Friday, April 8, 2011

Getting There

 While I live with one foot in the 1850's, I also live with a great appreciation for modern technology. And as I drove home from an interview today, I marveled at the convenience of GPS. There are items I could live without, but my little Garmin GPS is not one of them.

 Here is a view as I returned to our driveway. When I left, I had no idea where I was going but typed the city and address into the GPS and didn't have to worry about it further. Half an hour later I was pulling into a rural lane, a place I had never been to before.
 Earlier in the week, when I took Mom to a doctor's office - also one we had never visited before - I let the GPS navigate.
 I'm an "early adopter" of technology and I remember the first Garmin unit I bought. It was in the early days when GPS units showed latitude and longitude and little else. You could enter a waypoint if you knew where it was. Thus you had to do some research in advance of your trip. Still, I enjoyed the little GPS and was surprised that it was possible at all.
 When I bought my second Garmin, it had a crude display. It was the early days of mapping and the rough black and white lines were better than I could have imagined. Still, there was no internal database. You had to know where you were going - and where it was - before you left home.
 Not today. I bought this Garmin Nuvi 260 several years ago and I imagine it's already quite outdated. But I enjoy it's colorful maps, built-in database and female voice which guides me, turn-by-turn to my destination. It is the one piece of technology that is worth more to me than it costs.
 I remember as a young kid going to a James Bond movie and seeing a moving map display in 007's car. I remember also turning to my friend and saying, "Yeah, that's going to happen."
 Yet what I have today far exceeds what James Bond had. Never discount the creativity of the human mind. There are wonders ahead beyond our imagining.