Micael Andrei Diaz de Rivera



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(Warning) : Geek and Nerdy post by a marginal Computer Science student ahead.

One of the things that I enjoy doing is listening to speakers do their talk. When I was a college Freshman I used to go to the senior's seminar classes just to see people do their seminars. From classmates to personalities like Jerry Liao (former IT columnist of Manila Bulletin and now IT columnist of Inquirer), religious leaders to IT guys from across the globe, Catholic priests to Protestant pastors! I'd listen to almost anyone. I have always admired people who can do talks and seminars very well. I may be one of the most quiet person in our batch but I believe I'm not that bad of a speaker myself. I'm still very far from that ideal speaker in mind but I wish to get there before I die.

Mozilla 24 have gone and past (I barely slept that day because of that) but there are definitely more international talks coming our way! If you're still reading up to this point then you might be interested in next month's FSOSS (Free Software and Open Source) event. I still remember last year's good FSOSS talks. Last year's talks that I'm sure anyone would understand includes "One Laptop Per Child Project", "Let's Moodle Some More" (the first talk on Moodle [created 5 years ago] at FSOSS was discussed there two years ago... and I'm glad after five years of existence we might actually be making use of it in UP's Open University), "Web 2.0 eLearning, and Open Source", and "Monkeys, Desktops, and Dictionaries: The Mechanics of the Revolution". One of my favorite talk series that is IT (Information Technology) related have been the Red Hat Summit ever since it started. If you like watching seminars or is just intrigued with what I'm talking about then do check it out. (LOL) I was supposed to write about E-Learning for today but I guess I got sidetracked (again) to generally seminars and talks.

Never let school be a limitation on which it becomes something that dictate what you can only learn. Never let your age or year level in school be a hindrance to you in learning more than what you "should" just be learning at your age. Good day to everyone!

P.S. Alright! Top of the search for Micael and Diaz de Rivera at Google! Phase one for world domination is completed!

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First on GameOPS

I posted my first official post at GameOPS today. If you're following me from all of my activities, you might have already read about it but in case you haven't please do check it out.

Monday, September 24, 2007
Philippine Malls are Pirate Free?
Posted by: Micael

Subscribe to GameOPS by getting our feed here.

In other news... Tinda Online is now online (but not yet in service).

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Tinda Online

LOL (Laughs Out Loud)! I may now officially be UPLB's most distracted student because I, Micael, in the midst of all the school work will be launching a new website as early as next month! The site will cater to the growing number of young and old entrepreneurs who are setting up their business online. It's name will be Tinda Online!

I was researching about VoIP and other topics related to my SP last night and I suddenly got sidetracked. I suddenly wanted to go find a local online shop for some unknown reason. The only place I knew where to buy online goods without the use of a credit card was on Ebay Philippines. This frustrated me. Why is there no place online that acts like a portal for local online small business?! Ebay sellers and buyers are increasing. Multiply (the social networking site) pages that hosts small business of students, parents, and many more are popping out everywhere! The best listing I've seen was this local online directory. I think it's not enough for this online boom that we're seeing locally.

Tinda Online will not be a competitor to Ebay.ph or Auction.ph! Tinda Online will just be a portal for local online sellers for now. It will be so convenient for buyers to have a site where they can just go and look up at online shops that fall under a category or sell a certain item. Tinda Online will launch with a one man staff but I wish to expand and ask for help when the site reaches around 400 sellers participating.

P.S. Thomas L. Friedman's "The World is Flat" brainwashed me to do this. We individuals are the ones empowered today... before it was just companies... and before that it was just countries. Time to take advantage of Globalization 3.0 (click link to go to the Yale Global blog). I won't hold back.

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To the Malls!

October 11 is the deadline for our Economics project. What's the project about you ask? Well it can be about anything that we've discussed in the past lessons! Inspired from the book "The World is Flat", I suggested a documentary on Globalization!

A yes! What a nice idea. We're going to go around the biggest malls in the country next week to get some videos and photos that would be of use to us. I've been learning so much the past few weeks but sadly they're not really related to school. I better return to my school work though because I'm pretty much delayed on my school work based on my calendar.

Before I call it a day here's a cool quote that I think was from Mark Twain:

"Never let school interfere with your education"

I, together with many other students, sadly cannot just follow that.


