Archive for February, 2007

2007 February 28

I got a temporary modem to replace the fried one, but the situation is still unideal because the internet has been on and off. Worse, the connection was completely blacked out for the last 2 days.

So, I set out to go to a net cafe to blog stuffs. Of course I’ve prepared the stuffs on my flash disk so I could just copy-paste here.

But alas! After some seconds of browsing the flash disk, the contents just dissapeared from Windows Explorer. I tried plugging to another USB port and guess what?!? The contents are corrupted!!! (many files missing, file names using weird characters, etc…)

That why I hate technology with a passion… They simply don’t work! (oh, you DON’T want me to blog about how my mnemosyne data was corrupted by a UPS failure and I lose 3 days of work (thank God I have a backup)!!! Oh wait, I just blogged it…) Sometimes I think that life would be perfect if I was born a couple of centuries earlier, living as a farmer and not having to deal with the thing called computer…

Nuff ranting and whining. I’ll read some news and then go home…

HtmlKanjiMarker 0.01

2007 February 23

The first release of HtmlKanjiMarker 🙂

HtmlKanjiMarker is a program that reads a local HTML file and then marks all unknown kanji red. If you’re studying kanji, this program might be interesting and useful.

Because the program is written in C#, you first need to install .NET Framework 2.0. After that you can download HtmlKanjiMarker 0.01 (487 KB) itself. To run the program, just extract the contents somewhere and run “HtmlKanjiMarker.exe”. Instruction on using the program can be found on the included “readme.txt”

PS2: The program doesn’t run yet on Mono 1.2.3 because they haven’t implemented the web browser control.

Kanji Mnemonic: Hockey player

2007 February 21

This time there’s a scanner around so I can show off my Picasso-like drawing ability…

First of all, observe the kanji in these words:

• 指 (ゆび): finger
• 摘む (つむ): to pick
• 抱く (だく): to hug

Notice that the left shape of all the kanji is same! It’s a shape that occurs in hundreds of kanji, so it is wothy of a name. I call it the hockey player.

This is what a hockey player looks like:

If we change the camera a bit, here’s what he looks like from above:

Can you see it already? The next picture should make it clear:

Therefore, the shape is called the hockey player. QED.

As a closing, here’s the stroke order, taken from Wikimedia Commons:

PS: Be careful not to confuse this shape with devil’s hand. (they look kind of similar)

Welcome to WordPress, LaTeX…

2007 February 19

It is now possible to use LaTeX in WordPress! Two small tests:

$\frac{dy}{dx} = \sin{x}$

$\sum_{k=1}^{n} k = \frac{(n)(n+1)}{2}$

2007 February 17

This program was actually made quite some time ago, but I haven’t blogged about it.

HtmlKanjiMarker reads a local HTML file and then marks all unknown kanji red. The list of known kanji is taken from two sources. First is from the “Max grade” textbox on the upper right. I entered 4 because I’ve studied all Jouyou kanji grade 4 and below. The second is from a text file, “ExtraKnownKanji.txt”. The file should contain all kanji you’ve learned, outside from the textbox range.

Using this program, I can visually see how effective my current kanji knowledge is for a certain page. It also makes hunting new kanji easy. Last, It can answer questions such as “what if I learn all grade 5 kanji?”. (just change the “Max grade” textbox)

Programming the algorithm naively yielded a very slow marking. This is because a HTML page contains tons of characters, and there are ten thousands of kanji to check againts. I actually benchmarked and overhauled the algorithm several times. I originally wanted to write about the algorithm changes, but lost the interest by now :).

So, here’s some generated Wikipedia pages viewed from my eyes of 1249 kanji: Newton, September 11 2001 attacks, Wikipedia. Rest assured, I’m still quite far for literacy…

Keep running, and if tired, walking. A small rest is also fine, just don’t surrender!

Fried Modem

2007 February 13

I’m now in Purwokerto. Will be here until an undetermined amount of time because I don’t take any classes this semester. Need to start working on the final project…

The cable modem got struck by lightning so I can’t browse the net from home. Other isteresting stuffs are the existence of a 12-stringed guitar (cousin’s) and a violin (brother’s friend’s). They have the potential to suck time because I enjoy messing around with musical instruments (though no good at any).

