…by Anura Guruge
Last Related post:
1/ FitBit Ultra Wireless: I Tossed Mine. Doesn’t Work. Piece Of Junk As Far As I Am Concerned — October 7, 2012.
Read the COMMENTS on above post, including those from FitBit support & my wife.
So as you can see from these COMMENTS FitBit is sending us a new FitBit Ultra though it is unlikely that I will use it! Once burned, I tend to shy away … plus the FitBit doesn’t do much for me. Sorry. I don’t need a device to provide me with motivation or challenges — and I can measure distances that I run with a car.
The real culprit when it comes to the FitBit is the Desktop ‘application’, the one that manages the USB connection.
To say that it was poorly conceived and badly implemented would be an understatement — and here I am talking about somebody who started computer programming in 1969, with paper tape. You can check up on my credentials on the computer front on the Web. Lets just say that I do know a thing or two about computers and used to charge a $1/minute to share my expertise. So I am giving this to FitBit for free, and even gratis, because they have bent over backwards to be responsive.
So here is what the FitBit Desktop ‘application’ or ‘Service Manager‘ as they call it looked like on Windows XP.
What is missing?
1/ No indication whether the CRADLE detected the FitBit! Uhhh?
2/ No button to FORCE a Sync between the cradle and the FitBit.
3/ No indication when this Desktop App last sent data up to the FitBit server ‘in the cloud’.
That is JUST for starters.
That ONE of the 2 options provided by this App. is to OPEN Windows SERVICES is borderline CRIMINAL! That is the ‘Open Services’ button on the Top Left. I have been trying to be kind BUT this really infuriates ME because the damage it can do for the poor unsuspecting. It is like giving a loaded gun to a 6-year old. I was trying to be KIND. But, IF I was the CEO of FitBit (assuming that they actually have any sort of management) I would call up all the folks involved in creating this App. and FIRE them ‘for cause’ right on the spot! I am not joking.
‘Open Services’ opens up Windows Services. It does NOT even take you to the FitBit Service. Once you are in that ‘space’ and you don’t know what you are doing, you can cause mayhem. Playing with Windows Services is not for the uninitiated. From the very start, when I had seen this, I knew that this was bad news.
I would have to think that the folks at FitBit have never seen a decent desktop app. that interacts with ‘the cloud’. So let me show you one. Avast!
1/ Connection status.
2/ Last update.
3/ BUTTON to FORCE an update.
All the things lacking in the FitBit app.
That is it. I have work to do.
P.S., FitBit needs to get more server capacity. There Website, and particularly the Dashboard, is painfully slow — and NO, it is not my Internet speed.
…by Anura Guruge
1/ FitBit Ultra Wireless — I Am NOT That Impressed! — October 5, 2012.
2/ We Are Now A ‘FitBit Ultra’ Couple – NOT! — Sept. 6, 2012.
Per my October 5 post (above) you could see that I was getting increasingly disenchanted, aggravated and unimpressed.
I went to recharge and re-synch my FitBit Ultra very, very early Saturday morning, i.e., October 6. I typically work till mid-night. Then I save my work, online, and start closing down my work PC. I knew we were going to Sandwich Fair first thing Saturday morning. So, before going to bed, I decided to power up my XP machine, charge up the FitBit and get it to Synch.
So to see if it would make a difference, I slotted in the FitBit into the cradle, adjusted it a few times to make sure that it was properly seated, before I powered up the PC. Started up the FitBit Dashboard. Annoying message: ‘You haven’t synched your FitBit lately‘. But, they are so stupid that they don’t provide a button (or a link) next to the message to force a damn sync. Bloody FitBit.
