Lenovo Yoga Book

new electronics
The new Lenovo Yoga Book (August 2016).

When the Lenovo Yoga Book was launched in Berlin on August 31, 2016, it immediately shot to the #1 spot on my shopping list. Lots of items have landed there without ever being purchased, but this one might actually make it into my household.

On paper, the Lenovo Yoga Book specs sound exactly like what I have been looking for these past years:

  • General:
    • Dimensions (mm): 256.00 x 170.80 x 9.60
    • Weight (g): 690.00
    • Battery capacity (mAh): 8500
    • Removable battery: Nope
  • Display:
    • Screen size (inches): 10.10
    • Resolution: 1200×1920 pixels
  • Hardware:
    • Processor: 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8550
    • RAM: 4GB
    • Internal storage: 64GB
    • Expandable storage (microSD): up to  128 GB
  • Software:
    • Operating System(s): Android or Windows 10
  • Connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi: 802.11ac
    • Bluetooth: v 4.00
    • Headphones: 3.5mm
    • SIM: Nano (4G/ LTE)
  • Other:
    • Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Gyroscope

As is often the case, “hands on” reviews so far have been by people who had a few measly minutes to check it out and it remains to be seen if the Yoga Book can live up to its promise.

On first glance, the hardware specs are simply too slim to run Windows 10 on it in any satisfactory way, so the Android version (also 100 Euro cheaper) would be the one for me.

The (IPS) screen seems to be quite good (I’d want to watch lots of videos on it, so the way it renders black and colors is something I would have to check myself before forking over the money) and the virtual “Halo” keyboard seems to require some getting used to (the keyboard runs using Wacom’s Passive EMR Technology and is purely digital without any physical keys).

Unfortunately, the battery isn’t changeable and the Yoga book uses an archaic  Micro USB connection rather than USB C , which should have been a (modern) standard by now, but for my needs, it still seems to be adequate enough.

It is difficult to resist my initial buying impulse, but I will wait until it finally is widely available and the detailed reviews start rolling in. No matter what the reviews say, I’ve got to see one out in the wild and give it a spin myself, but chances are that I will be adding the Lenovo Yoga Book to my small gadget collection before Christmas rolls around.

Tyrion Lannister

currently watching / words
Tyrion Lannister.

From the second he appeared on screen for the first time, Game of Throne’s Tyrion Lannister, excellently portrayed by Peter Dinklage, has been very close to my cynical heart. His observations are always spot-on and his world view is often bitterly negative. Despite that, he’s one of the most perceptive and downright human characters in a series overflowing with everything else that often makes humanity deplorable. From a boatload of worthy quotes, quips and hilarious repartees, here are a few tidbits, chosen at random …

Tyrion Lannister: Keep up!
Podrick Payne: I don’t think I can, my lord.
Tyrion Lannister: It’s not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy.

***

Tyrion Lannister: The powerful have always preyed on the powerless, that’s how they became powerful in the first place.

***

Lord Varys: You have a choice, my friend. You can stay here at Illyrio’s palace and drink yourself to death or you can ride with me to Meereen, meet Daenerys Targaryen and decide if the world is worth fighting for
Tyrion Lannister: Can I drink myself to death on the road to Meereen?

***

Tyrion Lannister: When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.

***

[sips a cup of wine before starting to vomit]
Tyrion Lannister: The future is shit. Just like the past.

***

Tyrion Lannister: Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what’s on the other side?

***

Tywin Lannister: You seem rather drunk.
Tyrion Lannister: Rather less than I planned to be. Isn’t it a man’s duty to be drunk at his own wedding?
Tywin Lannister: This isn’t about your wedding. Renly Baratheon had a wedding. Your wife needs a child, a Lannister child, as soon as possible.
Tyrion Lannister: And?
Tywin Lannister: If you’re going to give her one, you need to perform.
Tyrion Lannister: What did you once call me? “A drunken little lust-filled beast.”
Tywin Lannister: More than once.
Tyrion Lannister: [slurs his words] There you have it. Nothing to worry about. Drinking and lust. No man can match me in these things. I am the god of tits and wine… I shall build a shrine to myself at the next brothel I visit.

