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欧州自転車レース追っかけ日記

欧州在住者が自転車レースを追い掛けてる日記とか

I saw an Audi burning on a highway (April 2017) and now ....

Today I read a piece of news in Japanese regarding Audis. Some models have been recalled. Some models have problems that could lead to catching fire.

Well, I remember this incident back in April, 2017. I did see an Audi (black cabriolet, I think) burning. As I passed beside this already burning car, a small explosion occurred and I could feel the heat even though the windows were up. I think my Ka was about 6 meters apart from the Audi in flames.

We (three of us) were heading to a town called Houffalize (Belgium). We were going to visit that famous "Saint-Roch (reads 'sun-rock' in French)" during the bike race Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

This Audi looked newish and I wondered just for a moment what had caused the fire. I could tell that this Audi had not crash but that it had pulled over neatly along the guard rail. I did not see any skid mars or any parts (metal or plastic) scattered around the scene so I had to guess that the driver slowed down when he saw the smoke coming out of the hood.

As I was in a hurry, I did not pay much mind to it.

Now, after reading this article, I wonder if that incident had anything to do with the defects this article describes.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [I saw an Audi burning on a highway (April 2017) and now ....]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2017/06/29(木) 23:58:59|
  2. Things European
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Lubuntu 17.04 upgrade and impressions

I am writing this on Lubuntu 17.04 installed on the HDD in the second bay on my Macbook Late 2009. The main bay is occupied by a SSD which hosts the macOS.

Recently I upgraded the Lubuntu 16.10 to 17.04. I wanted to see possible improvements made in Lubuntu version 17.04. I knew it (this version) wa just maintenance update since they (whoever responsible for the distribution) are holding out on bigger changes as they wait for the maturity of LXQt.

I didn't see any tangible changes. Abiword is still unusable with the noisily (not actually making audible noises but) blinking cursor and flickering around the lines near the cursor. How do they not fix this bug for such a long time?

Macbook Late 2009 still can not restart, instead it stalls. Macbook Pro Mid 2010 could do it under 16.10. I stopped using Lubuntu on my Macbook Pro Mid 2010.

I like using Lubuntu despite the fact macOS suffices my needs.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Lubuntu 17.04 upgrade and impressions]の続きを読む

テーマ:Linux - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2017/06/27(火) 17:44:19|
  2. Linux
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CIO (What do these letters stand for anyway?) bike light by Reelight

CIO by Reelight / Kickstarter

I am writing this because I was a Kickstarter backer of Reelight's catastrophic previous campaign products called NEO. What did NEO mean, anyway? Do these letters initials of something?

CIO (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reelightdenmark/cio-battery-free-bike-light?ref=nav_search) turned out to be just one of their (Reelight) usual products, namely a dynamo light with the help of a magnet (or magnets) fixed on the spoke(s).

I was expecting something similar to NEO but I was wrong.

Was my curiosity aroused? No. Sorry but I was disappointed.

There are some points that I think I should point out from the descriptions of this CIO.

1. They took the NEO catastrophe seriously and learned (so they say!) something although they don't say that NEO was a failure.

Success has many fathers but failure has none (I am not sure if this quote is correct).

The fact that they state that they learned something from NEO, nevertheless, reveals the truth that they sucked at it (creating a successful dynamo bike light).

I want to believe that they really learned.

2. They say that CIO is sturdy. Yes, that's right. NEO was not so sturdy as they had hoped. Proof is well documented in this blog. You will find my testimony in an entry.

3. No Eddy Current anymore? There seems to be no mention of it.

4. They quantified the length of stand light period; 2 minutes.

This was one of the problems that their doomed NEO had. The stand light function was promised but never really delivered. My rear NEO only rarely emitted a weakish flashing beam but most of the time the beam immediately died as the wheel ceased to turn. In my impression 1:10 (no flash : flash) even after long (at least 30 minutes or longer) continuous rides.

5. Tested before bringing up the campaign to the world. Of course, they must have done that!


Why I decided not to jump in

I am only interested in the rear light but they offer only a set (front/rear).

