Updated 2008-04-03 (1.44) : LCMinutes - Monitoring your minutes, SMS and data usage

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LyonPlus

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2007
159
1
0
Toronto
lctools.blogspot.com
Note: Now it's supports WM5 & WM6 Pocket PC phone and smartphone edition. Please check the change history below to see the details.

Basically LCMinutes is an application that keeps track of phone calls, SMS, and data traffic, calculates their charge based on user defined rate plan, and thus keep user informed of the up-to-date balance information: like current charges, used free minutes, used free messages, used free data allowlance, expire date for prepaid plans, etc.

Installation

For detailed installation guide, check LCMinutes Installation Guide

Change History:
Version 1.44:

* Feature change: Add more traces for day and month change.
* Bug fix: change free minutes or data allowance is not updated to balance info when user choose to apply new rate plan to existing usage.
* Bug fix: +/- sign in special rates not handled correctly.

Version 1.43:

* Feature change: Time based charge mode for data usage.
* Feature change: New sharing flag for special rates string to support free long distance minutes is shared before free daytime/weekend/evening minutes.
* Feature change: Maximum length of special rates increased to 2048.
* Bug fix: Support new service message format for balance info from Rogers.

Version 1.42:

* Feature change: Character "+" now supported for number in free number and special rates string, along with character "*", which is already supported.
* Feature change: Data allowance unit changed from MB to KB.
* Feature change: Correct misc setting display for call minute warning.
* Feature change: Add more trace for importing phone calls.
* Feature change: Add more trace for GetCellTowerInfo in case of failure.
* Feature change: Remove trace for signal changes.
* Bug fix: call connection fee is charged even when free minutes is still available.
* Code optimization: Use constant for bytes per kilobytes definition.

Version 1.41:

* Project configuration change.

Version 1.40:

* Feature change: font customization for both main window and plugin item partially supported, through 3rd party registry editor.
* Bug fix: rate plan setting display incorrectly in editing state for some htc Touch phones when using some fonts.
* Bug fix: daily used minutes is not correctly updated when updating balance by user setting or detecting from service messages.
* Bug fix: detecting T-Mobile used minutes from service message now working correctly.

Version 1.39:

* Feature change: setting for display calls, SMS, data, and balance in main window is now saved.
* Feature change: data usage charge unit can be set by user to any number of kilobytes.
* Feature change: add network id for rate plan to support monitoring balance info in service messages from Kuwait Zain and T-Mobile USA.
* Feature change: support displaying expire date or effective date without year info.
* Feature change: add more traces for debugging rate plan displaying problem in some htc Touch phones.

Version 1.38:

* Feature change: Monitoring balance info in service messages from Kuwait Zain and T-Mobile USA is supported, along with Canadian Rogers and Fido.
* Feature change: used data display format changed: now decimal places or fractional digits is changed to 2 or 1 or 0 based on the size of the used data.
* Feature change: add more traces for debugging.
* Bug fix: currency symbol with multiple characters supported.

Version 1.37:

* Feature change: support simultaneously data connection and phone call.
* Bug fix: rate plan change (free minutes, data/SMS allowance) is not reflected in balance.

Version 1.36:

* Bug fix: trace setting not saved.

Version 1.35:

* Bug fix: used data of balance is imported incorrectly.

Version 1.34:

* Feature change: charge for multiple recipients and concatenated SMS supported.
* Feature change: trace for LCMinutes today/home screen plugin.
* Feature change: special rates length increased from 512 to 1024.
* Feature change: Precision of rates per KB for data usage is increased by one digit.
* Bug fix: after shared units for call minutes and SMS is all consumed, SMS usage will not add up to used minutes. It will now only add up to the usd SMS count.

Version 1.33:

* Bug fix: data traffic monitoring now works on Samsung CDMA phones.

Version 1.32:

* Feature change: free long distance minutes supported: now user can use free long distance minutes before applying long distance rates for their phone calls.
* Feature change: new special rates format: now it's possible for special rates numbers to share free numbers before applying special rates. This should be helpful for some Polish and Australian users.
* Feature change: data traffic is now dynamically updated on today screen before it's disconnected and charged.
* Feature change: used minutes is now displayed with seconds if the charge interval is not exact 60 seconds.
* Feature change: start minutes is now second based in stead of minute based, so user can set a start minutes like 1 minute plus 20 seconds.
* Bug fix: the call minutes is now rounded up to charging interval for start minutes if the call is shorter than the start minutes.
* Bug fix: call time calculation error for phone call surpass two days and using special rates.
* Bug fix: exporting balance before opening balance tab will export garbage data.

