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Speed up the map updates on a Garmin Etrix 20x

I have a Garmin Etrex 20x GPS handheld. I use it mostly as a GPS tracker. What places did I visit and when? This Wonderfull device is a true turn on and forgets tracker. I turn it on and throw it in my backpack. It will immediately start recording my coordinates. After a trip, I can see exactly what I visited, how long I spend in an area and how far I traveled. I can even use this GPS information to modify my photos I took on my trip with GPS metadata.

What are the advantages of using a GPS tracker above a mobile phone?

  1. Battery life is unbeatable. It can run 24 hours non-stop on two AA batteries. At night I charged the empty batteries with a small USB Eneloop charger I imported from Japan. When I run out of batteries I can buy almost in every convenient store new AA batteries.
  2. It is using a reflective screen. The screen is always active and is viewable in the brightest sunlight.
  3. The build quality is like a tank. Waterproof and super rigid (But the screen plastic is too soft and will easily get scratches.)
  4. It uses three methods of position. GPS, GLONASS and WAAS/EGNOS. So it’s super accurate and has a quick fix.
  5. It works offline. All the maps are stored on an SD card.

I use two different sources for maps. The free updates Garmin is offering for the build-in European maps and the maps I download from openstreetmaps for Asia and America. If you want to update the official Garmin cards you need to connect the Garmin Etrex with a USB cable to the computer and run the Garmin Express application. Unfortunately, Garmin is still using USB 1.0 (Superslow protocol from 1996). This means that uploading a new official Garmin map can take four to eight hours. That’s not acceptable for a device introduced in 2015. Why is Garmin using a 19-year-old protocol in a modern device? Maybe their GPS devices are using a reference design for the last 20 years?

If I put the external memory card of the Etrex in my USB3.0 card-reader I can’t update the maps. Garmin express, the special software updater from Garmin, doesn’t allow me to update to a memorycard. You have to wirte the maps to the internal memory. But that’s so sloooowwwwww.

There has to be a way to speed up the updates to this GPS device. I start searching on the internet for a solution. There is an article on the poi-factory. You can fool the Garmin Express application that a normal SD card is a Garmin device. You have to copy the GarminDevice.xml file from the Etrex’s internal memory to the Garmin folder on an external memory card. Garmin express will now think that the memory card is the Etrex GPS tracker.

Instead of the normal 80KB/s upload speed, Garmin Express can now reach speeds of 7,6 MB/s (I think that it the maximum write speed of this budget Sandisk memory card). The update that normal takes hours is now finished in 20 minutes.

Samsung television warranty in Vietnam

I had the prejudice that the warranty of Samsung products in Vietnam would be a horror story. But I turn out that the warranty is even better than in Europe. You don’ t even need to leave your home. 

A screen which I can use to watch Netflix, a screen which I occasionally can hook-up to my laptop as a computer monitor and a screen with good sound. That was my wishlist when I searched for a new screen. I want a small screen. Not bigger than 32 inches. Believe me. People in Vietnam said that’s too small. In Vietnam, the living rooms are dominated by big screens. You need to have a bigger screen than your neighbors.

I could choose between a television or a computer screen. The decision I took was the television because most computer monitors have underpowered low-quality speakers. I didn’t want to invest in a separated sound system. In Vietnam, most of the televisions with a screen size of 32 inches and smaller have a low resolution. Those so-called HD-ready televisions have only 1366 by 768 pixels panels. (I saw even a 1280 x 720 pixels television. The horror, the horror) In 2018 that resolution is not accepted anymore for a television. I want to use the screen for multimedia design work. I need the workspace. I need a high resolution. I don’t want to compromise with a low resolution.

I found in the Samsung UA32M5500 a good friend. a 32-inch television with a real full-HD panel that offers 1920 by 1080 pixels. The television is flat and offers a lot of functionality for around 340 dollars. that’s included with delivery and installation.

After 14 months I got started to notice some problems in the image quality.
Two backlight LEDs seemed to stop working. Also, the backlight was flickering. The first thing I thought was that this is the beginning of the end. The backlight problems will grow bigger and I can’t do anything about it because I thought that I didn’t have any warranty anymore. WRONG ASSUMPTION.

