The version on this page is outdated. Updated for iTunes 10.5+ here.
Here’s the deal: iTunes refuses to support global media hotkeys. When you’re writing your research paper and you want to pause the song for a bathroom break, you can’t use that convenient play/pause button on your media keyboard or stereo bluetooth headset (I love that button on my Moto S9-HD). You have to open the iTunes window and move your mouse all the way to the on-screen button. Not being sarcastic; I have 3 monitors.
There used to be a cool dll that you could drop into the iTunes plugins folder and remedy everything. No more — iTunes 10.4 broke the plugin, as I was first to note in the comments.
iTunes 10.4.1 came out and claimed to fix “a problem where the media keys on some third-party keyboards work inconsistently with iTunes.” Riiight.
We can discuss the politics of Apple hating on PC users as much as we want, but some of us need our working play/pause buttons.
Drop into your Startup folder (in the Start Menu) and restart/relogin. It’s a compiled AutoIt3 script, which some antivirus programs don’t like. Deal with it.
Download (Windows EXE file) – this version for iTunes 10.4 is outdated!
Drop and forget. Simple and painless. It only works with the play/pause button [and now prev/next]. Because that’s the only button I ever use. Like, who ever uses the stop button?
Why I am posting this when I really should be writing my college application essays, I’m not quite sure.
Moral of the story: don’t “update” things that are working fine.
Bugfix 1. (9-29-2011) If another window title starts with iTunes (such as a browser on this web page) the play/pause key may not function. Fixed. Tested and uploaded. What am I doing with my life at 2am…
Bugfix 2. (9-30-2011) If the iTunes search box (on the top right) is focused the play/pause key may not function.
Update. (10-06-2011) Previous and next buttons added. Remove the old hk.exe before dragging this one into the startup folder.
The Leafwood Project will be taking a short break as its authors pause to ponder college applications.
Not that our recent posting has been very prolific anyway.
Just wanted to pop in to say… WD Caviar Green hard disks have amazing R/W speed and mind-blowing storage capacity. I got my hands on one, brand new, for only around $60-70 with shipping.128MB/s read and write speeds are to die for across 2 terabytes of capacity. (I realize I only tested the first 256MB of the partition, which is the outer edge of the disk that moves the fastest (because velocity equals radius times omega), lol.)
For comparison, my Seagate Barracuda that shipped with this Dell PC gets ~80MB/s (but then again Windows is running off this partition and it’s 90% full because of my anime), and an old WD Caviar Blue (really old — 80GB drive) that used to be in the server that hosted leafwood (Dell rack-mountable server server — that hard drive’s gotta be the real deal) only got ~60MB/s (but then again I’m swapping off this partition, not that Windows likes me managing its swap file, and swap is gonna take up a lot of I/O because Windows likes playing with its swap when it’s bored).
I’m installing Win7 on this new HDD when I get some free time (hopefully… sometime soon… not expecting anything). Vista’s working fine though, I guess, so no hurry. Gah, so indecisive.
Oh yeah, that last comment was the 600th comment.
Re-reading this post, those parentheticals are a pain to read.
Monday, August 15
Lots of stuff going on. It’s my final week at work. Got presentations and crap, yet my work isn’t finished yet (to my satisfaction).
Oh yeah, I got my hands on a backup server located in San Jose, since my Texas server fails so often. And this server is… OMG, amazing.
root@altair:~# wget -O /dev/null http://cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test --2011-08-16 04:10:09-- http://cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test Resolving cachefly.cachefly.net... 184.108.40.206 Connecting to cachefly.cachefly.net|220.127.116.11|:80... connected. HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK Length: 104857600 (100M) [application/octet-stream] Saving to: `/dev/null' 100%[====================================================>] 104,857,600 45.9M/s in 2.2s 2011-08-16 04:10:11 (45.9 MB/s) - `/dev/null' saved [104857600/104857600]
That’s 400Mbps speed right there! And right now it’s about 5PM, pretty close to prime time. The speeds aren’t going down as I test more! Actually, it just got faster. It just did 56MB/s; that’s 500Mbps right there! I am in awe.
