Categories
Archived Mac & OS X Uncategorized

Using PuTTY ssh keys on OS X

As part of helping a friend with some system support soon, I was sent a set of ssh keys so that I can access their Ubuntu servers.  The keys, however, are .ppk keys generated by PuTTY, the popular Windows SSH telnet/ssh client.

Unfortunately, the PuTTY keys don’t work for me as I’m using OS X … insert appropriate Mac-hating statement here, if you must.  😉  Needless to say, I had to find a way of using those keys so I could access the servers without any problems.

Fortunately for me, I’ve encountered this situation before.  While testing some connectivity issues recently I kept getting denied access.  The problem is that the keys need to be converted to OpenSSH format before they’ll work with command-line ssh in OS X.

To fix the issue, you’ll need PuTTYGen from the PuTTY website (don’t worry, it’s free).  If you don’t have it already, grab it, and follow the simple steps below (I’ll include the step to download, just in case you missed it).

Note: You’ll need access to a Windows machine for the below steps to work.

  1. Download PuTTYGen from the PuTTY website.
  2. Run PuTTYGen.exe, and open the .ppk file using the open option on the File menu.
  3. From the Conversions menu, export the key in OpenSSH format – it’s what you need for the key to work with OS X.

Once you’ve done all that, you should be able to run ssh from the OS X command line and connect without any problems.

Note: There are a ton of people who have experienced this issue and nearly every other website will tell you that you need to set the permissions on the .ssh file to 700.  In most cases 600 is enough.  If you don’t do this, you can receive an error like this one:

ssh Error
ssh Error

That’s all there is to it – easy.

Categories
Archived Software Uncategorized

SQL Server 2008 Express R2 Unattended Install

Back in March 2009 I wrote an article called "SQL Server 2008 Express Unattended Install"  It turned out to be one of the most popular articles on Digital Formula (and still is) so, since SQL Server 2008 R2 Express has been released, I figured I’d write an article refresh on how to do the same thing as the original article, but with the latest version.

To make the change easy, I’ll explain the main things that have changed between 2008 and 2008 R2 from an unattended install perspective.

Assumptions

  • You’ve already downloaded SQL Server 2008 R2 Express. This article will assume you’re installing the 32-bit (x86) version although I see no reason why the steps below won’t work with the 64-bit (x64) version.
  • Your system meets the requirements for installing SQL Server 2008 R2 Express.  Note that this includes installing the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, Windows Installer 4.5 and Windows Powershell.
  • You are installing from C:InstallSQL2008 (you can change this as necessary but please make sure you update the paths in the examples below).
  • You’ll save your configuration file as C:Installsql-2008-express.ini

Extracting installation files

To get the extracted installation files, run the following command and follow the wizard – easy.  Note that I’ve extracted mine to C:InstallSQL2008Extracted.

C:InstallSQL2008SQLEXPRWT_x86_ENU.exe /x

Getting the default configuration file

This is the key difference between the previous version (2008) and this one (2008 R2).  Run the following command either from the command prompt or from the Start » Run dialog and then follow the steps below carefully – you’ll see that we don’t actually want to complete the install right now.

C:InstallSQL2008SQLEXPRWT_x86_ENU.exe /UIMODE=Normal /ACTION=INSTALL

This will start the installation with all parts of the installation visible.  If you just ran the executable, you wouldn’t see the screen that shows where the default configuration file is.

From here, follow the wizard, do a new install and configure the options as per your requirements, making sure that the steps on the left include the item "Ready to Install".  Note that this will only present if you ran the command above to set the UIMODE and ACTION parameters.

Ready to install option available
Ready to install option available
Categories
Archived Mac & OS X Uncategorized

Delicious bookmarks to Evernote using AppleScript

Over the last day or so I’ve been trying to find a decent alternative to Yahoo’s Delicious online bookmarking service.  It’s a service I’ve used for many years (since 2006, in fact) and, unfortunately, Yahoo has sold the service to AVOS.  To be fair, AVOS does plan to keep Delicious running and also implement improvements but with the purchase of an iPhone 4 it makes sense for me to transition to a service that I can synchronise between all my devices.