Science Fiction? Science Future!

A friend of mine introduced me this new Anime series entitled ????? Denn? Koiru or Denn? (Dennou) Coil in English. It's practically science fiction but I'm hope it would eventually become science future.

"The series takes place in the fictional city of Daikoku, a hotbed of AR (Augmented Reality) development with an emerging city-wide virtual infrastructure. It follows a group of children as they use AR visors to unravel the mysteries of the half real, half Internet city, using a variety of illegal software tools, techniques, and virtual pets to manipulate the digital landscape." - Wikipedia Entry

Mild nerds or geeks like me would enjoy watching this series but I'm not sure if it would be enjoyed by others. Some technologies presented in the series are already existing today but majority of them are yet to be discovered. I have only watched up to episode 12 (subbed) and have enjoyed it so far.

The Biology major who suggested this Anime to me heard of this Anime from a friend of ours in a MUD (text based) game that we (my Biology friends still play the MUD game but I stopped playing it because of time constraints) used to play. I actually am the one who introduces the MUD games to my gamer group to play but I unfortunately am always the first one to opt out. I only last for around 6 months to a year. The coding and scripting of attacks and defenses in MUD games give me that "high"; the kind of "high" that the kids in Dennou Coil experience in their own hacker battles I suppose.


Yahoo! Mash Lives

There were two web applications that launched a few days ago that's generating a lot of buzz in America and also here in the Philippines. That is Yahoo! Mash and Blog Rush. I'll be talking about Mash today rather than Blog Rush. I joined Mash but decided not to join the bandwagon to join Blog Rush.

I'm an early adopter and I love to try things out before everyone else does so I got myself a Yahoo! Mash page with my Gmail account.

First impressions:
- If you like Yahoo! 360, you will love Yahoo! Mash because it is way better.
- It feels like a mash up of Friendster and Facebook!
- It's really nice and I can recommend it to anyone who fancies to try out new social networking sites.

Most Filipinos are definitely Yahoo! users but the popularity of Friendster here in the Philippines and the failure of Yahoo! 360 and the popular Facebook to break into the Filipino people makes me very skeptical about Yahoo! Mash's success here in the Philippines. Most of us are not yet tech savvy and would prefer to stay in a service that we are familiar with than try out another one that obviously has more features. In the realms of Social Networking sites there is one saying that will for a long time be important and that is:

"It's where your friends are."

Post a comment if you want that exclusive invite. First come first serve.


Early Release

Here's a quick Pokémon update from the Philippines. I'm posting this here since I decided to stop posting news at Pokémon-PH until I finish designing a new concept for the site.

Hobbes and Landes is already selling Pokémon TCG Diamond and Pearl - Mysterious Treasures ahead of every store here in the Philippines. We got Nidoqueen, Uxie, Gyarados, and Alakazam in the booster packs we got.

Hobbes and Landes
Pokémon TCG Diamond and Pearl - Mysterious Treasures
Booster Pack - 180 Pesos (10 Cards)
Pre Constructed Deck - 600 Pesos (60 Cards)


Maps in the Philippines

I screamed when I learned that Google Maps has at last landed in the Philippines! You don't know how excited I was for this service from Google. My smile turned into a frown when I realized that Philippines in Google Maps is still barely usable because the map for the Philippines is not detailed yet.

"We have better detail for some countries than others, but this is just the beginning. In coming months, we'll be working tirelessly to add more detail to the existing countries in Google Maps, and we'll also be adding new countries to the list." - Google Maps Team

Why am I so excited about this?

Google, I want you to tell me where the nearest mall is.
Hey Google, give me the shortest road path from my house to the nearest restaurant too!
Mom, Dad do you want to go to this new mall in Quezon City? Oh don't Google Maps has that mapped and it also has actual street views so we won't get lost.

The possibilities are endless!

Small Announcement: SpellMicael.com now accepts all kinds of comments from users and non users.


The World is Flat

When I should be reading Computer Science books in preparation for my Special Problem next semester I am instead reading a Current Affairs book by a three time Pulitzer Prize winner. I'm weird and unfocused.

