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digi.tech | ディジ・テック

Kaomoji App & Using Shortcuts For Kaomoji

So today I discovered a cool kaomoji (顔文字) app for iOS that actually adds the faces to the kaomoji shortcut in the Japanese Kana keyboard! If you’re not familiar with what that is, it’s a keyboard option in iOS that looks like this:

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The circled smiley ^_^ is how you access the kaomoji in this keyboard. Now, I also have a kaomoji keyboard, but it’s much more convenient for me to simply switch to Japanese (or just continue using it, depending!) and tap the ^_^ to get to all my favorite faces. If you don’t want to add another keyboard to your phone, but you want a quick way to access your favorite kaomoji, I also have a solution for you which I’ll talk about at the end of this post! Just skip to the end if you’re not interested in adding the keyboard or even downloading this app.

Otherwise, let’s continue!

Since you do need this keyboard installed in order to add to the above menu, I’ll go through the steps of adding it if you aren’t already familiar:

First, go into your Settings:

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Click General

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Scroll down until you see this section above, and click Keyboard

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If you only have English and maybe the Emoji keyboard installed, you’ll see a 1 or a 2 here. I have 5 (?!) installed at the moment which you’ll see in a second..

Click Keyboards

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Now, the top of this screen will only show keyboards you already have installed. I didn’t want to lose my settings or history for the Japanese keyboard (I don’t know if I would but I’d rather not find out this way!) so I didn’t remove it for the purposes of this quick tutorial.

First click Add New Keyboard

There will be a long list of languages in alphabetical order. Scroll down to J and choose Japanese – Kana

Once you’ve done that, you can exit Settings.

Now, to the app itself!

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could search for 顔文字 (you need to use the kanji for this, searching “kaomoji” will not have the same result!) or you could just click this link!

The full title of the app is かわいい顔文字「かおもじシンプル」〜ユーザー辞書に直接登録できる!めずらしい顔文字もあります! (this title is so long it doesn’t even show up on the app store preview and even less of it is shown below!)

That translates to Cute Kaomoji “Simple Kaomoji” ~Can directly register into user dictionary! Rare kaomoji also included!

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So the way this app actually works is, aside from providing a bunch of kaomoji to choose from, it actually uses the Text Replacement / Shortcut feature in iOS, which I thought was pretty clever. Apparently if you use this character: ☻then the shortcut will link directly into the ^_^ menu in the Kana keyboard!

My Text Replacement screen now looks like this:

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After opening the app, you’ll see this screen which shows you 12 overall categories. We’ll choose Popular Kaomoji (人気顔文字)

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This brings us to yet another group of categories. We’ll choose Cute (かわいい)

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Finally we’ve reached the kaomoji!

So on this screen we have two options for extracting our chosen face:

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If you want to add the kaomoji directly to your dictionary, you would click the happy looking dictionary with a plus sign in the upper right-hand corner (circled in pink).

If you want to copy the kaomoji, you simply click the face itself (circled in blue).

If you chose to add the kaomoji, you’ll see this message:

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This is a basic overview on how it works, and also informs you that you have x number of times left to “try” this feature. I’ll explain that in a minute. Hit OK. (The other option says “Don’t show next time.”

You’re brought to what is actually the Text Replacement add a new shortcut screen!

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If you leave the Shortcut as smiley, it will appear in the ^_^ menu as I discussed above. However, you can put whatever text you like in here, so remember that in a minute!

If you chose to copy the kaomoji, you’ll be brought to this screen:

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The message at the top tells you that your chosen face has been copied, and provides links to common messaging or email apps you might want to immediately hop to. You can hit the blue Close (閉じる) button at this point.

Now, remember how when we chose to add to dictionary we were warned about a trial period? Here’s what shows up when you run out of tries:

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This is the really unfortunate thing about this app – the developer has chosen not to give you an option to use without limit unless you share a link to the app and at least one person downloads it from your link. I prefer not to go this route, so there is an option for me – I can watch an advertisement to gain more “trial” time. I think this app is really neat, and I would have been happy to throw a little money at the creator, but instead this is my only option. If you’d like to watch the video, you can click Watch Video Ad (動画広告を見る)

But! You can still use this app to copy kaomoji limitlessly and now I’m going to show you the other thing I promised at the beginning of this post: how to use kaomoji with your English keyboard. First, copy the kaomoji you want to be able to access from your keyboard.

Next, go back to Settings -> General -> Keyboards. Remember this screen? This time, choose Text Replacement.

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Hey, this screen looks familiar!

