OT: GPS device review

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I treated myself to a low-end GPS device today (It's a TomTom 130S from PepBoys(!). $60 after rebate). And I must say I'm impressed.
Of course this is a very low-end model, but it does things I didn't know were available.
It keeps up with where you are via a scrolling, annotated, map. It's like looking down on your car from a low-flying police helicopter. You can tap the screen and the helicopter gains altitude - showing a wider area - just as if your passenger shot at it through the sun roof.
The device displays the time of day, but, more interestingly, your ground speed.
Entering your destination is easy and the device prompts your travel with voice commands ("Get ready to turn right, dummy!") in a variety of choosable voices. I picked the sultry English female accent. I think a gay lisp is downloadable ("Pweeze, oh pweeze, turn a wittle to your weft!")
The gizmo is easy to pop loose from it's mounting to tuck away in the glove box or, and this is kinda neat, to carry with you in case you're walking somewhere. Hint: When you park your car in a lot the size of Delaware, note the latitude and longitude. As you leave your daughter's soccer game, merely mosey to those coordinates and there's your car! Yes, it's (rechargeable) battery operated.
Tap the screen a couple of times and you're presented with little icons showing nearby gas stations or points of interest. It can also show you the nearest first aid/hospitals as well as fire and police stations. It accurately pointed out my neighborhood community police center. Perhaps the higher-end models show unsanitary taco stands...
Every once in a so-often, you can download an updated map for a small charge. You can also add maps of far-away places (UK, Turkey, wherever).
All in all, kinda fun. And, quite possibly, useful.
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HeyBub wrote:

Welcome to 1998...
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I bought a Pulsar watch the other day at a yard sale for $1. I had to spend $3 for a battery. I have no idea how old it is, but it keeps good time. Has a nice gold colored band, and a black face like a Movado. Should I go out and spend $500 for a decent watch? Is there something inherently wrong with this cheap old watch? Is there something wrong with me?
Steve
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Steve B wrote: (snip)

Chuckle. I do that too. When I see some leading edge from 20-30 years ago techno-toy at a garage sale for a couple bucks, I have trouble resisting buying it. That Pulsar likely cost several hundred when it was new, if it is the model I am thinking of. This is the kind where you have to touch it to display the time? IIRC, they did that to make the batteries last longer.
I've gotten several top-quality 35mm film cameras that way. Not sure what I'll ever do with them, since I haven't used film in 2-3 years at all, but they are nice pieces.
It's a fun and harmless pastime, as long as you stick to small stuff, and never spend more than a few bucks on an item. As to watches- I own one working one- a 20 year old 20-buck timex that lives in my briefcase, for the very occasional days I will be hanging out in an area without a clock. (like on an airplane, or wandering city streets for appointments.) I probably don't wear it more than 3-4 days a year, and usually end up shoving it in my pocket, because I hate having stuff on my wrist.
-- aem sends...
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Steve B wrote:

Hi, If it is a LED watch, it is hard on battery. I wear low end Casio G-shock atomic multiband solar watch with 3 sensor for every day. Shock, water resistant no need to adjust time(including DST) if I go across pond or Pacific, I just tell the watch which city I am in and time keeping is done automatically. Using Garmin GSP here.
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Steve B wrote:

Don't know. What does your example have to do with a GPS? We have been able to buy a clock (from dirt cheap to mega expensive) you can fasten to your wrist for quite some time and be able to make good use of that technology.
If you chose not to but a GPS say 10 years ago you lost 10 years of convenience. Certainly there is lots of high end stuff but you don't need to spend big money for GPS equipment and I never have.
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It is an amazing and very useful piece of technology. I use mine every few weeks or so if I'm going to someplace I've never been to or even if I'm just meandering around some distant place with no specific destination.
They do have quirks. They sometimes choose a route that is not the best. I used mine yesterday but did not have it actually guide me until I was 75% to my destination. It is a place that I've been to before but not for over a year. It took me a different way than it has on previous trips.
Coming home I left the business in a different direction than it brought me. It took me on a far different course home than makes sense, but if I had followed it, I'd have gotten home within a couple of minutes of my chosen route. Computer logic is just not as good as the brain.
GPS units are also the most stolen piece of equipment from cars too. The fact that it snaps out and can continue on battery power is useful. Mine is in my pocket if I'm not in the car even for 30 seconds because it can be stolen in 10 seconds..
What amazes me is the low cost for what it does, especially when compared to cars that offer it as a built in option for $2000 in a package.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

My first one only gave Lat/Long. The embedded computers of the day didn't have enough HP to run a mapping application. I later connected it to a notebook to run what would now be considered a primitive mapping application.
I think the best value is how quickly you can recover from a detour or missed turn. Last week I had to go out to Newark in the morning. I don't know that area well. There was a accident at my exit so it was closed. The GPS said to turn off at the next exit and it sent me down one road that looked like an alley and then through what I thought could have been a commercial lot. It took me two minutes longer to get to my destination. Previously I would have been looking at a postage stamp map wondering where I was and how to get to my destination.

