It rained in Luxembourg (no rhymes)

It rained in Luxembourg (no rhymes)

Today (April 28, 2020) it rained. It has been a while since it last rained in Luxembourg. In fact there was a small article on the Net reporting a fear of drought (or fear of not having enough reserve of water for summer).

So I could not walk Hannah Today. I was going to take her out but I decided to stay home. Hannah was not happy and neither was I.

Ubuntu Studio 20.04

I have not installed it yet as I don't have time to download it. I am planning to perform a fresh install instead of upgrading from 19.10. I haven't done almost anything on the current 19.10 so completely erasing the disk won't do any harm.

I read that the current version 20.04 will be updated to 20.04.1 in July or so. The initial bugs and problems will be eliminated by then. Should I wait? Maybe.

Un-deletable "macOS Install Data" Folder

This is a small story about looking for a solution to a question, "How do I delete that (or those) untouchable and undeletable" folder (folders) on my Mac?"

Short story:

The last resort to this conundrum was somewhat called disabling "System Integrity Protection (SIP)".

I tried opening a terminal and "sudo rm -rf 'macOS Installation Data' before searching for a better solution. It failed. I could not delete the tenacious folder.

Long story:

My old MacBook Pro 13 Mid 2010 sometimes shows a sign of aging at booting.

Its boot process takes enormousely long (ie. the boot process indicator bar below the grey Apple logo goes like a snail).

Normally the boot process takes only around 30 seconds (the boot device is an SSD) but this occasional "botched" boot takes 2 to 3 minutes or so.

After a while it boots to a normal desktop (login screen) but the keyboard and/or the touchpad is not active. I have to force-shutdown or if I happen to have a USB mouse with me, I can plug it in and click on the shutdown / restart button.

Immeidiately after this, I reboot the machine and this time it boots quickly and works just fine.

A while ago, this happened but this time the process took a different turn. An OS reinstallation screen appeared briefly before the system said it (re-installation) could not be done and continued to the normal "botched" boot process.

After this I rebooted and started using my MBP as usual but noticed something. There was a new folder under "/ (root)" or the top level of the SDD called "macOS Installation Data". It contained some other folders, one of which had a smal icon (no entry as in traffic road signs) on it. I knew that it signified that dreadful "untouchable and un-deletable" folder.

I looked for other ways to accomplish this daunting task and found the answer on the Net.

I had to disable this SIP feature in a "Recovery Mode". I got this help from "ChrisWhites.com" so I say, "Thanks, Chris (whoever you are)!"

COVID-19 in Luxembourg

How long does the lockdown last?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [It rained in Luxembourg (no rhymes)]の続きを読む

テーマ:犬猫のいる生活 - ジャンル:ペット

  1. 2020/04/28(火) 21:39:38|
  2. Bike Races
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TenFiveTube, a YouTube viewer on PowePC PowerBook


A YouTube video player for macOS Leopard (version 10.5.*, thus the name "10 - Ten" and "5 - Five").

It came to my attention while watching some videos on YouTube (I think). I downloaded it and tried it out for a while on my PowerBook G4 (1.5 GHz / 2 GB memory).

It works OK first (April 24, 2020) but after a short while YouTube suggested that I might want to opt for a latest format (or style) by clicking on a button.

After switching to this latest style, things went apart.

I wanted to switch back to the old style but I could not. Maybe I should completely uninstall the program (also deleting the settings file somewhere?) and re-install it to see if I could switch back to the old style.

The CPU load was significantly lower with the old style where I could select the video quality.

Now with the newer style I can not choose the video quality (190 p, 240 p, 360 p and so on) that I want. According to the author's description, it defaults to 360 p or so. Now the CPU load is at 100 % and the playback quality is as same as that within TenFourFox.

It has some potential and I hope the author keeps developing it and adding some more features. By adding some features, I don't mean to add unnecessary features but those essential features like enabling to select the playback quality and fixing it by saving the preferences or such.

