Stupid blog.
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Well, I broke my blog. The whole point of the blog was to put minimal effort into it, and to let Dreamhost install/update it for me. They did kind of a bad job, though, as it is now more or less hosed through no action I've taken. (Well, it *is* Dreamhost. Breaking is what they do.)

I'll fix it at some point and have a blog again. Maybe later today :-) At least LJ is still here for me, even though I trust it as far as I can throw it.

Indie game stolen :-(
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Putty 0.60 and Japanese--why is my text sideways?
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To make Putty work with Japanese, you have to change the Window > Translation option to UTF-8 (or another suitable encoding), and remember to save your session. This part is pretty easy.

You also have to pick a Japanese font, under Window > Appearance, and set Script to Japanese on the font picker. I picked "MS Gothic", which is fine, except for one small thing:

This is a cropped screen shot of Putty 0.60 with Japanese rendered sideways.

All the Japanese was sideways. For a while, I couldn't figure out any solution to this or successfully find an answer on Google. So, I'm going to post this here, and type in some phrases I looked for, in case it helps someone else figure this out.

It turns out to be fairly simple: Remove the at-sign before the font name. When you pick MS Gothic, it fills in the font name as "@MS Gothic". Change that to "MS Gothic". Your font will now appear normally. (I'm sure this is well-documented somewhere, and my searches simply failed to point me to the documentation.) Now it looks like this:

This is another cropped screen shot of Putty 0.60, but the Japanese is rendered normally in this one.

Okay, here's some stuff to help people find this on Google. It probably won't work, but what the hey? Putty and Japanese, Putty sideways fonts, my Japanese appears sideways, Why is my Japanese sideways, horizontal vertical, what the hell, Putty 0.60, Japanese support without a patch.

I am updating my Livejournal
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. . . with a snail


Kanji IRC channel
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Is anyone interested in making a kanji IRC channel?

Yeah, I know, studying kanji doesn't automatically make me good at Japanese. But I like studying kanji, and Eric and I have been trading kanji back and forth on AIM, and the whole "study buddy" thing could be expanded a bit if there were more players involved. It generally goes like this:
(07:49:52) 黄金飛行機(AIM): 素晴らしい!
(07:50:01) 格略各絡落酪客閣路額: 素晴らしい!
(07:50:05) 黄金飛行機(AIM): 素敵!
(07:50:17) 格略各絡落酪客閣路額: 素敵だね!
(07:51:30) 黄金飛行機(AIM): 素早い
(07:51:48) 格略各絡落酪客閣路額: 素早い
(07:52:30) 黄金飛行機(AIM): 素手!
(07:52:41) 格略各絡落酪客閣路額: ok, you got me on that one.

I'm typing some common words in kanji, and he's typing the kanji (which confirms that he recognized and knows them). Hooray, I got Eric on a kanji that wasn't 閂! Here's him quizzing me:
(20:50:30) 格略各絡落酪客閣路額: 魅力的
(20:51:49) 格略各絡落酪客閣路額: 神経質
(20:56:53) 格略各絡落酪客閣路額: 我らは正義の味方壱号&弐号。
(20:59:17) 黄金飛行機(AIM): 魅力的
(20:59:20) 黄金飛行機(AIM): 神経質
(20:59:46) 黄金飛行機(AIM): われらは正義の味方一号&二号
(20:59:52) 黄金飛行機(AIM): close enough
(20:59:54) 黄金飛行機(AIM): xD

(BTW, that's me with my nonsense kanji name, and Eric with a nonsense-er kanji name that I gave him to quiz myself on a set of kanji every time I see him. I did this with my whole buddy list.)

Of course, most of the real studying and use of Japanese ends up being something that goes on outside these little kanji exchanges. We do talk in Japanese but, er, tend to rely on English a lot at this point. The focus is on vocabulary from actual Japanese material--trading vocab items and sentences as we find them, rather than from textbooks, etc. (Although our approaches are a bit different, and I'm sure Eric can speak for himself.)

Currently I am working my way through a Japanese translation of a novel I have already read in English (so I can never get totally lost, and I'm in familiar territory, but I can pick up new vocabulary, phrases, and so on), and I tend to bring up stuff from that book. We also bring up things from (e.g.) light novels/anime/dramas or video games, or just websites. (Why DOES use 曰く so much?)

