Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Apple Event October 2018: Beautiful Delivery

The Verge: Apple event in 9 minutes

I'm starting with this Verge condensed 9 minute summary because I have to.  More of that later.

Today, Tuesday October 30, 2018 Apple held a fine and interesting Hardware Announcement in NYC  (New York City)

2018  Macbook Air
2018  Mac Mini
2018  iPad Pro

The Technical Details
Anandtech: Mac Mini
Anandtech: Macbook Air
Anandtech: iPad Pro


The Overdue & Thoughts
As somebody who has spent considerable (of my own & not my employers) money on Apple products  I comment ...

- Mac Mini with 10 GbE option: impressive
- Mac Mini with removable memory SO DIMMS again.
- iPad Pro has a USB-C physical interface. Wahoo. Lightening is deader than ever.
- iPad Pro no headphone jack
- MacBook Air has a touchID sensor on top right keyboard
- MacBook Air has low power Intel i5-8210Y Dual Core 7W processing, so browsing yes, video editing no.
- MacBook Air complicates the laptop line.  Personally the weight/ function/ size difference over the MacBook Pro are so irrelevant that I struggle to see the point of the new Air at all
- For both the Air and Mac Mini we all realise that Apple have basically 'not given a sh**' about these product lines for >4 years now.  So whilst it is a relief that the range is at last refreshed one has to remember about their past continued indifference.  I can't help feeling the refresh is in-spite of customer requests not because of.

- I configured the ultimate 2018 Mac Mini just for fun. Just remember fanboys, Apple tells us it's (total cost of ownership is ) cheaper than a similarly spec'd Windows computer :-)
- For all 3 product announces I feel that if you spec up the machine you would desire the price jumps way past the entry level, which on its own was not cheap.  In which case you end up with something desirable and at undesirable price.

The Delivery

Once again just to piss people off Apple decided not to YouTube livestream the event but put a link onto here

So I had to watch it, albeit at 4K TV resolution via a web browser.  Bloody Apple.  At the time of writing it is still not available on YouTube.  Shortly no doubt it will make the Apple YouTuebe channel

Despite these criticisms I cannot deny that the Beauty and professionalism of the event was something to behold.  The words used, the Presentation, the videos shown, and even the musical ending.  Just perfection.

I'm most impressed by the 2018 Apple Mac Mini,  a non expandable but ultra compact mobile powerhouse that could satisfy the computing requirements of Mr & Mrs Demanding (but not Mr & Mrs Enthusiast).

ADC iPad Pro
MKBHD iPad Pro

Brian Tong's Review

NB: Thursday AM update.  Event on Youtube only now

Arc of Attrition Training. Day #2 First Run

Subtitle:  Three go running in Cornwall

Today we relive the events of Wednesday October 24th as Marcus and Agata meet up with Heather to start running along the coastal path in Cornwall England.

As previously noted this week of running effort is our attempt to better prepare for the Arc of Attrition Running Race.    The one that we failed in February 2018 :-(

Attrition Venue
First we thought we would visit the old race headquarters and race finish at Porthtowan.

Quick stop at the local cafe

 The coast looked familiar from last year, but today the weather was so good that some tough people were actually surfing in the Sea.   Marcus is not so tough, I was in awe of those including the lifeguard.

 The finish for 2019 has moved to Eco Park, and this will mean a steep uphill run right at the end, on tarmac, to add a few more km to the 160 that we hope to already have run.

We tried to check out the facilities but the supposed Motorhome parking looked a bit limited, I hope the organisers have some time to beef it up on the day next year.

Let's Run

Enough of the checking.  It is now finally time to actually run!  We left the Motorhome in Porthtowan and drove around the coast about 15 km away.

We parked on the road by Hells Mouth Cafe  (parking is for patrons only so the roadside is the legal alternative)

 The beautiful girls are ready.

 Maybe my imagination but the livestock is all fluffy and inviting

 Yes, we are having a fantastic time

 Spectacular views, and it is dry and about 14 degrees C, in October.  Not bad for England.

Moving into Air BnB

For maximum efficiency (of course!) we booked the accommodation to start after our run finished.  So it was pickup the Motorhome from Porthtowan and then drive in 2 vehicle convoy to our home for the next few days Newlyn.

We found that we could park the Motorhome in a nearby street car park for 5 GBP per 24 hour period.  Heather could park her tiny Fiat 500 car for free in a nearby street.

 Newlyn is quite compact and we went out searching for an appropriate restaurant

 Marcus made sure the stock up on local Coop Mince pies.  In our old home of Switzerland there are none, so after a 15 year plus absence this was quite a welcome sight.

Today Run Statistics

Garmin told me that we did this today :-)

A Perfectly Executed Day

The adventures that Agata principally organises are complex. Fitting everything in and having it go right, i.e. nothing went wrong, is a major achievement.  To review:

- We all met up
- We achieved our first Coastal Path run
- No injuries
- We appear to have all our kit with us & not forgotten anything
- The Parking worked out well
- Checked into AirBnB fine
- Good company, conversation, exercise and smiles.

Our Lives are somewhat wonderful, we must remember that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Arc of Attrition AOA Training. Day #1 travelling

Last Friday,  Marcus talked about preparations for the Arc of Attrition Race.  Marcus and Agata have only DNF (Did Not Finish) one race ever in over 15 years.  And it was that one.

So we promised ourselves the luxury of going back to Cornwall and running the Coastal path in our own good time.

