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[APP/SKN][Beta][CE 5.0/6.0] ceFFM - A Fingerfriendly Menu (Shell) for Sat Nav's

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jwoegerbauer
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Default [APP/SKN][Beta][CE 5.0/6.0] ceFFM - A Fingerfriendly Menu (Shell) for Sat Nav's

Today, I present to you the ceFFM application, as a thank you to this forum that has always given me so much. It is a little personal project I am working on when I am not doing anything else. It mainly was suggested by a friend of mine who is not convinced of 'MioPocket' or comparable other shells for Windows® (Embedded) CE based Sat Nav units, this because of their not Windows® Embedded CE 6.0 fair implementation and their immense RAM hunger and/or missing finger-friendliness, as he said.


Abstract:

(i) What is ceFFM?
ceFFM is a free (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") absolute finger-friendly shell/menu ( at least I think so ) for Windows® CE (.NET) 5.0 (CE5) and/or Windows® Embedded CE (.NET) 6.0 (CE6) based Sat Nav touchscreen devices with an ARM™ processor equipped board . Hence I titled the project ceFFM. Its skin is based on opensource-ware 'CEMenu'. Its use is governed by GPL License. ceFFM is legal to use, as it consists 100% of freely-distributable content. It is NOT a replacement for any OEM navigation software. It is just a frontend from which you may among other things launch the navigation software that came with your device or that you purchase separately.

(ii) What are ceFFM's main features?
Basically ceFFM acts as an "unlock" for Sat Nav devices (AKA PNAs/AIOs) running either CE5 or CE6. Such devices almost always boot into the manufacturer's software with no way to exit it, meaning that you cannot run any other software; i.e. the device is "locked." Unlocking your device allows you to use it for far more than the manufacturer intended (ex. for music, movies, appointments, other navigation apps, etc.) and more like a PDA. Additionally ceFFM does something your Sat Nav already probably does on its own (launch applications), except that it adds the ability for you to customize your Sat Nav in more ways than you normally can, so that you can launch applications quicker and more easily. For example, ceFFM creates for you up to nine different 'desktops', giving you quick access to more applications than before.

(iii) What types of programs does ceFFM come with?
ceFFM comes with just nearly three dozens of applications recognized by me as usefull. See list "Featured Applications" below. Important: ceFFM does not come with iGo, GarminXT, TomTom, Destinator, Sygic, AutoSputnik, NDrive, Mireo, PolNav or any other commercial navigation software. Icons may be included for them, but not the programs, themselves (since they are not free). Note that ceFFM does NOT replace Microsoft's file-viewers and third-party's flash-player if these are inbuilt by OEM, but uses them.

(iiii) What devices does ceFFM run on?
Technically, ceFFM should run on any CE5 and/or CE6 based touchscreen device with an ARM™ processor equipped board, where unit's touchscreen has landscape orientation. ceFFM is NOT intended to be run on mobile devices based on Windows Mobile 5.0 and/or Windows Mobile 6.x, because those Windows Mobile based units' touchscreen has portrait orientation. ceFFM is not hard-coded to any particular brand or configuration, quite reverse. Note that every CE5 and/or CE6 based device is slightly different, though, and due to the great many brands and configurations that are out there, the ease of installation and the number of applications and features that actually work will vary.

(iiiii) What is ceFFM's memory footprint?
ceFFM respects Windows® (Embedded) CE is made for devices that have minimal memory. Hence it is designed to be resource-friendly. Its CPU and memory usage are low (ex. compared with MioPocket 4.0 Rel. 68 only scarcely an eighth).
.


(iiiiii) Does ceFFM install to SD/MMC/CF-card or to internal flash disk (Card-free)?
Both. You have the option of either. But recommended of course is flash disk installation (a certain gain in speed one may notice). Note: Current SD/MMC/CF-cards have more performance than internal memory anyway, the tradeoff is that you must either have a single card which is NEVER removed, or take care before removing it, be sure programs installed there are not running if you have to swap it out.

