Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Moving to Wordpress

I've decided to move my main blog here, akuyume/inside, to Wordpress.

So check me out now on Wordpress!
akuyume/inside on Wordpress

Monday, September 7, 2009

Facebook Chat's Bold and Underline Text and Prodding Facebook Chat on a mission

I never noticed this before, but by placing asterisks around a word in Facebook Chat will bold the word, and placing underscores around one will underline the word. My first instinct was to figure out how to type italic text. Well a few Google searches showed that other people were looking for it as well; so I decided to go "straight to the horse's mouth," so to speak.

Figured the first place to start the search was in the messages that relay chat and see if the HTML conversion takes place there. Now mind you I've already poked and prodded Facebook Chat's message relay server before. Its a MochiWeb server, which you can see in the HTTP headers for chat packets. For more background specifics on the setup that is Facebook chat, see Facebook's engineering blog.

Server: MochiWeb/1.0 (I'm not even supposed to be here today.)

Anyhow, by reading the HTTP packet flow, I can get the "raw" information that the webpage uses to talk to the server. These I believe are in JSON although don't quote me on that, suffice to say I can at least read enough of the raw information they contain to see the message I just received. And sure enough these contain the text just as they would have been typed, that is, asterisks instead of HTML bold tags and underscores instead of HTML underline tags.

So, then this tells me that the replacement of "Facebook Chat style markup" takes place in the user's web browser. Problem is, there's a bunch of JavaScript files attached to any Facebook page. Fortunately for me though with Firefox with the FireBug extension the process of analyzing a web page's code is fairly streamlined.

Going straight to the code generated for a chat window, I noticed that the "pic_padding" class is on each message's node (which happen to be paragraph elements). So I searched for this class in the JavaScript given that is was the best lead I had. Fortunately this lead turned out results.

var pendingElementID=pendingMsgID?' id="pending_''_'+pendingMsgID+'"':'';markup+=''+

And just a couple lines below that, ta-da!

_processStyledText:function(textProcessor,str){return textProcessor(str).replace(/\b_([^_\*]+)_\b/g,'<u>$1</u>').replace(/(\s|^)\*([^_\*]+)\*(?=$|\s)/g,'$1<b>$2</b>');}

Yep, regular expressions. Just what I was expecting. No sign of a regex that replaces something with <i>..</i>. That's right, there is no way to type in italics.

So Facebook, why no italics?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Net Window Shopping: Lucky Star and Yotsuba&!

I've definitely decided to become more of a patron of my favorite bookstore. After finding a favorite manga of mine there the other day I decided to check out what books and other media I an order through them. I proceeded with my search and found that I can get both an anime I've dying to get my hands on and manga of which the fan translation I found absolutely hilarious.

My problem will probably be deciding what to get first. Kyoto Animation's Lucky Star fully available, including even the OVA. [Search results]

And from Kiyohiko Azuma, author of Azumanga Daioh, is Yotsuba&!. Completely crazy about Azumanga Daioh (which incidentally happens to be the manga I picked up last week) I read up on its creator and got my hands on a fan translation of Yotsuba, which might possibly be funnier than the work I was originally sold on. [Search results]

Monday, August 31, 2009

Danbooru OS and an anime Danbooru

Just stumbled upon an interesting read on where RDBMS and file systems merge in theory by fuzzysoul. Also happened on an anime Danbooru board, moe.imouto (NSFW, may contain hentai); high-res = love.

Another thing which caught my eye today, 4walled (also NSFW, images are from 4chan); just keep scrolling and keep finding awesome wallpapers...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Welch's Squeezable Strawberry Spread

Is it not logical that when you're making a spread that is supposed to be squeezed out of a small opening you would make a point reducing the size of fruit chunks in the spread? Well apparently that didn't occur to Welch's, as their spread as several large chunks of strawberry which cause the opening to be blocked. Quite frustrating.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Anime reviews moved

I've decided to declutter this blog; and thus I've moved my latest favorite category, anime reviews, to their own blog. Check it out and follow along at Akuyume's Anime Blog.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

[ARIV] Welcome to the NHK

Welcome to Welcome to the NHK! (N・H・Kにようこそ!) No, we're not entering anything related to the Japanese national broadcaster Nippon Housou Kyoukai. This, is the Nihon Hikikomori Kyoukai, although apparently by the end of the show the H is interchangeable but lets not go there.

