Garmin GPSMAP 64s – Slippery bits of information #3

Tip 3 :

The trip odometer is really screwed up with the original settings when you first use the 64s.

Why ? Because even if you don’t move it, like sitting down for a break, it will keep on counting the miles, or in my case kilometres.

Now this isn’t funny as there you are walking around and you have no real idea how far you’ve walked

So :

“From the Main Menu > Setup > Tracks > Record Method, set to Distance > Interval, ) set to 0.06 miles or for those using kilometers 0.10 Kms, (the original setting were 0000.01 if memory is correct),  I’ve set it to distance, rather than time or auto, though this is for you to try. 

136

With this setting change it should allow for GPS wandering and eliminate it. If you still find the trip counter sting ‘adding up’ you can always up the 0.10 to 0.12 / 0.15 for example . 

Of course if Garmin had implemented an auto pause as they have in most of their GPS this wouldn’t be necessary. 

This should now giving a more accurate distance reading, ‘a suivre’ as they say in French…….


Garmin GPSMAP 64s – Slippery bits of information #2

Tip 2 :

Adding maps to the 64

Garmen have their own maps that are pretty good. Sadly they are pretty expensive as well. (on my Edge 705 I had bought their Topo France 25:000 but not once did I have update, and of course their maps are for a one machine only so when I sold the 705 the map went with it) no way of transferring to my other GPS.

So this time I decided to try the Openstreets that I was seeing on all the forums, basically its maps that are updated in real time by users like myself and maybe you .

So here where : http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

Capture openstreets

So when this link is opened you’ll see this, this is the easy peasy part

Tick which style of map you want, I chose the second option ‘Generic Routable (new style)’ as after a couple of tests, this seems the best for me, walking, hiking etc (the third option, seems to be for those who bike.

Here’s  the full description Map types given by Openstreets

The map type to choose depends on your intended use for the map. Make sure the radio button for your map is selected or click the radio button to select it.

openstreet-text1.jpgNow choose from the six pop-up what country you want to download, You can see in my example that I’m downloaded France, and all of France in one go, on the 64 there plenty of room (SD Flash needed…)

If you are reading this and have a smaller GPS, a Edge 520 for instance that doesn’t have enough room then you’ll have to use the third section ‘Perhaps you’d like to add some additional tiles?’,  and choose what part of the country you need. it’s fairly obvious how to do it, except that your will leave and email address and you will receive  a link to download the part of the country that you had chosen.

Anyway back to France in one go, once chosen in the pop-up menu, you can then click on Download map now! and it will take you to a new page.

Capture openstreets_1

To be honest the easiest way is to choose the ‘OSM_generic_new_windows.exe’, the ‘osm_generic_new_windows’ being the name of the map you chose to download

What they don’t really explicate is that included with this .exe is the map, hence the size being the same as the gmapsupp.zip for instance

As I wanted to add this map to Garmin Basecamp (pretty useful to see the maps and check your traces) The .exe download is perfect

Once downloaded (which takes quite a while) run the .exe under admin (right-click with the mouse and run as Admin) and with Basecamp CLOSED.. this will then add the map to Basecamp and after you can use Basecamp to install the map on the 64

Open Basecamp (you did close it didn’t you…) and now on the menu bar / maps you will see your map or maps in my case.

Basecamp

From here you can install the map on the SD Fash , by choosing the line install maps, the following window will give you the choice of what maps to be installed if like me you have several. Use the personalise button to choose which map to install and also which map to be kept, or not at the same time and hit continue then install

This will install the maps on the SD Flash, I could get a choice of of how to install in the internal memory

This will take a while so go and drink a coffee, when finished reboot your 64 and you should find the maps nicely installed Map/menu/setup map/select map …

The other way but this will not install on Basecamp is to download the ‘osm_generic_new_gmapsupp.zip‘ file, when downloaded dezip it and drag and drop the gmapsupp.img file to the internal drive on your 64.

So there you go, it’s fairly easy to do all this, be careful when trying many times, all the files have basically the same names, so tidy up before re downloading otherwise it get confusing

Openstreet update all the time their maps (unlike Garmin) , so don’t hesitate to do this regularly especially if you are like me and add tracks, paths, to https://www.openstreetmap.org I recently added a path that was missing in my village, its now are the latest version of the map, that’s nice to see.

