atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1922: Okay, first impressions time, Garmin nuvi 205 GPS

I took a trip to McDonald's for food, and took the GPS with me.

The suction-cup mount let me affix the thing to the windshield, right by the rearview mirror, and off I went.

First: the thing's ability to tell you where you are and which way you're pointing get a lot better when you're not inside a house. I wasn't worried; I know about the attenuation characteristics of multi-GHz signals inside structures and also understand that a house contains a lot of metal parts which do weird things to all radio signals, not just microwave-range ones.

The database in the unit contains speed limit information--so as soon as I turned onto the main road there was a little icon telling me the limit was 35. And when the limit rose to 40, the GPS changed about the time I passed the sign, so it's a pretty accurate map. It also tells you how fast you're going--useful when you have an inaccurate speedometer.

I didn't try the navigation feature yet. I knew where I was going. Next time I go to my brother's house I'll try it.

Anyway, I like where I put the mount, so I'll probably figure out how to run a power cord up there behind the trim. Then all I need to do to make it look good is to figure out how to patch the power supply into the vehicle power rather than use a cigarette lighter dongle.

Overall, it's cool, and I like it, and I'm not sorry I bought it.

I'll tell you what, though: even to me--one of the most technology-savvy people I know--this thing seems like some kind of black magic. That's awesome.

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