Pleasant Dumaguete experiences

Dumaguete is very nice. I wouldn't mind living here, if there were a good way to make a living.

The city isn't extremely large, noisy, busy, polluted or traffic-ridden. It's sort of what Cagayan de Oro was 15-20 years ago, or maybe not. More like 30 years ago, but with all the modern improvements (DSL internet, cell phone connectivity, motorcycles).

When we arrived there was one taxi and we didn't want to take it since I don't like taxis whose drivers act like pimps. We took a tricycle on a short tour of the big hotels. It's Santacruzan month, so when we went to the C&L Hotel (very nice, I had a good feeling about it) they had no space. Chris, the receptionist was very helpful though. She called around to two or three hotels and got us a room at the Coco Grande Hotel (also very nice, newly remodelled).

I'll be posting something big in a few weeks (need some time to get the pics ready and to get other pics from others who took pics at the wedding), I'm taking this opportunity though to post short impressions that don't depend on pics being ready :-)

Webmail and internet cafes

I'm in Dumaguete, at the SurfShop (an internet cafe right by Silliman University). They have kindly allowed me to use my own laptop for going online. I asked the other internet cafe just a house down (MC )and they didn't let me do the same.

It's nice to be able to work with an internet cafe that knows what they're doing, or at least are helpful and flexible (it's likely that the other cafe is run on fascist leadership lines, something far too common in the Philippines, so that the staff won't allow anything they don't explicitly know is allowed, and they won't call the owner to check if they come across something that's not allowed, here at the SurfShop, they called the owner.

Now, I'm perfectly willing to just surf around on insecure internet cafe PCs (they're invariably windows and, i'm sure, just chock full of viruses and spyware no matter how fascist the security posture because, well, it's just basically impossible to secure windows computers that are open to be used by the public), but I'm just not going to trust any important passwords to internet cafes. As it happens, I had to send an email, so I just created a throwaway email address (bopolissimus_temp@hotmail.com) and used that to send the email, and then all I did was surf around.

But now I brought my laptop over and I'm online, so it's downloading my gmail and I'll read and reply offline (that's around 2 weeks worth of email and there's going to be a lot of it).


evolution spamassassin and gmail on slow links

I'm on camiguin and the internet access here is slow. I was trying to download my gmail to evolution and it wasn't working, I was getting frequent timeouts (gmail would stop responding). Finally I thought to turn off the automatic spam checking in evolution. Now, the CPU isn't pegged at 100 percent and i'm getting my mail. The mail still takes a while to arrive, but at least I'm not getting disconnected from gmail so often.

I'm using the 2.6 kernel's CPU frequency scaling control functionality to set my laptop at only 300Mhz. that's not why i was timing out though, since even at 2.4Ghz and with remote checking disabled, it was still timing out. SA is just fat and slow and should be disabled when checking gmail on slow links.

I'm running at 300Mhz because this laptop runs so hot (it's not a low power CPU) that it would burn my thigh. I work around that by putting the laptop on top of a hardbound book, but then the CPU still runs so hot when i'm doing CPU intensive things (e.g., compiling postgresql, or the kernel, or even just some modules in the kernel) that the laptop will beep three times and turn off without giving me the opportunity to shutdown properly. Running at 300Mhz lets me do anything I want (albeit slowly) and not run the risk of heat related outage. I've tried at .600,.900 and 1.2 Ghz and those all work too, but i'm being conservative since i don't really need all that power anyway.

Wedding Dives

Sol and I got married on the 8th of May and we're taking the month off. It's been great. Details later, but these are notes to myself so I have an idea what to elaborate on.

1. whitewater rafting and canopy walk in CDO area with tim, tina, mace, mark, hazel. great fun. some pics of canopy walk, but need to develop the underwater camera pics for whitewater rafting.

2. came to camiguin friday, rested that day, saturday many manila guests arrived, the younger set went to white island for sunset, bonfire, lechon and beer. great time, great pics.

3. sunday was wedding day, but that was still for the evening. in the morning we had organized a group trip to mantigue island. sol and i were going to dive the wall with barb, salve and katya, and diggi was going to conduct intro dives for seven people. everyone had a great time. pics in a future, more complete post.

4. wedding sunday afternoon. at the last minute (well, 3 hours or so before the last minute), judge borromeo determined that it would be possible to have the ceremony at the hotel, so that's what we did. that made things much more convenient and everyone could look on. short wedding ceremony, judge quoted from shakespeare. good party after, with tina and cecil emceeing. we forgot some things (sparkling wine poured at all tables for toasts, so eugene started the water toast :).

5. we started the advanced open water diver course. great dives. navigation at tangub, peak performance buoyancy at old volcano, drift dive at white island today, night dive at tangub tonight. deep dive tomorrow at old volcano. or maybe canyons.

it's been a great 1.5 weeks so far. the rest of the month is going to be awesome. and then i'll be excited to go back to work.