Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / GPS

I am KY and I’m a gadget junkie.

I have 6 phones, 3 cameras, 4 watches, 2 desktops, and a life so entrenched in technology it is bordering lunacy. The latest shiny toy that I have with me, thanks to Kim, is a review unit of the Garmin-Asus nüvifone M10.

Garmin Asus nüvifone M10

I must be one of the earliest adopters of GPS devices. Back in 2002 I bought a usb GPS receiver, hooked it up on my laptop and drove around Northern Virginia. There were no routing program I could use back then, just a little moving dot on the map showing where I was.

I felt like James Bond, the concoction was as cool as it was impractical.

Fast forward to 2010, enter the Nuvifone M10.

Nuvifone M10 in action, a true road warrior

In essence, this is the same solution in 2002 shrunk to a little device not larger than any ordinary smart phones. Running Windows Mobile 6.5.3 Professional with full featured Garmin GPS.

Flip it around (actually works in portrait mode too) to landscape mode, search or input your destination, click a button, and viola! The phone is now a true blue GPS device.

The Garmin GPS is definitely not stripped down mobile version found in some other phones. It is turn-by-turn navigation that actually speaks out the road names, and there’s even junction view too.

Since it’s a Nuvifone designed to move you, locking on GPS is a snap. I can’t tell you how many times I actually need to stop the car and wait for GPS on my other phones to lock, no such problem with this nifty little thing.

The car kit for M10 is pretty smartly designed. I like how the power cable is connected to the kit so when you remove the phone from the kit there’s no need for the extra step to take off the cable.

the bright 3.5″ screen

The 3.5 WVGA display is bright and very refined. With 800 x 480 pixels, it is actually very useful to browse most websites without having to scroll side to side especially when you use it in landscape mode.

For the workaholics, there’s also Office Mobile with the familiar Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

mini keyboard and wireless manager

When I first lay these fingers on Windows Mobile, it was on a Sharp PDA with a built in 36 kbps modem (to hook up with an actual phone line!) running on Windows CE 2.0. It didn’t have colors, it was sluggish, sucks battery faster than little kids with on lollipops, and downright impractical. Of course, that was something like 1999.

Actually even just a few years back working with Windows Mobile 2003 and version 5, I wasn’t impressed. However, with version 6.5, I think Microsoft has finally gotten it right. The UI is much cleaner, sleeker, and finally very usable. The touch interface is very responsive too.

sample photo shot with the M10

The M10 comes with a 5 megapixel camera that takes pretty good photos, just about the only qualm I have with this phone is the lack of flash (just like iPhone). Fortunately, the sensor managed to do pretty well even in pretty low light condition. The above photo is taken straight out of the camera at KLCC during night time when it wasn’t brightly lit.

I hooked up the phone on my work laptop running Windows 7 trying to download the photos, and within a few minutes this little applet showed up – Windows Mobile Device Center. At the end of the day, mobile phones running Windows Mobile is going to beat any other platform when you pair it up with a Windows machine.

Here you can download/transfer photos, music, video, change device setting, install programs, etc etc. Pretty cool, I didn’t even insert the CD to the laptop and all this was done automatically.

The Garmin-Asus nuvifone M10 will be released on the 25th of March, and I’ve heard that it’s gonna be priced below RM 1.8k.

I think this is unquestionably the #1 choice if you’re looking for a GPS phone, nothing I’ve tried came close to it, unless you prefer to have a 14″ laptop in your car…

In the middle of last year, I embarked on a little project to the KY eats section by spending quite a bit of time geo-tagging (almost) all the food entries for the GPS savvy readers.

Since then, google map has evolved to be a pretty useful mapping tool for Malaysia, complete with updated road names and navigational ability (right click on the maps and choose Directions from here, or Directions to here). You can also tag locations and create your very own custom maps so long as you have a google account. It is all pretty neat.

This got me an idea to make the food review locations a little bit more visual, so if you know where you want to eat, you can browse all the reviews I’ve done that are closest to the area.

In the past few days, I spent quite a bit of time creating custom google maps just for this purpose. So ladies and gentlemen, here goes!

Top Banner Links

The links to the maps are found on the top banner as well as the right sidebar under PAGES of this blog.

I now have maps for KL, PJ & Selangor, as well as Penang. More shall come soon, and these maps are constantly updated whenever an entry is added to this blog. I think I will also differentiate the type of food with different icons in the future to (default icons are limited).

You can drag, zoom (click the +/- sign on top left or double click on map), and clicking on individual icon shows a picture and a direct link of the food entries I blogged here. Try it out!

Here is the map of KL:

View Larger Map

What do you think? 😀

Hello everyone, how many times have you read a particular awesome food find that made you want to go there so bad, just to be frustrated by the lack of address or direction to get there? When I started writing about food, I wanted to make sure readers could find the place, hence the hand drawn map was born, in addition to address.

Over the years, I’ve received some feed backs with regards of the little maps that have gathered a little bit of recognition. Some said it’s very helpful, while others told me it’s absolutely useless (mostly female, hee-hee). To get a more concrete answer, I put up a poll that was answered by over 200 of you. The result:

  • 61% loved the maps
  • 21% requests for GPS coordinates
  • 16% said the maps are useless

So, to keep up with technology and in an attempt to make this the most friendly blog with food entries, I’ve added most of them with GPS coordinates. I’ve spent the last few days adding that to almost all the articles under PJ, KL, and Penang, and will try to complete the rest pretty soon.

