The other day, I found a satellite navigation system in the street, complete with in-car recharger. Sheer merionesian curiosity forced me to switch it on and try it out. Nothing happened, because it was flat out of juice.
I did not have a suitable 12V power supply at work, but fortunately the charger ends in a standard mini-USB connector (like the one on a digital camera) and I was able to charge it from my computer.
Now, this thing belongs to somebody. I shouldn’t just keep it, even though it’s a Tom Tom One and eminently hackable (it’s running Linux underneath). So what am I going to do with it?
Once I tried the menus, I saw an option to navigate “home”. So I got it to show me the way. It ended up in a place called Gotham (could this be the BatNav perhaps?!) I couldn’t make it display an actual address, though. A bit more fiddling and I turned on Points of Interest. Ah! There’s a post office very near “home”. Labour have been in the habit of closing post offices down lately, so it can’t be counted upon; but there might be an out-of-date page cached somewhere if I’m very lucky.
A bit of searching later, I found that the post office is actually still open — and I got the address of a nearby pub. (Pubs aren’t listed as POIs; perhaps that’s because, since the smoking ban,
six new ones are opening every week to cope with all the trade from the hordes of non-smokers who can now enjoy a pint and not come out smelling of fags six are closing every week for want of trade) Here is a copy of a letter I wrote to the landlord there. Perhaps the sat-nav belongs to one of the regulars, or they may know whose it is?
And if nobody claims it, well, they can’t say I didn’t try, can they?. TomTom kit, as I may have mentioned, is very hackable. Even if I do end up handing it back, I might have to buy myself one just for experimenting with!