Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Electronic Traveling

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Most of today was spent getting my electronics ready to travel. Since I need to be continually in contact with my business, this takes some forethought.

I’ve mentioned before that the need for voice communication is far less today than it was even five years ago. Almost everything happens by email. So, one key is to ensure cellphone email access. That can be done easily (international data roaming through AT&T) or I can work through a Chinese SIM card. I think I will opt for the later.

I’ve relearned how to SSH tunnel into my server. I last did this while traveling in Budapest two years ago. It allows me to email, surf the web and download files over a secure, encrypted line at all times. It’s rather like a VPN (Virtual Private Network), but with less overhead.

I’ve also ordered plug adapters and laptop locks. I think I may be about ready to go …

Trashed by Google

Friday, May 28th, 2010

For the last two or three years, I’ve been running a shadow account through Google’s Gmail. I’ve been doing it primary as a way to filter spam off-site while keeping all mail here on my server.

In running a small business, I can’t trust spam filters. What if it decides to trash an email from a new, important client? Or, more likely, an important translator running off an email account on a spotty server. And Google has run an exemplary spam filtering program, which I use primary to feed to my smartphones.

But as with all things on the internet, nothing stays the same. On Monday, we started receiving notices from Google that the Steussy.com server was going to be listed as a spam server. This would mean that no mail from our server would be delivered to Gmail addresses. While this would not affect client emails, a lot of friends and almost half of our translators run their mail through Google.

I spent a harried morning putting together the standard package for spam filtering for a Linux server. Even the standard installation for a plain vanilla setup like mine required handcoding and tweeking just to get it to work (Amavis-new, ClamAV and Spamassassin). After a day, I had the installation complete. All spam now goes into its own email account for later review, and we get a spam-free output directly from the server.

On a non-busy day like the last twenty-four hours, we get about 50 non-spam emails (“ham”). We also logged some 802 spam messages and 25 virus-laden emails. Since all of those were being forward unfiltered to Gmail, I can understand why an algorithm suddenly decided that we might be a spam server. Testing today on deliveries to Gmail show that email is being delivered. No problem.

China

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

It’s official. I will be in China from June 18 until July 1 this summer, in and about the Shanghai region. I’m giving a speech at the LISA (Localization Industry Standards Association) conference in Suzhou June 29.

It will be great fun. I have not been to China since April 1989. I heard a lot has changed since then …

Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

My favorite event of the year is the Game Developers’ Conference. This is the gathering of the nerds who create the games. E3, later in the year, is the party of the sales and marketing people. E3 is great fun as well, but it is here at GDC that I actually have a chance to meet people and talk.

I’d promised more details about the trip earlier, but they’ve really become fodder for my professional blog. You can find the finer points about Bioware’s localization presentation here, my mini-presentation on the business of localization here and comments about Google’s Android phone give-away here. Oh, and don’t miss the highlight of the whole show — flying the AR Drone here.

In general, though, it’s a good time to visit San Francisco, and see friends Jack, Dan, Hongli and the kids. It’s a long time to be away from Gabi and my kids, but they survived. And it’s always great coming home again.

Game Developers' Conference in San Francisco

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

My favorite event of the year is the Game Developers’ Conference. This is the gathering of the nerds who create the games. E3, later in the year, is the party of the sales and marketing people. E3 is great fun as well, but it is here at GDC that I actually have a chance to meet people and talk.

I’d promised more details about the trip earlier, but they’ve really become fodder for my professional blog. You can find the finer points about Bioware’s localization presentation here, my mini-presentation on the business of localization here and comments about Google’s Android phone give-away here. Oh, and don’t miss the highlight of the whole show — flying the AR Drone here.

In general, though, it’s a good time to visit San Francisco, and see friends Jack, Dan, Hongli and the kids. It’s a long time to be away from Gabi and my kids, but they survived. And it’s always great coming home again.

Off to San Francisco

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

I’m off to San Francisco in the morning, so don’t expect big posts coming for awhile. I will certainly be posting about the Conference after I get back, so you can wait patiently for that.

If you’ve come here looking for how to contact me in SF, my cellphone number is 951-240-1762 – feel free to SMS (preferred) or call (if you must).

I’ll be updating Twitter rather more frequently, however. You can track that here at the website with the handy “Twitting Steussy!” column on the right there. Much easier to do that when I’m on the road.

A Working Post

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

I normally leave all of my work posts for the Apogee website, but I had to copy this one here. I’m building up a series of statistics for presentation at the Game Designers’ Conference next week. One of the areas of natural interest is which languages are most important? The rule-of-thumb is that the main Western European languages are the biggest, with all of the others falling in line somewhere below them.

I knew that this wasn’t true of our most recent work, and decided to crunch the data. I pulled together information from two years of invoices yesterday afternoon. Below are the top 12 languages by wordcount and the percent of their total contribution to our company’s output over the last two years. Not included are the 33 other languages which each had less than a 2% contribution to our work.

Chinese is firmly at the top, with some 26% of our business. Some of this is explained by our clients translating their backlists (Russian also appreciated from this effect). However, it’s also true that we are only one of several translation agencies working for some clients, and those clients have shifted their Chinese work to us. Whether it’s because we were better, faster or the others just didn’t offer those languages, I don’t know.

Anyway, here are the numbers. Don’t assume they’re the same for everyone in the business — I’m sure they’re not.

Simplified Chinese 15.88%
Traditional Chinese 10.17%
Spanish 9.96%
Russian 9.38%
Italian 9.31%
German 8.40%
Japanese 8.28%
French 7.70%
Norwegian 3.60%
Latin American Spanish 2.99%
Thai 2.41%
Brazilian Portuguese 2.10%

Sid Meier’s Civilization Five

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Set a little bit of time aside to play the game. Like most of 2011 … I hate Sid Meier.

And I’ll be seeing him when he gives the keynote at GDC (Game Developers’ Conference) this March in San Francisco.

Link for the game’s website is here.

Sid Meier's Civilization Five

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Set a little bit of time aside to play the game. Like most of 2011 … I hate Sid Meier.

And I’ll be seeing him when he gives the keynote at GDC (Game Developers’ Conference) this March in San Francisco.

Link for the game’s website is here.

Xbox Failure

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

I will personally attest to the Xbox problem. My 1.5 year old Xbox is now out of warranty. While Microsoft will offer service after that period for some failures, it won’t for what I have (DVD drive failure). Further, rather than make the DVD drives easily replaceable, there is an absurdly complicated system of DVD drive identity matching. I’ve worked for three weeks now to replace or repair the drive on mine with no luck at all.

I received a copy of Dragon Age: Origins for Christmas. It is now the 15th of January, and I haven’t played a minute of it because of the Xbox. Every other digital piece in my house (and there are a lot of them) has been kept up-to-date either with warranty repairs or my personal service. Not the crappy Microsoft Xbox 360. I’ll keep that in mind when I look for a replacement.

Full copy of the poster this comes from is available at my professional blog, here.