GPS watches
Posted: 29 October 2010 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I’d like to be able to study my route on RouteGadget to see just how badly I did. Can anyone recommend a GPS watch to buy? I use an apple mac computer (OSX) so it would have to be mac compatible. From what I’ve read online the Garmin 405 is mac compatible but the 205/305 are not. Does anyone have any advice on this?

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Posted: 29 October 2010 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I believe that the 205/305 are Mac Compatible. These plug in via a USB lead whereas the 405 connects via a USB dongle using bluetooth. Garmin bundle in some analysis software (training center) which has a Mac version. Many users though prefer SportTracks as the software to interface with their forerunner watches but this is only available for windows.

The 405 is smaller than the 305 and uses touch senstive controls whereas the 205/305 is bigger and uses buttons. 205/305 is no doubt significantly cheaper.

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Posted: 30 October 2010 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Thanks for the advice Neil. I have now ordered the 305 (much cheaper than the 405 which has a lot of bad reviews). I can use the Garmin Training Centre software on my mac and although it pains me to run windows software, I can also run the SportsTracks on a virtual box on my mac. So hopefully it will all turn out ok and I will be able to sit back and laugh at my performance.
Thank you.

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Posted: 02 November 2010 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I have been using a 305 for a couple of years now and confirm it’s suitability.

I’m also a Mac user but am yet to find a Mac app that’s as good/complete as SportTracks.
You can also use Garmin Connect as it’s web based, but there is no GPX export, which is the ideal format for RouteGadget.

Being an orienteer means you must have access to Windows for the mapping and planning apps like Ocad, Condes, Purple Pen etc. So I use Fusion and have it running in the background most of the time, it’s also more reliable/safer if you need to create/edit Word and Excel files.

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Posted: 02 November 2010 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Hi Paul,
Thanks for your advice.
I use VirtualBox for windows software on a mac. It’s probably not as good as Fusion as it’s freeware, but seems to run SportsTracks ok. I don’t have the watch yet so haven’t fully tested it.
I also have Microsoft Office for Mac for all Word, Excel, Powerpoint files which works very well.

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Posted: 02 November 2010 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Which version of Office for Mac are you using?
I find that sometimes the more complex formatting things like text boxes, images, lines & arrows don’t quite translate when opened in other supposedly Word compatible apps.

But having just read a review of Office 2011 for the Mac I’m tempted to try it, as they had good things to say about it (especially as it was an Apple magazine).

I don’t mind Pages for text but Numbers is a pain to use compared to Excel.

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Posted: 02 November 2010 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. On a Mac OSX 10.5.8
I use text boxes, images, lines & arrows a lot in Powerpoint and all seems ok, although I don’t do much translating to other apps.
I generally use Latex rather than Word and save out as pdf.
I don’t know what Pages for text or Numbers is and I use Excel quite a bit and that’s ok too.

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Posted: 02 November 2010 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I have a 305 and a mac. Not wanting to infect my mac with windows I just use http://www.runsaturday.com (now runningfreeonline.com) which is pretty good for my needs. It overlays routes onto os maps, logs everything you need etc. You can export gpx files from it too.

As for the side thread of office for MAC, it’s fine (I use it at work) but it doesn’t support VB which makes it useless in my mind!

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Posted: 02 November 2010 10:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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I had a quick look at runningfreeonline.com and it looks very ‘Busy’.

Pages and Numbers are part of Apple’s iWork package.

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Posted: 05 November 2010 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Garmin 405 all the way for me. Had mine for 2 years and it’s the best bit of kit I’ve had. Never loses signal, even in deep forest and has great battery life. Wouldn’t be without mine.

For logging I find SportTracks the best as runningfreeonline is a bit cumbersome, muddled and not very intuitive. Having said that, it is possible to export tracks from SportTracks to runningfree using a plugin and this has the advantage that they are then viewable online, whereas SportTracks data is not.

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Posted: 05 November 2010 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Ok, I feel I should sum up.
I’ve read a lot of reviews about Forerunner watches. The 405 seems to be 50/50 between rubbish and brilliant. Whereas the 305 seems to be generally liked by all. Plus everyone seems to have them at SO meets. But then maybe they are so big that I just notice them, and everyone else has a 405. However, I’m now the proud owner of a 305.

Software:
runningfree: I think the general consensus, me included, is that it is not the simplest to use. I find that if I can’t see how to proceed within a minute, I’m not interested. It’s meant to be a tool not a test.
Garmin: I actually quite liked this software. Simple, nice layout, exports .gpx, it’s free, but the maps are rubbish. So, no good.
SportsTracks: Well I hate to buck the trend, but I don’t like it. Easy to use, good maps but I don’t like the layout, it’s too crowded. It’s not free and it’s a windows app, so needs other software to run it.
The software I’ve opted for is Ascent. Good layout, simple to use, exports .gpx, good maps, Mac compatible. I’m using a trial version so I think I’ll have to pay. But I like it so far.

Macs v Windows:
Well you have to work around the software issues, but macs are worth the hassle.
I’ve now learnt about iWorks.

Thank you all for your advice, help and comments.

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Posted: 05 November 2010 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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One ‘problem’ with my Garmin 305 is that it grossly overestimates climb on a run. SportsTracks has a nice add-on that calculates the climb from the known topography of the route rather than the data obtained directly from the satellites. Not sure if other softwares also have this capability.

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