Everything and Nothing

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

I've been busy giving commercial training on IP Network Security. Thus, I haven't had the time to go coding. I do get to enhance my experience with IP security tools on Linux and Cisco IOS.

I'm looking forward to continuing on Struts and my new discovery, OpenEJB. I don't know much about EJB and J2EE, yet.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Everything and Nothing. When I'm in obsessive-compulsive-perfectionist mode, I get angry that I'm not good at everything I want to be. Well, well, nothing will come out of that.

I thought I would start coding on Struts today, but I didn't. At least I was able to understand some parts of the sample code. Before I start my project, I need to know something about Beans. In any case, there is no external rush here - just me setting my own requirements and deadline.

I want to try writing children's non-fiction because I like explaining things. It would be a break from the technical stuff you would find around these pages. Thus it was very interesting for me to join the PEx Book Club last night in meeting authors and illustrators for childrens' literature. Here is an overview of that scene. I hope to get started soon and explore a different aspect of writing.

Thanks to the Indiefilipino forums, I found the new MP3.com site of Lionel Valdellon, Filipino electronica musician. I've watched his previous project, Clone (MP3.com site) and I was blown away. I would love to make my own electronica, but I could really do just percussion. One day, I'll do a live performance with acoustic and electronic percussion. If I'm in a purist mode, I'll do it with my own software... oops! I never got back to working on the ecasound wave generation tools. So much to do, so much to do.

Friday, July 26, 2002

I have figured out the application to build out using Struts. It's fun, useful and will be my exercise for programming using the MVC framework.

I watched Falsettos by James Lapine and William Finn, staged at the Music Museum by the New Voice Company (the Philippine theater group founded by Monique Wilson). I like Jenny Jamora! She played Cordelia.

Alcatel says that broadband uptake will make up for the slowdown in voice services. Sure, they make the last-mile switching gear, but what can they do about our dependence on foreign bandwidth? Maybe that statement has something to do with their 1.4 Billion Euro Q2 loss.

Which reminds me, Globenet DSL has not yet responded to my email about the availability of their residential service for my place. It seems that Globe Telecom's DSL is still a rumor.

Prepaid clients driving force behind mobile telcos. Tell us something we don't know. Fitch Ratings finds that 91% of Philippine mobile users are on prepaid service.

This is the summary of where Philippine IT graduates end up working. The article says that call centers are not too hot, contrary to popular belief.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Unleashing the Better Programmer Within at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference. I should avoid turning on my bozo switch that enables dummy mode.

The perils of Google knowing it all, from NYTimes.com (thanks to Tim O'Reilly). My pages still don't come out in the searches I want...

The Slashdot discussion on open source economics has got me thinking of its value. I want to just write software for the fun of it and for its elegance...

PH-CERT meeting was postponed indefinitely due to bad weather.

The end of an era: Ideafarm, the incubator, shuts down. Now does someone out there have a killer app to break us out of this slump?

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Jakarta Struts looks useful but I don't have a use for it yet. Maybe I'll build some cute web app for exercise.

I'll finish the PDF specification just for kicks. Maybe I'll learn more about typesetting and graphics design.

Started to read on JNDI (Java Naming and Directory Interface).

Some opinions: Do Philippine mobile providers adopt foreign applications and not local ones, because of "colonial mentality"? And, diversification tagged as key to survival in RP applications mart. Well me, I'm not thinking about the commercial aspects right now.

Monday, July 22, 2002

I had a meeting for the P2P project, and gave some suggestions and stories that would help the design.

I continued revising the HTTP content paper and put a little tutorial on how to use the traffic analysis tools. I met with William and figured out that the journal publishers are looking for more detail about the workings of HTTP and Philippine IP networks. I'll fill in those gaps tomorrow.

The PH-CERT security group should be having a meeting soon. I hope to get more people to work on crypto-oriented code. I haven't found a solution for the my strange problem, only more people who have hit the same thing. It looks like something is broken in the sample code, and I will look for more samples.

