Oh My ***! Bike races this weekend!

Ohhh my God! This weekend is the opening weekend for "our" European race season.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday (, which is tomorrow) and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday.

I thought they were a bit off. I did not realize they were so soon.

And I have Saturday and Sunday free. What should I do????????

Of course, I will go. The question is both or one (and if one which one) of them.

OK, my decision is: Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday.
In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Oh My ***! Bike races this weekend!]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2014/02/28(金) 15:40:29|
  2. Bike Races in Belgium
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lubuntu 13.10 (finally) booted on MacBook Pro successfully

I could finally successfully make my MacBook Pro 13-inch (Mid-2010) boot Lubuntu 13.10 from a USB stick this afternoon.

It took me a while till I could figure out how to do it. The official site of Lubuntu kindly provides an ISO image of lubuntu 13.10 distribution but the installation guide for Mac system is a bit scattered.

I found this page that describes how to do it.


After reading and following the guide on this page, things went smoothly.

I don't have the place (HDD, SDD or anything) for Lubuntu on my MacBook for the moment. I just booted and saw if what I saw was like what and how I had expected.

It seemed almost OK except that Wifi interface seemed to be off. The driver for WLAN chip was not present on the installation distribution???

I hope after installation the WLAN chip will be recognized and usable.

On a separate note, this morning two packages arrived in my postbox.

One: A mSATA to SATA adapter case, that makes a mini-SATA format SDD into SATA 2.5-inch format SDD.

Two: A MacBook Pro protection case.

Images to follow....

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [lubuntu 13.10 (finally) booted on MacBook Pro successfully]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/24(月) 16:19:41|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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(Virtually) No snowfall in Luxembourg this winter

It is shocking that this winter quite unlike the last one there has been virtually now snowfall at all here in Luxembourg. Last winter was a really snowy one and was cold.

February is almost gone and there is no sign of snow in sight.

In Lubuntu (with the Input method, Mozc) switching between English and Japanese is pressing Ctrl + Space. I was looking for the similar key combination in Mac OS X. I found it and activated it. You can customize the combination but the default combination is Option + Space.

(image: screenshot from App Store showing the Battery Health app)

I checked the battery inside my recently acquired used MacBook Pro (Mid-2010) 13-inch. It has been used for 3.9 years (meaning that the original owner purchased the machine soon after its introduction, April 20100 and at the present time (February 2014) the battery has 77.1 % of its original capacity with 304 recharge cycles.

Actually the app initially showed the remaining capacity as 75.4 % but I followed the tip that this app reminded. To the calibration on the battery. Fully charge the battery and use the machine until the battery has 5 % of charge. Then recharge again. After this calibration, the capacity level went up to 77.1 %. Does that mean that the calibration worked?

I think I can still keep using the battery for while as with reduced LCD backlight and by cutting off the keyboard backlight I can still use the MacBook for around 4 hours or more. I am happy with that.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [(Virtually) No snowfall in Luxembourg this winter]の続きを読む
  1. 2014/02/23(日) 03:02:27|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Multiple Categories are allowed in Garmin BaseCamp

First, my GPS device Garmin Nüvi 2340 (Lifetime Map Update) now has a map update 2014.40 (currently 2014.30). I downloaded only on PC (that is, on my MacBook Pro). It successfully downloaded the update and now I can use the Garmin map 2014.40 in Garmin BaseCamp!!!

Wow! It was a smooth transition from Windows 7/Garmin MapSource to OSX 10.9.1/Garmin BaseCamp.

I also fiddled with waypoints under BaseCamp and found that multi-categories for waypoints are also possible. Here is the clip from the screenshot I made with "monosnap", which I think is a very neat application.

Now I think I can totally do away with Windows. I am happy.

(clip from a screenshot - downloading the PC map in Garmin Express)

(clip from a screenshot - multiple categories are supported)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Multiple Categories are allowed in Garmin BaseCamp]の続きを読む
  1. 2014/02/21(金) 15:01:20|
  2. GPS Navigation
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Garmin BaseCamp on MacBook Pro

Garmin BaseCamp is available from App Store (Apple). I started using it.

It is a nice software program. It looks pretty. It is actively supported by Garmin.

OK, now I have to see if the map (Lifetime Map Update eligibility) on the Garmin Nüvi 2340 can be carried out on to the MacBook. This is a mystery.

