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Category Archives: Core Dumps

Cutting The Cable, Pt 1

A few weeks ago I mentioned to some friends that my wife and I were considering cutting off our cable TV services and simply going with their RoadRunner service for Internet, getting a Roku 3 (about $95) and an HD antenna (about $20 for a basic model from Weʻre figuring that if we cut the cable TV weʻll be saving $80 or so a month.

The HD antenna has not been all that we had hoped. We get the following Hawai‘i broadcast services from our place just above the new Pu‘u Kukui School and below Wailuku Heights:

4.1 – KITV HD (ABC)
4.2 – MeTv
9.1 – K5
10.1 – PBS Hawai‘i
10.2 – KIKU (I think – Japanese programming)
13.1 KHNL (NBC)
13.2 KHNL (Antenna TV)

imageNo KHON2/Fox at all, no matter where the antenna is hung. KITV is usually OK, but shows some pixelation periodically. Perhaps a better quality antenna would help, but from what I’ve been reading in Hawaiʻi discussion forums, a better antenna probably will not help – if the broadcast signal sucks a great antenna won’t help, and reports are that many truly do suck. Iʻve moved the one we got around and mounted it to various flat surfaces that the cable can reach, and the position to the right seems to get the best reception.

The Roku is getting mixed reviews for now. Maybe it’s option anxiety. Tons of movies, TV shows and other content in there, but hard to wade through it all. The acid test will be when the new television season starts in September, and how quickly those shows are available on HuluPlus. The Roku came with two free months of HuluPlus. Based on whatʻs in there now, I don’t think we’ll subscribe, but see what happens in October when the trial is finished.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that PBS has its own channel in there, and not only features national programs but some local programming, like Leslie Wilcox’s “Long Story Short”. We subscribe to Amazon Plus, so plenty of free movies and TV shows, but new releases take a long time for find their way into Prime, and some never do.

I’m trying to stick to the broadcast channels and Roku to see if that combination will be enough to cut the cable soon. It will take some getting used to.

Posted in Core Dumps.

Nā Hōkū Hanohano 101, Part 2: Eligibility

hokuDisclaimer: I am not a member of the Board of Governors of HARA. What I write here is based on my prior experience as a board member, continuting interaction with them and other members, and continuing service on the selection committee. Hopefully it will help, inform and entertain you, but take it with a grain of salt, and a dash of sarcasm.

The first hurdle to understanding the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards entry process is knowing what determines a release’s eligibility for the awards, and there are several factors that play into this: Continued…

Posted in Core Dumps, Hawai‘i, Music, Music Industry.

Nā Hōkū Hanohano 101, Part 1: Educate Yourself


Disclaimer: I am not a member of the Board of Governors of HARA. What I write here is based on my prior experience as a board member, continuting interaction with them and other members, and continuing service on the selection committee. Hopefully it will help, inform and entertain you, but take it with a grain of salt, and a dash of sarcasm.

Since last December or so, I’ve gotten a lot of messages, texts, and emails from folks asking for help or advice about their entries for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (there is a different season for Grammy requests). Sometimes I feel like I need to add “Music Awards Program Consultant” to my résumé. While it may seem more convoluted than necessary, it’s really not. It is a challenge for the Board and office staff because of the number of categories and variety of criteria that guide them in placing releases in various categories. The changing landscape of the recording industry also requires that they adjust as necessary. Continued…

Posted in Core Dumps, Hawai‘i, Music, Music Industry.

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Facebook Vacation


I decided to take a vacation from Facebook for a while. It’s been a week and while I miss my friends there I don’t miss the amount of time I tend to spend on it. Dealing with the Institute of Hawaiian Music, my music classes at UH-MC, trying to put together my contract renewal document (due Nov. 1), and my new travel hacking hobby, I have plenty to keep me busy.

Just as a quick update on the travel hacking – I’ve padded my United Miles account by about 5,000 miles with modest effort in less than a month, have another 3,000 or so pending, and using a couple of other mileage accumulation sites, should have another 5,000 or so within the next we weeks. It’s mostly fun work, sometimes tedious, but I’m looking at is as thought I’m creating a travel savings account, using my time rather than money (mostly).

