"It took about three hours heading dead west on side-streets before I reached the approach to I-10. It was utterly jammed. Then I remembered my husband's Christmas present to me last year�a GPS device called the Magellan RoadMate. That may not sound like the most romantic gift, but I spend a lot of time in the car, and a lot of that time on strange roads on the verge of being very, very lost. 'Turn on the RoadMate,' I said to my son. "
These things are expensive - like $850.00 for one that talks to you - but it would be the only way to navigate the back roads in an emergency. Just get off the freeway, tell it where you want to go, and let it figure it out. If you see a crowd ahead, take off at an angle, and then let the GPS figure it out.
I used GPS navigation a lot a couple of years ago when I was travelling to California a lot. It was a life saver! Except the time it had THQ's address wrong. Then I called my wife and she guided me to THQ by using MapQuest from the PC at home.
One time I was going to meet someone at Warner Interactive, and this guy said, "It's on the west side near Santa Monica." Well, I put the address into the GPS and it took me to Burbank. This distressed me greatly, but it turned out the GPS was right.
One time I was in Burbank, taking the bus from the beautiful Burbank Airport to the nearby Hilton. My buddies and I were chatting about "GPS Lady", and how great she was at guiding us around LA. This lady in the bus (who claimed to be a computer programmer but I think she was a standup comic) said, "If I designed that thing, when you missed a turn, it would say, 'That was it! That was it!'". I wanted to hear more jokes but she ran off, probably scared of us game geeks.
One time I had GPS Man. He was a different brand. He was built-in to a Java based smart phone. He was stuck onto my windshield with a big giant suction cup. GPS Man actually gave better directions, but it was hard to operate. You had to make a phone call to some central place, tell them where you wanted to go, and then they would download the data into the phone. Overnight, GPS Man was left on, and his batteries died, which meant I had to figure out how to reinitialize him at least enough to get the central service to download something useful. That was interesting.
I have some friends with GPS Person built into their cars. It's pretty cool. I'm hoping my car lasts a long time, and that when I finally get a new car, instead of GPS Person I get GPS Driver, and I can just sit and surf the web while my car drives me to where I need to go.
(C) 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.