People should really erase their tablets before selling them (p.s. I have a Kindle Fire now and you don’t so ha-ha)

What a waste of an e-reader.

What a waste of an e-reader.

Note that I actually wrote this thing in late October 2012 and forgot to post it after, you know, getting my ass handed to me by Sandy. I checked my records and it looks like October 22nd was the day I got the Kindle Fire. That means I had a grand total of 7 glorious days to play with it.

I’m perpetually a generation behind. As is my wont, I went ahead and purchased a Kindle Fire the other day, shortly after reading about it’s successor, the new Kindle Fire HD. I have a Nook Color on which I run Cyanogenmod 7 and love it, but I found a good deal on a Kindle Fire listed as “bad battery” on eBay. Well, it turns out the USB port is the problem, not the battery. The USB port must be coming loose from the mainboard because it won’t charge unless it’s held in a certain position. Presumably this is why the seller took it to be a bad battery.

In any case, though I deny all accusations of being a stalker, I do enjoy the sort of voyeurism purchasers of used tablets are given opportunity to enjoy. The previous owner of the last tablet I bought seemed to use the device for nothing other than logging into his profiles at multiple online dating sites. Other than a few shirtless pictures of what I presumed to be him taken in front of a mirror using the built-in camera, there were hardly any multimedia files on the device at all. I checked the man’s email (which he had neglected to log out of) and found that he used it for nothing other than dating sites. He had even received via email nude pictures from a few ladies. He left himself logged into Facebook, too. I had a look at some of his friends’ profiles but got bored quickly. There weren’t any naughty or incriminating pics. Nonetheless, there was enough information available to me so that I could have found out where his house was and gone to kill or burglarize him had I had the mind to.

So it’s a fun thing to do, snooping through the stuff left on pre-owned devices, that is, not killing people. Of course, I always restore to factory settings after getting bored perusing the previous owner’s emails and other personal information and it should go without saying that I’d never actually reveal information that could be used to personally identify the previous owner or take advantage of it, since I’m an ethical sort of person. But I certainly could, if the mood struck me.

It’s both funny and a bit frightening that people don’t take the precaution of removing personal information from devices before selling them or giving them away. Sometimes it’s understandable, such as in the case of tablets with cracked screens. But other times, such as with this Kindle Fire or the shirtless man whose email I was able to read, there’s no explanation other than carelessness. On the other hand, most people, I would hope, even if given the opportunity to log into the previous owner’s online accounts, would take the high road and refrain from doing anything naughty, instead simply chuckling privately at the previous owner’s quirks and vices and then promptly wiping the device.

Pages and pages of novelty apps.

Pages and pages of novelty apps.

When you buy something like a Kindle Fire, you expect there to be some books on it. My generation 3 Kindle keyboard had lots of books on it when I got it, including Fifty Shades of Grey. Incidentally, an e-book reader is the best way to read a book you’re too embarrassed to be seen with. This Kindle Fire is well-used yet there’s not a single book on it. The reason I know it’s well-used is because of all the non-book shit left on it. There’s several hundred megabytes of useless apps on here. There’s a baby adoption app, ice cream shop simulator, daily joke, truth or dare, child lie detector, and something called “Fake iPad” which, when opened, simply throws up an image of an iOS screen to make your tablet look like an iPad. There are pages and pages of apps like this. Almost none of them do anything useful.

Out of the countless apps on the device, there are only a few that I would ever consider choosing to reinstall after I restore this device to factory settings and register it to myself. Pandora radio is one of them. Christmas is coming and I refuse to buy an entire album just to annoy my family with Wham’s “Last Christmas (I Gave You My Heart)”. The previous owner and I differ in our taste in music though. I opened up the Pandora app (which logged me into her account automatically) and the sounds of ‘Lil Wayne immediately spread through the entire apartment because the previous owner had left the volume set to maximum. This, by the way, was my first opportunity to listen to the speakers of the Kindle Fire which, I was pleased to learn, are incredibly loud and clear. I’m not an audiophile by any means and don’t know the first thing about speakers so I’m not speaking from a technical perspective, but from a practical one there’s no question that they’re much better and significantly louder than the speakers in my Velocity Cruz PS47, T301, or Nook Color. Heck, they’re actually a lot louder than the speakers in my Acer laptop, although part of that problem is a less-than-ideal driver implementation in my OS. After being blown away by the volume of the speakers I tapped the back arrow in the Pandora app to see if there were any other stations that the previous owner had created. There were seven or eight others featuring artists I’d never heard of. There was one with a name that I did recognize though and that was the Justin Bieber station.

