Well following on from my previous post on the pebble watch I thought I would give a bit of an update.
When I watched the kick started videos during the hype of the pebble watch launch I knew I wanted it straight away. What I failed to appreciate was how the kickstarter + pebble business model is different from the normal technology retail space. You don’t see a product, order it and then use it. You become part of the process. The concept is done but you are buying a product that has not been made yet. Almost like buying a house off the plan.
The pebble did end up coming on the big Burma trip with us. Sadly under SDK 1.0 the watch could not use storage on the phone to back up my dual time zone settings. But what I found interesting is after landing in either Myanmar or Malaysia as soon as my phone locked onto the new network time so did my pebble so it was up to date where ever we were. Due to having no data connection thus redendering 90% of my phones functions useless and in turn the watches it was left in flight mode.
With SDK 2.0 being out for a few days now I can say I have not lost caller ID once ( a turn around from before). I don’t need to constantly open or kill and reopen the pebble http app to get the weather on my watch face. I am also getting a lot more notifications than before.
It is getting better..
No doubt you have guessed I love my gadgets. The downside is they seem to breed, taking up more and more power points along with migrating to new habitat – beside the bed, beside the TV and the kitchen bench.
While in a local home wares store on the weekend I noticed a faux leather desk organiser. With a power drill and some wood-boring drill bit, the pics show the result.
Now my Pebble watch, my Fitbit Flex, my iPhone, my iPad mini, iPod Nano, Bluetooth headphones, and battery packs along with their cables have a home. nice and tidy. I can even fit my 11in Macbook Air in the rear 2 spots.
So for around 20 bucks it is all neat and tidy.
Today I completed my Lifeproof collection.
I have been using my LIfeProof Fre on my iPhone 5 with the sports band as well as the bike mount. The case makes my phone virtually indestructible – NB I have not used in the pool, merely the shower / bath. It has been great – the standard iPhone headphones go straight into the phone without the screwed / waterproof headphone adapter. The only down side is that aftermarket cables will not fit through the hole used for the charger. No worries just have to use the Apple one.
Today I got the Lifeproof for my iPad Mini! – I have already tested it tonight in the shower and works great. Here is a review by someone else but catches my thoughts
As you can see I have mostly only packed my tech stuff… I have redundancy after redundancy. I think I have problems. I almost as bad as the ‘preppers’ in the US who think the world is going to end. I haven’t even started packing clothes.
This is a map of our planned travel route along with my parents who are having their own holiday, but meeting us in KL and going to Redang Island, Malaysia with us.
Download the Google Earth Link
As we are also taking our Delorme InReach satellite 2 way communicator with us too, if we can not get phone signal and find something awesome we will post here:
The Pebble Watch made famous by the crowd source website kickstarter in 2012 promised big. In the slick hook video that accompanied the kick starter page, it look the bees knees to be honest. It promised seamless integration with Runkeeper, flawless notifications for SMS, iMessages and calls. In reality that’s true 60% of the time minus the flawless part.
Rewind – 2012 I preordered a Pebble after coming across the kick starter site a few days after kicker starter ‘backers’ closed. While not putting any money down I did reserve one. Fast forward early 2013. I am requested for payment details which I supplied. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. 25/7/13 I am noticed the Pebble has shipped via singpost with full tracking. By mid August I start getting worried. Singpost can not trace after dispatch, auspost can it trace as it has not been scanned into Australia. Last Friday it just turned up. Finally it’s here.
I charged my pebble and followed the instructions. Installing the iOS pebble app. Sharing my phone book.
What I did not know was that the pebble maintains a constant connection with my iphone5. Not the low powered connection that pulses data like my fitbit flex. I noticed the battery drain immediately. I estimate 10-30% faster than without the pebble connection.
iOS / pebble interaction is limited without jail breaking – emails, calls, texts. Caller Id for calls has dropped off after day 2.
I set out to find 2 simple downloadable watch faces that would add functionality I would require.
1. Time, date and weather of my local area ( Australia)
2. Dual time zone digital face.
What I did not realize that such a simple task would start a journey equal to a Bilbo Baggins stroll to visit Mordor.
Regarding the weather watch face. Apparent despite Australia being the fastest adopters of new technology per capita, finding weather loading (polling) faces that would detect my location outside of USA was non existent. So far I am up two my 6 app. No luck. All have required the additional app called httpebble which allows Internet access for polling of data.