(iiiiiii) Can ceFFM brick my device?
In principle, from the concept, NO. It really does not hurt anything, it is considered to be exceptionally safe. This due to the fact ceFFM simply overlays device's default shell/menu which you re-gain access to if you exit ceFFM. The changes to CE's registry made by ceFFM affect unit's registry keys as following
Quote:
[HKCU\SOFTWARE\ceFFM]
Installed
LaunchCount
ResidentFolderPath
URL
InstallFolderPath
Version

[HKLM\init]
Launch253
Depend253
Launch255
Depend255

[HKLM\Loader]
SystemPath
(iiiiii) Does ceFFM have multi-lingual support?
NO. It comes only in English.

(iiiiiiii) Which is the programming language ceFFM is based on?
ceFFM is based on 'MortScript 4.3.b.15' , a macro type program (i.e. "hacker tool without a nifty interface").

Screen Shots:



License Agreement:

ceFFM is free software which everyone can use free of charge, redistribute and change under the terms of the General Public License version 2.0 (GPL v2.0).

System Requirements:

a) A working CE5 and/or CE6 based Sat Nav touchscreen device with an ARM™ processor equipped board (compellingly display mode with either 480x272px or 800x480px screen-resolution, this because of ceFFM is designed to work solely in landscape mode with regards of fact that all PNA's/AIO's touchscreen has landscape orientation) with (optional) SD/MMC/CF-card slot and/or at least the possibility to establish an 'ActiveSync' connection with desktop PC / laptop to copy ceFFM to Sat Nav's internal storage device.
b) Library ole32.dll in \Windows (should be there by default)

Safety Notices:

a) Not all OEMs do provide any in-house method of unlocking their device. Any unlocking process for such a device can only come from software hacking sources as ceFFM. If you are afraid of damaging your device or voiding any warranties, do not unlock this device using ceFFM.
b) If your Sat Nav has a 'Password Protected Lock', i.e. a bootup password is set, remove this lock before installing ceFFM. The reason for this is that the password entry box appears off screen and you will have no way to enter the password any more if device became unlocked.
c) In case you decide to install ceFFM on SD/MMC/CF-card do NOT plug in your USB cable until ceFFM has installed and reset the device (otherwise, your SD/MMC/CF-card will dismount and ceFFM will not be able to access it during install).
d) These are the steps you in any case always first of all should do
1. Make sure you calibrate Sat Nav's screen.
2. In case you decide to install ceFFM on SD/MMC/CF-card that came with the Sat Nav, make a backup of the SD/MMC/CF-card before you use it.

IMHO it also is strongly recommended you have (before installing ceFFM) at least these four freeware utilities present at your destop PC / laptop, which allow you to manage your Sat Nav via a working 'ActiveSync' connection
a) CeRegEditor - registry editor.
b) CeRunApp - tool to remotely start an application (incl. copying it) on your Sat Nav from your desktop.
c) CeNotepad - a remote Windows CE text editor (a "Notepad" that can open text files on a connected device directly on the desktop).
d) CeRhost - the counterpart to CE's cerdisp
These utilities for your convenience I have packed into archive ceFFM-Win32-Tools. Link is provided below.

Installation:

Unpacked ceFFM needs ~200 MB free disk space.

