Friday, September 30, 2016

Running Pouch Upgrade

Of course Marcus checked the review and I was impressed to find that the existing running pouch design  (I bought a couple) has lasted all the way from 2014.   That is 3 running pouches, costing 9GBP total, including postage, have lasted for two years.


But in 2016 it was ready for a change and a possible upgrade

- The stitching on the 2014 running pouches had deteriorated
- What waterproofing on the inside had also diminshed

So I searched and found a new alternative:

 The 2016 design I have chosen after some ebay searching has

- 2 pockets
This is a critical different, allowing you to pack your keys and credit card and headphone in one side, and the second side only for the mobile phone.

My mobile phone is in a plastic protective bag  (of course!) but is otherwise on its own.  Meaning it cannot get scratched by keys etc.

- 2 pockets distributes the weight better

 The strap is thinner and more normal width.  The old pouches had ridiculously wide belts.

 Here it is again from another angle

I've tested it now for 2 weeks, meaning hundreds of Km of walks and runs.  It is just fine.  Absolutely no complaints.  In fact the 2014 pouch was getting loose  i.e. to long for my shrinking waistline and this can adjust to be just right.

Drum Roll

And the important thing to notice is that this running pouch or fanny pack as they say in the USA is costed at

1.22 GBP

including Postage  (all the way from Hong Kong)

I know,  it totally blows my mind.

I think I know what I can order as presents for my runner friends. :-)

Original Running Pouch Review
Low expectations and testing

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Renens 10Km Road Race 2016

We finished the Renens 10Km road race, but a race in Renens, Vaud Switzerland is quite unusual ...

A road running race in Renens is relatively unusual since it is the more Industrial part of Lausanne in the west.  Definitely not a usual running race venue.   But I think it's a worthwhile event because it is child focused and encourages locals in the area to put more sport in their lives.

For our part we thought it would be a nice gentle Saturday run and our race fee would help support the local community

The Injury

Whilst the race was at 14.00 everything was just fine until about 10.00.   At that time Marcus and Agata went to the local Post Office in La Sallaz to pay duty on an Electronics package for Marcus.   Switzerland is not in the EC so incorrect labelling from the sender in Poland had meant a) The package was held in customs until I proved the value via invoice and made apologies  b) They sent the package to me and I was not around to pay the duty, so the package ends up at the post office.

Switzerland now charges 30CHF just because,  and then the VAT also.  This makes the import of small packages expensive, and in the case of mis-label packages also very late

Anyway that is a digression!  On the way to the Post Office about 1.5Km away from home I had a scooter accident resulting in my right ankle being hit hard with a metal scooter edge.  About 20 minutes later I was barely able to walk.  By 13.00 whilst I could drive, walking was almost impossible, but I felt running with adrenalin and strong painkillers might just work

Just Before
 We are actually so early that the queue for dossard numbers was quite modest

I'm pretty sure the familiar Jesus runner is stalking us!   And I also suspect this is his only T shirt.

Marcus smiles

A large number of munchkins attended and there was candy floss and other attractions.  We smiled at the good nature of all.

Last minute exercise warm ups.  Notice the weather is a not cool but wonderful 20 degrees, and remember we are almost into October.

Race Report

As Marcus threatened to Agata, I started by keeping pace with Agata for almost the first 1.5Km until the pains in my ankle were drowned with adrenalin. Then it was time for some modest acceleration.

There were 4 laps of a 2.5Km course which I would say was quite hilly!  Though on tarmac which helped.

Locals were out to cheer and offer support. There was a single water aid station on the course.   The atmosphere was very supportive, there was even one of two sprinklers set out to cool us down as we passed by.

I managed to inch my way forward lap by lap.  Not a single person overtook me. My final time of 43 minutes was okay until I found out the first placed runner in my stated category came in at 35 minutes.  Oh well,  I shout injury as my excuse :-)

Here is Agata finishing in a quick 47:23 placing her an amazing 5th in her category.  Go Agata!

Yet again Switzerland has spoilt us.  Excellent weather.  Good nature of participants and spectators. This run was modestly costed.  And close to home.  Challenging non flat course. Top stuff Switzerland.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lausanne Night of the Museums

La Nuit des Musees is a once a year jamboree in Lausanne Switzerland where for a 12 hour period most local museums open (this year from 14.00 to 02.00) and allow visitors unrestricted access all for the price of one special ticket.  And, drum roll, that ticket is available to all, local residents, tourists etc, all for a price which is less than the entry to a single museum.

Oh and they lay on free Bus transport too.

Yes,  a Swiss bargain!  You read that right

This year all of these museums

The Preparation

Marcus and Agata and Sandra met up in Pully.  After Sandra fed us, Marcus fed the cats.  Well obviously.