This can not be true. After 14 months the television already shows signs of malfunction. I decided to send Samsung an e-mail.


As a long-term Dutch Samsung customer, I have a question about the quality of Samsung television in Vietnam. In the Netherlands, I have always owned Samsung television. First a 32-inch LCD and later a 40-inch full-HD LCD. Both televisions worked flawlessly. When I moved to Vietnam I decided to buy a Samsung again. After a long research, I decided to go for the UA32M5500. A small television with real 1080P full HD. So I can use the television also for my edition work. The television was delivered to me on 26 June 2017.

This week I started to notice a problem with the backlight. Two LEDs on the left side of the screen seem to stop working. Plus that side has also a flickering. It looks like a hardware failure. Now I understand that in Vietnam the television doesn’t have two years of warranty like I’m used to in Europe. But only one year of warranty. So it seems that I don’t have any warranty anymore.

But this is a Samsung. It not normal that after 14 months of usage the television is already shown signs of problems. My girlfriends say its normal because the Vietnamese people get the lower quality products from Samsung and I have to take my losses. But I refuse to believe this rumor. I always loved the Samsung television because of their beautiful screen quality. But now I see this black spots on the screen where the backlight stopped working. Can Samsung assist me in finding a solution so I can use my television how this television supposed to function?

Yours sincerely,

Rienk Jan Schurer

Shortly after the e-mail, there was a phone conversation between my girlfriend and the Samsung Service center in Saigon. Samsung will send an engineer to look at my television.

The biggest backpack I have ever seen in my life

The guy came with the biggest backpack I ever have seen in my life. He immediately started to disassemble my old television and removed the circuit boards. My girlfriend already whispered to me that she has no idea how much it will cost. We kept quiet and watched how the engineer was performing his job. He swapped the broken panel with a new panel. The circuit boards and the original cover were placed back. The television was showing a spotless image. Mission accomplished.

The good news that the complete operation was free of charge. It turns out that Samsung is offering two years of warranty on televisions in Vietnam. The only thing the engineer had to do was to register the television in the database of Samsung. The original seller of the television has failed to do so. I had always the wrong assumption that Samsung only is offering one year of warranty on their television. But it’s two years. I’m really happy with this information because I was afraid that I had to buy a new television. This was not the case. 

The warranty service in Vietnam is way better than I’m used to in Europe. If in Europe something break I have to go back to the shop with the product. Wait in line for the customers’ service. Then I have to wait maybe one till three weeks for the shop to find the problems and to repair it. Drive back to the shop to collect the repaired television. Takes a lot of time. In Vietnam, the problem is solved in 20 minutes. You don’t even need to leave your home. Thank you Samsung for fixing my television.

Unpacking a new LCD panel for my television
A new LCD panel for my Samsung television
The samsung LCD panel with the circuitboards installed

How to make your Apple Photos library smaller. Use H265 (HEVC) for your videos.

After many trips and vacations, my Apple Photos library was more than 500 gigabytes big. What can I do to make my library smaller? I start to use H265 (HEVC) for my videos.

My big Apple Photos Library

Apple Photos is my main media storage application where I store all my videos and photos. All my media is synced to the Apple cloud with iCloud. If I make a picture with my iPhone it will automatically appear on my MacBook Pro. But it also happens vice versa. If I import the photo’s and videos from my DSLR and pocket camera on my Macbook those files will also appear on my iPhone. If I delete a file on one machine, its also automatic delete from the other machine. Also, the trash is synced on my devices. If I delete a picture on my MacBook I can use my iPhone to recover that picture. Even the edits I make are synchronized. Those are features of iCloud I really appreciate.

Slowly my Apple Photos library is growing bigger and bigger. You go on a trip and shoot a lot of videos. You found an old folder filled with old vacation photos and videos on an external drive. Your parents send you old pictures they scanned. All those media files I collect in Apple Photos. Before you know the library is around 550 gigabytes big. The library contains 38 years of my life in digital form.

