Column@nak English Ver.
Recent entries from the main blog Column@nak in English with Japanese text hidden for readibility.
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Sub Display (with monitor arm...again)

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Added a sub display to my computer environment, to take care of the troublesome toggle switching of screen input while working with two computers. Being a "sub" display, I opted for a cheap small screen, 11.6 inch in size. Attaching it to a monitor arm (again), I'm able to move it over to the side when it's not in use. (Yes...I NEED my window view !)

Now I have a nice small screen to control my streaming audio apps (Spotify, TuneIn etc.) without switching screens while I concentrate on my other computer.
I know....lazy. :-p

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有名な Herman Miller などには20万円越えのモデルもあるが、それに見合う価値の作業をするわけではないので、より庶民的で良い着座姿勢をサポートしてくれそうなものを探してみた。一方安いものには数千円で買えるものもあったが、せっかくならば評判のいいものを選びたかったので調べたところ、lifehacker の"Five Best Office Chairs"という記事で Herman Miller や SteelCase と並んで IKEA の Markus というモデルがピックアップされていた。いい姿勢をサポートすると評価されている。この Markus の使用感に関する記事を検索してみると、JÄRVFJÄLLET (イェルヴフェレットと発音するらしい)というモデルがヒットした。こちらも良さげだ。

IKEA で実物に座り比べた結果、選択したのは JÄRVFJÄLLET決め手は JÄRVFJÄLLET はヘッドレスト、座面の前後、そしてランバーサポートの位置が調整可能である点だ。それ以外に両者にあまり差を感じず、ひょっとすると JÄRVFJÄLLET は Markus の後継モデルに位置付けられているのかもしれないと感じた。(Markus は売り場の端に追いやられていた。)




p.s. IKEA 港北店の倉庫エリアでこの商品を台車に乗せていたら続けざまに3名が同じ製品を求めていき、一気に品切れになった。テレワークが拡大しているこの時期ならではの風景。

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HP Single Monitor Arm BT861AA

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I wanted to find a way to keep my new PC display monitor from getting in the way of the view I have from the window in front of me while acquiring a display position that gives me a ergonomically healthy posture while I concentrate on what's on the screen. This was not the case till now since my display was offset to the left of me and I was twisting my body in that direction to see the screen. Keeping that position a whole day working gave you a very sore body at the end of the day...not good.

A search for a solution lead me to looking into a flexible monitor arm. This is a flexible arm that the display attaches to and enables the display to easily move to various positions. My choice was the HP Single Monitor Arm BT861AA. Being an OEM model by Ergotron, which is a well rated manufacture of monitor arms made the choice easy.

Setting the arm was drivers required since all the screws were hand screws. The arm fully extended enables extension of the monitor to 60cm away from the base. Height can be adjusted 30cm, and the monitor can be rotated vertically.

With this, I'm now able to move the display right in front of me when I want to concentrate on the screen, and easily move it aside when in a more casual mode, or when the display is not in use. I can even turn the screen 90 deg and tuck it aside.

Problem solved. Nice purchase.


Google Chromecast 3rd Gen.

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Attempting to stream online media (past programming) on to the TV to solve the issue of our hard disk recorder getting full.

Google Chromecast 正規品 第三世代 2K対応 チャコール GA00439-JP


HP EliteDesk 800 G6DM (Corei7)

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My new main machine replacing the Lenovo Thinkpad T410 is the HP EliteDesk 800 G6DM (Corei7). Though I was told it was out of stock at the time of order, it arrived in about two weeks....not bad.

I chose to treat myself to a high spec CPU, the Core i7 assuming I will again use this for the next 10 years. Bye bye to legacy I/Os, choosing HDMI and displayport (Sayonara VGA), USB 3.x only (Sayonara USB 2.0), and SSD as my main storage.

A mini form factor PC which is 18cm x 18cm x 3cm in size is a big advantage in creating space on a small desk. A huge difference from the 14" display T410 which was fairly large for a notebook PC and took up space.

This PC replacement, resulting in clearing up of my desk ended up in a monitor repositioning (well, actually "position-free") as well as purchasing a new office chair!
More about that in a separate post.

