I had a great time this week in Louisville, Cincinnati and over at UC.  I've had more e-mails from you guys this week than I have ever had.  Some great conversations (about Atlas mostly.)

In addition, I've been invited to the NBAA (National Business Aviation Assocations) 58th convention down in Orlando, FL.  As some of you know, I'm a big aviation guy... and work with NASA on a frequent basis.  Well, they've asked me to go down and help them out with the "Cockpit of the Future" technology.  (Some of you have seen the stuff I've been working on in my spare time - one of these days, I'll update that site.)  Well... a while back a bunch of MS guys and a bunch of NASA guys along with some industry partners got together and built a very cool prototype of the future cockpit of an aircraft.  NASA drags this thing around the country showing what is capable with current and future software.  Just to spark the industry.

I guess I should report on my new toys too... if you remember, I received a Garmin 396 this week.  Well... here's the short review.  "Oh My God!!! Does This Thing Rock!!!"

I took it up flying yesterday and was simply amazed.  I activated the "Aviator" package from XM... yes, it has a built in XM reciver to get all the weather and aviation information (like TFRs.)  It's amazingly simple to use.  The only thing I find a little aqward with it is all the wires... why not combine the GPS antenna with the XM antenna and use a single port on the device?  I'll be making a new bracket Tonight to do just that... with a little cable sinching... it's be just the way I need it.  The software is incredible... and it even includes things that I had no idea were in it... for example, you can switch it to "Automotive" mode and it becomes a standard Turn by Turn (with Voice Prompt) GPS to use in the car.  There is even a "Marine" mode... that can hook up to an optional Sonar unit!!!

The weather features are simply phenomal... tops, winds aloft, NEXRAD (with animations,) Satellite overlay, Lightening Strikes, it's all there.  It combines them all into a single screen you use while flying.  There are numerous views as well... (did I mention it has terrain and obstacle avoidance?)  Amazing device.

Also, I received an iRiver H10.  Wow... again.  I love being able to record FM radio broadcasts with this.  The only thing I wish it had as removable storage.  On battery power, it seems to last forever... which is very impressive given that it is hard drive based.  Two things... it has a beautiful 1.5" LCD display... must be a 65K color variety but I'd love to be able to change the "skin" on it.  Maybe I can, but I just haven't discovered that feature yet.  And two... the rubber case that came with it seems to protect the device very well, but alas, the belt clip has come off several times... good thing the rubber case protects it!  I've resorted to keeping it in the nice rubber case... but putting it in my pocket instead.

Well, enough for now.

Bill