1. Switch Sat Nav's USB-mode to 'Serial_Class' (AKA 'ActiveSync' mode)
2. Download and unpack the zip-archive ceFFM-X.X.X to your desktop PC/laptop (Do not extract it directly to your SD/MMC/CF-card, as that often produces errors or corrupted files). Hint: Use a download manager to be sure the download goes errorfree.
3. In unpacked folder ceFFM-X.X.X edit configuration file 'ceFFM.ini' according to your needs
4. Copy unpacked folder ceFFM-X.X.X somewhere to your Sat Nav's internal and/or external flashdrive - highest reommended of course there into the root ("<storage device>\"). Owners of a Magellan may copy unpacked folder ceFFM-X.X.X to "\HDD\APP", owners of a Pioneer Avic may copy unpacked folder ceFFM-X.X.X to "\My Flash\APL2", owners of a YF International (Yuan Feng) may copy unpacked folder ceFFM-X.X.X to "\ResidentFlash2\YFAP30", etc.pp, there are no restrictions. Be warned: Copying unpacked ceFFM via 'ActiveSync' to Sat Nav's internal flash drive takes approx. 0.75 hours.
5. Ensure your device's battery is charged as 100% and/or the Sat Nav has a working external power supply. Note that ceFFM refuses its installation in case no external power supply is given if battery is charged less than 30% - reason: on some Sat Nav's you can watch the battery gauge go down 1% for every 10 seconds.
6. Finally on your Sat Nav run in folder "<storage device>\ceFFM-X.X.X" executable 'ceFFM.exe'. Hint: A lot of the current PNAs/AIOs have a real simple kludge for this. In the 'Settings' section there is a 'Choose navigation program path' option. You use this to point to 'ceFFM.exe' and run it. Also with many CE devices that I have come across, a script named 'shell.ini' does that. If 'shell.ini' is in root SD/MMC/CF-card, the script will be executed when you press navigation on the original screen menu. If 'shell.ini' is in Sat Nav's resident storage memory (ex. \ResidentFlash), and there is no SD/MMC/CF-card inserted, the script will be executed automatically on device power on. Note that the 'shell.ini' in root of SD/MMC/CF-card has priority over 'shell.ini' in resident flash memory. To start ceFFM contents of 'shell.ini' may look like \SDMMC\ceFFM-X.X.X\ceFFM.exe. Alternatively, if you can establish an 'ActiveSync' connection, you might use utility 'CeRunApp' from ceFFM's Win32-Tools mentioned above to remotely run 'ceFFM.exe' on SD/MMC/CF-card plugged in to Sat Nav device.

You should know that if OS's registry is of type file-based (as with most current CE6 devices) and if ceFFM runs for the first time and in ceFFM's configuration file 'ceFFM.ini' key 'BackupSystem' is set to 1, then a complete backup of Sat Nav's registry is made.

If ceFFM is successfully run for the first time, it registers itself in unit's registry as key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ceFFM; i.e. these entries are created:
Quote:
[HKCU\SOFTWARE\ceFFM]
InstallFolderPath
LaunchCount
ResidentFolderPath
URL
Version
Also, if in ceFFM's configuration file 'ceFFM.ini' key 'AutoStartCeFFMAtBootTime' is set to 1, ceFFM attempts to add itself to device's registry in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\init key as the last startup application possible, thus it is started automatically when device boots, in registry these four entries additionally are created:
Quote:
[HKLM\init]
Launch253
Depend253
Launch255
Depend255
And, if ceFFM is installed on SD/MMC/CF-card, and if its 'AutoStartCeFFMAtBootTime' option is chosen, additionally in device's internal flashdrive a new folder ceFFM-X.X.X with size of max. 1.5 MB - depends on CE's version, will be created, which hosts a few files.

Depending on the amount of options enabled, installation may take 10 minutes.

Notes:
a) If your device does not have an SD/MMC/CF-card slot, you probably need 'Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center Driver' (AKA 'ActiveSync'). It is available for Windows Vista / 7 both 32-bit and 64-bit. You get this driver here:
64-bit: drvupdate-amd64.exe
32-bit: drvupdate-x86.exe
b) The best way to format your SD/MMC memory card is using SD formatter 3.1. At time of this writing this is the latest version of SD formatter which specifically designed to format SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. This is absolutely better than using your default operating system format utilities.
c) If installed to SD/MMC/CF-card, do not remove the SD/MMC/CF-card when ceFFM is open, or its folders/files may be damaged or the system may crash.

Updating/upgrading:

See above under Installation. Note that ceFFM tries to detect an earlier-version installation and if detected, deletes all non conformant folders/files created by the earlier version before installing the update/upgrade ceFFM-X.X.X takes place.

Customizing:

ceFFM is steered by its configuration file 'ceFFM.ini'. ceFFM reads this file each time it runs, hence you can change at any time ceFFM's run-options. If an option got changed, ceFFM re-configures itself (and system) on-the-fly.

