Salaryman Neo’s “Salaryman Calisthenics”

There is a skit called ”Terebi Salaryman Taiso” (Taiso = Calisthenics) from the NHK TV comedy Salaryman Neo. It is based on the famous known-by-every-Japanese NHK “rajio taiso”, a calisthenics show on the radio, in which the idea is to stretch to piano music.

Continue →

Disc Burnin’ With Disco

Screenshot of Disco CD-burning software for Mac.Disco is a polished (from the UI perspective), inexpensive (USD 29.95, currently 10 dollars off as of 13 May 2009) alternative to Toast Titanium. I’ve had mixed results with Toast, and did not want to pay the upgrade fee, so I started looking for alternatives. I’ve done a few burns in Disco so far, and it seems to work quite well. No problems or “coasters” yet, at this time.

Here’s some highlights:

Disco supports spanning of a backup set to multiple discs, and lets you know how many discs you will need to complete the backup. Very convenient, and you just feed it the disc media when prompted, while it works.

Disco stores a discography for created media or disc images, so you can easily search for files on your media.

Straightforward workflow, assisted by what the publisher calls “Crossroads” technology. It’s unnoticeable, and I had no problems following, so in a way I guess it works!

Creation of CDs or DVDs with Hybrid, HFS+, UDF, PC Joliet, or ISO 9660 file systems, which means you’ll be able to read the media most anywhere.

Burn to all Apple-supported in- and external drives, and enjoy CD multi-session support, burn and erase for rewritable media, and support for dual-layer DVDs.

If your audio is supported by Quicktime, you can create an audio CD or easily switch to a MP3 data CD. Also, you can drag-and-drop to change track order.

You can create disc images from files and discs in the CDR, ISO or DMG formats, as well as create CDs from ISO, DMG, IMG or CUE/BIN.

Oh, I almost forgot that it “smokes” when you burn, provided a new-enough Mac. Pretty cool effect!

Assessment after Some Usage

I used Disco for a few burns (the demo allows you 7, gratis), and I found the program to be a tad buggy here and there. There’s times where restarting Disco will help it detect discs, or, where it mis-detects the burner you want to use. I have a San Disk Cruzer USB stick, which for some reason Disco thinks is a burner, and it gets “stuck” on it until I go into Disco Preferences and change it.

Path Finder - Collapsing All Folders

I could not find this information in the help file or on the CocoaTech forum. Clicking the disclosure triangle to close each of 100 open subfolders is rather tedious, so isn’t there an easier way? I stumbled on a method. Here it is.

Continue →

The Human Body, Understood

A random and very funny list circulating ‘round the Internets. Understand your own body.

### The Human Body

It takes your food **seven seconds** to get from your mouth to your stomach.

One human hair can **support 3 kg** (6.6 lb).

The average man’s penis is **three times the length** of his thumb.

Human thighbones are **stronger than** concrete.

A woman’s heart **beats faster** than a man’s.

There are about one **trillion** bacteria on each of your feet.

Women **blink** twice as often as men.

The average person’s skin **weighs twice as much** as the brain.

Your body uses **300 muscles to balance** itself when you are standing still.

**If saliva** cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.

Women reading this **will be finished** now.

Men are still busy **checking their thumbs**.


RIP Kiyoshiro Imawano

Kiyoshiro Imawano, the hugely-popular lead singer of RC Succession died of lymphatic disease at the age of 59. He’ll be dearly missed. One of their hits, “Ameagari no Yozora ni” is representative of his music, and you can hear it on YouTube. I thought I’d translate the lyrics to it. The original Japanese is followed by romanized Japanese, followed by my English approximation. It’s full of double-meanings, of course.

Ameagari no Yozora ni 雨あがりの夜空に


Kono Ame ni Yararete, Engine ikarechimatta


Oira no ponkotsu toutou tuburechimatta

どうしたんだ HEY HEY BABY, バッテリーはびんびんだぜ

Doushitanda Hey Hey Baby, Battery wa binbin daze


Itumonoyouni kimete buttobasouze

My engine’s dead from all this rain

My junker’s finally died

What’s the matter, hey hey baby, the battery’s fine

Lookin’ cool like always, let’s drive it hard


Sorya hidoi norikata shitakoto mo atta


Dakedo, sonna tokinimo omaewa shikkari

どうしたんだ HEY HEY BABY, 機嫌直してくれよ 

Doushitanda Hey Hey Baby, Kigen naoshitekureyo


Itsumonoyouni kimete buttobasouze

I rode you hard sometimes

But even then you toughed it out

What’s the matter, hey hey baby, why don’t you cheer up?

