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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

Amazon Shopping on New Year's Eve!

I wish all of you a Happy New Year!

Shopping til you drop

I was so frustrated when I could not boot into macOS (or at that time of El Capitan it was still called Mac OS X?) once I set the hard disk drive with Windows 7 on it as the start disk.

Since I had no physically attached wired keyboard at the time of its (Mac mini Early 2009) start up process, I an not control the booting behavior.

If I "had" a wired keyboard attached to it, I could simply press-hold "option" key to interrupt the booting process and leisurely select which drive (or medium) to boot from.

I have to dismantle the machine and disconnect the hard disk drive with the Windows but it is too much of trouble and in the long run I need a wired keyboard anyways.

So I had to shop even it was New Year's Eve, Monday, December 31st.

Initially I had 5 or 6 items in the "Basket" but I decided to buy minimum stuff. A USB "WIRED" keyboard, A Mini DisplayPort to female HDMI adapter and Mini DisplayPort to male HDMI cable are those which I consider must items.

I have already a Mini DisplayPort to male HDMI cable but it is a cheap cable I purchased years ago and won't last too long as its material I realized belatedly not so durable.

I hope those items will be delivered in a week or so. Then I can control the boot process of this Mac mini Early 2009 again as I like it.

Mac mini Late 2009 (BTO with Core 2 Duo P8800 at 2.66 GHz)

On it way to Daddy (= me).

What?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Amazon Shopping on New Year's Eve!]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2018/12/31(月) 15:33:18|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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2018 year end and year 2019

2019 and 2018

It is Sunday now (at the time of this writing) and Tomorrow it will be (or "is") Monday and the last day of Year 2018.

This year there was a change in pace, namely quit the old job and started a new job (same work but different employers). So far this has worked for the better and I hope it will continue like this next year.

I am looking forward to having a slightly (or?) better year for me.

Today, it is cloudy but it is not raining. The temperature (daytime high and nighttime low) won't drop under zero degrees Celsius (freezing point for water).

I should start being on a bike to keep me fit.



El Capitan installed on Mac mini Early 2009

Now this Mac mini Early 2009 (Core 2 Duo 2GB) is on Mac OS X El Capitan (now it is called macOS but then Mac OS X). El Capitan version is the latest (and the last) officially supported version for this macmini3,1.

I have not decided if I will upgrade it to High Sierra or even Mojave (latest) by patching the system. Let's see how I like it for the moment.

The most important thing is having this machine double or triple as a Windows 7/10, Linux and Mac machine. Having the latest macOS on it is not so important.



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [2018 year end and year 2019]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2018/12/31(月) 11:52:03|
  2. Diary
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The HDMI mess (much like USB mess)

The HDMI mess

I am not an audio-visual man. I had not been up-to-date on the HDMI situation until I wanted to use my newly purchased Mac mini Early 2009 to my old 32" LCD TV via HDMI (Apple Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable) or to my newly purchased August DA100D (portable DVB-T2 TV) via HDMI.

I could use an old (purchased several years ago and completely forgotten) Apple Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable to connect this Mac mini Early 2009 to the 32" TV. Actually it worked at first but stopped working for some unknown reasons and now I have to use Apple Mini-DVI to VGA adapter with a VGA cable to connect those two devices.

When I tried to connect this portable TV with the Mac mini, I realized that the HDMI female connecter on it was much smaller than the end of the cable I had.

What?

So I had to Google "mini hdmi" and understood the situation. The situation is much like USB mess. It (so-called the standard) started with a big plug and then they started to shrink it to put it on smaller devices over times and several times.

Now I need to buy more adapters.

hdmi-mess01.jpg
When I searched for it, I found a lot of articles describing the HDMI mess. This is one of them and it angrily (?) summarizes the situation.

hdmi-mess02.jpg
This image was taken from the Wikipedia's page where it describes the so-called HDMI standard.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The HDMI mess (much like USB mess)]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2018/12/28(金) 15:41:27|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Mac mini Early 2009 has been up and running well

Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) on Mac mini Early 2009

I am writing this on my newly acquired Mac mini Early 2009, which currently running Mac OX X 10.6 Snow Leopard and using TextEdit via a Bluetooth wireless keyboard.

When I initialized the HDD and installed Snow Leopard on this Mac mini from the OS Install DVD and booted the machine after the installation was done, I was puzzled when it (the system setup screen) asked me to input some information with apparently a keyboard.

How do I use this Bluetooth keyboard when there is no Bluetooth icon on the menu bar on the screen (or there was no menu bar at this point).

First I just turned it off by long-pressing the power button.

Later I powered it on and confronted the machine hoping to overcome my plight.

Back several hours ago when I installed Windows 7 on the same machine, I was given the choice of using a virtual on-screen keyboard. How considerate of Windows 7 (or its programers) to prepare this option!

I had a working wireless mouse which is connected to the machine by a USB dongle. First I tried to "copy and paste" to do the trick but letters surrounding the input areas awaiting some input could not be copied.

Then I right-clicked on the input area to invoke a pulldown menu in desperate attempt to attain something. I could open a spelling & grammar setting window. From there I could open the Control Panel! Wow! Once Control Panel is open, I could pair my Bluetooth keyboard, of course.

After this, installation was just a breeze.

It was not kind or considerate of them (programmers) to leave the users with a Bluetooth keyboard stranded there. I know nobody now installs Snow Leopard freshly on a Mac and those who do (some ebay or other sellers) have access to hardwired keyboards.

After installation I tidy up the machine and connected it to the Internet to see what it was like. It worked but first YouTube rejected to give me connection saying that this browser (Safari - old version) was out-of-date and would not fully take advantage of the site so please update it. I insisted to use this version and YouTube let me do so.

Software Update from Apple menu or About this Mac window showed me that I had to update Snow Leopard to version 10.6.8 for further actions.

On this Snow Leopard 10.6 (without any further fraction) there is no App Store. Software Update is actually inside the Control Panel.

I knew it (upgrading the OS on a machine sold before Snow Leopard 10.6.8 was available) required updating up to 10.6.8 to get free upgrade of Mac OS X (now called just macOS) as I helped a friend of mine who had such MacBook Air.

What shall I do? I just installed Snow Leopard on a 80 GB hard disk drive taken out of MSI Megabook M670 to see if the installation works from the DVD. I don't think this HDD will last long or fast. I want to swap the disks inside the Mac mini so that main drive bay has an SSD with macOS and the second bay with the 320 GB HDD which came with the machine with some Linux and/or Windows.

I have to repeat the installation process again to get there but now I now how to do it and how long it takes.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mac mini Early 2009 has been up and running well]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2018/12/26(水) 13:21:25|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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2560 (3K) monitors or 3840 (4K) monitors?

