Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Christmas in October, Got QWERTY?

Last year I did a light story about what I want in my Christmas stocking from my equipment suppliers, and the first thing on my list I wanted was... 

"From Garmin I would like a QWERTY  keyboard for the marine touch screen units. It drives me crazy trying to use the linear keyboard, and doesn’t make me feel smart. I’m sure the programmers wouldn’t want to use a keyboard like that at work."

So yesterday, I was speaking to a nice guy at Garmin named Eric, and he was helping me sort out an odd transducer wiring issue. The problem got solved, and as usual, he signed off with the question, "Have I answered all of your questions about Garmin today?", and as always I say no, is there a QWERTY keyboard for the Garmin 5000 series yet? Eric pauses, and says wait a minute, I just saw something about that, and yes a QWERTY keyboard option is in the brand new 6.1 release. Yee haw, much better, and thank you very much Garmin. So for 5000 series owners, with the latest software you go from this...

To Home/ Configure/ Preferences/ Keyboard.

To a QWERTY keyboard.

Now I didn't cause the change to be made, but I was most likely the most vociferous, and persistent voice out there asking for this item, and I am delighted to see this change. There are other good system improvements, in this upgrade, so check your software status when you start up your 5000 series system, and if you are not at 6.1, get the free software from the Garmin website, or have your local installer fix you up. I do this for free for all of my clients upon request, as long as they are geographically attractive.

When you notice that your equipment manufacturer, has stopped investing in software upgrades, and improvements, it is a sure sign that the product is going to turn into a buggy whip. Christmas is just around the metaphorical corner, and I will have a new list of things I want in my stocking, and I want a little less coal this year.