HP iPAQ 310 Personal Navigator

Hoo-boy! I was lucky enough to become an owner of an HP iPAQ310 GPS unit. It’s WinCE based and seems pretty robust with bluetooth and a fair amount of customization available for it. You know I love GPS’s and have had the famous Mio C310x so I am looking forward to playing with this “old friend.”

I kind of feel like my Mio c310x was “Gandalf the Grey” and is long gone, and this HP iPAQ310 comes back to me as the “White Wizard.” Kind of like an old friend, but different, more powerful.

More to come, for sure.

G1 Update – training

A couple of things I love about my G1 is that I have been using it as a training aid.  It’s really great.

  • I use it as a stop watch.
  • I use it to map my runs and my rides
  • I use it to listen to streaming audio when I’m outside
  • I use it to collect stats about my routes

The two apps I use the most for training are CardioTrainer and StreamFurious.

CardioTrainer is really slick.  You can choose your various types of workouts, have it report back to you your intervals and pace.  It will overlay your route on Google Maps and when done give you stats like elevation, overall pace, etc.   Then it will upload your route to their website and if you were so inclined, it will put it on your Facebook profile.

Now, while I am running, I could be listening to my mp3’s but what I love to listen to is streaming audio from the web.   Specifically, I enjoy listening to Radio Paradise via Stream Furious.

You can listen to RP using just about any computer audio player, and on a wide variety of other devices, including iPhones, Blackberrys and Windows smartphones. You don’t need to register with us in order to listen, and we don’t charge subscription fees — even for our highest-fidelity streams.Speaking of high fidelity, we pride ourselves on providing some of the best-sounding audio you’ll hear anywhere. Try one of our high quality streams (192k MP3 or 128k AAC) on a good pair of headphones or a decent audio system. We think you’ll be impressed. Several of the world’s most respected audio engineers and producers have given RP’s audio quality an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

How do we do all of this without charging subscription fees or inflicting advertising on you? The key is in those two words underneath our name at the top of the page. We do our very best to keep you entertained, and if we succeed we ask you to send a little support our way. Click theSupport RP link for more information on how that works. You can also send support our way by shopping at our Affiliate Merchants (Amazon, iTunes, and many more) or by buying some of our Shirts & Stuff . Thanks a bunch.

Instead of using the phone’s headset, I use iPod headphones so I don’t have to have the Lose Weight Exercise of the mic bouncing around.

It’s neat to realize that I have this going on my phone while I am out running.

I also started using DailyMile.  I used to use Gyminee, but since I started doing Crossfit, I didn’t have a great way to record my workouts in Gyminee.  So now that I am running regurlary again, I plan on using DailyMile.

Fitness Training Log

So couple my phone with my HRM, (heart rate monitor), I got some really powerful training tools.

T-mobile G1 / Google Android… Goodbye T-mobile Wing

A moment of thanks…

First off, I’d to thank a lot of you… most of the traffic I get to my site comes from people looking for information on the T-Mobile Wing.  I had the phone for about 1.5 years and posted all sorts of information.  Most importantly, many of you posted comments and offered help and tips to myself and others, and for that I am very thankful.

One door closes, another opens…

However, earlier in the month, my Tmobile Wing suffered a tramatic episode when all three of the children ran over it, (they were chasing eash other) and it got smooshed… really smooshed with a cracked LCD and everything.   At that point, I got “executive approval” to get a new phone.  My wife suggested an iPhone and I was about to pull the trigger until I heard that the T-mobile G1 was coming out on October 22.  I decided to wait.

The countdown…

I was all nervous on launch day, the 22nd.  I was worried I couldn’t find one and then I read that Costco and Best Buy would also be carrying them, but it was unclear when.  So after my big presentation on Wednesday moring, I drove to Costco and they had ’em.  Plus, you got a free “accessory kit” which was a Jabra bluetooth headset and a car charger.  Hey, it’s better than nothing.

