Garmin eTrex

Garmin eTrex GPS

I have to admit I am a little bit of a gadget freak. I do love fancy little electronic gizmos, particularly if they are well designed and have a useful purpose - whether or not I really need the gadget for that purpose is irrelevant! One of my favourite gadgets is my Garmin Etrex Global Positioning System.

If you don't know what a Global Positioning System is or how it works then I recommend the Howstuffworks website which explains it well.

I bought the unit when I was on holiday in Chicago a couple of years back. I didn't really have a specific use in mind for it when I bought it, it's just another good fun gadet. Having said that, if you can be bothered to spend the time to work out how to use it properly it is a really amazingly handy gadget. When out cycling or driving - even in familiar surroundings - it can be very useful for finding shortcuts and for working out estimated time of arrival.



I have tried a few different pieces of software to enable my GPS and my PC to talk to one-another. My favourite is GPS-U which is shareware. I like it a lot, so I have registered my copy.

Another piece of GPS software I've tried is GPSS. This is an all-singing-all-dancing piece of software. It talks to you and you can set it up so that it is voice activated. To be honest though, I didn't find it as easy to use as GPS-U.

Microsoft AutoRoute is quite good. My main reservation with this software is that the maps don't have anything approaching the level of detail of an Ordnance Survey Map. Some of the old versions of Autoroute don't update the displayed position as often as one would like (this fault can be rectified with a hack to the software code though).