The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Trying out Fitocracy - nah...

"Trying out a fitocracy group for a group of friends from fitbit and work who want to challenge each othr with more than steps."

Today I wasted an hour or so trying out http://fitocracy.com

Drawn to fitocracy because it seemed to be site/app most focussed on a variety of workouts other than running/walking/steps/distance.

Fitocracy does have the ability to track exercises other than steps and distance. Supposedly more than 700 - "Most Popular 200" appears on your dashboard.  The exercises seem mostly gymrat weightlifting, generalized to things like walking, jiu-jitsu...  Or perhaps I should say "genericized" - the gymrat template of reps/sets is applied to most exercises.   Which can be a start, but is not always useful.  E.g. what does it mean to do "sets" of my 2 hour dog walk?   For which they allow me to record duration and distance, but not steps or vertical?

(One of the things that I would like to try challenges fr is vertical, eg as measured by fitbit's altimeter, inaccurate as it may be.)

The fitocracy website seems to be like facebook, cranked up and cranky on steroids. This is not a compliment.  The website is loud, in your face, obnoxious. The visual equivalent of loud music playing while you pump iron.  Looks like it would like to be a dating site, probably with as much or as little success as gymrats have picking up girls in the weight room.  (I know, I was such a gymrat once.)

The killer for me seems to be that fitocracy doesn't have "percentage of goal" challenges (as I describe in ISO social fitness challenges beyond steps, which allows friends of different levels to usefully challenge each other).

fitocracy doesn't even allow competitions on absolute, albeit self-recorded, metrics like pushups.

Instead, fitocracy seems to compare "points", calculated by an annoying "FRED  robot glyph". Supposedly allowing comparisons - but in what sort of dimensionally warped unreality I do not know.  (I don't like NIKE "fuel points" either.)

Coupled to this, indicators of poor quality:

I entered my first not-really-a-workout, just a simple record of a hike (where fitocracy would NOT allow me to record vertical).   Fitocracy seemed to insert this more than 7 times into my stream - perhaps once for every group that I had joined? Or, rather, once for each of the groups that I had bee automatically been added to, in addition to those I chose.

Fitocracy seems to take the "default in, optional opt-out" approach.   Indicates desperation to build society - but in my case, repels me.

Having created the group that I hoped to invite my friends to, I noticed a misspelling - "othr" rather than "other".  Part of that hour was wasted trying fruitlessly to find a way to edit the group description.

    Once again, an indicator of a website designed in a rush.

As far as I can tell, fitocracy does not have any automated synch facility.  So you would have to enter workouts by hand.  (If it has automated synch, it is lost in all the UI crap.)



  • I like that fitocracy can handle typical gymrat workout items
  • But fitocracy doesn'do do %age of goal challenges
  • And so many other things about this site piss me off.
    • Not even going to bother with the iPhone app.
Overall, I have wasted too much time on fitocracy as is is.  Time better spent actually working out.


I think that the difference between "challenge" and "competition" is an important indicator of mindset - whether of app, or the social milieu of an app or website.

"Competition" tends to imply absolute, who gets to be the winner.

"Challenge" tends to imply "we are all in this together".

'via Blog this'

ISO social fitness challenges beyond fitbit

Some friends and I have been doing FitBit social fitness challenges for a while - I think more than a year now, possibly even two.

The social aspect has been effective, motivating us to do more than we were doing on our own.

We find the "Daily Goal" challenge most useful - what fraction of your daily goal did you get? -  since we have different levels of activity, ranging from circa 10K steps, to 15K+, to a treadmill desk user who usually gets 20K and often 30-40K steps.  Absolute step count challenges are boring when users are that different, but these relative "I got 150% of my goal :-)" vs "I only got 50% of my goal" are okay.

But - there's more to exercise than walking and counting steps.  Or even running and counting steps.

Some of us like swimming.  Others badminton.  Some aspire to do more weights, others yoga.   Calisthenics, pushups, squats, ...

So I am looking for social fitness platforms that have more variety.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bundle (macOS) - Wikipedia

Bundle (macOS) - Wikipedia:

Many years ago (like, in the 1980s) folks at Gould and UIUC were wondering if we should extend Gould UNIX to support "structured files", like MacIntosh resource forks.

Way back then I said "No, UNIX already supports structured files: directories." With arbitrary metadata.

Similar, a newsgroup discussion on a similar topic - long enough ago that it waas net.* - Chris Torek was involved IIRC - it was pointed out that a tar archive is a structured file, equivalent to a directory.

This is well and good.

MacOS bundles are this concept, carried forward.  MacOS bundles are visible to ordinary UNIX apps as directories, but if you have the appropriate libraries they behave as structured files.

But if you don't have the right libraries, it is easy to damage such "bundles = structured files are directory trees". Tools like "find" traverse into them, etc.

Document formats such as Java JAR files and OpenDocument .odt/.odf files continue the "structured files are archives" meme. Using ZIP, in this case, because ZIP was commonly available on Windows PCs, even though zip does not support as much UNIX metadata the way tar files do.

It is harder to accidentally damage such a "structured files are archives" file. Standard UNIX tools don't look inside.

If you have a user level filesystem like FUSE, you can look inside the archive by mounting it, and use standard tools to manipulate it.

Heck - I wish that .git and .hg storage in repositories worked this way.

But archives are slower to manipulate that directory trees.

I want the best of both worlds - and better.

I want it to be transparent whether "structured file is directory tree" or "structured file is archive".

I want such a structured file to appear as a file (no internal structure) by default.

Possibly with a default data fork.

But I want it to be possible to "mount" such a structured file, whether directory tree or archive, so that standard tools can traverse.  Such a mount should not be global, but user, or better, context specific.  A la Plan9 namespace.

Special privilege should be required.  (No, not kernel, but not any user.)

This way we could distinguish between users and tools that just know how to copy or open the structured file "atomically", and those allowed to do more major surgery.

'via Blog this'