The previous owner's Pandora radio stations.

The previous owner’s Pandora radio stations.

It’s not exactly my intention to ridicule (although that is always fun), but I can’t help but find it peculiar that someone would buy a Kindle Fire just to listen to Justin Bieber and play the ice cream shop simulator app. The previous owner was still logged into so I decided to check her recommendations. Interestingly, as far as I could tell she had never purchased physical goods from Amazon. She had purchased dozens and dozens of apps and had lots of recommended apps, but no matter which category of physical goods I clicked on — even music — Amazon reported that they had no recommendations, which is most likely because the previous owner never actually bought anything other than digital goods.

Of course, on the one hand I am very much a believer that every person ought to spend his or her money and time as he or she likes, particularly if it doesn’t harm anybody else. So it’s fine with me if someone wants to buy a Kindle Fire and never read a single book or periodical on it. It just seems to me though that if the chief reason you’re buying the tablet is to kill time with apps and listen to music, then why buy one marketed as an e-reader that lacks access to the ordinary Google Play store and costs $199?

Meh, probably the same reason I need four tablets and an e-ink Kindle.

Extracting Wii save files from a BootMii NAND dump

My water-damaged Wii. Believe it or not, this image has a happy ending.

My water-damaged Wii. Believe it or not, this image has a happy ending.

So other than all my furniture and my apartment itself one of the various items that was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy was my Wii. Replacing the hardware is easy since a Wii is only about 60 to 70 USD these days and will presumably just continue to drop in price since the Wii U came out. The thing that’s impossible to replace is the save data. That’s why I wanted to see if there was some way of recovering my save data and copying it to my replacement Wii.

My Wii console, AV cables, and power brick were destroyed. My controllers and WiiMotes were in a box on a high shelf so they were fine. This includes a Gamecube controller, which I found out was necessary for this process.

My place was not safe to enter for months and still isn’t. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a chance to retrieve some stuff though. I took the Wii, placed it in some bubble wrap, and put it in a box that went straight to a storage facility along with everything else that was in the apartment.

It was just about a week ago that I had my first opportunity to see if it had been damaged. I disassembled it to check and found that it was absolutely covered in rust on the inside. I went ahead and tried cleaning it up a bit with cotton swabs and some alcohol and actually succeeded in getting it to boot. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a WiiMote with me at the time so I turned it off. That was the last time it ever boot normally.

Every time I tried to boot it afterwards it would show the green LED, the blue LED on the front panel would flash once, and the fan would spin up, but there would be no audio or video on the TV screen and no WiiMote would sync to it. The TV did detect a signal but the screen would just stay black.

Fortunately, I had Priiloader installed on it. I held the reset and power buttons at the same time to boot to Priiloader. I inserted an SD card prepared with Bootmii and used the option in Priiloader to launch Bootmii as IOS (since I hadn’t been able to install it as boot2 when I first got the Wii). I needed to use the Gamecube controller for this since no WiiMote would sync.

Once in Bootmii I made a NAND backup. It was from this backup that I was able to extract my saves. I used ShowMiiWads to extract the files from the nand.bin. I was then pointed in the right direction by this thread on WiiBrew. In the “title” directory of the extracted NAND dump there’s another directory called “00010000” with a bunch of directories inside containing the saves for each game. I copied all of these directories into a folder called “savegames” on the root of my SD card.

Once copied, I added “00010000” to the beginning of the name of each folder that I copied to the “savegames” folder. Then I moved the files inside the “data” and “content” folders into their respective parent directories.

