The dark side of our universe

Obvious change in Garmin's business style?

Now my Garmin Express on my MacBook Pro says that my devices (Lifetime LMT) have the latest map data and the map version is 2021.10. WTF?

It used to be usual behavior of Garmin that Garmin chose to name their map version (or time stamp) ahead of time. If the actual time (date) is 2020, the latest map version was one of 2021.10, 2021.20, 2021.30 or so.

It is Year 2021 and it is already March, which translates into 03 numerically. The latest map version should be 2020.10 by now! Have they changed their naming scheme? If so, I am fine with it but did they announce it in the past?

I remember updating the map on my devices and on my MacBook Pro where Gamin BaseCamp lives a while ago. It was a few months ago, I guess.

I hope that the map data I have now is really the latest.

Mazda Connect on my MX-5 and it map data

The data subscription has expired. It did a while ago and I did not choose to renew my subscription at that time as my main GPS device was and is Garmin GPS navigation devices.

I can still use the navigation on my MX-5 and it works but eventually the discrepancy between the map data and the real geographical information will widen. The subscription costs around 100 Euro, I seem to remember for Western Europe area. I don't intend to drive into Russia or Turkey in my Mazda MX-5.

I don't subscribe to Mazda Connect online information service (I don't remember its official name) either. It costs and all it provides is like weather forecast and gas price information as far as I can remember. There was a free trial period when I got the car and I tried it and decided it would not worth the subscription fees. The fees don't include the connection fees that I pay for my phone service. When I use my mobile phone to let Mazda Connect borrow its tethering, Mazda connect can connect to the Internet. Why do I have to pay for the subscription service fees just for displaying the non-essential info on that screen?

I can get the same information on my mobile phone anyway and it is cheaper.

Of course for those who can afford it, it won't be any substantial cost anyway.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [The dark side of our universe]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2021/03/18(木) 23:22:26|
  2. GPS Navigation
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TomTom app (navigation) has got it right

TomTom Go Mobile app latest map update

I am writing this on my PowerBook G4 (A1106) running Tiger 10.4.11 (its RAM has been upped to its maximum 2 GB just recently). I am watching a YouTube video on QuickTime Player. It is made possible by TenFourFox and its QTE (QuickTime Enabler).

If I let TenFourFox play back the video, the CPU (1.67 GHz) is fully occupied and the playback is really choppy. If I let QuickTime Player play it, it uses less CPU power and the playback is really smooth. Why?

Anyway, back to the topic. The latest map update correctly shows the two road structures one (a new roundabout) in my workplace neighbor and one (a fairly new road connection) in Gasperich. Excellent! TomTom's map data are (or is) almost always more up-to-date than Garmin's as far as I know.

Two more ebay purchased items arrived!

Today I got two items; one from Italy and one from seemingly China.

One from Italy is a US layout keyboard for my iBook G4 (A1134). The keyboard itself (a used one) is from other model (at least it is 14-inch model and probably 2004 model or so). I am happy to see it. A US keyboard is an essential part that I want to have on a computer as I touch-type.

The other included three pieces of IDE-mSATA adapters. It enables oldish computers with IDE 40-pin interface to accept mSATA SSDs. This way I can install much faster SSDs on any of my IDE (PATA) interface Macs like Mac mini G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G4 or Apple TV 1st generation.

I am happy.

A new order made on Amazon Germany

Today (March 28th, 2019) I ordered some items. Two of them are for a colleague of mine. I ordered two items. One is a MagSafe I tip (how should I describe it?) that plugs into 2.1 mm DC plug which often is used for PC power adapter tip for further adapters.

Many generic power adapters are sold with various plugs (for say, Acer, HP, MSI, Lenovo and so on). To be effectively generic, they come with this 2.1 mm male plug and various female plugs.

I may find it handy somewhere and on some occasions.

The other item was something I found just a few minutes before I placed the order. I don't know why Amazon Germany knew that I would want it (I got a kind of eerie feeling because the AI that lurks behind the Amazon guessed it).

