tag:marcof.net,2013:/posts marco f dot net 2018-01-15T08:08:49Z Marco Frissen tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/1162383 2017-06-10T11:00:00Z 2017-06-10T11:17:31Z Gravel ride story pt 1

Well, here I am. Registered for the 170K Dirty Boar gravel ride on September 9th, 2017.

At the moment I'm still 10kg over my first target weight and I have never ridden anything further than about 110K.

However, I've always been a big fan of gravel riding, and two years and +20kg ago I read about the Dirty Kanza 200. This seemed like an amazing experience, but it's very very far from where I am, plus it is probably the most extreme gravel ride. To start with that, I probably would have stopped a quarter in crying like a small baby.

Two years later, 20kg lighter (but still too heavy) I saw the movie from Casey Neistat "Do what you can't". Even though it is aimed at creatives and producers of YouTube videos, you can take a lot from it in real life as well, outside of the YouTube bubble.

In my Facebook timeline all of a sudden the "Dirty Boar" ride popped up and on a whim I registered. I'm registrant 99, great number :-)

Ok, after registration I realized I really need to start training. Riding on gravel is not an issue for me (although my bike probably thinks otherwise), but going the distance and biking for 8-10 hours straight, that will become an ordeal without proper preparation. Most of the time I do mountainbiking, short (up to 60-70K) rides with steep short climbs and technical stuff, and parts gravel of course.

After a little search I found a nice "beginner to 200k" training schedule which I will use from today (actually last week). As someone (forgot who) stated, "don't let the schedule lead you, but make the schedule fit to your personal life", I am not going to follow the training scheme at all cost, I'm going to fit it in my personal life, which, with two teenagers isn't always predictable. But I still have plenty of time, provided nothing serious happens along the road. If I follow the schedule by the letter I'd ride 200k at the beginning of July. That leaves quite a bit of slack and opportunity for other things. I've also looked into the intermediate version of the 200K training, but even though I think I would be able to do it, I can't fit it into my own - and family - planning. So, I'll just take a bit longer to get there, but I will.

Anyways, the idea is that I will have lost at least 10kg before Sept 9th, and will be able to ride 150-200K comfortably. I won't be the fastest out there, since even when I reach my planned weight, I'll still be heavier than most of these skinny gravel-riding bastards. But I hope I can make up for the uphills on the straight and downgrades. We'll see, to be honest I don't care much about keeping up with lighter and younger riders at all ;-)

My next post will be about my bike(s), since I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to ride there, I'll just write about both my machines. Specs, modifications, limitations etc.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/1162384 2017-05-31T23:00:00Z 2017-06-10T11:20:04Z Going to restart this blog again

I'm going to try and post at least weekly from today forward. Provided I have something interesting to write.

I need to get back to writing stuff.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/673996 2014-04-07T09:36:57Z 2014-04-07T09:58:48Z Constellation Orion

Trying to reproduce the Akira Fuji method, which looks easier than it is.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/643996 2014-01-21T08:06:52Z 2014-01-21T21:05:41Z multifunctional webcam privacy tool

Apparently, hackers (or worse, government) can access your webcam without the notification LED switching on. The dutch ministry advised users to put a piece of tape on your webcam when not using it. But that's a sticky situation.. Some companies are now making their own removable "webcam privacy tools".

But why spend money on something when you already have the tools? For most laptops a clothes pin will work perfectly. Just place it over the little webcam lens and voila, no more sneaky peeking. And as an added bonus, you can use it to place your glasses or hang your earbuds!

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/628768 2013-12-10T14:01:05Z 2013-12-10T14:01:36Z Audio Junkie: The ZZZ's

Discovered a day ago. Noticed I missed their performance in Utrecht. Damn. But quite a few bits on Youtube, be prepared for some noise:

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/611921 2013-10-23T11:16:55Z 2013-10-23T11:17:13Z Pixelmator team unveils Pixelmator 3.0 FX

Woah, I totally missed this one. My favorite photo editing app on the Mac is now updated to version 3.0. Lots of new tools and big enhancements for OS X Mavericks support.

Check it out the announcement on their blog and get the app in the Mac App Store. It's a free update for existing users. Yes, free!

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/611910 2013-10-23T09:30:51Z 2013-10-23T09:34:02Z Nokia and Apple introduce things

Tuesday October 22nd was a busy day for technology geeks. Both Apple and Nokia had an event, and both were streamed live.

