Cool computing definitely arrived at my home early June with DSL which has changed what I can do do with the internet at home. I'm debating whether to get a wireless LAN next but may hold off a bit longer to see what new products come out onto the market. The Buffalo Airstation that was the topic of a meeting earlier this year would be my choice if I were buying now, but I need to check the newsgroups first to see if anyone has had any good or bad experiences.
Thanks to Jim Breen (the TPC's new honourary member for his long term work on electronic Japanese- English dictionaries) and Todd Rudick of www.rikai.com for their excellent presentations in May. In June we had a hardware and and software mix finding out about the Thumbdrive, Orbdrive and fusionOne.com. Thanks to these companies for taking the time to come in and talk about the products (and for the Thmbdrive and T-shirts we had to give away!)
Following the rikai.com presentation last month I came accross Roboword (from www.technocraft.co.jp), a tool which works like Rikai.com but in all of Windows. There was a demo download but this did not include the J-E version or the English interface. It looked like it was going to work well so put in my order. Within a few minutes of having it installed on my office computer I was finding it useful. Now I've got it installed on all my computers and it comes in very handy. I think I may need an additional dictionary to complement the one that comes with it and will be looking into this shortly. I've heard people have had problems with previous versions, but this is working fine for me on Windows 98 and 2000 Japanese. Anyway, Technocraft will be one of the presenters at the July meeting. For August the Mobile Division of Microsoft Japan have tentatively agreed to present so lets hope we can finalise this as it couldn't come at a better time, just following Wireless Word at Tokyo Big Sight in July. If there's anything else you want to see over the coming months let me know and we'll see what we can do.
On June 27th, we had a joint event with the International Computer Association featuring demonstrations of www.salesforce.com and www.eproject.com, two ASP services providing information management and collaboration tools over the internet. These products are for businesses but the presentations were of interest to anyone who wanted to see in what ways we'll be using the internet in the future. The presenters both did excellently talking about their products and answering questions from the audience. Given a good presenter and interesting product/service we can easily organise more of these events, so let me know if you have any ideas.
Well I'm rushing this article off at the last minute again. Work is really busy at the moment and there seem to be a lot of computer group events on in the evenings in Tokyo around this time. I think things will get quieter once we are in to the August holiday season so make the most of it now. Check www.onjapan.net and sign up to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jpnet to keep up-to-date.
As always, hope to see you at the next meeting.
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