are doing now is seeding the site. :)

Ok, since i'm too lazy to re-post the information here, you can visit this particular page to see the digital cameras (it's a secret link):

TIP: We're not going to make it a secret, if you look closely at the picture on the right, you'll see where we are buying the items. :) It's always good to know we're not buying bootleged stuffs.

TIP #2: And if you ask, if this is legal? I honestly have no idea. But i have a feeling if we keep the volume low, no one's going to bother, unless of course we're shipping hundreds of digicams a week. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm buying a new digicam... who wants to buy too?

Yo, I'm planning to buy a new digicam from the US, the Canon SD870, it's priced at 22k pesos from the muradito site (probably the cheapest locally). It's called Ixus 860 IS here in the Philippines, you can view the listing at muradito.

Now, take a good look at the photo on the right.. what do you think? Ain't it a beauty? Deym right you are! Then imagine holding it in your hand and capturing that special moment (ok, i'll leave that to your imagination). Yes, it's a must have!

If anyone wants the same digicam (it's highly recommended, see Ken's review), i can buy 2, and i can sell the other one to you for 15k (inclusive of shipping and handling -- that is 7k less than muradito, and probably more less if you buy from retail stores). What you can do with 7k? Spend it at Abaca and put your new digicam to good use! :)

I plan to buy on Thursday, let me know if you are interested. If you want to buy a different digicam brand or model, let me know as well.

The caveat is that the warranty is US only (i guess the same as getting a pasalubong from a family or relative in the US). So, if there are problems, and you want it to be fixed under warranty, you'll have to ship it back to the US.

You can have it fixed with the local Canon service centers though, but that will be on your own expense. However, based on experience with compact cameras, there's a very tiny probability that you'll have to return it. So, when you buy through this method, make sure you understand this clause.

Yes, the item will be brand new, i'm mostly likely buying it from Amazon. And yes, we have done this gazillion times already, buying and shipping without problems from the US. Let's just say we figured out a solution (trade secret, hehe). :)

Anyone interested?

Footnote: Installment? Ok, *maaaaaaybe* we can arrange that too. Max 3 gives, 3 months, 0%. I'll have to know you (and trust you) a lot for this method to push through. Granting that i don't know a lot of people, maybe find someone who i know a lot (and trust) to bank you up. :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How important are your college grades?

Your College is not a technical school
Link: http://www.iwillteachy.

Why don't companies ever hire me?
Link: http://www.iwillteachy.

From the articles above, Ramit nailed it on the spot, why your grades don't really matter when you apply for work. Yes, it matters a lot on your first job, but after that, most companies look for experience.

Of course, having good grades is still important, since it will measure how good you did with your job as a college student (taken as an experience). However, it won't fair much if you also work while still in college. Being a working student offers you a lot of experience, insight in terms of time management, discipline, technical skills, opportunity and network.

And best, start your own business. Start something, failing and learning is the best experience you will ever get. I for one will always prefer someone who tried to do something and failed, then learned from that experience.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quiet time

Haha, i just noticed, most of the post i have here in Multiply are from my Amazon wish list. :)

I've been going around blogs looking for good books to read, mostly about business, productivity, managing people, programming, design, a lot of topics. If i could only stop time and read all the books on my wish list -- i will do it in a ziffy.

Friday, March 7, 2008

An inspiring story - Audion from Panic


P.S. I can so relate to the story, when we were doing LearningToGo,*/

It was a great 3 years of building softwares (up to 12 at its height), and we were one of the top softwares in the education market (and won awards) -- in -- which is the official software catalog on the domain.

We had a fierce competition, who started a month after we did, PocketLingo ( -- their site looks exactly the same when they started back in 2002. We eventually gave up due to a losing Palm market and the lack of innovation with new products and existing ones. :) I would say the competition burned us up. :) Handmark came in the following years with their own education softwares.

