Thursday, August 11, 2011

The In-Laws

I learned a lot about my in-laws on our last family vacation. We stayed with them in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We did a lot of driving.

The main thing I learned about my in-laws is: they could really use a GPS.

We didn't get too lost too often, but being as technologically-embedded as I am, I found it rather curious that they haven't drunk-the-satellite-Kool-Aid that the majority of other travelers have.

It just so happened that I still had a Garmin Nuvi sitting on my basement desk. Of course, this one met an unfortunate fate at the hands of my child (I still do not know which one - and they ain't tellin). Still, I suppose some of the blame is mine, because not only was the GPS on the floor but a spring-loaded nail-setter was mere inches away...

Cardinal rule of gift-giving: Don't give a broken gift.

Did you know they sell replacement touchscreen digitizers on eBay? Neither did I.

Again, I armed myself with the knowledge of a few online videos documenting how to take-apart a Garmin Nuvi. The pristine screen arrived from Hong Kong - with a catch. The connectors did not match. The screen itself was the right dimensions and had the correct number of contacts. Then I saw the fine print: soldering may be required.

I know when I'm over my head and soldering orange ribbon cable is over my head. I needed to call in a favor. The really neat thing is, when you fix an Electrical Engineer's laptop, he'll very graciously solder your orange ribbon cables together. Four quick dabs of a low-power iron and I had reclaimed another gadget from the landfill.

I also updated the maps - because I don't want to put anyone through THAT hell.

Hopefully, this will keep them on-course, saving them gas, time, and sanity.

Maybe I should load the Star Wars voices, too?