Thursday, June 29, 2017

Waiting for it



Whilst I am about to argue that "Waiting for it" is classic IT wisdom it is a principle that can apply to many disciplines.


In Ostentatious 2017 there continues to be a tendency to be seen with the latest thing.   It is often the latest technology, or wearing the latest Shoes,  or reporting on the latest FAD.

To this Marcus says:

Can't you just wait a little.

Certainly in the world of technology there are droves of people using beta versions of Apple's iOS or Google's Android on their daily phones, just to be able to say 'they are using the latest thing'.

And even when a supposedly stable production release is made, well, things can still go wrong.   Here is one example from April 2017


Fingerprint Sensor Unusable

http://www.androidguys.com/2017/04/17/android-7-1-2-renders-the-fingerprint-sensor-unusable-for-many-pixel-nexus-users/



Marcus is now on Android 7.1.2 having first used it on the Test Phone and then when it worked fine moved it to Production.  (NB: My test phone is the Nexus 5X that Digitec told me was water damaged.  Since I fixed it by reconnecting the power supply wire, it is still working 8 months later and I now own a spare phone. )


IMHO then


01 Always have a Backup

02 Never Use Beta Software on a Production Machine

03 Did you run it in your Test Environment?

04 Let Others Try it First

05 Can't you just wait a little :-)



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ragley Hall Swimming




Swimming in the UK
You can say that Marcus and Agata have been spoilt, but we have come from the fantastic Pully Pool in Lausanne Switzerland to England, a country where due to the climate, Open Water swimming is not really practical, and 50 metre indoor pools are as rare as catching a Golden Snitch

However, we have found out about Open Water swimming at the nearby stately home called Ragley Hall

Getting There

We are a mere 5Km from Ragley Hall so we used leg power to walk there and back.

 Apart from the odd large road, that we have to cross ...


the walk in the countryside is rather pleasant.


What you Get
So on Tuesday night 18.00 to 20.30 or on Sunday morning the Ragley Hall lake is open for swimming.

It costs 6 GBP per person for the swim and unless it is too hot you are advised to wear a wetsuit.  In exceptionally hot situations e.g. last week you are not allowed a wetsuit and must just use Swimming Trunks or a Triathlon suit.

The lake has a 750 metre swim course marked out and there are safety monitors on Stand Up Paddles monitoring the situation in case of any emergency.


How Does it Work

- You join this facebook Group for Ragley Hall Swimming

- You register with  http://www.greatswimlocal.org/  and receive your electronic band / bracelet   You can't swim without it

- When you arrive you must buy a token which you hand over before entering the water.  It is 6 GBP per person , per swim.  Members of the Evesham triathlon club, who actually organise the event, get a discount.

- As you enter the water your bracelet is scanned and when you get out it's scanned again, so they can tell how long you swam for  (but not the distance obviously)

- There are men's and women's changing rooms but no showers.  Most people arrive by car, change into a Wetsuit by the lake  (not in the changing rooms) and swim

Overall Then
 The 750 metre course is well marked with buoys


 Over 100 people swim within the 2.5 hour slot.  That is a lot!

Marcus and Agata really enjoyed it.


Part of the skill involves dodging the vast amount of bird poo.  You get used to it.



Back home, it is important to wash the Wet Suit.

Tonight Agata being much tougher than her delicate husband only had to wash her Swimsuit.   No wetsuit needed for her!

Weather and schedule permitting we will be a regular visitors to the  Ragley Hall swim.   This is about as good as it gets in England! Really recommended.






Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Using a 4K TV as a High Resolution Computer Monitor



Subtitle: Samsung UE40JU6580U Review

By the end of this review I hope to convince computer IT geeks that your desktop should definitely include a 4K TV screen as an output device for your ultimate PC workstation

Background
If you are an IT professional, a Geek, a Gamer, or simply somebody with less than average eyesight a larger than usual screen real-estate may really improve your Computer productivity.


Interim Solution and Final Solution
For many years, and I mean at least 8,  Marcus has used a solution of driving 3,  30" 2560x1600 monitor screens from a single Computer.

