TomTom XL340

Last week I converted the gift cards that I received at Christmas into a TomTom GPS device for my car. One of the things that I like about the TomTom is that you can download content and customize things. (I haven't gotten Homer Simpson's voice for navigating yet, but only because I don't want to pay $10 for it.)

Today, I decided to look for car symbols that I could download. Mad props to whichever one of you put the Riders Logo online. It's the only CFL logo that I've seen there. I wonder of Rod Pedersen would consider doing a voice-over to download. He get could Carm to do some colour commentary too! Ha!

GPS navigators can be super handy if the information is correct and complete. Often it isn't, though, so you've got to be careful. You don't want something like this

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to happen to you.

Funny thing is that I've never once been lost on a trip, or been stranded because of a wrong turn, and all I use is my handy fold-out map, which allows me to figure things out for myself rather than relying on something else to do my thinking for me...sometimes technology ain't all it's cracked up to be...

I've been lost on trips because from following paper maps too, because of incorrect map data (for example, a bridge appeared as an intersection). Paper maps get their information from the same source as GPS maps, so the incorrect data that appears on GPS maps can also appears on paper maps.

I agree GPS is not all it's cracked up to be, but it's not so terrible either. If the information is correct (big if, sometimes) and I'm in the driver's seat, I much prefer the little but large enough screen that fastens neatly to my windshield and always shows me where I am, what direction I'm driving in, and where I need to turn next to a much larger fold out map on which I have to find my location, direction, and next turn myself. Ideally, the person in the passenger seat (if there is one), could read the map and tell me where to go next, but often I'm in the car by myself, and usually when I'm not, the occupant of said seat can read the maps fast enough.

I could read a paper fold out map myself and make up my own directions (I still carry around paper maps), but if there's something that makes that easier and saves me the time of doing it myself, why not use it? It's much like how driving makes getting from point A to B easier and faster than walking. If you're willing to drive to make your life easier, why not make driving itself easier? Would you also rather drive without power steering and power brakes because you don't want to rely on some other piece of technology to do the working for you?

Right now, the technology is at the toddler stage. There are problems and bugs to be worked out, and nobody should use one blindly, but paper maps have their problems too, and eventually, GPS based navigation will get fewer people lost than paper maps.

Good arguments, but I’m not sold…and I hope I never will be. Just because something is easier, it doesn’t mean it’s better in the long run. I see daily the ramifications of people not thinking for themselves, and technology is the main culprit. Whenever I’m driving a vehicle with a GPS, it gets turned off instantly.

Sometimes when I am driving towards that portion of the city that I have never been to and I am in a hurry and it is rush hour I have difficulty going into the glovebox, pulling out the map, looking up the address in the key, braking for this red light, sipping my coffee, accelerating for this green light, unfolding the map, reading the map, oops stop sign, reading the map, my turn to go, reading the map, watching the road, reading the map, pull over this is insane, sipping the coffee, reading the map . . .

Crap! This is last years's map! It doesn't even have this area of the city on it. Thank goodness I uploaded the most recent map onto my TomTom and I can just ask it where to go and sip my coffee.

Sometimes technology is amazing.

Just how hard is Regina to drive in?

Sometimes technology is amazing, yes...and I prefer the amazing technology of paper, and subsequent usage of my brain, over a GPS. Just a personal preference...

Its not too hard, but sometimes the one ways can get confusing if you haven't been driving in the downtown in awhile.

No, no, no . . . the one ways are a cinch. Regina is easy to drive in. My example was extreme. However, the very idea of using a paper map while driving is ridiculous.

I think there’s some happy middle ground to it.

After all, when you turn on the GPS, you basically agree to a disclaimer that you the human being have a superior intellect, and that you are responsible for your choices…not the GPS.

Paper maps are nice. I often use them too. I usually look up a map route on google maps, figure out the route I want, and then program it into my GPS. Especially for long road-trips.

The great thing about the GPS is if I decide to stop off in a random city along the way, it has pre-selected points of interest in those cities that I can navigate to - be they hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc… Or, if I just want to drive through a place because I’ve never been there, I can do it with the confidence that the little gadget will guide me back out when I’m done. My paper maps can’t do any of those things for me.

But again…I just wanted to thank whoever put the Riders Logo up as an icon to show my location on the map. This wasn’t meant to spark the old, “When I was boy, we had to walk 20 miles to school and back - uphill both ways - every day!!”

…and by garr, we liked it that way…