GPS, but without GPS
Most modern laptops still don't have GPS receivers built into them. My HTC Snap Windows Mobile 6.5 does, although it never seems to connect to anything at all so I am starting to suspect that it is just a lie... I'd like GPS built into my laptop though, but I can't imagine I'd use it too often. GPS can actually have a suprisingly varied application, but if you want a fairly pointless one (at the moment) then read on :-).
For those who have laptops that don't have GPS but want it, there is a location virtual "device" that you can install on your computer in order for it to work out where you are just in case you wasn't aware. It works by calculating your current location based on the IP network information that your network connection has at that moment in time. It is fairly pointless if your computer never moves around and/or has a fixed network connection, but if you travel a fair bit then it might come in handy. So, head over to the GeoSense for Windows website and grab the free download. It feeds the GPS information it calculates into the new location platform that premieres with Windows 7, so if you don't have Windows 7 then this install is even more pointless than ever for you!
Now, why did I say it was fairly pointless? Basically, because the only location-aware software that seems to be available for Windows 7 at the moment is the weather gadget, but hopefully, this free software will kick-start development for other uses!
As you can see from the screenshot above, the left gadget is my current location (hence the blue icon next to "ESP"), and the right gadget is showing a manually configured location. It works pretty well on wireless networks, but something goes a bit wonky if you are using a 3G connection; I am often surprised to find out that I am actually in Valencia or Seville rather than in Madrid if I am using my 3G modem - I guess you learn something new everyday....!