Category Archives: Cowboy Programming

Copy DVDs onto iPhone for free (Windows)

Very easy to do, you just need to install two free programs:

1) DVD43:
(Reboot after installing)

2) Handbrake:
– More specifically, install the Windows GUI version.


3) Insert DVD, cancel any auto-play

4) Run Handbrake, under Source, browse to the VIDEO_TS folder on your DVD drive

5) Under Destination, browse to any folder on your PC where the converted video will be stored, pick an appropriate name for the movie.

6) Under Presets, click on iPhone/iPod Touch, do not adjust any other settings.

7) Click Start, and wait 30 minutes to 2+ hours (depending on computer speed, and DVD length)

8) Drag the converted (.mp4 or .mpv) video file into Movies in your iTunes library

9) On the iPhone in iTunes, click the “Video” tab, then select the Movies you want to sync.

10) Sync, done. Movie will show up on your iPhone’s iPod “Videos”.

Tip: When playing, double tap to adjust the zoom in letterboxed movies.

Todo: Six Minute Mile, Seven Minute 5K

I think I’ll try to run a six minute mile this year. Today I just did an official 7 minute mile. (The GPS claims I did 1.13 miles at a 6:53 pace). Since I started running last October, I’ve knocked two minutes off my pace. This means I only have to knock off another 53 seconds in the next seven months. Seems possible, with a bit of effort.

The Seven Minute 5K means run a 5K at seven minute pace, meaning 3.11 miles in 21:46. This also seemed rather ridiculous when I first ran that distance. It took me 32 minutes. But now I’m down to a 7:39 pace, which is around 23:30.

These are not unrealistic goals. Lot’s of fairly casual runners can do a 5K in around a 7 minute pace (see the first 220 runners (10%) in this race, including one 68 year-old. I’d place in the top 20%). The winner of the race, Chris Chisholm, is 42, and did a 4:59 pace. Anyone of reasonable fitness can do a 7 minute pace, simply by improving their time one bit at a time. That’s what I’m going to do.

I think the seven minute 5K is actually going to be easier than the six minute mile. Nobody really runs the mile for fun either, so I won’t get the pleasure of beating anyone but myself.

A seven minute 5K is 21.44. I suspect that as soon as I do that, I’ll be wanting to do a 20 minute 5K.

Running Progress

There’s two runs I do now, a run to Original Muscle Beach (OMB) and back, with a workout between the runs, and then a run that’s 3.2 miles, slightly over a 5K.

The OMB run is 1.1 miles, so I treat it as a mile run, and judge the run by my mile pace. I started doing this run back in October 2006, and the first time I recorded was 10:34. Actually the first time I tried the run I actually did not make the full mile, and had to stop half-way with legs hurting.

Now (May 2007), I’ve got my time down to 7:57, which is about a 7:13 mile pace. I just need to knock it down to 7:42 in order to have run a seven minute mile. I’m very confident I’ll be able to hit this target within a few weeks.

I’ve had on and off problem with my knee. The worst problem seem to come if I miss running for anything more than a few days. Like when we went to vacation to Japan, and Hawaii, both times I had horrible painful runs the first time I did it on returning. Yet now if I run every day, I don’t seem to have any problems. Running almost seems to act as a pain killer. My left arm was giving me problems from OMB workouts, but after todays run it seemed fine.

The 5K run has also improved a lot. I did my first 5K run in 32:59 – had to walk a little bit. The next time I ran the whole way in 32:12 (Nov 12th 2006). Then the very next day Holly challenged me to a race I I did it in 29:52. By February I was down to 27:29, and three days ago I got to 25:30, a pace of 7:56. My goal for the year was pretty much to do 5K at a 8:00 pace, and I’ve already done that. I’ll probably aim at getting my run under 25 minutes, then 24, 23, 22 …. Eventually I’d like to run 5K at 7 minute pace and do a single mile in 6:30. Maybe next year.

April in Shibuya

So a few days ago, we passed by the famous Shibuya crossing, where there is this famous statue of a dog called Hachiko.  This statue appeared in the Amazing Race, so we were keen to see it ourselves.  It’s quite easy to find, here it is behind us.

Then this morning, we were were reading the morning paper, and were horrified to discover Hachiko had been stolen! 

It took us quite some time to figure it out. But then I remembered the date: April 1st