Paste the kaomoji in the Phrase field, and type whatever combination of characters you’d like to connect to the face in the Shortcut field. Click Save.

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Now try it out!

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Once I finished typing “mmm”, the kaomoji appeared in my autocomplete bar! Note: this will only appear the first time you type the phrase – if you go back to it later, regular autocomplete options will show up instead.

And that’s it!

Maybe this is something everyone knew by now, but I just hadn’t thought about it because I got used to the Kaomoji menu in the Japanese keyboard. Try it out and let me know what you think!

I’m not as familiar with Android, but if it has a similar autocomplete/shortcut option I bet it would work there too!

I do want to add that even though creating English shortcuts for kaomoji is really convenient and interesting, I’m still going to stick to the Japanese keyboard for a couple of reasons:

1, because I already use it a lot anyway and 2, I get to see ALL my kaomoji at once:

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(Note: Most of these are stock kaomoji that just come with the Japanese keyboard!)

I’m a super visual person, so I love looking through the faces to pick out the perfect one instead of trying to remember which phrase I attached to which face… But that’s just my quirk! Which do you like better?

Let me know if this was helpful or interesting for you!

Untitled

So last night, I was online on my laptop away from my house, and suddenly EyeFi started importing pictures from a camera I didn't have with me (and I didn't think was on)!

Really kind of creepy!

Does it upload even when the camera is not powered on? I didn't think so, but… (Maybe somebody went in my room to turn on the camera???)

Spooky….

New shiny arrival!

Yesterday I sat anxiously waiting for a package to be delivered to me~
昨日、ある小包を持っていました~

new shiny arrival!
What could it be~?
何でしょうねぇ~?
(more…)

みぅのほしいもの

(there ought to be a better pun in there but I’m at a loss for now…)
(もっと面白いだじゃれがあったはずなのに、今思いつかないのですぅ -_-)
So! let’s start things off with the first edition of Miu’s Want List~
んじゃ、初「みぅのほしいもの」にレッツゴー!

Today it’s this:
今日はこれです:

colorware'd ipod touch, pink
image from Colorware
イメージはカラーウェアーからです

I want a Colorware’d iPod Touch in Glamour. 64GB of course, you shouldn’t expect anything less from the girl who insists on carrying her music library around with her all the time (although I think I might cut back a bit to make room for vids on it…) and in reality, there’s no way I’m pulling the trigger until this year’s update comes out (hopefully with a camera!).
「グラマー」色のカラーウェアーしたiPodタッチがほしいのですぅ~もちろん64GBのですよ~いつも音楽コレクション全部を持つ少女はそれ以下を買うわけがないでしょうねぇ。(でも今度ちょっと遠慮した方がいいかもと思います。ビデオ入れるためにね。)現実には今年のモデルが出る前に、買うつもりは全然ないのです。(今度は絶対にカメラ付き!絶対にね!待ってましたからね!)

But, I want~~
Glamour is really a gorgeous color, super sparkly and shiny in person~ (I ordered a swatch to be absolutely sure I loved it. I do.)
でも、ほしぃぃ~~
「グラマー」は本当にものすごくきれいな色ですよ~キラキラしてかわいいですぅ~(サンプル買ったんだから、ちゃんと気に入ったのを確かめましたw)

what tech are you lusting after lately? any experience with Colorware? good? bad?
皆さんは今、何のテックがほしいのですか?カラーウェアーの経験がある人いますか?勧めます?勧めないのですか?

Rhodium (AT&T Tilt2) Deco

I’ll make a post about the phone itself later, but right now it’s deco time! :D

Nothing was stuck to the phone itself, and instead I used a pink hard cover bought from eBay. If I had used a black or clear cover the difference between the phone and the cover would be less noticeable, but for my purpose I think the pink worked out fine. Just keep that in mind when you’re deco’ing!

I used epoxy glue this time, a kind called Z-Poxy. This stuff smells poisonous (x_x) Well, at least the hardener really did. My #1 recommendation for epoxy gluing is MAKE SURE YOU CAN OPEN WINDOWS (or provide another form of sufficient ventilation). I’m serious, not only will it smell awful, but I’m pretty sure the fumes are not all that great for you to be inhaling. I had to take breaks and completed this deco over the course of a couple days, rather than 6-7 hours straight like my previous phone, where I used the glue provided by Strapya.

My epoxy glue was 30-minute set, so I would mix a small amount of the liquids, cover a small patch of the phone and decorate it. If there was too much glue and it set before I had a chance to stick anything to it, I just put more glue over it and continued. I didn’t find any problems with this process, although I did tend to use a fairly thin layer of glue when applying. Before the glue sets, you can slide things around a little to position them perfectly. I did find that even after the glue set, it was still possible for pieces to be bumped or misaligned, so please be careful in holding your deco surface after applying parts!