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
by: Thomas L. Friedman

"The World Is Flat 3.0 is an essential update on globalization, its opportunities for individual empowerment, its achievements at lifting millions out of poverty, and its drawbacks--environmental, social, and political, powerfully illuminated by the Pulitzer Prize--winning author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree."

I first heard of this book from this legendary Philippine Science social studies teacher known as Sir Martin (this guy knows how to make learning fun). I saw him post something about this book (version 2.0) a few months ago and I immediately wanted to read it.

I'm very glad that I was able to find the latest version (3.0) in paperback! I got the book for 736 pesos at Fully Booked Gateway just now and I will start reading it after I get a good hot shower.


Friendster for Book Worms

The most popular social network site here in the Philippines is undoubtedly Friendster. I noticed that there never seem to be a single day without me seeing someone browsing in Friendster. I still am surprised with how only a little number of Filipinos know of Facebook. I guess we are all stuck with Friendster.

Orkut is for Brazil as Friendster is for the Philippines.

Top blogger and Philippine Web Awards winner Noemi sent me an invite to this social network for book lovers a few days ago and I am simply loving it. I like reading books and I like looking at pretty book covers! The site is very well made and has a lot of pretty neat features. If you happen to like books (or just like pretty book covers) then I suggest you visit this site and try it out! The service is from the popular Amazon.

Well that's all for today but before I totally log out I would just like to thank blogger Yuga from Yugatech for the 100 peso cellphone load.


EODT: The Reader

End of Day Thoughts

My previous post about Feed Readers did help enlighten a number of you guys/gals but it seems that many still had problems understanding the power and the usefulness of feeds and feed readers. I will again encourage everyone to start using feed readers. If you visit a lot of sites then this really is for you.

Ok! I, Micael, have this inner nerd in me that just makes games likes Brain Age 2 really fun. I'm really enjoying Brain Age 2! I've been working on my scores for hours now and it's really hard to stop. Can anyone break my 24 seconds record on Change Maker? I'm not so sure... that is pretty hard core already. I might push my review of this game to K-Zone Philippines but I'll be careful to not give it a high score because even if it is rated E by ESRB it is not really for kids. Brain Age 2 is, for me, better than the first Brain Age even if I can't recommend it to kids and teens (UNLESS you think you're smarter than I think you are. He he).

In other news, one of the early popular Pokémon fan sites on the Internet just got closed.

"The U.S Government has raided his home and seized all of his possessions (his computers, posters, Nintendo DS, Post-It Notes, Cable Modem etc.). The stated reason is Copyright Infringement." - PPN Studio

Yeah... That is actually big news for Pokémon fans and webmasters not just in the US but around the world. PPN was like the Serebii of my time and now they're gone. Several popular fan sites have already started to go in "maintenance" after this event. I think they nailed the wrong site if they're really serious about that copyright infringement case. I really don't know. My Pokemon-PH is undergoing renovations and because of this events I'm not sure if I really would want to hold on to that domain for another year. The question now for Pokémon fans is...

Who's next?

Lastly, I just received an email from Jepoy and Rocky of GameOPS and it seems like you'll be seeing me write articles there from now on.

GameOPS.net is your ultimate Filipino source for all things that matter to gamers. From video games, animes, asian tv series, babes, gadgets, the latest cellphones, comics, and more, GameOPS is here to give you the latest.

Sounds good no? For me, GameOPS is simply Philippine gaming placed in context. You can of course use a feed reader to subscribe to the site. CLICK HERE to get the GameOPS feed.

Use feeds! Use feed readers! It's much easier to get your daily fix of news. Ciao!

Two More for the Library

We loved the first Brain Age so we definitely had to get the newly released Brain Age 2!

I still can't give my whole review on this game since I have only unlocked one out of eight extra Daily Training Exercise. The Brain Age Check function is definitely better than the first. The new Piano Player exercise is very fun to do!

Well... today was my younger brother's Card Day and his card showed some good grades so my parents decided to give him a prize for his efforts.

Square Enix's Heroes of Mana! He's going to play it first and that means I won't be able to make any reviews for that game till I get my hands on it.


Use a Reader

I'm giving Spell Micael an updated layout that works well with a 1024 by 768 screen resolution. It's not yet finished but I'm working on it. I want everyone to learn how to use a feed reader so I embedded a video about it together with this post.