As soon as I can I’ll add more tips…. Questions ?, just leave me a comment

Links to useful sites that I’ve read concerning either the 64, or Openstreets

https://openmtbmap.org/tutorials/send_maps/

Garmin GPSMAP 64s – Slippery bits of information #1

In theres posts I’ll try to add bits of information that I think may be of use to others.

Why ? The Garmin explications are a pure waste of time, they explain next to nothing , more nothing than next to …..

To learn how to use it correctly and to its full potential, I have started browsing through many forums trying to find out how things work, what are some of the menus for etc etc., Some I’ve learnt by myself, most of I’ve learned online from all over the place so I will try to group the useful ones here for you.

Tip 1 :

While the garmin is plugged in to the your computer, in the Garmin folder of the internal drive, there is a file called ‘startup.txt’

This file while opened using bloc-notes or any simple text editor will be like this

Capture startup text

Now here’s the cool bit, though totally useless 🙂
Change the display = 0 to 5 (I tried 5 and 2 message shows the same length)
Add a last line with your text

Capture startup text_1

Now when the Garmin starts up, you’ll have the last line’s message showing on the screen, useless but fun.

IMG_20170802_211918

 

Garmin GPSMAP 64s – A waste of time ?

I’ve just bought a Garmin GPSMAP 64s : this is for when I start hiking and trekking in 2018. From 2018 onwards I will be retired and will have more time on my hands and am looking to add  more activities to what I already do, trekking / hiking being the next one to add to my list.

I’d read up on GPS for hiking before I bought the 64, and decided on the 64s as I wanted a fairly big screen, and a gps capable of recording routes while I hiked them and for hours on end, also several articles all basically said it was the best around. I have other Garmin gps’s, a Edge 520 for biking, a Forerunner 220 for running and a Edge 705 (just sold it), so I decided to stay with Garmin as I use Garmin Connect to collect all my date, (only to find later that Garmin Connect and the 64s don’t work together)

IMG_20170729_135314

Nice clear screen with a trace on it, using Openstreets as the map

The garmin 64s has a nice big screen the trace that I had uploaded on it before shows up just fine.

So here are my first impressions, or rather the negative impressions :

Garmin Connect :

As I stated this is a waste of time with the 64s, as it doesn’t work.

I use Garmin Connect for all my running and biking activities, being used to just plugging in my old Edge 705, or uploading via bluetooth from my Forerunner 220 or the Edge 520 and I’d thought the 64s would be just the same, after all hiking / walking is just like running no ? it’s a sport no ?…….. and therefore it’s interesting to see how far you’ve walked, in what time, how long you rested, your heart rate etc etc.

So so wrong

Garmin connect isn’t capable of recuperating automatically the details of your activity , you have to manually export the GPS log in gpx form (copying it from the 64s while it’s plugged into the computer) and import it by manually import it and sadly it only shows the full time, and the kilometres and not the actual moving time, it is so much easier with Forerunner or Edge. In other words the 64s and Garmin Connect is totally useless

Ok some say you can use Garmin Basecamp, but this is for seeing, modifying routes and tracks, and I already use this to check out routes that I want to see or do and modify if need be before uploading to now the 64 (before on my 705), but it’s just a mapping program, Garmin Connect is more for data, seeing all my activities etc and even worse you can’t even export the data from Basecamp to Connect. Two programs from Garmin both usefull in their own right and no way that they can talk to each other.

Garmin, you just don’t understand ….

Odemeter

Now like my old Edge 705, you can have loads of data panels on one big screen, ‘photo below) this is great, having mostly all the data that you require while walking.

