Friday, January 27, 2012

Mac mini trouble continues - トラブル解消せず

アップルに修理依頼している最中に息を吹き返したMac miniだがその後も電源を切るたびに操作不能に陥り、結局初期不良ということで商品の交換をしてもらうことになった。ドライブの内容はTime Machineで外部ディスクにバックアップしておいたので、代替機がきたら環境は復帰できるだろう。

The troubled Mac mini that somehow woke up while I was discussing the repair with Apple last week eventually repeated the same problem each time it shut down afterward, so I inevitably talked again with Apple to arrange the replacement. I backed up the entire drive data in an external hard disk through Time Machine expecting the easy recovery of the environment when the new machine arrives.
As for the printer, the cost was the primary consideration and I bought Canon MG-3130. I was truly amazed with the functions for only $90 that included scanning to turn it as a copier. Wonder how the manufacturer can secure the profit?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mac mini in trouble - 早くもトラブル Mac mini

The new Mac mini suddenly died on the 5th day after purchase. My wife says it’s Steve’s “shit!” It was left in sleep mode and never came back afterward according to her. It indeed had no reaction.

I packed the unit and phoned Apple for their repair pick-up, but one thing the guy answering me suggested was to unplug the power cable and wait for a minute or two before plugging it back and restart, while he was willing to replace the product.
I thought it is worth confirming although the unit was already packed, so I pulled it out once again to set it up, and surprisingly it started booting!

新しいMac miniが購入5日目で突然死した。カミさん曰く、「作業をそのままにしてスリープになった後、うんともすんとも言わなくなった。これってジョブズの”Shit”だね。」確かに青いインジケーター以外何の反応もない。


Thursday, January 19, 2012

白内障手術から一年 – 1 Year after Cataract Operation



I felt my right eye was losing the focus last fall after more than a year since I had had cataract operation. I revisited the hospital as the new year started and the doctor explained it as posterior lens capsule opacification that could be addressed by a laser treatment fairly easily. This occurs to almost everyone after cataract operation although the degradation of visivility varies.

I received the laser treatment of making tiny holes in the capsule this week, and the first change I recognized first afterward was the iPhone’s menu screen that was much clearer and beautiful without having no upgrading, and I was trying to find out for a while why the software could improve the graphical quality! Roughly in the range from 40cm to 3m, the focusing as well as the contrast got perfect in my right eye, now no need for glasses to read newspapers, which was even greater surprise than the visibility I got after the first operation. Once I have achieved a new reference, I now realize that the same “cloudy” problem resides in my left eye, less in its amount though. When it comes to distant visibility, the left eye occasionally remains better because I see double-images in my right eye, but the glasses completely correct it while the focusing in the left eye does not reach that far.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

iCompta - 家計簿ソフトを乗り換えた

我が家もこれを機にMac用アプリに切り替えようと細君を説得した。インセンティヴとしては古いiMacから最新のMac miniへの移行という甘言を用意した。なにしろ彼女のiMacは画面に縦線が走るという不具合が今では線8本に増えるまでに悪化していた。

さて肝心の会計ソフトだが、①資産管理面での使いやすさと②外貨がそのまま記載できるという条件では選択肢はあまり見当たらず、巷での評価が高いiCompta 4を試してみることにした。多分このアプリ最大の難点は日本語化されていないことで、メニューなどがすべて英語だが、僕自身は会社で米国の会計ソフトをしばらく使っていた時期もあるし、まあ我が家は何とかなるだろう。試しにざっと触ってみた印象としては、費目や入力データは日本語も使えるし、機能的にはシンプルで自分向きに組み立てできて分かりやすい反面、集計やレポートの部分が欠落しているようだ。従ってスモールビジネスと言えども業務には向かないんじゃないかな。

