Marc's Public Blog


All | Aquariums | Arduino | Btrfs | Cars | Cats | Clubbing | Dining | Diving | Electronics | Exercising | Flying | Hiking | Linux | Linuxha | Museums | Public | Rc | Sciencemuseums | Snow | Solar | Trips




More pages: July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004 January 2004 October 2003 August 2003 July 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 January 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 January 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000 June 2000 April 1999 March 1999 September 1997 August 1997 July 1996 September 1993 July 1991 December 1988 December 1985 January 1980



2012/05/31 Another Foie Gras Dinner
π 2012-05-31 01:01 in Dining
Just to stick it up to the misguided activist vegans who somehow managed to get foie gras mostly banned in California, we made sure to have a bunch of foie gras only dinners in the weeks before the ban.
They will probably have managed to make sure that more foie gras gets consumed after than before the ban, congratulations.

This was a good reason to meet the great folks at Dishcrawl, so we had another Foie Gras only dinner thanks to them.







See more images for Another Foie Gras Dinner
2012/05/31 Yard Updates
π 2012-05-31 00:00 in Public
I took Jennifer to a nursery and we brought back from Herbs, Strawberries, bird feeder, and more.


Our regular yard has otherwise been doing ok, especially our bird of paradise that has narrowly escaped death and gave us a nice flower ago:




we're happy to have our bird of paradise to have recovered so nicely :)
we're happy to have our bird of paradise to have recovered so nicely :)

Our strawberries look good for the season :)
Our strawberries look good for the season :)

Our orange tree isn't doing as well
Our orange tree isn't doing as well

but the 4 apple tree is doing good
but the 4 apple tree is doing good

so is the pear tree
so is the pear tree

blueberries look like they're going to be good this year :)
blueberries look like they're going to be good this year :)

blackberries, so so, we'll see how the new irrigation helps
blackberries, so so, we'll see how the new irrigation helps

raspberries look promissing
raspberries look promissing

And newcomers:

we'll have tomatoes one day
we'll have tomatoes one day

this was a small squash I got at Earth day at work, it's doing great
this was a small squash I got at Earth day at work, it's doing great

and our herbs are doing nicely too
and our herbs are doing nicely too

I think we'll have some decent harvests this year :)

See more images for Yard Updates
2012/05/30 Fun with Bird Feeder
π 2012-05-30 01:01 in Public
As an impulse buy, kinda, I got a bird feeder for us and installed it by our glass door we can see from our couch. While we're probably responsible for making a few birds a bit well fed, they still seem to be able to fly and it's fun entertainment :)

These guys have been the most common visitors:





The black heads that used to tap our windows to wake us up seem to shy to get seeds from the feeder, but are happy to take them from the ground. Hopefully they don't become cat food as a result (we saw that a dove that was apparently planning on feasting on our strawberries got nailed by a neighbouring cat).


Speaking of cats, the passing birds sure keep our cat entertained :) Somehow they know that they are safe on the other side of the glass window. Good for them :)



The seeds that fall on the ground also don't go to waste with our squirrels. This young small one is kind of cute :)






So there you go, it's been nice :)

See more images for Fun with Bird Feeder
2012/05/29 Audi R8 Experience at Sears Point, Advanced
π 2012-05-29 01:01 in Cars
Because I was living under a rock, I didn't know that Audi was setup at Sears and was having regular driving events there. Eventually I found out (through a banner ad on Jennifer's chromebook no less, what are the odds?), and signed us up for an event where we each add a class at our respective levels.

Sears is being more built up each time I come (which isn't often enough it seems).
Sears is being more built up each time I come (which isn't often enough it seems).

The cars
The cars


My Ride
My Ride

My setup with Trackmaster and GoPro
My setup with Trackmaster and GoPro


Jennifer went to her Audi experience course, and got her first experience in track driving.
On my side, I did the advanced course with one on one coaching. I had only ran Sears once, and that was almost 5 years ago, so my private coach had some work on his hands. To make matters worse, I had had a pretty bad night, so my brain had a hard time gathering new information.

But, Tom did a good job in giving me the tips I needed, and I tried to make the best of it on improving with his help. That got me from 2:07 to 2:03 by the end of the day, which isn't great since the car can easily do 1:58 or less, but that was good enough an improvement for me that day :)

I definitely got better at learning the turns on the track, as well as doing my first steps at not being as binary in my braking. In the end, I got just below 2:04, which is more or less what I got in my F430 last time. This makes me hopeful that I can go faster than that if I come back with the F430 after I've improved my general skills.

Here's one of my better laps at the end of the day:

For comparison, one lap from my instructor:

Despite my struggling with lack of sleep, it was a good day, and I'm thankful to Tom for his help and tips.

2012/05/29 Visiting Ram's Gate, and Dinner at Chez Panisse
π 2012-05-29 01:01 in Dining
Since we were at Sears Point/Infineon, we were tipped off that Ram's Gate was just down the road with a nice view of the valley, and sure enough, they were:




After that, since we were driving by Berkeley by the way back, Jennifer had heard about Chez Panisse and we were lucky enough to get a couple of seats that day, so we had dinner there on the way home:



Nice little dinner, the prix fixe menu that changes every day is warmly recommended.

