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CSSA  September 2009

CSSA September 2009

Subject:

Re: CatTrack Updates - Neutral Nathan

From:

Jacob Beauregard <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Computer Science Student Association <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 6 Sep 2009 00:19:21 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (133 lines)

Hope to here from you. Give me a call 603-988-7094.

Balaban, Stephen A. wrote:
> Hackers!
>
> How has everybody been?  It sure has been a while, I was in China and have recently returned.  
> During the summer I decided to transfer to the University of Michigan and will be carrying 
> out the remainder of my studies there concentrating in CS!  I have been following the CatTrack email thread for
> a while and thought I would run in, violently chuck two copper monetary units and run back.
>
> At UMich there is something called "Magic Bus" something that sounds a lot like what you
> guys are looking into.  I thought I would share it, post some links, and maybe add a bit to the
> discussion.  Disclaimer:  i obviously have had no involvement with this Magic Bus project besides
> being a very happy recipient of its services.  If you want to know in-depth technical details about
> how they went about making this project, I can attempt to put you in touch with the people involved.
>
> Main Link to the Magic Bus website:
> http://mbus.pts.umich.edu/
>
> A little more information:
> http://mbus.pts.umich.edu/aboutus.php
>
> We havn't started school yet over here, but, I will be seeking out club membership at UMich's CSSA
> equivilent (as if theres a CS club that can equal the CSSA) and hope that we can do some cross-border
> hack-a-thons over the intarwebs.  
>
> Live long and prosper,
>
> sabalaba
>
> ________________________________________
> From: Computer Science Student Association [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Evan Karpeles [[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Saturday, September 05, 2009 2:25 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: CatTrack Updates - Positive Polly
>
> First off, excuse my spelling, in advance. It's kind of late. There
> are a few sections to this email. First part is for Chris (and all
> others interested in reading). Second part is updates -- what we've
> done on the project so far. Third part are FAQs (questions and answers
> from Andrew and Chris's emails). The last part is for everyone on how
> we should proceed.
>
> *Chris*
> You definitely have valid points. There are a few reasons why I think
> live tracking would still be a good idea (but know I am very open to
> persuasion and we should continue to discuss this). My arguments are
> as follows...
>
> Even if the buses stay pretty close to the schedule, it would be nice
> to be able to go online and check the buses location instead of
> waiting outside during the winter. I know of a lot of people who get
> out of classes and wait for more than 10 minutes for the bus to come.
>
> Secondly, the project can definitely reach a wide audience, would be
> fun to do, and wouldn't be overly difficult (or too expensive). In
> addition, I am sure people would benefit from the live bus tracking
> for the buses that take the off campus route during weekends
> (considering they only make cycles every half hour or so).
>
> I really don't think people would want to spend the time to check an
> estimation of the bus's current location, online. The point is having
> the convenience of being able to plan. Imagine just missing a bus (and
> not knowing it) and waiting 20 minutes in the cold because you thought
> it was just running a few minutes late. It would be much nicer to
> continue hacking in the lab and then run down to the bus stop 1
> minutes before it was due for arrival.
>
> The project also has a cool factor which has the potential to attract
> new students, lead to future research and funding opportunities, and
> get the CSSA some publicity. This has been the first project that
> people have really been excited about and it would be nice to (in some
> shape or form) get a project of this magnitude and significance
> completed. That said, I'd be just as happy to put my time in another
> project (instead) that has the potential to reach a large number of
> UVM students, will be a challenge, and will get CSSA-ers excited.
>
> *Updates*
> Friday night we did get some work done that would be useful for us to
> reach our goals no matter which implementation of this project we
> choose (totally simulated or live tracking). Leif and I managed to get
> a mercurial repository set up and discussed plans for designing a
> testing interface. The repository can be found on Deadowl @
> /home/css/projects/CatTrack. So far, I haven't done too much with the
> website interface -- just worked on creating a basic framework. I did
> manage to hack together a really crappy threadable client script in
> python which emulates several cell phones concurrently submitting
> realistically generated data at set time intervals. So far the
> multi-threading has not been completed. It just emulates a single
> phone session. The actual thread spawning shouldn't take more than 20
> minutes to get up an running based on the existing framework.
>
> Leif was working on creating a parent application which could send the
> generated pseudo cell phone data as a text message to the cssa@cems
> email account (via python twisted pop3). He also got a great start on
> a database schema.
>
> I tried to make very verbose messaged for commit logs (in hg) and keep
> documentation of my thought process but it would still be really nice
> to get a wiki page up. I'll look into Redmine and see what I can do.
>
> *FAQs*
> - We could hook the phones up to a permanent power source or find a
> way to hack them into a low power usage mode (sleeping with wake-up
> broadcasts)
> - We could find a way to "hibernate" them either via cron job or
> remotely (by software hacking cheap phones.
> - Students can send a text with a number representing a bus stop and
> get a message back with a time (ETA).
> - Could test it with just one or two phones and see if anyone uses it.
> - We can hide the phones on the bus or create an enclosure to prevent
> tampering or have it be near the bus driver(s).
>
> *ALL*
> I'm open to anything. Let's do some testing to see how accurate the
> pre-determined schedule is before continuing. If the buses are as
> accurate as we suspect, no reason to go overboard. Everyone agree? If
> nothing more, we at least have a good place to start.
>
> Cheers and congratulations if you made it this far!
>
> Sincerely,
> - Michael E. Karpeles
>
> --
> UVM ACM Chapter
> CSSA Vice President
> CSSA Secretary
> www.uvm.edu/~mkarpele
>
>
>   

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