Unfortunately for Nokia, most of their news was soon pushed to the second news page by all shiny stuff that Apple introduced. Which is kind of sad for them. 

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/608417 2013-10-13T13:00:38Z 2013-10-13T13:00:38Z Geeksphone Peak Firefox OS 1.2 quick impressions

Recently Geeksphone release an 1.2 version of Firefox OS for their devices. After some issues updating my device (I thought I had the Android stuff installed, but I guess I did not, so I had to update adb and fastboot to get it working), the install went flawless and immediately the device shows a lot more maturity in interface and use.

The same goes for quite a few apps, that are now more complete and render perfect on the Peak. 

A nice addition is that the OS now supports multiple languages, so I could set the device to Dutch and actually have a 24H format time. It's still weird that this is depending on the device language, the time and date format should have been a separate locale setting. Probably in a later update.

After my erroneous conclusion that the camera had White Balance issues, I got a reply that the lens still had the blue protection foil over it. And indeed it did, removing it made the blue colors disappear and images now look a lot more neutral. At least on the device, I didn't download the pictures on my computer yet. 

Firefox OS grows on me, and I hope it will get some big names convinced to join in the app development community. 

Another initiative aims to get everyone to develop their own apps: Appmaker. A web based interface, in very alpha phase, to create apps for the FFOS platform. Very basic so far, but this looks very promising!

I'll continue to use the Peak and post occasional impressions on this blog. 

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/498298 2013-04-26T17:14:43Z 2013-10-08T17:08:05Z Geeksphone Peak Firefox OS smartphone first impressions

Well, that was quick, after ordering the Peak on Tuesday, it already arrived via UPS today (Friday). Nice small recycled packaging as well.

After the first start, immediately 2 updates were available, one system update and a map update. The system update triggered a package manager, not something you see often on a smartphone:

When setting up the Peak, you get the option to import contacts from Facebook, which is pretty nice.

The UI feels a bit sluggish and apps are slightly awkward. Definitely developer preview status. A lot of options you find on an iPhone are not there, like setting 24H clock instead of AM/PM. Some trivial items seem to be overlooked, probably because they are easy to overlook.

Some nice backgrounds available.

Even though this phone uses Firefox OS and Firefox browser, I cannot find any option to enable Mozilla Sync service. Odd.

I expected the Peak to open as a generic USB device on my Mac, and it does, after you enable USB Mass Storage in the Media Storage Preferences.

Here's a first bug. The EXIF in the images is incorrect. The date is set at a default value 12:00 at 8 dec 2002.

Also, it seems that the camera (and software) struggles to get the right whitebalance. The images turn out way too cool.

Also, why are the images recorded at 1280x960 and not full resolution? Kind of a waste of 8mp camera. I did not find a camera setting (yet) to change this.

Video is recorded in crappy 3gp format, in low resolution. Don't expect to record HD movies with the Peak.

Try the obligatory cat movie for yourself here.

I tried opening forecast.io in Firefox and although it is fully functional, the site is opened in desktop view, which is annoying on a smartphone.

Hardware wise it seems like a pretty nice phone, although I've managed to let it slip from my hands twice already, due to the plastic back and rounded edges. It's a bit soapy for my feeling.

I applaud the initiative and I hope developers will flock en masse to Firefox OS and get some interesting apps on the device.

There's still a lot of work to do, especially on the apps side of things. See the screenshot of Zombie Lines, a puzzle game.. Somehow it doesn't take up the whole screen, but only a very small part of it.

The one thing I really like is the multitask view, where you press & hold the home button which will then show the currently running apps.

Pretty nifty and useful.

Anyway, these were my first impressions, more to come, I will try to get a SIM and use it as a phone as well. Funny though, the Peak takes regular SIM cards, and of course, after iPhone 4 and 5 those sizes do not live in my house anymore :-)

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/487717 2013-04-25T08:29:14Z 2013-10-08T17:05:55Z Awesomeness from orbit - deja vu feelings Here is a picture of the Cygnus Mass Simulator just after separating from the Antares upper stage.

Somehow this reminds me of the early space age images of years gone by. In fact it is not dissimilar, since for Orbital Sciences it is a first.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/59036 2013-03-08T08:21:58Z 2013-10-08T15:34:12Z EU ban on Porn for equality is bullshit The EU wants to block porn. Based on so-called "equality" initiatives.
Hangon a moment!
First of, porn is fiction. Just like Pinocchio is fiction. So that's out of the way.