2560 x 1440, 2560 x 1080 and other resolutions

Mini DisplayPort is on my MacBooks and Mac mini. My Mac mini also has Mini-DVI port and two of the adapters that came with it are Mini-DVI to VGA and Mini-DVI to Dual-Link DVI-D ones.

My MacBook Pro Mid 2010 seems to be capable of supporting 2560 x 1600 on an external monitor (but using what or which cable?).

My MacBooks Late 2009 seem to be as capable as my MacBook Pro Mid 2010.

So to maximize the use of (a future purchase list item) a monitor, I should buy an adapter Apple Mini-DisplayPort to something (Dual-Link DVI-D? or ??) and a monitor that is capable of 3K or 4K.

LCD screen monitors are cheaper nowadays. It is main cause that a Japanese once-giant-and-ruling manufacturer of LCD panel Sharp to collapse, they could not keep up with the pace of the price falls and could not recover the investment (research and development cost).

For the moment my LCD TV (31.5-inch) will do. I can even use my newly acquired 10.1" HD portable TV as the monitor for my Mac mini with an appropriate cable. an Apple Mini DisplayPort to HDMI or a Mini-DVI to HDMI cable will do.


In the long run, I will be needing one of these adapters and a monitor next Spring.
MiniDpPortAdap.jpg

I have to save up some money to get a trailer tow hitch on my Mazda MX-5 next Spring. I have not made an inquiry yet but I will soon. It would cost me over € 1,000, I am afraid. This has the priority.

August DA100D
August

10.1" HD Digital / Analogue TV & Multimedia Player DA100D

Full HD 16:9 LCD Screen
Portable Freeview TV with 7 Day EPG
Built-in Stereo Speakers
USB and Micro SD Card Reader
Record onto External Storage

These are the words seen on the front of the box.

On the back the among other information, I can see the company's information. The device itself was clearly "Made in China". Lately I found this very deceptive expression "Made in PRC" on many products. It is a contraction of People's Republic of China and it gives the wrong impression that whatever the products are, the products are not made in China. Who came up with this scheme? The impression it gives is as wrong as those words themselves might mean. People's Republic? It is actually Communist Party's dictatorship of China.

Republic of China is the official name of Taiwan, says Dictionary (Apple app on my Macs). This is true as they have the freedom of speech, free election and other indicators that all good free countries have.

August International Ltd.
Rawmec Business Park
Plumpton Road
Hoddesdon
EN11 0EE
United Kingdom

www.augustint.com

I applied the latest firmware on it. The latest firmware version 3.2 applies to devices whose serial number is higher than 100D1800000.



Mine bears SN 100D180**** so it is good for mine.

Company's download site has a minor bug. Nothing happens when you click on those "download" letters. There's a trick or remedy. I had to first change the language (or region) selector to other one (it was EN = English for me first). I changed it to French and then came back to English. This action (changing the page language) will reload the page and seemingly reset the javascript or some HTML script (whatever it is). After this downloading is possible. If you can read French, you can immediately download the firmware once you are in French page, I guess.

The firmware version of my device as purchased was 3.1. Now it runs on 3.2.

I will bring it outside and closer to the center of Luxembourg City (where DVB-T signals seem abundant and stronger than other places) and search for signals.

Powering up the Mac mini Early 2009
OK. I knew it but I did not want to realize it. I have done a lot of operation system installing including various versions of Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (now macOS) on various machines (PCs and Macs) so I knew hardwired keyboard would be mandatory for the success of installation.

I don't have a wired (USB) keyboard. I had them but I think I discarded them long time ago. I only have a wireless Bluetooth keyboard (non-Apple).

So I had three macOS (back then Mac OS X) installation media so I thought the process would be easy. It was not.

When I finally powered my Mac mini Early 2009 up on Tuesday, I was puzzled to see the usual desktop appeared. It was Mac OS X 10 Yosemite and there was no need of setup. The seller had already installed some additional applications and created some "user" on it. I played with it and decided to perform a clean installation so that nothing hazardous would remain on the system.

My natural choice was Lion USB key (stick) as it was the latest of the three (Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion). I could boot it but the installation failed. I don't know why so I gave up on it and decided to install Windows 7 on it.

Now I have Windows 7 on the primary drive (originally Yosemite resided). I later learned (when I tried to upgrade it Windows 10) that the graphic chip on it was not supported in Windows 10. So I decided to stay with Windows 7. Do I really need Windows 7? I don't know.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [2560 (3K) monitors or 3840 (4K) monitors?]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2018/12/24(月) 18:05:47|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Mac mini Early 2009 has arrived but ...

Mac mini Early 2009 from UK

Now I am home after an extended errand for myself. I had to pick up two separate small packets (Amazon ordered at the same time) from the local post office, an ebay packet (above mentioned) from a pick-up station and another Amazon order from yet another pick-up station. The last one is located near the Central station and always it is hard to find a paring spot nearby, especially when it is a weekday (Today it is Christmas Eve with a lot of people there!) So I decided to walk there to get it. That is why I call it an extended pick-up rally errand.

I found another notice in the mailbox (physical, why should I repeatedly use the term a physical mailbox?) from the local post office that I have another undelivered packet, supposedly from Amazon Germany.

Anyway, I wanted to get a cable or an adapter that I might need to hook up the yet-unopened Mac mini Early 2009 to one of the TV sets (VGA connecter, HDMI connecter or AV in). So I went to Saturn (an electronic shop near the station) but could not locate one or ones appropriate for the task.

Nobody uses VGA cables these days, obsolete! Apple's DVI is already almost obsolete.

It has two ports, one Mini DisplayPort and one Mini DVI port on its back. This auction item came with two adapters, one Mini DVI to VGA and one Mini DVI to DVI (Dual link DVI-D).

I am looking at some spec sheet (maybe for USA models) and it says that Mac mini Early 2009 came with one "Apple Mini-DVI to VGA" and one "Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI" adapters. I got 'Apple Mini-DVI to Dual-Link DVI' adapter instead (because this was an European version?).

I had to search and watch a YouTube video to know the differences among those cable/cable adapters. What a mess!

These are the shrunk version of the ebay auction photos that I purchased. The description that the seller gave was rather sketchy so I had to guess from the photos.

macmini2009-ebay01.jpg
From this photo I guessed that I was getting "something" to VGA and DVI adapters seemingly Apple genuine parts, an Apple wireless Mighty Mouse and continental European style plug with UK main adapter (and of course a Mac mini).

macmini2009-ebay02.jpg
From this photo I guessed I was getting a Snow Leopard install disk, a Lion install USB stick, the original applications disk, an obscure memory module kit (magnifying the photo did not help me decipher the letters) and some leaflet.

After opening the package it turned out that I was almost right about the contents.

