Opera Mini 4

I Just installed Opera Mini on my Treo 650. It’s pretty amazing. Not exactly a safari but good enough, and much faster than the browser the Treo comes with. It’s pretty amazing that this Java app can out-perform the C-based Blazer browser by what feels like an order of magnitude.

Workrave

I learned about this program from Sacha Chua’s blog. Workrave is a cool time-to-take-a-break-reminder program that doesn’t just lock your screen (like the default typing break program in Ubuntu). It has micro-breaks which are great to remind me to get back to working on whatever I was supposed to be doing.

I wonder how my life would change if I made a program for my Treo that would make it vibrate every couple of minutes to remind me to keep my attention where it should be.

Ubuntu users can use the following link to get APT to install it for you: Install Workrave

EMobile D01NE on Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

The EM D01NE is a (I think) HSDPA PCMCIA card. The driver for the modem comes with Ubuntu 7.04 (Maybe before). I get about 2Mbps from it (max is 3.8).

Getting this setup in Ubuntu is easier than getting it setup with Windows. The only gotcha is that you have to install Gnome-PPP first, since it doesn’t come with Ubuntu. I’ll try later using gnome-network-settings and report it in another post.

  • First install GNOME-PPP using synaptic or apt-get
  • Run it and press the setup button
  • Press the detect button, it should find /dev/ttyACM0
  • Speed: 460800
  • Phone Line: Tone
  • Volume: High
  • In the Init Strings change Init2 to ATH0E1
  • Leave Init 3 alone
  • Leave Dial prefix empty
  • Username: em
  • Password: em
  • Phone number *99***1# (Some people have success with just *99#)
  • Internet!

These instructions come from http://d.hatena.ne.jp/hayamiz/20070616/1181994636 (Japanese)

Japanese Keybaord-Fu

For the benefit of the Internet, the key combination Control+Shift+Hiragana_Katakana puts the keyboard to and from the qwerty layout. Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there. Control+Shift+Hiragana_Katakana actually alternates between half-width katakana layout and qwerty layout modes. If you are unlucky enough to accidentally press that key combination while in full-width character mode (Like I did) you will be pleasantly surprised to find that the same key combination doesn’t take you out of the Kana layout mode! The language bar isn’t going to help you either because the keyboard map between qwerty and kana mode isn’t handled in the input method! (Great design guys!). If you are in full-width character mode you need to press ALT+Hiragana_Katakana (TWICE!!!!) to get back into the full-width qwerty layout. This because the first time you press it it’ll take you into the full-width kana layout again!

(Since I map the Caps Lock key to Control, it might be possible that the combination is Caps Lock+Shift+Hiragana_Katakana. Changing this mapping in Windows requires messing with the registry so I’m not going to try it. Perhaps Lazyweb can confirm it for me. )

In the hour I spent smashing every key combination possible I found some other equally useless combinations. Here’s a list of my findings.

  • (Full-width mode) ALT+Hiragana_Katakana: Toggle qwerty and kana layout modes
  • (Half-width mode) CTRL+Shift+Hiragana_Katakana: Toggle half width querty and kana layout modes (toggles full-width romaji in full-width mode)
  • (Full-width mode) Shift+Muhenkan: Toggle between kana and full-width romaji
  • (Full-width mode) Shift+Henkan: Toogle between kana and half-width romaji modes

Work

Some of the buildings over here at Panasonic make half-life-like noises… I should probably keep a crow-bar handy…

Ubuntu 7.04 Installation Notes

I added a new page to my website with some of my notes on installing Ubuntu 7.04 “Feisty Fawn” on my iBook G4. Even though PowerPC computers are no longer supported by Canonical I’m impressed with how little I had to do this time to get it working. Kudos to the Debian and Ubuntu communities. I especially want to thank the xorg ati driver developers for getting 3d acceleration working, you guys seriously rock. I’m going to try this summer to get the changes listed on my page into Ubuntu for the next release.

As for my thoughts on this release, I have to say that I’m genuinely impressed. Linux has Vista beat in every front in my book. (Even in the game department! ) With desktop-effects and virtual desktops we have a more functional 3D desktop than Vista and we are at least 6 months ahead of Apple’s next version of OS X. Plus all the bells and whistles fits into 256MB of RAM, while Vista needs 512MB of RAM minimum just to run in it’s most basic mode. Ubuntu definitely wins in terms of preserving your computer’s value.

I’m really proud to be a (small) part of this community. People everywhere are doing amazing things with Linux, and while Apple maybe be doing some pretty innovative stuff to OS X it’s not even close to the out-of-the-box (computer) thinking that is happening in the Free Software community.

久しぶり

Well, it’s been a really long time since I’ve written an entry but I’ll try to get everyone up to speed about what I’ve been up to in the last few months.

The biggest news is that I’ve been accepted to do an internship at Matsushita (The parent company of Panasonic) for 6 months. It starts this June so I should be back in Japan on June 1st. It’s really exciting and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get some real job experience in Japan. I just learned recently that this year is also the last year for JETRO, the agency that matches students with internships in Japan.

The title of the internship is “Modeling and Code Generation of ubiquitous device networks.” It sounds pretty interesting, and they are using Linux servers. I’m pretty sure that’s one place where I can be helpful.

This winter break I had a wonderful time in Puerto Rico with my girlfriend. She met nearly my entire family on my mom’s side of the family, but nobody on my dad’s side. Looks like one day we’ll have to go to PR together again. I think she’ll like the idea.

For spring break I went to Puerto Rico (again) with a few of my friends. They really enjoyed it and want to go back. I apparently make a decent guide to PR even though I probably know more about Japan. ^_^;;;

Well I guess that’s all the important interesting stuff. Let me know if you are going to be in Japan in the summer or fall!