I wrote before the feature
missing from BaseCamp was to categorize the waypoints. Actually I had an idea how to substitute the function to categorize waypoints in BaseCamp.

BaseCamp and MapSource are different programs. Their UIs are different but they serve basically the same needs.


In stead of explicitly indicating the categories as in MapSource, you can use "List" function to categorize the waypoints. I also made a "Folder" named Routes so that routes can be separated from others.

Now I can work on my waypoints is BaseCamp just as in MapSource.

Simple and it seems working for the moment.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin BaseCamp on MacBook Pro]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/20(木) 21:50:20|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Huawei E160 on MacBook Pro working!

My 3G USB Modem "Huawei E160E" is working on my MacBook Pro!

The software that comes on the device itself "Mobile Partner", according to some information on the net, only works on 32-bit system. I found that the manufacture Huawei has posted updated version of the supporting software that works on 64-bit system.

How nice of them to update the software! I downloaded the software posted on their site and installed on my MacBook Pro with Mavericks 10.9.1. It works! I am writing this entry using the connection provided by the 3G USB Modem over USB cable, which is enabled by the software that I am writing about now.

The connection provided by the USB cable is far more stable than that by Wifi provided by Netgear MBR624GU (3G USB Modem-Router).

Today is February 20.

I downloaded some software programs for my MacBook last night with Lubuntu notebook. This Mobile Partner is one of them. Others include Unetbootin for Mac. It is a utility software that makes a bootable Linux (and others) on USB sticks from some ISO images.

Of course, I am trying to make a bootable installation USB stick for Lubuntu 13.10 for Mac. I am interested in running Lubuntu on my MacBook.

Oh, I bought an external USB connection HDD yesterday. It is a 2.5-inch size USB2/3 capable Toshiba drive. I intend to put some files scattered on two of external HDDs together on this 2 TB HDD. I will use one of them (2.5-inch) to be a designated backup drive for my MacBook Pro. Just in case the HDD inside the MacBook fails.

I also used a program called Monolingual yesterday. It deletes multi language resource files inside OSX so that some unnecessary space on the HDD can be reclaimed. I use English for the menu (and system) language. I deleted almost all of other language files and the program reported that it had freed 1.5 GB. OK!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Huawei E160 on MacBook Pro working!]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/20(木) 16:35:03|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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un-Windows project in progress

Finally I am doing what I have long dreamed about: Doing away with Windows.

I had some experience with computers (main frame and small terminals) at work after graduating from my University. They were not personal computers, of course.

I started my personal computer life with Macintosh. It was a long long time ago. I was living in the USA at that time. They were a Macintosh Classic and a IIsi. They were at the small private English language school's office where I learned English in Los Angeles, California. I helped with the school's small office work like issuing a school weekly info leaflet or so.

It was the time when Windows 3.1 (was it?) had just come out. Apple was using Motorola M68030 or M68020 and Windows PCs were equipped with Intel (or compatible) i386 or something. Ages ago.

Later (after coming back to Japan and started working again), I started using Windows at work and using Linux and Macs at home.

Windows 95, 98 and Windows 2000 etc.. There were lots of versions of Windows. I thought 98 was OK, not good but OK.

I never owned a Macintosh with a Motorola PowerPC inside. I left Japan 10 years ago and came here to Europe.

I recently purchased a used MacBook Pro and became a Mac user again after 10 years. Now I am doing what I have always dreamt about doing.

I installed BaseCamp on my MacBook. Let's see if I can move away from Garmin MapSource, which is exclusively available for Windows.

I have already set up iTunes on my MacBook so that I don't have to use iTunes on Windows installed on my HP ENVY.

When I decide to do away with MapSource (to use BaseCamp, instead), I will never boot up Windows and eventually erase the partition on which Windows is installed.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [un-Windows project in progress]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/18(火) 00:11:39|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Writing this from MacBook Pro

I am writing this on my newly acquired "used" MacBook Pro 13. Writing in English is no brainer as it is the primary language on this MacBook (or its operating system Mac OSX 10.9.1 Mavericks).

I also have to write in Japanese, which requires a means to instantly transcribe alphabetic sequences into Japanese (letters). It is called "Input Method" or so. Mac(intosh, from the days they were referred to as such)'s built-in IM is named "Kotoeri" and it takes some moment to activate the IM in Mavericks.

