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Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Pergola installation started in early March 2009. Photos taken but too busy to upload, anyway here the photos.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Balau Wood Flower Pot Stand

Balau Wood Flower Pot Stand, at RM 7.00 a foot - total twenty feet cost RM 140.00. Actually it from the pergola that Mr. Osman of Farouk Renovations change to a bigger size balau wood. I ask him to cut it a made into stand for flower pot. By the way anyone knows how to prevent insects from attacking my palm leaves plant.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pergola with Skylight

My pergola with skylight is finally completed. Actually it is already completed a few months ago, but because the wood is smaller and not suitable. Twenty feet span and it shows sign of curve, and Mr. Osman of Farouk Renovation is now satisfied with it. This time with a bigger sturdier balau wood it look much better. Will take a photo and post it. My pergola with skylight is finally completed. Actually it is already completed a few months ago, but because the wood is smaller and not suitable. Twenty feet span and it shows sign of curve, and Mr. Osman of Farouk Renovation is now satisfied with it. This time with a bigger sturdier balau wood it look much better.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to Identify the Product Version?

It is easy to tell nüvi 255W Mal/Sing from other nüvi 255W versions.
In the front side of its package, you will see:
“Dual maps preloaded...” highlighted:Garmin nüvi 255W Mal/Sing is preloaded with Garmin City Navigator & Malsing Maps
Display screen with junction image and lane info Featuring brief descriptions of the latest nüvi 255W features: Junction View & Lane Info

Every Garmin product is assigned with a unique part number.
On the bottom of the package, you can check its part number. And the Garmin part number assigned to nüvi 255W Mal/Sing is 010-00718-69.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What is GPS?

T The GPS Satellite System.

What is GPS?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or setup charges to use GPS.
How it works
GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location. Essentially, the GPS receiver compares the time a signal was transmitted by a satellite with the time it was received. The time difference tells the GPS receiver how far away the satellite is. Now, with distance measurements from a few more satellites, the receiver can determine the user's position and display it on the unit's electronic map.

A GPS receiver must be locked on to the signal of at least three satellites to calculate a 2D position (latitude and longitude) and track movement. With four or more satellites in view, the receiver can determine the user's 3D position (latitude, longitude and altitude). Once the user's position has been determined, the GPS unit can calculate other information, such as speed, bearing, track, trip distance, distance to destination, sunrise and sunset time and more.
How accurate is GPS?
Today's GPS receivers are extremely accurate, thanks to their parallel multi-channel design. Garmin's 12 parallel channel receivers are quick to lock onto satellites when first turned on and they maintain strong locks, even in dense foliage or urban settings with tall buildings. Certain atmospheric factors and other sources of error can affect the accuracy of GPS receivers. Garmin® GPS receivers are accurate to within 15 meters on average.
Newer Garmin GPS receivers with WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) capability can improve accuracy to less than three meters on average. No additional equipment or fees are required to take advantage of WAAS. Users can also get better accuracy with Differential GPS (DGPS), which corrects GPS signals to within an average of three to five meters. The U.S. Coast Guard operates the most common DGPS correction service. This system consists of a network of towers that receive GPS signals and transmit a corrected signal by beacon transmitters. In order to get the corrected signal, users must have a differential beacon receiver and beacon antenna in addition to their GPS.

The GPS satellite system
The 24 satellites that make up the GPS space segment are orbiting the earth about 12,000 miles above us. They are constantly moving, making two complete orbits in less than 24 hours. These satellites are travelling at speeds of roughly 7,000 miles an hour.
GPS satellites are powered by solar energy. They have backup batteries onboard to keep them running in the event of a solar eclipse, when there's no solar power. Small rocket boosters on each satellite keep them flying in the correct path.
Here are some other interesting facts about the GPS satellites (also called NAVSTAR, the official U.S. Department of Defense name for GPS):
The first GPS satellite was launched in 1978.
A full constellation of 24 satellites was achieved in 1994.
Each satellite is built to last about 10 years. Replacements are constantly being built and launched into orbit.
A GPS satellite weighs approximately 2,000 pounds and is about 17 feet across with the solar panels extended.
Transmitter power is only 50 watts or less.
What's the signal?
GPS satellites transmit two low power radio signals, designated L1 and L2. Civilian GPS uses the L1 frequency of 1575.42 MHz in the UHF band. The signals travel by line of sight, meaning they will pass through clouds, glass and plastic but will not go through most solid objects such as buildings and mountains.
A GPS signal contains three different bits of information — a pseudorandom code, ephemeris data and almanac data. The pseudorandom code is simply an I.D. code that identifies which satellite is transmitting information. You can view this number on your Garmin GPS unit's satellite page, as it identifies which satellites it's receiving.
Ephemeris data tells the GPS receiver where each GPS satellite should be at any time throughout the day. Each satellite transmits ephemeris data showing the orbital information for that satellite and for every other satellite in the system.
Almanac data, which is constantly transmitted by each satellite, contains important information about the status of the satellite (healthy or unhealthy), current date and time. This part of the signal is essential for determining a position.
Sources of GPS signal errors
Factors that can degrade the GPS signal and thus affect accuracy include the following:
Ionosphere and troposphere delays — The satellite signal slows as it passes through the atmosphere. The GPS system uses a built-in model that calculates an average amount of delay to partially correct for this type of error.
Signal multipath — This occurs when the GPS signal is reflected off objects such as tall buildings or large rock surfaces before it reaches the receiver. This increases the travel time of the signal, thereby causing errors.
Receiver clock errors — A receiver's built-in clock is not as accurate as the atomic clocks onboard the GPS satellites. Therefore, it may have very slight timing errors.
Orbital errors — Also known as ephemeris errors, these are inaccuracies of the satellite's reported location.
Number of satellites visible — The more satellites a GPS receiver can "see," the better the accuracy. Buildings, terrain, electronic interference, or sometimes even dense foliage can block signal reception, causing position errors or possibly no position reading at all. GPS units typically will not work indoors, underwater or underground.
Satellite geometry/shading — This refers to the relative position of the satellites at any given time. Ideal satellite geometry exists when the satellites are located at wide angles relative to each other. Poor geometry results when the satellites are located in a line or in a tight grouping.
Intentional degradation of the satellite signal — Selective Availability (SA) is an intentional degradation of the signal once imposed by the U.S. Department of Defense. SA was intended to prevent military adversaries from using the highly accurate GPS signals. The government turned off SA in May 2000, which significantly improved the accuracy of civilian GPS receivers.
Learn more about GPS
For more detailed information about GPS and how it works, check out our GPS Guide for beginners .

