October 2004

Furl, Spurl, and del.icio.us

October 1, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Between Furl,
Spurl, and
del.icio.us, I prefer the del.icio.us social
bookmarking service the most. I love being able to easily subscribe to
all people blogging to a certain category. It also seems a lot more
active. Sure, full-text search would probably have been nice, but
del.icio.us coupled with Google has been enough for me. The lower data
requirements probably mean that del.icio.us will be around for longer.
It also helps that del.icio.us works perfectly with w3m, the web
browser I use within Emacs. URLs are short and easy to remember, too.
I love my http://del.icio.us/inbox/sachac!

Darn. Missed the Tokyo Game Show

October 1, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Saw the notice way too late. Shrugged it off as hey, it’s a game show…

… then learned today that it’s a _videogame_ exhibition, with
cosplayers that would’ve made the people back home nosebleed.

That’s life.

Whoops, mistake with the transcripts

October 1, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I wondered why the registrar gave me loose transcripts. Looks like
we’ll have to get a new set of signed, sealed transcripts for
application. Mom, could you please ask someone to take care of this?

Also, have sent my TOEFL and GRE general scores to the wrong
department. Can request another set. Whoops.

My bad. But really am sitting down and figuring everything out. Want
to get into the Mobile Computing and Personal Information Management
research group of UToronto.

That’s odd (FurtherStudies#18)

October 1, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

For some reason, I can’t find the envelope full of transcripts. I also
don’t have copies of my official test reports. I don’t think they’re
in the safe deposit box downstairs.

No big loss, although it will make filling out the online application
for MIT a bit difficult. Perhaps Mom can enclose an unsealed copy of
my transcript in the grad school application package.

What could explain this mystery? Hmm. I’ve checked my luggage. Nothing
there, not even in the pockets. I have my JITSE application papers. I
have my extremely important scrapbook of letters. =) I haven’t thrown
any important-looking papers out.

Hmm. If I were Mom, I would’ve tucked the papers into the brown
bubble-wrap envelopes. They’re not there, though.

Perhaps I didn’t bring them after all. Mom probably anticipated that I
might lose the documents, and no doubt has copies in that little case
in her locked drawer. Besides, I need new transcripts sent from home,
anyway, so I couldn’t have used the ones I (thought I) brought. =)

Yeah, that’s the ticket. I’ll finish the MIT online application when I
get the transcripts from home.

<laugh> I’d forgotten the months for my awards. Fortunately,
Google new. I love the Internet!

I wonder what this means

October 2, 2004 - Categories: emacs

plannerのPlansディレクトリを無理やりWikiと合わせた。こんなことしていいのか
、わからないけど、まあいいか。

Planner’s Plans directory has been forcibly combined with Wiki. I’m
not sure if this is a good thing. I guess it’s okay.

2004年4月のコンピュータ駄目日記

Today

October 2, 2004 - Categories: emacs

We reviewed all the grammatical structures taken up over the last 25
chapters. I found grammar easy to remember. I think it’s because I
remember patterns well. That’s probably why I can pull almost-random
information out of my head. On the other hand, I have a hard time
remembering details, so I’ll need to revise a lot for my kanji test on
Monday afternoon.

After lunch, I got several bug closes back from happy Planner users.
I just love it when that happens. =)

I also e-mailed someone with Japanese page about emacs-wiki. I told
him about the change of maintainers and the new way of getting
versions. =) It was a good opportunity to practice translation, and
I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I love practicing with
documentation of my own software… ;)

I met some people from my host company
this afternoon. Apparently, there aren’t a lot of Linux projects these
days, so they’re changing our training program. I’ll be learning
Delphi instead. That should make Ranulf quite happy. I’m looking
forward to learning Delphi. =) (It’s a heck of a lot better than
working with VB, and there’s always Kylix for us Linux geeks…)

Managed to survive using Japanese. Understood most of what they said.
Way, way, cool.

Practiced poi. Took video of what I think might be a fountain. Video
will be uploaded to http://www.adphoto.com.ph/sacha/ eventually.
(Probably today.)

Tonight is planner packaging night. After that, I’m going to upload my
poi videos and relax before tomorrow’s cramming session.

Japanese post

October 3, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I sent a card and a Bayanihan keychain to Ohashi Akira, the Debian
developer who sponsors my packages. =) It was a very pretty card with
an origami crane on it.

Also sent scrapbook stuff to Mom.

Kansai Free Software Conference

October 3, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

http://k-of.jp/

Upcoming event, and it’s in Osaka!

関西オープンソース 2004
2004年10月22日(金)〜10月23日(土)
大阪産業創造館
大阪市中央区本町 1-4-5

Friday to Saturday. There’s a Debian BOF on 10月23日 15:00 – 16:00. If
I have no work on Saturday, I may be able to make it for a weekend in
Osaka. If I have work, I’ll just have to work double-time in order to
clear that weekend. I _really_ want to go. In the spirit of taking the
first circus…

I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to the 10月22日 19:00 – 21:00
party. That’s okay.

BSD conference is on the same day.

11:00〜12:00 OpenOffice.org日本ユーザー
11:45〜12:00 Zeta Operating Systemの簡単デモ
12:00〜14:00 オープンソース翻訳者/翻訳プロジェクト BoF
14:45〜15:00 サウンドやCGのリアルタイム処理を簡単に!】
15:00〜16:00 Debian BOF
16:00〜17:00 ACRIのご紹介およびWebアクセシビリティ入門(仮)

Lisp code for correct coding

October 3, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
(setq erc-encoding-coding-alist (quote (("#lisp" . utf-8)
          ("#nihongo" . iso-2022-jp) ("#truelambda" . iso-latin-1)
          ("#bitlbee" . iso-latin-1))))

Haiku

October 4, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

We took up haiku in class today, just for fun. I wrote a lot. =) Then
just for kicks, I translated them to English and coerced the
translations into haiku form as well.

¹ÈÍÕ ¹ß¤ë ¤â¤ß¤¸ ¤Õ¤ë The autumn leaves fall
²» ʹ¤³¤¨¤Ê¤¤ ¤ª¤È ¤­¤³¤¨¤Ê¤¤ Not a sound is heard at all
Åß ¤¬ Íè¤ë ¤Õ¤æ ¤¬ ¤¯¤ë Winter is coming
Ä» ¤¬ µã¤¯ ¤È¤ê ¤¬ ¤Ê¤¯ The bird is crying
ºù ¸«¤Ê¤¤¤Ç ¤µ¤¯¤é ¤ß¤Ê¤¤¤Ç It can’t see cherry blossoms
Á° ¤Ë »à¤Ì ¤Þ¤¨ ¤Ë ¤·¤Ì Dying before then
Æü ¤Î ²«¿§ ¤Ò ¤Î ¤­¤¤¤í Sun-yellow color
¶õ ¤«¤é ¹ß¤Ã¤¿ ¤½¤é ¤«¤é ¤Õ¤Ã¤¿ Falling from the sky above
ÊÆ Æþ¤ì¤ë ¤³¤á ¤¤¤ì¤ë Goes into the rice
zÌÚ ¤¿¤ª¤ì¤ë ¤­ ¤¿¤ª¤ì¤ë If a tree tumbles
¤À¤ì¤« ʹ¤«¤Ê¤¤ ¤À¤ì¤« ¤­¤«¤Ê¤¤ And no one hears it falling
²» ¤¬ ¤¹¤ë? ¤ª¤È¤¬¤¹¤ë? Does it make a sound?
Éٻλ³ ¤Ï ¤Õ¤¸¤µ¤ó ¤Ï Fuji-mountain is
ÃѤº¤«¤·¤½¤¦ ¤À ¤Ï¤º¤«¤·¤½¤¦ ¤À A bit embarassed, it seems
ÆÞ ³Ý¤±¤ë ¤¯¤â ¤«¤±¤ë Wearing cloud clover
Åß ¤Î ǯ ¤Õ¤æ ¤Î ¤È¤· The years of winter
³Û ¤Ë ¿¤¤ Àþ ¤Ò¤¿¤¤ ¤ª¤ª¤¤ ¤»¤ó With many lines on forehead
¿´ ²Æ ¤³¤³¤í ¤Ê¤Ä In the heart, spring
¿ý µã¤¯ ¤¹¤º¤á ¤Ê¤¯ The bird is crying
»Ò¶¡ Ä·¤Ð¤ì¤ë ¤³¤É¤â ¤È¤Ð¤ì¤ë Children can now fly away
Îø¤·¤¤ ¤Ê ¤³¤¤¤·¤¤ ¤Ê It misses them so

Ź

Osaka accommodations

October 4, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Might be a good idea to get an international youth hostel association card.
Offices:

Place Address Tel Fax
Japan Youth Hostels, Inc Suidobashi Nishiguchi Kaikan 2-20-7 Misaki-cho Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0006 03-3288-1417 03-3288-1248
Kanagawa 1 Momijigaoka Nishi-ku Yokohama 220-0044 045-241-6501 045-241-6501
Tokyo 2-21-4 Yanagibashi Taito-ku Tokyo 111-0052 03-3851-1121 03-3851-1130

Other places to stay

I’ve always been curious about capsule hotels. This is the only one in
Osaka that accepts female guests…

Capsule Inn Nanba

Address 1-7-16 Nanbanaka Naniwa-ku Osaka-city
Phone 06-6633-2666 / Fax: 06-6633-5568
Access Subway Midosuji line Nanba Station
Price 2900 yen per night
Note shower, sauna and bath / individual rooms / female guests OK / 160 capsules

More uncharacteristically business-y thoughts

October 8, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The inner marketing geek resurfaced in an e-mail to Sean.

By the way, I’m not recommending being insincere. I’m just
recommending looking for good stuff. =)

Tip for effective selling, which you probably already know but which
I am writing down anyway because it’s good exercise for me: =)

Make the people from the other company believe they’re special. Make
them feel that you’ve heard about them before and have been looking
forward to working with them. Of course, you don’t want to be _too_
much of a suck-up, because then the deal might become disadvantageous,
but a little flattery doesn’t hurt. =) Check out the company’s
reputation. Companies like thinking that they have a reputation (good,
of course). This kind of background research also helps you figure out
what designs might appeal to your clients, what kind of information
they need posted.

It’s hard to do that kind of research on the Net, considering your
clients usually haven’t gotten around to making a website yet. So how
did they find out about us? Probably through good old-fashioned
networking. Because of the high turnover in the advertising industry,
some of the people working at the web design company I recommended had
probably worked with us on projects before. They might’ve looked
through our promotional literature, or at the very least know people
who know us. They mentioned stuff that wasn’t on our website, but
which characterized the company. That was their edge. Adphoto didn’t get a
generic presentation—or at least Adphoto didn’t get a presentation that
_felt_ generic.

If you have a particularly important deal to close, learn as much as
you can about the other company. That way, you can make them feel that
you aren’t just giving them a generic template. You’re custom-building
something that fits their company. You understand how they think, how
they work. You know what they need. They can trust you.

Your research doesn’t have to be exhaustive. You just have to know
more than they expect you to. Find out what they’re proud of, and
bring it up. Find their good points. Who are their clients? If you can
find out without them knowing that you found out, well and good. If
not, you can ask them if they can name a few clients so that you have
an idea of their audience. Remember to be a little impressed. =) It’s
easy to be impressed when your client has big clients, but don’t
forget to look for something to compliment even when you’re working
with a small company. <grin>

This is like the magic a good cover letter can do for a resume. It
probably won’t save a horrible resume, but a good, _personalized_
cover letter can make a difference when two people’s qualifications
are roughly equal. Make your clients feel good. =)

In the end, you _can_ still base your designs on generic templates,
but I suspect that a few well-placed compliments and mm hmmms will
make your clients feel they’re special. When you have happy clients,
they’ll not only use you for larger projects, but also happily
recommend you to their friends. <grin> You know that already, though.

On obfuscating e-mail messages

October 8, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Responded to a thread on PLUG with http://lists.q-linux.com/pipermail/plug/2004-October/037001.html:

> Unfortunately, there is evidence that spambots have gained in
> 'intelligence' (if one may call it intelligence), and can interpret
> or somewhat be able to decode text-spoofed email addresses-- hence
> the 'last resort' of using images and/or JavaScript encoding.

Bah. Then let them decode said text-spoofed e-mail addresses. We're
the only ones suffering from this arms race as the Internet becomes
harder to use. ;) For the record, I don't mind simple CAPTCHAs, but
(a) sometimes the image versions are so distorted I can't read them,
(b) sometimes the implementation is just plain buggy, and (c) the
audio version usually sucks.

I still hold that obfuscation is relatively useless unless you're
_really_ sure that your e-mail address will never be posted anywhere
in public.  That means making sure _everyone_ who knows your
e-mail address is well-protected against viruses and worms, will never
send you e-postcards or sign up for those birthday services, will
never post your e-mail address on an unprotected site, and will never
To: or Cc: you on mail for people who can't be trusted to follow the
same restrictions. So now we're back to the social problem. Similarly,
you also trust that sites with your plaintext e-mail (they have to
have it _somewhere_) won't get compromised.  Bit of a long
shot, isn't it?

Incidentally, wouldn't hex be ever so easy to decrypt? Here, let me
demonstrate that in Emacs. url-unhex-string is in url-util.el, but you
might be able to find another function somewhere else.

(url-unhex-string "%53%65%65,%20%45%6d%61%63%73%20%63%61%6e%20%64%6f%20%65%76%65%72%79%74%68%69%6e%67%2e")

Arms race. Bleah. 

> I agree. In a spam-ridden email world, however, accessibility is a
> tough thing to fit in.

I'd say that accessibility is more important than spam, and shouldn't
be left as something to "fit in".

I'm probably just spoiled by Jijo's excellent spam-handling, the
ability to do really funky scoring and filtering on my computer, and
the calm assurance that mail was never meant to be a lossless medium
anyway.

E-Mail%20to%20Philippine%20Linux%20Users%20Group

LAZYBONES

October 8, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The lambanog-soaked farmer snored, lulled to sleep by the carabao’s
steady rhythm as it navigated the muddy trail home. The coarse, broad
neck of the carabao pillowed the man’s head as he mumbled insults and
curses at drinking buddies now far away. The carabao plodded on.

Sleepily swatting the hitch-hiking flies away, the man shifted onto
his side, for a moment dreaming that he was at home on a nice soft
bed—which is why he was unable to avoid an undignified fall when the
carabao tripped on a tree root.

Covered in mud, he shook a fist at the carabao. “Watch where you’re
going! Worthless piece of… If you don’t shape up, I’m going to eat
lengua!” With that, he clambered back onto the carabao and nudged it
with his knees.

The carabao refused to budge.

He nudged it again, sharply. “Move! I’m going to give you a kick in
the behind if you don’t!”

The carabao took a few steps backward.

“Lazybones!” He jumped off with a muttered curse. The carabao munched
grass, unconcerned. He drew back to deliver a powerful kick, but
missed. Alcohol-addled senses may have failed to register the
carabao’s snort, but bruises showed the carabao had much better aim!

