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Order Placed: Zhiyun Smooth 3

My awareness of these products began with DJI OSMO Mobile, which I found during a visit to the Apple Store

The DJI OSMO Mobile has been on the market for some time, so I was able to explore reviews and found a slew of products by searching for more generic keywords (gimbal for smartphones)

My awareness grew to include Zhiyun products, and an exploration of Zhiyun website led to awareness of Zhiyun’s latest products catering to smartphone users seeking to stabilize their video captures: Smooth 3 (MSRP $299, Amazon.com) & Smooth-Q (MSRP $139, Amazon.com).

The Smooth 3 is their flagship product for smartphone videography, and it can stabilize devices weighing up to 260g. I looked at comparisons pitting the Smooth 3 vs. Smooth-Q, and decided to pull the trigger on my Zhiyun Smooth 3 purchase after locating a 10% off coupon.

The Zhiyun Smooth 3 uses a 26650 battery, which means that I’ll be able to source my own batteries if I need more. That single battery allows for an impressive 14-hour continuous runtime, which should outlast my iPhone 7 Plus.

One video review that I watched highlighted an issue: optical image stabilization on devices does not play nicely with stabilization from gimbal. This came as no surprise.

Analysis of Texas Gulf Coast Alumni Chapter Dataset

I applied some data analysis concepts to a dataset obtained from Tau Beta Pi HQ.

Goals

  • gain a better understanding of the Texas Gulf Coast Alumni Chapter of Tau Beta Pi’s constituency
  • determine parts of town where events might be hosted to achieve greater turnout

Data was received in .XLSX format, so I naturally gravitated towards Microsoft Excel for data analysis.

I constructed a series of PivotTables to gain insight about the geographical distribution of the alumni chapter’s constituency.

Prior to mapping, I filtered to count only those entries that have an email address, yielding 2682 out of 9127 records. My focus is on those members that have provided their email addresses: without external support, it will be challenging and expensive to reach out to the broader population.

I discovered OpenHeatMap (GitHub) while searching for a tool that would easily map entries from a CSV file. Thanks to Pete Warden for producing OpenHeatMap.

Tested the effect of cleaning ZIP code data, stripping any ZIP+4 codes back to five-digit ZIP codes.

Limitations

    1. Some members list their work address instead of their home address, resulting in inflated counts from some parts of the city (namely downtown and Rice University)
    2. OpenHeatMap did not correctly resolve all ZIP codes
      1. This was noticeably worse when mapping ZIP+4 (ZIP+4 openheatmap.com vs. ZIP openheatmap.com)

I attempted to overcome the second limitation by providing more contextual location information, appending city and state to the ZIP code.

Success!


openheatmap.com/view.html?map=GangligliaNonfermentedReportings

Note that the maps above were generated prior any data cleaning.

The final map was generated after cleaning the data of any misspelled cities


openheatmap.com/view.html?map=ThallusesBridgetownPseudoskeleton

Updates
20170222 I learned of Google FusionTables, which can be used to generate heatmaps and much more. Beginning further analysis to see how this tool might be used. So far I have observed the Google Maps Geocoding service used by FusionTables to be rather slow – perhaps it’s single-threaded?

Unfortunately, the heatmaps generated by Google FusionTables show only 1000 rows of data. Additional limitations are listed here.

Windows 10 Black Desktop with Cursor Fixed

Symptoms

My Cool ‘n’ Quiet workstation was working fine until some point last night where it showed a black screen with moveable cursor. Attempts to bring up the Task Manager were unsuccessful – the cursor briefly changed to indicate busy state, but Task Manager would not appear.

This morning, the system would boot, displaying the Windows logo, but I was stuck on a black screen showing only my cursor.

I did not make any changes to hardware, and was not aware of any changes made to my system.

Initial Troubleshooting

I plugged my secondary display into my workstation’s graphics card and attempted to tinker with Windows 10’s Project settings (Windows key + P) to no avail.

