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by lunarg on August 18th 2010, at 16:40

A summary of this year's soaring camp, well, sort of...

by lunarg on June 2nd 2010, at 17:58
Officially hooked by Facebook. Well, not really...

It wasn't exactly peer pressure (like everyone is assuming), but was getting a bit tired of the endless conversations about things happening on Facebook. I was starting to get a feeling I was missing out on things. Moreover, because of the creation of various Facebook groups (mainly Zweefvliegclub Albatros), I created a Facebook profile to join these groups as well. And last, but not least, it's amazing how many people you once knew can be found on Facebook. My profile exists for only a week, but already I received a bunch of friend requests of people I haven't seen or heard from in a long time.

On the other hand, I'm   ...
by lunarg on May 27th 2010, at 19:57
Yesterday, I did my exam for a radio-license. This license officially gives me permission to use a radio in aviation. The exam took place in Brussels at the office of B.I.P.T., civil aviation branch.

The exam itself was pretty simple compared to what we have been practising during the course; it was much more complicated then, but that's a good thing (of course).
Aside of the obligated part about theory (regulations etc.), there was a short pratical exam in which a "virtual flight" has to be made, during which you have to follow the right radio procedures and aviation regulations.

Now, all that's left is to send the necessary forms and the license will be officially a  ...
by lunarg on April 26th 2010, at 22:32

Over the last year I managed to gather my required 50 hours of solo flight time, and yesterday was a good time as any to take my exam for a passenger's license.

The exam itself was basically a revision of most elementary flight manoeuvers (stale turn, high turn, stalling, etc.), accompagnied with an additional back tow (i.e. when the cable does not release).

While I succeeded in my exam, it goes to show that even those things really have to be maintained; I was a bit rusty in performing some manoeuvers. Guess I'll be practising them a bit more.

by lunarg on February 24th 2010, at 19:26

Finally got the final parts of my computer: the HD's.

Currently, I was using an old HD (a Maxtor 500GB) from my previous system. The idea with the new disks is to set up two Raptors in a RAID0 configuration. As Raptors are already fairly fast, the additional RAID0 - I've been using this method a few years already - should give it an extra edge.
I'm keeping the old HD in to have additional 500 GB of pure storage (like downloads and such, things that don't need the speed).

by lunarg on January 9th 2010, at 19:13

Having a bit of a problem with our toilet at home lately: the flushing mechanism gave out. Apparently, the thing was a bit exotic, as we had to wait for about 6 weeks for a replacement part. Luckily, my father is not all uninventive...

So we actually have to pull the toothbrush in order to flush the toilet. It's actually funny every time we have guests over, and are explaining the quick-start usage guide on our toilet. Their faces are just priceless!

by lunarg on January 8th 2010, at 11:49

Still no luck with my new computer. With the holidays (or so I'd like to believe), I still haven't received the memory, videocard, and disks. Guess I'll have to be training my patience some more.
But it's not all hopeless: the BD/DVD-combo drive did arrive last week, so at least I'll be able to build in that. Joy!

by lunarg on January 3rd 2010, at 20:35
Happy New Year to all!

2010 promises to be a year full of promises. Although the financial crisis rages on, this year should be a year of opportunities, and plain neat things.
Like a lot of people, I have a few objectives set out for the next year, in various categories.

One of the more important aspects in my life at the moment is of course my hobby: soaring at soaring club Albatros (EBZH, Hasselt Belgium).
This year's objectives are:

Obtaining a radio license (required to officially operate a radio). I'm currently following a course at the soaring club; one of the instructors works at the traffic control for the Belgian Army on the Pampa Shooting Range (a shooting range   ...
by lunarg on December 26th 2009, at 11:37

Beware when you go shopping with your credit card or bank card.
Apparently there are some new and very clever ways to copy your cards, and steal your PIN.

It shows how Eastern-European gangs use the latest technologies to copy cards, and steal PIN codes, without the victim's knowledge.
It's actually a bit scary to see how far they have developed.

by lunarg on December 24th 2009, at 21:38

A quick update on the build of the computer. So far, not all components have arrived yet, but the ones that were present already allowed me to start building the system.

 

The case, motherboard, CPU, PSU have arrived and are built in. See the attached screens for a shot on these, and take a look at the attachment list to see descriptions with each pictures.

A few important things are still missing: RAM, video card and disks. Oh yeah, and the BD-drive.

by lunarg on December 15th 2009, at 21:08
Going forward with plans for a new gaming computer, I've ordered the components. I didn't really have a specific budget in mind, other than the fact that I'm going for quality and performance, rather than selecting components based on their price.