(In response to flashxer prompt “Motivation”: You want motivation?
Okay, okay. How about a kick in the behind if you don’t get it done?
Is that motivation enough, or do you need even more vigorous
persuasion?)

Halloween coming up

October 8, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Looks like people are gearing up for Halloween. I’m looking forward to
seeing the costumes. Fortunately, the 31st is a Sunday. I think I’ll
go to Harajuku. Heck, people cosplay there on _normal_ days.

I was tempted by some of the costumes in the shops, but I don’t think
I’ll be able to justify that expense to myself. I don’t want
to have to find ways to fit a frilly Chi dress into my luggage, no
matter how much my Chobits-loving friends would like to see me in
something like that…

Typhoon

October 8, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

A typhoon is supposed to hit our area tomorrow, so I’ve taken the
precautions of removing my clothes from the balcony. There’s no use
leaving them out to dry in a storm, after all. =)

I’m glad a few teachers live close by. Our Saturday morning classes
will push through. All of the students and at least one teacher are
residents. Productive use of one’s time.

I just hope the weather clears up in time for our Fuji trip.

“Device Translates Spoken Japanese and English”

October 9, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

A handheld device that facilitates Japanese-to-English and
English-to-Japanese translation of spoken language is expected to make its
Japanese debut in the coming months. The NEC gadget uses a speech
recognition engine to identify spoken English or Japanese and convert it …
http://www.acm.org/technews/articles/2004-6/1001f.html#item12

E-Mail%20from%20technews@hq.acm.org

Emacs, the self-documenting editor

October 9, 2004 - Categories: emacs

In response to cmarguel’s blog entry:

Miguel Arguelles wondered what was so self-documenting about Emacs.
Paolo showed him the source code, but Miguel pointed out people have
to type those comments in anyway. So what makes Emacs a
self-documenting editor and my favorite tool?

Emacs is called a self-documenting editor because the source code to
_any_ function can be found with a few keystrokes. Curious about how
M-x find-file works? Use C-h f to look up the definition, follow the
link in the help buffer, and get as much detail as you want. You can
even use the Emacs debugger (edebug) to explore the behavior of
functions. Emacs exposes its internals to an extent no other editor
has even attempted.

Code? Why are we looking at code? Shouldn’t we be looking at neat
comments explaining how everything works? The paradigm shift here is
that _code_ is often the best documentation for itself. Comments
should explain usage and the background reasons for coding, but the
code itself should be clear and easy to understand. Programming
languages like C and Java tend to encourage short, almost cryptic
identifiers. Lisp may initially seem daunting because of the
parentheses, but the long identifier names and the simple structure
make it easy to read even if you don’t have a background in functional
programming.

Not only can you look functions up, but you can also _change_ them
while Emacs is running. Don’t like the way save-buffer works? You can
redefine it with a little Emacs Lisp programming. Want to do some pre-
or post-processing? There’s support for that too. Emacs is a rapid
development environment for itself. That’s why there are so many
modules available for it. Emacs is an editor you can customize to your
heart’s content.

Documentation is just a few keystrokes away. All the commonly-used
functions and variables have clear instructions for usage. Emacs
coding style suggests having a documentation string explaining the
arguments and usage for each function, and there are tools for
checking compliance. Emacs also has a lot of contributed documentation
on http://www.emacswiki.org and other Emacs-related sites.

Emacs doesn’t hide anything from you. That’s why Emacs is called a
self-documenting editor. Even after trying out other editors like
Eclipse and vim, I still go back to Emacs. I’ve tasted power, and I’m
hooked.

Automatic documentation of code

October 9, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

In response to cmarguel’s blog entry: (which was probably a joke, but
I might as well go ahead… =) )

I think, however, that there this could have much more
potential. Can we make the program learn to recognize patterns? “This
program sorts an array.” “This program creates a socket whose port
number is the sum of two numbers.” Sure, it would be a weak program at
first, but imagine if it works well! A new generation of lazy
programmers would be born!

I attended this year’s natural language symposium at La Salle, and one
of the student groups proposed the exact same system. They’d written a
program that translated a C program to an English description. It was
a literal translation: “assign C to ….”, “if b is true then execute
block A, else execute block B. Start of block A… end of block A.
Start of block B… end of block B.”

For their thesis, they planned to make the program recognize common
algorithms such as swap, bubble sort and linear search. If students
can learn those in their first year of computing, shouldn’t a computer
be able to recognize those patterns with just a little more coding? In
fact, their project was even more ambitious. Given source code with
mistakes, their program was to recognize the attempted algorithm and
point out the errors in implementation.

The question-and-answer portion exposed the problems. Recognizing an
algorithm through source-code analysis is hard. Why? There are so many
different ways to write a bubble sort. Do you bubble the smallest
elements up, or bubble the largest elements down? Will you use two
loops? One loop? Loop going up? Loop going down? How do you do the
swap? The most promising approach would be to reduce the source code
to logical elements and then match it with a database of previous
checked answers, combining errors from several answers if necessary.

What about the literal translation of the program? Wouldn’t that
already help students understand their code better? Beginners who have
a hard time finding out the statements included in a block might be
able to use that kind of tool, but they eventually need to learn how
to indent code properly and how to read control structures. Besides,
they’d probably benefit more from a zoomable flowchart.

Documentation should not simply repeat what code already says. Rather,
documentation should make things clearer for users by answering
questions like “How do you use this function?” and “What do you need
to keep in mind when using this function?”. Comments in your source
code can also explain what other approaches you’ve tried, what traps
you need to avoid. Good documentation goes beyond code and shows us
the big picture.


Hmm. Hey, that zoomable flowchart idea looks cool. If people still
don’t have final projects by now, there’s a project idea for you… =)
If a visualizer for your favorite programming language already exists,
pick your next favorite one.

Kamakura

October 10, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I had a lot of fun on my Kamakura trip thanks to the wonderful
volunteer guides. One of them even spoke Filipino. I didn’t want to
miss an opportunity to practice my Japanese, though, and I was happy
to find myself conversing with them easily. Yay!

The temples we visited were very beautiful, and thanks to the
backstory they shared and the extra information I downloaded to my
iPAQ the night before, I was able to really appreciate the places we
visited. =) The guides were amazed by the amount of information on my
PDA. They laughed when I mentioned things they’d forgotten, and seemed
flattered that I’d prepared so much. It was a good idea! =)

Pictures up at http://www.kathychua.kom.ph/sacha . Lots of pictures
this time! I filled my whole memory card. I didn’t upload all the
pictures taken, but the sheer quantity I had to choose from probably
increased the chances of my having at least one good shot, right?

I bought a bright red parasol. Although it’s made of paper, it keeps
out light drizzles pretty well. Yes, I know, I already have an
umbrella, but a _bright_ _red_ Japanese umbrella will probably look
nice in pictures. My traffic-yellow jacket looks a bit out of place
with it, though. If I find a nice black trenchcoat in the second-hand
stores a friend told me about… <impish grin>

First time personal Japanese blog post!

October 10, 2004 - Categories: emacs

Check out the post labeled “emacs-wiki mode” on the linked site.
<giggle> If you can’t read Japanese, run it through a translator
like
WWWJDIC.

SachaさんはどうやらTNGのfanらしいのも素敵です。妻も子もあるのに、好きにな
ってしまいそうです。抵抗は無意味でしょうか。

すごい! I’m so flattered!

Trivial%20Journal(2004-10-07)

Procrastination counter?

October 10, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

If you keep track of the start dates, we could have procrastination
counters for more fun and profit. If we have deadlines, we could have
deadline countdowns. More metadata in task descriptions, though…

Yukiharu%20YABUKIのGood%20Dayな日々

Emacs wiki stuff in a language I do not understand at _all_

October 10, 2004 - Categories: emacs

Could someone please translate this? It might be… ummm… the fact
that we can’t get emacs-wiki through cvs or subversion…

KLDP%20BBS%20::%20주제%20보기%20-%20Wiki%20질문(%201,%20윈도우용%20Standalone,%202.%20vi%20로%20편집?)

ssh-copy-id

October 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

ssh-copy-id copies the id_dsa.pub file located in your
.ssh/ to machine2 using ssh. It sets up the authorized_key file and
permissions appropriately. Once it is copied over, then you should be
able to ssh into machine2 from machine1 without typing in a password.

Nifty. Didn’t know about that before.

E-Mail%20from%20John%20Schmidt

u-color-cycle.el

October 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Ulf Jasper’s u-color-cycle.el smoothly
changes the color of all text in a window or region while you stare at
it, mesmerized. It reminds me of those setcolor tricks I used to do in
grade school and high school. u-color-cycle.el is a cute, harmless
diversion that just goes to show Emacs hackers have way too much time
on their hands. ;) (This is a Good Thing.)

E-Mail%20from%20Ulf%20Jasper

Japanese technical vocabulary

October 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Thought I should start blogging the technical words I find on mailing
lists. =) Warning: translations are just my guesses…

·ë¶É¡¢¤ä¤ê¤¿¤¤¤³¤È¤Ï¥Õ¥¡¥¤¥ë¶¦Í­¤Ç¤¹¤«¡£
Is file sharing your goal?

·ë¶É ¤±¤Ã¤­¤ç¤¯ after all (n-adv, n)
¥Õ¥¡¥¤¥ë¶¦Í­ ¥Õ¥¡¥¤¥ë¤­¤ç¤¦¤æ¤¦ file share (n,vs)

E-Mail%20from%20skonishi@dd.iij4u.or.jp

Contact information for Ranulf’s conference

October 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

+81-3-348-58492 APR Workshop on the role of ICT in the Youth Programme

Places Ranulf wants to go to

October 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Chicago: 6-31-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. On Omotesando Dori, between
Meiji Dori and Harajuku Station. (Near Meiji Jingumae or Harajuku.)
Great! I went to Chicago before. I just need to make sure I can find
it again. =)

Yoyogi Park: Shibuya Koendori Festival / Flea market 2004.10.17,
2004.11.06, 2004.11.07 – 2 Jinnan Yoyogi Kamizonocho Shibuya-ku Tokyo

Finished 300 kanji book!

October 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

It’s a bit hard to believe that we’ve managed to finish the 300 kanji
book that seemed so intimidating back when we started. I know my
recall is really spotty, though, so I need to revise a lot before our
big test on Friday.

Afternoon lecture for your OJT

October 13, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

So starting from next week we will be receiving the OJT from your host
companies. As I said before, Japanese companies are very punctual in
time. 5 minutes delay will bring you a negative assessment. It is a
great loss to receive such evaluation or self-appraisal for being
late, and that’s why I have kept reminding you for the past eight
weeks to be on time, so let’s keep the time. So next week, 19th will
be your last day here at AOTS, and you will be beginning your ojt, so
it will be a new start. You will be making another fresh start as of
next week, so please remind yourself to be punctual as well as other
things.

So I’ll give you the OJT guidance. First I would like to explain to
you the outline of this day’s schedule. The first part of this lecture
from 1:30 to 3:00 pm will cover the things you need to pay attention
to in order to make your training as successful as possible. part one
lecture will be divided into three big categories. The first is the
training program or training plan, the second is communication, and
the third is self-management or self-control. Then we’ll have a short
break. Fourth agenda is I’d like to give you an explanation of the
cultural shock. Lastly, you’ll have a chance to see the video of the
ojt as a summarization of today’s lecture. I’m hoping to finish by
4:00 pm. if there is no time, I may need to skip showing you the
video, so we’ll see how fast we can progress. Number 6 agenda is an
evaluation sheet. Number 7 is also an evaluation sheet in Japanese. I
hope to complete by 4:30.

Planning

Allow me to start. I’ve already handed you some material, and the same
thing is appearing on the screen. The first thing I’d like to mention
is the training program or plan. Do you know what kind of training
plan or program you will have? I hope everyone knows your training
plan. I’ve already handed you “Do you understand your specialized
technical training?”. First I will ask, does everyone fully understand
your training plan? If so, I may not go into detail. If any one of you
are not quite sure, then I will spend some time and give you some
explanation. Which way do you want? Can we skip, or do you need any
kind of explanation of this?

Please take “Do you understand your specialized technical training?”.
Please fill in your understanding of your training plan. I’ll give you
five minutes. Whatever you have difficulty filling in, that means your
understanding is not adequate. You are filling this in now to find out
how much you understand about your training. On your first day, you
need to clearly understand what you are doing. You are writing it down
for your own sake. Each one of you clearly needs to understand your
goal and target and objective in being here in Japan, otherwise your
training will not become a success. If you don’t know why you are here
in Japan, these things need to be clarified before you actually go and
work at your host companies. … For example, you have your own
objective or target. If your company has another objective, for
example if it comes to the plant, the company wants to increase the
production line, whereas the trainee may want to know the kind of
management in the company. So in that case, maybe trainees’ objectives
and companies’ objectives may not be identical, but at least they are
heading in the same direction. Important thing is to make sure what
you are heading for or what your are looking for, at least you and the
host company have to be looking in the same direction.

In some cases, some trainees who don’t know why they are receiving
this OJT are embarrassed to ask. Or if you think you understand but
you really don’t. If you start your OJT in this manner, you will come
across barriers. At the very beginning, you must clearly understand
why you are here and what kind of target or objective you are aiming
for. So if you look at the bottom left, that will be your first day of
work with your host company. The first day has its own importance.
Normally, the host companies on your first day of your work, they will
promote a sort of guidance session so that you can smoothly transfer
to the host companies.

My advice is on your first day, you will take the proactive approach
with your teachers from the host company, and you may need to clarify
all the points on which you are not clear. So if your start is carried
out in appropriate manner, then for example, your training can be
represented as climbing up a mountain. You know exactly what you are
doing and which stage of progress you are doing. If you are able to
work in this manner, then at the end, you will fulfill your objective
for being here in Japan.

So far I have given you how important it is to establish your training
plan in order to make your stay successful. So do you fully
understand, or does anyone want to ask a question or make a
confirmation? Again, allow me to stress that you will have a chance to
meet your teacher from your host company either on the first day or
second day, so make good use of that first meeting with your teachers.

Second agenda is about communication. You obviously will establish
communication not only with your teachers but also with Japanese
people from your host companies. In order to avoid any kind of
miscommunication or problem, you need to bear in mind certain things.
Sorry, before that, I need to mention the financial aspect.

Proper allowance

The money is quite important issue so that you will be able to fully
utilize your training period. This paper covers your financial status
since the day you have arrived here in Japan up until the 19th of next
week. So your training cost, as I said on the first day, is subsidized
by the Japanese government as well as the host company. The monies are
provided to each one of you. So let’s confirm how the financial status
will change when you go and work for the host company. Air fare and
air ticket will remain the same. You will be paid for the actual
lodging allowance. You will be actually receiving some kind of
lodging. Some of you may, after leaving YKC, live in a company’s
dormitory. The place to live will be provided to you by the host
company. However, as far as I know, 80% of you will either continue to
stay at YKC or move over to TKC, so your living condition may stay the
same. And also you will be provided with the meal allowance of 2700
yen a day as well as personal allowance of 1200 yen a day.