The show follows the life of hikikomori (recluse and acute sufferer of social-withdraw and severe social anxiety) Tatsuhiro Satou. Laden with a few weightier topics, including pyramid schemes, drug abuse (only present in the anime for one character), conspiracy theories, suicide, and Comiket (okay listing that one here was a joke, laugh, I command you). With all of these themes NHK manages to be delightfully entertaining dark comedy. As all the characters have major psychological problems going on I'm tempted to compare it to Evangelion. Some have gone as far as comparing it to The Catcher in the Rye.

Character development is particularly enjoyable, maybe this is a factor of the depth of problems the characters have but nevertheless the characters do feel quite real for the length of the series. And plot clinchers were quite effective on me; and the ending of the series is full of quick twists and given the amount of dark comedy, its actually a little surprising, but I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen/read the series. 8/10.

Monday, August 3, 2009

[ARIII] Hayate no Gotoku !! Episode 1

I've had my eye on Hayate no Gotoku! for a while now and I've finally decided to check out the first episode of the second season ala Crunchyroll. Three and a half minutes into the episode and female lead finally opened her mouth; this show is definitely gonna be afflicted (in my mind, at least) with a severe case of "Hey, It's That Voice" as Nagi is voiced by none other than Rie Kugimiya, or Shana of Shakugan no Shana. Hmm and both are associated with maids with Western names (Shana's mother-like Wilhelmina and Nagi's actual maid Maria).

<rant>Three tsunderes at the beach, sounds kinda scary, and it would sure be confusing with all them having the SAME VOICE. I haven't seen Zero no Tsukaima but for some reason I've got a feeling I know exactly what Louise's voice sounds like. But lets face it, Rie and her voice are about as typecasted tsundere as Ben Stein is typecasted boring.</rant>

Back to the show now! Well at least it sounded a bit less like Shana when she only said urusai once! ... Moving on. Margery Daw's seiyu, Hitomi Nabatame, plays the part of another drunkard, one of the teachers at this strange school.

All in all, I'm not even sure what just happened in this episode. 6.5/10. Maybe I just need to see more.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Anime Review II: AIR - Episodes 01-04

Having already seen Clannad I can say that I am slightly experienced with Key's habit of tying supernatural forces into their harem/romance animes. However this time around in AIR, its definitely more prominent, at least thus far.

One thing to hit my mind is that the main character does have a vague resemblence to Tomoya of Clannad. But that's not their only similarity, as both seem to have an ability to be surrounded by strange single females whom they then help on a quest to normality. So far dinosaur-girl still says "gaou" every other line. On the other hand he seems to have fixed the girl I was starting to think might have been possessed.

Don't get me wrong, I might sound a little patronizing but I'm actually liking this show. And I like the opening theme so much so that you may have noticed I'm presently undertaking the production of my first AMV to it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

[Shana]Preview of my first AMV project

Here's a preview of my aforementioned AMV. :)

Someone asked me if I have a deadline for completing the video. Not really, I just want something to work on that feels productive. Up 1:24 of video, that's the beginning of the song all the way through the part I used as a "preview." Of course the song is 6:11 so I've still got a bit to go before its done.

Its a harder process than I might have assumed, I've listened to the song plenty of times and read the lyrics even more now in both Japanese and English trying to find parts that make me "see something" and then I search through all the hours of the video I have to find clips I want. And then there's the processing... the last few builds actually took a few minutes to encode.

One issue I didn't expect is that the software I'm using for video doesn't support playing sound from videos. It supports sound in the videos, it just won't play it. So I've got to open my audio in a separate program to "measure" the music.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Anime Music Videos

I've decided its about time I finally make my own anime music video. The song I've decided to make one to isn't anything I'm too familiar with actually. Its AIR's opening theme, Tori no Uta. I have seen an episode or two of Air, but I just stumbled across the song surfing YouTube; and here's a particularly handy video with Japanese subtitles. Incidentally, about half of the video clips I've noted that I want to use are from Clannad (Clannad and Air are both productions of Kyoto Animation and based on Key games). The other half come from Shakugan no Shana. Its my first AMV, but its a great song and I've picked two animes I love, so wish me luck so that I won't disgrace it too much! hehe =)

Friday, July 24, 2009

DVD Authoring

Meet DVD Flick. The first free open source software solution to catch my eye for creating DVD videos. Much to my surprise it even supports the ever-popular Matroska (.mkv) container file format. Menu creation, video and audio recoding, and subtitles are all supported. After the software has finished with this it then supports authoring and finalizing the DVD. I'm trying my first experiment with it as we speak and will hopefully update with good results after I attempt to play this on a DVD player.