Lastly,

The design of CIO got my attention. It is not bad, I mean it looks good. The fixing mechanism seems to be very promising if, ONLY if, the materials (wire, winding gears and the case) used are sturdy enough.

I would have been a backer if they had offered the option to order only the rear light.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [CIO (What do these letters stand for anyway?) bike light by Reelight]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/06/26(月) 14:48:14|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Half way home or a strange night stroll

I had a very peculiar experience Tonight. It was not so dramatic but it is worth writing down here, I think.

I finished working in a remote town in Luxembourg and had to take a train home. It is Sunday Today and the local trains are scarce and the busses even more scarce. By the time I get to the Luxembourg (City) Central station, the last bus that could take me to the closest bus stop is gone by a few minutes.

I have to walk home and it takes about 35 minutes or so. I have never timed it.

The train was approaching the Central station above mentioned when I noticed a foul smell in the air. I thought that some electric circuits burned or the vinyl covering the copper cables melted somewhere in the train.

The train stopped before it pulled into the station where friendly tracks waited for us. The smell got more intense and now I realized that it was some evaporated fuel (diesel fuel, of course).

I did not know that the train was on fossil fuel rather than on electricity. As the smell got more and more intense, some passengers from the compartments in front evacuated to the back. I also moved back.

A conductor came and spoke to some of the passengers who wanted to know what had been on and went back to the front. Soon he came back and opened the door and told us to evacuate the train. Some 30 to 40? people abandoned the train.

The conductor told us to get to the side of the rail track but did not give us any further instructions. One by one passengers began walking to the station where bright lights were visible.

I walked about 20 meters or so and knew exactly where I was. I was walking over a bank commanding the parking lot of a store I shop sometimes.

I realized that I did not have to walk to the station but all I have to do was just walk down the bank and walk home. This saved me a lot of unnecessary walk.

Soon I came home safe and sound.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Half way home or a strange night stroll]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/06/25(日) 22:52:20|
  2. Diary
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Neo by Reelight (Kickstarter), nanopresso and TdF Trek-Segafredo members

Today's topics are these!

1. NEO by Reelight - I had a prompt email reply to my inquiry
2. nanopresso (by Wacaco) update
3. Trek-Segafredo TdF 2017 roster


1. NEO by Reelight - I had a prompt email reply to my inquiry

I had a very very prompt and to-the-point reply to my inquiry. I asked for new parts and even wrote that I was willing to pay for them.

The answer was basically NO. They can not provide me with any replacement parts. I guess that they have severed the ties with the Chinese factory that they used for NEO production or that not willing to dig up any bad memories with this failed product.

Instead, they offered me a refund. Curious. Are they willing to give me a refund?

They have mentioned a mysterious thing called "CIO" in the previous update only meant for backers. What is it? A new dynamo light? If so I am very very much interested in it.

2. nanopresso (by Wacaco) update

The pre-order status has been updated. The pre-ordered nanopresso will be sent out "next week." The author stated in the blog entry made on June 22. So this "next week" will be the week starting Sunday, June 25 (or Monday, June 26) 2017. The site (www.wacaco.com) itself has not announced anything at all. This pre-order launch is only mentioned in the comment section of the blog part of the site.

3. Trek-Segafredo TdF 2017 roster

Very very disappointed that Fumiyuki Beppu did not make it. I am very very very sad. No further comment!


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Neo by Reelight (Kickstarter), nanopresso and TdF Trek-Segafredo members]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. 2017/06/23(金) 21:31:20|
  2. Bike Races
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NEO by Reelight (Kickstarter.com campaign) update

Fair usage limit 24GB

Recently I have been watching too many YouTube videos and my 4G network connection on Orange Luxembourg network has been slow since Yesterday. This choking will be lifted next month (July).

Neo by Reelight - Kickstarter campaign update

They (Reelight) have been silent for some time by now. I don't know a year or more? They have completely ignored us (backers). They are rude and irresponsible.