If you are a Facebook friend of mine, feel free to leave a comment if you like. But life is good, and I’ll probably stay off of FB for another few weeks, at least until my contract renewal document is completed and submitted.

Posted in Core Dumps, Life In General, Travel Hacking.

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Cloud Storage: The Latest Threat To Our Online Privacy And Data Security?

It’s really difficult what to make all of this and to what level we really need to be concerned. If the NSA has reportedly cracked all of the encryption technologies that are used in personal and commercial data communications in the U.S., there is no reason to believe others have not done the same or will do so soon – be they foreign governments or criminals. To the “security experts” who won’t use e-banking or e-commerce technology, me thinks the odds of your being ripped off by the minimum wage barista at Starbucks are infinitely higher than they are of someone cracking your e-banking connection, stealing your login information and your money.

I had to buy a new wireless router this week when our TimeCapsule died. Not an Apple, but something that require a bit more setup, and because of Flash issues (I believe), I ended up with a tech support guy named Roger that sounded like his name should have been Rahib. Nearly two hours later it was fixed, but our home automation controller couldn’t connect to it. A few days of fiddling with it made me realize that I hadn’t added its MAC address to the router’s “allowed” list. All this to make sure that no one within a 100′ radius or so of our house couldn’t get into our network, use our connectivity, turn on our water heater in the middle of the night and run up our electric bill, or get into our personal files, if they even were capable of doing so (though the guy downstairs is a former Silicon Valley programmer. Hmmm…).

Cloud providers? Makes you wonder that even if you don’t keep valuable data on them if the government has forced them to provide backdoors that allows anyone with their software (DotMac, DropBox, Google Drive, Copy, Amazon, etc) to get into areas of your computer that aren’t sync’d. Paranoid or justifiably concerned? I dunno.

No answers here, but just a lot of thought about how much time and effort we put into protecting our money, knowledge and data, and how successful we can really be in doing so. But revelations like this might do it. If people stop using these kinds of services and it starts affecting the bottom line of big US companies, would changes be not far behind?

Posted in Core Dumps, Technology.

Test Post From Fargo

No, I’m not in Fargo, ND. Fargo is an outlining application I’m testing out.

This is the text.

This is Hawaiian text ÄÄ“Ä«ÅÅ« ĀĒĪŌŪ Ê»

OK, Hawaiian Unicode doesn’t work when rendered in WordPress, but looks good in Fargo. Hoping Dave and crew will get it figured out soon.

6/10/2013. Crap, still doesn’t work.

7/8/2013. Crap, still doesn’t work.

Posted in Core Dumps.

Teisco Checkmate 15

TeiscoAmpThe male parental unit found this relic while conducting an archaeological dig in his garage. I have no recollection of this at all. I remember my brother Robb and I having Teisco Del Ray guitars when we were in elementary school, but not the amp. Model is a Checkmate 15, 70W tube amp. The custom 6-plug outlet in the back makes me suspect Robb, but maybe it was Millie Moore Danno’s? I want to plug it in and try it out but afraid it may blow up. Maybe take it to a tech first…

Update: Mystery solved. It belongs to brother Robb.

Posted in Core Dumps.

Institute of Hawaiian Music Seeking New Students!

Interested in learning the craft of Hawaiian Music from industry professionals? For the first time since the program’s launch, the Institute of Hawaiian Music is accepting new students starting in Fall 2013. An information session is scheduled Friday, March 8th at the UH-Maui Campus, room 105BCD in the Ka‘a‘ike Building. Attendees will learn more about the history of the program, entry and graduation requirements, and availability of financial aid. The first auditions are scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 8AM to 4PM. Priority for the auditions will be given to those who attend the information session. For more information email or call Dr. Keola Donaghy at (808) 984-3570. You can also download the informational flyer. Mahalo!

Posted in Core Dumps.

Paul Williams: Still Alive

Paul Williams: Still AliveI caught a fascinating, fan’s-eye view documentary on Paul Williams on Palladia yesterday called “Still Alive”. Paul is a Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer, performer and actor who was seemingly everywhere in the 1970s. Even if you weren’t around back then, I bet you’ve heard his music. He’s also the current president of the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP). Aspiring songwriters would do well to become familiar with his work, and anyone struggling with alcohol or drug addiction would hopefully gain some inspiration from his story.