Next on my learning list is Jakarta Struts. I will get to know the Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework.

I have speculated publicly on how Worldcom's Chapter 11 filing would affect the Philippine Internet, granted that UUNET supplies bandwidth to a good number of major providers here.

I did some more reading on PDF digital signatures.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

I tried the examples of Java Security. However, operations that need a private key die with errors like java.security.UnrecoverableKeyException: DerInputStream.getLength(): lengthTag=10, too big.. Searches on the web yield no clue. Still figuring it out.

I started revising my submission, with William Yu (PDF) to the Philippine Journal of ICT and Microelectronics. This work was started months ago and deals with client-server HTTP content, but is relevant to the stuff I'm trying out with P2P.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

I fixed both JSwat and the JXTA book source. I got JSwat got to start by putting Xerces at the beginning of the classpath. The JXTA book source suffered from being compiled with Jikes. It worked after a rebuild with the Sun javac.

I'm making progress in understanding the Formatting Objects Processor (FOP) and requested some clarification from the developers.

I learned Java from Bruce Eckel. He has released a beta of the third edition of Thinking in Java, which I will be trying out. There is an early release of Thinking in C# which I should find useful when I take the plunge.

My college classmate and friend announced that his new company focusing on procurement solutions is ready for business.

After a couple of months of resisting, I finally gave in and played Warcraft III yesterday.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

I downloaded and built the JXTA source but I still get the VerifyError. I wanted to point the JSwat debugger at it but it wouldn't start due to Exception in thread "main" javax.xml.parsers.FactoryConfigurationError: Provider for javax.xml.parsers.DocumentBuilderFactory cannot be found. Gotta fix that.

On top of the Java Language Specification, I started reading a borrowed copy of Java Security, 2nd Edition. It covers both JVM security, which is the scope of the problem above, and cryptography, which I will be using for some projects with digital signatures and encryption.

After some false starts I was able to build the Apache Formatting Objects Processor. Its main use is to convert XML documents into PDF. I'm looking at extending it for a project. The source structure is quite understandable, so I should get something done soon.

We had a good, well-attended session for PinoyJUG last night. The topic was Java Native Interface (JNI). I was able to assist by typing in the samples and building them even if I don't know JNI and have no use for it yet.

Are you stuck in high-tech hell? Though the circumstances are different, tech workers around the world can relate!

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

I have started reading The Java Language Specification. I started by wanting to know the background on why I get VerifyError's at runtime. The HTML book is also a review of some CS concepts.

The Turing Machine part of Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages and Computation is easier to understand and more fun to read than the Languages part I was having a hard time with. Now I learn more about the machines I work with. I have read The Universal Computer for the historical background, a few months ago.

For a bit of nostalgia, a directory of Philippine ISP's circa December 1998 is still up. How times have changed.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Nice timing that an article on BEEP comes up on Slashdot. Zeinfeld gives reasons why BEEP is not readily adopted. He says he is one of the original HTTP designers - who is he in real life?

I'm now downloading the just-released Project Liberty specification. There could be some commercial potential here. On a cultural note, the word liberty sounds so US-ian to me. Is it because Filipino English does not use it much?

I failed to start the overnight download for the JXTA source since my dialup's upstream links went bad. So much for fat (by local standards) DS3's if they bog down.

Something to think about: columnist Michael Tan on the myth of Asian modesty.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

I updated my articles. I posted the first draft of the Web Services Outsourcing article. I added an idea to the P2P article which brings back my Internet mapping days. While looking for BEEP+JXTA, I found the Reptile project which does a lot of what I want to do. That project also uses JXTA + SOAP and other pieces.

Google now yields mparaz.com if you search for my name. Now to improve the ranking. I also want searches for things like Philippines+programming, and Philippines+Internet, to come out. The latter already yields www.internet.org.ph, which is a hint that I need to migrate that old site's content.