I do the same thing. Most of the time it is just running for positional awareness. Each road is given a weight and it picks according to that weight. If I am coming home from the east every GPS I have ever used will send me 9 miles further on the Interstate and then onto another Interstate which form two sides of an equilateral triangle instead of using a two lane road which is the base of the triangle.

Hopefully the druggies will figure out that a lot of them are now $100 or less and will find something else to pay for their habit instead of smashing out car windows to get a GPS.

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wrote:

Don't kid yourself. If you leave the GPS bracket in view, the crooks will assume that the unit is stowed under one of the front seats, and bust your window anyway, just to look there. Crooks wander around looking for dashboard brackets, and even the dirty ring left on the windshield by suction cup mounts. They know that most people quickly tire of carrying their GPS around with them, and simply stash it under the seat. Doesn't matter that you don't do that, as you end up with damage to your car that costs more than the GPS anyway. You might be better off leaving a cheap GPS in plain sight. Many crooks will know it's one of the junky ones and keep on walking by.
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I'm not kidding myself. Had my car broken into a couple of time with no damage, no loss. Why? Because I'm smart enough to leave the doors unlocked. Go ahead, open the door, take a tour, find nothing of value and leave. Many years ago I had a quart can of oil stolen from the floor of the back seat. My neighbors had broken windows, scratched door frames and other damage. They had the doors locked.
Most recent break in a couple of years ago I had to put some stuff back in the glove box. Nothing stolen, no damage.
As for stealing the car, a pro will take it away in seconds, locked, alarmed, or not.
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wrote:

I used to work for a company that did radio replacements, dash board replacements, and interior repairs for insurance companies. I saw many cases where the thief failed to get the radio out of the dash, or didn't find anything of value and trashed the dash and upholstery in frustration. Lots of these characters are high on drugs and don't think like you do. They may not even try the door before breaking the glass. You have just been lucky... so far.
BTW - in many cases, if you leave the car doors unlocked and anything not permanently installed is stolen, it is covered under your homeowners policy. If the doors are locked, homeowners won't cover it.
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This seems backwards?
--
Christopher A. Young
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Never heard of that. About ten years ago I came in late and left a couple items in the car. Riff-raff broke in to a number of cars in my general area. They punched a hole in the drivers side door to unlock my car. Auto insurance said personal property was not covered under any conditions. Homeowners covered it for the little bit it went beyond the deductible.
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Around here, you can be the recipient of a fine if your car isn't locked and all valuables hidden out of sight....It isn't just on the "books" it is actually enforced.
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On Mon, 30 Nov 2009 09:15:30 -0500, "Worn Out Retread"

"in many cases"
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Around here, wandering Negro males known as urban campers will smash a vehicle window in order to pull up the back seat looking for change. I heard a crash outside my office some years ago and caught a Negro man who had smashed the window of my van in order to rifle the glove box. I bathed him with pepper spray and he started screaming " I'm stopping, I'm stopping!" to which I replied, "I'm not, I'm not!". The police caught him a few blocks away and it turned out that the vermin had been breaking into vehicles all over the area. The arrest was also his third felony and no, he wasn't sent away for life, I think there was a plea bargain. I've thought of some pretty horrible ways to put a stop to such nonsense but it would make me sound like a Muslim, darn it.
TDD
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

A quart "can"! Wow, that was long ago!
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wrote in message

Damn, I have about a dozen old quart cans of oil like it used ta be sold. I'd be pretty pissed if someone took an old one like that, unsealed. That would be worth some bucks.
Steve ;-)
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That was in my 1964 Karmann Ghia and happened in the mid 70's. Do they still sell the oil pouring spouts?
I paid $15 for the car and rebuilt the engine with $55 worth of parts.
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wrote in message >>

And now, even in average condition, what would it sell for? I had a couple of VW bugs. They had engines that a Porsche mechanic in Houston built for me. Just 1650 engines, but they screamed. You could set the timing perfectly with just a 12v. tester light. Getting the valve clearances was another thing.
Steve
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