Stefano’s Stuffs

6 things that I really like about Japan

What are the 6 things that I really like about Japan?After years, I can clearly see the defects so now I can better explain the merits:-D

Number one : The artificial lights

Every middle/big size Japanese city change completely its appereance when the sun goes down. The explosion of neon, signs, banners, colors in contrast with a large amount of dark corners is unbeatable.

Number two: The Architecture

I come from the country that shares with the World the 80% of the monuments from the past, where the historical centers of the cities are “untouchable” to preserve all the things from the passage of time, so it’s obiouvsly that I like the architectural layout of a country where it seems that anyone can build what they want: every height, every color, every different – cacophonous – passive fire protection ignored pattern is possible…;-)


(image courtesy of , Bob Tazar, Bruno.Nihon and


Number three: The Music

Although Japan is the cradle of pure pop music business, with an easily visible “music mafia” (where you can see everywhere on the media the same artists, produced by the same labels etc.etc.), japanese musicians are often really talented and they produce tons of good music (sometime related to Anime or videogames).


Number four: The variety of eating possibilities

In Japan, eating out could be very funny. Tokyo for example has more than 80.000 different restaurants, from the 8 mq. standing bar in Golden Gai to some dirty/very clean izakaya to a 1st world class shabu shabu. There’s every type of “Gelateria”, every type of ethnic food, every type of food chain, every type of “all you can eat”, every type of “theme” restaurants (watch the last video with Zimmern to better understand). All streets have food smell. Beautiful.


Number five: The Kanji love/hate feel and their role in graphic layouts

I hate Kanji. General MacArthur instead of freeing the Unit 731 , would abolish japanese kanji;-). They are an incomprehensible maze for western people who uses 20-25 letters in the alphabet but during years they slowly become more easy to learn. But with Kanji the “graphic feeling” of japanese can explode: magazines, books, signs are packed with tons of Kanji in each direction. Superb. Japanese editors completely satisfied my eyes!


Number six: the unbeatable public safety, zero delay trains, etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.

No more to tell about. You can count the money in your wallet on the street without fear, you can travel at night safely in the 99% of the cases and you don’t need to worry about train delay. There is no delay.


And what I dislike?I love Japan and japanese people very much but of course there are also a lot of bad things in Japan, but this is a post about what I like so it’s not the right place to speak;-)
Ok, I’ll tell you only one  thing at the moment, and it is not the usual you can listen:  I cannot tolerate a matter that can be summarized by japanese words イタい勘違い外国人. I have a lot of foreign friends in Japan and they are really fantastic but at the same time, there’s a incredible large amount of foreigners who stay in Japan for nothing, for trivial reasons, for study, for a job that they would never do in their country (or cannot do)  and they are the masters of “put on airs”, act snobbish and feeling important for some unknown reasons. I know a good number of  foreigners who live in different countries and I have never met one of them who can feel so comfortable, powerful and brag about himself/herself  like some gaikokujin can do in Japan. Please, relax!;-)








December 8, 2010 Posted by | Japan | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The next lens I need

The Nikon 135mm f/2 with defocus control is killing me…I NEED IT!!Creamy Bokeh-Creamy Bokeh- Creamy Bokeh!:-)

February 6, 2010 Posted by | Photo | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lotus Notes 8.5 & Ubuntu 9.10

if you install the .deb file of Lotus Notes Client 8.5 in Ubuntu 9.10 everything will go fine, except that you will not see anything in the main window…It’s a problem related to an update of libgtk, you need the old files instead.

Easy solution:

1 – Download here the 4 files (courtesy of BenKevan/EclipseAgent)

2 – Copy them in /opt/ibm/lotus/notes

3 – Voilà.

January 22, 2010 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Xinorbis – Disk Analyzer

One of the most interesting software I discovered in these days is probably the best disk analyzer ever made for Windows: Xinorbis by Paul Alan Freshney. It’s incredible rich of features and it’s exactly what I was looking for: it can analyze every local or lan disk and return a lot of information, also in a graphic way: file type chart, dimensions, folders…Perfect for show you useless files on your pc and display/print reports.

