Category Archives: EN – Travel

SBU: First ride (Self-Balanced Unicycle)


Hi There.

Last wednesday I had my first ride on open road with my SBU (Self-Balanced Unicycle). It was so much fun, I can compare it to the first time I managed to ride a bike without almost killing myself (Well, I guess, I can’t remember actually :-))

I had two practice sessions inside my home on the week before, and finally I decided to go outside, trying to stay on the kerb, not getting run over by a truck.
There is not much more I can tell right now, especially because it would take a while to remember everything, and I am a bit overbooked at the moment.
Give me a chance to come back to you later, probably next week, and I will tell the whole adventure, with pics and lots of fun stuff included.

That’s all for now.
Take Care.
Pascal

 

LETHARGICDOG UPDATE – JAN/FEB 2016 – PART 2


(Cliquer ici pour l’article en Français)
Hi there!
Here are some news today about various LethargicDog projects for 2016.
This post is intended to let my followers know about what I am working on at the moment and encourage some more people to join in!
I will split the following text in several parts to make it easier to read and to refer to.
Here are the topics that will be discussed below:
0/ Foreword and Announcement.
1/ Books, Games, Blogs and Apps in progress.
2/ Educational Content.
3/ Social Networking and Online Stuff.
4/ Software/Hardware/Services.
5/ Funding
6/ Roadmap/Calendar/Deadlines
7/ Comments/Likes/Shares
8/ French/English Content Breakdown.
9/ Personal Stuff.
10/ Bottom Line

This document will be updated all year long, mainly to add pictures, drawings and links to other posts or pages for more detailed information on each particular topic. Apart from that, it will remain unchanged in order to compare to achievements at the end of year 2016.
Let’s start!

2/ Educational Content
I am working on several tutorials that will be gathered into a book (Technology for Everyone, as mentioned in chapter 1).
Main topics are app and game programming, 2D and 3D design, Word Processing (writing text, documents), social networks, internet security..
The whole list of subjects are listed in a French document available here, I will provide an English version as soon as I can)
The content is for teenagers, students and adults who want to catch up the latest stuff regarding everything about IT and Technology.
My goal is to produce one post per week ideally, on this very blog. Other technical content will also be available on my Twitter, Google+ and other places, so then people can find more stuff to learn and discover.
I will try to combine audio, video, text, photos, drawings, charts, everything that can be the most appropriate to a particular topic.
I will also provide a lot of link to external contents, such as MOOCs, notorious YouTube accounts, universities, and every places when valuable I formation is available.
I will do my best to write stuff both in French and English.

3/ Social Networking and Online Stuff
I always do my best to let my followers know about my work. I use mainly this blog, twitter and Google+ for that matter.
There is a page here where you can find all my public stuff, most of it being accessible for free.
Once books and games are available, I will add direct access to them on this page, as well as the link for funding purpose(check chapter 5)
I invite you to subscribe, follow, like ands comment my stuff, in order for me to improve my work and adapt it to my readers and followers.
For example, my English being really bad, I’d be sincerely grateful if some of you guys can suggest best sentences or find typos or anything that can improve my English for it to be read by a global audience.
(To be continued. Click here for Part 3)

4/ Software/Hardware/Services.
5/ Funding
6/ Roadmap/Calendar/Deadlines
7/ Comments/Likes/Shares
8/ French/English Content Breakdown.
9/ Personal Stuff.
10/ Bottom Line

That’s all for now!
Take care.
Pascal.

LethargicDog Update – Jan/Feb 2016 – Part 1


(Cliquer ici pour l’article en Français)
Hi there!
Here are some news today about various LethargicDog projects for 2016.
This post is intended to let my followers know about what I am working on at the moment and encourage some more people to join in!
I will split the following text in several parts to make it easier to read and to refer to.
Here are the topics that will be discussed below:
0/ Foreword and Announcement.
1/ Books, Games, Blogs and Apps in progress.
2/ Educational Content.
3/ Social Networking and Online Stuff.
4/ Software/Hardware/Services.
5/ Funding
6/ Roadmap/Calendar/Deadlines
7/ Comments/Likes/Shares
8/ French/English Content Breakdown.
9/ Personal Stuff.
10/ Bottom Line

This document will be updated all year long, mainly to add pictures, drawings and links to other posts or pages for more detailed information on each particular topic. Apart from that, it will remain unchanged in order to compare to achievements at the end of year 2016.
Let’s start!

