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The title of this entry is from a movie I just bought on DVD called Thank You for Smoking. Excellent movie. And in case you were wondering, yes, I smoke. This movie showed me yet again some very compelling reasons why I should quit - and every little bit helps.

...

I still navigate better than you

A few days ago on the bone I heard some DJ flappin' his gums about getting lost in Tampa. Evidently he took a wrong turn somewhere off Hillsborough Ave and ended up lost in a area he called "Jack Shack Central". Don't ask me what that means because I have no idea. And from what I gather I don't want to know what it means.

All I can say is that the guy I heard on the radio is yet another candidate for GPS.

And for those who say "Too expensive!", I don't think so. You have no excuse.

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Laptop back on XP

I had given Ubuntu 7.04 a go on my Dell Inspiron 6000, and honestly speaking, it really worked well, but.. all the apps I use in Windows are simply not there in Ubuntu. Or rather, most of them are but I had to re-learn where everything was. Said bluntly, I really don't have the time to re-learn where everything is because I have to get stuff done. Windows XP is my choice in that department.

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Speaking of XP...

I've been watching my boss go through the trials and tribulations of Windows Vista. Some of the stuff he's dealing with is.. well.. ridiculous. Mainly driver issues. As I've said to him personally, I tip my hat to the fact he's sticking with it and making it work, but the quirks he's encountering every so often would drive me up a wall.

I'm staying with XP until I'm literally forced to use something else.

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Speaking of GPS...

One of my goals has been to get a replacement GPS for my Garmin StreetPilot c340. For whatever replacement I get, the c340 can then act as a backup unit.

After researching a few likely candidates, my choice is still Garmin, but there are a few things about their product line that really confuses me.

  1. Why is it the best "c" series StreetPilot still not have the ability to do routes? This makes no sense.
  2. Why is the 2720, a premium unit, suddenly discontinued even though it kicks the living crap out of the best "c" series?
  3. Why is the 2820, the new premium unit, only better because it has useless crap (like an MP3 player) in it? Note to Garmin: No one gives a crap about an MP3 player in a GPS unit. It's used to n-a-v-i-g-a-t-e, not play music and take phone calls.
  4. Why does the 2820 premium unit not have MSN Direct services (which would be useful for weather and gas prices) while the "c" series, a lesser model, does?

What Garmin needs to do is this:

  1. STOP constantly shuffling out new models so fast that absolutely no one can keep up. Instead of constantly throwing models out there, they should slim that down, get the hardware right the first time, and just release firmware/software patches and updates as need be. Do you realize there are SIXTEEN nüvi models? That's ridiculous! This could be easily slimmed down to five!
  2. Make a "c" series that has programmable ROUTES in addition to waypoints/favorites and via points.
  3. Develop a subscription system that would allow for DOWNLOADABLE periodic map updates directly to whatever StreetPilot you have. And yes, that would be worth paying for - but not for more than five bucks a month. I think that's more than reasonable. They have an online system already. Integrating subscription based map updates would not take rocket science to pull off. And it brings in revenue to boot. Garmin, you can thank me later for free ideas. Get to it. Thanks in advance for not complaining about it. The fact you weren't ready for the onslaught of consumers isn't our fault - that's your fault. Step up to the plate and get things rolling in the right direction. And by the way, if you want to point the finger at NAVTEQ or whoever else for not providing timely updates, again, that's not the consumer's fault - it's yours. Get on their ass and make them do their jobs.

So anyway, tirade aside, I need to get a backup Garmin StreetPilot. The debate within myself is whether to get the (now discontinued) 2720 - which is a fantastic unit - or the c580. The 580 has the MSN Direct in my area which allows for weather updates along with traffic and all sorts of other good stuff - and I want that because it's very usable when driving. On the other hand, the 2720 is now in sub-$450 range, has a larger screen and does routes while the 580 doesn't.

No, I won't be buying either soon as I have other expenses, but choosing which to go with is a tough decision.

If Garmin makes a "c" series with routing ability, that would be my first choice.

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