What is the chosen alternative?

I’ve been a long-time user of Evernote and its ability to sync between Mac (all my hardware), Windows (at work) and iPhone (in my pocket) makes it a sensible choice for the transition.  However, I needed to find a way to transfer all 2628 of my bookmarks to Evernote.

First attempt

My first go was to use the web service from Dr. Palaniraja but that didn’t do some of the things I needed.  For example:

  • It didn’t keep my tags, despite the website saying it would (this effectively made it useless for me)
  • It required a lot of manual input.  I don’t mind this so much but less technical users probably would.

I was looking for an automated way to transfer everything.  My chosen method is an AppleScript that I found online at Veritrope, which I then heavily modified to do more of the things I wanted.

My changes are as follows:

  • The original script verified every URL before adding it to Evernote.  Conceptually this is fine but I wanted to offer the option of not doing that.
  • The original script used the bookmark’s URL as the note title.  To me this is a little odd so I modified it to use the bookmark’s actual title as the note’s title, too.
  • The original script required some manual editing to set your location i.e. Japan, U.S. or outside Japan/U.S. I’m in Australia which meant manually changing the location.  This is easy but I wanted to prompt the user for this information.
  • The original script saved the bookmark’s entire page content as the content of the new note.  This is a great idea but I wanted the option of not doing this, if necessary.  The main reason for this is so that Evernote’s basic account holders don’t blow the cap on their monthly usage.
  • The original script, if verifying URLs, saved all the bad URLs to a single note.  I modified mine to save them as individual notes in a special, local-only, notebook called "Bad Bookmark List".

The script

Here’s the entire script.  All you need to do is:

  • Export your bookmarks from Delicious using their export/download page.
  • Copy/paste the script below into AppleScript Editor (Mac only!) and run it.

The only manual change necessary, if required, is to change the name of the destination notebooks for the good and bad bookmarks.  These two settings are evNotebook and badNotebook respectively.

Warning: Be aware that if you run this script over a big bookmark list and select to verify URLs, it may take a long time to run!

-- v1.30
-- http://veritrope.com
-- Delicious Bookmark Importer for Evernote
-- February 18, 2011
-- Status, Latest Updates, and Comments Collected at:
-- http://veritrope.com/code/delicious-bookmark-importer-for-evernote/
--
-- v2.0
-- June 14th, 2011
-- Chris Rasmussen, digitalformula.net
-- Changes:
-- Added prompt for verifying URL
-- Added prompt for saving notes with actual title as title or URL as title
-- Added prompt for location i.e. U.S. or Japan or everywhere else
-- Added prompt for saving the bookmark or full page as the note's content (recommended for Evernote premium users, only)
--
-- Note : The above prompts would usually be too many but since this script is probably intended to be run once only,
-- more options are better than none
--
-- v2.1
-- June 14th, 2011
-- Chris Rasmussen, digitalformula.net
-- Changes from 2.0:
-- Bad bookmarks are now added to a notebook called 'Bad Bookmark list' (createNote method changed to allow that)

-- *** Make changes in this section, only ***

-- title for dialog prompts
property scriptTitle : "Import Delicious bookmarks into Evernote"
-- set the variable below to the name of the Evernote folder to use for imported bookmarks
property evNotebook : "Delicious Import"

-- note for bad bookmarks - local only (won't be synchronised!)
property badNotebook : "Bad Bookmark List"

-- *** Stop editing here, please :) ***

-- firstly, create the 'bad' notebook
-- we do this now because otherwise AppleScript will, by default, create a synchronised notebook (bad idea if heaps of your bookmarks are invalid)
-- also, an error will be thrown if the notebook already exists - to prevent that, we do a quick check to see if a matching notebook can be found
tell application "Evernote"
	if (not (notebook named badNotebook exists)) then
		create notebook badNotebook with type local only
	end if
end tell