I am trying to move away from Windows at all. I am using Windows 7 HP on my HP ENVY 4-1000 just because I had to use iTunes to back up my iPhone and iPod and I want to use Garmin MapSource.

Now that I have purchased a used MacBook Pro, I can use iTunes on it. There is only one reason now to use Windows; Garmin MapSource.

Garmin has been offering BaseCamp for both Windows and Mac users for quite a while. BaseCamp is fine but it is not MapSource. I will try to use BaseCamp on MacBook and see if I can do away with MapSource (and consequently Windows).

I am hoping that I can do away with Windows in near future.

In Japanse: 続きをどうぞ [Writing this from MacBook Pro]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/17(月) 13:14:37|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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MacBook Pro 13-inch (Mid 2010 2.40GHz) arrived (picked up)

I went to the local post office (closest to me) and asked if they had my "undelivered" package.

The tracking info (USPS) said that the addressee (me!) is advised to pick it up. The problem was I did not have the "undelivered notice" in my post box so I took the letter (which informed me that I had to make the purchasing record with the price clear so that they could work on the customs clearance task. This letter contained my name, address and USPS tracking number.

I asked and the man instantly responded that they had it. The tax (VAT) I had to pay was the amount I had already expected. 15 % of the amount I paid.

I have to write here again that God Bless Luxembourg that the VAT is lower here than in surrounding countries. If, if I were living Belgium or Germany, I had to almost double the amount I had paid.

Anyway, I am setting the MacBook Pro up now and realized that I need a stable and faster Wifi environment to continue. My 3G USB modem is too, too unstable and slow. It disconnects too often.

I'll take my MBP 13 (Mid-2010) to somewhere I can use a faster Wifi.

iTunes has to be updated.
iBook and some other programs have to be updated.
I need download Chrome for Mac.
I need Java 6 or something to make my 3G USB modem work over USB cable from my MBP.
I want to add some other programs like, Monolingual, SimpleNote, etc..

Oh, the condition of the MacBook Pro was just as I expeceted. Just minor scratches on the surface, not major. One foot was missing as described by the seller but I have already replacement feet here by me.

Oh, I checked the battery recharge cycle count and it said 303 cycles. According to the spec info, Apple expects the recharge cycle count up to 1,000. It does not mean that the battery is healthy after 3 years of use but it can be in good conditions still.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [MacBook Pro 13-inch (Mid 2010 2.40GHz) arrived (picked up)]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/17(月) 05:37:45|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Spring Classics and Tour de France 2014

About two or three weeks ago, ASO released the time table of Stage 1 and Stage 2 on "letour.yorkshire.com" and there was a couple of tweets by ASO (le Tour).

I did not have time to check it out until now (I am sorry I was busy with MacBook etc.).

This site (letour.yorkshire.com) is loaded with small niches that I have not yet clicked on.

Today (February 16) I looked for those time tables and looked around.

I stumbled on something.


"Team Presentation" led me to this:

I did not know that I needed a ticket to go see the team presentation. It was my nightmare back in 2011, when TdF had the team presentation in le Puy de Fou (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Puy_du_Fou).


I did not know back then that I needed a ticket to see the show. I missed the link to the ticket booking site.

Anyway, I will be informed first when the tickets go on sale as I registered on this site. Wait a secoond! "On sale?" Do I have to buy the ticket? OMG!

I was looking for "road closure" information but it was not available yet. The info will be released in Spring 2014.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Spring Classics and Tour de France 2014]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2014/02/16(日) 23:37:56|
  2. Bike Races
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Customs clearance processing complete

The tracking status on my MacBook Pro has been update to "Customs clearance processing complete Feb-13-14, 10:44 AM."

I believe that the e-mail I sent to the person in charge of my package at the post office has read my e-mail (no reply until now but ...) and did something. Now it is ready to be delivered. I think I have to pay some TVA (French word for VAT = Value Added Tax) on it.

Since the tracking status on the memory modules, which were delivered this morning, had been also "Customs clearance processing complete" the night before the delivery.

I am still waiting for some parts I acquired for my yet-to-be-seen MacBook Pro (Mid-2010) 13-inch.

