September 24th, 2002


Gadget Oost

This article reminds me that last night I saw a portable GPS receiver at Sam's Club for $200 (after rebate). I almost bought it. I want one. Badly. For no real reason other than it's coolness.

It's the size of a cell phone, and comes with mapware that shows a topographic map of your location on a little screen. And damn, $200 is cheap!

I love maps and geography. My father was a navigator, so there were always maps in the house when I was growing up, and I've always been fascinated with them. There's a security in knowing exactly where you are in the world, because if you know where you are, you're not lost. There was a time when I always packed a road atlas with me on plane flights, so I could sit at the window and figure out where we were at any given point in the flight.

But GPS. What could I use it for after the initial thirty minutes of playing with the new toy wears off? I'm rarely in areas where I can get lost (although it might have been useful the other night in downtown Boston). I camp and hike sometimes, but we're not talking wilderness backpacking here. Wandering around the Martz Mountain farm? I know that area pretty well. The sailboat is long gone, and it was too small to head out to sea in anyway.

I dunno. I still want one, but I'll hold off for awhile. This obsession, at least, appears to be in check for the time being. Would that some of my other obsessions were so easy to contain.
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