-- prompt the user for their location
global formatDates
property locationOptions : {"U.S.", "Japan", "Outside Japan/U.S."}
set location to (choose from list locationOptions with prompt "Please choose your location:" with title scriptTitle) as string

if location = "U.S." then
	set formatDates to "YES"
else if (location = "Japan") then
	set formatDates to "JP"
else
	set formatDates to "NO"
end if

-- verify URLs?
-- if the user responds in the affirmative, all URLs will be verified as working before they're added as notes
-- if the users responds in the negative, URLs are not verified and will be added even if they don't work
global verify
property verifyOptions : {"Yes - Verify all URLs", "No - Just import everything"}
set verifyResult to (choose from list verifyOptions with prompt "Verify URLs before import?" with title scriptTitle) as string

if verifyResult = "Yes - Verify all URLs" then
	set verify to true
else
	set verify to false
end if

-- use bookmark title or URL as new note's title?
-- the original script added notes with the bookmark's URL as the note title
-- this will allow the user to keep this option, if they like, or have the notes' title as the bookmark title (better, in my opinion)
global titleType
property titleOptions : {"Use bookmark's URL", "Use bookmark's title"}
set titleResult to (choose from list titleOptions with prompt "Use bookmark URL or title as note title?" with title scriptTitle) as string

if titleResult = "Use bookmark's URL" then
	set titleType to "url"
else
	set titleType to "title"
end if

-- save the page's full content as the note's content?
-- if the user responds in the affirmative, the page's entire content will be scraped and saved as the note's body
-- this is recommended for Evernote premium users, only
global contentType
property pageOptions : {"Yes - Save full page", "No - Save summary only"}
set pageResult to (choose from list pageOptions with prompt "Save full page as note's content?  This is recommended for Evernote premium users or small bookmark lists, only" with title scriptTitle) as string

if pageResult = "Yes - Save full page" then
	set contentType to "full"
else
	set contentType to "summary"
end if

property linkList : {}
property theTags : {}
property linkExists : ""
property badList : {}

-- Main program begins

-- reset items
set AppleScript's text item delimiters to ""
set linkList to {}
set badList to {}

-- select the Delicious export file
set deliciousFile to (choose file with prompt "Choose Delicious Bookmark Export File")

-- open the Delicious export file
set deliciousData to read deliciousFile
set deliciousBody to my extractBetween(deliciousData, "<dl>", "</dl>")

-- get a list of all the links
set delDelimiter to "<dt>"
set deliciousRAW to read deliciousFile using delimiter delDelimiter
my processLinks(deliciousRAW, linkList)

-- process each link into a seperate webclipped note in Evernote, keeping tags and dates intact
my evernoteImport(linkList, theTags)

-- add bad links to a note containing all the bad URLs
if badList is not {} then

	set old_delim to AppleScript's text item delimiters
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to return
	set badList to badList as text
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to old_delim
	set badLinks to "List of URLs Returning Errors: " &amp; return &amp; (current date) &amp; return &amp; return &amp; badList as Unicode text

	tell application "Evernote"
		create note with text badLinks title "List of URLs Returning Errors" notebook evNotebook
	end tell
end if

-- child methods

-- get the anchor href info
on processLinks(deliciousRAW, linkList)
	repeat with i from 1 to (length of deliciousRAW)
		set theItem to item i of deliciousRAW
		if theItem contains "A HREF" then
			set end of linkList to theItem
		end if
	end repeat
end processLinks

-- process each link
on evernoteImport(linkList, theTags)
	repeat with i from 1 to (length of linkList)
		set theItem to item i of linkList
		set theURL to my extractBetween(theItem, "A HREF="", """)
		set linkExists to "true" as boolean
		set epochseconds to my extractBetween(theItem, "ADD_DATE="", """)
		set deliciousTags to my extractBetween(theItem, "TAGS="", """)
		set itemTitle to my extractBetween(theItem, "">", "</A>")
		-- change the delimiters to parse tags
		set oldDelims to AppleScript's text item delimiters
		set AppleScript's text item delimiters to ","
		set theTags to text items of deliciousTags as list
		-- change the delimiters back to what they were before
		set AppleScript's text item delimiters to oldDelims