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Intel iCore Mini PC

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Investigating a couple of mini desktop computers (iiyama, HP) as a successor to the Thinkpad T410 I've been using for 10 years. Both have become out of stock as I was taking too much time deciding which one to put in the shopping cart. I'm assuming this is due to increased demand by tele-workers looking for tiny PCs to put on tiny desks at tiny Japanese homes. Myself being the typical Japanese with typical Japanese taste and liking for things, I guess these models touch everyone's heartstrings.



Luv Soba !

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I've become a soba lover this several years, whereas I'd been choosing udon over soba nine out of ten times in the past. Taste buds must have evolved with age. Getting to know good soba probably is another reason. My preference of taste hasn't changed mostly over the (50 !) years , this being the only exception so far.

#be_happy #be_positive #be_cheerful #soba_ishihara


Megahertz X-Jack PCMCIA Modem

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20years ago, the analog modem PCMCIA card was a necessity on business trips along with the notebook PC.

The Megahertz X-Jack PCMCIA modem with the pop out X-Jack connector was a smart gadget with the connector gimmick (no need to carry the clumsy dongle), and using it fooled you into thinking that you were the sophisticated business traveler. It did actually work well, and was tolerant to low quality telephone lines (which was an important factor in a business trip). I recall upgrading the card from 28.8kbps to 33.6kbps....kbps !

I don't think kids nowadays know about PCMCIA cards, let alone analog modems and dial up connections. Cool stuff from the past.


iPhone 6

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Was Fall 2014 when I got it, so I had been using it for more than 6 years. >iPhone 6


中村 敦さんの投稿 2014年9月28日日曜日



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6 -> 12

iPhone各世代の発売年を詳しく追いかけているわけではないが、ざっくり1年に1世代更新されている印象がある(6世代まではsモデル含めてきっちり年1更新だった。)ので約6年ぶりの新調なはずだ。(*) 3、4、5、6と世代毎に乗り継いできて以来、6をかなり引っ張ってきた。
(*) なぜかiPhone6 を入手した記事を書いておらず、記録がない為購入時期が曖昧。

Apple StoreでSIMロック版(キャリア版)のiPhoneが購入できるのはご存知だろうか?しかも実店舗で購入する場合、8000円の割引が適応される。(2021年1月時点)
今回はキャリア変更なしの機種変更なのでキャリアショップで購入するメリットはあまりない。端末一括購入の場合は即 SIM ロック解除が可能とのことで、総合的に考えて Appleストア実店舗でSIMロック版を購入することにした。時期的に実店舗訪問は躊躇したものの、Apple Storeであれば感染対策も万全だろうという安心感も理由の一つであった。
キュートなスタッフに懇切丁寧な相手をしてもらい、楽しい買い物をして短い時間で品物をゲットできた。マスク越しでも笑顔が素敵だったkasumiさん@Apple Store、どうもありがとう。


新しい機種はiPhone12 256GB。
Maxは普段使いには大き過ぎると判断し最初から選外。Mini は手に持つサイズ感がしっくりくるが画面が思いの外小さく感じてしまい選択から外した。
Apple 製品は白じゃなきゃと言っていた時代はとっくに昔。本体色はブルーにした。飽きがこない落ち着いたかっこいいブルーが気に入った。合わせて少し燻んだネイビー色の純正シリコン製ケースもゲット。手触りが良く、程よい抵抗感がグリップになってホールド感がナイスである。もちろんMagsafe対応である。勢いで MagSafe 充電器もショッピングカートに投入。


ステンレス製フレームを表裏ガラス面でサンドイッチしたフラットなデザインは好感が持てる。iPhone5 の時にも気に入ったデザインだ。見た目もさることながら、エッジが立った端面は持った時の安心感がある。6から幅がサイズアップした今回、ますますその安心感を求めてしまうだろうからこのデザインは良かった。

