Pizza Now Available


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Personal Pizza is now available at select SUBWAY™ Taiwan Restaurants for $180 each: Cheese, Veggie, Sausage or Pepperoni, with extra topping options such as bacon, meatball, double meat or double cheese.

This is a test product which will be available at limited locations to test market response. The test stores are:

Available Now: SUBWAY™ Qingcheng Restaurant (Nanjing E. Rd. MRT)
Available This Week: SUBWAY™ Tianmu Taipei American School Restaurant, SUBWAY™ Minquan/Longjiang Restaurant
Available In Coming Weeks: SUBWAY™ Dunhua/Civic Restaurant, SUBWAY™ Xingtian Temple Restaurant

(Product availability may change without notice.)

Youtube Popularity

I don’t really understand how videos manage to get popular on Youtube. At current count my videos have been watched a total of 7,293 times. I’ve made no effort to promote them and have only posted links on my blog and a couple of times on Forumosa. Three of the videos are of the English version video explaining the driver’s license test in Taiwan which have been up for a while and are actually useful, so I can understand why they’ve been viewed a lot, as they are actually useful.

But the most popular of my videos is a not terribly exciting video showing a bit of surveillance video from my restaurant during an earthquake. It has no editing, no sound, no titles, and to be honest the it’s far from the most interesting earthquake video on Youtube (see my favorites for some better ones). I don’t mean to sell it short; I do think it is interesting and worth watching. It’s just that I’m boggled that it currently has been watched 3,255 times. And all it shows is some ads and lights swinging gently for a minute.

The only external link that shows up other than my own stuff is a link from taggy.jp which seems to be some sort of Japanese version of Digg or Delicio.us. Apparently the video currently has 8 points there. Other than that the only thing it has going for it is a good subject and tags in both English and Chinese and a decent description (only English though; my Chinese doesn’t do well at long stuff). But still, 3,255 views. Wow!

twquake 1.5.1

We had a couple of quakes today, including one that woke me up at 6:54 am this morning:

M 5.0 46.0 km ENE of Yilan City 2007-11-08 06:54 #074 (1108065450074)
http://www.cwb.gov.tw/V5e/seismic/Data/quake/EE1108065450074.gif
http://www.cwb.gov.tw/V5e/seismic/Data/quake/EE1108065450074.txt

A smaller one this afternoon which I didn’t feel brought to my attention a few minor bugs that I hadn’t resolved in a while in my twquake perl script which fetches earthquake data from the Central Weather Bureau. That led me to other bugs and cosmetic issues and eventually spawned a new version of the script. Behold: twquake version 1.5.1. (I also noticed that I never posted version 1.5.0 which fixed a major bug. Well, actually the bug is in LWP::Simple but I had to convert to using LWP::UserAgent instead to avoid the bug.) If anyone actually uses this program besides me, please download the new version!

For those who are interested, I also run two mailing lists which send out alerts with the information on each earthquake reported in Taiwan. There’s an English version and a Chinese version:

Sign up for Taiwan earthquake alerts:
English: http://lists.jameslick.com/mailman/listinfo/twquake-alert-en
中文: http://lists.jameslick.com/mailman/listinfo/twquake-alert-zh

2007 Baseball World Cup

Today SUBWAY™ Xingtian Temple restaurant is busy from the early morning preparing meals for the 2007 Baseball World Cup. We are supplying lunch for the noon games held in Xinzhuang (the games are also being held in Tianmu and two sites in Taizhong) from now through November 18. In Taiwan the games can be watched on TVBS or TVBS-G.

Quick Comparison Guide To Dr.Eye 8.0 Versions

Here’s a quick “Comparison Guide” to the Dr.Eye 8.0 packages available in Taiwan. The feature sets between the different packages has changed since 7.0 and as far as I can tell the feature comparison chart is only available in the manual, which doesn’t help you decide which version to buy.

There are at least four packaged versions of Dr.Eye 8.0 available in Taiwan:

Dr.Eye 8.0 Luxury (Orange Box TW$1090 MSRP)
Dr.Eye 8.0 Professional Upgrade (Blue Box TW$1090 MSRP)
Dr.Eye 8.0 Professional (Blue Box TW$1650 MSRP)
Dr.Eye 8.0 Professional 2-User Pack (Blue Box TW$3300 MSRP)

To find the MSRP (retail price) look under the bar code at the bottom right of the back of the box.

Unlike previous versions, the “Luxury” package no longer contains “Chinese Traditional to English” translation functions. It only contains “Chinese Traditional to/from Chinese Simplified”, “English to Chinese Traditional” and “English to Chinese Simplified”. Because of this, it is probably of limited use to most foreigners who will probably want to translate from Chinese more often than the reverse.

Instead, you will probably be better off with the Professional package which in addition to the above also supports “Chinese Traditional to English”, “Chinese Simplified to English” and “Japanese to/from Chinese Traditional”. The other major difference is that the Professional package also contains more dictionaries.

If you decide to get the Professional package, be careful you don’t get the upgrade version by mistake (unless you are actually upgrading). The easiest way to tell is to make sure the MSRP on the back of the package is TW$1650.

Dr.Eye 8.0 lists in the system requirements that it requires the Traditional Chinese version of XP/2003/Vista but it actually works fine on the English version of XP. (Presumably you would have to have the East Asian support added, but this is a standard feature of XP which can be added from the XP installation disk.) It also comes with the user interface in English, Traditional Chinese or Simplified Chinese all on the same disk.

One other potential catch if you have old computer gear: The package comes on DVD, not CD.

Note: Though the Professional ‘2-User Pack’ list price is exactly twice that of the single-user version, the street price is only about 50% more.

Vegetables are driving me crazy!

Ever since the last typhoon, the vegetable situation here has been absolutely crazy. This is not an unusual phenomenon; after any typhoon prices usually jump up, but usually just for a few days. But here we are weeks later and still having problems. Previously our problem was related to price. Tomatoes were the worst, tripling in price to TW$180/kg. We had been product testing using pre-shredded lettuce instead of shredding it in-store but they announced they’d be going to TW$200/kg for that so we switched back to shredding it ourselves.

Today our main vegetable supplier only delivered half our vegetable order to each of our stores. They cited market shortage as the reason for the cut in our order. But that leaves us kinda stuck. We order based on our sales level, so having our order suddenly cut means we don’t have enough. On the other hand, Subway specifies how much of each vegetable goes in a sub and that we can only buy from authorized vendors.

All this means we are stuck with no good choice on how to resolve the problem.