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The Androidâ„¢ App for every ice skater

Overview

If you're a keen ice skater and want to keep track of your training regime and progress, or just want to get a handle on your ice skating expenditure or just want to keep track of when your next blade grind is due, then this is the app for you!

Skaterbase started life as a quick and easy way to keep track of when to get my blades sharpened. Since starting to skate I've kept a log of how long I've spent on the ice using a spreadsheet on my phone. As time went on I found I was adding more and more details about lessons, progress and special events. However, using a spreadsheet for this on a phone is not very convenient, particularly on a touch screen device, so I decided to write an app specially designed for this purpose.

Skaterbase logs your skating by breaking it down into two components, Sessions and Activities. For every trip to the rink, you log a Session, this corresponds to a Patch session, Public session or anything specific to your rink or use of it.

Within the Session you add Activities, these can be lessons, group sessions, dancing or any other activity that you do on the ice. A Session may contain any number of Activities.

For each Session or Activity you log you can set the cost, duration and ice time. To save you from having to enter this information every time you add something to your log, you can define your own standard types with this information already set up. These can also be edited to allow for price changes or changes in rink policy.

Skaterbase maintains a running total of how much ice time you're clocking up which is displayed at the bottom of the main menu, so you can see this just by launching the app. As the hours increase, the colour will gradually turn from green to red indicating that it's time to get your skates sharpened. You can adjust how many hours this takes to suit your own sharpening requirements. When your logged ice time reaches or approaches the specified amount, Skaterbase can be set to give you reminders periodically that your skates need sharpening without needing to launch the app.

When you get your skates sharpened, simply log the grind using the button on the main menu and the counter is reset.



Getting Started

When you launch Skaterbase you'll see the main menu. This contains four main options and below these a display of the time you've notched up on the ice since the last recorded grind.

The option you'll use the most is "Log Session". This is what you press to begin recording a Session at the rink.

The "Log Grind" button allows you to record when you've had your blades sharpened and reset the Ice Time counter.

"View History" allows you to browse your stored information using a selection of styles and time periods.

The "Settings" button presents you with options to add / edit or delete Session and Activity types, adjust the preferred grind reminder time, import or export your data or even delete all of your logged information from the app.


Logging A Session

When you press "Log Session", you'll see a list of session types. The very first time you do this, the list will contain a couple of generic types that are there to get you started, feel free to delete these using the options in the "Settings" dialog and just add your own types using the "New Session Type" option at the bottom of the list.

Once you've selected or created a session type, you'll see the Log Session form. Everything will already be filled in using the current time and date and the information defined in the Session Type.

If anything needs changing, just press the relevant button and adjust the settings as required.

To add activities to the session press the Add Activity button and select the activity type. You can add as many activities as you like to a Session. Once added, an activity can be viewed and edited by pressing it. If you want to delete an activity from the Session, press and hold the activity and a menu will appear containing a Delete option.

When everything is correct, press "Save" at the bottom of the screen (you may need to scroll down depending on the size of the display on your phone) or press the "Back" button which will give you the option of saving or disgarding your changes.

You can add comments to both Sessions and individual Activities. Comments added to a Session are displayed on the View History screen whereas Activity comments are only shown on the Log/Edit Session screen.

It's probably worth pointing out the difference between Duration and Ice Time. Duration is the length of the entire session, where ice time should be the actual time spent skating as this is used in the "ice time since last grind" calculation.

If you need to revisit and edit a Session, you can do this through the View History option on the main menu. The most recently added Session will be at the top of the list whenever you enter the history view and can be selected for editing by simply clicking on it which will bring you back to the Log Session screen. When entered this way, pressing the menu key will give you an option to delete the session if you so wish.


Logging an Activity

When you press "Add Activity" on the Log Session screen, you'll see the list of predefined Activity Types. On first installation the only option will be "Generic Ice Skating Lesson". As with the Sessions, you can ignore, edit or delete this entry and add your own using the options in the "Settings" dialog. You can also add a new activity type directly from this list by choosing "New Activity Type".


When you edit an activity from the Log Session screen, you'll see the screen on the left. Here you can change the activity type, edit the activity duration and ice time, adjust the cost or add a comment. The comments are shown beneath the activity in the Log/Edit Session screen. Once you've made your changes, press "Save" to return to the Log Session screen.

Note that the changes aren't permanently stored until you've pressed"Save" on the Log Session screen.


Editing Session Types

New Session types can be added either from the Session list shown when you press "Log Session" or via the "Manage Session Types" option in the settings dialog. Session types may also be edited or deleted from the settings dialog. If you delete a session type which a logged sessions still exist for, they will become "Unknown Session Type" sessions. You can subsequently edit these and assign a new Session type to them if you wish.

