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Sync My Ride

Sync My Ride
by Gary Woods

I got a new car the other day. Yup, Mark & Kerry here at Casa gave me a big bonus and I took the plunge. Wait a minute I'll pick myself up off the floor from laughing so hard. Anyway, I got a Ford Explorer with what they call My Ford Touch and Sync by Microsoft.

As you can imagine this is a certified "Geek Mobile." All the dashboard function are accessed from the steering wheel so I can check my Miles per Gallon, Trip Mileage, Tachometer readings, etc. with a flick of my left thumb. With the right thumb I can slide from the Phone, Entertainment package, Climate Control and the Navigation.

The phone is great. Once I had it paired with Bluetooth all of our contact information downloaded into the system and with a flick of the right thumb I can tell it who I want to speak to. Then, when a call comes in the person's name is displayed and I can decide whether to take the call at that point or put it into Voice Mail.

With the Navigation we can put in up to 5 Waypoints and a Destination so when we're showing property we can listen to what the client is saying rather than fumbling with a map. What's really cool is that the Nav System generates real time traffic reports that pop up and ask me if I want to see exactly what the problem is then I can decide whether to avoid the problem or ignore the warning.

Climate control can divide the car into two different stations with different temperature levels for both areas and then you can decide whether to turn it on Auto or use the manual override all of which can be controlled from the steering wheel.

The Entertainment section is a wealth of Options. You can choose from standard AM/FM, Sirius Satellite Radio, CD, or from anything you can plug into the USB port or SD (Secure Digital) card slot. I've got Laury's iPod plugged in there now but you can just load up a bunch of songs, podcasts or whatever on a USB thumb drive and they would be indexed allowing you to access them via Voice Commands.

Then, for true Geekdom, if you have a USB WiFi device or a MiFi you can set it up so it's a 5 Port hub allowing everybody in the car to have Internet access on all their own devices. If you see me around town in the Big Red Sled wave at me and I'll give you a ride.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc