Friday, March 28, 2008

'The Network'

So I'm toying around with the idea of creating a network of such with a few other friends of mine that have blogs of their own. I've been reading a lot on how to become a better blogger and creating relationships with other bloggers seems to be an important method in becoming fairly popular - so I figured that I should start with my friends to see if it works. Right now, there are five of us about ready to join and we just decided on a name. Vlynde Dramatae Syndicatus is what we are going to work with for now. Hopefully, once the network is complete, people would be more interested in visiting all the blogs involved.

Some new music...

I remember back when I was starting this blog, I thought I was not going to write too much about my musical taste, for it is too abstract and ever-shifting to give an extact explaination of it, but it usually is best discussed in terms of language than in genre. So anyways, today I got two new albums. The first is the japanese band The Pillows' album "Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake Up!". The second was the Japanese composer Yoko Shimomura's best of album entitled"drammatica -The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura-". this is is more or less completely intrumental. Somus is one of, if not the only, song that has vocals (plus its the song playing in the background of the FF:XIII trailer up on this blog. Been looking for this one for a long while now...) She has composed many songs for well known games such as Kingdom Hearts and the upcoming Final Fantasy Versus XIII. She also just so happens to be my third favorite composer from Japan so I've been waiting for this disk to come out.

Favorite songs from "Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake UP!" - Wake up! dodo; スケアクロウ; Century Creepers(Voice of the Proteus); Skinny Blues.

Favorite songs from "drammatica - The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura-" - Somnus (of course...); The 13th Anthology; The Other Promise.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Today's MOUSE Projects meeting

So today after my Internship at the library, I went into Manhattan for a little meeting at MOUSE. Basically it was to touch base on everyone's respective undertaking, and to introduce us to a few people. Two of the meeting's special guests were from Techserve, a store in the city that focuses on all things mac (as a matter of fact, its just a few blocks away from my school). I use to hang out there when i first got into Apple computers - a few of my friends and I loved checking out all the - at that time - new computers and accessories, though none of us ever had any money to actually buy a computer there. I even had a friend that worked there a few years back and he completely loved it. The last of the guests was MOUSE's newest staff member. It was a very enjoyable little get together thanks to their collective presence.
Now for the content of so said meeting: It was explained to us students that we were entering the final weeks of our alloted time to work on things. On the 22nd of April I have to do a little presentation to the others as well as write up a report about my proceedings. Then after that, MOUSE has plans to attend two actual conferences - the NYSCATE Metro Conference and, my personal favorite, NECC 2008. The former is May 16th and 17th in Rye Brook, New York and the latter is in San Antonio, Texas from June 29th to July 1st. I can still remember NECC last year. It was such a good experience so I can't wait to hopefully join in on the action this time around as well. All of our guests stressed how important NECC and other gatherings like it are to the technology world. For both events I really want to a hold on a bunch of business cards. Last year, I let the chance to foster some great relationships with people go and I don't want to repeat that mistake again. I'm beginning to see how networking with anyone and everyone is of a great benefit to me in life and I can use all the help I can get. Not to mention that this type of stuff must look good on college apps, though its hardly the reason why I want to have a hand in everything (though it is indeed a nice perk...). As a added bonus, if I do go, I'll make sure to blog about everything that goes down. I figure a lot of people would be interested in hearing about it.
Last but not least, we talked about summer internships. In fact, I believe that this was the main reason why the people from Techserve were there. We got our instructions on what to do now so we're all waiting to see what happens when the time comes. For now I've got to focus on closing things down and making the wiki as good as possible.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Possible Series of New Posts ~ Plans for the Fall

