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Bruno, long time ago

Sat, 13 Mar 2004 Welcome to Paris, Li

Li was walking near La Madeleine this wednesday, when a guy on a motorbike robbed her bag. She was so surprised that she did not react at all: She just did not believe this could happen (this is a big change compared to Tokyo famous security!).
She managed to cancel quickly her credit card, and to file a complaint at the police station. As she did not have my phone number, she had to wait for me outside half of the day :-(

The next day she told the story to her french school (a Japanese one), and the other two students answered that they had exactly the same problem! The robbers are apparently looking for Asian women in touristic areas of Paris (Opera, la Madeleine, etc...), as they generally have a lot of cash.

We did not loose a lot this time, and fortunately no important papers. We will just need to change our door lock, which is not cheap at all (from 400 to 800 Euros, depending on the companies).

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Sat, 13 Mar 2004 Internet up again

My internet is up again, after one month and a half of outage (!!). Free support service is simply crazy: Not only they did nothing for one month (despite my weekly calls), but they also tell you a different explanation every time you call them.
And try to guess what? Today this high-tech company is asking me to send them a regular mail to get some money back! Just incredible.

[/diary] | permanent link | Google this

Tue, 27 Jan 2004 Elevage en panne - part II

I am lucky: Somebody called me on friday, asking for Monsieur Grant.

It appears that my mobile number was previously that guy's. I got Monsieur Grant number, and called him. I got his father after a few tries, and explained him the situation. His answer was quite funny (imagine a strong contryside speaking):

"Ah oui... Quand il y a un problème, je me fais appeler chez moi, mais si je ne réponds pas, c'est renvoyé vers le portable. Je vais essayer de supprimer ça, mais c'est très compliqué, alors je ne sais pas si je pourrai le faire rapidement. Peut-être fin de semaine prochaine?"

"Hum... I see... When there is a problem, there is a phone call to my home, but if I don't answer, the call is forwarded to the mobile phone. I will try to change this, but it is very complicated, it will take time. Maybe end of next week?"

Apparently he still did not do it, as I was called this week-end during the night ;-)

Come on, Monsieur Grant! Read the f... phone documentation, or call France Telecom, or ask a friend to help you, but do it!

[/diary] | permanent link | Google this

Mon, 19 Jan 2004 Internet up, blaster, etc...

Eventually internet is up today: The problem was linked to the freebox ethernet port (it does not work at all).

Following free support advice (and after five phone calls costing me at least 50 €!), I decided to try the USB port - on an XP machine, as they don't have other drivers :-(

I first spent more than half an hour to reactivate the only dual-boot machine I have, and to remember my password ;-)
Then I installed the driver, and tried to connect: It worked! Hummm... Only two minutes in fact: I got quickly a message telling me that Windows was rebooting, what I did with no choice at all! The same message (and result) came again soon. I understood later that I was infected by the Blaster Worm. That one took only a few minutes to infect this Exccceeelllent operating system (I really like the word operating when this is Microsoft related).

It was a chance in fact: I just tried to reboot Linux, with the same USB connection. Surprise: No problem, no driver needed (the CDCEther module loaded without help and managed the connection), and of course no more virus/worm!

I am just waiting for a new freebox, so I can use the ethernet port, and my wireless airport station (Currently, the laptop linux box acts as firewall/NAT box, and the airport, which links my dual-processor as well as my wife's iBook is just a bridge).

By the way, it is a good occasion (and reason!) to erase my last end-of-century-system partition isn't it?

[/diary] | permanent link | Google this

Fri, 16 Jan 2004 Still no ADSL at home...

My provider, free is still not able to setup my ADSL connection, after one week of trouble.

Well, one week does not change a lot, after a two months delay, but it is surprising to see these so-called broadband links (only 2 Mbps in France, and more often 512 Kbps!) being so difficult to setup: Everything here is paper based, hot-line is inexistant, and, AFAIK, it does not work (at least for me!) :-(

I would not like to joke about french customers, who are really happy with their 2 Mbps Super Broadband service, but they should have a look around, to understand that other countries offer 13 times this speed for the same price!

But, more than the speed, my concern is on the setup procedure. Have a look on the Japan one, as explained in the previous link:

Another factor worth noting concerns the set-up procedure.
There is no taking an afternoon off work and waiting around for an engineer to do something mysterious with your phone socket.
Connect the ADSL modem to your computer, run the supplied software (Windows, Mac or Linux) and that is it.

To finish, have a look on this ADSL study in the world. You will be surprised.

Hum... No comment.

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Wed, 14 Jan 2004 Elevage en panne

I am not lucky with my phone lines. In Tokyo, my home line was subject to many FAX calls, especially in middle of the night, and it just happened a few days ago that my french mobile phone is the target of a farmer who has some kind of automatic alerts.

Here is the message I received, every five minutes for more than two hours:

Ici l'élevage de Monsieur Grant. Le bâtiment est en panne. Intervenir d'urgence. Acquitter après le bip sonore. Merci.

Here the breeding of Mr Grant. The building is out of service. Intervene urgently. Discharge after the beep. Thank you.

I tried to find who is this Monsieur Grant, without any success :-(
I hope he will notice that the number is wrong, before all his animals die!

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Fri, 14 Nov 2003 Apartment in Paris

We found an apartment in Paris last week, after visiting more than ten. This one is well situated, in Rue Cambon (1st district), just in front of Chanel Headquarters.

Of course, this last detail could be somehow dangerous for my credit card ;-)

We should get this apartment from middle of next week, but won't be able to live there before we receive our shipping from Japan, probably during the first week of December.

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Tue, 21 Oct 2003 Landed in Paris

We decided yesterday that it was not worth staying in Japan a few more days, as we initially planned. We took the plane yesterday night, and arrived in Paris this morning at 4:00.

Our hotel is near Les Halles, quite a good place (fucking AZERTY keyboqrd).

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Wed, 08 Oct 2003 Final schedule in Japan

Here is the final schedule for our last days in Japan:

  • Oct 8th: Sayonara party at the office
  • Oct 14th-16th: Business trip to Sydney
  • Oct 17th: Sayonara party at home. I will need to push everybody outside before 8:00 the next day because...
  • Oct 18th: Moving company will empty our apartment (the travel will take 6-8 weeks to Paris)
  • Oct 19th: We send some cases to Narita airport, and go for a few days to Kusatsu
  • Oct 23rd: Flight to Paris
  • Oct 27th: First apartments visits in Paris

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Wed, 08 Oct 2003 A new toy

I bought a new toy last week: The Zaurus SL-C760 is really a cool device... Launching a shell on such PDA is simply like a dream ;-)

I had first to localize it to English (everything is japanese by default). Then I started playing: Importing my Sony Clié NR70V data, installing a cross compiler on my PC, and compiling my first program for the Zaurus (Hello World! of course!).

For more information about the C760, have a look to this review or to this one.

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