Sunday, May 18, 2008

GPS, Buffalo, Toronto and Montreal...

On my trip to TO this weekend, I brought my trustworthy Garmin GPS along. After got the cheap economic rental car from Buffalo airport around 6:30PM, I dutifully sticked the GPS to the car window and keyed in the destination in Toronto. It all seemed well. Arrival time was 7:11. Not too bad. Buffalo to TO is quite close anyway. So, I started driving. I thought I'd hit QEW in no time.

After on the road for quite while, the road was getting smaller and smaller and it was getting wilder and wilder outside. Anyhow, I thought, my GPS has never failed on me yet.

Then I started to remember the first drive I had with Jessica from TO to Niagara Falls 8 years ago. I remembered it so clearly: it was sometime around January 2001. Well, everyone knows January in Toronto: you get really really bored since there is nothing you can do outside. Anyhow, since I just got my driver's license a month ago, we figured it would be a nice practice run to rent a car and drive to Niagara Falls. So out we went. We rented a very small Nissan. I can assure you it was very small one, since I still remember driving the car was like flying in the windy January weather.

Anyway, I started to missed Jessica so much and I dug out my cell phone to tell her that how much I was missing her.

So we exchanged our love jokes. I randomly asked what time it was. She said 7:56. I said that was impossible, since my trustworthy GPS said I'd arrive TO by 7:11. I double-checked the GPS and the screen still says arrival time is 7:11. I realized something was not right. Either I fell into a worm hole or the GPS was wrong. Since the worm hole thingy hasn't been reliable available yet, I suspect the GPS was pulling a joke on me.

After fiddled the GPS for over 5 minutes, I found out what was wrong (yes, that's MIT efficiency;)): in the navigation setting, I checked to avoid "Toll Road", which is alright for local roads. However, from Buffalo to Toronto, the only route without needing to pay for toll was to take a huge trip to Montreal/Ottawa. So, instead of 1:30 hr normal drive, the GPS was asking me to take a 12 hr drive. So basically, the 7:11 meant 7:11AM tomorrow morning, not 7:11PM today.

Gosh, what a surprise. can the device get a little smarter? I really don't mind to pay a little toll to save 10 hours.

Oh, whatever, time well wasted...

The route Garmin suggested:

Friday, May 9, 2008

PDD Presentation and Trade Show

ok, spring is officially almost over. Oh, boy, time sure flies fast. Let me check what kind of damage I have done here at MIT: well, I passed all the classes (which I think is a good sign). I am also donating time to Cognika (which is actually quite interesting). Be the boss of my own is another thing I am working on (which my wife complains that I put too much time in this). Life sure is .... challenging and .... sure is fun.

PDD presentation is pretty fun. So many idea pops up. There are some really ones with right niche. Of course, how big the niche is is another problem.

Teams so far:
Bicycle tow rack designed for a motorcycle
GearBuddy: a bicycle gear cleaner
T2GO: a tea drink lover thingy
WiMOST: a wireless ads platform?
Workhorse: a DIY garage work platform.
Zimbler: Shopping Bag holder
EMA: Elevator Maintenance Assistant