		-- if the user selected to verify all URLs, the URL will be verified here
		if verify then
			my verify_Link(theURL)
		else
			set linkExists to true
		end if

		if linkExists is not false then
			-- add the bookmark to the good list
			if titleType = "title" then
				my createNote(itemTitle, theURL, theTags, epochseconds, evNotebook)
			else
				my createNote(theURL, theURL, theTags, epochseconds, evNotebook)
			end if
			set theTags to {}
		else
			-- add the bookmark to the bad list
			if titleType = "title" then
				my createNote(itemTitle, theURL, theTags, epochseconds, badNotebook)
			else
				my createNote(theURL, theURL, theTags, epochseconds, badNotebook)
			end if
			set theTags to {}
		end if

		if verify then
			-- delay is only required if we're verifying all links
			delay 3
		end if

	end repeat
end evernoteImport

-- verify working URL, if required
on verify_Link(theURL)
	try
		set the_page to do shell script "curl -siL "" &amp; theURL &amp; """
		set the_code to items 10 thru 12 of the_page as string
		if the_code is greater than 400 then
			set linkExists to "false" as boolean
			copy theURL to the end of badList
		end if
	end try
end verify_Link

-- create the note
on createNote(itemTitle, theURL, theTags, epochseconds, notebookName)
	tell application "Evernote"
		try
			set createDate to my epoch2datetime(epochseconds)
			-- create the note based on user's choice of summary or entire page content
			if contentType = "full" then
				-- save entire page (this is the original script)
				set n to create note from url theURL created createDate notebook notebookName tags theTags
				set source URL of n to theURL
			else
				-- save summary only (new option, good for Evernote basic account holders)
				set n to create note title itemTitle with text theURL created createDate tags theTags notebook notebookName
				set source URL of n to theURL
			end if
		end try
	end tell
end createNote

-- convert UNIX epoch time
on epoch2datetime(epochseconds)
	-- adapted from script found at Erik's Lab (http://erikslab.com/2006/09/05/how-to-convert-an-epoch-time-to-a-meaningful-date-and-time/)
	set myshell1 to "date -r "
	if formatDates is "YES" then
		-- formatted for U.S.
		set myshell2 to " "+%m/%d/%Y %l:%M %p"" -- Formatted for U.S.
	else if formatDates is "JP" then
		-- formatted for Japan
		set myshell2 to " "+%Y/%m/%d %l:%M %p""
	else
		-- formatted for everyone outside Japan/U.S.
		set myshell2 to " "+%d/%m/%Y %l:%M %p""
	end if
	set theDatetime to do shell script (myshell1 &amp; epochseconds &amp; myshell2)
	return date theDatetime
end epoch2datetime

-- extract text between specified delimiters
on extractBetween(SearchText, startText, endText)
	set tid to AppleScript's text item delimiters
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to startText
	set endItems to text of text item -1 of SearchText
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to endText
	set beginningToEnd to text of text item 1 of endItems
	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to tid
	return beginningToEnd
end extractBetween

Thanks to Justin from Veritrope for the original idea.

Categories
Archived Mac & OS X Uncategorized

Pimp My Desktop using GeekTool

Continuing with the theme of pimping various aspects of the OS X system configuration, today’s article covers how to use GeekTool 3 to display useful info on your OS X desktop.  For those that missed it, one of my recent articles, "Pimp My Prompt … like Paul Irish covered using the .bash_profile script to add some geek bling to your bash prompt – check it out.

The idea of GeekTool is to use the often under-utilised desktop area of OS X to display useful info.  Some people use it to display images but most use it to run Bash shell commands to interrogate and display various system-level statistics.  For example, my desktop looks like this (click for larger version):

My GeekTool Desktop
My GeekTool Desktop

Before you ask, the desktop background is an InterfaceLift image called The Solutionist.  🙂

Now, I’m going to assume that you’ve already downloaded and installed GeekTool 3 from the GeekTool homepage.  If you haven’t done that already, do it now, please.

