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Tech: Performers and Sat Nav

The Villan 10 Jun 08 - 08:57 AM
JohnInKansas 10 Jun 08 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 10 Jun 08 - 09:30 AM
DebC 10 Jun 08 - 10:03 AM
Maryrrf 10 Jun 08 - 10:07 AM
The Villan 10 Jun 08 - 11:34 AM
nutty 10 Jun 08 - 11:47 AM
Silas 10 Jun 08 - 11:52 AM
The Villan 10 Jun 08 - 11:59 AM
The Villan 10 Jun 08 - 12:05 PM
Anne Lister 10 Jun 08 - 12:10 PM
DebC 10 Jun 08 - 12:27 PM
The Villan 10 Jun 08 - 01:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jun 08 - 02:50 PM
Maryrrf 10 Jun 08 - 02:53 PM
The Villan 10 Jun 08 - 03:51 PM
Anne Lister 10 Jun 08 - 04:11 PM
Seamus Kennedy 10 Jun 08 - 04:20 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jun 08 - 04:24 PM
The Villan 10 Jun 08 - 04:42 PM
Rowan 10 Jun 08 - 06:46 PM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Jun 08 - 07:16 PM
Rowan 10 Jun 08 - 10:06 PM
M.Ted 10 Jun 08 - 11:02 PM
The Villan 11 Jun 08 - 02:24 AM
Susan of DT 11 Jun 08 - 05:09 AM
Tangledwood 11 Jun 08 - 05:50 AM
Rowan 11 Jun 08 - 06:12 PM
The Villan 12 Jun 08 - 10:05 AM
Harmonium Hero 12 Jun 08 - 10:35 AM
Harmonium Hero 12 Jun 08 - 10:37 AM
Anne Lister 12 Jun 08 - 12:15 PM
The Villan 12 Jun 08 - 03:37 PM
BB 12 Jun 08 - 07:16 PM
M.Ted 12 Jun 08 - 08:27 PM
dick greenhaus 12 Jun 08 - 08:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Jun 08 - 08:37 PM
Tangledwood 13 Jun 08 - 04:32 AM
SonnyWalkman 13 Jun 08 - 11:55 AM
Harmonium Hero 13 Jun 08 - 12:21 PM
The Villan 13 Jun 08 - 12:41 PM
DebC 13 Jun 08 - 01:10 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Jun 08 - 02:27 PM
Anne Lister 13 Jun 08 - 02:59 PM
Tangledwood 13 Jun 08 - 06:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jun 08 - 06:00 PM
Tangledwood 15 Jun 08 - 02:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Jun 08 - 03:56 AM
The Villan 16 Jun 08 - 02:08 AM
The Villan 16 Jun 08 - 02:22 AM
Anne Lister 16 Jun 08 - 02:42 AM
The Villan 16 Jun 08 - 03:08 AM
Tangledwood 16 Jun 08 - 03:59 AM
The Villan 16 Jun 08 - 04:55 AM
Harmonium Hero 16 Jun 08 - 10:23 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jun 08 - 01:25 PM
Tangledwood 16 Jun 08 - 07:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jun 08 - 05:55 AM
M.Ted 17 Jun 08 - 06:20 AM
Harmonium Hero 17 Jun 08 - 10:35 AM
The Villan 17 Jun 08 - 12:05 PM
George Papavgeris 17 Jun 08 - 01:30 PM
Anne Lister 17 Jun 08 - 04:05 PM
M.Ted 18 Jun 08 - 02:27 PM
Rowan 19 Jun 08 - 03:34 AM
Tangledwood 19 Jun 08 - 03:47 AM
Tangledwood 19 Jun 08 - 03:52 AM
M.Ted 19 Jun 08 - 05:13 AM
The Villan 19 Jun 08 - 01:43 PM
Rowan 19 Jun 08 - 06:36 PM
M.Ted 20 Jun 08 - 03:40 AM
jiva 20 Jun 08 - 07:09 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 20 Jun 08 - 07:22 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 20 Jun 08 - 07:42 AM
julian morbihan 20 Jun 08 - 09:58 AM
M.Ted 20 Jun 08 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,Laura 29 Jun 08 - 07:16 AM
mandotim 29 Jun 08 - 09:07 AM
Tangledwood 29 Jun 08 - 06:33 PM
Rowan 30 Jun 08 - 01:27 AM
Tangledwood 30 Jun 08 - 03:36 AM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Jun 08 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Jon 30 Jun 08 - 04:31 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Jul 08 - 08:50 PM
Bonecruncher 03 Jul 08 - 10:18 PM
The Villan 04 Jul 08 - 01:04 AM
Anne Lister 04 Jul 08 - 03:56 AM
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Subject: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 08:57 AM

I am sure a lot of you performers have Sat Navs to help you find some of the off beat locations you have to go to.

I am thinking of getting Sat Nav and have looked at lots of reviews and the one that seems to come out tops in its price range, is the

Garmin Nuvi 760T (UK & Europe) it is currently around the £215 to £220

It seems very good, but have any of you got this model and if so, do you like it and does it do the job?

Does it have any negative aspects.

Cheers
Les Worrall


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Subject: RE: Performers and Sat Nav
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 09:21 AM

I recently bought a new copy of DeLorme's road map program, which touts its ability to "couple with" your GPS unit. Not having a GPS unit I can't say whether the program would work well with one, but since I registered the program I've been getting frequent offers to sell me a GPS unit at a drastic discount off the list price.

The US map software was only about $40 (US) and they claim to be able to match it up with a "highly recommended" GPS unit for an additional $90 (US). (Although they want another $89 for the "optional update" to the program that they insist really should go with the new GPS.)

Unfortunately, I just deleted the last couple of "offers" so I can't quote brand names. That's probably immaterial, since the best ones in your part of the world might be different anyway.(?)

My understanding of the GPS thing is that to use it for navigation you need a map to back up the GPS. The GPS just tells you where you are but not where the manhole you're about to walk into might be. Most of the GPS makers have good maps, but some offer them only as a "subscription" service that can be a hidden cost, sometimes quite substantial.

Being more or less an innocent bystander, I can't offer anything authoritative, but my impression is that you need to look at a "whole package" and not just the price of the GPS "head."

John


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Subject: RE: Performers and Sat Nav
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 09:30 AM

The seating plan in our van goes Tom TomTom Tom.

Get the cheapest, Les - it does everything you need.

Best £199 I ever spent.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Performers and Sat Nav
From: DebC
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 10:03 AM

I got my TomTom as a gift and it is DEFINITELY one of the best tools that I have ever had. Mine has maps of the USA and Western Europe so I bring it with me on tour in the UK.

Due to "aging eyes"and before I got the the TomTom, I had to write out directions with a big black Sharpie-type pen. Since I take my driving seriously and cannot multi-task, I would have to pull over, read the directions, memorise the next two or three steps, then proceed. I'd have to repeat this process a number of times.

