Wednesday, May 31, 2006

WirelessMon V2 build 1000, 2nd attempt

In a second, deeper attempt quite a few bugs got uncovered from the current version of WirelessMon, build 1000. (Maybe I should try a new build which might have happened already in their build cycle).

I tried to adjust a map using the directions from this page. In fact, the idea of creating a "Wireless Coverage Map" using GPS and AP data is the whole point behind the Professional version of this product. So, for now $50 is the price ticket on this one.

Hexagons

One thing you will need to figure out is the size of an hexagon for a given map resolution. If you are using Level 5 Topo from USGS (1:24,000) for example that translates in one inch of map for each 2,000 feet of landscape. So, do the math or go visual.

Samples can be taken automatically and placed as colored hexagons over the map (you can also control their transparency). The greenest the strongest. Red indicates low power signal.

Map calibration is always tricky and here this is no exception. For example, if you hit the Set Point button and then try to move the map at their slide bars, notice how the cross icon in the mouse is gone. So, move the map to position before you hit the Set Point button.

Things like that make your life harder and people don't go for hard. Hard to take in, I know. In another point I got a value outside the 180/-180 range in the longitude field and only got rid of it using -1 which seemed to be the only valid amount I could get accepted.

Another thing to notice is that you need to manually add the AP's you want to see displayed. That also should be made automatic within a given interval, like the one used for Automatic Sampling. My 10 cents for v2.5.

QA works

WirelessMon 2.0 is an improvement over previous products that I've seen around, but still got a good fieldtest to run and improvements to add, for example why display the corresponding lon/lat of every single pixel when you are moving the mouse around the map? That makes anyone dizzy. Show only every nth whatever. Make it easier in the eyes. They get tired fast.

In general, a good improvement for a new release. Keep it up, take it easy and improve QA because it shows.

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