Today, I’m on something of a vacation. Sure, it’s Saturday and every Saturday should be a vacation day, but as a single founder, you realize that working 9-5 just isn’t enough when you’re flying solo. I’m actually headed to upstate New York to visit family.
Last fall, I bought a Garmin Nuvi 660 GPS to help me when I travel. I was spending a lot of time on the road in places I’d never been before and having a GPS was going to be well worth the money. I did my homework and bought one that got a lot of good reviews. Not to mention it was a top of the line model when I bought it so I felt it would last me a while.
This morning, I went out to my car to get my GPS, as we’re taking my wife’s car to New York. Two words… not there. Between last Wednesday and this morning, someone stole the GPS out of my car.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m an idiot for leaving it in my car to begin with. In my defense, I typically lock my car and the car has not only an alarm system, but has Lojack installed as well. To me, this would make it pretty secure, right? Unfortunately, this past two weeks, my car alarm has been sort of flaking out on me. It doesn’t always arm, nor does the remote always seem to work. I’ve been meaning to have it looked at but have been so busy that I haven’t made the time. Talk about a costly mistake!
I’m going to file a police report, check to see if it’s covered by my insurance in any way, shape or form, and check a few local pawn shops. The genius who stole it didn’t bother to take the charger/mounting unit that was also in my car, already plugged in and mounted on the windshield. So, not only have I had the GPS stolen, it’s basically useless to whomever took it.
I had pretty much my whole trip planned around using the GPS. I was going to use it to get to my hotel, a few restaurants, etc. I know the area, but I’m staying in Syracuse and I’m not nearly as familiar with Syracuse as I am with Rochester. Before leaving the house this morning, I had to furiously print out a few maps of a couple places to be able to find the hotel and a restaurant that we plan on going to.
Fortunately, there is backup technology. As I write this blog entry, I’m cruising along at around 65 + 0x0A mph on the Masspike headed west(my wife is driving), compliments of the Verizon mobile broadband card that I got last month. I already checked and I can pull up Google Maps and use it just as if I were back in my office. I just need to be a bit careful of the battery life, since it’s only charged about 40%. I probably wouldn’t have brought it, except that without the GPS, I needed to be able to find stuff and the hotel I’m staying at offers wireless internet.
I had originally been concerned about the 5GB arbitrary limit placed on my broadband access, but I’ve found that if I avoid doing downloads and use it primarily to stay connected and in emergencies, then it’s not a big deal. It would be hard to hit 5GB of transfer in a single month just looking at email and browsing most web pages.
I think I’d feel worse about it if I’d paid for it out of my own pocket, but it was a corporate purchase. I don’t really have any experience with theft, but at least I’m in the good company of Eric Sink, who had two Mac Mini’s stolen from him at TechEd a few years ago.
His story reminds me every time I fly to not put anything electronic that I might need in my luggage. I guess I’ll stop leaving it in my car as well.