Stumbling Across a Solution

I poked around within my workstation’s UEFI and focused on Boot Option Priorities.

Last Known Good Configuration

Boot Option Priorities
#1 Windows Boot Manager
#2 SATA: My Windows 10 OS Drive
#3: UEFI: Built-in EFI Shell

I modified Boot Option Priorities:

  • Swapping positions of #2 and #1 resulted in failure to boot
  • Tested UEFI, Windows Boot Manager, and finally SATA. This time, I was greeted by the familiar login screen

Upon login, Windows displayed a notification stating that updates were installed.

Update history (Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Update History) showed that an updated NVIDIA display driver (NVIDIA – Display – 12/29/2016 12:00:00AM – 21.21.13.7653) was installed last night – could this have been the culprit?

Confirmed that this updated NVIDIA display driver is shown for my graphics card within Device Manager.

After successful boot, I restarted my workstation, and reverted changes to Boot Option Priorities. I was still able to boot cleanly into Windows 10.

I ultimately modified Boot Option Priorities. They are now set to

  1. UEFI
  2. Windows Boot Manager
  3. SATA

Purple Mattress Review

The Purple company made some bold claims about their Purple mattress and caught my attention with their viral Raw Egg Test video. I invested significant time into researching the company, its history, and its technology until it became impossible to ignore the potential that a Purple mattress could offer.

I ordered a Purple mattress with the intention of putting their marketing messages to the test through objective data capture and statistical analysis.

Initially I wanted to share this data as soon as I had a significant number of points to present, but held off on publishing until now.

I wanted (still do!) to become a Purple affiliate, but found their affiliate program manager unresponsive, even when pressed for feedback on how to bolster my application. I’m hoping that this situation improves after I get the right eyes on this piece.

I hope you enjoy the review – I’ll respond to comments left below.

Purple Mattress Value

What’s a good night’s rest worth to you?

$1,299 for Purple king-size mattress
10 year life (warranty)
365.25 days in a year: low side 3652 days in ten years

$0.356 / day

Purple Mattress Price Analysis

The table below shows how much it’ll cost you to sleep on a Purple mattress of your own, assuming a ten-year mattress lifespan:

Size Twin XL Queen King / Cal. King
Price $699.00 $999.00 $1,299.00
Cost / Day $0.191 $0.274 $0.356

0% APR financing (6 months) is available for qualified consumers through Affirm (onpurple.com/financing), and Purple’s generous 100 night trial and return period make the Purple mattress an obtainable, low-risk investment.

While not exactly ‘pennies a day,’ the price for better sleep is not too high, especially when compared against similar mattresses offered by Purple’s direct competitors, like intelliBED.

Order Placed for One Purple Mattress

I placed an order for a Purple mattress in the early morning of August 31st, 2016. Purple’s 100 night trial helped – with the option to donate the Purple mattress to charity, I knew that in the worst case scenario, someone else would have a Purple mattress to sleep on. In the best case, I’d wake up each morning a new man.

I had high expectations for the mattress. The strong social proof helped: with glowing reviews, “this many people can’t be wrong!” Aside from that, the time that I spent familiarizing myself with the Purple company, their intellectual property, and their products (like the Royal Purple Seat Cushion) all led me to believe that I was in for a treat.

The order confirmation email and Purple website both suggested that it’d be about two weeks before I heard back regarding the status of my order.

In the early hours of September 6, I was a little peeved to find that I’d been charged for the order prior to shipping, but I was willing to let it slide. Then, at 8:41AM of that same day, I received notification that my order had shipped. Not bad! Purple set expectations at two weeks, and filled my order in one.

The Mattress Arrives

My Purple mattress arrived on September 9. The UPS courier delivered it to my front door.

Unfortunately, the AC downstairs at my home had stopped working. The compressor fan wasn’t spinning up, but I was able to straighten it out early September 10.