When i read the Audion story, it reminds me why i want to be part of a small software company -- and i'm happy to know that i'm part of a good one now. Hopefully, we'll kick ass and live the good times again -- we're slowly going there now. :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Time for a coool change...

We just got home today from Velez, a day late than expected. I think Meg and Miggy are feeling the change, and initially, i think they don't understand what's going on -- apart that there's a baby in the house -- which hopefully they can relate that the baby used to live in mama's tummy.

We've been telling them from 9 months ago that there's a baby in mama's tummy. And i think they get the baby part and not the 2 other things: that the baby is inside mama's tummy (they probably just though mama is fat!!!) and that there's going to be some changes 9 months later.

Earlier today, when we arrive, i notice Meg was playful with the baby, she likes to hold the head, the hands and likes to observe. And she is playing along. What i think she's wondering if there's going to be some changes and if it will change her cute little baby position. I think she shrugs it off all through out the day until bedtime comes. Perhaps this baby will go home before bedtime.

She sleeps beside me now (not really her favorite place -- probably i snor a lot! Hehe). She's been at it almost all night. Crying, looking at Mama and the baby, and slowly waking up to the reality that there's going to be some changes -- and that it will affect her usual comfort zone and her precious 'baby' title.

I'm just amazed at how the situation unfolded -- and how Meg takes it. She's not the violent type of kid (unlike Miggy who likes to muscle his way around people), and i can feel that she is trying to understand -- since i also think she understands that she needs to live along with the baby. She just resorts to crying.

Right now, just crying, trying to pull some last strings, and hope that things will go back to normal -- and the position change is just temporary turn-around in the twilight zone.

For us parents, it's a challenge, but i think it's not that hard to guide and help the kids adjust. This is the first time there's going to be some waking up from them, since when Meg was born, Miggy was still 1 year old -- and he probably has no idea what's going on. When he comes to realize that he needs to fight for attention, he's already well aware of Meg and our family ecosystem. But for Meg, she's used to the comfort of the youngest baby and the problem is that she's fully aware of the changes right now. She probably wished it happened 2 years earlier! :D

(I'm probably looking at this from an older kid perspective who thinks about the situation -- but somehow i feel they are really thinking this through. One thing that Meg can expect though -- is that she's the only baby girl -- and to me that counts for something)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

High heels may improve your sex life


Wearing higher heels - although perhaps not stilettos - may improve your pelvic floor muscles and in doing so boost your sex life, a study suggests.

This seems like a natural way to improve your sex life! Hehe.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Just read: How to create a local high-tech hub


I found this post from 'Outside the valley' blog, about how to create a local high-tech hub which leads to the silicon valley culture.

The first one talks about (1) Create a city with a tech creative-class culture. the second one (2) Create a city with a world-class university.

I've been thinking what it takes for us to do that here in Cebu. I think we are already producing a lot of tech graduates every year -- since we have the world-class universities. I also think there are already a lot of rich people locally who are willing to invest.

I think what we need now is to foster the tech creative-class culture.

This is one of the motivation behind our CoderPH project. We're slowly promoting it when we can, and if you know anyone in programming or just starting to learn programming -- please refer them to the website, and we'll try to help anyway we can.

We are also advocating programmers to try a start up and experiment with their own product through the project.

Monday, January 28, 2008

First tip to being successful: Passion


How do you define success? I found this link about 'Secrets Of Success' presentation (it's a YouTube video) by Richard St. John at TED. From his interviews and research for over 7 years, he found the secrets to be:
  1. Passion - Do it for love, not for money
  2. Work - Nothing comes easily, work hard and have fun
  3. Good - Be damn good at what you doing, practice, practice, practice
  4. Focus - Focus on one thing
  5. Push - Push yourself, push your shyness and your self doubt, even your mother can help
  6. Serve - Serve other something of value
  7. Ideas - Have a good Idea
  8. Persist - You have to persist through failure or through CRAP (Criticism, Rejection, Assholes, Pressure)
The number one is passion -- i believe everyone has it in a way different and unique, otherwise there won't be much reason to live life. It can also translate to loving your job, whatever that may be. Of course it can also be loving your boss and money will come! hehe -- that is a different kind of way looking at it -- and does not always guarantee success -- unless he's single!