僕はiComptaのパッケージ内容を開いて、Contents>Resourceの中の英語関連フォルダに入っているLocalizable.stringsというファイルの記述で思い当たるものを日本語に書き換えてみたら、それだけでfrequency[頻度]やmean of payment[支払い方法]の画面上での選択肢は日本語表示にできた。次にMoneyからデータ移行だが、MoneyではすべてのデータがCSVに書き出せるわけではないし、iComptaへのインポートもフールプルーフとは行かず、一部だけなんとか移行させ、残りの細かいステータスは手作業で新たにデータ入力となった。内容的にデータが同期できた途端に、カミさんからは支出状況を全アカウント串刺しにして把握できないときつい苦情が上がってきたが、これは予算を組んでしまえば予算の進行状況として画面上で見ることができた。僕自身はiPhoneでmobile版も使えるし概ね良好で問題は少ないのだが、この先はパートナーの心証次第だな。

In my home we have been using Microsoft Money as our book-keeping application, and because we are always in Mac environment it had go through Parallel Desktop Windows. When Money was introduced some 10 years ago, it really appeared cool, but Microsoft discontinued its supports (I guess last year), and thus Bill Gates’ original attempt to morph the company into the financial world’s giant failed to make it.
Such being the situation, I suggested my wife to switch the app to something under Mac OS, and of course I did not forget offering her an incentive replacing her suffering and old iMac hardware with the newest Mac mini. The display of her iMac looked disastrous with several vertical lines permanently on the screen.

I had two fundamental requirements for the accounting application: A) Easy management of assets and B) Enabling entries of variety of currencies, then the choices looked limited and I finally came across with relatively well-reputed iCompta 4. The major drawback of this app is that it is not localized for Japanese and its menu and everything is in English. I used to use Intuit’s app in my company myself and in our case this would be considered manageable. In quickly testing it, I found that data entries as well as categories accepted Japanese, its framework was simple, comprehensive and could be structured to suit your needs. On the other hand, I did not find any features for analysis and reporting, therefore if you are in a business even small one, it would be highly the case that this won’t work for you.

I opened the contents of iCompta and found a file titled “localizable.strings” in English-related folder under Resource that I replaced some accounting terminologies with Japanese translations. Then such sub-level options as “frequency” or “mean of payment” tab on screen successfully displayed Japanese. Next hurdle was the data transfer from Money to iCompta. Money does not output the entire data in CSV, while the import in iCompta side was not fully automatic, so it required large portion of data such as customized categories and asset status to be manually re-entered. When everything was set in order, fully in sync with Money, my wife’s immediate reaction was to complain that it had no procedures to show the expenditure status in category-by-category combining relevant accounts. I studied it a bit and found that once we set a budget, its page can display the current status. I myself am quite happy with this app as I can also use mobile version with my iPhone, but the whole thing depends on how my partner feels with its functionality in the end.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Viewing Mt. Fuji - 天上山展望台

Awakening dark in the morning around 4, I instantaneously decided an action: Go to a place with the entire view of New Year’s Mt. Fuji and take its pictures. So I managed to catch the first train at Kamakura (leaving at 5:15) and made transfers at Yokohama, Higashi-Kanagawa, Hachioji, Takao and Ohtsuki, ending up at Lake Kawaguchiko where Mount Tenjo is a handy vista point.

Most visitors take Kachi-kachi ropeway which is a short cut, but my plan was climbing and found the entry path to the hiking course just before the ropeway station. It was a trail steadily gaining the altitude and you would feel like a long hike although it was about 30 minutes of climbing.

I started taking pictures at 10, but the backfiring sunbeam was more intense already and I thought I should have promptly arrived here via ropeway to capture the clearer views of the early morning.
Going home, I took the highway bus conveniently and directly headed to Yokohama. Running to the east, the clouds gathered in the east side of Mt. Fuji and also above us were thicker clouds in Gotenba area.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tsujii at Carnegie – カーネギーの辻井

There was a TV program on the New Year’s Day reporting Nobuyuki Tsujii’s last fall concert at Carnegie Hall that I had set recording, and I had relaxed time to watch it today. Beethoven’s Tempest sonata was superb. I think I should get the CD that covers the entire concert.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Le Premier Soleil de 2012 - 初日の出

Pour la petite vacance de la transition annuelle, je restais quelques jours à Kusatsu (la source thermale célèbre au Japon). Il y avait beaucoup de touristes dans la ville, et donc il n’y avait pas de places pour nous dans le train rapide en rentrant à Tokio.