For example: SDroot://savegames/00010000534e5445/

Inside the “00010000534e5445” folder are the actual save files such as “save.dat” and “banner.bin”. I’m not sure if the “title.tmd” files from the “content” folders are necessary, but I put them in there anyway. This whole process of dragging and dropping was a bit of a pain in the neck because I had saves for something like 30 different games.

I then used Save Game Manager GX from this link on the Wii to install the save files from the SD card to the Wii. It took many attempts because I kept having to try different versions of the program since I kept getting one error or another. This is the one that worked for me. Of course, you do have to already have a save game on the Wii for each save you want to restore. So I just started up each game and made a save before trying to restore my saves from the old Wii.

Ultimately I was able to restore somewhere in the area of 200 gameplay hours worth of save data to my replacement Wii from the old one. It did take me a few hours of research and trial and error to figure out how to accomplish this, but I think it was worth it, especially considering that there’s nothing much to do around here while I wait for the co-op board to get off their asses and hire someone to do repair work. They won’t let us hire our own people. Pfttt…

For the record, I think the problem with the water-damaged Wii is that, though the motherboard itself is fine, either the Bluetooth module, the WiFi module, or both were damaged by the water. The DVD drive may also be bad. I read that a Wii will boot properly without a DVD drive, but it will refuse to boot if either the Bluetooth or WiFi module is damaged or missing. This means the system could actually be fixed if I replaced those two boards but I don’t think it’s worth it now that I have a replacement Wii and my save games so I’ll probably just see if I can sell it on eBay. The reason Priiloader worked, I suppose, is that it must load before the Wii checks to see if the BT or WiFi modules are damaged.

I rooted my Velocity Micro Cruz PS47 tablet

I rooted it!

I bought this tablet on a whim in “as-is” condition from the store of my all-time favourite ebay seller in the world since I’d had good experiences fixing broken items I’ve bought from the company in the past. I bought my laptop “as-is” from this particular company for some astonishingly low price when all that was needed was to replace the cable connecting the LCD to the motherboard. The screen itself was fine. I’ve got e-readers, game consoles, and other items from the two ebay shops this company runs that sell only “as-is” and broken items. All of them have ultimately turned out to be fixable for significantly less than the price of equivalent merchandise that’s not sold “as-is”. It’s a great little secret that I’m hesitant to even mention because now the two people who read this blog will become new competition in the auctions.

In any case, I’ve never owned an Android device before so I thought a $10 tablet was a good place to start. I thought a cheap tablet would be good for a noob like me. Boy howdy, was I sure wrong about that. The tablet was fine when I got it. It was missing the volume keys but that’s not really a problem because you can adjust the volume via the menus using the touch screen. It has a reset hole like old Macintosh computers for when it crashes. You can use a straightened paperclip to press it.

The documentation/support for the tablet is actually decent. The ADB drivers on the Velocity Cruz website actually work. The instructions, however, are incomplete. Although the correct hardware ID is listed in the driver inf file, nowhere does it mention that you must create the file C:\Users\yourname\.android\adb_usb.ini. Note that there’s a period before the name of the directory.

The correct vendor ID for the PS47 is 0x2396. You can verify this by going to Device Manager and clicking on Details and then choosing “Hardware Ids” from the drop-down menu:

If you haven’t yet installed the drivers, look for a device called rk2918sdk, right-click it and choose “update drivers”. Choose “Browse my computer for driver software”-> “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer” -> remove the checkmark from “Show compatible hardware” -> click “Have disk” -> “Browse” and choose the “android_winusb.inf” downloaded from the Velocity Cruz website. Install it anyway if Windows warns you it’s not signed.


Anyway, once I figured out how to get ADB working I saw by running cat /proc/mounts that the /system partition is cramfs, which is not writable. That was why SuperOneClick and all those other “one-click” solutions failed. “Great”, thought I, “I’ve got a useless tablet now. It’s no use at all if you cannot write to /system”. But that’s not true, I’ve since realised. That was why even though I could get an ADB shell as root (as I’ve read is the case with most rk2918 tablets) the command “mount -o remount,rw -t cramfs /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system” still kept giving the error “read-only filesystem”.

