Thu, 20 Mar 2008

A second broken Garmin Edge GPS, no repair, no warranty // at 12:00

Now that definitely leaves a bad taste in the mouth Mr Garmin.

You purchase a GPS in good faith, one that comes with a 12 month warranty and so when it breaks you send it back to be repaired. You can't send it to Garmin since they don't have a presence in Australia, instead you have to send it to GME, who are the “sole repair and distribution centre.”

When it comes back you assume that the replacement one has a warranty, then nine or ten months later that one breaks too... that's when you discover that according to GME “they're not real reliable,” but since its a repair unit it only has a 3 month warranty and it'll cost you $AU209 to have your unrepairable GPS replaced! Staff at GME claim to be "only a repair shop" and that I have to discuss it with "Garmin Australia" if I'm not happy with the warranty, or that fact that two out of two Garmin devices have failed in under a year.

Searching about shows that there is no such entity as "Garmin Australia", all references to a Garmin presence in Australia are directed straight back to GME! Garmin's "international office" in the US won't help, since I'm not in the US, and helpfully directed me to contact Garmin South-East Asia, which have a website in Taiwan that is solely in Chinese characters.

So two years of endless firmware hangs and two broken Edge 305 GPSs can be summarised as: nice concept, crap product, crap firmware, crap warranty and crap support.

Thanks Garmin.

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Mon, 17 Mar 2008

Jaywalker vs bicycle // at 12:30

There I was, riding up Beddoe avenue to Monash uni. on my way to work, slowing for the roundabout, looking left, right and straight ahead for motorists, checking for ijuts riding on the footpath who shoot across in front of you, watching for some of our less knowledgeable overseas students who drive, ride or walk unpredictably or on the wrong side of the road, indicating right an' all — employing all the usual safeguards at this tiny little roundabout... then out of the blue whump

The attack of the jaywalking uni-student, he launched himself out from behind the power-pole, eyes on the ground, not looking left, not looking right. Straight into the front wheel, stopped me dead as I flipped up and over and down ontop of the bike. He apologised profusely, claimed he only looked for cars, left me a scrawled name and phone number and continued on his way.

The road bike is now unridable until I get new handlebars, and since the forecast is for 39°C it'll be a hot walk home.

Miscellaneous small bruises, and aching shoulders and wrists from the hand-stand in the middle of the road, but thankfully no major damage.

Yet another in the endless daily stream of people not watching where they're going, and finally the odds caught up with me and I failed to avoid him.

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Wed, 12 Mar 2008

Google docs // at 12:30

Playing around with google Docs. I can't seem to find a way to make an X-Y chart that has a date along the bottom. That graph should be from September 2002 to March 2008, but I can't figure out how to make the dates appear.

Wed, 05 Mar 2008

The name dilemma // at 13:30

What's in a name? An awful lot it appears... especially if you're seven months pregnant, don't know the sex of the baby and have no real idea of what to call it.

Canvassing some outside assistance we appealed to the nieces on the weekend; according to one set of twins our options now seem to include Charlotte and Prancer — from Saddle Club I believe — try explaining that one to the kid when they're at school “Mummy, why am I called a reindeer name?” The other twins are quite firm in their belief that only babies have names, “It can't have a name while its still a lump inside, silly!” The silly aunt and uncle retired, suitably chastised.

Nephews had previously proposed Ann and Zac for a girl or a boy respectively, an impressive pun on the due date of April 25 (ANZAC day).

Driving home we thought that Reality was a good option, similar in style to a lot of translated African and Asian names that seem to sound slightly odd in English, but open to any number of puns like “You can't handle Reality...” and “There's no escape from Reality.”

Boy, Girl, Giraffe? Who knows. Currently known by the temporary name of Marty monster and apparently trying out for early admission to the Socceroos as striker.

Tue, 04 Mar 2008

Bike counting // at 09:30

Ugh, why did I volunteer for this? I admit it, I was hoping that BV's offer would put me on North road so I could see first hand just how few people really use the useless "bicycle lane". “Volunteer to take part in a bicycle commuter survey, tell us where you live and work and we'll place you somewhere nearby”. I volunteered, I specified Oakleigh and Clayton — 5km apart — they put me down on the Nepean highway 10km away in Moorabbin in the opposite direction!

So, a free orange tee-shirt in size extra-bed-sheet large and a $50 donation to the bicycle user group of my choice. That's what I get for standing on the corner of Nepean highway and South road for two hours being deafened by truckages. Below follows a very unscientific summary of two hours of my life from 7:00 to 9:00a.m. this morning:

One cyclist said hello, but she's a friend and she recognised me.

One commodore, 6:55am, P-plates, three lads, front passenger screamed C*#NT! while rear passenger spat out the window — I retired to higher ground in case they returned.

There is no coffee, bakery or toilets nearby.

Bicycle Victoria supplies nice neat sheets showing four roads and Left/right/straight for each of those four roads — 12 combinations to tick for each rider.

Melbourne supplies cyclists who ride up the footpath, the wrong way up feeder lanes, or diagonally across arbitrary combinations of pedestrian crossing and road — this makes ticking the tick boxes more interesting and open to interpretation.

In every given 15 minute period I saw more motorists illegally on the phone than I saw in cyclists.

128 cyclists in 2 hours, 1 recumbent, no penny farthings, 1 cyclist ran a red light, 7 had no helmets, 31 either arrived or left the intersection riding on the footpath.

...and surprise surprise, the most popular direction was the 41 people going straight north heading for the city.

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