Pocket 110: Dhiraagu Directory for Windows Mobile - version 2!

I recently upgraded my smartphone to Windows Mobile 6 Professional and had occasion to play around with the new OS and its related software development kit a few days ago. Few hours of tinkering around with the phone and the SDK resulted in me having picked up an application I wrote in 2006 called Pocket 110 and revamping it - sort of to fit the times and to add in a few features I had thought of since the application's original release.

Pocket 110 is an application for Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones in 2006 that allows you to search through the numbers, names and addresses for the landlines and mobile lines listed in the Dhiraagu telephone directory. Unlike the previous version, the new program does away with lugging around its own directory database and instead uses real-time look-ups from the Dhiraagu E-Directory itself. This overcomes the two major shortcomings of the older version where the database searching took ages on smartphones due to low processing power and also rids the problem of outdated directory database files. The real-time look-ups do mean that the program requires access to the internet and hence incurs data transfer costs - but since the program gains a thousandth fold increase in search speed, the (low) data transfer charges are a good trade off.

I also added a couple of new features to the program while I was at it, including the ability to directly dial numbers found via directory searches. But the coolest, slickest new addition is the "CallerInfo" feature. The feature offers a replacement for the default "Incoming Call" call screen for numbers that are of Maldivian origin and listed in the Dhiraagu E-Directory. When you receive a call, CallerInfo can automatically look up the details of the incoming caller and present the caller's name and address details - that way, almost every caller is identifiable at ring time even though that originating number is not in the contact list. If that doesn't make sense, run the program and call your phone from a number that is not in your contacts list - the program should display the calling number's details... in a mere few rings/seconds.

Pocket 110 v2 is optimised for Windows Mobile 6 but should run fine on Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones running Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 5. You will need to have a recent version of the .NET Compact Framework installed (which most phones do these days!). Pocket 110 takes up about 200Kb and can be installed simply by copying the provided CAB files onto the device and executing them on the device. Make sure you have GPRS or EDGE configured and working, otherwise the searches will fail and the program will inform you of so.

- Pocket 110 v2 (for Windows Mobile 2003/5/6)


Program icon in the application listing

Program main screen with search query entry.

Search results listing

Search result item details

Menu options

Options - enable/disable the CallerInfo feature

About the program

CallerInfo in action! :-P

Have fun!

Lunar eclipse photos

Here are some snaps of the moon during this morning's total lunar eclipse. The images are nothing special (and of pretty low quality) but given that I had no equipment other than an outdated digital camera this was the best I could have done.

Total lunar eclipse - not visible in the Maldives

I just scanned over the news headlines of the Maldivian media to see if there has been any mention of the lunar eclipse that is to take place tomorrow morning but, quite unsurprisingly, found none. Anyway, I thought I'd dish out some useful info for anyone interested in it.

Although tomorrows eclipse is a total lunar eclipse the eclipsing will not be visible in the Maldives as the moon sets well before it happens. Instead, Maldives will witness what is known as a penumbral eclipse starting 5:34 AM on 21 Feb (local time) as the Moon enters the penumbra - which, sadly, most likely will not bring about much discernible difference for the naked eye. At the time, the moon will be well on its way to set and can be seen approximately West-Northwest at an elevation of 9.5 degrees in the sky. The moon sets at 6.18 AM, which is well before the partial eclipse phase kicks off at 6.43 AM.

If you are disappointed, then wait for the partial lunar eclipse that is to take place on the 16 of August this year which should be clearly visible throughout the Maldives. As for me, I hope to be up tonight watching this magnificent event here in the UK where the total eclipsing is to be visible - it truly is a wondrous sight after all!

More info:
- NASA page about the 20 February eclipse including the visibility mapping
- General information on eclipses (+ listing of future eclipses)

Hope that was useful. :-)

Javascript Unicode Keyboard Handler for Thaana

Here's something that is probably going to be very useful to the Maldivian web developers working on Unicode-based Thaana web pages. It is a Javascript utility function that translates keystrokes into the appropriate Unicode Thaana characters. Hence, it makes it possible for HTML text input and textarea fields (and similar) to accept Thaana without having to require the user to switch the keyboard language on their computer. Such a feature contributes for a better user experience as the user can simply enter Dhivehi without the extra hassle. The code has been tested with no problems found on Firefox 1/2/3 and Internet Explorer 5/6/7.

If you would like a demo, I recommend you check out the text entry box at Radheef.com and see the HTML behind it. A few developers seem to have already adopted my code as at Radheef.com and utilized it in their work - haamadaily.com, sangudaily.com and jazeera.com.mv and haveeru.com.mv is using the code far as I know.

I originally wrote this around 2002 while experimenting with different methods of Thaana entry for the web. The version I'm releasing here, marked as version 2.0, is a modified version from 2006. It is being released under the MIT License.

- Download unicodehandler-2.0.js


1. Link the file in the HEAD section of the page:
<script type="text/javascript" src="/unicodehandler.js"></script>

2. Attach the handler to any text INPUT, TEXTAREA or editable DIV tag:
<textarea rows="1" onkeypress="return juk_HandleKeyPress(event);"></textarea>

3. Set any Unicode-compatible Dhivehi font to be used for the field using CSS.

4. That's it!

Drop a line here if you use it and/or have problems. Enjoy.

Update (16-Aug-2008): This version is now superseded by the new and improved v3.0.

Dhivehi Radheef application for Facebook

I am launching a new Maldivian Facebook application which I had planned out as part of a scheduled series of feature updates to Radheef.com. This new Facebook application displays a random word, and its associated meaning, from the Dhivehi Radheef on your Facebook profile. Words are automatically updated everyday so as to keep your profile fresh and, perhaps even, educational.

Give it a go if it catches your fancy.

- View the application's About page on Facebook