"Software in your pocket" tm
v3.0 / by TinyStocks
Highway Manager is a gas mileage application for the Palm OS platform.
Hopefully Highway Manager will be useful to people around the world but it might specially be useful to people in Europe or people that travel a lot with their car as the program supports up to 10 currencies. Once you define the relationship between your base currency and any other currency, just enter your fill-up information in those currencies and the program will convert the amounts to your base currency.
Highway Manager supports both metric and imperial units. It is for example possible to enter the values in metric format and later display them in imperial format. Statistics are available on a vehicle basis, single entry basis or even on a date range basis (i.e.: “how much did I spend last quarter?”). Statistics given are liter or gallon per 100 kilometer or mile (i.e. km/100, mi/100), amount per 100 kilometer or mile (i.e. amt/100), kilometer or mile per liter or gallon (i.e. km/l, mi/g), total kilometers or miles and total amount.
The program also supports the concept of a "trip". When you go on a weekend trip or on a holiday, it is nice to keep track of statistics for that particular event, i.e.: what the gas mileage during the trip was or what the total cost of gas was. Or sometimes it is just nice to have these entries separate so you can check them later against your receipts, when they come in.
Highway Manager supports up to 10 vehicles, each one containing up to 16 trips. Furthermore, each entry can be annotated with a text note to describe the particular situation surrounding that entry. Notes can be used as a trip log or for tax purposes to keep track of business-related mileage. Each entry can also be assigned a category which can be used, for example, to differentiate maintenance entries from regular entries, or to see what kind of statistics you get with different types of gas or different driving styles, or yet if an entry was made on business or personal time.
Highway Manager also comes with a full conduit to export all data to the host computer. Data is exported in CSV (comma-separated values) format so that it can be easily imported into any popular spreadsheet program.
Highway Manager is compatible with Palm OS 2.0 devices and higher.
The Highway Manager conduit is currently supported under Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP and Mac OS 8.6 or higher.
When going on a trip, pull down the "Trip" popup menu (the one that displays "All Trips") and select "Edit trips...". Create your new trip () and click "OK".
Now, select the trip you just created and enter the "Start" mileage of the trip () - i.e. the value indicated by your odometer. Do not enter an "End" value yet. Proceed as usual making new gas entries in the trip. When your trip is over, you can then enter an "End" mileage ().
The end mileage will provide more accurate statistics for the trip but these will take effect only the next time you fill-up for gas after the trip.
There are two types of entries in Highway Manager:
Special entries are used as reminders of special events, for example, to denote a garage bill (has an amount) or a meeting (no amount). The main characteristic about special entries is that they do not have a volume value. To include special entries that have an amount into the statistics given by the program, use the "Display Cost of Ownership" setting the in the preferences, see below.
With Highway Manager you can really find out how much your vehicle is really costing you. All you have to do is enter these extra costs (insurance payments, maintenance...) in the program as described in the next section and enable "Display Cost of Ownership" in the Preferences. The amount per hundred km/miles (Amt/100) will indicate your total cost of ownership and the amount field will show the total amount of money you have been spending on your car since you started using Highway Manager.
Keeping this option turned off will display instead the cost of gas (all the entries that have a volume value).
Tapping on the different column headers can change the information displayed by the program:
The first screen that will appear when starting Highway Manager for the first time will the Preferences dialog box. Use this screen to configure program-wide settings. Things that can be configured are:
If you selected "Show Currency" from the Preferences dialog, you should also set your base currency code by selecting "Edit Currencies" from the "Options" menu. Currency names consist of 3 letters for the ISO code of that currency, for example: NLG (Dutch guilder), CAD (Canadian dollar), USD (US dollar), ESP (Spanish peseta), FRF (French franc), DEM (German mark), etc.
You can choose to display and enter foreign currency values in two formats:
If you live in one of the countries of the Euro zone, on January 1st 2002 you can get Highway Manager to convert all your data to the Euro by selecting the menu “Convert to Euro” from within the currency screen. For this you comply with the following requirements:
Then highway will do the following:
NOTE: This action cannot be undone, make sure that you want to do this.
The Highway Manager main screen shows the 7 most recent entries as well as a slew of statistics at the bottom. Statistics apply to the current trip and current category. There are enough statistics to make everyone happy: volume per 100 km (or miles), amount per 100 km (or miles) to see how much you are spending, distance per unit of volume (Km/L or Mi/G), total distance and total amount (in the base currency).
Tapping on the mileage or volume column for an entry will open the input screen for this entry where it can be edited (see below). Tapping on the amount column will open the single entry statistic window for that entry (see below).
Highway Manager can be used in two ways: in Absolute distance mode and in Relative distance mode. In the Absolute distance mode you enter at each fill-up the mileage as being the value of your main odometer. This mode requires a Start distance to be able to determine when to start counting the miles logged into the program. This should be the first thing you do when running the program for the first time or when starting a new trip in order to get meaningful statistics.
