Tuesday, December 1, 2009

For the Nth Time

I created this blog to serve as a repository for my MIS-related stuff from UPOU. Back then, my intent was to keep updating this as often as I can. My purpose was a blend of it to be a time-capsule of sort and to be of aid to others who would wish to pursue the post-grad degree themselves.

Being one comfortable with blogging, I thought I could actually live up to that. What I never anticipated was that real life would have its way with the blogger from time to time.

So the hiatus was mainly about:
  • Work. Of course this trumps almost everything in the list and with the way deadlines and expectations pile up, this time of the year, it shouldn't be surprising if I end up silent here again.
  • School. While this is mostly about school, the IS238-IS272 combo the previous sem, actually bore down on most of my free time. So much that the weeks actually felt like I had coffee for blood in my veins. Add to that taking the program's comprehensive exam, (of which I will write about soon), and that pretty much pictures how hectic school was.
  • Family. While the family ranks among the top of my priorities, affairs tend to become more demanding as the family ends up becoming bigger. My brother, for instance, had his wedding last Saturday.
  • Health. Given hectic schedules and busy routines, (not to mention a crazy typhoon experience,) it's always easy to neglect one of rest and a healthy lifestyle. So it wasn't really surprising that around the middle of the month, I had to be treated for something before I get down with full-blown pneumonia or tuberculosis. I'm alright now and I'm on my way to getting rid of the cancer stick from my routine forever.
I hope to be able to write again here soon before I ride off into the sunset though.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

IS238 - Quiz 1

Yup. I'm done... and relieved...

For now that is.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Over OCR

I've never given a thought on OCR stuff much before because I never thought of a situation I would end up actually needing it.

Just early this day, I actually needed to find a solution towards that direction.

More specifically, I have a PDF in IS238 with lengthy code in it and I need to have both server and client codes running. While the intuitive step of having the program files is to copy and paste everything, it turned out that things won't be easy as that. It turned out that the text turned out garbled when pasted in Notepad++.

As a previous endeavor has shown, my tinkering inclination actually had me try to have the garbage figured out--how values map to the other. After a while I gave up though. I thought I should have ended up typing the 6 page mammoth instead of ending up having to spend an entire day decyphering the thing.

The only thing left for me to try was the OCR solution. Not wanting to have additional software installed though, I spent a few clicks at Google and found a surprising solution. Surprising in the sense that I never thought I'd find something of actual use for MS Office's OneNote, its Copy Text from Picture functionality was literally a lifesaver here.

OneNote's Copy Text from Image
OneNote's Copy Text from Picture

So after a few clicks on Adobe Reader's Snapshot tool before getting the text from OneNote, I got what my codes. Well, sort of since there were a few glitches in the translation that I had to correct still.

I'll happily take that over straining these fingers having to retype everything though.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Forum Snapshots

The last time I posted about something here about the computing ethics subject I'm currently taking up, it had that tone of a dilemma about whether to post my experience being active at highfiber. It was due primarily to the fact that the place is pretty much an asylum sans the downright retardedness back in the time I choose to associated my activeness with the site.

It goes without saying then that to write of the experience in a relatively more formal online venue would be to advertise myself short of being an alpha male online. At least that was how I saw it.

And it didn't help me either to go on and on revising my supposed post. What had me eventually post my piece on the forum personality question was the professor's reaction towards my comment on the ethics of killing because of self-defense.

To make the long story short, the professor misunderstood what I said. I can't say I blame him though because of the way I chose to shorten my comment. The venue was definitely more formal than what I'm used to at highfiber hence the need to be more on the look out for what I leave around there.

So I answered back essentially to clarify myself. Apparently there was no harm intended from our mentor really. In choosing to answer back the way I did however, it suddenly struck me that I already showed a glimpse of my arrogance, and philosopher and grammarian tendencies. In doing so, I found it much easier to finalize the revisions to my piece and go ahead with posting what I had in mind for the question.

Who says flame wars always end up ugly? :D

Wading through Ada Programming

I got to "experience" programming in Ada back at college first. Back then, I remember having used a certain version of GNAT. It was for Win95 if I remember it right.

Now, I tried to get the same environment for my notebook to help me answer an FMA question. Never did I realize that it would be that hard. I spent more than 6 hours to get the GNAT Programming Studio (GPS) IDE going for me but eventually, I had to raise up my arms in surrender in the end. Getting my ADB file, (a simple Hello World program for crying out loud,) to work in the IDE consumed a lot of my time as the compiler and build messages were too cryptic. The scarcity of related material from the internet helped me reach the conclusion that were I to get the stuff going, it would only be because I had already sacrificed time I should be spending for other important stuff too.

