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Everything posted by JohnInDC

  1. I suppose it could have been just about anything. Again the weirdest part to me was that the unit was so - *confident* that I was several blocks away. "Yes, yes, I'm 95% sure you're within 22 feet of this spot!" If it were a matter of general signal degradation or interference, I'd expect the unit to detect the anomalies in the satellite signals and report a much higher margin of error. Hm. Maybe the unit just uses some cheap shortcut algorithm to estimate accuracy, and that while it's more-or-less right most of the time, when you come down it the number is just kind of an invention, and not really accurate in usual circumstances. It reminds me of Mac OS X, 10.4. When you boot a Macintosh, there's a blue progress bar that tells you how far along in the process you are. Prior to 10.4, the bar corresponded to different points in the process; and while the bar advanced a bit jerkily, it gave a generally accurate view of where you were. In 10.4 they abandoned the "real" reporting with the bar -- now the computer just averages the time it took to boot on a few preceding occasions, and draws a blue bar that smoooooothly fills the box in that calculated length of time. It's more or less right, most of the time, but not when something new is introduced into the boot process. Big digression, huh. Anyhow, that's the kind of thing I mean. Maybe something happened that completely foiled the unit's ability to talk about it with the 'accuracy' algorithm it uses.
  2. Well, whatever the problem was, 12 hours later it seems to be resolved. The unit is back on track, and has me once again pegged, on the map, to within a few feet of my location.
  3. Any device with batteries can be used as a detonator. Since a GPS can also act as an altimeter, in theory, it could be used to detonate a device at a specific altitude. If anything that's a good reason to keep GPS devices out of checked luggage. I don't know what advantage a GPS device would afford to a terrorist who had managed to smuggle explosives into the passenger compartment. In that case they presumably could detonate the explosives manually, whenever they wanted, using the battery in their iPod or wristwatch.
  4. Boy, isn't that the truth? The only thing that betrays this glitch is our independent knowledge of where we actually are.
  5. Hmmm... I am quite far from White House (Ontario/Canada). I hope that 'local jamming device' does not affect the entire world! Hm. I wish I could say with confidence that that wouldn't be the case!
  6. I understand that it can take a few minutes for the device to settle in but 1) that's why I stood still for several minutes, waiting for the thing to sort itself out; 2) I've never seen this kind of warm-up error before, in a year's worth of use; and 3) why would the unit report accuracy of 22-24 feet when it was more like 1250? Finally (4) - someone else reported the identical problem just minutes after I posted this topic. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=161878 I'll put in fresh batteries tonight, and see if that makes an immediate difference. I will also let the unit sit for half an hour or so and see if it works its way back to the right spot.
  7. That would make sense in the case of a unit that never showed the right spot on the map - but mine still has yesterday's trackpoints running right down 17th Street, where I rode. Hm - I work a block from the White House. Maybe they just installed some kind of local jamming device!
  8. Ah - this makes me feel better already. See my nearly identical post, which beat yours to the forum by about three minutes! Here - http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=161877
  9. This morning (April 26), I fired up my GPSMap 60csx to use as an odometer on a bike ride. I thought I'd also take the opportunity to mark my house as a waypoint, a data point I lost a while ago during a firmware downgrade. The unit had a view of 6-7 satellites, all showing the little "D", and was confidently reporting accuracy of 22-24 feet. So imagine my surprise when, in the map view, it showed me being a full quarter mile to the east of my house! This error persisted without resolution for several minutes (I thought maybe it was just transient) and so I powered the unit off and went for my ride. At my destination I powered it up again, only to encounter the identical problem - everything seems fine except for the quarter mile map error. I have never had a problem like this at either location, and, until this morning the unit seemed to be working fine. I can think of three possibilities, and solicit views on those or others. One is that there's something going on that's affecting GPS accuracy generally right now - solar storms, weather (it's overcast here in Washington DC today). I tend to think this isn't it, because the unit would, should, in that case self-report greater uncertainty than 24 feet. (More like 1200!) Two is, low batteries. (I have NiMH batteries in it, showing a quarter bar of power; the unit is set for these batteries.) I will be able to test this after putting in a fresh set later. Here too I can't help but think that the unit would report the inaccuracy. The third is, "defective unit". This is a rebuilt replacement model that Garmin gave me after my original one went belly-up a few weeks ago. My prior unit was really great, and this one was fine too until today. Any thoughts, anyone?
  10. Yeah, I was really surprised that GPS Elevation wasn't one of the configurable data fields. I like using my 60csx on airplanes too and it's exasperating to be informed constantly that you're at 7500 feet. Yes, you can always punch around to find out what your GPS elevation is (was) at any moment, but the fun of the thing is seeing the information live. I am willing to suppose that a toggle for the barometer is too hard to implement, but the GPS elevation data is *in* the machine - how hard would it be to make it available in real time? (Otherwise I love the unit.)
  11. The end of this story is that I returned the 60csx to Garmin and within about 10 days they'd returned it - actually, what I presume to be a rebuilt unit, inasmuch as it was a different one - and things are working fine again. I should have removed my Invisishield before sending it but I wasn't sure I'd be able to reapply it, so now I have to buy another. That's okay - I'd stripped it of everything else, and now I have a working unit again. It was covered under warranty.
