Saturday, August 10, 2002
Generally uneventful birthday, as usual. I'm glad I got the whining done in the last post. Spent the night before at David's (whose birthday is a couple of days before mine). Dave, Mon and I played approximately seven hours of CvS2, watched a Jet Li flick then played around eight hours of Warcraft III. WC3 is the bomb! (And it further highlights my craving for a new computer) Anyway, went home the next morning, got some sleep. Then the usual birthday food in the evening, and some new pants.
I had forgotten to go to Church that morning (curse you Warcraft III!!!) so I decided to go to Church this morning. Before going I was stiull a bit down about being a 24-year old bum, but somehow going to Church gave me back a bit of hope. Funny how although I'm not a very good practicing Catholic, a few quiet moments with God are enough to change my perspective on things.
In any case, this is the start of a new year, hopefully one better than the last. I don't know where fate will take me this year, but I will face life with open arms, overcome all challenges and spit in the face of destiny. All things happen for a purpose, hopefully soon i will know mine.
Wednesday, August 07, 2002
Today I went to Ortigas for a job interview with a nameless IT company where my cousin Rachel works. I was quite optimistic too -- the position was for a "Java Trainee." I was more than willing to be trained, and a trainee position meant you didn't have to be proficient in Java right? Turns out I was wrong. =( Apparently
they needed someone with some experience in Java, preferably with a project or two under his belt. I tried to convince the interviewer that I had a lot of raw talent and learn pretty fast anyway, but I haven't got any high hopes. That pissed me off.
Even worse, I had gone to Ortigas with just enough cash to make the trip back and forth. I had left a good two hundred bucks at home 'coz I forgot to pick 'em up and put 'em in my wallet. I was thinking of trying out the arcade version of Capcom vs SNK 2, maybe buying a CD or two. But no! Now I couldn't even grab a bite
on the way home. That pissed me off.
Later that night, my mother was watching "While You Were Sleeping", and I was feeling so depressed I was wondering what would happen if I ended up like Sandra Bullock at the start of the movie -- alone, and working a dead end job as a ticket seller. Sigh
It's not just the fact that I'm still unemployed -- it's been a good nine months now and I've kinda gotten used to that. It's the realization that despite whatever work I've done in school, I can't get a job. It's as if everything I learned in college was useless.
When I was finishing up in UP, everything seemed simple -- I'd graduate and all my troubles would be over. I'd get a job at maybe Canon or Intel, save a bit, buy a new computer and a PS2, et cetera. To tell the truth I was probably spoiled by those
teachers that kept telling us that simply being graduates of the State University was good enough to land a job. I ought to sue those teachers for mental anguish or something. I graduated from one of the hardest course at one of the best universities in the country, and I can't land a job. Gosh darn it all.
After thinking about this, I thought I'd evaluate my own skills to see what could be done. Lemme see, I can do:
- Embedded software. Since I did two thesis-level projects involving embedded software, I reckon I'm fairly good at this. The problem is that I've only come across one job opportunity where this skill would be useful, and I never got a callback (and
I thought it was a pretty good job for me too.)
- Programming. This would be great, until I acknowledge that while I'm a programming genius, I don't actually have any application-level programming experience under my belt. I'm good a coding, optimizing programs, finding solutions to tough problems, but I've never been part of a large-scale software project, even though I could probably do it all myself, in theory.
- Web Development. I know HTML and various scripting languages, can use Macromedia Dreamweaver and Flash, what can't I do? The problem comes up again: I know it all in theory, but lack the experience. It's not like I'm churning out webpages at a dime a
dozen, and most places looking for web developers ask for some level of experience. Curses.
- Write. Or at least I like to think I can. But it doesn't sound very profitable to be writing for a living...
Sigh, that's it. Pretty sad, huh? The main problem seems to be most of what I can do is self-taught and relies on my raw talent instead of actual experience. What is it with the world? Why can't they just recognize my genius and overlook my lack of
experience? I learn impossibly fast anyway, anything I don't know I can pick up quickly. Argh.
Oh well, at least now I feel better, having put my thoughts into words. This journal thing is probably really healthy for me. I get to whine without burdening anyone with my problems.
There's still some hope, at least. Sir Louie, the ECE guy Tito Ferry set me up with, said he'd ask around, although he did recommend I learn a few more skills by taking some short courses at APC, an IT school near SM North. I'm a bit hesistant about
that though -- short courses will undoubtedly cost money, and I don't want to bother my parents about cash any more than I have to. It's bad enough I can't help them make ends meet...