Uninstallation:

In ceFFM's configuration file 'ceFFM.ini' simply set Uninstall to 1 and re-run ceFFM. This will completely remove the existing installation.
Note that versions prior to 0.3.0 have no explicit uninstall mechanism/routine. You simply delete folder ceFMM-X.X.X on Sat Nav's drive it was installed on. In case of a hive-based registry you additionally manually by means of a registry editor remove entries
Quote:
[HKLM\init]
Launch253
Depend253
Launch255
Depend255

[HKCU\Software\ceFFM]
if these are present, otherwise you simply hard-reset the Sat Nav unit. Important note concerning Sat Nav units with file-based registries: Changes made to Sat Nav's registry by a bundled application, means if such one was started from within ceFFM's skin, will NOT be undone, because this would be an impossible venture.

Depending on the amount of options enabled, uninstallation may take 5 minutes.

Featured Applications:

ceFFM comes with only approximately three dozens freeware CE applications, approved to flawlessly run under CE5 and/or CE6. Among others, with ceFFM currently bundled are these applications:

FortunaMP3CE - video player
TCPMP - video player
Pocket Spark - flash player (SWF)
NaviPlayer - music player

FingerKeyboard - stylish keyboard with great key layout, supports different language layouts

Copan - coordinate geometry (COGO) tool for land surveyors
WMMiniGPS - compass
Orionic - simulates night-sky, viewn from current location
NoniGPSPlot - a geocaching app
SiRF Tools - a collection of utilies to manage SiRF® chip
MixSer Tester - allows to determine/select GPS/TMC COM-port and watch data transmission (TMC chips supported: GNS, RoyalTek, Locosys, Wistron)

Zetakey Browser - HTML5 ready internet browser
nPOP - e-Mail application

AlReader2 - eBook-reader (HTML, TXT, RTF, FB2, PDB/PRC (PalmDOC, zTXT mode 1), TCR, DOC, DOCX, ODT, SXW, ABW, ZABW, RB, TCR, CHM)
NoniView - image viewer and processor
MangaMeeyaCE - comic reader (reads Mangas, Comics, or any picture/photo (BMP, PNG, GIF, JPG) album) in RAR (CBR) or ZIP (CBZ)
CSVViewer - .CSV-files reader
MS File Viewers - CE related versions of standard MS file viewers (DOC, PPT, PRES, XLS, BMP, PDF)

SpreadCE - Excel clone (it is share-ware, but not time-limited or something else)

SSNAP - backup tool
7-ZipFM - file manager, unpacker
JAL Port Splitter - serial port splitter
RAM Sweeper - memory cleaner, configurable
efonVNC - VNC server
PRegedit - registry editor
Devmgmnt - device manager
Tascal Search - search tool
PEInfo - dependency walker
BMQ - CPU benchmark utility ( includes 5 tests )

GV Notepad - text editor
Notes CE - editor like Pocket Word (but with some more features)
AlarmClock - reminder tool
VICalandar - calendar, you can add notes within
Calc98CE - scientific calculator
Worldclock - shows clock for any two world's locations simultaneously
PocketPicture - paint program

Mahjong
ICBM
Bubblets
Rubik
PegSolitaire
PocketChess
Tetris
LightsOn
Sudoku Time
Super Mario
Speed City
Super-G Stunt

None of these applications requires Microsoft .NET CF and/or OpenNETCF SDF, they all are written and compiled as native, not as managed code! Furthermore, none of the files is compressed (AKA 'UPXed'). Note that this assembly only is a personal proposal (these applications are the ones I like most). You might change it at any time. An additional set of applications that run well under both CE5 and CE6 I have compiled as ceFFM-Extensions, link is provided below.

Modifying Skin:

ceFFM does not know of any sophisticated programmatical skin changer/manager, means you must manually edit the appropriate skin-files by yourself. This because of ceFFM is intended to be most simplistic as possible. Sorry for this. But it should be an easy, at least I think so. All skin related stuff is stored in XML based data format. The files concerned are: all in folder '<install drive>\ceFFM-X.X.X' with extension '.cemenu' (except file 'dummy.cemenu' which you never should touch) and all shortcuts in '<install drive>\ceFFM-X.X.X\programs' with extension '.lnk'. Please read file 'CeMenu-ReadMe' for more information.