And what’s more amazing is the disk speed…
root@altair:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=testfile bs=4k count=256k 262144+0 records in 262144+0 records out 1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 3.23105 s, 332 MB/s
Today: Ichiban for lunch in La Canada (or is it Pasadena). Amazingly cheap Japanese food. It was like, what, $7 or 8 for a 3-combination bento box!
Couldn’t make it to the Crawdads baseball game and dinner today.
Tuesday, August 16
That post up there was not backdated! Amazing, no?
I actually have a detailed calendar of this week, because I actually maintained my Google Calendar. So these next few posts are only psudo-backdated.
Today was lunch with my Tuesday lunch crew, and then left for Apache Days.
Got there just as the doors were closing. Quite a lot of good exercise there, with all that sprinting. Ran into Justin (and, later, Alfred and Rose) amongst other friendly faces.
I made a fatal math mistake, forgetting to subtotal the graduation and grad night fees, so the check my dad wrote wasn’t enough. Luckily they told me I could pay this later at the ASB office.
It kind of doesn’t make sense that you have to pay $135 in order to graduate, but whatever.
The PTSA desk lady refused to stamp my sheet, trying endlessly to guilt me into donating $5. Damn Asian saleswomen. She seriously wouldn’t let me go, even though I told her I owed $135 and really didn’t have any money on me.
On another note, PTSA probably hauled in a huge load of money this year due to her. I applaud.
Justin followed me home to my house and proceeded to watch YouTube videos of people playing games. I told him to make sure I did work (was writing my draft), and somehow magically I managed to do more work that I usually would.
Maybe I should let Justin come over more often.
Wednesday, August 17
Much work was done regarding my final presentation this afternoon.
Many private legal issues were turned over in my head until both sides were well-done. As a result, my brain was cooked.
Thursday, August 18
Final presentation of my internship. My group supervisor came by, and he liked it. We had an invigorating chat. It felt great. The private legal issues were still being lightly sauteed in my mind.
Late afternoon: Spanish lessons at my job in Methodist Hospital! My amigo treated me to onion rings (anillos de sebollas — para llevar por favor!). The onion rings that the chef makes in the hospital cafeteria are brilliant (although all he does is deep fry them — maybe it’s something about the oil that makes them particularly tasty).
Important words to remember for my next impromptu Spanish lesson:
perdon – sorry, excuse me
¿que me dijste? – what did you say?
¿que quiere decir (esto)? – what does (this) mean
¿que quiere decir? – what do you mean?
¿como se dice (esto)? – how do you say (this)
no se – I don’t know.
I have horrible memory (especially regarding names), so the only reason I remember these is because I put them down on a notecard.
On a side note, I love those inverted question marks.
Friday, August 19
Final day of JPL internship. Private frying pan stuff, mostly. Ran around the entire campus; HR, education office, Office of General Counsel, Ethics Office — it’s like a tour on my final day.
Private frying pan stuff stressed my mom out. I tend not to get stressed out by stuff these days. Or maybe I just don’t feel like I’m stressed, but subconsciously I really am.
Saturday, August 20
Summer BBQ Bash at my JPL mentor’s house. I babysat my little brother in the swimming pool, mostly. Played pingpong, threat was dripping down my chin. It felt good. I need sunglasses for these situations.
The food tasted good, but on Sunday I had diarrhea so…
Sunday, August 21
Verbatim from my calendar:
9-10am: wake. That’s the most spectacular part of my day. I WOKE! And on top of that, before noon! And, as if that still weren’t enough, I was able to wake at 9am!
10-10:30am: week 4 day 2 of the 100 Pushups program. I think by this point I was up to about 150 pushups per day (exceeding my mom’s requirements). It still hasn’t become a full-on habit yet. I can do about 30 to 50 pushups in a row. Somehow I still don’t look buff or anything.
Although I can’t really imagine myself with highly developed pectorals.
10:30-11am: call Cindy RE:JVLG. That’s right, I wasn’t really sure if there was a meeting today, but I couldn’t find Cindy’s number. I ended up embarassingly late to the meeting. Embarassing!
10:30-11:30am: write all backdated August Miniposts. Hur hur… (this is being written on August 26th).
11:30-12:30pm: Lunch. Okay, following my calendar verbatim gets uninteresting from here on.