When one searches "TenFiveTube" one will find the page on MacRumors Forum. From there you can get to the Google Drive where the author keeps the program for everyone to download.

The "About" menu tells me that the software is "Version 3.0 (2020 by wicknix)".

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TenFiveTube, a YouTube viewer on PowePC PowerBook]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2020/04/26(日) 21:26:05|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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Guide d'Instruction

5 masks for everybody

I am a legal resident of Luxembourg, of course. Luxembourg government decided to give out masks for everybody (who are legally here, I guess).

I found an envelop containing 5 masks and also I found a folded leaflet titled as the TITLE of this entry.

The main title is in French as French is the predominant spoken (in public except for kindergartens and elementary schools?) language in Luxembourg.

On the front of the leaflet there are four other languages telling what the title means in what appears to be Luxembourgish, English, German and Portuguese.


Although Luxembourgish is supposed to be a (heavily altered) German dialect, they look different.

Inside one finds French, Luxembourgish, English, German and Portuguese detailed explanation of usage of the mask.

Now it is obligatory to wear a mask in public places like shops, stores, public transportation means and other places.

I heard that the government is planing to end the quarantine (lockdown) by May 15 but bars and restaurants have to wait for a bit longer (restaurants can stay open but they can only offer to-go meals and delivery).

Hannah and I

We took a walk in the woods (forest) nearby Today. It was a lovely day with the daytime high as high as 18 degrees Celsius or so. Walking in the forest, I felt not so warm or hot Today as I did a couple days ago even the ambient temperature was similar.

Why? Because now the trees are leaving so rapidly and the forest is getting leafy so consequently the sunbeams do not reach me easily as they did days ago or a week ago.

We enjoyed the fresh air. She was happy and me also.

Her first birthday is approaching. I will go shopping Tomorrow and buy a small portion of some fresh meat (probably chicken breast) and I will cook for her. Her birthday (presumed) is Sunday, April 26 2019 and coincidentally it is also Sunday this year (2020). She is now one year old. I am so proud and happy for her.

She has grown so healthily and beautifully. She is sweet although she bites.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Guide d'Instruction]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2020/04/24(金) 19:41:21|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Up in the tree!

Up in the tree

Hannah is sweet. She climbs up a tree when she wants to or when she is disturbed by wondering dogs. Some dog owners let their dogs walk without a leash in the forest, which is OK as long as they (dogs) behave well.

As long as they behave, which is very important. Some do and others won't.

We (Hannah and I) encounter dogs in the forest (woods) nearby. The forest is located near the streamlet (Alzette) so they are practically devided in two parts.

They are not flat at all. There are ups and downs. The elevation difference could be around 15 to 20 meters. There are montain bikers, too.

Anyway when she detects dogs, she calmly hides herself behind the tree or other objects. Most dogs behave well and some owners keep the leash short while passing us if they notice Hannah.

Some unleashed dogs chase her and she had no alternative but climb up a tree. Dogs can climb!

Sometimes she climbs as she pleases (when she finds some trees fit for climbing). Most of the time she chooses trees with branches extending horizontally.

Sometimes she climbs high up trees and has hard time climbing down. I let her enjoy the height for a while but I watch out for her all the time.

As I call to her, she begins the descent but sometimes she struggles. I help her by encouraging her vocally and also by giving hands or my back physically.

There were times she gave up climbing down the trunk and sought a cheat shortcut. She went down on a branch (thick or thin) where I awaited her and tried to get down on me!

A clever girl! She knew that I would not let her down (metaphorically) and would catch her fall (metaphorically and also physically).

Recently she courageously went down on thin branches (twigs) and she let herself hang on a whipping twig until she fell down. I was there to catch her so nothing happened.

She somehow knows that she can trust me.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Up in the tree! ]の続きを読む

テーマ:犬猫のいる生活 - ジャンル:ペット

  1. 2020/04/22(水) 19:02:03|
  2. Cats
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PowerPC G4 is not too powerful in 2020

PowerBook G4 15" (A1106) and TenFourFox (Mozilla variant)

TenFourFox Release 21 (for PowerPC G4 9450 - my PowerBook G4 15 inch A1106 has one PowerPC G4 7447a or 7448 chip inside).