And, we even managed to convince our wonderful friend Heather to come over all the way from Lausanne Switzerland to help us out.

So now it is time to put the running into practise. But well, it has needed quite some planning.   We'll document it here because should you wish to do the same we can make it easier for you ...

The Big Picture
Heather will fly over from Switzerland, hire a car and meet us in Cornwall

Marcus and Agata will pack our Motorhome and drive to Cornwall

We will either stay in the Motorhome or in rented accommodation.

Each day we need to start on a different part of the Cornwall Coastal path, run it, and then get home.  Since we have 'no crew' or servants this means that if we get to the start using our own car, then somehow we have to get back to it  (taxi? bus?)

That's non trivial

We decided on the town of Newlyn, Cornwall as the centre from where we would venture out every day.  Newlyn is pretty close to Penzance from where there is a good bus service.

Accommodation and Transport
We investigated camp sites; but eventually we decided on Air Bnb accomodation in Newlyn.  Living in a motor home is possible, but clothes washing is more difficult and our motorhome is best for 2 people not 3.

Our plan for transport would be

- Drive each day the few km from Newlyn to Penzance

- Park at the Car Park near the bus station

- Take a Bus to the start point of todays run

- Run a section of the Cornwall Coastal Path

- At the destination take a bus back to Penzance

- Drive home from Penzance to Newlyn

This is complicated by the fact that the buses are not so frequent so you have to juggle a run distance that will allow you to get a bus back without a long wait in what could be the freezing cold!

We are helped by the fact that Android and iOS have the First Bus app which allows you to check bus routes and times and also purchase a ticket for one or more days.  We will use this for all our bus journeys

Running As Is

The Arc of Attrition  (AOA) is a tough 30 hour plus trail running race.  However, each day of our training will only be upto 5 hours in duration.

But each day we will be setting out with rucksacks packed with the exact same gear that we will actually use in the race.  We want to know how difficult it will really be with clothes and gear of the race, not just a lighter, day set of equipment for a 2 - 5 hour plod on the coastline.

Tuesday Travelling

Our plans to travel on Tuesday AM hit a pronounced setback when on Sunday Marcus had an awful dental problem.  After biting into a Soreen loaf, a stone (in the loaf) fractured my Left 2nd Molar and split it almost in half.  So I had to have some emergency dental work on Tuesday.  Only after that could we complete packing and set off.

We spent our first night at the Jamaica Inn in Cornwall.  You can pay 10 GBP and use their CarPark to wild camp in.  This is what we did and we had dinner at the inn too.

So the time in our tale is late on Tuesday night, October 23rd 2018.  It has all been planning, logistics, travelling so far.  Tomorrow the running starts in earnest.   Do wait for our next instalment.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Kids Are back in Town

Back in Town

Marcus and Agata have been away, but now we are truly back in our /home town/.  Well until our next home adventure.

Of Longing

On the 400 km plus drive home there was plenty of time to evaluate just exactly how excited we would be to be back home.   This is possibly the true test, because if you have second thoughts about returning, then very possibly, you have to ask yourself:  Well is there something just a little wrong with the place that I am told is home

Of Tidying

It is well known that we don't travel lightly.   And when you are on an intensively and precisely planned sports extravaganza, as you will see, we had to take /the kitchen sink/.

The 2 Hour Threshold

 When we are finally home we now have a new countdown philosophy.   It means before relaxing, or eating, get as much tidied, washed, put away as possible.

 In 120 minutes or less.

And So in the next coming days we will rewind our exercise filled experiences down in deepest Cornwall.    Get ready :-)

Until then some further musical stimulation

Public Image: Home Is Where

Flo Rida: My House

A Mystery IP address is found

In our home in England the number of Internet connected devices has now surpassed 100, so you will not be surprised to hear that there is an IP address allocation spreadsheet.

Imagine my surprise then when I was in the process of adding another security camera and I found the address I was going to use was taken.

But no record of it bloody anywhere. Possibilities?

#1: Someone has hacked us

A few moments of Paranoid Android later we realised that this was unlikely and it must surely be a home device.  Just which one exactly?

From the above you can see that using a Linux command line with the Fing package installed you can scan the target IP and determine the MAC address and ports used.

Using MACvendors we can find that the hardware address comes from Luxshare.  And googling did not return anything useful

 I used Windows portqry but again nothing to give away what the device was

Last Resort?

This device must be connected to one of our zillion Network switches and so we can logon to each managed Ethernet Switch and find out what the switch knows.  Then we can look at the port that the matched MAC is connected to et voila.   However this is going to be slow ...

And Solved

Just when I thought I would have investigate tracing the MAC address via our routers and Switches I happened to install the Fing utility for Android

Android Fing, as opposed to Linux Fing on a Raspberry Pi is able to tell me immediately that this is an Amazon Fire TV

Post Mortem and Learning Points
After the fact Marcus and Agata realised that we had taken the Amazon Fire TV to Switzerland over this extended summer stay.  There we had to reconfigure it to a static IP and when we returned we forgot to reconfigure.

We also forgot to document this in our centralised IP change log spreadsheet, or update the individual document that we keep for every IoT device.

Essentially the learning points are keep the documentation updated,  and then using windows text search in Explorer  or the Cygwin/Linux find command I can look thru all files for IP related changes in seconds.

Too Secure
Better DNS Security
Welcome to our DMG
Mikrotik User Meeting

Sunday, October 28, 2018

This week in Religious Iconography

And, this weeks harsh but fair postings include ...