Lookin’ cool like always, let’s drive it hard

OH! どうぞ勝手に降ってくれ ぽしゃるまで

Oh! Douzo katteni kudattekure, posharumade

WOO! いつまで続くのか見せてもらうさ

Woo! Itsumade tsuzukunoka misetemorausa


Konna yoruni omaeni norenai nante


Konna yoruni hassha dekinai nante

Oh! Go ahead, fall apart til’ you’re a wreck

Woo! I’ll see how long I can ride you

I can’t believe I can’t ride you tonight

I can’t believe I can’t blast off tonight


Konna koto itsumademo nagakuwa tsuzukanai


Iikagen ashita no koto kangaetahouga ii

どうしたんだ HEY HEY BABY お前までそんなこと言うの?

Doushitanda Hey Hey Baby, Omaemade sonna koto iu no?


Itumono youni kimete buttobasouze

This sort of thing won’t continue too long

You gotta think about tomorrow

What’s the matter, hey hey baby, are you gonna say that too?

Lookin’ cool like always, let’s drive it hard

OH! 雨あがりの夜空に輝く

Oh! Ameagari no yozorani kagayaku

WOO! 雲の切れ間にちりばめたダイヤモンド

Woo! Kumo no kirema ni chiribameta diamond


Konna yoruni omaeni norenai nante


Konna yoruni hassha dekinai nante

Oh! They shine in the night sky after the rain

Woo! The diamonds in the breaks in the clouds

I can’t believe I can’t ride you tonight

I can’t believe I can’t blast off tonight

お前についてるラジオ 感度最高

Omae ni tsuiteru radio kando saikou


Suguni iioto sasete dokomademo tondeku

Your radio’s so sensitive

You make great sounds soon and fly away

どうしたんだ HEY HEY BABY, バッテリーはびんびんだぜ

Doushitanda Hey Hey Baby, Battery wa binbin daze


Itumonoyouni kimete buttobasouze

What’s the matter, hey hey baby, the battery’s fine

Lookin’ cool like always, let’s drive it hard

OH! 雨上がりの夜空に流れる

Oh! Ameagari no yozorani nagareru

WOO! ジンライムのようなお月様

Woo! Gin Lime no youna otsuki sama


Konna yoruni omaeni norenai nante


Konna yoruni hassha dekinai nante

Oh! It drifts in the night sky after the rain

Woo! The moon like a gin lime

I can’t believe I can’t ride you tonight

I can’t believe I can’t blast off tonight


Konna yoruni omaeni norenai nante


Konna yoruni hassha dekinai nante

I can’t believe I can’t ride you tonight

I can’t believe I can’t blast off tonight

Buttobase in heaven, Kiyoshiro. RIP!

Migrating User Folders in OS X Leopard Server

I did an experiment on my test Leopard Server to migrate User Folders from the default /Users to another direct-attached volume based on some questions that came up.

The problem is, OS X Leopard Server defaults to using the system disk as the Users partition, and this disk is not often your largest disk. It can fill up quickly if users start storing their photos or music. Long story short, the trick is to use Workgroup manager to auto-create the User directories, but, before that there’s some things you need to do for prep.

How to Migrate OS X Leopard Users Folder from Default to External

In Terminal, you can either sudo bash or use sudo in front of every command. I like to use sudo bash, but remember to exit out of your sudo’ed bash shell later, to avoid risk. Don’t use sudo bash if you don’t know your way around a Terminal. If you are not sure, don’t use it, and just go for sudo in front of each command you want to use.

sudo bashPassword:

Create the containing Users folder on the external drive, which we’ll call ”EXTHD” here. You can confirm its POSIX permissions using ls -la.

cd /Volumes/EXTHDmkdir Usersls -la

Start Server Admin, select the server in the left-hand list, then select the File Sharing section from the toolbar. Copy down all the attributes of your existing Users folder Share Point, for example to auto-mount as “User home folders”, protocol options to share via AFP, SMB, FTP or NFS, and base ACL and POSIX Permissions with whether to inherit or not.

