The Trek To New Trekker Software And Maps

Hehehe! It’s a good day! Why is it a good day? Because I got my Trekker software and maps updated! Yeeee! I have yet to go take Trekker on a test walk, mainly because I’m crazy and finally got things updated at 2 or 3 in the morning. I’ll talk about my impressions after I’ve taken it for a spin. But I’m so happy happy happy that I’ve got the new stuff in!

Let’s back track a bit. When I first got the Trekker, I tried to plug it into its cradle and get it to talk to the computer, and noticed I couldn’t. It wouldn’t even draw power from the cradle. I tried running it off Steve’s computer because somebody said I needed Microsoft Outlook for it to work, and Steve had Outlook and I didn’t. Still no go. I called tech support, and they advised me to get a sync cable. What the heck’s a sync cable? Well, it does what the cradle should, only without the cradle bit. You plug one end into the computer and one end into the Trekker, and it charges your PDA and syncs it with the compy. Ok then.

But then the trouble started. Where the hell to find a sync cable? Personally, I have found that finding parts for the PDA is like pulling teeth. You have to go to these weird sites that have long lists of parts with weird names, and you’re left wondering if you can get the right part or not. Or, they say the part works with a whole list of PDA’s, and they get close to the model number of my PDA, but then they don’t mention it. You’re left wondering if they just overlooked that number, assuming you would know whether it worked or not, or whether it really doesn’t work with it. I really don’t want to get into the business of buying all these parts that may or may not work with Trekker, and I don’t want one of the parts to fry or corrupt my PDA either.

But I’m not exactly down with sending my PDA back to Humanware. I have come to depend on this thing, with all the rerouting of buses, so you would have to pry it out of my white-knuckled grasp to send it away for repair. I mean, sending it away could mean that it could be gone for a month! A month of going back to “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Mr. Bus driver, are we there yet?” Are you kidding? The one day I didn’t bring it with me, I was forgotten on a bus. So I have come to depend on my little buddy Trekker.

I was telling the Trekker yahoo group, which by the way is an awesome resource, about my woes, and someone gave me a link to a place where I could buy a Trekker cradle. I ran out and bought it, sure that since someone else checked out the link, it was good…

And when it arrived in the mail, it wasn’t the right fit! My first worrysome sign was the AC adaptor part looked slightly different. That made me nervous that it may have different voltage. And…I could not get the PDA’s ports to properly connect with the cradle. They could come really close, close enough that they’d be *almost* touching, but they need to make contact to communicate with each other. It reminded me of that scene in the final episode of Star Trek TNG when the amino acids couldn’t get together. That poor little pond of goo. They got closer, and closer, and closer! Aww! Nothing happened!

Anyway, the Trekker and the cradle wouldn’t make that satisfying click that the other cradle did, even though something appeared to be broken in the other cradle’s contacts. So, I now own a cradle that doesn’t appear to work with my PDA. If anyone owns an HP IPAQ HX 2490 PDA and needs a cradle and would like one, I’d be happy to give it a good home. I bought this cradle, so you know what you would be getting. Email me if you’re interested. We can work something out.

So, defeated and dejected, I started asking about a sync cable, and was recommended a sync cable from, in fact you’ll find the cable I was recommended on that page. It would only cost me 6 bucks, and what did I have to lose? So, after I sat and thought and worried that I would be buying yet another accessory I couldn’t use, I bought it! And…it worked! Well, first it taunted me, because the computer couldn’t find my PDA, but once I rebooted with the PDA plugged in, it found it!

It feels good to be able to do anything I could possibly need to do with my Trekker. If the software ever goes nuts, I can reinstall it. I can sync the clock with the computer. I can do all the things I was supposed to be able to do, and that includes updating the software and maps! Woooo!

Here are all the new features available in the software, taken right from Humanware.

What’s New in Trekker 3.1?

Trekker 3.1 contains a wide range of new and improved features:

1. Benefit from advanced street positioning

• Occurrences of mapping on lateral streets when crossing an intersection have been reduced.
• Improved detection of very close intersections in pedestrian and motorized modes.
• A more precise vocabulary has been adopted to describe uncertain situations (e.g. “Unavailable” messages).
• Quicker announcement of street name after turning on a lateral street.

