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Workarounds for CoPilot's problems.
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DanB
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. My question,which you quoted, was

'Has anyone on this thread actually posted an informative and useful suggestion about how we, as users, can make CoPilot better to use?'

Your response doesn't seem to answer that question, it's just another moan about the software.

So, for the second time

Has anyone on this thread actually posted an informative and useful suggestion about how we, as users, can make CoPilot better to use.

Thank you

Dan
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GrimBeard
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DanB wrote:
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. My question,which you quoted, was

'Has anyone on this thread actually posted an informative and useful suggestion about how we, as users, can make CoPilot better to use?'

Your response doesn't seem to answer that question, it's just another moan about the software.

So, for the second time

Has anyone on this thread actually posted an informative and useful suggestion about how we, as users, can make CoPilot better to use.

Thank you

Dan


I think I have, see my 'Voices' post, a few posts earlier.

GB
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DanB
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I'll go and see if I can find it through all the piffle. Smile

Dan
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GrimBeard
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's in a seperate post called voices, I'm not clever enough to link to it!!

GB
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PONDEROUS
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, DanB, I have posted two workarounds. Unfortunately, they both involve the purchase of other applications.

The first is Geopostcodes, which helps with the flawed database search facility and also works to 7-digit postcodes and finds rural addresses - which Copilot does not do as yet.

The second is Microsoft Pocket Streets. This gets over the lack of a decent map of an area in Copilot with nearby custom POIs displayed. Poscket Streets, unlike Copilot, enables these to be downloaded from a list of 7-digit postcodes.

I would take the opportunity of mentioning that I am unsure how many PDAs have sufficient resources to run Pocket Streets in the background while Copilot is itself running, and vice versa.

The fact remains that Copilot itself is seriously flawed and deficient. Similarly, some workarounds have not been workarounds. While that is the case, forum users will, quite rightly, say so.

As to DanB, he does not "give a monkeys" either way. Point taken, Dan B. However, where are your workarounds, may I ask?
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DanB wrote:
So, for the second time

Has anyone on this thread actually posted an informative and useful suggestion about how we, as users, can make CoPilot better to use.


For the second time, here is my reply: ;)

quite simply there is no viable workaround for most of them

So the straight answer is "No, because there are none".

It may appear that we are a bunch of angry users having an incoherent rant, but this is only because the problems and potential workarounds have been discussed to death a long time ago and there are no fixes for the problems forthcoming.

And ALK are still doing NOTHING.
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PONDEROUS
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For once, I have to disagree with Skippy. Those of us who want CP 5 fixed have been neither incoherent nor guilty of ranting.

We have carefully explained the problems, and also the limitations of some proposed workarounds. We have questioned some theories about how things work. We have pointed out where opinion has been advanced as fact, and fact dismissed as opinion. We have said wherever else things just don't add up.

Regarding the original purpose of this thread, we have tried to suggest ways to manage the thread to achieve it - without any constructive response.

The reason why this thread has at times become overloaded is largely that there has been an erroneous belief that to point out a fault is somehow forbidden, or "negative". In fact, just what is or is not a fault has to be understood before any solution can be found - at ALK or anywhere else. Therefore, efforts to clarify these issues are most certainly positive .

A great deal of space has also been consumed by the equally mistaken belief that because some users are content to put up with Copilot as it is, then everyone else must do likewise - and pretend that the faults or deficiencies do not really exist. Skippy raises a highly relevant case in point; i.e. Traffic. That's fine for those who don't want it, but what about those who do? I know what. They need to take every opportunity they can to get it, and that includes highlighting the problem on these forums.

A third way in which the thread has become enlarged is with content that is patently designed to be destructive and mischievous.
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neil01
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skippy wrote:
DanB wrote:
So, for the second time

Has anyone on this thread actually posted an informative and useful suggestion about how we, as users, can make CoPilot better to use.


For the second time, here is my reply: ;)

quite simply there is no viable workaround for most of them

So the straight answer is "No, because there are none".


I do not believe that there are not any workarounds for many of the problems.

For example, I prepare my route in advance, if it is not suitable (unfortunately as many know all to well, this is the case on a regular basis) I use waypoints to 'force' the route I want.

Additionally, I keep an up-to-date atlas with me, and if I have a problem I can pull over and revise my route.

I fully apreciate that this may be totally unaceptable to you, and to many others, posibly even the majority of users, but what I feel you must start accepting, is that it may be a workable solution (of sorts) to others. To some of us, anything which helps us reduce (if not fix) the problems is of interest.