The guy working with me on the JXTA project team hit an inconsistency between the JXTA book samples, the jars and the Javadocs. I'll start the download the complete sources in a while so I can have the classes and the docs in sync.

Businessworld has published a report on the CBCP scandal involving the ISP set up with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

I rarely watch films, but I managed to watch Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain today, and Minority Report yesterday.

I registered at a free JSP/servlet hosting site and now have a page. I will use that to host projects for learning JSP, such as blog tools which hopefully decorate this journal, and others, soon.

I found the unofficial site for the much talked-about PLDT DSL service, from the Yahoo! Group.

Today was a rest day for the most part. I finally got to see Minority Report. I didn't see Cameron Diaz, only Lucy Liu.

A few weeks ago I finished The Lexus and the Olive tree. Andy Oram of O'Reilly wrote a review, to which I add - the book was naturally written for US-ians.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

I was looking for registrar tools at the Internet Software Consortium (ISC), and I was led to their proposal with the Internet Multicasting Services to run the .ORG domain.

Their very interesting proposal mentions that they are using the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP), which is ironically developed by Verisign.

I built and downloaded the EPP Registrar Toolkit Java implementation. Since I could find no server code, I hope the .ORG team will come up with one. I posted a comment at Carl Malamud's page and eagerly await the chance to hack at EPP server code.

The implementation of the BEEP protocol has been known to me from the Jabber mailing lists, but I haven't read on it in-depth until now. I got the Java implementation and will be trying out projects that make use of it.

I just love infrastructure code!

I have upgraded my jikes Java compiler to to version 1.16, using the source RPM. After that, I tested it by compiling the new ant build tool from source. These will get some exercise later when I study the stuff discussed in the free JXTA book.

Is this a journal or a weblog? I say it's a journal since I talk about what I do, even if I don't speak about the personal details like (almost?) every other local (Filipino) weblog out there.

The Googlebot hasn't found this site yet. When it does, I look forward to interesting search terms.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Digitel is having some network trouble. A trace from route-server.exodus.net (now owned by Cable & Wireless) shows congestion on their UUNET upstream:

12 POS6-0.IG2.SAC1.ALTER.NET ( [AS 701] 16 msec 16 msec 16 msec
13 * *
digitel-ig2-sac1-gw.customer.alter.net ( [AS 701] 888 msec

A nice counterpoint to my thoughts on app outsourcing to the Philippines.

Comparisons with our giant neighbor, China, are a constant thing. This NEWS.COM coverage on the China tech industry and environment should raise some comparisons on what we are, and are not, doing here in the Philippines.

I have my first draft on my thoughts on how P2P networks would apply to the Philippine setting.

I have some ideas on application outsourcing for foreign customers. With that, this opinion from Ayalaport about outsourcing for technopark locators is timely.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

What can the Philippines learn from Seoul, the bandwidth capital of the world? Here are some insights on what made it happen there.

Discussion on a Pinoy Superhero, from the message board of Gerry Alanguilan, local comic artist.

The DOST (Department of Science and Technology) Advanced Science and Technology Institute is sponsoring a meeting for the development of their Bayanihan Linux distribution and other locally-oriented open source projects.

If you like Bemani games like Dance Dance Revolution, this guy has the sound tracks.

I have started to read the JXTA book by Brendan Wilson whose drafts are available in PDF. I need to get some code from jxta.org but they seem to be down right now.

I will be revisiting my old work using flow-tools to collect Cisco Netflow data. This time, the packet data will summarized for billing information. I might be needing some "enterprise programming" for the billing parts, and that's an area I lack experience and interest in.

From the news: AT&T and PLDT are talking. It's a nice time to come in given that Worldcom seems to have the bulk of private lines used for IP traffic coming into the country. AT&T Wireles is also mentioned and I wonder what that would have to do with the local mobile carriers.