Now, you can Unshare the Share Point in Server Admin. Click Unshare and Save. Click another Share Point to make the list refresh.

After you confirm the Users Share Point is gone you can create a new Users Share Point on /Volumes/EXTHD/Users, your external disk. Reset all the settings you wrote down for your original Users, then Propagate Permissions using the Gear dropdown.

Start Workgroup Manager, and specify the new User share for each user. Multi-select users, select your new share, and click “Create Home Now” to create.

Now you can migrate the contents, which is probably the most tedious part because there’s unfortunately no automated way to do it. Use the mv command, and you may need to reset permissions after the move. Users can try connecting and accessing their files. Here’s one way, which involves using the su command from root’s shell to mimic any given user, in this case John Allen Smith or “jas”.

bash-3.2# su - jasmysrv:~ jas$ whoamijasmysrv:~ jas$ lsDesktop Documents Downloads Library Movies Music Pictures Public Sitesmysrv:~ jas$ pwd/Network/Servers/ jas$ cd Documents/mysrv:Documents jas$ lsAbout Stacks.pdfmysrv:Documents jas$ mv /Users/jas/Documents/* .mv: ./myfile.txt: set owner/group (was: 1034/80): Operation not permitted

If you get errors like the “Operation not permitted” above, deal with those permissions separately. Use the exit command to exit to root again, and use it again to get out of the “sudo bash” root shell. I hope this helps get you started migrating user folders to an external hard drive, in OS X Leopard Server. Enjoy!

English Bookstores in Tokyo Japan

Maruzen in Oazo on Marunouchi Side of JR Tokyo Station.Here are some English bookstores in Japan, but mostly in Tokyo or Yokohama where I live, for the visitor or resident:

Maruzen in the Oazo complex (pictured) in front of JR Tokyo station on the Marunouchi side. 1-6-4 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Tel - 03-5218-5100

Yaesu Book Center on the Yaesu side of JR Tokyo station. 2-5-1 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8456 Tel - 03-3281-1811

Kinokuniya Shinjuku South Store in Takashimaya Times Square, on “Southern Terrace” of JR Shinjuku station’s New South Exit. 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0051 Tel - 03-5361-3301

Kinokuniya Shinjuku Main Store on the East side of JR Shinjuku. 3-17-7 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-8636 Tel - 03-3354-0131

Good Day Books near JR Ebisu, has a large collection of used books. 3F Asahi Building, 1-11-2 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013 Tel - 03-5421-0957 Email -

Yurindo Landmark Plaza near JR Sakuragicho in the Minato Mirai Landmark Tower. 5F Landmark Tower Mall, 2-2-1-2 Minato-Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 220-8172 Tel - 045-222-5500

Note: Yurindo in Landmark Tower has since closed down and been replaced with an H and M.

“Brasserie Bec” in Yoyogi Uehara

If you like French food but would like it at a more reasonable price than usual in Tokyo, give Brasserie Bec in Yoyogi-Uehara near Shinjuku, Tokyo a try. A project colleague and I went there last night (a Tuesday), and had an excellent meal, with a good French red. Brasserie Bec’s impossible to miss, being right in front of the north exit of Yoyogi Uehara station on the Odakyu line, running from points north and south, and the Chiyoda subway line. We were walking from Yoyogi Hachiman, got a little lost, and the cook came out to the street to help us find it after I called in my SOS!

The atmosphere of Brasserie Bec is “relaxed French” I would say. It was late, around 10pm, when we got there, but we got ourselves started with a 5000 yen French red wine from their selection of 80 reds (wide-ranging; go see for yourself!), which seems pretty extensive for a small-ish place like this. The prices of wines were quite reasonable and ranging from 3000-ish to 10000-ish, if I remember correctly.

We each ordered the 4500 yen “four plate course” from the Japanese and French menu. First came a fresh bread basket, with liver pate. It was fabulous. Then, our entrees (appetizers for the Americans in the room) were salad Nicoise and ratatouille, both warm, aromatic and wonderful. A tasty potato soup followed, and after that were our main courses grilled lamb and grilled pork, each with generous portions of vegetables. My lamb was on cous-cous, which combined with the lamb’s natural jus to make a nice background to the dish. These mains were both outstanding, we thought; grilled just right. Dessert was a choice between many, but I had gateau chocolat, my friend the marinated strawberries with sherbet.