When I started this thread, it was my intention for like minded people to be able to share fixes and workarounds - even if they were only a partial fix/workaround on the basis that any improvement is better than none. It was also asking if others wanted an area free from opinion about the inadequacies of the product, inadequacies which I have never denied or defended.

I don't have a problem if my way of working/using the product being unacceptable to anyone, but what I do have a problem with (and I simply don't know if you are in this category) is with anyone who refuses to see that this (admittedly laborious) way of working may be acceptable to anyone else. Or that some aspects which may make the product unusable for one, may have little or no impact on someone else.

CoPilot isn't perfect, but before I would ditch it I would have to ask myself if I would wan't to go back to how I used to plan my route before, and so far the answer has always been no.

When I did my research before buying the product, I had to weigh the pro's and cons of various products, absolutely nothing so far has made me feel that I made a mistake. Quite simply, at the time, CoPilot was the best product for me.

Yes, I have many reservations about how the product works (or doesn't), and no, I will not be automatically upgrading to any future version - I will be checking out the market again.
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PONDEROUS
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neil01

I really don't think that anyone who has posted regarding problems with CP 5 has shown any indication that they do not believe that others have the right to their solutions, or to air them.

Problems have, however, arisen when the solutions have been advanced as panacaeas, or users told they must use them and like it. There does also have to be intervention when the solutions do not work as alleged - however, I repeat myself...
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iankb
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skippy wrote:
And ALK are still doing NOTHING.

To be pedantic, they are saying nothing. I only hope that they acknowledge some of the problems before they bring out CP6. Otherwise, there is no reason to stay with CoPilot. While I have far fewer problems on here than some, the routing algorithm is definitely ignoring some major cross-town roads in preference of much longer routes that, presumably, have higher classifications.

I wonder whether the problems are because of fundamental differences between the way in which CoPilot expects roads to be classified in the map data, and the way in which the map providers actually code the data. It seems to me that CoPilot expects the roads to be properly classified according to their actual usage, while the map suppliers are crudely classifying them according to 'A', 'B' etc. Within towns, the main routes are often completely different to what one might expect from their national number classification, and this is especially true of routes that go against the grain by not following the main radial flows in and out of town.

I also wonder whether they properly allow for the overheads or not of road junctions. In the UK, I might allow left turns in preference to right turns because, on average, they lose less time. However, this would differ between countries (LHD/RHD) and I often think that their incorrect routes are unnaturally choosing immediate right turns in preference to left turns. i.e. There is a tendency to go too far to the right and then have to work back.
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PONDEROUS
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iankb writes:

Quote:
I wonder whether the problems are because of fundamental differences between the way in which CoPilot expects roads to be classified in the map data, and the way in which the map providers actually code the data. It seems to me that CoPilot expects the roads to be properly classified according to their actual usage, while the map suppliers are crudely classifying them according to 'A', 'B' etc.

To produce Shortest routes, Copilot need only "know" which roads are impassable, so that road classification should not enter into it unless the user wants to exclude one or more road class. Whether it does enter into it is, of course, another question.
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neil01 wrote:
I do not believe that there are not any workarounds for many of the problems.


I didn't say there weren't any workarounds, I said that there weren't any viable workrounds. I fully accept that there are workarounds for some of the problems (eg routing) but my opinion is that they aren't viable.

Some people like yourself, seem to be able to work around the problems and please understand that I accept this too. We are all entitled to our opinions, even if we do get heated about them sometimes. Smile Embarassed

The root cause of my problem is that I expected that the SatNav system would be at least as good as the old Garmin GPS-V that I was replacing but sadly I found it was seriously deficient in comparison.

For me, CoPilot fails the "wife" test. ie, would I give this system to my wife to use as a satnav system when driving our two children around in the car. The answer is a resounding NO. I think that planning routes with waypoints and understanding the intricacies of CoPilots broken routing algorithm are just too much hassle for the casual user. My wife's opinion would probably be even less diplomatic. Wink

In comparison, my Garmin gives fairly good routes and it's rare that I have to resort to consulting a paper map, preplanning a route on my PC or spending 5 minutes adding waypoints to get a sensible route.

Quote:
CoPilot isn't perfect, but before I would ditch it I would have to ask myself if I would wan't to go back to how I used to plan my route before, and so far the answer has always been no.


Sure, but being "better than nothing" isn't a valid argument unless the product is unique. As we all know, CoPilot is not the only SatNav system on the market at this price and I many of us think that it performs very poorly when compared to competeting products.

