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Five Things You Didn’t Know about GPS


In blogging circles there is an interesting trend going around where the bloggers say five things about themselves that their readers might not know. Then they “tag” five or more people and ask them to perform the same task. Rich just tagged me, so here is the tagback.

I’m going to take the liberty of modifying the task just a little bit. First I’m going to tell you five things you might not have know about GPS, and then I’ll let you know five things you likely don’t know about me.

  1. The official name for GPS when it was developed by the Department of Defense was NAVSTAR.
  2. The first GPS satellite was launched in 1978.
  3. While it takes 24 satellites to make the satellite constellation, there are more than 24 GPS satellites in orbit doing their job. Some are taken in and out of rotation for software maintenance and new satellites are being launched with new capabilities.
  4. The GPS satellites orbit at 12,000 miles above earth traveling at 7,000 miles per hour.
  5. Each satellite is only about 17 feet across and circles the earth twice per day.

And now five things you probably didn’t know about me.

  1. I run virtually everything about this site. I manage the servers, program the custom code, write the articles, test the GPS devices, produce the (insert site feature I can’t talk about yet), etc.
  2. Although I’ve got at least a couple of PCs kicking around here somewhere for when I may need them for testing, everything is run from Macs. The servers are Xserves, programming is done on MacBook Pros and PowerBooks, and the tunes are always coming from an iPod. Hey Apple, I need that iPhone. 🙂
  3. I live in one of the biggest towns in Maine by square miles (just over 77) but I’m one of less than 399 residents.
  4. I hold a pilot’s license which allows me to occasionally play with GPS devices that cost over five figures. I also serve on the local airport committee.
  5. I was the USASA National Snowboarding Champion in 1996 in both the Alpine Combined and Slalom events.

And now I’ve got to find five people that haven’t already been tagged…..

4 Responses

  1. Tim, thanks for the insight. You do great work here. Keep it up!

    Club TomTom - December 27th, 2006
  2. Hi! Thanks for taking your time in helping me with some information regarding GPS. I received one for Christmas-A Magellan 700. So far, I hate it. lol Maybe I expected too much. My friends have them built in their fancy Mercedes cars and I wanted one in my Jeep Cherokee. So, I was searching for information on them when I ran across you. You have been helpful. When I insert in something such as Walmart, Lowes, Outback, Home Depot, I get addresses in Maine, Penn. Ill.(Did I mention i live in Houston, Tx. It just seems too complicated for me. I know if you are a pilot, you are used to it. I am a realtor and need to look up address and areas fairly quickly. Well, that is my opinion. Thanks, Candy

    Candy Henthorne - January 1st, 2007
  3. I cannot find any reviews on the German-made MyGuide GPS units, although I have several aerospace engineer friends who swear by them. They also seem reasonably priced, and very well-featured. Most of the other well-known brands seem bulky and compliacated by comparison. Any help?

    steve - January 4th, 2007
  4. I have the my guide 3050 and i will tell you it is a great gps,for the money value what a deal,the only problem i had it would not hold the time and date.every time is shut it of and then back on i would have to reset time, but then i found a patch for it and it works great
    ps this is definitly a 5 star gps

    paul - April 26th, 2007

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