cheap GPS

scharf@vix.COM (Jerry Scharf) writes:

this is silly. If you compare the number of GPS receivers in the world and
the number of WWVB receivers, there should have been hundreds of thousands
to millions of complaints to have similar ratio. You forgot to compare it
to a MAE-East outage, current solar activity or hurricane Bret. Last time
I looked, nanog still had something to do with network engineering and
little to do with automotive navigation, surveying, or any of the other
GPS applications.

In the timing world, which is the only thing that WWVB could impact, the
reports of major problems are not showing up.

I didn't forget. My question was a bit of a Rorschach test. How would
people perceive and compare the relative severity of two very small events.

You are correct the number of GPS receivers used in timing applications,
especially feeding the Internet, is a very small number compared to all
GPS receivers. The number of stratum 1 clocks on the Internet is even
smaller number. Most are maintained by people with a near obession for
keeping track of the correct time.

But I'm a psychologist. I'm interested why so many consumers didn't
head the warnings, and take advantage of the the free upgrade offers from
manufactures to fix their GPS units before the rollover. I mentioned I
didn't find information on Pioneer's web site. Actually I just didn't
go back far enough. It turns out Pioneer asked consumers a year ago to
bring their units to be repaired. Another person told me about a company
which needed to shutdown their operations for a couple of days because their
consultant told them the wrong date for the rollover, so they weren't
ready when it occured. Although I'm not sure waiting until the last
week, even if you consultant did give you the wrong date, to update your
equipment was very smart. And the Darwin factor is always an issue.
Even after all the publicity, at least one boater who set sail without
checking his GPS, needed to be rescued.

When asked by reporters in Japan why they didn't upgrade their GPS receivers
when the manufactures told them the units wouldn't work, consumers said
"I didn't think it would affect my unit." No, I don't think japanese
consumers are that different from any other consumers in the world.

How does this affect network operators? Could we learn something from
how consumers reacted?

Do you set up a seperate contact number for consumers who waited too long,
so they don't clogged up the queue for consumers with other problems?
If you think its hard to reach a "cluefull" person on a normal day, will
it be worse?