Mountain View Voice

- February 5, 2010

Business Briefs

Local man creates Caltrain app

A Mountain View resident has created an application for Palm phones that provides up-to-date Caltrain schedules.

Stuart Eichert said it took him two months working two to three hours a day to create the FMCaltrain program. He sells it for $3 through the Palm catalog and gets a 70 percent cut of the revenue.

Caltrain applications already exist for the iPhone, but Eichert saw an opportunity with the new Palm mobile phones. He said he was one of the first people in line when the new Palm Six came out.

The application's unique feature is that it incorporates automatic updates on train delays via the Caltrain Twitter feed.

"I wanted to create something I would actually use," he said, adding that he finds it useful to know whether there is a train delay so he can decide whether he has to drive instead.

Eichert wouldn't tell how many apps he's sold, but said he's not making enough money to quit his other ventures, which include a mobile phone app for real estate agents.

— Daniel DeBolt

Bank offers local grants

HSBC Bank opened a new Mountain View branch on Jan. 27, and commemorated the event by announcing two grants to local organizations — one to the Mountain View Educational Foundation and one to Friends of Stevens Creek Trail — for $7,500 each.

HSBC says its grant-giving supports educational and environmental organizations. Friends of Stevens Creek Trail works to raise community awareness and involvement in the trail, and the Mountain View Educational Fund reinforces academic curricula at the Mountain View Whisman School District. The latter donation qualifies HSBC to be a lead sponsor of the Fund's "Monte Carlo Night" fundraiser on March 27 at Computer History Museum.

— Dana Sherne

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