Out, out damn SPOT

spot

Is that a SPOT I see before me?

I would call my interactions with the SPOT device a love/hate relationship, but I’m having a hard time finding the love… it’s awkward and annoying and I’d rather not deal with it.  However, after checking into cell and data rates – and coverage – from Canada, it may very well be our lifeline for updating our trip progress.

Why then, do I hate it so?  Oh, let me count the ways…!

What is right next to the power button on the device?  A big, freakin’ SOS button.  What’s the first thing I see when I turn on the iPhone to send a message? A bit RED freakin’ SOS button.  Yes, in the case of an emergency you want an idiot-proof, infallible interface, but I was so afraid of inadvertently sending an SOS by just turning the unit on, I’ve delayed and delayed testing the dang thing.  It’s like vertigo – just push that button, you know you want to!

What else is annoying?  So far, every time I’ve turned it on I have to reconnect it with my phone.  Automatic pairing?  Nope.

What *do* we get out of this device? Aside from the obvious SOS signal?  We can pre-program fourteen (14 – count ’em) messages of about 100 characters, which will get sent to people we’ve assigned to our contact list, along with our GPS coordinates linked to a map.  Peace of mind for our friends and family.

My only caveat: don’t freak out if I don’t send an update every night.  It’s probably equipment or user failure.

I can also provide a link to that map here: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0hbeDcGHeF65sOU9vQXXBl53MjdKG81K5

My mom is glad we have this.

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