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A dream come true

2013-03-10 21:00:00

my new iMac G4

A few days ago I was discussing various models of Apple computers with one of the other consultants at the office. It didn't take me long to wax lyrically about the iMac G4, which in my opinion is the most beautiful PC ever produced by Apple. It combined good specs with a revolutionary design: the sunflower / lampshade design was really new. In my opinion the flexing arm for the screen really is one of the best inventions ever and I'm sad that the only way to get one with normal monitors, is to buy an expensive extra mount. 

Anyway, my colleague Peter overheard us talking and wondered whether I'd be interested in owning an iMac G4. DO I?! Haha, of course! It's been a dream of mine for a damn long time. The above paragraph should have made it clear that I love the design of the machine and that I consider it a timeless classic. Which is why he offhandedly remarked that his girlfriend has one at home, one they've considered sending to the scrapheap for a while now. Holy carp! ( O_o)

So here I am! Giddy and gleeful! Because what I now own, with many thanks to Peter and Ellen, is an iMac G4/1.25 17-Inch "FP" (USB 2.0). Or to put it in human words: the latest model of the iMac G4 series, with the improved TFT screen as well as USB2/FW400. It's from the same era when I bought my first Macintosh, the venerable Powermac G5 (aka, the first "cheese grater"). And it's in pristine condition, because they hardly ever used it. It's beautiful! It's complete (no parts missing) and it's now mine :9

The setup above is just about exactly how you'd expect to see it in 2003, with the exception of the speakers. The Apple Pro speakers look great, but they really don't sound too great. So I've replaced those with the LaCie Firewire Speakers that I bought years ago. These really sound awesome and come with a minimum of cable fuss as they are also bus-powered.

The iMac came with OS 10.4.11 installed, which is pretty old already. Unfortunately I don't have my 10.5 DVD anymore (returned to Snow when i left their company), so I'm borrowing a friend's install disk. When it's upgraded to 10.5 I'm sure it'll make a heck of a nice machine. Heck, even at 10.4 it's already very nice and completely usable. I'm actually surprised at the performance! The 1.25GHz G4 and the 768MB RAM work very nicely.


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A visit by Furuya-sensei

2013-03-06 10:29:00

It has been a month of remarkable kendo! First there was the big party, then last week was a tiny group of people and yesterday Furuya-sensei paid us a visit. Stopping over for a single day on his way to the Furuya Cup in Peru, he made sure to come observe the dojo he helped raise in the Netherlands. We were also joined by Mark Herbold-sensei, who recently achieved 7-dan.

With roughly thirtyfive kendoka attending the training session we used the motodachi system, with anyone 3-dan and higher acting as motodachi. We worked on solidifying our basics: kirikaeshi, men, kote-men and kote-do. We closed with half an hour of jigeiko.

The following points were stressed during class:

Because our founder's sensei was present, a lot of attention was paid to mistakes in etiquette. For example:

Furuya-sensei indicated that he was happy to be back in the Netherlands and to train with us. He hopes that we will continue training hard, working on improving our kendo. He also hopes that next year we can organize another Furuya Cup in the Netherlands, as it is an important tourney in Europe.

In jigeiko I practiced with four people:

  1. I started with Bert Heeren-sensei. He took me through a mix of uchikomi keiko and kakari geiko, where he either showed an opening, let me make one or where he attacked me. He indicated that he was pleased with how I was doing, with regards to the effort I'm showing. He didn't comment on my kendo, as his goal with our jigeiko is mostly to make me fearless. I should not fear my opponent, nor should I hesitate, regardless whether I'm up against a kouhai, a sempai or a 6-dan teacher.
  2. After being absent for a few months, I'm glad I got to spar with Mischa. I mostly tried to practice chisai men and debana kote, but threw in some other stuff as well. I'm nowhere near his level yet (obviously, as he's 3-dan I believe), but I hope that we both took something away from the practice.
  3. I also ran it hard against Jeroen and Davin, with whom I am roughly on par. These two rounds of practice were excellent to go all out and thrown in the last shreds of energy I had.

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