The Philippine Science and Technology Portal is starting up. I hope it gets more people to work on projects to help development, and maybe some national pride and glory.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

I skimmed through two sets of documents. The first is the OpenSRS programming specification (API) . Pretty straightforward and explained in Perl, but tedious since a lot of stuff go into domain registration. I'm looking at implementing a server for this protocol for my DNS-related project.

The second is the specification of SMS (GSM Short Message Service) in the GSM 03.40 document. This is more for ECE (Electronics and Communication Engineer) types, and not software-developer-me. Well it's still good to look at some background info before implementing the SMS Forum standard, SMPP, or vendor protocols like Nokia's CIMD.

Turing is starting to drive me crazy. I let it out in my email to the compsci (local Computer Science) list.

Interesting line-up at Greenbelt for acoustic performance and poetry reading. The schedule has Acel Bisa of Moonstar 88 tomorrow night - I might take a look since I'll miss their album launch on Friday night. Fans of "the old" MyX might want to see Clara Balageur reading poetry - I wonder if it will be like her VJ performance.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

There are more developments for me in the mobile apps area. I'll let you all know when it's ready.

I'm asking people to join the Singtel Java challenge. It would be neat for Pinoy apps to be run throughout the region.

Here is news about SMS based marketing. My projects are business-related but take a different approach.

If your Internet was bad last week, it could have been the damaged submarine cable. No idea if that's related to the Globe Telecoms problem.

Manila's legendary bad drivers screw up the "smart" traffic system. I say, give people less reason to take cars on the streets.

This girl causes Last Song Syndrome in me. I recommend you listen to her work.

I had a surprise meeting this afternoon. I will be contributing design and code for a very important piece of local Internet infrastructure. I look forward to work on things that really matter.

I'm having weird problems fetching my mail from my webhost in the US, and the Blast prepaid card. There seems to be some packet loss, even though reaching Yahoo! is fine. The connection to PEx colocated at the Ayalaport hosting center is also fine even if it loops through the US and does not pass through a local Internet exchange. Someone's link must be down.

I noticed that Globe Telecom now gets IP transit from Savvis again. A few days ago they had an outage, and at that time, they were using their UUNET link. I wonder, did they drop that due to problems with the troubled Worldcom?

I found out that the IT journalism awards were part of a contest where the different publications submitted entries. Businessworld did not submit as a matter of policy.

I also learned more about the story behind MyX, the music channel of the ABS-CBN broadcast network. The channel had a controversial reformat. (Nice how the same word has different meanings in media and in computers)

Monday, July 08, 2002

Clinton Palanca, the restaurant owner and Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist, is supposed to have written this letter in response to his alleged termination as writer.

I'm looking for tutorials on Java Cryptography.

I downloaded the Apache XML Security package which Axis can use. I'm going to study the Java crypto implemented by the folks at Bouncy Castle - what a cute logo!

Bad news for malusers. The local ISP organization members are going to cooperate in tracking them down.

Some good news for Eastern Telecoms. That telco has had ownership problems before.

Congratulations to the WS Publishing Group for sweeping the local IT journalism awards. Personally, I think Businessworld is just as good, and is better in business-related coverage.

From PEx, the Gotcha prepaid card is now offering 21 hours per 100 peso card, which is the lowest I've heard. How do they maintain the service at that rate?

Like my friend pammy, Rex Navarrete's portrayal of Maritess has also stuck in my head. I don't have it as bad as her though, and in fact it inspires me to make use of my hobby of spoofing voices. I might just try doing voice-overs for my friend who is making his own cartoons. I can think of stuff to say on the fly pretty fast, but I can't tell if it's fast enough for comedy.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

I put up wiki. It's a more original way of putting comments. Yup, it's classic me to do something differently. Whether people would like is, is something else!