Starting from 3, 4 and 5, these are the kind of fees AOTS provided to
your host companies. Not a payment for you. So the cost of technical
training will be provided to the company at 4650 yen a day. Cost of
technical training will be paid from AOTS to your host company, and
host company will be able to use this fee to purchase a PC or provide
for the teacher’s personnel cost as well as provide textbooks. That
decision will be made by each company. And you will continue to be
provided with medical service. As long as you are an AOTS trainee,
your health insurance is covered by this service.

So after the 19th, you will be paid for the meal allowance as well as
the personal allowance for your company. Form of payment will vary
from company to company. Some companies pay every month, or every
week, or every two weeks. That is up to the company. Whenever you will
receive the money from your host company, please check the amount.
After you check the amount, you will need to fill in the receipt. You
also need to obtain a copy of the receipt which you will be signing.
So my advice is better to keep a copy of the receipt in case of
problem. If you have the copy, that means you have the evidence in
your hand, and can easily solve the problem.

I gave you the explanation about your financial status as of next
week. Does anyone have any questions? Does everyone fully understand?

Communication

Next is how to establish communication with Japanese people without
making any problems or miscommunication. In order to make your
training a successful one, I have tried to use this cause-and-effect
diagram (fishbone). I have already explained about the proper
allowance, and I already gave you the explanation about the importance
of establishing your training plan and schedule by good planning. Next
I would like to share with you how to establish good communication
with your teachers as well as your colleagues.

First, I would like to give you a type of person who is favored and
liked by Japanese teachers from your host companies. The teachers like
students to take memos or put in your notes, write down the things you
think important. Taking the memo whenever you listen to something very
useful or important, and accustomizing to this habit, will be very
appreciated by your teachers. Some companies will ask you to write a
report on a weekly or monthly basis. Try to make the memo as much as
possible. Important thing is obviously you will be receiving training
using the computer. You may be most of the time sitting in front of
the PC, and your teacher may give you important advice. While you are
looking at the screen, you may think you understand. But when a change
of scene takes place, you thought you understood, but it actually
didn’t penetrate into your mind. Don’t rely on your memory, but
document them, so you can always rely on your memo. Looking from your
profit point of you, it’s important to listen very carefully to what
your teacher has to say. Most of your teachers are very busy because
they are very capable persons, so they are giving your their valuable
time. Don’t rely on your memory, write it down, so it will give a good
impression to your host company. If other teachers come and tell you
other things, you can always refer to your notes and say so-and-so
teacher said so a few weeks ago. … (if you keep notes), the company
thinks you are not wasting their precious time.

So the people at YKC as well as interpreter like myself will try to
explain in detail, but once you go to host company, they may not speak
just like we do. In that case, you should ask, “Please say it again.”
It is very important. Otherwise you will never get the chance to learn
what they have to teach you. Some other Japanese way of establishing
communication is just looking into your eyes. Some teachers say “Why
don’t you try it?” Clearly that is not adequate. In that case, you
have to voice your opinions. And also, during these past weeks, you
devoted yourself to acquiring Japanese skill. Try not to be hesitant.
Try to proactively (engage them in conversation). And also, in order
to avoid miscommunication with you and your teachers or colleagues,
obviously you are working in IT industry in which lots of English is
used. However, it is not necessary that even if your teacher uses a
lot of English, they understand English well. In that case, it is
better to use Japanese to avoid problems. Some of you have already
purchased electronic dictionaries or have ordinary dictionaries. The
methodology doesn’t matter as long as you establish good personal
relationships with your teachers so that you don’t have
miscommunication.

So in the past, here in the past, we have had a number of successful
trainees. These people had two things. They had acquired the habit of
taking memo. Those successful trainees had managed to create their own
dictionaries based on their memos. That is a successful way of making
your training. So in the past, we have had a number of successful
trainees during the OJT. Their skill of Japanese was dramatically
improved, and they made a great success. Try to write your own memo as
well as your own dictionary. That is the quickest way to make a
success. The memo is for you, not for others. You will obviously be
working in different fields of IT. Try to make use of the memo and
words.

In my past experience tells me that after you have worked for your
host company, you will either be coming back to YKC or TKC, and you
will have a chance to compare your memos with other trainees. You will
have a chance to evaluate other people’s notes so that you can find
out how they are acquiring their skills. That kind of competing with
each other may give you good results.

So as I said, as of next week, you will be with your host company’s
people. You are not dealing with people at YKC any more. You will be
dealing with Japanese people at your company, so use your Japanese.
Find a way to improve your skill.

There is another important point to be remembered. And also it is
important to have the periodical meeting as well as to evaluate your
progress during your training. So as I said, at the very start of your
training at your host company, you need to establish your
consensus—your plan and objectives of receiving the training for you
and your company. In between, you need to have periodical meetings
with your teachers from your host company in order to establish a
consensus as well as evaluate your progress. For example, if I have no
idea what kind of environment you will be asked to work in and receive
your training. In the middle, you may be asked to join some kind of
team. Maybe halfway, you may get lost. You might not understand what
you are doing there. That is why you need to have a periodical meeting
with your host meeting. If you do not do anything, you will have such
a chaotic situation. My advice is to have some kind of meeting at
least once a week. It is important to define the time and when. Which
day and which time. An important thing is that if you do not know when
you are going to have this kind of periodical meeting, then you should
make a proposal. Say that you would like to have a meeting with your
teacher, say every Monday morning at 10 AM.

And also, it is very important to establish a good feeling of trust
between you and the people from your host company, so try to utilize
your memo as well as your weekly or monthly report, and try to get as
much as possible from your host company.

Another important thing to establish communication with Japanese
people is that if you cannot do something, you have to say it. If you
do not understand, say it. And also, you have to do three things: to
report, and consult, and try to correspond. These three things are
very important. So for example, if your first assignment is to create
some kind of program by next Friday, the first thing you have to say
is whether you can do it or whether you are unable to do it. As I
said, report is very important. Your task is to complete a task by
Friday. If you think you are unable to finish by Friday, in that case,
you have to report to your teacher. You cannot wait until Friday. You
have to say to your teacher, despite the fact that I gave you my word
to finish on Friday, I don’t think I can do that. You should do that
on Wednesday or Thursday. You cannot wait until Friday to say I cannot
do it. So if you don’t say anything, then the people in the host
company think you are doing okay. If you report to them that you are
unable to do it, they might give you advice on how to achieve the
task. Let them know your progress at all times.

Important thing is to make as much detailed a report as possible. If
you are working in a plant, everyone can see your progress. If you are
working on a computer program, only you can see your progress, no one
else. You need to make a report saying how much progress you have
made, otherwise no one will know how you are doing. My proposal is
that at least once every day, before you go home, try to make a report
to your teacher or manager because now you know how to send e-mail in
Japanese. If the manager is not there, you can make the report every
day. If the manager is there, you can make a verbal report about what
you achieve every day.

And also, I would like to remind you about some of the manners. You
know some of the famous daily phrases like “Ohayou gozaimasu”. If you
have to go home before everyone else, you have to say “Osaki ni
shitsureishimasu”. And also in order to establish good communication
with people from your host company, try to use these useful phrases as
much as possible. It will become a key for your success. Japanese
people try to make a good start every morning. That is why “Ohayou
gozaimasu” is important. You always greet me with “Ohayou gozaimasu”,
but you are doing it because you are there with your trainee friends.
However, if you happen to be on your own, surrounded by 50 Japanese
strangers, you may be slightly hesitant to say these phrases. My
advice is the first day is extremely important, so you have to have
the brave heart and try to make the first by saying “Ohayou gozaimasu”
to everyone you meet in the company. That will make for a very smooth
transition. So unlike manufacturing plants where everyone starts work
at 8:30 sharp, working at an IT company means some of the engineers
may not have slept last night, or some may be on flexible time so will
come in at around 11. You may come to the office every morning at 9:00
AM and find no one there. But it’s important to say the first words!
I’m sure you can make a good start and you can do it.
And always, a word of thanks works magic. If someone is nice to you,
try to say thank you as much as possible. On your time to go home, I’m
sure there will still be many Japanese working, so I advise you to use
“Osaki ni shitsureishimasu.” Also, if some Japanese people go home
before you, then you should use “Otsukaresama deshita.” OJT, what you
have learned in 8 weeks of Japanese here, now you can actually use
them.

And also, I would like to mention about whenever you make a mistake in
your host company. Whenever you think you made a mistake, the first
word to be used is “Sumimasen” — word of apology. Because in Japan,
it is important for you to apologize first. The reason for making a
mistake is second issue. Important thing is to admit you made a
mistake. It will give you a very good impression. If you can be able
to master these basic attitudes which I have mentioned, you will be
liked by your colleagues.

I would like to summarize this second agenda of communication. To make
the teacher feel like I want to teach this trainee more, what you
should be doing:

- 1. Express yourself as much as possible. Facial expression or words.
Try to make them understand what you are thinking. Unless you will
explain this is what I feel, the Japanese people will have absolutely
no understanding of what you are thinking.

- 2. Also, if some teacher teach you something, try to repeat so that
you will make sure you understand what you have received from your
teachers. So in order to create good atmosphere to receive more and
more trainings from your teachers or the company, it is to make sure
you take a memo when the teacher teaches you something. That memo is
not only used once, but several times.

Self control

Next is self control or self management. First is the punctuality.
Punctual time-keeping. Generally speaking, Japanese people as well as
Japanese companies will keep very tight, severe time control. Looking
from your benefit point of view, you need to adjust yourself into the
Japanese society as of next week. Whenever Japanese people try to use
the on-time time management, if you are asked to meet somewhere at 10
AM, you should be there 9:55. We have a thing, ten minutes advanced
time. You should be there at least five minutes before 10.

Another important aspect is health. As you have heard during the
introduction course, the Japanese season is going toward winter
season. Winter season means you will be experiencing the kind of
coldness you have never experienced before. That is why you need to
take care of yourself really well and pay attention. The change of the
season means that sometimes there are very hot days and then sometimes
very cold.

And also, you will be asked to obey the rules and regulations of the
company including the safety rules and regulations. However, in your
case, you won’t be working at a plant or manufacturing facility, so
there are no dangerous rules or regulations that you have to abide. If
there are any in-house rules or regulations, please obey them.

However, there is the danger may exist even in the IT industry. They
must have some kind of company security code, so you may not have
access into certain kind of program. You need to keep that, or you may
come across some kind of trouble or incident. Please keep that in
mind—how much accessible information you can obtain from that company
or not.

And also, for those people staying at YKC or TKC, it is okay, but for
those people staying in apartment or company dormitory, in Japan, we
have very strict rules about disposing of garbage. You need to
segregate. They have to be all divided. You have to abide by these
rules. You will have to understand we have only a very small
population of foreigners in Japan, so you should avoid any kind of
problem because you don’t want to get blamed. It is always helpful if
you know the rules and how to do it. If you know it, then you can
avoid unnecessary problems with Japanese people, and you will be
welcomed and liked by the Japanese people.

So far I have managed to give you the explanation about your training
plan as well as how to establish the communication with the Japanese
people as well as self-management. Any question?

Continuation of OJT lecture

October 13, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

During the part 1 session that I gave you, the importance of
establishing the training plan as well as the points to keep in mind
to establish communication with Japanese persons as well as personal
management.

Culture shock

The next thing I’d like to share with you is culture shock. Have you
heard this terminology, “cultural shock”? I’m sure this has nothing to
do with you.

So what kind of images do you have in mind when you hear this
particular term, “culture shock”? So how many of you have been to
overseas countries before? Is this your first time visiting an
overseas country? At least 80% are here in Japan for your first
experience. So culture shock is the kind of symptom when the person is
away from your own home country and there is a great possibility of
happening to everyone. Whenever the person is away from your own home
country, you are away from your parents, friends, brothers and
sisters, and you are in a strange country with different customs.
Everyone has a chance to have culture shock. This is just a symptom,
not a serious disease. However, if you do not do anything and if you
just leave culture shock to make a space in your heart and spirit,
that might cause you to have serious damage to your heart.

We have a number of cases that we have experienced. One person every
few years is so stressed out that these people are no longer able to
carry out training here in Japan and they have to go home. The stress
is something you should think of carefully. So important thing to hear
again is to understand what culture shock is all about. Once you know
it, and if you realize it is happening, you may find a way to solve
the problem. Allow me to go into detail.

Here are the characteristics of culture shock. Culture shock may take
place with a mixture of all these elements.

Try to utilize this page and you can evaluate your mental state. If
some of them fit into your state, you may be suffering from culture
shock. One of the important symptom is if you oversleep or are unable
to get enough sleep, this is a particular symptom that you should
realize. Since you are working in the IT business industry, you may
need to work very hard during the weekdays, so you may need to obtain
good sleep on weekends. However, you need to differentiate between
physical fatigue and spiritual fatigue. If you are sleeping on
weekends because of physical fatigue, it is okay. However, if you are
sleeping because of emotional fatigue, it is important to realize
something is happening to you. Advice to keep this handbook or paper
with you so that you can use it as a guide or yardstick to measure
your mental status. Whenever you are establishing communication with
Japanese people and you begin to realize that these symptoms are
starting to appear…

This is the second page of symptom of culture shock. You may use these
as a guide or yardstick again.

This page contains how the culture shock process takes place in your
mind. The horizontal line uses as index the day you arrived here in
Japan from the left until the day you go home. At present you are in
the excited period. Some people like to use this honeymood period.
Since you came to Japan, your mental state is quite excited, and this
is the time you try to observe so many different things. However, as
soon as you are thrown into a new environment or you may be asked to
live in a different atmosphere, then this honeymoon period will no
longer continue. So far that you have carried out so many WBT and so
that you will learn as much Japanese as possible together with your
friends having good drinks or discussion with friends from the same
country. However, starting from 19th, you will be thrown into new
environment. Some of you have to work on your own, some of you will be
paired up with old acquaintances, but you are on your own. Even though
the two of you happen to be receiving the same kind of training at the
same company, you may not be working on the same floor. You may be
working entirely on your own. At the present moment, you think, it
doesn’t happen to me—because you are still in the excited period. As
your environment changes, your feeling may cool down, and you may
enter the depressed stage. If that happens, I advise you to refer back
to these two pages as a yardstick to evaluate your emotional state.

However, this kind of process takes different by person by person. For
some people, your excitement will continue to grow and you don’t get
depressed, but that’s different from person to person. As I said, it’s
not necessary that everyone will go through this process, but if you
establish good relationship with your teachers, your state may go up.
You may believe that may be end of it, no longer need to suffer, but
in actuality it doesn’t happen like that. You may experience little
drop of your emotional state. So some people may experience number of
repetitions of recovery period and then finally reach the stable
accommodation period.

