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So I have decided to make my awful time management to be just terrible. Having searched all the internet for smart watches, none of these devices were programmable (they want me to always carry a smartphone? And all I want was just to manage time….) So, first I bought some Casio watches (my Timex has a countdown, but can be only one active and none can run in parallel – that doesn’t cut it), and discovered quickly it cannot do it.

Then I discovered Suunto and their programmable wrist watch computer. Very nice, I though! It is expensive, true, but I always wanted to have GPS during runs, so OK, I decided to go with the Ambit 2S (only later did I discover wonderful ez430 Chronos – this watch is truly programmable and it is a real wonder of technology – you should check it out: http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/EZ430-Chronos)

Having found no countdown timer application for Suunto, the fight for a new brave time started one late night. Oh, and it was very painful. I could use only the javascript emulator on the suunto webpage, http://www.movescount.com/tools/appdesigner, and there is almost no debugging support, no documentation (the App Reference Guide is pathetic – I’m not even sure whether the abs() function is an abs() function and what arguments it receives! The only way to find out was to write the programme, flash it to the watch [wait few minutes] and then test it in the watch. And all I wanted to do is a modulo operation – operator for which, you guessed it, is missing from Ambit2)

Nuff, I have managed to write my fairly complex time keeper – personal time warrior. It is a countdown timer with multiple alarms, it can be stopped, paused, and it does what I want: countdown (any interval) — ring alarm at a given point (eg. X seconds before the end) — then it starts counting second interval (my break) and warns me again when time is up.

If you have Suunto Ambit2, you can use it too: http://www.movescount.com/apps/app10016795-TimeCoach

So I can do my physical exercises, or speedreading training, have it run in 1 min interval, or accompany me during study work, and let it run in 45+15 min intervals (the 15 is a break). And I can start several countdowns in parallel.

So this relatively simple application (you can judge the code yourself, at the url above) took ~15 hours of work to finish (mostly trying to learn quirks of the language and debugging errors). If measured monetarily, these 15 hours were more expensive than the watch itself.

But Suunto has a smart strategy (in this respect), users are finding solutions to solve problems and thus providing enhancements for other Suunto customers. However, I’d say that the development tools are completely insufficient and compared to ez430 – laughable.

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