While I was doing my first hike, I couldn’t understand why at lease two data panels seemed to be giving me wrong information, the trip odometer and the total odometer

At the end of my walk I had only walked 20 kms but it was showing me 25.1km (earlier while I had 5 kms on my Forerunner it was already showing 7 kms…) worse still the total odometer was at 85.7 kms, now I’ve only had this machine about a week and this was the first real test with it the rest was just playing with at home

I knew that I had reset the screen while setting up the machine a week ago or so, what I didn’t realise is that the total odometer cannot be reset, unless you do a full hard reset, only the trip odometer can be reset before a hike for instance, which I had done again before my walk, later playing with it the machine and checking Garmin forums I found out that while the machine is on, the trip odometer ‘counts’ even when you are not moving for instance while you take a break or have a rest or even if you place it on a table so that there is no movement what so ever, the trip counts on and on and on…., in other words, leave it for ten minutes and you’ll have a 1KM or so recorded  and of course this adds to the total odometer.

So I’ve done one real hike nothing more, at the end I had 25 kms showing on the tripcounter, (while only 20 kms using my Foreunner at the same time) and have already 85 kms showing as my total kms while again only having walked 20 kms

So if you you are like me interested in seeing how many kms you have walked while using the 64, well you can’t.

In other words until you upload your walk to Basecamp, you have no real idea how many kms you walked, and worse still, imagine that you are doing a several day hike, well you’ll have no access to the real data without have Basecamp and a computer

This renders the 64 pretty useless

Update : I learned that if you modify the following :
“From the Main Menu > Setup > Tracks > Record Method, set to Distance > Interval, set to 0.06 miles or for those using kilometers 0.10 Kms, the original setting is less, also I’ve set it to distance, rather than time or auto.

Now this helps if you are outdoors, inside it changes nothing, I’m playing with and trying to find out more about this setting, and will try set it to 0000.15 rather tna 0000.10 this should allow for gps wandering and eliminate it. ‘a suivre’ as they say in French…….

Now if only I could to reset the total odometer without hard resetting the machine Grrrrr …..

Garmin how can you be so stupid
IMG_20170729_135303.jpg

Screenshot_20170730-205102

Both activities showing in my Garmin Connect account, after I manually uploaded the 64 data from the gpx file

The correct data showing from the Forerunner 220
and the incorrect data showing from the 64s

 

Screen shots from my Garmin Connect account.
Information from the 64s , you can see 20,76 kms
(on the photo higher up, its was indicated 25,1 kms),
also 4h12 activity instead of 3h36 and no calorie count.
The correct information is shown from the Forerunner 220.

 

Trail running by night

In the dark….. ahhh….

me and frontale

Last month there was a local night run of 15km, but it was a night trail, and to be honest I wasn’t going to do it, having doubts about running at night especially in forested areas, I don’t like the dark, being a little scaredy cat, but a friend wanted to do it and pursuaded me to run it with him, I just needed to buy a headlamp (a frontale in French) so, as is my style, a couple of hours on the web, and I ordered a Petzl Reactik+, of course not the cheapest of models, I wanted POWER… I wanted to light up the forest ……300 lumens.

(Photo :25th of December, working of the Xmas pudding)

e95hmi-reactik_lowres
Petzl Reactik +

So now I’m equipped to run in the dark, I tried it as soon as it arrived and once fully charged, ran down the path in the field by the house, whow it’s like driving my car with headlights on, you can see almost everything for about 50 / 80m in front of you, at one time I stopped and turned it of, I could barely see my hand in front of my face, once back on could make out most details in front of me, but its a weird sensation, left and right is dark, turn your head to the right, you see the right but no longer in front of you, so strange.

Up came the Saturday for the night trail, over 150 runners, at first I was rather apprehensive but with people all around me the trail  was lit up like a Xmas tree and by the time there were fewer people around me, either because they were far in front or far behind I’d already gotten used to having just my own light lighting up the trail, at one moment I was deep in the forest on a singletrack that I know from biking, with no one in front or behind and finally not even scared, WHOW 🙂

1h25 mins later I’d run the race, even finished 2nd in my category, (I’m 58, 59 end of this month, December 2016) though that was just luck or maybe there were only two runners in my category (as said my wife)

Things that change in night running is the perspective, you have no real idea of your speed or the distance as your view is limited to a patch of light in front of you, a bit like running in a tunnel, you tend to place your feet / footing a little differently although the ground is lit up, it’s not daylight, and you easily miss things that may trip you up or over.

