Saturday, February 03, 2007

GPS Is Here

My new GPS system arrived Thursday. It's a Garmin StreetPilot i5, only 3 inches across at the base. Costco had it on sale online in January, so I checked out the product reviews, and they were good, so I ordered it.

Most of the reviews said they expected the screen to be too small but were surprised at how readable it is. One guy, however, complained about it and gave it a really low rating. His complaint was that the suction cup didn't stay on the windshield. Somebody else replied to him that if he were to moisten the suction cup first, it would stick just fine.

This morning a group of us got together for breakfast at a restaurant I'd never been to before, so I gave my StreetPilot a try. The display shows the direction you're going as straight up, and the map shifts as the road turns, so you're always going "up." The nice lady's voice (I haven't named her yet) says things like, "In point five miles, turn left then turn right." She only gives two turns when you've got a second turn immediately after the first, so you know what lane to get in.

On the bottom of the screen, the left corner shows your estimated arrival time, and the right corner shows the distance until the next turn (or destination, if that's next).

Then, because I always seem to get turned around when I'm coming out of parking lots and end up going the wrong way, I used the "Go Home" feature. Last night I told it where home is, so today after breakfast, it told me I needed to make a left turn from the parking lot. Hot dog! I'm doing great now!

Once I got to an intersection I recognized, I gave my little Street Pilot a challenge. She told me to go straight for 5.2 miles, but I turned left instead to go the back way. She said, "Recalculating," and then told me to turn right, just as I started the turn. She took me back home from there the same way I usually go.

I am happy as a clam (and everybody knows how happy they are). I already told my mom when I ordered it, and she was as relieved as I was to have some help for our coming trip.

I imagine I'll be using my Street Pilot a few times between now and when it's time to leave, and then I'll use her to get me and my little dog Abby to my mom's house. Little by little, we're getting ready.


Malott said...

Your story about the parking lot turning troubles reminded me of the cracker barrel - when you weren't quite sure which way you were supposed to turn.

Sounds like your new "toy" may actually turn out to be a "needed thing."

Christina said...


I am 100% with you on this "which way out of the parking lot" dilemma. I too, am navigationally challenged...but I'm getting better. It must be a woman thing.

All_I_Can_Stands said...

The nice lady's voice...
My wife has the same GPS for her business. It is great. We brought it to Florida and it was very helpful.

As for the voice. She drives me crazy. I have been looking for a setting to change to a different voice. I wish I could change it to John Wayne and here "Turn right in 1.2 miles, Pilgrim".

All_I_Can_Stands said...

oops. Hear, not here.