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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Memory Hole

I lost my pencil recently. It’s the pencil with which I took my SAT’s and finals and math homework and everything for almost three years now. Together with my team of 0.38mm ultra-thin Pilot G2’s, they’re like sperm and eggs. I’ve got plenty more new G2’s in the bookshelf but that pencil was really something irreplaceable. Though the Pilots were quickly spent writing out long biology study guides, it was the pink Dr. Grip that takes 80% the grade with scantrons and essays. Damn it, now I’m stuck with some scrawny yellow girly thing. It’s like losing a piece of history. To make sure I don’t lose these too, here are the highlights of the postit1 series (hah, pun, see highlights?) from the past couple weeks: I’m thinking about the possible criticism somebody could come up with after scrutinizing RogerHub’s… more →

True Intuition

When you hear about website designing and modeling, intuition comes up very often. It is the idea that the user should know what to do without any instructions or learning. If  you do it right, an intuitive interface not only gives you a successful product but also a nod from the geek community. If you don’t, it quickly becomes stylish to hate you and your site. Hate. Your site. I hate your site. Intuition means more than just easy buttons and pictures. But of course, this part is still very important. I was trying Mathematica and I was trying to find the “evaluate” button or something. It wasn’t there, meh.. I’ll go Google it. But before I could even alt-tab to Chrome, I noticed my left ring finger was holding down shift and my right ring finger hit Enter. What… more →

Limits of my patience

I like to think I have a lot of patience. In fact, most people think that way too, whether they do or not. See, we typically don’t push our patience very much. All the problems and obstacles we get in school are planned and artificial, and therefore aren’t very informative. Another C-? Meh, move on. Nothing puts us back too far and everything’s alright. Ahh, for a couple days I’ve been trying some very low-level languages. Not ASM-level, but some easy C, yes, and it is absolutely horrifying. Everything I thought I knew how to do suddenly became a huge mess. I say this because low-level languages don’t have the fancy schmancy interpreted conventions that high-level languages do. The down and dirty work that’s much closer to the machine’s heart really puts things in perspective. I’ve melted all over the… more →

The Semantic Web

A trillion years ago when the internet wasn’t filled with mind-clouding circlejerk, a couple masterminds had an idea: the Semantic Web. Now, get this: much of the Internet you see is built for humans like you, not computers. Gridded layouts, pictures, heavily scripted modal windows: computers don’t understand any of it. Those nice things we have exist because we, the humans, like em. Of course, design controls your impression of a site. It rewards beautiful sites and destroys ugly ones (read: gawker media, digg). But hey, it becomes a problem when design starts to become more important than content. I’m not talking about data structure design. The internal workings and logic of a website are massively important. Trust me, I screwed up plenty before. But , the visual things we see, the stupid little control bars and pretty colors or… more →

What the future holds

I’ve been considering what RogerHub is still doing up online. Blogging is a great experience and all, unforgettable really, but I just had to find a more definite mission. And here’s what I’ve got: Think about the role of the Internet in your life. When you’re brainstorming ideas for great programs and summer projects, you always hit this one wall: How do I get people addicted and coming back? And then you see it. The evil trap! It’s so easy to fall into. Every industry related to gaming or technology or internet, how can I get these dolts to pay me for my crap? Usually, you never consider the ethical implications when it comes to science. Science right? Fuck yeah. If those guys want to stand in the way of progress, well it’s as if science doesn’t have enough problems already. You… more →

Time that is wasted

It’s friday night and I really didn’t plan to get anything done until tomorrow. But it’s not that there’s anything special about this Friday. It’s been downtime for as long as I remember. It is also undoubtedly the most productive few hours I get per week. Because I’ve got nothing planned, getting any amount of work done is already exceeding expectations. And even if I don’t do anything, that’s fine, which opens up time for some guilt-free programming. I made a CSS framework tonight, something that I’ve been drawing about in Spanish notes for a while now. It’s done, code’s on Github. I feel better that I can put out something so succinctly elegant. I called it Mast. I really don’t know what that means, but masthead sounds cool and masts remind me of old sailboats. Maybe I’ll start working now and get… more →

A better situation

How’s this? If you got a chance to defy reality and change your situation with a wish, just a wish, what could you even do? Cliché, cliché, but looking past the social stigma of trespassing onto this guard-patrolled fort of a forbidden subject, there’s a lot to be considered. First, we can accept that cartoonists (read: propagandists) had purpose in sticking this plot twist in every possible situation in our movies and books. They present it as pure fiction: plot, not a cause-effect precedent that should forever bind in your head. Most of the time, it involves greedy people doing their greedy things only to regret it always, and really, this is only a basic form of the idea. Then, there are rules: guidelines that correct for the faults created by the ambiguity of language, or perhaps that the idiomatic phrase… more →

To a plan of action

Please understand that the decision isn’t as nasty and selfish as your speculations make it out to be. Simply, a sue-happy organization used two anonymous students from Orange county to spearhead yet another self-righteous name-dropping case about how education in California should be free down to the last detail. But they’re fighting high lab fees and workbook purchases and uniforms, not any advantage Walnut might have with GPAs. I don’t know the reasoning behind Walnut’s reaction, but please reconsider what you’re doing. The key point enforced by law is that teachers cannot force students to pay to learn. Fee-reductions do not apply here because (1) they still require some payment and (2) requesting a fee waiver counts as payment in itself. Simply put, fees must be completely voluntary. Considering that, releasing the Asian will not help here, and “not fair”… more →

Glue code

Why is this bad? Why is he sad? This is great! I like programming because it lets me solve challenging problems. Absolutely true—code is poetry. There is a certain argument that gets passed around to criticize programming languages, and it’s very contradictory. It goes like this: Since people build on the inventions and discoveries of other people to achieve greater things, there is a blur between who is actually responsible for success. Great inventions simply involve putting together already-existing theories and components to make them compatible in a way that could not exist before. It’s the process of gluing together a boiler, a piston, a cylinder, and a wheel that launches scientific revolutions. Now, the foundations set down by programmers past make programming so easy that any middle-school kid with a load of free time can learn to do it. Working in lower-level languages… more →