11/28/08 180 W, 1 I - + 15 - 14 Black Friday

The morning mission was a GPS replacement, upgrading from a Garmin StreetPilot C330 (bought last year at this time for $128) to a Garmin Nuvi 205W (sale priced everywhere at $149). That is, except for Tiger Direct, where it was $10 cheaper. Below was the line leading into Tiger Direct at 5:40 a.m. Yours Truly diverted to Staples, opening at 6:00 a.m. Why the GPS upgrade? Fewer steps to enter a street address. C330 required entry of every city name. 205W remembers previously entered cities. Two taps to enter "Raleigh." Time savings? Maybe 10 seconds, which feels like 100 seconds when you're in a hurry. e.g., going to a fire. Total haul for the morning? GPS unit, plus 400 blank CDs (never have enough of those), plus a trio of $99.99 (!) eMachine monitors, for multi-monitor expansion trials. (Probably a second video card in my future, too.) And a shredder, which I learned the Missus was intending to buy as a Christmas gift. Guess we think alike. Glad we don't look alike. What were your adventures?

let me know how the multi-monitor setup works with the desktop – been wanting to do that for ages – presently running a larger monitor off the laptop, so i can see what i am doing
cornerhydrant - 11/28/08 - 14:01

Wal-Mart worker dies in Long Island, trampled during opening stampede: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008..
Legeros - 11/28/08 - 15:27

Been running a dual monitor setup for years, and can’t imagine how I got along without it.
CFP 7021 (Email) - 11/28/08 - 15:43

I am expanding from 1×2 to 2×2. Two computers, four monitors. May try 3×2, too. Now if I can just find some good desk/shelf arrangements, to get everything at an even eye-level…
Legeros - 11/28/08 - 15:56

two of the same monitors? did you need a special video card? terrible news about the walmart employee – hope there won’t be any more incidents – prefer to do my shopping online to avoid such crowds – did black friday once in my life, will never do it again, as someone ripped the stuff i had in my arms and ran off with it – had to walk to the end of the parking lot to find the car – seemed like a mile away
cornerhydrant - 11/28/08 - 15:57

you’ll be wanting Anthro’s video editing tables (on sale though, unaffordable otherwise) – http://www.anthro.com/
cornerhydrant - 11/28/08 - 19:01

I’m running 3 19” monitors for a couple of years. So much easier when dealing with several different documents or programs at the same time. Yes, you will need another video card. I’m running an ATI. Go by Tigerdirect.com You can probably just add one to your existing computer if your current card doesn’t have 2 outputs.
AB - 11/28/08 - 20:47

ah, screen envy!! – just realized i would need a splitter and special software to do it with the only real desktop(?!) in the house, a mac mini – laptops hooked up to an external monitor work well (image looks great!), but it is so confusing to keep trying to remember the keyboard is not in front, when the laptop is off to the right side and its screen is half the size of the hooked up monitor
cornerhydrant - 11/28/08 - 21:06

After watching 6 computer monitors at work (those are just the ones I look at), I’m glad to only come home and have to look at one! Then again, I would like to add one or two more to my desktop.

BTW... I got suckered into going to a local mall (Southpark) with the line, “Well, it is 1:30pm so the mall shouldn’t be too bad, I’ve been before on a Black Friday afternoon and it wasn’t bad.” HAHAHA... boy did that trip suck. I spent the majority of the time at the various lounging locations, people watching. Saw some really intense shoppers and some really tacky ones!
Luke - 11/29/08 - 14:29

now, i’m really wanting a second monitor for the mac mini, but wondering whether that would hamper cpu performance – Mike, computer expert, advice please! after all, that little box with extra ram, but a pared down skeleton operating system, with almost everything removed but the scanning software, is the computer that is operating a monster SCSI scanner 20 times it’s size – it’s a lean, mean scanning machine
cornerhydrant - 11/29/08 - 15:47

Since we’re talking GPS systems; looking at buying one for use on the fire truck. More and more people are buying them for work purposes; Mike, is it your opinion that the 205W is best suited for this application? Or, are there any other units out there, maybe a little cheaper, that require less steps to get to a street address? Feedback from anyone would be helpful!!!
Silver - 12/01/08 - 13:22

