Goodbye PHS

It seems that DoCoMo killed off the Personal Handyphone System service last week (Slashdot JP link). The PHS phones were attractive when we were students (specifically around 1995) because of the lower handset prices. Not being able to use one while traveling over 20kph (or was it 25?), however, was the main deal breaker. I remember when the newer generation phones with multiple antennas came out specifically to deal with this problem, but by then everyone who already had a cellular wasn’t about to switch.
As this guy says, there was a lot of potential in the system that was never realized, but hey, the road to Nashville is lined with superior specs and wasted potential. Or something.
RIP, PHS. FYI, U SUKT.

15 Months no BT

Bittorrent, I’m back. I know you missed me.
But Demonoid’s gone! NOOOOOO! I was one of the few users to upload half a terabyte; I was going to use that ratio for the betterment of my arcane software collection! Oh, well. It would take fifty years to download half a T on this connection, anyway.

I traded my 100Mbps FTTH for mangosteens and monkeys…

…And I think I made the right decision. This article by Robert Cringely hits home, though. My theoretical download speed is now 1/50 of what it was last year in Japan and the theoretical upload is 1/200. Actual speed ratios are about the same, however, downtime here is pretty awful as you can see by my sporadic blogging – sometimes lasting for almost a week. The whole censorship thing is pretty lame, too.
On the flip side, the mangosteens and monkeys sure are tasty!
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Let me tell you a secret about (relatively) insane connection speeds: When you are wired to the net through a $50/month hikari connection, your connection speed is a non-issue. You are waiting for the rest of the internet…

Apple Form Factor Graphic

This chart is pretty cool because every model I’ve ever owned is on it (including the Apple //c our dad bought for us), except for my trusty old Powerbook 190. I gave up on Apple after the dot mac betrayal way back when, and haven’t looked back since. I was still in charge of all the mac boxes at work until last year, but Apple has pretty much zero presence here in Thailand.

odo trick – I [heart] OCD

One of my “borderline” traits is my fascination with numbers, especially numerical readouts (this also partially explains my fascination with pachinko and the like). Some numbers and patterns just mean a lot to me, although my commemoration of odometer milestones I know is at least shared by some of my friends. Some people just don’t get it though – I remember when I stopped my S-13 Silvia on a busy highway median to photograph reaching the 111,111 kilometer mark (sub trip odometer 1,111), the person I was with totally DID NOT understand why I thought it was so special, so I told him to get the fuck out of my car and he immediately got hit by a big truck and died. OK, maybe that last part was just wishful thinking, but what a fucking killjoy, you know?
So with that in mind, I present to you the first big milestone for my new (used) car:

Odometer otakus should note that I have synchronized the sub-trip recorder to within 0.3 meters of the main readout.
This is going to be something special.
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I finally got around to taking a pic of my new audio setup, but I didn’t take it during the right time of day, unfortunately:

I was so happy with the work my guy did, I let him put a sticker on the box – it’s in Comic Sans!
The sub box is located in front of the amp, a simple vented design for a 12″ driver I bought cheaply in Japan and have used for over 5 years now. I can’t recommend the polymer/silicon/carbon substrate construction for speaker cones enough, and it’s a damn shame the only factory making them burned down last year. The speaker points forward, as I tried pointing both forward and back, but due to the dampened trunk lid, excess reverb prevented a rear-pointing layout. Speaking of dampening, the entire rear third of the car has been soundproofed with bitumen sheets. The rest will be done when I have the time.
All I have to say is, I’m lucky to be in Thailand because I could never afford to have all this stuff done in the states or Japan. I just happened to find, through a long string of coincidences, a local workshop whose owner speaks English really well and is more into car audio than I am, which is pretty rare. What’s even more rare is that his shop is A) fast B) cheap and C) extremely competent – it’s like being on a different plane of reality, where shit that isn’t supposed to exist does. I plan to take full advantage of this most advantageous situation.

TF-DVD7100 Region Free hack

The TF-DVD7100 (or TFDVD7100) was marketed under different brands in different countries, including the PRISM and COBY brands. Depending on the firmware, the following region hack can be performed by either remote or from the main unit’s controls.

  1. Press SETUP button
  2. Press FF button
  3. Press FR button
  4. Press NEXT CHAPTER button
  5. Press PREVIOUS CHAPTER button (a “Language Setting” or similarly labeled code will appear near the top of the screen.)
  6. Press the RIGHT ARROW button until code changes to 255
  7. Press ENTER button
  8. Press SETUP button to finish

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Posted here for posterity.

Gmail for Domains – Small Bug

As I mentioned previously, I have my j(at)cosmicbuddha.com address set to forward all mail to my cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com address. Spam sent to the first address is not forwarded; I am OK with this. However, I have noticed that messages sent from cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com to j(at)cosmicbuddha.com are not getting forwarded to cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com. I do not understand why, because emails sent from cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com to cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com do appear; emails sent from j(at)cosmicbuddha.com to cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com do appear; emails sent from third parties to j(at)cosmicbuddha.com are forwarded to cosmicbuddha(at)gmail.com.
Is this because I’m fucking with the time-space continuum, or what?
UPDATE: My Account status on the Dashboard (Gmail for Domains control panel) is still updating. Maybe that has something to do with it.
All this forwarding business is tempting me to tempt fate with an infinite loop – to set both addresses in question to forward to each other. Should I do it?
ANOTHER UPDATE: Getting. Hard. To. Resist. What the hell? You only live once, right?
POSSIBLY FINAL UPDATE: Well, that was anticlimactic. I expected both mailboxes to instantly fill and throw the Google superkryptoniteleviathanserver cluster off just a bit, yet the net result of sending a test message to either e-mail address was one received message in each account (exactly as it should be). Props Google, you proactively foiled my plans for infinite loopty-looping.