I was on the verge of despair until I found this excellent website which explains how to dump your stock ROM, convert it to ext3, and then reflash it to your rk2918 device.

I wanted very much to try the guide but I couldn’t figure out how to get the PS47 into flash mode. The website is correct that you must hold the volume – (minus) button while plugging in the USB cable with the device powered off. I was just not persistent enough at first. Perhaps it’s because the only way I could hold the volume minus button was by using a paperclip, since the buttons themselves are missing on this unit. It ended up taking me about 20 attempts but eventually I got it into flash mode. The thing about flash mode though that’s confusing to a noob like me is that the screen doesn’t turn on on the PS47 when it’s in flash mode. It looks like it’s still turned off. So the only way to know if you’ve succeeded in getting into flash mode or not is to do what the website says and check the results of lsusb (or if you’re using Windows, something like USBDeview). I succeeded eventually though at getting into flash mode and went ahead and flashed the new ext3 image but I couldn’t get the tablet to boot afterwards. The tablet would just hang at the boot logo where it displays “Cruz”. I tried the whole guide again from the beginning but still no luck getting it to boot. I must have missed some additional file that needs to be edited, maybe in the boot.img. Luckily I was able to simply reflash my backup boot.img and system.img to get back to where I started.

Then I had the bright idea of doing everything the guide says except, instead of trying to make an ext3 system.img I would unpack the stock cramfs system.img, chmod 6755 on /system/bin/su, repack it as cramfs, and flash it to my device. This basically worked. I rebooted after flashing the new image, opened the terminal emulator app that I had installed earlier to confirm I wasn’t able to su, tried “su”ing and sure enough, it worked. I then ran “busybox whoami” and it told me what I wanted to hear: I was rooted. Superuser.apk works, too. So does ROM manager. Unfortunately, this hasn’t allowed me to use Google Play, as I had hoped. But that doesn’t really matter, I suppose.

So here’s the basic process I followed. Most of it is exactly the same as the guide posted on the rk2918 tools website minus the ext3 bit. There’s no need to modify the boot.img at all for what I did. I don’t know if it was actually necessary or not, but I did the whole thing as root on a computer running Ubuntu.

cd ~/rk2918tools
./ stock_imgs
cp -a stock_imgs new_imgs
cd new_imgs
sudo cramfsck -x system system.img
#Add the su binary from
sudo unzip system/bin/su
sudo chmod 6755 system/bin/su
sudo chmod 777 system
sudo chown root:root system
mkcramfs system system_new.img
cd ../
./ write system system_new.img
#wait to see the message "Image written successfully"
./rkflashtool b

Update: I discovered that Google Market works if you put vending.apk in /system/app before building the system.img and follow this guide. However, even after doing so I still couldn’t install Chaos Rings. It tells me my device isn’t compatible, though it does occur to me that it might actually not be related to hardware but instead simply because Square Enix can see I’m trying to install it from the United States, not Japan.

this is how long it took me to shake off level 15 murderer status

I started with somewhere around 180,000 PK points.

The character started at level 28. Now it’s level 10. All I did was log in with a bot and set it to stand around in town, respawn, and then simply do nothing until the character dies again. It only took around 7 hours, though for about one of those hours I had it set to walk outside town where I had a wizard standing by to nuke me, so that may have sped things up just a little bit.

I’ve been very lucky in iSRO this week

These are just a few of the prizes I got in the White Day event.

I barely played at all, to tell the truth, and I still ended up getting some fabulous prizes. The last one is from SRO-R. Of course, I’m happy about it since I’m the one who benefits, but it’s quite obvious that the ease with which these items can be acquired will be ruinous for the game economy. It really ought to take a lifetime of grinding and alchemy, not to mention massive amounts of real currency, to be able to obtain these Seal of Nova and “Rare” items. Yet a person like me, who had barely played in the last year, was able to get those items using a brand new character that I hadn’t even been botting very much with. Case in point: I bought a level 101 “Rare” earring from a guy for 150k gold. That’s how flooded the market is with Seal of Nova and “rare” items; people will sell them for less than the price of a single star level 35-50 Dimension Hole.