Regarding the dual timezone. A search of similar scale was needed. While one face that met all my needs , should I leave the watch face to use another feature such as change a song through the watch interface. The watch face loses the timezone offset requiring resetting every time
Overall I disappointed at the lack of functionality for the iOS system along with the sketchy at best alert system for other apps. So poor is the Pebble at reconnecting with apps using push notifications that a procedure has been devised that requires going into the notification centre and reactivating the motivations of every required app. It has been named the ‘finger dance’ by the pebble community.
Another aggravating factor is the disjointed and dispersed collection of apps and watch faces. There is no one stop marketplace.
I hope it gets better. Presently it will not be coming on my month long trip if it does not get better, and fast.
As you have seen from my other posts I have been trying to get my ballooning weight under control recently. My fitbit devices have been really integral as part of my attempt. The Aria and the Flex have been my daily companions. The Aria greets me every morning once I wake up. Visually reminding me to step on and get the result. It displays weight plus body fat as a percentage. I try to do it every day, same time, same place. Lately while the actual kilogram figure is yoyoing, the body fat as a percentage has been shrinking – interesting today is the lowest. This morning displaying 24% tonight in the 23% range. ( see below). Because the aria is connected to my wifi network it automatically uploads the results to my fitbit account which my iPhone app pulls down and displays.
I am by no means athletic.
This all started while trying to pass my fitness test for my work. I have never been a runner. Running usually induced two types of pain – shins hurting almost immediately and my throat acting like I am taking my last breath.
Stopping by my local shoe shop with the gait tracking and balance measuring gadgety in store it was identified that my arches are falling ( don’t quote me, I think that’s right). The sales person kindly offered to sell me $220 worth of the ugliest shoes available. Politely declining, I opted for the ever sexy orthotics. I have to say the change was instant and amazing. Since losing a tiny bit of weight the throat stopped burning weeks ago. But the shins continued. The orthotics had an immediate effect. The first day I kept wanting to stop where I remember my shins hurting onto regular route. Only this time I didn’t hurt.
A week later, I am feeling great. I have an appointment with a podiatrist tomorrow to hopefully measure and custom make orthotics rather than
off the shelf numbers I have now.
Wish me luck
This week had been a big week for me in the fitness / jogging side.
Every night this week I have been out walking and jogging in Darwin – how could you not. The whether has been sublime. I usually run at night. Later the better. Averaging 6-8kms. The nights here don’t drop below 22 degrees C.
My fitbit flex has really changed the way I view activity. It’s right there on my wrist. It’s blinking lights shaming me into activity. The more lights the more active you have been. It has 5 lights that break your goal into 5ths. My daily goal is currently 10,000 steps ( roughly 5kms) so each light is 2000 steps. The nature of my current role at work means that I am largely sedentary (desk bound) during the day – I would be lucky to pass 2000 steps at work. But by bed time I am usually clocking up between 12000 & 16000. My walking partner who can walk to work recently scored 24kms in a single day with only a normal day activity with a night walk.
Weight wise I am still hovering between 76-78kgs. But body fat as a percentage is dropping from 26% to as low as 24% this morning.
How far do you usually run per day?
As the count down begins to the big trip (roughly 30 days) through Burma (Myanmar) and Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur and Redang Island, I am putting together my packing list.
As you will see most of my packing is actually mostly gadgets & electronics. I LOVE THEM.
Kathmandu 70L convertible ( roller with hidden backpack straps)
Kathmandu 15L Backpack ( day pack) – came with the 70L
I am still tossing up whether to get the Kathmandu 30L ‘Transit’ Day pack and use it as carry on. Additionally it has a secret compartment for my MacBook Air. The lady at Kathmandu kindly talked me out of buying it on the weekend, instead to wait until September when the 40% member discount starts.
2 x neutral coloured ‘zip off’ travel pants for comfort.