What I could not tell was;
1. Under the "Application Install DVD" completely hidden was an "Mac OS X Install DVD" (Leopard?) disk
2. The memory module kit was a set of two 4 GB modules (total 8 GB)

What ? An 8 GB memory kit? The seller had not mentioned anything about it. The description said it would come with 1 GB of memory. The description had been "more" correct if it were like 1 GB of memory "installed" and "8 GB additional memory kit" or so.

I have already purchased the same 8 GB kit (two 4 GB modules) just minutes after winning the auction! They are on the way and arriving sometime next January. I think I can use these modules in one of my MacBook Late 2009 or so. They were not too expensive anyway.

Anyway, I realized I had a VGA cable hooked up on the TV. I will turn my Mac mini on later Today.

Now I am listening to an audiobook version of "Trump's America" by Newt Gingrich purchased on iTunes Store. In this book Mr. Gingrich repeatedly mentions "Media" and "Anti-Trump coalition" and I found it very interesting. Obviously President Trump is fighting this ubiquitous enemy. He (the author) does not specify who they are but he labels it as the Liberal or others. This is what got me interested and ultimately led me to purchase the audiobook. I am just halfway through the book and will certainly listen to it repeatedly. This book is really good.

And I am using this wireless Mighty Mouse but the touch is not to my liking. Maybe I have to get used to it before saying if it suits me or not.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[Mac mini Early 2009 has arrived but ...]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2018/12/24(月) 15:44:00|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Trump's America by Newt Gingrich (audiobook) unabridged

Trump's America by Newt Gingrich

I purchased this audiobook on iTunes and started listening to it. It is a long book (audiobook) and it must be a thick book (how many physical pages?). 9 hours and some! I am looking forward to it.

It is one of my Christmas holidays's projects along with cleaning my room, getting my hands on the Mac mini Early 2009 (now at the local Post Office).

When Mr. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America, I was honestly disappointed. I was kinda pro-Hillary person mostly because of her husband's relationship to J.F.K. I remember his (B. Clinton) photo where he was shaking hands with J.F.K.

Now (a year later) I am happy that he was elected. A lot has happened since his election and now I know that I had been heavily brainwashed by the media.

I am a big fan of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America.

So naturally I was pro-Democratic Party even though I have never been an American citizen or have never had the right to vote there. I only lived there for about 3 years.

I bought a paperback issue of "On the Trail of the Assassins" by Jim Garrison and read it. I purchased a set VHS (at that time I was living in the States) of "J.F.K." directed by Oliver Stone and before that of course went to see the movie twice at the local theater (Encino, California, so-called 'the Valley' area).

It never occurred to me that J.F.K. and Trump had something in common.


Mac mini has arrived at least at the pickup station

I just have to collect it on Monday, 24 December, on Christmas Eve. I have to go there and get it. I have a total of three (two from Post Office and one from DPD, ebay global shipping agent in Luxembourg), all waiting me to react. I am going to get them all on Monday before all of the business go on an extended stretch of holidays.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Trump's America by Newt Gingrich (audiobook) unabridged]の続きを読む

テーマ:日記 - ジャンル:日記

  1. 2018/12/22(土) 17:28:28|
  2. Diary
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Mac min Early 2009 and even earlier Mac mini machines

Mac mini Early 2009 and even earlier Mac mini machines

I am waiting for the arrival of my beloved new (to my possession but in reality old and second hand) Mac mini Early 2009.

While waiting for it, I have been doing some reading, YouTube watching and netsurfing.

When I decided to get a Mac mini on ebay, I set up to get this particular model (Early 2009) or later as I had read the article (MacMiniIntel - Debian Wiki). I learned that it would be much easier to boot normal 64-bit ISO image on this macmini3,1 model than macmini2,1 or macmini1,1 (all Intel models).

Earlier models are not 64-bit clean (32-bit). This is the gist of it.

While watching some videos on YouTube, I learned that earlier Mac minis had a CPU socket on the board instead of a soldered CPU. This opens up the opportunity of user upgrade of their CPUs.

Typically the upgrade path is from Intel Core 2 Solo to Core 2 Duo or simply newer faster Core 2 Duos.

There is even a way to flash the ROM so that macmini1,1 can become macmini2,1 in a way. Interesting!

macmini2,1 (a.k.a. Mac mini Mid 2007) is just macmini1,1 (a.k.a. Mac mini Early/Late 2006) with 64-bit CPU and modified firmware (EFI) so I learned.


Saris Axis 2-bike rack (maybe) coming sooner than expected!

I had a notification email from Amazon Germany telling me,

And here you find the article or articles with the respective estimated delivery date:

"Saris Euro Axis bike rack for two bicycles"
Estimated delivery: 04 January 2019 - 05 January 2019



like above.

It is coming one month earlier than I expected it would be. Does this mean that they (Amazon Germany) want to charge my credit card before the end of this year?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mac min Early 2009 and even earlier Mac mini machines]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2018/12/21(金) 16:53:27|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Mac mini Early 2009 (macmini3,1) is coming!

Mac mini Early 2009 (macmini3.1) is on its way

It is December 18, 2018 and it is 2019 in two weeks now. Why have I purchased a used Mac mini as old as 9 years old now?

By the way Today it was around 3 degrees Celsius in the morning and the air was very moist. It is sunny with thin layers of clouds during the day. It will continue like this in the evening but the forecast says it is going to rain Tomorrow.

.... because I wanted to have a Mac that runs Windows 7 or 10, Linux (of some distribution most likely Debian) and macOS to do some chores which are only done in Windows environment (like running firmware update programs for some electronic devices) or to have fun running Linux.

For ease of use (like installing Linux), I chose Mac mini Early 2009 or later and I got this particular model auctioned on ebay because it came with the power adapter, two display port adapters (I don't know which ones as they are just shown in the photos that the seller put up), a wireless Mighty Mouse and some other goodies (like a Snow Leopard DVD, a Lion USB stick and other not so useful stuff).

https://wiki.debian.org/MacMiniIntel Debian on Mac minis

It is on its way from the UK (for the moment no worries of being charged with import tax) to Luxembourg.

Its configuration is kinda poor; it only has 1 GB RAM and 120 GB HDD.

I have ordered within an hour of winning this auction item a set of two 4 GB memory modules, which makes the soon-to-arrive Mac mini have 8 GB of RAM. I ordered several days later (along with the Saris Axis) a optical bay SSD/HDD adopter so that I can replace the optical drive with HDD or SSD.

I plan to install an Intel SSD (40 GB?) into the main drive bay and put this 120 GB old HDD into the second drive bay.

How should I configure it? Shall I put macOS on its main drive and Debian GNU/Linux on its second drive? Where should I put Windows 10? Shall I make partitions on the second drive and install Debian GNU/Linux and Windows 10?