Please read the remaining pages so that you will have a much better
understanding of what culture shock is about. The last thing I’d like
to explain is the so-called re-enter shock. Once you go back to your
country, you may suffer re-enter shock. You may think “I shouldn’t be
back. Japan was much better.” While you were in Japan, you may think
you hate Japanese. Once you are back in your country, you may miss
Japanese people.

So far I gave you the explanation of symptoms and what kind of process
you are going to deal with in culture shock. From now on, I am going
to give you how to deal with it. I’m sure that all of you have the
capability and ability to cope with the culture shock. You will try
your best to overcome whenever you think you get caught with it. Since
each one of you have different characters and personality, you may
choose to have a sense of humor to get away from the culture shock.
Some avoid a quick decision. Choose the way that is best to deal with
the culture shock. Last page also contains the additional informations
so that you can get hint for life here so that you can escape being
caught with it.

That kind of chart you just saw was not something I came up with. It
was made by a professional psychologist. This particular psychologist
wrote in his book that the honeymoon stage is when you ask people if
they have questions and they say no… That is the honeymoon stage.
However, if you fail to establish good communication with the Japanese
people, you may become in such a state that you no longer react, or
you over-react to Japanese people’s behavior and everything will
become a problem.

Repeat

Allow me to repeat once again, it is very important to establish your
training plan. If you have any doubt or question about the training
plan, then do not hesitate to ask your teachers, on the first day or
second day, to make sure you fully understand what the expectations
will be. That will be one of the major keys to make your training
successful. Your technical knowledge or technical skill will be
determined by how much the good communication you can establish with
the Japanese people from your host company. And I shared with you
three important rules. First is to keep punctual time, second good
manners – try to utilize greetings, and third, try to keep memos. And
also, I mentioned how to carry out self-management including taking
care of your own help as well as abiding with in-company rules and
regulations. I also mentioned for those of you who live in company
dormitory as well as company apartment, try to keep the community
rules so that you can avoid unnecessary problems with your neighbors.
Fourth thing I gave you explanation is the culture shock, either on
big scale or small scale. Each one of you may be able to suffer
culture shock, so I gave you the explanation on that. I also gave you
actual expamples on how to deal with problems whenever you feel you
are starting to suffer from culture shock. We AOTS staff members all
wish you a good start from next week. Try to keep all of these hints
and ideas in your mind. So now you will have a chance to see video on
OJT. This video can be quite useful information for all of you. It
takes about 30 minutes.

Video

Looking at the video, I forgot to remind you about two things. One is
the money issue. As you saw during the video, you are here in Japan as
trainees. So the pocket money you will receive from the company is not
a kind of payment of any form. It is not a salary or bonus. If any
time, the host company will ask you for overtime work, or if the
company asks you to join a development team for a bonus, you have to
say no. You are a trainee, not a company employee.

The second important thing is about new friends you may make while you
are living in Japan. As you saw in the video, it is kind of a bad
acquaintance. People may approach you and ask if you want to be a
part-timer. There are people always making up new ideas and how to
involve you with crimes in Japan. One of the examples we have is
forged telephone cards. For example, someone may approach you asking
if you want to sell telephone cards. We have had this one incident
here at YKC, there were so many forged telephone cards used at this
public phone, so YKC had to ask NTT to come and make an investigation.
It was very unfortunate and very sad incident we had in the past. So I
must ask you to self-discipline because people always make a new trap
and sweet-talk you into something illegal in Japan. In that case, you
must have the guts to say no. If you think you have involved in any
kind of illegal act, do not hesitate to contact us at YKC as well as
AOTS in general.

So I just gave you this warning, because this kind of thing may
happen.

So far I have given explanation from agenda 1 to 5. Next I am going to
provide you with two different kinds of evaluation sheet. The first
evaluation chart I am going to provide you now, we should have given
you the first day, and I am very sorry I have to give you this one at
this time. So since I am giving you this yellow sheet now, you have to
remember your state when you first arrived here at YKC. You have to go
all the way back to eight weeks ago, and try to fill in this chart. So
either tomorrow or day after tomorrow, we will give you another
version where you can put your current status, or how much you know
and knowledge you gained after arriving here in Japan. So that they
can make a comparison on how much improvement you made. Allow me to
explain why this kind of delay took place. In order to determine the
established number of the questions to be asked at the initial stage,
your projects still had to be established. Until those were
determined, we were unable to come up with the questions. So please
come and get one each and make sure to write just like you were on the
first day.

Chatted with Martin Gomez

October 13, 2004 - Categories: emacs

Had a lot of fun talking to Martin Gomez about wanting to join the
Media Lab. I told him about _personal_ personal information managers
and how much fun I have tweaking planner for people’s needs. In the
process of explaining just what I was so excited about, I learned a
bit more about what I want to do. I want to do a longitudinal study of
how people’s usage patterns change as their PIMs grow with them.

Intermittent network problems

October 13, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

My Linux computer’s networking is acting up. I can acquire an IP
through DHCP, but the gateway occasionally won’t let me route packets
through it.

I can’t reproduce it reliably. Grr.

Encoding

October 13, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Thanks to people on the Japanese mailing lists, I’ve learned that
iso-2022-jp should be used for mail and news because it uses 7 bits
instead of 8. For some reason, my Emacs defaulted to euc-jp. Fixed
now with the handy snippet

(setq mm-coding-system-priorities
       '(iso-2022-jp iso-2022-jp-2 shift_jis iso-8859-1 utf-8))

Don’t worry about M-x describe-coding-system not saying that the
buffer will be in iso-2022-jp. If you have

Coding system for saving this buffer:
  = -- emacs-mule

it will try iso-2022-jp first.

Sacha and the art of tech blogging

October 13, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Published on
Infotech.
I’m a geek girl. Hear me roar! <laugh>

Sacha%20and%20the%20art%20of%20tech%20blogging%20-%20INQ7.net

»ùÅçÀèÀ¸¤Î»£¤Ã¤¿¼Ì¿¿

October 14, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

http://thai.as.wakwak.ne.jp/kodoIT

New video up: electronic dictionary presentation

October 14, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I forgot to video the actual presentation again, so I redid it in my
room.

http://www.adphoto.com.ph/sacha/

Thank you for pointing it out

October 14, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

¤´»ØŦ¤¢¤ê¤¬¤È¤¦¤´¤¶¤¤¤Þ¤¹¡£

»ØŦ [¤·¤Æ¤­] /(n,vs) pointing out/identification/(P)/

E-Mail%20from%20Katsumi%20Yamaoka

Ranulf

October 14, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

international exchange building second floor meeting room
Lodging building D, 710

Ethereal is so cool

October 14, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Finally got around to installing a network analysis tool.

Their 172.17.1.253 computer seems to be broken. Oddly, things work
perfectly on Windows. Mumble, mumble. Could my computer be broken?
Very odd. Anyway, 172.17.1.253 doesn’t want to even say it exists,
at least when I ask it. When Windows computers ask, it’s okay.

Foo

October 15, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

E-Mail%20from%20Jose%20Quesada

CHOPSTICKS

October 15, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

“Help me do my hair.” Palsied hands guided mine to the pair of
chopsticks Mama always used to bind her hair in a tight bun. I
gathered the limp gray strands gently, conscious of Mama’s fragility.
No matter what I did, though, the chopsticks kept slipping out of the
knots I made.

“Harder.” She reached up and gave the chopsticks a sharp twist. I
winced as I heard hair snap, but her face showed no pain. “I want to
look my best when I die.”

“Mama, don’t say such things.”

“I’m dying and you know it. No sense pretending. When I’m gone, you
have to keep the family together. Someone has to keep your brothers
from killing each other.” She nodded toward the other room. Through
the thin wooden walls, we could hear them already arguing about
inheritance.

“How can I? They won’t even give me the time of day.”

“I know you can do it. You have to be strong.” She patted my hand.

I felt her slip away. “Mama!”

“I love you all.” As the light left her eyes, her head bent forward.
The motion jarred the bun loose and the chopsticks clattered to the
floor. I reached for them and tried to do her hair again, but there
was no strength left in my shaking fingers. A door slammed shut,
and my family was no more.

(Written on the train.)

Nomikai

October 15, 2004 - Categories: emacs

The nomikai was tons of fun! I’m looking forward to the next one. I
met lots of interesting people. Michael Moyle is into Linux
administration and programming, and is looking for a part-time job
while he studies Japanese. Michael Reinsch is into component systems research, a higher-level version
of aspect-oriented programming. He likes strongly-typed languages.
Jeffrey Keays is a Java non-fan and likes PHP and Perl, and is fairly
interested in aspect-oriented programming but hasn’t really gotten
into it beyond reading a few papers, as the main implementations use
Java. He likes loosely-typed languages and thinks Ruby is delicious.
Thomas Giuffré is his boss.
Ken’ichi-san thinks Planner is a bit difficult to use, and is of the
opinion that no Emacs-based PIM has quite hit the mark yet. He laughed
when he saw his website on my task list. Uekawa-san
(dancer,dancerj(IRC)) is a DD who’s also going to Kansai Open Source 2004. We swapped GPG fingerprints, so all I have to do now is study
for the interview. Moon Ki Cho is Ernest’s friend and is interested in
Linux, but hasn’t really tried it out yet. There was one other girl. I
think I was the youngest there.

I particularly enjoyed practicing my Japanese, although I’m still bad
at it. =)

I made it back barely in time. I managed to catch a train going all
the way to Sangyo Shinko Center, and I even made it before curfew.
Whee! I will certainly attend the next one.

Strange problem with Linux networking

October 15, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

For some reason, I sporadically have problems with Linux networking,
although Windows works without any obvious problems. DHCP works. I
acquire a sane-looking address and the same connection details (DNS
server, default gateway, netmask). DNS lookups work, as the DNS is
within the subnet. However, routing packages through the gateway
doesn’t work on Linux. Ethereal shows me that my computer keeps
sending ARP requests for the gateway, which doesn’t answer. When I set
the MAC address for the gateway using arp —set, I get delays when I
try to access it, and no successful transmissions.

The strange thing is that it sometimes works, it sometimes doesn’t.
This morning and early this afternoon, I connected without problems.
Sometimes I manage to connect during the night. Possibly a
misconfigured computer joining the network? (I hope it’s not mine.
Then again, I successfully connect some of the time.)

Now, I know the gateway exists, because I can see traffic from it from
time to time—usually, very delayed ARP responses to _other_ people,
not to me. Could my MAC address be getting filtered on the server
side? I’m not sure. That requires some setup (unless they have an
automated firewall doing weird stuff) and doesn’t explain why I can
occasionally access the Net.

Very strange.

I don’t think it’s my computer’s fault, but I’m still annoyed.

Other packets are going through the gateway fine. Why don’t mine?

Wild speculation: perhaps the server has a Windows-biased virus that
won’t let uninfected hosts access the Internet… ;) So much for
Occam’s Razor, eh?

I miss the Internet.

That’s odd

October 16, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Either offending computer is off the network at the moment, or the
trick is just to wait until someone else has made the ARP request so
that I don’t have an incomplete entry in my cache. Let’s test that
theory tomorrow evening.

Excuse me for replying directly

October 16, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

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ľÀÜ ¤Á¤ç¤¯¤»¤Ä /(adj-na,n-adv) direct/immediate/personal/firsthand/(P)/
¼ºÎé ¤·¤Ä¤ì¤¤ /(adj-na,int,n,vs,exp) (1) discourtesy/impoliteness/(2) Excuse me/Goodbye/(P)/

Ranulf’s talk

October 16, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

This afternoon I will be speaking about iGame in scouting. Before, we
had the same presentation for the workshop group, and they expressed
very interesting ideas. I will also be sharing some ideas based on the
results of the workshop.

Let’s define two terms, digital and game. For digital, it doesn’t have
to be just software. It can be hardware. I traveled around Shinjuku
area yesterday evening and I saw a soccer game that’s
remote-controlled. That is also somewhat digital. Game and watch—even
though you don’t install the software, it’s still digital. The nice
thing about digital is that it’s user-controlled. When you say it’s
user-controlled, you can decide when to use the software or not.

The next is game. Games are a part of our lives, and games are usually
interactive and fun. We’ll talk about the interactive aspect later.

Now we go into the high level design. Why do we actually make the game
in the first place? We have to answer three questions. Who will play?
Why would they play? What would they play? These three things are
important even before you design or write code in making a game. These
three questions are answered when you identify these three things: the
target players, the main objectives, and the game types. In our
workshop, we identified our target players as age 12 to 16. Most of
the groups’ main objective is to give learning and information
regarding scouting. The game types they have suggested are RPG,
adventure and simulation. We’ll discuss these further later.

In making a game, you have to focus on checking which is your target
player. Actually, we have three easy categories to divide the players.
First, by age. Kids 7-12 who like simple, very graphical, cartoonish-type of
games—Pokemon and something like that. Teenagers 13-18 have a more
mature mindset and the normal games that are simple may not be enough
for them. Complexity has to go up. Adults (19 onwards) have a
different mindset. Most of them are not just in school but already
working, so this is a different set of people.

Also, we can categorize the target players by the language. It’s very
important to make sure that you know the language that your target
player is very familiar with.

Last is the level of game time. Casual gamers—when I want to take a
break for 15 minutes. Hard-core gamers—something that takes a long
time.

That’s how you can classify your gamers using these three
classifications.

What are the three objectives for making games? The first and most
important point is that games provide fun and hidden learning for
target players. When you say fun—when they play the game, they should
be satisfied. They should be happy. Hidden learning means there is
information they pick up from the game itself. Another point is to
showcase technological and art capabilities of a company. I think most
of you are familiar with the Doom game? Their latest version showcases
their technical ability. … profitability and brand marketing. You
can put more advertisments there and other items.

You have two types of advertisments. Active: you have to buy this
item, you have to use this software. Passive: simulation car game,
when you go along the road, you can see the billboards to the left and
right.

Games can also be used to create specific tournaments. For a company,
instead of raffling off prizes to someone, they can use tournaments to
advertise their companies and give their prizes or their products.

Lastly, it is also used for community building. Particularly online
RPGs. The communities also build outside the game.

We’ll briefly tackle the different game types. We have a simple puzzle
game. We have adventures, games like side-scrolling games. We have
sports/action games like basketball and football. We have shooter
types of games like Doom or Quake. Also, we have educational games,
like for the kids. Strategy, like Warcraft or Starcraft. Role-playing
games. Fighting games, which I’m really fond of. And also simulation
games. The simulation workshop said they wanted to produce a hybrid
RPG/adventure/simulation.

Detailed design process. The components of digital games, progression,
and game designer specializations. The three main components of a
digital game is that it should have a main objective. The
representation of a player should be there—what the player is going
to control. Obstactles, and performance feedback. These four elements
are very important.

The flow is here. The initial part is to make a good representation
inside the game. You should make a character the player can relate to.
Different levels, they have different minor objectives, and ther have
their own obstacles. As you go to different levels, the obstacles
become harder. Check for performance feedback, how the game says if
you can go forward or not.