At hunter college, I'm applying to take a new introductory class for the fall of my senior year. I can only get into one of my listed choices, so I'm gunning for a class in French or Japanese (and another subject that is outside of this post's focus). For French, I'm leaning towards an Intensive Elementary course that covers both the 101 and 102 classes, and in Japanese I'm fine with 101 class, though by now I should be able to handle a 102 class (hopefully).
Anyways, in any of the classes that I get into, so long as they are pertaining to these languages, I'm going to have to go over content that I've learned either on my own or in pervious classes. This, of course, is the point of me signing up for them - I want to go through content I've seen before to make sure that I still at least remember it. And that is what leads me to this idea; I want to start reviewing things now and while doing that, write little notes/guides for myself and post it up here for others that may be learning the same languages as well. I'm always being told that the best way to learn anything is to have to teach it to others, so this is my attempt at doing so. Finally, I must ask this: Is anyone interested in seeing such a feature brought to life? If so, tell me any ideas you may have. Same goes for if you don't think its a good idea.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Far-Off Reality

For a while now this whole bit about the reality of going college and what must done get has been shifting in and out of focus. Some days, it'll be on me like a rain cloud over my head, much like in those little amusing cartoons, and other days it'll hardly cross my mind. But its starting to pick up now - ever since i learned of my SAT scores, that pending aspect of my life has increased its nagging on the dark corners of my mind that i try oh so hard not to pay attention to. It really is like there is a countdown ticking away somewhere and someone is messing with its normally steady measurements of time. Now I'm wondering, am I the only one who feels this way? I would like to think that I'm not. As I watch and hang around my friends, our conversations now evermore quickly turn to talking about colleges and expectations of failure. Our shared state of unrest does indeed make for something to talk about over the water cooler but after a while only serves to drag us all down.

Well, only a year or so more about this. Though I have this icky suspicion that things will get worst before they get better. Oh how waiting for our acceptance/rejection letters is going to kill us. Or at the very least, break some of the weaker links within our class.

OLPC update - 3/23

So the text portion of the project is just about done. Some loose pages remain to be filled in but that should be simple enough to complete. Also in about a week or so I'm planning to go back over all of the directions and make sure they work for whatever the latest update to Sugar there is. Also I'm still coming up with a way of explaining the developer console/terminal in a very easy and basic way - I'm not all that good with it. Anyways, everything looks like its staying on schedule. Next up is taking more pictures and posting them. Now I just have to get my hands on a camera and time once again.

Windows XP SP3 in Q2 2008

The third and so called final service pack for Windows XP is coming soon. The second quarter of this year to be exact. Not sure it if its a really necessary update, but it would still be a good idea to get if your a hard core XP user not wanting to switch to Vista. The update is suppose to be a whole bunch of smaller updates that have been released over the years, rolled into one. I personally have two computers, one running XP and the other Vista, so I'm good either way. But I still plan on updating the XP just in case. But speaking of service packs, did one come out for Vista yet?

Paying students to do well in school ~ A good idea?

There are a few schools (well at least one anyways...) that are trying out giving students money to do good in school. Now I have mixed feelings about this. Should I have been younger when they decided to put this notion in motion, I probably would have no qualms about this. Its nice that they found something to entice children with. But I really don't think that its that great of an idea. I remember sometime during the week, I heard some sixth or seventh grader in my school saying something about how paying him to come to school would make him want to come more. Thing is that if you don't want to come, then don't come. You'll be a nothing more than a waste of space. And its something akin to the logic that I've applied to this situation. Going and doing well in school is, after its all said and done, is only truly beneficial to each person individually. No one is really going to suffer expect that person should they fail to show up or just fail all around. No one really truly cares but those that have to deal with you. Not only that, but the money being used to pay those kids could be better spent going to the school's budget, since they all cry fowl about their funding.

So yea. Instead of paying students to go to school, simply give the schools all that money that would be - most likely - squandered otherwise. If they - particularly those in higher graders such as high schoolers - don't want to come then don't make them. It really just makes the place a poorer learning environment.

the link to the article is here.

Are people getting tired of Facebook and MySpace?

