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September 14, 2006

Live from the FJ

I made a lot of progress on the FJ Car Computer project over the weekend, and I learned something about a hot topic in my industry - Presence.  Imagine you are reading this article (OK, I guess you really are), but imagine that you just really want to talk to me about this post.  Presence would give you the ability (assuming I give you permission) to see if I am available to talk via the telephone, my cell phone, one of my IM clients or by some other means.  It's one of those things that may not seem important until you experience it first hand.

As I said, I made a lot of progress this weekend.  The FJ now has full-time wireless Internet thanks to the Kyocera KR1 Broadband EVDO Router with WiFi.  Actually it is thanks to Ron Brumfield from Intel who convinced me that it would be easy to install.  He was right - I plugged it in, connected to it via Ethernet with my laptop, did a little admin and within 10 minutes I had wireless high-speed connectivity.  I then plugged it into the FJ, turned on the car computer and it magically started providing Internet access.  (If you see a Blue FJ Cruiser driving by, try plugging in an SSID of fjcruiser to your wireless device.  I'm happy to share.)

Once you connect a computer to the world via the Internet, all things are possible.  I installed Windows Live Messenger on the computer in the FJ, and then discovered that it would automatically login every time I started the FJ and the computer came on line.  Then I discovered that I could have different photos associated with my laptop and the car computer.  So now if you have me in your contacts list in Live Messenger, and you click on my name, you can tell if I'm in my office, in my car, or on line via my mobile phone.

Yesterday someone was about to call me to see if I was going to be back from lunch in time to attend a meeting, but just before they picked up the phone, they noticed that my picture in Live Messenger had just changed to the FJ, so they knew that I was on my way.  Now if only it would report my exact location, or even connect to my calendar and figure out if I was going to make it back in time based on my current route and speed . . .

Now, I feel like I have to say this.  I do not screw around with this stuff while I'm driving.  If you see that I am in the car, and you IM me, I will not answer you or probably even notice.  Part of this experiment is to improve safety on the road and I'm practicing safe car computing.  Feel free to check up on me via the new sometimes-live FJ Webcam

September 14, 2006 in Car Computer | Permalink

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Comments

Sounds like Big Brother (or at least Angela) is watching you.

Posted by: Marshall Harrison "the gotspeech guy" | Sep 19, 2006 8:08:35 AM