Anything else? Lately we've been watching Excel Saga (ridiculosuly funny! Pedro!!!) and Scryed. AXN is showing two new anime series: Ayashi no Ceres and Gensomaden Saiyuki. And they brought back Monday night anime, so more anime all around. Oh
yeah, the A/V cable for our PSX is apparently busted. Which probably explains why I got rather pissed off today. Just when I was gonna get adult Rei back into the party! Without the PSX to distract me, I had no choice but to face my real-world problems
In any case, I guess I have no choice but to keep going and hope for the best. I got a nice quote today from Castaway, from Tom Hanks of all people:
"I know now I have to keep on breathing. Because the sun will rise tomorrow, and you never know what the tide will bring."
Wednesday, July 03, 2002
Sometimes my still being unemployed depresses me greatly (Although my periods of depression typically last no more than thirty minutes.)
The biggest problem in my job-hunting woes is the fact that the type of job I want varies greatly from what I have training in. I want to be involved in IT or programming, but I don't have a lot of the skills necessary to succeed in those fields. I will probably always regret not shifting to Computer Science or even Computer Engineering early on in college. If I had I would've probably had a much easier time.
In any case, I'm going for an interview with Texas instruments on Friday. The job is not an optimum one for me -- I don't really want to work as a product engineer although I am qualified. (Heck the chances of my being accepted are probably too small for me to even consider -- I have the requirements but I'm sure a lot more qualified people will be applying. I'll have to wow 'em with my incorrigible attitude). But the pay is probably good, it involves overseas training and if I get accepted it'll mean I have something to do in the meantime as I try to earn the skills needed for a job that I _would_ enjoy.
Hopefully the TI guys never read this. O_o
Monday, July 01, 2002
Well I finally decided to start a full-blown web journal. I used to keep one some years ago -- I think it greatly helped me develop my english skills. Or not. Anyway, I tend to run my mouth off for paragraphs at a time anyway, and so many things run through my head at any given time it probably makes sense to put down at least some of it on paper (or in a computer at least.)
Anyway, I decided to make over this site because nothing much of anything else has been happening around here lately. With Mon in town, the two of us and David have been spending every other day at David's wonderful airconditioned room playing Capcom vs SNK 2 and Final Fantasy X. Mon mentioned that modded PS2's are now able to play copied PS1 discs, so it's probably a good time to buy one now. Assuming of course, that I have cash.
I'm still for the most part unemployed. Oh who am I kidding, I'm still a bum. Or "employment challenged." Whatever. At least Mon and David aren't working either. =P I really need a job -- seeing as how I really want both a new computer and a PS2. In fact, I'm already seriously considering a call center job, however dead-end it may seem.
Saturday, May 25, 2002
For the uninitiated, H:RBE is a tactical RPG for the PSX, released during the last year the PSX. The game is similar in some respects to games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre, with an emphasis on turn-based squad-level combats. Unlike FFT and TO's similar Active Time system, H:RBE uses a system called RAP, where each character can perform as many actions as he wants provided he still has the RAP gauge to pay for it. The more RAP you use, the sooner your next turn comes, and vice versa. I bought this game hoping it would be at least comparable to either FFT or TO. Was I disappointed? Read on.
* RAP. RAP is good. The fact that you get to decide how to allocate your time, and the fact that you can control when your characters get to act. This is good.
* Shoot. Shoot is good, a nice ability that adds a different tactical angle to the game, emphasizing the importance of position.
* Session. Since Shoot is good, it follows that Session must be good.
* Difficulty. Yes, difficulty is good, to a certain extent. Hoshigami brings a new level of difficulty to the table that we didn't get to have in the ridiculously easy FFT. Veteran gamers were looking for a level of difficulty closer to that of the old favorite, Tactics Ogre. The game's difficulty is actually still good (albeit good on the masochistic side) but the actual difficulty is overshadowed by the fact that it's _tedious_. Read on.
* Lack of variation. You basically have only five things to do: attack, shoot, move, cast spells or use items. And spells do only one of three things: deal/heal damage, or create/heal status or break equipment. Where's the Haste spell? Protection spells?
* Long battles. The lack of variation wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to endure it for hours at a time.
* No saving between successive battles. That was a bad, bad, design boo-boo. You've been fighting for hours on end, and you're almost finished, when a lucky archer drops the bomb on Elena.