With the TomTom, it talks to me and tells me what exit to take, where to turn, etc.

It's amazing that I made it through all the touring I do without my sat-nav. I highly recommend getting one.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Maryrrf
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 10:07 AM

I got a Navigon that was on sale - one of the cheap ones, and it works fine! (Hint, if you are coming back from at gig at 1:00 am, make sure it isn't set for the 'scenic' route option). The main benefit is that it WILL get you where you are going, but it can take you on some odd byways. Best to have a map with you as well, and an idea of where you are going and the route you are taking. It's very comforting to be leaving someplace unfamiliar late at night and just punch in "Take Me Home" and be guided.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 11:34 AM

Well this is the info on it. If anybody thinks teher is a Tom Tom better for the equivalent price, nows the time to tell me :-) Incidentally, the Europe part is important.

Version 2008 Mapping UK & Europe
• Make Hands-free Calls Bluetooth
• Compact GPS Navi With UK & Europe
• Speaks street names
• Widescreen display
• Traffic Alerts (Included GTM 21 FM TMC)

Additional information:-

What's in the Box:

Nuvi 760
Preloaded 2008 City Navigator® NT Europe (full coverage) UK & Ireland
FM traffic receiver with power cable
Real-time traffic services*
Vehicle suction cup mount
USB cable
Dashboard disc
Quick start manual
Leather Case
*Includes a paid-up subscription for UK traffic information for lifetime of the product.

Loaded and wide, nüvi 760 has it all — advanced navigation features, a widescreen display, preloaded maps, an FM transmitter, hands-free calling, traffic alerts and more. Like the rest of the wide nüvi 700-series, its premium navigation capabilities, like route planning and a handy locator, give you peace of mind on the go.

See More
With nüvi 760's widescreen display, you'll always get the big picture. View map detail, driving directions, photos and more in bright, brilliant color. Its sunlight-readable, 4.3-inch display is easy to read — from any direction.

Navigate With Ease
nüvi 760 comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded City Navigator® NT street maps and millions of points of interest (POIs) such as hotels, restaurants, fuel stations, ATMs and more. Simply touch the color screen to enter a destination, and nüvi takes you there with 2D or 3D maps and turn-by-turn voice directions. It even announces the name of exits and streets so you never have to take your eyes off the road. In addition, nüvi 760 accepts custom points of interest, such as school zones and safety cameras and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs. The European version even includes a preloaded safety camera database containing locations of cameras for parts of Europe.

Where Am I?
Keep track of yourself and your car with nüvi 760. Just tap "Where Am I?" to find the closest hospitals, police stations, fuel stations, nearest address and intersection. Also see your exact latitude and longitude coordinates. nüvi 760 even remembers where you parked. It automatically marks your position when you remove it from the windshield mount, so you can navigate with nüvi on foot and find your way back to your vehicle. Perfect for unfamiliar spots and crowded lots such as amusement parks, stadiums and malls.

Plan Ahead
nüvi 760 includes advanced navigational features to take the worry out of traveling. With route planning you can save 10 routes, specify via points and preview simulated turns on the 760's wide screen. In addition, nüvi 760 automatically sorts multiple destinations to provide an efficient route for errands, deliveries or sales calls. It also displays speed limits for highways and Interstates. A trip log provides an electronic bread crumb trail of up to 10,000 points, so you can see where you've been on the map.

Make Hands-free Calls
Talk about worry-free driving. nüvi 760 integrates Bluetooth® wireless technology with a built-in microphone and speaker for hands-free calling. Just pair it with your compatible Bluetooth phone and talk hands-free through the 760 while staying focused on the road. Simply dial numbers with nüvi's touchscreen keypad to make a call. To answer calls, just tap the screen and speak directly into its built-in microphone.

Avoid Traffic Tie-ups
Steer clear of traffic with nüvi 760's integrated FM TMC traffic receiver. Receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction that lie ahead on your route. Next, simply touch nüvi's screen to view traffic details or detour around the problem area.

Take It With You
nüvi 760's high-sensitivity internal (non flip-up) antenna gives it a sleeker, thinner design than the nüvi 600-series, making it easy to slip in your pocket or purse. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery makes it convenient for navigation by car or on foot.

Go Beyond Navigation
Navigation is just the beginning. nüvi 760 includes many "must have" entertainment and travel tools including MP3 player, audio book player (subscription to Audible.com required), JPEG picture viewer, currency converters and more. With nüvi 760's wireless FM transmitter¹ you can hear audio, including voice prompts, MP3s and audio books, through your vehicle's stereo. It also includes optional MSN® Direct and comes with Garmin Lock™, an anti-theft feature, and configurable vehicle icons that let you select car-shaped graphics to show your location on the map. Optional plug-in SD cards let you add additional features to enhance your travel experience including language translation and detailed travel guides. Our SaversGuide® provides information on nearby merchants offering discounts to customize your nüvi whether you're traveling or close to home.

¹Notice to customers in the European Union

Physical & Performance:

Unit dimensions, WxHxD: 4.8"W x 3.0"H x .8"D (12.2 x 7.6 x 2.0 cm)
Display size, WxH: 3.81"W x 2.25"H (9.7 x 5.7 cm); 4.3" diag (10.9 cm)
Display resolution, WxH: 480 x 272 pixels
Display type: WQVGA color TFT with white backlight
Weight: 6.2 ounces (176 g)
Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life: up to 5 hours
Waterproof: no
High-sensitivity receiver: yes
RoHS version available: yes

Maps & Memory:

Basemap: yes
Preloaded maps: yes
Ability to add maps: yes
Built-in memory: internal solid state
Accepts data cards: SD card (not included)
Waypoints/favorites/locations: 500
Routes: 10

Features:

Voice prompts (e.g. "Turn right in 500 ft."): yes (internal speaker)
Speaks street names (e.g. "Turn right ON ELM STREET in 500 ft.") : yes
Speech recognition (navigate with voice commands): no
3D map view: yes
Auto sort multiple destinations (provides most direct route): yes
Auto re-route (fast off-route and detour recalculation): yes
Choice of route setup (faster time, shorter distance, off road): yes
Route avoidance (avoid highways, tolls etc.): yes
Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest): yes
Hands-free calling with Bluetooth® wireless technology: yes
FM traffic compatible: yes
XM® Navtraffic (includes basic weather) & Radio for U.S. compatible: no
MSN® Direct for U.S. compatible: yes
MP3 player: yes
Audio book player: yes
Picture viewer: yes
Configurable vehicle icons (select car-shaped icons for map navigation): yes
World travel clock, currency & measurement converter, calculator: yes
Touchscreen: yes
Remote control: no
FM transmitter: yes
Headphone jack/audio line-out: yes
Dead reckoning: no
Garmin Lock™ (anti-theft feature): yes
Motorcycle-friendly: no
Additional: This USB mass storage device is compatible with Windows® 2000 or later and Mac® OS X 10.4 or later.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: nutty
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 11:47 AM

I find Satnav's as disturbing as using a mobile phone when driving. I much prefer to pull the maps I need off the internet prior to my journey so I know where I'm going.

