Monday, September 26, 2005


The hurrying onset of new technology only serves to prove how little I know about it in the first place. Take my mobile phone for example, Nokia must have me on some sort of CCTV as scientists must do with monkeys in animal experiments:

"Ah, look at him. It looks like he's getting the hang of this mobile phone. Let's bring another one out, make it hard as hell to work, then make him think he can't go on living without having it"

Finnish bastards.

I have a new mobile phone. There was nothing wrong with the last one, other than the fact it wasn't my new one. And because I desperately need to find the quickest way to the local Asda at any time, this phone comes with sat nav installed on it. Told you I desperately needed it.

The problem is that it's temperamental. I switch it on, it switches itself off. Then I have to go through a combination of things to try and tempt it to work again. The repertoire includes turning it off and turning it on again. Removing the memory card and then putting it back in again. And then a combination of both. Nothing is guaranteed to work, it just sometimes does.

Last week I had to go to Marlow for a meeting.

"Do you want a map sending" they said

'Great! A chance to use my satnav for something useful' I thought to myself. 'Map? Pah'

"No, dont worry - just give me the road and I'll get the sat nav to get me there" I said to the enormously impressed woman on the other end of the phone.

It took me 30 minutes to get it to work. By this time I was well down the M1. I know how to get to Marlow, I just wanted the satnav to get me there, to listen to the dulcit tones - 'keep right' it would say. If only I could get the fucking thing to work.

Eventually it started working:

"take the M42" it says as I get close to the turn off.

'Hmmm', I thought 'that's an odd way to go - maybe it knows something I don't'. So went the suggested way, headlong into a traffic jam which took the best part of an hour to emerge from.

Emerging from the traffic jam the satnav gets me to within 10 minutes of Marlow, then my phone rings - yes, it takes calls too. I inadvertently switch the satnav off when answering the call and it refuses to work when I try and switch it back on.

Already 20 minutes late for my meeting I'm driving aimlessly around Marlow swearing at regular intervals. Suddenly it takes pity on me and works, directs me into my destination which is a place I would never have found even if I'd lived next to it.

After the meeting, the satnav is my best friend as I get it to direct me home.

Before the battery runs out half way there.