Final Verdict…

I LOVE this phone.  I’m not going to rehash all the reason why I like it, there are a ton of other people who give it a thumbs up, but I am really impressed with it.  And there’s been no shortage of coverage and it looks like everyone is on the same page.

Coverage…

Over at the Download Sqaud, they have some great pieces about the first hands on with the G1 and a good post about Twitteroid, (which I haven’t installed yet since the offical release comes out Monday).

Lifehacker has a hands on post.  Gizmodo has a Android App Marathon and a category to get you going.

Walt Mossberg also seems to think the T-Mobile G1 is worthy.  Btw, Walt is awesome.

There are plenty of forums dedicated to Android/G1 coverage, and they include:

G1 for three days…

I will say that I enjoy this phone way more than my T-mobile Wing.  To be fair, I did not have a data plan with my Wing since I used Wifi with it so maybe that’s not a fair comparison.  But I do like the seemless Gmail integration.

The IM’ing on the G1 is also okay, not great.  Like all other phones I’ve owned, the default IM uses SMS for IM’ing.  I’m not big on that but I don’t it will be long before someone writes a cross IM-platform client for the G1.  Here’s a list of apps I think would be killer:

  • IM: Jabber/XMPP, AIM, Yahoo!, and MSN
  • Facebook App (using mobile web interface)
  • Brightkite App (using mobile web interface)

Apps I love:

  • Google Maps:  This is totally awesome.  You can do “street view” with the GPS and enable “compass mode.”  This is too hard to explain in text but if you see it, it will blow you away.
  • Barcode reader: Yeah, yeah… I know the iPhone has this too, but I think it is really neat.
  • Various weather apps:  All very useful
  • Gmail
  • Web browser: The web browser is better than ANY WM-base browser I’ve seen, including Opera-mini.

I’m still playing with it and rumor has it a slew of new app will hit the market place on Monday.

Expect way more to come.

Theremin

Holy geez, I wan to build a theremin something fierce.   I have ALWAYS been fascinated by this.  I also want to build my own RDS-TMC traffic receiver.  It can’t be that hard.  Probably the hardest part is finding the right parts.

Leon Theremin playing one.

Leon Theremin playing one.

R.I.P Mio, Hello TomTom

First off, let me first apologize for not posting more frequently.  I’m sorry.  I’ve been really busy with my not-so-new job, (which I love and am thankful for), but the our son is already back in school and I’ve been wrapping up some consulting gigs that I had lingering.

Having said that, you might remember that I posted that my Mio c310x died.  The touch screen stopped working.  Mio said it would cost $100 for repairs.  Honestly, that’s a tough pill to swallow so I decided that I will sell my old Mio on Ebay for parts.  I got a bunch of Mio-specific accessories.

So I was in the market for a new GPS.  My Dad had a Garmin, which was okay.  I still like the MioMap software better, so I was still looking at my options.  I didn’t really care for Bluetooth, or even Text To Speech (TTS), so I settled on the TomTom XL 330 that was on sale at Fry’s.

I’ll do a full blown review later, but the one thing that I think is really neat, is that there is both Mac and Windows TomTom software.  I have died and gone to heaven!  The first night I got my TomTom, I really messed it up.  I had to go in and delete files and restore the core OS on it, (it runs linux) and other than that, I am really happy with it.  My only beef with it, is that there is no SD slot and I am wondering what will happen when I want to install European maps on it.

I would also like to try to make my own RDS-TMC receiver for it.  I don’t think it would be too hard to make since it sounds like a slightly more complex crystal radio.

I’ll post here when I list my Mio on Ebay.  I also want to thank all of you who come here looking for Mio hacking tips and other GPS related info.  I am glad you have all found it useful.

Don’t get me wrong, if Mio had fixed my c310 I’d still be using it, but $100 is alot when I can get newer technology for just a little more and there seems to be some thing afoot that may prevent any updates to MioMap.