0/ Foreword and Announcement.
This very post takes place in a new strategy for the LethargicDog Project. This year I will take the whole thing to a higher level. For that matter I will raise funds in order to invest in the tools I need (new laptop, cloud services, backup, security, documentation, training..). I will also cut unnecessary spending like Car, Television, and too many distracting activities that I may have at the moment. I will improve my health and my ability to deal with tougher workloads as well, thanks to improved diet and fitness routine.
If lucky I should be able to release one game and one app this year, as well as a couple of books, while maintaining a high frequency online presence.
The current document is a list of projects in progress, along with many release dates expected.
This will be a reference document when it will be time by the end of 2016 to check achievements compared to this initial planning.
I will split this current message into 3 or 4 posts in order to make it more enjoyable to read, and will probably translate it back to French within the coming weeks.
Thanks in advance for reading and support. Enjoy!

1/ Books, Games, Blogs and Apps in progress.
1.a/ Books
LethargicDog Geek Challenge.
A collection of 16 books of 16 challenges each, from Lego design to basic game programming. Book #1 in progress. Expected to be published in 2016/Q2 (Both English and French version) Book #1 English version available for free.

Technology for everyone.
A book teaching basic concepts for most people to read and understand. Affordable computer based application design, 3D drawing. Expected by the end of year.

1.b/ Games
Project X100309. This 3D Puzzle game development has taken place in 2010 initially. Models in Blender and the game itself in C# XNA 3.1 then 4.0. Target systems are Windows PCs and XBox One/360.
This is a Puzzle game based on a dodecahedron shape (12 faces).
Game Logic: the player has to move around the shape and rotate and drop faces at the right place in order to match colours and shapes.
Work in progress: this game development has stopped 2 years ago for 2 main reasons. First thing is XNA is no longer maintained by Microsoft and there is no point to work on a discontinued product. Other reason is that my very old laptop cannot handle 3D design anymore.
Next Step: the plan is to invest in a new laptop next month and install Unity 5 + latest version of Visual Studio and port most of code and assets in the new environment. Blender will be kept for 3D assets design and improvements. This game will be released in 2017.

Project Y150114. “The light”. This game is a much more simple 2D game developed with stencyl, a Scratch/Blockly-like environment. Target systems are Windows Android phones.
Game logic: multicolour bubble lights are crossing the game screen horizontally and vertically into a 5×5 grid. The lights turn automatically on once they enter the central 3×3 grid. The player has to turn the lights off before they leave the central grid. In order to succeed, they have to select one or several lights of a single color and click the matching color switch on the side of the screen.
Lights can be of 3 different color, speed increases at each level, goodies, bonus and traps can happen at any time.

1c. Blogs
WordPress blog: This blog is updated on regular basis since 2013/2014 and is the central point of the whole project information and communication. I intend to maintain it the same way it is working so far. See chapter 7 of the current post about engagement.
The content will be 80%, in English (Basic English, Globish), and 20% in French.

Google+ : Google plus account is split into 10 collections, discussing about fitness, motivation, Inspiration, human rights, 3d design, Game design, programming skills, Manufacturing, Robotics…
Most posts are mainly visual, pics, short videos (usually less than 3 minutes)_ content is English at 90%+
Other blogs: more accounts such as twitter are discussed in chapter 3 in this post.

1.d/ Applications
One single application is on the pipe at the moment. A windows 10 UWA (Universal Windows Application) that is supposed to work well in any Windows 10 device (Laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphone, web..)
The main goal is to show my ability to run such a project and publish my very first app for mobile.
The app is another tasks/get things done with an original multidimensional loop system. This development is at his very early stage and no delivery/release date has been set at the moment. Other projects have to be finished prior to this one to start, but I intend to start it this year 2016.
(To be continued, click here for Part 2)

2/ Educational Content.
3/ Social Networking and Online Stuff.
4/ Software/Hardware/Services.
5/ Funding
6/ Roadmap/Calendar/Deadlines
7/ Comments/Likes/Shares
8/ French/English Content Breakdown.
9/ Personal Stuff.
10/ Bottom Line

That’s all for now!
Take care.
Pascal.