Thursday, June 4, 2009

GPS System 'Close to breakdown'

GPS system 'close to breakdown'
Network of satellites could begin to fail as early as 2010
Comments (…)
Buzz up!
Digg it (22)
Bobbie Johnson, San Francisco, Tuesday 19 May 2009 10.32 BST
Article history
It has become one of the staples of modern, hi-tech life: using satellite navigation tools built into your car or mobile phone to find your way from A to B. But experts have warned that the system may be close to breakdown.
US government officials are concerned that the quality of the Global Positioning System (GPS) could begin to deteriorate as early as next year, resulting in regular blackouts and failures – or even dishing out inaccurate directions to millions of people worldwide.
The warning centres on the network of GPS satellites that constantly orbit the planet and beam signals back to the ground that help pinpoint your position on the Earth's surface.
The satellites are overseen by the US Air Force, which has maintained the GPS network since the early 1990s. According to a study by the US government accountability office (GAO), mismanagement and a lack of investment means that some of the crucial GPS satellites could begin to fail as early as next year.
"It is uncertain whether the Air Force will be able to acquire new satellites in time to maintain current GPS service without interruption," said the report, presented to Congress. "If not, some military operations and some civilian users could be adversely affected."
The report says that Air Force officials have failed to execute the necessary steps to keep the system running smoothly.
Although it is currently spending nearly $2bn (£1.3bn) to bring the 20-year-old system up to date, the GAO – which is the equivalent of Britain's National Audit Office – says that delays and overspending are putting the entire system in jeopardy.
"In recent years, the Air Force has struggled to successfully build GPS satellites within cost and schedule goals," said the report. "It encountered significant technical problems … [and] struggled with a different contractor."
The first replacement GPS satellite was due to launch at the beginning of 2007, but has been delayed several times and is now scheduled to go into orbit in November this year – almost three years late.
The impact on ordinary users could be significant, with millions of satnav users potential victims of bad directions or failed services. There would also be similar side effects on the military, which uses GPS for mapping, reconnaissance and for tracking hostile targets.
Some suggest that it could also have an impact on the proliferation of so-called location applications on mobile handsets – just as applications on the iPhone and other GPS-enabled smartphones are starting to get more popular.
Tom Coates, the head of Yahoo's Fire Eagle system – which lets users share their location data from their mobile – said he was sceptical that US officials would let the system fall into total disrepair because it was important to so many people and companies.
"I'd be surprised if anyone in the US government was actually OK with letting it fail – it's too useful," he told the Guardian.
"It sounds like something that could be very serious in a whole range of areas if it were to actually happen. It probably wouldn't damage many locative services applications now, but potentially it would retard their development and mainstreaming if it were to come to pass."
The failings of GPS could also play into the hands of other countries – including opening the door to Galileo, the European-funded attempt to rival America's satellite navigation system, which is scheduled to start rolling out later next year.
Russia, India and China have developed their own satellite navigation technologies that are currently being expanded.

Junction View - Garmin Nuvi 255W

Yes, wide screen is great for junction view. Just look at the images.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Garmin nuvi 255 wide

Yesterday went shopping for GPS devices and bought the 255w instead 205w. The 205w is not available obsolute already. The Garmin nuvi 255 wide only cost RM899 with map of Malaysia and Singapore installed. Bahasa Malaysia and English voice command is installed in the localised version of 255w.

Nüvi® 255W
An Affordable, full-featured Navigation Device.Widescreen and preloaded with West Malaysia and Singapore Maps with Junction View and Lane Assist capability!

Go Beyond Navigation
Navigation is just the beginning. nüvi 255W includes many travel tools including JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more.
What's in the Box:
1x Nüvi 255W 1x Vehicle suction cup mount 1x Vehicle power cable 1x Dashboard disc Quick start manual.

Navigate With Ease
nüvi 255W comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded West Malaysia and Singapore maps, including a hefty points of interest (POIs) database with hotels, restaurants, fuel, ATMs and more. Simply touch the color screen to enter a destination, and nüvi takes you there with turn-by-turn voice directions, 2-D or 3-D maps and smooth map redraw rates as you navigate. Its digital elevation maps show you shaded contours at higher zoom levels, giving you a big picture of the surrounding terrain. In addition, nüvi 255W accepts custom points of interest (POIs), such as school zones and safety cameras and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs.