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Technology leaps and bounds

Posted by putsimply on 22nd August 2008

In spite of the fact I’m a paid advocate of technology I tend to be a late adopter myself, not that I’m shallow or anything but because I object to paying the leading-edge prices and always wait for the second and third generation devices to eliminate the bugs and drive down prices.

So this summer holiday was the usual France trip, aided for the first time by Tom Tom (borrowed from brother-in-law). The best bits – running French mapping in English leads to some hysterical pronunciations, some so convoluted I swear the thing crashed as a direct result of sheer embarrassment.

From my GPS assisted travels in France

From my GPS assisted travels in France

Then as you may know some of the roads in rural France are really rural, and as a consequence selecting the ‘shortest route’ results in unexpected (and totally legal) trips through people’s back yards! On several occasions supermarket car parks too were include on the routes, Casino for example seemed favourite – to be fair it hardly ever messed up and we saw parts of France we’d never have bothered with previously, so I’d use it again just for the entertainment value.

Then there were the three-way rows over which way to turn, with the driver (muggins) at odds with the traditional navigator (wife with map) and Glynda (Tom Tom).  So rather than the normal low level of underlying tension involved with any complex road journey across France, we got mad spikes of heated debate, separated by long gaps of total calm and tranquility.  I’m not entirely sure that was an improvement on pre-GPS days.

High Voltage over-head cables produce interesting results too (not surprisingly when you realise just how low GPS signals are) a phenomenon which would freak a less experienced European traveller I’m sure with sudden jumps to other parts of Europe, as if we’d past through a worm-hole or some other theoretical mechanism – and lastly why don’t they come up with something more elegant that that sticky thing that goes on the screen? That is not going in my Jag!

So I get back to work this week and immediately get equipped with a shiny new 3G iPhone (technology I can adopt early as I’m not paying for it) – first impressions are pretty good and, although it’s not as flexible as my former 3G smartphone, it doesn’t matter – I hardly have to think how to do stuff because it just works – brilliant. Once O2 gets round to porting my phone number across I’ll see if the battery lasts a normal EML working day and will be back with some top-tips.  And I hope to confirm that the class action raised by US users against Apple is what I suspect, more a problem with people’s expectation of 3G speeds in the US, than a problem with the performance of the iPhone itself.