My Apple photos Library is big
My Apple photos Library is big

A couple of months ago I decided that its time to take control of my media collection. I did every day a Pomodoro. This is a productivity trick that you focus 25 minutes on one task. For every day I focus 25 minutes on my library. I started to delete pictures that had no meaning anymore. When I just got my DLSR I made without a problem 600 pictures at a party. As a reminder, I only kept 10 pictures of that party. I used my phones as a memory. In a couple of weeks, I managed to delete 15.000 pictures.  I’m still not at the end of the library. Every day I do a small chunk of work. But still, my library is big. I found out that in this 550GB big library around 400GB is video. That’s a lot.


In the autumn of 2017, Apple released their new operating systems. OSX 10.13 for the Apple computers and IOS 11 for the mobile devices. In this software, Apple introduced a new codec for video and photos. Let’s talk about this new codec for video. HEVC. What stands for High-Efficiency-Video-Coding. Its a way better compression for storing video. Apple claims that it can make your video twice as small as the previous video codec they used: H264. I can tell you this is true. But videos I shot with my Canon, Sony and SJCAM camera’s even become smaller.

I made a short youtube video to show the difference in quality between H264 and HEVC. You see the change in quality is negligible. But the saving in disk space is huge!!!

The original video is a 34 seconds long and is 224MB big. Its recorded with a 50Mbit bitrate on a Sony Cybershot RX100 mark 3 camera. After I encoded the video to HEVC it’s only 17MB big. That’s only 7,5 percent of the original.  You will lose some color and sharpness. But for private videos, I don’t have a problem to encode it to HEVC.

I started to encode all my old videos in HEVC format. In the table, you can see some examples of video clips I encoded.

H264 to HEVC compression rate

CameraLength of the videoclipSize in H264 formatSize in H265 formatPercentage
SJCAM SJ4000WIFI31 seconds64.8 MB15.1 MB23.3 percent
Apple iPhone 718 seconds195.1 MB8.9 MB4.6 percent
Canon Powershot S100160 seconds702.5 MB85.5 MB12.2 percent
Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark 337 seconds242.8 MB20 MB8.2 percent

Why would I want to make my videos smaller? It will take less space at my harddisk. I need less space in the iCloud. The video will load faster if I want to stream it to my iPhone. Because my Apple Photo Library is getting smaller I have more space for other files on my hard disk.

Using Permute to encode the videos

When I wrote this blog post there are two good video encoders for making HEVC files for OSX. Handbrake and Permute. Handbrake is free, faster and offers way more settings than Permute. But I choose to use Permute because of a better workflow. Plus Permute conserve the metadata of the video file. I can tell you that this is super important. Apple Photos is using the date and time metadata in the video for the correct place in the timeline. If your video is shot on 04 January 2013. And you encode it with Handbrake at 08 August 2018. Than Apple Photos will not place that video in the timeline on 04 January 2013 but on 08 August 2018. So your timeline will be messed up. Permute keeps the correct recording date in the encoded video file. Using Permute is too simple to fail. With Handbrake, you can make easy a mistake. There are just too many settings in that program. Permute cost only 10 dollars. But you can also find it in the Setapp subscription.

How did I configured Permute?

I made a custom preset for my encoding work. I want to keep the same video and audio quality as the source video. If a video is 4K it will be downscaled to 1080P.

The preset that I made in Permute
The preset that I made in Permute

I have a folder on my desktop with the name “IMPORT APPLE PHOTOS” where Permute automatically saves the encoded videos. I put CPU usage on low so I can use my computer when Permute is busy. Disable previews is also a good advice. Otherwise, Permute can spend minutes on making small previews of the videos. For me, that’s not important. It only cost a lot of time.

The general preference in Permute
The general preference in Permute

This is important. You need to tell Permute that you want to preserve the creation date of your video. Otherwise, the encoded video file will get the date of the day you encoded it. If you import the video back to Apple Photos it will have the wrong place in the timeline. So turn it on.