2012/05/27 Open Cockpit Day at Castle AFB
π 2012-05-27 01:01 in Flying
Castle AFB had a open cockpit day, which happens only once a year, os it's a special occasion. I went with Raphael, another coworker from Android track days, and Jennifer. For the morning flight, we had to leave IFR but the weather was great in central california.




We arrived at Castle Air Museum soon after 09:00 and got a reservation for the B52 tour, which were hard to get:















B52
B52

Tat's a busy cockpit in the B52
Tat's a busy cockpit in the B52








After the museum, on takeoff, I made sure to overfly the museum for a nice view:






The next leg of the flight was to Harris Ranch for lunch, underfortunately, I had a a bit of a downdraft on final, wasn't able to flare as well as I needed, did one bounce that wasn't so bad, but somehow that ended up being enough to crack the windshield. With that, I elected to abort further landing attempts at Harris Ranch since it was unclear what exact state the plane was in, and we just flew back to Palo Alto while overflying the Pinnacles. No juicy steak for us though :(




that gave us free AC in the plane, but I could have done without it
that gave us free AC in the plane, but I could have done without it

Pinacles
Pinacles


Moffett
Moffett


See more images for Open Cockpit Day at Castle AFB
2012/05/20 I Love This City at Shoreline
π 2012-05-20 01:01 in Clubbing
I love this City was an electronic music festival that was originally supposed to be in SF, and then conveniently got moved to Shoreline, just across my office. That made me run out of excuses for not going, so I did :)






Crystal Method
Crystal Method


Satoshi Tomi
Satoshi Tomi



Crowd Surfing with a liveboat, why not? :)
Crowd Surfing with a liveboat, why not? :)


and a free cake thrown in the spectators
and a free cake thrown in the spectators


duck sauce, why not?
duck sauce, why not?




and that was it for night #1
and that was it for night #1

Back for more the next day. I forgot to mention that it was a perfect time to try the features of my new Panasonic TZ30 , including the 28X optical zoom (for smaller pictures) and finally a working panorama feature:



Dyloot plays great trance
Dyloot plays great trance



Jaguar Skills, whom I didn't know had nice DnB
Jaguar Skills, whom I didn't know had nice DnB






and finally came time for Tiesto:

that was a 40x zoom picture from the back lawn, not bad for a compact camera
that was a 40x zoom picture from the back lawn, not bad for a compact camera









David Gueta was next, not my favourite though:





And then was time to go home, I jumped the back fence to get a shortcut through shoreline back to google and my car :)



All the performances weren't to my liking, but some definitely were to my taste, and overall it was worth having gone, especially when it was so close and not in the middle of the night.

See more images for I Love This City at Shoreline
2012/05/19 2012 Silicon Valley Maker Faire
π 2012-05-19 01:01 in Public
After last year where while being super efficient, it was just impossible to see it all in one day, I took a 2 day pass this year, and spent 10 hours on saturday and most of sunday. This allowed me to attend/enjoy a fair amount of talks while seeing all the exhibits and even chat with some long lost friends :)

There were all kinds of makers, from costumes, burning man machines, talks from famous people (from mythbusters' Adam Savage, to Arduino Creators from Italy, and the creator of the longest flying paper airplane).
















A really cool construction where bikes that you could use to play tron:









a former coworker showing off his burning man snake
a former coworker showing off his burning man snake


Mythbusters' Adam Savage, gave us a good speech again. Well worth attending.






See more images for 2012 Silicon Valley Maker Faire
2012/05/12 Earth and Space Shows
π 2012-05-12 01:01 in Public
I've been a fan for TV shows on the universe, the creation of our solar system, and our earth. Below are a few that I recommend.

  • Did you know that we've found convincing fossil evidence that the earth day used to be 18 hours and the earth year was 420 days? (apparently the earth day used to be as short as 6 hours in very early earth).
  • Did you know that a convincing theory explains how the earth and moons were created by the impact of a protoplanet (Theia) and then earth? (which is why the moon has very similar composition compared to the earth): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_impact_hypothesis
  • Did you also know that the moon used to be a *lot* closer to the earth, causing giant tides, which were partially responsible for slowing down the earth rotation, and the the moon is slowly spinning away from us (at about 2cm per year, which we do measure with a laser we can bounce off a mirror on the moon).
  • The moon gravity effects on us and resulting tides have been slowing down the earth have been lengthening the earth day due to friction. This is why we have leap seconds to account for the fact that our days are getting just a tiny bit longer every year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second
  • Some of it is recent science, but I wish I had learned about it in school instead of the centuries of long dead french kings and their families :)

    Here are the documentaries I recommend:

  • How the earth was made: http://www.history.com/shows/how-the-earth-was-made
  • It has some episodes that are better than others, but the first 2 episodes on the continents have useful information.

  • Catastrophe from BBC: http://www.streaming-madness.net/watch-online/documentary/catastrophe-2008/
  • It's the most informative series I found on the creation of earth, explaining how the earth and the moon were created by impacts of proto planets, and how the earth day used to be a long shorter (earth spinning faster) and the moon a lot closer to us.

