Saturday, August 23, 2008

N82 Nokia Sports Tracker

"Nokia Sports Tracker is a GPS-based activity tracker that runs on Nokia smartphones. Information such as speed, distance and time are automatically stored in your training diary." -link

I recently installed the Nokia Sports Tracker to my N82. I tried using it on my ferry ride from Dumaguete to Siquijor. While the Nokia Sports Tracker was running, it was showing me the distance I've traveled, time elapsed, and of course, my current speed (i.e. the speed of the ferry).

According to my N82, I traveled almost 30km at an average speed of almost 30km/h. The Nokia Sports Tracker doesn't have a map of the Earth though so you can't see where you are in the world.

The coolest feature is the ability of the Nokia Sports Tracker to export the information in a file that can be opened by Google Earth. The screen shot above shows the path taken by the Delta Fast ferry from Dumaguete to Larena, Siquijor.

Here’s a featured Nokia Sports Tracker user who used his N95 to track his airplane ride.

The best thing about this feature is that it doesn't cost a thing. It's absolutely free! (if you don't use your carrier's data network)

Another cool feature is the ability to share your Nokia Sports Tracker data in real-time in the Internet. The screenshot above shows someone in Netherlands sharing his Nokia Sports Tracker data online in real-time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Asus EEE as a Home Server

I decided to keep my Asus EEE so I can use it as a download server, web server and file server. It draws 22 watts at maximum load and can go as low as 12-13 watts on normal usage. Compare that to running a typical desktop 24/7 that has a 400watt power supply unit (PSU). The Asus EEE is like having one lightbulb running 24/7 :)

I can now access the Asus EEE from any computer that is connected to the Internet. The speed varies throughout the day because of my ISP - MyDestiny.

For the web server, I'm just using IIS that's built into Windows XP.

For the file server, I'm using a program called "HTTP File Server". It's freeware and very easy to use. You can find it here.

I do not have a static IP address so I had to use a free service from www.DynDNS.org and the Dynamic DNS (DDNS) feature of my Linksis wrt54G router. Now, I can access my home server through a more easy to remember URL. No, I won't be sharing the URL here hehehe.

Finally, I can also access my home server via Windows XP's Remote Desktop. It's pretty cool because I get full control over my Asus EEE from anywhere.

To get everything working though, I needed to do a lot of port forwarding setup in my router.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

N82 Battery Life

Today I spent the entire day touring Manila. I decided not to bring my Olympus 720sw camera so I could test the performance of my Nokia N82 in the real-world where I used my N82 extensively both as a phone and as a camera.

I started early at around 8am and by 3pm in the afternoon, I only had 1 bar left in the power meter of my N82. I took a little over 100 pictures and made a few phone calls that lasted less than a minute each. My Olympus 720SW (which is notorious for its poor battery life as well) can managely roughly the same number of pictures.

This is the first time I used the N82 this extensively as a camera. In the past, I only took a few pictures here and there per day and the phone battery would still last a few days.

In my opinion, you definitely need a spare battery if you intend to use your N82 as a digital camera replacement.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Timex HRM in the Swimming Pool

I tried using my Timex HRM heart rate monitor in the swimming pool for the first time.

The good news? It's definitely water proof or water resistant at surface level. (It's not a dive watch!) According to the manual, the Timex HRM is only water proof as long as any of the buttons are not pressed while in the water.

The bad news? The heart rate monitor does not function properly. In other words, you cannot get a heart rate reading while swimming. If the water is below chest level (i.e. the chest strap is above the water), the watch can get a real-time reading from the chest strap. However, when you start swimming (i.e. the chest strap is submerged) the heart rate measured is stuck at the last heart rate measured and it does not move anymore. If you're heart rate above water is at 130 bpm, then the Timex HRM will still show 130bpm when you start swimming - regardless of your actual heart rate.

Are there any heart rate monitors that work while swimming? Or is this an inherent weakness among all heart rate monitors?

Monday, July 28, 2008

For Sale: Asus EEE PC 701 4gb (Galaxy Black)

I purchased my black Asus EEE last December 2007 because I wanted a very portable laptop. I bought my Asus EEE 4G at Gilmore where the store even replaced the 512Mb with a 1Gb stick for a minimal fee.

