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I got lucky and was picked to test a Nissan Leaf for 3 days. I was already interested in this car due to the 4% tax for private use of a company car. So in 2018 the Dutch rules are rather simple: all cars are 22% unless they are full electric. So a full electric car is attractive due to the low additional tax liability.

For instance, a Ford Focus is about € 28.000,-. Take 22% (€ 6.160,-) and multiply your tax scale. For easy calculation, take half. That’s what it costs you a year. So that’s 3k.

A Leaf is about € 40.000,-. Take 4% (€ 1.600,-) take half and that’s € 800,-. So a car that’s about 10k more, costs you € 2.200,- less a year.

That is what makes the Leaf a good company car.

First impression

I only googled it once, so I had never seen a Leaf in real life, but my first impression was: looks good! The trunk had more space then I expected (coming from a station car). It even seemed that the backseat had more leg space then my current car. The test car came with seat heating, steering wheel heating, climate control etc. It has great features. I really liked the adaptive cruise control on the highway and all the cameras while parking.

Driving

No noise! It’s obvious of course, but at some points while driving, you actually notice that there is no engine sound and it is strange at the beginning. Probably because you are used to the sound for all your life.

This was also the first car that had a DAB radio. While driving, I noticed that the coverage of digital radio is not great yet in the Netherlands. So you notice the switch/fallback between digital and analogue radio. It even has a partial replay of the sound when switching. I don’t know much about the technical details, but perhaps they can fix it with some software? Would be nice.

The handbrake is a pedal… This was new for me. I have seen cars that had a small switch on the place where the normal handbrake was. Like a VW Golf. It’s rather common. The pedal can be confusing when you are not used to automatic gears and you think you need to hit a clutch. This did not happen thankfully.

It’s really a joy to drive one. You only have to get used that you do not put your feet down instant when you want to accelerate. With great power comes great responsibility. So accelerate gently. It’s better for the battery, but more important your co-drivers.

The E-pedal, it’s great, it’s true

This might sound like an expression that could be made by the current president of the USA, but it’s not. Some people can’t get used to the e-pedal so there is a button to opt-out, but I love it! Coming from driving stick, you have 3 pedals. Driving automatic has 2 pedals and this e-pedal makes sure that you don’t even need the brake. You can brake by gently lifting your feet from the gas. This is for real lazy effective people. Like software developers. Like me.

Charging

This is the tricky part. This is the biggest change. Having the car for 3 days gave me the opportunity to charge it. Regular test drives take only 30 minutes so that you can never experience the full electric-car-experience. My first charge was with a normal plug in a power outlet in my garage. It’s not fast, but I just wanted to experience it and it’s the easiest option for me to charge it. There are public locations to charge electric cars within about 100 meters from my house.

I got a special card (NFC?) to charge it. It was a New Motion one. Their website is really nice. You can use this slightly hidden gem https://my.newmotion.com/ to see the locations across Europe. Living in the Netherlands seems perfect for an electric car owner.

newmotion

If you like speed, like me, you want to use a fast charger. So I checked out the fastned website.

fastned

They even have 4 locations in the Netherlands with a 175kW connection at the moment. So I always thought that if an electric car had the fast charging capability that it would charge to 80% of the battery in about 20 minutes. That’s not true. #fakenews The Nissan Leaf can “fast” charge to 80% in between 40 – 60 minutes. imageThere is this news item from about a month ago that there is a fast charging issue with the Leaf.

I fast charged it at the A12 and tried to use the card which failed. It appeared that I needed a FastNed account. Because the card was not linked yet. I have read about sharing a card/account. It comes down to the fact that your card needs to be linked. Several people before me tested the car and card, but apparently I was the first to use the card for FastNed. I needed to install an app from either the Google play or Apple app store. I have a Windows 10 Mobile phone…. So luckily my codriver had an iPhone and was willing to install the app and create an account on my name, on his phone, with the card which came with the car. That’s suboptimal, but it worked. The lady on the FastNed customer service was patience and helped us out great. She explained that this was the only way and told us that the car would charge up to 80% in 20 minutes (because it was not completely empty).

image

It was a nice experience which you would not get when you would try out an electric car at the dealer. In a 30 minutes test-drive you cannot have a full electric driving experience. So I am grateful that I could test it for several days. Because if I would pick this car. I will have to drive it for about 5 years.

A few years back there was this Dutch news about someone who had the previous Nissan Leaf and sued Nissan for having a battery that would degrade in capacity and could not get the mileage that they advertise with. I understand that batteries have less capacity in cold weather. Heating the car drains it faster and driving over 100 km/h drains it even more. The range is important to me because I have family living about an hour away.

