Since I was a kid I have had a fascination with maps.
I used to spend my pocket money on the things and managed to collect the complete set of half-inch scale maps of Ireland. I think there were about twenty five of 'em.
There was something magical about studying a sheet of paper and being able to visualise the rolling landscape and the towns and villages. A holiday wasn't complete without all the maps that covered the journey and the destination. For my first trip to France back in the '80s I got the full map of the country and large scale maps of the area I was to visit. By the time it came to doing the journey, the maps were virtually worn out from all my studying.
There is one big problem with maps though – once published their information is cast in stone, or paper as it were. Most of my old maps are useless now as of course motorways have been built and the entire landscape has changed.
I reluctantly got myself a SatNav. It has a couple of advantages over maps in that it tends to be more up to date and I don't have to stop every while to study it.
Using a SatNav is easy enough if you apply a bit of logic. Mine has a tendency to try to kill me from time to time, such as insisting I drive off bridges or head the wrong way down a one way street, but I got used to that and it frustrates the hell out of it when I refuse to obey its commands to the letter. It also has a habit of trying to make me drive on narrow windey roads when the main road is obviously the better route but I got wise to that too.
The problem with the SatNav though is the updating. I discovered one summer that I had forgotten to update it and was driving happily on a long stretch of motorway when the SatNav went into a right strop, insisting I was driving across fields and I was to get back on the road IMMEDIATELY. Eventually I rejoined the road it was familiar with and it shut up, but it sulked for the rest of the holiday.
One irritating thing about updating the yoke is that the programme only works on Windoze, which as you may or may not know, I abhor and avoid at all costs. So yesterday I fired up my ancient PC in the back room, loaded Windoze, waited for a couple of hours for it to update, download the latest SatNav updater and eventually plugged in the SatNav.
It told me the annual update was ready so I told it to go ahead and it started downloading, accompanied by dire warnings that if I interrupted it that it would kill all my firstborn and shoot a load of puppies.
That was at around three in the afternoon.
At bedtime, I checked progress. It told me I had another three hours to wait, despite telling me at the offset that it would take about four hours. It had been reporting its progress through the day and the time left constantly varied anywhere between two and eight hours. I left it to it.
This morning I checked it again. Only five hours to wait and the progress bar hadn't shifted an inch. This is approximately twenty hours after I had started the process. Fuck!
I decided that my firstborn would just have to suffer and that the puppies probably deserved it anyway, and I switched off. My diagnosis was either that the PC hadn't enough memory or else it was trying to back up the entire Interweb which is something I didn't want.
I fired up the laptop Herself uses as it's a bit more powerful than the poor old PC. I loaded Windoze, waited for a couple of hours for it to update, download the latest SatNav updater and eventually plugged in the SatNav.
It's updating at the moment. It told me that it would take four hours again and again threatened my firstborn and the puppies so obviously it didn't carry out its first warning, which somewhat takes the sting out of its threats. It tells me that I have to wait another 4 hours and 41 minutes. Half an hour ago it was 2 hours and a few minutes before that it was 8 hours and 13 minutes. An this is the device that is supposed to calculate my position to within a few feet? Now it's saying 6 hours and 4 minutes.
I'll leave it to do its thing. I'll probably check it again in a few days.
Herself is going to go ballistic without her Farcebook though……