Hmm 🙂 Wonderfull wonderful weekend. As we are entering my favorite time of the year (late summer/early autum) the smell of the first falling leaves is mixed with the last warmth of the amber sunrays. A perfect time for a little day out. Sunday was a mixture of good conversation, Wonderful tea an pancakes and walks in the valley of Spa.

Taking the new company car out for a spin proved to be a great idea. The Audi A3 rolls smoothly and the lack of its "technical extras" has been partially fixed. After surfing around on some "bargain sites" I managed to find a Tomtom 710 GPS unit for 200 euro’s. Looking at the specs it looked like it was going to be quite a cool device. Maps of Western Europe, TCM (Traffic info) , SD card slot ( For playing media) , Bleutooth to use the device as a wireless handset for my cellphone and an FM transmitter. Add to that the option that I can hook up my Ipod to the GPS it becomes quite a nifty toy for that price.

Step one : The device.

Well .. its a GPS and a darn good one. Ok , I need to update my maps tonight, but so far it works pretty fine. It tells me where I need to go, but also does makes little ding-dong  sound when i’m driving faster then the allowed speed limit. When I approach a speed camera the thing flashes and blinks so should get another speeding ticket is from now on.. completely my fault.

Step two : The extras.

Tomtom has come a long way since the days I ran it on a PDA device using some wired gps receiver. This unit also doubles as a hands-free carkit for my Cellphone. Not a big deal BUT it also pulls the entire address book from my phone and gives me the option to call VIA the tomtom unit (search the address book, dail a number, look at my text messages etc). Coming to think of it , using the GPS unit during a meeting would make it a perfect confereing call interface ! Awesome.

Step 3 : Music please.

The entertainment side of the unit is lacking just a little. I haven’t managed to play any of my mp3’s I put on the SD card, but after some Googling it turns out that  this is my fault . I should put them in a folder named MP3. If I can get that working I might start thinking about downloading my podcasts (or audiobooks) to the SD card and using the GPS unit as my entertainment center. Since the quality of the sound is not THAT high , I can choose to use a Line out connector, a bluetooth audio interface with external speakers, headseat or radio, or an FM transmitter. Unfortunately the FM transmitter is very disappointing. Its hard to find a free channel on the radio over here, so I get constant interference from radio stations. When I do have a ‘clear signal’ from the GPS , the audio volume the GPS pushes out it just too low. So i need to find a little alternative.

In all I’m very pleased with my Tomtom unit and am looking forward to geeking it out and finding out some extra posibilities and creative ways to use the device. I’ll keep you guyz posted !


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