Diary of a geek

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Andrew Pollock


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Wednesday, 06 October 2004

So close, and yet so far...

I've wanted to make this all singing, all dancing gym membership system for my gym for a number of years. I wanted to use biometrics instead of membership cards.

I thought I'd found the perfect fingerprint reader, but of course it doesn't work on Linux, and the vendor did not give a terribly useful response to my product enquiry email.

After reading an article in Linux Journal, I wonder how easy it would be reverse engineer the device? I don't know a lot about how biometric devices work. I don't know whether they store the biometric data in the device itself, or if they spit out some sort of hash based on a fingerprint, and it's up to the application to match that with previous data.

If you know anything about biometrics, particularly with Linux, I'd love to get an education.

[14:45] [tech] [permalink]

Heart attack

I was quite blown away tonight to receive a phone call from my Dad (I was expecting to have to talk him through the latest Microsoft Windows patch installation) with news that my Mum had had a heart attack last night.

She's spending a few days in hospital while they run some tests. Apparently it wasn't a "normal" heart attack, as she's reportedly got good arteries. At this stage, it could be one of:

  • stress
  • a blot clot
  • a hole in the heart

I'm putting my money on stress. Mum's always been a worry wort, and generally highly strung at the best of times. Apparently prior to having heart issues last night, she'd had a heated telephone argument with a family friend.

It's just a bit of a shock to the system, and totally unexpected (I guess this is always the case with such things though).

[04:07] [life] [permalink]

End of an era

So I've finally decided, after 4 years, not to bother renewing my gym membership. It's a bit of a shame. I think making the decision to join that gym, and doing it, has had a big effect on my overall fitness and appearance. I just haven't been motivated enough lately to go, so I'm not getting my money's worth. I did the maths on the way home from the gym tonight, and if I train four times a week, for the whole 10 week membership, it's equivalent to paying $8 a visit. So if I start missing appointments, it just starts getting ridiculously expensive. I'd be better off paying $20 once a week for a proper one-on-one personal training session elsewhere, and getting thrashed.

I've decided, instead of going to the gym, I'll join Sarah's triathlon club and just train with them, but not compete in any of the triathlons (there's no way I'm swimming in the lake). I'll probably go back to the gym next year, but while I'm unmotivated like this, it's just a waste of my time and money.

[02:34] [life] [permalink]