GPSED.COM Blackberry GPS Datalogger and Memory Map overlay ( 8/10 considering it is beta )

Some time back I read about GPSED.com on Graham Chastneys blog.

I do quite a bit of hill walking and mountain biking and although I think navigation by GPS is a deeply flawed idea in the mountains ( a philosophical point about the skill set you should have rather than any technical issues) I do like the idea of using a GPS as a datalogger to record how your journey went and to share it with others.

I installed the GPSED.com sofware on my Blackberry 8310 and went for a mountain bike ride. I then uploaded the route to GPSED.COM ( see here ) and then downloaded it into Memory Map – a popular digital mapping system in the UK. The screen shot below shows the output – well impressive for free software.

Image:GPSED.COM Blackberry GPS Datalogger and Memory Map overlay ( 8/10 considering it is beta )

The software is buggy, for example when you switch units the numbers change but the units label stays the same. I am also uncomfortable that you cannot delete your tracks from the web site once you have made them public.

Memory Map itself is very impressive. I use it a lot for planning routes in the hills. Being an optimist it is particularly handy for comparing the ascent profiles of known walks with planned walks

duddonwoods.jpg

If your Snagit Editor is really slow and hogs CPU then read on

UPDATE : Snagit 9.1 has been released ( @ 9/12/08 ) and appears to cure this problem

Note :  I am not entirely sure I understand why this works but it does seem to. I have asked Techsmith for clarification and will update this accordingly

I am a big fan of Techsmiths Snaggit for creating annotated screenshots. Recently I have found that the editor program it has been taking 50% of the CPU and causing the computer to hang. I tried to reinstall it but that made no difference. Then I came across this artice on the Techsmith support site  :

After making a capture, Editor loads slowly or the CPU usage jumps to a high amount which locks up the machine.

In version 9 this can happen if there is a zip file in the same folder with all your images that SnagIt Editor is keeping track of.  This is a known issue that will be fixed in a future release.  As a temporary workaround please remove all zip files from the folders that your images are contained in.

What the article does not make clear is what folders snaggit is watching. The default folder for storing the previous clips turns out to be :

C:Documents and Settings>>username<

Jabra SP700 Bluetooth Hands Free and FM transmitter ( 7/10 but could so easily have been 10 / 10 )


Image:Jabra SP700 Bluetooth Hands Free and FM transmitter ( 7/10  but could so easily have been 10 / 10 )

The Jabra SP700 is a visor mounted bluetooth car kit which also acts as an FM transmitter for a bluetooth A2DP MP3 player e.g. your Blackberry 8310 or similar.

This means that you can listen to your phone calls or your MP3’s on the car radio speakers

The implementation is brilliant in most ways but there are some features which seem to lack thought

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Pros

Very Effective

Very clear conversations even through the car speakers at speed

Excellent voice dialling on my BB 8310

Eliminates the need for an MP3 transmitter

Cost GBP 40

Cons

My BB 8310 will restart the current podcast after I receive a call ( probably a blackberry profile issue )

You need to explicitly activate the FM transmitter with a button when a call comes in if the FM transmitter is not in use. Once you do trigger it it announces the frequency which takes 3 seconds and in that time you cannot hear your call ( you can turn this off but I think you then loose the other quite useful voice prompts )

Unlike some other less feature rich models it does not convert the incoming call number into a name – it just reads out the number

Silly Design Mistakes

The in-car charging cable has a really fiddly plug ( like a small usb but not ) which fits into a recess behind a rubber plug – a frustration when you think that most people will want to charge the device whilst it is still attached to the visor

The device will pair with multiple bluetooth devices but only one at a time. this is not too bad ( although see this one from the competition ) but the frustrating part is that it will only pair automatically with the last device – so if your wife uses it with her phone then you need to go into your phone menu to re connect your device – it would be great if it cascaded through the devices until it found one.

The blue LED which is almost directly in your line of sight needs a piece of tape over it to stop it dazzling you at night – I believe that this can be turned off but you need to download the manual – tape is easier !