I don't think this old 120 GB HDD to last so I should get a new one soon. So let's just install Windows 7 on this 120 GB drive and see how it works.

I have an old (purchased in 2004 or 2005?) MSI notebook, which I used to use with Debian Gnu/Linux and Ubuntu or Lubuntu. I stopped using it after i got my MacBooks. It had Lubuntu 16.04 on it. Yesterday I booted it up after two years of sleep.

I tried to update the system to latest Lubuntu 18.** and during the process it occurred to me whey I stopped using it. The reason was the problem I had with the Wifi connection. First I thought it was problem with the software (Linux driver of the Wifi chip) but I came to believe that it was problem with the hardware.

The symptom is that Wifi works for a while (minutes or 10 minutes) and then it suddenly disconnects. I have to manually disable the Wifi by turning the Wifi off and then re-enable it to re-connect to the network. It connects but soon (a few minutes later) it disconnects itself again. Maybe it is time I let it rest forever.

Or I should use it with Windows 7 or Windows 10 to see if it works.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Mac mini Early 2009 (macmini3,1) is coming!]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2018/12/18(火) 16:20:00|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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DVB-T2 (H.264/H.265) ready!

August DA100D 10-inch DVB-T2 portable TV set

I wanted to buy this portable LCD screen TV set. This particular TV set does not have battery on its own. It uses 4 of 1.2V AA rechargeable cells. If you prepare two sets of 4 AA cells, you can use it twice as long as it can run on 4 AA cells.

There is no risk of the battery inside going bad and having to discard the entire device even though the rest of the device is just fine.

Its normal price on Amazon Germany is around € 135 but I got a notice that it was on a flash sale. The moment it came on my cell phone I was there to see the notice. I also had time to see what the flash sale was like.

Its price was reduced to around € 95 so I bought it and immediately after that the price went up again back to its normal price.

The DVB-T2 standard is not standardized at all. Yes, it is standardized but what DVB-T2 means is a bit confusing. H.264 and H.265 both refer to DVB-T2 standard but they are different.

When European countries started to shift from DVB-T to DVB-T2, they (countries) could choose to adopt H.264, H.265 or mix them. They (TV signal providers) have to replace the signal emitters, which I guess, consist of big encoders and amplificators. The former (H.264) signal is less information in it than the latter (H.265).

France started using H.264 equipment and gradually started replacing the old DVB-T equipment. They decided not to jump on H.265. They can start using H.265 equipment anytime when the prices of the equipment come down. They started this process around 2016 or so.

On the contrary Germany decided that they would wait a bit and replace all of those old DVB-T equipment totally and jump on H.265. They did it in 2017 or 2018.

You should search for the correct information regarding DVB-T2 adoption in European countries.

Anyway, so when I travel through France in 2019, the chances are I will get DVB-T signals in remote rural places, DVB-T2 (H.264) signals in big cities (like Paris) or I could get DVB-T2 (H.265) somewhere.

In Germany I can only get DVB-T2 - H.265 (maybe some exceptions apply to very remote rural forgotten places where they still have DVB-T?? signal emitters??). In Germany (before they switched the system nationwide) they ran a series of TV ads (and paper media ads, I guess) telling the consumers that their DVB-T devices won't work anymore past this set date and they had to replace their devices which would meet the DVB-T2 (H.265) standards.

In 2018 I could use my old DVB-T TV sets in Belgium, in some places in France and in Luxembourg. I used my tiny DVB-T2 receiver connected on my Android phone (Google Nexus 5X) to watch TV programs in France but I could not tell which signal I was getting (T2 or T, retrospectively nicknamed as T1).

In Belgium and the Netherlands (according to some Wikipedia pages), the cable subscription rates are so high (everybody has cable TV along with Internet connection) that they are not aware of the DVB-T or T2. Almost everybody I encountered pointed to my DVB-T portable TV set and asked if it was a satellite signal TV.

So they don't think T1 or T2 an issue at all. As far as I know Belgium people are happy with DVB-T and don't bother with T2.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[DVB-T2 (H.264/H.265) ready!]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2018/12/16(日) 17:27:22|
  2. Things European
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Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack ordered but not yet paid

Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack

Well, it was going to happen anyway so I made (or let) it happen.

A flashback of a one scene from "Minority Report" came to me when I wrote the sentence above. When a character played by Colin Farrell challenged the character played by Tom Cruise that catching soon-to-be criminals and sentencing them to prison would pose a question of accusing them for what they had not done yet. The character played by Tom Cruise (John Anderton was the name?) rolled a ball on to the rail and Colin Farrell caught the ball before it fell on the floor. John Anderton asked whey the character played by Farrell did that and insisted that catching the ball before it fell on the floor would not change the fact that it was going to fall.

That 'Zen' dialogue suddenly came to me.

So now I have to make an inquiry asking Kuppling-vor-Ort how much it would cost me to have a towing ball hitch installed on my Mazda MX-5 in, say, next March and how long I would have to wait for the installation (2-3 hours?) to be completed so that I can make a round trip itinerary.

Also I have to check the UCI road race calendar to see what date I should ask for an appointment with them.

The merchandise is currently out of stock (Amazon Germany) and not available until (estimated) early February, 2019. My credit card won't be charged for this bike rack unit it is shipped, which is going to be more than two months. I don't have to worry about spending too much money this month, which include Christmas.

I also found a very intriguing or curious thing. I was browsing the site of Wiggle where they used to list Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack (it is of the list). Saris Axis (3-bike) bike rack is still available at the time of this blogging.

Here's the description of the product (3-bike).

saris-axis-wiggle.jpg

It seems OK but the last small line was a bit intriguing.
saris-axis-madeinitaly.jpg
"Made in Italy"

I thought all Saris bike racks were made in Madison, Wisconsin USA. Maybe they (Saris) asked some company in Italy to make the EU standard ball hitch version and assemble the rack using the other parts sent from USA. I don't know if it is the case.

TomTom map data v.s. Garmin map data

TomTom's map data was updated a few days ago and I was curious. Based on my experience, I know that TomTom's map data are more up-to-date than those of Garmin's.

This morning I let TomTom app on my iPad mini 2 (Wifi only) navigate my way to work with a friendly help from Garmin GLO.

This one roundabout near my new workplace is not reflected in Garmin's map data (latest version 2019.20) and the lady (the synthesized voice) always tells me to turn left where I have go round and take the second exit (to the left).

This morning TomTom app told me to take the second exit. She (also woman's voice) was right. She knew the way.

This has further strengthen my belief that TomTom's map data are more up-to-date.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack ordered but not yet paid]の続きを読む

テーマ:カー用品 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/12/15(土) 17:02:22|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Garmin Camper 660 LMT-D is speaking French!

Parlez-vous Françcais?

I was nodding off at the wheel not literally but figuratively, thank God.