It's a lot cheaper as well

PS -- I recommend Google maps


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Silas
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 11:52 AM

Most sat navs use the same software. The cheapest TomTOm will be as good as the most expensive if you are just using it for navigation. They are GREAT!! Million times better than maps - probably the best invention for the motorist for years.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 11:59 AM

I use Multimap nutty

I would use the voice instructions nutty. Has to be a lot safer than my normal navigators i.e. Wife and daughters.

Last year in Holland, they almost managed to get us written off becuase of their poor navigating skills.

Plus it took an hour in Bruges to find our hotel (should have only took 5 minutes), becuase of their inability to be able to tell the difference between North, South East West, as well as looking ahead and giving clear instructions from a well designed set of instructions.

Plus sending us back to Ghent from Antwerp, when we need to go North to Holland

Oh yes there are lots of good reasons to have a Sat Nav :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 12:05 PM

The importance for me are as follows

Up to date maps of Uk and Western Europe
Voice instructions that give road names as well.
A large screen that is sunlight readable.
Traffic situ
Easy to use menu's which seem to be excellent with Garmin Nuvi and are considered to be superior to Tom Tom (i.e. designed for the dumb over 60's to use becuase of loss of memory :-))

If there is a something around £100 that does the job, tell me more.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Anne Lister
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 12:10 PM

Even if you're a good map reader (which I am) there are still good reasons to have the SatNav. When I'm driving solo it's the only way I can be sure to find my way more or less to the right place, if I've never been there before or if I have to deal with a one way system. I've had Google directions before, but you can't read those in the dark if you're on your own and somehow there's never a chance to pull over and consult them when you most need to.
The only thing to watch out for, Les, is that whatever you buy is capable of being updated fairly regularly. We have two TomToms (tomtomtomtom) because my husband couldn't resist picking up one that was being sold off cheap in Maplins and needed a bit of tweaking, and even though we keep them up to date there are still odd bits of road they don't recognise, and this is important if you're dealing with new roads in unfamiliar areas.
And we have John Cleese programmed into mine as the Voice, which is great for having arguments on my own when he's telling me to do something I don't want to do (like go round the M25).

Anne


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: DebC
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 12:27 PM

Nutty wrote:

"I find Satnav's as disturbing as using a mobile phone when driving. I much prefer to pull the maps I need off the internet prior to my journey so I know where I'm going.

It's a lot cheaper as well

PS -- I recommend Google maps"

Thanks, Anne, for adding the "solo" bit. When you are by yourself, navigating can be very problematic. The SatNav has enabled me to drive solo (which I do all the time) and BE SAFE. That was the main reason for my wanting one.

I was feeling that my safety on the road was being compromised by trying to read directions and driving at the same time.

I do agree with you, Nutty about mobile phones and I never have mine turned on whilst driving. As for Google Maps, I do use those (or Multi-Map in the UK) as a back-up to the Sat-Nav, but I have found that Google maps are not as accurate as the Sat-Nav.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 01:54 PM

OK
So you need a sat nav that you can update the maps Anne. Presumably, thats where they get you by having to buy the new ones.

What about memory etc. Is it a bit like computers. Out of date in 3 years and not capable of dealing with the newer technology.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 02:50 PM

Sat navs are okay. Only my wife tends to argue with it.

I say to her - it can't hear you - its a machine - theres no one inside the little box. you are wasting your breath, it doesn't care when you call it names.

I have the Garmin which I got for £145 from Halfords, but I've seen it for £99.

Its a big saving on getting those A to Z books of all the different cities. Most times its pretty good - although sometimes it sends you into blind alleys if you haven't got it mounted on your windscreen - which is the best way - cos then you can see the little map and check on the name of the street you should be turning into.

if you have it on the seat next to you - you just have the silly bitch voice.

You can download another voice if you connect it to your computer - but who lives THAT long!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Maryrrf
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 02:53 PM

I think you can just plug in and update without buying new maps. I used to rely on printing maps and directions off with google but then you get into trying to read them while driving and of course if it's dark you're up the creek. The best way is to have a map available (just in case the Sat Nav gets a little buggy)- then you're really covered. My Navigon will show you a diagram of most intersections, which is helpful, and the voice prompts are really helpful, as is the Points of Interest feature which can take you to the nearest gas station, etc.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 03:51 PM

>>you just have the silly bitch voice<<

The advice I got, was go and listen to the voices before you buy.

I like the John Cleese voice

Al, which model do you have?
Idefinately want one that has Text to speech, so that I can get the street names announced.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Anne Lister
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 04:11 PM

Yes, you can update without buying new maps. Ours also adds the latest speed camera intelligence, too, which is handy.
The worst thing with mine is the way every so often the suction pad fails to suck and falls off, generally at a complicated stage in the journey. The more recent models are lighter, so it probably doesn't happen as often!

Oh - and another feature I really, really like is the way it gives you a fairly accurate ETA and exactly how many miles you still have to travel. Great for the journey home, when I call my husband and can tell him what time to put the kettle on.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 04:20 PM

I love my TomTom (U.S.)
Although the delightful young lady giving me the directions tends to interrupt a particularly good song on my CD player, or an interesting bit of one of my books on tape.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 04:24 PM

I haven't got the street names announced.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 04:42 PM

Thanks for all the advice. Very useful.
In fact it has made me want the product I mentioned more.
One good thing is that I got a cheque from the bank for £200 for messing me about. So the bank are paying for it. :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Rowan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 06:46 PM

They may work well in (relatively) densely populated areas like Britain, Europe and much of the USA but beware when travelling in Oz. Around the suburbs they're fine and they'll get you from Adelaide to Darwin just as well as any road map (vice versa is also true).

But if there is some bush track that goats use to cross the ranges and it's the shortest distance between your start and end points, make sure you have a full set of outback recovery gear on board. From New England to Canberra, most digital maps take you over some very crude tracks through the Liverpool Ranges and they're not for ordinary cars with a load of kids wanting instant gratification at O'Donald's. A recent case in Victoria found a car stranded in floodways because the GPS said that was the way to go.

All grist to the mill! But not what you want either immediately beore or after a gig.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 07:16 PM

Yes Rowan.