All of a sudden, out of the blue there came an update from Reelight. What a surprise!

According to this update, they decided to give up on Neo. Hahaha! Neo has no future at all!

My Neo light (rear) has also suffered from the defective material.

Neo-brokenknob.jpg
(Is this considered a material fatigue failure?)

This dial (or knob) undergoes considerable stress as its sole function is to wind up the threaded band that chokes the seat stay on the bike.

neolight-tighteningnut.jpg


Their official name turned out to be a "tightening nut."

neolight-rear-seatstay.jpg

Anyway, the update tells something to us. They said that they are (kind of) abandoning Neo and moving to CIO, whatever it might be. What is CIO?

They are willing to reach out to us, jaded backers. So I wrote to them that I am willing to buy new parts if they are available for purchase. I am hoping that they will get back to me.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [NEO by Reelight (Kickstarter.com campaign) update]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/06/23(金) 00:29:20|
  2. Bike Races
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Delay? or my misunderstanding?

Mazda MX-5 is late

My Mazda MX-5 is coming in 2 weeks so I was told.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Delay? or my misunderstanding? ]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2017/06/15(木) 15:02:14|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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ACTON, Magniclight, Neo by Reelight, Limits (power meter) and others

ACTON BLINK S2

ACTON wrote me a piece of email followed by another one after I replied to the first one.

It was a notice from them and in it ACTON requested me to confirm the shippng addressthat I had previously provided during the Indiegogo campaign. Some people certainly have moved by now or simply wanted to use alternate addresses to receive the package.

The message urged me to respond before June 19, 2017. According to the previous updates, the BLINK S2 boards destined to people living in Europe (central or so) were supposed to be shipped sometime late June.

This email also asked me to provide a mobile phone number for the delivery agent, which I did, of course.

So I have to suppose that things are going according to the plan. It is coming! I am very excited.

Later (a day or few days later) there was another update telling us the progress they were making. It confirmed that S2 board was indeed shipping (if everything goes well as planned) late June.

This latest update (a blog entry - www.actonglobal.com) provided us with more information (the final production specification, I guess) on BLINK S2 board. According to it, the board has a bamboo layer (for reinforcement) and the battery life has been improved to last about 14 miles (22 km under optimal conditions).

Magniclight

I am one of the original Kickstarter campaign supporters. The company wants to promote another invention of theirs soon. The working principle is the same but a much much smaller version of this contactless dynamo light.

I am not sure if I want them as the detailed specifications and application are not available. I will keep a close eye on the planned Kickstarter campaign.

Neo by Reelight

Speaking of dynamo bike lights, this topic I have to address.

It had bee on my bike (Cervélo RS's thin seat stay) for a while. I took it off when I wanted to take my to Belgium. Anyway, long story short, I turned the dial to take it off. The dial broke.

(here I will put some images of the broken plastic part later)



Limits

Indiegogo campaign update: There was an update. I knew they had not given any updates for some time and feared that they might have gone bankrupt.

The previous update was made public on March 27 and the latest one was made on June 9. So They totally had kept silent (well I personally had a support from them during this time) for more than two months (April and May!). It was safe to assume that they were having difficult time.

A surprise! They were not and they had been up to something to improve the product.

I knew the material used for the battery caps was not suitable for this kind of use personally before the latest update told me of this issue. I was careful not to over tighten or use inappropriate tools to turn them but one of them had a problem; a small piece off the rim simply chipped off. I was just tightening the cap with a coin (just thick enough to fit the groove) and this small piece came of from the rim where I was not touching at all.

Stress (is the cause)! Material became brittle under stress fatigue. I am now happy to hear that they were aware of the issue and had been working on it.

Let's see how it goes with their improvement!

Nanopresso pre-order

The launch date is yet to be announced. The site (www.wacaco.com) has a blog section dedicated to this new product. The blog pages have been gradually maintained. Now they have the image of the protective case.