Important. Preserve the creation date
Important. Preserve the creation date

My workflow

In Apple Photos I made an album with the name “To Permute”. When I’m doing my Pomodoro and I find a video which I want to encode to HEVC I just drag that video to the “To Permute album. Before I will sleep or I don’t want to use the computer for a long time  I will select all the videos files in the “To Permute” album and do right-click on the files. I choose then edit with Permute.

Choose the video's you want to encode and edit with permute
Choose the videos you want to encode and edit with permute

Apple Photos will prepare all the selected videos and send them to Permute. Check in the left-top bar if you choose the correct preset.  The only thing you then need to do is press the start button. Now you need to wait. Some videos are encoded in a couple of minutes. But I also had some long videos that took two days. My MacBook is not that fast. Read my blogpost about keeping a MacBook cool.

Encoding videos with Permute from H264 to H265
Encoding videos with Permute from H264 to H265

When Permute is done with encoding I just drag all the video files in the “IMPORT APPLE PHOTOS” to Apple Photos. Do a quick check if the videos are oke. After that, I just delete the videos in the “To Permute” album.  When I do my next Pomodoro I just start over with a new batch of videos.

In the near future, I want to use an Apple Script that will import the videos automatically after Permute encoded it. I found this thread at the Apple forum how to do that.

Three weeks later

In three weeks time, my Apple Photo library shrunk from 550 GB to 300 GB.  It’s still a work in progress. I hope to get my library under 200 GB. I also hope to find an easy workflow to convert some raw photo’s to JPG format, or even to HEIC photo format. I will share this on my blog if I find a good method.

Happy encoding.

Three weeks later made my Apple Photos library 250 GB smaller
Three weeks later my Apple Photos library is 250 GB smaller

Thermal design in the Apple MacBook Pro is a disaster?

This blog post describes my steps to make my old Apple MacBook Pro run cooler in a warm climate under constant processor load.

When my Macbook turns older. Its somehow starts to feel slower. It’s weird because its still the same computer I bought four years ago. With every OSX version that Apple releases it makes my computer feels faster and it makes it feel slower. I have to explain this. My computer feels faster after the release of METAL for handling the graphics parts. But its feels slower of all the new software features that are integrated into every new OSX release. I also have that gut feeling that Apple isn’t giving OSX any priority anymore. The big money is made with the IOS devices. Why spent a lot of resources on OSX? Most things that are now coming to OSX and the Apple computers are innovations that are first made for the IOS devices. IOS get the optimization and new features first, OSX gets it later.

My late 2013 MacBook Pro 13 inch has an Intel 2.4Ghz I5 mobile processor with a TDP of 28 watts. This means that the processor can produce up to 28 watts of heat energy. The i5-4258U processor is a combined CPU and a GPU in one packaging. So the CPU and the GPU share the same footprint and share the same heat pipe that transports the heat from the processor to the heatsink. The fan is blowing this thermal energy out of the enclosure.

The cooling system in my Macbook Pro retina
The cooling system in my Macbook Pro retina

The i5-4258U has the base frequency of 2.4 GHz. But can use the Intel® Turbo Boost Technology to push the frequency up to 2.9 GHz if there is enough cooling. Lately, I’m using the Macbook day and night for the encoding of videos. So the processor is pushed to the limit. Because its here around 30 degrees Celsius the Macbook could not reach the full 2.9 GHz. It was hopping between 2.4 GHz and 2.7 GHz.  There has to be a way to improve this.

Every day its around 30 degrees celcius
Every day its around 30 degrees celcius

I start to search for a solution. On blogs and on Youtube videos the advice was to replace the thermal paste between the processor and the heat pipe. Thermal paste is a sticky solution that helps to transfer the heat from the processor to the heat pipe.  Apple doesn’t make their own laptops. They hire a company in China to do that work. The problem is that this company is using a low-quality cool paste that’s too thick, has bad thermal performance and it will lose it thermal conductivity over time. It’s total garbage. The solution is to replace the thermal paste with a high-quality brand. I searched for what kind of high-quality thermal pasta is available in the city. For around ten dollars I bought a small tube of Arctic Silver 5.