Disclaimer:

THE ceFFM SOFTWARE AND DOCUMENTATION AND ANY AND ALL UPDATES AND MODIFICATIONS TO THEM ARE PROVIDED 'AS IS.' I DO NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT ERRORS IN THE SOFTWARE OR ITS DOCUMENTATION WILL BE CORRECTED OR THAT THE SOFTWARE WILL RUN ERROR-FREE. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES COVERING THE ceFFM SOFTWARE OR DOCUMENTATION, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY WARRANTY OF DESIGN, MERCHANTABLITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR AGAINST INFRINGEMENT.

Although the information about ceFFM here is provided to anyone, I retain the copyright on all text and graphic images. Additionally I reserve the right to add, modify or delete any information at this topic at any time without notice.

Contributing Code:

ceFFM is an open-source project under GPLv2 license. If you want to join ceFFM development, the process is simple:
a) write a patch against the latest sources
b) post here a new bug issue and attach the patch
c) make sure to describe what the patch is trying to fix and why (not every change is good)
d) I'll review the patch and either incorporate it into current ceFFM project (if I think it's good) or describe how it needs to be improved

Credits:

baltico -> CEMenu [ http://sourceforge.net/projects/cemenu/ ]
popdog54 -> Electro Wallpapers [ http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=697789 ]
popdog54 -> Electro Icon Set [ http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=697789 ]
Mirko Schenk -> MortScript [ http://www.sto-helit.de/index.php?lang=en ]
TroNik -> CE-utilities (esp. RegFlushKey.exe, RestoreDefaultHiveFromROM.exe, SipTool.exe)
and all the authors of the bundled applications.

Download:

Basic:

MediaFire: ceFFM-0.3.5.ZIP MD5: 103a3b6a4a64f330e274d0fab36e6e52
Authorized Mirrors:

Please do not mirror ceFFM Basic somewhere other. Thanks.

Extensions:

MediaFire: ceFFM-Extensions-v3.ZIP MD5: 266a9d3fc316ad3d5ab67f402192
Authorized Mirrors:

Please do not mirror ceFFM Extensions somewhere other. Thanks.

Win32-Tools:

MediaFire: ceFFM-Win32-Tools.zip MD5: e2693cbba8c72836094f9bd44949fb4b
Authorized Mirrors:

Please do not mirror ceFFM Win32-Tools somewhere other. Thanks.

Virus Information:

You get a warning from your antivirus software during downloading and unpacking ceFFM?

1. Ensure you have the original files
The ceFFM files do not contain any virus or other "add-on" when they are build. The Mediafire servers used for the distribution are known to be reliable, they are used without problem by thousands of software. Against you must be careful if you have downloaded ceFFM on another site not authorized by me. To be sure that ceFFM zip-file has not been modified by a third party you can check the md5sum with the md5sum notice shown above besides the download link.
If you need a MD5 Checksum calculator, I recommend small freeware MD5 Checksum Calculator 0.1.7.138.

2. False detection
The detection of a virus in a file is not an exact science. It may happen that the antivirus software find a resemblance to a known virus and gives an alert.

Feedback:

ceFFM is still a work in progress. Feel free to report bugs, make improvement suggestions, etc.pp. It would also help that when you write about problems, to tell me what device are you using and what CE version it is running. Be precise! Describe the problem in as much detail as possible. I will not be bothered to answer posts such as "it don't work for me, help!".

Copyright Notice:

All brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Appendix:

Prudent ones might install and use WinCE 5.0/6.0 Device Emulator on their desktop PC / laptop to try out ceFFM before installing ceFFM to their Sat Nav.

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jwoegerbauer
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I know, posting on my own post... but I just edited the original post and wanted to make sure it got brought forward...