Objective. The main point of having an objective is to provide the
player, through story-telling, the reason why they’re playing the
game. I think you guys are familiar with Star Wars. At the start of
the movie, there’s text scrolling up. That was an innovative way to
tell the story. Also, you can use pictures and full-motion videos to
portray the story of the character and his or her objectives inside
the game. It should be creative and evolving. The story should not be
boring.

Characters or units controlled by the player should be relevant to the
player or configurable/creatable. Should be the main character in the
story. Most of you are probably familiar with Streetfighter. Some of
the characters are representative of different countries. They have
diverse story backgrounds, which also entices people to play the game.

Representation also includes attributes displayed either graphically
or numerically. It also has a set of controls that can be changed by
the player or due to attributes. (Example: screen with icons,
explanation of health score.)

Obstacles prevent the character from achieving the objectives in the
game. It could be a character against another character (player versus
player). Artificial intelligence could control the other character.
Also, you could have puzzles you have to solve before you get to the
next level. Time, where you have to finish a test within a certain period.
Also, lose conditions which will force you to lose the game.

Performance feedback. (Example: map) You know where you are in the
story. You can identify increase or decrease in attributes. Also
includes decision results. If it’s an RPG and you decide poorly, you
get demerited. You have cumulative scores and cumulative ranking.
(Example: arcade)

Progression focuses on the advancement of game components and provides
feeling of achievements to the player. Provides feeling of getting
nearer to the girl.

Character progression. Initially, characters start off with the lowest
abilities, but … Actually, I have in this sample, I have Mario. When
you start of with Mario, it’s a small Mario. When you get a mushroom,
you increase in size. When you get a flower, you get the ability to
throw fireballs. When you get a feather, you become a raccoon-Mario.
This is a classic example of how a character progresses from the the
start to the end.

Story progression. The story initially introduces the character and
what are their mane objectives. (rest of slide text, Final Fantasy.)

… Level progression. (Sorry, I was fiddling with my translator.)

In the first screen, you can see a screenshot from Castlevania at a
very easy stage. Now, you go to the right screenshot, and now the
character is on a different level. His opponent is Dracula, and
Dracula is throwing fireballs at the character. Comparing the first
screenshot to the right, it becomes harder. As levels increase, the
difficulty increases. The obstacles themselves increases. Some other
notes about obstacles. (slide text)

There are some design flaws where you make a level so hard that
characters can’t actually finish.

Let’s now focus on game designer specializations. First is a
scriptwriter. He or she focuses on portraying the main objective or
story of the game. Character designer, those who are really good at
drawing figures. Level designer—scenery, background, level obstacles
and objectives. So we’ve finished the detailed design process. Next
step: simulation games for learning.

There are some games with a very good impact on player learning. I
will show you two samples, which is America’s Army and Shenmue. (slide
text for AA). It was developed to advertise the American Army, and
makes full use of whatever’s available now. If you use the game, you
can virtually use American equipment, and see how their training is
done. Next is Shenmue, a very well-designed game. This is an adventure
game, actually, but it simulates real-life setting in Japan and Hong
Kong. I played this game personally and I learned what pachinko was. I
never went to Japan or Hong Kong before, but I learned pachinko in
this game. This is a good example of a game that uses real-life
settings in the game.

(Screenshots for AA and Shenmue.) (AA obstacle course.) Shenmue is a
game. The first screenshot is the character. The character is very
detailed, almost like a real person. There’s also the element of time.
The game simulates time. In the lower right side, you can see the
character and the environment. If you look at the environment, it
looks like a real place. It gives the character a sense of immersion
in the environment. In this game, I learned how to play pachinko, and
a number of other things about Japan and Hong Kong. The important
thing here is that I learned something as I played the game. You can’t
go to the next level without learning something about martial arts.

Summary.

Feedback. Good input. Not sure how many out there are games
developers, but it is quite a difficult subject, and Ranulf has
managed to condense it very well into 30 minutes and make it quite
simple. You might be pleased to hear that the teams working in the
workshop did fantastic work on devising ideas for simulation games
such as how to run a weekend scout camp and other things, things that
reflect real-life scouting. … observation about gaming in a scouting
context, sometimes in games there are winners and losers, and in
scouting, we try to accommodate everyone. We need to find some way of
ensuring that when people lose a game, they don’t feel negative about
it, and they don’t take that into their real scouting. I think also
with passive advertising, which you mentioned and which can sometimes
be a commercial opportunity to offset development costs, we’re a
values-based organization and we have to be careful about aligning
advertising with our values as a movement. Game development seems to
be quite a big exercise. In relation to scouting again, we need to be
clear about the aims without overcomplicating things. Sometimes the
beauty of things is in their simplicity.

I think those were the main points.

Something about shoot-them-ups. Violence that accompanies such games.
We need to be careful about ourselves as a movement.

I think this is extremely useful for learning scouting skills. What is
the dangerous element in activity, how to do outdoor cooking, how to
teach… This is very useful. My concern is, is there any automatic
generator after you develop the storyboard? We don’t have expertise of
developing the games itself. After you develop the storyboard, is
there any automatic generator to make the game? I would like to open
up the open forum. Anyone who has a question or comment or whatever,
raise your hand.

Q: When I saw iGame scouting, I was very moved. It was wonderful. In
April, my troop, the scouts, I asked them what they would like to do
and we talked about this. There were about 40 opinions that came up,
and one of them was “Hijack!”. I complimented this person. “If you can
figure out how to do it, and come up with a plan, that’s good, but
please don’t actually do it.” … creating… that kind of thinking is
something we can use in the scouting movement. Something I am
concerned about—maybe this is unique to Japan—has a lot of Brazilian
immigrants. Late at night, it’s a bit dangerous. In such a community,
games allow you to experience things that you might not be able to do,
like go somewhere you can’t. This gives you a sense of “I can do it!”
I think that’s great. But for someone who hasn’t done it offline—for
example, how to use a saw—may actually do that in the game, but they
do that offline, they may actually cut their hand or something like
that. Without that kind of accident, with only the image they have of
the game, it could lead to some kind of criminal act. It’s not just
something that hurts, it could be a lot more serious than that. How
can we relay this kind of danger to the scouts? To create a
game… When you’ve experienced that on the game, what do we do
afterwards if there are any kinds of examples we could make so that
the scouts don’t apply what they learned in the game to real life to
the game in a negative way?

Response: Actually, there are some games that give very detailed,
important steps. I’ll share with you one of the simulation games I
played before. (Hospital). If you don’t follow the steps, procedures
and safety requirements, you won’t pass the level. I learned to be
very careful, and make sure everything is in place before I do an
action. In games, when you repetitively do something, directions you
need to follow, rules you need to follow, then it will be implanted
into the player that you also need to keep them in mind. …
Everything that would be a safety hazard in real life would also be a
hazard in the game. What they do virtually, when they go out, they
also remember.

I think the typical simulator is flight simulator, which airliners use
for training the pilots because flying an airplane is expensive and if
you crash it… There’s no how-to-use knife simulator yet. You can
develop how-to-use-knife simulator if you want.

C: Nature is our teacher, that is a saying. Nature itself is our
teacher. We educators in youth programs can learn much from nature,
and that is why we do youth programs. ICT is done in doors, but school
teachers are more adequate for teaching ICT. For example, game program
development. Is this something that is suitable for us to teach? Even
if we are not suitable, should we teach it?

We’re not denying the importance of nature. Scout methods is the
basics. The world is changing rapidly. We are not living in nature.
It’s been a hundred years since scouting began, and there’s less and
less nature. Technology has come into our lives. We don’t need to buy
an airline ticket, we can do it online. We need to think about the
objectives of the youth program. We need to attract and retain
membership. We want to make it possible for scouts to stay in the
program until they finish their education. Nothing outside of the
outdoors is not adequate. If we have that kind of head, we cannot
retain members. The principle is still nature and the outdoors, this
has not changed. But if we focus on just that, we cannot keep their
interest. We need to broaden our activities in order to incorporate
IT. Let’s accept that way of thinking. We don’t necessarily have to go
against the basic principles of scouting. That’s something I don’t
want you to misunderstand.

C: Just to highlight a point about gaming, particularly for the youth.
We are trying to take the element of gaming to maximize the reach to
the youth. In Singapore, the educational system is like Japan, very
intensive, focused on getting results. Recently they are looking at
changing the system to make learning more fun. How do they do that? We
are starting to teach mathematics by playing games. There is already
in the market a keyboard that shoots space invaders. By shooting, you
are reading the notes of a musical page. It’s been proven that they
can read the piece and play the notes as fast as they can shoot space
invaders. This is a tool, this is a learning tool, and it is effective
for the kids. How we make use of it is what we have to figure out.

Ranulf: Also, I’d like to comment. You can also show the player or the
scout that being outdoors is actually a fun activity. America’s Army
is done outside, so they see the trees, the plants, so they want to go
out and check out these things so that they find out what these things
look like in real life. Games is a good way of advertising outdoors.

In fact, there was one comment someone told us when we were organizing
this workshop. Why do you want ICT for scouting? Through these things,
we want them to come out of the computer room. If you can do that,
that’s one thing for scouting. (Always an argument.)

To do and to make game, there are two aspects. The children are very
good at playing games, but making, they haven’t done that, for the
most part. So planning, designing, I think they can do that.
Unfortunately, they can’t do the program. In that case, they cannot
make the game, or it is very difficult. If that happens, they designed
it, but it cannot be realized. I think that’s questionable. They tried
very hard, and there are children who will give up without learning
how to program. Is there any good solution for this? Automatic coding
would be very good.

Ranulf: First of, in this workshop a while ago, starting Thursday, one
of the objectives was actually to get raw data from the scout leaders
in the workshop. So actually, they were able to present well some
ideas they wanted to implement for the game. You can also provide
information, input, on what scouting input or information you want to
place into the game. As for game development itself, I think real
professionals will do it. As scouts, you can have input into how you
want the game to be, so that when scouts play the game, they’ll learn
a lot and experience more things. Developing a game will be done by
a different set of people.

Yes, we are not talking about putting game design into the youth
program. We want to make use of the game as a tool to make scouting
attractive and for them to learn something through the tool. It’s not
part of the youth program or youth activity. The exercise the other
group is doing is an an example. As scout leaders, they are coming up
with ideas of what a scout game could look like.

In this game, we are talking about values. We should have a very clear
vision and mission. How can we put these things into consideration in
our games?

Ranulf: You mentioned three things. For knowledge, you can place
inside the game some things that are information, but they always have
to make good use of that information or else they will get lost and
not be able to go to the next level. For example, making use of a
virtual compass. Next is attitude. There are some games (especially
RPGs) where your attitude toward someone will get different results.
This can reinforce the right attitude for the player. Third is
practice. In the game, (example: compass). When the player actually
uses a compass, he will already be very familiar with it.

I think that’s very true. Co-values. We have very very definite values
we stand for. Whatever trend we adopt can never go against these
values. (Example about violent game.)

A while ago, we talked about outdoors. In the future, let’s say that
the telecom in the future, we’ll be able to go outdoors and play
games. If that happens, then our range of activities, what we can do,
we can use games. We can expand our activity range. Is there a new
game we can do outdoors? Is there a game we can implement and promote
to the scouts?

I would encourage you later today to make contact with the
participants from Hong Kong, who gave insights into very practical
outdoor activities they had, combining orienteering with GPS. They
gave a very good presentation showing how technology can be combined
with scouting.

I think a few countries have used such technology, specially in
hiking. It’s becoming more and more popular in countries. Time for
break until 4:30.

Keyword retrieval

October 17, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Sim Gamboa III said:

Side note: I am not remembering actually any URLs of these
blogs, all I do is just fire up Google and then type in the keyword
i.e. sacha wiki, theSpoke punzki, theSpoke Stanley, theSpoke Howard.

This brings me to a realization that “keywords” are important in
managing information. Should there be a tool that manage keywords
that manages information then that would be very useful.

URLs are rarely human-friendly. They require memorization. Keywords,
on the other hand, are personally meaningful and much easier to
remember.

I think of my brain as an index more than a database. <grin> I
don’t have to remember everything, as long as I have a general idea of
what’s out there and where to find more information. (I wonder if this
preference is related to the general learner / specific learner.)
Advantages: I can occasionally pull odd-but-useful information out of
my head, and I’m good at searching for information. Disadvantages:
When external data disappears, I’m stuck with vague handwaving and
whatever’s in my head. ;)

By the way, if you’re looking for something to help you meta-tag the
Net, I recommend del.icio.us. It’s fun to use
keywords to categorize sites, and it’s even more fun to check out what
other people have filed in interesting categories.

“Sim’s%20Blog.”

Today was wonderful!

October 17, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I woke up late. Meep. It’s my fault Ranulf didn’t get to go to the
sword museum or the flea market, but I think he enjoyed himself
nonetheless. We went shopping with Asami, Tomoko and Moon Ki in
Harajuku and Akihabara. Ranulf buy a kimono, a fan, and a few other
souvenir items.

After seeing how useful cellphones were in coordinating everything, I
decided to get one as well. It was a good thing Asami and Tomoko came
along. They helped me find a simple prepaid phone. =) The cheapest
model wasn’t in stock, but the second-cheapest one was still okay. I’m
learning to think of things in terms of my daily living allowance
instead of in terms of Philippine pesos.

On the way back, Ranulf and I ran into a poi/staff/fan/drums group
practicing in Yoyogi Park. Apparently, they practice there every third
Sunday. Wow! I was so lucky to catch them. Seeing them, I decided to
get the staff back from Ranulf so that I can really learn how to use
it. <grin> They’re amazing! They execute complicated moves so
gracefully… I definitely have to practice so that I can make the
most of those sessions. I’m looking forward to the next one!

What a wonderful weekend. =)

.LRN consortium

October 17, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

[Slightly edited — KJC]

SOURCE Linux Weekly News
URL http://lwn.net/Articles/106277/

             .LRN ('DOT-LEARN') CONSORTIUM FORMED

Several universities (including MIT, Heidelberg University, and the
University of Sydney) have gotten together and announced the formation
of the .LRN Consortium, which is dedicated to the development of open
source educational software. More information is available at

http://dotlrn.org/

Just to be clear: this seems to be a consortium to support and promote
a particular suite of open source educational software:

       ".LRN is an open source application suite
        for learning and research communities."

E-Mail%20from%20Kevin%20Cole

From Etienne Goyer:

Another project with similar goals would be SchoolTool at
http://www.schooltool.org/.

Last of the tests finished

October 18, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

All that’s left is a presentation tomorrow afternoon. Yay!

I didn’t do spectacularly, but I did do fairly well. I’m satisfied
with my performance. =)

Now I have to figure out how to back up all these pictures…

ARGGGH! Missed the LinuxWorld!

October 18, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Pffft. See, I _really_ need an events calendar.

