Monday, January 26, 2009

Current Reading List

Yes, even though I'm taking a break on the classes - I am still working on the thesis for my Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. Actually, I was already working on it before I started taking classes.

I got many of my friends and family a copy of The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2008 for Christmas. I thought it would be neat to have something interesting to discuss and share via email. It went over like a lead balloon. :-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

See, that's what I'm talking about

Translating Airat's blog today, I picked up a very useful term (for a computer guy): столы. From his post "Качественные рабочие столы на". I get "Quality working [table?] on". Table? I've known стол as table for more than 20 years. I look it up anyway. Yeah - table. So I decide to put it in Google Translate and it translates it as "desktop". Ah! Makes sense! So I guess this is something like "Good stuff for your desktop at"? Anyway, knowing the word for the computer desktop is useful.

Hazzards of foreign language study

I was searching for the program schedule for Dish networks new (cheapest) Russian ala cart programming: ТВ-1000 Русское кино (TV1000 RUSSIAN KINO). Searching in English did not bear fruit so I switched my keyboard layout to Russian and searched. I found what I was looking for! A nice program schedule which also had movie descriptions (in Russian). I then got busy with other things and forgot about my PC.

When I came back to my desk, I was unable to unlock my keyboard. Again and again I tried, carefully typing my password and making note of the caps lock key indicator. Caps lock is off and I am typing it correctly: "I've been hacked!!" That always pops into my mind when this sort of thing happens. "No, no." I tell myself. "Don't jump to conclusions. That has never turned out to be the case in any of these situations." Then I notice: the keyboard layout is set to Russian! I'll NEVER be able to enter my password with a Russian keyboard layout. Что делать?!

I Googled for a possible hot key to toggle the keyboard layout (you can do this at the desktop - but in the screen lock position?) No luck. Then it occurred to be to use on of the pseudo tty terminals (I use Ubuntu Linux). Yup! Got in and killed off the screen saver and then toggled off the Russian keyboard layout. Whew!

Friday, January 16, 2009

xtranormal beta = free movie maker

This is pretty neat! An animated movie maker. It's free (for now) while it is in beta.

Ha! Even Better!

Well, as you can see from the length of time since my last post - posting in Russian is not catching on all that well with me. I need the keyboard overlays. I drew Russian letters on my keyboard with a Sharpie but they have mostly worn off now. Besides, my Russian vocabulary wouldn't allow me to express anything of much interest anyway. I know mostly the very basics: пятьсот слов.

Still, I want to come back to that sometime. In the meantime, what could be more apropos than this: A Russian blogging about using Java and Open Source on Sun in the Universities!! I like it! Small blurbs daily. Easy to translate and I'll be picking up vocabulary I can really use.