Ideally, one would start using Highway Manager at a fill-up. On this first fill-up, set the Start distance to the value indicated by your odometer, do not enter any other values like volume and amount. On the second fill-up and from then on tap on New and enter the odometer mileage, volume of gas purchased and amount of purchase.
In Relative distances you do not need to enter a Start distance. Again, start using Highway Manager at a fill-up. On this first fill-up and from then on, create a new entry by tapping on New and enter the mileage from your small odometer (this odometer should be reset at each fill-up), volume of gas purchased and amount of the purchase.
Creating new entries
To create a new entry tap on the New button, the following input screen will appear where you can enter the distance traveled, volume, amount, currency and the category and trip this entry is supposed to go into.
You can click on the Km/Miles and Litr/Gal buttons to temporarily change the units of the input. This is useful for example if you live in Canada where you would normally keep Highway in Km and Liters but travel to the US where you have to enter the volume in Gallons.
Highway Manager can display a whole range of statistics:
If the program is in relative distances mode, the items in the trip can be sorted by entering the command S or by selecting "Sort" from the "Record" menu. Items can be sorted by date, distance, volume, currency or amount, in ascending or descending order. But note that if an operation is performed that affects the statistics (e.g.: adding or deleting an item), the items will automatically be re-sorted to their default order: descending by date.
In absolute distance mode, entries can only sorted by date.
You can chart all your Highway Manager data by pressing the chart icon on the main screen ( ). Charts are a great way to get an overview of how your car or motorcycle is running. For example, if you see that the trend of the last several entries in the mode L/100 is higher than the beginning entries, then it probably means that your vehicle is ready for a tune up.In the chart screen, select the desired vehicle, category, trip and statistic. The green line indicates the average value for the selected parameters. From the statistic popup you can choose the resolution of the chart: small, medium or large.
When you think you are starting to have too many trip entries you can choose "Delete/Compact Range" from the "Record" menu. Delete will delete a range of entries: enter the date of the range to delete. Compact will combine all entries in the range into one entry containing the sum of all the values so that global statistics are not affected. Note that compacting entries will put the new entry in the "All Trips" section (loosing all trip association) and the resulting amount will be in the base currency.
Tapping on the different column headers can change the information displayed by the program:
Highway Manager supports up to ten different vehicles. To edit existing or create new vehicles, select “Edit Vehicles…” from the vehicle tab on the top-right corner of the main window. The “Edit Vehicle” window will appear allowing you to edit vehicle information.
By selecting a vehicle from the main window the program displays all entries and trips made under that particular vehicle. Deleting a vehicle will thus delete all these. You will be prompted to confirm such decisions.
Every entry can be assigned to a category. Categories are a powerful way of classifying your gas entries and keeping track of statistics pertaining to a particular category of entries. To edit categories, select “Edit categories...” from the “Options” menu or click on the edit category icon on the main screen ( ).
To assign an entry to a category, select the entry and click on the info icon (or enter I or select "Get Item Info" from the "Record" menu), select the correct category from the category popup and click "OK". When a category is selected it becomes the new default category which will be applied to new items.
To see statistics for items belonging to a specific category: select "Date Range Stats..." from the "Record" menu, select the desired category and select a time range either with the "Auto" popup or using the "From" and "To" selectors.
Some uses of categories include keeping track of:
When going on a weekend trip or on a holiday, it is nice to keep track of statistics for that particular event, i.e.: what the gas mileage during the trip was or what the total cost of gas was. Or sometimes it is just nice to have these entries separate so you can check them later against your receipts, when they come in.
To create a new trip, tap on “Edit Trips…” from the trip popup on the main screen or select the corresponding icon ( ). The “Edit Trip” window will appear giving the ability to add, delete and rename trips.
Items created under a specific trip also appear in the "All Trips" section but not vice-versa. When you delete a trip, all the items of that trip remain in the "All Trips" section by default, but the option is also given in the delete trip dialog to delete these items.
When Highway Manager is used in Absolute distance mode, trips can have a Start and End distance so that accurate statistics for the trip can be given (exact mileage instead of the mileage between two fill-ups).
Starting a new trip: enter the starting mileage value for the trip and leave the End trip value empty. Remember that trips do not need to start at a fill-up.
Ending a trip: when you finish a trip and if your trip does not end at a fill-up you can also enter an end mileage value (tap on the trip Start distance filed and a dialog window will appear with the Start and End distances). Entering a trip End mileage value will give more accurate trip statistics, but you will notice these the next time you fill-up your car (the first fill-up after the trip). If the End mileage value is left blank, it will just be ignored and your trip is assumed to have ended at the last fill-up in the trip.
Every Highway Manager entry can have a note attached to it. This note can be used as a trip log or for tax purposes to keep track of business-related mileage.