I've been hearing a lot more about the feud between Facebook and MySpace lately, with Facebook seemingly on the verge of over taking MySpace in terms of popularity. However, I've also heard a lot about people getting sick of social networking sites in general. I, for one, have never been all that interested in them. Back when MySpace was the ruling king, I watched as all of my friends get sucked into its fiend-like grasp. Many of them tried to get me to join them, even going as far as creating a page for me - but I never used it. I fought like a madman to avoid it. And I was going to do the same to Facebook. In fact, I did do the same to Facebook, until one day I gave in and got one. Anyways, point is that I fully understand where these people are coming from. Being constantly surrounded by your friends online, while it is nice for a time, does get old after a while. Plus it just loses its value and level of interest. Now, I do think that many people will retain their respective social platform of choice, Facebook, Myspace (or both....?), or maybe something else all together. But they will treat it like I do mine - every once in a while check it out to see whats new and all, but overall ignore it.

I would like to see just what you all think about this. Are you just about ready to throw your personal page away, or are you going to continue your online presence on those sites? Post your replies in the comments.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hitotoki is an interesting website. People write little accounts about things that happened to them / witnessed on the street corners of the cities that the site supports. Their narratives are then showcased on a map of the respective city. The link above goes to the New York City site, but so far they have other cities such as Tokyo and London open along with DC, Paris, and Shanghai in the works. Another cool thing is that for cities outside of a predominate English country, they have narratives in their main language. So, for example, take the Tokyo site. You can read accounts in English and a separate set of accounts in Japanese. This little feature is very enjoyable for me and I can't wait for the Paris one to be up and running so that I can read about what goes on there as well.

I wonder if anyone who reads this will be moved to write for the site. I'm sure they're will be open to almost anything. I'm also interested in people's reactions to the site. Sound off in the comments if you have something to say.

Myoats is place where people can make and share their own designs. And a lot of what people have created is simply beautiful and cool. If you're in the mood for looking at amazing artwork or trying your hand at creating some of your own, head there. A friend of mine from MOUSE showed me the site and I was blown away. Its nice to see what we humans have the capacity to fabricate when we are given the means and the time.

I would also like to see what people's thoughts are on this site in this post's comments. What do you lot think about it?

Revamped OLPC Project Roadmap

My OLPC wiki project is not dead. Far from it. I know that it seems otherwise since I have not been writing about it for a long while now, but let me tell you, the project is back on the ball. Wednesday afternoon I made my way up to mouse to discuss what we were going to do from here on out. I have not visited the offices for quite some time due to all of my prep classes, so it was nice to go back. The fact that I got to see everyone again was, alone, well worth the time. And as a little bonus, I got to pig out on these wonderful triangular cookies that I've now forgotten the name of.

Anyways the overall plan looks a little something like this:
We hope to get all/most of the text based sections of the wiki done by the middle of next week. I presume that I will have to go back and update the existing pages so that they coincide with the later updated that the XOs have received and come shipped with.

April will see the creation and uploading of the video section. In fact, this will be the main focus for that month. I'm not too keen on it though, seeing has how I don't really use a video camera much, but I may be able to get a few of my friends to help out if they are so inclined. In addition to this, though it was not said, I would not mind driving people to the wiki around mid April when we should have a fair amount of videos up. I want to do this to gain respective on the usability of this thing. Plus, if we were able to get a certain group of people I have in mind for the task, I would love to have them start writing little things of their own - it is a wiki after all. And of course anyone else, especially my readers, is free to go to the wiki and sound off on it either here or their.

Moving on past April, I'm hoping to see my startup of the site come to an end. I'm wishing that around May or June I'll see people going there of their own accord, editing and adding pages. I do still plan to over look things to make sure everything is going well, but eventually I want to step back and let the wiki stand on its own two feet.

So yea. Heres to the hope for a very successful birth of a wiki. Shouldn't be too difficult. But for anyone reading this who has one of the computers in their possession: Is there anything you would like to see done?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

SAT Scores

So this morning, I went to finally see my scores. At last the moment of truth was upon me. As soon as I had woken up, I rolled out of bed and propped myself right in front of my laptop which was already set the night before (I made sure of it). Yet still, merely waiting for the page to load felt long and drawn out, like someone or something had messed with my perception of time. I thought it may have been due to me just waking up but I was so overly alert, fueled by anticipation that I decided not to dwell on it.

