Friday, August 31, 2012

Mac Air Surgery with an SSD - 初代Mac AirのSSD換装

The harddisk drive of my Mac Air died a few weeks ago. I thought it was the right time to buy a smaller Mac Air, but on the other hand I was interested in keeping this aged notebook running with an SSD storage. The SSD price became more attractive and I decided to order a 128GB drive from Amazon Japan.

The surgery was quite straightforward: Removing the bottom cover, the drive was on the upper left, surrounded by a rubber cushion and cased in the plastic housing. I carefully pulled out the HDD with cushion. 
My Mac Air was from its very first production batch and I was surprised to see that there was no connector in the end of ribbon cable attached.
I put the cushion around the replacement SSD, carefully insert the ribbon cable end to the drives slot (or connector) but there existed no lock, so it easily came out while I tried to put the drive back in postion. It was merely a piece of plastic tape that prevented the cable from getting loose. What a crude design for Apple!

Anyway, the first attempt of surgery turned out to be successful luckily, and it started install the OS which was very slow. Once everything is restored, the booting up is very speedy, and each step of processes caused no stress of waiting/watching. This old boy will be in service for a few more years!

Mac Airのハードディスクが数週間前に絶命した。タイミング的にはこの際、10インチMac Airを買う時期かなと思い、他方この老いぼれノートにSSDで再生手術してもう少し余命を楽しみたいとも思っていた。SSDの価格はかなり魅力的なまでに低下していたので、アマゾンに128GBドライブを発注することにした。

ただ僕のMac Airは本当に最初の生産ロット製品だったので、驚いたのはリボンケーブルにコネクターがなく、そのケーブル端がそのままドライブに接続されていたことだった。

ともかく、換装の試みは運良く一発で成功し、OSやアプリのインストールに進んだが、これが何しろ遅い作業だった。必要なインストールが一通り完了すると、新しいMac Airの起動はものが違うくらいの迅速さで、これまでのように処理の度ごとに待たされるということもなくなった。この老体マシンもあと数年は奉仕してくれそうだ。

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hill Climb with Rotor: Q-Ringsで山岳ツアー

今回、草津・志賀高原ツアーでの山越えには36T楕円リングのインナーを使った。それで頂上まで行けたという成果が自分としては実に嬉しい。実は、自分の脚力では36Tで1000m級登坂は無理だろうと思っていたので、旅行前に普通の34Tリングに戻した。しかし国際村で試走の結果が意外だったため、結局36T Q–Ringsで挑む決断をした。

Rotor 36T:  13m39s [10.42km/s] *1本目
Rotor 36T:  13m57s [10.12km/s] *2本目
Campy34T:  15m20s [ 9.12km/s] *翌日

BH CristalにはシマノFC-6650クランクにStronglight Bio Concept50/34T楕円を組むことにしたので、こちらの振る舞いが今から楽しみだ。

I used Rotor oval inner ring of 36T for the long ride across Mt. Shirane, and the result that I managed to complete the hill climb was so delightful because I originally thought 36T was too heavy for me especially when it comes to gaining 1000m altitude. That was why I reverted the inner ring to 34T before the tour. I did some exercises at Shonan Village and was amazed to see the results:

Rotor 36T:  13m39s [10.42km/s] *first
Rotor 36T:  13m57s [10.12km/s] *second
Campy34T:  15m20s [ 9.12km/s] *next day
The mediocre time with 34T was a surprise, but I clearly felt uncomfortable with 34T because its rotation was monotonous without a sense of rhythm and made the hill climb only depressive. I bought this ring being curious to check it knowing 36T was the lowest limit for Campagnolo cranks with Q-Rings and it would be difficult. Actually, I found the shifts between round 50T and oval 36T were more synergetic, and I kind of liked it. I kept using this combination for 2 months or so, and reverting to round 34T may have highlighted the contrast their generally subtle difference.

For the new BH Cristal, I am going to install Shimano FC-6650 cranks with Stronglight Bio Concept 50/34T oval rings, and I am excited to see how they behave.

