civil service exam philippines guide (comex)

1. register online @ (this site is using a self signed certificate you will get a warning.. just allow it)
2. fill up the details
3. once completed check your email (if you’re using Gmail and haven’t receive any confirmation check your Spam folder)
4. you can check and reserve an exam schedule there

* is blacklisted in SpamHaus
* self signed certificates means that they don’t have a signed certificate (how much budget did they allot on this project? ah, nasa pinas pala tayo.. alam mo na kung bakit)

ph money market

During my spare time I develop _personal_ applications for my daily activities which includes the stock market. Monitoring the market movement with my online broker is too slow and I decided to make an application to speed things up. Now, I’m releasing it free of charge no ads and no installations needed and is portable. Check it out.

serendra explosion

Yesterday at around 8pm one of the condo units in Serendra(a posh condo at BGC in Taguig)  literally exploded. The wall was ripped-off few meters from the unit and sadly it fell on a delivery truck (3 persons died). It’s been 24hrs since the incident and the investigators doesn’t have any clue on what was the reason of the explosion. I doubt it was a terrorist attack. Fault gas line? Maybe.

Anyway, the reason of this post is regarding precast(precast concrete) and chb(concrete hollow block) type of wall. Serendra’s wall is made using the precast method(see pic below). We are going to build our dream house this year this year(in the next few months). And our contractor gave us an option to use precast or the standard way chb. Precast walls are cheaper and are easily built (just think of lego blocks – plug and play). While chb they will put the traditional iron bars, hollow blocks and cement on the site itself. If you live on a house built on the 80’s or 90’s it’s probably built via chb. Some brand new houses today are built using precast(it’s easy to mass produce and cheaper specially on town houses).

Now, due to the images I’ve seen I’m a bit worried about precast walls. Even though it’s cheaper (10-20%) than chb. I’d rather use the old method :).

I’m pretty sure Ayala’s contractor didn’t use sub-standard materials but that’s the way it is. Or, maybe they really used sub-standard materials. Well, business is business. Imagine one unit in Serendra costs around P10m+. Most condo floor size are 30sqm-80sqm. Standard estimate in building a house is P15,000 per sqm. You do the math.

p.s. English is not my first language

wrong place at the wrong time
the walls are perfectly removedhow far did the wall landed?

livingstone daisy germination

Last week I bought some flower seeds at a local hardware store (Ace Hardware). One of the seed packs is Livingstone Daisy. The seed pack brand is Yates. Germination is easy I just put it in a container and cover it with a black bag and I keep the soil moist (everyday I check the soil condition and if it’s dry I just spray some water). It will take 7+ days before the seed sprouts. I made a mistake in planting the seeds (the seeds are damn small) there should be spaces between the seeds.


I’m hoping that at least half of them will grow since I’m not sure if it will survive our climate here in the Philippines. Once their true leaves sprout I’ll transfer them to a cup container.


Last month during my free time from work I attempted game programming. I’ve tried sharpdx, slimdx and xna. My first impression using sharpdx was I hated it since it’s like directx api for .net (you need to understand DirectX w/c is in c++ to understand it). You need to know DirectX in order to use it otherwise your stuck. Same goes to slimdx (in fact it’s already dead). Now, for XNA you don’t need DirectX knowledge.. it’s not mandatory but it’s helpful if you know it. You can create Windows and Xbox indie games. XNA was my choice but according to Microsoft it’s dead (no active development since 2010 and MS confirmed that it will cease support in April 2k14).

There is another hope for XNA lovers out there (like me) and it’s called MonoGame. It’s like XNA enhanced (the power of XNA plus Android, IOS, Linux, Win8, WP8, PlayStation Mobile and Ouya). It’s updated regularly. I just hope they won’t charge for licenses.

Here’s a few screenshot of my concept game:

I’ve tested/compiled it to Windows(Windows 7) and Android(GalaxyTab) and it works fine (only few adjustments in the code mostly regarding the window size and Mouse/Touch events).

I won’t be updating it soon since I’m currently busy at work.

raspberry pi

A few months ago I bought a raspberry pi. It’s a credit card sized minicomputer with a few built-in gpio (general purpose input/output) ports, usb, ethernet (model b) and sd/mmc card slot all running under 5V. To make it short it’s a low powered programmable minicomputer. You can create electronic projects like robotics, sensors, automation, switch controllers etc..

The advantage of RPi compared to other similar boards is you can install an OS. Meaning, if you’re not interested in electronics you can setup a torrent server, media streamer, storage server, http server and more under 10W of load. I tested my load using a watt meter and everything runs at 7W (usb hd + rpi + usb wifi + downloading torrents). Not bad in terms of energy consumption.

I made a few projects like pse stock ticker, motion sensors, mmda traffic monitoring, temperature sensor and some random led lighting projects.


I bought the RPi at TipidPC and my electronic parts/sensors at e-Gizmo. Currently, I’m using it as a torrent box since I don’t have time to play around with electronics (as of now) due to work.

My first choice was a Netduino board but I can’t find one locally. And I’m not interested in ordering online since customs here in the Philippines are corrupt. They overprice the value of a product(sometimes customs fee is almost the same price as the item).

json and xml

I’m creating a new API for our new project and I’ve been thinking of using again our custom packet format (BinaryReader + BinaryWriter) although it has some drawbacks. Our PHP devs are having a hard time understanding and manipulating binary formats (.net and java has  no problems though). So, they’ve decided that we should use SOAP. The problem with SOAP/XML is way too slow and has a huge overhead. Then I learned and researched about JSON. JSON is fast and lightweight and has a little footprint (only http headers) and another plus is all languages can understand JSON.

Things I liked about JSON:

  • JSON is data-oriented (XML is document-oriented)
  • less footprint
  • binary serialization (BSON)
  • easy to parse and very fast

JSON wins on my part and I’ll use it on our next and upcoming projects. I haven’t tried Google’s protocol buffers but it seems it’s also lightweight.

programmer, hacker, electronics, bass, mtb, ham and gardening