December 29, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s name your lens…

I discovered a sort of passion about photographic lens names and, when I look for some new interesting glass, I write down the most coooool names;-) . Some examples:

The Cosina Voitglander NOKTON serie : wow, it seems a superhero. The superhero of night. Nokton remember to me also some black heavy war tank:-). Also the old name Voitglander is cool, damn cool (outside Austria/Germany , because it’s simply a surname!) and, why not, Cosina too! (but in Italian Cosina it’s “a little thing”…)

The Russian HELIOS serie: Helios means “sun” in greek and greek it’s always cool (and I love/hate it because of my classical studies:-)). And the coolest thing of this greek name it’s that this serie is from Russia:-)

The Leica NOCTILUX serie : Leica is the lens master and also the marketing/communication is really creative:-) In addiction to the mythical Noctilux (in italian it’s a romantic “luce della notte”…Superb!) we have a lot of other choices, like the standard Elmar that become a boosted SUPER-ELMAR in its 18mm/f3,8 version…

The Carl Zeiss series: CZ uses always cool names!Pancolar, Flektogon, Sonnar, BIOTAR!They seem to me robot names!

Another example could be the entire Zuiko brand from Olympus (really japanese!)

December 4, 2009 Posted by | Senza Categoria | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My New Toy

A friend of mine bought for me a brand new Holga 120 CFN (the one with the magic colorful flash;-)) and I’m ready to use it as soon as possible (especially in BW); I consider the standard Holga the best toy camera ever made and you can find awesome pictures on Flickr.
Because this beautiful piece of junk comes from Camera Cabaret/SuperHeadz shop in Tokyo, I’ll show you their wonderful-colorful-crazy-very very japanese catalogue in .pdf

Here it is in good quality (near 1 mb):


November 18, 2009 Posted by | Senza Categoria | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Update the Nvidia Drivers with Ubuntu 9.10 (manual mode)

After upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 my X server sometimes gave me a casually “Out of Range” message; I’ve installed the Nvdia drivers for my graphic card a few months ago (with Ubuntu 9.04) and the version 1.85 is probably not fully compatible with the new Karmic Koala. There are a lot of useful guides that let you know how to upgrade repositories and automate installation of drivers via apt-get…But I offer to you a fastest and very old-fashion style way:

1 – Remove the old drivers from System -> Administration -> Hardware Driver

2 – Download from Nvidia website the 1.90 software for Linux  (it’s a .run file, near 22-23 mb)

3 – Press CTRL+ALT+F1 for open a terminal session (don’t use your terminal link on desktop, it’s a different thing) and write your standard username/password

4 – Stop the X server with sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop (Ubuntu will tell you that there are other commands, like service and stop for doing this, but this one will probably work;-))

5 – Manually go to the directory where you’ve saved the .run file

6 – Do sudo sh Nvidia bla bla bla etc etc 🙂

7 – Follow the onscreen instructions and at the end let the new Nvdia install to edit and change your graphic configuration

8 – Reboot with sudo shutdown -r now

9 – Voilà, if you go to System -> Administration -> Nvidia Server Settings you’ll see that the new drivers are on and you’ll can eventually make changes about resolution etc.



November 18, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ubuntu 9.10 – A Fast Review

I’ve just upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10 from 9.04, by using always the same method (via Administration->Update Manager) as in the past. The process took near 2 hours, with only a continous crash related to the Flash plugin. This new edition has some news, like:

1 – The Ubuntu Software Center:


where you can download applications and at sametime watch what you’ve installed and eventually remove it. Very windows style. Very useless:-) I’m a little tired about “easy things for newbies”…If you’re a linux newbie you want to learn something new, different, open; you don’t need another win style computer!Past years Linux wasn’t user-friendly…Now it’s too much;-)

2 – Ubuntu One: 2gb of webspace for sharing and backup, directly accessible from desktop


3 – A lot of new screensavers/desktop images and themes

4 – A better support about Eucalyptus and private cloud (on server edition)