I assume the official launch date is close.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [ACTON, Magniclight, Neo by Reelight, Limits (power meter) and others]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/06/10(土) 15:39:32|
  2. Diary
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New Spoke Tension Meter? (an inexpensive alternative?)

An inexpensive spoke tension meter on the horizon?

I have always wanted to build my own wheels. To do that, I need some tools. Basic ones like spoke wrenches, a truing stand, a dishing tool and some chemicals (spoke prep or others) are easier to get as they are not so expensive. Or at least inexpensive ones are available on the market.

I have been keeping my eyes on two more rather advanced tools for a while.

One is spoke threader C-700 from Hozan, Japan.

The other is a spoke tension meter. There are expensive ones available from Hozan, DT Swiss, Park Tool and others. This relatively inexpensive one from Taiwan has been on my ebay watch list for more than two years by now, I think.

IceToolz: This one is relatively inexpensive but still costs close to US $230.
IceToolzXpertE381.jpg
(Click on the image to magnify)

Today I found something new or at least different. It seems that there are two brands that sell this seemingly identical tension meter under different names.

TENY or Alpha Bike (whatever it is called)
AlphaBike-front.jpg
AlphaBike-back.jpg
Alpha Bike brand features grey surface finish ones.

Tenny-general.jpg
Tenny-digital2.jpg
Tenny-digital.jpg
TENY brand sells orange surface finish ones.

There are a digital scale version and a analogue scale version.

The tension conversion charts are available for some standard spoke sizes. And this picture appears to show how these conversion charts were made.
alpha-convertchart.jpg
A sample 'scale reading' to tension conversion chart
Tenny-realtension.jpg
The factory proof stand?

The specification
TennySpokeTensionMeterjpg.jpg
This is a screen shot clip from ebay site but I noticed something. There is a greyed word in the specification section. "messwert" means measured value in German. I don't know how it happened. This meter was initially intended for German market? Or some German company helped this Taiwan factory do the initial marketing?

It is inexpensive. Some ebay sellers sell it for US $76 or €69 or so. I am very tempted. [New Spoke Tension Meter? (an inexpensive alternative?)]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/06/06(火) 11:40:13|
  2. Bikes and related things
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La La Land 2016 and a few words on it

La La Land 2016

Musical movies are normally not on my priority when it comes to choosing the movie titles to watch. When I heard that its (La La Land) theme (or one of the main themes) was jazz (music), I knew I had to watch it.

Jazz is my music.

Did I like it or not?

Here's my honest review of it.

I wondered when I heard that it had been nominated for the Oscar for multiple categories that what made it so successful.

Now I know why or at least part of why. It is a good movie worth paying for it. It did not (to my best recollection) win the best movie category and it was the right thing.

Tour de Suisse 2017

Trek-Segafredo has announced the squad for this stage race in Switzerland.

Boy Van Poppel (Bel)
Fabio Felline (Ita)
Grégory Rast (Swi)
Jarlinson Pantano (Col)
John Degenkolb (Ger)
Kiel Reijnen (USA)
Koen de Kort (Hol)
Matthias Brändle (Aut)

Who are going to make it to the Tour?

John Degenkolb is most likely to make it on the roster. Who else? Grégory Rast is, I believe, will make it. Who else?

In all my real concern is that Fumy Beppu will make it or not.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [La La Land 2016 and a few words on it]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. 2017/06/05(月) 21:21:21|
  2. Diary
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The death of Archos 70 Oxygen and other things

The death of Archos 70 Oxygen

It is dead! I hate ARCHOS, a French son of bitch!

The battery seems to be dead! I could (not any more at this moment) charge it but now it is totally erratic.


I could charge it. When I plug it to the power source, (even when it is turned off) the screen lights up and shows the battery animation and shows how much left in the battery. I could do it until a few days ago.

Now when I plug it, the animation shows up briefly and (sometimes show the %) it (animation) turns off, only to repeat this process after 10 seconds (or so) almost infinitely.

When I could charge it (say overnight) and unplug it for a day (tuned off all the time), the battery level went to less than 10 %. I thought it discharged continuously over 24 hours for some internal defects.

