People Don’t Read Anymore, They Merely Skim
Thursday, June 18, 2009, by Sebastian Dwornik
Skim Milk
If I leave my RSS reader alone for too long it will eventually implode into a black hole under its own weight of unread articles that have piled up.  Most of which will be ignored by the time I get to them.  And those that I do end up reading, better be short, sweet, and to the point.  An added picture that summarizes the writing most clearly will usually get more attention than the accompanying text.

This is because most people online merely skim the text for keywords and partial sentences, in the hope that the information will piece itself together in their brain and make sense.  All to save time, and move on to the next article for skimming.

The massive bombardment of inorfamtoin ovrelod has adpatd our brians to wrok like a programmed search engine.  To seek out bits from text and pictures but never the whole composition.  As if we’ve lost our patience for it.

Which can be frustrating when you spend a large amount of time writing a detailed email, to only then have to repeat it again to the person you just sent it to, because they skimmed over it and missed all the best jokes.

This realization has forced me to reduce my RSS subscriptions substantially and begin using the telephone more often when trying to explain ideas to people.  I suppose Twitter’s success partially stems from this skimming of emails and blogs.

For now, if you have read this article fully, did you catch the typos?  Or did you skim?


 

How to get an External GPS Working with an HTC Touch Diamond Windows Mobile Phone
Wednesday, June 03, 2009, by Sebastian Dwornik

The HTC Touch Diamond phone supports a built-in QualComm GPS receiver, which in most cases works fairly well, but its sensitivity to acquiring satellites quickly is still lacking.

In my experience, the moment I near the vicinity of a larger city, such as Toronto, and turn ON the internal GPS, it will almost always fail to lock-on any satellites.  This is without even getting into the downtown core with skyscrapers and other large buildings.

Before this, I used to use the OnCourse SiRF star III Bluetooth GPS Receiver with a simple PDA, which worked extremely well, even indoors.

So given that the HTC Touch Diamond phone has Bluetooth support, I decided to try using the OnCourse external GPS with it.

Within a few minutes I had the two devices linked over Bluetooth and configured the External GPS parameters under the Settings -> System dialog.


Bluetooth Settings


External GPS Settings


Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite that simple.

When it failed to work, I reviewed my steps including the External GPS parameters under Settings -> System dialog, and noticed that the GPS Hardware port was not being saved.


GPS Hardware Port


So, as usual, the first step is to ask for help from the Google oracle.  When that failed to retrieve a working solution, I rolled up my sleeves and went Registry diving.

I tested the various Windows Mobile Emulators I use for developing my software, and the External GPS parameters were being saved properly on them.  It was then just a matter of comparing the registry details with my HTC Touch Diamond phone.

The Windows Mobile Emulators contained a "Control Panel Configured Device" key located under [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\GPS Intermediate Driver\Drivers] that was missing on my HTC Touch Diamond phone.

So I added this missing key, copying also its parameters from the Emulator images, and the resulting setup was formed.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\GPS Intermediate Driver\Drivers]
"CurrentDriver"="Control Panel Configured Device"
"CurrentDriverExt"="Control Panel Configured Device"
"SleepOnNoData"=dword:000003e8
"RetryWaitOnError"=dword:00000003
"OutputBufferSize"=dword:00001000
"InputBufferSize"=dword:00001000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\GPS Intermediate Driver\Drivers\Control Panel Configured Device]
"CommPort"="COM2:"
"InterfaceType"="COMM"


PHM drivers    PHM Control Panel


When the "CurrentDriver"="Control Panel Configured Device", the GPS Hardware port setting is then saved properly, and I am able to establish a working connection with the OnCourse external GPS.

To revert back to using the HTC internal GPS, I simply rename the "CurrentDriver" registry keys to match their appropriate setting.


Internal Driver    External Driver


This may seem like an inconvenience to always having to rename a registry key every time I want to switch to using an external GPS, and ideally a little app that would do it for me would be better.  Maybe I’ll write one if there is enough interest.

 

Welcome to my App World

My name is Sebastian Dwornik and I am an entrepreneur located near Toronto, Canada.

Here you will find my thoughts on all matters regarding software, design, business, and sometimes life in general.

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