Friday, 24 June 2005


I'm sat in the "President room" at the main Vivi office in China right now... although I'm in a rather hot room (we can't find the remote control for the air conditioner) for Internet access.

Vivi is Xiaoxiao's father's company that designs and manufactures electronic toilets -- the kind people always seem to ask about when you bring up Japan. To be honest, I'm still undecided on the topic -- some of the features are actually quite good and work well, while others are not so great. As I've explained to Xiaoxiao's father; I think it is just a matter of getting accustomed to it.

I've spent a couple of hours working on translating the manual for the latest toilet and a few other bits and pieces. By translating I mean rewriting computer translations so they make some amount of sense. I don't really like doing it (it gets boring fairly quickly) but I'm glad to as there is little else I can do -- everywhere I go somebody pays for me, takes me places, etc. In fact, the only money I've spent has been on my camera, a bag and battery and food at McDonald's (and then only because only Xiaoxiao came with me). I bought some toothpaste too, but I was on my own then.

I've got my laptop synchronised with CompSoc again, which is good, although I've still not yet copied any photos. I've not really taken any worth keeping yet. I've been bitten by the Nikon RAW encryption too -- while dcraw itself is capable of working around (read: "cracking") the encryption, it seems the gimp ufraw plugin (that uses dcraw) hasn't yet been updated. I guess I'll have to shoot fine JPEG for a little while -- I guess it doesn't matter too much while I'm still figuring things out anyway.

Here's another tip -- website mirrors are good, very good. The Ubuntu China mirror allows me to get around 150KB/s while the regular UK mirror Ubuntu found on install was giving me less than 5KB/s.

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