Draco Torre

David G Shrock

iPhone Cycling Health Data Update

Last autumn many cyclists noticed pedaling a bicycle with the iPhone 6 in a pocket counted towards steps in the Health app as noted in my post in December. Besides a concern about duplicated data, my interest is in the problem space of detecting cycling vs walking/running in the general case. A third-party app dedicated to recording activities updates Health app, but the pedometer continuing to record steps created duplicated data. Below is a screen capture of the Health app on December 11 showing my 27-mile rides on the 8th and 10th with a strikingly large distance in “Walking + Running” compared to the 9th and 11th. HealthCycleWkScr

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

During a stay with Lord Byron in 1816 by Lake Geneva, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin worked on a story that would later become, Frankenstein on Byron’s suggestion that he and his guests each try writing a horror story. Percy Shelley (Mary’s future husband) wrote a short story, later published in Journal at Geneva. Bryon wrote a story fragment, and inspired by Byron’s main character, Polidori wrote The Vampyre. The novel, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley was first published in 1818 (Wikipedia). If these stories were the result of a competition for best horror tale, I’d give the prize to Polidori’s The Vampyre, the inspiration for the modern vampire genre. On the other hand, if the competition was most thoughtful story, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein wins hands down.

A Case for Apple Watch


A cyclist may use an application to track distance or navigate a route. A phone stored away in a pocket or pack makes access to the application less ideal, but perfectly useful for tracking performance data. Having the application at hand allows for controlling start/stop and lap functions along with immediate feedback. Navigating a new route with the directions in a pocket can become quite annoying.

Review: Gabriel Knight 20th

I’ve always enjoyed story-driven games going back to the days of text adventures and on through Sierra Online’s graphic point-and-click games. Two of my favorites from the early 1990s pushed storytelling over gameplay: Rise of the Dragon from Dynamix (wikipedia) and Sierra’s Gabriel Knight written by Jane Jenson. Both games included intriguing plots, dark mystery stories, and some light-hearted wit. Rise of the Dragon delivered a strong graphic novel look with cinematic cutscenes, and Gabriel Knight held onto the familiar interface of other Sierra games with graphic novel clips. As far as storytelling in computer games, Gabriel Knight excels. Both original games may still be played using an emulator if one doesn’t mind the low-resolution graphics.

Story Setting

Gabriel Knight is a financially struggling author and owner of a rare books shop residing in New Orleans. Gathering material for his next novel, Gabriel begins investigating “The Voodoo Murders” by interviewing locals such as his friend, Detective Mosely, and Dr. John, a voodoo expert at a museum. An assistant at the bookstore, Grace Nakimura, helps out with research. Gabriel also suffers from nightmares that connect him with his family history.

Reading the Classics: Frankenstein

I’ve been meaning to read The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley for over 20 years. Frankenstein is a familiar tale. Since childhood I’ve picked up bits of the story from movies and articles. With so many great novels to read, I tend to put off familiar classics. A few years ago I had finally read The Vampyr by John Polidori, the inspiration for modern vampire tales followed by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. After noticing on Twitter that Helen A. Howell began reading Mary Shelley’s novel for #NaNoReMo, I decided I best get to this classic before more years slip away. I started in last evening reading the letters before the first chapter, and already I’m enjoying Shelley’s style.