Monday, February 28, 2005

My baby's back

Went to Akihabara this morning and picked my "baby" up. She's almost as good as new... I just have re-install everything. This is turning out to be a major pain in the butt. It took forever to get the software I use for work up and running properly.

Then ran into the fun iPod problem - iPod's are registered to a specific hard drive. Mine died. Therefore my iPod no longer had a home, or a computer it could be updated on! And I couldn't transfer my songs onto my harddrive because it doesn't allow you to do that (to prevent music sharing). Luckily my coworker told me about a program that would let me work around that problem, and now my music is back online. Phew! My coworker also gave me a copy of OS9 in English - OS10 can be set up in any language you want, but because I bought the Mac here in Japan, the OS9 shell runs in Japanese. Which is a pain because I can't read anything. So now I know what I am clicking on at least.

Unfortunately, none of my personal settings were saved in my partial backup. I have nada. I'm trying to rebuild my bookmarks, but so many are gone. That sucks. Luckily I put most of my family and friend contact info onto my iPod so I was able to recover that.

Lesson learned, let me tell you. There will be numerous backups performed in my house from now on.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

400,000 yen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I took Hiroshi with me and my computer up to Akihabara today. First stop was Laox, where I had originally bought the hard drive. The guy there said I could send it to Logitech and they might be able to fix it, but it would take 10 days. What? I need it now though! He nicely offered to just give me a new hard drive which I could take to a repair shop to swap with the crap drive (and then I would bring the crap drive back to him).

I thought that I had better go to the repair shop to see if it could be done cheaply in a few days. So, off to the repair shop (a good kilometer away) we went. The man there looked at it and said there was a 10 percent chance that it was my logic board, but that my hard drive was probably dead. Data recovery - really expensive. His quote... get ready... 100,000 yen for 200 MB! Yes, that is like US$1000 for 200 MB of data!! Are they nuts???!!!

Guess that means I am sending my Mac off to Logitech. Back to Laox we go. We find the salesman, and say we will send it to Logitech. Only, he can only send the hard drive, not the computer. I have to go and get someone to take it out, and pay 10,000 yen. Then when I got the replacement, I'd have to pay another 10,000 yen to put the new one back in! What the heck?? Oh, and "Logitech won't do data recovery. And, this company here (shows us a webpage on his laptop) is the cheapest place... to recover the data on your 80GB hard drive ... (click, scroll) will cost... 400,000 yen." FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND YEN?!! They must be joking. Trust me, I was shocked at the 100,000 for 200 MB. This means my data really, truly is lost.

The fun thing I realized yesterday is that I had backed up my applications folder, but I don't have any of my personal data. Why? Because Mac doesn't store your personal data in with the programs (e.g. your e-mail addresses and bookmarks in your browser). It stores them in a special place (the architecture allows multiple users on a Mac, so the data needs to be separate from the program itself). I didn't back that folder up. I also didn't back up anything on OS 9 (I am running OS 10, but the computer also runs OS 9 so you can run older programs). All of my work stuff.... in the OS 9 part. This of course is all of the important stuff that I need! Can you see the scowl on my face?

Anyway, back to the story, we take the hard drive and my computer and troop to the repair shop down the street that the sales guy recommended. We get lost. Finally, we find the place, and, it isn't open Sundays. So we go walk back to the original repair shop I went to. He swaps out the drives, and.... there is a problem. I become hopeful, maybe it is the logic board, and my data is saved! But, nope, the gods have transpired to take my data away. The new one just doesn't work. Yes, I kid you not, the brand new replacement drive was broken. Logitech sssuuuuuuucks!

The repair man's comment, "You are unlucky!". This man was really nice, so this was kinda funny, but gee, thanks. Back to Laox we go to get a replacement for the replacement. Of course, we only have 15 minutes to get the hard drive and return to the repair shop before it closes. Thankfully, the repair man said he would wait for us to drop off the hard drive and that he would finish installing it tomorrow. So I get to go back tomorrow. Then I get to have all kinds of fun reinstalling everything! Not.

The only good think that happened today was that I realized all of my contact information is on my iPod. Phew! I have most people's e-mails still. I thought I had lost them all. Good thing I copied them over when I was playing with my iPod when I first bought it.

