A palmtop with Garmin GPS

A palmtop with Garmin GPS

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Down here on earth, a GPS receiver can analyze navigation signals to tell precisely one’s location, accurate to within about 10 feet. When teamed up with a computer, a GPS receiver can then display your location on a map, provide directions to a destination, and so on.Garmin’s new iQue 3600 is the palmtop that is also a GPS receiver – a remarkable feat, considering that it’s no larger than a typical Palm organizer. It runs on the Palm 5.2.1 operating system, meaning that it synchronizes its calendar, address book and to-do list with a Windows PC and can run any of thousands of add-on programs. When you flip out the antenna, you switch on the GPS circuitry. The iQue hunts for satellite signals, which can take a minute or so to lock in. When it figures out where you are, a map of your current location appears on the screen. The iQue can store a base map of the entire country. Using the PC as a transfer station, you can also load up detailed maps of the area you plan to visit from the two map-data CD’s included with the device. The iQue 3600 can also provide turn-by-turn directions to locations. One way to tell it where you’re going is to choose from a neatly categorized list of those restaurants, airports and so on. Another way – and here’s the payoff for combining a Palm organizer with GPS – is to tap somebody’s name in your address book. Either way, you don’t have to specify your starting location for your trip.

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New Delhi