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Posts posted by badmigraine

  1. Here's my curmudgeonly take on this.


    --Assume you are the type of user that doesn't already know the answers about when to get/not get Vista, and/or what machines it will run on (and no slight is intended here at all, this describes most users around the world). Let's call this the "Average User".


    --There's nothing in Vista that's going to change your life or user experience for the better. You've already got it all in Windows XP (please don't tell me about transparent windows and having maybe 2GB of RAM just to enable this...it's just eye candy which has long been available in Linux versions that will run on 512MB of RAM or less, and in Apple's OS X).


    --In fact, don't get Vista. It is a bloated system hog that will have scads of upgrade, install, driver and setup problems for the first 6-12 months as the initial bugs are tweaked and third parties provide their drivers and updated versions. Your printer won't work right, you'll get an error like "spooler crash" or something. Your external drive or USB stick won't work. Your iPod will be erased...anything is fair game in this stage. Or maybe those devices WILL work...it's a gamble. This always happens when MS rolls out their latest OS. During this period, and even for the next 3-5 years for sure, you'll be fine with Windows XP. So you can go out today and buy a nice laptop. Get a nice load of RAM. By the time you are done with that laptop, Vista will be ready for you on the NEXT machine you buy.


    --If you are an Average User, then Linux is most definitely NOT for you. It is just not ready yet. If you want to do the things most Average Users do, you can do some easily, but others are a nightmare, or not even available at all. Example: I don't think you can run iTunes on Linux. Windows Media Player files...there is a solution, but you better be a geek or you won't be able to get it to work, and you will have constant errors and searches for codecs. Burning DVDs...just not as easy or reliable as on Win or Mac software. Japanese input...good luck, it is messy and all over the place. If you can even get scim-anthy or uim or whatever to turn on and work on your system, it probably won't work right in other apps...Open Office doesn't always work right , somebody already mentioned the Excel problems...and the predictive input engine is primitive compared to MS's Global IME or the ATOK engine you can get for Apple. I think you can BUY Turbolinux Fuji (which includes the ATOK input editor) for 16,500 man, but hey, Linux is supposed to be FREE, and also, I read on some bbs posts that the J input in Turbolinux only works right if you also have J as the system language. Scratch the surface of any Linux desktop distro and you find you need to be a supergeek just to stay on top of it. You don't need this, you will beg to go back to Windows or Mac. I lost a whole day trying to get Japanese input to work on Ubuntu and just gave up. There's no explanation for why it won't switch on. I am into a world I just can't understand, with suggestions to enter a half-page of gobbeldeygook commands and code, it is a joke.


    --I kind of hate Apple's image and the Church of Mac mindset, and I never really clicked with OS X. But really, for the Average User, just get a cheap Mac and be done with it. You turn it on and it works. There is very little tweaking and maintenence, you can run MS Office, at present it is not the main focus of hacker, virus, trojan, worm, or malware types. It is just a tool that gets the job done as opposed to a hobbyist's tinkering paradise (or nightmare). And you can dual boot it with XP if you want using Boot Camp (available free with simple instructions from Apple's website).

  2. Kaspersky and McAfee do well on the magazine and consumer rag tests.


    I've used Norton and it seemed to block viruses, but it was a system hog, and often caused other problems (computer unusable once a scan started, even pausing scan did nothing, needed to force a reboot). In the end, Norton just got stuck about 40 minutes into a scan and never moved on. Around this time I seemed to pick up a few virus infections that Norton couldn't see or clean.


    I cleaned the infections manually, junked Norton and did some online research and am happily using a 30-day free trial version of Kaspersky, which I will pay for when my freebie runs out.

  3. A Japanese guy at my company spent 5 years in a decent American public jr. high and high school.


    What did it do to him? He got fluent, American-accented English out of it. He is more abrupt, direct and logic/action minded than most of his Japanese co-workers. He might have been like this even without America, but he attributes it to his time in NY.


    When he returned to Japan a couple years before high school graduation, he found himself basically crushed by the other kids and the 5 years of missed school workload and juku cramming. He'd tried to keep up with weekend J school classes in NY, but there is just so much you are supposed to do here to be on track for the Japanese university entrance exams.


    He was also bullied for being different, and for speaking properly accented English in English classes. Even his teacher was humiliated and angered by his good English. So my friend immediately started pronouncing his English in the Japanese way at school, to avoid further abuse and make the others happy.


    He pointed out that things are changing fast here, and more and more kids are going to opt out of the course that leads through jukus to Japanese universities. This means that foreign kids or dual-national kids will not be in such a minority if they decide to head home after classes end, instead of hitting the juku.


    It's also a bit much to expect to have perfectly bilingual kids who can read and write 100% natively in both languages. Ocean covered this in another thread a few years ago.


    It's probably better to pick on place and stick with it for awhile. If you/your kids are looking at getting into a "good" university, then you can make it easier on everyone by having the kid be in the same country as the university for all of jr. high and high school. It's pretty daunting to shift in the middle, because then you are off track for the SAT or national univ. entrance exam or whatever it is in your country.


    If your kids are of "mixed race" parentage, unless you live in Hawaii or certain parts of California, it's quite possible that they could get bullied just as badly in the US, by one or another group. I was abused in elementary school in Michigan because I had an English accent.

  4. You're right deebs, the board-buying thing is hit-or-miss in so many ways. Not only are you limited to what is in stock in your region (except for Prior, which ships!), but you hardly ever get to ride before buying.


    Powwwers is right on about the HEAD Intelligence board, that thing is a rocket ship from what I hear. It may not play with the pipe-and-park bro crowd, but ski makers make damn fine boards. Maybe something about base and edge technology? Who knows.