It turned out that the battery is dead and as soon as I unplug the tablet, the battery goes down to less than 10 % or simply 0%.

I changed the digitizers for no avail.

When I turn it on with the charge cable plugged, it shows the start-up screen (logo of Archos) but the it (logo screen) shuts itself off after a brief moment only to repeat this over and over, and over!

I looked for the replacement battery but could not source it.

Conclusions:
1. Archos is a sh*t! I will never buy their products again!
2. I will abandon the tablet.

This sh*tty company cost me a lot. First I was led to believe that 64 GB micro SC card would work (and their support insisted in their mail when I complained) with it and it turned out it did not. I had to buy a 32 GB one after that.

I purchased a new digitizer but the battery went broken on me.

I purchased some micro USB cables and stuff for this tablet and now they are wasted (almost).

Damn you, ARCHOS and Goodbye forever!

Or should I try something else? The battery inside has a model number "GPC 298292" and rated specification of 3.7 V 3000 mAH. I tried to source it with the model number or "ARCHOS 70 Oxygen" and failed.

I could still find the matching (almost) battery by its rating or size among the generic batteries on the market. Should I buy one of those and install it? The battery seems to be 95 mm by 75 mm. I don't know the thickness now but I assume it is 4 mm (or 6mm). It is NOT too expensive.

A new iPad mini 2 case, yet another one is arriving

After finding out that LOVE MEI iPad mini 2 case (MK1, my own naming retrofitting-ly) was extremely heavy and heavily slippery (and subsequently extremely disappointed), I immediately sought for replacements.

I found ones. I ordered them and one arrived and one awaiting my pickup at the local post office.

LOVE MEI iPad mini 2 MK1: The case weighs more than the iPad mini 2 does, I think. It is simply ridiculous!

I should take some pictures of these cases and write a review on them!

Since bloody ARCHOS 70 Oxygen is gone, this iPad mini 2 is the only tablet I have for the moment.

Oh, I purchased an app called "duet" on the iTunes store. It enables iPad (or other i-devices) as a second screen for the Macs (for my case MacBooks) or Windows PCs. It cost me dear but It might be fun to have an extra screen beside the 13-inch screen on my MacBooks.

I like iPad mini 2 and I will like it better when I am able to jailbreak it.

duet - deutdisplay.com
I bought it on the iTunes store at €10.99. I installed it and gave it a brief try. It worked and it is very interesting. One thing I learned immediately was that I need a rigid fixing device (a stand, holder or the kinds) to fully appreciate the function it offers.

It's not a bad idea to have an extra screen at hand.

Wacaco nanopresso

Wacaco currently offers their latest invention (still in development but close to mass production for sale) nanopresso as a pre-order product (at supposedly a discount price)?

I already own their minipresso (as in mini SIM, micro SIM, nano SIM) Nespresso® compatible. In fact, I am going to have a expresso break soon after finishing this entry with this device.

They have not announced the time frame of product launch yet but I hope the launch is close. They are accepting the pre-order orders from the customers. The nanopresso is going to launch as a fine ground espresso tamping system, not as a Nespresso® compatible system. Due to the restriction set by the size, I wonder if they ever introduce a Nespresso® compatible nanopresso system. I kinda doubt it.

I already enlisted myself for this pre-order nanopresso.

Added a few hours following the initial entry
On their blog there was an update (https://www.wacaco.com/blogs/news/nanopresso) which was released on Today, yes the day I wrote this June 05, 2017. According to the update on the comment section from their earlier entry, I can tell that the launch is nearer, the accessories like double espresso add-on kit won't be released initially but will be available later, there could be adapters for Nespresso® system or CA system.

The accessory kit for double espresso won't fit in the protective case, I guess.

Let's see!

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The death of Archos 70 Oxygen and other things]の続きを読む

テーマ:Android - ジャンル:携帯電話・PHS

  1. 2017/06/05(月) 12:54:38|
  2. Android devices
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