For the uninitiated, GPS, also known as Global Positioning System, is free as in free beer. It is a system that simply tells you where you are. With GPS software, you can input where you want to go (via address or GPS location), and get routing information or live turn-by-turn navigation to the destination. Very nifty.

Various devices now have built in GPS supports, such as my trusted Nokia N82. You can also buy standalone GPS receivers like those from Garmin. Most devices now come with Malaysian maps, you can also get free (and very updated) maps from MalSingMaps.

Nokia N82 with Garmin GPS Software
Garmin GPS software on Nokia N82

If you have a GPS device, simply enter the GPS coordinate (like 3.156649, 101.700965 to nasi lemak RA). When the device has a lock to the satellites and creates the routes, you simply follow what it says: turn left in next 200 meters, turn right, etc. It will get you there, how cool is that?

For those without GPS device, you still can use the GPS coordinates in mapping sites such as google maps. Enter the coordinates into the search bar and you’ll get a detailed map of the location. Cool, right?

Google Map
Google Map

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Thanks to David Lian who initially got me a Nokia N95 to review, now I am a proud owner of the latest Nokia N-series phone, the N82. I guess I must be one of the earliest adopters of this little piece of mobile wonder. Less than a week into using it, and I am already very impressed.

Nokia N82
I love the candy bar form factor

I first saw this phone during the Symbian Night last month. In essence, this phone is combined the best features of the previous two that I have used. The Nokia N95, and the Sony Ericsson K800i. As much as I like the N95, I have always enjoy the power of a xenon flash when it comes to low light photography, the LED illumination from the N95 just doesn’t have enough juice in certain conditions.

Nokia N82
Carl Zeiss Tessar Lens with Xenon flash

The N82 basically has it all, other than the Xenon flash with 5 megapixel camera, it has got Wifi, HSDPA (3.5G), bluetooth, GPS, EDGE, NGAGE game engine, and all the multimedia features that matters. I think the only thing that they removed from the phone is the infrared port, something that I haven’t used in years anyway.

Nokia N82
the N82 box

The package in the N82 includes a generous 2GB memory card, a stereo hands free earphones, a TV output cable, charger, and the new micro USB cable. I was at first a little disappointed looking at the new USB connector, thinking Nokia has gone back to the way of propriety interface.

After a little bit of investigation, I found out that it is actually a new USB standard that is geared towards mobile device. The mechanics of it is actually an improvement over the mini-usb, it has a little “click” feel to it when you insert the connector and able to “hold” the cable (or phone) much more securely.

Nokia N82
what’s included in the package

A couple days after getting the phone, the good people at Carlsberg sent me 3 crates of Tuborg beer for the X’mas Eve Party tonight! For the first time in my life, I have more beer than my fridge could hold (that’s 72 bottles!), it’ll be a fun night with plenty of booze to go around. Thanks Carlsberg!

tuborg beer
beer for party (picture taken with N82 with flash)

The picture is taken using my new N82 with flash. I don’t think it’ll turn out nearly as good without using the flash.

One of the many good things about hanging out with femes bloggers like suanie is that sometimes I get to indirectly enjoy some of the extra benefits she gets due to her fame. For example, I too was invited to the local movie Cinta‘s premier; and thanks to her connection (which type I don’t know) to David Lian I get my hands on a review unit of Nokia N95 to play with.

Nokia N95
Top of the line N series phone from Nokia, the N95

I have been using this phone for a better part of a week now, and frankly speaking, there isn’t much that this phone can’t do. I am used to the Symbian operating system as I had previously own a Nokia 7610 prior to the SE K800i.

While the K800i does take good pictures and have very good SMS features, it is lacking many extras the N95 offers. The N95 spots a higher resolution with the 5MP Carl Zeiss optics, then there’s the pretty useful Wifi connectivity, and on top of all these, there are GPS and push mail functions. It also supports HSDPA (3.5G), edge, bluetooth, and infrared.

The most interesting function has got to be the GPS. For the uninitiated, GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a set of satellites that allows the receiver to calculate it’s position anywhere on the surface of the earth with access to the sky. This phone includes the maps and routing program that is similar (or the same?) with the Nokia 6110 navigator that the hot chick has. I’m going to rely on the routing feature when I go to JB for a friend’s wedding and then to Penang this weekend since the Malaysian map is included.

That said, there are some minor weakness of this multimedia super phone. The most glaring being the battery life, while the basic phones could now last for almost a week on a single charge, I have to plug this thing to the wall at least every other day, but this is to be expected for something that packs so many features in it. I suppose if you are not a wifi junky and not using the GPS extensively, the battery should lasts for several more days. While the SMS function is superior to that of the iPhone (no forward, can’t send to multiple recipients), it doesn’t have the predictive words function like the newer SEs.

Still, this is a super phone and I really enjoy using it. I just got myself a car charger to eliminate the battery life issue of using GPS for hours. I wish David all the luck to pry the phone out of my cold dead fingers if he wants it back.