Arrived in Boston/Cambridge for Wikimania 2006

I’m here, safe and sound. Wikimania kicks off tomorrow morning, and I really should be in bed. It’s past midnight local time, but my body is still on West Coast time, so I’m not tired at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

I got seriously lost trying to find my hotel (the Sheraton near Cambridge Commons). And the freeways around Boston are all messed up because of the closing of the “big dig” tunnel after a ceiling tile fell and killed a lady a few weeks ago. Oops.

But I had a harder time around the little side streets of Cambridge. Only every fourth street or so is actually labeled, but my real problem was that I didn’t plan ahead very well with directions. I figured I’d be able to get by with whatever I pulled up on Google Local Mobile or Windows Live Local Mobile on my phone. The problem with that is, you end up with tons of little turns that make no sense like “Turn right on local road”. Yeah, that’s helpful. Especially when most of the time, you can’t find a street sign to even tell you what road you just passed. And the map views just aren’t big enough to be very helpful when you need more than a general idea of where you’re going (like being able to see lots of street names at once, to get an idea of where you are).

If I was smart, I’d have brought my TomTom Navigator GPS and my old Jornada Pocket PC that has the maps loaded up on it, but that’s a hassle to set up in a rental car. I’ve had my eye on the little Garmin Nuvi 350 all in one GPS nav system, ever since Scott Hanselman pointed it out and raved about it. I had written off little all-in-one GPS units like that as too expensive and not functional enough, but Scott and all the reviews I’ve read since then have changed my mind. If Steve Jobs doesn’t come up with a reason for me to give him all my money next week, then I might cave and get that little Garmin unit. It definitely would have saved my bacon me from driving around for an hour trying to find a hotel that looks like every other building at Harvard tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚

Expect lots of blogging from Wikimania 2006, starting tomorrow morning! My session (which has turned into a panel) isn’t until Sunday morning, but there’s lots of great stuff on the schedule before then. I can’t wait!


3 thoughts on “Arrived in Boston/Cambridge for Wikimania 2006

  1. Jona Titus says:

    Hey, while you’re there head to the north end and go to a WONDERFUL italian restaurant Limoncello and if you get a chance, you need to hit Legal Seafood acouple of times. Hope it’s not too hot there for ya. Look forward to hearing how the conference goes.

  2. Matt Davis says:

    Yeah, none of the online mapping stuff works for crap in Cambridge- I got hopelessly lost there a couple years ago relying on Yahoo! maps.

    I got a Nuvi 350 for my dad a few days before Scott’s review came out- I’ll throw another log on the fire for “this thing rocks” (because of course I had to borrow it for a few days so I cuold effectively teach the old man how it works). The direction handling works well in almost every situation I threw at it, and the Australian chick’s voice is quite sexy. The only place in Portland I managed to significantly trip it up was that nasty intersection of Barbur/5th/6th/Broadway/Caruthers/405/etc (the Ross Island Bridge exit off 405-S, but coming from 5th)- it insisted that I should turn left off the side of an overpass. I’d like a few minutes alone in a room with the traffic engineer that built that monstrosity… ๐Ÿ™‚

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