Tag Archives: TomTom

Podcasts and music on a Saturday morning

On the (lengthy) drive in to work this morning, I was able to catch up on some podcasts, courtesy of the TomTom 910 MP3 player.

The Shortcuts series from IBM is very good. It is easy to digest, interesting and engaging – recommended. I also listened to an old-ish episode of Taking Notes from earlier in the year, featuring Ed Brill; a couple of developerWorks podcasts; and some stuff from IBM’s internal podcasting site.

When I felt like some music, I had a spin through some tracks I found on Fred Wilson’s excellent AVC blog, which I’ve followed for a long time. A particular revelation was the Ray Lamontagne cover of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. Unlike Fred, I can’t stand the original: I hate the musical style.This version let me listen to the lyrics and enjoy the lazy guitar – it was great.

Incidentally, if you feel like exploring Fred’s blog further, I also love the song George Romero by the Sprites that he featured back in May. A little silly, but also quite a grower.

Finally, combining the IBM and music themes – you really should check out some of my favourite musical IBMers. Lisa Swain and Seven Ender were both featured in our internal Battle of the Bands podcast earlier in the year, and I am completely hooked on their sounds. You can hear both of them via their sites, so it is fairly easy to dip in and see what you think.

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New TomTom mount arrived

The replacement car mount for my TomTom GO 910 arrived the other day.

New and old

The change appears minor. The new mount is shown on the left, and has an extra lip protruding behind the connector. The old mount on the right doesn’t have this (more shots of the mount on Flickr).

The 910 snaps satisfyingly into place in the new mount, and seems slightly harder to remove. I haven’t taken it out in the car yet, but hopefully this suggests that it will not drop the connection like the old one did.

Again, kudos to TomTom for going ahead and replacing these for free.

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More on the TomTom 910 – it gets better

Since getting my TomTom, I’ve experienced intermittent connection problems with the windscreen dock… basically it would not always keep a good connection, so I’d have to press it down whilst driving. It was irritating. One of the firmware updates stopped it from powering off when it lost the connection (the worst part about the problem at first), so it hadn’t affected me hugely, but it was an annoyance.

I just read on yourNav.com that if your TT x10 came from one of the early batches, you can now order a replacement dock for free. Just type in your serial number and they will ship it out. I just registered for mine. I think this is excellent, and a good move by TomTom.

In other news (also via yourNav.com), there has been another firmware update which adds support for the soon-to-be-released Car Connect (Bluetooth car kit) and the RDS-TMC receiver, both of which I’m eagerly awaiting…

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TomTom updates, and the World Cup

During the week, I got an email from YourNav.com (the successor to the old MyTomTomGo site) saying that a new firmware for the TomTom x10 series had been released.

This is a very helpful update. I currently have a problem whereby the TomTom switches itself off at random when driving. I’m pretty sure the mount is faulty and I’ve opened a problem ticket with TomTom themselves, but in the meantime this firmware update prevents the unit from switching itself off if it loses the connection with the mount when driving. It’s a sticking-plaster update (having the thing run its battery down while driving is not ideal), so I need to pursue the replacement mount option as well.

When I downloaded the update, I noticed a little World Cup panel at the bottom left of the TomTom HOME window. So, I clicked it.

You can get free voices, colour schemes, points of interests and maps associated with the World Cup. I downloaded the free Sven voice. It’s amusing. I’m impressed that TomTom have gone to these lengths, and this was a nice bonus.

Full trip test

Last night I was able to give the TomTom a decent test drive. Here’s what I found:

  • The automatic switching to night mode (darker dimmer colours) worked fine, although it seemed to take quite a long time after dusk to kick in.
  • Minor niggles with the MP3 player:
    • No way to skip through parts of a track (that I can find), you can only skip over them to the next track.
    • No way of using the remote to skip tracks, you have to reach up to the screen.
    • No way to see the track name without going into the jukebox itself.
  • The Kate computer voice seems to stumble over some road names, particularly ones with more syllables – they come out gabbled. And she can’t say “Guildford” 🙂
  • There’s a stretch of the A3 around Tolworth that is marked as a 30 limit when it is a 50 limit. Amusingly, there’s even a safety camera warning for the 50 limit, but the unit still thinks it is a 30 limit on the road itself.

I would really have liked to have had GPRS on my phone, since we hit traffic quite a few times. In the end I turned off, and the TomTom worked out that I’d gone in another direction and worked out a new route from there. I love this feature!

Amazing the number of safety cameras on the way into London. The thing pinged me every few minutes! Barely any time to enjoy my music.

Overall, I’m even more impressed now that I’ve given it a better test. Just one or two niggles that will hopefully be ironed out over time – but this is a great piece of kit!