One more thing; is the only difference in the 205 and 205W the screen size?
Silver - 12/01/08 - 13:26

Silver, I only have experience using the two Garmin models mentioned. I am neither an expert on Garmin models across the board, nor other GPS brands. Since GPS auto units are very portable, perhaps ask around and borrow a couple different ones for a few hours, and see what you think? Regarding the 205 versus 205W, I believe both the LCD size is different and the memory card reader is different. The 205 uses Micro SD, while the 205W uses SD. But some Google searches can quickly expand on these details.
Legeros - 12/01/08 - 19:47

...also, others can provide an emergency response perspective. Vehicle noise probably drowns the “turn left here” voice directions, thus requiring concentrated watching of the display. They’re probably best used with a second person watching the GPS, and advising the driver. That’s my guess, at least.
Legeros - 12/01/08 - 19:51

Unless you interface the audio output of the GPS, (which is possible), into the apparatus headsets they are impossible to hear and almost as difficult program in an apparatus in motion. At NH we are using a slightly different system. We have a laptop with WCFire (for basic directions), ERG, Hazmat Data, Firstlook Pro Pre-Plans, and MS Streets and Trips. The Streets and Trips uses a GPS plugged into the laptop that is mounted to the inside of the windshield. Streets and Trips lets you turn the GPS on/off by clicking 1 button on the screen, then an icon (vehicle) shows up on the screen and it automatically keeps you centered on the screen and rotates the map based on your direction of travel. So when you’re traveling into an unfamiliar area you see the next streets approaching on the screen before you reach them…and we add hydrant locations into the map using “pushpins” that show up when driving. We can also add streets, etc that aren’t on the map. We’ve had it for about 3-4 years now and it still works well. Not bad for $60 worth of software including a free GPS...Even when the latest nav software is released, the data is still 2 years behind…so this is a simple, cost effective option until something better comes out.
AB (Email) - 12/01/08 - 20:57

GPS units must have improved a lot in the past few months. I was playing with a friend’s a few months back and it took it forever to finally locate the street after having to type it in, the unit to find it, and finally give directions. I figured it would be faster to just look up the streets that are outside the company’s first-due in the map book since dispatch gives the page and block number. I’d hope every Lt. knows the first-due streets since it is their job.
RescueRanger - 12/01/08 - 21:00

i have a tomtom that i bought during a huge promo, and even though i could not live without it, it takes forever for me to get a signal (perhaps it’s where i am located) and it’s also very difficult to program while the vehicle is in motion, hence the need for one map programmer/reader, another driver and frequent needs to pull over not to mis-type, and end up with directions to another city/state – in japan, we had in vehicle voice activated gps, which was extremely reliable, and switched to tv during stops, but it’s a necessity there, as street addresses are impossible to find
cornerhydrant - 12/02/08 - 01:07

Definitely the unit would be used by someone other than the driver, just safer that way. To address Rescue Ranger; yes, every driver should know the streets in their first due, however, riding a ladder or rescue increases the number by leaps and bounds and it’s nearly impossible to know every single street.

If the unit was in the back of the apparatus, when you’re already on the street the GPS is tracking your progress. If the tones hit for you, when you’re returning to service from a long run, put the street in and bam, you have routing. Versus the ol’ map book scenario; “ok, ummmmm, we are on falls of neuse, hold on, referring me to page 27, just head up to Newton and turn left…” . Hell, I know of a few people that their map reading skills are GARBAGE!!! Yup, that’s right, grown ups and can’t read a map!!

Just another tool for the toolbox folks, that’s all.
Silver - 12/02/08 - 01:09

i see voice activated is available in the US now, but at outrageous prices – see: http://reviews.cnet.com/4321-3430_7-6604.. – never tried these units, but can say, that the ones in japan can be used without taking your eyes off the road, since the button for voice control is on the steering wheel, and the volume goes through the radio
cornerhydrant - 12/02/08 - 01:33

this should look interesting once the price comes down to earth http://www.tomtom.com/products/product.p..
cornerhydrant - 12/02/08 - 08:54

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