I drive safe and when I feel sleepy or drowsy, I stop and rest or take a short nap in the seat. Anyway, let me explain what I meant.

I have always (since year 2005? when I first bought my GPS device, Garmin StreetPilot c510 in Germany) used English as the language on any GPS (voice language and display language). I have enjoyed David Zabriskie's funny voice navigation aid, Australian female pre-recorded voices or synthesized female voices.

If I choose an American (USA) female voice, she reads the unit in foot (Imperial) so I have to choose Australian voices or similar ones.

I have been using Garmin Camper 660 when commuting. I know the way so I did not pay much mind to what the synthesized female voice was telling me. She tells me to turn or U-turn most of the time. Since I am using the synthesized voice, it reads off the street names using her text-to-speech skill.

I have used it (synthesized voices) on older Garmin devices (like nüvi 2340 or so) and she was bad (no offense!). She pronounced French words (street names) as if they were English words.

It was at least a week later when I realized that this lady (residing inside Garmin Camper 660) was actually speaking French. I set the voice language as English so she spoke English to me like turn, keep or U-turn but she was reading the street names in French!

So now Garmin Europe (based in the UK) has this profile of Luxembourg and automatically let the synthesized voice to read street names in French as French is the dominant official language in Luxembourg.

The scheme is not perfect. She reads CR*** (*** stands for numbers) as "County Road" where it actually is a contraction of French 'Circulation Régionale' (= Regional Circulation: I might be wrong but as far as I could remember). It does mean County Road anyways.

I was impressed with her talent.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin Camper 660 LMT-D is speaking French!]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/12/14(金) 16:53:35|
  2. GPS Navigation
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The price has gone up (Saris Axis)!

Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack and other hitch ball racks by Thule and others

trailerhb-racks.jpg

trailerhb-racks0.jpg

At Amazon (Germany) I found "other" trailer ball hitch bike racks by that famous Thule and similar ones by various (correct me if I am wrong, Chinese) makers.

In the meanwhile, the price of Saris Axis 2-bike rack has gone up by about €6. Should I have purchased it before it went up? Or should I wait until it goes down eventually (if it ever does)?

The prices at Amazon fracture all the time, especially when they (prices) are of products imported into EU. They go up and come down. As the exchange rates go down and up.


Back to those the Thule bike rack and its copies (or similar products).

Some of them are really cheap. I know cheap ones are made of steel pipes and prone to rust. One of them is ridiculously cheap. How about the one that carries the price tag of mere €22 and some fractions?

It will do the job, won't it? It just does not look pretty. I can buy 5 or 6 of them with the price of just one Saris Axis 2-bike rack.

Let's face it! I use this bike rack only (up to) 6 weeks in one year. If I break it down, during the Tour de France 4 weeks and about 2 weeks during other bike race events. Does this extra € 130 worth paying for a clean handsome looking bike rack?


TomTom map update (on my iPad mini 2)

Today I noticed (December 13, 2018) that an update was available (I have the Western Europe map on it). When was the last time I had an update? The last time was an update to the program itself not the map data.

Let's see how update it is! I know some quite new roundabouts near my new work are not recognized in Garmin's latest 2019.20 and some roads around Gasperich area (Luxembourg's capital area where a new office, shopping and other things complex development is going on. Are they included in his TomTom update?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The price has gone up (Saris Axis)!]の続きを読む

テーマ:カー用品 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/12/13(木) 15:39:09|
  2. Bikes and related things
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K&N air filter back in Mazda MX-5 ND

Frosted! Time to open the roof

Today (Tuesday, December 11, 2018) it is a fine day and it was cold in the morning (no clouds and all the heat remaining in the air dissipated) and when I went to my car to drive to work, it was all frosted. I had to scrape off the ice on the glass.

I did not foresee this (ice) and did not place a plastic sheet that I bought last year over the front windshield. After arriving at work, I placed it over the windshield as I knew by the time I drive home, it could be ice on the windshield again without this protective sheet.

In the afternoon, I had time to vacuum the bottom of the air filter box and to coat the K&N air filter with the special oil and put it back in the filter box.

It was first time that I ever used the recharging oil. I thought the oil bottle had an atomizer top. It turned out that it was just like a shampoo bottle. I had to squeeze the oil out from the spout and coat the pleats with it.

The degreased cotton (I thought it was) looked faded pink when dried. The recharging oil was bright red. When I apply the oil on the cotton, the filter pleats looked dark purplish red again just as it was before cleaned.

I don't know I applied the oil enough or too much. I have to take out the filter and see how it looks like in a week or so.

At the same time I hid the cable (between the fuse box just beside the clutch and Garmin Camper 660) under the panels so that it won't dangle. I need one of those cable clips (or fasteners shown below) to tidy up this cable.

CableClips.jpg

I also put two magnetic holders on the shoulder area (of the driver and the passenger) at the foot of the wind deflector. The installation did not go well as the temperature inside the car was around 6 or 7 degrees Celsius. They will stick well when it is warmer.

I will lay two USB power cables (mini USB and micro USB) there. The Garmin GLO and other devices will be there (cellular phone, dash cam, action cam or ?).

magnetholders.jpg


One of the two MacBooks Late 2009 woe

This one has a second HDD (main drive is an SSD) in its optical drive bay. I put the original HDD inside the MacBook inside the optical drive bay (with an adapter).

It worked fine in the beginning but it stopped working shortly after (as expected). It stopped to spin at all, in other words, it went silent for a while before it suddenly woke up (started to spin) again recently.

Obviously this HDD became a zombie (seemingly went dead once and started to walk again, so it is officially undead, a zombie).

Since then this MacBook Late 2009 has been ill. I want to take the zombie out but did not have time to do so. I think I wrote about this woe a while ago.

Today I tried to install the updates on it but it failed to get the security update installed on it. I really have to do the operation soon.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [K&N air filter back in Mazda MX-5 ND]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/12/11(火) 16:52:49|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack and other things

Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack EU (or European) version

The difference between the US version and EU version is in their foot (US trailer hitch on the vehicle is a square pipe female shape type and the EU trailer hitch on the vehicle is a ball hitch male type). The US version can tilt (for ease of access to the rear hatch) whereas the EU sibling, seemingly a brother, is stiff and can not tilt (no innuendo intended).

If I had a vehicle that has a rear hatch opening sideways (like the new Suzuki Jimny, not sold in the USA, alas!), I would not dream of getting this Saris Axis EU version.

If I had a vehicle that has a rear hatch opening upward (like most of them on the road), I would hesitate to order one unless I have rear doors (like 4-door / 1-hatch design).

My beloved automobile is the Mazda MX-5 ND (4th generation) and its boot lid is tiny and very thin. I don't think (or I hope) opening the lid will not be hampered by this bike rack.