When using notes to keep track of business-related expenses it is often the case that the same information is repeated across several notes. In this case a note template can be defined by selecting "Edit Template..." from the note menu or by entering the command E. Often a note template will define a series of fields that have to be filed in every note. Once a template has been defined, insert the template into the note by tapping on the "Insert Template" button. At which point you can continue to edit the note filling in the different fields.
Notes and note templates convert Highway Manager into the perfect application to keep track of your business expenses. Using the same method as described in the section "Trips Use 2", you can make partial entries with an attached note describing a particular business travel by entering only a mileage value.
In the sample screenshot below, the entry of the 27th of June is a partial entry that has an attached note. This entry describes a particular meeting but does not affect global statistics because no volume or amount was entered. You must be in "Absolute" distance mode to do this.
The Highway Manager HotSyncÓ conduit is used to export the contents of the Highway Manager database to a CSV (comma separated values) file on the host computer.
Windows: The data will be exported to a file called highway.csv located in a directory called Highway Manager under your Palm Desktop backup directory. For example, if your HotSync ID is "John Doe", the data will be exported to:
C:\Program Files\PalmPilot\DoeJ\Highway Manager\highway.csv
Mac: The data will be exported to a file called Highway Manager.txt located on your desktop.
After installing the conduit, it is important to configure the correct export options. To do so:
Specifies if the conduit should be active or inactive.
Ask if update
When this option is selected, the conduit will ask you at each HotSync whether to run or not.
Leave All Amounts in Original Currency
If selected, no currency translation is performed. Otherwise all currencies are converted to local currency.
If selected, the Km/L (Mi/G) and L/100 (G/100) statistics for each entry are included in the output file.
If selected, the category for each entry is included in the output file.
Put Notes into Separate File
If selected, notes are output to a file called Highway_Notes.txt. This is the preferred option for exporting notes that have been used as a trip log.
To import data into Highway Manager click on the Import data at next HotSync checkbox, select the file to be imported, select the format and whether the existing data should be deleted or not.
The file to be imported must be a text file with one record per line, sorted in ASCENDING order per date, with all the proper values separated by commas according to the following format:
Not all fields are required and default values will be used for fields that are left empty. Dates should be in one of the following formats:
In this mode you can select your exported file to be imported again. However make sure that it is sorted in ascending order and that the date field follows the format described above.
v3.0 - October 21st, 2001 - New input GUI, new charts, new conduit that can now import.
v2.54 - December 14th, 1999 - Minor things, Mac conduit.
v2.53 - November 1st, 1999 - Better support for Palm OS3.3. Fixed compacting of entries.
v2.52 - October 21st, 1999 - Support for Palm OS3.3.
v2.5 - August 29th, 1999 - Active column headers now also include the currency column (can toggle between currencies and categories). New entries can be pre-filled with data from the previous entry. Progress dialog when exporting to MemoPad. Conduit can export records in ascending and descending order. Conduit can be set to run on specific days.
v2.4 - June 29th, 1999 - Right justified fields, Amount column will cycle through different statistics, last used category is now remembered.
v2.31 - June 15th, 1999 - Can now change individual units by tapping on the relevant column header (distances and volume). Now remember the last currency used.
v2.3 - May 25th, 1999 - Added: categories, date range stats by category. Fixed: rounding errors in imperial measurements, minor things.
v2.20 - March 6th, 1999 - Added: date range stats, cost of gas/cost of ownership checkbox, moving of items between trips, fast data entry with graffiti, new section "Getting Started Quickly" in the documentation, conduit now can save notes to a separate file. Fixed: remember current vehicle, notes do not disappear if change the date of an entry, delete/compact range function, conduit uses control panel settings for outputing data in the correct format, conduit has now the option to include Km/L (Mi/G) and L/100 (G/100) stats for each entry in its output.
v2.10 - Feb. 7th, 1999 - Added icons to show entries that have a note attached.
v2.0 - Jan. 30th, 1999 - Added support for Notes and a genuine conduit (export).
v1.62 - Dec. 10th, 1998 - Having more than one trip was could sometimes crash when they were being sorted.
v1.6 - Nov. 30th, 1998 - Bug fixed: clicking on change units while making new entry could make records disappear.
v1.52 - Nov. 13th, 1998 - Exporting to MemoPad was always in metric.
v1.51 - Nov. 9th, 1998 - Sometimes the program would crash the first time it was started.
v1.50 - Nov. 3rd, 1998 - Pro version supporting multiple vehicles.
v1.12 - Sept. 5th, 1998 - Fixed Miles problem.
v1.10 - August 30th, 1998 - Km<->miles and litres<->gallons conversion. New shortcut icons on main screen. Start distance fixed. Minor GUI fixes.
v1.01 - August 29th, 1998 - Fixed date sorting problem.
v1.00 - August 27th, 1998 - First version of Highway Manager.