With the advent of 4K I would ideally transition these screens to 4K resolution, professional quality PC monitors but this would be really expensive.

Starting in 2016 I switched to a single Nvidia High Performance Graphics card.   The 2016 setup is here

This single card has 3 Displayport, 1 HDMI port (Capable of 4K) and 2 DVI ports (capable of 2560 x 1600 resolution)


So using this new card I can drive 3 screens with ease  (actually at one point I had 4 screens concurrently under Windows 2012 server), and one of them can be a 4K resolution screen using a HDMI 2.0 interface.

The Final Solution in 2017 is to drive multiple 4K screens, with the first being a lower cost TV screen used almost exclusively in 4K PC mode, with the occasional use as a TV.


Setup in Detail

Let me outline exactly how this works then

- You have a Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 installed on your workstation 

- I use a single high performance Nvidia Graphics Adapter in a PCIe x16 slot.  Actually the current Gigabyte adapter is a Gigabyte GTX1060G1



- We will connect the Samsung TV to the only available HDMI port. Further 4K screens will typically attach via a Displayport Interface.

- This Gigabyte card, like the original 960GTX card can support upto 4 screens concurrently. I know, totally bonkers

- In the current setup I cannot fathom why but the HDMI screen must be the only powered screen on boot.  TOTALLY and utterly illogical.  But otherwise the boot hangs!

- So,  this 4K TV is switched on, the system boots, and when the Control-Alt-Delete prompt appears then I switch on the remaining 4K screen(s).  

- Windows Dynamically reconfigures itself before logon to a multi 4K screen config as per last shutdown.   Now,  logon as usual.

- Windows 2016 sees all screens as a continuously available single window.  Obviously then you can drag Applications thru physical windows,  'through' the edges of one physical screen into the other




- Windows server allows per screen scaling.  So you can adjust all your screens to be first as large or small text as you can like to see it clearly for you, and if you have different resolution or physically sized screens, adjust the scaling so that windows are physically the same size on different screens.  Otherwise as you drag a window from one screen to the other the size will jump too, which will look ridiculous and also be ridiculous.

About Our Screen



- We selected a 40" screen.  Any larger and it begins to be difficult to see it, well with multiple screens on a single desk.   I strongly recommend you don't go bigger than 40"

- Choosing a curved screen really enhances the view but makes the build more costly.  Still, worth it I feel



 Click on the images to see the specifications.






There are integrated speakers and you can use your fancy graphics card to send the audio down the HDMI 2.0 interface to them.  So in principle, for an initial setup, you don't need either a sound card in the PC or to buy any external speakers.

Means -> Lower cost PC build, more elegantly simple, less desktop clutter  (no speakers or speaker cables)



 Okay you are going to be able to use those 4 x HDMI inputs each capable of 4K input.  Fantastic.  Less useful are the USB sockets.

You can of course still connect up the TV coax or Cable TV inputs and have your 'TV' screen serve dual function etc, useful for when the PC is off and you want to just watch Youtube or TV and switching on the PC would be too much of a hassle.



It is important to note that the 2017 and later screens have full support of the H.264 codec to natively support Youtube 4K videos in the Youtube Application.  Without it your 4K TV cannot play 4K content directly  ( I mean direct 4K content, not something output from the PC which can be processed by the video card).   This is important if you have any 4K TV stations (bloody unlikely) but there are many Youtube streams with predominantly 4K content.  So, for direct viewing of them make sure your TV can play them natively.




The Benefits

- Main benefit of the Samsung TV cf another 4K screen is Cost.

- Just to repeat, the cost is dramatically lower, plus you get a 40" screen which has larger real estate that I find helpful.  To Marcus, a 30" or smaller screen at 4K is really more pixels than my tired eyes need.  I really cannot see the justification for 4K on a 27" or smaller screen.

- We did test out 43" inch screens but when you aggregate them I found this just too large.  If you can make a test, perhaps take a laptop with a HDMI 4K capable output to a retailer and make an actual test.

- Our Samsung UE40JU6580U has multiple HDMI inputs.  So for example it's connected concurrently to all of my principle workstation, Hardware firewall,   OSX server and a Raspberry Pi, all at the same time.  Wonderful.

