Home » Uncategorized » Geeking on a Saturday

Geeking on a Saturday

I had a ton of fun today being a geek.

My day started with a trip across Michigan to rehearse my Data Explorer session at the Grand Rapids Area Fox User Group. The drive is actually a nice three hour ride. I used my laptop the entire trip for the first time as a device to enhance the travel experience in a geeky way. Nice to know my battery lasts exactly long enough to cross the state of Michigan, but not much longer.

I purchased Microsoft Streets and Trips 2005 while I was in Redmond for the MVP Summit (thanks to Rick Bean for pointing this out on our visit to the Microsoft company store). The software comes with a GPS unit. I loaded the driver last week on the way home from the MVP Summit so I was not breaking my new software before a conference policy. I plugged this in to see how it operates with Microsoft MapPoint without loading the Streets and Trips package. Way cool! The real time feedback is impressive and the accuracy of the maps is amazing. I have seen other more expensive GPS technology in hand held units and dashboard units show the position just off the road. Heck, this package is only US$80 and includes mapping software and the GPS hardware device (plugs into a USB port). The bad news is I purchased the 2005 version and I see the 2006 version was just released. The new version of Streets and Trips has voice and text prompted directions on Windows XP. This feature would have helped today because I was traveling alone. Steve Bodnar told me (and I have since read more) that the Streets package has more GPS features built in than the more expensive MapPoint software. Hopefully this is just a leap frogging problem and the next version of MapPoint will get the cooler GPS features so I don’t have to suck up hard drive space with both tools.

Even more geekness: while I was traveling I caught up on 5 different FoxShows I had downloaded, but have not had time to listen. Andrew: love the format and you are getting some excellent interviews. Each of the interviews provided me a little humor, insight and information. They all got me more geeked for the Southwest Fox conference next week and made the trip go a little faster which is always a good thing.

The trees are just starting to turn color in southern Michigan so the scenic part of the drive was very nice. It is almost a shame I will probably miss the peak season because Therese and I are heading the Arizona next week. Hopefully the weather will hold and we will get a beautiful view and the ultimate color tour out the airplane window on our return flight.

It was good visiting with friends on the west side of Michigan and appreciate the time each gave to come listen to a presentation I have only presented once before. It went better than expected because I have not had time to really practice the sessions before I have presented them to the two groups. As Sharon noted at the meeting today, there is always the plane ride out to Arizona. I am not sure the passengers outside of the Fox developers traveling on our early flight next Thursday really will want to listen {g}.

Add reply