Already arrived:
Tiny teeny plastic feet for my MacBook Pro (set of four)

16 GB (8 GB x 2) DDR3 PC-8500 memory modules

Not yet arrived:
mSATA-SATA adapter

Optical drive bay HDD adapter

Yet to be ordered: (I am going buy them soon or later)
A "genuine" battery (so claims the seller)

MacBook Pro's optical drive can be converted into an external USB connection optical drive with this

Being on the road with MacBook requires this device.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Customs clearance processing complete]の続きを読む
  1. 2014/02/13(木) 23:29:35|
  2. Bike Races
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TVA in Luxembourg a bit lower than in other surrounding countries

OK, customs clearance means that I have to pay for the TVA (VAT in English, Value Added Tax) for the thing I purchased over internet.

Today I recieved a letter that looked familiar to me. A postal office that specializes in parcels or other things that need to be tended located in Bettembourg, Luxembourg sent me that letter.

Simply put, they (the authorities) want me to pay the VAT for the item.

At least now I know that my MacBook is there, in Bettembourg, for sure.

Well, the title of this entry suggests that I am saying, "God Bless Luxembourg as VAT rate is a bit lower here than in other surrounding countries in Europe."

Short time later, I found out that SO-DIMM 204-pin DDR3 memory 16 GB (8GB x 2) had been let go by the post office (the tracking status had been updated to "cleard"). It looks like they did not want me to pay some tax on these small PC parts.

Thursday, February 13:

The doorbell rang just when I was going to leave for work this morning. I knew who rang the bell. Who else? The post man, of course!!

I got two packages, both of them very light and thin (almost looked like they contained none but just air). One is the memory modules for my (not yet arrived) MacBook and the othe was the plastic feet for it.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[TVA in Luxembourg a bit lower than in other surrounding countries ]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/12(水) 15:39:20|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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SSD (Solid-state drive) won't be on my shopping list

My MacBook Pro is somewhere in Luxembourg? The tracking information is a bit sketchy at the moment; it says "Customs Clearance" without where it is at. What does it mean? The US Customs Office has let the computer on board an airplane as the MacBook Pro is not on their export restriction list? Or does it mean that European Customs Office has let it in?

I have no idea.

Anyway, I decided against purchasing a new SSD for my MacBook Pro. It (an SSD) will boost the overall performance (at least how I feel when using the MacBook) but it does not make a huge difference in terms of "battery life enhancement."

I would stick with the good old traditional HDD at least for a while. For a while means at least for the next couple of months. I may decide to get one before the Tour de France 2014.

On the other hand, I am sure I will get the "unused 32 GB mSATA SSD" out of HP ENVY 4-1000 and put it in my MacBook.

This optical drive bay to 2.5-inch HDD adapter was dirt cheap. It cost only 7.35 Canadian dollars (about 6.65 US dollars) including the shipping charges.
(image of the adapter)

I also need this mSATA to SATA adapter to use the mSATA SSD that I already own but never used.
(image of the adapter)

Probably I will use the drive as the primary drive and install Mac OSX Mavericks and place the "current" primary drive (250 GB HDD) in the DVD optical drive bay. I can use this HDD as a supplementary data storage.

Or I should use the SSD as the secondary drive and install Lubuntu.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [SSD (Solid-state drive) won't be on my shopping list]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/12(水) 00:38:41|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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SSD (Solid-state drive) is more energy efficient than HDD or not?

I am spending money and time on the MacBook Pro (Mid 2010) 13-inch that has not arrived at me yet.

I have been looking for some information on this matter; Does an SSD use less energy than a HDD?

I read an article on MacWorld (www.macworld.com) on that old "energy-saving myth" surrounding SSDs. No moving parts and all. According to this article (written in April 2013), a typical (?) SSD is more power hungry than a typical 5,400 rpm 2.5-inch HDD but more energy efficient than a faster spinning 7,200 rpm 2.5-inch HDD.


I was disappointed for a moment until I said to my self, "Wait a second".

There are SSDs on the market now that boast better energy-efficiency than other SSDs.

I found this article on AnandTech.


Some models are really-energy efficient than others. Should I opt for one (one of those energy-efficient models)? I'll give it a thought before I decide.

This article (written July 2013) should give anyone who owns older (2008, 2009, 2010) MacBooks just like me more of enlightenment as it illustrates the real speed on latest SSD on the SATAII interface.


You get 3 to 5 times faster read/write speed than a typical 5,200rpm HDD even on an older MacBook (like mine Mid-2010).

