28 January 2005

Random Ramblings: National ICT Learning Center and Thailand Knowledge Park

I was walking around the World Trade Center (whoops, "Central World Plaza") today and went up to the 4th floor to see what ultimately happened to my favourite Chinese restaurant, "Chao Sua". To my pleasant surprise, that side of the building has been radically altered into a high-tech zone, with two interesting tenants: The National ICT Learning Center and the Thailand Knowledge Park ("TK Park"). A picture (or rather a webpage) being worth a thousand words, I'd suggest that you browse to the above links to see what's available (most of it is in Thai though, and TK Park's English switch doesn't seem to work). But in a nutshell, both seem to be showcases for cutting edge technology, with training programs, libraries, coffee shops, etc. thrown in.

Membership at TK Park is currently free and will last you a year. Furthermore, internet access is free for all comers for the time being. Interestingly, there were a number of books in braille on the shelves as well. Perhaps most impressive was a benchmark I took of their "net connection speed: 484 downlink/564 uplink. That's a terrific speed, especially given the fact that there were perhaps a dozen people in the room using the 'Net at the time!

The ICT Learning Center appears to have a membership policy as well, but I didn't have time to get the details. But apparently it provides free internet access to younger folk (e.g. students) and to oldies (60 years and over), with those in between being charged at a rate of 5 to 10 Baht/hour, if memory serves me correct. (Sigh, I'm not in the freebie age group yet.) Most impressive to me was their library which contains a large, up to date collection of computer books. They also have a number of training courses lined up at reasonable prices.

This should just about kill any cyber-cafes in the building. If you're in the vicinity, I'd highly recommend that you take a look and sign up.

27 July 2001

Post Database: Using Thai With Eudora

There was a letter in Post Database this past Wednesday from Tassanee Suriyapee who was perplexed by Eudora Pro v4.3 displaying text backwards when entering text in a message. By coincidence, I experienced this same problem a week or so ago - once with Eudora Pro v4.2 + Windows 98/Thai and once with Eudora Pro v5.1 + Windows ME/Thai. If your guess is that the problem is due to Thai Windows, you're probably partially correct. In any case, the problem doesn't occur when I use Eudora Pro v4.2 under Windows 2000.

A quick-and-dirty solution is to use a non-proprotional font (in Eudora, go to "Tools", "Options", "Fonts" and de-select "Use proportional font by default"). This was a no-brainer for me, since I've always used fixed width fonts with my email program. However, if you prefer proportional fonts or need Thai fonts, this isn't an option. Khun Tassanee mentioned that Loxinfo suggested turning off automatic spell checking and that it DIDN'T work. But, it DID work in my case, especially after I exited and reloaded Eudora.

P.S. The problem exists with Eudora v5.1 as well, so upgrading ISN'T a solution per se as per PDB's suggestion.

30 June 2001

Random Ramblings: Panthip Plaza, Thai CD's

I've been back in Thailand for about 2 weeks now. Alas, I've been too busy re-acquainting myself with the wonderfully delicious and inexpensive cuisine that Thailand has to offer to do any serious writing. Having been sated somewhat in that department, I decided to exercise it off with some brisk walking at good old Panthip Plaza. It's still pretty much the same, although having lived in a U.S. city where there are no big computer stores, I better appreciate the incredible range of products that Panthip has to offer. And many of the prices are cheaper here as well - even the hardware. I picked up some 128Mb SDRAM for about 1/2 the price and a removeable drive tray for about 1/3 the price in the States. Loverly.

About a year ago, I was looking for some Thai cloth patterns for the purpose of website adornment. While browsing Book Chest at Panthip, I found 2 CD's containing Thai "kanok" et alia patterns, the type most commonly found in Thai architecture. While these weren't the cloth patterns I was looking for, I was pleased to add these to my CD collection nonetheless. I hope this is a foreboding of more Thai fine art/artwork to come, to be saved for posterity's sake so to speak. These CD's cost Baht 160 apiece and you can obtain further information about them at https://www.thisthai.com. (Note: The site requires Macromedia Flash 5.0 and alas, most everything is in Thai.)

Another Thai-related CD I found was "1,000 Thai's Toons" (sic). A Thai friend showed me this CD while I was in the U.S., so I already knew of its existence. The CD contains permutations of a traditional Thai cartoon character with a "pom jook" (i.e. hair in a bun on top of the head). Not terribly artistic, but cute. This too costs about Baht 160.

P.S. As I predicted, someone DID figure out a "magic" serial number for Office XP which bypasses the "activation" requirement - sigh, copy protectionists never learn. For more information, read: https://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,42402,00.html. And yes, Panthip is full of these.

13 June 2001

Updates: History of the Internet in Thailand

I just added some update notes to my "History of the Internet in Thailand" - i.e. a listing of important milestones of the internet in Thailand.

18 May 2001

Updates: History of the Internet in Thailand

I just finished an extensive brush-up of my "The History of the Internet in Thailand" and its accompanying update notes in anticipation of its appearing in an upcoming Post Database anniversary special. For those who've read it already, nothing has been added - it just reads a bit better.

23 January 2001

Post Database: Doing Thai Under Windows ME

There was a letter to Post Database today from Steven Moolenburgh about getting Thai to work under English Windows. As it turns out, my article on Win ME addresses this issue. I've also added some update tidbits on the subject here.

13 November 2000

Article: Windows ME

Well, I went and did it - I installed Windows ME (English) on my computer. I also managed to get Microsoft Office 2000 (English) to handle Thai adequately. You can read about it here.

12 October 2000

Post Database: Thai Fonts and Acrobat Reader

An answer to a question in this week's Post Database re: viewing Thai fonts with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

13 April 2000

Post Database: Thai/English Menus, Updating DUN

Just posted two pieces which were in reply to Post Database Helpdesk queries (on switching Thai/English menus under Microsoft Office 97 and upgrading to Microsoft's Dial-Up Networking v1.3). The former was emailed directly to the person who made the query, while the latter was submitted to PDB. Naturally, you get to read it here first.

28 February 2000

Article: History of the Internet in Thailand

A new article, "The History of the Internet in Thailand", has been posted. If you use the internet, you should read this - if not my article, then the book which it reviews.