- Besides being a screen for 4 different computer systems, it is also a Cable TV,

- Oh,  and with a wired Ethernet  or wireless Internet connection it is also acting as a Great SmartTV with applications like Youtube and BBC iPlayer, though of course the latter can run via a browser windows under Windows workstation.

- The colour and accuracy of the screen I find to be top notch

- The TV firmware is updated well, a lot more frequently than ever I had a firmware update for any monitor screen  (which was never!)

- In my case the TV screen is curved, which is a tremendous advantage when you have multiple screens connected together


Summary

I simply can't recommend enough that at one of your PC screens on your main workstation be a 40", Curved, 4K TV screen.

It will cost you less than the equivalent dedicated PC screen, but still look great, perform great, & in our case has 4 HDMI inputs, and can also double as a SmartTV and treble as a Cable / Coax TV.

But Please Hurry!
Samsung and other manufacturers have got wise to this idea and would prefer to sell you a much more expensive 40" or thereabouts PC only screen.  They are stopping production of 40" curved screens, in fact already I am pretty sure, you can only buy 40" flat screen products new now, so you might need to shop around for unsold stock of curved.  So don't delay, go 4K TV for your next Computer screen.







Monday, June 26, 2017

Not IRL: Glastonbury 2017





Subtitle:  The Music Festival in ALL its Glory


Although we have never visited the UK Music festival of Glastonbury in England we state for the record that in the future we may never choose to do so


You see


The 2017 BBC Glastonbury Coverage is just


Bloody Incredible.








I would actually like to use even stronger language, but hey this is a public platform.


Basically in 2017, the BBC Live Coverage, also available for 30 days after broadcast on the iPlayer is so frikkin good, do you really want to go there in Person


IRL  (In Real Life)

The highs and lows of attending any large UK music festival are well known.  But for a multi day event like Glastonbury there are additional factors that don't surface in quite the same way as for a daily like BST in Hyde Park


- Getting a ticket


- The Potentially awful weather


- Safety concerns  (stuff getting stolen)


- Living in a tent


- Sanitation and finding a toilet


- Too many (other) people


- Too much to see in too little time  (multiple stages and you can only be at one!)


The Solution


For Marcus and Agata in 2017, even though we are now in England, and also have the time, and probably the money, and even though 2017 Glasto has fantastic weather well.....



BBC coverage is nothing sort of amazing











+ You can watch it live on Broadcast television (some of the time)





+ It's available as a BBC live stream continuously


+ The quality is just frikking incredible.    The baseline transmission is only about 250KB/sec but somehow when broadcast onto our upscaling TV it looked like broadcast quality.  (Not sure how, but it is a Samsung Quantum? and it looks much more highress than any of my Computer displays)


+ The BBC website allows you to jump back to all events back in time from 2017, i..e it not just live coverage.  There are multiple full video sets available.  Astonishing.




Glastonbury 2017


https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ec584f






Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Sermon: Talking like an Idiot



Talking like an Idiot

If you come from a Christian family which insisted on a pre meal prayer, or perhaps when today in 2017; you visit friends who insist that you follow the same ritual, then  this video is for you.

What thoughts flow through your mind as the praise for the meal is [ultimately] given to God, and not solely to farmers, workers and preparers of this meal.

Alternatively, if you say or are forcibly subject to prayers before meals then this video is also for you.  At the very least I hope that it could make you more mindful of the situation.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Buy One, RetireTwo




Subtitle: Life/ Stuff/ Possession simplification continues


Oh No you Didn't
Friends will know that Marcus and Agata recently made an agonising move from Lausanne Switzerland to Warwickshire England.

Before moving, in fact for a period of over 1 year we went through a:

Please don't buy anything you really don't need

pre-move strategy.  Since we wanted to limit what we would eventually move, and that we absolutely hate duplication and excess  (though of course backups are not only required but expected)

So the absolute worst is:

- You pack lots of stuff
- You painstakingly move it, little by little to England
- When in England you realise some items are in excess, obsolete, so you have to dispose of them now, not earlier

Aaaargh!


And So
So above Marcus has: The trail shoes I have been saving, so I will use them instead of buying a replacement pair

On the right the 3 set of shoes (2 Marcus and 1 Agata) marked for the recycling Centre.

New Rule: Buy One, Retire Two
So the new (sub) rule is

- Buy one new thing, and discard 2 Worn out  things, example Trail running shoes
- But ideally,  don't buy anything until the old excessive numbers of your old things, example shoes, wears out.

Our continued mantra for life in 2017, no just when we are moving house is:
Simplify Your Life

Reduce the Number of your Possessions


Don't be led by Fashion or Fad


This leads to a less stressed, lower cost, more environmentally friendly form of living.  It is a happier way to be.


Friday, June 23, 2017

DeWalt DCM561 Strimmer




So to cut to the chase: we only own this DeWalt electric strimmer because some Internet research found that it uses the same Lithium Ion batteries as our new DeWalt Power tool!

You can buy this unit without any battery, for extremely low cost therefore you then have a working strimmer that can use the battery pair from the other tool.

It's a winner!










DeWalt power tools can come with larger batteries and indeed this would extend strimmer on time, which is very short.  However the good news is that we have 2 modest batteries for the electric power tool/ drill so one can be charging whilst the other is in use.





 Strimming is such fun both Marcus and Agata are happy to try it


Overall then

- DCM561 is an electric strimmer
- No annoying fluids to fill or Petrol engine which is noisy, smelly and needs maintenance eventually

- DCM651 can be sold without battery so in our case we use those from our power tool
- Run time is only about 10 minutes per tiny battery, but that seems to be enough for our use.   Larger batteries can be purchased, but boy they are expensive.
- Like most decent strimmers there is an auto cutting cord extension underneath so tapping the revolving head on the ground whilst spinning extends the cutting cord.



Links
How to fit the Stimmer Guard





Thursday, June 22, 2017

DHCP, dnsmasq and the ASUS EA-AC87 Wireless Router




Today Marcus and Agata had a more detailed look at the Linux Based Asus EA-AC87 Router and got DHCP working.  And here is how


The Problem Stated
The Asus EA-AC87 is a Wireless router than can also operate as a Bridge.  We use it as a Wirless router in the following way

- We have an Internet Connection
- It passes thru some Firewalls
- Then out into our Home Etheret Cabling
- Then finally into the ASUS EA-AC87
- We setup the ASUS as a wireless router but DHCP has to come from somewhere else

We already used a Raspberry Pi as a custom DHCP server  but today we had the time to start reconfiguring our Network properly.  We recently moved house and made a 'lash up' Internet Configuration, which was not secure.

Today we divided it up and the Raspberry Pi was no longer visible to the ASUS because the ASUS now sits on its own isolated network.

What to do?

#Option1 == Buy another Raspberry Pi and configure it on this new subnet

#Option2: Sneak into the ASUS EA-AC87 Router


I found it is possible to Telnet into the router and use your web credentials to give root level access, for us, the user admin

I had a look around at the UNIX filesystem and found some relevent scripts:
Some Scripts
cd /scripts
quantenna # ls -l dh**
-rwxrwxr-x    1 root     root          908 Aug 21  2015 dhclient_restart

-rwxrwxr-x    1 root     root          898 Aug 21  2015 dhcpd_check.sh

cat dhcpd_check.sh
#!/bin/sh

CUR_MODE=`call_qcsapi get_mode wifi0`
if [ "${CUR_MODE}" != "Access point" ] ; then
        echo "Not AP Mode"
        exit 0;
fi
LAN_PROTO=`nvram get lan_proto`
if [ "${LAN_PROTO}" != "dhcp" ] ; then
        echo "Not DHCP client"
        exit 0;
fi
sleep 10
nvram set reset_lan_client=0
while [ 1 = 1 ] ;
do
if [ -e /tmp/dhclient.leases ] ; then
        CHECK_IP=`cat /tmp/dhclient.leases |grep fixed-address|awk '{print $2}'`
        if [ -z $CHECK_IP ] ; then
                # echo "DHCPD not found, set LAN to 192.168.1.1. and start dnsmasq"
                if [ ! -f /tmp/dnsmasq.pid ] ; then
                        ifconfig br0 192.168.1.1
                        dnsmasq -z br0 -l /tmp/dnsmasq.leases -F 192.168.1.100,192.168.1.120,24h -A /bridge.asus.com/192.168.1.1
                # else
                        # echo "DNSMASQ existed, keep waiting DHCP server"
                fi
        else
                nvram set reset_lan_client=1
                echo "*** found DHCPD, IP is " $CHECK_IP
                killall dnsmasq
                exit 0
        fi
else
        dhclient -4 br0 &
fi
        sleep 5
done

