Archive for the 'TLUG' Category

Visiting Tux

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Over the years we have had quite a few Open Source personalities come to stay with us.  But I wasn’t expecting a visit by a famous soft toy.

Someone came up with the idea, as a thank you to Linus Torvalds, that the Linux community should take a Tux (the Linux mascot) on a world tour.  The tour would start in France and end with Tux being given to Linus at his home in America.  Tux ended up staying with one of my friends in Tokyo who took it with him to the YAPC::Asia conference and also brought it to our apartment for dinner.

Tux, getting comfortable on the sofa

Tux, getting comfortable on the sofa

TLUG Meeting – Saturday 11th July

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve attended a TLUG technical meeting.  I usually enjoy the meetings but I’m not that interested in Linux and sometimes the talk topics are too specific for me. Since Marty was speaking today I decided to brave the heat and humidity.  I really dislike summer weather in Tokyo but I can’t spend the rest of the month hiding in my air conditioned apartment. (I’ll be spending most of August in Europe.)

The other thing that sometimes stops me attending the meetings is that they are quite far away.  The public transport system is really good but it still took nearly an hour and half to get to the venue.  One day I’ll get used to living in such a large city and remember to ask in advance where exactly in Tokyo a meeting is going to be held.

At the start of every meeting every person is expected to introduce themselves.  This is not something I enjoy.  It’s obvious that at least 50% of the attendees are really uncomfortable having to do this.  It also ends up sounding like the opening of an AA meeting just with Linux Users.  “Hi, I’m X and I’ve been using Linux for X years”.

Marty gave a talk that he is planning on giving at YAPC::EU in August.  This is going to need quite a bit of work as it’s more than twice the length it should be.  At first I thought it was because he was having problems with the live demos but actually Marty always runs over time.  He gets so excited.  It’s obviously much more fun to jump around and draw diagrams on the white board rather than actually stick to the scheduled timings.

I’ll go and hear the talk again at YAPC::EU as I imagine it will be entertaining and by then the live demos will be fixed.

Marty at TLUG (taken by Jim Grisanzio)

Marty at TLUG (taken by Jim Grisanzio)

TLUG: Demonstration of e-paper Readers

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

At today’s TLUG meeting Jim Maricondo gave a talk about writing applications for the iRex iLiad. He brought two with him as well as a two of Fujitsu’s FLIPea prototypes of the first colour e-paper reader.

I was surprised by how good the iLiad looks and did think, when looking at one page of text, that I could read books using one of these. It weighs a lot less than the book I am currently reading and since it doesn’t have a back-light it seemed that it wouldn’t be tiring on my eyes. But then I changed the page. The refresh that takes place involves the screen being made completely black, then white, and then the text appears. It looks like it flickers and given that I read quickly it would be refreshing maybe twice or three times a minute – which would be really annoying.

It has given me hope that there will be a way in the future for me to replace paper books. In Japan my books are getting damp and I don’t have the room I used to have to store these. I also find it difficult to carry them when I am travelling and it would be great to have a light-weight way to carry the text of multiple books.

The FLIPea was certainly interesting to look at but is in no way useful for reading something like a book as the refresh takes 15 seconds when you change page. It’s also surprisingly hard to read, as the contrast isn’t particularly good inside. But it is supposed to look really good in natural sunlight and I imagine that it will be used to display adverts and pictures to begin with and not pages of text.

TLUG Spring Madness

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Today Marty and I went to the TLUG barbeque. It was one of those events that I wish I had brought my camera for. I really wasn’t expecting the games they decided to play. I was standing talking to two guys who were pretending to be from Scotland (the strange things people do once they’ve had some beer) and they starting talking about the games and how we were going to toss hard drives. I thought they were joking and making some reference to tossing cabers. But no we were really going to toss hard drives.

A red hat was put down on the grass and two teams – vi and emacs – were formed. The idea was to see which team could toss a hard drive closest to the red hat. I believe that vi won. Then they had debian -v- gentoo. This progressed to shot putting hard drives.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any stranger they announced a new game that involved removing all the alphabetic keys from a keyboard. Marty took part in this and ended up cutting his head as he decided to try head butting the keyboard to remove the keys. It really didn’t work. Neither did breaking the keyboard in half, or as Erin tried, smashing up the keys with your fist. And smashing up the keys spoilt the next game which involved putting all the keys back in the correct order. Marty, being the smart ass he is, put his back Dvorak style.