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データ移行はクイックスタート機能を使って iPhone 間で直接移行させた。iPhone同士をかざして認識させるとWiFi 経由で旧iPhoneから新iPhoneにデータや設定がほぼ全部自動的にコピーされる。100GBのデータ移行に約40分掛かり、一瞬で終わった Apple Watch のクイックスタートに比べると時間的な感動は少なかった。ただ、全自動かつ写真や音楽データ、アプリや設定、アカウント情報のほぼ全てのデータがほぼ完全に移行された点は感激したと同時に悪用されたら恐ろしい機能だと少々怖くなった。今のところアカウント再設定を要したアプリは銀行系のアプリ1つだけ。SNS、メールのアカウント情報やスタバカードなどのプリペイドカードまで完コピされていた。なお、Apple Watch の連携がが引き継がれなかったのは意外だった。
ちなみにクイックスタートは iOS12.4以降のOS同士で使える機能らしい。自身の旧端末は iOS 12.4.9 が搭載されていてギリセーフだったので助かった。



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iOS14 の特徴と言えば自由配置できて種類も増えた Widgetと App Library。App Library 自体まだ使っていないものの、これがあるせいでホーム画面はかなり整理できた。その分空いたスペースにWidgetを追加して遊んでいる。




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I was scheduled an easy operation with few days in the hospital, which was postponed because of the Covid situation (shortage of beds, risk of nosocomial infection).
Doctors judged that my operation could wait....triage is occurring in normal medical care.

People, please be self-conscious about avoiding the spread of Covid.
Please don't tear down our medical system by selfish behaviors.


GariGariKun, Flickr, Blog 更新中

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BlogGariGaiKunFlickr 随時更新中。Audi A4 燃費情報も。


Snapshots to start off 2021

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Snaps to start off 2021 as we head into the second week, and things start moving.

New Years, 2021


Happy New Year 2021

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Happy New Year 2021, the year of the Ox (丑, in kanji). Wishing everyone a peaceful and happy year, staying safe and healthy above all. I hope humanity can overcome all it's challenges wisely and positively. Let's stay happy and move forward.

うちの #お雑煮 #2021 #japanesefood #japanesenewyear #japan

中村 敦さんの投稿 2021年1月1日金曜日

Atsushi Nakamura


Year End Soba 2020

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#newnormal の #年越しそば は #三密 を避け、一日早めに昨日食す。
#yearendsoba , a Japanese tradition. This year, eaten a day before to avoid the crowd.

#soba #sobanoodles #japaneseyearend #japanesefood #japan

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Hit-and -Run

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Hit and run at a parking lot...Not something you'd like to end the year with. :-(
If insurance can't cover it, I hope it covers up decently with compound and touch up paint.


Wilson Prostaff 97 V13 (97)

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先の記事にて想像で書いた Wilson ProStaff v13 97Lと97標準モデル(非L...以降97と記す)の対比は、ストレートに書けば、97あればもっと自分の求めるフィーリングで気持ち良く打てるんじゃないかという期待であった。
310gのUltra Tourを使って肩を痛めた経験から重いラケットへの恐怖心があり当初 v13は97Lを選んだわけであるが、良くも悪しくも97を使ってみたくなる97Lであり、結局 スタンダードな97を一本買うことにした。

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今回、在庫の中から個体選別に応じてくれるショップのサービスを使い、一番軽くて一番トップライトな個体(重さ310g、バランス314mm、SW 295) を選んだ。Ultra Tourと同重量であるものの、トップライトなバランスが影響してか振った時の重量感は全然違って軽く感じる。これであれば使いこなせそうだ。



新しいProstaff 97は意識しないとなかなか飛ばないという意味では難しいラケットであるものの、とても気持ちがいいラケットである。97Lでは半信半疑でUltra Tourに戻すべきか悩んでいたが、97を入手してみて迷いが消えた。


Wilson Prostaff 97 V13 (97L)

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Wilson Prostaff が13代目にバージョンアップして、初代 Prostaff で採用されていた赤・黄2本線を復活させた今流行りのネオクラシックデザインで登場。初代を使っていた上に、こういうコンセプト大好きな自分が狙い撃ちされた気分。そりゃ買うしかないでしょ。
現在 Ultra Tour を使っているので性格が違うラケットに逆戻りすることになるが、初代 Prostaff の打球感を再現しているという触れ込みに釣られて使ってみることにした。