Ruined though the economy may be, it was to my great advantage, especially since my character is a newly created one. I once again am reminded of my theory that the bad luck I used to have in SRO was due to some sort of invisible “luck” factor built into the game, one that is assigned to each character upon creation and never changes. Not that I really believe there is a hidden “luck” statistic, but I did play legitimately without botting from level 1 to 80 during cap 80 and it is true that I never once got an SOS drop or even a +5 drop. Yet, in the space of several days of light botting (not even 24/7), my character got these:

As though that wasn’t enough good luck, the new equipment exchange system is worth mentioning. I haven’t seen too much written about this yet, which surprises me because it strikes me as one of the biggest game-ruining updates ever implemented, dwarfed in imprudence perhaps only by the elimination of the triangular trade system. The idea of the exchange system is that if you have, say, a level 56 sword and you need a level 56 blade you can go to the Magic Pop NPC in any city and exchange the sword for a blade or any other Chinese weapon of equal level with randomized stats. You pay a small fee in gold for the exchange. The key phrase here is randomized stats. This isn’t random in the same sense that the alchemy success rate is “randomized” to never, ever work when you most need it to. No, it’s “randomized” in a good way. Say your sword has shit stats, no blues, and is +0. You might get a +5 blade with full blues and superb stats in exchange. All it’ll cost you is a very modest fee in gold. Here are some items I got today with my new character by exchanging equipment with no bonuses on them at all:

I don’t know if the best part about all this is

    a) that you can buy an item from the NPC and “exchange” it for a superior item of equivalent level or
    a) that you can “exchange” an item into something else and then “exchange” the resultant item back into the original type of equipment

The latter requires a teensy bit of elaboration. Let’s say you use blades and have a level 52 blade with garbage stats. You have no money or patience for alchemy to fix the stats on the blade. As long as you have at least a little bit of gold you can exchange it for some other weapon and then exchange that weapon back into a blade. There is a good chance the resulting blade will have better stats than it did when you started the process. If it doesn’t, you can just keep repeating this exchange loop, as it were, until you get a blade with stats that you can be satisfied with.

The fee is not enough to discourage gaming the system like this. I can’t remember the exact fees, but for low degree stuff the fee was only four digits. For the 8th degree staff it was around 250k or thereabouts. It’s highly affordable and less of a gamble than you might imagine. I didn’t go through the loop more than three times on any of those items, if I recall correctly.

Once again, this change to the game gives some instant gratification and I’ll even admit I did momentarily feel like posting a global chat message proclaiming my overflowing love for Joymax when I realised how I could take advantage of it, but, just like the White Day event, it takes one of the meaningful challenges out of the game while leaving untouched the most injurious of the game’s many flaws which is the amount of time it takes to level up. Planning ahead was one of the things that made SRO great. You could never be certain that you’d be able to find equipment mid-degree. By this I mean that, while you could always be sure in the knowledge that, in a pinch, you could buy NPC equipment, you couldn’t buy equipment after the first item for each degree from NPCs. So if you were level 52, you needed to start thinking about buying your level 56 and 60 weapons because, though you could buy the level 52 weapon from the NPC, you had to buy the latter two from actual human players via a stall or direct exchange. The same was true for equipment. The stall network made it easier to find the second and third tier items for each degree but didn’t actually do anything to reduce the scarcity of them. The exchange system, on the other hand, actually reduces that scarcity and makes it easy to create out of thin air equipment that cannot be purchased from the NPCs. This reduces the importance of long term planning and will surely precipitate a sharp fall in the prices of most non-SoX equipment and perhaps even elixirs.

Having said that, I should really quit biting the hand that feeds me. I will exploit the exchange system to the fullest. It’s not a bug, so I can’t be banned for it. I just can’t help but wonder if Joymax realised when they implemented it how generous they were being.