Just I was wrapping up the purchase, Amazon Germany suggested that I might be interested in a device that test a USB port. Its mini display shows the Voltage and amperage of a USB port while it is in use.

Just a couple days ago I noticed that my PowerBook G4's USB ports might be insufficiently powered as some USB external drives won't spin.

I can check it if I was right about it if I had this device. How nice of Amazon Germany to show it to me!

Of course I bought it.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TomTom app (navigation) has got it right]の続きを読む

テーマ:Apple - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2019/03/28(木) 23:43:57|
  2. GPS Navigation
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Garmin Map Update 2019.30, Saris Axis and Amazon (money pit?)

Garmin Map Update 2019.30 is available!

Garmin Express tells me now that the latest map update for my two devices (nüvi 2340 and Camper 660) is available. The latest one is 2109.30 and I will install it on my Camper 660 and then later 2340.

I am going to see how up-to-date it is. Like (grammatically it should be 'as') I have written before I know by my own experience that TomTom's map data are more up-to-date than those of Garmin's.

For example, I know at least two objects (one roundabout and one road extension) are not presented correctly on Garmin's 2019.20 but are reflected correctly on TomTom's map.

I will have to see if Garmin's map data have caught up with TomTom's.

Saris Axis (Europe version) made in Italy: confirmed!

Today I picked it up at the local post office. I have been to this place so many times to pick stuff up and by now a friendly guy working there let me pick the package up without checking my ID. Yeah, he knows my name, address and have seen my ID (passport) so many times by now.

Anyway, I walked to the post office (only 800 meters half a mile or so) because if I went there by car I have to open up the top to get the big box inside my small tiny Mazda MX-5.

I was right. It came in a big generic cardboard box and it nested yet another cardboard box from Saris. It was not too heavy (maybe 7 to 8 kg) but the box was slippery and I had hard time carrying back home.

I have not opened the box (I shredded and discarded the outer box before entering my residence) as a paper recycling bins were there.

Now I really have to make an appointment with the trailer hitch ball installation company in Germany.

Amazon (Germany) shopping

So the list goes on and on.

Now I have to include an SSD (240 GB), FireWire cables and yet another adapter to hook SATA 2.5 HDD/SSD directly to the USB port.

This last item is very handy because it does not require installing at all. A conventional external USB disk case requires screwing. This does not.

I realized that I have not used Time Machine on my main Mac (this MacBook Pro Mid 2010) more than 1,400 days. This is alarming. I would definitely panic if the SSD inside it crashes.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin Map Update 2019.30, Saris Axis and Amazon (money pit?)]の続きを読む

テーマ:今日の出来事 - ジャンル:日記

  1. 2019/01/07(月) 21:37:14|
  2. GPS Navigation
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Garmin Camper 660 LMT-D is speaking French!

Parlez-vous Françcais?

I was nodding off at the wheel not literally but figuratively, thank God.

I drive safe and when I feel sleepy or drowsy, I stop and rest or take a short nap in the seat. Anyway, let me explain what I meant.

I have always (since year 2005? when I first bought my GPS device, Garmin StreetPilot c510 in Germany) used English as the language on any GPS (voice language and display language). I have enjoyed David Zabriskie's funny voice navigation aid, Australian female pre-recorded voices or synthesized female voices.

If I choose an American (USA) female voice, she reads the unit in foot (Imperial) so I have to choose Australian voices or similar ones.

I have been using Garmin Camper 660 when commuting. I know the way so I did not pay much mind to what the synthesized female voice was telling me. She tells me to turn or U-turn most of the time. Since I am using the synthesized voice, it reads off the street names using her text-to-speech skill.

I have used it (synthesized voices) on older Garmin devices (like nüvi 2340 or so) and she was bad (no offense!). She pronounced French words (street names) as if they were English words.

It was at least a week later when I realized that this lady (residing inside Garmin Camper 660) was actually speaking French. I set the voice language as English so she spoke English to me like turn, keep or U-turn but she was reading the street names in French!

So now Garmin Europe (based in the UK) has this profile of Luxembourg and automatically let the synthesized voice to read street names in French as French is the dominant official language in Luxembourg.

