Now that Golden Week is over in Japan, I've been in Tokyo for one full year,
and have almost finished a year at my job. Translation is going well, although
I regret living so far away from work since wasting two hours a day
on trains is an insufferable pain in the ass.
I can't say i've been keeping up with computers, but it's been a good
:: 10 January, 2012 ::
In what is surely one of the most technologically awesome things i've done in quite a while, i'm currently writing this from my macbook air, tethered to my jailbroken iphone 4, while zipping along the Japanese coast at a ridiculous speed on the Shinkansen (bullet train).
I spent the 3 day weekend in Nagoya hanging out with some old expo friends. There was a ridiculous amount of food consumed in a very short period of time. Some things just never change about Fujigaoka, no matter how many years pass. I can always call up my japanese friends that I haven't seen in years and enjoy a drink.
I'm starting to really appreciate the fact that these days I value my days by who I spend them with, and not much else.
Further updates as events warrant.
:: 4 December, 2011 ::
This holiday season has inspired me to save money. Part of my money saving
investment was a new computer
with kind of ridiculous specs. Being my first
computer to ever have double digits of RAM available (and more than 20, for
that matter) i'm constantly amazed that "there's so much space for
This saves me money because i've been glued to my desk for the last 2 days.
The macbook air is a great machine, but sometimes I just want to be able to
play video games and waste a weekend.
Coincidentally, first things first, I installed linux and a full development
toolchain. Old habits die hard.
:: 8 October, 2011 ::
After living in Sasazuka for the last few months, i'm finally starting to get
accustomed to Tokyo.
It's been a random mix of enjoyable experiences. There's been a great mix of
new and old, including meeting up with Hideaki Omuro
for the first time since Defcon in Las Vegas
back in 2002.
Getting old is a strange thing.
All in all, the strong yen has been great for sending money back home, and the
ability to walk down to Shimokitazawa in 5 minutes and hang out at a random
coffee shop or cafe is a god-send.
Further updates in .. another 6 months.
:: 19 April, 2011 ::
I've finally arrived in Tokyo. Burger King sells a "meat monster"
If immigration would do my paperwork, I would feel a lot better about the
world. However, there is ample supply of sake to lubricate my wait.
:: 14 January, 2011 ::
It amazes me that you can search for jmp esp
and get lists upon lists of address locations of 0xff4e in windows that will
always be in the same location. It's nice to know that you can exploit a commercial
product with little more than duckduckgo
and a shit-load of time.
Note to self, ./msfencode -l.
:: 13 December, 2010 ::
I ran into a problem installing mysql on Fedora 14 on EC2 at work. It turned
out to be a problem with Xen manifesting itself on certain i386 machines at
Amazon. It was quite tricky to track down, but the comments on the bugzilla post is an
extremely easy tutorial for anybody trying to track down exactly why a program
is crashing or hanging.
Check it out
:: 13 September, 2010 ::
is a systems oriented programming language
developed by Google with help from Ken Thompson of UNIX fame. If you want to
install it on OS X with Homebrew
as your package manager you may need to follow these steps:
brew install pip && pip install mercurial
brew install go
cat >> .bash_profile
export GOROOT=`brew --cellar`/go/HEAD
I suppose it's the dev nature of both of these tools that makes the install
such a pain in the ass, but i'm sure it will be streamlined soon.
:: 13 August, 2010 ::
This post-check hook gist
is a solution to an annoying problem. If you're using branches in git
and change a DB schema, your development database will have changes from one
branch even after you git checkout a new branch. I wrote this hook to dump
your database after you switch branches and load up a database appropriate to
your git branch to keep them in sync. It's off by default, but if you `export
PCD_ENABLE=1` in your bash session, your git checkouts will start dumping the
database as well.
Just save this code as
.git/hooks/post-check and chmod +x it.
:: 26 July, 2010 ::
Note to self, if mysql is broken after installing brew
it's probably because brew requires the huge cludge of changing permissions on /usr/local/.
Fix with `cd /usr/local && sudo chown -R mysql:_mysql mysql mysql-5.1.40-osx10.5-x86_64/`
:: 12 July, 2010 ::
I finally got a real phone. I bit the bullet and bought an HTC Incredible.
It's quite amazing, really. I can read and write in Japanese
and it's pushed me directly into the modern era of tweeting and facebook with
its many apps. I haven't found a very good tethering solution yet, and the
email client chocked on my self signed SSL certs on my POP3 server, but other
than that I don't have many complaints.
