all tags: japanese[52] education[24] travel[23] kanji[21] programming[15] MYJ15[13] NII17[10] research[10] website[8] linux[7] hardware[7] libertine[5] food[4] misc[4] time[2] games[2] movies[2] parkour[2] rant[2] self-reflection[2] manga[1] speedcubing[1] anime[1] books[1] translation[1] lego[1] i18n/l10n[1]

Translating manga

Ever since I came back from Japan I've been on the lookout for fun projects in which I could utilize my Japanese. Recently I stumbled upon Ubunchu!, a manga about Ubuntu. Created by Hiroshi Seo and published in Ubuntu Magazine Japan, there seem to be 14 chapters of which only the first 8 have been translated so far. Given publishing stopped in 2013 and the Google Group dedicated to translating the manga has seen no activity in 6 months it seemed like a worthwhile project to pick up.

Since the illustrator's website offers source files (at least for chapters 1-11) there's almost no cleaning or redrawing necessary. To make up for the lack of challenge, chapter 9 — which I started with — included a bunch of BL lingo which was "great fun" to research and "translate" as well as Revolutionary Girl Utena references I probably missed most of.

I'm not yet sure whether I'll just create one blog post per chapter or add something to the projects section. In case of the latter I'll add some note to this post. Regardless of that there's also a Git repository. And here's the first chapter:

Ubunchu! chapter 9: Revolutionary IME Kaname

/edit[2017-09-26]: Whoops. So ... I didn't touch this for about a year or so. But in the last 3 days I did chapter 10! ;)

Ubunchu! chapter 10: Outbreak of an interface war!?

/edit[2018-05-04]: The stars aligned for chapter 11! A friend of mine recently started translating manga, so I had the topic on my mind. Also there's been a little activity in the Ubunchu Google Group and I stumbled upon one of my translations on a online manga reader website, so I felt there's people that care about the manga. Lastly, it's golden week, so I had some free time on my hands.

Ubunchu! chapter 11: My lady is fond of her old butler!?

Have fun reading. ;)


CLI Love, Speedcubing, Half-Life, etc.

Got some stuff that I could have mentioned ... so: combo post!

CLI Love

I took some time to test some alternatives to the software I use on a daily basis. I dropped the window manager awesome for spectrwm — a lot less crappy configuration, even more minimalistic and quite another approach to multi screen handling (still have to fully get used to it, but seems usable).
Furthermore I switched from PCManFM to ranger ♥ and finally moved on from VLC media player to mpd + ncmpc for music and SMPlayer for video matters.


I attended a speedcubing competition ... just for fun. Now I have this fancy page with official results at the World Cube Association. I'm pretty happy with the results as my times really are that inconsistent and I got rather nervous when it got official. I can do sub 30s, but that's only lucky exceptions.


I wondered how long it would take me to play through Half-Life, so I gave it a shot:
and recorded the hole thing

.XCompose kana input

I extended my .XCompose file to now also support katakana instead of hiragana only and added some punctuation that was still missing.

Poral chibi portrait

Alisa created this awesome Portal themed chibi portrait of me that's now accompanying this blog post. :3 Here's her website — read the "very soon" in a vaporware-ish "when it's done" kind of way. :D


Making use of caps lock. ... No, seriously.

It is true. No longer will caps lock be the key that you accidentally hit an then hate for what it's doing.

So what is this about? A while ago I read about that fantastic idea of making the caps lock key behave like escape on Wolfgang's blog. Which is really an awesome thing, especially for vim users.
But we don't want to eliminate caps lock. We want to make use of it. So: I recently switched from a German keyboard layout to a standard US one. Quite soon I realized, that I woudn't mind writing umlauts (äöü) as ae, oe, ue but I'd really miss the s z ligature ‌ß
It then occured to me (i.e. after wining about it on irc someone reminded me) that I could use compose. Which I, till then, only used for my beloved dash (—).

But something was bothering me: while the origins of the ß are a bit complicated (the story includes the long s (ſ), a character that isn't used anymore, and there were different versions of the ligature using either the z or the s) and German speaking countries that don't use the ß, like Swizerlad, use ss instead, it's present name Eszett (naming the letters s and z) and things like the HTML entity being ß (s z ligature) make the ß — for me at least — more a ligature of s and z than of s and s. Yet, the default compose sequence for ß is ss. I had to change that.

While creating my own .XCompose file I had the idea to create compose sequences for hiragana (the reason why that's useful to me is a whole other story). But what would I use? <Multi_key> <a> for あ, <Multi_key> <n> <o> for の, etc.? Would be quite annoying to be forced to hit the compose key (mapped to the menu key in my case) for each and every hiragana. There had to be a better solution.
I looked into different input methods for Japanese, but aside from the fact, that they'd clearly be more sophisticated than what I'd come up with (due to me only having really basic knowledge of Japanese), they weren't really what I wanted to have.
I then thought about a separate .XCompose file for hiragana that simply woud map a to あ, n followed by o to の etc. and which I could load using some key combination. Turns out you can't change your .XCompose file on the fly. You have to restart X. :/ (At least I found no way to do it.)