Find your passion and focus your effort on that. Take small steps everyday doing it!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Take the "Red Pill"

I am reading a very nice book, "The Art of the Start" by Guy Kawasaki. I'm already half-way through the book, and i can't help notice the reference to the red pill from the movie "The Matrix".
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill -- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill -- you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes -- The Matrix, 1999
The book goes on to say that anyone trying to start a business are faced with this reality -- either stay in your cubicle and live a dreamy life, or take the plunge (notice there was this part when morpheus asked neo to jump over the window). If you're the neo in your business, Guy also recommends taking on board your own morpheus -- a believer and a guide.

So, which pill are you gonna take?

P.S. It's a great book and is a must read for anyone planning to start a business. Guy is the chief evangelist at Apple around the mid-80s and a VC of a couple of online businesses through Garage Ventures. Visit his site for more info and subscribe to his blog -- really great guy.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Software development is new product development

I read through the first few pages of a great book from Craig Larman, Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager's Guide. Actually read it online, using Amazon's online reader.
Most software is not a predictable or a mass manufacturing process. Software development is new product development.
So true! The two sentences above speaks a lot about how software development should be managed in terms of cost, human resource, time frame and maintenance. The only mass manufacturing part of software is when you copy it (copy ), burn it to the CD for distribution, upload it to the internet for download and/or seed it for torrent downloads.

One big word in software development is CHANGE. Change is constant in this type of work as new data and feedback comes up during the development process. Change should be part of the process and the software, like the code, should be able to change and adopt easily -- without losing a lot of momentum and work progress.

BUT, what is often common in software dev projects are: clients always asks for a fixed price, fixed time frame, fixed this, fixed that -- and at the same time, expects work that changes over time. They always expects a programmer to give them a date of when everything will be finished -- and they will even consider you incompetent if you can't give a definite date!

MORE BUT, another common misconception on software development is that more resources, more people, more code, more libraries, the more whatever will speed up the development process. A lot of programmers and dev team managers think this is a solution, since in a way, it is giving the clients a visible sign of progress -- more people typing on the keyboards! When in fact, this is the very reason why software projects fail and why they fail big!

In some projects, there are even two different teams of programmers working on the same product. One works on the current version (buggy perhaps) and another works on the next version. This might be ok if both teams has experience with both products for some time, and are working on the same dev process. However, in an effort to speed up the dev time -- some projects encourages both to work on their own process (which in a way is right, since more communication overhead, means less time coding). I don't think this is really going to work. Perhaps it will, and when that time happens -- i'm sure it will be worth a look, perhaps even a book written about it!

Anyway, the book talks more about these topics in details. Can't wait for our copy to get here, and explain more about how and why software development fails and how to manage it without losing your sanity.

Googlescope: Blast from the past, circa 2004

I googled my username (markjeee) to see what pages comes up. I do it as an exercise once in a while -- and see how my online profile has formed.

On the first results page, the 3rd item, i found out that i have some photos uploaded at webshots. I can't remember uploading anything there, but i did remember using webshots a loooooong time ago -- i think when i was still in college. I clicked on it expecting to find some photos from the past.

When miggy was baptised. This was around Aug - Oct 2004 (sorry can't recall now the exact date of the baptism). Almost 4 years ago, and it felt like a loooooong time. I felt a little blast from the past and remember how it was back then.