I want trackback

October 18, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I really want trackback support. I think I will need some kind of
crazy PHP hack to get that to work.

I am primarily interested in making it easy for people to link to my
site and have their excerpts displayed on a separate page. Any ideas?
Something that works with an RSS feed might be good.

04YIT8W General orientation countres: closing meeting

October 19, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Before we start, I’d like to mention some of the points. Today, we
have a number of people from the magazine publishing company called
Arc, providing both English and Japanese studies. They are here to
record your Japanese presentation for your studies.

Secondly, we would like to thank you very much for the attendance from
the host companies. Some of them will not be able to stay until the
end.

This is a request for all the trainees. After the closing ceremony,
would you please remain in this room? There are a number of things we
would like to give to you.

From now on, we would like to start the 04YIT8W final presentation to
show your achievements. For the people from host companies, please
look at the schedule. As of 1 PM up until 4 PM, or a duration of three
hours, we would like to show the achievements of our trainees. First,
I would like to introduce all the attendants. I will be extremely
grateful if when I call the names of the person from the host company,
if they could stand up. … Thank you very much for the attendance
from the host companies. … more introductions …

Allow me to give you the outline of this YIT8W course. For the people
from the host companies, please look at the handout material with the
itinerary. The trainees, please look back over your past eight weeks.
Your eight weeks general orientation weeks is aimed to achieve a
smooth transfer from here at YKC to the OJ training to be received at
your host companies. During your stay, you were given the essential
training, including Japanese language as well as adaptability to
living in Japan and smooth learning for your training. We have
established your general orientation curriculums to provide you with
Japanese language training in the morning. In the afternoon, you had a
mix of lectures and company visits. For the lectures, we have invited
specialists as well as professors from different universities, and you
have been given the five lectures. A number of themes include Japanese
society from the viewpoint of foreigners, and the current status of
the Japanese IT industry, and the structure of the Japanese software
industry, and the exchange with … And project management carried out
by Japanese software companies. During these lectures, you have gotten
quite an indepth knowledge of the Japanese industry as well as the IT
industry. So far you have had two visits. The first visit was to a
company called Arc Information Technology. The second visit was to the
CEATEC exhibition. During these visits, you have acquired knowledge on
how these software companies manage their products. You have also
learned about advanced technology in the IT industry and how these are
applied in the curernt business. Every week, you went through a number
of projects. … Independent and autonomous way of acquiring studies.
… Your studies don’t only take place inside the classrooms, but also
outside.

(At this point, I decided to just keep abbreviated notes.)

228 hours so far in our training.

(Presentations. I have decided to just listen.)

Notes from AOTS talk

October 19, 2004 - Categories: japan

Good afternoon, I am Mr. Yamamoto. I myself have bought an electronic
dictionary. Before I bought, I asked the shopkeeper what would be
good. He recommended Casio, which is why I bought the one from Casio.
It is my regret, I should’ve listened to your presentation, then I
should’ve made up my mind. I have a plan to change to new mobile, so I
should listen to your recommendations. Your generial orientation
training started from end of August, and very soon, your OJT at host
company will take place. I believe that you are the future bridges to
make the interface between your country into the Japanese companies.
My last word to all of you is that I definitely hope you will have a
fruitful training session. We wish you great success and prosperity as
well as the people from your host companies. Do your best.

Good afternoon, my name is Mr. Usui. I myself already bought an
electronic dictionary. I must comment on your presentations. I’m very
amazed by the amount of improvement you have all made over eight
weeks. Selection of theme was also very good. The kind of electric
dictionary I bought is the Sharp PW9000. However, I didn’t make a
thorough survey like you did, because I bought it on instinct. Despite
the fact I bought it just on instinct, now I know my instinct was
correct. Obviously, your OJT is going to take place, so I must ask all
the people from the host companies to look after the trainees. I have
three things I’d like to mention to all of you trainees. The first
point is your technical training. You are here to receive your
technical training and you will be receiving that from the
specialists. The Japanese way of keeping time. As you know, the people
working in this industry tend to keep long hours, so I’d like you to
get used to it. I encourage you to build personal relationships while
you’re working here. I believe all of you future leaders will try to
make the initiative when you get back to your country. It is a good
opportunity for you to make contacts while you are here in Japan. The
third point is that I hope you have the opportunity to get acquainted
and receive lots of knowledge and information about Japan as well as
the Japanese culture. As you already know, there are many sightseeing
spots near the Tokyo area, including Kamakura as well as Hakone where
you can see Mount Fuji, Nikko. I hope you can visit these spots. I
hope you will learn to understand many good things about Japan and the
Japanese people. When you go back to your country, I hope you will act
like our PR man so that you can promote Japan and its people, and I
hope … (gah, buffer full).

Allow me to make a comment on behalf of all the attendants. So we are
kind of giving AOTS AOTS has been giving us many services to our
companies. I’m very honored to bbe here, invited to this meeting. I
heard your Japanese presentations today. I am amazed and surprised to
hear such good Japanese presentations. If I put myself into your
position just learning Vietnamese language for just eight weeks, I
could not make that fantastic achievement. If I recall when I was your
age, that was maybe about 30 years ago, we Japanese, we didn’t have
the opportunity to study abroad at that time. So looking from my point
of view, you have a great opportunity to study here in Japan, it’s
like a dream. So I must encourage all of you to study and continue to
study our Japanese language lessons which you have received from AOTS
as well as the culture and the technical learnings you will receive
from your company. And I hope that one day you will grow up to be a
person who can make a contribution not only to your country but also
to Japan, other Asian countries, and the world. On the way back home,
I will definitely purchase the dictionary manufactured by Sharp.

Finished!

October 19, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Did okay on my presentation. Met Uematsu-san and Tanaka-san.
Tanaka-san is the president of MSI. Whee! =)

Kato-san is coming to Japan next week or next next week! I’m really
looking forward to thanking him in Japanese.

Have to return the LAN cable now, so there won’t be any updates until
I get settled into TKC. Assuming TKC has room Internet. I really,
really hope so.

Good news and bad news: Pictures and Internet

October 19, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The good news is that I managed to grab a copy of all the pictures I’d
taken, after some panicking as I couldn’t find the share listed.
(13-character limitation of smbclient. Pfft. Accessing the share
directly worked.)

The bad news is that apparently, I won’t be able to access the
Internet from my room in Tokyo Kenshu Center. My phone can do e-mail,
though, and there’ll probably be a small computer room there. =) If
I’m really nice, maybe the company will let me plug in my laptop
occasionally.

SAND CATS – 563 words

October 19, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

“Here, kitty, kitty…” The girl made a welcoming sound in the back of
her throat as she coaxed the shy tabby out of the sand. Loving hands
ran over the cat’s smooth, soft back, brushing away excess grains from
the tabby as it turned a pebbled stare on her. Beside it, a sleepy cat
yawned and stretched, oblivious to the inscrutable gaze of a sphinx
who studied the retreating sea. Behind the girl, a calico cat twitched
its coconut-ribbed tail as it stalked a mouse, teaching a pair of
kittens how to hunt. A timid kitten peeked out of its mother’s shadow,
terrified by the sea spray. Carefully stepping back, the girl surveyed
the gamboling cats and clapped her hands with delight.

Just one more, and then the light would be perfect for a picture. The
girl worked with an easy rhythm, digging into hot sand with glee,
raking away powder-dry layers to uncover memories of this morning’s
tide. Nimble fingers shaped the sand into an arched back, alert ears,
and a bushy tail that almost seethed with anger. She bent to brush her
lips against the cat’s warm forehead and for a moment she thought she
could feel it move under her hands. Asking the fierce cat to stand
guard, she ran, breathless, to call her parents and show them the sand
cats.

Her mother put her newspaper down, said “That’s very nice,” and went
back to reading the entertainment page. Her father—ah, her father had
a camera, her father would take a picture of her cats, would love them
as she did! She flew down the beach, clambered among the rocks and
pulled her father’s sleeve insistently. He laughed. Of course he would
come. He would take their pictures.

Her father ambled along the beach taking pictures of every wave, so
slow she pulled him in impatience. Couldn’t he hear the cats call out
to them? Didn’t he want to learn their names, their stories? Didn’t he
understand that her cats were waiting to be photographed, worshipped,
loved? She dashed ahead, then circled back, alternately pulling and
pushing him as she chattered about the cats’ antics.

As they crested the rise, she heard the sea keen, a long, low note
that sent shivers up her spine. The once-angry cat bowed its head in
apology and pain, his face mauled by a vicious footprint. She cried
out to shoo away the kids gleefully stomping on the other cats but no
one paid her any heed, and when they moved on to other distractions,
she ran to the ruined tableau of all her cats wounded and grieving.

She turned away so that her father couldn’t see the saltwater that
stung her face. In a wavering voice she said she’d do them again,
already stooping to reform the cat closest to her, pouring all her
love into it. Sand caked her skin and got under her fingernails but
she didn’t mind. She didn’t even notice when her father strolled away,
laughing about the simple joys of childhood.

When she smoothed the last cheek and pinched the last ear, the sun was
too low and her father too far away to call for pictures or
admiration. No one would understand anyway, no one but her cats. She
sat there, still and silent, a sand-girl-cat guarding her kittens. The
tide came in and claimed them all.

Finally done packing

October 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Somehow managed to get all my clothes back into the suitcase. Yay! Fit
quite neatly, at that, even though I chose to pack my bulky shoes.
Will wear big winter coat to save space. While packing, realized I
have lots and lots of clothes for winter. In retrospect, could’ve
trimmed down and just shopped at Salvation Army second-hand warehouse,
but this way is more reliable, so is not so bad.

I’m tired. Bushed. The end-of-class karaoke party ran from 9 to 11.
Think am getting the hang of it.

Am not looking forward to long span without room Internet. Will have
to survive. Will probably come up with neat way. If desperate, will
use new webcam and headset to record video and speech, if camera
doesn’t work. Suspect a kernel recompile will fix everything.

Miss people. Looking forward to work, which starts Thursday.

If I don’t reappear on the Net soon, that probably means I haven’t
found a nice way of getting Net access. Please use the comment form
below to get in touch with me.

In TKC

October 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Yay! Room Internet!

No place to hang my laundry out to dry, though.

Priorities, priorities. Hooked up computer first. Haven’t even
unpacked all my clothes yet…

Yesterday

October 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Yesterday was homesickness+first-day-jitters day, I guess. When I felt
it coming on, I blocked off the rest of the evening for complete
unproductivity.

Mom was online, and she was really glad to know I had Internet access
in my room. She got pretty worried when she rang my phone and I didn’t
answer. I told her about leaving it in YKC. Whoops! Silly me. She had
a wonderful tea party with my godparents. I should take a video of me
drinking tea so I can join the next one virtually.

Dominique was missing for a good part of the evening. Apparently had
dinner with friends from Davao. Got to talk to him afterwards, though.
=)

Now that I’ve gotten both homesickness and first-day jitters out of
the way, I feel much more prepared to handle the challenges I’ll
encounter during our training. Yay!

Training so far

October 21, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Software installation in a foreign language is difficult. The first
time around, I selected “repair” instead of “reinstall”. I realized my
mistake around fifteen minutes into the installation. The second time,
I used my laptop (yay!) to look up the kanji I didn’t know. It was
slow going, but at least I knew what was going on. I’m glad kanjipad
exists.

I’m waiting for my Windows 2000 installation to finish formatting the
hard disk. Our trainers don’t really speak English, so I’ve asked them
to e-mail us the design documents we need to study so that I can work
on translating the specs. Aris will read up on Delphi. I think that’ll
work out.

I also asked about cheap places to get bento boxes so that we don’t
have to eat at restaurants all the time. With a lunch allowance of 800
yen, all the restaurants are too expensive.

We have a week to learn how to read specifications, understand
Japanese software design, and write Java programs. I’m a bit worried
about software engineering, particularly if they want to use lectures.
I think we’d have an easier time with computer-mediated communication,
because then I have an instant record of everything said, and I can
look words up quickly.

Today’s commute was one and a half hours. Longer than I expected, but
apparently quite normal. We have monthly tickets, so we don’t have to
worry about transportation expenses unless we lose the ticket. I’ll
probably still spend a bit on transportation during weekends, as the
paid segment doesn’t give me access to a lot of tourist spots. Oh
well, that’s all right. =)

More stories soon.

First day

October 21, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Think technical challenge. Think fun. Don’t think about classrooms
and a dorm five minutes away from school.

Delphi is fun, although I miss Lisp’s you-can-lowercase-everything
style. I miss Lisp parentheses and easy syntax. I’m weird, aren’t I?

S’okay. Am getting the hang of Delphi, and am looking forward to the
translation challenge tomorrow.

I miss the academe, though. I feel more suited to it than to this.
That’s okay. I’ll have the next few months to develop a really fine
appreciation of the academe, something that’ll sustain me through
years of studies, frustrating classes, loads of tests to
check… <laugh>

That said, I’m going to give this my best shot. It might not be one of
my alternative careers, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be good
at it. <grin>

Must figure out logistics for my Osaka trip.

Tentative Osaka plans

October 21, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

- Work tomorrow
– Leave MSI at 5:40 and arrive at TKC by 7:30.
– Shower and change into casual clothes. Pick up bags and phone.
– Leave TKC by 8:30. Be in Shinjuku by around 10:30. Make it to the bus with plenty of time to spare.
– Saturday: Wander around. Attend conference. Check into ryokan, change into provided yukata.
– Sunday: Change shirt, possibly pants (bring spare). Wander around. Find a nice public bath or onsen. Take night bus back.
– Monday morning, arrive in Shinjuku at around 6:00. Change into business clothes and go to work.

Stuff I need to bring:

- mobile phone charger
– laptop, charger
– Debian keysigning papers
– A day or two’s worth of clothes.
– Money, misc.

Possibly have these brought:

- business shoes
– business clothes for Monday: white turtleneck, pleated black skirt.

ARGH! Drying clothes!

October 21, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I refuse to be held hostage by laundry tags.

I’ll hang the suits up to dry, but darn if I’ll let most of my blouses
get away with that kind of threat. If I mess up, well, better that I
learn that lesson now, right?

So, sorry, hang-dry clothes, you’re going to get spun-dried today…

(I’ll leave the dry-flat clothes for some other time.)

Trackback implementation for Emacs

October 21, 2004 - Categories: emacs

From http://elisp.info/archive/80614224, posted by Mark A. Hershberger:

This will be put into nnrss.el or weblogger.el, but, for now, here
is an implementation of trackback.

