Fitness Goals – Powered by The Apple Watch

Greetings all….

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted to this section of my blog, but the reason for doing so is to sing (and bring) the praises of the Apple Watch.

Since it’s inception, and as of a month ago (specifically), I was determined NOT to purchase one, strictly because of it’s price point. I come from the world of Pebble, and have been using that watch (still do) for the past two years of so. Interestingly enough, FitBit in December 2016, purchased the intellectually property of Pebble. Many called it the death of Pebble, however that proved not to be so. My concern is after December 2017, FitBit will no longer maintain the Pebble servers. What that means, in actuality, is that the voice-to-text and native weather features will cease to function. The Pebble community has risen the call to keep Pebble alive, via a group of developers called Rebvle.io . They (at the moment) will continue to develop software on the Android platform to sustain the Pebble ecosystem. That is good news except there has been no such movement on the iOS side – which means that as iOS version upgrades evolve, incompatible with Pebble’s ecosystem will occur. There as already been some small incompatibility hiccups since iOS 10, but nothing major (seems iOS 11 beta is even working fine).

That said, being an Apple fanboy since the late 90s, I started actually using the Nike+ Fitness app on an iPod Touch to track my running. Between 2010 (my first real interested in running) through 2013 or so, it worked well enough to allow me to get a good view of progress over the years. Since then, it has evolved both into the Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club apps. As for the Apple Watch, I knew that tight integration between Watch OS and iOS would never be an issue. This, in itself, caused me to make the purchase decision (in addition to having a zero balance on my Best Buy card LOL). I decided on purchasing the 38 mm Series 1 after a great deal of research. It had everything I needed at the price point I wanted (I take my phone with me everywhere and don’t swim to the point where I need to track swim metrics, so I didn’t need onboard GPS or waterpoof capabilities). I knew very little about the fitness features via the Activity app when I purchased it, but seeing that I’ve been more on the fitness bandwagon than off, throughout life, the fitness features immediately began to appeal to me, the more that I learned about them. The motivation to “close those rings” is a very real thing to many, self included, however I’ve learned that this motivation means different things to different people. For me, I’ve learned that this ring closure concept, along with how the Activity app is integrated with the Health app, has given me a new and greater understanding on how regular and consistent fitness is extremely important. The rings themselves has strangely strengthened my desire to make fitness a routine and part of my daily regimen and that is definitely a good thing.

I will say that I’ve learned a great deal about AW’s main competitor, FitBit. Though I’ve never been part of the community, I’ve learned that there are major differences between that of AW and FB. While I won’t get into that comparison here, I will say that for me, AW (and even the community as it currently is), is right for me in all aspects. Anyway, you slice it, the bottom line is what works best for you as an individual, and in the end, it all boils down to keeping fitness as a routine in your daily life.

Thanks for the reading, I know it was a bit longwinded as a introduction. Subsequent posts will be focused on companion apps I use along the Activity app, the community as it grows and changes, feature improvements, and the like – but generally how I find it useful as a fitness tool. I participate a great deal in the Facebook group Apple Watch Fitness Fans, so if you’re an Apple Watch owner interested in fitness, consider checking it out, it’s a great group and very helpful

Get fit, stay fit.

Thanks,
Doug

Happy 30th Birthday, Macintosh!

Photo Source: Patrick Rhone/Minimal Mac

Yesterday, January 24th, was the 30th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh computer. I wasn’t aware of that until my browser brought up its default page, apple.com. I was pleasantly surprised and greeted with (expectedly) the great advertising that Apple is known for (click here for 30 Years of The Mac).

Seeing this immediately took me back to Apple back in 1988. I was a junior engineer, my first job, in an office that was run by Windows 3.1 machines – one for every employee, others for ancillary functions. Our office business manager, an avid Mac user, insisted we have three Macs in the office to hand the business functions of the program (then Naval satellite communications program) – a Mac Plus with a 20 MB external hard drive, a Mac SE, and a Mac IICi. David, our office manager, was an older gentlemen, well learned, but enjoyed using Macs so much (without trying to sell its merits) that he unknowingly sold me on its merits in the same way (I later found out) that Apple commercials did, but without the sales pitch (so to speak). He continually showed me how the user-centric design of the Mac easily helped him in his daily activities, in and out of the office. For me, already experienced in using the Windows platform, it was like a no-brainer that this platform would be my computing choice on a regular basis.

It wasn’t until two years later that I was able to purchase my first Mac (via our employee discount program) – a Mac Classic. Brand new, It cost me $1200. Specs: 4MB RAM. 40MB HD, running at a whopping 8MHz, running System 7.0 (fondly remembering this as it is sitting to the right of me as I type this post, emitting a very soft hum, Darkside as the screen saver).

The purchase of that Mac began a wonderful journey – word processing, graphics, connecting to the Internet via a 2400 baud external modem, and the beginning of using it for my favorite activity, music production. A small, all-n-one computer with a 9″ black and white screen – so easy to use, so user-centric, yet so beautiful.