***

Tyrion Lannister: It’s hard to put a leash on a dog once you’ve put a crown on its head.

***

Tyrion Lannister: Dragons do not do well in captivity.
Missandei: How do you know this?
Tyrion Lannister: That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.

***

Sansa Stark: So, how should we punish them?
Tyrion Lannister: Who? Whom?
Sansa Stark: Ser Eldrick Sarsfield and Lord Desmond Crakehall.
Tyrion Lannister: Ah. I could speak to Lord Varys and learn their perversions. Anyone named Desmond Crakehall must be a pervert.
Sansa Stark: I hear that you’re a pervert.
Tyrion Lannister: I am the Imp; I have certain standards to maintain.

***

Lord Varys: You have your father’s instincts for politics and you have compassion.
Tyrion Lannister: Compassion. Yes. I killed my lover with my bare hands and I shot my own father with a crossbow.
Lord Varys: I never said you were perfect.

***

Joffrey Baratheon: Hound, tell the Hand that his King has asked him a question.
Sandor Clegane: The King has asked you a question.
Tyrion Lannister: Sir Lancel, tell the Hound to tell the King that the Hand is extremely busy.
Lancel Lannister: The Hand of the King would like me to tell you to tell the King that…
Joffrey Baratheon: If I tell the Hound to cut you in half, he’ll do it without a second thought.
Tyrion Lannister: That would make me the quarter-man. Just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

***

Cersei Lannister: [referring to Tyrion’s new quarters] A bit of a comedown from chamber of the Hand. But then I don’t suppose you need much room.
Tyrion Lannister: Grand Maester Pycelle made the same joke. You must be proud to be as funny as a man whose balls brush his knees.

***

Tyrion Lannister: I remember reading an old sailor’s proverb. Piss on wildfire and your cock burns off.
Hallyne: Oh, I have not conducted this experiment. It could well be true.

***

Tyrion Lannister: [talking to the two dragons] I’m friends with your mother. I’m here to help. Don’t eat the help.

***

Tyrion Lannister: Oh get on with it, you son of a whore!
Jaime Lannister: Is that any way to speak about our mother?

***

Lord Varys: Where are you going?
Tyrion Lannister: I need to speak to someone with hair.

***

Missandei: We do not drink.
Tyrion Lannister: Until you do.

***

[upon seeing the Eyrie for the first time]
Tyrion Lannister: The Eyrie. They say it’s impregnable.
Bronn: Give me ten good men and some climbing spikes. I’ll impregnate the bitch.
Tyrion Lannister: I like you.

***

Tyrion Lannister: What’s the punishment for regicide? Drawing and quartering? Hanging? Breaking at the wheel?
Jaime Lannister: Beheading.
Tyrion Lannister: Seems rather ordinary. And he was my nephew as well, so what is that? Fratricide is brothers. Filicide is sons. Nepoticide. That’s the one. Matricide, patricide, infanticide, suicide. There’s no kind of killing that doesn’t have its own word.
Jaime Lannister: [referring to Alton Lannister] Cousins.
Tyrion Lannister: Cousins, you’re right. There is no word for cousin killing. Well done.

***

Tyrion Lannister: In my experience, eloquent men are right. Every bit as often as imbeciles.

***

Tywin Lannister: I always thought you were a stunted fool. Perhaps I was wrong.
Tyrion Lannister: Half wrong.

***

Tyrion Lannister: Wait. WAIT! Wait, wait! Wait, you can’t just hand a dried cock to a merchant and expect him to pay for it! He has to know it came from a dwarf! And how could he know unless he sees the dwarf?
Slaver: It will be a dwarf-sized cock.
Tyrion Lannister: Guess again!

***

Tyrion Lannister: Laughing at another person’s misery was the only thing that made me feel like everyone else.

***

Tyrion Lannister: Every time we deal with an enemy, we create two more.

***

Tyrion Lannister: It’s easy to confuse ‘what is’ with ‘what ought to be’, especially when ‘what is’ has worked out …

[to be continued]

Winter Is Coming …

currently watching / life / out and about / thoughts / websites
Game of Thrones (emblems).