When I first started using TenFourFox (back in Summer of 2019?), its (TenFourFox's own user guide) recommendation was to install an extension which enabled the QuickTime Player to open the YouTube video by left-clicking on the video on YouTube while watching the site with TenFourFox. The extension is to call QuickTime Player from inside TenFourFox to play the video.

This worked very well (almost all the time if not every time), almost surprisingly well.

Playing those YouTube video inside TenFourFox was very difficult on my PowerBook G4 (1.67 GHz or 1.5 GHz with full 2 GB of RAM, I have three of them). The playback was so slow (so many dropped frames) as the CPU usage got 100 % all the time once a video playback started.

With QuickTime Player, the CPU usage was down to 30 % or 40 % for the video quality at 360 p (or higher if I choose higher quality), which was enough for my viewing purposes.

Recently (since a couple of releases ago) they (the developers of TenFourFox) came up with another solution for this. The scheme is to install another extension to replace some native video playback codecs with ffmepeg's codecs, which supposedly are more efficient.

It works OK although it (viewing experience) works no way as well as with QuickTime Player.

Currently I set the screen color depth to "thousands" instead of "millions" to help reduce the load off the aging PowerPC G4 and set the YouTube video quality at 240 p.

The CPU load is still high when TenFourFox is playing the videos. The CPU load goes to 100 % as soon as the playback kicks in.

Even when TenFourFox is doing nothing while it is open, it occupies the CPU substantially and its load goes up and down between 5 to 10 %. The Activity Monitor itself (CPU usage monitoring program) occupies a certain percentage.

So the CPU is busy doing the background job before the video decoding begins. I hope they (those holy gurus who are devoting their time doing the developing work) somehow come up with even better and miraculous solution.

VNC clients (VNC Viewer / Chicken Of The VNC )

A VNC server is built in macOS X since the version 10.4 (Tiger). It is not called a VNC server outright but it is wrapped in "Sharing" Control Panel. Screen sharing is nothing other than that.

One thing I can do to boost the performance of one of these G4 machines is to let a powerful machine do the hard work and let G4 machines just get the result. Does it work?

Can I use a VNC client to do this? I can set up a VNC server on one of my Macs or Linux machine. I found two VNC clients to try out.

If it works well, I can use my iBook G4 (A1134) often.

Hannah was upset (and I was sorry)

Yesterday, I took her out for a walk. She likes being outside in the forest. Now the nearby forest (not too big but still much nature) is getting leafier and leafier everyday. The leaves are pale green as they are young. Eventually they become dark green before getting brown to fall in Fall.

She was out there around 2 hours when I decided to come home. I picked her up in my arms and started to walk home.

She began fidgeting after a while when she saw (understood) that her favorite walk time had been terminated and saw one of her favorite hangout sites pass by. Sorry! It is not your fault. I wish I had a house with a huge garden with a lot of trees neatly surrounded by tall walls so I can let her out as long as she wants.

Oh, she captured a tiny (I think a baby forest mouse) mouse again in the forest. I think I rescued it. She (Hannah) was a bit puzzled as her game was too tiny. She did not viciously attach the poor creature and the last time I saw it, it was still alive.

With the arrival of Spring, those creatures are getting active. Hannah is going to kill more and more of those. I am a bit worried that she might get something from them.

A mask fever is circulating in Luxembourg now

Today (Tuesday, April 21, 2020) I wanted to buy some small things for Hannah at a local pet supply shop. I could not. I was told to leave as I had no mask on. Now a mask fever is going around here! People are crazy about masks. They love them so much that they even wear one as they drive a car, while shopping or ?

