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.
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.
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!