It is available from a couple of online shops here in Europe and also available on Amazon Germany.

Ones on the Amazon are out of stock for the moment and the estimated time of restocking is February 2nd, 2019. I can order it Today at this moment but won't be delivered to me for some time. I won't be charged either until they ship it to me.

Should I order it now? It won't hurt if I did now. If I order it now, I am on the waiting list and probably won't miss the opportunity. If I order after February, the EU stock might be depleted and miss the opportunity until the next restocking (the batch manufacturing schedule of Saris Madison, Wisconsin is not known to me at all).

Windows 10 might be needed

I am thinking of using Windows 10 for some specific small jobs like updating the firmware of some small devices I own. Some dash cams require Windows (7 or greater) to update their firmware.

I have extra PCs not in use. I can install it on one of my Macs.

Mac mini Early 2009

macmini31-A283.jpg

It is an ebay auction purchase and will soon arrive around Christmas. It will have one of Linux, Windows 10 or macOS (highest will be 10.11.6 (El Capitan). I will test it with various operation systems. I don't have a monitor for it now. I may try to use my LCD TV screen in the beginning.

It was a used (what else?) machine from the UK so that I won't be charged with so-called import tax by the customs authority here in Luxembourg. It does come with a wireless Apple Mighty Mouse (according to Macttracker, a great program, it is a Bluetooth mouse), two monitor adapters and 2 macOS media (Snow Leopard on DVD and Lion on a USB stick) including the power adapter.

The configuration of the machine is very low end. It has only 1 GB memory and a 140 GB HDD. The memory is too low to run El Capitan so I have already ordered 8 GB (2 x 4 GB modules) memory modules.

It is so-called Macmini3,1 (A1283) and it has a SuperDrive on it (DVD drive). Newer Mac minis don't come with SuperDrive anymore. DVD drives are not very useful these days. I may replace it with an SSD or HDD to get more internal storage.

The 140 GB HDD must be 10 years old and by now can break anytime so I won't put any important stuff on it, in fact I will replace it with an SSD (40 GB Capacity) to install one of those operating systems on it. This 140 GB drive will find some housing somewhere.

My intention was to play with it by installing other operating systems than macOS. I need Windows environment to run programs to update some firmware on some dash cams.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ
[Saris Axis (2-bike) bike rack and other things]の続きを読む

テーマ:カー用品 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/12/10(月) 17:57:21|
  2. Bikes and related things
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Garmin (RV) Camper 660 LMT-D updated and how it is different

Garmin (RV) Camper 660 LMT-D

I have not uploaded the photos that I promised. I will do it later on.

I noticed something. It has more features than my former device (Garmin nüvi 2340).

For example, just a few moment before I am arriving at the destination (wherever it is), it suggests me to find parkings near the destination. There is a section on the screen where usually the name of the road to turn to appears. There appears a message that the device is ready to offer me parking options near the destination.

I know that finding a parking place for big RVs is difficult and sometimes for a small vehicle like mine (Mazda MX-5) can be hard in big cities. I may be using option when visiting big cities like Brussels, Belgium next summer.

I also noticed something. The destination selection screen is really different from that of nüvi 2340 (nüvi 2340 is a bit old so maybe recent Garmin devices may look similar to that of RV 660).

It does not have the option of viewing the map and then selecting a point as the destination, which can be a disappointment for me as most of my destinations don't have a fixed address. Most of them are some places on the roadsides in countrysides, mountains and such (bike race venues).

It (RV 660) does not have POI category icon. I was puzzled at first but figured out "Foursquare" icon was the one I was looking for. Under this option, I can search a lot of things.

It has, on the other hand, extra icons on the top screen like a camping site icon for example. A similar icon was under Top >> Lodging >> camping on nüvi 2340. It is like having a short cut icon for finding a camping ground, which I like.

I updated the map data on it (Camper 660). Let's see what happened.

CN Europe NTU 2019.20 Foursquare
CN Europe NTU 2019.20 All South
CN Europe NTU 2019.20 All North
Europe DEM

So now I have the newer POI data (provided by Foursquare), all Europe data (except Eastern Europe) in two segments (South and North) and this mysterious DEM data, which I imagine has something to do with the altitude data like a topology map. What does DEM stand for?

DemEurope-googlesearch.jpg

A quick search on Google pointed me at this. So it stands for Digital Elevation Model. Now I know. It does not have any time stamp or version numbers but I hope the data (plural form of datum) are current. Except for some volcanic areas in Italy, Iceland or else, the elevation of Europe won't change too often so my concerns can be irrelevant anyway.

Camping shower PortaShower from Hazelock

I got it from the local post office Today. It arrived last week but I was not home.

Anyway, I assembled it without looking at the manual (so easy) and tried it. It works. Basically, it is usable. The water comes out OK under mild pressure. It is strong enough to take a shower but won't be enough to wash the dirt on the bike. This is already anticipated so I won't complain.

It leaves something desired.
1. It does not have the function to hold the "Water Release (not the official name)". I may use some rubber bands to do the trick. When there's pressured air inside the tank, it leaks without holding the release, though.


I found that it was possible to hold the water release lever. I stared at the lever to see why I could not shut the water off when I used it the second time. Now I know how it works. I did not read the manual at all and that was why I was wrong to write what I had written above.

2. Its Pressure Cock (ditto) is supposed to be closed when pressurizing the tank and must be open when you take the shower does not have stop. If you turn loose too much, it drops off.

3. The carry strap is made of nylon or something. I want to take it off when taking a shower because it may get wet. The connection is made by two metal rings and it takes some time to take the strap off. It is not convenient at all. I will be needing two small carabiners (or similar products) to make it convenient.

4. How am I supposed to tack 2-meter long hose in when storing or carrying the device? I will need some velcro straps and another carabiner to do the job.

5. It does not provide any device to hook it up on the shower tent or so. I will be needing more carabiners (laundry clips?) and strings to do the trick.

PortaShowerhead.jpg

PortaShowerstrap.jpg


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin (RV) Camper 660 LMT-D updated and how it is different]の続きを読む

テーマ:キャンプ - ジャンル:旅行

  1. 2018/12/09(日) 00:05:39|
  2. GPS Navigation
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Rain, rain and rain. Rainy days in Luxembourg!

It rains a lot here in Luxembourg

Random thoughts:

I want to buy a Saris Axis (for two bike as it is a bit smaller and lighter). My Mazda MX-5 (ND) does not have a trailer hitch on its back as the manufacturer does not offer this option.

Obviously there is demand for that and some companies offer trailer hitches. In the USA, there is a cheaper DIY solution offered by a company (Google "Miata Hard Dog Hitches"). You can also find some pictures and blog sites showing how it could be installed.

