Kevin Scannell have corresponded for many years in regards to issues that face indigenous and endangered languages and the use of technology in their revitalization. I was honored that he asked me to do this interview and talk about the work that I’ve done at Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani over the years in regards to Hawaiian language and its use in technology. His website, Indigenous Tweets, keeps track of the use of various indigenous languages around the world.
Have you ever had this happen to you when typing in Hawaiian: Nānā I ke kumu or Hawai‘I? By default, MS Word capitalizes any instances of a stand-alone “i”. You can fix this; read this to find out how.
Last week I got a call from my ISP that my WordPress install had been hacked. I feel so exposed. Unfortunately I didn’t live up to my mantra of “backup, backup, and backup again” when it came to the blog, and my ISP’s oldest backup was done after the hack and been done. I’ve restored the blog back to last summer, but everything else is lost. I may have some of the old articles saved as text files on my hard drive and will post them as I find them. Thanks to Mark at Pacific Pro-Tech Services for all the help in getting everything cleaned up.
Update: I did find some old and important posts in Google’s cache. Hulō! Hulō! Slowly getting them back online.
My wife has been having issues with her older Mac laptop, and and examination determined that it was indeed on its last legs. Not being able to afford to buy her a new Mac laptop right now, I looked around for options. Getting her a Windows or Linux box was not at option, so began to explore the possibility of building her a Hackintosh – a netbook that would normally run Windows or Linux, but was capable of running OS X as well.
Boing Boing has a chart comparing various netbooks and what functions worked and did not work when OS X was installed on them. From this chart and additional research I determined that a Dell Mini 9 was the most likely candidate to attempt this on. I ordered one directly from Dell online ($340 with 16G SSD), and purchased a copy of Snow Leopard at the UHH bookstore to install on it.
I also located several tutorials on how to install OS X on the Mini 9, but this one seemed to be the most recent and easiest way to accomplish it. After the Mini 9 arrived I borrowed a large jump drive, copied the installers on it, ran the NetbookBootMaker, and had no problem at all getting the OS X installer working. After restart the normal configuration dialogs showed up, and in no time I was looking at the OS X Finder on a 9″ screen. I was suprised at how quickly it boots up – significantly faster than my MacBook Pro. It has frozen on startup just once, but a simple restart was all it took.
My biggest fear was not failing to get OS X installed and running, but how my wife would take to this smaller netbook after using a 15″ laptop for so long. She loved it – what a relief.
There are rumors on the net that Apple will disable the ability of OS X 10.6.2 to run on Atom processors, like the one that the Mini 9 runs. If that is correct then this one may be stuck on 10.6.1 indefinitely – at least until someone in the Hackintosh community figures out a workaround.
UPDATE: It appears that 10.6.2 may not specifically disable computers running the Atom processor.
I’ve received a lot of great feedback and compliments from people regarding the development of the Hawaiian language interface for Google. Mahalo to everyone who sent notes of congratulations for the accomplishment and recognition from the Governor’s office. I would like to address one element that came out in several stories, including the announcement by the Governer’s office, on this development. In these stories, it was stated that “Hawaiian has become the first native American language available through the “Google in Your Language” program”, or something similar.
Hawaiian is not a native American language, and in the press release that UH-Hilo sent out we never claimed it was. There was a short FAQ section at the end of the release that stated “The only other Polynesian language interfaces available are for Maori, the native language of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Tongan. No translations have been completed in any native American language, though some are currently being translated.” The reason for the addition of this statement was to show how few indigenous and endangered languages have taken advantage of the GIYL program, and hopefully encourage advocates of those languages to look into providing Google in their languages.
A few of the newspaper stories that came out early on misconstrued this statement and stated that Hawaiian was a native American language. Though there is great diversity among the indigenous languages of North American, Hawaiian is not closely related to any of them. Many native Hawaiians object to being classified as native Americans for valid reasons. If my inclusion of that bit of information regarding NA and Polynesians contributed to the misunderstanding that led to Hawaiian being mistakenly identified in these stories as a native American language, I apologize.
About two years ago I blogged about the connectivity problems we had at our home in Kurtistown, and how we came across a wireless provider that solved our issues, Advanced Wireless Systems Hawai‘i, and showed what lengths it took to get wireless to our home (see picture below).
All was well for the first 18 months of use, and about 6 months ago we began to experience slower connectivity, which eventually devolved into sporadic connectivity with periods of nothing but message os “cannot reach server”. After putting up with this for a few months I finally called AWS, and after three visits by their techs over the course of a month, we’re still not much better off. We had decent (300-400Kbs) connectivity for short stretches (10-15 minutes) followed by stretches of no connectivity at all of 5-8 minutes). This past week one of their techs pointed our antenna to another access point to the south-east of us which is closer to us than the previous access point was, and while we have better speed when the connection is working, we still have infuriating periods of no connectivity at all.
Their main tech guy is blaming our area and trees, but I’m not really buying it. I could see trees causing variation in connectivity speed, particularly in times of rain, but not the long periods of no connectivity. Also, the behavior is exactly as it was when it was pointed to a different access point. Hmm, maybe the trees that were playing mind games with us previously have cousins between us and he new access point.
I’m considering getting a wireless router from MobiPCS and their Hele system to see if they are any better. We have Mobi phones, and while their service is not that great in our area, I’m hopeful that it will be better than what we have.
Aloha gang, my apologies for the boring theme and lack of activity. I’ve been experiencing a lot of behind-the-scenes issues with WordPress since upgrading to 2.8.4, and have been unable to resolve it. It’s starting to look like a configuration issue on my ISP’s server. He’s looking into it and hopefully it will be resolved soon so I can resume providing you with mind-numbing updates that will help solve your insomnia.
This past Saturday I met for the first time in person with a group that calls itself the Big Island Internet Society. I came across a few of the folks on Twitter, and you can follow some of the planning and conversations using Twitter hash tags #bialoha. Many of their blogs can be found linked at Damon Tucker”s excellent FBI (From Big Island) blogs website.
I found this interesting as I first got involved with Twitter after learning about it from some of my Ireland friends. I later found some O‘ahu-based friends using it, and only recently came across this vibrant E. Hawai‘i community of bloggers and Twitterati. For for me the move was from an international perspective to a Hawai‘i one, and now becoming more aware of what is going on in the online world locally. This tied in well with the group”s theme of bringing together Hawai‘i island individuals and finding a way to leverage these new technologies to benefit the local community and economy. I think that”s something I can get on-board with.
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.
Today was a state holiday in Hawai‘i, but I was in the office trying to upgrade Leok?, our FirstClass server, along with our other techie. Everything seemed to go fine, took four hours or so to back up the post office (where all user and conference data is stored) and migrate it to a new Mac Pro. There we discovered that the administrator account was borked. After a few hours on the phone with a consultant we use on the mainland, we decided to go back to our backup of the system and try again next week after we figure out what is wrong with and fix the administrator account.
So when was the last time you wasted 12 hours working on a perfectly good holiday?