My afternoon was spent at the Junior Volunteer Leadership Group meeting for Methodist Hospital. Nothing too remarkable.
I was planning on seeing the counselors on Monday (both for the Stanford issue and my research competition forms), but I fell asleep or otherwise was incapacitated and unable to complete the forms. In addition, I overslept on Monday.
Remaining time before school starts: 1 week.
Haaaaaiiii, we’re back this week with seven more short and sweet miniposts! Moral of the week: don’t be a perfectionist! Work is like watching anime: ya gotta know when enough is enough. Somehow that analogy strikes me as extremely amusing.
Week 12– Monday August 8 to Sunday August 14
Monday, August 8
(Shamelessly backdated.) Hurriedly fixing up my presentation. I hate OpenOffice — why must it be so compatible with Word? That’s not the right way to win over users. Anyways, Impress (the OpenOffice version of PowerPoint) refuses to deal with math and equations. This makes no sense, as Writer (or whatever Office’s Word is called in OpenOffice) does support equations. Badly, admittingly. My equations in Word are always corrupted in Writer, and even when I create them in Writer they look butt-ugly.
tl;dr – Busy day; billion zillion presentations.
Tuesday, August 9
Uhh, I really don’t remember. I had lunch somewhere, went for a good drive or something.
Wednesday, August 10
Don’t expect me to remember all these things that happened half a month ago!
Oh, that’s right, I was supposed to get beat up and have my confidence in my mathematical abilities decimated by a professor who insists on being considered a colleague despite our age difference being wider than the Atlantic. Well, my math confidence has always been in pieces anyways. I mean, after seeing all those mathematical monsters at contests like ARML and such, and of course USPT, and not even doing so well in my very own local Arcadia Math Team.
Thursday, August 11
Worked on patent. I think. Funny how my hopeful mailing-out date keeps drifting farther and farther down the river.
Friday, August 12
Planning on adding a backup server after the horrible outage on Tuesday. The Leafwood Network shall grow!
Happy birthday k!
Saturday, August 13
I finally post last week’s August Advent Calendar post.
Sunday, August 14
I seriously don’t know. Probably a family day, maybe a few outings. Precious times.
August has come — school is starting again in the blink of an eye! As this sad date advances closer and closer, we are filled with more and more regret for the things we could not do in the summer. Thus, to compensate and cheer us all up, I decided to hold a sort of Advent Calendar. No, you don’t get chocolates, or virtual items for your Neopets, or toys. I have something better :)
Each day of August, you get a brand-spankin’ new mini-post! (Disclaimer: mini-post can consist of as few as one sentence.) I’ll stop blabbing here; let’s get this party started!
Week 1 – Monday August 1 to Sunday August 7
Monday, August 1
(By the way, I am backdating this minipost. Hee hee… yes, I am cheating.) The Common App launched today, and I haven’t even bothered to think about it. I had a dumpling party yesterday with Vincent, Mr. Zhang, Lucy, and Sue (and various parents). Originally I just invited Mr. Zhang, Vincent, and his dad, since it was supposed to be a little private get-together to celebrate Vincent’s departure as he would be moving permanently to Boston. Lively party was interesting to me (and I usually don’t find social functions interesting), but my parents thought that everybody’s parents kept talking about pointless things and making stupid arguments about stuff that nobody cares about. True, I guess. Vincent’s dad was different from what I expected. He disciplined Vincent well, as I expected, but he didn’t feel as oriented as Vincent. Something I talked about with my parents — why would he follow his son all the way to Boston? It’s like he didn’t care at all about his own life and dedicated everything he did to Vincent. In fact he outright affirmed that, making a splendid metaphor to how he was the first-stage rocket of the spacecraft known as Vincent. I suppose Harvard or somebody he meets there would become his second stage, propelling him furthermore on his journey to the stars.
