Are We There Yet?But my wayward friends don't need me so much these days. Intelligent electronic navigations systems, which can do all the work for you, are now ubiquitous. There are handheld units from the traditional global positioning system makers, such as Garmin ( GRMN) and Magellan. There are in-car units from electronics companies, such as Pioneer and Alpine built into pricier vehicles. There are live traffic feeds from satellite and terrestrial radio companies, such as XM ( XMSR). Even cell-phone operators offer excellent navigation products in their phones. With today's nav systems, there are no excuses. If you're lost, late, bickering about being lost or late, or even unaware of your down-to-the-second ETA, it is your own dang fault. Though technoilliterate dramas like "24," "Alias" and "Lost" like to lie to us about what a GPS can do, navigation systems are simple once you understand what they need to have to work. Listen up JJ Abrams, I love you, baby, but if I have to put up with another Sydney Bristow or John Lock doing completely unrealistic things with their nav systems on "Alias" or "Lost," I am going to dress up in a cheap pink wig and run away to a metaphorical jungle island paradise. GPS systems need a clear shot at the sky and time to acquire sufficient satellite signals to work up a location. Invariably, when there are problems with GPS, it's because users rush the system or forget that they are working indoors, under some trees or next to a row of tall buildings. The best advice for GPS users: be patient and be outside.
|The Pioneer Avic-Z1|