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Tools of the road trip

April 6th, 2009

On the Cars For A Grand ‘Buy & Drive Challenge’ road trip we are using a set of tools that is helping us reach our destination of Miami and I am going to talk about a few of them.

Since the Pontiac’s gas guage is not working, I needed a tool to track and manage our fuel consumption. Both Chris and I have our iPhones with us so I figured this is a great place to start looking for a gas management tool.

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Searching the App Store for ‘gas’ returned an app called Gas Cubby. After taking a look at the description and photos the app seemed to be a good fit for the trip. Gas Cubby allows you to track fuel consumption and it even charts things like MPG, Fuel Costs and cost per gallon.

Now I really don’t need these features but they are nice to look at over time. The most important feature to us was the odometer entry on fill up. This allows us to know the milage at our last fill. Currently the Pontiac gets about 12 miles to the gallon and the car has a 12 gallon fuel tank. I’ll let you do the math to figure out how often we have to fill up. 🙂 We also rely on other apps such as Google Maps, Pandora, Facebook, Qik, Yelp, Twitterific, Skype and YouTube.

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The Pontiac’s AM radio appears to be broken since 1980 and we needed tunes for the trip. We found an excellent solution in the iPod/iPhone compatible iLive boombox that we purchased from Amazon.com for under $9o bucks.

This nifty audio replacement allows us to utilize our music collection on our iPhones and play them on a loud set of speakers inside the car. To power the boombox we used a power converter from the cigerette lighter, this converter gives us 2 power outlets so we had enough outlets to power the next tool on the list, the MacBook Pro. The boombox also charges my iPhone so it comes in extra handy.

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Weeks before the trip we purchased an 15 inch MacBook Pro, this thing is really, really awesome and packs a powerful processing punch. To edit our videos we are using iMovie which is doing a great job of handling our video editing needs. 

To gain access to the internet while on the road I went with the Mobile Broadband Card from Verizon Wireless. So far I don’t have any complaints about the wireless card except that I have to keep in mind the 5 gig monthly bandwidth limit.

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