Version 1.31:

* Today / Homescreen display customization: now user can choose what to display on their LCMinutes Today / Homescreen plugin.
* Minute beep support: timing and period are both user defined, incoming call and outgoing call can have different timing and period. So user can define a half minute (or whatever seconds he wants) beep period if his/her charging unit is 30 seconds instead of 1 minute.
* The data allowance limit can be 4T bytes, instead of 4G bytes, in maximum.
* New data connection type support: this should fix the problem that data traffic is not recorded on some phones, or some operators.
* Effective date support when importing balance: this enable user to set a balance for a past date.
* Data traffic sample timing now can be changed by user.
* Trace mode support.
* Some minor code optimizations.

Version 1.30:

* Feature change: support for data traffic, user can set monthly data limit and rates per kilobytes for extra data traffic, and whether to round up to the next full kilobytes when calculating charges.

Check LCMinutes Change History for the full change history.

Download:

Download LCMinutes 1.44 for Pocket PC Phone
Download LCMinutes 1.44 For Smartphone


For more information, please visit http://lctools.blogspot.com.
 
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Knockz

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2007
51
1
0
Looks very good. I will definately give this a try. Everything I have tried up until now to monitor sms and calls has not been too good.

I can't wait for the version that can monitor the data too. That way I can have one app to monitor all and display on the today screen.

Thanks for the new tool.
 

shyboy

Member
Mar 17, 2006
30
0
0
Malaysia
looks promisiong..but maybe you can integrate the following in your next version
- data rates.
- international call and sms rates
- user can adjust peak and offpeak times.

Merry Christmas
 

LyonPlus

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2007
159
1
0
Toronto
lctools.blogspot.com
Data rates is being implemented now.

Hi, Knockz, Moe5508, and shyboy, thanks for the comments. Data rates is the next feature I will be implementing.

And for shyboy:

1. SMS rates is already supported: it supports free incoming SMS, rate per SMS out, rate per SMS in, and number of free SMS;

2. I am not sure what do you mean by Peak Time, but in my application there's support for different rates for daytime, evening and weekend. You can define what means evening in the Rate Plan Setting.
 

famewolf

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2006
5,211
1,338
253
Attempting to setup my rate plan... evening time is 9pm to 7am and free weekends....so in the "evening time" field do I put 21-07 ?

Also..what is the "expired time" on the balance field? My plan cycles on day 2 of the month so not sure what needs to go there.
 

LyonPlus

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2007
159
1
0
Toronto
lctools.blogspot.com
Answer to famewolf

Attempting to setup my rate plan... evening time is 9pm to 7am and free weekends....so in the "evening time" field do I put 21-07 ?

Also..what is the "expired time" on the balance field? My plan cycles on day 2 of the month so not sure what needs to go there.

1. Yes, put 21-07 there for evening time;
2. Expire time is meaningful for prepaid plan, which mean you need to recharge your balance otherwise your existing balance will be lost. For postpaid plan, I set the expire time as the last second (23:59:59) of the last date of your plan month.

Hope it helps.
 

famewolf

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2006
5,211
1,338
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Thank you for the nice program. Any chance the minutes used or remaining could be displayed on the today plugin?
 

LyonPlus

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2007
159
1
0
Toronto
lctools.blogspot.com
For now, used minutes won't be displayed

Thank you for the nice program. Any chance the minutes used or remaining could be displayed on the today plugin?

Actually the used minutes and used SMS info are supposed be displayed on the today screen and the main window, I just forgot that before I release it, because my own plan is a prepaid plan.

I will try to fix that very soon.
 

famewolf

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2006
5,211
1,338
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Actually the used minutes and used SMS info are supposed be displayed on the today screen and the main window, I just forgot that before I release it, because my own plan is a prepaid plan.

I will try to fix that very soon.

I'm not sure how close you are trying to "match" to the person's existing monthly bill...the two things I saw missing were a "Misc Monthly Fee's" to lump all the carrier fee's and 911 fee's that occur each month but are not part of the monthly "rate" and the option to tell sales tax percentage rate which would apply to the bill after everything else was accumulated.

If you add data as several people requested then you also run into issues such as how much they pay for data access...is it a flat rate like on tmobile or by the megabyte transferred as most UK providers do.

If you try to support things like "myfaves" then they have to be able to provide a list of phone #'s that are "free" I suppose...this however could also be used for things like voicemail #'s or if they have free mobile to mobile etc....

Hopefully this will be helpful and not make you go "What have I done?!?" and hide from us. ;)
 

LyonPlus

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2007
159
1
0
Toronto
lctools.blogspot.com
Thanks for all these information, famewolf

Hopefully this will be helpful and not make you go "What have I done?!?" and hide from us. ;)

So far, all these are still not enough to scare me away. :cool:

Actually I am trying to emulate the real life operator charge as near as possible, but I also know it's simply impossible. For example, there's no way for me to support the so called free in network phone call, as we have no way to know which phone belong to which network, especially after this portable phone number thing.