Change Log ceFFM 0.1.1 (800x480px):

1) squeezed images used, hence shorter load time, less RAM-usage
2) added a launcher/installer routine
3) added a "RestoreToFactoryDefaults" icon/routine (Warning: DO NOT RUN THIS, IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT MAY HAPPEN!)
4) added some (useful ?) applications
My devices:
GPS: Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Professional
Phablet: Android 4.0.4
Laptop: Windows 8.1.1
Phone: Windows Phone 8.0
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jwoegerbauer
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(Last edited by jwoegerbauer; 27th December 2011 at 12:48 PM.) Reason: Update to version 0.2.1
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Change Log ceFFM 0.2.0:

Now both 480x272 and 800x480 ready.

Change Log ceFFM 0.2.1:

Two bugs fixed. Thanks to joshli.


Download newest version: See post#1
My devices:
GPS: Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Professional
Phablet: Android 4.0.4
Laptop: Windows 8.1.1
Phone: Windows Phone 8.0
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Cheetah64d
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Good to see a descent menu for WinCE6 Sat Nav devices, since they starting to be big part of the GPS devices that sold nowadays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwoegerbauer
This due to the fact ceFFM simply overlays device's default shell/menu which you re-gain access to if you exit ceFFM.
Is this means that the Registry Init keys first launch the original nav program, and only then ceFFM? Isn't that a little memory consuming?

A little suggestion:
Add the Installation and Uninstallation part to the readme file. They're kind of must-be over there.

TY for this shell!!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheetah64d View Post
Is this means that the Registry Init keys first launch the original nav program, and only then ceFFM? Isn't that a little memory consuming?
Should be no problem. Most CE6 AIOs present a start menu (i.e. shell), do not immediately start any application (ex. navigation program) per se. This initial menu usually has only a few KB, so this is certainly negligible.
Quote:
Add the Installation and Uninstallation part to the readme file. They're kind of must-be over there.
Added to the TODO list! Thanks for the hint.
My devices:
GPS: Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Professional
Phablet: Android 4.0.4
Laptop: Windows 8.1.1
Phone: Windows Phone 8.0
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Default Positive or negative criticism please

There have been 95 downloads but only 2 responses here after it has been applied to devices. Could someone let me know if he/she likes it on his/her device or not, how to improve it or what? I am willing to spend further efforts into this project, publish in the near future a final version here ...
My devices:
GPS: Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Professional
Phablet: Android 4.0.4
Laptop: Windows 8.1.1
Phone: Windows Phone 8.0
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nook'r
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I just found out about this today, I will try it on jvc NT3HDT.

Is there any kind of precaution i should be aware of before running it.

Also do you have any script that can back up/dump NAV original software before any tweaking?

Thanks
 
jwoegerbauer
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Quote:
Is there any kind of precaution i should be aware of before running it.
ceFFM doesn't hurt any thing. Promised. ceFFM simply waits default start-up has finished, then it presents to you an extra shell which you like, or not. If you exit ceFFM you are returned to your JVC's default shell.
Quote:
Also do you have any script that can back up/dump NAV original software before any tweaking?
Your unit's original software isn't affected at all. Hence there isn't the need to backup anything. But of course you can backup the JVC's registry by means of CeRegEditor or any other tool, if you can establish a so-called ActiveSync-connection between your JVC and desktop PC/Laptop.
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nook'r
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Default No Luck

HeadUnit bypassed the sd card completely and booted into the oem nav software.

Let me know if you have something else i can throught at the HU.
 
jwoegerbauer
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(Last edited by jwoegerbauer; 21st January 2012 at 03:24 PM.) Reason: Hint "EveryWAN Personal Edition" / "My Mobiler" added
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Default ceFFM needs to be manually installed, no auto-installation feature given

Quote:
HeadUnit bypassed the sd card completely and booted into the oem nav software.

Let me know if you have something else i can throught at the HU.
If you can establish a so-called ActiveSync-connection between your JVC and desktop PC/Laptop ( of course USB-cable is necessary ), then you can start ceFFM.exe on the SD-card inserted manually, using herefore a Win32 freeware tool as for example "EveryWAN Personal Edition" or "My Mobiler", or any other tool you like.

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