When I was involved in Rallying, the only was was to get the latest Govt maps (they now call the Qld ones Sunmap) - from memory the 1 in 100,000 series was the basic. I seem to remember that there were some 1 in 10,000, but as you said, they tended to not always exist for everywhere, unless the Aussie Army felt that it might have need to go there... back during WWII... when did they put THAT road there?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Rowan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 10:06 PM

It's even worse than you describe Robin,

The basic topo map scale in all of Oz is 1:25,000; although surveying data are collected at that scale the maps issued will be at 1:25,000 only in those areas where our political masters have agreed they'll get a financial return on their printing. This means only coasts in Qld, as far inland as the Great Dividing Range for most of NSW and Vic. (not sure about other states). 1:50k is common in some parts of Vic and NSW but the scale used by natural resources people (botanists and geologists, mostly) seems to be 1:100k. Aircraft routinely use Joint Operations Graphic maps at 1:250k; as you might have guessed, no matter which scale I choose, my place is right at the junction of four sheets.

Back to the story.

When surveyors from National Mapping were compiling data for western Queensland they realised that the 19kV powerlines were a major feature in an otherwise relatively featureless landscape and so recorded their locations carefully. But the wally-in-charge decreed that no powerlines were to be printed on maps unless they were 20kV or above. So the major navigation feature for western Queensland was deliberatley left off the maps available to the public.

And I do recall someone trying to use a GPS in western Queensland with the datum set (unknowingly; and it wasn't me) to a more recent geoid than the one used by the surveyors, meaning locations findable from the two sources (map and GPS) were about a km apart; very tricky!

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 11:02 PM

I use VZ Navigator on my cell phone and get the GPS but save the expense of a Garmin. Only drawback is that I can't use the cell phone mode while I'm using it, but that's multitasking, and I object to that on principle.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 02:24 AM

Not planning OZ rowan, but very interesting story :-)

M.Ted you mean this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VZ_Navigator

Seems like you still have to pay for it and which mobile company in the UK offeres it?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Susan of DT
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 05:09 AM

We have a Garmin Nuvi 360 and love it. You can change the voice - we now use the British male voice, since the American female sounded annoyed whenever she said "recalculating" (which is what it says when you don't do what it told you to do.)

When I drive with printed directions (which I do less often, now that we have the GPS) is print out the directions in big bold print, so I can read it when driving, if alone, or navigating - usually Ariel Rounded Bold at about size 20.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 05:50 AM

Les, a suggestion: there are companies in UK that hire satnavs on a daily basis. The model you're interested in may not be one that they use but what they have may give you a base for comparison.

I have a nav program in a PDA which uses an external bluetooth GPS. It's probably not as user friendly as the dedicated satnav systems but I wouldn't go to any unfamiliar area without it, and even on trips that I drive almost daily it's nice to have the speed and ETA read-outs. The voice may be turned off if it annoys.

Rowan - agreed, they don't always plan the best route. The aviation industry is probably the greatest user of electronic navigation systems. Their equipment is generically called "navigation aids". That "aid" means they are just that. It makes sense when venturing away from home to do a bit of research on a good map or street directory and, if need be, plot waypoints into the GPS to force your preferred route to be used.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Rowan
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 06:12 PM

"navigation aids" is right. I wouldn't want to give anyone the impression that I've run foul (yet) of relying on a GPS. Being somewhat oldfashioned I tell the time with my tum a lot and with the sun if it's hot. Maps on paper (and, if in the bush on foot, compasses) are my preferred tools but I do coach students on the strengths and weaknesses of GPSs.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 10:05 AM

Well I got it and it is already excellent.
Bought it, got in the car. Didn't boteher with the holder. Plugged my postcode in and said Ok. Picked the rout eup so quick I was quite surprised. Anyway I had a couple of places to go in Lincoln, so I drove to them and the good new sat nav made corrections as i went along and then I drove home and it was faultless.
What did I get - Garmin Nuvi 760T (UK & Europe)

I shall miss having a go at the missus and kids LOL :-)

Thanks everybody for your wonderful help.

One question for the experienced sat navvers (no rude answers please) - wher do you place the holder in your car? Dashboard or windscreen. Is windscreen legal?

Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 10:35 AM

I haven't got satnav, nor am I getting one. I am collecting the A-Z maps - not the city ones, but the county ones. I think they now cover every county on mainland Britain, and are detailed enough that in country areas, individual farms are named. Why am I doing this? Not only am I a card-carrying Luddite, but I am bored shitless with the endless list of gizmos that we suddenly find ourselves - sorry...YOURselves unable to manage without. Other things I haven't got include: mobile phone, blackberry, laptop, wii, calculator, brain trainer, electronic instrument tuner, playstation, and, er...other stuff I can't be arsed remembering. How did we ever manage before? Particular objections to satnav; they can go wrong - ALL technology can go wrong; they can break down; they can lead you astray; maps are more interesting, and you can work out alternative routes, look for interesting places to go, check where places are, relevant to other places, or to where you are, etc. Regarding street names; there is an immutable law -in Britain at any rate - that if you are in a strange town and looking out for a particular street, it will not have a name on it. If you have the map, you can look at the names of two or three streets before the one you want, and some of them might have names on them, which you will recognise. All right, remembering stuff is a brain excercise, but that's good; it's better than paying out for a brain trainer, isn't it? You don't need all this rubbish. In five years, you'll have forgotten how to do anything by yourselves, and it will cost you a fortune to keep up with all the updates, batteries, repairs (or more likely replacements)for all this junk. And there will be mountains of the stuff cluttering up the planet. Think of the deicious irony of your satnav steering you into a mountain of redundant gizmos that has appeared too recently for satnav to recognise it.
I think I need a lie down. John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 10:37 AM

Oh, and I haven't got a PA.
JK


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Anne Lister
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 12:15 PM

Dear John
I'm very happy that you clearly have a photographic memory and that you're obviously not navigating your way into anywhere strange that you haven't got an up-to-date map for. Good for you. You seem to be making the assumption that it's possible to forget how to read maps, and that those of us with SatNavs don't have maps in our cars. You also have a touching faith that your collection of A-Zs are fully updated (and will update themselves?).
After getting very lost, very often when navigating myself around when driving solo and at night using maps and Google directions over the past few years I decided it was a very sensible use of technology to have a SatNav in my car. It saves my temper, it saves fuel and it saves other road users from encountering me in a furious mood. It enables me to change lane in good time when in complicated one way systems and it enables me to arrive in good time, or calculate an alternative route quickly if there's a major snarl up with the traffic. While I'm sitting in the traffic. Which is far safer than attempting to do it myself. Oh, and the SatNav has street names on it, so I don't need to trust to my increasingly middle-aged memory. Memories can go wrong, too.
Sometimes technology is just clever clogs unnecessary - this particular gizmo has been a valuable addition to my life, and you can sneer at it all you like. I love maps and have lots of them. I don't see the two things as being in opposition to each other. I'm also not a slave to the machine and will happily take an alternative if the route suggested by the GPS seems a bit daft.

