Stillwater Embedded Engineering

Hardware, Software, Firmware, and Everything

Tag: WRTA

Using Tropo SMS gateway with BusTracker

SMS Bustracker works with “Obama Phone”

TropoBustracker

A pinch of Tropo, a dash of Bustracker, fold in a pound of jata with PHP, bake for an hour and you have jata-sms.

My Android smartphone suffered a breakdown last week.    New parts should arrive soon.  But in the meantime, I was at a loss without my favorite Android app jata.  I use it to get bus arrival times with the local WRTA Bustracker.  Bustracker has a text message interface, and I thought I would try that with the backup TracFone (Safelink Obamaphone[1]).  That didn’t work.  The TracFone Terms and Conditions states that “TracFone does not generally participate in Premium SMS services or campaigns.”  The Bustracker SMS number is 41411, a shortcode for Textmarks, and I guess Textmarks is a premium service.  Then, I remembered Tropo, a gateway for voice and SMS.  It offers a free developer account and phone number, and now I had a motivation to work with it.

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  1. [1]There could be a whole other discussion about giving away the razors (phones) to sell the blades (20 ¢ / min airtime), but I’ll leave that for another day.

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

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jata

jata – an Android transit app

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

Description

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.

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