  • Wonder of the Solar System: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonders_of_the_Solar_System and http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qyxfb
  • It's a really good BBC documentary. It doesn't deal with the early creation of the earth as much, but it's well worth watching.

  • Nova, Finding Life Beyond Earth: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/finding-life-beyond-earth.html
  • Very good 2H Nova episode on how life exists on earth in the most unlikely places, and how it could be found on Mars, Titan, Europa, and other possible places (primitive bacterial life of course, not martians :)

    2012/05/10 1st DroidnFriends of 2012
    π 2012-05-10 01:01 in Cars
    This time I took one of my coworkers' brother up to Willows. It was a very windy day, so the flight was a bit slower than usual, especially since I took a small detour through SFO for my passenger :)

    Golden Gate Park
    Golden Gate Park

    Presidio and Golden Gate
    Presidio and Golden Gate

    Marin
    Marin

    Balloon over Napa
    Balloon over Napa

    Attila, at work
    Attila, at work


    And I turned my car into an electric car. Well, actually not really it's more than my battery was having issues, so I was making sure I could start the car before the next session :)


    So it was all fun and games until I realized at lunchtime that my rear pads were _very_ low (usually that doesn't happen, since they should get swapped at the previous service and they last multiple days). Anyway, it was clear that I had to swap them if I wanted to continue, which is a pain in the rear (30mn to cool down the brakes, and 1h to change the pads since it requires removing the calipers to get to them).


    you can barely see the pad meat left
    you can barely see the pad meat left

    oh my, I had actually just run out, but thankfully the rotor didn't suffer
    oh my, I had actually just run out, but thankfully the rotor didn't suffer

    I got the brakes changed within 1mn of my session start, so it worked out, and I went back for more fun



    I got down to 2:08s again, which has been my limit so far, although I started doing better after having changed my rear pads, although that was also the time where my front tires were already somewhat worn and not gripping as much in turn 2. I tweaked a couple of things I wasn't doing quite right, but dont' have much to show for it :)

    For your fun enjoyment, I kind of passed when I shouldn't have on my very last lap of the last session (jump to 20:15). No harm done though.

    The flight back was uneventful and quick with a 20kts+ tailiwind

    191kts on the way back, woot!
    191kts on the way back, woot!

    See more images for 1st DroidnFriends of 2012
    2012/05/06 Supermoon from handheld Point and Shoot Panasonic DMC TZ30
    π 2012-05-06 01:01 in Public
    Ok, I know it's insulting to people with real cameras, but I was almost impressed with the handheld shot (1/1000s) I took with my new Panasonic DMC TZ-30 and 50x zoom (combination of 20x optimal, resolution zoom, and pixel interpolation that isn't quite digital zoom).


    2012/05/01 Handy tip to save on inodes and disk space: finddupes, fdupes, and hardlink.py
    π 2012-05-01 01:01 in Linux
    I've been rsyncing my linux machines on my disk server for the last 10 years, and while I've tried to save space by using the trick below, clearly it hadn't applied carefully everywhere, and it didn't consolidate files across backups from multiple servers.

    For a single server, the trick to keep snapshots in history of your server backup without losing a lot of space, is to rsync to directory current and cp -al current oldbackup_20120501. This allows rsyncing to current, and keep oldbackup made out of hardlinks until current changes to something different.

    While this served me well, turns out it wasn't perfect, there were some admin errors in the past, and duplicates across different servers backed up. So, I looked for dupe finders so that I can re-hardlink identical files after the fact.
    The first thing I quickly found was that comparing all files with the same size was going to be way way too slow, so I had to limit the deduping to files that had different names, or the pool of files to dedupe would just be way too big.

  • apt-get install fdupes: has lots of options for recursive scanning, can delete, hardlink, or even symlink. I could not find how to tell it to only compare files with the same names.
  • http://code.google.com/p/hardlinkpy/ : it's in python, but it actually runs faster than fdupes for me, and has useful options to work on huge trees: hardlink.py -c -f -x options.txt -x Makefile dir1 dir2 dir3. Its one flaw right now is that it runs out of RAM on my 4GB system when run on 27 million files. To save on time for deduping system backups, it's useful to tell hardlinks.py to only compare files with the same name.
  • http://www.pixelbeat.org/fslint/ : I didn't try this one but it looked nice when you need a GUI.
  • http://svn.red-bean.com/bbum/trunk/hacques/dupinator.py : is a simple python script you can hack on if you just need to find dupes and act on them.
  • apt-get install hardlink (yes, another one). hardlink -v -f -p -t -x options.txt -x Makefile dir1 dir2. Mmmh, that one took so much memory on my 4GB server that within 20mn it was swapping hard.
  • hardlinks.py is my favourite for now, over several days of runs (afterall, there are many files to scan/compare), I've already saved 5,646,995 files and about 300GB, not bad :)


    More pages: July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004 January 2004 October 2003 August 2003 July 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 January 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 January 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000 June 2000 April 1999 March 1999 September 1997 August 1997 July 1996 September 1993 July 1991 December 1988 December 1985 January 1980