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April 19, 2009

World’s most beautiful 10 miles: Berne GP

Filed under: Running — Tags: — martinopia @ 4:38 pm

Swiss often aren’t very modest when it comes to describing their country, but still the self-description of the Berne Grand Prix as “wold’s most beautiful 10 miles” seems to be pretty pushy. So I just had no choice but to give it a try and run these 10 miles myself:


So here it is, the official review of the Berne GP:
Organisation: 9/10 points – there is really nothing to complain about. All facilities (even a sport massage service) in one place: garderobe, shower (warm water!), a lot of very kind supporters, perfect public transport connections, a wide variety of food suppliers and even a shopping center next to the starting area.
Running track: 8/10 points – Indeed it’s a very interesting route with a lot of different parts: old town, federal house of parliament, a beautiful trace along the river (Aare), a relaxing little extra trip in a forest (there was even a zoo!) passing by the diplomat and embassy quarter before heading to the final climb before the last km to the finish line. A very nice track with a bit too much downward slopes which are pretty challenging for the knees.
Atmosphere/spirit: Just great – “tout Berne” seemed to be part of the GP, either running or cheering along the route. The majority of the participants are really there to have a good time and not to persistently win the contest. And indeed – I had a very good time running the GP.

Considering all this, maybe the Berne GP route is not “world’s most beautiful 10 miles” track. But still I would agree with the speaker who predicted that most runners will return to the Berne GP next year. At least for me, chances are very high.

PS: for those interested in my performance – considering the climbing parts I am very happy with my 1:38:54 (my goal was 1:40:00).

April 17, 2009

Bringing CHF to Mac OS

Filed under: Software — Tags: — martinopia @ 2:54 pm

There is a very painful limitation in Mac OS X Leopard: the developers forgot to include a customize option for formatting numbers in Leopard. And to make things even worse: instead of the ISO compatible and widely used currency symbol “CHF” for “Swiss Francs” they included the very old fashioned “SFr.” as standard setting – and there is no official way to change it (I even called Apple support and they confirmed that this can’t be changed). And because applications like Billings rely on this setting (and do not offer an option to customize it onlz for the specific app) that’s really a BIG issue for swiss Mac users:


Fortunately after spending some time in Google I found an article about how to change these settings with a terminal command.

So here it is: the magic command to bring CHF to the Mac OS X Leopard:

defaults write -g AppleICUNumberSymbols -dict 8 ‘CHF’

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