The Edge of the Road Podcast
All about the Gadget on Wheels formerly known as your car.


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May 2011
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EOR 6: He Who Laughs Last

Thanks to George from Tulsa for sending along a great response to Bill Gates's alleged comments about how great a car would be if the auto indusry had kept up with technology as well as the computer industry.  Does Ford's SYNC MyFord Touch system have eerie similarities with the satiric view supposedly prepared in response to Gates by GM?  You be the judge...

Also, how to load a photo into your MyFord Touch system so it becomes the wallpaper for your touch scree and my plan to keep my fingers off the touch screen or my iPhone when we take a long trip next month, listening all the way to great podcasts.

Direct download: EOR_6_He_Who_Laughs_Last_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:16pm EDT

EOR 5 The I-25 Reboot Blues

It's going to take a while for me to get used to the idea that I may need to reboot my car as often as I do my laptop computer, iPhone or Kindle. But that seems to be the case so far in our first three weeks of owning a 2012 Ford Focus

The latest episode, captured in an iPhone recording I made, involved a frozen touchscreen as Darlene and I were driving Interstate 25 south from Casper, Wyoming, to Denver.  There was no danger. I simply turned off the highway at the La Prele  exit so I could shut off the car's engine. When I restarted the car, I was glad to see the SYNC screen shown in the photo, and when the pretty turquoise bar crawled all the way across the screen, we were back in business, listening to SIRiUs, giving Voice Recognition commands to the MyFord Touch lady, and watching the nav system detail our progress home. 

How often does this happen? Have any of you had to pull out a fuse for three minutes to reboot your SYNC system?  Will later generations of this software be more reliable?  If you have thoughts on this or any other topic, please drop me an email at PodChronicles AT Gmail.

Also, Bob Rich of Novi, Michigan, has another good comment about all things USB and audio.

Direct download: EOR_5_I-25_Reboot_Blues_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm EDT

EOR 4 Avoiding Phone Faux Pas

If you are new to the MyFord Touch voice recognition system, you have probably dialed a few wrong numbers with your paired smartphone by now. In this episode I'll share a couple of tips to minimize the times this happens and, most importantly, walk you through how to hang up a mistaken call BEFORE your caller ID makes it onto the person's phone at the other end. 

Thanks to Bob Rich of Novi, Michigan, for the first comment e-mailed to the podcast.  Click here for the CNET podcast he mentioned, which contains a review of the 2012 Ford Focus.

If you have tips for avoiding wrong calls from your car, please send them to me at PodChronicles AT Gmail, or leave a comment here.

Thanks to Alan Hall of Ford for guiding me to the menu selection where you can hear how MyFord Touch thinks an item in the address book should be pronounced. This enabled me to come up with a proper robotic intro for the podcast, compliments of the sultry voice of the computer.  BTW, have you named her?  If so, please let me know, as Darlene and I are still looking for a name that seems to fit.

Direct download: EOR_4_Avoiding_Phone_Faux_Pas_final.mp3
Category:Tips -- posted at: 7:16pm EDT

EOR 3 - Two Tips for Novices

Five days after picking up our new 2012 Ford Focus, I recorded my initial thoughts about the MyFord Touch system while driving back to Denver from Buena Vista, Colorado.  Based on my sometimes frustrating early days using the technology, I want to pass along these two suggestions for new users:

1. Have the numbers for the SYNC support team loaded into your smartphone or on a Post-it in the car.  The hours are Monday - Saturday 8:30 a.m - 8 pm EST.  In the U.S. call 888-270-1055.  In Canada, 800-565-3673.

2. If the system begins acting really strange, you can reset to factory default, or simply reset, by pressing the Menu button on the touch screen, then going to Settings, then System.  If you scroll to the end of the System options, you'll see a reset option.  After I did it, helped by someone at SYNC support, I had to re-pair my phone and add my address book back into the SYNC system, but the reset solved the problems I was having with Voice Recognition not recognizing even the simplest commands, like "Navigation."

The car drives like a dream, and I am sure my frustrations this first week have had at least as much to do with operator error as to glitches in the system itself.

If you are a new MyFord Touch user, please share YOUR suggestions for fellow explorers of this powerful new technology.  You can leave a comment here or e-mail me at PodChronicles AT Gmail DOT com.

Direct download: EOR_3_Novice_Tips_final.mp3
Category:Tips -- posted at: 6:00am EDT