Some more info on the SPOT watch: It is much better than I thought it would be. I am getting used to wearing it now, and it is not that much of a distraction.

 

The messenger thing is cool, although the response time is unpredictable. Friday I sent myself a message and it took about 4 minutes to arrive. Saturday I sent myself a message and it took 45 minutes. Although, the problem could be from where the watch was when I sent it. For some reason there is a complete dead spot in my house, if I set my cell phone down in that area the batteries will be drained within a few hours. I cannot get any radio reception in that area either, even with a FM desktop radio. Since the watch runs on the FM band, this makes sense and the watch was reporting that it had a 0% signal strength. I went to another part of the house and the reception went up to 85% and immediately got the IM.

 

I am getting more information that I thought I could. I am not sure if I will ever need to know barometric pressure, but it is there. I can get stock prices as they change throughout the day, and there is even a nice little graph of stocks over the past few days. And it has already paid off by reminding me that I had a meeting at 11AM, and when that meeting was going long it reminded me of a lunch meeting at 12 noon. Usually I need to go back to my office to look up the next meeting, but right there, on my watch, was the room I was meeting at.

 

Scott and Andy left behind a few links in the comments section of the last bit I wrote about the watch, one with a link to info about the MSIM protocol, the other a review (with more info than is here). I will need to look up how to programmatically send myself an IM. I have been keeping a daily record of the Amazon sales rank of my book since it was released in an Excel chart. Every day I go to Amazon, look up the info, then I record it in my spreadsheet. It would be nice if I could run some app that gets this info from the Amazon web service and sends it to my watch. I was thinking that IM would be the best way, but it would also be really cool if MSN had some web service that I could call where I supply the unique ID of the watch and a passport user/ID, then a sting to send. Maybe I will need to track down a contact in the MSN group and see if I can talk them into doing this (although, I suspect this is how they do it, but it is not documented).