Thanks everyone for being patient with me.

R.I.P., my Mio c310x…

sniff, sniff…

Good bye, Mio c310x…

My Mio is dead.  Well, sort of.  This weekend I turned it on and the touch screen wasn’t working.  I did a soft reset, no dice.  I did a hard reset and no luck.  Everything else seems to work, and the buttons make sounds, so I called into Mio Tech Support.

Their call center is outsourced to the Phillipenes and I got a nice girl on the phone.  We tried some things and she said the last thing to try was to make sure it was charged all the way and do a hard reset.  If that didn’t work, she said I can do an RMA for it.  She asked me when I bought it (it is just a little over a year) and she asked if I had the original receipt and I said I did and she said that was good and they would replace it under warranty.  Or that’s what I thought she said.

So I called back because the charging of the unit didn’t make a difference, (c’mon, you and I both know that wasn’t going to help) and I called back.  I got another guy who’s English wasn’t as good as the other person and he said that it couldn’t be replaced since it was out of warranty and I can send it in for a repair fee of $100.  Holy geez, that’s a lot.  I told him I needed to think about it

$100 seems like a lot considering what I paid for the unit and since you can get even  more advanced units now for just a little over $100.  I’m not sure what I am going to do.   I might call back in and see if a different  rep tells me something different.

Related but different, when I called in about our Harmony remote breaking, it was about two months outside of warranty, (I didn’t know but they kept track when I signed up for my account) and they gladly sent me a warranty replacement.  Now that’s customer service and they made me a customer for life.

a kiss of death for Mio?

Notice, I said “a kiss of death,” not “the kiss of death.”

Mio really screwed up. They made enemies for life.

If you’ve been coming here to learn about my Mio c310x and hacking it, you’ve probably either seen here or on some of the forums that Mio has been promising a map update for some time. First Mio said it would be Q1, then spring, then June, then July.

People were speculating the updates should be free or minimal in cost. Other’s said, “Hey, you got a great GPS unit for ~$150 – $200; why would you expect an update for free?” Either way, they release the map update on July 16th, I think. You had two options to get the update:

  • Find a copy at your local Circuit City for $14.95 + tax
  • Buy directly from Mio for $14.95 + $9.95 shipping and handling.

Both options are reasonable. But I’m a cheap sonuvabitch and would have gladly waited until I could find a copy locally. Many people, however, gladly ordered directly from Mio and paid the $9.95 shipping and handling fee.

Then, everything starts going downhill.

If you view the last 20 pages or so from this thread you can see what happened and continues to happen:

This reads a lesson in “How to turn off customers for life.” I’ll save you from reading the entire thread and give you the highlights:

  • Order page had many problems:
    • couldn’t handle the initial load
    • one of the domain names referred to in the “order confirmation” letter hadn’t even been registered yet; people were worried they were being phished.
    • emails to Mio bounced, again inflaming security concerns
  • Customer service is giving conflicting answers (if you can get through). Many reported getting busy signals when trying to call in, (seriously what company gives busies in this day and age?).
  • Of those folks that ordered early most got their order after four weeks, many still haven’t gotten it despite paying almost $10 for shipping.
  • Email inquiries go unanswered.

There were some people who had reported problems with the actual upgrade, but you are always going to have some hardware issues. And thankfully these people that have had problems are getting more help from the forums than the actual company.

Most people are pissed off since they feel like they paid a premium for shipping at a steep $10 when USPS Priority mail is around $4 and would have been delivered in three days. However, Mio in its wisdom shipping these DVD’s via Media Mail (from USPS):

Media Mail® service is a cost efficient way to mail books, sound recordings, recorded video tapes, printed music, and recorded computer-readable media (such as CDs, DVDs, and diskettes). Media Mail can not contain advertising except for incidental announcements of books. The maximum Lose Weight Exercise for Media Mail is 70 lbs.

