Hardware, Software, Firmware, and Everything

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Jata App and WRTA changes

The WRTA is changing schedules, routes, and fares, and this may affect the operation of just another transit app.  In fact I got a request from a user to update jata, and I replied:

Hi Ginny,
 Thank you for using jata.  And for your work summarizing the WRTA changes.
 A main strategy used when I wrote jata is that it uses live data from the internet, and schedule changes should not affect it.  There ARE some steps you can do to make sure that any schedule changes are  reflected in the app.  
 This describes the current (v1.3.8) jata.   Some older versions do not have a settings button on the main screen,  but have a different method to access the settings.
  • In the Jata main screen tap the "Settings" button (lower right)
  • In the "Caching" section, there is a button "Clear Cache".  Tap this.  Another Screen "Cache Options" should appear.  Select WRTA, and tap "Clear Selected"
  • Use the back button to return to main screen.  Route numbers, names, and stops should be updates per the new schedules.  Arrival times are not cached, and should agree with the WRTA bustracker web site.
 Caveat 1:  Any Favorites which have changed (route or stop has been removed) will not be updated.  You will have to check these.  
 Caveat 2:  WRTA route descriptions come from a separate web site, and are incorporated into jata using a tool at my own web site.  So getting route descriptions on the route screen will depend on the WRTA updating their gtfs file at  http://www.eot.state.ma.us/developers/  This site seems down right now and I may need to work on this.  Note that this complication arises due to WRTA's implementation of the Clever Devices tracking system.  Route descriptions could be available on the WRTA tracker site (Chicago Transit Authority includes them), but they are (or were) not.
 Please report any problems to me.  I will be checking how it behaves on Monday.
 Thanks again,

Regarding the above Caveat 2, I have contacted WRTA about the location of the gtfs file and with luck I can update jata and/or jata-glue to obtain route descriptions.

Keep on tripping!


Hacked by The People of God?

I was looking into some glue code that supports my jata android app because some bus routes had been added at the WRTA.   I immediately saw some foreign PHP code pre-pended to my own code.   The rogue code contains a function “live_stats()” which fiddles with a bunch of $_SERVER variables and either ships data to, or  receives data from the People of God web site.   The actual URL in the rogue code is http://www.pogpgh.org/session.php?id  This rogue code has been attached to more than one index.php files on my site.

WordPress Blog Spam Control with ReCAPTCHA and Akismet

First of all, even though it’s been almost a year since I started using WordPress blogging software I still feel like a newcomer.  And that’s OK, as I;m focusing on other things like Android programming, and some web programming, including HTML, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL and even database design.  Those are the current tasks,  Wordpress is a tool to record some of my experiences, as well as a vehicle to deliver my profound insights to my spellbound  readers.

Use wget to debug remote XML feeds using XmlPullParser

I was working on an Android app, jata which depends on getting data from a web based server which uses XML  I tried using an Android Document object  org.w3c.dom.Document and it worked well, but I switched to using an XmlPullParserfor performance reasons

Recursively Clear Directory with PHP

I was working on a PHP program that reads  zipped files, extracts wanted files, stores the contents in a MySql database, and finally cleans up the contents of a local tmp directory.  I develop and debug the program on a local LAMP server, then upload and test it on a public web server.  I thought it was all finished, when I noticed that the public server printed out some PHP warnings that it was trying to unlink a directory, rather than a file.

Freelancer dot com – It’s all about (their) money

Freelancer dot com is more interested in getting your dollars than it is in connecting employers with contractors.
Updated 12/20/2013

After buying that new PC, make the recovery discs!

And why is SATA AHCI such a bear?

So you bought a new PC and it didn’t come with any media to re-install the operating system in case of a crash, or if you want to install a bigger disk or switch the disk to a new Solid State one.  I doubt the manufacturers save any significant money by not putting an OS install disk in the box.  Maybe they just don’t want to make it too easy for people to put unlicensed software on too many machines.

jata development

jata development issues

Issues of general interest that do not reveal the secret sauce recipe of jata.


jata – an Android transit app

The Predictions view is the main goal of jata. Getting you there is explained below.


Jata is an Android application that displays arrival times for buses and trains.  It currently works with agencies that use the Clever Devices BusTime system.  Specifically:

  • CTA – Chicago Transit Authority
  • CCCTA – Central Contra Costa County
  • PSTA – Pinellas Suncoast Transit Transit Authority
  • WRTA – Worcester Regional Transit Authority

Version 1.2.2 makes it easier to select routes by adding a route description on the routes screen.

More BusTime agencies can be added; read more below.

Unexpected Recursion

Screenshot of recursive remote desktop sessions.

Vinagre remote desktop viewer on AcerGo connected to Grey2, which somehow made an UltraVNC connection back to AcerGo

Did you ever hold a mirror up in front of another mirror and look into the “tunnel” formed by the reflected images?  I was trying  to explain my understanding of recursion to my sister,

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