Around 2004, I was working with LearningToGo, and i remember 2003 and 2004 was one of the best years of the company -- we handled up to 12 products at that time -- with at least 12 people i think. It was fun, lots of work though and it was a great experience for me as it taught me a lot of things that i could have not learned by just programming. :) We stopped the business a few years after that since the Palm market was also slowing down -- and we were not able to react and diversify in time. I hope to do a new business again and get back the team we had back then and compete globally, and this time we're going to do better. Our situation was remarkable back then, doing something entirely from here (100% filipino owned) and selling it online and competing with other international companies on a level playing field. And we won some awards, cheesy ones though, but it was enough to make us one of the top choices for learning softwares for the Palm OS device. It was one of the happy times in the company.

Anyway, we're going to have our 3rd baby soon and it got me thinking that Miggy was also once like this -- and like the photos from my webshots account. A small tiny baby. I can't remember how i go through the days with the babies back then -- but i can remember, i was never meant to be good at kids or babies. But i somehow manage to live through and the kids come out real nice (from what i can tell right now!). Back then, my expectations in life were also simplier and there were not a lot of responsibilities i have to handle.

I remember when we got our first place of our own (after marriage we spent the first months on my mommy's house -- Rose didn't like it there -- realllllly crowded), which was a one floor apartment from one of our neighbors. We were the first to occupy, all brand-new. Back then, life was simple -- there's only the two of us, no kids to take care of. Miggy didn't came out until a few months later.

Even having Miggy as a small child, it was still very simple. I don't work at home back then, so there's not a lot of stress. I wake up, go to work at 10am, go home at 7pm or later. The good thing back then was when i go home, i don't have to think a lot about work -- since our product was not an online service, it was a software application, which after releasing a version, most of the work is spent on customer support. Unlike now, where we have to keep the web applications running and accessible 24/7.

Every time i remember that time, i remember a simple life, simple plans (note, i started the SIMPLETEQ business one year from then) and life was happy, as it is now. However, compared to what it is right now, i am responsible for a lot of things -- in a way, it's still simple but on a bigger scale.

It was nice to see the photos from that time, and i plan to keep them in webshots even though i use Flickr nowadays. I'm sure a few years from now, I will google myself again and see what google has compiled about me.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Just Read: CPA syndrome


It's not the CPA acronym that we're all used to, but rather, it stands for "Continuous Partial Attention", the case when multi-tasking gone wrong. It's a great skill to be able to multi-task and work on multiple stuffs at the same time.

However, in a lot of cases people who spend too much time multi-tasking tend to overdo it, trying to balance a lot of things at the same time, and keeping just enough attention to keep track if there's anything that needs attending. It's becoming a burden once you develop the habit, since you can't just stop doing it -- every time you pause, you always wonder what's going on out there.

Take for example, working, multiplying, reading blogs (over at google reader), reading the news (cnn, bbcnews), multiplying, reading mailing lists, multiplying, updating RTM, ummm multiplying...

Just Read: Recession proof your career


Feeling about to be laid off? I think it's time to fool-proof your career. It's pretty simple, make yourself valuable and visible both inside and outside the company. Also, upgrade your skills.

Not liking your job? Why not start a side-project now, this way you can test out other kinds of work before you make that jump.

Here's the quick list:
  • Keep building that online persona.
  • Create additional income streams, even if you are an employee.
  • Stay aware of what the market wants.
  • Invest in human capital.
  • Create social capital too.
In case you're in the job market now, we are hiring Software Developers, Admin Assistant, Systems Administrator and Intern developers. Visit our career page for more information. :)

Chikipedia -- a good link to bookmark for guys out there!


I found this post from AJ Batac's blog about Chickipedia, a vertical wiki about female public figures. Lots of chikis with user contributed information. And of course, nice photos!

I agree with AJ, it's well designed, clean and easy to navigate. I think this is going to be a trend with more wiki's coming up focused on specific realm of information.

Perhaps about guys next time, what do you think girls?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger dead at 28!


Deym! Joker is dead! Perhaps batman got to him for good. :) This is sad, it seems his career is actually on the rise lately. Tsk Tsk.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Cross-posting doesn't work if you use a custom domain in Blogger

Ouch. I tried to change my Blogger address to a custom domain ( I waited for a day for the DNS changes to propagate. Now, when i try to post new blog items today (i changed it yesterday), i noticed the posts are not showing up on my blogger account.