The scheme is not perfect. She reads CR*** (*** stands for numbers) as "County Road" where it actually is a contraction of French 'Circulation Régionale' (= Regional Circulation: I might be wrong but as far as I could remember). It does mean County Road anyways.

I was impressed with her talent.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin Camper 660 LMT-D is speaking French!]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2018/12/14(金) 16:53:35|
  2. GPS Navigation
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Garmin (RV) Camper 660 LMT-D updated and how it is different

Garmin (RV) Camper 660 LMT-D

I have not uploaded the photos that I promised. I will do it later on.

I noticed something. It has more features than my former device (Garmin nüvi 2340).

For example, just a few moment before I am arriving at the destination (wherever it is), it suggests me to find parkings near the destination. There is a section on the screen where usually the name of the road to turn to appears. There appears a message that the device is ready to offer me parking options near the destination.

I know that finding a parking place for big RVs is difficult and sometimes for a small vehicle like mine (Mazda MX-5) can be hard in big cities. I may be using option when visiting big cities like Brussels, Belgium next summer.

I also noticed something. The destination selection screen is really different from that of nüvi 2340 (nüvi 2340 is a bit old so maybe recent Garmin devices may look similar to that of RV 660).

It does not have the option of viewing the map and then selecting a point as the destination, which can be a disappointment for me as most of my destinations don't have a fixed address. Most of them are some places on the roadsides in countrysides, mountains and such (bike race venues).

It (RV 660) does not have POI category icon. I was puzzled at first but figured out "Foursquare" icon was the one I was looking for. Under this option, I can search a lot of things.

It has, on the other hand, extra icons on the top screen like a camping site icon for example. A similar icon was under Top >> Lodging >> camping on nüvi 2340. It is like having a short cut icon for finding a camping ground, which I like.

I updated the map data on it (Camper 660). Let's see what happened.

CN Europe NTU 2019.20 Foursquare
CN Europe NTU 2019.20 All South
CN Europe NTU 2019.20 All North
Europe DEM

So now I have the newer POI data (provided by Foursquare), all Europe data (except Eastern Europe) in two segments (South and North) and this mysterious DEM data, which I imagine has something to do with the altitude data like a topology map. What does DEM stand for?


A quick search on Google pointed me at this. So it stands for Digital Elevation Model. Now I know. It does not have any time stamp or version numbers but I hope the data (plural form of datum) are current. Except for some volcanic areas in Italy, Iceland or else, the elevation of Europe won't change too often so my concerns can be irrelevant anyway.

Camping shower PortaShower from Hazelock

I got it from the local post office Today. It arrived last week but I was not home.

Anyway, I assembled it without looking at the manual (so easy) and tried it. It works. Basically, it is usable. The water comes out OK under mild pressure. It is strong enough to take a shower but won't be enough to wash the dirt on the bike. This is already anticipated so I won't complain.

It leaves something desired.
1. It does not have the function to hold the "Water Release (not the official name)". I may use some rubber bands to do the trick. When there's pressured air inside the tank, it leaks without holding the release, though.

I found that it was possible to hold the water release lever. I stared at the lever to see why I could not shut the water off when I used it the second time. Now I know how it works. I did not read the manual at all and that was why I was wrong to write what I had written above.

2. Its Pressure Cock (ditto) is supposed to be closed when pressurizing the tank and must be open when you take the shower does not have stop. If you turn loose too much, it drops off.

3. The carry strap is made of nylon or something. I want to take it off when taking a shower because it may get wet. The connection is made by two metal rings and it takes some time to take the strap off. It is not convenient at all. I will be needing two small carabiners (or similar products) to make it convenient.

4. How am I supposed to tack 2-meter long hose in when storing or carrying the device? I will need some velcro straps and another carabiner to do the job.

5. It does not provide any device to hook it up on the shower tent or so. I will be needing more carabiners (laundry clips?) and strings to do the trick.



In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin (RV) Camper 660 LMT-D updated and how it is different]の続きを読む

テーマ:キャンプ - ジャンル:旅行

  1. 2018/12/09(日) 00:05:39|
  2. GPS Navigation
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