Sunday, November 19, 2006

GPS

I bought a Garmin StreetPilot c320 for my mom. She asked me to buy her a GPS unit so if she wants to drive somewhere without my dad, she won't get lost. I ended up buying the c320 since it looked like it was easy to use and it was pretty cheap at Amazon.com. The standard unit comes with only 128MB SD card which allows you to load maps for a couple of states. I ended up also buying a 2GB SD card for $40 which allows you to load all of U.S. and Canada and it was less expensive than buying the c330 which has all the maps preloaded on an internal HDD.





I've been testing it for the past few days since I'm going to bring it with me to Canada later today. The unit worked well except for the voice directions. For some reason, it would not say the words "left" and "miles" which meant instructions like "in 6 _ turn _ then turn right." I called Garmin tech support and it turned out that the c320 I bought had Audio v2.50 when the current release was 2.40. They weren't sure how that happened but I was able to "update" the firmware to the older version and now it seems fine. I heard they have a unit that supports East Asian languages but I couldn't find it anywhere. 左! 右!

I also have Microsoft's Streets & Trips with GPS Locator. That works pretty well too except I have to lug around a notebook computer since the GPS antenna plugs into a USB port. Definitely not as convenient as a portable unit. There is an option to download maps and buy a GPS antenna adapter for a Windows CE device but I may as well go buy another Garmin unit. I'm thinking something like this but I hardly ever get lost and I have 4 devices that play MP3s already: iPod 30GB, mobiBLU 1GB, Treo 128MB (stolen from the c320 above), and a RIO MP300 64MB.



Maybe I should save my money and get a Nintendo Wii instead. First U.S. units went on sale three hours ago.

1 comment:

hogsman said...

I've been planning to buy a portable GPS device for a while now because I have virtually no sense of direction. I really could've used it yesterday when I was driving around in circles on dirt roads down in El Centro (by both the Arizona and Mexican borders). Good thing it was still daylight.