* Bad AI. You know what I'm talking about. Archers who don't understand the trajectory of their weapons. Enemies who kill each other. Soldiers who attack even if the hit chance is 0%.
* Unforgiving design. Permanent death. Underlevelled party has no chance against higher level party. Masses of enemies thrown at you. It's like the designers decided that instead of simply working on tactically challenging battles, they would throw lots of enemies at you, at higher levels than you would expect and hope that you have the tactical ability to overcome this. It was a good idea except for the fact that LOW-LEVEL CHARACTERS STAND NO CHANCE AGAINST HIGH-LEVEL CHARACTERS. Even if you're only two levels behind, your damage and hit rate become so pitiful that you simply won't survive one-on-one, what more two-on-one. The game would've been 300 times better if either a) story battles had the same level as you; or b) The number of units on each side are comparable. As it is, the only real reliable way to win in battles is through either Coinfeigms or leveling-up. Which wouldn't be so bad except that...
* Levelling-up is tedious. Since you will almost never meet enemies in the Towers who are at the same level as yours, you're stuck fighting lower level goons while occasionally hitting yourselves for EXP. And not only that...
* Levelling up Coinfeigms is tedious. Yes it is. The interface is so bad; every time you engrave your coin, you must go back to the top of the list of seals and look for the seal again. Given that you often want to engrave your coins multiple times with the same seals, the game becomes unnecessarily tedious. Adding to this is the "random" factor involved in engraving. I'm sure during development it seemed like a neat concept and all, but in practice all it means is that you have to occasionally save in-between engravings.
* Deity/DEV system. Good idea, poor execution. Some of the abilities are simply worthless, and some are strictly better. You will seldom need to change your abilities around. Status-enhancing abilities are generally useless at 10%, slightly better at 25%. Champion sounded cool, except in practice you never want to have anyone with low HP. Furthermore, the system is unbalanced. Sonova people simply suck, despite their HP Bonuses.
* No randomness. All battles are fixed. No hoping to meet an Uribo here, folks, each battle gives you the exact same opponents every time.
* that sad, sad battle theme. I end up unplugging the audio cord on the TV whenever I play Hoshigami.
All in all, what went wrong in this game? The thing is that the designers thought people wanted a difficult game, so they made a difficult game. The problem is that they achieve that difficulty through repetitiveness, redundancy and tediousness. On the GameFAQs message boards I read an analogy comparing Hoshigami to Chess. The difference between Hoshigami and Chess is that in Chess, both sides start with the same pieces, and you win or lose based on your own tactical decisions. In Hoshigami, not only does your opponent get more pieces than you, they're all bishops and knights while you're stuck with a platoon of pawns. And you have to play that game of chess some 50 times, without losing, ever.
Sunday, April 28, 2002
Yes, my friends, it is a job fair. Hopeful job-seekers from all over the capital converge upon this establishment in the commercial district and hope to find gainful opportunities in these otherwise difficult times. I am one of such hopefuls. Weaving amongst the crowd and perusing various company paraphernalia, I search for the perfect job for one of my skills.
Here's one, an engineering job, sounds promising. Oh, it's in Bulacan, a good three hours away from home. No thanks. Hmm, there's an opening in this Japanese company. Wait, I already applied for that a couple of months ago. How about a teaching job at some technical college? No thanks, there are better schools out there for me to teach at.
I chuckle at my own audacity. For someone who had been unemployed for a good six months now I was being extremely picky. How many job applications had I botched over the past six months? At least three that sounded promising. And for no apparent reason aside from the vague "I wouldn't like it there" or "It's not the right job for me." Sometimes I wonder what it is I really want.
Or maybe that's the problem. For someone who spent the last few years of his engineering studies whining about how he should have shifted to another course, I had no real idea about what it was I wanted to do. Well, no practical idea at least. I know I eventually want to work in interactive entertainment software (read: computer games), but that's not really a plausible option right now. Aside from that, nothing. I have no idea where to go or how to get there.
I know I need a job. Heaven knows I've sponged off my folks long enough. But what job? I look at the hordes of people applying for boring, everyday office jobs and I shake my head. I don't want to end up some office drone who can't break out of his routine. I don't want a job that is tedious and boring. I don't want to be some staff engineer doing the same things day in and day out. I want to learn, I want to be challenged, I want to expand my horizons. I want a job that's exciting, constantly unpredictable, a job where being unable to adapt can only cause disaster. I don't want a job that asks me to be tied down for two to three years. I hardly have enough attention span for a semester of classes, how could I stand being in the same job for several years? I don't want a job that's mundane, mediocre or ordinary. I want something different, something exciting, something that amazes people when they ask.
