Updated: 3/28/2005; 11:12:18 AM.
Erik Neu's weblog. Focus on current news and political topics, and general-interest Information Technology topics. Some specific topics of interest: Words & Language, everyday economics, requirements engineering, extreme programming, Minnesota, bicycling, refactoring, traffic planning & analysis, Miles Davis, software useability, weblogs, nature vs. nurture, antibiotics, Social Security, tax policy, school choice, student tracking by ability, twins, short-track speed skating, table tennis, great sports stories, PBS, NPR, web search strategies, mortgage industry, mortgage-backed securities, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, RPI, Phi Sigma Kappa, digital video, nurtured heart.

Monday, June 30, 2003
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Our new Dodge Grand Caravan is the moderately equipped Sport model. It is just amazing what new options automotive designers keep dreaming up. Some of them even surprisingly useful, like the rear cargo organizer. Well, I've thought of one myself.

The van is the first vehicle we have owned with tinted windows. They are really nice. But a TON of sun still comes in through the vast front windshield. I know, those cardboard, accordion-fold sun visors help with that. But I have always found those unsightly, messy and a lot of trouble.

Why can't they build a retractable horizontal shade right into the windshield frame?! You would just pull it across the windshield and hook it on the other side (or better, pull from each side and hook in the middle--less stretching). I don't think it would be hard to design or manufacture, and I would think they could easily charge $150 (about the price of the rear carge organizer or movable center console).

8:44:15 PM    comment []
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Our new Grand Caravan has a bunch of automotive-standard, 12V power outlets. 2 in front, I believe 1 in the rear, and because we have the optional, movable center console, that give us one more. Some of these outlets work off the battery, others only when the engine is running. That's all great , but what I just DO NOT understand is why they even use those outlets any longer. Wouldn't it be SO MUCH BETTER if you could just plug standard 110V appliances into your car? Then you wouldn't need special car chargers for cell phones and computers. Well guess what? For the price of $40-$100, you can buy a power inverter, which will plug into your car's 12V and give you 110V power. Even the cheap ones are enough to run a laptop and a cell phone. Trust me, it is the only way to go. I just can't comprehend why they don't build these into the car, instead of sticking with the dumb old "legacy" 12V. Heck, they could even charge $150 for the option, and I'm sure a lot of people would pay for the upgrade.
8:31:25 PM    comment []

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