2. Obtain enhanced route information:

• Exit numbers in roundabouts are now announced when a motorized route is activated.
• When off route, from a distance of 150 meters, automatic re-routing is allowed either in motorized and pedestrian routes. Manual rerouting is also possible.
For convenience, a one handed shortcut on the numerical pad “0” key has been added to manually re-route in pedestrian or motorized modes.
• Right Validate gives instant access to the next instruction. Left Validate gives the previous instruction. When no route is activated Right Validate announces
next intersection.
• In motorized routing, the next instruction and its distance after a maneuver at an intersection is announced automatically.
• When a route is activated Trekker gives a “Turn Back” message at intersection detection if user starts the route in the wrong direction.
• In case of quick routes destination, automatic reroute is applied when first intersection is missed.
• In the Route menu, Edit is now replaced by Rename.
• Quick routes can be created up to 100 meters away from street (both origin and destination).
• When activating a route far away from the origin, the initial instruction takes into account the current context and gives the proper instruction towards

3. Enjoy a more efficient navigation

• When travelling in a vehicle, Trekker switches automatically to motorized mode when the speed reaches 15 km/h. When getting off the vehicle, pedestrian
mode is activated. Navigation mode changes are vocally announced. The existing shortcuts for manual switches are also available.
• Distance to the next intersection is available in the Where am I information command.
• In Free mode, guidance is now provided according to clockwise instructions.
• P.O.I. and intersection detection announcements do not interrupt user requested information such as Where Am I? , Route Information and Next Instruction.

• When browsing offline, the travelled distance can be heard. This feature is available in the browsing offline verbosity settings.
• 3-way intersections are fully described even with identical names: “3-way intersection: Street A crossing Street A on your right”.

4. More Points of interest are detected

• The distance range for P.O.I. search in free mode has been increased up to 10 km. Search is now done by incremental rings. Available search distance ranges
are: 0 to 500 meters, 500 to 1000 meters, 1000 meters to 1.5 km, 1.5 to 2.5 km, 2.5 to 5 km and 5 to 10 km.
• In motorized mode, the detection range of points of interest has been increased to 50 meters.
• When browsing offline, it is possible to search for points of interest according to the current virtual position by using the Search by distance function.

5. Issues corrected

• The spontaneous creation of an additional folder on the SD card has been solved.
• Maps on the SD card are automatically activated. If there are more than four maps on the card, Trekker will activate four maps on the top of the list.
Access the settings to change the selections.
• The Search by address option is replaced by Search by name.
• Volume and Speech Rate are coordinated with Maestro System Bar settings.
• When the verbosity of P.O.Is is set to tone, P.O.I detection now works properly.
• UK dictionary has been improved, better pronunciation of certain street names.

6. New GPS Receivers are supported

Following GPS receivers have been added to the supported list:

• Holux M-1000C
• iBlue 737 A+
• iBlue MobileMate 886
• Royaltek RBT-2100 (Revision 2)

Ooo! Yup, sounds like I could do with that little upgrade. I’ll totally be diggin’ the automatic changing from motorized to pedestrian modes.

The first thing I had to do was get the newest map manager, and convert all the routes I had constructed to a new style, or something. Apparently, they had changed the format of how routes are stored, so all your old routes wouldn’t work unless you did the convert thing.

So I did that. That went perfectly.

I installed the software, and that went perfectly painlessly. I did have to laugh at a couple spots, because it sounded like it had been written by a French fellow. “Please remove all the memory card.” Heheheh!

After that was done, it was recommended that I back up my personal points of interest and routes that I had made. Well, I tried, but the map manager would have none of it. I guess, somehow, the little write protect tab on the SD card had gotten moved half way between write and read only. After that was all fixed up, I could back up my points of interest and routes, and go ahead with the maps!

Now, the maps. First, the maps are huge. You can tell they have more stuff, each map is bigger than the old ones. If you want to get the new maps, and you have a Trekker or Trekker Breeze, pop on over here to get authorization. They’ll ask for your email address and your serial number. Then they’ll send you an FTP link where you can download them. Or, I think I heard you can pay to have them shipped to you on a DVD if your computer is unreliable or your connection blows a goat or whatever.

So, now that you have the maps, you use the map manager to transfer them to your Trekker and delete the old maps. There is no other way to do it, no way, no how. Let me just warn you that it’s…sloooow. After I had somewhat wrestled with the sync connection, and other things, I started the transfer at around 1:15 ish in the morning. I only had two maps to do. I don’t think I was done until close to 4. Blech! So either start it and go to bed, or do it in the day so you won’t mind so much.

But, after much beep…beep…beep…beeping, I have new Trekker, and new maps! Woooo! I was going to take the new maps on a big ol’ test run, but the air is so thick you could suck it through a straw. So I’ll just have to settle for a mini run. But I’m so excited! I got my Trekker to talk to the computer, I got it updated, and I got the new maps! And everyone thinks I’m the biggest geek in the world. Oh well.

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