Chinese Study Motivation

Hey kids, if you study really hard, one day you might be able to make sense of this ludicrous story:

Story made entirely of 'shi'

I came across it at OMG Soy Sauce: This is Why Chinese is so Hard.

Geek System has more info about it here: Chinese Riddle in Which Every Syllable Is Pronounced /Shi/.

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Skritter Restart – Redux

I’ve been using Skritter for over a year. I suppose “using” is stretching it a bit – I guess what I really mean here is: I’ve had a Skritter account for about a year, and use it occasionally.

I realized two days ago that the 3K character queue I had built up was doing nothing for morale. While washing the dishes I decided to zero my stats. So I did, and started again. Again.

This time, there will be no random adding of lists, no ‘Skritter day off’. 20 minutes a day, every day.


So far, it’s been two days and I’ve managed. Wonder if today I’ll make it three?

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Tekagi Recognize

Today I had to install Ubuntu (yay) so I can use it for some site testing – important to test things in all operating systems, not just Windows / OS X!

While I was waiting for some development tools to finish installing, I browsed the software available in the repository…

Which by the way is extremely easy to use – I’m amazed at how far Ubuntu has come since I last used it – it’s only been about a year and half since I went back to using OS X almost exclusively.

So anyway, I was browsing through the software and I came across this little application – Tegaki. It’s a Chinese / Japanese handwriting recognition tool. I’ve only played with it, but what I’ve seen so far is pretty cool. I don’t know how I would use it though, I’m perfectly comfortable using SCIM / OS X’s Pinyin input systems… Whatever, it works well, even with my terrible writing-chinese-with-a-mouse skills. It recognized what I meant most of the time, but after successfully writing something it took me a little while to figure out how to get the characters from the program into whatever program I was trying to write Chinese in. Turns out that I’m a moron – one just ensures the textarea in question is selected, alt+tabs into Tegaki, write, then click the ‘enter’ button. The characters will be dropped into the text field. Magic.

Cool idea, works really well, but I’m sticking with the traditional pinyin based methods. Writing characters by hand, with a mouse just doesn’t do it for me.

What could work is writing with my Bamboo Fun tablet – I’ll try that as soon as I get some free time, and report back. I think it could work MUCH better, and have the added effect of forcing me to actually remember the characters, instead of just Pinyin.

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Unboxing the Bamboo

I’ve been wanting a device like this for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually needed one. I’ve started using the online Chinese character learning service, Skritter, and have found that it really helps me learn (and remember) new words.

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Perl Script to Insert DBpedia Infobox Data into a MySQL Database

This script parses out the Wikipedia page, DBPedia Infobox Predicate and Infobox subject, and inserts them into a MySQL table. I thought I’d share it with The Internet in case someone else wanted to work with DBPedia infobox data in the same way.

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