Godspeed Chuck.

High Flight
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless falls of air …

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor e’er eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

A Radical Idea for Patagonia Clothing Inc.

I’d say if Patagonia really wants to be “all in” on the animal welfare chain, they’d remove down as an insulation material from their clothing catalog.  I eat meat and I understand it’s difficult for companies to be ethically consistent, but honestly I think it’s insane for a company to say, “We trace our down, these are happy geese.”

The other item I’d amend is this, start producing clothing in the US.  Fuck it.  It will cost more, but let people who buy Patagonia pay more, let them choose.  Smug it up.  I think this would be a win win.  Guarantee American manufactured goods with no animal products used (except for ‘humanely treated’ human labor), hold a light up for the world to see and all that.  Again I appreciate that all the things that go into a garment are unlikely to ever be produced in the US of A, but at the very least, it’s worth trying.

Piercing

image

Somewhere near Crabbe something.  The brekkie was good though.

Heimdall AT&T S4 Mavericks

This post should help you recover an AT&T Galaxy S4 SGH-I337 back to stock 4.4.2 using a modern 64 bit version of OS X, I tried 32 bit 10.6.8 and Heimdall wouldn’t run, so I presume you need OS X 10.7 64bit and above to run Heimdall.

First off, you need to uninstall Samsung Kies so Heimdall has USB access to the S4 drivers, it will require a reboot and possibly command line uninstalls:

Secondly, you need your recovery file.  I used the big ass stock file from Stockroms (dot) net /file /GalaxyS4 /SGH-I337 /4.4.2 /”the big one there”.  You’ll need to rename it to just .tar, then untar that file, and put it in a folder from which you’ll run Heimdall.

Third, install Heimdall.

Read through this post over on XDA:

Follow the OP’s steps, but see 8d) below:

linus$ heimdall flash --RECOVERY recovery.img --SYSTEM system.img.ext4 --HIDDEN hidden.img.ext4 --BOOT boot.img
linus$ heimdall flash --MDM modem.bin --APNHLOS NON-HLOS.bin --ABOOT aboot.mbn --TZ tz.mbn
linus$ heimdall flash --CACHE cache.img.ext4 --PERSDATA persdata.img.ext4
linus$ heimdall flash --SBL1 sbl1.mbn --SBL2 sbl2.mbn --SBL3 sbl3.mbn --RPM rpm.mbn

Sudo doesn’t seem necessary. I added that 4th line per Trevor7.  Thanks to tom_callahan for the original post, for which all things considered made this quite painless for an Android wipe.

As the original poster said, each push will require a boot back into Odin’s Download Mode, hold the ‘volume down & home’ buttons in between reboots as soon as the screen goes black, then press volume up to ‘continue’.  After step #4 you’ll want to boot to the stock Recovery Mode (volume up on boot) and do a “Factory Reset / User Data Wipe”; this will insure you’re good to go.

It should boot to an AT&T logo with a startup sound, it will take a couple of minutes, then you should be back to stock TouchWiz / AT&T bloated stock 4.4.2.  Godspeed.

Update: I updated the above lines.  It should be noted I’ve had issues with the GPS since this flash.  I have been able to make it work again using a GPE “vanilla” edition with a modified TW kernel, but it’s unclear why the GPS wouldn’t work on what should’ve been a fully stock ROM (NB1 vs NC1 rootability or kernel incompatibilities?).  There is apparently a way (using Windows and Samsung KIES) to do a full recovery per the manufacturer.  I haven’t tried this method yet.  For the time being, I was excited to have GPS working, albeit with a fairly unstable AOSP/GPE/Vanilla ROM.  My hope of hopes would be to get this back to fully stock 4.4.2 NB1 and sell it, fully functional 100%.  That may be wishful thinking.

