Tuesday, September 30, 2008

La Boheme (Oct 01 08)

I saw this invitation from TheBachelorGirl to come watch the run-through rehearsal of La Boheme at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater in the evening of October 1, 2008:


To help bloggers do the comparison, BachelorGirl gave this link to Karla Gutz' comparison of La Boheme and Rent:


On Monday night, I saw a sneak preview on TV of La Boheme as it will be shown at the CCP, and I watched "Mimi" singing one of the most beautiful love songs that I have ever heard. The song (operatic aria) was in Italian, and my knowledge of Italian is zero, so I did not understand the lyrics, but the melody was a perfect reminder of an English love song that I heard when I was in grade school. I checked with Google and found that the love song was by Della Reese in the late 1950s and was entitled "Don't You Know":


Here are the lyrics:

Don't you know
I have fallen in love with you
For the rest of my whole life through

Don't you know
I was yours from the very day
That you happened to come my way

Can't you see
I'm under your spell
By the look in my eyes
Can't you tell, can't you tell

Now, don't you know
Every beat of my heart keeps crying out
I love you so
Don't you know

Don't you know
Every beat of my heart keeps crying out
I love you so
Don't you know

You can hear Della Resse's original rendition of "Don't You Know" on YouTube:


To prepare to see the run-through rehearsal of "La Boheme", I decided to read up on the opera. Fortunately, a libretto in English, together with musical score is available from the University of Indiana:


Unfortunately, this version is available only for online viewing, and can not be downloaded. But, since "La Boheme" is quite old and should be in the public domain, Gutenberg Project has made the English libretto available for download:


Isn't the Internet wonderful? You not only get the new stuff, but the classics as well.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Confucius Day (Sep 28 08)

Today, September 28, 2008, Asians celebrate Confucius' birthday. Confucius is the English name of the Chinese philosopher Kong Tzi. Many Chinese schools in the Philippines also celebrate today as Teachers' Day, because Kong Tzi was a teacher, the most famous one.

To Kong Tzi, where ever you are, happy birthday! To all teachers, happy teachers' day. May our tribe increase!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pinoy English (Sep 25 08)

My daughter Karen saw this on TV.

After a game of 9-ball pool in which Filipino champion Joven Bustamante (or is it Dennis Orcullo?) won the game against a Chinese Taipei player, Georgina Chang was interviewing the Filipino winner of the game.

Georgina: What do you think is your edge against your opponent?

Joven: I heard that he is 35 years old. I am only 29.

Of course, most of our 9-ball pool players are world class: Joven, Dennis, Alex, etc. With them winning the important tournaments, who cares if their English is not world class.

Mabuhay ang Pinoy pool players! Sana ay kumita kayo ng limpak-limpak tulad ni Manny Pacquiao, at ng makatulong kayo sa kapwa niyo Pinoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Didith: I'm Not the Only One (Sep 23 08)

In the Wikiquote page for Linus Torvalds:


he is quoted as saying:

Software is like sex; it's better when it's free.
[Attributed to Torvalds at 1996 FSF conference]

So, Didith, if the God of Linux can talk like this, does this give me a license to talk the same way?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What's Wrong with Fedora Revisor (Sep 15 08)

Revisor is the Fedora package that allows you to create your own installer CDs/DVDs/USBsticks that include the latest versions of packages available at the time of creation of the installers. The original Fedora-9 installer DVD:


was made available for download on May 8, 2008, and included the latest Fedora packages as of May 8, which includes Linux kernel version 2.6.25-14. If you used Revisor today, you could create an updated Fedora installer DVD with all the latest versions of packages as of today, and will include Linux kernel version which is the latest version of the kernel available from a mirror site:


