Garmin Forerunner 305/405 musings

Updated from previous posting!

Garmin Forerunner 405

Garmin Forerunner 405

UPDATE: thanks to the efforts of lots of people in the community we are now able to download tracks from the Garmin Forerunner 405 Linux. See comment 3432 for a summary of how to do it.

I’d really like to get a Garmin Forerunner. It’s a GPS device with a heart rate monitor which you use for training, I’d use it for my running.

I don’t mind which model I get I don’t suppose – I’d like to get the 405 as it’s the latest and greatest and looks swish, but should be happy with the 305. Which I get depends on the money I can raise.

My immediate concern is that I use Ubuntu Linux, not Microsoft Windows, as my primary operating system. This, as any Apple Mac user will attest, means that typically manufacturers forget about us significant minority and so we can’t use their tools. In the case of Garmin their “Training Center” [sic, USA spelling] software is fairly critical to the whole experience as it analyses all the GPS data etc and gives you graphs/targets yada yada.

So I decided to get in touch with Garmin to ask whether Linux support was on its way, or whether they perhaps had a web-based version.

Off I trotted, onto the Garmin website. First of all I went to the UK site but the contact form was broken, it gave a 404 Not Found or something similar when I submitted my email. Thankfully the ‘back button’ saved me and I managed to retrieve the long text I had typed in.

I then tracked down an email address for the webmaster so emailed them about the contact form problem, but not had a reply.

At the same time I found a form on the USA version of the site and sent my enquiry to their.

I’m pleased to say that I did get a reply. Sadly they don’t have plans to support Linux, but Garmin Connect does look like it may be what I’m looking for as a web interface. So fingers crossed.

Conclusion? Their website let me down, but when the website worked the people manning the support email were helpful. I shall let you know if I manage to save up enough to get one!

Stephen O'Neill