Here's a question though, between using the wifi and using the dataplan from
my phone company, which takes less battery power? The speed is really
irrelevant considering I'm just checking email, updating widgets and pulling
down the weather and what-not.
:: 01 June, 2010 ::
I just went to Japan for a friend's wedding, but his fiance backed out at the last
moment. We decided instead to celebrate his renewed bachelorhood with 10 days
of heavy drinking and copius amounts of sushi.
Among the festivities, we threw a big graffiti t-shirt party, white shirts and markers, and the next
day I hopped on the bullet train and headed to Tokyo in hopes of making my
flight out of Narita back to the states. I arrived at Narita 50 minutes before
my flight, and with the aid of some airline workers I skipped the check-in and
security lines finding myself moments later 37,000 feet in the air.
Computers are great, but boy do I love trips abroad. Miraculously, i've made it out of the country
once every year for 10 years in a row now. One of these days i'll have to
update my travel maps.
:: 29 April, 2010 ::
I cleaned out a vim configuration that i've been using for years and started from scratch. It has none of my unit testing code, and it's basically just basic syntaxes with ruby on rails extensions to make things like 'gf' and '%' work. If you're interested, I uploaded it to Github
but let's be honest, if you're a vimmer, you probably set up your own.
This may be my last post for a while. I'm heading to Japan in a few days, and apparently blogger is shutting down FTP support on May 1, which is going to make updating my weblog more than it's worth... c'est la vie!
:: 11 March, 2010 ::
I've been using blogger for 10 years, almost exactly
, to update this weblog and now the FTP functionality is being taken away
! It's a shame.
Well, puppet caused me some headaches at work. Updating from puppet-0.24.8-4.el5.noarch.rpm causes many a thing to break. Now i'm stuck with puppet-0.25.4-1.el5 and that's just rubbish.
:: 09 March, 2010 ::
It's finally decent weather here in Connecticut, thank (g)(G)od(s).
Maybe this will motivate me to abandon my sedentary lifestyle and go outside once in a while.
:: 10 February, 2010 ::
I've decided, during my lunch break, to go back to the basics and teach myself more x86 assembly particularly for linux. I started out coding z80 assembly and it's just not right to have the most exciting programming you've ever done happen 10 years ago.
Interestingly, this all happened because I was trying to smash the stack in a vm and couldn't even understand the shellcode I was using. That's completely unacceptable, so i've decided to take the next logical step--fanaticism. Programming something really hard for fun is one of those pleasures very few people ever understand, or have the luxury to experience.
:: 29 January, 2010 ::
This might be the most interesting video
i've ever seen online--assuming you're intrigued by buffer overflows and writing exploits.
:: 19 January, 2010 ::
I'm thinking that I might really like the ruby
community, as well as github
. I normally only code embedded systems so I like c and assembly; I've avoided the ruby world for ages because I don't enjoy high level coding. I think I might have gotten over
I've decided to write a z80 assembler in c for fun, and i've posted the code.
You can grab it with git.
I haven't started any ruby projects yet, but I have enjoyed Why?'s poignant Guide To Ruby -- The ruby world really is a very interesting community.
:: 08 January, 2010 ::
I love my job. I get to do things most sys admins don't, and i'm never bored. Somehow, however, I got stuck with the project of dumping out data from ActiveDirectory servers on windows and sending it to our webservers. This is fine, except for the fact that to create a windows MSI file, one must use Wix
. This is such a needlessly complicated and ambiguous program that it's extremely difficult to deal with as a linux/os x user. There are several fields and parameters that are either unnecessary, or completely ignored. It's painful, I tell you, painful.
I miss the good ol' days of
./configure && make && make test && make install
:: 30 November, 2009 ::
I'm not much of a coder these days, but I thought I would sign up for an account over at Github
anyway. Good times.
:: 18 September, 2009 ::
My latest headache is trying to get Nagios
to automatically create hosts and services via information from puppetd.
Interestingly enough, it would be working fine if the version of nagios I have installed didn't want to instantly swap out pages as soon as I start the service. Even so, at least I don't have to make all the entries by hand.
:: 22 July, 2009 ::
I'm not sure how many of you speak Japanese, but I was watching this "news" clip
and was appalled at the ridiculous racist jokes. The title basically says "collection of jokes from around the world about Chinese people" and the content is as bad as you would guess.
