Thursday, January 10, 2008

Compass Correction and B-737s in the Arctic

I love getting notes from users containing unexpected uses for Pocket Stars.  Here are a couple of recent ones.

Compass Correction

Hi, just a note to say thanks for Pocket Stars.

I am a deck officer on ferries from Dover to Calais and we are still waiting for our 2008 nautical almanac, so I used Pocket Stars to calculate the azimuth of Venus this week. (We use the azimuth to do a daily check of the compass error).

My fellow officers were impressed.  I hope that you get some more sales.

Regards,  Martin

Here the capability of selecting ANY celestial object and then displaying the continuously updated altitude and azimuth is used for compass correction.

Astrocompass in the Arctic

On a separate note. I use your product for using with an astrocompass. We fly B-737s in the high arctic in the area of magnetic unreliability, the product is extremely helpful when attempting to identify a star/planet and then determining the LHA, declination for astrocompass input.

- Captain L.S.G.

Just when you're about to throw up your hands, convinced that your life is veering out of control, somebody comes along to say your product is helping to steer 737s!

GPS Configuration Utility for Smartphones

Up until now, Microsoft hasn't provided a means to use the the GPS Intermediate Driver on Windows Mobile Smartphones.  The utility has been included in most recent Pocket PCs, but for reasons unknown, a version hasn't been published for Smartphones.

Therefore, even though Pocket Stars SP was designed with the ability to use GPS input for setting the current user location, the capability hasn't really been usable without manual registry hacking.

The latest Mobile 6 Standard SDK now includes the necessary configuration utility, but I don't know if it is included with  any shipping devices.  But it sounds like you can download and install it on any device with a built-in GPS.  Download from here.

I don't currently have a Smartphone with a built-in GPS, so please let me know if install this utility and then use Pocket Stars SP correctly acquires the GPS location.