Archeolab, Pully
Priory Avenue 4 
1009 Pully 
T +41 21 721 38 00

Our first museum because it is local.  Also there is a distinct rumour you can get thru it in a few minutes!  Sort of our 'starter for 10'

Everybody know Marcus is happy!


Museum of Design and 
Contemporary Applied Arts Cathedral Square 6 
1005 Lausanne 
T +41 21 315 25 30

Right now a TinTin exhibition amongst other things.

Now officially there are 'don't take any photographs signs' in the TinTin sections so initially I just had to improvise with this photograph.

But in some areas many people were snapping photos in front of the staff so I started too .

Some nice exhibits, and I include Sandra and Agata in this captioning, of course.


Avenue de l'Elysée 18 
1006 Lausanne 
T +41 21 316 99 11

We tried but sadly failed to appreciate the photographic works of  Wojciech Zamecznik at the Elysee museum.   Sad because he is Polish and we wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Sandra was so bored she headed off to the canteen for some alternative entertainment

Marcus joined.  Yes it was a disappointing show.

Olympic  Museum

Quai d'Ouchy 1 
1006 Lausanne
T +41 21 621 65 11

Obviously with Lausanne being the official Olympic Capital who could refuse a visit to the very lavish Olympic museum.  It has been refurbished in the last year of so , so an even bigger treat awaits.

Just outside we thought we'd participate in the /race Usain Bolt/ running track competition.  There are some lights on the left that light up as you start the 100 metres sprint and you see if you can keep up with them.  We tried.  I think Usain's record is safe for now.

There are so many things to see here, I would allow over 2 hours if this is your first visit.  If you are passionate about an Olympic sport be it summer or Winter Olympics there will be something special for you to see here.

At the end of the evening, well in fact early Sunday morning, Marcus and Agata did a 2Km plus walk home.  Now we would say it would be a sleep in Sunday, but of course it turned out, that was not to be.  Exercise was calling.

So if you Visit
We hope not if but when, you come to visit us in Lausanne, perhaps for that exercise training I spoke of earlier then if you plan to come around September you can imbibe all the museums Lausanne has to offer, on this special night, and overdose on our significant Lausanne culture.

Please come :-)

Monday, September 26, 2016

More 68000 Assembler Required

*INCLUDE '/equ/jsysequ.asm'

latch   equ 0ffffff20h   ; also tried 0bfffff20h
year    equ 0ffffff26h   ; also 0bfffff26h


      move.l #latch,a0  ; first must read latch
      move.b (a0)+,d1   ; read latch into d1

      move.b #10,(a0)+  ; set hour
      move.b #11,(a0)+  ; set minutes
      move.b #12,(a0)+  ; set seconds
      move.b #09,(a0)+  ; set month
      move.b #24,(a0)+  ; set date
      move.b #98,(a0)   ; set year

      move.l #latch,a0
      move.b (a0),d1    ; second read sets clock

      move #0,   D3
      jsys #_exit


Subtitle: Feel free to assist me!

See Also: Cromemco Millennium Bug

Marcus was never a big fan of Motorola 68000 assembler.  To set things in context, in the late 1970's and early 1980's three CPU  (i.e. processor) families were commonly used for Personal Computers.

- Motorola 6800 and if lucky 6809

- MOS Technology 6502

- Intel 8080 and then mostly Zilog Z80

At the time many embryonic business computers ran the CP/M operating System (or variant) and were powered by a Zilog Z80 processor with 64K Bytes of RAM memory.

However for Marcus and most other visionaries it was generally accepted that the Motorola 68000 processor  (and its follow on 68010 68020 68030) variants were the future.

That was until IBM announced the IBM PC using the Intel 8088 processor, and as a purist I would say ruined everything  (some would say changed everything).

A Shameless Z80 supporter
I did start with Intel 8080 assembler but I immediately felt at home with Z80 Assembler programming. The assembler mnemonics and instruction set were elegant and logical and simple.

By comparison the Motorola 6800 assembler or 6502 assembler was horrid.

Imagine the angst then when the computers we Engineered and Sold and programmed for traded up to Motorola 68000 assembler.   Aargh.   I did love the architecture and register layout of the Motorola 68000.  It was just the Assembler syntax felt alien to me.   Here then are some specific grumbles:

- The assembler syntax to me was inconsistent.

move.w   d0,d1  ; copy d0 register into d1
move.w   d0, AB1248H ; copy d0 into the contents of memory AB1248 Hex
; to me this should be move.w d0 (AB1248H).  Pah!

- The wrong way around Gromit

move #1,d0  ; load register d0 with the number 1
ld a,1      ; The Z80 was from right to left. Load A reg with 1.  Better!

- I had to remember different mnemonics for byte and word and long


come on!

