think twice when buying falk navigation systems with ActiveSync

I bought a FALK navigation system, the M8 2nd edition. The thing as such is excellent! It is very easy to use, has a good navigation, fits nicely into the car, excellent hardware.

My problems started with the software. They suggest you to also buy a map update to get updated maps every few months.

Done that, downloaded the new maps. To get the maps from the PC to the Navigation System, you need to install their “Falk Navi-Manager”. I wonder why, the bloody thing has a mini sd card reader and it could just read the maps from this. Anyway, installing the Navi-Manager includes installing the Microsoft ActiveSync client. Done that.

Now wanting to synchronize, on connecting, an ActiveSync problem pops up:
“cannot verify the version of activesync on your device. A program such as a firewall may be blocking a port ActiveSync uses to connect to the device, or you may need to upgrade to a more recent version of ActiveSync on the PC.”

  • search for falk online support
  • They have an falk online forum for support, which is useless because it does not allow you to post questions. Why the FUCK do you make a forum when I can’t post questions??? Better take the whole thing offline, if its just read-only thing labeled “forum”. I mean, if customers want to ask questions in a private forum which is controlled by you, and they can’t where will they ask questions? Right, on the web.
  • I Called the hotline. The hotline is nice and professional and they walk you to the typical steps of “turn off firewall”, “turn off virus scanner”, try reinstalling X, …
  • Someone from customer service said “ok, that may be because ActiveSync needs some port that is blocked. I had the same problem with another customer today and that guy found out. I can’t help you. Ask microsoft.”
  • Ok, then I ask for the microsoft support number. They say: go to the microsoft homepage. Did that and looked for the German Microsoft online help on ActiveSync, which is “not found”, 404. ARGH. FUCKKKKK
  • Ok, reinstalled ActiveSync to v4.5 (was there already). did not help
  • Bugged the support hotline, begging for favors, they offered that I can send the thing in and they do the update. Thats cool.

Lesson learned: The telephone support was good and they offered to help me as far as they could (“ok, then send us the thing …. grml…”)

But if you fucking want to sell navis, you better NOT the fuck use ActiveSync as your technical base but provide something that works out of the box on all machines. And on MacOs. And on Linux. Something like USB, something like my Digital Camera does: plain simple USB drives. And you better provide your customers a real online forum or they will need to find help on the web, publicly sharing their agony of having wasted a lot of money in a piece of hardware that is obsoleted in a year without updates which are blocked because of Microsoft ActiveSync being a mess with fucking “go to hell” error messages.

Next thing I will try: get a new computer and update the navi there, if that does not work – send the thing to falk.

Argh, I hate computers. Thats why I bought this hardware the first place…