The USPS website doesn’t say how long shipping something Media Mail will take. But I will say I have had books shipped this method. It’s really, really, cheap and the book took about three weeks coming from California. So the perception from the customer is “Hey, I spent $10 extra to receive my update, yet Mio sent it the cheapest, longest way possible.”

In my line of work, I’ve learned long ago that honesty is the best policy when dealing with customers. So when people call into Mio to get an update, cancel their order (since they can get it at Circuit City now), they get the run around, different answers depending on whom they talk to. They feel like they are being lied to.

The problem with the website flaking out lends the impression that Mio just doesn’t have their act together.

Now, I think the old saying, “You can have it cheap, good, or fast but not all three” is applicable here. At least the update is cheap, but it certainly wasn’t fast and seeing how Mio is treating the customers over this, I wouldn’t say it was good, either.

I can see how something like this happened. Someone there thought all of this sounded good to ship the DVD’s via Media Mail, saying the company money but not realizing how long it would take to get them in peoples hands. The customer service reps are more or less left holding the bag and are having to deal with angry customers and they might be trying to do their best in trying to appease them, but it isn’t a coordinated effort and not all the reps are telling the same story. So you got angry customers, public forums on the Internet, folks screaming to the BBB and it begins to all slide downhill.

One time, something similar happened at work. There was a major mailing that was going out to a specific group of customers. It was some software and manuals. The list of contcts was in an Excel spreadsheet and was >5,000. The spreadsheet had columns for name, house number, street, city, state, zip, etc., Someone tried to sort the column for house number, but DID NOT expand the sort to include the street name. So the house numbers got sorts but not the street name so ALL the addresses got horribly borked. The mailing went out USPS Priority and ALL came back. There were mail bins upon mail bins of return packages. And these were printed materials with a custom letter for each recipient. It all had to be redone. What a mess. That’s the sort of mistake you never make twice, (unless you are truly a dumbass), and since I just heard about it, I am always careful when I sort my spreadsheets.

So, what does this mean for Mio? Because they haven’t come out and addressed or even acknowledged the customers’ frustration, they’ve made enemies for life. Or at least people who will never ever buy another Mio product again. I can’t say I blame them. Mio has some really slick GPS products but people would rather buy from a company that they feel like supports them. They had a golden opportunity to turn these customers into die-hard fans. The promise was good; a reasonably priced upgrade and everyone was willing to pay for it. They were even excited about it and were willing to forget about the long delays. Now they feel like they’ve been kicked in the teeth and some of those folks that were willing to pay for a legitimate upgrade will upgrade their units by “other means” without paying for it. They’ll be force underground.

What Mio should have done? They should have came out and said they made a mistake. They should have refunded everyone who paid the extra money for shipping or at least offered to credit anyone who called in. The call center reps should have been prepared with an official statement from the management saying yeah, they made a mistake and for your trouble we’ll refund your shipping costs. They should stop sending upgrade DVD’s via bulk Media Mail and either send it via normal or Priority USPS.

Something similar happened with TigerDirect a while ago. Tiger Direct did some sneaking things with customers long ago; if you ordered from them they also signed you for some long distance promotion, people have had problems with their rebates, etc. Personally, I have never ordered from them. But if you visit any of the “hot deal” forums, people are quick to turn away whenever a deal comes up from TigerDirect. They still have a damaged image from something that happened years ago. Based on their history and their perception, some people choose to stay away, even if it is a legitimate hot deal. I’m included in that boat. I simply choose not to do business with them.   I don’t have a particular axe to grind with TD, by the way.

  • Tiger Direct Sucks.org
  • RipOff Alert I
  • RipOff Alert II

Is this the fate of Mio? Potentially. I think they have a chance to pull it out, but that window of opportunity is getting smaller as time goes on. Will I still do business with Mio? Yeah, I probably would. I believe in their technology and being in an industry that deals with customers myself, I can sort of understand what happened. I hope they do what is right.