Update: A few days later
Okay so it works, but the video playback was a bit choppy on my PlayStation 2. This is the only system I've tested it on so far so perhaps other players might do better, but that's doubtful in my opinion as the "chops" are very regular as in being at the exact same place. Not unwatchable by far but it was a little disappointing. Maybe I'll have better luck if I play with the settings and try again. YMMV.

Tsuruya + Haruhi = Misao?

After watching both of Kyoto Animation's recent animes Lucky Star and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, one will be quick to notice the many references to the latter which often are lampshaded throughout Lucky Star.

While most of these are noted across the net, one thing which I hardly ever see anyone else mention strikes me. Lucky Star's character Misao Kusakabe has a strong resemblance to a character we know and love from Haruhi; Haruhi herself. Eye color, hair color and usual style, and even height, relative to the other characters, match to a T. But this is with one small addition. The "cute little fangs" of Tsuruya, a.k.a. LOL Fang-tan.



Haruhi Suzumiya


Misao Kusakabe

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Google's Little SSL Problem

I'm not a usual user of Google Chrome. But I must say that I find it slightly surprising that Google's warning for SSL misidentification popups when I attempt to use the Gmail domain as a shortcut to with the HTTPS protocol.

Chrome is quick to notice that Gmail's certificate is for instead of

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Project AD2

Since the comeback of Al1enDesigns, my old code has been having a bit of a complication which I'm not entirely sure of the exact cause of, but I'm putting the blame to poor coding style.

At the current time I'm working on approaching my content management system all over again. This time, I'm approaching it from an object oriented angle. I've been referring to this little project of mine as AD2.

Progress has been slow at best thus far. I've been hacking away on the many problems that have been coming up lately and I seem to be slowly gaining experience with PHP's style of OOP (as prior to this I've only used OOP in C++ and Java).

AD2 OOP Tech Demo

Of course, right now at least, you can't see what's really going on, just that it works. Maybe I'll manage to get some screenshots or class hierarchy information put up for criticism.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

MTP on Linux

Some surfing on the web reminded me to investigate developments in the area of using MTP on Linux. I had attempted this once in the past and failed to manage to connect to my MTP MP3 player. Some homework today led me to an article on mounting MTP on Linux over at abi.

At the first step I had to substitute the following command on my Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron).

sudo apt-get install mtpfs

The rest of the steps worked perfectly as is, and to my surprise, mounted my Samsung YP-P2!

A quick follow-up:
Since I'm incredibly lazy, I just wrote a couple scripts for mounting and unmounting my P2 on Ubuntu.

#! /bin/sh
sudo mtpfs -o allow_other /media/p2.mount

#! /bin/sh
sudo umount /media/p2.unmount

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Samsung YPP2 & SVI Video Format

Samsung's YP-P2 media player (available in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB versions) is easily a very good media player. The touchscreen menu system is fairly intuitive, and the device has good quality of playback of video and music.

First off the device in North America defaults to using MTP so it can be at best troublesome on Linux; although not impossible as there are MTP implementations for Linux and I believe I've read a little bit about converting the media player to UMS/MSC.

The next issue this media player gives shows up when you look at the default included video files. Their extension is .svi. I copied one of these files to my desktop and used abcAvi Tag Editor to examine the file as an AVI (which I had gathered they were from googling).

Some quick info, the Stream Header block shows its handler to be XVID and dwInitialFrames is set to 0.

I've only experimented a little with different video types, but I'll state that its best to resize your video to 480x272.

The audio stream's wFormatTag is set to 0x55, MP3. Other characteristics were 2 channels, and 44.1kHz.

Now, fire up Avidemux. Apply a resize filter to your video stream as 480x272. Set your video format to MPEG-4 ASP (Xvid4) then click configure and go to the Motion & Misc tab and set the Number of B-frames to 0. Set your Audio format to MP3 (LAME). Make sure your container format is still AVI. Now we should be ready to save your video. The filename needs to end with .svi, also for reasons I'm not exactly aware of the media player will sometimes reject having the video transferred to it. When this happens, I've found renaming the file (to something shorter usually) tends to get the job done.

Hopefully this will help someone else who's having trouble with getting video on their P2, good luck!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Akuyume@AD is up again

My website has been back up for a few days now.

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