SPOT, is hot
Since Sunday I’ve been testing a SPOT—the Globalstar-based “satellite messenger” first mentioned here in August—and I’m impressed. Check out the full size screen shot above, which shows me out in Muscongus Bay this morning (being shown a very cool cruising power cat, more info to come). The mapping is a little confusing because events are numbered backwards chronologically, and time is given in GMT (both quite fixable on the Web site, I think). So at #10 I activated SPOT’s “OK” function which sent a canned email/SMS, along with a Google Map link, to a list of people I’d set up on my SPOT Web page, where I can also customize the OK and Help messages. Then a few minutes later, at #9, I activated the tracking function which, as promised, sent an automatic position every ten minutes thereafter. Only position #7 is an anomaly; we weren’t over on that side of the island. At any rate, the unit is fairly easy to use, and seems to offer a lot of safety value and tracking/check-in function for the money. I do wish I’d had a chance to try it in Europe, which is supposedly under Globalstar’s not-quite-global footprint, but at least we do know that this technology works fine from Norfolk to the U.S.V.I., as discussed recently. Remember, Globalstar short messaging does not have the problems voice/email does…and, fellow yanks, here’s wishing you a fine Thanksgiving.