 

Wissahickon Four Corners Run

Finally finished (or started, depending how you look at it) the ‘Four Corners’ of Fairmount Park’s Wissahickon trail system.  The Four Corners are loosely defined as (starting in the northwest in a clockwise fashion):

  1. The Tree House
  2. Northwestern Ave. Stables
  3. Rittenhouse Town
  4. Kelpius’ Hermit Cave

I’ll say that aesthetically those are the four corners, but true geographic corners  are really defined by slightly less notable landmarks, namely:

  1. Where the ‘Meadow Loop’ trail of the Andorra Natural Area starts heading north/northeast (by the house in the corner @ ~ 900 block of Northwestern Ave).  Note: black connector trail is closed for restoration so you’ll need to follow the Meadow Loop to the blue trail which will take you to the Tree House on the red trail (if you want more mileage / quality running you could finish out the red trail before heading to the next corner).
  2. The corner of Germantown & Northwestern Aves (there is occasionally a water tap/hose on the sidewalk in front of Bruno’s Restuarant; I asked at the stables they said they had no public water access).
  3. The Sunoco on Wissahickon Ave. / W. Rittenhouse St.
  4. And finally, the 100 Stairs that lead up to Freeland Ave (I usually bear right at the top and onto the dirt trails, which lead to the Hermit’s Cave).

If you include most of the Cresheim Creek Trail and continue to bear left or right (depending whether you’re going clockwise/counter) and stay on all outer/upper trails the total will be in the 21-24 mile range, I think ~22.5 miles sounds about right for my loop, my GPS was a bit wonky and read 24.4 miles but I think that was long (compared to half loops that I’d done previously).

My upper loop took about 2 hours and then the lower loop almost 3 hours.  If you exclude my stop at Sunoco it still wasn’t particularly fast.  I found the final 2 hours pretty challenging.  I am signed up for the Dam Full Marathon (formerly the R. B. Winter Trail Challenge) in Bald Eagle State Forest in the middle of September so hopefully I can get in at least one more long run before then.

Here’s the Garmin data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/566541184

 

Wissahickon Four Corners Google Earth

Wissahickon Four Corners on Google Earth

 

Moving efficiently over ground

G & I ran the past two days.  I suppose run is a general term.  He has a lot of experience in moving efficiently over varied terrain, as evidenced by his 180 day “yo-yo” from Mexico to Canada and back on the Continental Divide Trail.  So obviously running with him for hours at a time is less about pure speed then about endurance and a desire to see new trails.

Saturday we drove out to French Creek and had the park mostly to ourselves (with George).   It was about 13 miles in 4 hours over some very crusty foot deep snow and some postholing for good measure.  The park itself seems to have mostly mellow climbs, and certainly a few different large loops are possible.  And we walked across a large cold frozen windy lake where people were ice fishing and ice skating. We’ll likely go back once more of the snow has melted.

Yesterday, Sunday, we drove up to the north end of Pennypack and decided to “run it out” to the terminus on the Delaware River behind the Holmesburg penitentiary.  It is in fact a surprisingly nice waterfront park there on the Delaware.  Not counting some trail offshoots, I believe it was approximately 10 or 11 miles to the Delaware river from Pine Rd. #1 parking area.  There are a few double and single track trails (horse trails) in Pennypack, though again with the snow it was a bit difficult to correctly stay on the offshoots, similar to the Wissahickon where many head out toward neighborhood access trails.

According to maps we’ve seen, there is a theoretical 15.5 mile loop that includes only 3 or 4 miles of pavement.  It would be nice to have a .gpx of this loop the next time we head out.  It ended up being about 21 miles in 4.5 hours (probably closer to 4 hours of actual moving time) and some slogging through wet snow as we attempted to veer on to barely discernible single track in a few places.

All in all some nice footwork moving over varied terrain this weekend.

