An Idea

Lately I’ve been dreaming up of a window manager that could help me stay focused on a single thing by keeping me from multi-tasking. In the spirit of programs like writeroom and pyroom.

  • It would always display windows in full screen mode.
  • To do any action it would require you to type in a random string of characters.

The reason for having to type in the specified random string of characters is to give some weight to moving to another window. It might remove my desire to “just check if there’s any e-mail”, which usually turn into big distractions wasting time I don’t have. Yet it still makes switching to a Firefox window with some research possible.


It’s amazing how far a little LaTeX can take you. Even if you’re just writing an MLA style paper.

Here’s some packages to get you started:

After installing those packages you can learn how to make an MLA style paper by reading the readme file at:


If you are making a regular CS paper/report/dissertation then the example LaTeX file is the best example to go on. Try a Google search for “LaTeX Example” for some good ones.

I use Emacs as my editor which is pretty tough for most people but I think that it’s worth it if you learn how to use org-mode. Then you can C-x 3 (Vertical Split Screen) in Emacs and open a file right next to the text. Then you can have an outline right at your finger tips, that you can modify/show/hide in various ways.

I also recommend adding the following line to the top of your .tex file:

% -*- mode:latex; mode: flyspell; mode: auto-fill -*-

It’ll turn on flyspell and auto-fill mode for you.

My LaTeX documents are organized into a directory structure like this

~/<class name>/<essay title>/

I keep a skeleton folder with those three files in it. And to make a new essay I just copy and paste it with a new name.


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


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!


Today I played against a 2kyu girl with a 4 stone handycap. I was surprized with how well I did even though I lost. The game took 3 hours so I didn’t have enough time to go over the game. It’s to bad I could have learned a lot.

Back from Doug’s house

I spent the weekend at Doug’s house working on our PalmOS project (A 2-player game that uses IrDA). Although we both got pretty far along, we still don’t have anything that’s playable yet.

Doug started by writing on top of the example serial_chat.c program that the professor gave the class. I really hate writing in-side someone else’s code so I started from scratch. The advantage is that I feel more comfortable coding it since I feel more in control. Doug had lots of problems at first with communication, but he’s pretty much got it working now. I can’t stand coding like that, but Doug is far ahead of me with what he has working.

For the communication I’m using a small event system to reduce the ammount of .h files that have to be included, and so that the communication c file doesn’t have to mess with the GUI at all and likewise the gui c files don’t have to mess with communication at all. Although it’s being a little bit of a headache right now I think it’ll be a nice and simple way of handling communication.

I had a Easter dinner with Doug’s familly too, it was really good. It’s been a long time since I had real food. I even let go of my diet and had cheese cake. So for the next week I should really stick to 1,500 Calories or less. I realized today that I love talking about computers, software and Japanese. The more I learn the more interesting computers get. Maybe I would’ve been better off as a Computer Engineering major.

With the help of Patrick planet WPLUG now has a new look. I hope everyone likes it.

New Todo List

My current Todo list is:

– Turn in Eavesdropping JSL28
– Turn in R/W #3
– Turn in R/W #2
– Do CS449 Project 3

I’m sure I’ll be able to catch up with Japanese by the end of spring break. I hope to finish Project 3 tomorrow. for bonus points