Blog personal

Gonzalo Murillo

Month: October 2015 (page 1 of 2)

Software is magic

Software is kind of magic, and the rest is quite boring

Generation X, keep moving or leave pass

Every generation complains about younger generations.
It is part of the life. Young people comes with new ideas that disturb the minds of the grumpy elder. I never wanted to become one of those “grumpy oldies”, but being a member of the generation X, I do see a lot of my contemporaries complaining about Millennials these days.

I heard that they are selfish, that they do not want to settle down, that they don´t buy cars, neither houses. How can you trust someone that does not buy a car or a house?

Furthermore Millennials do not respect hierarchy, and their main obsession is to always appear  in the picture, pursing only their own interests.

They also prefer sensations to material things, and they want to be happy above all.
But… wait a second. Why is that so disturbing for grey-headed people? Quite simple, because we have been told for generations, that money buys happiness, and at the end we ended denying that some other possibilities might exist.

Know what? Well done Millennials

We have been living in a world where the path to follow was always predefined beforehand by the consuming habits. At your 20s, you buy a car, when you are 30 years old you must buy a house. Then you dedicate the next 3 decades to grow your own kids and to commute to the work place and back,  every single day, so you can pay the mortgage to the bank. Do not forget to pay the mortgage! It is so important to pay the mortgage, because it keeps you tied and worried for the rest of your life. So you cannot be free anymore, wrong movement: checkmate.

Then, if you are lucky enough, after those 3 decades, you will retire, you will live the life you ever wanted and deserved (assuming that the several health issues and the reduced energies that you will have by the retirement age will allow you to do anything meaningful).

Later you will die in peace, surrounded by your beloved ones, exactly the same date when the last term of the mortgage expires.
For people before Millennials, If you did not embrace that crazy model you were weird. For Millennials if you embrace that model you are really weird and crazy.

Honestly I applaud them. Why to postpone everything , why not seek a job that really satisfies you, one job that allows you to work from everywhere? Why not reduce the office politics, avoid the “pretending what you are not” games and start doing things your own way?

And if you think they (Millennials) do not have their own ideas, or that they are not clever enough, re-think.

Take a look, for example to the blog of this young guy

Take a look to this post:

Chapeau! He has achieved a lot by himself, following his own crazy ideas.

World is in good hands I must say.

You grumpy elder, keep moving or leave pass!

Sinclair, the robot that felt human

One tale I wrote for a contest has been selected for being published in a book that gathers the best histories presented.

For what I saw, they have selected roughly 20% of the texts.

Full list here

I counted 243 selected from a grant total of 1105. So having being selected is very nice.

In any case, what is clear is that this is a good business plan for the people @ Carpa De Sueños, as I am sure almost everyone selected will buy the book, just to see his/her name printed on it, and also to read what others have to say.

EGO works that way, isn´t it?

Of course, I bought mine, I will check once received how it looks like.


Scheduled training

I want to give a try to the scheduled trainings, as I am stuck right now.

This is one scheduled training I found on the Internet:



The info above comes from and looks great.

My maximum is around 180 ppm, so the calculated % are:

60-65 % = 108 ppm – 117 ppm
65-70 % = 117 ppm-126 ppm
70-75 % = 126 ppm – 135 ppm
75-80% = 135 ppm – 144 ppm
80-85%= 144 ppm – 153 ppm
85 -90%= 153 ppm – 162 ppm

As a reference de cardio zones:
Heart Zones






Lets try it!


I am struggling since I came back from Rome. I feel cold and I have remained indoors the last two days, drinking infusions, watching TV and doing nothing, trying to leave time for fully recovering.

But today, I decided to test myself and go for a ride, as I was thinking that is a real pity to remain at home while still on holidays.

This is what I did:

