Thursday, February 28, 2008

Timebridge: Repetitive Meetings

Now that Timebridge has Google Calendar integration, I'm trying to use it for more of my meetings among those who don't share the same calendar system.

I ran into a case today where I want to schedule a meeting each Monday, but, as far as I can tell, there's no way to set up a standing meeting. If the Timebridge conference call function is to be used, it also should be available for each of the meeting repetitions.

Update: I received a note from Timebridge support that adding support for repetitive meetings is on their development roadmap. (5 Mar 08)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Grand Central: Site Not Responsive

This will teach me to recommend a beta service. The Grand Central site seems just plain non-responsive for the last 1/2 hour or so.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Road Conditions in the Anlong Veng, Cambodia Area

Babu posted about some activities in the Anlong Veng area that included some information about traveling there from Siem Reap. I commented on the blog entry, but there wasn't any followup. Anyway, so as not to lose the thought, I'll repeat most of the comment here.

I appreciated the news that there is road improvement progress between Siem Reap and Anlong Veng. Now that the independent tourist overland route between Poipet and Siem Reap is becoming more and more expensive, overland to Siem Reap from the north is becoming more and more attractive.

Is the road to the north sealed much past Banteay Srei? I understand from your blog entry that the part that's not paved is graded. Is it your impression that the grading will extend past Anlong Veng to the border?

I was also interested to read about the school building efforts. Is it your impression that school and library construction efforts such as Room to Read's ( have been effective? I realize that this question may be too broad to answer.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Handheld GPS: Garmin Colorado and Vista HCx

My Garmin eTrex Vista HCx, which I've had for less than a year, may be lost forever, so I'm looking for a replacement.

The obvious first choice would be the same thing, an eTrex Vista HCx.

However the new Garmin Colorado, either 300 or 400t, are worth considering.

Some considerations:
--size: Colorado is 2.4"W x 5.5"H x 1.4"D, HCx is 2.2" x 4.2" x 1.2" (the Garmin web site, for some reason isn't consistent in listing W-H-D in the same order)
--weight: Colorado 7.3oz; HCx 5.5oz
--display size: Colorado 240x400 pixels - 3" diagonal; HCx 176x220
--battery life: Colorado 15 hours; HCx 25
--chipset: Colorado- Garmin proprietary; HCx SiRF III
--datacard: Colorado SD, though it appears that 4GB is the limit supported with SDHC; HCx microSD

Some unanswered questions:
--the Colorado has a "Transflective color TFT"; the HCx has 256 level color TFT. What's the functional difference, if any? There is at least one report that the transflective TFT technology is less readable out of doors as well as discussion about the display.
--apparently the Colorado lacks a "night mode," which affects the screen brightness and colors displayed.
--is startup time too long?
--is Trackback feature needed?
--USB 1.1 only?
--no street names with City Nav loaded
--no waypoint averaging
--map borders clutter screen (I've seen this on other units)
--lists don't scroll around, but have a beginning and end
--zooms only to 80 feet

This page lists many perceived deficiencies and this one lists issues.. It's hard to know which of these can be changed/fixed with a firmware update, assuming that Garmin wanted to make the change in the first place.

One concern I haven't yet seen mentioned elsewhere is, with the non-SiRF chipset, can the Coolorado ever take advantage of Ephemeris APGS to reduce time to fix. Perhaps the function or its equivalent is already included?

Friday, February 08, 2008

GrandCentral: Quickrule

GrandCentral has a "quickrule" function that allows one to send all incoming calls to voice mail or forward to a temporary number.

There probably should be some sort of reminder function to make sure someone doesn't set one of these and forget about it.

Garmin City Navigator Thailand NT comments

Garmin has produced street level mapping for Thailand with points of interest such as lodging, restaurants, and transit (for example, small town bus stations)and ships it on a microSD in an SD adapter. I got version 8.

Some initial comments:
  • the serial number isn't evident, if it has one at all
  • when used with a nuvi, it doesn't show 3D maps
  • detail in small towns is pretty good, though there are some misspellings
Points of interest include:
  • border checkpoints
  • Banks and ATMs

Friday, February 01, 2008

GrandCentral Issues: System Status Notification

So I see on the Grand Central Inbox page a notice about a partial outage. I just happened to see this.

It probably would be helpful to have this sort of status message available some other place, perhaps a System Status page.

Also, it would be helpful to have a news feed with significant status messages. Even BART does this. (And so does Skype with their Skype Heartbeat messages.) The phone service demands, pretty much by definition, carrier class facilities and status information is a part of this.

GrandCentral Issues: Inbound Calls Not Working

Now at least one caller said that there was no ring at all when he called my GrandCentral number.

Updated: I can call myself just fine.

Updated: Ok, I asked the guy who called me this morning and did not hear a ring to call again. He did, was announced by the GC robot as "unknown," even though he is in my GC address book, and I picked up. He says he heard nothing--not a ring nor an announcement from the GC robot.

GrandCentral Issues: Click2Call Working?

Ok, now I can't get GrandCentral's Click2Call to originate calls at all:
  • I select "Call."
  • GC responds by displaying numbers from which I can call
  • I choose one
  • GC displays the indication that the call is happening
  • but no ring at the number I've chosen to call from
Updated: Just tried calling and got through ok, so perhaps the function is working again (for me).

GrandCentral Issues: Inbound and Outbound

The story so far is that I've been having problems when using GrandCentral's outbound calling Click2Call feature. The people I'm calling have been complaining that there is a long silence when they answer, leading to their saying, "Hello...hello, etc." and then, occasionally, hanging up.

Since I'm making real work calls with the GC Click2Call service, I stopped using it for most important calls. Yesterday, 31 Jan 08, after one problem in the morning, I used it a couple of times in the afternoon with people likely to be understanding and they reported no problems. So maybe it's a transient problem.

I did have another problem yesterday, which I had forgotten before, when someone called me using my GC number. The GC robot said, "Press 1 to accept," which I did, since it was a coworker, and nothing happened. I pressed "1" several more times, but the my coworker and I never connected. (I called him back and apologized.) This happened again with another person who wasn't so understanding.

I've started telling people to use my GC number and now I'm really hoping I don't have to tell these same people to go back to the old numbers. People don't understand why I list one number for voice and another for SMS anyway (and some people don't know that SMS=text), so the whole thing is confusing for them.