This really won’t kill the company as I said they have great products.  But they blew a chance to develop die hard fanatics who would always talk up their products and claim to be loyal customers.

Official Mio Map Updates…. finally!

It’s all over the forums, yet some details are still to be decided:

Question: How often do you update your maps and how are they made available to customers?

Answer:
Limited Time Offer!

Mio DigiWalker™ C310x Map Update

As our way of saying “thank you” to those people who helped put Mio Technology on the map, Mio Technology is offering a special map update promotion to our valued Mio DigiWalker™ C310x users.

This map update will allow you to upgrade the firmware of your C310x device as well as update the map data.

This upgrade will deliver improved road position accuracy, improved “one way street” notifications, newly added streets and addresses, and improved routing in rural areas and more.

For a limited time, Mio DigiWalker C310x owners will be able to receive this special upgrade offer for the special price of $14.95 + $9.95 shipping and handling. This special update pricing will also be available for a limited time at participating Circuit City locations.

Mio Technology will begin taking orders for the C310x map update DVD on July 16, 2007 on the Mio Technology web site, www.mio-tech.com. Offer dates and availability details at participating Circuit City locations to be announced soon.

Rumor also has it there is a firmware update, but the debate is if it is an upgrade to Win CE 5 or really just a firmware.  Regardless, $15 is pretty reasonable if you ask me.


// < ![CDATA[
//
// < ![CDATA[
//

multiple updates on various junk

I’ve been busy. It’s been good and I see progress being made. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, this post is going to be a mini-update to a bunch of stuff I got in the hopper.

Tmobile Wing

Man, I love this thing. Today I put new skins on it, and installed some really great apps. I’ll provide a more detailed post on it. Going from PalmOS to WM6 was painless and easy. I almost don’t even think of it. I miss on flash card program but other than that, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a Palm-based phone.

XMBC on the Xbox

My brother-in-law is really happy with his hacked Xbox. We watched all sorts of international TV this weekend. I found this after poking around. Why hadn’t I found it before?

I found some great games I am playing on my Xbox. ChessMaster was really hard to find:

Trixbox

I am getting a lot of hits on my website for Trixbox related things. I hope you guys are finding it helpful. I’d love to hear some feedback.

Continue reading

foobarred POI’s on my Mio c310x

Man, I really messed it up. Hopefully, by reading this you’ll avoid the problems I had. First a little background. I am drinking wine from Aldi’s and have been messing with this darn GPS unit for some time. Wait, before you go further, you should be aware of my other posts regarding POI’s on the Mio c310x:

Now, I should point out that I just heard a song from Ian Brown and now Cat Power is playing. She’s awesome. (a little known fact amongst Comcast HSI users is that you get a free subscription to Rhapsody. If you ain’t using it, you deserve a punch in the stomach.)

So, back to my problems with the POI’s… I tried installing ALL of the Starbucks in the US and it caused me to exceed the available space I had on my unit (internal memory, not the SD card). The file was truncated and several of my POI’s had zeroed out coordinates. For awhile there, every time I tried exporting / importing the iGO database, I was getting errors from IGO POI Explorer. I was just about to do a hard reset when I had a thought..

Via ActiveSync, I renamed the existing iGO.db to iGO_old.db and I copied over a db from yesterday. I then restarted the unit and it saw the db just fine. When I started up iGO POI Explorer, it imported / exported the db just fine. I must of had some corrupt data in the existing db.

I added the various POI’s I wanted to and I tried something different:

  1. If you are using iGO POI Explorer (Beta) AND ActiveSync, I think this will make sure you have the latest file.
    1. File -> Export -> iGO Database to device (via ActiveSync)
    2. It should work.
    3. Restart MioMap (I realize now that it is NOT necessary to restart the whole device, rather just MioMap should be fine).

I was worried I would have to do a hard reset, but alas, all is well.