I ended up having a 640 for the reading, 630 for the writing and 530 for the math, for a grand total of 1800. As you may have known from previous posts, I was aiming for a 1700. In fact, I even had a dream that I got 1700 fairly recently. Now I must say, I am very happy about what I got. But quite frankly, I want more. I'm planning to re-take the test in June, only this time my overall goal will be to get a 2000 or better. The more practical goal is to get into the 600s in the math section. Anyways back to studying...

I also happened to go to school today instead of going to my internship place. I went because there were three representatives from SUNY Binghamton coming to talk to us. I found out some useful information about the school from them, but its still not one of my top choices. I still need to make plans for traveling outside of the city for the purpose of visiting colleges.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

S.O.S. Brigade Caramelldansen

Hey. This is a video a friend of mine showed me as soon as I got into school today. Its completely retarded, but made for a good start to the day. The anime that the art is from (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) is not half bad. I just started it a bit earlier and I already like it. Always watch the video and leave a comment. I'm wondering if anyone finds it as amusing as I did.

Mac OS X 10.5.2 update

The update has been out for a while now, but I have not had the time to install it and all. I'm not all that interested in the update, but I figure that I should still it anyways. After looking at the list of improvements (found here) there seems to be a lot of things they're adding. Some of it looks important as well, so I'm just going to give in and install it later tonight. Never know when it may be something significant.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Doctor Who Series Four Promo

I am a huge Doctor Who fan. One night I was flipping through the channels and found it and since then I've been hooked. So as of right now, I'm re-watching series three on BBC America in anticipation for series four. I'm not too sure on the date that it will start, but I hear its sometime in spring this year. Really, if you like sci-if randomness, a good story, and humor, look into Doctor who. Now finally I leave you with a promo for series four.

Final Fantasy XIII trailer

Now here is the FF:XIII trailer. Seems like they're coming out with quite a few games for the 13th installment of the series. This one looks great as well. I wonder how the two games will connect with each other storywise, or just if they will at all.

Final Fantasy versus XIII trailer

So this is the extended trailer for Final Fantasy versus XIII. This game looks like so much fun. In fact, a friend of mine went out and brought a PS3 just to be ready to play the game as soon as it comes out. Sadly my friend and I still don't know when that will be, but I'm keeping my eye out for any new info.

By the way, the song playing in the background is just amazing. I can't wait to download it. It just sounds so beautiful.

iPhone Developer Program Woes

So I've been hearing that a lot of people signing up to join the Developer Program for the iPhone have been getting rejection emails. And because of that, there seems to be a bit of an uproar. But really, when I think about it, I can understand why. First of all, everything is still a beta, so of course rejections should have been expected. Also if I were one of the applicants, I would take some time to get use to the free SDK first before I went and dropped 99 dollars to join. So my message to people would be to just calm down. I'm sure that as Apple progresses with the beta program, more and more people will be let in. In the mean time, play around with programming environment and all and use the down time to perfect your programs as much as you can. While I hear that the price tag is fairly cheap (which i still have issues understanding. $99 sounds like a lot to me...), it makes no sense to pay it and then down the line decide to do something else with your time.

College Visits ~ A Touch of Anxiety

On Wednesday I was talking to my college counselor. At this point in the process, she suggested that I make the time to go visit some more colleges in the upcoming months. I have a lot of vacation time that can be well utilized so I'm going to see what it is that I can do. I may even blog about some of the places I visit if everything works out.

Another thing we talked about was how to get people at my school informed about the College Now program. College Now is the reason why I've been able to have opportunities in taking college level courses, and I ended up joining their ambassador group in which I go around explaining to others about the program. So this time around, the people at college now are gearing up for their summer and fall classes, doing both promotions at the same time. Because of this, I now have to make plans to go to the 10th graders and notify them about the whole thing. I was to contact the 10th grade counselor last week, but I ended up repeatedly forgetting or getting side tracked into something else. So tomorrow, I shall make it my business to go find the person and figure out what they would like to do, before it looks like I'm either lazy or just don't care. Or both. Thing is, they aren't exactly my favorite grade in the whole school so part of me is not really looking forward to dealing with them...

