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Saturday, 17 August 2013

Kaiji First Episode- Departure.

I'm so glad you bothered to come over I want to treat you for lunch
This is an overdue review that I should have written about 5 years ago.This show has been imprinted on my brain since then and I feel ashamed I haven't been able to pay Nobuyuki Fukumoto my respect for his masterpiece that is Kaiji. I have watched both season 1 and season 2 and I have to state with no shade of doubt the constituing episodes are greatest features ever crafted by man. Little wonder considering they were devised by the same mind that gave life to Akagi, the inexplicable Mahjong legend manga which started in 1992 and is still ongoing. Now let's delve a little deeper into kaiji's ventures and cheer him on all the while...

Neglected laundry.
The beginning of a tale of woe, mindless gambles and torrents of manly tears. Actually, the much commented upon manly teary aspect of the show might come off as a motif for those who learnt about Kaiji from others' mouths, but their occurrence is mostly low key and they set in poignant moments where even the viewer may be tempted to feel stirred up inside a little. The anime as a whole is comprised of run-of-the-mill themes that become highlighted under very heavy doses of humanity's darkest side. I construe that Kaiji is supposed to represent the average viewer, someone who has not amassed a huge wealth of material assets through years of hard work or by succumbing to the allure provided by corruption's shortcut, or even a combination of both. Despite coming from a humble background, Kaiji's body is little more than a vessel for desires purely carved out to be fulfilled by money and whatever money, and money alone can buy. he craves pretty much any material commodity that seems unattainable to those not wealthy enough to make the purchase. This by itself is enough for kaiji to set himself up as a loser even before leaves the house, because he regrets to be reminded of his poverty, which often brings him to tears.

Furthermore, Kaiji's life evolves around unhealthy habits. Smokes and alcoholic beverages are the only luxury items that provide him some form of relief from the depressing capitalist reality that besets his soul. He's tired of having nothing and even starts growing resentful of people other than him being in possession of coveted goods. He's obviously unhappy about his situation, so he vents his frustration by doing random acts of pilfering, mainly aimed at cars' emblems.

At this point it should be clear that Kaiji's life can summed up in three words: drinking, gambling and slacking off.

Of course, this goes on for a while, with Kaiji scraping by just enough to sustain his basic needs and carry on living. It's unclear where kaiji's income comes from, since he neither works nor wins enough in card games to pay the bills. Perhaps he wins some at those cheap gambles when faced with worst gamblers. He sticks to this strategy even though this is not yielding the desired financial return despite the efforts poured in to make the endeavour worthwhile. Eventually, something has to happen that will tickle the young man's hidden genius and make the show the fantastical series it has come to be.

Kaiji's home greyed out because he's debt bound.
What does happen is that he's paid a visit by Endou, the first of despicable people we will encounter in the series, though in Endou's case we will eventually grow to love him as a character. However, other greedy shades from the underground world will turn out to be not as likeable. Anyway, Endou has come over to kaiji's place (how did a deadbeat eccentric youngster manage to afford his own place considering the housing price in Tokyo? Nah.) collect on a debt owed in Kaiji's name because the original solicitor defaulted. It's implied that Kaiji co-signed that loan in a moment of weakness (darn weakness) in order to help a workmate: Furuhata.

Most accurate feedback ever.

 The neglectful co-worker pleaded badly for his equally broke mate to co-sign for him so he would be granted the loan. Kaiji's concerned look on his face is priceless, because he actually has feelings of his own to help his comrade despite his financial pinch. Of course, since he will be left with the full weight of the debt in case Furuhata defaults, Kaiji falters to sign his name. Well, he does, but giving in to that one moment of weakness taxed Kaiji for life as he now has to pay for his former senpai's mess.
Kaiji finding out about the most universal of laws

Long before, Endo convinces Kaiji to take part in a certain gamble in order to pay his debt and even make some money in the process. That was accomplished with incredible ease as Kaiji's everlasting desperation and money hungry ways saw in Endou's offer the opportunity of a lifetime. Still, Kaiji's doubts chafed at his adventurous side, so he had to appease them by asking what was going to happen should he come out a loser, as if he had nothing else to lose...
At Life's Crossroads

No other anime has a law-abiding contract with a character's fingerprint
He likes to insult and con people. Con combined with insult equals "consult".
Being the experienced loan shark that he is, Endou snaps at Kaiji and lays down the law in a rather corporate minded speech. He tells it plain to Kaiji that he wouldn't ever be able to repay his debt in any other way. The life he had thus far had only taken him further from the dreams he hoped to achieve. In order to get a piece of the pie Kaiji had to risk something, even if it was himself. He had to make a bold move to inch closer to the life he had always dreamt of achieving and there was no reason for him to wait. It was a testament to folly to wait to do the right things and Kaiji had right before him a golden chance to turn tables and wrack up his deserved money. Endo's way of wording things strikes Kaiji's fancy to such a degree that the gambling junkie becomes decided to follow destiny's call and goes on with the deal. However, Endo's job doesn't involve helping others. Nor does he have any intentions of helping Kaiji because he likes him and wishes to see him dart ahead of others in the rat race that our society has turned into. Endo is only in for the money his job pays for having Kaiji sign up on the dangerous undertaking that awaits....