Mighty Delaware

Mighty Delaware

G&Dela

G&Dela

Sonos, one year in… post one of two

I suppose this starts with the scale of system you want.  Sonos, as a kit, can allow you to hide all the amps, the wires, while even your speakers can become invisible; see the Amina branded by Triad “DesignerSeries” in walls (as hidden by plaster skim coat).  The trade off, like many things, is flexibility of the system and certainly its future upgradability.  The strength of the Sonos, as most people will tell you, is the software controller. It is available for nearly every platform, mobile and desktop.  The Sonos units tap into to countless internet streaming music services as well as your locally (or cloud) stored music library.  The controller app is built for humans and allows seamless multi-room/multi-zone control.

————

I received a Sonos Play:3 kit with wired to wireless Sonos Bridge for work rendered last year and also got a used Sonos ZonePlayer 80.  My tower speakers in the living room are old Advent Heritages.  I bought a used pair of 100 watt AudioSource monoblocks at some point on eBay  (replacing the 1979 Denon PMA 850 that finally stopped working).  In my office I ended up with a pair of Pioneer SP-BS41-LR’s that a friend didn’t want and an Emotiva mini-X a-100 50 Watt ‘Stereo Flex Amp’.  I took the spare RCA output of the external DAC that lives next to the ZP80 in the livingroom and sent it to the Emotiva in the office.  The Play:3 lives in the upstairs bedroom.

————

I’ll start this by saying, for most people looking for kitchen or small room audio, the Play:3 and the newer and more compact Play:1 represent exceptional value.  This is of course not “architectural audio” with invisible plastered speakers, or even in-wall (grilled) speakers; rather the Play:1 and Play:3 are small powered speakers that sit on a shelf or desktop, sound good and happen to look nice as a bonus.  The price points of the Play:1 & 3 represent the “blue ocean”; people simply want to listen to their music collections or to Pandora, TuneIn Radio & Spotify (and literally dozens of other streaming services) – but control it easily from an application on their phone or tablet.  There will be those who argue the $200-300 is a lot to pay for a small powered speaker, but there is nothing else out there that does it quite as easily and elegantly as Sonos.

For bigger rooms that don’t have a television or projector the Play:3’s can be setup in software as a “stereo pair” giving an even larger sound stage.   Granted for most kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms a pair of powered speakers may be overkill (and/or examples of where you’d rather not see the speakers).  For users with existing audio setups the ZonePlayer 80 (now called Sonos Connect) has two digital audio outs (SPDIF Coax & Toslink) and a pair of RCA stereo outputs and inputs.  If you already own speakers you want to power, the Sonos Connect:Amp adds in a high-efficiency Tripath  (Class T/D) 55-watts per channel amplifier to the Connect (taking away the RCA stereo output jacks but adding a single RCA mono-subwoofer LFE output).

————

In the next post of this series I’ll go into why using the Sonos system is a pleasure and what I’ve done to get the most out of it (including the local  Mac Mini audio server) and my thoughts after a year of usage.

MacBook 5,1 upgrading to Mavericks and some notes…

A buddy of mine was upgrading an older MacBook (Unibody Aluminum, Late 2008, Model ID 5,1) from 10.6.8. In theory, you press the “upgrade to 10.9” button from the App Store and everything goes swimmingly. In his case it resulted in a serious disk error and wouldn’t boot into recovery mode; it would only boot the initial OS install utility screen and then fail to install the OS. Repeatedly. A recovery partition had not been created as the machine was running 10.6.8 and he also did not have the original 10.5 DVD that came with the Mac nor access to another Mac to create USB sticks from.  So there’s the rub.

He had  10.6 Time Machine backups, of course, so this wasn’t a catastrophic issue but the quandary here was that he couldn’t initiate the Time Machine recovery without the the original 10.5 DVD or from the new 10.9 installer. And the old hard drive still had errors.

