Hostile Territory?

In planning the domestic leg of my WorldRider journey I did the best i could to plan my route so I could visit friends along the way. In Seattle I looked forward to visiting my friend and former co-worker Roland. Actually, Roland, along with my friend Bryan was the other co-founder of Wirestone. All three of us have left to pursue other interests and passions. Bryan recently bought a company in Palm Springs and I had the pleasure of spending time with him days before leaving, and Roland runs where he produces, directs, writes and edits television and multimedia programs.
As I pulled into Redmond I had the eerie feeling that I had crossed a hostile border. People ppered through the windows of Mercedes and BMW’s, perhaps glaring at my WorldRider motorcycle adorned with a couple white decals depicting the fruit that perhaps Washington State is most famous for — Apples. Except my Apple revealed someone had bitten the fruit. Ah yes, Microsoft country. Down the street I was sure I’d run into the Real — the folks currently and likely in trouble for violating some Apple patents by allowing its Rhapsody service to work with Apple’s iPod.
But Redmond is not so hostile afterall. And neither is Microsoft. In Southern California you do better if you can speak a little spanish and in the computing world it can’t do you any harm to speak a little Windows. Fact is, I have Virtual PC running Windows XP on my laptop. Not by choice, but by necessity because my Garmin GPS unit isn’t supported on the Mac platform. Even worse, the USB interface on the Garmin isn’t supported by Windows XP running under virtual PC. So in order to effectively move data such as waypoints, routes, tracks and maps from and to my PowerBook with the Garmin unit is to use a USB to seral interface converter. This gives my a whopping transfer rate of 9600 baud. For those who care, this means something that could take 30 seconds to transfer under USB will take 10 minutes to transfer using the serial interface. So I never bother to transfer data intensive files like maps.
Roland does well with his mutlingual approach to running his business: his laptop runs Windows XP while his dual screen workstation is a souped up G5 with the latest in Apple video software. Humble and non-confrontational he just admits, “I use whatever helps me get it done.” After a nice Thai dinner in Redmond Roland invited me to stay at his house with his family. With my bike parked safely for the evening we broke open a bottle of wine and reminsced about the old days, dreamed of the future and world travel while we drained the bottle.

4 replies
  1. allan Karl
    allan Karl says:

    Shiva – No worries. My obedience isn’t blind, and I think the better thing would be for Garmin to realize that everyone in the world doesn’t use PCs. Everyone doesn’t live in USA and everyone doesn’t drive the same car or worship the same religion (since you brought some sort of god into the discussion)
    Chris, that’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure the Windows XP will recognize that USB port versus the two ports I have on my Macc, but I’ll give it a shot. Anything to get faster transfer rates is worth a try. Thanks!

  2. RABK
    RABK says:

    two words… google earth.. mapping has never been so easy… hook a gps into that puppy and forget the windows or apple niche sofware… and go web services… your in business… or something like that …


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