On the morning of September 10, I moved the mattress out of the doorway, and into my bedroom. I worked alone. I started by pulling my old mattress off of the box spring, and propping it against the wall. I positioned a mover’s dolly beneath the rolled-up Purple mattress, and gently positioned it upon the box spring. Within the packaging, I found a leaflet with a URL (onpurple.com/unroll), where I was able to watch a short video showing how to unroll the mattress. I referenced it to get a clear picture of the orientation that the mattress had been packaged in, though I could have figured this out by grabbing a tape measure.

Purple mattress
Purple mattress, still rolled in packaging material, on top of box spring

Enzo came by to see about some boxes, and I shared my excitement over the new mattress, inviting her to play with the enclosed samples of Purple material. She helped me a bit, and lay down on the mattress after we got it righted, exclaiming that it felt great.

The pamphlet also contained two Purple-branded sleep masks, a nice touch.

First impressions: it’s a lot more cushioned than the mattress that it may be replacing, and the one that I slept on before I fixed my A/C downstairs.

I didn’t realize how old the mattress that I had been sleeping on was. It’s a Bassett DreamMaker Chiropractor, produced in July 1991. A funny aside: when I brought up the Purple mattress in a conversation with my parents, they insisted that they had purchased quality mattresses – I had no doubt that the mattress was once decent, but it’d long-exceeded its useful life.

Purple Mattress Composition

Each Purple mattress is composed of the following:

2″ Hyper-Elastic™ Polymer
3.5″ HD Medium-Soft Comfort Foam
4″ HD Medium-Firm Support Foam

Purple mattress composition
Image courtesy of Purple

Objective Sleep Data

Data Collection

Objective sleep data was collected with my Misfit Shine activity tracker (MSRP $69.99, Amazon.com). It tracks the time at which I begin to sleep, my total sleep time, time spent awake (going to the bathroom in the middle of the night!), light sleep, and restful sleep.

Raw sleep data is provided at the end of this review 🙂

Data Analysis

To put Purple’s claims of better quality sleep to the test, I took the ratio between restful sleep and total sleep as a measure of sleep quality. I cleaned the data of any nights that I spent away from home prior to further analysis.

The cleaned data was used to produce the charts and descriptive statistics given below.

Data Reporting

Combined Data

This scatter plot shows sleep quality across all nights. The vertical line indicates the night that I began sleeping on the Purple mattress, September 10th, 2016.

On Purple

This histogram shows the distribution of sleep quality across those nights that I spent on the Purple mattress:

The accompanying table provides descriptive statistics of those nights:

Mean 0.458401988
Standard Error 0.014165746
Median 0.440665196
Mode #N/A
Standard Deviation 0.128276284
Sample Variance 0.016454805
Kurtosis 1.413555782
Skewness 0.72661973
Range 0.685375123
Minimum 0.186335404
Maximum 0.871710526
Sum 37.58896303
Count 82
Confidence Level(95.0%) 0.028185391

Old Mattress

This histogram shows the distribution of sleep quality across those nights that I spent on my old mattress:

The accompanying table provides descriptive statistics of those nights:

Mean 0.360690564
Standard Error 0.013281482
Median 0.33254902
Mode #N/A
Standard Deviation 0.111120852
Sample Variance 0.012347844
Kurtosis 0.092335712
Skewness 0.183814619
Range 0.563477031
Minimum 0.075163399
Maximum 0.638640429
Sum 25.24833945
Count 70
Confidence Level(95.0%) 0.026495832

Results from t-test follow

t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Equal Variances

Purple Old
Mean 0.458401988 0.360690564
Variance 0.016454805 0.012347844
Observations 82 70
Pooled Variance 0.014565603
Hypothesized Mean Difference 0
df 150
t Stat 4.975254085
P(T<=t) one-tail 8.82333E-07
t Critical one-tail 1.6550755
P(T<=t) two-tail 1.76467E-06
t Critical two-tail 1.975905331

t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Unequal Variances

Purple Old
Mean 0.458401988 0.360690564
Variance 0.016454805 0.012347844
Observations 82 70
Hypothesized Mean Difference 0
df 150
t Stat 5.031953133
P(T<=t) one-tail 6.85737E-07
t Critical one-tail 1.6550755
P(T<=t) two-tail 1.37147E-06
t Critical two-tail 1.975905331

The t-stat passes the test for significance, indicating a statistically significant difference between the average sleep quality that I experienced sleeping on my old mattress and the Purple mattress.