A Session Type is defined by the following parameters;

  • A Name - e.g. Lunchtime Patch
  • The session duration (in hours and minutes)
  • The session price

Once these parameters are set, press "Save" and the information will be stored in the database.


Editing Activity Types

New Activity types can be added either from the Activity type list shown when you press "Add Activity" on the Log/Edit Session screen or via the "Manage Activity Types" option in the settings dialog. Activity types may also be edited or deleted from the settings dialog. If you delete an activity type which an activity is still recorded for, the activity will become an "Unknown Activity Type" activity. You can subsequently edit these and assign a new Activity type to them if you wish.

An Activity Type is defined by the following parameters;

Name - e.g. Dance Lesson
Duration (in hours and minutes)
Ice Time
Price.

Duration is the total duration of this type of activity and could include time spent in off-ice training. Once these parameters have been set, press "Save" and the information will be stored in the database.



Logging a Grind

Whenever you get your skates sharpened, press the Log Grind button on the main menu. This will open the "Log Grind" screen. Here you can set the time, date and cost of the grind as well as add any comments about the grind, such as grind depth. On entry to this screen, the time and date will be set to the current time and date and the cost will be set to the price of the last grind.

When everything is correct, just press Save to record the grind to the database.



Viewing Your Skating History

Selecting "View History" from the main menu will open the History display. Here you can see a list of your recorded sessions and activities for a specific date range along with Ice Time and Cost totals for the selected period. You can choose to view by year, month or week, then easily skip through the records by using the buttons at either side of the date range. The one on the left steps to an earlier date, the one on the right to a later one.

There are the following viewing modes;

Cost Totals - displays a list of sessions and the activities carried out within them. The total cost for each session is also displayed as well as any session comments. Grinds are also shown in this view. To examine a particular session in more detail, just touch it and the Log Session screen will open allowing you to inspect the session more closely or make alterations if necessary.

Activities By Cost - in this mode your activities for the selected time period are displayed in a descending list ordered by the total cost spent on each activity type.

Activities By Time - this mode displays all of your activities for the time period in descending order of the ice time spent on them.

Time Usage - displays a bar graph of session time (in red) vs ice time (in green) for the selected period allowing you to see how effectively you've made use of available ice time. Touching a bar will list all of the sessions represented by the bar below the graph so you can analyse it in more detail.


Pressing the Search button, or, on devices without a search button, pressing the Menu button and selecting Search will open a search dialog above the History View. Here you can type in one or more search terms to find specific sessions, activities or comments. By default, the search will be applied to all of your recorded history, although you can restrict it to the currently selected date range if you so wish. If you enter several search terms, the results of each search will be combined in date order. The options can be hidden to leave more space on screen for the search results.





Settings

The Settings dialog allows you to adjust various parameters of Skaterbase, edit your Session and Activity types and manage the data stored by Skaterbase.

Grind Interval controls the amount of ice time you prefer to wait between scheduling grinds. This setting determines when you will begin receiving grind reminders and also how quickly the ice time display on the main menu turns from green to red.

Grind Reminder Interval controls how frequently you will be given reminders that your skates need to be sharpened. Once your logged Ice Time has reached your specified Grind Interval time, you will receive status bar notifications at the interval set here. You can also switch notifications off with this setting if you'd rather not receive them.

Grind Reminder Time controls the time of day that you will receive reminders.

Advance Grind Reminder allows you to start receiving grind reminders at up to 10 hours of ice time before the value specified in the Grind Interval setting, this will allow you plenty of time to book a regrind before your blades need sharpening.

Manage Session Types allows you to add, edit or delete session types. See here for more details.

Manage Activity Types allows you to add, edit or delete session types. See here for more details.

Currency controls the format and symbol used when any cost values are shown. The default setting is pounds sterling (e.g. £1.25).

Date Format selects the ordering of day, month and year whenever a date is shown. The default order is dd/mm/yyyy (e.g. 29/5/2011).

Export Data lets you backup all of your skating history to a file on your phones internal memory or memory card. There are three main reasons to do this, firstly, it's a good idea to keep a backup of your history, secondly, you can use this to transfer the contents of the database from one phone to another and finally, you can use this feature to transfer your date if you decide to upgrade to the paid version from the free one. When executed, all of the contents of the database will be written to sdcard/SkaterBase/skatelog0001.db.

Import Data does the opposite to Export Data, it will attempt to load the backup file from sdcard/SkaterBase/skatelog0001.db into Skaterbase. Be very careful using this option because this will overwrite any information currently stored by Skaterbase with no means of recovering it again. You should only ever need to use this option if you've freshly installed Skaterbase and wish to transfer an old set of skating information into the program.

Delete Data removes all sessions, activities and grinds from Skaterbase. Use this option with caution as you will not be able to get the information back (unless you've made a backup as described above). The Session and Activity types are preserved.


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