Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Testing Changes to the ini file

Need to see if the changes I made to the php database and the ini file in the wordpress folder have worked. I will type something in Korean and if the changes work you should see something other than questions marks.
한글

So, what’s your verdict?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Waiting for the inevitable: Reformatting my Windows OS

Last week I finished writing the paper that I will submit to the 2009 proceedings of the KOTESOL conference, but before I could send it around to colleagues for some feedback, my computer kept crashing. It got to the point where it seemed to be crashing every 30 minutes or so regardless of how it was being used. This made me realize something that I have actually known for quite some time: It was time to erase everything on my computer and begin again.

The problem is that Vista isn’t designed to be erased. They have these restore points but if your operating system is crapped up; it’s still crapped up after you’ve restored it.

I’m not 100% sure why Microsoft made it so difficult to reformat a Vista hard drive. I speculate that it’s because they didn’t want people buying new computers with Vista OS only to take that new computer home and re-install Windows XP. Now, as we know, people were doing just that so there was plenty of reading material on the internet to help me with my task. 

Unfortunately, the vast quantity of reading material actually hindered my task rather than sped it up.  It took me a day to find and figure out how to erase Vista and then re-install Vista. I actually don’t mind Vista. There were plenty of suggestions for ways of getting rid of Vista so you could re-install XP but few posts describing how to reformat Vista to re-install Vista. 

Once I knew what to do, it then took me another day to download the program (an illegal versions of the Vista operating system call Vista Black 2009 Edition v. 2 by Benjamin) that would allow me to partition my hard drive, install a working version of Vista that would then let me delete the old partition containing the crapped up OS. Sadly, it then took me another day to hack the illegal program so it would work, and then one more day to re-install the data and programs back onto my computer.

In the process of doing this I discovered that the CS4 DVD I bought in Thailand was defective, but their instructions for hacking Adobe CS 4 Design Premium were excellent. I downloaded my own version of the software and followed their hacking instructions and I now have a fully operational version of CS4 Design Premium.  

As I mentioned above, I don’t hate Vista. In fact when I bought my Dell Inspiron Computer at the end of October 2006, I didn’t have a choice about which OS I could have installed. Because the popping of my mother board in my Toshiba computer happened to coincide with the release date for Vista, Dell wasn’t selling any XP machines. I, of course, had the lowest possible expectations for the new OS. Low expectations are a good thing, because I ended up being pleasantly surprised. Unlike the XP OS which required reformatting every six to nine months, this is the first time I’ve had to re-install the Vista OS; three and a half years is a pretty good run. 

Three-and-a-half-years is a pretty good run, and now after last week and our many trials and tribulations I am back together with my computer. I feel much closer to my computer now after we worked through all these issues together. I wouldn’t say our relationship is more open, but it’s certainly more up-to-date.

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Referring Links: Is that the Great Firewall of China?

I like checking my blog stats, because sometimes it provides me with some unanticipated entertainment such as when people use their whole name when searching for things that target my site.

I have two ways of monitoring my stats. One service is provided by wordpress the publishing software that I use to maintain my blog, the other is statcounter, which I use for my all my sites.

The following address listed as one of the referring links which brought traffic to my site: http://firstbathrooms.co.uk/china/login.php

The address appears like this in the address bar of your browser:firstbathrooms-address

The address looks innocuous enough, but  the website looks like this:firstbathrooms-screen

The imagery obviously makes one want to ask: Is the Great Firewall of China checking up on me?

If recent news denotes a trend, then one can safely assert that China probably invests more manpower into cyber-security and cyber-mischief than any other nation. For example, a search of googles news aggregation service reveals that there are approximately 10,000 articles for the search terms: “China,” “cyber,”  and “attack” and approximately 3 million news articles for the search terms “China,” “cyber,”  and “security.”