In Germany, one currently only seems to have two choices, either sub-tropical temperatures for weeks on end or grey skies and endless rain. We used to have normal days in between (ages ago), but they have all disappeared in what does seem a lot like the great slush pile of global warming taking its toll.

Having just returned from Lanzarote with its desert winds and blistering heat, I was roasted on a spit inside of my rooftop apartment by temperatures driven to an unbearable maximum by the sun mercilessly beating down on an otherwise well-isolated roof for about 10 hours straight, day in and bloody day out. Then, suddenly, the skies turned into a depressing grey and the rain started to drizzle down. Altogether, I spent nearly four (otherwise very busy) weeks holed up in complete darkness with the shades pulled down, concentrating on other things far away from my website(s). You know, those things you can do for which it doesn’t matter if you sweat all over whatever it is you happen do be doing.

It is typical though, in the first period of time for nearly two years in which I did not update this site regularly, that elmastudio.de (if you don’t know them, they are the [one] lady and [one] guy who make the best WordPress themes around) featured me along with many other websites in their revamped theme showcase.

So, instead of posting stuff here, I spent the little spare time I had on my first real binge-watching session, ever. I’m not the type to really get caught up in TV series no matter how good they are, but Game of Thrones did it for me, although I never thought it would … or could. All these fantasy novels weighing down countless shelves in a myriad of dusty book stores around the globe usually give me the creeps and, sorry George, I haven’t  read a single paragraph of any of the novels the TV series is based on (although I read much of George R.R. Martin’s excellent other fiction and short fiction years ago), but Game of Thrones is just fabulously scripted … and acted.

Peter Dinklage, a.k.a. Tyrion Lannister, is the one who got me hooked and I would never have guessed that he is about as un-British as they come.
From New Jersey?
Really?
Figures.

In other news, and that is the one thing that has kept me away for all too long from my website(s), my reliable host of more than a decade has decided to abandon the solid ground of German legal security after it was sold, uprooting its servers and moving them across the border to France. That move has cost “DomainFactory” countless customers whose published content is bound to staying within the borders German law provides, and I might nearly have been one of them. After much contemplation, I decided to hang around.

But.

To cut rising expenses, I have once again decided to merge deus62.de with deus62.com (plus some other small websites) in order to condense all online efforts into one online presence. Easier said than done. Script limits and other technical difficulties have prevented me from doing so easily and, in the above-mentioned heat, I simply didn’t feel at all like tinkering with this stuff that is much harder to actually do than it should be.

But now that winter is coming, I should have enough time to invest a weekend or two to throw it all into the giant “Kitchenaid” that is my trusted host server, hopefully coming out with a blend that hasn’t lost too much while being ground into submission. A cautious estimate has me working for about 50 to 60 hours to merge, move and polish whatever goes in, and those 60 hours I won’t have for another two weeks or so.

So bear with me. If the “White Walkers” don’t succeed in overrunning what is the southern hemisphere of human civilization, October/November will be the time in which deus62 will do another Phoenix, rising from the ashes of what was destroyed in the process, only to resurface in a much better and more -> benevolent <- world. 😀

P.S.: Here’s a special shout out to D.S.K., who thought I had abandoned the world and excluded everyone from it. That’s not the case, at all. I’ll get back to you, old pal.

Deceleration

life / out and about
Pool.

This year’s trip to the Canary Islands was perhaps one of the most relaxing I have ever enjoyed.

Flawless weather (including hot Sahara winds for two full days and nights) with endless hours of sunshine, late-night walks along moonlit beaches, hours spent at Cafe La Ola /slash/ Dreams (with liters of Cacique), absolutely brilliant food at two of my favorite harbor restaurants, La Taberna in Puerto Calero and Taberna de Nino in Puerto del Carmen, long walks to all of my favorite (tourist-free) spots, tons of reading and … little else.

Service and everything else at my hotel of choice (for the fourth time these past years, a true first in my many years of traveling) was flawless.

This time, the soundtrack was provided almost exclusively by one of my favorite ambient albums, “World of Sleepers” by Carbon Based Lifeforms (2015).

Pure bliss.

P.S.: Photo -> Hotel pool (Hotel Las Costas, Lanzarote).