I’m tagging this post lavishly. Tagging is an awesome Web 2.0-ish feature that should be used to its full extent. Look, my blog is even featured on http://wordpress.com/tag/Japanese/ (screenshot) because of the sheer number of Japanese-tagged posts :).

Substandard translations

2007 February 10

When lecturers give students writing homework, most students just Google for the topic and then translate some (English) web pages they found. However, ignorance of the topic or underutilization of common sense usually creates a translation that’s silly.

Last semester, I took “Introduction to the history and philosophy of mathematics”. The class is divided into groups and each group must make a paper about the topic they choose. Before the test, I managed to get all the group’s paper. One paper particularly stood out, so let’s try to reverse engineer it!

• “Ini dapat dibuktikan dengan PENGENALAN” -> “This can be proved using INTRODUCTION”. Great, a new proving method has just been invented. It obviously should be “Ini dapat dibuktikan dengan INDUKSI” which in English is “This can be proved using INDUCTION“.
• “Teorema PENGINGAT Cina” -> “Chinese REMINDER theorem”. As in, “the theorem that reminds you to eat and take a bath”. The correct translation should be “Teorema SISA Cina” which in English is “Chinese REMAINDER theorem“. A famous theorem in number theory.
• “Seekor laba-laba memanjat DENGAN beberapa kaki di dinding…” -> “A spider climbs the wall USING some feet…”. Because the problem doesn’t ask for the number of feet the spider has (or uses), the translation that makes sense is “Seekor laba-laba memanjat SEJAUH beberapa kaki di dinding…” (“A spider climbs the wall FOR some feet…”).

It’s as bad as a Biology student translating “order” (in taxonomy) to “pesanan” (as in “pizza order”).

Substandard translation is also found in commercial translated English textbooks. Sometimes, it’s as if the translator didn’t check whether their sentence makes sense.

I’ve also found some funny translations in the Indonesian sub of movies containing techonological (e.g., “open source“), scientific (e.g., “string theory“), and mathematical (e.g., “group“) jargons. It caused some chuckles but sadly I don’t remember them. (IIRC it’s in, among others, “Antitrust”, “October Sky”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “Good Will Hunting”, and that movie about natural disaster where birds suddenly fall from the sky)

Yuukoubi: friendship day

2007 February 6

Trying to attain Japanese reading mastery is hard, very very hard. Therefore, it’s always buoying to know that you are not alone, that Japanese people are also struggling hard. Well, some people anyway. Tsuji Nozomi, to be exact.

It’s from Hello! Morning 2006-12-24, a year-end special! Momusu receives a large present card, saying that they’ll tour amusement parks all over the country. However, there’s an important “notice” at the back side of the card.

Tsuji Nozomi, holding one of the cards, said “読むよ！読むよ！” (yomu yo! yomu yo!: I’ll read it! I’ll read it!). Then she begins, using full concentration…

yuu… kou… bi… wa…

Too slow and unnatural!!! At that point Yossui got annoyed and tried to take the card, grumbling “It’s OK if you can’t read it”. The staffs and cameramen couldn’t resist laughing :)… 頑張ってねぇ、辻ちゃん。。。

Bonus Meal?!?

2007 February 6

I really hate when there is an unwanted animal in the food I buy. The most common is caterpillar in the vegetables. This time, it’s a fly. Not something like Drosophila melanogaster, but A BIG, FAT, FLY!!!

The cashier didn’t use a greedy algorithm!

2007 February 3

I just bought a Rp. 3,000 bread at Mirota Kampus. It’s a twelve slices plain bread that I use for three breakfasts. I gave Rp. 50,000, and the change was perfectly Rp. 47,000.

However, it is interesting that the cashier didn’t use a greedy algorithm. First she picked a Rp. 20,000, then two Rp. 10,000s, then a Rp. 5,000, and lastly two Rp. 1,000s. I swear that there are still piles of Rp 20,000s, so she could’ve gave me 2 x Rp. 20,000 + Rp. 5,000 + 2 x Rp. 1,000 as greedy algorithm would dictate.

I could imagine the cause…

Mirota Kampus Cashier Job Vacancy

We are looking for individuals with the following qualifications:

• Female
• Aged 17-25
• Attractive looking
• Honest, hard-working, and not greedy