My Garmin Forerunner was a great help, giving me an idea of distant ran to be run.

Anyway I loved it :

So yesterday the first of December 2016 instead of going to the gym, I went for a solo night run. I started of on a large path in the middle of some fields, this being around 5km long (round trip) but when done I wanted more as my legs felt good, the  weather was cold being  minus 4°, but all felt great, so I ran on a very quiet country road for about 1km, this is not very wise as dressed mostly in black any car coming from behind wouldn’t see me, but I was lucky no cars during this stretch on the road, after this stretch I dived into the local forest, now this is where it’s really fun, in the middle of nowhere, your on your own, the only noises were birds taking of from the trees above me, but the imagination starts to work over time ….. every little noise had me looking all over the place. Been watching too many scary films…

The sensation of freedom, light only in front of you, your peripheral vision totally changed almost nonexistent, the sounds or rather lack of sounds, all this is something special,  I finished my run 10 kms in all, at just under 1 hour,

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/1467945002

Update : I’ve now run quite a few night runs, either alone (photo, top of the page) or with friends, though I must admit it’s wiser to run with friends as you never know what can happen, and being alone in the middle of the forest with a twisted ankle or worse could be difficult to manage… .

Trail running

I’ve been trail running for just over a year now, I found that running on roads is to be honest boring / monotone to say the least

After the Paris Marathon in 2015, which I did just to redo a marathon, the last one being over 30 years ago. I wanted to keep running as for the moment I’ve seem to have lost interest in biking, be it MTB or my singlespeed and needed a soft cardio sport on top of working out at the gym or Crossfit.

Running on roads is for me monotone and to linear,  also tiring (in comparison of trail running for the same distance), probably due to the fact that I still don’t have the right shoes for road running. I’ve been using a pair of Merrel’s – Lantern Silver, a minimalist running shoe with a 0mm drop, No wonder my legs hurt during the Marathon training and the Paris Marathon ……

merrell-lantern-silver

Merrel – Lantern Silver

Maybe if I change for some real road shoes I’ll think differently but doubt it….

So back to my trail running.  I tried a first trail run in September 2015, I’m lucky I’ve only 500m of road from my house and I can then dive in the forest. I ran a trail that I  had been doing regularly on my MTB for the last couple of years so knew it well. It can be anything from 5km to 15km depending on the turns I take.

The first time I only did around 7km, But I loved it, its like being on the mountain bike but running, you need to look and suss out the ground before you, otherwise, rabbit holes, fallen branches, tree roots are all there to make you trip over or fall.

One week later I did it again, this time it had been raining and on the last leg home, slipped on a muddy patch and hurt my calf trying to keep my balance, so once back home I logged onto the web, read several forums for a while, emailed a friend who I knew ran trails and a couple of hours later ordered my first pair of real trail shoes. A pair of Salomon LabSpeed’s expensive but the critics were good and I liked the look of them

img_20161126_093332

Salomon LabSpeed

The shoes arrived a couple of days later so on my feet they went, and off I went again, Oh boy was this a change from minimalist shoes, I gained a 4mm drop, a sole that was more rigid and treads like on my winter MTB tyres, whow I was blown away,  a totaly different feel with the ground.

The shoes though far slimmer than my Merrels, felt good on the foot (though I would prefer just a little wider) they gripped the foot well in fact very well, their lacing technique (quicklace)  is great, far better than standard laces

One year later :

With these shoes I’ve done around 600 plus kms, I mostly run 10 to 15 kms on Sunday mornings and sometimes a quick 5km run before my personal coach (that sounds so snob) on Saturday morning,   the rest of my time is either at the gym or Crossfit box

A couple of months ago I had a hole that appeared on the top of the shoe where the foot bends, A quick mail to the website here in France where I bought them from and they were replaced immediately, Salomon have a two-year guarantee, so well done Salomon, I’ve got a brand new pair again.

Creating a Playlist on the Fiio X3

How to create a playlist using just Notepad or any simple text program for your music player, This works for my Fiio X3 player, it’s probably the same for any other player as well, or maybe with just some small modifications.

I use a Fiio X3 in my gym at home or when I’m travelling or on holidays etc.

