Originally I wasn’t going to blog about this but I finally gave in so here it is. This isTracking weather another one of those things that you really just can’t do with your iPhone unless you’ve jailbroken it.

Having the weather on your lock screen is nothing particularly new, there are enough Winterboard themes that allow you to do this. However, this is slightly different. I’ve never really understood why you’d only ever want to know what the weather was like in your home town. What does it matter? That is of course unless you never actually go anywhere. Why not have the weather for where you are? Yes I know you could just look out of the window or actually go outside but that’s beside the point. What I wanted was to have the weather for where I actually am right now. So, as part of my iPhone tracking system I added the ability for the weather to follow me too. The implementation is rather simple.

Since I’m already sending my location and retrieving the wallpaper image I’m also getting an override (overRide.js) for my weather configureMe.js. The overRide.js contains a single line, the location – as per the configureMe.js format:

var locale="Lelystad,NL"

So each time the wallpaper is updated, so is this file. One of the key things you need to do to accomplish this for yourself is what is called reverse geocoding. That is, getting the name of your location from your GPS coordinates.

Now, the best way I’ve found of doing this so far is by using geonames this is a fantastic site that allows you to do the reverse geocoding without even blinking. For example, calling geonames using the url

would result in the following xml being returned

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
        <countryName>United Kingdom</countryName>

This gives you pretty much everything you could possibly want and for free too. Note the inclusion of your distance between your coordinates and the the coordinates returned (nearest named location).

Now I know what you’re thinking. Why would I retrieve a file with the data in it from my server, why not parse the xml in the javascript on the lock screen. You’re right, I could and you, possibly, should. I don’t because I keep all my GPS data in a database on that server so I update the database with the actual locations too. I don’t parse the xml on the iPhone because I don’t need to.

Of course I haven’t yet tested being in some obscure location that the weather provider doesn’t know about. Incidentally, geonames is so freaking good that, if you want to, you can download a daily dump of the database.

Lock screen weatherLock screen weather, later that day


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March 21, 2009 18:11



Computex 2008 Pictures

16 years ago, at the start of June | Leave a Comment

A couple of my colleagues are currently in Taipei attending Computex 2008. There seem to be quite a few eeepc clones and look alikes. Gigabyte Nick is uploading photos to Picasa if you want to take a look – there’s an eeepc album too. Unfortuneately it’s a fairly slow process since it appears he can only upload 5 pictures at a time for some odd reason. ASUS also have a neat GPS unit (R710) with an optional HUD, though he wasn’t sure if some sort of film would be needed on your windscreen to be sure of contrast. There are a couple of pictures of it in the GPS album. There are some exciting new products appearing so keep an eye out for updates. He also stopped by the FIC stand to ask about the Freerunner and Openmoko but, in his words:

“I asked and they said no very dismissively”

which is a huge shame really. They may be different companies (FIC is the parent iirc) but they really should at least try to fein enthusiasm – this is a trade show after all , they are supposed to be trying to get people interested in product. It simply reflects badly on FIC imho.

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June 4, 2008 11:26



The theme of the day…

16 years ago, at the end of April | 6 Comments

So, a couple more changes and updates to my images. First of all I’ve taken out the Oh-puzzles because they don’t work due to this bug – once that’s sorted they’ll go back in.theme changer There’s a new little script too which allows you to switch themes. I’ve removed some of the themes that are installed by default essentially because the panel in the top right dies and never returns if you try to use them. So at the moment you get to pick between Moko, ScaredyCat and the original Openmoko theme, openmoko-standard-2. By default the ScaredyCat theme is active. So, no excuses now. Get designing some killer themes.

The next change is due to a request from Taki asking for tangogps to be preconfigured to use the sd card for map and track storage. So now, by default, maps on my builds are stored in:


and track logs are stored in


This should be a little more useful and wont fill up your flash with tiles.

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April 25, 2008 13:25

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