Saturday, February 28, 2009

blog to book project

disclaimer: this entry is about programming. (sorry! but I get the feeling most of my blog readers are probably not too scared of technical things anyway...)

Although I've mainly been a Java programmer until this point, my company's needed some help making campaigns and such for its game websites, and these are all done with PHP. Note: if you know Java, besides the inevitable syntax mix ups for the first few days, php is pretty much a piece of cake. (ok, except for debugging which can be quite painful, forcing even... (gasp) medieval print statements to see what your darn variables are, if you don't have the right setup. which I do not.

So anyways, as a happy side effect I have been getting downright comfortable with PHP. And this opens a lot of doors for the hobbyist programmer, as many APIs (including Google, and probably Facebook...) are interfacable wih PHP. Which means, in a word... Apps! With sufficient time and energy, you can probably make something pretty neat and hook it up to your favorite Web2.0 site.

Which is why I want to do one! Ok... I don't have that much time or energy as it is mostly going to reading every single English book in the hikarigaoka public library. ;) But I can dream....

Ladies and gentlemen, here is my idea and how to do it. (drumroll please): Blog to PDF! I really want an application that will make my blog into a book. I think the best way to do i would be to make a PDF, and then send it to Lulu or some other such self-publishing site.

1. to slurp in all of a person's blog info, help them choose entries, and store, you need this:

2. To write the book out to pdf format you need this:

So now, dear reader, you know how (in theory) to make the application I want. Please let me know when you're done, as I will be much to busy to write it myself, seeing as how the King of Torts is due back in a few days. ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

happy valentines!

Well ok, it's officially February 15th in Japan, but I often count both the US and the Japanese dates as the "day". Like.. my birthday, for example, which just happened.
On the 6th in Japan, it was a Friday and I managed to get treated to lunch by my coworkers, get out of work a little early, and then get treated to dinner, because it was my birthday.

Then on the 7th, I decided that that was also my "birthday" as that was when I was actually born, so I allowed myself to eat an entire package of After Eight mints, get treated to dinner (again) and get excused from being the designated driver (so I could have a toast to my birthday!)... not to mention get presents!

This is a very nice scheme, and I am probably not the first person to use it. ;) I have heard of people who fenagle an entire week out of his or her birthday, and for that, I salute them.

Anyways, it is not all birthday all the time over here, I am actually working pretty hard over here. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I am working with a mostly guy team of programmers, crammed in a back office working on system maintenance and customer accounts. Exciting! you may be thinking.
Well, a few days ago, a mysterious noise floated through the air ducts. Listening closely, it sounded like
"tasukete!!" (help!!)
Slightly concerned, we looked at each other and listened closer. A squeaky, high pitched voice cried in response:
"omae nara dare mo tasukete agenai yo!" (no one's gonna help you!)

Then we realized almost at once. Today they were doing voice acting auditions for one of the games! We rolled our eyes and tried to get back to our exciting accounting systems, but every now and then the whine of the servers would be punctuated by a high squeaky scream for help.
It's times like these when I realize... oh yeah, I do work for a game company.
The other time this fact was brought to mind was the time my friend from the Alliance team asked for help tranlating a teaser for the new game "Black Shot".
The game was made by a Korean company called Vertigo games, but for some reason the trailer was in English. Very difficult English.
Here is the youtube video she asked me to transcribe:

Yeah, that took me about 40 minutes.

Oh! And I FINALLY figured out what C&C Media DOES. They are an online game hosting company, specializing in free games. Well, free to play... I think you need to buy items with real money to get anywhere in most of them.

Anyways, happy valentines day. I think I will make and eat an entire batch of Rice Krispies Treats to celebrate the special occasion!
(...after all, it's still valentines day *somewhere* in the world.)