Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Sad, Luddite Provenance and Ultimate Redemption and Liberation of a Proud GPS Unit

My dad and step-mom are in their 80's. The last car they bought came with a free On-Star subscription as standard equipment for 1 year.

They loved it and I felt good knowing they had it.

But after that first year, they had to pay to keep it and looked around for a cheaper alternative.

They wound up dropping about $100.00 for a Garmin Quest.

But they couldn't figure out how to operate it, became frustrated, and decided to just pony up the On-Star subscription fees. They don't have to read a manual and operate a device. They just push a button in their car and tell the robot what they want. It works better for them.

Consequently, they viewed the Garmin unit as functionally defective and offered it free to any family member who wanted it.

My little brother beat me to the punch. Fucker.

Today, we had our family Christmas function at my brother's house in North Kansas City. The subject of the GPS unit came up and my brother confessed that he, too, had become frustrated trying to make it work and had given up. Not only was he not using it, he couldn't even find it. He had to enlist the help of his live-in girlfriend who, like all women everywhere, know exactly where everything is. She fetched it up from the basement, still in it's sad little box.

After a cursory examination of the unit and the documentation, I decide it is my technological duty to rescue this unit from my Luddite sibling.

Within an hour of having it home, I have purged it of failed routing attempt baggage, established a new HOME, and reprogrammed the Welcome Screen to read "Welcome Aboard, Commander."

Oh yeah!

In fact just to start this human/AI relationship off on the right foot, I'm doing a little conditioning.

I'm letting the unit program my way to work tomorrow. But guess what? I ain't taking that fucking way to work tomorrow! OH SNAP! Can you say "Recalculating?" Learn to think on the fly, my little GPS bitch! 'Cause that's just how I roll!


m.v. said...

now you can finally go to olathe and not get lost

Xavier Onassis said...

m.v. - Olathe, KS is the soul-sucking singularity at the heart of the Black Hole known as Johnson County and I will not voluntarily venture there even with a GPS device.

On my maps, everything west of the State Line is emblazzoned with banners warning "Here Be Dragons!"

Hyperblogal said...

I had to instantly change the voice to male... it was too much like being married otherwise.

Logtar said...

No way, I like the female voice getting pissed at me because I refuse to do the first legal U-Turn.

emawkc said...

People like your brother and parents are one of the primary reasons the Robot Revolution happens 3 years from now.

Just press a button and let the robot tell you where to go? Next thing you know robots will be driving the cars all by themselves.

Don't let it happen! Take up arms now! H.U.A.R.!

Poodles said...

This post is kinda turning me on. Just sayin'.

"The D" said...

Why do you need a GPS when the only places you go are work and home? Are you so old and senile that you forget how to get to work or home?

FYI my word verification is "amate".

Just found that interesting.

Joe said...

One of the best things my parents have done for Sandra is give her their old GPS. Sandra gets lost easier than anyone else I've met.