Tools that Travel

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2003-05-01 Print this article Print

Garmin's handheld GPS receiver offers a perfect balance between portability and power.

The last time I traveled to Europe, I felt like I had just stepped from the pages of Mark Twains Innocents Abroad. I couldnt speak the language, hadnt a clue where I was, and couldnt even figure out how to call anyone back home. Needless to say, I had a blast. But this time, on a recent trip to France and Spain, I was taking my father, so I needed a little more, well, structure—decidedly not my natural state. But I vowed that technology would save my bacon. So I wrapped up a bunch of new devices in my suitcase, and put them to the test. These tools are designed for both business and leisure travel, and ought to help ease the pain whenever you set out on the road.
Today were going to talk about the first of the tools, a handheld GPS receiver from Garmin called the GPS V. Over the next few weeks, Ill bring you more tools that either did, or did not, make the grade.
So lets turn the page and get started with the Garmin GPS V: So much for getting lost! Two weeks in Europe, and I never had to ask for directions. A little bit bigger than a deck of cards, this pocket-sized GPS device offers a perfect balance between portability and power. Its internal memory holds 18 megabytes of fairly detailed maps—enough for a country the size of Spain, or a good part of the U.S. It runs on four AA batteries, and works as a handheld or—using the removable mount—an in-car unit. While walking or driving, the GPS V constantly updates the map displayed on its small screen, so you know where you are and where youre headed. It also calculates driving or walking directions—and gives you turn-by-turn instructions on getting from point A to point Zed.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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