Extra Fox – A blog by Christopher Taylor

Free Katakana alphabet flashcards

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on March 29, 2006

These Katakana alphabet flashcards are completely free to be downloaded and printed.


  1. Download the flashcard Word document [katakana_flashcards.doc]
  2. Print the flashcards on 8.5 x 11 sized paper
  3. Fold each printed sheet down the middle (vertically) and glue the halves together
  4. Cut out each card along the lines
  5. Start memorizing the Katakana!

Japanese language resources

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on March 27, 2006

This weblog entry will be continually updated as I find new Japanese resources that I want to keep track of.

  • Jim Breen’s Japanese Page – Has a ton of links to various Japanese language resources. More importantly, it is the source of some open source Japanese dictionaries.
  • Kiki’s Kanji Dictionary – A very nice online dictionary based on Jim Breen’s free dictionaries.
  • jMemorize – The best Lietner flashcard tool I’ve seen. So far, doesn’t seem to have a card deck in Japanese, but I might generate one from Jim Breen’s dictionaries.
  • The JMDict Project – the maintained encarnation of the EDICT project.
  • Sustainable English – A simplified list of the 15,000 most frequently used words in English based on the British National Corpus.
  • WaKan Project – This tool may actually do everything I need. It already combines EDICT with Japanese word frequencies taken from four years of the Mainishi Newspaper
  • Free Katakana alphabet flashcards – I couldn’t find free flashcards to print out and study online… So, I made my own and they are free to the public

Artist: Melina Meixueiro

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on March 26, 2006

A friend of mine in Zipolite has a daughter who is an artist. A selection of her artwork is available for sale online [Bazart].

Portable applications

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on March 21, 2006

Nearly every techie who travels to a foreign country knows what it is like to go into an Internet cafe only to find that the computer they are using doesn’t have some program that they would like to use. Notable examples for me have been an ssh or good ftp client. With the availability of large USB flash memory devices and the use of “portable applications”, that problem is now a thing of the past.

A portable application is a software program that you can carry around with you on a portable device, such as a USB flash drive and use on any computer without necessarily modifying that computer’s hard disk [Wikipedia][via Digg].

Put the ones you might need on your flash memory stick and off you go.

Work smarter? Work less

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on March 18, 2006

I’ve been a proponent of this point of view for as long as I can remember [CNN Money]. Of course, my excuse has always been laziness…

Some simple cases to support the switch to Linux

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on March 18, 2006

I’m sorry to do this to you guys, but I really liked this post [bootlog][in English]. Yes, the site is in Spanish.

His point is so simple and well taken. Some of the most annoying, time consuming and downright frustrating things about Windows simply do not exist in Linux. Of course, it would be a fairly simple task to come up with a similar set of case studies “demonstrating” that Windows is the superior choice over Linux.

I myself am not an advocate of either. I think they each have advantages in certain contexts. I’ve used both extensively and, as a Software Developer, I preferred Linux, though I always ran both a Windows and Linux box side-by-side. However, when I made the jump over to Program Manager (aka The Dark Side), I also migrated over to using Windows almost exclusively. For a while I kept my Linux box, but found fewer and fewer times when I would actually use it. Eventually, for simplicity’s sake, I made the switch completely to Windows. Simply put, I think the business tools in Windows are still superior to those that are offered in Linux, though the Linux tools continue to improve.

Impressive list of Web 2.0 sites

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on March 16, 2006

Web 2.0 seems to be getting a ton of blogosphere attention these days. It is true that what people are calling “Web 2.0” does have something to offer, however, I think much of the potential is overstated. The main thing that Web 2.0 brings to the table is more streamlined interactivity based around XML. But, in reality, there aren’t too many things being done yet that are too spectacular. It’s more of a shiny new ribon around the same Web that we’ve been using for a while.

With that said, go check out a listing of top Web 2.0 sites and decide for yourself [openBC].

Using LinkedIn instead of a resume

Posted in Uncategorized by extrafox on March 2, 2006

Now that we have entered March, I am starting to think more seriously about looking for a job. I’ve been in Mexico since January and will be heading back to The States in April. It would certainly be nice to have a job by May.

I’m attempting to use the LinkedIn service to see if it is really worth anything. In theory, LinkedIn is a way to extend your real social network into a virtual social network. By doing so, you should be able to get a better visual indication of what and who is within your realm of influence and, ultimately, capitalize better on your network. In practice, it may be much harder than that. Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a shot.

To start with, I have updated my LinkedIn profile and hope to use it as a replacement for my resume [My LinkedIn Profile].

The endorsement feature is really nice. It should at least have a psychological effect on hiring managers who read the profile. However, I’m not sure how effective some of the other features offered will be. Many of the features, such as the search, seem a bit unwieldy and don’t seem to give very meaningful results without a bit too much tinkering. So, given the potential, I will need to work with the service for a bit longer before I pass final judgment.