PermaLink Yay, new toys to play with when I get home!02/07/2008 02:38 PM
I have no idea how anyone put up with ordering things from Sears through the mail back in the old days.  Send your order off in a folded-up piece of a torn-up tree, then wait some unpredictable length of time (generally over a month) until a box showed up with whatever you wanted.

I have finally declared end-of-life on my old Garmin eTrex Legend GPS. It was a good unit in 2002, when I got it, and it's seen probably 25,000 miles of travel with me, everywhere from Lotusphere to New England to Monterey. But I finally got sick of its short battery life, dim screen, microscopic 8 megabytes' worth of memory, and incredibly-slow serial port connection (with, of course, a funky proprietary connector). And toward the end the thing was getting finicky and the display looked odd.

So, when I get home tonight, there'll be a new one waiting for me, at least if I'm to believe Amazon's package-tracking thing ("Where's My Shit, Mofo?") and UPS. It's another Garmin, but this one's an eTrex Vista hCX, the high-sensitivity color unit. Standard mini-USB connector, bright screen, and essentially unlimited memory thanks to a microSD slot inside the sealed battery compartment. And battery life itself should be at least double what the old one was, and requires only a miniUSB to run when you don't feel like using batteries.

I never did quite understand why many GPS units can't hack getting a signal through foliage or when you're in a narrow valley. I mean, it seems like if you use a handheld GPS, the odds of you using it in exactly those sorts of places are rather... high. But most of the ones you see start losing signal if you are under anything but the open sky. And forget using most of them in Manhattan or other canyons. Apparently the hCX is supposed to be better than that.

Consider this my Lotusphere toy. Every year I get something for myself around Lotusphere time. One year it was an early Kodak digital camera. Another year it was an IBM WorkPad (the year was 1997, when IBM had them at a "special" price of only about $400). One other time it was my iMac. So, this will be in good company.

One thing I've learned in this area is, "never trust anyone's directions."

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1. Lars Olufsen02/08/2008 10:04:38 AM

Ah ... so you're the kind that REALLY wants more than 1 Lotusphere every year?!

Where I'm from, it's "He who die with the most toys, win"! You can't have too many gadgets!

2. Gregg Eldred02/07/2008 11:46:35 PM

Where's My Shit, Mofo?

Okay, I looked all over Amazon for that link/tab/whatever, but I can't find it. I'd like to have my Amazon served with a little attitude, too.

That made me laugh. A lot!

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