Arctic silver 5 on a Macbook Pro retina
Arctic silver 5 on a Macbook Pro retina

I removed the heat pipe and with alcohol, I cleaned the old thermal paste off the processor. There was indeed too much crappy thermal paste. It was everywhere. After everything was cleaned I applied a small drop of Arctic Silver on the processor and put the heat pipe back. It was a disaster. The MacBook was running awful. I removed the heat pipe again and saw the problem. I did not apply enough Thermal Paste. There was a big part of the processor not covered. I applied some more of the Arctic Silver and put the heat pipe back.

Wow. That was is big different. The MacBook feels snappier. With the old thermal paste, the laptop had hiccups when it had to do heavy graphics. But now it’s fluent. Lets put the MacBook to the test. Let’s encode some videos. My video encoding software only uses the CPU for its task. The GPU is almost running idle. This little adjustment is a big success.

The Macbook Retina can now run continues at 2.9 Ghz
The Macbook Retina can now run continues at 2.9 Ghz

One of the advanced of having a unibody computer is that the whole enclosure is a heatsink. This is also a disadvantage. Sticky sweaty palms. The whole laptop was feeling like a small backing plate. Not comfortable.  So I was looking for a solution to make the complete Macbook feel cooler and more comfortable at the hands.  In the local hardware store, I bought for one dollar a 12CM fan and hooked it up on the most worthless power supply ever. Don’t understand me wrong. The laptop was running great with the new thermal paste. It could run at full power. But it wasn’t comfortable to put your palms on the Macbook. So the fan was keeping the enclosure cool.

But the bottom plate of the MacBook Pro was still running super hot. I want the airflow of the 12 cm fan also to flow under the laptop. So I started to put things under the Macbook: Little blocks of plastic, a Bluetooth speaker or a coffee cup. It didn’t work. I had a cool laptop. But every time I moved the laptop it fell off its temporary plateau. When I was typing the whole laptop was wobbling. Let’s search for what kind of solutions exist to lift the laptop higher, but that I’m still capable to use the laptop without an external keyboard.

I will spare you the time I spend in searching for a solution. I read blog posts. I watched the videos. All the collected information I processed for a week. After that, I made the decision to buy the Xuenair MacBook Stand. A massive block of aluminum with a hinge. I paid 20 dollars for it.

Xuenair Macbook Pro laptop stand
Xuenair Macbook Pro laptop stand

The hinge makes the stand portable. You can fold it flat and put the stand in your bag. You can also fold the hinge up and use it as an iPad stand. The hinge is moving stiff so you can adjust the angle.

Xuenair Macbook stand open
Xuenair Macbook stand open

Now there is enough space under the Macbook for a good airflow. The hole at the back of the Xuenair helps with the cable management.

Xuenair Macbook Pro stand with a Macbook Pro retina on top
Xuenair Macbook Pro stand with a Macbook Pro retina on top

The chin of the laptop is close to the table. So I can use the trackpad and the keyboard while my arms are resting at the table. Not only does the Macbook got a better airflow under the enclosure. But the screen is now higher. It’s much more comfortable to work for a long time. I can hold my neck in a more natural position.  The stand is rock solid. I can type for hours and the MacBook is not wobbling. I think the Xuenair is a great product. I don’t have yet any experience with traveling. The stand is around 400 grams. Did I ever tell you that working with the combination of a trackpad and a mouse at the same time is god-like?

Xuenair Macbook Pro stand - Laptop is rock solid stable. Screen is higher
Xuenair Macbook Pro stand – Laptop is rock solid stable. Screen is higher

In the history, the GPU was mostly used only for games, acceleration of video playback and doing the graphical user interface.  Nowadays the GPU also responsible for heavy calculations. Take a look at the video editing software Final Cut Pro. It’s using the GPU to do the rendering of the videos, the analysis of the stabilization and the encoding of the final video. The CPU and the GPU are both used to give you a better experience. More and more the GPU is responsible for heavy repeating calculation task. In the first years under OSX OpenCL was responsible for this. Last years Apple is shifting to Metal for this GPU supporting calculations. The arrival of a Machine Learning Module in Mojave OSX 12 will accelerate the use of the GPU in your computer. The GPU will help the Apple Photos application for recognizing faces and objects in your pictures.

