Garmin’s customer service: excellent

After running webupdate on my Garmin Edge 800 the device largely ceased to respond properly.

I contacted Garmin customer support and got a relatively quick response. After suggesting a few possible ways to fix the device, the service staff recommended that I ship the device to them for repair.

Garmin’s repair policy is that if there is no evidence of abuse to the device they will repair it for free but the customer is responsible for the round trip shipping costs. In my case they changed me about 3 100 yen for the DHL shipping back to Japan.

I got the device back and it worked perfectly.

For those considering buying a GPS based device, Garmin’s customer service was very helpful and responsive.

Obasute Rice Paddies

I cycled starting in Matsumoto towards Ueda in Nagano with the Obasute (姨捨) ride paddies being the prime attaraction. They are located immediately next to a station by the same name so getting there by train and going for a walk is also easy.

I targeted seeing the ride paddies while they were the golden colour just before harvest and was presented with a beautful blue sky and golden rice terraces. The Obasute rice also presented the unique scenery of having populated river basin in the background to provide additional contrast.
Obasute Rice TerracesObasute Rice Terraces

How to backup your Azure website

Microsoft does not have a backup system available for its Websites in Azure.

However you can piece one together with the following two parts and add them to a cron to get a backup done each night

MYSQL: (database)

/usr/bin/mysqldump -h <server> -u <username> –password=<password> –single-transaction > sql`date “+\%Y-\%m-\%d”`.sql

FTP: (Files)

wget -r –level=0 –quiet -P `date “+\%Y-\%m-\%d”` ftp://<username (don’t forget to escape the slash)>:<password>@<server>


If you have loads of themes and uploads on the server it may take a few moments to get the copy done. I tested a default install and it took about 10 to 15 seconds. This is an incentive to reduce unnecessary clutter inside your wordpress installation.

Getting your MS Office into English! (for those of us who work abroad)

Like many expats working in Japan (and other countries) we are often forced to use Microsoft products in languages other than our native language (in my case English). In many cases the help on-line is in English and then it is a guessing game for what the Japanese translation might be.

I did, finally, however find a way to get my Office 2007 into English from the website below which offers the English Language pack and I had no trouble at all getting it installed.