Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:44

RMG207 – Ohayou from Tokyo

Posted by on Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 18:53
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Dave des. Konichiwa from Japan. I’m in Atsugi this morning, a town located between Yokohama and Tokyo.

The sounds in the background are from Yoyogi Park, a very cool place to spend a Sunday afternoon in Tokyo.

One of the Maccentric surprises here was seeing a commercial on Japanese television for Apple. It was the Mac guy/PC guy setup that we’re all familiar with, but with a change. Instead of John Hodgman playing the PC and Justin Long playing the Mac, the parts were played by Japanese actors. While the ads are, of course, in Japanese, they’re still a hoot to watch. You can see them by clicking here.

One of the reasons I’m in Japan is to do a little troubleshooting on a friends laptop. Before she moved here, I convinced her dad that he should move her to the Mac because troubleshooting from across the ocean was not easier, and that Mac’s rarely have problems. Of course, soon after she arrived, a problem appeared. “It runs really slow on the Internet”, she reported to her dad. We tried all the normal things over the phone and soon came to an stone wall. It’s a slow time at work right now, I have a bunch of frequent flyer miles and I’ve always wanted to visit Japan, so here I am.

It turned out that the problem was easy to solve. My friend lives in a large apartment house and has a wireless router attached to her cable modem. She left the router completely open. When I first checked, there were 10 outside users sucking up the bandwidth. Locking down the router solved the problem and I guess the other anonymous users are going to have to find a new way to download those bittorrent files. It’s made me rethink my policy of open net’s/closed pooters.

Of course, I had to make a visit to the Apple Store in Ginza. I went with a friend who had a broken iPod just a few weeks out of warranty. Last month I visited the Apple Store in Tampa to have a broken iPod IN WARRANTY repaired. I had a very frustrating experience with a surly “genius” and ended up having to send the unit off to my heros at 1-800-SOS-APPL.

The experience in Ginza was the complete opposite. A very nice young man looked at my friends iPod, agreed that it was kaput, and replaced it for her. Apple stores are mostly a class act and I hope that my experience in Tampa was the result of someone having a bad day instead of being the norm.

I’ve received a few questions since the last podcast, mostly revolving around travel issues. Bill from Long Beach in California had a question about email on the road. His ISP/email provider won’t allow outgoing email unless he is on his home network. There are a couple of solutions. If your provider has a webmail client available, you can send and receive there. Another solution is to use services like gmail or hotmail. My solution is to set my laptop up as it’s own SMTP server using the built in sendmail server in MacOS. A good step-by-step instruction page is here.

I’m starting to get emails from people planning to attend WWDC. Alice from Adelaide in Australia wrote to ask about local transit. You can find hints, tips and suggestions for San Francisco on my WWDC hints and tips page.

A typo in Engadget.com got the troops excited when they posted that the WWDC keynote on June 11th was scheduled to be 3 hours long. Woo hoo! Actually, the keynote is scheduled to run from 10 AM until 11:30 AM. Plan on seeing lots about Leopard, the new iPhone and please, please, please, a new subnotebook.

Remember that early registration for WWDC ends on April 27th.

What’s happening to the bees? Albert Einstein said that if the bees died off, humans would have a maximum of 4 years of life on the earth. In an article in the Independent, it is speculated that the growing problem of Colony Collapse Disorder may be the result of interference with the bee navigation systems from cell phone radiation.

Today’s podcast ends with a tune from Tokyo band Funkamental. The tune is ONIGOROSHI (The Sake Party). The band comes to us through garageband.com. Take care, be safe and drop me a line to tell me how things are going in your technological life. Sayonara from Tokyo.


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