For the travelling or my holidays while I’m lazing on the beach I just set the player to shuffle and let it choose, easy…..

When I’m working out at my home gym, I prefer the music a little ‘heavier’ and with music that keeps me going while I’m working out, so I use a playlist

When looking around how to make playlist I found a couple of posts, they seemed over complicated and or needed programs to make one.

So I decided to write this post so that you can make your playlist just using a standard text application like NotePad, Ultraedit on your PC

What is a playlist ?

A playlist is just a simple text file named ‘XXX.m3u8’ instead of ‘XXX.txt’

The XXX being the name that you give your playlist and the .m3u8 being the extension rather than .txt.

Mine is named WOD.m3u8. WOD as I do WOD workouts from Crossfit, but it could be ‘GYM’, ‘Running….’ whatever you like.

On the Fiio X3, this playlist file must be placed at the root (highest level) on the SD Flash (not in any folder, just on the SD) that you use probably use to stock your music being that the internal drive is so so small.

On the SD Flash I  have a folder named ‘Trev’s Music‘ and in this folder I have a folder per group, and if need be a folder per album in the group folder as I like things organised

On the internal drive I have a folder named ‘Music

So here’s the easy part to making a playlist :

On your PC create a new text file that you will name ‘my playlist name’.txt

So while on the PC, in this new text file add a first line #EXTM3U  (including the #)

Use a bog standard text program such as : bloc notes, Ultraedit, Notepad++

After this line, you can start adding your tracks to your  playlist (see my example below) one line per music track

All you have to do is just to save the exact address of the track that you want to add to this playlist, with my Fiio X3 plugged in to your computer this is easy to do as you can see the exact address . Normally when you click on the track that you want to be on your playlist you will see the ‘address’ at the top of the PC window.

Copy the exact address to your text file, once copied just delete the computers drive letter at the from of the title

Example :

I:\Trev’s Music\Death in Vegas\Satan’s Circus\09. Anita Berber.flac’

The title of the track ’09. Anita Berber.flac’ needs to be added after your copy the address in blue on my screen shot as it only copies the details up to the folder, not taking into account the title of the track, when you click in the address  section and don’t forget to add the \ before the title

A tip : for the track title, rather than typing (in my exemple ’09. Anita…..’) just do a right click to the track, choose the rename option, then you can copy the complete title (of course don’t rename it) this eliminating all possibilities of making an error when re typing.

‘I:\Trev’s music\Death in Vegas\Satan’s Circus’ the add’\’ then ’09. Anita Berber.flac’, easy peasy …..

(I :  being the letter that is giving by my PC for my Fiio SD Flash, this can be different depending on you PC : D, F, G for instance), but if you leave the letter I:\ (which is given, by your PC) when the Fiio tries to read your playlist it it won’t understand the I:\ so just delete it, giving you this on your text file

‘Trev’s Music\Death in Vegas\Satan’s Circus\09. Anita Berber.flac’

adresse music

My Fiio connected to my PC

This breaks down to (the anti slash telling the machine to go down a folder, Fiio X3 doesn’t attribute a letter to the SD Flash, probably being that the Playlist is on the SD Flash itself) but it does attribute à letter to it’s internal drive, that being ‘a’

SD Flash :

First folder : Trev’s Music

Sub folder : Marc Almond (group/artist)

Sub folder : Stranger Things (album name)

Track : 01. Glorious.flac (notice you must copy the full track name including the extension, I only use Flac not mp3)

So basically your text file should look like this :

#EXTM3U
Trev’s music\Marc Almond\Stranger Things\01. Glorious.flac
Trev’s music\Leftfield\Stealth Remixes\01. Phat Planet (Dave Clarke Remix).flac
Trev’s music\Lemon Jelly\’64-’95\02. ’88 aka Come Down On Me.flac
Trev’s music\Thirty Seconds to Mars\Love Lust Faith + Dreams\07. Pyres of Varanasi.flac
Trev’s music\Death in Vegas\Satan’s Circus\09. Anita Berber.flac

These tracks all ‘point’ to my ‘Trev’s music‘ folder on my SD flash (there is no drive letter for the SD flash)