Looking for motivation – Full Microsoft EcoSystem


Hi There,

I have tried to start my own business for years now. But is this the lack of motivation, or limited skills, or not enough free time, or anything else, I don’t know, but I have to admit that I am not doing good enough so far.
Now, I am dreaming big, and I want to be a success though, then things have to change, right now.
Many of you have heard about all my projects already if you have read some of my previous articles and presentations ( Here, There and also Over Here ). But before to travel the world for business or leisure, having fun and make money while moving around across the planet, I first have to build valuable content, and sell it online…

Google Plus Collections

For that, and first things first, i need to have good tools for productive work. And this is not the case for now, not at all. I am still struggling to get any work done with my 9 years old laptop, and I miss many important phone calls and messages because of my faulty 5 years old smartphone. Add to this that my Android tablet is bricked, or at least unresponsive most of the time, and you’ll get the full picture.

In order to change this, I have to scrap all this crap and go for much better hardware.And on top of that, I need to get some online services and professional apps for presentation, backup, storage, marketing matters, to name the few (I will write a full article about services and apps someday). So the short term motivation for now is not the long term goal anymore, but to make enough cash for buying the tools that I really need.

lUMIA 940 XL

As my business is supposed to be lightweight, no employees, no offices, no car, nor nothing, all I need to get focused on for now is a proper laptop and a great smartphone. And as some of you might have noticed already, and despite all of them have great advantages and valuable applications available, I am not the best fan of Apple iOS, Google Android, not even Linux systems. I’d rather go for Microsoft, and I am anxious to discover the latest products that will come equipped with Windows 10 as standard.(Without the need of any risky upgrade from 8.1 I mean)

microsoft-surface-pro-4

For the laptop, I have already chosen the Mobile Workstations Family Products from Lenovo (just waiting for the latest ones to come in Q3 of 2015, equivalent of the existing w550s and its amazing battery life (Check my previous article about Mobile Workstations here). Regarding the tablet, My 2013 old Nexus 7 can still do the trick for a little while, and then I will probably replace it with the Microsoft Surface 4. Last but not least, my phone will probably be the promising Microsoft Lumia 930 XL, or its HTC equivalent if it comes to market early enough.

lenovo-laptop-thinkpad-w550s-main

As you can see, I have made my mind already, and as some of you guys may go for a full Apple working ecosystem, I’d rather opt for the Microsoft equivalent, as it does much better sense to me, according to the applications I am using as an Indie. And when all that tool set will be mine, I will probably buy a Microsoft wristband, as icing on that Microsoft cake.

Take Care.
Pascal

Laptop Renewal for Laptop Entrepreneurs.


Hi,

I have been working for ages with my 07′ HP Compaq NC2400, which is a pretty good machine after all. During all these years, it’s been doing OK for web browsing, updating articles, checking emails, few spreadsheets and Slideshows, but it failed when it came to 3D Design, Games and Apps Programming, and most advanced tasks I am supposed to deal with nowadays, as a teacher and a Laptop Entrepreneur as well.

Business-Entrepreneur

So then its time to say goodbye to this pretty reliable but now super slow NC2400, and to consider a step forward entering the circle of the privileged Ultrabook Workstations users. Let’s say I will have a two ground budget for this, and willing to buy as soon as Windows 10 is available (Some of the apps I use do not even run on Linux or Apple or Google Operating systems anyways. The future machine will have to deal with heavy usage of Unity3D, Blender, Inkscape, as well as Visual Studio, Android Studio, Lego Digital Designer, Stencyl, Evernote and many others).

