French Facts #3

There are no Starbucks in Montpellier.




French Fact #2 - Schooldays

French schoolchildren go to school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, plus Saturday morning.

So they're off on Wednesday. I have no idea how this tradition came to pass, but there has been resistance to the idea of them attending "normal" schooldays of Monday through Friday.

French Fact #1 - Kindergarten

French children attend kindergarten from age 3 to 6.

A return to blogging after a 5 year hiatus

Too much has happened since I last posted in 2010, so let's just take the time machine forward and we now find me ... LIVING IN FRANCE!!

Yes, I met someone and rather than keep living the same day in my life over and over, I jumped into the abyss.

So currently I am working in Luxembourg (at least until the end of February 2015) and living in Montpellier France.

Android 2.1 on the G1 – My Day in the Upgrade Barrel

Android 2.1 makes your G1 phone faster than it has ever been even since the first day you owned it! Simply put the speed is amazing! Rooting your G1 and upgrading it only takes 15 to 20 minutes.

Researching every step so that you end up with a working phone instead of a brick, priceless! Uh, I mean well that takes at least a day or two, because there are multiple steps documented on multiple sites and the authors don’t keep in sync with each other.

For example at one point in the process I had to do a backup and one site gave the correct command to do so EXCEPT that the author had updated the program and it now required a “#” in front of the command line to execute.

Simply put, that was one of those “Oh shit!” moments in the process.

In addition, the authors of these upgrade sites make a lot of assumptions that you know and understand their terminology.

UNDOCUMENTED SECRET that truly makes it all worthwhile: Before you begin this entire process, buy yourself a Class 6 Micro SD card. Why? Because Android 2.1 has an app called “App2SD” which (duh!) moves your apps out of the very limited system RAM to the SD card where they are stored and executed.

You want Class 6 because that’s high speed, so don’t buy a Class 4 or any other lower speeds. I bought an 8GB card for $20. 4GB cards sell for $12-$15 so why not double the capacity for a few more dollars? If you are truly feeling flush, you can purchase a 16GB card for around $60. As most Android apps are less than 1MB in size, even a 4GB would take a long time to fill. However you can also store music, photos and video on the SD card so that will add to using up space.

Go here: to see a photo of where the SD card slot is located. The good news is that you don’t have to disassemble your G1 to replace the SD card. It’s about as simple as possible.

TERMINOLOGY LESSON #1: The G1 is referred to by its model name, DREAM.

OK, this isn’t a “pure” version of Android 2.1, it’s the CyanogenMod. If you want to wait on T-Mobile to provide an upgrade to 2.1, fine, but I have to say it appears to be a highly improbable scenario unless they sell the upgrade program on a CD. It would take an insane amount of bandwidth to do it over their network and frankly having gone through the process, I am pretty cynical about it ever happening for the G1.

Here is the site for the step by step instructions to root your G1 and then upgrade it. This site will take you off to other sites to get all the bits and pieces done.

STOP! This install guide is generally fine BUT it skips the entire important parts of correctly formatting and partitioning your new Class 6 Micro SD card! Go here first:

Once you understand the IMPORTANCE of having an “ext” partition on your SD card, THEN you can go to this site for the step by step instructions:

On this site, down under “Custom Recovery Image”, step 4; THAT line HAS to begin with a “#”! That was my “Oh Shit!” moment during installation.

TERMINOLOGY LESSON #2: Booting into “Recovery mode” means restarting your powered off phone by holding down the power button AND the HOME button.

TERMINOLOGY LESSON #3: Booting into “Fastboot mode” means restarting your powered off phone by holding down the power button AND the CAMERA button.

Part of the process will involve the installation of DangerSPL which you can find here:

Carefully read the notes on installing the proper radio.

Following the steps on the above DangerSPL page will get you through the process.


"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

We have a fridge magnet with this printed on it, and I always find it to be inspiring.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Wow! Finally caught the film version of this excellent book last night and it was great! Totally faithful to the book! I can only hope the other 2 books in the series are made into films of this caliber as well.

By the way, the actual title of this book in the original Swedish is: Men Who Hate Women.

More Federal Government Idiocy

A provision in the health care reform bill (H.R. 3590, Sect. 9006) requires any business that purchases more than $600 of goods or services from another business to provide that business and the IRS with a 1099 tax form. Goods and services purchased by a small business – ranging from internet and phone services, shipping services, travel, lodging, and food expenses – will now give rise to a new paperwork burden at tax time.

Obviously, this provision in the health care bill has nothing to do with health care.  The provision was added in order to claim another revenue source to fund the health care bill.  Regardless of what one’s view is with respect to the health care bill, it is my hope that we will all be able to agree that enlisting businesses as an enforcement arm of the IRS to snitch on companies with which they do business is the wrong way to proceed.

Question The Rules - Yet another "send us your money" ploy

The above link takes you to yet another $97 "Get Rich" course from the usual boring blogger crowd that offers the same tired advice over and over in new packages. Tossing the "magic advice" of other A or B or in this case even C list bloggers is yet another old tactic. I especially am irked by the Internet marketing belief that if the price ends in a 7, people will subconsciously associate that with luck. Well luck is what you will need if you keep tossing cash into these courses.

Even more annoying is how all of these bloggers refer to each other as "friends", which is a whole new meaning for "if I plug your bullshit, make sure you plug my bullshit".

I still admire and agree with the wag who refers to these Internet books and courses on "changing your life and becoming rich" as "a vast Ponzi scheme".

7 Truths

This is a truly amazing posting that I highly recommend about the things you avoid in life and how to break out of your existing patterns.