Thursday, May 28, 2009

A TomTom for my Birthday. Thanks Mom and Dad.

my parents are full of surprises. in recent years for Christmas or on my birthday they have always asked what i would like as a gift. i never ask for much except for their company, and (of course) food. but my folks being who they are (my folks) always came up with some gift to give me such as socks. this past Christmas they got me some after-shave splash by Adidas. my folks are modest people with little means to get me anything impressive for these occasions. i always accept their gifts with full thanksgiving along with their blessings. but this year my folks went way above expectations for my birthday. they almost convinced me that i was getting more after-shave, but after the first tearing the wrapping paper i began to sense some deception.

in my hands - after fully disrobing the box of its festive paper - was a TomTom XL 340-S navigation device. i was so stoked! first of all that my parent would ever get this kind of gift. they explained to me that it would be good for me to have one of my own instead of having to ask my brother the use of his Garmin. second the fact they they got me the top model from the XL 300 series. it just goes to show how much they know me.

this thing is so cool. 4.5" touch screen, voice assisted navigation... it does pretty much what most navi-gps's do. it takes on a simplistic look with nothing more than the USB connection for power and data transfer when connected to a PC to update the map. the absence of useless "bells and whistles" are fine by me; i don't care much for some models that utilizes SD card slots for MP3 or video playback. kinda defeats the purpose of what a navi-gps was devised to do.

there's a Windows app i'm, supposed to install in order to update the maps stored within the unit. i've yet to do that, but i will soon enough. my dad was a little concerned that the map installed wouldn't cover Puerto Rico (PR). on the box it clearly states US, Canada, Mexico. apparently some of the units at the store make the point to specify coverage over the tiny island; not this one. but after checking out the map my dad was pleased to see that PR was well covered.

my only concern is the power requirements to run this thing. i'm already using the 12V plug to operate my iPod's Kensington charger/FM transmitter. i have figured out a solution - i'll reveal it later - but until the need arises i'll simply keep the 340-S tucked away. besides, it has a built-in battery that will run for 3 hours according to the specs, and i doubt i have anywhere to go that requires more than a three hour round trip.

thanks Mom and Dad, i love you both very much.


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