Maybe I'm being unrealistic or a bit too idealistic, as is common for me at times. But I remember one time when I asked one of the guys I went to college with what he was planning to do after his studies. He said something about joining a big company and rising up the corporate ladder. What kind of dream is that, to be someone else's employee? And this was someone who would later on graduate with honors! I would rather be self-employed, risking my own money on a venture that may or may not succeed. If you fail, then you try again. At least you rise and fall through your own decisions, your fate belongs to you, and not to some anonymous board of directors.
Alas, that's not possible for me right now, not when I don't have a shred of cash. And until I do, I am left with little choice but to undergo some mind-numbing mundanity of a job. Gainful employment is a necessary evil for now, so onward I march, ever searching for an ideal job that will tide me through until such time that I find the means to take my destiny into my own hands. My time will come, someday.
Saturday, April 20, 2002
In other news, I'm still unemployed and cashless. =(
Sunday, April 14, 2002
Or maybe I'm just sour-graping because I didn't make the top ten [link broken]. Then again I was expecting at least Dennis to make it in, but no such luck. Are there any other UP studes in the top ten? I don't know, and I'm not sure I care anymore. Oh well, that's the breaks.
I finished Tales of Phantasia yesterday, finally. I must've been playing it for about half a year before I managed to finish it. Emulators are really bad for your attention span -- I've got a Seiken Densetsu game near the end but I haven't touched it for maybe a year now. Anyway, I went and kicked Dhaos butt, even though I wasn't able to complete the better subquests, complete Arche's spells or even get Gremlin and Shadow. Maybe another time. Or if Namco decides to be nice and release it for the PSX. Oh yeah, I put up the ending save state here [link broken]. Hopefully one of these days I can finish the Ranma RPG, SD3 and DQ5, not necessarily in that order.
So I've been playing Hoshigami lately. When I first bought it and tried it out I thought it was a horrible game. It's quite hard, and you will easily die if you don't know what you're doing. Now I realize the reason I was having such a hard time was because I was trying to play it like FF Tactics or Tactics Ogre. Instead, the RAP gauge encourages an entirely different way of thinking. You have to learn how to conserve your RAP, to know how to use the turn sequence properly, when to shoot and when not to shoot, and when to attempt a session. Granted, knowing all this stuff doesn't make the game that much easier -- but I find myself enjoying it once I familiarized myself with the different tactics. Sadly, very few people will be able to appreciate this game. I'm in Chapter 2 and I've already burned 20 hours of game time and probably a lot more in real-time -- I tend to lose battles often. =P
The following web sites are graciously hosting some of my fiction, so be nice and visit them: Icy Brian's RPG Page and Laura's Sailor Moon Shrine [link broken] (although why a SM shrine would have FF fanfiction is beyond me. =)
Last week we saw The Count of Monte Cristo. Two more weeks before Spiderman, and a full month before the next Star Wars movie.
Lastly, and have you ever wondered where you could get RPG Books online [link broken]?
Friday, April 05, 2002
Edsamail is no longer free. That sucks, and now I have a new e-mail account: roytang (at) softhome (dot) net.
Looks like The Gaming Intelligence Agency is really dead.
Monday, April 01, 2002
Board exams coming up next week, Tuesday and Wednesday. I need to borrow a calculator -- the one I have isn't on their list. I really should study more but for some reason I'm really confident. promises to study more
So I applied for a job at ASTI. Sure it's a government place, but I know a lot of guys there and it looks like fun. Interviewed last week, hope they call back.
And so another Holy Week went by uneventfully. Another 8-hour 7th heaven marathon. Another trip to St. Vincent's for confession and way of the cross. So the wheel turns.
Local matinee idol Rico Yan dead at 25 last Good Friday. I'd tell you more about it, but the TV station have already covered the story to death.
I saw the Star Wars trailer! Lots of fighting, and the Jedis look like they're gonna get their butts whupped. Lousy title though.
Movies seen lately: Bandits and Ice Age. Oh, and for the umpteenth time, Austin Powers: TSWSM.