弱くなった肘と肩に300gオーバーのラケットを躊躇して、Ultra Tour でそうしたように310gのスタンダードモデルの Prostaff 97 ではなく290gと軽量版の 97L をゲット。ただProstaff は薄ラケの代表なので、厚ラケ仕立てになっている97Lが97と同じフィーリングを再現できているかは少し怪しいと思いつつ。スタンダードモデルが発売日早々に在庫切れだったことも一因。

初打ちの感想は Ultra Tour との比較になってしまうが、とにかくフレームの硬さが印象的。
フレームが硬い分、48ポンドで張ったガットがボールを包んで弾き返す感触。Ultra Tour もボールを捉える感じがあるが、カウンターベールの効果もありラケットのしなりで包む、全く違う感触だ。打球感はとてもダイレクト。スイートスポットを捉えた時のスパーンという気持ちよさは Prostaff らしいが、外した時の不快感もダイレクトで肘に響くのもProstaff。打ち比べると Ultra Tour は肘に優しい分、間接的な打球感であることを認識させられる。

難しい点としては、中心を外したストロークで面のブレが大きくラケットが暴れてしまうこと。フレームが硬い上に軽いことがそうさせていると考える。やはりもう少し重たくヘッドライトな97の方が面は安定しているかもしれない。その点、Ultra Tour の方が安定したショットのウィンドウが広い。

気持ちいいが肘には厳しい Prostaff 、優しいUltra Tour。


【フェデラー使用シリーズ ウィルソン 2021 プロスタッフ 97 V13.0 G2(315g) WR043811U(海外正規品) 硬式テニスラケット(Wilson Pro Staff 97 V13.0 G2) [並行輸入品]


5 years under the sun, and barely any time under a parking roof. My Audi A4 Avant is kept under the sky, no roof. It's s been exposed to rain snow, pollen, as well as powder sand coming from the baseball ground nearby, bird poo, sap and falling leaves from the tree above. I've trusted the glass coating that was done when I initially got the car and haven't done any serious body maintenance except water washing every month. I know I've kept a lot of grime left. So it's 5 years with 60000Km on the odo, and I've decided it's time for a major body coating overhaul.

I knocked on the doors of Keeper LABO, a shop which specializes in body washing and coating. Treated the car to a three layer coating called "W Diamond Keeper" consisting of two glass coating layers and one of resin. Also paid some extra to have my wheels, the engine bay and door sills coated too. I was told at delivery that they had to do a lot of polishing before the coating to get rid of the water stains and grime, which is my fault not doing the washing and drying of the body completely.

Beautiful looking at the refreshed car. I recognized how beautiful and glossy the car was at the beginning. The looks have returned to the original state, including the touch and feel of the smooth body. I also love the plump water drop that's created on the body. I can keep watching them for hours.

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Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Trinity Site

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Japan is well known for being the atomic bombed country, but we must also keep in mind that the there was an atomic bomb dropped before Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the United States.

Few weeks before the bombing in Japan, a nuclear bombing test took place at "Trinity Site", in New Mexico. 40 thousand people living in the vicinity were not informed of the experiment, and took radioactive water and food produced in the area for years, leading to radioactive poisoning.

There are no boundaries between civilian people. "Hibakusha" in Japan and "HIbakusha" the US share the same suffering, pressed against by their own "country": Government Power. Boundaries exist between the countries, which have become entities of their own, not for the people. Boundaries cause conflicts between the countries, and it is the civilians that have to sacrifice.

War....has always become a conflict between government power and its own civilians.
Even now.

About time "countries" acted for it's people. The people want their countries to sign the Nuclear Weapons Convention. Why can't it be signed ?


Decided to buy a Kindle PaperWhite for the #stayhome summer vacation which I plan on spending reading. Justifying my purchase since my iPad mini is too old and does not allow installing the Kindle application, and my Asus NEXUS first-gen Android tablet is just too outdated.

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The backlight of my Apple Macbook Pro 2017 13" went DEAD. I originally purchased this machine as a programming machine, and now is my workhorse for translation work. Didn't drop it or soak it in water, and the system works just fine hooking it up to an external display, all except for the backlight.

