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BUSgadget

Winnipeg Transit’s desktop bus time gadget

BUSgadget  Overview

BUSgadget is a desktop version of BUSwatch, which allows you to create your own customized monitors to watch for buses at any number of stops and see them on your computer’s desktop. Use it at home or at work, or anywhere you’re at a computer and want to keep an eye on the bus you need to catch and know when you need to go outside to catch it. BUSgadget is currently in beta form, which means that some features may not be implemented fully yet, and other features may change over the coming months. In the meanwhile, you are encouraged to try it out!

System Requirements

BUSgadget needs the Java Runtime Environment, version 6 or higher, in order to run on your computer. When installing BUSgadget, your computer will be checked to see if you have a sufficient version of Java installed, and if not, you will be prompted to go to java.com and install Java.

As long as you have a sufficient version of Java installed, BUSgadget will run on Windows, Macintosh (see here for more details), and Linux operating systems. Appearance and behaviour will differ slightly depending on what operating system and what version of that operating system you have installed on your computer. Please note that BUSgadget is software that runs locally on your computer, and you will need to have the appropriate privileges to install software on the computer that you are using. This means you may not be able to use BUSgadget on your computer at the office, or a public computer such as one at an Internet cafe.

BUSgadget uses the Internet to connect to Winnipeg Transit’s information systems to obtain the most up to date schedule information. It is therefore necessary to have a persistent Internet connection for BUSgadget to work. Bus times are based on the latest information available to Winnipeg Transit based on iBus Automated Vehicle Location technology.

Installing BUSgadget

Click here: Install BUSgadget

If you have the Java Runtime Environment version 6 or higher, installation will begin via Java Web Start. BUSgadget will be installed on your system and configured to start running when you start up your computer. The first time you start BUSgadget, you will need to configure it so it can display the appropriate information for you.

Getting Started

BUSgadget  Basic Config

The first time you start up BUSgadget you will be prompted to configure it. All you need to do is enter a bus stop in the field provided (searching by stop name, street and cross street, or stop number) and press OK. This is known as Basic Mode configuration. BUSgadget will now display all times for all buses passing by the bus stop you have selected, and will operate in the same manner as if it were BUSwatch sign installed at that bus stop.

Using BUSgadget

BUSgadget System Tray Icon

Once you have configured and started BUSgadget, it installs an icon in your system tray. The location of this icon will differ depending on your operating system and how you have it configured. For example, in Windows, this icon will typically be found in the lower right hand corner of the screen. The icon will display a number. This number is the number of minutes left until the next bus arrives at the stop you have selected. If the bus will arrive in less than a minute, the word “due” will appear. Holding your mouse pointer still over the icon for a couple of seconds will show you details of that bus, such as its route and destination.

If the icon displays a dash, this indicates that no buses that match your settings are arriving in the near future. If the icon displays a red X, this means that BUSgadget has encountered a problem connecting to Winnipeg Transit’s computer systems to obtain the latest information. This may be a problem with Winnipeg Transit’s computer systems, in which case you should wait and the problem will be corrected as soon as possible. In some cases, however, it may be a problem with your computer’s internet connection.

Clicking on the icon will bring up the full display. This display is larger and is modeled on the BUSwatch sign. Here you will see a longer list of times into the future.

Alarms

You probably don’t want to sit and watch BUSgadget until your bus arrives. By using the alarm feature, you can set an alarm for a bus that you want to catch, and BUSgadget will alert you a certain number of minutes before that bus arrives.

BUSgadget Bell Icon

To set an alarm, bring up the full display and click on the bus time you want to be alerted about, and click the bell icon. You will be asked to enter the number of minutes before the bus arrives that you would like the alarm to be displayed. Keep in mind how long it takes you to leave your computer and walk to the bus stop! You can also select whether you want to keep this alarm for future use on subsequent days. When you are done, click Set Alarm. A bell icon will be displayed beside the bus arrival time. When the time for the alarm has come, an alert will show on your computer monitor, telling you that it’s time to catch your bus. The appearance of the alarm will differ depending on your operating system.

BUSgadget Alarm Dialog

To remove an alarm, select the time with the alarm in the full display and select Remove Alarm.

Advanced Configuration

BUSgadget allows you to set advanced options so that the information provided is exactly what you need. You can define multiple monitors to allow you to watch multiple bus arrival times simultaneously. You can select the bus stops and routes that are displayed by each monitor. And you can configure the time display in a number of ways to suit your needs. Right click on the system tray icon, and select Settings from the menu. The Settings dialog will appear. Click Switch to Advanced Mode to get started.

Managing Your Monitors

Advanced Dialog 1

You can define any number of monitors to run simultaneously. A monitor is a single instance of BUSgadget. Each monitor has its own stops and routes associated with it, and each one has its own icon in the system tray. To add a monitor, click on the + sign on the tab at the top of the Advanced Mode Settings dialog. You can give the monitor a name to differentiate it from your other monitors. This name will show up in the monitor’s full display.