So my goal is, fulfil the 80% feature of the 80% of normal users.

And for your qeustions:

1. I did think about separate monthly rate and monthly surchage (like 911 fee and system access fee), but then I found no specific advantage for me to do that, so I gave it up;

2. I have not given too much thoughs for the sales tax, the reason, my prepaid plan has not tax on it; :D

3. For data plan support, it's already in the plan. But it's a little bit difficult to separate it from MMS, so I simply delay it. As you know some operator have plan that give user free data for MMS, and I need to consider this situation if the data plan is not a flat plan. (but if it's a flat plan, I don't need to do anything about it, right?);

4. I plan to support a list of free numbers in the rate plan, so user can add service number, myFaves number, and any in network number into the list if they have free in network call feature.

Cheers!
 

famewolf

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2006
5,211
1,338
253
LCMinutes V1.01 uploaded, VGA support and displaying of minutes & SMS usage in today plugin are added. Please check the first post in this thread for details.
;)

I get something like: 285/0 8/0

285 is weekday minutes used. 8 is sms used...what are the two /0's?
 

LyonPlus

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2007
159
1
0
Toronto
lctools.blogspot.com
Error: Not signed with a trusted certificate......

This is caused by the fact that my application is not signed, which I don't plan to do as I can't afford the time and money.

You can solve this by CID unlock your phone.

I get something like: 285/0 8/0

285 is weekday minutes used. 8 is sms used...what are the two /0's?

Hi, famewolf, the two 0's are the free counts of minutes and SMS, and 0 means you don't have free minutes, free SMS. ;)
 

famewolf

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2006
5,211
1,338
253
This is caused by the fact that my application is not signed, which I don't plan to do as I can't afford the time and money.

You can solve this by CID unlock your phone.



Hi, famewolf, the two 0's are the free counts of minutes and SMS, and 0 means you don't have free minutes, free SMS. ;)

Then I see a problem..because I have 1000 anytime minutes and free nights/weekends.....I've indicated "unlimited nights" and "unlimited weekends" in the rate plan and 1000 weekday minutes......
 

LyonPlus

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2007
159
1
0
Toronto
lctools.blogspot.com
Yeah, these are problems.

Then I see a problem..because I have 1000 anytime minutes and free nights/weekends.....I've indicated "unlimited nights" and "unlimited weekends" in the rate plan and 1000 weekday minutes......

For the first 0, it's definitely a bug. But in my own test, when I update the rate plan, the weekday minutes will be correctly updated to the balance info. So could you please try to update the weekday minutes to something like 1001, and then check whether it's reflected in the today screen?

For the second 0, it's also a bug, but it's because I have not considered of this. Do you think it's worthy to display the used weekend/evening minutes if the weekend/evening minutes is unlimited? I tend to not to display it, but I am not sure.
 

famewolf

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2006
5,211
1,338
253
For the first 0, it's definitely a bug. But in my own test, when I update the rate plan, the weekday minutes will be correctly updated to the balance info. So could you please try to update the weekday minutes to something like 1001, and then check whether it's reflected in the today screen?

For the second 0, it's also a bug, but it's because I have not considered of this. Do you think it's worthy to display the used weekend/evening minutes if the weekend/evening minutes is unlimited? I tend to not to display it, but I am not sure.


Changing the free minutes to 1001 causes the /1001 to be displayed. The 8/0 is correct as I have no free SMS's.... Since I have unlimited nights and weekends I don't need to see them but if you do decide to add them it would be simple to either show a number or something like this: N: ULMT WE: ULMT

Also not sure if you want to consider that calls to "611" and "911" are almost always "free" calls for any provider.
 
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  • 1
    Note: Now it's supports WM5 & WM6 Pocket PC phone and smartphone edition. Please check the change history below to see the details.

    Basically LCMinutes is an application that keeps track of phone calls, SMS, and data traffic, calculates their charge based on user defined rate plan, and thus keep user informed of the up-to-date balance information: like current charges, used free minutes, used free messages, used free data allowlance, expire date for prepaid plans, etc.

    Installation

    For detailed installation guide, check LCMinutes Installation Guide

    Change History:
    Version 1.44:

    * Feature change: Add more traces for day and month change.
    * Bug fix: change free minutes or data allowance is not updated to balance info when user choose to apply new rate plan to existing usage.
    * Bug fix: +/- sign in special rates not handled correctly.

    Version 1.43:

    * Feature change: Time based charge mode for data usage.
    * Feature change: New sharing flag for special rates string to support free long distance minutes is shared before free daytime/weekend/evening minutes.
    * Feature change: Maximum length of special rates increased to 2048.
    * Bug fix: Support new service message format for balance info from Rogers.