The most incredible episode in my series of good luck, however, must be the following:

I’m telling the truth when I say that I only started playing again in mid-March. I went to the Forgotten World a total of three times since I started playing and, as is my wont, only went to the first treasure box. I got Spell Paper on my first run, Red Tears on the second, and Elder Staff on the third. I’m now in the peculiar situation of having the two most sought-after talismans but nonetheless being unable to finish the quest for lack of a Puppet, which is not all that rare of a talisman. Yet in the entire stall network there has not been a single puppet since this morning, when I got the Elder Staff. I suppose I’ll just try to get one myself since I’m only level 56 and have no need to finish the quest just yet. I can’t wait to one-hit mobs in DW stone cave with my SoSun staff!

I tried Silkroad-R today…

...and got this in the White Day event!

It was my first day playing SRO since last autumn and I didn’t even know what Silkroad-R was. Now I do. Since I’ve only played it for a few hours so far, I’m unable to conclusively say what I think of the new system yet. It’s weird getting stacks of 500 potions. I used to have to do gross estimates in my head every time I would restock on pots, trying to estimate how many inventory spots I would need to leave empty in anticipation of elixirs, alchemy materials, and, if I was lucky, equipment drops. Now I don’t have to do that. Pots take up 3 spots: one for HP potions, MP potions, and universal pills.

On the positive side, you get a free SOS equipment set every time you reach the next degree (eg. 8->16->24->32->42->52, etc…). This is nice, I suppose, especially for someone with bad luck at getting SOS drops. On the other hand, it takes all the luck out of the game. In normal SRO even killing thousands of Niya snipers has a tiny degree of suspense because you never know if a piece of equipment will drop. In the back of your mind you even maintain hope that maybe today will be the day you’ll get a SoX drop. Nearly all chance is taken out of the equation though without equipment or even gold drops in SRO-R prior to level 70.

But the reason I’m so excited is not because of SRO-R actually. In fact, I was going to play normal SRO today but I can’t get the client to update properly. Shortly after starting SRO-R I got these two White Day event items. On my very first try I got the above SOM garment chest piece. My first thought, of course, was that I had stumbled across some bug and that now I was going to be banned for “abusing” it. My second thought was something along the lines of, “Holy hell, this is one uncharacteristically magnanimous event if all the rewards are like this!” But no, apparently I’m just the luckiest noob on earth.

I’ve cashed in two sets of heart-shaped event items now. The first was a grand triumph. The second time I got a cookie that restores 25% HP and MP. The value differential between the first and second prizes is just staggering. So for all my complaining about there being no element of chance in SRO-R, it looks like it’s the events that are going to restore the premium on luck. That and presumably alchemy. I suppose that’s still all about luck, too.

I hope I can get a GDF. Those are worth barrels of money now.

I just had an epiphany concerning console obsolescence

My PS3 has endured many hardships.

Consoles become obsolete; that’s for sure. Games don’t though. I never finished Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra, though I did stumble through the indecipherable tome of the same name. Now my PS2 is broken, my computer can’t run PCSX2 at playable speeds because I was too cheap to buy an Intel processor, and my PS3 has a bad BD-ROM drive. I should be overcome by despair right now. But I’m not, you see. That’s ’cause I had myself an epiphany.

Famicon was released in 1983. By 1993 Game Boy had a vast library of games, including ports and re-releases of Famicon games. SFC was released in 1990. Game Boy Advance was released in 2001. SFC titles saw ports, sequels, and remakes in large numbers for GBA. PSX was released in 1994. I had a PSP by New Year’s Day 2005 and it can play virtually all PSX games.

As you can see, the magic number between the time a home console is released and the time its games are available on a portable system is about 10 years. The time from Genesis to Nomad was a mere 7 years.

Therefore, I should not mourn the loss of an opportunity to play those great PSX and PS2 games that I never had time to play when they were new. I should just patiently await the next big thing that will breathe new life into these old buried treasures. PS2 came out in 2000. A portable version of the PS2 is long overdue, judging from trends. Of course, a high-end laptop would play PS2 games just fine, but that doesn’t count. I want something like popstation for PS2 games.