Random Links of the day: Phoenix Genesis
Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Ack...haven't been doing much lately. My time has been consumed by the evil monster that is Sierra's Betrayal at Krondor. It's an RPG based on Raymond Feist's Riftwar series of books. Haven't read the books myself, but the game is well done, and is still enjoyable despite its age (I think it was released in '92 or such). The game was released by Sierra as freeware to promote the sequel, and it can be downloaded at happypuppy.com
The other thing I've been doing, is trying to catch up on my board exam review, and I'm fairly behind schedule. There's around a month and a half left before the exam, but so far I've only reviewed most of the electronics topics. (The reviews are in 3 parts: electronics, communications and mathematics.)
Another thing I've been doing was working on my own RPG. The Palefire thing was great, but it seems no one in the group has time to do it anymore. While I still want to do Palefire, it'll have to go to the back burner while everyone gets their acts together. Since I don't have a new comp yet, no RPG programming of any sorts going to take place soon. Right now it's mostly design, world-building, and setting the rules into place. I don't even have a very solid plot yet, but Iwant to thresh out the world before focusing on the plot. Good luck to me.
Things I'm not doing: Learning more Japanese (which I promised myself I would do); Studying more programming (same); Writing fiction. I'd update the Mecis story but I found the first part of it severely lacking. When I have time, I'll probably rewrite it altogether.
Saturday, January 12, 2002
It's been a slow couple of days really. Some board reviewing, sporadic Japaneselearning. Finished DW7 a couple of nights ago -- finally! Currently playing on PS: Ehrgeiz Quest Mode! Kinda tough, tho. For the NES, a discussion on FFFade me download a whole bunch of Square NES ROMs! Also been playing a lot of Megaman! (finished 1 and 2 already, on my way with 3) Job fair next week atUP Eng'g. Also came down with a bad cold.
Monday, January 07, 2002
So I went and saw Lord of the Rings last Friday. As everyone expected, it was an excellent movie, and the theater was jam packed. We had to use all our mighty skills to get seats. Even my first brother, who doesn't normally watch movies, enjoyed it and said it was great. My only complaint is that the movie is too long! I mean, I know Tolkien created a huge world and all, but did they really have to show the party traveling through numerous forests, mountains and snow without advancing the plot? That's one of the reasons I didn't get to finish the book, I felt the plot dragged along in favor of the lengthy descriptions. The movie does this too, but to a lesser extent.
Sunday, January 06, 2002
Uploaded more stuff today: I put up an ECE Board Exam Reviewer -- it's a software that helps me review for the upcoming ECE boards. It's in the files section. I really should add that to the list of resolutions: WILL STUDY FOR BOARD EXAM!
I also decided to renovate and re-use the geocities site so I put up an Anime ROMs site there. I wanted to put up the Anime ROMs before, but I was worried about what Topcities might do, since Ihaven't heard anything about what they do to copyright violations on member sites. They might delete all my files or something. At Geocities, the worst case scenario is that I lose the ROM files!
Sore wa watashi no homupeiju desu...See? I'm working on it!
Friday, January 04, 2002
Thursday, January 03, 2002
Towards my resolutions:
* I went on over to FF.net to see if the last fic (Nobody Wants to Live Forever) got any reviews. Whee! Got some positive ones. I'll try to write more soon.
* I downloaded a free Win32 C++ compiler+GUI. It's Dev-C++, available at Bloodshed Software. Also, I downloaded some of the old Win32 programming lessons from ReliSoft. I'll probably redo all the work since my previous trials had been lost in an HD formatting a while back. The sad thing is that the DirectX SDKs are unbelievably huge, 100+ Megs, even the older DX5.0, so I probably won't be doing any DX programming 'til I get a new computer.
* Learning Japanese? Well...I'm working on it I guess. I checked out some lessons at Japanese-Online.com. I've gone through them before, but I didn't really follow through so I forgot. =)
Anything else? Okay:
* Turns out another Square SNES game has been gifted with a translation patch! The game is Live-a-Live, a strange sort of RPG. I tried it out a bit, but now I'm stuck. =( It's really weird. Hulk Hogan appears in it! Except that he's named MaxBomber or something.
* More new links: HTML Goodies has a lot of info for would-be webmasters. Happy Hacker teaches you some neat hacking tricks, all of 'em legal!
Tuesday, January 01, 2002
* Write more. Fanfiction, original works, whatnot. I need to shape up my writing skills.
* Devote more time to game development. My interest sort of waned after a certain group project I was on fizzled out, but I'm gonna get back on track.