Posted in Core Dumps.

Aaron Swartz: 1986-2013


Twenty six year old Aaron Swartz took his own life on January 11, 2013. He did so after facing the possibility of spending 35 years in jail for what could be characterized as the digital equivalent of borrowing too many library books at one time(1). I never met Aaron, read of his exploits, and first learned of his prodigious talents and voracious curiosity via Dave Winer during a period where I followed Dave’s work closely and used several of his programming and web content tools.

I believe it is time that we in academia rethink our role in a system so perveted that it turned into a vendetta that led an intelligent and thoughtful young man to believe he had no choice but to end his own life. In our pursuit of tenure, promotion, and a path to climb the ladder we are privileging ourselves and our ambitions over the knowledge we create, and contributing to this outdated system.

Since I’ve entered the field of ethnomusicology, I’ve often thought that getting an article published in Ethnomusicology or Yearbook of Traditional Music would be a huge accomplishment and contribute to my career goals. I’m rethinking this, as long as they are part of this system. The demonization of Aaron Swartz all started with JSTOR, and while it seems they tried to extract themselves from the witchhunt, it is still complicit.

We also bear the cost of our own choices. My current institution, University of Hawai’i Maui College, does not have access to JSTOR because they say “we can’t afford it.” I’m sure other institutions are in similar circumstances. This prevents me from teaching the material I would like to present to my students. Why would I want to create knowledge and put it in a repository that my own students lack access to? I realize that publishers need to make money to print dead tree-based publications, but there are other options available today. If these formats are not recognized by our instutions as credible vehicles for validating our value and worth, it is because we allow them to do so.

I’m hoping that the leaders of our organizations will also rethink their participation in the status quo and create a system that rewards open creativity and eliminates punitive and vindictive actions like these. I call on the members and leaders of the Society of Ethnomusicology and the International Council of Traditional Music to explore options that will extract us from this archaic system and create one that both rewards our work and creativity but prevents our work from being the justification for this kind of abuse.

More thoughtful writing on this subject from Bernie Goldbach. Aaron’s family and partner have started a memorial blog for him on Tumblr.

1) you have to imagine a library where you could borrow every book, but the library still had an infinite number copies of every book still available to others.

Posted in Core Dumps.

Attacking The Electric Bill, Pt. 2

Nice ViewWhen my wife and I moved from Hilo back to Maui, we looked into buying a house, but settled on a nice townhouse condo at Ho‘ole‘a Terrace, just outside Wailuku on the road to Waikapū. One of the few drawbacks of this choice (see one view to the right) is that we don’t have the option to add photovoltaic or solar water heating panels. I have written previously about our attempts to get our electric bills under control in our old home in Kurtistown, and these limitations proved to be motivation to find other ways to lower our electric bill.

The water heater for our unit is in a ground floor storage room that we are forbidden from entering without advanced approval from the management company. Fortunately, the circuit breaker for the heater is in our unit. We’ve been manually turning it on and off to save electricity, but you know how that goes–some days we forget to turn it off when we leave in the morning, or when we go to sleep at night, or forget to get up early to turn it on to have hot water for morning showers.

Mi Casa Verde LiteI considered adding a simple, mechanical timer to the circuit, but also wanted to get a grip on other appliances that unnecessarily drained electricity. After looking at various X25 and Insteon units, I decide to get a Z-Wave system from Mi Casa Verde called VeraLite. It looked like it had a pretty nice web interface with flexible programming, and could be accessed via my mobile phone. There also seemed to be a nice selection of receptacles, switches, web cameras, door locks, sensors, and other devices that could be controlled from this unit. So I ordered one and several receptacles.

Elk 9200The next task was to find a 220v relay for the water heater. It turns out there is no receptacle or any other Z-wave compatible device that can control a 220v appliance. I did find this Elk 9200 220v relay that could be controlled by a 110v Z-wave receptacle, so I ordered on of those as well. At this point I needed to call in a pro, but opted to call in my father instead. Hehe. The Elk relay was a bit bulky and housed in an unecessarily large white metal lock box. The excessive size turned out to be a blessing, and it was large enough to hold a receptacle box.