I tried searching if there was a known problem, or if someone has discussed this problem before. As a test, i tried to return back from custom domain to blogspot's hosting. And now it's working back again! :)

I think cross-posting to Blogger is not yet perfect, which i think leaves some room for improvements.

Now, i'll have to find a way to proxy traffic from to my blogspot address, so that domain still works like it's set as a custom domain from blogspot (time to look at nginx proxy features!).

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Good business books that you should be reading

A book on Amazon cost from $15 to $30 each, in peso that's about 600 to 1,200. You'll notice, sometimes it's cheaper than buying it locally, but then you have shipping. However, if you order multiple items, the shipping cost is distributed effectively per item.

Anyway, i found this link about the 800-CEO-READ Business Books award for 2007, via the ChangeThis website.

Some of the books i like and on my wish list (it should come up as a new blog post any moment now) are:

* The Dip by Seth Godin
* Made To Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
* No Man's Land by Doug Tatum
* Group Genius by Keith Sawyer
* Responsibility at Work by Howard Gardner
* My Start-Up Life by Ben Casnocha
* The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle

These are good reads for every aspiring enterpreneur.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Internship program

We are starting an internship program that we handle annually for students of computer related courses from local universities.

General requirements:
  • Junior or senior level
  • Exceptionally good programming skills
  • Good grades with major computer subjects
  • Ooh, and likes Math (Calculus, Abstract Algebra)
Joining the program don't have to be for your OJT class, it can be a personal choice to learn and experience working as a programmer.

Benefits of being an OJT:
  • Monthly allowance
  • Free snacks and drinks
  • Free lunch
  • Access to our programming library
  • Occasional movie outing
  • Team outing at the end of the program
Being part of the team means:
  • Work with real, live products
  • Couching and career guidance as a programmer
  • Bragging rights for working with a real software company that builds products people actually use
Some of the projects we plan to offer to the interns:
  • User review site (Yelp like)
  • Buy-n-sell site (Craigslist like)
  • User designed t-shirt (Threadless like)
  • OSS programmer community site (CoderPH)
More details about this program can be found on our website. We are now accepting applicants for this year's program, Mar 15 - June 15.

My goal by the end of this month

I just reached a big milestone today. 100 views! Deym! Big One-Oh-Oh!

Now, my goal at the end of this month, is to reach out to 100 people (who knows? 500 views?), who have visited my homepage.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Rails bubble is going to burst this year

There's just been a lot of hype about Ruby On Rails recently, mostly in the past 2 years. And now that a lot of people are using it in production, the problems [of using it] has been magnified. Mostly with deployment and running it in production with lots of users online (can crawl an entire server if you're not careful).

Here's the original rant from Zed Shaw (the master), creator of Mongrel (note though, the picture on the Mongrel website is named Bantay from Cebu). Dreamhost seem to have agreed with him. Now, DHH (the Rails creator himself) is rebutting the posts.

I can smell the pain now (to think Rails is supposedly designed to remove the 'hurt' in programming) -- and a lot of experienced people who have tried Rails and have been disappointed with performance are coming out now -- this is not like how Twitter went sometime ago -- but people are actually supporting their stories with real performance numbers.

Time to move to Merb.

Looking for an Admin Assistant

We are a group of programmers that offer consulting and development of web applications. We've been in business for at least 2 years now (went 2, last October). Our company name is SIMPLETEQ, website:

Our current project now is Caresharing (in fact our only as a group). We are expanding this project this year as a new dedicated business that will continue to develop the Caresharing products and services. You can find out more about this business here: (dutch). An English version about our product can be found here: This business is a well-funded software business startup, with a profitable product and an experienced team (not an outsourcing company that works for projects/clients).