Selecting Stops

Advanced Dialog 2

Each monitor can display times from multiple stops. To add a stop to the monitor, click Add Stop and search for the stop just as you would with Basic Mode Settings. To remove a stop, select it in the list and click Remove Stop.

Selecting Routes

Advanced Dialog 3

Once you have selected your stops, the routes that pass through those stops will appear in the routes list. Click the check box for each route that you would like to appear in your monitor. If you want all of them to appear, you can simply leave them all unchecked.

Configuring Time Display Options

Advanced Dialog 4

Time Display Type

You have three options. Times can be absolute, which means BUSgadget will always simply show the time the bus will arrive. Times can be relative, which means BUSgadget will always show the number of minutes left until the bus arrives. Finally, times can be mixed. In mixed mode, you select a threshold time, by entering a number of minutes where it says Show relative time within __ minutes. Times more than that number of minutes away will show as absolute times. Times less than that number of minutes away will show as relative times.

Time Display Style

Times can be 12 Hour (for example, 1:23 PM) or 24 Hour (for example 13:23).

Result Grouping

When you have multiple stops and routes on your monitor, you can group them in five different styles. None means that times are mixed together and displayed in a single list. By Route means that all times are sorted into groups by route. By Stop means that all times are sorted into groups by what bus stop the bus stops at. Note that if the same bus stops at multiple bus stops in your list, only the earliest one will be shown. By Route Then By Stop groups all times by route, and then creates subgroups by stop within each route group. By Stop Then By Route groups all times by stop, and then creates subgroups by route within each stop group.

Configuring System Tray Icon Options

Advanced Dialog 5

To differentiate between multiple monitors, you can select a Background Colour and Text Colour for each one. Please remember to select high contrast colours, so that you can clearly see the text. You can also choose to show times that are at least a certain amount into the future in the system tray icon. This can be useful when you know the amount of time it takes you to get to the bus stop, because any buses that are arriving sooner than that are ones that you won’t be able to catch.

Switching Back To Basic Mode

To switch back to Basic Mode, click Switch to Basic Mode. Please note that in doing so, you will lose any advanced settings that you have made.

Saving BUSgadget Monitors Online

There are two different ways to save BUSgadget monitors online. If you are already using BUSgagdet on your desktop or laptop computer you can login to your Winnipeg Transit account through BUSgadget and BUSgagdet will automatically sync with your online BUSgadget settings. Alternatively you can log into your Winnipeg Transit account and create / edit BUSgadget moitors online.

Syncing BUSgadget with your Winnipeg Transit Account

If you have downloaded and installed BUSgadget 1.1 or greater then you will have a Login option in you BUSgadget menu. Using this option to login to your Winnipeg Transit Account and sync your desktop BUSgadget with any BUSgadget settings that you have set through the Winnipeg Transit web site. Syncing your settings will result in one of three things happening.

One, if you have no saved monitors on your Winnipeg Transit Account then this will save the monitors you have currently set in BUSgadget to your account.

Two, if you have saved monitors to your Winnipeg Transit Account but have more recently made changes to your the BUSgadget settings on your desktop the BUSgadget will also save the monitors you have currently set in BUSgadget to your Winnipeg Transit Account.

Lastly if the you have saved monitors on your Winnipeg Transit Account that have been edited more recently than any changes that you have made to the BUSgadget settings on your desktop then it BUSgadget will overwrite the settings you currently have on your desktop with the monitors that you created online.

When you are logged in to you Winnipeg Transit Account account every time that you change your BUSgadget settings it will sync with your account. In this case the changes you made through BUSgadget will alway be more recent than those you have saved online overwriting any monitors that you have saved online with the monitors from your desktop BUSgadget settings. If you ever make changes online that are not appearing your desktop BUSgadget try using the Sync with online settings option.

Creating new BUSgadget Monitors online

To create BUSgadget monitors directly from your Winnipeg Transit Account go to the BUSgadget settings and follow the same instructions for working with the desktop BUSgadget settings.

Uninstalling BUSgadget

Should you wish to uninstall the BUSgadget application, the procedure depends on what operating system you are using.

Uninstalling from Windows

  1. Open up your Control Panel and go to Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows Vista / 7).
  2. Find BUSgadget in the list of programs and select it.
  3. Click the Remove or Uninstall button to remove BUSgadget from your system.

In some cases, this method does not work. If it does not, try the following method.

  1. Go to Control Panel → Java.
  2. Under the Temporary Internet Files section of the General tab click the View… button. This will open a new window displaying a list of Java applications.
  3. Select BUSgadget from this list and click on the red X to remove BUSgadget from your system.

Uninstalling from Macintosh

  1. Open Applications → Utilities → Java Preferences.
  2. Click on the Network tab and then the View Cache Files Button. This will open a new window displaying a list of Java applications.
  3. Select BUSgadget from this list and click on the red X to remove BUSgadget from your system.

Uninstalling from Linux

  1. Go to System → Preferences → Java Control Panel.
  2. Under the Temporary Internet Files section of the General tab click the View… button. This will open a new window displaying a list of Java applications.
  3. Select BUSgadget from this list and click on the red X to remove BUSgadget from your system.