Herbert von Karajan

life / listening to / thoughts
Herbert von Karajan

For years, I’ve had discussion with music fans about the importance of Herbert von Karajan, a conductor I disliked with a serious passion. In 2008, Norman Lebrecht summed up my feelings and thoughts better than I could ever have attempted in a rather polemic summary of Karajan’s life and accomplishments. Excerpts below:

“[…] The centenary of his birth this weekend is being marked by an outpouring of product from a music industry that he raised to prosperity and propelled to near-ruin. If the mainstream of classical recording has shrivelled to a trickle in the past five years, that is the inevitable aftermath of the Karajan glut. If classical music itself is widely (if unfairly) considered to be elitist, staid and retrospective, we have Herbert von Karajan to thank for making it a safe, corporate entertainment at prohibitively priced festivals. […]

He manipulated the record industry by divide and rule, always working with two major labels while courting a third. […]

Almost everything Karajan conducted came out super-smooth, like cotton undershirts from a washing conditioner. […] If he had any kind of genius, it was for organisation and opportunity.

[…] Karajan learned from Goebbels how to play one man against another, among other black political arts. He strutted his stuff in occupied Paris and Amsterdam, to all effects the Nazi poster boy. […] After Furtwängler’s death in 1954 he became conductor for life in Berlin, using the Reich’s broken capital as his bridgehead for imperial expansion. His home town festival in Salzburg was converted into a black-tie thrice-yearly assembly of industrial plutocrats, masters of the universe. […]

Reactionary by nature, he stuck to the classical and romantic mainstream, excluding non-tonal music and ulterior styles of performance. Christoph von Dohnanyi went so far as to accuse him of destroying the German conducting tradition by imposing his narrow tastes so monumentally on the art. […]

His hegemony was autocratic, brooking no contradiction. […] He knew no loyalty except to himself. His love of music was confined to the way he made it. […]

Some, like myself, found his attitude anti-musical. I have trouble listening to Karajan on the radio with any kind of equanimity. […] For music lovers, there is not much to celebrate. Once the centenary is over, we will drop the curtain once and for all on a discreditable life that yielded no fresh thought and upheld no worthwhile human value. Karajan is dead. Music is much better off without him.”

[Link: Norman Lebrecht: The clapped-out legacy of Karajan that impoverished classical music. Independent Online, April 6, 2008]]

WinCatalog

new / new apps
WinCatalog (2016).

As storage media grow in size, so does the number of files stored on them and, if you back up your precious data regularly, as you should, it won’t take long until you have a large array of, for example, external drives stashed away in various places, often labelled cryptically or not at all.

Backing up my files and mirroring them across several drives has become a habit that has saved my life several times already, but at some point, the sheer number of files stored away from my PC became overwhelming, especially when the data backed up from an internal disk had to be spanned across several external drives, several times. The core library of music ripped from my collection, for example, resides on a 3.8 terabyte partition on my PC and is backed up across several 500GB, 1TB, 1,5TB, 2TB, 3TB and 5TB drives regularly, some of which should be reaching their end-of-life cycle pretty soon.

It has always boggled my mind that Windows or other systems don’t offer a built-in backup management solution (with mirroring) that is safe, user-friendly and can quickly and easily help you find and retrieve any files quickly and securely without packing them into (often compressed) backup images, so for years I have been running my own solutions that were usually more – but often less – successful. No matter how anally retentive I was about keeping notes, at some point a quick last-minute backup to be on the safe side remained unlabeled and uncatalogued and screwed things up when trying to find the latest version.

In steps WinCatalog (2016), a program I ended up with rather quickly after extensively sampling the various other free and commercial disk cataloging programs available. Essentially, WinCatalog reads and catalogs any internal or external media you throw at it and stores a catalog of whatever it finds on those media in its own database. As any good database application should, it then helps you to view, organize (for example in virtual collections) and label the information it stored and, if used properly, helps you to find any file you are looking for very quickly via various search algorithms that help you to narrow down what you are looking for on the many external media you have. If those are then labelled properly, it is a piece of cake to restore – for example – a single song you accidentally deleted or pictures taken on a certain day that somehow disappeared from your internal drive.