No need to be a Luddite. You've made your choices, we're making ours. No need to preach, either.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 03:37 PM

Hear hear Anne
I am a very good navigator, but when you are driving on your own,or when you have luddite navigators in the car, the Sat Nav keeps everybody happy.
Haven't tried the Sat Nav on the ring road around Paris on my own, but I am sure the Sat Nav is far safer. :-)
Les


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: BB
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 07:16 PM

And it saves an awful lot of arguments! I don't drive, but I have been our navigator for years, and generally speaking, get it right, but if 'he' decides to do something else for some unknown reason, I can get quite cross. And if by chance I give the wrong direction, *he* can get quite cross. With a Satnav, I can enjoy the scenery, get on with my knitting, concentrate on the CD/radio programme that's on rather than following maps, and he can shout at the woman who's saying, 'Make a U-turn when possible'. And we can both laugh at the silly instructions she sometimes gives!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 08:27 PM

If you don't and won't use, Harmonium Hero, you haven't got a future.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 08:27 PM

Need I mention the numerous roads that lack adequate signage? Or the joys of trying to find a strange destination when driving alone at night on unlit roads?

Luddites should start their own website.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 08:37 PM

well I'm not a fan of the A-Z books.

over the time I was gigging. bloody hell - 30 years now I come to think of it. I bought hundreds of the buggers.

1) they are ecentric - you need a different one for Leicester city than all the little towns round leicester. Ilkeston - they couldn't decide whether it was Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire.

2) in the county ones - which admittedly had everything - the writing was so small - I needed reading glasses to read them, even before I needed reading glasses.

3) the pages you were using tended to get screwed up and you would spill coffee and jam on them - particularly on motorways!

SATNAV - an invention whose time has come. And I wish it had come a few years sooner! Anyway, what's so great about thinking?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 04:32 AM

What a wonderful asset it must be to have a photographic memory. Having memorized a route what happens if you are unable to follow it? Roads get closed by road works or accidents, and sometimes you miss a turn simply by getting stuck in the wrong lane. The GPS calculates an alternative very quickly. Sure some people don't like technology (apparently that dislike doesn't extend to car ownership) but I hope that I don't meet one who has his head down reading the map instead of looking through the windscreen.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: SonnyWalkman
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 11:55 AM

Used in conjunction with a brain sat-nav is fine. Unfortunately a lot of users disengage their brains and blindly obey the voice from the dashboard.

One problem with them is that they take no account of a vehicle's size, motorcycles or articulated lorries all get sent on the same route. I live in a rural area where we frequently have walls demolished and trucks/coaches stuck on roads which are clearly signposted as unsuitable for large vehicles (or in some cases bridleways which are unsuitable for ANY vehicle) - it's never the drivers' fault, always the sat-nav gets the blame.

I guess artificial intelligence still needs a bit of human assistance from time to time.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 12:21 PM

Oh, dear. I seem to have hit a raw nerve here. I do, as one or two people have suggested, have a memory which is to some extent photographic, but I dion't think that's entirely relevant. I don't want to lose the use of memory, which is what's liable to happen if you don't use it.
Anne: you say you don't have maps in the car; they are portable - you can put them in the car. You also talk of an 'increasingly middle-aged memory'; I'm not exactly getting younger - 61 at last count - but I don't believe in giving in to the supposed inevitability of galloping decrepitude. And I wasn't preaching, and if that's how it came across, then I humbly apologize. Sneering, maybe...
Anne, Les, Dick: Almost all of my driving is done alone, and a large part of it at night. and never mind the Paris ring road - have you tried Stockport? I know people who have, both with and without satnav, and they get lost either way - as I do with maps!
M.Ted: why?
Al: What are you doing eating jam on the motorway? As regards the small print, you need the larger, spiral bound edition. The pocket edition has print that I can't read with a magnifier.
Anyway, I'm still not getting a satnav, or a mobile, or a tuner, or....ZZZZZZZZ
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 12:41 PM

Nice response John

I would still have maps in the car, just incase things do go wrong.

I think the computer is a wonderful thing to keep the brain active and running live music events. At 63 that helps a lot.

I had tolaugh. The guy who I bought the Sat Nav from, told me about this elderly couple who brought theirs back becuase it caused them to have an accident. They took the voices instructions to mean instantty. So when the person said "Turn left", the guy did it, but unfortunately their wasn't a road to turn into.

Les


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: DebC
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 01:10 PM

I do still carry an up-to-date US road atlas in my car and a UK one when I am over there.

For MYSELF, the acquisition of the Sat-Nav was an issue of safety as I stated in my previous post. If someone chooses not to have one (or anything else technological for that matter) I say good for you and will not judge them for that choice.

Thanks, Anne for saying what I was thinking.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 02:27 PM

never heard of trafic jams?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Anne Lister
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 02:59 PM

Who said I didn't have maps in the car? I said you were making that assumption (which isn't true in my case, for sure), so if this is an example of your accurate reading of anything, John, heaven help your route finding!
Bully for you and your photographic memory. Glad you can negotiate unknown territory in the dark. Hope I don't meet you on the road when you have to rapidly re-calculate your route because of external factors. All I have to do is touch the screen a couple of times and I'm still moving, still safe and still taking a sensible route. But you're proud of not relying on technology (apart from the car, of course, and email) so that's fine for you. I'm proud of using technology that helps me and not being too stuck up about it.
Different strokes, different folks.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 06:49 PM

"I live in a rural area where we frequently have walls demolished and trucks/coaches stuck on roads which are clearly signposted as unsuitable for large vehicles (or in some cases bridleways which are unsuitable for ANY vehicle) "


There was mention on TV here recently of an English village being inundated with army vehicles. The village has the same name as an exercise range in the area which isn't shown on the GPS map.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 06:00 PM

Garmin 250W is the one we bought, only £130 and it does an excellent job.

There's an option for avoiding main roads, and I've found some fascinating routes using it. And the lady in the box is good company too. We call her Svetlana, which is an anagram of Le SatNav.

The great thing is the you don't have to do what she says - go the wrong way and she instantaneously recalculates and adjust the routes accordingly. She never gets cross about it either, unlike human navigators in a similar situation.

I'm looking forward to the version a few years down the road which will take over driving the car, and I can sit in the back and have a drink...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 02:57 AM

"I'm looking forward to the version a few years down the road which will take over driving the car, and I can sit in the back and have a drink..."

That worries me. A few years down the track voice recognition will also be more developed. Imagine the scenario - the GPS is listening for you to say a street name. Meanwhile the traffic report on your radio mentions an accident on Main Street. GPS hears that and takes you straight to the middle of it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 03:56 AM

Svetlana wouldn't do that!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:08 AM

This might seem a bit silly, but where do you poeple have your satnav positioned in the car? Please bear in mind I am in the UK


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:22 AM

I found this, but it doesn't say where the safest position is on the windscreen.

