Sunday, April 19, 2009

On Learning to Use Technology: Part III

I have made a couple of comments in the past about people who have GPS systems in their cars, yet still get hopelessly lost. I would like to point out that at that point, I had absolutely no experience with using a GPS. With a very good sense of direction, and the ability to read a map, I have never had any need for one. Last week, however, I had my first GPS experience. When the road forked, the GPS did not say which road to take until after the fork. This was just a minor inconvenience. So was the fact that it tells you to turn right when there is a concrete barrier and buildings in that direction. What was a problem is the fact that it had no clue where it was or where it was going. Instead of giving directions, it felt the need to constantly remind everyone that its signal was too low. The first time it did this, it was overcast, so it could be forgiven for not being able to reach the satellite network. The rest of the time, it was sunny and still had no idea where it was. However, it still had the cheek to shout out directions to some place 30 km from our actual destination.

Anyone who has to deal with a GPS on a regular basis has my deepest sympathy...
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