TrackMe on the Neo

16 years ago, at the end of January | 4 Comments

Remember when I mentioned my tracking application for the TomTom Go? Well last night I found a little bit of spare time so I could port it to the Neo 1973. I say ‘port’, it wasn’t so much Tracker1a port as a ripping out of the TomTom specific stuff and adding a little GTK interface. It’s not massively impressive to look at but it is actually my first GTK application. There is quite a bit of hard coded stuff in there at the moment but I do intend to move this to a config file. Currently, if the distance between the previous and current positions is below a certain threshold, a packet is not transmitted at all and position checks only occur at 15 second intervals. The data that is sent out is encrypted with a very simple algorithm, but I’m more interested in low cpu usage and speed at this point. I’m also going to be fairly honest about the state of the code at the moment, it’s not a pretty sight at all. I need to put together something on the server side to decode the packets, I know I have it somewhere, it’s just a matter of locating it.

I did wonder if the application should have an interface at all or if it should just run in the background, ‘secretly’ so that if someone stole your Neo you might actually be able to trace it.

The one thing that this did show me, however, is that you can’t actually run gllin for a particularly long time. I think it’s a minor fix but it does tend to fill up the free space on the Neo with its log data. I guess just disabling this might help, though I haven’t actually bothered to poke around with that just yet.

The other news is that to build this application I used the new toolchain and I have to say it makes life a whole lot easier. As a result I will also be building the toolchain at regular intervals and providing downloads via my buildhost. Sorry, but I can only build 32 bit versions at this time.

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January 23, 2008 14:53


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4 Comments so far

  1. Jae Stutzman on January 23, 2008 16:09

    We are doing something very similar on the Neo already. Go http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Gllin for help on how to stop the insane logging!



  2. Clarke 'Quicksand' Wixon on January 23, 2008 21:26

    Particularly the initscripts I put at

    should do away with the logging entirely. I have gpsd and gllin starting up at boot and running for days at a time.

    The gllin package as-shipped is nuts.

  3. MikeD on January 25, 2008 21:54

    “I did wonder if the application should have an interface at all or if it should just run in the background, ’secretly’ so that if someone stole your Neo you might actually be able to trace it.”

    Um, yes. The owner should have full control over whether this functionality runs or not. Those of us who don’t want our phones tracking our every movement should be able to turn it off. The thing that excites me most about openmoko/neo is just this ability – we own it and can determine what runs and what doesn’t, based on what we believe should run on our device. No tin-foil hat here – just the belief that if I own it, I control it – completely.

  4. ScaredyCat / Andy Powell on January 28, 2008 09:30


    The application is designed to be installed by the user, configured by them so that *they* can track their device, for example, from a home pc. It is not designed so that your position is reported to some monster server farm.

    There are a couple of instances that sprang to mind when I started out. Tracking your phone if it got stolen and tracking your kids, but it was all designed so that the owner (or their parents) could do the tracking. Seriously, no big brother stuff here.

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