Case: the case is an Antec Twelve Hundred gaming case. I always wanted to select a gaming case for the next one, but a nine hundred would have been just fine. The only reason why it's a twelve hundred is because of a wrong delivery a few months back, where the Antec PSU being delivered was an EC one (thus only fits in a select few cases of Antec).
The PSU is an Antec EC-850W, which is enough for now.

Motherboard: will be an Asus Rampage II Extrem  ...
by lunarg on December 14th 2009, at 23:26

Crap! Looks like my 8800GTX video card is broken. That's a serious bummer.

The card does some very serious funny things: as soon as going in-game, the card doesn't really freeze up, but has some sort of memory corruption problem, which remains throughout reboots.

Very coincidentally, I just ordered new hardware for my new gaming computer. The only thing not being replaced was the video card, because I thought it would be better to just wait a while until the next generation of cards from nVidia were available.
Apparently, Fate has decided otherwise.

by lunarg on July 12th 2009, at 20:05

So I finally got my 15 hours of solo flight time in, and worked up the nerve to take the final check for obtaining my license. And guess what...

I succeeded in obtaining my license. Yes yes, it's still a license for solo flight (still 35h fly time to go), but it's a start.
Now I can start for competition training, etc. The worlds open up, again.

by lunarg on July 4th 2009, at 19:48

After 9 months, my nephew is finally born. His parents have named him Mathies.
And yes, he's just as cute as you would imagine.

by lunarg on April 29th 2009, at 19:48
Acquired a new appliance from Mini-ITX, which is to replace my current WRT54GL (flashed with OpenWRT White Russian).

Specs of the thing are:

Durable industry-standards housing, including a mount bracket for 2.5" disks

2x 1000 Ethernet, 4x 10/100 Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, VGA, PS/2

VIA chipset with a VIA Eden 1ghz CPU, 1x DDR2 slot, 1x CF slot

1x IDE 2.5" port, 1x SATA port

I've equipped it with 512 MB RAM (standard was 256 MB), and a 4 GB CF card, and installed Debian Lenny i686 on it.



Because of the fact it's CF, I've tweaked the initramfs image of Debian so it uses overlaying for /var and /etc (using aufs) in RAMDISK, and mounting / as read-only. This allows me to save the f  ...
by lunarg on April 13th 2009, at 20:43

Up until now, I was flying my solos with a Twin Astir II. It's a 2 seat glider which we use at our club for training (among other things).
The instructors thought it was time I moved on to something else: a Club Astir (also known as the Jeans).

The Jeans is a one seater, sort of the 1-seat equivalent of the Twin Astir I (yes, there's a difference between Twin I and II). It's a small and swift craft; not very recent, and it's a bit fickleish at times. In short: I love it!

 

I'll be flying this for a while, at least until I've enough hours on the thing to move up to the next glider.

by lunarg on August 31st 2008, at 18:39
After a full year of education, I finally got the clearance (well, actually, my instructors basically forced me to do it) to go solo.

 

The experience of flying all alone is a bit weird at first. Knowing that you don't really have anyone to back you up, gives one a funny feeling. On the other hand, after the funny feelings are gone, there's the feeling of ultimate freedom, flying around in the sky with only you.
The very first flight didn't take long (some 15 minutes or so), but for myself, they were the longest 15 minutes ever (and I mean that in a good way).



A tradition among soaring pilots is the not-so-all-famous initiation ceremonial ritual thingy. All trai  ...
by lunarg on September 3rd 2007, at 22:48

Enlisted myself for a evening course of French. Since the latter is horrible, it is a very good idea, no?

Anyway, for those that are interested, can check out the website of the organizing party:

http://www.tio-cvo.be/

The website is in Dutch, but they also teach that, so it should not be a problem at all.

by lunarg on September 3rd 2007, at 22:37
Finally, it's ready: my very new, special-ordered media pc. I mainly bought it to replace my (rather noisy) old pc with it, and to have a real looking PVR thingy.
Want to see pictures? Of course you do...

Half-front-side view, along with the big, silent fans.



The rear of the case, displaying HDMI, Audigy and TV tuner, among other things.



The internals of the case, displaying the various system components, like in any other system, really.



The line up: from bottoms up, the media pc, the radio tuner and amp, the cd player, and my MP3 player's at the top.



The system will be running Gentoo Linux, with MythTV, of course. Aside of the media thingy, it will host various files and stuff  ...
by lunarg on August 15th 2007, at 18:13

Time for a new experience, and a new hobby in my life.
Thanks to Bart (aka: my boss), who took me and a collegue of mine for a figurative spin around the block: in the form of gliding...

Next thing I know, I was signing myself up at Albatros Zweefvliegclub (note: website in dutch) at Hasselt (Kiewit), and already have had two lessons.

Those that care may keep their fingers crossed each time I'm in the air (usually on saturdays), and pray that I don't drill the glider down into the ground... ;-)

 
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