This year there has been a definite shift from being set countless individual problem sheets to having fewer, larger group projects. No small part of this is our Software Engineering project where we have been challenged to design, code and implement a program to run on a Windows Mobile powered PDA.
We are free to design what we wish, with the only constraints being that it must use databases and the inbuilt GPS in some way. In many ways this freedom is great, although the openness did make it hard at first to get settled on exactly what we were going to do. In the end we settled on a fitness program that would log your route as you run around Southampton, whilst keeping track of your speed, calories burned and maybe more depending how creative we can get.
My main challenge has been to interface with the GPS and get it churning out useable data. This wasn’t easy, but in the end I managed to come up with a solution that I felt should work. However, testing the program turned out to be even more challenging then coding it in the first place…every time I was in a position to go out and test it the heavens opened and sadly GPS doesn’t work inside! The weather over the last few weeks has really been absolutely crazy, but yesterday it finally settled down for enough time to get some good testing done and thankfully it all worked ok.
I’ve spent this afternoon trying to learn Google’s KML language to try and plot the routes over Google Maps – progress has been ok but there are still quite a lot of problems to overcome if I’m going to make it happen. We’re hoping to have all our basic functionality implemented before we break up for the Christmas holidays, so I think I’m going to have a busy weekend!
It’s not going to be all work though – Sunday sees the first main SUJO gig of the year over at the Tower Arts centre in Winchester. I’m really looking forward to it as it will be a great chance to show off all the hard work we’ve been putting in. We follow this by another big gig on Thursday evening down in The Cube in the Student’s Union and I’d highly recommend coming to check us out!