Progamer to Programmer

Friday, June 03, 2005


A second Trend contest has been announced. It used to be an event that I was looking forward to - why didn't they put this out a few years ago?

Seeing this again brings back memories. I still remember the time when we participated in the first one. Half the preliminary round took place during the EDSA 2 - the period of Erap's ousting. During this time, two of our team members were valiantly fighting the crusade for Philippine democracy. It would not have made a large difference if they chose to stay; we only had two computers to work with: One was a laptop, and the other was a desktop with a squeaky hard disk (the hard disk would squeak and hum - and occasionally pause for a long time).

Maybe their presence would have made a difference. We divided our sleeping schedule such that there would always be someone chugging away at the computers. The team consisted of myself, Jae, Frank, Aidz, and Marseille (Nikki also hung around the house to watch and keep everyone's spirits up ;).

We did run into some problems, like there not being enough bits to accurately represent the actual amount of disk space after an interrupt call to retrieve the disk space (if my memory serves me right). We also had problems communicating with the SMTP server to email the report (pity we didn't know of JavaMail then), and if I recall correctly, we even had to recreate our own data structures.

What was remarkable was that we were a crazy bunch that made hell for our lab instructors. I still recall the time when we were taught Structures in Basic, and the most creative use I came up for it was to create a beautiful naming scheme - All my variables ended up being called "", and "" (and got points deducted for writing garbage).

This "craziness" carried over to what we wrote for the contest: Our versioning system consisted of changing the error and log messages that were being displayed by the program - an old and incomplete version would mispel some messages: "Bisk Space Remaining: ". And then you had the code itself - where else would you find code like:

Shipment drugs = new Shipment();


if (drugs.ready()) {

As the deadline grew nearer, we came to realize that we would never be able to finish it on only two computers. Jaemark generously offered to fund our renting out a nearby computer shop so we could all work simultaneously. We managed to finish a few hours early - and after spending the remaining time testing and integrating our application (And changing "Bisk space" to "Disk space"), we managed to submit with ten minutes left on the 1-week contest period.

Contestants were allowed to attend during the testing and review process, where Trend would evaluate each submission that was made. Jaemark and Frank were present to witness our submission being tested. Our submission failed a test case - and we were given a chance to fix it on-the-spot - by changing one line of code. Jae and Frank immediately went to reading the source code, hoping to spot the error. You can imagine their dismay when "Bisk Space remaining" flashed in the log - somehow we had screwed up our integration and ended up submitting an old version of our project!

Still, we made it to sixth place - which meant that if another team did not show up for the finals, we would get the spot. We came early, hoping to spot another finalist and jump them - but we weren't fortunate enough to meet anyone enroute. The finals was full of familiar faces from high school... It was a bit unfortunate that we did not make it, but I was happy enough to have worked with my teammates - it was a good learning experience.

I hope this year's participants find it to be interesting too.


  • hahahaha. taenang BISK space yan oh.

    naalala ko yung isang method:


    By Blogger frank, at 8:25 AM  

  • Ohohoho..

    Di ka na pala pwedeng sumali.. Bawal kahit part-timer..

    U Got Game na lang tayo next year.. :p

    By Blogger Nikki, at 6:32 PM  

  • yukyukyukyuk!^0^

    By Blogger JAm, at 10:21 PM  

  • All these years I thought that Bisk space was back space. hahaha.

    By Blogger Ardythe, at 12:45 AM  

  • frank: LOL!

    Niks: Its really quite funny. Now that we have the material resources to join you got game, there is no more time. Eh?

    By Blogger Celedor, at 12:43 PM  

  • *sigh* oo nga..

    Kaya unti-untiin na natin! Para kahit next-next year! Grrr!!!

    Unless di ka na masyado interesado.. Yayain ko na lang si Nap at si Rainier..

    By Blogger Nikki, at 7:31 PM  

  • BISK! ROFL!!!

    That was a very fun read. :D

    By Blogger Pat, at 10:45 PM  

  • wehe ang khuleet yun pala ang kwento nun! hi cel :)

    By Blogger jas, at 6:20 PM  

  • That was Pascal programming where you could use dots (.) and unnecessarily named your data structures as URLs. Hehe. Ü drugs.push() rocks! had a blast doing everything despite having intense tonsillitis at that time (which I learned much later).

    BTW, akin yung computer na yun na kumakarag ah! Ü

    Nostalgia is right...

    By Blogger Edge Angeles, at 4:57 PM  

  • 1/6-millionaire na sana tayo!!!

    By Blogger Edge Angeles, at 4:58 PM  

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