My materials were a plastic nut canister top, which I used as a glue mixing surface, some toothpicks for actually mixing the glue and applying to the cover, and some tweezers for moving the deco parts.

After all portions of the cover had been completed and the glue completely set (I waited an hour or two from the final portion, I think) I coated the entire thing with clear nail polish to secure the hold. Even though epoxy glue has a very strong hold, if a tiny piece is subject to external pressure it might fall off – adding a clearcoat bonds it to the surrounding parts, greatly decreasing the chance that anything will be accidentally lost. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT NAIL POLISH IS MUCH LESS VISCOUS THAN EPOXY GLUE! This means that if you’re gluing directly to an electronic’s surface, you need to be really careful about small holes and gaps in the casing as the polish will just drip in and might damage the internal elements. I felt safe doing this with my casing because it was NOT attached to the phone while I was decorating it.

If you have any further questions about this project, feel free to leave me a comment!

And here’s the final result:

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 001
I tend to like a very cluttered random deco style XD

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 002
I cover not only the back, but also all sides.

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 003
This is a bit of fail on my part – I thought I had more tinytiny pieces than just the clear/silver bits (u_u;)

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 004

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 005

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 006

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 007

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 008

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 009

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 010

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 011

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 012

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 013

Rhodium (Touch Pro 2) deco 014

Okay, I think that’s just about every possible angle XDD

Most, if not all parts (minus the tiny silver ones and the stars) were bought from Mimi Lo Lo on Etsy ♥! She has a great selection and ships pretty fast :D

Eeeeeeeeeeee!

No, I’m not screaming.
I mean, Eee.
Just three Es.
Surely you know what that means?

Eee!

Do you know now?

Ai (甘苺)

New computer! Well, netbook.

She’s an Eee PC 1005ha-v, in pink, naturally.
Right now she’s a replacement for a normal laptop (mine had a major meltdown about two weeks ago now) and is holding up pretty well. Video is the only aspect that really falters – watching 480i on crunchyroll is painful, but standard definition is fine. I do plan on buying a new fullsize laptop (13-15″, haven’t decided what yet) but I’m holding out until at least October when Windows 7 will be released. This also gives a chance for hardware to change up a little more – the way things are now, components aren’t much better than my laptop from two years ago.

Ai (甘苺) & friends

Ai (甘苺) & friends (lid closed)

Here she is with some of her friends, a pink Western Digital external hdd and pink wireless mouse with tiny receiver.

indicator lights

Closeup on the indicator lights: (L-R) power, battery, hdd, wireless, capslock

gradient fade

side view

This small detail is something I love about the design – look closely – the pink gradually turns to white rather than abruptly changing. <3 bumpy touchpad

The touchpad has little bumps all over it, which took a little getting used to.

fake sd card

sd card slot

The SD card slot doesn’t spring-eject, so I’m not a big fan of it edit: it appears it does spring-eject! but at the beginning it certainly didn’t. So I’m not sure what caused it to suddenly start working XD;
It came with this cute little white fake SD card in the slot XD

SocialThing, Ping.fm and the microblog revolution

Being a bit of a scatterbrain with a short attention span, I adore microblogging. Twitter was my first step into 140 character-limited madness, and I fully abused the sms option after joining. My activity on the site fluctuated as is typical for me, but then kind of dropped off as Twitter’s stability started to wobble. Clearly people were catching on to the fun of one-liner-blogging, which was good, but also bad. Downtime increased, errors were common and at one point you couldn’t even go back through your history to look at old tweets. It was getting more and more frustrating to use – you’d post, but Twitter wouldn’t recognize it, your 140 character thought lost to the ether of the internet.

There were other microblogging services of course, the ones I used included Jaiku and Pownce (now closed as of Dec 15th 2008). Neither of them really caught on for me, although I was a little sad to see Pownce go (it let you upload & share files with friends!). Jaiku’s main fault was not really accepting Japanese characters, which is a big ( iдi ) for me.

