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Tony Grist

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Sat-Nav [Jun. 19th, 2008|10:32 am]
Tony Grist
We borrowed Carl's sat-nav to go down to London. My friend Judy says, you Brits have such weird abbrieviations and what does that one stand for exactly? And I have to admit I don't really know. Satellite navigation system I think , but the last word could be device. It's one of those new things that pings onto the market with its name already abbreviated. Anyway, I wasn't impressed.

First we were drining through Kent and it told us the road we were on didn't exist. It was so annoyed at us for driving on the non-existent road that it took the huff and stopped talking. Later, as we were making our way through East London to the Globe, it decided to lead us round and round in circles. As the same church loomed up in the same place for the third time we decided to disobey, pull out of the loop and take a route it didn't want us to take- after which it did a rethink, acknowledged we'd outsmarted it, and plotted us a new route that more or less worked. But I'd lost faith by then and had gotten my map out.

I'd have renounced the little bleeders after that experience, but Ailz loves her toys and went on line and ordered us one. She spent most of yesterday evening with it plugged into her computer, setting it up so it'll do things like pinpoint all the iron age sites we pass. I've got to admit I like the idea of being told about iron age sites.

"So, do you want a male voice or a female voice?" she asks. "What do you think?" I reply. Our chosen voice comes with a name; isn't that sweet? Her name is Jane.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2008-06-19 10:32 am (UTC)
I shouldn't have to remind you of this, but these gizzmo's are supposed to be your helpers - not your masters. Ailz is right - Teach Jane her job correctly and you'll all be happier.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-19 10:54 am (UTC)
Carl's sat-nav badly needs up-dating. Unfortunately he doesn't have (or has lost) the computer lead.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2008-06-19 12:42 pm (UTC)
I am tickled by the idea of setting up a GPS to pinpoint iron age sites. That is truly cool.

When my family was in Florida last year, we drove around in my sister's van a lot, and they had a GPS. I can't remember if the van was borrowed or the GPS was, but it was definitely a new thing for her. Anyway, they called it "The Lady". My other sister lives in Florida and had been to St. Augustine several times, so there was constant discussion about whether to follow Colleen or The Lady. And we discovered a shortcut back to the hotel that The Lady was not keen on.

IOW, our experience was similar to yours. I don't do enough driving in unfamiliar places to make it worthwhile.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-19 12:57 pm (UTC)
The one we borrowed is called Sally Sat-Nav. Carl was very protective of her when we told him she was rubbish.

Sat-Nav's are only as good as their programming. A common complaint over here is that they can't distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate routes- and that they often send heavy goods vehicles down narrow country lanes and village streets that really can't handle them.

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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2008-06-19 01:04 pm (UTC)
I actually remember reading a news article about that problem in England.

When I moved from Missouri to Los Angeles, a friend drove the van and I navigated, but it was really tough to choose routes without knowing them. We made some bad choices.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-19 01:51 pm (UTC)
I know my way around London- at least the central parts- and if we'd been relying on my map-reading instead of the sat-nav I reckon we'd have got to our destination sooner.
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From: sunfell
2008-06-19 01:34 pm (UTC)
We call 'em GPS over on this side of the pond. I love gizmos and gadgets, but I don't have one. It's probably because I'm a damn good seat of the pants, London- and Germany-tested paper map navigator.

I don't get lost. I might take the scenic route, but I don't get lost or stay lost for long.

If I got one, I'd use it for geocaching and geohashing.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-19 01:48 pm (UTC)
Like they say, "two nations divided by a single language".

I have reasonable map-reading skills. And I can usually orient myself by looking at the sky- but Ailz loves this sort of thing- and she's the driver!
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2008-06-19 03:17 pm (UTC)
Robert loves the one he got... and it has a ladie's voice. He has not used it a lot though... but so far *she* has done a good job. We'll see...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-19 08:57 pm (UTC)
We could have given ours a spin tonight- we were going to a restaurant on the far side of town- but we rather foolishly left it behind.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2008-06-19 09:01 pm (UTC)
Oh drat! I think that is when they are the most handy.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2008-06-19 03:22 pm (UTC)
Ah...you (or rather Ailz) have succumbed. I still prefer a good paper map or book of maps but I do acknowledge that pulling over in traffic to get my bearings is rather a problem sometimes.
With me it may be a sentimental thing since my dad taught me to read maps when I was 4 years old and always had me as his co-pilot on a trip.
Happy navigating with Jane!
:)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-19 08:59 pm (UTC)
I'd have been happy continuing to work with maps. I'm sort of proud of my map-reading skills- and over-all sense of direction.

What an imaginative thing for your dad to do!
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2008-06-19 09:53 pm (UTC)
My dad had a great love of maps. He was trained as a surveyor in the army during WWII and that love of geography lasted all his life. He had quite a map collection.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-20 07:58 am (UTC)
Maps are magical. I sort of wish I'd learned more geography at school.
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[User Picture]From: qatsi
2008-06-19 07:42 pm (UTC)
It's funny, I was thinking about "weird abbreviations" a few days ago in quite a different context - I find it really difficult to decipher things like carved Roman inscriptions because they are all abbreviated. Yet to the people of the time and the language, these things must have read quite naturally. In the context of street navigation, neither you nor I would have trouble with the meaning of something like "St. Thomas' St." if we encountered it in a street atlas.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-20 08:01 am (UTC)
I wonder how future generations will cope with the abbreviations of text-messaging. I guess it can go one of two ways: either they'll become standard- so no problem- or they'll drop out of use and only specialists will be able to read them.
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2008-06-20 12:55 am (UTC)
I LOVE Sat-Navs! I actually was introduced to them while in the UK the last time. One of our friends had one on his car. She had a reassuring English accent. We called her Joy. I thought Joy was amazing. My other friend hated her, which is how she got her name. Every time we would "turn her on", our other friend would say "Oh, joy!"

I really want one, here, complete with the reassuring English accent.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-20 08:04 am (UTC)
I believe you can get a whole range of voices. A friend of a friend opted for Ozzy Ozbourne, only to find it soon became tiresome to be told to "take the third fookin' exit".
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2008-06-20 01:14 pm (UTC)
ROFL! I imagine that it did!
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