Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Japan in no particular order (and belatedly): Food

One of nine tofu courses we downed at Kyotofu

Mostly, trying to eat in Japan consisted of looking for places from our guidebook and failing because Tokyo is unnavigable or because the place is closed, then walking in somewhere, and having them speak exactly enough English to tell you there's nothing vegetarian to eat. But that made the good finds all the more exciting...

We had fried vegetables and cheese on sticks (kushiage, and it's written as δΈ² - things on a stick!) at a street-side restaurant. It came with cabbage and sesame oil and tasty beer. Other fun street foods were noodles from a vendor at the park in Tokyo, and a baked potato in a random Tokyo suburb.

The best meal was definitely at Biotei, this really low-key place in Kyoto with an awesome prix fixe menu of tofu, vegetables, and soup. We went to a fancier place (Kyotofu) in Tokyo, which definitely wins for range of preparation, but actually was not as tasty.

Other meals: At a temple in Kyoto, we had vegetarian soba. Lots of red bean desserts. Tofu donuts and savory peanut brittle at Nishiki market. Conveyor belt sushi. Rice with cereal grains at the fancy ramen place in Kyoto. Wasabi corn nuts!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Switching to Mac

After a couple of years of thinking I should get a Mac laptop for myself, I finally bought a MacBook Pro. Of course, the first thing I needed to do was copy my music over. This was way more annoying than it needed to be, and the various instructions on the Internet all disagreed with each other. It eventually took up most of Saturday, and it's fairly lame iTunes doesn't support better cross-computer syncing. What ended up working:

1. Turning on remote login on the Mac, and using WinSCP to copy the files over. (The Mac couldn't find the PC's Samba server, and the last time I tried PC copying to a Mac samba share, a bunch of file names with extended characters caused trouble). The copy was also insanely fast connecting the laptops directly with an Ethernet cable.
2. Run iTunes once on the Mac but don't import anything, then quit.
3. Export library... on the PC and then copy Library.XML over to the Mac
4. Open Library.xml in emacs and replace all the file://localhost/C:/My%20Documents.... paths with file://localhost/Users/kushal/Music
5. Overwrite iTunes/iTunes Music Library.xml with my Library.xml file
6. cat /dev/null > iTunes Music Library
7. option-click on iTunes icon so that it lets you Choose library...
8. Choose iTunes Music Library
9. Because the file is corrupt, it restores from the XML file
10. Voila! Playlists, ratings, and play counts are all there. The only things that didn't make it were my podcasts, not really sure why, but I just did Add to library... and then resubscribed. There may or may not be a few other songs missing.

I think this might have been smoother if I had done "Consolidate music" in iTunes on the PC before copying, but it claimed to not have enough hard drive space? I think as long as the consolidate/organize settings are consistent, things work out okay.

(Thanks to Mihai and Dolapo for walking me through this! :) )