Once you’ve got it installed, open System Preferences and click the GeekTool preference pane that should now be available.  For this article, please drag a "Shell" Geeklet onto your desktop.  Configure it any way you’d like in terms of position – for the sake of comparison, the screenshot below shows the settings for my date and weather Geeklet.

Date and weather Geeklet settings
Date and weather Geeklet settings
Categories
Archived Linux Mac & OS X Uncategorized

A couple more BASH prompt examples

Yesterday I published an article called "Pimp My Prompt … like Paul Irish" in which I showed how to make your BASH prompt similar to the one used by Paul Irish.

I also included a couple of sample prompts that you could use for reference so I figured I’d write a follow-up article that shows what they look like.  So, without any further ado, here they are.

Example 1 – Green username, blue host, magenta working directory, white git branch:

PS1='${GREEN}u${BLACK}@${CYAN}h:${MAGENTA}w${WHITE}`__git_ps1 " (%s)"`$ ‘

The example above uses the short colour codes outlined in the original article and looks like the screenshot below.

Green username, blue host, magenta working directory
Green username, blue host, magenta working directory

Example 2 – Blue user and host, magenta working directory, white git branch:

PS1='[33[0;36m]u@h[33[01m]:[33[0;35m]w[33[00m][33[1;30m][33[0;37m]`__git_ps1 " (%s)"`[33[00m][33[0;37m]$ '

The example above uses the built-in colour codes but can be harder to read.  It looks like the screenshot below.

Blue user and host, magenta working directory, white git branch
Blue user and host, magenta working directory, white git branch

Don’t forget to read the original article, "Pimp My Prompt … like Paul Irish", if you’re unsure about how to enable the __git_ps1 and short colour code commands.

Categories
Archived Linux Mac & OS X Uncategorized

Pimp My Prompt … like Paul Irish

There’s been a lot of talk lately about those cool colours that Paul Irish uses in his videos.  If you don’t know who Paul Irish is and you dabble in a bit of web design … well … shame on you!  😉  The things referenced in this article, including the prompt, can be found in Paul’s YouTube video entitled "The Build Script of HTML5 Boilerplate: An Introduction".  Anyway, I think the prompt colours are pretty useful, especially if you’re speedy at navigating your way around the CLI/shell in Linux or OS X and want to see where you are very quickly..  They help identify where you are in the file system, whether or not your current working directory is a git branch and, depending on what options you set, whether or not there are untracked files present etc.

Here’s what Paul’s prompt looks like (screenshot from the video linked above).

Paul Irish’s OS X prompt
Paul Irish’s OS X prompt

I believe Paul is using iTerm, as am I.  Combined with the stuff below, my iTerm configuration looks like this:

iTerm Configuration
iTerm Configuration

Pimp my prompt!

Ok, so you want your prompt to look like that?  It’s not that hard, actually.  You have to grant me a little latitude, though, as I’m guessing what Paul uses the various CLI prefix symbols for.  In this example I’m using an "o" to indicate a working outside a git branch and a + to indicate that the current working directory is a git branch.

This only works if you’re running an OS X or Linux shell – I’m sure you can do it with Windows but I’m not going to cover that here.

Step 1

If you haven’t got one already, open or create a file called .bash_profile in your home (~) folder.  You might be asking why not use .bashrc?  We want the command we’re adding to apply to interactive login shells – .bashrc only applies to interactive non-login shells.  There is an exception to this if you’re using OS X (like me) – .bash_profile is run for each new Terminal.app window, by default.

If a file with that name already exists, make sure you don’t remove anything from it that you want to keep.  From here I’m going to explain what each part of my .bash_profile does.  The complete file will be shown at the end, including a couple of extra bits.

Note: If you’re going to include the git parts, you’ll need to download the git source and put the file .git-completion somewhere (mine is in my home directory).

