Elbie at Trig dot Net

Wed, 11 Apr 2007

Good things come in 小 packages

I haven't made as much progress as I'd have liked, studying for my Japanese exam that's coming up on Monday, but I should be ready for my Linear Optimisation exam tomorrow morning. At the same time, I'm starting to look forward to my Rings & Fields course that's starting next term.

In preparation for it, I went back and looked for a copy of the textbook I used for an earlier Pure Math course I took... uh, thirteen years ago now, I guess. It was the most excellent book on basic mathematical theory, if a bit dense, but at the time it was a bit expensive, and instead I chose to borrow a friend's copy for the term.

Well, that tiny little book has more than doubled in price since then, and if you want to get a copy of it, be expected to pay almost two hundred dollars for it at most book stores.

I managed to find a soft cover version for half that price, but still, it's pretty exorbitant for a book I technically no longer need. Oh well. Closing my eyes, I ordered it anyway, about a week ago from Amazon, and it finally arrived in the mail today shipped from a 3rd party seller.

I don't typically like to order things from big box stores (or big internet stores) in general. Amazon often makes it easy to find things that I would never, ever be able to find at a local shop though, so occasionally I surrender my ideals somewhat. The reasons for me to choose small locally owned stores I am occasionally reminded of.

Today, while studying in Whole Lotta Gelata, Mark, one of the guys from the Camera shop down the street (which I recommend by name: Bent's Camera) came in to get a coffee and a snack between working at the shop, and going off to teach a night course at the community college.

I sort of pounced on him with a bit of a work question, something in hindsight I hate when people do to me, about my camera I bought from them several years ago. He didn't immediately know the answer, but he suspected that with the model camera I had, what I wanted to do wasn't possible. Oh well, something to think about when I buy my next one, I supposed.

Five minutes after he left, he came back in, camera in hand, to show me that indeed it was possible, and here's how one would do it.

That kind of thing is the reason I go to Mom and Pop stores. It's so hard to get experienced, knowledgeable people at big box stores, let alone ones that will go out of their way (in this case, literally), to help you.

Thanks Mark.

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Tue, 03 Apr 2007

Go 大 or go 家

Friday the 13th is rapidly approaching, and you all know what that means.

That's right, it's International IM Unicode day! Spread the word!

I recently ordered my first import game, レイトンと不思議な町, (Professor Layton and the Mysterious City,) from Play-Asia. It's a detective story/puzzle game that's been getting rave reviews. The only problem is that it's completely in Japanese. Well, I thought that it wouldn't be a bad way to force myself to really practice a language, and to really dig in and learn it, but so far, I haven't really been playing it too much. The game itself looks absolutely gorgeous, but it's pretty discouraging when it takes ten minutes (or longer) just to read one line of dialogue, even assuming I can do that much. We'll see how far I get.

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