Owners of driving GPS units currently have the ability to choose from a variety of voices for their turn-by-turn instructions. During a recent trip with a car rental, I became quite attached to our car’s British school marm voice, even though the differences between her and her American and Australian counterparts were subtle at best. Now I’ve finally got a voice that speaks to me: GLaGPS.
Long-time readers of the site know the original tagline of Modern Hiker was “60% Geek, 40% Granola” — and I wasn’t kiddin’. I’ve enjoyed the occasional video game since my first Atari in elementary school, and one of my all-time favorites is last year’s Portal — a (mostly) nonviolent first-person physics puzzler. It was short but impeccably designed and brilliantly written, with some of the most darkly comic dialogue I’ve ever heard in a game.
The main antagonist is a giant, self-aware computer called GLaDOS, who taunts the player and goes steadily more insane as the game progresses. Now her murderous voice can tell you the fastest way to your local REI!
Currently, it’s available as an open-source download for the Garmin Nuvi (and a few other Garmin models) on the developer’s page. It’s not covered by any sort of warranty, and it may not be able to pronounce all street names yet, but it is guaranteed to please any nerds you end up driving around with.
If you decide to add this psychotic OS to your Nuvi, do the guy a solid and donate a few bucks.