At the moment my PS3 is completely usable. The power/eject board only worked around one in ten times I’d try to use it so I replaced it. Prior to that I could turn it on with a controller that I had managed to sync with the console but then I accidentally de-synced it when I used it on my computer. The BD-ROM drive is dead so I play games from a 250GB hard drive I deprived my laptop the use of. I was satisfied with the $30 PS3 I had salvaged until I went and completely severed the connection between the USB assembly and the power supply by putting a screw into a hole that really, really looked like it was supposed to have a screw in it but was apparently just a decoy. Anyway, the lesson is that you don’t have to know how to use a soldering iron to fix a thing like that; you just a need a penny to do some scratching and a tiny wire to bypass the damaged section. Now all four USB ports work just fine, although I will say that it now looks as though the slightest breeze will ruin the whole “repair”.

Blargh… midterms are hard (and days 6 and 7)

If only I could be more carefree and forget about highfalutin status symbols like good grades and literacy I could spend more time watching Enlightened, Bored to Death , and all the terrible anime airing this season that I can’t resist and I’d finally be able to buy and play Tales of Xilia. But alas, I’m stuck here trying to learn the difference between a taisha zukuri and a shinmei zukuri while keeping track of these loony characters:

With all these names, I almost feel as though showing them in kanji would actually help me learn them. Even if I don’t know how to read them, the kanji could at least help memorization, if only because it would allow me to devise some mnemonic devices. I don’t know who Sarutakhiko is, but if I saw his name in kanji and saw the 猿田毘古 I’d assume he was a monkey or if I saw Ame no Wakahiko, 天若日子, I’d assume he was some young guy sent from the heavens, which is actually partially correct since he came from “high up heavenly place”, 高天原, and married Shitateruhime according to the Nihon Shoki. Even if you’re like me and can’t read, if you know a few basic kanji you can make some bullshit guesses that might be good enough for an exam if you can see the names written out in Japanese. You don’t need to be able to know that it’s phonetically “Takamagahara” to deduce that it’s some kind of heavenly realm. In romaji though you can’t even take a wild guess like that except for the most obvious distinctions like the safe assumption that names ending in -hiko are probably male gods. Some of those names, moreover, aren’t even spelled correctly. Ignoring for a moment the differences between traditional and modified Hepburn, Taka-Mikazuchi no Kami should be Take-Mikazuchi no Kami, Sukuna-hikona no Kami and Sukuna-bikona no Kami are the same kami and thus shouldn’t be listed twice or separately, and I’m not sure who Tokoshiro nushi no Kami is supposed to be. It’s probably supposed to be Kotoshiro nushi no Kami, 事代主神, and may be the same as Ebisu in some contexts, who was a son of Ookuni nushi no Mikoto and is a god of fishing or something like that.

Thankfully I don’t actually need to know all these names, least of all Ame Nigishi Kuni Nigishi Amatsu Hiko Hiko Ho no Ninigi no Mikoto, who I think is supposed to be the father of Emperor Jinmu. I just enjoy complaining. I must know the important ones though. The question, of course, is deciding which are important. I think that any names that I hadn’t heard of before enrolling in this class are unimportant enough to not bother remembering; that’s just the kind of hubris I need to muster up to avoid getting melted hippocampus all over my shirt collar. Any name that’s famous enough for me to have known about the god or place before entering the class must be important enough to warrant focus. I didn’t know who Sarutakhiko was and he’s apparently pretty important.

If only there were a Chinese cartoon that could solidify their identities in my mind…that’s how I learned all about Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Eventually I’ll read Water Margin too. I can get a cheap copy of the nice boxset from Foreign Language Press from eBay.

Anyway, here are days 6 and 7:
Abstract here

Day #Offences for male students (within 5 minutes of start of class) #Total offences for male students (inclusive)
6 0 0
7 3 4
Day #Offences for female students (within 5 minutes of start of class) #Total offences for female students (inclusive)
6 7 12
7 8 11
Day #Total offences(Male + Female) %Offenders [%Offenders(adjusted)]
6 12 24% [40%]
7 15 30% [50%]