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 15.30.09

Basically a distance of 54.19 km, with an average of 19.1 km/h and with a 1214 meter of gain in height. My average ppm were 145, not low, but still far from my limit.
I covered from the town of Guadalest to the “Port of Tudons”, which is the base of the Aitana mountain (the highest mountain in Alicante´s province).
Curious thing it worths mentioning: in Aitana there was a militar base from the air force. It was the EVA 5 (Escuadrón Vigilancia Aérea, num 5).
More information EVA 5
EVA nº5 - Aitana
Siempre Vigilantes - EVA nº 5
Researching a little bit, it seems that nowadays is dismantled (since December 2007), but still you cannot access to the enclosure, which is locked and guarded, and one radar is still operating there. Furthermore, today I saw a lot of activity on the road that goes to the base, an even a big lorry was accessing it, so I though some work was being performed. When I arrived home I did some searches and I think that I can explain why the base had activity today, and why the doors where opened allowing some vehicles to go inside the military installations. I think  everything  is related to this:
Anyway, back to my history…
On special ocassions, like the “Vuelta Ciclista a España 2009”, the access is allowed and you can climb to the top with your own bike. Is an effort of 6 km, which I never had the pleasure to do, as I was not in the area when they opened the doors last time.
You can see it in this youtube video , the ascension starts at minute 32.
Apart from that, another curious history about EVA num 5, is that there has been several OVNI incidents detected there.  Those incidents were declassified by the air force some time ago. I obtained the page referred to EVA NUM 5, just to take a look. Years 1975 and 1979 seem to be the years with more activity.
Amazing, right? You can download all the declassified documents here
You can also hear (here) the comments of one person that was on duty at the end of March 1982 and saw something. His comments does not seem to me very impressive, but probably what he saw was impressive for him, as he still remembers clearly.
The testimony starts @  1h:04 min
I guess all is related with military operations being conducted by Spain or another countries at that time.
Just as a side note: I do not believe in any extraterrestrial life (unfortunately I think there is no one out there), but probably the incidents reflect that they were performing some kind of military operations at that time (without informing the military at the EVA 5).  Notice that, for example, on the incident of 02/06/1979, they mention that probably they were paratroopers exercises being conducted.
It is surprising to me how many information is available just by Googling it.
My pictures from the day:
Port de Tudons Octubre 2015


How to force the monitor resolution in a Raspbian – Raspberry PI

I was trying to configure a Raspberry pi using a SAMSUNG monitor recently, and I noticed that the resolution  picked up automatically was awful. It seems that, by default, Raspbian tries to detect the resolution that better suits your monitor and uses it automatically.

It can do it wrongly. In fact, it was what happened to me: the option chosen by default was extremely wrong, so I needed to figure out how to change it manually.

The steps to follow are:

1. Get the list of what’s supported by your monitor:

Video configuration settings are stored in an EDID file in the monitor itself. To obtain a list of the modes supported, you can use the tvservice command

1.1. Run “tvservice –d <file>” to capture a monitor’s EDID in <file>
1.2. Pass this file to edidparser. Run “edidparser <file>”.


tvservice -d edidgonzalo
edidparser edidgonzalo

2. Now you need to find the mode that you want to use in the resulting list.

My monitor is a SAMSUNG S22B350T

I find out that the resolution native is 1920×1080 @ 60 HZ

With edidparser I checked what were the modes for a resolution of 1920 pixels:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ edidparser edidgonzalo | grep “1920”
HDMI:EDID found preferred CEA detail timing format: 1920x1080p @ 60 Hz (16)
HDMI:EDID found CEA format: code 16, 1920x1080p @ 60Hz (native)
HDMI:EDID found CEA format: code 31, 1920x1080p @ 50Hz
HDMI:EDID best score mode is now CEA (16) 1920x1080p @ 60 Hz with pixel clock 148 MHz (score 5398248)
HDMI:EDID CEA mode (31) 1920x1080p @ 50 Hz with pixel clock 148 MHz has a score of 232360
HDMI:EDID preferred mode remained as CEA (16) 1920x1080p @ 60 Hz with pixel clock 148 MHz

As showed above (in bold)  the native mode is CEA format code 16

3. Edit the config file to reflect the desired resolution:

Now, with the information obtained you need to edit the config file and manually force the resolution to the one you desire.

You can achieve this editing the file /boot/config.txt

nano /boot/config.txt

Find the section about HDMI, uncomment it (remove the #) and set the right group and mode from step 2 (If your mode description contains “DMT”, the group should be 2, and if it contains “CEA”, it should be 1)

So in my case:


Exit the editor with CTRL+X, followed by Y.

4. Reboot:

shutdown -r now

Everything should be as expected now

Feeling nostalgia

The last quarter. That time of the year when I normally feel nostalgic, and when I tend to revisit what I have accomplished during the year that is ending.

The reason for feeling nostalgia is quite simple: my birthday is coming (and another year is going to be added to my age), the end of the year is also coming at steady speed, a list of new purposes and wishes for 2016 is being prepared…, sum all things together and you will realise that is almost impossible not to feel slightly blue. Just slightly, not big drama, actually.

This year, however, I decided to do something fun to partially remove my “grief”.

I started to think. What I was doing 25-30 years ago? How I was spending my time when I was a kid?

One of the things I was doing for sure was playing video games, but which ones?