Let's talk about equality a bit.
Let's look in real corporate business.
Women are paid much less than men in the same roles. Sometimes even 50% less. Some equality eh.
In porn, women are generally paid much more than men. Woops.. doesn't sound to bad for the women, right?

Maybe, just maybe we should focus on equality in the REAL world instead of make-believe stories.


Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/40611 2013-03-07T08:22:00Z 2013-10-08T15:30:27Z Here I am, back at Posterous eh Posthaven

Imported my old Posterous posts and changed DNS to point to Posthaven.

Let's hope this will remain online forever, like they claim to be.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26782 2012-01-18T15:05:34Z 2013-10-08T15:27:16Z iTunes Match - some reasons items are not uploaded/matched I checked my iTunes library and 255 songs were not matched/uploaded. Out of 11752 total tracks this ain't too bad.
Reasons for not matching are shown when you hover the little cloud symbol:
* duplicate
* ilegible (mostly for Voice Memos)
* videoclip
* digital booklets

Looks like actually all my content has been uploaded and matched properly. Yay!]]>
Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26787 2012-01-18T08:47:00Z 2013-10-08T15:27:16Z Device size vs LTE
If I’m right, we will start seeing smaller LTE Android handset sets a year or so from now, and the tech press will collectively forget the “bigger is inherently better” mindset that pervades phone reviews today.

The first one with smaller sized and more efficient LTE will be an iPhone though.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26790 2012-01-17T08:31:00Z 2013-10-08T15:27:16Z Your old iTunes purchases (pre-no-DRM) won't be matched?
Songs purchased outside of the United States iTunes Store containing DRM (Digital Rights Management) will not be matched or uploaded to iCloud.

(emphasis mine)
Argh, looks like songs that you bought in a non US iTMS before iTunes went no-DRM will not be matched to the iTunes iCloud. I have quite a few of those (living in NL I use the Dutch iTMS mostly), I never bothered to convert them to iTunes Plus. To have them matched, I probably have to convert them to iTunes Plus first, which adds quite a few euros to the bill.

So, I guess I will just download those illegally and have them matched.. WTF are you doing Apple?


I guess I was mistaken. I have 11752 items in my Music library. iTunes Match matched 11388 songs. Difference of 364 songs. I have about 2609 songs still marked as "Protected AAC" - the old DRM-ed files. Looks like those are matched anyway, and the 364 remaining are some obscure items that can't be matched (I don't have any illegal stuff in my iTunes library)

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26794 2012-01-16T12:10:00Z 2013-10-08T15:27:16Z Computer Virus Infection at JAXA

1. Possible leaked information
As the computer was used by an employee who is involved in the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station,) the following information was potentially compromised.


  • Stored mail addresses
  • Specification and operation information of the HTV
  • System log-in information accessed from the computer


via jaxa.jp

So, in Aug 2011 it already had a "virus" on it, which was removed. And now a new "virus" on the same computer?
Coincidence? I think not.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26802 2012-01-13T14:32:00Z 2013-10-08T15:27:16Z Switching Google for Bing
The great thing is, of course, you can just switch. Hit up your browser preferences, and swap your default to Bing. I know, I know, but yes I'm serious. Sure, Bing had a rocky start. But if you haven't seen it recently it's worth another look. It has a super clean interface. It's fast. And operators work the way you expect them to. Best of all it's relevant.

I've been using Bing as default search engine for at least half a year now. Never felt the need to go back.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26807 2012-01-13T09:52:00Z 2013-10-08T15:27:16Z Listen to Music With Your Friends
Today, with music services on Facebook, there's a new way to listen with friends. This feature lets you listen along with any of your friends who are currently listening to music. You can also listen together in a group while one of your friends plays DJ.  

That's a pretty awesome feature. Rolling out today. I wonder how long until they release a "you might also like" friend list based on music tastes..

Regardless what everyone says, Facebook is my favorite (open for all) social media platform.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26813 2012-01-03T23:14:00Z 2013-10-08T15:27:17Z Which apps did survive 2011 on my iPhone?

A slightly different take on 2011. While everyone is rehashing the news, I'll just go through the list of apps on my iPhone and see which apps really stuck during the whole year. Is this list useful? Probably not, unless you are interested in what I have on my iPhone or you are looking for something specific.

How do I know which apps to choose? Well, apps stay on my iPhone when I use them. If I do not use them for a few weeks, I remove them. I won't list apps that were recently released here.