5- Open Office 3.1

Ubuntu is a must to have BUT before upgrading remember that:

1 – IMHO this edition is a little slower than 9.04, at least on my pc without a fresh install; startup and open applications remember to me the same “slowly feeling” I had when upgraded from 8.04 to 8.10 (is the .10 release always slower than .04???:-))
2 – My old Vmware Player 2.5.2 needed an update to 3.0 in order to work with new kernel (download the .bundle file on Vmware website and install it with sudo sh xxxxxx.bundle). The 3.0 is fantastic and it can create VM too!
3 – The Lotus Notes Client 8.5 doesn’t work with Ubuntu 9.10; a re-install didn’t fix it.

October 30, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , | Leave a comment


Wow, I’m inside the Wave of Google. It’s a very “preview” version, with few people and everyone that try to learn fast how to use all the power of this application. The first think I thought was: “Damn.It’s difficult.” but it’s the same thing I thought when I opened for the very first time my Twitter account. I hope that Google Wave will become very popular in a few months and everyone could use it, especially as a pro/organizing tools and a possible e-mail replacement. I read some little walkthroughs on the net and I try now to give my little help to the Wave newbies (EVERYONE is a Wave newbie;-)):


The ”Navigation” and the “inbox” windows are similiar to every e-mail layouts; instead of mails you receive/search/list “waves”. The “Contacts” box is related to your friends; Wave automatically shows here your Gmail’s contacts that just have a Wave account. If there’s a green little light near the image of one of your contacts, it means that he/she’s online so you can “ping” him/her with an instant message by using the ping option. You can also ping your friends when they are offline and they can read your messages at the next login. You can also search for new contacts with the “+” button and hope that your friend has just received a Wave invite. During next months this problem will disappear:-).

At first time you can show some public waves by searching in the “inbox” field with “with: public xxx” where xxx is a tag of your choice (like with:public Tokyo). Public waves are really messy, very alpha testing style, full of people’s attempts etc..They are useful now but I think they will disappear in the future:  they appear like lines and lines of old MIrc text, like if your mailbox is full of spam;-). You can start a new wave by easily clickin’ on the “new wave” line at the right (don’t thrash the two initial waves made by Google team because they are useful for installing extensions!) and add friend to it by drag’n drop or “add” button. Here you can write text (and try the powerful translator option with your foreign friends) via the rich “compose” toolbar, reply to existing messages, edit messages of other people, post files as you do in a standard e-mail (max 20mb) or directly put an image inside the wave (you need Google Gears for drag’n drop option): all in REAL TIME! This means that also the text input is absolutely “live typing” so everyone inside your wave could see what are you writing, so pay a LOT of attention about what you write:-).

Because waves change continuously there is also a “playback” feature, where you can see every step, every modification of the wave, like a giant “history” command. Not really simple to use in a public wave;-). There’s also the possibility to write “private replies” to some partecipants of a wave, by click on the arrow next to the timestamp in the compose window and select “private reply” and add 1,2,1000 friends that will read your private message. You can also link to another wave inside yours, by searching for it in the search panel and drag’n drop the line directly inside the wave.Here come some restrictions about “who can see who”, so if you need to see the contents of the two waves you must be a partecipant of both of them.

Similiar to Gmail you can archive waves, mute waves, tag every waves as you like and also create folders for store them. This means that waves must be used and archived continuously, exactly as e-mail, and you can create a wave just for speakin/editing/sharing/organizing things with only one contact. It’s a mix between an e-mail , an rss feed, a chat, a social network…It’s really powerful and can clearly be a “nightmare” for a lot of other web services. You’ll see the updates about a wave in your inbox because the text will become bold and a green bubble with a number will show you how many messages you haven’t read yet.

You can also install extensions (some are just installed, like a “yes, no, maybe” poll creator and a maps application where you can share in real-time places, POI and so on…) and I’m learning about “robots”; they appear like normal contacts in some waves but they aren’t human and they do some automatic tasks inside the wave if you add them as partecipants, like “auto-twitter” the wave and so on…Oh my God, it’s fantastic.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , | Leave a comment