Let do some quick tests. This is not a hardware website where reviewers are doing hours of testing. Those are my own quick tests. I’m doing this for fun.

The Macbook is doing

  1. Final cut pro 4K export. This is using the CPU and the GPU;
  2. Permute HEVC encoding. This program is only using the CPU. The story is that ffmpeg isn’t using the GPU because of the low video quality in HEVC;
  3. Quicktime screen recording. This program always pushes the GPU frequency up to the maximum 1.1Ghz.

You can see that the processor is using around 30 watts. The GPU is running at 1.1 GHz and the CPU is running around 2.7 Ghz. Still in Turbo boost mode. I still get more CPU processing power than I paid for. But I don’t get the full 2.9 GHz.

Macbook Pro 13 inch running Final cut pro export. Permute HEVC encoding and screenrecord
Macbook Pro 13 inch running Final cut pro export. Permute HEVC encoding and screenrecord

Furmark is known as the GPU killer. It pushes the limit of your GPU. If your GPU can run a long time at a high load and a high temperature. Then you can assume it’s a stable and good GPU. It will be not the first time that a GPU is killed by the Furmark. So be careful.

  1. Final cut pro 4K export. This is using the CPU and the GPU
  2. Permute HEVC CPU encoding.
  3. Furmark running at 1024×640

This is interesting to see. The CPU is running now at 2.1 GHz. That’s under the base clock speed of 2.4 GHz. The GPU is running at 0.95 GHz. Lower than the maximum speed of 1.1 GHz. Is the processor throttling?  And that is something I want to know. Why is the processor not running at full clock speed? The total power consumption of the processor is 26 watt. Lower than the previous test.

Is there another reason why the processor is running slower. Is Furmark using all the memory bandwidth and the processor forced to run slower to keep up with the memory requests? But nobody will run Furmark in real life. So this is not an honest test.

Macbook Pro 13 inch running Final cut pro export. Permute HEVC encoding and furmark
Macbook Pro 13 inch running Final cut pro export. Permute HEVC encoding and furmark

After four years I have to realize that my MacBook Pro is an old machine. Its a great machine for my daily life. But for hardcore calculations, I can feel the machine is sludgy. If I do one task at the time the machine can keep up with my needs. Most video encoding I’m doing when I’m at sleep or when I’m not behind the computer. It takes some time. But I will get there.

The small adjustments I did to let the machine runs cooler is helping. The machine feels snappier because I replaced the thermal paste. The machine feels cooler because of the fan and the stand. The stand also improved in handling the machine better.

Walking in the Tao Dan park, Ho Chi Minh City

This blog post is dynamic. It will be edited with the latest information. You will find a changelog at the end of this blog post.


The meetup group Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh Walking for health Meetup-Tao Dan park is bringing people together every 12 weeks for a walk. But some people disagree that every 12 weeks is enough. Every week or every two weeks is better. We try to contact the administrator of the meetup group. But this person stayed silent. So this is a shadow document with more information about the weekly walking group.


After a busy week its good to have a walk. You can use it to learn and practicing a new language, make new friends, exchange information about cultures, try new food, See people practice different sports or just walk in silence.


Every Saturday morning. We gather at 7:00 (AM) in the bird cafe. Around 7:15 (AM) we start walking in the Tao Dan Park. Around 9:00 (AM) we sit in the Bird cafe for coffee and/or tea. Some members of the walking group start at 6.00 (AM) with a sport like running.


The walking is in the Tao Dan Park in District One. This park is central in Ho Chi Minh City. The park is situated behind the Independence Palace (aka Reunification Palace / Dinh Thống Nhất) As address for your navigation system, Taxi, Grab or Aber you can use the address 57 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Bến Thành, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Bird cafe

Every morning bird lovers gather in the bird cafe. They bring a cage with their beloved bird. A good place to gather for the walk. More information about the bird cafe can be found at -> Cà phê chim Tao Đàn, thú vui tao nhã của người Sài Gòn (Sorry. The text is in Vietnamese)


If you come with your bike. Then you can park at two places in the park. The parking in the east is only a 10-meter walk to the Bird Cafe. The cost for the parking is 5.000 dong.


