Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Satnav Bliss

There are few things in this lifetime that cause more conflict than map-reading. I believe it has something to do with caveman mentality. Caveman is out hunting, now this is usually something non-stressful, like fishing could be. But now we are fishing not all alone, but competing; so you get the picture - all these wild drivers on the road, competing for position. some of them are there fishing for fun- on a sunday afternoon drive. But I'm competing! I've got someplace to be, and my navigator is continuously twisting the tatty pages of the map-book about like you do when you are testing to see if a compass still points true-north if you spin around quickly.

Now that gives me an idea for a quick invention, but more on that latter... so we got a satnav. It makes the peace, because when you go wrong, or it goes wrong,you blame the digital box, not your best friend. It is possible to laugh at the funny voice, and even turn the volume down so that the annoying litany can be safely ignored until you decide you really are lost. Overall I was not impressed with the NAVMAN F50. It came with bluetooth, which paired with my phone on the second attempt (The first time I was still fussing with my phone), and just worked, doing all bluetooth/handsfree things without fuss. But the satnav still has bugs, and you discover these on day 1 as well.
After setting up the 5-mile drive home,I followed the prompts, until it showed a quick left-right turn that did not exist in real life. Strange, the road was planned, but the folk who build the new housing estate 10 years ago never put that road in. They were supposed to, and that was not the only issue. On day 2 I typed in a postcode, the unit simply responded with 'no reachable route' and refused to give any directions at all, even though I was 80 miles away, and the navigation error was to the order of a mile or less. Notwithstanding the monument I wanted to reach was a popular POI on a main road... Let's see what happens.

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