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Jan 26-27,2008(WeekendEdition)

The Sake Tasting Fundraiser at Shobu Aikido of Boston tonight was a LOT of fun.  We watched a great Aikido demonstration, tried ALL of the sake, and met TONS of great people.

The dojo received a generous donation of sake for this tasting, enough for 200 guests.  Judging by the crowd, it was a good thing they did!  Our favorite was the third one from the left.  We also liked some of the unfiltered ones (frosted bottles).

What was not consumed were auctioned off at the end of the evening.  If you did not managed to get down there for the event, you really missed out! - Wan Chi Lau/Photos by Larry Murray (permalink)


Jan 25,2008(FlyingFriday)

Our American Airlines flight took off and landed on time, which is exactly what we want from an airline.  Flying is easier now that everyone is used to the ritual of the new "security" procedures.  Like many, we are unclear whether making everyone take their shoes off at the security line does anything more than ensure everyone wear socks without holes when they fly, which I suppose is a good thing...at least for the seller of socks.

We are perplexed that TSA is more worried about shoes but not at all of the electronics many passengers take onboard.  At last count, we have the following devices with us in our carry-on: Blackberry, GPS, Bluetooth headphone, security keys, laptop, and a digital camera.  All of these devices have batteries of some sort and is potentially more problematic than a pair of shoes.  Well, we are sure the TSA knows what they are doing.

Yesterday, we mentioned we take the StealthSurfer with us when we travel.  Another piece of gear we now also pack with us is one of our trusty GPS units.

Driving around in a strange city is much easier when you don't have to worry about getting lost.  If you don't have a GPS, you can still find out where you are by using your Blackberry and Google Maps.

By triangulating off cell phone towers and overlaying satellite images on the calculated position, Google Maps can give a fix of your Blackberry's approximate location in real time.  It won't replace a dedicate GPS yet, but it is still a really fun application to play with in the while someone else is driving :-) - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Jan 24,2008(TravelingThursday)

This is the time of the year for tradeshows (CES, MacWorld, PMA).  Many of us are on the road checking out the gear for 2008.  Some of us are out visiting clients, reviewing the progress of last year, and discussing new initiatives for this year.

When the folks here go on short hops for business, they usually grab the Pacific Design roller and laptop case combo.  These two pieces (Evolution, Nucleus) are well designed for a few key reasons: tough construction, lots of storage, and light weight.  After a year of pulling them around various airports and hotels, this combo is still our first choice for business trips.

One new piece of gear we now always take on the road with us is the StealthSurfer.  While the availability of free WiFi everywhere is wonderful, hopping on an unknown network or hotel computer is like asking a stranger to pass along a personal message...you never know who you are talking to.  StealthSurfer takes all of the risk out of logging on while on the road.  Check out the details of this "must-have" piece of roadwarrior gear here. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Jan 23,2008(WowUsWednesday)

Many have asked what sake will be served at the Shobu Sake Tasting this Saturday.  We checked with Gordon and Jen at Shobu Aikido of Boston and it appears the sampling will be both high quality and quite extensive:

Donated Sake List

1. ginga shizuku: divine droplets
2. Kikumasamune tarazake, jumai [aged cedar barrel]
3. sato no homare ibaraki, junmai ginjo, Pride of the Village
4. tamano hikari brewery, kyoto, tamano hikari, junmai daiginjo
5. kaika kazenoichirin Flower in the Wind
6. wakatake onikoroshi daiginjo demon slayer
7. ohyama nigori Big Mountain Nigori [cloudy]
8. Tenzan Genshu, Jizake of Mt. Tenzan

There will also be many other raffle prizes.  eGo Vehicles of Somerville has donated an electric bicycle and it will auctioned off at the event!   So come on down this Saturday, see some great Aikido, and party with some of the most interesting people in Boston.  - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Jan 22,2008(TakeItApartTuesday)

The DIY-Cintiq project was on hold because we ran into a little snag.  We needed a 10 pin FFC extension cable which would be long enough to span the distance (red arrows) when the two circuit board are laid flat.

Fortunately for us, Mouser Electronics sells these cables as single piece units.  Unfortunately for us, we realized it would be next to impossible for us to solder the two connectors together manually.  We'll need to find some other solution to connect the short cable on the board with the extension!

While the interns are off looking for a solution to the FFC extension problem, we thought we should at least confirm we could use the Genius 9x12 tablet for this project.

The Genius tablet was very easy to take apart.  It is held together by machine screws in the back.  Unlike the Wacom tablets, there were no double-sided tape on the inside holding the back to the electronics.

Once the back was off, getting the actual digitizing board out was just a matter of carefull removing a few anchor screws and unplugging the USB cable. With the board freed, it was time to see how well the LCD fits on top of the digitizing board.

The overlay was better than we had expected.  It appears that we will be able to use the entire surface of the LCD.  The next phase of this project is to find a mounting surface big enough to lay out the AC power supply and various other support circuitry for this RainyDayTablet. - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


Jan 21,2008(MLKMonday)

For those interested in learning more about Dr. King's life, there is plenty of information available on the Web.  One particularly rich site is the MLK Research and Education Institute at Stanford.  There you will find a well organized collection of Dr. King's materials (letters, sermons, speeches) borne out of the MLK, Jr. Papers Project.

The goal of the Institute is to keep Dr. King's dream of global peace with social justice alive for future generations.  - Wan Chi Lau (permalink)


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