January 9th, 2009

marcus 2013

Cheap bluetooth GPS

With Google apparently planning to add GPS support to the free version of Google Earth I thought it was about time I got myself a satnav receiver that I could use with the iBook (and possibly other machines if I ever get a pocketable PC I like). USB or Bluetooth seemed to be the way to go, preferably bluetooth to avoid dangling cables. Mostly they seemed to be quite expensive, but a couple of days ago I noticed someone on eBay UK selling them new for £15 and ordered one - it arrived today, and it seems to be pretty good.

The original vendor seems to have sold out, but there are a couple of others offering what seems to be the same kit, a mobile phone satnav package called "Activepilot" that includes the receiver. While the mobile aspect has no interest to me - my mobile has no bluetooth and I wouldn't want to pay to subscribe to the service anyway - the receiver was very easy to set up, and works well with a shareware / freeware package called GPS Connect 0.2 for Mac OS X I downloaded. Haven't yet looked at other software, but it's a good start.

The receiver itself is a gizmo about the length of a credit card and 2/3rds the width and maybe 1cm thick (can't find a ruler) and comes with a car charging cable leading to a standard mini USB plug (5v and charges off a camera cable on my PC without problems), a magnet you can use to stick it to a car etc., and instructions. It's nicely made, with indicators for charging, on/off and Bluetooth connection, finished in some sort of rubbery plastic which is hopefully reasonably rugged.

Anyway, if you want to add GPS to a laptop it may be worth a look.
marcus 2013

All nominations nominated

I've now used up all of my 30 nominations on TTH - at least one was wasted effort because it showed as "accepted" instantly, which means someone had already nominated the same story in the same category (and I'm not the least bit surprised), but on the whole I hope I've selected some reasonably good stories that deserve a shot at the awards.

Voting starts on Monday - not sure of the voting rules yet, but it'll be interesting to see what's been nominated. I can make some guesses, but I'm not going to post any analysis until it's over.