Today, Sunday February 9th, I took some time (less than an hour) to change the LCD screens on my old but trusty MSI MegaBook M670. I got the replacement panel from a seller on ebay (sent from Singapore) and it arrived a couple days ago.

The origial (genuine) LCD panel was made by Samsung and the replacement LCD panel (not really 100 % compatible) was manufactured by LG in China. It took only 30 minutes or so to do the operation and now the LCD screen is shine and functional.

The incompatibility is not about the size, back-light module or video connector but two tiny screw holes at the bottom of the panel. The original part has a two tiny screw holes so that a small bracket can be installed but the replacement panel does not.

I installed the new panel without this small bracket.

Pictures to follow...

(image 01)
The defect LCD screen at work.

(image 02)
The small bracket and two tiny screws (leftovers)

(image 03)
The new LCD screen at work.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [SSD (Solid-state drive) is more energy efficient than HDD or not?]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/09(日) 09:49:01|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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TdF 2014 / Paris-Roubaix cobble sections revealed

ASO has made some more details of the cobble sections used both in TdF 2014 and Paris-Roubaix 2014 available to the public. I think I have them already plotted in my Garmin MapSource. I will check them later if I got all of them correctly. I had hoped that ASO also put detailed map information on their site but I found none of that kind of info. Disappointed!

The cobbled sections featured in both Paris-Roubaix and the 5th stage of Le Tour 2014
. Gruson - Carrefour de l'arbre (1,100 m)
. Ennevelin - Pont-Thibaut (1,400 m)
. Mons-en-Pévèle (3,000 m on PR / 1000 m on the TDF)
. Bersée (2,600 m on PR / 1,400m on the TDF)
. Orchies - Beuvry (1,400 m)
. Sars-et-Rosières - Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes (2,400 m)
. Brillon - Warlaing (2,400 m on PR / 1,400 m on the TDF)
. Wandignies-Hamage - Hornaing (3,700 m)
. Hélesmes - Wallers (1,600 m)

MacBook Pro:
This thing has been shipped. It will arrive in Luxembourg in 2 weeks or so, I think.

I did some reading on the Internet on SSDs (Solid State Drives). Since my intention of purchasing this MacBook was carrying it around during TdF 2014 where I will use it in the car, the tent, various fast food restaurants (where free Wifi is offered, maninly McDonald's) or anywhere on the road, I expect it to have longer battery life. I want to make it as energy efficient as possible. SSDs seems to promise lower energy consumption.

128 GB (or 120 GB) seems to be enough for my particular needs. Cheaper ones cost around 60 to 70 Euros at this moment and more expensive (more reliability?) ones cost 120 or more.

By the way, my HP ENVY has a small (mSATA interface) SSD built in. 32 GB of capacity only. The original configuration (HP factory settings) utilizes it as a kind of back up storage. The OS (Windows 7 Home Premium) is not installed on it but on the HDD.

I totally destroyed the factory configuration and installed Lubuntu and Windows 7 on the HDD. For the moment SSD is formatted as EXT4 (Linux style) but not used at all.

I might take it out of my ENVY and put it into a adapter (mSATA to SATA 2.5-inch style) and use it on MacBook as a second drive. I need two adapters. 1) mSATA to SATA 2.5-incn converter and 2) MacBook DVD optical device bay 2.5-inch SATA HDD/SSD adapter. I might install Lubuntu on this small SSD. 32 GB will be enough to have the default configuration and some more applications like Chromium and others.

Today, Thursday February 6th, I peeked into my post box and found a notice from the local post office. That small piece of paper said that they tried to deliver a package but I was not there (of course I was at work) and I could pick it up later (the next day) at the local post office.

The Package ID number indicated that it was a 15.4-inch LCD screen for my old but good working horse MSI Megabook M670's replacement part. I will pick it up tomorrow morning.

Quick! I was surprised.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TdF 2014 / Paris-Roubaix cobble sections revealed]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2014/02/07(金) 00:28:21|
  2. Bike Races in France
  3. | トラックバック:0
  4. | コメント:0

4G Network (Huawei E5776) Modem / Wifi Router

I am currently using Huawei E160E USB Modem at home to connect to the Net. It is so-called 3G Modem. I have been using this USB modem since (???) 20010?? The speed I get is OK for normal WEB surfing and downloading smaller apps on Apple iTunes or downloading/updating Linux kernel updates on Lubuntu.

