Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Where art thou?

Ah EXACTLY what I needed -- a GPS navigation system!! I'm a directional idiot. To say that I have no capacity or instinct for knowing the points on a compass is like saying that McDonald's food contain some artificial additives.

I had stayed away for years from this new-fangled tech. I guess I was scared off because I saw ver 1.0 of these things up close. Back in the day, 1989-ish, my parentals had one of these gizmoes installed in the family sedan. It was monochrome, no voice activation, and consisted of about 128Kb of data; roughly equivalent to a MP3 file barely long enuf to reasonably play Name That Tune. At any rate, that first iteration was downright unusable. Its accuracy was measured in terms of State lines -- "Make a right turn at Massachusetts. You are now on the East Coast," the text would helpfully scroll.

But this new GPS is a beaut. If I don't listen to the helpful soothing voice instructions, and miss yet another turn; no problem! It cheerfuly recalcualtes the route and helpfully offers a recovery path. No getting lost in an urban maze where a flat tire and an empty tank of gas would force one to make a pitstop in an..unadvisable section of town. That was 1996 I think -- the ver 2.0 model guided me to a Los Angeles street with the same sounding name, but with a violent crime rate roughly 30x the place I wanted to arrive at. I still remember reaching the pay phone, listening for the dial tone and noticing that the coin receptacle had been gutted with something that leaves scrotch marks. Rather than ask directions from the nice gentlemen enjoying their liquid dinners from a brown paper bag, I proceeded to thump along on three tires to the next town...

I digress. It's too bad that the only places that I've gone since acquiring this new model is work and back. But I can tell you that I know exactly how to get home from here, thanks to the wonders of satellite navigation technology!!

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