It said it was last synched on Oct. 3. So, I then went through the usual inane dance. Press the damn button. Press it again. Nothing. Nothing. Take it off the cradle. Put it back. Refresh the stupid Dashboard. Go back and forth on the days hoping that that would force a resynch. This time around I didn’t bother to shutdown and restart the FitBit service. Unplugged the USB cable, Plugged it in. Jiggled the idiotic Dashboard. Still nothing. By now I had spent 15 minutes doing NOTHING else but trying to get this piece of junk to resynch. It was 12:20 am. I had enough. I was not going to spend another second with this poorly designed, cheaply made gizmo.
It was a birthday present from Deanna and she loves her unit. So, I wasn’t going to toss it out of the window. I am noted for that; tossing things that aggravate me irrespective of the cost. So I took the FitBit and the cradle and left it on Deanna’s laptop. I do not want it. I will not use it again. We are through. As far as I am concerned FitBit is junk.
I also don’t need a FitBit. I have proven that I am nowhere close to as sedentary as Deanna as Deanna tried to make me out. I don’t walk 10,000 steps a day, but I appear never to walk less that 7,500. Per the FitBit I also climb, daily, without exception, at least 50 flights of stairs. That confirmed my assertion that I go up and down the 3 flights of stairs we have in this house MORE than anybody else. Plus, I run my 2.5 miles, with 5 pounds of weights, up a steep hill 6 times day — in general. 3 days on, 1 day off, 3 days on — UNLESS I am really ill, the temp is BELOW 5F (yes, 5 Fahrenheit, not Celsius … meaning we are talking 27 degrees BELOW freezing) or like toady, I am going to end up walking for over 3 miles (in this case going door-to-door in Gilford, NH for Obama). So, I have a routine. I don’t need motivation. Self-motivation is built in. I am more active than most and definitely cover more elevation in a day than most cover in 3 days. So screw the FitBit. I don’t want it, I don’t need one.
I have told Deanna to give it to Devanee.
…by Anura Guruge
>> We Are Now A ‘FitBit Ultra’ Couple — Sept. 6, 2012.
Deanna has had one since last Christmas and loves it. Once even claimed that it was her most prized possession. Well as I posted, just under a month ago, she got me one for my birthday on September 4.
So, I have had it for a month and one day.
I am NOT as thrilled with it as Deanna.
My clip, which is just a ‘holster’ for the unit, broke yesterday — exactly on the one month anniversary. Yes, while it would be easy to say that it broke because I was rough with it, that would not really be the case. I am not rough on things, something that my contact lens doctors comment about often, sometimes in chagrin. I have been known to wear the same hard, gas permeable lens for 8 years, because I take such good care of them. So, I didn’t abuse this clip. I went to clip it on to my belt yesterday — and it just snapped. You can still clip the unit itself, without the clip. So, I can still use it. But, that was annoying.
But, my biggest frustration is that I can’t get the DAMNED thing to SYNC! It drives me nuts.
I am loath to install any non-essential software on my work PC. I keep this machine lean-and-mean.
So, I installed the FitBit USB software on my backup Windows XP Professional machine. Nothing wrong with that. Windows XP is more widely used than Windows 7. I have had nothing but trouble and frustration.
I have reinstalled the software. I have re-registered the unit. I have changed USB ports. I have tried it with and without a USB hub.
It just doesn’t work every time. One of these days it will get tossed, $100 or not. I hate things that don’t work.
If I spend 15 minutes and reset the damn base unit enough times, plug and unplug the USB cable and refresh the stupid FitBit Dashboard Web page a thousand times it will grudgingly synch and update my data.
Screw that. I don’t have 15 minutes to monkey around with this stupid thing.
Deanna has hers on her Windows 7 laptop. Hers works perfectly.
Yes, I have a backup Windows 7 machine but it is not always connected. I use XP for updating some of my Websites, with FrontPage 2003. So that backup machine is up more of the time than the backup Windows 7 machine.
Yes, I could try Devanee’s Windows 7 laptop, but to me that is a cop out.
Windows XP Professional is still the most widely used of PC OSs. FitBit should support it.
So, right now if you ask me about FitBit you will NOT get a nice answer. It just could be my unit. A dud. A lemon.