GPS Usability

This is an addendum to the previous blog entry. The GPS functionality is less useful than I expected. Today, I went with my wife to pick up our daughter from school. After leaving the school, we encountered a detour and promptly got lost in the maze of Chiang Mai’s rural roads. “No problem,” I thought, booting up the GPS navigation software on my pocket PC. But there was a problem. In order to calculate the position, the GPS requires several satellite signals. I think the minimum is four. The process usually takes 30-60 seconds. Today, the device appeared to have problems getting multiple satellite signals. When it had acquired two it lost one, then it acquired another, lost another, then all signals were lost at once, then it acquired a new one, and so the game went on, until I gave up after a few minutes. We were back on track even before the GPS could locate us. I suppose, I will put the old low-tech magnetic compass back into the car. It served me well in the past.