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These rules are aimed to show you how to make the most of your time in the car by using all the latest gizmo's and to hopefully give you a bit of practical lifestyle advice as well.

    Vehicular Management
  1. Can you drive with an MSDN video running?
  2. Can your car fit more people when needed?
  3. Do you have a garbage bin?
  4. Do you have organize your boot?
  5. Do you have GPS?
  6. Do you keep a Jerry Can full of fuel?
  7. Do you use a Bluetooth headset?
  8. Did you bother learning to reverse properly?
    Personal
  1. Do you drink water instead of Coke?
  2. Do you have a list of phone calls to make?
  3. Do you eat enough fruit?

Vehicular Management

  1. Can you drive with an MSDN video running?

    While your driving along, wouldn't it be fantastic if you could listen to all the latest information about Microsoft's latest and greatest products (that in my honest opinion are always perfect from the very first moment you start using them...)?

    Well the answer is "yes it is fantastic!"

    I've found installed a laptop mount into the passenger side of my middle console that will secure my laptop in place while I'm busy driving. The system was relatively simplistic to install (6 self-tapping screws into the carpet and base of the passenger side floor) and its convenient to use because of its full swivel capabilities. It can also be easily removed when a passenger wants to get their seat back.

    Laptop stand

    The one I use is from Jotto Desk - the universal mount units fit most cars, though if you're nervous check with them first. They work out to be about US$250. Beware - we could only take delivery to a U.S. address.

  2. Can your car fit more people when needed?

    Forget about all the practicalities of a small car, sure they're easier to park, safer to manoeuvre, and extremely good looking on the road (particularly a certain '87 Red Nissan Pulsar hatch) but my advice is go for the Big Mama of a car. They are far better when it comes to moving people and they can fit much more advertising down the side of them.

  3. Do you have a garbage bin?

    If your one of those people who simply can't resist making a mess of their own property, then stop! If I don't have a proper place to throw my rubbish then its straight to the passenger seat floor (at least I'm not sitting in it!) to deal with later. But it's not appealing to anyone who else who has to sit in the mess, and its useless when it comes to picking up the ladies.

    My suggestion is to pick up a handy car garbage bag. They velcro round the head rest of the car seat and will help you make that very untidy, cluttered mess into the perfect, structured mess that we all strive towards.

    You can get one of these cheap car garbage bags for about $10 at your local K-Mart in the auto section.

  4. Do you have organize your boot?

    The boot (or trunk for our American friends) is another one of those places that quickly turns to chaos without a proper management system.

    My suggestion is to quickly measure up your boot and then go to your local K-Mart (or Wal-Mart for our American friends) and get some plastic boxes or trays (as long as they are open ended or clear) and stack them into your boot. You can then use these to structure your mess much better...

  5. Do you have GPS?

    I love a gizmo... And I hate doing something slowly when I know that it can be completed more quickly. Reading street maps and potentially getting lost is one such example. We recommend that you purchase a removable GPS unit, and use it conjunction with your PDA or new XDA II SmartPhone with some mapping software.

    The GPS and mapping software that I use were supplied by NavMan . The GPS unit works with the XDA over Bluetooth so that your system works when you jump in the car without having to play with cables. The package worked out at about AU$900.

  6. Do you keep a Jerry Can full of fuel?

    There have been countless times where I've tried to push the limit of my fuel tank just that bit too far. Here is some very practical advice learnt from numerous mistakes - keep a jerry can full of petrol in the back of the car so that when disaster strikes you won't be walking for half an hour to the petrol station. Or worse yet, making an embarrassing call to roadside assistance and having to fess up to your womanly ways... Also if you happen to see a stranded person on the side of the highway you can always earn some Karma back by helping out the poor soul.

  7. Do you use a Bluetooth headset?

    A hands-free device of some kind for your phone is not only legally necessary but very handy. I love it when you walk down the street and can creep people out as you seemingly talk to yourself in an obnoxiously loud voice into a discretely positioned mobile phone headset. There's nothing more rewarding then knowing that someone dislikes you already without even getting to know you yet.

  8. Did you bother learning to reverse properly?

    In this day and age there's no point learning how to judge distance while reversing... Thanks to the many uncoordinated female and elderly drivers, there is now accurate, easy to install parking sensors that can be installed into almost any car. It's lovely, gone are the days of nudge parking! Now I get two beeps when I get close, and a continuous irritating beep get really close... too easy!

    The

    The sensors and installation from SmarkPark cost around AU$500 for the equipment and installation. This is VERY cheap compared with the packages that the manufacturers are selling as a standard add-on with most new cars.

Personal

  1. Do you drink water instead of Coke?

    This ones kind of obvious, but it really is a good idea ok! I recommend that you keep a bottle of water at all times so that hopefully in the long term you'll save a bit of money on those dental bills...

  2. Do You Have a List of Phone Calls to Make?

    While your in the car you have the perfect opportunity to catch up on all your phone calls. I like to have my personal assistants (my life is a bit of a shambles but I'm happy) write up a list of all the phone calls that need to be made. This list automatically gets synchronised out of my Tasks from Outlook onto my XDA. When I'm ready I go through my list and catch up on all the critical calls.

  3. Do you eat enough fruit?

    Whenever I used to stop at the petrol station, I'd walk in the door and struggle to walk past that massive totem pole like structure that they pack with chocolate right next to the cashier. It'd take every ounce of restraint to not try the new Cadbury chocolate bar... But now a simple solution - I always fill up on fruit instead. It's much healthier, contains the sugar hit so dearly needed, and its a lot cheaper.

    To stow the fruit I installed the newly developed SSW Fruit Keeper ©. It basically consists of rows of thick plastic strips being stuck down to the dash to limit the movement of the fruit as you go round corners, etc.

    The plastic material is available from any good hardware shop in roles from 1m long for about AU$10.

Acknowledgements

Adam Cogan