“At Garmin, we don’t just dream up and build products for people on the move — we’re quite active ourselves. And some of us won’t let a tough Midwest winter or 18 inches of snow stop us in our tracks, logging nearly 9,000 commuter miles this winter. A group of Garmin cyclists, including one in Romania, embarked on a winter bike commuter challenge from November through the end of March. Riders, equipped with their own Garmin Edge or other GPS devices, were asked to track the total miles they rode each day, along with the number of days they biked. The data was tracked on a shared spreadsheet, and their stats, when all stacked up, are quite impressive:
My hat is off to these dedicated riders! What an amazing and inspiring story.
Maybe I’m older than I thought. Maybe new concepts are just hard to grasp at first. I pretty much kept up with all the updates on my automotive GPS unit until it told me it was too full for the latest update. Grrr. I sure didn’t know how to handle that. I tried deleting some stuff but was afraid I’d delete something critical. I finally checked out the manufacturer’s site for my Garmin nuvi and discovered that I needed to add memory to my GPS unit. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. How did you add the memory card? Where did it go? There just wasn’t an explanation for that to clarify it for me.
I finally just bit the bullet and bought the memory card recommended, then I stared at it and thought about it for much too long before opening it up and checking it out. Wouldn’t you know – it was so very simple! There was a tiny slot on the side of my GPS unit that my memory card just slipped right into. It could only go in one way, so it wasn’t possible to put it in wrong. Then I hooked my GPS unit up to my laptop and downloaded that elusive update in no time at all. All that worrying over nothing! If only I had known from the start that all I needed to do was slide that tiny card into the tiny slot on the side of my Garmin GPS unit I could have saved myself quite a bit of time and worry, afraid I would break something. It was no big deal! I won’t hesitate next time now that I know how easy it is to do. I guess old dogs can learn new tricks after all…
Wow, in the news again. Or is that Still? Can’t count the times that I have seen that in the headlines – “Car Window Smashed, GPS Stolen”. Don’t you just hate seeing those headlines? Ever happened to you? Want to prevent that from happening to you, but short of sleeping in the car or always being inside a garage, what can you do?
I know it has been said before, but there really is something easy to do to really, I mean Really, decrease the odds of this happening to you. First, don’t use a suction cup mount for your automotive GPS. Even if you remove it every day it leaves a little telltale suction cup mark on your windshield. There are so many really good GPS friction mount options out there that there is no reason to even consider a suction cup. Some of those friction mounts even double as a case so you always have it with you, and your GPS devices are always protected. I love mine. It stays put, even on bumpy roads. When I’m done it actually will tuck out of sight under my driver’s seat in my car where it is out of the way any time I don’t actually need my GPS. If I stop at a rest area or restaurant it is simple to just set it back out of sight, often before I even actually pull into the parking lot so nobody saw it yet. Simple. I figure that life is too short for complicated when simple works just as well.
Now that Bob, my husband of 30-plus years, is retired, he has a lot more time to pursue his hobbies. Golf is one of his major passions. Nearly every day this spring and summer, he’s been out on the links working on his game.
Unlike most wives who might complain about their husband spending so much time on the golf course, I’m actually happy for Bob. He’s getting lots of exercise and golfing lifts his spirits. His birthday is coming up, so I consulted with one of the country club golf pros who recommended I buy Bob a Bushnell Golf GPS. I just ordered it and I can’t wait for it to come in!
Lucy, my sister, is a great driver, but she has the worst sense of direction. One time she called me for directions to the local grocery store that is only ten minutes away! Somehow she got herself so turned around that she would up three miles in the opposite direction from where she needed to be.
It got to the point where my dad started calling her ‘Lost Lucy.’ She detested the nickname. To help her lose the condescending moniker, I bought the two of us automotive GPS units. Now she never gets lost and I have a device that tells me the best routes to avoid rush hour traffic.
Let’s face it. In today’s economy we are all looking for ways to save money. A recent article written by one of my favorite authors deals with the issue of refurbished or remanufactured items. Since this is well written, pertinent, and many folks wonder about it and since it applies to refurbished or remanufactured GPS units, whether automotive GPS systems or whatever as well as it applies to anything else, I thought I would pass it on here:
“Refurbished models are items sold by a company or a store in which they came into possession of an item with some flaw. The business then repaired that flaw, fixed the item up so that it’s close to new, and then sells it at a discount – often a steep discount.
