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Where the heck am I? (Read 3451 times)

    I bought my Garmin Forerunner 305 some 3 months ago. I just received my rebate check this week. It sat on my desk, in its box, for the first two months after I received it. I really don't need another GPS as I am perfectly happy with my Timex Speed+Distance second generation GPS although it doesn't do much other than recording my time and distance. I like the Timex GPS because I can wear the watch part of it when I'm not running. The Forerunner is somewhat big on my delicate runner's wrist. I feel somewhat dorky wearing it even on runs, even if all my running friends think I'm the biggest dork. Go ahead, surprise me by telling me that I'm not a dork. I took my Forerunner for a couple (read: 2) runs so far. I just turn it on before the run, press the start button, then the lap button a handful of times, then the stop button. I didn't even bother pressing the other buttons and customize the watch to my dorky needs, yet. For the last several weeks, the Forerunner resumed its position on the desk. This time it's in its cradle connected to the computer. I started working on the GPS uploading project at around the same time. Maybe it poorly written, or maybe I'm not dorky enough, but for the last several weeks, I struggled to understand the Garmin documentation for how to talk to the GPS. The break through came two weekends ago when I figured out what the documentation was talking about. Just like that, everything made sense to me. It was no longer cryptic. Just like that, I was able to tell the device to send its data to the computer, and the data was in the correct format. As of last night, I completed the first phase of the project. I created my own program to download the data from the Forerunner and save it as a history (.hst) file. There are still several hurdles. The biggest one is to do the exact same thing on the Mac. The programmers amongst us might ask why the heck would I write my own when I can use existing software packages. The same can be asked of this site: why would I write my own when there are existing training logs? I do acknowledge that I'm reinventing the wheel, but I like to think that my wheel's a little rounder, produces a little less road noise, and handles a little better in the snow. Everything about this site is a learning process for me. It will always be a work in progress. I am a computer programmer, and writing software is what I do. I learn something new every time I add a new feature to the site. By writing my own program to download GPS data, I learned a little about USB programming, and that makes me a little more valuable as a programmer. Besides, I'm enjoying it so why not? This weekend is the Boston Marathon weekend. To me, it's a holiday for the runners. Although I'm not running it this year, I'll be doing plenty of marathon related activities. As I mentioned in another thread, I'll be volunteering at the expo Sunday afternoon handing out bib numbers. Drop by if you can. You may have to ask around, although I'm not too hard to single out. Just look for the dorky guy. eric Smile


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      Eric, Thanks for the update! Just thought I'd drop a note and thank your for your hard work and the wonderful site you have built that has attracted a great community!
      The programmers amongst us might ask why the heck would I write my own when I can use existing software packages. The same can be asked of this site: why would I write my own when there are existing training logs? I do acknowledge that I'm reinventing the wheel, but I like to think that my wheel's a little rounder, produces a little less road noise, and handles a little better in the snow. Everything about this site is a learning process for me. It will always be a work in progress. I am a computer programmer, and writing software is what I do. I learn something new every time I add a new feature to the site. By writing my own program to download GPS data, I learned a little about USB programming, and that makes me a little more valuable as a programmer. Besides, I'm enjoying it so why not?
      Actually, the programmers among us (at least the old schools ones like me) would probably be the last ones to question your motives for writing things from scratch. I, like you, find pleasure in figuring out how things work. When I have any say at all in my assignments at work - my selection criteria always includes "What will I learn from this?". I appreciate you using your learning endeavors for all of our benefit.

      Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.

       

      When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

      Scout7


      CPT Curmudgeon

        Eric, I'm sure that if you ever asked for it, you would get quite a bit of help from the rest of us code monkey dorks. Depending on time and schedule, I know I would.
          Thanks for the update, Eric. It's nice to have an inside view. Just don't ask me for help writing code!
            Cool! It's always nice when you have an "ah-HAH!" moment. Cool We knew you could do it... Big grin

            Roads were made for journeys...


            Imminent Catastrophe

              Hey Eric, now maybe you could get my Polar RS800 to work with my Mac Big grin

              "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

               "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

              "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

               

              √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

              Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

              Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

              nemo1


                I'm not a computer programmer, but I do know how to code a little. I certainly won't be the one to question your motives on creating something like this site. I did something similar, just so I could learn html in a practical fashion. It is on hold for two more weeks until I graduate, but it is a similar idea. Dorks rule :-D


                A Dance with Monkeys

                  Eric, how are you enjoying your 305?
                    Eric, how are you enjoying your 305?
                    Come on Trent, surely you got a better comment than this... I don't use my Garmin all too often. It has enough data now for me to test the uploader. Right now, the tool knows when you connect and disconnect the GPS to the computer. I'm working on listing entries right now.
                      Not sure if this would make life easier in the long run, but announced today at Where 2.0: http://www.garmin.com/pressroom/corporate/052907.html "MotionBased Web Services API providing developers access to the same rich GPS content that MotionBased.com customers enjoy. This new service will enable third-party websites to store, manipulate and display Garmin GPS data with little or no development. The API will be available for testing in the summer of 2007 and will compliment the Communicator Plugin API." -Peter


                      A Dance with Monkeys

                        Interesting. I suspect that you will still need to use motionbased code to upload your data, so they will remain in the loop somehow. I also suspect that Eric will want to develop his own since he likes the challenge Smile. Active link - http://www.garmin.com/pressroom/corporate/052907.html
                          My guess is that the API is for developers creating software for the MotionBased website. You can't use it to connect to, say, RunningAHEAD. My site will be sporting its own web service once the GPS upload stuff rolls out. So far, I'm not terribly impressed with what MotionBased has done.