Tag Archives: Garmin

Fortitude foretold

Man Versus Machine has been a recurring motif over the course of this blog. It seems I’m destined to face the techno-beast again and again.

I’m not technologically adept. But I’m nothing if not persistent. Dogged. Relentless.

For 20 years I was coddled by onsite tech support. Most of that time, all I had to do was punch in four digits and someone appeared in my office, tapping away until life was good again. In the late 90s, corporate resources became constrained and Y2K gave way to the tech support principle known as RTFM.

One of the things I miss about working in a conventional job is onsite tech support. The last 10 years I’ve had to fend for myself. I’m not sure I’ve acquired much skill but, out of necessity, I’ve become a bulldog. When some gizmo goes kaflooey, I hammer it until it succumbs (a popular tech support principle of the self employed).

In the past three weeks, I’ve suffered the dysfunction of three computers, endured an ISP conversion gone horribly wrong, lost my business phone line, gazed as my Garmin gave up the ghost and watched my four-in-one crumble into nothing. I was afraid to make toast.

Yesterday I awoke at 4:00 a.m., in a puddle of hot and cold sweat, palpitating with anxiety and set on getting at least one or two of these things straightened out.

At 11:45 last night, I realized I was still in my pajamas, I hadn’t eaten, but I proudly had wiped out a few gremlins. I decided to take a break and read the paper, which had been sitting on the kitchen table all day.

I flipped to the horoscope. Don’t you love reading your horoscope when the day is already done? I find it’s much less foreboding that way, and too late to act on flimsy advice.

Mine read: “It is sometimes hard to let things go. Then again, being just a tad obsessive does have its benefits. For instance, you can focus intently on something you want to accomplish and not quit until it’s done.”

I’m not quite done. But today’s another day. Do I dare peek at what the stars portend?


Filed under Technology and Social Media

The other woman

My husband is in love with Ms. Garmin Nüvi.  It happened the moment he heard her voice through our new GPS. 

This came as a big surprise to both of us.  He is among the last to fall for any high tech gadget.  He has the most distant relationship with his cell phone.  After four years, he has yet to record a voice mail greeting and usually doesn’t recognize when it rings that someone is calling him.  He recently bought his first home computer but, alas, after several weeks, it still has no software.  He will probably never own a Blackberry.

He bought me the Garmin nüvi for Mother’s Day, intending it would be mine alone to take on business trips. 

Last weekend we went out of town for a wedding, so we took it along to try it out.  My husband was astonished that this woman, who spoke sternly and resolutely through the speaker, knew where we were going and, further, how to get us back on course when we stopped for gas. 

When she spoke, he answered.  “Thanks, sweetheart.”  When she said to turn right, he said, “I’ll do that, sweetheart.”  “What next, sweetheart?” 

As we headed out to the various wedding events, my husband asked me whether we were taking “her” with us.  It was starting to feel like a threesome.  Only she was the one being called “sweetheart.”

After the wedding Saturday night we went back to our hotel and stepped into the elevator.  An electronic voice announced, “Going up.”  My husband gasped, “It’s her!”


Filed under Family and Friends, Foibles and Faux Pas, Technology and Social Media, Travel

iOld and iTired

The older I get, the more my thoughts begin with “back in my day . . .”

In this season of weddings and graduations, I think back on how little technology was available when I went through both. 

I made it through college using a typewriter, a percolator and a hot plate.  That’s it.  My husband and I planned our wedding using a three-ring binder, two packs of index cards and some Post-its.

This week, I have backed up my computer files, synced my calendar to my phone, taken and downloaded photos, updated my music collection for a car trip, and set up my new GPS system.

Tending to these tasks involved six different devices. 

It struck me yesterday–as I looked down at the tangled heap of cases, chargers, adapters and USB cables going every which way into the two computers that hum simultaneously, side by side, on my desk–that I too would need a recharge.

iTunes is running on the Dell, syncing the music with my iPod.  The HP laptop is putting my calendar on my iPhone.  The Nikon is plugged in, also to the Dell, and uploading photos to Shutterfly.  Directions from Mapquest are shooting out of both printers, just until I am weaned on to the Garmin.

Meanwhile, the Garmin is undergoing online product registration, but calls for a USB connection to complete the registration.  I see that no USB cable came with the Garmin.  While waiting on hold with Garmin’s customer service line, I type my dilemma in to a Search box.  It tells me the product comes with no USB cable; I need to buy one from their online store or use a cable from another appliance.  I try each and every cable before me, one by one, searching for compatibility.  Eureka, the cable from the WD external hard drive fits!  It’s always the last one you try.

What I wouldn’t give for my Polaroid Swinger.  The only cord it had attached it to my wrist.


Filed under Foibles and Faux Pas, Music, Technology and Social Media, Travel