And last but not least, as I may have said earlier, I get my SAT scores on the 20th of this month. For the most part, I've been fairly calm about all of this. But now, as the days tick closer and closer to the date, I can feel some sort of anxiety about the whole thing. I really want to see just how poorly (or well... hopefully) I did. In addition to that, I want to see what it is that I have to improve on for the next time I take it.


When I was younger I took some type of martial arts lessons. I believe that I first started around 4th or 5th grade, switched dojos, then continued learning till my 7th grade year. I've really always regretted leaving and every year when my school hold their after-school program performances, I always begin to really miss it. Watching those kids up there make me think about how far I could have gone if I'd stick around. And so today, during my little Japanese lesson, I was reminded of this fact. It would appear that my teacher use to study Aikido when he was younger and started to show me some videos of different techniques. It was all in an effort to show how language is more than something that is a set of rules for sounds that convey a message. Rather, it incorporates itself into the people and their ways. The culture and language reflects each other in their values. Especially in Japanese. I've never dealt with a language, and consequentially culture much like it before. Amazing how it all started from me repeatedly writing certain kanjis wrong. But now, there is something in me gravitating towards the idea of learning Aikido. There is some sort of peacefulness that, at least to me, comes along with the art. Plus it would make for great physical exercise that is oh so important nowadays. Yet still I think that if I really am serious about all of this, it would be best for me to make plans to start next year or when I'm finally settled in college. That way I should have a lot more time seeing as how I'm expecting things to have calmed down by then.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


二人は僕から日本語が習いたい。僕はまごまごですから彼らの理由を分かりません。日本語がまだ上手じゃない。それは自明でしょうか? じゃ、手伝ってします。僕には、訓練です。

As always, I'd love to have corrects, for I know it must be riddled with errors...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

School's blog

Earlier today I assumed responsibility - or what I take to be responsibility - of my school student consul type body's blog. This should be interesting seeing as it does not seem like my friend who was running it before, now seems to not want to be bothered with it. But so long as I feel like I'm doing something to help out, along with some other things, I'm happy. I also ended up serving as today's facilitator during the meeting. Not too sure if I did a good job, but I was able to get some issues voted on. Partly due to the fact that we had a two thirds of the voting members present finally. Plus I tried to make sure I did not allow everyone to gather on one topic for too long. I find that once they begin to do so, it becomes fairly hard to end that large steam of thoughts and bring the conversation back to the actual point. I'm thinking that now, at this point, we should begin to put our plans in motion. We've spent enough time talking about what we are going to do. Its really now about time to act. Hopefully my use of the blog will help this occur.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I'm really getting into Technorati now. I would suggest getting an account there. Basically it keeps tracks of different blogs and you can swim around the blog sphere there and just look for anything that interests you. You can also add your own blog to the sphere. and a whole slew of other features you can add to your blogs. If you'll look to the left of this post, I've began to make this blog more friendly to Technorati users so by all means check it out. Never know what you may find out there, simply lurking.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A running list of my friend's blogs

So since writing a post about blogs that i found interesting, I started to get a lot of flak from my friends, saying that I need to show off their stuff some more. So after enough bothersome remarks from them, I've decided to write this now rather than later. Even though, most of these links can be found in the links section to the left side of this blog, but don't tell them that...(merely kidding around guys...slightly).

The Best, The Worst, and the Unbelievable - Brandon Lewis' blog. This is the same child who was part of the cause for the large scale war that took place in the comments of his guest post on this blog a little while back. Known him for a really long time (since second grade maybe? My memories' a bit hazy) and is one of my best friends. His focus is located more on the pop culture side of things. American and ever growing British pop culture. Its nice to see whats happening on the other side of the pond from time to time. Plus you don't even have to speak another language to boot!

