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post #367
bio: stu
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1/17/2012
14:33

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Stu's Heart Monitor: Week 1
I've been wearing this heart monitor for a week now. It's the size and shape of an old Blackberry, which means that I am forced to wear it on my belt like a tech bubble day trader. But it's way less useful even than an old Blackberry. The display is very low resolution black text on a gray background. It doesn't show the temperature, or the time. There are no games. It doesn't even have Snake. Forget about playing Angry Birds--though, to be fair, I'd be a little wary at losing at a game on a device that's wired up to my heart.

What the device does is make incomprehensible noises and display inscrutable messages. I can tell that it's communicating with someone sometimes, because occasionally my computer speakers make that weird clicking noise you get when you put your cell too close to unshielded speakers. Occasionally the text on the heart monitor will change from "Monitoring" to *2 or *4, but none of the literature included with the device or available online will tell you what *whatever means. Frankly, I worry that my heart is running off of MS-DOS these days. I'm steeling myself for the day I look at the device and all it reads is "Abort, Retry, Fail?" or just "General Failure."

Two nights ago, I was drifting off when the heart monitor started making a piercing arrhythmic series of beeping noises. I woke up in a panic, my Fight, Flight or CTRL-ALT-DEL response running at a fever pitch, but by the time I got a light to see what was on the screen, it'd stopped, and had resumed displaying a gnomic "Monitoring." My heart was pounding like crazy, but that could have been anything from an incipient heart attack to sheer garden-variety sleep panic.

I can tell you that I'm a treat to sleep next to.

All in all, this heart monitor compares unfavorably to an iPhone.






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