Luxembourg has been struck by a mask fever. It is a contagious disease started in Asia.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [PowerPC G4 is not too powerful in 2020]の続きを読む

テーマ:ヨーロッパ - ジャンル:海外情報

  1. 2020/04/21(火) 13:39:45|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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4 mm wrench needed? iBook G4 dis/re-assembly

iBook G4 disassembly and assembly

I was going to re-assemble the iBook G4 (A1134) and install macOS Tiger or Leopard after installing an SSD inside.

Before starting reassembly, I just wanted to take the CPU heat sink assembly off and reapply fresh thermal grease.

When I started to unscrew some tiny screws, I realized that I needed a wrench. I looked up ifixit.com site and then knew that I needed a 4 mm wrench. I did not have one so I would have to buy one later.

Tiger or Leopard

Tiger 10.4.11 or Leopard 1.5.8 on iBook G4 (A1134) 1.42 GHz?

I saw The 8-Bit Guy (YouTube handle name) use his iBook G4 (same model) in one of his rather old (or recent) videos. I guess it was filmed years ago. Anyways, his iBook G4 (the very last iBook G4 model) had Leopard 1.5.8 on it.

I saw him recommend Tiger on iBook G4 (not necessarily A1134 but in general) if the iBook G4 had a CPU with lower clock speed or lower RAM in another video. In his video, he recommended some other tricks to make the most out of iBook G4 models.

Naturally, I was going to install the Tiger on it but now I am thinking of installing Leopard. My iBook G4 is the top of line model and it would eventually have 1.5 GB of RAM.

What is the difference? Tiger is faster in a way as it uses less memory. Leopard is a bit slower as it is loaded with more features, thus more of a memory hog.

What is the difference really?
1. Leopard includes a feature that makes use of more gestures on its TrackPad (or whatever it is called). Two finger gestures and others. With Tiger, one can accomplish the same (or almost same?) with an additional piece of software like iScroll2 (or something).

2. With a help of Screen Spanning Doctor, one can extend the function of its video out port. Normally, iBook G4's video out port can only mirror the image of its LCD screen, which is totally useless unless one is using a screen projector. I don't intend to do it. This Screen Spanning Doctor patches the System to make the video out port as it should (as it does on PowerBook models and MacBook models). The catch is that this software supports some Panther versions and Tiger but, alas, not Leopard.

Leopard is more feature rich, of course. Should I go for Leopard. Would I use its (iBook G4's) video out port ever?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [4 mm wrench needed? iBook G4 dis/re-assembly]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2020/04/17(金) 22:23:25|
  2. MacBooks and Macs
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The cruel huntress has no remorse

The cruel huntress

Tuesday, 14 April 2020 was a sunny but chilly day with the daytime high stayed around 13 to 15 degrees Celsius and it was chilly in the morning.

I took her (my cat Hannah) out for a walk around 11:30 when it was still bit chilly (around 7 degrees Celsius?).

She was nonetheless happy or actually much feistier than she had been. I soon understood why. She was running like a mad man, no woman, but she did not pant. Her thick winter coat (100 % natural fur) had been troubling her when it was too warm.

I ended up spending more than 3 hours in the nearby forest where she knew her way around most of the part. She seems that she remembers the part of the forest where she has been often. She definitely knows her favorite part where she spends 20 to 40 minutes (or more) at a time. When she approaches this part, she just takes off without me. I have to wait for her to come out.

Toward the end of the walk, a elder woman saw us from a distance. She was amazed to see a man (me!) walking a cat. She was amazed by her but not me, to be clear.

She asked me if she would not go away. I said she would not. This is the typical and almost inevitable question that I get. I have not seen a single cat walked unleashed anywhere in Europe. I have seen house cats let free in the area adjacent to the house, of course.

If I could or if I dared to do so, I could have said that if someone provides you with a place to stay, sufficient food, security and above all LOVE, would you run away from his someone? I think not.

I can not let her walk free on the side of the street where cars are but I can let her go out freely in the woods or at various camping sites.

At the end of the walk, she stopped at a certain place and when I called her she did not respond. She seemed to have found something that distracted her.

