Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

For the last few months the Garmin has been playing up. It began by not automatically synchronising with the PC and then started failing to download workouts. I have no idea what the cause was, but after some web research, i found it was a fairly common problem. The explanation was that somehow the data on the 310xt had corrupted. I found this hard to believe as the device was quite happily storing run, bike and swim data. Following some frustrating screwing around, I found I could upload activities by re-pairing the device with the computer each time. There appeared not fix for downloading new workouts.

The suggested fix was to factory reset the device. This is accomplished by:

  1. Turn the device off
  2. Hold down the “MODE” and “ENTER” buttons
  3. Momentarily press the “POWER” button

I didn’t really want to do this – psychologically there is part of me that says “Well, its half working, perhaps i should just put up with it.”. But another voice says “Are you nuts? This watch cost and arm and a leg! It should work reliably and flawlessly.” Today, I had a some spare time to take a shot at it.

Be warned there is no “Are you sure?” prompt and the procedure above restores the device to an “out of the box” state. On powering on you have to fill in all your stats again and the workouts and activities are cleared. It effectively cold-starts the GPS too, so it may take a while to re-acquire the satellite lock.

After filling in my stats, I tried to pair the device to the PC. I set the ANT Agent to pair with new  devices and power-cycled the 310xt. When it came back up, the pairing process kicked off and I followed the prompts as normal. This resulted in the ANT Agent throwing an exception and crashing. “Great Start!”, I thought. The I remembered the corrupt data problem and renamed the Garmin folder in the “AppData/Roaming” profile area to something else.

Pairing the devices again worked and the crash did not occur. I started Garmin Training Centre and got a warning that it couldn’t find my old profile. I ignored this and entered a new one. It automatically found the device and created a set of default workouts. I then selected the send data to device option and waited for ANT to sync. Again, this happened with no issues.

It’s early days, but hopefully the problem is solved. I just need to reset all my preferences for displays, alerts, etc.… But hey, the probably needed a clean out anyway!

I was very proud my laptop computer, it did all the stuff I needed (mostly) and best of all cost less than £100. It was an old Dell C640 originally running MS Windows 2000, but last year, I upgraded to MS Windows XP.

Yesterday, it let me down. I shut the computer down the night before as usual, but in the morning switched on to find the hard disk “missing”. I opened the drive bay and found the hard drive where I’d left it the night before. I rebooted a couple of times before removing the drive, installing it in a USB caddy and connecting it to another computer.

I managed to recover the data partition but something had gone badly wrong with the Windows OS partition. I copied the data off to the other computer and went off to find the Windows XP media. Refitting the hard disk drive, I restarted the computer, booted from CD and waited for the recovery console to appear.

I had planned to try repairing the Boot Sector and Master Boot Record (MBR) from the recovery console. However, the console would not load. I disconnected the disk and booted from the CD and setup loaded, but then complained that I had no hard disk to install on!

The problem appeared intractable. I loaded up a Ubuntu DVD which worked fine both without the disk and with it. I even tried another copy of the Windows XP media. Armed with the knowledge that I could potentially flatten the laptop and start again, I decided perhaps that a new laptop was a good idea and I would install Ubuntu or similar Linux distro on the C640. A quick trip to PC World and I am the prod owner of a Lenovo G580 (Core i3, Windows 8). Despite the mixed reviews on the web, it fitted my budget and the need to get a laptop up and running quickly.

Reinstating my data and applications will no doubt throw up a few issues, so I’ll record a few things here just in case I need them again!

MagicISO saves Christmas

Posted: December 25, 2012 in Diary, Technology
Tags: , ,

This Christmas, my daughter received a netbook from Santa. She also got a computer game on CD where you can run a theme park. The first problem is that there is no cdrom drive in the netbook to run the cd. No problem as I have an external USB drive that we can use to install the software and after that you shouldn’t need the CD, right?

Wrong! The software is dependant on having the disk because it does not copy all the data accross to save space. Having an external piece of kit attached to the netbook defeats the purpose, so with a bit of digging, I found MagicISO at

The process is quite easy:

1. Install MagicISO
2. Connect portable DVD drive and insert media
3. right click tray icon
4. Select make cd/ DVD image
5. Type in path of save file
6. Right click tray icon and mount as drive letter.

Disk is now available as a mapped drive letter.

I can now add a shortcut to the desktop to run the software as if the CD rom was connected.