Saturday, January 28, 2006

The latest addition - GPS

Chinese New Year is a festival that could be associated with "mass human migrations". Those celebrating the new year will make their way home to have the reunion dinner with their parents, pretty much similar to Thanksgiving in the United States.

The journey of traveling home is definitely exciting and fun. In Malaysia, most of the people will travel by car. In the older days, we only had the faithful cassette player as an entertainment gadget. There was no FM radio then. I am sure you could approximate the year. Yes, In the 80s. As time goes by, more and more stuffs were being added to car. We have FM radio with RDS, and some have a 10 CD-changer connected to it. A recent trend brings the FM transmitter and MP3 player that reads from a thumb drive. Some have VCD or even DVD player with cute LCD display.

On a niche segment of population, there are ham radios in the car. Some even have an all-band, all-mode mobile transceiver, such as IC-706MKIIg. Worldspace satellite radio that operates on the L-band is uncommon but we definitely cannot rule out that some people installed it in their tin can. You can’t compare with XM radio or Sirius but at least, you have an alternative if you are bored with Benglish or Ah Bengs and Ah Lians talking on local lehlew stations.

So, the latest addition to my tin can is a USB Global Positioning System. It plugs into the USB port on the laptop. Instead of having its own tiny LCD display like the conventional hand held GPS, this USB GPS has the whole laptop LCD monitor as its display. While I haven't have the time to download and check whether the free Malaysia and Singapore map is compatible with this guy, this was a perfect opportunity for me to test the GPS.

Although there is no map, this guy is able to provide a lot of useful information. It shows the traveling speed, bearing, date and time, elevation, and even which few satellites this guy is getting the signals from. Not to leave out the longitude and latitude as well. New toy to play with for this new year. Hi! Hi! Pretty good performance. This only thing that I amused me is the elevation. Even though I am stationary at one location, the elevation could fluctuate between 150 ft. and 250 ft.

Enjoy your holiday and have a safe and sweet journey home. Berhati-hati di jalan raya. Biar lambat asalkan selamat.

73.

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