GE Zwave receptacleWe pulled another line from the breaker panel to power the relay, connected the water heater’s line to the other side, and brought in another 110v circuit to power the Z-wave receptacle outlet that controls the 220v relay. Confused yet? Dont worry, we were for a while, too. What we figured would take about two hours turned into a five hour job, but hopefully it’s worth it.

Mi Casa Verde’s MiOS web interface turned out to be not as intuitive as it seemed at first glance, and took about a half hour to figure out. Their docs are not that great, and lack any really helpful examples or explanation of their scenes, triggers and schedule, or at least how they are interconnected. But I set up the heater to come on in the morning, turn off after two hours, turn on again in late afternoon, and turn off again in the evening.

The next step was to find an Android app that works with the VeraLite, and House Buddy turned out to be the winner. I simply logged into my account on Mi Casa Verde’s site, it automatically showed all of my “scenes” and devices. Turning the water heater relay on or off from my HTC One V was almost instantateous.

KillAWattMonitor_DetailThe next step was to seek out vampires… vampire loads, that is. Vampire loads are devices that use electricity even when they are not in use. The power supplies that come with just about everything we own use electricity all the time, though in recent years they have gotten much more efficient. I pulled out my trusty Kill-A-Watt, as I had done at our old home, and began sleuthing. The technician from Time-Warner Oceanic cable that installed our equipment warned me against using anything to power down their devices for any length of time as the system updates it frequently, and if it were powered down during an update it could disable the unit and require service. A quick check with the Kill-A-Watt showed that all of their devices combined, as well as our Apple Time Machine, cost about $20 a month to operate. Figuring someone is in the house and probably using the Internet about 60% of the time, the cost saved by  powering these units off didn’t outweight the inconvenience of having to get a disabled device working again.

My CPAP uses about $5 a month just being plugged in as it has one of those block DC power supplies like many printers do. That will be the next to receive a Z-wave controlled outlet so the power supply will be disconnected during the day. Another nice feature of these receptacles is that they have a button on them that allows you to turn them on if they are off, or off if they are on. Pretty handy. Until I get a computer desk and some of my other equipment online, it doesn’t seem that there is much else worthy of the cost of these recepticles. The electric bill for the first full month in our unit was $127, so I’ll report back when I figure out if this was worth the time and effort we put into doing this.

And thanks, Dad!



Posted in Core Dumps, Sustainability, Technology.

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New Windows 8 Operating System Supports The Hawaiian Language

While still a devout Macintosh user, I’m extremely grateful for friends at Microsoft who shepherded this project through to completion, and saw that the work we did stayed embedded as Windows 8 was being developed. I’ll be documenting how to activate the keyboard and type the ‘okina and kahakō later, but if you have Win 8, please feel free to explore and experiment.

And I would like to ask my fellow Macintosh aficionados to refrain from the normal litany of Windows bashing. This is significant development for the language that will help other important projects move forward.

I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be my swan song when it comes to technology and the Hawaiian language. This PR piece went out today from the UH media office.

Kahului, HI — November 8, 2012 — In a major step forward in promoting and perpetuating the Native Hawaiian language, Microsoft’s recent launch of Windows 8 includes support for the Hawaiian language, thanks to a collaborative effort with University of Hawaiʻi faculty.

The Windows 8 operating software includes a Hawaiian keyboard layout in the operating system, many fonts containing the diacritical marks used in the Hawaiian language, and other localized resources such as the ability toshow days of the week and months in Hawaiian.  This development was made possible by the joint efforts of staff of Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Microsoft.

Keola Donaghy, formerly of Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani and now a faculty member in the music department of University of Hawai‘i Maui College, collaborated with programmers in Microsoft’s Local Languages Program for several years to develop these resources and see that they were included inWindows 8. “We’re getting very close to the day that Hawaiian speakers will be able to take for granted the fact that they can simply type in Hawaiian when they buy a new computer, tablet, or smart phone without installing special software,” Donaghy said.

“Providing technology support in a native language is critical to helping people access the tools they need to create better economic opportunities,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education for Microsoft.  “Language preservation and support also helps preserve cultural identities for the next generation of learners.”