And then… there was Plurk. Somehow, the move to it felt natural, and I’ve made a lot of neat friends through it, but I haven’t abandoned my Twitter either, so I’ll explain the +/- of each here:

Twitter
+ simple interface – just type, send, done.
+ lots of 3rd party apps for mobile phones and computers
+ sms option
+ can follow your favorite famous personalities (or their fake counterparts)
+ everybody and their mom should know about it by now
+ spamming is ok. what I mean is, posting lots in a row, no real penalties (although I think there is flood control)
spamming is technically ok, so you can get people who are a little too excited about twittering and end up telling you things you don’t want to know. This is a problem related to all microblogging services, but it can’t be ignored.
even though you can reply to people, it’s kind of difficult to manage a thread since you don’t always know what tweet someone is replying to
Twitter is like shouting into the void and hoping someone shouts back – the way it’s set up is very individualist. Good for following news, not so good for making friends.
Serial adders run rampant. You can prevent random people from following you by protecting your updates, but it’s all or nothing – there’s no way to be selective about which tweets are which.

Plurk
+ creativity in posting – using verbs like says/likes/hates/wishes/has takes a little getting used to, but can be a lot of fun to play around with
+/- karma is a challenge and a reward – you’re active, you gain karma. (conversely, if you aren’t active enough, you lose karma, which can be frustrating)
+/- spam is controlled by karma… kind of. If you post too much you can lose karma! An odd idea to be sure, but I can see where they came up with this plan of action…
+ since the interface is designed very much like a chatroom, it’s ridiculously easy to have a conversation with someone (or lots of someones!) without losing the thread
+ continuing on the above, it’s much easier to get to know people in this format!

+ privacy options! individual plurks can be public, private or varying levels of protected (you can specific the users on the spot! no need to make specific filters if you don’t want to) however you can’t change this once you’ve made the plurk – you either have to delete it and start over or grin and bear it.
no sms option as of yet, although IM is possible.
there aren’t a lot of good 3rd party apps for plurk yet
plurk is less well known, so if you’re begging your friends to join a microblogging service, they’re less likely to want to join one they’ve never heard of…
plurk recently has had more downtime than I’d like, but it’s nowhere near as disastrous as Twitter got during my transition… not yet anyway.

Sometimes, I really do feel like spamming my microblog and chatting away into the endless, unforgiving chasm that is the internet, and plurk would penalize me for it. So I use my twitter. Although these days, I don’t actually log in to the main Twitter site, but into Socialthing! instead. ST lets me post to Twitter (and plurk, through Ping.fm, if I want) and since I’m already watching my Twitter feeds there, it’s convenient. Occasionally I do log in to twitter from my phone, though.

More about Socialthing!…
One of the big reasons why I joined is because it lets me see a feed of my flickr contacts’ latest uploads. I find it hard to keep up with everyone’s pics on flickr directly somehow, so this is an easier format for me. I’ve also got Twitter, Plurk (my plurks only), and Last.fm (my scrobbles only) on Socialthing, even though most of those aren’t that helpful since I already know what I’m doing… XD

Technology Pondering

In my long, torturous journey to wait for a sufficiently sized iPod Touch, I’ve though only of reaching the 64GB mark. 64GB was to be my trigger. Apple would release it (possibly this month), and I would buy it. Seems simple.

But now. Now I am thinking, “if I’ve been waiting this long, why buy mid-cycle just for a size upgrade?” Increased storage is not a major hardware revision, what if iPod Touch 3rd Gen is something incredibly awesome? This seems unlikely, mind you, I can’t imagine what they could add that would make me feel like it was absolutely necessary to own; my phone has GPS and runs various internet-related apps fine. I have a camera that I would never replace with the meager 2MP that’s in the iPhone right now, or even 3MP should they dare to upgrade. If I wanted a combination device with a good camera I would have bought a different phone, that’s for sure.

What could they add?

The problem is, because I don’t know, Apple might catch me off guard. I hate being one-upped by companies who release versions every year, only to be caught between the cycles I want. My iPod isn’t broken yet (and this, this is also bad logic. If something of one brand breaks, why buy another model of the same brand?) so there’s no need, and this has held me over for a long time. I am not sure how much longer it will last, though.

My resolve may very well break if a 64GB version appears in the next few weeks.

Being Picky About Technology

I already explained why I won’t buy an iPod Touch until it comes in a 64GB+ flavor, but what about other technology?

The Kindle. Amazon’s attempt to jumpstart the ebook market is pretty neat, I’ll give you that, but there’s one thing I can’t STAND about it.
It’s black and white! No, scratch that. It’s darker grey on light grey. I know monocrome is the only thing e-ink can do right now, but I just can’t let myself take that plunge. I know I’d never use it the way it is now.
My love of physical books not withstanding, the lack of color really turns me off to ebook readers. Sure, a lot of books don’t require color, but some do! I’d love to flip through magazines on something like that, especially with the ability to zoom in… (oh Japanese magazines, I love you, but your print is so small I need a magnifying glass to discern the kanji sometimes). Once I took that step forward into portable electronics with color, I never wanted to go back. The days of monochrome are over!
But technology must advance to the point where price comes down before Amazon will use it.
And on that day, I will seriously consider buying a Kindle. But not until then.