Since then I’ve owned (let’s see): A Powerbook 100, 145, 165c, 170, 1400cs, Powerbook G3 Pismo, Powerbook G4 Aluminum, iBook, Blue and White G4 Tower, Silver G4 Tower, original iMac, Mac IIci, Quadra 605, Power Mac 7100 (2), Power Mac G5 (2), Macbook (Black) and Mac Mini Intel Core Duo (I think that covers it). One G5, the Mac Mini, and the Macbook are the core of my music production studio, while the second G5 (the one I am typing this from) is used for podcast production and simple word processing and web surfing. I think the last brand new Mac I purchased was the iBook in the mid-90s. While I am not a Mac guru, I’ve found it so easy to maintain them that I’ve purchased used ever since then.

I’m not sure how Apple did it and continues to do it, be it advertising, perpetuating the Mac *culture* or what, but however they are doing it, it has, and continues to be a fantastic voyage. I am forever, a Mac fanboy.

Happy Birthday, Mac…and many more.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh.

He makes the jump….to the iPhone 4.

Yes…the time has come for all good men…no, no…ok. Yes, I made the jump to the iPhone 4 today. The purchase experience was great. The same Verizon store salesperson that helped me with both Blackberries over the last 3 years, was there to assist, and everything went smoothly.

For those who are not on AT&T and/or didn’t know, they are offering the iPhone 3GS for free (annual two-year contract required). As I drove past the AT&T store, the line was out of the door and down the street (oooh, am I about to encounter the same at 8:15am?). No, no line. The salesperson told me many people pre-ordered. I’m a kinda basics guy and didnt see the need for the iPhone 4S (and frankly wanted to keep the extra money I would have paid, in my pocket). Basic black, 8GB iPhone 4 for me.

Ok, though I’ve been rockin’ an iPod Touch since 1G, all you iPhone experts out there, school me on your favorite apps for task and contacts management, as well as your fave Twitter app…they’ll be my main interests, as my 160GB iPod Classic is my main music player. Any other tips and tricks are greatly appreciated!

Great to finally be on board, at a great price!

Have a good day…

:::oceans of rhythm:::

Fresh!

Call me a neo-Luddite (old tech wins this round….)

In my recording studio, I have a very old sampler, a Yamaha TX16W. This sampler has a 3.5″ disk drive that reads Yamaha’s proprietary format sample lilbrary. I have at least three cases of sample disks that I’d like to convert before possibly selling them with the sampler. I really didn’t want to fire up the sampler, connect a MIDI keyboard, play the sample, record the audio into my computer, and save it…but…that would seem the only way to do it….UNTIL…I remembered that I could use an old app called Sound Converter to read the sample disk and do the conversion for me. The problem was these disks are ALL 3.5″ DSDD floppy disks. A-ha…no problem – I can buy USB drive 3.5″ floppy disk reader. Drive purchased, disk inserted…no cigar…the drive only reads HD 3.5″ floppies….bummer. Light bulb goes off…pull out ye olde Power Mac 7100, and hook it up….it has an internal CD-ROM drive *and* internal floppy drive that reads 3.5″ DSDD and HD floppy disks….voila! Fortunately, since I started music production on this computer like 10+ years ago, it’s still running Mac OS 9.1, and has Sound Converter installed as well. Cool!

I set it up, hooked up a spare flatscreen monitor, an iOmega Zip drive and again was in business, like the old days! Fortunately, I was able to find the app PC Exchange on an older Mac OS system update disks that had the DOS Compatibility app software on it which allows me to read DOS formatted floppy disks. I popped the first sample disk in, opened the file with Sound Converter, and did the conversion…good to go. Now to do the other gazillion disks!

Definitely paid to keep the old hardware around. Yeah, for those who know, the samples are 12-bit (as opposed to 24-bit today), but I love samples….the bigger my library, the better…they sound pretty decent for a sampler from the 80’s šŸ˜‰ It’s 3:13am Saturday morning….thankful I can sleep in and late for once! Good night!

peace…

F!

Seems like the perfect combo: A Hackintosh’d Dell Mini 9

For the longest time I’ve been considering a netbook. Why, for the obvious reasons…ultraportable computing and a good cross between a standard size laptop and the smaller Sony Vaio. I’ve had online discussions and tweets with Roddykat and Kenya and still really think about getting another high end Powerbook Aluminum or better yet cheap Macbook Pro (last generation, not unibody) In any event, as some of you know, I am a die-hard Macintosh fan and have been one since 1991 (my first Mac was a Macintosh Classic II).

Imagine my delight when I came across this article from Gizmodo, a Dell Mini 9 running Mac OSX….perfect combination! I think I may have to try and roll with this. The current issue of Wired has a good article about netbooks that I’ll crawl in bed to read….that may help me solidify the decision!