Tuesday, December 8, 2020

How I backup my files

Backups are important. You never know when you will lose your files! A good backup tool and a good backup procedure are essential in today's digital world.

I've been using Unison as my 'backup' solution for a while now,  though it is more of a file synchronization tool. It allows me to efficiently replicate my Documents folder (which is about 20GB) across my Linux devices. Fortunately, Linux is my main OS.

I use a desktop in the office, a laptop at home, and a laptop I carry with me. I also have an external drive at home as extra backup storage which contains a VeryCrypt volume. My Documents folder contains essential files only.  It does not contain media files like photos, mp3s, and videos.

Recently, I purchased a storage volume from Digital Ocean to use as extra backup storage in the cloud,  which I also sync using Unison. This will allow me to access my files anywhere and in Windows. I don't want Google to see my files in the meantime.

I make sure to sync my office desktop, my cloud backup, and my laptop before I leave the office. When I arrive home, I sync my laptop with my home laptop. I only sync my external storage on weekends.

All I can say is Unison made my life easier and you should give it a try.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Virtual international academic conferences and workshops

A lot of major academic conferences in computing are being held online/virtual these days. The conferences and workshops I was able to attend so far include the following:

These conferences waived the registration fees this year. I hope to add more to this list.

If you are interested, here is a list of upcoming conferences from various professional organizations:

Friday, October 2, 2020

On remote learning/teaching

Remote learning poses some new challenges to students and instructors. As an instructor, the question that I always ask is "How can I effectively and efficiently deliver my courses to students?" I've been using technologies in teaching already   so it is a little bit easier for me to transition to remote learning. The challenge I think is in the assessment and enforcing academic honesty. 

Coming up with the course guide was the first step.  It contains the "outline" for the semester with topics, learning outcomes, and laboratory activities specified per week. Materials such as video lectures will be prerecorded or delivered live and uploaded. Exams will be delivered online, multiple choice type. Additional materials such as slides and handouts will be made available for download also. Communications will be done through email and messaging tools.

Thus, this semester the following tools occupy my screen most of the time:

  • Google Classroom - general class housekeeping
  • Github/Github Classroom - lab/programming activities
  • OBS Studio - recording/streaming lectures
  • Youtube - storage and streaming of lectures
  • Zoom - video conferencing
  • Shotcut - video editing
  • Veikk A30 Tablet - for use in whiteboard app
  • Openboard - whiteboard app
  • Kahoot - quiz engine
  • G Suite - documents, presentations, spreadsheets, storage, calendar
  • Slack - messaging/collaboration
  • Gmail - email



Green screen setup


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

ROOTCON's Easter Egg Hunt Event 2020: Power

Since we are in ECQ, I tried some of the problems. I decided to focus on the Power problem which is a crypto problem.

The flag is: rc_easter{p0w3r_1s_n07h1n6_w17h0u7_c0ntr0L}

You can read the full writeup here.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Count the number of downloads of publications

I make my publications public. I was curious about the download count of the papers so I wrote a bash script. My site is using Nginx as the web server software thus I can process the access logs which contain the HTTP requests. So as of writing this post and from Feb 23, 2020, the following are the download counts.

     21 /publications/pabico-pitj2008-perceived.pdf
     14 /publications/tolentino-iwcfu2012-disaster.pdf
     13 /publications/raquel-iwcfu2012-parallel.pdf
     12 /publications/hermocilla-ncite2016-osv-mpi.pdf
     11 /publications/escamos-acrs2015-comparison.pdf
     10 /publications/aluning-ncite2010-terra.pdf
      9 /publications/silapan-iwcfu2012-using.pdf
      8 /publications/lara-ncite2017-exploring.pdf
      8 /publications/duldulao-ncite2011-an.pdf
      7 /publications/lactuan-pitj2011-a.pdf
      7 /publications/hermocilla-pitj2009-ics-os.pdf
      7 /publications/cabigting-iwcfu2012-eucalyptus.pdf
      7 /publications/borja-iwcfu2012-squigis.pdf
      7 /publications/aguila-ncite2015-sustainable.pdf
      5 /publications/lactuan-ncite2011-a.pdf
      5 /publications/hermocilla-ncite2014-p2c.pdf
      5 /publications/carpio-pcsc2017-skylab.pdf
      4 /publications/hermocilla-model2009-a.pdf
      4 /publications/escamos-acrs2016-bertud.pdf
      3 /publications/manzano-sfrc2013-squidler.pdf
      3 /publications/macasaet-iwcfu2012-a.pdf
      3 /publications/eclarin-ncite2014-dgrav.pdf
      3 /publications/bulalacao-sfrc2015-is.pdf
      3 /publications/aguinaldo-iwcfu2012-automatic.pdf

The one-liner below does the trick.
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Saturday, February 29, 2020

DOST Call Conference 2020 Experience

I attended the call conference hosted by the Department of Science and Technology last February 28, 2020. The call conference is intended to provide a unified venue to present some updates and new requirements and procedures  for research proposal processing, and submission. The event was participated by representatives from different HEIs and RDIs in NCR and Region IV.

One interesting requirement needed for research proposals for this round of calls is that there should be a private company partnering with the proponents. The purpose is for the possible commercialization of the research output. Although this is an interesting development, I think this will be difficult, especially for SUCs and UP. Issues regarding Intellectual Property should be addressed early on in the project.

The figure above shows some statistics about the DOST-funded projects sorted according to decreasing research index.