Categories
Archived Mac & OS X Uncategorized

Scheduling AppleScript using iCal

A few days ago I published an article that made my AppleScript backup ‘system’ available for download.  One of the things missing from that article was how to schedule the script so it runs backups automatically – I’m going to address that today.

There are a ton of ways to accomplish the scheduling a script to run.  If you’re hardcore you can use Cron (I won’t cover that here), you can purchase some scheduling software for OS X or you can do what I do – use iCal.

But iCal is a calendar … isn’t it?

Yes, it is.  However, because it’s a calendar, you can add events and set reminders for them.  See where I’m going with this?  Correct – you can run an AppleScript as part of an iCal event’s alarm.  If you read the article about my AppleScript backups, you’ll remember that I said that the idea was to do things with built-in apps, if possible.  Every OS X installation includes iCal by default so it just makes sense to use it here.

Won’t my calendar get messy?

iCal allows you to setup separate calendars for different types of events so no, it won’t get messy if you don’t want it to.  For example, I have a calendar called ‘Backups’ and it holds … wait for it … backups.  🙂  My backup script runs each day at 8:00 p.m. without me having to do anything manually.

Here’s an example of what one of my backup events looks like.  Note that the event is set to happen 15 minutes after the actual backup starts, with the reminder event triggering 15 minutes before that, i.e. at the actual time the backup is to start.

iCal event to run the backup script
iCal event to run the backup script

It really is that simple.  You don’t need anything other than what comes with your OS X installation to do any of this either – that makes it completely free.

If you end up using any of this, I’d love to hear about it.  Thanks for reading!

Categories
Archived Mac & OS X Uncategorized

AppleScript ‘Backup System’

Why?

Because I’m in I.T. I’m quite paranoid about my data and its safety.  This is partly due to being responsible for the data for companies that would seriously lose hundreds of millions in capital without that data and partly due to losing all my own data many years ago.  At the time I was working on a website editor that, after some semi-public testing, I had been informed was better than the best commercial website editor at the time.  I lost the code, all the files that related to the project and all my backups … my backup software had a bug that killed my ability to restore from tape.  Sigh.

So anyway, I’ve used many methods of backing up my data but I’m overly paranoid about backup software not doing what I want when I *really* want it to and I therefore do my own backups, ‘on the side’, so to speak.

How?

I’m a big fan of doing things as simply as possible and in this case the simplest solution is to take the data I want to backup, archive it in a widely-used format (ZIP) and put it somewhere I can easily get it back.  Naturally this means offsite, outside my house, and in today’s world that means in ‘the cloud’.  Dropbox, in this case.

Now, if you’ve used Dropbox and have given it a bit of a thrashing, you’ll know that as soon as you throw a LOT of files at it, the indexing process really starts to take over, chewing CPU and disk I/O cycles.  For that reason, my solution involving archiving the data into a ZIP file before giving it to Dropbox works nicely.

No, really, how?

My current hardware platform is Mac.  For that reason I figured the best way to back things up without installing anything extra was to write an AppleScript to handle things.  You might argue that I should’ve written it using standard Unix .sh or Bash script so that I could use it on Linux but that’s not a requirement.  Plus, although I wrote this primarily for my own use, I had always planned on making this script publicly available and AppleScript is very easy to understand, even if you’re not a tech-head, like me.  Don’t expect a production-quality script as I’m not trying to sell it so please be aware that there are no warranties provided with anything you download from here.

Is it configurable?

A lot of the settings are, yes.  However, this is a backup script and I therefore chose to keep a number of things ‘set in concrete’, if that makes any sense.  However, being an editable script means that you can just change stuff, if you want.  Here’s what you can change.

  • Prompt on overwrite, if a destination archive already exists
  • The ‘base’ path of your backup destination, by default Dropbox
  • The list of paths that need backing up

In my opinion, you don’t really need to change much more than that.  🙂

Categories
Archived Evolution Training Uncategorized

Brunswick to Sassafras

On Saturday Erin & I went for a drive from our place in Brunswick to Sassafras, a small mountain village up in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne.  Sassafras is a place I had ridden to before, back when I was living in Hawthorn.  Back then it was a 75k round trip – not bad for the bike I was on at the time (bone-charring aluminium, for those in the know).