Noteworthy Nights with My Purple Mattress

9/10 – First night: So excited to try out the new mattress that I wish I had fewer tasks to work on. Didn’t sleep too well, mostly because my mind was so active.

9/11 – Second night: I slept for twelve hours. Misfit showed light sleep vs. restful sleep to be almost 50:50, which I don’t think I’ve ever gotten before

9/12 – Third night: No data from Misfit, but woke up feeling good

9/18 – Had difficulty falling asleep (mind in overdrive) – ended up sleeping on my side as opposed to my back

9/21 – First time falling asleep while it was dark out since the launch of Destiny: Rise of Iron. Before bedtime, I set an alarm to wake me in a couple of hours. Misfit Shine failed to capture that brief moment that I woke up and disabled the alarm before returning to sleep. Otherwise, noteworthy because I surpassed 50% restful sleep to total sleep.

Results & Closing Remarks

The difference in means is 0.097711, giving us a 27.1% improvement in sleep quality from my old mattress! I was able to experience the best sleep of the past few months thanks to the Purple mattress.

My personal thoughts on the mattress: I wish I could keep it, but it’s simply not the right time for me. I’ve got to come out of retirement, first. Consider this a step in the right direction.

That being said, quality sleep is priceless, and the Purple mattress may be an improvement over your existing mattress. With a generous 100 night trial and return period, you owe it to yourself to give it a try! Use this link to navigate straight to the mattresses section of Purple’s website 🙂

The Purple mattress provided me with measurably higher quality sleep than my old mattress, and I’m going to miss it.

More
My post on the Purple company

A little history on mattress materials:

Stateside, spring mattresses have been the standard
In Europe, foam core mattresses gained wider adoption