The ease of fitting is clearly an advantage since there's no (or very little) fitting cost involved. However, as well as giving a rather untidy appearance and being somewhat prone to detaching itself in strong sunlight, the typical glass-mounted arm makes a very visible target for thieves.

Portable navigation units have replaced the car stereo as the most desirable item for the opportunist thief. Unlike a CD player they are neither difficult to remove or protected by a security code or removable panel.

Even if you religiously remove the device from the arm and carry it with you (not always convenient as some are more portable than others in terms of their shape) the hawk-eyed thief who sees the arm on the windscreen may well break in anyway, assuming that the device will be in the glove-box. Our advice is to always remove the arm from the windscreen when you park.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Anne Lister
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:42 AM

Mine (a TomTom) has a suction pad on the bracket. I drive a Picasso, and put the bracket on the side window, which means the screen is just to my right above the steering wheel. I always remove the bracket and the SatNav when I'm leaving the car, no matter for how short a time, and we make sure that we clean the inside of that window frequently enough to remove any marks from the suction pad.
Although my SatNav is now well out of date in terms of design and style I'd prefer not to encourage a casual thief to break into the car.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 03:08 AM

Hi Anne
Why I wondered about that, is if my family are in the car, they can look at the map whilst I am driving. I will only use the voice to guide me.
Si if I put it to the left of the steering wheel, are their any drawbacks to doing that?
Les


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 03:59 AM

Are you right or left handed? While making adjustments when mobile is not good practice it is still handy to have easy access while parked or waiting at lights. Nice for the family to watch maybe but the driver is the one that has to follow the map so placement should be best for him/her. Although voice can give you directions there is better situational awareness with a quick glance at the map, giving more notice when lane changes are needed for example.

Placement to avoid sun glare on the screen is also a consideration.
Mine is mounted on a suction cup on the windscreen to the right of the steering wheel (right hand drive, right handed driver). The other option, a bracket on an airvent, is too low. By coincidence this places the unit just above the vent which gives it ideal cooling when outside temperature is in the high 30s and the battery is charging.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 04:55 AM

I am right handed, so take your point.
It was amazing, becuase when I first bought it, I just placed it on the passenger seat and it worked like a dream.
I have air conditioning so hopefully that will sort the heat issue out.
The screen is a modern anti glare screen.
I have a fixing for on the dashboard, but am reluctant to use that as i think its very difficult to remove when leaving the car.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 10:23 AM

Anne: Calm down dear - it's only a gizmo! You seem to be taking this all rather personally. Let me explain; I have always been at odds with the society in which I live, and have suffered all manner of abuse for it - verbal and, in my school days, physical. Forgive me if I now see fit to hand some of it back. I am not meaning to be nasty to anybody, unlike a great many of the people I have had to deal with in my time. There is an element of rib-poking in what I say. However, it does seriously concern me that I am living in a society which very quickly becomes obsessed with anything new. This is almost always fairly short-lived; in the '70's, everybody around me was sneering at me for not wearing flares, tank tops, platform shoes, etc. Then all that stuff suddenly went out of the window, and within a very short time, those same people were looking at photos of themselves from two years earlier, and cringing in embarassment. This kind of thing is increasingly being applied to technology (and the van, by the way, isn't technology; it's mechanics. That's bad enough, but I don't fancy living in a horse-drawn caravan on our roads, much though the idea appeals.), and I now find myself being sniped at - not by you lot, but by people around me, for not having a mobile phone or satnav. Apart from my concern about the rapidly-growing mountain of redundant technology (which is redundant by the time you've got it home and taken it out of the box), I don't think it's such a great idea to jettison everything that went before - which is what happens. The amount of human skill and knowledge that has been built up over many centuries, only to be abandoned during my adult life time, is quite frightening. Technology is the bore of the age, and half the time, it doesn't even work. You mention emails; they are unreliable. Some seem to disappear into cyberspace (a place which doesn't even exist), while others arrive a week or more late. A friend of mine told me he'd had one which was sent out six months earlier. And I'm not being stuck up; I just wish some of you would pop into the real world now and then; you'd be very welcome.
M.Ted: Why haven't I got a future?
Al: yes - I ve heard of them, but I couldn't eat a whole one.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 01:25 PM

Any number of innovations are transient rubbish, that's true enough. But every now and again something comes along that provides significant options for making life better, if used sensibly. For example, the stuff that makes it possible for the Mudcat to exist. And Svetlana.

No hassle to remove her from the car, or stick her and her connections in the glove compartment.

One thing though - ain't it a pain that the phone books don't include postcodes, to make it easier entering destinations? I imagine it's some cockeyed business about the Post Office owning the copyright, and the phone companies not being willing to pay to use them. The result is we all are deprived of a useful convenience.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 07:30 PM

"ain't it a pain that the phone books don't include postcodes, to make it easier entering destinations?"

Doesn't worry me. I don't know many people that live in post boxes. :)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 05:55 AM

You must live in some place where they don't deliver letters to front doors, Tanglewood. Hard luck.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 06:20 AM

John Kelly-- Cell phones, computers, iPods, and all that stuff are a critical part of the world for most people these days, like it or not. They don't work sometimes, and you spend extra time dealing with problems you shouldn't have, but don't fool yourself, they're not just fashion-they are necesary for survival. If you can't use them, the world passes you by.

Maybe you want the world to pass you by. That's your business, and your choice. Nothing wrong with the rest of us for taking advantage of the power that new technology gives us--and you've got no business taking potshots at us.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:35 AM

M Ted: These things are NOT necessary for survival. See - this is what's worrying me, as I've tried to point out; the human race has been around for - according to various estimates - anything from 40,000 to maybe 200,000+ years. In the context of that sort of time scale, the mobile phone, satnav etc barely even exist. So how can it be that suddenly we can't survive without them? I am surviving, and I'm not alone. And the world is not passing me by, I can assure you.
If you want to pass me by, then be my guest; I'm not contesting the road with you. The road is heading straight for a precipice, and, unlike the rest of the human race, I'm in no hurry to get there. The way forward is to go back to where we last had any inkling of where we were going, and try again. That's probably about 50 years ago. We were, in many ways, better off then - and that's not just my opinion. As things stand, we'll be lucky if we're still here to look back in another 50 years.
And I'm not taking potshots at anybody, and apologise to anybody who thinks I am. The Villain asked for advice about satnav, and I offered mine. Villain doesn't have to take it. OK, I did it in my Grumpy Old Man way, but that's what I do. If you knew me, then you'd know how to take it. I think. however, that I've as much right to take potshots as anybody else - and as I've said, I've had a lifetime of being on the receiving end. Why does everybody feel so threatened by the voice of dissent? I shall say no more, as I'm not trying to hi-jack the thread.
Now, where did I put me coat?
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 12:05 PM

Lets not let this get out of hand.
There has been some great info and quite rightly not everybody needs to be into technology.
I have my Sat Nav now and am very happy with it.