    As for me, I had my left knee scoped and torn cartilage removed on Dec. 2. Now here I am, 6 weeks later, trying to build up leg muscle in time for next week's jaunt with Mogs to Naeba...the place where I did the cartilage in both knees while moguling on my Salomon 550. I think having a baby and a pregnant wife cut down my boarding way more than knee surgery though!


    Are you planning to head to Torino for any Olympic action? Or heading in the opposite direction for some uncrowded fun?

  5. Oh, all right, I'll admit it. I would forget about dinosaurs, meeting Mozart or watching Jimi Hendrix live. I would go straight back to that night when I first peeled off the jeans of this hairdresser named Yoko, and didn't get out of bed until the next afternoon. The only thing I am wondering now is, would I have to hide in the closet, or would I be allowed to join or replace my old self?

  6. For long, steep lines on packed or loose-ish snow, I would prefer a fast, stiffer board with strong edging performance. I've not seen this so much from Burton, their boards ride great but seem a bit plankier and noodlier to me, and sometimes wash out when hard carving. On the other hand, I've had amazing love affairs with Salomon freeride boards like the 550 and Fastback, and you can get the current iteration of this type in Salomon's freeride Burner or all-mountain Forecast. A friend in the US who has the same riding style and preference as me swears by Palmer boards for their tightness and edge hold even in severe conditions.


    I am also a poster boy for Flow bindings, so quick and stiff as you want, some people use them as the midway point between strap bindings and hardboot race/carve bindings, but that is a different thread.


    Have you checked out the reviews at http://www.boardreviews.com/Browse.php ?


    Let us know what you end up getting. Not all of us are able to shop and play with new toys in the Alps this year!! ;\)

  7. I and my 21-year-old hairdresser girlfriend used to wear clear rubber clothes at bizarre Tokyo parties. I'm not sure which was more fun--putting them on, or taking them off. To do either of these, you had to make sure your nails were carefully cut and smoothed, and use

    plenty of talcum powder.

  8. It would be nice if there were loads of people who'd come up on Dvorak, so one could compare average speed of either layout, apples-to-apples.


    Snowglider, it's great that you doubled your speed with the Dvorak keyboard. It was designed by a time-and-motion expert and seems to be "better" in that sense. I am interested in trying it but am not in a situation where I have time or freedom to retrain myself.


    How accomplished were you at QWERTY before you switched to Dvorak? If you go to an Internet cafe or to a hotel business center, can you still touch-type on QWERTY? Is it easy to switch back and forth, or do your fingers get confused?


    Do you have a Dvorak keyboard, or did you just re-map a QWERTY one?


    When this topic came up on Slashdot a couple of months ago, there were plenty of people supporting any one of a number of keyboard layouts (mostly QWERTY and Dvorak) based on their personal experience. But not many people doubled their speed, that is a dramatic difference.


    On some days, I can double my typing speed by sitting up straight and drinking a coffee beforehand \:D . And it makes a difference what I am typing, too.

  9. Isn't this the same as the "ward tax"?


    If so, many rich entertainers reportedly avoid this by not having a registered address on January 1 of any year...they move or otherwise formally change addresses.


    The tax is assessed by the place where you are registered, and using the amount you earned the previous year. If you move somewhere on, say, January 5th of year X, you don't pay any ward tax in year X. If you were at that address on January 1 of year X+1, then you'd pay ward tax in year X+1 based on a percentage of your year X income.


    But if you move out of that ward before January 1 of year X+1, they don't assess you there and you pay nothing.


    Tax avoidance, not tax evasion!

  10. A work friend is putting heavy pressure on a couple of us to quit our company jobs, move to the island of Tanegashima, and set up an English school or do some other job to create a beautiful natural lifestyle for our young kids and also surf a lot. The shape and location of the island mean it works whichever way the wind is blowing.


    Anybody been there? What is the lifestyle and feeling there? Apart from working as a rocket scientist at the rocket base, is there any hope of making a living there?

  11. Stag, I wouldn't mess with the bikers in your example. But there's no need to change things, we saw the vid. It wasn't a bar and they weren't bikers. And the onlookers I am thinking of didn't mind their own business, they all gathered round with their cameras and gleefully called over their friends. Over and over again. For a long time. A sad, sick image of mob rule.


    If this really was a contest, why didn't the organizers stop this? The guy on the jetski, the officials. The people are mostly caught on film. Even on a message board in Japan, some people know their names.


    Can't the local police or prosecutors follow up? I hope they did. Should you be allowed to close a public beach for a contest if you can't stop public beatings? This town is a joke now that the vid is on the Net. Not so good for tourism in Hawaii, eh?


    Sure, by some people's personal code of conduct, the guy deserved what he got. Does that make the beating legal or even recommendable?


    I admit I enjoyed watching the video from start to finish. It is gripping in a way.


    But what irritates me the most about it is the smug, hero-worshipping way it is put together, and apparently received by some viewers...including name-dropping of "pros" that somebody may claim to have personally met or be mates with, the fawning, jingoistic canonization of Hawaiian beaches, surfers and surf culture no matter what, and the blind acceptance of mob justice and beatings as a kind of cool thing that shows what happens when you go against the grain.

  12. A pretty sad story when nobody stops criminal activity, but stands around enjoying it and even gets filmed and smugly put into a WM vid that sucks up to "famous" lawbreakers. Several instances of assault and battery, and property damage. I suppose a lot of people who view this vid think "Awesome, dude...the cool ones beat up the jerk...this is the true way of Locals and it's cool to be righteous with the brahs and all..."


    This has nothing Hawaii-specific about it. Just a bunch of large criminal bullies who never grew up from playground fights. You can find them all over the place, but they belong in handcuffs.

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