3 x T-shirts
3 x singlets
3 x shorts
1 x Swimming Shorts
7 x Underwear
2 x socks
1 x boat shoes ( these are my every day, go anywhere, comfortable traveling shoes)
1 x pair decent going out shoes (never know when a club night calls)
Go Pro Hero 3 Black
Go Pro Hero 3 Silver
MacBook Air 11in Mid 2011 128gb
Phone / Communications
iPhone 5 64gig in Lifeproof Fre Waterproof Case
Delorme InReach enabled GPS tracker and 2 way communicator
This is really just gear nerd porn, I want to be able to update my family and friends (and you through this blog) on our adventures. Also it would allow me to fire off a SMS style message to my parents who are meeting us for part of the trip, if any plans change. I am still working through some bugs on the posting map locations here. At this stage posting by email is my only option – this does not produce a ‘sexy’ post – more a quick and dirty text only post with links to an external map.
Where possibly I will endeavour to get a local sim – hopefully with prepaid data – in Malaysia this is no problem, Burma I think will be a different story.
iPad Mini 64gig in folio case
Goal Zero Guide 7 Solar panel
Goal Zero Guide 10+ AA Battery Pack with 4 x AA batteries x 2
In addition to the the Goal Zero Guide10+ I have a PLOX 6000mAh battery pack
PIXO USB Camera Battery Charger from Goal Zero – can charge the NX1000 battery from Solar, USB port or via a wall socket.
I know it sounds like a lot of power, but the guiding premise of my whole kit is that it can all be charged from the wall or from the Goal Zero Panels on the road. I am never quite sure of power availability, reliability or how safe it is (spikes). The only item I can not charge by solar from the above kit is the MacBook Air. Goal Zero does have products that could do it easily, but my budget and weight allowance doe not stretch that far this time. Their Sherpa 50 would be great with some folding panels, I just can’t convince the other half to allow me to get that one.
Have I forgotten anything? Comments ??
Recently I wanted to try my new Go Pro 3 in the water just in time for a quick trip to some warm water springs near Darwin NT.
Below are some pictures from Berry Springs NT.
I recently heard a BBC Radio 4 program about Life tracking ( they had a fancy title, Quantifying self). While listening I was thinking HOLY CRAP, thats me.. my whole life is recorded – whether pictorially through Facebook or Instagram, textually through here or tumblr and fitness wise I will go into below.
I recently have been trying to shift some KGs after hitting my highest weight without much effort! (mid 80kgs)
As you are probably aware, I am a gadget man, the first item that grabbed my eye was the new Fitbit Flex.
Basically its a Bluetooth Enabled Pedometer which doubles as a sleep tracker.
The wrist based device ‘gameifies’ the process of basically moving your body. In default setting of 10000 steps as a goal per day the device shows one single light per 2000 steps, providing vibration feedback when the 10000 is reached. The crowning glory of the divide in my opinion is back end – the app tracking and recording.
More recently I have added the Aria – the wifi enabled scale that perfectly couples with the Flex and the Fitbit app, not just measuring KGs but also lean body mass.
For the record – am now in the 70kg range.
Since our last holiday a few new electronic toys have been added to my pack.
- We sold our 2 x go pro 2s
- Replaced them with 1 x Go Pro 3 black and 1 x Go Pro Silver.
- Sold our Spot Tracker
- Replaced with a Delorme InReach 2 way GPS tracker / communicator
- My underwater point and shoot was lost during our trip to Penguin Island, off the Western Australian Coast.
- Point and shoot replaced with a combination of my iPhone 5 (now in waterproof LifeProof Fre case) and my new Samsung NX1000 Mirrorless 2/3rd DLSR
- iPad 2 given to my partner as I updated
- Updated to iPad Mini
Shot on my go pro 2 in Redang island, Malaysia 2012
As we are in the testing stage for our upcoming trip to Burma and Malaysia, I was testing our new GoPro3 Black on the weekend. It is planned that after we use our cameras (GoPro included) we would use our iPads as quick offload of photos and videos and then using FTP upload to our wireless HDD.
I managed to procure a SanDisk 64GB Micro SDXC, knowing the battery on the GoPro would die long before the card was full.
All fine and well UNTIL I plugged the card into my iPad mini. You get the following errors “Contents Unavailable. The connected storage media may be damaged” or “Contents not Available. Cannot read the connected storage media.” which as you can imagine a pain in the bum. But glad to have found it out now.
I do have Micro SDHC and they don’t suffer from the same issues thankfully but they are only 16GB.
Here is some further info:
Battery Test: @GoPro 3 Black V2.39 No wifi 960/48 1hr 31. With wifi 1 hr 16min
looks like I am buying more batteries.