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: 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



2012/12/27 Visiting the Futoroscope in Poitier
π 2012-12-27 00:00 in Trips
I had gone to Futuroscope almost 20 years ago back when I still lived in France, and my dad was performing magic there.

Since then, I had wondered how it had changed, and figured Jennifer might enjoy it, so we went just after Xmas (thankfully they had english translators earbuds for most shows).

Getting there was very convenient. A TGV gets you right there, you walk across a bridge, and you're in the park. Couldn't have been easier. The weather wasn't fantastic, but that also meant manageable lines, which was good.




We did most of the park the first day, and finished it the next morning where we took a bit more time since our train wasn't going to leave before 13:30 no matter what :)
While I thought the park had a bit too many Imax/Omnimax movies (6 different ones), we still had a good time.

Below are some pictures:

Views of the park:






Random atractions:




I got the most points shooting in the entire room in that game :)
I got the most points shooting in the entire room in that game :)

The evening show was actually quite good. Almost as good was World of Color in Disneyworld California:






After the first night, we were able to walk to our hotel, come back the next morning, finish the park well in time for taking the earlier train back home.

2012/12/26 Cars Displays in Paris' Champs Elysées
π 2012-12-26 00:00 in Cars, Trips
Over Xmas, we walked the Champs Elysées, and we used the opportunity to visit the car manufacturer displays that are there.

For just $100, you can drive these for 20mn, but doing so in Paris is kind of futile...



Toyota:


nice sim
nice sim


Renault had a nice prototype on display:




Citroën still had their multiple time WRC winner rally car:







Mercedes:




Peugeot also had a non working prototype, like Renault:


looks nice, but worthless if not for sale
looks nice, but worthless if not for sale

nice Xmas tree :)
nice Xmas tree :)

2012/12/26 Yearly visit of Paris over Xmas
π 2012-12-26 00:00 in Paris, Trips
Like every year, here are a few pictures from Paris over Xmas. This year wasn't nearly as cold, and there were a few nice days:


Louis Vuiton is happy to sell you simple handbags for as many thousand euros you're willing to pay
Louis Vuiton is happy to sell you simple handbags for as many thousand euros you're willing to pay

We then walked by the little Xmas houses (think winter wine and art festival):


Vin chaud. Oui!
Vin chaud. Oui!



Macaroons! :)
Macaroons! :)

Piggie :)
Piggie :)

Chocolate tools and gears
Chocolate tools and gears


Made it to the end, time to turn around
Made it to the end, time to turn around






going nowhere, fast
going nowhere, fast




and we walked all the way back from l'obelisk to the arc the triomphe, time to go home
and we walked all the way back from l'obelisk to the arc the triomphe, time to go home

While there, we also went to see car displays, with went on its own page.

A few days later, we went to visit le Marais, which I actually had never seen before. We stopped by a fair amount of little stores, which my dad loves doing:


Started from centre pompidou, with a silly long line we avoided
Started from centre pompidou, with a silly long line we avoided


awesome scenes from top french movies
awesome scenes from top french movies


that is an inventive bakery :)
that is an inventive bakery :)



Place des Vosges, which I had never seen
Place des Vosges, which I had never seen



House of Victor Hugo
House of Victor Hugo

more stores
more stores


more chocolats
more chocolats




A couple of pictures from Auchan:



And before going home, we went to la Villette, citée des sciences et de l'industrie with special expo on Léonard de Vinci






an actual flying RC bird
an actual flying RC bird

Léonard had thought about it, just didn't have the technology back then
Léonard had thought about it, just didn't have the technology back then


And this is it for Paris this year. Not a whole lot, but I've already posted a lot of pictures in the past.

  • http://marc.merlins.org/perso/trips/post_2006-01-06_Visiting-Paris.html
  • http://marc.merlins.org/perso/trips/post_2007-01-07_Paris-_-Louvre-Photos.html
  • http://marc.merlins.org/perso/trips/post_2008-01-07_1-week-in-France.html
  • http://marc.merlins.org/perso/trips/post_2010-01-04_A-few-pictures-from-Paris.html
  • http://marc.merlins.org/perso/trips/post_2011-12-24_Pictures-of-Paris-over-Xmas-2011.html
  • See more images for Yearly visit of Paris over Xmas
    2012/12/22 Foie Gras at Papillon and Glass Tryout
    π 2012-12-22 00:00 in Dining
    After some misguided activists somehow managed to ban the sale of foie gras in California (apparently they are too pussies to go after the real problem, which is the torturing of most chicken sold on the market, and very poor to abysmal treatment of beef, but eh, it's easier to go after the little guy than go after the big companies that kind of feed America, even if badly), I had vouched to make sure we would keep eating at least as much foie gras as before (which actually isn't that much, it's not something you eat every day, or every week), to combat this pathetic law.

    At the same time, I had just gotten Google Glass to try out, so it was a good excuse to do both, and we went to Papillon to have a nice dinner with our own foie gras (which can of course still be bought in other states, and the rest of the world).

    It was quite a nice dinner I should say.



    you can't go wrong with yummy beef covered with seared foie gras
    you can't go wrong with yummy beef covered with seared foie gras

    Here some of the pictures taken with glass. Since glass doesn't have a flash and the room was dark, it struggled a little bit (so did my own camera if I was taking pictures without flash). Still, it was nice to be able to snap some pictures at will without having to whip out a camera.



