Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Materialism Rocks

The people who complain that Christmas is getting too commercial are just mad they didn’t get any good stuff. I got one of those portable GPS devices that looks like a handheld flat-screen TV. No matter where you are, it pinpoints and labels (to within a few feet) your immediate location and surroundings, and how to reach wherever you’re going. I haven’t been paying much attention to new technology for over a year now and I’m therefore hopelessly out of date, since these things have apparently been standard issue in most new cars for quite some time.

I also have a nice leather pouch to carry the GPS and all its accessories. Currently, I’m in the market for an affordable case lined entirely in lead, for those times when I know exactly where I’m going but don’t need anyone else to.

Hope you had an enjoyable religious or secular winter-themed holiday of your choice.

16 Comments:

Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

Merry Christmas to you all (whether viewed as a commercially-driven materialistic holiday, or a Christian holiday cynically created to co-opt various "Pagan" midwinter celebrations).

9:09 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

Or, of course, as a legitimate celebration of the birth of a truly remarkable man of faith, who probably WAS a "Son of God" in the specific way that he preached it.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Windypundit said...

I just gave my wife one of those things, and she already loves it.

If you don't want your GPS gadget to know where you are (and for some reason turning it off or leaving it at home just won't do), forget the lead case. What you need is to put your GPS receiver in a Farady cage.

(Yes, receiver. Episodes of 24 notwithstanding, the user portion of GPS doesn't have to transmit anything to figure out where you are. It just listens passively to the satellites.)

A Faraday cage isn't really a cage, it's just a pouch or box of electrically conductive material that completely surrounds the GPS receiver. Ideally, it should be some kind of copper mesh pouch, but in a pinch, tinfoil will do the trick.

Oops, did I just geek out?

11:48 PM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

Those GPS gadgets are cool. They sure are easier to carry around than those big signs you see in the malls that say, "You Are Here.----->"

9:32 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

Farrady cage? Why not just remove the batteries?

9:34 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Why not just remove the batteries?

'Cuz that would be too simple - and not as much fun. ;-)

10:32 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

You don't need it to be lead, a wire mesh faraday cage would work just fine.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Welcome back, Anne! Good to see your inscrutable smile again.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

If you don't want your GPS gadget to know where you are (and for some reason turning it off or leaving it at home just won't do),

Just for the education of those of us less worldly, what possible circumstance would result in one wanting to leave a GPS on but not have it work?

And, if you REALLY want to geek out, buy another GPS, and rewire it to be a local (illegal) GPS jammer. Geek away! 73 ;)

12:59 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

I have two GPSs on my bicycle. An obsolete model, however, that still requires some navigational awareness.

My bubble sextant is now unused in the basement.

I used to have a GPS on the lawnmower (2.5 miles or something to mow the lawn, I've forgotten now. I no longer use a mower. I use a scythe).

3:52 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

I have two GPSs on my bicycle.

Just call it an RTK differential gps system.

4:06 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

See?

6:06 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

See?

Ok...Why two then? Now I'm curious, I thought I was geeking with a bike computer on one side, and a HRM on the other.

2:31 AM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

Two gives you two screens at once. Say for cross bearings. Or you may want to trace out a hyperbola generated by two destinations.

There's a thousand good uses that any guy can come up with.

2:36 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

There's a thousand good uses that any guy can come up with.

Riiiight. Last time I saw something akin was a guy that used one GPS for an APRS rig, the other to track distance, but what the heck.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Welcome back, Anne! Good to see your inscrutable smile again.

Sorry, where are my manners, Hi Anne! :)

12:40 PM  

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