Recently I saw an ad in front of Orange.lu's shop in the city. They started (I don't know since when but..) advertising Huawei E5776 Modem / Wifi Router as a 4G Hotspot device. I have been a customer of Orange.lu (at that time I first had the contract, it was called Vox.lu) for some time by now. The service Internet Anywhere (Unlimited*, of course it is not unlimited and some restriction applies but they call it Unlimited anyway) costs me 25 Euros per month and this 4G generation Internet Anywhere also costs the same. Maybe it is time for me to get the upgrade.

4G speed? I am very interested. I will go to the shop and ask some questions.

The device costs 129 Euros when purchased alone. They offer "set" subscription like E5776 with an Android tablet or a MacBook. I am not interested in the set deal at all.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [4G Network (Huawei E5776) Modem / Wifi Router]の続きを読む
  1. 2014/02/05(水) 16:13:03|
  2. Diary
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  4. | コメント:0

Paris-Nice 2014 route announced

The route of the 72nd edition of this stage race has been made public.

1 Sunday, March 9th Mantes-la-Jolie > Mantes-la-Jolie 162.5 km
2 Monday, March 10th Rambouillet > Saint-Georges-sur-Baulche 205 km
3 Tuesday, March 11th Toucy > Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours 180 km
4 Wednesday, March 12th Nevers > Belleville 201.5 km
5 Thursday, March 13th Crêches-sur-Saône > Rive-de-Gier 152.5 km
6 Friday, March 14th Saint-Saturnin-lès-Avignon > Fayence 221.5 km
7 Saturday, March 15th Mougins > Biot Sophia Antipolis 195.5 km
8 Sunday, March 16th Nice > Nice 128 km

I intend to drive to Mantes-la-Jolie (near Paris, I guess) and see them in action. I am very surprised that the first stage is not a prologue but a normal stage. It starts in Mantes-la-Jolie and end in the same town.

The official site (www.letour.fr) does not give any details. A sketchy map and a couple of course profiles are the only details you can get for the moment.

In fact (adding to the fact that there is no prologue), there is no time trial stage at all. The last stage does climb to Col d'Éze but climbs down to Nice and finishes there.

Strange! Or at least not as usual as the ones from the recent years.


The green line is the route I would take (if I went) from Luxembourg. It leads (via Paris) to Mantes-la-Jolie. Mantes-la-Jolie is about 50 to 60 km from Paris. Next stage's start Rambouillet is also not far from Paris. Rambouillet is located on the lower left corner of the map above.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Paris-Nice 2014 route announced]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2014/02/04(火) 10:04:34|
  2. Bike Races in France
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How to customize my MacBook Pro (not yet arrived yet)

1) Memory:

I have already ordered 16 GB of RAM. 204-pin SO-DIMM DDR3 1066MHz (PC3-8500) is the memory standard for this particular MacBook Pro. I realized that this standard had it hay days long time ago. Memory manufacturers are not keen on making these memory chips anymore. I have to buy them before they disappear. I bought the memory from the USA.

2) SSD:

I have not decided yet if I will opt for one. From what I read on the Internet, adding an SSD is a huge boost in 'old' PCs overall performance. 120 or 128 GB SSD will be enough and they are not too expensive. The prices will keep falling so I will wait.

3) Protection case:

I have already ordered a matte black one from Hong Kong. This will protect the aluminium body from getting scuffs.

4) Rubber feet:

These rubber (or rubber-like?) feet get easily gone. I had looked at hundreds of pictures of MacBook Pro sold on ebay for the last couple of weeks. It was not common to find MacBook Pro's (couple years already used) with all of the feet on. They are glued to the bottom of the MacBook Pro's. "My" MacBook Pro will arrive with two of the feet missing.

I have already ordered a set of 4 feet from China.

5) Optical drive swap

Optical drives are getting obsolete now. USB sticks are taking the place of those optical drives. A lot of people swap the optical drive for a second HDD or SSD. I am also thinking about it. Not immediately but in the future I will do so.

6) In-car DC 12 V Magsafe charger

Definitely I will be needing this item.

7) Battery swap

Compatible batteries are cheap. I will eventually buy a new compatible battery.

8) OS swap?