Anyway, after walking about 50 kilometers today, Hiroshi and I are exhausted. I'm sad that the data that I need to make my life easier is gone. So I went to the '610 yen a piece' cake store on the way home. I need cake today. And not just any cake, really good stuff. I figure I've already walked all those calories off.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

High hopes dashed

My coworker recommended trying a disk recovery program that had helped him with a disk (that the computer could also not see). So he kindly installed it on one of the work Macs and gave me a password to use it. I lugged my baby into work with fingers crossed. Only to have my hopes dashed. It can't find my disk either, which means, my disk is fried. Damn. I guess this means I'm off to Akihabara (electronics district) tomorrow to get it fixed.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

My "baby" died!

I was packing up my computer today when suddenly a strange sound came from it... kinda like metal grinding against metal. I thought, "ummm, this is probably not a good sound". Well, my hard drive is gone. Killed, dead, inaccessable. I have lost all kinds of data! I have some stuff backed up, but not all. I am pretty upset at the moment.
I went to Apple after work tonight and waited around for an hour for them to tell me they can't do anything, because they didn't install the hard drive (I upgraded). So I have to go to the place that did the upgrade, only guess what, they are closed Sundays. When do I have time free to go there? Sunday. *sigh*
Of course the data that I need to use this weekend, is, you guessed it, on that hard drive, and not backed up. So, here I am at work redoing all of it. I need chocolate and a shoulder to cry on.
Family and friends: If you need to reach me, I have no access to my regular account. If you sent me a message some time today, I didn't and can't get it. Please contact me via my gmail or hotmail account. You know the address.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Spring, you tease

Today was 17C! I love spring! I hope it is coming soon. Please, please, pretty please! I can deal with 17C. Everything smells fresher when it is 17C. The only down side to today was the high pollen count. Thank heavens for masks! Maybe I can put my winter coat away soon!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Super cool waste management technology

This new technology (which actually just uses old technology) to process waste sounds pretty awesome. It is environmentally friendly, makes oil/gas and minerals, and seems to be viable.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Cheap business class fares to Thailand

I was searching for airfare to Thailand over Golden Week (because I am considering getting LASIK done there) and stumbled across a great deal! Business class fare for only a hundred bucks more than economy. Granted it isn't a direct flight, but champagne, fruit and cheese trays and lots of space to stretch out are worth it. Hmmm...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time

Since Hiroshi says I am the gadget queen, here is the list of The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Bugs Bunny got a makeover??!!

How could they??!! This is not the Bugs we all know and love. :(

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

BIIIIG earthquake last night

I was rudely awakened at just after 4am this morning, to my apartment swaying back and forth. There was a big earthquake that was a bit worrisome. I've never really worried about things crashing, but I started to wonder if our book case would hold up. The epicenter was only 40km north of Tokyo.

I have colleagues who live in north-western Tokyo and they had things falling off shelves. Many people felt it was the strongest earthquake they have ever felt in Japan... I don't know if it was the strongest I have felt, but it is definitely one of the top ones.

That's ok - it is releasing pressure. It can quake all it wants as long as they aren't too big!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Amazing Race 8 - WOW!!!

Just perused the application for Amazing Race 8, and guess what! Teams will consist of 4, yes 4! members! How's that for a twist??!! That will be hilarious I think. How on earth are they going to squish four people into a taxi with their camerapeople? The cab situation will be interesting for sure. As will airline tickets.

So, do you think there will be more or less arguing? My guess is less because when two people go at it, the others can kind of calm them down. Unless of course it is two against two. Should be exciting anyway!

OK - off to read about the contestants for AR7... I heard that there is only one model couple this time round. Thank God.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A new CostCo

Hiroshi and I went to the CostCo in Yokohama that just opened up in the fall. Yokohama is south of Tokyo, as opposed to Chiba (where we noramlly go) which is to the east. I think I like the other one better. It is cheaper to get to, takes about 20 minutes less travelling time, and there is a bus between the CostCo and the wharehouse. The one in Yokohama is a 10 minute walk. Not bad when you are going, but murder when you are lugging heavy bags back.