When I was using Fedora-8, Revisor worked perfectly, and I could generate updated installers for Fedora-8 regularly, on a monthly basis if I wanted to. Now that I am using Fedora-9, I could not get Revisor to work anymore. First, there was this inability of Revisor (or yum) to macro-replace the variables $releasever and $basearch in the *.repo and *.conf files in /etc/yum.repos.d and in /etc/revisor/conf.d. So I manually did the macro-replacements, making sure that every occurrence of $releasever was replaced with "9", and every occurrence of $basearch is replaced by "i386" or "x86_64", depending on which system I am running Revisor on. So Revisor was successfully able to download the all the packages or their latest updates. I reached up to the point when Revisor is now creating the iso images of the installers, and at this point the programs mkisofs and implantisomd5 both exit with errors, and the installer CD/DVD is not created. I googled these Revisor errors, and the various Revisor fora do not mention these problems at all.

If you are working with Revisor for Fedora-9, I would appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction, and help me solve my problem. Thanks.

Empty Nest (Almost) (Sep 15 08)

I have three children.
1. Abigail, BS. Physics 1995 Ateneo, B.S. Computer Engineering 1996 Ateneo,
2. Paul, B.S. Physics 1996 Ateneo, B.S. Computer Engineering 1997 Ateneo,
3. Karen, B.S. Molecular Biology & Biotech, Summa cum Laude, 2006, UP, Palanca 1st Prize 2005 Futuristic Fiction

Paul got married to Mia in 2006. He now lives with her in another house, but visits from time to time on weekends.

Karen is waiting for a research assistant position from an American university, and in the meantime, has accepted a research assistant position at the University of the Philippines National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. She still lives with us, writes fiction and poetry on her tiny MSI Wind notebook, and experiments on vegetarian/healthy cooking.

Gail went to Reims, France on September 7, 2008, and will be away for two years on a Mundusfor grant to do a masters degree in education. Last Sunday was the first weekend that she was not at home. The house felt empty with only Karen, my wife, and me.

When Karen leaves for graduate studies, the house will be truly an empty nest.

But our house is not really empty. We have ten dogs, a few cats, and many wild birds eating the ripe guavas in my garden!

Life is good. All we have to do is live it!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

How to Create Your Own Website (Sep 7 08)

First you should read the following document on how to create your own website:


Even if you do not create your own website, but you hire a professional web designer, you should read this document, since it gives you an idea of the activities involved in creating a web site.

You might want your website to be interactive (allowing inputs from your viewers) and dynamic (allowing the page contents to change depending on who the viewer is). For interactive, dynamic content, you need Javascript, PHP, and Perl, and this document tells you what they are:


Where do you put your website? You have two options.

(1) Buy your own high-end Intel PC with lots of disk space, install Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP-Perl (Fedora-9 Linux with web-server and development support will be sufficient for this) and connect this PC to the Internet using a PLDT myDSL connection or Globe DSL. PLDT or Globe has to give you a live IP address so that your PC can be reached from the outside world, and such an account can be very expensive.

(2) Rent web space from a web hosting company. The monthly rent varies, depending on how much disk space the web hosting company gives you, the number of domain names you carry, monthly data transfer volume, how many webmail accounts you want, web-design and programming tools available, and website control tools.

The following document compares the top 15 web hosting companies in the Philippines. You should check them all and find out which one suits your budget and gives you the design and programming power that you need.


At the Philippine Linux Users' Group (PLUG), where I am a member, we have an active discussion on the best "value-for-money" web hosting services available for Filipinos. These web hosting services do not have to be situated in the Philippines, since most Philippine internet service providers (ISPs) are one-hop away from the US, so US web hosting services are just as good for Filipinos. Furthermore, local ISPs are not even connected directly to each other, and so in a way, a local web hosting service may not be the best location for your website. The following are popular web hosting companies for members of PLUG.

1. web.com.ph
2. www.bizhost.ph
3. www.itdev.ca

They are listed in order from cheapest to most expensive. The more expensive web hosting services usually offer more space, bandwidth, tools, etc.

I hope that you find these links useful when you build your website.