It's a powerful device! After installing Windows XP, I could pretty much do everything a normal desktop or a laptop could do. The only restraint was the resolution of the screen because its native resolution is just 800x480 pixels. Unfortunately, not all desktop applications were designed for display in low resolutions.

You'll also encounter the same issues when you're surfing the Internet because most websites are best viewed at 1024x768 resolution. However, there's a workaround though when you use Opera as your browser. Opera can automatically scale an entire webpage to fill the entire screen of the Asus EEE. It's pretty cool!

The Asus EEE does have a VGA port which allows me to connect the Asus EEE to my 32" Samsung LCD TV - which makes the device a lot more usable. The picture quality is superb and very crisp! In fact, the Asus EEE outputs crisper images on my Samsung 32" LCD TV than my desktop PC that has an ATI 1550x video card.

Unfortunately, ever since I inherited my sister's IBM Thinkpad X40 (another ultraportable), my Asus EEE has started gathering dust in my room. This is the main reason why I'm selling my beloved Asus EEE.

Extras:
1. Eight (8) Gb SDHC
2. One (1) gig RAM

Reason for Selling:
The laptop is just gathering dust in my room because it's my secondary laptop.

Technical Specs (ASUS Eee PC 4G):
  • CPU and Memory Processor Brand Intel
  • Installed Memory 512 MB
  • Memory Technology DDR II SDRAM
  • Storage Hard Drive Capacity 4 GB
  • Display and Graphics Display Size 7 in
  • Battery Battery Life 2 hrs (5200MaH)
  • Communications and Networking Wireless Technology Wi-Fi
  • Modem Speed 56 Kbps
  • 7in. WVGA / Wi-Fi G with camera
  • SD SLOT / Pouch / high Cell Batt.
  • Software Operating System Linux
  • Connectors Interface Provided Phone line, Ethernet
  • General Product Info Input Devices Keyboard
  • Included Sound Card Sound card
  • Chassis Color White / Black
  • Weight 2 lbs
  • Manufacturer Part No. EEE PC 4G- WHITE
  • Dimension 1.4 in x 8.9 in x 6.5 in (HxWxD)
This item is posted at TipidPC at this link.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Timex Heart Rate Monitor in the Gym


I used my Timex heart rate monitor in the gym for the first time today.

Fitness First has the TechnoGym branded treadmills which have built-in heart rate monitors (HRM) that works as long as you grasp on the handle bars.

It's quite difficult to run while grasping the handle bars to check your heart rate. Likewise, it is also difficult to look at the small display on my wrist watch while I was running. Both my Timex and the TechnoGym HRM never displayed the same value - though the values were close plus/minus 5bpm. It does make me wonder though which between the two is more accurate. The heart rate derived from the palm of my hands or the heart rate measured by Timex through my chest strap?

Though if you just plan on using a lot of the TechnoGym equipment with the built-in HRM. You actually don't need a separate heart rate monitor like my Timex. The built-in TechnoGym treadmill also displays the total calories burned - though it doesn't display the total time you were in the target heart rate zone.

But if you plan on using the free weights or the other weight machines, the Timex HRM is a great way to ensure that you continue to maintain your cardiovascular workout by ensuring that your heart rate remains within the target zone throughout. I never realized this but this type of workout is actually called circuit training. More info here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Timex HRM (1st use) in a Badminton Game

I used my heart rate monitor for the first time during my weekly badminton game with my officemates. Aesthetically, the chest strap protrudes over your shirt which gives you an appearance of a bigger stomach.

You can turn on/off the alarm that sounds when you go below or above your target heart rate. The alarm is very audible and it was quite distracting to my fellow players so I had to turn it off.

For the first 30 minutes, I forgot to start the chronograph. With the chronograph started you can measure the amount of time you were in your target heart rate. With the chronograph also on, I was able to measure the total number of calories I was able to burn. I burned 1350 calories for 2 hours of badminton. Not bad - though I probably burned more calories because I started the chronograph 30 minutes into the badminton game!

It made me wonder how the chest strap is cleaned since it's made of elastic garter material. In the end, I decided to take it with me in the shower where I manually hand-washed it. It does make me wonder though how long the chest strap will last and how long it will remain fresh smelling.