King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Monday, July 11

On Shitty Sat Navs

My neighbour knocked at the door. Asking my advice, his Sat Nav had an error message which was self explanatory.
"Your speed-trap db file is out of date. Please update your subscription."
Easy peasy, or so I thought. The usual process for this is plug in the sat nav, google the unit, find the maps or updater, install and Robert's your father's brother.
First of all, the easy bit. I plug it in.
"Windows doesn't recognise your device."
Bugger. I google the unit anyway, in the hope of finding the driver. I find only one website with the correct file, but it downloads a bit, then stops. I google more on the unit, and get nothing. Nada. Zip. So, I take a different line of attack, and google the USB Identification. This tells me it's just a chip that allows USB file transfer. Great, I just need to find a driver. I find a cable called the EZ-Link is based on this chipset, so I just have to download the driver for that. The last time the EZ-Link had software was back in 2003, and the software link no longer worked. I'd hit a wall.
Eventually, I went on the official Shinco website, and found I could register it to get software. The information they wanted to know was truly staggering. They wanted 3 phone numbers, my address, where I got the unit, where I'd mostly be using it, my email, website and fax numbers, inside leg measurement and mother's maiden name (*may contain lie). I had no choice however, and finally got a driver that worked. I could talk to the device using Microsoft's wonderful communication software, Activesync. And what did I find in the unit? Nothing. Again, it was completely empty, and I couldn't find a map or anything to allow an update. I did find some software for updating the unit, but it would just crash. It also requested the 11digit serial number to work, so I typed in the 14 digit serial number on the back. This caused more errors. I shortened the serial to the required length, and then it worked. I managed to get it to talk to the unit, and it updated. Sure enough, the error message had gone. There I was, stood outside at 2am this morning, waiting for it to pick up satellites so I could verify it wouldn't complain. It didn't. Job done.
The whole point of this post is it took me 5 hours. Shinco, the hardware manufacturer, don't want to know. Destinator, the software manufacturer, also don't want to know. Technology Driven Solutions (TDS) have the software here, but it doesn't work, stopping all the time in downloads. Like I said, the only source was to register with this company, and then I found what I was looking for. The software has now been packaged up and is available here.
So, if you're a poor sap with a Shinco GM-350S-EU sat nav, and you're googling how to update this piece of crap, then the link should help. Alternatively, accidentally drop it under a truck, and claim on your house insurance. Then buy a unit that works.