    Our server: 'so, I meant to ask you about that thing you were wearing' :)
    Our server: 'so, I meant to ask you about that thing you were wearing' :)

    Yummy dessert
    Yummy dessert

    All in all, very good use of an evening :)

    2012/12/18 Day trip for a 1.5ft storm at kirkwood
    π 2012-12-18 00:00 in Snow
    Arturo and I decided a bit last minute to go check out the fresh snow that had just fallen, with very low temps (i.e. good dry snow). Thanks to Arturo's driving we got there right around 08:50 and were at Cornice right as it opened. We got close enough to first chair (it was pretty empty).

    drive up was much nicer than expected, even if the snow line was low.
    drive up was much nicer than expected, even if the snow line was low.

    1.5ft of fresh mostly dry snow, not bad
    1.5ft of fresh mostly dry snow, not bad


    Arturo, my partner in crime
    Arturo, my partner in crime






    later, we had some more fresh snow
    later, we had some more fresh snow


    Video from first run:

    2012/12/15 FOG Drive from Alices Restaurant to Half Moon Bay
    π 2012-12-15 00:00 in Cars
    I'm usually not awake enough for a long drive to Marin County where those events usually are, so I haven't really attended many, but having a meetup at Alice's Restaurant at a more reasonable 08:30 made it so that I could say hi :)










    a little hook by the lighthouse
    a little hook by the lighthouse


    gopro testbed :)
    gopro testbed :)








    Unfortunately, the drive back wasn't as easy. I ended up having some time to look at the local beach:




    ... because I had a pretty bad blowout on a brand new tire no less. No, I don't know what did it.
    Thankfully while it was a bit scary, I was able to keep control of the car and stay on the road until I could pull over. I got home 2 hours late, with a pretty expensive tow ($840, ouch!) although I'm told it's supposed to be covered by my insurance, so maybe it won't be so bad. Now I just have to worry about whether my rim got bent (the rim itself is more expensive than the tow).


    the local sheriff helpfully put his car and lights to protect mine
    the local sheriff helpfully put his car and lights to protect mine


    tow truck took a bit over an hour to show up
    tow truck took a bit over an hour to show up

    Oh well, it didn't end perfectly, but it was still fun to go out and socialize with other car enthusiasts on fun roads.
    (And yes, the car is fine, but since it doesn't come with spare wheels, when you lose a tire, you gain a tow).

    2012/12/05 Serial Console With WR703N
    π 2012-12-05 00:00 in Linux
    I was looking for a cheap one port serial console server I could use to monitor a server far away. Turns out they are quite expensive, so I looked at making my own.

    I ended up being told to look at a WR703N which can be had for around $25, either from china, or sometimes a US location like amazon . Another option is the mostly identical TL-MR3020

    Both have an openwrt distribution which you can get from http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wr703n and http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-mr3020

    One way to get serial could be to open the device and with a bit of soldering and a level converter, one is supposed to get a serial port off the bare chip. That was more time than I was willing to put in, so I just used the built in USB port and a PL2303 USB-serial converter.

    Unfortunately, the USB support on those devices has a bug there full speed USB devices (i.e. USB1) do not work reliably and in the case of a serial converter, it'll hang after a minute of use or two.

    This is described in a long thread at https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=39956&p=4 but you can jump to post #84. Basically the fix is to use a passive high speed (USB2) hub, and plug your USB1 device into it. No USB power required, and a cheap $10 USB hub works fine.

    Next, get an old USB key, format it with ext4 as explained below, and edit /etc/rc.local on the router to mount the USB stick. This allows logging the serial session without writing to the main flash of your device, since that's not replaceable.

    Ok, so the end cost is between $40 and $50, but you get a super small linux capable router that acts as serial console server, can log the output and provide ssh access. Still not bad... (I used a free 64MB USB key I had lying around).

    /etc/rc.local:

    # Get the card ready with # mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdc1 # tune2fs -c0 -i0 -m0 /dev/sdc1 # opkg install kmod-fs-ext4 mount -o noatime,commit=600,data=writeback /dev/sda1 /mnt

    cd /mnt # opkg install kmod-usb-serial-pl2303 # opkg install screen # This will dump serial logs in /mnt on your USB key screen -m -d -L /dev/ttyUSB0 115200

    # If you don't want screen, you can try minicom or microcom # http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/f/topic-3-7-11379-0.html

    2012/12/03 Opening the season at kirkwood
    π 2012-12-03 00:00 in Snow
    This year, the season started better than last year. I went for a day trip with a couple of coworkers to get some early powder. It was good for a first day, although the powder was very wet due to high temps, and kirkwood was very understaffed and took way too long to open lifts (1H late to open just one lift, and 2.5H to open a 2nd lift to the top on cornice. That's pretty sad actually).


    line, nothing running
    line, nothing running

    finally going up over 1H late
    finally going up over 1H late

    powder was still nice, note the way too long line on cornice
    powder was still nice, note the way too long line on cornice

    wee
    wee



    All in all, it wasn't perfect, but it sure beat a day at work :)

    See more images for Opening the season at kirkwood
    2012/12/01 2012 Company Xmas Party
    π 2012-12-01 00:00 in Google
    This year, we had a great locations with multiple rooms, got to see nice cars, played sims, and got to socialize with good food away from the loud room. It was at the Club Auto Sport in San Jose.

    It was great.





    See more images for 2012 Company Xmas Party

    More pages: 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