Japanese TV on Linux – KeyHoleTV…

My wife loves watching her TV, but it is too expensive via satellite, we do not have (or want) cable, and the Internet services she WAS using have either gotten too popular (PandaTV) or have been shutdown (J-NetTV).

So she found KeyHoleTV.  On the Xorsyst web site, it is explained that this is part of a test program run by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs to test and demonstrate P2P technology.  They have builds for Windows, Mac, and Linux (32-bit and 64-bit).  It is simple to use and works pretty well.  The streams cannot be downloaded (easily, anyway) for archiving, and video and audio quality is not perfect, but it ain’t bad either.  And it is free.

It does seem to be down right now (first time since we started using it 2 months ago), but that is a side effect of a test program, right?  Try it out if you miss Japanese TV.

Update:  Seems to be back up now.

Japanese Input on Kubuntu 9.04…

I set up Japanese input following Zorael’s tips on this link:  First Impression Jaunty/Kubuntu 9.04.  I added all packages for UIM, PRIME, SKK, skim, and scim that relate to each other, as well as some dictionaries and kinput2.  His directions were very helpful, and now my wife can input Japanese.

Short post…

Waiting to Move In….

Well, we have been in the States now about a month and a half.  Fourth of July, and I am blogging over a really good beer (New Belgium Mighty Arrow), from the second long-term stay hotel of this adventure.  We are waiting on flooring to show up as we continue renovating our house, as well as for our stuff from the move to show up (probably next week for the stuff, no telling on the flooring).

We got cars about a week after we got here – new ones.  I swore I would never do that, but my wife really wanted new, and we got decent deals on them, so I am not too bothered by it.  I like mine quite a bit.  Yesterday, we got a new puppy – an eight week old chihuahua (shorthair), who stole our heart.  We named her Hana – it means “Flower” in Japanese.

Work is great.  I would be criminally underestimating to say that my last job had turned into swirling puddle of crap – but that is my way, Gentle Reader.  My job now is the polar opposite in so many ways.  Money, cooperation, teamwork, trust, even some hint of leadership.  I know, hard to believe.  I am seriously buzzed on the happy.

The beer helps, of course.

I am working a lot on Linux systems (at work).  For the wife, I bought a laptop from Best Buy with Vista Home Premium on it.  nice laptop – too bad the operating system is junk.  Oh well, once I figure out how to get her internet TV shows to work on Linux, Vista will be a distant memory.  But God, what a piece of junk it is to work with!  Anyway, I will be working on a lot with Linux and VMware at the office, and I am no longer involved in network or computer support and operations (I work in a lab now).  Lots to be happy about.

Hopefully, we can move into our renovated house soon.  Life is getting better…..

Kubuntu Tip – Japanese Input….

I got it working, but it was a little different than Mandriva and took a few tries to get working right. I found THIS link, which really cleared up some confusion I had with a few other HOWTO guides I looked at. I applied these tips, but only installed Japanese language support.

One thing to keep in mind is that the file /etc/X11/Xsession.d/74custom-scim_startup doesn’t exist, so you’ll have to make it. I also made a .fonts.conf file in my home directory and restarted X, but deleted it because my fonts went to crap. After I deleted the file, my fonts went back to normal.

After you are done, restart X. You can either make a startup script for scim or skim in the .kde/Autostart directory, or just use the “Run Command…” tool from the menu and run skim or scim (I prefer skim).

Also, the changes are system-wide, so the scim or skim tool will be present on all logins.

Japanese Input Support on Mandriva 2007 Linux…

I decided to try enabling Japanese input on my system this weekend. I did get it to work, and here is how:

  1. I first Googled it. ^___________^
  2. I then made sure the following language and font packages were installed:
    • fonts-ttf-japanese
    • fonts-ttf-japanese-extra
    • fonts-ttf-japanese-ipanoma
    • fonts-ttf-japanese-mplus_ipagothic
    • locales-ja
  3. I then made sure to install the following input packages and their associated libraries:
    • canna
    • scim-canna
    • skim-scim-canna
    • anthy
    • uim
    • prime
    • kinput2
  4. I made sure that canna and jserver services were running at startup: “chkconfig –add canna” and “chkconfig –add jserver” (run as root)
  5. I appended to /etc/sysconfig/i18n the following lines:
    • GTK_IM_MODULE=scim
    • QT_IM_MODULE=scim
    • XIM_PROGRAM=”scim -d”
  6. I restarted gdm, and got a keyboard icon in my tray area.
  7. I configured it and disabled all languages but English and Japanese, noting that CTRL + Space toggles it on and off.

Now, when either of us uses CTRL + Space and selects Japanese, we have a variety of methods to input Japanese, whether it is katakana, hiragana, or kanji. This is on a standard US keyboard (no Japanese keys). The method we like best is Prime, which allows hiragana and kanji input, a list of selections as you type, and other options. I also set the list to be verticle.  In a nutshell, I took a shotgun approach to packages, installing everything related to japanese, canna, anthy, uim, scim, skim, and prime, excluding those packages applying to other languages.

I did have a big problem after modifying the i18n file, however. Firefox would no longer open. After much digging, I found that the problem was that we were using the Mozilla build of Firefox, not the distro-supplied build. The distro-supplied build was compiled on a more recent version of gcc than the Mozilla build, and after I switched a few icon paths around, we were back in business. From what I read, this would also affect Thunderbird users in the same manner. So either use the distro-supplied version if you run into this problem, or compile from source (make sure to compile in SCIM support).

This method of enabling Japanese input seems to work globally across the desktop, regardless of the application. Remember, though, YMMV.

The pages that best helped me out for this are:

  1. Troubleshooting Firefox and SCIM: scim-im.org troubleshooting article
  2. Enabling Japanese input globally: http://www.h4.dion.ne.jp/~apricots/scim-anthy/howto.html

New Japanese Word….

Well, not new, but new to me.

Mottainai. <mo tai nai  – long “o”, equal emphasis on each syllable>

My wife had to help me get the idea – there is no one word in English for it. The best we could come up with is “A philosophy of efficiency”. Basically, if there is a better way to do something, do it. If there is a better reason to *not* do something, do *not* do it.

Sounds easy, right?

Examples would be:

  • You have a 17 inch LCD monitor, and you want to buy a new 19 inch. The old one works fine, and the new one costs $350. You do not actually do anything that would benefit from a larger monitor. Mottainai – keep what you got, don’t buy the 19 inch LCD monitor.
  • Your driving home, 10 minutes away, and the kids want you to stop at a convenience store for something to drink. You have juice at home. Mottainai – wait till you get home.
  • You have some old newspaper with expired ads on it. Throw it away? Mottainai – let the kids paint on it instead.

Anyway, it just really struck a chord with me, cuz I am always trying to practice this at work and at home anyway – I just didn’t have a name for it (well, “cheap” comes to mind, but this sounds a lot better).

Fits quite nicely into all the Lean-Six-Sigma crap we are doing at work now. And hopefully, this is the last time I will bring work into my blog.