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{ Category Archives } japan

Getting Ruby 1.9.1p243 to work on OS X 10.5.8 with Japanese input support on irb

Awhile back I installed Ruby 1.9.1 in such a way as to co-exist with my current Ruby installation [1], [2] (I should use rvm [3] these days…) However, one issue that cropped up during an IRB session was I could not copy and paste Japanese characters into the IRB repl. This is very very painful […]

Nihon Town

Nice town… Thanks Pink Tentacle

Zoorasia and the Yokohama Greenery Foundation. It’s not all Dogs & Demons

If you have ever heard of Alex Kerr and have read his book Dogs & Demonsyou would think much less of Japan as a country. Some of the things in that book refer to many pork-barrel politic government projects that include such monstrosities as huge concrete damns in the middle of nowhere. From personal experience, […]

On the origins of the name Akihabara

Akihabara as many people in Japan know was originally the home for buying electronic goods in the Tokyo area. It still holds that reputation however the Anime Otaku crowd have changed the face of Akihabara to also accomodate their needs and desires. One thing that is interesting is the origin of place name Akihabara. A […]

Japanese declining population rates? How come I can’t find a doctor?

少子化 is the term used to describe the shrinking population in Japan and the many hardships that will bring to the country economically. I remember hearing some analyses on why this is happening on a social standpoint. I’ve not heard (or really bothered that hard to search for) many proposals on how to fix the […]

A moment of silence for Prof Jun-ichiro Hagino

I ran across the news on the passing of Professor Jun-ichiro Hagino aka ‘Itojun’. Although I never knew ‘Itojun’ personally I was always impressed by someone who was able to hold commit rights to the main 3 families of the *BSD trees and make a real difference in trying to push out the adoption of […]

Getting a Ruby C extension to compile on Windows

The Programming Ruby book is one of those must have references if you’re going to program Ruby. I still use it all the time when I’m looking up information on Ruby. One thing I’ve started playing with is getting a C extension to work with Ruby. Chapter 21 of Volume 2 of Programming Ruby gives […]

Linux powered Mp3 player

About time… Got to wait until Feb 2007 to get your hands on one though. Hope it doesn’t cost too much

PS3 Launch a mess in Japan?

Here’s something you probably won’t read in the local Japanese newspapers: This is the true face of the PlayStation 3 debut in Japan. Hardcore gamers are not here waiting in line overnight, buying a first-run PS3, and running home to play some good old next-gen gaming. Rather, opportunistic Japanese businessmen have the largest presence, hiring […]

Onna Otaku

Voice over IP adoption in Japan

Happy New Year’s all. Slashdot linked to an article on Voice over IP Adoption in Japan. I’ve looked over the pricing structure of Voice over IP and found it not that useful if you’re a light phone caller (me) as you must factor in the costs of an Internet connection monthly which costs around 5000Y […]


It’s about a boy who wakes up in a telephone booth which has been mysteriously selaed in an envelope of concrete. Using only the contents of his pockets (two pens, a paperback novel, three coins and 20 ft of unwaxed dental floss) our hero must fashion and execute an escape plan before he runs out […]

Japanese homeless beat up by kids?

There’s an article on the New York Times on the Japanese homeless and some of the problems they have to deal with. Many of them are out of work salary men who through some unfortunate twist lost their jobs and became homeless due to not being able to find a replacement job. It seems teen […]

Why do phone and cable companies make it so hard to…

Why is that everyime I try looking on a phone or cable companies website for information for their brick & mortar stores I can’t find anything? It requires seaching and searching. Instead they’ve jumped on this notion of “Use the Online Services!!!” That’s great when things are workign as they planned. But how abuot when […]

Why localization and internationalization is important

This article is mainly covering the Open Source movement and its local heroes. But this quote really caught my eye: “An English-only or even an English-mainly policy necessarily condemns most people, and thus the country as a whole, to a permanent state of mediocrity, since people are unable to be spontaneous, creative and self-confident if […]