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Tokyo Linux Users Group

I'm a comedian living in Tokyo, performing comedy in Japanese and English. However, I'm also an open source advocate, technology enthusiast, and Linux user.

I'm most interested in how technology and society inter relate. These are links to places where I've expressed my views on some issues within that sphere.

“Windows Is Free”, “No, Really... Windows Is Free”, “Windows Is Free For Business” - A set of articles I wrote about how software piracy affects free software in the marketplace. The first one made a respectable splash on the content aggregation sites like Digg and Reddit. It was previously hosted on TLUG's web site, but now it's on my personal blog site, along with its follow up articles.

Interview On CBC Radio's “Search Engine” - An interview in which I talk about the status of net neutrality in Japan. I don't think I came across quite how I intended, but it's not bad. I really hate what the woman interviewed before me says about Japan. Anyway, for more on the status of net neutrality in Japan, please see the Movement of Internet Active Users, or MIAU (Japanese site), the Japanese group that is working to keep Japan's internet free from regulation.

Articlass - a content management system, or “CMS”, that I made for my own purposes, now made available to anyone and everyone as open source software, under the GPL v3 license.

Personal History With Computers

Just for kicks, I wrote out a little history which represents my unfocused and random relationship with technology.

I grew up around computers, on account of my father being a programmer. My first video game that I remember playing was over the 'net, sort of. It was a text version of “Lunar Lander”, which was played on a Texus Instruments Silent 700. The game was actually on some computer at my dad's company, and we accessed it with one of those old-school modems where you put the phone into a cradle.

I took a shot at programming, in BASIC I think, on MS-DOS at some version before C: drives were standard in computers. I made a game which involved an ASCII happy face monster, from which there was no escape and it killed you almost instantly. Later I tried copying some code from a magazine into my mother's Commodore 64, which only succeeded in turning the screen purple. Programming is not really my thing.

But really, computers were nothing more than a science fiction-esque novelty to me, as I was more interested in drawing and making people laugh. However, when they brought in some Amiga computers to my high school art class, I was able to see the potential in combining graphic design and computer technology.

After an annoying year in art school, I took a course in 3D animation at the Vancouver Film School. The course was a mix of 3DStudio Max running on top of MS-DOS, and a little Wavefront (a 3D graphics package that later became Maya... if I remember correctly) on some kind of UNIX.

Soon after the Vancouver Film School, I went to Tokyo where my first job was doing animation for television, using SoftImage on SGI workstations that ran IRIX. At that same job, which I held for a few years, I also had a Mac, and it was nice, though I was a little freaked out by the Mac zealots in the office who wanted me to join them.

After that job, I took on various jobs in various aspects of computer graphics, including video editing and web design. One job involved making special effects for an Ultraman movie, which has to earn me at least some cred in the otaku community.

Eventually moved away from graphics and into more internet (which I spell with a lower case “i”) related work. One experience was running a start up with a thermonuclear burn rate during Tokyo's mobile phone fueled dot.com bubble. After that, I did some various web design and programming work.

At home, Microsoft Windows was my OS of choice, until about 2005. Then, for a variety of reasons which I'll bore you with if you ask me, I decided to switch to Linux. I experimented with Fedora and CentOS, but soon found that Ubuntu was for me. After a transitional period of dual booting between Windows and Linux, eventually I deleted Windows completely. And I have been bothering TLUG with questions about how to do stuff ever since.

I'm currently developing a web content management system in PHP/MySQL for my own needs, which is available as open source. You can take a look at it at Articlass.org.

I'm hoping to see more depth in the area of open source graphics applications on Linux, particularly with video editing.