Interestingly the two blog articles that this entity checked out were: “SLA meets the Faithful” and “A Morning Mish Mash.” Both of these particular blog posts mention two things that this entity might find interesting bathrooms and China. However, the entity did not check out all articles that mention bathrooms and I have mentioned bathrooms on several occasions on my blog:

nor did it check out all the articles about China that I have posted on my blog:.

Stranger still no search terms were entered to find these articles. In fact there have been no searches targeting my site since the 13th of January. The lack of search terms seems to suggests that one party monitors the internet for specific terms and another party inspects the sites that the first party finds. 

The question still remains: Why these two articles and not the others? The only reason I can think of for “SLA Meets the Faithful” is that I mentioned that my former student dreamed of going to China as missionary and teaching the Bible in English. If I were the Chinese government, I’d certainly be worried about this. Remember the guy used Universal Grammar to prove the existence of the Tower of Babel. In terms of “A Morning Mish Mash” it would have to be due to Tony’s email and blog posting which I quoted about how the Koreans and Saudis trashed the US, but the lone Chinese student provided the expected pat answers. Maybe the Chinese government is wondering if this student is a dissent in the making.

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Music in the 21st Century

I read a thought provoking article this morning from CNET called: “Will Recorded Music Survive the 2010s?”  My guess is that the current trend which is described in the article will continue and that big studio produced albums will be “a thing of the past.”

Like he argued there will be less money in the music industry, because musician will produce and market their own music through social networking sites like facebook and myspace and they will upload self-made videos to youtube with links to places where you can buy and download their songs.

Because of these trends I see music becoming more local; more community oriented. Bands will work their local area and if they are lucky they will become regional, but only a few will become truly national or global. The reason for this is that social networking is a targeted form of marketing that uses a bottom-up distribution approach rather than the top-down distribution approach that major record companies currently have in place.

A good example of this can actually be found here in Korea. The EV Boyz  are a community based band that has self-produced and self marketed their own music. They primarily are entertaining the expat community here in South Korea and their facebook site reflects that.

But many other bands and not just one band here in Korea are using this approach. There are tens of thousand of bands to be found on facebook and other social networking sites. Youtube is also filled with the music of both amateur and struggling professional musicians.

But music marketing isn’t comprised to just those sites. An article posted to Mashable: the Social Media Guide called “Social Music: 5 Essential Tools for Marketing Your Band”  listed five web sites especially designed to help musicians market their music and their bands using a bottom-up, grassroots approach.

This will also make music conferences like SXSW even more important. In fact I would not be surprised to see even more of them in the future. SXSW has already inspired similar festivals elsewhere, including North by Northeast (NXNE) in Toronto and West by Southwest (WXSW) in Tucson, AZ.

The author of “Will recorded music survive the 2010s?” seemed to think that this loosening of music industry control was a bad thing. He made the following statements:

You can’t record the sound of a band in a great sounding room, unless you have a great sounding room. No wonder most new recordings sound so contrived. Just because you can make a record at home doesn’t mean you should.

He has a point. The sound quality may not be as good, but in some ways at least in terms of diversity and creativity I believe the music scene will be better. The music industry will certainly become less hierarchical. Music will be driven by the artists and their communities of followers which might create opportunities for more collaboration and experimentation. 

Personally, I feel that the record companies deserve what they have got. I remember when I was a college DJ in the late 1980s just as the transition from vinyl albums to CDs was being made. I read an article in the College Music Journal that said CDs were going to be great for consumers because compact discs were so relatively cheap to manufacture. The article describe how typical production and distribution cost of CDs ranged from .20 to .50 cent a unit compared to .50 to .75 cents per unit for vinyl and cassette tapes.

The article went on to predict that CDs would usher in a golden age for music consumers, that is, significantly cheaper music. But that actually never happened. CDs did usher in a golden age for the music industry as they gouged consumers with prices that were 20 to 30 percent higher for CDs than vinyl or cassettes.

