I’ve borrowed two N96 phones from the mobilities lab at Lancaster Uni for our workshop on Saturday. After buying a couple of 3G sim cards for them and topping them up with £10 each, I was ready to install. I bluetoothed the comobnet.jar file to them both (they had been named Galileo and Beidon so I changed their bluetooth names to those as well). If I was using a PC and Nokia PC suite I could have synched them and also uploaded a .jad file which would give them all the settings they need as well. Instead I went through the app manager to make sure that they would only ask for permission to connect to the web, or to the GPS once, instead of everytime they used it. So that done it was time to test outside where they can get GPS reception, taking my iphone as well. (I sometimes wonder if my neighbours are used to this after years of me wandering around this residential area with my hands full of mobile devices, repeatedly circling blocks while absorbed in the contents of the screen)
As it was a bit cold out there I sat in the car. As with many previous GPS projects I could have predicted that I wouldn’t actually be going anywhere for a while. I began by using the connectivity tool to look GPS data to make sure they had a signal. Then started comobnet up. I had a few problems getting a web connection, but managed eventually. When I changed the map type - from mobile (map) to satellite imagery it takes too long to load the images, so its best to keep it on mobile view. It also seemed that I had to restart the app for it to take that setting into account, so it may be best to keep it on one set of settings and not let workshop participants change them. It has to be said that the application is much quicker on the iphone, which also deals with the satellite imagery more easily too.
There’s an issue with how the database works, it keeps the last position of a user, even if they’ve quit. I had a ghost of a former name from my iphone that wouldn’t leave the group. This is a bit irritating as either we have to keep all the phone names the same throughout the workshop, or we’ll have extra old ghost users as static parts of our teams.
I’ve been making some changes to my iphone account, and they caused a temporary glitch in the iphone’s connectivity, so I had to stop checking things on that phone.
Finally I could see all three phones on the screen of each of the phones - success! Once round the block to test.
1. Check the GPS connectivity first
2. Keep the N96 on mobile maps setting & don’t change any settings during the workshop.