Coffee with crema from an Aeropress – a howto

What makes crema?

Crema is a foam comprising coffee oils, carbon dioxide created during coffee roasting and air trapped in coffee grounds. There are several exhaustive Coffeegeek articles in the subject. (I  also think electric-pump-based coffee/espresso machines increase crema by aerating brewing water.)

Why there is little crema in coffee from Aeropress?

Oils and bubbles, being lighter than water, travel up when brewing. When Aeropress is used as described in the manual, crema is filtered last and gets absorbed in the grounds and paper filter.

crema in inverted aeropress

Continue reading

Video Stabilization with Deshaker in Blender

Action video is often lacking clear persistent references to stabilize video with – they either are not present in the frame for very long, or often compressed out of frame as the codec is trying to spend most of its bandwidth on moving objects in the shot.

Deshaker, a plugin for Windows program VirtualDub, with its capability to find and track multiple visual references (literally hundreds of them) automatically from frame to frame is the king of action video stabilization. (It works on Linux, too, see below).

Deshaker scanning a file

Continue reading

Beat 500 points gpx track limit using Qmapshack as gpx file editor

Many Garmin devices have a limit of how many points a gpx track might have. You can bypass the limit by splitting a GPS track to segments of 500 points or less. Here is how to do it with a free Qmapshack program:

As an example, I took a 100km ride track from Strawberry Fields Forever ride. (Click on the link, click on 100km, export tab, download as GPX)

Let’s see the complete track on map: In Qmapshack, File-> Load GIS Data, select the gpx file. “Open SFF 100K” folder in Data window and double-click on the track.


Continue reading

Server Wake-on-LAN on access

Most of the ethernet NICs support wake on LAN feature – when a so-called magic packet wakes up the computer. This can really save money as running an awake Mac Pro 1,1 server, as I do, could cost you $15 per month of electricity in California prices.

There is a number of utilities that could be used to send the magic packet to wake the remote machine, but if all you want is to access a file, firing up the utility each time is too much.

Running the command below on a unix-based router (OpenWRT, DD-WRT) connected to the same LAN will send a magic packet to your server on any access attempt. It works by sniffing for broadcast APR packets looking for MAC address for and issues a magic packet to 00:17:f2:0a:a6:3f.

Just edit the address values below, substituting LAN bridge interface, IP address and MAC address of your server and put this line into the startup script of your router:

tcpdump -i eth1 -l arp and ether[0x26:1]=192 and ether[0x27:1]=168 and ether[0x28:1]=1 and ether[0x29:1]=191|while read -r line; do etherwake -i eth1 00:17:f2:0a:a6:3f; done&

good  luck!

Has Putin Sold Assad to Saudis?

Oct 21, 2015

“The majority of strikes, according to the analysis, have instead been in areas held by other groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which include al Qaeda offshoots but also fighters backed by Washington and its allies.” Reuters story

Nov 14, 2015

Saudis: “We will support the political process that will result in (Assad) leaving, or we will continue to support the Syrian opposition in order to remove him by force.” Reuters story

Feb 3 2016

Lavrov: “Russian strikes will not cease until we really defeat terrorist organisations like Jabhat al-Nusra. And I don’t see why these air strikes should be stopped,” Reuters story

Feb 17, 2016

“Dominant OPEC power Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia, the world’s top two producers and exporters, agreed on Tuesday to freeze production levels …” Reuters story

Mar 15, 2016

“President Vladimir Putin announced out of the blue on Monday that “the main part” of Russian armed forces in Syria would start to withdraw …” Reuters story


Planning Trips with QMapShack

I like having a plan for my hiking and biking trips (Northern California), to have an idea about their length and aggregated climb, and also to have a track in my GPS to stop wondering if I am taking the right route.

Unfortunately, I could not do that with Garmin software, Basecamp. Proprietary $$$ Topo 24k map doesn’t have bike trails, free Opencycle map doesn’t have elevations.

I found a perfect solution in QMapShack, a free mapping application for Linux, Windows and Mac, which can also use free map and elevation data. This is an attempt on an end-to-end guide from setting it up to using it to plan trips.


Continue reading