Netbooks. I’ve talked a little about why I’ve thought about buying one, but I still haven’t taken the plunge.
The reason? They’re just not unique enough for me.
I feel like buying one is traveling back in time and picking up the latest model from 2003. Sure, they’re small, and sometimes cute, but what do they really do? Do I really want to spend $400 on a nearly throwaway computer?
Things that would make me swoon and would push me towards buying one:
A swivel touchscreen. This would allow me to use it for fun things like browsing digitized magazines, drawing while bored, or even writing small notes down. Basically, it would be awesome. (This is the main thing that’s keeping me from snapping one up right away! Admittedly I have to do some more in-depth research, but if there was one, I think I would have probably heard about it by now? Vaio P-like proportioned Korea model not included.)
More RAM. On average, netbooks seem to top out at 1GB of RAM (with some only allowing up to 1.5) I can live with the 1.6Ghz processor, but 1GB of RAM seems a little slim for me. 2 would be perfect, though.
Color! I’m so glad that some companies are latching onto the idea that netbooks can really express individuality, but since I’m so picky it’s difficult for me to find ones I really love.
Looooooooong life battery. At least 6 hours, preferably more. My netbook will be my travel companion, and outlets are frequently not found in airports… at least not for travelers. Sure, you say, 6 hours should be plenty for any trip across the US. Oh yeah? Well what if I’m going to Japan? 14 hours of travel and no sleep means 8 hours (at least!) of no netbook use D: Extra batteries are a possibility of course, but it’s yet one more thing to bring around with me.
Screen size. Yes, small is good, but if it’s a tiny computer, you should at least maximize the area where you can see things on the screen! (I’m looking at you, Eee!) This has gotten better with the newer models, but then it just gets weird with the Vaio P. I really hope other manufacturers don’t follow Sony’s example on that one… α~ (ー.ー”)

{ Edit: quick google search showed me the Eee T91 and T101, which I somehow managed to miss in all of the CES coverage?! anyway, will keep an eye out for those babies… (* ・・*) ♪ }

Why 32GB Just Isn’t Enough

(Or: Why, Yes, I Do Need My Whole Music Library)

In my constant search for news on a possible 64GB iPod Touch, I run into forums where about 50% of the people are snubbing even the concept of a 64GB touch, saying that a) it’s impossible to fill up that space!!!11! or b) why do you need so much with you all the time?!?!?
My answers to these cries are a) no, it’s far from impossible. I have 45GB of music, right now, and if you add some videos and apps to that, it’s not so hard to fill up (^ ~) Plus it’s always nice to have room to grow – who wants an MP3 player that JUST fits their music/video collection right now? It’s bound to increase, someday, maybe sooner than you’d think, so why play so close to the edge?
and b) this is a multiple-part answer, and it can be broken down into just 2 simple facts:
1) I am fickle.
2) Music is my lifeblood
The first is pretty simple to understand – my mood changes suddenly, unexpectedly, and even I can’t completely predict it. How am I supposed to know what songs I’ll want to listen to today? What if I want to share some song with someone else, but I haven’t been listening to it lately? What if I’m out of the house for several hours/don’t have time to customize my iPod playlists because I leave? It’s just much easier to have all of my music with me all of the time.
By this point, you might be thinking “You spoiled girl! If you don’t have exactly the music you want, just suck it up and live with it!” and this brings me to my second point:
Without music I am fragile. When I say music is my lifeblood, I don’t mean that I’m an audiophile, because in general, I’m not. I have music ripped at 128kbps and don’t mind that much – I can tell when it’s better quality, sure, but it doesn’t bother me because it’s not so much the quality of the sound, but the heart behind the music, and what it makes me feel. Music calms me down when I’m nervous, allows me to function the way society expects (with the small addition of one headphone covering one ear), keeps me from emotionally exploding, gives me energy, helps keep me moving, propels me forward even when I don’t really want to be going anywhere. It’s like magic, it is magic, the way it affects me. Music has more control over my moods than I do – if you could figure out the exact way, you could probably emotionally control me like a puppet.
“But wait,” you might be thinking, “If this is true, why not just listen to whatever music you have with you at the time to move out of your desire for other music?”
There are times when this is okay, but I often get stuck on wanting something in particular. And nothing will move me from this want. Like I said, I’m fickle.

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