It's almost as bad as the racism
in Korea, which is basically Japan 20 years ago in almost every way.
I'm so glad to be back in the States. You never know what you have until you go without.
:: 20 July, 2009 ::
Eiko came to visit from Japan for a few days over the 4th of July weekend which turned into a quite enjoyable change. We went back and forth between Grand Rapids and Chicago a few times, visited the beach and walked around.
This past weekend I went to the Pitchfork Music Festival
which was absolutely amazing. I can completely understand why people in the midwest tend to gravitate to Chicago and all the trappings of the big city.
I shouldn't have much more going on for a while, so i'm going to kick back read some good books
and refresh the soul.
:: 14 May, 2009 ::
Thanks to a bit of a friendly push from my friend Jon i'm going to be going to Nicaragua for a week or so at the end of the month. It's been almost a half a year since I got back from Korea so i'm looking forward to having a GOOD foreign trip experience to make up for that year in the armpit of asia. Corn Islands, here I come.
:: 06 April, 2009 ::
I'm not the biggest fan of ruby and i'm not sure why. I guess in reality my assembly programmer history makes me automatically reluctant to try out any extremely high level programming language. It just doesn't interest me as much as something like c.
Anyway, i'm finally jumping on the bandwagon and with my Asus EEE PC 1000HA in hand, i'm delving into the world of Ruby on Rails. Puppet and iClassify, you were just too much for me to pass up on.
:: 18 February, 2009 ::
Today I made the huge mistake of purchasing a 2001½ Volkswagen Passat GLX V6 4motion, which is in theory a very tasty car, but in practice a piece of complete shit. It has amazing features like heated windshield wipers that sense water drops on the windshield and turn themselves on, to heated leather seats that warm your rump like you've sat on a fire ant colony.
This is all fine and dandy, except for the fact that this is apparently the most unreliable car on earth. I'm seriously hoping that my first round of repairs on this car will be the last for a while.. I can't afford to throw my money down the drain.
:: 18 January, 2009 ::
Nostalgia is kicking in, and i've uploaded more photos using Google's free Picasa software. I've got a few albums, so feel free to take a peek.
:: 17 December, 2008 ::
I woke up this morning from a bit of left over jet lag, and I installed Syllable OS
in Parallels. Pretty neat screenshot
. I've also tried out Menuet
which is an OS written entirely in x86 assembly. That looks like this
on the surface, but it's what's underneath that makes it so amazing.
After my marathon flying session a week ago, Philippines to Hong Kong to Seoul To Daegu to Seoul to Tokyo to Detroit to Grand Rapids Michigan, i'm heading back to the airport again tomorrow. This time it's work related, as i've gotten a new gig at Continuity Engine
doing various linux related madness. I'm flying out to Connecticut to work a bit, have a work holiday party, and look for an apartment. Yes, wrive.com will be relocating to the east coast in the next couple of months. I'm extremely excited, regardless of the fact that I've got cold weather and outrageously high costs of living to look forward to. More updates as events warrant.
:: 10 December, 2008 ::
I've had a couple days to just relax and get over my jet lag, so i've thrown together some photos
:: 24 April, 2008 ::
I've been lurking, waiting in the surreal polluted fumes of my Daegu studio apartment tempting fate by convalescing with chicken
based dishes and soju. Two new teachers have finally arrived to fill the capacious void left by Cyndi's abrupt departure to Busan, so my hours have finally been reduced from the third-world horror I was enduring for months earlier.
I actually considered accepting a job offer to teach English in Japan for far less money, but I eventually declined and am now considering Seoul for the remainder of my stint in Korea.
I've found Korea quite interesting both for reasons of leisure and maternal curiosity, but I definitely need to find a new school. Andover has been less than enjoyable, and tomorrow marks my 6 month anniversary of arriving. It also marks the date in which I can quit my job without having to reimburse my plane ticket.
In any case, i've spent the last few nights updating my kubuntu packages in Parallels and adding arbitrary code to my z80 assembler from a terminal to give myself some semblance of a connection to the computer world.
My shoulders hurt from walking down the street and being inevitably bumped by Koreans who apparently never learned how to walk, and my soul hurts from intellectual stagnancy. Somebody needs to come correct with a egregiously glamorous job offer, or I might just end up grabbing an F-4 visa and spending the rest of my days living on the streets of Seoul, unemployed.