(defun tb-find-tb-url (url &optional local)
  "Find the track-back URL for a resource."
  (with-temp-buffer
    (let* (xmlform htmlform)
      ;; bit o' work necessary for w3 pre-cvs and post-cvs
      (if local
	  (let ((coding-system-for-read 'binary))
	    (insert-file-contents url))
	(mm-url-insert url)))
    (when (re-search-forward "" nil t)
	  (let ((rdf-end (match-end 0)))
	    (goto-char rdf-start)
	    (re-search-forward "trackback:ping=\"\\([^\"]+\\)" rdf-end)
	    (match-string-no-properties 1)))))))

(defun tb-get-trackback (url)
  "Get who's tb-ed an entry."
  (let ((tb-url (tb-find-tb-url url)))
    (when (not tb-url)
      (error "No trackback URL found at %s" url))
    (w3-fetch (concat tb-url "?__mode=rss"))))

(defun tb-send-trackback (url data &optional no-seek)
  "Send a trackback."
  (let ((tb-url (tb-find-tb-url url)))
    (when (and (not no-seek)
	       (not tb-url))
      (error "No trackback URL found at %s" url))
    (let* ((enctype "multipart/form-data")
	   (query (w3-encode-multipart/form-data data))
	   (url-request-method "POST")
	   (url-request-data (cdr query))
	   (url-request-extra-headers
	    (cons (cons "Content-type" (concat enctype "; boundary=\""
					       (substring (car query) 2 nil)
					       "\""))
		  url-request-extra-headers)))
      (w3-fetch (or tb-url url)))))

(defun w3-encode-multipart/form-data (items)
  ;; Create a multipart form submission.
  ;; Returns a cons of two strings.  Car is the separator used.
  ;; cdr is the body of the MIME message."
  (let ((separator (format-time-string
		    "--separator-%Y%j%H%M%S-for-www-form-data")))
    (cons separator
	  (concat
	   (mapconcat
	    (function
	     (lambda (item)
	       (w3-form-encode-make-mime-part
		(car item) (cdr item) separator)))
	    items "\r\n")
	   "\r\n" separator "--\r\n"))))

Example Code:

(tb-send-trackback
 "http://www.movabletype.org/mt/trackback/3"
 '(("title"     . "Emacs Trackback Implementation")
   ("excerpt" . "An implementation of trackback for emacs webloggers.")
   ("url"       . "http://elisp.info/archive/80614224")
   ("blog_name" . "elisp.info")) t)

Now all we need is a way to receive trackback pings…

http://elisp.info/archive/80614224

OO.o demonstration

October 23, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

catch.

Community Manager Louis Suarez-Potts

Changes:

Misc toolbar moved to the bottom. Toolbars now draggable and dockable,
like MS Office. Tweaks to the toolbar so that it’s more like Microsoft
Office. Toolbar icons changed to mimic MS Office even more. Drop-down
autohide stuff. Format paintbrush, etc. Come to think of it, it’s
almost indistinguishable now… Task layout similar to new Office,
slide view on the left. Database.

Ah, I see, the table-line-drawing code is in a fork, and it will be
merged in a short while.

Problems supporting Japanese input under Linux because there are som
any input methods. They have to work with many platforms…

Translation BOF

October 23, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Lots of people use Emacs. Way cool. Edict’s apparently the best way to
look up things. I had hoped that a rikai.com-like mouseover/helpecho
method existed, but segmentation is hard, so…

Debian BOF

October 23, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Slideshow of people from the Debian project.

Debianメンテナへの道
http://www.netfort.gr.jp/~ohura/

~40 Japanese DDs

- Philosophy and procedure
– Tasks and skills

公開鍵 – public key

GPG-related stuff

October 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

A: »ØÌæ¤ò³Îǧ¤·¡¢¸ø³«¸°¤Ë½ð̾¤·¤Þ¤·¤¿¤Î¤ÇźÉÕ¤·¤Þ¤¹¡£ Having checked your fingerprint, I’ve attached the signed public key.

Sites to check out

October 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

- http://deb.dip.jp/~nao/d/
http://staff.ustc.edu.cn/~yoyosu/Emacs.html
http://www.yo.rim.or.jp/~nov/d/?date=20041023
http://www.koka-in.org/~bg66/blog/
http://home.j00.itscom.net/cake-smd/wiki/MakingOfWikiTech.html

11/1 Mozilla Japan free seminar

October 26, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized


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More Emacs tips

October 26, 2004 - Categories: emacs

http://www.douglasjohnston.net

From Douglas Johnston:

In case you’re interested, the second part of my “Emacs retreat” is
online at the blog. (It’s mainly for wanna-be Emacs users, but
emacs-wiki/planner figure prominently in my usage.)

http://www.douglasjohnston.net/weblog/index.php/archives/2004/10/21/emacs-experiment-2/

E-Mail%20from%20Richi’s%20server

Mail problems

October 26, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

cyrus (Hiya, Jijo!) is dropping mail from me again, so I have to send
mail using my own MTA for now. Unfortunately, many sites block me.
Should really get in touch with Jijo soon.

Met Jean-Christophe Helary

October 26, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

JC Helary is a professional French/English/Japanese
translator who handles documents from the countryside. He comes to
Tokyo every month for business meetings and whatnot. I met him through
the OpenOffice.org translate-ja mailing list.

He showed me OmegaT, a tool for
computer-assisted translation. It’s an interesting-looking Java
project with a bit of room for improvement. I hope I can help out!

Conversation was tons of fun. =D

Nice guy. Saw I was pretty cold (had forgotten to grab my coat when I
rushed to work this morning) and lent me a warm sweater. Will return
it on Saturday, preferably with a patch or two (code, not sweater).

Backlog: After the conference

October 26, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Half of my personal mail was in Japanese thanks to the keysigning. I
liked that a lot. I should write in Japanese more often…

In other news

October 26, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Pretty much done with the code for the little project they gave us. Am
a few days ahead of the Friday deadline. Can spend the rest of the
time cleaning up documentation, working on translations, that sort of
thing.

Coding life

October 26, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I have come to the realization that as much as I love coding, I don’t
think I’d want it to be my regular job. I like teaching. I like being
in a classroom. I like talking to people. I like open source. I like
being able to choose my projects and hack on stuff I want to do. If
that means living simply, well, that works for me… =)

Translators EB

October 27, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
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.

E-Mail%20from%20Mari%20Hodges

Kitted out

October 27, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

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.

Met Tomoko and her friend

October 27, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

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!

More realizations

October 27, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

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
work.

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
clarifications.

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.

SAY NO TO SOFTWARE PIRACY

October 28, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

http://www.mb.com.ph/SCTY2004102421147.html

SAY NO TO SOFTWARE PIRACY
By Ethel Timbol
Consumers Post

Check it out. Nice article. Kudos to Alex Timbol for helping his mom. =)

E-Mail%20from%20Manny%20Amador

Congrats, Kendra!

October 28, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The School of Science and Engineering is proud to annouce that
Charlotte Kendra G. Castillo (BS Physics and Class Valedictorian
of Batch 2004) was one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the
Philippines proclaimed during the awarding ceremonies in
Malacanang Palace on Friday, 22 October 2004. Kendra was among the
30 national finalists who participated in a leadership laboratory
from October 14-22. Congratulations, Kendra! We are truly proud of
you!

Not that it should surprise anyone that Kendra’s an outsanding
student, but I’m proud of her, and I’m glad I know not only the
academic side of her but also her as a friend.

CRAZED By Patricia Chanco Evangelista

October 28, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The Philippine STAR 10/22/2004

Interesting article about good causes. (Or interesting exposition of
how we’re so used to being able to dig up information that stuff that
looks somewhat fishy gets checked quickly.)

I love the Philippines, and would like to spend my life helping in
whatever way I can.

You can get it from the Google cache. Philippine Star’s site is
slightly broken.

COLLECTED LINKS:

If you’re looking for more information on “Faye”, check out the
following links. I’ve compiled them from the updates below to
make your browsing life easier.

Static pages:

- We%20lied%20because%20no%20one%20loved%20us,%20says%20’whiz’%20kid%20ma%20-%20INQ7.net (2004.11.14)

End to the saga. Faye story hoax by emotionally disturbed mom.

- Church group apologizes, says whiz kid story not true (2004.11.13)

Retraction by Bread of Life Ministries

- Despite doubts, 12-yr-old girl keeps faith in RP (2004.11.09)

More detailed account.

- Elevate Faye without stepping on anybody (2004.11.07)

- Faye being used in political attack on gov’t? (2004.11.04) The

Postscript article points out that this is not just about the
existence or nonexistence of Faye or even the veracity of the story,
but also the political criticism in the story.

- Is Faye’s story true, or just another fairy tale? (2004.11.02) The

previous column raised questions that need to be answered.

- Misplaced priorities can mislead the nation (base article) The article

from Bread of Life Ministries.

Dynamic pages, discussion:

- J. Angelo Racoma’s blog – (Hey, long time no see. I know him from

way back.) Has archived copy of Evangelista follow-up and link to
Philstar article, which will be broken really soon because Philstar
doesn’t archive articles. Odd, that. Anyway, the blog is probably
the best resource you’ll find. Check the Nov 5, Nov%204 and Nov%203 entries.

- The Faye Story (ongoing), a blog entry with a lot of discussion. A

number of people in the discussion are convinced it’s a hoax. Others
claim it is true. The discussion becomes racist near the end, but is
otherwise interesting. Another discussion from the same blog has
degenerated into puns and kneejerk proofs of how it’s impossible to
verify identity on the Internet, but may eventually contain
something interesting. <shrug>

- GovPH thread (2004.10.29 – present) Another discussion forum with a

handful of posts. Patricia Evangelista’s first article is reposted
here. cetacea commented that the constant references to Jasmine Trias
seems to be a display of crab mentality.

- PinoyPC – Noteworthy because of the scan of the original ad,

if you’re into that sort of thing.

Here are my past updates:


UPDATE: Anyone have any other information? A Web search (even
news.google.com) doesn’t turn up any other articles about this
Intercontinental Science Quiz Net in Australia, which is odd
for an international competition.

UPDATE: 2004.11.03

Apparently, the only source for the Faye story is a paid
advertisement, so the info is iffy. That’s a pity, because there are
so many other stories out there that are less outrageous and yet more
inspiring. We don’t have to have against-all-odds stories to take
pride in being Filipino. There is also courage in the little things we
do.

I find the original speech also a little over the top. I should get
around to writing down my opinion on the thing. I guess that’s why I’m
not a debater, eh?

I also find it rather strange that a number of people who arrived at
this site looking for information on “Faye” and the Intercontinental
Science Quiz Net were strongly convinced that it was a hoax, and
rather vocal about saying so. I think those people are focusing on the
wrong thing. It’s not about the existence or nonexistence of one
person, nor is it even about this preoccupation we might have with
media. I think the most important thing to remember here is that there
is a world outside our cozy little niche with stories we do not know
and perhaps never hear of, the truth or falsehood of which we do not
personally know and cannot because we have not yet stepped outside our
comfort zone.

You may think it’s easy for me to say that, surrounded by autumn
leaves in a First World country, but there is more to this than I can
find the words to explain.

I miss the Philippines. I miss the way the streetchildren’s stares
shock me into realizing that all I have done so far is lacking, that
there is still more to be done. I miss the way the squalor of squatter
communities reminds me that I need to find something I can do to ease
the urban pressure. I miss the questions in my students’ eyes,
questions that I try to answer but fail to explain to my satisfaction.
The Philippines is not perfect. Far from it, even. It is that very
imperfection that brings me out of myself and makes me reach for
greater things.

What is one more candle in a land lit by a thousand suns? It is in
dark places that light is needed most.

UPDATE: 2004.11.05

Followup stories. Posting because people who read this blog might be
curious.

- Faye being used in political attack on gov’t? (2004.11.04)
Is Faye’s story true, or just another fairy tale? (2004.11.02)

- The Faye Story, a blog

entry with many comments. Turns into a racist discussion near the
end, but oh well.

There’s apparently a followup by Patricia Chanco Evangelista in the
11/05/2004 Philippine STAR, but I can’t find an online copy. I saw
it on a mailing list, though, which means people will probably forward
it again. <wry grin>

E-Mail%20from%20Harvey%20Chua

Learning technical Japanese

October 29, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I’ve figured out what I really like about this situation. It’s an
amazing opportunity to rapidly pick up a foreign language, and in a
technical context at that! That’s the main thing they give feedback
on, anyway. They didn’t really comment on our design. I guess as long
as we understand what’s needed and our results seem to be okay, we’re
fine. I get my papers back with little red marks highlighting
incorrect use of particles and suggesting better word usage, though.
I’ve realized that in order to make the most of this opportunity, I
shouldn’t just stick to safe, simple sentences. I’m going to try new
structures and new words, typing my documents over and over again until
the words stick in my head! =)

So, no, I’m not depressed. If the other day’s blog entry made you
worry, sorry! Before I came to Japan, I thought that the AOTS thing
would be a great excuse to learn Japanese. That was the main reason I
said yes, actually. When I started training, I wondered if I should be
focusing on industry experience instead. That’s not really possible,
but my original intention will do quite well. By February, I want to
be able to do tech support and documentation in Japanese.

Work is fun. =)

Oct 22 to Oct 29

October 29, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

From Oct 22 to Oct 29, I worked on a simple calculator. Naganuma gave
us basic specifications and templates for detailed specifications and
unit tests. I filled in the forms and wrote the program by myself.

Although it was my first time to program using Delphi, I did not have
any problems writing the program. I read a Delphi 5 book and
researched on the Internet. Because Delphi is based on Pascal, my
Pascal experience was also helpful.

In the beginning, I had a hard time understanding what I needed to do.
People spoke very quickly and used words and grammar I had not yet
learned. I found written documents easier to understand. I enjoyed
preparing my documents in Japanese because I had a chance to learn new
grammar and new words. I’m still bad at Japanese, though. When my
corrected documents are returned, they’re full of red marks. I had to
keep asking Yoshioka or Naganuma to correct my Japanese. I still have
problems from time to time, but I’m slowly starting to understand.

The first time I submitted my test plans, Yoshioka asked me to provide
an English translation so that he could understand it. My Japanese was
that bad. Because he’s good at English, he can correct my Japanese
quickly. However, starting from next week, he’ll be working in
Shinjuku. I will have to find a way to get much better in Japanese so
that I don’t bother Naganuma all the time and so that I can avoid
misunderstandings.

I searched the Internet for books on technical Japanese. I think they
will be very useful. People say that “Basic Technical Japanese” is the
best book, and even beginners can learn using it. It was published by
University of Tokyo Press. If I pay for it myself, though, it’s a bit
expensive at 7875 yen. Because other trainees can also use the book to
learn, may I ask the company to buy one copy of the book? I believe it
will help us make the most of our short training period.

First Debian conference in Asia

October 30, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Debian%20China%20-%20General%20Info

- 2005.02.28 – 2005.03.01
– Beijing, China

I don’t think I can go, but perhaps other people can make it…

CRAZED By Patricia Chanco Evangelista

October 30, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

UPDATE: Anyone have any other information? A Web search (even
news.google.com) doesn’t turn up any other articles about this
Intercontinental Science Quiz Net in Australia, which is odd for an
international competition. Could just be sloppy reporting. I got
some of my contest titles wrong before…

Thanks to Celsus for pointing this out.