It is regrettable that this thread has turned into a bit of a bun fight between the two camps, but it's pretty much inevitable because the two sides are fairly polarised.

Pretty much all the bugs and workarounds have been published here in the forum at some time or another. What we need is for someone to pick over the bones and summarise what can be done and then ask one of the moderators to post it in a locked sticky with discussion in a seperate thread to avoid what has happened here.

Where ever possible, we would need test case examples to prove that the workaround acutally fixes the problem. A good example is tweaking road speeds to try and work around the routing problems. Some people insisted that tweaking the road speeds worked, but no one could produce a tweak which fixed the problems illustrated in the "Skippy Tests" that I posted a few months back. Believe me, I tried dozens of tweaks.

Ideally, ALK would also admit that these bugs exist and post the workarounds in the FAQ section of their own website. Unfortunately ALK is in denial (at least publicly). Meanwhile, they are quietly working on CoPilot 6 which they will no doubt sell as an "upgrade".
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neil01
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skippy, I really do think that you are missing the point I am making and my intentions when starting this thread, intentions which I am in a unique position to know.

I also fail to understand how you can state that in your opinion there are no viable workarounds, but then immediately accept that others do have workarounds - which must by definition be viable. If you really mean exactly what you are writing - it is contradictory. Either there are workarounds (whether they are suitable for everyone is another matter) or there are not. Being pedantic, it is rarely possible to say that there are none, merely that you (and quite probably everyone else!) are not aware of any. Surely if it isn't viable, it isn't a workaround for anyone?

I know that it is difficult to express feelings or be totally unambiguous in writing, but I really am not trying to have an argument with anyone, quite the oposite - I was asking about a separate place, free from that.

Just in case anyone asks, neither am I looking for a 'Pro' or 'anti' CoPilot forum, nothing of the kind - just a location for solutions which work for some people, whether it be tweaks, or simply a differrent way of approaching the problem - I don't think that 'how' matters. Some solutions may work for some better than for others - for example I know that what might be acceptable for me when I am in a car (with ungloved hands) will be out of the question for a gloved motorcycle rider - but that isn't the point I was making. It was - don't those of us who have paid good money for the product and have no intention of returning it (or changing it yet), deserve somewhere where we can find information which may help us extract more out of the product, a place where we don't have to plough through gripes and bunfights - a point you seem to be at least partially agreeing with in your last post.

As for the product not being unique, I don't think that matters one bit. If you don't have access to other products, because you are not prepared to 'pay twice', or for any other reason, the fact that there may be other products around is immaterial to you.

As far as Ponderous stating that he doesn't 'think that anyone who has posted regarding problems with CP 5 has shown any indication that they do not believe that others have the right to their solutions, or to air them' neither do I - I certainly can't offhand think of anywhere were I have seen that sentiment expressed either - nor am I quite sure if he thinks that I have ever thought, or am saying that. Simply a place restricted to solutions/work arounds. Surely other matters would be better addressed in/restricted to threads with more appropriate headings. But with regard to the majority of the sentiments expressed I think that we are more often than not in broad agreement - particularly rgarding destructive and mischievous posting!
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PONDEROUS
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do, however, think that you missed a highly relevant point in what Skippy wrote, neil01. That is that someone needs to filter out the list for which you yearn and put it together in unambiguous form and make sure that the solutions included really are solutions.

Then that someone needs to find a way of gatekeeping the responses so that they are kept relevant. As Skippy suggests, and I have in the past, assistance from the forum team will be needed to accomplish it.

The question in the forst instance is, however, who is going to take on the task?

I quite agree that there really is not a cigarette paper separating us on the matters that you quoted in the latter part of your most recent post.
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neil01 wrote:
I also fail to understand how you can state that in your opinion there are no viable workarounds, but then immediately accept that others do have workarounds - which must by definition be viable.


Here are some examples of bugs and workarounds. What I am saying is that in my opinion the workarounds stated here aren't viable. Other people may think they are viable and that's fine by me.


Bug: Crashing after calculating routes
Workaround: Reboot when CoPilot crashes!

Bug: ALK's technical support are hopeless
Workaround: Figure out the solution to the problem yourself!

Bug: Traffic reporting functionality doesn't exist (promised over a year ago)
Workaround: Listen to the traffic reports on your radio!

Bug: Problems calculating routes
Workaround: Add waypoints until you get a reasonable route!


I think these are serious, fundamental problems with the software which make it unfit for purpose. Other people think it works reasonably well and the problems are tolerable. The two sides here have long since agreed to differ. Wink
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