Anyway, the main point of the channel would just be to trade kanji, vocab, ask about japanese things, or say stuff in Japanese. As a "study buddy" type thing, it'd probably be good to stay focused on either discussing Japanese in English, or discussing anything in Japanese. (Japanese preferred but fall back to English when it'll help you learn faster, and it's okay if that's often.) I'd like to keep it as a way to help motivate each other's studies, and to help learn, and NOT make it into a mindless chatting timesink. And we'd definitely type random kanji into the channel a lot. Any interest?

Also, we could play しりとり.

EDIT: Also, this is a reminder to look into Lang-8 again, if that sort of thing interests you! I love Lang-8! There is that other language learning site too, although after certain events I'm not sure whether my friends would like me to mention them or not.

Attention: Car people in Portland
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I just totally confused myself.
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Pears or Apples? You decide.
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Poll #1640073 Pears or Apples? You decide.

Pears or Apples? You decide.


Spider Dash Man
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(11:42:44) 飛行機: i wonder if they ever went back and gave j jonah jameson some back story
(11:42:47) 飛行機: about why he hates spider-man
(11:42:48) 飛行機: like
(11:42:54) 飛行機: "my mom was killed by a poisonous spider"
(11:43:00) 飛行機: "it was here illegally"
(11:43:06) 飛行機: "so now i hate all law-breaking spiders!"
(11:43:15) 飛行機: only to find out
(11:43:19) 神竜: hahah
(11:43:21) 飛行機: that when she was bitten by the spider
(11:43:24) 飛行機: she transformed into a spider herself
(11:43:27) 飛行機: later biting peter parker
(11:43:41) 神竜: you could write for marvel!
(11:43:43) 飛行機: when jameson finds out, he adopts parker

Attn AJATT friends (meaning, I think, only Eric)
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Attn Eric! :-)

Japanese TV/radio for you

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I wrote a really, really long post (part 1) on my blog about books for learning Japanese. I'm halfway through my bookshelf! :-)

I'm still learning, of course, so take whatever I say with a grain of salt. But I was really itching to type all that out for some reason I can't explain. I'm having a lot of fun posting at my blog! But some of my Japanese-learning friends are here, so I thought I'd post about Japanese here, too.

And I'm writing broken Japanese on my lang-8 journal! Whee!!! My latest post:


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So, because I am crazy, I went through my notebooks and entered in my notes in flashcard format into Anki, so I could use it as review. (I'm still using paper and index cards for learning new things.) Then today, it was pointed out to me, that there is a "Kanji stats" function! Here is what it says about my review deck:

Kanji statistics
The 4610 seen cards in this deck contain:
1309 total unique kanji.
Old Jouyou: 1197 of 1945 (61.5%).
New Jouyou: 34 of 191 (17.8%).
Jinmeiyou (reg): 38 of 645 (5.9%).
Jinmeiyou (var): 2 of 145 (1.4%).
38 non-jouyou kanji.
Jouyou levels:
Grade 1: 75 of 80 (93.8%).
Grade 2: 155 of 160 (96.9%).
Grade 3: 188 of 200 (94.0%).
Grade 4: 151 of 200 (75.5%).
Grade 5: 133 of 185 (71.9%).
Grade 6: 110 of 181 (60.8%).
JuniorHS: 385 of 939 (41.0%).

Hooray!! ...I have a lot of kanji to learn.

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More on cut+paste
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Okay, in gnome-terminal, there are secret copy/paste keybindings (ctrl-ins/shift-ins), which I have come to expect in everything, and have been using. The *configurable* keybindings for cut and paste default to ctrl-shift-c and ctrl-shift-v.

I did not change these, because shift-ins and ctrl-ins seemed to be aliases for these functions. But it turns out this is not the case. The undocumented hard-coded keybindings and configurable keybindings perform two different tasks. Fortunately, the configurable copy+paste override the hard-coded copy+paste, so once I figured out that the configurable keybindings used the clipboard, I was able to get somewhat more sane behavior out of it.

In other words, it's perfectly capable of working the way I want, but it's designed and documented poorly, so I did not realize this--and I am fairly computer savvy, so imagine a newer user trying to figure this out.

Usability/documentation/design/etc fail, I guess.

(Yes, I do say cut+paste when I mean copy+paste. I am working on this habit, but it is a pretty old one.)

Change is good.
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I am happy with my computer currently ^-^




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My last two really long posts boil down to:

1. Grr! Computers.
2. My kanji input method is better now. HOORAY!

I am quite pleased, and it is making studying with my Internet Kanji Buddy (Eric) more fun/productive :-)

Linux update
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Okay, now I'm running Ubuntu 10.04, with Metacity.

Ehh, Metacity is kind of lame. It has the OSX-ish philosophy of making it not do very much, and not wanting to let you make it do anything. But with a couple workarounds for stupid design decisions, it is "good enough". Part of it requires flexibility on my part, rather than flexibility in the software, and I knew that before I set it up. Again, I'm trying to get out of my comfort zone, and that's not a bad thing.

I switched to scim-anthy, which did not work as advertised. The kanji "candidates" list only showed 4 despite the (default!) configuration saying it should show 10, and they were arranged horizontally, which was very confusing since I still had to press up/down to switch. Going through the config, nothing seemed to change it. Hmmph.

Well, that may have been a surmountable problem, but I moved on to ibus+anthy, on Eric's recommendation. Ibus seems nice to use, but has very few options (relative to scim). But it did let me choose a vertical orientation for kanji candidates, and showed more than 4 at once, so I was happy. But unlike scim, ibus didn't work out of the box with urxvt.

So, I switched to gnome-terminal. Gnome-terminal is okay, actually, except for an annoying bug--it renders a background before drawing on it! That means it does a solid white fill, which shows up for less than one frame, showing up as white rectangles whenever it redraws (when I switched to their desktops). Well, that flickering is awfully annoying, and I could have hacked it out (see this page), but I moved on in my software-a-thon. Their official recommendation seems to be "use a compositing window manager", incidentally, which seems to indicate they don't realize it's a bug in their own application.

So I installed metacity. Setting this up was kind of a pain, because I gutted Ubuntu when I first installed it, getting rid of all of the default Gnome stuff. Metacity turns out to be a decent window manager, with (again) decent defaults, and one or two config options. In their effort to fight feature creep, however, they are dead set against adding any actual features or configuration options, especially if they are useful; so after choosing your two configuration options, Metacity is either for you, or you should look elsewhere.

Well, it works decently. I am, of course, exaggerating, but that is Metacity's basic design philosophy. And I am practiced in working around wm design defects such as unconfigurable window placement, so it turns out to be okay. I've got a nice 3x3 setup here, with only a couple of small things annoying me, and some things are nicer (hooray!).

But, uh, from the beginning, when I tried gnome-terminal, I realized this wasn't going to fix my cut+paste problem. It's just as broken for me now as it ever was. Oh well.

What about the other problem I mentioned--Japanese input? Surely now that's fixed? Well, actually, it was fine with gnome-terminal, but with gnome-terminal on metacity, candidates don't show up at all. I can only see one at a time. Why? I don't know. Well, at least ibus+anthy is a nicer input method than kinput2+canna, so that's a win--and I'm sure I'll be able to figure out what's wrong with ibus. EDIT: Fixed.

Computers suck. (And yes, that means your OS sucks too, not just mine. They all suck.)

UNIX terrible cut+paste behavior; IM
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As many users of X11 know, cut and paste is hopelessly borked. I've never found a satisfactory workaround to this problem. Today, I tried autocutsel, which promised to sync PRIMARY, cut buffers, and the clipboard. But, er, no dice. It did not change the behavior on my system at all. (I have not looked into why not, as of this writing, though I did at least sanity check that it was running.)

I've been using various workarounds, but I'm just tired of it. Having the primary selection separate from the clipboard is broken and horribly unusable. Middle-clicking shouldn't be different from hitting shift-insert. What do "modern" UNIX folks do? I've been using fvwm for fifteen years, but I'd consider leaving my comfort zone for an integrated system which does not have these problems. (GNOME? Is Metacity very customizable? I would prefer not to use a mouse.)

This wasn't a problem for me when I could do everything in terminals (where I have both screen and the primary buffer to cut and paste), but forcing everything into a terminal-based paradigm is becoming increasingly difficult in 2010.