Thanks to this Mississippi College resource, I was able to get some stuff going through the command line. It was not as pretty but it got what I wanted done: to test some named compatibility scenarios in Ada. The essence was particularly in the GNAT (compiler) User's Guide page.

In particular, the following lines of code could be used to generate the executable given a hello.adb file:

gnatgcc -c hello.adb
gnatbind hello
gnatlink hello

or simply:

gnatmake hello.adb

Thanks to Dr. Bennet for the helpful information.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Prelude to a Few Forum Snapshots

Since last week, I've had my answer to the activity for module 6 where the student's forum behavior is asked of. Here's a snippet for the instructions for the exercise for the module in particular:

...Our activity would be to go over the various types of "Flame Warriors"by Mark Reed and find out which of the types you identify with (there are more than 80 types, so no denial queen/king here) and also maybe those whom you often meet in your online encounters.

Then write a post about it (a kind of short essay- try to think out of the box) - about yourself and about others. Try to comment to at least 1 post that your classmate would make (to encourage, to clarify, to console, or to empathize.)

It wasn't easy to come up with content as I've registered a lot of "hits" in that checklist in describing myself and other people I've interacted with at highfiber. Hell, I didn't even bother writing each categorization despite the fact that I've picked up at least 20 personas easily!

I'm unsure though as to how my classmates there would take the personas to which I qualify. The decorum on our online forum at upou is generally formal and accomodating while hifi, to which I associate myself with for more than 5 years now, is more on the "alternative" side of online interaction. By alternative, I'm referring to how the community started as a sanctuary for people who have had enough of poseur-stuff at friendster and PEX--enormous blinking texts, attention-whoring animated GIFs, etc.

What struck me when I first had my way around the site was how unpretentious the people were in talking about stuff in such a way that it ended up worth finding time to actually read content there. And stuff there's literally anything under the sun: politics, current events, global warming, education, religion, economics, dating, kids, etc.

People there refer to the place as an asylum and one of the many reasons why is that flamewars often erupt there. Unlike other forums though, people there actually have accepted the fact as a way of life, as something imminent because of the diversity of people there and the amorphousness of the community itself. I've been to a lot of other more orderly forums but I just can't find myself writing about any other forum apart from hifi.

So I'm actually thinking hard over my supposed post over the last few days. No matter how I tone down what I wrote, it still ends up meaning something I'm too hesitant to post especially if it's to be read by "normal" people. :))

Monday, June 16, 2008

Why Searching Has Become a Skill

Since the ethics portfolio is to appear a journal as much as possible, I've decided to "litter' this with my little thoughts on related stuff. Seemingly-related ones included.

Sir GGR's piece on how to answer the forums got my attention the other day. That is when he said:

Just one thing to remember though..., the challenge for all is personal critical thinking and personal reflection. Don't just accept what people have written but rather process them and be brave to post your own insights (backed by evidences of course).

This is what we lack in this technology and information-rich society. Let's face it, many in today's world can't process quality of information rather they get lost or drowned in the superficial ones.

How true.

How else would you explain the difficulty of getting decent material from searches these days? Sure there are some gems you'll get to stumble along the way but that still doesn't account for the rest of the senseless ones you'll have to wade through to get to the good stuff. And by good stuff I mean those that actually qualify as valid sources from the subject.

It is quite rare when you'd find someone who actually spends time writing substantial thoughts on his/her own. Personally I find it so much an eyesore to wade through too much post-modern delivery of entries in a particular blog.

Try and make a real paper acceptable to strict academic standards and you'll get what I mean. Sure wikipedia gets you off to a good start but there's still a lot of work to be done.

That and the popularity of readers to get content perceived to be worth one's time are telltale in themselves. While the issue of convenience to get information the fastest way seems to be the reason for the popularity of the latter, it also brings to fore another reason: time spent for searching for sensible content is better spent for something more productive.

Finally we see SEO as another buzzword in growing usage around cyberspace. With the battle of the search rankings raging on for the past few years because of the Web 2.0 movement, it really isn't hard to see how the quality of content has to eventually give way to its quantity.

And to think that once I was raring to post this interesting piece on what the author calls "social surplus" somewhere. Perhaps Luis hit something there when writing about his piece about "blogs and their rather sordid relationship with mainstream media:"

The point I’m trying to make is this: I do not begrudge anyone their grammatically-challenged, horribly-written detailing-my-last-shampoo-purchase train-wreck-of-a-blog. This is your God-given right as someone who (probably) pays for Internet access. However, we shouldn’t sell it like it’s the cure for cancer either. We need to accept the fact that the Internet - particularly the part of it that’s user-generated - is full of crap. It’s filled to the brim and everyday the container overflows and splashes everyone in the face with crap. And we shouldn’t wonder why people on the other side of the fence look at us and shake their heads, saying, “Wow, look at those people doing backflips into that giant pool of feces.”