Here’s a list of a few things we tried until it finally sorted itself it:

1) Create boot USB sticks of 10.8 from Ubuntu – (no go, same problem as 10.9)
2) “Restore From Backup” option on 10.9 Installer did nothing
3) Put in a new 320GB Western Digital Scorpio Black and 8GB of fresh RAM
4) 10.6.2 retail iMac install DVD – (loaded Time Machine Recovery but would not install 10.6)
5) Confirmed “secret EFI firmware” version of the MacBook 5,1 can use 8GB ram, 64bit mode

So at this point the machine is back online. He has recovered 10.6.8 from the Time Machine backups onto a new 320GB drive. He confirms that the EFI firmware has been updated to the latest version and the RAM gets upgraded to 8GB. He’s back running 10.6.8 at least.

The question then is if he hits “Install Mavericks” from the App Store will the machine kill itself again? He has the backup so he rolls the dice and it works, the machine updates successfully from 10.6.8 to 10.9.

From here it is rote. Make a fresh backup of functioning 10.9 (don’t delete your 10.6.8 backup just yet!). Do a fresh install from a working USB stick of 10.9. Migrate the crap from the old installation.

That’s it. Not more than 20-30 hours of your life. But hey, the late 2008 Unibody MacBook is now running the latest and greatest.

12.04 LTS for everyone.

Bicycle Frame Building Workshop in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym is hosting a ‘build your own’ bicycle frame building workshop from Jan. 6-10th, 2014 in the evenings.  I was told I’m the first to sign up, which I find remarkable considering the low cost of entry here which includes materials and shop time for 5 evenings of hands on instruction.

Description:
Ever frustrated by riding a bike just not shaped well for you? Ever tempted to try and build your own frame, but not sure where to start? This is the class for you!
In this class, students will learn how to build their own bicycle frame from steel tubes, using lugged construction. They will learn about bicycle geometry and handling, and what configurations are typically applied to what kind of riding applications. They will learn the basics of fitting a bicycle frame to a rider, and how to set up a bicycle frame jig.
You will come out of the class with an unpainted steel roadbike frame set up for fast city riding, commuting, or touring, It will accept caliper brakes and 28.6mm threadless headset. Extras (handlebars, seat, pedals, and wheels) are totally up to you!
Class Goals:
Students will leave the class having built their own bicycle frame, fitted specifically for them (or for the person of their choice) from steel tubing. Students will learn about fabricating structures made of thin wall tubing, and about brazing techniques.
(Outside the scope of this class, but highly recommended:  build up your bike. paint your name on the side. ride it around. impress your friends.)
Prerequisites:

No previous experience required.

So yeah.  I mean, for like $700 all in including the materials, this is an insane deal.  The instructor is Paul Carson who is  an engineer by training and metalworking enthusiast.  Go to their website and contact Jenny Walsh.
Some photos are here from a previous ‘build your own’ workshop:

Swipe to archive Google Voice? Really?

Seriously Google, you guys can’t update the Google Voice Android app with a swipe to archive feature on 4.2?  You have Glass and self driving cars and yet a legitimate product that consumers would pay money for if you supported it languishes.  Here’s what I’m thinking: I get a text message (not an MMS because for whatever reason that doesn’t work) I read it, and then I swipe left to archive with my finger on my Nexus phone. Seriously is it that difficult? How many people do you have working on this app? None? That would be my guess. Maybe one dude. I feel bad for that guy. Google Voice, much like Reader, is/was a great product that Google refuses to monetize.  Please. For the love of God monetize Google Voice and at the very least update the app to Android 4.2 standards.

Avoiding the analog: Icecast2 for OS X, Sonos & Spotify Radio

Apparently, Spotify has finally released their Radio API to certain content management platforms, but until it’s built into Sonos the only way to actually get Spotify Radio on my ZP80 was to use the analog line-in.  What about creating an Icecast (Shoutcast, Podcast, etc.) local radio station that I tune in to on the Sonos locally? This would then avoid the analog hole (until I add a phonograph line stage).

