Saturday, November 27, 2010

Taxi Meter for Android


It’s been two months now when I started taking a taxi everyday to office. That was after I got assigned to a new office location at Fort Bonifacio. I always take the same route everyday, however the taxi meter seem to differ between taxis by up to 20 pesos which made me think that these taxi drivers maybe cheating on me.

I have created a simple android app that will serve as your personal Taxi meter. I made this to nail the trickster taxi drivers in the ass. The application uses the device’s GPS antenna to get the location and eventually the distance travelled. I call the app TaxiMate and this is my very first Android application apart from the “Hello World” app of course.

TaxiMate  TaxiMate2

The app is currently in testing phase. So, tomorrow I will be joy-riding a whole bunch of taxis just to verify if the app is working as designed and to validate if the readings in the app matches the reading in most taxi meters. Once complete, hopefully i can upload this app to Android Market so you guys can use it too. That’s all for now, going back to fixing some minor issues. ;)



I have updated the user interface to make it look like a real meter. It’s now working like a real meter except that currently it is configured for Manila taxi rate and will only display correctly on QVGA devices like HTC Wildfire.

I am currently working to make it work on every device regardless of the screen size and will make the configuration editable so this can be used in other locations.

Stay tuned…


I finally got time this weekend to fine tune the app and upload/publish to Android Market. You get it here or just take your android bar code reader or Google goggles and take a snap shot of the QR/bar code below.

This version is not configurable, its taxi rate is currently fixed to Manila taxis. Php40 Jump-in rate and Php3.50 for every 300m when the taxi is moving or 3.50 every 2 minutes when the taxi is not moving or in “Wait” mode.

Also at the moment this version will only work on QVGA devices like HTC Wildfire.



Get the barcode reader of your android phone, the QR code  will take you to application download page on Android market.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Remove “Password to Unlock Screen” on Android 2.1 Phone


You must have noticed that after you’ve set-up your your phone for Exchange email synchronization, the phone starts asking for a password every time you need to unlock the screen. You must have also noticed that the unlock pattern menu has stopped showing up in the Settings>Security menu. This is because, your phone enforces the Exchange server policy of your company. It’s the exchange server that tells your phone to enforce this security policy. It is indeed reasonable to enforce such policy because you are accessing work/company owned information but most of the time, it is very annoying having to type a password on a QWERTY on screen keypad just to unlock the screen. So I decided to look for a solution.

After Goggling around, i found this very interesting thread about developers trying to disable this annoying “feature”. So I gave it a try and it works perfectly fine on my HTC Wildfire.

I’m pretty sure you want to try it too. You may get the app from the Android market. It’s free. Thanks to the developer.

Got this from

Just search for Market > Applications > Tools > LockPicker

After installing this, you can now disable the exchange password in a few taps. Your phone now has no screen locks in place. The screen is unlocked just right after “Drag down to Unlock”. Now I wanted to re-enable to original Unlock Pattern just to have a little something to secure the data in your phone. Because you cannot find the lock pattern menu in your phone, you’ll a little help from somewhere else.  After another Google search, I found an app called “LockPattern OnOff” by curvefish. You can find this at the market. Here’s the link this is actually just a widget that will enable or disable the lock pattern

Just install the app then add the widget anywhere on the screen. Tap the widget, it will prompt you to setup a lock pattern if you have not done it prior to setting up the exchange email. Then you’re done. Try locking and unlocking your phone.


Just a few hours ago, I was wondering “how can I change the lock pattern?”. There is no menu item that you could select to change the lock pattern. The quick answer is “Pretend you forgot your lock pattern”. :) Sounds funny but it works. Just try entering wrong patterns several times until the “Forgot pattern” button shows up. Then just tap this button then enter your Gmail ID and Password, then you’re good to go. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

DIY Mic Shock Mount

For the past couple of weeks I was looking for a cheap microphone shock mount and the cheapest I saw that was available in my country was around US$160 so I decided to build a cheap one. I only spent less than $6 and a 2 hours of my not very precious time.

Before I left office today, bought materials and tools to for my DIY shock mount which are a piece of 4”-diameter PVC pipe coupling ($0.50), a set of hair ties($0.40), set of stove bolts ($0.50), a set of coping saw frame and blades ($2.5).

First, I decided to cut the PVC coupling so it would look like Rode SM3 shock mount’s frame.

GEDC0732 GEDC0734 

Then I used the section of the PVC coupling that was removed to be a attachment brace to the original mic holders base and bolted it to the base of the frame. I had to heat that part so could bend it to a desired angle.

GEDC0750 GEDC0758

And then cut slots on the edges for the rubber suspensions (hair ties).


Right after positioning the suspensions, i found a problem. The rubber bands slip every time i attempted to position the mic. So, I decided to use the extra stove bolts to serve as the stopper of the rubber band slit, and it worked.


Here’s the finished product. I spent only two hours to complete and its worth it. Just $6 and I have a universal shock mount. I may have to paint the whole thing black.

GEDC0810 GEDC0819

Now that it’s complete, I just hope this makes a difference in my recordings.

UPDATE: I have decided to do a black spray paint makeover.

GEDC0833 GEDC0838