Individual Entry

Bayer Contour USB: A nine month saga ends.

The time had arrived for another scheduled doctor appointment; this time with my nephrologist. When I visit his office, I always have several vials of my blood drawn for testing. Whenever I do have my blood drawn, I like check my blood sugar with my glucometer at the same time as the draw to compare its results with those the lab will return to determine the meter's accuracy. As with my last visit to the endocrinologist — which prompted my last exposé on the Bayer Contour USB — I was prompted to have another look-see at the Bayer web site to see if they have released a more recent software update — maybe even one that works!

So, I entered the Bayer URL into the browser's navigation window and started perusing the Bayer web site. Sure enough, Bayer was advertising another update and this one even boasted support for Snow Leopard — Mac OSX 10.6.3! I wasn't holding out much hope but I figured, why not give it a go? I went upstairs and grabbed the satchel containing the device and its accoutrement. Back at my office desk, I plugged the device into one of my 17" MacBook Pro's USB ports and I downloaded the software update for Mac OSX.

When the download completed, I opened the folder that was created containing the update software and I clicked on the update icon. The dock soon displayed a hopping copy of this icon and a window popped open with various language selections. Naturally, I selected English. I was then prompted with selections for the update. One of the selections was to update the logbook software on the Mac itself. That was not what I wanted; I wanted to update the software on the meter itself. There were two other options. One was a meter update; the other was a meter repair and update. Since the last time I attempted to update the device left it in a state of disarray, I selected the latter option — repair and update. A window popped open with an update status bar and the familiar Mac aqua-blue "mercury" began to fill the void of the status bar. After a number of minutes, the status bar was filled and update display vanished. Another window popped open to display: Installation Failed!

Damn! What is it with this device?

Anyway, in a fashion all too familiar to Micro$oft WEENDOZE users, I tried a re-installation. Once again, I clicked on the install icon in the downloaded folder, and I selected the repair and update option. The progress bar, just as before, began to creep from the left to the right with the Mac's aqua-blue indication of progress. After a few minutes, the progress bar was completely filled and the update status display vanished. This time, much to my amazement, the subsequent window which popped open indicated a successful installation! I almost had to check that I hadn't fallen asleep and had dreamt the whole experience.

I pulled the Bayer Contour USB from the Mac and then, I reinserted it. After a few moments, two generic Mac USB drive icons appeared upon the desktop. One was labeled: CONTOUR USB; the other was named: GLUCOFACTS. I clicked on the CONTOUR USB labeled icon — empty! I then clicked on the GLUCOFACTS labeled icon. A number of icons appeared. Three of the icons looked like kludgy Micro$oft WEENDOZE files. These were labeled: autorun.inf, Glucofacts.bat and run.bat. None of which, when I clicked on them, did anything but elicit a "no default application" pop-up window. One of the icons that appeared looked like one of the a new iMacs with an electro-cardiogram tracing on the screen. I clicked on it. It appeared as if it had launched something when I clicked on it but then, nothing appeared to have happened. Then, several (10 -15) seconds later, my entire 17" MacBook Pro's screen was filled with white! A graphic of my Bayer Contour USB meter and several large circle icons eventually donned the whitewashed screen.

Yes! After nearly nine (Yes, 9!) months of my ownership of this meter, I can finally access the blood sugar readings via my Mac which was the sole impetus for the purchase of this particular device. Now that it appears that I can finally access the device's blood sugar sampling data with its software that should have run from the get-go, I will have to better familiarize myself with it before I write any critique of its software. I'm certain that this article and my previous article are fair critiques of the quality of this software and the frustrations I have had with this device; the only thing I need to critique is its GlucoFacts software's functionality.
The BAYER CONTOUR USB does NOT function on PowerPC equipped Macs as depicted in this photo from BAYER's web site.  BAYER lies yet again!
Now, if Bayer would only live up to its word and send me the custom meter jacket — I'd like mine to be red if you are reading this Bayer — that was promised as the reward bait to get me to offer up a plethora of personal information. Perhaps, the complaint I have filed with the FTC will get Bayer to live up to its promises.

Post Scriptum

The cynic in me cannot help but to wonder if the headaches that this device has caused me wasn't an intentional corporate conspiracy plot to sell more Bayer aspirin!


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