Friday, June 04, 2004

Week One of my Smartphone Project

I'm doing a ~2 month gig in Sydney's CBD at the moment, which means that I need to catch a train to work rather than the car commute I've been doing the last 12 months. One of the things I've found frustrating is working out the time that I need to get up to leave home to catch a train to get on site at a particular time (and the reverse process of an evening). Rather than digging through a tatty old paper timetable and doing some mental arithmetic, I've decided to do a home screen plug-in for the Smartphone that can do all this for me.


My first week doing this plug-in has been pretty frustrating, and I've made little head-way. Compared to Windows Forms or ASP.NET development, embedded development is a lot fiddlier, even with the aid of emulators. I spent most of the week getting the Embedded VC++ 4.0 Homescreen plug-in sample working. The documentation for the sample nominated the use of a tool which doesn't actually ship with the SDK called cestart.exe, and this caused me a bit of drama. In the end, I finally installed the CAB file with the plug-in by "running" it in IE on the device (using a URL of "file://\storage\homescreen.cab").


Anyway, the project is finally up and going, and the current feature list is:


Multiple timetable support. (may slip to V2)


"Get me up, out of the door, to work and home on time" feature. (with thanks to Dan Green for suggesting it.)
-Alarm to wake me up.
-Beep to get me out the door.
Required device interaction: Configurable notification (beep, alarm, call), Alarm and sound API.
I would nominate I want to be at work for an 8.45 meeting, and the phone would do the rest.


Next trains tooltip. (i.e. if you are "hovering" over the next train time, the time for the next couple of train after that should show up in a tooltip.


Missed train coloring (i.e. if it takes me 8 minutes to get to the station, and there is a train in 4 minutes, it should be visible but colored red to indicate I won't make it.




The feature list isn't complete, and I'm still taking suggestions.... Feel free to leave a comment.

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