Thursday, March 08, 2007

Closed Stores

Tokyo sees a lot of turnover in shops and buildings, but even so this past couple of weeks has seen more closings than usual. My favorite cafe, Pow Wow, that has been in Kagurazaka, in the same spot, since the 70's has closed. They warned us it might happen, and mentioned they might try and move around the corner. There was no helpful sign on their closed shutter though.

Normally when Japanese stores close, they put up a message to their customers. There are (were) three shops on the ground floor of my apartment building, a cheap ramen shop, a take-out sushi place, and a mom & pop (just pop actually) udon shop. The ramen place is still open, but the other two had notices up on their doors last week indicating they were both closing on the same day. Very suspicious. Further more, this morning the noise of jackhammers from both storefronts was filling the building, reaching into our apartment even, as I was going to work.

I'm waiting for my favorite bar over in Shimokitazawa to close as the city executes their plan for urban-renewal on that area. I protested against that, to no avail.

In other, more upbeat news, I'm really enjoying using Linux on my work computer. I wasn't given a choice of distributions, and have to use the pariah Novell's SuSE, but it's so much more enjoyable working with than that damned Windows XP. The important development tools are all right at my finger tips — I don't need to install any ported cygwin packages or anything. I have to admit I failed to get it running at a normal speed on the latest Intel Core Duo they bought for me, but the speed is fine on the older P4 they found in the backroom.

Actually I got "harassed" by the IT department today when they mentioned, by email, that maybe I had my Windows firewall on my new workstation still up as they couldn't see my computer. All the Windows machines have an app named QND that spies on you while you work, and since I just use Linux all the day, they couldn't detect my machine's presence for several days. Following this my boss told me to boot into Windows while I have my first cup of coffee in the morning, then after the IT department has had a chance to notice my machine, reboot into to Linux. I thought he told them I was using Linux in the first place, but I guess not.

Mmm, coffee.

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