My experience with LASIK Surgery

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I have recently undergone the LASIK “bladeless” eye surgery to correct myopia in a pretty good clinic in Prague, an operation I was keen to take when my gradation became stable. I found out that the worst parts of this operation are the details that I didn’t know in advance. Therefore, I would like to share my experience with whoever wants to read it, as it may help those who want to take the surgery to be ready for all the aspects of it (or scare the shit out of them, it depends). It is rather long, by the way. Just three statements to summarize the experience: it does not hurt, it is very stressful, and the result is fantastic. Ready? Here we go.

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My eyes after LASIK. Yes, that lighter circle in the iris is due to the operation

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My second PC Build in 10 years!

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The last time I made a PC build it lasted for the best part of 10 years, and it was already time for me to refresh my desktop PC. I hope this time I accomplished with the same long-lasting but on-budget creature. So here are the specs:

  • MOBO: MSI H97 PC Mate – 2,226 CZK
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 – 5,828 CZK
  • GPU: GIGABYTE GTX 960 MINI 2GB GDDR5 – 5,490 CZK
  • RAM: Kingston HyperX Savage 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 CL9 – 1,272 CZK
  • SSD: 128GB ADATA Premier Pro SP900 – 1,649 CZK
  • HDD: 1TB SATA 3 5400 rpm – (taken from external drive, no longer used as such)

PC

That is in total 16,465 CZK (about 600€), and the GPU included a next-gen game (the unreleased Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, already waiting in my Steam account). I already had the PSU (550W ATX, nothing special) and the tower (a Eurocase metal crap, the worst of all), which I will upgrade some day at a later stage. Most of the workload will be video editing and gaming, as well as backup for my media server. Perhaps I will finally start using Lightroom at full-scale too, if I get the time to play with it. Features like warp stabilizer and encoding for my GoPro videos are incomparably faster than my old PC or my working laptop. The tests with few games (Bioshock Infinite, The Witcher 2 and Assetto Corsa) are brilliant even with ultra settings, but the real challenge will be in two weeks, when MGS V: The Phantom Pain is released.

For those interested, it replaces my old AMD X2 64, with NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB, 3GB of DDR memory and a total of 380GB of IDE drives (slow, really slow).

Mexico 2014

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I can’t believe it’s been already more than a year since we came back from Mexico, just to find out we had an extra passenger all this time… Anyway, I guess it’s never too late to post our 5 minutes video, a summary of what we experienced during our holidays in the south of Mexico (Yucatan peninsula and part of Chiapas). I am so much missing diving…

Mushroom Risotto

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This is another recipe from Jamie, again adapted to my own taste and the availability of ingredients in Czech Republic:

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Piri-Piri Chicken

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Well, the following recipe was inspired by one of Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals, changed due to my taste and the ingredients that are available to me.

Piri-Piri Chicken

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AMG Performance Driving Lessons

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As many of you already know, I am lately very determined in improving my driving skills, and I started to look for a good performance or race driving school in Czech Republic in order to get proper training (still unsuccessfully, due to the language barrier). Don’t worry, I do not plan to race anybody, just to have some fun with my own car on a track and set some lap times.

Searching the Internet I found out that AMG Driving Academy has released a very interesting series of 10 videos in Youtube that show some of the tips and tricks they teach during their lessons. The episodes are led by former race driver Tommy Kendall as well as other AMG profesional instructors.

If you prefer to watch them individually instead of the whole playlist, then here you have the episodes one by one:

Lesson 1 – The Basics: Seating Adjustment & Line of Sight

Lesson 2 – Breaking: Threshold and Trail

Lesson 3 – Slalom Driving

Lesson 4 – Understeer and Oversteer

Lesson 5 – Line Technique

Lesson 6 – Electronic Stability Program (Traction Control)

Lesson 7 – Drifting

Lesson 8 – Lead Follow

Lesson 9 – Racecraft: racing other cars

Lesson 10 – Hot Laps

It seems I will need to look for such training out of the Czech Republic – luckily, Germany is just around the corner 🙂

Raspberry Pi – A credit card-size PC

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I couldn’t help myself: the first post had to be about the wonderful Raspberry Pi (RPi). I own a “Model B” of these minimalist computers for over a year and now it has become the main pillar of our home IT equipment.

RPi size compared to a typical wallet card

RPi size compared to a typical wallet card

RPi with external case

RPi with external case

Let me tell you first a few facts about it:

  • It features a 700 MHz ARM-based CPU, 512 MB of memory, and plenty of I/O for communicating with it. Since it has a hardware-based h.264/MPEG-4 AVC decoder, it can even play 1080p Full HD video without problems.
  • You can install a wide range of Linux flavors, or appliance-like software for more specific tasks such as media centers.
  • It consumes about 3-3.5 Watt, which means about 5 EUR per year depending on your electricity bill rates.
  • It costs less than 35 EUR. Do you know any other computer for that price? The add-ons can easily double this price (SD card, a nice case, a handy USB hub, etc), but it’s still a bargain.

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