The music industry exploited technology for its own purposes and now they are dying because of technology they cannot control. Perhaps if the music industry had looked beyond short-term profits in the late 1980s and early 1990s they would have avoided alienating their consumers. But that is a what if that simply never happened.

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Same as it ever was

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

I was surfing the net the other day and I ran into this:

The Progressive Party, Platform (August, 1912)
The conscience of the people, in a time of grave national problems, has called into being a new party, born of the nation’s sense of justice.
 

We of the Progressive party here dedicate ourselves to the fulfillment of the duty laid upon us by our fathers to- maintain the government of the people, by the people and for the people whose foundations they laid.

 

THE OLD PARTIES

 

Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people.

 

From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

 

To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.


The deliberate betrayal of its trust by the Republican party, the fatal incapacity of the Democratic party to deal with the new issues of the new time, have compelled the people to forge a new instrument of government through which to give effect to their will in laws and institutions.

 

Unhampered by tradition, uncorrupted by power, undismayed by the magnitude of the task, the new party offers itself as the instrument of the people to sweep away old abuses, to build a new and nobler commonwealth. 

 

To think that this was written in 1912; I guess it only goes to show that the more things change the more things remain the same. I especially found the part that spoke of the deliberate betrayal of the people’s trust by a war mongering Republican party and the fatal incapacity of the Democratic party to deal with the issues of our times to be prophetic.
 

 

Too bad third, fourth and fifth parties can’t make a go of it in the US. I think it would improve the quality of our government, but they really don’t have a chance according to FAIR.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

From Papyrus to Bytes

When I began writing these words, I was sitting in Anna’s Chiropractor’s office with Noah.

Noah was sucking on his pacifier, kicking my arms so that my pen would skid across the page, and staring at the ceiling fan as it wended it way through its circular orbit; wop……………wop……………wop.  I was sitting on the couch and I was using an ancient technology (writing), a fairly old technology (paper) and a relatively modern invention (pen) to record these events.

Rather than writing about technology, I should be grading, but journaling/blogging when I should be grading seems like such a satisfactory way to procrastinate.  I suspect that procrastination often goes unrecorded; it’s a hidden vice that many of us sweep under the carpet, but I’m going to do us all a favor, I’m going to pull it kicking and screaming into the light.

There are many ways to procrastinate and everyone has their own methods. Typically I do one of two things. I either read or I write. The former is more common than the latter; especially with such easy access to the internet there are literally more words available at my finger tips than I could read in my entire life. Regardless of how I am procrastinating, however, there is one aspect that they share in common; I don’t always finish what I start.

My blog is a good example. I have more unpublished entries (60) than published entries (40). I start them, but I don’t finish them. I don’t delete them either; I always assume that I’ll get back to them. There are several aborted topics that are actually older than the blog itself. I started them with the idea that once I set up my blog I will need some content, but when I did set up my blog I felt so remove in time from those entries that I decided to write about something else.

Procrastination, for me at least, is a double edged-vice that cuts both ways. Not only does it hinder my ability to get my work done in a timely manner, but also the effort I expend procrastinating is usually also wasted.

Now I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if my computer, bookshelves and notebooks weren’t littered with these incomplete fruits of my procrastination, but they are. Even now as I type these words up, I wonder: Will I actually publish this? Will it make it to my blog? And as I type these questions, another thought strikes me: Weren’t the labs, studios and workbenches of great inventors and artists littered with their aborted efforts?

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that may be so, but I bet procrastination is the father, because invention requires someone seeing the need and it also requires that someone takes the time. Since most people go through life fulfilling assigned tasks, one can therefore argue that the creating of something new is outside the mandate of task they have been assigned and since the person took the time to create something, he/she must been procrastinating when he/she created it.

Hmm, maybe procrastination isn’t a vice. It’s only been those task-masters who have kept the human population busy who are responsible for giving procrastination a bad name, because without it the human race would never have advanced from papyrus to bytes.

Sunday, October 19th, 2008