In other news, searching for "Micael" at Google will return you SpellMicael.com as the top search result. I'm hopping to get the top search result for "Diaz de Rivera" next time. I'm catching up cousin!


The Call Simulator

The Real and The Simulation:
The Call Simulator

Undergraduate Seminar by Micael Andrei B. Diaz de Rivera (yours trully)

Where: UPLB ICS Building Lecture Hall 4 (LH4)
When: September 7, 2007 8:00 AM

Seminar slides and hand outs will be uploaded here (spellmicael.com/callsimulator) at SpellMicael.com

I will also upload a post-recorded podcast of the seminar at that page on September 9, 2007

Are there more to call centers than night shifts, extensive stress, high starting pay, and controversies?

In line with this, I will also start uploading my SP (Special Problem) documents within the week for the folks interested in monitoring my progress.


A Master Revival

My title sounds like an English Pokémon episode title of the early seasons but it's not. This post is about my plans for the future. I finished the book that I mentioned in my previous post a few days ago and I was moved by a segment there about the impact of getting a College and a Master's degree.

"There is just no way that I'm going to take a master's degree in Computer Science in UP." - Me

Yeah you got that right! My almost 4 year experience of Computer Science here in UPLB turned me off Computer Science. People have criticized me for having lost that love for the course when I was already in my last year. All I want to do now is to graduate from UP as soon as possible.

I changed my mind. I want to earn lots of money and be a knowledgeable boss in the future and a good way to achieve that is to allow myself to take a master's degree. I don't like being away from home that often and I love the city life way more than I love the mountain life so that crosses out my current University. Well, I know another good school that I can go to.

How in the world did I forget about the "dream" school? My mom and I were discussing about my plans after graduation and she asked if I would take a master's degree course and I immediately said no to her.

Why? I thought you said you wanted to take a master's degree? she asked.

Ma, that was when I thought I was going to DLSU. You'll just need one extra year to get your master's degree there.
I replied.

Boom it hit me! When I agreed to study to UPLB (a Win-Win agreement between me and my parents) they said "just get your master's degree at La Salle". Why not? Why not! I went to DLSU's website to search for details and I found what I was looking for. They were offering a Master's Degree for Computer Science but since I'm now scared of taking any course with "Computer Science" in it I became hesitant. Maybe this was not such a good idea after all. I scrolled down the graduate page some more and my answer appeared!

Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT)

Oh my gosh! Information Technology and not Computer Science?

Temporary Graduation Wish List:
Tuition Fee for my Master of Science in Information Technology degree at DLSU. Price... a painful 200k+ if my computations were correct.

Sorry UP fans...


The 6 Decisions

Has it ever occurred to you that you are walking down the wrong path and that you need to start getting your act together? Have you constantly exclaimed "I'm totally stressed out!" to yourself or to the people around you?

If you are like me or most people, I'm sure you have. I just bought a book entitled "The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make" by one of my most respected modern day author, Sean Covey, and I recommend it to all young adults both "in trouble" and "not in trouble" in life today. Read on to know more about this good read.

"You're only young once, but you can be immature forever" - Germaine Greer

Half a decade ago, my parents gave me a birthday present that I didn't like at first. It was a book entitled "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" by Sean Covey, son of the renowned author named Stephen Covey who wrote "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" a long time ago. It eventually became my most favorite book of all time. I became a student leader, a better honor student, and passed the important exams half a decade ago after reading that book. Today, I realized I just broke most of my good habits and that I am back to the old me; Someone who's whole self is in trouble.

I have had so much respect for Sean Covey that the moment I saw this new book of his in display I instantly grabbed it, checked the price at the back, pulled out a 500 peso bill, and went directly to the counter to buy the book. I have just finished the first four chapters of the book and already I am energized and exited for a renewed me! The first chapter introduces the 6 decisions while the second chapter is a crash course to the 7 habits of highly effective people. The following chapters discusses each of the 6 decisions mentioned in chapter 1 in detail. The six most important decisions you'll ever make with regards the following:
  1. School
  2. Friends
  3. Parents
  4. Dating & Sex
  5. Addictions
  6. Self-Worth
This book looks like it's worth every single Peso. The book is an innovative and inspirational book all rolled into one. You may also want to know that the book has a lot of cartoons, pictures, and drawings in color.