I’ve got it

I got my iPod Mini last night after work. The colour is Silver. I was tempted by Pink, but I would have to wait for that , so I went with boring silver and I like it 🙂
I am very happy with it. The students like it very much. They were impressed with the scroll wheel that the iPod has. It is an excellent system. It only took me seconds to figure it out. I did miss some of the features you get by pressing the centre button. But I think I have discovered them all now.
Just in case I will read the manual to see if I have missed anything.

I am now working on creating audiobooks for the iPod. Basically you convert MP3 to AAC, then change the extension and you have an audio file which will remember where it was when you were last playing.
Very useful! So if you are sick of listening to your audio book, stop, play some music, then come back to the audio book and it will continue from where you last were.
I believe you can also see bookmarks in the audiobook as well, but I haven’t tried out that feature yet.

When opening the box for the iPod the installation CD said to Install software before installing iPod

Well being the consumate computer professional I am, I off course ignored the warning.
I plugged in the iPod, it appeared as a removable USB harddrive. Excellent!
boy, am I smart
So I install the software and reboot
and …. #$%WSAF it freezes during boot
oh … hmm … to cut a long story short, I booted into safe mode, uninstalled the iPod software, unplugged the iPod, rebooted, installed the iPod software, plugged in the iPod, formated the iPod as a windows iPod (FAT32 I assume) and now everything works wonderfully.

Korean iPod Market Share and xenophobia

The Korean Herald has said that

Apple Computer Inc. is strengthening its presence in the local digital music player market, a segment dominated mostly by Korean companies, thanks to the company’s low-cost approach on its best-selling products.

According to a survey by online electronics retailer Danawa Corp., Apple Computer’s iPod music players accounted for 7 percent of the local market by revenue as of the first two-weeks of March.

Danawa estimates iPods market share by units to be well over 10 percent, considering that Apple’s products are sold in far-less fewer stores compared to those of their Korean counterparts including ReignCom Ltd (Iriver). and Samsung Electronics Co.

According to U.S. market researcher iSuppli Corp., global MP3 player shipments will reach at around 57.7 million units this year from 36.8 million units in 2004. Apple Computer is believed to have controlled about 50 percent of the global MP3 player market last year.

According to industry figures, products by Korean MP3 manufacturers accounted for about 20 percent of the global market last year, dropping from 33 percent in 2003 and 41 percent in 2002, with the rise of hard-disk products made by U.S. companies such as Apple Computer and Creative Technology Ltd.

The Chosun Ilbo mentioned Apple as well

Reigncom is the world?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s number one in MP3 players with flash memory sticks, while Apple leads the world with the hard drive disk (HDD) players. But recently both transgressed on each other?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s patch, with Reigncom releasing an HDD player and Apple a flash memory machine.

Late last year, Reigncom put out the iRiver H10, a five-gigabyte HDD model, after 10 months of research and development, to challenge Apple?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s iPod mini. Weighing 100 grams and about the size of a business card case, the iRiver H10 can store up to 1,200 songs, 200 more than the iPod mini. It is equipped with a 1.5-inch color liquid crystal display (LCD) screen, so that users can look at digital pictures or read e-books while listening to music. At the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates named the iRiver MP3 player as an outstanding product. Reigncom says its primary goal is to break Apple?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s dominance in the MP3 player market.

But Apple is not just sitting back, putting the iPod shuffle, a flash memory MP3 player, on sale in Korea last Thursday. The version with 512 megabytes of memory is priced at W125,400, and the one-gigabyte model is W189,500. This consolidates a shift in Apple?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s marketing strategy away from the classy, high-priced brand image of the past. The iPod shuffle abandons LCD screens, and music is played with just one button. It can also serve as a USB flash memory stick. The biggest advantage is that it is simple to handle, allowing older, less tech-savvy people to use it. Unsurprisingly, it targets the same customers as the iRiver N10.

IGM says

In South Korea, the 1GB Shuffle will cost only 60% of the equivalent ReignCom model, even after the price cuts. In fact, the 1GB Shuffle costs considerably less than the Korean company’s 512MB model.

However, the Shuffle is not expected to be a huge seller in South Korea, where features are all-important. The Shuffle lacks a display and a radio tuner, for example.

As a Foreigner in a strange land (Korea) I have been somewhat taken with Korean products and Culture. A lot of good stuff is made in this country.

But the culture can be a little xenophobic when threatened. The company that makes Iriver MP3 players (of which I am a happy owner of one) published an interesting add on Sam Il Jul (Independence Movement Day) Sam il Jul is sort of like Australia Day or the USA’s 4th of July.
Iriver racist add
A translation of the add is

Does shouting “mansei” buck-naked make Korea independent? US firms are sweeping up most of the world?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s HDD-type MP3 player market… As a sovereign MP3 state, we could not simply sit back and watch … After spending countless nights in the research room, we?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ve finally produced a precious son for the world market… There will be many difficulties, but we are not afraid … We are the descendents of martyrs who braved bullets and swords to bring about independence to the cry of “mansei.”

What the F_ _ _ is a sovereign MP3 state?
“Countless nights in the research room”, luckily for them the martyrs were doing something else at night before shouting “mansei” and dying for indepence, otherwise there would be no descendents to spend countless nights. 🙂 Get a life!

Off course every country has this sort of advertising now and then, but usually in a more upbeat tone. In Australia we have Dick Smith selling Aussie Made grocery products. But he does this in a more postive way.

For a much more serious issue see the dispute between Japan and Korea over the Doko islands (I support the Korean side). One man set himself on fire! And in the Korean Japan Friendship year there was a lovely picture in the newspapers of flag waving Koreans walking on Japanese flags! .. nothing like showing respect to the other side in an argument.
The funny thing is the Koreans are the ones in posession of the islands. Image what would have if the Japanese had them!
Someones needs to drink a little less soju I think 🙂


Apple iPod Mini 4gb, 2nd Generation

Today I am going to purchase a second generation Ipod Mini.

UPDATE:When I got to the store I was happy, the price was only 200,000 won! Cool 🙂 But, when I opened the box, I noticed it had an AC adapter and a firewire cable. This means it is the old, original iPod Mini.
So I did not buy it as I want the extended battery life. Interestingly when I tried to turn the iPod on the battery was flat. Has it been sitting in a box for a year and the battery has failed? Or is this normal?
I went to Homeplus and checked out a iPod there and the same thing happened with the battery.
Anyway my iPod will arive on Tuesday, it will cost 230,000 won. I wonder if the battery is flat or not? The battery at most will only be two months old b/c it is a new battery for this model of the iPod mini.

Apple Australia – iPod Mini
Apple Korea – iPod Mini

http://www.ipodlounge.com – Fantastic resource for iPods
iPod Lounger review of second generation iPods

I am quite excited about this. I always told myself that while iPods are nice they are a little expensive. But Apple’s pricing has changed for the better now.
The second generation iPod introduced a new 6 gb hard drive and much better battery life. The model with the old 4 gb drive is now priced much less.
So I have decided to get one. It costs 230,000 won (Korean) or AUD $300

iPod mini autopsy – Pictures of the iPod Mini …. N.A.K.E.D and with all its bits hanging out 🙂

iTunes XHMTL playlist is a great little program for Windows or Macintosh OS X.
What it does is let you create a web page with a list of all of your songs or a list of any of your playlists. You can then put that list up on your website.

TECHNICAL: Python on Powweb

TECHNICAL: Python on Powweb
I wanted to find out if Python (A programming language like PHP or Perl) could be run on my web provider, Powweb
It seems it can:

I just happened to check if Powweb supported Python scripts. I guess I can put up some scripts now.

* Python is installed on Powweb at /usr/local/bin/python

* It is version 2.2.2. I had to add:
AddHandler cgi-script py
to cgi-bin/.htaccess to get it to run. This apparently gets you execution through suexec, since I was able to run it with 700.

UPDATE, 17/2/2005 @ 2:32pm

I got Python working on my web service provider Powweb using the above technique. Some test scripts wouldn’t work with the ‘.py’ extension but ‘.cgi’ was fine. I think I need to modify something in my .htaccess file to read the .py extensions fine.

I ran a script SnakeCharmer on the server to see which modules were installed. I was impressed to find that they are running the latest Python version 2.4 and it looks like all the modules are installed.
# posted by julian : 11:13 PM


Korea?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s ethnic Chinese minority


Hardly news, but some Koreans have been wanting to artificially construct a “Chinatown” in Seoul and recent mention of the idea at the Marmot’s Discussion Group inspired me to recall to myself my knowledge of the Chinese minority and personal experience with Chinese friends in Korea. These are not organized thoughts in any way, they were almost a comment on another blog that I’ve decided to bore you with here….

Read more

ianalbert.com links

Some interesting websites. (http://www.ianalbert.com/me/links.php)

Slashdot News for nerds.
BoingBoing My favorite ‘blog.
MetaFilter Community run ‘blog.
Gizmodo ‘Blog about the torrent of gadgets coming out.
Little Fluffy Industries ‘Blog of online Flash games. Indispensible for those needing to dispense of time.
Updated daily

Salon Excellent, excellent online magazine.
Straight Dope Answers to life’s important questions.
Brickbats at Reason Daily absurd (and angering) headlines.
Plastic Intelligent sociopolitical discussion and ‘blog site.
Odd Todd That one unemployed guy. Lots of daily updated content.
Engrish Examples of bad Japanese-to-English translations.
Moco Loco Contemporary design ‘blog. Shiny, angular interior design elements.
Songs to Wear Pants to Premise: people submit brief, bizarre song ideas, this guy records them. Fantastic site.
David Sirota A daily guest on the O’Franken Factor, his ‘blog dispels right-wing myths.
Updated MWF

Penny Arcade Video game themed comic strip.
Rock and Roll Confidential Home of the Daily Douchebag.
Updated every few days

Memepool Odd links to things that are odd and that are things.
5ives Lists of five things.
Bad News Hughes An inordinately enjoyable personal diary of indignities.
Updated weekly

The Onion The venerable satirical newspaper.
Book of Ratings Hilarious ratings of bizarre things, by one of them Brunching Shuttlecocks fellers.
Homestar Runner Funny, funny flash cartoons. Check out Strongbad Emails
Slow Wave Comic strip based on the crazy dreams of readers.
White Ninja Comics I can’t explain the appeal of this strip. Updated tuesdays and saturdays.
Updated monthly

Copper Excellent web comic. Needs to update more often!
Tinfoil.com Wax cylinder recording of the month. Listen to actual Edison cylinders from ~1900.
Updated next to never

Emotion Eric Eric conveys an emotion!

Looming threat of Chinese shipyards to Ulsan

“That’s the way the industry moves: from Europe to Japan, Japan to Korea, and now from Korea to China,” Tsao says. “It’s got to happen.”

China Shipbuilding `Juggernaut’ Gains on Leaders Japan, Korea

March 22 (Bloomberg) — Five years ago, He Baoxin was putting the finishing touches on a ship small enough to fit through the Panama Canal. Now his company is making a vessel five times that size to service offshore oil and gas rigs.

“We’re building ships now that we could only dream of five years ago,” says He, 48, who runs Shanghai-based Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., China’s largest shipyard.

With leading yards worldwide at full capacity until 2008, China’s rise in market share has come at the expense of such publicly traded shipbuilders as South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Japan’s Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. China, the world’s No. 3 shipbuilder, raised its share of new orders by 2 percent to 17 percent last year and won its first contract to build liquefied gas tankers.

“In volume, China can overtake the Koreans by 2015,”

Read more

Earthquake in Ulsan

Ten minutes ago there was an earthquake of Japan. I was in my apartment and the building started to shake. It was quite frightening. Fortunally it was over as quickly as it started.
So now I have been in an earthquake (a very small one) and have had snowfights. That would have never happened in Melbourne.

Interesting Korean Words

Found an interesting dictionary on the net, so here it is:

Korean Words


(?´¬ß‚Ä??¨¬ù¬¥) ?™¬?‚Ǩ?´‚Ä?¬§
crazy, mad, insane
syn. ?´¬è?í?´‚Ä?¬§

For more see https://stephenhucker.com/blog/wiki/korean:slang

Game: Childhood memories

Interesting game for mature learners
Ice breaker.
I’ve been really bad about learning the names of my adult students so far. I’m the person that happens to be new to the mix, most of these classes had been together before, or so I had thought.

Today we started a “childhood memories” unit, and no one was willing to answer the questions in class because they weren’t comfortable sharing their answers in front of everyone else. Instead of calling on everyone repeatedly to get answers, I decided to try a sort of game.

I had everyone write their fonded childhood memory on a piece of paper, then turn it in to me. Then, when I had collected them all, I wrote a synopsis of what they had given me on the white board for everyone else to read. I didn’t write who had written what memory, that was the game.

I forced the class to stand up and mingle. They had to go back and forth, asking each other questions using the sentences on the board to try to narrow down who had written each statement. I even added my own statement, so I had to play the game too. I got started mingling and found out that most of the other students didn’t know each other’s name either.

Here I had gone making an assumption, and it turned out that they were in the same boat I was. They had to ask each others names as well as their memory. I didn’t feel as bad, but I only learned one or two more names today as a result. Seeing the classes only twice a week, and seeing some of the students multiple times at different locations, while others only occasionally has really made my task much harder.