Today Simon, one of the senior interns under my mentor here at JPL, came back finally from his school. Yes, it is around the end of his internship already, haha. Anyways, to celebrate, we went to this severely overpriced restaurant in Old Town Pasadena (or at least I think that’s Old Town) called Gyu-Kaku. I don’t know why white people like Asian food so much, but they do apparently. It was pretty good, but for the cheap $10 value meal thing I ordered, they barely gave anything. It’s a Yakiniku restaurant, and I think this is the first time I’ve been to one. It’s like a hotpot restaurant, except it’s not a hotpot, it’s a grill-thing. They give you meat, you cook it. What I thought was pretty interesting was the spinach they included in the value meal (because spinach = value!). Yes, it was just spinach. Raw spinach. Anyways, they wrapped it in aluminum foil with a few slices of garlic for you to, uh, toss on the grill (read: “cook”), and it was pretty good.
And yeah… crap happened in June and July, but meh. I’ll backdate a few posts to talk about important stuff, of course. Like Stanford. Oh yeah. Still need to write that post…
Have I mentioned that the Common App came out today? And I still haven’t started?
Tuesday, August 2
(Also backdated.) I had lunch with Zack today, where I failed a physics problem. After chatting about Zack’s cruise, the hot Russian grade-skipping genius college chick he met, how he stole her from her boyfriend, and how that made him totally cool, we were talking about the softball game I was going to play tomorrow (Wednesday). Of course, I have absolutely no athletic talent — even less than my artistic talent.
Wednesday, August 3
(Hey, guess what, it’s backdated.) Highlight of the day was my softball game. I was catcher, and I was completely clueless so I didn’t know to call foul or fair. Yet, everybody still helped me and said kind things, gave helpful advice. It feels great to be part of a team.
Thursday, August 4
(I’m serious, I intended to start this, but Thursday’s minipost is also backdated.) Today I met with the most important lawyer in all of JPL/CalTech. Considering lawyers charge like $500 per hour, and I got a half hour with him, that’s a nice $250 worth of legal counsel there.
It turns out he was actually a patent lawyer in his previous job for a big aerospace company. How brilliantly convenient!
Friday, August 5
I liked this quote from the Official Google Blog about startups:
We’re a small, close-knit group of friends that spend most of our time huddled in a room making decisions on the spot and moving fast to launch a product in a matter of months.
Here are the results of today’s productivity:
I love making post-it art. The things that end up coming out of my pen are always so random though. And yes, of course, my artistic capabilities are not quite proficient.
Saturday, August 6
(This is backdated again — I didn’t get to finish writing my other backdated posts so more stuff got pushed back.) My presentation yesterday got cancelled. But now I have to work on my presentation and paper instead of enjoying my weekend. Mwahh.
Ended up goofing off most of the day. Who would have expected.
Pic somewhat related. Somewhat.
Sunday, August 7
(Backdated.) This is one of those rare days when I was able to make myself do work. I feel so accomplished — wrote a huge huuuge detailed PowerPoint and came up with some key concepts to emphasize. Unfortunately I couldn’t write much of my paper.
As you guys probably know, I’ve been at UCSD the last 3 weeks for a summer program thing. I have enjoyed almost all of it, as I’ve mentioned on Skype and stuff, particularly because I got to meet many different type of people. There is a diversity here that definitely does not exist in Arcadia. The last few days, I have already not been particularly excited about going back home, but today it seems to have hit me even harder. While not the cause of my semi-emotional-breakdown, the thing that probably triggered the existing thoughts in my head was a conversation between a few of the people in my class during the incredibly boring graduation rehearsal.
They were talking about their experiences at parties and stuff, including doing stupid things while drunk and just other things they do, a conversation which I clearly, could have no participation in. It’s not that I have a desire to get super drunk and not remember the events of a whole night or anything, but just listening to them made me realize the stark contrast between their lives and mine.
Tim was saying yesterday that he thinks the only really different thing about Arcadia is it being upper middle class. I almost completely disagree. Being able to drive down the street, and see almost all restaurant and store signs written in Chinese is not something that can happen in just any city in America. While I know that there are drugs/alcohol/parties and stuff in Arcadia, it is clearly not a cultural norm as it is elsewhere. It’s definitely not just about the drugs and stuff either; that’s just the most obvious example. Another pretty clear example is how much more aware people seem to be of national/political issues, topics which from my experience are rarely heard of in Arcadia.