Refurbished models can save you a lot of money with minimal risk, but you have to be a bit careful when doing it.
If you’re shopping around for an item and come across a refurbished model at a nice discount, consider these questions.
First, is the item being sold by a retailer that sells new products of the same type? If they’re not, I’d avoid this. Don’t buy a refurbished Sony Blu-Ray player from a store that doesn’t sell other Sonys. That’s a flashing red light that something questionable is going on.
Second, is there a return policy for this item? If you take it home and discover an issue with the item, can you return it to the store within a reasonable length of time (30 days or so) for a refund? “No questions asked” return policies are the best. I consider a return policy on a refurbished item to be a requirement.
Third, is there a warranty on this refurbished unit? There should be a warranty attached to it. Sometimes, this warranty is equal to that of a brand new item, which is a very good sign. If you don’t see a warranty, back away.
Fourth, can you see any obvious defects in usage at the store? Can you try the item out before you buy it? The success of this really depends on the item. Not being allowed to do this isn’t a deal-breaker, but being allowed to do it is a strong positive.
Fifth, is this a certified refurbished model? Some companies offer a certification program for refurbished models which often includes a full warranty. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it is certainly a big positive.
Finally, can you get an extended warranty for the item? This doesn’t mean you take the extended warranty, but if the business won’t offer one, that’s a sign that they don’t believe in the product they’re selling you.
I use these items as a checklist whenever I’m considering a refurbished model. If it passes through these questions, then I’ll consider it a bargain and pick it up. However, if these questions start throwing up some red lights, I’ll pass.
Don’t overlook refurbished models in your shopping. They can often provide very nice discount opportunities.”
This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” by Trent of TheSimpleDollar.com
It seems like quality family time is a thing of the past, but it sure doesn’t need to be. Take an impromptu Sunday drive, or plan an extensive road trip… Even though gas prices have gone up over the last few months, a road trip probably is still one of the most budget-friendly ways to spend your summer vacation; and exploring America’s back roads is a ton of fun, too. With the summer road trip season approaching, here are some great Garmin tools for your automotive GPS unit that can be useful and fun on the road.
Check out the cool attractions. Road trips are all about the journey, but it doesn’t hurt to know where you’re going or what kind of attractions are on your way. Garmin’s nuvi devices and StreetPilot mobile apps come preloaded with millions of points of interest and there are also full travel guides available that you can load onto your device. Spot it out offers many different guides with interesting destinations across the U.S. You can, for example, download a guide with the weirdest locations across the country, such as little museums, “world’s largest” sights, natural and unnatural mysteries, over-the-top tourist traps, oddball folk artists, monuments, and statues included in the Attractions and Oddities guide. Also available are guides for historic or family destinations.
Let Darth Vader guide you. To add some fun to your trip, especially when traveling with kids, Garmin offers a wide variety of voices for nuvi device, ranging from Darth Vader to SpongeBob. Or, even better, if you prefer to let your friends or loved ones guide you in your next adventure, then just download the Garmin Voice Studio and start recording.
Save at the pump. A road trip is all about the journey, so you don’t have to worry about the fastest route, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to waste fuel on the way. A fuel-efficient vehicle still is the best way to save at the pump, but how you drive also matters. Garmin’s ecoRoute feature can help you analyze and improve your driving style so you’ll get the most out of every trip to the gas station. You can also save by using Garmin’s Smartphone Link app, which allows you to search in real-time for the best gas prices nearby.
When the kids asked what we are doing next, my response was “we’re making memories…”
The anniversary of one of the most infamous ocean tragedies of all time has just passed recently, the sinking of the Titanic, just 100 years ago, on April 15, 1912. America’s Boat US Foundation asks – what have ocean travelers of today learned from the Titanic tragedy? Well, what have we learned?
In 1914, two years after Titanic’s loss of 1,503 lives, maritime nations gathered in London, adopted the International Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention) and put in place a series of measures learned directly from the tragedy.
