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Archive for April, 2010

Borrowed iPod Touch

2010-04-24 Leave a comment

This week Mack is away at space camp in Montreal with the grade 5/6 school trip. They were not allowed to take any electronic devices besides cameras, so he had to leave his iPod Touch behind. I’ve claimed it and I’m seeing what it’s like to use for various tasks, such as Facebook, Twitter, email, web and blogging. My results so far are mixed.

Facebook: the iPod client for facebook is excellent. In fact I think it is superior to the web interface.

Twitter: I have used Twitterific on Jenn’s iPhone before and it is very good. It is identical on the iPod Touch.

Email: Gmail works great on iPod Touch.

Web: Safari on iPod or iPhone is the best mobile browser time a hundred. No other mobile browser even comes close to it for mobile web.

Blogging: The WordPress app works well and lets me access all the features of my blog. However, typing text 140 characters at a time for Twitter is ok on the iPod. Typing a whole blog post on the virtual keyboard it slow, especially compared to typing on a quality full sized standard keyboard like my Das Keyboard blank clicky keyboard. The autocorrection is very good and helps a lot, but my thumbs are about the size of six or eight of the little touch screen keys when in potrait mode so it’s hard to hit the right keys. Landscape mode is easier because the keys are much bigger.

I won’t kid myself. If we weren’t a Blackberry shop at work I would buy an iPhone for sure. As it is, I will probably get an iPod Touch and use it when I can, and use the Blackberry when I must.

Categories: Mac Stuff

2010 Bike Commuting Goals

2010-04-13 1 comment

Over winter between 2008 and 2009 I got the biking bug. I used to bike a lot in university for transportation when I lived in Montreal. I hadn’t really done any biking for transportation since then. A few people I know bike to work, and some like Bill Humby, coach of U of A Swim Team, are hardcore and bike even in the winter in Edmonton, which is not for the timid. Guys like Bill inspired me to be a greener commuter and to get some exercise too.

I decided for various reasons to get a recumbent bike, and after poring over websites and reading a lot, I ended up getting a tadpole trike from Terratrike.

From Phone Photos 2009-11

In 2009, I managed to bike to work about 30 times, plus do some fun rides on weekends and according to my GPS, I logged about 1500 km of riding. My last commute of the year was November 18, before the roads became unsafe for me. I live 23 km from work, some of which is on roads with fast speed limits, so snowy icy riding was not safe.

All spring this year I have been itching to get re-started biking to work. I got my trike out in mid-March when the snow was clear enough, and managed one commute and a nice weekend ride. Then it got cold again and snowy. I managed my second commute yesterday in mid-April.

Last year I started commuting wondering if I could handle the 46 km round trip on a regular basis. By the end of the summer, I was handling it no problem, and even did one week of biking every day for 230 km in five days. This year, I’m starting from a position of higher confidence, and I hope to increase to about 40 days of commuting, and around 2000 km total, or more if I can make the time between family life and carpooling the kids to the pool.

I also want to participate in the Commuter Challenge from May 30 to June 5, where companies compete to have their employees use alternative transportation. I plan to bike to work that whole week. June 3 I’m having a crown put on at the dentist, so that might screw up my week, but I’ll do my best.

So, is anybody else up to try bike commuting? It’s not as tough as you might expect, and you’ll surprise yourself with how good it feels. If you’re just getting started bike commuting, you might find the beginner tips on the Commute By Bike website helpful.

Two down, 38 commute-days to go.

Categories: Biking
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