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Some thoughts and suggestions

СообщениеДобавлено: 16 авг 2014, 00:33
Well, after a couple of weeks playing with hobdrive on my external GPS unit (CS9200RV) on Lexus RX300 OEM monitor with 480x234 resolution, I think I am able to share my observations and suggestions about this undoubtfully useful program.
Of course, there are still pending questions and I hope that I will receive support from the developers team, but as for now:
Along with the good words said in this forum about the program that I won't repeat again, my focus is how to help make things even better so...

1. The problem: As a representative of the external GPS module owners, I have to say that the program is definitely SLOW for 800MHz processor and 128MB RAM and 96MB ROM... Maybe is OK for handheld GPS units (WinCE or Android) with more resourses and complete OS, but in my case, everything is "stripped" down to minimum so incredibly slow start and once started takes all
the resources of the unit. Almost impossible to start another program, the backup camera image is "steering" and so on. I can not even think about having it all the time ON. And having in mind that the new versions come even more "heavy" (and that's normal) and I don't know about the future...

Like everything else in this life, is all about personal taste and the will of the programmers. I will explain my point of view and my personal preferences and of course, I'll ask for little help from the team. The first thing is first:

I'm not interested in any fuel calculations at all. It's impossible to use them in daily bases. The fuel tank level must be set manually everytime, the fuel price (at least around here) is often changed, so again must be set manually everytime, fuel in idle, fuel in motion, fuel per hour, per week and so on...until the moment you forget or don't want to start the program and everything goes away.
Too much mathematics and too much processor power and very little practical use.

The important thing is the average fuel consumption between the fillups (like it is in all OEM computers) and the tank level in litters reported by the vehicle. (Unfortunately I know that few of them offer that sensor).

The things that really matter, are the readings of the engine status and performance - HP or loads, acceleration, all kind of temperatures, shift position for AT and similar kind of stuff and of course the diagnostics and clear trouble codes functions.

The solution: Customizable settings with ON/OFF sensors. Customizable screens with posibility to SHOW/HIDE sensors and screens. This way you can create appearance as you like and save a lot resources which are otherwise wasted.

2. The problem: I don't know I'm not a programmer and maybe it's a requerement of the program language choosen, but why so many configuration files? Default.gauge, hobdrive.gauge, default.vehicles, default-landscape.layout, default-hobd.layout, default-hobdrive.layout plus 5 .lang files plus as many user.xxx files etc... (Speaking of which, I've been reading in the forum to make changes in the user.layout file but in my case I always have to change both (default-landscape.layout too) to have effect on the program. Why is that?)

The solution: One exe, one config file and several ecuxml to choose from.

3. The problem: Last but not least - the interface. I'm not speaking about colours, animations and other fancy and even more power consuming stuff. It's a whole lotta science about the human perception. A lot more people prefer the analog watch over the digital because you perceive it almost subconcsiously. The same rule here, even more if you are driving. That's why the car is for, right?

The solution: Simple graphical representation of the gauges (where it's possible) like moving dot in square (Nissan GTR) representing acceleration, rounded bars in three colors for voltage (Outback), analog needle for engine load or remaining engine power (Rolls Royce) etc, etc. There is nothing new under the sun...

Once again, this is just my personal opinion, not for criticism, just trying to make the things better and the success of the program - bigger. Like I said in one of my previous posts, there are not WindowsCE programs like this! Unlike for Android, where there are plenty and the competition is severe.

The images above are small example of what I'm talking about:
In the first place, how I tried to improve the looks with my very little knowledge of Photoshop and second, if you notice, the check engine light in the left upper corner. The message says "Low Fuel Efficiency". What the hell?!!
As you see, I don't have any fuel sensor on the screen. This is my only screen. Why the program is showing me that?
And on the other hand, I'm driving 2 kilometers per day, 2 tons, 4x4, 3000cc machine in rush hour in the center of the city, with climate control ON at near 40 degrees Celsius...What fuel efficiency do you what me to have?

Re: Some thoughts and suggestions

СообщениеДобавлено: 22 авг 2014, 15:37

Thanks for your thoughts. Some my comments:

1. Unfortunately thats due to internal application platform (.net) and overall winCE misperformance.
We tend to try supporting low end devices for a year or two more, but honestly this is real hell sometimes, so we gradually trying to shift our users to android/windows phone platforms.
Event low-end android devices are good for hobdrive, and wince is dead unfortunately.

2. Thats just a matter of modular design. Each config represent its own area of configuration. They could be substituted and mixing without any issues. Moreover, our ultimate target is hide low level configuration from regular user (but keep it for experienced users).

3. Thats a most harmful area, and we constantly trying to improve here. I understand your position being not interested in "fuel consumption" numbers. we are moving in a way to provide alternative "configuration set" for "engine state" fans. But understand us, the core developers are from the region where fuel calculation and money tracking is very important. Thats why you see some "shift" to fuel calculation craziness. Again, we tend to implement more in "performance view" area.

Re: Some thoughts and suggestions

СообщениеДобавлено: 23 авг 2014, 10:35
Thanks for the reply.
I understand of course your position. There always will be unsatisfied users
because you know a hundred users - hundred plus one opinion...
Still I had some specific questions that I will be grateful if I could receive answer:

1. Is there a way that I can pull out the correct data of the shift position sensor for Toyota? For now it's working more or less, but why if I'm 90 km/h and above it shows position "12" and when it shifts down sometimes shows "11"? If you are on slow speeds it shows the shift position correctly.

2. Is there a way to switch off (to exclude) sensors from the calculations? As you see in the photo
there are no fuel sensors and still it shows "Engine check" sign with "Low Fuel Efficiency Error".

3. For my specific case, I have "touch problem" with the far edges of the screen. Is there a way to make the button "Exit" a little bit bigger?

Thanks in advance

Re: Some thoughts and suggestions

СообщениеДобавлено: 25 авг 2014, 13:00
1. Thats a bug, we'll fix in soon. 12/11 is an extra ECU bit, meaning gydrotransformator lock is active.

2. You may press "Fast diagnostics mode" - that will force hobdrive to stop MPG background calculations. We however don't have an option to enable this mode on startup. Will add that.
"Low efficiency" warning is an LTFT threshold overlap warning. You may increase the guard value in vehicle settings to get rid of it.

3. Open up the theme file you use, find there "PopupButton" style definition, and increase its font size, f.e. make its <size>normal</size>
But this'll increase all the low bar buttons size.

Re: Some thoughts and suggestions

СообщениеДобавлено: 25 авг 2014, 16:02
Thanks for the reply. I'll do that but does it mean that for now I have to press the fast mode every time I start the program?

P.S. Sorry but it seems I cannot find these settings: Fast Diagnostic Mode and Low Efficiency threshold. Where they lay?

Re: Some thoughts and suggestions

СообщениеДобавлено: 27 авг 2014, 10:04
Fast Diagnostic Mode
Low Efficiency