This episode means too much to me.  The symbolism used in Kaiji is never out of place and helps convey the point being made by the narrator or a ranting character with utter class. The narrator is another important factor in this series. His overt enthusiasm sets a great tone as the described scene unfolds and makes it easy for anyone watching to quickly get lost in the metaphors mentioned and the imageries alluded to. The conflicts are all very common to what reality dishes out, which causes anyone watching to identify with virtually any scene that makes up any Kaiji episode. There's nothing fantastical about kaiji, all characters are very human and partake in our flesh-bound world, which makes any miscalculation in risk taking spell doom.
This makes the viewing experience all the more worthwhile as knowing that death is a constant companion to any of the character helps not only mount the tension, but it adds much to the anticipation factor as it's practically impossible to predict what's going to happen next and unpredictability is and will always be one of Kaiji's highest points.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

ODBC explained

 You hear it all the time. Go to control panel, admin tools and odbc. Once in there, add a new database source so you can relate to a database sitting on a nearby computer. But what does ODBC mean?

ODBC (short for Open Database Connectivity) is a standard database application which uses SQL as its main query language. ODBC also offers a little API which allows programmers to make their application independent from having to use a Databank management system (DBMS) during the development stage(however, it's still necessary that they have the right version of the ODBC driver installed).

With ODBC it is also possible to access details of the database (credentials) such as the name of the database servers, port to access the network , the users' name and their password as well as other minor details of the targeted user. By employing the user's name a client application can establish a connection with the data source without having to know other details.

ODBC was originally used by Microsoft as the basis for the development of the Call Level Interface of X/Open and ISO/IEC, although this endeavour had also been undertaken by other software manufacturing companies. ODBC has also become a standard application in other areas.

ODBC-driver's diverse features:

- Core ( its basic functionality)

 -Level 1

- Level 2

Latter day programming environments allow access to it through access from very different management systems on prefabricated data sensitive controls. Access to data never ensues immediately from a table or database, but rather from the matching ODBC component. Through ODBC any local or remote data source can also be accessed.

For object-oriented programming languages (e.g.:C++, Java) in which classes are available, methods define the handling of different database systems' data. The programmer doesn't need to be concerned about the details specific to a particular database.

In Microsoft Foundation Classes the ODBC support is implemented through the classes CDDatabase, CRecordset, CRecordView, CFieldExchange and CDBExceptio.

Note: DAO (Data Access Objects) is also opmitised for Microsoft Jet Database Module which allows for indirect access to ODBC.

Since the inception of Windows 2000 ODBC has become part of the MDAC operating system. For earlier Windows versions the application can be later installed onto the system with no accompanying cost. Microsoft announced that the 2012 versions for their SQL servers will come with the then latest version of OLE-DB Provider, recommended for use with ODBC-Provider.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

My persoanl take on Anger

At the most basic level, Anger is when hostility takes over. Its occurrence might be the result of a number of things, including frustration, inability to deal with an unruly person or just the witnessing of some hate-breeding event. It is revealed in facial expressions, body language, noticeable physiological reactions and overt acts meant to cause offence. Although it may be considered a natural and healthy response that has evolved to enable us to deal with threats, its unbridled form leads to a poor performance at whatever endeavour the angry individual has ventured to undertake.
Depiction of Anger by Austrian graphics artist Franz Miklis

Revenge is a common outcome of anger. This usually entails some carefully thought-out plan which somehow counterbalances the aggressive outbursts which are the initial reaction. By concocting a plot to make matters even, those on the afflicted side need to do set aside some of their craving to pursue justice. Otherwise, time spent in anger and the subsequent musing of how things should be is as good as wasted.

It is also little wonder that this is the most adverse emotion to the writing of poetry. Diminished mental faculties make for a hard time concentrating on anything. Rather, this temporary spell of insanity coerces the individual to seek a short term patch-up, even though taking a more time consuming approach may provide a better solution.