Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Even Steven

So I finally got my previously withheld taxes back yesterday along with my monthly paycheck. So, basically, around $6000, which will certainly make a dent in my $15,000 of credit card debt (don't do credit cards kids, mmkay? Credit cards are bad, mmkay?). This makes me very happy. :-D

Of course, I also forgot to turn my headlights off that morning when I came to work. Completely dead battery when I tried to go to the bank 10 hours later. So, everything balances.

Where Have I Seen This Before?

So, we use shorthand in the classroom when writing on the board. For person, we'll write the Kanji for person: 人 (the font doesn't do it justice). And if we are emphasizing the placement of "person" in the sentence, we'll draw a circle around it. Basically, it looks like:

(Well, it really does look a bit different. Hito leans the other way.)

Gentoo Linux in 3 Steps!

If you don't know what Gentoo is, just go to the next post. I saw this quote on Bash.
<@insomnia> it only takes three commands to install Gentoo
<@insomnia> cfdisk /dev/hda && mkfs.xfs /dev/hda1 && mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/gentoo/ && chroot /mnt/gentoo/ && env-update && . /etc/profile && emerge sync && cd /usr/portage && scripts/bootsrap.sh && emerge system && emerge vim && vi /etc/fstab && emerge gentoo-dev-sources && cd /usr/src/linux && make menuconfig && make install modules_install && emerge gnome mozilla-firefox openoffice && emerge grub && cp /boot/grub/grub.conf.sample /boot/grub/grub.conf && vi /boot/grub/grub.conf && grub && init 6
<@insomnia> that's the first one

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


So, I finally gave out a GMail invitation, to my brother, bringing me down to 5 invites left. Today, I logged in and saw I had 50 invites left. So don't be surprised if you get an invite from me. And if you want one and don't get one, leave a comment and I'll send you one.

Bad Memory

So, the memory on my laptop is bad, and without it my computer is slow. So slow, that by the time I log on to Blogger to update, I've forgotten what it was I was going to blog in the first place. Because of my own bad memory. Ironic.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

R.I.P. P.C.

This Phoenix is a sad Phoenix.

The hard drive on my desktop computer broke the other day. It's still under warranty, but first I need to buy a new one to try and recover my files from the broken one (my extensive collection of hard-drive recovery programs was ironically on that drive; thank god I still have some original disks). The problem is that it's bigger than any hard drive I can find at the appliance stores around here. Japan is not like America: we don't have computer shops on every corner here. We don't have computer shops at all.

I found this one at Newegg.com which would be perfect for me, but Newegg doesn't ship internationally. :-( If I were still in Spokane, I could pick up this one at CompUSA for even cheaper (after rebate), but I don't live in Spokane anymore, which is why living abroad sometimes has drawbacks.

But just when you thought things couldn't get any better, just wait! Yesterday, the memory chip in my laptop died. I was watching a video and boop! Brief flash of blue screen, and "restart". I say "restart" in ticks because it didn't restart. Nothing came on the screen. Did the monitor die? The hard drive? What? I went through the troubleshooting checklist and it is indeed the memory. So, my laptop went from 1280megs to 256megs. It's working...but....slow......... Have you ever tried to run Windows XP on a computer with 256megs of RAM? Let me save you the trouble: Take a photo of your computer, and paste it on your monitor. That's what it's like. Slow is too small a word.

I bought the memory from MemoryStock.com, where there is a lifetime warranty on all memories except laptop, so I may be hosed on that. I can get another stick from them for $267.00 (including shipping to Japan). Crucial.com has the memory I need, but it's $339.99 plus shipping, but either way I'll have to wait until payday (the 21st, one week from today). The thing about Crucial is: The memory is fairly competitively priced (usually more so than this), it comes with a lifetime warranty, and it's reliable enough that you'll probably never need the warranty. That's what I look for in memory. I should have bought from them the last time, but I was short on funds (when am I not?) and wasn't thinking clearly.


I should have brought my back-up laptop with me, for days like this.

The Close Call

So, last week, the Nishi school (my thr-fri school) asked me to switch the 15th (tue) with the 17th (thr), because the graduation ceremony is going to be held on 15th. Higashi (my mon-tue-wed school) is holding their ceremony on the 14th. So I can go to both, which makes me happy, because the students at both schools are awesome.

On wed I asked one of my teachers at Higashi what I should wear, and she said that the teachers were going to wear black suits. I said, "Monday is the 14th, right?" "Right," she said.

Which means I had the weekend to get a new tie.

During pictures, I wore my black suit and black tie, and they asked me to change it. My tie was black, which is what you wear to funerals. Another teacher lent me a pearl-white tie, like all the other teachers wore, and that was fine. But this time, I would have to have my own tie.

So, fri or sat I was at the store and I picked out a nice tie (cheap, scotch-guarded, pearl-white). And forgot about it.

Now it's monday. I didn't do laundry this weekend, so I was trying to pick out my cleanest clothes to wear to school. Is this enough dirt to be noticable? I was heading off to the shower, when I realized: It's Monday! The 14th! Graduation ceremony!

I dash back upstairs and dig out my black suit. I hadn't worn it since picture day. When I was getting dressed, I opened the package on my new tie.

My new tie...is too small. Much too small. I can't tie a Windsor. I can't even tie a half-Windsor. There's not enough tie. I ended up tieing a quarter-Windsor (it's possible), but it's kind of loose.

Whew. That was close. Imagine how embarrassed I would be if I showed up at school in my old dirty clothes for graduation ceremony! Really, really, close call.

And now I'm at school. And no one is wearing a black suit except me. Graduation ceremony is MARCH 14th, which is also a monday.