- Processor capability confusion.  The 68010 had 32 bit registers but only a 24 bit address bus, but the 68020 has 32bit address and data bus, so to me this was added complexity I did not welcome

- Privilege levels, were there but not that useful.  Certainly did not map well onto the UNIX system architecture that I was familiar with

- Fancy Instructions:
There were many fancy auto increment instructions that allowed for a pointer to be incremented before or after an activity.  Whilst this looked very clever, it was actually too clever.  Meaning that I could do it at assembler level, but I was completely stumped as how to implement this in Compiler design,  at the time this made me feel like a dumbo!

Back to My Problem

First please read up my unsuccessful attempts to sort out the Cromemco Millennium Bug.  For the reasons below I can see that interaction directly with the clock hardware is not going to fix it.  But I ask somebody:

- Is my program working correctly
- What about the IO mapping, what memory addresses should I use?
- Am I programming it right, I mean the reading of the 1/100 register

Read And Comment Please:

 I dug up the Intersil ICM7170 datasheet and it became clear when I also downloaded the 'millennium' errata that direct programming would not change the outcome at the Operating ystem Level since the year is stored as a 2 digit number in this Hardware Clock. The OS is responsible completely for handling year 2000.

This is the Port IO layout

Memory mapping on the XXU Processor card

Anyway, my program attempts to set the date via raw assembler to 1999, but after the time command is run, it has not changed to 1999.

Lastly there is no XMU Memory Management installed and I presume that although this is a user program it can write to the IO ports as the above diagram shows?

Oh yes,  I initially missed this, because it was a footnote in the intersil pdf!
Without the 2 reads of the 1/100 second register I understand nothing gets set.  Hmm.

A Happy Ending?

There is no happy ending thus far.   But I am hopeful that this post might provoke a response from somebody with more Assembler knowledge than I who can help me towards a solution.  That solution to actually set the Hardware Clock.  And then I use the Cromix /bin/time.bin command to read that changed time and print it out.

A decent M68000 Assembler tutorial

Exercise Us RSVP

Subtitle: More Miles,  And Smiles

We got a call from Julia on Sunday at about 17.00.  Could we go for a Cycle Ride.  How Long?  2 hours was the answer.  And when?  Now, she said!

Of course we said OKay

Agata and Marcus have only a few Exercise rules, but they do include

- Daily Exercise:  Meaning something each day, even if it just a modest walk

- Never say No:  Means, if somebody asks us to help with a training session or join their exercise, we try our best to always say YES

We may not (yet) be the fastest Athletes in our class, but we have a couple of things going for us.

Recovery Time
Do we need recovery time?  It's very unusual for us to need any recovery time.  And Marcus is famous for not pre race tapering.  To do so I feel would make it just a little too difficult for the competition :-)

The rule we used to set is that we should be capable of, and that means we maintain a fitness level to perform a Marathon or similar endurance related activity every day.

Low Injury Rate
By being conservative on a race or  with your daily exercise means you keep something in reserve.   Certainly daily risk taking I would not encourage, because pushing it can lead to something breaking, snapping or going wrong.  And when that something is your own body, it normally takes ages to recover.

By all means undertake a training plan that gets tougher over time, but over a long time!

Currently we do have the time to exercise and make a structured training plan.  No more trying to squeeze in an exercise session instead of lunch during the working day.  Having time is key

Discounting obvious things like smoking or drinking alcohol to excess, most of us eventually notice the connection between good diet and our ability to perform sport, at the highest level, consistently, and with minimal to zero recovery.

When you give into the temptations of fast food, or overly processed food, or don't eat regularly, or by your own certain knowledge,  /just eat crap/, you actually feel its detrimental effects on your daily exercise regime.

And then hopefully some basic Brain logic kicks in and requests you to modify this sub optimal behaviour. Not by cold turkey, but steadily over time , to /cut out that crap!/

We try to keep our eating habits healthy, and this does not mean expensive, rather it means (for us) , less meat, more fish, more bean, more unprocessed foods, low to little sugary foods,  just general common sense really.

And so
And so, back to our ride.   We had a fantastic 40Km cycle, along the Lake in Lausanne, a tour of the Vineyards, some nice climbs

Bike Friday

Along for the ride was a nice American, Gabrielle who introduced us to her new-ish touring bicycle. It is an American brand called Bike Friday.   It can disassemble in about 15 minutes and fits in a small case. It was quite impressive and so merits the following photo spread.

Their website:

Some pictures

If you come to train in Lausanne then Marcus and Agata are just an internet ping away.   We are more than likely to act as your willing and cheerful Exercise training partners for that Cycle, Swim, Run or Trail Run.  We don't have a pre-set exercise training limit.   We look forward to meeting you here.