Friday, August 17, 2012

草津・志賀高原ツアー - Kusatsu/Shiga Tour


心配した雲行きも取り敢えずは大丈夫そう。脚力が違う連れはタイム狙いでBH G5ロードレーサーを持ち込んできたので先に行かせ、こちらはゆっくりペース。5月に試走した時は1h27mでゴールしているが、今回は1泊旅行なので背中のリュックがかなりの荷重だ。7kgくらいあるだろうか。32分後、ロープウェイ山麓駅に着く頃には指先や局部など末端にしびれを感じ、小休止することに。無理はできないと判断して用心しながらペースダウンして進む。結局今回のゴールタイムは1h32mと遅かった。因みに連れはチェーン落ち3回のトラブル込みで58m、順調なら55mくらいで上がっただろう。



On August 17, I went to a long ride with a friend of mine from Kusatsu Onsen to Shiga Kogen across Mt.Shirane. We gathered at 7:30 near Kan-etsu Highway entrance in Nerima, put our bikes of his car’s roof, and arrived at Kusatsu around 10:30.

The weather did not look promising but probably manageable for a few hours. My friend brought his BH G5 to challenge for a better time in the climbing, so I let him go first and I made an easy start. My time in May was 1h27m, but this is 1-night/2-day tour with fully-loaded pack on the back, 7kg or so. 32 minutes later, I came to the ropeway station feeling some numbness in my fingers and private parts, and I felt I needed a brief pause. I decided to slow down my pace conservatively, and consequently the time at the goal of Mt.Shirane was 1h32m. My friend marked 57s including resetting the chains in place for 3 times.

We were about to open our lunch when it started pouring rain, really extraordinary one, with thunders. We thought we could no way continue, then we would catch a bus to go back, but after one hour of waiting, it cleared. Going beyond, Shibu Pass and Mt.Yokote are even higher but the route offers panoramic mountain views around. The downhill was long but we went into rain again, got completely wet, and it was a tiring run controlling the speed and watching the wet roads.

Dripping wet, we were warmly received by Jinpyokaku in Kambayashi Onsen. It was truly a fantastic Japanese inn, it is not too gorgeous but refined and relaxing. The shoes were taken to the dry room, we hang our wet wears in the bath room, and warmed our body in the hot tub. We then visited local Syntax office to receive a demo of some new recordings in surround and enjoyed the conversation rest of the day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Campagnolo Athena – 2010 Ultrashiftレバー

デュアルコントロール・レバーについて、カンパは小さな手の人にも収まりが良いと複数の人の意見を読んでいたので、今回のCristalはシマニョーロ路線でカンパのレバーを積んでみようかと考えた。条件としてはEqual-Pulleyが組み込めるモデルで、Chorusあたりを捜していたのだが、ウルトラシフトエルゴパワーのAthena 2010モデルが手頃価格でeBayに出ていたのを落札した。
届いた製品を触ってみて、にぎり具合は世評通りではないように感じた。カンパの場合、レバーの湾曲が大きいので、その下の凹み部分まで指を伸ばさなくてはならない。薬指をかけるのが結構厳しそうに見える。まだ組んでいない状態なので、実際の感触は先の話だが、もしST-5700より握りづらい場合は方針を変更してAthenaはBHではなくOrbea Onixの方に積むことになるかも知れないなあ。

Left: Campagnolo Athena, Right: Shimano ST-5700

Regarding dual control levers, I have read several people commented that Campagnolo fitted better for those with smaller hands, and it motivated me to pick a Campy for BH Cristal and configure a Shimagnolo drive train. One requirement was the levers must accept an Equal-Pulley to accommodate Shimano derailleurs. I initially searched Chorus, but came across with Athena 2010 Ultrashift model at a reasonable price in eBay, so I obtained it.
Upon receiving the product, I felt the rumor was not reality. I know I have to wait until it is properly installed, but the shape of Campy levers have larger curves, and it appeared relatively hard for my fingers to reach the dip below. If it does not fit better than Shimano ST-5700, I will probably need to change the plan: swap the levers and use Athena on Orbea Onix instead of BH Cristal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BH Prisma or Cristal? – BHどっちにするか
手元にあるやや大柄なCannondaleは放出して、カミさんも乗れて自分も使うロードレーサーを組もうという構想で自分なりにはそのうちフランスに行ったついでに現地でBH Prismaを買って帰る腹づもりを決めていた。現地には105仕様車やカンパAthena仕様車が違う車体カラーで割安に購入できる。
そんな折、米国eBayBH Cristalフレームの出物が出品されたのを迷った揚げ句に落札してしまった。最高車種G5の女性版でグレードが勝ちすぎるが、サイズも最小の510だし、値段も$100010万以下、先日一緒に箱根を走った友人が自宅キープを了承してくれた。海外輸送に$600費やすくらいならそれで訪米する方が良いと思ったからだ。