Foam materials
Visco elastic (memory foam) – its development stems from NASA

Purple uses CertiPUR-US certified foams in its mattresses

Raw Data

Date Total Sleep Restful Sleep Restful / Total
1/16/2017 7:14:00 3:10:00 43.78%
1/15/2017 6:03:00 2:56:00 48.48%
1/14/2017 7:20:00 2:27:00 33.41%
1/13/2017 9:00:00 3:15:00 36.11%
1/12/2017 6:32:00 2:15:00 34.44%
1/7/2017 8:34:00 4:34:00 53.31%
1/6/2017 5:37:00 3:57:00 70.33%
1/5/2017 7:46:00 3:17:00 42.27%
1/4/2017 6:27:00 4:04:00 63.05%
1/3/2017 7:37:00 3:18:00 43.33%
1/2/2017 5:21:00 2:48:00 52.34%
1/1/2017 7:51:00 3:04:00 39.07%
12/31/2016 4:35:00 2:00:00 43.64%
12/30/2016 10:08:00 8:50:00 87.17%
12/29/2016 6:10:00 3:43:00 60.27%
12/20/2016 5:48:00 3:02:00 52.30%
12/19/2016 3:43:00 2:28:00 66.37%
12/17/2016 5:53:00 3:19:00 56.37%
12/16/2016 4:43:00 2:02:00 43.11%
12/15/2016 5:20:00 2:26:00 45.63%
12/14/2016 7:36:00 5:13:00 68.64%
12/9/2016 8:57:00 5:04:00 56.61%
12/7/2016 11:00:00 5:19:00 48.33%
12/6/2016 5:22:00 3:21:00 62.42%
12/3/2016 10:00:00 5:12:00 52.00%
12/2/2016 6:17:00 2:42:00 42.97%
12/1/2016 8:07:00 5:38:00 69.40%
11/30/2016 5:00:00 1:41:00 33.67%
11/27/2016 8:55:00 4:52:00 54.58%
11/26/2016 6:41:00 4:14:00 63.34%
11/25/2016 5:27:00 3:10:00 58.10%
11/24/2016 10:35:00 6:14:00 58.90%
11/22/2016 7:36:00 3:30:00 46.05%
11/21/2016 6:19:00 3:50:00 60.69%
11/20/2016 7:59:00 4:17:00 53.65%
11/19/2016 7:24:00 3:52:00 52.25%
11/18/2016 8:35:00 3:12:00 37.28%
11/17/2016 9:05:00 2:57:00 32.48%
11/16/2016 9:02:00 2:44:00 30.26%
11/15/2016 7:01:00 2:40:00 38.00%
11/14/2016 6:08:00 2:53:00 47.01%
11/13/2016 8:56:00 4:24:00 49.25%
11/10/2016 9:25:00 4:41:00 49.73%
11/9/2016 5:35:00 2:28:00 44.18%
11/5/2016 5:34:00 2:50:00 50.90%
11/4/2016 5:50:00 2:13:00 38.00%
11/3/2016 8:55:00 3:59:00 44.67%
11/1/2016 7:55:00 1:42:00 21.47%
10/30/2016 8:29:00 3:37:00 42.63%
10/29/2016 7:07:00 2:41:00 37.70%
10/27/2016 6:21:00 2:25:00 38.06%
10/26/2016 7:09:00 2:10:00 30.30%
10/25/2016 7:25:00 3:23:00 45.62%
10/21/2016 5:32:00 2:16:00 40.96%
10/20/2016 8:29:00 3:17:00 38.70%
10/19/2016 6:56:00 3:16:00 47.12%
10/18/2016 6:51:00 2:57:00 43.07%
10/17/2016 7:24:00 3:32:00 47.75%
10/16/2016 7:47:00 3:00:00 38.54%
10/15/2016 8:44:00 3:33:00 40.65%
10/13/2016 8:41:00 3:49:00 43.95%
10/12/2016 3:55:00 3:23:00 86.38%
10/11/2016 6:31:00 2:39:00 40.66%
10/10/2016 7:02:00 2:03:00 29.15%
10/9/2016 9:50:00 3:17:00 33.39%
10/8/2016 5:16:00 2:08:00 40.51%
10/7/2016 6:32:00 2:24:00 36.73%
10/6/2016 7:59:00 3:27:00 43.22%
10/5/2016 6:04:00 1:23:00 22.80%
10/2/2016 4:05:00 2:05:00 51.02%
10/1/2016 7:24:00 1:51:00 25.00%
9/30/2016 6:20:00 2:25:00 38.16%
9/29/2016 8:11:00 3:46:00 46.03%
9/28/2016 6:38:00 2:37:00 39.45%
9/25/2016 9:15:00 4:12:00 45.41%