In Europe, I found two separate sites (might be selling the same device) and one of them offer a full service (installation) and the other offers a kit so that a user can install it by himself (or herself).

The one that offers a full service is located in Germany and it is not far from Munich (or München) and also Austria. Kuppling vor Ort (www.kuppling-vor-ort.com) is it.

From Luxembourg where I live, it is around 600 km. So by the time I (if I ever) come back after installation, it wold be a 1,200 km round trip by car, of course. I would like to have it installed on my MX-5 by next Spring or before July when the Tour de France starts.

I have not made an inquiry (as I am too shy, haha!) but I have a feeling that the complete service (the device and the installation including the electric coupling for the rear illumination) would cost me a bit more than € 1,000.

Its site says that if a customer (with an appointment, of course) arrives relatively early in the morning, he (or she) can leave for home in the afternoon. If a customer needs a place to stay overnight, it kindly points to a hotel nearby (they also recommend waiting customers to relax at this Motel Istar where they offer buffet "All-you-can-eat Breakfast für 9,90 €" so written on their site in German).

So I am thinking of making a round trip sometime next year. I will leave early in the morning of Monday (24:00 or 01:00) and drive all night arriving there by 08:00 or 09:00 in the morning. I will have it installed by them while I doze off at Motel Istar's cafe. I will leave for Luxembourg Monday afternoon arriving home by 24:00 or so. I know I have to make as many stops on the way as needed.

I don't want to make this round trip when the road conditions can be snowy or icy. I want to make it on summer tires so April or later would be the time.

US version v.s. European version of Saris Axis bike rack

I am thinking of getting a Saris Axis. They (bike racks) are made in Madison, Wisconsin (right?). They are made in USA. There are US version (for the US type trailer coupling) and European version.

The difference is that the US version can tilt where European version won't. If my vehicle is one of those hatchback cars, I won't be considering a Saris Axis as a candidate. I don't think they are as popular in Europe as they may be in the USA because of the lack of tilting function.

For me (for my Mazda MX-5 ND) it won't be an issue.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Rain, rain and rain. Rainy days in Luxembourg!]の続きを読む

テーマ:カー用品 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/12/08(土) 17:04:14|
  2. Diary
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Free Public Transportation starting Next Summer? Really?

Luxembourg's public transportation gets free?

I was skimming through a Japanese site on Friday. I regularly visit this site not to lose sight of what is happening in Japan. Some of the news pieces interest me and others (Japanese entertainment sector and similar stuff) don't.

I was curious when I found a small headline that said that 'a small country in Europe to make public transportation free' (this was of course written in Japanese and this is a rough translation of it).

Which small country? There are Angora, Monaco (not completely an independent country), Vatican (ditto), Lichtenstein (ditto), Luxembourg and maybe one of those countries facing Baltic Sea may qualify as small countries in Europe.

I don't intend to insult those countries that I marked not completely independent by saying so.

I have to mention for example that if the royal family of Monaco fails to have a son (I don't know if adoption is allowed but anyway), France can take over the country as it was the one of the conditions that the Monaco inked with France when it got independent. I don't think that Monaco has its army to defend the country or before it began to use Euro as its currency it had its own currency.

Lichtenstein does not have the freedom to exercise it own foreign policy or issue its own currency; it relies on Switzerland for those needs.

Vatican is rich enough to do anything they want but they rely on Italy for many of their needs, I imagine.


I clicked on the headline and voila I found out it was Luxembourg, where I live (have lived in the past 8 years).

What the ****? I have not heard of it. For the last couple of weeks I have been occupied with this new job so I have not read anything about the local news.

It (the Japanese news article; its source is AP) read that Prime Minister Bettel (whom I see quite often in person in close range and greet quite often as he goes around the town without any kind of "Secret Service" protection) and his party suggested that the public transportation be free of charge to encourage people commuting daily from surrounding countries by car in hope that they would switch to trains and busses.

Wow!! How nice! I will keep my fingers crossed.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Free Public Transportation starting Next Summer? Really?]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2018/12/07(金) 08:59:18|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Garmin (RV) Camper 660 LMT-D and nüvi 2340

Garmin (RV) Camper 660 LMT-D and my old trusty nüvi 2340 comparison

Garmin nüvi 2340 had been placed in the left down corner of the front windshield just behind the steering wheel so my fingers can touch the screen with other fingers (and the palm) leaving the steering wheel.
nuvi2340onboard.jpg

Here's another look with the screen brightly shining.
nuvi2340onboard2.jpg

This photo has been already posted. It shows the difference between the sizes of the two devices.
camper660mounted.jpg

Obviously Camper 660's screen is bigger (6 inches diagonally and nüvi 2340 4.3 inches diagonally). I lowered the suction cup when I put the Camper 660 so that my fingertip can reach the screen and also because the added height obstructed my views.

It worked but had a small problem so I raised the suction cup position again a bit. There is a button (not physical but virtual) on the right down corner on the screen which enables me to choose the categories of information I want to show on the right side on the screen. The categories are as follows.

(photo coming)

Stop, Elevation, Traffic, Trip Data, Up Next,

The button was only accessible by sticking the finger from the inner side of the steering wheel and by doing o my left hand has to let go the steering wheel at the same time I had to duck to see that button. This was not comfortable and not safe. I don't want to say that manipulating the navigation device while driving is a good habit but I would like to access some of the information while driving.

The navigation software is different from that on nüvi 2340. For example, I noticed that Camper 660 suggests shortly before reaching the destination a parking place (or parking places?) near the destination. If I need the service, I have to press the button on the upper side of the screen.

Now I am curious. What happens if I am heading to a parking place (already registered in the map data so the navigation knows it is a parking place)? Does it still kindly tell me if I need to know the locations of parking places nearby? Most likely it will obligingly tell me if I need assistance just as it is programed to do so.

What if the parking place I was heading had no vacancy, were closed or unavailable for some reasons? I might still greatly appreciate the kind suggestion from the device.

Cleaning the air filter

I am using the K&N air filter on my Mazda MX-5 (ND). I swapped it (the genuine factory filter was there of course) soon after purchasing the car and kept it. Now I put the genuine factory filter back into the air cleaner box.

Dontthrowaway.jpg
This sticker came inside the box (of the K&N filter). It is supposed to be here, on the air cleaner box so that the mechanic won't mistakingly dispose the expensive filter and install some cheap filter without letting the owner know.

filter-compare.jpg
I stupidly photoed the inner side (cleaner side) of the filters. I should have flipped them around. Mazda genuine factory part is white and K&N one looks dark violet.

I will vacuum the bottom of the air cleaner box as I recognized some fine sands and other fluffy objects (small mummified bugs and some plant seeds wrapped in fluffy stuff).

