Cricket Sound – My Attempt At Revitalizing Plug

This is my attempt at writing my experience at trying to revitalize the Philippine Linux User’s Group in the early to mid 2000s. I am writing this for posterity’s sake, so as to help the current generation trying to do same today, and also for myself to remember details before I get senile.

My first interaction with PLUG, after being in the mailing list for some time of course, was as a speaker at one of their events held at Asia Pacific College along Magallanes. This was 2006. I even got a nice keychain and plaque for my efforts which I still have until now.

I was busy with my webdev work and writing for PDI and other publications so some time passed since then. At some point I started wondering what happened to PLUG, and so I asked this at the mailing list (it’s in the archives). This snowballed and people started to wonder aloud as well, finally leading to everyone wanting to start the group again. At this point I was still assuming that there was still an org in place, but after a meeting we had which I fortunately blogged about here┬áit started to dawn on me that the people involved in PLUG were either just gone or have become disinterested in it. Not only were they disinterested but after another meeting we had at Cubao I realized there was some hostility being held by previous members toward each other.

Continue reading Cricket Sound – My Attempt At Revitalizing Plug

PLUG Mailing List is apparently down, posting message here instead.

The mailing list went all quiet last week and I thought it was a lull, but apparently it really is down, as a message I posted was not read by Migs when I asked him about it. Am waiting for it to go up again, but until then, the best I can do is publish it here on my blog so itll come out the PLUG aggregator. Here it is:

Dear People of PLUG:
A week ago I received a proposal from a company called Firsteventsasia (

They do events, and are holding one of those generic IT ones called ‘Philippine Information Technology Expo and Business Solutions Summit’ on Sep 30 – Oct 2 at Philippine Trade and Training Center, Roxas Blvd.

Anyway they want an ex-deal. They are giving us a venue for an EB / gathering in exchange for plugging their event on our website.

Here’s the text from their proposal:

Continue reading PLUG Mailing List is apparently down, posting message here instead.

Ubuntu from a newbies POV, and why I advocate FOSS

I’m writing this with assumptions on how this latest Ubuntu might appear to newbies primarily because of our long term plan to create a distribution for local internet cafes. In this respect, I’m hoping to create a one – size – fits – all (or as many as possible at least) distributable, bootable image that contains the most practical apps an icafe might need.

I’ve completely installed Ubuntu Horny Herod and here are my notes. BTW I know that’s not the name, I’m just protesting against the downright fugly name. Can’t they give it a proper, cooler name? I mean, ‘Hardy Heron‘?! I can’t imagine the general populace to get turned on by that name, really.

Anyway, here’s some thoughts:

  1. Downloading the Ubuntu Torrent was a breeze. Installation isn’t for newbies as I chose to do manual partitioning instead of the guided stuff, which confused me more than helped. I had two 40gb. partitions and I wanted to install Ubuntu on the first (NTFS) partition, while retaining access to the 2nd (FAT32) partition. Otherwise I kept the rest at default (monitor, keyboard, network settings, etc.) and that’s fairly a no brainer. Newbies won’t have a hard time installing on a fresh machine and IMO, this is just as easy or easier than Win.

Continue reading Ubuntu from a newbies POV, and why I advocate FOSS

PLUG Meeting Notes

Note: In lieu of PLUG’s website, which is still to be reestablished, I am posting herewith notes of our meeting last 11.09.07 at Bo’s Coffee Robinson’s Galleria.

The following attended the meeting (loosely referred to as ‘the group’ below):

Ryan S. Ching [email protected]
Victor E. Mendoza [email protected]
Paolo Alexis Falcone [email protected]
AC Perdon [email protected]
Ian Sison [email protected]
Joebert Jacoba [email protected]
Mark Achanzar [email protected]
Gabriel “Gary” Mercado (myself)

The topics discussed were as follows (in no particular order):

PLUG Website –

Paolo explained that the website is not functional due to an upgrade error. As a result he is unable to extricate the contents of a PLONE 2.0x archive file that contains 10 years worth of data. This has been compounded by the fact that since there is no PLUG board to decide on this, he has not been able to determine the proper course of action to take.