At least we went somewhere different though. It was an interesting change. And we got to take the express train to Yokohama from Osaki. I didn't realize how fast it was - and it comes pretty often too. So that is convenient... if I ever actually need to get to Yokohama. Actually, it will be good for spring because that line goes to Odawara which has a castle and lots of cherry blossom trees aparently. So that will make a good day trip at the end of March or early April.

Now I am all stocked up on meat and other things... time to get back to eating properly and working on losing weight. First order of business when we got home was to throw out all the freezer burned meat that has been sitting in the freezer for over a year. Such a horrible waste, but it had to go. I'm going to try not to stockpile as much. No savings if it goes to waste. I also cleaned out a bunch of expired things from the fridge (since when does mustard expire?). Then I divided the meat, cleaned/skinned the chicken breasts (most disgusting job on the planet) and put everything in plastic baggies for individual serviings. Phew! Doesn't seem like a whole lot, but boy am I tired now!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Death of the cyclamen

My mom and Joan got me a beautiful cyclamen when they were here visiting. It was a lovely gift, but little did they know, I have the green thumb of death. And true to form, the thing is slowly dying... and I've only had it for a week and a half! I'm pulling out all the dead flowers but the leaves are yellow. There are still new blooms coming up, but they are white rather than pink. I'm watering it well from the bottom... maybe it needs a bit more sunlight. Not sure. Guess I'll start moving it from the table to in front of the window during the day. Maybe that will help it.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Poseidon Undersea Resorts

I want to go here! How awesome would it be to sleep under a sea of fish??!! I could hang out here for a week just watching fish on the coral.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Prince Charles to marry Camilla

For some reason, this made me say "woah" out loud. Can't believe that Prince Charles is actually (finally) marrying Camilla.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Cool Giant Ice Sculture

Pretty amazing ice sculpture that some guys made to practice climbing. Check out all 4 pages of ithere.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Now this is a camera!

This is the ultimate camera geeks dream! This 4 gigapixel camera sounds awesome.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Acrylic nail vending machine

As I was walking to the station with Cal after work on Saturday we happened to see the above vending machine in the drug store. Yes, this is a machine that not only sells acrylic nails, but applies them too!
Now, besides the fact that it is probably really unsanitary, I definitely would not want a belt of sandpaper (which is what is inside this thing) sawing off the top of my nail before gluing the ones that I purchased from the machine on. Are you crining with me? I think this one is worse than the UFO catchers with live lobsters in them.

Oh, and I took this pic with my new camera. Gotta love being able to e-mail my camera pics to myself now!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Handsfree Operation!

Hey just found out another cool feature on my phone! It has voice tags which means you can set voice commands for automatic dialling and stuff. On the phone, to activate the voice command, you press a special button and then say it. Well when you are wearing the handsfree set, if you press the answer/hangup button, you can just say the command and it will dial! I thought I would have to press the special voice command button on the phone to activate it. So this means I can hide my phone away in my bag and voice command dial and then just talk away when I'm walking down the street... you know, so everyone will think I'm crazy. LOL This is awesome. I love my new phone!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Bridesmaid Dresses

My sister has asked me to be the maid of honour in her wedding. Ok, officially I'm a matron of honour, but that sounds old, so I'm not calling myself that. After the big missing e-mail fiasco (e-mail sent to an address that has a limit for attachments) I finally got some pics. Some of them led me to ask "What is Jen thinking?" or "Is she going with the 'make your attendants look as bad as possible so you look better' theme?". (Sorry Jen, but some of those dresses would just not go with my hips and chest!). I eventually decided on separates from Alfred Angelo.

The Alfred Angelo line has some nice stuff in it actually (as opposed to other lines which made me phsyically cringe when I viewed some of the pics on their websites). Of course I needed to give mom a decision yesterday and Alfred Angelo's website was down - which led to all kinds of fun in trying to decide which top I wanted to add to the skirt. Mainly because I could pull up websites to bridal stores; however, they did not show the full Alfred Angelo line. So the discussion with mom went kind of like this: "what about style XXX?" "I don't know - I can't see that one". I'm sure she was ready to strangle me.