Tools (links open iTunes):

The above tools have been installed on my iPhone for a long time, and get (almost) daily usage.

Social Networking:

No, Google+ did not survive 2011.



Those are all the apps that have stuck throughout 2011. Some were released in 2011, but most of them have been available longer and have only been updated. Special mention for Path, which must be my most-used app.

A request for Apple; I'd like to (automatically) organize my apps by times used. So I have the most used apps within easy reach. Yes I can do that manually, but it's extra work, and I'm kind of lazy.

Of course I have more apps on my iPhone, but most of them are cycling on/off the device. Others I install and after some time remove because I just don't use them. And some are only there when needed (e.g. Navigon US West, I'm not there that often)

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26821 2011-12-24T10:51:00Z 2013-10-08T15:27:17Z Happy Christmas all! Don't have faith: Think.
Here is my Christmas card for you, I thought the Darwin Tree of Life might be a nice X-mas tree. I added some Christmas ball earths and of course at the bottom the "evolution" of men..

My wishes to all: Don't have faith. Think.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26830 2011-12-23T08:52:44Z 2013-10-08T15:27:18Z Why I still prefer my iPhone 4S over the Lumia800 one word:  accessories ]]> Marco Frissen tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26839 2011-12-22T16:05:00Z 2018-01-15T08:08:49Z Cosmonaut vs Deal eXtreme Stylus using Penultimate
I received the Cosmonaut capacitive stylus last week (finally). I backed Studio Neat's Kickstarter project a while ago, and after quite a few production and design issues, they finally released it. Now you can order it from their store. The stylus is $25 excl postage, which is $7 for international orders. Total is thus $32.

Months ago (even before the Cosmonaut project was announced), I bought a cheap stylus from DealeXtreme.
This stylus set me back a whopping $5 and shipment is included. 

I was actually perfectly happy with the cheap stylus, but since I love my Glif from Studio Neat, and I love well designed productsI decided to back their Cosmonaut project anyway. 

Alas, last week I received the Cosmonaut and did some comparisons. Using the excellent Penultimate iPad app by Cocoabox of course.

See the PDF

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface, and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 degrees Celsius.

The Russians used a pencil.
Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26845 2011-12-19T12:47:41Z 2013-10-08T15:27:18Z Fuck faith.
The only real argument against religious terrorism is to try to share the reality of the world. The world is plenty. We have each other. We have love. We have family. We have art. We have time. We have an impossible universe full of awe and wonder. We have an infinite number of questions we can work on. We have all the glory that is real and is us. We must stop glorifying faith. 

Fuck faith.

-- Penn Jillette, "God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales"
Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26850 2011-12-14T18:44:00Z 2013-10-08T15:27:18Z A man, a ball, a hoop, a bench (and an alleged thread)… TELLER!
Penn amended Teller’s suggested explanation, offering “Now, here’s a trick that’s done with a piece of thread” in its place. Suddenly Penn was happy and excited. There was an idea. “That’s all,” Teller remembers Penn saying, “Just give them that much. That gives them so much and puts them on our side. Nobody else in the world would do that.

I saw Penn & Teller two weeks ago in Vegas. The show was amazing. The Red Ball act was awesome. And P&T are great personalities too.
Thanks to @daringfireball for posting this.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26855 2011-12-01T14:14:00Z 2013-10-08T15:27:18Z Penn & Teller FTW!

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26870 2011-11-11T19:36:19Z 2013-10-08T15:27:18Z Someone's going to get neck problems when he wakes up ]]> Marco Frissen tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26876 2011-11-11T13:37:29Z 2013-10-08T15:27:18Z dunno, but the Nikon 1 takes pretty decent pictures, doesn't it… ]]> Marco Frissen tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26889 2011-11-04T17:26:32Z 2013-10-08T15:27:18Z Got my iBamboo from @Triangle_Tree! It's awesome! (and @marymagdalan agrees)

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26896 2011-11-04T08:18:01Z 2013-10-08T15:27:18Z Daily morning ritual: Coffee. In slow motion. Playing with my Nikon 1 V1. Thought it would be fun to record our regular morning ritual, coffee slowly dripping through the Hario dripper.
Recorded at 400fps. Trimmed in Quicktime Player, edited on YouTube.

Marco Frissen
tag:marcof.net,2013:Post/26906 2011-10-26T14:00:27Z 2013-10-08T15:27:19Z Testing the Nikon 1 V1 - just a few random snaps JPG Fine straight from the camera.

Marco Frissen