Inspite of the unavailability of this archive, the group has decided to establish a new one. While Ian prefers a WIKI type of website, Ryan has offered the services of a local Drupal Users Group which the group had decided to be the best path to take. Ian will volunteer a domain name for the website, while hosting will continue to be at Mr. Jijo Sevilla’s server.

The group has determined that establishing a new website is an important priority as this will function as an important way to communicate with its members alongside the mailing list.

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Phoebe don’t like cables. Only does Wifi.

I spent waaaay too much time trying to get the Davicom USB NIC to work on Xubuntu 7.04 on Phoebe (my laptop. I name my PCs after funny sitcom characters. The others are Tobias and Kramer.), as detailed here, and finally gave up. First, it was difficult trying to get Make to run in the first place. Since I didn’t have a net connection (I’m installing a NIC remember?), I had to make do with the install CD, and work with Synaptic which I wasn’t familiar yet with. Strangely enough I had to include the CD as a source of packages even after it already mentions the CD as a source twice (looks like a bug).

I finally got Make going by following a recommendation to change the line "#include <linux /config.h>" to "#include <linux /configfs.h> in the dm9601.c file. But my issues didn’t stop there, as after I finally had a hold of the precious dm9601.ko file Make produced, and added it to my modules, it then wouldn’t recognize my USB NIC at all. I read somewhere that it worked for some other guy after a series of reboots and plugging / unplugging, but after several tries of that I got nada.

I gotta tell you after working on and off on that thing for a week, I was severely disheartened (yeah it’s that serious. Serious enough for me to call myself severely disheartened.) I was about to ditch the dang notebook in when the weirdest thing happened – the USB WIFI NIC worked instead.

Continue reading Phoebe don’t like cables. Only does Wifi.

Trying to install USB NIC on PII Laptop (updated)

may282007_ibm600e.jpgBy a stroke of luck I managed to score a cheap, small and good condition IBM 600e, a PII with adequate horsepower for minor coding and quite importantly, writing. It’s got Xubuntu now, and I’ve found out a battery repack will cost approximately Php1,600 and I think it’ll be good to go. I won’t post the orig price because it’s just too ridiculously cheap.

Anyway, I bought a USB NIC for it, and am trying to deal with driver issues. Again, documenting here so I’ll remember. Here are the files contained in the Davicom driver for Linux 2.6:


Continue reading Trying to install USB NIC on PII Laptop (updated)

How I Moved Everything to

If you entered Pisces-iscariot on your browser, or otherwise clicked a link going to Pisces-iscariot, please don’t adjust your sets. This is now my new blog, which I’ve moved to partly to separate my personal blog from the domain and partly to practice the eventual migration of the domain and subsequent websites to a new host.

So I’ve been busy practising a big move to a new server, and this is the first of many migrations I’m about to do in the next few days. Everything looks like it’s working fine now, so I’m pretty happy and hella relieved as well. Below is a shortlist of what I’d had to do to transfer Pisces-Iscariot blogposts, comments and pics lock stock and barrel to this brand spanking new one. This is so that I won’t forget when I have to do it again, with some extra details for whoever else might need the same information. Believe me I’d had to do a lot of groping in the dark (ie. searching in forums, sending tons of email to my host’s excellent support team, testing on my practice server, bugging the chief, etc.) to finally be able to do what I did, so if I’d have appeared extra nervous or cranky these past few days, now you know. At any rate this’ll help anyone who’d happen to be in the same boat I’d be happy. Read on:

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Open Source is Good. To a Point.

Erwin Oliva wrote today about how an RP Software Association opposes the Open Source Bill, here.

I expect a great deal of mud slinging to start from either side. What would be good though, is for both to start stating examples of either’s strengths, instead of long winded statements heavy on hypothesis, such as “…imposing restrictions (on graduates) on what kind of training can be offered defies all logic and reason” and “As an industry association, we encourage the fostering of forward-thinking innovation and creativity — necessary characteristics of a healthy software industry and essential pillars of the ‘FLY HIGH 2010’ software industry targets.

Continue reading Open Source is Good. To a Point.