A small side note I found on zap-zap.com the regular charging method has a cap at 6.6 kW/h so if your location has 10, 11, 22 or even 43. It’s capped at 6.6 kW.

image

Range

I checked it out after the test drive but there are some differences between the current range tests of electric cars as you can see here:

image

source: https://www.nissan.nl/voertuigen/nieuw/leaf/bereik-opladen.html

I drove a Connecta I think. So you can see that according to some tests it’s range is between 270 and 390 km that has a 120 km gap! I drove on the highway, some parts even 130 km/h and had my family in it. It was hot, so the air-conditioning was on. And on a single trip of 84 km the FastNed app predicted (I had to select the type of car) that it would use over 50% of the battery.

Conclusion

My goal was to check if I could drive it like I would normally drive a petrol car and see if I could make it back home without charging. If I would pull it of and have sufficient battery left, I’d choose this car. But as I said before, batteries degrade over time and have less capacity in cold weather. There is no data yet about the degradation of electric car batteries, only from Tesla. But I can imagine that in 5 years, in a winter with the heating on I would have to charge a lot in order to get back home.

It’s a great car. Loved to drive it! But due to the current range, it’s just not for me (yet). I have heard about a 60kW battery, which makes it more interesting for me. But that version is not yet available. So is the Tesla model 3. So I will have to stick to petrol for at least a year.

I would like to thank Riemersma Leasing and Nissan Nederland for making this possible. They really gave me the possibility to fully experience driving the new and amazing Nissan Leaf! I really recommend the car (if you have relatives living closer).

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I wanted to try Microsoft Flow for the first time. So I thought of a use-case and came up with a thing that has been bothering me for a while. When I have an epic moment while gaming on my Xbox, I can capture it with a quick double tap on the Xbox icon and the ‘x’ button.

The next step is to get it in the cloud. Because auto-upload is still not a thing yet. (please upvote)

So if the recording is done, you get a notification and keep the xbox icon pressed to put it up on OneDrive.

So it’s in the cloud. But it’s private… I wanted it to be available on YouTube

Auto-Publish Xbox recording on YouTube

This is my use-case! I have seen several options (how ironically) on YouTube about using the YouTube app for Xbox. But I want to auto-upload and have it set to private. So that I only have to occasionally look into my YT account and crop, caption, publish them. But it will be the easiest option, because the files are already at the right destination.

YouTube is limited in FlowAfbeeldingsresultaat voor microsoft flow

The YouTube connector/triggers/actions are limited… So I need to pull in something more externally to get it to work. I hope that they will add more capabilities in the future for flow and YT

flow-youtube-limited

There are no actions, so you can’t upload from Flow to YouTube (yet) I have added it as an idea for flow. Since I decided that using Flow was a requirement (to get to know the product) I made this flow:

flow

Sorry for the Dutch. But it says: when a file is made, make a file on Dropbox.

I have specified the video/xbox dir for onedrive and made a new dir on Dropbox as target.

The final step for automation to YouTube

So Flow lacks some options… I had an old but still active IFTTT account (if this, than that) but that also won’t work. So I searched some more and found Zapier. It appears that I could also leave out flow and just use OneDrive to YouTube there. But I wanted to use Flow, so I kept the Dropbox step. So I configured Zapier to auto upload a new Dropbox file and it’s done.

ZapierAfbeeldingsresultaat voor zapier

I found out that they are hiring, but they use a totally different stack then what I prefer. Winking smile so perhaps it’s something for you dear reader. They have some great docs about creating an Zapier app with the node.js sdk. But as I have said. I like a different stack. So here is a C# approach with webhooks for Zapier. They should/could add (unsupported) C# docs to their official site.


So I finally have a semi auto upload to YouTube. A quick tap-tap on the xbox button on the controller and hit the X to record the last 30 seconds. Send it to Onedrive and from there it’s auto to dropbox and automatically to YouTube (as private) video ready for captioning an publishing it. Maybe someday when I have some spare time, I’d automate it even more or better but for now: good luck and take care!

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It’s almost the 25th of May, so it’s a bit of a rush. But I am looking into the required changes for the javascript code of Google Analytics to get it GDPR compliant.

As you probably know by now, GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation which should protect the European website visitors more and will probably benefit the privacy of others too.

Google has send an e-mail about that you have to accept a data processing amendment. Which is the first step for GDPR. The second one requires a change in the source code of your website! I thought it is not emphasized enough online. So that is why I wrote this blog.