Can I find them nowadays? Can I play them nowadays? I started my quest stirring every single corner of my memory.

And this is what I remember:

Like all the childs from the late 70s and 80s, I started playing portable games like the ones displayed in the following photo:


I remember playing those small machines on the street, surrounded with friends.
Playing then was a social thing,  we wore our portable games to a public street, we sat on the landings of any stairway, and shared out little devices with other kids, so all of us, the whole  neighborhood ended playing all the available games. Such is my case.

The photo was obtained in a retro game exhibition that was being hold in Matadero Madrid some years ago, and I know for certain that I have played all the games above, but I remember with particular affection “Popeye” (it used cleverly mirrors to add deep to the graphics) and “Don King Kong II”.

So my first video games were those portable machines. We called them “maquinitas” back those days.

Later, my father bought us a ZX Spectrum 48k,  and that was a totally different history. Te games that I remember more vivid on the ZX are:

Turbo Esprit: Turbo Esprit was the first game I played on the Spectrum.
My first contact with the tiny personal computer as an entertainment platform.







Turbo Espirit was a driving game, one where the city felt actually real. It was an amazing game for me, and I cannot remember the amount of hours I spent on board of that Lotus car, but certainly were far too many hours spent there.
It was, for me, almost like driving at the age of  ten: felt amazing and taught me how to read a map, and also taught me than, in other countries, they drove on the left side.
It was one of my favourite games and I really enjoyed.

Almost at the same time I remember we played Jet Pack, a game where an astronaut had to rebuild his rocket so he can return back to home.

Jet Pac

It was nice, but not as much as Turbo Esprit, and definitively not as much as the following two: Saboteur and Saboteur II


Those Saboteur games were awesome. In the games you played the role of an spy dressed in ninja customs. I really loved them, mostly because the ambient they were able to create with the dogs, the guards, the explosives and even an helicopter. Clearly ahead of its time. Is amazing to realise that they achieved all that using only the tiny 48k of memory that came with the computer.

More games that I remember  playing myself on the Spectrum were: Head over Heels, Match Day II, Cauldron II, Bruce Lee, Commando, Decathlon, Enduro Racer, Exploding Fist, Game Over, Hyper Sports, International Karate +, and so on.

What has been a surprise for me when doing this exercise of memory, is that there is a really interesting history to be told here. The history of young programmers, in Europe, that embraced a new media (personal computers) and started to create something from scratch. They were basically self taught. They were “the 8 bits magicians”

Names like Jon Ritman, Chris Stamper and many, many others.

You can watch their history here: From bedroom to billions

Speaking about myself, lately an Amstrad PC1512 arrived to my life, so I moved to the 16 bits territory, but that is a history for another post.

Rome 2015

I went to Rome with huge expectations as everyone I know said that it is such a beautiful city! And, actually,  I can only confirm, as  it is clearly true that is a very beautiful city, with so many history on every single corner…

Only a few photos to confirm:

Roman Forum












IMG_3689On the negative side, however, one day was raining cats and dogs and I caught a cold.

Moreover, one only can eat a certain amount of pasta and pizza per day, which is clearly overpassed in Rome.

The food is expensive, and it feels like all the waiters want to trick you every single time, trying to steal your hardly earned money. On the street also, there are so many people trying to sell you something, that you end fed up. What a pity.
However it is a highly recommended city to visit on overall.

Increasing a variable in bash

I do still need to program in shell script from time to time

I tend to forget how to increment a variable

There are several ways:

let “var=var+1”

Usage of the double parenthesis explained:

A good place to learn about shell script in bash:

On every Sunday there must be fun

On every Sunday I can be caught riding a motorbike.

Is one of those pleasures I am reluctant to dismiss.

These days I do ride in the canyons a Ducati Monster 695.

The bike is already a classic, and I must confess that I loved that model, even before I managed to get one.

When I ride it, I always think: why future has brought so many complications?
I love the simplicity of the Ducati 695. The 73 horse power is more than enough to put a big smile in your face, the weight is right, the height is low so the control over the bike is great. Why more?

When I do see one of those big monster that now the multi-trail bikes have become ( BMW GS 1200, I am finger pointing you), I cannot understand why people is mad for driving them.

Obviously I should be missing something, but If I drive a bike is because the purity and the simplicity that it transmits to me. Otherwise, if I want comfort, I drive my car.

I could becoming an old geezer, but that is how I do see things.

I loved every single minute I spent with my Ducati and I wish I can ride it more, much more miles.

Thanks old lady

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