Ah....the sting of embarrassment....now I remember what you feel like. It's been too long. At least my co-workers will get a kick out of it. :D Haha! That crazy American!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

My Favorite Singer's Group Is....

So, I'm grading tests (quickly, since class starts in less than a half hour, and I was just handed this task), and the section I'm working on is about what the student's do in their free time.

One student wrote something like:

I like to listen to music in my free time. (check)
I have many CDs. (check)
My favorite singer's group is Pornography Graffiti. (Waaa?)

It's a band, apparently.

Of course, after seeing the ubiquitous playboy logo carried by so many elementary school girls, reading that one of my middle school girls likes Pornography Graffiti shouldn't surprise me at all.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

NJ: Nerd Time

If you're not a computer nerd and/or a Kevin Smith fan, you can skip this post entirely. I know I'm posting a bit early for my recent pattern of every-two-weeks, but I was reading this today at work, and laughed out loud. No big deal, unless you work in Japan, in a room full of reserved co-workers. Anyway, there was a post on Slashdot with the title "18 Live Linux CDs -- In A Row". [For the non-nerds who didn't leave when I warned them, 'Live Linux' is a fully functional version of Linux which you do not need to install. You just pop the CD in and restart your computer. It's often used by people who are new to Linux and wish to try it without installing it. See also: http://www.knoppix.org/]

This led to some creative posts (because of the 'in a row' tag), which I will combine here, filling in gaps as needed I have to thank IntelliTubbie (29947), madmancarman (100642), the enigmatic Anonymous Coward, and AllMovieScripts.com, which had the (slightly inaccurate) script which allowed me to fill in the blanks.

Now we go to the scene, already in progress:

Imagine instead of Dante and Veronica, a conversation between Klaus Knopper and Pamela Jones of Groklaw:

GENTOO: Do you still talk to Linus?
PAMELA: I just talked to him on Monday. We still hang out on weekends.
GENTOO: (leaving) That's cool. Well-you two lovebirds take it easy, all right?
PAMELA: I will. Take it easy.
GENTOO: Bye.(exits)
PAMELA: Bye. (to KLAUS) That was Gentoo.
KLAUS: Why do you call him that?
PAMELA: Linus made it up. It's a live linux CD thing.
KLAUS: What do you mean?
PAMELA: After he boots a live CD, he likes to download and compile new binaries from source. It's called gentooing.
KLAUS: He requested this?
PAMELA: He gets off on it.
KLAUS: Linus can be talked into anything.
PAMELA: Why do you say that?
KLAUS: Like you said - he gentooed him.
PAMELA: Linus? No; I gentooed him.
KLAUS: Yeah, right.
PAMELA: I'm serious...
KLAUS: You booted that guy's live CD?
PAMELA: Yeah. How do you think I know he liked...
KLAUS: But...but you said you only installed three distros! You never mentioned his!
PAMELA: That's because I never installed his!
KLAUS: You booted his live CD!
PAMELA: We went out a few times. We didn't install, but we fooled around.
KLAUS: Oh my God! Why did you tell me you only installed three distros?
PAMELA: Because I did only install three distros! That doesn't mean I didn't just live-boot with people.
KLAUS: Oh my God-I feel so nauseous...
PAMELA: I'm sorry, Klaus. I thought you understood.
KLAUS: I did understand! I understand that you installed three different distros, and that's all you said.
PAMELA: Please calm down.
KLAUS: How many?
PAMELA: Klaus...
KLAUS: How many live CDs have you booted?!
PAMELA: Let it go...
PAMELA: All right! Shut up a second and I'll tell you! Jesus! I didn't freak like this when you told me how many distros you installed.
KLAUS: This is different. This is important. How many?!
PAMELA: Something like seventeen.
PAMELA: Lower your voice!
KLAUS: What the hell is that anyway, "something like seventeen?" Does that include mine?
PAMELA: Um. Eighteen.
PAMELA: I'm going to class.
KLAUS: Eighteen?! My girlfriend booted eighteen live CDs!
RMS: In a row?
KLAUS chases PAMELA down and grabs her by the door.
KLAUS: Hey! Where are you going?!
PAMELA: Hey listen, jerk! Until today you never even knew how many distros I'd installed, because you never even asked. And then you act all nonchalant about installing twelve distros. Well, I never installed twelve distros!
KLAUS: No, but you live-booted enough CDs!
PAMELA: Yeah, I booted a few...
KLAUS: A few?
PAMELA: ...And one of those distros was yours! The last one, I might add, which-if you're too stupid to comprehend-means that I've been faithful to yours since we met! All the other distros I booted before I met you, so, if you want to have a complex about it, go ahead! But don't look at me like I'm the town |-|4><0r, because you were plenty busy yourself, before you met me!
KLAUS: (a bit more rational) Well...why did you have to live-boot their CDs? Why didn't you just install them, like any decent person?!
PAMELA: Because live-booting isn't a big deal! I used to like a guy, we'd hang out, and sooner or later I'd live-boot his distro. But I only installed the distros I loved.
KLAUS: I feel sick.
PAMELA: (holds him) I love you. Don't feel sick.
KLAUS: Every time I troubleshoot your computer now I'm going to see seventeen other distros.
PAMELA violently lets go of him.
PAMELA: I'm going to school. Maybe later you'll be a bit more rational.
KLAUS: (pause) Eighteen. I just can't...
PAMELA: Goodbye, Klaus.
She exits in a huff. KLAUS stands there in silence for a moment. Then he swings the door open and yells out.
KLAUS: Try not to run any Linux distributions on the way to the parking lot!
Two software vendors who were walking in the opposite direction outside double back and head in the direction PAMELA went.
KLAUS: Hey, you ... get back here!

Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.