Several Specs that I will be looking for:

  • 12 to 16 GB of RAM.
  • 256 GB SSD Storage (Minimum, has to be SSD)
  • Around 15.5′ Display, with a minimum of 1920×1080 Screen Resolution.
  • 7 hours Battery Life
  • A proper GPU Dedicated to 3D Animation
  • Renown Brand with Proved Reliability and Business Specs Products Range.
  • Around 2.5 Kg, (I need to be able to commute on daily basis, including frequent Flights)
  • i7 processor, 4th or 5th Generation with 2.6 Ghz Dual Core Minimum)
  • Extended ports will necessarily include 2 USB3 Ports, and External Display Capabilities
  • Docking Station Available (Optional)
  • Price Around 2.000 $
  • 3 years Warranty

HP Zbook 15

So far, I have been looking at the Lenovo Thinkpad W550s (or W541) and the The HP Zbook 15 (15u G2). I have considered many other options before that, such as a 13′ or 14′ Ultrabook (Dell XPS13, Lenovo X1 Carbon, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro), but the screen seems too tiny for Design, and both were lacking of NumPad, which is mandatory for most of the apps I use. I also had a look at many 17′ Workstations (Same HP and Lenovo as above but with 17′), and Mobile Gaming Machines (Lenovo Y Range, RazerBlade 2015, MSI GS60, HP Omen, Acer Aspire V Nitro), but there was always something wrong with most of them (Missing Mandatory Specs (as defined above), Too Heavy Weight, Too Expansive, Weak Battery Life, Not Business Oriented Brands, Noise, Cooling..). There must me some other pretty cool machines from Acer, Asus, Dell, or Fujitu or Toshiba, but do not consider these manufacturers to be at their best when it comes to Ultrabook WorkStations, I might be wrong though.

That’s why I have reverted to the Classic HP and Lenovo Workstations, machines brands that I have used for up to 15 hours a day, for many years, without an issue.(That might sound old fashion to the younger readers, but I would generally be faithful to a brand that has never let me down before).

lenovo-laptop-thinkpad-w550s-main
All that said, and as I need a reason to choose between the Zbook and the W550s, I will probably go for the latter, thanks to it outstanding battery life, that can reach 17 hours, which is an impressive figure, especially for a WorkStation.
These few words were not intended to be a proper review or products comparison, but rather a tribute to these 2 products, and especially the W550s, and a suggestion for Professional Nomads who consider to renew their hardware in the coming weeks.

Take Care.
Pascal

The Bucket List


Hi Folks,

Have you watched the film “The Bucket List”? Not yet ? Well, I highly recommend you to do so ASAP actually! Of course the critic reviews are not so good, but a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman cannot be that bad, and anyways, this is not the film by itself that I want to tell you about, but the story of the birth, the death, and a couple of things we all may consider to do before to kick the bucket…
image

Sooner or later, depending on our age and our personal situation, we all wake up some day thinking “What have I done so far in my life?” or “how long am I likely to survive the nuclear threat, the global warming, the recession while eating Genetically Modified Organisms 3 times a day?”

Well, I don’t know about you, but for my part, I made the decision to have a plan, just in case things go wrong. And guess what? I called it my bucket list!
image

10 categories, 100 Items, one rule, just tick the box when done.
Here is mine, mostly hidden, we are not so close yet:-). You have a look, you let me know about yours, all good ? (some of my choices may sound cheesy, but I don’t give a damn, build your own, this is the thing about this thread…)

My Bucket List

A/ Random Stuff 1/2

1 …Insert your own stuff here…

B/ Random Stuff 2/2

11 … Insert your own stuff here…

C/ Charity

21 Become rich enough to join Gates/Buffet Charity Programme
22 …

D/ Relatives
image

31 Teach my kids about fun and entertainment, that comes with hard work and commitment (work hard, play hard)
31 Keep in touch with close family and friends, always show love and affection, whatever is the distance.
32 …

E/ Self Esteem

41 Read and Learn about Human Kind as much as I can.
42 Write an e-book
43 …

F/ Motorsports

(I’m sure you’ll easily replace this one with your own stuff)
51 Drive a Formula One, even for 3 laps
52 Visit GoodWood Festival of Speed
53 …
image

G/ My secret Dream

61 It’s a secret actually 🙂
62 …
63 …

H/ Shows

71 (attend your favourite band best live show ever)
72 (see a major event – can be Olympics, Football World Wup, New York Fashion Week)
73 …

I/ Parties

81 Glastonbury Festival
82 Oktober Fest
83 Montreux Festival
84 Rio de Janeiro Carnival
85 …
image

J/ Travel

90 Visit New York, St Petersburg, Dubai, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Singapour
91 …

Take Care. (Maybe today I mean it even more that usually !)
Pascal