After a while of thinking and testing I had the idea to use a modifier for my hiragana compose sequences. More specifically: a modifier that can be toggled on and of: CAPSLOCK!
What this means is, that for example a gets "composed" to あ, but only when the modifier is active. The cool thing about that is, that you even have an LED indicator for which "input mode" your in. LED off = romaji, LED on = hiragana. This of course can be used for anything. Instead of a hiragana mode you could have a writing upside down mode, a Greek mode, etc.

If you want to try it out, here's my current .Xmodmap (swaps escape and caps lock and set's compose to the menu key) and here's my .XCompose file.


Raspberry Pi + Lego Case :3

Maybe not that interesting, but I felt like this had to appear here. I got my RPi in July and recently started to build a Lego case for it. The one you see on the picture (fullsize) was initially just "find as much red parts as possible and use the other colors to create a prototype".
After a while I started to replace strange colors (brown, green, pink, etc.) and black as well as grey bricks in my prototype with similar parts in blue, white or yellow. What you see is how far I got ... a few flat parts and a bigger "window" for the LEDs are still to be found. The completely red version is far from complete. I'd need 9 1x1 flat bricks with a flat surface on the top — not sure if we have that much.

Anyway — the Pi is up and running, serving mostly as an IRC client at the moment; guess it'll have the honor to take care of one or the orther cronjob in the near future and offer some web based "services" for me.

Miscellaneous information: I got the idea to build a Lego case from Biz's LEGO case. I used pants for my case because they leave a bit more space inside. Everything located above a slot is fixed to the lid, so the Pi can be taken out once the case is opened withough the need to take it apart. I noticed that my case might not leave enough space for an RCA plug but I don't plan to use it anyway. I use Arch Linux ARM. Here's a picture of my Raspberry Pi next to a raspberry pie.


Impress Presenter Screen + awesome

edit: modkey + o moves windows between displays — that pretty much solves the whole thing. Sometimes patiently reading though a man page solves your problems more efficiently than asking Google for help. (Thanks to Wolfgang for informing me about the key binding.)

Getting LibreOffice Impress' extension presenter-screen (aka "Presenter Console") to work when using awesome turned out to be a bit tricky.
So, if youre using awesome and want to use the extension, here's how it works:

Assuming you're using a laptop with a resolution of 1366x768 and present on a beamer, connected via VGA with a resolution of 1280x960. (Use xrandr to find out the actual output and resolutions.)

1. Display setup

Your own screen: xrandr --output LVDS --mode 1366x768 --primary
The beamer: xrandr --output VGA-0 --mode 1280x960 --right-of LVDS

2. Impress

Make sure the extension is recognized: Tools -> Extension Manager
Set the presentation display to "Display 2": Slide Show -> Slide Show Settings
Place the Imress window on the beamer display and start the presentation.

You should now see the presenter screen on top of your presentation's slides, both on the beamer display.

3. awesome

With your cursor, hover over the presenter screen.
Press modkey + m (maximize window) twice.
Move the presenter screen to your laptop's display.

This all would be much easier if there was a key binding for moving (maximized) windows between displays, not only tags. I'm not aware of one.

tags: linux


Kill process by name (or: what pkill already does)

Whenever I wanted to terminate a program by force I used ps -A | grep PROGNAME, read the process id and then executed sudo kill PID. Now I wrote a one line bash script making things easier — reducing the required effort by half:

sudo kill `ps -A | grep $1 | grep -Eo '[0-9]{3,4}'`

Also usable as a one line command which requires one to enter the program's name afterwards:

read x;sudo kill `ps -A | grep $x | grep -Eo '[0-9]{3,4}'`

The first version, however, is much more convenient. I stored it as nkill in /usr/bin/ which enables me to for example kill firefox with nkill firefox or kill all open terminals with nkill xterm.

Update: Uhm ... yeah ... I just learned that pkill does just that. :D

tags: linux


Arch and Wacom

Arch Linux! Wacom! W00t! <3 :D

Okay ... one thing at a time ... After a good year of using Ubuntu I now switched to Arch Linux. The reason being that I'll be forced to build a system fitting to my needs.
Thanks to the great beginner's guide on archlinux.org I managed to set up a basic system pretty fast and I didn't even run into that much problems. ^^ At the moment I'm using awesome as a window manager — which, btw, is absolutely doing justice to its name —, emelFM2 as my filemanager (also a great component), sxiv for viewing images and apart from that the common stuff that I already used before ... Firefox, VLC, GIMP, XAMPP, etc.

The thing that caused the most problems so far and, additionally, the second topic in this blog entry, is my new Wacom Bamoo Pen tablet. I chose a Wacom tablet because I knew about the Linux Wacom Project. Unfortunately the tablet I got is a relatively new model and isn't yet supported by the standard linuxwacom package you get from the repositories. Thus I had to use a package from the AUR, patch it and manually change some stuff — which I managed to do because of the great help I got from some guys from #archlinux.de. : )

So ... I now got a new, awesome system and a nice drawing tablet. The only thing I'm missing now is drawing skills. :D But that's fine, I got the tablet mainly for postprocessing of photos and doing stupid things on imageboards. ^^