Anyway, it is now apparently ordered. Navy blue was a "no go" for the colour (darn, was hoping to minimize my hips!) so I will be in lilac apparently. Also, the sizes in North America have been readjusted, or the bridal stores just want to make you feel good. I figured I would be ordering a larger size that I did.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Too many functions!

The battery on my cell phone has not been keeping the charge recently, so I decided it was time to buy a new cell phone. I can't have the thing conk out on me in the middle of the day, and it is a pain in the butt to continually be charging it. It had lasted 3 years to the day exactly (I know this because it is Hiroshi's brother's memorial today, and we got his phones the day he passed away). Considering batteries really only have a decent charge for 1 year, I figure we did pretty well.

So, the new phone. It has so many functions we don't know what to do first. The menu system is a bit different than what we are used to because it is made by Nokia rather than a Japanese producer. The Japanese producers pretty much have the same menu systems. The saleswoman said "I recommend this other phone instead (of the one we bought) because the menu system is very complicated". Yeah right. Easier menus and a 20,000 yen increase in the price tag. We'll deal with the menus thank you. They actually aren't that difficult; it is just a matter of figuring out where everything is.

So, the phone came with a handsfree headset, which is awesome, because I have that thing stuck to the side of my head all the time. Let's hear it for cancer protection. It has voice commands. I can say "call Hiroshi" and it does! Except when I say it with different intonation, and then it doesn't LOL. It has a camera, which isn't a big deal, because our old ones had one as well. I think the big difference is we finally got ourselves signed up for e-mail on our phones. So you can send me messages to my cell phone in emergencies (mom and dad - am sending address by e-mail to you). Only emergencies though, because it costs to receive them and I'm a cheapskate. Especially when I'm already paying for internet at home.

Anyway, that is our new toy. We've spent most of the evening playing with things and trying to figure out how to set everything up the way we want it. Only downside - we didn't realize until about three hours afterward that there is no answering machine on the phone. Only a remote one. Kind of a pain to call it all the time when you have messages rather than just play them back on the phone. Oh well. Now all I have to do is figure out if I can sync this baby with my schedule on my Mac - it looks like I might be able to. Now that would be cool.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Bye Mom and Joan!

Well, mom and Joan are off back to Canada. We had a great visit. Come back soon - we like tomato sandwiches and breakfasts that are cooked when we wake up :) Tonight Hiroshi and I went out for sushi - after trying to convince both mom and Joan to give it a try all week to no avail, I had a wicked craving for it. Mmmm fatty tuna!

Then we came back home and watched the last two episodes of Amazing Race. WTF???!!! No, not Lori and Bolo! I liked that team! And what the heck is up with a yield combined with a non-elimination leg. Umm, doesn't that make the yield completely useless? I don't understand. This season sucks.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Big Bang on the Subway

I was riding the Hibiya line today to one of my classes when all of a sudden there was this very loud "bang!". It sounded like a cross between a gunshot and a car running over a petbottle with a cap on it. Everyone was looking at each other and thinking, what the heck was that?! And then the train went "vooooh-errrrr" as it slowed down and stopped. Did something just explode?

Then an announcement came on in Japanese that said to wait a minute. I'm thinking, please don't let there be a jumper or anything. I definitely don't want that sound to be running over someone. Then another announcement asking us to wait. People settled in to their seats at this point, and I started thinking, this isn't good. The train when "voooh-errrr" again and instead of going forward started to slide backward. The breaks screeched on. "Just a moment please". A few minutes later the train tries to go forward again and it still results in us sliding backwards instead. At this point I am starting to think we are all doomed to sit there for hours. Maybe that big bang was a transformer blowing.

Then a few minutes later it started up again and we were on our way. No explanation, just a sorry for the delay announcement. My question of course is, what the heck happened? It couldn't have been a transformer because the lights and heating were still on in the train. As far as I know they don't have separate generators for that. So what exactly wast that big bang that prevent the train from moving forward for a while?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Got to sleep in - kind of

Today I didn't have to leave for work until 12, and mom and Joan actually slept in a little bit... well, they didn't make much noise until 9am that is. Then they started banging and stuff. But, all was good - I got pancakes with strawberries and whip cream, and an omelete for breakfast. Mmmmm!