September 2009


Alphasdesktop001

What the physical desktop looks like after a major cleaning and reorganizing … Maid Mikuru helped clean and reorg. The virtual desktop is kinda hidden but

I have been using Chrome extensively for a while now and it works solidly for me. I switched because Firefox refused to render a page correctly and I tried Chrome to find it worked. By the weeks end I was using Chrome all the time and have stayed with it since. It renders blazingly fast and works like a charm, the low user/market share means it has not been a target for hackers and there are some nice tweaks in the way it works to help keep it secure. Check out the little FAQ on this page to see what the dev team wanted to accomplish with the Chrome browser. Searching directly from the box sounds so simple it is a wonder why no one did it before.

Gah, I am going to stop before I get to sounding like a Google commercial….

acertimelineHow do you know what tech to spend your budget on? what priorities do you use to decide what gadgets get your budget?

I am at a different point in my life than I was even a few years ago. choosing what gear is best for me no longer has the same answers as then. A short time ago I was much into MMO style gaming and needed a workhorse machine.

But now after a trip to Japan and thinking of another, and going through a new stage in life I find myself wanting something with portability and connectivity and value. My budget is not unlimited right now.

I have been more interested lately in finding a laptop/notebook that can run applications and give me the connectivity for the web and social apps is far more important than horsepower. I want a portable computer that will handle web applications with aplomb, even video and batch photo processing. etc. Taking it with me on travel is far more important than pure computing horsepower.

I am very intrigued by the new Acer Timeline notebooks. up to 8 hours of battery life (yeah yeah; believe it when I see it) and up to a 15.6 inch screen.

Once Win7 comes out or even the Chrome OS from Google a notebook like that should work perfectly for what I need.

Engadget has a nice roundup of Timeline reviews. The overall verdict seems to be that the performance is middling but the extreme battery life is very good. The performance issue is not a killer for me since I am mostly interested in web applications but I do want to be able to do HD video and batch photo processing so it is a factor. Have to keep my eyes peeled.

Nec_VersaPro_VS_7Akihabara News posted a glowing review of the NEC VersaPro VS-7 Netbook . AN really loves this system, hailing it as the true ultimate netbook. Lightweight, compact, portable, and with amazing performance to boot:

Not only is the VersaPro VS-7 is freaking light, slim, and robust, I’m amazed by its performance despite NEC’s choice of integrating an Intel GMA500 Video chipset… We all know GMA500 Netbooks don’t keep pace when it comes to watching high quality video or even HD videofiles… But the VersaPro VS-7 doesn’t care what format we feed it. Once installed with the CCCP Codec, whatever file we gave the VersaPro played them… Even our 720p DivX video played JUST fine in full screen… Something that we never succeed on a Vaio P. Granted the Vaio P is powered by Vista, but once Vista installed on the VersaPro we did the same test with the same results. Flawless 720/30p DivX HD full screen playback.

Ultra compact, ultra light and powerful, the VersaPro for the first time is a computer I love to carry around with me and does exactly what I need when I work on the go. Sure the VersaPro is bit expensive and only available in Japan, but the difference in price is REALLY worth your consideration if you’re looking for a business tool… As for basic Email and Web surfing I even think the Versa-Pro is an amazing Netbook, I’d recommend it to anyone whose thinking of investing in either an iPod Touch or iPhone since it will give you exactly what you need and fits in your pocket.

The only thing missing in all this gushing was the battery life. But I am intrigued I am planning to wait till next Japan trip to get a laptop or notebook in Akihabara so this is a model to watch out for although I am somewhat partial to Acer right now.

Cheese and shiso gyozaReading sleepytako’s review of Gyoza 603 and it makes me hungry for dumplings…

Cheese and Shiso gyoza, thats different but also scrumptious if done right…

We have been trying to find someone who imports good gyoza but nothing beats a freshly made gyoza dumpling.

hands down my favorite issue so far of Oishinbo manga is the Ramen and Gyoza issue.


Su-jsl-yubimojiNow that I am getting a grip on the basic syllabaries of Nihongo, I decided to explore the vagaries of the Japanese sign language.

Best place to start seems to be with the equivalent of the manual alphabet in ASL, the Japanese manual syllabary. This might actually help me a lot with bridging the gap between thinking in English and beginning to think in Japanese. Learning the syllables by how they are pronouced instead of using the romanji as a crutch.

Wiki actually has a nice compilation of the manual syllabary. Fantastic! I lurv the internets on somedays ….

signo_bl_j63Really really want to order some pens for kanji/kana with fine points.  The Uniball Signo .28 mm pen that I got in Kyoto is now my favorite pen to use.

Jlist has Uniball Signo pens in 0.18mm, hrmmmm,  so tempted….

Pen Otakus Unite!!

photoshopI spent some time learning to use the Batch Processing tool in Photoshop Elements tonight. How to use it to add watermarks and rename files, etc.

Wow, is my copy of Elements out of date, 4.0 and current version is 7.

Got a batch of photos done and prepped for Flickr, will need to blog about them later. This was from the September Game day my wargame group organized.

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