I might be helping a team of graduate students hack on the presence component of the JXTA peer-to-peer framework. I can't resist the chance to hack on network-oriented code, and working with grad students might help me catch up with the algorithmic/math part of Computer Science.

I'd also like to build a P2P app for distributing original local (Filipino) content. IndieFilipino has interesting articles and discussion on that, including a thread on being an artist which is relevant to my article.

Speaking of "hack," Dominic Rivera told me that he is covering the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York City. I deal with security issues once in a while, but am more interested nowadays in creating security tools.

I picked up two local, independently produced albums distributed by N/A Records - Lynn Sherman and Friends, and WDOUJI, the Witch Doctors of Underground Jazz Improvisation. I also got the more mainstream Moonstar 88. I would like to write more about them, but I don't know how to write music reviews.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

I finally have my first original article online. I have got one more to do, and a bunch of ideas to develop. Now, I hope they get read and commented on. I also put more stuff on at my home page, like my public to do list and calendar.

I used to write columns for a newspaper,then for a computer magazine. I quit because I got no feedback and had no idea if anyone was reading. At least with the web, we have access logs to show how many people are reading, though there is no idea as to who they are and what they think. I hope they write soon.

Last night, I went to bed at 10:30 which is very early for me. I fell asleep quickly, which is rare for me. I had found the Axis bug in the Jakarta Commons Logging component. I emailed the Commons people last night but got no response today. I'm happy I got to practice using the JSwat debugger.

I confirmed today that a guy I met through PEx, Mico Ong, now plays guitar for Fuseboxx, a female-fronted progressive rock band I saw at UNTV's In The Raw. I loved their performance and look forward to watching them soon. If I get serious about playing drums, maybe I could also play prog. For now, I'll just be a fan.

My zombie state prevents me from driving the car. That and the heavy rains stop me from heading off to a college org reunion.

Once in a while, I get "hyper" attacks where I can't sleep. Sometimes, it's because there's something important on my mind. Last night, it was probably the coffee shock. Life as a bipolar (manic-depressive) person is crazy.

The rains stalled the schedule for the 2bU fashion show/concert tonight at Eastwood. It's just as well - my sleep-deprived state won't stand up to enjoying the night to the fullest.

I guess I'll just hack on the Axis project. I'm chasing an odd bug to practice my Java servlet debugging skills, and get familiar with the code. I hope to make a contribution to that project soon, and will definitely be using it in professional work.

Friday, July 05, 2002

With this, I officially quit being a blurker - a blog lurker.
It's now my turn to share my thoughts to the world.

I apologize to my friends and non-technical readers if I put in the occasional technical comment or reference. I had really wanted to set this up as a straight tech blog like those at O'Reilly, but writer's block kept stalking me. I do have some ideas for articles which I will post to my homepage and I hope to expand on them soon.

Everything and Nothing is a common theme of mine.
It refers to those moments when my mind is flooded with thoughts, words and images, and I am overwhelmed by the greatness of the world. At the same time, these experiences make me realize how possibly insignificant we seem in the whole scheme of things, though we will never know our true role. As we speculate on it, we change it.

I hope you can share in my everything-ness and nothing-ness. It's all part of the same thing.

figured that it's not worth the effort to write my own blog software. My techie time is better spent elsewhere, like the projects that are facing me this coming week. The past week's training kept me from writing code. I do want some time for my mind to chew on something else.

It's raining hard this early morning, just as it was earlier this evening when I was at Glorietta for a lackluster PEx EB. The new Percussion Freaks machine made it a little bit more interesting.

I have been compiling new software for wave editing on my Linux based PC. I want to perform with it onstage, generating percussion beats using software I put together myself. Tech and art together is a dream fusion for me.

I haven't had much coffee the whole week so my body must've lost tolerance for it, keeping me awake. It's either that or the other interesting things on my mind. I should try to go to sleep now, so tomorrow I can hack on the tech stuff, attend my brother's birthday party, and go on with my scheduled events.