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B-Rhymes Pro iPhone App: Rhymes and Slant Rhymes

By Mike Lin

I recently published a new app: B-Rhymes Pro iPhone app. The most frequent request I get from users of the standard B-Rhymes iPhone app is to make it not require internet access so that you can find rhymes on your iPod Touch, or when you have no service etc. So I did that and also threw in full rhymes as well as slant rhymes. Putting the full rhyme database in there was a bit tricky, but I managed to fit it in <50MB. Price is $2.99.



Toronto Transit Directions on Google Maps!

By Mike Lin

Check it out! No more lame TTC site for me. This will be so great for newcomers. Anyway click to bigify the screen shot, or try it out on google maps directly ;)



Ramen Truth

By Mike Lin

I find this restaurant review of Ajisen Ramen amusing. It contains this quote of a vegetarian complaining about the lack of vegetarian soup in a ramen house. That’s like asking for vegetarian steak. If it’s not a meaty soup, it’s not ramen. There are some places where one can’t expect a lot of vegetarian options, like most Chinese restaurants, ramen houses and Alberta. It’s fun schadenfreude reading about people trying to fight these truths and not getting their way.

When I ask my server if the suspiciously milky broth that comes with Ajisen’s assorted vegetable ramen ($6.99) is vegetarian, she points at its picture on the menu. We’ll take that as a no.

A little background:

Toronto has no good ramen. I’ve searched. It doesn’t exist. This isn’t Vancouver people. The only ok ramen I’ve had here was from the uptown location of the previously dissed as non-vegetarian Ajisen, yet that place is Chinese run, and puts too much MSG in the soup. So I’d be ok with an unfavourable review if it were written from a position of authority. Unfortunately the reviewer brings up how much he loves Kenzo Ramen, a Korean run ramen place that I enjoy much less than Ajisen (eg tepid soup). I guess the problem is ramen experts seem to only migrate as far as the west coast… as it stands though, Ajisen is the place.




Unlocking Phones

By Mike Lin

Canada finally (well, since September or something) has cell phone providers with interchangeable networks (for newer phones)! Incredible. It’s taken forever, but you can now not only take your number with you to a different provider, but also your phone… provided you can unlock it.

Cell providers don’t want to make it easier for you to leave than they legally have to, so they apply a ‘lock’ on phones you get from them which prevents their use on other providers’ networks.

Fortunately with many (most?) phones (but not iPhone) you can get a code that unlocks them for a small fee. I’ve done this on my last two phones. The first being a Rogers Blackberry 8900, and my new one, which is a Telus Motorola Milestone, an Android phone.  I unlocked both to use on Fido.

Steps (for Motorola and Blackberry):

  1. Buy phone from store like BestBuy.
  2. Get imei number (a phone id number) by typing *#06# into the phone.
  3. Send imei to unlocking service like
  4. Pay $20, receive unlock code.
  5. When you put in your sim from a different provider, type in the unlock code and you’re done!

Pretty easy.

Unlocking an iPhone, in contrast, requires resources from the iPhone hacking community and is definitely not for most people.

So there you have it. You too can be free to have your cell provider of choice, with the phone of your choice (except iPhone).




By Mike Lin

Kanji-lishThis is an hilarious/genius Firefox plugin for people learning kanji. It replaces the first letter of English words in your browser with the corresponding Japanese character. Unexpected and funny, but I can kind of see this working. I’ll try it out. BTW I’ve been learning kanji through Remembering the Kanji and Reviewing the Kanji for the last 5 months. I’m up to 1532 characters! It’s an amazing system.