We are hiring a few people, 2 Ruby programmers, 1 Ruby programmer with background in Systems Administration and an Admin Assistant. New hires will work for Caresharing.

Typical tasks of an Admin Assistant are:
  • Handles government taxes, benefits, filing
  • Handles office bills, supplies and petty cash
  • Handles office documents, filing
  • Keep tab of office maintenance
  • Facilitate incorporation procedures and business registration
  • Look for office space
  • Handles phone calls
  • Coordinate, organize group events
  • Coordinate hiring
  • Handle business travel arrangements
Salary starts at 14k. Office hours: 10am to 7pm. Office: A.S Fortuna St., Mandaue City. To apply please send an e-mail to

P.S. I will post the other positions on my next post.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Just Read: Programming is an art

It is our view that Computer Science (CS) education is neglecting basic skills, in particular in the areas of programming and formal methods. We consider that the general adoption of Java as a first programming language is in part responsible for this decline.

When I said BFA, Bachelor of Fine Arts, I meant it: software development is an art, and the existing Computer Science education, where you're expected to learn a few things about NP completeness and Quicksort is singularly inadequate to training students how to develop software.
I also think it is. Programming is not just solving problems using automation anymore, it is doing it by creating new mediums and tools. And creating something new, something abstract is in a way a form of art.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Work incentive: Free lunch at the office

Have you seen what it's like to work at Google? You should see the top 10 reasons to be a Google slave. Scott (MeetUp CEO) posted a comparison between working at Google or with MeetUp. Of all the perks you get at Google, one thing we are most envy of is the free lunch. (Good food is a way to a man's heart?)

This particular perk has been reviewed over and over again, and had made other companies (ahem, ???) envy. And we were thinking, we'd like to have that too. Not only is it economical for everyone, but also a healthy alternative and a good way to keep the team together. There is a saying that the team that eats together, stays together.

We're looking for a food catering service that can provide what we have in mind:
  • Food and service is payed for by the company and is paid as one bill (monthly/weekly?)
  • Professionally served like any food catering service in any major event
  • 2 main courses, 1 soup, fruits (banana, mango)
  • Provides plates and utensils
  • Serve lunches: 11:30am, Monday to Friday
  • Serve for 5 people (we will soon expand with 4 more, so that brings the total to 10)
  • Budget: 100 -150 pesos per person
  • Fixed payment per bill, can vary depending on specials
So far that's it. We don't need waiters in the office, just bring the food, and leave it until 4pm? We're really lazy people (ain't we programmers?) and we don't like washing the dishes.

If you know someone, please let me know.

Indecision makes you grumpy


No wonder i always feel happy. I consider myself a decision-maker, i decide on a lot of things and i take responsibility for them. It gives me a sense of control -- and i find it rewarding.

Being able to decide and learn from it is a great experience (in a way allows us to grow).

Be responsible, decide and take action.

Just Read: What is the most common reason why people start a new business?


Please try to take the test first, before reading the answer below. Assume you didn't see it. :)

4. What is the most common reason why people start a new business?

Answer: Because they don't want to work for someone else

11. What percentage of software firms founded annually achieve more than $50 million in sales by the time that they are five years old?

0.4 percent

I scored 50%! :) Guess i need to buy the book (some questions are hard to think/guess, since i'm not aware of the US small business economy).

Monday, January 7, 2008

Just Read: 3 ways to claim life back


The amount of time we spent facing the computer is becoming unhealthy. With my line of work, everytime i code i have to face the computer, unless i'm in a meeting.

I work for about 14 hours a day (come to the office around 12n and go home around 2am). I feel that most of the time i spend reading blogs (i mean a loooot of times -- it's becoming a disease), looking at FogBugz, talking to co-workers. Fortunately, i don't play computer games anymore. Though, i am not afraid computers is eating my life -- it's my passion.

How do you spend your time with computers?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Just Read: 10 tips moving from programmer to entrepreneur


A nice article from Ian Landsman (i subscribed to his blog), about learning how to think as a business man if you're a programmer. Favorite tip: Code is 5%.

