Saturday, January 8, 2011

Frugal, or Just Plain Cheap?

It's fair to call me a technology junkie.  As in addict.  I can't get enough when it comes to some of my favorite computers, tech companies, gadgets and toys.

I've lost track of how many Palm OS PDAs I have.  I have a Newton Message Pad and a Palm Foleo.  Throw in some iPods, BlackBerries, Treos (Windows Mobile and Palm OS), and an iPhone for good measure.

So, why I am I still using the ancient (read: 4 years old) Palm GPS Navigator kit and a Treo 755p for driving directions?

Like most cars today, when I purchased my car, I could have also purchased the in dash navigation kit; but it cost an extra $2,500.  I said I can buy a good window mount GPS kit from TomTom or Garmin for $200.  But I haven't.  I'm still using the Treo and the Palm GPS puck.

Part of the reason why I haven't upgraded is because it's functional.  I like the interface, the 3D maps, and "Mandy", my female digital co-pilot, and the GPS puck doesn't rely on any cell towers for triangulating location - it talks with the satellites in space.  (I'm still amazed that such a small device that fits in my pocket can talk to a satellite orbiting the Earth.)

Sure, I can't upgrade the maps on the bundled 1GB SD card.  I can't download new voices, a feature that I do think I would use.

Am I being cheap?  Frugal?  I'd like to think I'm being frugal because the GPS kit still works.  But I think that the real reason that I have not upgraded to a new window mounted GPS kit is because, as much as I like to admit I'm a technology addict, GPS units are on the outskirts of my addiction.

[Photos via PalmInfoCenter.com...]

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan, AintNoSnitch here, just in case you forgot, I'm still not snitchin! Hope you're doing the same.

I have a tom-tom gps unit as well, standalone, and I do refer to the voice as Mandy, so I share some of your sensibilities. I even continued to use her after I got my Android device.

But then I got lazy. I would text myself addresses for places I would look up using google maps on my home computer. I realized I could just use google maps on the device and click 'navigate'.

Got a car charger and a gps stand for mr droid. I would still prefer Mandy, but then, I found the true deal breaker for Mandy. Traffic. Navigation features alternate routes, and it shows which ones have traffic and lists time estimates for each. I cannot live in uncertainty anymore. Spoiled!

http://www.androidtapp.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Google-Maps-Navigation-Route-Layers.jpg

One more thing. The turn by turn gps on these devices do use satellite gps, not celular triangulation.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan, AintNoSnitch here, just in case you forgot, I'm still not snitchin! Hope you're doing the same.

I have a tom-tom gps unit as well, standalone, and I do refer to the voice as Mandy, so I share some of your sensibilities. I even continued to use her after I got my Android device.

But then I got lazy. I would text myself addresses for places I would look up using google maps on my home computer. I realized I could just use google maps on the device and click 'navigate'.

Got a car charger and a gps stand for mr droid. I would still prefer Mandy, but then, I found the true deal breaker for Mandy. Traffic. Navigation features alternate routes, and it shows which ones have traffic and lists time estimates for each. I cannot live in uncertainty anymore. Spoiled!

http://www.androidtapp.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Google-Maps-Navigation-Route-Layers.jpg

One more thing. The turn by turn gps on these devices do use satellite gps, not celular triangulation.

iphone car kit said...

It's good though that you did not purchase the GPS which was worth $2500. Better buy Navigators that are cheaper but work great. Anyway, using your phone as GPS is a brilliant idea.

electronics online said...

"I like the interface, the 3D maps, and "Mandy", my female digital co-pilot, and the GPS puck doesn't rely on any cell towers for triangulating location - it talks with the satellites in space."- Though that makes little to no difference in terms of efficiency, I understand why you don't want to switch to in-dashboard GPS.