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Old 02-10-2007, 08:24 AM   #1
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PDA/Smartphone users - Vehicle Manager

If you're like me, you like recording data such as fuel mileage, and like to keep track of maintenance and expenditures.

I had been using a notebook to manually write everything down. I even tried messing around with Excel Mobile to try to come up with a spreadsheet to calculate things like fuel economy, and tally up total fuel used, and how much $$ I had spent... but geeze, Excel Mobile is tricky to use. Even the regular desktop version is tricky! So I was laying there trying to sleep the other night (I have a thinking problem... it really contributes to my insomnia), there MUST be some PPC software that could do all of this stuff - record fillups, odometer data, fuel costs, maintenance costs... and generate simple reports based on this data.

So yesterday I searched around, and was amazed how fast I found something.

Vehicle Manager

I downloaded the free trial and played around with it. It's pretty nifty! I transcribed my fuel data into it, and then started playing with the maintenance entries. You can edit them and add your own labels. It asks you for the label, date, mileage, cost and even the location (like Jiffy Lube or Wal Mart -not that I'd let either of those establishments touch my car)

Then you can go to a Quick Stats page that shows a summary of a lot of information. This is pretty slick!

You can use it for several vehicles, too!

Here's a few screenshots from the publisher (www.iambic.com)







Here's their page about it. There's a Windows version for desktops (not sure if it syncs with the PPC version), a Windows Mobile version, and a smartphone version:

Vehicle Manager PPC


You guys might not be into this kind of stuff, but since I recently bought a PPC (Dell Axim) for use as a navigation device, I figured, I might as well use it for some other vehicle related stuff!

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Old 02-12-2007, 12:09 PM   #2
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Hey how did the GPS / Dell PDA hookup work out for you?

I am still thinking of that route and would like any feedback you have.

Thanks

-T
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:01 PM   #3
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damn you pay alot of gas! Its about $2.59 9/10 a gallon here
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:58 PM   #4
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Oh, those aren't screenshots from MY PDA!! I filled up this weekend for $2.19/gal for premium!

Travis, the PDA is working out great for sat nav. I got a Dell Axim X51, a Holux GPSlim 236, Odyssey Mobile from Infogation and a nice window mount that powers the PDA and has a powered speaker (you cannot hear the PDA on it's own)

The GPS receiver is about the size of a Zippo, but a little thicker. It does have it's own battery, but only runs about 10 hours. It uses bluetooth to communicate with the PDA, and it works great. I'm thinking about mounting it in the rear storage bin, and wiring up it's adapter so it's powered when the car is on. Or mounting it in the front trunk, but I think the hood will interfere with it's reception.

The software is great, but is relatively new on the scene. It doesn't yet speak street names, and some maps/areas are out of date, but out of date data is a common problem with any navigation system.

I got the GPS receiver and window mount from buygpsnow.com, and all said and done, I think I spent around $400. (the Odyssey software was 60% off, tho, and only cost me $60) I already had the 1GB SD card, but plan on getting a 4GB card later. The nav software doesn't take much space, but if you load all of the US maps, I think it's about 2.6GB!

Anyway, the Vehicle Manager software will actually sync with the desktop version, so I ponied up for both. I'll start logging the data from my 911 in it soon, too. The desktop version also can export the data to Excel.

Overall, I'm digging the PDA as a vehicle accessory.

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2001 Boxster - Grey on Grey
1969 911T Targa - 'Stinky'

http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

"The existence of the flamethrower is evidence that someone, somewhere once said 'I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't want to have to walk over there to do it.'"

Last edited by FrayAdjacent; 02-12-2007 at 09:03 PM.
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