Archive for July, 2011

大成功! Japanese in LaTeX

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Urgh… today is a proud day for finally I got Japanese working in LaTeX files! Can’t believe I got to live to see this day!

If you need to get this working, too, follow these simple steps in Ubuntu:

1) Install the following packages:

2) Download this tex example file:

3) Compile the using the following command:
pdflatex <file>.tex

4) Rejoice!

Some explanations:
texlive is of course the basic TeX distribution. The additional packages provide stylesheet files required by the example file (e.g. ucs.sty). Trying to compile without the package latex-cjk-japanese-wadalab results in the following messages in the log file:

LaTeX Font Warning: Font shape `C70/min/m/n’ undefined
(Font)              using `C70/song/m/n’ instead on input line 20.

! Undefined control sequence.
try@size@range …extract@rangefontinfo font@info
<-*>@nil <@nnil

Reason is, tex cannot find an appropriate font. Thus, the last package latex-cjk-japanese-wadalab must be installed which provides additional fonts for Japanese in tex.

One neat trick I learned during the process is the following:
If you get some warnings or error message about missing files in a tex log file, you can search for these file names on the Ubuntu packages page. Make sure you search in the content of packages! Sometimes this helps you to find which additional packages have to be installed!

But is it really worth it? Check out the following screenshot:

Comparison between TeX and PDF from LibreOffice

The pdf in the back is the compiled tex file, the one in front is a pdf file exported from LibreOffice. To be honest, the Japanese part look absolutely the same to me. Ergo: If you don’t have to deal with large documents and mixed texts, LO should do the trick as well.

Many thanks to Lucas for his help and the link to the example file! His article on TeX can be read in the 50th issue of the Ubuntu magazine “Full Circle
Thanks also to Simon whose help on TeX is always invaluable.

Guitarist’s pr0n Part II

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

As promised, some more photos of Her Awesomeness “S5470 Prestige”, made in Nagoya, Japan.

These few pictures are also my first try at doing some macro shots. Unfortunately, the shots didn’t turn out very well. It’s not possible to put some different objectives on the Canon Powershot S3 IS, so I had to use the standard macro mode with a minimal distance of 10cm to the object.

How slender she is!

The first you thing you notice, when you play the instrument for the first time: how slender and lightweight this guitar actually is.
On the right, there’s a 1 EUR coin to give you some comparison.

And how curvy she is!

Due to all the cut aways, the right arm position feels very natural. No edges, no resistance.
Despite the compact size, it’s a very stable guitar. The neck is reinforced by a Titan rod.

Adjustment for the tremolo bar

Turning her over, you can see the adjustments to the tremolo that you can make by simpling turning a knob. No need anymore to unscrew any plates.

The ZR tremolo

Turning the knob will raise or lower the tremolo. The tremolo itself is floating. No more edges where strings can easily break. Strings are also easier to replace than with standard FloydRose tremolos.

Awesomeness down to the last details

Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to see in this picture, but there’s actually some rubber around those knobs, to make sure you have grip even with sweaty hands.
The arrangement and the perspective of the picture with the reflections are a lucky combination but make for a good shot, methinks.

The inlays

Another example of a not perfectly sharp picture. I don’t know if I was too close or whether there was some other problem. Anyway, the inlay on the fretboard is just as beautiful as the rest of the guitar.

A brunette!

If the head is brown, that makes her a brunette, right?
Someday I will have to remove those tags. Until then, they stay on. On one of the tags, it says: “Final production check: Mori”. It’s actually my first guitar of which I know who handled it in the factory. What a feeling! ご苦労様、森さん! m__m

大失敗だ! A (somewhat) typical example of Japanglish

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

During a recent stay I found the following signboard in a (upperclass) Onsen/hotel:


The text in Japanese says 客室 (kyakushitsu) which means “guest room”. Unfortunately, the English translation says “GUWST ROOM”.

This is very vexing due to the following factors:

1) It’s a dictionary word, not a grammatical problem and can be found in a dictionary.
2) According to the Japanese way, nothing can be decided by a single person. I’m pretty sure there were meetings and comittees who had to decide on an appropriate text. Meaning, no one was aware of this mistake the whole time. I don’t even think there are words containing this particular combination of letters.

It just leaves a kind of bitter aftertaste…

Guitarist’s pr0n Part I

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

This is gonna be one helluva sexy post…

Sometimes, a man just can’t help himself and he falls for those curves. And when there are even strings attached… beware, o world! (and wallet).

For quite a while I felt I was in a musical slump. The equipment I previously used was old and showing it’s ages. It became therefor my  primary goal to get some gear that would allow me to do anything musically. The secondary goal was also to free up some space at home by getting rid of some guitars that I don’t use anymore.

In the end, I treated myself these two honeys: *cue sexy music*

A Boss GT-10 and a Ibanez S5470 Prestige BH

Let’s unravel the GT-10 first…

A virgin GT-10

The box is surprisingly heavy and designed like a spaceship. It immediately makes you add “can shoot lasers” to the list of imagenary features. Remember to aim away from face!

Some look better lying on the back

The list of effects on the package is longer than that Charlie Sheen’s coke dealers.

Open up and say "Aah"

The GT-10 comes with a thick manual that’s probably needed very much. Although I’ve noticed some quite well-made videos on youtube where proficient people show you their tips’n’tricks on the GT-10.

A close-up shot for the kind of people who like close- up shots

This will probably be one of the few times where I’ll actually fill out and send in the warranty form.

The electronic equivalent of contraception: not sexy but necessary

I haven’t checked the voltage this adapter can take but it looks like playing abroad would take a cheap power cord (not “powerchord”) and you’re ready to go.

There she is, naked and ready

The last layer before the fun begins… matter of fact is, I haven’t gotten any further yet. But like all new stuff, the GT-10 even smells electrifying (talk about an all sensory appeal)

And now, ladies and gents (I doubt there are any ladies here anymore)… the curvy, luscious main guest for tonight! Slender, well-built, not cheap but promising to hold onto you for ever… the S5470 Prestige BH (Black Haze)

The case is built like a tank...

… and reveals nothing of the beauty it’s carrying. But hold on!


If that ain’t sexy, I wouldn’t know what is. The lush interior screams ‘comfort’ and the guitar fits so tightly into the case, it has to be slightly pushed into it.

That glare is not the flash of the camera, it's pure awesomeness! ^_^

At one point, I’ll have to take off the advertisement for the ZR-II locking tremolo but that’ll be later…

Greek philosophers were wrong: Beauty is not a vase, it's an Ibanez guitar!

The last overall shot for now. Next time, I’ll post some details. Excuse me please, I have to go change me pants :->