An update is available

On Monday I mentioned SatNavs.

The thought occurred to me afterwards that I hadn't checked my yoke to see if there were any updates available.

Now I have had experiences in the past with Garmin and their fucking update system so I was damned cautious this time.  For a start, Garmin have never apparently heard of Linux so that meant using that abomination called Windows.  Also I know their updates take a little while so I was canny enough not to use my laptop.

I have an old PC that barely works.  Its sound is fucked and it has a horrible screen that I couldn't be bothered replacing, but it ticks along and is very handy for downloading stuff.  It's stuck under a pile of junk in the junk-room that I euphemistically call "my study".  I fired it up into Windows and plugged Roger into the back of it.

Sure enough, the Garmin web site gleefully announced that there were updates but before I could do anything else, apparently I had to update my "Garmin Downloader" first.  I told 'em to go ahead and install the new software and left them to it.

An hour later I went in to check progress.

"Update failed".

Now they didn't say why it had failed – just that it had, which was fucking irritating.  And there was no "re-try" button so I had to go through the rigmarole of finding the update page again.  Anyway, I found it, set it off and left it to it.

An hour later, I checked again.

"Update failed".

Fuck!

I went through the hoops all over again and waited another hour.

This time it worked and was happily displaying a list of updates that were available.  They said my maps were out of date and also some other shit.  I told 'em to go ahead and install the lot and left them to it.

An hour later I went in and the screen happily announced that the other shit had been updated and could I please re-power Roger before updating my maps.

I did, and then left them to it.

An hour later I checked.  The map stuff was indeed being updated and was about 5% done.  Estimated time to completion – "> 3 hours".

I left them to it.

At this stage it was late.  Time for bed in fact.  I went in to check progress.  20% done.  Estimated time to completion – "> 3 hours".

I went to bed.

I don't know how long it took, but it was finished by the next morning. 

I don't know what the update did.  The maps look the same and Roger still has that extremely irritating habit of mispronouncing "road" [a fairly common word for a SatNav?] where he pronounces it as "row-add" with a sort of glottal-stop in the middle.

I'm beginning to think it would be easier to buy an atlas….

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Comments

An update is available — 14 Comments

  1. I bought a Garmin Quest back in '05, the only thing it has ever been good at was telling me where I had been; at an electronics gadget show a couple of years back I spoke to a Garmin rep, he looked embarrassed and admitted that model had not been a success, I only bought Garmin because an idiot had recommended it to me over a TomTom, since I use a Mac I have to use a pals computer to upload the latest data, at last after the most recent data download, 8 years since purchasing it, the Garmin actually guided me to a destination I had asked it to, rather than into a river, wall, mobile crane etc. When I come to replace it, I won't be choosing Garmin.

    • I fell foul of the same thing – the recommendation of a friend.  In fairness I do find it great for long distance stuff, particularly when on the Continent.  Apart from a tendency to ignore one-way streets it's virtually 100% accurate and has got me out of a few tight spots.  I once even lost the car [in Cherbourg] and luckily had stuck Roger in my pocket for security – found the car straight away!

  2. Testing our Garmin out a few years ago, I asked it to take us from Killiney to Dawson Street – it took us via Clonskeagh and Ranelagh instead of straight up the N11.

    My phone came with a map application which I consult from time to time and I recently downloaded something called Navfree onto it but I haven't had much of an opportunity to test it, rural Ireland tending to be the sort of place where you take the Dublin road, or the Limerick road, or the Cork road and not have to worry about getting lost

    • I have a yoke on my phone too. It doesn't have voice recognition and is mute which means fiddling around with a tiny screen while driving, which may not be a good idea?  It's also not that accurate.  I just checked it and it tells me I'm sitting on the other side of the room.

      • "The other side of the room"???  I trust you said that tongue in cheek.  If you realised just what is involved in ANY GPS giving you a fix (geographically speaking), you would be grateful it put you inside the house at all!

        An absolute minimum of 3 satellites need to "visible", and for any sort of height readout at least 5. These are all in overlapping low earth orbits and constantly moving across the sky. The system works by comparing the time signal transmitted from each satellite, and calculates position using trigonometry. These time signals are all synchronised and maintained with onboard atomic clocks.  If the satellites it can see are all in a similar place in the sky, this calculation will necessarily be less accurate. It's fortunate the Yanks turned off the "selective availability" that they employed during the Gulf war. This deliberately degraded the fix available to give them a tactical advantage.

        I don't think most people ever consider what a miracle GPS is – to be able to walk or drive around with a tiny hand-held device that (mostly) tells you where you are to a matter of a few feet is really rather amazing. Those super accurate time signals are now used by a whole host of other equipment, so the US taxpayer is effectively the world running whether they like it or not! There is also the Russian GLONASS system, which is short of satellites, and gives limited coverage, and the EU is spunking untold amounts on Galileo, which is widely expected to be used to track all vehicle movements and enable road use charging.

        • Heh!  Indeed, I was somewhat impressed that it put me in the right area of the house.  It was out by ten feet at the most which is certainly near enough for a missile strike?

          I do appreciate the technology and marvel at its accuracy.  I have more faith in its speed indication too, as I reckon triangulation iis considerably more accurate than counting the rotations of a wheel [which depends on tyre pressure and road surface for accuracy].  I reckon my built in speedometer is out by about ten percent on the slow side!  I have independently tested it against roadside radars so I know my speedometer is wromg.  😉

          • When S/A was switched on I think the accuracy was better than 1 metre. But most of the Desert Storm operations were relatively out in the open, so a better range of satellites would have been available. For all I know they may have planned their strikes to coincide with good coverage over the target. I can still remember TV footage of a Tomahawk navigating down a street, making a couple of turns at junctions, and then going dead central through a particular building window….

          • "It was out by ten feet at the most which is certainly near enough for a missile strike? "

            It was. The accuracy that "Roger" has today the Cold War submarine force had 30 years ago. It took quite awhile for that kind of GPS technology to arrive for the so-called consumer.

    • Wasn't it the iPhone that declared that there was an airport in the south Dublin suburbs?  [It was actually a house called Airfield].  Our illustrious Minister even contacted the airport to warn them to warn pilots not to try landing there.  If commercial pilots are relying on iPhones for navigation then we're all fucked.

  3. Just a question about Gallileo: from jan 1st 2015 all new cars sold in the E.U. will have to have G.P.S. fitted as standard, I presume this applies to commercial vehicles too, however what about motorcycles? and where do classic vehicles fit into this, will they have to be retro fitted with G.P.S.?

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