Posted tagged ‘Blogging’


February 5, 2012

Since it’s been a while since I last posted anything here, I thought that I’d briefly summarise what I’ve been doing over the past few months. If I get chance, I’ll probably follow up with more detailed posts, later.

I’ll also apologise in advance, if the quality of this post is below my usual standards – since I’m tired, and I’ll admit that it’s been quite a long time since I’ve produced any prose that’s more complex than one of my typical Tweets, e-mails, or IM/IRC sessions.

A Japanese Redux

As you can probably tell from this post’s title (Kon’nichi wa Wakusei/Hello, Planet), I’ve recently decided to resume learning Japanese using new techniques, after a multi-year hiatus – so that I can enjoy, and understand a multitude of content (music, blogs, and technical documentation, amongst other things); along with hopefully engaging in even more insightful and interesting conversations.

I’m already somewhat able to read and recognise text written in Katakana and Hiragana (providing that I’m undisturbed); and I seem to have a decent recall rate, according to the SayJack Hiragana listening quiz – although I’ll need to keep reading, listening and practising, in order to succeed in the long-term.

Obviously, I’m already capable of writing in Japanese using an Input Method Engine (I’m currently using Google’s – but I’ve also got a trial copy of ATOK in my “Downloads” folder), and can sort-of write a handful of characters on paper.  My listening skills are also constantly improving.

I also realise that my Japanese vocabulary leaves much to be desired for – although I’m acquiring words and phrases as I progress; and I guess that it’s something that I’ll continue to do, long after understanding the basics.

The Epiphany

At ~5:03 am GMT, I had an epiphany in comprehending the phrase 「僕は日本語を学んでいます」(Boku wa nihongo o manande imasu/”I have learned [the] Japanese“) , after reading comments on a Google+ greeting post that I addressed to the author of the hiro99ma blog, and looking up the meaning of  「を」 (wo – pronounced “o”).

Collectively concluding that 「は」(ha) is pronounced differently, depending upon the context (it is pronounced “wa”, when used as a particle) probably also helped.

With a hint of irony, I also had to learn the Japanese words for “learning” and “learn” . (「学んで」(mana-n-de), and 「学ぶ」(mana-bu), respectively), in order to actually state “I’m (trying to) learn Japanese”), beforehand.

That aside, I’ll move on to my…

Personal and Commercial Projects

After obtaining an ACS ACR122U RFID/NFC/smartcard reader, I have been performing research into various proprietary, and standardised smartcard protocols; and have discovered a useful hardware modification – which I’ll document at a later date. Some of my research has culminated in writing Wireshark dissectors for the USB CCID class, MiFare, and FeliCa application protocols – all of which have been accepted upstream.

Regular readers of my posts on the OMAP3530 board, who have probably observed that I haven’t said much about it, after my last aborted attempt at getting Symbian^3 running on it might be interested in knowing that I’ve partially succeeded in getting RISC OS running.

I’ve also been working on an Android application, as part of my first ever contacting position – although I can’t provide any more information, right now.


As far as university is concerned, my first year was fairly successful. However, I’m having to resit an exam for the Computer Architecture & Systems Software module – since I struggled with my initial attempt, and ultimately failed (despite trying extremely hard, and participating in class/tutorial sessions).

I partially blame a combination of stress and exhaustion – from having to wake up at 5:30am, and spending hours on travelling,  along with the  “rapid-fire” lecture delivery style provided by tutors in cramped theatres (whilst having to cope with aching knees, and inferior long-distance vision (compared to ~10 years ago)), for my failure.

Obviously, that problem was only exacerbated by having to transcribe handwriting in poorly-chosen colours (usually orange or lime green) from dimly-lit whiteboards in “real-time”, along with listening to the lecture content – which meant that my understanding of the rather complex subjects involved was hindered.

I’m tempted to see if I can adapt some of the techniques that I developed for learning Japanese, in order to to make revision easier, and surviving lectures more bearable – although computational mathematics is obviously more of a theoretical subject than language learning, or software development are.

I’m hoping to be more successful at this attempt – since I realise that failure isn’t an option, when my future hinges on the outcome of said exam.


Although I’ve got a lot to say, and I’ve over-egged the pudding a little, I’ll stop here. I hope that gives others a good idea of what I’m doing these days, though.


Conficker, It’s a Way of Life

March 27, 2010

Apologies to my handful of readers, for not posting according to my usual rhythm – quite a lot has happened as of late, although I haven’t had a great deal of time to properly mull things over, since I’ve been relatively burnt out.

That aside, I’d like to rant about something that’s made life Hell for myself, fellow college students and even staff, over the past few months – Conficker.

I’ll probably receive some flack over this post, if an incompetent Network Nazi “a highly qualified, professional staff member” (such a thing is rare at this organisation) stumbles upon it, although I’m beyond caring at this stage.

Despite much tub-thumping over self-serving placebo security measures, that end up driving productivity into the ground; this maligned pest has made itself ubiquitous, and made this an everyday occurrence:

As a result, myself and others spend hours each day using tools such as multiple AV applications (usually either an existing copy of Sophos AV – if it still functions, the free-of-cost AVG product, or Avira’s free-of-cost product), WinRAR, Midnight Commander, and Microsoft’s own Malicious Software Removal Tool to remove the offending files (most of which have the System and Hidden FAT FS attributes set), deposited by the malware from our USB Mass Storage devices.

Some of my fellow students enquire about malware removal several times a day (and see the SysAdmins anything up to 6 times per-day), and try hard to keep their UMS devices clean – before they become reinfected within 30 seconds of mounting them on the rather suspicious LAN clients; and others have resorted to bringing their own laptops in order to work.

I don’t foresee this being resolved any time soon , but one thing is for sure – we need all the help and luck we can get, to keep it at bay…

Movin’ On Without You

February 27, 2010

I guess that after the failure of the Open Source project that I founded back in 2008, it’s time to disconnect from that project’s old brand and URL that have followed me around the Web for quite a long time (e.g. as the URL on my Twitter profile, and the URL that I provide when commenting on other blogs, so that BackType accredits comments to me). I’ve already started by creating this blog, and updating the URLs on my Twitter and FaceBook profiles – although making changes that are this far-reaching takes time.

I’ll probably discuss the old project in depth at a later date – but for now, I promise that the content of the project’s site will remain accessible for reference (at least for as long as my host is willing to keep my sites active, and as long as I continue to renew my domain name); although to reduce the load on the hosting server, it’ll be read-only, and most Drupal modules are disabled.

Welcome Aboard!

February 19, 2010

Hi, I’m Tyson; and as you’ve probably guessed correctly, this is my umpteenth (new) blog – which I hope to take more care of ;).

I envisage that said blog will probably contain posts related to various topics (probably tech, personal stuff, Open Source and software stuff, and occasionally mobile hacking stuff) , and I don’t make any guarantees about interestingness or relevance.

I’ll probably do a rough background post later, if there’s any interest…