So I found some dhcp scripts which made use of the dnsmasq command   So all we need to do is start that up then, right?   I had to research dmsmasq on the Web since I never heard of it before.


quantenna # /usr/sbin/dnsmasq --help
Usage: dnsmasq [options]

Valid options are :

-a, --listen-address=ipaddr         Specify local address(es) to listen on.
-A, --address=/domain/ipaddr        Return ipaddr for all hosts in specified domains.
-b, --bogus-priv                    Fake reverse lookups for RFC1918 private address ranges.
-B, --bogus-nxdomain=ipaddr         Treat ipaddr as NXDOMAIN (defeats Verisign wildcard).
-c, --cache-size=cachesize          Specify the size of the cache in entries (defaults to 150).
-C, --conf-file=path                Specify configuration file (defaults to /etc/dnsmasq.conf).
-d, --no-daemon                     Do NOT fork into the background: run in debug mode.
-D, --domain-needed                 Do NOT forward queries with no domain part.
-e, --selfmx                        Return self-pointing MX records for local hosts.
-E, --expand-hosts                  Expand simple names in /etc/hosts with domain-suffix.
-f, --filterwin2k                   Don't forward spurious DNS requests from Windows hosts.
-F, --dhcp-range=ipaddr,ipaddr,time Enable DHCP in the range given with lease duration.
-g, --group=groupname               Change to this group after startup (defaults to dip).
-G, --dhcp-host=<hostspec>          Set address or hostname for a specified machine.
-h, --no-hosts                      Do NOT load /etc/hosts file.
-H, --addn-hosts=path               Specify a hosts file to be read in addition to /etc/hosts.
-i, --interface=interface           Specify interface(s) to listen on.
-I, --except-interface=int          Specify interface(s) NOT to listen on.
-j, --dhcp-userclass=<id>,<class>   Map DHCP user class to option set.
-J, --dhcp-ignore=<id>              Don't do DHCP for hosts in option set.
-k, --keep-in-foreground            Do NOT fork into the background, do NOT run in debug mode.
-K, --dhcp-authoritative            Assume we are the only DHCP server on the local network.
-l, --dhcp-leasefile=path           Specify where to store DHCP leases (defaults to /var/lib/misc/dnsmasq.leases).
-L, --localmx                       Return MX records for local hosts.
-m, --mx-host=host_name,target,pref Specify an MX record.
-M, --dhcp-boot=<bootp opts>        Specify BOOTP options to DHCP server.
-n, --no-poll                       Do NOT poll /etc/resolv.conf file, reload only on SIGHUP.
-N, --no-negcache                   Do NOT cache failed search results.
-o, --strict-order                  Use nameservers strictly in the order given in /etc/resolv.conf.
-O, --dhcp-option=<optspec>         Set extra options to be set to DHCP clients.
-p, --port=number                   Specify port to listen for DNS requests on (defaults to 53).
-P, --edns-packet-max=<size>        Maximum supported UDP packet size for EDNS.0 (defaults to 1280).
-q, --log-queries                   Log queries.
-Q, --query-port=number             Force the originating port for upstream queries.
-R, --no-resolv                     Do NOT read resolv.conf.
-r, --resolv-file=path              Specify path to resolv.conf (defaults to /etc/resolv.conf).
-S, --server=/domain/ipaddr         Specify address(es) of upstream servers with optional domains.
    --local=/domain/                Never forward queries to specified domains.
-s, --domain=domain                 Specify the domain to be assigned in DHCP leases.
-t, --mx-target=host_name           Specify default target in an MX record.
-T, --local-ttl=time                Specify time-to-live in seconds for replies from /etc/hosts.
-u, --user=username                 Change to this user after startup. (defaults to nobody).
-U, --dhcp-vendorclass=<id>,<class> Map DHCP vendor class to option set.
-v, --version                       Display dnsmasq version and copyright information.
-V, --alias=addr,addr,mask          Translate IPv4 addresses from upstream servers.
-W, --srv-host=name,target,...      Specify a SRV record.
-w, --help                          Display this message.
-x, --pid-file=path                 Specify path of PID file. (defaults to /var/run/dnsmasq.pid).
-X, --dhcp-lease-max=number         Specify maximum number of DHCP leases (defaults to 150).
-y, --localise-queries              Answer DNS queries based on the interface a query was sent to.
-Y  --txt-record=name,txt....       Specify TXT DNS record.
-z, --bind-interfaces               Bind only to interfaces in use.

-Z, --read-ethers                   Read DHCP static host information from /etc/ethers.

Man Page


-Z, --read-ethers
Read /etc/ethers for information about hosts for the DHCP server. The format of /etc/ethers is a hardware address, followed by either a hostname or dotted-quad IP address. When read by dnsmasq these lines have exactly the same effect as --dhcp-host options containing the same information. /etc/ethers is re-read when dnsmasq receives SIGHUP. IPv6 addresses are NOT read from /etc/ethers.
-O, --dhcp-option=[tag:<tag>,[tag:<tag>,]][encap:<opt>,][vi-encap:<enterprise>,][vendor:[<vendor-class>],][<opt>|option:<opt-name>|option6:<opt>|option6:<opt-name>],[<value>[,<value>]]
Specify different or extra options to DHCP clients. By default, dnsmasq sends some standard options to DHCP clients, the netmask and broadcast address are set to the same as the host running dnsmasq, and the DNS server and default route are set to the address of the machine running dnsmasq. (Equivalent rules apply for IPv6.) If the domain name option has been set, that is sent. This configuration allows these defaults to be overridden, or other options specified. The option, to be sent may be given as a decimal number or as "option:<option-name>" The option numbers are specified in RFC2132 and subsequent RFCs. The set of option-names known by dnsmasq can be discovered by running "dnsmasq --help dhcp". For example, to set the default route option to 192.168.4.4, do --dhcp-option=3,192.168.4.4 or --dhcp-option = option:router, 192.168.4.4 and to set the time-server address to 192.168.0.4, do --dhcp-option = 42,192.168.0.4 or --dhcp-option = option:ntp-server, 192.168.0.4 The special address 0.0.0.0 is taken to mean "the address of the machine running dnsmasq".



I had a lot of difficulty figuring out the precise syntax of the command to be run.  In general you can put options into a file but since this is supposed to be a trivial command we thought a single command line would be best.

Unfortunately bad command line syntax kept producing a crashed binary with the message

Segmentation Fault

Until finally I read from the Man Page the proper way to specify options.  Unfortunately since the Asus uses Busybox a cut down Linux command line it does not respond properly to the command

dnsmasq --help dhcp

So I got the following information from my Linux booting Laptop.

dnsmasq --help dhcp  
Known DHCP options:
  1 netmask
  2 time-offset
  3 router
  6 dns-server
  7 log-server
  9 lpr-server
 13 boot-file-size
 15 domain-name
 16 swap-server
 17 root-path
 18 extension-path
 19 ip-forward-enable
 20 non-local-source-routing
 21 policy-filter
 22 max-datagram-reassembly
 23 default-ttl
 26 mtu
 27 all-subnets-local
 31 router-discovery
 32 router-solicitation
 33 static-route
 34 trailer-encapsulation
 35 arp-timeout
 36 ethernet-encap
 37 tcp-ttl
 38 tcp-keepalive
 40 nis-domain
 41 nis-server
 42 ntp-server
 44 netbios-ns
 45 netbios-dd
 46 netbios-nodetype
 47 netbios-scope
 48 x-windows-fs

 49 x-windows-dm


So Finally


dnsmasq --bind-interfaces br0 --dhcp-leasefile /tmp/dnsmasq.leases --dhcp-range 192.168.7.100,192.168.7.120  --dhcp-option=3,192.168.7.199   --dhcp-option=6,8.8.8.8

When the above command is run as root on the Wireless router then its DHCP server is enabled and clients such as Google Chromecast Ultra and Google Home  which share this home network can now get a valid IP, Gateway and DNS and hence work.