My guess was "Flexgate".
This is said to be a design flaw of the backlight flex cable being too short and breaking with repeated opening/closing of the display. Apple initially did not admit this as a flaw until May of 2019 when it launched a repair program for 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ models manufactured in 2016 ONLY. This lead to a class action lawsuit demanding Apple to expand the models eligible for the program to 15"machines and 2017 models as well.

My Apple Care warranty is expired, and Apple tells me I'll be getting a 90k yen check for the fix. A new 2019 Macbook Pro is too much to pay for. Lastly, I can't be be waiting for years till Flexgate reaches a verdict.

I was on the web searching for Macbook repair shops and several of them quoted me around 60K yen for the display renewal. Less than what Apple charges, but still hurts the wallet. Darn.

A more extended search came up with a shop that quoted me 25K yen for a cable fix. They tell me this is a typical issue with Macbook Pros and they have a lot of experience fixing it. Figured this is the best way to go as of now, so I send my machine to this shop via "takkyu-bin".

Now as I am writing this post and about "Flexgate", I get an email from the shop telling me the cause of my machine backlight failure is NOT the flex cable but a defective chip on the main board. They quote me an additional 10K yen for replacing the chip which hurts the wallet, but there's not much else to do it it's what it takes for the fix so I ask them to go ahead with the repair.

It took a couple of days for the shop to return me a message that the repair is finished, with pictures of the broken chip and the fixed machine.

I must say I was lucky to find a shop with a trustful, nice attitude, and reasonable pricing. Nice to have my Macbook Pro back and running, but at the same time need to remind this was an unexpected expense....gotta save up on my coffee and snacks.

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Ride Like the Wind - 誕生日に思う

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Find out what the #1 song was on the charts the day you were born on "Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds, in my case. Makes you somewhat happy to learn that the # 1 song on the day you were born is quite a famous one.

While browsing the site, I came across Christopher Cross's debut piece :"Ride Like the Wind". It's a song about a worn out bandit on the run, still more to go till the Mexico border and "riding like the wind" to reach freedom.

Not in the same meaning as intended, but I send myself the words "Ride Like the Wind" on my birthday. At this time of drastic change and new way of life, one who cannot adjust to the changes will not survive.

Ride like the wind, go with the flow, and accept the changes that occur.
Sometimes difficult not being the smart and flexible type, but I need to work on it.
Still a bit to go, but the border is near.


こんぴら茶屋 牛カレーうどん

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Encountered a great tasting Curry Udon at Meguro. (The udon regardless of the curry tastes great too.) Access the link to the Shop's webpage at the bottom of this article for shop location.



JR目黒駅近くの「手打ちうどん こんぴら茶屋」は表から見るとカレーうどんのそぶりも見せない店の佇まいであるが、品書きを見るとカレーうどん全面押しだとすぐわかる。常連が多いようで客の9割がカレーうどんを注文していた。チーズや卵、餅などのトッピングもありつけ麺も用意されている。味は辛口と普通の二種類から選べる。




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telework 2020/05

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For the record.

Working from home, May 2020.

Since I was fortunate to have a room for my own to setup my tele-work environment, that certainly helped me concentrate on work. It did help in achieving a lot effectively, but it came with some negatives. Since I apparently was so focused and somewhat overly concentrating, the days usually wound up noticing myself completely exhausted. In addition to the work space, I guess that focusing all day on your PC display which is the one and only connection to your team and company drains most of your energy at the end of the day. Controlling yourself, snapping yourself out of the concentration for a break once in a while is important. I actually experienced swollen legs from sitting at the desk all day. Getting away from the displays and going out for a short walk at lunch time also helps a lot.

Lessons learned. A nice experience to actually learn how you can or cannot manage yourself in a tele-work situation.



Rixen Jute (麻)"Re-" Bag

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The Rixen Kaul Frontbag: Daypack Box which I've been using so long for bicycle touring has become quite sticky with grime and dust, making me decide to trash it. When ripping off the outer cover, out came a (still) firm skeleton frame that made me have second thoughts about throwing the whole thing away.