Cut and paste isn't the only problem, either. XIM is pretty annoying! I'm using kinput2+canna, but I'd like to switch to something modern. Microsoft's IME is ridiculously superior to kinput2+canna, but I'm hoping there's a good alternative these days. Maybe I can just give canna better dictionaries?

So, any suggestions? I'm using rxvt-unicode, but if I could get it to use the clipboard, or if there were a decent terminal that does so, that would be nice. I suppose on the IM front I could try SCIM-anthy.

(I have a mac, as well. Please don't mention OSX to me. My mac is for Photoshop and Logic Pro only, and I consider OSX's interface too horrifyingly bad to contemplate using it for anything else. EDIT: And yes, I also have Windows. But I need some sort of UNIX in addition to Windows and OSX, so that's not a useful suggestion either.)

(NOTE: Posting this here instead of at my blog because I'm hoping someone might actually respond. I generally don't mind low readership on my blog, but if I have something I actually want people to see, like this post, I guess I'll post it here :-)

Oh my gosh I am terrible at Japanese.
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I made another Lang-8 post. Now, I'm okay at understanding Japanese, but my education has been pretty one-sided. I've really focused on understanding Japanese, and spent little to no time speaking or writing it. And when I *do* speak Japanese, it comes out like I'm a retarded four-year-old.

Today, I meant to type 漢字を勉強しています。 But it came out as 漢字しています, and I didn't notice.

... xD

Wordpress blog
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Well, I made a Wordpress blog. It lives here:

It is also syndicated at quarplet.

Yes, I am a geek
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Well, I-Gene announced that he finished copying files off of his Gentoo server and discontinued all services except ssh. Soon, he'll be replacing the box entirely, and any new files created since his image will be lost. So, I of course asked if that meant I had free reign to do mean things to the server :-)

I essentially forkbombed the server, except I was too lazy to write a forkbomb, so I cutted and pasted (while true ; do echo crap >> file ; echo crap >> /tmp/file ; done )& a bunch of times, noting that the load average quickly reached triple digits. I kept it up for another minute, and watched it continue to 200, 300, ... I decided I'd stop when it hit four digits.

Well, it didn't end up hitting four--or it didn't seem to, at any rate. Its one-minute load average had reached 998, but then it curiously dropped to 1 by my next check. I checked to make sure all my jobs were still running--they were--and started monitoring uptime again. It seemed to increase by a rate of about 90 every 5 seconds, slowing by maybe 40 per second per second. At any rate, it quickly reached 1000 again, but this time I actually saw it reach four digits. In fact, it got up to about 1020 before it looped again.

At that point it was intuitively obvious that it was looping at 1024. I watched a few more cycles, and the five-minute load time average began to loop in a similar fashion, though slower. Interestingly, even after signing out, leaving all the processes dead, it continued. A bit later, the fifteen-minute load average followed suit as well. All three load averages seem to loop perpetually skyward, wrapping around over and over until reboot.

In an effort to trace it, I first checked cat /proc/loadavg, which behaves the same way. So, I checked fs/proc/proc_misc.c, which led me to include/linux/sched.h. It seems that this is a known limitation, as it is stored in a fixed point manner which, on 32-bit systems, yields 10 bits integer + 11 bits fractional. This sounds fine for most things, but what should happen when it is exceeded? Should all bets be off? Should all three load averages perpetually climb skyward, and loop when they hit 1024?

Well, load average is a crappy and outdated metric no one should be using anymore anyway. It's just that it's so tempting to type uptime, out of old habits and perhaps convenience. At the same time uptime tells me 07:26:13 up 13 days, 16:01, 11 users, load average: 968.71, 691.59, 938.66, vmstat tells me this:
  procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- --system-- ----cpu----
   r  b   swpd   free   buff  cache   si   so    bi    bo   in    cs us sy id wa
   9  1      0  11104  65172  49548    0    0     9     6   19    11  5  1 92  2
And the box is happy and responsive. It's probably a waste of time to report it as a bug, as they probably aren't interested in behavior where loads exceed 1024 anyway. But there's something about edge behaviors that always fascinates me.

FreeBSD also stores load averages as fixed point values (as fixpt_t, which is a typedef of u_int32_t), with the same 11+10 capacity and many other similarities, including many identical identifier and macro names, and even very similar comments. In fact, it looks like FBSD may exhibit this behavior when its capacities are similarly exceeded. Hmm! :-)


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