Aug 302008

Accompanying all the incredible experiences associated with returning to Japan, the adjustment has been quite a bit rockier than usual, plagued with some pretty unfortunate luck.

First, although I was happy to have managed to pre-arrange furnished apartments for both myself and for Peder, I was pretty bummed when mine (the more expensive one) turned out not to be everything I’d hoped for. It isn’t bad per se, but in comparison to Peder’s it’s a no-brainer. The lesson: always choose an apartment that’s near a University. Lots of student culture, lots of cheap businesses, and lots of fun waiting right outside your doorstep 🙂 All I’ve got outside my 20-year-old building are temples and Buddhist shops, with nothing really to do within walking distance.

This issue was more minor though. Here’s the bad stuff:

After dealing with my very costly backpack theft in Osaka, Peder’s computer died completely, destroying our ability to jump into our mutual programming project.

Then after wasting nearly a week chasing my tail after a prepaid cell phone from Softbank, I managed to secure one only to realize that its maximum 250 emails could not be backed up in any way whatsoever. Since retaining all of my correspondence is very important to me, I wasted another day trying third party software to access the phone’s OS and remove the mails. One of the programs gave me a virus, locking me off the ‘net.

After some creative thinking I got back up and running, returned to my apartment, and plugged in my external USB Hard Drive. Dead.


Then to help out with the cellphone situation, a friend sent me her old phone, a model that allowed backing up emails. But the software wouldn’t install on a non-Japanese version of Windows!


At least now, a couple weeks in, things finally seem to have started turning around.

Peder’s got a new micro-laptop to program on (Acer Aspire One – the perfect travel machine) and another friend has shipped over another old cellphone he no longer needs. Mail backups work!

We just signed back up at Gold’s Gym, and after almost a month hiatus, pumping iron has never felt so good. It’s also nice to be running into yet another group of old buddies – you should’ve seen some of their faces when I walked in through that door. Like they’d just seen a ghost!

(It’s also spectacular to be working out in such a well-maintained gym. Bally’s in LA is much larger and more spacious, but searching high and low through their disorganization and clutter for that other 80lbs dumbell or walking up to a machine and having to unload the previous user’s 315lbs of weight is one of my biggest pet peeves. People here actually clean up after themselves, EVERYTHING is where it belongs, and you can focus simply on what you went there to do: work out. Not sort through everyone else’s inconsideration.)

Finally, after several years of unrelated software projects, I’m now delving back into the GPR-Slice code; it’s a bit of a mess at the moment, but hopefully within a week I should have a shiny, new version with which to impress my part-time employer. Once that’s happened Peder and I can start chugging ahead on our new mutual business venture.

More details will follow as we proceed towards a completed product 🙂

  6 Responses to “Trouble Getting Settled”

  1. cool….can’t wait to get more details about what you two are upto

  2. 「maximum 250 emails could not be backed up in any way」
    Damn, forgot bout this issue…
    Srry dude

  3. Haha hey, not ur fault – if u weren’t there I wouldn’t have even been able to get the phone!

    (Actually I guess I should clarify on the post above: I got ONE prepaid phone in about a day in Tokyo, thanks to JingJing’s help. Getting the SECOND phone, i.e. for Peder, took forever – because literally NO stores in Kyoto had them in stock)


  4. I looked up the Acer Inspire One… it looks like an 1.6 ghz 512 meg ram linux machine. How can you program on that?

  5. It used to be Linux only, now they make Windows versions. The one Peder got has a gig of RAM. It’s not a top-end machine (and thus not ideal for programming), but it’s so tiny you wouldn’t believe it – practical to bring with you almost anywhere.

    (He’s also going to buy a new proper laptop, but since he’s been wanting a travel computer for awhile this was a good time to purchase. Now he has SOMETHING to use in the interim).

  6. Actually, the computer is more than proper for programming. You don’t really need that much of a badass machine to get the compiler running, it’s just games and stupid Vista that will steal all your resources. The downside of the machine is basically the screen, but as long as you have enough RAM between your ears, that shouldn’t pose a problem. The keyboard is just big enough to type quickly, and I surf in fullscreen mode. I’d say it’s a good tradeoff between a lot of things. You cannot get everything in one package unless you wanna shell out a lot of money. This thingy was really cheap (like 500 USD), and covers all my basic needs.

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