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GPS, cell phone, netbook… ideas?

So, new world, new tech. Looking for ideas.

A couple months back, my Garmin GPS began alerting me that my maps had expired and that I needed to renew them.  The renewal price? $69 for one-time, or $119 for a “lifetime” subscription.

What is “lifetime,” according to Garmin? They mean the lifetime of the device. “Your nüMaps Lifetime subscription may not be transferred to another person or another Garmin product.” So my choices are to stay with the old maps, upgrade once, upgrade for “life,” or buy another GPS.

I will say, the GPS has been the most significant technology purchase for me in the last five years.  It has altered my behavior significantly, mostly in good ways, such as reorienting me to watch the road instead of fumbling with maps.  I’d use a GPS built into another device, but only if it made sense. I really like having a heads-up display I can glance at without squinting.

Plus, I am shopping for a netbook, or at least think I am. I am now laptopless, and want something that I can tote to conferences and take on the road.

Finally, I’m also on the market for a personal cell phone and plan. I need a smartphone. (Because, well, I’m a junky. I admit it.) I can join Sandy’s Sprint plan as a family member, or go on any plan on my own. (The family plan didn’t look all that competitive with single plans, though maybe we missed something.)  I’m pondering the Sprint Pre… I’m a Palm person from way back. The iPhone is tempting, but AT&T is pricey, and I’m trying to control costs in a period that will surely have a number of UNcontrolled costs.  (To add another factor, my iPod is several years old — I am happy with it, but I know that it could croak at any time.)

GPS, netbook, cell phone, possibly MP3 player… thoughts?

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