For a playlist including the tracks on the internal drive, you leave the letter at the front of the line

a:\Music\Odds & ends\06. Rewind.flac

In the example above  a:\ points to the internal drive rather than the SD (if you  want  to add some music to your Fiio’s internal drive, you will need to add at the beginning of the line ‘a:\‘) this telling the Fiio to go and ‘see’ the internal drive rather then the SD flash drive

The Fiio’s Internal drive :

a:\Music\Odds & ends\06. Rewind.flac

First folder : Music

Sub folder : Odds & ends

Track : 06. Rewind.flac

There you go a simple text file, saved on your PC, now rename the extension from .txt to .m3u8 and it becomes a playlist for your Fiio, copy it to the SD card on your Fiio X3 not the internal drive

Hope this all makes sense, any questions please contact me by leaving a comment. Also living in France for so long I forget my English so forgive any phrases / words that aren’t quite right

 

Salomon Agile 7 Backpack – Hydration pack

I don’t think I’ve ever written a post on accessories for the sports that I do, I normally only write about my bikes or gadgets etc. This time as having some time on my hands I thought that I would try my hand or rather my keyboard on a Salomon hydration back pack that I’ve just bought,  the Agile 7.

I already have three different Camelbaks for my bike rides, from very small to quite large, but as I’m more into running or rather trail running these days and as sometimes the little water bottle that I carry is to small and can be a pain having it your hand of an hour or two I looked around and bought a Solomon Agile 7 back / hydration pack as I saw an articles in a magazine

IMG_20160531_104917I chose the Agile 7 as it’s the second smallest of several Agiles packs from Salomon. I received it this morning  and at the same time the water pack that fits in it, strangely  the hydration pack / reservoir is not sold with it and so needs to be purchased apart …

The pack is just one big space with a separating piece of nylon between the reservoir section and the storage space. What’s immediately oblivious and missing is a pocket or two to store smallish items such as a phone, GPS device or keys. To be honest who doesn’t walk / hike or run without one these days. (I do for two reasons, sometimes just to take some photos, though mostly to let my wife know that I running late (get the play with words ) or just plain lost and therefore late…..) so unless I can make one and pin it to the nylon center piece it means the my phone will just be lying at the bottom of the sac, not clever.

The placement for the reservoir pack is good, it holds 1.5L which for me is more than enough, I’m used to running with a 500 ml bottle which is ok for 10 km runs but not enough for longer runs, it’s the right width and length and with a piece of ribbon that attached to the top of the reservoir so that it will stay put at the top and not fall to the bottom of the pack, simple and clever

IMG_20160531_132303

Fixing the hydration reservoir so that doesn’t ‘slip’ down

IMG_20160531_104243

 

 

The storage space is large, far larger than I thought when ordering it, it can store easily a light weight wind stopper, head warmer and plenty of other odds and ends at the same time, as I said earlier just a shame its one biggish storage space, with no pockets for a phone, keys etc, they will all have to be bundled together, I’m used to Camelbaks for my bike rides, these always have a least one pocket, so this is a design let down from Salomon

IMG_20160531_104947.jpg

section for the reservoir and inside storage section

On the outside, at both sides  there two  small mesh pockets that sit snugly on your hips. These could be useful to place food bars or gels, but they cannot be closed so not useful for anything valuable, and they are actually quite big (er did I say smallish mesh pockets …..) enough to place around several food bars or gels quite easily per pocket, or a neck warmer,  gloves… for quick access

 

IMG_20160531_104917

You can see the two mesh side pockets

I haven’t yet had to time try the back pack while running, though I’ve already tried it on and ajusted it. It sits comfortably on my back, The shoulder straps can be adjusted to hug nicely and the chest strap offers four different height levels so that it fits perfectly over your chest, I’ve yet to see if it gets in the way of my heart monitor strap but I doubt it

IMG_20160531_134709

Four clips for attaching the chest strap so it fits nicely height wise

Conclusions, OK I haven’t run with it yet, so no comment on its sitting on my back with a liter of water in while I’m running or biking, but I’ve been using CamelBaks for around 20 years now, so have a fairly good idea about them, its seems well made, its light , it has plenty of space, even too much if just for a 15 / 25 km run, basically you don’t need hundreds of bars or gels, just a phone, keys, and some water and a vest for the rain or  cold, I’m going to add an emergency blanket as you never know when you or someone may need one. I’m also going to start some home to work running so maybe the extra space will be useful to take a sandwich and such like.

