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[vox] [OT] Day and life in Japan...
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[vox] [OT] Day and life in Japan...

As most of you know, I've been in Japan for the past two weeks or so.
I'll be here for another three.  I thought I'd share some interesting
things I've observed here.

First of all, I'm learning to look right before left when crossing
streets.  I'm glad I'm not a type of person that likes to jaywalk
because I would have gotten run over many times over had I tried to

The general work I do is mostly programming, and some hardware.  I sit in
a roomful of programmers, sound designers, and graphics designers in a
hall-like setting.  I don't have a desk but a table and a rolling
cabinet.  The tables are setup in star-patterns with low dividers so
everyone can see everyone else.  This place feels very comfortable for me
to work in.

Pretty much everyone uses Windows here.  It's been pretty disheartening to
be away from my Linux box, but thank goodness for ssh and my shell account
at Sonic.net.  I did notice one Linux box the other day walking next to
someone else's table (right next to mine, actually), and I'd never been
more happy to see that ugly Gnome foot.  He tells me it's Kondara Linux
(there's a copy of it in the LUGOD library I got from my last trip to
Japan, in case anyone's interested in a Japanese distribution.)  I showed
him my Windows setup (Cygwin + DJGPP + vim) and he was quite impressed.
I also showed him my set of Mandrake CDs I had't (and still haven't) yet
installed on this company laptop I'm writing to y'all from.  He tells me
he uses his Linux box to keep track of part-timers' hours; he's got a copy
of PostgresQL book on his table.  I'm glad he's sitting next to me.  I
asked him if there's anyone else using Linux in the company and he told me
there's another gentleman that uses it a little; the programmer-to-Linux
ratio is a bit low here (this company, not necessarily Japan), I think,
but maybe that's just the area of Japan I'm in (a little too suburban,

I sometimes mention some of the more recent tech news I read about, some
from Slashdot and this list and so forth.  Most techies here seem to know
nothing about them.  They really know their work, but they seem to be a
little distanced from general tech news.  It's a little too bad because
you can miss some great technology opportunities that way, I think, but
they seem to manage themselves really well nonetheless.  The other day
someone told me a news I had read on Slashdot weeks ago; I think that's
the only time I heard anyone here ever (in my past three trips to this
company) talked about a tech news.

Anyway, it's so nice to have some ties to my normal tech life via the
Internet (most of which comes from vox.)  Thanks, guys!


Mark K. Kim
PGP key available upon request.

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