WinCatalog – around, regularly updated and supported since 2001 – has quickly become a core component of my very own backup strategy that also consists of other software* that I use to securely store several identical uncompressed backups of all of my files externally and I have no idea how I have managed to exist without it for so long.

Highly (!) recommended.

Thank you, Michael Rusakov.

***

*I’ll cover the other programs that have become essential in future posts on this site.

Bobo Moreno & Noisy Neighbours

life / listening to
Bobo Moreno & The Noisy Neighbours (Stunt, 1998).

I have no idea, but I would assume that I have anywhere between 5000 and 15.000 CDs.
Could be more.
No idea.

Bobo Moreno & Noisy Neighbours’ (only) album from 1998 has been in my top 50 ever since it was released. Every so often it moves to a top-10 position on my rig – like right now –  and it is one of the very few CDs I have listened to so often that the copy that I ripped to my PC is probably a lot more reliable than the original CD I bought when it came out. That one probably has more scratches, Gin & Rum splotches and fingerprints than any of the other regularly-played CDs I have.

Bobo Moreno has been so much all over the musical map that it has been a frustrating experience for all of his fans, but on this CD, he just rips it up. It’s a CD that hails from Denmark, a country that hasn’t exactly been on the international musical map (despite its excellent musicians and bands) besides your average pop dross and an occasional rocker or two, but this CD just rocks, although, I suspect, not all too many copies were sold at a time when other music and styles were prominent.

Besides Moreno ripping the hell out of a whole bunch of (mostly) cover tunes, this CD has exactly the drum sound that I could and would kill for (a really fat and dry bass drum + a punchy snare, to boot), embedded in a cohesive band sound (the guitar and organ are fabulous) that just gets my juices flowing. Jesper Mechlenburg (drums, beat and percussion) is responsible for it and I don’t care how he achieved the sound … my Marantz system and the Dynaudio speakers pump this stuff across the landscape as if there was no tomorrow.

It’s one of my favorites and, if you at all care, have a look around for online samples, which there are plenty of.

Highlights? Too many to mention, as there isn’t a single second on this CD I don’t like, but check out their version of Disco Inferno (yep), Shame, Shame, Shame, the opening track, A Place to Turn, Stuck in the Middle … and so on, and so forth. This is party music that you can/must run on repeat. It grooves like hell.

***

Bobo Moreno & The Noisy Neighbours. Bobo Moreno & The Noisy Neighbours. Sundance [SU 9035-2], 1998.

Tracks:
01.
A Place To Turn (P. Lavon, J. Rugsted & S. Kreutzfeldt) – 4:03
02. Hot Stuff (H. Faltermeyer, K. Forsey, P. Bellotte) – 3:20
03. Disco Inferno (L. Green, R. Kersey) – 3:34
04. For What It’s Worth (S. Stills) – 3:28
05. Back To Where It Started From (J. Rugsted) – 4:37
06. Shame, Shame, Shame (S. Robinson) – 3:20
07. Stuck In The Middle (G. Rafferty, J. Egan) – 3:32
08. I Believe When I Fall In Love With You [It Will Be Forever] (S. Wonder) – 3:38
09. Hard To Handle (Jones, Isbell, Redding) – 2:11
10. See Things My Way (B, Moreno, P. Halberg) – 3:40
11. Love The One You’re With (S. Stills) – 3:07
12. Crazy (W. Nelson) – 3:19

Personnel:
Lead Vocals
– Bobo Moreno
Guitar – Janus Nyeborg
Lap Steel Guitar – Gustaf Ljunggren
Bass – Nikolaj Davidsen
Drums – Jesper Mechlenburg
Backing Vocals – Bobo Moreno, Susanne Marcussen, Trille Palsgård

Engineer – Thomas Brekling
Executive-Producer – Peter Littauer
Mastered By – Jørgen Knub
Mixed By – Thomas Brekling
Organ [Hammond] – Dan Hemmer
Organ [Wurlitzer] – Dan Hemmer
Percussion – Bobo Moreno, Jesper Mechlenburg
Producer – Thomas Brekling
Synthesizer [Moog] – Dan Hemmer

***

P.S.: I saw Bobo Moreno live in many, many different constellations (rock, funk, jazz, pop, fusion ….) and he always delivered.