:: 19 January, 2008 ::
All this talk of basketball started the ball rolling (I kill me) on a weekly basketball session in Camp Walker, the US Army base in Daegu. It's an indoor gym, it's free, and damn
it feels good to play basketball again after all these years.
The scariest part is that with my sedentary lifestyle, and excessive drinking I can still manage to play pretty well. I'm a freak of nature.
:: 30 November, 2007 ::
Watching basketball in Korea is a curious event. Player's names, and the vast majority of moves and adjectives are still in English, but all that pesky grammar; Korean.
:: 28 October, 2007 ::
I write this update from an uncomfortable chair in an overheated internet cafe in South Korea. I made it to Daegu, my new place of employment for the next year, but I don't have the internet in my room so i have to come to an internet cafe every time I want to write something. Anyway, tomorrow is my first day of training, so we'll see how it goes!
:: 24 October, 2007 ::
Well, i've made a triumphant return to Michigan after a great month in Brazil. I posted some of the rated PG photos in my photos
directory. All in all, it was a fantastic trip. It sure wasn't as cheap as I thought it would be, but you only live once right?
I'm leaving tomorrow morning for South Korea, I should be updating my Korea blog
regularly. For some reason I thought I should make a separate blog for Korea. In any case, wish me luck. Preferably "luck" in the form of cash-money.
:: 01 October, 2007 ::
Well, i've finally arrived in Brazil. It's an incomprehensibly pleasant day, roughly 70 degrees and sunny. I've effectively taken over my friend Suzana's couch, dumping my backpack in the corner and staking out portion of the table for my macbook pro. At a point, I was even compelled to write something; perhaps a novel, short story or just a memoir. I finally settled on a blog entry since I clearly lack the resolve to follow through with anything of real substance at this point.
After 13 hours on a Continental Airlines 767 it's comforting to look out the 5th story window here at the gritty skyline of South America's largest city. I'm currently in Vila Madalena, what appears to be the Paulistas' version of an affluent hipster neighborhood. My first Brazilian meal cost me a small fortune, but the quality was a pleasant departure from my diet of the last 10 months.
All in all, i'm looking forward to spending the next 3 and a half weeks here and hope it proves a good spiritual recharger before I start my new work in Korea. I love the smell of plans coming to fruition in the morning.
:: 23 September, 2007 ::
This time i've returned from a brief sojourn to Chicago, specifically the Korean consulate general of Chicago. I received my Korean visa and am now finished with my preparations for my upcoming trips. Delightful.
:: 08 September, 2007 ::
I just returned from a brief sojourn to Toronto Canada. Delightful.
:: 01 September, 2007 ::
I've created a blog specifically for Korea which you can peruse
at your leisure. I'm hoping to document my trip in a specialized forum to keep my wrive.com site slightly more general. In any case, wish me luck! There's a good chance my visas won't come back in time and i'll be stuck in Grand Rapids!
:: 27 August, 2007 ::
I've been trying to determine a course of action with some semblance of efficacy regarding computer use in South Korea. I'm planning on selling my G5 iMac for a fist full of bills which combined with my profits from passing on my PS2 should assist me in purchasing a beautiful new Macbook Pro
. Toss in my new Canon SD800 IS
and I'm a veritable mobile media machine. I imagine with this sort of absurdly expensive mobile technology, this trip to Korea could quite possibly be the most thoroughly documented 12 months of my life.
This is of course assuming that my recruiter, bless her little Korean heart, can find me a job. I've been reluctant to switch to a new recruiter because of how nice she seems, but if I can't find a job all of my new computer hardware will go to waste; That's simply unacceptable. Technology wants to be used, wants to explore.
:: 05 June, 2007 ::
airlines is quite possibly the crappiest airline on earth. If it ever pops up in an online flight search, I highly recommend spending the extra $2-3 to utilize a real airline company.
I just got back from North Carolina, 2 hours away by plane, and it took roughly 20 hours to do so. My first flight was delayed, presumably because of Delta's ineptitude for their craft, by an hour and a half so I missed my connection flight. As my connection flight did not leave until the next morning, they told me "you're shit out of luck" and shipped me off to a hotel where I had to pay my own
fee. Mind you, this is because Delta apparently feels that it's okay to abandon their passengers at random places during your trip.
When I got home I tried to send in a complaint email, and the contact page on their website doesn't even work.
DO NOT USE DELTA. Don't even think about it, unless you're a glutton for poor service and even worse customer care.