9/24/2016 3:51:00 2:35:00 67.10%
9/23/2016 7:14:00 2:12:00 30.41%
9/22/2016 10:18:00 3:37:00 35.11%
9/21/2016 5:15:00 3:05:00 58.73%
9/18/2016 8:20:00 2:50:00 34.00%
9/17/2016 6:40:00 3:02:00 45.50%
9/16/2016 6:54:00 3:23:00 49.03%
9/14/2016 6:26:00 1:28:00 22.80%
9/13/2016 6:03:00 2:17:00 37.74%
9/11/2016 12:44:00 6:06:00 47.91%
9/10/2016 2:41:00 0:30:00 18.63%
9/9/2016 7:32:00 2:06:00 27.88%
9/8/2016 8:38:00 3:27:00 39.96%
9/7/2016 5:36:00 1:46:00 31.55%
9/4/2016 8:49:00 3:47:00 42.91%
9/3/2016 6:24:00 1:43:00 26.82%
9/2/2016 6:49:00 1:15:00 18.34%
9/1/2016 10:54:00 1:45:00 16.06%
8/31/2016 9:30:00 2:41:00 28.25%
8/30/2016 8:14:00 4:21:00 52.83%
8/29/2016 4:23:00 1:26:00 32.70%
8/27/2016 8:52:00 2:44:00 30.83%
8/24/2016 11:01:00 3:20:00 30.26%
8/23/2016 5:12:00 1:10:00 22.44%
8/22/2016 7:42:00 3:14:00 41.99%
8/21/2016 4:01:00 0:34:00 14.11%
8/20/2016 7:10:00 3:19:00 46.28%
8/17/2016 9:28:00 2:56:00 30.99%
8/16/2016 8:35:00 1:50:00 21.36%
8/15/2016 11:07:00 3:36:00 32.38%
8/13/2016 5:08:00 1:00:00 19.48%
8/12/2016 9:06:00 3:04:00 33.70%
8/10/2016 8:51:00 3:17:00 37.10%
8/9/2016 6:20:00 2:03:00 32.37%
8/8/2016 7:16:00 3:02:00 41.74%
8/7/2016 10:02:00 2:56:00 29.24%
8/6/2016 5:37:00 1:49:00 32.34%
8/5/2016 8:27:00 2:40:00 31.56%
8/4/2016 10:07:00 2:47:00 27.51%
8/2/2016 9:51:00 3:00:00 30.46%
7/31/2016 4:47:00 2:06:00 43.90%
7/30/2016 9:42:00 5:09:00 53.09%
7/29/2016 8:03:00 3:17:00 40.79%
7/27/2016 6:38:00 2:53:00 43.47%
7/26/2016 7:26:00 3:35:00 48.21%
7/24/2016 7:22:00 2:41:00 36.43%
7/23/2016 8:24:00 4:28:00 53.17%
7/22/2016 7:03:00 2:50:00 40.19%
7/21/2016 8:54:00 2:53:00 32.40%
7/19/2016 7:20:00 1:51:00 25.23%
7/18/2016 9:40:00 3:35:00 37.07%
7/16/2016 2:58:00 0:45:00 25.28%
7/14/2016 9:19:00 5:57:00 63.86%
7/13/2016 5:05:00 2:28:00 48.52%
7/12/2016 4:21:00 2:10:00 49.81%
7/10/2016 9:31:00 5:40:00 59.54%
7/7/2016 8:42:00 3:39:00 41.95%
7/5/2016 7:57:00 2:59:00 37.53%
7/4/2016 7:34:00 3:08:00 41.41%
7/3/2016 8:55:00 3:26:00 38.50%
7/2/2016 5:16:00 2:09:00 40.82%
7/1/2016 10:18:00 3:26:00 33.33%
6/30/2016 8:51:00 2:43:00 30.70%
6/29/2016 8:24:00 2:15:00 26.79%
6/27/2016 6:18:00 1:53:00 29.89%
6/25/2016 5:06:00 0:23:00 7.52%
6/21/2016 6:39:00 2:21:00 35.34%
6/20/2016 5:00:00 1:35:00 31.67%
6/19/2016 7:07:00 2:13:00 31.15%
6/18/2016 7:10:00 3:03:00 42.56%
6/15/2016 9:24:00 2:33:00 27.13%
6/14/2016 9:32:00 3:54:00 40.91%
6/13/2016 3:56:00 2:03:00 52.12%
6/12/2016 10:13:00 3:01:00 29.53%
6/11/2016 5:57:00 2:27:00 41.18%
6/10/2016 8:15:00 3:35:00 43.43%
6/9/2016 7:21:00 4:00:00 54.42%
6/8/2016 7:05:00 2:21:00 33.18%
6/7/2016 7:10:00 2:07:00 29.53%
6/5/2016 8:25:00 2:43:00 32.28%
6/4/2016 9:18:00 5:20:00 57.35%
6/3/2016 5:16:00 2:46:00 52.53%
6/1/2016 9:04:00 2:39:00 29.23%