My real gripe is just no special storage space, this wouldn’t have added any weight and it would have been real useful.

They do this backpack in several colours, I like this bright green useful if on a road and makes a nice change from black  or other boring colours. Oh it comes with a whistle, whoopi but I suppose it could be useful so I’ll leave it attached. There are several elastique straps for walking poles, but I’m not ready for this sport yet so cannot say if useful or not.

Salomon : Please think about a couple of pockets ideally zippable / closable (not sure those two words really exist…)  for a phone, wallet, keys for the house or car, key card for the hotel when I’m away, nothing fancy just plain useful and plain sense.

Update : Have run several  trails,  from 10km to 15km, the agile sits nicely on your back, it doesn’t move around, drinking from it is easy, like any Camelbak.  Each time I filled the reservoir with about 1 liter of water.
The side pockets are easy to get to while the pack is on your back, perfect for a food bar,  inside I had my phone, an emergency blanket and my light wind jacket that I’d stuffed inside after being to warm while running a while.

So a great back pack for running except for the phone lying at the bottom rather than being stored correctly

57 years old and doing Crossfit – They call me Papy.

Crossfit, why it’s so good….

I’m 57 years old,  58 in December 2015 and I’m the oldest guy in town, well okay at the Crossfit box where I’m a  member. many call me Papy (granddad in French) as I’m the oldest guy there and I’m loving it.

For almost a year now I been doing Crossfit in a club (here’s where I’m so so lucky) that is underneath my offices on the ground floor.

Sometimes I wish I ‘d never gone there to try it, it’s just to good, far better than my local gym where I’ve been a member for the last three years, before I would work out there three or four times a week (now if it’s once or twice a week ….)

Crossfit is everything that you could wish for, and more, it works just about every muscle in your body and doesn’t just give you bigger muscles that gym workouts tend to do for you. For me it goes far beyond working out at a gym.

Don’t get me wrong I still like going to the gym when I feel the need to work out a particular part of my body, as I can do for instance a hour’s session on my chest or arms, that one doesn’t normally do in Crossfit session.

Its hard work, but so gratifying when at the end of the WOD  (workout of the day) you finish, gasping for breath, moaning, ’cause you hurt all over, especially when doing burpees, tractions, wall balls, handstand push ups etc.

Working out often with another members, or as a couple or in a group, this is about comradeship working with other members from the same or opposite sex, stronger or weaker than you, with age differences that can be important. At the gym you tend to be on your own or just with a friend, even if you train with a friend or friends, it’s not quite the same.

Some WODs you do on your own, trying to better the others, heavier weights, faster…, or just to finish in a preset time, normally sessions are limited to about twelve persons, and even when you finished your WOD you encourage the others to finish, (or be encouraged) again comradeship, so rare these days. Its nice and you feel better when helping or being encouraged to finish a session.

Certain movements / exercises in Crossfit I’m unable to do correctly, weightlifting movements such as snatch and clean and jerks are more than difficult, my back and shoulders just not supple enough any more. Kipping and Butterflies (chin ups with a difference) elude me completely, but this is where Crossfit is better than most  gyms, the coaches are always there to watch and correct your movements and all know that I’m weaker than others in certain areas and so they adapt some sessions for me (and others if need be).

So here am I, doing two or three sessions  per week, Its keeping me fit, even at my age I can and sometimes beat some that are half my age. The other free days are spent at the gym, trail running or biking

So finally : DON’T try Crossfit…, (JOKE) otherwise you may never do anything else, it’s better than : gym, riding or running (I know, I still do some of all) as it’s a mix of everything and more still.

