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

Finished my Study Aborad Applications!

Currently my Todo list is:
– Do Eavesdropping JSL28
– Do R/W #3
– Do R/W #2
– Turn in R/W #1
– Do Logic proofs 110-210

I finally got my applications done, now it’s time to catch up in Japanese and logic class.

I also plan to catch up on my reading, after I finish “The Wind-up Bird Chornicle” I’ll start “Myst: The Book of Atrus” something I’ve been meaning to read since the summer. I’m taking too many classes. I haven’t read anything since August (other than Text books.)

I also hear good things about the new WordPress 1.5, I might upgrade mine soon.

On a side-note because of the health certificate I had to get for my Ritsumeikan application I now know that I weigh 175 pounds. At one time I was 210, so I’m really happy, but I don’t feel or look much lighter. I think I’ll aim for 150 instead of 165. I don’t think I even want to try getting lower than 150.

So much work

Currently my Todo list is:
– Finish Ritsumeikan Application
– Finish CS449 Project 2
– Do Eavesdropping JSL28
– Do R/W #3
– Do R/W #2
– Turn in R/W #1
– Do Logic proofs 110-210

This is huge. Project 2 is due in less than 24 hours. And the Ritsumeikan essay is due Tuesday. The rest is late work….I do this every year. Why do I suck so bad at doing homework. There are so many things I’d rathe be doing, (like getting linux on my ipod.) Maybe if I pull the plug on my computer I might be able to get some work done. All nighters are becoming less and less productive lately. (already on my third one this week…)

I’ve been talking to Praia online recently. I wish I could go to PR for spring break. but knowing me, I’ll have like 3 or 4 RW assignments to do…

… Time needs to stop for a second and let me catch up…

Blog spam sucks

I just erased a shit-load of blog spam. I didn’t even know it existed until yesterday! The internet is a sad place…

Lain now has Swap! I didn’t even notice it was missing swap. oh well.

Last weekend I went to the farm to visit my grandma and grandpa for Thanks Giving. It was pretty relaxing, I didn’t do any homework (other than my last CS445 assignment) It was the first time I rode a train. I like it, it’s so laid back compared to airplanes and airports. The only problem is that there weren’t any electrical outlets on the trains to and from Pittsburgh. I watched a lot of TV, and it was painful. I was mostly watching G4TechTV and the Discovery Wings channel. I wanted to play every game and fly every plane I saw… I guess that’s why I don’t like TV. Once I got back to Pittsburgh I started working on all the homework I had to do. I finished the CS445 assignment 30 hours late, and the CS441 homework 4 days late… and the Japanese homework, isn’t done yet. I must finish it this week though, school is almost over.

I’m pretty much done with Java for the next year thankfully… My next two classes are in C and MIPS assembly, yay… Then while I’m in Japan I won’t be taking any CS classes. While I’m on the subject of C, I found out that there’s a GCC backend for the CLR. I think this is pretty cool. Not that the CLR is really cool but that GCC is. I had no idea you could do such a thing with GCC. I learned about GCC frontends and GCC backends. Amazing stuff. I also found out that the CLR/CIL is “better” than JVM in many ways. Really the main focus of the JVM is java, and portability. .Net is more focused in instantly being able to use libraries in different languages. Other than those two things they are essentially the same thing. Two virtual machines (and languages) with marketing departments.

In other news, QL is so much better now. Not only does it have the regular features that everyone really needs and expects. It has a few I didn’t really think about. The best part is that I use those features a lot. I’m sure some other players for Windows have a few of them (maybe even all of them). So it’s probably not really that great for other people, but it’s amazing to me. The features are mostly in the stuff you can do with the tags of your music like rename files by tag or retag files by name. It also supports numbering files multiple tags, and extracting other tags from tags. (Not to mention unicode support which is definitely the way it should be.) Those things (and being able to search for songs by using regular expressions, and now even by things like times played) make QL my favorite player.
Check the Quod Libet home page here

I discovered nikki’s blog while reading mako’s blog (which is on It’s super interesting and I love the way she writes it. She has little posts about strange small things sometimes and I like it. I’m going to try to make some posts in that style.