Ian is the founder of the really nice, easy to use web-based HelpSpot Help desk software.

Photography links

Follow up to my previous post.

One of the best sites i found regarding photography, is:

Ken Rockwell

Some of the his best articles so far:
More articles can be found from his tech site. His current recommendation for a DSLR -- is the Nikon D40, for those who are really serious about taking great photos -- not to mention it's cheaper than other DSLRs. He's a Nikon kind of guy (we also prefer Nikon for DSLRs, while Canon/Olympus for compacts).

Ken's site should give you enough stuff to learn real photography.

In case you want to look for more, here are additional links:
In case you want to take it to the next level, one of the best places to learn photography is the New York Institute of Photography.

If you need inspiration or ideas for your photo ops:
Also, it's nice to get a Flickr pro account. I noticed pictures uploaded on Flickr looks better than in Multiply. I think they do post-processing on the server side.

That's all i can find so far, we'll post more links later on. Happy learning -- don't forget to practice and experiment!

Serious photography: not my passion

Reading time: 10 mins

There's a growing interest in photography right now. I remember before, the only place to show off pictures as an amateur is to join the Sinulog contest (speaking of which, i think it's happening again this coming Sinulog 2008).

Back then, you'll have to use film (remember this? so old skool), 36 shots per roll, head to the developing center, wait one hour (a little longer if needed), then hope that what you took were nice enough to show off to friends.

You can either have the prints scanned (on your own) or the negatives scanned (from the developing center) to import the shots to your computer. Or, have the developing center print contact sheets so you can preview your photos before printing only the good ones.

Now, it's everywhere, even cellphones are good enough to take nice photos. With the advancement in technology, cameras are becoming sophisticated and advanced. Digital cameras "digicam" are spoiling a lot of people to take photos when they want to, when they need to and when they feel like it. Everyone's becoming a photographer of sorts.

I think it killed the 'maniniyots' which are popular back when i was graduating at elementary. Remember the red or blue backdrops they put up during graduation ceremonies? With some decoration's on top and a carpet you step on. People actually line up to have their photos taken on this, perhaps to hang on the wall on their sala? Or maybe use as a passport photo. In fact, i can still see some using it as their mug shots on their friendster/multiply accounts. I think it's their best pose so far.

Ironically, the improvement in tech did not change the dynamics of photography, it's the same lighting rules, same framing guidelines, exposure values, etc. No matter how much you know about digicams, how 'top of the line' it is -- it will never, ever make you a better photographer if you don't know the basics.

My exposure to photography dates back in my high school days. When i was on my 3rd year, i worked as a videographer for weddings and/or other special occasions. We're a team, with my uncle being the photographer. My other cousins sideline as the lightman or handy boys who helped us prepare the equipments. This job went on from 3rd year until my 1st year in college. I was earning about 500 pesos per project. Around that time we run an orchid growing business (we had a small stall at the basement of Robinsons), and then also offered flower arranging. So we had the whole package for doing weddings (having a coordinator then is not so popular). It's a great experience -- in fact, if i feel like it, i think i can also become a wedding coordinator, but that's a different story (people might think i'm becoming... you know). Would you believe i was also the official videographer for a couple of local pageants in our town? I was practically exposed to photography a lot of time.

I've had my interest of actually taking photos back in Oct 2003. Me and a few of my cousins (including Charles B., Dave and PJ) started to explore photography with the guidance of Tabong, my uncle (Charles' father, who has about 20 years in experience). We each have our own dilapidated SLRs (not digital), bought a few rolls of film and head off to Parola (lighthouse by Liloan) to practice shooting. We even went down the cliff, into the beach below to take sunrise shots. From then, we always try to wake up early, went under the new mactan bridge, went on a road trip (by public transpo) down south (i was with my wife, soon to be 'preggy' girlfriend then), and then joined the Sinulog 2004 photo contest (yes, i officially took part of it).