Looking through the closet to find something I can turn into a cycle basket, out comes a jute shopping bag I recall getting at the Hethrow Airport Duty Free. Looks nice as a casual cycling basket by fixing the frame to it.


The jute bag is strong enough and the fram fits perfectly size wise.

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Actually looks fancy. Can't wait to use it on my next shopping chore.



*2020-04-11 22:20 originally posted


In the press conference declaring the state of emergency to stop the corona virus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged Japanese citizens to reducing person-to-person contact by 80%. If successfully achieved, Japan could avoid an explosive rise and turn the curve downwards in a month. Since Japan cannot enforce a lock down legally banning citizens from going outside, the consciousness of each and every citizen to actively aim this number becomes important.

In my case, reducing person-to-person contact by 80% from my usual days including my commute on the train would become around 20 people. If I were to count strictly the people who come within my social distance of 2 meters, this 18 people/day turns out to be quite difficult to achieve since the majority of people aren't aware of social distancing and walk by you so closely without any bad faith. They even give you a grin if you try to back off. I am not aware of any stores that have any signs of keeping distance inside, except COSTCO which is of US origin. If I were to seriously aim for less than 20, I'd have to give up my daily jog (walk in public) to achieve it. IF everyone become aware of social distancing and seriously abides by it, I believe it will work.

I plan to keep a day by day record of how many person-to-person contact I have made, to keep myself conscious of this 80% target which all Japanese citizens have to keep in mind for the next month.

  • 04/09: approx. 20ppl
  • 04/10: approx. 20ppl
  • 04/11: approx. 10ppl
  • 04/12: 0ppl
  • 04/13: 0ppl
  • 04/14: 2ppl
  • 04/15: 0ppl
  • 04/16: approx. 10ppl
  • 04/17: approx. 20ppl
  • 04/18: 0ppl
  • 04/19: 5ppl
  • 04/20: 1ppl
  • 04/21: 0ppl
  • 04/22: 10ppl
  • 04/23: 20ppl
  • 04/24: 0ppl
  • 04/25: 0ppl
  • 04/26: 5ppl
  • 04/27: 0ppl
  • 04/28: 0ppl
  • 04/29: 3ppl
  • 04/30: 0ppl
  • 05/01: 5ppl
  • 05/02: 3ppl
  • 05/03: 5ppl
  • 05/04: 5ppl
  • 05/05: 5ppl
  • 05/06: 0ppl
  • 05/07: 0ppl
  • 05/08: 1ppl
  • 05/09: 2ppl

* Stopping the recording of social distancing as of May 9, since it has fulfilled the role of keeping me conscious of person2person contact to the point that it is now in my blood.


EOS Webcam Utility Beta

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Canon USA has released a beta version software 'EOS Webcam Utility Beta' that turns select Canon EOS Cameras into webcams.

Everyone's relying on video calls to stay connected during this #stayhome time, and webcams and video boards are difficult to find even if you're willing to pay. This utility solves that for EOS users.

I've installed the utility on my Win10 UMPC:GPD Pocket that doesn't have an integrated camera, hooked my EOS M6 Mark II to it via USB and it worked just fine on ZOOM.

The image quality is obviously much high compared to the low-res webcam images we've become used to these days, and it's easy to notice at a glance.

Good job Canon.

note: It is a beta version with no support outside of the US. Use it at your own risk.


About replacing my broken 10 year old WiFi access point with an 11ac enabled one. Turns out latest features improve my home network user experience. The WiFi band steering feature on the Buffalo access point enables optimal 11ac/11n switching automatically depending on the signal strength needless of any user !

Another unexpected improvement (should have imagined, my oversight) was that the extended signal range in new generation access points enables me to reduce the number of Access points from 3 to 2. (Yes, I needed 3 to cover my small apartment full of walls !) The new access point also uses some technology that pinpoints and aims at the client device in transferring the wireless signal. Wow, technology improvements !

I guess it does make sense to invest in your network infrastructure once in a while.

Amazon Japan:


ペーパークラフト / Papercraft

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Didn't realize that the world of paper craft was this serious.
References to some hard-core stuff below !
A good way to spend some artistic time during the #stayhome time.








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