In the Bird Cafe, you can buy coffee. The price is a little bit higher then you pay on the ‘street’. A coffee with milk is around 20.000 dong.


Walking makes you hungry. In the park is a small stand that sells warm soja yogurt with caramel. Taste really good and is not so heavy for the stomach. The price is 5.000 dong for one bowl.


In the park is a FREE public toilet. It’s clean. Separated for ladies and gentleman. You are not allowed to wear your own shoes inside. Make use of the free provided flip-flops. In the park are also paid toilets. You pay 2.000 or 3.000 Dongs in advance for the service. Be aware that there is no toilet paper. You have to get the toilet paper separated in advance from the toilet-lady.


170928 Tao Dan park walking map
Tao Dan park walking map


28 September 2017 – first initial release. 06 July 2018 – Some typo’s

Korte Science Fiction films

Iedereen die mij kent weet dat ik erg van Science Fiction films hou. Helemaal als ze in de film proberen het zo realistisch mogelijk te maken. Jaren geleden zag ik de korte film “True Skin” voorbij komen. Ik was de video al een tijdje vergeten tot een oud collega mij HYPER-REALITY toonde. Zo kwam ik tot deze collectie van korte films waarvan ik denk dat die de toekomst aardig dicht benaderen.

True Skin

In de toekomst is het modificeren van lichaamsdelen de normaalste zaak van de wereld. Maar wat heb je aan al die technologie als er op je gejaagd wordt.


Langzaam nemen de robots de wereld over. Maar gaan ze deze strijd winnen?


Augmented reality in een overdrijf. Kan jouw identiteit makkelijk gestolen worden?


Daten in de toekomst. Het is een spel. Kan jij een vrouw versieren als je informatie over haar hebt?

Een siliconen sok voor jouw 3D printer.

De eerste 3D printers maakten gebruik van ABS. Deze op oliebasis gebaseerde kunststof was ingewikkeld te printen. Je moet gebruik maken van een verwarmd printbed om te voorkomen dat jouw print kromtrekt. Daarnaast komen er giftige stoffen vrij bij het printen van ABS.

Als ik ABS print gooi ik de ramen helemaal open en sluit ik de deur naar mijn print ruimte. Ik wil niet in de buurt zijn. Natuurlijk heb ik de fout gemaakt dat ik bleef kijken bij een ABS print. Dit heb ik moeten bekopen met een heftige hoofdpijn voor de rest van de dag.

PLA is een kunststof die wordt gemaakt van plantaardige grondstoffen. Ze zeggen wel eens als je met PLA print dat het ruikt naar popcorn. Ik vind dit onzin. Maar het stink niet. PLA heeft als nadeel dat je het meteen wilt koelen. Daarom hebben de goede 3D printers allemaal een filament cooler. De Kodamo trinus 3D printer heeft zelfs een 360 graden cooler. De koele lucht wordt rondom op het object geblazen. En laat hier nu het probleem zitten. De cooler is zo goed dat de printkop ook afkoelt. Soms koelt het wel af tot 20 graden onder de ingestelde temperatuur. Dit kan problemen geven met de stevigheid van het geprinte object. De nieuwe laag heeft door de lage temperatuur niet goed kunnen hechten aan de onderliggende laag.

Dit probleem kan je oplossen door de printkop te voorzien van een siliconen kapje wat rondom te printkop gaat. Mijn printer heeft geen problemen meer om de printkop op de juiste temperatuur te houden. Een tweede voordeel is dat de printkop schoner blijft. Verdwaalde print filament blijft niet meer plakken aan de printkop.

Ik heb drie siliconen sokjes van E3D (LINK) voor een paar euro gekocht vanuit Engeland. Voor mij nu al één van de beste aankopen voor mijn 3D printer. 

