November 22, 2002

Third-Party Linux Software Available for Polar S710 Heart Rate Monitor

Dave Aiello wrote, "I've had a Polar S710 heart monitor for about a year, and I think it's a great product. The only problem I have ever had with using it is that I could not get the Polar Precision Performance Software to work on my Linux-based laptop. This meant that charting my exercise progress over a period of months was difficult."

"A developer named Dave Bailey may have solved this problem for me. He has developed a series of programs that allow a Linux computer to communicate with an S710, to store the workout results, and graph them in ways that appear similar to the Precision Performance Software."

"I am going to download the software, set it up on my laptop, and see how it works. I will report my progress here in future articles."

October 15, 2002

Wear a Light When You Run at Night

Dave Aiello wrote, "As we enter Fall, it becomes more and more difficult for me to find the time to exercise in daylight hours. This year, I am trying something new in order to allow me to enjoy running after darkness has fallen: a mountaineering headlamp. I bought a Black Diamond Gemini headlamp at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports in Princeton, NJ about two weeks ago, and I have been very satisfied with it."

"Black Diamond Equipment claims that the halogen bulb in the Gemini throws light up to 210 feet when its three AA batteries are fresh. This is important when you are running in very dark areas like the residential neighborhoods of Mercer County, where street lights are few and far between. The entire headlamp, including batteries, weight 7.8 ounces on my postal scale. I paid $38.50 for it, plus tax, so it was not the cheapest headlamp available, nor was it the most expensive."

"The Gemini fits very well on my head. There are two points where the straps can be adjusted. The battery compartment is shaped to fit against the back of my head at about ear level. The only design issue I have with the Gemini is that it should have a piece of reflective tape on the back of the battery compartment, to make me more visible from the rear. This is easily fixed, but, why not include it in the first place?"

Continue reading "Wear a Light When You Run at Night" »

February 21, 2002

Spinervals Kinetic Trainer: a Heavy Duty Indoor Trainer for Cyclists

Dave Aiello wrote, "Last night, I started using the Kinetic Fluid Trainer that I purchased from Spinervals. This is a stationary cycling trainer which allows you to use your own road or mountain bike for indoor training. It is a so-called fluid resistance trainer, meaning that it contains a hydraulic mechanism that provides resistance to the rear wheel of your bicycle as you pedal."

"I bought this device because I needed a solution that allowed me to exercise at home in the early morning or late evening. This trainer is a relatively cheap way to utilize my bicycle to get that exercise without having to deal with the additional safety measures that are required to ride outside in the dark. Also, using a fluid resistance trainer and a bicycle at home is an 'all-weather' solution."

"I am hoping that the Kinetic Trainer will allow me to get the exercise that I have been missing since I started working long hours, 5 to 6 days a week, at a client site 60 miles away from home. After carefully examining the unit while I was assembling it, I'm fairly confident that it is sturdy enough to take whatever punishment I can dish out to it. More about my experiences with the Kinetic Trainer after I put some miles on it."

November 8, 2001

Is SportBrain Coming Back to Life?

Marilyn Bailey wrote: "I simply want to know what to do with the SportBrain now that they've shut down. Is there another address where we can download our data?"

It appears that SportBrain has undergone a bankruptcy reorganization and is planning to relaunch. Little information is available except for the announcement that appears on the SportBrain homepage. We always try to confirm news like this before we post it. But, considering the fact that we are talking about a defunct company being resurrected, we thought it best to post this information now. If we find out it's a hoax, we will update this story.

May 10, 2001

SportBrain is Useful for Runners, But Not for Multi-Sport Athletes

Dave Aiello wrote, "This is the third article I have written about SportBrain and my experiences in using it. At this point, I have logged more than 1.31 million steps taken while wearing the device. That's almost exactly 500 miles of walking and 85 miles of running since January."

"The major problem I am having with this device is that is not useful for sports that do not involve running or walking. When I participate in ice hockey officiating or mountain biking, the device only records heart rate."

"So, I am now trying to obtain a Polar S-710 Heart Rate Monitor. This is a lot more sophisticated and expensive training system than SportBrain. But, it is a logical step up in that it provides instant performance feedback through it's wrist watch display, and it is useful for both running and cycling."

Continue reading "SportBrain is Useful for Runners, But Not for Multi-Sport Athletes" »

February 2, 2001

Follow Up on SportBrain, After One Month of Use

Dave Aiello wrote, "A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article about SportBrain, a small wearable computer that helps measure the tacit physical activity in your life. I have been wearing SportBrain on my belt during my daily travels for about a month now, and I wanted to report on the results."

"From January 3 to 31, travelled about 115 miles on foot. I'm surprised that I walk an average of more than 4 miles a day, but maybe I shouldn't be. Many days, I visit clients in New York City and since I use mass transit, I find myself walking significant distances to and from PATH stations and New York City Subway stations."

"I think that many people would get a more accurate picture of their total exercise picture if they owned and used a SportBrain. I'm planning to keep using it."

January 11, 2001

SportBrain: An Intriguing Combination of Fitness and Wearable Computing Technologies

What if I told you that I found a $99 device that helps you to electronically measure the exercise you get doing your "everyday" activities? Would you be more interested if I mentioned the fact that the device contains a cheap, low power personal area networking technology that compares favorably in some respects to Bluetooth?

I may have found such a device in SportBrain, a little fitness-oriented gadget that I received from my brother and sister for Christmas. I had not heard of the product before I got it as a gift, so I set out to find reviews of it on the Internet. As RFCoC said on October 20, "This little device is actually a fascinating example of Convergence (the coming together of computing, communications, content, and
consumer electronics), as well as a demonstration of how commoditizing one product (making it inexpensive) may open the door to
a wide range of unintended consequences."

Continue reading "SportBrain: An Intriguing Combination of Fitness and Wearable Computing Technologies" »

January 10, 2001

Rudy Project Sunglasses Recommended for Outdoor Sports

Dave Aiello wrote, "About the time I competed in the Cape May Biathlon, I bought a pair of Rudy Project Kerosene sunglasses for myself. I bought them primarily because I was frustrated with the reliability problems I had experienced with Oakley M-Frames, but also because I was looking for a single pair of sunglasses that I could wear in races and in everyday use."

"I first saw Rudy Project sunglasses when I started watching the 'Spring Classics' cycling races on The Outdoor Life Network. It took a little while to find product information about them on the Web, and much longer to get see a pair in a store here in the United States. But, they looked like the most durable sports sunglasses I had ever seen. Once I got a pair, I found that they performed better than I expected."

Continue reading "Rudy Project Sunglasses Recommended for Outdoor Sports" »

What is the Technical Gear & Sports Equipment Section of

CTDATA believes that regular exercise is vital to the well being of everyone. We also feel that the average knowledge worker sits at his or her desk too much, thereby increasing the risk of the diseases of sedentary life.

The Technical Gear and Sports Equipment section of is the place where we plan to discuss the stuff we use in our recreational activities. Based on the interests of our current employees, articles will be focused on sports like:

  • Running
  • Cycling and mountain biking
  • Biathlon and triathlon
  • Ice hockey