I checked the outer side where it gets dusty. I saw some mummified bugs and more fluffy seeds. The color (filtering agent looks dark reddish violet) is not so different on both sides but on close inspection I realized that some fine dust stuck on the sucking side surface.

It is no way clogged but it is better that I clean it now. I have driven over 18,000 km so far and most of the milage was done with this filter.

I have the genuine K&N cleaning / recharging kit at home. I have watched several cleaning and recharging videos on YouTube. Now it is Winter here in Luxembourg and the air is heavily damp so there is no chance of collecting dust on the filter. Humidity is one of the most effective agents that keep dust staying in the air, I guess.

I sprayed a degreaser on it and later using the shower (in the bathroom) I washed the filter from inside out. The accumulated dust was not so much. Now it is resting and will be dry in one or two days.


In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin (RV) Camper 660 LMT-D and nüvi 2340]の続きを読む

テーマ:カー用品 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/12/06(木) 16:42:22|
  2. GPS Navigation
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  4. | コメント:0

More Amazon shopping

US key layout Bluetooth keyboard

I bought this (ordered at Amazon Germany) Bluetooth keyboard (US keys) and got it in the mail.

I tried it. I like it as it looks almost exactly like my keyboards on my MacBooks Late 2009. It has "iOS" printed on key "Q", "Android" on "W" and "Windows" on "E".

First I thought they (those keys with extra letters) might be the keys to press when paring the keyboard to respective systems but it turned out to be just telling that it looks like a "Mac" keyboard but it is also compatible with other systems.

It has a "power on" indicator that flashes several (?) times when it is turned on. It does not have caps lock indicator but I don't consider it necessary at all. It does not have backlight but it is not necessary at all most of the time.

As I bought it as a secondhand, it did not come with a shiny box or an instruction leaflet. I did not know what to expect but I knew it would work just out of the box (Bluetooth, whatelse do you expect?). I just did not know what type of battery I needed or so.

In the back it had a battery compartment (2 AAAA cells). It did not have any pictograms to let me know the direction (+/-) but the contact point showed only one possiblity.

What I did not know immediately was this "connect" part was a press-down switch to induce pairing with other devices.

After one of these systems recognized the keyboard, the system told me that I had to type in a code (several digits) on the keyboard followed by "Return". It worked well.

I could successfully pair it with my Google (LG) Nexus 5X (Android), Apple iPad mini 2 (iOS) and MacBook Pro Mid 2010 (macOS).

As I have already written, it looks just like a Mac style keyboard. The media keys (play, pause, volume up/down), brightness keys and Dashboard key worked as expected on my MacBook Pro so I could not be happier.

The price was also very friendly and the condition seems to be also very good.

With this keyboard, I can type very quickly on my phone or iPad during my car trip to update my blog, to compose email, to say hello on my Facebook page or jot down some memos.

I blindtype so having a US keylayout keyboard is so essential. I don't look at the keys but having big "Enter/Return, Shift or Delete" keys are so important. Other so-called international regional keyboards lack them to make way to addtional keys.

Here is the picture of it.

(a photo is coming soon)

Seatbelt for the small friends

In this package I also got something that I want to write about. Seatbelt lachet pet leashes for my future friend. As shown in the picture, it (at its maximum length) it is long enough for the capitive friend to reach the door frame, the dashboard or the center console on their paws (or long enough to rest on my lap, actually in my Mazda MX-5 my lap is occupied by the steering wheel so the cat has to settle on my crotch area).

I decided on this one among other functionally idetical (or almost) ones because it had elastic damper on it. The elastic band on it (inside that crumpled part) is not so soft that a cat can pull it to the full length but I liked the feature.

Here it is inside my car! I will buy (in 2019) the pet basket (carrier) that I showed a while ago and see if it sits well on the passenger's seat.

seatbelt-clip-strap01.jpg
Attached to the seat belt catch securely so that your precious friend won't travel unprotected

seatbelt-clip-strap03.jpg
At its maximum length, the attached friend (on its harness) can reach the window sill to look outside

seatbelt-clip-strap02.jpg
(ditto) your little friend can rest its paws on the dash to look out in front

seatbelt-clip-strap04.jpg
(ditto) to look behind

Garmin Camper (RV) 660 LMT-D

I ordered it on Black Friday (it was a Black Friday flash sale) and it arrived on Tuesday along with some other items at the specified pick-up station. I knew I could not pick it up on Tuesday so I picked it up on Wednesday.

The price went up (back) to its normal discounted price of around €276 from my purchased price of €213 once Friday passed. Lucky that I did not miss the opportunity (the narrow window in the sky).

It boasts a bigger screen (diagonally 6 inches) and this makes that on my current nüvi 2340 look tiny.

camper660mounted.jpg
It is bigger than nüvi 2340 but also fits there.

camper660sat-staus.jpg
I did not know (I haven't read the manual of any sorts) that it has this (not well captured) satellite status page. I accidentally found it by accidentally pressed the "satellite perception strength indicator" area.

I will transfer the waypoints accumulated on my Garmin BaseCamp and see what kind of difference it makes (compared with nüvi 2340). I would like to see that particular route suggestions on both device when I had to drive over a high mountain pass (around 1,500 meters above sea level) on a rainy night on my way (from Hostun near Valence) to Mende (Stage 14 of the Tour de France 2018) and also want to know how exactly those big campers avoided the bumpy routes.

Some minutes before seeing campers heading to Mende, I definitely passed through a low and narrow railroad overpass that no camper could possibly pass.

It did not come with the latest map data (version 2019.20) on it. After connecting it to my MacBook Pro Mid2010 via USB cable (USB A to mini USB) and launching Garmin Express, I began the process of updating the firmware and others.

It came with the following map data pre-installed:
CN Europe NTU 2016.30 Foursquare
Europe DEM
CN Europe NTU 2016.30 ALL

The firmware had to be updated. I don't know what kind of improvement it (latest firmware) included.

I decided to wait for the map data update because it takes time.

The battery was almost empty as expected. It must have been on the shelf (or in the storage) for some time.

Some screenshot clips during the updating process. Please click on them to magnify if you are interested.

garminrv660-000.jpg

garminrv660-001.jpg

garminrv660-002.jpg

garminrv660-003.jpg

garminrv660-004.jpg

garminrv660-005.jpg

garminrv660-006.jpg


This is what I bought with it, a Garmin GPS navigation device case (for 7-inch screen). It has a side pocket so that I can put the USB cable or such in it.

(a photo of Garmin case is coming soon)

I used it briefly for less than 70 km or so. It shakes when I drive even on smooth asphalt paved road. I am using the suction cup that came with nüvi 2340. I will swap it with the one that came with Camper (RV) 660 and see if it shakes or wobbles less.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [More Amazon shopping]の続きを読む

テーマ:カー用品 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/12/03(月) 19:04:43|
  2. Diary
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Leopard

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