I'm always excited when i will be able to practice shooting, I was very passionate about my work, i feel like it's the best so far i have created that doesn't involve computers. Until i saw the printed pictures.

What a shock! Deym, i can't even look at my photos long enough before i turn blue. It's embarrassing. It's UGLY, as in U-G-L-Y! I am confused, since how i imagine it when i took the shots is really different when it's printed. It didn't discouraged me in the beginning, i was actually motivated to improve. But then it keeps on happening, almost everything i took just wasn't good enough (i believe, from anyone's standard). I realized i have to go through a lot, probably practice taking shots at plaza independencia before i become a master.

I did practice, practiced a lot, spent a lot -- but it didn't helped my photos.

Then i got married (2004). It turn out to be a good excuse to stop photography, without really admitting that my photos suck. I simply didn't have enough time for it (i said to myself). So i stopped.

Fast forward to august 2006, my wife decided to buy a digicam to take photos of our growing babies (yes, in plural form). This time it's digital, the convenience of which changed the rules of the game. No more costly film and printing, just a computer to view the shots with. It got me a little excited, but not so much that i'll spend a lot of time on it -- just enough to re-learn the basics and practice when i have the opportunity. Around this time, i have also learned a lot about digital cameras, what are the features and how to best use them.

After some time i've come to learn more about the basics (digicam helped a lot with experimenting, good thing i've known them back in 2004). The basics has helped me in figuring how to take a nice photo of a situation, to find a nice angle (introduce depth-of-field if possible, to create a dramatic lines), to frame a picture properly (rule of thirds) and capture a mixture of proper lighting.

There's only a few basics in photography. There's the technical aspects of taking photos, like exposure values, white balance, ISO setting, flash strength and trigger time, etc. (if you wonder what i am talking about here, best to keep your program mode to 'auto' -- usually labeled capital 'A' on the program dial).

And then there's the aesthetic part, which is training your eye for looking at something extra-ordinary, something that tells a story that others would want to see and imagine. (Guess what? i only mastered the technical part!) Which makes a good photographer a great one.

Today, photography for me is a hobby. I like taking shots, i like to learn from what i create and sometimes i like to show off and take pride that i take better photos than those i believe take uglier ones than me (why would i buy a Flickr pro account, but to show off!). Whenever i have the opportunity to travel, i take it -- in part, i also want to take photos of places were i am new.

I have accepted my fate with what i know (kept on my left brain), so i keep my expectations low; at the level i know i'm going to be happy with. I try to make extra-ordinary shots, i try to take many shots with different exposure values (also called bracketing) and also experiment with different angles.

I only keep a compact digicam (not even mine), not a DSLR -- since it wouldn't make sense to me bringing those big cameras when what i can create i can do with a compact digicam using manual mode (for taking serious photos, having access to manual mode is *very* important -- no, this is not the program mode or the aperture/shutter priority mode).

In the end, I made a compromise with myself that serious photography is not my passion, but a skill i want to practice that will come in handy when i need it.

I believe photography is not for everybody (might not even be for those who think they're going to be great at it), while some have the talent for it, the eye for capturing great moments, they say. Take for example Charles, we started at the same time learning photography.

Whether you have talent or you have a nice DSLR camera, learning the skills to take great photos is a must and should be the first step for every aspiring photographer. Then practice (lots of it!) like there's no tomorrow.

Closing my post, i think photography is a nice thing to do, like writing and other forms of art -- it stimulates our creative mind. Master the skills and practice the craft until you it's perfect, and start low from the basics.

I kept links of tutorials and articles about the basics in photography and how to use a digital camera, for my reference. I will share it on my next post.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Hello Blogger

I just connected my blogger account (rebuilt my previous blogs there) to Multiply, and see if cross-posting really works as expected.

include <stdio.h>;
include <stdlib.h>;

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
printf("Hello World\n");
return 0;