I walked back about 7 to 8 meters back to seek her. She was distracted by some mice running around on and off the thin fallen trees there. I could count 4 or 5 of them, tiny brownish mice of some kind.

She is a huntress after all. She could not help it. I preferred that she stayed away from those creatures but I also knew that she needed this kind of kicks sometimes. After ten minutes or so she actually got one!

I wanted to take the poor mice away but she would not let me. She toyed with it repeatedly and eventually the poor thing deceased. She would not let it rest but kept hauling it in the air and catching it. After 20 minutes I could catch her and came home.

She is a natural huntress and she had no remorse for killing that tiny creature at all. It is in her blood and I had no right to judge her. So she is not cruel.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The cruel huntress has no remorse]の続きを読む

テーマ:犬猫のいる生活 - ジャンル:ペット

  1. 2020/04/15(水) 17:18:02|
  2. Cats
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Spring has come (to Luxembourg)

Spring has come!

I think.

I took a walk in the nearby forest with my Hannah, the cat Today. She was eager to go out and enjoy herself. She likes to take a walk. She does not like to be indoors.

The weather for the last several days is magnificent! It is warm and sunny. The daytime high is high enough for people to take their jackets off and walk around in T-shirts.

The trees and plants are leaving and blooming. The forest was almost leafless, say, three weeks ago and I could see wide with no leaves to obstruct my view in the forest but now my view is getting blocked partially by the leaves.

I started walking in the nearby forest often when I got Hannah. I started in July, 2019 so the leafage was thick so I did not deviate from the paths meandering through the forest.

I started walkig in the forest this year early as soon as it was OK to let Hannah outside. So the trees were almost leafless except for those evergreen firs and a few other trees. I explored the forest by walking through the trees where normally not many people go. This way, I could avoid encountering people and dogs that Hannah did not want to confront.

Hannah wants to stay outside more than I let her do so. Usually I walk with her for about 3 hours at a time but I have to devise a trick to catch her to take her home in my arms as she gets smarter and smarter to escape my trap. She just wants to stay outdoors.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ

[Spring has come (to Luxembourg)]の続きを読む

テーマ:犬猫のいる生活 - ジャンル:ペット

  1. 2020/04/12(日) 19:01:18|
  2. Bike Races
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Fienix Linux for PowerPC machines

Fienix Linux

Fienix: http://fienixppc.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

An article on this project just popped out on my phone suggested by Google. Google (this nosey company and its AI-based algorithm) suggested that I would be interested in this article.

I was indeed.

It was an article on this project which focused on bringing an updated Linux distribution on PowerPC based computers. Its main focus is PowePC G5 (64-bit) models but it could be applied to other G4 models (32-bit).

Debian stopped supporting the PowerPC architecture years ago and naturally Ubuntu (because it is based on Debian) also stopped supporting PowerPC machines. Ubuntu (or other flavors) 16.04 seems to be the last version (or 16.10?).

I can install Lubuntu 16.04 on one of my PowerPC (7447a) Mac mini G4 machines but for the moment most of them are running MacOS (or lately changed to macOS) 10.4.11 (Tiger). I have two G4 machines. One is clocked at 1.42 GHz and the other is clocked at 1.25 GHz. I am planning to modify the mainboard to make them run at 1.5 GHz in the future. I think they are Mac mini original (PowerMac 10,1 / A1103).

Running PowerPC G4 at a higher clock speed won't make almost any difference, maybe. A placebo effect is expected when I overclock them.

There is a known problem with some (if not all) Mac mini G4s. It is related to its video chip obviously. You can find the numerous reports on this on the Internet easily. Even I could find some information easily in 2019 when I got two Mac mini G4. Those G4 Mac minis came out in 2005. After 14 years I could still find some complaints on some forums.

The problem is that the video output gets distorted SOON after the start up when the video resolution is set to HD (1920 x 1080). I found it out that the video output is stable at other lower resolution settings. SOON could mean that this happens when the video chip gets warmer than it should. I don't know why this distortion does not happen at other resolution settings.