I had made a long term plan to replace rather large Cannondale bike with something small enough that my wife can ride as well as I normally share it, and my focus was on BH Prisma that I could buy in France while visiting there in the future because they offer different spec models in better deal such as Shimano 105 or Campagnolo Athena components and in nice, different frame colors.

In the meantime, a couple of weeks ago, I saw in eBay USA a BH Cristal frame was posted in the auction, and consequently I won it without competing. Cristal is the female version of their top-of-the-line model G5, thus I thought it was too much, but the size was right at the smallest and it was only $1000, and my friend in SF kindly accepted to keep it in his garage. I thought I would travel there soon rather than spending $600 for overseas shipping. Something unexpected was the beauty and the lightness of BH frame caused him a bolt essentially to start searching BH frames for himself, and furthermore as his family was traveling to Japan timely enough, he arranged them to fly with my Cristal. That’s how the new Cristal reached me so rapidly.

I plan to move components from Cannondale basically, but the drive train will be the latest Shimano 105 with 12/30T cassette. The front gear will be configured with old Shimano FC-6650 cranks and Stronglight oval 50/34T chain rings. The Pressfit BB for Shimano was sent with the frame but I am interested in Sugino’s BB Converter with ceramic bearings. I will move the project rather slowly as the expense involves.

Nyuto Hotsprings & Mt. Akita Koma – 東北旅行2012その3


黒湯温泉 Kuroyu Onsen
Outdoor bath in Kuroyu 露天風呂
孫六温泉 Magoroku Onsen

大釜温泉 Ohgama Onsen
妙の湯 Taenoy
国民休暇村付近 National Resort Village


アルパこまくさ Arupa Komakusa
駒ヶ岳八合目 - Point 0.8 to the Summit
阿弥陀池 Amida Pond
田沢湖 - View of Lake Tazawa


Monday, August 13, 2012

Morioka - 東北旅行2012その2


On the second day, we were to move to Nyuto hotsprings, and took bus for Morioka first in the morning. We bought the train tickets of 2-hours later and the best place to kill the transit time here would be Kogensha that relates closely with Kenji Miyazawa. So we headed to the direction of Zaimokucho. We were here last time when our kids were very small many years ago. The patio is beautiful and well maintained. In the gallery were some wooden prints by Samiro Yunoki in display. We did not have time to relax over a cup of coffee in Kahi-kan Café unfortunately.

材木町の宮沢賢治 Kenji Miyazawa in Zaimokucho

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ichinoseki and Hanamaki – 東北旅行2012その1

Ichinoseki Station 一ノ関駅

Starting from July 31, we had a trip in Tohoku area for a few days. The first purpose was my wife’s partial reunion with her old friends in school days, and we visited Fumon-en in Ichinoseki. Mr. Saito left the city and settled in the rustic environment many years ago. He collected old wood of demolished farmer houses, such as beams and pillars, and built a nice country house as well as some furniture that are his artistic expression by themselves.


The members gathered here then moved to a village near Hayachine dam to stay at Seiko-Saryo and enjoyed local, traditional “kagura” (=prayer dance) of Hayachine Shrine. The owner of Seiko-Saryo, Mr. Sato once made a huge success in the wining-dining business in Morioka, but then faced with the thought about what should be done in his life, and decided to move to an old, L-shaped farmer house in a remote village closing his bar-restaurant in town, and started creating a space for food and culture in his life style.


The “Kagura” prayer dance started early in the evening before getting dark in the small open garden of Hayachine Shrine, and we sat around the dedicated stage while bugs were busy flying around us. As we enjoy the play, I thought that maintaining the cultural event of this class in a small village for hundreds of years must have required immense efforts by each local resident.