Ah,  wonderful.


Links
We like the EA-AC87 Router

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Solar Urticaria


Subtitle: Marcus wimps out

If you have followed Marcus and Agata's efforts at exercise and Athletics you will have noticed that without exception Marcus is always fully covered.

Yes, no shorts or T shirts for Marcus.

Today in England it is a stonking 33 degrees C and this has been the case for 2 days already, with similar unusually hot weather predicted for this whole week here in Warwickshire UK.

So on the Monday morning Cycling training run, long trousers and a long sleeved cycling top was the standard.

Because experience has shown that direct exposure of arms, legs or torso direct sunlight for just a few hours bring up large rashes and bumps with aggravated itching.

The 30K ride was 'blisteringly hot' but fully clothed, I only got sweaty not bumpy and rashy.  Marcus' condition seems to be similar to that of somebody with  Solar Urticaria








Sunlight Allergy

So I want to throw out a message to other Athletes, who during sunny weather can cool down more than Marcus, in Shorts and other suitable clothing for 15 degrees C plus weather.   If I could wear the clothing that you take for granted then I really would,  instead I try to smile  [and sweat] along in long sleeves.


Envy you,  yes I do, really.





Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Microsoft copies Apple again


For years Apple Computer has strived hard to build beautiful, powerful, but deliberately feature lacking and most definitely; hard to impossible to repair laptops   (well and pretty much everything).


It is my sad duty to report that Microsoft has now more than copied them resulting in a staggering, well staggering bad 0/10 repair ability score for the 

Microsoft Surface Laptop






Surface Laptop teardown


You can read the report here

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microsoft+Surface+Laptop+Teardown/92915

One More Thing
If you care about repairing Apple, most of the world knows that you start with a subscription to Louis Rossmann You might even learn something about life on his channel too.




Links
Louis talks Surface

Monday, June 19, 2017

OCD Carpet Fitters: Don't Hire Us


Part of the move to England involves relocating our substantial sports equipment collection.

Most athletes will tell you that the right quantity of anything, be it Scooters, Wetsuits, surf boards, skates is (n+1), where n is the number you currently possess :-)

For the last 2 years, and I am not kidding, we have forcefully restricted our purchases.  To basically zero.  It was hopped the attrition of constant daily exercise might make some items actually wear out, therefore they could be discarded sans guilt and not relocated to England.

But there is still substantial goods and it has now all been self moved from Switzerland.  Really a considerable effort.

For the time being the above Container is the new Athelete equipment home.


It is No Cave

This is certainly not a climate controlled, secure basement cave that we have been used to in Switzerland.   But it is  dry, secure, and whilst there is currently no Electricity,  it is ours for now.


Hobbling & Hot

Post Maverick Race,  Marcus has a blister so painful he can barely walk and today it is 33 degrees C in the shade.  Nevertheless it is time to renovate the container


- We removed the Crap

- Marcus strimmed a path to the container

- We oiled the locks

- We researched on the Internet Industrial carpeting, and ordered it

- We bought double sided Carpet adhesive tape

- We continued cleaning and cleaning and cleaning

- We remove nails and other unsafe obstructions on walls and floor


On Sunday afternoon it was finally time to carpet



Here you see Agata obsessively cutting the industrial Astro turf flooring just right so we can make a professional floor.    Ah, sometimes perfectionism and OCD really have a place in this world.

It was then time to slowly carry several hundred Kg of Sports Equipment from the current location, in the blazing Sunshine to its new home.

We finished stage#1 at about 21.00 Sunday night.  Absolutely exhausted.  To be continued!