Thursday, July 08, 2010


Over the years various shops grab your email address and add you to their marketing list.. I've been having a week of unsubscribing from them all to an effort to avoid inbox noise.

Best one so far are:

Asda - 2 hours later get an email telling me they have changed their email address - thanks!

Jessops - send you an email confirming I've been un-subscribed.

John Lewis - send you an email which you have to click on the link to confirm you want to leave them!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Garmin Forerunner 110 - Quicker GPS Fix?

A big downside to the Garmin 405 for me was the length of time it took to find and lock to a GPS signal.  Often minutes before a run would be needed.  I guess I should use the time to warm up  but I use my run to warm up slowly to start with. There are  plenty of studies that find warm ups for runners make no difference to if you will pick up an injury or not..  similarly people who go to the dentist every 6 months still need fillings now and again!

Good news is Garmin have fixed the problem with the 110 -- provided you start up in the same area you finished your last run in.  Obviously it stores the last known lock and attempts these again first I guess.  Locks on with 10 seconds here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Garmin Forerunner 110 v 405

The Forerunner 110 is billed as a entry level GPS Sports Watch - loosing some of the features of the 405.  

The lack of wireless connectivity turns out to be a plus for me.  On the 405 you had to find the USB stick to put into your laptop, startup the garmin software, then find your cable to charge the watch back up.  On the 110 its all done with the one cable.  If I had a desktop where the 405's USB stick was always connected I guess it would be better but you still need a cable to charge it.

Another feature dropped is the touch bezel.  I used to find I had to lock that off anyway on the 405.  In the winter long sleeve tops seems to randomly make the watch think I was changing options, and in the summer, sweaty fingers made hard work of actually trying to use it.  On the 110 its back to good tactile buttons.

Lastly, the physical size is again smaller and lighter and the wrist strap much lighter and subtle than the 405.

So the intended base model is now my favourite of the Garmin forerunners.  My 405 will be on ebay very soon!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Garmin Forerunner 110 - New Charging Clip

Just got hold of the new Forerunner 110.  Gone for the grey unisex model as it'll have more market appeal if I go on to sell it in the future.  First difference is the charging clip has 4 connections - not the 2 found on the existing Forerunner 405 models.

The existing 2 pin connectors can be used to charge, but the 4 pin one is needed to sync the data - The Forerunner 110 doesnt use the Ant wireless stick.

First run with it this weekend so will compare the new model to the 405 soon..

Friday, April 23, 2010

Create a US iTunes account for your iPad

After a bit of research, this is what to do.

Read Follow the instructions here, the only change is that you goto the iTunes Store and scroll right to the end to choose "Change Country".

You have to give an email address.  I used the google mail trick of adding a + sign to the end of your account name to help me know and be able to validate the address.  e.g.

I now have iBooks on the iPad up and running.

iPad UK Review

Managed to get an iPad here in the UK.  Typically Apple, works straight out the box.  Charger unit is US plug but iPad charges from USB connection anyway, so you can use ipod/iphone chargers no problem. 

The main limitation is the App Store on the iPad doesnt connect as Apple only have it enabled for the US.  I guess you could try get a US iTunes account in the meantime...  However you can find iPad apps on iTunes and they will sync up no problem to your device. 

IM+ is the best app I've tried, uses full screen and makes good use of the real estate.

Even better are some iPad optimised websites.  Try Google Mail.  Three pane email view is superb.  And ultra fast. 

On the downside, BBC iPlayer recognises the device as a full browser so trys to serve up Flash version which doesn't work.  Not found a way of tricking it into iPhone type mode yet.

Its not a iPhone replacement, its not a Macbook replacement - its a whole new device.  Kind of Coffee Table browser.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Just uploaded most recent runs... I'm 175 miles off the top level of runner! 

Sky+ Upgrade Done!

Hard Drive Cloned (Thanks Copy+) and installed.  Now 87% free - no more having to delete endless Come Dine With Me series link recordings...

Upgrading Sky+ Hard Drive to 1TB

Trying to upgrade the Sky+ HD box hard drive from 300Gb to 1TB.  Should be straight forward.  Plug in two SATA hard drives, use copy+ to partition and transfer recordings etc.

Unfortunately copy+ gave endless read errors - in fact a log file of 15mb of errors!  The author of the program is very helpful and gave me some pointers, but it appeared that the Sky drive was quite corrupted.

I was using two cheap USB to SATA plug ins to drive the two disks, then remembered my trusty old desktop in the garage (pictured!) - 14 years old, but I had installed a internal SATA interface.  Booted up first time and connected up drives.  Repeated the clone, and works perfectly!

One hour to go to see if it worked!