    Version 1.42:

    * Feature change: Character "+" now supported for number in free number and special rates string, along with character "*", which is already supported.
    * Feature change: Data allowance unit changed from MB to KB.
    * Feature change: Correct misc setting display for call minute warning.
    * Feature change: Add more trace for importing phone calls.
    * Feature change: Add more trace for GetCellTowerInfo in case of failure.
    * Feature change: Remove trace for signal changes.
    * Bug fix: call connection fee is charged even when free minutes is still available.
    * Code optimization: Use constant for bytes per kilobytes definition.

    Version 1.41:

    * Project configuration change.

    Version 1.40:

    * Feature change: font customization for both main window and plugin item partially supported, through 3rd party registry editor.
    * Bug fix: rate plan setting display incorrectly in editing state for some htc Touch phones when using some fonts.
    * Bug fix: daily used minutes is not correctly updated when updating balance by user setting or detecting from service messages.
    * Bug fix: detecting T-Mobile used minutes from service message now working correctly.

    Version 1.39:

    * Feature change: setting for display calls, SMS, data, and balance in main window is now saved.
    * Feature change: data usage charge unit can be set by user to any number of kilobytes.
    * Feature change: add network id for rate plan to support monitoring balance info in service messages from Kuwait Zain and T-Mobile USA.
    * Feature change: support displaying expire date or effective date without year info.
    * Feature change: add more traces for debugging rate plan displaying problem in some htc Touch phones.

    Version 1.38:

    * Feature change: Monitoring balance info in service messages from Kuwait Zain and T-Mobile USA is supported, along with Canadian Rogers and Fido.
    * Feature change: used data display format changed: now decimal places or fractional digits is changed to 2 or 1 or 0 based on the size of the used data.
    * Feature change: add more traces for debugging.
    * Bug fix: currency symbol with multiple characters supported.

    Version 1.37:

    * Feature change: support simultaneously data connection and phone call.
    * Bug fix: rate plan change (free minutes, data/SMS allowance) is not reflected in balance.

    Version 1.36:

    * Bug fix: trace setting not saved.

    Version 1.35:

    * Bug fix: used data of balance is imported incorrectly.

    Version 1.34:

    * Feature change: charge for multiple recipients and concatenated SMS supported.
    * Feature change: trace for LCMinutes today/home screen plugin.
    * Feature change: special rates length increased from 512 to 1024.
    * Feature change: Precision of rates per KB for data usage is increased by one digit.
    * Bug fix: after shared units for call minutes and SMS is all consumed, SMS usage will not add up to used minutes. It will now only add up to the usd SMS count.

    Version 1.33:

    * Bug fix: data traffic monitoring now works on Samsung CDMA phones.

    Version 1.32:

    * Feature change: free long distance minutes supported: now user can use free long distance minutes before applying long distance rates for their phone calls.
    * Feature change: new special rates format: now it's possible for special rates numbers to share free numbers before applying special rates. This should be helpful for some Polish and Australian users.
    * Feature change: data traffic is now dynamically updated on today screen before it's disconnected and charged.
    * Feature change: used minutes is now displayed with seconds if the charge interval is not exact 60 seconds.
    * Feature change: start minutes is now second based in stead of minute based, so user can set a start minutes like 1 minute plus 20 seconds.
    * Bug fix: the call minutes is now rounded up to charging interval for start minutes if the call is shorter than the start minutes.
    * Bug fix: call time calculation error for phone call surpass two days and using special rates.
    * Bug fix: exporting balance before opening balance tab will export garbage data.

    Version 1.31:

    * Today / Homescreen display customization: now user can choose what to display on their LCMinutes Today / Homescreen plugin.
    * Minute beep support: timing and period are both user defined, incoming call and outgoing call can have different timing and period. So user can define a half minute (or whatever seconds he wants) beep period if his/her charging unit is 30 seconds instead of 1 minute.
    * The data allowance limit can be 4T bytes, instead of 4G bytes, in maximum.
    * New data connection type support: this should fix the problem that data traffic is not recorded on some phones, or some operators.
    * Effective date support when importing balance: this enable user to set a balance for a past date.
    * Data traffic sample timing now can be changed by user.
    * Trace mode support.
    * Some minor code optimizations.

    Version 1.30:

    * Feature change: support for data traffic, user can set monthly data limit and rates per kilobytes for extra data traffic, and whether to round up to the next full kilobytes when calculating charges.

    Check LCMinutes Change History for the full change history.

    Download:

    Download LCMinutes 1.44 for Pocket PC Phone
    Download LCMinutes 1.44 For Smartphone


    For more information, please visit http://lctools.blogspot.com.
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