IP Anonymization in Analytics

It’s required by law to make sure that you do not send the last octet of the IPv4 address (or the last part of IPv6 addresses) from the visitor to Google. Or to have them ignore it actually.


image

source: autoriteit persoonsgegevens – handleiding privacyvriendelijk instellen google analytics maart 2018

However the official Google documentation says that you just have to add a query parameter to the url of the .js file

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2763052?hl=en 

the aip parameter should have a one (true)

&aip=1

But it’s also possible that you have some legacy js and have to do it like this line:

_gaq.push (['_gat._anonymizeIp']);

So look into your current analytics JavaScript code and make the change. The pdf of the Dutch authority of personal data also lists that you should make a screenshot of the code and the date and time that the change went live as a proof that you made the change before the law was in state. Which is not solid evidence, so I do not understand why they suggest it.

https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js?aip=1 

But good luck making everything in order for the upcoming GDPR!

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So I have installed WSL as soon as it was available in the production ring of Windows 10. It is nice/epic etc. you should try it yourself. I used it Format a large XML file fast so that I could actually read it. That was a year ago. So it has been around now for a while.

Scott tweeted that you can pipe '|' stuff between windows/powershell and linux commands! But in the screenshot there was this "wslconfig /list" command. It listed “Legacy (Default)” for me…

Everytime a software developer says “legacy” they should wash their mouth. So I had to remove it!

Scott pointed me to this article about updating the WSL. But I did not want to update it, because I have the latest from the store. That article is also a year old by the way.

So the command you are looking for in case you have a legacy WSL as default is “lxrun /uninstall /full /y

Today (19th of April 2018) there are several options in the store:

Debian GNU/Linux https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9MSVKQC78PK6
Ubuntu https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NBLGGH4MSV6
openSUSE Leap 42 https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NJVJTS82TJX
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9P32MWBH6CNS
Kali Linux https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9P32MWBH6CNS

Try some and enjoy!

Good luck!

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There are a lot of benefits with managed disks and it is the preferred way to create a new VM. However because of my tight budget, I wanted to move to unmanaged. I did not expect the costs to continue when the VM was stopped. It was because of the managed storage disks(s).

I found this SO answer of Jason Ye - MSFT.

$sas = Grant-AzureRmDiskAccess -ResourceGroupName "[ResourceGroupName]" -DiskName "[ManagedDiskName]" -DurationInSecond 3600 -Access Read  
$destContext = New-AzureStorageContext –StorageAccountName "[StorageAccountName]" -StorageAccountKey "[StorageAccountAccessKey]"
$blobcopy=Start-AzureStorageBlobCopy -AbsoluteUri $sas.AccessSAS -DestContainer "[ContainerName]" -DestContext $destContext -DestBlob "[NameOfVhdFileToBeCreated].vhd"

I had to create containers in the storage account but I had copied both the OS and the Data disk to the blob storage as .vhd file.

I used this powershell script and the template to create the vhd from blob storage. The datadisk can be added later in the web gui.

  1. Login-AzureRMAccount
  2. Get-AzureRmSubscription
  3. Set-AzureRmContext -SubscriptionName "my subscription name here"
  4. $sas = Grant-AzureRmDiskAccess -ResourceGroupName "resourcegroup" -DiskName "manageddiskname" -DurationInSecond 45000 -Access Read 
    $destContext = New-AzureStorageContext –StorageAccountName "storageaccount" -StorageAccountKey "myprivatekey"
    $blobcopy=Start-AzureStorageBlobCopy -AbsoluteUri $sas.AccessSAS -DestContainer "vhd-containers" -DestContext $destContext -DestBlob "givetheunmanageddiskaname.vhd"
  5. Get-AzureStorageBlobCopyState -Container "vhd-containers" -Blob "givetheunmanageddiskaname.vhd" -Context $destContext –WaitForComplete

My mistake was to use the 3600 value for ‘DurationInSecond’ which is just an hour (60 sec, 60 minutes). The 512 gb datadisk could not be copied to blob storage within an hour (or two). Found out that an hour was also insufficient when I found ‘Get-AzureStorageBlobCopyState’.

Because I already had a vnet from my vm with managed disks, I used this template to create a new vm with the os disk from blob storage: https://github.com/Azure/azure-quickstart-templates/tree/master/201-vm-specialized-vhd-existing-vnet

If you do not have a vnet yet, you should use https://github.com/Azure/azure-quickstart-templates/tree/master/101-vm-from-user-image The deploy to azure button is a useful tool!

image

Once you have a new vm with an unmanaged disk up and running, close it to add the data disk. Once you have done that and have a remote desktop connection, go to disk management and bring the datadisk online again. It took me some time to get my head around the ASM and ARM differences in the powershell tooling. Also because there is now Azure Cli and a cross plat powershell 6.0

The cloud is moving fast, so hop on. Don’t miss out!


Good luck!

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