What about installing Lubuntu on MacBook Pro? I have Lubuntu and Windows 7 on my HP ENVY and I find Lubuntu way way better than the latter. I will see.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [How to customize my MacBook Pro (not yet arrived yet)]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2014/02/04(火) 03:18:01|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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A portable PC that loses its battery charge rapidly

I bought this HP Sleekbook ENVY-4-1000 from a German on-line shop. It does not have a built-in optical drive. It is sleek (thin). I thought this PC would be a better option when it comes to carrying as less as possible during TdF 2013 in a small car (Ford Ka).

I was wrong. I describe the problems here.

The PC is light and thin. Good so far. Lubuntu runs on it smoothly and I can use Windows 7, too. Good so far.

I soon (after the purchase) realized some inconveniences.

1) The DC power jack was not compatible with the ones of other (and recent) HP or Compaq AC-DC charger. The DC jack is somewhat slimmer. I have generic (car DC 12 V) DC-DC converter for portables. The jack (metal pin) itself seems to be the same as other HP ones but the "this" part is somewhat smaller in diameter.

(image of the plugs - upper: HP style plug, lower: HP Sleekbook style plug)
********** images will be uploaded later **********

I could not re-charge my ENVY during the 4-week trip last summer in my car. I had to go in to the WC of the camping sites I stayed and plug into the wall outlet.

2) The battery did not last long (when on and off!!).
OK, this PC did not specifically advertise it long-battery life at all. So I don't blame anyone for the poor battery life when the device is in use. I was very frustrated, however, when I found the fully charged battery had lost its juice after a couple of days (off all the time in a bag). First I could not believe it. The battery lost its juice in a matter of days in idle.

I wanted to jot down the captain's log during the Tour but it was hard as my ENVY was almost always hungry for juice.

Imagine what I had to do last summer. I brought my ENVY with its normal wall AC charger and a small folding chair in a WC (camping site) at night to use the computer. It was not pleasant at all!

After this rather unpleasant experience (and revelation that ENVY's battery loses its juice so rapidly), I thought of ways to turn the situation for the better. HP seems to sell in-car DC-DC converter for ENVY series but it only serves one computer that loses the juice rapidly anyway. Should I buy DC 12 V to AC 230 V inverter?

Macbooks boast its long life battery. According to Apple's ads, it can last up to 10 hours of normal wifi/web-browsing use on some models. Should I opt for one? Macbooks are rather expensive compared to PCs.

This plight was on the corner of my mind for a long time.

I was looking for used Macbooks on the ebay for a while.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [A portable PC that loses its battery charge rapidly]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2014/02/02(日) 19:32:23|
  2. Bike Races
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MacBook Pro 13-inch (Mid 2010 2.40GHz)

MacBooks and MacBooks Pro 13 inch LCD were my target. Preferably year 2009 or 2010 (or newer) were my target. These models boast up to 7 hours or 10 hours of wifi/web-browsing usage on the battery power.

I know by now (after 3 to 4 years of usage) the battery has lost its original capacity and I will eventually replace the batteries. Compatible batteries are available.

It should be not too expensive.

I referred to this iOS app (MacTrakcer). This app lists all of Apple products and their specs and other info. A great app that you can get for free from Apple App Store. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, after several being "outbid" experiences, I finally outbid others and got one for myself.

It is a MacBook Pro 13 inch (Mid 2010 released April 2010).

Model Identifier : MacBookPro7.1
Model Number: A1278
MC374LL/A (2.4 GHz)
HDD: 250 GB

The current owner has already readied it for sale by freshly installing (after wiping out the content of the HDD) the latest OS X version, Mavericks on it. It comes with the original box and original accessories like OS DVD (Snow Leopard, I guess), chargers and etc.

The cosmetic conditions seem to be fair. Not so much scratches or dents on the aluminium Unibody. Only some of those rubber feet are missing (according to the seller). I already ordered 4 of the replacement feet and a plastic cover to protect the body (also on ebay).

I will try to upgrade the memory first, to 8 GB or 16 GB when it arrives.

I will see how battered the battery is. If it holds up to 3 hours of use capacity, I will not replace the battery until later. A replacement battery (non original Apple part but compatible) seems to cost around 60 to 80 Euros.

On the Internet, I found that battered battery tend to bloat and may deform the aluminium Unibody or render the touch pad unclickable. I will look for this symptom carefully.

I will additionally buy an in-car magsafe charger later.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [MacBook Pro 13-inch (Mid 2010 2.40GHz)]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2014/02/02(日) 12:45:27|
  2. Bike Races
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