After spending the day in the hills I was reminded of how nice the area is up there, and also of the beautiful road conditions.  They’re smooth, flowing, relatively low-traffic and, on the Mountain Highway side, really not very steep at all.  Needless to say, this was enough to get me thinking about biking up there the following day.  I knew it’d be close to 100km return but hey, if you don’t go, you’ll never know what you’re missing, right?

A good dinner and what seemed to be a pretty good sleep that night prepared me for the 7:30 a.m. start on Sunday morning.  The conditions were like nothing I’ve seen in Melbourne before.  It was pretty cold (around 8 degrees Celcius) and completely calm but man … the mist and fog?  Nuts!  Visibility at sea level was no more than about 50 metres at any time during the first 2 hours of the ride, making the use of my usual cycling glasses completely redundant.  The fog and mist was so thick, in fact, that I just took my glasses off and rode without any until about 45 minutes before arriving home.

Riding up Mountain Highway from The Basin to Sassafras really was something else.  It’s an easy climb by any standards despite its profile (see below) but the mist caused the sun to be heavily diffused and to cast those amazing shadowy rays that happen when bright sunlight is filtered through trees.  Simply awesome and I found myself wishing I had a camera with me.

The Climb

The climb from The Basin to Sassafras
The climb from The Basin to Sassafras

Re the ride itself?  In all honesty I was half expecting to get some of the way back and hit the wall since 100km is a long ride for me right now.  Maybe it was the decent rest but I felt pretty damn good throughout the whole thing.  The route from my house to Sassafras is technically uphill the whole way but does roll a lot; that allows for some recovery during the ride.  The climb was no problem and I found myself cranking through the middle section at a pretty easy pace.

I’ll definitely be doing this ride again very soon and plan to try and make it a regular weekend thing.  If you’re in Melbourne and want to join me, fire me an email and I’ll be more than happy to ride with you.  🙂

NB: After posting this and having heard of a hill climb called the "1 in 20" near Melbourne, I realised that the road climb from The Basin shops to Sassafras is the "1 in 20" ride … lol.  Next time I go out there I’ll have to try it under 20 mins – this time was around 21 mins through the ‘official’ timed section, I think.

The Ride

Here’s the ride itself from Garmin Connect.  The climb from The Basin to Sassafras is pretty obvious, huh?  Cool.

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Eufemiano Fuentes – Fascinating Read

If you know me, you know that I ride bikes from time to time.  Ok, so that’s a bit of an understatement – if it wasn’t financially stupid I’d happily spend more on a bike than I ever would on a car … oh wait, my bike *is* worth than my car and my cycling shoes are worth more some peoples’ bikes.  Hmmm … lol.

So anyway, the point of this quick post isn’t to go on about how much my cycling gear is worth (read my ‘Evolution‘ series to get into that) but more to direct anyone reading this to a fascinating article I just found on cyclingnews.com about Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish gynaecologist (by trade), sports physician & doctor at the center of the 2006 cycling scandal, Operación Puerto.

The article, titled "Playing God: Eufemiano Fuentes" goes into some pretty heavy detail on Operación Puerto, Fuentes himself and some of the comments made by people involved in the case.

"Arguably the most important figure in Spanish cycling over the past 20 years, Eufemiano Fuentes is reviled by many but views himself as cycling’s ultimate altruist."

Sports physiology is something I find particularly fascinating and is probably what I’d love to be involved in if I had the academic ability to study medicine but, since I’m just a simple geek, I have to be satisfied with reading about what happens instead of getting arrested for prescribing EPO myself.  😉

If you want to read the article yourself, please do so by clicking the link provided above, or, if you missed it (open your eyes!), by clicking the following link: "Playing God: Eufemiano Fuentes".