Now where is that bloody satelite


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 01:30 PM

I resisted it till now. But I hope Father Christmas might bring me one. My only concern is - what will we talk about now on the long drives? Will this be the end of conversation? And will blaming the satnav be as satisfactory?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Anne Lister
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 04:05 PM

John - one of the many disadavantages of this method of communication is that you have no idea what tone of voice I'm using or what facial expression I'm wearing, any more than I have of yours. I have never been anything BUT calm in this discussion, but being called "dear" by you in this context might well shake things up a bit!
You talk about the "real world" as if there was a way to opt out of it. I spend most of my life in the real world, getting lost following real people's fallible directions, getting stuck in real traffic jams and paying for real fuel. Which is why I value my SatNav. I coped for years without one. I manage most of my journeys now without one. When I'm travelling with my husband normally one of us uses the maps in the car and navigates. Sometimes, though, we use our nice, handy little gizmo to see what other options there might be. Mine has been invaluable navigating me to a precise post code which is where the work is - I've done a lot of work over the past year or so in prisons, and it's amazing how often they're not marked on maps, but a postcode will get me there with my SatNav.

George - we have happy conversations now about all manner of things, including the joy of discovering roads the SatNav doesn't know about (and nor does our road atlas). Don't think of it as losing a conversation, more of gaining someone else to argue with on a long journey.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 02:27 PM

The human race has been around a lot longer than you think, John Kelly(human remains have been reliably dated to 160,000 years ago), and for much, if not most of that time, has had maps, signalling devices which were analogous to the SatNav and cell phones, using the technology of the day. Furthermore, in an ontogyny recapitulates philogeny kind of way, cell phones and SatNavs use the basic ideas that the oldest and most primitive mapping and signalling technologies used--so nothing has been tossed out the window.

And this stuff is necessary, because it helps us to deal better with the world we live in, and it helps us to expand that world.

Anyway, the larger point here is, why have you adopted the role of a cranky old man at 61? My grandmother learned to use a computer at 93, and learned to text message and take and send photos with a cell phone at 103.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Rowan
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:34 AM

The human race has been around a lot longer than you think, John Kelly(human remains have been reliably dated to 160,000 years ago)

Well, hominid and hominin remains, perhaps, but the palaeoanthropologists are currently debating the evidence concerning whether truly "human" hominins were around before about 50kya.

and had maps, signalling devices which were analogous to the SatNav and cell phones, using the technology of the day

Like voices, petroglyphs (much harder to carry around but more durable) and the occasional message stick?

in an ontogyny recapitulates philogeny kind of way, cell phones and SatNavs use the basic ideas that the oldest and most primitive mapping and signalling technologies used

By the same token, knives, forks and spoons are, in an ontogeny recapitulates philogeny kind of way, the same basic ideas as teeth, fingers and hands, which are the ulimate in primitiveness.

Humour aside, and without consulting him on it, I suspect that part of John's beef is that so much of the technology we use today encourages us to take a 'black box' view of it, whereby we assume that whatever comes out of the black box is correct. After all, it's "technology" so it must be correct, musn't it? Without some connection to the basic competencies we end up deskilled and "totally" (and "obligatively rather than "facultatively") reliant on said technology and incompetent if it doesn't work.

Think of all the checkout attendants who rely on the electronic till to do their totalling; even though I was brought up to perform reasonably extensive arithmetic 'in my head', I wouldn't want to have to add up all the items in a fully loaded shopping cart. But when I stop being at a checkout I can use mental arithmetic for most of my domestic needs; most school leavers nowadays can't do the same because all of their experience is with "black box" calculators. Even some uni students run foul when trying to correctly keep track of 'orders of magnitude', whereas us old farts know the traps and (mostly) manage to avoid them because we were forced required to do mental arithmetic.

I don't have any particularly negative attitude towards GPS instruments; I teach student how to use them. But I'm more comfortable in most tricky situations if I have a map and compass, unless I'm trying to pinpoint a location on a featureless plain. Technology is part of what makes us human; so is second guessing.

But then, I also instinctively use the sun and my sense of time as a direction finder; pretty good until I found myself seriously north of the equator for the first time - very awkward.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:47 AM

Some technology does seem to exist purely for its own sake. Take a mobile phone (no, not everywhere) - I want a phone to alert me when there's an incoming call. It doesn't need to be able to contain 37,000 optional ring tones or musical scores to do that. A simple buzz will do thanks. I don't want it to take photos; I already have a camera. Actually most of the time


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 03:52 AM

. . . there's another thing. I don't want a computer that decides to send the message before I finish it. What I was going to say was that most of the time I don't even want to receive a phone call when not at home.

GPS however is another thing. Navigating by the sun is great on foot (unless you're in UK or Melbourne) but if moving at 2km/minute a slightly quicker method is useful.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: M.Ted
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 05:13 AM

Who to believe, Rowan, or this New Scientist Article. Not that it really matters much--

As to the compass vs. SatNav debate, I am in Palm Springs this week, and my rental car has a handy Garmin device that has facilitated driving around as if we really knew where we were--show me a compass that can find the 24 hour supermarket that's nearest to the casino--

Without the device, one is pretty much confined to quarters, pouring over maps and searching the phone book til you've plotted out an expedition. Much better, in my view, to be out and about--


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 01:43 PM

I would like to thank everybody for their views and help.
In particular I would like to thank John Kelly for his honest viewpoint. I wish I could be like you, but I can't. Thank goodness we are all different. Stick to your beliefs John.

Now where was I, where is that bloody Sat Nav, I had it yesterday. I need a sat nav to find my sat nav :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Rowan
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 06:36 PM

It's a good article, M.Ted, and I for one don't rely on a single criterion as indicating "human"ness. Over the years archaeologists and others have argued over whether skeletal metrics were "the go" and then the debates turned on "tool use", "language" and symbolic representation; the latter is what I was referring to when I put the "50kya" as a current debating issue.

I remember the disregard I received when I argued that the Laetoli footprints (3.8Mya, from memory, and certainly from a separate genus) showed behaviour one could consider "human". There were three sets, with different separations and regarded as a family group. The two "adult" ones were attributed to the male and female parents while the one with a much smaller sized foot was regarded as a "child", and most of its footprints were within those of the "Dad"; the child was deliberately placing its feet into its father's footprints and it was that feature I regarded as indicating a very human behaviour.

