Where am I?

My wife and I took a much-needed (and too short) vacation last weekend to the Boston area. The trip was a lot of fun, and also gave me a chance to utilize some newly aquired technology :-)

We used the Holux GR-230 Bluetooth GPS reciever to find our way there and back with great success. The last time I used a GPS unit was several years ago - it was a large, heavy device that had to be wired to a laptop or PDA via a serial cable, and also required several "C" batteries. Finding a signal took forever and it just wasn't too convienent.

The Holux reciever has a built-in rechargable battery and comes with a USB-based charger. It fits easily in the palm of your hand and doesn't add much weight to a travel bag. A single switch turns it on or off, and several LED's light up to indicate Bluetooth connectivity as well as GPS signal reception. Generally, the unit will find my location within a minute, and I have yet to experience any battery life issues after several hours of use. A car charger is also included for powering the unit on longer trips.

I paired it up with my Palm Tungsten T3 running Mapopolis with some local maps. Mapopolis generates excellent driving directions, and will even speak driving directions ("turn left, 500 feet") as you proceed along the route. I've also paired it up with my Apple PowerBook running Route 66 Route USA 2004. While the maps and directions are easier to see on the PowerBook, Route USA doesn't seem to do auto-recalculation if you make a wrong turn, and the map doesn't always move with you as you progress. Mapopolis, however, will continually update your route based on your current location, so if you make a wrong turn, it will find the best new route to your destination.