The whole culture and atmosphere of Arcadia is just not the same as the rest of America. Think about it. How many Asian Arcadians do you know whose parents were born here? Almost everyone I know was either born in Asia, or had parents born in Asia. Off the top of my head, I can think of only one acquaintance of mine who has parents born here, fluent in English, and totally familiar with American culture. Yeah, there are nonasian people in Arcadia too, but as they are a minority, they visibly do not have that much influence over the overall atmosphere of Arcadia, a clearly Asian-dominated town.
I know that you’re supposed to be “prideful” or whatever in your background and where you came from, but honestly, I am not. Like I said on skype, most of the time I have no problem fitting in, but when I think deeper, there are inherent differences because of how different of a place I grew up in. Some people are fine with remaining in the whole Asian/American-born Asian way of life, but that is not me. What happens in China/Hong Kong/Taiwan is no more relevant to me than what happens in France or Saudi Arabia. It’s not just that, I think that my whole mindset/philosophy/interest is more American than Asian.
I guess that I kind of wish I was born and raised in a “typical” American family. But I know that I wasn’t, and that I can’t change that. My dad has warned me plenty of times that it may be difficult to fit into mainstream American society because I will probably be looked at as closer to the FOB’s than to Americans. And even if people don’t consciously discriminate this way, I still have grown up my whole life in an environment not like most people I will meet.
The other option is to just “embrace” my Asianess and just do what the path of a model Arcadian is. Go to a good school, study all day, get a fairly high paying job, marry an Asian girl, maybe have a kid, send the kid to an Arcadia-y school and continue the cycle. All while remaining contained in Asian interests, activities, and interactions. It’s a valid path, I guess, and it’s much easier, and may be more comfortable for some. But not for me. That’s not what I want to do.
That leaves me in stuck, in between two cultures, one that I would like to be a part of, but can never totally be in, and one that I wish to leave behind, but may never be escapable. And I don’t think that the Middle Way is the best path to take in this case. To forever be torn apart, in what might be described as isolation. That may be one of my biggest fears.
I post so rarely now that I have to look up the date of my last post, and go into my Google Calendar to look up what I wanted to talk about. That post was nearly a month ago… and this is a summertime post, where I supposedly have boundless amounts of free time to dedicate to various assorted meaningful and meaningless activities. Well, that’s not quite true. With my full-time summer job that barely pays minimum wage at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, I don’t really have free time on weekdays.
Said occupation began humorously on June 27, two days after my last post– well, to tell the truth, I met with my research professor as a JPL visitor on Friday to discuss my research, as he was leaving for a 2-week trip to attend a conference. By humorously, I don’t mean that anything humorous happened; I only mean to say that I was in good humor. Arriving late on the first day to orientation, as any respectable new hire would do, I moped around the visitor center for a few minutes before I found out that the orientation was to be held in the Von Karman Auditorium. There was a nice big sign that directed us towards the auditorium that my eyes had conveniently missed.
Cool videos were projected, boring Powerpoints were presented, ignored rules are laid down. We can’t sell our research to foreign governments, play World of Warcraft on company time and computers, torrent movies (not that I was planning on watching anime at work), or sleep. (Blogging was never disallowed :D) My boss is cool, my coworkers are friendly, my section manager is awesome (totally reminds me of Ms. Chen, our music director, who by the way was re-hired… congratulations!), and life’s great — the greatness of life rears its head in some way or another every day.
The internet here is mad fast. Yay for government/military-quality connection. Speaking of internet, I need to move to Sweden. AT&T hasn’t even released an LTE phone yet, and average speeds aren’t going to top 10Mbps anyways… America is sad. Especially judging from past experience. If I get to check out Estonia next year (43rd IPhO), maybe I’ll like it so much I’ll apply for a green card.
After a wonderful three days on the job with my professor gone, familiarizing myself with my new environment, getting my office workstation set up with Ubuntu 10.04 (god bless he who has granted Linux unto my humble PC), meeting new people, and nearly killing myself driving to and from work multiple times… after three days on the job, I got five days of vacation. Now how may this be, you may ask. We have a wonderful little policy here called RDO (Regular Day Off) in which we get every other Friday off. In addition, this was Independence Day weekend, so Friday and Monday were off anyways. So in total, five days off. After three days of work. Brilliant. I wish every week were like this.
So what do I do with my five days? I visit Stanford!
(This was post #321. Brought to you by The Common Application and the letter Q.)