Hoe ik de styles van mijn ebook reader heb gerepareerd

Een nieuwe stylus van Sony voor mijn PRS-350 ereader

Vorig jaar beschreef ik het probleem met mijn Sony PRS-350 ereader. De stylus brak zonder enige aanleiding af. Onderaan mijn blogpost begonnen de reacties te verzamelen. Ik was niet de enige met het probleem van een gebroken stylus. Het kreeg niet voor niets de naam “Sony broken stylus syndroom”.

Omdat ik me toch begon te ergeren aan het uitzicht op mijn e-reader besloot ik vorig jaar in september het probleem rechtstreeks bij Sony te melden op Twitter.

Jammer dat sony het probleem blijft negeren
Jammer dat sony het probleem blijft negeren

Tot mijn verbazing kreeg ik een telefoontje van een manager bij Sony Nederland. Hij was door de Sony Webcare medewerker aangesproken over mijn tweet. Het goede nieuws is dat ik van hem een kosteloos nieuwe stylus krijg opgestuurd.  Een andere opdracht die hij zichzelf had gegeven was het onderzoeken waarom een nieuwe stylus bij www.sonyplaza.nl 22,40 kost. (14,90 + 7,50 verzendkosten). Hij was het met mij eens dat dit  een veel te hoge prijs is.

Sony heeft mij gebeld

Een paar dagen later stond de postbode aan de deur. Post van Sony. Een splinternieuwe stylus. Ik wil Sony met terugwerkende kracht nog ontzettend bedanken voor het oplossen van het probleem.

Een pakketje van Sony
Een pakketje van Sony

Een nieuwe Styles van Sony voor mijn e-reader
Een nieuwe Styles van Sony voor mijn e-reader

Nu zullen sommige van mijn lezers afvragen waarom ik een stylus gebruik? Ik lees veel boeken in het Engels. De Sony PRS-350 ereader heeft een ingebouwd woordenboek wat mij kan assisteren bij Engelse woorden die ik niet ken. Even met de pen dubbel tappen op het woord en de vertaling komt te voorschijn. De e-reader gebruikt voor zijn touchscreen niet de techniek die bij Apple en Android apparaten wordt gebruikt om een aanraking op het scherm te registreren. Dat is technisch niet mogelijk door de dikte van het elektronische papier. Sony lost dit probleem op door rondom het scherm de aanraking te detecteren met een onzichtbaar infraroodveld. Mijn vingers zijn helaas te dik om elke aanraking goed te detecteren. Vandaar het pennetje.

Waarom schrijf ik er zo laat nog een blogpost over dit probleem? Omdat het probleem zich nog steeds voordoet. Ook in 2012 heb ik reacties op mijn blogpost gehad van lezers met afbrekende pennen. Op www.sonyplaza.nl is niets gedaan aan de prijs en verzendkosten van een vervangende stylus. Die kost nog steeds 15 euro plus 7,50 euro aan verzendkosten.  Een hoge prijs voor een product wat zeer goedkoop te produceren is en door de brievenbus past.

De prijs van een styles bij Sony
De prijs van een styles bij Sony



Flessenhouder, wat een suffe naam Kruidvat.

Werkt er bij het kruidvat een medewerker die lifehacking.nl leest? Het moet haast wel! In April schreef ik op mijn blog een artikel over het shampoofles ophangsysteem. Met mijn artikel won ik zelfs prijs op lifehacking.nl.  Ik kan nu onder de douche geen idee meer vergeten.

Op Twitter werd ik door LD er op geattendeerd dat het Kruidvat nu een soort gelijk product op de markt heeft gebracht, met de suffe naam:  flessenhouder. Een geëvolueerde versie van mijn idee. Ik ben er trots op dat er weer een mooi idee van mij in uitvoering is gebracht. Ik zou het touwtje tussen de zuignap en de fles wel langer maken. Nu kan je zo moeilijk in de fles knijpen.

Ik ben benieuwd of ik van de Kruidvat een setje krijg om uit te proberen?

Kruidvat shampoo houder
Kruidvat shampoo houder