Saturday, February 29, 2020

Property data for January 2020

I’ve uploaded the latest Land Registry data for England and Wales to my website, covering sales up to January 2020. Prices continue to creep up, number of sales are hovering around the level they’ve been at since 2013 (when Help To Buy was introduced)

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Monday, February 03, 2020

Moving from a Garmin 810 to a Garmin 830

About 5 years ago, I decided I needed to buy myself a dedicated bike computer, rather than the phone I’d been using up to that point. Primarily this was so I could ride for further since my phone generally died after a couple of hours of constant screen and GPS action. I went for the Garmin 810.

In a sense the 810 was a step back from a phone with its tiny screen and washed out colours, but I grew to love its turn by turn navigation, even if it was also the cause of my major annoyance with it, the occasional crash that only seemed to happen when using the turn by turn navigation.

But recently the USB socket packed in, my computer no longer recognised the Garmin when I plugged it in. Although I could still download ride data via my phone’s Bluetooth connection, I now had no way of uploading new routes to the device, so decided to treat myself with a 830. Those crashes had put me off Garmin devices somewhat but when I compared what was available from other companies, I came to the conclusion the 830 still looked like the best choice.

So this is a mini review of how the world of Garmin has moved on in the last 5 years and whether an upgrade is worth it.

On first sight, the 830 looks fairly similar to the 810 with almost exactly the same dimensions. The buttons have moved from the top to the front of the device which makes it rather difficult to press them if the device is mounted on your stem. Because of this, I’ve switched to using the out front bracket which is thankfully included with the device.

It’s when you turn it on, you start to notice the differences. The screen has a much higher resolution and the colours are much improved over the 810. The software should be familiar to anyone who has used an 810, but there have been many small tweaks and changes. Moving around the screens is very responsive and I’ve had no problems when wearing gloves.

I remember when I bought the 810, only a very basic base map was provided. I could buy a proper map from Garmin or try to figure out how to download OSM maps and install them. I went for OSM maps initially but eventually bought Garmin maps in the vain hope it would fix the crashes I was experiencing. Now the 830 comes with its own maps

Integration with my phone has moved on since the 810. I can now get routes directly on to the Garmin via the Strava app, rather than having to download from Strava and upload to the bike computer. I even get notifications from my phone appearing on the Garmin. Admittedly I’m generally on my bike to get away from these kind of things, so this may not be something I leave enabled, but I can imagine it would be useful when trying to meet up with someone.

I was always a big fan of turn by turn navigation. This has been improved so that when I go off route, the 830 will recalculate the route, even if this often just means telling me to make a U-turn. I even get told about sharp corners ahead. it can get a bit confused if a route covers the same bit of road more than once, trying to send me the wrong way, but it figures it out fairly quickly.

I’ve had the 830 for just over a month and ridden just over 300 miles. In that time I’ve had zero crashes. I wouldn’t like to say the software reliability problems of the past are gone (since crashes seemed to happen more frequently on longer rides which I’ve not really been doing due to the winter months) but I’m feeling more confident than I did with the 810.

I think the only complaint I have about the 830 is a problem I have with most bike computers, the price. I have a Garmin sat-nav for our car which provides pretty much the same functionality as the 830, but for a quarter of the price. There are differences in the software and the 830 integrates with heart rate monitors and power meters, but can such a vast difference in price be justified? I guess if this keeps going for five years, then maybe it can. Either way, I’ve been very impressed after my first month

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Land Registry data December 2019

I’ve uploaded the latest property sales data for England and Wales to my website. Nothing of note to report, annual house price inflation is stuck at 1%, sales seem to be holding steady.