A Look Into My Head - DJ t3kN0's blog. Once again someone I've known since I was little (this time fourth grade I believe), and once again one of my best friends. This is just one of his many many blogs, so check out his profile to see the link to all of them. Blogs about cars, psp mods, and other little things.

Troubledgenius47's weblog - As the name implies its Troubledgenius47's weblog, as he so spells it. More politically charged than the other two so its a nice change of pace. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking about keeping more of a closer watch on this year's elections. But anyways, its something to read.

The best Offense - Last but not least the blog belonging to the second person behind the guest-post comment debacle as it shall be known as from now on (though however entertaining and useful it may have been). Mitch's blog is just as and even may end up being more political than the one mentioned above, still all the more reasons to read and respond. And do watch the video from MSNBC up there. It really did make my day when I first saw it.

So there. Four more blogs. So to all of you I say this: Now the sky's not the limit. The limit's the sky.

iPhone SDK

The iPhone SDK recently came out. I must say that if I actually had an iPhone, I would be all over this. Now that Apple have finally released this thing, I'm really expecting great things from pro and aspiring programmers alike.

Also, towards the bottom of the iPhone Dev page, there is a heading called "iFund". Seems like people are willing to invest $100,000,000 or so into companies programing for the iPhone. I don't know too much about it, seeing as how I'm not apart of a company and all, but it looks like something worth investigating.

And finally here are some links:
The iPhone SDK Keynote
Apple Developer Connection - iPhone Dev Center

Monday, March 3, 2008

Other blogs of interest

In many ways, this blog was created in response to my then growing interest reading other blogs. Particularly blogs about learning languages, or that are actually in my target languages. Because of this, I figure that writing a small list of sites that I frequently visit or find delightful would be useful in some way or form.

English blogs and/or sites: - a directory of blogs dealing with people who program in cocoa. I still have plans to learn this programming language and all, but for now I can only put in a limited amount of time to it.

the linguist
- Interesting blog. This guy seems to have some really cool ideas on learning languages, many of which that make sense.

French blogs and/or sites:

Alive in Paris - This is a bilingual blog about little events and things going on in Paris. I find that I sometimes go to rely upon the english when the words get to hard, but its still good practice.

Les photos de Moune. - Lots of pictures. Great for when I just want to look at something. The pictures are nice, plus you have French underneath. Only this time, no english to help you out.

Naked Translations - Another bilingual French and English blog. The woman behind the site is a translator and writes about some of her translation woes, among other things. Once again, great practice for anyone learning French.

Japanese blogs and/or sites:

Japanese Wikipedia - Reading articles from Wikipedia in any language is really helpful.

Crunchyroll - Something a friend of mine just recently showed me. The name itself is a bit silly, but the site is a youtube for japanese shows. With subtitles. Really, really nice to watch when you have the time.

So thats it for now. I may do this again sometime into the future but this should be a good start.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

It is done!

Yesterday, I finally took my SAT. I can't believe I did it. It really was not as bad as I was expecting it to be. I woke up at 6 or so in the morning and was at the testing site by 7:30. I then had to wait a while until they let us get our room numbers, though the way that they went about it made me feel like I was in a flock of sheep. Looking around, you could tell no one really wanted to be there, but I suppose they understood that you have to do what you have to do.

So when I finally got to the room, I found a nice sit and then proceeded to take out my things. I'd just so happen to bring two calculators with me and had just gotten them out when some kid asked me if he could borrow one.

Now, you know full well what you came to do there. Why is it that you forgot to bring something as essential as a bloody calculator? And if that was not bad enough, other people forgot to bring pencils! I mean come on. The entry tickets said to bring all of these things. Yet after that, I forgave the missing calculator boy and ended up giving him one out of good will. At least he brought pencils...

The rest of the test took place without any problems. I felt comfortable with the reading and writing sections, though the math is what made me second guess myself. But what is done is done. I can now only wait and see what I got.

Oh, one more thing. After the test when I was waiting outside for my ride, the boy that I gave the extra calculator to came up to me and thanked me again. That one action made me really glad that I gave it to him. You never know what can happen when you help some one else out.