When we finished it was after midnight, we were the last guests to leave, and we left really satisfied. Brasserie Bec is not pretentious at all, but hearty, good food in a relaxed atmosphere. Reservations: 03-3468-8773.

Map to Brasserie Bec in Yoyogi UeharaOhashi Farewell at Bec 200904Yoyogi-Uehara Brasserie Bec Appetizer 200904

Thierry De Baillon’s Article on Social Media in Japan

Thierry de Baillon wrote an article about Japan and social media acceptance, which I thought I’d comment on.

I agree that Social Networking Service acceptance, or lack thereof, is not a simple matter of Japanese being “shy”. Just go to Shibuya, Harajuku, or Kabukicho to prove otherwise! I think SNS acceptance is driven by the marketing of the SNS, by whether it “feels right” and “fits right” for Japanese people, and by whether other people are using it. I think that’s what Thierry is saying anyway, but my perspective is that SNS’s like Mixi are Japanese to begin with and not a localized version of an application like Facebook or MySpace.

Take Mixi: it’s Japanese to begin with, so there were no strange hurdles to overcome; it’s a bespoke system for Japanese by Japanese. I know a lot of localized applications that were not designed with Japanese in mind, from the language used in the user interface, to the UI layout and its functions, to the way the application was marketed.

Twitter’s simple, and it’s really easy to explain to people, whether they agree that they would like to participate in what Twitter offers. However, other apps that are more complex, would require quite a bit more explanation and “selling.” If something needs selling like that, the sales process in itself is a barrier to adoption, not to mention other barriers like poor Japanese documentation, search that does not work in Japanese, or functional concepts that don’t fit Japanese cultural concepts like “amae” which Thierry mentioned.

If you look at who first pushed Twitter here - Digital Garage - it says a lot. One thing that the Japanese joke about often is, their propensity to do things that either thought leaders or, “everyone else” is doing. The Japanese saying that describes this is:

Akashingo wo minna de watareba, kowakunai!

If everyone crosses at the red light, there’s nothing to fear!

If Japanese discover something that “everyone else” is doing, many will do it just to see what it’s like, whether it makes sense or not. If on the other hand they hear something is “strange” or “a pain” they’ll be reluctant to even try. Anyway, that’s my two yen on SNS adoption.

Color Management in Flock (and Firefox)

If you use anything but IE 7 you are still out of luck, but Safari users have had this functionality for quite a while. I refer to ”color management”, which is the concept of adjusting the color properties of devices, like displays, monitors, printers or scanners, so that colors mean the same thing across devices, and more importantly look the same. The adjustment can be done in the operating system itself, which is what Mac OS X does (and one reason it is superior to Windows), or via International Color Consortium “ICC” profiles and other software trickery.

Let me keep it very simple for this post, though. If you use Flock, which is at the time of this writing based on Firefox 3, or Firefox 3 itself, color management is disabled by default. However, you can easily enable color management, so that photos on photo sharing sites like Flickr or SmugMug will render with the color profile embedded in the photo, which usually means they will look much better than the default, using no profile. In my opinion, these days you will get far better results by turning color management on, in your Flock or Firefox 3 browser.

How to Enable Color Management in Flock or Firefox 3

The easiest way to enable the settings is by using the Color Management Addon for Firefox which will work in Firefox and should work in Flock. Alternatively, you can enter the secret “about:config” code in your address bar (where you type the URL), and enable color management yourself:


Be very careful about what you change in here, because you can break your browser easily. That said, scroll down until you find:



You can double click gfx.color_management.enabled to enable Firefox to use whatever profile is embedded in the photo you are viewing, and, you can specify an ICC profile by entering its path in the gfx.color_management.display_profile parameter. If you are not sure what that means, just enable gfx.color_management.enabled.

Restart Flock or Firefox, and you should get much better colors on sites like Flickr or SmugMug. Finally, please check out Deb Richardson’s excellent introductory post on this topic, for a clear depiction of the difference of using profiles or not, and how different applications render color. Don’t waste time with color management turned off - turn it on now and enjoy much richer color.