[Loadstone] Train database results

Sean Randall seanr at randylaptop.com
Sun Mar 28 13:46:24 BST 2010


Yes,  that's what it did.  Was much more configurable than the sort of thing
I got with Wayfinder .  An unqualified success all round.

Sean.

-----Original Message-----
From: loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com
[mailto:loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com] On Behalf Of Jacob Kruger
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2010. 01:31 PM
To: loadstone at loadstone-gps.com
Subject: Re: [Loadstone] Train database results

I think you can set announce distances, but not sure, and if you use the
joystick up key, it should tell you the next point in the direction you're
heading - unless I'm totally confused...

Stay well

Jacob Kruger
Blind Biker
Skype: BlindZA
'...fate had broken his body, but not his spirit...'

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sean Randall" <seanr at randylaptop.com>
To: <loadstone at loadstone-gps.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2010 1:08 PM
Subject: Re: [Loadstone] Train database results


> Jacob,
>
> Auto announce speaks points as you come to them, which is fine, though for
> trains you need a little time to get to the doors and sort your luggage
> out, so I had to increase my announce time.
>
> From the   key reference: "Joystick-middle
> Announces the closest point to your current position regardless of 
> direction
> of travel."
>
> It wasn't a problem that way at all.  For people walking that's quite
> useful.
>
> Sean.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com
> [mailto:loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com] On Behalf Of Jacob Kruger
> Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2010. 03:48 AM
> To: loadstone at loadstone-gps.com
> Subject: Re: [Loadstone] Train database results
>
> Won't auto announce being turned on help you with automatic notification 
> of
> upcoming points - I use it when walking with my dog, and it works for me 
> and
> I think you can also change settings with regard to when and where it 
> should
> announce points.
>
> Also, as far as I know pressing select key would generally tell you the 
> next
> point in the direction you were heading, not just closest one, but anyway,
> and you can also easily enough limit navigation mode to only checkpoints 
> in
> case there are other points around you not relevant at the time.
>
> Stay well
>
> Jacob Kruger
> Blind Biker
> Skype: BlindZA
> '...fate had broken his body, but not his spirit...'
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sean Randall" <seanr at randylaptop.com>
> To: <loadstone at loadstone-gps.com>
> Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2010 10:08 PM
> Subject: [Loadstone] Train database results
>
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Just a quick heads-up to let you know how I got on with the train data
>> today.
>>
>> I only used a few stops, but of those, none was out by more than 200 
>> yards
>> or so.  I had to increase my approach time if I wanted automatic
>> announcements, but found it easier to leave Loadstone in navigation mode
>> and
>> just tap select when the trained slowed or I wanted an update.
>>
>> I did turn off my signal monitor whilst travelling through a heavily
>> wooded
>> area, but the longest time I was without a signal was 90 seconds.  As
>> there
>> were at least 6 minutes between stops, this wasn't really an issue and I
>> turned the monitor off because things were patchy, connecting on and off.
>> Even with a second of coverage, my phone updated the position and so I
>> always new which station was closest to me.
>>
>> Using the view area command whilst in navigation mode (long select) I was
>> able to view the stations in order of distance, which was what I did with
>> Wayfinder.  I found it less of a necessity because with a tap of select I
>> could always hear the closest one.  If I wanted to hear the next one, I
>> pressed 1 to hear my direction of travel, then the appropriate cursor key
>> to
>> hear the next station in that direction.  I found this useful when 
>> leaving
>> one station and wanting to know the next, because until the distance to
>> the
>> next station became less than that of the previously departed one, select
>> would report the place I'd just left.
>>
>> I had sound turned off all the way and used vibration in combo with a
>> Nokia
>> bluetooth headset with the phone in a pocket.  The members of the public
>> I
>> spoke to didn't even seem to realise I was using the headset for 
>> anything,
>> iPod-style earphones are a much more common site and so my low-key
>> bluetooth
>> accessory didn't even raise an eyebrow.
>>
>> Whilst in the car on the way to my starting station, I loaded my
>> checkpoint
>> file (containing the stations I would be passing through).  I needn't 
>> have
>> bothered, had I wanted to manually check where I was at each stop, I 
>> could
>> have just hit select with the same result.  For viewing the area though
>> and
>> seeing only the stations on my path, checkpoints worked extremely well.
>>
>> My one question: When the closest point changes, is there a way to have 
>> it
>> announced without isolating it?  It would be useful to know the next
>> station
>> as soon as it becomes closer than the one I've just left.  Not that
>> pressing
>> select is much of an inconvenience, it would just be quite handy and
>> decrease the fumbling around for the button.
>>
>> Overall, I was very impressed.  Only one of my four trains announced the
>> upcoming stops, and had I not had a solution to hand I would have needed
>> an
>> exceptional memory, or a notepad to tick off stops, both of which are
>> quite
>> fallible methods of locating oneself. I would have  carried my phone with
>> me
>> GPS or no, and the headset was only a few extra grams of weight - after a
>> while, I didn't even notice I was wearing it.  The announcements from
>> Loadstone were precise, accurate and useful, and I was always, always
>> aware
>> of exactly where we'd just stopped  and where we were going.  In fact, I
>> was
>> able to prompt a passenger next to me with a hundred percent certainty, 
>> as
>> he was due to get off earlier than I and was dozing in his seat and so 
>> not
>> paying much attention to his surroundings.
>>
>> I want to thank the Loadstone developers, if they're here, for such a
>> useful
>> tool.  Without it, my day would have been far more uncertain and my 
>> travel
>> that much more stressful. The discontinuation of Wayfinder, if it indeed
>> comes to pass, will be quite a blow for turn-by-turn, street-map-style
>> directions.  But if you know exactly where you're going and are able to
>> get
>> that information onto a Loadstone database, you're covered all the way.
>>
>> I would have no qualms about sending my database (or at least the sample
>> of
>> it I was able to verify) to a totally blind friend, assuming they were
>> comfortable using loadstone, and guarantee that within a few minutes 
>> their
>> comfort level on the trains would increase.  This is just the sort of way
>> in
>> which technology should be helping us, and I must say that I am 
>> profoundly
>> grateful that Loadstone stepped up to the bar in my time of need.
>>
>> Sean.
>>
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