This is the link to my club, here in France where I live : http://crossfitcergy.com/

Please feel free to leave a reply, I welcome them

Papy

Updating the Bios on your Zotac computer running Linux

Updating the Bios on your Zotac running a Linux

Having just bought a Zotac EI730 to be my home media center and installing KodiBuntu (Linux + Kodi media center software) on it I wanted to see if I could update the bios as there was a later version available on the Zotac site

From Zotac you can easily check and download the latest bios version. Sadly the bios on Zotac doesn’t allow an update by itself, (telling the bios to update itself from a certain file, while in bios), and if you are like me you are only running Linux and like me know next to nothing about linux then updating the bios via Linux OS is just plain impossible.

So I ran a couple of Google checks and found next to nothing on how to update, and many people asking this question, ‘Not running Windows, how do I update my bios. ???????

Funny enough looking at the PDF that is supplied with bios download from Zotac tells you how to get around this problem

It’s as clear as mud and is slightly wrong, but after a second attempt sussed it and updated my bios in less than five minutes.

So I thought I’d try to explain making hopefully things more clear, so here’s how

Firstly you need to create a DOS (my that’s old) bootable USB , you can do this from here http://download.cnet.com/HP-USB-Disk-Storage-Format-Tool/3000-2094_4-10974082.html I already had this in my cupboard.

Here another version http://www.howtogeek.com/136987/how-to-create-a-bootable-dos-usb-drive/ this one is really easy to use.

Once this Boot USB is done, download the correct bios file from Zotac for your PC and just unzip and drop all the files onto the USB, my file contained (at the time of writing)

AFU303.exe
afuwin.exe
amifldrv32.sys
amifldrv64.sys
B2250723.bin
Note.txt
update.bat
Important_note_AMI_EFI_2.02.pdf

Reading the PDF from Zotac (the last page) firstly it states ‘Boot up from MS-DOS without autoexec.bat and config.sys’ but there are no files named like this. So except the PDF file which I knew that I didn’t need I just dropped all the other onto the USB, (only two of all these names will be needed to be typed into the following DOS screen when you boot up later)

Once all files are copied onto the USB just boot the Zotac with USB plugged in, keep on pressing on the F11 at boot (this could be different depending on the model) you should then have a screen with a choice of boot options, your HD, USB etc so just choose the USB using you keyboard.
Attention the second time I tried updating my Bios,  buggered if I could get it to boot using F11,  so hit the ESC  button and boot in the Bios setup,  change the boot sequence so that it boots in priority from the USB,  do a F10 to save this and it will now reboot using the USB,  obviously later change the sequence back your hard disk.

All being well after the boot you should tnow have a black screen with some white writing similar to the below PDF and screen shot

After the C:\> you will now need to type the following, please use my screen shot as the example and not the Zotac PDF as it’s not quite right

so

1 : C:\>afu303.exe (if your yours is not quite the same you type exactly the same name as what you copied onto the USB, probably only the number will change) don’t hit Enter yet.

2 : C:\>afu303.exe B2250723.bin (again exactly the same as the name of the file copied on your USB, again the number can change depending on the version) don’t hit Enter yet.

3: C:\>afu303.exe B2250723.bin /p /n /b /r  (note there is a space after each /). Now if your are sure that you have typed that two file names correctly now hit ENTER (and pray …..) (I always pray when updating a bios, because if it goes wrong, power cut for instance you are in the shit …)

You can see in my screen shot how I typed all in, there is a space between the file names and before each slash

and you should have the ‘done’ at the end of each line and an empty C:\ you can now turn of the Zotac, unplug your USB and restart.

2015-08-08 16.56.59

When you reboot, if you boot into the bios (delete or supp button) you should see that your bios has changed, mine was B225P011 and it went to B225P012.

To make things difficult Zotac don’t use the same names in the bios and on their site. Mine on the site was B2250723.bin and on their bios its B22P012 , making it hard to really know if the bios installed and on their site is the same or newer, Why make things difficult ……

Notice that on the Zotac PDF they explain one way and show you another, most confusing

Hope this all helps. Also living in France for so long I forget my English so forgive any phrases / words that aren’t quite right, so please do or hesitate to leave reply or ask a question.

PS : on the Zotac PDF it suggests that you backup your old rom first, although I didn’t bother doing this, it could be wise.

Zotac update bios2015-08-08 17.01.14