Is it because the video chip does not have cooling?

PowerBook G4 (3 of them)

I have 3 of PowerBook G4 (A1106) 15-inch models. All of them work (with some minor defects) very well. I got them in 2019 from the UK and other European countries. They were sold on ebay. Two of them have my favorite the US-style keyboard and one got the German keyboard but I ordered soon after I got it a US-style keyboard replacement part.

I also got in iBook G4 (1.42 GHz), the last model that came out before iBook lines were replaced with MacBook lines with Intel processors.

I also have one MacBook Pro 13-inch 2010 and two MacBook 13-inch 2009 models.

All of the Intel models have US-style keyboard on them. Actually one MacBook 2009 came with a non-working keyboard so I have to order a replacement part from China and change them. It requires a tricky repair procedure but I managed to make it work.

Intel models are faster but PowerPC models are adorably lovelier than the former.

I wrote the first part of this entry with my usual MacBook Pro 2010 (I changed its battery for the second time just recently since its arrival) and started wring the second part with one of my PowerBook G4 models.

It is running macOX 10.5.8 (Leopard) and it works very well. The CPUs on them PowerPC G4 7447a at either 1.5 GHz or 1.67 GHz are not powerful enough to play back videos on YouTube smoothly but they handle other tasks very well even now in 2020.

My iBook G4 has been in a disassembled for more than 6 months. I wanted to reassemble it quickly but I have been lazy. It was in a good order (relatively) but missing the HDD inside. So I had to perform a total surgery before installing anything on it. While I'm doing it, I also wanted to replace the thermal compound on the CPU to make sure the heat transfers well. I need some more time to see it boots from its own SSD. Yes, I put an mSATA SSD wrapped in a mSATA to IDE 2.5-inch drive conversion case.

All of my G4 laptop models are plagued with ailing batteries, of course. I plan to repack them or buy new batteries if they are economical.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Fienix Linux for PowerPC machines]の続きを読む

テーマ:Mac - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2020/04/09(木) 17:33:45|
  2. Linux
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Lockdown in Japan (some populated cities) begins

Walkng Hannah

Today (MOnday, April 6 2020) was a sunny warm day here in Luxembourg. I walked her for about 3 hours.

Waling a cat is somewhat different from walking a dog. Walking a dog is walking a dog until she/he happily poops and get ready to taken in (the residence). I have seen people walk just a couple of yard outside their residence and waited for the poop and then hurriedly go back inside.

Walking my Hannah is not about urging her to poop. It all about letting her have fun exploring the forest and letting her work out a bit.

She likes outdoors. I raised her that way. I wanted to take her on a trip as my hobby is visiting a lot of road race (bicycle).

She was born (supposedly around) Suday, April 26 2019 and she came to me 6 weeks later. She and I started on a car camping tour following the Tour de France 2019 at the end of June, 2019. She was just 2 months old. By the time we finished our journey toward the end of July, she was only 3 months old but was very comfortable with sleeping, eating, relaxing and even using the toilet while the car was running.

When I checked in a camping ground, I let her out and let her play freely. When I stayed on the roadside (before the passage of the race), I sometimes let her play freely (no leash) outside when the roadside had enough space (like forests or so). I let her outside freely on the roadside (like in the mountains) when I slept (in a tent) on the roadside space.

I trained her to be my traveling companion. She was good. I can travel with her in a car without any problems.

On the other hand, she is not happy when she is confined in a room. She does not like a confined space at all.

I often see (on YouTube or others) cats jumping into cardboard boxes or other small tiny places when they see them. They seem to be drawn to those by nature. I always thought it was in their blood.

Not my Hannah! She does not like it.

She she explores the forest, she is drawn to crevices or other similar places. It seems that she is not a ordinary cat in a way.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Lockdown in Japan (some populated cities) begins]の続きを読む

テーマ:犬猫のいる生活 - ジャンル:ペット

  1. 2020/04/06(月) 19:09:45|
  2. Cats
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