Keiki Kawae‘ae‘a, a faculty member of Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani added, “We are thrilled that Microsoft has recognized the significance of the Hawaiian language to its people, and how important it is for us to be able to use it on our computers. Given the high percentage of personal computers that ship with and run the Windows operating system, this is one of the most significant developments that we’ve made.”

Language support for computer operating systems and programs has historically depended on the number of speakers of the language and perceived market. Major European and Asian languages have been widely supported by software vendors for many years, while speakers of native American, Polynesian, and other indigenous languages have had to depend on customized fonts and keyboards simply to be able to view, type and print the characters used in their languages on personal computers.

However, in recent years major operating system and software vendors such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple Computer, Inc. have recognized the importance of supporting a wider array of languages.

Posted in Apple, Core Dumps, Hawaiian Language Tech, Hawai‘i, Technology, ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i.

Maui Here We Come!

It’s official: I will be joining the faculty of the music department at University of Hawai‘i Maui College this summer. Marie and I are going home after 18 wonderful years in East Hawai‘i, and for me, 18 years at UH-Hilo. We leave with lots of great memories, some not so great, but all in all I don’t believe I could have been better prepared for the challenges of my new position, helping to move the Institute of Hawaiian Music forward, and working with the staff and faculty at UH-MC. The adventure begins August 1. E ho‘i ana mākou i ka ‘āina aloha.

Posted in Core Dumps.

A Hunter’s Christmas Lament

My sister June Donaghy Kramin (AKA, Aunty Bug) and her husband Thomas Kramin live in Minnesota. He liked my little TSA Christmas Carol, and challenged me to come up with one for him. He’s an avid hunter, and once I got rolling on this I couldn’t stop. Took all of 10 minutes:

(Sung to the melody of “A Christmas Song”)

Tom’s nuts roasting on a barbeque
‘Cause he pissed off Aunty Bug
He shot at a deer but his aim was untrue
Now there’s one less cat for her to hug

The ground’s too hard for him to dig a hole
So the cat’s just chilling in the barn
It’ll keep until spring, he gives thanks for the cold
And hopes she lets him stay on the farm

He knows that hell he’ll have to pay
How she’ll take it isn’t very hard to say
He puts the kevlar vest upon his chest
And walks toward the house where she’s at rest

Tom sleeps in the barn with a frozen pet
And he will for the rest of his life
They say that an elephant never forgets
And sadly neither does his wife

Posted in Core Dumps, Life In General.

Call For Help With Hawaiian Braille!

Aloha kākou. Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani, our College of Hawaiian Language at UH-Hilo, is having a new building constructed on the UH-Hilo campus. Some of the foundations and concrete columns are already done, and we are anticipating the building’s completion in December of next year. We are having one issue that I would like to get out there and seek some advice and/or help.

As our college functions in Hawaiian, we are very picky about language use in the new building. Most of the office and other signs in the complex will be either Hawaiian-only or perhaps Hawaiian and English, with the Hawaiian being larger in size and prominence. What we are having issue with is the Braille. We want the signs to have Hawaiian in Braille, and include the ‘okina and kahakō. The sub-contractor handling the signs says he cannot manufacture the Braille signs with the diacritic marks, even though they are in the IPA Braille spec. We’ve made numerous inquiries, and cannot find a Braille sign manufacturer that can do this. We need help in finding someone who can make these signs for us. To be clear, these are the hard plastic signs that are found outside of each office and in other areas of the building.

According to the IPA Braille spec, these are the two characters we need for the ‘okina and kahakō:

If there is anyone out there that knows anything about making signage in Braille, or knows someone who might know something about them, please contact me. We can find no prior use of these diacritics in Hawaiian in Braille, but like much of the work we’ve done with technology, we hope that we can blaze a trail for the use of Hawaiian in Braille. Mahalo.

Posted in Core Dumps.

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I Love It When A Plan Comes Together: More ‘Ōlelo Support in iOS

A new iPhone was announced today, the iPhone 4S, and the response to Apple’s press conference was a bit lukewarm. Many were expecting the iPhone 5 and/or iOS5 today. But one of the more exiting developments for us was found on the specification sheet for the phones (tip o’ the cap to Joseph Erb for the heads up): there will be a Hawaiian keyboard and spell-check document included. Yes, we’ve had support for the ‘okina and kahakō in the iPhone and iPad for a while; however, while you can generate them from the soft keyboard by long-holding your finger on a vowel, you could not type it when your device (iPads, mostly) was attached to an external keyboard. With this new development you will be able to do so. As soon as these features show up I’ll discuss them further. I believe all you will need to do to activate the Hawaiian spell-checker is select the Hawaiian keyboard.

Mahalo e ko Apple i ke kāko‘o mau ‘ana i ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i!

Posted in Apple, Core Dumps, Hawaiian Language Tech, Hawai‘i, Technology, ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i.

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My Relationship With Beer? It’s Complicated

For all of the comments and jokes I post about Guinness on Facebook, I never was much of a beer drinker. When I turned 18 (back when the drinking age was still 18), my best friend bought me a six pack of Heineken. On my 21st birthday, I gave the last four bottles away. Didn’t care for it at. Over the years I tried a number of different beers, mostly of the mass-produced variety, and didn’t care for any of them either. I recall a conversation I had with a bartender in Ireland during our 2002 trip there. He asked what kind of beer people in Hawai‘i drank. I explained that most of the people I knew drank Bud Light. He replied, “No, I asked what kind of *beer* do they drink.” Touché.

During that same trip to Ireland I developed a taste for the Guinness, though it does taste quite different there than anywhere else. Perhaps it was simply the influence of the place. When I returned I found it difficult to enjoy Guinness on tap where it is served. May obviously don’t know hot to pour the perfect pint. Others seemed to do it right, but it still wasn’t the same. Since then I’ve been a bit more adventurous about trying new beers, both at home and while we travel, and try to support micro-brewers where we can. Some of have been great, and others, well, blech! Here are my current faves, in no particular order. Don’t ask me about the citrus-y taste or how it finishes. I’m no beer-tasting expert, just know what I like.

Guinness Extra Stout
While I don’t care at all for the Guinness Draught in a bottle or can, with that funky widget they put in to to aerate the beer, Guinness Extra Stout definitely whets the whistle. Dark and heavy deliciousness. It also has the advantage of being available just about everywhere.

Kona Brewing Fire Rock Pale Ale
My partner in musical crime, Kenneth Makuakāne, brought a six pack of this local wonder to my house on night a few years ago and I was hooked. Has a nice bite but still smooth. It’s also found throughout the state, in stores and on tap in many places.

Sam Adams Boston Lager
I tried Sam years ago and didn’t like it at all. I know it couldn’t have change that much between now and then, so it must be that my taste buds are getting more sophisticated. Like Guinness, widely available and a solid fallback or for a change of pace.

Hawai‘i Nui Brewing Southern Cross
I said I wasn’t going to put things in a particular order, but I have to admit that Southern Cross is my current fave. One of the more flavorful beers I’ve ever encountered, not too light, not too heavy. In the past it’s only been availably seasonally (October through March), but they are now bottling it and it is supposed to be available year round now. I have a growler and tend to fill it up at their tasting room on Kāwili St. in Hilo, but the bottles will do in a pinch.

I’m still not a big beer drinker. A six pack will last me a few weeks, and a filled growler a bit less. Then go weeks or months without. But when I do, I appreciate the wisdom of that Irish bartender a decade ago about Bud Light. To paraphrase Crocodile Dundeee, “that ain’t a beer. These are beers.”

Posted in Core Dumps, Hawai‘i.

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Attacking The Electric Bill, Pt. 1

With electric costs soaring, we started to take steps to reduce our electric bill as best we could. Several years ago we replaced the bulbs in all of our most-used incandescent light fixtures to CFL (compact florescent lights). We also put most of the electrical devices I know use power when they are plugged in – whether or not they are in use. This included my computer equipment and our media system (TV, satellite receiver/DVD, Wii, audio receiver, etc.). When they are not in use, they are all switched off. It helped us cut down on our power use about 15% at the time.

Recently the bills have been climbing again, so I invested in a Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor that lets you plug in any electrical device, and, given your area’s cost per kilowatt hour (in East Hawai‘i it’s currently about $.45 per kwh), it tells you how much your device costs per hour, day, week, month, or year of use. I tested a few devices around the house, and was surprised by a few things.

First, the power supply for my MacBook Pro cost approximately $5.20 per month / $63 per year when plugged in. Plugging in the MacBook Pro did not register any sigificant difference. I had heard for years that these kind of block power supplies do use a significant amount of power when simply plugged in. I have a separate power supply for its monitor, and along with a few other computer related devices, they are all on a switched outlet strip that is turned off when I don’t use them.

The power supply for my Droid X consumes little power, and no difference whether its plugged into the Droid or not. Kept plugged in, it used $1.95 a month or $23.85 a year. My CPAP has a large block power supply that is in turned plugged into the CPAP. Plugged in but not with the CPAP itself not turned on, it only uses $.32/mo or $3.95/yr. Turned on is another story – $1.52/mo. or $19/yr.

I had always been told that televisions used up large amounts of electricity whether turned on or not, so the devices in our entertainment center were the first I put on switched outlets. Our Samsung flatscreen (not LCD) uses on $3.95/mo. or $3.95/yr when not turned on. I was quite surprised it was that low. Turned on, the Kill-A-Meter showed its use as $40/mo. or $484/yr. A nickel per hour of use. That seems more like it.

The biggest suprise so far was our DishNetwork satellite receiver/DVR. Plugged in but turned of it uses a whopping $17/mo. or $204/yr. Turned on it’s just slightly higher – $17.50/mo. or $212/yr. Fortunately this is also on a switch box, though I must admit we occasionally do forget to turn it off at night. I’ll be a bit more diligent about doing so. Powering this unit off means that it takes about five minutes for it to boot up and re-acquire the satellite signal. It’s worth it.

I was also interested to hear about the Google@Home automation system that is under development, and need to keep a closer eye on that. It runs, or will run, Android, so I’m hoping it will allow me to control and program home automation from my phone. Wouldn’t that be a hoot.


Posted in Core Dumps.

Online Hawaiian Dictionary For Android Users

Last year we launched a mobile interface for the Hawaiian dictionaries on Ulukau. The system should detect all mobile devices automatically, and for those that it doesn’t, you can simply go to to see the mobile interface.

The one limitation of this system is for Android users: Android’s default font does not have a glyph in the correct location, so Android users see a box instead of the ‘okina. We’ve looked into fixing this, but found that it would be costly to do the recoding necessary to make this work under Ulukau as it currently stands. I have been in contact with people who are trying to address the lack of the ‘okina in Android’s font. For the time being, Android users can use this page to search the dictionaries. The PHP script that drives it parses the returned text and replaces the ‘okina with a single open quote. Visually they are exactly the same, but reside in different locations in the Unicode font specification. iPhone users can use either this new page or the stock mobile interface at

A big mahalo to UHH webmaster Sunny Walker for putting together this script!

Posted in Core Dumps.

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Hawaiian Language Support in Windows 7

This document shows which fonts on Win 7 have the ‘okina and kahakō characters used in Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages. You’ll find that only the following Windows 7 fonts have the ‘okina and all vowel-kahakō characters (at least in the standard install on our Dell):

Arial, Arial Unicode MS, Calibri, Cambria, Cambria Math, Consolas, Courier New, Lucida Sans Unicode, Meiryo, Meiryo UI, Microsoft Sans Serif, Segoe UI,Segoe UI Light, Segoe UI Semibold, Tahoma, and Times New Roman

Some others have some or all of the vowel-macron characters, but not all. Some fonts have none at all. This document is provided without warranty or guarantee, though if you find any errors I will be happy to correct it.

Win 7 Hawaiian Support

Posted in Core Dumps.

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Leokī Users: FirstClass app for iPhone/iPad/iTouch!

This is pretty cool. We’ve been using FirstClass software for the past 17 or so years to operate Leokī, which was the first telecommunications server to ever operate completely in a Polynesian or native language within the United States. It took them ages to get Unicode support into it, and just recently they released a FirstClass app for iPhone/iPad/iTouch. It seems to work flawlessly, handling the ‘okina and kahakō with no issues. I love it when a plan comes together.

