October 27, 2004

Bulk view

More realizations

I’m finding it hard to concentrate on my project.

I need users. I need to know that what I am doing will make a
difference, no matter how small or for no matter how short a time. I’m
working on something I’ll personally never use. I know no one else is
going to use the software, either. It’s hard to resist the temptation
to cut corners, to use a somewhat hairy implementation because I don’t
want to think of a better one. After all, bugs aren’t going to cause
anyone any inconvenience, and good features won’t make anyone’s day a
little better.

What I’m doing isn’t needed, and that makes me feel absent from my

How is this different from school? Why did I have so much fun doing my
school projects? Perhaps it was because my school projects still had a
sense of novelty. Now, although I’d never programmed in Delphi before,
I get the feeling that I’m just translating from some existing mental
model instead of breaking a paradigm. I haven’t delved into Delphi
deeply enough to fall in love or even to get a sense of the
Delphi-ness of Delphi.

Granted, I’m supposed to be doing this in order to learn how the
Japanese work. The diagrams are the same as the ones I took up in
CS123 but never put into practice in a real project. People work
individually, occasionally asking their project manager for

I need to figure out what to do in order to make the most of my work
time. I refuse to go home drained. I refuse to spend most of my waking
hours doing something I consider to be a waste. I must find out what
is wonderful about this.

I have a lot of fun doing Japanese translation, and will probably
focus on that aspect. I will work on advanced grammar and vocabulary
as I prepare design documents. Although my work is not relevant to
other people, at least I can benefit myself.

Open source is my lifeline. Even if I contribute a few lines of code
here, a message or two there, I feel that I’m connected. I _exist._
I’m doing something useful. That’s important to me. Teaching, too, is
something I do because I love doing it and because I feel that I can
make a difference that way.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

Met Tomoko and her friend

I had a hard time finding Tomoko at the Shinjuku station because there
were so many people. Even with cellphones, it took us two to three
minutes to find each other.

She introduced me to one of her friends who is going to the
Philippines next month. As her friend is really interested in news and
photos, I shared the pictures Mama sent and my family’s contact
information. I think she’ll have a wonderful time. I certainly enjoyed
the dinner!

Kitted out

Went out in coat, gloves, scarf, and bonnet. Still felt cold, but
didn’t shiver as much. And this is just autumn! Uh oh. No pictures
yet, though. Sorry. =)

You can check out Tokyo weather on the Net and send me sympathy. Or
sunshine, which would be greatly appreciated.

Translators EB

Date Saturday, Oct. 30
Time 6:00pm (til about 9, 9:30)
Place Oiwake (Taito-ku Nishiasakusa 3-28-11) http://www.oiwake.info/ 3844-6283
Access Iriya on the Hibiya sen or Tawaramachi on the Ginza sen

I just want to let everyone know the details of this Saturday’s
get together in Tokyo. Several of us will be going to Oiwake and I
hope that more can join us. Here is the information. If you can
come, please try to let me know by mail or phone so we can add to
the reservations.