There were a few sources I had to use to make this work, and I’ve only built/tested this under 32 bit 10.6.8 Snow Leopard (so your mileage may vary for 64 bit and/or more modern OS X machines).  Joao Ricardo’s blog post of  “Icecast Radio in Mac OS X” turns out to be a great starting point.  Note, that he recommends installing MacPorts, which may not strictly be necessary if you have Homebrew already installed.  I have not tried to port Icecast via Homebrew, but I imagine the installation would also work, as others have had success.   For example, here’s Josh Dzielak’s tutorial for Icecast & Darkice using Mountain Lion and Homebrew

So yes, per Joao’s instructions:

1) Install MacPorts (note: there are several dependencies, read up before you even install MacPorts)

2) In Terminal$: sudo port install icecast2

  • If doing Homebrew$: brew install icecast
  • Icecast vs. Icecast2?  I don’t know. You tell me internet, you tell me.
  • This took like 30 minutes using MacPorts on an old 32 bit Intel machine

3) Install Ladiocast.

4) Install Soundflower.

  • Reboot machine.

5) Make sure your admin/user has access/rights to “icecast -c /usr/etc/icecast.xml” as well as wherever an error for Icecast’s “access.log” and “error.log” files.  In my case they needed to added to /opt/local/etc.  You’ll need to adjust access with “chmod 755″ in this example.

6) Start playing some music on your Icecast server machine.  In OS X “Sound Preferences” make sure “Soundflower 2ch” is set as the “output device”; you can also “option + click” on the volume in the at the top right menu and select the source.

7) From Terminal$: icecast -c /usr/etc/icecast.xml

  • At this point Terminal will need to be open, obviously you can set this up as a background process, run on startup, etc. see Josh’s article linked above.

8) From within Ladiocast choose “Soundflower 2ch” as your source, click on the “main” button in Ladiocast.  You should see music bars making music.

  • From the menu in Ladiocast click on “Streamer 1” choose Icecast.  Set 127.0.0.1:8000 or whatever you machine’s IP is for the server.  The default user and pw is located the XML file.
  • For encoding, especially to work with iTunes and probably Sonos, I set it to AAC 320 kbps.  Ogg may in fact work with Sonos, I’ve not tried it.
  • Click “Connect” at the bottom there.

9) In a web browser, type in the IP for the Icecast server.  If said machine is localhost use 127.0.0.1:8000 which is the default port for the service. Click on the .m3u link and open in iTunes/Winamp or similar.  If you have music bars making music and you have a .m3u created you should hear music (double check OGG vs. AAC).

10) Final step: open the desktop Sonos App. Click “Manage” from the menu bar and then “Add Radio Station” and the enter http://127.0.0.1:8000/stream.m3u (or whatever your IP is for the Icecast machine).  Create that as a favorite radio station.

11) Works for me.  If you want an Icecast radio station globally on WAN, well, poke those holes. Google a bit.  That’s not this blog entry.  Let’s hope Sonos adds Spotify Radio sooner than later.

 

Alone, Not Alone

I gave a 25 minute slideshow about my Alaska trip to some middle schoolers out towards the suburbs.  I think it went well. I believe I told my story okay.

A colleague started the first half of the presentation describing the myriad types of climbing. I provided the ‘alpine mountaineering’ aspect in context of my trip in June 2011 to Denali. The students are reading a novel this Summer about a young mountaineer and his travails.

What stuck with me from my walk down the upper glacier from the camp at 14k feet was this feeling of ‘alone/not aloneness’. Going downhill is always relatively easy, finding comfort in a cold uncaring universe is certainly more challenging.

I was in a white-out cloud and the snow was deep, there were bamboo wands every hundred feet or so, I didn’t have a tent. Looking back I could see my tracks. Looking forward there was whiteness. I followed the wands. I found an old camp at 9,8k or so a few miles later. Ski tracks emerged. The crevasses began to show themselves more frequently. I spotted a camp on the lower glacier by the North East Fork. I had to jump a couple of questionable snow bridges. I saw a red tent, and another, they were speaking Spanish. By the red tent there were skis. I was on snowshoes. I would wait for the Tennesseeans. Eventually they’d be here. I would join their rope and cross the lower glacier before dawn.

A Bigger Cloud