Unfortunately the app is not localized into Hawaiian like we’ve done for Macintosh and Windows users, but, hey, it’s a start! Now back to trying to get  a Hawaiian keyboard into Android OS…


Posted in Apple, Core Dumps.

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From The “Small Word” Dept.

tomosmallA few weekends ago I was in Honolulu for the Mele Songwriter’s Conference. On Friday evening, after the conference events wound down, my buddy Tarvin Mākia and I headed to the Tapa Bar at the Hilton Hawaiian to listen to Jerry Santos. Jerry was on a break and talking with some visitors, so I snuck up behind him and waited for him to finished. After we chatted I turned around and there was a Japanese woman in front of me who asked, “Do you know O___  H_____?”

I was flabbergasted, and all I could muster was “Excuse me?”  She repeated, “Do you know O___ H_____ who works at M______?”

(To backtrack, I’ve been corresponding with O.H. regarding some Hawaiian technology issues for a few months, and M. represents the name of the company that he works at)

Was she psychic? If she knew I knew O.H., why didn’t she just ask if I was Keola Donaghy? I replied, “Yes, but how would you know that?’

”I’m O.H.’s wife”, she replied.

“Yes,” I replied, “but how in the heck would you know that I knew him?’

Tomo (she finally got around to introducing herself) explained that she was preparing for her trip to Hawai‘i, and her husband O. H. mentioned that he had been corresponding with someone in Hawai‘i about Hawaiian language technology issues. Tomo then went on the internet, looked up my name, and found my website, which included a picture of me. When she was me talking to Jerry near the stage, she noticed the resemblance and decided to find out if I was indeed the fellow that her husband had been corresponding with. Guily as charged.

All in all one of the more interesting encounters I’ve ever had.

Posted in Core Dumps.

Memories of Musicians Institute

In spring 1985 I moved to Hollywood to attend Musicians Institute. On the first day of instruction all of us students (@500) gathered in the school’s performance auditorium for orientation. As a “getting to know you” exercise they had all of us in odd number rows (I was in row 1) turn around and introduce ourselves to the person directly behind us, then stand up and introduce that person to the rest of the class. Yes it took a while.

The fellow sitting behind me was a guitar student named Nick Nolan, about 19 years old. He was also the winner of the Van Halen scholarship that the school offered that year, having beat out several hundred other entries and earning some very complimentary remarks from Mr. Eddie VH himself. But Nick was a very quiet, humble fellow, and turned out to be my best buddy during my all-too-brief stay at the school. Just out of curiosity I did a Google search for Nick to see what he had been up to, and found that he’s authored quite a few instructional books and DVDs on rock guitar. I heard that he was also hired as a teacher at MI, but don’t know if he’s still there or not.

Leaving MI after only three months remains on my short list of big regrets. If I could have a “do-over” year, it would be 1985.

Posted in Core Dumps, Gaeilge, Music.

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Facebook Hula

One day I saw a Facebook status update from my friend Kama Hopkins, noting that he was on the Pali Highway and it was raining. I thought to myself, “why the heck is he updating his Facebook status while he’s driving?”. I wrote a single verse of a song to tease him about it and to remind him not to do such dangerous things (turns out he was stuck in traffic at the time and not speeding down the road). Within about 15 minutes I had 7 verses and posted it on Facebook. Kama (a member of the N? H?k? Hanohano Award-winning group Holunape) then recorded it. Read the rest of the story here.

Posted in Core Dumps.

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More To iPod Touch Hawaiian Support

I posted a few days ago about finding the Hawai‘i region in the iPod Touch, and apparently the system-level support is even better than I thought. I set up a few locations using the Weather application, and found that it displayed the days of the week in Hawaiian as well. Too cool.

What would be cooler would be to have the Hawaiian keyboard, too.

I did find that I could not post this screenshot to this blog using WordPress for iPhone application – I kept getting: “Communication Error. Operation could not be completed (NSXMLParserErrorDomain error 5.” Hmmm.

Posted in Apple, Core Dumps, Hawaiian Language Tech, ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i.

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