Move over Maggie

Regular followers of this blog over the summer (what's wrong with you... have you nothing better to do with your time!) will know of my long summer love affair with a dusky voiced American lady called Maggie. Magellan Maestro, the GPS that was kindly lend to us by Ed and Lorrie Bawden for our time in Grand Rapids.

Well, she impressed me so much that on coming home I was on the look out for a similar piece of kit at a reasonable price. And last week I spotted one... a Garmin Nuvi 300, at a third of its usual price. So it's a case of move over Maggie here's Gary... Now that's a female Gary, as this unit only offers female voices. Is there something wrong with a male voice telling you where to go? But anyway, she's not as sophisticated as Maggie... But I have simple needs. Getting me from A-B without a speeding ticket, accident or nervous breakdown will do. To see how she will work I have engaged in some Satnav cruelty I am ashamed to admit... I've programmed in place I know how to get to and deliberately taken a different route to see how quickly she reroutes and how well she estimates ETA, and all in all she has done very well... Except for a near hissy fit when I took her through the Ulster Hospital grounds en route to Owain's School...

So, I'm pleased by my purchase and will get a lot of use out of it... Around Ballybeen to begin with!

Actually since I've come back I have made a lot of technological purchases... A benefit of the high street crash as a result of the credit crunch and the pound nose-diving, is that a lot of internet outfits are offering heaps off certain items. So, over the past few weeks I've bought a new fm broadcaster, 8 GB memory card for my phone and headphone connector with an integrated mike so that I can use my outrageously over-specced phone as an MP3 player in the gym and car, without having to juggle it when a call comes in... And again it has worked seamlessly. Isn't it wonderful when that happens.

However I also had to buy a new digi-box for one of my TV's because during my time in the US Freeview have moved over onto a more advanced platform which rendered my old box useless. So much for me gearing up for the digital hand-over. We're not even there yet and the equipment is already outmoded. I then had to upgrade my Scart lead because my old cheap one wasn't good enough for the new box.

And that is the problem with technology. The manufacturers are selling those of us who can afford it more and more stuff that we don't really need... Knowing that in 2-3 years we will be back again either because it is so badly made it has died on us, or because it is no longer compatible with everything else we have.

Do we need all this stuff? Clearly no. Yet do we learn? Equally clearly no. But we had better... because there is no point in having a satnav if the world it is supposed to help us navigate is a barren wasteland and we are crossing it at walking pace because our cars no longer function.

And while we worry about which piece of electronic gimickry is "best value" a huge proportion of the population of the earth worry about more important things... like where their next meal is coming from and will their children survive to the morning.


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