2004.10.29%231

Odd thing

October 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Turned on TV out of impulse. Checked out movies. Japanese subtitles.

What’s this?

A sidecar?

Jeeps?

Passersby standing around and looking at the camera?

Turned up the volume. It sounds like it was dubbed in English and
Filipino. You know how dubbings sometimes sound artificial? That
boggles the mind. I guess sometimes the sound was re-recorded, but
even then, the voice actors weren’t reading it naturally… Mm. I
guess we need to work on our English, then.

Argh. There are Japanese roles in this thing. Naturally, there are no
subtitles for _their_ parts… Pfft.

Okay, that’s it, I’m going to sleep.

Stuff to check out

October 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Ken Loach. “He’s got amazing movies.”

“You’re showing off.”

Land and Freedom. Ladybird, ladybird. (Not sure.) And it’s either one
ladybird or two ladybirds, so you have to check that. If you check
those two, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what he’s doing.

Howard Zinn. A people’s history of the United States from 1492 to
today.

Convenience

October 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

A 5-meter LAN cable is just long enough for me to bring my computer
into the bathroom. Mwahaha!

Great valedictory speech

October 31, 2004 - Categories: life

In Filipino, though. Find a friend who can translate it for you.
(Semi-liberal translation follows after. Please don’t laugh.)
Probably De La Salle University, 2004.

Ngayong araw na ito, sa ating pagtatapos, mayroon
akong dalang Transcript of Record. Ang estudyanteng
may-ari ng transcript na ito ay nag-aral sa De La
Salle University. Sa unibersidad na ito, kapag ikaw ay
isang undergraduate, may ID number na nagsisimula sa
“94” at pataas, kung lumipas ang isang buong
schoolyear at umabot ka sa 15 units na bagsak,
masisipa ka sa paaralan.

Ang transcript na hawak ko ay mayroong 27 units ng
bagsak. 12 sa mga ito ay tinamo ng estudyante sa
iisang schoolyear lang. Ang isang subject ay
kadalasang may bigat na 3 units. Kung iisiping mabuti,
isang subject na bagsak na lang ay pwede na masipa ang
estudyanteng may-ari ng transcript na ito.

Ang speech na ito ay hindi ko ginawa para
i-acknowledge ang paghihirap n gating magulang sa
pagpapaaral natin. Hindi ko din ito ginawa para
maghayag ng political statement, o kumbinsihin kayo na
huwag umalis sa bansa at tulungan itong maka-ahon. Ang
speech na ito ay para sa mga normal na estudyante na
kagaya ng may may-ari ng transcript na hawak ko, dahil
madalas, wala talagang paki-alam ang unibersidad sa
mga achievements nila. May mga awards na gaya ng
“Summa Cum Laude”, “Best Thesis Award” at “Leadership
Award.” Pero ni minsan, hindi pa ako nakakakita ng
unibersidad na nagbigay ng “Hung on and managed to
graduate despite nearly getting kicked-out during his
academic stay” award.

Maaaring isang malaking kagaguhan ang konseptong ito
para sa karamihan. Bakit mo pararangalan ang isang
estudyanteng bulakbol, bobo, tamad o iresponsable?
Hindi ba dapat isuka ito ng unibersidad? Ito yung mga
tipo ng estudyanteng walang ia-asenso sa buhay, hindi
ba?

Ayun. Natumbok niyo.Iyun na nga ang dahilan.

Madalas, pag ang isang estudyante ay may pangit na
marka sa paaralan, lalong-lalo na sa kolehiyo,
nakakapanghina ito ng loob. Nandiyan yung tatamarin ka
mag-aral, nandyan yung iisipin mo “Ano pa kayang
trabaho ang makukuha ko? Call center na naman o
clerical? Ba’t kasi ang bobo ko. Kung matalino lang
ako, sana, sa Proctor and Gamble ako, o kung saang
sikat na kumpanya.”

Mas mahirap ang dinadaanan ng mga estudyanteng
bumabagsak. Kahit na sabihin mong kasalanan nilang
bumabagsak sila, hindi ninyo alam kung ano ang
pakiramdam ng ganun. Madaling sabihin na “Kaya mo yan,
mag-aral ka lang,” pero alam ba natin talaga ang
sinasabi natin?

Kapag ang isang estudyante ay bumabagsak sa
unibersidad, nandiyan yung tatawanan niya lang yan. O
di kaya naman, ipagmamalaki niya pang “TAKE 5 NA
KO!!!” o “Pare, magpi-PhD na ako sa
Anmath3/Calculus/etc.” Pero hindi alam ng mga isang
Summa Cum Laude kung ano ang nasa isip ng isang normal
na estudyante sa tuwing matutulog ito at alam niyang
pag-gising niya, kailangan niya na naming ulitin ang
isang subject na nakuha niya na sa susunod na term.
Kahit kalian, hindi naging problema sa “Star Student”
na sabihing “Nay, bagsak ako.” at hindi kailanman
sumagi sa isip nila na “Paano kaya kung sa
walang-pangalang kumpanya lang ako makapagtrabaho?”
Dahil sigurado sila sa kinabukasan nila.

Huwag na tayong maglokohan. Grades are everything.
Kahit bali-baligtarin mo iyan, hindi magiging patas
ang mga kumpanyang kumukuha ng fresh graduates para
magtrabaho sa kanila. Minsan din naman, nadadaan sa
palakasan, pero ganun pa din. Kung hindi ka
academically good, wala kang patutunguhan. Kung hindi
man yun, mas mahirap yung dadaanan mo para lang
makaa-abot sa prestihiyosong posisyon.

Kaya ngayong graduation, ang speech na ito ay inaaalay
ko para sa mga estudyanteng lumpagpak,
muntik-muntikanan nang masipa o yung lahat ng paraang
pwede, ginawa na para lang makatapos. Gagawin kong
patas ang mundo para sa inyo kahit isang araw lang.
Kahit ano pa ang sabihin ng ibang tao, kesyo kasalanan
mo man na pangit ang marka mo o muntik ka nang
makick-out, saludo ako sa hindi mo pagtigil sa
pag-aaral. Saludo ako na may lakas ka ng loob na
harapin pa rin ang mundo kahit alam mong hindi ito
magiging patas sa iyo. Saludo ako na kahit pangit ang
transcript mo, taas-noo ka pa rin ngayong graduation
at proud na proud sa sarili mo.

Ano ngayon ang mangyayari sa mga graduates pagkatapos
nitong graduation? Ayoko nang puntahan yung pwedeng
mangyayari sa mga Cum Laude. Baduy. Alam mo namang me
patutunguhan ang buhay nila e. Pero dun sa mga
lumagpak, ano ang meron?

Maaring makakuha kayo ng mediocre na trabaho lang.
Pwede ka rin swertehin, baka makapagtrabaho ka sa
magandang kumpanya. Madami pang pwedeng mangyari.
Huwag kayong mawalan ng pag-asa. Kung nung college,
nagtiyaga kayo e ba’t titigilan niyo yung pagti-tiyaga
ngayon?

Pwede ring ganito: Mag-aral ka ulit. Ipakita mo sa
kanila na kung sipagin ka lang, malayo ang mararating
mo. Subukan mong patunayan sa kanila na kapag pinilit
mo, kaya mo ring abutin yung naabot nila. Na hindi ka
bobo, kundi tinamad ka lang.

Baka sabihin ninyo, drowing lang ako.

I’ve been on both sides. Naranasan ko na ring
lumagpak, at muntikan na din akong masipa. Naranasan
ko na na umulit ng 4 na beses sa iisang subject.
Naranasan ko na na masumbatan ng magulang, kapatid at
kung sino-sino pang propesor na walang pakialam sa
pakiramdam ng estuyante. Naranasan ko nang hindi
makatulog ng maraming gabi sa pagiisip kung paano ko
na naman sasabihin sa magulang ko na may bagsak na
naman ako. Kaya alam ko ang pakiramdam ninyo. Akin ang
transcript na ito.

Pagkagraduate ko ng college, ano ang ginawa ko? Eto.
Nagtrabaho muna ng konti, tapos aral ulit. Kuha ng
Masteral sa kurso ko. Hindi para sa trabaho o kung ano
man. Kundi para patunayan sa sarili ko na noong mga
panahong bumabagsak ako, tinatamad lang ako.

This is a rebellion. I raise my middle finger to every
professor, over-achiever, naysayer and detractor that
told me that I can’t make it. I raise my middle finger
to every valedictory or graduation speech that only
gratifies the university, those who were achievers in
school or those who gratify the country when it’s
supposed to be the graduate’s moment of glory. You are
supposed to acknowledge EVERYONE. Even those who
failed many times.

Kaya sa inyong mga graduates na medyo hindi maganda
ang marka, para sa inyo ito. Kung kinaya ko ito, kaya
niyo rin to. Imposibleng hindi.

On this day, during our graduation, I’ve brought a Transcript of
Record. The student who owns this transcript studied in De La Salle
University. In this university, if you are an undergraduate with an ID
number starting with 94 or higher and you reach 15 failed units in
an entire schoolyear, you will be kicked out from school.

The transcript I hold has 27 failed units. Twelve of these were in one
schoolyear alone. Subjects are usually worth 3 units each. If you
think about it, if the student who owns this transcript failed just
one more subject, he or she could have been kicked out of school.

I didn’t make this script to acknowledge the difficulties our parents
had in providing for our education. Neither did I intend to make a
political statement or convince you not to leave the country, instead
helping it recover. This speech is for the normal students like the
owner of the transcript I hold because the university frequently
doesn’t care about their achievements. There are awards like “Summa
Cum Laude”, “Best Thesis Award” and “Leadership Award.” But not once
have I seen seen a university give a “Hung on and managed to graduate
despite nearly getting kicked-out during his academic stay” award.

To most people, this concept may seem like a huge mistake. Why would
you honor students who are stupid, lazy or irresponsible? Shouldn’t
the university just spit them out? This is the type of students who
won’t make anything of their lives, isn’t it?

There. You’ve figured it out. That is indeed the reason.

Often, if a student has bad marks in school, particularly in college,
their spirit is weakened. There is the temptation to be lazy about
studying, there is the thought of “What kind of work can I get? Call
center again or clerical? Why is it that I’m so stupid… If I were
only smart, I’d be in Proctor or Gamble or some other famous company.”

Failing students take a harder path. Even if you say that it’s their
fault they’re failing, you don’t know how it feels. It’s easy to say
“You can do it, just study,” but do we really know what we are saying?

If a student is failing in university, he or she can also laugh about
it, or even proudly say “I’m already on my 5th take!” or “I’m going to
PhD in Anmath3/Calculus/etc.” But a Summa Cum Laude doesn’t know
what’s on the mind of a normal student who sleeps knowing that when he
wakes up, he will have to repeat a subject that he had already taken
during the previous term. Not once has it been a problem for a “Star
Student” to say, “Mom, I failed.” and never has a star student
wondered “What will happen if I can only work at a no-name company?”
That’s because star students are sure of their futures.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Grades are everything. Even if you look at
it from different points of views, the companies that hire fresh
graduates to work for them don’t treat people equally. Sometimes,
confidence will win the day, but it’s still the same. If you’re not
academically good, you won’t go anywhere. If it’s not that, you have
to take a harder path just to get a prestigious position.

That’s why this graduation, I offer this speech to the students who
tripped, almost got kicked out, or did everything they could just to
finish. I will make the playing field equal for you even if only for
one day. No matter what other people say, even if they say it’s your
fault your marks are ugly or you were almost kicked out, I salute you
for not stopping your studies. I salute you for facing the world with
courage even though you know the playing field isn’t even. I salute
you because you stand up straight and are proud of yourselves this
graduation even though your transcripts are bad.

What will happen to graduates after this graduation? I don’t want to
talk about what could happen to the Cum Laudes. It’s passe. You
already know they’re going somewhere. But what is there for those who
tripped?

You might only be able to get a mediocre job. If you’re lucky, maybe
you can work at a good company. A lot of things can happen. Don’t lose
hope. If you persevered during college, then why would you lose your
perseverance now?

Or you could study again. Show other people that if you just put your
mind to it, you could go far. Try to prove to them that if you worked
hard, you can also reach what they have reached. That you weren’t
stupid, but you just felt lazy.

You might say I’m just hypothesizing.

I’ve been on both sides. I’ve also experienced tripping, and I’ve also
almost been kicked out. I’ve experienced repeating one subject four
times. I’ve experienced being scolded by parents, siblings and
professors who didn’t care about students’ feelings. I’ve experienced
not being able to sleep, worrying about how to tell my parents I
failed again. That’s why I know how you feel. This transcript is mine.

When I graduated from college, what did I do? This. I worked a little
bit, then I studied again. I went for a Masteral in my course. It
wasn’t for work or anything else. It was so that I could prove to
myself that I failed only because I had felt lazy.

This is a rebellion. I raise my middle finger to every professor,
over-achiever, naysayer and detractor that told me that I can’t make
it. I raise my middle finger to every valedictory or graduation speech
that only gratifies the university, those who were achievers in school
or those who gratify the country when it’s supposed to be the
graduate’s moment of glory. You are supposed to acknowledge EVERYONE.
Even those who failed many times.

So, graduates whose marks aren’t pretty, this is for you. If I could
do it, so can you. It’s impossible for you to not be able to do so.

E-Mail%20from%20mfg

Open Source Developer Contest – Sponsored by IBM

October 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Hi,

I am attempting to let some of the larger US-based Linux User Groups know
about a contest we are sponsoring. I am afraid our communications didn’t
get the word out very well. It awards the development of new applications
and the porting of existing applications to LinuxPPC64. Prizes include a
Toyota Prius for the most innovative new application, and there are a large
number of Apple Power Mac G5s and cash awards available for the first
contestants to port an application from a predetermined list. Take a look
at : http://www.linuxonpower.com for more information.

The only gotcha’s are that due to time constraints for rolling out the
contest we were only able to make it available to US contestants at this
time. Also the cutoff for registering for the contest (contest actually
runs through most of the rest of the year) is Oct. 31st, so time is short.

Also, if any of your members are interested in working on a LinuxPPC64
machine (contest or not), the University of Portland is hosting a couple of
servers that are available to any Open Source developer interested in
developing or porting to LinuxPPC. They can be found at :
http://www.egr.up.edu:8080 . Once a user is registered they will receive a
ssh shell account on the development system w/in a couple of days.
Registration includes providing a Name, valid email address, and a
location.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Robert MacFarlan
Strategist
ISV Global Solutions Enablement
IBM

IBM. Porting to LinuxPPC. Hey. PPC. Mac.

It boggles the mind.

E-Mail%20from%20Mike%20Gorse

Debugging people

October 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
Of course I would. If I knew the right way to say it. ::sighs::

I’m a computer geek. <grin> I’m used to getting weird output
from programs and figuring out what’s really going on. Not only that,
I teach, so I _have_ to know how to get from a vague description to an
aha! moment.