Friday, December 30, 2011

UP to 72 hours


UP to 72 hours UP to 72 hours UP to 72 hours UP to 72 hours UP to 72 hours

Since I care more and more about my health, I started looking at health gadgets. Fitbit looks popular but Jawbone UP got my attention. It's new and the concept looks great: a bracelet that you don't need to be aware of. Unlike Fitbit, you don't need to remember clipping it to your clothes because you don't take it off.
After its launch, most reviews were positive. Then something just went wrong. People started reporting their UPs are dead after several days of use. I doubted if I should buy one but I still wanted to take the risk, so I bought one.
Now I've been using my UP for 72 hours and luckily it's not dead yet. I love using it though there are minor problems.
The good parts are it does encourage me to take more walk and track my meals. These two are very important to me. I'm spending too much time sitting and I'm eating too much, which make me uncomfortable. Reminding me every 30 minutes of sitting makes me leave the seat and refill my cup. Tracking meals helps me understand in what situation I might eat more than I should.
The sleep tracking satisfies my curiosity but that's all of it. I can do nothing to improve my sleep quality. I don't have an experiment plan to explore what affects my sleep yet.
The bad parts are it only tracks arm movement and it's not accurate in all circumstances. Workout tracking only tracks activities involve arm movement. Push up tracks nothing while brushing my teeth looks like some intensive workout.
Overall, I still like my UP and wish Jawbone could make it better in the future.
P.S. Because Beijing is covered by hazardous haze I only do indoor workout. That means GPS tracking is meaningless to me. I'll try that when I get back to Guangzhou.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Unboxing Xiaomi Phone


Unboxing Xiaomi PhoneUnboxing Xiaomi Phone Unboxing Xiaomi Phone Unboxing Xiaomi Phone Unboxing Xiaomi Phone Unboxing Xiaomi Phone

Just photos. No test. Maybe next time. Because my friend wants this phone really bad, I will give this one to him and try to get another as my Android test device.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Unboxing Shengda Bambook

Unboxing Shengda Bambook Unboxing Shengda Bambook Unboxing Shengda Bambook Unboxing Shengda Bambook

I should have posted this two months ago. I can't comment on this product because I don't use it by myself. I got it by giving a speech in a Shengda sponsored event and then I gave it to my parents. It seems my dad enjoys its Chinese text-to-speech feature a lot.

Posted via email from Cat Chen's Posterous

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Unboxing Sennheiser PXC360BT

Unboxing Sennheiser PXC360BT Unboxing Sennheiser PXC360BT Unboxing Sennheiser PXC360BT Unboxing Sennheiser PXC360BT Unboxing Sennheiser PXC360BT

I just received my new gadget today. It's Sennheiser PXC360BT headphones. I bought it for its active noise canceling. I want to know if it's effective on a plane. I will field test it on my way back to Canton.

The box is not big, and you can see the headphones inside with a paper box underneath. The headphones come with a removable battery, a Micro-USB connector, audio cable, and all kinds of adapters. They are put in the traveler's bag inside that paper box.

The battery was empty, so I charged it with my MacBook Pro over the Micro-USB connector. I didn't finished the charging within an hour long lunch, so I need to measure the charge time in the future. I tested it via Bluetooth with my iPhone and also via audio cable with my MacBook Pro. The sound quality is good to me and it feels comfortable to wear.

Pairing the headphones with iPhone is simple and straightforward. Press and hold the Bluetooth button and you can connect it on the iPhone. The iPod app treats it like an AirPlay device so you can easily switch between internal speaker and Bluetooth headphones.

After lunch, I've tested it on the subway. Wearing the headphones will reduce the noise. Enabling active noise canceling will further reduce low frequency noise. With both Noise Guard and Talk Through enabled, you will hear people on the train shouting to each other in front of you. In their perspective, it's just talking. With low frequency noise canceled, it sounds like shouting.

So far, I've noticed two small problems with Sennheiser PXC360BT. One is that when charging and listening over the cables at the same time, static is noticeable. The other is that when Bluetooth is interfered sound will jump. If it's interfered for several seconds, iPhone treats it as AirPlay device disconnected and then pauses the music.

Posted via email from Cat Chen's Posterous

Merging Two English Blogs

I have two English blogs now. One on Blogger and another on Posterous. I wanted to post different things on different blogs. Posterous should be more light-weight and photo driven. However, I don't post often so I can't differentiate two blogs.

I just (eventually) started my Cantonese blog. For Cantonese input convenience, I type on my iPhone and then post it to Blogger via Posterous. That means I have the same Cantonese content on both Blogger and Posterous. (I will hide one in the future to avoid duplicated content.) so I think using the same method for my English blog should be feasible.

After merging two blogs, I don't have to worry about differentiation any more. I don't have to think about which blog to post depending on the type of content. I can focus on writing instead of tools. If I'm with my Mac, I will use MarsEdit; If only my iPhone is available, I will use Posterous. No matter what I use, all content merges to my Blogger's stream.

Posted via email from Cat Chen's Posterous

Monday, August 08, 2011

Moving Blogs to New Domain

I bought catchen.me last year and point it to my old domain catchen.biz. Now I want to use catchen.me as my main entrance. That means I need to migrate all sub-domains under catchen.biz to catchen.me.

Why did I use catchen.biz at the first place? I wanted to register a domain from Google Apps in order to make sure that my domain is associated with Google Apps. Neither catchen.com nor catchen.net is available so I picked catchen.biz. However, I found out that people don't respond well to .biz domains. When I say "you can find me on catchen dot biz", they will ask "catchen dot what?" Then I understood that I needed to get a easily recognizable domain. That's why I bought catchen.me.

I let catchen.me point to catchen.biz for several months and it works well, but the content stays on catchen.biz. Now I want to move the content to catchen.me and make catchen.biz a simple redirection. I wanted to do this long ago but I'm too lazy to set up an Apache for the redirection. I don't want to touch all those configurations so I kept postponing this task.  Recently I found out that I can do this with pure JavaScript and that's a language I'm comfortable with, so I decided to give it a try.

I wrote a less than 30 lines JavaScript file and push it to Heroku. Then it's done. And it's free! I don't need to maintain my own server. Heroku's free plan should be enough to handle a few request to my old domain. I don't need to know anything about Apache configuration.  All I need to learn is Node.js, but I want to learn it for fun anyway.

So far, I've migrated three sub-domains: english, cantonese, and dotnet. If the solution is stable, I will move chinese, which is the sub-domain with most content.