  12. The nice thing about the Webupdater is that if it's been a few months since I've visited the forums (which happens), Webupdater saves me the trouble of figuring whether I'm up to date or not. I may forego the convenience in the future though; not a bad idea.
  13. I wound up sending my unit back to Garmin. It's due home tomorrow. I'll report whether they repaired it or replaced it.
  14. Well, that would prevent most of the problems for sure. And if like me you're behind a router inside your house, you'll be pretty well insulated from those scripts & stuff that *look* for a machine to infect. One other thing, now that I appear to be writing ad copy for Parallels, is this new thing they call "coherence mode" - you invoke it, the Windows desktop disappears, and the Windows apps appear in your dock and on your own screen as though, almost as though, they were Mac apps. It is at that point almost perfectly the best of both worlds. Of course this is all overkill if all you do in Windows is periodically update your GPS firmware!
  15. Personally, I like being able to nip into Windows and then out again without the reboot. Windows boots under Parallels in about 90 seconds, maybe less. (I also like having my Macintosh programs available while I'm doing Windows things.) And, perhaps I'm superstitious, or just overcautious, but I like the idea of keeping Windows and all of its nasty viruses, trojans, spyware and the like confined to a virtual environment consisting of a single disk image file on my Mac. You run Windows under Boot Camp and you are running a Windows box, not a Macintosh at all, and are - in theory at least - rendering your entire machine (OS X files too) vulnerable. (Natively, Windows can't read or write the Macintosh disk format, so at present the risk of harm to your OS X files is more theoretical than anything, but I prefer the peace of mind.) Also if anything unpleasant should happen to my Windows installation under Parallels, fixing it is as simple as retrieving the image file from an earlier backup. No messy OS reinstalls required. Those are my reasons. Why buy Parallels when you can just download and use (for free) Apple's Boot Camp software? Then you'll have WinXP running natively on your Intel Mac instead of within a program. MUCH faster than on Parallels. Sure, you have to reboot, but I rarely use the PC side unless it's for geocaching.
  16. The most comprehensive solution would be to try to find a copy of Virtual PC, install Windows XP or 2000 in it, then do all your updating from there. This is not a cheap solution but it will give you full access to your GPS once you get the little kinks worked out. Virtual PC is pretty slow - I'd say, about 25% native speed - but it *does* work, and it's not bad with the Garmin software. (I have installed Windows 2000 because it runs faster under Virtual PC than XP; I don't need any of the eye candy that comes with XP; all of the Garmin stuff runs just fine under it; *and* you don't have to mess with all that ugly Windows activation stuff. If you've got Windows 2000 lying around, use that! As for Vista - well, if you have it handy, give it a shot, but I'm not sure it will run under the aging and discontinued Virtual PC. Also Microsoft specifically only licenses its high-end Vista pro edition for use in a virtual environment such as Parallels, and that's one more headache you probably don't want.) Anyone with an Intel Mac can purchase and install a copy of Parallels ($49-79). Windows within Parallels is very quick, almost native PC speeds.
  17. I had a few spare minutes this morning and that's what I did. (Two minute wait, not bad.) Very cheerful, sympathetic and helpful support person. Suggested a different hard-reset sequence, which I'll try out this evening (and report back). Thanks for the suggestion; I think it was a good one!
  18. Thanks. I should have said that because the unit isn't powering up in any meaningful fashion, the software doesn't recognize it.
  19. I just upgraded (attempted to upgrade) my GPSMap 60csx to the latest firmware (3.10) using Webupdater. After the reset it didn't come back up. I have had no success in reviving it. The symptoms are this: Powering on produces a perceptible (unlit) *blink* in the screen, kind of like the usual powerup, and then nothing. The unit is entirely unresponsive after that point and the only way even to get it to *blink* like that again is remove all power sources (batteries and USB cable). I've tried the hard-reset sequence (hold Page and Enter while powering up) but that produces the same result. I've reseated the memory card too, with no better result. This is not a battery problem (the batteries are fresh and anyhow it does the same thing when externally powered via USB). Any suggestions for how to revive the thing before I send it back to Garmin? And - is this stupid glitch likely to cost me an arm and a leg to remedy? I'm not sure if I'm stlll in warranty or not. (PS - I think the unit's great otherwise.)
  20. If you already have Virtual PC, you may find yourself with a bit more flexibility on programs, support, etc., but the setup is cumbersome and not always reliable and it's not worth buying VPC just for this purpose. Better, I think, to buy Garmin, use the few available Mac programs in the meantime, and wait for Garmin to come through on its promised OS X support.
  21. It may be a repeat but it's news me to me and my 10.3.9 desktop. Thanks!
  22. I have a dual 2.0 GHz desktop and have experienced fairly quicker times loading maps using VPC. Processor speed will make a pretty big difference. But the main point is, yes, Macs can be made to work pretty well with several of the Garmin units and, with luck by the end of the year we'll be in even better shape.
  23. Yeah, I'll be happy too when OS X support shows up! Good luck.
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