Tuesday, 18 January 2011


anamorphically flared bus
My new car has just flipped past 4000 miles and had it's first car wash. I've also reached that point where I think I will need to read the manual. Not all of it, but a few points that I can't quite fathom.

The main one is the phone, which on my old car had a facility that let me program a few handy fast dial numbers. This one has a different system and instead you have to press a little button and say a word like 'home'. Like the television comedy sketches, it's easy to get confused and end up in the navigation menu, or changing the music, instead of the correct number. I'm sure I will master it, but I think I will need some practice first.

Another interesting facility is the radar system. Not one of those speed detector things but radar connected to the cruise control. There was an article about something similar in the papers at the weekend saying it will be available in about ten years time. I seem to already have something like it, where once a speed it's set, the car knows when to slow down and speed up again. Rest assured I have been using it with some caution.

It's a bit like when I first started using an automatic, after years of manual gears. I soon came to the conclusion that the automatic's heuristics were better at deciding when to shift than I was. I put both these features into the realms of "quiet technology". Doing useful things with minimum fuss.

Now, about that phone dialling...

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