And, back to the GPSs; when plotting firelines in a chopper doing aerobatics over the flame front of a wildfire, you can bet I used the best GPS I could lay my hands on and even I, a serious map user, found coping with five or six 1:25K topo maps in the chopper's cabin more than I wanted to cope with while my mate, with one arm shrivelled from a disability, on the other hand coped with even more maps superbly.

Like I said, I have nothing against the technology, but I'm very selective about which bits I rely on.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:40 AM

You said "I for one don't rely on a single criterion as indicating "human"ness"--curious how often you have to deal with this question--I must admit that I've never had to determine whether a creature was human or not, at least, leaving out the whole "Bat Boy" thing--


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: jiva
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 07:09 AM

We have our SatNav (TomTom 710) on the dash in the middle (ie between driver and passenger). The centre position on the dash is great - we can both listen to the spoken instructions and see the display, the driver only occasionally glancing at the screen in the same way that one checks the rear-view mirror.

The holder is permanently installed in place of one of the air vents, and so looks inconspicuous when the SatNav is undocked. When leaving the car we undock the SatNav and take it with us.

jiva (Jimmy & Val)
www.jiva.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 07:22 AM

I don't know why it is, but my SatNav always seems to get a bit vague in Yorkshire. It will get me to within about 2 miles of where I want to go then suddenly tell me that I'm at my destination, when I'm obviously not! It's done it three times now on journeys to different places.
It works perfectly in Lancashire, the Midlands, Somerset, Hampshire....


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 07:42 AM

I have a Garmin receiver disk that that has a USB connection to my laptop. The smarts are already in the computer so the cost is a lot lower than a stand alone device. It works well for what I need.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: julian morbihan
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 09:58 AM

I don't have SatNav (yet?)

But I can see that it has problems at times with it taking people down wrong roads.

Whilst travelling up to Telford the other day I passed a great sign pointing to the River Severn at Hampton Loade "Walk-on ferry only SatNav Error"

Made me chuckle for a few miles at the thought of drivers blindly following instructions and ending up at the end of a very narrow lane with their car deep into the Severn!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 03:13 PM

Incidentally, Rowan, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for everyone who fights the big fires, especially the aerial guys--just watch it with the Bambi bucket!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: GUEST,Laura
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 07:16 AM

This is very helpful, as I don't know anyone with a Sat Nav and can't decide what to buy...

Incidentally, Halfords have a little "bean bag" that you put on the dashboard, to seat your Sat Nav in. No telltale "sucker" marks on your windscreen, to alert thieves that you might have something worth nicking.

I have to drive on quite a few roads that have more than 3 lanes. As far as I can see, the only Sat Navs that have advanced lane change warnings are the £300+ ones. Are they worth the extra cost? Has anyone got something cheaper which is good for lane changes? Any advice greatfully received. I live in the UK.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: mandotim
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 09:07 AM

Hi Laura; I think all the ones with TomTom software include advance warning of lane changes. I've got a fairly old one; the newer ones are better still, changing the view to show the details of the lane layout. TomTom aren't the cheapest, but if you don't want all the European maps and so on they can be had for about £150 or so. If you want really cheap, try Morgan Computers at http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/?adnetwork=af . They've got TomTom at around £100, plus several others.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 06:33 PM

Laura, the GPS and software I use is for a PDA, so possibly different to what you are looking for. However, the program menu gives options of how far ahead of a turn you start getting warnings. Too far ahead is a nuisance in a built up area and not far enough isn't helpful at motorway speeds. I'm guessing that other GPS units would have the same facility.

From what I've seen British multi-lane roads are well signposted so there shouldn't be need for total reliance on GPS warnings. Also I've found British drivers more courteous than Australian and more likely to allow you to change lanes.

I'll be hiring a TomTom and driving round UK with it for the next month so will put these ideas to the test.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Rowan
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 01:27 AM

Also I've found British drivers more courteous than Australian and more likely to allow you to change lanes.

Ah, Tangledwood, perhaps you've only been to Sydney. My experience of capital city drivers in most Australian states is that the natives of each city have their own perceptions of what counts as proper behaviour and none of them has much time for the differing norms of other cities' drivers. While I've been relatively successful in adapting to each city as I've spent time in it, I've found Sydney to be the most "difficult" to adapt to.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Tangledwood
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 03:36 AM

Sydney I've only driven around a couple of times and Perth not at all. My impression is based on all other state capitals and country driving. A high percentage of the time, if you put the indicator on to show an intended lane change the vehicle behind will accelerate to close the gap and keep you out. My (limited) experience in UK is that the majority of drivers back off and assist the change.

Don't want to take the thread topic away from GPS though and start an interstate civil war. :)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 03:55 AM

Sufficently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic to the unknowledgeable.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 04:31 AM

Has to be a lot safer than my normal navigators i.e. Wife and daughters.

Pip (mum) is great. I've yet to get it through to her that while I can understand instructions like "take next left" or "get in middle lane", I can not understand her pointing and "go that way". I've no doubt it looks right to her but from my angle in the driving seat she can look to be directing me between lanes, into on coming traffic, etc. Peter (dad) could give instructions like left or right but (even before his stroke - he's worse now) left can mean right or visa versa...

My favourite navigational error though was not caused by them and Pip was the driver. We were trying to get to a party after a session and our navigator was a bit vague with lots of yes/no... The confusion winded up with Pip jumping red traffic lights and it turned out there was a police van behind us. The teetotal Pip was breathalised. I saw the funny side but she didn't.

--
I'm on L plates in a car but when I had motor bikes, years ago, my method of navigation was just to look at a map and write down the names of towns and roads I'd need to be aiming for. Never had a problem, except trying to find the end of journey in a town and I guess that's the only place I would see sat nav as being useful.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 08:50 PM

FYI

How Global Positioning Systems Work


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 10:18 PM

Guest Laura.... re. your comment that you have to travel on roads with 3 or more lanes....
Keep to your left except when overtaking.
Do not rely on the sat-nav to tell you when to change lanes.
Big blue (on motorways) or green signs tell you when to turn off for a particular town.
Mirror, signal, manouvre.

Now, is that worth £300?
PM me with your cheque.
Colyn.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: The Villan
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 01:04 AM

That was funny :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Performers and Sat Nav
From: Anne Lister
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 03:56 AM

Guest Jon - yes, getting from town to town is a doddle. That's never been my problem. The reason I use a SatNav is to find destinations within towns, or destinations (like prisons) which aren't signposted in quite the way you'd expect.
However, a useful by-product of the SatNav is that it gives you a fairly accurate estimate of how much further you have to travel and how long it will take, and it adjusts this when and if you're stuck in a jam. As well as being able to calculate an alternative rapidly if the route you're taking is blocked off or jammed or otherwise not free-moving.
Mine does have a few blind spots, however, where there are new roads now open...despite updating regularly.

Anne


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