Slow down: The commission that investigated the sinking found that excessive speed combined with the prevalence of ice flows was a major factor in the disaster. Do you slow down when boating at night, in foggy weather or when in unfamiliar waters? Any time you’re out on the water and something doesn’t ‘feel right,’ slowing down is your best first move, giving you critical time to react.
Call for help: The radio that the Titanic used to send out the SOS had a limited range of only 200 miles and the airwaves were ‘crackling,’ leading rescuers to misinterpret her position. Also, sadly, the vessel closest to her, the Californian, had shut down her radio for the night. Sailing nations of the world have seriously upgraded their response to distress signals. In the USA, the Coast Guard Rescue 21 system now covers over 40,000 miles of US coastline and some major rivers, taking the ‘search’ out of search and rescue 24/7 by providing accurate location information with the simple push of one button – but only if your boat has a DSC VHF radio and it is properly connected to your GPS/chartplotter.
Unfortunately, today coastguards around the world report that most DSC VHF radios are not connected to a marine GPS device or GPS chartplotters. If you travel offshore or boat alone, an EPIRB or personal locator beacon (PLB) can also speed your rescue. On larger bodies of water a cell phone should only be considered a back-up emergency communications device, and always have your VHF on and tuned to channel 16.
Give a safety briefing to guests before you leave the dock: Regrettably, no lifeboat drills were held aboard the Titanic, the crew lacked training in their operation, and there was no public address system. Today, before they head out, recreational boaters and anglers can simply share with guests the location of the safety equipment and how to use gear such as the VHF radio, distress flares, fire extinguisher, or inflatable life jackets.
Have a life jacket for everyone aboard – that fits. It is inconceivable to consider, but the Titanic did not have enough critical safety gear, such as lifeboats, for all her passengers. Do you have enough correctly-sized life jackets for everyone aboard, and are they readily accessible? A child in an adult size life jacket could easily slip out simply by raising their hands above their head. Be sure all gear is appropriate to the individual passengers on board at any point in time.
Planning ahead is crucial to a safe and enjoyable outing, so don’t shortcut yourself or your passengers in this area. In order to have fun you should first and foremost be sure to be safe.
Several folks have asked how to find the manuals for their GPS fishfinders, or any GPS product for that matter. When you think about it you would think you need to purchase a manual, perhaps even end up getting it by mail or having to find a place to purchase it. After that you would need to find a handy place to store it where you can find it again when you need it. It is much simpler than that, really, to get access to the manual for your individual product for free.
First, find your manufacturer’s website such as Lowrance.com (http://www.lowrance.com/en/Downloads/Manuals/), or at Garmin.com (https://support.garmin.com/support/manuals/searchManuals.faces?refresh=true). I like simple as I am sure that you do also. Just search for support, downloads or manuals at the specific manufacturer’s site and then search for your particular model. Bingo! Download the manual onto your own computer, and you’re good to go! Yea! This will really simplify your life if you need to look up some details about your particular unit, especially since you can then use the search feature of your computer to find exactly what you are looking for in that manual once you download it to your own computer. Slick, huh?
Troopers responded to a report of a stolen Garmin GPS device around 4:40 p.m. on Saturday. The complainant told police that he left the item in his 2006 Ford Freestyle, with the doors locked and one window open, for about two hours in the parking lot of the …. Business Center. Nothing else was reported missing, according to officials. The incident is under investigation.
Let me see if I got this right – the “victim” left his car parked in a city parking lot with one window open and his automotive GPS unit still in his car. Well, I have seen where someone smashed a window to get to an automotive GPS unit which was attached by suction cup to the windshield while their car was parked in a parking lot in a busy area of town, but leaving the window open? I’m thinking they could have just handed it to someone on the street and been done with it.
I make sure that I use a friction mount for my GPS device which I can slide under the front seat out of sight when I leave the car, and my Garmin nuvi is small enough to tuck into my purse and take with me. How hard is that? Be smart, and be safe, people. Why tempt people? I know I am honest. You may be honest. Actually, I believe that most people are honest. But, we all know that there are people out there who, shall we say, are not honest? ‘Nuff said?